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Konrath Challenge Shorts: Reviews

So Joe Konrath did a challenge that I mentioned a while back in a blog post (to write a book, edit it and design its cover in less than 8 hours). I have finally got around to reading the first 5 of those that I picked up and thought I’d review them all together (I grabbed quite a few so there will probably be another review of 5 to come at some point).

This was my first choice in reading and I have to admit it really surprised me. I expected something quite silly, especially from the title (I also expected knitting to be more of the focus). This was a cute, feel good story that had a touch of romance and a quirky main character.

If you read none of the other Konrath challenge shorts, read this one. I really enjoyed it and think others will too. My favourite of the lot but only just. (also included in the kiss anthology, which is free at the moment).


My next one was 31 ways to not be a douchebag. This one had me laughing out loud. Packed full of good advice with a funny, slightly angry focus (these things all seem to have happened to the author and when you read them the anger is perfectly understandable).

At several points I found myself cringing at how anyone can do the things mentioned and I’m sure some of you will too, but it does say these are all true stories. If nothing else, reading this made me very thankful for my friends and gave me a few laughs at the author’s expense.

My third read was Horror Stories of a computer tech and has a similar feel to the previous short, in that it recounts stories of things that have actually happened. I also found myself laughing out loud at a couple of the stories in here. There are several, not quite so smart people out there.

There were also a few that I found were quite grim and I soon felt sorry for our computer tech storyteller. It sounds like every trip to a customers house is a potential for a crazy story. I’d have liked to see more that were funny over the ones that were gross or strange, but that may be a personal preference.


The fourth of my Konrath shorts was probably the most useful of the five (although I can’t eat macaroni or cheese at the moment, unfortunately. In here was an honest mum’s guide to feeding your kids with the quick useful ingredients in your kitchen cupboard, without breaking the bank or taking too long to cook. Many of the ideas were concepts I’d never have thought of, although I couldn’t try any of the recipes to see if they were any good, unfortunately (I definitely wished I could).

I also highly recommend this one for those who want a quick way to spice up their kids food on days when they are exhausted.

And finally, the fifth of the shorts I picked up to read. This one probably has the weakest cover but don’t let that put you off. This was one of my favourites. It’s a story format like the first and good for the younger readers to enjoy.

I especially thought this one was good imagination wise. For such a short space of time to create a book this was by far the most imaginative and the up sise is that if your kid likes this one, then there are several sequels listed in the back.

That’s my reviews folks. It’s hard to list these in any particular order as they are all rather different and all have their seperate uses and reasons to like them. Not disappointed with the Konrath challenge, that’s for sure.

The Kiss, An Anthology: A Review

So I know I wrote a story for this anthology and have been plugging it a lot recently, but I just finished reading all the other stories. I got to read many of them before they came out but a few slipped past me in the massive outpouring.

There are 29 stories other than my own, The Slave Who’d Never Been Kissed (the last one). And I have to say I gulped down every single one of them. They vary in length and in theme. Some of them very romantic as the title would suggest but others playing on the title with interesting results.

I don’t want to spoil the surprises held in each story but there is a little something for everyone in pretty much every genre that exists. Several also have sequels by the same author for you to continue with if you like what you’ve read so far, making this a great introduction to some fantastic new authors. It really is a privelidge to be part of this anthology.

If you haven’t got a copy yet you can grab it free on Amazon

Three For All, And All For Free

Yup, that’s right there’s three freebies you can pick up that I want to tell you about (actually there’s four but End of the Road has been free for a while now).

The first is only free for a few days. Sherdan’s Prophecy in kindle format is available free on all good Amazon sites until close of day Sunday. If you’ve not yet tried my sci-fi, it’s a good start to the genre and quite different to my historical novels, although there’s plenty of action still.

Also free of mine and in need of some help making it free on amazon is Wandering to Belong on Smashwords, Apple, Nook and many other places. If people would like to see it free on Amazon they should report the Apple link to them under there report a lower price section. This is another great introduction to my fantasy genre and all the tales I’ve got written in the same world.

