Archives for posts with tag: Stories

A great project by a great group of authors for a great cause.

I was asked to clarify the situation about my latest work-in-progress, so here is the blurb, followed by explanations about the project and the release: African August When Timothy, a budding autho…

Source: AFRICAN AUGUST – Uganda, Dog shelters and THE ART OF WAAR | writerchristophfischer

Hi all:

With Christmas just a few days away, I’m trying to share as many of the reviews I have pending before the end of the year as I can, to make sure you have enough to read over the holidays. Also, I have to warn you I’m planning on having some reshuffling, maintenance and hopefully improvements (and a bit of a move) in the blog over the next few days. I hope I won’t disappear completely, but one never knows… If I do it’s most likely a technical problem rather than anything else… (she said, holding on tight).

After all that, time to share reviews. Today I’m revisiting two writers whose work I really enjoyed the first time around, so I repeated. Here they are.

First, S. R. Mallery with Unexpected Gifts:

Unexpected gifts 3

First, the description:

A TRUE AMERICAN FAMILY SAGA: Can we learn from our ancestors? Do our relatives’ behaviors help shape our own?
In “Unexpected Gifts” that is precisely what happens to Sonia, a confused college student, heading for addictions and forever choosing the wrong man. Searching for answers, she begins to read her family’s diaries and journals from America’s past: the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and Timothy Leary era; Tupperware parties, McCarthyism, and Black Power; the Great Depression, dance marathons, and Eleanor Roosevelt; the immigrant experience and the Suffragists. Back and forth the book journeys, linking yesteryear with modern life until finally, by understanding her ancestors’ hardships and faults, she gains enough clarity to make some right choices.

Here, my review:

Unexpected Gifts by Sarah Mallery. The power of stories and the value of remembering the past.

Having read Mallery’s book of stories Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads I was looking forward to reading her novel. And although not unexpected, it definitely was a gift. The story of Sonia, a young woman studying psychology, in a complicated relationship with the lead singer of a band, and plagued by rituals and other symptoms of OCD, her story frames the novel and provides a conduit for telling many other stories. Through her we get to know her parents, and when her mother suggests she might find direction and some useful ideas by checking the attic and the family boxes that have accumulated there, each box goes on to reveal something about her family members and helps her discover more about herself.

The book is beautifully written, with vivid descriptions of places and people, that in a few sentences transport the reader to the recent (and less recent) past) and to locations and situations that spread from the new to the old world and from America to Bulgaria, via Vietnam. The structure of the novel is clever and works well in progressively unveiling Sonia’s heritage. Every time she reaches a conclusion about one of her ancestors, the next bit of information or evidence contained in the box corresponding to that person makes her reconsider and reach a better understanding (if not always a kinder opinion) about their lives. The box within a box or the Russian wooden dolls that must be opened up or peeled back to discover what hides inside (that are also mentioned in the novel) work well as a metaphor or visual representation for the structure of the novel.

The stories will affect or touch people differently, but they are all interesting and revisit crucial historical events and periods, adding a personal perspective. We have Vietnam War veterans, the hippy movement, European emigrants arriving in Ellis Island, American Suffragettes, Racial Conflict and Race Riots, the McCarthy era Communist witch hunt, Dance Marathons and the Depression Era, and romances that seem to be fated to end up badly. By exploring the past, Sonia seeks a way of understanding her behaviour and of breaking up patterns that result in sadness and unhappiness. I don’t want to reveal too much, but can add I enjoyed the ending that brought closure and a nice conclusion to the novel.

I recommend Unexpected Gifts to anybody who enjoys a good novel, with a solid historical background and strong characters, especially to people who prefer variety and many different stories. As the book is structured I think it will also appeal to readers of short stories and of anthologies of different styles of writing, as it provides multiple voices and many narrations in one single volume. Another great achievement for the author.

