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Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
Mixed Grazing by Chad Strong is a collection of eight short stories, covering multiple genres. Blue Sky and Gray Smoke tells the story of two soldiers on opposite sides – one union, one confederate. What do they do now? In The Crossing, Rick Barton is on the run to Canada with his loot. How long can he run for? Young Will is The Tracker, on the hunt for his father’s killer, searching for retribution, while Detective Tom Mallory must decide how to stop the man who killed his brother in The Deadlock. In the Churchyard Incident, there’s a new kid in town but he’s not all he seems to be. Dale has grown up and returns home where he meets an old friend, The Camas Fairy, while in Stable Hands, Stable Hearts, Scott is set to win a trophy at the final horse show of the year when he spots the girl who has his heart – can he win both? Finally, Jen has to decide whether to make The Decision when Phoenix, her horse grows old. Eight stories that will thrill and excite you, leave your hair standing on end and send shivers down your spine.
Mixed Grazing by Chad Strong is a great collection of stories, each totally different from the last. This is a real mix of genres – historical, western, romance, supernatural, and more. There is a little violence and strong language but nothing that doesn’t fit with the stories. Each story is complete – I always think it is quite difficult to write a short story as you have to cram so much into a short space but Strong has achieved this admirably, not once, but eight times in one book. Every story is well crafted with a proper ending that wraps it up neatly, and each has its unique characters and plot. Every character is expertly developed and we learn so much about them in just a few pages. It’s safe to say that you will not predict the ending of any of these stories. They will all come as a surprise, which is great because most short stories are predictable. A lovely collection, I thoroughly enjoyed reading every story.