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Book Review: The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer

13 Jul

The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.
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The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.
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For the sea was a fair master.
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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a mixture of stories that range from predictable to horrifying. I’d read one story and know how it was going to end. Then the next story I’d think, “I can’t believe that happened!” There are also love stories and tales of murder. My favorite story was about an android that has almost found a way to feel like humans do. Another one, Letting the Dead Grow, will stay with me for a while. It amazes me how Calvin Demmer can make the reader feel so much in so few words. I look forward to reading more of his work.

I read this book in one sitting but it would be a good one to have around when you just a few minutes to read here and there. I definitely recommend The Sea Was a Fair Master.  It’s a memorable book of short stories and if you like multiple genres, especially horror, you’ll enjoy it.

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About the Author

Calvin Demmer is a dark fiction author. His debut collection, The Sea Was a Fair Master, was released in June 2018. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. You can find him online at www.calvindemmer.com or follow him on Twitter @CalvinDemmer.

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: Three Modern Shorts: The Cafe Stories by K. Kris Loomis

31 May

This e-book is no longer available for purchase, but the stories can be found in the collection, The Monster In the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis!

No time for novels? Try these Modern Shorts for Busy People!

What happens when two high school friends meet for a good old fashioned gossip session over coffee? Or when two very different people are brought together through internet dating and self-improvement? Or a couple of old friends battle it out over backgammon, secrets, and pecan pie?

In these three modern short stories, author K. Kris Loomis offers us glimpses of universally shared moments in everyday relationships and life. They are humorous, thought-provoking, and written to be read in one sitting.

THE GOSSIP GRIND
SELF IMPROVEMENT
BACKGAMMON BUDDIES

Just because you are busy doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve good fiction in your life!

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. This is the last of the short stories in Kris Loomis’s The Monster in the Closet and other stories. I’ve enjoyed reading all of them.

The Cafe Stories includes three short stories. In “Self Improvement,” Amelia and Jake meet after talking online for a while. They seem to have a lot in common and the results of their meeting is hilarious. Sadly, it’s something that could easily happen in this day and age. This was probably one of my favorites of all the stories because it’s so funny and yet so timely.

“The Gossip Grind” features Beth and Tiffie, long time friends who have always enjoyed some “good” gossip. Something happens one day that may change their friendship forever. 

The “Backgammon Buddies” are Hank and Bob. They have been friends for a long time and Bob has decided he needs to come clean about something before his dementia takes over and he’s unable to apologize. With his revelation comes one of Hank’s own. This story had a nice twist.

Three Modern Shorts: The Cafe Stories are short and can be read in one sitting. Even though they’re short, they’re well written. Some of them make you think and some make you smile.

I definitely recommend The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories. It would be great to have for those times when you have to wait somewhere for a few minutes or for the bathroom if you’re one of those people who keep reading material in the bathroom.

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About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is the author of the humorous travel memoir, Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador. She also writes adult parables and short stories as well as books about yoga and meditation. Kris is a determined chess player, an origami enthusiast, a classically trained pianist, and a playwright.

https://www.facebook.com/kkrisloomis

https://twitter.com/kkrisloomis

https://www.instagram.com/kkrisloomis/

https://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Book Review: Three Modern Shorts: The Bus Stories by K. Kris Loomis

30 May

 

This e-book is no longer available for purchase, but the stories can be found in the collection, The Monster In the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis!

No time for novels? Try these Modern Shorts for Busy People!

In these three modern short stories, author K. Kris Loomis offers us glimpses of universally shared moments in everyday relationships and life. These stories are thought-provoking, often humorous, and written to be read in one sitting.

JUST GLUE IT TO YOUR BUTT
THE ORANGE SCARF
SAY SOMETHING

Just because you are busy doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve good fiction in your life!

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I am in the process of reading and enjoying the short stories that Kris Loomis sent me.

The Bus Stories include three short stories. “Just Glue it to Your Butt” is about Ethan and his brother’s friend Luke. They’re waiting for the bus and Ethan sees a different side of Luke other than the older brother’s friend who torments him.

In “The Orange Scarf,” John realizes that there should be more to life than work. 

“Say Something” is about Chuck, a bus driver, and Olivia, a passenger on his bus. The title says it all. Chuck wants to say something to Olivia but will he say something before it’s too late?

