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Ménage à 20, Tales with a hook

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Get Hooked --San Diego Dispatch
An orgy of many-splendored prose --Pocatello Times

Life, death, demons, and donuts. The perils of love; the perils of hell. Ghosts, TV, and human sacrifice. What do they all share? A group of writers, published and unpublished, with no other goal but to make you gasp in shock. Thirty stories, twenty writers. Prepare to get hooked.

408 pages, ebook

First published January 1, 2009

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About the author

Carlos J. Cortes

4 books33 followers
I write for the same reason I breathe: to carry on living.

From time to time I post snippets about myself and my work at:


Carlos J Cortes is the author of numerous unpublished novels and one of the World’s least influential people. After the dogged efforts of his indefatigable agent, his first SF thriller, Perfect Circle saw the light last year. The second, The Prisoner, another SF thriller, is scheduled for release 29 September 2009, both courtesy of Random House.

Carlos studied music, engineering, and a plethora of obscure subjects before turning his efforts to writing technical tomes on hilarious themes such as light physics, lighting science and fiber optics. Undeterred by failure when none of his published books ever reached the New York Times bestselling list, he co-wrote three books on Bridge.

The son of an absconded father and a seamstress, Carlos grew up in the streets of Madrid’s old quarter surrounded by an elite of hustlers and other intellectuals, the salt of the Earth, the kind of guys who would insist that you keep enough for bus fare after taking your wallet. These complementary perspectives and thirty years of wandering through six continents served as inspiration for his fiction work.

As a Bridge player, he overbids with imaginations, impasses his own hand and squeezes himself out of dummy, but never blames his partner.

Although he lives rough at present in Barcelona, fattening a piggybank with the loose change, he’s planning to try wooing US authorities into looking the other way so he can move to California full time.

Carlos’ woman,——fantasy writer S. J. Thomas—— collaborates on his research, edits his manuscripts, tries to knock into him the rudiments of this fiendish language and scrooges every cent she can lay her hands on to fetch her man over.

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for Carlos.
Author 4 books33 followers
December 5, 2009
A masterpiece. No bedside table can be considered a decent bedside table, not even a passable bedside table, without this book.
Profile Image for Renee.
Author 50 books188 followers
December 7, 2009
There is something for everyone in this book, with a little surprise at the end. Definitely a book worth reading and reading again.
Profile Image for Kyle Borland.
Author 1 book32 followers
July 24, 2010
*****Disclaimer: I'm going to review each story by itself and do it objectively. I know some, if not all, of these authors personally so I'm going to be as objective as I can. I'm not giving this work an overall rating for this reason. If I know you please do not take any review, good or bad, personally. Also, some reviews contain spoiler so if you see (*) there is a possible spoiler in that particular review.*****

I think that overall this anthology was only ok. There were some that were great and I could read novels about them, some that a short story was enough or maybe even too much in itself and then there are a few that are boring and I didn't like at all. I think every author should've been limited to one story a piece and then each story could've been given more attention. At 30 stories this anthology was too long, in my opinion.

30/30 reviews completed!

(*)Plain Doughnuts by Diane Condon-Boutier: So I didn't really get this one. It was well written, which I'm expecting will be a constant in this anthology, but as a story it didn't hold my attention and I knew she was in a donut shop so I don't get the twist. Was it that she was crazy? Seemed obvious to me since she went off on tangents about pastries...2/5. 1 point - For taking a risk with a story idea and 1 point - For the overall writing and imagery.

(*)A Gift Horse by Susan Curnow: Wow. Ms. Curnow is a very talented writer. I could picture being there in the beginning with the horses and the men. I could see the stalls and the way Josie's body curved as he watched her. Again, the twist wasn't much of a twist for me, I saw it coming by the second paragraph but that had more to do with my knowledge of that kind of lore than too much given away from the author. Great writing, good story, and fantastic use of lore. 5/5

(*)Born Idle by Isabella Erlenmeyer: So...I don't get the twist in this one either, which seems to be a trend in the ones that don't really grab me. Was it that she killed him? Sold the land? I just don't really get the twist. The beginning did sort of grab me but then the lack of dialogue and the descriptions...I found myself skimming and had to go back and re-read. Poor twist, slow-moving story, but good writing and some decent dialogue in the beginning. 2/5

