Review: Five Fables by Christine Cunningham

Five Fables
by Christine Cunningham

Product Description (from
Christine Cunningham is spinning a few tales, five to be exact, ranging from the whimsical to the twisted. Why read one good story when you could read five?

1. Sweetest Release: Sometimes the world conspires against you when all you need is a bathroom.

2. Tic-Tac-Toe: Can a boy protect his mother and sister from the shadow in the yard?

3. Happy Birthday: Find out why you’ll never want to sing the song Happy Birthday to your child again.

4. Story Shopping: Things go awry when an author has no story to write.

5. Tarantula: Saving your best friend from your mother isn’t easy to do.

My Thoughts

True confession: I like to read short stories in the bathroom, because you can finish them in one visit without any body parts going numb. As a kid, my favorite bathroom books were two red hardcovers (the dust-covers long since gone missing) from Reader’s Digest that were compilations of pretty much every fairy tale ever written, in the original pre-Disneyfication versions.

Christine Cunningham’s collection of short stories, Five Fables was my bathroom book for part of this month, and I enjoyed every bit of her writing. “Sweetest Release,” which is from the point of view of a dog, made me laugh loud enough to frighten my own dogs. “Tic Tac Toe” balanced cozy hominess with a taste of suspense. “Happy Birthday” was delightfully creepy. “Story Shopping” spoke to the writer part of my soul – the part that doesn’t write in cafes, but simply observes others (and sometimes uses them as improv characters), and “Tarantula” made me grin despite the title (I hate spiders).

Cunningham has a wry voice and does well with tiny plot twists and last-minute zingers. I enjoyed her work immensely. This book was one I requested as a review copy, and I was not disappointed, except in that this is only volume one.

Ms. Cunningham if you read this: MORE PLEASE

Goes well with: Quilted Northern. Or a glass of lemonade and goldfish crackers, if you’re NOT reading it in the bathroom.

Review: Cougar of Spirit Lake

Cougar of Spirit Lake
by Linette Eller

Product Description (from

Appearing at the foot of the bed where the beautiful woman is giving birth to a daughter, the huge cougar sits quietly because he knows all that is to be and sees all that is. Yet this is only the beginning of the long trek for the mystical giant cat and the girl as she grows into womanhood.

You will be taken on a journey through love, the supernatural, mystery, intrigue and murder. Traveling from the Ohio River Valley in the 1800’s to the majestic Rocky Mountains and Spirit Lake, the mysterious lake where Winter Woman waits patiently. Winter Woman who is Legend, as is her son, the handsome, sensuous Chief, both knowing without knowing and sharing the mystic power of the Cougar of Spirit Lake.

My Thoughts
I picked this book to read because even though I’m allergic to domestic felines, I’m a strong LEO, and love anything remotely to do with big cats. I was intrigued by the paranormal romance aspect of the story, as well as the rugged landscape.

Although the opening chapter made me re-think my choice of reading material for a minute – it was awfully similar to formulaic romances for a few pages there (not that there’s anything WRONG with those novels) – but very quickly I was hooked on the story, and not at all disappointed. Eller’s female characters are strong, vital, interesting women, and the men in their lives are fully-realized, and not the cardboard cut-out types of men who populate so many romances.

And then, of course, there’s the Cougar, but I can’t elaborate about that without spoiling the story.

Trust me on this: read this book, you will love it.

Goes well with: cheese enchiladas and sweet tea.