Short Stories

//Short Stories

Failure, Incompetence

A comic book collection that has been out of print for five years has triumphantly returned! And here’s a book trailer for it! It’s not really all that exciting. 48 pages of good old-fashioned FUN!

Two Syllable Men

In the tradition of Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Fight Club’ and Ernest Hemingway’s ‘Men Without Women,’ ‘Two Syllable Men’ presents the male psyche in all its fragmented glory. From William, who finds his immigrant girlfriend’s English language translation notebook, and in it the words that define their growing relationship, to Steven, who is comforted whenever he spies trees or shrubs peeking out from the roofs of urban buildings, and who can’t walk through the bus station without physically running into people, and Harold, who will only eat an even-number of food items at any meal, and numbs his heartache by buying in bulk at Sam’s Club. These men, and nine more, still have fight left in them. They do not want to be alone, but learn that often the best way to find love and lasting happiness is to look inward, not outward.

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Timeless Honor

Jaye Ramsey decided to prove to her eccentric grandmother that time travel only existed in movies by vacationing in Bolivia with her friends. When she woke up in Hawksatter, England, 1735—the same town her grandmother supposedly vanished from as a young woman—Jaye found refuge at a hunting lodge but the strapping, reclusive baron who took her in reminded her all too well she was a lone woman at his mercy.
Accused of murdering his newly-wedded wife a decade earlier, Lord Lucas Kenway closed the family farm and shut out the world. He never expected the little spitfire he claimed responsibility for would turn his quiet life upside down. Pushed together by fate and his meddling servants, Lucas wanted Jaye on his own terms and refused to surrender his hardened heart.
Then a mysterious wise man offered Jaye a way home.
Should she return to the future and the only life she’d ever known, or stay in an uncertain past as a stranger in a new world?

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Small Lives, Big World

From Canada to Devizes, from Central America to Paris, this collection of short stories features extraordinary episodes in the lives of ordinary people; from an Ottawa suburban housewife to a middle-aged art teacher; from a Chinese shopkeeper to a 6 year old train traveller; from a Private in the World War 1 trenches to a girl with an unusually named cat. The tragedies and despair, the triumphs and joys of everyday life affect men, women and children all over the world. What unites us across languages and cultures, oceans and borders, are our tears and laughter, fears and dreams, and, above all, love and the hope for a new day. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, whether set in a tropical backwater, a factory office, the Palais Royal or on the Edinburgh Express, these stories invite you to travel along with the characters and share their lives for just a little while. No matter your destination, be sure to enjoy the journey. Small Lives, Big World is a quirky and inventive collection that will particularly appeal to well-travelled readers and those with an interest in different cultures.

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How To Carry Bigfoot Home

The thirteen stories in Chris Tarry’s richly imagined debut, How To Carry Bigfoot Home, lay bare the insurmountable forces that determine who we are and who we become. From an out-of-work dragon-slaying father in “Here Be Dragons” to a family arguing aboard a rocket ship in “Topics in Advanced Rocketry,” the stories use fantastic settings, blazing wit, and imaginative circumstances to explore very human truths. The stories work to reconcile the public self with the private heart. To contemplate the monsters we carry home and lay bare for the ones we love the most.

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Not Nice and Other Understatements

A volume of short stories and flash fiction that reflects the human condition through narrative and fantasy elements.

“I dare you to explore your deepest feelings in the pages of this book and see if you’ll ever be free of them again.” ~ From the introduction by Patti Larsen, award-winning and bestselling YA author of The Hayle Coven Novels

“Ms. Ribken combines meticulous form with imaginative story-telling. Her work should be studied for anyone who wishes to write great short stories.” ~Eden Baylee, Author of “Stranger at Sunset”

“You finish the collection feeling beaten, satisfied, and somehow ashamed for having spent your time there. And you are amazed that someone had the experience to know such pain and the sensitivity to make you feel it with her.

