Cinnamon Diamonds

A Short Story

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
12 Pages
Reviewed on 01/14/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Mark Piper is the author of short stories "Cinnamon Diamonds" and "Altitude". Along with a manuscript titled "Stock and Station". His first non-fiction effort, "Banjo Abroad" is scheduled for release in 2014. Based in Melbourne, Australia with his family he travels widely always in search of new stories.

His passion for writing stems from an interest in history. The untold stories just waiting to be voiced are what drives him to write in as many forms as possible. His writing is published in newsprint, compilations the web and stand alone publications.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tania Staley for Readers' Favorite

We often take the food that we eat for granted, forgetting that at some point someone took the time and trouble to create it. In this delightful tale, Cinnamon Diamonds, Mark Piper gives a fictionalized account of the man accredited with inventing the hole in donuts. Who would have guessed that a hole, essentially nothing, could be so great? Who would have known that the story of the invention of a breakfast food could be so exciting? In his short story, Piper takes readers into the eye of a hurricane, onto the trading vessel the Felix Lighter, and allows them to bear witness to the invention of the hole in the donut. There is more to the story than readers could have guessed, so pick up a copy of this enjoyable short story today.

Mark Piper takes a fascinating bit of trivia and turns it into a thrilling short story in Cinnamon Diamonds. I never would have thought that reading a blend of a cooking story with a sailor’s tale would be entertaining, but I am so glad to have been privy to such a surprising story. Piper’s storytelling ability is sharp and crisp, and the authenticity of his scene building and characters' dialogue is something to be admired. I’d love to see what he could do in a longer form. I’m sure he could make quite an exciting swashbuckler’s tale, if he can make such a finite bit of trivia so intriguing. I highly recommend Cinnamon Diamonds, and I dare readers to not research Captain Hanson Gregory after reading this story. I don’t think they will be able to resist the urge; I know I wasn’t able to. I thank Mark Piper for enlightening me about this tidbit of history, and I hope to read more from him.

Jack Magnus

Cinnamon Diamonds is a historical story written by Mark Piper. It's winter in the early 1900s and John is a reporter from Washington who's visiting the Sailor's Snug Hostel in Quincy, Massachusetts, a home for retired sailors. It is close enough to the bay to make the trip quite chilly and the warmth of the hostel's main house very welcome. John's there to see a particular sailor, Captain Gregory, who Maggie the caretaker calls Captain Doughnut. The captain greets him and the two men settle down to chat, surrounded by the other sailors in the hostel. The Captain waits for Liz, the cook, to arrive with a tray of fresh, warm doughnuts sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. He holds aloft a doughnut and begins his tale.

Mark Piper's Cinnamon Diamonds is somewhat like those intricate rigged ships that are built inside of bottles. The reader is immediately drawn into the story as John walks through the cold and snow to the hostel. You can feel the warmth of the main house as the door is opened and see the ice covering the windows. When Captain Gregory begins his tale, the reader is magically transported to a great sailing ship in the 1840s, as seen through the then young man's eyes as he climbs up and down from the crow's nest, realizing all too well that a careless step would mean death. I found myself totally immersed in this tale within a tale and finished the story with a profound sense of satisfaction. What a wonderful tale! I'm looking forward to reading more of Piper's stories.

Faridah Nassozi

Cinnamon Diamonds by Mark Piper is a short story about a major innovation in the kitchen. Captain Hanson Crockett Gregory narrates a story of how the events on a ship, back in 1847, lead to his biggest innovation. He was a young sailor on a cargo ship and his main duties were keeping watch and helping in the kitchen. Little did he know that this is where he would discover something great that would continue forever. What had started out as a normal day on the water soon changed when a big storm brewed. Hanson made his way from the decks to the galley where he found total chaos and the cook, Stu the Irish, secure in the corner. The cook suggested that the sailors would need something in their stomachs to make it through the storm and Hanson went to work, not knowing that he was about to make a big discovery.

Cinnamon Diamonds by Mark Piper is a sweet and short story. Mark Piper wrote the story so well that you do not know what to expect until you get to it. At one point, I was in one place and the next thing I knew I was in a different place at a different time. The story took an interesting twist when it took me from 1916 to 1847, to a different time and a different place. The setting and plot of the story is so heart-warming it made me feel as if I was in the room with Captain Hanson Crockett Gregory as he told his story. I read this in one sitting and did not stop until the very end.

Darin Godby

Author Mark Piper shares a very interesting story along Sailor's Snug Harbor during March 1916, in Quincy, Massachusetts. It is here that columnist John, who worked for the newspaper, was in search of Captain Hanson Crockett Gregory for a newspaper article. Upon finding Captain Gregory, John was eager for him to share his story. However, before he would begin his story, the captain made sure that John was served his famous doughnuts covered in cinnamon and sugar. It appeared as though anyone who ever tasted Captain Gregory's doughnuts was in awe of the delicious taste and smell. After serving John these wonderful tasting doughnuts, he began to share his story of being on the ship called "Felix Lighter."

The adventures that author Piper shares with his readers are both enticing and entertaining. In this short story entitled Cinnamon Diamonds, the reader is taken upon a grand voyage where Captain Gregory made the wonderful discovery of these awesome, unbelievable tasting doughnuts. Captain Gregory is still remembered by a small weather-beaten plaque that states this fine captain invented the first hole in the doughnut. While this may not appear to many to be a huge deal, ask the question: where would doughnut shops all across the world be without this fantastic discovery? While indeed this is a short story, it is a very fun and enjoyable read. Author Piper takes the reader on a worthwhile journey that will allow the reader to almost smell and taste these delicious donuts.

John Walker

Cinnamon Diamonds by Mark Piper is a wonderful relief from the mounds and mounds of fictional short stories that we see pervading our book shelves today. Herein, we find the wonderful true story of how a sailor, in the worst of situations, was able to make one of the best creations of all time. Of course, we will leave the discovery of that creation's nature up to the reader. As they delve into this short history of this sailor and his exploits, they will be excited to find that beauty can be gleaned in all sorts of situations. Beyond that, we learn that necessity requires creativity. What did the sailor create, you ask? Donut holes of course!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Cinnamon Diamonds by Mark Piper. It is, as it is labeled, a short story, and it is a very short one at that, but it is a very enjoyable tale of how a basic sailor, who was not even a cook, created one of the most delightful treats of our day. It is a story that not many actually know, and I was quite delighted to hear the intimate details of just how exactly it was that donut holes came about. I won't give away too much, because I know that the reader would like to discover for himself, or herself, how the snack actually came about, but I will simply say that I was thoroughly pleased with the writing style of Mark Piper in the way that he told us this fantastic story!