Posts Tagged ‘Short Stories’

The Lynmouth Stories by LV Hay

June 12, 2019 - 5:43 am No Comments

I am on the 1-day blog blitz tour for The Lynmouth Stories by LV Hay. A collection of three short stories that you can read whilst you are having a coffee. This book at the time of review is free on Amazon.

Blurb: The Lynmouth Stories

Beautiful places hide dark secrets … 

Devon’s very own crime writer L.V Hay (The Other Twin, Do No Harm) brings forth three new short stories from her dark mind and poison pen:

– For kidnapped Meg and her young son Danny, In Plain Sight, the remote headland above Lynmouth is not a haven, but hell.

– A summer of fun for Catherine in Killing Me Softly becomes a winter of discontent … and death.

– In Hell And High Water, a last minute holiday for Naomi and baby Tommy  becomes a survival situation … But that’s before the village floods.

All taking place out of season when the majority of tourists have gone home, L.V Hay uses her local knowledge to bring forth dark and claustrophic noir she has come to be known for.

The Lynmouth Stories by LV Hay

Published 3rd December 2018

I enjoy doing blog tours as I am always finding new authors. Reading their short stories gives me a taste into their work and The Lynmouth series ticks all the boxes.

With just three stories I read this book in less than 30 minutes, just perfect to read in my lunch break.

Starting with In Plain Sight, it tells the story of Meg and her son Danny abducted from a carpark, whilst out shopping. Throughout this story there were a sense of fear whilst Meg waits to find out what will happen to them.

Killing Me Softly: The tale of Catherine and her mystery visitor. This story had a creepy feel to it, mainly because he visited Catherine at night. Not knowing much about him, it is only at the end we find the real reason for his visits.

Blood and High Water. Naomi is on a short break with her husband and young baby. This was my favourite of the three. I loved the twist at the end.

Living in a coastal town, I know just how bleak the winter months are. The descriptive writing had you feeling that you were there watching the scenes unfold. All three stories have a dark feel to them and I wish there were more to the collection. As a new to me author, I am off to find some of their other books to read.

Purchase Link – http://myBook.to/LynmouthStories

Did You Know …?

Known as England’s ‘Little Switzerland’, the Devon village of Lynmouth is famous for its Victorian cliff railway, fish n’ chips and of course, RD Blackmore’s Lorna Doone.

Located on the doorstep of the dramatic Valley of The Rocks and the South West Cliff Path, the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth have inspired many writers, including 19th Century romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who honeymooned there in 1812.

Author Bio –

Lucy V Hay is a script editor for film and an author of fiction and non-fiction. Publishing as LV Hay, Lucy’s debut crime novel, The Other Twin, is out now and has been featured in The Sun and Sunday Express Newspaper, plus Heatworld and Closer Magazine. Her second crime novel, Do No Harm, is an ebook bestseller. Her next title is Never Have I Ever for Hodder Books. 

Social Media Links –

Game of Crones by Jay Raven

June 10, 2019 - 5:13 am No Comments

A good way to be introduced to new authors is to read a collection of their short stories. Game of Crones by Jay Raven, was one of those introductions.

Blurb: Game of Crones: Tales of Witchcraft and Wickedness

Welcome to a world of cruelty, hexes and treachery, where malicious magic rules and you are but a single necromancer’s spell away from eternal terror.

From malevolent medieval magicians  to Wild West witches, this spellbinding volume by a master of the macabre is packed with frightening fables guaranteed to send a supernatural chill down your spine.

Amongst the haunting historical horror stories, you’ll meet:

  • A half-crazed girl locked up in a high security mental hospital by those accusing her of causing a devastating earthquake.
  • An impoverished French noblewoman who’ll stop at nothing to marry  her daughter to a wealthy prince – even if it means dabbling with a dangerous love potion.
  • The hated public executioner Pandora whose fabled box has already killed 55 men – without leaving  a trace of violence on their bodies.
  • Wily witch Merta who uses all her wits and trickery to turn the tables on the corrupt Mayor who wants her burnt alive at the stake.
  • A faery mage without conscience or pity with the perfect plan to make Mankind turn on itself  – and all it takes is one innocent baby.
  • A drought-stricken frontier town that seeks magical help from the local Indian tribe to make it rain, but learns it comes at a terrible cost. 
  • The doubt-ridden King, plagued by nightmares of his death, who consults an enchantress to learn the most of hidden of secrets: just when the Grim Reaper will claim him.
  • A Mid Western widow who is convinced her homesteading husband is still alive, held hostage by a sorceress.

If you’re thrilled by exciting dark fantasy tales, with cunning twists, edge-of -the seat tension and unexpected shivers, you’ll love Game of Crones. Pick it up today. If you dare…

Here are my thoughts:

Game of Crones by Jay Raven

Published by Jay Raven books on 9th April 2019

117 pages.

One of my favourite reads are an author’s short story collections. It gives you the chance to fit in a short story if real life is getting in the way. In this collection there are 8 short stories with one thing in common, Witches. Each story was unique to the collection and they all ended with a twist that I never saw coming.

