Dawn Reviews Stranded: A Wayward Ink Publishing Anthology by (Published by Wayward Ink Publishing on October 10th, 2014
- (of a boat, sailor, or sea creature) left aground on a shore.
“a stranded whale”
- left without the means to move from somewhere.
“he offers a lift to a stranded commuter”
The boys in this collection of short stories have most definitely been left STRANDED!
They’ve been shipwrecked and abandoned. Marooned and cast away. And left helpless and high and dry.
But you should never underestimate the tenacity of the human heart…
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Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00O3A3DY8/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00O3A3DY8/
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I have to admit, this is the first anthology that I have read – I have read individual short stories, but not like this.
CRAVING STAINS – Alina Popescu
Trapped since birth in a sterile, hospital-like apartment, Wynn longs to break free to experience the world. Enter Doyle. But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?
Craving Stains by Alina Popescu is the first story in this anthology, and what a start. We meet Wynn, who has never been outside, having been closed in his totally sterile apartment by his mother – I won’t say more about her, I will leave you to come to your own conclusion. Finally Wynn meets Doyle, but only in certain circumstances…. and with Doyle, he experiences feelings and emotions that he has never felt….. now is Doyle real or just a figment of Wynn’s overactive imagination?? I’m not telling !!
SAY CHEESE – Michael P. Thomas
Sitcom sensation Felix Medrano, America’s Sweetheart, throws a star-studded surprise party for his sweetheart, beanpole barkeep Grover Shepherd. It’s a smash, save for one detail: Shep is a no-show. Who’d have thought it would be so hard to pop the question?
Say Cheese by Michael P. Thomas is the next short story. Here we meet Felix Medrano – a big star in Hollywood, and his partner Grover Shepherd, affectionately know by everyone as Shep. Shep is away and trying to get back to Felix, who unbeknown to him has arranged an engagement party. You can’t help but smile at all the obstacles in Sheps way to prevent him getting home to Felix, as it is all doomed as far the engagement is concerned…….. or is it?? Read and fine out if Felix and Shep ever manage to be together.
STANDBY – Kim Fielding
Who’d have thought being stranded at the airport could possibly have some long term benefits? Certainly not Tom. But then he hadn’t bargained on meeting Rafael…
Standby by Kim Fielding was totally different for me. This was Tom who met Rafael at the airport, when he was waiting on standby for a flight. Rafael was someone completely different, and at once the spark flew between them quite literally. I am not going to say too much more, as I loved this story and don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Suffice to say, Rafael is not what he seems…
THE RAIDER – Asta Idonea
The gods truly do work in mysterious ways as Thorstein found out when he was left for dead on the battle field of a foreign land.
The Raider by Asta Idonea is historical – something which I don’t normally read. However, this story held me from the first page, and I wanted to finish to see what happens. We meet Thorstein in battle where he is badly injured, and assumed by his men to be dead. He is then rescused by Godwin, who nurses him back to health. This is a lovely story of two people getting to know each other, despite the language barrier. But then Thorsteins men come back to the island he is on, but does he go back with them or stay with Godwin…….. not telling !!
THE BUCKLE – Rob Colton
One ditching and one rescue later, Hayden discovers the use of a telephone isn’t the only offer that’s on the table…
The Buckle by Rob Colton we meet Rex who owns a bar plus a restaurant, who neglects his own health and social life with over work. He decides to go to the bar one night, where he sees Hayden. With a little help of his friend Eli, and Haydens brother Harlan, he meets Hayden, and thus the chance begins. Hayden is completely out of his comfort zone, but there is something that draws him to Rex. When he left at the bar by his brother, with no mobile or wallet, Rex offers him the use of the office phone. Once inside the office, the room really heats up. I have to say this really was one hot read…
ARI – Nephylim
Benji and Ari have spent their lives feeling lost and alone, stranded between genders. Can they help each other stop unravelling?
Ari by Nephylin – This is a transgender story, and I have to admit the first one that I have ever read. I did enjoy this book, I found it very enlightening as to the confused feeling that someone who is transgender can have. At the beginning of the story we meet Benji, who was going to an author conference and was going to meet his favourite author Arthur Bruin, and also his absolute hero, namely Ari Fischer. The two become good friends, although neither would speak about themselves. All was going well until the night that Ari kissed Benji and things changed. Benji was confused with what Ari had done, but the next time he met Ari, it was like meeting a different person. Things all came to a head at a questions and answer session with Ari as one of the authors, and Benji saves the day, but has yet to learn about Ari’s biggest secret…
OPPOSITES ATTRACT – Lily G. Blunt
Chris and Andreas are opposites in character. Both fear the other wants to move on. Can being stranded on a mountainside resolve the doubt that is threatening to tear them apart?
