Tag Archives: short stories

THREE 4 Star Reviews for The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz #FF #Ace @MeredithAKatz

CoverTitle: The Cybernetic Tea Shop
Author Name & Publisher: Meredith Katz (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: March 16, 2016

Synopsis

Clara Gutierrez is a highly-skilled technician specializing in the popular ‘Raise’ AI companions. Her childhood in a migrant worker family has left her uncomfortable with lingering in any one place, so she sticks around just long enough to replenish her funds before she moves on, her only constant companion Joanie, a fierce, energetic Raise hummingbird.

Sal is a fully autonomous robot, the creation of which was declared illegal ages earlier due to ethical concerns. She is older than the law, however, at best out of place in society and at worst hated. Her old master is long dead, but she continues to run the tea shop her master had owned, lost in memories of the past, slowly breaking down, and aiming to fulfill her master’s dream for the shop.

When Clara stops by Sal’s shop for lunch, she doesn’t expect to find a real robot there, let alone one who might need her help. But as they begin to spend time together and learn more about each other, they both start to wrestle with the concept of moving on…

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Review

FourStars

This was a quick read and a sweet romance. I wasn’t expecting it to be as focused on the romance as it was, honestly, and I’m not sure why. Thecybernetic aspect was absolutely fascinating to me, and I wish the piece had focused a bit more on that and bit less on the romance going on. Don’t get me wrong, this is an asexual story. It took a bit for that to come around, and I kept waiting for it.

This piece was slow moving, especially in the beginning. I actually feel as though the first chunk of it (before Clara moves) could be eliminated from the story and we wouldn’t lose anything from the plot at all. That’s what made it incredibly slow for me. Once the two characters meet, the piece picks up and moves along at a great pace.

~AJ

FourStars

A very unique book full of humour and banter, complete with quirky idiosyncratic characters. I really enjoyed it.
It was a distinctive take on how caring for others can change your  whole outlook on life as well as changing you as a person. Using non humans morphed with humans added extra depth and appeal to this novel. The best and worst of humanity were touched. The power of love and acceptance also shone through.
Personally I could have enjoyed hearing further specifics about the trio and their relationships with one another. A great and imaginative novel that was  over all to quickly.
Chris
FourStars

I found this a fascinating read. I’m always interested in the ethics of artificial intelligence; how we treat artificial beings who are sentient, and sapient according to this book, legally and socially. Here are two people who are outsiders, one by choice and one by design. Clara is a wanderer, leaving behind people and things as she moves from place to place. Sal is a robot, one of the last AIs in the world, and her appearance makes it clear what she is and sets her apart. When the two meet, the connection forms and deeply quickly. The two believe that their time is limited; Clara will move on, and Sal is anchored to her deceased owner’s tea shop. Events happen that will make both of them rethink what they believe about themselves.

It’s interesting that it’s something so fundamental that sets Sal free, so basic to who she is. And Clara finds that maybe she doesn’t have to leave everything behind. This was my first asexual book, and it makes total sense in this read. I’m not sure I fully understand it; I have questions that I have no idea how to even articulate. But my under-educated sensibilities have never impinged upon my open-mindedness and desire to learn. This was a great short read, and I have no problem recommending it to those who like sci-fi, and AI and robots as well.

Amy P.

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5 stars for Spirit (Gothika #4) by Jamie Fessenden, Kim Felding, Eli Easton, B. G. Thomas #MM #paranormal #Ghosts @Dreamspinners

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Title: Spirit (Gothika #4)
Author Name & Publisher: Eli Easton, Jamie Fessenden, Kim Felding, & B. G. Thomas — Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date & Length: October 19, 2015 — 260 pages

Synopsis

Seeing dead people. Haunting and being haunted. Ghosts and those trying to deal with them add a supernatural flair to these four tales of romance.

In Among the Dead, Neil Gaven sees dead people. A gentle ghost guides him to Trist, who needs his help. But Trist is tormented by spirits, so maybe together they can find a way to live among the dead.

Dei Ex Machina is the story of Sabbio, a Roman slave who was killed 1700 years ago. He’s been alone until he meets landscaper Mason. But because they’re separated by centuries, it will take a miracle to make love work.

The Mill brings a supernatural challenge to Frank Carter and his team of paranormal investigators. The owner’s personal psychic, Toby Reese, is supposed to help. Frank doesn’t have much respect for psychics, but when the dangers of the old mill threaten his team, he realizes he and Toby will have to work together to survive.

