The Writer’s Reading Corner: Teagan Riordain Geneviene #IndieAuthor #fantasy

Spring has finally arrived in western KY!  Yesterday was gorgeous and today looks to be the same.  I have a treat for you today – my guest is the infamous Teagan Riordain Geneviene.  Whether you’ve read her books or are a regular visitor to her blog, you’re familiar with the sparkling creativity that dwells within her mind (and if you’re not, here’s your chance), and today she’s giving us a glimpse at what has inspired her.  Welcome, Teagan!

Hi Teri. Thanks for letting me visit your Writer’s Reading Corner. Hello everyone. I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene and I write whimsical stories. Whether it’s a cliffhanging blog serial, an urban fantasy, or a 1920s story, everything I write has a touch of whimsy.

I’m going to discuss an old favorite of mine – The Belgariad, a series by David Eddings. It’s a true epic, high fantasy. That was the style of writing that enthralled me for a long time — Tolkienesque prose, quests, and settings. Actually it still does.

When I came upon Eddings’ work I noticed his subtle sense of humor. It was a revelation for me. High fantasy with humor? Yes!

The Belgariad also brought another revelation. Years later, I mentioned it to a coworker. He vehemently stated that he hated the book. “The characters were all such awful people!” he said.

I drew back a bit, surprised by his strong reaction. I had never seen that in his personality! Then I smiled and said that was what I loved about it, and how funny it made the characters to me. He was as surprised by my reaction as I was to his. “I guess I should read it again with that in mind.”

With a shrug I voiced the revelation he had just given me. “Books affect different people in different ways. We don’t all like the same thing. As a writer it encourages me to see that. Because if one person doesn’t like my work, the next person still might,” I told him. Poor guy, he looked utterly befuddled by the whole conversation.

Coming Up

atonement_in_bloom_1_03-24-2014My upcoming novel is Atonement in Bloom. That’s the sequel to Atonement, Tennesee*. Book-2 continues the misadventures of Ralda Lawton and her friends in the quaint (but far from peaceful) town of Atonement, TN. Her old house and cemetery are still there, along with Lilith the cat, quirky townsfolk, and assorted supernaturals.

I hope you’ll visit me at my blog, Teagan’s Books. Thanks for chatting with me today.



Visual for Teagan_2017 Chris


The Writer’s Reading Corner: Michael Reed #IndieAuthor #humor #satire

Happy Friday!  Our weather forecast has flipped back and forth over whether we’re expecting snow tomorrow night.  In April.  It’s not like I live very far north, or even in Canada.  That being said, some humor might make me feel a little better about it all, and Michael Reed brings us two humor-related books today.  Enjoy!

I’ve read quite a few good books lately, but I’ve decided to make my recommendation for “Generation Dementia” by Michael Hartnett. It’s an indie book that could certainly use more attention than it’s gotten so far. I chose it based on a promotional blurb and a quick look at the writing style. That’s how I end up reading most works by people I’m unfamiliar with. I’d call the book a cautionary tale except it’s too wickedly funny to be viewed in such a narrow way.

At the center of this intricate tale of urban angst is narrator Hash O’Connell, who as an intern in a trash pickup program discovers a box of old 5¼ floppy disks at the home of a recently deceased Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Levon Gallagher. As Hash reads the disks’ content intermittantly throughout the book, he learns not only about past technologies, but also about Gallagher’s link to his family. The result leaves him a changed person. There are other secrets to be found as well, but I think it’s best to leave discovering the rest to new readers.

I will say that along the way, the trash program becomes wildly popular with other troubled teens, and three of its participants, which include what I’ll describe as a garbage kleptomaniac and a trash-hauling violinist become reality TV stars – certainly seemed apropos of our times. In truth, there is a lot of Pynchon in Hartnett’s worldview, at least in this novel.  That said fear not, this tale is more accessible than the bulk of Pynchon’s work. The writing is crisp and for me the pages flew by. “Generation Dementia” strikes that rare balance between side-splitting humor and thought-provoking (though never preachy) social commentary that is hard to come by.


