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Writing short stories is not easy. The reason it isn't easy is because they are short. The writer is still charged with producing living characters who have personalities: good, bad, or milksop. Add to that a dynamic narrative that gives you, the reader, an opportunity to see, hear, feel, smell, and taste what the folks who inhabit those little stories do, and the authors have a demanding job on their hands. Short stories are a great deal more than sitting on an old apple crate and hammering away at the QWERTY.
What’s that you say? Well, of course it’s a word. Look it up. Anyway, we decided to provide something antiquotidian for your?
Huh? Will you please stop interrupting? Antiquotidian’something out of the ordinary; a work that is not commonplace. Is that better?
Anyway, where were we? Oh, yeah, we decided to assemble an anthology that departs from the same old, same old. It has a theme, but it is not designed around a specific holiday, a particular genre, or any of the other time-battered ideas. This one has as its shaky foundation something that is even more difficult for authors to pull off with grace. It is for that reason that the lineup of writers in this anthology were chosen. They not only write good stories, but they are able to do what many can't. They are going to lead you through the rose garden and up that little hill ? see it there? ? and when you've reached the crest of that knoll, they are going to gleefully toss you off the cliff.
Yeah, you heard it right. They're going to give you a little jolt that you were not expecting, and, at the same instant, give you reason to pause. To think.
What? Why, sure you can.
Some of these stories will cause you to think for a long time, and some of them will have you kicking your mental butt because you didn't see it coming. Don't you just love it?
Oh, sorry about that. We should have told you that in the beginning, huh? The name of this anthology is: TWISTED TAILS. And don't come up with any smart remarks, we've heard them all.
- TWISTED TAILS, An Anthology to Surprise & Delight - Compiled & Edited by J. Richard Jacobs - Double Dragon Publishing - ISBN: 1-55404-339-5 - Fiction, Anthology - Reviewed by: TCM Reviews
Twisted Tails is an anthology as warped as the devil himself. J. Richard Jacobs rounds a motley cast of suspects, including several time Eppie finalist, Peter Prellwitz. Together, they weave a spell of spicy tales alluring as a tepid river that implores you plunge deeper, cajoles you swim further out, again deeper? At that moment, when your trust is bottomless, your valiance unwavering, pitiless waves swallow and spit you whole, lifeless, onto a bed of suppurating weed and murky froth.
The assortment opens with the sharpness of K. L. Nappier’s Veil, the tale of a hideous troll so fetid, so scarred, it leaves more than the terror of death; Steve Lazarowitz picks the race with Dead Wrong, a tech noir filled with much suspense, much tension; J. Richard Jacobs grabs the baton with Things (best said with a Southern drawl), and curves a leg most gruesome in its bend. And though you shudder, you can?t help but read on. Marilyn Peake casts aside children’s tales to emerge with Tiger in the Plum Blossoms, an engaging story, oriental in set; D.L. White & Peter Prellwitz join forces in Cassiopeia’s tears to make a sprint double; Jamie A. Hughes transmits the 72914 female; Biff Mitchell hacks into a termite colossal. Pause. Shuffle back to Steve Lazarowitz’s A Matter of Grave Importance, read it with increasing astonishment?
And that is just a sample.
With J. Richard Jacobs- more than a smidgen of pepper, a clove of Terence West, a gloop of Jeremy Davies, a measure of Margaret Whitley’s sweep endings and what else, oh what a treat! Best read how you please, fried to your own arrangement. Whichever way one delves, back to front, front to back, apiece, apiece - the crystal’s sparkle is not lost, the diamond still glitters and a grassy burst of ruby wine endlessly toys on the back of your tongue. Pleasure, pleasure, pleasure, especially when it is filled with dread.
Twisted Tails is a delicious, diverse collection of weird and wonderful short stories. You’ll find yourself dipping into this collaboration just to get away from it all between mundane tasks, like cleaning your house and doing mindless work for your boss at the office. Heck, you don’t even need a reason to dip in because you’ll be eager to read another one and another one and another until they’re all gone, leaving you wanting more like the proverbial bag of chips.
Mr. Jacobs promises a sweet, sour, bitter, tangy, titillating, tantalizing, torturous, terrifying, humorous, and horrifying blend of tales to satisfy every taste, and I assure you he keeps that promise.
Things aren’t always as they seem in these stories, yet you find yourself surprised by the ending every time. The tales keep you engrossed, each having originality I’ve seldom encountered in any compilation of its kind.
In “Eye for an Eye” by Peter Prellwitz, a special forces-trained waitress is out for revenge, and you’ll feel it’s justified. But wait…there’s more to it than what is on the surface—so keep reading.
J. Richard Jacobs brings us a legend in “Things.” Stories get passed down from generation to generation, often distorted, until no one knows what’s truth and what’s fiction. Two battle-weary warriors find out the truth when they decide to take a shorter route to safety through the Black Wood where things dwell.
Marilyn Peake takes us to Roswell, New Mexico and asks, What if all the stories were true? Layla, a young woman obsessed with all things Egyptian, takes a tour of the museum at Area 51, hoping to be shown the captured alien. Afterwards, strange things begin to happen—things that Layla may not have control over.
In “Dead Wrong,” Steve Lazarowitz shows us that the world can get a heck of a lot crazier when people choose early retirement—and that doesn’t mean sipping cold drinks on a hot beach while thinking about how much you enjoy not having to work anymore.
That’s just a peek at the wonderfully uncanny stories that await you in Twisted Tails. You’ll want to take this collection with you wherever you go—because you never know when you’ll be stuck in traffic, or waiting somewhere for something, in need of a distraction to keep you entertained. The thirty-one short stories in Twisted Tails will keep boredom at bay—I promise!
