Tag: short stories

A Review of Once Upon a Book Club’s 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas

Once Upon a Book Club is a monthly subscription box service that offers YA and adults boxes and very soon will be offering a middle grades box. Each month, subscribers receive a newly released novel and wrapped gifts labeled with page numbers. As they read the featured book, they are prompted to only open the gifts when they reach the specified page number. **Please note that I am not  a subscriber and have bought three boxes with my own money, including this 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas that my review today will be about. This is not a sponsored post with the company.**

  Once Upon a Book Club’s 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas
Series: Volume IV
Author: various

Published: December 1, 2021
230 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 12-27, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars      

Book Description:

Volume 4 of The 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas features twelve, exclusive short stories from twelve authors who curated their stories around a specific wrapped gift that readers were meant to open as they read.

Jessica’s Review:

This was the 2021 version though I read it in 2022. That is because there were shipping issues that Once Upon A Book Club (OUABC) experienced. So yes, I held onto this box for a whole year! It is a book of 12 short stories, and at a certain point in the story you open your daily gift. The gift enhances the story and it was a fun experience!

The short stories are not Christmas related, but most were book related or dealt with some kind of death and grief.  I really enjoyed days 2,3, 6, and 10. Day 7 was my ultimate favorite story because like one character, I am a blogger!  I feel that the Day 6 short story should have actually been day 7 because the number 7 was consistent throughout the story.  OUABC missed out on that opportunity. 

The gifts were fun to get to and open each day. They range from books to curtains to more.  Some of the gifts I will use and the others I will have to figure out. 

I highly recommend giving OUABC ‘advent box’ a chance if you have the time for daily reads and the money for the box when it becomes available.  You would want to act fast as this box tends to sell out quickly!  Will I buy this box again in the future: More than likely!

Here are some of my pictures for an idea on what the box/gifts are like:

I shared each daily gift on my story on Instagram.  There is a photo album on my Facebook Page.

Day 8 was a gift smaller than my hand! It was an ornament of the book Jane Eyre:

Day 9 was uniquely shaped: It ended up being a bookend!

 The gifts ranged from as small as a keychain

To as large as curtains and a windshield protector for your car!:

 I wanted to get this review in early in the year!

To look into Once Upon a Book Club, their website is here.

Short Story Sunday: The Matchmakers by Carolyn Brown

The Matchmakers
Author: Carolyn Brown

Narrator: Bailey Carr
Published: April 7, 2022
Audiobook: 2 hours

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: October 24, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

Three mischievous matchmakers. Two lonely hearts. And one last chance at a happily ever after. Don’t miss this heartwarming short story from New York Times best-selling author Carolyn Brown.

Meet Minnie, Dotty, and Stella—all retired and year-round residents on a cruise ship, they have dubbed themselves the unofficial matchmakers aboard. Minnie can ferret out a lonely woman by the second day of the cruise. Dotty can spot an openhearted man all the way across the Lido Deck. And Stella is great at putting a plan together. Together they’ve been every bit as successful as one of those online dating sites, and they can watch the romance unfold right before their eyes.

The trio face their biggest challenge yet when an unusual pair makes it onto the 10-day cruise to Alaska. Ava and Vince are on the verge of a divorce and have no idea that they’ve each booked the same cruise to think things over. Now, with a little help from the Matchmakers, they’re about to discover that every great voyage has its storms—and love means weathering them together.

Jessica’s Review:

This is a cute one, where you know from the beginning how it will end, but that is chick-lit for you: It can be a nice refresher from all the thrillers I read. It was short and I was able to listen to it during my commute to/from work in one day.

The narrator went a bit out there with the southern accents. Not all southern women have distinct southern accents, I am one of those as I am from Georgia.  Once I got used to the way the narrator was portraying them, I was able to enjoy this audiobook.

The ladies remind you of the Golden Girls so you know you are in for a ride! They are such a fun group, I would love to see more of their adventures on cruise ships!

Purchase Links:
This short story is only available on Audible or audio cd

Amazon US 
Amazon UK

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Book Review: The Puppet’s Payback and Other Chilling Tales by Mary Downing Hahn

The Puppet’s Payback and Other Chilling Tales
Author: Mary Downing Hahn

Published: September 1, 2021
192 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The author of wildly popular ghost stories, Mary Downing Hahn has created a group of tales for fans of her “scary but not too scary” books. Even the stories without actual ghosts are spooky. Each tale turns something ordinary—a pigeon, a white dress, a stranger on the bus, a puppet—into a sinister link to the supernatural. For the human characters, secrets from the past or careless behavior in the present can lead to serious trouble. All the stories have a young person as the central character, so all will resonate with young readers who enjoy the eerie, the creepy, and the otherworldly. In a concluding note, the author talks about how she came to write ghost stories.

Kim’s Review:

Another amazing kid’s horror book by Hahn! I really liked this anthology! The stories were all creepy and had me nervous without being too scary. This fits in perfectly with Scary Tales ( see our double review for the series here) and is a great way to introduce kids to horror. Perfect for Halloween!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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