Category Archives: Reading Fiction

Author of the Week, Anne Perry, January 30

Author of the Week, January 30

Anne Perry

(Historical Detective Fiction)

 

“A good library can provide the furniture of our minds and the threads from which we weave our dreams.”

“You start at the end, and then go back and write and go that way. Not everyone does, but I do. Some people just sit down at the page and start off. I start from what happened, including the why.”

“I did a complete rewrite of 650 pages in two weeks.”

“Actually to kill someone, you have to care desperately over something, whether it is hate, fear, greed or because they stand in the way between you and something you hunger for. – Resurrection Row.

Anne Perry  (born 1938 in London) is an English author of historical detective fiction. She best known for her Thomas Pitt and William Monk series. She has written over 100 books, novels and several collections of short stories. Her story “Heroes,” which first appeared the 1999 anthology Murder and Obsession, edited by Otto Penzler, won the 2001 Edgar Award for Best Short Story for Heroes. Perry  was convicted of the murder of her friend’s mother in New Zealand in 1954.  Perry has won the Agatha Award for Best Novel and Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Her novels include The Face of a Stranger and Defend and Betray.

Perry had no formal schooling past the age of 13. Her first book wasn’t published until she was 41. Perry began writing when she was in her twenties; however, her first book wasn’t picked up for publication until many years later

 

Interview with Anne Perry, “A Trip to Victorian Crime.”

 

 

Visit Anne Perry’s Book Page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Anne-Perry/author/B000APAS2A

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover

an author on Mondays at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 250 free short stories by over 150 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary or classic authors. Audios too.

2 Comments

Filed under book bloggers, crime stories, crime thrillers, fiction, fiction bloggers, historical fiction, literature, mysteries, Reading Fiction, Reading Fiction Blog, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, women writers

Come Meet Varlok. Flash Fiction

Varlok

 

Flash Fiction! Ready for a quick

100-word supernatural story?

The story below was part of a flash fiction contest at Horror Novel Reviews back in 2014. Some of you may know this website by Matt Molgaards. For the new year, I’ve been looking back at some of my work and decided to reprint this  tale that was published on Matt’s site.

 

Varlok by Paula Cappa   © 2014

 

The ninth hour. Julietta carries her violin up the darkened stone bridge. “I seek Varlok the music falcon, a blind creature of the ninth chorus.”

Julietta plays her sulky étude to the vale of sky, squeaking such discord she fears the black falcon will flee. “Dearest Varlok, I give you my perfect green eyes. Please grant me your immortal sonatas.”

The music falcon flies the Dusha River. He pecks her eyes, releasing glittering harmonies. Julietta breathes in the triumphant notes, grows dizzy, splashing into the river like a coin. Varlok soars the stars, consuming her lustful soul like a tasty fish.

 

 

Psst. Varlok is a character in my novel Greylock.

 

Check it out on Amazon.com or Smashwords.com

Gold Medal Winner, 2022 Global Book Awards.
Chanticleer Book Award Winner, 2015, First Place.
Best Book Award Finalist, 2017, by American Book Fest.

“Greylock is a smart, entertaining supernatural thriller. Think Stephen King meets Raymond Chandler with a score by Tchaikovsky. The author’s passion for both the arts and the natural world shines through on every page. Briskly paced and yet lovingly detailed, this novel was a genuine pleasure to read.” —David Corbett, award-winning author of The Mercy of the Night.

1 Comment

Filed under book bloggers, dark fantasy, dark literature, fiction, fiction bloggers, flash fiction, free horror short stories online, free short stories, free short stories online, Gothic fiction, horror, horror blogs, Mt. Greylock, mysteries, occult, paranormal, phantoms, quiet horror, Read ebooks, Reading Fiction, Reading Fiction Blog, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short stories online, short story blogs, soft horror, supernatural, supernatural fiction, supernatural music, supernatural mysteries, supernatural tales, supernatural thrillers

Sky Wolf, Supernatural Fantasy

JUST PUBLISHED!

My latest fiction, a supernatural fantasy (adult fairy tale) Sky Wolf  is in the current issue of The Lorelei Signal Magazine by Wolf Singer Book Publications. Sky Wolf is a novelette (45-minute read).