“Each story hurts. And leaves its mark.” ~John M. Ford

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Allegories of the Tarot

22 cards…each an individual splinter of the human psyche. 22 writers…honing each splinter into a story of triumph and decay, arrogance and humility. Stories of the brightest lights and the darkest corners of the weirdest minds. 22 cross-genre worlds. 22 portals into the Universal. Only one way to get there. Come with us. Cross the portals. The Universal awaits.

REVIEWERS ARE RAVING:

“… this project was a great read. There was not a single tale I did not enjoy, and that is quite a feat given that there were twenty-two stories in all. …ALLEGORIES OF THE TAROT is the genuine article – a five star read.” -John Dolan, author

“All twenty-two stories in this volume are, in a word, superb. I found myself scouring the Internet as I read it; every story made me want to go find more work by its author. The ultimate compliment I can give Allegories is to say that when I finished it, I thought how I envy those who haven’t read it yet.” -Lisa Millraney

“Allegories of the Tarot Anthology is a magical book. Magic that will keep you turning the pages. There are muses, demons, psychics, evil, and more! I shivered, I laughed and I even cried. Magic, I tell you. Magic. Absolutely loved all the stories. I can’t say it enough–I loved it!” -Julia Affleck

“Reviewing an anthology is slightly more difficult than discussing a book or comic because the tone varies from author to author. However, Allegories somehow flowed together as a well-matched whole. The project ended up feeling like several beads strung together to form a beautiful necklace that were more amazing for being paired together.” – Jodi Scaife

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Still Not Nice or the Strange Planet Inside My Head

From fantastical tales to razor-sharp observations, Still Not Nice or the Strange Planet Inside My Head is an eclectic collection of stories by award-winning editor and writer, Annetta Ribken. Continuing in the twisted tradition of Not Nice and Other Understatements, Ribken expands her world to reveal hard truths, side-splitting humor, and a peek into the odd and weird places in her brain. You’ll meet familiar people like Sally Mae Riddley and strangers like Kate Miller, who suffers from artist’s block. You’ll find one-hundred word “drabbles” to full short stories. Be prepared for the unexpected!

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After Abel and Other Stories

Eve considers motherhood.
Miriam tends Moses.
Lot’s wife looks back.

Vividly reimagined with startling contemporary clarity, Michal Lemberger’s debut collection of short stories gives voice to silent, oft-marginalized biblical women: their ambitions, their love for their children, their values, their tremendous struggles and challenges. Informed by Lemberger’s deep knowledge of the Bible, each of these nine stories story recasts a biblical saga from the perspective of a pivotal woman.

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That’s When the Knives Come Down

Dolan Morgan’s debut collection focuses on cities and relationships and lives gone awry. A man designs a city around absence to cope with his wife’s disappearance; an entire town exhibits symptoms of a monstrous disease; a sound overtakes New York, leaving its denizens lonely and shuddering and immensely aroused. A guy propositions his furniture, a volcano spews its ash, and a horde of enemies engage in a literally uplifting fight. Throughout, Morgan poses questions to the reader: if an endless hole exists in the earth, does it not also exist in ourselves? What happens if we dig a shallower hole? What happens when we fill it? At once absurd, harrowing, and inimitable, THAT’S WHEN THE KNIVES COME DOWN establishes Dolan Morgan as the writer whose voice will supersede your inner monologue and expose your roiling inner turmoil.

“Between the moment you lose something and the moment you realize it has been lost is That’s When the Knives Come Down. In the spirit of Donald Barthelme, Dolan Morgan queers the every day and leaves a sinister domestic scene behind.”

— Catherine Lacey, author of No One Is Ever Missing

“The stories that comprise That’s When the Knives Come Down are unpredictable, wry, seductive, and breathtaking. The mysteries here are not metaphors, and Dolan Morgan’s worlds are not created in the service of our humdrum one. These places shimmer, expand, contract, blur, and somehow remain whole all the while.”

