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.

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.

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.

This is a free 30-minute selection from Audible.com. Offered by email as a Christmas present to Audible.com 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.

Kat challenges you to reflect on the notion of time as 2017 quickly approaches its own demise. One of the…

Footloose

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?

Miracle Milk is a slang name for a substance that was an antibiotic, a hallucinogenic, and a very popular ingestible…

Happy Birthday, Jason

Geoff thinks it’s time to celebrate his son’s birthday. It is Jason’s thirty-third birthday and it would be nice if he could share the cake with Geoff, but Jason hadn’t lived past thirty. This did not stop Geoff from celebrating but wife Sandra refused to participate in a celebration that would lead to more depression and sadness for her.

Spitfire Roundabout by Glenn McGoldrick is a short story about coming home … maybe. The Spitfires, a utilitarian fighter aircraft from WWII had come home. Phil visited them at the roundabout that served as traffic management. Phil had come home too after a successful struggle with incipient alcoholism that had driven him away from Stockton, a place that had been his home for many years. His parents were still there and were happy that not only had Phil come home, he had secured a manager’s position at the company where he had formerly worked.

Religion or Myth?

I read Dream On by Erik Carter in an advance copy form. I was happy that I did not find typos and evidence of poor editing as is sometimes the case with advance copies. I was even more happy that this was a pleasant read with an interesting premise that held my attention throughout the novel. Carter points out in a beginning author note that the novel centers around a controversial religious theory and the author points out a source for further research. As I began to read, I expected that there would be some huge religious-based revelation that would produce chaos across cultures. But there is more to it than that.