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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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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Baked Goods to the Rescue

Warped is offering number three from Meantime Stories by Syingen and Pedersen. Why “Meantime?” because you read these stories in the meantime. Meantime of what? That is up to the reader who downloaded the book. This very short story can distract you from routine tasks, so you can read it in the meantime while formulating the national defense budget for small nations. Or whatever.

In the ancient times of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, creation was explained to us with the number 42. For non-lovers of math, this culinary explanation may be more fulfilling. There are two and one-half main characters plus Ada to explain what is going on with this story. Captain Lisa Henderson, commanding, and Second Pilot John Bang must deal with a crisis. We will ignore Passenger Liaison Officer Robert Decker. His character is not developed, and he complains too much anyway. The 3500 passengers are just filling.

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A HUGE Collection of Short Weird Stuff

I feel it worthwhile to quote from the Introduction to this novel, Horror d’Oeuvres: Bite-Sized Tales of Terror so that readers know what they are getting into. I came to this collection via Tobias Wade. He publishes a couple of fantasy/horror/twisted tales per week. I get those free in a weekly email. Tobias Wade is listed as an author of this edited anthology. One of his emails recommended this collection. It has 61 pieces of short fiction plus three bonus stories. My (hopefully relevant quote):

“This anthology was born from a rogues gallery of the best authors from Reddit’s premier horror flash fiction community, /r/ShortScaryStories.” (loc 170-172).

“This charity anthology … All revenue generated from the sales of eBooks, physical books, and audiobooks will be donated to Scares That Care!, an approved 501(c)(3) charity which fights the REAL MONSTERS of childhood illness, burns, and breast cancer by helping families that are experiencing these extraordinary hardships cope with the financial burden. It’s a 100% volunteer charity; meaning all donations are given to those who are in need; no CEO salaries, no overheads. Donations will be made on a quarterly basis for one year following the publication date of this collection. All information on the donations, sales numbers, and all other pertinent information will be available on www.reddit.com/r/Human_Gravy.” (loc 175-180).

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Do You Know Where Your Muse Is Today?

“Ghost Writer” as a profession unfairly has a negative impression attached to it through no fault of the writer. Instead, a large segment of the population considers the person who hires the ghostwriter to be a cheat. In the case of non-fiction, the employer is considered lazy as in the case of a former President of the US publishing accounts of wartime experiences to an audience that largely believed the author was the President. In the case of fiction, the employer may be viewed as a clever business person but one claiming an unfair reputation as a writer. This is not the case with Natalie, our writer protagonist in Ghost Writer by Netta Newbound.

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What Are The Rules?

Revisions by Nick Wisseman might begin with a quick quiz. But the quiz is by text message and Blake is driving. He should know better than to text while ….

Because when Blake wakes up he is part of a celebration. The crowds are tremendous, but he doesn’t understand the language spoken. It might be Russian but before he can react, a raid begins, complete with shooting. Words appear in his mind to let him know where he is: Odessa, Russia, during a time of the revolution. Where did the words come from? They appeared almost as words in a cartoon bubble. Blake loses consciousness, he may have been shot.

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Just Bouncing Around

When Dean Koontz appears on my reader radar, I track and follow. The read will always be some degree of amazing. That is true of Ricochet Joe, a short story that manages to pack philosophy, fantasy, weird humor, a fast-moving story, and possibly a sense of despair at the end. The despair component is up to you. Some readers might see it as hope. Everything Koontz writes is up to reader interpretation. The work necessary to perform the interpretation is what captures reader interest.

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