Tag Archives: short stories

Author Showcase – Jim Proctor (In Azure Dreams)

Delve into six stories from the paranormal realm…

Caveat Emptor (story one): Mark buys a house for half the market value. He’s thrilled with the deal, but he has no idea he’s about to discover the full cost. As they say, “Let the buyer beware.”

The Meaning of Life (story two):  Eric obsesses over discovering the meaning of life. Given how thick-headed and self-absorbed he is, it will take someone else to spell it out for him in big, bold letters.

In the Sand Beneath the Dawn (story three):  Carly has just about given up on life, but she’ll learn Fate isn’t finished with her, and is shuffling the cards to deal her new hand.

See You in My Dreams (story four):  Arthur teeters between two places at once. Reality has split his existence into two parallel realities, and he doesn’t even know it. Unfortunately, life will only offer one solution to his problem.

Planet 94 (story five): Senja and Petre make the scientific discovery of a lifetime—a planet teeming with life. Among the ruins of a lost civilization, a new discovery will make them rethink everything they know about their own history.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving (story six):  Samantha works hard and makes just enough money to get by with little to spare. When her company has a big celebration and she needs to buy a gift for her boss, she’ll get a taste of buyer’s remorse when she ignores her instincts and buys a gift from a strange little shop that hadn’t been there only yesterday.

What you can’t see can hurt you.

 

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~~ Excerpt from Caveat Emptor, story one ~~

 

The alarm clock blared. Sunlight filtering through the window shades cast a sickly grey hue about the room. Three open moving boxes sat on the floor near the closet, their contents sorted into piles waiting to be moved to their appropriate places. Mark had moved in just four days ago.

The divorce had been bitter. His ex-wife got the house, the kids, and half of everything else. He got to pay the mortgage, alimony, and child support. He never would have been able to afford this place if it hadn’t been for the circumstances. Three previous owners, all young men, had died in this very bedroom. All had died in their sleep of unknown causes within days of moving in. Mark had laughed at the idea that the house was to blame. The first time he walked in, it had felt so welcoming, drawing him in. When he made a ridiculously low offer for the place, he’d been shocked when the bank accepted it without counter. Now, he lay motionless on the bed, beads of sweat glistening on his ashen face. Mark was dead. Number four. He wasn’t laughing any longer.

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Jim Proctor has been an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy since high school, bitten by the Sci-Fi bug while reading Frank Herbert’s Dune. He has worked as an engineer and laboratory scientist for almost forty years, and uses his expertise to create believable frameworks for his science fiction stories. He is married with four kids, all adults now, who remind him he was born before dirt was invented. He enjoys sitting down with his laptop and his new writing partner, Bailey, a two-year-old yellow Labrador.

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Author Showcase – Sorchia Dubois (Witchling: An Anthology of Zoraida Grey Short Stories)

Follow Zoraida’s magical journey with three short stories about her life as a small town fortune teller in the Midwest–Plus a tale about Castle Logan and how it got its dark reputation.

This collection makes a great introduction to the Magical World of Zoraida Grey. If you enjoy these stories, take a look at Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones in which Zoraida leaves her hometown and winds up in a haunted, witch-infested Scottish castle–Book 1 in the Zoraida Grey Trilogy.

Stories in the collection:

“Zoraida Grey and the Skinwalker”

“Zoraida Grey and the Twisted Sisters”

“Zoraida Grey and the Surly Spirit”

“The Witch and the Spaniard”

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Excerpt from “Zoraida Grey and the Skinwalker”

 

Why it works or how it works is a mystery to me. My spirit-self is somehow separate but not separate, the same but not the same. A glowing filament of ether connects it to me. It sees and hears and smells but it can’t do anything. Nobody else knows about it but me. And Granny. One time I sent my spirit-self to stand right beside her while she was cooking beets—just to see if she would notice. She jumped a little but then she smiled in a sad way. Then she hugged me real tight, leaving beet stains on my t-shirt. She never talked about it, but I got the feeling she knew somebody else who had a spirit-self long ago and thinking about it mad her sad.

Tonight, my spirit-self is uneasy. The odor of carrion mixes with the musk of stagnate water. My spirit chases the glowing wisp of scent past the scummy pool, gliding across the choked stream, over the ends of worms and half-chewed bones in the ooze, into the dense brush surrounding heaped stones to a dark opening.

A raccoon’s den, perhaps. Or the abandoned home of any of a hundred animals who live in the lush woodlands. I move closer, peeking into the gloomy cave. Spirit journeys are absolutely silent, but something inside the cave stirs at my approach. It’s too late to run.

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Award-winning author Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with seven cats, two fish, one dog, and one husband.

A proud member of the Scottish Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found at Scottish festivals watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason.

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Review of “Murder On Pointe: A Fiona Quinn Cozy Mysteries, Book 1” – C.S. McDonald

Fiona can’t wait to attend the performance of Coppelia at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh. Her old friend, Silja Ramsay, is dancing the principal role. They have dinner after the show, but when they return Pittsburgh Ballet Theater is down one dancer! Ballerina, Alexis Cartwright, has been found dead in the dressing room. Is this murder a result of hot tempers among the cast members? Or is it a random act of violence? Will there be more murders? Homicide Detective, Nathan Landry, isn’t taking any chances. After finding out Fiona has a strong background in ballet he recruits her to go undercover among the cast of Coppelia. Can Fiona help catch a killer, or will she be the next victim?

