Tag Archives: Short Story

Book Review – Jonah by Jan Sikes

My Book Review of Jonah by Jan Sikes.


It’s a great pleasure to share with you the inspirational short story I read over the weekend.



My Review

The short story Jonah by Jan Sikes reads like a spiritual journey. Jonah was in prison for his crimes committed but had a choice to be locked up in an underground box or banished in a deserted island. He chose the island. The harsh environment of the island with creatures, stinging nettles, and prickly thorns didn’t make it any easier for him. In his hut, he discovered a package with edible items and toiletry. There were two books and a pencil with a message that the only way he could get off the island was to examine himself, face the truths, and make peace with his demons.

He used to rule the city with his might, but there was no specific mention of the crimes in Jonah’s past. It’s up to the reader’s imagination. Then an unusual young boy with eyes glowed with luminescent green light and webbed fingers showed up. He wrestled with this boy, Titus, the same way he would with an enemy. Realized this boy wouldn’t do him any harm, he let him go back to the other side of the island. Overtime, he developed the friendship with Titus. Titus brought him food and kept him company. He also brought him books on the requirements of him to be set free. His response was to comply with the rules with his behaviors. Titus indicated that it was not the fake behaviors but the heart that count. His empathy and care toward Titus grew and wanted to help him get out of the environment where the people didn’t treat him right. Every time his innate passion and selflessness grew, his hut became bigger.

The story came to a surprised ending when it was least expected of Jonah. I like this story when the author skillfully depicted the inner struggle of Jonah and his capability of changing his heart. His sincerity and genuine compassion toward Titus set him free. This short story is an enjoyable read. Highly recommended.

Amazon and Goodreads Ratings


Jan Sikes

About the Author

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

When her husband passed away in 2009, she thought someone would come along and write the story of his unique and inspiring life. She awoke one morning to realize she was the only one who could write it, since she was the only one there with him through it all. So, she took several Creative Writing courses at local community colleges and went to work.

Her books are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

Jan has also developed several writing workshops that you can get more information about on her website.

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, The North Texas Book Festival and the Texas Musicians Museum.

Contact the Author

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Website: http://www.jansikes.com

Blog: http://www.rijanjks.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikes

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rijanjks


Book Review – In Search of McDoogal by Mae Clair

My Book Review – In Search of McDoogal by Mae Clair.


I downloaded In Search of McDoogal three weeks ago and was delighted to read it over the weekend.

Mae Clair

In Search of McDoogal by [Mae Clair]

My Review

In Search of McDoogal by Mae Clair is a fast-read short story. The main characters and the problem were established in the story’s onset. Brady and Declan were best friends from high school. Brad showed up before dawn to ask Declan’s help. The way they communicated with each other was nothing less than that in such a friendship.

It horrified Brady when he sold his girlfriend Vanessa’s cherished painting while watching her shop. He had one day to retrieve it before her return from a trip. The all-day tracking of the painting and the incredible chain of actions bolted me to the seat. The dialogue was hilarious and kept me laughing from the beginning to the end. It felt like these two guys were chasing their hundred-dollar bill got blown away, every time they almost touched it to grab it, another wind swooped it up.

The characters are believable. The mistake Brady made could have happened to anyone. The panicking, the willingness to go all the way in remediation, and the bargaining in saving a situation are so real in life. Yet the story put humor in such seemingly desperate circumstance. I look forward to more short stories from this author and this cast. Highly recommended.

Amazon and Goodreads Ratings


Mae Clair

About the Author

A member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, Mae Clair is also a founding member and contributor to the award-winning writing blog, Story Empire. She has achieved bestseller status on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with several of her novels chosen as book club selections.

Mae writes primarily in the mystery/suspense genre, flavoring her plots with elements of urban legend and folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail, and cats.

