Tag Archives: short stories books

In His Eyes Anthology a Great Valentine Present: A Collection of Short Stories

Looking for a fun new read for you or a young adult in your life? I wanted to tell you about a new anthology called IN HIS EYES that is just perfect.  You can buy it TODAY for Valentine’s day!! It’s the perfect read to snuggle up to with a box of chocolates, a blanket, and tea. Read on in the blog for information about the collection and authors involved, as well as an exclusive interview about how the anthology came about from one of the authors you won’t want to miss!

A wonderful group of writers (they call themselves *The Indelibles* and write young adult fiction–check them out on FB) have put together a fun book of short stories based on either male characters in their already published books or new ones they’ve dreamed up just for your enjoyment. They told me they just want to give back to all the fabulous readers out there!!

I’ve read THE VEIL by Cory Putman Oakes and loved it and just recently also posted about author S.R. Johannes, who wrote Untraceable and On the Bright Side. Both of their short stories are fabulous as well as many of the others. If you’ve read their books, you’ll love some of the new perspective from favorite male characters. If you haven’t read their books, as with many of these for me, you’ll definitely want to go grab their books soon too because they’ll leave you wanting more, either from the characters you’ve met or from liking their writing style. This is a great collection for any lover of YA fiction.

The anthology is a FREE e-book from Smashwords.com!!! No strings attached (Note: .99 cents on Amazon and Barnes and Noble).

Promotional Blurb

*The Indelibles*bring you a one-of-a-kind young adult anthology! Sixteen original short stories, all from the point of view of our favorite male characters – some are old flames from our novels and some were dreamed up especially for this anthology.  Let these imminently crushable, swoon-worthy guys show you what romance looks like – IN HIS EYES.

Contributing Authors

The contributors to IN HIS EYES include award winners, frequent “Top 100” placers, and hot 2011 debut authors:

Surprise, Surprise by Stacey Wallace Benefiel, author of Glimpse: Half the women in Melody’s family can see the future, which makes it nearly impossible for Raleigh to surprise her. What’s a guy to do for Valentine’s Day when his girlfriend is always one step ahead of him?

First Kiss or First Kill? by C.K. Bryant, author of Bound: Love isn’t always rainbows and kittens, sometimes it can be downright deadly. (A deleted chapter from Bound.)

Shattered by Ali Cross, author of Become: James and Desi use each other in an effort to cling to the darkness in each of them, but in the end they discover that love changes you. (A chapter of Become from James’ POV.)

Before by Jessie Harrell, author of Destined: When a younger Eros is exiled to a land that doesn’t believe in the Greek gods, he finds the first love of his immortal life. Read Eros’ first person account of his romance, and heartbreak, in the time before he met Psyche.

The Qualm Before the Storm by Karen Amanda Hooper, author of Tangled Tides. Yara Jones doesn’t want to be a mermaid. Treygan doesn’t want to be the monster who turns her. You can’t always get what you want. (A short prequel to Tangled Tides.)

Unspeakable by S.R. Johannes, author of Untraceable: When Mo sees a strange girl in the woods, he follows her. He soon realizes they are both in a dangerous position and might not get out alive.

In the Beginning by Katie Klein, author of Cross My Heart: Seth is falling hard for Genesis Green, but the guardian angel is determined not to interfere, until an accident changes the course of their lives forever. (A short prequel to The Guardian.)

A Chance Encounter by Cheri Lasota, author of Artemis Rising: Finnian’s eyes hide a terrible secret. But a girl on the train home, the girl in tears with a secret of her own…She sees right through him. A scene from the upcoming novel, Echoes in the Glass.

Family Bonds by Heather McCorkle, author of The Secret of Spruce Knoll: A Halloween party filled with teens who can channel energy and use it to kill, what could go wrong? For Spruce Knoll fans who are dying to read more about Fane.

Getting Closer by Lisa Nowak, author of Running Wide Open: Megan is smart, hot, and an upperclassman—in other words, way out of Cody’s league. So why did she choose him? (An excerpt of Getting Sideways.)

Precalculus by Cory Putman Oakes, author of The Veil: a re-telling of the fateful class period that changed Addison Russell’s life, from Luc’s point of view (a.k.a. Chapter 2 of The Veil from Luc’s perspective)

The Almost Assassin by Laura Pauling, author of A Spy Like Me, releasing Spring 2012: Malcolm tries his hand at the family business but his conscience and a beautiful “spy” may be his downfall.

Mind Games by Susan Kaye Quinn, author of Open Minds: Raf wants to take Kira—the only girl in school who doesn’t read minds—to the mindware Games, but his friends have other plans. (A short prequel to Open Minds.)