(*)The Painter of Winds by Isabella Erlenmeyer: Okay...now I'm just confused. The imagery and writing were great (again it seems to be a constant) but was the priest going insane or was the painting of the winds coming to life? Did the guy kill himself because his paintings became reality and it drove him mad? I'm just confused, not even in a "makes me ponder" kind of way. Just, confused. 2/5

My Valentine by Carlos J Cortes: So this story was cute, but it kind of dragged on for me. It didn't help that I saw the twist coming early on. Does the song Escape(The Pina Coloda Song) ring any bells? Good writing, cute story but not original and it dragged. 2/5

(*)Spring Sprung by Carlos J Cortes: I liked this one better than My Valentine. I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority in that opinion but oh well. The imagery was good and near the end I could definitely see and feel being on the beach with the sand getting trapped in between my toes, holding the hands of a beautiful woman. The twist however...well...I don't really know what the twist was to be honest. Was she an intrument...what did he blow into?! I'm so confused! Good imagery, a little less laggy than the first but I have no clue about the twist...someone please comment and explain the ending because...I'm slightly lost. 3/5.

Elizabeth's Head by Michael Keyton: I'm sorry to say I didn't finish this story. The dialogue, the voice, and the story dragged. Though the overall writing and the plot idea was good it just moved to slowly to keep my interest and with 23 other stories to read I wasn't going to push to get too the hook in this one. 1/5

The Knight and the Demon by Henry Lara: Now this is my kind of a story. Fast paced, action scenes and a nice little twist at the end that I didn't see coming till just before it was revealed. This brought the collection back to life after some okay stories and one slow moving this one was perfectly placed to bring back any reader. Bravo. 5/5

The Crawler by Andy Love: This story actually grossed me out. I don't know if that was the intention of the author but I give him props. His descriptions, word choice, and just overall storytelling made me cringe near the end. I would give it a 5/5 but I don't like the feeling it left me with. SUPERB writing on the authors part but I didn't like the story or the twist. 3/5

A Room with a View by Gwendolyn McIntyre: Okay I'm undecided on this story. I don't really get the ending. I mean I understand what had been happening but I don't understand how that is a twist and not just a resolution, if that makes sense. I'm perplexed. I liked how the writer made the reader believe a Purgatorial aspect was happening. Good writing, interesting plot, confusing ending. 2/5

A Song to Remember by Gwendolyn McIntyre: I liked this. No I really this. I liked the whole idea and I would love to see it as a novel. Very unique and if its been done before I've never heard of it. Definitely my favorite out of Ms. McIntyre's two contributions. 4/5

Reconstructing Emily by Minnie Estelle Miller: I'd hate to say this but this is another one you could probably skip and you wouldn't be missing out. The writing is good but the plot is dull, there's no chemistry with the characters, even though apparently theres supposed to be and the twist seems kind of just thrown in there and again seems more like an ending than an actual twist. 1/5

The Fine Print by Renee Miller: The story and writing were really good and the twist was great. I had no idea how "fine print" was going to work itself into the story at hand but Renee did a great job with this. However, its not really my cup of tea when it comes to the topic it pertains to but it was still very good. 3/5

Lonely by Renee Miller: I liked this one. The author has a way of really making the reader feel the pain and anguish her characters are going through. The twist was comical and, I was guessing the whole time that it was a possibility, I still like it. The ending was good too, "Then it's my turn." What a fun story. 4/5

Yellowfang by Paul Mitton: So this story was sort of...gross. I don't know if the author is a dentist (by his bio I don't think so) so the topic is sort of random and out of the blue but I guess you write what comes to you. I loved the twist at the end. Its the only one that when I read the twist I was like "Did not see that coming." Good writing, good twist, but it was gross and I have this undying need to brush my teeth so I don't explode. 3/5

Vacant Possession by Paul Mitton: I liked this because it was a follow up to the authors previous story. I don't really know what the twist was in this because we already knew who she was from the previous story but it was very entertaining. I would like to see more of this duo and their adventures...maybe a book *hint hint*. 3/5

