Short Story: Halloween Feast

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The child walks along holding her trick or treat basket. She is dressed as a witch. Her basket is currently empty. She hears a shout in the distance.

‘Scram! Get out of here!’

She looks across to see an old lady chasing a group of cats and dogs way from her door. The old lady’s house is decorated with lots of Halloween decorations and the young girl decides that the old lady will probably be kinder to children. So when the old lady goes back inside, she goes to knock on the door. Soon the old lady answers.

‘Trick or treat.’, the young girl says.

The old lady smiles warmly and then looks sad as she looks in the child’s empty basket. Before the little girl knows it her basket is filled up with a huge variety of candies and chocolates. She thanks the old lady and continues to several more houses where her basket becomes heavy with overflowing candy, chocolates and toffee apples. With her basket now too heavy to carry she decides to call a halt to her trick or treating experience.

She steps behind a wall and places her basket down. She changes back into her true self: a black cat called Fluffy. She meows to alert the other cats and the dogs of the neighbourhood and soon they have gathered around. Thanks to Fluffy’s magical powers, the stray cats and dogs of the neighbourhood had a wonderful Halloween feast.

My Book Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories Is Now Available!

Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories by [Lisa Reynolds]

Hi everyone! 🙂

My new book Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories is now available on Amazon and Payhip.

Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories is a collection of six Halloween stories.

Contents:

Elm View Mansion
Sexy Vampires
Halloween Dad
Missing Them
The Local Witch
Halloween Hook-Up

Happy Halloween to you all & if you choose to purchase thank you. I loved putting this collection together and met so many new and amazing characters. 🙂

To purchase Elm View Mansion & Other Halloween Stories go to:

https://payhip.com/b/f8nH

Dear Santa By Ray Bradbury Review!

Dear Santa (A Mulholland / Strand Magazine Short) by [Ray Bradbury]

Dear Santa (2016) by Ray Bradbury is a great short read which is part of Mulholland Books’s Strand Originals series.

The plot is about a teenage boy who still believes in Santa and lines up with the children at the mall to meet Santa and understand Santa more.

It is very short and can be read in one sitting. I found it really endearing and sweet. The dialogue is really great and I like how Bradbury wrote the character of the young teenage boy with kindness and understanding, that came through in the writing, instead of making a laugh of him. He highlighted the treatment someone can face in the teenager’s situation very well and how it can make a person feel like they are stupid or pathetic when in fact they very much aren’t.

It is extremely short and there maybe needed to be more detail and plot worked into it which would be my only flaw but overall, a really great read. A really lovely, original write written with a lot of warmth and heart.

To get your free copy of Dear Santa by Ray Bradbury go to:

https://largepdf.com/dear-santa/

For more about Ray Bradbury and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1630.Ray_Bradbury

Voicemails From God By Elle L Review!

Voicemails From God (2019) by Elle L is a collection which includes three short stories.

The first story is called Almost Superman. An American soldier Robby returns from Afghanistan and comes out about not being straight. Everyone has since turned their back on him apart from his best friend Devan whose house he arrives out at very late in the night/morning when Devan has to get up for work in four hours. Robby is feeling suicidal and Devan must convince Robby that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I really liked the story and the characters. The story highlights important issues like mental illness and suicide. I love Robby’s and Devan’s friendship. I think everyone needs a friend like Devan who is there, patient, understanding and doesn’t judge. I also really like that though Robby may be gay, the story doesn’t actually say that he is. Rather it is that he came out about wanting to love a man so Robby can represent gay men, bi men, pan men, omni men, basically any man who loves a man and is a soldier and I think that’s cool. The story touches on the ignorant/prejudiced notions some have that you can’t be a soldier and not be a straight man and the equally ignorant/prejudiced idea that you have to be straight to serve your country right. Very important issues included there too.

The second story is the title story of the collection Voicemails From God. In the story, we meet Alex and her grandmother Rose. They embark on their yearly birthday trip to Far Rockaway Beach for Rose’s birthday where they find a telephone on shore. Alex’s grandmother is great. I love the modern way she is and the way she has a zest for life. It’s nice to see an older character written like this and I hope I have her zest for life, wisdom and energy if I reach her age.

