My review of ‘100ne Hundred’ by Laura Besley

I stopped doing reviews a while back but when I was asked by Saira at Arachne Press to review Laura’s collection, I didn’t hesitate. Flash fiction is my favourite form of creative writing and Laura is a regular, often successful, entrant to my monthly 100-word competition so two reasons to say ‘yes’.

Split into four seasons, each section contains 25 stories, some of which are familiar territory but most new to me.

I love titles, especially quirky ones, and ones like ‘How to be Normal’, ‘Raining Colours’, ‘The Pupa Stage in the Lifecycle of Audrey Brown’, and ‘Housewife 500’ were ones I was especially looking forward to… and they didn’t disappoint.

Speaking of quirky, although I know Laura’s writing well, I challenge anyone (not for money!) not to be hooked on the opening of the first story: Dave carries his girlfriend in the left-hand breast pocket of his shirt. 

It’s a very emotional collection. As a competition judge (for others, not just my own) the best stories tend to be ones where you have a reaction at the end. A ‘huh?’ is not good and it goes from there all the way to ‘wow’. With this collection I soon lost track of how many ‘wow’s I was uttering to the point where my dog had that ‘here she goes again’ look.

The stories take us to various points around the globe but one thing that links them all is humanity. I love characters, and while most stories are understandably plot-led, there is a wealth of characters we can relate to, even if they’re nothing like us, or we’ve not been through what they’ve been through – for that we should be thankful!

Some films started life as short stories (The Shawshank Redemption and Brokeback Mountain to name two) and while Laura’s are incredibly short, many lent themselves to being the start or plot of a larger work. There are unions, reunions, meetings and greetings, thought-provoking pieces, and those simply there to entertain.

Although I read this collection in one sitting, it’s the kind you could dip in an out of and let these stories linger, returning for a second, third and umpteenth read.

I’d love to share with you my favourites but there were simply too many, although one in particular made me chuckle as a character loves his Alexa (Amazon Echo device) even more than I do.

As well as being a competition judge, I’m an editor. While I would have made very minor tweaks had this been something sent to me for editing (e.g. sighing isn’t a dialogue verb so should be a separate sentence to what’s said, some words hyphenated or unhyphenated, a ‘his’ changed to the character’s name where another of the same gender has just been mentioned, I’d have chopped some ‘said’s where the character’s doing something, and some of the ‘just’s 🙂 ), the stories are written to such a tight (100 words exactly) format that losing a word or two would have meant ‘padding’ to return to the correct figure.

I had high expectations and was not disappointed, as I’m sure you won’t be when you read this wonderful collection. It was published on 27th May 2021, so hot off the (Arachne) press! Available from https://arachnepress.com/books/short-stories/100nehundred-laura-besleyand where good books are sold, as the saying goes (ISBN: 978-1913665272). Laura can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

My thanks go to Saira and of course Laura, not only for creating this endearing collection but for being one of the many stalwarts of my competition.

*

Laura

About Laura Besley: Laura Besley writes short fiction in the precious moments when her children are asleep. She has been listed by TSS Publishing as one of the top 50 British and Irish Flash Fiction writers. Her work has been nominated for Best Micro Fiction and her story, To Cut a Long Story Short, will appear in the Best Small Fiction anthology in 2021. 100neHundred is Laura’s second short fiction collection.

 

About 100neHundred: A man carries his girlfriend in the left-hand breast pocket of his shirt. During World War II, a young soldier searches the houses and barns of the families with whom he grew up. An astronaut wonders whether she can adapt to life back on earth.

In her second collection of short fiction, Laura Besley explores a kaleidoscope of emotions through 100 stories of exactly 100 words each.

More lovely ‘After Jessica’ latest tour reviews

My second-born book, After Jessica, continues to tour and we’ve had some super reviews:

Tuesday 1st October

Wednesday 2nd October

Thursday 3rd October

Thank you everyone and especially to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side @BOTBSPublicity for organising and @CazVinBooks (and many others!) for sharing.

Lovely ‘After Jessica’ latest tour reviews – day 1

Yes, my second-born book is under the spotlight again and I’m delighted to share with you the first three reviews today:

Thank you everyone and especially to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side @BOTBSPublicity for organising and @CazVinBooks (and many others!) for sharing.

The latest Serial Dater tour comes to an end

Two final reviews for my first born, The Serial Dater’s Shopping List in this latest tour. Do click on the links to read the full review and support (follow) these tireless bloggers. Thank you! And my thanks go to Sarah of Book on the Bright Side and Caroline, my ever-patient AA (author assistant). And now to the reviews…

I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to know that my work’s getting out there. Thank you, everyone!

Day four for the latest Serial Dater tour

Day four already and two more lovely reviews for my first born, The Serial Dater’s Shopping List. Do click on the links to read the full review and support (follow) these tireless bloggers. Thank you!

