Tag Archives: short stories

My Friend Richard: A True Ghost Story by William Hart Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author William Hart shares the true story of his connection with a friend who passed away years ago, but has returned to his life as a ghost in his book, “My Friend Richard: A True Ghost Story”.

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The Synopsis

A close friend of mine, maybe the brightest student in our high school of four thousand, came to see me some years back. He came as a ghost with a favor to ask, renewing a friendship that continues a decade later.

Richard has the same immature young adult personality he had when he died in a Haight-Asbury fire in 1970. But as a spirit he can travel very far very fast, appear and disappear at will, or shape-shift into a feisty moth. He enters locked homes to visit loved ones, sometimes projecting powerful images into their minds. Annoyed, he’s a smelly, destructive nuisance. Sometimes he’s affectionate.

Anyone wanting to know more about ghosts will find a wealth of firsthand information in this true narrative, which follows the life and afterlife of my artistically gifted but dismayingly self-destructive buddy. For adults and young adults.

The Review

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me beyond my book reviews, aside from being a writer and author, I am a paranormal enthusiast. I have a paranormal podcast, have joined several paranormal communities, and have even investigated a few locations with more to come. So anytime I am able to get my hands on a nonfiction narrative surrounding the paranormal, I am thrilled to do so. The author here did an incredible job of presenting a personal and relatable story of experiencing the paranormal and connecting with the spirit themselves. The imagery and tone the author struck felt both casual and yet emotionally in-depth. 

Yet it was the thoughtful and emotional journey the author went on that really resonated with me. The experience of seeing or hearing something paranormal can be a profound one. The experience is always unique to the individual. Sometimes it can be a loved one, family member, or friend who visits us. Other times it can be an encounter with something otherworldly altogether. Yet those moments that William Hart captures here with his friend Richard felt both relatable and heartfelt in the author’s delivery. The short-story format allowed the author to focus solely on this paranormal experience, and the relationship both in life and death that the author had with Richard is something so many people have experienced at one point or another in life, adding a very real human level to this nonfiction narrative.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, engaging, and memorable, author William Hart’s “My Friend Richard: A True Ghost Story” is a must-read short story and a nonfiction book. The book was both an easy read and yet a powerful and striking story of coming face to face with the unknown, opening oneself to new possibilities, and reconnecting with the people who have made an impact on our lives, even if they are no longer physically here. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

William Hart is a novelist and poet living in Los Angeles. After earning a doctorate in English from the University of Southern California, he taught college writing courses in LA and wrote. Now he writes–fiction mostly–while helping produce the documentaries of filmmaker Jayasri Majumdar, his wife. Hart’s work has appeared in several hundred literary journals, commercial magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, and fourteen books. A pair of one-hour documentaries from Hartfilms aired nationally on PBS, the latest receiving Emmy nominations. 

Interview with Author Philippa Jabouin 

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

This is my first book and my initial intention was to publish in French, which is my first language. However, I stumbled upon a writing contest for micro fiction and French was not one of the languages in which you could submit your work. I ended up submitting 2 stories but I had almost fifty that I was not using. That’s when I decided I would publish them and that’s how my collection ended up being in English. 

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

Short stories have always been my favorite type of fiction. Two of my favorite authors, Françoise Sagan and Chimamanda Adichie, write with so much emotional intensity. I was inspired by their work and wondered, what triggers intense emotional reactions for me? This is what motivated me to write the stories in my book. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope they appreciate the deep inner workings of the human mind. Things are not always what they seem at the surface, and it is almost impossible to read other people’s minds. When you are not in someone else’s shoes, you just never know what is going on for them.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I enjoy novels in general and I think short stories simply give me the impression that I am getting even more out of an author. Great short stories leave you with a sense of awe and wonder because the length leaves you wanting more. I would love to create that feeling in my readers. 

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5) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I don’t use much social media. Maybe I should. I use the old fashion social networks, i.e. word of mouth!

6) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

The author Hala Alyan states that she allotted 30 minutes a day to her creative writing as she was working on her doctoral thesis. I decided to try it out and soon 30 minutes a day became 1 or 2 hours. That is how I got my book written and published in a year. 

7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I would like to keep writing and publishing short stories for the moment. I feel I need the practice before I devote time to a full novel. My next collection of short stories will be in French!

