Long & Short-Story Reviews

Hi everybody! It’s the end of February and I’m deeply into 2022 reading! I’ve reread a few classics, a few traditionally published novels, and a number of books and short stories by Independent Authors. The books featured today are available on Amazon, and I’ve provided the links at the end of each review. Please help me welcome these talented, multi-published authors: Joy York, Pat Garcia, and Yvette Calleiro!


Joy York opens this tale with a graphic murder offering the reader a bit of dramatic irony over the main character, Reagan Asher. When Reagan enters the childhood home where her grandmother has been murdered, she thinks the murder was a simple home invasion gone wrong, but we know it’s more sinister than that.

While waiting for Detective Brad Kowalski, the officer who called her to the scene, Reagan hears noises coming from her grandmother’s bedroom. Of course she goes to check the sounds out (I love when characters do that). A slamming window sends Reagan running back to the safety of the front of the house and into the arms of ex-Navy SEAL, Aiden Rannell.

Aiden, at the request of Reagan’s best friend and his sister-in-law, Mattie Rannell, has come to offer support in Mattie’s place. It doesn’t take long for Reagan to trust Aiden, and it isn’t long until Aiden determines that Reagan isn’t safe in the old house. With help from a cast of interesting (and sometimes unsavory), secondary characters, the two must find out who’s behind Nana’s murder; the ensuing break-ins at the property; and the attempted kidnappings. And if that isn’t enough, there’s the costume jewelry that Reagan and the neighborhood kids have grown up playing with since they were little.

As Reagan discovers she’s not who she thinks she is and neither is anybody else, Aiden continues to be a dependable friend__until Reagan’s boyfriend shows up to complicate things.

Genuine Deceit offers just the right amount of complexity; unexpected twists; and excellent pacing. Ms. York guides the plot to the very satisfying end with skilled storytelling. If you’re looking for a mystery that’s hard to put down, don’t pass on this page turner. Genuine Deceit is a genuine treat!

Four and a half (4.5) stars because there were some minor hiccups, but nothing to spoil the story.


Pat Garcia excels at descriptive writing and in this short story she holds the reader spellbound from the moment Chance Mancini sees a cloud of reddish-yellow dust whirling something her way. Ms. Garcia plunks us down on the porch beside Chance, and we watch with her as the car moves her way. Who is bringing the loud jazz music that’s such an “unruly interruption” to Chance’s quiet world? Whoever it is, he’s trespassing.

Chance is shocked to see Gavino Mancini alight from the car. (Yes, they have the same last name.)

The readers follow Chance and Gavino Mancini into the house and join them at the kitchen table where their stories are told. Chance and Gavino haven’t seen each other in three years, and it’s obvious that they still love and desire each other. As the story unfolds, we are privy to the language of love which is alluded to in the opening quote from The Song of Solomon. Chance and Gavino’s conversations and private thoughts are sensual and their love is quite transparent.

This story is a snap-shot of intimacy that not all of us are familiar with and that is the Dominant/Submissive relationship. I wasn’t able put myself in Chance’s place because I couldn’t visualize me relaxing or trusting enough to explore that lifestyle. In an earlier review, I shared my lack of sophistication in this area, and the author commented, laughing, “….I feel I have reached one of my goals and that is to get you to see this lifestyle from a different perspective.”

Ms. Garcia adeptly showed a different perspective of a loving couple. Thanks, Pat! I gave this story 5 Stars!

HYPE by Yvette Calleiro

Yvette Calleiro perfects the slow-build in this tale, lulling us with a good, better than average, ordinary family life. That’s what makes the story so stunning. Writing? Superb! Story? Superb! It’s the subject matter that trips us up as we follow a happy, carefree teenager named Cecelia Gonzalez.

CiCi, as she’s called, is co-captain of the cheerleading squad and dates the high school football star. Could life get any better? Yes! Her mom is marrying a hunk, and CiCi is happy that she and her new stepfather, John, get along, but there is a drawback. The hunk’s daughter is the dreaded high school pariah, Grub! Being stepsister to Grub is going to be dreadful. Grub’s own father thinks she’s a pain. All she does is stay in her room and blast music.

John is kind, and both he and CiCi’s mom would like for her to try to get along with Grub. CiCi agrees easily because Grub isn’t her main focus right now. She’s worried about winning the cheerleading competition and staving off her boyfriend’s, Ryan, pleas and advances; but she can even share those stresses with John. Things are going well, with the exception of Grub, and then…Pow! CiCi’s world comes crashing down, and like CiCi, the reader never sees it coming. I highly recommend this book and think it’s one that should be shared with young readers everywhere.

Ms. Calleiro uses a sensitive pen to handle provocative scenes that could’ve come across as titillating or too much. However the well told story kept the pages turning on their own.😁

I highly recommend this book, and I gave it 5 Stars!

I’m happy to promote these books for readers who are looking for something to read and would like to support Indie Authors. If you’ve read these titles, please share your thoughts on the stories and on my reviews. I don’t want to be guilty of revealing too much or spoiling the stories for other readers. See you soon!

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Educator, Author, Blogger, and supporter of Independent Writers. One mystery novel, The Neon Houses, http://amzn.to/2kSqdPX. Find me on Twitter @boom_lyn.

17 thoughts on “Long & Short-Story Reviews

  1. Linda, I was worried that you might be revealing too much too. But I ain’t mad at you. You know I’m a stickler for review correctness. LOL!

  2. Your reviews give away just enough, Linda, and I’m so happy HYPE is featured here. Thank you for such a wonderful review. I’m so happy you enjoyed Cici’s story. I appreciate you sharing it with your followers, and I hope they, too, will take a chance of getting to know her. 🙂

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