Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories by Stephen Bentley, Greg Alldredge, Kelly Artieri, L. Lee Kane, Michael Spinelli, Robbie Cheadle, Kay Castaneda, Justin Bauer, Aly Locatelli @StephenBentley8 @Shalini_G26

Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories by [Bentley, Stephen, Alldredge, Greg, Artieri, Kelly, Kane, L. Lee, Spinelli, Michael, Cheadle, Robbie, Castaneda, Kay, Bauer, Justin, Locatelli, Aly]

4 Stars

Publisher: Hendry Publishing

Date of publication: July 7th, 2019

Genre: horror, anthology

Where you can find Death Among Us: Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Who knew death could be so eclectic? Relish this mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up of short stories.

The stories include the 2019 SIA Award-Winning Murder Mystery Short Story ‘The Rose Slayer.’

Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think.

Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetizers or starters, hors d’oeuvre, meze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze – in its own right.

These stories come from an international cast of authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles.

But one thing binds them together: they know how to tell a story.

There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, scifi, histfic, LA, England, The Great Lakes, Las Vegas, the Nevada desert and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.

The ten authors who have contributed to the anthology are:

Stephen Bentley
Greg Alldredge
Kelly Artieri
Robbie Cheadle
Michael Spinelli
L. Lee Kane
Kay Castaneda
Aly Locatelli
Justin Bauer
& ‘G’ Posthumously

Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lies behind them.By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up.

Get it now.


First Line (from The Rose Slayer by Stephen Bentley):

Six murders.

Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories by various authors

My Review:

I usually do not review anthologies. I find it hard to review a book that is made up of short stories. But I like reading them. Whenever I get the request to review an anthology, I have an internal tug of war. 9 out of 10 times, I decline. But in this case, because I like murder mysteries, I accepted. I am glad that I did because this book had some fantastic stories.

I thought it was appropriate that I read Death Among Us a couple of nights before Halloween. I was enthralled with the stories. I loved that I got a thrill when reading them.

Usually, in my other reviews, I give details on what I liked about the plotlines and the characters. But because this is an anthology, I can’t do that. But I will do something a little different. I will give you what I liked about each group of stories.

The Rose Slayer, Eleanor Rigby, Diva:

I enjoy reading these short stories. What I loved is that they were interconnected. I didn’t get that at first. It took me rereading the end of The Rose Slayer and the beginning of Eleanor Rigby to understand that. I loved it!!!

Hello World, Goodbye World:

AI has always freaked me out. Reading these two books got me even more freaked out about them. They were well written, and the author was able to suck me into the stories.

First Comes Lightning, Bad Bones, Red Solo Cup,,That’s What Best Friends Do:

I didn’t like these stories as much as the first five stories. But they were still good. Again, the author was able to interconnect each story. The connections were subtle, but they were there.

Justice is Never Served, An Eye For an Eye, The Murder of the Monk:

This group of stories all takes place in England. What I enjoyed about these is that they were based on actual events. The author, who is new to horror, was able to take these events and add her spin to them. Again, there was a subtle connection with the three stories, which I enjoyed.

No Man’s Land and Monitaur:

These were different stories by the same author. The first story, No Man’s Land, creeped me out. I got the chills reading it. Monitaur, though, terrified me. Mainly because I have had run-ins with a baby monitor making weird noises.

A Deadly Lady and Stop Me If You Can:

Another set of stories that chilled me. I agreed with the main character in this set of stories. Men who beat their wives/girlfriends and men (and women) who traffic people need to be taken care of. What gave me chills was how she did it and what the cop said at the end of the last story.

Something About the Gift of Beauty, Unknown, The Thoughts of Emily Morales in Old Age:

These were interesting stories. I liked that the three stories centered around one main character at different stages of her life.

The Neighbors:

I liked this story. The characters were relatable (even if one of them was unlikable). What happened was interesting.

Sales Meeting, Canceled:

I liked these stories. Talk about getting payback…lol. All I could think after I read the stories was that they deserved it.

White Rose of Rapture and Next:

Both were well-written books. The first story did freak me out. I have a fear of dentists, and well, this story didn’t do anything to erase my fear. The second story amused me (as weird as that sounds). The last line made me giggle.


I would give Death Among Us an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Death Among Us. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

WWW Wednesday: October 30th, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

The Brutal Time Special Edition (Angelbound Origins Book 6) by [Bauer, Christina]

“This author’s words were spellbinding, I was in absolute bliss. This book produced a fiery blaze that was pure Myla!” – Book Reviews by Shalini

As the Great Scala, Myla Lewis is the only being who can move Purgatory’s souls to Heaven or Hell. It’s a big job. Too bad Myla goes through assistants faster than a hot knife through brownies. Not that it bothers her much; Myla’s always been a solo fighter.

