Showing posts with label short stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label short stories. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

"OCEANS: The Anthology" by P. K. Tyler and others

REVIEW and EXCERPT
OCEANS: The Anthology
(Frontiers of Speculative Fiction Book 2)
by P. K. Tyler and others

OCEANS: The Anthology (Frontiers of Speculative Fiction Book 2) by P. K. Tyler and others

OCEANS: The Anthology, the second book in the Frontiers of Speculative Fiction series, has just been released and can be yours for only $0.99. Keep reading for an excerpt and my review of one of the stories in this collection, "Tide Sweeping" by P. K. Tyler. Also available: CLONES: The Anthology (read my blog post).

CLONES: The Anthology by P. K. Tyler and Others


Description
"It is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came." ~ John F. Kennedy
Underwater cities, lost civilizations, crops, climate change, and dead zones.
In this collection of ocean-themed stories, twelve of today’s top speculative fiction writers explore our morality, our built-in societal restraints, and reflect upon our state of grace.
The waves roll in, the waves roll out.
OCEANS: The Anthology features stories from bestselling authors such as winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards Ken Liu, Rysa Walker, Daniel Arthur Smith, R.D. Brady, Alex Shvartsman, P.K. Tyler, plus six more of today’s top authors in speculative and science fiction.


Excerpt
Click below to read an excerpt from this collection, including one complete story.


Praise for the Book
"The stories are varied and diverse and pretty creative. [...] I enjoyed this collection and anyone who likes sci-fi short stories will too. Recommended." ~ Dr. Gonzo
"This anthology of short stories was a blast to read. All had a general ocean theme but how it was important to the story differed greatly. Some were fantasy, futuristic and some more dystopian in theme. I liked them all. I read it in one sitting as I kept saying one more before I stop. Great for a lunch time read. The authors views of the ocean were all unique. [...] I recommend getting this anthology if you like short stories that are well written and a surprise when a new one begins." ~ christy
"Daniel has gathered some of my favorite authors together to explore this vast watery world, and boy do they ever deliver. [...] So grab Oceans, and start your own exploration... You don't even have to get your feet wet ..." ~ Lonnie-TheGreatNorthernTroll-Moore
"A good collection of ocean themed novellas with messages to be learned from each one. The plots are diverse and very creative. As in any anthology, some are better than others. I enjoyed this sci-fi collection and would recommend them to family and friends." ~ J Phillips
"Began this collection last night by reading 'Bug Eater', and I was immediately hooked. Great opening story with an extraordinary revelation at the end which really surprised me. Looking forward to the rest of stories." ~ K. Parr

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
OCEANS: The Anthology is a collection of 12 short stories by 12 different authors, each with an ocean-based theme. This review is for the story "Tide Sweeping" by P. K. Tyler.
"Tide Sweeping": Dust and sand have devoured the Earth, leaving behind only pockets of salt water protected by Sweepers, loyal to the Tide.
Jasja has an unusual job. Known as the Sweeper, she keeps watch over the last Ocean on earth, located inside a Temple in the Arctic Desert. She is destined to live her life here, with no love, no children, and no distractions from her duty. But Frosten is proving to be a bit of a distraction as he performs his daily maintenance on the Temple. Today is the day of the Offering, which occurs once every twenty years. What is the secret of the Offering?
Jasja lives in a different time, as evidenced by the existence of the Arctic Desert. The author creates a vivid image of this future through her skillful use of language. Not wishing to give away too much, the world has come full circle, with this future world sharing some very disturbing similarities with ancient civilizations.
This is a compelling tale of responsibility, destiny, and duty. I would love this story to have been a bit longer, further exploring Jasja's past and especially her relationship with Frosten.

About the Author
P. K. Tyler
P. K. Tyler is the author of Speculative Fiction and other Genre Bending novels. She's also published works as Pavarti K. Tyler and had projects appear on the USA Today Bestseller's List.
Pav attended Smith College and graduated with a degree in Theatre. She lived in New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off-Broadway. Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry for several international law firms.
Now located in Baltimore, Maryland, she lives with her husband, two daughters, and two terrible dogs. When not penning science fiction books and other speculative fiction novels, she twists her mind by writing horror and erotica.

