Posts Tagged ‘Short story’

Welcome to My 31 Days Of Thrills And Chills!

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I’ll be sharing all kinds of books, movies, and other spooky stuff for every day in October. Gots to

get those scares on for the 31st!

Welcome to Freakin Fridays, where I share my reviews of books that scare you, thrill you, and get those endorphins pumping.

Today I’m sharing a short horror story, The Doll. Grabbed it free from Amazon. It’s still free. If you want a copy click on the cover.

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The Doll

by J.C. Martin

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Genre:  Horror / Short Story

My Review

I watched a movie about dolls hanging in trees. Can’t remember the name of it. Actually, I think it was like a mini series. While the legend behind the dolls was different from this book, it stayed with me, making it an easy choice to read The Doll.

This is a short story, coming in at around 30 pages. Just long enough to put the scare on ya.

Joyce and her young daughter, Taylor, visit The Island of the Dolls while on a vacation. It’s got dolls of all kinds hanging in the trees and comes with a creepy legend.  Taylor falls in love with one of the dolls and soon she starts to change. What followed her home? What does it want? Need? How far will it go?

 I kept thinking of that short film with Karen Black in the Trilogy Of Terror. You know it? The ugly tribal doll. It’s chain falls off. It stalks her in her apartment. You can hear the pitter patter as it runs after her. Super creep!

This might not have a doll chasing the girl, but it oozes tension. You keep waiting for something bad to happen. The combination of eerie dolls and Palo Mayombe, the dark practice of Santeria, ensures something bad will occur.

The author got creative with this little tale, filling it with atmosphere and suspense. And it’s got a ‘killer’ ending.

   4  Stars

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Synopsis

The Island of the Dolls is a strange and eerie tourist destination in Mexico, where hundreds of decomposing dolls hang from trees like grisly Christmas ornaments. On a trip to the island, Joyce Parker’s daughter falls in love with a beautiful but sinister doll. Soon after, she starts developing strange mannerisms that concerns Joyce. Her research into the doll’s past reveals a dark history, and the curse of a lonely child spirit.

Amazon

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Dolla are such creepy things. They are perfect for horror stories. Here are some other books I’ve read with creepy dolls in them.

Porcelain

by William Hage

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My Review

As a little girl, I wasn’t crazy about dolls. Sure, I had my barbies, but those bigger dolls, the ones that were almost actual size, with those creepy eyes, nope. I didn’t like them. It always felt they were watching me, their eyes following me. Now, all grown up, I still don’t like them.

I love horror, whether reading it or watching it. There are lots of movies about dolls. Let’s see. There’s all those Puppet Masters movies. How about Chuckie? Now, that’s one messed up doll. I would never have bought that for my kid. And now we have Annabelle. Have you seen The Conjuring? That doll was scary evil and wasn’t even the main plot in the movie.

I can go back much further. Ventriloquists. Their dolls come to life. Seen a few different takes on that idea.

So yes, the whole doll taking on a life of its own has been done before. It’s the author’s ability to take that and hone it to their own tale that reveals their talent and creativity. William didn’t disappoint me.

A weary traveler stops at a bed & breakfast for the night. It’s a rather lovely place with lots of collectibles on display.

The older woman who owns the place explains that each item has a history, it’s own story.

When the woman is pulled away from the conversation by a phone call and the guest kills time looking over the many objects, one in particular catches his eye.

A porcelain doll, quite lovely. His daughter would love it.

When the guest checks out in the morning, the doll travels with him to his condo. There it will wait until he visits his daughter.

But the doll won’t wait for long. It has quite a history and is ready to make a new one.

Once the doll began it’s rampage, I asked myself what I would do. Would I take it back where I got it from? I had a feeling either the old woman or the place wouldn’t be there anymore. Or, the doll would just return to get me so why bother. I’d just have to figure out how to deal with it.

 I thought I saw the end coming. I was so wrong about that. Once the author revealed the dolls history, it went every which way but the way I thought it would.

The suspense was nail biting. If this were a movie, I’d be peeking through my fingers.

Scary good stuff.

5 Stars

Amazon

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This one is free on Amazon too. Click on the cover to get your copy!

Rag Doll

by Troy McCombs

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My Review

At about 14 pages, I hardly blinked before I was finished reading Rag Doll.

Lucas’s young daughter Lucy just has to have the rag doll. She discovered it in a pile of stuff at a yard sale.