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Murder On Pointe: A Fiona Quinn Mystery definitely had A LOT of mystery to keep this lady sleuth engaged in the story.

C.S. McDonald (the author) gave us multiple murders to investigate, many suspects to choose from, and a few surprise twists that will make you happy you kept on reading, even when you think you’ve got it all figured out.

Yeah, I was 95% sure I knew how the story would wrap up and then a certain double-digit chapter happened. (Yes, I am being vague so no one flips ahead to check out his or her hutches.) Darn you C.S. McDonald, you pulled a fast one on me because I never saw that certain someone as a suspect. (Yup, I’m being vague on purpose – again.)

Ladies and gents, I encourage you to read Murder On Pointe: A Fiona Quinn Mystery. I wonder if you’ll be able to solve every single case. I’m thinking C.S. might just stump a few readers like myself.

Happy sleuthing!!

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. Now she adds the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series for her young granddaughters.

Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband, Bill, and her Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

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Murder On Pointe, book one: Amazon Purchase Link

Merry Murder, book two: Amazon Purchase Link

Waves of Murder, book three: Amazon Purchase Link

Tastes Like Murder, book four: Amazon Purchase Link

Good Luck to Murder, book five: Amazon Purchase Link

Mambo and Murder, book six: Amazon Purchase Link

Short stories

Banking on a Murder: Amazon Purchase Link

Harriet’s Heist: Amazon Purchase Link

 

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Author Showcase – Zol Predosa (Books 1-4, the Rails series)

~~ Book ONE: Karen ~~

Gordon’s adventures begin looking for scrap metal but finding adventure. Karen was a wild, free woman who wanted out of this town. She was ready to do anything and burn the bridges behind her.

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~~ Book TWO: Claire ~~

Claire draws Gordon into the decisions of a reckless couple. A husband and wife both trying anything to entertain one another. Is Gordon the last or just another piece of scrap in their pursuit of distractions.

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~~ Book THREE: Elle ~~

Elle was a beautiful colorful woman caught in a gray cage of a house. Would meeting Gordon be the way for her to escape her quiet life?

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~~ Book FOUR: Harper ~~

The final installment of the Rails Series. Harper is not what she seems, but she’s found a way to deal with a loveless husband and a mundane way of life with friends. 

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Zol Predosa has been a writer, director, and has “done many of the small roles that surround us during our day-to-day lives occupied by people that are interesting, dramatic, sensual, and often go unnoticed in our everyday lives.”

Zol is excited to write about them in the erotic series beginning with “Rails,” the exciting times of a man who thought collecting metal would be boring. It’s not. 

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Review of “Life, Love and Death: Short Stories” – Cat Nicolaou

51mwxeieablTable of Contents

1) The Island of Bliss
2) On Fear and All!
3) On A Rainy Day
4) We Used to Talk
5) The Treehouse
6) She Only Thought I Was Dead
7) Clay Soldiers
8) High Heels, Stockings and Murder
9) The Last Kiss
10) The Nightcaller
11) A Midnight Date
12) Love Like Thorn
13) Hotel California, A Tribute
14) The Last Breath Of Winter
15) An Unexpected Meeting
16) Red Lips
17) Jack In The Box
18) Revolution Imminent
 
 
 
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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 
At 70 pages, this collection is a bargain at .99¢. Out of 18 short, creepy, weirdly fascinating tales, 10 of them can be skipped (IMHO) but, hey, you still have 8 stories worthy of every penny spent on them. 
 
I’m going to discuss the 5 spooky tales that I think are most memorable and worthy of a featured episode on the Twilight Zone. 
 
1. “Island of Bliss” – Sirens have been, and always will be, creepy as all get out! 
2. “The Treehouse” – Twisted, mysterious, with a touch of spookiness thrown in for good measure. Basically, a mighty good read!
3. “Clay Soldiers” – My momma always told me never talk to strangers and, most definitely, NEVER take anything from one. Cat gave us a frightening reason why the heck not. Good read! 
4. “The Nightcaller” – This story ended on a ominous note which bloody delighted me. No pun intended. 🙂
5. “Revolution Imminent” – Cat saved the best for last. This tale will please the readers who think technology will lead to our doom. Yeah, you know there are those out there who believe this with all their hearts. 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2


Cat Nicolaou lives with her family and many pets on a small island in Greece. She grew up surrounded by crystal clear blue waters and beautiful beaches. Living in such a peaceful area, she enjoys the idyllic setting around her. It is therefore not surprising that she likes to write romantic stories. Strolling by the seaside is where she gets all her inspiration. As an ever-romantic herself, she likes writing and reading stories with a happy ending, though she does torment her characters before they find a happy resolution.

 
Not being one of those authors who have been writing since childhood, it came as a real surprise to the people around her when she finally decided to do it. But “When Time Comes”, life has a way to show you what needs to be done and she finally realised that she had to put her stories on paper and let people know her.
The greatest joy of writing for her is seeing where the characters will take her every time she starts a story.
Besides spending time with books, she likes drinking coffee like a maniac and listening to music. She also enjoys riding her motorcycle because it makes her feel free. Do not, therefore, be surprised if her next book includes a biker.
Her debut novella “When Time Comes” was published in February 2015. A story set on the island of Rhodes where a famous rock star and an artist find love that can last forever.

 
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