Finally, my most recent release is a sci-fi story set in space and is one of the stories featured in the Kiss anthology, also currently going through the process of being price-matched, but you can grab a free copy on Smashwords. My story is the last one in the anthology but don’t just skip to the end. There’s a lot of great stories in there from some authors I love.

The Liar and Other Stories: A Review

I was given a copy of this eBook by the author, Matthew W. McFarland in return for a review.

I really enjoyed the stories in this collection. I think The Liar was my favourite. I didn’t see the end coming at all.

If possible I think this collection was even better than the last one I read by the same author, and I was quickly hooked into the very clean crisp writing. These stories are all very easy reads and I never found myself struggling with any clunky sentences, so much so that it really felt like not even one word had been wasted.

While I generally prefer longer stories the author obviously has a knack for shorts and I’d hesitate to ask for something longer because shorts are definitely a strength of his. They varied in genre and feel from being a bit more lighthearted to some downright scary ones.

Humour, pen names and server moves

Things have been a bit hectic the last few days and my website and all my e-mail has been moving server so blogging didn’t happen much last week (sorry about that). It will now resume from today although this post is more an amalgamation of all sorts of things (I will hopefully blog again later today or tomorrow with some cool news.

In the mean time I would like to draw your attention to a few really awesome short books, mostly (although not all) written under pen names of authors I know. They are all free or $0.99 and msot are meant to make you laugh. I’ve not read all of them yet but I know the authors and have a lot of respect for them and their work so they’re sort of coming with a recommendation.

31 Ways to Not be a Douchebag by Arn Ooying

Take a hard look in the mirror. What do you see? An awesome guy staring back at you, or is there just the hint of a douche?

Being a douchebag is an affliction that anyone can suffer from. If you think, just for a moment, that you might have douchebag tendencies, then you NEED to read this book.

Arn Ooying is here to help. Make friends and get laid the easy way: by not being a douchebag.

Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

Horror Stories From A Computer Tech by Geekus Maximus

Six true stories about the craziest, creepiest, and funniest customers I’ve ever met as an in-home computer technician. Read them at your own risk…

Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk



How to Knit Yourself a Husband in Five Easy Steps by Lattice Stockinette

Broken-hearted and broke, Heidi had one last chance to get back home to her true love. She’d knit her way to happiness.

A Short Yarn by Lattice Stockinette.

Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk



The Cone of Shame by Fluffsina Fluffkins

This book contains the harrowing tale of one cat’s nightmarish beginnings. How much can one naked fleshy creature put her through?

A short account of a life in torment.

Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk



Upscale your Macaroni and Cheese by Sherrie Giddens

While this is a short book and written in a humorous style, all of the recipes are family tested and loved. Learn how to upscale your box of macaroni and cheese while giving your family a little variation on a pantry staple.

Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

So that’s the books so far (there may well be more to come). As I said at the top they are all cheap or free and all have a humour twist to them, so have a peruse and hopefully a good giggle.

End of the Road: Anthology Release

A few months back I got the opportunity to submit a short story on the theme ‘End of the Road’ to a group of fantastic authors and the ebook is now out!

Blurb – Roads end. They begin somewhere, too. In between, all manner of things happen: friendship, betrayal, horror and maybe even joy. For some, the End of the Road brings love and happiness, for others agony and suffering, and for a precious few, sorrow may lead to something revelatory. The potholes and pitfalls found in this anthology are many, but for every character, there is an end of the road.

This road ends in a collection of short stories by 31 of the most gifted writers of our time, with stories from action and mystery superstars Russell Blake, Traci Tyne Hilton and Mike Meyer; romance stars Jeanette Raleigh, C A Newsome, Suzie O’Connell, Kathleen Steed and Anna J.McIntyre; and from cutting edge science fiction and fantasy authors Saxon Andrew, Stephen Arseneault, John Daulton, and JRC Salter; post-apocalyptic and dystopian authors Brandon Hale, Scott Langrel, Dale Roberts and Jess Mountifield. Intended for lovers of short fiction everywhere, the End of the Road is a must read for anyone intent on keeping current with the literary scene.