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About the Author

Philippa c. Jabouin has authored many articles and short stories under her name and as a ghostwriter. As a recovering ex-lawyer, she now spends her time writing as a freelance journalist, editor, and consultant. This is her first published collection of short stories. She lives in the Ottawa/Gatineau region of Canada.

https://a.co/cp41DxM

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/short-shorts-on-family-and-other-issues-philippa-c-jabouin/1140828868

Short Shorts on Family and Other Issues by Philippa C. Jabouin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Philippa C. Jabouin’s “Short Shorts on Family and Other Issues” helps readers take a journey into the everyday and seemingly mundane experiences that can reflect on the issues and problems that can arise in our everyday relationships.

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The Synopsis

In these thirty snippets of everyday life, Philippa c. jabouin offers vignettes of seemingly trivial moments of her characters’ interactions with themselves and others.

Through deep reflection, existential questions, misunderstandings and eloquent silences, the stories offer quick snapshots of the complexity of the human mind and its dynamics.

The Review

This was a profound and moving read. The author did an incredible job of layering these short little vignettes and stories with a healthy balance of theme and story-driven narrative. The way the author included pages adjacent to the stories for readers to write down their reflections on the lessons and themes they picked up on in the stories themselves was just incredible and made for a more personal and interactive reading experience.

What stood out to me and made the lessons stand out, even more, was the way the author framed each story’s “characters”. The obscurity of the characters allowed the reader to hone in on the messages and themes of the stories far more, allowing them to place themselves into the narrative in place of a more elevated “character”. The themes that focused on family, friends, romantic relationships, and so much more really brought an emotional depth and allowed the reader to connect to the stories themselves in a more personal manner.

The Verdict

Heartfelt, personal, and engaging, author Philippa C. Jabouin’s “Short Shorts on Family and Other Issues” is a must-read short story collection. The fast-paced read and brilliant storytelling will hook readers instantly, and the way the author writes will allow readers to able to see themselves in the narratives and connect on a much more personal level. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Philippa c. jabouin has authored many articles and short stories under her name and as a ghostwriter. As a recovering ex-lawyer, she now spends her time writing as a freelance journalist, editor, and consultant. This is her first published collection of short stories. She lives in the Ottawa/Gatineau region of Canada.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/short-shorts-on-family-and-other-issues-philippa-c-jabouin/1140828868

Interview with Author Chad Miller

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’m Chad Miller, I’m originally from Philly and I’m a pharmacist. I live in Delaware with my girlfriend, Natasha. I first got into writing after I started reading for pleasure. The first books I picked up were the Shining and Cat’s Cradle (they’re very different from each other). I was in college at the time, struggling with my classes, got kicked out of the dorms (long story), and my friend, DK, wrote a short story and it blew me away. It was so well crafted, so interesting and it stuck with me. Even though we were interested in different subject matters, this gave me the inspiration to start writing on my own. I sat down and wrote a story, which an adaptation was included in my current book, The Void, and I’ve never stopped writing. That was 25 years ago.

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What inspired you to write your book?

This book, The Void is a culmination of some of my favorite short stories that I have written over the past 25 years. My full-length novel, The Prisoner of Fear, is coming out on October 1st and my publisher (Hear Our Voice) and I wanted to get my name out there pre-release. Before The Void, I’ve had several short stories published in print anthologies and online, but nothing on this scale. Writing is my passion and these 15 tales in The Void show my writing journey.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I want some of the themes, morals, and feelings to stick to the reader, much like DK’s story stuck with me so many years ago. I want to elicit emotion, whether it be fear, sadness, or laughter. Most of my writing is dark, but I try to show a human element in my characters, something the reader might be able to relate to, to empathize. I don’t want to give the reader nightmares, I want to cause them sleepless nights as my tales haunt their thoughts 🙂

What drew you into this particular genre?

There is so much potential in horror. Yes, there are the slasher, vampire, zombie, and werewolf books, and there is definitely a need for these, but I tend to go to the more cerebral. I’m not tied down or boxed in relying on historical accuracies or limited to the physical world. The palate is literally wide open. I feel horror taps into human emotion, much like comedy does. You have to set the groundwork and have a low build to reach that crescendo, the high water mark.

