Suspense, Yes. Obsession, No.

As noted on the front cover, Twisted Obsession by Yawatta Hosby is a suspense novel. “Obsession” seems to me to be more powerful than “suspense” and for me, the novel did not rise to my standard of “obsession.” It is a good story and for some might be very predictable. If I read the novel entirely based on surface reading and logic, there would have been no surprises. In fact, I was surprised; I expected more than the ending delivered.

Continue reading “Suspense, Yes. Obsession, No.”


What Does Mrs. Charbuque Look Like?

When describing the good points of The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque by Jeffrey Ford, the list is long and begins with the attention-getting cover. On the edition I downloaded from Instafreebie, an attractive woman dressed formally in what might be thought of as Victorian-era clothing leads me to believe this is a historical novel. The subtitle, “The Soul is a Dark Canvas,” makes me think there is a psychological element. A blurb from the Baltimore Sun says there is Art History, cool. It is not my strong interest but I like discovering new information. “Hitchcockian suspense,” the phrase doesn’t roll off the tongue but I am a fan of Hitchcock. “Pynchonesque augury,” seems a bit over the top and I don’t like Pynchon. With four pluses and one negative, I am going to read this. Also, I got it from Instafreebie. It sells for USD 6.99 on Amazon with no caveat for a KU read. The cover here is the Amazon cover.

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A Remarkable Reflection Exercise for Year’s End 2017

I first downloaded Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur as a free sample. The power of the offered sample led me to download the full collection of poetry immediately. The sample was so good I would have paid the USD 4.99 price but I took advantage of KU to read for free. I will look for this in print; it is a book I want to keep around and show like-minded readers. This mesmerizing reading experience began even before I got to the content of the full work. I wanted to know about this writer. Clicking on a convenient hyperlink I learned she is based in Canada and is of Punjabi descent. What an interesting name. Where is she from? I followed her Facebook and Twitter pages. They are so interesting that I spent a lot of time reading snippets of her work as well as the work of writer followers. I almost forgot to come back to the book I had just downloaded. Those sites have beautiful prose, poetry, photos, and pictures. Off to Wikipedia where I was impressed by her background and the recounting of an interesting conflict with Instagram. Milk and Honey is great poetry. I don’t read poetry. I need to get out more.

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Audible Surprises

This is a free 30-minute selection from Offered by email as a Christmas present to members, I believe it will interest many members to look for the follow-up episodes. Melissa Lopez received a mysterious voicemail message five months prior; it was from an unknown phone number and sounded like a female calling for help. Rediscovering the message in the present time, Melissa decides to pursue the matter as a radio documentary program for a class project. Classmate Nick has found a newspaper clip reporting a police account of a girl missing near the date on which Melissa received the call. Melissa is on a mission to solve a mystery and complete a class project. The missing girl, Anna Winslow according to the police, was also a student at the university Melissa attended. Friends assumed Anna had walked away from university because of too much pressure. According to one of her professors, Anna was brilliant and could develop into a world-class researcher in linguistics … if she could overcome some hearing problems. After initially disappearing for two weeks, Anna showed up at the campus with hearing completely restored. Two weeks later she disappeared again. Just prior to her last disappearance but after regaining her hearing, Anna had been hearing voices that no one else could hear. She began public outbursts that disturbed all around her. Finally, she disappeared again. There were a few calls from Anna to her best friend, Laura. In a final call, Anna wanted to relay a message to Laura given her by Laura’s grandfather. That relative had been dead for eleven years and there was no way that Anna could have known about him.

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Twittering Tale #64 – 26 December 2017

Kat challenges you to reflect on the notion of time as 2017 quickly approaches its own demise. One of the lovers in this tale may have had a very limited 8-minute existence in 2018. Or maybe it is just past noon on one of the few days left in 2017. It might be grandpa’s watch noting the time when gramps stopped working. Kat provides us a picture prompt, a rather sad and sober (oh, no!! It is not the time for sober!) interpretation of the picture, and a challenge. You have the time. The semester is over, exams are done, grades are posted, so why not sit back, reflect on what is done, and think about “watching” for new opportunities in the new year.

I reblogged this as soon as I saw it to give all of you as much time as possible to participate in the challenge. Now, taking my own advice, I will retreat into a coma like state of reflection to come up with my own “Twittering Tale.”

like mercury colliding...


About the challenge: Each Tuesday I will provide a photo prompt. Your mission, if you choose to accept the challenge, is to tell a story in 280 characters or less. When you write your tale, be sure to let me know in the comments with a link to your tale.

A final note: if you need help tracking the number of characters in your story, there is a nifty online tool that will count for you at

I will do a roundup each Tuesday, along with providing a new prompt. And if for some reason I missed your entry in the Roundup, as I have occasionally done, please let me know. I want to be sure to include your tale.

Finally, have fun!

And REMEMBER…you have 280 characters (spaces and punctuation included), to tell your tale…and a week to do it. I can’t wait to see what you create…

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At fourteen pages Redcar Collector by Glenn McGoldrick might count as flash fiction. Starting out as an almost absurd account of an unlikely situation, this story ends with three sentences that will make a reader go “Huh, what did I just read?” There is another question I had which has little to do with the story as presented. How does the story title relate to anything in the story?

Continue reading “Footloose”


Milk With a Kick

Miracle Milk is a slang name for a substance that was an antibiotic, a hallucinogenic, and a very popular ingestible on planet Earth. It was so popular that after a while only the rich could afford it. It may have even contributed to Earth’s population growth. Like many plants, it depended on the sun. The sun was gone, so were the plants, and maybe so was Earth.

Dr. Irving was resigned to spending his last days on Eudora. Although there was a way to leave Eudora if all residents worked together, there was no reason to leave a planet when there was no destination that could be determined. The residents of Eudora would die after exhausting all resources.

Dr. Irving went on the last trip to caves heard about from his wife. She had described them well and returned from a trip to his home aged and sick before she died. There had been dark times on Eudora, but everyone had survived them, and the planet had been reborn after a dark time. The rebirth was due to a sacrifice made by Dr. Irving. He didn’t know whether it would work again. He was willing to make one more sacrifice to possibly save his neighbors and his planet.

This story is from a collection called Headshots by Idabel Allen. The setting, the scenes, and the feelings Allen evokes in this very short story are consistently dark and despairing. If the reader wants to feel hope after reading this, the hope must be supplied by the reader. This is a very good but very short story that I gave four Amazon stars.