Valerie Mills-Milde

Down in the Ground by Bruce Meyer

In the collection of short flash fiction, Down in the Ground, author Bruce Meyer brings both wit and philosophical curiosity to his musings on death. These stories are brief and sometimes startling. In other hands, the subject might be given a maudlin treatment but here, the tone is surprisingly restrained, and at times, ironic.

In the story, “In Place”, ducks, having escaped the guns of hunters, alight on the narrator’s pond only to become frozen in place.…

Seeking Shade By Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle’s first collection of short stories, “Seeking Shade”, follows two volumes of poetry and a novella. Her skill and control are much in evidence here, the short story genre fitting beautifully with her spare and careful style and her clear-eyed grasp of intent.

The collection roves effortlessly between time periods, location, circumstance, gender, and Boyle displays credibility in all of these.…

People Like Frank: and other stories from the edge of normal by Jenn Ashton

Jenn Ashton’s short stories are peopled with humble and forward-leaning characters, the collection aptly called People Like Frank.
Like many avid readers, I enjoy a good and satisfying dive into dark waters. I regularly embrace contradictions, twists and moral ambiguity. So it was completely unexpected for me to find myself quite simply relieved by the optimism in this collection. People Like Frank felt like a balm, particularly coming as it did during violent social unrest and a pandemic.…

Migrante by J.W. Henley

Author J.W. Henley states pointedly in the forward to his novel, Migrante, that “this is not my story”. Henley is not a migrant worker from the Philippines. In fact, he describes himself as a white, middle-Class Canadian, of English, Dutch and Ukrainian heritage. He has not experienced exploitation and he has never been poor. That being said, he has produced a book that is utterly convincing.…