Title: Spells & Stardust
Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Length: 8 Short Stories (169pgs total)
Publisher: J. Scott Coatsworth (December 5, 2018)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 1/2 – 5 Hearts (combined)
Blurb: Spells & Stardust is Scott’s first anthology – eight sci fi and fantasy shorts that run the gamut from regeneration to redemption.
The Bear at the Bar: A gay fish out of water tale with a pinch of magic.
Tight: What happens when your lover disappears in midair?
Morgan: The year when everything changed.
Re-Life: What if you were reborn in a strange new future?
A New Year: They met every eleven years. And each time, Hank’s life changed.
Repetition: What if you wanted to go back in the closet?
Gargoyle: Sometimes you get what you deserve. Sometimes it happens on All Hallows Eve.
Avalon: A few bright moments in the sun, stolen from outside time.
Most of these stories have been previously published in various anthologies and journals. This is the first time they have all been collected in one place.
The Bear at the Bar Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Dex walks into a bar looking for a hook up. What he gets instead is the shock of life when Colin, the bear from the bar switches bodies with him. Dex learns how others react to how is now and he witnesses how others perceive him when he goes back to the bar to confront the man who took his body. I loved this story. It tells a powerful message as the story continues. Fantastic read.
Tight Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
A tale of one mans’, Christopher, struggle to live and come to grips after the death of his partner Eric during a trip on a plane where he has a heart attack. I found this story intriguing. Christopher’s struggle is real as are the dreams he has. I felt an immense sadness at the loss he suffered. The ending while painful to read was at the same time a happy one for those who have lost someone then find them in the ever after.
Morgan Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Zach meets Morgan and the two seem happy but soon things grow distant between them until a two week separation brings them together before Morgan heads back home. Morgan never tells Zach who he is or where he’s from but leaves him a parting gift in the form of a bracelet which Zach uses to find him. Loved it.
Re-Life Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts
Cute story about Eric who has been reanimated in a newly made body from his DNA after he dies from cancer five hundred years prior. I loved how the story progressed and was detailed enough to explain the way things were. Eric struggles to come to grips with the past and the way things used to be for him. Jory was an absolute dream and I loved him and his backstory. It was interesting the way certain things are in this new world.
A New Year Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 1/2 Hearts
Heath meets Finn the night he attempts suicide. Then they meet every eleven years after. Though they did meet when Heath was nine. I found it entertaining and fascinating as we get glimpses about who Finn is. He never seems to age as time goes on. We finally learn who he is at the end. Great read.
Repetition Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Davis is a man who can change anyone’s history with use of code and data. But such things are dangerous if you’re not careful and you could completely wipe out someone from existence. John wants to be obliterated. Davis finds out by going through the streams that he knows the man intimately. If he does what John wants he could alter his own timeline. This was a unique story that I found fascinating. I would love to see it in a much longer story.
Gargoyle Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 4 1/2 Hearts
I loved reading about James. He was sweet if a bit naive. Daniel cares for James but has not told him due to James having a crush on homophobic football player Randy. When he warns James things don’t go as planned but James soon learns the truth. I found the gargoyle to be intriguing as to why he was there. It was an interesting addition to the story that I loved. I did want to know how it all got started though and what exactly happened for it to begin in the first place.
Avalon Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
This story broke my heart. Tony is taking care of his dying lover Jake. There is a homophobic ass who enjoys hurting both men to the bitter end. Though Jake and Tony seemed happy for a short while Brent destroyed both men lives simply because of his hatred. I honestly didn’t get the happily ever after sense except for Jake who went to Avlon after his death at the hands of Brent. Still it was a wonderfully told story.
Overall this is an amazing collection of wonderfully written short stories that will touch your heart and make you feel one emotion or another. I was fascinated with all the stories.