Flash 40

Life's Moments

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
195 Pages
Reviewed on 06/16/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Janelle Jalbert discovered her passions at the age of 10. One was teaching as she taught stuffed animals daily lessons. The other was writing, due to her love of reading. After reading about an aspiring writer in her favorite book series, the light bulb clicked on, and Jalbert said “I want to do that!” Thus, her writing career began with serialized stories for her friends in the form daily notes passed before class.

Then, the cries to pursue a “stable” career beat her dreams of writing. After college, Jalbert taught language arts and writing at all levels. While in the classroom, students teased Jalbert for her love of NASCAR racing. While deciding on a topic for her master’s thesis, Jalbert stumbled into the world of Magical Realism and was hooked, though at first it was limited to academic interest. Jalbert wrote while teaching including an educational book, contributing to a business book, blogging and reporting on education.

Once Jalbert transitioned to online teaching, she simultaneously taught and served as a motorsports reporter while traveling the country for NASCAR events.

Jalbert had an epiphany in the fall of 2013. Listening to a nagging voice inside, Jalbert began a story that would shape a new path in her life. Her professional focus became writing and pursuing her dream. She began copywriting, landing projects from individual professionals to leading businesses. Copywriting led to numerous ghostwriting opportunities from international clients. With that momentum, Jalbert pitched and landed the contract for a book titled Wine for Beginners.

Jalbert’s belief in the magic of daily life was both shattered and later reaffirmed as a result of her life-changing year. It is that belief, and the desire to help others see a special side to this crazy thing we call life, that fuels her writing.
In addition to teaching and writing, Jalbert loves to explore the world. Jalbert has traveled throughout Japan, Australia, Europe, the United States and other destinations. Her travels are often solo ventures with as little as a wallet, backpack and passport. In addition to auto racing, her guilty pleasures include happily-ever-after stories in book or film form, a glass or two of good wine, and cooking therapy. Jalbert currently lives in Southern California with her rescue pups and regularly returns to her second home in North Carolina.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

Flash 40: Life's Moments by Janelle Jalbert is an interesting collection of flash fiction pieces divided into several perspectives; beginnings, middles, endings and beyond. All realistic defining moments of people’s lives are instilled in the stories. The collection starts off with “Awkward,” which is an adult read but not offensive by any means. “Rabbit” made me chuckle. An innocent woman who just wants to get her coffee at the next stop turns the tables on a state trooper.

“The Ends Justify the Means” is a story about a teacher, Ms. Milton, who seems to have the whole school against her. It interestingly lends a valuable insight into the life of teachers, and it made me wonder whether some of the ‘bad’ teachers that I encountered during my life as a student were greatly misunderstood. Another favorite of mine is “Ageless Character,” a poignant story about a 14-year-old boy and his crush.

The characters come alive very easily. Some of them straightforwardly remind me of people that I know. That said, a few stories end abruptly and would leave some readers struggling as to what the stories are all about. Then again, all the stories are equally enjoyable. Simply put, Flash 40 is a fascinating collection of realistic tales. The diversity of the premise, plot and characters makes for a very satisfying read. Jalbert aptly weaves in the different elements to give readers the sense of bonding with the stories. Her writing skill is simply wonderful and I definitely look forward to reading more of her work.