Under The Phone by Nicholas Leonard Ivey

Under the Phone

 

Under The Phone by Nicholas Leonard Ivey

Publishing:  January 13, 2021 by SFS Publishing

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: I was sent a widget from BookReviewBuzz, and it is a short story….which is a great way to be introduced to a new author.

 

Under The Phone by Nicholas Leonard Ivey is a short sci-fi story.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher SFS, BookReviewBuzz,  and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Jack (a computer programmer) and Stacy (a psychologist) move to Sherly Pointe.  He will be working for a high tech company, and she has a job at the hospital.

The old mining town of Sherly Pointe has a rather strange reputation with conspiracy theorists…there are problems with the water, there are UFO sightings, it’s a government installation….

Jack and Stacy are not too concerned, until things start happening, and one of Jack’s teamworkers ends up missing.

 

My Opinions:   

First, I am really glad this was a short story.  This was probably the poorest editing job I have EVER encountered, so I am going to try really hard to not let that affect my review of the book.

The premise of a world takeover through our cell phones was interesting.  However, the “pyramids” and the triangle UFO’s may have needed a little further explanation.  The premise sort of fell apart.

The book seemed really disjointed, and conversations seemed to be missing pieces. There are no real introductions of people.  A new character Bubba shows up and his first words were “I told too” (I assume it meant I told you), but who was he talking to?  Because it was Jack who responded, and as far as I could tell they had never met.  I realize in a short story it is difficult for the characters to have any real depth, but there was no depth at all to anyone.  Even Jack and Stacy were just shallow…

Anyway, I think this one missed the mark with me, and I realize short stories are sometimes hard to get into, but this one really didn’t work.  If this wasn’t a NetGalley book, I may not review it at all, because I hate giving a poor review.  However, others have read and reviewed in a number of places, so…..I would probably only give it 1 star, but am upping it to 2 stars because I think part of the problem was the editing that made the whole thing worse, (although other reasons can be noted above).

Anyway,  these are just my opinions, maybe you’ll enjoy it!

Read: March, 2022

 

About The Author:  Nicholas Leonard Ivey is an American software developer as well as an author.

Check him out:

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4597754189

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

 

Christmas with Luc and Ava by Helen Fields (#6.5 – Luc Callanach)

Crimson Foile Blank Book: Blank Art Pad Notebook Journal Portfolio (Classic 150 Blank): Services, N.D. Author: 9781722122935: Amazon.com: Books

 

Christmas with Luc & Ava by Helen Fields

 Published:  December, 2020

 

 

Previous Book in the Series:  #6 – Perfect Kill

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book: The author provided me with a widget for this short story in December of 2020.  Now that the 7th in this series is due out in early 2022, I thought I should quickly read this.

 

Christmas with Luc and Ava by Helen Fields is a short story  in the Detective Luc Callanach series.

First, let me thank the author for providing me a copy of this short story.

 

Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
DI Luc Callanach is half French and half Scottish, living most of his life in France, and working for Interpol. A false rape allegation made by co-worker Astrid Borde, had him leave France, his job, his friends, his mother. He headed to Edinburgh to take command of a homicide team.  He has adjusted to the change, making friends with a colleague, newly appointed DCI Ava Taylor, and finds an unlikely friend in a journalist.  He may never be close with DS Lively. Other team members are DS Max Tripp, DC Janet Monroe and DI Pax Graham.  The big boss is Superintended Overbeck.

 

My Synopsis and Opinions:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Ava, Natasha and Luc have been living together for a few months now.  In light of Natasha’s breast cancer diagnosis and her disdain for Christmas,  Luc gives her and Ava a Christmas day to remember.

This does not have to be read in order with the rest of the books, and it is REALLY  REALLY short.  It was really good!

Read: October, 2021

 

 

perfect-death-helen-fields-book-review-aAbout The Author: Helen Fields is a British author, who started out practicing family and criminal law, spending years working with the police, CPS, Social Services, etc.  She then moved on to being a script writer and producer and co-owns a media company.  She is now devoting a lot of time to writing. Helen and her husband now live in Hampshire with their three children and two dogs.  Check out her website at www.helenfields.com

*** photo taken from her website

 

 

Do you read short stories within a series?  Do you review them?

