From Jonathan Sturak, the Amazon Best-Selling Author of Thriller Novels A Smudge of Gray and Clouded Rainbow
They say that a new light shines in Las Vegas for every person who visits. But unlike the countless millions who visited Sin City this year, today you decided to be part of the 'what happens' that 'stays'.
After exploring the lights, you find a job as a salesperson at a kiosk on the Strip. It's your first night and Daniela is your trainer. She seems friendly providing you with the secrets on living and working in Sin City, but she possesses a quality that you can't place. After quickly learning the job, Daniela gives you a special book containing eleven stories of love, mystery, and suspense--this book.
As you read these stories, you begin to realize this book, Daniela, and the lights of Las Vegas are not what you imagined!
Will your Vegas light shine Blood Red?
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Jonathan Sturak grew up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. He is a Penn State University graduate and holds degrees in Computer Science and Film. He currently lives in Las Vegas where he uses the energy of the city to craft stories about life and the human condition. "The Place Called Home," Sturak's essay about Eastern European heritage in Northeast Pennsylvania, was featured on Glass Cases, associate literary agent Sarah LaPolla's pop culture blog at http://glasscasesblog.blogspot.com/20.... Sturak is also a contributing editor at http://NoirNation.com, the premier location for international crime fiction. His debut thriller novel "Clouded Rainbow" was published in December 2009 and has over 200,000 downloads on the Amazon Kindle. Sturak keeps updated information on his website at http://sturak.com
I won this from goodreads, so thank you very much Mr. Sturak.
Unfortunately.. The information about the book really intrigued me because of how vague and alluring it sounded. The book reminded me a lot of Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted. I love Chuck, but I don't care for that book much either. I like the idea of a main story to frame all the short stories within the book, and I wish that had developed more here. As it is, the whole kiosk worker part feels unnecessary. I didn't feel like I gained anything from that being there. The short stories themselves were fine. At least the one thing it has over Haunted is that the different stories actually sound like different people every time. That is very important. I do like gore, but not when it's used as a shock tactic. I felt like the stories suffered in some ways because the gore being there was more important than the overall story.
I don't know the etiquette of this stuff. I felt at first like I should give a nicer review because the author was so kind to give it away and I was the lucky winner, but I guess being honest is more important. There are definite strengths of the book and the author, but this book just didn't do it for me.
This was an interesting set of short stories. The narrator is a tshirt salesperson in Vegas and you are visiting with her at work. It turns out she is a vampire. The short stories are of a varied variety. Very good book.
Synopsis: They say that a new light shines in Las Vegas for every person who visits. But unlike the countless millions who visited Sin City this year, today you decided to be part of the 'what happens' that 'stays'. After exploring the lights, you find a job as a salesperson at a kiosk on the Strip. It's your first night and Daniela is your trainer. She seems friendly providing you with the secrets on living and working in Sin City, but she possesses a quality that you can't place. After quickly learning the job, Daniela gives you a special book containing eleven stories of love, mystery, and suspense-this book. As you read these stories, you begin to realize this book, Daniela, and the lights of Las Vegas are not what you imagined! Will your Vegas light shine Blood Red?
My thoughts: The stories in this collection are so complete different from each other that I guess everybody will like at least one story in this book.
So why only 3.5 stars? - Because the different type of stories appear wildly thrown together and don't really fit together. You get thrown from one really sweet and sad story to another one where you think "ick"... and back. A wild ride that others may enjoy.
I really liked a few of the stories - and would rate them with 5 stars - others in this book only with 2 stars. But I guess that's just the way it is when you're reading a short story collection... you won't love every story.
I don't remember reading anything quite like that before. Their is a T-shirt kiosk that they sell t-shirts to tourists for 5 dollars. Daniela is showing the ropes to new employee. How, why and what to do and telling him that sometimes its slow so she reads this book of short stories. Then in between stories she is showing him more stuff like taking the money to owners,stopping for gas, going to a party but getting lost. Each time she comments on the story just read or the one comming up. I thought it was a clever way to tie the stories together. The first story brush of Love talks about a secretary goes with her boss to a three day conference in Florida. She has only flown one time before. She went to all the meetings and took notes and the one night left boss wants her to go to dinner with him and two friends. But she calls not feeling good and then takes off to see a little bit of florida. Meets a guy who takes her to private beach where he draws and paints. They make love and he asks her to stay with him but she says no . then wanders what if. one Story is about a hunter in his tree stand falls and knocks himself out and with broken rifle wanders to cabin where he thinks a women is hunting him. The stories are told well but some I liked some I wonder what happens next. some I did not like. My favorite was the Water Princess. I was given this ebook in exchange for honest review.
First person POV isn’t my favorite mode of reading and even more so when it’s a collection where you have to refocus on different characters each chapter. I suppose I tried to look for a common thread, and though each story is suppose to be connected to Las Vegas, it didn’t come over that way for me.
