Mary Blackwell

Biography

Am a prolific reader; my partner is relieved I now read ebooks as our home was getting crowded. Until I was eighteen, I lived in various places around mainland UK but settled in London in the mid-eighties. I feel like a Londoner now but will always retain a special affinity to life in a small mining village in the North East where we were based the longest.

Where to find Mary Blackwell online


Books

This member has not published any books.

Mary Blackwell's favorite authors on Smashwords

Aaron Lee
Latest book: The Waking World. Published June 12, 2018.
Colten Steele
Latest book: The World's Next Plague. Published October 29, 2014.
D.J. Bodden
Latest book: Black Fall. Published April 11, 2015.
Daniel Hansen
Latest book: Chimeras 05. Published March 16, 2014. (3.00 from 1 review)
David Blake
Latest book: Aware. Published July 20, 2014. (4.67 from 6 reviews)
Finnean Nilsen Projects
Latest book: Outpost Season One. Published July 7, 2015. (5.00 from 1 review)
Karen Reis
Latest book: The Unfortunate Survival of Peter Cunningham. Published May 15, 2017.
MJ Kobernus
Latest book: Hunted. Published May 13, 2016. (4.50 from 2 reviews)
Teresa Carlson
Latest book: Creatures of Snow. Published August 18, 2014. (5.00 from 2 reviews)
Tom Lichtenberg
Latest book: The White-Hole Situation. Published May 24, 2018. (4.00 from 1 review)
Wolf Black
Latest book: Enigma. Published July 8, 2013. (3.92 from 12 reviews)

Smashwords book reviews by Mary Blackwell

  • Eons of Darkness Book One: The Purging on Sep. 27, 2013

    I was browsing for a horror story and came across a post from Reed offering a coupon so I feel I need to be up front about that to begin with. There were a couple of typos and yes, the formatting was not typical but these paled into insignificance for me. The story starts with a real buzz and it continues that way throughout. There are several main characters from different types of horror fantasy genres and the action takes place across the world. Characters are drawn quickly and have definite personalities, depth is added with their experiences ... I found myself disliking some and warming to them later and vice versa. There are violent episodes and some references to torture and S&M, however I would say everything is relevant and in context and that most adults who have read anything involving vampires, were creatures or end of world scenarios will have come across something similar previously. Dare I say this is a very ambitious book which almost hits the spot aimed for. I think a good editor could tighten this and make it a great book, in the meantime, it is a VERY GOOD BOOK, an enjoyable read, a page-turner and difficult to put down. Now all I want to do is find out what happens next!
  • Zombies Evolved on Sep. 29, 2013

    I have only ever come across the concept of different levels in an online comic before and the explanation of how things happened and the impact on society was deliciously different. I hope there is a sequel or perhaps a totally different story in the same world ... it seems this world is so fully conceived that it would be a pity to waste all that time spent bringing it to life.
  • Version Innocent on March 22, 2014

    I can only agree with David Gervais's review ... many typos but a brilliant story. I do not want to give away anything so suffice to say that reading this took me back to my teens when I went through the library reading everything marked science fiction ... there are explanations given for the technology but it is in layman's terms and makes sense within the story (those who know explaining to characters that don't) and not enough to interfere with following the story - a perfect balance for me. The story is more plot-driven than character development and the search for answers means we keep moving on so although the book is long it is very fast-paced. There were a lot of typos but the only one that was really confusing was one towards the end where the numbering of two versions of a character was incorrect. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and raced through it in a day or so.
  • Greenstone and Ironwood, Book One on April 13, 2014

    I have just read this and came to see if the second book was available but sadly there appears to be nothing yet, I am a huge fantasy fan and love zombies; this book gives a good and complex political situation with much murder & mayhem, The zombie element is very different to any other I have come across and lends itself well to the steampunk environment here. The story does jump around a lot following what appear to be very diverse and unconnected characters but these do start to come together. Luke, if you are out there, I would love to know what happens next.
  • The Great Mother on June 06, 2014

    The story starts with one solitary person coming to terms with being alone. We know little about her or what has happened. Initially I wondered if I could get into this book because what I love about post-apocalyptic/dystopian worlds is the interaction and character development BUT within pages, the main character develops, questioning, learning and planning. What makes this very special for a free book is that it is so well constructed that the pages flow by, both because of the writing style (believable, developing characters & a story plot that keeps you guessing) and there being no typos, mis-uses of words or mistakes in grammar. I loved this book enormously and wish I knew what would happen next, what Mother's past is & how it will impact on the future and how other significant characters will develop too.
  • Claire on June 14, 2014

    Often I find free short stories fail as I see them as an opening chapter or a precis for a full novel/novellette. Not in this case. How Thomas Summerson has managed to encapsulate so much so perfectly into so few words is incredible. Loved the twist, it was not telegraphed although there were hints all is not as it appears.
  • The Encounter on June 14, 2014

    Intriguing, well written but for me I wanted to know more. It felt like the beginning or middle of a story rather than complete. Having said that, I did enjoy and empathise with the characters as I was reading and of course, the sub-title had alerted me to the fact it is a very short story!
  • The Island - Part 1 on June 14, 2014

    Overall I have enjoyed reading the first three books and sadly cannot continue through to the others due to personal circumstances. That said, I found the story to be really interesting and different from the usual 'end of the world' story. The main reason I am drawn to this genre is to see how people think and respond to the unknown and unexpected and Michael Stark is good at writing people ... believable characters whose individual idiosyncrasies mean they respond to circumstances in their own ways and of course the 'hero' does not know why unless they explain themselves. I can see what Tracey (first reviewer) means about the pace and the large descriptive elements, but I disagree with her ... this may be due to having read the first three books. This is an epic story told on a huge scale so the first book is really the first fifth of the story and when taken into account the fact that the action that takes place is not the main bulk of book one is understandable. All in all, a great read which I enjoyed.
  • Infinite Meat on June 14, 2014

