Tag Archive | short stories

Not A Perfect Fit by Jane A. Schmidt

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Title: Not A Perfect Fit
Author: Jane A. Schmidt
Genre: Heartwarming Humorous Short Stories

 
Jane Schmidt_386x600Not a Perfect Fit is a collection of stories that are laugh-out-loud funny one minute and thought-provoking the next.

Stories range from Schmidt’s experience living off-grid as the only English woman in an Amish neighborhood to family trips that are remarkably similar to National Lampoon’s Vacation.Through it all, she manages to rise above the many challenges she faces—inspiring and entertaining her audience along the way.

Filled with animal antics, gratitude, mishaps, and madcap adventures, Not a Perfect Fit’s tell-all, single-girl-gone-country, down-home stories give readers permission to laugh and cry—and, most important, to carry on.

Amazon * Goodreads

 

 

 Excerpt:

 
Backyard Camping with Dad

      I’m a believer that you don’t have to travel far to get away. I may have picked up this attitude from my dad. He was big on taking me camping . . . in the backyard. And although we loaded up the green station wagon and went on family adventures every summer, it’s the trips to the backyard that I recall the most fondly.
      I remember the musty smell of my dad’s old green army tent. The tent was rolled up tight and neat in a dark green army bag. When we unrolled it, a skinny bag stored in the middle would fall out with a thud.
      Looking back, I see that there was always an order to how things got done when my dad was doing them. Hindsight tells me this was his military training.
      Before we set up the tent, my dad would mow the grass. Next, he would lay down a piece of tarp that was cut perfectly to fit under the tent. Then he’d ceremoniously roll the tent out onto the tarp. Everything lined up neatly, just the way my dad tried to get me to make my bed.
      The skinny bag held all the heavy wooden poles that needed to be fitted together. Two of them went inside the tent and were responsible for holding the tent up. Once those were in place, I had to help pull out each corner of the tent so my dad could anchor it to a huge metal stake that he pounded into the ground. It took forever to set those stakes and get the tent to stand at attention. I seemed to always trip, fall, or crash into, onto, or over one of those primitive stakes or tent lines when I had to get out of the tent for anything.
      The poles inside the tent were challenging to maneuver around. My dad would use the one near our heads to hang a flashlight from. Once the tent was up, we’d fill a cooler with pop for me, Pabst Blue Ribbon for my dad, and pretzel rods for the two of us. I’d put my pajamas on and crawl head first into the tent on my belly, trying not to knock out the poles and wiggling my shoes off as I went. Shoes were always left outside the tent.
      Once we were both settled, we’d play endless games of Crazy Eights by flashlight. I’d always fall asleep before saying good night, which meant that our nightly ritual—a prayer followed by “Good night, alligator; after a while, crocodile”— never made it out of the house and into the tent.
      I remember the thickness of the flannel-lined sleeping bags, and how they got wet when it rained (because the rain never failed to leak into the canvas tent). I also remember making a mad dash for the house when my dad gave up trying to dam up the pools of water that would collect underneath our tired bodies.
      Many nights were beautiful, however, and we’d lie with our heads pointed toward the door flap so we could stare out into a star-filled sky. I remember to this day where the Big Dipper would appear on a cloudless night: right over my pet rabbit Thumper’s cage.
      Sometimes when I’m driving home from work, I find myself looking into backyards and searching for tents or for children playing. This ritual with my dad was priceless, as was playing outside with the neighborhood children. When I got older and had sleepovers, my friends and I often chose to sleep outside, and my dad would still help me set up the tent. As an adult I continue to prefer sleeping in a tent with my head on the ground.
      It’s just about tent season, and I’m planning my first backpacking trip of the year. I’m hoping for less mud on the trails this May and more star-filled nights. When I crawl into my tent, I’ll be sure to be thinking of my dad and thanking him for instilling in me an appreciation of the wonders of sleeping outdoors. I’ll also be thankful that my tent doesn’t leak—or have wooden poles inside!

 

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Excerpt:

