Review: “The Great St. Mary’s Day Out” (A Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story) by Jodi Taylor

great st mary's day outWhile I have to wonder at the logic of involving time travel in a holiday for this lot of miscreants, considering all the things that go wrong normally, I have to admit that the story wouldn’t really work, otherwise. (Though I do have faith that they’d get up to the same sort of trouble during a day trip to the next town over.)  Continue reading

Review: “The Very First Damned Thing” (A Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story) by Jodi Taylor

very first damned thingIt was very, very cool to not only get a glimpse of the origins St. Mary’s but also a peek into Dr. Bairstow’s head. At this point in the series, seeing his relationships with the people that he intentionally sought to staff St. Mary’s was more interesting than the jump to Waterloo (despite the delightful surprise guests we find there).  Continue reading

Review: “The Magician” (A Fool’s Journey #1) by Mark Pannebecker

The MagicianDisclaimer: I received an electronic version of this short story in exchange for an honest review.


It’s hard to get invested in a story that opens with too many characters who are hard to differentiate and even harder to identify with. Though the basic world-building is accomplished with well-written descriptions, no major conflict is introduced to get me hooked. Continue reading

Review: “Roman Holiday” (Chronicles of St. Mary’s short story) by Jodi Taylor

Roman HolidayOne of the best things about these extra short stories that fit into the overall Chronicles of St. Mary’s world is that you can enjoy them without worrying about where they fit into the larger context of the story. They’re a short peek into the many, many other time travel trips that the historians have to take to keep up their funding, and are written to good effect as quick escapism. Continue reading

Review: “28 Teeth Later” (a PRISON DAD short) by Cristin Kist & Jeffrey Gritman

28-teeth-laterDisclaimer: I am friends with the authors of this short story. However, I purchased the ebook version for full price.


I  have not yet had a chance to read either of the Prison Dad collections that I own, but this short story was a delightful introduction to the world. I was promised ridiculousness, speculative fiction references, humor, and vague body horror, and that’s exactly what I got. This short read flew by, inspiring both giggles and “geeps!” Continue reading

Review: “When A Child is Born” (Chronicles of St. Mary’s #2.5) by Jodi Taylor

when-a-child-is-bornThis short story set in the Chronicles of St. Mary’s universe is a great way for a new reader to dip their toe into the series without committing to a full novel. It highlights my favorite trio of time travelers (Max, Peterson, and Markham — with bonus Maj. Guthrie) on a relatively simple mission that obviously goes disastrously wrong.

For readers more familiar with the series, this short story does a wonderful job of showing just how picky and malleable History really is, and perhaps the rules that the historians ascribe to it aren’t really rules after all.

For those curious, the child referred to in the title is not a religious figure. In fact, he’s not the one who leaves his mark on history whatsoever, leaving me to give author Jodi Taylor major props for her subtle reminder to readers that history might be written (mostly) by men, but it survives because of women. Continue reading

Free Short Story: “The Cannibalism Hypothesis”

Sorry I’ve been AWOL for the past few days. I crashed pretty hard after the excitement of the Steel Magic launch and needed some time to recharge. (And by recharge I mean build a new Lego set.) But I’m back with some great news! One of my favorite beta readers/critique partners had a short story published today, and it’s freely available for all to enjoy.

“The Cannibalism Hypothesis”

A short story by Chelsea Stickle  on The Fem

I’ve had the honor of reading the larger work that this stand-alone piece fits into, and it’s one of my favorite tales out of the bunch. Considering Chelsea is one of the reasons that my characters are as sorted as they are, I highly encourage everyone to check out her work.


Just a quick reminder that the official Steel Magic launch party is still on for tomorrow evening in Washington DC. The cake is ordered. Will I see you there? Full details here.

Review: “The Visitor” by J.L. Pattison

the visitor

“The Visitor” by J.L. Pattison

Some short stories take a lot of information and parse it down into a quick, streamlined adventure. Some take a lot of information and pack it in to the point of leaving the reader to wonder why the author didn’t just go ahead and write a novel. Unfortunately, J.L. Pattison’s “The Visitor” was the latter for me.

I purchased this ebook based on a rave review on a book blog that I follow. The reviewer did not lie about this story’s good points, which include diverse characters that are easy to connect with. Unfortunately, I was left wanting to point the reviewer toward much better time travel fiction.

I was disappointed with the way the characters never did anything with the future information, such as World War II and Kennedy’s assassination, they were given. The initial message was delivered by a time traveler who screwed up his destination, and then basically everyone figured no one would believe them and trashed the original notes. I’d much rather read a story about the characters racing to prevent war and tragedy instead of shoving the information in a box with a shrug.

But in the end, I suppose that’s the point. I’d rather read an epic adventure rather than something more akin to reality–despite the fact that I’m not sure what I would do with future notes from a lost traveler that I didn’t think I could affect either.

Rating: 3 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Currently reading: Absolutely nothing. Line edits for book 3 are in the home stretch. Prod me along by checking out the 99 cent sale for book 1, Steel Victory, on Amazon!