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The Silver Feather

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About the author

Joanne Van Leerdam

21 books170 followers
Joanne Van Leerdam is a poet and author of short stories. Her body of work consists of aix poetry collections, one general short story collection, a play, four collections of horror short stories, and a contribution to several anthologies.

When she's not writing, Joanne is a teacher of English, History and Drama/Production. She is an active member and performer in her local theatre company.
Her hobbies include reading, photography, and music.

She is proud to be both an Australian and an honorary Canadian.

She does like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.

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5 stars
15 (39%)
4 stars
19 (50%)
3 stars
3 (7%)
2 stars
1 (2%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews
Profile Image for Michael Gardner.
Author 21 books71 followers
October 30, 2017
This short story escalates a tragedy into a full blown horror. It’s well written and has just the right amount of splatter to make it scary and not silly. Told in a flurry of small chapters, it’s a real page turner with quite a nice twist regarding the fate of the villain.

I was left wondering if there’s more to the story than what sits on the surface. While reading, I was reminded of some of the different ways the human mind deals with intense grief: sleeping, memory loss, madness and death. Of course, we hope to heal before the symptoms reach the last stage, but if you’re interested in spirituality, you’ll enjoy the way the subject is handled in this story.

Not recommended for reading in a graveyard unless you’re incredibly brave.
Profile Image for Jennifer Kelland Perry.
Author 2 books83 followers
October 16, 2017
This short story kept me engaged to the final sentence. It's a nightmarish little tale about life and death and the battle between good and evil, in an interesting horror genre with romance mixed in. Highly recommended for Halloween as a spooky read with heart. Joanne Van Leerdam is a writer I would like to read again.
Profile Image for Jane Jago.
Author 76 books168 followers
February 2, 2018
This is a little story that will stay with me for a very long time. The transcendence of love is handled beautifully, and the horror element is truly scary.

Just read it.
Profile Image for Aliya DalRae.
Author 25 books444 followers
October 1, 2017
This latest short story from the brilliant mind of Joanne Van Leerdam takes a turn from her normal fare as she dips her toes into the depths of horror. Her young protagonist, Phil, discovers that not all is as it seems when he loses his heart’s desire before he has the chance to proclaim his love.

His loss takes him into a realm where nightmares are real and only a talisman of faith and hope can save him from the evils that lie in wait on the other side.

This haunting tale reminds us all that the time we think we have can be taken from us in the blink of an eye, and there may be worse horrors waiting for us than those we create in our own minds.

I highly recommend this quick read to all fans of the mysterious and the macabre, and I look forward to much, much more from this talented author.
Profile Image for J.S. Frankel.
Author 68 books226 followers
June 15, 2018
I got this short story from the author and finished it in less than ten minutes. The mark of a good story, though, no matter what the genre, is if it stays with you. This one does.

We have Phil, a young man, bereft at the loss of Libby, a girl he fell in love with, but never had the chance--or the courage--to tell her his feelings. After she dies, he visits her grave, pours his heart out to her, and soon...soon, strange things begin to happen.

I won't spoil the ending, but I will say that the old saying of "Until death do us part" really has no bearing on this story at all. Worth reading, and if Ms. Leerdam is so inclined, she might consider expanding this into a novella. It's that good, although as a short, shuddery read, it's fine as it is. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Eva Pasco.
Author 6 books369 followers
October 1, 2017
No Featherweight Story!

This well-written, finely-tuned short story is no featherweight when it comes to broaching matters of life and death. Yet, its title, “The Silver Feather,” is a perfect fit, taking into account the haunting sorrow and guilt that plagues one for not disclosing true feelings for another before it’s too late.

Character conversations at the beginning of the story belie what ensues after a tragic act.

The author deftly uses a talisman to spin a story incorporating gruesome horror as forces representing good and evil beyond the grave confront each other.

Although you can read this short story in one sitting, you’ll reflect upon it long afterward. I highly recommend this “spirited” read.
Profile Image for Kayla Krantz.
Author 56 books706 followers
August 5, 2018
A beautiful quick read filled with haunting moments and beautiful sadness. Recommended for fans of short stories and paranormal romance.
Profile Image for R.M. Gauthier.
Author 27 books839 followers
December 14, 2017
The Silver Feather by Joanne Van Leerdam

A ghostly tale written by an acclaimed poet but poetry is not her only specialty.

This short tale takes you on a journey through the graveyard and death. The author weaves a tale of suspense and thrills keeping you guessing until the very end. I hope the author enchants us with more stories that we can enjoy as much as this one!

