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Mournful Beauty

Lisa Diaz Meyer Author Interview

Lisa Diaz Meyer Author Interview

All Roads Shattered is the third book in the All Roads series of dark fiction stories and poems. In the last book you said you wanted to go darker and bring more sci-fi into the story. Did you want to continue that in book three or did you envision a different path?

With All Roads Shattered I wanted to show darkness and variety, perhaps a different type of ending other than just brief character life lessons or moments.

The characters are all superbly created, as usual. Is there anything from your own life that you put into your characters to make them more believable?

Most of the time, no, at least not with this book. I did that with All Roads Home. In All Roads Shattered I wanted my characters to have their own life and story. Put my “empathic feet” into make believe shoes.

I enjoyed all the stories in the collection, as they all inspired some reflection afterward. Is there a story that didn’t make it into the collection?

If anything, a poem might get put to the side to be reworked but that’s about it.

Do you find that you write stories that challenge you as a writer, or stories that are easy for you to write?

I write what I feel or imagine, so it’s not difficult. I never mind a challenge if it inspires mournful beauty or captivating contemplation.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookWebsite

ALL ROADS SHATTERED, the third book of Lisa Diaz Meyer’s All Roads Collection contains two short story sagas, five multi-genre, dark fiction short stories and twelve macabre poems. Other books in this dark fiction collection are ALL ROADS HOME and ALL ROADS DESTINED.

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Real or Imagined

Lisa Diaz Meyer Author Interview

Lisa Diaz Meyer Author Interview

All Roads Destined is a collection of stories from fantasy to science fiction with links back to your first collection. What was the inspiration for this collection of stories?

As for the Outposts, I wanted to continue on since I’d left it as a cliffhanger in All Roads Home. I then felt I wanted to bring more loneliness and some addiction awareness into the equation as these subjects, real or imagined, can be sad and frightful.

I felt that this book was a bit darker than the last collection. What were some themes you wanted to capture while writing this book?

I did want to go darker, bring more science fiction in but based off subjects that make people uncomfortable. Again the addiction issue, some odd poetry. As you said in your review, the short story The Crone was your favorite. It was also mine, too. And I love when something like that can just come upon me, the imagery and the way I want it to be read.

You also included a selection of poems in the section titled The Fragments. What was your favorite poem from the collection and how did you pick which poems made it into this collection?

The poems or fragments I write in between or even during a WIP. My favorites in this book were Clocks and The Water Globe, both having to do with the passage of time.

What is your process like for writing short stories? Does it differ from longer novels?

There’s a certain pace with short stories that I prefer. I may be inspired to write a longer novel one day, just not yet.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookWebsite

All Roads Destined: A Collection of Dark Fiction and Poems by [Meyer, Lisa Diaz]Destiny is what we bring to the world where the roads are stained with tears and blood, and paved in eternal stone. In Part One, the continuation of The Outpost Trilogy shifts from post apocalyptic to science fiction. Part Two, The Enduring contains five dark fiction short stories. Part Three, The Fragments include fifteen poems of urgent struggle and destination. New York author, Lisa Diaz Meyer relates to the odd, macabre & funereal. ALL ROADS DESTINED is the second of her ALL ROADS trilogy.

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Literary Titan Book Awards June 2018

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Gold Award Winners

Honor Among Outcasts (DarkHorse Trilogy Book 2) by [Protzel, Ed]Dance with the Devils: Revenge: Best served bloody by [Griffeth, Kwen]

All Roads Home: A Collection of Short Stories by [Diaz Meyer, Lisa]All Roads Destined: A Collection of Dark Fiction and Poems by [Meyer, Lisa Diaz]All Roads Shattered: A Collection of Dark Fiction Short Stories and Poems by [Meyer, Lisa Diaz ]

Return of the Sagan by [O'Donnell, Neil Patrick]Book of Matthew: House of Whispers by [DuBois, Catalina]

The Butcher's Daughter: A Memoir by [Grende, Florence]SHAME, GUILT, AND SURVIVING MARTIN BRYANT: One Woman's Journey from Terror to Joy by [Collyer, Karen]