 
Birthday Brows

      I find it amusing that while I’ve stopped wearing makeup, my granddaughter, Helena, has started wearing it. This recent discovery was one of those “aha” moments people talk about. I didn’t quite do a head slap when I asked Helena what she wanted for her fourteenth birthday and she replied, “Makeup,” but I did a quick head turn. She was sitting in the passenger seat, and I was driving. I had to look quickly, because I thought for a moment that she’d be in the backseat of the car, securely seat-belted down, with her
sippy cup. But there she was, in the front seat, long hair and long legs, asking me for makeup as her birthday gift.
      I admit I’ll still grab my wand of mascara if I’m going out in the evening or on a date. I’m addicted to my all-natural lip gloss, and my magic face cream is like my new best friend. But I haven’t used makeup—as in, eye shadow, rouge (do they still call it that?), eyeliner, and face frosting—for a long time now. Did I get older and stop caring what I look like anymore, or have my eyes just gotten so weak that I can’t see my own reflection in the mirror? Either way, my makeup drawer nowadays is slim pickings. And I like it that way. Less mess, less money spent, and faster out of the house in the morning.
      Helena has gone from the “I don’t want to shower and wash my hair” phase to the “I can’t stop looking at myself in the mirror” phase, running her hands through her long hair in that way kids do, fast and snappy. As for me, living off-grid for four years without a mirror or bathroom worked wonders for my philosophy that we are a way-too-clean society. I never did understand showering in the morning; if you wash the day’s residue off at night, how do you become dirty by morning? But seeing Helena on her birthday, absolutely beautiful and well groomed, I made a note to myself, and it said, “Remember, Jane, take the time to look in the mirror.”
      Which I did—and yelped. When Helena asked, “What’s wrong, Grandma?” I could only reply, “I just saw my reflection.” It’s gotten that bad. I tried running my hands through my hair but my fingers got stuck, and instead of fluffing up my hair, I merely distributed the oil a bit and matted it down.
      When we got in the checkout lane, I looked over Helena’s purchases carefully. One was packaged in a pink plastic space shuttle container. I am still clueless as to what was in it. The eye shadow was easy to figure out, though, as were the lip gloss and nail polish.
      As part of Helena’s birthday celebration, we went for pedicures. Now that is something I still relish. I am a foot freak of the best kind. “I brake for foot rubs” could be my personal bumper sticker. Helena chose silver nail polish; I went with the hot pink. I loved when they sandblasted the dry skin off the soles of my feet (safety goggles would have been helpful). Helena, however, quickly held up her hand for the young man to stop, pleading too ticklish. She had him paint a nifty flower on each of her big toes. I asked for a swirl on mine. Her flower turned out fantastic. My swirl looked like a snail with paint on its butt had walked across my big toe. I asked to have it painted over.
      Right about then I saw a sign reading, “Eyebrow Waxing $10.” When I pointed it out, Helena told me her mom had just had hers done, so I thought I’d give it a try. Only after our toenails were dry and we were walking back to the tiny, barren room where they did the eyebrow waxing did Helena confide in me, “It’s really painful, Grandma.” I’d guessed it might be. I mean, why was the room hidden in the back of the building? Obviously so other customers wouldn’t hear the thrashing and yelling.
      I started to tell the tiny torture lady that I was fifty-seven and had never had my eyebrows waxed when she shoved the top of my chair down, and I gulped as I tilted back into a prone position, blinded by an enormous spotlight.
      “Oh, very bad. Very bad. Oh, very bad!” she exclaimed.
      I tried lifting my head to give Helena my “What the heck?” look, but that tiny claw, I mean hand, shot right out and held me firmly down. I felt something warm, no hot, and Noooo! Oh, that was brutal! And before I could say anything . . .warm, hot and ohhhh again. And again. And again. The whole time the pint-sized, could-be-a-perfect-prison-torture-guard kept saying, “Very bad, very bad,” over and over again.
      Soon she pushed my chair into an upright position and handed me a mirror. I involuntarily shrieked upon seeing the two angry, “very bad” welts over my watering eyes. “They look great, Grandma!” Helena said. “Wanna go go-karting?”
      And off we went, Helena looking young and simply gorgeous, me looking old and dazed.
I couldn’t help but think that all the makeup in China wouldn’t make my eyes look any better for days . . . maybe even years. Good thing I’ve stopped wearing the stuff.

 

 
The Author:

JaneJANE A. SCHMIDT is a columnist and the owner of two businesses, Fitness Choices and Turtle Adventures. When not teaching her fitness classes or encouraging women to get outside, she spends her time backpacking in places like the Grand Canyon, Superior Hiking Trail, and Isle Royale National Park; biking across Wisconsin; hiking and kayaking in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve; or just hanging out with her animal family in rural Viola, Wisconsin.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads * Amazon

 

 

 

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Choice Cuts by Michael J. Elliott

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Author gives readers something new to sink their teeth into.

On Halloween 2015, Aussie horror writer, Michael J. Elliott, launched his first collection of shorts, Portraits Of Dread. His first work was very well received and gained him some very favourable reviews. Now, exactly a year later, Michael is set to chill his readers again with his new collection, Choice Cuts-A Bite From The Dark Realm.

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As Michael explained:

“This is another eclectic mix of stories, from dystopia, to good old fashioned horror. I hope I’ve created a nice mix for my readers. I’ve tried to add that unexpected twist and the wry humour which readers have told me they enjoyed in my first collection.”

