Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Shorts

Saturday Shorts
Saturday Shorts is a feature where I review 3-4 short stories that are 100 pages or less. Enjoy!
*Books source ~ Many thanks to the authors for providing review copies in exchange for honest reviews.
Author ~ John McDonnell
Publisher ~ John McDonnell
Published ~ 9 March 2013
Genre ~ Historical/Romance
My Rating ~ 4 bites and a nibble out of 5

In 1880 Rose Sullivan left her home in Skibbereen Ireland and sailed to America with her cousin Mary. Another cousin, Kate, had gone to America years ago and she made enough money to send home so that her family lived like royalty in the poverty stricken country. She wrote and told Kate and Mary that she could get them jobs as serving girls in the household where she works. So Rose and Mary left the only home they knew and crossed an ocean to America.

I thought it was a bit strange that the evening before Rose and Mary left there was a party to see them off. That wasn’t the strange part. It was called an American Wake. Why call it a wake? I guess because family, friends and neighbors figured the girls (or whoever the party was for) were never coming back. So, even though Rose plans to return in 10 years, they were given an American Wake. Fascinating.

This short story is part one in a series documenting Rose’s life after she leaves Ireland, docks in Philadelphia and ends up as a serving girl in a rich man’s home in Pittsburgh. At her party she meets a handsome mysterious 16-year-old boy/man named Sean McCarthy. They talk, he kisses her and then he walks away. Rose spends a lot of time thinking of him on her journey to America and even after though she’s so busy working she falls asleep exhausted. The ending is a cliffhanger as Rose’s life takes a serious turn. What is she going to do now? Very well-written and I’m looking forward to reading more about Rose’s story.

Series ~ Appletwist Garden, #1
Author ~ E.W. Saloka
Publisher ~ E.W. Saloka
Published ~ 29 March 2012
Genre ~ Fantasy/Middle Grade
My Rating ~ 4 bites and a nibble out of 5

Calla Rose stays with her Grandma Cordelia every summer and every summer is filled with gardening, baking, fun and stories of faeries. She has friends to play with and the summer of her tenth birthday a new family moves in nearby and Calla Rose and Dylan become friends. This summer, right before her tenth birthday, she discovers that her grandmother’s faeries are real, but she thinks her grandmother doesn’t believe her when Calla tells her she’s talked to the faeries and the enchanted creatures in the garden. However, Calla couldn’t be more wrong. Not only does her grandmother believe her, but she’s worried that Calla has discovered the faeries too soon. What is a grandmother to do?

This is a charming middle grade story about a 10-year-old precocious girl who has the best summers ever with her loving grandmother. Her grandmother loves to tell her stories about the faeries in the garden and one day Calla decides she wants to look for those faeries. She doesn’t see them for awhile, but then one morning, she does. And after that the creatures in the garden talk to her. Calla Rose is a delight to read and I wish my grandmother had been more like Calla’s. If you know a middle-grader who loves stories about faeries then this is the one to get. Be warned though, it does have a bit of a cliffhanger and I don’t see when the next book will be released.

Series ~ Cuffed 1
Author ~ Bill Howe and Suzanne Rorhus
Publisher ~ Quake
Published ~ 19 January 2012
Genre ~ Middle Grade/Humor
My Rating ~ 5 bites out of 5

Cuffed Vol. 1 includes two tales: Stop, or I’ll Shoot! and Out on a Beam. The stories are short, humorous and not made up. The names of the officers have been changed and some of the points may have been exaggerated a tad, but for the most part these are funny officer anecdotes suitable for all ages to read. I’m looking forward to reading Vols 2-6.

Stop, or I’ll Shoot!
Office Lance Yandell is on patrol when the call comes in that an alarm has sounded at a shoe store. Yandell responds and sees the broken glass. He waits for back up before going in. He’s never had to fire his weapon before. Will tonight be the night?

Out on a Beam
Officer Kim Brunetti is a seasoned officer. She’s not afraid of most things, but when she responds to a possible theft at a construction site, she realizes as she crosses a beam that she’s afraid of heights. Not just afraid. Petrified. Oh, what a pickle for the veteran to be in.


  1. I haven't heard of any of these but I really like the sound of Chasing Faeries.

  2. I haven't heard of any of these either but Chasing Faeries sounds appealing.

  3. Rose of Skibbereen sounds interesting. I don't think a party to send them off is weird..but a Wake..creepy. The cover for Chasing Faeries is cute and Stop, or I'll Shoot & Out on a Beam looks interesting too. Great mini reviews :)

    1. No, a party I can understand, but calling it a Wake? A bit creepy. lol Chasing Faeries is cute and Cuffed is humorous. They were all good. :)

  4. Chasing Faeries sounds delightful! I can't quite tell if Rose of Skibbereen is fiction or nonfiction. But as to why they called it a wake... in most cases, those who left for America never came back to Ireland. In all likelihood, the family they left behind would never see them again -- almost as if they had died. So yes, a wake. But do bear in mind that a real Irish wake isn't all tears and dirges!

    1. Rose of Skibbereen is fiction. And that's true of Irish wakes. I can see why they would have one for those leaving. Travel then sure isn't like it is now. :)