Then comes the problem of the fading angels. Millions of Heavenly residents are dying. According to a prophecy, the only way Myla can save them is by traveling back in time, meeting King Arthur, and creating her own knights of the round table. The catch? Doing so might end the after-realms in a bloody demonpocalypse.

Yipes.

Myla and her main squeeze, Lincoln, aren’t afraid of taking a few chances (in between kisses). But this time the stakes may be too high, even for them. And the biggest challenge of all? Finding those knights.

Because Myla Lewis doesn’t play well with others. At all.

“These books don’t just capture your attention, they straight up demand it. Christina Bauer has created a fascinating and unique world that you do not want to miss out on.” – Bookhalolic Brittany

I am loving this book. From the plotline to the characters, I can’t get enough of it!!

The Brutal Time is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review on November 1st (blog tour).


I recently finished reading:

Death Among Us: An Anthology of Murder Mystery Short Stories by [Bentley, Stephen, Alldredge, Greg, Artieri, Kelly, Kane, L. Lee, Spinelli, Michael, Cheadle, Robbie, Castaneda, Kay, Bauer, Justin, Locatelli, Aly]

Who knew death could be so eclectic? Relish this mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up of short stories.

The stories include the 2019 SIA Award-Winning Murder Mystery Short Story ‘The Rose Slayer.’

Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think.

Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetizers or starters, hors d’oeuvre, meze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze – in its own right.

These stories come from an international cast of authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles.

But one thing binds them together: they know how to tell a story.

There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, scifi, histfic, LA, England, The Great Lakes, Las Vegas, the Nevada desert and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.

The ten authors who have contributed to the anthology are:

Stephen Bentley
Greg Alldredge
Kelly Artieri
Robbie Cheadle
Michael Spinelli
L. Lee Kane
Kay Castaneda
Aly Locatelli
Justin Bauer
& ‘G’ Posthumously

Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lies behind them.By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up.

Get it now.

I normally don’t read anthologies. I find them hard to review. But I enjoyed this one!! This is the perfect book for Halloween!!

Death Among Us is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review tomorrow (blog tour)


What books I think I’ll read next:

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by [Butland, Stephanie]

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.
She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that – just in time – saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . .

Her relationship with her mother is at breaking point.
She knows she needs to find her father.
She’s missed so much that her friends have left her behind.
She’s felt so helpless for so long that she’s let polls on her blog make her decisions for her. And now she barely knows where to start on her own.

And then there’s Lennox. Her best friend and one time lover. He was sick too. He didn’t make it. And now she’s supposed to face all of this without him.

But her new heart is a bold heart.

She just needs to learn to listen to it . . .

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore (A Twisted Fairy Tale: A Young Adult Fantasy) by [Märgen, Birgitte]

“We all need someplace to escape, and sometimes the mind is just as good of a place as any.”

A trailer park Alice. A hole that traps souls. The white rabbit’s a tricky hare. And the world is upside down. This fairy tale just got twisty . . .

Rule One: Don’t eat or drink.
Rule Two: Never, ever tell anyone your name.
If ya do – your soul will be lost there forever.

How do I know? I been there myself. This is my story.

There was a full moon brimmin’ that night, and that meant strange things could happen. As I walked through the woods, I reckon I shoulda known by the way my hair stood up on end like Uncle Red’s toupee —that I shoulda coulda stayed home. I call it the willies, but grandpappy calls it premonition. One thing I can tell ya as a girl from the wrong side of the tracks: If you’re fix’n to wander way over yonder —it’s important to know the right direction.

What direction ya ask? Well, ya have to read the story to find that one out.

* * *

AFTER FALLING INTO a dark hole when she was running through the forest, Evie finds herself trapped in a strange new world that mirrors our own. Her only guide is a compass stick given to her by an angry gnome who lives in an ancient knobby tree. As she travels through the lands of this upside-down world she happens upon creatures that are twisted versions of fairytale folklore. A place where fairies bite, unicorns charge, mermaids are menacing, and nightmares are more than dreams. A world where the souls of those who could not follow the unspoken rules are trapped forever.

As a southern girl born on the wrong side of the tracks, Evie relies on the wisdom passed down by her grandpappy and the haunting memories of her mama to teach her perseverance of the soul. She learns that things are rarely what they seem as her world is turned upside down.

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter

This is the incredible tale of Operation Fifth Column, a Second World War MI5 operation so secret that its existence was only revealed by the National Archives for the first time in 2014.

It’s the true story behind Kate Atkinson’s “Transcription” and Anthony Quinn’s “Our Friends In Berlin”.

Throughout the war, “Jack King” – in reality, a bank clerk named Eric Roberts – pretended to be a Gestapo agent to whom hundreds of British-based Nazi sympathisers and informers passed their secrets, thinking that he was sending them back to Germany. Many were put on a salary by what they thought was the Third Reich and some were even ‘awarded’ Iron Crosses for their services to the Fatherland; they never found out the truth.