 

 

STORIES INCLUDE:

PENANCE
Deep within the bowels of an ancient mountside convent, Sister Elizabeta is locked away praying for forgiveness while the Council of Elders decide on a horrific punishment for her sins. What was Sister Elizabeta’s transgression and what is the punishment she is about to undergo?

picture1A BITE FROM THE DARK REALM.
Something is eating the food at a suburban London supermarket. When his overbearing boss tells Allan to rid the store of whatever is infesting the store, he discovers something far more terrifying than rats and mice.

BLACK SILK PANTIES.
Jacob O’Halloran is a sexually repressed bachelor. He gains his fulfillment by stealing women’s panties from suburban clothes lines. When he tries to steal from Audrey he is going to be plunged into a nightmare because Audrey has some issues of her own.

CHOICE CUTS ALSO INCLUDES:
Upon A Dark Horseman
Choice Cuts
Farewell Dear Friend
Brood Mother
And more.

Choice Cuts was released this Halloween and you can get your copy  by clicking on the following links.

Amazon | Smashwords

 
The Author:

11130284_449191385244010_5513577484407463000_nMichael J Elliott was writing stories since his early schooldays and was described by his school principal as “A Second Alfred Hitchcock”. Michael continued his love of writing in high school where he wrote and acted in films for his Media Studies class. He went on to study Media briefly at College, writing film scripts and radio ads. As a member of a community social theatre club, Michael wrote many of the sketches and routines that were performed for the benefit of senior citizens clubs. His most notable writing success was having one of his previously written comedy sketches chosen for a television comedy special.

Michael lives in a bayside suburb in the State of Victoria, Australia. When he isn’t writing tales to terrify readers he enjoys drawing, golden era hollywood movies, reading and cooking as well as looking after his two ‘best mates’, his cats Charlie and Smokey.

 

Michael loves connecting with book lovers and readers from around the world.
Feel free to ask him about his work or just say G’day at any of the following.

Facebook | TwitterOfficial Web Page

 

Books I Read In December

Blood Ties (Blood Trilogy Book 1)

by J. Nicholls

A fantastic start to another adventurous and sexy series by Julie Nicholls.
Join the well-fleshed out characters, Keagan, Gabriel and Lyssa, as they face betrayal and danger at the hands of Dr.Keller and Solgen Laboratories.
It’s not all treachery and peril though, there’s also love, and plenty of hot and steamy action in this fast-paced story.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series to find out more about Ghost, and what happens next!’

I received an ARC of Blood Ties from Julie Nicholls in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

 

First of three books in the Blood Trilogy.

Keagen was tall, muscular, and stronger than most men were, although he wasn’t exactly a man. His genes were human DNA with a hint of animal, courtesy of Solgen Laboratories. It wasn’t common knowledge what the company did, and their labs were all in secret locations. Only their financial backers knew where they were. Who supported them was unclear. Possibly the government, private military organizations, or even wealthy dictators; no one knew. You would not find any documentation about it. It wasn’t legal what they were doing, that’s for sure.
Keagen tracked and hunted escapees and always caught his prey, but just one eluded him. Gabriel, a lycan.

K 3 4 G E N is Solgen Laboratories number one hunter. He’s genetically enhanced and has a high IQ, heightened senses, and thanks to lycan DNA, he is stronger and faster than any man. It’s taken him a year to find Solgen Labs most wanted escapee; Gabriel, a lycan, and K 3 4 G E N is finally bringing him in, but despite his one hundred percent retrieval rate, his title and life are about to expire.
The labs have created a new hunter, a female. G H 0 5 C T – She’s faster, stronger, and has a new genetic enhancement that gives her the edge. She’s a trained killer, and is eager to replace K 3 4 G E N, robbing him of his title and crown.
Feeling betrayed, K 3 4 G E N turns to his enemy, Gabriel. He hands Gabriel a file containing details of his sister, who was executed at the hands of Dr. Keller, the founder of Solgen Labs. Seeking an alliance, he offers to help Gabriel find out what happened to his sister.
Gabriel must make a choice; trust the hunter, or run and hide as he had done previously.
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…In One Basket (Time Will Tell Book 3)

by Les Lynam

Another great, fun-filled book from Les Lynam !
Having read the first two books of the series I was looking forward to reading …In One Basket, and I was not disappointed.
The book follows on from where the second book ended and I was pulled straight back into the story.
My old friends Sean, Jane/Kate and LX are back and better than ever, and I loved the surprising development of Steffi’s character.
It was an exciting and enjoyable read, filled with non-stop action and unexpected twists!

After her relocation from 1969, Jane joins LX and Sean in an attempt to kidnap a clone from the Schattenwelt space station in the year 2169. Sean is shocked to find that he has already been there twice, but even more surprised by the team leader.
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Travel Glasses

by Chess Desalls

A thrilling start to a new, interesting and unusual time travelling tale. It was a quick and easy read that grabbed me on page one and took me for an adventurous ride, with several twists and turns along the way.

