The ten stories in this haunting and hilarious collection offer a how-to manual for dealing with love, lies, and loneliness. Sam Wesson, an up-and- coming country-western singer, plots to get pregnant without her boyfriend's consent, while Dacey, already pregnant, confronts her cheating husband over her secret checking account. Andrea rescues a stray dog to avoid facing her complicated human relationships. Sarah, an exotic dancer, longs for employment at a religious theme park, and Amelia dreams of creating impossible bonsai. Whether facing life-threatening illness or overwhelming loss, these characters scheme in humble, funny, sympathetic, and outrageous ways to find an etiquette that will deliver them from disappointment and shield them from crushing grief.
Filled with vivid characterization, dry humor, and luminous, searing prose, A LESSON IN MANNERS tenderly embraces deeply flawed characters who learn that, in the face of frightening bewilderment or deep pain, a precise, brilliant attention to every moment is the only way we survive.
"Writers aren't exactly people ... they're a whole lot of people trying to be one person." In Dennis Must's third story collection, Going Dark, the narrators mirror F. Scott Fitzgerald's observation by drawing the reader into their dissimilar yarns, earthy or exalted, practical or fanciful. An aging actor looks back on his life, but whose life does he recall? A couple finds a novel way to spice up their marriage, but then the fantasy takes on a life of its own .... Middle-aged men struggle to cope with distracted wives and terminal loneliness. They look back on hapless childhoods to come to terms with what drove their parents or siblings to suicide, infidelity, or madness. Post World War II Midwest is the predominant setting, and Must's poetic gift captures its moods, textures and odors and gives it form and substance in vivid colors and dramatic shades of gray. Their author has been variously compared to Franz Kafka, Flannery O'Connor, Nathaniel West, and Nathanial Hawthorne.
A collection of short stories from the mind of romantic suspense author Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra that will take your imagination on a ride across all genres. Delve into For the Fun of Writing, where flights of fancy are given voice in “Jerry’s Gift” and “Rites of Passage.” Glide into Soul Songs, stories from the Cuban Diaspora, where the author weaves many of her own exile experiences in “The Fish Tank” (award winner), “Bubbles Don’t Bring Smiles,” “Lullaby,” and “A Day in the Life of Benito José Fuentes.” Take a peek at Prologues, two prequel short stories that introduce characters in upcoming novels. Twists and turns run rampant in “Into the Light,” and “Mirror, Mirror: A Detective Nick Larson Story.” Finally, enjoy The End, a short-short of whimsy in “Everyone’s a Critic.”
What happens when a safety app isn’t enough to protect a child? Is there really such a thing as a Grechtzoar? What really is the nature of happiness? How do we quantify it? These questions and more are answered in the pages of breakout author Emily Eckart’s "Pale Hearts," a collection of short stories. Emily’s writing has something for everyone, and her heartfelt stories leave the reader with a sense of longing for a place and time they may never have known.
In In and of Blood, Kat Lewis uses beautifully violent language to prove that there is no good or evil - only circumstances. As her characters try to mitigate their immorality and point fingers to say that their monstrosity is no worse than others', Lewis splays a truth about the human condition across each page.
Her stories, "Six Weeks of Solitude" and "Jello Shots and Shopping Carts" focus on the psychological monsters of hate and self-destruction. Lewis turns to physical monsters with the resurrection of a teenage girl in "#324" and the personification of death as a fisherman in "Hook, Line, and Dead." The title story, "In and of Blood," explores the lives of two werewolf sisters as one sister embraces her feral nature and lives as a wolf while the other rejects her inner creature and struggles to live as a human.
Visceral, vicious, and unwavering, In and of Blood captivates as it comments on the monstrosity inside us all and reminds us that sometimes it's okay to be a monster.
Manuel Chavez is a young marketing director who grew up in the vineyard as the son of a migrant farmworker. All his life, he heard rumors of the grounds being haunted but never believed them until he returned to Fermata Cellars as an adult to work in management. Now, he must overcome his fear of the supernatural, and fight a corrupt city councilman who wants to condemn the property and sell it to one of his cronies for a cheap price. Can the Old Ways fight City Hall? Fermata Cellars is the debut novella by Gwen Clayton, and the first book of the Rivervine Trilogy. The second will tell the story from the ghost's point of view. The third will be from the newspaper editor's point of view. Together, they show that the truth has many sides...all of which are valid. The story will also challenge your religious and political beliefs as it dives into the concepts of spirituality, justice and free will. It is best read while drinking a bold, spicy zinfandel.