Lost and Found, Stories of Christmas, Wendell Mettey {$0.99}

Lost and Found, Stories of Christmas is a collection of stories written by Reverend Wendell Mettey for his congregations. While written over a span of years, the stories have a timelessness that appeals to readers of all ages. These simple stories share the emotional journey of characters whose struggles with doubts, fears and resentments cause them to lose hope, but who ultimately find a great gift through the discovery of the true meaning of Christmas. Readers will recognize their own anxieties and concerns in the reactions of the characters and celebrate with them their triumph as they discover the joy of giving… the true spirit of Christmas.

Click here to read more about and purchase Lost and Found, Stories of Christmas  for $0.99  from Amazon!

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: A Bibliophile Christmas (The Bibliophiles), Karen Wojcik Berner {$0.99}

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Karen Wojcik Berner‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of A Bibliophile Christmas:

HOLIDAY DIGITAL SHORT

From the author of “A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One)” and “Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two)” comes a heartwarming holiday tale of friendship and family.

Sarah Anderson and Annie Jacobs have not had the best of years. And now, here come the holidays.

Great.

Sarah’s husband Tom is stuck in Boston after a nor’easter dumps a foot of snow on the day he is scheduled to leave for home.

And Annie is working hard at picking up the pieces of her life after a painful divorce.

But, maybe with a little help from their friends, Christmas won’t be a total wash after all.

This holiday season, take a break from all the hustle and bustle, pour yourself a beverage, and have “A Bibliophile Christmas.”

 

Accolades:

“At turns funny, frustrating (at least for the characters), and touching, A Bibliophile Christmas is a fun read that will be appreciated by fans of Berner’s series or anyone looking to get into the holiday spirit. Chances are you’ll recognize situations you’ve experienced yourself.”-BigAl’s Books&Pals

“A heartwarming tale from one of our favorite authors, Karen Wojcik Berner’s A Bibliophile Christmas is a story of love, family, and friendship that can make a chilly day much more pleasant. Featuring near-disasters around the holidays, Sarah and Annie need to find a way to rescue the holidays from bad luck and disappointment. This is a story any true bibliophile will love!” – Kindle Fire Department


Reviews:

A Bibliophile Christmas currently has a customer review rating of 4 stars from 1 review. Read the reviews here.


A Bibliophile Christmas is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

 

An excerpt from A Bibliophile Christmas:

“God rest ye merry, gentlemen. Let nothing you dismay…”

Of course, men need not dismay, Sarah Anderson thought. What did they have to do for the holidays anyhow? Show up? Wow, that was taxing.

Her husband slammed the lid of his suitcase. “I’ll be back on Friday. Will you pick me up, or do you want me to take a cab?”

“If you’re back on Friday, you might as well go straight to the lawyer’s office.”

“Christ, Sarah. That’s extreme.”

“Friday’s December twenty-sixth.”

“Christmas is this week?”

“And they pay you the big bucks? You’d better be here on the twenty-third. The boys would be heartbroken if you missed Christmas Eve.” She lowered her voice. “You have to help me with the you-know-whats.” Let Tom think the kids cared if he made it home for Christmas all he wanted, as long as he returned in time to assemble the various cars and bikes slated to magically appear under the tree on Christmas morning. That was the one thing on her “To Do” list with the initial “T” next to it, one measly task among the never-ending items marked with an “S.”

“Four days? How the hell am I going to get the system up and running in only four days?” He picked up his suitcase, laptop backpack, and phone. “I’ve got to call Deanna and Shrevani and move Wednesday’s meeting to early Tuesday.”

She trailed him through the kitchen, family room and down the hall. He stopped briefly at the front door to dial a number on his phone.

She leaned toward him. “Have a good trip?”

He merely nodded, shushing her, as he balanced the phone between his cheek and shoulder. Picking up his luggage, he dashed outside to the waiting limousine.

Silly her, she had thought he might actually give her a kiss. “No need for formal goodbyes,” she muttered, slamming the front door so hard that the pinecones almost flew off the wreath.
Seven days until the big event. By this stage of the game, Sarah had already completed seventy-five percent of her list. Christmas cards depicting Santa’s workshop were signed, addressed, stamped, and mailed, complete with the requisite darling photo of the boys. The tree was decorated, wrapped boxes containing cinder blocks placed strategically around it, a barrier through which two-year-old Alex couldn’t pass. Since he had become mobile, Alex had spent most of the last year climbing. First, it was stairs. Going up was no problem. Watching him come down was the part that nearly gave Sarah a heart attack after seeing him tumble and land with a thud. Blood trickled over his mouth and chin from his nose banging on the last stair. Eventually, the little tyke learned how to scoot safely down each step on his bottom. After stairs, Alex graduated to the backyard fort’s ladder, followed by the rigging leading to the fort’s top tier. Each stage was accompanie d by many “Oh, shit!” moments that required several deep breaths for Mommy and the secret desire to down a bazillion martinis to calm her nerves.

The Christmas presents had been purchased, wrapped, and hidden someplace high and safe from prying eyes. Nicky was getting older and had heard some rumors questioning the validity of a certain round fellow typically clad in red. Other gifts, like those for the extended family, were also hidden in case Alex couldn’t control himself again. Last year, he had flown through all the presents on Christmas Eve like some sort of Tasmanian Devil. What did he know? He couldn’t read, an oversight her sister-in-law Marjorie could not get past. “When Peter was that age, he was already reading Cat in the Hat.”

