4 in 1 Review: Short Stories

book-review

Never Too Late by J.C. Laird 2/5

6tag_190817-073513This story is very short. A sweet story about regrets, love lost, and the afterlife, but not much meat on its bones. I didn’t connect with the characters because of the length, and the ending felt forced.

 

 

Hellfire by Drew Avera 4/5

6tag_190817-073430Another very short story. I thoroughly enjoyed this sci-fi, military tale, and that ending was unexpected. I could invest in it as a longer story. I would love for the author to expand this further. The writing was good, and the character’s felt developed in a short amount of time.

 

The God Machine by Mikey Campling, Drew Avera, Christopher Godsoe, and Jamie Dodge 3/5

6tag_190817-073558One story written by four authors. Sounds like a disaster, right? Actually, I was impressed. I loved the concept of The God Machine; a machine linking scribes to write the universe and all it’s dimensions into existence. I feel it needed to be longer, and more questions needed to be answered, but for a free, short read, it was a unique idea.

 

I Still Love You by Jane Lark 2/5

6tag_190817-073804This is not a standalone. Although free from Amazon, it should still be stated clearly that to fully understand the characters and their history, the reader must read the previous books about Rachel and Jason. This story is pretty depressing for my tastes, but the theme is important and a very real/ important issue for some couples. Can’t fault the writing, just not my cup of tea.

 


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Review: Black-Eyed Devils by Catrin Collier (Short Story)

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Black-Eyed Devils by Catrin Collier 5/5

5528155One look was enough. Amy Watkins and miner ‘Big’ Tom Kelly were in love. But can they keep their feelings secret or face the threat of death in a community torn apart by the miner’s strike? Tonypandy, South Wales, 1911. Starving, striking miners fight soldiers and police on the picket lines for the right to earn a wage that will feed their families, while Irish labourers are brought in the take their place in the pits, for half their pay. Handsome ‘Big’ Tom Kelly, an Irish worker, comes to Wales looking for a better life and believes he has found it when he falls in love with Amy Watkins, the daughter of a strike leader. At night, the miners search out the Irish men, drag them from their beds, beat them and then hang them from the street lamp posts. Can Amy and Tom keep their love a secret forever? All they want is a future together. But in a world full of hatred, anger and violence, their dream seems impossible. Until another strike leader offers them a way out.

Review:

This is short story included in the Quick Reads Campaign. Quick Reads can be read in one or two sittings.

I was thoroughly drawn into Amy and Tom’s story. The Welsh miners in Tonypandy went on strike, and the mine bosses brought in Irish men to fill their jobs. Needless to say, the locals were not happy. One of these Irish ‘Blacklegs’ is Tom, and he falls head over heels for Amy, the daughter of one of the striking miners. The historical truths, teamed with the main characters and sub characters backstories make for an interesting read. You can’t help but root for Amy and Tom, and the ending was perfect.

I would recommend this book as a summer read, and those interested in historical fiction would enjoy this story.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

400 Followers Milestone

400 FOLLOWERS

Wow, I hit the 400 followers milestone on Writerly Bookish Stuff. Thank you to all my followers, old and new. I’m delighted to receive so much support.

This calls for a giveaway. Who would like to be in with a chance of winning all four of my ebooks, EVO Nation and EVO Shift from the EVO Nation series, Thrown to The Blue from the Indigo Flame series, and an ARC of my novella, Zombie Playlist?

All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter to be in with a chance of winning these books for either yourself or a friend.

ENTER HERE

Good luck to all who enter, and thank you for your continuing support of Writerly Bookish Stuff.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

 

Review: A Shining in the Shadows by Beverley Lee

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A Shining in the Shadows (Gabriel Davenport #2) by Beverley Lee 5/5

6tag_130817-200747Gabriel Davenport has been remade from darkness. Now, he must adapt to survive .

In a small seaside town, Gabriel’s maker unwittingly takes his wards into the throes of a deadly new game. There are rumblings on The Bloodvyne, the mental web of linked vampire consciousness. Whispers about a cleansing, about the ruling council hunting vampires with impure blood.

Gabriel finds himself thrust into a new nightmare, where the hunter becomes the hunted. When his maker is taken, he must battle to untangle the mystifying clues laid out in an uncovered labyrinth to find the only creature strong enough to fight against those that hunt his new-found family.