The thing is frayed and battered, ugly actually, but she wants it and so Lucas buys it for her.

Here’s where the author sets the tone. It’s dark now and a thunder storm is raging. A must for most horror settings.

The rag dolls name is Sandy and it will come as no surprise that the she comes to life.

The author even throws in a babysitter. Poor thing. She must be the sacrificial lamb.

There are some creepy scenes that reminded me of Dean Koontz’ Tick Tock and voodoo dolls.

You get just enough to connect with characters, kind of recognize them, and then the fun begins. There are no wasted words. The author goes straight to the gut.

I never get tired of this kind of horror story. I suspend my disbelief and dive in, getting all kinds of creeped out and having fun.

The ending is deliciously horrific.

4 Stars

Amazon

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Bad Juju

by Dina Rae

Bad Juju

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Genre: Horror

My Review

Tom and Jessica Novak are proud to be doing God’s work. They’ve traveled to Port au-Prince as part of a missionary group with others of their church. They’re going to help with rebuilding the island after the 7.0 earthquake that shook all of Haiti, causing massive destruction.

Their 15-year-old son Henry’s Asperger’s Syndrome had them questioning their decision. He’s intelligent and quite functional, but changes in routine, surroundings and new faces could cause problems. Henry doesn’t communicate well or understand social interaction.

But Henry’s the one that urged them to go. He’s been obsessed with Haiti. So here they are, the whole family, including Henry’s younger sister Natalie, who’d rather be back home. This is not her idea of a great summer vacation.

Since Henry’s been doing so well, they decide to extend their stay. If they had only left earlier, they wouldn’t be searching for their missing son. Henry has simply vanished and wandering away from the protection of the armed camp is dangerous. There are a lot of bad people out there and he wouldn’t stand a chance against them.

If they had only known the reason Henry wandered away, they never would have brought him there.

My favorite character is Jake. He befriends Henry when they meet in detention class. They aren’t really bad boys, just a couple of kids who got in a little trouble.

Jake is a kind-hearted boy, helping out the elderly residents in his trailer park. He does odd jobs, cleans house and run errands for the less able ones. You wonder how he turned out so well when you learn he suffers violent beatings from his uncle. After losing his parents he came to live with his aunt and uncle and his aunt suffers the same abuse.

Jake brings Henry home with him after school to introduce him to his favorite neighbor, Lucien.

Lucien is a powerful bokor, a voodoo priest, and with his black skin, unruly, long white hair and piercing eyes, he looks every bit the part.

It becomes a regular routine for the boys to visit with Lucien after school and after much pleading, he begins to teach them about Vodun, the voodoo religion, beginning with simple spells and hexes.

Lucien feels death coming for him and can’t bear the thought of all his vast knowledge and power going with him to the grave.

After Jake receives another very brutal and bloody beating, the three decide to create a voodoo doll to rid Jake of his uncle.

This is where it all starts to go weird.

Bad Juju was a surprise. I thought it was going to be all about voodoo, raising the dead, and voodoo dolls. Well, it was. I learned how to do voodoo, what the religion is about, good and dark arts of it, and how to raise someone from the dead. Some of it creeped me out, but a lot of it was really funny.

Having the characters as teen-age boys made this story. Boys will be boys and they had me rocking and  rolling! I can’t wait for you to meet the dead guy.

Getting back to the surprise part, there were several deeper subjects tackled throughout this book and I could tell the author did a lot of research and included that knowledge in the story to make it believable and engaging.

If you’re looking for something different, look no further. Bad Juju has plenty of interesting characters, some tough topics, plenty of laughs, and lots of scary voodoo magic. Oh Yeah, I almost forgot the zombie!

I felt like I got a crash course in voodoo, like voodoo for dummies.

4 Stars

Currently unavailable.

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Anthony has a new zombie story, just released. Can’t wait to tell you all about it.

And he’s offering it free today. Click on the cover or links below to grab your free copy!

Come on back every Sunday until The Walking Dead Series is over. There will be a different free zombie book by Anthony every Sunday.

The Dead Of Winter

by Anthony Renfro

This is the original cover art. Wanted to use it in case it’s still this one posted on Amazon.

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My Review

You never know what you’re going to get when you meet this author’s zombies. In one book, they were singing Christmas carols. LOL At one point in the story I thought I knew what they’d be doing. But nope, it was something else. Still made me laugh, until I took the time to picture them. Then it was pretty creepy.

