Saturday, April 1, 2017

Short Stories

There seems to be a lot of short stories popping up, like in the old days. As a kid, I always liked the short stories in The Reader's Digest. I didn't really hear about any for many years, but maybe I just missed something. I think they are great when, a) you are in between novels, b) only have may 30 minutes and want to read something, but you know if you go back to the current novel you are reading, you won't be able to put it down.

Here are few I read recently:

Tea Time With Mrs. Grammar Person by Barbara Ventkataraman.

"Fear not, Gentle Writer, Mrs. Grammar Person is here and she has the answers to all of the questions you never thought to ask. As a dedicated and serious grammarian, she will do what it takes to be entertaining and enlightening, but never vulgar or coarse. Heavens, no! Where are her smelling salts? Warm and witty, Mrs. G.P. makes grammar interesting with rhyming, wishful thinking, story-telling and a champagne toast. You are cordially invited to join her for a spot of tea!"

This is a whimsical look at grammar in the English language. As we all remember from "grammar" school, this topic is pretty dry and boring. This book is great, going over all kinds of problematic words and their proper usage, told like a story with fun examples, that might even help you remember the rules. It also includes funny (as in both peculiar and amusing) words such as lickety-split, brouhaha, gobbledydook etc. and their meaning, before Mrs. Grammar Person signs off for her dinner date with Mr. Syntax.

Cute cover, don't you think?

If You'd Just Listened To Me in the First Place also by Barbara Ventkataraman.


"Nagging just sounds so negative, and I am not a negative person. Truth is, I’m the kind of person you'd ask for directions if you were lost, or tell your life story to while waiting in line at the grocery store, which has happened on more than one occasion, believe me."  
Sure, Ella Boudreaux is great at nagging--in fact, she’s the best---but where has it gotten her?
Nowhere, that’s where.
She can’t hold onto a job and she can’t find her true calling, but she knows it’s out there. Could a handsome stranger help her find her destiny? Or maybe he was her destiny..."

Cute, fun short story about how Ella and Charlie meet, family and family business and how sometimes you have to go all the way around to get to the same place that you would have "If You'd Just Listened To Me in the First Place."

"Award-winning author, Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection.

She is the author of "Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person"; "The Fight for Magicallus," a children's fantasy; a humorous short story entitled, "If You'd Just Listened to Me in the First Place"; and two books of humorous essays: "I'm Not Talking about You, Of Course" and "A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities," which are part of the "Quirky Essays for Quirky People" series. Both books of humorous essays won the "Indie Book of the Day" award.

Her popular Jamie Quinn Mystery Series includes: "Death by Didgeridoo," "The Case of the Killer Divorce," "Peril in the Park,"  "Engaged in Danger"."

The fifth in the series is soon to be released:  "Jeopardy in July".

Check out Barbara's blog, A Trip to the Mobius Strip -

Dead as a Dodo by Lee Hayton (previously wrote as Katherine Hayton).

"This is the first outing in my new Birdman Series and is short, sharp, and succinct...that leads into a longer novel where the criminal underbelly may or may not triumph."

This very short story, is about Alvin Williams as he lays dying in a hospital, surrounded by his family and what he experiences. I am interested to see how this will tie into the first in the The Birdman Series, "Eating Crow."  I have read several of Katherine Hayton's novels, so I bet it will be good. It's on my TBR list.

Here is her blog:
For all the dark thrillers and mysteries she writes, she is actually pretty funny in her writings in her blog.

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