Three Modern Shorts: The Bus Stories are short and can be read in one sitting. Even though they’re short, they’re well written. Some of them make you think and some make you smile. I like how Kris Loomis can make you feel so many different emotions in just three short stories. I’m looking forward to reading three more of her short stories tomorrow.

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About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is the author of the humorous travel memoir, Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador. She also writes adult parables and short stories as well as books about yoga and meditation. Kris is a determined chess player, an origami enthusiast, a classically trained pianist, and a playwright.

https://www.facebook.com/kkrisloomis

https://twitter.com/kkrisloomis

https://www.instagram.com/kkrisloomis/

https://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Book Review: Three Modern Shorts: The Funeral Home Stories by K. Kris Loomis

27 May

This e-book is no longer available for purchase, but the stories can be found in the collection, The Monster In the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis!

No time for novels? Try these Modern Shorts for Busy People!

What happens when two sisters can’t agree on how to proceed with their mother’s funeral? Or when a mortician is faced with a talking corpse? Or when a young boy finds out his grandmother had a secret past?

In these three modern short stories, author K. Kris Loomis offers us glimpses of universally shared moments in everyday relationships and life. These stories are thought-provoking and written to be read in one sitting.

NOW AT PEACE
THE MAKEUP ARTIST
GRANNY GERTRUDE

Just because you are busy doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve good fiction in your life!

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I am in the process of reading and enjoying the short stories that Kris Loomis sent me.

The Funeral Stories include three short stories. “Now at Peace” is about two sisters who have to make decisions about their mother’s funeral. Jackie lives in New York and usually only comes home for Thanksgiving and Jenny lives in the same town as their mom did. Jackie is the oldest but perhaps there are some things she can learn from her younger sister?

The Makeup Artist” is Mary Catherine and she specializes in making the deceased look good for their funerals. One day someone requests her to do her daughter’s makeup. How will doing the makeup for someone she knows affect her?

“Granny Gertrude” doesn’t have too many people at her funeral because she outlived most of her friends. It’s amazing how much the reader learns about G.G. as her grandson called her just from a few short conversations with others.

Three Modern Shorts: The Funeral Stories are short and can be read in one sitting. They’re short but well written. Some of them make you think and some make you smile. I’m looking forward to reading three more of her short stories tomorrow.

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About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is the author of the humorous travel memoir, Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador. She also writes adult parables and short stories as well as books about yoga and meditation. Kris is a determined chess player, an origami enthusiast, a classically trained pianist, and a playwright.

https://www.facebook.com/kkrisloomis

https://twitter.com/kkrisloomis

https://www.instagram.com/kkrisloomis/

https://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Book Review: Three Modern Shorts: The Bedroom Stories by K. Kris Loomis

25 May

This e-book is no longer available for purchase, but the stories can be found in the collection, The Monster In the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis!

No time for novels? Try these Modern Shorts for Busy People!

What happens when there really IS a monster in the closet? Or when a disturbed teen discovers a secret notebook? And will Santa really have to wear sweatpants?

In these three modern short stories, author K. Kris Loomis offers us glimpses of universally shared moments in everyday relationships and life. These stories are thought-provoking, often humorous, and written to be read in one sitting.

THE MONSTER IN THE CLOSET
MARKS ON THE CEILING
THE SANTA DEBACLE

Just because you are busy doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve good fiction in your life!

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. After I read The Park Stories, the author offered to send her other modern shorts. Since I liked The Park Stories, I was happy to read the rest of them. 

The Bedroom Stories include three short stories. “The Monster in the Closet” is about a little girl named Hannalee who, like many children, is afraid of the monster in her closet. I thought it was going to be a scary story but I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be a sweet tale.

Marks on the Ceiling” was anything but sweet. It’s a story about a girl named Chelsea who’s being bullied at school. It’s a timely story that might make some kids think twice about bullying.

“The Santa Debacle” shows what Christmas has become. When I started reading this story, I didn’t like the characters at all but this turned out to be my favorite of the three stories.

If you’re looking for something to read in one sitting, I recommend Three Modern Shorts: The Bedroom Stories. They’re short but well written. I’m looking forward to reading three more of her short stories tomorrow.

