Eye of the Storm by Denise Moncrief

Eye of the Storm by Denise Moncrief
Publisher: Still Moments Publishing
Genre: Mystery/suspense, contemporary
Length: Short Story (26 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Stephanotis

Kieran Talbot’s problems as a resident at a Tallahassee hospital force her to take a leave of absence and escape to the beach. One stormy night, a bruised and bloodied man collapses in the front doorway of her borrowed house.

A storm blows in off the warm Gulf waters, promising to drench the coast with the first downpour of a very hot summer. Kieran retreats to the beach house as the deluge begins. Just as she gets comfortable, the door bursts open. Rain soaked and bloody, Davis Jackson falls through the doorway. He needs a hospital, but he doesn’t want the cops involved. Danger follows Davis wherever he goes. Kieran won’t tell him her story and Davis won’t tell her his. Together they must fight for their lives during a Class Three Hurricane on Florida’s Gulf coast.

Kieran’s beach getaway is about to take a turn for the mysterious. Relaxing, sun-soaking, and de-stressing were in the plan; a bloody, unexpected visitor during a monsoon…not so much.

Writing a suspense story that keeps you turning the pages isn’t always easy but penning one in only twenty-six pages is even harder. Ms. Moncrief not only kept me in suspense, she pulled me in and carried me from page one to the perfect conclusion. She wasted no time plunging you into the setting, drama, and introducing these two interesting characters. I liked both of them and the constant banter between them which was very realistic. The story unfolded nicely and there were twists and turns I didn’t see coming.

The storm makes this story even more atmospheric and ups the tension level. I really enjoyed the last ten pages and felt like I had to keep reading. It has a satisfying ending and my only complaint…it ended too soon. I would have loved to have seen this story extended into a full length novel.

If you like suspense with just a dash of romance and haven’t got time for a full length mystery, I recommend this one to you. I’ll be looking out for more books by the author and the Moonlight Mystery titles.

Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Ceri Hebert

Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Ceri Hebert
Publisher: Still Moments Publishing
genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (46 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed Water Lily

What would you do if life gave you another chance to go back and get it right?

No one needs a mental health day more than forty-four year old Lila Weidner, but when the overworked HR director wakes up in her twenty-three year old body, she’s left wondering what is going on. Where is her life as a successful business woman? Where is her equally successful husband? And how is she going to maneuver through the day in order to stay on the same path she followed over twenty years earlier? Lila soon rediscovers old dreams and old friendships that she left behind and wonders if this is her chance for another shot at a truly fulfilling life. Does she dare to step off her original path and allow yesterday to become her new tomorrow?

Yesterday’s Tomorrow starts with an intriguing premise and gets even better.

Langston Hughes wrote a poem that asks, “What happens to a dream deferred?” Ceri Hebert answers it in her very satisfying short story, Yesterday’s Tomorrow.

Do you remember “do overs” as a kid? At forty-four, Lila Weidner gets one. I love what she does with her “do over”, and I’m willing to bet you will, too. This story is not only immensely satisfying, but it gets stuck in your brain because it gets you to think—way more than those “Freaky Friday” shows ever did. Lila has to decide what she’s going to do if she doesn’t go back to her old life, and equally important, what she’s going to do if she does.

This book is about dreams, those realized and those deferred. It’s about choices and claiming the right to be happy. It’s about settling and about risking everything. It’s about joy and love. I loved this story. I loved how it made me think of Langston Hughes’ poem “A Dream Deferred.” But mostly, I loved how it made me look at my life and think what I’d do differently, and more importantly, what I can do now to achieve those dreams deferred. Quite a lot to accomplish in forty-six short pages, but Ceri Hebert manages it quite nicely. Good job, Ms. Hebert.

I hope you’ll get this short story and that you enjoy it as much as I did.