Among the secrets they tried to pass were: a tip-off about Bletchley Park; details of the deadly Mosquito bomber; complete plans of a highly effective anti-radar technology codenamed WINDOW. The larger-than-life characters who populate the book include Roberts himself, the deceptively ordinary-seeming bank clerk; Maxwell Knight, who recruited Roberts; Victor Third Baron Rothschild, Roberts’ spymaster, who did a sideline in bomb disposal using his Cartier screwdrivers; Theresa Clay, the distinguished biologist who co-ran the operation with Rothschild, but because she was a woman was only ever classified as an ‘assistant’; Marita Perigoe, possibly the most dangerous of the fascists, who despite having her suspicions about Roberts, continued to recruit spies for him and pass him secrets to the end of the war.

Win Big: A Wynn Hockey Novel by [Jamieson, Kelly]

When your name is Wynn, victory’s the only option…

Everly Wynn: As the only daughter in the Wynn family of hockey heroes, I never shared the ice with my brothers—or the approval they got from my father.
And that was before the scandal that ruined my life at sixteen.
Now that I’ve put all that behind me and built a successful career, the last thing I need is another hockey player in my life.
Especially one like Wyatt Bell.
He’s an arrogant, fast-living party boy. I hate how he gets by on his good looks and charm.
So why can’t I get him out of my mind?

Wyatt Bell: Life is short, and you’ve got to live it to the fullest. I learned that the hard way.
So on the ice, I always play to win, and on the town, fun and flirting are my game.
Because it’s better to laugh your way through the pain than to let them see you’re hurting—but I’ll never stop wishing I could find someone to share the real me with.
Something about Everly Wynn makes me think she could be the one.
But all she sees is a hockey jock hooked on good times.
If she didn’t take herself so seriously, maybe she would take a chance on being happy.

A Cowboy Like You (Heart of Texas Book 4) by [Grant, Donna]

In the Heart of Texas, a heartthrob cowboy may get his second chance at love…

Danny Oldman, the handsome Lone Star sheriff, is still single. He tells himself, and anyone who asks, that he is married to his job―and what matters most is keeping the people of his beloved Texas hometown safe. The truth? Danny still hasn’t gotten over his high school crush. She moved away after graduation and took Danny’s heart with her.

Skylar Long never thought she would have to flee Houston and return home―where it all began for her. But that’s what happened after the man of her dreams turned out to be an actual nightmare. Now, Skylar is desperate to escape her obsessive boyfriend. Nothing shocks her more than seeing Danny again and realizing that their long-ago attraction is more powerful than ever. But can she and Danny find a way to fight against Skylar’s wealthy, powerful ex who is dead set on tearing them apart?

Weekend Fling: A Crazy Love Novel by [Lynn, Stacey]

Fresh out of a long-term relationship, Willow Parks is working two jobs and caring for her mother, whose husband left her with nothing but a pile of bills. That’s why Willow made a vow: no men until she figures out her own life.

But while she may not need a man, she could use a break. And a weekend away at a California beach to clear her head? That’s appealing. Even if the offer comes from Trey Collins, the irresistible tech-mogul millionaire who visits her coffee shop every morning like clockwork—and needs a date for his best friend’s wedding. With an adorable, occasional stutter, he refuses to take no for an answer.

Once the weekend begins, Trey is intent on proving how good they can be together. Willow’s even feeling tempted to break her vow—until reality rudely interrupts her well-deserved getaway. There’s no way she and Trey have a future, not with the colossal amount of baggage Willow has to offer.

But Trey is used to getting what he wants. He just has his work cut out for him convincing her that they want the same thing.

Into the Inferno: Book #6 (The Legend Series) by [Stewart, Kylie]

To understand means to accept one’s own mistakes.

Alexandria is trapped in Hell’s Inferno. Can she accept Guinevere’s past and face Arthur’s sins while they are played out before her very eyes? In accepting her past, she will endure the devastation, betrayal, and passion stamped in time over thousands of years.To wander into Hell as a guest is to accept mortality.

Avalon is fated to fight his way through the nine levels of The Inferno. Every step is agony, and every level a trial, reminding him of his gravest mistakes. Will his self-loathing consume him and take those standing by his side? Or will they band together to save the queen and woman they love?Everyone’s demons will have to be faced. Old wounds will be torn open and bleed anew. Will faith and love be enough?