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About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is the author of the humorous travel memoir, Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador. She also writes adult parables and short stories as well as books about yoga and meditation. Kris is a determined chess player, an origami enthusiast, a classically trained pianist, and a playwright.

https://www.facebook.com/kkrisloomis

https://twitter.com/kkrisloomis

https://www.instagram.com/kkrisloomis/

https://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Book Review: Wind Walker by Neil John Buchanan

19 May

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 188 KB
  • Print Length: 42 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Stormblade Productions (19 Oct 2014)

 

Something stirs beneath the ice-locked tundra of Snowdonia National Park. An ancient force of unspeakable evil scrabbles at the boundaries between worlds. Its servants creep from sunless caverns and crave the taste of warm human flesh. Ithaqua summons his children home. A new age approaches. Gibbering monsters and nameless horrors await and a blend of man and beast is needed to show the Great Old Ones the way. Dwellers in the deep. Fields of quivering flesh. All await the children of the Wind Walker . . . 

Includes the BONUS STORY Everett Smiles

Sheila is coming . . . 
The sky is brushed through with copper. The land is a frozen ruin. Aliens have slipped through the space between spaces to consume humanity with their endless obscene desires. Rifts in the fabric of the world bleed suggestion. My son waits out there beneath a curious orange sun. 
I . . . I have to find him. 
Sheila is coming . . . 

Available on Amazon

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

It’s been a while since I read straight horror but this one fits the bill. Wind Walker is about a small group of people who are going through Snowdonia National Park when they have an accident. What happens next is unthinkable, at least to most of them. There were times that the story was a bit “out there” and I would have preferred that it was more straightforward but it had a good ending.

Everett Smiles is the bonus story but I liked it more than Wind Walker. I was tickled by the title because Everett always smiles. Everett Smiles is about the end of the world but what a horrible end it is! It also had a good ending.

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Book Review: Unsavory Delicacies by Russell Brooks

8 Jun

For fans of Barry Eisler and Robert Ludlum. A three-course story collection with a side-order of revenge.

Crème Brûlée

Rogue operative, Monique Beauvais, cons a software genius into selling her a coveted technology that would allow its user to control CIA drones while they’re in flight. And she will go as far as killing him in public in order to have it.

To the Last Bite

A renowned food critic–whose scathing reviews have closed down restaurants–gets a savoury surprise.

Shashlyk and Morezhenoe

CIA operative, Ridley Fox, leads a team against one of Russia’s most powerful crime families. He discovers secrets, but not one that he was expecting to find.

Three stories with three consequences. All containing three Unsavory Delicacies.

***Caution*** Readers are strongly advised NOT to eat while reading To The Last Bite.

Available on Amazon

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Unsavory Delicacies contains three short stories. The first, Crème Brûlée, was good. It was predictable in the way that there could be several ways that came to my mind how it could turn out and one of those ways was correct.

To the Last Bite was my favorite of the three stories. It was a bit of a shocker and I liked the surprise.

I didn’t really understand the point of Shashlyk and Morezhenoe. Fox is a CIA operative and he and his men hone in on a Russian crime family. The CIA has the upper hand but this seems more like a prequel or epilogue than a story that stands on its own.

I definitely recommend the first two stories in Unsavory Delicacies

 

About the Author

Russell Brooks is the author of the thrillers, Pandora’s Succession, Unsavory Delicacies, Chill Run, and The Demeter Code.

Russell has been compared to a young Robert Ludlum in the way that he wrote Pandora’s Succession and Unsavory Delicacies.

After having read an excerpt of Chill Run, here’s what one British reader had to say:

“If you like Elmore Leonard, you will love ‘Chill Run’. Its snappy dialogue evokes ‘Rum Punch’ (filmed as Jackie Brown) and ‘Get Shorty’, and the plot carries the same tonal qualities of the Donald E Westlake thriller ‘The Hunter’ (filmed as Payback). As ever with Brooks, you can expect meticulous plotting and surprising twists. And, as with ‘Pandora’s Succession’ and ‘Unsavory Delicacies,’ the end will have you going straight back to the beginning to ride the rollercoaster again.” –www.fringescientist.com.

Russell is also former Indiana Hoosier Track Champion and Canadian Track Team member in the 100 and 200 metres. He has written several essays on his blog The Big Picture, one of which was published in the online Op-Ed section of the National Post in early 2009. He has also produced his own poetry/novel-themed show, The Russell Show, on YouTube. He currently lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Website
Twitter

 

 

The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Book Review: Eating Robots and Other Stories by Stephen Oram

4 May

 

The future is bright…or is it?

