Stone and Shell by Lloyd A. Meeker

Title: Stone and Shell

Author: Lloyd A. Meeker

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: NineStar Press (November 28, 2016)

Length: Short Story (39 Pages)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts 

Blurb: Eight-year-old Howie Evinger is convinced that his dad would be happier if he found a new husband. Howie would be happier, too. And somewhere out there in the city of Vancouver, there’s the right man for his dad to love. But how to find him? That’s a problem, especially if you’re just a kid and your dad says he doesn’t want another husband.

With the help of his quirky aunt, Shanna, who calls herself a Buddhist Wiccan, Howie builds his very own solstice altar with cool symbols to support his search. It has a candle, a feather, and a twisty stick, plus an agate for his dad, and a scallop shell for his new husband. Share Howie’s solstice adventure as he learns how real magic requires courage and patience as well as symbols.

ISBN: 978-1-945952-21-0

Product Link: NineStar Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon DE

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: Howie wants his father happy.  With the help of his aunt, he has set up a little table with some symbols and he makes a big wish.  His father needs a new husband, and with Howie making the wish, it just might come true.

This is a very cute little story told in Howie’s voice.  It is way too small and just gives you a taste of what it could truly be, but it is still fun to read.  It is one of those true love stories with no real action or drama, but then again Howie is only eight years old.  He is so freaking cute and made the story even better.  I can’t say I would read this more than once but I did have fun with it.

Scrudge and Barley, Inc. by John Inman

John Inman - Scudge & Barley INC. CoverTitle: Scrudge and Barley, Inc.

Author: John Inman

Genre: Holiday, Ghosts/Spirits, Paranormal

Length: Novel (200 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 7, 2015)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.75 Hearts

Blurb: A classic tale takes off in sexy new directions! Poor Mr. Dickens must be twirling in his grave.

When E.B. Scrudge, putz extraordinaire and all-around numbnuts, is visited by his dead ex on Christmas Eve, he can’t imagine how his life could sink any lower. But the three ghostly spirits that come along after are even worse! Good lord, a dyke, a drag queen, and rounding out the trio, a big, hunky bear with nipple rings and a butt plug! What’s next?

What’s next is a good deal of soul-searching and some hard lessons learned with a dash of redemption thrown in for good measure.

And love too, believe it or not. Love that had been simmering all along at the heart of Scrudge’s miserable existence, although he was too selfish to see it—until a trio of holiday beasties pointed his sorry ass in the right direction.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-514-5

Reviewer: Shorty

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Review: A wonderful take on a classic tale. I found E.B. Scrudge to be the perfect scrooge. Overbearing, mean and callous. At times this man gets put in his place when he visited by several spirits. The ghosts in this story are characters themselves with a humorous yet serious side to them all.

Willie, E.B.’s secretary was sweet and kind. I felt sorry for him as he harboured feelings for Scrudge. I was very glad when Scrudge started realizing how he treated others especially Willie. 

I really enjoyed the entire story. Seeing the way you’ve treated people in the past and present is no picnic. But seeing what could be in the future is downright terrifying at ties. Especially if you don’t heed the warnings you are given.

Great read on a fantastic classic.