Gaze long into the darkness, and you’ll find old vampire foes out for revenge, new ones with their own agenda, and a witch who holds the key. But just who is the monster in the middle?

Review:

Another masterpiece from Lee. After relishing Lee’s effortless writing style in book one, I was yet again sucked into Gabriel’s world and led like a sleepwalker through the pages and plot twists with ease. Lee makes writing seem easy. The pacing, narrative, and character development has a superb flow, and as a reader, you wake up at the end wondering where you are and how you got there. Book hangover!

Some points that I have to mention:

  1. The relationship dynamics are on fire. There are some curve balls, and then relationships that blossom organically, despite initial thoughts.
  2.  Plot twists are subtley woven into the narrative. The ending is a weaving together of story pieces. Writing tapestry.
  3. Character development is a huge part of my reading experience. When you’re rooting for anti-heroes of sorts, you know the writer has got it right.

In summary, this is a vampire read that isn’t cliche. The characters and relationships are well crafted, and the story is littered with breadcrumbs that tie up effortlessly at the end. I highly recommend this series.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Picture Prompt 10/08/17

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations and spotlight them in the next picture prompt post.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Prompt:

 

K.J. CHAPMAN(7).png

*This picture was taken at Kynance Cove, Cornwall*

“There’s a boy out there!” I shout, squinting from the glare of the sun on the water.

He appears to be waist deep in the sea, but is surely at least two hundred yards out. He’d be way out of his depth. His clothes are wet, and his hair slick to his face. I know he looks at me for a little hand waves in my direction.

“Where?” Sally asks, scanning the water.

“He was just there,” I reply, desperately searching for the boy. Nothing disturbs the water. How? “I swear, he was right there. He waved to me.”

The elderly metal detectorist not a few metres away from us starts packing his stuff away in a fluster. “Ya girls best be getting back to ya hotel. Go on, now. Do not come back here, do ya hear? Try the north coast. Better waves, so they say.”

Sally scoffs. “Excuse me, why would we not come back here? We’re on holiday, Sir.”

“Just do as ya’r told,” he barks, and we both edge away from him.

“Let’s go,” I urge Sally, pulling her away.

She roots herself firmly in the sand. “I heard the locals don’t like the tourists a whole lot, but that’s just rude. Who does he think he is?” She turns back to the man. “We will go where we like, thanks all the same.”

The man growls in his throat, but offers a shrug. “Ah, do what ya like. Don’t say, Old Tom didn’t warn ya. Once ya have seen him, it’s a watery end for ya.”

“Seen who?” I ask, the hairs on my arms standing on end.

“The drowned boy is who.”


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Thoughts On: Zombie Playlist by K.J. Chapman

Thank you to Rebecca for taking the time to read and review an ARC of Zombie Playlist…

Minor spoilers ahead.


My second ever ARC read, Zombie Playlist completely lived up to what I’d been expecting after reading K.J. Chapman’s entries for the #FICTFBFEB17 challenge on Instagram, and from what I’ve seen, the rest of her ARC readers agree that this is one indie novella you don’t want to miss this year.


Zombie Playlist: A Novella by [Chapman, K.J. ]
Title: Zombie Playlist

Author: K.J. Chapman

Published: 2017

Genres: Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Short stories.

Buy from:Amazon


Blurb:  Dagger has survived the zombie apocalypse with nothing save a metal bat, blades, and assholery. With the company of an IPOD she attained courtesy of Dead-Dude, and King, the Bunker-Boy straggler she somehow acquired on her journey, she travels to the coast, putting down zombies, blowing up high-grade assholes, and teaching King how to ditch his pre-apocalypse conscience and keep his yellow ass alive.
Thoughts On :

Premise: ***

I’m going to be honest here and admit I’m…

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Picture Prompt 03/08/17

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations and spotlight them in the next picture prompt post.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Prompt:

Copy of K.J. CHAPMAN

“Read the note again.” Denny walks two paces ahead, rucksack hanging from the one shoulder. He has a nervous energy about him, but the fact that he is trying to conceal it puts me on edge.

“I’ve read it ten times already. It isn’t going to have changed in the last five minutes,” I say. He turns and glowers over his shoulder in that big-brotherly way that says ‘don’t make me beat on you’. “Pack a bag, walk to the special place, and find the red amongst the green. The past and future awaits you there.”

Denny brushes his shaggy, blonde hair out of his eyes. “And this was hand delivered?”

