Short Story Review: Hide from the Light by Tirzah M.M. Hawkins

When is it government overreach, and when is it something more sinister? Palaha is willing to go along with forced confessions and mandated antibiotics, but her husband Maksim is critical of the government interference. When their little girl begins to have visions, the family realizes that resistance may be futile.
Hide From the Light is a 5,000-word short story set in modern-day Belarus during Maslenitsa. It contains elements from multiple fun horror genres such as psychological, supernatural, folk, and religious. 

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.

Hide from the Light is an intense and horrific short story about a family who quietly decides not to take the antibiotics that the government has ordered everyone to take. When Palaha admits to the priest that she didn’t take the antibiotics, the story takes an unbelievable turn.

If you’re looking for a short read or don’t have much time to read, and you like horror, this is a book you might like. I think I might have nightmares tonight!

About the Author

Tirzah M.M. Hawkins is an author of all things dark including horror, fantasy, and snippets of sci-fi. She began writing stories when she was ten years old. Some of her favorites at that age were The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia.

After watching too many horror movies at a young age, she has only recently been able to start sleeping with her feet uncovered at night.

She lives with her husband and their many fur (and feathered) babies including at any given time dogs, cats, horses, goats, pigs (that have happy lives until they are eaten), and chickens (who are only around for eggs).

Her favorite hobbies are reading, writing, researching, school (she currently is board certified as a holistic health practitioner and is enrolled in a doctorate of natural medicine program), singing, and listening to music.

Book Review: Love, Loss and Life In Between by Suzanne Rogerson

This collection of short stories gives a glimpse into life, love, loss, and the inexplicable in between.

Including themes of grief, finding hope and second chances, facing the consequences of your actions and getting help from the unlikeliest of places.

·        As Cecilia helps the dying, she questions what happens to their spirits. But is she ready to find out?

·        Can a mother’s race through the New Forest save her son?

·        Will visiting a medium bring Christina the closure she needs?

·        Can an intruder help an old lady with her loneliness?

·        Will the start of another wet and miserable Monday morning end with Maeve’s happy ever after?

This anthology includes the prize-winning flash fiction story – ‘Spirit Song’.

Judge’s critique – ‘Unusual, emotional, warm, surprising — a warm, unusual story. It moved me when I read it.’

Full story list:

Spirit Song
Goodbye Forever
Garden Therapy
Starting Over
A Cat-Shaped Hole
The Phone Call
Knocked Off Her Feet
Catalyst
Not Just for Christmas
A Mermaid’s Tail

From the author of fantasy novels ‘Visions of Zarua’ and ‘Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy’, this short story collection features multiple genres including romance, supernatural and thriller.

Purchase Link – https://mybook.to/LoveLoss

My Review

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

I like reading short stories. They’re nice to read when you only have a few minutes. These short stories feature several genres. Many of them are sweet, many are about grief and the first steps of moving on, and one I would even categorize as horror.

My favorite stories happened to be the first two in the book: “Goodbye Forever” and “Garden Therapy.” The first one was about an abused woman trying to get away and the second one was about a grieving woman who was trying to deal with her grief. I liked the other stories as well, but those were my favorites.

If you like short stories, I believe you will enjoy these.

About the Author

Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her husband, two teenagers, a crazy cocker spaniel and an adopted cat that thinks she’s the boss.

Suzanne’s writing journey began at the age of twelve when she completed her first novel. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Now an author of four novels including the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and her debut, Visions of Zarua, Suzanne hopes the dreaded ‘W’ word will never rear its ugly head again!

She loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles and old ruins whilst being immersed in the past. She likes to combine her love of nature and photography on family walks, but most of all she loves to escape with a great film, binge watch TV shows, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

Social Media Links –

Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ BookBub  ~ Amazon 

Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Newsletter ~ Website

Audiobook Review: Progeny by Ray Jay Perreault

Their society was efficient and controlled by the Conformity Council who enforced the Four Laws. All was well until Helen followed the laws and discovered how her kind were created.

Helen followed the third law, to Expand Their Knowledge, and studied a lessor creator on their planet. Within that creature’s DNA she found a second DNA string which described another creature. That information along with artifacts of the lower creatures provided important clues.

Who created them, and why?
Should she use the second set of DNA, to clone their creators?

Amazon

Audible

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is an interesting short story. It’s a quick listen and intrigued me enough that I want to listen to the next book to see what happens.