The story beings with two strangers meeting on a brutally cold winter’s day. They decide to stick together. The odds are better for survival that way. Two pairs of eyes and ears to warn of approaching zombies.

It’s not long before they run into trouble, narrowly escaping with their lives. It’s now become vital that they find a place to hole up. The zombies don’t get tired. They don’t feel the cold. And they do not stop coming.

From the mind of Anthony Renfro comes a new kind of zombie,. A smart zombie, kind of. They do think, but that doesn’t necessarily make them that smart. Several scenes have me laughing and cringing.

The characters are few. Just two men and a cat. Not including the hoard of zombies.

It’s these characters and their struggles to survive that drive this short story. Make it a deep experience.

The harsh environment of cold winter makes their struggles even harder. It’s bad enough they have to worry about food and warmth. There’s also those zombies who don’t feel the cold.

Not one to shy from gory details, you get plenty here. And the author’s macabre sense of humor shines in the end. You won’t see it coming. Just like one of the characters didn’t. Since it made me laugh, I guess I have a macabre sense of humor too.

5 Stars

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And this is the new cover.

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THE OPENING

Eric surveyed the road ahead and behind him. The world was filled with death. The highway was littered with silent, rusting cars sitting on rotting tires, waiting on drivers who were never going to drive them again. Ripped apart, torn open and partially eaten corpses littered the ground in various forms of decay. The corpses ranged from children to elderly adults. The zombies had done a number on them when they went into their “feeding frenzy.” The bodies that weren’t on the ground or pulled from their cars were still seated, and most of them still strapped into their seat belts, like they were still driving to whatever destination they had been going to before the world fell into death’s harsh embrace.

Eric breathed in deep and felt the cold air settle into his lungs. Bitter winter winds whipped at his face and tore at his clothes, trying to get inside the protective layers. Flakes of snow fell from the sky, nothing more than flurries.

“It’s something,” Eric replied, looking down at the white and grey cat in its carrier. He then put his eyes back on the man sitting with his back against a car.

Synopsis

Will they be food for the zombies?

This short story is about two men trying to survive an apocalyptic nightmare in a harsh frozen landscape. Hoping to find warmth and shelter. Hoping to ride out the night. Hoping the zombies don’t find them first.

Links on Amazon: US / UK / AU / CA

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And a surprise freebie.

Click on the cover or links below to grab a free copy while it lasts!

Also with a new cover.

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Synopsis

Dawn stopped at the edge of the parking lot. What she saw in front of her was an apocalyptic nightmare. It was a picture of mass panic frozen in a time of chaos.

The parking lot looked like a war zone–cars burned to metal bodies, cars crashed together, cars turned over, shopping carts everywhere and in all kinds of positions, (food and supplies in these carts long since looted), and bodies, lots and lots of dead bodies. Most of them had been laying out here rotting in the hot sun for far too long, and they were now decayed and gooey, slipping back into the Earth one second at a time.

She closed her eyes, held the gold cross on a chain around her neck, prayed, and then crossed the parking lot.

GET IT HERE FREE TODAY

Amazon

EBook: US / UK / AU / CA

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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Welcome to The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice.

 

This is a really fun meme!

The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few (no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Then go over to Freda’s Voice and leave your link so we can visit your 56!

My 56 for this week is from

Forest Of Memory

by Mary Robinette Kowal

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Genre: Fantasy / Science Fiction

My 56 from the paperback.

If you’ve been paying attention, you know he lied about how long I was unconscious.

If you expect me to tell you what happened during that time, I hate to break it to you, but I don’t know.

And yes, I had to pee.

Read on if you want to know more.

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Synopsis

Katya deals in Authenticities and Captures, trading on nostalgia for a past long gone. Her clients are rich and they demand items and experiences with only the finest verifiable provenance. Other people’s lives have value, after all.

But when her A.I. suddenly stops whispering in her ear she finds herself cut off from the grid and loses communication with the rest of the world.

The man who stepped out of the trees while hunting deer cut her off from the cloud, took her A.I. and made her his unwilling guest.

There are no Authenticities or Captures to prove Katya’s story of what happened in the forest. You’ll just have to believe her…

Amazon

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This is a short read. Only 88 pages. But so fascinating. I’ll be reviewing it soon.

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Leave your link and I’ll drop by your 56.

