Short Stories

Riding the Dog

Riding the Dog
Author:
Publisher:
Published: November 12, 2014
Riding the Dog is a collection of nine short stories that all take place on a Greyhound bus. Strangers collide in cramped spaces. Secrets are told to nameless seatmates in the dark of the bus in the middle of the night. Two strangers exchange trinkets, unaware of a past that connects them. A woman crisscrosses the country looking for her brother who disappeared in New York City on 9/11. A soldier returning from Iraq with PTSD finds unexpected solace in the chaos of a broken-down bus. A down-and-out musician loses his most treasured possession on a deserted West Texas highway. Riding the Dog explores an often-invisible world – the world of a desperate, funny, resilient, heartbreaking America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Taste of Triskele

A Taste of Triskele
Category:
Tag:
Publisher:
Published: July 20, 2015
Short Story Collection (with recipes) A tale, a place, a time, a taste. Eight delectable short stories, each set in a distinctive location, accompanied by a local dish. Fall in love with honey, bite into bitterness, sweeten the secrets, indulge your excesses, tickle your palette and free your imagination. Whether you’re on a beach or in your own back garden, escape into extraordinary worlds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me-Time Tales

Me-Time Tales
Categories: ,
Published: April 28, 2016
Author's Twitter: @Minettjr
Ironic short stories with a dark edge. All kinds of women unlocked. Inhibited Elfreda learns the beauty of a gorge.
 A bizarre theft in the Well Woman clinic.
Marian faces middle age with attitude and support knickers. Fish-phobic Daryl finds her sole.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murphy (F.IS.T.S. #2)

Murphy (F.IS.T.S. #2)
Author:
Series:
Published: June 1, 2015
Author's Twitter: @beydeckard
Sometimes when it seems like it’s too late, the right person comes along and opens your eyes… Murphy is the continuing story of a D/s relationship between two Space Marines who found each other in the midst of hopelessness and misfortune. Sarge and his newly minted squad travel across the galaxy on a top-secret mission that could help win the war. However, to Murphy something about the mission stinks, and it’s not just the planet they’ve landed on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Do the Deal, A Novel in Stories

To Do the Deal, A Novel in Stories
Author:
Illustrator: GB Tran
Published: September 22, 2014
This humorous career and family drama will captivate anyone who has ever held a job, lived in a family, or been on either side of a sales transaction. To Do the Deal, A Novel in Stories is about the quotidian — the challenges, minute dramas, and endearing moments that make up the every day. Set in a suburb of Washington, DC, To Do the Deal sets its focus not on the power brokers that dominate the nation’s capital but rather, on one family that is muddling along. Through ten stories, one each set in the years 1991 through 2000, we follow Kenneth Bodine on his quest to make a decent living in commission sales. We also follow his wife, Jodi, who tries hard as wife, worker, and mother and who often gets it right but just as often overthinks. To Do the Deal will appeal to readers who like witty stories, well told; who appreciate carefully plotted narratives; and who want to be entertained by an ensemble cast of deftly drawn characters. The language is literary yet light: readers who put check marks in the margins next to lines that resonate will mark a lot of pages. Beyond the appeal of its writing, To Do the Deal will captivate anyone who has ever held a job, lived in a family, or been on either side of a sales transaction.

Reviewed by Awesome Indies

To Do the Deal Review: One of the best books I’ve read this year

According to conventional wisdom novels and short stories are completely different species, and never the twain shall meet. In To Do the Deal: A Novel in Stories, Cathy Baker shows us that, in the hands of a master craftsman, conventional wisdom is wrong.

To Do the Deal is the story – actually ten stories – of Kenneth Bodine, a man in search of himself. It starts in 1991, when Ken breaks up with his girlfriend, known only as Watermelon, and meets Jodine, who is about to break up with her boyfriend. After the two successfully break off their unfortunate hookups and end up with each other, what follows is a series of ten stand-alone short stories that take us to the year 2000 – as Ken moves from job to job, eventually ending up in sales, where he shines, despite his absolute lack of people skills.

