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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins


Unstoppable women igniting change

Series: Blaze Collection

Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins

Release date: 02-22-24

Publisher: Amazon Original Stories

By: Marie Benedict, Maggie Shipstead, Pam Jenoff, Asha Lemmie, Melanie Benjamin, Sadeqa Johnson, Ariel Lawhon

Narrators: Andi Arndt, Cassandra Campbell, Elizabeth Knowelden, Jordan Cobb, Tavia Gilbert, Channie Waites, Kate Reading


This fierce collection from New York Times bestselling historical fiction authors sweeps readers back in time with exhilarating short stories of unforgettable female characters. Spanning decades, these indelible women broke through barriers in disparate worlds of art, war, science, love, and injustice and paved the way for other women to follow. Strike a match and blaze a trail.

7 Kindle short stories with audio narration

Literature & Fiction Anthologies & Short Stories Historical Fiction

Amelia’s Shadow by Marie Benedict

For pilot Ruth Nichols, a soaring rivalry with Amelia Earhart becomes a deep friendship in a short story of the danger and secrets of undaunted women, inspired by true events, by New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict.

It’s Ruth’s dream to be the world’s greatest female pilot. It’s Amelia—Lady Lindy herself—who achieves it. At first competitors, Ruth soon recognizes they share a passion for the skies and for supporting trailblazing female pilots everywhere. Together they form an all-women flying group, the Ninety-Nines, and over the years their achievements become more groundbreaking, their risks more personal, and their friendship closer than ever, until the day their best-laid plans come crashing down.

Marie Benedict’s Amelia’s Shadow is part of Blaze, a collection of short stories about incendiary women across the decades who dare to defy convention. They can be read or listened to in one sitting.


AUTHOR: Marie Benedict

NARRATOR: Andi Arndt

My Rating: 4⭐Stars

AMELIA'S SHADOW is a fictional short story about real women aviators Ruth Nichols and Amelia Earhart, the world's most talented pilots, the Ninety-Nines. From the cockpit to the skies, the first female pilots to cross the Atlantic and the missing Amelia & farewell. A fascinating story of women who made contributions and a difference. I also enjoyed the audiobook narrated by Andi Arndt.

The June Paintings by Maggie Shipstead

On a remote island, an unfulfilled young female painter finds a singular kind of inspiration in this cunning short story about identity and empowerment by New York Times bestselling author Maggie Shipstead.

June Tremblay is struggling to find herself as a painter when she accepts a summer job as assistant to renowned artist Hiram Lammergeier on his private island off the Maine coast. The reclusive legend has one peculiar rule: under no circumstances is June to create any art of her own. Caught between her need to paint and her desire for Lammergeier, June rebels, and her transgression sets off a chain of retaliation that will shape the rest of her life.

Maggie Shipstead’s The June Paintings is part of Blaze, a collection of short stories about incendiary women across the decades who dare to defy convention. They can be read or listened to in one sitting.


AUTHOR: Maggie Shipstead

NARRATOR: Cassandra Campbell

My Rating: 5 ⭐Stars

I really enjoyed THE JUNE PAINTINGS set on a remote island with a young artist, June Tremblay takes a summer job with reclusive famous artist, Hiram Lammergeier. Since his son's death ten years earlier he has become a recluse, private, and produced no work. Split from his wife, the two enter into an affair; however, she breaks are the rules and winds up with a painting, money, and a nice twist. Another fabulous short story about women who take charge and defy all odds. My first book by the author and look forward to reading more.

Of course, Cassandra Campbell is a favorite narrator and loved the audiobook. She made the characters come alive in this world of art and intrigue.

The Forgotten Chapter by Pam Jenoff

Out of the chaos and uncertainty of war, a shy young bookseller comes into her own in a short story of unexpected love, daring, and courage by New York Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff.

It’s 1943 in London. Paige Miller, an ordinary shop girl at the fabled department store Selfridges, falls for Danny, an American GI who comes by the books counter at the same time every day. As she slowly lets him into her heart, Paige realizes that Danny is keeping a secret. One that could change the course of the war—and both their lives.