The Lady with Green Hair by D.B. Pacini: I'm not a huge Sci-fi fan so this story was kind of "eh" for me. The premise was original, I'd never read or heard of something like it, and it was well written but it dragged as a whole and the dialogue didn't hold my attention. 1/5

Double Fault by Roy L. Pickering, Jr.: I could not finish this one. It dragged and ultimately just lost my attention. There was little dialogue and too much narrative can seriously drain a short story of its appeal if not executed correctly. This story fell victim to that. I recommend skipping it. Well written but boring as a story. 1/5

The Supper by Kate Quinn: I loved this one! The writing was superb, the story was great and I loved the twist..or at least what I believe to be the twist. 4/5

String of Pearls by Kate Quinn: This story is beautifully written, the story is flawless, and twist...I'm still speechless (vocally) after reading it. 5/5

She by Kelley Roby: I didn't really like this one. Well written (the constant) but it lagged and didn't hold my attention (starting to become a constant). 2/5

(*)Commitment by Lauren Stone: So this story confuses me. Is the twist that their in purgatory? Am I reading it wrong? Well written, confusing plot and twist. 2/5

Justice by Lauren Stone: This story was completely and utterly uncalled for. It seem as if the author is jealous of Stephenie Meyer's success as an author and decided to take it out on her in this deplorable "short story". I'll be the first to admit that Twilight is not well written but it brings people entertainment and happiness so who is this author to judge other wise what is or is not a novel? Jealousy is a disgusting little bug and this story shows this author has been bit by it. Meyer is a nice woman and on top of that a human being, she should not have a story out there about her being tortured. I would recommend skipping it.

P.S. - She doesn't need her tongue to write books...plot fail.

Monster by Rita Stradling: I didn't really like this one. Too many percents and the baby thing just didn't click with me. I didn't like the way it was formatted with the italics, the bolds and everything. I think the author was swinging for something different and missed. 1/5

Letting Go by Wendy Swore: I really like this. After a couple of disappointing stories and one I still can't wrap my head around why it was allowed the author of Letting Go has slightly redeemed the anthology to me. The author has really made you feel the characters anguish and longing and the twist was well done. 4/5

Foundation by Wendy Swore: This was really sweet. I loved the ending and the twist was great. The moral of the story was oh so true as well (or I can imagine it is being only 17 myself). Well done. 4/5

Elder Cares by Jeanne Voelker: I liked this story. It was heartfelt and believable. The author did a fantastic job making you believe the relationships in the story. 3/5

Peering in the Window by Rita J. Webb: I liked this story too. The scientific aspect didn't really hold my attention but that has more to do with my personal taste than the story itself. 3/5

Writer's Dream by Rita J. Webb: This was good too. Again, a litle slow for me but good writing and a good twist at the end. 3/5

The Writer (the 30th Tale) by 20 Goodreads Writers: This story was too much. Too many authors' different styles, too long, too draggy, just too much. However, it had lovely descriptions at times but the vast amount of the description mulled the over all impact of it. I understand the premise and it was a interesting idea to end an anthology but it just didn't work this time. 1/5

Profile Image for Mackenzie.
4 reviews
Currently reading
December 16, 2009
One of my besties from back home is featured in this collection of shorts with a "hook". Give it a read. I'm sure they're all good, but, honestly, I've only read her's so far. Her name is Wendy Swore...and she pretty much ROCKS!!
Profile Image for Erma Odrach.
Author 7 books73 followers
April 5, 2010
Twenty Goodreads authors got together to present Ménage à 20, Tales with a Hook, a collection of very diverse short stories and from different parts of the world. This is a great idea on the part of Goodreads members, and quite an engaging and adventurous read:

An angry and controlling husband redeems himself, then commits the ultimate act of love in "Foundation"; a lonely and neglected housewife tries to make her life more meaningful with a string of affairs in "Lonely"; a senior citizen re-enters the workforce and encounters moments of embarrassment and confrontation in "Reconstructing Emily".

