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TALES TO COUNT ON Kindle Edition
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Mallery is an extremly talented writer, her style lures the reader, you actually become a part of her tapestry of expression. She is diverse in all her undertakings demonstrating her gift of writing, all her books are worthy of perusal.
An absolute standout short story collection, the very first story will leave you stunned, clearly setting the pace for more to follow as you ease your way through the facetious authoresses maze of well crafted plots and captivating characters, worthy of high praise.
First let me say how much I love the title, which offers a dual meaning to me: First, you can have confidence in the work of S. R. Mallery. And second, the selection of stories here is based on an ascending word count. I have always believed that a story should have as many words as it takes to tell it. There is never a story ‘too short’ or ‘too long’ if it’s woven with skill. In fact, engaging the reader with flash fiction is a great art, similar to capturing the imagination with the essential strokes of a picture.
The word count connection allows you to pick a story for the amount of time you have to spend with it, yet it also offers the element of surprise. You never know where it’s going to take you—into a battered women's shelter, back to childhood memories, the intrigue of WWII spies, into the pages of history with the French Revolution.
Delve in and expect the unexpected!
My favorite of the stories was "Traffic Jam," with its telling snapshots of people's lives inside various vehicles during a traffic jam in which the highway is completely shut down for a time. These vignettes were not only interesting, but demonstrated insight and understanding into the way people think and behave. With a clear and engaging storytelling style, Ms. Mallery shows how quickly life can turn in unexpected directions.
Another stand-out story is "Him", an Historical Fiction Winner of the Golden Shorts competition. Even though the story's reveal of the title character came as no surprise to me (as I was once a cast member in a college production of a certain revolutionary and shocking musical play), the story was nevertheless very involving and suspenseful. I also thoroughly enjoyed the vignettes in the short story "Pillow Chat", which used important events in the lives of several couples to reveal much about their characters and society in general.
If you enjoy deftly-written stories that will stay with you even once you've closed the book, don't miss TALES TO COUNT ON.
I really appreciated how historical fiction was masterfully interweaved with the present time tales, which will certainly make this collection even more appealing to a wide audience of readers. The writing is sharp and clever, and the characters are complex and very well-developed, despite the fact that normally character development is very hard to show in a short story just because of its length, but Ms. Mallery met the task admirably. Beautiful work!