— Nelly Reifler, author of Elect H. Mouse State Judge

“That’s When the Knives Come Down is a series of broken parables, of roundabout answers to questions nobody asked, of dreams you can’t quite remember but felt so strongly about while you were having them. We are lucky to have these elusive things here, now, on paper, in front of us. Also, it’s funny.”

— Sara Woods, author of Wolf Doctors

“Dolan Morgan’s stories in That’s When the Knives Come Down are finely wrought puzzles of humor and grief and the absurd. Read them and feel fortified.”

— Manuel Gonzales, author of The Miniature Wife

“The multiple worlds Dolan Morgan creates sit atop a shifting, slippery, unpredictable darkness, one that means you’d better not get used to getting used to anything in these devilishly clever stories.”

— Amber Sparks, author of May We Shed These Human Bodies

“Dolan Morgan has the might of a unique voice, and there aren’t nearly as many of those as you’d think based on book blurbs. But believe this blurb. Those who do not will be dumber for it and not know why.”

— Robb Todd, author of Steal Me for Your Stories

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The Dimension Scales and Other Stories

“A theory emerged, with testable predictions, and there, like a candy apple, hung the omega symbol that unlocked it all. He knew what he needed to do…”

Reminiscent of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” and Roald Dahl’s TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED, Garry Abbott’s THE DIMENSION SCALES AND OTHER STORIES is a collection of fourteen short speculative fictions. THE DIMENSION SCALES is based around themes of malevolent and secret authorities, metamorphosis, survival and projections of contemporary fears into near-future realities.

From worlds inhabited by murderous animals, inept time travellers and clandestine, suburban social experiments—to the sentience, love and moral awakenings of artificial intelligences—THE DIMENSION SCALES invites you to explore the twists and perils of extraordinary moments in disturbingly familiar universes, linked together by one devastating epiphany:

“Something happened, and the world splintered…”

Justice, Inc.

Imagine a future where orphan children are adopted by international corporations and forced into indentured servitude, where zombie viruses are spread through heterosexual intercourse, where Osama bin Laden is cloned by the thousands for public execution. Welcome to the world of Justice, Inc. No one is safe. Nothing is sacred. And all sales are final.

Capes & Clockwork: Superheroes in the Age of Steam

During a forgotten time when the world was powered by steam and clockwork, heroes arose to do battle against the forces of evil. Some were outfitted with the latest technology. Others were changed by the mysteries of science and magic, while a few came from the skies. Capes and Clockwork fuses the fantasy and beauty of steampunk with the action and adventure of the superhero genre. Tease your imagination with sixteen stories of good versus evil, monster versus hero, and steam versus muscle!

Before the First Snow

Birmingham. Delano. Chicago. Woodstock. Kent State.
War. The Environment. Worker Exploitation.
Hippies. Yippies. Cops and politicians.

People were singing. People were marching. People were protesting.
The news media reported, editorialized, lampooned, misreported, and scornfully dismissed the new social movements forged from alienation. And then the revolution of the 1960s evolved into the “Me generation.”
But one person never lost her principles. Apryl Greene, now in her 40s, is a musician and freelance photographer for labor unions. If there was an anti-war march, or an organizing meeting, a strike, or a plea for worker rights and social justice she was there.
While others around her are working to own a piece of America, she continues to try to improve it. Two decades after the revolution of the 1960s, she wants to build the first school for peace and the arts. But, powerful forces from both private industry and the government have already begun a process to legally seize the 40 acres of land she owns in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, and to destroy her dream. Around her, the nation is rushing to war in the Middle East, torn between its dependence upon oil and myriad problems of “clean” nuclear energy—and jobs in a depressed economy vs. health, safety, and environmental issues.
Into her life comes social activist David Ascher, cynical, liberal, and burdened with the responsibilities of being executive editor of one of the nation’s largest magazines. On tour to promote his book about revolutionary journalists, he’s looking for another story; she’s after something more important. Together, they are driven to find out who are trying to seize her land; more important, why.
Award-winning journalist Walter M. Brasch meticulously weaves a compelling story of greed, corruption, and intrigue, layered against the battle for social justice, to present a powerful story that merges history and contemporary social culture.