(Art by Lee Ann Barlow)

SKY WOLF

In the kingdom of Iceleea, the king has no queen, no heir to his throne. Until he meets the Queen of Witches, the wicked Hekate who is reputed to be a three-headed monster, known to travel the underworld of the dead, casting her ghostly spells on earthly victims. Yet, Hekate promises the king a shining beauty—an enchanting and stunning young woman to rule next to him on the throne. But the king must make his promises to Hekate as well. So the bargaining begins. When the mysterious young woman arrives by the magick of the yew tree, she is riding a white wolf. What secret powers does she bring from her realm? Who is this woman and why is there the tail of a dragon burned into her back? This is a supernatural mystery with witches, magick, and the power of the white wolf in a land of myth and fantasy.

To read this story FREE (45-minute read), copy and paste this link into your browser search window and access the story directly.

Feel free to click the LIKE button at the end of the story.
Or you can use the link below to the Lorelei Signal Magazine main page, click the cover image of the dragon, then on the main page click Current Issue and scroll down to Sky Wolf.  https://www.loreleisignal.com/
Come to Iceleea!
I would love to hear your comments! If you read the story, do send me a blurb of your reaction (two or three sentences will do). I’m looking for endorsements, so don’t be shy. You can send it via my contact page in the tab above or post in the comments. Many thanks to all my readers here and to all the authors and writers who follow me on all my social media.
Your support is a blessing I treasure every day.

5 Comments

Filed under book bloggers, Book Reviews, dark fantasy, dark literature, fairy tales, fantasy, fiction, fiction bloggers, free short stories, free short stories online, ghost story blogs, Gothic fiction, literary short stories, literature, paranormal, Reading Fiction, Reading Fiction Blog, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural fiction, supernatural mysteries, supernatural tales, witches

One of the Girls Was Dead

Harvey’s Dream  by Stephen King (The New Yorker Magazine, 2003)

Thursday’s Suspense  Story, December 8, 2022

 

 

How deep can the imagination go? How deep can a dream go?

Dreams are often horrors and great subjects for suspense stories and mysteries. This short story by Stephen King (The New Yorker Magazine) is a tale of a middle-aged married couple with daughters. We are in the kitchen and Harvey tells his wife Janet of a dream, describing details that his wife begins to recognize. Specifics like deviled eggs and a dent in the neighbor’s car. We follow Janet’s every thought that reaches psychological heights of fear and an ending that only Stephen King could write.

 

Read the short story here at The New Yorker Magazine:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/06/30/harveys-dream

 

Readers, please drop a line in the comments if you liked the story, or didn’t like it. How many stars would you rate Harvey’s Dream?

 

Film: 14 minutes. Don’t miss this!!

 

Stephen  King is a best-selling American author of suspense, horror, sci-fi and fantasy books. When he writes, he prefers to use pen and paper, using a Waterman fountain pen, instead of a computer. In his book On Writing, King says he tries to write at least 2,000 words a day. During the writing of his novel Carrie, King threw the first draft in the trash. His wife Tabitha retrieved it and eventually Doubleday bought the rights.

In the Atlantic, King revealed that he considers the introductory sentence of a book crucial for the book’s atmosphere and to successfully connect to the reader. He often labors over his first line for months or years until it’s exactly right.

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above for more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 250 short stories by more than 150 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading

one short story every month. 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 

 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

      Monster Librarian     

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

4 Comments

Filed under book bloggers, Book Reviews, dark literature, Dreams, fiction, fiction bloggers, free horror short stories online, free short stories, free short stories online, horror, horror blogs, horror films, literary horror, literature, mysteries, Nightmares, psychometry, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, Reading Fiction Blog, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short stories online, short story blogs, soft horror, Stephen King, supernatural fiction, supernatural mysteries, supernatural tales

Bleeker Street Caper

Guy Walks Into a Bar  by Lee Child  (2009)

Tuesday’s Mystery Story (flash fiction)   July 26, 2022

 

 

Take this quickie read for a spin about a sexy girl in a scruffy dive on Bleecker Street at 1:30 am. Moscow-style intrigue with a sassy twist. Author Lee Child at his finest!

SHE was about 19. No older. Maybe younger … She was blond and blue-eyed, but not American … She was probably Russian. She was rich. 