I thought that I wasn’t going to like the narrator until I realized that the characters were all robots. He used a monotone voice because of that, and it didn’t take me long to get used to it.

It’s a whole new world in the future after humans have depleted the resources that support life and only robots remain. It’s been a long time because the robots don’t remember that they were created by humans.

Helen, one of the robots, finds evidence that humans created them, and although robots don’t have emotions, they are curious. She wants to create whatever the DNA string is that was left behind so long ago. Will she be allowed to do just that? I think the answer is in the next book (full-length), and I’m going to start listening to it right away!

About the Author

Ray is a prolific author that enjoys science fiction. He feels that genre is fertile ground to understand ourselves and where we’re going. He has written a mix of Sci-Fi stories, but tends to focus on stories with computers, post-apocalyptic themes and stories with strong morals, loyalties, and drama.

Ray was a Senior Pilot in the US Air Force and traveled to 27 countries around the world. His C-130 assignments ranged from landing in a farm field in Paraguay to entering East Berlin and experiencing Russian controllers giving him false headings.

Ray’s other assignment was as a T-38 instructor pilot. “The T-38 is the best plane in the word; two pilots, two engines, and two afterburners.” Two of his remarkable experiences included training the first class of female pilots and receiving an Air Commendation medal for saving a T-38 that blew an engine during a touch and go, saving himself and the student pilot on board.

After his Air Force career, Ray enjoyed a long and exciting career with Northrop Grumman. During the 28 years at Northrop, some of the highlights included work as the Lead Wind Tunnel test engineer on the F-20, F-23, F-18, and B-2. His career progressed to be the Deputy Manager of Engineering for the Tri-Service Stand-Off Attack Missile (TSSM). Later he was responsible for all the computers at Ryan Aeronautical, then all of the computers on the B-2 Bomber program.

Ray hopes you enjoy his work, and he looks forward to sharing many new and exciting stories.

Book Review & Giveaway: All the Rivers Flow into the Sea & Other Stories by Khanh Ha

All the Rivers Flow into the Sea by Khanh Ha
All the Rivers Flow into the Sea by Khanh Ha

All the Rivers Flow into the Sea and Other Stories by Khanh Ha

Publisher:  Eastover Press LLC (June 7, 2022)
Category: Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Vietnam
Tour dates: July 25-August 31, 2022
ISBN:  978-1958094020
Available in Print and ebook, 208 pages

 All the Rivers Flow into the Sea

Description

From Vietnam to America, this story collection, jewel-like, evocative, and layered, brings to readers a unique sense of love and passion alongside tragedy and darker themes of peril. The titular story features a love affair between an unlikely duo pushing against barely surmountable cultural barriers. In “The Yin-Yang Market,” magical realism and the beauty of innocence abounds in deep dark places, teeming with life and danger. “A Mute Girl’s Yarn” tells a magical coming-of-age story like sketches in a child’s fairy book.

Bringing together the damned, the unfit, the brave who succumb to the call of fate, All the Rivers Flow Into the Sea is a great journey where redemption and human goodness arise out of violence and beauty to become part of an essential mercy.

All the Rivers Flow into the Sea was selected as a winner of the 2021 EastOver Prize for Fiction and has received much advanced praise.

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Guest Review by Sal

‘All the Rivers Flow Into the Sea,’ is not just a collection of short stories, but a look into the lives of average Vietnamese people during a very turbulent time.

Vietnam is a beautiful country, filled with hardworking and generous people, and no one is better at representing that in story form than author Khanh Ha. Between the beautiful, lush landscape of the country and the wonderful people, this book show Vietnam in a different light than many Americans are used to.

In the story, ‘All the Pretty Horses,’ the narrator talks about the relationship between their father and young Vietnamese language teacher, both of them living in Washington D.C. Although the father is married to the narrator’s mother, it seems like things maybe developing romantically between the teacher and the father, that is until a devastating turn of events changes things forever.

In the title story, ‘All the Rivers Flow into the Sea,’ two young people, a Vietnamese woman and an American solider, fall in love during the war. Although circumstances persist in trying to keep them apart, the young couple faces these trials together, always certain that their love can conquer all. Though a long journey on foot back to the woman’s home and a tense boat ride where they are in danger of being found by the Viet Cong, the couple stays together. But will they be able to find happiness? You’ll have to read the story yourself to find out.

Ha’s writing is absolutely remarkable. The atmosphere of this book is pure magic and I felt myself being wrapped up in it as I read along. As a reader, I felt as though I was there with the young couple on the dark river, or in the car with the father and the teacher in Washington.