The world building was fantastic, and thanks to the creative and vivid descriptions, it was easy to see each place that Calla visited, from Edgar’s small cottage in the clearing by the still stream to the White Tower with its long door-lined hallway.

Learning about the futuristic technology and inventions, and the ‘physics and laws’ of time travel at the same time as Calla, helped me to feel what she was feeling.

The characters were well-developed and each had their own personality and voice. As the book continued I learnt more about each one, their backgrounds and the reasons behind their behaviour and actions.

I loved this amazing start to a new series and have already read the second book. I’m now waiting for book 3.

Calla Winston’s mobile devices sit in a corner of her room, covered in dust. Weeks ago, she shared photos and laughs with her best online friend. Now, after having felt the sting of betrayal, she prefers being hidden and friendless. She equates privacy with security and technology with pain.

Then she meets Valcas, an otherworldly time traveler who traverses time and space with a pair of altered sunglasses. When an ethereal being knocks Calla to the ground near her family’s lakeside cottage, Valcas uses the Travel Glasses to help her escape. He offers his further protection in exchange for a promise. Intrigued by Valcas and the possibility of time travel, Calla accepts. That is until she learns that his search for her was no mere coincidence.

Calla sets off on her own, taking the Travel Glasses with her. Torn between searching for her estranged father and reuniting with the rest of her family, she tracks down the inventor of the Travel Glasses in hopes of discovering more about Valcas’ past and motivations. The Travel Glasses take Calla’s mistrust of technology to all new levels. But without them, she’ll never make it back home. With Valcas hot on her trail, Calla hopes to find what she’s looking for before he catches up.

The Call to Search Everywhen is a serial series of novel-length installments. Travel Glasses is YA fantasy filled with metafiction and other literary twistiness. It’s a thought-provoking narrative about trust, relationships, reality and illusion.
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Insight Kindling

by Chess Desalls

Book 2 of the series is also a quick and gripping read, and like book 1, it is well written, intriguing and kept my attention right through to the last page.
This book picks up where the first book finished and once again I joined Calla on a wild and adventurous ride.

We learn more about the technologies, difficulties, and rules of time travel, and the unique special ‘abilities’ that each traveler has, and many questions left from book one are answered.

The world building is just as wonderful and the new characters brought into the story are as fascinating and three-dimensional as the ones we met in book one.

I recommend that you read the first book, Travel Glasses, before reading Insight Kindling.

I won an eCopy of this book in a Facebook giveaway.

After her relocation from 1969, Jane joins LX and Sean in an attempt to kidnap a clone from the Schattenwelt space station in the year 2169. Sean is shocked to find that he has already been there twice, but even more surprised by the team leader.
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The Phoenix Project

by D.M. Cain


An original, entertaining, thought-provoking and, at times, an uncomfortable read.
The story line was well thought out, refreshingly unique and well worth reading.

I followed Ravens journey in the present as he dealt with life in prison and the brutality of the Phoenix Project, and learnt, through a series of flashbacks, how he ended up there.
His remorse, self-loathing and guilt, but also his survival instinct are graphically brought to life by D.M. Cain.

The world Raven inhabits is brought to life by the authors detailed and descriptive writing.

I was gifted an eCopy of the book by the author.

A thought provoking and compelling dystopian world that will change the way you view justice…

In prisons across the country, inmates are forced to fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.

Raven Kennedy, a bitterly depressed young prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war wages within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines. Can he survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him—and one day find the forgiveness he seeks?
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Heads & Tales

by Karina Kantas

A great collection of well-written, easy to read short stories.
The book contains a mix of genres, and as with most anthologies, some stories appealed to me than others, and some of them left me wanting more!

My favourites were Haunted by his Absence, Nobel Heart, Crossed and Twist of Fate.

Heads & Tales is a collection of 28 short stories that will delight, fright and leave you questioning your sanity.
Diverse collection of flash and short fiction. Includes the award winning horror story Crossed.

Thought provoking storytelling at its best.

Genres include horror, comedy, romance, thriller, science fiction, historical romance and prose.
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Stake-Out (Paranormal Detectives #1)

by Lily Luchesi

This book grabbed my attention on page one and didn’t let go until the last page.

Stake Out is a short book that that packs a great deal into it… vampires, werewolves and witches plus visions, danger and intrigue.
The authors descriptive details immerse you in the action. and pull you through the twists and turns in the story.

This book is an impressive start to what will most likely be an awesome series.

Detective Danny Mancini is on a case, following a murder suspect. When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn’t even human: he’s a 200 year old rogue vampire!

The department doesn’t believe him, and puts him on early retirement, despite his many years of service to the Chicago Police Department, which sends him into a downward spiral.

