Author: Rik Stone
Narrator: Bob Sterry
Length: 6 hours and 13 minutes
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Released: July 31, 2018
Genre: Short Stories & Anthologies
It seemed more than a little odd that he might meet someone exactly like his ex and on the first night he’d been out since being dumped for bad behavior. If he could get to show her his other side, things might be a little different this time around. But was that likely after what he said in the first two minutes of meeting her?
Jon loved Sally unconditionally, and them keeping him from her was tearing him apart. But they seemed to have complete control over him. How could he possibly turn things around?
Three sisters arrive in a new country. The last thing they expected was to end up on the wrong side of an interrogation table, but does it turn out to be what they’d always hoped for?
Widowed several years earlier, Annie’s mom cajoled her into starting again, but the world seemed so different now, and there were those who were out to separate her from her money. She wanted to crawl back to the comfort of her self-imposed life of a hermit but that wouldn’t be fair on those worse off than her. The detective she hires to get to the bottom of the problem is really quite a dish, but she had to remember, he was only working for her.
Melanie has a schoolgirl crush on Joe Romano, and when he asks her out, she is more than excited. But he lets her down, and she cries all the way home, swearing never to speak to him again. Six years later, their working lives cross paths. Joe has always carried a torch for Melanie and does everything he can to make up for his boyhood stupidity. Is it too late?
Rik came into the world surrounded by the slum-lands of fifties North East England. He left school at fifteen without academic qualifications and worked in shipyards on a local river, spent time in the merchant navy and then took employment in quarries in South East England.
The time came he yearned for change, so he studied and worked his way through to gaining a BSc. degree in mathematics and computing. But reading being his first love, he yearned to write fiction. An early retirement from the IT sector gave an opportunity to pursue the dream seriously and he hasn’t let go the figurative quill pen since.
Rik and his wife live in the county of Essex in the UK.
Bob Sterry is a voice over actor, audiobook narrator, writer, singer, occasional stage actor and humorist. Originally trained in England as a research analytical chemist, he immigrated into the United States in 1973 working as a wine waiter in New Jersey, a steel yard fork lift truck driver in Connecticut, before spending a professional career in the marketing of scientific instruments and services in New Jersey, Hong Kong and around the world.
It was not until he started writing short articles, essays and poetry in the nineties that his creative talents found an outlet, reading poetry at open mics. and began to sing seriously in choirs and extemporaneous groups. In 1999 he and his wife Anne-Louise Sterry, a well-known speaker, singer and storyteller, founded a short lived but much loved faux cowboy wannabe band, ‘Anne-Louise and the Cascade Urban Cowboys’. Discovering his on stage talent he took the step to starting his own show of songs and spoken word. His singing is cabaret satire with Broadway and the English Musical Hall grinning in the wings with an occasional nod to the classical style. Recent shows were ‘The Bob Sterry Atomic Summer Show’ and ‘The Book of Bob’, and ‘A Sterry Sterry Night’ with Anne-Louise Sterry. Adding voice over acting was an obvious step, and thanks to voice coach Lesley Bailey and recording genius Marc Rose at FuseAudio Design Bob offers his voice to anyone who needs it. Bob continues to write poetry and essays reflecting very much his cabaret style, with excursions into more serious commentary on life, humor and outright comedy. Hi collection of essays, short stories and poetry ‘The Bob Sterry School of Burglary’ will be published in September. By the way he is passionate about cycling, cooking, language and literature.
Rik Stone creates a very sweet collection of romance stories. I found them to be touching and definitely gave me some old school vibes when reading it. They’re not too long on their own and each gives the characters a good amount of backstory as well. I really enjoyed listening to these people falling in love! I think it would be great to own a copy of the physical book as well so you can easily skip to a favorite story to reread. I give the audio book a 5/5 stars.
Bob Sterry does a good job with the voices and emotions in this novel. I do think someone dropped the ball a bit with the studio production. I can hear him breathing the whole way through. Never really had that happen with a narrator haha. So for me the narration is like. 4/5 just because production quality was a bit off but I really liked his voice!
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Rik Stone. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
The Way We Were
Jon: A gentle soul, Jon had been bullied from day one at school … but not for long. While placid, he was also strong willed and took it upon himself to step up to the challenge. Waiting for one of the bigger boys to pick on him, he threw himself into attack. The beating he got made him wish he hadn’t bothered, but suddenly the bullying stopped. He’d always thought that day of rebellion had given him a strong character. Maybe, but life wandered on devoid of prospects and he aged without a direction, until he met Sally. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t been out with girls, in that department he was much the same as any other man, but with Sally it had taken but a single date to know she was the one. Only months after that night out they married, and something in him changed. He wanted to become a somebody, show Sally he’d been worth the risk. Normally, thinking of opportunity as being for someone else, he never put himself forward … for anything. But now he had Sally. Putting in a lot of hard work, a chance presented itself and he jumped in with both feet. Time brought further promotions and their financial life moved into the comfort zone. With a little money behind him and having the love of his life by his side, Jon felt blessed. He’d found his Shangri-La.
