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Book Review: The Passion of Jazz and Other Short Stories by Nicholas Bridgman

26 Feb

This collection of short stories by Nicholas Bridgman delves into finding beauty and love in unexpected places. It begins by following two young classical music proteges who discover their passion for jazz and for each other at a summer music academy, and who meet fifteen years later and have to face the potential relationship they lost. In “No One There to Listen,” a family vacation to the Grand Canyon goes horribly wrong, with the family members unable to express their love for each other until it is too late. In “Grandfather’s Gift,” a man has to lose everything to discover the love behind a gift his grandfather sent him from beyond the grave. In “Lost in the Woods,” two American study abroad students in England have a harrowing time lost in a wood on their way home from Dublin, creating an unlikely bond between them. Finally, in “Sleep,” a man with schizophrenia traverses the forensic mental health system and finds that sleeping his time away serves as a strangely beautiful coping skill.

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 short stories are well written quick reads that are each quite different. My least favorite was the title story, “The Passion of Jazz,” about two musicians who find love while studying music for a few weeks but they both move on and meet years later when they’re both married. 

My favorite story was “No One There to Listen.” The poor kids know that their dad doesn’t listen and sadly he learns the importance of listening a little too late. I liked the other three stories as well.

If you don’t have time for a full-length novel, this could be a good alternative.

 

 

About the Author

Nicholas holds a B.A. in Rhetoric from U.C. Berkeley.  He has written numerous essays for the major, as well as for scientific research for his Ecology degree.  After graduating, he took up writing fiction, and he has written over 50 short stories and a novel.

http://www.nicholasbridgman.com

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Short Story Review: The Invisible Girl by Christine Amsden

23 Feb

 

When Amanda Lee accidentally frees an imprisoned imp, the creature rewards her with “her heart’s desire” — which apparently involves setting loose a dangerous flu that makes sorcerers’ powers misfire. Now stuck in her invisible form, Amanda seeks help from the town healer and her former lover, Juliana Scot. But Juliana is still angry with Amanda for cursing her bald during the family feud six years ago. 

 

My Review

I like Christine Amsden’s world of Cassie Scot and her family and friends. I’ve read all of the books and I enjoyed this free short story about Cassie’s sister Juliana Scot and her former love turned enemy, Amanda Lee. It’s a quick and short read but adds just a little more to this world. If you’re a Cassie Scot fan you can sign up for Christine Amsden’s newsletter and you can get free short stories like these. 

 

About the Author

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, which scars the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. In addition to being a writer, she’s a mom and freelance editor.

Social Media Links:

 

 

Book Review: 100 Tiny Tales by K. Kris Loomis

21 Jan

No time for fiction? Think again! 
Many people love fiction but don’t have the time to take up a weighty novel. Why not try some microfiction short stories instead? 

These bite-sized, slice-of-life short stories are crafted with only one hundred words, so they go by in a flash. Perfect for time-challenged fiction lovers, these humorous yet thought-provoking stories can be read when you’re waiting in line, riding the bus, or whenever you need a short mental break. 

Go on. Try some flash fiction. Grab your copy of 100 Tiny Tales today

Free through January 22nd.

 

 

My Review

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

What a fun book to read! I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to come up with a story in exactly 100 words but to do it 100 times! That’s amazing. Not only that, but these quick stories are each a surprise. Some are cute, some are sad, some are funny, many are thought-provoking. You never know what you’re going to get.

I read these in one sitting but they would be good quick reads for when you’re waiting for a short period of time…anywhere. Although I don’t read in the bathroom, I know many people do, and this would make a great bathroom book. It would also be a good book for anyone who doesn’t feel like they have time to read a full-length novel.

 

 

About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is an eclectic author who writes both fiction and nonfiction books. She is the author of the novel, The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane, as well as the short story collection, The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories. Kris has also written several books about yoga and meditation and a humorous travelogue about the time she, her husband and their handicapped cat moved to South America called Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador!

When Kris isn’t at her standing desk writing, you will find her playing chess, folding an origami crane, or practicing a Beethoven sonata on the piano. She lives in Rock Hill, SC with her husband and two cats.

https://www.facebook.com/kkrisloomis

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

https://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Short Story Review: The Naked Eye by Angela Kay

18 Jan

At an Aspen ski resort, vacation plans are drastically changed when the body of Lauren Crusher is found in her room. With the ongoing blizzard, everyone is shut in, including the killer.

Since backup is unable to come to Lieutenant Davis’s aid, he must utilize his deducting skills to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Goodreads

Amazon

 

 

My Review

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

The Naked Eye is a short story but it has all of the elements of a good murder mystery. It opens with the body of a girl found in a locked room at a ski resort. With a blizzard raging outside, it’s obvious that if her death wasn’t an accident, then one of the people in the cabin is a murderer…and no one can go anywhere any time soon!