    This is the first book I have ever recommended before I have even finished it. How can I describe it? It is written on such an epic scale in some ways and yet in others each segment is a small crafted story. It starts off with a fairly fairy tale feel to it with a young girl who is mistreated at home and shunned by the villagers and a powerful man due to lose his place in the world, ready to do whatever he has to to retain his position. She journeys to fulfil his wishes and meets people who resonate through the story, which reminded me of old beggar women asking for food and in return granting wishes later. There is the promise and spurning of love, marriage and destiny. There is a magical beast. There are realms of hell. There are mob scenes. There are scenes of great loss and pain as well as discovery and joy. Ultimately, for me, this is a story of possibilities, choices and the continuing punishment of hope which if followed through can sometimes lead to better times. I heartily recommend this book and once the little mistakes (as mentioned by David Rose below) are ironed out, this should see print in my opinion.
  • Valley of Death, Zombie Trailer Park on June 14, 2014

    What a brilliant concept and (bar aforementioned spelling errors etc) wonderfully executed story. We start with a crash and are introduced to a number of people in different situations very quickly. This is a fast paced book full of action, but unlike many action-focused zombie tales this also paints good thumbnails sketches of characters whether they are in the story for mere moments or far much more. I know William Bebb is not interested in comments about levels of violence etc but I thought it would be good to point out that yes there are graphic descriptions of kills, there is swearing, lust does rear it's head ... but they do all come within the context of the story. None of it is to my mind gratuitous and the humour and plot mean it all fits together and made it an excellent read.
  • The Left Leg on June 28, 2014

    Having read of real life situations regarding body dysmorphia I was intrigued to read this short story and read it online. The tale is told from the narrator's perspective and describes how his hatred for his left leg affect him and his family life. Having read that Alex Gambino writes comic books and science fiction, I had hopes of an element of either surfacing in the story but instead it was a well-written story of how a man deals with an unlikely feeling and how others (wife/professionals) respond. It was a little 'real' for me as I tend to prefer a little 'other' in my reading rather than the real world but I would recommend it to others who have a few minutes to spare .. ie everyone, unless you do not deal well with blood.
  • You Don't Belong Here on July 01, 2014

    This story tells the tale of one woman's experience in reaching out to something she doesn't know and perhaps has not attempted before. It is very short and I recognised all the characters from real life ... well, their types rather than real people. It is a very powerful message which I recognised as the reason I no longer am part of organised religion and instead have spent twenty years working with homeless people and others in need. Hopefully you will reach your target audience Trevor.
  • One Eye Open on July 05, 2014

    The story seems to me to be about a lone man who is ethical and committed to God and the constitution of the USA but he has darker thoughts in circumstances where his life might be at risk. I liked the pacing and found the debates interesting, especially living in the UK where we have no constitution. I also enjoyed seeing references to dandelions and willow bark as these rounded out the story for me. The grammar and structure were good with a few spelling mistakes like waste high instead of waist-high but to be honest there were only around three or four similar type errors. Whilst admitting from a UK perspective it is difficult to imagine this scenario starting, I understand that Americans feel very strongly about tampering with the constitution but I liked the fact it came back in an almost viral way through word of mouth. A good ending.
  • Zombie Threat: The Undead Arise on July 12, 2014

    This is such a new take on the beginnings of a devastating newly discovered 'life form' in Brazil and how it evolves threatening the world with destruction. I really enjoyed coming across the scientific explanations here, the way that this author was able to bring across the feelings of different cultures at the beginning to the horror further on. I really felt part of this story and was left 'hungry' for more, if you can excuse the expression.
  • Trapped on July 12, 2014

    Like the other reviewers, I enjoyed this and the twist gave the author a great opportunity to show how she can write well in different genres ... and she takes it with both hands, succeeding brilliantly. The story is very short, easy to read in between doing other stuff: commuting etc so download it and see! My main grouch personally is that I would love to read more and longer tales generally and from Natalia Marx in particular.
  • Ready and... Action!! on July 12, 2014

    I am used to stories with zombies having blood & guts, the better ones have a good depiction of characters and their motivation, and for me the best have humour. This short story by Artie Margrave had me chuckling in places and just really in awe about where he got his premise from as it is so different to any other I have come across. I was left wanting more but having to ruefully admit that if it had been any longer it probably wouldn't have worked so well as this author had judged the pace and plot so well.
  • Undead Dining on July 12, 2014

    This is a really good start but I felt it needed a slightly longer run up to emphasise the twist which hits you. I enjoyed this very short story, possibly one of the shortest I have read, it is well worth reading but feels over in a flash.
  • Rot: Island on July 12, 2014

    This tale starts with a very real feeling portrayal of a couple and how they annoy each other starting out on a trip. How will the unexpected appearance of zombies affect their relationship and how will they survive? Linus Locke really made me care about his characters, even when they were almost just thumbnail sketches! I cannot really describe this further without providing spoilers so will only urge you to read this. The only drawback is that the final pages do not draw things to a close nor provide a cliffhanger. Perhaps I missed a page towards the end, but it felt a little was missing there. Having said that, I still enjoyed reading this with my heart racing, hoping against hope all heroes would survive.
  • Felled by Ark on July 12, 2014

    How do you deal with despair? Waking in the middle of your adopted city and all you see are dead bodies. Your wife gone, your family in your home country, no communication possible ... then there is something frightening about dark places. For me, our hero the wanderer is a bit of an anti-hero. He is cowardly, nervous and grief-stricken. The only thing that keeps him going is hunting for his missing wife and anger. There were times for me as a reader when I felt it was hopeless, nothing changing, everything the same, but for me this was a reflection of the wanderer's story. The unknown creatures, portals, etc are so different from other tales I have read and the setting of Tokyo added a further interest to me. I would love to know what happened between the penultimate and final chapters ... perhaps a sequel?
  • We Interrupt This Program on July 12, 2014

    I was intrigued by the title and blurb ... I do not usually read plays but this one kept me going to the end and the twist. I really would be interested in seeing this on stage or as a short film ... maybe one day eh? I think it would be worth adding tags for scifi though as this may widen your audience.
  • Together Forever on July 20, 2014

    Short but very sweet ... it is impossible to say much more but I did enjoy this tale.
  • Delver Magic Book I: Sanctum's Breach on July 26, 2014