I liked some stories in this collection more than others, but some I didn't like at all. But for the ones I really liked, 5-star. Am looking forward to the next collaboration by Goodreads authors. Kudos to editor, Carlos J. Cortes!
Profile Image for Gwendolyn.
Author 2 books16 followers
July 22, 2010
Be delighted, amazed and entertained.

Editing stories is never easy, but the voices of the contributing talents made this one of the most enjoyable anthology projects I've ever been involved with.

Profile Image for Paige.
Author 1 book35 followers
June 11, 2010
Well, I just have to say that I am glad to be able to peruse the threads with the authors of this book. So much talent, and imagination in one tight knit group on Goodreads. I love being a part of On Fiction Writing and I am learning new things all the time. I just hope that at some point in my whole writing career-or lack thereof, that I have, I will be able to achieve the skills and talent that the writers in this anthology have acquired along their way to writing success.
I took a long time to read this anthology, but I only did that so that I could fully savor each and every story to its full extent. I am so glad that I did, because each story had its own special addition to the anthology. Of course, I did have my favorites, but overall, this was such an enjoying book to read that I found myself loving each and every story.
Gloating am I? Well, you would too if you got to converse with these authors on a daily basis and learn from their plethora of knowledge database. I'm just so glad that I found On Fiction Writing. The authors rock!!
Profile Image for A.F..
Author 51 books385 followers
March 26, 2010
Ménage à 20: Tales with a hook is a collection of thirty short stories by twenty authors, who also happen to be members of the Goodreads website. This collaborative effort has produced an eclectic, but highly enchanting compilation.

The stories vary in subject from the softly romantic, to dark fantasy, science fiction and disturbing horror, all tales ending with a twist. Their narrative tones range from creepy to sweet, everyone satisfying to read. Captivating characters abound, to charm, enthrall, destroy and weep with you as each page turns and the scintillating prose unfolds.

I delighted in all the stories, enjoying each fresh treat presented, but The Knight and the Demon by Henry Lara, The Fine Print by Renee Miller, String of Pearls by Kate Quinn, and Letting Go by Wendy Swore were the standouts for me. I’m sure other readers will find their own favourites. There is certainly enough stellar fiction in this book to please and Ménage à 20 is definitely worth recommending.

Profile Image for Minnie.
Author 6 books19 followers
February 21, 2010
As one of the authors of these tales, I can say I've read most of the 30 stories. My contribution is Reconstructing Emily. These stories will make you laugh, cry, scream, and curl your toes. And they all have a twist--a hook.

Reconstructing Emily

Emily Kincaid, a feisty, energetic senior, wants to go back to work. She has been out of the work force for five years. Nothing in her work history equaled the world she steps into—TV Station Six. The place is life in perpetual motion. She reasons that the work will come easy with a little practice. She is somewhat right; however, she has no way of knowing the embarrassing situations that will accompany the tiny paycheck. Emily also confronted with an unexpected happening that she can barely believe (p. 149)

Free download to Ménage à 20

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Profile Image for Brenda.
3 reviews168 followers
April 9, 2010
I was so pleased to win a copy of this book, and began reading it the day it arrived. What a unique undertaking! I found that there was a great variety between the authors, both in content and talent. There were a small number of stories that did not appeal to me at all, but that's not to say they didn't have appeal. And there were a small number of stories that I'm convinced will see the authors launched into literary stardom any day now. And then of course, the rest fell somewhere in the middle - a very pleasant read, truly something for everyone, and definitely some very sharp hooks! I'll shelve it for now, and probably re-read it in a year or so. I made the mistake of reading several stories a day, which might have had an effect on the feeling I got from a particular tale. When next I read this, I will read one story (or one author) per day, taking time to properly attune my thoughts to the writers' wavelength, and to digest each story on its own merit. I expect I'll see a different side that I might have missed this first time around, and if so, I'll update this review at that time. To those on the fence, it's definitely worth picking up. With such a diverse anthology, you're sure to find something you like within its pages.
Profile Image for Christy Stewart.
Author 12 books299 followers
May 29, 2010
Why wasn't I asked to be a part of this? 1 star!

Or, I'll wait to read it and then judge.

Probably not though.


The above is what I wrote when I added it to my list. It was meant as a joke to amuse specific friends. This was before people actually read my reviews.