Well done! Can't wait for more!
Profile Image for M.L. Tompsett.
Author 11 books33 followers
October 18, 2017
With the loss of his best friend, who he never had the chance to tell her how much she meant to him or that he loved her has to find a way to deal with his grief. Until the strange, spooky and evil happenings start.
Even in death a love story binding two souls together with a silver feather, across time and beyond distance for they only belong to one another.
A short read, with horror aspects to keep you on the edge of your seat. Keep an eye out for Joanne Van Leerdam and her fantastic works. I recommend you grab a copy of her books today.
Profile Image for Fiona  Cooke Hogan.
89 reviews8 followers
February 26, 2018
A cleverly crafted short tale of gothic horror played out in the eerie back drop of a cemetery. When Libby dies, Phil's world falls apart. Libby was the love of his life and he would rather spend his time by her graveside than live a half-life.
He confides his feelings over the grave and leaves his special talisman to keep her safe. Little does he know that soon the talisman will be the only thing protecting him as he journeys across the divide between the living and the dead. Poignant and chilling tale of love conquering over evil.
Profile Image for T.K. Louis.
Author 3 books15 followers
July 2, 2019
The Silver Feather is a nice little bedtime story of about 20 e-pages (40 in print). With a bit of romance, some horror and a taste of the supernatural, it is well told and interesting. We do not feel the main protagonist as much as I would like. For example, we are told of the dreams but we do not live them with him. I can recommend the story as is, but I felt slightly cheated by the brevity of this tale, which felt hurried.
Profile Image for Maria Riegger.
Author 13 books112 followers
May 7, 2018
A beautifully written story that is a poignant reminder to let our loved ones know that we love them.
Profile Image for J.B. Richards.
Author 6 books147 followers
February 8, 2018
Young Phil begins to experience whispers from the grave as he searches for meaning in a prospective teenage paramour’s premature and unexpected death. But is it his true love calling out to him, or is it something… else?

Although I am familiar with Joanne Van Leerdam’s amazing poetry collections, I was pleasantly taken by surprise at the ease and familiarity she has demonstrated in slipping into the genre of short-story horror. This well-balanced story of lost love and a life cut short by an inane act of violence stimulates deep emotions as Van Leedam presents a tale of a teenage boy who has lost the opportunity for love when the object of his affection becomes the victim of a senseless homicide. With well-rounded and familiar characters, who are nestled into a deceptively simple plotline, the author demonstrates a keen ability to turn everyday happenstances into a string of fateful events leading to a final destiny. In other words, she connects her readers to the hereafter where both good and evil influences battle it out to win the right to lord over or shepherd human souls to their ultimate ends.

Even as Phil presents as a typical teenage boy with average interests, whose main thoughts lie on the only girl he has thus far completely fallen for, hints of a sinister evil begin to permeate the plotline, urging the reader forward in a quest to delve deeper into this macabre tale. Something about having his only love stripped from him at such a young age, and Phil’s daily visits to the graveyard, takes on dark tones as our protagonist plunges deeper and deeper into his despair. When Phil gives in to his obsession to somehow find a way to reunite with his lost love, Van Leerdam expertly mounts the tension, instantly putting readers on edge. The monsters remain in the shadows, however, as the author exercises an Hitchcockian restraint to never disclose the villain so early as to spoil a reader’s mounting suspense, and as she builds toward the shocking conclusion of her work, savoring every terror-filled moment, Van Leerdam reveals Phil’s worst nightmare.

In “The Silver Feather”, Joanne Van Leerdam’s genius for story-telling is put on display for all the world to see, and I heartily recommend this short read for teens and young adults. But, be warned, readers… Even the most hardened horror fans will want to read this novel with the lights on.
Profile Image for Jason Nugent.
Author 22 books76 followers
December 24, 2017
Short, Dark Tale

Interesting tale of death and loss and the process of grief. Spurred by a love he never shared, Phil seeks to deal with the loss of a friend.

Entertaining short story that has a fun twist at the end.
Profile Image for TBM Horror.
93 reviews12 followers
March 8, 2018
I'm very happy I came across this book. I had never read anything from Van Leerdam and I'm greatly surprised.
This book is a sweet read, a horror little tale you'd love having next to your bed.

I love these short stories, it kind of reminds me of "Tales from the Crypt", which I was a total fan when I was a kid. Short, sharp, right to the point, with a lesson, a horrific lesson. The reviews for this title are great, and it completely deserves it.

The author introduces all the essential elements to make a horror thread interesting and catching: suspense from the very first page, a little romance (without turning it into a strawberry cake, thank you), darkness, blood and paranormal creatures (which, of course, I'm not going to reveal because Leedam's suspense is too well sewed as to ruin it giving away any detail).