Two years later, Danny gets an invitation from the beautiful, young and very attractive Detective Angelica Cross to join a secret branch of the FBI to help her track down Vincent, the wayward vamp.

But renegade werewolves, meddling immortal witches and Danny’s strange visions of a life lived a century ago with Angelica make things more difficult than it should be.
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Miranda’s Rights (Paranormal Detectives Book Two)

by Lily Luchesi

As with the first book, this one also kept me interested from beginning to end.
It’s another quick and easy read, which is hard to put down.
Once again the authors descriptive writing and attention to detail draws you into the story.

I think the book works well as a stand-alone, but reading Stake-Out first gives you more insight into the characters, their backgrounds and their relationships.

I am now looking forward to reading the next book on the series.

I received an ARC of Miranda’s Rights from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

The dead don’t always rest easy…
Retired detective, Danny Mancini, is haunted by nightmares after he found out that paranormal creatures exist. All he wants is to forget them…especially a certain half-vampire. When cursed werewolves show up trying to kill him, he is forced to go back to the Paranormal Investigative Division for help against a powerful old enemy. What he was not expecting was a dead ex showing back up after twenty-six years.
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The Lost Soul (Enchena #1)

by K.S. Marsden

An enjoyable and interesting fantasy story, that kicked off at a fast trot, maybe a little too fast at the start, but settled down to a slower pace that let the tension and suspense capture my attention.

The plot was well-thought out, and included plenty of information and the history surrounding the events. The adventure, mystery, intrigue and danger all go into make this a great story.

The detailed descriptions allowed me to visualise the landscape, the scenes and the characters.
I loved the whole host of interesting and diverse characters, from humans to unicorns and even the ‘feared’ Mallus.

I won a copy of The Lost Soul in a giveaway.

Enchena’s history is written by the victorious. Through war and betrayal, King Hrafn’s reign has spread across the land. The rebellion is stirring again…

In a world where the evil nature of humans has infected the very forests and animals surrounding them, they are crying out for a new hope; a new hero.
Natural enemies must come together, to overcome the curse.

Two innocent people must be brought from another world. One will bring the rebellion the way to succeed; the other will be their destruction.
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A Casualty of Grace

by Lisa Brown

This touching and emotional story follows Oliver on his journey to manhood, after losing his parents, being forcefully transported to Canada and being ‘adopted’ by a family far from his home.
It is a realistic, thoroughly researched historical fiction that flows well.
All the characters are thoughtfully developed and I felt for Oliver, Simon, Liza and even, towards the end, for the cruel and flawed, Pritchard.
I was a little disappointed with the ending, which seemed rushed and was set many years after the main story.


I received an eCopy of A Casualty of Grace from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Oliver and Simon are young brothers who are unexpectedly orphaned and left alone in the world with nobody to care for them. Now, all they have is each other, and the threat of being torn apart becomes painfully real. The promise of a good home together in distant Canada eases their fears, but it is a promise that is destined to be broken.

After being separated from Simon, fate delivers Oliver to the Pritchard farm, where Liza Pritchard, a woman struggling with her own fractured and afflicted life, sees in Oliver the family she so desperately wants. But Oliver has to contend with her husband, an angry and violent man, and he can’t see past the terrible life he has been thrust into. Both Oliver and Liza have much to learn about faith and forgiveness, and together they embark on an emotional journey that will change each of them forever.
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Behind the Music: A Selection of Short Stories

by Karen J. Mossman

A wonderful and well-written book of short romantic stories.
Each one was believable, interesting and enjoyable to read.

I won an eCopy of this book in a Facebook event

Behind the Music looks at the real people behind the images of stage and screen in five fictional stories. Karen has based it mainly in the nineties and we meet the burnt out rock star who thinks he has nothing else to give; Nick playing his first concert on home ground; A reunion between students from a seaside town, but one is now a West End star; Mickey finally laying to rest the ghosts of his past and an interview with a band member whose grass roots she is proud of.
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The Betrayal of Ka (The Transprophetics #1)

by Shea R. Oliver

After a slow start, the pace picked up and I was taken for a roller coaster of a ride, through the twists and turns of an interesting and complicated plot, told from multiple perspectives, that come together as the story progresses.

The main characters were three-dimensional and well-developed, and although didn’t much like Ka at the beginning of the book, my opinion of him changed well before the end of the book. Some of the other characters were much easier to like, and some to dislike.


Fortunately, the story ends in a good place, without a cliff-hanger, but making it clear that there is more to the story, which I am looking forward to reading.


I received an eCopy of The Betrayal of Ka from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

As the spaceship secretly lands on Earth, Ka’s mission is clear: find and kill Transprophetics. His shipmates think of him as a killer. On his home planet of Koranth, he is considered a murderer. Haunted in his dreams by the boy whose life he stole, Ka struggles to define who he really is.