    A Delver lives to discover new things and so was the perfect choice to send out to find the source of the unusual quake, but he found much more than a disturbance in the ground. Following his journey we meet new creatures unknown to Humans, good and bad. Will the Delver and his group get on, reach their destination and complete their quest? What I loved about this story is the very real embedding of the world and how different races interact and the introduction of totally new to me races. It felt so real and I got caught up in the story totally. It is a long book but I was still disappointed to find my journey over so I have been very happy to see more in the series. There is a tiny need for editing with extraneous 'to' and 'the' appearing seldom and passed being used for past (or that may be American English). I only mention these because if not for these it would have been perfect. I heartily recommend this book and for those put off by its' length I would say that you will reach the end much sooner than expected because the pace of the tale and the beautiful descriptions, in addition to the twists and surprises in the plot will have you missing your stop or missing sleep, depending on where you read.
  • Change on Aug. 01, 2014

    The blurb for this tale intrigued me; the scenario seemed so bizarre and yet reading it I found sympathy for the main character and the end just left me wanting more from Stephanie. The end is less of a surprise than it might have been due to the blurb, but the sense of helplessness, isolation, loss of identity and also an ignorance of the station's location all gel together to bring so much more than one would normally expect from such a short story.
  • Point of a Pencil on Aug. 01, 2014

    Humorous, interesting and it definitely makes you think ... I loved the way pencils link back to childhood creativity although in some ways the absence of technology, especially in an ebook read online seems a little bit of an anachronism. I enjoyed it.
  • All Foes on Aug. 02, 2014

    The story begins with a discovery of a dragon and ends with a mystery; a new beginning. The writing is evocative and beautiful; the tale is a complete story which gives you a sense of the world, its history and future. Quite brilliant!
  • Blue on Aug. 02, 2014

    This tale is many layered and still there seems more to tell, like an onion we discover new aspects in this magical journey to save the world. I too would love to see more of the witch and the other stories to come from this world; the juxtaposition of the 'real' world and magic are so well drawn and brought a smile to my face which I would love to repeat.
  • Watching the Watcher on Aug. 02, 2014

    This story reminded me of the best scifi short stories from the fifties ... in a good way and brought up to date. The pace is fast with time for descriptions so we can see the world the caller inhabits ... but why does he work so hard? Why is his call one of many? We find out what is going on and the solution and then Micah gives us a final twist. I love the idea of this world and have downloaded Born into Shadow to find out more.
  • Sunfall: Episode 1 on Aug. 03, 2014

    This story starts with a father trying to get his children to come on a day out and altercations with his ex. He drives the kids to a waterpark they feel is beneath them, rowing comes from the back seat ... and did I mention it was hot! I love end of the world tales, this one is different. The way the sun turns from life-giver to death-bringer is sudden with the full horror described in almost loving detail. This is a terrible and frightening scenario. The story is gripping. Who should the hero help? Can he help anyone? Can he save his kids? Will he find out what is happening? I heartily recommend this to those with strong stomachs. No zombies, monsters, bandits, just a man trying to survive with his family .... but it is early days with the first book of the series.
  • Cool Dad on Aug. 08, 2014

    Charming tale. I enjoyed this and especially loved the difference between the internal and external dialogue, the swearing came in just the right places like a piquant sauce.
  • Phoenix in Ice (Short story) on Aug. 10, 2014

    I find I cannot say much about the story without giving away spoilers but it was an intriguing premise. The description/narration came across very well, especially at the beginning but the conversation at the end seemed a little stilted ... the couple did not seem to speak in a natural manner to one another. That said, I will be looking at The Door as I have an idea that Nelly Asher has some very interesting plots within her.
  • One Step on Aug. 16, 2014

    I loved this. Show not tell and it was a pleasure to read. My favourite part was "The questions who, what, where, when, why and how ricocheted off the inside of my head like a stray bullet fired in a tunnel. I had to get a grip.".
  • Who'd Have Known, There'd be Somewhere Only We Know on Aug. 16, 2014

    Very short, very bitter sweet. I felt it could have been a tad longer at the beginning exploring the confusion of Max finding himself somewhere unknown, but it is very tidy and I enjoyed it regardless.
  • Cinema Detectives Omnibus on Aug. 16, 2014

    This was one of the more surreal comics I have ever read. Enjoyable, intriguing with no answers.
  • Chimeras. on Aug. 17, 2014

    A really interesting take on what might happen if did create a new intelligent being. Ensuring that he is treated in a humane way and attends school alongside human children seems just what would happen now that I think of it and of course the resultant mix of bigotry and curiousity would be bound to happen too. I cannot see where the series is headed from here but it is a decent start, well-written with a tiny bit of foreshadowing and a cliff-edge ending ready for jumping off.
  • Chimeras 02 on Aug. 17, 2014

    Sadly the bullies always have to start something but Blae discovers who his friends are. Is this related to the call at the end of the first episode? Perhaps I will discover in the next story? Well-written apart from a small typo: lisson instead of lesson.
  • A Walking Shadow, Vol. 1 on Aug. 31, 2014

    I have just finished reading this and have been blown away by the tale and desperate to know what happens next! Then to return to this site and to see that the author is still in her teens adds to the sense of amazement. The story begins with a young man missing his recently deceased father. His character has been painted so well I felt strongly for him only a few pages in. The way he interacts with other characters, his internal thoughts and memories all pull together a clear and growing understanding of his life and his future. The small reference to Asimov's rules gave me a warm glow on reading it and has been the best robot story I have read since the scifi I read in my youth, several decades ago. Please continue this series Ameilia, you have found a fan in me.
  • Trapped: Abridged Edition on Aug. 31, 2014

    This tale starts with Serena alone with no food, worrying about her husband who went out for supplies a week previously. I am not a regular reader of romances and found the absence of zombies (all mention being 'off-stage') and the world being changed to be a bit disappointing but I tried to keep in mind that it was more of a one-room drama with the claustrophobia and the different viewpoints of our protagonists. This story will appeal to those looking for erotic tales but not so much to horror fans, but the ending seems to imply further books which may deliver more to the latter.
  • Hare-um Scare-um on Aug. 31, 2014

