Praise FOR:  

 

If... Blurred Vision

 

" ...The novelette form is necessarily demanding and unique; for it must accomplish many of the same goals of a wordier work (building setting, plot and characters) using a format greater than a short story and much less than a full-length novel. In this case, Jackie Mae has under fifty pages to accomplish her goal in If…Blurred Vision; and she does so with skill and style.

 

In some ways the novelette format is the true test of a writer's skill. It's demanding and exacting: no words can be wasted, and no scene left incomplete. Such is the case with If…Blurred Vision, which introduces the character of Timothy S. Graves, a good man and worker who thinks about life a lot, has a rock-solid 12-year marriage, and is on course for retiring in 18 years with plenty of money.

 

Everything is perfect …. Or is it? No sooner is the scene set than the undercurrents of trouble running under the surface of perfection emerge; because wife Shirley doesn't have her life mapped out quite firmly as Timothy, and has become increasingly critical of his vision of their set future.

 

It seems inevitable that Shirley, in her growing disappointment, will encounter another man who will coax her dissatisfaction to the forefront: "For once, she just might do something outrageous, something just for her, something shocking. A million wars were raging in her mind and she didn’t know which side would win the day."

 

While events that follow (wild sex) are very quickly presented with a feeling of inevitability, what is sparked from her chance encounter is a growing revelation: "Her mind was made up; she didn’t want to have an organized life plan anymore." D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review


‘A mere thin layer below the surface, veiled from prying eyes, there was trouble in paradise.’

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE on July 29, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

American author Jackie Mae lives in the Northeastern US in an atmosphere conducive to spending time writing and relating stories to her grandchildren - as a matter of fact her book series she calls THE DARKEST SERIES - the Taylor and Alan series - was co-written with her granddaughter Alison Taylor! THE DARKEST SERIES deals with darker elements such as psychic abilities and alien takeover. And now she favors us with a new series of novellas titled, If... Blurred Vision, If... Second Chance, and If... Dangerous Waters – short stories or novellas that explore the possibilities of 'What If.'

One the many gifts of Jackie Mae’s writing style is her manner of bringing the reader into the story – some explanation of the concept behind the tale as well as an introduction to the sense of character she is inviting us to know. “If,” could mean different things to different people. If— I were a better person. If— I were rich, thinner, or prettier. If— I were black, white, Asian, male or female, shorter or taller. If— I had been born to a different set of parents. If— I had more friends. If— I had a better job. If. That one little word can take you places or make you crazy…’

It is difficult to synopsize a 34 page novella by Jackie Mae does even that well: ‘Timothy S. Graves, a good man. He is a business genius, not a neophyte, and he is determined to reach the top rung any way he can. A solid marriage, set financial future, all neatly wrapped up... or is it? Shirley doesn’t see it that way. She just might do something outrageous, something just for her, something shocking. What if? “If,” could transform everything in an instant. When the psychic with her ‘vision’ tells good ole Timmy her revelations, a series of events unfold that will change the lives of those around him forever.’ And to offer more would defeat the mystery that lies ahead.

Solid writing and a fine sense of fresh ideas and ability to create credible characters succinctly is a trademark of this fine author. Read the trio – there may be more. Grady Harp, July 15

 

If... Second Chance

 

"If…Second Chance explores possibilities and alternate realities as it takes one little word ('if' something had changed) and explores the potentials for quite a different life.

 

The protagonist is one Shona, an energetic go-getter who has fallen into a world of depression and suicidal thinking, and who gets a 'second chance' for a new life.

 

In this case, her dreams of having her own profitable small business and equally successful marriage (both of which will lead to a perfect life) are spoiled by a confrontation with reality on two fronts: her struggling small business's horrible day and her discovery that the love of her life isn't whom she believed him to be.

 

Now what?  If…Second Chance explores Shona's life from this point onward, setting its scenes quickly and then evolving from there. Once again (as in If…Blurred Vision) a psychic plays a role in Shona's transition. Once more the protagonist realizes new possibilities other than the vision and path she's forged for her life's course.

An exceptionally powerful, unexpected ending completes the carefully-penned scenario and lends a delightful touch of angst to the matter of Shona's evolution. Novelette readers will be delighted by the soaring heights and depths of Mae's creation, which is all about second chances won and lost." D. Donovan, Senior Editor, Midwest Book Review

 

Highly Recommended!

By Haleh on August 8, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Jackie Mae's, "If...Second Chance" is a thought-provoking novella with a relatable, fresh plot. Mae does a masterful job developing the characters of the story and I found myself anxious to find out what would happen next at every critical juncture in the story. Mae does a fantastic job of establishing the mood of the story early on and sustaining the interest of the reader throughout the story. I highly recommend giving "If...Second Chance" a read. 