A girl in a temple in Thailand. A boy kidnapped in Mexico. Both can do the impossible. Both can move objects with their minds. These two Transprophetics pose grave risks to the Donovackia Corporation as it plans its invasion of Earth.

With a blade in his hand, Ka’s decision to kill, or not, will reverberate across the galaxy.
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The Last Roadshow

by John Czarnota

An enjoyable and presumably well-researched book, I say presumably because I know nothing about the artists mentioned or The Lewis and Clark Expedition.

The main protagonist, Joe Knocker, was interesting and likeable, and the book jumps back and forth in time as Joe reminisces about previous ‘jobs’, which also adds depth to his character.
I found myself rooting for Joe to finish his journey successfully.
The cast of characters he met on his journey were, for the most part, well fleshed out.

I received an eCopy of The Last Roadshow from John Czarnota in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Joe Knocker’s lucrative career as a rogue art thief who trailed the Antiques Roadshow for over a decade is interrupted by a life-changing encounter with his past. The result, a cross-country trek to make right one of the nation’s wrongs by retrieving a national treasure, leads to a heart attack, a missing body, a kidnapping, a promising romance, a showdown, and a shocking reunion. Interweaving historical fact with psychological insight and colorful characters, The Last Roadshow takes us on an unforgettable redemptive journey.
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The Rectifier: Volumes 1 and 2 (A Frank Jackson Short Story)

by Glenn A. Jones

25760603I read Volumes 1 and 2 and I enjoyed them, but they were very short, I read them both in under an hour.
The stories were action-packed, but I didn’t get drawn in, and the characters were lacking in personality.
The protagonist, Frank Jackson, was unconvincing – suffering from amnesia he accepted too easily that it was his job is to kill those that escaped justice.


I received both volumes from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Frank Jackson is a rectifier, he rights wrongs caused by senseless and desperate criminals. When the court system fails, he’s there to exact his own high-powered vigilante justice.

He’s also a man without a past, a man desperately seeking what he has lost.

In the first of a series of electrifying short stories, a coma and subsequent amnesia thrusts Frank Jackson into an unfamiliar world of intrigue and adventure where he relies upon his gut instinct to survive.

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Finding Home

by Jesse Birkey

An engaging and well-written book with plenty of twists.
The descriptive writing and the realistic characters drew me into this story of tragedy, love and hope.

I didn’t find the book at all ‘preachy’, although to me, some parts of the book seemed to be bordering on fantasy.

I received a copy/an eCopy of Finding Home from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

John had been a pillar in his local church, but the loss of his family in a terrible accident destroyed all he’d known to be true. After cutting ties with everyone and moving across the country, he settled into a life of alcohol, women, and bar fights.

John wanted to turn his back on God and the beliefs he grew up with, but an encounter with a mystical stranger makes him think twice. Can John wade through the trauma of his past and lifelong pain of his heart to connect with God once again?

“Home” for Alice was a suffocating prison of sex and drugs until a suicide attempt took her to Redwood, New York. A new relationship with Jesus brought life from her ashes, but memories of her childhood still escape her, leaving a void nothing can fill. Can a surprising move and chance at love finally bring light to the darkness?
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Nation of the Moon – a collection of short stories by emerging authors.

 

Available October 20th!

 

On June 20th, 2016 the full moon rises over the Eastern United States and a quarter of the population in the light of that moon transform into werewolves. They in turn, kill about a third of the remaining population in the US. There are no warning signs and many people are caught off guard as they are attacked by strangers in large venues or their own loved ones in their homes. The werewolves are vicious and predatory, with a mindset bent on killing non-wolves around them, though, unlike the folklore and myths, they can be killed through normal damage without relying on silver or other special methods.

This incident only impacts the people within the continental United States, except for the state of Missouri. The rest of the world is not affected, but they have to deal with the questions of the event and how to handle those who turned. The short stories in Nation of the moon follow those affected and the challenges they must face as the next full moon approaches.

 

Publisher’s website: www.figidpress.com
Direct Book Link on Publisher’s site: http://www.figidpress.com/nation-of-the-moon.html
Facebook Release Party: https://www.facebook.com/events/780197312089662/
Thunderclap Campaign: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/31896-nation-of-the-moon
Buy link for Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0983906734

 

One More Time Around ~ Aaron FarrowA harrowing tale of survival centered around four long-time high school friends. This group of geeky pals have finally accomplished the impossible- they have survived high school. Now they are faced with an uncertain future. What will they do? Will they still be able to be friends? When one of their group is about to leave town for good to chase his college dreams, they decide to get together one last time. Unfortunately for them, this night out includes a full moon. Caught outside in a scene straight out of a horror film, the gang must take refuge in the very same high school they just graduated from. Who will survive and what will be left of them?

