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Masquerade: Oddly Suited

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Find love at the ball…

Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise, Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual Traveler or a virtual date to the ball?

Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solice, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party…

200 pages, ebook

Published April 30, 2019

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About the author

L.G. Keltner

13 books39 followers
L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband. Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six. Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good.

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews
Profile Image for Whispering Stories.
2,643 reviews2,559 followers
July 17, 2019
Book reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com

Masquerade: Oddly Suited is an anthology of ten short stories from various authors who are part of an Insecure Writer’s Support Group. As with all anthologies there were some stories I loved and a few I found myself skipping over, however, there weren’t any I can say I disliked, just I enjoyed reading some more than others.

We begin with the title story – ‘Oddly Suited’. This is probably my favourite story in the whole book. It was written by L.G. Keltner and features a team of students who are filming a dating show scene as part of their course. They are trying to show that opposites can attract and so we have a human and an alien as the contestants – Think Blind Date. The plot is pure genius and I loved the opening first few lines. I did think it was going to be about a real alien.

My second favourite has to be ‘The Dark Charade’ by C. D. Gallant-King. This is the tale of a boy who is digging up graves in a church graveyard and a young girl who believes that the boy is really a vampire. For a short story, it had a big twist which was nicely done.

I don’t want to go through every story in the book but what I can tell you is that they are all unique and entertaining. They feature lots of diverse characters and range from the normal to the completely bizarre. There is a wide range of stories so there is something for everyone.

This is a book you can dive into when you have a few minutes spare, reading one of the stories and then put it down again – Or you can read it in one sitting as I did. You also don’t have to read the stories in order either.

The book might be quite short at just 200 pages but within the pages, the stories are captivating and intriguing. I also enjoyed the snippets of information at the end of each story which told me about the authors.
Profile Image for Beverly McClure.
Author 17 books453 followers
March 26, 2019
Do you enjoy stories about acting? How about softball or history or many other topics. In MASQUERADE ODDLY SUITED, An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology, you’ll find a little bit of everything.
First, we have Oddly Suited by L.G. Keltner, where we meet five teens that are making a video to find out if it’s true that opposites really attract. It’s interesting what a video and a kiss can do.

Next is Behind the Catcher’s Mask by Jennifer Lane.
In a charity co-ed ball game with both baseball and softball players, the teens learn a lot about playing together as well as about each other.

Fearless Heart by Deborah Solice
This story takes place at Gettysburg Battlefield, where echoes of the battle fought there still live today. A girl’s visit to the park, an accident years ago, and a man wearing the Union blue make for an interesting tale. Will history repeat itself? And will you learn to follow your heart?

The Dark Charade by C. D. Gallant-King
Are you into vampires? If so, you sure want to read this story about a boy that digs up graves and a girl that believes he’s a vampire. Is she right?

The Cog Prince by Elizabeth Mueller
In this story, we meet a girl that gets locked in an antique shop after closing time and the weird things that happen to her, from seeing dancers, men and women, to a man that asks her to dance, and to other unusual things. Is it really happening, or is she dreaming?

Remedy by Chelsea Marie Ballard
Stories about royalty are always interesting. Take a princess and a slave that love each other and a father who disapproves, and you know what happens, or do you?

Charleston Masquerade by Carrie Anne Brownian
Two sisters attend a masquerade ball where families are looking for potential brides for their sons. Will Jinx and Myrina find their future husbands? Mrs. Upshur doesn’t think so.

Flower of Ronda by Myles Christensen
The story of a murder, a girl on the run, and an injured man that she meets and is attracted to. But they are of different religions. So is there any hope for their future? You may be surprised at the answer.

Sea of Sorrows by Anstice Brown
This is a fascinating story of girls known as the “sorrows”, shapeshifters that kill the land folk. They’re not evil; this is how they survive. Is there hope for their future? Or are they doomed to this life forever?

A Diver’s Ball by Angela Brown
This is a story of virtual reality where you can design your online presence to look however you want tit o look. That might be fun. Imagine on-line parties, like the Diver’s Ball, and a simulated assistant, or SA, such as a black cat with green eyes. Sounds great, right, but what is the real life like? You’ll soon find out.

