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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Short Story Reviews

The calendar reads "busy busy busy" and so I'll post reviews of short stories here. I have several Christmas stories lined up for my reading in the weeks ahead, and I'll ask your indulgence now in anticipating many holiday reviews  here. For today, I have one short story by Andrew Kaufman, and then a book of two Christmas stories by L.K. Campbell.

Desolation Road   Andrew Kaufman

This short story by Andrew Kaufman moves as swiftly as the errant vehicle approaching the other on the deteriorating, twisting road. In just a moment the driver's life is changed; spared injury himself, he is horrified to see the other car spin out of control and over an embankment, landing far below.  Can he help the occupants? Is it too late? Or will he leave the scene, untouched, but scarred in memory?  

Kaufman does not disappoint: his on-the-edge story telling has an echo of Hitchcock's style in Desolation Road.

Christmas Wishes (Lead Me Home and In the Nick of Time)   L.K. Campbell

Lead Me Home:
A young wife whose husband was killed in Iraq returned to her home to help her parents run their publishing house. But when she encounters her high school sweetheart, she is surprised by the flood of emotion she experiences after their decade apart. The first love begun as teenagers quickly rekindles, but is at risk of being snuffed out by a guilt carried in secrecy and wrongly attributed.  This short story introduces four major characters who come alive through the dialogue written by L.K. Campbell, and has the potential of becoming a full-fledged novel.

In the Nick of Time:
L.K. Campbell’s second short story involves a pair of consenting adults who have a comfortable relationship until doubts begin to surface. She loves him, but is not sure that he loves her. The broken engagement in his past hovers like a cloud over their relationship, and when his former fiancé reappears, it seems that the relationship might end. But no, not before Christmas! This is a sweet romance that invites an audience's reading just before bedtime. I found it had just the right touch of sentiment and holiday. 

And just a note here: LK Campbell authors her own books, but also helps other self-publishing authors find their way through the Smashwords grinder and turns  digital books into the multiple formats available on Smashwords. You will find her name on the page called "Mark's List" of writers amenable to this task, available by email through Smashwords' help page. Campbell has helped me with both of my books now listed there for Kindle, Nook, Sony and more. I highly recommend her skills, and appreciate her assistance.

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