“Yes,” I snap, sick of recounting the same thing over and over. “There isn’t a stamp. See?”

He ignores me, choosing to pick up his pace.

We come to our special place; the lake where Dad used to bring us fishing as kids. I usually only come back here on anniversaries: birthdays, the day he died. Instantly, Denny points to the mass of fallen trees. The red leaves on one particular tree jar against the greens surrounding it.

“This is it,” Denny says, rushing to the bushes. He digs about in the brush, pulling out a box wrapped in plastic. “How I have prayed for this,” he cries with delight.

He rips open the parcel, marvelling at an ornate, wooden box. I have never seen it before, but clearly this means something to Denny.

“Prayed for what? What is this? Is this a game- a hoax?”

Denny opens the box, breaths ragged and shallow. Inside is a gold coin- doubloon like in appearance. “I thought they were all destroyed.” He starts half sobbing, half laughing. “I can’t believe it. This means–”

“What is that? Who left it?” I ask. “Denny, you’re scaring me.”

Picking up the coin in the cloth it is wrapped in, Denny grips my arm and pulls me toward him. “This is our ticket home, Tia. It is time for you to remember.”

He presses the coin to my forehead, and a searing pain ignites behind my eyes. I have surely fainted for all is black for a moment before a kaleidoscope of colours rushes through my mind’s eye.

I awake on my back, Denny leaning over me in concern. It is as if I’m am looking at him for the first time. “You’re not my brother,” I whisper.

Denny laughs into the air. “Not by blood, no. I think I’ve earned the title, though. What do you say?”

My thoughts clear a little more. Denny aka Dennison Harvey was on my father’s guard. I was entrusted to his care when… “Oh, shit! I remember,” I gasp out loud.

“That’s no language for a Princess to use,” he says, nudging me playfully.

“He altered my memories, so I wouldn’t return home. That’s why the Queen tried to destroy all the remaining coins. My father must still be alive, Denny.”

I stand, brushing the dirt from my clothes, and Denny kneels with bowed head. The familiarity of such an action is like another piece of the puzzle slotting into place- my memory weaving itself back together.

“Get up, you idiot. You’ve been my brother for the past four years, that doesn’t stop now. Pass me that coin, I’m taking us home.”


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

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Update 02/08/17

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This is a short and sweet update just to let you know where I am at with things.

Zombie Playlist

The ARCs of Zombie Playlist are now in the hands of the readers. I shall sit here and bite my nails, awaiting feedback. It’s crazy to think that Dagger’s story is released in a month. September 4th is the big day! Mark it in your calendars. You can preorder today by clicking this link.

If you’d like to feature the release of Zombie Playlist on your blog etc, get in touch.

Blog Stuff

I had the pleasure of writing a small piece about self-doubt for Sarina Langer’s post over on her blog, Cookie Break. 14 authors offer sound advice for tackling self-doubt. Head on over and take a look.

What’s Next?

Apart from getting ready for the release, I am prepping for the EVO Ghost edit. This is going to be a mammoth task. Possibly, the biggest editing task I have had to date. I have no idea on timescale, deadlines, or the such.

The Red Archer has grown by a few thousand words since the last update, but this is on the back burner whilst the EVO Ghost edit is in full swing. I know that I will dip in here and there as I can’t solely edit without losing my sanity.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

New Release: Bernie by Brianna West

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Today is Bernie’s book birthday. Congratulations to Brianna West on the release of her third book in the Guardians in Love series. Get your copy today!

Bernie_fullcoverNyla, born and raised in the In-Between realm as the princess of the Spiritum Bellatorum, has been betrothed from birth and forced to conceal the true personality within in order to project herself as nothing but the perfect princess she was taught to be.

When her brother betrays their kind, Nyla acquires an unprecedented mission to find and convince him to come home. Teaming up with the Promiscus Guardians to locate her runaway brother in the mortal realm, Nyla is introduced to the resident comedian and self-proclaimed cowboy Guardian, Bernie.

He is everything she wishes she could be outwardly and she’s instantly intrigued by his happy, easy-going nature. But, like Nyla, Bernie is keeping a part of himself tightly locked away.

What will happen when their barriers start to come down? Will they be able to overcome so many obstacles laid out before them, or will their relationship be torn apart before they have a chance to find something deeper?

Teasers:

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Holding me underneath my arms, Bernard lifted me into the air with another shout of joy. “Aren’t you just the prettiest gal at the ball!”

