Tag Archives: Short Story

Book Review: “Everblossom: A Short Story and Poetry Anthology” by Larissa Hinton

Everblossom is a journey through poems and short stories that may seem ordinary on the surface but dig a little deeper and the world not only shifts. It changes.  From the author who brought you Iwishacana/Acanawishi, she now brings you a dash of everything from dark fantasy to the paranormal to even romance. So prepare yourself to delve into the three stages of the flower from bud to blossom then back to seed, you’ll go through them all with a whole new perspective on what it all truly means (from Goodreads) 

A mix of poetry and prose; blended together perfectly, with a smooth flow from beginning to end, back to the beginning, and through the book again.   

“Everblossom: A Short Story and Poetry Anthology” by Larissa Hinton has become one of my favourite books of poetry.  Even some of the prose has poetic elements.  I had received the eBook from Larissa, in exchange for an impartial review.  But just a few poems and stories into the book, I knew I needed to hold this book in my hand!  So, I ordered the paperback version, and finished the book that way. 

In the introduction, Hinton speaks of the order of the book, compared to the non-linear scope of her writings.  Beginning with ‘Seed’ – some of Hinton’s earliest work; moving into ‘Bud’, then ‘Blossom’, the reader can visualize some of the flow of Hinton’s writing.  The Goodreads synopsis, which I show above, says that the book highlights three stages of the flower from bud to blossom then back to seed.  That held true for me.  When I reached the final poem, the writing that ended the book, I instantly flipped back to the ‘Seed’ beginning poem; I had the desire to see again how it all began.  After my second read through, I took extra time reading pieces that touched some unknown place in my heart, and have gone back to individual pieces since that time. 

The book contains some of Hinton’s favourite pieces, and some writing that was among her most challenging work.  The flow of the book was not strictly an upward incline; the reader will find some of the author’s earlier writings more appealing than those in the ‘Blossom’ section.  I believe this is highly influenced by personal preference, rather than author driven.  The skill of the author in the use of words is evident. 

Larissa Hinton

One of the poems that caught my attention is titled: “Sprout”; and is the first poem in the ‘budding’ section of the book.  The last three lines read:  ‘from bud to blossom – this is the beginning – of the end’.  I first read these lines in dismay, a feeling of sadness coming over me, the feeling that death is everywhere.  Later reading sparked feelings of youth, that feeling we all experience as we spread our wings, and begin to live fully as an adult, having moved from the child stage – the seedling stage. 

The mix of poetry and prose gives this book the feeling of a story, with a beginning and an end.  There were times that I forgot I was reading individual writings, and saw the sequence as planned – planned from the start.  The sequence for the book was clearly planned, but the writing of individual pieces did not have the same sequence.  I saw this as a strength of the book itself. 

As an anthology of poetry and prose, I do recommend the reading of Larissa Hinton’s “Everblossom”.  With its variety of writing styles, as well as Larissa’s ability to cross genres seamlessly, it will be a welcome addition to any bookshelf.  Enjoy!

photo by Heather Fraser

“The Joy of the Written Word”: 

Larissa Hinton’s book, ‘Everblossom’, is a reminder to me of why I write this blog.  One of the reasons is that I might share with my readers, the joyful feeling I receive from many forms of the written word.  Be it poetry or prose, structured or free, new world thinking or biblical, the joy of the written word reaches a part of my inner being.  And I attempt to share that joy within this blog.


Choose Joy! 




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Book Review: “Return to Mercya (Part 1)” by Mark Ruckledge

In a world beyond imagination one man returns to the land he once knew only to find it changed beyond all recognition and overrun by evil.  But with companionship and love he may just make it through.  This is his story. (from Smashwords) 

“Return to Mercya (Part 1)” by Mark Ruckledge, is a short fantasy story.  Not a genre I generally read, but after email correspondence with the author, I agreed to take a chance on Mark’s story.  In exchange for an impartial review, Mark gifted me with a copy of his writing. 

It took me a few starts and restarts to get familiar with Mark’s writing, mainly learning names of people and places, and trying to keep in mind I was reading a fantasy – that I need not expect the same plotline as, for instance, an historical novel.  Having to focus on the genre I was reading, helped me to focus on the plotline.    It was an opportunity to relax my mind from “the typical”, and simply enjoy the travels of the main character, as he sorted through his life’s journey to date. 

And I did enjoy the journey of Brendel Domia, even if he himself did not!  There were a few descriptive sections that I had to read with my eyes closed; simply because I scare easily!!   

In this short story we see challenges, happiness, and romance between characters.  Jil Iliminiel is Brendel’s love interest; the Shadowland Emperor and Empress his enemies.  Although, due to this work being a short story, neither relationship is explained fully, or is detailed enough.  For that to happen Mark would need to write a full length novel, this short story is just that, a short story.  The story did wrap up at a specific junction in the action, but has left a number of questions unanswered.  Since the story’s title includes the words “Part 1”, there are expectations of future twists in the plot. 

One comment I will make is this:  I found the ending of the story to be a little confusing.  I was taken aback, and flipped back pages looking to find at least partial clarification – which I did find.  Yet, even so, the ending left me feeling a little lost.  (To say anything more would be nearing story spoilers, so I will stop there). 

One aspect of Mark’s writing style is his use of extended sentences, with little or no punctuation.   This left me a little breathless at times, and caused me to re-read paragraphs, to ensure I was correctly following the plot. 

All in all, I am happy that I read Mark Ruckledge’s fantasy short story, and I will be on the lookout for Part 2.  For the fantasy readers out there, I do recommend that you read “Return to Mercya”.  Then, come back here, and let me know what you think. 


Where is “The Joy of the Written Word” in today’s post?  For me, the Joy has been casting my reader hooks a little towards Fantasy Short Stories!  Thank you, Mark! 

Choose Joy! 



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