As for my latest release, “Songs From Richmond Avenue,”  deals mostly with drunks as I’ve started telling people who ask me to pigeon-hole my book, which I think fits best under the heading of literary fiction or urban satire.

It’s primarily about the denizens of the Relix Club, who wile away the hours engaged in their two favorite activities – drinking and betting. Until recently that was good enough for our storyteller, a journalist of questionable work ethic, who undergoes an epiphany following a bus stop meeting with pretty Michelle, a woman he declares has “skin so perfect I doubted she even had pores.”

Could she be his redemption? Maybe, but first he’d better contend with her baseball bat-wielding former beau, her nihilistic stripper roommate and the suspicious death of a friend, who fancies himself the father of Brute Generation poetry.

I’m told it’s wildly unpredictable and mostly centers on whether the protagonist of “Songs From Richmond Avenue” will put down his beer long enough to learn anything of true value.


Michael Reed, a finalist for the 2017 McGrath House indie book award for fiction, is a Texas journalist, meaning he’s used to living in inexpensive apartments and driving paid-for used cars. He does not have a wife or children, which is probably best for all concerned, and has never owned a washer or drier, something he takes great pride in. “Songs From Richmond Avenue,” which recently received a Literary Titan Gold Award, is the Southern Illinois University graduate’s first novel.

The Writer’s Reading Corner: Tracy A. Ball #indieauthor #amreading #paranormal

Happy Easter weekend!  Hope you’re having more of a spring than we are – gloomy, rainy, and flood warnings all around.  Today’s guest is Tracy A. Ball who shares not just one, but two memorable books she read recently.  If you’re in the mood for a feel-good read, Tracy’s YA sweet romance fantasy, Dragonfly Dreams, is included in the charity anthology, Darklight and Daydreams, which provides aid to people in Puerto Rico.  Welcome, Tracy!

I had the privilege of reading two great books recently.  A Bench by Memory Lake, by John Vance and FAVA, by John Hazen. Anything written by with either man, is going to be worth the read.

A Bench by Memory Lane is a humorous, bittersweet story of responsibility and overcoming. It’s a celebration of friendship and navigating the hard choices. John Vance writes compassion and empathy in a way that few others can. Hot cocoa and a blanket, or a porch swing with a slight breeze; that’s a John Vance story.

FAVA is full of action, mystery, romance and intrigue! It’s a fast read because you can’t put it down. The concept is so attuned to the current state of our society, you might think Mr. Hazen has an inside scoop on a real political conspiracy. And, if that’s not delicious enough, Zyklon, the sequel is set to be released on June 7th. It’s not a ride you want to miss!


My latest story is novella entitled Dragonfly Dreams. YA sweet-romance fantasy. It’s an off the grid, opposites attract fairytale featuring a Dark Elve and and a Half-Fae.

One jump changed everything.

Shattered, Leaf fled to the last place she wanted to be—Ebony Narpole’s 

world…Ebony Narpole’s arms.

Leaf Harper was Ebony’s enemy; he made sure of it. Ebony could forget 

everybody and everything, but he could not forget why.

Dragonfly Dream part one is available now as part of a charity anthology (Darklight & Daydreams) to aid the people in Puerto Rico. The full story will be released in May.

Tracy’s Bio:

Novelist, Reviewer, Content Editor, Blogger, T-shirt Wearer, and Professional Snacker; Tracy A. Ball is a native Baltimorean and a veteran West Virginian whose family is blended from three cultures. She has opened her home to foster children, drug addicts, AIDS victims and anyone who needed an assist. She has an equal number of conservative and liberal friends. She knows people who have committed murder and people who have dined with the Pope. 

Which is why she writes sweet stories about tough love.

… and takes naps.