 

 

‘Men and Shona didn’t go together very well.’

ByGrady Harp HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE on July 29, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

American author Jackie Mae lives in the Northeastern US in an atmosphere conducive to spending time writing and relating stories to her grandchildren - as a matter of fact her book series she calls THE DARKEST SERIES - the Taylor and Alan series - was co-written with her granddaughter Alison Taylor! THE DARKEST SERIES deals with darker elements such as psychic abilities and alien takeover. And now she favors us with a new series of novellas titled, If... Blurred Vision, If... Second Chance, and If... Dangerous Waters – short stories or novellas that explore the possibilities of 'What If.'

Once again Jackie Mae seduces us into her cast of characters and offers some hints in the first paragraphs of what is going alter in this short tale: ‘It was hard to believe Shona had once considered suicide. Not knowing how she would crawl out from under her financial woes, she had given it some thought. Her happiness hadn’t taken her plan very far. She always thought having a positive attitude would win the day. But one day, one moment in time, she couldn’t find her way out of the shadows. The shadows had slowly, insidiously crept its way into those empty spaces of her soul. Threatening to take her over, she had cast the shadows to the four winds. She had been safe until one day the grayness filled too many spaces. She lost her way. In fact, she had contemplated suicide late one evening after a particularly hard day at work. Shona Forrester was an energetic go-getter. She preached faithfully that “you should not sit around and wait for things to come to you; you have to make your own success.” At 29 years of age, she had scraped by, saving every damn nickel and dime until she was able to buy a small hair salon over on Lakeview just this past year.’


Success and then surprises – Rick, her love, is a lothario, Shona wins the lottery and establishes a successful business, visits a Psychic – Psychic Two Moons -who tells her “You need to go home, call your loved ones, reflect on a life well spent, and find some peace within. I’m so sorry my dear. I wish I could give you better news”, she takes a trip to Antigua where she meets Faith, another psychic, who states ‘I’m sorry. You only have 24 hours to live. Don’t worry, there are others on the other side and they will open their arms for you’, and Shona’s life is inextricably altered. To say more would destroy the mood.

Lots of action, exploration of the psychic world, and some very eye-opening surprises make this a story you will want to read in one brief but exhilarating session. Grady Harp, July 15

 

If... Dangerous Waters

 

"If... Dangerous Waters revolves around Alena, a peppy, kind, happy-go-luck nearly-twenty-two-year-old child who still lives at home, has a 'dream' boyfriend, and likes everything about her life except for her appearance. She has big plans for her future and is set to graduate from college with a coveted degree in bitotechnology when things change. Alena also has a secret: she sees spirits, and has done so since a small child, when her first reaction to a sighting leads her to deny her abilities..."


"When read separately, each 'If' novelette stands well and entirely on its own; but when each is read concurrently, Jackie Mae's real powers in crafting her scenarios become evident. Even though these three titles are separate entities, they work together to form a unified theory of possibilities; and so readers of all three will find in these separate tales a basic premise that ties all together but explores the different routes each protagonist takes to realize these choices in their lives."


"The joy of all the 'If' stories lies in their surprise twists. Mae is a master storyteller and an uncommon ruler of the novelette form. There are no wasted words, no lengthy explanations, and (especially notable) no predictable paths, even for lives that seem well set in their courses."


"Fans of the novelette form and newcomers more familiar with longer novels or shorter stories will find these exquisite productions, able to be digested individually but at their most powerful when taken together." D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

 

Will the water GET YOU ?

By I Asimov on August 16, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

 

I'm a real fan of Jackie Mae. Her writing style is consistant throughout these novellas and the endings are never what you expect but are SATISFYING and COMPLETE just like and good Bourbon and a Cuban cigar.

 

‘It was about retirement in the future. Boring stuff. I’m young and wild; a long way from retirement.’

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE on July 29, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

American author Jackie Mae lives in the Northeastern US in an atmosphere conducive to spending time writing and relating stories to her grandchildren - as a matter of fact her book series she calls THE DARKEST SERIES - the Taylor and Alan series - was co-written with her granddaughter Alison Taylor! THE DARKEST SERIES deals with darker elements such as psychic abilities and alien takeover. And now she favors us with a new series of novellas titled, If... Blurred Vision, If... Second Chance, and If... Dangerous Waters – short stories or novellas that explore the possibilities of 'What If.'

