Saturday, May 31, 2008


By Betty Dravis
Amazon Short
ASIN: B000G03N25

Virgil and Winnie Crenshaw are on a tour bus headed toward Monterey to see the whales when the bus stops at Denny’s in Salinas for lunch. Winnie has been listening to Janis Joplin’s Me and Bobby McGee and realizes this is where Bobby McGee left Janis. She wonders if Bobby McGee is still alive and talks Virgil into leaving the tour with her in search of the man. The two find a craftsman who claims to know Bobby and tells them Bobby, still despondent over the death of his beloved Janis, hangs around the Mission talking to anyone who will listen about their life together. Winnie and Virgil find Bobby, who’s still good looking enough to make Winnie’s heart flutter, and take him along with them onto the tour bus and back home, in hopes of turning his life around, never knowing that things are not always as they seem.

Betty Dravis has this special talent – in one short paragraph, the reader will have a clear view of what a character looks like, their personality, and their take on the world. Not many writers can lay claim to that. Her sense of humor shines through with this short story, which had me in titters throughout. Winnie is a real hoot and such fun to read. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.


By Betty Dravis
Amazon Short

Homer is a wealthy movie producer, with a wife who’s, well, biased against anyone who isn’t white and doesn’t have blue or green eyes. Hector is a Mexican American who works for the county and has a side business as a gardener. When Hector accidentally backs into Homer’s jag, Homer feels sorry for the man. After all, he has ten kids and no insurance. So Homer asks Hector to his mansion so they can discuss how Hector can repay him. To his surprise, Homer enjoys hanging out with Hector and agrees to go to a ball game with him. Homer’s wife isn’t happy at all about this, nor that Homer intends to move Hector and his family into his gardener’s cottage, which he intends to enlarge to accommodate them. But Homer and his wife are about to learn a valuable lesson from Hector, one that will change their lives forever.

This short story has an important message at its center, made all the more enjoyable due to Ms. Dravis’s ability to deliver one heck of a good story wrapped around great characterization and dialogue. Like a talented comedian, this author knows when and where to display her glorious sense of humor and has a real knack for keeping her readers entertained throughout. Highly recommended!

V.O. by Betty Dravis

by Betty Dravis
Amazon Short

Charles, a respected banker in his sixties, takes a cruise with his wife and upon his return looks and acts much younger, as does his wife, who is now pregnant. When his elderly friend Walter inquires about this dramatic transformation, Charles tells him it lies with V.O. Asked to explain further, Charles swears Walter to secrecy and tells him about the cruise, where he and his wife were taken to a private room and there the most beautiful man and woman they had ever seen danced for them, culminating in the best meal they had ever eaten. Curious as to the mystery ingredient that made the meal so wonderful, they are simply told it is V.O. Walter, upon sponsorship by Charles, takes the cruise with his wife, and upon his return, Charles notes a dramatic improvement in his physical being, but is puzzled by Walter’s reluctant happiness over his transformation. It seems Walter figured out what V.O. means, and the reality of that is most horrible indeed.

Betty Dravis stands in the forefront as bestselling author of romance, mystery, and children’s books. Now she joins the ranks of Stephen King as writer of horror. The ability to incorporate such a brilliant plot -- which I’m sure King would have carried forward over 300 pages -- into a concise, well-written short story, speaks volumes of her talent. This is the first short story I’ve downloaded from Amazon and I’ve since ordered all written by Ms. Dravis, who has the unique ability to deliver a galvanizing plot which moves quickly, ending with a twist the reader does not see coming. Bravo!

Friday, May 23, 2008

DEAD EX by Harley Jane Kozak

By Harley Jane Kozak
ISBN: 9780385518024
Hardback, 338 pages, $21.95
Genre: Mystery

In the third book of the Wollie Shelley series, card designer Wollie Shelley is homeless and living with her boyfriend FBI agent Simon Alexander. Wollie receives an offer to be the dating correspondent on a talk show called SoapDirt, where she will be required to date celebrities and dish about them afterward. But before Wollie has her first date, her good friend David Zetrakis is found shot to death. Zetrakis was producer of a popular soap opera and Wollie’s best friend Joey was the last person seen with him. All leads point to Joey, divorcing her husband and now penniless, and who inherits a million-dollar Klimt upon Zetrakis’s death. When Joey’s estranged husband drowns under mysterious circumstances, the police are anxious to bring Joey in, but she manages to evade them with Wollie’s help while they try to figure out who is behind the murders.

Kozak leads the reader through the streets of Los Angeles and the world of television with this entertaining caper. Wollie Shelley is an endearing character, and her life and the people around her allow for humorous moments. Overall, a charming mystery.