This Jealous Earth

A man puts his beloved pets to the knife; a family prepares for the Rapture; a woman in a department store slips a necklace into her purse. Whatever the situation, the characters in This Jealous Earth find themselves faced with moments of decision that will forever alter the course of their lives. Always moving and often touched with humor, Carpenter’s stories examine the tension between the everyday and the transcendent—our struggle to grasp what lies beyond our reach. Whether hawking body parts in a Midwestern city, orbiting through the galleries of a Paris museum or plotting sibling tortures in an Arizona desert, his characters lead us through a series of dilemmas of universal appeal. This Jealous Earth has received praise from Publishers Weekly, The Rumpus, Gregory Blake Smith, Siri Hustvedt and has been featured on Minnesota Public Radio. The second edition features a brand new story, titled “The Bait.”

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Every Kiss A War

The twenty-seven stories in Leesa Cross-Smith’s debut short story collection Every Kiss a War are set to the sounds of “frogs and crickets out back, steam-pulsing like a machine” and “a sad country song that hasn’t been written yet.” Men and women love and leave over cigarettes and shots of kitchen table whiskey. She takes us down Kentucky roads in the back of a pickup truck to both truculent and delicate women and rough, rambling men edged with gentleness. A finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award and the Iowa Short Fiction Award, this collection is a ravishing war of characters laid bare as they look for the glow and fight to stay in the light. As affecting as they are sexy and romantic, these stories burn with sweetness like firecrackers and honey as you throw them back and holler for another round.
http://mojaveriverpress.storenvy.com/products/5053573-every-kiss-a-war-by-leesa-cross-smith

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Hibernate

Book Trailer for HIBERNATE by Elizabeth Eslami.

Hibernate is a big-hearted and brutal story collection. In these globe-spanning stories, Elizabeth Eslami follows ordinary men and women who slowly awaken to hard choices. A fishing trip forces two Montana brothers to grow up in ways they never could have imagined. A Sudanese immigrant begins a new life with his girlfriend in America, only to find himself pulled toward his mother’s past transgressions. A group of tourists visits an Indian pueblo and realizes their tour guide isn’t at all who they expected. A shipwrecked captain and his men cling to the company of narwhals and Eskimos. And in the unforgettable title story, two lovers trade life as they’ve known it for an escape into the extraordinary.

A masterful storyteller as likely to draw blood as to heal, Eslami moves her restless, resilient characters across an uneven landscape toward a hard-earned place of peace.

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Produced by Bring Media, Inc. © 2014

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One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories

B.J. Novak’s One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut that signals the arrival of a brilliant new voice in American fiction.

A boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes—only to discover that claiming the winnings might unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins—turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A new arrival in Heaven, overwhelmed with options, procrastinates over a long-ago promise to visit his grandmother. We meet Sophia, the first artificially intelligent being capable of love, who falls for a man who might not be ready for it himself; a vengeance-minded hare, obsessed with scoring a rematch against the tortoise who ruined his life; and post-college friends who try to figure out how to host an intervention in the era of Facebook.  Along the way, we learn why wearing a red T-shirt every day is the key to finding love, how February got its name, and why the stock market is sometimes just . . . down.

Finding inspiration in questions from the nature of perfection to the icing on carrot cake, One More Thing has at its heart the most human of phenomena: love, fear, hope, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element just that might make a person complete. Across a dazzling range of subjects, themes, tones, and narrative voices, the many pieces in this collection are like nothing else, but they have one thing in common: they share the playful humor, deep heart, sharp eye, inquisitive mind, and altogether electrifying spirit of a writer with a fierce devotion to the entertainment of the reader.

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