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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda






All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda (Simon and Schuster, June 2016) is an intriguing mystery filled with psychological insights and captivatingly complicated characters. Nicolette Farrell thought she escaped Cooley Ridge, North Carolina, when she was eighteen, but her father and brother still live there so she has to return to help brother Daniel sell their father’s house. Patrick Farrell now resides in a nursing home because his memory comes and goes unexpectedly. Sometimes he recognizes Nic as his daughter. Sometimes he doesn’t. He lives in a world where time isn’t real and the people he loves are only pictures of the past.


Time plays a big part in this novel where the past still haunts the present. Author Miranda expertly manipulates past, present, and future until readers question what is real and what isn’t, makes readers wonder who the real monsters are, and keeps one reading until all of the loose ends are neatly tied up and truth is revealed. Tic toc, Nic. It’s truth or dare time.



This novel is full of insights into relationships. Everyone, including Nic, has secrets they try to keep hidden from outsiders, from friends and family, and even from themselves. Nic eventually comes face to face with all the skeletons in their closets, the monsters that hide in the woods behind her father’s house.



Everything changed ten years ago when Corinne Prescott, Nic’s best friend, disappeared. Now another girl is missing, and Nic and her family and friends are prime suspects. Were both girls murdered? By whom? This is, after all, a whodunit.



Tyler, Nic’s former boyfriend, could have done it. So could Jackson, Corinne’s former boyfriend. So could Daniel, Nic’s brother. So could Nic’s demented father. So could Bailey, friends with Nic and Corinne, whom Corinne had bullied. Nobody is above suspicion.



They say you can’t go home again. They say you can’t return to the past. Author Miranda proves the naysayers wrong.



If you like first-person mysteries with complicated characters, you’ll love All the Missing Girls. Highly recommended.




Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Devil Made Me Do It Again and Again

The Devil Made Me Do It Again and Again




 
 
 
I love short stories. I grew up in the pulp era and read short stories and novellas in monthly magazines printed on pulp paper. I haunted newsstands weekly and bought arm loads of pulp magazines to devour at home. I graduated to buying and reading paperback collections of short stories, then to hardbounds borrowed from the library. I have fond memories of reading Grof Conklin’s sf reprint anthologies filled with stories from the pulps, and original anthologies of stories that contained stories by my favorite pulp authors. Periodically, I reread some of those stories. Each time I reread a story I discover something new I missed the first time around.



The Devil Made Me Do It Again and Again (Crossroad Press, May 2016) is a collection of ten of my own stories that appeared in magazines or original anthologies over the past forty years, plus three new stories never seen before in print. I wrote a brief introduction to each story, and Irwin Chapman wrote a revealing Introduction to my Foreword. I included some of my hard-learned secrets of writing in an Afterword.



Crossroad Press published a nice reprint of my earlier The Devil Made Me Do It (Miskatonic University Press, 1985) as an e-book in 2014, and The Devil Made Me Do It is currently available for Kindle or Nook at https://www.amazon.com/Devil-Made-Me-Do-ebook/dp/B00RFYVSPK/ or http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-devil-made-me-do-it-paul-dale-anderson/1120966454?ean=2940150201781. It’s also available from Kobo. The paperback is out of print.



It seemed natural to offer the latest collection of my short stories to Crossroad Press, and I’m very happy with their editing and cover art. You can order copies for your Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/Devil-Made-Me-Do-Again-ebook/dp/B01G4RQRUE/ or for your Nook at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-devil-made-me-do-it-again-and-again-paul-dale-anderson/1123845806?ean=2940158189791.