Michelle Scott has had stories appear in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, All Possible Worlds and Realms. Her fantasy novel, The Dragons of Hazlett was nominated for a 2009 EPPIE Award. Michelle’s YA novels include the vampire romance, Blood Sisters (99 cents), and the fantasy Uncommon Magic (99 cents). Her latest fantasy novel, An Anthem for the Battle Lands, ($12.95 paperback) was just released from Mundania Press, LLC. Michelle lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and three children.
Satan Loves You: (99 cents) The irreverent humor, outlandish story, and hilarious characters make this light-hearted romp through hell the perfect summertime read. The story revolves around Satan, a benighted evil deity whose work to process damned souls is thwarted by workers’ strikes, lack of funds, and lack of respect from his fellow supernatural beings. And with the Ultimate Death Match between heaven and hell rapidly approaching, Satan worries that he’ll lose the competition and be out of a job. But when a nun with an uncanny knack for accidentally killing people winds up on Satan’s doorstep, he finally finds a way to teach heaven a lesson once and for all. Hendrix’s humor has that Monty Pythonesque absurdity which made me laugh throughout the story. Unexpected left turns are one of the hallmarks of good comedy, and Hendrix’s book takes plenty of them.

The Wrath of Kings and Princes: ($2.99) Although the book is second in a series of novels, it is a stand-alone story. Brondt Kammfer tells the story of Childe Cern, the rebellious older son of an aging monarch. Cern’s father is attempting to persuade his son to take on the responsibilities of ruling the kingdom, but Cern, who is more interested in swords and women, refuses. And when Cern meets a mysterious young woman from a faraway village, he seals his fate by turning his back on his family. This may sound like a simple plot, but it is only one thread in this complex book. Kammfer expertly weaves together several different subplots making this book a fascinating, yet never confusing, read. Revenge, spurned love, dark magic, murder, and betrayal fill the pages of this novel. The book so successfully sucked me in that, by the end, I could not put it down.
Water for Elephants ($6.99) by Sara Gruen was one of those books that I promised myself I would hate since everyone else seemed to love it. But once I started reading, I knew that resistance was futile. Jacob Jankowski drops out of veterinary school and hires on to help with the exotic animals in a ramshackle traveling circus. But as Jacob, who is young, idealistic, and innocent, becomes more and more enmeshed in the dramas playing out in the circus, he realizes that humans are more violent and cruel than the wild animals in his care could ever be.
The setting alone, a depression-era travelling circus, was very gripping, but the characters won my heart. And not just the human ones. There’s plenty of personality in the menagerie as well. Although some parts of the book are difficult to read due to the animal cruelty involved, overall, the story plays out nicely.
The Lonely Polygamist ($7.57) by Brady Udall. Here, Golden Richards, a man with four wives and twenty-eight children is so desperately lonely that he seek attention elsewhere. Although Richards loves his family and knows that they are pining for his affection, he is trapped in his chaotic life and feels that he has nothing left of himself to give. The story is heartbreaking, but the delivery is humorous. In the tradition of such writers as John Irving and Richard Russo, Udall creates a book that is as funny as it is tragic. This isn’t so much a story about fundamentalists and religion as it is about the human condition. The book comments on how it is possible to be surrounded by people yet remain utterly alone. So even while snickering over the absurd situations that Golden and his wives find themselves in, I was nodding my head in understanding. The Lonely Polygamist is a book that is surprisingly easy to relate to.