Really? Her son could barely form a two-word sentence. He would be lucky not to flunk second grade.

The only items left on the “To Do” list were grocery shopping, cleaning, baking, and cooking. Tight, but doable. Maybe she and the boys would bake a batch of cookies together tomorrow

Anyhow, Tom would be home to occupy the kids while she prepared as much of Christmas dinner as possible before they left for the Andersons’. She was heading into the home stretch.

***

Sarah snapped Alex into a fresh, one-piece footie pajama. Yawning, he cuddled into her arms as they read Goodnight Moon. Somewhere between saying goodnight to the stars and air, Sarah kissed his damp head, a whiff of sweet honey combined with baby shampoo filling her nostrils.

“Mommy loves you,” she whispered. Alex smiled and pointed at the book, reminding her she wasn’t finished. After the last page, she tucked him in, turned on his teddy bear music box, and closed his door halfway.

“Hey, wanna watch Frosty?”

“Shush, honey! I just put Alex down.”

“Oops, sorry,” Nicky whispered. “Let’s go downstairs.”

They crept along, soft strains of Brahms’ “Lullaby” echoing down the hall, mindful that any creak of the floor could potentially wake up Alex, whom they still referred to as “the baby,” even though he was firmly into the toddler stage and would be going to preschool next year. Sarah didn’t want to think of that right now.

She had to get through Christmas first.

Copyright © 2012 Karen Wojcik Berner

A Bibliophile Christmas is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99


Connect with Karen Wojcik Berner:

Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

Byte-sized stories at your fingertips. From cheeky babies, to burning neighborhoods, to government experiments gone awry, this collection of 24 flash fiction stories can give you your fiction fix in a pinch.

Flash fiction by Janice Abel, Erik Adams, Ben Bellizzi, Eleanor Bennett, Thor Benson, Diane Brenner, Terra Brigando, Michael Canterino, Leonard Crosby, Marci Daniels, Dustin Davenport, Aaron DeLee, Nick Harmon, Kevin Lichty, Susi Lovell, Joshua J. Mark, Kyle Martinez, Jean Medeiros, Diana Peterson, Preston Randall, Ryan Taft, Ling E. Teo, Jennifer Virškus, Pavelle Wesser

What Is Flash Fiction?

Flash fiction is short form stories that can be told in 50-1500 words. Also art, according to FictionBrigade. It’s a genre of its own. Not poetry, not quite short stories, but delightful slices of life that can each be read in one sitting.

What readers are saying:

I’ve not been acquainted with the concept of flash fiction until I learned about Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction. Wasn’t sure what to make of it but gave it a read. Wow, now I get it! And I have to say this collection of shorts by various authors was incredibly well done. They were all enjoyable reads and gotten through quickly, though to be honest, the sweetness was over before I’d gotten started and left me wanting more. I’d definitely read more of every one of these authors, and will be bookmarking Fiction Brigade for sure.

Flash fiction, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, is like this:

It’s not the full course meal of a novel.
It’s not the midnight snack of a novella.
It’s not the appetiser of a short story.

It’s the candy bowl on the coffee table filled up with chocolate bits, cinnamon rounds, and dinner mints – deliciousness you can enjoy by the mouthful.

Great collection. Definitely recommended!

The average Amazon review rating is currently 4.5 stars {11 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime from Amazon!

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction {FREE!}

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The Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction:

Byte-sized stories at your fingertips. From cheeky babies, to burning neighborhoods, to government experiments gone awry, this collection of 24 flash fiction stories can give you your fiction fix in a pinch.

Flash fiction by Janice Abel, Erik Adams, Ben Bellizzi, Eleanor Bennett, Thor Benson, Diane Brenner, Terra Brigando, Michael Canterino, Leonard Crosby, Marci Daniels, Dustin Davenport, Aaron DeLee, Nick Harmon, Kevin Lichty, Susi Lovell, Joshua J. Mark, Kyle Martinez, Jean Medeiros, Diana Peterson, Preston Randall, Ryan Taft, Ling E. Teo, Jennifer Virškus, Pavelle Wesser

What Is Flash Fiction?

Flash fiction is short form stories that can be told in 50-1500 words. Also art, according to FictionBrigade. It’s a genre of its own. Not poetry, not quite short stories, but delightful slices of life that can each be read in one sitting.


Accolade:

5-Star Review

I’ve not been acquainted with the concept of flash fiction until I learned about Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction. Wasn’t sure what to make of it but gave it a read. Wow, now I get it! And I have to say this collection of shorts by various authors was incredibly well done. They were all enjoyable reads and gotten through quickly, though to be honest, the sweetness was over before I’d gotten started and left me wanting more. I’d definitely read more of every one of these authors, and will be bookmarking Fiction Brigade for sure.

Flash fiction, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, is like this:

It’s not the full course meal of a novel.
It’s not the midnight snack of a novella.
It’s not the appetiser of a short story.

It’s the candy bowl on the coffee table filled up with chocolate bits, cinnamon rounds, and dinner mints – deliciousness you can enjoy by the mouthful.

Great collection. Definitely recommended!


Amazon Reader Reviews:

Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4.5 stars, with 11 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for FREE!

 

Connect with the publisher:

Website: http://www.fictionbrigade.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fictionbrigade

Twitter: @fictionbrigade.