  • “I was certainly reading the book with a big grin on my face as some of the dates that Izzy had to endure were quite comical… her best friend and co-worker Donna is an absolute scream… This is certainly a book that would not be out of place whilst packing for your holidays. With fun characters and situations that ensure it will keep you entertained from start to finish.” https://jenmedsbookreviews.com/2019/09/05/the-serial-daters-shopping-list-morgen-bailey Jen @JenMedBkReviews
  • “Bailey comes up with one crazy situation after another… The Serial Dater’s Shopping List was a fun read… If you have ever done internet dating at all, you will enjoy this novel as you never know what those first communications are going to bring you.” http://jessicasreadingroom.com/blog-tour-the-serial-daters-shopping-list Jessica @JessReadingRoom

It’s a thrill that so many people enjoy what I write. Thank you, everyone!

Three more lovely reviews for Serial Dater

Day three and three more lovely reviews for my first born, The Serial Dater’s Shopping List. Do click on the links to read the full review and support (follow) these tireless bloggers. Thank you!

How lovely they are. 🙂

Two more lovely reviews for Serial Dater

Day two and two more lovely reviews for my first born, The Serial Dater’s Shopping List.

  • “Morgen didn’t disappoint, providing 31 very different dates, men and scenarios that had me laughing out loud throughout… I fell in love with Izzy’s character… Donna, Izzy’s friend and work colleague whose Tigger-like personality provided some wonderful moments… The Serial Dater’s Shopping List is a fabulous light-hearted, humorous read and the perfect ‘easy read’…” https://frasersfunhouse.com/2019/09/03/blog-tour-the-serial-daters-shopping-list-by-morgen-bailey Melanie @FrasersFunHouse
  • “I’ve read a few of Morgen’s books and this is definitely my favourite! This is a fantastic read! I genuinely didn’t want to put it down… The story is well written and easy to read and follow and will suck you in as you go on your journey with Izzy.  As I say, this is a feel good, laugh out loud read that you don’t want to miss.  Most definitely recommended by me!” https://curledupwithagoodbook.co.uk/blog-tour-review-the-serial-daters-shopping-list-by-morgen-bailey Chelle @Curlupwithbooks

One For The Road crime novel debut tour comes to an end

What a lovely bunch of bloggers they were. In case you missed the reviews, they’re summarised below (click on the bloggers’ names for their full review – and please do leave comments).  You can purchase my book here. I’d be very grateful. 🙂

Monday 12th

“One of my favourite authors… yet again something completely different… an intriguing story… like a lighter version of a David Lynch novel… a riveting and compelling read… I couldn’t put this one down… short chapters keep this a fast-paced novel… clever timing… written in a very smart way… a fantastic novel with a difference.” Kerry @cats_herding

“It seems like Ms Bailey can turn her hand to anything… slow-burning tension that kept me intrigued to the end… sense of place is wonderful… ” Kate @bantambookworm

Tuesday 13th

“One for the Road had me hooked… I wanted to find out what happened next… some of the characters I fel in love with, others I absolutely didn’t like at all. Some of their actions throughout the book shocked me…” Chelle @Curlupwithbooks

Then Bev of @beveaves kindly shared an extract from my book – do go and check it out.

Wednesday 14th

“I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it had me hooked… the author has a really nice writing style and I have really enjoyed everything I have read by her so far… a well-crafted story with some excellent character… another well-written story from this fabulous author – really looking forward to her next release.” Donna@dmmaguire391

And Liza @turnthepage171 shared an extract of my novel at https://turnthepage171.wordpress.com/2019/08/14/one-for-the-road-morgen-bailey.

Thursday 1st

“I was soon captivated by the story… I absolutely loved reading ‘One for the Road’… It didn’t take me long at all to become addicted… the book had developed a sort of hold over me… The pages were turning increasing quickly as my desperation to find out what happened increased… just didn’t want the book to end… Once Morgen has your attention, she doesn’t let it go.” Amanda @Ginger_bookgeek

“The more I read of Morgen’s work, the more impressed I am by her writing… Morgen cleverly intertwines their stories to produce a well-written book. I highly recommend Morgen’s writing.” Caroline @thedivinewrite1

Friday 2nd

“A slow burn – worth waiting for!… Unfolding slowly, it’s like peeling back the layers to get to the truth – and it does all come out in the end. Trust me, it’s worth waiting for. I’m very happy to give it four stars.” Grace@Reviewerlady

“This started off very strong with so much to offer the reader – really what I expect from this author as she has depth in her writing… The characters were well written… The story was interesting and I enjoyed the read.” Sean@seantalbot1977

You can purchase the book here.

Thank you so much everyone, especially Sarah @BOTBSPublicity for organising and Caroline @CazVinBooks (and others on Twitter!) for sharing.

One For The Road crime novel debut tour day two

Day two sees a lovely review and an extract from the novel (click on the hosts’ names to read the full details)…

“One for the Road had me hooked… I wanted to find out what happened next… some of the characters I fel in love with, others I absolutely didn’t like at all. Some of their actions throughout the book shocked me…” Chelle @Curlupwithbooks

Then Bev of @beveaves kindly shared an extract from my book – do go and check it out.

You can purchase the book here.

Thank you so much everyone, especially Sarah @BOTBSPublicity for organising and Caroline @CazVinBooks (and others on Twitter!) for sharing.