Her published works include: 

KAYOS: The Bad & The Worse


The Tiger & The Snake: A Before KAYOS Tale (Free Download)


The Right Way To Be Wrong 


Darklight and Daydreams


Civil Warriors (2nd edition coming soon)

If you’d like to know more please find me:

The Writer’s Reading Corner: Tony Riches #amreading #Tudors #historicalfiction

I don’t read much historical fiction, but I’ve always had a certain fascination with the Tudors.  I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve watched various movies and cable series more than I’ve read about them.  Tony Riches has written several books on this subject and has done extensive research, so if the Tudors is a topic that interests you, his books and recommendation below could be enticing.

Sovereign (The Shardlake Series) by C J Sansom

As I write Tudor historical fiction, I have an extensive collection of reference books but few offer me such a compelling sense of the times as the Sharlake series by CJ Sansom. Set during King Henry VIII’s progress to York in the autumn of 1541, Sovereign shows the darker side of Tudor life. Even Sansom’s normally mild-mannered lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, eventually finds it all too much and turns on someone who provokes him too far. York is full of rebellion against the ageing king and no one seems safe from spies and conspirators. Samsom’s immersive style takes you deep into Shardlake’s world. Several plot lines develop to create a classic murder mystery with a list of unlikely suspects. Although well researched and full of fascinating details, some readers will share my issue with the notion that Henry VIII relied on his mother’s bloodline for his legitimacy, as this ignores the fact his father took the throne by conquest at Bosworth. There were also a few too many coincidences and unlikely chance events. On his website Sansom admits that Sovereign is his favourite of all the six books in his Shardlake series and I can see why – highly recommended.


HENRY – Book Three of The Tudor Trilogy

by Tony Riches

 New on Amazon UK  Amazon US and Amazon AU

The final book in the best-selling historical fiction Tudor Trilogy, this is the story, based on actual events, of Henry Tudor, who changes the history of England forever.

Bosworth 1485: After victory against King Richard III, Henry Tudor becomes King of England. Rebels and pretenders plot to seize his throne. The barons resent his plans to curb their power and he wonders who he can trust. He hopes to unite Lancaster and York through marriage to the beautiful Elizabeth of York.

With help from his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, he learns to keep a fragile peace. He chooses a Spanish Princess, Catherine of Aragon, as a wife for his son Prince Arthur. His daughters will marry the King of Scotland and the son of the Emperor of Rome. It seems his prayers are answered, then disaster strikes and Henry must ensure the future of the Tudors.

Tony’s Bio

Tony Riches is a full time author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. For more information about Tony’s other books please visit his website and his popular blog, The Writing Desk and find him on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches.



The Writer’s Reading Corner: Nadia L. King #YA #contemporary #amreading

It’s Friday!  We had a gorgeous day here yesterday, temp around 70 degrees, but today is supposed to be colder and rainy.  My guest today is Nadia L. King, and seeing her picture by the pool below makes me think about how much I also love reading on the beach or by a pool – now I just need a vacation in a warmer climate.  Welcome, Nadia!

Recently, I read A.S.King’s novel, Please Ignore Vera Dietz while on holiday in Singapore (hence the picture in front of the hotel pool).

Vera Dietz is seventeen years old and trying desperately to avoid her destiny which she mistakenly takes to be her parents’ past–Loserdom–pregnant at seventeen like her mother and a drunk like her father. But Vera is a sassy, strong female protagonist who is so sensible she could literally run the small town from whence she hails. Her mother left for Las Vegas with her podiatrist boyfriend when Vera was twelve, and Vera struggles to come to terms with her mother’s abandonment and the aftermath of the meaningless death of her best friend, Charlie.

In Please Ignore Vera Dietz, King tackles issues modern society prefers to ignore, the very issues we should never ignore–wife beating, child abuse, rape, alcohol abuse and gambling.

The novel is told in first-person with past and present cleverly interwoven. POV’s of Charlie, Vera’s dad, and even the inanimate Pagoda pop lively into the narrative offering unique insights.

