Short Story Review: A Man To Die For

A Man To Die For

It isn’t often that I read or write outside of my normal genres: Fiction, Sci-Fi, Thriller. Recently I was on Scribophile when I saw a fellow Scribophile user had published their short story on Amazon. Wanting to help a fellow writer from Scribophile I read the short story despite it not being a genre that I normally write in.

Here is the Amazon Link:

Here is the description from Amazon:

Aishling marries a kind, decent man who gradually turns into a violent monster. When she finally leaves him she thinks it’s the start of a new life for herself and her kids. But will Josh ever let her go?

Aishling (an interesting name) is a moving character that portrays a modern woman who is suffering from domestic violence. All she wants to do is believe that her husband is a good person and keep the family together. Then, Aishling believes it is all her fault. Finally, it moves into the part where Aishling must escape.

Time and time again this is what we hear about domestic violence victims go through. It is a whole different story to be put in a victim’s shoes. And the ending? Something you would never expect.

Despite being what I thought would be a drama, there was quite the mix of writing in the book. Val mixes in action, suspense, and thriller aspects to this piece.

I read this book and really enjoyed it. If you have Amazon Unlimited I highly recommend you try reading the book for free. Otherwise, it is just 99 cents.

Val Collins does a great job at writing and what impresses me more is that she has self-published this short story to Amazon. Something I don’t think I have ever seen before. It is an inspiration. I hope to see Val go far and grow as an author.

Eilis O’Neal’s The False Princess

Before I go into my review I first have to say I love this author’s name.  It is spelled Eilis O’Neal, but is pronounced A-lish.  That isn’t all though, her middle name is Arwen.   And according to her those have both been her names since birth (a.k.a. she hasn’t changed it).

The False Princess is Eilis’s first book.  I read it on Kindle so I am sure it is not the same as paper edition, it usually isn’t.  The reason I mention that I read the Kindle edition is that there were spelling errors and grammar errors.  They didn’t detract from the story – most of the time.  There were several times when I would be reading and the words would be out of order then I would have to read it again a couple times to get it right in my head.  This is a problem I have heard of being common in Kindle books, they don’t get as good of an editing job before they get published as the paper edition does.  It would be interesting to see if this was the case here too.  Other than these spelling errors I would give the book a 4.5 stars out of 5.  The story was a fun read and got done with it in three days.

The False Princess tells the story of a sixteen year old girl that finds out that she is not the real princess.  When she gets banished to a small village away from the palace she discovers she has magic and moves back to the capitol city.  Once there she discovers that her replacement might not be what everyone thinks she is and decides that she must figure out what is going on.  With out of control magic, friendships on the brink of being lost, and a crazy mentor, will Sinda be able to save the kingdom?

Find out for yourself at or

Christopher Nuttall’s Bookworm

Christopher Nuttall’s book Bookworm is an interesting tale of a librarian who does not know her parents.  When the Great Sorcer dies and Elaine opens a book that deposits the whole Great Library into her head, including the forbidden books.  At the same time as Elaine fears for her life she finds a new bravery that allows her to hunt for clues as to what happened to her which leads to political mischief that she never would have guessed.

Bookworm has elements of both science and magic intertwined in the story.  Magic leads to all sciences in the book.  Magic appears as a shortcut to what can be otherwise achieved, therefore those with magic are higher in society.  I cannot help but feel the work is a comment on society today.  This is one of the reasons I have chosen not to read another one of Nuttall’s books for the time being.  When I go to read I want to read something that is fiction and if it has comments on society I want to be able to read over them instead of being reminded of them.  I like the idea of reading transporting me to a new world.

The Hunger Games Trilogy

I decided to read the Hunger Games Trilogy on a recommendation from a friend and based on the fact that I liked the movie.  After watching the movie I was not prepared for the darkness that appeared in the books; the death, the political commentary, the torture.  Even Katniss has been made into a brighter character in the movie.  Where she is always pretty in the movie and not very timid, she appears timid and not the prettiest in the book.   Despite the darkness, Suzanne Collin’s does a fabulous job at writing this series.

The series is about a girl, Katniss Everdeen, who is pitted against 23 other opponents in an arena known as the Hunger Games.  To survive she must kill of the other contestants, and no this isn’t some video game.  When winning with the other tribute from her District (hometown), she angers the game makers and the President.  What will she do to survive?  Run and hide or become something closer to the character we see in the movie?  Smart, calculating, and not scared.

Here is the trailer for the first movie:


Here is the Trailer for the second movie:

I recommend this book as with most of the books I read and review; however, I suggest that it not be given as a gift to kids who can’t stand dark stories.  So pick up a copy at your local book store or on your Kindle (like I did) and read it.  Remember, may the odds be forever in your favor!