Watch Out for the Snake Charmer

Hit The Road Jack by Willow Rose is first in a series of “Jack Ryder” books. The novel is divided…

One of the attractions of The Chief’s Runaway Bride by Bijou Li is the insights it gives to daily living in a country as vast and underdeveloped as China. China is a rapidly developing country but this story takes place in 1942 at a time when there was a war in progress with the Japanese and a revolution in progress led by Mao Tse Tung. Marriage was the best time-tested and true way to stabilize shifting loyalties between factions and tribes. That is the situation Magnolia found herself in when she learned that Zhaxi, chief of the Mosuo tribe, had selected her to be his wife. Her father surprised her by saying that he could do nothing. If she did not marry the chief, the entire family fortune and social standing would suffer.

Don’t Try This (Lifestyle) At Home

Weird Trips by Mike B. Good is all about “Travel Adventures Gone Wrong” which also happens to be the subtitle. As a self-proclaimed professional expat (and no, I do not know what that means) I found the stories appealing. I don’t consider traveling to Hawaii a foreign adventure but other than that I think the stories will appeal to those of us who travel and have extended stays abroad. I got this book from Instafreebies. A day or so later I got an email in which the author explained some of his thoughts on how this book was received by many reviewers. The email is interesting. You can get one also if you follow the Instfreebie download path.

Cod Beck by Glenn McGoldrick is a collection of three short stories that McGoldrick labeled “dark.” Readers should watch out for time shifts in each of these stories. Perhaps due to Kindle formatting, I got confused in the first story when the time would jump forward by a few days or weeks. As I continued to read, I knew what to look for but sometimes the paragraph breaks were almost hidden.

Following is something I wrote in response to a prompt from Kat Myrman. Just to note, there are places in…

The Cryo Killer is a short story by Jason Werbeloff. Only 20 pages, it was for sale on Amazon for USD 0.00, my absolute favorite price. For this unbelievable price, you get an almost unbelievable story. Those with failing health will be able to contract for their own early death to come back to life one day when a cure for their diseases will be available. Their age at moment of temporary, early death will be the age at which subscribers awake thanks to cryogenics.

Burning Everything At Both Ends

Watched Too Long by co-authors Ann Voss Peterson and J. A. Konrath is a fourth book in the Val Ryker series. Ann Voss Peterson is the sole author of the Val Ryker trilogy. In this cooperative writing effort, J. A. Konrath brings in situations and characters from his novels Webcam and Rum Runner but assures us that all novels are standalone stories.

This novel is too funny and humorous to review. Many times, a reviewer will mention that a novel is a laugh-out-loud experience. While I may chuckle occasionally, I usually do not laugh out loud. But I did so with this novel. The humor starts on page one with the introduction of the absurd name of Jet Row. I laughed out loud through pages one and two. Although Jet is not the main protagonist, he will burn himself into your memory.

This collection of Glenn McGoldrick stories, Horseshoe Bend (& other Dark Teesside short stories) emphasizes the word dark. These are darker than other stories I have read by McGoldrick. They are also, and this is not a negative criticism, not as subtle. Three stories in the collection have themes centering on a word that appears in the first one, “Bend.” As in “around the bend” signifying a change of direction. The three-word phrase also might relate to insanity and the reader might want to keep this in mind when determining the lens used to examine these tales.

I Know Jack

Whiskey Sour by J. A. Konrath appeals to the love of alcohol in me. Not that I drink a lot,…

Claire and Logan Keller had made an important decision; they would adopt a child. Logan was looking forward to proceeding with a graduated step-by-step process that would include investigations by social service agencies and complex, time-consuming legal proceedings. Claire was looking to get things done as quickly as possible. When Sylvia Tran from Children’s World Adoption Services contacted the couple with adoption candidate Samantha, Claire was thrilled. She was amazed that the procedure could go so fast. Samantha would move into the Keller home within three days. Logan was instantly suspicious. Things couldn’t possibly move this quickly through legal means. Logan wanted to investigate the agency and Tran. In an emotional heart vs. brain confrontation, the more emotional Claire won, and Logan gave in, per usual. Social services visited the Keller family home in the morning (to plant surveillance equipment), a lawyer appeared the same day, and Samantha moved into her new room at the Keller home within the three-day period desired by Tran. The Adoption by Greg Meritt tells the story of strange adoption procedures that are not as they appeared to be.

This was a novel recommended to me on an Amazon review site. It is for sale on as a Kindle download for USD 3.49 or it can be read free with a KU subscription.

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