Review of Twisted Tails: An Anthology to Surprise and Delight Review by Kim McDougall http://www.kimmcdougall.com
Twisted Tails, An Anthology to Surprise and Delight, isn’t so much between the cracks as it covers all the cracks. In this mammoth tome (552 pages) every fan of fantasy, sci-fi and horror will find something to taste. It’s like a thirty-one course gourmet meal. Editor J. Richard Jacobs, introduces each story with a food themed metaphor. Of Steve Lazarowitz’s story “Dead Wrong,” Jacobs writes, “Life is full of options. Like our menu. Some are of our own choosing. Some are . . . well, not. Some appear to be the work of destiny. This Lazarowitz offering is a tray filled with options. Hamburger or filet mignon? The choice is yours. Will the decision be yours, or will you be driven . . . by some other force?”
“Dead Wrong” is a sinister sci-fi look at what will happen when death gets a better marketing firm. Marilyn Peake’s “Tiger in the Plum Blossoms” is a chilling Japanese myth.”Throwing up Sashes” by Peter Prellwitz is a delightful tale of Christmas in a biodome. Jeremy Davies turns the kingdom on its head, when a dragon saves the knight in distress from an arm-wrestling princess in “ . . . In Distress.” Each of these stories and the others in this anthology come with a jolt at the end. Sometimes it’s a pleasant surprise, sometimes not, but it’s always worth reading to the end.
Twisted Tails is the first of three anthologies edited by J. Richard Jacobs and published by Double Dragon Publishing. Twisted Tails II, Volumes 1 & 2 are time travel themed stories with that hallmark twist ending.
From a Review of Twisted Tails: An Anthology to Surprise and Delight
"Frightening, funny, and just plain weird, this sampler gave me a teasing preview of the great talent of these many writers. I will certainly be looking for some of the longer works by many of my favorites." - See entire review by Beverly J. Rowe for MyShelf.com at: http://www.myshelf.com/scifi_fantasy/06/twistedtails.htm
Twisted Tails - One (Excerpt)
Table of Contents
1. VEIL by K. L. Nappier
2. ...IN DISTRESS by Jeremy Davies
3. DEAD WRONG by Steve Lazarowitz
4. THINGS by J. Richard Jacobs
5. SHANTY GIRL by Eugen M. Bacon
6. WITCHES? SEASON by Marilyn Peake
7. REFLEX. ACTION by Jeremy Davies
8. CASSIOPEIA’S TEARS by D. L. White and Peter Prellwitz
9. THE STORY OF A TERMITE by Biff Mitchell
10. THE LIES WE TELL OURSELVES by Jamie A. Hughes
11. CLONE OF CLONES by Eugen M. Bacon
12. A UNIFORM SHADE OF RED by J. Richard Jacobs
13. A MATTER OF GRAVE IMPORTANCE by Steve Lazarowitz
14. AIN?T NO DOC FOR THE FALLING APART BLUES by Biff Mitchell
15. TIGER IN THE PLUM BLOSSOMS by Marilyn Peake
16. EMMA’S DILEMMA by Margaret Whitley
17. DUSK MAGNET by Eugen M. Bacon
18. AN EYE FOR AN EYE by Peter Prellwitz
19. TWELVE IN, TWELVE OUT by J. Richard Jacobs
20. AN AFFAIR OF THE MIND by Steve Lazarowitz
21. IN A BAD MOOD by Biff Mitchell
22. THROWING UP SASHES by Peter Prellwitz
23. RETURN TO ROSWELL by Marilyn Peake
24. PICTURE POSTCARDS by J. Richard Jacobs
25. THE TANK by Steve Lazarowitz
26. THE BIG RED GIFT by Biff Mitchell
27. ENOUGH by Jamie A. Hughes
28. PASSAGE by Peter Prellwitz
29. DON?T WAKE THE DREAMER by Terence West
30. NEGOTIATIONS by J. Richard Jacobs
31. EVENING STAR by Margaret Whitley
It is said that variety is the spice of life. If that ragged, worn out statement is true, then here, in TWISTED TAILS, you are going to encounter one of the tastiest literary meals you have ever ingested. Most anthologies are built around a theme, and this one is no exception, other than that its theme has nothing to do with genre, time of the year, specific holiday, style, or voice. You will find sweet, sour, bitter, tangy, titillating, tantalizing, torturous, terrifying, humorous, and horrifying in a blend designed to satisfy your every taste. You may even find some flavors you have never savored that are sure to please.
So, what is the theme of this anthology that sets it apart from all others? Each of the authors represented here was chosen for his or her unique voice and style, that is true, but, more importantly, each has an uncanny ability to do something that few writers can handle well. All of them are wondrous weavers of tale tapestries, as you will soon see, but they are more than that-much more. It is their twisted way of looking at their worlds askew that forms the foundation of this collection. They will entertain you, make you laugh, cause chills to course through you in places where chills have never gone before, bring tears to your eyes, and force you to grit your teeth. Then, when the timing is just right, they will most gently, lovingly, throw you into the path of an oncoming train. Enjoy!
Also by J. Richard Jacobs
Released: January 2016 Twisted Tails IX J. Richard Jacobs Price: $5.99
Released: July 2014 Twisted Tails VIII J. Richard Jacobs Price: $5.99
Released: February 2013 Twisted Tails VII J. Richard Jacobs Price: $5.99
Released: January 2012 Maelstrom J. Richard Jacobs Price: $5.99
Released: October 2008 Ancient Whispers from Tomorrow J. Richard Jacobs Price: $5.99
Released: April 2008 Twisted Tails Three - Pure Fear J. Richard Jacobs Price: $5.99