The Strongest Ring by Laura Bradley Rede

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by Laura Bradley Rede

Book Summary:

Seventeen year old Beck doesn’t consider herself a tree-hugger. With her multi-colored dreadlocks and her combat boots, she’s more at home working at Criminal Records Music than taking a stroll in the woods. That is, until she falls for Jordan, a handsome vampire activist who remembers Earth’s past and wants to save its future. But will Jordan’s friends accept Beck’s help? Or will they decide that humans are the problem – and the solution is wiping them out? A hopeful environmental message shines at the heart of this YA short story by Writers of the Future award winner Laura Bradley Rede, author of the YA paranormal series The Darkride Chronicles.

My Review:

I picked up this short story quit a while ago, but as with many things it had gotten lost in the vast mess of books that is my kindle.  Know that I have finally read it, I wish I had done it sooner.

Beck is your typical teenager of today. Jordan, although we don’t find out his exact age is obviously quit old.  He has a special connection to this particular forest from his childhood.  Without giving to much away, it is a short story, we find out that the vampires are out in the open to the human population and they are worried about the plant.  The environmental message is strong and the flow of the story is great.

I was hoping this was part of a bigger series.  But I can’t find anything.  All in all if your looking for paranormal and quick your heading in the right direction.temp-4

 

 

 

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Perfect Cover by Mark McGinn

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by Mark McGinn

Book Summary:

Henry Peters hasn’t got much to boast about. He’s not showy, has average intelligence, and he’s definitely not a big-noter. Living in Christchurch suburbia with his wife, teaching overseas students in a private training establishment, Henry likes his students and he likes them dead, once he’s done. He used to head the science department. Not now. He sought and missed out on a promotion to deputy CEO. He feels his wife’s disappointment in him. Then a 7.1 earthquake strikes the city damaging his old work premises. Suddenly, Henry’s in the light and people need his help. But no one knows his secret and, more importantly, he needs to make sure they stay in the dark.

A chilling short story about a serial killer that has you looking sideways at your neighbour!

My Review:

Talk about your twists and turns.  This short story will keep you turning pages.  It’s creepy and real and makes you think.

Henry is a quiet well bread man who has a sinister side.  When he is called to help after the earthquake he knows he must get to Abby first so his secrets aren’t revealed.

This book send chills up your spine and draws you into this serial killers world.  If your looking for something horrifying, with a great chill factor then you might want to check it out. temp-4

 

 

 

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original background image by Svetlana Tikhonova at publicdomainimages.net

 

 

The Curious Case of the Moondawn Daffodils Murder by Garth Nix

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The Curious Case of the Moondawn Daffodils Murder by Garth Nix from Ghosts by Gaslight

 

GBGBook Description:  Edited by Jack Dann (World Fantasy Award-winning co-editor of Dreaming Down Under) and Nick Gevers (acclaimed editor and book reviewer), Ghosts by Gaslight is a showcase collection of all-new stories of steampunk and supernatural suspense by modern masters of horror, fantasy, sf, and the paranormal. An absolutely mind-boggling gathering of some of today’s very best dark storytellers—including Peter Beagle, James Morrow, Sean Williams, Gene Wolfe, Garth Nix, Marly Youmans, Jeffery Ford, and Robert Silverberg—Ghosts by Gaslight offers chilling gothic and spectral tales in a delightfully twisted Victorian and Edwardian vein. Think Henry James’s Turn of the Screw and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a decidedly steampunk edge, and you’re ready to confront Ghosts by Gaslight.

My Review: Have you ever wondered what happens when Sherlock Holmes decides a case is to esoteric even for him? He calls in his cousin of course. Ever wondered who takes over when Lestrade is on vacation? Why that would be newly promoted Inspector McIntyre naturally. On the outside this story may look like it’s about the B team but really it isn’t. There isn’t a B team in history that is this interesting.

This story is about Sir Magnus Holmes. He, along with his almost- doctor caregiver Susan Shrike, are special specialists. Sir Magnus specializes in the occult and they are sent to help McIntyre solve a perplexing case. It involves an officer who chases down a suspect only to find he is simply a coat filled with daffodils. And that’s why Sherlock Holmes sent Sir Magnus.

I won’t give away anymore. I’ll just say that I was honestly sorry when this story was over. I hope there are books out there somewhere, sometime about Sir Magnus and Susan’s adventures. I would love to read them. Can you imagine Sherlock Holmes taking on magic? You don’t have to. It’s all right there in The Curious Case of the Moondawn Daffodils Murder.

