Hello all! Hope you’re enjoying your summer!
I’ve been busy writing new stories and hope to release at least some of them in the Fall. In the interim though, writers like to touch base with readers, and one way to do that is through reviews. We want to know the good points and the bad–all of it helps us hone our craft. In our warped little world, Reviews Are A Great Goodness.
The appearance of Bob the Wonder Lawn Flamingo seems to have sparked a small invasion of flamingos to my feeds. Which is probably a good thing, as virtual flamingos are likely to fare much better in the Pacific Northwest than real ones. 😉
Anyway, what follows are the reviews I’ve gotten so far, all taken from Amazon.com. I hope you enjoy them, and if you haven’t read something mentioned here yet, just remember that short stories make perfect summer reading. Enjoy!
PINK FLAMINGOS & OTHER FOLLIES
(released March 2018)
Who knew anything that good could come from Wally World?
These are lighthearted short tales that often don’t end where one thinks they might. There’s an inverse “Pluggers” resolution, visitations from the other side (or are there?), and oh my stars, who knew anything that good could come from Wally World?
I will read this again.
Delightful, Captivating Diversions
Okay, I admit it – out of the gate I am a lover of story books. Pink Flamingos & Other Follies is a delightful box of bon-bons you’ll have to work hard at not devouring in one sitting. The stories start strong, grab you fast and end with satisfying paybacks for the reader. Cyn Ley has mastered this literary form and I look forward to actively collecting her books for my beach bag this summer.
A book of short stories well worth the time to read!
Pink Flamingos & Other Follies is the third collection of short stories by Cyn Ley. I read the first two collections and couldn’t put down those books. Pink Flamingos was no different. Five stories, each different, and each wonderful. My favorite was “It’s a Mystery I: The Lost Boys”. In this tale set in a small town two boys disappear. I write mysteries and love the genre, so I approached this one anxious to unwind the who dunnit puzzle. Captured by the narrator’s voice and the sometimes strange people that live in that town, I read late into the night. The solution… well, I’ll just say I found it totally satisfying. Oh, and the last story, “Bored Laureen and Wally”… what a way to capture a husband’s attention.
How to forget your troubles…Just read this book!
This is the second book of Ms. Ley’s I have read, and am so glad to have discovered this highly intelligent and intuitive writer. She kept me guessing and filled my head with wonderful characters and lives that kept me riveted to the book to the end. I can recommend Cynthia Ley for anyone who loves in depth characterization and careful setting of plot and cues. She has a flair for going deep that few authors possess.
THE OSSUARY PLAYGROUND AND OTHER UNEXPECTED TALES
(released Fall 2017)
Delightful, creative stories! Recommended!
The first two stories are superb. They are well written, with as lovely cadence. The characters are vibrant and real, and you care about them. I love the author’s unique take on life after death. The third is good, aside from some awkward missteps. The fourth is playful, and I wish it were longer. I’m not a fan of horror/ghost stories in general, but I highly recommend this book!
Come play with the Ossuary!
Wow! I don’t normally care for short stories but I was bowled over by these. They are crafted like jewels. The language is polished and flows effortlessly across the pages, sweeping you along through a series of bright mind pictures to satisfying conclusions. A girl ghost of a war past; a mature ghost named Gerald who is slightly crochety, but forgiving enough to those who are polite; a house high on the face of a hill where a spirit grieves; a battle to confuse. All are clear as gems, but flow like water.
Elegance in storytelling
I love a good ghost story, always have. But not the kind filled with demonic spirits and gratuitous bloodletting that seem to glut today’s market. When a friend loaned me a copy of Cynthia Ley’s The Ossuary Playground and Other Unexpected Tales, and told me it contained the kind of literary ghost tales I enjoy, I couldn’t wait to read it. This book of four short stories certainly didn’t disappoint me. The first three were what I would term classic ghost stories, in which a spirit is seeking peace, or, as in the third of Ms. Ley’s tales, absolution interacts with the living. The fourth, the title story, embodies a different kind of spirit, but mentioning what that is would be a spoiler. What binds these stories is the twist at the end, the “unexpected” that the author suggests in her title.
Beyond the nature of these stories, which kept me reading until my eyes grew bleary, is that each is told with elegance of prose too often missing from writing today. For me, and I’m certain for others who enjoy good literature, The Ossuary Playground and Other Unexpected Tales is a book well worth reading.
Her prose is a delight to read. So happy to find her writing.
Her ease of describing scenes allowed me to envision her world in a wonderful way that fewer authors do today. Her characters are well thought out and intriguing. I am very happy to find this book.
Stories are so well written. You can see the places, smell the flowers, and know the people.
To know you is to love you
So often I find myself vaguely disappointed at short stories, rather like having a bland and not particularly filling meal. That never happens here, these are robust and filled with the promise of well thought out characters and beautifully described places. I’m hungry for more of this author’s work.
And some Tillamook ice cream…
An enjoyable read
A nice collection of haunting tales: one sad, two hopeful, one…whimsical? I found them more touching than terrifying, which was perhaps the intent. No spoilers, but I figured out the last one pretty quickly.
So much food for thought
I didn’t expect stories with such a deep exploration of what it’s like to be dead! And the stages of passing over, and relationships after death before leaving for the light, and how we might think and feel in that stage, where we slowly realize that we have died and look around and find others and meet up with them and care about them, before the light finally claims us and takes us elsewhere, no doubt alongside our newly found friends. I loved reading these stories, they filled my imagination without any feeling of darkness, but with a sense of the continuation of consciousness and of the personality surviving death to begin anew elsewhere.
Very brilliantly done, Ms. Ley!
ENCOUNTERS TALES RECOUNTED AND REBORN
(released March 2017)
I thoroughly enjoyed Encounters! Somehow things rarely go where one thinks they are headed.
Magical, charming, original and captivating
Thought provoking and soul searching
A satisfying and interesting reading experience
A Fascinating Flash Fiction Collection
Flash fiction is a different approach to telling a story. Shorter than short stories (some people call them “short-shorts”), and different than novels and short stories, a piece of flash fiction leaves the reader—almost dares the reader—to complete the tale. Not everyone can write flash fiction, but an author who does it well is a pleasure to read. Cynthia Ley is just such an author.
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed The Ossuary Playground, her volume of short stories, I was thrilled to stumble across her latest volume, Encounters, at a book reading. When I opened the book, I found twenty stories between the covers. I thought it would be a fast read. It wasn’t, because if found myself returning to each story over and over as, pulled by Ms. Ley’s beautifully drawn characters, I was pulled back to each over and over while my imagination constructed and reconstructed the world these people inhabit. One story that entirely fascinated me was, “The Fire Solstice, 1980,” that tells of a young man [named] Jake, a wannabe volcanologist, who is drawn to the Mt. St. Helens volcano after its eruption. I still return to this story, imagining what engendered Jake’s desire to understand volcanoes, and where his life might lead.
This is certainly not the only story that will grab a reader in this beautifully written collection, and I’m certain anyone who opens this book will, like I, return to it over and over.