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The Games You Cannot Win

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Roll the dice, pick a card, tell a lie, hide the truth. Whatever the move, it's all just part of the game. Follow the lives of four very different characters who are all trapped in an insidious game. Each story delves into the intricate web of misaligned motives and obscured half-truths.

In This Business
A career hangs in the balance between a wicked deal with a publishing
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Kindle Edition, 1, 172 pages
Published October 26th 2016 by MK Williams Publishing, LLC
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David Kummer
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so thrilling from the very start. That description... wow it got me immediately. I was expecting the book to be good, but it did even better than that. I won't give any spoilers away in my review, but it is definitely one you should read.

The four different stories really grabbed your attention in their own unique way, making for one of the best short books I've read in a long time. There were tons of times I couldn't put the book down, and stayed up into the early morning reading.
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Annabelle Costa
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable read! I don't usually read books of short stories, but this wasn't technically short stories. The first story was short, and the other 3 were mini-novellas, for lack of a better word.

I thought the first story was cute and I thought the ending was really sweet. The two middle stories dragged a little bit for me, but the last one, "Escaping Avila Chase," was really enjoyable. This one is about an FBI agent who becomes obsessed with his former girlfriend's habit of writing her
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J.P. Willson
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting collection of not so short stories that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Marco Peel
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very varied menu

The Games You Cannot Win explores what happens when alternative facts start leading a life on their own, when white lies lose their innocence, when you start to believe your own excuses...

The four not-so-short short stories each have their own unique flavor, tone and pace, from the rather detached rendering of the slow-motion mother-daughter train-wreck of In this Business, to Trevor’s up close and personal paranoia in Escaping Avila Chase.

The political scandal in The Joker alm
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Debbie Williams
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Four very interesting stories with engaging characters and fascinating plots with such descriptive details and vocabulary that the stories come to life!
Teresa M.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a very enjoyable, fast paced book of short stories. The characters were fun and interesting. I loved the twists and turns in each book.
Susan Clayton-Goldner
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've never read a book of short stories quite like this one. There are five longish stories, each very different, but with a similar theme. The games we play with ourselves and others. Games no one ever wins. I was drawn into each story and became attached to many of the "extreme" characters that inhabit these pieces. The writer did a good job of keeping the reader's interest. They were suspenseful in their own way--quiet--but psychologically gripping. There were a few sections that I underlined ...more
Jason Williams
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Four deeply entertaining and unique stories. The author does a great job immediately hooking the reader in, enabling you to live and experience through the characters eyes. While the characters in each story are unique, they follow a theme of circumstantial human behavior. One of the stories, The Joker, is amazingly timed given the recent election!
Leslie Kate
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This collection of short stories is a well-written, thought-provoking take on culture and human nature; the games you cannot win. Expertly crafted with poignant imagery and prose, you'll find yourself fully immersed in the worlds laid out on the pages.
Laura Koerber
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-shelf
I am having a hard time with this review. There are so many aspects of this collection that deserve five stars, and yet so many that are only threes. Most of the stories are not short! In fact, they are nearly novellas.

The stories are character-driven, rather than event driven. She knows how to develop character by “showing” rather than “telling”. One story has an unreliable narrator, one of the hardest forms to use well. Her use of figurative language is deft and her word choice is consistentl
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Sapphire Jones
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
A young writer has to choose between success and integrity; a factchecker cum journalist connects the dots in a case of political intrigue around a presidential election; a Supreme Court justice is tarred by her past; a man wrestles with both his previous and present involvement with an ex-girlfriend.

M.K. Williams’ “The Games You Cannot Win” brings us four short stories in which characters struggle to parse, to explain, and to navigate complicated—and often painful—realities.

The germ at the ce
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Dominique Kyle
Four short stories of varying lengths connected by the thought-provoking theme summed up in the title of the book. I found this collection of writings rather similar to ‘The Yellow Wallpaper and Selected Writings’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in that there is one story in here that is a shining psychological gem, and by comparison the others are somewhat turgid, preachy, old-fashioned, and overly explicit as to their message. In addition, the author has put an explanation at the beginning of the ...more
Karl Woodhouse
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
This collection is a bit of a mixed bag, four short stories of various length. Almost half of the book is taken up with the story “Escaping Avila Chase”, which is a good thing, as this particular story is the best of the bunch.

In This Business:
A short dedication telling the tale of an author who must make decide whether to follow commercial success or stick to her principles. The story portrayed commercial publishers as mean and soulless. There is a nice sentimental twist to this tale, but ulti
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David Fisher
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
A Collection Of Four Short Stories

I found this book disappointing. Two of the four stories have entertainment potential, but a real story-telling component is lacking in the other two. "Escaping" is definitely the best of the bunch, but it ended so abruptly, I thought I was missing some pages. Also, it would have been better placed at the front, not the back, of the collection.

"Business" sounded biographical and was too obviously personal. That is not in itself detrimental, but where are the rea
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M.K. Williams
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This was the second book that I published. I was so excited to get these stories out to readers, even though the genre was not even close to my first book.

I took each story on as a unique challenge. Could I write a story with a main character who was male (something I hadn't done to date)? Could I get another book out within 12 months of getting the first out? This was a great growth challenge for me as a writer.

I was so heartened to see that most reviewers really enjoyed the final story, Esca
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MK Williams writes suspenseful literary fiction and sci-fi adventure for the contemporary reader. Her body of work is comprised of three novels, two self-publishing guides, a budgeting and planning workbook, and a collection of short stories.

Her first novel, Nailbiters, is an apocalyptic science-fiction thriller that has kept audiences up all night since its debut in 2015. Her most popular work, E
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