When I read a collection, there may be one story that I don’t enjoy. However, in Game of Crones I loved them all and it was hard to pick a favourite. Even whilst writing this review I keep changing my mind of the one story that stood out for me. Bonfire of the Vanities and Prince Charming had me laughing how the stories ended, both for different reasons. Although my favourite ending to a story was Changling and I am sure that if I was not reading it on public transport, I would have gasped out loud.

At just over 100 pages this was a quick read and you can read a story in your coffee break. The stories are all set in a different time and place and due to the author’s fine detail gives you the feeling that you are there.  One thing I could not get over was how much was crammed into each story. There was comedy, intrigue, suspense, vengeance and so much more, that kept me hooked. As I said at the beginning of my review, Jay Raven is a new to me author and they have just gained another fan

This is a perfect read for anyone that enjoys fantasy

Purchase Links: Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Crones-Tales-Witchcraft-Wickedness-ebook/dp/B07QKMJV5N

Amazon USAhttps://www.amazon.com/Game-Crones-Tales-Witchcraft-Wickedness-ebook/dp/B07QKMJV5N

Meet the author: Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.

If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy free short stories and access exclusive giveways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay’s monthly newsletter on his website at www.jayraven.co.uk

Social Media Links –

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/fantasywriterjayraven/

Twitter: @JayRavenAuthor

Website: www.jayraven.com

Book Haven: And Other Curiosities by Mark Allan Gunnells

April 27, 2019 - 8:58 am No Comments

Book Haven: And Other Curiosities by Mark Allan Gunnells

Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 26th April 2019

219 pages

This is one of my one-click authors and published by Crystal Lake publishing is a win-win. A collection of a novella and 20 short stories of various lengths had me reading this over a day.

With so many choices, I have found it difficult to only highlight a few for this review, so I am not, but will write about them all, even if it is only a few lines.

Starting off with Book Haven, the novella of the book. Set in a dystopian world where all the digital copies of books were wiped from a server, the Government were responsible for acquiring all real books and uploading for people to read or if they had not got the book rewriting from memory. This is what disturbed me, I use my Kindle every day, I can’t read real books. What would I do if I could not read? As you read this story, you follow Paul Nelson as he is on the hunt for his missing friend. This had a thriller feel to it, as you follow the clues. Paul Nelson was a stuffy character at the start, a bit of a jobsworth but he had a love of books. However, as he escaped the confines of the office, I soon realised that he had a rebellious streak and this adventure brought out his passion. Like all thrillers, there are always ones to stop him and this story was no different. With only a handful characters, it is clear who he is up against but there were a few surprises in the story and a few characters will surprise you. I would love this story to continue into a mini-series, although I am still thinking about if I lost all my books on my kindle.

Human Bones in a China Cabinet: Most folk collect, whether it is stamps, books or like Jesse, something a bit more macabre. As a collector of human bones, Jesse liked to brag and put them on display. But what if there were even stranger collections out there.

Welcome Home: Steve and Evan are a regular couple, going about the daily routine. However, a knock on the door changes their lives. This is a story about love and sacrifice.    

C U Soon: Philip was grieving after Monica his girlfriend lost her life whilst texting and driving. With the grief is guilt and Philip is finding it difficult to cope. I loved the twist at the end and shows the length that revenge can take.

End-Of-The-World Benediction: With the way Earth is going, this is a poem, that will get you thinking.

Going to See a Man about a Dog: At 4 Ethan has a sad life. As a mom, I felt sorry for Ethan and even though I knew what was about to happen, I was still shocked.

The Sandbox: Timothy Ellis was a lonely child, an easy target for bullies. What happens next. I am not going to say as it will give the story away but I really enjoyed this story.

Wrong: Whilst at work Janet is listening to Carol talk about her son. As a mom of two, I have had the temper tantrums although not as bad as Carol’s son. An extreme way of coping with it.

Evolution: Set in a dystopian world where only the strong survive. Following Lowell as he is recovering over his loss of Rick his boyfriend. A surprising story of revenge.

The Bracelet: Bryant and Lyle are very much in love. The story of the lengths people will take when a terminal illness is destroying their lives. A mixture of hope and despair and a very moving story.

Click Bait: A very short story and a warning message about accepting unknown friend requests.

A Day Like Every Other Day: A groundhog story with a glimmer of hope.

The Man Who Watched the Ocean or Twelve Steps Down into the Sea: A story about unrequited love and the lengths one man will take to find the love of his dreams.

The Desk: Tells the story of Nick Henson and the pressure he is under to write another best seller. After moving home, he comes across a desk, that holds so many treasures. This was one of my favourites and you can feel the pressure Nick was under whilst he tries and writes. I was expecting the story to go down a completely different route so the ending was a surprise.

When Gas was 52 cents per Gallon: Brandon and Joe breakdown on a deserted road. Brandon has always fancied Joe but doesn’t know how Joe feels. This was a graphic read, that some readers may find hard to read.