    The story begins with a young boy playing hide and seek with his fellows. He recalls his father who is now dead and believes that at 7 he is now grown up enough to go to the places his father warned him against. I found a scene in which he gives a hug to be strangely touching, but overall, sadly felt I did not have enough information to relate to this world of it's inhabitants.
  • The Hole on Sep. 05, 2014

    The set up of a man curious to see whether a bottomless hole was indeed bottomless was well done and the camera going down and what was found ... but for me, the ending was disappointing, early and did not feel like a finish. Good stories leave you wanting more, but this left me wanting many questions answered. I do recognise this is a piece of flash fiction but I suggest that it could be the basis of a really great short story or even a novel.
  • Forces Of Evil: The Board Game on Sep. 05, 2014

    This tale starts with the not unusual premise of a couple visiting a friend's cabin and finding something strange. Like the previous reviewer I would have preferred to read a longer version, however for me, this short story worked. I felt I got to know the characters and was rooting for them and although the twist was somewhat telegraphed, the journey to the end was a wild ride ... great fun and I heartily recommend it.
  • Artifact on Sep. 05, 2014

    This short story starts off with a young man fighting a robotic spider, we discover he has stupidly gone off by himself and is not feeling too good, has lost his transportation and cannot get home safely. I really loved the way the story unfolded (in light of Kirstyn's statement at the end that her plan is to expand the tale) and the way that various factors were dropped casually into the scenario which let us know a bit about the environment, current society and history. Now I want to know more so it would be great to see the expanded version and see not only what happens next, but more of what is happening so far.
  • TV Times on Sep. 05, 2014

    So, this bloke is watching telly that he hates or finds boring, his food and drink comes to him by tube. He gains points for watching and loses them for not watching programmes. He ends up starring in two shows he previously watched, but not in a good way. This short story kept me engaged and wondering about the world our hero inhabits as well as where it was going. I loved the reference to the Young Ones too. My only complaint really, is it could have been a little longer ... not much but the tale might have flowed a little better with a small explanation around two thirds of the way in about how the world came to be this way or what life was like outside the room. Just a paragraph or two of that would add a little more depth.
  • For The Lack Of A Spoon on Sep. 05, 2014

    I was filled with joy by this back-story to the iconic poem. I can say nothing further except, if you have not read the poem by Edward Lear, do so before reading this as otherwise you cannot get the full impact on the tale.
  • Mrs Von Dippel on Sep. 13, 2014

    I enjoyed the letter greatly, it showed the way children can be narcissistic but also observant and clever. I even learnt a new word I had to look up ~ braai-vleis. Thanks
  • Tears on Sep. 13, 2014

    For me, this is a perfect scifi short story. It evokes a whole lifetime through short tales of tears shed in sadness and joy and ends with ... best not mention that, it would take away the experience of discovery.
  • Creatures of Snow on Sep. 13, 2014

    This tale started slowly for me and I was worried it might be a bit of a teens with special powers at school story. Boy, was I wrong! The story quickly stepped up the pace and we meet different characters, discover different races, cultures, planets and alternative realities ... all this and mystery on top of mystery alluded to in passing. I really felt I lived the story - highly recommended.
  • Half Past One on Sep. 13, 2014

    We start with a very mundane situation, sipping drinks and chatting whilst watching over the kids at play in the garden and then the horrific attack. The awful aftermath, running low on supplies, worried about sickness and missing family and friends ... and then the horrific denouement! A gripping end which I had to reread to check I had got it first time round.
  • The Salvage Job on Oct. 04, 2014

    Well written, interesting but it does not feel like a short story but an introduction as the ending does not end, does not explain the mystery.
  • The Carrier on Oct. 18, 2014

    In many ways I loved the confused narrative which gave us sufficient hints to ensure we knew what was going on but it didn't satisfy me fully as I felt I did not know enough to care about the characters or the past and future worlds. I am more drawn to stories with characters I can understand and care about but here I did not feel especially worried or glad about what might happen to the girl.
  • Gehenna (West of Hell #1) on Oct. 18, 2014

    Is this story just the Wild West meets Zombies? Nope, I don't think so. Of course it is surely a Western tale, it feels very much as we might imagine and yes, there are zombies: hungry, decomposing and driven. Yet, there is also a story here of a man and a woman, viewed as outsiders, scum, less than human. Will they rise to the challenge? Well, I felt Jason Brunt certainly did. I have to confess I only picked this up, as it were, because of the undead element. Westerns do not really appeal from my UK base, however, Jason brought this world alive for me and I recommend it to anyone wanting a story which keeps them gripped to the end.
  • Oil to Ashes 1, "Picnic" (Linc Freemore Apocalyptic Thriller Series) on Oct. 18, 2014

    Somehow my copy of this story has a different name (Picnic) so I have downloaded this version to check out possible changes. In the version I have read, Linc is a not a hero. He is a sort of drone. Work is too much, he spends too much time there and ignores his family's needs. He just tries to do his best. But, when push comes to shove, he reaches into his reserves and into his past knowledge to survive. Initially I wasn't sure about Linc and what sort of story it was. Then the abandoned car came into view and a true race of terrifying cat and mouse ensued. Great twists and turns.
  • House of Bones (Short) on Oct. 18, 2014

    A man returning to his wife after a decade gets a different welcome than he hoped for and decides to give her some space. This was well written but raised a lot a questions for me, where has he been and where is he going? Why he went was clear but not why he stayed away? I would have found it more interesting to either know this or what challenges and thoughts his wife had in his absence.
  • Mamba In A Basket on Oct. 18, 2014

    I am not sure what makes him feminist, but apart from that slight query I did enjoy this exciting tale. I will not give away spoilers, suffice to say that Allie starts off as a bewildered and inexperienced detective who discovers that things are not as they seem. The story contains untrustworthy authority figures, curious stories about some characters, mad cultish behaviour and a chase through a forest ending with blood spilt.
  • Seven Days with Lot on Oct. 18, 2014

    This was disappointing to say the least. The description led me to believe this was a retelling of one of the stranger tales in the early part of the old testament. It is not. Instead, this is a bible study book with questions before and afterwards. The story element has many changes which did not sit well with my beliefs and so I ceased attempting to read it after a couple of chapters.
  • Sheol (West of Hell #3) on Oct. 25, 2014