I'm leaving it so if you are to read the comments below you will understand what they are referring to.

On to the actual review:

This is a book put together in a Goodreads group with a bunch of unpublished or vanity/pod published authors, so it is what you would think; not tightly put together and heavy with pieces that should have been left on a floppy.

I was looking forward to it, though. I like self-published books and it looked as if the contributors put some amount of work into this but it was too white-bread for what it advertises itself as. The cover and plethora of accent marks don't represent what makes up most of this 400+ page book.

Well, actually, the accent marks may be a good preview to the quality you'll be getting in this anthology.
Profile Image for Lynne Roberts.
Author 45 books36 followers
January 31, 2010
Spearheaded by Carlos J. Cortes, author of several science fiction books, Ménage à 20 is a compilation of several Goodreads authors.

As the title suggests, each of these stories are supposed to contain a twist, a hook at the end, some element the reader doesn't expect.

Did they pull it off? Some of them did and how. A few of these stories took my breath away. They were truly well-written, cleverly executed shorts that did everything a short is supposed to do: draw you in fast and leave you wanting more--and yes, there was a definite twist.

Some of these stories were just twisted.

All in all, this anthology is worth checking out and the best news yet, although you can purchase a book, the download is free.

Profile Image for Praj.
314 reviews791 followers
August 26, 2010
Ménage à 20, Tales with a hook, what can I say? If reading kinky erotica zings my dull days; sinister conundrum placates the daily lunacy. Besides having a tantalizing cover-page; the engaging compilation of 30- brief tales boasts a prelude of the respective writer’s photo and a personal description. This directive fabricates a positive familiarity between the reader and the creator of ongoing narrative; structuring the comprehension as a mesmeric amalgamation of piercing mystery.

Personally, I would have loved if the assemblage was separated into two volumes of fifteen each, making it easier to contemplate and decipher each interweaved libretto.
Profile Image for ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ.
969 reviews17 followers
February 2, 2010
I think the rating here on Goodreads for this particular book is off, because so far the only reviews I've read are from contributing authors, who of course, are going to rate it high.

So far this is just strange. "A Gift Horse" was good. "Elder Cares" wasn't bad but was still a bit odd. "Yellowfang" was just sick and disgusting with a horrible ending! Quite frankly based on the couple I've read, I'm not sure I want to read the other stories.

Profile Image for Tina.
93 reviews14 followers
January 3, 2013
Review under construction currently I have reviewed up to page 219. I will finish reviewing the final stories later.

Where to start?
Initially, this book I came to with such high hopes. I personally love stories with a twist, which is why I love Stephen King. However, while some authors delivered, others fizzled out, and some were just plain insulting. So let us review shall we? This collection is like a POP CD, where out of 20 songs on the album you love only 3 and the rest are there for filler you end up skipping through.

The collection holds the works of 20 good reads authors. When you first open you will see a lot of praise for the book, and for as much praise as they showed I began getting really pumped up to read the story. It was premature excitement I assure you. There is roughly about 30 stories inside the collection as some authors agreed to put multiple works inside the collection. Each author was also nice enough to write a quick bio, which helped you understand more about their writing style before you even begin reading their works. As for the works themselves...


Where to begin? Why not, well at the beginning?

Plain Doughnuts...

Okay...I open the book and get a woman's fantasy about doughnuts... Really Doughnuts and men...she makes each fantasy about where she would eat a more premium doughnut, what fantasy man, distant location etc. All while annoying the hell out of busy people in the morning WHO ACTUALLY have a life. I felt annoyed the entire time reading this and was like NO ONE LIKES THE MAIN CHARACTER! Who wants to be with the crazy drooling lady in line who needs a night out or to get laid. There is no hook, no twist, she was crazy. We all knew it from paragraph two nothing changed at the end. So I wasted a few minutes of my life seeing something I already have in real life, an annoying crazy person in line in front of me at a cafe taking FOREVER to decide on the most basic and cheap item. GET OUT OF THE WAY IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. *GASPS FOR AIR* Sorry got a bit excited...certainly not about the story merely irritated memories.. The story was Plain, go people watching instead.

A Gift Horse...