 

 

 

The Man in Black by Elly Griffiths (#12.5 – Ruth Galloway)

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The Man in Black by Elly Griffiths 

 Published: November 3, 020 by Quercus

 

Previous Book in the Series: #12 – The Lantern Men

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:  A short story about Ruth?  How could I not?

 

The Man in Black by Elly Griffiths is a short story in the Ruth Galloway mystery series.

Series Background:   (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)
Ruth is a Forensic Archaeologist who lives in a rather remote cottage on the edge of the Saltmarsh near Norfolk England. She teaches at the university, and has a daughter by DCI Harry Nelson, an already married police officer. Their relationship is complicated. Ruth seems to help solve most of the crimes in the area, as they usually involve the discovery of bones. As well, there is often some aspect of religion in these books. Although Ruth believes in very little, Harry is a lapsed Catholic, their friend Cathbad is a Druid, and all of their families are quite religious.

 

My Synopsis:    (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

While Ruth is killing time in a bookstore, she runs into a strange friend of Cathbad’s.  He recommends a book called “The Land of Hytersprites” for Kate.

That book will help them solve the case of the abducted cats.

 

My Opinions:

Even for a really short story, the characters shine.  I still feel that next to Ruth, Cathbad is my favorite.

What starts as a silly little plot, became a good mystery, all in a few pages.

I guess this proves it, I will read anything Elly Griffiths writes!

Read: June, 2021

 

Favorite Quotes from The Man in Black:

“ Flint lives a charmed, rule-free existence. There’s more chance of Ruth sleeping on the floor than there is of Flint roughing it.”

 

Elly GriffithsAbout The Author:   Elly Griffiths (1963 – ) was born in London England and now lives in Brighton with her husband and two children.  Born Domenica de Rosa, she wrote four books under that name.  As Elly Griffiths she is best known for the Ruth Galloway novels, which were inspired by her husband who trained as an archaeologist, and her aunt who filled her head with myths of the Norfolk coast. Check out her website: https://ellygriffiths.co.uk/

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3639474037

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

We Will be Watching by Ruth Ware

We Will Be Watching

We Will be Watching by Ruth Ware

Published: 2020

 

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:   It’s Ruth Ware!!!!

 

We Will be Watching by Ruth Ware is a short story.

First, let me thank  the author for providing me with a copy of this book when I signed up for her newsletter.  All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Lana, Alistair, Ravi and Carol work for McCann Fisher.  Much to the dismay of the others, Carol has recently been promoted and is now their boss.  As a team-building exercise, she arranges an Escape Room Party.  Lord and Lady Remington’s Masked Ball is supposedly a 5-star experience.  No one but Carol wants to be there.

As the group struggles to complete the room, it becomes evident that whoever put this room together means to torment them.  They are finding clues related to their darkest secrets.

It seems that escaping the room may mean revealing more than each of them wants.

 

My Opinions:   

I have enjoyed every story that Ruth Ware puts to paper.  This may have been a short story, but it has every aspect required of a true mystery.  A locked room, a dark creepy atmosphere, strange clues, people with secrets, suspense….

 

Read: January, 2021

 

Ruth WareAbout The Author:   Ruth Ware (1977 – ) is a British author, known for her best-selling psychological thrillers. Her books have been published in more than 40 languages. Before dedicating herself to full-time writing, Ruth worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language, and a press officer. She now lives with her family in Sussex, on the south coast of England.Check out her website at www.ruthware.com

*** Photo Credit – taken from GoodReads

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

I’d Kill for You by L.A. Detwiler

I'd Kill for You

 

I’d Kill for You by L.A. Detwiler

Self-Published: 2020

 

Reason I chose to Read this Book:   I was offered this short story by the author.

 

I’d Kill for You by L.A. Detwiler is a short domestic thriller.

First, let me thank the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

A mother will do anything to protect her son.  When he kills a man,  she takes him on the run.

But he’s a teenager, and she’s finding out that protecting him may not be as easy as she thinks.  He’s starting to make his own decisions.

 

My Opinions:   

For a short story, this had everything you need.  Good writing, a good plot, and suspense.  My only problem is the ending, but…..

I always find it difficult to review a short story without giving everything away, but just know that it asks the age-old question…how far would you go to protect your child.

Bottom line, it’s a great short read!