By the time you finish this anthology, you’ll have traveled to strange places and met some unique characters. If you enjoyed the stories, they’d appreciate your review. Thank you. Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Ellen.
Author 32 books74 followers
May 3, 2019
This is a great collection of diverse stories that has something for everyone. I laughed out loud, sighed at swoon-worthy moments, sat back and reflected as some of my beliefs were challenged, and gasped at the unexpected twists and turns. A truly delightful anthology by some very talented writers. Pick this up and discover some new authors who will make you want to seek out their other work to add to your TBR.
Profile Image for J. Dorner.
Author 5 books1,146 followers
April 1, 2019
I enjoyed reading the ARC copy of Masquerade: Oddly Suited I was given in exchange for my honest review. It's a clean-read, not much beyond a kiss. I'd recommend it to fans of YA romance who like a variety of subgenres. I look forward to reading more from several of these authors.

Oddly Suited by L.G. Keltner
A funny and heartwarming story. Excellent use of showing emotions. There's a nervous young crush that slow burns to the happy ending.
The characters Bleeg Blorgington and Felicity Hart are the "cover models" for this book. This story is also the one for which the book is titled.
Keltner has been one of my favorite authors for a few years.

Behind the Catcher's Mask by Jennifer Lane
This writer really knows softball. A good story for sports fans.
"He's my catcher, and I like what I see behind his mask." There's a play-on-words for mask and masquerade. Also, rather than going to a ball, they're playing ball and discovering the truth about each other.

Fearless Heart by Deborah Solice
This reminded me of an episode of the tv show Supernatural. It's a different sort of romance. More so, there's a lot of pain for the main character, with whom it is easy to empathize. I like that it's set in Gettysburg, PA.

The Dark Charade by C.D. Gallant-King
This was the first time I encountered the term "lit crush" (which can be a crush on a literary character, a writer, or a book -- I looked it up), and I love the usage. In fact, this story frequently dropped names of my fandoms.
I'm not used to seeing graveyard and cemetery used interchangeably. Where I'm from, a graveyard is on church ground and tends to be smaller, whereas a cemetery is burial ground for all people regardless of faith. So I wasn't sure what was going on there, setting wise, though it was described more like a graveyard because it was separated by faith. My other issue was that "and taken the pearl necklace off" should be took instead of taken.
But the twist ending, wow! Not only did I not see it coming, I love the idea. I love the sudden diversity that was snuck in there. The story is a romance the way Stephen King's Misery was a romance. It's great and I would happily read more stories like this one. (My TBR list just grew.) This was my favorite story in the book.

The Cog Prince by Elizabeth Mueller
This story lost me a few times. It was presented differently from my usual reading tastes.
I realize the main character is exactly the sort of person to make this mistake, but Big Ben is the nickname of a bell, not the name of Elizabeth Tower.
"Chills clawed up my back and the feeling of being watched escalated to a dark foreboding." That's a good line from the story. I can't say I've ever wanted to kiss anything with "teeth spines of oozing venom," but it works out in this story.

Remedy by Chelsea Marie Ballard
The vivid imagery in this story is amazing, especially given that it's a short story.
I wonder about Rudy, given the list of rhetorical questions, which means they were asked to make a point. Given those questions, if they're rhetorical, does that suggest abuse and ignoring consent? Because that doesn't fit with his character at all. Or were they rhetorical because her answer is a blanket yes?
"Whatever titles we gave ourselves to make us feel like we had the right to own other human beings." That is such a profound line. It hits hard and cements the dystopia painted in this futuristic YA story. I thought the ending was hopeful.