    More wonderful characters to add to the mix, more cliff-hangers - who will survive? - and where will they escape to? I am hoping there is more to come in this series.
  • Shutdown on Dec. 28, 2014

    A new take on an old prophesy ... I liked this, short and snappy and the new 'medium' worked well.
  • Before The Fall on Dec. 28, 2014

    Whilst I was not sure about the 'phone, it was a fun and very short story with a twist. The writing style was one I enjoyed and would like to read a longer story at some point.
  • The Parkour Accident on Dec. 28, 2014

    It was not clear to me when I read this online that this is a sample rather than a full short story. If not for this surprise I would have given this tale a three. Being an old fogie I had to look up the word 'parkour' which I had not come across having known the activity as free running. The story starts really well with a reflective spirit harking back to his feckless behaviour and then becoming suspicious of the circumstances, he finds joy in reunition and a spirit guide. Just as he starts to look into what might have happened the story stops abruptly.
  • No, I Won't Buy Your G*d-D*mned M*ther-F*cking Stupid-*ss eBook (Explicit Version) on Dec. 28, 2014

    What an enjoyable rant. Whilst very negative towards authors who do the things he describes as stopping his purchasing their ebooks, this is a good instruction manual. Surely easier at least than the various books aimed at improving numbers of readers. I generally read free ebooks only but this is in part due to some of the "don't" items listed here. There may be swearing within the pages but it is no more than in the title.
  • The Forever Man - Book 1: Pulse on Jan. 19, 2015

    To say I am amazed at this book is an understatement. I have always been drawn to apocalyptic stories and so downloaded this expecting perhaps something a little different as there are few tales which include fairy tale beings, but this was out of this world in more ways than one. For a start, this is extremely well edited, no typos etc throwing me out of the story and the intricate plot darted around but did not lose me. Another plus for me was that it is set in Britain so much felt familiar to me, but through the eyes of an American Marine it was new too. This was a page-turner of a tale from an author that is not afraid to invest in characters that do not survive, mix technology with magic or various historical epochs. Finally, Craig Zerf draws characters that are not only lifelike but larger than life in a naturalistic way, just a few phrases and I felt I grasped inherent characteristics of both heroes and baddies. I turned the pages ever slower to savour the story but did finally run out of book. I just hope that we get to see the sequel soon.
  • 4-1-1: Where Are Our Children (A Serial Novel) Episode 1 of 9 on Jan. 29, 2015

    I have given these stars because the plot and characterisations are brilliant but I must admit to struggling at times due to spelling errors, missing words and unusual sentence construction. This would have been a five otherwise. I have read all five episodes thus far released and really want to read the remaining four when they come out. The story starts by introducing the main characters that we will follow through the series, not through long descriptive pieces but through action. This is show not tell and the pace is fast and furious. Every time we pause there is one denouement after another with shock twists intertwining them. It is a roller coaster ride and worth dealing with the mistakes which are along the lines of 'which hunt' rather than 'witch hunt'.
  • Oops! The 9 Ways We Screw Up Our Toddlers on Feb. 21, 2015

    I should start off by saying I don't have kids and in fact started reading this because I am off to my four year old niece's birthday party tomorrow, so the title intrigued me. I kept on reading because the style of writing was just brilliant and of course, I agreed with so much that was said. I spent fifteen years working with young homeless people and have always felt that their out of control behaviour was due to not getting boundaries and love at an early age. I am continually surprised at how much children are protected from learning from their mistakes and so on. I think this is a great book and whilst I might not agree with everything, might not have experience of everything, the general feel just resounded very strongly in me.
  • Morning One on March 15, 2015

    I too would like to read something longer. It was right to finish things where you did but I wanted to know more too so it was a bit frustrating. Perhaps a bit of back-story could have ameliorated that?
  • Seditious Sun on March 28, 2015

    I thoroughly enjoyed this and felt that although it is very short, it was just the right length. I especially loved the final line which made me smile ... although of course, we are still a few days away from the 'Blood Moon'!
  • Control on March 28, 2015

    The story starts with a young man on an underground train watching the others in his carriage. I enjoyed this part of the tale as I got a real sense of who the character was and what he was feeling, then we have a strange aspect to the journey observed but unfortunately when this reaches its climax and he leaves the train I felt that there was something missing. I think it is that there is no description really of how he is feeling, why he is not curious ... really what drives him forward. I did like reading this but I would have a liked a little more .... perhaps passion ... in the last third of the book. The ending, however fit right in.
  • The Day My World Shook on March 28, 2015

    I admit to mostly choosing to read this online as I remember the news breaking that day (although being in the UK there was no baseball) and I have often wondered what it was like although I was a few years older than the author. Seeing the events through the eyes of a child was really interesting and evocative of the ways children perceive events. Thank you for sharing your story which I enjoyed, the writing style fit the tale and the emotions were clearly expressed.
  • Memorial Day on March 28, 2015

    This was a great short read with an interesting twist or two along the way as we followed Adam, not only on his physical journey but also on the huge learning curve he was climbing.
  • AlterWorld (LitRPG: Play to Live. Book #1) on April 06, 2015

    I could not put it down and am going to buy the other two! The tale starts with a young man being told he has a short time to live around the time a large number of people are being lost in virtual reality. I was not sure initially whether I would enjoy this having never played the sort of game related in the story, but this is not just about a mmorpg, it is also about discovering how to survive in a world unlike Earth. There is love, friendship, trust, enemies and betrayal. Capitalism and philanthropy are both there, as is the larger fight between good and evil with perhaps a bit of a grey area. I heartily recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed a classic fantasy or alien worlds book. Elements of both genres can be found here.
  • The Bionics on April 12, 2015

    To be totally honest, I was not sure about this once I started reading as it was clearly about teens and being a lot older I find these can be quite fluffy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead we find characters who have been through much in the way of physical and emotional trauma fighting for their freedom and that of others. Characters are very well-drawn and motivated by the past which we are told about in a very gradual and natural way. There is fighting, blood and sexual relations, but nothing over the top and all relevant to the story-telling. I would highly recommend this book and intend to read the next ones.
  • Morning One on April 25, 2015