Links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YWGATTU/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00YWGATTU/

Here the link to her author page (and don’t forget to follow her):

http://www.amazon.com/S.-R.-Mallery/e/B00CIUW3W8/

And G. Elizabeth Kretchmer’s Women on the Brink.

Women on the Brink by G. Elizabeth Kretchmer

Women on the Brink by G. Elizabeth Kretchmer

The description:

Women on the Brink is a stunning collection of loosely linked stories in which women aged thirteen to ninety must face the unwelcome realities of their lives. Sometimes gritty, sometimes humorous, and always compassionate, G. Elizabeth Kretchmer’s prose takes the reader on a compelling ride alongside these ordinary women as they wrestle with family relationships, self-esteem, socioeconomic status, maternal obligations, and need for independence.

In “Skydancer,” a young mother resents her newborn baby. In “Float Away,” an at-risk teen is desperate to find a new home. A minister’s wife struggles with secrets in “Liar’s Game.” A despondent housewife longs for purpose in “Alligator Poetry.” The protagonist in “Tasting Freedom” wrestles with decisions about her aging mother’s care. And in “From Here to Cafayate,” a woman refuses to give up on the perpetually flawed relationship she has shared with her sister for nearly ninety years.

Each story is enhanced by one of fourteen original poems contributed by talented poets specifically for this collection and its themes. Although the stories stand alone, they are further strengthened by the relationships among the various characters throughout the collection. Readers of Ms. Kretchmer’s first novel, The Damnable Legacy, will also delight to find that some of the characters from that novel have reappeared here.

The women in this collection may or may not be the type you’d invite over for lunch. Some of them are tough. Some aren’t all that likeable. Some might not see the world the way you do. But they’re compelling in their own right as they reflect women in today’s world—women who have come along a difficult path—and as they courageously take control of their lives.

My review:

Women on the Brink by G. Elizabeth Kretchmer. The World if Full of Possibilities if you Dare.

I was offered a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I read and reviewed Kretchmer’s novel ‘The Damnable Legacy of a Minister’s Wife’ this summer and was fascinated not only by the story (the Alaskan setting also helped) but also by the complex characterisation and the psychological insights. When I was offered a copy of ‘Women on the Brink’ I didn’t hesitate.

The book combines short stories by Kretchmer with poems that are interpretations of themes, feelings or sensations related to the stories that follow. The title perfectly reflects the nature of those stories. The women in them are at different stages of their lives, from teenagers trying to find themselves, to elderly women escaping a retirement home, but they all find themselves at a point when they question their lives as they are and what they are going to do next.

I enjoyed the different settings and characters, the writing style, easy to read and varied, adapting well to the different stories —some more introspective, some more comedic— and also the open-endedness of them. In ‘Bridge Out’ the main character, who after retirement decides to become a trucker, mentions ‘Thelma and Louise’ and like that movie, the stories show women going their own way, and these are many different ways. Perhaps piloting their own plane, going away to help in a disaster zone, confronting their past… And we never see them crash. Because one of the messages of this collection is that the world is full of possibilities if you only dare.

For those who have read the author’s previous novel there are some familiar characters, and there are also characters mentioned in several stories and who appear in more than one, hinting at the interconnectedness between all of our lives.

Although I wouldn’t say my circumstances are exactly those of any of the women in the stories, I identified with the feelings and the emotions described, I cheered (worriedly) for the ‘Girls Against Perfection’, and I thoroughly enjoyed the transformation of Margee in ‘Coco Palms’, from obedient wife to avenging warrior.

I would quite happily have read more about any of the characters in the stories, and confess I could see quite a few of them turned into much longer works (I loved the light touch in ‘Accelerant’ and Maureen, the perhaps not-as-confused-as-she-seems grandmother, is a fabulous character). Despite their length, the author creates fully-fledged characters and situations in each one of the stories, condensing descriptions and sharpening her prose, with not a word spare.

The poems complement beautifully the book and provide an effective and lyrical link between them.