Read: December, 2020

 

Favorite Quote from Title:

Some mothers would die for their child. I would go a step further. Always a step further. I’m an overachiever like that.”

 

L.A. DetwilerAbout The Author:  L.A. Detwiler (Lindsay) is an American author who also teaches high school English in Pennsylvania. She has written several romance novels, but is now trying her hand at thrillers – and succeeding. She lives in Hollidaysburg PA with her husband, 5 cats, and a dog. Check out her website at http://www.ladetwiler.com

*** Photo taken from GoodReads

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3717261381

 

Have you read it?  Do you plan to?  Tell me your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Either way, I’d love to know.

 

 

 

Balance by John Hunt

Balance

Balance by John Hunt

Published: February, 2019 by Black Rose Writing

5Stars

 

 

Reason I Chose to Read this Book:  I love the author!

 

Balance by John Hunt is a horror story  –  novella.

First, let me thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.  (Sorry it took me so long to review this John…it got lost in my TBR pile).

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Jack has one goal.  He has to reach the bomb shelter that his crazy neighbours had built when he was a kid.  He just rescued Claire from her car seat, where she was trapped behind the bodies of her dead parents.  Time is of the essence.

But even the bomb shelter may not be safe, as Jack seems to be losing his mind.  He knows he will not be able to stay in the shelter for long. But the world has changed, and some of the survivors are even more dangerous than the new world.

 

My Opinions:   

John Hunt knows how to build suspense, even in a short story.  He knows how to freak the reader out, keeping you on the edge of your seat.  This author always delivers!

The plot was great, the pace was fast, and the action non-stop.  I loved the characters and their interactions.

This novella was a very fast read….didn’t put it down from start to finish.

On a side matter, I loved “Jack’s Fun Facts”….although most of them creeped me out.

This is the fourth book I have read by this author, and I highly recommend him. I just have to get my hands on his “4 Shots of Horror” yet, and then I’ll be happy.

Read: June, 2020

 

Favorite Quotes from Balance:

“Predator and prey intuitively sought and maintained a check and balance system with each other, adjusting for elements that would be introduced into the system that could cause the system to go out of whack. The system could never return to its previous balanced state but nature would invariably develop a new one. Equilibrium always asserted itself.”

“ Dr. Redfern believed that, until nature rebalanced, the human population would be culled and not eradicated. “

 

authorpageAbout The Author:  A busy father of four, John Hunt had not started writing until late 2009.  Most of his writing is done during his spare time.  His short stories have been published nine times.  He works and lives in the city of Guelph, Ontario, Canada with his family.  Check out his website at www.johnhuntfiction.wordpress.com

*** Photo Taken from GoodReads

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3384736384

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zenith Man by Jennifer Haigh (Inheritance Collection)

Zenith Man

Zenith Man by Jennifer Haigh

 Published: December 19, 2019 by Amazon Original Stories

5Stars

 

 

 Zenith Man by Jennifer Haigh is a short story.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Amazon Original Stories, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

When Harold Pardee calls 911 to report his wife is dead, the small town is stunned.  They didn’t even know the TV Repairman was married.  After 32 years of marriage, only one other person had even seen his wife.

When the coroner pronounced that the death was suspicious and Harold is charged with murder, the defense has a hard time proving his innocence, since they can barely prove the woman existed.

 

My Opinions:  

This is one of five stories (all by different authors), in the “Inheritance” Collection of Amazon Short Stories.  They are all about secrets within families, and the consequences that come from those secrets.

I absolutely loved this story.  It was refreshingly different, and a little quirky.  The whole premise of the book was great – a woman, so cut off from the world, but living right there.  I found myself smiling, and the situation was not really funny, but Harold’s nonchalance about the whole thing was great.  The writing was wonderful.

For a really short story, this one had it all.  I will definitely have to look for more books by this author!

 

Read: January, 2020

 

Favorite Quote from Zenith Man:

“How to prove a woman had been murdered if you couldn’t prove she’d ever lived?”

 

About The Author: Jennifer Haigh is an American author who lives in Boston.  Check out her website at www.jennifer-haigh.com

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3096866113

 

 

The Weddings by Alexander Chee (Inheritance Collection)

The Weddings

The Weddings by Alexander Chee

 Published: December 19, 2019 by Amazon Original Stories

3.5 stars

 

 

The Weddings by Alexander Chee is a short story.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Amazon Original Stories, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

Jack Cho, a gay Korean-American, considers marrying for the first time, now that it is legal.  Caleb, his boyfriend, is not yet on the bandwagon.

