Preternatural – G.S.Anderson

From the reality of the known to the depths of imagination, these twelve tales will skew your perceptions. Embracing mystery, science fiction, horror, and fantasy, the stories examine greed, ignorance, superficiality, and our ideas of home. A little girl wonders about the price of her new home. A woman searches for a place to fit in. A contest exposes hidden personalities. A man tries to overcome his fears. A gift comes with strings attached. A man lives his greatest dream. A fairy tale finds a little girl. An artist describes her process. A soldier discovers the past. A woman encounters reality. A man holds the key to saving the world. Tales to entertain, surprise, and make you think.
My thoughts:
There are 12 stories and as the book is only 60 pages then yes all the stories are really short. But they all pack quite the punch.
That is also why I can’t say a lot about the stories, cos I say one thing and the whole thing is spoiled.
1. Seemingly dystopian, then it change for the little girl. And the end, yes I did not see it coming. It’s about a little girl getting a new home.
2.A story about a woman who has a bookloving sister. A more quiet story.
3. A mum tells her son to go out and play….boom! Ha.
4. A relative dies and sets a contest about who will get it all. Boom! I love her endings!
5. Astraphobia. A man is afraid of the thunder. Honestly all I could say about all of these are, awesome ending!
6. The Gift. Dystopia with a nice twist.
7. One man at a time. A man gets the chance of a lifetime. Happiness or not?
8. The unicorn. I love all the twists and turns.
9. Piecé dé résitance. An artist shows us her work. Freaky.
10. Short fable.
11. To kill Hitler. A time-travel piece.
12. The end. Apocalyptic story with you guessed it, a twist.
I could not say much cos all these stories will surprise you. And in a good way. Twists, turns and surprise endings. Great short stories, and they are great just like that, as short stories. Because this way they all will thrill and surprise you. 😉
I would recommend them and they would fit perfectly for before bedtime. A short story and then night 🙂

ebook, 60 pages
Published April 18th 2014 by The Story Vault
Science-fiction /dystopia /post-apocalyptic
For review 

Audio Friday: Once, Legion and The Mysterious Howling

Felix, a Jewish boy in Poland in 1942, is hiding from the Nazis in a Catholic orphanage. The only problem is that he doesn’t know anything about the war, and thinks he’s only in the orphanage while his parents travel and try to salvage their bookselling business. And when he thinks his parents are in danger, Felix sets off to warn them–straight into the heart of Nazi-occupied Poland. 

To Felix, everything is a story: Why did he get a whole carrot in his soup? It must be sign that his parents are coming to get him. Why are the Nazis burning books? They must be foreign librarians sent to clean out the orphanage’s outdated library. But as Felix’s journey gets increasingly dangerous, he begins to see horrors that not even stories can explain.
My thoughts:
It was sad…it was very sad. But then what can you expect from a story that is about a Jewish boy in Nazi occupied Poland.
Felix was so naive and it killed me at times. He did not know what was going on and later when he saw people get killed he still did not understood that it was dangerous. He made up stories about everything and saw something..”nicer” in what happened. But it was such a good story, heartbreaking, totally heartbreaking. It was also a story that everyone should read.
I listened to the audio version and Gleitzman was a great narrator. 
But I warn you, the end…you will have to read more after that ending.
Would I read more?
Yes
Cover
Bad

Audiobook, Digital Download, Unabridged
Around 3 hours
Published August 1st 2005 by Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd (first published January 1st 2005)
Once #1
YA /historical fiction

Stephen Leeds, AKA “Legion,” is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the story begins, Leeds and his “aspects” are drawn into the search for the missing Balubal Razon, inventor of a camera whose astonishing properties could alter our understanding of human history and change the very structure of society. The action ranges from the familiar environs of America to the ancient, divided city of Jerusalem. 
My thoughts:
I Listened to the audio version and the narrator was ok. Most of his accents he did well, one bugged me though.
The concept was cool, this guy lives in a huge mansion which is filled with his hallucinations. It seems he is really smart and they help him figure things out. The story is when he goes hunting after a camera that can takes pictures of things in the past. Now would’t that be cool 😉
It was ok. But I do prefer his fantasy works.
Would I read more?
From this?…no
Cover
Bleh

Audiobook, Audible, Unabridged, 2 hours?
Published October 2nd 2012 by Audible Frontiers (first published August 31st 2012)
Oliver Wyman, narrator
Short story / paranormal /sci.fi

Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.

Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.

But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance’s holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?
My thoughts:
Now this one worked perfectly as an audio book. It had a good narrator and it was easy to listen too.
The story was fun and cute. A young governess taking care of 3 children who has lived in the wild. And there is something mysterious going on too…
I do not have a lot to say about this one. I mean it was adorable in the way it was written. I would totally listen to more.
Would I read more?
yes
Cover
Cute

Audio CD, 5 hours or so
Published by Listening Library (first published March 1st 2010)
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1
Katherine Kellgren, narrator
MG / historical fiction

Review: In Sea-salt tears – Seanan McGuire

Free to download in Mobi, ePub and PDF.
It was 1972, and a teenage girl named Elizabeth Ryan thought that her world was coming to an end. Elizabeth was the daughter of two Selkies, you see, and she had just been passed up for a skin. But then a mysterious cousin who calls herself Annie appears, and Elizabeth finds other things to think about…

It can be easy to forget that worlds don’t wait for heroes before they begin. It can be easy to forget that things happened before the lights came up and the story started. This is one of those things that happened: this is one of those tales that slipped through the cracks. It is the story of a girl named Elizabeth, and a girl named Annie, and what they were to one another, in the sight and sounding of the sea.

Maybe it isn’t fair. But fairy tales never really are.
Thoughts:
This was a sad short story. No happy ending here, but that depends on how you see it and what you want.
I liked it and the selkie stories are always sad in this universe. They are not the happiest of fairies…at all.
Love and loss and making choices is what it was about

ebook, 24 pages
Published August 23rd 2012
Got at http://www.seananmcguire.com/tobyshorts.php
October Daye #5.1
Urban fantasy

I also realised that  I never said anything about the short story at the end of Chimes of Midnight. We get to see October make the Choice and I liked the way it was shown. I do like Luidaeg, but then  I love them all

Mishel Reviews: Stand Alone – Sam Stall

 Mishel Reviews

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Release Date: October 2013 (First published August 2006) 
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pages: 240 (ebook)
My Rating: 2.5/5 
Source: Received for review from publisher
Cover: Thumbs down, although the ebook cover is far better than the original paperback cover. 
Its a Terrible Day in the Neighborhood
They told you the suburbs were a great place to live. They said nothing bad could ever happen here.
But they were wrong.
This collection of terrifying true stories exposes the dark side of life in the ’burbs—from corpses buried in backyards and ghosts lurking in fast food restaurants to UFOs, vanishing persons, bizarre apparitions, and worse. Consider:
     •  The Soccer Mom’s Secret. Meet Melinda Raisch of Columbus, Ohio. She’s the wife of a dentist. A mother of three. A PTA member. And she has enough murderous secrets to fill a minivan.
     •  Noise Pollution. More than 100 residents of Kokomo, Indiana, claim their small town is under attack by a low-pitched humming sound that erodes health and sanity. Too bad they’re the only ones who can hear it.
     •  Death Takes a Holiday inn. There’s nothing more reassuring than a big chain hotel in a quaint small town—unless it’s the Holiday Inn of Grand Island, New York, where you’ll spend the night with the spirit of a mischievous little girl.  
So lock your doors, dim the lights, and prepare to stay up all night with this creepy collection of true tales. We promise you’ll never look at white picket fences the same way again!
Review:
I can’t really recall what I was expecting out of Suburban Legends when I agreed to review it. I don’t remember it sinking in to my brain that the stories within were true tales of the “dark side” of suburban life. (Depsite that being said right in the beginning of the synopsis… DUH! *smacks head*) I must have been thinking this was going to be a cool, fictional anthology filled with strange but equally as entertaining tales of the oddities that can occur in Suburbia. Uhhh, no…
Granted some of these stories were entertaining, creepy, and weird but I really lost interest a time or two while reading it. The stories include ghost sightings/hauntings, UFO encounters, monsters, random mysterious happening, and even murder. I admit I was more interested in the murder stories than anything else. I didn’t like how there was really no atmosphere to the book. I know it was a hodge-podge of true facts but I could have seen the exact same thing on a television show or browsing the internet. The only difference in doing that was all these stories were already put together for me…but there was no real storytelling; just a “wham-bam-thank-you-mam” kind of spread. *shrugs* Am I too picky here?
The book is quick, light, and an easy read. The re-release in ebook format is great for the upcoming Halloween season. There is a definite audience for Suburban Legends…it’s the same audience who can watch haunted ghost or urban legend TV shows all the time. I had fun but not enough to really want to go through it again…..

