Hello, Dear Bloggites. As you know, I have been working on honing my writing craft this year and one of those goals is to take at least one writing class each month. One of the best things, aside from learning some new techniques on honing the craft, is getting to meet other writers and authors. Every person is at a different point in their writing life and this makes for some great connecting and friend building.
In the class I took back in January, I met a wonderful lady who sweetly offered two of her books she has already published to whomever wanted them. I, of course read the title of one of them and immediately wanted to get that one. This book review is on that book.
The Monster In The Closet and Other Stories is the title of the book I received from K. Kris Loomis. This book is different from my normal reviews because it is a book of short stories. Normally, I do not review short story books but I wanted to provide some feedback to Kris as well as promote a dear writer I had the privilege of getting to know and learning from her in the process.
There were a couple unique characteristics to this short story collection that you normally do not find in other similar works. These two characteristics are: 1. The stories are broken down into five different categories that have three stories each & 2. The stories were written specifically for busy people on the go. You also find that each story has a moral purpose behind it that anyone can learn from. I am going to break this book review up into the different categories in the collection. Here we go, Dear Bloggites. 🙂
The Park Stories Group: This group of stories all take place in a park of some type. The three stories are titled Lovely Horns, Friday Afternoon, & The King Stomper. In this collection you meet a variety of people who either never met but impacted each other’s lives, had a rocky relationship where communication never went past the surface level, & two people who met online but once the first meeting in person happened a shock was found between the two. I like this set of stories because it reminded me that we should never take people for granted that we have in our lives or who we may share a brief moment in life. Too many times people are so busy moving to the next thing that they forget to stop and appreciate and SEE what is actually right in front of them. You know the old adage, “Stop and smell the rose,” well this set of stories reminds us that not only do the roses smell good, but they also contain a new mystery to be found.
The Café Stories Group: This group of stories all take place in some café. The three stories are titled Self Improvement, The Gossip Grind, & Backgammon Buddies. I really was entertained by this group of stories. In these stories you meet the standard people in the 21st Century who are just sharing space instead of spending quality time due to an obsessive attachment to technology, people sitting around judging others with their gossip while believing they were actually spending some quality time together, and good friends who has one trying to make amends for past wrongs while the other is distracted by the game on the table. These stories reminds the reader that, no matter how grand technology is, you still have to take the time to cultivate your personal relationships with communication of the lip speaking kind.
The Funeral Home Stories Group: This group of stories take place in funeral homes. The three stories are titled Now at Peace, The Makeup Artist, & Granny Gertrude. This set of stories cover the loss of a parent where the children have to make arrangements, a person that has to prepare a body of a classmate while coming to terms with the past, & a person who learns more about someone after they are dead just by the memories friends share. This set of stories hit near to my heart because I read the book on the six month anniversary of my Dad’s death. The take away you get on this set of stories is to never take life for granted and always live in the now because you never know when someone won’t be there anymore.
The Bus Stories Group: This group of stories take place on a bus. The three stories are titled Glue It to Your Butt, The Orange Scarf, & Say Something. This group was a thought provoking read. When you read this group you meet an unlikely friend who helps someone remember the answers to a test, a unique look in the life of a mother and child from the eyes of an observer, & a life lost too soon. These stories gave moments to pause and consider situations I came across in my life and I dealt with them. This set reminds you to be present in the life of others because your presence make be the defining factor on an outcome for someone else.
The Bedroom Stories Group: This group of stories take place in a bedroom (not in a sexual way). The three stories are The Monster In the Closet, Marks on the Ceiling, & The Santa Debacle. This group of stories cover fear of the unknown, feelings of worthlessness, & the extreme measure new parents’ make. This set will definitely give me pause to really assess my life and how I handle situations. It reminds you that nothing is so bad that you cannot find a way to overcome.
Now that I have covered a very brief summary of the tales you will read in this book, I am going to give you my view on how the stories were written. The author did a wonderful job at creating a realness to each character in such a short block of time. This is usually hard for writers when dealing with a short piece of work but K. Kris Loomis did a wonderful job and creating well rounded believable characters that the reader can relate to in their life. The only negative I could find was that I felt the story Say Something did not quite fit with the feel of the other two stories in the group. I think it would have fit better in a different category even though it did take place on a bus. Overall, I loved this short story novel and I am grateful that Kris offered it to us to read. Go visit her website & see other works she has written, as well as, get your copy of this book.
I give The Monster In The Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis 5 out of 5 Bookmarks. Go read this book, you will be entertained and enlightened.