I was fortunate in that I Beta read several of the stories from this book, Hearts & Other Dead Things, and bought the eBook edition so I was able to get all the others – this is a must read book in my opinion. In it are stories by established and by new writers, all with a great grasp of grabbing the reader and keeping them until the last page is turned or clicked in my case. That, in it’s self, is worthy of 5 Stars. I never give in-depth reviews, but do want to connect you with another blogger, Suzanna Burke who does a credible job of touching on each story within Hearts & Other Dead Things at her blog, Soooz Says Stuff. To Start you off ~
My Review of “Hearts and other Dead Things.”
When an eclectic group of writers, give of their valuable time, and their clearly remarkable talents, to work together to write a book, specifically intended to cover difficult topics; then, donate all proceeds from the sale of that book to a Charity Set up to help victims of horrendous violence; together with those other helpless souls caught up in the sex-trafficking that is becoming all too familiar on the headlines of papers everywhere, then the very least I can do as a reader is review it.
Romantic’s anonymous. A story by Bradley Darewood/ Cat Nicolaou
So, what happens when you meet up with your ex in a therapy Group Called ‘Romantics Anonymous? Initially I thought, oh- okay, interesting concept and frankly expected something comedic. Don’t get me wrong, some of the dialogue and self-analysis is laugh out loud, and nod in agreement, funny! But this author has cleverly combined the humor with some in depth insights into the needs that drive the individuals concerned, and in consequence, their reactions to what they would normally consider aberrant behavior. I love a story that causes me to reflect, and when you throw in damned funny dialogue…well for me that’s one hell of a good way to start an Anthology. Look forward to reading more by authors Bradley Darewood. And Cat Nicolau.
A very clever poem by J Cassidy
This also comes under this heading. It is short, and delightfully bittersweet.
Hambre De Las Calaveras. (The Hungry Skulls) A story by Charlotte Stirling
As I have long considered my visits to Singapore utterly memorable, and have in fact stayed at Raffles both before and after 1990, the setting for this had me riveted from the start.
It touched on some of the Expatriate’s behavior and expectations, with a clever hand. Revealing much in but a few apt and marvelous descriptions.
The cruelty which is handed down to the maid Dumadora …is devastatingly, and blindingly accurate in its brutality. The vengeance when it comes is both unexpected and very welcome. Bravo! I look forward again, to reading more.
A Poem. By S.A Sheilds.
This book has layers within it. They peel back like a Spanish onion. The poetry is stunning. This one ‘untitled’ by S.A Sheilds, is both gutsy and revealing. It hit me hard. The pain expressed is I believe universal for anyone insecure enough to stay in a dreadful relationship because it’s all that they know.
Girl of my Dreams – A Saga of Failure by Adam Oster
Boarding school can be hell, insecurity can be worse. First love (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) whilst in Boarding school, and being insecure…phew! The stuff of nightmares for folks caught up in that particular feeding frenzy. Again, I find myself drawn to the characters depicted in this one. At times, in fact they are all too painfully real.
Sure I laughed, and the measure of author Adam Oster’s talent is that I wanted to cry for his misplaced in time hero as well. It is irrelevant what the reader’s own experience of First Love…or lust maybe, therein lay the beauty of this story. For it hits that wonderful empathy button that many, but not all, humans possess. Still smiling.
Rain. A story by Angelika Rust.
One of my favorite all time singer/songwriters is Melissa Etheridge. One of her songs has the lyric “I had rust on my dreams, and rust on my love.” This very brief and sadly compelling moment reminds me of that. It touches that chord. It pulls me back to that pain. This anthology has some seriously gifted writers. Author Angelika Rust, is yet another to add to my growing list.
Check out the rest of her review at Soooz Says Stuff and then pick up a copy of this book Print or eBook – the money generated from the sales all go to HOME, a charity in Singapore, working against sex trafficking, and for the rights of the domestic and migrant workers.