There are many characters in this story, all of the people stranded in the cabin, but it’s pretty easy to keep them all straight. Lt. Davis is the main character. He’s the dad of one of the vacationers and is only staying there because of the weather. Little did he know he was going to try to find a murderer. He has to comb through all of the evidence on his own, and it seems that something new comes up at every turn.

Many secrets are revealed during Lt. Davis’s investigation but would any of them be cause for murder? A great read with a good twist at the end.

 

 

About the Author

Equipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay is a southern lady who spends her days and nights dreaming up new ways to solve dark murders of normal people. 

Angela Kay was one of 23 across the United States to win a 2009 playwright contest for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company. 
 

She lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.

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Short Story Review: Origins by S.M. Boyce

8 Dec

A Ghostly Paranormal Horror Short Story

Mel has a curse: she can see what’s invisible to most humans. We call them ghosts and demons. She calls them living nightmares.

When she was five, she had her own ghost. A good ghost. She swore to never leave his side, but over time, he scared her. She pushed him away. She broke her promise.

Now well into her twenties, Mel meets her old ghost again. And this time, he’s brought the darkness with him to prove his point…

…you don’t break a promise with a ghost.

Amazon  | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this short story after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This story is very short but still packs a punch. Mel promised her ghost when she was young that she’d always be his friend, but she broke her promise. Now she’s in her twenties and he has decided that he doesn’t want to be ignored any longer. Her good ghost isn’t so good anymore…

I’ve always liked S.M. Boyce’s writing and that’s still the case in Origins which gives a little background to her horror novel Ari. I haven’t read Ari yet but I’m going to have to find time to read it. I enjoy a well written horror story!

 

 

About the Author

When S. M. Boyce graduated with a degree in creative writing, she realized that made her well-qualified for serving French fries. It would take years of writing hundreds of thousands of words of all kinds before she became the fantasy and horror novelist she is today.

Boyce specializes in action-packed stories that weave in fantasy, mystery, and heroines with a knack for mischief. All romantic leads are based loosely on her husband, who proves that soulmates are real.

She has a deep love for ghosts, magic, and spooky things. If you’ve already finished her books, check out her blog or twitter feed for a dash of adventure.

Connect Online
Blog | Novels | YouTube | Amazon | Goodreads

Short Story Review: The Forest Painter by Diane Mae Robinson

1 Dec

A magical fantasy short story by the author of the multi-award-winning The Pen Pieyu Adventures series.

The changing of the seasons has arrived when a young fairy is unwillingly thrown into the role of The Forest Painter. Aura never learned the art of forest painting. Now, she must paint the forest with autumn colors before the frost queen’s arrival or Majestic Forest will be lost forever to the frost queen’s icy touch.

Join Aura in this fantasy tale as she tries to save the autumn.

Available on Amazon.

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this short story after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read several books by Diane Mae Robinson and enjoy her writing so when this short story was available for free a while back, I downloaded it and then kind of forgot about it. I found it again today and read it in just a few minutes since it’s only 12 pages long, but it was a few minutes well spent.

Aura is the new Forest Painter but she thought she had all the time in the world to learn her craft so now she’s in a frenzy trying to get the forest painted for autumn before the frost queen shows up. When Aura realizes she’s out of time, she asks for Boreal’s help just in time.

The Forest Painter is beautifully written and it’s easy to imagine the Magic Forest and Aura and Boreal’s forest painting. It also teaches about a couple of the seasons, procrastination, and asking for help when needed. It’s definitely a great story for children and adults who like fantasy to read when they have a few minutes.

 

 

About the Author

Diane Mae Robinson is a multi-award winning children’s fantasy author and non-fiction author with fourteen international book awards and one provincial award for The Pen Pieyu Adventures series and, her latest release, The Dragon Grammar Book. 

The author lives in central Alberta, Canada. She enjoys riding her horses, playing with her dogs, visual arts, visiting Maui often and, of course, writing. Diane is also an artist, art teacher, writing instructor, children’s book editor, and an international short story competition judge.

Want a free 55-page pdf Sir Princess Coloring Book and the short story The Forest Painter? Exclusive to the author’s VIP readers’ group. Copy and paste this address into your browser to join: https://dragonsbook.com/subscribe/ 

Read more about the author’s books on her website: https://www.dragonsbook.com

“Find your wings and Fly.” DMRobinson

Author website: https://www.dragonsbook.com
Blog site: http://dragonsbook.com/blog/
Blog site: http://www.dianemaerobinson.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Diane-Mae-Robinson/265979866785967

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.

 

 

 

 

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/

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