Please contact the author at the links below:








Miriam’s Book Review – Memoir of a Mad Woman by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Miriam’s Book Review – Memoir of a Mad Woman by Vashti Quiroz-Vega


Memoir of a Mad Woman by [Quiroz-Vega, Vashti]

What Amazon Says

A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds.
She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree…
But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

My Recommendation

In Memoir of a Mad Woman, Vashti Quiroz-Vega writes about the horrible experiences Emma went through. After her father left and mother was burned to death, she was placed in an orphanage. There was a time when Emma had a crush on a male teacher, had a girlfriend and even wanted to plan a birthday party for a female teacher. Her mental stage didn’t indulge her good feeling for too long before the cruelty of an institution inflicted upon her. The physical, emotional and sexual abuse ripped her apart and her only friend betrayed her. She was the loneliest soul in the orphanage while the director, male nurse and other adult ignored each other’s crime done to her. To a fifteen years old poor girl with no friends and no adult guidance, the bursting impulse pushed her to the edge of vengeance.

Vega in this short story exposes the dark side of reality which doesn’t come to surface easily. It’s an engaging quick read provoking emotion. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys dark and horror stories.

My Amazon and Goodreads Rating:


Vashti Quiroz-Vega

About the Author

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.

She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin.

She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.

Contact the Author at:

Website: https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7122693.Vashti_Quiroz_Vega

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VashtiQV

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Vashti-Q-Author-Page-396515670465852/



Whispers and Echoes

I want to thank Sammi Fox at Dreaming Spirit Express for publishing the Whispers and Echoes Issue 3 and includes 5 pieces of my poems and short writing.

Please read and vote at https://www.wattpad.com/story/123125047-whispers-and-echoes-issue-3


Welcome to Issue 3 of Whispers and Echoes, a journal of small things, of short writing.

It’s a hectic world we live in, where so much demands our attention that we don’t always have the time to stop and relax and read. The point of Whispers and Echoes is to provide short pieces of writing – poems no longer than ten lines in lengths and stories told in under one hundred words – that are strong enough to provide about of escapism, even if, like the pieces included here, they are brief.

Just like a whisper in a dream…

Just like an echo in a cave…

To learn more about the amazing writers whose poems and flash fiction can be found below, visit our Meet the Writers page.

* Copyright remains with the author the piece is accredited to *

Losses and Gains | McKenzie Richardson

“You’re killing her!” she shouted, her eyes brimming with tears. “You’re killing my daughter, my only child.”

He reached over to comfort her, but she only turned away.

“Please, Mom.”

She glared back at him, at the body that seemed so foreign to her now. Then she took in the scar on his cheek. It was the same one her six-year-old daughter got after falling off her bike.

“I am still your child,” he pleaded in his deepening voice.

She brushed the scar with her fingertips, flooded with memories.

“I love you,” they both said, their hearts beginning to mend.

Majestic Glacier | Miriam Hurdle

I was in awe of the majestic glacier
What a persistent body of ice that
Forever will be within my sight
Silence is its sheer beauty
Never mind the global warming that
People study, argue and fear
Please stay for millions of years

Metaphysical Mystery | Sammi Cox

There was nothing much to go on. Everything looked very ordinary. A few trees, some stones, a little brook lazily flowing by…that was it.

I sat down on the ground, perplexed. Taking the little book from my pocket, I read the mysterious diary entry from 1878 once more.

A noise startled me; I looked up. Time had passed faster than I expected; I forgot once the natural light faded, darkness fell quickly out here.

And that’s when I saw it. A pearlescent shimmer on the stream-bank and the distinct outline of a doorway.

After that…I can recall no more.

Driving in the Dark | McKenzie Richardson

It looks as though / A thousand stars
Shattered and broke / And cried down little glass tears.
The roads look as if / Stricken with measles
From all of the streetlights / That penetrate this dark and silent night.
One of the roads / Twists and winds / Like a disfigured heart
Yeah, disfigured.
I wish us to make it safely
But at the same time
I want us to crash.

A Tiny Spider | Miriam Hurdle

A tiny spider labors every night to
Spins his web in perfect symmetry.
What an innate architect is he!
Patiently watches for his prey to volunteer.
Meal for the night and reward for labor and wait.
Before dawn, down his trap and hides away.
When the night is nigh he starts his day.
Spins his web, again, again, again. Again!