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Violence: It isn’t a good story unless there is blood and a body.

 

 

 

 

Original Background Image: Brick Ground With Circle by Mark Yang from PublicDomainPictures.net

Deadly Sins A Dezeray Jackson Mini Series by Kori Miller

Deadly Sins coverDeadly Sins A Dezeray Jackson Mini Series

by Kori Miller

Book Summary:

Private investigator Dezeray Jackson hates Florida; she hated it 24 hours after she arrived 5 years ago. Not for any particular reason, really, just a whole lot of little ones — bugs, alligators, snakes, and rude, obnoxious people. Dez thinks a break is in order, then she gets the Millicent James case. All she has to do is follow Millicent’s gamer grandson for a month, which could be as exciting as waiting for water to boil, Dez thinks. But a boring, routine assignment suddenly takes some interesting twists when a much-anticipated pre-release game disappears. It’s a hot commodity that could make somebody millions of dollars. But who?

After two years in the Big Apple, Dez is fed up with cheating spouses and embezzling employees. Convinced that she needs a change, Dez tells her boss that she’s ready to move on. He gives her a farewell gift — one last case, involving a missing artifact. Dez and her partner hit the streets, and soon learn that the missing artifact is something more. To recover it, Dez will enter a world that few know about. Dez thought she’d seen it all … she hadn’t.

When Dez left New York, she didn’t think she’’d end up back in Omaha, NE, her home town. But here she is three months later. After stints in Florida and the Big Apple, Omaha was an unexpected, but welcome change. But the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. One evening, after hearing Dez speak to her female self-defense class, a student is killed in a hit-and-run. Dez gets the case, which leads to an unpleasant stroll down memory lane, with a character she’d rather forget, and involvement with some deadly corporate shenanigans.

Eccentric Mayville Toussaint hires Dez to find two men who stole a box from her. Toussaint’s instructions are simple — find the thieves, recover the box, and return it unopened. A dangerous game of cat and mouse, double-dealing and lying place Dez in harm’s way. Dez recovers the box — case closed. But when returning the treasured item, Dez learns that Toussaint has been playing her own game of cat and mouse … with Dez. Toussaint clearly is not who she seems. But who is she?

My Review:

Deadly Sins is written in a different style then I am used to.  It reads a little bit more like a screen play and I will admit that at first I was a little distracted by it.  But then I got into the flow.  I mean part of the title of the book is A mini series.  Each Scene comes to it’s conclusion and then you are on to the next.  In other words we are getting little snippets of Dezeray’s life at a time.

Dezeray is a private investigator who is obviously good at her job. She has quick wit, smarts and a little spunk.  She gets the big private cases where people usually don’t want to involve the police and turns them over quick.  In her journey she deals with some pretty interesting people.  Story number two was particularly interesting.  Then there was Mayville Toussaint.  Now that is a story I would love to hear more about.  The mystery and illusions in this one keep you guessing.

When Lynn first asked me if I would take a look at this story I will admit I thought what did she get me into?  This is a little strange.  But trust me just go with the flow and be in the mind set that this is flash fiction. The author has a way of, in a short amount of time, sucking you into this world.  And just enjoy what she has created. Jessica signature

 

 

 

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About the Author:

Kori1_12_15_2011_crop-300x236Kori Miller’s previous creative non-fiction and short stories have been published in Fine Lines
Literary Journal. She launched Back Porch Writer: The show for writers, about writers, and writing in
March 2013. In late May/early June 2013, the show received featured status on Blog Talk Radio. In
June 2013, Ms. Miller was awarded first prize in a Flash Fiction World contest. In early July, Dear
Teen Me posted her letter to her teen self. And, July 31, Stand Out Books posted an interview about
her self-publishing experience. She edits Kori Miller Writes: The site for creative writers and newbie
podcasters.

Author Website: www.koridmiller.com
Author Twitter: @kmillerwrites
Author Facebook: Kori D Miller
Author Google+: Kori Miller

 

Feature image background by Stux of www.pixabay/en

 

Red Of The Woods by Lana Axe

Red Of The Woods by Lana Axe

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Book Description: An evil heart thirsts for vengeance in this dark version of Little Red Riding Hood.