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction {FREE!}

Sponsored Post

The Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction:

Byte-sized stories at your fingertips. From cheeky babies, to burning neighborhoods, to government experiments gone awry, this collection of 24 flash fiction stories can give you your fiction fix in a pinch.

Flash fiction by Janice Abel, Erik Adams, Ben Bellizzi, Eleanor Bennett, Thor Benson, Diane Brenner, Terra Brigando, Michael Canterino, Leonard Crosby, Marci Daniels, Dustin Davenport, Aaron DeLee, Nick Harmon, Kevin Lichty, Susi Lovell, Joshua J. Mark, Kyle Martinez, Jean Medeiros, Diana Peterson, Preston Randall, Ryan Taft, Ling E. Teo, Jennifer Virškus, Pavelle Wesser

What Is Flash Fiction?

Flash fiction is short form stories that can be told in 50-1500 words. Also art, according to FictionBrigade. It’s a genre of its own. Not poetry, not quite short stories, but delightful slices of life that can each be read in one sitting.


Accolade:

5-Star Review

I’ve not been acquainted with the concept of flash fiction until I learned about Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction. Wasn’t sure what to make of it but gave it a read. Wow, now I get it! And I have to say this collection of shorts by various authors was incredibly well done. They were all enjoyable reads and gotten through quickly, though to be honest, the sweetness was over before I’d gotten started and left me wanting more. I’d definitely read more of every one of these authors, and will be bookmarking Fiction Brigade for sure.

Flash fiction, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, is like this:

It’s not the full course meal of a novel.
It’s not the midnight snack of a novella.
It’s not the appetiser of a short story.

It’s the candy bowl on the coffee table filled up with chocolate bits, cinnamon rounds, and dinner mints – deliciousness you can enjoy by the mouthful.

Great collection. Definitely recommended!


Amazon Reader Reviews:

Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4.5 stars, with 11 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

Byte-Sized: A Collection of Flash Fiction is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for FREE!

 

Connect with the publisher:

Website: http://www.fictionbrigade.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fictionbrigade

Twitter: @fictionbrigade.

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1, Bradley Convissar {$2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!}

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Bradley Convissar‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1:

Note: These stories contain adult language, adult situations and violence that may not be suitable for all ages.  You have been warned…

For the first time, the twenty-two stories found in Pandora’s Children books 1-5 and Dark Interludes have been combined into two easy-to-navigate volumes.

This collection contains almost two dozen dark stories, tales where men become monsters, monsters become men, and no one is ever truly safe. You will find ghosts, demons and monsters; evil men, madmen and broken men; a wood-chipper, Santa Claus and yes, a handful of dentists. Each book contains eleven stories, over 90,000 words (almost 300 pages) of disturbing, provocative tales which will keep you thinking long after you’re done reading.

This Volume 1 includes 11 stories.

Bonus excerpt- The first half of my 25,000 word novella, Dogs of War is also included in this volume.

 

Accolades:

“Evocatively written, the prose in this story feels more like poetry… The good doctor delivers!” -Amazon review of The Madame Penitent

“The writing style was tight and the stories short enough to read in one sitting.” – Amazon review

“I have found a new author to get excited about! I found these stories easy to read- like listening to ghost stories around the campfire.”- Amazon review

“The stories are well written and suspenseful and not just scary, but horrifying….sometimes our minds are scarier than any space spider or alien or what have you. Great book!” -Amazon review

 

Amazon Reader Reviews:

Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1 currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 5 stars, with 6 reviews! Read the reviews here!

 

Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1 is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!


Excerpt from Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1:

From “Higher”, the final story in the collection:

“We live in a world where people don’t want to take responsibility for the consequences of their decisions. It’s hard to take the blame when things go bad, much easier to pass the buck. But ironically, as a parent, as a father, it’s much easier to blame yourself than your child when your child screws up. It’s easier to say that your child failed because you didn’t do enough, because you weren’t supportive enough, because you weren’t there enough. Much harder to admit that your child is a failure because that’s what he is. When things started to go wrong with you, I blamed myself. I tried to convince myself that you turned out like you did because I failed you. But then I look at your sister, happily married with two children and successful as a lawyer, and I know that I did the best I could, and my best was damn good. No, it wasn’t me that failed you, it was you that failed you.”

“When I first saw you tonight, saw what you had become, I tried to convince myself that what I was looking at was not my son. I tried to convince myself that you had become a complete and utter stranger to me. That my Harrison was dead. I thought that if I could convince myself, it would make tonight easier. But it’s not supposed to be easy, is it? For either of us.” He looked over at Harrison’s profile, trying to read something in his expression. He thought he saw something approaching a sad smile behind the tape, but he wasn’t sure. It could have been his imagination. Or wishful thinking. He quickly turned back to the photos, the current one featuring a five year old Harrison boldly petting a sheep at the zoo. “But I was fooling myself, Harrison. As much as I wanted to distance myself from you, deny you, I couldn’t. Because there’s something of this,” he pointed at the screen, “still in you. You wil l always be my son. And that’s why I’m doing this. And that’s why it’s so damn hard.”

A photo of Harrison, six years old, appeared on the screen, his face screwed up in pure glee as his mother blew on his naked belly.

