Recent Reads: Under an August Moon and The Twelve Coffins of Doctor Coffin

It’s a pleasure to review a couple of stories by two fellow authors for JMS Books. Firstly, there’s a new story from K.L. Noone, whose stories appear regularly on this blog! Under An August Moon was written for JMS Books’ August Night or Day story submission call.

This time, it’s the turn of one of Kristin’s contemporary couples and a favourite of mine, Wes & Finn. Each story in this series follows the progression of the relationship between a former teen star (gradually getting back to acting after a life-altering accident) and a Medievalist professor, from their first meeting into settled coupledom and even the idea of marriage. The stories are often set at Wes & Finn’s California home, with the odd excursion elsewhere, depending on the demands of both of their jobs. This was another gorgeous tale, with Wes taking some time away from university lecturing to visit Finn in Canada while he’s filming a superhero tv series, being called on set mainly at night.

The author builds such atmosphere as Wes watches Finn in professional mode with admiration, trying not to be overprotective during any stunt or fight scenes. The love and tenderness between these two is palpable, and often scorching hot (tight-fitting leather superhero costumes anyone?) A romantic delight! 

My second choice is a tale based around the number twelve for JMS Books‘ 12th-anniversary celebration in July with a 15k word limit. This submission call was hugely popular and I’m gradually getting through as many of the varied and delightful stories as I can! This story, The Twelve Coffins of Doctor Coffin by Amy Spector was inspired!

As a huge film and Hammer Horror fan, I absolutely adored this slice of Hollywood movie history as talented director Leo Wayland slums it at a cheap horror movie outfit as his opportunity to break away from being an eternal assistant director. There he meets his old crush and current leading man Everett Reid, making a comeback after being mired by scandal, and as the tight filming schedule progresses, there is more than a hint of a second-chance romance.

I’m amazed at how much Amy packed into this short story. There was tons of atmosphere, cinema history and kitsch movie detail and tone perfect for the era with great secondary characters that allowed the tentative central relationship to shine. A real gem of a tale.

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