He said I was pretty! He actually said it!

Rigid and unable to get my body to react more than it currently was with my hands painfully clutching his shoulders, I gasped and then forgot how to breathe altogether. I was put down before I could get my brain to work properly, swooped up underneath my knees and carried out into the hallway without a breath in between.

Red suffused my body like I’d been immersed in sweltering heat, blushing a violent blood color. Finally, I was able to deliver a swift, unforgiving hit to the overstepping Guardian. The damaging blow my fist dealt to his stomach took Bernard straight to his knees. And a swift second later, my dagger was at his throat the instant his knees hit the floor.

I kept a weapon on my person always. Even in my cute, frilly dress.

“What right do you have—” I started in a low growl.

Bernard leaned forward, coming within inches of my face and baffling me when he pushed his throat into the blade. I instantly retracted my arm so that the dagger didn’t cut into his skin. And when my eyes flicked back up to his face, Bernard was grinning mischievously.

It was downright illicit the look he gave me. It made my heart start up in my chest and pulse thud loudly in my ears as I hesitated with the dagger still gripped firmly in my hand. Bernard took hold of the wrist that held my weapon, caressing the skin he touched with his thumb. Instantly, I dropped the dagger to the floor, the loud clatter echoing off the walls.

“You are mighty pretty in that dress, miss,” he said in a soft, whispery voice. One I hadn’t been prepared to hear from him.

Electricity shot down my spine and my heart skipped a beat. “What…?”

“You’re not being very nice to this lovesick cowboy,” Bernard continued, grasping my wrist tenderly and taking us to our feet.

But after a few breaths, he still hadn’t pull away and I couldn’t move; only listen as his deep, enchanting baritone continued to murmur to me as only a lover would, making my cheeks incredibly hot with each uttered word.

Release Event:

Head on over to Facebook for the release event. Be in with a chance of winning a signed Paperback, $30 Amazon Gift Card, and many more prizes.

Author Links:

71zctz9teal-_ux250_Website

Amazon

Pronoun

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Newsletter

Merch

Signed Paperbacks


For use of content, please contact the author, Brianna West

July Reads Rounds Up

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The Hollows Part #1 (Graphic Novel) by Amanda Hocking & Tony Lee

6tag_020717-165755Full Review: The Hollows 1 of 10.

I gave this book 3/5. True to the original story, and offers more insight into the early days of the zombie apocalypse. A little too short for my liking, so character development suffered. I would have prefered graphics in colour.

 

Alive at Sunset by Kayla Krantz

6tag_060717-064253Full Review: Alive at Sunset.

I gave this book 3/5. A killer with a knack of getting away with everything and worming his way into Luna’s life. A few inconsistencies, but a nightmare inducing tale.

 

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

6tag_170717-072014Full Review: DNF

I stuck with this book until 50%. I found the opening chapters promising, but the narrative plodded along and didn’t keep my interest.

 

 

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

6tag_160717-063147Full Review: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

I gave this book 4/5. I knew the story, but shamefully, I had never read the book. A surprisingly refreshing read that clearly stands the test of time. Great character development, and a curious look into identity and good vs evil.

 

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

6tag_210717-204649Full Review: Review.

I gave this book 4/5. Character development was spot on as usual for Jay Kristoff. The first part of the book was a little weighed down with description, but the world building was epic. Plough through the first 100 pages and you won’t be disappointed.

 

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A Sea Change by Veronica Henry

Full Review: A Sea Change.

I gave this book 3/5. A sweet short with a happy, predictable ending. A little too much description is places: list of ice cream flavours and toppings, or grocery lists. An open ending that could lead on to a sequel, or could be left to the readers to assume what way Jenna’s and Craig’s relationship went.

Love is Blind by

Full Review: Love is Blind.

I gave this book 2.5/5. The start of the story was a little ridiculous, and the sisters fought for pages. I didn’t find either relatable. The story picked up in Australia, and the ending was what I hoped. I would have liked this better if the author didn’t pile it with insults.

After the Love: Victor by Brianna West (FREE newsletter subscription short story)

Full Review: After the Love: Victor

I gave this book 5/5. Great insight into Victor and Lilly’s relationship after the initial meeting of hearts. It was steamy, sexy, and fun. A jealous Victor was an interesting read. Poor Lilly didn’t stand a chance… not that she wanted to.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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