Until the next time….

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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Welcome to My Monday Minis Reviews where I share short reviews of books I’ve read. For today I’ll be sharing my review of

The Grownup

by Gillian Flynn

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My Review

After reading and loving all of the twisted mystery in Gone Girl, I was thrilled to win this wicked little ghost story by Gillian Flynn in a giveaway.

You never learn the name of the narrator. Her story is sad, her job a dirty one, and you can’t blame her when she tries to break away from it. What’s a little harmless fraud. No real victims. Or so she thinks.

She jumps at the chance to help Susan, a rich, desperate woman, with claims of a horrible haunting at her Victorian mansion. Our narrator walks into something she couldn’t imagine in her worst nightmares.

I was shocked right from the beginning. This author doesn’t fail to grab you by the shirt and pull you right into the story. She has you thinking a character deserves sympathy, can be trusted. Then she drops little bombs and has you backtracking, rethinking your feelings.

At just over 60 pages, I was thrilled with how well executed this taut little horror went.  The mystery of what is really going on sets you back on your heels. The creep factor is off the scales. And you’ll never see the ending coming.

Reminded me of an episode I watched on Twilight Zone.

A great nibble of twisted mystery to tide you over between Gillian’s novels.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

AMAZON

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This counts towards my Horror Reading Challenge.

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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The holidays are fast approaching and what could be more fun than a Christmas vampire!

Anthony has his short story, A Vampire At Christmas, free on Amazon December 10th and 11th and 19th thru 21st!

Click on the links provided to get your copy.

Go!

Vampire at Christmas - High Resolution

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My Review

I reviewed this a while ago. Since then Anthony has done some revisions. A little more of this and a little more of that and it’s even better and I already gave it 5 Stars before.

The best thing is he gave his vampire a name.

Introducing Talan Gawayn. I love the name. Sounds like something from a long ago era. A proper vampire name.

Now here’s my review for the earlier edition.

The story opens in a tomb. All is calm. All is bright. The little Christmas tree in the corner casts a dazzling display reflecting off of the large coffin.

If you put your ear right up against the coffin, you might hear Jimmy Buffet singing Margaritaville. This handsome vampire loves being a vampire, loves Christmas, and is a fan of the southern artist and has been to many of his concerts. His powers enable him to fly to any location and blend into the shadows to enjoy the the shows.

He’s been waiting 364 days for this night and he grabs his bag of goodies and heads out. But first he must feed.

The beginning is different now. It opens with how Talan became a vampire and it’s a chilling scene.

When he was a new vampire he killed at random. But after many years and witnessing the miracle of Christmas, the warmth and cheer of it, he became more selective. Only killing those who deserved it.

I am amazed at the power of this character with the story being just over 20 pages.

He coldly stalks and consumes his prey, yet he’s also gleeful and excited, like a child. He really gets into the Christmas spirit and spreads hope and joy. Not to his prey, of course, but to those who are in need.

I live in the south and have seen Jimmy Buffet in concert. Been to his restaurant. Met him a few times.  While I was reading this story, I hummed Margaritaville and thought, this vampire would like it here.

5 Stars

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(Revised and Updated 2015) A short story about a Vampire who uses his riches and immortal skills to bring joy to those in need during the Christmas Season.

Reviews:

5 out of 5 stars: A deadly and dashing vampire

5 out of 5 stars: A great read

Amazon

EBook: US / UK / AU / CA

Excerpt

Talan Gawayn became a vampire in the 15th century on a cold, starry, full-moon night just after the first big snow of November. He was walking a less traveled path, on his way home from seeing his fiancé, whom he planned to marry the following spring, when three men stepped out of the shadows to rob him. He fought them at first, but they soon overpowered him, beat him ruthlessly, laughing as they did it, drunk and looking for someone to rob. They had found it in Talan who was so hopelessly in love he hadn’t seen them sneak up on him.

While he lay there in the snow dying from his injuries, one eye shut and swollen, the other able to see only a blurry vision, he thought he saw something, something moving quick and fast. The men who had beaten him were counting out their stolen money when this thing attacked them. It tore through their flesh, ripped out their throats savagely; and didn’t just drain the robbers of their precious blood, but this thing seemed to almost be bathing in it while it fed.

Talan tried to stay focused, tried to see what this thing was, but his will gave out and his good eye closed. He passed out into an injured slumber.