The final story is Bite. Tracy and her younger sister Mia are left in a difficult position after witnessing their mother chewing through their father’s stomach. Locked now in a hotel room, the pair must decide to let their mother in or not and how to react if she tries to kill them. It is thought-provoking and the pacing is done perfectly throughout. It leaves you with a lot to think about for sure!

I really liked the collection. With mental health being so close to my heart, my favourite story was Almost Superman but I liked all three stories. Something I found very impressive here was that the three ideas for these stories would be extremely difficult to fit into a short story and the writer does it seemingly effortlessly. You don’t feel like anything is left out or are left wanting more but are satisfied that everything is answered in so few words. That is a skill and a half to have. To be able to say so much with so few words is definitely something I have never been able to do and I would be very interested to read more of this author’s work in the future.

A must-read.

To get your free copy of Voicemails From God by Elle L go to:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/996480

For more about Elle L and her work go to:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Elle9494

The Very Grave Digger by Colin Garrow Review!

 

The Very Grave Digger (2016) by Colin Garrow is a great short read.

 

The plot of this short story is about Bobby who meets up with old friend Sandra and is unsure what her motivation in wanting to meet up is. But he agrees to see her nonetheless.

There is a lot of intrigue and tension throughout the story which is hard to create in a shorter write but it is perfectly paced here. The characters are interesting and you never know who to trust throughout which adds to the intrigue. There is a lot packed into this short story with trust being a huge theme. Who can be trusted and exercising caution and that kind of thing. Very thought-provoking in that aspect and very well-written.

To get your free copy of The Very Grave Digger by Colin Garrow go to:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/647653

For more about Colin Garrow and his work go to:

http://colingarrow.org

Shoals O’ Herring By Colin Garrow Review!

Shoals O' Herring

Shoals O’ Herring (2016) by Colin Garrow is a wonderful short read. This author also has many other short reads available.

The plot follows main character Stevie who loves everything about the ocean and sea life. Because of his interest, he begins working on a fishing trawler but soon he finds that life out at sea is not as glamorous or adventurous as he thought it would be.

I liked the story. It was very much a coming of age story about a young person finding their way in the world, figuring out what way to go and finding out that not everything is what it seems. My only flaw with this short piece is that due to the length, it was difficult to get to know the characters well but that is hard in short writes. I think the author does a good job though of getting a lot of information in there about Stevie’s background. It just maybe needs a little bit more. But for the most part, a really great slice of life story written very well. The descriptive elements also help add to the atmosphere throughout.

To get your free copy of Shoals O’ Herring by Colin Garrow go to:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/634950

For more about Colin Garrow and his work go to:

The House On Hill Street By Judy Nunn Review!

The House on Hill Street

 

The House On Hill Street (2012) by Judy Nunn is a great short story.

 

The story is about a man called Professor Jameson who kills his wife Eileen in Hill Street. Inspired by true events, the story is investigated by the author’s sleuths Inspector Max Carruthers and Detective Sergeant Lucas Matthews. Carruthers and Matthews come from very different angles with the case. Carruthers sees Jameson’s case in a more black and white way while Matthews is more into the psychological seeing why he did it sort of thing. It makes for interesting dynamics seeing their two ways of going about the same thing. I like that they are both passionate about what they feel but also respectable of how the other works. They make a good team. 

Reading about Jameson‘s psychological side of things where he was maintaining one side of him killed his wife and the other was blameless was interesting and a bit disturbing but excellently written. I found the ending quite intriguing. Was it because Jameson was helped? Was it a way of showing over-analyzing things can often help criminals? It was an intriguing ending as I said but I am still not quite sure what it meant. I don’t mind that though as it’s a good open ending. (Or I’m too thick to get it, take your pick! :-)) I also like how Nunn made this story about a supposedly respectable man in a respectable neighbourhood who committed murder because it obviously does happen but there is still a classism in society that says certain people are above such things so I found that cool.

There is one flaw I have with this book. Maybe it was because of the length but the story was a little rushed at times and didn’t really drag me in as a reader. I liked it but I didn’t particularly love it. It was a great read but it needed a little bit more details, a little bit more plot but it is hard to do that in shorter writes. The character development, which is my favourite thing in books, was excellent though.

The end of his book also has an extract from the author’s book Tiger Men which gives you an idea of what to expect from that book.

