Scattered Thoughts Summary of Reviews for August 2013

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August banner with pencils

August 2013 Review and Blog Summary:

5 Star Rating:

Fifty Fifty Chances Are (Chances Are #3) by Lee Brazil, contemporary
Ghost of a Chance (Chances Are #4) by Lee Brazil, contemporary
Wicked Guidance (Wicked’s Way #4) by Havan Fellows, contemporary
Wicked Incarcerations (Wicked’s Way #3) by Havan Fellows contemporarysummer images with book

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

Chances Are (Chances Are #1) by Lee Brazil (4.5 stars) contemporary
Dance Only For Me (Dance With The Devil #6) by Megan Derr (4.75 stars) fantasy
Demolished by Astrid Amara (4 stars), contemporary
Home Sweet Home (Home #5) by T.A. Chase, (4.5 stars) contemporary
Second Chances Are (Chances Are #2) by Lee Brazil
The Beast Without by Christian Baines (4.75 stars) supernatural
Welcome, Brother (College Fun and Gays #5) by Erica Pike (4 stars) contemporary
Wicked Bindings (Wicked’s Ways #2) by Havan Fellows
Wicked Solutions (Wicked’s Ways #1) by Havan Fellows

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

Burden by Annmarie McKenna (3.5 stars) contemporary
Faire Fugitive by Madeleine Ribbon (3.75 stars) fantasy
Fall For Me (Rock Gods #1) by Ann Lister, contemporary
Handle With Care by Josephine Myles (3.5 stars) contemporary
Mixed Tapes, Vol. 2 by Kris Jacen editor (3.5 stars) contemporary
Nischal (Leopard’s Spots #9) by Bailey Bradford (3.75 stars) supernatural
Subtle Innuendos (Mixed Tape series) by Z. Allora (3 stars) contemporary
The Boy Who Came In From The Cold by B.G. Thomas ((3 stars) contemporary

2 to 2.75 Star Rating:

The Queen’s Librarian by Carole Cummings (2.75 stars) fantasy

1 to 1.75 Star Rating:

Aching For It (Dominican Heat #1) by Stanley Bennett Clay (1 star) contemporary

Other Blogs:
Author Spotlight: Havan Fellows    
Author Spotlight: Lee Brazil
Wait? That Was The Ending? A Writing Mini rant From Scattered Thoughts

Review: Subtle Innuendos (Mixed Tape Series) by Z. Allora

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Subtle Inneundos coverMax and Chad fall in love at eighteen and form a band.  That band, Euphoria, rises to the heights of the music charts and popularity in the 80’s.  Although still very much in love, Max and Chad’s romance hit hard times just five years later, due to the pressures of being rock stars and Chad’s addiction to drugs and alcohol.  Both their relationship and the band dissolves in an explosion of pain and betrayal.

Now twenty years later, Max, a wealthy music writer and producer, receives a mix tape from Chad, its message clear.  He wants a reunion with Mac and their old band.  And on New Year’s Eve, the concert Chad had always wanted their band to play.  Will Max take one more chance on a love he has never forgotten or will old wounds keep the lovers separated forever?

Subtle Innuendos is a short story in the Mixed Tape series from MLR Press.  At  64 pages, this is one story that could benefit from a much longer version that the one that was published.   Basically a story of two young lovers reunited after twenty years apart, I felt that Z. Allora had the basic structure for a good story but none of the musculature needed to fill it out.

The story starts in Springtime New York City 1986 when the boys are eighteen then flashes forward to The Present as a forty-five year old Max receives his mix tape in the mail.   The narrative flips back and forth between the past and the present, revealing bits and pieces of the boys lives.  I don’t mind this style of writing, especially when it is well done.  My problem here is that the author doesn’t spend enough time in either era to really give us a taste of the mens relationship or back history.  Instead of depth, what we are given is more in the nature of snippets or flash fiction and that just doesn’t do the job.  Allora tells us about Chad’s addictions and gives us pretty much one scene to demonstrate said addiction.  But in order for us to feel the angst and pain this causes to both men we need much more than casual statement and one explosive outburst.  The same goes for Max’s continued feeling of love for Chad, even after 20 years apart.  Max still has his pictures, and feelings for Chad but those emotions never feel authentic because we are not given the scenes necessary to bring those feelings alive for us.

There just is no depth here, either of characterization or plot.  Had this story been novel or novella length, that would have given Z. Allora the necessary space needed to fill out both characterization and plot, both of which are needed to enrich her story and the reader’s enjoyment as well.  This is a nice story but it could have been wonderful.  Recommended for fans of Z. Allora and the rock star genre.

Cover Art by Deana Jamroz.  Lovely cover, works for the story inside.

Book Details:

Published June 2013 by MLR Press
edition language English