That’s not every author involved but it’s a good chunk of them and the full list can be found on the book’s page on goodreads and a free copy for any ereader can be picked up on Smashwords. Yup, that’s right. It’s free.

A print version will hopefully appear soon as well as, hopefully free, version on Amazon and other stores for any that want to get it elsewhere, but Smashwords does have kindle and Ipad compatible formats already for those who can’t wait.

My story is called Sherdan’s Road and is a sequel of sorts to the books in the Sherdan series although it’s quite a bit in the future of Sherdan’s life and there will be several more books before it. So it’s great for those who want a sneak peak into what might happen to Sherdan.

For Such a Time as This + Free Stuff

It’s my birthday today! Yup I have one of those things too. It’s the one day where I like getting attention and all that sort of stuff, but in true hobbit style I’m giving stuff away today, you know the sort of present like stuff.

The first of the things I’m giving away today is Wandering to Belong, my fantasy short! You can pick up a copy on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk (or any other amazon ebook store) and you don’t have to pay a thing.

Also I’ve got an excerpt of my latest release, For Such a Time as This, for you to read below, you can also get that on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.


“Ishtar! Grab the damson pudding, over there, that’s it,” the bustling older cook yelled as he added two more jugs of wine to the trolley in front of him. Ishtar did as she was instructed, placing the dish in the final space on the laden vehicle.

She leapt out of the way as Malden pushed the little cart towards the door. He would take it up to the waiting room right outside the dining hall, giving Ishtar and the other assistant cooks a moments respite.

Ishtar slowed her pace as she checked on the hot puddings still cooking in the oven. In less than half an hour another damson pudding, two more cherry and almond cakes, four giant apple and cinnamon pastries and a cocaya bread and raisen pudding would go up with another large helping of red wine.

She gave the other three females a few instructions as they waited for their chef and master to return. Despite Ishtar being a simple slave like the other girls they did as she asked without complaint or fuss.

Not wanting to be idle when Malden returned, Ishtar rolled out more pastry into a long rectangular shape. The pastries seemed to be a favourite with the guests Andreas was entertaining that day. She sliced up the soft dough while her mind drifted to other things. She had made this dish so many times she could do it in her sleep.

Malden returned as she was ladling the apple mixture into the centre of the final of the six pastries.

“Good, good Ishtar… Where’s the cinnamon. Ah here it is, sprinkle that on them. Kimi, put that over there, good, good. Now let’s get started on another… Thank you Penalay.” Malden continued on telling his assistants what to do as he bustled around as well.

For the next twenty minutes all of them rushed around the kitchen preparing, stirring, slicing, mixing and fetching to create another trolley laden with food. The task of pre-empting what the feast would run out of was their sole purpose.

When Malden left with the next serving Ishtar paused to slow her rapid breathing. Her feet ached and she silently said a prayer to Tanayth that the feast would end soon. They had been in the kitchens for the last fifteen hours and there would be at least two hours of tidying and preparing for the following day.

Ishtar almost dropped the pudding she was retrieving when Malden came rushing back in. His slender frame quivered before her and no words came out of his opening and closing mouth. Her eyes went wide; silence was not normal. She rushed the dessert onto the nearest surface and went to him.

“Fetch that stool Kimi,” she said as she took his arm to support him.

“No, no, I am fine,” Malden found his voice and waved everyone away. “We can stop cooking. The feast is over.”

All the girls smiled and put down their tools. Ishtar stood waiting for Malden to explain what had happened.

“The Queen, she… she didn’t come.” He paused and she opened her mouth to ask what he meant but got no further. “King Andreas sent for Hasina and she refused him. She would not attend the feast.”