The Little Boy Who Lived in the Library: Paul uses the library and books as an escape from his home life.

Waiting for the Fall: A heart-breaking story of an elderly gentleman waiting for his time to come.

Tanner: One thing I have never understood is people boxing themselves into a device that browns their skin. This is a story about Matthew who purchases a second-hand tanning machine, which may have had a chequered past. An erotic read with an unexpected/expected twist you decide.

Go to Sleep Little Baby: Hard to say much without giving too much away, But this a story about motherhood.

The Farm: Have you ever visited a location that was seen in a film. In this story, the resident of the home that was the main setting for The Farm an 80s slasher movie had a very good reason why he did not like fans coming to his door.

The Hidden Cemetery: When a trip to a cemetery for a bit of fun goes an unexpected way.

As I have said I will always one click this author and yet again I have not been disappointed. I love reading his short stories and he has a way of making ordinary scenes into the extraordinary. I cannot wait to see what comes next.  

Moonlight Serenades by Thom Carnell

April 20, 2019 - 10:41 am No Comments

Moonlight Serenades by Thom Carnell

Published by Crossroad Press Macabre Ink on 19th May 2016

310 pages

One thing I enjoy is short stories, the chance to read a complete story whenever I can get the chance. With 17 different stories, I had plenty of choices. Before each short story, the author gives an insight into how the story was created and where they got their inspiration from. For this review I am going to mention my favourites.    

Opening up with Wedding Day: it’s a story about loss. As you read this, the main protagonist emotions are raw. You can sense just how much they are grieving as they reminisce. The ending was a fitting end

The Thirst: the story about a lone vampire trying to survive after a disaster has nearly wiped out their food supply. There was a sadness to this story, you are left wondering how the vampire will survive without human blood and what a lonely existence.

Clown Town: The longest of the short stories and the story connected to the cover. We follow Detective Bumbo and Inspector Garbo as they try and solve the murder of Angeletta Trivelino at the renowned night club Marceau’s. The story is a crime noir and as I was reading it, I was imagining it being played out on a black and white TV being narrated by a gravelly voiced actor. The little touches to this story added to the enjoyment, whether it was the style of the clown’s makeup or every now and again Garbo would squeeze his horn to emphasise an emotion. Running throughout the story was Bumbo’s love story and his own femme fatale. I would enjoy reading further stories involving Bumbo and Garbo.

Chirality: Hattie Caulfield was out on her daily treks across the mountains and comes across a missing child. This was an easy-going story as you follow Hattie. I loved the twist at the end.

The Politics of Dancing: As I have not read any of this author before, I had not come across Cleese. However, after reading this story, I do want to find out more about him. Working for MEST, he is like a clean-up/hit squad for the undead. A zombie terminator. A quick read with plenty of action.

I enjoyed this book and with its mixture of genres, it will appeal to more than horror fans. 

Winter Freits (Black Shuck Shadows Book 9) by Andrew David Barker

April 3, 2019 - 8:32 pm No Comments

Winter Freits (Black Shuck Shadows Book 9) by Andrew David Barker

Published by Black Shuck Books on 15th February 2019 (Kindle Edition)

120 pages

I always look forward to a new book in the Black Shuck Shadow series. Whether I have read the author or not, I will always one click straight away.

The latest book Winter Freits features 3 winter-themed short stories. Polar Vortex, The House on Lidderman Street and Christopher.

Polar Vortex: A woman wakes up in the snow, injured and with no memory. As she slowly recovers her body and mind, she is haunted by a shadowy dark figure. From the start, you are drawn into this story as you want to know the same answers to her questions. Who is she? What is she doing there? As you read this story, you can sense her desperation as she tries to get her memory back and the concern that she is alone in the middle of nowhere. The appearance of the figure adds to her worries as she fears her life is in danger. This story is well plotted and all becomes clear at the end.

The House on Lidderman Street: Told twenty years after the event, Peter tells his tale of the goings on at Lidderman Street. Written in 3rd person POV, you can imagine sitting there listening to his tale. As soon as I began this story, I felt sorry for Peter, a young lad who was bullied by his work colleagues. The moment he is asked to decorate a run-down house, you know that something is going to happen. The strange noises and the feeling that something is there had me turning the pages at lightning rate as I wanted to find out about the mystery. A ghost story with a great ending.

Christopher: Daniel Swathe was at the point of suicide, wanting to cheer him up, his wife Carol and his best friend Lee decided to take him to a reunion at their old secondary school, just before it was knocked down. As you read this story you understand why Daniel was depressed. Whilst this is a supernatural story, it is a story of grief and loss. Not wanting to give anything away, this was an emotional read.

Whilst I have heard of this author, this was the 1st time I had read any of his works and I am definitely going to pick up more of his stories. This book is perfect for anyone who has a spare 20 minutes to read a story. You can pick it up and read whenever you have the time and not have to worry about missing out on any of the stories.

A great addition to the series.