Pam Jenoff’s The Forgotten Chapter is part of Blaze, a collection of short stories about incendiary women across the decades who dare to defy convention. They can be read or listened to in one sitting.


AUTHOR: Pam Jenoff

NARRATOR: Elizabeth Knowelden

MY RATING: 4 ⭐Stars

THE FORGOTTEN CHAPTER is a moving story of a young woman, Paige a bookseller for Mr. Selfridge during the war (London 1943) who meets Danny and falls in love. Tragedy (a bomb) occurs and years later (2019) she is married and with her daughter and her engagement ring is delivered (found). From past to present we learn of how this brave woman saved SIGSALY machine during the flood. I enjoyed the audiobook narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden.

Fires to Come by Asha Lemmie

In early twentieth-century New York City, a young woman torn between two cultures must choose where her loyalties lie in a gripping short story by New York Times bestselling author Asha Lemmie.

Abandoned as an infant and raised by protective, if secretive, Italian parents, Carlotta has never quite fit in her own life as the only Black person in her neighborhood. Even when she ventures to Harlem, where jazz, community, and a man’s love await her, she doesn’t feel fully at home. But when the dynamics in her adoptive family shift, and her role grows more tenuous, Carlotta has to decide where she belongs—no matter the threats or the price that must be paid.

Asha Lemmie’s Fires to Come is part of Blaze, a collection of short stories about incendiary women across the decades who dare to defy convention. They can be read or listened to in one sitting.


AUTHOR: Asha Lemmie

NARRATOR: Jordon Cobb

MY RATING: 4⭐Stars

FIRES TO COME is a gripping story of a young black woman, Carlotta New York 1908 raised by Italian parents (dad Mafia) and she never quite fit in. After her mom passes away and her dad is on death's door, she knows she will have to defend herself from the older brother and outsmart him. No matter the odds she steps up and takes control. My first book by the author and look forward to reading more. I enjoyed the audiobook narrated by the talented Jordon Cobb.

Tune In Tomorrow by Melanie Benjamin

An enterprising woman in a man’s world. A vision that changed daytime television. A galvanizing short story about ambition and sacrifice in the 1950s by New York Times bestselling author Melanie Benjamin.

From a triumph in radio serials to persevering in a burgeoning, male-dominated television industry, Abby Taylor has a million stories she’s dying to tell. The soap opera is her brainchild.

Championed by her mother and sisters, nothing can stop Abby from becoming an aspirational voice for every woman in the country. Her life behind the scenes, however, is just as dramatic as any she could have invented. Stay tuned for an engrossing story of determination, grit, and love.

Melanie Benjamin’s Tune In Tomorrow is part of Blaze, a collection of short stories about incendiary women across the decades who dare to defy convention. They can be read or listened to in one sitting.


AUTHOR: Melanie Benjamin

NARRATOR: Tavia Gilbert

MY RATING: 4⭐Stars

A short story of a woman's journey of ambition, drive, and sacrifice in the 1950s featuring the tenacious and determined Abby Taylor who had a million stories to tell in a male dominated world.

TUNE IN TOMORROW is loosely inspired by the life of Irna Phillips, knows as the "Queen of the Soaps" for her pioneering of the radio serial, geared toward women in the 1930s and instrumental in moving this format to daytime TV in 19490 These Are My Children the first soap opera to air on major TV network.

A fun story and narrated by Tavia Gilbert who make the characters come alive!

Fallen Grace by Sadeqa Johnson

A single mother in segregated Virginia pushes back on societal prejudice and her own family’s judgment in an emotionally powerful short story by New York Times bestselling author Sadeqa Johnson.

With a newborn in tow, Bubbles Jones escapes a brutal sanctuary for “wayward girls” to confront the hypocritical shame of her pastor father and the betrayal of a lover. But Bubbles is accompanied by a woman who offers her shelter and a dream. Forging an unpredictable path ahead, Bubbles will not yield and will not hide in her unwavering commitment to make a big life real in a world determined to keep her small.

Sadeqa Johnson’s Fallen Grace is part of Blaze, a collection of short stories about incendiary women across the decades who dare to defy convention. They can be read or listened to in one sitting.


