Her Dark Lies by JT Ellison

Claire is marrying into money and finding out even before the wedding exactly how far his family will go to maintain their reputation . At the family villa, isolated off the coast of Italy, with a storm killing power, Claire doesn’t know who to trust as those around her are killed. This is an excellent thriller and I highly recommend anything by J.T. Ellison. I was fortunate to receive a digital copy from the publisher MIRA through NetGalley.

After Elias by Eddy Boudel Tan

Coen decides to turn the wedding ceremony into a memorial for his groom when Elias dies in a plane crash the week they are to be celebrating. The cryptic last words of Elias haunt Coen, and he delves into Elias’ past to find out why he never spoke of his family. Tan’s tale of a past too hurtful to recall is heartwrenching as Coen learns more about Elias than Elias would ever have told him. I was fortunate to receive a digital copy of this wonderful story of a struggle to love from the publisher Dundurn through NetGalley.

How to Walk on Water and Other Stories by Rachel Swearingen

In this short story collection of tales that verge almost into the supernatural, my favorite is about a woman who transforms her apartment into art that’s mysterious, macabre, and sometimes just plain weird. Told from the perspective of her boring boyfriend, he makes her seem otherworldly, when she is probably mentally ill or neurodivergent, or maybe merely tired of this world. There’s so much going on in these stories. Swearingen is a fantastic short story artist. I was fortunate to receive a digital copy of this collection from the publisher New American Press through NetGalley.

The Silvered Serpents (The Guilded Wolves # 2) by Roshani Chokshi

NetGalley doesn’t state if a book is part of a series, and perhaps this book would have made more sense after reading the first one,. Having said that, this author does a spectacular job of bringing supernatural beings to life in an ice castle in Russia no less. The heroes are just a bit beyond human, which makes them infinitely more interesting, but all are deeply flawed with very human emotions. I recommend this series based on the author’s storytelling and descriptive talent, but maybe start from the beginning! I received a digital copy from the publisher Wednesday Books through NetGalley.

Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker

Molly’s guilt sends her running away from her family, inadvertently into a dangerous situation, Angry as she is, her daughter feels something is wrong, and so Nicole searches for her mother. Dear Reader must truly stretch belief at the climax, but still, it’s a good thriller, with lovely ambiguity, a creepy little child, and shattered family dynamics. I was fortunate to receive a digital copy from the publisher St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley.

Comanche by Brett Riley

An old west atrocity becomes a modern day ghost story. Even psychopathic killers have feelings, which a posse finds out after they disrespect an outlaw’s body, pinning his murderous ghost to the site. Over a hundred years later, investigators come to Comanche, Texas, to rid the town a second time of the Piney Woods Kid. Humor and irony abound in this delightful tale of a pissed off ghost. I highly recommend this book for fans of ghost stories, westerns, and cozy mysteries. I was fortunate to received a digital copy from the publisher Imbrifex Books through NetGalley.

A Door Between Us by Ehsaneh Sadr

On the way home from their wedding, amidst political protests, Sarah pulls an activist into the car to protect her, changing her new husband Ali’s destiny, as military police drag him from the car. Sarah’s cousin is with the military police force, and Ali’s sister is a protestor, bringing untold shades of gray into this harrowing family drama unfolding within political turmoil in Iran. Sadr is an amazing storyteller, and I was fortunate to receive a digital copy of her novel from the publisher Blackstone Publishing through NetGalley.

Connecting with Life by Martin Summer

The simple writing style belies the message of how our connection with nature improves our health and life holistically. Summer shares ideas of how to make that connection, ideas that are part common wisdom, part niche urban nature guru, part natural home guide. It’s worth it to learn as much as you can about the subject, especially if you’re not inherently outdoorsy, or have lost the tenuous connection due to work, living environment, or lifestyle choices. I received this lovely book from the publisher Summer Press through NetGalley.

Interview of me by Brian Paone, Editor of Flash of Words 2, which includes my story Let Me Win

Today here at Fiction Writing, we are featuring author Lael Braday, whose story, “Let Me Win,” is included in this group’s anthology, “A Flash of Words 2.”

Is it based on a true story? Let Me Win harkens back to my childhood, when my big sister would demand that I play Monopoly with her. She wanted to win, but she didn’t want me to let her win. So we’d play for hours. I learned to be subtle in my losing tactics and pretend heartily to care that I lost. It was exhausting.

Do you write in the same genre as your reading preference, or do they differ? The bulk of my stories are speculative, a blend of horror, fantasy, and soft sci-fi, but I tend to prefer reading historical fiction and magical realism.

What are your biggest inspirations to write (other than music)? Most of my short stories originate in dreams or real life.

What/who is one of your favorite books/authors? An Indie author I will always read without needing a summary is Brian Barr, although he writes in genres and on subjects I don’t normally read, because his storytelling talent is phenomenal.

What kind of taco is your favorite? Trying to pick a favorite taco is like trying to pick a favorite breath. Honestly, it’s the current one, each current one, that’s keeping me alive, man. I love breathing.

Pick up a copy of “A Flash of Words 2” in paperback or eBook at any book retailer worldwide, including Amazon. If you purchase the paperback directly from Scout Media (click the logo below), you will receive another “Of Words” anthology of your choosing in eBook for FREE, as well as a FREE companion soundtrack download!! A Flash of Words 2 — Scout Media (scoutmediabooksmusic.com)