Today it is my great pleasure to be joining the blog tour for When Stars Will Shine, a brand new short story anthology collated and edited by Emma Mitchell and featuring a cracking line up of writers. All profits from the sales of the book are being sent directly to Help For Heroes, so not only are you getting a cracking book for your money, you are also helping a very worthy charity. My thanks to Shell Baker at Baker Promo for letting me join the tour and to all the Authors and behind the scenes guys for bringing it together. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life! Featuring:Available from: Amazon
Fredrick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman
Four Seasons by Robert Scragg
The Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff
Believe by Mark Brownless
What Can Possibly Go Wrong? by Lucy Cameron
Mountain Dew by Paul T Campbell
The Art of War and Peace by John Carson
A Gift for Christmas by Kris Egleton
Free Time by Stewart Giles
Died of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake
The Christmas Killer by Louise Jensen
The Village Hotel by Alex Kane
A Present of Presence by HR Kemp
The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin
Brothers Forever by Paul Moore
Girl in a Red Shirt by Owen Mullen
Pivotal Moments by Anna Osborne
Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli
Time for a Barbeque by Carmen Radtke
Christmas Present by Lexi Rees
Inside Out by KA Richardson
Penance by Jane Risdon
New Year’s Resolution by Robert Scragg
Family Time by Graham Smith
When Stars will Shine is a collection of short stories that have been put together to raise money for Help for Heroes. With a variety of both military and civilian themed stories it gives you the chance to discover authors you may not have read before, whilst indulging in those you may already love.
Each story brings something different to the book, but I will admit to having a couple of favourites for very different reasons. Frederick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman was a really touching story especially when you realise that it is actually about members of his family. It’s not always easy to convey everything you want to in a short story but this one was very well written and effective. I would also love to have learnt a little bit more about Frederick and his life. My other favourite was Believe by Mark Brownless. It appeals to me as I have a little bit of a twisted streak running through me and the story revolves around Tom who really wanted to still believe in Father Christmas but just could resist waiting up for him one Christmas Eve…. Let’s just say kids really should go to sleep and wait for Christmas Day… no good comes from trying to meet Santa.
I really enjoyed the whole book and would recommend it to anyone. Hats off to Emma Mitchell for putting this together and getting some fabulous authors to take part in a great book for a good cause.
Yep – that’s right. You get a double header on this review. We both totally support this cause and so reading (and buying) the book was a no brainer for the both of us.
As is typical with a short story collection, When Stars Will Shine really does have a little bit of everything for everyone. Unlike a lot of collections though, this isn’t just crime or romance or historical fiction – it’s all of the above. LIke Mandie, the stories she mentioned above stuck in my mind too, and I really enjoyed the poem which opens the whole anthology. Very poignant. But beyond those few there are so many stories which . will resonate with different people for different reasons.
From the stories of family loss and sacrifice where children, husbands, even fathers, went off to war never to return, to the sense of desolation and isolation that often happens both amongst military veterans and those who are heavily affected by the Christmas season, so many of the stories are tinged with real emotion. Then you have a few more surprising entries – Louise Jensen’s short story was a stand out for me. Never judge a book as they say … And it’s not the first time she’s shown her really dark side. I think we should be worried.
Being an anthology linked to military veterans, there are actually quite a few stories which are steeped in the history of war. Not all World War I or II, not even necessarily linked to more recent conflicts. Owen Mullen’s Girl In A Red Shirt highlights the brutality of the conflict in Vietnam for instance. Contrasting against this you have beautiful tales of hope and second chances such as The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin, and Val Portelli’s Uncle Christmas. They even gave me a warm feeling and I am known for my bah-humbug nature at the best of times.
If you are looking for a great collection of stories that will not only shock, cheer, chill and entertain, but give you that warm glow that comes from knowing you’ve helped a really worthy cause, this is the book for you.
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