I highly recommend Please Ignore Vera Dietz for young adult audiences who want more than a romance story or a token vampire. King goes deeper to prick her readers to life and I am certain this book will become a cult young adult book.


My debut book, Jenna’s Truth was inspired by Amanda Todd’s tragic story of bullying. It’s more than just a teen story—it’s a lesson in empathy, self-awareness, and speaking out about what matters, especially bullying. Jenna’s Truth explores themes of cyberbullying, teen drinking, sex, and suicide. Life isn’t black and white, and sometimes teens can be the most insensitive people.

A new and revised edition of Jenna’s Truth will be available in April 2018 from Serenity Press (

Nadia’s Bio

Australian author, Nadia L King, was born in Dublin, Ireland. Nadia is a YA author and short story writer. She is passionate about changing lives through fiction. Nadia lives with her family in Western Australia.





The Writer’s Reading Corner: Irene Frances Olson #FamilyLife #AmReading #WomensFiction

Welcome Irene Frances Olson to The Writer’s Reading Corner on this frosty (at my house, anyway) Friday!  My favorite small town setting has always been Cicely, Alaska from the TV show Northern Exposure – weird, quirky, and endlessly entertaining.  Irene shares with us a book set in a small town that checks off different boxes for her, but still sounds like a wonderful place to live.  Too bad more small towns aren’t like this one.

Growing Season, Melanie Lageschulte

I love receiving email notifications from discount services such as FreeBooksy and BargainBooksy. I’ve discovered new authors that way – at least new to me. Growing Season checked all the must-read boxes for me:  a protagonist who reinvents herself, multi-generational characters, and a healthy mix of drama and intrigue to carry the reader all the way to the end of the novel.

A contributing reason why I loved this novel is the genuine comradery that exists in a small town, such as the one featured in Book 1 of this series. I’m not at all naïve, I’m aware of a small town’s potential downsides such as everyone knowing each other’s business to the detriment of one’s privacy, but a lot can be said for the communal support that can exist because of the town members’ closeness to each other. Wouldn’t it be great if that type of familiarity could exist in the hustling, bustling towns in which so many of us live?

Growing Season gave me hope that if all of us could become more cognizant of our neighbors’ good times and bad times, perhaps the impersonal nature of the rest of our world would succeed just as well as the supportive, in tune with each other, neighbors of Prosper, Iowa.


My novel, Requiem for the Status Quo:

Family caregivers are oftentimes ruthlessly challenged by uninvolved family members who are quick to condemn, but reticent to offer assistance. Such is the case for Colleen Strand, a widow who recently found her own footing who takes on the task of caring for her father, Patrick Quinn, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Her older brother, Jonathan, criticizes Colleen at every turn and verbally abuses the father when he has the gall to exhibit symptoms of his disease. In short, Jonathan travels down the road of denial, leaving Colleen to deal with all matters regarding their father’s care.

Connected tenuously to a father who barely remembers her and a brother who has become an enigma, Colleen faces the moving target that is Alzheimer’s disease, determined to clothe her father with the dignity he deserves, while struggling to squeeze every minute of time she can from him.

Irene’s bio:

Irene Frances Olson writes from passion and experience. She was her father’s caregiver during his struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Having previously worked in memory care, she was not new to the disease, nor was her family immune. Irene hopes to make a difference in the lives of others by writing novels that encourage and support those who just might need another person in their corner.


Social Media:

Author site:

Facebook page:

Twitter handle:

Amazon link 






The Writer’s Reading Corner: Mary Elizabeth Jackson #childrensbooks #spirituality #amreading

Who among us couldn’t use some inspirational and motivational quotes to start off the day?  Help us deal with stress or soothe the soul?  Mary Elizabeth Jackson shares with us a book that does all that and more for her.  Welcome, Mary Elizabeth!

I love this book. It’s a 361-page book with 365 days of healing metaphors, quotes, inspirations, and motivations.  Angela uses nature throughout her book to help teach us about ourselves and our lives. Encouraging us to look inside ourselves to do some house cleaning and grow. Her warm words are gentle and healing. She uses her life journey of healing and self-discovery to teach us how to find that internal peace we are looking for.

