Reviews

Here are some kind words from my fans

"What James Beard was to cooking, Jerry Guarino is to modern fiction."

Paul Soderberg (author of The Elephant Queen)


"Jerry  Guarino sends his readers on a merry chase through a wild array of  micro/flash fiction--humor, satire and pathos.  He artfully captures  gentle souls and slick cons, the high brows and their unsuspecting  victims in characters that step from the page to engage the reader.  He  finds the tiniest trait that creates zany folks the reader wants to  protect or strangle, often at the same time.  Prepare for the surprise  twist at the end.  He gets you every time."
Myra H. McIlvain (author of Legacy)


"The  stories in the collection are tightly told tales with engaging  storylines and interesting characters. There are plenty of twists and  turns and plenty of characters to delight in (and some to despise).  The  highlight of the collection is surely babybump.com, and Orwell-meets-Barthelme tale about the dangers of strollers and government surveillance."

Nathaniel Tower (Pushcart Prize nominated author and editor of Bartleby Scopes Literary Magazine.


"Guarino's style is simple and consistently powerful, his storytelling a triumph of art over artifice."
Ben Price (editor at Zouch Magazine and Miscellany - Canada)


"Guarino is a writer you can enjoy without feeling guilty and I strongly recommend his work."
Steven Miller (editor of Leaning House Press)


"Jerry's  writing is consistently fresh and inventive.  His stories grab from the  beginning and then hurl the reader into surprising and powerful  endings.  Definitely a must-read.  The Rich are Going to Hell, The  Devil's Orchestra and The Grand Poobah are some of my favorite Guarino  pieces.  Always inventive, Jerry Guarino is one of my favorite short  story writers.  His work hooks you from the first sentence and doesn't  let you go until you reach the end, making this one writer you won't  forget."
Earl Wynn (editor of Weirdyear, Daily Love and Yesteryear Fiction)


"I  found myself intertwined in the lives of each character, not knowing  until the end that every one of them held a magical piece to the puzzle  we call human nature; the larger picture of which only became clear  after reading the final word.  This collection of shorts is something  that avid fans of storytelling should go out of their way to find."
Jim Idema (screenwriter and author)


"Jerry  Guarino's writing reminds me of the late, but great, Jose Saramago's.   His structure is both unique and compelling, always leading the reader  to places that they never see coming."

Weeb Heinrich (editor of Writing Raw)


"Jerry  Guarino's stories are a real treat for the reader.  Each story is well  crafted with the natural elegance of a natural writer.  The Fringe  Magazine has enjoyed his short stories and has had the pleasure of  publishing these gems for the past year."

Scott Wilson (editor of The Fringe Magazine - Australia)


"The  beauty in Jerry's work is the ease with which he breaks that serious  concentration without sacrificing quality.  Preheat the Microwave.Com  has a relevant, poignant subject at its heart but it is delivered to the  reader with eloquent comedy."
Jenny Caitlin (editor of Scissors and Spackle)


"Jerry  Guarino takes the nuances of everyday, places it on its head and then  tilts it slightly to the left.  His comical spin on life will make you  wheeze with mirth and leave you wanting more."
Daniel Poole (editor of Larks Fiction Magazine)


"I  loved Jerry's short stories and his choice of words.  These little  tales are great!  He has a way with words and pulling you into the  story, wanting more!  My one and only complaint was when the book ended,  I wanted there to be 50 more short stories."
Reyna Hawk (author of Angels and Arrows and Looking Through Blind Eyes)


"Jerry Guarino has a knack for looking past the social illusions that poison our world."
Sand Pilarski (managing editor of The Piker Press)


"Jerry  Guarino's writing is refreshing and authentic.  His storytelling grasps  the nuances of life, leading the reader into expertly crafted moments  of intimacy, humor, thoughtfulness and surprise.  Read one story and  you're hooked.  50 Italian Pastries is a delicious read!  He knows how  to tell a story and with this collection, one finds bite-sized nuggets  that heartily fulfill any reader's palate for variety!  Guarino is a  connoisseur with words, flavoring his stories with the seasonings of  life, including laughter, loss, revelation, insight and wisdom.  Go  ahead, dig in. You'll enjoy every bite, I mean story."
​Sheila Pierson (author of Steak and Potatoes)