 

Boy Scout Nightmare ~ Casey LittleZack is a young boy scout and dinosaur lover who wanted to grow up to be just like his dad. As the son of young parents, life couldn’t be better, even if his mom worked long shifts at the sheriff’s department or that his dad looked scary to all of his friends. Life was pretty sweet, just like the birthday cake his mom was hiding in the oven for his birthday tomorrow.

Zack would learn from an early age that sometimes, the lemons life gives you can be rotten.

 

The Last Turn ~ Cody GradyThe Madman sits atop a lonely hill, watching the world burn below. A voice in Hell, he calls out to no one. His only response is Silence. Dead Air. Racked with indecision and guilt, Charlie cannot stop the screaming, the Voice. Will he submit, or can he overcome the Fear to step off the ledge?

Tune in to The Last Turn to find out. A horror story by Cody D. Grady, part of the Nation of the Moon Anthology.

 

Pooky ~ Matthew HeslopYou spend your life protecting your kids from the world but what happens when you need to protect the world from your kids?

 

An open Letter From Maxwell Denton ~ Johnny CraftHe could never imagine hurting anyone, but on that night he wasn’t himself. The savage side was unleashed and now he has to deal with the repercussions of his actions. His judge and jury are seated in his own mind and he will carry out their verdict.

 

Lone Ranger ~ Casey LittleA lone Park Ranger, struggling to fit in, thought that life really couldn’t get any worse. But on one fateful night she was going to find out that there was something worse than her nightmares. She would now have to come to terms with the fact that life had just become a survival game.

 

Using The Scientific Method ~ Marie NewboldIt can be difficult enough to hold a family together. Brothers argue, spouses may disagree on big issues, and sometimes a wife has major differences of opinion from her mother-in-law. If the older brother suddenly changes into a werewolf and attacks his younger sibling instead of playing the video game, difficult suddenly becomes nearly impossible.

The Holcomb family doesn’t stop trying though. They have a month until the next full moon, and they all agree that the brothers must both be protected. Three adults means three different ideas of what needs to be done, and the brothers each have their own problems. Sometimes, though, only family can make it through the trouble to good times after. Sometimes.

 

Dark Assent ~ E.M. NelsonThe morning after his anniversary, Steve Shipman wakes covered in his wife’s blood with no memory of the night before. Upon discovering that it is not an isolated event, he must work with his sister-in-law, Kim, to unravel what has happened and get his daughter to safety, even if it means sacrificing himself to do so.

 

Introduced and concluded by John Graham

 

The Authors

 

E.M. Nelson


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Location:    
Vilseck, Germany

Other hobbies/ jobs:     
Painting, Reading, Promotions Coordinator for FIGID Press, Mother to 5 beautiful children, International traveler.

Favorite Author:     
Robin McKinley- She is the one who inspired my love of reading!

Favorite Book:     
I love most books… almost all of them. It’s hard to pick just one.

Favorite line or moment of your story in Nation of the Moon:
I am ready to die, ready to be done with the feelings that are doing to my insides what the scientists have done to the rest of me. I don’t know if there is life after death, but I am ready to find out.

Where do you write?
Mostly in my office, which doubles as the homework hub, dining room, and crafting area in our tiny apartment. I do also enjoy writing at the park while the kids run wild. I have also been known to write in bed, though this is highly annoying to my husband, so I try and avoid it at all costs.

How did you get inspired for your piece?
I read the promo description as I was feeding my youngest daughter and the possibilities of what would happen to a family man thrust into this situation exploded in my head.

 

Cody D Grady


Location:    
Indianapolis, IN

Other hobbies/ jobs:     
Podcaster, The Rancor’s Brothel, comic book nerd, video games, tabletop RPGs, writing, theatre, member of the Indy GAA.

Favorite Author:     
Jim Butcher.

Favorite Book:     
American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Favorite line or moment of your story in Nation of the Moon:
I cannot know, will never know. My voice might just echo through eternity only to fall on deaf ears. Dead ears. The last human voice raising a cry of protestation that no one will ever hear.

Where do you write?
Anywhere I can find. In basements, at my desk at work, in a factory, while lying in bed. Anytime the inspiration strikes, I try and write it down. It’s the second most important thing a writer can do… the first being to finish your story.

How did you get inspired for your piece?
In my mind, horror has to be small, intimate. I’m not a huge proponent of massive scale apocalyptic events because the individual experience gets swallowed up in the chaos of the happening itself. The terror is always strongest when it is confronted alone with no one else to confirm or deny what happens before your very eyes. So I strove to find a personal, isolated story within the whirlwind of chaos that is Nation of the Moon. It struck me how distant life seems when a conversation is completely one-sided. When silence is your only sounding board, those creeping, crawling introspective thoughts may not provide the answers you want to hear.

