Well what you might not know is that many authors feel our pain, and now release short ebooks in between novels to keep us ticking over until the next one comes along. Some authors later turn these novellas into paperbacks but many remain exclusively as ebooks and so sometimes get missed, even by the most dedicated fans. Often contributing more to the existing worlds and characters they’ve created in their books, short stories can add depth to the novels, such as Veronica Roth’s series of short stories based on the Divergent trilogy that take on the perspective of a different character. Excitingly, many of these short ebooks also include a preview of the upcoming novel to really build up the anticipation.
So now that we’ve let you in on the secret, we’ve put together a list of top 10 short stories released exclusively as ebooks for you to get stuck into.
Jodi Picoult – Larger than Life
The bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper and The Storyteller, Jodi has a hugely loyal fanbase that eagerly await each of her book releases. With 10 months to wait between Jodi’s last release- Vanishing Acts in January 2014 and her upcoming book Leaving Time due out in October, she has kindly given us Larger than Life to keep us going. Introducing Alice, the main character in Leaving Time, the novella is a gripping story set on a game reserve in Botswana. A researcher studying memory in elephants, Alice must balance her protective instincts with one of the most important rules; do not interfere. Witnessing the bonds between mother and calf and depth of their love, the story is beautifully written and captures wonderful moments of loyalty and love.
Karin Slaughter – The Truth about Pretty Girls
In between Will Trent thrillers, Karin offered us this short story exploring family relationships and the difficulties of aging. A compelling read, the story follows Jude Hanson as she returns to her childhood town and the life she left behind. Struggling with the numerous relationships she has and is giving up on, Jude makes for a shocking character at times but one that keeps us intrigued by her story. This novella is a nice change of pace from the suspense of the Will Trent series and shows off what else Karin is capable of.
Lee Child – Not A Drill.
Continuing with Jack Reacher’s story, Not a Drill once again takes us along on his wild ride as he drifts into the sleepy town of Naismith to find the wilderness trail through Maine’s ancient forests have been taped off by police without explanation. Not one to shrug and keep walking, this novella explores Jack’s ability to work things out and observe what others miss, rather than the action and suspense that is usually packed into his novels. Highlighting a character trait that we love but that sometimes gets over-shadowed by others is a great way of making sure this short story is a unique addition to the series.
S. J. Parris – The Secret Dead
Following philosopher and spy Giordano Bruno– the lead in Paris’ previous novels- The Secret Dead is full of dangerous secrets and mystery. Suspecting that the death of a young woman may not have been an accident, Bruno finds himself torn between seeking justice and his own future in the Order. Paris often receives comparison to C J Sansom with good reason- her spy novels are gripping, powerful and addictive.
Kathy Reichs – Bones in Her Pocket
Tying in with Kathy’s series of Dr. Temperance Brennan novels, this novella throws Dr. Brennan into unfamiliar territory as she comes across a case she’s not seen before. As the mystery around the case continues to grow, Brennan risks everything to get to the bottom of it. Kathy’s expertise in forensic science is once again apparent in her writing, bringing an authenticity to her work that supports the suspense and excitement perfectly. She somehow manages not to lose the elements of her novels that fans love in this short story, making it a perfect teaser.
Fern Britton – The Stolen Weekend
Sparkling, witty and light-hearted, The Stolen Weekend is a warm and mischievous story around Fern’s well-loved character Penny Leighton. Planning a weekend back in London with her best friend Helen Merrifield to temporarily escape the struggles they now face in Cornwall, Penny’s character is as lovable and relatable as usual, ensuring this novella is fun, endearing and effortless to read.
Sue Townsend – True Confessions
Celebrated author of the Adrian Mole series, Sue Townsend has rightfully established herself as one of Britain’s favourite comic authors. Her unique writing style shines through in this short story, following the rather ambitious 14 year old Margaret Hilda Roberts who lives an ordinary life now, but who knows where life will lead her. Funny in its own right, you’ll wear a cheeky little smile when the recognisable characters click into place
Trudi Canavan – Doctor Who: Salt of the Earth
Several authors have contributed a story to the Doctor Who series in order to celebrate its 50th anniversary, but Trudi’s novella is one that we were particularly excited about when it came out. Known in the sci-fi and fantasy genre for her stunning imagined worlds and strong characters, we were sure she would do our favourite series justice, and we weren’t disappointed. Featuring the Third Doctor and Jo Grant, the pair find themselves on holiday in Australia 2028 ‘blokarting’ on a salt lake. But when they notice grotesque, distorted figures amongst the salt sculptures that adorn the land, they realise there is more here than meets the eye.
Michael Connelly – Switchblade
Diving into another case for Harry Bosch to crack, this short murder mystery follows him as he tracks down the witness that could help convict his suspect. An anonymous witness, a murder weapon that won’t stand up in court and an imminent parole hearing all add up to a suspense filled race against the clock. Incorporating all the hallmarks of a gripping Michael Connelly novel whilst upping the pace suitably, this short story is ideal for satisfying your craving for a decent mystery.
Kami Garcia – Dangerous Dream
Nothing is guaranteed to catch our attention more than this one, simple word; prequel. The 1# bestselling author of the Beautiful Creatures series, Kami Garcia turned her attention onto new series- Dangerous Creatures this year, set within the same world. Eagerly anticipating the release of the new series, we were all brimming with excitement when we heard that a prequel that linked the two series would be available a few months beforehand. We get to see Ethan, Lena and Link as they finally graduate from highschool and also find out more about lead character of Dangerous Creatures, bad girl – Ridley. It’s the perfect short story to complement the series.
Do you have a favourite novella that worked perfectly with the books? Tell us about it in the comments box below.