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If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

In my story Always There, I’d like to meet the ghost, Henry Keijman. First, I would love to learn about his journey in the afterlife, as I’m not a believer in ghosts, I think meeting one would blow my mind and I’d have a million questions. What did he see? Is there a concept of time? Also, he was a prisoner in the Holocaust. My Grandmother, Helen, was a Holocaust survivor so this subject matter runs deep with me. Recently I found an hour-long interview with my Grandmother with the Holocaust museum discussing in detail her experiences. I’d love to hear more of Henry’s story and hear how it related and differed from my Grandmother’s.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

So far, I’d say Facebook. There are so many writer forums and groups that are so helpful and supportive and helped me find several outlets. Now, I’m moving my focus to Goodreads as it is full of readers. I’m, currently learning how to build my base and use this platform to grow my audience. This is all a learning process. Recently, I got into the conversation about the thin line between advertising yourself verse Spamming, and where that line is. I’ve put out a few Facebook ads and most of the feedback was positive, but there are some trolls out there, which is an interesting experience.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

I’d say two things. Just write. Don’t listen to others, don’t listen to the doubt in your head, just get something down on the page. For me, writing isn’t painting a picture, it’s whittling. Sometimes it’s painful to start, and at first, it looks crude, but as the story gets honed, you can see the art come into view. Secondly, once you think you’re ready to publish, do your research. Whether you self-publish or go traditional (there is no wrong avenue) put in the work to how to be successful in this endeavor. Don’t just put it out there into the ocean and hope to be discovered, hope for a miracle. Odds are without putting in the legwork your work may get lost into the abyss, into the void (he-he, get it?).

What does the future hold in store for you? Are any new books/projects on the horizon?

My new book, The Prisoner of Fear is due out on October 1st, and its follow-up, Paroxysm of Fear will come out a few months later. This is a horror novel set in the late 1800s in Philadelphia and follows John Doyle and Thomas Braham as they investigate mysteries that the authorities deem too mysterious to investigate. There are monsters, insane asylums, and suspense. I’d say it’s a cross between Dracula and Sherlock Holmes. My current work in progress is a series of 3 Novellas, called Cerberus. I’d call it a spaghetti western with all its characters based on Greek mythological Gods. What is currently on my mind is a story based on a loose alliteration on Lizzy Borden. It will be called, Confession, but right now it’s just swimming in my mind.

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About the Author

Chad Miller has a B.A. in Psychology from Syracuse University and a Pharm D from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He’s a pharmacist and lives in lifeless Delaware with his girlfriend, Natasha and her daughter, Sasha, and his three kids, Killian, Willow, and Halina. His novel, The Prisoner of Fear, is being published by Hear Our Voice and will be out fall of 2022. His short story collection, The Void is available on Amazon now! His short story, The Thorn, is published by Sweety Cat Press and is included in the anthology, Beautiful: In the Eye of the Beholder and is out now available on Amazon. His short story, Guilty Pleasure, is published by ILA magazine and is out now. His story, The Nick was published in The World of Myth Magazine and won the story of the month. His story, Diseased, will be included in the anthology, Movement: Bodies in Motion, and will be out 06/01/2022. His story, Last Victory and the Manicure, will be included in the anthology, Year Four and will be out 01/23.

https://www.facebook.com/chadmillerauthor

The Void

The Captivating Flames of Madness by Jeff Parsons Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Jeff Parsons takes readers on an exhilarating and chilling journey through 22 short stories that explore the moment that everyone in life finds that changes the course of their personal journeys forever in the book, “The Captivating Flames of Madness”.

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The Synopsis

This book’s title comes from the reality that – like a moth to the flame – we’re all just one event, mishap, or decision away from things that could change our lives forever.

What would you do if fate led you astray into a grim world where you encountered vengeful ghosts, homicidal maniacs, ancient gods, apocalyptic nightmares, dark magic, deadly space aliens, and more?

If you dare, why not find out?

Read for yourself the twenty-two gloriously provocative tales that dwell within this book – but be warned, some of my dear readers have experienced lasting nightmares…

The Review

This was a memorable and engaging collection of short horror stories. The author has such a great command of atmosphere and tone, as each story strikes a balance between haunting atmosphere and captivating character growth. The unique structure of these stories and the range of sub-genres that this collection holds gives a wider range of readers a chance to sink their teeth into these amazing stories.

The heart and core of this collection have to be the theme, which the main underlying theme the author delves into is the concept of one key event changing the course of one’s life in an instant. The characters range from shockingly sympathetic and relatable to terrifying, and yet each story delivers a well-rounded narrative that captures the passion and imagination the author delivers consistently while also bringing some depth and thought-provoking material to the horror genre overall.

