This is a book I received from the Library Thing Member Giveaway program in return for a review.

Sunrises and Other Stories by Paul Marriner is an amazing artistically crafted piece of literature. It is a series of stories, some short, some long; almost all of them could stand alone as complete short stories. They wouldn’t be as interesting as they are in this complete collection which can serve as a definition of the word segue. (Completely Off Point (COF), “segue” is actually used as a word once in this collection of 35 stories.)

Christine and Anthony rule the stories. There are stories about Anthony before meeting Christine. First, there was Trudy, a being whose existence was centered on sex. Anthony could not possibly keep up with her; a long-term relationship was out of the question. She appeared and reappeared at various points in his life, but she was not for him and never could be. Anthony was lucky. Then there was Leslie, she will appear throughout his life, right through to the end of the book. But it is when Anthony meets Christine that the novel’s center is created.

This is another short story, Two Wrongs by Frank Westworth. Designed as a teaser to a longer novel, this one definitely serves its purpose as it ends with a cliffhanger. The protagonist, Stoner, is an ex-military man, though not by choice. He did something while in a war that would be described as a war crime. An intelligence agency officer valued his skills and methods and arranged for Stoner to work for him, all previous transgressions forgiven. All he has to do is carry out assigned contract kills for the intelligence agency. The story is designed for adult audiences; violence and sexual situation warnings precede the story.

First Contract by Frank Westworth is a short story, undoubtedly a teaser for longer novels to come. The story itself is preceded by a warning that it is for an adult audience with graphic scenes of sex and violence. That must be a generic warning for all Westworth books. I did not see any such scenes in this story.

What I did see were some very long sentences that will slow a reader down during a search for meaning. The exercise in interpretation is pleasant; the reader is further entertained by understated and sometimes very subtle humor. Two of the more unusual sentences are quoted below.

I just wanted to give some exposure to this writer of excellent short stories and flash fiction.

OK, the tales are twisted, but not really NSFW. Videos might be NSFW, so might pictures. (My Kindle epub has no pictures). Generally speaking, if you are reading some of these stories at work, you won’t get busted. Just don’t read them on a “parents take their kids to work day.” If you do, don’t let your kids read over your shoulder.

Burnt Tongues is a collection of short stories edited by Chuck Palahniuk. Note the subtitle: An Anthology of Transgressive Stories. To get an idea of what transgressive as a genre is, I refer to the dictionary that comes with the Amazon Kindle Application for PC under special usage:

of or relating to fiction, cinematography, or art in which orthodox cultural, moral, and artistic boundaries are challenged by the representation of unconventional behavior and the use of experimental forms.

This is a qualified definition, meaning a writer in this genre can use other phrases, such as minimalist or grotesque. The editors of this volume explain this in their forward. In The Power of Persisting: An Introduction, Chuck Palahniuk adds thoughts on how this genre came to be so unconventional. His introduction will soften the blow for unprepared readers.

That’s about as much warning as I can give.

This publication Serial Killers, by Robert Lean is offered as a collection of short stories. The subtitle Top 10 Aggressive Serial Killers on the Planet, Based on True Crime Stories leads us to believe we will read several stories. The table of contents lists four chapters, so it seems we will be doubling up here a bit. The subtitle does say “on the planet,” so I guess we are supposed to excuse the situation where in chapter four, the killers are actually extraterrestrials responding to orders from some headquarters on another planet.

An Innocent Client by Scott Pratt is available as a Kindle unlimited selection.

All Joe Dillard wanted was to have one innocent client before he got out of the lawyer business. He planned to get out one way or another by the following year, but he wanted to end his legal career on a high note. He had been disappointed many times in his legal career. He believed that everyone deserved a good defense and he maintained the fiction that his clients were innocent. At least until he met Billy Dockery. Dillard got his client acquitted. A few months later Dockery gave him a large sum of money as a bonus; the money he stole from the woman he killed. Confidence in the system began to erode for Dillard. His faith in his profession continued to be shaken by the quality of cases he was assigned by several justices; those who hated Joe and loved to give him dodgy cases.

This is a collection of short stories. Mind and Body by Lucas Carpenter is a book I received from the Library Thing Early Reviewer Program in return for a review. The first three stories possess their own appeal; there is not much of a link to what follows. But starting with PERIMETER look for the linking devices of Stafford College and a character name Rutledge. It will be fun.

This is a collection of short stories that I received from the Library Thing Early Reviewer Program in exchange for a review. The book is Dangerous Obsessions by Bob Van Laerhoven. My comments are about each story. Some of them are translations; some were written in English by the author.

Many stories start out with a setting of a protagonist in a dysfunctional family. This novel reverses the trend. In The Worst My Life, So Far, by M. A. Harper, the core of this family, the mother and father, are completely in love. Neither parent is cheating on the other. If there is any problem at all, hinted at in the beginning of the story, it is that the mother is slavishly devoted to the husband. He is her hobby. But that is OK, mom has his total support as well. So the children shouldn’t really have any problems. Not so.