Maria Savva's Blog

June 2, 2015

Into The Rain (The Quarantined City, #2)Into The Rain by James Everington

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The second in this six-story series, "Into The Rain" is wonderful because it adds to what has already happened in the first story, and the serial has really begun to take shape. I enjoyed the story-within-a-story, written by the elusive author, Boursier. Strange things happen whenever Fellows reads the stories as if they hold some mystical power... or is our protagonist suffering from a mental illness? All sorts of questions were raised in my mind as I was reading the story. The theme of fantasy versus reality seems prominent. James Everington has created some brilliant characters who were further developed in this second story: Fellows, his friend Georgia, the strange ghost, the weird bookseller. Is there something more to the bookseller that we're not being told? I'm looking forward to reading the next story to find out what happens next! An entertaining and engrossing read.

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Published on June 02, 2015 13:05 • 33 views • Tags: into-the-rain, james-everington, review, the-quarantined-city

May 30, 2015

No Good DeedNo Good Deed by Tim Baker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first started reading this book I didn't know that it was the sequel to Living the Dream, but when I realised that it was I was very pleased. I enjoyed the first book in the series and all the characters were so great that it was nice to revisit them in 'No Good Deed'.

In this story, the hapless Kurt seems to have finally made something of himself. He even has a love interest. However, his luck soon runs out when he inadvertently gets involved in a dangerous chain of events.

We meet some new characters in this book who are just as charismatic as the old favourites from 'Living The Dream'. Al is homeless but he has a plan to get back on his feet in style. Unfortunately, there are a couple of gangsters who have other ideas.

It's a fun, fast-paced read, with lots of edge-of-your-seat action scenes. The only slight criticism I have is that the dream scenes didn't really add much to the novel. In 'Living The Dream' they were great because they were part and parcel of the story. In this book, however, I found that I just wanted the dreams scenes to end so I could get back to the action. I'm still giving it 5 stars, though, because it's a brilliant story and deserves to be read.

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Published on May 30, 2015 16:04 • 50 views • Tags: no-good-deed, sequel, thriller, tim-baker

May 29, 2015

A Time to Tell (second edition) is with my proofreader. As soon as it's back I'll make the final adjustments and send it for formatting. It'll eventually be available in eBook and paperback.

I've made a book trailer for the new book and am looking forward to revealing that soon.

I'm also currently editing my new collection of short stories, which is called 'Lost and Found'. There are about 6 stories in the collection. One of them is a new story and the others were found after I thought they were lost (hence the title!). They were written in the '90s and were on a floppy disk. The disk became corrupted so I couldn't retrieve them, but then I found printed versions of the stories in a drawer at home! I've since edited them and updated them. I'm hoping to send them to an editor soon.

Other than that, I've written 2 new short stories inspired by photos for the Mind's Eye Series anthology - book 4. When all the writers are ready, we'll be announcing more about that.

Keep up to date with everything on my website:
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Published on May 29, 2015 03:11 • 373 views • Tags: a-time-to-tell, maria-savva, mind-s-eye-series, photography, short-stories, writing

May 26, 2015

May is International Short Story Month.

Those of you who know my own writing and who follow my blog will already know how much I love reading and writing short stories.

I have written a few collections of short stories.

Far Away in Time by Maria Savva Fusion by Maria Savva 3 by Maria Savva Pieces of a Rainbow by Maria Savva Love and Loyalty (and Other Tales) by Maria Savva Delusion and Dreams by Maria Savva

I have also contributed stories to the BestsellerBound Anthologies (most of which are currently free to download on Amazon Kindle).

BestsellerBound Short Story Anthology - Volume 3 by Maria Savva BestsellerBound Anthology (BestsellerBound, #1) by Darcia Helle BestsellerBound Short Story Anthology Volume 2 by Darcia Helle BestsellerBound Short Story Anthology, Volume 4 by Darcia Helle

I also have a story in the collection Murder, Madness, and Mystery

Murder, Madness, and Mystery by Darcia Helle

More recently, I have been contributing stories to the Mind's Eye Series.

Perspectives by Darcia Helle Triptychs (Mind's Eye Series Book 3) by Darcia Helle Reflections by Darcia Helle

Book four in that series is coming soon with 2 new short stories from me.

I'm also currently editing my latest collection of short stories, 'Lost and Found'. Look out for that later in the year.