The Verdict

Haunting, chilling, and entertaining, author Jeff Parsons’s “The Captivating Flames of Madness” is a must-read horror short story collection. The brilliant imagery and thrilling storytelling made this collection just fly by on the page, and readers will be hard-pressed to put down this eclectic and mesmerizing collection. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!


Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jeff is a professional engineer enjoying life in sunny California, USA. He has a long history of technical writing, which oddly enough, often reads like pure fiction. He was inspired to write by two wonderful teachers: William Forstchen and Gary Braver. In addition to his book Algorithm of Nightmares, he is published in SNM Horror Magazine, Bonded by Blood IV/ V, The Horror Zine, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Chilling Ghost Short Stories, Dystopia Utopia Short Stories, Wax & Wane: A Coven of Witch Tales, The Moving Finger Writes, Golden Prose & Poetry, Our Dance With Words and The Voices Within.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJeffParsons/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Parsons/e/B00FIOQCY6%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6860100.Jeff_Parsons

The Void: 15 Creepy Tales by Chad Miller Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A chilling collection of short stories exploring the darkest depths of humanity takes center stage in author Chad Miller’s “The Void: 15 Creepy Tales”. 

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The Synopsis

Welcome to the dark world of Chad Miller. Presented before you are 15 dark, morbid, and sometimes humorous tales that explore the evil, depravity, and sickness that devours the human condition. Goodness and light exist in our world, but sometimes the darkness is inescapable, like a black hole, encompassing us all as we fall into the void.

We see an AI life form trapped in his computer cage, as the world has died around him. He’s in despair, his only eyes staring at his decaying creator as he’s forced to face the reality of eternal isolation.

Meet Ana. On the eve of her first day, living away from home in a college dormitory, she slumbers off to sleep on her first night. Ana receives a mysterious night visitor as he pulls up a chair to her bed, so that he can tell his tale. Ana’s father recounts the story of how he was stolen away from her life in a Nazi concentration camp.

And then poor Jared. He’s a pharmacist, overworked, never receiving a break. His overfilled bladder is ready to burst, but the demands of his job won’t allow even a minute for a bathroom run. See Jared’s horror in excruciating detail when his biggest nightmare comes true when he finally reaches the toilet.

The darkness is unavoidable, so pry your fingers from your eyes and take a peek inside. Enter if you dare…

The Review

This was a fantastic and diverse collection of stories. The author did a wonderful job of developing heart and emotions into a rich dynamic between character growth and narrative in such a short amount of time. The ways in which the stories varied and played out were what added to the diverse narrative the author was sharing. From the painful and horrific experiences of addiction and parenthood to the humorous yet identifiable problem of mother nature’s call to the tragedy of WWII and the horrors the Jewish people faced, each story connected a very relatable yet equally terrifying horror moment to our own lives and experiences.

The thing that stood out to me however was the author’s ability to utilize a strong sense of pacing in the narrative. Not one single story in the author’s collection felt rushed or incomplete somehow, which is quite unique when you consider the number of stories the collection features and how varied the length of each story is. Yet each story hit both the emotional and thrill factors that one would expect from a horror collection, and the author’s ability to transport readers into these stories so effortlessly was incredible to read.

The Verdict

Fast-paced, entertaining, and moving, author Chad Miller’s “The Void: 15 Creepy Tales” is a must-read short story collection that readers won’t be able to put down. The rich variety of characters and the relatable yet equally profound horror moments were an excellent exploration of the human condition and humanity as a whole, and the author’s talent shines so brightly that I cannot wait to read more of the author’s work in the future. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Chad Miller has a B.A. in Psychology from Syracuse University and a Pharm D from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He’s a pharmacist and lives in Delaware with his girlfriend, Natasha and her daughter, Sasha, and his three kids, Killian, Willow, and Halina. His novel, The Prisoner of Fear, is being published by Hear Our Voice and will be out fall of 2022. His collection of short stories, The Void is now available on Amazon. His short story, The Thorn, was published by Sweety Cat Press and is included in the anthology, Beautiful: In the Eye of the Beholder and is out now available on Amazon. His short story, Guilty Pleasure, is published by ILA magazine and is out now. His story, The Nick was published in The World of Myth Magazine and won the story of the month. His story, Diseased, will be included in the anthology, Movement: Bodies in Motion, and will be out 06/01/2022. His story, Last Victory, will be included in the anthology, Year Four and will be out 01/23. Check out other stories on his website, chadmiller-author.com.