    An enjoyable introduction to a new world with great descriptions and a sort of show not tell element to us learning about the protagonist. I feel similarly to the previous reviewers in wanting more but see that there is a Morning Two which I hope continues from where this one left off.
  • Morning Two on April 25, 2015

    I enjoyed this second morning but admit to being a tad dissappointed as I was expecting a continuation from the first book. However, despite the groundhog day sense of reading one after the other, I did enjoy this story and gave a bit of an amused groan at the ending.
  • C-Shapes on April 25, 2015

    This tale seems to subvert the entire post-apocalyptic genre, being about a normal youngster needing to make money and taking on a job medicating and ensuring the safety of two altered individuals. It seems straight forward enough and then we notice that not everything adds up. Things are not quite what they seem and we begin to delve into the mystery and learn more about the main characters. I enjoyed this and the errors did not detract from my wanting more.
  • Don't Bite on June 27, 2015

    I liked the premise but it felt a little hurried, perhaps drawing out the child before the denouement may have kept us at the edge of our seats more. However, a tidy little tale nevertheless.
  • Snow Dragon - Winter Gloves on June 27, 2015

    I was checking this out for my niece and was expecting some words. The story is clear without them and would be a good book to go through and chat about with a young child. The story has three main characters and has a couple of twists in the "tail".
  • Mute's Moments Volume One on Aug. 02, 2015

    I loved the feel given these short tales by the artwork, so much expressed and humourous too. It is very short and no plot so like the other reviewers, for me it feels like it is an introduction to a character and world but having said that I felt an emotional resonance with a number of the characters despite the lack of storyline per se.
  • The Vagrant on Aug. 30, 2015

    I really enjoyed the build-up of this tale and the twists and turns. The story seems to be set in the past with a real small town feel. It opens with a murder so horrific we see it through the effects on the characters. Should the Sheriff involve the FBI or is he right that a vagrant continues to commit unbelievable crimes? There is a strong female character, a potential love affair, children who notice things adults don't and more. My biggest compliment though is that I was shocked at one of the deaths .... this happens rarely and was very bitter-sweet - flowers were involved is all I am saying!
  • The Storyteller on Aug. 30, 2015

    This is a great little story, full of atmosphere and jumpy bits. Perfect length too.
  • On a Raft of Charcoal and Chalk on Aug. 30, 2015

    I loved this beautifully fashioned tiny tale about a particular cat. I would recommend this to any reader who loves words, no matter their age.
  • Spite on Aug. 30, 2015

    I really enjoyed this short story but must admit to wanting to know how it all panned out. Plus I feel a bit for Frank despite his obvious 'dumbness'.
  • United on Sep. 20, 2015

    The story begins with a flashback to Deanna's childhood and then returns to her as an adult. Three deaths in the family are covered but the way they are all dealt with is different and whilst I understood the links between the latter two, the one to the first is not clear ... it might have been the Mother remembering in relation to her other daughter or not. The second half of the story when Deanna runs to her room is the better; there is emotion, intrigue ~ this section feels 'real' and pulls together everything.
  • The Viewing on Sep. 20, 2015

    The story begins with a guy down on his luck looking to his past when he discovers a family secret. He follows through on this step by step but cannot decide whether to take the hard or easy road. I enjoyed reading his reminisences and his decision-making processes, but the ending seemed to be a page too early or perhaps a page could have been inserted in between the rest of the story and the final one with some contact made? Enjoyable and well-written short read.
  • A Campers Dream on Sep. 20, 2015

    This is the first of three parts which will give us the story of what was discovered on a camping trip. I look forward to discovering what happens next to our protagonists. However, it was disconcerting to have Harry writing both in the first and third person. Also, I could imagine this fleshed out a lot more to give a fuller story which I would have enjoyed but having said that I liked the style which reminded me in parts of Amazing Stories etc.
  • Washing the Dishes on Sep. 20, 2015

    I was really intrigued by the title and whilst this is not the sort of book I would usually read it did make me smile, think and reflect.
  • Washing the Dishes on Sep. 20, 2015

    I was really intrigued by the title and whilst this is not the sort of book I would usually read it did make me smile, think and reflect.
  • The Silk Woman on Sep. 26, 2015

    Without giving anything away, this painted a picture of my youth of windswept places with hard, silent men ... lovely evocative writing and a great twist in the end.
  • Zombie's day ! on Oct. 10, 2015
    (no rating)
    I was looking forward to this, being a bit of a zombie fan. I have not rated the comic as many of the frames were missing images. Perhaps it is my browser but if not, perhaps you can re-upload so I can read the rest of the story?
  • Proof Of Dark on Oct. 16, 2015

    This story started slowly and then the pace really stepped up. Who are these characters? What are they doing deep underground? We do not find out everything so this tale leaves me wanting more but thinking on this, I am not sure more needs to be said ... it is not a bad thing with a short story to wonder about things left unsaid.
  • Cup O'Joe (short story) on Oct. 17, 2015

    Neat little twist in this tale, I would be interested in perhaps seeing something-else from this world.
  • My Internet Nightmare on Oct. 17, 2015

    As someone who is predominantly a lurker on various forums, tutting and harrumphing at trolls, this short story made me laugh.
  • A Lesson In Civility (A very very short story) on Oct. 17, 2015

    I loved the initial description of the environment (see - being careful with spoilers) and the tale made me smile, the moral was good/clear although I must admit I had to google to check the veracity of the final sentence.
  • No Explanations on Oct. 31, 2015

    This was an amazing story, I was gripped by it. It started with the captain needing a first mate and at every step of the way I was intrigued by what would happen next. There was enough foreshadowing to keep me interested and not too much which would have been like spoilers. It almost felt like Karen was slipping the background worlds and politics past me as without noticing it. when I needed background info to understand where we were with the plot, it was right there. My only complaint is that it is finished and I may never know what happens to them next. Sorry the review is a bit vague but I don't want to risk giving anything away as this is different from any scifi story I have read before.
  • No Explanations on Oct. 31, 2015