She is a survivor of Bulimia and Anorexia. These experiences as well as all the knowledge she gained from reading, classes and practices she has learned that led her to healing is where her beautiful words come from. She helps you to believe and know you can do the same. There are comforting and/or self-help words for everyday of the year. The reader will never have to worry about seeking comfort.

This is a wonderful book for anyone on a healing, searching to find themselves journey or place in their life. It is very soothing to the soul.  Because the book has something for each day of the year, it is perfect to keep and have for years to come. The words will continue to give knowledge and inspire. Finding the Gift is a great book whether you are on a self-healing path or not. I recommend this book for anyone who is searching and needs words of comfort and for growth. I have met the author and know how authentic she is which makes her writing even that more valuable.

Mary Elizabeth’s Bio

Mary Elizabeth Jackson is a wife and mother of three inspirations. Her very late in life surprise child inspired her award-winning children’s book series. Perfectly Precious Poohlicious and Poohlicious Look at Me. It is written from the viewpoint of the child and is perfect for newborn’s thru age four. The first book has ten beautiful original songs with it. Available on Amazon, Kindle, B&N online, and wherever books are sold. She is working on the next book in the series as well as a middle grade reader series with award winning songwriter and author Thornton Cline. These books are intended to help kids inspire and motivate each other as well as realize their own empowerment. The first in that series is being written into film format.

Jackson is an advocate for special needs and disabilities and continues to work with legislators to improve the classroom for children and the relationship between families and schools across the state of Tennessee. She believes that continued positive progress between parent, child, and the school is vitally important to the success of all involved. She is also an advocate for literacy and beginning children as young as possible on the journey of love for reading.

She continues to write and work on advocacy projects and Jackson and Cline have begun teaching the writing to getting published process to adult and kids. She and Cline do a lot of book signings, appearances, and events throughout the year. Jackson is a live streamer and blogger and can be reached for teaching, advocacy, and signings at:, fb:perfectly precious poohlicious and

twitter: @Mary_E_Jackson,   ig: maryejackson444,

In the second book of the award- winning series, Poohlicious , journeys  through the wonders and adventures of Toddlerhood. As you read this delightful story of curiosity seen through the eyes of Poohlicious you will experience a world full of “can dos” and “not sure of’s.” Always on the move, Look at Me, discovers all that a toddler is capable of doing and trying, and that Mommy believes he is perfectly made no matter what may come. Recommended for ages zero through four. No matter where you are or where you live, every child is Poohlicious.


The Writer’s Reading Corner – Sue Rovens #amreading #mystery #thriller

Who hasn’t seen The Andy Griffith Show?  Admittedly, it’s been years since I’ve watched an episode, but when I was younger I saw a few, and even today while browsing through the program guide, you’ll see it listed.  Sue Rovens is here to discuss her ‘behind the scenes’ read of Andy and Don.

I had heard rumors about Don Knotts being a ladies man. I also heard rumblings about Andy Griffith being into drugs. Since I grew up watching “The Andy Griffith Show”, I wanted to know the real truth behind the stories of these ‘legends’ from the 60s.

Daniel de Vise, the author, did an incredible researching job. Having interviewed practically everyone available who was connected (even remotely) to Andy and Don in some fashion must have been a tremendous undertaking. He starts with their pretty humble beginnings (from their birth), and continues right up until the time they pass. It’s not only an in-depth study of their professional work, but plunges deep into their personal lives as well.

Great anecdotes and insider information bubble forth, all weaved in, around, and through the years. I won’t “spoil” who these men REALLY were, if you wish to find out for yourself, but there were a number of surprises, some of which were sad and disappointing.