"50  Italian Pastries is a short story reader's culinary delight.  Jerry  Guarino's 50 slice of life pieces are filled with delightful takes on  people, places and things that make America great.  He infuses his  stories with life's delights: good food, great music, fine drink and the  emotional roller coaster of interpersonal relationships.  I found his  work honest and filled with delightful irony.  He is a keen observer of  the human condition and a writer of obvious talent.  He is a master at  mirroring to his readers all their foibles, their fantasies and their  forever quest to understand why the wheel of life turns as it does.  50  Italian Pastries is short story telling at its best."
Wayne C. Long (author of Eye Candy, Flash in the Pan and Stories from the Edges)


This short story collection starts with a sequel novella to the author’s Da Vinci Diamond. Like the original novel the story is heavily dialog-driven. Its twisted police-procedural plot is a fitting start to a short collection of curious mysteries, of which my favorite is the existential and short “The Waiting Room.”  A wealth of characters fill the pages, with slightly off-beat situations, detailed conversations, and a nice touch of heart and humor. “Preheat the microwave.com” turns the tables delightfully, and romance has its own strange path, as shown by “Chocolate cupcakes and Hanna were two of Jim’s favorite meals,” in “The Bridge Game.”  One novella and a wealth of short stories make for quite a long, slow read, but there’s plenty of excitement too.   

  This story collection is varied in terms of character and plot, but there's a strong element of compassion for the characters that runs throughout them. Long-lost loves is a frequent theme: People reconnect after years or decades with differing results but those feelings of nostalgia are well-evoked. The Old Man and the Sea is about a couple of middle-aged people who lie to each other about themselves, go through adventures good and bad, and end up finding what they need. Dream a Little Dream is another take on that feeling of loss in midlife that made me smile. Guarino's stories -- even ones involving murder -- have a kind hearted perspective combined with plot twists that were entertaining and made me feel good about reading them.   
Sheila Deeth - Author Vine Voice about The Best of Cafe Stories


"The  author, Jerry Guarino brilliantly assesses the human experience with a  diverse compilation of plot lines, which creatively envelope a sprinkle  of romance, mystery, suspense and intrigue as well as espionage.  Jerry  continues to captivate his readership with his series of thought  provoking story lines that are highly relatable, compelling and downright  entertaining."
Pandora H. King - Author




More reviews of The Best of Cafe Stories


Jerry Guarino, the author of "The Best of Cafe Stories" has a way of writing about his characters that makes them very believable. He tackles emotions along with discoveries to where your invested in each of their outcomes. Always entertaining with plot twists that surprise you. This and his other works are all worth the read. I highly recommend this book.  
S. Hohl

As a fan of Jerry Guarino's work, I've followed his writing for a while. I'm really impressed with the quality of the stories in this particular book. Jerry's fiction is always well paced and well researched, with lots of interesting little twists to keep the reader riveted. Give this collection a try. I'm sure you'll be as impressed as I was!  
Earl Wynn
 

Love, love, loved the first story. The stories definitely take a lot of fun twists and turns. I would totally recommend.  
TmCarlsen
 

When you follow up a great book with a second, the reader is truly happy. I’m very happy with this book.  
Deborrah
 

Guarino's Cafe Stories will delight, fulfill, embolden, and uplift. Read it.  
Ntgrator



More reviews of The Da Vinci Diamond


Jerry Guarino’s The Da Vinci Diamond, has a TV script feel with intersecting plot-lines, multiple characters, fast dialog and world-wide scope. Descriptions are detailed but short. Backstory appears quickly through conversation where, for example, a cop returning to work after bereavement says, “At least that drunk driver won’t be getting out of prison anytime soon.” Much of the present is revealed through the immediate interactions and dialog of characters too—“Why don’t you assist me while I check for prints and DNA.” And the driving force to the future is a classic locked-room mystery with a missing diamond.  DNA, coincidence, action (sometimes intimate, sometimes violent) and investigation all play their parts in this story, with curious revelations debated and discovered, and separate story lines drawing ever closer together. A clever killer seeks a quieter life, a clever thief seeks recompense, a clever man seeks a wife, and world travelers seek the diamond everywhere.  With so many characters, names and nationalities, it’s inevitable some names will look alike (Maria, Marina and Mariani for example). But short scenes move quickly from one set of characters to another, location and motivation revealing who’s who—while keeping the final “who” mysterious to the end.  The plot’s pleasingly tortuous; the investigation is fast and productive; and the action is carefully detailed, both in the bedroom and in the sights of a sniper’s gun. All of this, plus lots of dialog, makes The Da Vinci Diamond a fairly quick read, while short chapters make it easy to pick up and put down during a busy day.  
Sheila Deeth author Vine Voice

