I'm very grateful for this 4* review by Samuel Lora for Examiner.com of "Out of the Past" just in time for it's 2nd anniversary!
To read the review, click here.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Certain writers know how to tug on the heart strings. Kergan Edwards-Stout is one of them. Having read his award winning debut novel, Songs for the New Depression, and cried a time or three, I expected nothing less with his follow up book, Gifts Not Yet Given, a collection of holiday-themed short stories. I was not disappointed.
Gifts are most often tangible, yet, the ones that make the most lasting impression usually are not and we receive them when we least expect, and often from complete strangers or from people we know but might not necessarily associate with as he points out in several of the stories; the high-powered businesswoman unhappy with her life whose gift comes from a lowly office worker, the elderly woman distraught at losing her family gets a message from a homeless woman, and the terminally ill man who receives a gift from an old girlfriend.
In Gifts Not Yet Given, Edwards-Stout's characters represent a cross-section of society; young, old, men, women, gay, straight, and transgender. His characters are real, fully developed and carry the reader along on the character's own journey while preparing the reader to receive their own gifts.
As Paul, the young man in the story The Cape, releases the sorrow and guilt he carried for so many years of losing friends and family, I came to realize I was Paul in so many ways. I had lost a partner and many friends over the years and carried with it some of the survivors' guilt common to many of us. It set me on the path to find true closure. And I found it.
When writing can affect the reader in such a way as I was, it is indeed the gift of good writing. Thank you, Kergan, for your gift.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
With Winter Recess officially over, I must confess to not getting as much writing done as I'd hoped. I did manage to enter some notes into my computer, and here offer a little preview. Whether this makes it into the final project, or a sequel..., time will only tell. Enjoy!
Graydon took one step into the clearing, laying his sword at his feet as he did so. “You are in no danger,” he said calmly.
“I don’t know that,” she replied.
“You are on your way to rescue someone close to your heart. You were attacked a few days ago and all your food was taken. You don’t know this area.”
“How do you know this? How can I trust you?”
“The Ring of Truth-here put it on.” He removed the ring, and extended his hand to her offering her the ring. She reached for it, tentatively. Taking the ring, she fingered it, deciding whether to trust it.
“Magic is trickery,” she yelled and threw the ring at Gray’s feet.
“You shouldn’t have done that!” Thor had stepped into the clearing, his sword drawn. “If he said you were safe, you were safe. Now you have angered me!”
“I need help from no one.” And she began backing her way out of the clearing, sword still at the ready.
“Fine, but be careful of the Shimmer. I trust you know when it will appear next,” Thor said, tauntingly.
She froze. “The Shimmer?” she said, fear in her voice. “You know?”
“Never precisely, but Graydon,” –Thor pointed in his direction- “has been studying the stars. And he’s been noticing patterns.”
“I still don’t know if I can trust you,” she said.
“Nor do I know if I can trust you,” replied Thor. “But if Graydon is willing to trust you, I will trust him.”
“This is getting us nowhere,” said Graydon, walking over and taking Thor’s hand in his own. “We will help you on your way to rescue your friend.”
“Yes, she was kidnapped before we were to be wed.”