 

Casey Little

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Location:    
Concord, NC

Other hobbies/ jobs:     
Writing, drawing, fishing (Both salt and freshwater), singing, playing the piano and mandolin (though I’m not that good at either one.)

Favorite Author:     
Jim Butcher and David Baldacci (Can’t pick one!)

Favorite Book:     
Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher

Favorite line or moment of your story in Nation of the Moon:
I sat straight up in bed. “What was that?” I didn’t really remember what it was that woke me but whatever it was it was really loud and high pitched. All I knew was that it scared me out of a dead sleep. I felt my heart jump up into my throat and my stomach knot. I didn’t know what this feeling was but I didn’t like it; not at all

Where do you write?
Anywhere and everywhere it really doesn’t really matter. I can write in my bedroom or in a restaurant or even during my college classes. (I haven’t been caught yet J)

How did you get inspired for your piece?
I think it was instant. My mind works very quickly using the first words that pop into mind. (Which were girl, boy, forest, and closet.) From there I had to bridge the gap between them and all that was left was to develop the personalities of the characters, write dialogue and then type it. Taking things that you see every day and incorporating into the life of the situation (or what you’re writing about) makes it seem more realistic.

 

Johnny Craft

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Location:    
Indianapolis, IN

Other hobbies/ jobs:     
Comic Books and Martial Arts

Favorite Author:     
Grant Morrison

Favorite Book:     
SuperGods

Favorite line or moment of your story in Nation of the Moon:
I wanted to help save lives, only to fall victim to a mysterious, involuntary brutality. How is that fair?

Where do you write?
I have my own office, where I create all my magic

How did you get inspired for your piece?
I sleepwalk sometimes, and I’ve often wondered how I would react if I did something horrific during those times where I have no control over myself.

 

John Graham

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Location:    
Indianapolis, IN

Other hobbies/ jobs:     
Book publishing, Comic Book writing, Helping others realize their goals of creating books.

Favorite Author:     
Douglas Adams

Favorite Book:     
Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and any Encyclopedia Brown book by Donald J. Sobol

Favorite line or moment of your story in Nation of the Moon:
Reports have arrived from Utah where Temple Square has been overrun by wolves. The Las Vegas strip is in chaos at this time. We should have video in just a few minutes.

Where do you write?
Could be anywhere. I typically handwrite a quick version of what I’m thinking and then expand on it when I type it into the computer.

How did you get inspired for your piece?
I love the idea of something big happening on one side of the world or country and then moving toward my location, much like on New Year’s Eve. In this age of technology, we can see what’s coming better than ever before and that can make things much more scary if it’s something bad.

 

Aaron Farrow

Aaron Farrow is a hobby writer and self-described geek/horror aficionado. His work in this book will be his first published short story. His only other piece of published work is in Figid Press’ Survivor’s Zombinac. He is very excited to be featured in this anthology alongside the other talented authors. In addition to writing as a hobby, Aaron also plays guitar, video games, raises a three-year old, and watches way too many movies.

 

Terence Muncy

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Terence started off doing Comics in the early 90’s He got his first art jobs designing DVD Jackets for Films. In 2004, Terence started Directing Films and started his FX company, Black Forest Studios. Terence has made a name for himself in the Horror Community, becoming the Head Artist for Sammy Terry, Local Indiana Horror Icon. Terence is also known for his work with the band Twiztid; designing T-Shirts. He has 6 comics that he has released.

 

Matthew Heslop

Matthew Heslop is a 40’ish father of two, proud owner of the Green Bay Packers and a patriot. He has been a Salt Lake City Police officer and is a US Air Force veteran serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In his down time, he keeps his tactical edge by hunting his friends with airsoft guns and infiltrating forward operating bases in Metal Gear Solid V. He anxiously awaits the zombie apocalypse.

 

Marie Newbold

Marie Newbold has been escaping into books since she could walk. Raised by a wise mother on the classics of science fiction and fantasy, none of her daydreams involved her own backyard — unless dragons or spaceships were picking her up from it.
Thirty years later, Marie has raised the pen in an attempt to pass forward the gift of a good story. In between boy wrangling, dog soothing, and a desk job involving too many numbers, Marie is forming her own worlds for lonely girls and boys to find their salvation from boredom.

Violence, Control, and Other Kinds of Love – Abyssinian Books –

Violence, Control, and Other Kinds of Love Description: Reactive attachment disorder is a psychological disorder which results in abusive behavior towards those the affected individual loves the most. This is a significant catalyst for domestic violence and it is the primary reason why children who grow up in abusive environments are likely to become abusers …

Source: Violence, Control, and Other Kinds of Love – Abyssinian Books –