“You may be sitting there and wondering at this tableau, at the purpose, wondering if this is a final attempt by me to save you. It isn’t. I put this together not as a prelude to a new beginning, but as the final act of a play sadly coming to its conclusion. I did it for two reasons, Harrison: first, for myself. This…” a casual finger directed at the screen, “this is how I want to remember you. This is what I want to remember when I close my eyes at night. I don’t want my last memories of you to be of a corpse lying in a hospital or in a morgue. I refuse to be woken one night by the police asking me to come downtown to ID your quickly cooling body. And don’t deny that that’s how this would ultimately end, Harrison. I see it every week, young adults in jail one day for drug possession or assault or burglary, dead on the floor of their apartment or in the garage at their parent’s house or in an alley or on a hospit al gurney the next. You know damn well that if I let this continue, there’s no coming back for you, and the last time I see you you’ll be dead. Is this selfish? Damn right it is. Damn right. But I’m your parent and I’m entitled. After everything your mother and I gave you, after everything we suffered for you, I deserve to remember your life for what it was, not what it is. I deserve to remember this-” Another wave at the slowly flashing photos, “-and not this.” He reached over and gently patted Harrison’s trapped left hand with his own, noting the dryness of the skin and the prominence of the underlying bone. “I gave you life, and I refuse to allow you to dictate how I remember you.”

Gerald finally stood, his legs heavy and stiff beneath him but his soul pregnant with purpose. He grasped the small package which rested on the couch to his left then walked around the chair and stood behind his son. He rested his hands on Harrison’s shoulders, the muscle beneath sweatshirt and skin so atrophied he felt bone. But he ignored the uncomfortable sensation and spoke. He fought back the tears that he knew were imminent, scraping every last vestige of resolve from his tortured soul to keep his voice strong but soft.

“But this, Harrison,” Gerald said, focusing on the photos on the screen, “this is also for you. Because when you die, I don’t want your spirit stained with the horrible things you have done. With the indifference and misery which have defined your life the past year and a half. I don’t want your final memories to be of searching for the perfect vein. When you reach your moment of judgment, I want Him to know that you were loved. I want Him to see the boy I raised, the boy who wanted nothing more than to experience everything life had to offer. I want your soul to be stamped with memories of joy, memories of innocence, memories of a world filled with wonder. When you reach your judgment, I want you to shine like a star so that maybe your sins will be forgiven.”

 

Pandora’s Children: The Complete Nightmares Book 1 is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99 or Borrow FREE w/Prime!

 

Connect with Bradley Convissar:

Author Website: www.darkestdayspublishing.com

Author Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bradley-Convissar-Author/178862205471284

Author Twitter Page: @bconvisdmd

Strange Worlds, Paul Clayton {FREE!}

It’s 2012. The Mayan Calendar has come to an end and Strange Worlds appear…

In the future, the love of a young man’s life is dying. He would do almost anything to keep her alive…except that!

In Dog Man, it turns out that Oscar the tomcat was just misunderstood — with deadly consequences…

A love sick young man attempts to tap the power of an ancient religion to secure the affections of a girl on their class trip to Christland…

The dead come briefly back to life every year when the astral dimensions align in Day, or Two, of The Dead. You’re mildly amused by it all until one in particular insists on coming to your house…

A cynical young ‘player’, adrift in the modern, amoral age meets God on a mountain top and his life is changed forever — but not in the way he’d ever imagined.

Clayton channels the spirits of Huxley, Orwell and Philip K. Dick in these and ten other intelligent, provocative and highly entertaining stories.

What readers are saying:

Clayton creates a unique atmosphere in each of these stories and while you are being taken away to a place and time which is indeed strange and often quite disturbing, at the same time, the humanity of (most of) his characters will make you feel right at home; of course, you’ll want to leave a light on.

I must say that I very much enjoyed this book of short stories. The short story format is quite good for the stories Clayton tells. He is a master at painting with words. Five stars!

The average Amazon Reader Review is currently 5 stars {2 reviews}.

Click here to read more about and purchase Strange Worlds for FREE from Amazon

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: The Cut Up – A Short “Gory”, James W. Lewis {$0.99}

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James W. Lewis‘ Frugal Find Under Nine:

Description of The Cut Up – A Short “Gory”:

A wife feels no need to overact despite catching her husband in bed with her daughter’s high school friend.


Accolade:

“The Cut Up” written by the crafty James W. Lewis is 8 pages of twists, turns, and emotions. Eve is the woman inside of everyone woman that men love to fear, joke about, and exaggerate. James Lewis’s literary techniques are so subtle that the plot line is even more powerful because of it.  James Lewis really showed up and showed out. This is my first time reading anything of his and he did such a good job on such a short piece that I am more than curious about his other recent works.”

 

Reviews:

The Cut Up – A Short “Gory” currently has an Amazon reader review rating of 4.5 stars from 4 reviews. Read the reviews here.

 

The Cut Up – A Short “Gory” is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

 

An excerpt from The Cut Up – A Short “Gory”:

Eve froze in the bedroom doorway, her mouth hung open and gaze locked on the adulterous transgression in progress before her. Her husband’s head banged against the headboard, hips grinding and circling between thin butterscotch-colored thighs.

Derrick’s loud grunts shocked Eve; he never made a sound when he made love to her. Wails of pleasure pierced the air. The young woman’s shrieks vibrated in continuous spurts–the same shrieks that startled Eve when she opened the front door downstairs. Mattress spring squeaks matched their cries, creating a harmony of orgasmic delight.