I recommend it to all readers, those who enjoy short fiction and poetry, and also those who don’t read short stories, because we should challenge ourselves and they might be pleasantly surprised.

Links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1513702351/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1513702351/

The link to the Author’s page (and don’t forget to follow!)

http://www.amazon.com/G.-Elizabeth-Kretchmer/e/B00L2T253I/

Thanks to S.R. Mallery and to G. Elizabeth Kretchmer for their novels, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK!

 

The Dark Dozen: Stories for Scarborough
by Travis Luedke, C.N. Lesley, Danielle DeVor, Maer Wilson, Steven Ramirez, Jody A. Kessler, Louann Carroll, Ross G. Homer, M. Joseph Murphy, Robert P. Wills, Karenne Griffin, and Allan B. Anderson
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Release Date: December 2, 2015

 

 

 

***SPECIAL NOTE: SAVE A LIFE, BUY A BOOK*** 

This fund-raising anthology of Horror and Sci-Fi short stories was created to benefit Altoine Scarborough, a man in desperate need of a heart transplant. The stories, cover art, formatting, editing and compilation were all donated. Every penny of the royalties we receive will go to Al’s GOFUNDME project. (MW)

Vampires to ghosts to monsters—and futures we won’t want to see come true—fill this collection of dark stories that are sure to give you chills. This stellar, fan-favorite group, which includes award-winning and best-selling authors, brings a unique voice to some familiar and not-so-familiar creatures. Join Travis Luedke, C.N. Lesley, Danielle DeVor, Maer Wilson, Steven Ramirez, Jody A. Kessler, Louann Carroll, Ross G, Homer, M. Joseph Murphy, Robert P. Wills, Karenne Griffin, and Allan B. Anderson for a trip into the Darkness.

BROWN THE RECLUSE by Steven Ramirez – Ted Brown is a man slipping away from reality. Long estranged from his family and living in Seattle, he works at a job he no longer values and lately appears to be losing his memory. But when he discovers a spider in his apartment, that’s when things get really interesting.

THE RAID by Maer Wilson – Gamers are often loyal to their teammates. When Aelan and her friends tackle an evil dragon, that loyalty goes far beyond what anyone expects.

THE BONES by Danielle DeVor – Sometimes, things leave a residue, like the smell left behind when toast is burned. When a medical student brings a skeleton home to study, her child’s life will never be the same.

THE WHISPERING by Karenne Griffin – The small village of Gorland is horrified as their children kill themselves in what appear to be suicide pacts. But there is much more going on and only one child has the key.

THE DIARY OF A MADMAN by Robert P. Wills – Just because others don’t see the ghosts, doesn’t mean they aren’t real.

THE CALL: AN ANGEL FALLS NOVELLA by Jody A. Kessler – Professional shaman and cranky, anti-social ghost hunter, Chris Abeyta, finds spirits and helps them cross over to the afterlife. In his latest case, he and Juliana Crowson find the ghost of a girl trapped by time and a heart-wrenching tale of a camping trip gone terribly wrong.

THE FOUNDLINGS: JENNY’S TALE by Louann Carroll – Technology meets morality when Jenny loses her only friend. Terrified and alone she must choose between reentering the world or living the rest of her life in the dark.

MUMANS by Ross G. Homer – He found love in the most unlikely place. But could he keep the love he found?

A TALE OF TWO QUEENS AND A FROZEN HEART by Allan B. Anderson – Reily, an experienced troubleshooter, is hired to find two teams who have gone missing in a frozen wasteland. But even his skills may not be enough to survive what he discovers.

THE VAMPIRE AND THE VALIANT WARRIOR by M. Joseph Murphy – A noble thief in search of ancient treasure stumbles upon the den of a sadistic vampire.

HELL IS NEVER FULL by C.N. Lesley – When the seed of hate is sown it puts forth shoots of malice that bear flowers of evil. Time has no meaning for revenge.

DREAMS OF NIGHTLIFE LAS VEGAS by Travis Luedke – An author has an unexpected encounter with one of his most dangerous – and sexy – creations.