Links

Thursday, September 21, 2017

"The Witches of Wildwood" by Mark W. Curran

GUEST POST and EXCERPT
The Witches of Wildwood:
Cape May Horror Stories and Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore
by Mark W. Curran

The Witches of Wildwood: Cape May Horror Stories and Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore by Mark W. Curran

The Witches of Wildwood by Mark W. Curran is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author and an excerpt. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Werewolves ... vampires ... swamp beasts ... zombies ... even a Jersey Devil ... all of these chilling creatures and more await you in this haunting collection of 11 contemporary horror fiction stories by Mark Wesley Curran.
Uniquely set 'down the shore' in South Jersey's Cape May County, these scary tales are sure to terrify and entertain both adult readers as well as young adults.

Book Video


Excerpt
There was no doubt among the sisters that the murders were increasing their power. Each felt the surge of energy that coursed through them with each kill.
“I feel so alive!” Zoey exclaimed on the morning after they’d tied Harlan Clemmons to a chair and stabbed him multiple times through the heart, “like I’m plugged into some bitchin’ electrical source!” she marveled.
The other girls felt it too. Both Jaz and Ali would lay awake at night and feel it running through them - bringing them even more vitality and strength than even their young ages provided.


Praise for the Book
"Zombies, vampires, ghosts and even tales of murder. Mark Wesley Curran serves up a frightful cauldron of short stories with no shortage of excitement. Pulsing with imagery and plot twists, these contemporary horror stories are all set in the Jersey Shore. There is no doubt that Mark W. Curran will be a household name of horror along with the likes of R. L. Stine and Steven King." ~ Dustin Hannah, Facebook Horror Fan
"This captivating and commendable work had me immersed from the beginning. The stories flowed from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional ability when it comes to storytelling. There are plenty of attention-grabbing moments in this page turner that will take the reader on a spellbinding journey! It's difficult to pick a favorite from this collection of spooky 'tales of the unexpected'. Even if I was forced to, I couldn't. They were all very well written." ~ Emerald Book Reviews
"The stories include all manner of terrifying topics – werewolves, vampires, zombies - and despite this being the initial offering of Mark Wesley Curran, it is obvious he has explored the terrors of man’s creation well. Skillfully written with some rather dazzling technique, it appears Mark has opened a friendly door! New Jersey takes on an entirely new mystique." ~ Grady Harp
"If you enjoy short stories, horror, folklore, and wondered about New Jersey, this collection of tales by Mark W. Curran will fit the bill." ~ Pamela K Kinney

Guest Post by the Author
The Power of Found Footage Horror
Thank you for having me as a guest blogger!
Although I am here as horror fiction author, I really must admit I spend a lot more time studying and watching horror films than I do reading horror fiction. That's probably because my interest lies more in filmmaking than writing fiction, but I contend the two are branches of the same tree.
There is something about the craft of making scary movies that fascinates me. I enjoy the 'Making of' and 'Behind the Scenes' featurettes often included on a DVD release more than watching the actual film! These 'behind the scenes looks' at how they made the film are like going to your own personal film school class, but with the distinction that you can really see how they applied the actual techniques.
Lately I've been studying 'Found Footage' sub-genre of horror films. A good examples of Found Footage horror are The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. In this style of film the audience is led to believe the story is being shot as actual true events, and they are experiencing the terror from the point of view of a character immersed in the film.
I've thought often how this is very much like horror fiction – the ability to get inside of the head of the characters or, at the very least, give the reader some semblance of the experience of being in the shoes of the narrator or lead character.
Though the technique has its detractors, Found Footage has the ability to put us inside the horror by using the narrative device of hand held cameras supposedly capturing the events as they happened. In some cases, it can be so effective as to have a very unsettling effect on the audience.
As a filmmaker, I had been led to believe this kind of film making is a lot cheaper and easier to do than shooting a straight narrative film, since all one has to do, theoretically, is grab some cheap cameras, throw together a scary story about some kids lost in the woods or in an old house, slap some scary sounds on it, and you have a lucrative franchise.
What I learned from watching the Blu-Ray release of Blair Witch 3 really surprised me. I didn't watch the 'making of' features until after I'd seen the movie but, as I was watching the movie, I was amazed at how simple the shots seemed.
But once I got into the behind the scenes details, I realized I had been completely blindsided by the illusion of simplicity. For every shot in one of these movies, there must be a coordinated effort between all of the cameras, not just the ones you see onscreen. Every turn of a character's head, everything those character's 'see', every slight body move, must match with what the other cameras are seeing. It also has to look and sound authentic.
If it's done right, it can scare quite effectively and hide the true complexity of how the trick is done in such a careful and clever manner as to make the observer believe the magic trick is real.

