Tag Archives: short stories

“Be a Superhero in the Kitchen” and “My Life Should Be a Reality Show: Act One and Two” by Donna Glass (3 Book Spotlight)

2021 Mom’s Choice Winner!

2021 Family Choice Award Winner!

Be a Superhero in the Kitchen contains a detailed list of Superhero Cooking Tips and delicious kid-friendly recipes including Super Chicken Tacos, Powerful Potato Cakes, Mega Mac and Cheese Pizza, Crime Fighter’s Cookie Fluff, Legendary Lemon Tarts, and many more!

Let your child try their hand with the recipes in this book. Every kid who becomes the superhero of suppertime is one who eats super well!

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Have you ever thought your family would make an excellent reality show? I sure have!

In My Life Should Be a Reality Show: Act OneI’ve shared some of my favorite tweets, texts, snippets of conversations, short tales, and photographs surrounding the comical happenings of my lovely family.

If you enjoyed this book,please consider leaving a review on Amazon.

Thanks!

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As you read My Life Should Be a Reality Show: Act Two, you might find yourself thinking or saying wtf or omg. You might even lol. Ultimately, I hope the nonfiction, comedy book makes your day a little brighter/ So, get comfy and enjoy the antics of my humorous household with real-life short stories, tweets, texts, and photographs.

Content warning: A few adult words are not intended for younger audiences.

 

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Meet the Author

Donna Glass is an award-winning author who loves to laugh. And, wow, her laugh is boisterous! In her free time, she’s either reading a book or playing a game with the family.

For more information about Donna’s current and future books, follow her social links.

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Invitation to a Nightmare: Short Stories of the Macabre by CLIVE OWEN BARRY (Book Review)

From the pen of Clive Owen Barry comes a collection of terror.

The likes of the repentant grave robber, to the single mother who inadvertently sought refuge in the home of a serial killer, or the wealthy wine merchant, possessed by the image of a beautiful woman.

Shadows that haunt the darkest corner of your imagination, to the violence inflicted by a deformed lunatic, severing body parts within the city slums.

These together with so many other gruesome tales of the macabre, can be found haunting the pages of this single volume of short stories, ready and eager to torment your peaceful slumber.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Invitation to a Nightmare houses a collection of haunting tales focusing on the unexplained, the unimaginable, and even plausible scenarios. 

While the synopsis states this is an anthology of short stories, that is not an accurate characterization of the contents. Five of the fourteen works read more like poems or one-page inner thoughts. “Nightmare” begins the collection and is a prime example of what I would consider a poem rather than a short tale. This poem and the others created will get your heart racing. They’ll have you flicking on lights, making you notice every noise in your home. They were frightfully well-constructed. The short stories, though, had a more profound effect on me. 

Serial killers are real. People are capable of horrendous, hideous acts of violence. “Does The Bogeyman Live Downstairs?” is a work of fiction, but the real possibility that such evil might reside in the world, might your neighbor amped up the fear factor of this story. Taxidermy always creeped me out before the story. My feelings regarding it have not changed. Thanks to this cringe-worthy story, I will never look at a stuffed animal the same way again. 

Another realistic story that gave me the shivers was “Dark Shadows.” How frightening it must be to question your own sanity. To discover that your nightmares have become a reality. I felt every bit of Claire’s anguish. Her pain was undeniable. I would commend her on her powerful performance if she were an actress. 

Other short works had a different effect. “The House In Belvedere County” contained a shocking twist, but this story lacked genuine emotion. The narrator spoke of brutal murders in the same tone one would talk about the weather. The only saving grace to this tale was the mic drop moment. 

Monotone is how I’d describe most of the works in the anthology. Sure, pieces like “The Hangman,” “Torment,” and “Portrait” were creepy, but they were one-dimensional. They didn’t wow me. I wish more material resembled “We Wish You A…” It’s the type of supernatural story that has you feeling a character’s confusion and fear. Plus, what an ending! 

The foundation for the anthology was good. The author does have a vivid imagination. They know how to tap into the supernatural and real-world equally well. However, they were several editing mistakes, and most characters and stories felt lifeless, like the corpses in the stories. 

This anthology does have good bones. Many readers will find some of the stories terrifying. And, the author does give you what they promised, stories that will “torment your peaceful slumber.”

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

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Meet the Author

Clive Owen Barry is a British author living in the north east of England. Together with short stories of dark literary fiction he has independently published adult crime novels, as well as mid-grade fantasy novella’s and more recently a collection of short stories of the macabre.

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The Broken Darkness by Theresa A Braun (Book Review)


In her debut collection, Theresa Braun explores the inner workings of the human heart and what it is we most desire-forgiveness, acceptance, love, fame, or merely to escape who we really are. Whether we are battling ghosts, demons, mythical monsters, the past, or other dimensions, we are really facing the deepest parts of ourselves. These thirteen tales of horror and dark fantasy may appear to be a matter of good versus evil, but they are all a reflection of the hidden corners of the soul that are often shades of broken darkness. The characters in these stories must face their inner and outer terrors, or else suffer the consequences.