 

 

Read it here at the New York Times:

 

Also available at Readsnovelonline.com

http://readsnovelonline.com/Page/Content/353368/page-1-of-Guy-Walks-into-a-Bar-(Jack-Reacher-125)

 

If you like Tom Cruise and bar fights, this one is cool, featuring military cop Jack Reacher.  Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher  is being challenged to a fight outside a bar. He tries to warn the group that they can and should still walk away but despite his warnings, they still want to fight.  Three minutes of tough and gruff. So fun!

 

Lee Child, an multi-award winning author, is an English thriller novelist and an Anthony Award winner for the best first novel Killing Floor (1997). His novels are based on the adventures of Jack Reacher, a former American military policeman wandering the United States. He currently lives in New York.

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above for more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 250 short stories by more than 150 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading

one short story every month. 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

      Monster Librarian     

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

2 Comments

Filed under book bloggers, Book Reviews, crime stories, crime thrillers, dark literature, detective fiction, fiction, fiction bloggers, flash fiction, free short stories, free short stories online, horror blogs, literary short stories, literature, noir mysteries, psychological horror, pulp fiction, Reading Fiction, Reading Fiction Blog, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short stories online, short story blogs, suspense

Author of the Week, Thomas Ligotti, July 11

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   July 11

Thomas Ligotti

(Novelist of Horror, “Philosophical Horror,” Suspense)

 

 

“I’m completely indifferent to what genre I read provided that I feel sympathy with how a writer perceives being alive in the world.”

“Best-selling horror fiction is indeed necessarily conservative because it must entertain a large number of readers.”

“When I first read Lovecraft around 1971, and even more so when I began to read about his life, I immediately knew that I wanted to write horror stories.

 

 

Thomas Ligotti  (born  July 1953) is a contemporary American horror author and reclusive literary cult figure, most prominently known for Lovecraftian horror. His books include Teatro Grottesco,  Noctuary, The Nightmare Factory, and The Spectral Link.  The Washington Post called him “the best kept secret in contemporary horror fiction.”

 

Lovecraft eZine Interviews Thomas Ligotti:

https://lovecraftzine.com/2015/10/14/the-lovecraft-ezine-interviews-thomas-ligotti/

 

Visit Ligotti’s Amazon Page:

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on Mondays once a month at Reading Fiction Blog!

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 250 free short stories by over 150 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary or classic authors. Audios too.

2 Comments

Filed under book bloggers, Book Reviews, dark fantasy, dark literature, detective fiction, fiction, fiction bloggers, ghost story blogs, Gothic Horror, haunted mind, horror, horror blogs, horror films, literary horror, literature, occult, paranormal, phantoms, psychological horror, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, Reading Fiction Blog, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short story blogs, soft horror, speculative fiction, supernatural, supernatural fiction, supernatural mysteries, supernatural tales, supernatural thrillers, suspense, tales of terror, weird tales

Dream Existence

The Fairy Maiden, A Welsh Fairy Tale

Author of Legendary Stories of Wales, Collection Written by E. M. Wilkie, Published by Pook Press, 2013

Tuesday’s Tale   June 28, 2022

Today is a fairy tale day. The fantasy genre is a delicious side dish of supernatural mysteries, which has been my main meal here at Reading Fiction Blog. We love fairy tales, even as adults, because they explore breaking the bonds of culture and transport us into other worlds of magic and endless possibilities. That childhood desire to fly like Peter Pan or discover your prince at a stunning ball like Cinderella.  I like what W.B. Yeats has to say about fairy tales.

 

 

For me as a child, fairy tales were not my escape from reality; they were reality  in thousands of ways. The wicked witches, the mad enchantresses, the evil queens, and pixie dust, wizards, and magical realms. All wonderfully real in some far away world at a time beyond me.

Come into the fairy tale again and experience the dream existence.

An enchanting quick read, this short story is a charmer and so refreshing.  This Welsh fairy tale is about a man named Tom who steals a maiden from her circle of dancing folk fairies on a river bank.  Once upon a time …

This is a tale of the still, hot days in summer when the dust lies thick and soft on the roads, and muffles the footfall of horse and man, and powders the hedge-plants, and turns the roadside grass grey.

 

The Fairy Maiden – A Legendary Tale from Wales

This story is featured in Legendary Stories of Wales – Illustrated by Honor C. Appleton, on Amazon.com.