    This was an amazing story, I was gripped by it. It started with the captain needing a first mate and at every step of the way I was intrigued by what would happen next. There was enough foreshadowing to keep me interested and not too much which would have been like spoilers. It almost felt like Karen was slipping the background worlds and politics past me as without noticing it. when I needed background info to understand where we were with the plot, it was right there. My only complaint is that it is finished and I may never know what happens to them next. Sorry the review is a bit vague but I don't want to risk giving anything away as this is different from any scifi story I have read before.
  • The Day the Dying Stopped on Oct. 31, 2015

    A really creepy and thought-provoking description of the downside of immortality.
  • Sahlu on Nov. 01, 2015

    An incredibly short story which gives a sense of what has happened and character which is amazing considering its length. I do think it is something worth embellishing to make it more engrossing and enjoyable.
  • Saturday Night Meat Market on Nov. 01, 2015

    Perhaps a tiny bit too much foreshadowing but otherwise well-written and good descriptions.
  • Practically Invisible on Nov. 01, 2015

    I liked the way that the truth is revealed gradually in this short story.
  • Outpost Season One on Nov. 08, 2015

    I have really enjoyed this story which is told from the viewpoint of a number of people - prisoners, guards and a civilian. The descriptions are great, giving a real sense of being in the various situations. Not everyone on the side of good is a goodie and not all the prisoners are baddies and the zombies are not fully traditional. There are mindless heroics, explosive stupidity and the beginnings of evil ... bring on the next season!
  • Words on Nov. 14, 2015

    This is a stunningly well-written and conceived short story which I cannot describe without giving away what happened but highly recommend taking the few minutes to read it that it takes.
  • Last Thursday on Nov. 21, 2015

    This was so unexpected a story and made me smile.
  • Zombie Apocalypse on Dec. 05, 2015

    This will probably appeal to those who have a background in Christianity and is a good way to connect to those considering returning to it. There is nothing of post-apocalyptic holocaust or rending of the flesh. Well-written, well-argued and, for me, an original take.
  • Town of the Dead on Dec. 06, 2015

    I found this story a little confusing, the landlord promises/threatens that Sarah can change her mind in the morning. I like morals through faery tales and the like, but somehow this one did not work. I think because the initial threat situation is not there and suspicions could not be formulated.
  • Till Death Do Us Part on Dec. 06, 2015

    A marriage of attrition escalated. I enjoyed this very quick read but think if it had been a little bit longer with perhaps a flashback to happier times then the denouement may have had more of a bitter sweet edge to it.
  • A Question of Culture on Dec. 06, 2015

    Please let there be a sequel. I rediscovered the joy I found when I first discovered the scifi books in my local library in the seventies of human trying to work out another race. The mysterious discovery bringing about a sweeping generalisation occurring over a lunchtime discussion was just brilliantly written.
  • Late Night Stroll on Dec. 26, 2015

    On the plus side, I wasn't expecting the story to go that way which I really enjoyed but on the negative, I found that subtle hints about his family and the scavengers were not followed through on and I would have liked a little more around this side of things (after the twist of course).
  • Timid Amelia on Dec. 26, 2015

    This was an interesting introduction to a new world and it makes me want to read more about Matilda who is clearly not all she seems, nor thinks she is.
  • The Abduction of Ebenezer Scrooge on Dec. 26, 2015

    This was an amazing revisiting of one of the best known Christmas stories; well-written and constructed. I really enjoyed it and although I would have liked a longer read, in fact it was the perfect length for the scenario.
  • Ice Cold Nights on Dec. 30, 2015

    I haven't read/played one of these for decades ... it was great fun and I enjoyed the fact that this was definitely written for adults. There are adult themes and language for those offended easily but nothing which concerned me and that I could not hear in the street and/or read in the papers.
  • Tayla's Day Out -A New Zealand Photo-Story for All Ages on Dec. 30, 2015

    This book intrigued me due to the photographs mentioned and whilst it is not the sort of book I would usually read, I found it well put together and I liked seeing what Tayla did in her trek up the mountain trail. I can see this would be a very appealing book to read with a child interested in the outdoors. Beautiful scenery too.
  • Mrs. Shepherds Dolls - A Christmas Story on Dec. 30, 2015

    A sentimental (not schmaltzy) story with characters being naughty and nice ... with a little Christmas magic. I have been reading a few seasonal tales and this one was definitely on the 'cozy' side but had enough 'badness' to bring a balance to the sweetness.
  • Tis the Season on Jan. 03, 2016

    A most unexpected tale but enjoyable nonetheless and the final line re the holiday made me smile.
  • Stan (Written Trailer) on Jan. 16, 2016

    I loved how well the story flowed and from the young girl's perspective too. Well-written with cliff-hangers but the best bit for me was the opening paragraphs which truly captured the feelings of watching the gifts under the tree imagining what was in them and the penultimate scene whereby Emily turns around Stan thus discovering the evidence of what might have happened. Looking forward to more about Stan
  • The Strange Music on Jan. 16, 2016

    I kept waiting for something to happen or a description of something that had happened but this wasn't that sort of a story. I enjoyed the writing style and found it had a real rhythm to it, but it felt like it needed a tiny bit more about the party or more at the end, not both probably as the sense of mystery around what is happening is part of the feel of the tale.
  • The Goblins on Jan. 16, 2016

    Taut story-telling which rolls on to the denouement which explains it all.
  • Phone on Jan. 23, 2016

    Very short but within this we got a good feel for the woman's personality; the ending is an unexpected twist that transforms the story.
  • LSD @ The Movies #3 I Am Legend Real Vs Reel on Feb. 05, 2016