Twisted Reveries Volume II: Tales From Willoughby by Meg Hafdahl Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Meg Hafdahl takes readers on a twisted and macabre journey into the secretive town of Willoughby in “Twisted Reveries Volume II: Tales From Willoughby”, the sequel to Twisted Reveries. 

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The Synopsis

Suspense author, Meg Hafdahl, delivers another collection of spine-tingling stories in this second volume of the Twisted Reveries series. Inspired by the first book’s Willoughby and Moira Kettlesburg stories, Meg takes us on a journey into the mid-western town of Willoughby where forgetting is a way of life. Delve into its macabre history and origins. Explore the strange and unsettling events that plague Willoughby’s unsuspecting citizens in this new collection of thirteen horrifically outstanding tales. 

The Review

This was a truly incredible, emotional yet terrifying collection of short stories. The horror genre is alive and well in this collection, with threats and dangers that sway from monstrous beings hiding in the shadows to more sinister and everyday human evils that the town of Willoughby draws towards it. Although this is my first foray into the author’s work and the Twisted Reveries series of short stories, the author does an amazing job of crafting narratives that feel both isolated and well contained on their own while also connecting to a more broad and small-town vibe and mythos.

What stood out to me as a reader was the well-balanced and captivating protagonists found within the story. Each story had characters that readers could either get behind and cheer on to stop the threat they were facing, or grimace as the tables turned and the protagonist quickly became the antagonist. The complexities of each story’s protagonist and their backstory felt worthy of a short film or television anthology, and the twists and turns these stories take will have readers talking long after the final page drops.

The Verdict

Gripping, exhilarating, and thoughtful in its approach, author Meg Hafdahl’s “Twisted Reveries II: Tales From Willoughby” is a must-read collection of horror short stories that readers are not going to want to miss out on. The overall theme permeating this collection follows how every small town, every city, and even every person, no matter how beautiful and picturesque they may appear on the outside in the light of day, has the potential to hide great darkness and hardship within their foundation, which waits for night to descend to roam free to draw others into its web. A truly haunting collection of stories, this is one short story read you won’t want to miss. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Bram Stoker Award nominated Meg Hafdahl is the creator of numerous stories and books. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies such as Eve’s Requiem: Tales of Women, Mystery and Horror and Eclectically Criminal. Her work has been produced for audio by The Wicked Library and The Lift, and she is the author of three popular short story collections including Twisted Reveries: Thirteen Tales of the Macabre. Meg is also the author of the three novels; The Darkest Hunger, Daughters of Darkness, and Her Dark Inheritance called “an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small town intrigue” by Horror Addicts and “every bit as page turning as any King novel” by RW Magazine. Meg, also the co-host of the podcast Horror Rewind and co-author of The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, The Science of Stephen King, The Science of Serial Killers, and the upcoming The Science of Witchcraft lives in the snowy bluffs of Minnesota. 

https://www.meghafdahl.com/

Mixed Realities: 7 Stories That Will Make You Question the Universe by Naomi Augustine Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

In a reality in which reality itself is proven to be a simulation and parallel worlds coexist with one another in the “system”, author Naomi Augustine explores the most puzzling, challenging, and captivating sci-fi and true scientific theories of our time in the book “Mixed Realities: 7 Stories That Will Make You Question the Universe.” 

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The Synopsis

Get ready for a mind-bending thriller that will make you question reality as you know it. “Mixed Realities” is a collection of stories that poke at the squishy parts of our universe, human understanding, and our relationship with technology. Illustrated QR codes are embedded throughout the book to let you listen to the soundtrack on the fly.

Don’t trust your senses. Don’t even trust your measuring equipment. Reality is not what it seems.

Physicists were right. It turns out we live in a giant computer simulation and our world isn’t the only one. There are many others. In one world, climate change threatens humanity. A 10-year old refugee befriends an artificial intelligence in a city full of holograms and works together to solve the crisis. In another, an anti-social college student becomes suspicious of the existence of parallel worlds and figures out how to cross over. With the help of his new online friends, they set out to unravel the mystery behind the simulation and its mischievous architect. The perfect book for readers of science-fiction, “Mixed Realities” will challenge and entertain readers with each page.