As in her other novella in this series – IF…SECOND CHANCE – in this story psychics play an important role. But this time round, Jackie Mae introduces the psychic in the first page: ‘“I only impart the wisdom, the wishes, of the other side my dear. Please, please believe me when I say I’m sorry. May the universe be kind.” The seer had spoken these words. Words… words henceforth that had changed Alena’s every waking moment. If she could have, she would have taken back everything she had done that fateful day. Alena was a sparkly, peppy, happy-go-lucky woman. She had loving, supportive parents, a part-time job, a car, a boyfriend, and a great outlook on the life. She was 5’5” with thick, curly, black hair and brown eyes. At almost twenty-two, she thought she was well on her way in life, having already met some of her lofty goals. After all, she had everything going her way this year.

From there the synopsis the author supplies offers all the reader need know to be attracted to this story: ‘Alena is young, intelligent, and going places. Graduating soon with a sought after degree, an upward career trajectory, and a kickass life plan in place, Alena has a stable life, close family and a terrific boyfriend. That is until Madame Psychic Orso changes Alena’s pathway forever. Alena’s newfound fears take on a life of their own. ‘If,’ will redirect and send her world into a tailspin. Probing dangerous new avenues she will discover something different than she’d expected. Can she recover? Will she even want to?’

Not the strongest of the three “IF…’ works, but it still is a gripping story well sculpted by an author who knows her craft. Grady Harp, July 15

 

The Key A Taylor and Alan Adventure

 

 

Reviewed by Michelle Randall for Readers' Favorite

Siblings Taylor and Alan are your typical kids for the most part. They do the same things as most kids their age except for one thing; they have been swept away on strange adventures. Today their only focus is to attend the opening of the new movie theater and see their favorite movie sequel, but that is to be delayed when they are swept away on an adventure in the past. The Key: A Taylor and Alan Adventure (Volume 2) is that adventure in the Land of Baltimore in the time of the Women's Suffrage Movement. Taylor and Alan are tasked with finding and protecting a key for a terrible wizard. Jackie Mae and Alison Taylor combine to write a tale of adventure and history that delights the young reader.

The Key in set during the time of the Women's Suffrage Movement, and so there are historical facts about that movement and people involved in it that are included in the story, as well as historical facts about the Land of Baltimore and the residents of the area and time period, such as baseball player Wee Willie and author Edgar Allan Poe. Jackie Mae and Alison Taylor do a wonderful job of combining a compelling story with historical facts, making the book something enjoyable and educational for children of all ages. The reading level may be listed as 4th through 6th grade, but if you have an advanced reader you will probably want to introduce the book a lot sooner.

The Key: A Taylor and Alan Adventure

 

Written by Samantha Coville @BookwormSammy

"... This is a shorter 20,000 word chapter book for children and I loved it. It was easy to understand at a younger age level, but there were a few larger words that add a learning stand point to the reading experience. There is also an environmentally friendly message that does what most of its type fail to do: get the meaning across without choking the life out of the story. I was very thankful for that and it made for a pleasent story with relatable, lovable characters and a well developed setting.

... So, overall, I think this has some great potential in the world of chapter books. (A world that is sadly shrinking.) I recommend it to all those younger readers out there who are looking for a fun, fast paced adventure and characters that they can hold on to. One question: can we have more, more, more of Alan and Taylor? Four keys out of five!"

 

 

Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States)
HALL OF FAME REVIEWER, VINE VOICE, TOP 100 REVIEWER
 

 

This review is from: The Key: A Taylor and Alan Adventure (Kindle Edition)

Maryland author Jackie Mae (BS, University of Maryland University College) is also a Toastmaster, member of Maryland Writer's Association, and a local volunteer whose interest extend to ecology and writing both science fiction thrillers and children's book. For the Taylor and Alan Adventure series (intended for children grades 2 - 7) she is joined in authorship by her granddaughter Alison Taylor (and you wonder where the name Taylor for the lead girl in the series originated...?).
The authors have devised a `further adventure' (this being this reviewer's first outing with them so some back history was necessary) that sparkles and chatters and is very much of the language and fantasies for the age group for which it is intended. Taylor (girl) and Alan (boy) are brother and sister and in his tale they are eager to see the final installment in a series of films they have been following. All preparations made they enter the theater with their parents but soon an odd occurrence happens: something appears on the screen that leads the siblings to enter a path the in turn leads them to a train which carries them to the Land of Baltimore. Time change and dangers await. They meet Bella and the following demonstrates the talent of visual creation the authors concoct. `Bella took a deep breath. "Well I am certain that the wizard, Jalabar, has his spies all around. He is a very bad wizard and he will receive his punishment once the wizard's council reconvenes. Everything is in a huge upheaval at this point in time. Unfortunately, by the time I can bring him before the council he will have already taken control of the Land of Baltimore. I cannot allow Jalabar to gain control over the Land of Baltimore and I need your help to make sure he doesn't accomplish that." A lot of questions were running through my mind. How did she know us? How could we help? How did we keep ending up in strange lands? Alan spoke up. "Excuse me but I am a little confused. How can we help you exactly?" Bella just smiled. "You and your sister, Alan, can help by securing the key. The key, you see, is