When Jack is invited to the wedding of his straight college room-mate Scott, who he had crushed on, his mind wanders.  Jack ruminates about marriage in general, about his love for this room-mate, and if, perchance, he still actually loves him.  He wonders about Caleb, about the fact that he hadn’t really told Caleb much about Scott.

 

My Opinions:  

This is one of five stories (all by different authors), in the “Inheritance” Collection of Amazon Short Stories.  They are all about secrets within families, and the consequences that come from those secrets.

The story is about love,  about marriage, about culture, and simply about fear of the unknown.  It was well-written, showing the range of emotions Jack goes through while exploring his regrets, his guilt, his fears, his love.

Overall, it was a good story. 

 

Read: January, 2020

 

About The Author:  Alexander Chee is an American author, born in Rhode Island, but raised in South Korea, Guam, Truk and Maine. He attended Wesleyan University and the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, an NEA Fellowship in Fiction, fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and was the Visiting Writer at Amherst College from 2006-2010.  Check out his website at www.koreanish.wordpress.com

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3179333991

 

 

 

 

Everything My Mother Taught Me by Alice Hoffman (Inheritance Collection)

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Everything My Mother Taught Me by Alice Hoffman

 Publishing: December 19, 2019 by Amazon Original Stories

4stars

 

 

Everything My Mother Taught Me by Alice Hoffman is a short story.

 First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Amazon Original Stories,  and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

It is the early 1900’s.  Twelve-year old Adeline takes a vow of silence when her beloved father dies.  Her mother, an adulterous b****, takes her daughter to a remote island where she takes a job as a housekeeper for the lighthouse.  She also starts an affair with another woman’s husband.  On the good side, Adeline blossoms.

Adeline becomes close to Julia, whose husband Rowan is now getting his kicks elsewhere.  Together, Adeline and Julia hatch a plan.

 

My Opinions:  

This is one of five stories (all by different authors), in the “Inheritance” Collection of Amazon Short Stories.  They are all about secrets within families, and the consequences that come from those secrets.

As always, Alice Hoffman has created characters that you either love or hate.  Even in such a short story, these characters have depth.

Bottom line….the story is good! 

 

Read: December, 2019

 

 

Favorite Quotes from Everything My Mother Taught Me:

 “She had told me often enough to keep my mouth shut, and now I did exactly that. I abolished all language on the day of my father’s funeral.”

“I was so unaccustomed to such emotions it took some time before I realized I was happy.”

 

 

Alice HoffmanAbout The Author:  Alice Hoffman (March 1952 – ) is an American writer. She has published over thirty novels, three books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults. She lives near Boston. Check out her website at www.alicehoffman.com

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3028415898

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can You Feel This by Julie Orringer (Inheritance Collection)

Can You Feel This?

Can You Feel This by Julie Orringer

 Published: December 19, 2019 by Amazon Original Stories

4stars

 

 

Can You Feel This by Julie Orringer is a short story.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Amazon Original Stories, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

 

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

 A woman’s has a C-Section, and gives birth to a baby boy.  Her first few days have her ruminating about her fears of being a mother, and her memories of being in this hospital before…when her mother’s dead body was brought here after her suicide.

 

My Opinions:  

This is one of five stories (all by different authors), in the “Inheritance” Collection of Amazon Short Stories.  They are all about secrets within families, and the consequences that come from those secrets.

Although this would not have been my first choice in reading material, I did enjoy the story, which really dealt with anxieties and fears.  Fear of being a mother, fear of not knowing what to do, fear of mental illness, and fear because she had kept her own mother’s suicide a secret from her husband.

It was well-written, and an interesting story. 

For a more complete review of this book and others (including author information and quotations), please visit my blog: https://katlovesbooksblog.wordpress.com/

 

Read: December, 2019

 

Julie Orringer

 

About The Author:  Julie Orringer is an American author, born in Florida, but who now lives in New York with her husband and children.  Check out her website at www.julieorrigner.com

 

I have also reviewed this book on GoodReads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3096855379