Category Archives: Short Stories

In Three-Quarter Time: A Short Story by Pam Lecky (@pamlecky)- Review

Title –  In Three-Quarter Time: A Short Story
Author – Pam Lecky
Genre – Short Stories
Length – 22 Pages
Publication – Feb 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Dublin 1914 and war is declared. Each of the Cusack family must face the consequences in their own way. Josie and her young man, Anthony Lanigan, have plans for the future. But her sister Lily is also secretly in love with Anthony and has no idea if her feelings are returned.

Anthony is about to emigrate to America to make his fortune. Will he ever return, and if he does, who will eventually win his heart?

Set against a pivotal time in Irish history, from the Dublin Lockout in 1913 through the First World War to the brink of the birth of the Irish Nation, this story will take you through a family’s experience of war and tragedy, loss and love.

Review

I read Pam’s previous novel The Bowes Inheritance a while ago now and promised to keep up to date with her work and she’s offered up a lovely little short story.

In Three-Quarter Time is a moving tale to say the least but the ending left me looking to the future with positivity.

At 22 pages it’s a super short book but you get a full tale. The author easily sets the scene/introduces the characters and the plot develops at a steady pace.

Even in such a short novel there were some standout moments but obviously if I mentioned them it would give the game away but honestly this tale is a roller-coaster ride..up then down then up again.

If you’ve not read Pam’s full length novel yet I’d highly suggest you get this first to introduce you to her work.

All in all for a short its top-notch, likeable characters, good plot development with some twists and events that make the reader become emotionally involved.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

The Stoner Stories – Volume 1 by Frank Westworth -Review

Title – The Stoner Stories: The Stoner Stories 1-5
Author – Frank Westworth
Genre – Thriller
Length – 196 Pages
Publication – Nov 2016
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

An action-packed anthology featuring covert operative JJ Stoner, who uses sharp blades, blunt instruments and his innate persuasiveness to discreetly resolve tricky situations for the British government

This collection contains the first five JJ Stoner short stories plus an all-new, previously unpublished stand-alone quick thriller and other bonus material

Please note that the JJ Stoner stories are intended for an adult audience and contain explicit scenes of a sexual and/or violent nature

FIRST CONTRACT: JJ Stoner was a soldier who killed people for a living and made no bones about it. On a scorching day in the Iraqi desert, when British blood stained the sand, he over-stepped the mark. Faced with a dishonourable discharge and accusations of murder, Stoner accepted an offer from a stranger who represented an intelligence agency, and found himself about to execute his first private contract…

TWO WRONGS starts with great sex and ends in sudden death. US Navy SEAL Stretch McCann believes he’s met the girl of his dreams. Trouble is, she’s married to someone else; another military man not inclined to suffer rivals lightly. Enter JJ Stoner, who offers Stretch an opportunity for action…

THIRD PERSON: A target is being stalked through rain-soaked city streets. Someone seeks JJ Stoner, covert investigator and occasional contract killer. Caution is advised: with Stoner you often get more than you bargain for and this is Ireland, not so very long after the Good Friday agreement. Someone plans to put a cat among the peace process pigeons…

FOUR CORNERED: Stoner needs to prove to his boss that he’s more than a one-trick pony whose only skill is delivering an abrupt ending. But when a static stake-out abruptly escalates into live fire, JJ is distracted by two killer women. What should have been a ‘routine conversation’ with a disenchanted weapons inspector veers into violence with fatal consequences…

FIFTH COLUMNIST: A bent copper is compromising national security and needs to be rapidly neutralised, but none of the evidence will stand up in court. That’s exactly why men like Stoner operate in the shadows, ready to terminate the target once an identity is confirmed…

SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP: When Stoner returns to the USA he’s treading on sensitive territory. No Englishman is exactly welcome in Louisiana so soon after the international oil rig disaster. Stoner claims he’s visiting New Orleans for the annual jazzfest, but the agents sent to intercept him have a hard time believing this…

This anthology introduces the central characters from the JJ Stoner / Killing Sisters series in six complete, stand-alone stories. You don’t need to read the longer novels first: you can start right here if you like

Review

Last year I read the first 5 shorts in the Stoner series by Frank Westworth. I was very kindly gifted the first book but I happily purchased the rest in the series I enjoyed the first that much. I was lucky enough to be offered the chance of a copy of the anthology containing the shorts I’d already reviewed but with the added advantage of an extra tale for me to enjoy!

If you’d like to see what I thought of the original 5 shorts click the images below to open up the reviews I’ve previosuly posted.

 

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Looking at the Stoner Stories collection as a whole.. what does it offer you over the purchasing the single stories?? Well to be quite honest the anthology offers value for money. It’s currently £1.99 on kindle which is a steal.

