Tag Archives: Anthology

Heathers | Collection of Short Stories, edited by Evangeline Jennings et al

Cover for HeathersSynopsis: 

Twenty four bittersweet slices of teenage life, HEATHERS tells adolescence the way it is – a struggle.

Expect no handsome princes or unicorns. This book comes with a body count.

Heroin or ice cream, what’s your damage?

A collection of true fiction for Young Adults of all ages, HEATHERS is the work of exciting emerging writers from the US, UK, Spain, Canada, and China.

 (Synopsis and image via Goodreads)

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My Thoughts:

When I was first asked to review a collection of short stories centering around YA true fiction stories and the teenage years of “our lives,” I shuddered and asked myself why — why were they writing these stories, why would I want to review an entire collection, and why would anyone in his right mind read them.

I now have the answer to all these questions: Because. These. Are. Really. Good. Stories! And written by really good writers. Not only that, the stories are edgy, honest, sad, funny, charming, and truly about the stage of life called teenage angst.

And I knew at the Introduction, I had not fallen victim to anything less than genius when they quote Margaret Atwood:

…When you’re young,  you think everything you do is disposable. You move from now to now, to crumpling time up in your hands, tossing it away. … You think you can get rid of things, and people too — leave them behind. You don’t know about the habit they have, of coming back.

Life itself comes back at us and to us, and the memories make certain we can never run away from where we have been in the past.

We’ve all had it, been through it, suffered it, and settled large doses of it on our parents. Take the story, “Hat,” by Karen Eisenbrey. Eisenbrey writes of things we have all felt: turning ourselves invisible to avoid discomfort and disliking/hating our names. Remember not raising your hand even if you knew the answer to avoid being conspicuous? Opting out of playground games because of the silly rules that ended up with everybody running around and yelling? And this all happened in grade school. To see what Eisenbrey writes about in junior high and high school, you’ll have to read the book.

Eisenbrey writes with a comfortable, genuine style and made me feel as if I were right there with her as her childhood morphed into the teenage years. Her characters are somewhat quirky and that makes them more believable as I remembered my teens and the characters I grew up with.

This is just one example of the excellent writing found in this collection of short stories. What I took away that is most important about these stories is that nothing about those teenage years changes. We weren’t bad kids then, and today’s kids aren’t bad kids either (perhaps just bored). We didn’t intentionally hurt those around us, and today’s kids don’t mean to either (things just happen). We were quirky, and so are today’s teens quirky (so they have green hair and wear their jewelry more permanently than we did). We are in this collection, people!

Yes, we have problems among our teenagers today but we have to remember too that media plays to the worst in all of us, if they get the chance. But truly not much has changed, as shown by Heathers.

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My Recommendation: 

Heathers is a good read for those who are lovers of short stories, no matter the subject. I believe it would be a good read for parents of teens to reflect back on what they were like when they were the ages of their children. Maybe that would be scary, but not too much so. I also think it would be an excellent teaching tool for those teachers charged with teaching our kids to write short stories.

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Meet the Editor(s):

Evangeline Jennings, editor of Heathers

Evangeline Jennings

Evangeline Jennings is an unreliable narrator. She tells lies for fun and profit. Mostly fun.

If Evangeline was a song – and she’d really like to be, she’d be “Public Image” by PiL or possibly “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore.

Born and raised in Liverpool, where they invented football and popular music, she now lives in Austin, Texas. The black sheep of her family, she comes from a long line of Californian beauty queens on her mother’s side. As she so often says, Northern Scum, Southern Belle.

Evangeline watches an awful lot of movies and TV. During the break she cooks popcorn and writes stories about revenge.

Note: Evangeline Jennings was joined by Lucy Middlemass and E.R. McTaggart as editors on this project.

(Bio and image via Amazon)

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Paperback Publication Date: December 13, 2013
Publisher: Starshy
Genre: Anthology, Short Stories, YA, True Fiction
File Size: 340 KB
Printed: 239 pp

I received a copy of Heathers from one of the authors in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions and recommendations expressed are my own.

WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour | Review of Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ’60s & ’70s, An Anthology (edited by Kate Farrell, Linda Joy Myers & Amber Lea Starfire)

Cover Image from Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

Advance Praise

“We lived in the Haight-Ashbury and on Bourbon Street and the high plains of Oklahoma. We wore hip-huggers, tie-dyes, military uniforms,  and fringed ponchos embroidered with peace signs. We danced and marched and organized and loved and broke all the rules. We were changing, and we changed the world. I love this book because it is written by women who were on the scene–and such a scene it was! If you were there, it will remind you of those remarkable years. If you weren’t, you’ll be amazed and delighted and proud of the brave women who have written these stories and poems. Thank you, lovely women, for telling us about it!”

~ Susan Wittig Albert, author of A Wilder Rose
and founder of Story Circle Network


These forty-eight powerful stories and poems etch in vivid detail the breakthrough moments experienced by women during the life-changing era that was the ’60s and ’70s. And finally, here, they tell it like it was. Their stories range from Vietnam to France, from Chile to England, from the Haight-Ashbury to Greenwich Village, and from the Deep South to the Midwest. They write of cultural reverberations that reached into farm kitchens and city “pads,” from coffeehouse jazz clubs to psychedelic rock concerts. This inspiring collection celebrates the women of the ’60s and ’70s, reminds them of the importance of their legacy, and seeks to motivate young women today.

(Synopsis from back cover)

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My Thoughts:

The ’60s and ’70s in America were fraught with change — changes in society, among the sexes, within the military, between the establishment and the anti-establishment, in mode of dress, in what we smoked, in what we read and how we interpreted it, between parents and children, between students and institutions of higher learning. We were a society attempting to learn where we each, as an individual, fit into the whole without it being too painful.

The editors of Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ’60s & ’70s have compiled 48 stories and poems vividly describing the palpable changes experienced by women during this tumultuous time. Finally, these women have their voice to share life like it really was.

Each woman with her individual voice tells her story and in telling becomes a part of the larger whole. These women as a collective in this anthology celebrate the women of their generation with remembrances of the importance of actions and beliefs and the legacy left for the young women of today.

If you were around in this period, you may have been one of these women in another town and state, another country, another college. Likely, you too had a story to tell, and perhaps your story is told by another in this anthology.

If you weren’t around during the ’60s and ’70s, perhaps you have wondered what those 20 years were all about. You are fortunate for within these pages the details are vividly recounted for you by this group of women so that you can learn from them. Learn that all women have a voice. We must be courageous enough to exercise it and stand tall after doing so.

A long overdue and telling collection of prose and poetry emblematic of the times that were changing in the ’60s and ’70s.

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My Recommendation: 

Times They Were A-Changing is a powerful read for anyone who reads it. The stories shared lay out in honesty and detail the way things really were. Nothing is held back and from these women we are reminded what life was then and where we’ve traveled to in 2013. For young women today, these stories will give you the courage and self-confidence to move forward with the continuation of the equalities and justice fought so hard to win and still needing to be fought for in some arenas.

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Meet the Editors:

Editors of Times They Were A-Changing

Editors Kate Farrell, Amber Lea Starfire and Linda Joy Myers

I could bore you with the traditional bios that authors and editors place on Goodreads, Amazon or the dust covers of their books. However, these three editors wrote special bios for the launch and events surrounding the anthology, and I found them quite interesting. If you’d like to read more, just click here and you’ll be taken to the page with the scoop!

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Publisher: She Writes Press
Published: September 8, 2013
Genre: Memoir, Prose & Poetry Anthology
ISBN-10: 978193831409
Paperback: 336 pages

Times They Were A-Changing is available as a print and e-book at Amazon, Kindle Store and Barnes & Noble.

I received a copy of Times They Were A-Changing from the publisher via WOW! Women on Writing in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I am not an affiliate of any of the retailers mentioned above.


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