“Oooh! Yes! Yes!” the woman cried, praising Derrick’s Indy 500 thrusts. She dug her pink-painted nails in his butt cheeks.

Eve tiptoed toward the bed, her heels hardly making a sound against the plush carpet. Before she stood a few feet away from the bed, the young woman’s eyes opened. Seconds later, they nearly shot out the sockets. Her moans morphed into one bellow of terror and surprise.

Derrick’s head recoiled. As if wearing a neck brace, he slowly turned his head in the same direction as the young woman’s gape. A quick gasp escaped when his jaw dropped.

“Oh my god,” Derrick whispered.

Eve didn’t speak. A radar-like stare locked on the woman who dared invade her home, bedroom, and fidelity. She looked no more than twenty years old.

Derrick pushed himself off her and sat naked on the bedside. His beer belly slightly concealed his rock hard penis. He wore no condom.

“Baby … I-I can explain!” he pleaded, trying to reach out to Eve. The young woman gripped a pillow against her breasts, her eyes swiveling as if scanning the room for an exit. She inched toward the other end of the bed.

Eve looked down at Derrick’s pathetic face with an expressionless stare, ignoring Derrick’s inaudible pleas. She brushed a hand across her forehead and then exhaled a short breath.

“Wooo,” Eve sighed, “you guys scared me for a second! Chile, I thought you were one of my high school students! I didn’t recognize you at first, but now I remember you talking to my husband at the mall a few weeks ago. He told me you were a co-worker. Shoo, am I relieved!”

Derrick tilted his head sideways and gazed with a look of canine confusion. The young woman lay with her back against the headboard. Strands of hair stuck to her cheeks and lines crumpled her forehead.

“You’re a pretty young thing, too!” Eve said with a grin. “I love your hair! Where do you get it done? Let me know who does your hair after you finish, all right?”

Derrick still didn’t budge, only moving his head toward the young woman with eyes that yearned for answers. She shrugged, then shook her head. A slight grin creased her pink lips.

Derrick turned back to Eve. “Baby,” he said, daring to sound concerned, “everything all right?”

Eve swatted her hand through the air. “Pssst, I’m fine. I’m just glad she doesn’t look like the last girl you had in here. Ugh!” She slapped her hands together and rolled her eyes. She then turned to the woman and said, “Baby, that ho he had in here last week looked like a train wreck! Ugly bitch had cracked teeth and was cross-eyed and … oh, never mind. Can I get you anything?”

Derrick blinked a few times. He said, “Uh … no.”

Eve tilted her head toward the young woman. The woman shook her head, still gripping the pillow against her chest.

Eve slapped her hands together. “Okay! Just give me a ring if you need anything. I’ll be downstairs making dinner, so let me get outta here! I hope you like pasta, uh … what’s your name again, sweetheart?”

The young woman’s eyebrows shot up. “Uh … Joanne,” she stuttered. “I d—don’t want anything, Mrs. Peete. Thanks, anyway.”

Eve studied her face for a moment. Seconds later, her eyes widened. The bulb in her head had lit up.

“Oh,” Eve said, “your Bobbi’s daughter, huh? You used to go to King High School about two years ago, right? You graduated with my daughter Monica! How are you, baby?”

Joanne’s arm dangled over the bed, still trying to keep her eyes on Eve. “I—I’m fine, ma’am.”

“That’s good,” Eve replied. She turned to Derrick and planted a kiss on his forehead. Sweat smeared her lips.

“Monica will be coming by soon,” Eve said. “You should stay until she gets here. She’d love to see you!”

Joanne knelt to the floor. Her butt was the only thing visible as she reached for her clothes under the bed. “Oh … uh … no thanks, Mrs. Pee—ow!” she cried, bumping her head into the nightstand.

Derrick tried to find his own clothes, first looking around the bed and then behind the headboard. He found his tee shirt wedged between Eve’s nightstand and the bed’s metal frame.

“All righty, Joanne,” she replied with a Mrs. Cleaver-like chuckle. “I don’t know how Mrs. Davis whips up lasagna, but mine is to die for!” Eve strolled toward the door while singing a Jill Scott tune.

Joanne stood and strapped on a silk bra. “Uh … Mrs. Peete?”

Eve stopped at the door. She turned to Joanne and said, “Yes, dear?”

Out of the corner of her eye, Eve could see Derrick, who now had on his tee shirt and socks. He hadn’t found his underwear.

“You’re not going to tell anybody, are you?” Joanne asked, pulling up her pants.

Eve waved her off. “Of course not.”

Joanne smiled. “Thank you. Don’t want anybody to know about this, ya know?”

Eve nodded. “I understand. Nobody will know.”


The Cut Up – A Short “Gory” is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $0.99

 

Connect with James W. Lewis:

Website: www.jameswlewis.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjames.w.lewis

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD: Six Short Stories of Exciting, Hilarious and Possibly Deadly Adventure, Eve Yohalem {$2.99}

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Eve Yohalem‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:

 

Description of GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD:

“Alas, it is true. Grandpa hates me. He has always hated me, even before I used his ear as a swing toy (his lobes are so long and flappy!). I can’t imagine why. I assume Grandpa hates me simply because I am the bird—and he is not.”

Everybody loves Bird. Joseph and Maya, Mother and Father, Humphrey the dog, Slick the snake. Everyone except Grandpa, who will stop at nothing to set Bird free. Forever.

