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Adventures In Reading.

Adventures In Reading. [Kindle Edition]

Ricky Sides

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Product Description

Product Description

A collection of short stories and the novella The North Room.

This collection is brought to you by the author of the Peacekeeper series.

The Test: (fiction.) A high ranking martial artist takes his master’s test.

The Doll: (paranormal fiction.) After a young girl’s twin is killed she is devastated by that loss. Then one day her father gives her a new doll which has a surprising impact on the girl.

The Blizzard: (fantasy.) Three companions must survive a blizzard in order to save a city population.

The Tank: (science fiction.) A government funded research project goes bad.

The Hunt: (fiction.) A hunter has a close call, but gets a second chance.

Round Island Massacre: (paranormal fiction.) A group of friends cross the river to help a beleaguered family.

America, Land of Mysteries: (true.) A set of mysteries the author has encountered and dealt with on a personal level.

The Visitor: (religious fiction.) A visitor to a church reveals some important secrets.

The Forgotten: (real.) Who are the forgotten?

Night Stalker: (fiction.) Something is killing animals at night.

The North Room: (paranormal fiction.) A paranormal investigator seeks to help a family with a very special need.

Coping with Breast Cancer: (true.) The author relates the experience his family had with the disease.

This essay was first published in paperback in the short story anthology titled Virtual Imaginings put together by several Independent Kindle authors. The profits of Virtual Imaginings goes to breast cancer research and not the Kindle authors. If you haven’t yet purchased a copy of Virtual Imaginings please consider doing so. There are some fantastic short stories there by some really talented writers, and its for a great cause.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 302 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Ricky Sides (30 Nov 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002ZCY9KI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #644,460 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author


My name is Ricky Sides, and I'm a writer. My published books are the seven volume peacekeeper series, Adventures in Reading, The Ultimate in Women's Self-Defense, and Brimstone and the Companions of Althea. Book one of the peacekeeper series was originally released in audio format by Books in Motion. They are currently working on book 2, and if the series does well, they will probably eventually contract the entire series.

I was born in Florence, Alabama, in May of 1958. My paternal grandparents were sharecroppers. During my early childhood I spent a great deal of time on their farm, which was bordered by thick woodlands. I roamed those woods extensively, which worried my grandmother to no end. I learned my work ethic on that farm where I often helped with the cotton crop.

In 1976, I met and fell in love with my wife, Sue. We were married in 1977, and have been together ever since that day. During the month of September 1980, our son was born.

That same year, I began to study martial arts, and did so until the early 1990s. After learning that one of my female students had been sexually assaulted in the past, I gravitated toward specializing in teaching women self defense. I released a book on women's self defense, titled, The Ultimate in Women's Self-Defense. That book explains why I invested years of my life in attempting to help women. It was originally written in 1992.

In the early 1980s, I met a Vietnam veteran who shared my love of the woods. We struck up a friendship. When he learned that I wanted to become skilled at survivalism, he decided to teach me. I wrote the first draft of The Birth of the Peacekeepers in 1985. The character Pete Damroyal is based upon the old friend who taught me survivalism. He still has the mate to my dragon dagger. That will mean something to people who've read The Birth of the Peacekeepers. But many of you will not have read it, so I'll explain.

Much of the character, Jim Wilison, is autobiographical in nature. Of course, much is also fiction. Those who've read the series would probably be surprised to learn just how much of my real life is reflected in the experiences related by the character. Brandy is the most personal experience related in the book. I think I added those scenes to book one as a form of tribute to her. Some might argue that I shouldn't have done it, but it made me feel better. In a way, when people read those scenes the child will be thought of with compassion. Those scenes were added in the extensive rewrite in 2007.

During the year 2004, I began to write the Brimstone series with a partner named Kathy Young who handled the editing. Brimstone was based upon the online role-playing game named t4c. (The fourth Coming.) That nine novel fantasy series was in some ways the most rewarding writing experience I've had to date, primarily because of the interaction I enjoyed with the fans of the series. I so treasured the reader comments that I placed them on my website. Unfortunately, talks have stalled with the company that owns the intellectual rights to t4c, so that series probably won't be published. It's all on my website though, so if anyone is curious, they can read the books there.

