Summer Short Story Reviews

 

OPEN, SHUT: A Short Story

By Nonnie Jules

Darcy’s older sister was killed while walking to school with her siblings. After her sister’s death, Darcy noticed doors, and other things, opening and shutting on their own. Then, she discovered her sister’s journal that changed her world. I found this to be an inspiring read about a girl finding her faith and applying it to her life after a tragic event. It shows we can overcome loss–if we have faith.


 

I’ve Always Loved Women

by Rhani D’Chae

This was a fascinating read! Although it stated clearly in the beginning there was going to be a murder I was still surprised when it happened. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I had to know why. It was chilling to see through the killer’s point of view. The characters were real, the subject matter of abuse important, and the rationale almost makes sense—almost. I loved this story and highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy a story told through the “serial killer’s” prospective!


 

Short Stories of Fantasy: Sarpati, The Slot Machine, Broken Toys in the Attic, The Fair Lady

By Patricia A. Guthrie

This is a collection of four short stories that held my attention. The tales ranged from seeing Adam and Eve from the snakes’ prospective, what a slot machine is thinking, not to enter an attic if you are a spoiled child, and books that should never be read. Each had its own flavor that I fully enjoyed. This was a fun read for me. If you enjoy the paranormal with a bit of horror mixed in, you’ll enjoy this collection.


Two Shorts and a Snort

By Jan Sikes

There are two short stories and a poem in this collection. My favorite short story was “Obsession”. It takes the reader to a place of greed and lust, and what a dark path they can drag you down. I could sympathize with the characters and at the same time cringe at the things they did. The other short story “Maggie” was a sweet tale when a rancher finds a gift in a snow bank. I left this story wanting to know more, but very glad the couple got what they desired. The poem rang true about relationships that shouldn’t go ‘there’. “Two Shorts and a Snort” is an ideal read before bedtime–or even your lunch break.


Tequila Rose Virginity Blues: Contemporary Romance Short Story

by Wendy Jayne

Ms. Jayne takes us on a chance meeting and a forgetful morning after. Tequila wakes up with a major hangover and tries to figure out what happened between her and Jack. Was this a person she might want to have a relationship or forget she met him? I enjoyed the storyline and humor. The characters were well-written, and I was curious to see what happened between them. It wasn’t a rushed short-story ending–even with “speed-dating”.


 Saving The Evergreens: Garden Secrets 

by Maretha Botha

This is a charming short-story of a little Evergreen from the Tree Quarters named Smallun. Smallun meets up with a butterfly he names Flutter and he quickly shares his story of his home being attacked by the Zondies and escaping to safety. It reminded me of a similar issue we have in our area with tree beetles killing the pine trees. This story makes you want to look twice at what grows in our gardens or forests.


 

Embrace your inner child by reading an awesome book! D.L. Finn

June Book Reviews

Daisy, Bold & Beautiful 

by Ellie Collins

“Daisy, Bold & Beautiful” is a sweet story geared for 9 to 12-year-old readers.  Ms. Collins tells the story of a young girl D.J. who moves to a new town with her father, after her mother’s death. She has to start a new school and make new friends.  It’s well-written and I could sympathize with her getting onto the bus knowing no one and heading for a new sixth grade experience. D.J. quickly makes friends and learns about herself along the way. I loved the relationship between father and daughter as well as her new friends.   What makes this story so interesting is what happens when she goes to bed and her experiences in another realm. This book for middle grade readers drew me in, but the amazing part was it was written by a middle grade writer!  This is a children’s book I highly recommend and a new author I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!


PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction) Short story prequel to DOG BONE SOUP

by Bette A. Stevens

“Pure Trash” is a charming and insightful glance into rural 1955 as we are taken through a day with two boys: Shawn and Willie. They are poor and judged on the merit of their drunken father. Heading into town it is apparent they are considered, “pure trash”. They’re able to earn enough change to get some treats and play freely on the playground. An unforeseen accident confirms what Shawn already knows, they aren’t treated the same as everyone else. I can’t wait to read “Dog Bone Soup” to see what happens to the boys. I recommend this short story for children– as well as adults.


DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction): A Boomer’s Journey 

by Bette Stevens

“Dog Bone Soup” is a story told through a boy’s eyes as he grows up in a desperately poor family in the 50’s with an abusive-alcoholic father. Shawn spends time surviving and taking care of his family’s needs, as well as finding time to enjoy life with his brother. I wondered what dog bone soup was and quickly found out it came from Shawn having to get dog bones at the butcher, so his family could eat. Ms. Stevens’ descriptions of the era really pulled me into the story. I loved the relationship between Shawn and his younger brother Willie and the creative ways they found to supply the family with food. It was sad how people treated them and the pride the family had–that ended up hurting them at times. Using an outhouse and having to bring water in each day when everyone else had indoor plumbing was made worse when the father made sure he had electricity for his TV. This was one of many examples of what four children had to endure from a selfish father and a mother struggling to care for her family. A beautifully written coming of age story that I can highly recommend!


If Only There Was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love 

by Nonnie Jules (Author), Giani Jordan (Author)

This is a beautiful book of poetry with the first half written from the female’s perspective and the second through the male’s. “If Only There was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love” does something unique–it tells a story through the poetry. Each poem shows the pain and longing for their forbidden love. I like that the female and male side are written by different authors making it all the more real. The images and rhythm of the words held me captive– reading late into the night. It reminded me just how strong real love is, even at a distance. If you love poetry, like I do, you will love this book!


…AND THE MUSIC PLAYED: A Short Story

by Nonnie Jules

I just finished reading: “If Only There Was Music. The Poetry of Forbidden Love” the book of poetry that precedes this short story. Instead of going to sleep I had to know how it all ended and immediately started reading “…And the Music Played”. The couple in a forbidden love were both married to other people. Christine in an abusive marriage, and Giani in a loveless one. A murder plot is twisted into this love story nicely with plenty of action. I was drawn in and rooting for Christine and Giani. You can read this well-written short story as a stand-alone, but I recommend you read the book of poetry first.


There will be no blog on June 10th because my husband and I will be celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary. It is a weekend trip with our long, long trailer by the ocean! Be back on June 17th!

Watch for special edition blogs on June 5th and 15th!

Embrace that inner child by reading an amazing indie book! D.L. Finn