Books/book review/Fantasy/fiction
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Lace yourself up with a screwdriver!

Corsets and Cogs Book Cover Corsets and Cogs
Margo Bond Collins, Rebekah R. Ganiere, Erin Hayes, & 7 more
anthology, short stories, steampunk
Independently published
(11 April 2018)

Welcome to the world as it never was… Enter landscapes awash in steam-powered machinery, Victorian style, and mysterious magic shrouded in the fog of a city night. Join 25 New York Times, USA Today, and bestselling speculative fiction authors as they dive into alternate universes of tinkers, mad scientists, and space-faring soldiers, as well as leviathans, vampires, and demons—along with the cloaked lords and corseted ladies haunting pages of these alternative histories. This limited-time anthology features tales of whimsy and wonder rife with gaslamp masquerades, steam-driven dirigibles, clockwork landscapes, gadgets and gears, and more.

This is a set of short stories/prequels to series and other novels all set in the rather niche urban fantasy style with gothic overtones called Steampunk. Which somewhat unexpectedly I have found myself rather liking.

For me the best of these is the story called Heartless in New Orleans for the basic story idea; and Royal Ruse  for both the storytelling and the idea.

I am giving this compilation a 4 but this is more of an average, some were rather less and there are quire a number  of these short stories with a lot of typos. Once again I rail about he loss of editors to check plot holes, repetitions and basic poor spelling and lack of spell checking.

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Books/book review/fiction/Romance

Let’s go to Paris!

Paris for One and other Stories Book Cover Paris for One and other Stories
JoJo Moyes
romance, contemporary, women's fiction, romantic comedy
Michael Joseph
(9 Feb. 2017)

Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She's never even been on a romantic weekend away - to anywhere - before. Travelling abroad isn't really her thing. But when Nell's boyfriend fails to show up, she has the chance to prove to everyone - including herself - that she can be independent and intrepid. Alone in Paris, Nell finds a version of herself she never knew existed . . .

In the ten other stories, Jojo Moyes introduces us to a cast of strong, relatable women in the midst of their everyday lives. In Honeymoon in Paris, featuring characters from her bestselling novel, The Girl You Left Behind, Liv and Sophie - though decades apart - both find that marriage is only the beginning of their love stories. In Crocodile Shoes, a businesswoman's blossoming confidence emerges from a fateful changing-room mix-up. And in both Love in the Afternoon and A Bird in the Hand, two couples dance around the trickiness of long-time marriage. In this irresistible collection, readers will be whisked from elegant perfume shops to taxis to five-star hotel rooms and more

I recently listened to an author who had written his first novel be interviewed. His normal literary form was the short story.

His view was that the short story form was the more difficult to write and I completely agree.

I am frequently disappointed in short stories or novellas.  Indie authors in particular, for me, seem to think that they are a quick and easy format that requires only one idea and little plotting of crafting. My own opinion is that the real test of a sort story is whether when you come to the end of  the story  you are satisfied. It was complete. Whole. The characters were sufficiently explored and the plot had not referrals to previous stories or events in these stories, that you had not necessarily read.

So it was with some trepidation that I approached this short story collection from JoJo Moyes. I love her novels but…

However, this was a beautifully and satisfyingly written collection.

In particular read ‘Between the Tweets’ on how to write a 5 star short story in less than 10 pages! Not to mention the puns of course.

Light humour, warmth, an understanding of human nature pervades the writing whether the stories are  short or novella length. And different backgrounds are utilised to look at this nature but with several being set in Paris of course!

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