Charleston Masquerade by Carrie-Anne Brownian
Mrs. Upshur is one of those fantastic antagonists that I hate, and I mean that as a compliment to Brownian.
"Decent people always blend in. Negative things happen when one stands out from the crowd." That's a powerful line of a coward who isn't aware of their own cowardice. History books, after all, are filled with those who stood out. So I love that the antagonist said this, trying to keep the main character down. But then I got to hate the villain more when she said, "Perhaps some of them might welcome the challenge of breaking your rebellious spirit and teaching you which sex God intended to be dominant and why." A reminder that, like in many historical romances, equality is and was an impossible concept for certain people to grasp for an excruciatingly long time. (The setting is in 1767.)
The Hinduism reference was very moving for me.
I really liked Jinx, until she became passionate about becoming a possession. She knows it's the opposite of her ideas, but lets it happen. She's a completely different person because of that moment, a level of change rarely executed in a short story. And the love interest responds with a possessive line, so it's a happily ever after if you call trading humanity to become a possession happy (which was the antagonist's goal for the protagonist).

Flower of Ronda by Myles Christensen
Set in southern Spain during a war between Christians and the Moors (Islam), which gives it diversity in that the characters are from two different backgrounds. They spend a chunk of the story pretending to ignore that fact, and then it comes up, but then it's shoved aside for the happy ending. Don Juan Antonio Martín de la Vega is a perfect gentleman in the story, an excellent example of how to write a chivalrous character. A good slow-burn historical romance.

Sea of Sorrows by Anstice Brown
I felt bad for the Jamie/Jaimie character. (It was spelled both ways in the ARC.) The book has creatures called sorrows, which don't call themselves finfolk, and haven't heard the term mermaid before. Which is interesting because it brings in that aspect of lores coming together.
As soon as the character Erik showed up, I realized this story is probably a retelling of The Little Mermaid, but with some fantastic twists that make a lot of sense and add intrigue. Very good.

A Diver's Ball by Angela Brown
Set in 2046, mostly in the virtual world of Cumulus, this story has physical diversity that brings out all the feels. There's a simulated assistant, Baxter, who is a black cat, and I love him. And just when I thought the story couldn't get any cooler, Falkor from the Neverending Story shows up. I fully geeked out. An amazing happily-ever-after.
Profile Image for Juneta Key.
Author 10 books37 followers
April 3, 2019
Fun, Enjoyable, Oddly Romantic Short Reads.

If you like fantasy and paranormal romance these stories are quick fun reads. Read them while in the doctor office or sitting in the car waiting for your child in front of the school. There is a wide range of story types in the fantasy genre, but all about love and connection. There is a couple set in the historical era, and if you love baseball one for sports fans, there are mermaids, and there is even one that takes place in a virtual world. Fun, light, quick, and smile-worthy. Highly recommend.

I volunteered to read an ARC copy and this is my opinion.
Profile Image for Al.
1,168 reviews29 followers
May 20, 2019
Each of these ten short stories have one thing in common, young love. Beyond that, they’re all solid efforts. In every other way they run a broad gambit with multiple genres and different writing styles represented. If a short read with young love as part of the story appeals to you, you’re sure to find at least a couple of these are a perfect fit for you. (If your taste in genres is wide enough, maybe all ten.)

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
Profile Image for Susan Swiderski.
Author 3 books37 followers
May 8, 2019
One of the coolest things about reading an anthology like this is you can read one story and then put the book down and walk away until... later. No need to stay glued to it and read the whole darned thing straight through to the end like some kind of weird word addict. For normal people, that is. What can I say? I read it all in a single sitting. So sue me. It's a short book.

I won't go into details on any specific story, but suffice it to say, some of them I absolutely loved, and others weren't my cuppa tea. Just as I expected. But one thing for sure... each story is very well-written, and each one is bound to be loved by some readers.

Think of it as a sampler platter of foods for you to try. (Only no calories...even better yet!) Find a food... a story... you especially like, and then you can look for more work by that writer and have at it! What a delicious deal!
Profile Image for Jennifer Lane.
Author 15 books1,414 followers
April 29, 2019
Who’s Behind the Mask?

What a diverse mix of young adult romance! This Insecure Writers’ Support Group anthology features ten stories of young love with a masquerade/mask theme, and I’m honored to be included with such talented authors.

Oddly Suited by L.G. Keltner
The title story is full of fun! Who doesn’t love a dating game show featuring a grunting, masked alien as Bachelor #1? The cover is a perfect representation of this crazy pairing.