Sally: From childhood life had been sweet for Sally. Not because everything was easy and ran smoothly, more that she’d had a contented spirit and readily accepted things as they were. And she had a passive influence on people, at least, those she was close to. They seemed to strive for something better and it was clear from their words, the sway was because of her. Hard to fathom why, maybe they were in search of the place she’d found. It wasn’t that she’d lacked ambition or drive, merely that she was content with every level she attained. A blind date through mutual friends and Jon came into her life. She came close to pulling out; it really wasn’t her thing, but she’d made the arrangement and she wasn’t one to back on her word. Strange, she thought she knew him already, but no way had they ever met. Over the course of the evening, he said so many things that were totally at odds with what she believed, so why hadn’t she walked away? She would have done so with anyone else, but there was something about him that had stopped her. He was different and she could feel that his words were no more than fluff and that he’d ventured down a road of no return in order to impress. After that night there was no looking back and subsequent dates proved his blabbering had been no more than that. She fell in love with Jon and everything else in life paled into insignificance.
Out of the Ashes
Irina: Born in Poland, Irina came to Britain to study English and hoped to get a job where she would earn enough to send home to her family. With a poor command of English and not knowing anyone in the community, she made searches for local Polish groups. An older woman she met there said she could put a word in for her and it was from that she got a job as a waitress in a wine bar in West London. She met a boy called Edi who worked in the kitchens as a dishwasher, an Albanian who was very sure of himself for one so young. In a short time, she moved in with him and things changed. He became dominant and stopped her attending college. He took her wages which left her unable to send money to her mother in Poland. The wine bar closed and she became a financial burden on Edi, so he passed her on to a Polish commune in East London. In a short time, they had her stealing, committing credit card fraud, shoplifting, and evenings she was hired out as a personal hostess. The men easily controlled her by saying they had people in Poland who would bring harm to her mother.
Author Rik Stone: I’ve asked Trudi along for a chat. She’s a relatively small part player in the short story, Out of the Ashes, from the audiobook The Way We Were. A lifelong friend of our heroine, Annie, I thought she might give us an objective view of her situation.
Rik: Welcome, Trudi, thank you for coming along. Your relationship with Annie seems enduring. What do you put that down to?
Trudi: I don’t actually put it down to anything … Or maybe it’s because we’ve known each other since play school. Yes, I’ve never really given it any thought, but that would be it. We met, we played together and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Well, up until her husband died, that is.
Rik: You must be quite close to Annie’s mum?
Trudi: Funny enough, more so since Richard died. Annie had switched off from life and her mum and I were in constant contact, waiting for the right time to turn Annie’s lights back on.
Rik: After your own mum passed, the two of you must have become even closer? Has she become like a second mum to you?
Trudi: No, no one could replace my mum… I’ve been close to her because of my friendship with Annie, but that’s as far as the friendship goes.
Rik: Okay, let’s hurry past that one. I believe you knew Richard quite well before he died, what would your opinion of him be had he not been married to your best friend?
Trudi: I loved Richard because he was besotted with Annie and treated her so well. The four of us, Annie, Richard, me and Jim, used to go out regularly. I can’t remember what I thought of him at first, but he also became like a best friend over time.
Rik: So you got along with him on a personal level?
Trudi: Yes, I did and he and Jim were good mates, so everything fell together like a jigsaw.
Rik: Then you, too, must have taken it badly when he died?
Trudi: Very much so. Apart from the shock of it happening, I was heartbroken for a multitude of other reasons. Annie and Jim’s loss alone broke me up.
Rik: Did the fact that you were grieving his death and Annie walking out of your life have an effect on how you felt about her?
Trudi: I’d be lying to say I wasn’t hurt, but I know her so well and closing down would have been the only way she could cope with life. I understood, so the hurt was secondary.
Rik: Why were you so keen she should get into another relationship?
Trudi: I don’t know, Annie’s happiness means a lot to me, but I suppose I also had selfish reasons; I’d love a new man to bring us back to being a foursome, bring back the closeness that was there when Richard was alive. And no, don’t ask, I feel no guilt over those thoughts whatsoever.
Rik: Oh, right, actually, I was about to ask that. Okay, Annie says you go into London on a regular basis. That you’ve traveled in together and separate in the city. You never reveal why. Would you like to share that with us now?
Trudi: No. I wouldn’t.
Rik: What does your husband Jim feel about Annie? Does he get jealous of your relationship?
Trudi: Jealous, hah, not at all. He loves her in the same way I loved Richard. We were all terribly close.
Thank you, Trudi, I’ve enjoyed chatting with you. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that everything works out the way you’d like.
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