 

I love this book and I highly recommend it you won't be disappointed with it. I will be purchasing any books he puts out. I love it all and he has a special way of writing and catching me right off the bat. It is very developed and can tell he took time in writing did not just slap it together.  
Marsha Holz
 

I found this to be an exciting book that was very easy to read. I found myself making time to pick it back up just to find out what happens next. It was a fast paced read and I didn’t find myself to be bored at all. Quite the opposite actually. I feel like the author baits the reader with just enough information to leave us wanting the next chapter/page.  Initially, we are presented with a police detective along with a rookie that investigate the theft of the Da Vinci diamond. As the story progresses, we are taken along a tale of deception and twists and turns that led me along a path in support of the antagonists in the story. I find it interesting how the author manages to pull this off, and believe me, he does it before you realize it has even been done. The three girls in the book play their parts equally and manipulatively well. The author does a great job with transitioning from action scenes, to drama to the steamy scenes.
All in all, I do recommend this book, and look forward to any and all future installments.  
Mandi
 

An interesting mystery, gifted to me from the author, about the pursuit of a blue diamond once owned by Leonardo Di Vinci. The Da Vinci Diamond is the subject of pursuit by Russian women, mobsters, an assassin and jewel thieves. The story follows Russian twins who manipulate men for money and jewels. The crimes are investigated by SFPD Tony Mariani, his new partner Pam Johnson and his pathologist, Dr. David Lee. Jerry Guarino leads you through a maze of separate lives that eventually draws tighter until all storylines converge, to reveal who ultimately has the Diamond.  

Bookworm1808


A great read! Had me interested from the very beginning and a page turner til the very end! If you like crime/drama, I would totally recommend!  

TmCarlsen


I've been a fan of Jerry Guarino's work for a long time, and this latest offering (his debut novel!) is his best piece of fiction yet. Exciting, thrilling, well-researched and interesting, this book was difficult to put down once I picked it up. I love the pacing and the international intrigue so elegantly woven through this book. Working with his seemingly innate talent for crafting realistic, powerful and substantial exchanges between characters, Jerry weaves an impressive tale complete with a sense of steamy sensuality that shouldn't be missed. I loved the ending too!  
Earl Wynn


Having read author Jerry Guarino's awesome short story collection 50 Italian Pastries: short fiction for people too busy to read a novel I was thrilled to learn that he had published a full length novel. Although this was a shift in genre from his usual character based narratives, it was still very well done with excellent character work and overall smart, clever use of language. It's an entertaining read and a story that stays with you. A real bargain at the current Kindle price.  
Big Apple


I have been a fan of Jerry Guarino's writing for years. His short stories and style of writing have drawn us in and then left you wanting more. Now, this first novel, The Da Vinci Diamond manages to take you on a fast paced journey you will not want to put down. Starting in the familiar San Francisco Bay area then eventually landing you in Italy with all her secrets. Full of twists and surprises, history, espionage and an ending you never see coming. A terrific read that will leave you ready for more.  

S. Hohl
 

I enjoyed this book.It was offered to me by the Author on ebook from Goodreads.I appreciate the opportunity to read it.It has an interesting cast of characters.It has a lot of conversation as the story.Many twist and turns keep you reading and wanting to know more of the characters and outcome.I will look forward to more of the Detective Tony Mariani Mysteries. As,I'm sure many others will once you read it.  
Bernadette Hopke
 

I liked  it. It had me hooked almost from the start. I does read a lot like a  script which made it easy to follow. The ending was a big surprise. I  just wish I knew how things ended for Tamara, she was so careful until  the end. Did the Da Vinci diamond go back to Rick Manchester? I think  so.

