Truly Madly Deadly by Hannah Jayne ~ Fiction Book Review

18025833I have some mixed feelings about this book. I liked the writing, and I liked the story. It was fast paced, witty, and, although I did suspect the culprit, it wasn’t entirely predictable. The author did a good job of providing enough red herrings that the reader could never be entirely sure.

That said, there were times when I felt the female lead was portrayed as too stereotypically weak female. Obviously there are times when a character is going to be this way – there are people in real life this way – but I always find it a little grating and wonder is the author is writing the character with these attributes as part of the character’s flesh and dimension, or because this is the way they believe women are and should be portrayed.

(Surprisingly, I’ve read several female authors whose female characters are always weak, insipid little idiots – sorry, I might be a little ornery today.) That said, by the end of the book, it was a character trait that the character broke free of, so all is well in the land of ‘women aren’t simpering door mats’. I actually really enjoyed this book, and because it struck me as fresh and a bit mold breaking, I give it 5 stars.

Hilde at the Ghost Shore by Paula Cappa ~ Short Fiction Review

Hildie at the Ghost Shore: A Short Story by [Cappa, Paula]A good short story should leave a reader who is also a writer breathless to create their own next piece of short fiction, and this story did exactly that for me! It’s not really my style – mixing in blatant elements of the supernatural – but I totally didn’t suspect a thing or see the ending coming, which always makes me a fan. The writing is enjoyable, the story well crafted – needless to say, Paula Cappa has a new fan and I’d like to read more of her work.

As an added bonus, this short story is FREE on Kindle. As a double added bonus, another short story  – Abasteron House – is included in the free download. I didn’t like the second story as much, but it was again well written and masterfully crafted. 4.5 stars!

Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf ~ Fiction Book Review

35890573 I’ve had mixed feelings about Heather Gudenkauf’s last few books. I love love LOVED The Weight of Silence. I quite liked a few of her following books. But as she transitions from a kind of literary fiction to a more mainstream mystery and thriller writer, I find myself underwhelmed. The books don’t really seem like they were written by the same author. Does anyone else feel this way?

I suspect that perhaps there’s been a change in editors? The writing seems a little sloppy in places. The story is good. It’s enjoyable. But there are dozens of other authors whose mysteries and thrillers are either on par or superior with a style I enjoy reading more. I wish Gudenkauf would return to her roots and write more books with substance. 4 stars.

Blue Ringed Octopus Delight by James W Brown ~ Short Fiction Review

24241631While the premise of this story was certainly interesting, I love the title, and I enjoyed the story, I can’t say that I’ll be reading the novel that this short story was an intro for. The main character is fun – sharp, witty, wry humored – and the writing isn’t bad, but I’m not a huge fan of pulp noir, and that’s what this reads as. This is going to sound sexist, but I have to be honest – while reading this, I thought to myself, “This writer would definitely appeal more to male readers.”

However – if YOU are a fan of this style of writing, I suggest that you give this quick little story a chance. It’s not completely unpredictable, but I smell a writer who’s only going to get better and more inventive with time, which is always a good thing! 3.5 stars!