• How does the battle begin when Bird and Grandpa are alone together for a whole week?
• See classroom chaos in Bring Your Pet to School Day!
• Exactly what are they hunting at the Aw Shoot archery range?

Fasten your feathers and warm up your wings—here are six collected short stories in the GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD series!

 

Accolade:

By Jill Arent, “All Things Jill Elizabeth”

http://blog.jill-elizabeth.com/2012/01/30/book-review-2/

Without further ado, I bring you a fabulous book in today’s review. Grandpa Hates the Bird, by Eve Yohalem, is a collection of short stories about the adventures of the eponymous Bird and the misadventures of the eponymous Grandpa. My review copy was graciously provided free of charge by the author. AND she has also graciously agreed to provide a giveaway copy, so you can have your very own!

I admit that I’m a bit obsessed with unified short story collections/interwoven stories lately, as evidenced by last week’s post. But do not, for one second, think that is why I am giving this collection such a rave review. Heck, no. This one is entirely owing to Yohalem’s sense of fun, of humor, and of giggle-inducing irony. Let me say right up front: I don’t normally review actual children’s books. When she contacted me about reviewing her book, and told me it was aimed at readers aged 6-10, I almost sent her the standard “sorry, your book sounds lovely, but I just don’t review…” email. Then I read further. Once I saw how she described her book I couldn’t help but review it. Here is what she said: (I hope you don’t mind my using this Eve, but it’s so great that I couldn’t not!)

“GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD is a collection of comic short stories for readers 6-10. There are very few short story collections available for young readers and one advantage to reading them as ebooks is that a parent in a crowded waiting room or stuck in traffic can hand their cranky child their smartphone with a funny story instead of Angry Birds.”

Now don’t get me wrong. I love the Angry Birds (or the Where’s My Water or the Rush Hour or Running Man or whatever game of the day the kids can teach me how to play). I also love the ability to provide entertainment to the kids on the go that things like Angry Birds provides. But I LOVE that someone is out there putting together alternatives to games as a means of doing this. And I LOVE LOVE the manner in which Yohalem accomplished this alternative.

The stories are, in a word, delightful. They are fun, engaging, hilarious, revenge-filled without ever being vengeful. They are cute and heart-warming and contain hidden life-lessons about being a good friend, being honest and trustworthy, and being loving. And they are written in a very easy-going and altogether compelling style that appeals to me as a reader, a step-parent, and someone who is more than occasionally worried that the future of our world is in the hands of kids whose main introductions to reading are video game manuals.

I strongly encourage you to pick this one up and throw it on your phone, ipad, whatever… You – and the kids in your life – will be exceedingly glad you did!


Reviews:

GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD currently has a customer review rating of 4.5 stars with 12 reviews! Read the reviews here.


GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD is available to purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99

 

An excerpt from GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD:

Excerpt from the story Bring Your Pet to School Day from GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD: Six Short Stories of Exciting, Hilarious and Possibly Deadly Adventure by Eve Yohalem

It was my favorite day of the year: Bring Your Pet to School Day. Most schools do not observe this particular holiday, which I personally believe should be made into a national event like the Fourth of July or Super Bowl Sunday or even National Forest Products Week. But Joseph and Maya go to one of those progressive schools where they believe in hands-on learning. Thus, Bring Your Pet to School Day is an opportunity to learn about biology, animal care, and even geology and puppetry since the pitiful children who are unfortunate enough to live without real pets are allowed to bring in rocks and dolls instead.

The day was warm and I traveled to school via my preferred method of transportation: on top of Joseph’s head, his hair being the closest thing I have to a nest. Bird care books will tell you never to allow a bird to perch higher than yourself because it gives the bird the idea that he is superior to you. Bird care books are right.

There was just one dim spot in my rainbow of happiness, and it was walking next to us. Joseph’s teacher had asked for a grown-up to help with the animal presentations, and Grandma had made Grandpa volunteer. Something about “behavior modification” and how spending time with children and animals might help him “build tolerance” and improve his “attitude.”

Grandpa was dressed from head to toe in full military camouflage. That’s right: a green flack jacket, cargo pants, and black combat boots. It was the same outfit he had worn every day for the last month, ever since he had applied to be a contestant on Killigan’s Island, a new reality TV show where twelve humans struggle to survive on a tropical island with no running water or electricity. Something millions of birds have been doing with ease since the beginning of time, I might add.

I was determined not to let Grandpa ruin my good mood. In fact, I even hoped that Grandma was right and once Grandpa saw what Joseph and I had prepared for the class, he would be so impressed, so charmed and enchanted by my performance, that he would finally appreciate me properly and we would become friends.

Anything is possible, right?

There is only one fifth grade class at Walden Pond School, with nineteen children, most of whom I recognized from past Bring Your Pet to School days. Larissa spends most of every day writing poetry about kneecaps. Harrison is the boy who attended all of pre-kindergarten in a lion costume. I’m not sure anyone noticed. Then there’s Jake. Poor Jake is the class oddball: he likes soccer. He’s good at it, too.

Jake was seated alone at a table for two near the front of the room, holding a plastic animal carrier on his lap. Inside was Beckham, Jake’s ferret. Grandpa went to introduce himself to Mandy the teacher, and Joseph and I took the seat next to Jake. I hopped from Joseph’s shoulder onto the table, and Beckham hissed at me through the wire screen on the end of his carrier. So that’s how it’s going to be, is it? Very slowly, I stretched out my wings to their full green, blue, and red glory. Then I turned my back on the little beast, bent over, and presented him with a full view of what lay underneath my tail.