All the girls gasped.

“What did the King say?” Ishtar’s eyes were wide with fear.

“She’s to be beheaded. Immediately.”

The three girls whispered amongst themselves and Ishtar put her hands over her mouth to stop herself from making any embarrassing sounds.

“All of you can take a break for a few minutes. You’ve all been working very hard today.” Malden turned from them and busied himself tidying his kitchen. The three younger slaves rushed from the room, still talking amongst themselves. Ishtar gently tidied beside Malden, stacking the empty bowls as he put their contents in containers or the bin.

She watched him while she worked. His hands shook as he fought to keep going. If she kept busy near him she knew that he would soon tell her everything he was thinking.

“Why didn’t she do as she was asked?” The King doesn’t like to look the fool and his advisers are even worse. Listen carefully Ishtar, don’t ever give the King reason to be angry with you or ever upset his favoured people.”

“I won’t Malden. I’ll always do what you tell me to. The King thinks you’re the best chef in existence and we’re all leading easier lives because of it.”

Ishtar pictured her little room on the floor above. She had the good fortune of Malden’s favour and Malden had the King’s. Very few slaves had their own private rooms.

Malden had been kind to her ever since she had arrived, showing her how to hide her elven nature so none of the humans realised she wasn’t one of them as well as teaching her to survive. He had warned her several times of what they would do if her true race became apparent.

She stood a little taller than the other human girls her age, but being thinner stopped anyone being too suspicious. She had dyed her silver hair a dark brown and wore a head band to hide the points of her ears. No one even suspected.

“Go on girl, take a break with the others,” Malden said as he shooed her out of the room. She soon found Kimi, Penalay and Olivian sitting in the nearby courtyard. They looked up at her as she came over to them with a thousand questions on their young faces.

All three were younger than her and had been captured together from one of the last human settlements that stood against the King. As such they had known each other before arriving. Whenever anything happened they always banded together to talk about it.

Ishtar found it difficult to get to know them. They were strange to her and she had been alone for a long time, but Malden encouraged her to make an effort and the girls were always pleasant to her face.

“Do you really think that Queen Hasina will be beheaded?” Kimi asked. All of them had wide eyes that darted around the courtyard, almost expectant of someone jumping out from behind the trees to behead them too. Ishtar couldn’t help smiling at their naivety. The kitchen was a world apart from the King himself.

“I think so, she disobeyed the King,” Ishtar replied.

“But doesn’t he love her?”

She shook her head.

“Even if he did he would need to show he cannot be disobeyed. But there is no need for you three to fret. We are all safe here with Malden. He has looked after me since I was five. He will look after all of you as well.”

Ishtar went and sat with them on the stone bench. The conversation subject changed to their cooking and the feast they had managed that day.

A few minutes later all their names were called from the kitchen and the trooped back to their work. Malden and his helpers would need to get some of the food prepared for the following day.

The King always requested a particular cake in the afternoons and the fruit in the recipe would need to soak in brandy all night; and the pastry and dough would need time to settle.

Ishtar threw herself into the last of the day’s tasks with as much effort as she could muster. The sooner everything was done the sooner she could rest her feet. Rushing around the whole day had caused the arches in her feet to ache remorselessly each time she put weight on them.

Malden continued his running commentary of the activities and requirements of the kitchen to the four girls. They all worked hard but Ishtar the hardest. Her stamina kept her going longer than the others and the heat from the many ovens affected her the least of all of them.

“Put that over… that’s it, thank you Ishtar,” Malden said as she pre-empted his command. “Now where’s that fruit mix?”

“It’s already finished and soaking,” she replied, pointing to the bowl Malden sought.

Two hours later Ishtar swept the last of the dust, flour and dropped food out of the door into the courtyard for the birds. Malden was the only person left in the kitchen with her. Everyone else had been allowed to go off to sleep.

