Award: Awesome Indies: APPROVED
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.
Author: Clive S. Johnson
Series: Dica Series
Publisher: Daisy Bank
Prescinda's dilemma: to weigh her sister's lover against the fate of the realm An ages-old poem gives rise to the Cold Angel and a threat to the realm's future. Can Prescinda save it when doing so threatens her sister’s only love? The ancient engers knew it as a theoretical entity, one so remotely implausible that the idea only survived in an obscure verse. How could an ages-old poem give rise to the reality of the days of the Cold Angel, days that threaten the realm’s very future? And why does a woman’s determination to do right by her sister put her at the heart of a mystery, one that threatens to destroy the only love that sister has ever known? Someone’s lost memories lead her to a strange meeting with a man in an even stranger tower, one that pricked star holes in the sky until but a few days before. What of it now, though, and its keeper’s determination to put things right at all costs? How is she to deal with the painful dilemma he draws her towards – when she’s asked to weigh the love of her sister against a duty to save the realm?
Author: Dixiane Hallaj
Series: Kalandia Series
Publisher: S & H Publishing
Life in a Palestinian refugee camp is filled with poverty, and hopeless frustration at the best of times—and 2001 is far from the best of times. Muhammad, already scarred by violence and tragedy, is plunged into depression when the frequent curfews make it impossible for him to find work. He can no longer face the thought of crossing the military checkpoint, but all available jobs are on the other side. His inability to provide for his family drives him to despair. He decides to spend the only coin remaining to him—his life. CHECKPOINT KALANDIA is the story of one man’s journey to the depths of human despondency.
Author: Jane Davis
Edwardian Brighton. A wide-eyed girl enters Mr Parker’s photographic studio and receives her first lesson about the rising medium that is to shape her life: “Can you think of a really good memory? Perhaps you can see it when you close your eyes. Now think how much better it would be if you could take it out and look at whenever you wanted to!”
Author: Marsha Cornelius
Publisher: Hickory Flat Books
Frank Barnes is content living on the streets of Atlanta. A soup kitchen and a makeshift shanty sure beat his days as a POW in Vietnam. But Chloe Roberts can’t handle the eviction that sends her into the hell of homelessness. With no family or friends to turn to, Chloe and her children are sucked into the traumatic world of night shelters, and dangerous predators. When they bump into each other at the soup kitchen, Frank offers Chloe a glimmer of hope that she can pull her life back together. She rekindles his lost sense of self-worth by taking his mind off his own problems. But they will not meet again until Frank is riding high as a working man, and Chloe has hit rock bottom. By helping Chloe rebuild her broken life, Frank banishes the demons from his own past. Unfortunately, the past comes strolling back into their lives, threatening to destroy the happiness they have finally found.
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.
One moment can destroy your life. It’s an ordinary summer day in London until explosions rip through the underground. Matthew has been fired and Rosa is struggling to cope as their debts spiral out of control, but she has a plan. A plan she can’t share with Matthew. Meanwhile, his choices will wreck their lives in a way they can’t begin to imagine. Life is tough, but how much worse could it be? A bombing on the underground answers that question. Death and injury affect them as they struggle to survive, but those first few hours are only the beginning. They will never be the same, but can they learn to live with this new life they never chose? One moment can change your life. One moment that takes everything. That leaves nothing as it was. People you will never know. Their decisions take what was, and leave you with now.
Tags: Gay, glbt, history, La Chasse Spirituelle, literature, poets, relationships, Rimbaud, self-realisation, sex, Verlaine
Author: Barbara Scott Emmett
Publisher: Pentalpha Publishing Edinburgh
How many times had I dreamt of coming across the yellowing manuscript of La Chasse Spirituelle? Inside an old book on a stall in Paris, perhaps. Or in the attic of some befriended ancient. How many daydreams had I enjoyed over the possibility that one day…? I shook myself. It couldn’t possibly be true. 1872: The explosive love affair between flamboyant French poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine rocks French society. They flee to London, abandoning the manuscript of La Chasse Spirituelle to Verlaine’s scorned young wife. When a lawyer’s clerk salvages it from a dusty deed box, the manuscript begins its journey down the decades, revealing the secrets and betrayals of its various keepers. 2004: Andrea Mann, disenchanted with life and love, travels to France. Driven by her obsession with Rimbaud, she’s chasing her dream – the missing manuscript. Beside the poet’s grave at Charleville-Mézières, she meets a beautiful young man who shows her a single page – from La Chasse Spirituelle. Andrea embarks on a desperate quest. Drawn into a manipulative relationship with the youth and his Svengali-like mentor, the mysterious Albert, she faces unwelcome truths. The closer she gets to the manuscript, the further she veers from reality. But is Albert’s copy genuine? And can La Chasse Spirituelle fill the void in Andrea’s soul?
Author: David Wesley Hill
Series: The Drake Circumnavigation
Publisher: Temurlone Press
It was as fine a day to be whipped as any he’d ever seen but the good weather didn’t make Peregrine James any happier with the situation he was in. Unfairly convicted of a crime he had not committed, the young cook was strung from the whipping post on the Plymouth quayside when he caught the eye of the charismatic sea captain Francis Drake, who agreed to accept Perry among his crew despite the stripes of a thief on his back. Soon England was receding in their wake and Perry was serving an unsavory collection of sea dogs as the small fleet of fragile wood ships sailed across the deep brine. Their destination was secret, known to Drake alone. Few sailors believed the public avowal that the expedition was headed for Alexandria to trade in currants. Some men suspected Drake planned a raid across Panama to attack the Spanish in the Pacific. Others were sure the real plan was to round the Cape of Storms to break the Portuguese monopoly of the spice trade. The only thing Perry knew for certain was that they were bound for danger and that he must live by his wits if he were to survive serving at Drake’s command.