Review: Hope’s End – Brian McClellan

A Powder Mage short

Captain Verundish has two problems. On campaign with the Adran army and far from her homeland, she is helpless when the young daughter she left at home is threatened. To make matters worse, General Tamas has put her lover in command of a Hope’s End—the first charge through a breach straight into the teeth of enemy cannon and sorcery. To save the people she loves, Verundish will have to come up with a deadly solution…
My thoughts:
When it comes to short stories I never have much to say…cos they are short…very short. And this one was..16 page..ish.
The story takes place before Promise of Blood so read it before, read it after, it does not matter. Just read it.
The story was about Verundish who has some…drama in her life (since it’s short story I wont spoil it). She is in a tight spot. I liked her, honor and duty, loyal and sacrificing. 
The story is about the charge called Hope’s End. As the name says it will be deadly and without hope. What to do is the question?
I usually want more when it comes to short stories and not always in a good way. But here it actually worked as a short story. Sure I want more, but I was also happy with what I got. It was short and good and I enjoyed it.
Conclusion:
Short and nice 🙂
Cover
Eh

ebook
Published September 23rd 2013 by Brian McClellan
Fantasy
Powder Mage 0
From the author

Review: Jane Austen Made Me Do It – Anthology

Genre: Jane Austen variations
Pages: 448
Published: October 2011
Publisher: Ballantine
Source. NG

“My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy’s heartfelt words, then you, dear reader, are in good company. Here is a delightful collection of never-before-published stories inspired by Jane Austen—her novels, her life, her wit, her world. 

In Lauren Willig’s “A Night at Northanger,” a young woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts meets a familiar specter at the infamous abbey; Jane Odiwe’s “Waiting” captures the exquisite uncertainty of Persuasion’s Wentworth and Anne as they await her family’s approval of their betrothal; Adriana Trigiani’s “Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane” imagines a modern-day Austen giving her niece advice upon her engagement; in Diana Birchall’s “Jane Austen’s Cat,” our beloved Jane tells her nieces “cat tales” based on her novels; Laurie Viera Rigler’s “Intolerable Stupidity” finds Mr. Darcy bringing charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels, spin-offs, and retellings; in Janet Mullany’s “Jane Austen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” a teacher at an all-girls school invokes the Beatles to help her students understand Sense and Sensibility; and in Jo Beverley’s “Jane and the Mistletoe Kiss,” a widow doesn’t believe she’ll have a second chance at love . . . until a Miss Austen suggests otherwise.

Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history’s most cherished authors.
My thoughts:

As always like with all stories, some I liked some not so much. Some I wanted to read more of because they were good, and some I thought also needed to be longer because I was just confused when they were so short. All in all this was a nice collection of different variations, modern version and a few ghosts.

And I am going to say a bit about every story.

Jane Austen’s Nightmare Syrie James 
JA meets her characters, it was such a delightful and short story 😀 Must read more by this author.

Waiting: A story inspires by Jane Austen’s Persuasion by Jane Odiwe 
Anne and Wenthworth. A little but about the past and the proposal now. Sweet.

A Night at Northanger by Lauren Willig 
Ghost Trekkers at Northanger. Not my favorite story. It was good, but to me it did not feel very Jane Austen like.

Jane and the Gentleman Rogue: Being a fragment of a Jane Austen mystery by Stephanie Barron 
Jane Austen and spies. I do not know about this one, it was ok, but I just do not know why she cared for something.


Faux Jane by Diane Meier and Frank Delaney writing as F. J. Meier 
I do admit to feeling confused during the whole story. Not for me.