This is a five-star read that must be experienced for yourself!

About Khanh HaAll the Rivers Flow into the Sea by Khanh Ha

Multi award winning author, Khanh Ha is the author of Flesh, The Demon Who Peddled Longing, and Mrs. Rossi’s Dream. He is a seven-time Pushcart nominee, finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize, Many Voices Project, Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and The University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize. He is the recipient of the Sand Hills Prize for Best Fiction, the Robert Watson Literary Prize in Fiction, The Orison Anthology Award for Fiction, The James Knudsen Prize for Fiction, The C&R Press Fiction Prize, and The EastOver Fiction Prize.

Mrs. Rossi’s Dream was named Best New Book by Booklist and a 2019 Foreword Reviews INDIES Silver Winner and Bronze Winner. All the Rivers Flow into the Sea & Other Stories has already won the EastOver Fiction Prize.

Website: http://www.authorkhanhha.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KhanhHa69784776
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkhanhha

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 print copies and is open to the U.S. only. This giveaway ends on Aug 27, 2022 midnight, pacific time.  Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Praise

“These stories draw close connections between disparate cultures, Vietnam’s changing environments, and the American and Vietnamese people who engage on a different playing field than the war which brought them together in the past.”– Midwest Book Review

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Short Story Review: Faster by Calvin Demmer

Brock Johnson made a deal to return home from the war—alive. It’s a contract that follows him throughout his days, a contract he can’t escape. Or can he? One night on the road, he must decide whether to keep running or surrender. . . Either choice has its price.

A short story.

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.

What a creepy short story! I’ve read The Town that Feared Dusk and The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. The thing is that you never know quite what you’re going to get when you start reading one of his stories.

This story starts with Brock picking up a girl on the side of the road and offering to give her a ride to work. She’s happy to get a ride…until she isn’t. I kind of felt sorry for Brock, but he did get himself into this mess. Will he ever choose to stop running?

I liked this story, but I tend to like horror. If you’re looking for something short to read and you enjoy horror, you can’t miss with this one!

About the Author

Calvin Demmer is the author of The Sea Was a Fair Master and Dark Celebrations. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe.

Website: http://www.calvindemmer.com
Twitter: CalvinDemmer

Book Review: Living Ghosts & Mischievous Monsters by Dan SaSuWeh Jones

Perfect for fans of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! A shiver-inducing collection of short stories to read under the covers, from a breadth of American Indian nations.

Dark figures in the night. An owl’s cry on the wind. Monsters watching from the edge of the wood.

Some of the creatures in these pages might only have a message for you, but some are the stuff of nightmares. These thirty-two short stories — from tales passed down for generations to accounts that could have happened yesterday — are collected from the thriving tradition of ghost stories from American Indian cultures across North America. Prepare for stories of witches and walking dolls, hungry skeletons, La Llorona and Deer Woman, and other supernatural beings ready to chill you to the bone.

Dan SaSuWeh Jones (Ponca Nation) tells of his own encounters and selects his favorite spooky, eerie, surprising, and spine-tingling stories, all paired with haunting art by Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva).

So dim the lights (or maybe turn them all on) and pick up a story…if you dare.

Amazon

My Review

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

These 32 short stories from American Indians are truly scary, especially since some of them are true. Dan SaSuWeh Jones tells stories of his own experiences and of people he knows as well as stories that have passed down through the generations by different tribes.

Children and adults alike will find stories that will scare them, or at least give them pause. From the first story to the last, there are tales to catch your interest. They’re grouped into categories: Ghosts, Spirits, Witches, Monsters, and The Supernatural. Each story has a paragraph at the beginning that explains where it came from. There are also pencil drawings by Weshoyot Alvitre that are great and go well with these stories.

Some of my favorites are “My Great-Aunt’s Last 10a.m. Visit,” “The Graveyard,” “The Garage Sale,” and the terrifying “The Vampire of Sleeping Child Hot Springs.” There’s a wide range of stories. I recommend this book but I also recommend maybe reading it when it’s daylight!

About the Author

SaSuWeh is the Former Chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, who was appointed by Governor, Brad Henry of Oklahoma as Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission. He is an internationally known Artist and Writer, has been a contributing columnist for “Indian Country Today Media Network” an American Indian news Provider with the largest circulation in America.