“Hola, chiquitas y chiquitos!” sang Mandy, a tiny young woman with curly red hair the color of a house finch. Mandy liked to greet the children in a different language every day. Most of the time the children had no idea what she was saying, but they had all been studying Spanish at school since first grade. At this point in their Spanish language studies, every child in the room was able to say, “the air is not toxic,” but not one of them could ask for directions to a bathroom.

“Hola, Señora Mandy!” answered the children.

“Is everyone totally psyched for BRING YOUR PET TO SCHOOL DAY?” Mandy asked, sounding totally psyched herself.

“Yeah!” “You bet!” “Wahoo!” the children shouted back.

“Right on!” Mandy said, pumping a small fist in the air. “First I’d like to introduce you to Joseph’s grandfather. He’s going to help us with our presentations today.”

Grandpa stepped forward. If this were opposite day I would describe the expression on his face as warm and friendly.

“Hi, Grandpa!” the children greeted him.

“Uh, hi,” Grandpa muttered.

There was a long awkward silence that Mandy finally interrupted.

“Thanks, Grandpa! Now how about we hear from some of the students!”

 

GRANDPA HATES THE BIRD is available to purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $2.99

 

Connect with Eve Yohalem:

Website: http://www.eveyohalem.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eve-Yohalem/164138753644557?ref=ts

THE FRUGAL FIND OF THE DAY: Trouble Down South and Other Stories, Katrina Parker Williams {$4.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime + Are You a Giveaway Winner?}

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Description of Trouble Down South and Other Stories:

The short stories take the reader on a journey to the past through a collection of interestingly crafted pieces of flawed humanness, social injustice, and redemption, and even humor.  The short story collection of historical fiction chronicles events spanning more than 150 years and addresses a wide range of experiences from African-American perspectives. The stories are set in the South amid a changing landscape in which the characters are forced to wrestle with the social issues surrounding Native Americans, slavery, racism, Prohibition, the Korean War, Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, health, religion, mental illness, and education.

 

Accolade:

By Larry B. Gray

Trouble Down South and Other Stories by Katrina Parker Williams is a collection of short stories dealing with slavery, racism and civil rights in the south. Written as historical fiction each story deals with a different period of time in our history and captures the struggle of human dignity and life in a segregated south.

The author captures the reality of life by vividly painting an accurate depiction of the everyday trials of the average black person trying to survive. She accomplishes this by writing in a real life style and using period colloquialism that reflect the actual life of her characters. She weaves a detailed tapestry with words of the life stories of her characters.

Having grown up is this region of the country during the latter part of segregation, the sounds and events of that time came flooding back to me. I was reminded of the disrespect, humiliation and cruelty that a whole section of our population was subjected to.

I highly recommend Trouble Down South and Other Stories as a must read. It is an excellent example of historical fiction, accurately depicting a period of our history that should not be forgotten.

 

Amazon Reader Reviews:

Trouble Down South and Other Stories currently has a Amazon reader review rating of 4 stars from 10 reviews. Read the reviews here!


Trouble Down South and Other Stories is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $4.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!


An excerpt from Trouble Down South and Other Stories:

“The House Down the Dirt Lane”

By

Katrina Parker Williams

(From the Short Story Collection Trouble Down South and Other Stories)

 

The first time I knew I needed to be scared of Furvis was the summer of 1960 in the early afternoon when he came down the dirt lane wielding a shotgun and shouting into the air. It was in the middle of July in the hottest part of the day, the temperature a scorching ninety-eight degrees. We had just finished hanging a barn of tobacco that morning and had stopped for lunch. Papa was fixing on his John Deere tractor while we were playing hopscotch and shooting marbles in the white sand of our front yard.

Papa noticed Furvis first, seeing him from a distance, his figure distorted by the hazy summer rays as he headed toward our house.

“Y’all chillen, git up and go in the house,” Papa warned in a non-histrionic voice, trying not to alarm us.

“Why, Papa?” we asked, not having seen Furvis and not wanting to disrupt our game-playing. I was winning, so I definitely didn’t want to go inside before claiming victory.

“Go on in the house, I said,” he ordered with more emphasis on his words this time.

We didn’t understand why he was interrupting our play and ordering us into the house, but we didn’t question him a second time. We knew procrastinating when he told us to do something in that voice meant the next time he would have to say something to us, we’d get the belt taken to our hides.

We got up and headed toward the house, and before we got inside, Papa was calling for Mama to come to the door.

“Get my shotgun,” he told Mama, who started to question him but saw Furvis moving closer to our home.

Concerned, she hurried us inside and returned to the back door in a rush to give Papa his shotgun, used only to kill hogs and to hunt cottontails and deer in the fall of the year.

“Get dem kids in the house and keep ‘em there,” he cautioned her, knowing we were the types to be warned of danger and still go running headlong right into it.

She pushed us into the kitchen and told us to get over in the corner while she stood guard at the kitchen window, watching worriedly as Furvis made his way into our backyard.

“Furvis, what you comin’ up in my yard with that gun fo’?” Papa asked sternly, cocking his shotgun and aiming it toward Furvis.

Furvis slowed his gait but still waved his shotgun wildly, shouting aimlessly toward the sky.

