Finding a Mom for Samantha

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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Personal Wartime Experiences

In this volume of the series Threads of War, Volume II, Jeremy Strozer looks at war as it is played out in ways we don’t generally think of. Each story has two parts. The first is a factually based account of an incident that happened. The account is referenced for those who want to investigate further. The second is a story of humans trying to exist in a hostile environment that is war. The stories are fiction as thoughts and feelings are ascribed to people who did not survive. Those experiences exist in Strozer’s mind and the author brings them to life in a very entertaining way.

I give the novel five Amazon stars in part because of the pleasing structure and way of presentation, in part because of the referencing which accompanies factual accounts, and finally for the interesting fictional presentations which lend human coloring to a dehumanizing experience.

Following are my immediate comments and reactions to each story.

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Who Loves Bruno?

Look Fast or Die Slow by David Six is the second book in the Bruno & Salvanian series. The first one, In the Time It Takes to Blink impressed me so much that I decided not to read this one right away. The pace of the first book was so fast and dense with action that I wanted to put some space between books one and two. It is a bit like not wanting to read a book of jokes from beginning to end, the edge is just not there; as a reader I become jaded. Coming back to this novel after a breather was good. In my opinion, this book is just as great as the first one. There is one huge coincidence which I will not describe that I am sure will annoy some readers as being too much of a … coincidence. I had no problem with it. This is one of the few novels to which I give five Amazon stars.

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Fictionalized Facts

At first, it looks like there is a certain arrogance in the title and subtitle of this work. Threads of THE WAR by Jeremy Strozer has the last two words capitalized indicating that this war was truly “the war to end all wars.” While that was the popular sentiment describing WWI, veterans of later wars and different forms of sacrifice might take issue with the presumption made by this title. Just in case the reader misses the message, the subtitle claims this work is a collection of historical short stories that are personal truth-inspired flash fiction of “The” 20th century’s war. Putting those possible claims aside, it is valuable to read the author’s introduction. Strozer has a different definition of “The War,” one that stretches from 1898, powers through WWI and WWII, and concludes with the residual after effects that still flare up around the world today.

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Colorful Extreme Descriptive Vocabulary

In order to cut to the chase early: WARNING, Extremely explicit and gory.
and
Don’t waste your time, although that did not stop me from writing the following rant.

Shawcross Letters has an important subtitle: My Journey Into The Mind Of Evil by John Paul Fay (and Brian Whitney). Brian Whitney is the author of this publication. John Paul Fay is a narrator and commentator. Fay is a commentator when revealing the content of letters written by Arthur Shawcross, an actual serial killer who died in 2008. Fay acts as a narrator when he describes his own struggles with life. Incarcerated Shawcross has been described as evil personified. A serial killer with a fondness for cooking and eating various victim body parts, Shawcross never meets Fay except through letters. If evil personified means the person is a unique representation of evil, Fay would disagree. Fay describes Shawcross as almost a soulmate. It seems as if Fay is saying that he would be Shawcross if only he (Fay) were braver. For now, Fay claims to be able to sublimate the same evil acts described by Shawcross in letters into Fay’s own writings with this book.

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Death Is Inconvenient

Love, Death, and Other Inconveniences put together by Tobias Wade is a collection of thirty-four unusual depictions of what is stated in the title. Multiple authors contributed to this 381-page collection. Author’s contributions vary in number, some contributed one story, many contributed four. This review is long because I couldn’t help making a comment about each story as I read it. I tried to make sure not to write any spoilers. Some comments are about content, some are about the author’s writing and some are sarcastic. Some comments won’t make sense unless you have read the story. I found all enjoyable; I couldn’t find a waste of time anywhere among the stories.

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Concealed Twists

Little Dramas by Glenn McGoldrick is a collection of eight very short stories. They are short enough to be called flash fiction. As I read through each one, I jotted down by one-line takes as I read. There is a twist to each one. The twists are not necessarily grotesque or totally out of the realm of reality but some of them are a bit difficult to detect. I think writing them must have been pleasant for McGoldrick. As a reader, I enjoyed them, and I would give each of them an Amazon star rating. Some were fours, and some were threes; all were interesting. As a collection, they come in at 3.5 stars. I don’t believe the Amazon system allows me to give partial stars.

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