Review: ‘The Bumpkinton Tales: Volume 1’ by Matthew Drzymala

Genre: Short Story Collection
Length: 300 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this collection 5 stars.

Synopsis: Welcome to Bumpkinton! Come in, have a cup of tea and a scone, and lose yourself in five humorous tales from the village. Follow Father Whitworth O’Grady as he chokes on a penny, Albert Scatterhorn as he becomes the grubbiest Father Christmas ever, and Amelia Goose as she feuds with… well, anybody. Plus a whole host of characters as they attend the village’s first Singles Night with a sex-crazed ladies’ man. Jump in and find out more for yourself…

Review: I just love this collection! I read ‘Bittersweet’ by Drzymala a little while ago (also included in this collection) and fell in love with the charming characters. When I saw this being discussed on the authors Facebook page, I knew I had to read it!

I was not disappointed. This collection reads exactly as ‘Bittersweet’ did. It has the same charm about it and the same characters that I’ve grown to love, even if they are strange!

Growing up in a small village, I am fully aware of the fact that everyone knows everyone and nothing is a secret! I felt that Drzymala portrayed this very effectively.

★★★★★ – A great read about the charms of living in a place where everyone knows everyone (and everything!). Thoroughly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK
Amazon US


Review: ‘Bittersweet’ by Matthew Drzymala

Genre: Humour / Satire
Length: 59 pages (approx.)

This is the first instalment in the Bumpkinton Tales series.

I have awarded this short story 5 stars.

Summary: When Venetia was a little girl, her grandpa would regale her with magical tales of the shop he used to own in the mysterious village of Bumpkinton. But when he died, the tales died with him. Thirty years later, Venetia and her husband chance upon an old photograph in the attic. It ignites a spark within Venetia, and she resolves to buy the shop.

Review: This story was absolutely delightful. From the very beginning I felt drawn into the story by the authors warm and inviting writing style. The events were funny and the village and its inhabitants were quirky. I just enjoyed every second of reading this. I loved the fact that the author kept what Venetia and her husband were going to do with the shop a secret and I couldn’t wait to find out the answer! Absolutely charming and I will definitely be reading the others very soon!

★★★★★ – an absolutely delightful short story that’s funny and quirky. I loved every second of reading this! Very highly recommended! 

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)


Review: ‘The Lift’ by Andrew Barrett

Length: 24 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this short story 5 stars.

This short story is part of the Eddie Collins series.

Summary: CSI Eddie Collins knew that today would be a bad day, and he was right. He didn’t, however, foresee that he would be trapped in a lift with two people, which shows him that you should never make assumptions, never let preconceptions sway your judgement, and never let your guard down.

Review: This is my first encounter with the Eddie Collins series, but I will definitely be reading more. I really enjoyed this fast paced short story! The attitude of Eddie was great and I loved the elements of humour injected into the story. I also really liked the fact that it was written in such a way that I felt that I was trapped in the lift with them. While it was a quick read, it was definitely enjoyable.

I had trouble giving this short story a star rating. On the one hand, it is superbly written and very interesting, making me want to give it 5 stars. However, on the other hand, while I appreciate that this is a short story, I wanted to know more about the characters and this made me feel it deserved 4 stars as it did impact a little bit on my overall enjoyment. Plus, it’s difficult to rate a story that is 24 pages long. In the end, I decided that this story was interesting and I really enjoyed the elements of humour, meaning that the story deserved the 5 star rating.

★★★★★ – an interesting and fast paced short story with elements of humour thrown in. It felt like I was trapped in the lift with them. Very highly recommended!!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)


Review: ‘When Darkness Fell’ by Carrigan Richards

Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Length: 70 pages (approx.)


I have awarded this short story 4 Stars.

Summary: In the aftermath of another battle, Savina is desperate for ways to end the war against the dark Enchanters. She turns to her archaic journal that tells the story of how the war started in hopes of giving her clues. In the journal, Savina and her half-brother Colden live in a small Scottish village in the mid-1600s, keeping their identities as Enchanters a secret. But when a strange plague threatens the town, Savina and Colden must kill the source before the entire town is annihilated. The problem is, the source is their father.

Review: Having enjoyed the first two books in the Elemental Enchanters series, I was interested to start this as it promised more information about Savina’s background. It was nice to get to know her a little better because she is quite a closed off characters in the first two books. It was also interesting to hear about Savina’s coven.

★ ★ ★ ★- A nice addition to the series, providing more information about Savina’s background.

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)


Review: ‘Maureen Gets Crafty’ by Jonathan Hill

Genre: Comedy / Short Story
Length: 19 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this short story 4 stars.

Summary: In this short story, Maureen tries her hand at making a Christmas card for her friend, after she received a comment last year that all of her cards are shop bought. However, making cards is not as easy as Maureen first thought!

Review: I read this short story over Christmas and I’m only just finding the time to review, so I apologise. This is my first experience with Jonathan Hill’s ‘Maureen’ series, but I really enjoyed it. I found myself laughing at the trouble Maureen was getting herself into while trying to impress her friend! Even though I could predict what would happen, it didn’t ruin the story for me at all and still made me laugh. I will definitely be reading more from this series!

★★★★ – A funny, stand-alone short story to get you in a festive mood!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)


Review: ‘Awesome Allshorts’ anthology.

Length: 170 pages (approx.)
Genre: Anthology / Short Story / Fiction

Awesome-Allshorts_72I have awarded this collection 3 stars.

Summary: This is a collection of short stories from ‘Awesome Indies’, featuring the works of 21 authors.This collection features stories from different genres and of different lengths.

Review: I didn’t really get on with this collection. Rather than being a collection of short stories, it read more like a collection of excerpts, which annoyed me a little. Not all stories felt like this, though. My favourites were ‘Home Late’, ‘Pearls’ and ‘Smilin’ Mike’. I also found ‘The Old Guy’ and ‘I, Zombie’ to be interesting reads, though they did feel a little like excerpts.

★★★ – A collection of short stories that read more like a collection of excerpts. I did, however, enjoy a few of the stories.

Where to buy: 
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)


Review: ‘The Man from U.N.D.E.A.D – Frights and Fireworks’ by Darren Humphries

Genre: Fantasy / Humour / Satire
Length: 70 pages (approx.)

I have given this collection 5 stars.

Summary: This is a collection of two short stories from The Man from U.N.D.E.A.D series, featuring Agent Ward. The first, titled THE HAUNTING OF THE MAN FROM U.N.D.E.A.D, is a Halloween adventure that involves Agent Ward visiting Hillock House, which is apparently haunted. The second, titled REMEMBER, REMEMBER, THE MAN FROM U.N.D.E.A.D.’s NOVEMBER, involves Agent Ward trying to save London (in particular, Parliament!).

Review: I have read work by Darren Humphries before, but nothing from the Man from U.N.D.E.A.D series. Having read The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Doomsday Tour,  I was expecting these stories to be along the same lines – funny but strange. I wasn’t disappointed! I really enjoyed reading these two short stories and thought they were very cleverly written. I will definitely be reading more from the series!

★★★★★ – Funny, strange and cleverly written. A perfect Halloween / Bonfire night read! Highly recommended.

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)