Zoe Winters’s “Kept”

by Zoe Winters
published by IncuBooks

Zoe is an independent publisher I “met” by happenstance when I got soundly thrashed on Dear Author for suggesting that a multi-published author whose 3-book SERIES contract had been canceled after book 2 (leaving her fans out in the cold with characters they loved) actually self-publish the third book in the series (you know, since her rights had reverted back to her and she already has a fan base salivating for it). Good gravy, you’d’a thunk I’d said the Rapture was coming tomorrow and they’d all be left behind and have 666 burned into their foreheads bwahahahahaha burn in hell losers.

Anyhoo, as Bob Ross would say, it was a happy accident.

Kept is a free novella you can find at her site (link above) in PDF form. You can find it at Amazon in Kindle for 80¢ and you can find it on Smashwords in various formats for those of us who bitch if we don’t get it the way we want it. Somebody call me a waaaaahmbulance.

And really, “free” is my second-favorite four-letter f-word.

Here’s the blurb:

Greta is a werecat whose tribe plans to sacrifice her during the next full moon. Her only hope for survival is Dayne, a sorcerer who once massacred most of the tribe. What’s that thing they say about the enemy of your enemy?

Now, I don’t do much paranormal and I really don’t like shapeshifters, but throw the word “sorcerer” or “wizard” or “warlock” at me and I’ll take a second look. And I’m glad I did.

Beefs first:

The story was a little choppy in moments of transition, but I’ve seen that so much lately that it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to and, I’m guessing, readers are being taught to get used to it and, by extension, writers are doing it more.

Also, the story could’ve been longer with more explanation of the world. I (Random Reader who likes really really really long books) would have liked that. Let me get you some salt for that opinion.

Good stuff:

What glimpses of their world I got, I liked. I could tell it wasn’t a half-assed world half-thunk-up on the fly, and that it had depth and detail underneath. (Repeat: wanted more.)

I really enjoyed the hero’s crankiness and the fact that he was “old” (how old we’re not told, but I inferred around a century). I liked that when the hero and heroine had sex pretty nearly upfront it was because of species-specific hormone issues (i.e., cat in heat) that she usually controls with medicine, but didn’t have her medicine with her.

I laughed a lot through this book. The banter is witty and cute, seems natural to both of them, and gave the characters the depth that natural humor brings to people.

The cover’s pretty and the interior design is good. In short, it’s right up there with a lot of the novellas in the anthologies by traditional publishers that are on bookstore shelves and much better than a lot of other stuff I’ve read lately from the e-presses that I paid for. I enjoyed myself.

Coulda been longer. Did I say that?

So. If you get it from Smashwords, leave a tip, okay?

5 thoughts on “Zoe Winters’s “Kept”

  • December 6, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks for this awesome review, MoJo! Not to be all gimmie gimmie, but I’d love it if you’d leave one on Amazon! (And I’ll return the favor, yep, still slugging through The Proviso, but the up-side is that it’s my favorite part of the evening. 😀 )

    Yes, sometimes my transitions are weak. It’s especially hard in a novella when you have limited word real estate and don’t want to spend too much time shifting scenes. It’s something I’m working to improve.

    There are two more novellas in this particular series, and everything I write, though it won’t all be in the same town, is set in the same verse, so over several books and such, the picture will get more layered.

    I also made a fun supplementary site http://www.theriantype.com with a little bit more of the world’s magic background through the view of the store Dayne shops at for his therian blood.

    And thanks, I’m glad you liked the stuff you liked! 😀 And especially that the humor came off! 😀

  • December 6, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    “Slogging”? Oh, man…

    Sure, I’ll leave one on Amazon for you. Don’t know why I didn’t think of that myself.

    And you’re welcome. 🙂

  • December 6, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    hahahahaha, Not, “slogging” in a bad way haha. Slogging in I’m a lame slow reader way. Tom is mocking me because this is such a long book and in such a compact font, hahaha. It’s like it takes me twice as long normal and everytime I get to a place where I have to stop, I say: “Man, I’m never going to finish this”

    I’ll get there. It’s me, not you. Or I wouldn’t still be reading it. 😛

  • December 7, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Will fight temptation at reading review!

    Hehe I’m still reading it and enjoying it but lack of time lately is slowing me down a bit so I’m savoring it lil by little. 🙂


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