As soon as she had finished her final task of the day she put her hand to her forehead and wiped away the few beads of sweat which adorned it.

Taking her by surprise, Malden hugged her. He then held both of her hands in his and looked at her, a gentle light in his eyes and a parental smile on his face. She waited, expecting him to explain his thoughts but he did not. Instead he let her go and waved her out of the room.

“Go on now, go get some sleep.”

Ishtar did not need telling twice. She scurried off to her little room as fast as her weary legs could take her. Fortunately, she did not have far to go. Her private room sat only a flight of stairs and short corridor from the kitchen. It nestled in the wall of the great castle and had just one small window to the outside, not that she was ever there when the sun was up to send any light through it.

She sank into the straw mattress on the wooden bed frame, which creaked and groaned in protest of even her light body. A small set of candles lit the otherwise dark room, casting an ever changing and flickering glow over her few possessions.

In one corner stood an old wooden wardrobe. Its surface had lost any varnish it had once been covered in and Ishtar had to avoid getting splinters whenever she opened it. Her desk sat beside and appeared to be the newest of her furniture even though it had been Malden’s father’s for twenty years before she had been born.

On top of the desk sat Ishtar’s most treasured possessions; her sewing box and materials. She made clothes and other pretty accessories when she had free time from her duties, although that was seldom.

Malden had given her a few small coins for mending some clothes of his and a few more when she had made the uniforms the new girls had needed. It had not been much as the King frowned upon the slaves making money but it had bought her everything she’d needed to make the few things she could make time for.

Ishtar rarely got to wear the items she made but it didn’t stop her making them anyway. Her latest creation was an elegant dress, similar to something she had seen the previous queen wear once. It had a flowing floor length skirt which tapered backwards into a small train and a deep v neckline.

However, the dress was not finished. The hem was many feet long and she only managed a few minutes sewing each day by candlelight. If Malden knew she was making herself late for bed every night making the dress he would get angry and stop giving her any money at all, so she only did a little here and there to not arouse suspicion, and tonight she wouldn’t do any. The feast had gone on so long she needed to sleep.

Wandering to Belong

Now that Sherdan’s Prophecy has all been blogged I’ll be returning this slot to sharing something I’ve been working on in one of the many different creative fields I like messing around in, so here’s a sample from my most recent release, Wandering to Belong.

The flickering lanterns and torches of the small village caught Aneira’s eye. Her stomach rumbled as her mind associated the warmth and comfort of the place with good food. Over the last few weeks she had struggled to hunt enough to feed herself, and a village would have crops and potentially other necessities she could trade for.

Making her mind up on that thought alone, she changed direction and trudged over the rocky grass land. As the evening darkened she lowered her head. The lights from the village would taint what little she could see in the dark of night if they were in view. If she also concentrated on each step at a time it helped to keep her feet going when all they wanted to do was rest; something she had learnt long ago.

Sounds of the village soon greeted her ears and she allowed herself to look up at the hopeful sight. There were a few stone built houses, not many, but enough to show good masonry, and another handful of wooden houses along the edge nearest to her. She imagined there would be a similar number on the other side of the village.

She looked for the shields of a chieftain or warrior’s hut as a few people scurried here and there, eager to be indoors rather than out in the night. No one noticed her approach and she kept it that way, sticking to the shadows and hedges until she’d checked out the shield’s design, if one existed.

As she snuck up into the shadow beside one of the pale stone houses she noticed what she sought. A shield hung on the building opposite, just below a lit torch. The pattern wasn’t one she recognised which meant that this village didn’t submit to any Lords she knew of.

She slunk back the way she had come to double back and enter into the village along the dirt track. Coming into the centre of the village in full view would make her look less like a threat.

Previously, she’d walked straight into any civilisation but she’d soon learnt to be wary of certain Lords. When she crept in she found people were suspicious. And being driven off when she was this hungry didn’t appeal to her.