Thanks Anthony!

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Until the next time….

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the Christmas Flamingos below!

I’ve read all of Anthony’s books so you could say I’m a fan!

And I’m so stoked he is offering his books in print now. I can’t wait to get my hands on all of them.

I’ll let Anthony take it from here!

 

I know it isn’t the most grandest of designs, but it gets the colors and mood right for the Thanksgiving holiday. I honestly love simple covers like this. I think that these days people let all these fancy software tools throw up all over their covers. Most of them look cheap or too busy because of it. Sometimes simple is much catchier.

Anyway, this is a long short story turned into a small quirky novel. If you prefer paper and have wanted to read it then now is your chance. I’ve included A Vampire at Christmas as a bonus short story for this one. So you not only get one short story, but two.

Have a Happy Zombie Thanksgiving?

Click the link below to grab your copy.

Paperback link

(available outside of the U.S. as well)

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I’m resharing my review for ya!

They say the holidays are no longer celebrated because of the zombie apocalypse.

Try telling that to Dawn. All she wants is to bring a little bit of normalcy into their lives. To remind them they are human, that they are still alive, that there is hope.

Guns and knife in hand, Dawn sets off to the grocery store to see if she can find a turkey. I know, this sounds nuts. But people get desperate for the old days, the easy days.

As Dawn stumbles over dead bodies and crashed, abandoned vehicles, she inevitably runs across some shufflers. She takes care of them coldly, efficiently. This is the new way of life.

Meanwhile, back at the safe place, George is handed a note by another survivor in their group. It appears Dawn has left to get food. Fool girl. Doesn’t she know there are zombies out there. What is so important she’d risk this by herself?

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but somehow the author had me feeling the warmth of Thanksgiving. Even As Dawn and George fought off the ravenous zombies that want them for dinner.

Dawn’s fierce determination has me adding her to my list of top female protagonists. She’s not going to stop until she finds that bird!

And George is just as determined. Determined to find Dawn and get her safely back where she belongs. All limbs attached. I liked how his initial frustration turned to alpha male, to lover, as he set out to find her.

I had my fingers and toes crossed for these two. The ending was not set in stone just because it’s Thanksgiving. Maybe the zombies got a nice dinner. Nobody told them they don’t celebrate the holiday.

5 Stars

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Synopsis

(Revised and Updated 2015) A short story about a woman who risks life and limb in a Zombie Apocalypse in order to keep the Thanksgiving tradition alive.

Bonus Short Story: A Vampire at Christmas
A short story about a Vampire who uses his riches and immortal skills to bring joy to those in need during the Christmas Season.

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Until I see you again….

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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A Rare Nativity (1)
Blog Tour Schedule

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A Rare NativityA Rare Nativity (32 pages) by Sam Besson
We have all heard the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, and we have all seen the traditional Christmas crèche. Now, author Sam Beeson and photographers Nina and Terral Cochran combine these two classic Christmas icons to create A Rare Nativity.
Upon reading the first lines of the book, it is clear the narrator holds a bitter grudge as he sends his enemy crude and discarded gifts: On the first night of Christmas I gave my enemy a briar from a tanglewood tree. On the second night of Christmas I gave my enemy two rotten eggs.

Night after night the gifts pile up shards of glass, rusty nails, gnarled twigs, and more. What the narrator s enemy decides to do with each of these odious gifts is nothing less than a Christmas miracle. The photographic creation of the rare nativity at the end of the book is both a work of art and a wonder to behold.

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Amazon * Deseret Book

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My Review

There’s a saying I’m sure you’re familiar with, “Good things come in small packages.”

It’s a perfect description for this book.

The story is short, written as a poem, with pictures of each item this man sent to his enemy.

For the twelve days of Christmas he sent what seemed to be junk.

What his enemy did with the junk is something we wish we would have done.

Once I finished this book, I wanted to be kinder. To turn the other cheek. To let go of petty anger and grudges. To be better.

It only took me a few minutes to read A Rare Nativity.

The message stayed with me much longer.

4 Stars

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About the Author

Sam Beeson gives himself annual writing assignments. In 2005, he wrote a poem a day. In 2007, he wrote about his wife every day. In 2015, each day he wrote a handwritten letter to someone new. Sam teaches high school English and loves reading the journals of his ancestors.

 

$25 Blog Tour giveaway

$25 Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 11/11/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com eGift Card or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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