This is a highly enjoyable 18+ book. It takes you on a thrill ride that is hard to stop.
Jenn @ Friends with Books


What an  exciting ride!! The Da Vinci  Diamond has been stolen and the thief has  escaped. What follows is an international pursuit. I was  immediately  drawn into the world that Guarino has artfully created.  This book has  mystery, intrigue, sex  and a shocking ending.  I loved Guarino's  characters and  his writing style made the story come alive. A must read  for anyone who enjoys "James Bond" type intrigue.
Sandra


The Da  Vinci Diamond  is a well-orchestrated novel complete with its  unsuspecting drama and appealing characters.  Undeniably, the  cliffhanger will have the readers thirsting for more.
Amazon customer


I only put  this book down because i had to go to work! Loved the fast pace, short  chapters and spicy characters! Great read for someone with a busy  schedule but who appreciates quality writing. If this is Jerry's first  novel, i cant wait to see how he can top this one!

Paul Carhartt


I got this  book as a gift from the author and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was a  fast read that had me at the edge of my seat the entire time, I had a  hard time putting it down.  I loved all the characters, it had plenty of  action, intrigue, assassins, mafia, and some steamy romance.  I can't  wait to read other books by Jerry Guarino.

C. Toste


I liked the characters, the plot, and how the book flowed.  This is an easy read and it's easy to
kept  up with the different characters.  The characters played well together  and it gave the impression that some of them had known each other for some time.

Donna

The two  story lines of a contract killer and two swindling sisters told  separately until they finally meet at the end of the novel in a criminal  twist make this a quick read. I kind of wish that the story hadn't  ended as it did, so there could be returning criminals in future books. I  see this story as having James Bond aspects and tv-cop  show aspects,  which make this easily transferable to film.

Brenda


This fast  paced, intriguing mystery is a quick read and hard to put down. I  enjoyed the twists and turns following this mystery and the roles of  each character. I highly recommend it for those who are looking for a  thrilling read.

Angela J. Ford


The Da Vinci Diamond is just the kind of book I love. Fast paced,international locations and a great mystery to unfold.
Willow


I loved  all 3 women Tamara, Anna and Marivana. Even though I found their actions  despicable, I found myself wanting them to be successful. It was a fast  paced story with a surprising twist (didn't see that one coming at  all). Anyone looking for a fast-paced, can't put down novel -this is for  you!
Darlene Szillard


Jerry  Guarino's, crime/mystery novel, The Da Vinci Diamond, is a fast paced  ride with an unpredictable ending.  This shortstory teller has used his  writing skill by linking many sub-plots within his debut novel.  He's  done the research on medical forensics and gun ballistics.  The  whirlwind tour goes globe hopping around the world from the US to Europe  and back.  A very good first novel.  You should check it out!

Dwight Lee


Jerry  Guarino is a master short story writer who has crafted a fast paced  first novel that propels the reader through an international plot of  murder and intrigue.  Having read many of Guarino's short stories, I  expected a twist at the end, and he did not let me down.

Myra Hargrave McIlvaine


I loved this book, the way Mr Jerry Guarino writes, its overwelming and wonderful :D if you like reading, this is a must read.

Oak Zeringue


I really  enjoyed the fast pace of his story. It was packed with fast movement,  witty dialog, and international characters. You won't be bored!
Nikki (from Texas)


I loved  this book. It was really fast paced, and once you start reading it, you  will not want to put it down. It was truly wonderful :)

Michelle


Great  read, kept my attention. Would recommend this book to my friends. Take  the time and read , you will be pleasantly surprised.