This book contains 57 classic Welsh tales  ‘told through the ages’ – including those inspired by Ancient Greece and Rome, the Celtic past, King Arthur, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dante, George Eliot, and many more. As Wilkie informs his reader… ‘many of them are well known… some are out-of-the-way tales… and a few, probably, have never been written down before.’

 

Listen to a famous Welsh fairy tale The Fisherman and the Mermaid read by David Reid, on YouTube (8 minutes). Delightful!

 

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above for more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 250 short stories by more than 150 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’  fantasy, and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading one short story every month. 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 

 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

      Monster Librarian     

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

1 Comment

Filed under book bloggers, Book Reviews, Dreams, fabulism, fairy tales, family fiction, fantasy, fiction, fiction bloggers, flash fiction, free short stories, free short stories online, literary short stories, literature, Magic, magical realism, Reading Fiction, Reading Fiction Blog, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short stories online, short story blogs, supernatural, supernatural fiction

Author of the Week, Shirley Jackson, June 13

AUTHOR OF THE WEEK   June  13

Shirley Jackson

(Mysteries, Supernatural, Gothic Horror, “Quiet Horror”)

“In the country of the story the writer is king.”

“I have always loved to use fear, to take it and comprehend it, and make it work, and consolidate a situation where I was afraid and take it whole and work from there.”

“I began writing stories about my children because, more than any other single being in the world, children possess and kind of magic that makes much of what they do so oddly logical and yet so incredible to grown-ups.”

Shirley Jackson is American novelist and short story writer.  The Lottery is her most famous short story but most of us admire her novel The Haunting of Hill House. She wrote six novels, two memoirs, and more than 200 short stories. The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle established her as a master of gothic horror and psychological suspense.

Listen to Shirley Jackson read her short stories,

The Lottery and The Daemon Lover:

 

The writing of Hangsaman, Shirley Jackson’s second novel, has inspired one of the most anticipated films of  2020. Shirley, won awards at Sundance Festival in January, is a psychological thriller that reflects on writing, womanhood and what it means to be a wife in 1950s America. Elisabeth Moss plays Jackson.

The film opens with a shot of the infamous short story The Lottery in The New Yorker. In actuality, Jackson started writing Hangsaman in 1950. The film focused on when Jackson was living in Bennington, Vermont, before she moved to Westport, Connecticut.

 

Hangsaman’s narrative structure descends into a shapeshifting ambiguity that left some critics at the time rather confused. But this is where Shirley really comes into its own in illustrating Jackson’s potential thought process behind the novel. “So what will become of your heroine?” asks Hyman, to which Jackson replies: “What happens to all lost girls: they go mad.”

Watch the trailer:

(Classic “Quiet Horror”)

 

Library of American interviews Joyce Carole Oates about Shirley Jackson (6 pages:

Click to access LOA_Oates_on_Jackson.pdf

 

Please join me in my reading nook and discover an author on Mondays once a month at Reading Fiction Blog! 

Browse the Index of Authors’ Tales above to find over 250 free short stories by over 150 famous authors. Once a month I feature a FREE short story by contemporary or classic authors. Audios too.

Follow or Join me here every month.

2 Comments

Filed under Author of the Week, book bloggers, Book Reviews, classic horror stories, dark fantasy, dark literature, fiction, fiction bloggers, free short stories online, ghost stories, ghost story blogs, Ghosts, Gothic fiction, Gothic Horror, haunted houses, haunted mind, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, literature, mysteries, paranormal, psychological horror, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, Reading Fiction Blog, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short story blogs, soft horror, supernatural, supernatural fiction, supernatural mysteries, supernatural tales, supernatural thrillers, tales of terror, Women In Horror, women writers

Dropped Dead

Creeping Siamese by Dashiell Hammett (1926)

Tuesday’s Detective Tale   May 24, 2022

A man stumbles into the Continental Detective Agency. He drops dead on the floor.  Stabbed in the left breast, the man’s wound is staunched with red silk—which seems to be a sarong.

If you love crime stories with ace detectives, then you must be a fan of Dashiell Hammett. This story is a cool little plot puzzle with imaginative clues. Good one!

“Hammett did over and over again what only the best writers can ever do at all. He wrote scenes that seemed never to have been written before.”  Raymond Chandler.