As I also mentioned you get an extra story in this anthology too, SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP. This short builds nicely on the series as Stoner becomes more established and it was a treat to see Stretch in this one as he’s one of my favourites in the series.

I’m not going to spoil the tales for you. What I will tell you is Frank likes to keep you guessing right until the end..you really don’t know where the tale will take you or what will happen to Stoner next.

I enjoyed reading all the stories individually last year but the collection is so much stronger together. Short tales for me are easy to forget sometimes..not that they don’t stick with you but you’ve got to work hard in 50 pages to hook a reader in..this collection perfectly keeps you hooked as you can go from one story to the next and really helps me as a reader enjoy the characters.

The Stoner Collection is full of twists with intriguing characters. Frank Westworth leaves you wanting more and with a short tale that’s never a bad thing in my book..you want to feel like you get value for money (which you certainly do) but you want to know there’s more to come and that the author is hooking you in for future tales.

This collection is highly recommend for anyone who likes shorts like myself, like a bit of a thriller but don’t want the word count or if you just want to try something new.

Great book for a bargain price! Check it out.

My thanks go to the author and also Rowena at Murder Mayhem for the chance to read/review the collection.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

Code Breaker by A.J. Trevors – Review

Title –  Code Breaker: An Alexander Hastings Novella
Author – A.J. Trevors
Genre – Short Stories, Crime, Thriller
Length – 26 pages 
Publication – Dec 2016
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

‘So, can you hack it, my friend?’

‘Give me three seconds and a good connection. I can hack into anything’

Cyber-sleuth Alexander Hastings is a hacker extraordinaire

With the help of his phone, he can hack into anything and everything connected to the Australian Central System, also known as the AuCS, making the futuristic city of Melbourne his veritable playing ground.

However, when his past resurfaces, Alex will need to be at the top of his game in order to uncover the shadowy plans of the techno-terrorist organisation Black Binary, their leader and ex-mentor Roman Caster

Follow Alex as he races against the clock to uncover their plans and prevent them from coming to pass.

Before it’s too late.

Review

The last time I read the work of A.J. Trevors I used the word potential and I think this short story shows how well his work is progressing. Yes it’s a short story but the plot felt tighter.

Alexander Hastings is a hacker but he’s not always been on the side of good. In this tale he’s ask to help the police by looking into his ex-mentor.

There’s a really good twist in this story and I really enjoyed the technical side of the tale since these days anything can be controlled/hacked with enough knowledge and time.

This is a good short tale, detailed enough for s short and fun with it and the bang at the ending worked perfectly.

If you want something quick to read then give it a go.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work

Fifth Columnist by Frank Westworth – Review

Title – Fifth Columnist: A JJ Stoner short story (The Stoner Series Book 5)
Author – Frank Westworth
Genre – Thriller
Publication – Sept 2016
Pages – 50 Pages
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

An action-packed quick thriller featuring covert operative JJ Stoner, who uses sharp blades and blunt instruments to discreetly solve problems for the UK government. In Fifth Columnist, a bent copper is compromising national security but none of the evidence will stand up in court. That’s exactly why men like Stoner operate in the shadows, ready to terminate the target once an identity is confirmed…

Fifth Columnist is a quick thriller, an hour’s intrigue and entertainment. It features characters from the JJ Stoner / Killing Sisters series. You don’t need to have read any of the other stories in the series: you can start right here if you like.

As well as a complete, stand-alone short story, Fifth Columnist includes an excerpt from The Redemption Of Charm (to be published in March 2017).
Please note that FIFITH COLUMNIST is intended for an adult audience and contains explicit scenes of a sexual and/or violent nature.

Review

I actually read  Fifth Columnist last year not long after it was released but I’ve been waiting to review it until I had the time to read it again as part of The Stoner Stories collection. Look out for that review soon :).

Fifth columnist is the fifth tale in the JJ Stoner short stories. The author has also wrote two full length novels that feature some of the characters but I’ve not had a chance to read them yet and can confirm it didn’t affect how much I enjoyed or understood these short stories.

Once again Frank Westworth has given us a super short, informative and intriguing tale.

What Frank does well for me is that he gives you just enough information to follow the action but not enough so to give you the full picture. For me this works perfectly. As someone who is yet to read the full length novels it hooks me in.. makes me want to know more about the characters. I can quite imagine also that if I had read the longer novels then these shorts would build nicely onto the series.

Focusing on Fifth columnist itself I have to say I enjoyed it..there’s quite a build up with this one then BANG.. twist..and I was left rereading the page so I could fully take in what had just happened..It was the wow moment I was looking for at just the right time.

I enjoy short stories like this, it’s a great way to see how an author writes before committing to larger works.