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

Wyndwrayth (Nick Swann Book 2) by [Yeats, Keller]Forgotten Letters by [Raeber, Kirk, Acevedo, Mario]

From The Shadows: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Renewal by [Onyeabor, Elizabeth]Seasons: Once Upon My Innocence by [Vandygriff, Lea Ann]

Dragon Ascendants (Luminess Legends Book 1) by [Vaughn, Paul E. ]

 

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

 

 

All Roads Shattered: A Collection of Dark Fiction Short Stories and Poems

All Roads Shattered: A Collection of Dark Fiction Short Stories and Poems by [Meyer, Lisa Diaz ]

All Roads Shattered by Lisa Meyer is the third book in the All Roads collection. This collection of dark fiction stories and poems begins with The Outposts III, which satisfyingly continues with the story of Georgia and Mitchell who we have been following through both books one and two. As we left them in book two to come to terms with their new life together, in this collection, Lisa picks up with the journey the two still must endure.

Then there is a three-part story in the form of People of Gods, a haunting selection of 12 pieces of poetry in the section titled Fragments, two further extended stories in the section The Enduring and finally, to end the collection, three small but perfectly formed short and simple stories which pack a huge punch in the section of The Oddities!

The Oddities features three ‘out there’ stories with Preacher, Crooks, and Helge. In a word, wow is what springs to mind when reading through each of them!

With Preacher, I never saw it coming at all, but the conclusion was oh so satisfying! Crooks was a great concept and equally mesmerizing. However, Helge had to be the most disturbing story of them all! I had, in fact, become so captivated by the last three stories that I wasn’t expecting the book to end when it did.

Helge produced some near awful visions in my mind as I read through, think Jack the Ripper style, back streets of grey and misty London; enough to give you nightmares. Yet, it was a tremendous and thoroughly satisfying end to a superb collection.

Having read both the first and second books in the collection, a part of me would have thought that perhaps by now Lisa may have run out of steam. After all, All Roads Home and All Roads Destined were for me, both 5 star reads. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

When you have read all three books, you may begin to feel that Lisa has a stronger connection to the futuristic sci-fi genre. This is perhaps because it is always the more extensive of stores and at the very beginning of each collection, with a continuation throughout the three.

However, in All Roads Shattered, the story I found the most compelling and atmospheric was Dinner with Myles. This was a story which I didn’t want to leave and could easily imagine Lisa writing a book based on this genre; such was it handled so well.

The ending to this story was, yet again, superbly accomplished by Lisa, as all her short stories have been throughout. However, I would still love for her to write a prequel to this one! Neil and Myles are wonderfully drawn, and complex characters and I could very well imagine them as partners working on crimes and investigating mysteries!

The great thing about reading Lisa Meyer’s collections is that each one gets better as you go along. That is particularly hard to achieve for many writers of such collections, but the All Roads Shattered collection is perhaps the most extensive and best written one yet.

It almost feels as though Lisa’s confidence has grown with each outing and this is therefore reflected in the intensity and broader scope of her writing. Her stories seem to expand and take on a deeper meaning in their unique genres in this collection, and I believe her writing style almost borders along the lines of perfection this time.

If you only manage to read one story, then Dinner with Myles should be that one. I can guarantee you that once you’ve sampled this nearly perfect piece of prose, you will feel compelled to read on.

Pages: 252 | ASIN: B0718Z38LD

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All Roads Destined: A Collection of Dark Fiction and Poems

All Roads Destined: A Collection of Dark Fiction and Poems by [Meyer, Lisa Diaz]

All Roads Destined by Lisa Diaz Meyer is the second book in the All Roads Trilogy. Consisting of a collection of dark fiction stories and poems, the book is divided into sections including one story in four parts, four shorter stories and a selection of poems to finish off with. I would strongly recommend reading Lisa’s first collection, All Roads Home, as the four-part story in this collection continues from a story in the first book, charting the characters activities since we last read about them in book one.

