Magic and Mayhem is a sampler collection of short stories by Julianne Q Johnson. I found each of the stories superior to the usual offering of teasers. Proof of this is that based on my reading of these I will find and read the author’s longer works.
The Animal A girl is running through a forest pursued by a beast. She is able to cast some spells which she knows are a bit immature but if they slow the beast down and she keeps running she may be able to escape. Every spell she tries seems to slow the beast but the inevitability of her capture seems certain. Until she remembers one final trick. And her mother’s bothersome boyfriend will bother her no more. But there are consequences.
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In an earlier post, I mentioned that some readers don’t pay too much attention to book covers. I believe that to be the case with Temp Girl by Stephanie Bond. Her cover with cool tag line invites a reader’s interest. Then there is the other side of the coin. I received an alert from Brendan Detzner about the publication of this short story (it wasn’t described as a short story in the alert). I have been entertained by Detzner writings for a long time and, even more important, they spurred my son’s interest in reading. With a title like Hot Chicks Infected With Stomach Parasites, there was no way I was not going to read it and then post some comments. A provocative title like this dares the reader to ignore it. (Yep, I know about the earlier double negative. Dare to break the rules).
Continue reading “A New Look at CYA”
James Madison: A Life From Beginning to End by a group called Hourly History presents a series of publications that present episodes and personalities in a proposed one hour read. This one has a subtitle One Hour History US Presidents Book 3. This seems perfect for my purposes as I seek material for English as Second Language learners. I looked at this work to determine what I believe the level of English required to read a non-fiction book in one hour.
Continue reading “Who is James Madison?”
Billy and Darla by Jay Lemming is a short story about teenage angst associated with growing up. The angst seems to come from three high-school-age students who have no external sources of inspiration and guidance although each of them has a family base that should be working.
Billy had a girlfriend, Darla, until Billy had a fight with Lane the Linebacker. Billy lost and Darla dumped him. Darla only went with winners. Billy never got over Darla but that didn’t stop him from dating Jessie, a good friend of Darla’s. Unlike his relationship with Darla, Billie’s relationship with Jessie was mostly platonic. Mostly. Except for that one time. Billy had an OK family life. The loss of a brother left a persistent gloom over the family but the family remained stable. Billy was just more ignored. Just like at school where teachers either ignored him or dismissed him. He was also not in the popular crowd.
Continue reading “Notell Motel”
Oklahoma Exile by Norma Jean Lutz is the story of a City Girl forced by events to adapt to the life of a Country Girl. The larger conflict is whether she will succeed in doing this while at the same time retaining the identity of Serena. The reader knows immediately that Serena City Girl has a disdain for a country lifestyle. Serena is polite about this and the larger conflict is expressed and takes place largely within Serena herself. Only a very perceptive relative or friend could detect this conflict.
Continue reading “How Can You Keep Them Down on the Farm …”