About the Author
Mark Wesley Curran
Mark Wesley Curran is a writer of contemporary fiction, specializing in the horror and suspense genre. Born and raised in Suburban Philadelphia, he spent many summers living and working in Wildwood, New Jersey during its heyday. He now resides in Los Angeles where he enjoys creative pursuits as a writer, filmmaker, and musician.



Links

Monday, September 4, 2017

"Seven Threads" by Jason Atkinson

REVIEW and EXCERPT
Seven Threads
by Jason Atkinson

Seven Threads by Jason Atkinson

Seven Threads by Jason Atkinson is currently on tour with Enchanted Book Promotions. The tour stops here today for my review and an excerpt. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
In this collection of seven short stories from Jason Atkinson, follow a man accused of murder, a runaway girl on a train, a scientist at the heart of a government conspiracy, and more! Full of twists and turns, Seven Threads offers a selection of fast-paced stories full of heart and excitement.

Book Video


Excerpt from "The Runaway Tracks"
The train was almost full, and the platform outside was starting to thin out. Looking at his watch, Pete proclaimed it was just about time to depart. His new friend sitting across from him, nervous but ever so determined, would not be backing out now; if anything, she was in for the ride regardless.
“Your ticket will be validated soon. And when you’re caught up here, the porter will direct you to where you should be instead.”
She just looked at him. Sure enough, at that moment she heard the voice of the grim reaper himself. He was calling for tickets not too far away, and he was approaching their section.
Thinking about hiding, she frantically looked around for somewhere to disappear, as that seemed to be her specialty. The only place was behind the bar, but that was not going to be well managed, and if caught there, she feared an even worse punishment.
“Pete,” the conductor said with a comfortable level of familiarity, “Are you making this trip again? What is this? The fifth time now for you? They should get you a punch card.”
“If they gave me a punch card, you’d be going out of business, my friend.”
As she sat there watching this incredible scene unfold, it appeared apparent that these two knew each other.
“And who’s this with you? Is that your niece you’ve told me about?”
Seeing an opportunity, she held out her hand.
“Hello, yes. Pleased to meet you, I thought it was about time I went on this trip, too.”
“Ah, yes indeed. Well, it’s nice to meet you, Selena.”
She just smiled and then sat back in her seat. Pete and the conductor exchanged a few more words, and then he was gone. Pete, sitting back in his seat now also, looked at “Selena,” and chuckled.
“How did you know he hadn’t seen a picture of my niece already?”
“Well if that were the case, why did he ask if it was me? We must look somewhat alike if he had seen a picture.”
“Well played, ‘Selena.’ He hasn’t seen a photo, but I have talked about her coming on this trip a lot. And you probably noticed he didn’t even check our tickets.”
“I did notice. I also saw that I could have saved myself a chunk of change and gotten on for free,” she gruffed, and Pete just laughed.
[Want more? Click here to look inside.]