Dead Girls Don’t Love by Sarah Hans

Dead Girls Don't Love

4 Stars

Publisher: Dragon’s Roost Press

Date of publication: May 28th, 2018

Genre: Horror

Where you can find Dead Girls Don’t Love: Amazon | Barnes, and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads): 

Do you enjoy creepy stories about people who don’t quite fit in? Dead Girls Don’t Love is a collection of poignant tales for the outsider in all of us. For a domestic violence victim, there is no life after death–but could there be revenge? Can a woman returning to her life after 40 years with the fae remember how to be human? When two Buddhist monks travel to China to spread the dharma, will they survive the unspeakable horror they find instead? What really happened when the Big Bad Wolf ate the lonely grandmother living in the woods? Will the love between two zombified women help them break the spell that binds them in eternal servitude? And, perhaps most importantly, can an Elder God find true love? These and many more fascinating questions will be answered on the pages within if you dare to read them. But be warned: the strange and horrifying realities contained in Dead Girls Don’t Love may haunt you long after you close the back cover.

My review:

While I like to read anthologies, I don’t review them. I find them hard to review because they are short stories. But, when the author approached me with a request to review Dead Girls Don’t Love, I had to review it. Because of the blurb. The blurb made me want to read this book and share it with everyone. The other reason why I accepted is that I like sharing books by indie authors. They should be showcased on blogs as much as the mainstream authors. All it takes is one person to give that author a chance.

I am glad that I decided to read Dead Girls Don’t Love. The range of the stories in this book was amazing. There was a bit of everything. You want a story about the Fae? You got it. You want a story about what happened after the grandmother was eaten by The Big Bad Wolf? You got it. You want a zombie love story (which was my favorite story)? You got it.

I am not going to get into each individual story in this book. If I did that than this review would be super long and you would lose interest after the first blurb. Like I mentioned above, these stories are varied. There is a connecting thread of horror in each of them. In some stories, it takes a bit longer for the horror element to show up but it is worth the read.

There was also a small romance theme that ran through a few of the stories. The tree, the Elder God, and the zombie women were the three main ones that I remember. What I enjoyed, even more than the romance was that the author had two of those romances be LGBTQIA themed. Rarely I read a horror book where one or both of the characters in the story are gay or lesbian. It was refreshing and I loved it!!

The horror angle in each of these stories was different. Some were in your face (the Fae) and others were subtle (the story of the monks on the ship). But they all got you in the end. The one that freaked me out the most was the one with the wandering monks. I got chills reading that story. Even more so because one of the monk’s questions about his past wasn’t answered. I was left wondering about him.

To wrap up this review, go pick up this book. It is 230 pages but it is a fast read. It is wonderfully written and I was creeped out by some of the stories.

I will not be doing a like/dislike section for this book.

I gave Dead Girls Don’t Love a 4-star review. I enjoyed reading this book. The stories were chilling to read.

I gave Dead Girls Don’t Love an Adult rating. There is sex. There is violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Dead Girls Don’t Love. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Dead Girl’s Don’t Love.

All opinions stated in this review of Dead Girl’s Don’t Love are mine.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Strange Circumstances by Marshall J Stephens, Weston Kincaide, David Chrisley

Strange Circumstances

4 Stars

Publisher: Kincaide Publishing

Date of publication: January 29th, 2012

Genre: Fantasy

Where you can find Strange Circumstances: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The future’s a gamble. Few people know what they really want, and those that reach it often find that it isn’t what they expected. Strange Circumstances is an anthology of stories exploring the predictability of fate and destiny… or rather their unpredictability. In the twelve twisted tales and fifteen flash-fiction pieces, Strange Circumstances explores the boundaries of our universe to see what lurks in the unknown, hidden within the mysteries of science, magic, extraterrestrials, religion and the paranormal. Amid celebrities who hit their peak and vanish, a tree that grows up from the floor of a moving train car, unspeakable conspiracy, monstrous espionage, and wicked sorcery, there is something within these pages for anyone who enjoys dark tales and twists of every sort.

My review:

I normally don’t review anthologies. I feel that it isn’t fair to the authors when I can’t do an in-depth review of their stories. So I stopped reviewing them. I didn’t stop reading them because, personally, I love them. I love the different writing styles displayed by different authors. When Weston asked me to review Strange Circumstances, I accepted. I have enjoyed reading this other books and figured that this one would be the same for me. Which it was.

I am going to keep this review short and sweet. This was a great book. The short stories were intriguing and in some cases, scary. The flash fiction at the end of the book was something I have never read before. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like them but they were great. Just a snippet of a story. Enough to get my imagination going. Loved it!!!

I am not going to do a What I Liked/What I Disliked about Strange Circumstances.

I gave Strange Circumstances a 4-star rating. The short stories were well written. The flash fiction was something new and I l enjoyed reading them.

I would give Strange Circumstances an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is some mild language. There is some mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Strange Circumstances. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Weston Kincaide for allowing me to read and review Strange Circumstances.

All opinions stated in this review of Strange Circumstances are mine.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**