Nothing Less Than Fairy-land by Monica Fairview 
Emma and Knightley after the honeymoon. Another sweet one. Poor Emma, her dad sure is troublesome. Very enjoyable and I must read more by this author.

Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane by Adriana Trigiani 
A letter and I was bored, that is it.

Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss by Jo Beverley 
A lovely story about a widow with 3 daughters and a HEA. A short story that worked well and would surely have made a great book too.

When Only a Darcy Will Do by Beth Pattillo 
I was worried that the modern stories would not work for me, but this one was nice. A woman holds JA tours and meets a guy. And what a guy.

Heard of You by Margaret C. Sullivan 
Admiral Croft and the story how he met his wife. Awww young Frederick Wentworth, I always did like stories set at sea.

The Ghostwriter by Elizabeth Aston 
JA helps an author write a book. I liked how JA was portrayed here, not as you would imagine her at all.

Mr. Bennet Meets His Match by Amanda Grange 
How he met his wife. Yes he fell for a pretty face, and I liked how it showed that he was still happy with his choice.

Jane Austen, yeah, yeah, yeah by Janet Mullany 
A teacher talks about Sense and Sensibility during detention and compares them to the Beatles to get the girls interested. I liked this discussion as it does show you can do anything with JA.

Letters to Lydia by Maya Slater 
Maria Lucas is watching and writing letters about how she thinks Lizzy and Darcy are up to something. Delightful letters, and it seems Maria could have played a crucial par behind the scenes.

The mysterious Closet: A tale by Myretta Roberts 
Honestly again I was just confused. i think the story was good, but needed to be fleshed out cos now confusion took over.

Jane Austen’s Cat by Diana Birchall 
An ok story. Not much going on in it.

Me and Mr Darcy, Again…. by Alexandra Potter 
4 years after book 1 and I do have that book…I might just have to read it and see the woman who met Mr Darcy

What would Mr Darcy do? by Jane Rubino and Caitleen Rubino-Bradway 
A YA story, very nice and I liked this one where a young boy learns to dance and meets a girl

The Riding Habit by Pamela Aidan 
Not much happened in this one where Lizzy learns to ride but it was still good.

The Love letter by Brenna Aubrey
A twist on Persuasion, an ok story but not much happening.

The Chase by Carrie Bebris 
A story about JA’s brother. Sea chases and so on, something I would rather see on tv than read.

Intolerable stupidity by Laurie Viera Rigler 
First I was all confused because it was really strange, but after a while I started to enjoy it. A very weird story that should just be read.

And that was all, as you can see there are a lot of stories in this one and something for everyone.

Review: Three Sisters – Helen Smith

Series: The Emily Castles mysteries 1

Genre: Cozy mystery
Pages: Short story, Ebook, 42
Published: 2011
Review by Lis

It’s bonfire night in London. Emily has been invited to a party in the big house at the end of her street by the new owners, whom she has never met. Emily’s dog Jessie has recently died so Emily is feeling a little raw and emtional. How could she know, as she left her house that evening, that she was making an appointment with death?
……………………..
Alright, as a rule I don’t like short stories. They usually leave a lot lacking and give you the bare minimum, but Helen Smith’s Three Sisters fell straight into the likeable category. While short, it has it all: a mystery, a likeable main character and humorous elements to keep the mystery light.

Emily is still sad about the death of her dog Jessie, who she understandably misses a lot. So in an effort to cheer herself up, she goes to a Halloween party she’s invited too. However, nothing goes quite as she’s hoped. She’s witness to a murder but there’s no body, and the hosts are more like performing artists. In fact the part is more like a Murder Mystery night… or is it? And no, it’s not the butler 😉 
The story is fast paced – it has to be since it’s so short. A lot happens in those 70 pages and you have to keep your head in the game. The characters are fun, but sometimes a little of the top. 
I would have liked to have seen more of Emily and get to know her a little more apart from Emily the woman who just lost her beloved dog. 
Three Sisters is a good solid story with a fun mystery. It’s not as humorous as the description would like you to believe as it has a bit of a dark tone – but you have to like that. 
All in all, I can really recommend Three Sisters as a short cozy read if you like a good mystery.