Short Stories

‘Fur Coat and No Knickers’ by Adrienne Vaughan #TuesdayBookBlog #BookReview @adrienneauthor

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Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com

A mixture of thrilling, gripping and heart-warming short stories for a cosy fireside read anytime, anyplace. Fur Coat & No Knickers will introduce you to an impoverished heiress desperate to keep up appearances; a bitter and broken-hearted widow whose wilful terrier leads her to romance; an ageing theatrical masquerading as a highly-paid carer and a woman whose husband has maintained a secret family throughout their married life! These are just some of the fascinating and unforgettable characters in this fabulous new collection by award-winning author Adrienne Vaughan.

Writing a good short story is a tricky thing, and something that many novelists find difficult. The transition from novelist to short story writer isn’t easy and, having read and enjoyed this author’s novels in the past, I have to admit I was a little worried that these stories might not work as well as her novels undoubtedly do.

But they do work, and they work very well indeed. Ms Vaughan is a wonderful story-teller, and there are some wonderful stories here. These stories are character-driven, and the author has a real skill for drawing characters that are relatable and realistic; to build these characters so well and so clearly in such few words, and to make you care about a character that you only spend a few pages with is quite an accomplishment.

Stand outs for me were ‘Heir Apparent’, a story of deception with a little twist in the tail; ‘The Messenger’, which I feel could be developed into something longer; and ‘A Married Man’ which has a surprisingly dark edge.

A lovely book to dip in and out of, and perfect for a little bit of escapism.

Recommended.

4.5 out of 5

 

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#FridayFiveChallenge @rosieamber1 ‘Tenderling’ by Amy Cross

Welcome to the Friday Five Challenge

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five challenge only takes five minutes, so grab a cuppa and join in!

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In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions on small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

The Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

I’ve been reading some great short stories this week courtesy of the latest copy of Mslexia, so thought I would have a browse of the short stories available on Amazon. I’m keen to step out of my comfort zone, and horror isn’t a genre I usually go for (unless it’s Stephen King) so I decided to see what gory tales were around. This cover caught my eye -its simplicity stood out and I like the stark image. The title doesn’t give much away.

Tenderling

Amazon.co.uk  Amazon.com

Price: 0.99 in the UK and $1.50 in the US

Book description:

When Cally Taylor and her parents moved into their new house, they assumed the previous occupants had left. 
At first, Cally is the only one who notices the strange sounds in the middle of the night, and the tell-tale hints of another presence. No matter how hard she tries to convince her parents, they simply tell her to stop being so scared. Slowly, however, the presence starts to make itself known in other ways.
After a horrific experience with her mother, Cally learns that the creature hiding in the house is a Tenderling. Unfortunately, she also learns that the previous owners of the house were killed by the Tenderling, which already seems hungry for more victims.
Tenderling is a horror story about a little girl who realizes that she’s the only one who can save her family from a terrifying fate.

Reviews

Eight in the UK – four 5 star, three 4 star and a 3 star, so not bad. Seven in the US, four 5 star, two 4 star and a 2 star. The majority of the reviews are really positive. The two star review gives no details as to why the reviewer doesn’t like the book so is no help at all.

Would I buy or pass? BUY

Analysis

To be honest, the blurb didn’t grab me. It’s a bit clumsy and that made me worry about the writing. But the reviews were good. So I decided to have a look inside. As the clock ticked to the end of the five minutes, I was still reading. And now I want to know what happens.  And at 99p for 112 pages (so a long short story) it’s worth a go.

If you want to join in the Friday Five Challenge, pop over to Rosie’s blog to find out more.