 

Read the short story here:

Click to access Hammett_Creeping_Siamese.pdf

Listen to other short stories by Dashiell Hammett (Creeping Siamese is not available in audio).

We like to remember Dashiell Hammett as the inventor of hardboiled detective fiction with brutal realism and wry humor. Hammett worked for the Pinkerton Detective Agency for eight years before he began writing his stories.  His first short story was published by The Black Mask in 1923.

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX OF AUTHORS’ TALES above for more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 250 short stories by more than 150 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, crime, sci-fi, romance, ‘quiet horror,’ and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading one short story every month. 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

      Monster Librarian     

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

1 Comment

Filed under book bloggers, crime stories, crime thrillers, dark literature, detective fiction, fiction, fiction bloggers, free short stories, free short stories online, literary short stories, literature, mysteries, noir mysteries, pulp fiction, Reading Fiction, Reading Fiction Blog, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short stories online, short story blogs, suspense, tales of terror

Book Moments Four, May Sarton

Book Moments Four, May Sarton, May 3, 2022

Anniversary of May’s birth date, May 3, 1912

My morning tea with May Sarton, filled with sunlight. This moment reflecting May’s thought “to live in eternity’s light, not in time.”

 

 

I am at the end of At Seventy, A Journal.  I have over 35 volumes of May Sarton’s books on my bookshelf, with several still to read.

May writes that she listens to Mozart Piano Concerto E-Flat Major, No. 9 (as I am listening to this music too). She conveys her feelings about nature, her garden, flowers,  birds, rhythms of the seasons, and light. These themes, her companions really, are in all her journals and poetry.

“I look out at the rain, the narrow winding path through the golden grasses to the gray ocean, and rest in it. I am as close to heaven as I am to hell all these days as summer turns to autumn.”

I especially love her description of flowers:

“My eyes rested on a blue jar containing crimson cosmos and lavender Michaelmas daisies, color as brilliant and starling as a clash of cymbals against the white walls.”

 

On page 305, May tells us about her muse. “Poetry does not happen for me without a muse.”

During the November entries in this journal, she mentions that a muse means intense preoccupation …

“I am fully aware that the presence of a muse literally opens  the inner space, just as November light opens the outer space …

“With this muse, to make every effort to live in eternity’s light, not in time.”

She has often claimed that her muse is a woman who “focuses the world for me.” For some artists, the muse is metaphorical or can even be an actual person. For May, her muse seems to be both.

It has been well documented in May’s writings that she considered Juliette Huxley to be her living muse.

 

I think May had many muses and at different levels. She mentions the influence of  Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen, Julian Huxley, S.S. Kolteliansky, Florida Scott-Maxwell, Anne Thorp, Susan Sherman, and especially Jean Dominique and Louise Bogan. I think perhaps even her dog Tamas and cat Bramble have had their play as muses in her life.

In one of her poems, she discovers her misunderstanding Of The Muse.

Of The Muse (excerpt)

When I was young, I misunderstood The Muse.

Now I am older and wiser, I can be glad of her

As one is glad of the light.

We do not thank the light,

But rejoice in what we see

Because of it.

What I see today

Is the snow falling:

All things are made new.

 

Let us leave it here, finishing off these Book Moments as if savoring one of May’s delicate dinners: Belgian endive salad, a loaf of French bread, and a glass of Beaujolais. She has fed us all so well!

 

 

 

You might like to read her interview at the Paris Review:

“The thing about poetry—one of the things about poetry—is that in general one does not follow growth and change through a poem. The poem is an essence. It captures perhaps a moment of violent change but it captures a moment, whereas the novel concerns itself with growth and change. As for the journals, you actually see the writer living out a life, which you don’t in any of the other forms, not even the memoirs.”

https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/3040/the-art-of-poetry-no-32-may-sarton

May died at the age of 83 in 1995. She is buried in Nelson Cemetery,

Nelson, New Hampshire.

 

Book Moments, May Sarton, April 4, 2022

Book Moments Two, May Sarton, April 7, 2022

Book Moments Three, May Sarton, April 19, 2022

3 Comments

Filed under book bloggers, fiction, fiction bloggers, free short stories, free short stories online, literary short stories, literature, novels, Reading Fiction, Reading Fiction Blog, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories online, short story blogs, women writers