Welcome to the Short Story Saturday review slot and the eleventh review in this series. This week’s is of 2,560-word ‘Sister Golden Hair Surprise and the Cruiser’ by romance, paranormal erotica and young adult author Linda Palmer.
Sister Golden Hair Surprise and the Cruiser
I’m a big fan of titles and whilst this didn’t grab me it certainly intrigued me, especially with the various connotations of ‘cruiser’ (or that could be a British thing).
We’re thrown into the story with first person narrative, past tense and get an immediate sense of our protagonist. Because she talks about “big brothers” I assumed her to be female and quite young. We learn 1/4 of the way through that her name is Jilly but there are hints to her gender by touches like “Why don’t you gather some wildflowers or something?” from one of her brothers, the condescending trait working to show us his character.
Jilly’s voice is excellent as she gives us her backstory, and I like the way that Adam gets a job title, just like his father.
We have conflict (between brothers and sister) early on which is important in a short story and then it keeps coming with an injury and a stranger, and her losing her bearings.
One key element of writing that (pardon the pun) isn’t in many stories, is negatives and here we had what Jill couldn’t hear, which was a nice touch and added to her urgency.
The rapport, positive or negative, between the characters is excellent – I loved Jilly’s father’s term of endearment for her, and his tugging smile is beautiful.
There were several ‘laugh out loud’ and ‘ahh’ moments for me which again shows the writing’s strength (I would list them but they are definitive plot spoilers).
I loved the ending and it tied in nicely with something mentioned early in the story.
I spotted a cliché (cried like a baby) but coming from a teenager it’s fine to use it, in fact it enhances the emotion she’s feeling at that moment (and therefore ours as a reader).
Overall, it’s a very enjoyable piece and well-written from a perspective other than that of the writer (unless it’s a semi-autobiographical memory) and is a treat for any fan of one of my favourite films, True Lies (you’ll know where I mean when you read the story).
Thank you, Linda, for inviting me to read your story.
Linda Varner Palmer has been writing for as long as she can remember. In 1989, she sold her first romance to Silhouette Books, writing as Linda Varner. She wrote twenty more over the next ten years, with all being translated and sold worldwide. She was an RWA Rita finalist in 1993 and 1996. After taking a break, Linda is at her computer again, writing e-books as Linda Palmer. She is focusing on teen romances with a paranormal twist and is thrilled to announce sales to e-publishers Uncial Press, Sugar and Spice Press and Wild Horse Press. Linda’s YA novel THE CINDERELLA SWAP won the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition’s (EPIC) 2011 award in the YA category. Another YA novel, NIGHTMARE, INTERRUPTED, won the 2012 award. Visit her website: www.lvpalmer.com. My interview with Linda is scheduled for Wednesday 26th September.
Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I review stories of up to 2,500 words on this ‘Short Story Saturdays’ feature. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with Christian teacher, non-fiction author and spotlightee Deborah McCarragher – the three hundred and sixty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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