Accused of witchcraft, Erthel and her granddaughter, Red, are forced into exile. Taking refuge in the woods, the old woman plots her revenge. Calling on the dark magic she abandoned years ago, she places a curse on the young girl—one that will punish the townspeople for sending her away.

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My Review: This is a very clever tale that reinvents Little Red Riding Hood. It also makes granny a real character with a dark past. I’ve never thought granny ever got her due in the story we have all come to know and love. Lana Axe fixed that for me.

It raises some interesting questions about the evil witches in fairy tales. What if an evil witch chose to have a family instead of spreading evil and decided to put her dark past behind her? What if she successfully integrated herself into society?

Red is a great character. She is strong and completely devoted to her grandmother who is old and can’t do the things she used to do. Red has it tough in this tale. Oh, and Red isn’t named Red in this story for the popular reason. In this tale the cloak starts out white. You won’t believe how the cloak becomes red.

If you enjoyed The Woodcutter by Kate Danley then you will love this story as well. It isn’t quite as on the nose as the The Woodcutter, after all they knew they were in a fairy tale, but it has the same grace and ease of story telling.

nature2halloween14It would be fun at any time of year but this story is to good not to read right now. It’s perfect for Halloween. So go and get it, there is even a direct link to Amazon on the author’s site. While you’re at her site take a moment to look at all of her book covers that are displayed. She has amazing covers. They are beautiful and elegant- and almost everyone has a weapon in their hand. What’s better than that especially at this time of year?

 

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Not a story for small children. Violence

 

 

Try these:

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Original Background Image: Path Into Woods by David Wagner from PublicDomainPictures.net

 

 

Parlor Tricks by Jennifer Estep from Carniepunk

 

Short Fiction Thursday:

Parlor Tricks by Jennifer Estep from Carniepunk

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Book Description:  Come one, come all! The Carniepunk Midway promises you every thrill and chill a traveling carnival can provide. But fear not! Urban fantasy’s biggest stars are here to guide you through this strange and dangerous world. . . .

RACHEL CAINE’s vampires aren’t child’s play, as a naïve teen discovers when her heart leads her far, far astray in “The Cold Girl.” With “Parlor Tricks,” JENNIFER ESTEP pits Gin Blanco, the Elemental Assassin, against the Wheel of Death and some dangerously creepy clowns. SEANAN McGUIRE narrates a poignant, ethereal tale of a mysterious carnival that returns to a dangerous town after twenty years in “Daughter of the Midway, the Mermaid, and the Open, Lonely Sea.” KEVIN HEARNE’s Iron Druid and his wisecracking Irish wolfhound discover in “The Demon Barker of Wheat Street” that the impossibly wholesome sounding Kansas Wheat Festival is actually not a healthy place to hang out. With an eerie, unpredictable twist, ROB THURMAN reveals the fate of a psychopath stalking two young carnies in “Painted Love.”

 

My Review:  If you already think that carnivals are creepy then this story will seal the deal.  I personally have very fond memories of carnivals as a child. However, I never remember seeing an assassin there. They may have been even more fun if I had.

I really liked this story. It was a great mix of fun and danger. I should say that I have never read any of The Elemental Assassin series so I didn’t know any of the characters before hand. I’m sure that the story is even better when you know the characters involved but this story was great on its own. I didn’t have any problems following along. It’s my understanding that there are twelve books in this series and like any long running series the author knows the main character so well that she feeds us information smoothly and it didn’t interrupt the story. That was really important to me.

This was the first thing I have ever read anything by Jennifer Estep and I really think I’m going to give her Elemental Assassin series a try. Yes, even though it’s twelve books in. Actually at the moment it’s only eleven books in, Black Widow comes out November 25th according to her website.

This is a great story to get you in the mood for Halloween. Bring on the carnivals!

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QC-13_roundA tiny bit of violence there are knives involved. All kinds of throwing knives.

 

 

 

 

Background image: Carnival by Lilykreit from freeimages.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Way Life Was Forever by Carey Corp

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The Way Life Was Forever

by Carey Corp

Book Summary:

Sun-dwellers are foul monsters that eat a human’s flesh from their bones…or so sixteen-year-old Lyra has always been taught. To keep their citizens safe, her colony seals itself into the vaults by day.

Moonwalkers are horrible beasts that feed on the blood of men…at least, that is what Perseus was told. The only sure survival for his people is to lock themselves into their repositories each night.