Christine Barber




More reviews of Trilogies: 18 sets of short fiction


Jerry Guarino weaves these apparently dissociative themes under the heading of each trilogy is the magic of his work. You could take any trilogy aside and enjoy the manner in which each story interacts with the others - that is how complete he polishes each unit in this maze. But taken all together describes one of the best short short story makers around. Read with glee. Grady Harp


The stories are short and fun, grouped into intriguing sets of three by location, time, topic and genre; all very organized, like licensing baby-strollers and charging them for parking (as in the story "BabyBump"). Somehow even with tales told in groups the author manages to surprise the reader, tearing apart the ordinary to show the very extraordinary underneath. Random acts of kindness are juxtaposed with random thoughts of weirdness creating a truly fascinating collection--each story an instant read, well crafted to make you want more.    Convincing dialog keeps many of the stories moving, while others grow from slightly off-beat ideas to end in curious twists--sometimes restarting in the next part to continue the trilogy. "Rube would have been proud!" as the reader is told in "Practical Goldberg (A Love Story In 3 Parts)." The social networking is up-to-date and tweeting, the mysteries are reminding you to read with care, and the lights might headline clues if your eyes are open.   A brisk bright writing style and short-short format remind me of those old "here's the ending; how did it happen?" mysteries I used to solve with my brothers when we were kids, but these aren't kids' stories. A few missed edits caused me to pause briefly, but the tales are fast and intriguing enough to bring me straight back to the page, making this an enjoyable collection to dip into over coffee or read at the end of day when the attention span's waning for anything long--but read with care; details do matter after all. And don't let the kids get their hands on those magazines (or they'll learn "It's a lot of work being a girl").  Sheila Deeth


I thoroughly enjoyed these collections of short stories. I'm not really a quick reader, but I finished most of these at a fast paced. I particularly enjoyed the story about post prison tagging. It reminded me of a big brother is watching you kind of theme, and being a science fiction enjoyer, I liked where the story was going. It also takes place in the Bay Area, so I had a bit of home feel towards it.  Many of these stories are windows into larger stories; the author could easily expand many of the tales into full novels.  Andy V  


The organizing principle of grouping three thematically-related stories gave this collection an interesting twist. The stories are fast-paced and cover a range of territory - from science fiction and humor to the tougher issues of infidelity and income inequality. My personal favorites were not part of the "Author's Favorites" section. For me, the simple sweetness of love lost and found in "Love, Luck and Fate" was quite touching. I also found "The Black Hole" particularly satisfying -- with the corporate `bully' meeting his match. The humor of "Baby Bump" was delightfully fresh and, for anyone who's nearly been taken out by a stroller, the story resonates.  Peggy Rothschild
Author, Clementine's Shadow


I had read "50 Italian Pastries" by Jerry Guarino and thought it was one of the best short story collections I had ever read. Well, I just finished his new book, "Trilogies: 18 sets of short fiction" and I have to say it's even better. Guarino has assembled 54 of his best stories (many of which are in "50 Italian Pastries) and organized them into trilogies (3 stories each) based on a common theme, characters, genre or setting. It's a unique way to organize short stories; the reader can choose from the theme they like best.  Big Apple   


I loved this book. The short stories were great. I enjoyed it to so much. I can see some of the stories expanding into full books. I do not think I can pick a favorite out of them as they were all so good. I hope to read more from him soon. Greenreddew 


I often find it hard to start a new book because of time constraints. I will read a few chapters, and it will be days before I can pick it up again. Then I have to try and refresh my mind of everything that has happened so far. That's the main reason I enjoy short stories. "18 Sets" pushes that bar even further. Some of these stories are short enough to be able to finish in just a few minutes. They are perfect. The stories may be short, but they are tightly told and pull you into their world. Jerry Guarino is a master storyteller and I highly recommend this book. You won't regret it. David Rainey 


I just finished reading Jerry Guarino's Trilogies: 18 sets of short fiction. What I find so compelling about these thematically organized short pieces is the honesty with which the author takes on the world. Guarino is a minimalist writer, sharing his unique perspective on everyday life, especially when it comes to love, college life, music, food, and all things nostalgic. Readers won't find zombies or vampires clogging up his storytelling queue, just tiny tales told splendidly of universal truths. Call him guru, food critic, marriage counselor, or spinner of all things Italian, one thing is abundantly clear: the voice of Jerry Guarino is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise troubled world. Wayne C. Long - Author 


Trilogies is a collection of 54 short stories grouped in sets of three all based on similar themes. There is a little something for everyone. A wild array of short stories and flash fiction. Jerry Guarino writes with humor , some satire and pathos, his characters are engaging he reveals their flaws and goals.I look forward to reading more books by him. Lady G