 

To get your free copy of The House On The Hill by Judy Nunn go to:

https://largepdf.com/the-house-on-hill-street/

For more about Judy Nunn and her work go to:

http://judynunn.com.au/

 

A Christmas Memory By Truman Capote Review!

A Christmas Memory (Book & CD): Amazon.de: Truman Capote ...

 

A Christmas Memory (1956) by Truman Capote is a beautiful short story. The story was first published in Mademoiselle magazine.

 

The story, which takes place in the 1930s, is very autobiographical. It is told from the POV of a seven-year-old boy who is unnamed but is called Buddy by his cousin. Buddy is based on Capote when he was a young boy. His cousin Sook is based on his cousin Sook and is referred to as my friend. Sook was Capote’s cousin and best friend. The pair live with other relatives and the dog Queenie and are not very rich. However, they both love Christmas and save up to make the occasion amazing every year.

Fruitcakes are a big part of this story. Buddy and Sook made them every Christmas. They go and collect pecans for the fruitcakes and purchase other things they need like whiskey from bootlegger Haha Jones. These fruitcakes, which take four days to create, they send to acquaintances and famous people. They also go to get the Christmas tree and make decorations for it as well as gifts for everyone. They make each other a kite as a present and go fly them together. It is their last Christmas together as Buddy is sent off to Military school the following year and they never got to spend another Christmas together before Sook’s death.

This story is a beautiful story of family and friendship. Buddy and Sook really care for each other and love spending time together. It’s obvious the love and warmth that is there for each other. It is so moving to read. They just get each other and they have each other’s backs and it’s lovely. I think they are both fun and non-conformist and happy. I really like both characters and their relationship with each other. It makes you feel all warm and happy inside reading it.

The only thing I thought was a huge problem was how Sook allowed Buddy to drink the leftover whiskey and they both got drunk. I still like her but that was not responsible by any means!

The end of this book is heartbreaking. It is what happens in life. It’s based on truth so it would be. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t rip your heart (which has been filled with heart-warming feelings up to this point) out and make you feel so sad. Because prior to that you are reading about their beautiful relationship and then there is just the memories. It reminds you to cherish the moments you have with your own loved ones because nothing will last forever.

Oh, and I love Queenie too! 🙂

It’s a gorgeous story. It’s a must-read.

 

To purchase A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote go to:

 

For more about Truman Capote and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/431149.Truman_Capote

A Diamond Guitar By Truman Capote Review!

A Diamond Guitar

A Diamond Guitar (1950) by Truman Capote is a stunning display of writing at the highest quality. I don’t think anything he wrote could possibly be bad. He was such an amazing writer.

At sixteen pages, A Diamond Guitar is a brilliant look at living for the moment and how life is so important. Set in a prison farm, there is a man called Mr Schaeffer who is serving a life sentence and becomes friends with a new prisoner called Tico Feo who has a jewelled guitar and plays it for the entertainment of his fellow prisoners. He is also plotting his escape with Mr Schaeffer.

With immediate and stunning writing throughout and a wonderful title, this story does feel like the original Shawshank Redemption at times but written in Capote’s own signature style. There was so much packed into the shortness of it. We got to know the characters quite well for the limited amount of pages. I love the way Capote writes. It’s very down-to-earth, very conversational. Loved it!

 

To get your free copy of A Diamond Guitar by Truman Capote go to:

 

Click to access A-Diamond-Guitar-1s1n3il.pdf

 

And for more about Truman Capote and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/431149.Truman_Capote

My Short Story Little White Lies Appears In This Week’s Woman’s Way!

Image result for woman's way ireland

 

My short story Little White Lies appears in this week’s Woman’s Way!

I loved writing it. I was writing from the POV of this very unlikable character but it has a lot of comedy in it as well. As always thank you to the Woman’s Way team in Ireland for giving my work a space in their magazine and for the beautiful layout and illustrations accompanying the story. I’m so happy with how everything turned out.

If you get the chance, please do check it out & thank you in advance! Also in the mag is a wonderful short story Hearts and flowers by Mary Griffin, a book extract from Everyday Ubuntu by Mungi Ngomane as well as a host of wonderful other sections to enjoy! 🙂