I'm happy that there is a month to celebrate the short story form because this type of fiction is often neglected in favour of novels.

I think short stories are perfect for the way we live these days. Finding time for reading is a luxury. If you pick up a short story you can often finish reading it in one sitting. That means you don't have to remember what happened when you last read it. With novels, if you don't get time to read and go for 2 or 3 days without picking it up, it's easy to forget what happened, who the characters are, etc. etc.

Aside from all that, some of the best works of fiction I've ever read have been short stories.

I'm going to recommend some of my favourites and hope you'll try at least one. (Click on the covers to find out about the books.)

Road Markers by Jason McIntyre Nights Gone By by Jason McIntyre Looking Back  by Jay Finn

Beneath the Darkness by Jay Finn The Shelter by James Everington The Other Room by James Everington

Scale of a Dragon by J. Michael Radcliffe Tears for Hesh by J. Michael Radcliffe Legend of the Pumpkin King by J. Michael Radcliffe

The Amaranthine Flask by J. Michael Radcliffe Quiet Fury  An Anthology of Suspense by Darcia Helle Expressions by Julie Elizabeth Powell

Nine Lives by Terry Tyler Three Into One by Julie Elizabeth Powell Weird  A Henry Ian Darling Oddity  Missive Two by Julie Elizabeth Powell

Weird  A Henry Ian Darling Oddity  Missive One by Julie Elizabeth Powell Oblivious by Neil Schiller Odin's Eye by Maria Haskins

Dying Embers by M.R.  Cosby Forsaken by J. Michael Radcliffe Frostbite - The Dragon that Saved Christmas by J. Michael Radcliffe

I'm going to stop there, but you can check out my list of books/reviews to see others that I've read and enjoyed.

Happy Short Story Month and Happy Reading! I hope you find a new favourite author from this list!
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Published on May 26, 2015 06:00 • 831 views • Tags: bestsellerbound, mind-s-eye-series, short-stories, short-story-month

May 23, 2015

I read and enjoyed Sandcastle and Other Stories when it was first released a couple of years ago.

This new edition has just been released with a fabulous new cover. It contains two additional dark psychological tales from the talented Justin Bog. I'm looking forward to reading the extra stories.

You can get a copy of the book in eBook or paperback, worldwide on Amazon.

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Author links:

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Published on May 23, 2015 12:19 • 324 views • Tags: dark-fiction, justin-bog, psychological-fiction, short-stories

May 22, 2015

The Smell Of Paprika (The Quarantined City #1)The Smell Of Paprika by James Everington

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm already a fan of James Everington's writing, having enjoyed his short story collections The Other Room and Falling Over. "The Smell of Paprika" is the first part of a six part serial. It's only the beginning of a story and as such it doesn't give away all of its secrets. I like the start of this serial and am looking forward to reading on as it has definitely raised many questions in my mind about this strange city that has been quarantined.

Fellows, the main character, lives in a haunted house, he is still getting used to the strange quarantine conditions and when we meet him he's looking for some short stories written by a mysterious writer. No one knows who the writer is but Fellows has heard about the stories and, being a writer himself, he's interested to read them.

So far Fellows has noticed a few odd things happening in the city. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger. I'll definitely be reading the second story soon to find out what happens!

The story is well written and flows nicely. It kept me interested throughout. I liked the interactions between the characters, all of which were very realistic, and there is some humour intertwined with the darker elements in the story.

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Published on May 22, 2015 10:40 • 120 views • Tags: book-review, james-everington, the-quarantined-city, the-smell-of-paprika

May 20, 2015

That Last SummerThat Last Summer by Susan M. Toy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this story. It's an engrossing read. It's the tale of one family's summer spent away from home on holiday in 1965. The references to historic events of the time help to evoke a nostalgic feeling and make the story seem true to life. I found all the characters to be interesting and realistic and I'm sure many people will be able to relate to the ups and downs that many of the characters face in the book.

We mainly follow Rachel's story. She is away from home at the age of 15 with her younger sister and their parents. Rachel find's her younger sister annoying as they don't share the same interests. Rachel is also upset because she's been forced to spend the summer away from her boyfriend.

Things take an interesting turn when Rachel meets a group of teenagers who are also on holiday with their family nearby. They soon become friends.

There are just enough twists and turns to keep the story flowing nicely.