Here ladies and gentleman is a ray of hope. It bases off of old mythology, Gaelic, I believe. Do not yell at me if I am wrong I did not bother to Google it. I always enjoy stories of Fae, it had a bit to much telling and not enough showing. Overall it was cute, and it unlike the first story, and had a twist.

Born Idle...

This was a sad little story that had an evilly wonderful ending. The twist was hysterical. I don't have to to much to say further about this one. It had a really really slow start though, so muscle through.

The Painter of Winds...
It had a twist at the end, I give it that. I just felt underwhelmed. Its a bit creepy, and deals with suicide, haunting, everlasting immortality through creation, etc. It was a good concept it just didn't feel fully explored or thought out.

My Valentine...

It is a cute little love story about an older couple. The couple is still heavily in love but the wife misses having passion. The husband is a bit quiet and reserved. She begins having online conversations with a very romantic man. It could have ended VERY VERY badly. Yet, the ending was cute and instead became a very memorable short story. :)As for writing styles, the opening for Cortes' first story with that 1 italicized paragraph of imagery was perfection for me. I am a complete imagery fanatic, I love to read that fluid almost poetic nuances of the world around that make me feel like I can just close my eyes and open them to a world apart from my own. That I can almost see, feel, taste, and touch that which is being described. Letting the words cascade down through my ears as music or poetry does to inflame the soul. Those little descriptions of the minute elicit a higher immersion in the reading element. No one wants to pick up a book and read " and she picked up the old red box," no on the contrary, we want something like, "and her old worn hands picked up,ever so gently as not to damage the time weathered box, the iron riddled with ornate engravings barely discernible as age had rusted away the intricacies leaving only a burnt red color spreading like a cancer from to many years of neglect." Sorry sleep ranting probably makes my example far from poetic(not that I ever am LOL)...but hopefully my notion is past through. If not I will try round 2, when I am not struggling on three hours of sleep. Either way had the imagery first issued continued through the piece I would have been a die hard fan of his. But it was not really seen again except for watered down versions in the love poems. I felt cheated! I knew now the author COULD paint the world anew, he just didn't bother for me.

Spring Sprung

This is Corte's second story. It felt a bit unrealistic. It felt a bit delusional and for me held very little to no truth. In reality, I have worked with to many severely handicapped individuals, trust me they don't go smiling and fantasizing as the lead character does. Nice thought that he would be so chipper but honestly it just doesn't happen. Sadly,knowledge can often crush imagination. There didn't seem to be as much as a twist in this story. If your wondering why this short seemed to be for a previous collection that was then recycled by throwing into this one as well. I just wasn't happy he simply recycled the story and shoved it in the anthology when it was already written awhile ago in inspiration of another collection.

Elizabeth's Head

I just thought this felt like watching the heads in Futurama...like OH! So that is how they got them! Other than that well I have really nothing else to say about it other than I really didn't care for the ending and it went on for awhile. Or maybe it just felt that way? Like a death scene in a Shakespeare novel I just kept chanting JUST DIE ALREADY AND BE DONE WITH IT!

The Knight and the Demon

The story was not for the faint. It was really pretty brutal. The twist was a bit predictable but overall well written. The short would make for a great opener or prologue for a longer novel.

The Crawler

Disgusting...completely Disgusting. If you hate bugs, putrid visuals, etc SKIP this one. It also would have been better had it been cut down in length. It felt verbose often and needlessly so.

A Room with a View

To be honest at first I was thinking it was beginning and going to be sort of like the movie the Cube. Then I was thinking maybe with the changes it is going to be like the movie Sphere ...No joke with the movie names I cannot help everyone loves shapes... Anyways what I ended up with was a square ending. Don't mind the bad pun. I just thought the ending was a bit lame...probably because I didn't expect it (nice twist). I actually liked the story...was just a bit pissed I was SOOO off base for the ending.

A Song to Remember

I just personally felt a bit "meh" here. I didn't really care for this story here. Further, if your going to have angels vs Fae it just needs more. It felt a bit weak. I felt like watching "Signs" it was a flashback, instead of water I have song. Really?

