Author: Rik Stone
Narrator: Bob Sterry
Length: 6 hours and 13 minutes
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Released: July 31, 2018
Genre: Short Stories & Anthologies
Rating: 3.5 Stars
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Rik Stone. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
It seemed more than a little odd that he might meet someone exactly like his ex and on the first night he'd been out since being dumped for bad behavior. If he could get to show her his other side, things might be a little different this time around. But was that likely after what he said in the first two minutes of meeting her?
Jon loved Sally unconditionally, and them keeping him from her was tearing him apart. But they seemed to have complete control over him. How could he possibly turn things around?
Three sisters arrive in a new country. The last thing they expected was to end up on the wrong side of an interrogation table, but does it turn out to be what they'd always hoped for?
Widowed several years earlier, Annie's mom cajoled her into starting again, but the world seemed so different now, and there were those who were out to separate her from her money. She wanted to crawl back to the comfort of her self-imposed life of a hermit but that wouldn't be fair on those worse off than her. The detective she hires to get to the bottom of the problem is really quite a dish, but she had to remember, he was only working for her.
Melanie has a schoolgirl crush on Joe Romano, and when he asks her out, she is more than excited. But he lets her down, and she cries all the way home, swearing never to speak to him again. Six years later, their working lives cross paths. Joe has always carried a torch for Melanie and does everything he can to make up for his boyhood stupidity. Is it too late?
The Way We Were
Jon: A gentle soul, Jon had been bullied from day one at school … but not for long. While placid, he was also strong willed and took it upon himself to step up to the challenge. Waiting for one of the bigger boys to pick on him, he threw himself into attack. The beating he got made him wish he hadn’t bothered, but suddenly the bullying stopped. He’d always thought that day of rebellion had given him a strong character. Maybe, but life wandered on devoid of prospects and he aged without a direction, until he met Sally. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t been out with girls, in that department he was much the same as any other man, but with Sally it had taken but a single date to know she was the one. Only months after that night out they married, and something in him changed. He wanted to become a somebody, show Sally he’d been worth the risk. Normally, thinking of opportunity as being for someone else, he never put himself forward … for anything. But now he had Sally. Putting in a lot of hard work, a chance presented itself and he jumped in with both feet. Time brought further promotions and their financial life moved into the comfort zone. With a little money behind him and having the love of his life by his side, Jon felt blessed. He’d found his Shangri-La.
Sally: From childhood life had been sweet for Sally. Not because everything was easy and ran smoothly, more that she’d had a contented spirit and readily accepted things as they were. And she had a passive influence on people, at least, those she was close to. They seemed to strive for something better and it was clear from their words, the sway was because of her. Hard to fathom why, maybe they were in search of the place she’d found. It wasn’t that she’d lacked ambition or drive, merely that she was content with every level she attained. A blind date through mutual friends and Jon came into her life. She came close to pulling out; it really wasn’t her thing, but she’d made the arrangement and she wasn’t one to back on her word. Strange, she thought she knew him already, but no way had they ever met. Over the course of the evening, he said so many things that were totally at odds with what she believed, so why hadn’t she walked away? She would have done so with anyone else, but there was something about him that had stopped her. He was different and she could feel that his words were no more than fluff and that he’d ventured down a road of no return in order to impress. After that night there was no looking back and subsequent dates proved his blabbering had been no more than that. She fell in love with Jon and everything else in life paled into insignificance.
Out of the Ashes
Irina: Born in Poland, Irina came to Britain to study English and hoped to get a job where she would earn enough to send home to her family. With a poor command of English and not knowing anyone in the community, she made searches for local Polish groups. An older woman she met there said she could put a word in for her and it was from that she got a job as a waitress in a wine bar in West London. She met a boy called Edi who worked in the kitchens as a dishwasher, an Albanian who was very sure of himself for one so young. In a short time, she moved in with him and things changed. He became dominant and stopped her attending college. He took her wages which left her unable to send money to her mother in Poland. The wine bar closed and she became a financial burden on Edi, so he passed her on to a Polish commune in East London. In a short time, they had her stealing, committing credit card fraud, shoplifting, and evenings she was hired out as a personal hostess. The men easily controlled her by saying they had people in Poland who would bring harm to her mother.
Rik came into the world surrounded by the slum-lands of fifties North East England. He left school at fifteen without academic qualifications and worked in shipyards on a local river, spent time in the merchant navy and then took employment in quarries in South East England.
The time came he yearned for change, so he studied and worked his way through to gaining a BSc. degree in mathematics and computing. But reading being his first love, he yearned to write fiction. An early retirement from the IT sector gave an opportunity to pursue the dream seriously and he hasn’t let go the figurative quill pen since.
Rik and his wife live in the county of Essex in the UK.
Bob Sterry is a voice over actor, audiobook narrator, writer, singer, occasional stage actor and humorist. Originally trained in England as a research analytical chemist, he immigrated into the United States in 1973 working as a wine waiter in New Jersey, a steel yard fork lift truck driver in Connecticut, before spending a professional career in the marketing of scientific instruments and services in New Jersey, Hong Kong and around the world.
It was not until he started writing short articles, essays and poetry in the nineties that his creative talents found an outlet, reading poetry at open mics. and began to sing seriously in choirs and extemporaneous groups. In 1999 he and his wife Anne-Louise Sterry, a well-known speaker, singer and storyteller, founded a short lived but much loved faux cowboy wannabe band, ‘Anne-Louise and the Cascade Urban Cowboys’. Discovering his on stage talent he took the step to starting his own show of songs and spoken word. His singing is cabaret satire with Broadway and the English Musical Hall grinning in the wings with an occasional nod to the classical style. Recent shows were ‘The Bob Sterry Atomic Summer Show’ and ‘The Book of Bob’, and ‘A Sterry Sterry Night’ with Anne-Louise Sterry. Adding voice over acting was an obvious step, and thanks to voice coach Lesley Bailey and recording genius Marc Rose at FuseAudio Design Bob offers his voice to anyone who needs it. Bob continues to write poetry and essays reflecting very much his cabaret style, with excursions into more serious commentary on life, humor and outright comedy. Hi collection of essays, short stories and poetry ‘The Bob Sterry School of Burglary’ will be published in September. By the way he is passionate about cycling, cooking, language and literature.
This is actually a series of stories which I didn't realize especially after I heard the words "The End" shortly after I started to listen to the book - just a warning so you don't end up with the puzzled face like I did. On a positive note, I did enjoy listening to Mr. Sterry's voice. He helped me imagine some of the scenes as they were going by. On a not so positive note; I heard every swallow and every breath which after a while become very off-putting. I will say, in his defense, I'm not very tech savvy so I don't know if there is anything I could have done to my iPod to get rid of all the unnecessary background noise. At times it got so bad that I stopped listening to the story which I didn't realize until I had that "what did I miss" moment.
I was surprised to find out that our author is a male. Mr. Stone created some very nice vignettes. The ones I could listen to left me wanting more. It made me think of times gone by when romance meant something slightly different. To do this book justice, I think that I need to get an actual copy of the book so my mind can do justice to the work that he has created. And again it could just be my lack of experience with technology that hindered my enjoyment of this audio version. I see he has other books available and will have to check them out - I'm not willing to give up, yet.
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