Both labeled as undesirable by their respective kinds, a fated meeting in the forbidden forest offers Lyra and Perseus an unexpected chance at happiness. If they can overcome their own prejudices and discover the truth about one another before time runs out.

Can the sun-dweller and the moonwalker learn that when reality is distorted by hate and terror sometimes the only thing to truly fear is fear itself?

My Review: 

I will admit it was the cover of this book that first caught my eye.  When I read the summary I thought, well that could be interesting.  I was not disappointed.  This is a very short story and I felt like I had just started it when all of a sudden it was over, but don’t let that fool you.  It is very descriptive and you learn a lot about our main characters in a short span of time.

Essentially there are two groups of people, the Sun-Dwellers and the MoonWalkers and each believe the other will kill them.  When it is time for one faction to come out the other one seals themselves up in there vault like homes.  If you are not back when it is time to seal the vaults you are left outside.  Lyra gets left outside when the day comes and that is when she meets Perseus.

I don’t want to say much more or I will give the whole story away, but this is a free short story on Amazon and I enjoyed it.  It was well worth the little time it took to read it.

 

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The Cistern Mission by Michael Dadich

The Cistern Mission by Michael Dadich

TCMBook Description:

Captain Rostand knows the importance of his undercover mission. The families of Azimuth’s proud officers have just been slaughtered as a statement by the evil dictator Hideux. But how did Hideux know where Azimuth’s forces were hidden? How could his Nightlander army be one step ahead of the powerful Azimuth Alliance at every turn?

The hard truths he discovers on his quest for justice may mark the incendiary beginning of the war of all wars. Will Azimuth survive the great onslaught?

 

My Review:  This story was really short and really fun.  You know the story is going to be good when the bad guys have pet monsters called Disembowlers.  In case you had any doubt, they do exactly what the name suggests.

The story starts out with a man breaking in to a military compound and a woman is breaking out of prison.  They meet in the middle and have an intense adventure.  It was great.  I loved it.

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PG  DISEMBOWLERS!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Keys by Alyne de Winter

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The Keys by Alyne de Winter

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Book Description:  At six years old, Lissette attends a concert by the handsome and dazzling concert pianist, Armand Guy de Rais. She is instantly infatuated. Ten years later, their lives destroyed by the French Revolution, Lissette’s mother marries her off to a wealthy aristocrat living on a Caribbean island. Could Lissette’s childhood fantasy be coming true? Or is there more than a whiff of decay in the flowers, in the house, in the music of the keys?

 

My Review:  This is such a great story.  It really is.  It’s dark, creepy and you don’t know where it’s going to go.  My kind of story.  It is super short.  It was over before I knew it which was sad because I wanted to keep reading.

Lissette’s new home is almost a character its self.  Creepy doesn’t even cover the feeling.  It’s almost its own reality.  You really have to read it to understand.  This would make an excellent scary movie.  It even has a twist ending.  What more could I ask for?

Creepy new husband?  Check.  Insanely weird house?  Check.  Completely bizarre staff obviously hiding something?  Check.  Totally scary what the hell is going on moment?  Check.  Ending that you don’t see coming?  Check.  I can’t wait to read some more stories by this author.

 

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PicsArt_1375992687897R-  This is not a Disney fairy tale.  Do you see the blood on the cover?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try these other haunting stories:

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Lily Marin by Paul Kater

 

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Lily and the motley crew from Lily Marin by Paul Kater

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Book Description:  Three short stories about Lily Marin, a singer in the steampunk era, who has a mysterious other life.

 

My Review: Lily and the motley crew is about one of Lily Marin’s outings as a superhero.   She’s part Batman and part genuine superhero.  She wields a rad gun, a whip, a very modern kind of coat that stops bullets and an umbrella that has a special surprise inside.

Lily outsmarts criminals with her wits and gadgets.  She thinks like a superhero and hides her identity by wearing a mask.  She is careful to hide who she is but believes that when she’s the masked woman she is being her true self.

Lily and the motley crew is the first short story in the book.  It’s quick and action packed.  Lily takes on a gang.  There are two more stories in this book and it looks like one of them may explain how she received her super strength.  I can’t wait to read them all.  Lily and the Motley Crew was entertaining and imaginative.  It was exactly how I like my steampunk.  There is also a full novel about Lily Marin.  It should be fun.

 

 

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PicsArt_1375992687897PG Mild violence and death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try these other steampunk stories:

Lady of Devicesflash goldRomulus Buckle & the City of the Founders lg