Deadly Beauties by Cherita Smith is described as “A Short Collection (of) Dark YA Paranormal Tales of Troubled Girls.” Sometimes the title sells the novel, as this one did for me. The price on Amazon was USD 0.00 so there is also that but I would have paid to explore short stories with such a title.
Lux Aeterna This story and its premise might disturb some. Here is the first line and readers can determine whether they want to read further. “HELL has its demons. I have Foster Dad George.” (Kindle Location 27) This is a very good story.
Maudlin Carnival This is a beautiful story of hope and redemption by an unseen force. An inspector has been given the mission of inserting small time variations into the life of Evelyn. As a girl, she had a rough life. Now, at the old age of twenty-two, she is about to make a bad choice, one that is bad for her daughter, Eve. Can the inspector help? Who called for the inspector to make this temporal review and insert changes?
Roza Mira: Svetlana Svetlana wanted to go through the window to a better place but she had seen the Dark Man outside and did not want to meet him. For the present, she would continue to age. She had a birthday in three days and there was still fun to be had for a woman who was showing signs of aging too fast for a fashion model. She decided to party longer. The Dark Man had a different opinion. It was almost harvest time.
Roza Mira: Catalina For Catalina it was not a window; it was a mirror. Catalina also saw the Dark Man, one she called El Flaco. Rosario, Catalina’s sister, could not see El Flaco. Rosario was initially more successful than Catalina because she was thinner. Catalina was envious and dieted to such a strict regimen that she finally had more offers of work than Rosario. Before beginning her diet, the mirror showed Catalina two figures. Catalina on the left was beautiful, on the right she was fat. As her dieting became more successful, the two figures became similar. Catalina was no longer envious of Rosario but she did marvel that when she and Rosario were reflected in the mirror only she, Catalina could see the Dark Man. And then came harvest time.
Roza Mira: Soojin She didn’t use a mirror or a window to peer into a better place. Soojin meditated while doing another activity; swimming, listening to music, or painting. When engaged in other activities simultaneously with meditation, her focus was total. She disliked any interruptions such as offers of modeling work. Just like Catalina, Rosario, and Svetlana, Soojin was a successful international model. Just like them, she was under the influence of Roza Mira. This may have been a physical location or a philosophical view that inspired lifestyles. All the girls knew of the Dark Man, all had different names for him. Soojin’s mother knew of him but would not speak of how she knew. Soojin would acquire the same knowledge that other Roza Mira devotees had known before her. Harvest time would come and the world would be safe.
The first two stories are very good. The last three are very good with clever threads woven throughout to tie them together. I assigned this novel five Amazon stars and want to read more by this author.