Each story is a self-contained episode in Ken’s increasingly chaotic life, but each also segues seamlessly into the next. Baker has created the perfect born loser in Ken, the model put upon housewife/mother in Jodi, and a cast of supporting characters that, if you’ve ever experienced the suburbs of Washington, DC, you’ll swear you’ve lived next door to them. The humor in To Do the Deal is understated, tongue-in-cheek, that sneaks up on you, gently grabs your funny bone, and before you know it, has you clutching your sides and blinking back tears. At times you feel sorry for Ken, and at others, you want to give him a solid kick in the rear – all the while, you’re chuckling at the predicaments he manages to get himself into.

There are no surprises in this book, but it is not predictable. It ends in the best possible way, given the state of mind of the main character and the effect he has on everyone with whom he comes into contact. Despite the lack of surprise, it is satisfying because you find yourself saying, ‘but for the grace of God, that’s where I’d be.’ Baker’s use of domestic banter between Ken and Jodi (which, given the last name she acquired at marriage, is what Jodine prefers to be called) is so realistic, you feel like a voyeur reading it. She does a particularly good job in describing the relationship Ken and Jodi have with their children – just ask anyone who has had to raise kids in today’s economy. Between episodes of humor, the author also describes human relationships in a way that is so spot on, you wonder if she wasn’t a psychologist in another life.

If you want a good weekend read, this is a definite ‘must-read.’ One of the best books I’ve read this year.

 

 

The Sicilian Defence

The Sicilian Defence
Publisher:
Published: June 28, 2014
Stories reflecting Sicily’s power to encompass ideas of Good and Bad, Heaven and Hell, to enmesh them so tightly that, at times, it remains impossible to distinguish the two concepts.   A talented schoolboy struggles with unseen forces that rip his family apart; a hand-written note hidden in a hotel magazine has dire consequences for a relationship; a private detective hired to track a cheating fiancé is faced with a life and death decision… These short stories provide a window on contemporary Sicilian life seen through the lens of the island’s literary history. They reflect Sicily’s power to encompass perfectly the ideas of Good and Bad, Heaven and Hell, to enmesh them so tightly that, at times, it remains impossible to distinguish the two concepts.

December 4, 2014

Enthralling and Enigmatic

“The Sicilian Defence is a collection of short stories based on characters who live in or around Sicily. The stories are varied in topic, but all written in a very literary style.  Each story is independent of the others, making this an easy book to pick up, read for a bit and feel satisfied that you have read a good story.

The voice is decidedly European, but interesting. The observations and characters are so real, so true to life that they’re unsettling. The endings are enigmatic but they stay with the reader in their possibilities. I am enthralled by these stories. They are of a style and quality that should do the same for many readers in many parts of the world. Overall, this is a well written collection with varied stories. However, some may find the pace of the stories a little too slow.

 

 

Short & Happy, (or not)

Short & Happy, (or not)
Published: October 21, 2014
Author's Twitter: @dhallaj @RichardBunning
SHORT & HAPPY (or not) brings together authors from English speaking countries around the globe and a sprinkling of ex-pats who enjoy life in non-English speaking countries as well. Their stories cover just as wide a spectrum of subjects. Humor (or humour), light romance, science fiction, fantasy, memoir, satire, reflection, exotic locales … it's all here in bite-sized pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarge (F.IS.T.S. #1)

Sarge (F.IS.T.S. #1)
Author:
Series:
Published: October 16, 2014
Author's Twitter: @beydeckard
Sometimes it’s just about being in the right place at the right time… with the right person. Sarge is the short story of a burgeoning D/s relationship between two Space Marines stationed on an alien planet where an endless war drags on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bone Knife

The Bone Knife
Author's Twitter: @IntisarKhanani
Rae knows how to look out for family. Born with a deformed foot, she feigns indifference to the pity and insults that come her way. Wary of all things beautiful, Rae instantly distrusts their latest visitor: an appallingly attractive faerie. Further, his presence imperils the secret her sister guards. But when the local townspeople show up demanding his blood, Rae must find a way to protect both her sister’s secret and their guest. Even if that means risking herself.