Servants of Fate
Genre: Paranormal Romance (Holiday)
Publisher: Pen and Kink Publishing
Date of Publication: November 1, 2016
Number of pages: 87 pages
Word Count: 26,000
Cover Artist: Amanda C. Davis
Father Time’s son, Zeit Geist, must sacrifice a mortal’s lifetime to the Fates each New Year’s Eve. Last year—inexplicably, really—he made an 11:59 substitution. The Fates are pissed and they’re after his mortal Hannah. With the year ending, he ought to figure out why he’d saved her—and why he keeps doing it.
Following an unlucky year, Hannah Lyons needs a week’s holiday in a lodge to unwind. What she gets is near-death experiences and a sexy immortal who can’t avoid kissing her, but might have to kill her. After all, even Zeit can’t hold back time indefinitely.
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Seven Reasons to go with a Novella
I love novellas, but I realize that not everyone has discovered the charm of shorter works. Common complaints are that if you’re going to pay for a book, you want something significant to show for what you’ve bought. Or, maybe, you just haven’t had a lot of success finding authors who can tell an entire story in a novella-length. Possibly you’ve been burnt on cliffhangers or teasers. Don’t get me started on the mid-series novella with thirty characters appearing in thirty pages. I shake my fist at them and consider throwing my Kindle. But…but…let me offer a few good reasons to give novellas a shot.
1. Seasonal or theme treats. Anthologies or novella standalones often revolve around a holiday or theme. While you’re baking cookies, you can page through a novella that’ll get you in the mood for the upcoming holiday and won’t leave you with charred cookies. Also, some themes would feel tired over the course of an entire novel. I’ve written a horror novella that there’s no way I could have sustained the emotions through three hundred pages.
2. Find new authors. Novellas are the perfect chance to sample new authors without committing days and days to it. If you’re one of those people who can’t DNF (did not finish) a book, then novellas can be a saving grace for you. Novellas are auditions for longer works that are greater monetary or time investments.
3. Sleepless but not hungover. You’ve finally finished that project. You even did a load of dishes. Everyone is in bed…but it’s after ten p.m. You could pick up that novel on your bedside table, but the last time you did that, you finished it at 6 a.m. and had a book hangover. Novellas are the perfect wind-down reading that don’t tie you down. You might be up until midnight, but you’re not greeting the dawn while thinking, “Just one more chapter.”
4. Mini-adventures and micro-trips. Most readers love the opportunity to dive into a fictional world and be there. They can have the thrill of a far-off place or a magical realm while snuggled into an armchair with a bowl of soup. If the average adult reads five books a year, then that’s five mini-vacations via fiction. Novellas give you the chance to double that or more. Think of all the places you’ll go and lives you’ll live! There’s your day at the beach on lunch breaks in February. Your Christmas in July while watching swim lessons. Trek through the rainforest while commuting home. I’m a prolific reader, and I need my two hundred vacations to make up for the time I spend paying bills and doing laundry.
5. Mooooore. With the ease of digital releases, many authors are putting out interim novellas in between novels. Sometimes, it’s an epilogue or prologue type of contribution to a series so readers can find out more about the world and characters. Sometimes, it’s a story that is close to the author’s heart but not as easily marketable like a holiday story. Readers can get their grabby hands on more work by their favorite authors.
6. They boldly go everywhere. As an author, I can tell you that novellas are great for more diverse and interesting “what if” scenarios. For a while, “trapped in an elevator” romances were big and I read quite a few of them. The novellas were far better than the novels in my experience. There was a flash-bang feel to the novellas. They had an encapsulated magical meet-cute squishiness that I loved. In the novels, it was a scene in a greater plot and the remainder of the book often didn’t have as much appeal.
7. The intensity. Good novellas can’t drag. A well-written shorter work doesn’t waste time building character depth through their cereal choices. The reader is plunged right into the story or into the relationship. The writing has to be tighter and the emotions often tug at more universal conflicts. There’s no drawn-out backstory. There’s this moment, this scene, and it’s all on the line.
Stealing Time was intended to be a single novella when I wrote it…but I couldn’t stay away from the world. Readers couldn’t either. This was the story that I was contacted about regularly. “Loved Stealing Time, but when are you going to write the rest of the series?” Writing a seasonal paranormal novella already felt like a risk to me and that’s even without acknowledging there really isn’t a category for “Father Time’s sons” romance on retail sites. I put off readers for a bit, but eventually I couldn’t resist. The novella length gave me the opportunity to take this chance with Stealing Time and then its two sequels. I hope you’ll give them a chance too.
“What are you doing to me?”
“What do you think I’m doing?”
She glared at him. Saying it out loud would sound utterly stupid. “I keep having these lapses of time. One minute, I’m in one place and, the next, I’m in another. And four times now, I’ve seen you walking away from me when it’s happened.”
“So, you’re accusing me of doing something to your memory? Or of stalking you?” He took another sip of his drink as if he was only mildly interested in her response.
She opened her mouth to say something before snapping it closed. What was she accusing him of? It all sounded silly and impossible, and he’d be around this whole week. Every time they saw each other, she’d feel humiliated that she’d actually thought…
Oh, who cared? She was going to get brain cancer from all this testing if she couldn’t get to the bottom of things.
“You’re doing something to time. I don’t know what you’re doing, but I don’t think your name is just an odd little coincidence.”
For a blink, she saw something in his eyes and a quick half-smile. “It’s a family name.”
“So, your entire family manipulates time?”
Copyright © 2016 by Wendy Sparrow
About the Author:
At home in the Pacific Northwest, Wendy Sparrow writes for both an adult and young adult audience
in many genres but always with a happily ever after. She has two wonderfully quirky kids, a supportive husband, and a perpetually messy house because she hates cleaning. She’s an advocate both online and in her community for autistic children in addition to actively trying to raise awareness about obsessive-compulsive disorder. Most days she spends on Twitter procrastinating doing the dishes.
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