Ruthie Jones reviewed "A Private War"

 

 

“Johnny shook the doorknob and when it did not turn, he put his shoulder to the door.


And then he was filling the space between them and reaching for her arm.
The soft flesh yielded so easily. She watched it swell between his fingers.
When her eyes flashed up at him, she was smiling.”

 

~ from A Private War by Mary Bryan Stafford (First Place for Fiction/Suspense)

 

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I picked A Private War to read for a bonus review, but wowza! I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say that when a woman has had enough, she’s had enough! Domestic violence and living in fear of someone who is supposed to have your back is horrifying and unfortunately all too real for many people. But what happens when the abuser goes off to war, providing you with some much-needed peace? What happens when the one who actually has your back is a German Shepherd that followed you home one day? What happens when the abuser returns from war drunk and full of demands?

 

A Private War by Mary Bryan Stafford is just one of the amazing stories in this book.

 

 

 

Storybook Reviews reviewed "Homecoming Queen"

 

 

I chose one of the short stories to read just to get a flair for what might be included in this book.  As they are all short stories I don’t think they will take long to read, in fact the story I chose, Homecoming Queen (YA) took maybe 5 minutes to read.  Great when you just need a little something and don’t have a lot of time.

 

Homecoming Queen is about a young woman, Pam, that loses her life in an auto accident and is learning how to cross others over when it is their time.  In this story, there are two older ladies in a hospital room and one is ready to go and the other is not…and of course it is the one that is not ready to go that is being called home.  As is with most people that are younger, they do not understand there is a method to all the madness and why one person is chosen over another.  While the story is short, it is also poignant and has a lesson for us.

 

I can’t wait to read the other stories!


 

Hall Ways reviewed "John Sleeps"

 

 

"Night pounced hungrily upon the woods, gobbling up all remaining glimmers of light the sun had left behind."  

-- from John Sleeps by David Hughes

 

Hall Ways Review: I just had to take a peek -- just one story -- inside Short Stories by Texas Authors, and I scored! John Sleeps, winning story in the horror category, is super creepy and conjures up thoughts of spooky stories told around the campfire. Hughes makes his words count and does an amazing job of building up dread, doom, and gloom as the main character seeks safety from . . . well, you'll just have to read it to find out. 

If this story is any indicator of the caliber of stories and quality of writing in Short Stories by Texas Authors, readers are going to be doing a major happy dance. I can't wait to read more. 

 

 

Chapter Break Blog reviewed "Todd"

 

Here’s quick review of one of the short stories in this collection, Todd by Fern Brady. This selection won First Prize in the Fiction/Science category. And it was a wild ride for being a short story! Todd takes place in an unspecified “future” time. A time where Big Brother watches every aspect of daily life, and all the fun things have been banned. Todd is on an illegal quest for some cigarettes. The story had my heart racing while we follow Todd, wondering if he’ll succeed or not. And the very abrupt, but also very clear-cut ending was a stunner. One that works really well as social commentary for both no smoking, and not letting Big Brother take over our lives.