I know a book is good when I can't help gesturing, talking or murmuring when I read. I did, with this little piece. It provokes in you, "Oh?!", "Awm...." and "Ah! Well played..." moments. I'm making a little collection of books (in paperback, because they deserve to be honoured) I want to keep close, and I can tell you know, that this one is going to be there very soon. I loved it. In fact, I'm going to check other titles, because reading Leerdam has been one of the most pleasurable moments of this week.

My sincere congratulations to the author.
Profile Image for Ana.
917 reviews
April 15, 2018
This was so interesting. I had no idea where the story would go. I wasn’t expecting to read some horror story but I like being surprise so it was a good thing. I liked where the plot went, it was a little too fast paced to the point it felt rushed but it was an enjoyable read.

I liked the main character, although I think I wasn’t truly able to connect emotions with him and that was a little bothersome because I wanted to feel his grief and I just couldn’t. I wasn’t that satisfied with the ending either but the whole mystery around what was going on it was really intriguing and overall an entertaining story.
Profile Image for C.H. Clepitt.
Author 24 books55 followers
April 29, 2018
A very dark and creepy read that had me on the edge of my seat. It was also short, and I read it in around 45 minutes. For such a short story the suspense was built really well, and a powerful level of emotion presented quickly and effectively. I did not see the ending coming at all, which I always enjoy.

My one criticism would be that the “monster” was a hag, which I feel is a bit cliched and overdone. Ugly doesn’t necessarily mean bad, and it’s a stereotype we shouldn’t be perpetuating. That said, the novel was horror, and horror has certain tropes, so I’m willing to let it slide!

For a creepy read that you can get through on your lunch break (if you dare) this gets 4/5.
Profile Image for Shanna Nichols.
Author 1 book2 followers
March 15, 2018
The Silver Feather by Joanne Van Leerdam is a beautiful tale of two teens who have been best friends forever. My heart breaks for Phil when Libby is taken in a scene that could have come from today's headlines.
The feather that binds the two of them together seems to awaken an evil and only Libby can help Phil.
This is a powerful story with an ultimate feel good ending. A well deserved five star rating!
Profile Image for G. Gaynor.
Author 25 books88 followers
August 17, 2018
Coming down from my shade of envious green (though I cannot tell you why - you just have to read the story for yourself), I wish to report that I had a good time reading this short story. It was a delightful mix of horror and romance... with a taste of the occult just to keep you honest.

I was reminded of Harry Potter's scar (in a very nice way) and I am very much looking forward to reading more from JVL!
Profile Image for Avira N..
Author 1 book12 followers
August 17, 2019
Phil, a teen, falls into depression after losing the girl he loves and takes on to visit her grave at night. But things are not as they seem on the surface, and the destiny has something strange waiting for him. The prose is simple. The classic nightmare elements add to the spooky atmosphere of the story. The last few pages of the book are pretty gory, but not unnecessarily so, and the denouement is shocking. A well-written story on regret, fate, supernatural, and enduring power of love.
Profile Image for D.J. Doyle.
Author 23 books232 followers
October 29, 2017
Very well written with an enjoyable story. We've all, at some time in our life, lost someone without telling them how much we cared.

This story of sorrow mixed with a little horror is a quick read that'll pull on your heartstrings and creep you out too. I only wished there was more of the horror but worth the read. Definitely recommended.
150 reviews1 follower
May 10, 2018
A page-turner that will keep you reading. A perfect combination that blends horror and love. This well-written story with beautiful imagery will make you think about regrets, the magic of love and all the obstacles that come in your way. The horror parts are not for the fainted heart but they will keep you hooked, holding your breath.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
Author 7 books5 followers
May 13, 2018
Good short story

It’s very short but a nice story with a happy ending. It would be great to see this made longer and the characters developed a bit more so we could enjoy them longer.
Profile Image for Sarah Northwood.
Author 19 books377 followers
October 1, 2018
If you’re in the mood for a great short horror read, with plenty of spine-chilling moments, then this is a fab read! We follow Phil as a tragedy turns into a nightmare. My only complaint is there wasn’t enough of it.
Profile Image for Jennifer C.  Petersen.
Author 0 books8 followers
October 9, 2017
Joanne Van Leerdam is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. This is a quick read (my favorite kind). After this book, especially, I'm pumped to read all her books!!
Profile Image for Maria Riegger.
Author 13 books112 followers
May 7, 2018
A beautifully written story that is a poignant reminder to let our loved ones know that we love them.
Profile Image for Kat Gracey.
Author 22 books16 followers
September 2, 2018
An engaging short story with a few twists along the way. I would recommend it.
Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews

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