Stephen Valley is a freshman in high school. Since 7th grade, he has had a crush on Monica Monroe. Ever since they were lab partners dissecting a frog, when he even let her have the honor of popping out the frog’s eyeballs, Stephen has been looking for ways to overcome his shyness and get to know Monica better. Unbeknownst to him, Monica had a similar crush on Stephen and a similar problem in overcoming her shyness. Now that Stephen’s older brother Jude had shot and killed Monica’s older sister Simone, it looks like the relationship might be going nowhere. And that is without counting the six other students Jude has killed as collateral damage.

Motion, Alchemy, and Prisms

In this selection of Hourly History books, Isaac Newton: A Life From Beginning to End, readers may discover some new facts about Newton’s thoughts and discoveries. Some readers might be inspired to dispute facts given. That’s good. It means they are inspired to read and do Google searches. I find these books valuable for my son. As a high school student, he has heard of the subject characters and events of most books in the series but may be unaware of ongoing academic controversies. These short, interesting, survey reads help to sponsor an interest in reading as the reader feels a sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing yet another book on the list.

51 Sleepless Nights by Tobias Wade is a remarkable collection of short stories about what the author describes as demons, the undead, paranormal, psychopaths, spirits, aliens, and a few mysteries thrown in. That variety is what makes the collection remarkable. As I read through the stories, I looked for instances of similarities between the selections. I couldn’t find any. Which means the reader can look forward to 51 different themes. This amount of creativity is something I rarely see in literature; I see it more in stand-up comedic or political commentary.

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:

Blindsight by Nj Paige (yep, the two letter first part of the name is sometimes listed as two capitals, sometimes as noted here) is a prologue to the Maxi Brown series. The first book of the series is available as a pre-order with a delivery date of 30 Sep 2017. This prequel is available on Amazon for USD 0.99 or free through KU but I got it free through Instafreebie. Based on my read of this prequel I will not read Book One of the series. In general, I encourage the use of KU to read prequels. KU offers longer selections than Amazon free samples; I am more able to avoid accidental purchases. A download through KU is also a verified purchase which I believe supports authors.

Snowed In With Death by Ruby Loren is described as a Holly Winter mystery. I received it from Instafreebie through an author mailing list but it also available for the purchase price of FREE from Amazon. Seven detectives are scheduled to be at a resort for a detective convention. Holly is not one of the detectives but she is a detective groupie and she has won a contest by which she was invited as a guest observer at the convention. Struggling to get to the convention through a blinding snowstorm and arriving at the resort to face immediate isolation from the outside world gave Holly a feeling of uneasiness. Given that all the detectives would in turn experience either death or near death, Holly will probably rethink further convention invitations.

Magic and Mayhem is a sampler collection of short stories by Julianne Q Johnson. I found each of the stories superior to the usual offering of teasers. Proof of this is that based on my reading of these I will find and read the author’s longer works.

The Animal A girl is running through a forest pursued by a beast. She is able to cast some spells which she knows are a bit immature but if they slow the beast down and she keeps running she may be able to escape. Every spell she tries seems to slow the beast but the inevitability of her capture seems certain. Until she remembers one final trick. And her mother’s bothersome boyfriend will bother her no more. But there are consequences.

There are several mysteries in this novel. They are set in the context of a serial killer’s exploits. Why does he kill? How does he choose his victims? The answer to the second question is of interest to the police, especially since it seems he initially committed three murders, then quit for sixteen years but now is back. The answer to the first question is more of interest to the psychiatrist but to find a true answer we have to talk to the killer. Detective Thomas Flagg is willing to talk to the killer; he has been waiting sixteen years to do so. His wife was the killer’s first victim. The only witness to the kidnapping that preceded his wife’s killing was his then two-year-old daughter Harper. She is older now and it seems the killer has come back and is looking for Harper. Detective Flagg does not intend to lose a second woman to the maniac.

Hidden in the Dark by Alyson Larrabee is a 320 page thriller. I nominated this book through the Kindle Scout program, it was accepted for publication, and I got a free advanced copy which looks as if it is treated as a verified purchase by Amazon. I think it is important for authors to get reviews on Amazon that are verified purchases. This is just one of the myriad administrative things that have not spurred my curiosity to further investigate. I just like to read books.

Terry Keys is the editor and compiler of the eight stories that make up The Murder Files. He assures us that all the stories are new with their first appearance in this novel. The assurance is followed by a brief blurb about each selection which I initially avoided. I went back to read those after I read the stories just to see how my impressions met up with blurb expectations. One of my criteria for commenting on this selection is the originality of the story. This is a 2017 publication. In what ways do these stories provoke new thoughts and perspectives from me?

In an earlier post, I mentioned that some readers don’t pay too much attention to book covers. I believe that to be the case with Temp Girl by Stephanie Bond. Her cover with cool tag line invites a reader’s interest. Then there is the other side of the coin. I received an alert from Brendan Detzner about the publication of this short story (it wasn’t described as a short story in the alert). I have been entertained by Detzner writings for a long time and, even more important, they spurred my son’s interest in reading. With a title like Hot Chicks Infected With Stomach Parasites, there was no way I was not going to read it and then post some comments. A provocative title like this dares the reader to ignore it. (Yep, I know about the earlier double negative. Dare to break the rules).

Great News! Temp Girl is another daily serial novel by Stephanie Bond. An earlier serial novel, Coma Girl put this author at the top of my TBR file every time I receive an alert of her latest publication. This has got to be interesting to bloggers who try to post meaningful or interesting stuff daily. I liked her comment asking for a bit of tolerance for minor typos because she was going from daily creative production to publication. For the intolerant, she offered an email address where a reader can deposit feelings of discomfort. It looks like we can look forward to a six-part story. Join the fun and let’s see how December awards satisfactory conclusions to characters who have been good. I am sure even characters who have been naughty will find some redemption.