Twisted Fate by Terina McIlvaine is a 72-page Kindle short story available as a free download through Kindle Unlimited (KU). It is probably a mystery in that you do not know what is going to happen. You are led to believe that a crime will be committed. There is a surprise ending but most of this short novel, approximately through 85% of it, is a long, slow, tease. That can be good or bad depending on your reading preference. The writing is good but heavy on emotional descriptions.

As the story opens we find Cindy tearing up papers, pictures, and documents reminiscent of her married life. Matt had not been gone that long, just four weeks, but he had left without a word and there had been no communication with him. Where was he and why had he left? Cindy was determined to find out. But first, she needed coffee. So, off to her favorite coffeehouse to formulate a plan.

There are ten selections of poetry in Cellar Door: Words of Beauty, Tales of Terror (Volume Two) edited by James Ward Kirk. I downloaded the book for the flash fiction (2 selections) and the 22 short stories. I don’t feel comfortable commenting on poetry but will make comments on other works in the collection.

I found only one of the following stories had mechanical errors annoying enough to comment on. In general, this is a selection of reading snacks to fill in the time when you can’t seriously attack a longer work on your TBR list.

The Compulsive Move by Phillip Cornell looks and reads like a writer’s first attempt at publication. There is a good idea for the story. The organization of the presentation is well done. Background stories characters supply are credible and show the author’s familiarity with his character’s background information. What remains are a few problems that are easy to fix but are distracting to a reader.

This collection of short stories A Sting In The Tale by Matt Shaw contains five short stories in a total of 88 pages. Carry it around on you reading device. It will “speak” to you when the folks you were to meet earlier won’t. Books are more punctual than people. As is my usual practice, I will comment on each of the five stories.

A Sting in the Tale: A Collection of Short Stories

A Mother’s Love Jade Velasquez couldn’t understand why her son didn’t want to eat. She had fixed his favorite food. Not only did he not want to eat, he claimed Nuggets were his favorite food, a claim Jade knew was false. Her husband, Esslee would be home soon. Maybe he could help. And he could also explain why he had called more than 25 times. She had ignored the calls; whatever he wanted to say he could tell her when he got home for dinner, just as he did every night.

Esslee arrived home but he was no help with Aidan. All he seemed to want was to take Aidan outside to play ball. He should really eat first; the food would get cold. She had worked hard to prepare food for husband Esslee and son Aidan. But who was going to feed the police officers who had arrived so suddenly and noisily?

Take Time To Reflect

Impressions by Dan Groat is a very impressive (sorry, I know better but I couldn’t resist) collection of short reflections on the daily grind of our lives, also known as existence. This is one of those collections that is valuable to keep around for when you are feeling just a bit down and unfocused. It will, at the very least, redirect your attention to things that are a bit more meaningful than immediate routines we are forced to go through on a daily basis. This was selected as a Book of the Day (BOTD) by the folks at OnLine BookClub on 11 January 2017. The following comments are about some of my favorite selections. There are 55 reflections; there is no way I will comment on each of them. Buy the book; it will make you happy.

Capturing The Enigma: The Unsung Heroes of HMS Bulldog by Patrick Spencer is a 28-page historical introduction to an important code-breaking event of WWII. Published in September 2016 by MouseWorks Publishing, this work provides a springboard for younger readers unfamiliar with code breaking to select lengthier, more detailed works on the personnel, equipment, and technology associated with this important development. Spencer’s writing style is faithful to historical events while at the same time entertaining to contemporary readers.

The Girl in the Photo by Gaspar Gonzales is a 42 page Kindle Single available through Kindle Unlimited (KU). Published in January 2015 by Amazon Digital LLC, the story is about one person’s attempt to come to terms with the loss of a loved one in Vietnam. Couldn’t it also be about coming to terms with the loss of a loved one in any war? The reader can decide.

A True Spy Story

The Spy With No Name by Jeff Maysh is a 59 page Kindle Single published 02 January 2017 by Kindle Digital Services LLC and available through the Kindle Unlimited subscription system. It is a true spy story which I find a near contradiction in terms. If it is a true espionage tale, how can anyone verify the truth? A reader can at best accept an interpretation of what happened.

American History USS Indianapolis The True Story Of The Greatest Us Naval Disaster by Patrick Spencer is almost what it claims to be in its rather lengthy title. There is a qualification made with the following statement “The content of this work is intended as a fictional re-enactment of true events for entertainment purposes” (p.2) so we can’t have it both ways: a “fictional reenactment” and “American History.” This is not a criticism, just an observation.

The Trestle is a Kindle Single which I got at the best possible price, free. This is not from Kindle Unlimited (KU), it was a free download offer. The offer is for everyone. It was not made in return for a review.