Contents:
“Dead over Heels”
“Collecting Empties”
“The Celestial Assignment”
“Guilty As Cell”
“Lost Time”
“Heathen”
“Stillborn”
“Legend Trippers”
“Dying for an Invitation”
“Homecoming”
“Stay Tuned”
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps
“Heirloom”

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

 

Before I began the horror anthology, I noticed that I’d read and reviewed about half of them in the past. I will briefly summarize a few before pushing forward with the new reads. 

“Dead over Heels” – As a fan of science fiction/paranormal shows, I love storylines that tap into the unknown. In “Dead over Heels,” we watch as the past meets the present in the forms of spirits reliving traumatic moments, aka their deaths by the same murderer.

As you can imagine, the living playing unwilling bystanders to this horrific scene is one thing — the victims being someone near and dear to their heart is another matter entirely. It amplifies the experience 1000%. 

For fans of the ghosts/spirits, I assure you this ending was perfection. It wasn’t your typical ending to a ghostly tale, and I like my plot twists.

“Stillborn” combined science fiction, mystery, suspense, gore, and shock. I didn’t want the story to end! 

“Legend Trippers” had gore, blood, and moments where I was happy I wasn’t reading this short story after sundown.

 

There were six short stories in the horror collection that I hadn’t read in the past: “Collecting Empties,” “Guilty As Cell,” “Lost Time,” “Heathen,” “Stay Tunes,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Half of those scored five stars because they each possessed unique qualities that had me cringing, contained a fascinating turn of events, or possessed a plot that stood out from other stories in the horror genre.

“Stay Tuned” had vigilante justice served that would make the most vial and evil psychopath stand up, clap, and say, “Well done.” 

“Guilty As Cell” had me giving my cell the side-eye. It had a vengeful spirit, a possessed cell phone, and an ending that might be a trigger scene for some readers. Not the ghost, but, heck, maybe that too. Who am I to know who believes in the supernatural world and who might’ve seen a less-than-friendly spirit? 

I thought I knew the path “Heathen” was taking, and then Theresa wrote an enlightening scene that changed everything. I love Theresa’s plot twists!

 

Theresa’s works have always impressed me. She thinks outside the horror box and always leaves me wanting more. 

I recommend you pick up this collection! 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:  

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Meet the Author

Theresa Braun was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and has carried some of that hardiness with her to South Florida where she currently resides with her two fur babies, who are her creative sidekicks. She enjoys delving into creative writing, painting, photography and even bouts of ghost hunting. Traveling is one of her passions—in fact, her latest adventure took her to Romania for a horror writers’ workshop where she followed in the steps of Vlad the Impaler. She writes horror fiction and the occasional romance. Oh, and she likes to guest blog about writing, television shows, movies, and books, mostly in the horror genre.

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The Christmas Cameo:  A Fiona Quinn Quick Mystery by C.S. McDonald (Book Review)

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​A lovely cameo brooch is discovered in Fiona’s late Uncle Wilbur’s house two days before Christmas. The pin bears a romantic Christmas message from Wilbur for his new wife with the initials, D.A.S.

How very strange! To the family’s knowledge, Uncle Wilbur had never been married. So, who is this mysterious woman? Now, Fiona is on a holiday mission to locate D.A.S. and deliver the belated gift. 

Question is, what happened to the marriage? Is D.A.S. still alive after all these years? And if so, can Fiona find her before Christmas?

 
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Fiona is not the only person in town who loves a good mystery. Ted Welton, his wife, and Detective Tavia are also eager to solve who’s the mysterious person behind the initials of D.A.S. on a cameo brooch discovered in Fiona’s dead uncle’s house.
 
The investigation leads to a sweet moment between Fiona and D.A.S. They are tears of joy for a man, long gone but never forgotten.


While Fiona is on the hunt for D.A.S., Nathan is on his quest as well. He’s looking for a pickpocket whose slick fingers nabbed the cameo. This perp does not wear all black when he’s looking to unburden a person of their belongings. Nope, he wears a Santa suit.


Since it’s the time of the year for peace on Earth, I don’t think I’m overstepping by saying everyone will receive a Christmas miracle. Yes, even fake Santa. I would encourage fake Santa to get a real job. He doesn’t seem to have any luck with pickpocketing.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2

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About the Author:
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became 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, she 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. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
 
 
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Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook
 
 
 
 
 
 

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NEW Release: Love Awaits – a collection of erotic short stories

Gay.
Straight.
Lesbian.
Monogamous.
Ménage à trois.
Couple swapping.

In this steamy collection, you’ll encounter six erotic stories that’ll leave you breathless and begging for more. Maybe, one of these stories will cause your first bookgasm. You know, a scene is so intense, so erotic that you can’t resist getting off to it. *wink wink*

Enjoy. *kisses*

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