Short & Happy (or not) edited by Richard Bunning and Dixiane Hallaj

Short Happy tinyI received this from one of the authors in exchange for an honest review

Short & Happy (or not) is a collection of short stories in a range of different genres. There are stories in here for everyone’s needs. There are some humorous stories but there are also some heartfelt and sad stories. Each story is written well and some of them really drag you into the story despite them only being short stories. While I was reading it, I was writing what I thought of each story after I finished them. I only wrote a sentence or two, but I will probably try and expand on them here. There are a lot of stories in this book, and I am going to try and cover them all.


Surviving a Cold Snap by Jo Alkemade – 3/5 stars
An enjoyable little read which was well written. It was a nice start to the collection of stories. It is a Valentines Day story – a romance. Gwyneth is struggling with her marriage and has gone away for a while. This is a story of her, in a way, reconnecting with her husband. Surviving a Cold Snap is a little funny near the end, but overall it is an enjoyable little read.

Dream Time by Lenora Rain-Lee Good – 4/5 stars
A very original story which really captured my attention. It is about a woman who dreams what seems like an alternative reality. It is very strange yet it is strangely entertaining.

The Night Doctor by Ellen Barnes – 5/5 stars
Two women meet at a bus stop and a old story is told. I really liked this one. The story was very enticing and interesting and despite only being a couple pages long there was a atmosphere to the story which suggests how well written it was. I could imagine a story like this being a great full length novel.

Coprolith by Ian Lahey – 4/5 stars
Coprolith was another strange read, yet very entertaining. I assume they are paleontologists searching for some fossils, but there is a paranormal twist to it. It was a well written, entertaining and humorous story that really did capture my attention.

November by Sherri Fulmer Moorer – 3/5 stars
November is a little story about Tamara who is upset over the loss of a summer fling. November is a nice little story.

Old Bones by Rob Johnson – 5/5 stars
Old Bones is about a boy who goes for his palms read and the events following. I really loved this one. It was very well written and a great piece of historical fiction. The characters are very memorable, as is the story, and it really did keep hold of my attention for the whole story.

First Contact by Richard Bunning – 2/5 stars
First Contact was the story about a man’s flying experience. I didn’t find this one too interesting. Probably because I don’t find flying planes all that interesting. It was well written, and others probably would enjoy this one more, but not me personally.

I See Angels by Bobbi Carducci – 3/5 stars
I See Angels is a story about a woman looking after her mother who is close to death. This was a sad, but nice little story.

Taking Flight by Caroline Doherty de Novoa – 4/5 stars
Taking Flight is a story about a girl overcoming her fears. Despite being only a page long it was a good read. I liked the character and she was very memorable despite the story being so short. It is very well written and I wished there was more of this story.

Unhappily Ever After by Ellen Barnes – 5/5 stars
Unhappily Every After goes on to talk about our well known princess and what would realistically happen to them, and their supposed ‘happily ever after’. This was a great story. It was strange, but original. These princesses didn’t actually get happily ever afters’ and I think the point of the story was to show that they have to create their own endings, instead of relying on their ‘prince’. I loved it.

A Fragile World by Tahlia Newland – 4/5 stars
It is a story of a woman during a storm and a powercut. I liked this one. It is well written and it shows how reliant human kind is on electricity and the vulnerabilities of the modern world.

I’d Rather Die by Dixiane Hallaj – 4/5 stars
A woman’s reaction to the death of her fiancé. This was a sad and heartfelt story, and it really did capture my attention. Very well written.

The View From 3½ Feet by Wendy Wong – 3/5 stars
This is a story of Ms. Benjefield and a day at work and the lives of some of her pupils. An interesting and engaging read.

Walking by Jane Buchan – 2/5 stars
I personally didn’t really get this story. This was a strange and a little interesting read, and also well written. But I’m still not really sure about it.

Trip Up by John Byk – 2/5 stars
Didn’t really like this one.

Captain’s Barbeque by S. M. Kraftchak – 2/5 stars
Not a huge fan of this one either

African Heaven by Jo Alkemade – 4/5 stars
A story of a woman trying to get a trip to see a Leopard. This was a nice story and I really enjoyed it. It was a really nice gesture for the woman to do for her father.

To Love Again by Maryann Miller – 2/5 stars
An elderly woman is figuring out if she wants to risk dating. This was an ok read for me, but nothing special and it didn’t manage to hold my attention for long.

Final Gifts by Jane Roop – 2/5 stars
This one also struggled to keep my attention.

O’Budlin Matricentricity by Richard Bunning – 2/5 stars
This one also didn’t keep my attention for long.

One Shot To Be Born by S. M. Kraftchak – 3/5 stars
An okay read that was a little enjoyable, but slightly confusing.

Dragon Slayer by Melanie Starkey – 5/5 stars
Dragon Slayer is the story of a girl and her brother during their outings. This was a really great story. You really got to know the characters, despite it being so short and you really cared for them. A sad ending, but a very good read which was very well written.

The Last Wave Good-Bye by Marjorie Rommel – 5/5 stars
The Last Wave Good-Bye is a story of a relationship between two elderly neighbours. This was such a heartfelt story with well written and interesting characters. A very nice and enjoyable read.

The Closet Monster by Dixiane Hallaj – 4/5 stars
A story of a woman’s look at an apartment. A light and entertaining read.

A Cup of Coffee by J. D. Kipfer – 3/5 stars
A story of a woman’s day at her stressful job. An okay read and entertaining at times. One positive is that all the characters seemed very fleshed out.

Out of the Box by Wendy Wong – 2/5 stars
Wasn’t too bothered about this story. Didn’t really connect with the character, and the story itself just didn’t capture my attention.

The Uncertainty Principle by Maria Elizabeth McVoy – 4/5 stars
I really liked this one. It was an interesting take on gaming and how games could potentially help those with phobias overcome them. Very interesting and enjoyable.

The Water Bomb War by Majorie Rommel – 5/5 stars
Two young girl are fed up with their grumpy neighbour stealing from their apple tree so they decide to try and stop it. I love this. It was very fun and the characters were very memorable and enjoyable. The writing was also very good.

Left Behind by Colleen Grimes – 2/5 stars
Didn’t really capture my attention.

The First Coven by P.M Pevato – 5/5 stars
The First Coven is the story of a young girl determination to get her mother back after she passed away. This is by far my favourite story in the book. Pevato manages to create an atmosphere much like those in fairytales and it was fascinating, magical and enjoyable. Highly original and entertaining. The writing is also superb.

The Big Short by Jane Roop – 2/5 stars
An interesting read but didn’t really keep my attention for that long.

The Indian Cure by Sakeena Edoo – 2/5 stars
Didn’t really capture my attention.

Granny Hitt by Lenora Rain-Lee Good – 2/5 stars
Also didn’t really capture my attention.

Rickestmortaphobia by Krisi Keley – 4/5 stars
A woman’s explanation of her phobia. This was a dark and sad story which did capture my attention.

A Lesson In Loss by Caroline Doherty de Novoa – 5/5 stars
Miguel’s story of his mother’s illness. Such a sad story. Each character is very memorable. The story itself is very touching. A very good read and very well written.

Doesn’t Matter by Ian Lahey – 2/5
I’m not really sure about this one. It was a little confusing but that is probably the science talk and it didn’t really hold my attention for very long.

Overall, some of the stories were fantastic and the authors show great imagination and skill in crafting such stories in such a small amount of words. Some stories weren’t really for me, but I have no doubts that others will enjoy them much more than me. Overall, a superb collection which I suggest you give a go.

MY RATING: ★★★★☆ (4.5)

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