what Jalabar needs to open the Chest of Treasures. He seeks more power. Power that once in the hands of Jalabar will forever change the Land of Baltimore I'm afraid. Only children, such as yourselves, can retrieve the key, and return it to the keepers of the key. They are the protectors."

Not content to merely take a step into mystery and history the two also encounter situations that call upon the care of the earth (or ocean in the following example): `I liked to help our local program that encouraged homeowners to raise oyster larvae. It was part of a plan to help restore the Chesapeake Bay. Oysters helped to clean the bay, and there were too few of them left to clean the water.'

The entire story is like a breath of fresh air, and despite the fact that the age group for which it is intended will relate to the tale more strongly than adults, the book has enough sound advice and suggestions about ecology that adult readers will find satisfaction, too. Grady Harp, Jaunary 15 

 

Twilight of Doom: A Taylor and Alan Adventure

 

 

 

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE on September 25, 2014
Format: Paperback

 

"American author Jackie Mae lives in the Northeastern US in an atmosphere conducive to spending time writing and relating stories to her grandchildren - as a matter of fact this particular book, Volume 1 of the Taylor and Alan series was co-written with her granddaughter Alison Taylor! Her previous books, grouped under the title of THE DARKEST SERIES, deals with darker elements such as psychic abilities and alien takeover. This new series deals with the thriller element but also with some subtle (and not too subtle) stresses on ecological protection of our environments, a point she readily makes in a note at the beginning of this book: `With our ever-depleting habitats, the disappearance of the forests along with their closely held secrets, and the potential rise of the oceans, there seems to be a lot of uncertainty. Our children are our hope for the future; they should be respected and valued for the gifts they bring. With love and guidance, raising respectful and mindful children, I know we can all say with certainty the place we call home will be a better place.'

Taylor and Alan are on vacation with their family in Ocean City. Maryland, enjoying all the frivolities and boardwalk fun and foods that a place of entertainment offers to children, But all is not fun as Taylor and Alan visit the carnival' House of Mirrors that in addition to altering their appearances for entertainment they enter the Land of Spark controlled by an evil wizard - a strange place where boulders and warty trees talk and more odd happenings. Using their ingenuity and courage they must find a solution to escape the control of the wizard and help the trapped people return to their normal homes. And just how much of this experience was real and how much the influence of the House of Mirrors?

The story reads quickly and is illustrated with some fine drawings by James Khoui (too few, I might add!). At book's end there is a glossary of terms used that s very educational and well chosen for young readers. For youngsters this is a fine introduction to mystery reading in particular, and READING for joy, in general." Grady Harp, September 14

 

 

A Definite Must Read

By Jodi Schulmanon July 13, 2014

Format: Paperback

Excellent book that keeps one well entertained. The description of each scene is well executed in a way that has you being able to visualize the scenes vividly. Plus, the incorporation of facts about Maryland helps a person learn more about our great state. Definitely an enjoyable read for anyone 8 years old or above.

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Cleverly Written

By Carrie Nehringon June 5, 2014

Format: Paperback

An interesting book that creatively incorporates facts regarding the State of Maryland into the story. Good reading for anyone 8 years and older. 

 

 

 

 

A Lifetime to Wait THE DARKEST SERIES and The Ones THE DARKEST SERIES

 

A Lifetime to Wait THE DARKEST SERIES

From Readers' Favorite Book Review

 

Reviewed by Christine Nguyen for Readers' Favorite A Lifetime to Wait: No Where to Run is the second book in The Darkest Series by Jackie Mae. Brooke is on the run from The Ones, who are trying to undermine humans on Earth. She enters into a new world that is dangerous and dark – full of intrigue and sinister plots. She does not know why these people are trying to capture her and she thinks it may be a case of mistaken identity. Thankfully, she is not alone. Dragone is Brooke’s “Protector” and is assigned to get her back to safety, to the people who are trying to fight against The Ones. There is an instant attraction between Brooke and Dragone underlying all their encounters. They both have special powers that they are made aware of later, and they are more than they think they are. Brooke must get in touch with her special powers. Brooke's whole family is affected and they must stop The Ones from their planned uprising to save the humans.This book is a fast paced, entertaining read. The heroine, Brooke, is smart, but when it comes to danger, she keeps landing in all the wrong places. Sometimes the reader just wants to shake Brooke so she doesn't get caught by The Ones. The plot and characters flow readily for an enjoyable read. The ending leaves the reader ready for the next installment in The Darkest Series.