Slightly different than the format of her first collection, All Roads Destined leads with a prologue and then three parts of one short story, alternating in each chapter with Mitchell, Gerard, and Georgia.

The Building, The Alpha Post, The People’s Government and Notas Territory are all chapters of a story which cleverly links back to the first book and includes the character of Georgia, whom we discovered was being held as the subject of scientist’s aim for cancer immune females.

Previously, Georgia finally escaped the people who were working on her as an experiment and now has her baby Sylvie with her as well as her partner Mitchell, equaling her own little family. However, there’s still a way to go and escaping her captor’s clutches was only the first part of this journey.

Immediately dark at the first-page of the prologue, with a superbly built up tension permeating the very start of this book, we begin with Georgia once again, though we know very little about the mass confusion that is happening at this moment in time.

The flip between narratives in this story is an excellent way at holding your interest long enough and succeeds at explaining a little about the primary doctor, Dr. Gerard, who worked on Georgia for many years. This is one short story which is experimental in structure, but fascinating to read!

The middle section of the collection is titled The Enduring, and it is here where perhaps my favorite story of the book is, called The Crone. So simplistic in its action but so stylish in its deliverance, this is the story that highlights how easy it is to conjure up any one of Lisa’s characters instantly. However, here the prose also excels. With Harret and the returned Berkstadt left to live out their remaining time together in their beautiful kingdom, this was a thoroughly satisfying and complete short story.

Finally, Lisa has included a selection of poems in the section titled The Fragments. Personally, I found these poems more satisfying than those in the first collection.

I enjoyed the poetry section even more as I’m very selective about poems and won’t automatically reach for a book of poetry when purchasing my preferred books. So, to have it included in a collection such as this encourages you to read it, seeing as you’ve read the stories, and its addition opens your eyes to something new and different.

Ultimately, The Fragments serves as an entirely satisfactory ending to yet again, a beautiful collection.

Pages: 217 | ASIN: B01M0DVEO1

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All Roads Home

All Roads Home: A Collection of Short Stories by [Diaz Meyer, Lisa]

All Roads Home by Lisa Diaz Meyer is a fictional short story collection. Covering several genres, the book is divided into six parts titled The Outposts, The Enduring, The Oddities, The Particulars, The Fragments and The Play Versions. With each section and story being utterly unique, this book really is a mixed bag of offerings. Nowhere is this more obvious than, besides the four sections of short stories all varying greatly in their genre, the collection also consists of a part of poetry and The Play Versions which really are that: five of the stories in the collection written in play format!

The first section of the collection deals with a world that is hard hitting. In the story titled The Safe Room, this links back to the previous short story in its representation of women, cancer, and childbearing. With such stark descriptive passages of the cloning and curing process detailed, this section hits upon the more awkward of subjects that aren’t always spoke about comfortably.

Dealing with religion verse science, this section may be quite an eye-opener, considering its placing at the very start of the collection, but its subject matter does indeed turn the tables making you question just who, if anybody, has such a right at this stage.

The Enduring section starts off with a story which is most certainly that – enduring for its characters. What begins as a heartfelt story of a mother’s struggles quickly turns itself on its head when the story ends. However, nothing physical has changed, her situation remains dire, but she has found peace in her heart and mind and can now approach her situation from a more positive perspective. This story emphasizes Lisa’s ability to change tact and emotion in just a few short pages and sums up the book in its entirety.

All of Lisa’s characters, though only with the reader briefly, are very easy at catching our attention and therefore it’s easy to recognize their plight and see the story from their point of view. That Lisa can create such emotions in her readers through characters that appear fleetingly is a wonderful achievement.

For me, The Enduring was a favorite section. Packed full of emotions, there is one story where the action begins, plays out and ends in a matter of just two short pages! If you’re not too sure whether this selection of stories is for you, I urge you to read The Christmas Break first. Immediately this highlights Lisa’s fluidity in prose as well as her ability to create a fascinating collection of characters, and all within a few short sentences.

