Maria is the author of Under Witch Moon, an urban fantasy ($2.99). Strangely, she also writes cozy mysteries and is the author of the popular Sedona O’Hala series as well.
 
I prefer novels to short stories, but there are a few authors who manage to pack the equivalent of a full story into a novella. If they can create the emotional attachment and give me enough story that I feel like I got the benefit of whole book–I’ll take it.
Especially at 99 cents for Backlash by Nancy Fulda. On the first page, I wondered if I’d like any of the characters, but when it’s family and at least one member is invested in saving the others, the story has a lot of places to go, crossing genre and generations. Wonderful fantasy novella that is available for 99 cents on its own or as part of the Dead Men Don’t Cry collection for $2.99.
 

 
Frank Tuttle has a few novels out. Last year I read and loved Wistril Compleat ($1.50). Short stories, but all about the same characters/setting so these great wizard and his apprentice adventure stories read like a novel. This summer, I gave his Dead Man’s Rain novella a try. Wow. Pick this up for that rainy night, light a fire, and…you’ll probably want the lights on. Tuttle creates a great atmosphere in this ghost story, complete with spooky mansion…the grief of a widow, and a witch who might or might not be on the side of the good guys. Get it while it’s on sale ($2.80), save it for Halloween or dip right in!
 
I’ve been hoarding the fourth book in the Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series for a year. This series is tied for my favorite. I set aside the entire day with dinner already made. No interruptions allowed. And Magic Bleeds delivered. From the first page, I was drawn right back into Kate’s trials and tribulations. This series is set apart from your average urban fantasy because Ilona Andrews grows the character through the series–Kate makes friends, and she learns it’s okay to let others care about her. The series is about as perfect as you can get, although some of the battles can go on the long side. If you haven’t discovered this series, the first is Magic Bites. These books are a standard $7.99 each, but if you like urban fantasy, mystery or fantasy they don’t get any better than this.
 
Well…unless you want to check out Patricia Briggs’ Cry Wolf, the first in the Alpha and Omega series. Cry Wolf takes place in the same world as the Mercy Thompson series (Moon Called is the first), also by Patricia Briggs. Between the two series, I’d give the edge to Cry Wolf, although the Mercy Thompson books had me pretty spellbound! There was just something about Anna in Cry Wolf that completely captivated me. The whole cast of characters is so well-developed I enjoyed reading about every single one of them. Briggs is so skilled that even when changing POV she never let me leave the story. Interrupt me when I’m reading a Briggs’ novel and there might be…injuries. Again, highest recommendation for those who love urban fantasy, paranormal, mystery or fantasy. If you’ve never tried fantasy or urban fantasy, Cry Wolf is a great book to try. If you don’t want to pay full price ($7.99 each), buy it used–you’ll want this one on your self to read again.