Behind the Catcher's Mask by Jennifer Lane
Rather than review my story, I’ll share a summary:
Fast-pitch softball is Andie Wilson’s life. She’s a fierce pitcher hoping to score a college scholarship, and she hates the annoying distraction of cocky baseball players crashing her high-school charity game. But she doesn’t anticipate the impact of one baseball player: Colt Turner. As Colt stares at her through his catcher’s mask, his steadfast gaze may be just what she needs to guide her through a crisis. And Colt may need Andie, too—to cope with the secret hiding behind his mask.

Fearless Heart by Deborah Solice
This story has a dreamlike quality involving a kind, handsome stranger from the past who helps out a girl in need. I love the sound of the name Savannah, or Savi Jo, especially coming from Sam’s lips.

The Dark Charade by C.D. Gallant-King
There’s a vampire in Madison’s school! And she’s hell-bent on proving it. C.D.’s clever humor in his blog posts and comments caught my interest, but the surprise ending of this story made me cackle.

The Cog Prince by Elizabeth Mueller
Strange things happen after dark in Gepetto’s Timepiece and Antique Shoppe. Ivy dreams she dances with a steampunk prince—a magical moment.
A hot thrill awakened every nerve with his nearness. My eyes caught the design of the brass-colored lace that lined the edges of his clothing. The lace consisted of tiny gears of every distinction, glinting in great and astonishing detail.
But is it a dream?

Remedy by Chelsea Marie Ballard
I adored this story, featuring a strong heroine (Remelia) and the sweet, steady boy (Rudy) who loves her. Remelia comes from the ruling class and Rudy is a servant, acting as a “pigeon”. Their forbidden romance puts Rudy’s life in danger.
Rudy shrugged and adjusted the messenger bag that always rested over his shoulder. His pidge bag. Usually filled with letters. When the global markets crashed from the super virus, we were plunged back into the dark ages. No one trusted electronics anymore. Hence the need for pigeons.
How interesting to imagine a world without electronics. The author combined the names of Remelia and Rudy to create the title.

Charleston Masquerade by Carrie-Anne Brownian
This 18th century tale features the irrepressible Jinx, who attends a masquerade ball because she’s supposed to woo a suitor. Too bad Jinx is more interested in intellectual pursuits…until she meets a very tall masquerader with a golden half-face mask, intense dark eyes and very fine, classical cheekbones.
I felt wooed by his views on faith:
”My family has experienced many types of worship in many lands. The world is my church. God has many names and faces, but none of them are wrong, so long as the person has a pure, sincere heart and soul. Who’s to say my way or worshipping and understanding God is inferior?”

Flower of Ronda by Myles Christensen
I’ve been dying to visit Spain after years of studying Spanish, including the historical battles between Christians and Moors. Zahra escapes her lecherous cousin only to encounter more trouble on the road. She reaches out to help an injured man, Antonio, only to be helped by him in turn. I so enjoyed this interfaith romance!

Sea of Sorrows by Anstice Brown
I’m typically not a fantasy reader but I was captivated by this story of sorrows--female sea-monsters resigned to feeding on innocent men for energy. Mairg thinks there might be something more to life, and when she finds it, she has to fight a hostile sea hag for the freedom of her and her sisters.

A Diver's Ball by Angela Brown
A great finish to the anthology, this story is a fun take on Ready, Player One featuring a girl’s foray into a virtual world partly to escape the pain of her wheelchair-bound present. Her virtual assistant, Baxter the black cat, steals the show. And Alyssa learns that real life can be pretty awesome, too.
Profile Image for Jessica Renfro.
13 reviews
June 6, 2019
READ IT! There is something for everyone! Do you want Love? Got it! Do you want vampires? Got it! Do you want time travel? Go it! This book has something for everything. All of them are short stories and they are just long enough that you can read one each night before you go to sleep. I do recommend this book to read as it has something for everyone and if you want to try to read something that you have not then this book will shed some light into other genres.
Profile Image for Nancee Cain.
Author 12 books648 followers
June 13, 2019
An interesting collection of stories with a little something for everyone. My favorite story was Behind the Catcher’s Mask. Colt and Andie had great chemistry! But I need more... because I’m curious not only about their past, but their future, too!
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews

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