It is written very well, which is sometimes difficult to do when recapping a life year by year (or close to it). Chronologically, as the reader gets closer to the present, there are some time jumps, but it fits the arc of the big picture. Andy and Don were simply living out their lives. Also included are a number of photos – all delightful and nostalgic.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loved “Andy Griffith”, “Matlock”, or any of the films made by Don Knotts. Anyone who has a remote interest in Hollywood of the 1940s, 50s, or 60s might also find this pretty appealing.

Author Bio

I am an indie suspense writer with two novels currently out in the world. Badfish (2015), my first novel, welcomes the reader into a small town where corruption and illegal drugs run rampant.  Track 9 (2017) revolves around two couples, both of whom have difficult pasts, making their current decisions life-threatening and deadly.

I wish I could say that I write full-time (for a living), but no. I work at Illinois State University as the Stacks Maintenance Manager in Milner Library and have been there over 26 ½ years. I also have a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology and Recreation (and a Bachelor’s in Speech Communication) from ISU..

I also run a blog, part of which features interviews from authors of ALL genres in the Meet & Greet Section. I was fortunate to interview (the late) Jack Ketchum (of horror fame)this past December (2017) – one of my writing ‘heroes’- and include him among the other great writers who have shared their time with me on the blog.

My blog:

My email:

My Amazon Page:

My latest release is the revised/updated edition of In a Corner, Darkly: Volume 2. The original (released in 2013) has been completely revamped. Three stories were pulled and three new ones have been added. The other twelve have been rewritten. Some lean toward apocalyptic, some gravitate more toward horror, but all fifteen brim with suspense. You can find this book, as well as my others (Badfish, Track 9, and In a Corner Darkly: Volume 1) on Amazon in paperback or kindle.

The Writer’s Reading Corner: Mae Clair #amreading #supernatural #thriller

It’s Friday!!!  A very wet one where I am, and it looks to be that way for the next week.  My guest today is Mae Clair, author of the Point Pleasant Series (if eerie supernatural thrillers are your favorite flavor, I highly recommend!).  Stop by here on March 1st for the cover reveal of her upcoming book, Cusp of Nightthe first in a new series.

Teri, thanks for inviting me to participate in the Writer’s Reading Corner. It’s a delight to be here and talk about something we all love—books. Lately, I’ve been enthralled by novels that feature alternate timelines. This has become trendy in mainstream and mystery fiction, with one timeline usually set in the present, the other in the past. Both storylines eventually converge for a climatic ending or spectacular wrap to the mystery.
cover for The Night Sister a mystery/suspense novel by Jennifer McMahonThe first book I read with a past/present plot was The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon. A psychological thriller/mystery with a taint of the supernatural, spot on for my preferred genre. Plus look at that gorgeous cover. Ominous and eerie, it sucked me in.

The story revolves around three women—Piper, Margot, and Amy—once childhood friends, who are forced to revisit a grim discovery from their past when Amy and her family are found dead. The story moves between the summer the girls spent exploring an abandoned hotel, and the present where Piper and Margot are confronted with the unfathomable news Amy is believed responsible in the deaths of her family.

I was riveted from page one and devoured the book in a few days. Afterward, I promptly read most everything Ms. Mahon has written. By then, I had already started my own book with a past/present timeline.

Cusp of Night, releasing in June, is the first novel in my Hode’s Hill Series, and alternates timelines between the present and the late 1800s. Since I am still waiting on a cover from my publisher, I’m not ready to share the official blurb. But I will tell you that my main character, Maya Sinclair, finds herself caught up in a centuries-old mystery after renting a brownstone that once belonged to a spiritualist known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill. If you like suspenseful tales with a twinge of the supernatural, I think you’ll enjoy Cusp of Night. I’ve populated it with a creature of urban legend, lingering ghosts, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.

Please keep Cusp of Night on your radar for June. In the meantime, perhaps I can distract you with my Point Pleasant Series, three novels spun around the urban legend of the Mothman.

New York Times bestselling author, Kevin’ O’Brien called the first book, A Thousand Yesteryears, “Masterful, bone-chilling fiction…one intense thriller….will keep you guessing, gasping and turning the pages for more.”

