Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Seasonal Reading

Creepy Shorts by Lisa M Griffiths

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Here are monsters under the bed, the disembodied hand in the closet, an evil talisman, a malignant teddy bear and a school bus ride to the River Styx. These stories are a delight for young adults and old codgers as well. They relate the childhood angst lingering in the souls of all of us, and those indiscretions we all committed. Of course, we shouldn’t talk to strangers, of course we shouldn’t sneak into R rate horror movies, we all knew better than to take a shortcut through the vacant lot, but we all did it and there were consequences. These stories are crafted with wonderful twists and turns—who knew Zeus could drive the bus?

Lisa Griffiths has a knack for the unnatural. She filled Creepy Shorts with some great demons and ghouls. Her prose has a light, enchanting storytelling quality to it. The characters are genuinely crafted. They are real people in unreal situations. She is good with the monsters as well. Read Creepy Shorts but don’t turn out the light.

Lisa is a member of the La Verne Writers' Group.

$2.99 only at Amazon so far.

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Redemption CoveRedemption Cove by David Calder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Coding ace, Ben Adams, raced headlong into the abyss. Leaving the bar in a Bellevue, Washington snowstorm, too drunk to drive, he was tee boned by an SUV. Waking in the hospital, he found himself in a body cast, uncertain he would ever walk again. A little mail delivered to the hospital revealed that his wife had divorced him, and a visit from his boss informed him that he’d been canned. During weeks of therapy, both physical and psychological, he managed to walk again, and to start thinking about how to cope with the future. Another piece of mail was his mother’s will. It gave him ownership of a cabin on a lake in British Columbia, and he made the happy discovery that his severance package contained a half million dollars in stock options. With his course of action obvious, Ben retired to the lakeside cabin to seek redemption.

The first thing he discovers at Laketown, BC, is that a mysterious tenant had recently vacated the cabin and that the real estate agents who managed the rental owe him a substantial sum. When Ben tries to transfer the windfall from the stock options to a local bank, he learns that the Security and Exchange Commission has frozen his account. The next dilemma that confronts him is the likelihood that his property is on Indian land and he will have to vacate. That is, if the hostile Indians don’t kill him first.

Redemption Cove is a marvelously crafted tale with loads of drama, intrigue and suspense. In addition to the aforementioned hostile Indians and legal trouble, there is a tragic love affair, a hungry grizzly bear, a wounded goose and the specter of hidden treasure stashed by Ben’s abusive father. David Calder has put together a masterful puzzle, and he threatens to keep the ball rolling with a sequel. This reader for one hopes that he hurries. Redemption Cove is a must read—don’t miss it.

Kindle price $4.99

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Crime and Corruption

Joseph Morgan is the proverbial big fish in the small pond of Overton, Colorado. He has power and he wants more. His youngest son is police chief by Joseph’s decree and now Jack is running for county commissioner. Vegetarian rancher, Frank Jarret is running against him. Chief Jack Morgan receives an order from his father to discredit Frank shortly before the election. Frank is in Durango on business when Jack Morgan takes several deputies to Frank’s Lazy J ranch with the intention of planting two kilos of cocaine there. Instead, Jack claims that Emily Jarret produced a gun and he began firing. This excites the deputies to open fire as well. When the smoke clears, Emily and daughter, Katy, are dead. Two years later, Jack Morgan, in hiding under an alias, is found dead in his rare book store. Two of the deputies involved are found dead, Frank Jarret has vanished and the new police chief, Marcia Williams, must find the killer.

The Seventh Stage is a brilliantly executed crime story. The pace develops the suspense in a highly polished way. All characters are artfully fleshed and the scene shifts elevate the tension. Mr. Nichols’ prose flows smoothly as does his dialogue. A skillful eye renders the settings so that the stark beauty of southwestern Colorado is alive on the pages. The reader will not guess the outcome as the lady police chief traces her leads. This reader strongly recommends The Seventh Stage.

The Seventh Stage is currently unavailable at Amazon. I got my copy from the author. When it becomes available, it's a must read.