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Book Review: Darker Daze: The Storms Within by A.L. Mabry

Book Review: Darker Daze: The Storms Within

Hello Lovelies, 

I am so excited to be part of the Darker Daze tour for A.L. Mabry! This is such an awesome collection of Dark stories. Full confession, this is published by my publishing house, OWS Ink LLC, and I am the project manager for this book, meaning I helped with editing and all that such. So I won’t comment on that aspect of it, because I am probably biased. But I picked this project to manage, as is our process, because I absolutely love the stories in this collection.

Let’s get started with an honest review. 

​​ Genre: Dark short story collection


Darker Daze: The Storms within is a collection of short stories that explore that darker side of the human condition. Each story pulsates with tragedy and a sense of desperate hope that only the suffering could understand. Ms. Mabry weaves personal experiences into fictional webs in a way that draws the reader in for a hug, then punches them in the gut. While these stories may be too emotionally charged for some readers, they give voices to the voiceless among us. Do not shrink away, the demons are not yours…or are they?

My Take:

Y’all, these stories are… dark. Gripping. Kind of awful, and yet so good! There are 10 stories in total, and as with any collection, some are amazing, others are just ok or didn’t grab me. So here are my favorites, in no particular order: Sweet Release was a wicked punch because it is about a woman living in an abusive relationship with a plan to escape. The end… I just… tears, y’all. Belladona, wow. so dark. As one who has seen up close how pedophilia destroys lives, this story had me ROOTING for the antagonist! Sibling Rivalry had my heart in my throat, as any parent in a blended family can relate to the fear of conflict. Beneath Salem… I cried again. Seeing ignorance and hate so real and brought to life is just… it made me sick and sad, and was so real! Rooftops and Teardrops- Again, with seeing first hand how sexual abuse destroys lives… the ending, it just… tears. The Next Best Seller– I actually first read this story before I became business partners with A.L. Mabry.

​​ knew she was a practicing Wiccan and this story kind of gave me chills. I was like, nope! Lol. But even after knowing Amanda and how sweet and good she is, this story still gives me chills. As an author, I could relate to the jealousy of the MC, but when she goes dark… holy crap! 
Now for the ones that didn’t grip me. Again, this is just personal taste. They were well-written, I just didn’t connect to them as well as the others. Last Call- It’s dark and I just couldn’t feel anything but meh for the MC or the girl. Bonita- I felt sorry for the MC, but couldn’t really connect with her reasons or purpose. The ending was just a tragic Deus Ex. (Intended, not bad writing.) The Last View: I was heartbroken for the MC, but his choice was just one I couldn’t connect with, which is weird because I’ve written similar stories. But mine were left with a sense of hope. Did she or didn’t she… This was quite final. More than Stolen Hearts– Kid was an idiot and deserved what he got. (I’ve become the grumpy old man, “Get off my lawn!” Lol) 
But all in all, a great read! I will warn readers, this is a very dark collection. There is violence, death, some pretty heavy topic matter including murder, child abuse, abuse, rape, and revenge. The only one that is graphically sexually explicit is Last Call. Definitely not one I would recommend to my mother or my children. But if you like exploring the darker side of the written word and thinking on whether they deserve what they get, this is definitely a thought-provoking collection. 
You can pre-order Darker Daze: The Storms Within on Amazon for only $2.99and be sure to join the tour and get to know more about the stories and the author. It will be a ton of fun! 
Until next time, 

Keep Reading!

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Book Review- Tales From Our Write Side an Anthology

Book Review- Tales From Our Write Side an Anthology

Hello Lovelies,

Today I am happy to introduce you to Tales of Our Write Side. Our Write Side is an interesting new small publisher and I am honored to be reviewing their books over the coming months.


Short story anthology- but there is also a play and some poetry. It is quite eclectic.


From Lewis Carroll and Shakespeare to tales that will keep you up at night, make you cry, and touch your heart comes Tales from Our Write Side, OWS Ink’s debut anthology with 17 authors sharing 17 stories, 2 poems, and one creative screenplay.

My Take

This is an interesting collection by several writers with varying stories. Most were winter-themed which seemed to be part of a writing challenge. Some were a bit heavy with their treatment, but if it hadn’t been in this anthology I don’t think it would have been as noticeable. There were some clever stories in the mix, but my favorite had to be Summer’s Folly by Katheryn J. Avila. I want to read the book this story deserves to develop into!

Then there was a section of dark fiction and try as I might, I couldn’t pick a favorite. They were all SO GOOD, which really set me in the mood for Halloween! The third section was YA, which was ok but not really my cup of tea. The 4th section was kind of a grab bag of stories that didn’t really fit into the other sections. These were a bit off-putting being read back to back as they didn’t really flow. So I stopped and just read one story each night.

Man, some of those stories were amazing. Angel Hands by Wendy Strain made me ball! Patterns by Katheryn J. Avila gave me chills. Another story I want to see the book for! And Portentous Passenger by David Wiley was a delight. I really want to see where that story goes.  

This anthology was a great chance to see a host of writers share their works, and I found more than a few that I plan to keep my eyes on! If you’re a fan of anthologies and like a mix of genres, I am sure you’ll find a few favorites as well.

Until Next Time,

Keep Reading!

**** As of March, 2020 this book has been removed from all sales locations.