Reconstructing Emily

Let me give you this quote "She was lost in private thought, heard her mother say, 'You can do this Baby.' She had searched her closet and found a black business suit and white shirt enclosed in a clothing bag. She even found a pair of high heel shoes she hadn't worn in years." Then let me tell you that the character is 67! The mother encouragement, mini pep talk, work jitters, etc. I thought we were looking at a college grad. People need to remember stereotypes do happen and when you start with one and then fall out of it, it throws the reader off. Of course, maybe I am the only one who got a bit confused. I just didnt care for it. The rest of the beginning started that way and I was through with the pity party. It is work suck it up and get on with it. She even calls herself "girlfriend" wth? When I am 67 may I act my age and have more confidence from the experiences I have lived through to not be so meek. She is spoiled, a bit rude, self entitled, and the main character lurves her. Yay....*sigh* If there was a twist or a hook or an anything I missed it.

The Fine Print

This story has some fine print like the contract from Willy Wonka...just said contract holder is now instead some vampire/demon/god. It felt all very been there done that with the demon contract story. Well written but nothing screamed out new to me. Maybe if we got the what happens next it would feel different? I don't know =/


It is a bit graphic but funny. Haha it is a cute story again about a couple who have been married for a bit, this couple is not older instead about middle age. Was cute, a bit more graphic than My Valentine and def leaning on harlequin. I would def label it as adult. Also this line "She likes when he nuzzles her ear and murmurs sweet nothings, and purrs against the sensitive spot just below." The last half of that sentence makes sense when you get the twist but the first part is either impossible or seriously disturbed..cause who nuzzles to their ear a ____!?! well you have to read to find out.

Yellowfang and Vacant Possession

Lol I actually really liked these two. It was funny and I actually was hoping for a third because I was enjoying the banter and plot. These two shorts tie into each other and the main characters are the star of both shorts.

The Lady with Green Hair

A Writer's Gift

This part I should probably leave blank...something about, "if you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all" kind of motto. The final story I know you all worked on, but it just ran to long. The whole theme and explanation at the end was tied, in my opinion, to a poor short and thus the whole meaning at all was lost.
Profile Image for Rita Webb.
Author 10 books194 followers
December 24, 2009
It has been an honor to be a part of this project, and reading the other stories has left me humble and overjoyed to be included in this work.

Some stories haunt you, like Plain Donuts by Diane Condon-boutier did for me. A beautiful, joy-filled story that made me smile, but ever since reading it, I am reminded of it every time I sit down to eat. I smile again, and rather than eating to satiate my needs, I remember to slow down, enjoy each bite, and converse with my table-mates.

Some stories thrill you, like A Gift Horse by Susan Curnow did for me. From the beginning to the very last line, I was on the edge of my seat. The worst part of the story was the end because I wanted to turn the page and find out what happned next.

Some stories make you laugh until you cry, like Justice by Lauren Stone. The author is a brave woman to have written this story, but true to her heart, she holds nothing sacred. I have been asking my friends, "Have you read Justice yet?" because I want to share my laughter with them.

Some stories make you stop what you are doing and think about life, like The Lady with Green Hair by D. B. Pacini. With witty dialog and vivid characters, this tale of good will and kindness reminds me to think about others as much as I am concerned about myself.

Some stories make you reach for your loved ones and appreciate their tender touch, and that is what many of these tales--My Valentine by Carlos J. Cortes, Lonely by Renee Miller, Foundation by Wendy Swore--did for me.

Some stories fill you with horror, like String of Pearls by Kate Quinn. A story of ancient rites and lost innocence--I felt faintly ill after reading this. And yet without a drop of gore, Ms. Quinn managed to tell a story I will never forget.

Some stories surprise the stuffing out of you, like The Knight and the Demon by Henry Lara. I so did not see that coming.

But then that's the point. Tales with a Hook. Tell your friends.
September 8, 2012
This book has a very high average rating simply because the 20 authors who contributed with the stories that are on it have all given it a 5-star rating! I am rating a 1-star just to average it out more fairly. Actually some of the stories are not that bad (but some indeed are) and 3- star rating would be quite appropriate.
1 review
January 17, 2010
I really enjoyed reading this!!!! I related a little to some of the characters. Would recommend:)
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