Overall this is another great short from Frank which builds nicely onto the foundations set in the previous shorts. I highly recommend you read the shorts as a collection as I feel you get more from it that way. I’ll certainly be making time to fit more of Frank’s work into my reading schedule this year.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.
If you want to know more about The Stoner Stories collection my review will be posted next week but in the meantime you can find out more on Goodreads or Amazon.

Environmentally Friendly by Elias Zanbaka – Review

Title – Environmentally Friendly
Author – Elias Zanbaka
Genre –  Short Stories – Fiction
Length –   21 Pages
Publication – March 2016
My Rating – 3/5 Stars

Synopsis

Out of seven billion people, one man has declared war on Mother Nature and plans to bring it to its knees.

Out of all the criminals in Los Angeles, he’s the number one target being hunted by the LAPD tonight.

And out of the entire LAPD, one officer is hell-bent on helping him complete his mission.

Review

Frantic is the word I’d use to best describe this short tale as you are thrust into the action from the first page.

What I really enjoyed about this tale was how detailed of an image you were given as a reader. At times I did feel a little lost as it is a fast paced tale but this detail made it an interesting read

The plot itself was very original.. I’ve never read anything like it and I liked the idea one officer alone is trying to bring this man down the right way when the rest would most likely shot first and ask questions later.. it certainly raises questions on what your viewpoint is on things like this.

Did the book work? For me yes..yes it did. I did however feel I would have preferred a slightly longer tale so everything wasn’t so fast paced.. did this take anything away from the tale for me?  No..no it didn’t

If you fancy a short read that will leave you contemplating mental health, police procedures & moral standpoints then give this one a go. Certainly not the usual book you’d pick up and that’s definitely not a bad thing.

My thanks to the author for allowing me to read/review your work

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

And Baby Makes Two by Debra Benson

Title – And Baby Makes Two (Endless Affair, #2)
Author – Debra Benson
Genre –  Short Stories/Romance
Length –    70 Pages
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis                 

Melvin’s life fell apart as his wife’s rationality seemed to deteriorate. She left him, taking her son with her, but then a phone call out of the blue drew him back into Andrea’s life. The revelation that the child he’d watched grow in her belly was in fact his son pushed the clouds darkening his heart away, letting a small spark of hope for a future began to build. But first he had to win Andrea’s heart.

Review

This is book 2 in the Endless Affair series. You can see my review of the first book here

The story follows on from the last book and we see the strain on Melvin and Andrea increase now that a baby is on the way.

Again I felt the author did well to pack so much into a short story.. it’s 70 pages but in that short space you’ve given the perspective from both sides and it honestly left you feeling that even though the relationship started as an affair that these two need each other

Melvin has to deal with the consequences of his affair also in this book. I won’t spoil it but I think this was handled really well.

This isn’t the nice fairy-tale story , it’s real.. this could happen to anyone but it does give you a more balanced perspective which is hard to do as in these situations blame will always be attributed one way or another.

The other thing I really liked is it showed Andrea coming to terms with having a baby.. it’s not easy.. you never truly know what the baby needs until it arrives.. no amount of preparation helps, trust me, I know 🙂

For me this tale is a true reflection of life, people fall in and out of love and people don’t always start out to hurt people but inevitably someone will have their life torn to bits.. I’m a big believer in love but I also know that you have to work at it and things don’t always go as you’d want or expect.

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

I Can I Will – Debra Benson – Review

Title –  I Can I Will
Author – Debra Benson
Genre –  Short Stories/Romance
Length –    52 Pages
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Andrea’s life fell apart when she was laid off from a good paying job, but she found comfort in church, and then in the gentle arms of the Reverend. That would have been the perfect solution if he wasn’t already married to her best friend, one thing led to another and things just happened. What happens when two people in need of love find each other? Can Andrea and Melvin find their way past sin and salvage their personal lives, as well as their standing with God?

Review

At 52 pages this book is short but like me you’ll be surprised how much has been crammed in.

One of the biggest issues you can have is leaving the reader feeling deflated like they haven’t got their monies worth from a short story.. well not this stories.

The author managed to weave what felt to me as a complete story in so few pages and actually had me feeling for the characters.  When each new character is introduced the author gives you a little insight but as the story progresses you get to see things from their point of view and things aren’t as clear cut as they might appear.

I think the story has done well to highlight what can happen in relationships; as much as we love someone everyone has the human need to feel loved. Romance is not a genre I tend to enjoy but this was a real treat

For me the way the author wrote this book was brilliant, with the story moving from one person’s perspective to another. This give the book a great feel and I constantly changed my views on the characters with every turn of a page

If you enjoy a good short story this is perfect, it didn’t feel lacking in anything. The pace of the story was perfect, the writing style made it all flow nicely and my biggest love in any story. Character development was there in abundance.

If you’ve not read a short story before then give this one a go! I doubt you’ll be disappointed

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read and review the book

To find out more head to Goodreads, Smashwords, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com