For more information about Al’s situation or to donate directly to his GoFundMe project, please check out these links below:

Any support to help save Al’s life will be deeply appreciated.
Al’s GOFUNDME Page – https://www.gofundme.com/l1911s
Al’s Facebook Page – WE HEART AL – https://www.facebook.com/We-Heart-Al-611995988938764/
Amazon – THE DARK DOZEN – http://goo.gl/H8lsPo

To read more about Al’s story and how this anthology came about, visit Maer Wilson’s website.

 

 

 

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Hi all:

This is another one of the books I picked up in Net Galley based on the comments and the intriguing description.

Here it is:

Madeleine's Kiss by Pete Gilboy

Madeleine’s Kiss by Pete Gilboy

Description

“I didn’t do anything to Madeleine. I’m a noted professor, for God’s sake! Of course I Iiked her. How could I not? She was so sweet and southern-charming and girlish. Innocent and crazy, and delightful to be with.

“I helped Madeleine, that’s all. Yes, I know she’s missing now, but I can explain that. I can explain everything. I can even explain the devastating kiss, and what happened right afterward. I think it’s actually beautiful what happened to Madeleine. I didn’t hurt her at all.

“But even my lawyer didn’t believe me. That’s why I’ve to say it all right here.

“This is the story of what really happened to Madeleine.”

Here is the description in Amazon:

“THIS WON’T BE YOUR USUAL MYSTERY OR THRILLER READ.”

Madeleine is missing.

Adam Snow says he didn’t do it.

Sure.

Now, as he awaits the jury’s verdict, Adam Snow

reveals the truth about Madeleine.

. . .

“Uniquely Gripping”

“Riveting and eye-opening”

“This won’t be your usual mystery or thriller read.”

— Midwest Book Reviews

And here my review. A word of warning, I go on a bit.

Thanks to Net Galley and to Dogear publishing for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Choosing the point of view a story is written from must be one of the most difficult decisions, when it comes to writing. There are some books that one suspects may not have worked if written in any other way. And sometimes we wonder if others wouldn’t have worked better if someone else had told the story. And oh, the horror, the horror of the inconsistent point of view.

I have always been intrigued/fascinated by narrators. And that most interesting and talked about of all, the unreliable narrator. To my mind, even if you have the most detached of scientifically-minded experts telling you a story, there will always be something personal in the telling.

But like Adam Snow, the narrator of Madeleine’s Kiss, I digress. This novel is a first person narration; we could even call it a confession. Adam is a History of Art university professor. From the beginning we know he is on trial, and his trial has something to do with a girl he calls Madeleine (her real name is something we never get to know. Among many other things.)

The Madeleine the narrator tells us about is a fascinating creature. Perhaps deranged, with a huge imagination, or, as she believes, quite special. She is on a journey to try to find another woman, Rosa Lee, a long-lost relative, and another fascinating character, whose story we only know through fragments, incomplete documents, and stories that might be real or not. How and why Adam gets involved in her journey forms much of the body of the story.

Adam’s voice is at times self-deprecating, at times defiant, but always fully aware of what others might think of his version of the story. He intersperses his recollections of the actions with comments about the past (as a justification for how and why he does things), about what is going on currently, and with works of art (his favourite artist is Georges Seurat) that open each chapter.

Although Adam appears to be an example of the saying “those who can’t, teach”, he is enough of an artist to create a story, beautifully written, to justify his predicament. If we believe him or not it’s up to us, although perhaps ultimately irrelevant. He is not the most sympathetic of characters, but his way to tell the story intrigues us enough to makes us want to keep reading until the end.

The novel reminded me in certain ways of We Must Talk about Kevin although I felt much less personally involved and there is no final great revelation. And if the narrator in Kevin might be completely unaware of her biases (even manipulation) when telling the story, there is no doubt that Adam knows full well what the readers might think.

