Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Kinda-sorta-maybe-weekly Book Review take 2 - Shermin Heights Shorts by Night Tempest

Welcome to my second kinda-sorta-maybe-weekly Book Review. As I had stated in my first review, not everything I review will be a published work. The subject of this week’s review is not a published work. Actually, it’s not just a single story, but a set of 4 short stories, set in the fictional town of Shermin Heights, Kentucky, a place I would definitely love to live in.

These 4 stories, written by Night Tempest, revolve around the lives of the Pierson brothers, Noah and Mason, and their best friends, the Olivette brothers, Sam and Perry, and their families. Night Tempest weaves a wonderful tale of a magical southern town filled with wonderful, caring people, whose lives you cannot help but get involved with. The four stories, which should be read in order are:

  • ·       On My Mind
  • ·       Made Up My Mind
  • ·       Read My Mind
  • ·       Out Of My Mind

These can be found on Night Tempest’s blog http://nighttempest.blogspot.com/2012/06/my-stories-complete-list.html?zx=89c73cc6347b9d03, approximately half-way down the page.

On My Mind blurb (taken verbatim from Night’s blog)
Shermin Heights, Kentucky had always chugged along at a slow pace, with good fishin, and a nice cold beer at the end of the day. Although as of late, things had not been so smooth for Noah Pierson or his family. After his daddy lost his battle with Alzheimer’s, Noah picked up the slack, and began to care for his broken mother, younger brother, and his crazy granny Ella Mae. Lost and without purpose, Noah threw himself into cleaning up what his daddy had left behind, love the last thing on his mind.

Jamie Ford was a corporate misfit with father issues of his own. Working for his step-father and his heartless mother, he was trained as a professional pain in the ass. So, when he was sent to Shermin Heights, Kentucky, acquiring twenty acres for the oil company from one Noah Pierson seemed like a cake walk. Never in his life had Jamie been so wrong.

When city meets country, things heat up in Shermin Heights.  Locals get nosey, boys will be boys, and the food is good for the soul. Jamie starts to see himself in a different light, not to mention the sexy Noah who is the reason for the change. Noah falls hard for the stubborn Yankee, but when Jamie’s parents arrive in town after a phone call throw down, will love be enough? Or will Jamie betray the man he’s grown to care for? Funny, sexy, with a whole lot of southern charm, On My Mind is good for the soul.

Made Up My Mind blurb (taken verbatim from Night’s blog)
Mason Pierson was fed up with his life.  He didn’t have a job, a house of his own, or anything that amounted to squat and living with Jamie and Noah was getting tiresome. Things go from bad to worse when Noah’s business partner and friend, Matt Every comes to live with them for the summer, causing Mason’s heart to stir in all the wrong places.  Or so he thinks.

Matt Every was just a simple glass blower, with a simple crush on Noah’s little brother, but all that simplicity was about to get really complicated when Mason throws up a hell of wall between the two of them. Hiding his feelings while trying not to hurt Matt’s is almost impossible for Mason and a series of events breaks the two apart. When Matt has finally had enough of Mason and his heartbreaking behavior, he agrees to a date with Todd Paola, Noah’s ex-boyfriend. In true Shermin Heights fashion, the town bands together once again to see their boys happy once more, but are they too late to undo what’s already been done?  Another tale to make you sigh, make you cry, and make you laugh.  Welcome back to Shermin Heights, kick your feet up, and stay a while.

Read My Mind blurb (taken verbatim from Night’s blog)
Online gay magazine blogger, Adam Jackson, hears rumors of his boyfriend Todd's escapades with other men.  Pissed off and out of options, he makes a visit to Shermin Heights to confront the bastard, face to face, and give him what for.  What starts off as a bad breakup, almost costs Adam his life.

Country boy, Perry Olivette, doesn't take kindly to people talking crap about his friends. Using his fists instead of his words gets him into a scuffle with his arch nemesis, Joe Mayfield, who just so happens to be the son of a local gay bashing religious group preacher.  When Perry makes it out the fight, barely conscious, he and Adam are thrust together by sheer luck and whole lot of family drama.
When Joe Mayfield's father leads an all out, gay bashing protest, with the Leighton Assembly against Shermin Heights, Adam decides to take a stand for himself and for all of his readers.  Through heartache and honesty, Perry and Adam form a bond that no one else understands, until it's made clear for the whole world to see.

Out Of My Mind blurb (taken verbatim from Night’s blog)
Casey Belgard flees his hometown of New Orleans to escape his abusive cop father after he comes out, leaving his loving mother behind.  With some help from his cousin Adam, Casey lands at the New Heights Haven in Shermin Heights with an offer of work and a roof over his head.

Link Stevens works the front desk at the haven for Adam and  Perry.  Like Casey, he ran away from his past, but he's a little better at hiding his sadness behind his loud and proud exterior.  Link finds himself opening up to the new kid, connecting on a level much deeper than the string of sexual memories other men have left behind.

As the two men start to lean on each other, helping to mend old wounds and start something new, old ghosts begin to surface, leaving both Casey and Link in grave danger.

The characters seem very real and easily identified with, the story lines plausible and believable. You get to know the characters. Yes, there are plenty of sex scenes, but they’re not the be-all and end-all of the stories. That being said, the stories themselves are very well-rounded. Kudos to you, Night!

I have found myself many times ending a stressful day curling up with my tablet and reading one of these stories. They are witty and charming and sometimes they make you laugh and cry. One point that made me laughed so hard that I almost peed my pants was reading about how Perry kept calling Jerry ‘Franken-dick’. 

You’ll have to read them all to find out what I’m talking about. You won’t regret the time spent reading (and re-reading) the Shermin Heights short stories. I also found myself wanting to cut Joe Mayfield’s dick off, stuff it and shove it up his ass! The same with Casey Belgard’s father.

Word of warning – don’t get between Noah and his mother’s apple pie. You will not come out of the encounter unscathed!

On a scale of 1 to 10 I give these stories a 15. I would be the first one in line to buy these stories, should they be published. It would be great if Night Tempest would get them published as an anthology.


While you’re at it, after you finish the Shermin Heights stories, keep going down Night’s blog page and read Almost Human. It’s an interesting twist on an old tale and a good read. And after you're done with that, take the time to read the rest of her excellent works.

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