Synopsis: Everyone has something to celebrate in this sparkling collection of short stories by best-selling romantic novelist, Jane Wenham-Jones. A Big Birthday, a wedding anniversary, an unlikely encounter, a smashed headlight and a treat to remember.
Review (of the eBook using Mrs Kindle’s text-to-speech function)
There are five short stories in this collection, so a short review:
- Wolf Whistle: A tale for any woman whose weight yo-yos, and those who have – or wish for – a husband like John. Set in Spain, our unnamed protagonist is dreading her birthday but John makes it one she’ll remember long after the planes touches back on UK soil, even if he does have the last word.
- Birthday Treat: For a woman always on the go, this one gets a day she’s longed for, and I’m sure many a reader would feel envious of her as they usually please others even on their day.
- Meant to Be: A moment’s distraction starts this story and I wondered how it would become a celebration but it soon becomes clear (how I guessed, and the character’s friend Jan had suggested) but then again… a great ending.
I spotted a cliché in this one (‘talking nineteen to the dozen’) but I loved Adam’s character so he (and the cliché) is forgiven, although I’d still chop out the spare adverbs / words (‘I said crossly’ and ‘I said impatiently’, ‘I thought sourly’ – and a number of other dialogue tag descriptions – and ‘I sighed in exasperation’) where we know what is being said because of the context.
- Ten Years On: The reality of budgetary priorities hit home a ten-year-married couple when the husband wants to go away for a weekend instead of replacing their broken washing machine. There’s a lovely twist (and double twist) to this story but, with my editor’s hat on, there were again a number of adverbs that could have been chopped, perhaps made more obvious because of the book being audio.
- Birthday Surprise: When the character tells us that she’s waiting for a strip-a-gram because everyone’s ignoring her, I thought that they’d forgotten about her birthday and she was getting nothing but sure enough, in he walks… but, like a couple of the earlier stories, things don’t go to plan. A chuckle-ending story – a perfect finale.
A short collection of quick reads, ideal for a week’s worth of coffee breaks. If you like women’s magazine short stories, you’ll love this.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a prolific blogger, podcaster, editor / critiquer, Chair of NWG (which runs the annual H.E. Bates Short Story Competition), Head Judge for the NLG Flash Fiction Competition and creative writing tutor for her local county council. She is also a freelance author of numerous ‘dark and light’ short stories, novels, articles, and very occasional dabbler of poetry. Like her, her blog, https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, is consumed by all things literary. She is also active on Twitter, Facebook along with many others (listed on her blog’s Contact page). She also recently created five online writing groups and an interview-only blog.
Her debut novel is the chick lit eBook The Serial Dater’s Shopping List ($0.99 / £0.77) and she has six others (mostly crime) in the works. She also has eight collections of short stories available (also $0.99 / £0.77 each) – detailed on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-mine/short-stories.
You can subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app via Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything.
You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, various short story collections and writer’s block workbooks) and If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating. Thank you.
For anyone looking for an editor, do take a look at Editing and Critique.
If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.