Peter Gilboy creates a fascinating novel where facts are the least important part of the story and where an artist is born, even if not, perhaps, a painter.

This is not a whodunit kind of thriller, but rather an imaginative novel, not fast-paced, but a great psychological portrayal and a game of cat-and-mouse, but not with the possible victim, but with the readers.

Peter Gilboy is an author to watch out for.

Here are the links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00Y2DA4LG/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y2DA4LG/

Peter Gilboy, author

Peter Gilboy, author

This is Amazon’s page for Pete Gilboy. There isn’t a lot of information although it mentions two other sites:

http://www.amazon.com/Peter-Gilboy/e/B000APWWM4/

His website:

https://www.petergilboy.com/

And his blog:

http://www.fictionwriterblog.com/

Thanks so much for reading, and if you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment and CLICK! I hope I’ll be back with you live soon!

I met my now close friend Mary Meddlemore (well, Mary is a character, who demanded to write her own story and the author […and although I know who she is I won’t reveal it…you can ask her if you want] seeing her determination and her love of stories could but agree) through the group of authors I’ve mentioned quite a few times now, ASMSG (logo and website attached to my blog). We got chatting on Facebook, then started exchanging e-mails, we organised a joint giveaway in January…and keep talking…and exchanging ideas about promotion, and writing….

I’ve loved Mary’s dedication to writing, and particular her love of stories. She makes no secret of the fact that she loves stories and stories possess her to the point where she has to write them as they demand it. In the case of ‘Forever After: A Dimensional Love Story’ one of the characters in the story, Mary Meddlemore (and she is a character and a half) insisted in writing the story. And it is absolutely wonderful. I’ve reviewed the novel (I leave you the link below) and loved every minute of it. And I’m very happy to say that Mary/Martie is working on the continuation of the story. And she has very ambitious plans indeed.

I leave you a sample of the novel, some links (Mary has a wonderful blog and has recently created a Facebook page that everybody who loves stories is welcome to visit and participate in) and my heartfelt recommendation of Mary’s books.

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www.amazon.com/dp/B009HXI30A

Sample of ‘Forever After. A Dimensional Love Story’

Andrew slowly got to his feet. He felt ancient.

There was a sudden sense of motion.

She was next to him, next to him, but when he turned his head, she was in front of him and he could only see her hair and the elegant motion of her hips and shoulders. He could have touched her. She walked right through the huge glass pane next to the door and was gone.

“Are you all right, Sir?”

Andrew nodded. His legs moved stiffly through the door the attendant held for him. There was no need to ask if somebody else saw her. It was obvious that nobody did, because she was not real. He could not set a trap for her and he would never be able to talk to her. She was some kind of … apparition.

He walked back to the office. It was overcast and freezing outside and he was completely crazy.

Mary’ s author page in Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Meddlemore/e/B009IAJQ26/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Don’t forget to check her other books: ‘In the Reign of Ilev’ and ‘The Seventh Sheep’!

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http://tinyurl.com/bk9pbnq

51F+qa7uqHL._AA160_

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AUFMWC4 

Mary’s blog:

marymeddlemore1.wordpress.com/

And this is Mary’s new Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/MaryMeddlemoresILoveStoriesPage?ref=hl

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to CLICK!

Blogs to follow:

http://www.seumasgallacher.wordpress.com

http://escritoresilustradores.wordpress.com/

http://plagueofdissent.wordpress.com/

http://theverybesttop10.com/

Rich Marcello

Author of The Beauty of the Fall, The Big Wide Calm, and The Color of Home

GALDIN

Tras miles de años de paz y armonía, una guerra entre dos razas desata la desolación en un territorio que quedará yermo. Tras tanto odio, muertes y residuo del poder arcano, surgirá un mal que hará que las razas que viven en Rahaylimu se unan de nuevo para combatirlo.

lucinda E Clarke

My blog - My books - and other interesting stuff about my adventures

throughdanielleseyes

Words, thoughts, and snapshots of life.

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