The Power of Short Stories

old quill & book with skull

Short stories have been around since ancient times. They are a means of transmitting ideas, moral lessons, history and culture. They can vary in length and be in different forms. Older types of short stories used to be in rhymed verse. The early storyteller relied on known cultural phrases, fixed rhythms and rhyme. One of the earliest narratives was the Babylonian tale The Epic of Gilgamesh, which was in verse. Well known historical tales that have been passed down are The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer and A Thousand and One Nights.

A couple of centuries ago short stories appeared in magazines and helped many writers to gain recognition. Charles Dickens was well known through his serialized stories. Short stories became mirrors of society, and culture and ideas were reflected in them. Their entertainment value became realized through master storytellers like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Anton Chekov and Edgar Allan Poe. Poe became known as the creator of the detective story and the horror story. His stories were excellent at bringing out mood, characterization and setting. Of course, in Europe and abroad other writers were following suit with their realistic tales like Rudyard Kipling and his tales from The Jungle Book. Today, many writers let their readers know their writing through short stories before they introduce them to their novels.

For more on the origins and background of the short story, please refer to the following links:

Short stories cannot spend time on too much background and details like in a novel. They are compact, so every word and phrase must be of value. The short story uses literary techniques that are used in other types of writings while containing the story, and usually it evokes one single effect or mood. Many short stories have actually been made into short movies or even feature length movies like The Lottery, Total Recall, Brokeback Mountain and Children of the Corn. And some short stories have led to expansion into novels.

The following are some great short stories I have read and reviewed, most of them are by WMD members. So, please click on the link to read my reviews:

Kidnapped WriterKidnapped Writer by Eve Gaal demonstrates the power of the printed word to change lives:

Billy the KidBilly the Kid by Cyn Bagley takes us into a paranormal world where we learn more about Native American culture while experiencing an adventurous tale:

AbsorbedAbsorbed by Penelope Crowe shows us the power of a cursed necklace:

Red Gone Bad by lucy pireelRed Gone Bad by Lucy Pireel does a dark twist on known fairy tales:

Werewolf LostElizabeth Kolodziej’s novella Salvaged Pieces of a Werewolf Lost follows in depth minor characters from her previous novels where we are transported to Japan:

Storm Chaser ShortsStorm Chaser Shorts by Mark R. Hunter explores more stories and backgrounds based on loveable characters from his novel Storm Chaser:

Big RedBig Red by Lorraine Sears surprisingly shows us a different side of the Devil:

soulless lightSoulless Light by Joann Buchanan takes us back to the days of Crusaders and how a wronged soul has its revenge:

Holy DevilHoly Devil by Lorelei Bell examines the unusual power that Rasputin held over people:

Wishes and PromisesWishes and Promises by Charlotte Holley explores the deep love and relationship between a little girl and her travelling military father:

Enjoy and good reading!

A Celtic Tapestry: Mist And Magic

celtic tapestry

Hunter S. Jones has been busy as of late, collaborating with seven fellow writers on A Celtic Tapestry, an anthology of short stories. Moon Rose Publishing will be releasing the book on the 21st of March, and you can find details on the release through her blog

Here’s a taste of what you’ll find it’s about:

The wheel of the year turns, bringing the joy of spring, the warmth of summer, the richness of autumn, and the merriment of winter. But eight Celtic festivals link these seasons together, bringing with them romance, lust, danger, and even magic. From a city under threat from night-time creatures at Ostara, to a selkie caught by the light of the Lughnasadh moon, to a writer caught in the flames of a fiery goddess at Imbolc.
Eight authors have come together to give their own twist on these festivals, weaving each story with a blend of myth, magic, and contemporary telling…to create A Celtic Tapestry

                                                             Livia Ellis
                                                         Hunter S Jones
                                                         Laura De Luca
                                                         Elodie Parkes
                                                          Elle J Rossi

                                                        Miranda Stork
                                                        Carolyn Wolfe
                                                   Tara Stogner Wood

Lorelei Bell: Vampire Nocturnes And Giveaways

Vampire Nocturne, by Lorelei Bell

Vampire Nocturne, by Lorelei Bell

Sabrina is becoming a magical creature—not just a clairvoyant with a ring that thwarts a vampire’s thrall. In this exciting third installment, Sabrina learns how to travel the ley lines, and travels to another world called Beyond the Black Veil ~ a world where vampires outnumber humans ten to one, and humans are merely blood donors and objects of their sexual desires.

The Dagger of Delphi becomes her weapon of choice. And what becomes of Dante Badheart, whose spirit essences is contained in the stone he gave her when last he spoke to her from the dead, is another mystery that intrigues her.

Sabrina Strong’s cousin, Lindee, has disappeared, and when she goes to the last place Lindee was seen, she finds herself transported to another world and century, where vampires rule. While trying to solve the mystery of where Lindee could be in this world, Sabrina encounters Drakulya—the real-life Dracula—a.k.a. The Impaler—who has somehow managed to become a vampire living in this strange world, and rules as King.
The brief take from Lorelei Bell on her book Vampire Nocturne. This weekend, Lorelei is marking the release of her book with a giveaway at her blog. For three days starting tomorrow, she’s marking the occasion with four copies for your perusal. Go on over to her page at for the details!
And it doesn’t involve sparkly vampires. All the better.

Irritate A Writer, And They’ll Write You Into A Book



Welcome back, so to speak. The Writers of Mass Distraction were writing this blog for awhile, and we’ve decided to revive it in a new form. At Facebook, we can be found at, of course, the Writers of Mass Distraction!

We’re getting this page reorganized, but look for regular features from the members of the group there. Some days it’ll come in the form of cover reveals or posts about the release of their book. Other days it will be whatever they’d like to talk about.

Enjoy, and keep watching this page!