With superb powers of observation, a beautiful and haunting writing style on many of the pages, alongside an ability to push topic boundaries (Hitler and Jesus at a dinner party, need I say more!) this is truly a collection you must read for yourself.

If Lisa is this good at creating such an enthralling collection of short stories, I can only imagine what she would be like with a full-length fictional novel!

Pages: 280 | ASIN: B00WVWFL86

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Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology

Charli Mills Interview

Charli Mills Interview

The Congress of Rough Writers is an anthology that showcases flash fiction from a diverse set of writers. What was your inspiration for putting this collection together?

Carrot Ranch started as a sandbox — an online place to invite other writers to play for the sheer joy of creating literary art. The weekly flash fiction challenges created a safe space for writers to explore and push into their craft 99 words at a time. Maybe it was Julia Cameron’s teaching that we can be creatively healthy as we gain experience. We created a literary community with diversity that blows my mind every week. It’s uncoached and has no expectations beyond meeting the constraint and boldly going where the prompt leads. The writers inspire me to work with their material in an artistic way, to show how individuals of different backgrounds, genres, and levels can collectively create a powerful vision.

I’m a little jealous because you got to work with so many talented writers on this project. What was the development process like in putting this work together?

Right? The Congress holds some amazing talent. That’s what made me think of calling them the Congress of Rough Writers in the first place because I felt like Wild Bill Cody gathering talented riders from around the world and getting to play with their feats. The development process included coordinating with Sarah Brentyn who developed the structure from my crazy ideas to pull together memorists and fictioneers and build from their original material. I’ve become enthralled by the challenge of putting together collections of 99-word stories, and it’s like a secondary artwork to me. Norah Colvin developed my ideas for building community and wrote a clear and compelling educational component. We had a great challenge throughout the process to uphold different styles of English from global writers. C. Jai Ferry line-edited the entire book and several other Rough Writers served as editorial advisors. It’s not easy melding world styles but we succeeded. It’s breath-taking to work with a large group of writers beyond submissions.

I enjoyed how this collection showcased stories that were only hundreds of words long but managed to inspire some thought-provoking ideas. What was your favorite story from the collection?

Just as any reader acknowledges, we often pick a favorite based on how it personally resonates. For me, that one story is Pete Fanning’s original 99-word “Normandy.” He manages to express what the combat veteran’s experience is like as he ages. The story gives me shivers every time I read that final line, “I was alone on that beach.” I’m a spouse of a combat veteran and we’ve had hard times. We are finally getting him VA care although it’s a fight every step of the way. As my spouse’s advocate, this is my battle. So, to read Pete’s story to a group of combat veterans and their spouses, there was not a dry eye in the room. This is the power of literary art in 99-words. Pete nailed it.

Do you plan to put another anthology together?

You bet! Right now, I’m working with 33 Rough Writers on seven new parts that will focus on what writers can do with serial material. We had several writers create returning characters or write follow-ups to interesting story developments in previous 99-word stories. I’ve invited these writers to craft complete three-act short stories up to three thousand words long. I’ve invited writers to write narrative essays to tell the real story behind a 99-word BOTS (based on a true story). Memoir expert, Irene Waters, will help me develop that section. Educator, Norah Colvin, returns to help craft a new educational component that encourages writers to use their material in clever ways beyond a single use. We are also playing with three acts by piecing together three 99-word serials. Instead of creating chapters from prompt-linked flash fiction, I’m arranging hundreds of 99-word stories into 10-minute reading collections and connecting the stories in surprising and compelling ways. And, because Carrot Ranch is about making literary art accessible, I’ve invited 26 more writers as Friends to respond to new prompts. Each writer will include a 99-word artist’s statement in the new collection. It will publish in November after a rigorous editing process. I’m so excited to be working with such talent and passion for literary art.

Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookWebsite

The Congress of Rough Writers: Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1 (Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology) by [Mills, Charli, Amore, Anthony, Bell, Georgia, Black, Sacha, Colvin, Norah, Fanning, Pete, Ferry, C. Jai, Glaessner, Rebecca, Goodwin, Anne]

Witness great feats of literary art from daring writers around the world: stories crafted in 99 words.

