I wrote The Broken Swing sometime last year, and it sat in google docs collecting dust, so I figured I might as well publish it for free. The story is based on a dream, not real life events. A continual shout out to Stef and Anne, who beta read for me before I nervously hit the publish button. I hope you all enjoy it! It’s a quick, bittersweet read about a girl who’s lost her best friend and decides it’s finally time tell the boy she loves how she feels about him.
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Civilization is poised on the edge of technological collapse. Thomas Kirby, employed at a floundering company endures life on the brink, plagued by recurring nightmares and the fear of losing his job. He wants nothing more than to provide for his family and bring some stability into their lives.
Salvation seems to be at hand. His friend Roko Kasun, an artificial-intelligence researcher, shares a world-shattering secret. He’s on the cusp of launching a super-intelligent AI – a guardian-angel that promises to usher in a new world order. But only after Thomas teams up with his ambitious friend does Rokoreveal the catch: his preparations to summon this god-like savior have not gone unnoticed. Roko has drawn the gaze of the Basilisk – a shadowy power capable of ensuring, or extinguishing humanity’s only chance at survival.
My Review: Quick, but intriguing sci-fi short. Thrown between what’s presently happening in the story and what conversation took place prior, I was pleasantly surprised to be hooked into this terrifying breakthrough of artificial- intelligence.
This is the second work I’ve read by Blackbourn. “Cursor Blink,” another short, was just as gripping, and I recommend it as well.
Summary via Jesse Studio: “Charlotte Maguire gets you right in the heart. Literally.
Charlotte ‘Lot’ Maguire is a thief on the streets of Victorian London until she meets Brandon O’Connor and spies a route to an easier, well paid, life. Except Lot isn’t made for the life of a Victorian lady and can’t resist the lure of trouble. With corrupt businessmen in the drawing rooms, vampires in the gentlemen’s clubs and her old associates in the alleys she doesn’t have to look far to find it.”
My Review: Full of clever metaphors, unique vampire romance and a badass female protagonist, you won’t want to miss out on this fast paced freebie!
Lot is one of my new favorite female characters. She’s independent and strong, but still opens up little-by-little to the idea of love. She’s everything you wish you were, and everything you beg for from a female character.
Victorian Mistress is brilliant and beautifully written. Edited by the author, there are little-to-no errors and mistakes throughout, which is impressive. The story isn’t bogged down with unnecessary narrative or dialogue. It all flows well together, moving the plot and building the palpable world Stuart created. Each character has a unique voice. The tension throughout the dialogue and narrative pulls and pushes you from scene to scene with little room to breath. It’s fantastic! You won’t want to put it down until you’ve consumed the ending.
Summary via Goodreads: “When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally. But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel…”
My Review: Tension filled, ET romance! This book was a fun adventure.
The main character is cute, but a little dumb at times. It was hard to like her in the beginning when she’s swooning over this alien, who looks like a handsome celebrity. Very juvenile behavior at times, especially when she’s talking to her best friend Maggs about David. I like her rebellious spirit, but there were times she could have put two-and-two together and realized this guy is the fugitive on the run… Her being that dense ruined the beginning of the book for me. She’s suppose to be going into her senior year of high-school, is submitting college applications, but she still acts (in my opinion) like a middle-school girl with a crush. All that said, her goals are clear, internal and external conflicts are set up well. And, I did like her friendship with David, how it developed. Though, I wished at times David was more ignorant of his surroundings and how to behave on this planet. He was almost too human to be believable as an alien.
The pacing and tension in the conflict is great. Jess’s relationship with her friends and her father are perfect! This is a book I was able to speed read through because the pace never faltered. There were descriptions I missed, major ones, however. I’m not sure if it was because I was ready to get back to the dialogue, or if some of the narrative was too full of description.
I sped through this adventure. Pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it, despite the complaints I had. By the end, I needed to know what happened next, and bought the second book. Review to come.