Praise for the Book
"In these stories, the author gets right to the point without adding any extra information or time between situations. But, the stories still include depth and description to offer the reader emotion and visuals into the character's situation. Since most of these stories offer sadness, the author has to convey these emotions without being too wordy and he does so succinctly." ~ Stacie Gorkow
"All the stories are different but they do connect in a way, through the common theme of humanity and compassion. [...] Fans of short stories should give this collection a shot." ~ Majanka
"This book is so good I'm really enjoying it." ~ Deborah M.

My Review


This is a collection of seven short stories, based on the themes of hope, compassion, friendship, and the kindness of strangers. The stories are divided into mini-chapters, making them suitable for non-readers, people with short attention spans, and those who may choose not to read a whole story in one sitting.
In "The Gentle Man", Jim struggles to come to terms with the death of a friend.
In "Life is a Rummage Sale", a homeless man's life turns around after doing a good deed.
In "The Coffee Shop", Adam meets Rebecca, and it's love at first sight until someone comes between them.
In "Classified", a scientist is caught up in a government conspiracy.
In "The Runaway Tracks", a girl runs away from home and encounters a kind stranger.
In "Mr. Dean Brant - The Lost Brother", Dean visits his dying brother.
In "A Miracle in Aisle Four", Jill helps a needy family at Christmas time.
In the author's bio, he states that "he is not much of a reader." This is beyond obvious, given the mundane storytelling, boring plot lines, unrealistic dialogue, unbelievable behavior of the characters, and the anti-climactic resolution of each story. Foreshadowing at the end of each "chapter" makes you think there's going to be a big twist, but there never is. In addition, the writing is overly emotional and melodramatic, yet fails to evoke any emotion in the reader.
There are also numerous editing issues, including: a mixture of past and present tenses, randomly switching point-of-view, an overabundance of clichés, poorly constructed sentences, incorrect word usage, lack of logic, and continuity errors. In a recent interview, the author himself states, "When I am self editing, I do not put too much effort into it. I realize that can sound somewhat lazy, and perhaps one day I will change my approach, but for now I don’t want to focus too much energy into the editing portion. There are people out there that are much better editors than I will ever be, and I would rather make mistakes but get a better story, than edit everything and second-guess my every sentence." Sorry, Mr. Atkinson, writing a book just doesn't work that way.
Very disappointing.

About the Author
Jason Atkinson
Jason Atkinson is a 32 year old, who lives in the Midwest with a wife of 10 plus years and one adorable toddler. Jason loves to write. Oddly though, he is not much of a reader. But that's why he wrote Seven Threads for people just like him. If you want to read a story, but don't have time for a novel, this book is perfect for you. Seven Threads is a book of seven shorts that are perfect for the light reader. If Jason can read it, he knows you can too!

Freebie
Text or subscribe to receive a FREE short story from the book.



Links

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"UnCommon Lands" by P. K. Tyler and others

EXCERPT and REVIEW
UnCommon Lands:
A Collection of Rising Tides, Outer Space, and Foreign Realms
(UnCommon Anthologies Book 5)
by P. K. Tyler and others


UnCommon Lands, the fifth book in the UnCommon Anthologies, has just been released and can be yours for only $0.99. Keep reading for an excerpt and my review of one of the stories in this collection, "Ecumenical Outpost 732" by P. K. Tyler. Also available: UnCommon Bodies (read my blog post), UnCommon Origins (read my blog post), UnCommon Minds (read my blog post), and UnCommonly Good.

UnCommon OriginsUnCommon MindsUnCommonly Good

More books and stories by P. K. Tyler: White Chalk (read my blog post), Dead Girl (read my blog post), Heaven's Vault (read my blog post), Alt. History 101 (read my blog post), Mosaics Volume 2 (read my blog post), CLONES: The Anthology (read my blog post), Book of Lilith (read my blog post), Avendui 5ive (read my blog post), Twin Helix (read blog post), The Jakkattu Vector (read my blog post), Dominion Rising (read my blog post).