Once she was out in the open she lowered her hood from her smooth black hair. She kept it short to help keep it neat and tidy but strands still framed her thin face. Once she’d patted down her hair to neaten it, she stowed her bow on her back and rearranged her small pack of belongings, to make sure straying hands couldn’t get into it without alerting her.

With slow, deliberate steps she made her way into the village. The first woman who saw her didn’t even acknowledge she existed and this helped Aneira feel more at ease. The next nodded briefly, before continuing with her business.

So far they looked like a busy, but fairly poor, farming community with not much to worry about in terms of safety. There wasn’t even a small jail or military type building. Just the chief’s house, an inn and a few other slightly smaller stone houses for the richer of the people, probably the actual land owners. She’d not seen any cattle, and there didn’t appear to be any horses in the two berth stable.

Most people had shuttered up their houses already and light only leaked out around older windows in need of maintenance, but the tavern had a few windows open and the noise of laughter and conversation greeted her.

As she reached the door she sucked in her breath, tried to look as harmless as possible and pushed into the tavern. Immediately the room went quiet and all eyes turned her way. She did her best to appear calm as she walked up to the bar and the man who stood behind it, drying some metal tankards with a dirty looking cloth.

“Good evening,” she said, breaking the silence.

“Evenin’ stranger. What can I get you?”

“I’m afraid I’ve not got any money. I’ve been travelling a long while but I can work hard. Do you know of anyone here who might need some work doing in return for some food, and a bed for the night?”

The bar keep looked thoughtful while the whole inn around her remained silent. She knew everyone had heard her words but it seemed none of them were going to help. Just as she was about to tell him not to worry and that she’d move on, he put his tankard down and walked through to the back room.

“Darlin’ do yah want some ‘elp with the dishes? Got a whelp ‘ere who wants to do somethin’ fer a spot o’ food and a place to kip.”

Aneira couldn’t hear the reply as the door swung shut behind the bulk of the owner, but it seemed like they were going to take pity on her anyway. Still looking young had its benefits. While she stood waiting for the Landlord to come back, conversations around her started up again and people went back to their drinks. So far so good.

The door swung open again and the tavern owner stepped out. He held the door open and motioned with his head for her to go through. She smiled as she rushed around the bar to do as he asked.

As soon as she stepped through into the kitchen the smell of hot food assaulted her senses. The woman at the stove was almost as large as the tavern owner himself. They all obviously ate well and with any luck would treat her to a similarly sized meal. She nodded at the middle-aged woman as she was looked over.

“I’m Aneira. What would you like me to do?” she said after a moment’s wait.

“The dishes need doin’ fer starters, then we’ll see what else there is.”

She nodded and looked over at the sink. It was stacked full of pots, pans, dirty plates and tankards; eating would have to wait.


Aneira sank into the wooden chair, not sure if the creaking noises were the wood as she sat down or her knees, from standing so long. It had taken her several hours to battle through the mountain of washing up, especially as every little thing that Heulwen thought might need cleaning had been put into the sink at some point. Her fingers were wrinkled and her nails had never looked so clean, but she had finally finished and the couple had seemed impressed with her work.

While she waited for the food she’d been promised she had a proper look around the inn. Now that it was later many of the villagers had gone to their homes but some remained and continued to chatter. Most of them were considerably less sober than they had been when she’d arrived but a few were still steady on their feet.

The Landlord made her jump as he put a plate down in front of her.

“’Ere you go lass, tuck into that.”

She needed no second encouragement and bit straight into the hot pork pie, following it with several shovellings of creamy mashed potato and gravy. Within minutes the slice of pie and mash had gone and before the owner could return with a drink for her she’d started on the bread and butter beside.

“Thank you, Merrion,” she said around a mouth full of bread dipped in the gravy. She picked up the tankard and almost downed the sweet liquid. It wasn’t something she’d ever drunk before, but it didn’t have the bitter aftertaste alcohol did, so she figured it was safe to guzzle.