 

 

Customer Reviews: 

 

***** The Ones is a MUST read., November 18, 2013By I Asimov - This review is from: The Ones THE DARKEST SERIES (Kindle Edition)Riveting, Suspense, Action, and Thrills. I couldn't put it down. Read it in one day and it left me wanting more. What is next for Claire? Moving to book 2 now.

 

***** Creative & Imaginative! Must Read!, November 26, 2013By Jeff - This review is from: The Ones THE DARKEST SERIES (Paperback)One of the most interesting, yet well written stories I've read with great enjoyment. I am happy spending my time with this book. I am looking forward to read other books by this author. 

 

***** The Eternal Story: Good vs. Evil, February 4, 2014By Karen Brees (NEW MEADOWS, ID, US) - Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)This review is from: The Ones THE DARKEST SERIES (Kindle Edition)In this first installment of The Darkest Series, we meet Claire - soon to become Victoria. Her name is no accident, for upon her shoulders rests the fate of humankind. The Ones, evil incarnate set adrift on an interplanetary journey that leads them to earth in the ancient past, focus their energies on conquering the humans who remain on Earth, but Victoria and the forces of the Rebellion gather to begin the Resistance. In a story that parallels Star Wars, where Luke Skywalker discovers the evil in his father, Darth Vader, Victoria must also wrestle with the discovery of her own parentage.The Ones is an intriguing story of the fight against evil that dwells amongst us. Part science fiction, part science fact, and definitely part suspense and wonder, The Ones promises to be the first in a series that will take the reader to realms beyond imagination.

 

***** Sci-Fi lover's must read!, January 28, 2014By Kim Gilley - This review is from: The Ones THE DARKEST SERIES (Paperback)If you love a good sci-fi thriller, this will not let you down. I was hooked from Chapter 1 to the last page. I'm now starting the second book of the series and expect even more suspense. Way to go Jackie Mae! ~Kim~

 

***** Gripping sci-fi thriller romance and a great read, February 10, 2014By ozzieinfrance - This review is from: A Lifetime to Wait THE DARKEST SERIES (Volume 2) (Paperback)“A Lifetime to Wait” is the fast-paced and exciting second novel in “The Darkest Series” by Jackie Mae. That’s a name you’re sure to remember and the author’s very original fusion of a sci-fi thriller and a romance is sure to be a hit with these big reader- markets . “The Ones” is the first book in the series and introduces a violent and seemingly sociopathic breed of extraterrestrial outcasts living almost unnoticeably amongst us on earth; and they make a chilling re-appearance in Jackie Mae’s follow-up. And there’s another one to come: “Hope and Destiny” that we get a sample of at the end of the second book. It's another one to look forward to.Jackie Mae has a great talent for creating suspense with an edgy narrative style and right from the get-go, we are plunged into the depths of her heroine, Brook’s frantic attempt to escape from unknown pursuers. She gets unwelcome help from her would-be protector, Dragone, a trained assassin working for the rebellion against a world ‘take-over’ being engineered by a renegade branch of the Ones. Unsurprisingly, Brooke takes some time and quite a bit of brutality before she accepts the reality of what is quietly happening in the world though a conspiracy of scientists, high-ranking military officers and politicians.Jackie Mae tells an exciting and entertaining tale that holds together very well and keeps the reader glued to its pages. I could undertand many readers not wanting to put the book down until its explosive conclusion. Jackie Mae doesn’t just rely on a thrilling storyline but delves into the complexity of its main characters and their emerging love story. The book is well written and conceived, entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking. For that alone, it deserves a 5 star rating and is highly recommended; so we can easily forgive the occasional lapse of polish that a little more editing might have brought to it. “A Lifetime to Wait” is a great read and “The Darkest Series” is sure to be a success with anyone who enjoys the sci-fi, thriller, romance genre.

 

***** Thrilling suspense to hold your attention, January 23, 2014 By Anna Renault - This review is from: A Lifetime to Wait THE DARKEST SERIES (Volume 2) (Paperback)Do you like a book that holds your attention? That's hard to put down at the end of each chapter? This one is for you... Great story plot and interesting characters... check it out... you will be glad you did. 

 

 

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