Death Among Us: An Anthology of #MurderMystery #ShortStories #TuesdayBookBlog

Who knew death could be so eclectic? Relish this mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up of short stories.

The stories include the 2019 SIA Award-Winning Murder Mystery Short Story ‘The Rose Slayer.’

Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think.

Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetizers or starters, hors d’oeuvre, meze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze – in its own right.

These stories come from an international cast of authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles.

But one thing binds them together: they know how to tell a story.

There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, scifi, histfic, LA, England, The Great Lakes, Las Vegas, the Nevada desert and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.

The ten authors who have contributed to the anthology are:

Stephen Bentley
Greg Alldredge
Kelly Artieri
Robbie Cheadle
Michael Spinelli
L. Lee Kane
Kay Castaneda
Aly Locatelli
Justin Bauer
& ‘G’ Posthumously

Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lies behind them.By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up.

Something I enjoyed about this anthology is the variety.  Yes, the theme is murder, but the stories span different sub-genres – straight up suspense, sci-fi, horror, and historical fiction – basically a smorgasbord of death for murder mystery fans.

My favorite stories include the following:

Justice is Never Served by Robbie Cheadle – Heart-wrenching, but with supernatural overtones, and based on a fictionalized account of occurrences in Victorian England.

Monitaur by Michael Spinelli – Because I’m such a horror fan, this one stuck out for me.  Strange occurrences overheard and seen over a baby monitor.  A chilling tale sure to give you goosebumps.

The Neighbours by Aly Locatelli – Locatelli is a new author, but her story is that of a seasoned writer.  I predicted the ending, but knowing it didn’t detract from this a well-written tale.

Death Among Us is a compelling collection of stories sure to appeal to mystery fans and will keep them reading hours past their bedtime.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from one of the authors.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

 

Dark Visions: an anthology of 34 horror stories #bookreview #horror #TuesdayBookBlog

From the creators of the #1 bestseller The Box Under The Bed horror anthology comes Dark Visions, 34 horror stories from 27 authors. Tag along on a con man’s New Orleans vacation where he gets more than he bargained for from a mysterious voodoo shop. A collection of family photos reveals an eerie secret about a beloved grandmother’s true nature. A child’s horrifying memories haunt her into adulthood. A new camp counselor learns that the camp has secrets she might not live to reveal. Edited and compiled by Amazon bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of horror brings together the minds and pens of more than two dozen amazing authors. Dark Visions will take you into the realm of the eerie and macabre, with thrills and chills from: bestselling author Dan Alatorre (The Navigators) bestselling author Jenifer Ruff (Everett), bestselling author Allison Maruska (The Fourth Descendant), bestselling author J. A. Allen, award-winning author MD Walker, award-winning author Juliet Nubel, award-winning author Dabney Farmer, award-winning author Sharon E. Cathcart, award-winning author Heather Kindt, award-winning author Bonnie Lyons, award-winning author Sharon Connell, award-winning author Geoff LePard, award-winning author Anne Marie Andrus, award-winning author Christine Valentor, award-winning author BA Helberg, Ernesto San Giacomo, Alana Turner, Nick Vossen, award-winning author Robbie Cheadle, Betty Valentine, award-winning author Frank Parker, award-winning author Bonnie Lyons, award-winning author Lori Micken, Chuck Jackson, Ellen Best, Victoria Clapton, Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before spending the night alone, planting a tree in your garden, or even visiting your mother. Consider yourselves warned. 

If you’re looking for quick reads to enjoy during a break in your day, Dark Visions offers some eerie, creepy, and unsettling short stories that are perfect for this time of year.  Although I can’t review each individually, I’ll mention those I was still thinking about days after finishing.

If you’re a parent, The Storm by J.A. Allen will rip your heart out.  Pictures showing people who were absent when the picture was taken is disturbing and haunting – which is why The Stranger by Allison Maruska is a freaky little tale.  The Willow Tree by Robbie Cheadle is dark and twisted, but what makes it even more frightening is that it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.  It’s easy to imagine hearing about something like this in the news.

Dark Visions offers a nice variety of stories that may have you looking over your shoulder and double-checking the locks on your doors.

I received an ARC from one of the authors.

 

 

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

Amazon

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

Amazon

The Right Way To Be Wrong 

Amazon

Darklight and Daydreams

Amazon

Civil Warriors (2nd edition coming soon)

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

https://www.facebook.com/Tra3Ball/

https://twitter.com/Tra3ballA

https://tracyaball.wordpress.com/the-book-i-write/

Hinting at Shadows by Sarah Brentyn #bookreview #anthologies #microfiction #TuesdayBookBlog

No One Escapes Life Unscathed 

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.

A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.

Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less. – Goodreads.com

I’m dumbfounded at how much this author conveys and the emotions she evokes with so few words – it’s such a gift.  She takes the reader through dark valleys that twist and turn, journeys through more light-hearted moments, and even touches on humor occasionally.  I laughed out loud at replacing chocolate with carob, a Spinal Tap reference, and a dragon talking about coconut cakes.  With many of these, I was left wanting more and they could easily be built on and expanded into full length short stories or even novels.

This is a quick read, but take time to savor this collection and fully appreciate the poignant writing.