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review 2017-05-15 20:35
Mind Game, A Blanco County Short Story by Ben Rehder
Mind Game - Ben Rehder

Mind Game, A Blanco County Short Story by Ben Rehder is a fast story to read. It also has a nice twist at the end. I gave it four stars.


"Carol Ann could drink more than any three Blanco County cedar-choppers put together. She'd danced on her share of tables, and it was a wonder she hadn't moved to Austin and turned pro. Then again, when you've got a sugar daddy like Frank Landrum, why bother?"


I received a complimentary Kindle copy in an Amazon promotion. That did not change my opinion for this review.


Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Blanco-County-Short-Story-ebook/dp/B00DC4WSWY

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review 2017-01-14 06:20
Drag Noir, A Noir Anthology by K.A. Laity
Drag Noir - Various,K A Laity Drag Noir - Various,K A Laity

Drag Noir, A Noir Anthology by K.A. Laity (Editor) is an anthology that contains many short stories. I gave it four stars.


The Introduction by Dana Gravesen and Bryan Asbury was interesting but a bit too long. I almost stopped reading. "For many scholars drag is a tool of parody that is used to dismantle the gender binary. Men are not always men; women are not always women. In drag, anything goes."

The Meaning of Skin by Richard Godwin was intense! It was a very thought provoking story. "The first time I got a tattoo, I thought, this is the real meaning of penetration. The needle's entering my body, but it's leaving something beautiful behind."


My favorite was Wheel Man by Tess Makovesky where Justine is a car thief who worked for a long time with Freddie when the person he sells to won't deal with him because she's a "bird". Then along came "Danny" with the soft beard, gruff voice but who reminds Freddie of Justine to work with him.


No. 21: Gabriella Merlo by Ben Solomon is a story about a girl on the run finds defenders in an unexpected place. "She clamped her hands on the curve of her hips. Her valentine lips pouted. The dark eyes gave me a once-over like reading an advertisement in a magazine."


Geezer Dyke by Becky Thacker is about a lesbian expatriate who has lost loves and is just living day to day. "Nowadays she retains her t-shirt and shorts in bed; years ago she had no trouble baring her body before a woman. Trim, compact, smooth of skin, it hadn't occurred to her or any of her friends to try to protect their bodies from the long-term effects of sun, smoke, or alcohol,"


Lucky in Cards by Jack Bates had a totally unexpected ending. "It doesn't take much to put me in the tortoise shell as I call it. It's actually a total withdrawal from civilization. It's a safety mechanism I've been told."


Trespassing by Michael S. Chong is a story about early gender confusion. "'At the end of the day, you have to be able to live with yourself.' To this day, it is my own personal mantra bequeathed to me by this queen, my beacon of light in the early darkness."


Chianti by Selene MacLeod was about a group of performers who practiced prostitution. "It seems comical, getting stabbed in the fake boob, but if you watched the talk shows from way back, there's nothing funny about it."


The Changeling by Tracy Fahey was about an old tradition of dressing infant boys as girls. "My eyes glazed over as I stared at my infant face which seemed to shrink, smaller and smaller, until I felt a strange vertiginous dizziness that this tiny image had contained the seeds of the rheumatic old man I am today."


Straight Baby by Redfern Jon Barrett is about genetic optioning for offspring.


Kiki Le Shade by Chloe Yates is about a has-been performer waiting to meet his son.

Protect Her by Walter Conley is a violent tale.


King Bitch by James Bennett is about the brutal leader of a mob.


A Bit of a Pickle by Paul D. Brazill describes a man in need of assistance. "The pursuit of excellence has been replaced by the aspiration toward mediocrity."


Stainless Steel by Amelia Mangan was a confusing and surprising story. "'The recurring dream. Deja vu. Neurons misfiring. Wires getting crossed.' 'Bad connections,' she said. 'We all make those from time to time.'"


The Itch of the Iron, The Pull of the Moon by Carol Borden was about Fey, an 'unmaker of problems'. "...she loved rusty metal, broken glass and cracked pavement. And she loved the little plants that grew in all the cracks, just like her."


I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Fox Spirit Books and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.


Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Drag-Noir-K-Laity-ebook/dp/B00P0MW2R2

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text 2016-09-14 18:12
Just starting…
The Slow Regard of Silent Things: A Kingkiller Chronicle Novella (Kingkiller Chronicles) - Patrick Rothfuss

I almost never read the shorter works in between the main books of a series.  


But, the third Kingkiller book is has had so many years of mythical release dates I'm not sure it's ever coming out.  And this short work  is about an intriguing character.


Probsbly the only necessary to series short work I ever read was the short story prequel to Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega books.

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review 2016-02-27 06:13
Dark Screams: Volume Four by Clive Barker, Ed Gorman & Heather Graham
Dark Screams: Volume Four - Clive Barker,Richard Chizmar,Heather Graham,Brian James Freeman,Ed Gorman

Dark Screams: Volume Four by Clive Barker, Ed Gorman & Heather Graham is a creepy anthology.  Some of the stories actually made me cringe.  I gave it five stars because it was horrifying & a fast read.


It included:


The Departed by Clive Barker where a loving young mother yearns to touch her son just one more time.


Creature Feature by Heather Graham where the Jack the Ripper mannequin comes to life.  A totally unnerving reading experience.


The New War by Lisa Morton left me confused.


Sammy Comes Home by Ray Gorton reminded me of Stephen King's Pet Cemetery meets Alien.  It's another goose bump inducing tale.


The Brasher Girl by Ed Gorman where things are not what they seem.  Cindy has a friend who helps her come up with entertaining ideas.


I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group - Hydra & NetGalley for the complimentary kindle copy to read. It did not change my opinion for this review.


Link to purchase:  http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Screams-Four-Clive-Barker-ebook/dp/B00PEPR6ZI

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review 2015-11-30 00:00
Inappropriate Roads: A Max Vos Anthology
Inappropriate Roads: A Max Vos Anthology - Max Vos

Holy Crap! Let's get Down and Dirty, shall we?

This anthology by Max Vos is hot. There are no two ways about it. In fact, it's hot, raunchy, sexy, steamy and a little wicked. And sometimes, if you pay attention, it's also sweet, cute and tender.

I'm not going to review each story separately. I'll tell you all about my favorites, though:

Hawk 'n' Harley is one beautiful gem. Like I said, hot and dirty. But also very real, and sweet and so touching. I read it more than once, and still get all jiggly and happy inside while reading.

And in A Walk On The Beach, Max Vos takes us with him through the days of an established couple. Two men very much in love, who found each other, love each other, and still are each others everything. It was very touching, very heart-warming, and in a special way, hopeful. You have to experience it, because describing this feeling is almost impossible.

To sum it up: Read it! May Vos has a very unique writing style, that can differ greatly from story to story. But what all of his characters have in common? They are good and loveable just the way they are. Not matter what they look like, how they behave, what they like or what they fear - in the end, they are capable of love and worthy of it, because they are real, flaws and all. And sexy as fuck, I'll give you that. But that never hurt anyone, right?

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