The Review

What a powerful and moving collection of sci-fi short stories. The blend of technological marvels and themes of what it means to be human, the importance of real connections, and the definition of reality, all come together in a beautifully woven collection that spans over the course of a mind-bending narrative landscape. The characters are the perfect way of infusing humanity, hope, and emotion into the story as well, as each short story finds the right harmonious chord between the theme and the emotional connection the reader has to the people within these stories. 

The ideas and concepts that this narrative explores are not only unique but scientific theories and concepts that have fascinated me in particular for years. From the real-world impact, AR and AI technologies are already having on our modern world, to the idea behind the Multiverse and how it relates to our understanding of the universe as a whole, these themes are not only interesting but thought-provoking in their approach to the genre.

The Verdict

A beautiful and captivating road filled with hope, tragedy, and endless possibilities, author Naomi Augustine’s “Mixed Realities” is a must-read collection of short stories. The perfect balance of character development and theoretical exploration, this twisty navigation of the possibilities that exist within the confines of the sci-fi genre makes this collection just so entertaining to read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Naomi Augustine grew up in Japan and has a bachelor’s in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. She has spent the last 15 years as a physicist, game producer, and Augmented Reality R&D Lead at companies such as Raytheon, Riot Games, and Magic Leap. There she led the research, envisioning, and design of city-scaled use cases of AR. Her work has been deployed in areas of urban planning and climate change in partnership with the United Nations Development Program. She is currently the co-founder of QXR Studios, specializing in augmented and extended reality (AR/XR) storytelling in Los Angeles.

https://www.naomiaugustine.com/mixedrealities

Fancy Shop by Valeri Stanoevich Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

In author Valeri Stanoevich’s “Fancy Shop”, the author takes readers on a journey through the lives of a wide cast of characters as each seeks something personal, whether it is the pursuit of a dream, redemption, or paradise. 

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The Synopsis

Short Story Collection.

The stories contain features of fantasy, urban legends, mystery, magical realism, penetration in the deepness of the human soul.

The characters are different: knights, anonymous people, dreamers, outsiders, crazy ones, technocrats, cockroaches, holders of secret knowledge. They crave for another world of dreams come true, inexpressible truths and oases of redemption of past guilt. On the way to their new identities, they move freely between reality and fantasy. They are in constant conflict with themselves, and the front line is the line dividing the two hemispheres of their brains. The stories are very short but each has a complex plot, provocative suggestions and a surprising end. Without in any way denying the traditional concepts of good-evil, simple-profound, they lead the reader into worlds in which paradox is a synonym of universal meaning.

The Review

This was such an engaging and creative collection of short stories. Told in a very abstract tone, the author really captured the theme of change that we all seek in our lives through a very wide range of different genres. From Gothic and magical realism to pure fantasy, the author highlighted the sometimes painful path to change.

What stood out was the wide array of characters each story used. Not only were many of the characters relatable and complex, but the theme of change with this rotating cast of characters really shows that no matter who a person is or what their place in the world is, we all dream of change, and for a wide variety of reasons as well.

The Verdict

Heartfelt, thought-provoking, and engaging, author Valeri Stanoevich’s “Fancy Shop” is a must-read collection of short stories. The breathtaking imagery, intense situations, and gripping tales of magic and wonder that accompanied these very personal and thoughtful character developments that explored the heart of all change in life made this a collection that readers will not soon forget. Be sure to grab your own copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Valeri’s is a moody and particularly well written book.  His prose is eloquent and artistic, as he shares his intriguing tales of mystery, melancholy and perhaps macabre.  Despite a wide variety of genres, which seem to range from horror to sci-fi to historical fantasy, there is a common style throughout, and at times, as he moves from one narrative to the next, it becomes a little difficult to discern between them.  That said, each of these little anecdotes is a distinct work of art and character.

He is a gifted author, with a talent for atmosphere.  This collection of short stories is best read of an evening, ideally by candlelight, while fully immersed; in any other setting, the metaphorical and philosophical feel of it may be a touch more difficult to engage.  They deserve no less than to be absorbed and indulged, and to do that you really need to get onto the author’s wavelength, which can best be described on occasion as abstract.  I realized very quickly into the first tale that there was concentration and commitment required to optimize the full experience of this wonderful piece of work. 

There is a sense of the very old and the yet to come in this anthology; future and past combine, feeling like they converge continuously – of course, that observation is a subjective feeling, rather than a statement of fact relating to any particular aspect of Valeri’s writing; it is just how this book made me feel. 

https://www.instagram.com/valeristanoevich/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeri-stanoevich-30bbb81b7/