He is one of a few American Indians to be a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). He has worked for the Walt Disney Co. as an Imagineer. Won many awards as a filmmaker for films he has produced for the Smithsonian, NBC, TBS. and the Children’s Television Workshop; Sesame Street; as well as the Screen Actors Guild to promote Indian Actors. He is also a published author and a Bronze Sculptor. As a panelist at Comcast in November of 2012 speaking on diversity on American Television, he confronted the question; why American Indians do not control a current and permanent presents on American Television.

Among his honors is the Muse Award, presented by the National Association of American Museums for his work for the Smithsonian Institution’s, National Museum of the American Indian; He produced and wrote the museum’s first promotional fund raiser video the “Untitled” work was a finalist in the New York Film Festival in 1993 also has received the Telly and the Golden Eagle Awards as well as Best Industrial, American Indian Film Festival; First Place, Oklahoma State Arts Council; and Best of Show, Red Earth’s American Indian Video Competition, In 2002, Jones directed, produced and created a four-hour visual presentation on the ABC Studio’s Astrotron above Times Square in New York City, to honor American Indian Grammy Nominees.

March of 2005, New Mexico published his book of poetry titled “Blood of Our Earth” the book is illustrated by internationally known Comanche artist Ranch Hood.

He is a traditional Straight Dancer of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma. He Produced “The World of American Indian Dance” a documentary that aired on NBC. His insight on the subject explores the historical impact of Indian Dance on the US/Indian relationship and the inter-tribal spread of certain dances as a spiritual phenomenon. It was the first television program on a major network to be produced solely by American Indians.

After creating a number of large bronze icons of his Ponca Mythology, for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, Jones is currently building a Memorial to Merle Haggard with the city of Muskogee, Ok and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

Book Review: Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups by Andrew Joyce

Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and non-fiction … some stories included against the author’s better judgment. If he had known that one day they’d be published, he might not have been as honest when describing his past. Here is a tome of true stories about the author’s criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though the author is sitting next to you at a bar and you’re buying the drinks as long as he keeps coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.

Comprised of 218,000 words, you’ll have plenty to read for the foreseeable future. This is a book to have on your night table, to sample a story each night before extinguishing the lights and drifting off to a restful sleep.

Mr. Joyce sincerely hopes that you will enjoy his stories because, as he has stated, “It took a lot of living to come up with the material for some of them.”

Andrew Joyce is the recipient of the 2013 Editor’s Choice Award for Best Western for his novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.

Amazon

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.

These stories are great. I think it was a good idea to put them all together in one book even though they’re different genres. It’s like a surprise bag…you never know what you’re going to get!

Some of the stories are true. One that really got to me is “The Swamp” because it’s a true story, and it was scary and suspenseful. It’s one of those stories that many of us look back on thinking that we were lucky to survive our teens and twenties. Other stories were funny, heartbreaking, short and sweet, historical, romantic. It’s all here.

I almost didn’t accept this book to read and possibly review, but I decided that I could read one or two stories before bed when I had a few minutes. I’ve had the book for quite some time and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it for a few minutes many nights before going to bed. I definitely recommend Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups especially if you’re looking for something that you can pick up and read for a few minutes, read before bed, or read in between longer novels.

About the Author

Andrew Joyce left home at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written seven books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.

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New Release: Wrapper the Rabbit: Adventures of Autumn by Matthew G. Huggins

Nestled deep in the heart of the countryside lies the beautiful valley of Scotney Castle. This peaceful place is home to all manner of wildlife, but perhaps most notably of all, is a young rabbit named Wrapper, with a heart full of excitement and an unquenchable thirst for adventure.

As the season of Autumn falls across the picturesque woods and hillsides he calls home, we follow Wrapper and his companions as they explore the natural world around them. Making new friends as they go and getting into all manner of situations, Wrapper learns about life, the world in which he lives and even a little about himself along the way.

“Change is the only thing that will always be the same. We just have to appreciate it as it comes.”

This collection of five short stories holds closely to themes of adventure, friendship and nature throughout. You may just find yourself happily lost in a world where the grass is green and the air is fresh, with just a sprinkling of magic.

Excerpt from the book:

“Wrapper the Rabbit:  Adventures of Autumn” by Matthew G. Huggins is available in paperback at:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wrapper-Rabbit-Adventures-Matthew-Huggins/dp/180031020X

Press/Media Contact Details:

New Generation Publishing
Tel. 01234 711 956
E-mail: info@newgeneration-publishing.com