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.
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?
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.
One of the first things a reader might note in You by Caroline Kepnes is the cover endorsement by Stephen King. It is a very strong endorsement; it is not on the back cover or in the first few pages preceding a table of contents; no, there it is on the front cover as it serves up a very strong endorsement of the talent of Kepnes. I kept this in mind as I read and found the endorsement, unlike many, to be completely appropriate even without the many references that Kepnes makes to King throughout the novel. By themselves, these references are clever and fun.
Execution Is Everything by Nick Warren surprised me with how clever it is with surprising twists that might leave the reader confused until page 144 (the last page). And it is free for purchase on Amazon as of the date of this review. It is free for purchase, NOT through Kindle Unlimited. At the end of the novel, Warren describes how and why he wrote this novel and mentions how he decided to follow up his characters with second and third novels that together have 110 000 additional words. Follow the provided link and get both of those books for free up to July 17, 2017. The link will download all three novels. After reading the first one, this was a deal I did not want to pass up.
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT I get dangerously close to a spoiler here but the temptation was just too much and I believe it is vague and hidden. Readers will have to read the entire novel to figure out what I mean so I don’t consider it a spoiler.
Lies I Never Told by Martin Crosbie is a collection of five short stories and five samples from longer novels. The novels begin with My Temporary Life Book One. The last short story, Afternoons with Angela, appears at the end of this collection, I moved it for this review. If you open the sidebar of Kindle to look at the table of contents, the information displayed is confusing as to the order of presentation and content. But that doesn’t take away from the excellence of the writing. This, and all of the novels Crosbie refers to can be read on Kindle Unlimited for “free.” This collection displayed writing so impressive I bought it after I read it so that I can keep it in my collection of writing that will impress my students. There is a great diversity of perspectives revealed in this collection. Geographically, the writing perspectives cover England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the US. There is writing from the perspectives of youth and military service. There is an almost paranormal perspective where the narrator is a woman. This is a collection with something for all readers. Brief summaries follow.
Gutter Ball by Susan Marie Shuman is a collection of short stories, flash fiction, and a rather weird tale at the end of the collection. It is fun, light reading from an author with a perspective far from the norm of the everyday routine. Free on Kindle Unlimited, I found the USD 2.99 price good value as I want to keep the book for later reading and referral to friends.