The Colours of Spring Sammi Cox

When the world wakes from winter’s sleep
And all growing things begin to grow once more
Dashes and splashes of paintbrush pastel
Break up the swathes of spring’s verdant richness
Pure white of snowdrops
Daffodils and cowslips yellow as the sun
Pink and purples of wild violets
Carpets of white-starred wood anemone
Pale yellow cream of primrose and pansy
Are just a few shades from the colour wheel of spring

Gone | McKenzie Richardson

I heard that you’re gone / You’re not here anymore / I’m sorry I didn’t know you better.
It may not be that I miss you; / We haven’t talked for years; / But I regret your passing
I’m sorry you’re gone / I’m sorry you’re not here.
Maybe it’s selfish of me / To feel hurt and confused about this
You had family / You had friends / I was just somebody who knew you once.
I shouldn’t feel pain about this. / But still / There is a sadness here
Like I lost something I didn’t know I had / Like a light was extinguished / I didn’t notice was on
The sun always blinded me that way.
I’m sorry that you’re gone / I’m sorry that you’re not here
But I’m not gone/ I’m still here. / The living have to live with the dead.

Hibiscus | Miriam Hurdle

There are hibiscus bushes in my garden.
They bloom today, wither tomorrow.
Their colors are cheerfully bright;
Petals are velvety, thin with energy.
Yet they live only for one day.
Wrinkles appear on the faces next sunrise.
“Sigh!” What a pity! why not stay?
They have no worry, nature was made.
When they’re alive, they live fully;
Give them all, for Creator’s glory!

The Black Cat | Sammi Cox

The black cat sat on the doorstep, its only movement a sporadic twitch of an ear. Its gaze was firmly fixed on something beyond the circle of light from the porch lamp, something that clung to the shadows.

Whatever it was, it didn’t make a sound. No dead leaf rustled. No twig snapped.

If it wasn’t for the black cat and its vigil, the dark presence would have gone unnoticed.

If it wasn’t for the guardian who stood watch throughout the night, the thing would have made it into the house it once called home, many years before…

In My Head | McKenzie Richardson

I overanalyze / And underreport / I don’t have a reason / Or a sassy retort
All I can say is / I wish it weren’t this way
But I’m left with my thoughts / And they’re all that I’ve got.

I overthink / And undershare / I’m surrounded by people / Who I know do care
But all I know / Is that I have to go
I cannot escape my own head / I need to be alone instead.

I overcompensate / And underachieve / These are the reasons / That I have to leave
They’re more like excuses / But what can I say?
I always liked fantasy / Better than reality anyway.

Rowing Boat Miriam Hurdle

I love to go rowing boat
Weather is not the matter
May the day be sunny or cloudy
Windy or even stormy
Having you in the same boat
I can go anywhere, everywhere
We had a rough day at the sea
Almost dangerous to manage
Our hearts were in touch
Our hands were in synch
Your encouraging words to me
Mine to you, all the way through
We strived until the storm passed
A day I will forever remember
The storm brought us closer
I love to go rowing boat
When you are with me

Simply Be | Sammi Cox

Take a moment
Just to breathe
To pause
To simply be
A break away
From the hustle and bustle
The always doing
Never slowing
Just to breathe
To simply be

Isn’t It? | McKenzie Richardson

Hush your thoughts / And go to sleep / I wish it were a promise / I could keep
When I tell you that / It will all be okay / It’s a lie we all believe
Isn’t it?

Close your eyes / And go to sleep / I wish I had words / To calm you as you weep
But I do not know / Just what to say / It’s a beautiful life
Isn’t it?

Rest your body / Please go to sleep / I cannot stop / These thoughts that creep
Into your head / And ruin your day
But I love you / It’s true
Isn’t it?

Raven’s Eye | Miriam Hurdle

“Do you have any water left, Dave?”

“I still have some. Take a sip. Your lips are badly chapped, Ben.”

“We have been lost in unpaved hiking trail for five days.”

“We only have water enough for two more days? I hope we could locate water soon!”

“Look, Dave! A raven is circling in the air and ready to dive down.”

“It spotted a dead deer and wanted its share. I think.”

“And the deer was drinking water?”

“That may be our hope for water, Ben.”

“We could reach down by nightfall.”

“I hope this raven saves our lives.”


Your challenge is to write your story using the weekly theme/prompt and write it in just 52 words…. EXACTLY, no more, no less. – Sacha


This pie graph is the cycle of learning. It started as a hierarchy of learning. Students begin by gaining the literal knowledge; the learning goes deeper and deeper in order to make the evaluation. It makes sense to put it in a pie graph. Knowledge from evaluation starts another cycle of learning.



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