Publication Announcement: Short Story Anthology

If you’re a subscriber to my newsletter, this won’t be a surprise for you.

Last year I was contacted by an acquisitions editor in Russia who had stumbled upon a story of mine that appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, wanting to know if I’d be willing to consider working with the publishing company she represented on a book. They were specifically interested if I had more short fiction featuring Detective Shaw, the main character from the piece It’s All About The Cat.

Well, I did. Detective Shaw is a reoccurring character who’s stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. But I felt a little sketchy about the offer, because, at least in my experience, this isn’t the way it usually goes . . . it seemed to me like it could have been a scam.

It turns out it wasn’t!

The publishing company purchased the use of all my previously published pieces featuring Detective Shaw to use in a book intended to help Russian speakers learn to speak English, and vice versa. This would be achieved, they explained, by presenting the stories in both languages. It was simple enough on my end – all I had to do was sit back while they performed the translation, the formatting and design. Easy peasy.

And now . . . the book was just released and I have my contributor copies in hand!!!

But it got me thinking . . . why not release a version in the US?

So guess what? I am!

Check back later this week for the cover reveal! And if you don’t feel like waiting, join my mailing list and be among the first to check it out and get a copy for FREE!

Click here to JOIN NOW!

Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Secrets, lies, and betrayal? Yes, please! Honestly, I wasn’t feeling this one at first. It took me a while to warm up to the characters, and even the plot – an estranged family full of secrets – didn’t seem like it was going to deliver the payout I’ve come to expect from McManus. Then the twists started rolling in like waves during a storm, relentlessly crashing against me – and forcing me to change my mind. Not my favorite by the author, but way more than I initially expected. She’s sure to blindside you at least once with this well thought out mystery.

The YA Silence Of The Lambs

I think the cover and the title of this one don’t do it justice. I was expecting a somewhat hokey teen slasher. What I got was the YA The Silence Of The Lambs! Creepy, suspenseful, and atmospheric in an eerie Hannibal Lecter perfect villain that you can’t quite hate kind of way! I will say that while I love the use of an incomplete sentence for effect, this author does at times take it to extremes. But, I got much more than I bargained for with this one, so no complaints here. So good!

I just started:

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Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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I picked this one up, then almost set it down after a few pages. I didn’t like the writing and could tell right away that at least one of the characters was going to rub me the wrong way, but I had just seen the title on a list with many books that I had enjoyed, so I kept reading. It never shocked me like the cover blurb promises, but it ended up being decent with a nice twist. 

Mexican Gothic
This was a #BlameItOnLitsy read because this book is getting so much hype right now. While it was definitely creepy with well developed characters, an eerie setting, and plenty of atmosphere, I found that at times the descriptive writing broke up the suspense with all its details. Good, but not as good as I was hoping.

I just started:

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Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

ARC Review: Foreshadow by Emily X.R. Pan & Nova Ren Suma, et al

48768420From Goodreads: Thirteen Short Stories from Bold New YA Voices & Writing Advice from YA Icons

Created by New York Times bestselling authors Emily X. R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma, Foreshadow is so much more than a short story collection. A trove of unforgettable fiction makes up the beating heart of this book, and the accompanying essays offer an ode to young adult literature, as well as practical advice to writers.

Featured in print for the first time, the thirteen stories anthologized here were originally released via the buzzed-about online platform Foreshadow. Ranging from contemporary romance to mind-bending fantasy, the Foreshadow stories showcase underrepresented voices and highlight the beauty and power of YA fiction. Each piece is selected and introduced by a YA luminary, among them Gayle Forman, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jason Reynolds, and Sabaa Tahir.

What makes these memorable stories tick? What sparked them? How do authors build a world or refine a voice or weave in that deliciously creepy atmosphere to bring their writing to the next level? Addressing these questions and many more are essays and discussions on craft and process by Nova Ren Suma and Emily X. R. Pan.

This unique compilation reveals and celebrates the magic of reading and writing for young adults.

My Review: Featuring 13 short stories by underrepresented and ‘fresh’ voices, this book has an interesting format. Appealing to both readers and writers, each tale is followed by a short discussion focusing on an element of craft that was well developed in the proceeding story. Writing prompts/exercises are also sprinkled throughout the book, providing opportunities to apply the craft knowledge gleaned from the pages. It’s an interesting approach, made more so by the exposure to new writers with such unique perspectives.

The stories themselves represent a gamut of genres, from fantasy to speculative, mild horror to contemporary. One of the things I found most interesting about this book was the way the authors’ diverse backgrounds shaped the worlds they created. I enjoyed the stories and the discussions about craft, but it wasn’t my favorite in terms of either short story anthologies or books on writing.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu

50228263From Goodreads:

Last summer, Link Miller drowned on dry land in the woods, miles from the nearest body of water. His death was ruled a weird accident, but Noemi Amato knows the truth: Link was killed. He told her so himself, because he’s been texting her from beyond the grave, warning her to keep away from the forest.

Amberlyn, Link’s sister, can’t shake the feeling that Noemi is hiding something, and Jonas, Noemi’s new housemate, can’t get past the walls that she has constructed around herself. Because Noemi has a dangerous secret even bigger than Link’s ghost…

Link drowned in an impossible lake that only she can find.

Now, if the three don’t work together to unravel the truth about what is happening in the woods, someone else may wind up dead. Set over the course of one heartbreaking, mystifying, and ultimately hopeful year, this remarkable debut heralds the arrival of an incredible new voice in young adult literature.

My Review: Usually anything even bordering on fantasy or paranormal is not my thing, but after reading the blurb – a boy drowns on dry land in the woods – I had a feeling that I had to read this book, and I’m so glad I did. The ‘otherworldly’ element is hard to explain – it’s almost like a character in itself, but is mild enough to not deter readers who normally shy away from the genre.

The writing is good, at times beautiful, and there was something about the web that Nagamatsu spun that caught me up and wouldn’t let me go. Although I have to admit that at times I caught myself wondering what the theme was for this strange tale, the lyrical prose lulled me happily along to an ending that left me wondering.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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I think this is Miranda’s best book to date! The writing was good, the plot well thought, and even though the setup was a little far fetched, I could believe it – because the author had me wanting to! Rife with tension and suspense and things that make your heart go thump in the night, I couldn’t put it down! Fast-paced and sly, this crafty thriller will keep you guessing because everyone’s a suspect!

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To be released: September 15, 2020    Read my ARC review here.

I just started:

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Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

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