Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

I received this book from Playwrights Canada Press in exchange for an honest review.

“He knows where everyone is! He just doesn’t want to tell us,” (Walsh 105).

Things have not been going well for twelve-year-old Genevieve, her mom is missing and Genevieve has to help out around the house and make sandwiches for her many brothers and dad and no one will tell her when her mom is coming home. She also really wants to be an altar server, but it’s 1963 and Father Paul and her classmate (and star altar boy) Martin tell her that girls can’t be altar servers. So Genevieve prays to God hoping he’ll make an exception, but instead of God answering a fourteen-year-old Roman martyr, St. Pancras, appears to her and promises to get her an answer. But then Martin goes missing, and Genevieve worries St. Pancras may have misunderstood what she was asking for. She’s starting to wonder if there’s anyone out there who actually listens to her prayers. Continue reading

I received this book from Playwrights Canada Press in exchange for an honest review.

“A girl in the body of a woman. Stuck between this world and another. Longing to be human again,” (Rutherford 7).

A woman runs into her former groomer and is surprised by her reaction when she sees him. In order to try to understand what happened all those years ago, the woman speaks with her teenaged-self and recalls the synchronized swim team she was on all those years ago. Continue reading

I received this book from The Next Best Book Club in exchange for an honest review.

“There are times when the man does not remember who he is, or how he came to be here. Times when he seems to act out the script of a desire that is not his own,” (Kendall 4).

James Burke mysteriously disappears in a lighthouse after leaving a strange phone call to Helene and her fiancée Lawrence. But after much investigation, there’s no trace of James, just a strange notebook that talks about a curse and a collection of drawings titled “The Death of the Jubliant Child,” as well as connections to Helene and her infant daughter and a strange Man With The Forks In His Fingers. Fifteen years later, Helene finds the detective’s copy of the notebook as history appears to begin repeating itself. Continue reading

“I’m a coward. I run from knowing everything…I can’t grasp death. The immensity, the finality, if you don’t believe there’s a place where someone is waiting for you. I don’t know what to do with something so immovable. To know you can see someone only by looking back,” (Jackson 284).

Things have been rough for twenty-four year-old Alice. She’s recently lost her job, is having trouble sleeping, and doesn’t really want to eat. And to make matters worst her best friend Mia is chronically ill, having lost her hair and put on multiple IV drips as her stay in the hospital gets longer and longer. But Mia will get better, she has too. And until she does Alice keeps her new familiar routine of visiting Mia in the hospital and watching movies while Mia pressures her to continue living her life, to be social and to meet someone. But how is that even possible when Alice can find a flaw in any guy who seems sort of nice and is interested in her, who will most likely end up disappointing her anyways. How can Alice be happy when so much in her life isn’t? Continue reading

“We live in a world where exceptional women have to sit around waiting for mediocre men,” (Jenkins Reid 297).

After Nicki Chan matches Carrie Soto’s record of twenty Grand Slam titles in tennis, she decides to come out of retirement. At thirty-seven, she’s the oldest woman tennis player to do so, but Carrie Soto is determined to continue being the best. Her coach and father Javier, a former tennis champion as well, has trained her since she was a child and knows exactly how to help Carrie keep her title even though her body doesn’t move the way it used to, and she isn’t as quick, and the media never really liked her “Battle-ax” brutality on the court. But it also means she needs the help of Bowe Huntley, another tennis player and former flame who’s willing to do what he can to help Carrie take back her record. But Carrie Soto is a force to be reckoned with, and she will do whatever it takes to continue being the best tennis player the world has ever seen. Continue reading

“We didn’t wonder where the magic came from, or why it worked. We never asked ourselves, Is this ours to take? We were three damp ducklings, green as leaves, believing with all our crooked hearts that we were the ones writing this story,” (Albert 97).

Right now in the suburbs, seventeen-year-old Ivy’s summer begins with a naked woman in the middle of the road in the middle of the night, a grounding for her own irresponsibility, and increasingly strange things and dead rabbits that appear as the night with the strange woman passes and Ivy begins to understand something she’s always suspected: her mother has been hiding something. Back then, in the city, the summer Dana Nowak turns sixteen she and her best friend meet a third, strange girl as the three discover their own supernatural powers. They learn and share their magic, amazed by their own power until one of the three’s ambitions grows darker, leading to dire consequences. Ivy and Dana’s stories converge as the dark forces around them rise, begging the question of whether either of them can escape it. Continue reading

After getting a call from her estranged, dying mother to come home Vera Crowder does, because that’s what a good daughter would do. But home means the Crowder House, the house her father built, and though Vera felt much comfort there growing up it has it’s own bodies buried there, literally. Because Vera is the daughter of Francis Crowder, a notorious serial killer, and with that kind of heritage Vera is no stranger to the animosity she gets from strangers and the people in her old hometown. But all isn’t right at the Crowder House, for one her mother Daphne is much sicker than Vera believed, and James Duvall, an artist, is living in the shed. James sees himself as a medium through his artwork and insists that there is something in the house, possibly the spirit of her long dead father. And when Vera starts finding notes in her father’s handwriting, she can’t help but wonder where they’ve come from. Dealing with her own complicated feelings for her father as more strange things occur in the Crowder House, Vera will have to face them whether she wants to or not. Continue reading

“I am lonely, of course. I’m so lonely I could make a map of my loneliness,” (Mellors 126).

A few hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve, twenty-four-year-old British painter Cleo meets forty-five-year-old advertising CEO Frank and there is an instant connection. Frank is enchanted by Cleo’s beauty and artistic nature while Cleo is impressed by Frank’s success. Before either of them know it they’re married, changing both of their lives and those of their loved ones in ways neither of them could have predicted. Continue reading

I received this book from The Next Best Book Club in exchange for an honest review.

“I had a kinky sex dream about Alex Trebek. It wasn’t all bad, but then again, I can remember only snippets of it. Running my fingers through his gray hair. I answered him, “What is the meaning of life?” And he declared me the winner,” (Jensen 13 “Final Jeopardy”).

Usually when I review short story collections I like to rate every story and give a mini-review for each of them. But since many of the stories in K.B. Jensen’s collection are flash fiction pieces, I didn’t want to spoil what some of the shorter stories are about. That’s the beauty of flash fiction, they’re brief but memorable!

Love and Other Monsters in the Dark certainly has it’s memorable tales with stories that cover a variety of genres. We have a few contemporary stories, some horror, science fiction, even a zombie story but what connects them all is monsters. Serial killers, ghosts, abusive boyfriends, neglectful husbands, Jensen shows the many different types of monsters that exist in fiction and in our own lives. Continue reading

“The dead don’t walk,” (Kingfisher 113).

Retired soldier Alex Easton has received a letter from their childhood friend Madeline Usher saying that she is dying. Alex heads to the imposing old house of Usher and finds horrid smelling mushrooms on the grounds, strange hares that disturb the people around the land, and an oddly glowing lake. Once reuniting with their childhood friends, Alex finds the Usher siblings are worse off than they expected: Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in an odd voice at night and Roderick startles at the smallest of sounds. Things are not right in the house of Usher, but with the help of a British mycologist, an American doctor, and an army friend Alex may be able to figure out what is happening. Continue reading