The main story revolves around the events of the summer of '65, however, the last part of the book takes us forward into the future so we see how Rachel's life has turned out. We meet her again at a time when she is looking back at that particular summer. The ending is quite poignant.

This is an insightful and captivating look at one family's story. Well written and well worth a read.

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Published on May 20, 2015 13:11 • 162 views • Tags: coming-of-age, family-drama, novella, review, susan-m-toy, that-last-summer

May 13, 2015

Odin's EyeOdin's Eye by Maria Haskins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was captivated by the cover of this book and when I read about the author's inspiration for the title and cover on her blog I was intrigued. Maria Haskins' writing definitely fits into the literary fiction genre. These are stories that are to be savoured. There is a depth to the tales that can only be fully appreciated by taking time to really read and digest every sentence, every nuance. Each sentence is skillfully crafted.

One of this writer's strengths is that she is able to describe something so succinctly and with such precision that everything she writes becomes a picture in the mind of the reader. Her stories show a deep understanding of the human condition.

All the stories are science fiction and are set in the near or distant future. They are set on different planets, different worlds. The characters are so well depicted and seem like real people telling their tale. We see things through their eyes, we feel their fear and sense their concerns.

These twelve stories will make you think about what could happen if science became so advanced that we were able to travel easily through time and space.

All of the stories transported me to different times and strange new worlds and each one contains insightful observations about life and people. The stand out story for me was 'Lost and Found', a tale about an astronaut, who is the only survivor after a crash, waiting to be rescued. That one is just perfect, in my opinion. It would make a great movie or short film.

Other favourites include 'Bethel', an expertly crafted story about the prisons of the future and what they might be like; 'Life Line' that will make you think about the concept of reality and what it actually is; and 'The Child', a very interesting tale about choices and the repercussions.

All the stories are brilliant and I'm glad to have discovered such a talented writer.

Take a trip into the future with these twelve short stories. You won't be disappointed.

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Published on May 13, 2015 13:20 • 427 views • Tags: book-review, maria-haskins, odin-s-eye, review, sci-fi, science-fiction, short-story, short-story-month

May 12, 2015

My good friend and fellow author, Darcia Helle has just released a new novel. Eli's Coming is the first in a brand new series.

I was lucky enough to be able to read a pre-release copy.

Here's my review:

Eli's ComingEli's Coming by Darcia Helle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a big fan of Darcia Helle's writing. This author really knows how to write books that keep you turning the pages. I have yet to read something by this author that has disappointed me and I think the key to that is that she always keeps surprising the reader with new and exciting ideas. With this book she surprised me again because it was not what I was expecting at all. It's a supernatural thriller with elements of fantasy and suspense. Even though she has written something that deviates from her usual fiction it still has all her hallmarks: suspense, thrills, humour, and believable characters that we can all relate to.

When we meet Eli he is at a kind of crossroads in his life because he has found love but there is a dark secret that he is keeping and something that could threaten his new love and also his own life. The secret is slowly and steadily revealed as the story unfolds and his past comes back to find him.

I really enjoyed Eli's Coming. The dark fantasy element is fascinating. I'm pleased that this is the first in the series and am looking forward to the next book!

You can get a copy on Amazon and Barnes and Noble at the links below:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Barnes and Noble:
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Published on May 12, 2015 11:15 • 543 views • Tags: darcia-helle, dark-fiction, eli-s-coming, fantasy, new-release, novel, supernatural

May 6, 2015

Living the DreamLiving the Dream by Tim Baker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book had me hooked from the start and kept me interested throughout. It's a fun and fast-paced read with lots of surprising twists and turns. The characters all seemed very real which made it easy to sympathise with them, even if they were baddies!

The book revolves around a series of strange recurring dreams that many of the characters have been having. The dreams seem to point to an event involving some kind of crime with money involved, and there are familiar faces in the dreams that the characters keep seeing.

Most of the main characters are going through some kind of crisis where they feel that they need to change their lives.

Every chapter brings new surprises and there's lots of suspense and action.

I think the ending brought everything together brilliantly. It's a complex tale involving many different characters and the author did a fantastic job with it. This would make a great movie!

Highly recommended.

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Published on May 06, 2015 12:05 • 173 views • Tags: crime, humour, living-the-dream, review, suspense, tim-baker