“Well that didn’t take long. Will you be wantin’ some more?” Merrion said as she wiped the plate clean with the last hunk of bread. Her eyes went wide and she stared at him for a moment. The plate had been a feast to her and here he was asking if she wanted more. She nodded her head vigorously in case he changed his mind. The man just chuckled and she found herself grinning at how much of his body wobbled up and down, even after he’d stopped.

Once he’d returned with a second plate filled with an equal portion as before, he left her to eat and went back to his bar and customers. She took her time with the seconds, noticing an unfamiliar feeling of fullness in her stomach. It didn’t stop her demolishing the food again, however.

The tavern soon closed and Merrion came and sat down with her, bringing her another drink at the same time.

We’ve got a spare bed, up in the loft. You can kip in it when you’re ready, then you’d best be on your way tomorrow and get as far from ‘ere as you can.” The tone of his voice peaked her curiosity. It had been a while since she’d heard fear in a grown man’s voice. Especially one who didn’t seem to have anything to fear.

“What if I want to stay a bit longer?”

“You’d be a fool. You’ve got sense, I can see it behind those eyes of yours. Get yourself up and gone first thing in the mornin’ and make sure you’re as far away as you can get by the followin’ day.”

“Why, what’s going to happen?”

Whatever it was, the inn keeper wouldn’t say any more about it, and before she could think of another way of asking to get him talking again, Heulwen came out of the kitchen and ushered them both upstairs to sleep.

If you liked this sample and want to buy the rest of the story it’s currently available as an ebook on amazon.com, and amazon.co.uk.

Fifty/Fifty and other Stories: A Review

This ebook was gifted to me by the author Matthew McFarland in return for a review.

There are several reflective and thought provoking short stories in this collection and I have to admit it threw me at first. When I think of good short stories I think of action packed scenes or spine tingling moments. I rarely think of the slow moving ones that make you think.

Once I got used to the style, however I found them very enjoyable, all except one, which seemed to be a little out of place in this collection. There was nothing wrong with the story of this particular short but The Seventeenth Door was a good bit more sinister and dark, when the majority of the rest were reflective.

Of the reflective ones I enjoyed all of them fairly equally. They made me think a little too much to read them all in one go but that’s no bad thing.

The stories are all well told and I would recommend these for anyone looking for something to fit into short gaps while waiting or in a queue somewhere. just be warned, for ‘The Seventeenth Door’ you’ll want to be in the right frame of mind.

Seven Stories High + Dolphins and Bananas: A Review

I was asked to review both these collections of short stories by the same author, Alex South so I thought I’d put both there reviews into one blog post.

Seven Stories High:

There were seven shorts in this collection (hence the name) and I munched through the first collection of short stories without stopping and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. Most had a slightly chilling factor to them although they can’t all be classed in exactly the same genre.

There was a good variety of different characters and several had me guessing as to how they would turn out. So all in all very entertaining.

I think copy and paste was my favourite, although it’s not easy to choose between them. I’d love to see some longer works by this author to allow him to go into some more in depth character development and plots.

Dolphins and Bananas:

(since beginning my read of this book  I’ve been informed there is another version that this has been updated to so my review may be slightly out of date)

There are only four shorts in this collection compared to the seven above but I found the same relaxed easy to read style of writing, with the authors slightly quirky, amusing way of story telling as the first collection. The stories were a similar type too with maybe a little extra emphasis on the main character and the feeling of each in these four.

My favourite by far was Dolphining. I loved the way the dolphins thought and acted and the main characters reasons for seeing them.

This collection did leave me feeling wanting a little, however. I don’t know if the new update would have helped with that but I just wasn’t quite as captivated with these as I was the first seven. They were still enjoyable though and would be great to fill those odds minutes waiting around in queues etc.

Both collections were well worth my time and I really hope Alex South does something longer or even more of these. He’s definitely got a new fan.