Mike Ellsworth finds himself suddenly deceased. Now he’s a ghost with lots left undone in Unfinished Business. He’s never been able to be honest with his wife. He’s never been able to tell the man he loves how he feels. He’s barely been able to admit he’s gay. If only there were a way he could make up for all he’s failed to do….

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Review

FiveStars

The Mill by Jamie Fessenden~ Rating: 5 Stars
So I made the mistake of reading this after dark, alone and now I am seriously freaked out lol. This story was so scary at the same time so sad when you find out what really happened to these poor souls. I loved Frank and Toby together. You get your scary ghosts that go bump in the night in this story. You also meet different characters like Frank’s brother and the rest of his team plus a few other characters. So I will leave this review with I loved this story.

Dei ex Machina by Kim Fielding` Rating: 5 Stars
I thought this story was so beautiful but at the same time so painful for everything Mason and Sabbio had to go through. Mason lost someone he loved not almost a year ago when he goes on a trip with his brother and their friends. Well when he is there he meets a older lady who offers to help him say goodbye to his past love. But he ends up sensing Sabbio instead. Poor Sabbio who was a slave and died so young has fallen for Mason but knows their is no way for them to be together. Until he finds two someone’s who are willing to help. I don’t want to give anymore away. So I will leave this review of this story with this story was equal parts beautiful and painful and I loved this story!

Among the Dead by Eli Easton ~ Rating: 5 Stars
Wow talk about a twist I did not see coming at all… This story was so good! Neil was in a accident when he was hit in the head he received a concussion that was when he starts seeing dead people. He sees Edward who was also a medium when he died but he can not communicate with him. Eventually Edwards finds a way to let Neil know that a man named Trist needs his help. So Neil helps him but what happens after that I did not see coming at all! This story was just wow I have no words for how much I loved this story.

Unfinished Business by B.G. Thomas ~ Rating: 4 Stars
So I want to start this review by saying there was something in this story that is one of my no’s I just don’t like reading stories with this in it because once I find out that was going on it always brings the story down for me. So the way it was told in this story and to know it was going on while the other person just yea I cant even say without spoiling this story but I thought the author handled it perfectly.. So Mike was texting while driving which is a huge no no and was hit running a red light. Well he was ghost who could see the people he left behind and other ghosts who were dead. He helped the ghosts move on and tried to talk the ones he left behind through a detective who could hear him. The ending I thought was perfect and once I understood were the author was going with this story and the way the author handled everything that happened even though at first I almost stopped reading because of what I mentioned before I am glad I kept reading because I ended up really liking this story.

All together I thought this stories were perfect for Halloween and I loved these stories!
I would definitely recommend this book!

~Kara

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5 stars for Down on the Other Street (Volume 1) by Jennifer Cie @JenniferCie1 #Bisexual #Shortstories #anthology

Down on the other Street 1

Title: Down On The Other Street (Volume One)
Author Name: Jennifer Cie
Publication Date & Length: July 29, 2014 – 134 pgs

Synopsis

Long winded, unemployed, and timid, on the first date Brendan Bloom is already in love. Comfortably arched over his body, Ryan contemplates murder. Cold, necklace gleaming against the pale tint of her collarbone, the passenger could have mercy. Not a little black book, but a faded love letter out from under the sheets. Some romances ignite on sight, others flare at the base of waterless tubs soaked in agitation. Rooted in the South, this collection of short stories delivers five electric confessions of love, sexuality, and identity across time.

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Review

FiveStars

I was hooked immediately from the first story in this collection. Most are written in a somewhat unusual style, first person but directed at a particular individual who is referred to in the second person. It created an intimate, personal feel to the tales.

Sometimes, I felt like the author was writing my own story; sometimes it was wildly different. These are the words I wish I’d been reading when I was young and needed to find other people with my feelings. I connected at a deep level with the characters.

My favorite story, for my own personal reasons, was the first one. However, I loved them all for the variety and intensity.

~Amy

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AuthorBio

Scars dripping over broken skin and whispers silenced, there can be no point of return. Wrapped in the ripples of warm waters, staring down at unkempt mountains, Stefanie can feel the thrum of the old world’s song. The first conversation, stained into ceramic cups and shadows in the night, gave birth to the last confession. Before metal bars clanged shut or chanting grew quiet, there was the woman with the violet smile. Somewhere in the gaggle of exposed bodies, worn cassettes and children’s fairy tales, he is waiting for the red coat. Woven together through trials of sexuality, political dissonance, and self-discovery, this heady collection of six short stories examines who we become after finding love.

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Filed under 5 Star, Amy, Bisexual, Review, Uncategorized