Flash fiction is a literary prompt, form, and tool that unites writers in word play. This creative craft hones a writer’s skills to write tight stories and explore longer works. It’s literary art in thoughtful bites, and the collective stories in this anthology provide an entertaining read for busy modern readers.

Writers approach the prompts for their 99-word flash with creative diversity. Each of the twelve chapters in Part One features quick, thought-provoking flash fiction. Later sections include responses to a new flash fiction prompt, extended stories from the original 99-word format, and essays from memoir writers working in flash fiction. A final section includes tips on how to use flash fiction in classrooms, book clubs, and writers groups.

CarrotRanch.com is an online literary community where writers can practice craft the way musicians jam. Vol. 1 includes the earliest writings by these global literary artists at Carrot Ranch. Just as Buffalo Bill Cody once showcased the world’s most daring riding, this anthology highlights the best literary feats from The Congress of Rough Writers.

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Literary Titan Book Awards April 2018

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Gold Award Winners

Faery Sight (Faerie Legacy Series Book 1) by [Bossano, Patricia]Cradle Gift (Faerie Legacy Series Book 2) by [Bossano, Patricia]

Nahia (Faerie Legacy Series Book 3) by [Bossano, Patricia]Sam's Theory by [Mendivel, Sarah]

Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions by [Graffius, Scott M.]How to Get Your Screen-Loving Kids to Read Books for Pleasure by [Newton, Kaye]

Dare to Be the Change by [Metoyer, Annella]The BreakAway Girl: Secrets of a Tantric Yogi by [Bodeman, Paulette ]

Did I Say Never?: A Stepparent’s Emotional Journey with her Special Needs Son by [Nugent, Kim]

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

The Three Lives of One by [Mooney, Lesley]Beyond Sun and Shadows by [Mooney, Lesley J]

Nights Arose by [Roche, Andrea]The Congress of Rough Writers: Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1 (Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology) by [Mills, Charli, Amore, Anthony, Bell, Georgia, Black, Sacha, Colvin, Norah, Fanning, Pete, Ferry, C. Jai, Glaessner, Rebecca, Goodwin, Anne]

Finding Balance and Forgiveness through Chakras and Art by [McCallum, Teresa]

Alterni (The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1) by [Somerville, Sunshine]How We End Up by [Wells, Douglas]

 

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

 

Love is the Most Important Human Activity

Sally Forest Author Interview

Sally Forest Author Interview

From the Heart is a series of short stories about human passions and emotions and how they come to the fore when people face challenging circumstances. Why was this an important collection for you to write?

Mario Llosa Vargas once said that love is the most important human activity. I think it is what makes us human. In these stories the need for love is paramount – from the child’s clinging to a safe world, to the desperation of a feared loss of a life partner, or to the family love that stays strong through tough times. But I was surprised to realise how powerful the need for companionship and support is in later life; it is precious and one of the few things that can ward off the pain and terror of the losses ahead.

It strikes me that bonding and the joys of feeling loved and safe are so easy to lose, and also, so easy to build – with understanding and good will. I guess I keep trying to make the story come good in the end.

Mouse Mat was my favorite of the stories. What was your favorite story in the collection and why?

In “The Legacy You Leave” I enjoyed seeing the selfish bully losing his power as the sons stood together to highlight the real hero, their father.

Did you write these stories separately or did you write them knowing that they would be published together?

No, the stories came alive independently. Often a character or a scene of conflict take hold in my mind, and I keep returning to it until the problem is solved. At an unexpected moment I realised the stories formed a whole, and the title just fell out of the theme.

What is one thing that you hope readers take away from your stories?

Definitely: don’t let despair, loss or tyranny take away your opportunity for joy, and joy in others.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?​

I’m planning the sequel to Choose: Snakes or Ladders, which should be let loose in November. But it’s facing a bit of competition from other stories in the world of #MeToo, and similar instances of standover and exploitation.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

From The Heart: Stories of Love and Life by [Forest, Sally]Six moving and engrossing stories that you can feel.

