Book Review: ‘The Clearing’ by A.M. Rycroft

‘The Clearing’ is a well-written short story that delivers some effectively developed moments of tension and mild horror.

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A.M. Rycroft The ClearingWhen Anthony takes Suzanne on a picnic in a surprise location, they both get more of a surprise than either of them counted on.

‘The Clearing’ is a well-written short story that delivers some effectively developed moments of tension and mild horror.

It’s long enough to develop the ideas and dramatic tension effectively, but short enough to read and enjoy comfortably in a lunch break.

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Acorn Award II Silver‘The Clearing’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn as I would have liked it to be just a little longer.
Find it on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Crossroads of Draston’ – An Anthology

A varied and entertaining fantasy collection.

‘Crossroads of Draston’ delivers a varied collection of highly original fantastic tales of elves, dwarves, mages, people and beasts, and of the challenges and struggles they face. All of the stories are well-written and engaging.

As with any anthology, some were more to my taste than others. Of all these Dragonband Tales, those that appealed to me most were ‘The Librarian’ and ‘Magic Within’.

In ‘The Librarian’ the reader is introduced to Wiggum, a delightful gnome burdened with insatiable curiosity, who discovers that even seemingly benign actions can have significant consequences. I really wanted this story to be much longer.

Alaya, the central character of ‘Magic Within’, is the kind of heroine I really love – loyal, brave, and dogged, fully committed to freeing those who are enslaved and serving justice to those who deserve it. I would really like to read the next “chapter” in her story, too.

This collection offers everything from high fantasy to more visceral and macabre stories, so there is something for all fantasy lovers here.

Acorn Award II SilverBook Squirrel has awarded ‘Crossroads of Draston’ a Silver Acorn because it’s an entertaining and varied fantasy anthology.

Find it on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Hope’s Well’ by India Emerald

A mysterious and interesting short story.

‘Hope’s Well’ tells the tale of Verity Buckthorne and her fascination with a mysterious well near her home.

The reader develops quite an insight into the working of Verity’s mind by reading her diary entries, which makes the story interesting on a psychological level as well as a fictional one.

The tale is crafted cleverly, with a slow build toward the climax and suggestions of other mysteries along the way. It has a lovely reminiscent sense of times gone by and old-fashioned charm, achieved by the author’s development of both characters and setting.

‘Hope’s Well’ is a short but substantial read that will please lovers of mystery and speculative fiction.

Acorn Award I GoldenBook Squirrel has awarded Hope’s Well a Golden Acorn.

Find this book on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘The Gift’ by Rhonda Hopkins

This Christmas story challenges the reader to assess their values and priorities, and to remember what is most important in life. 

What do we sacrifice for success without realising? Rhonda Hopkins The Gift
When his life is thrown into turmoil with no notice two weeks before Christmas, Robert faces a number of challenges he had never anticipated. The choices he makes will be the difference between success or failure as a father and family man.
The story itself is well-written and nicely developed. I wasn’t expecting the ending to happen as it did, but the ability to surprise a  reader thus is one mark of a good writer.  ‘The Gift’ is an enjoyable and rewarding short read.
This Christmas story challenges the reader to assess their values and priorities, and to remember what is most important in life.
Silver Acorns
Book Squirrel gives this book a Silver Acorn.
Find ‘The Gift’ on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘A Meadow in Saanich: Not Quite a Ghost Story’ by Valerie Albermarle

I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Meadow in Saanich. It’s a beautifully written short story.

Valerie Albermarle A Meadown In Saanich

This beautifully written short story transports the reader to a place where history and the present cling and ghosts are said to linger in the mist. In a beautiful west Canadian setting, Albermarle teases the reader’s imagination into suspending doubt and disbelief aas they follow Kaiya on a mysterious adventure. The author successfully evokes feelings of nostalgia and affection for times gone by and delivers the story as though the events within it are not unusual at all.

Silver Acorns

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘A Meadow in Saanich’, so I’ve given it a lovely Silver Acorn.

You can find this book and others by Valerie Albermarle at Amazon.

Book Squirrel Review: The Quantum Soul Anthology

There are some fantastic authors included in this collection.
This book is jam-packed with great value for the price.

Anthology The Quantum SoulThere are some fantastic authors included in this collection. Lyra Shanti, Claire Buss, E.M. Swift-Hook and Alan Van Meter are authors whose work I’ve read and enjoyed before, but I’ve also appreciated the opportunity to read work from authors that are new to me.

Obviously in an anthology, some will be more to one’s taste than others, but even those that I haven’t really gotten into have been really well written, very interesting and engaging stories. There are some really intriguing variations and blends into the realms of fantasy, magical realism and dystopian stories, as well as more classic scifi stories in this collection.

If I had to pick two favourites – which is quite a challenge – they would be the contributions by Jeanette O’Hagan and Lyra Shanti.

Project Chameleon, Jeanette O’Hagan’s account of Jerren’s experiences of being transformed into a cyborg, is both confronting and thought-provoking. The imagery is sharp and powerful. Writing from a perspective within Jerren’s mind is highly effective in positioning the reader to feel empathy and feel complicit in his thoughts and responses.

The Endymion Device by Lyra Shanti is a Sci-fi detective story with a distinct noir feel to it. It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Shanti’s Shiva XIV series, and I love the way she writes. This compelling story is completely unrelated to that series and has a very different premise and setting, but is just as rich in imaginative detail.

This book is jam-packed with great value for the price.
Silver Acorns

It’s a Silver Acorn award for an excellent collection of great stories.

Get your copy today at Amazon.

New Release: The Quantum Soul

The Quantum Soul is a  brilliant scifi anthology that released on October 20th.

The Quantum Soul is a  brilliant scifi anthology that released on October 20th.

I’ve read a couple of these stories so far, and I’m really enjoying them!

Anthology The Quantum Soul
 

There are some fantastic authors represented here. Lyra Shanti, Claire Buss, E.M. Swift-Hook and Alan Van Meter are authors whose work I’ve read and enjoyed before, but I’m loving the opportunity to read work from authors that are new to me.

Obviously in an anthology, some will be more to my taste than others, but what I’ve read so far have been really well written, very interesting and engaging stories. There are some really intriguing variations and blends into the realms of fantasy, magical realism and dystopian stories, as well as more classic scifi stories in this collection. 

This book is jam-packed with great value for the $3 price of the eBook. Do yourself a favour and get your copy today.