Step into a high-tech vision of the future with the author of Quantum Confessions and Fluence, Stephen Oram.

Featuring health-monitoring mirrors, teleempathic romances and limb-repossessing bailiffs, Eating Robots explores the collision of utopian dreams and twisted realities in a world where humanity and technology are becoming ever more intertwined.

Sometimes funny, often unsettling, and always with a word of warning, these thirty sci-fi shorts will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.

 

Goodreads  Amazon India  Amazon US
A universal booklinker link that detects which country you’re in and links to Eating Robots myBook.to/EatingRobots

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

There’s not one or two words I can think of that would describe these stories. I’d read one and think that it was interesting and then the next one would leave me with my mouth hanging open. Some of these stories will really make you think. For example, exactly how far is too far when it comes to technology?

Although I found some of the stories to be entertaining fiction, most of them are more a social commentary on where we are headed with today’s technology. In fact, at the end of the book, there are comments by several experts about some of the stories and how close we really are to some of these things happening. Perhaps we should use this book as more of a warning as to where we are headed rather than just as entertainment.

That being said, I did like this book and I have to buy a copy for my son. He will love and dissect it and show me things in it that I missed.

 

About the Author

Stephen Oram writes thought provoking stories that mix science fiction with social comment, mainly in a recognisable near-future. He is the Author in Residence at Virtual Futures’, once described as the ‘Glastonbury of cyberculture’. He has collaborated with scientists and future-tech people to write short stories that create debate about potential futures, most recently with the Human Brain Project and Bristol Robotics Laboratory as part of the Bristol Literature Festival.

As a teenager he was heavily influenced by the ethos of punk. In his early twenties he embraced the squatter scene and was part of a religious cult, briefly. He did some computer stuff in what became London’s silicon roundabout and is now a civil servant with a gentle attraction to anarchism.

He has two published novels – Quantum Confessions and Fluence – and several shorter pieces.

  

Find Stephen Oram on:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

 

 

The Amazon US purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

 

 

 

Book Review: Three Modern Shorts: The Park Stories by K. Kris Loomis

30 Mar

No time for novels? Try these Single Sit Stories!
What happens when a distraught teen and a whacky old woman meet in the park? How about a couple that weaves tales about spies and incurable diseases? Or when a father and daughter are presented with the opportunity to get to know one another better under unusual circumstances?
In these three modern short stories, author K. Kris Loomis offers us glimpses of universally shared moments in everyday relationships and life. They are humorous, thought-provoking, and written to be read in one sitting.

LOVELY HORNS
FRIDAY AFTERNOON
THE KING STOMPER

Available on Amazon.

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

These are short stories about different people meeting at a park bench, whether by accident or on purpose. “Lovely Horns” is about desperation, kindness, and hope. “Friday Afternoon” is about avoidance. “The King Stomper” is cute but is about communication, or the lack of. 

If you’re looking for something to read in one sitting, I recommend Three Modern Shorts: The Park Stories. They’re short but well written and intriguing. I’m hoping to read more of this author’s short stories.

 

About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is the author of the humorous travel memoir, Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador. She also writes adult parables and short stories as well as books about yoga and meditation. Kris is a determined chess player, an origami enthusiast, a classically trained pianist, and a playwright.

Website: http://www.kkrisloomis.com/

 

 

 

The purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Short Story Review: Environmentally Friendly by Elias Zanbaka

30 Oct

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Out of seven billion people, one man has declared war on Mother Nature and plans to bring it to its knees.

Out of all the criminals in Los Angeles, he’s the number one target being hunted by the LAPD tonight.

And out of the entire LAPD, one officer is hell-bent on helping him complete his mission.

 

My Review

I got this story from Amazon when it was available for free.

Environmentally Friendly is very short but intense. A man has escaped from a psychiatric hospital and is waging war on Mother Nature with a flame thrower and a chainsaw. The LAPD, of course, wants to stop him but one officer wants to protect him as well by helping him to complete his perceived mission.

Even though this story is short, I really liked it. It is suspenseful and even has a twist. If you’re looking for a quick but good read, I recommend Environmentally Friendly.

 

Available on Amazon.

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