Banner ad for A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair features the night sky over an old farmhouse
Here’s the official blurb should you like to consider it:

Behind a legend lies the truth…

As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real.

Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse, but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer.


About Mae:
Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a child. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who factors into her Point Pleasant series of novels.

A member of the Mystery Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers, Mae pens tales of mystery and suspense with a touch of romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and numbers cats, history and exploring old graveyards among her passions. Look for Mae on her website at

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Newsletter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Other Social Links

Writer’s Reading Corner – Sarah Brentyn #amreading #shortreads #literature #FridayReads

Stories that affect us don’t always have to be full length novels.  Sometimes, they’re short stories, and today’s author shares how one in particular changed her life and helped shape her writing career.  Welcome Sarah Brentyn!

Winning the Lottery

It won’t surprise most of you that the last book I read is not a book. It’s a short story.

I was introduced to “The Lottery” during a lit class for my undergrad degree.

It spoke to me.

It said something like, “Hey! You, there! College chick. Check me out. I’m short and spectacular. I mean, seriously, I’m awesome. Read me again!”

I did. And still am (obviously) many years later.

One dark and stormy (actually, it was clear and starry) night in January, I decided to revisit this favorite. I fell asleep thinking about it, woke up thinking about it.

I could not stop thinking about it.

Her writing…

She weaves different moods seamlessly throughout this piece. The setting in contrast to the plot is perfect. The dialogue is fantastic. The foreshadowing is just enough to keep you guessing. The characters’ personalities, which we learn a lot about, are both expressed and implied. How does she do all this in so few words?! 

The story…

It’s surreal yet believable that a community would behave this way. How far are people willing to go to hold on to tradition? To pacify their superstitions? I wonder what it would be like to grow up there, how it would change you, if you’d be able to form healthy attachments, what your relationships would be like. I wonder if the lottery will continue. I wonder what would happen if they stopped. I wonder how long it would take for everyone to agree or if they ever would. I wonder… 

Jackson gives readers a psychological slap. She makes us uncomfortable in a captivating way that’s not easily dismissed. The build-up, revelation, and subsequent reactions of characters leave readers with questions that intensify curiosity and creativity. I don’t care how silly this sounds—I’m going with it. Full force. (You have been warned.) This story changed my life.

It showed me what can be accomplished with a few, well-chosen words. It fed my desire to think, analyze, and contemplate. It appeased my fascination with human nature. It set my mind ablaze.

It is one of the stories that set me on my path. Short fiction can be done. And done well. It’s something I strive for when I sit down to write.

Author Bio

Sarah Brentyn is an introvert who believes anything can be made better with soy sauce and wasabi.

She loves words and has been writing stories since she was nine years old. She talks to trees and apologizes to inanimate objects when she bumps into them.

When she’s not writing, you can find her strolling through cemeteries or searching for fairies.

She hopes to build a vacation home in Narnia someday. In the meantime, she lives with her family and a rainbow-colored, wooden cat who is secretly a Guardian.

She is the author of two collections of flash fiction: Hinting at Shadows and her latest release On the Edge of a Raindrop.


Blurb (On the Edge of a Raindrop)

These are stories of lives on the edge.

A girl tortured by the world within her. A boy powerless to escape his home. A mother doomed to live with her greatest mistake. A man lost in a maze of grief.

Each raindrop provides a microscopic mirror of ourselves and those around us. But we can’t always trust what we see. The distorted images disorient the mind, altering our view of reality.

This second collection of flash and micro fiction explores the depths of the human condition and the fragile surface of our perceptions.

Dive into these tales of darkness and discover what life is like On the Edge of a Raindrop.


Contact Information (blog, website, etc.)

Book Links:

On the Edge of a Raindrop

Hinting at Shadows

Author Page


Blogs / Social Media:

Lemon Shark

Lemon Shark Reef

Twitter, Google+, Website