AUTHOR: Sadeqa Johnson

NARRATOR: Channie Waites

MY RATING: 5 ⭐Stars

I love anything Sadqa writes, and FALLEN GRACE was my favorite of the Blaze Collection! I adored Bubbles, who grew up as the daughter of a Southern Baptist minister in Virginia. She finds herself pregnant, and her parents send her to a home for wayward girls. However, she decides she will keep the baby and escapes, finding herself with more challenges, betrayal, and obstacles. She decides to use her God-given talent of singing, and there she finds her life amidst hypocrisy. She stands up and uses it to her advantage with courage and grit. You will root for Bubbles to the end.

I loved this one and could have listened to a full-length novel. The narrator, Channie Waites, delivers an outstanding performance for all voices!

Barriers to Entry by Ariel Lawhon

An inquisitive woman defies expectations to become the mother of forensic science in this absorbing short story by New York Times bestselling author Ariel Lawhon.

You will have ninety minutes to solve the murder. A startling declaration by a new Harvard instructor: sixty-seven-year-old Frances Glessner Lee. It’s 1945. Before her, six wary male students given to assumptions—especially when it comes to women without a formal education—are challenged to solve a real-life whodunit using Mrs. Lee’s creation, the crime scene diorama. Every detail is accurate. And every detail matters when solving a crime with no survivors…

Ariel Lawhon’s Barriers to Entry is part of Blaze, a collection of short stories about incendiary women across the decades who dare to defy convention. They can be read or listened to in one sitting.


AUTHOR: Ariel Lawhon

NARRATOR: Kate Reading

MY RATING: 5 ⭐Stars

BARRIERS TO ENTRY is a fascinating story of Frances Glessner, a 67-year old woman in 1945 in a man's world, a new Harvard instructor with six male students. She creates a crime scene diorama and gives them ninety minutes to solve a real life whodunit murder mystery.

Three-Room Dwelling is still actively used to teach homicide investigation techniques, (medical students and police organizations). The outcome of the real investigation is not public knowledge and the author showcases her theories. She also includes in the author's note more reading and online resources.

A big fan of the author, I enjoyed this one and enjoyed reading about this intelligent woman and her methods of teaching forensic science. I also listened to the audiobook narrated by Kate Reading.

Thanks to Amazon Original Stories and NetGalley for ARCS for an honest opinion. Also purchased the audiobooks.

About the Authors

Marie Benedict

Marie Benedict is the New York Times bestselling author of The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, Her Hidden Genius, The Mitford Affair, The Only Woman in the Room, Lady Clementine, Carnegie’s Maid, and The Other Einstein. She coauthored The First Ladies and the Good Morning America pick The Personal Librarian. Marie lives in Pittsburgh with her family.

Maggie Shipstead

Maggie Shipstead is the New York Times bestselling author of a short story collection and three novels, including Great Circle, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction. She is the winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction.

Pam Jenoff

Pam Jenoff is the New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Sapphire, The Woman with the Blue Star, The Lost Girls of Paris, and The Kommandant’s Girl, among others. Her novels are inspired by her work at the Pentagon and as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland.

Asha Lemmie

Asha Lemmie is the New York Times bestselling author of Fifty Words for Rain and The Wildest Sun. She holds a BA in English literature from Boston College and is currently a graduate student at Columbia University. Asha writes historical fiction that focuses on bringing unique perspectives to life.

Melanie Benjamin

Melanie Benjamin is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife, The Swans of Fifth Avenue, and California Golden. She has written eight historical novels, which have been translated into over fifteen languages and optioned for film.

Sadeqa Johnson

Sadeqa Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of The House of Eve, a Reese’s Book Club pick. She is a Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award finalist, a BCALA Literary Award honoree, and the recipient of the Library of Virginia’s People’s Choice Award and the Phillis Wheatley Book Award.

Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction, including GMA Book Club pick The Frozen River, When We Had Wings, I Was Anastasia, and Flight of Dreams. Her novels have been LibraryReads, Indie Next, Amazon Spotlight, and Book of the Month Club selections.







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