Opposites Attract by Lily G. Blunt – I loved this story. It began with Chris and Andreas, who are as different as chalk and cheese. Chris is the sporty outdoor person, and Andreas comes across as someone who is quiet and an introvert, together on holiday. Andreas thought the holiday was so they could spend some time together, but Chris had decided to book himself on excursions and continue his sporty outdoor pursuits, so this meant Andreas was alone in the hotel room every day. This then gave Andreas time to think about his relationship with Chris, and this in turn gave him very grave doubts. Chris just assumed everything in their life was rosy, until something happened to him, that made him take a good long look at his life and how he treated Andreas, and he soon realised he could be in jeopardy of losing Andreas forever…….. do they manage to be honest with each other, and talk things out….. I’m not saying, but what I will say is that this is quite a hot read.
OUT OF ORDER – Eric Gober
Rob was the one who got away. Trent stumbles upon him during a trip to San Francisco… Right before a deadly earthquake…
Out Of Order by Eric Gober – we meet Trent, who had travelled all the way to San Francisco to attend an interview, which has gone badly. As he is leaving, he encounters Rob, who he knew from his freshman year, but they lost contact, and they decide to have a drink together before Trent flies back to Pheonix. While waiting for Rob to clear his work away, the whole building begins to shake, due to an earthquake, and Rob pulls Trent under a counter. They manage to get out of the building, are seperated, but manage to find each other. Rob then takes them both to a friends house, where they can crash and keep safe and get dry. There is also some unfinished business between the two, going back to their freshman year, and now might just the right time to clear the air….
DATING FOR DEAFIES – Nikka Michaels
If Evan York keeps hiding from the world behind his laptop he might miss out on something special. Will he find the courage?
Dating for Deafies by Nikka Michaels made me think how much harder it must be for someone who is gay as well as deaf. To be honest I would never have thought about it, until I read this story. It is a thought provoking read, and I thank for author for writing this story. You meet Evan, who never truly accepted his being deaf, as he held on the doctors opinion that his hearing may return. He is on a date, with a hearing person, and this ends after five minutes and 37 seconds – a new record for him. He withdraws into himself again, but then receives an email in error from a famous author, Tristain Gaines, and he replies to him, telling him of his mistake. This is then the start of a chain of emails between the two men, and from there a meeting….. what happens next I will leave to you to read the story yourself.
ONE SNOWY NIGHT – Louise Lyons
One snowy night, Keith Brambles learns that appearances can be deceptive.
One Snowy Night by Louise Lyons is the story of Keith Brambles, who was a well known musican. Keith was finding it hard to find someone who loved him for himself, not for who he was in the public eye. He is annoyed at yet another disasterous date, and is driving home too fast for the snowy conditions….. eventually the inevitable happens. He stays in his car, hoping for someone to rescue him, and his knight in shining armour turns out to be a white van man!!! Mike Talbot recognises Keith as his alter ego Kent Brambles, and takes him to his house to thaw out from being so cold. Once their, Keith realises that appearances can be deceptive, and that Mike happens to be a very big hairy teddy bear, and he is attracted to him – not his usual type at all. Things soon heat up for the pair…
THE CLIMB – Kirifox
Jessie went camping with friends expecting to have some fun and maybe drink a little beer. Instead, he found his perfect man…but is he real or just a dream?
The Climb by kirifox was the story of Jessie who has been having some very vivid dreams, and who was going away with friends, camping for the weekend. He was the one that they called old man, who was sensible. While away, he and three friends decide to climb to the top of a neaby mountain. While going up the trail, one of them trips and injures himself, so Jessie and Gene decide to go on alone, as neither had ever been to the top. Whilst climbing the weather changes, and Gene and Jessie seek shelter in a cave and fall asleep. When he awakens, Jessie is alone, and when he ventures outside of the cave, things are not as they first appear…
DID YOU LEAVE ANY FOR ME – Sarah Hayes
Two ex-lovers, one hotel room, and one random act of technology. Will they fall out or fall back in love?
Did you leave any for me by Sarah Hayes is the story of Sheridan and Oliver. They were lovers, but have split, but seem to be trapped in a hotel room together. Oliver is not very happy being trapped inside the room with Sheridan, and is constantly ringing down the hotel front desk asking to be let out of the room. The situation isn’t helped by Sheridan forgetting why they were at that particular hotel. Being trapped together means they acutally have to talk to each other, and all their past hurts and grievances come out, Do they manage to talk through their differences, or does being shut in together seal the total end of their relationship…
SWEETNESS AND STRENGTH – JN Olsen
Miles makes one seemingly small and inconsequential decision that turns out to be not so small and inconsequential after all.
Sweetness and strength by JN Olsen is about a blind date – not always a good idea. Miles is waiting in a restaurant for his blind date, who sadly doesn’t arrive. He decides to stay and eat anyway, and is blown away by his waiter that evening. Miles gets his desert plus an extra one for this waiter, who he finds out is called Jordan. Miles and Jordan go to a nearby coffee shop, but decide they would rather go somewhere quieter and eat their desert. They head for a nearby park to sit and get to know each other better…. but do they get to know each other better, or do they simply part.
Overall, I really enjoyed this anthology, as every story was totally different, and I found this a wonderful way to read stories from authors I have never read before. I will definitely be looking for other books by these authors, and would recommend this anthology to anyone who wants fantasy, historical, transgender and many others all mixed together in one book.