As you know, Fridays is a day I dedicate to guest authors or new books. It’s always a great pleasure for me to bring you new books by authors who’ve graced by blog before, and even more so when I’ve read and shared my opinion of their work before. This is the case with today’s offering.
I read and adored ‘Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads‘ by S. R. Mallery (here you can check my post) and when I saw the author had published another collection of short stories, I could not resist.
Tales to Count On
Curl up and enter the eclectic world of S. R. Mallery, where sad meets bizarre and deception meets humor; where history meets revenge and magic meets gothic. Whether it’s 500 words or 5,000, these TALES TO COUNT ON, which include a battered women’s shelter, childhood memories, Venetian love, magic photographs, PTDS fallout, sisters’ tricks, WWII spies, the French Revolution, evil vaudevillians, and celebrity woes, will remind you that in the end, nothing is ever what it seems.
The book has great reviews but I could not resist sharing this one:
5.0 out of 5 stars `Word counts’ and other non-sequiturs April 10, 2015
By Grady Harp
Los Angeles author S. R. (Sarah) Mallery since her graduation from UCLA has enjoyed a varied career as a professional production artist, editor, ESL teacher, and tutor – but she also has been significantly involved as a classical/pop singer/composer working in clubs and churches while composing for educational filmstrips, having her own calligraphy company, a twenty-year quilting and craft artist and business, and now she devotes her time as an historical fiction writer, writing short stories in particular, as challenging a writing skill as any. She is a member of ASMWG (Authors’ Social Media Support Group) and has been published in both collections of her own works as well as anthologies with other writers published by Scars Publications, Chitra Publications, and House of White Birches. Her current publisher is Mockingbird Lane Press. Having read three of her books, now, likely classifies this reader as a Mallery addict.
Quite cleverly Sarah presents the reader with the Word Count conundrum – whether the length of a story is commensurate with the impact – and then proceeds to offer her wonderfully diverse tales in ascending order – shortest to longest. And to prove her point he first story GOOD ADVICE in a couple of pages relates an in control therapist in a women’s shelter, admired by all for the calm with which she handles her telephone please for help only face a abrupt situation of the terminal category at story’s end. In an equally brief tale – A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY – a visit to a zoo finds a tiger (Rudolfo) inadvertently picking up a discarded cigarette and out of rage having retribution by the discarding smoker. And another -THE KITCHEN – a nightmare of filth faces a maid whose employer has simply stepped out for a trip to the bank – or to her bed, a sanctum from her disengagement with the real world.
The stories grow linger but still corrupt reason in Sarah’s inimitable manner of imaginative tales: GIFTS – `In 1935, Peter was too young to know better. Dim lights, he figured–yes, it was the dim lights, the root of All Evil, that had done him in. Everyone else understood that maneuvering past the row of Stage Right columns, even well lit, wasn’t an easy task for anyone, much less a six-year-old claiming he couldn’t see. Just shy of Stage Left, he would often trip, catching himself on either his mother’s or his father’s arm. It was then that he finally wised up. He learned the inevitability of one of his parents sticking out their right toe to snag him as he went by–one night it might be his father’s, the next, his mother’s. They seemed to take turns. “If only I didn’t have to wear this eye patch,” he muttered from time to time, but his father’s, “Keep it on, Peter! Remember, that’s a big part of the act, kid!” haunted his every move. At first, he would turn to his mother–her theatrical makeup softening like a candle outside on a hot August day–the same mother who always stood helpless as her sweaty, rum-soaked husband returned home night after night, stumbling up their back steps and heading straight for their only child cowering in the farthest corner possible.’
That is the flavor of her alchemy with words. Or as the synopsis phrases it, `Whether it’s 500 words or 5,000, these TALES TO COUNT ON, which include a battered women’s shelter, childhood memories, Venetian love, magic photographs, PTSD fallout, sisters’ tricks, WWII spies, the French Revolution, evil vaudevillians, and celebrity woes, will remind you that in the end, nothing is ever what it seems.’ And not a one of these stories fails to satisfy.
But what the reader takes away from these compelling stories is that Mallery is a brilliant wordsmith – a unique artist who has mastered her medium! Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, April 15
Here is Sarah’s Amazon page:
And if you want to check her links in other places:
Thanks so much to Sarah for her new book, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know, like, share, comment and CLICK!