    I was drawn to this is 'I am Legend' is one of my favourite novellas. I picked up a copy for 5 pence back in the early eighties and devoured it in one sitting. I think I probably saw the Charlton Heston movie around the same time. They felt like two very different animals and so for this reason I still have not seen the one with Will Smith. This was a very well written, opinionated, polemic at first and the descriptive narrative was easy to follow but whilst I saw the point in the perspective of the casting and the 'speed' of things in the film negating the watchfulness and spirit of enquiry in the book ... it is, I believe very true that the world is a different country now than in the past So, in conclusion, this book did what it set out to do. There are cohesive comparisons and differences drawn between the two versions of the story and, of course, a little diatribe is great as it shows passion, but for me, the end became a little too much ... then again, this really made me think which happens too rarely nowadays. Thank you for this experience.
  • Love Click - First Part on Feb. 06, 2016
    (no rating)
    I thought this might be quite fun to read in short spurts online between chores. I struggled with the English language from the first. I am British and almost every sentence in the story about the British girl had an error. This book may be as amusing as advertised but I am afraid I just could not struggle past the fifth page where I saw a man described as matured and all I could think of was cheese. The errors in the English seem typical to me of colleagues and friends who speak English as a second language. I have not given a rating as I think having a native speaker proof-reading this could improve it enormously and it is not fair to grade something that is not yet ready, especially as I could see there was something there ready to be expressed.
  • No Strings on Feb. 06, 2016

    Wow! I wasn't sure about this from the description as I could not imagine feeling this was scary. Josh Shiben uses flashbacks to great effect to slow down the forward rush of the current situation in the story. He plays with the narrator like nobody's business, giving enough of a glimmer of insight for those of us reading to grasp the full picture but refusing the hero the same. I am now scared for others.
  • The Apes Are Crazy on Feb. 06, 2016

    This is a story of discovery for the reader. There are no explanations, show and tell is the order of the day. I enjoyed the disconnected scenes which pulled together the more we 'saw' of the situation ... the end was unexpected for this genre and I revelled in it's nature.
  • Volenti Non Fit Injuria (To they who are willing, no wrong can be done) on Feb. 06, 2016

    Beautiful little gothic horror ... an orphaned girl in a large house in the dead of night.
  • Press Any Key To Destroy The Galaxy on March 13, 2016

    This is probably the first short scifi story I have read in years and I liked the fact we were introduced to a new universe, culture, ongoing war and creatures. I especially liked the fact a lot was left to the imagination and yet there were explanations that seemed scientific in the way of the great stories from last century. The twist at the end was stupendous and I had to read it twice to wring as much as I could out of it.
  • The Horror Approaches on March 13, 2016
    (no rating)
    I suspected that this would be a bit of a rant from the description and it is. It is also a little disjointed. However, much of what is written here is information I have read over the decades here in the UK. I liked the passion shown by C D Moulton, it reminds me how I felt in my teens when I first discovered the way things work but it might be a clearer message for others if this were divided into 'chapters' covering the various areas so it is easier to follow.
  • Starving America on March 13, 2016

    I was unsure what to expect of this story and have to admit to being a little confused re the parts in italics. The descriptions and insight into the main character were well written and enjoyable but the end came to soon for me as I was left feeling I had not understood, had not 'got' it.
  • Nobody's Home on March 13, 2016

    This short story begins in a last man on earth scenario and the twist is a good one I have not come across before.
  • "The Hibakusha" on March 13, 2016

    I really enjoyed this and the way scenes changed so quickly and we learned more about the world as it is and the heroine. However, the ending was a real disappointment to me as it did not seem to pull together either the wife or husband's story nor indeed the mysterious stranger who directs her to the tablets.
  • Salvage on March 13, 2016

    This is a scifi exodus tale and something has gone wrong with one of the arks. I really enjoyed the way in which relationships and the past living conditions were inferred so well without needing great exposition and how the end come on thick and fast. I am really disappointed there is no sequel yet as I have a feeling the Hunted will be another enjoyable read.
  • Front Land on March 13, 2016

    Great little story. I cannot say any more without giving anything away so just read it.
  • Limited Days: A Flash Fiction Story on March 13, 2016

    This tale starts very well but it becomes obvious how it will end a little soon. Perhaps a few flashbacks would increase the suspense?
  • Don't Eat Humans: A Dragon's Rulebook on Life on March 16, 2016

    I loved the idea of this book and read it with some enjoyment ... however, for me, it loses it's energy towards the end and also becomes less 'believable' especially in relation to the mind-reading aspect. Perhaps this could instead be something that develops in the next part of their life? Thus giving a fully understandable reason for the book?
  • INTER GALACTIC ANCIENT HINDU on March 16, 2016
    (no rating)
    I ws intrigued enough to ignore the ALL CAPS shouting in the description and found an interesting take on ancient writings. I was brought up firmly as CofE but my aunt and uncle both were very 'new age' in the seventies and so a number of these ideas were not new to me. However I think to those who have not had any earlier introduction it will be very difficult to read, although the links to YouTube etc should be helpful. I suggest you try to either break this down into a separate introduction or find one which you advise people to read first. I am not going to rate this as I do not believe it is fair to do that to an author writing of his belief system, but I will note that I had not heard of the sunken cities before and this was a wonder to me, however the more esoteric it became at the end, the more I found it difficult to continue reading. This is clearly because my belief system differs.
  • Hungry on March 26, 2016

    An interesting take on a side rarely written about. I felt it was either too long with the meeting after turning etc or too short, needing a bit more exposition. In that, after she turns, I felt there was going to be a bit more of what she saw and felt and tasted.
  • Zombie Dice on March 26, 2016

    I enjoyed this very short story, a perfect length to discover what was happening.
  • Taste So Good on March 26, 2016

    Very enjoyable, erotic, shocking horror tale that carries you fast to the end where we see the results of dinner.
  • We Found Your Name in the Star Registry—Do You Have a Moment? on March 26, 2016

    This story gave me a good giggle.
  • White Casket on March 26, 2016

    This tale had a good storyline but an editor or proof-reading would have made this more enjoyable for me.
  • The Last Survivor on May 07, 2016

    I really wasn't expecting the twist at the end! The story of our protagonist's struggle was quite nail-biting too.
  • Sorry Stacy No More Time on June 11, 2016

    For some reason, this tale took me back to the wonderful weird and scary tales in the Victorian era with charm, malice aforethought and mystery. It perfectly encapsulates a horror inherent in humanity, that of losing yourself.
  • Dinner For Two on Oct. 01, 2016

    Enjoyable descriptions painting a picture of an attempt to remain normal, if normal is visiting fine dining restaurants.