By The Firelight by Elle Strauss, author of Clockwise: When Nate McKenzie asks an unpopular girl to dance on a dare, he’s in for the time of his life.

A Very Alien Valentine’s Day by Magan Vernon, author of How To Date An Alien: After surviving confinement and an intergalactic war for his human half, Alex, now he has to live through the biggest challenge of them all: Valentine’s Day.

Aligned by RaShelle Workman, author of Exiled: A half-Eternal boy and an Eternal girl must free millions of tortured souls from a creature whose been feasting on their pain and suffering.


We nabbed an exclusive interview with author Cory P. Oakes of THE VEIL. She is a contributor to the short story collection and we asked her a few simple questions about the IN HIS EYES Anthology. Check it out!

Q:  Where did this anthology come from?

A:  IN HIS EYES is a group effort of sixteen members of *The Indelibles*. We are a group of indie and small-press published authors. We host a blog (LINK: http://indeliblewriters.blogspot.com/) where we discuss a variety of fun, fierce and fabulous topics, all relating to Middle Grade and Young Adult writing. We thought it would be really fun to come out with a Valentines Day offering for our readers – something really cool and just a little bit different (kind of like us!).

Q:  What was the idea behind the anthology?

A:  We wanted to introduce people to us and to our books – and we thought a unique way to do that would be to display our writing-worlds (and our writing styles) from the point of view of our male characters. What’s more romantic than getting the guy’s side of the story?

All of the short stories from IN HIS EYES are told from a male point of view. Some of them are original shorts we made up just for this book, others are reworkings of previous writings from a new point of view (for example, my short story is called Precalculus and it’s a re-telling of Chapter 2 of THE VEIL, from the point of view of the love interest). And since it’s Valentines Day, all of the stories have a romantic angle to them.

Q:  How challenging was it to write from the male perspective?

A:  I think the members of the Indelibles who were more used to writing from a male point of view found it pretty straight-forward . . . but I for one found it very challenging! I tend to write almost exclusively from the female point of view – I had only done male characters in third-person, so jumping right into a male character’s head and writing in first-person was totally new to me.

I actually wrote a blog post about my struggles to “write like a dude” (LINK: http://www.corypoakes.com/news-and-events/writing-dude-grunt-grunt-scratch-scratch/): the gist of it was that my first attempt was absolutely horrendous! It wasn’t until I was able to remember that my character had qualities other than just being “a dude” that I was able to get inside his head. I am ultimately very proud of “Precalculus” and how much the voice in it really does sound like the “Lucas Stratton” I have had floating around inside my head for years. It took a long while to get there, but it was worth it. It actually really helped motivate me to get cracking on the sequel to THE VEIL – getting some new insight into Luc really helped to give me some fresh perspective on the series in general.

 Q:  What do *The Indelibles* hope to accomplish with this anthology?

 A:  Well, we’ve put it up for free on Smashwords and for just .99 cents on Amazon and Barnes and Noble – so we’re not trying to make a killing here, moneywise. Really, this is our Valentines Day gift to our readers. And of course we hope that if people really enjoy our short stories, they will be motivated to check out our books as well. (It worked for me! I now have a whole list of books I want to read, just from the various shorts I got to proof-read during the course of doing this anthology!)

 Q:  Where can one get a copy of the anthology?

A:  IN HIS EYES was released as an ebook for free on Smashwords at:
(LINK: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/129467)

and for just .99 cents on Amazon:
(LINK: http://www.amazon.com/In-His-Eyes-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00760G5CE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329243075&sr=1-1)

and Barnes&Noble.com:
(LINK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-his-eyes-anthology-sr-johannes/1108613162).

You can also add it to your shelves on Goodreads by going to:
(LINK: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13331838-in-his-eyes-anthology)

Thanks Cory, the book is a fabulous idea! Happy Valentine’s Day!!



Filed under Book Reviews, Q and A with Authors

Stephen King’s Full Dark No Stars–His Newest Book in Review

I have several other Stephen King book on my shelf awaiting a read, but after reading Duma Key and Under the Dome, two of his latest books I was craving more. I heard of another new book coming out last year, so I researched it and decided to go for reading these four long prose stories first in the book Full Dark, No Stars. You never can really tell by the jacket of his book if it will be horrifyingly scary as of his earlier days or if it will be a more exploratory scribe into the depths of the human psyche. I prefer this latter. I believe he is truly at his best when he is delving into more psychological thrillers. I jumped in the book head first (not literally of course!) to see which it was.