Collection includes:
  o Heart Buddies
  o Life After
  o Mouse Mat
  o A Worm Among the Flowers
  o The Legacy You Leave
  o Love in a Teapot

Carlo seems a perfect husband. Why can’t Nicky go with the happiness within her reach?

Paula worked really hard to live up to it all. And then she failed. How can something good come from all the pain?

A child lies in bed, scared and alone. Will Daddy and Mummy be there for her? Finding an answer takes a lot of growing up. But the lessons of the good times remain to help.

The ladies bridge club. Long time friends struggling to hang on as the Autumn leaves fall around them.

What was the secret to Greg’s ability to be loyal to his work and foster his dreams for his sons? And what toll did it take?

Sue and her mother had formed a tight bond, a wall against the conflict and pain in their life. But when does that wall become a prison?

Moving and heart-warming, these short stories about love and the emotions that get in the way, are an antidote to the fears that haunt the nights of all of us.

If you enjoy Amanda Prowse, give these stories a try.

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The Congress of Rough Writers: Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1

The Congress of Rough Writers: Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1 (Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology) by [Mills, Charli, Amore, Anthony, Bell, Georgia, Black, Sacha, Colvin, Norah, Fanning, Pete, Ferry, C. Jai, Glaessner, Rebecca, Goodwin, Anne]

The Congress of Rough Writers is an anthology; a collection of stories by different writers. Charli Mills is the the series editor and brings into light the work of a diverse range of polished literary gems, penned by both experienced and inexperienced writers alike.

The anthology is sectioned into 5 parts with each part having a distinctive touch from the others, but related in a rather unique way, with part 6 containing the acknowledgements.

Part 1: Best of show is twelve collections of ten 99-word stories. Each chapter has been titled according to the prompt given in the challenge – a topic on which the story is to be based. The stories have been arranged to make a greater statement, which highlights the magnitude of the task and accomplishment of the editors.

Part 2: A new flash fiction challenge contains a collection of ten 99 word stories written to fulfill a challenge to include 3 particular words in their story. The spirited effort springs to life fascinating characters and evocative ideas.

Part3. Expanded flash contains five of the original 99 words stories, expanded into longer versions, but still under 2000 words. This section shows how a flash fiction story can be the seed for a more developed and intriguing story.

Part 4: Essays from memoirists is yet another unconventional part of this project which makes the experience of the writers’ itself the subject. Each essay gives an account of the experience of the writers writing flash fiction while also noting differences and similarities. Anyone who is a writer, or enjoys a look behind the scenes (think movie extras) will appreciate this section as much as I did.

Part 5: Building community with flash fiction is where we get to know more about the project itself. Here we get to know what flash fiction is and how it can affect bigger changes to a writer’s perception towards writing in general. I felt the explanations were easy to follow and flowed easily from topic to topic.

Part 6: Acknowledgements introduces you to the key persons who have been involved in bringing this unconventional project to light, giving the chance to authors, writers and non-writers, that come from diverse backgrounds. I enjoyed the exposure and introduction to the writers especially when I found the ones that wrote my favorite pieces of flash fiction.

This anthology is meant to both encourage and inspire the next generation of writers and authors, so that the craft of storytelling is preserved and propagated. I felt like this book was geared more towards writers, or aspiring writers, but the average reader should not shy away. There is plenty to enjoy in this series. As with any piece of flash fiction, they are better consumed piecemeal and at your leisure. Don’t look for some overarching theme and take pleasure in the quick creation of thought-provoking ideas and compelling characters. If you like shows like The Twilight Zone, then you’ll like this collection. It was tough for me to review this book as it is a collection of stories that range in quality and appeal. Overall I really enjoyed it. And, I suppose, that is the benefit of an anthology, if you don’t like one story, then just move to the next. What a fun read!

Pages: 166 | ASIN: B078BWZ9MD

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