“Furvis!” Papa shouted, lifting his shotgun and aiming it directly at Furvis.

Mama had made her way to the back door by now, turning back one last time to shush us and demanding we stay quiet. And hidden. She didn’t want to take any chances with Furvis, so she picked up Papa’s other shotgun, kept in the corner behind the washing machine, the one she vowed never to touch. Guns scared Mama, but at the moment, all that fear had rushed out of her, and she stood at the back door, the screened door propped open, with the shotgun cocked and aimed at Furvis. She had never touched a gun before let alone shot one, but she was as determined as any soldier in a war to defend her home front.

Furvis hadn’t given Papa any problems in the years he had lived in the house down the dirt lane from us. Well, you really can’t call what he lived in a house. It was a worn down, dilapidated shell of a house. It should have been condemned years ago, but when Furvis came around a few years after the Korean War looking for work, Papa helped him out, giving him a job as a farm hand and allowing him to live in the house if he was willing to do the handy work on it. Furvis agreed, but no handy work had ever been done on the house in all the years he lived there.

Furvis lived alone, and apparently wanted it that way. We never saw anyone go down the lane to visit him. And if you walked past his house, you could see him sitting on the porch in the shadows rocking slowly, back and forth, in his chipped metal slider, holding his shotgun on his lap. Papa had to tell Furvis on many occasions to put that shotgun up when we had to go down the lane past his house to crop tobacco.

“If one of my chillen git hurt ‘cause of that gun, I’m gone kill ya,” Papa told him the first time my brother came running home scared shitless. And I mean shitless. He had shitted in his pants because he believed Furvis was going to shoot him. We thought it was really funny, but Papa didn’t. Papa knew Furvis wasn’t all right in the head. And he was subject to go off on a shooting rampage at any given time, provoked by almost anything. So Papa warned him as long as he lived on his property, none of his kids had better get hurt because of his shotgun.

Apparently, Furvis believed Papa would kill him. If he didn’t, we certainly did. Although we could never imagine Papa shooting anybody. I believed he would have shot Furvis if something were to happen to any of his kids.

“Furvis, I ain’t tellin’ you agin; git outta my yard with dat gun. I ain’t got no beef with you,” Papa warned again, still holding the shotgun aimed at Furvis. By now Papa had eased behind his tractor for protection, in case Furvis got foolish.

Furvis paused, searching the sky for something. He stared fiercely to the East and then turned the shotgun up toward the air, and in a flash, a shot went off, startling Papa who had his shotgun cocked and was prepared to fire at Furvis.

Stunned, Furvis dropped to the ground and scurried toward the barn, pressing his back against the cool metal siding, shouting, “In-coming! Lock and load!”

Papa didn’t know what had happened at first. He didn’t see Furvis fire his shotgun. And he knew he didn’t fire his own. Then he turned back to see Mama standing in the back door with the screened door propped open and the shotgun in her hands, cocked again and ready to be fired again if it was called for.

Surprised at Mama, and a little impressed, Papa allowed an impish grin to ease across his face. Knowing she was pulling up the ranks, Papa steadied his shotgun back on Furvis in case he tried to fire at him. Or Mama.

Furvis sat on the ground, clutching his shotgun like it would somehow shield him from his enemy, his faced draped in fear and his body shaking uncontrollably.

“Furvis, throw yo’ shotgun o’er here,” Papa shouted. “I ain’t givin’ you but one warnin’.”

“You see ‘em? They comin’ fo’ us! They up dar. They comin’ fo’ us! You see ‘em?” Furvis shouted, pointing up towards the sky.

“Naw, I don’t see nothin’, Furvis. Ain’t nothin’ up dar. Ain’t nothin’ up dar, Furvis!” Papa shouted.

Furvis seemed disoriented, like he didn’t know where he was or how he had gotten there. Papa said Furvis got like that sometimes. Thinking he was still in the War and seeing those fighter planes flying overhead.

Furvis started to mumble to himself, “One thousand eight days, four hours and forty-three minutes. One thousand eight days, four hours and forty-three minutes.” Repeating the length of his stint in the War several times before he slid the shotgun across the ground toward Papa.

Papa made his way around the tractor, picking up the shotgun, and standing before Furvis.

“You need to git on back home,” Papa said calmly, yet firmly. “I won’t need you fo’ the rest of the day.”

Furvis didn’t seem to hear Papa, but he got up slowly, still mumbling, “One thousand eight days, four hours and forty-three minutes,” and stammering back down the dirt lane toward his house.

Papa, a little shaken, but nonetheless relieved, turned to see Mama still pointing the shotgun at the vacant space where Furvis once stood, making sure he did not return. When she saw him halfway down the dirt lane to his house, she lowered the shotgun and breathed a sigh of relief.

“I didn’t know you knew how to shoot that thang,” Papa teased, walking toward Mama, knowing she had never touched any of his shotguns before.

“Here, take this thang. Ugh!” Mama said passing the shotgun to Papa and wringing her hands as if some kind of poison had rubbed off on them.

Papa chuckled as Mama turned and headed into the house to check on us—we were still huddled in the corner.

 

Trouble Down South and Other Stories is available for purchase at:

Amazon Kindle for $4.99 or Borrow FREE with Prime!


Connect with Katrina Parker Williams:

Blog – http://katrinaparkerwilliams.wordpress.com/

Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11804630-slave-auction

Facebook  –  http://www.facebook.com/smwpk

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