I could see the direction in each story and sense some of the emotion behind the character’s telling, but I found them mildly of interest at best. At times, descriptions were rather odd, and at others somewhat repetitive, but what really decided things for me was the story of the kiosk interspersed throughout. Certainly, it did start the collection off with a unique view I could understand as giving reason for the stories included, but I hadn’t forgotten about it while reading, so a reminder every chapter distracted me from the other works unnecessarily.
I found the majority of the stories very much directed towards a certain audience, quick reads which might make you think if you are familiar with the terms, lifestyle or setting, but weren’t especially thought-provoking. I would very much consider “From Vegas With Blood”, a niché genre of fiction.
This was an interesting take on a short story collection. Most collections just go from story to story with no real tie in. This book starts you off as a trainee with a young lady named Daniela, who only works nights, as your guide. Instead of really training you (and it talks as if it's you the reader) she gives you a book to pass the time. This book is a collection of short stories and between each one Daniela has some dialogue or some brief commentary. The stories themselves are the highlight of the book. They don't tie together except some how in some way each character has some link to Vegas, even if it's a passing relation and each story is different. We start out with a kind of love story that goes sad and the stories go from a mind trip to disturbing to sweet and a little horror. Each little tale is done quite well and portrays some kind of crazy or darker emotion. Well, there are a few light-hearted and sweet but most of the stories are dark. All together it was a very well written collection, short and entertaining. I didn't care much for the Daniela transitions, but it does give the collection a unique feel.
From Vegas With Blood by Jonathan Sturak is a fun, dark collection of short stories, many set in Sin City. The collection offers 11 different stories. The stories range from sweet to sick and twisted, but all are well written and all offer a bit of a supernatural element.
The book also has a unique format where the reader is put into the passenger seat. Before each story, the reader is put into a second-person situation that runs throughout the book. It is an interesting way to draw the reader in, and I really liked the technique.
The other interesting little tidbit I found in this collection is the subtle references to Las Vegas in the stories that are not set in the city. It was fun trying to find the reference in those stories that connect it to the rest of the collection.
Overall, this is a fun collection of stories to read, as long as you like to see a bit of the dark side.
*Reviewer received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads
Sturak’s collection of tales evokes a range of emotions: sorrow, fright, laughter, and warmth. Some of these pieces are perfect in their development and pacing, such as the sad, romantic suspense tale, “A Brush of Love.” It is followed up with a dose of chilling horror as played out in both “The Hunted” and “The Chef.” The tenderness captured in “The Water Princess” made way for the disturbing, laugh-out-loud humor in “The Happy Ending.” My favorite piece was “A Dance to Remember,” where Sturak demonstrates his craft at blurring the lines between the real world and dreams. In fact, several of these pieces are spectacular at merging illusions with reality. These tightly wound stories are also flawless in their delivery. They offer crisp and fresh observations. The writing is so clever and clean that you seamlessly travel with the characters into their alternate frame of mind. I was thoroughly engrossed in this volume of fantastic tales.
This book opens as you (yes, you, the reader) becomesa salesperson on a kiosk selling t-shirts to tourists and anyone else who happens to walk by. Daniela is your trainer and company for the night and she starts you off reading a book of short stories that she has with her, while in between stories she sells a few t-shirts, packs up the kiosk, goes to the office and a garage and then takes you on to a gig with a few of her friends. Over the course of the night you get to finish the stories in the book and experience the Vegas life that it describes from love and lost to lucky (and not so lucky) escapes. These stories are all well written and, just like Sin City itself, there's a little story for everyone.
I was loaned this book and was excited to read it. I hate to say this I was a bit diappointed.I thought this book was gonna be super suspenseful and romantic. I found it to be rather dark. I did like the way the author wrote as if the reader were working with on of the main characters. The is a set of short stories the first one I found to be the best. It is a book about a book of short stories that the character Daniela has and shares with you the reader whom she is training to sell T Shirts. I give this book two stars.
Ich habe mir dieses Buch in Las Vegas gekauft, in der Hoffnung ein bisschen Vegas-Flair mit nach Hause zu nehmen. Aufbewahrt habe ich es mir für einen Moment des Fernwehs und als ich dieses hatte habe ich das Buch gelesen. Leider hatte es nicht so viel mit Vegas zu tun, da die Geschichten doch eher Allgemein gehalten waren. Die kleinen Geschichten waren zum größten Teil ganz nett. Einige der Geschichten waren mir jedoch irgendwie zu doof und ich habe sie dann auch überblättert. Insgesamt war das Buch ganz nett, aber man verpasst auch absolut nichts, wenn man es nicht liest.
Fantastic compilation of some hair-rasing, tear-jerking, fantasy driven short stories. BRAVO! I am a huge fan of Mr. Sturak, and this one just consolidated my passion for his writting style. (I am stitting here laughing at the ending! You got me there, Jonathan!) So glad I did not wait to read this in Vegas! Loved A BRUSH OF LOVE!
This book is a collection of intriguing short stories. Jonathan Sturak's writing will mesmerize and pull you into the mysteries with From Vegas With Blood. Be prepared for some of the stories are terrifying. I give this collection five stars because I am still recalling some of the characters with chills down my spine.