I was horrified, in an emotional sort of way, by the first story (1922) about a family in the pre-depression era Nebraska farming town and the husband’s love of his land so much that when the wife causes him problems about it, he and his young son formulate the idea to kill her.  King’s character building and the detail really do make you feel like you are a fly on the wall, that you have some vested stake in the story and seem to be a part of it. I think that is what sometimes makes me so scared inside while reading, and with this story I felt the same. Sometimes murder can get out of control, away from the original plan that characters (and humans) sometimes concoct in their head that seem so easily done. This story was very graphic, very bloody, and very scary. It was one of those stories where he was classic King and as the characters sunk more and more into total psychosis they start talking to the dead body or themselves, or seeing things, or hearing things that may actually just be in their own mind. What happens in this story really made my skin crawl and once I saw it was so much in the character’s mind…how an experience can make you “see” things…I was shocked. The ending was instrumental and amazing. This story also dealt with the fact that when we do a bad thing, and when we bring someone else into the situation (in this case his young son) it can totally change that person’s life for the worse as it messes with their mind.

The next story, Big Driver, riveted me to the core. It hit me emotionally hard in the belly. It starts soft with a young thirty-something writer of puffy crime dramas for old ladies accepting the call to be a back-up presenter at a library. With the librarian offering to give her a faster way home, and a back way at that, the authors life is changed when she is brutally raped and thrown in a culvert for dead. Being a victim of rape myself, and an avid women’s liberator due to rape, sexual assualt and domestic violence, I was proud of Mr. King for writing this novel. He certainly got into the character’s head to show her fear, her shame and her determination. Again, her “plan” didn’t go so smooth and finding things out along the way led to even more fun turn and twists in the story.  Sometimes a horrific crime as such happened to the young woman sends one on a certain cycle of investigation and revenge that is truly deadly. This story wasn’t psychologically scary, just emotionally deep and draining. I felt she was justified by the end however, and though a life is a life, sometimes some don’t deserve to live. Like rapists and their accomplices. One more note on this book, King certainly rings true to his psychological style once again with the character’s mind talking to things like tomtoms, their pets, dead bodies….hahahaha.  It seems so absurd, but clever way to get us into the mind of the character and make the revenge or killing somewhat comical!

The story, Fair Extension, is short but the proverbial make a deal with the devil story based on a relationship that most of us have with someone we know in life, the person who always gets the fair break, the woman, the perfect life. A man is dying of cancer and he agrees to pay the creepy man to take away his cancer and also in return for his friend’s life (who used him his entire life and got all the breaks) to be destroyed. It makes you think too how fast your life can turn around, for the good or the bad, and how we shouldn’t focus (covet) on what others have and be more happy with we have in life so that we don’t turn into bitter-ridden and revenge-driven people.

The final story was my favorite and it was called A Good Marriage.  In the Afterward, King mentions that he writes this loosely based on something true that happened in the news, the serial killer Dennis Rader (BTK killer) and his wife who was married to him for 34 years and claimed she did not know. He stated that many people commented that they didn’t see how she could not know all that time living with him. King writes the story from the aspect of the wife of a serial killer that doesn’t know he isone  and how this might happen. He really develops the character well from the mind of the main character (the wife) and we can see how she might not know but truly feel she has a good marriage and truly loves her husband. In the story, she discovers his secret and it unravels from there as he immediately knows that she knows and wants to start over. He promises not to ever do this awful bondage and biting and killing again, blaming it on the ghost of his dead childhood friend, but she knows better. When the opportunity arises, though she loves the husband she knew, she pushes him down the stairs instead of turning him in to save their two children from a life of “my dad was serial killer media-hype.” It was an emotional and sad story that really delved into the emotions of how a woman might feel if ever having to deal with something like this happening. Her total disgust with what he had done knocking up alongside her true love for the man she knew causes her to mourn with double intensity.  With this story and Big Driver, I am really proud of King for reaching deep into the mind of a woman and emotionally gripping us with their characters.

I left theentire book feeling emotionally drained in a way. He is so detailed and so good at bringing you into the character that I think you sometimes feel you have gone through what the characters have gone through. The stories do bring real raw emotions to the forefront and deal with the true emotional nightmares that do scratch this earth and the mind of many.

In the afterward I was surprised to see him write that as I reader I should feel that these might leave me emotional as these raw feelings were harsh and stemmed from the dark surfaces of the human mind. King mentioned that he himself had moments of having a hard time dealing with some of the emotions while writing the book. I am thankful that he wrote the afterward and explained his thoughts behind some of the stories. I love how he is so creative when he writes and plays with the names of characters (turn around rats or devil) and the locations, his game of repeating slogans and words for effect. This also makes the reading tempo go quickly.

These stories are a gripping, amazing ride through human nature and pysche. I was impressed and totally recommend this read to anyone who can tuck themselves away for a day or two to read this title. Believe me, you’ll want to keep reading till you finish.


Filed under Book Reviews