Description
UnCommon Lands presents 20 unique depictions of fantastic places and alien landscapes. These stories of the human (and inhuman) experience transcend time and place and will transport you to worlds you’ve never imagined. Including new and veteran voices, our UnCommon Authors bring you stories which span multiple genres, but hold together on a framework of quality storytelling and a solid theme. UnCommon Lands reminds us that where we are from isn’t as important as where we are going.
Featuring:
"The Creaser" by Tom O’Brien
"The Creaser" by Tom O’Brien

"Gators in Kansas and Other Hazards of Modern Farming" by Ralph Walker
"Gators in Kansas and Other Hazards of Modern Farming" by Ralph Walker

"Rakka Surprise" by Bey Deckard
"Rakka Surprise" by Bey Deckard

"The Crater" by Kenneth Robbins

"Galileo’s Dog" by Karen Gemma Brewer
"Galileo’s Dog" by Karen Gemma Brewer

"Exhibit D" by Michael K. Schaefer
"Exhibit D" by Michael K. Schaefer

"Ecumenical Outpost 732" by P. K. Tyler
"Ecumenical Outpost 732" by P. K. Tyler

"The Pillars of Theonasa" by Roslyn Cay
"The Pillars of Theonasa" by Roslyn Cay

"The Rite" by Christopher Godsoe
"The Rite" by Christopher Godsoe

"Silicon Oar" by Shebat Legion
"Silicon Oar" by Shebat Legion

"Carcerem" by Daniel Arthur Smith
"Carcerem" by Daniel Arthur Smith

"Somewhere I Belong" by Jeremy Rodden
"Somewhere I Belong" by Jeremy Rodden

"A Trap in Eshwar" by E. E. Giorgi
"A Trap in Eshwar" by E. E. Giorgi

"Dreamsolution" by Michael J. P. Whitmer
"Dreamsolution" by Michael J. P. Whitmer

"ConseQuent" by Brent Meske
"ConseQuent" by Brent Meske

"Dragomir" by Tausha Johnson
"Dragomir" by Tausha Johnson

"The Last Immaculate" by Levi Jacobs
"The Last Immaculate" by Levi Jacobs

"Anderson’s Necessaries" by Jon Etter

"No Small Favors" by Anne Skinner
"No Small Favors" by Anne Skinner

"Walker Between the Worlds" by Ashleigh Gauch
"Walker Between the Worlds" by Ashleigh Gauch


Excerpt
Click below to read an excerpt from this collection, including two complete stories.


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
UnCommon Lands is a collection of 20 short stories from 20 different authors, each featuring a fantastical place or alien landscape. This review is for the story "Ecumenical Outpost 732" by P. K. Tyler, a story set in the Jakkattu world.
Eleven-year-old T’se is a blue-eyed Mezna-human hybrid who lives on Station Cassiopeia with her mother, father, and baby sister. She spends her days staring out her window for a glimpse of Peritha, the red planet below, where the Jakkatu prisoners work the mines. She dreams of living on a planet, and feeling the ground beneath her feet, but Peritha is not safe for women, as the Jakkattu prisoners are far too violent. She also wonders about the Earth she has heard of in stories. All she has to look forward to from the age of twelve is a shaven head and a life sorting the minerals mined on the planet below. Until she meets a mysterious stowaway and begins questioning her life ...
"Ecumenical Outpost 732" further explores aspects of life in the Jakkattu world, introduced in earlier stories and the novel, The Jakkattu Vector. The story highlights the persecution and discrimination that seem inherent in all societies. This is a simple narrative of friendship with another heartbreaking ending, a skill the author has perfected.

About the Author
P. K. Tyler
P. K. Tyler is the author of Speculative Fiction and other Genre Bending novels. She's also published works as Pavarti K. Tyler and had projects appear on the USA Today Bestseller's List.
Pav attended Smith College and graduated with a degree in Theatre. She lived in New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off-Broadway. Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry for several international law firms.
Now located in Baltimore, Maryland, she lives with her husband, two daughters and two terrible dogs. When not penning science fiction books and other speculative fiction novels, she twists her mind by writing horror and erotica.

Links