Lyn Perry runs Tule Fog Press, an indie publisher offering stories in various genres, including mystery, thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and more. Recent titles include T.M. Hunter's anthology of space opera stories, "Dead or Alive - An Aston West Collection" and Stoney M. Setzer's Twilight Zone-like anthology, "Zero Hour - Stories of Spiritual Suspense."
The Castle of Endless Woe
on Nov. 20, 2011
This is a solid novelette set in the same world as the author's epic fantasy trilogies known collectively as The Ursian Chronicles. The setting of this story is vivid and the pacing is steady, and like a novel it takes awhile to warm to the plot. But by a third of the way in I was hooked. Johnston is a deliberate writer, choosing words and images with care. His characters are soundly developed with just enough ambiguity to keep you guessing as to their drives and motives.
As for the suspense, it definitely simmers but doesn't quite boil over, in my opinion, and ultimately the mystery surrounding the Castle of Endless Woe isn't fully explained. Not all loose ends need to be tied up, but I was expecting a bit more revelation as to the evil residing in the haunted manor. However, if you enjoy storylines with an episodic feel to them, this long short story will provide some engaging entertainment while leaving you wanting more.
(Note: I downloaded a free promotional version of this story. It's now 99 cents, which is not a bad deal for an afternoon of reading pleasure.)
Sixpence and Rye and a Snake in a Pie: A Fractured Nursery Rhyme
on June 14, 2013
Writer Jeff Chapman's fractured fairy tales and nursery rhymes might just be his current hallmark. At least when I read his work I've come to expect an always surprising, always interesting take on the age-old themes and tropes we loved as children and are now revisiting as adults (think television's 'Grimm' but more literary). So in this, 'Sixpence' doesn't disappoint. Chapman's short tale is a solid example of his fluid voice, confident style, and moral compass. The lessons learned, as in any classic children's tale, are not just for children nor are they simplistic. In fact, with a surprising ending, this story can prompt enjoyment as well as self-reflection. That's my kind of storytelling.
With this free ebook Chapman is also at the forefront of a trend by writers to release 'permafree' works online via various e-retailers (at least currently, there is no cost) in order for readers to sample one's writing style and storytelling before they invest in a longer work. So if you liked this story (try it without risk! and works for a quick lunch break), you'd likely enjoy his collection of similarly envisioned stories, "Tales of Woe and Wonder."