Much of my own experiences are also related in the short story book Adventures in Reading. America, Land of Mysteries, and Coping with Breast Cancer are written in such a manner that the reader would understand that they are autobiographical in nature. But The Test isn't. That short story is a fictionalized version of the training I underwent for Chinese Ninja.

I have traveled extensively east of the Mississippi, from Chicago, Illinois to Jacksonville, Florida, and all manner of places in between.

So there you have it folks. It's just an average life, but I'll take it.

Have a great day,

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice anthology of fiction and nonfiction 18 Dec 2009
By J. Chambers - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Adventures in Reading" is an anthology of twelve short stories and nonfiction articles by Ricky Sides. There is no single theme or thread linking the stories, but the short stories are mostly fantasy, science fiction, or horror. The nonfiction articles are based on the author's real life experiences, including an outstanding article about his wife's ordeal with breast cancer.

The short stories are a mixed bag. My favorite story was "The Blizzard," a tale of three warriors in a fantasy world who embark on a very difficult quest where failure could doom their city-state of Lakeland. The story had enough tension and suspense to keep a reader rushing to finish it quickly. The three characters are well developed for a short story, and there is enough interesting background revealed about Lakeland that the story could even be expanded into a novella or series of short stories.

Several of the short stories indicate that the author has a great deal of experience in the outdoors and with military operations. One of these, "The Test," will definitely appeal to martial arts fans, with the protagonist going through a grueling series of field challenges to become a master of martial arts. In "The Tank," a military experiment goes badly wrong, with disastrous and gruesome results. "Round Island Massacre" is about a group of hunters who encounter a bizarre creature who's immune to their weapons.

"The Visitor" was a very short but moving story involving religious hypocrisy.

"The North Room" is a documentary-like story about an investigation of apparent paranormal activities in a family's home. Based on TV documentaries that I've seen on this subject, it was a pretty accurate and interesting description of the methods used by paranormal researchers.

All of the short stories were enjoyable, but some were more engaging than others. Also, some of the dialogs seemed a bit stilted to me. Dialogs would have been more natural with greater use of contractions such as "I'm" instead of "I am" and "that's" instead of "that is," to use two examples. It's a minor quibble, but in actual conversation, people tend to use contractions more than the characters in these stories did.

The nonfiction stories, in my opinion, were the real strength of the anthology. "Coping with Breast Cancer" is the author's true account of his wife's battle against breast cancer. It's a very well written, compelling story that documents the long struggle from the initial diagnosis to the agonizing decision on which type of treatment to take to the long months of chemotherapy. It's a remarkable story and particularly notable because it's written from a man's point of view.

"The Forgotten" is a very short thought-provoking piece about an increasingly overlooked problem in society. Only a couple of hundred words, it reads like poetry and is very well done.

"America, Land of Mysteries" is a series of short articles about unusual natural, or possibly paranormal, incidents that the author has observed. These were all interesting and reminded me a bit of Michael Crichton's paranormal investigations in his book "Travels."

The formatting in my Kindle version was very good, but the editing could have been better. I noted a few misspellings and some arguable misuse of commas. These were not enough to affect my enjoyment, but proofreading should have caught these.

I have to note that the cover art of "Adventures in Reading" is remarkably original and is a real eye-catcher. Be sure to zoom in on the cover to really appreciate it.

I had a difficult time deciding how to rate "Adventures in Reading," especially since it includes both fiction and nonfiction. The fictional short stories ranged from okay to very good, and I would give them 3½ stars overall. The nonfiction articles varied from good to superb, and as a group, I would give them 4 stars. "Coping with Breast Cancer" is a solid 5 stars and is a definite "must read." Taken as a whole, I gave the book an honest 4 stars.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed "The North Room" 26 Mar 2010
By Ginger R. Henderson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While I didn't read all of the works in this compilation, I did read and thoroughly enjoy the novella "The North Room". It alone was worth the price paid for the collection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short Stories 15 Dec 2009
By Mexico Angel - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wish most of these stories were real books, they were quite interesting and left me wanting for more.
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