Tag Archives: Short Stories

Satin and Cinders

If you love animals and relish requited love, this short story by Jan Sikes will make your heart swell ❤ #Recommended

Writing and Music

SATIN AND CINDERS – A SHORT STORY

For many years, I’ve stood in the protection of the forest watching, longing. She is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen with her satiny white coat, long silky mane, and tale.

The humans care for her, brush her and feed her only the sweetest hay in the glen. But, me, I live wild and free in the forest. I nibble grass and weeds. My dark coat doesn’t glisten or shine and I’ve never felt a human touch.

There is something about her that I can’t explain. When the rest of the herd moves south, I stay, year after year. I can’t stand the thought of being so far away from her. And she knows.

Now, with winter approaching, I stand at the edge of the forest and shiver. I watch until the cottage sits cloaked in darkness before I approach the barn…

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Welcome Back #Author Andrew Joyce

I’m thrilled to welcome author Andrew Joyce back to my blog. Andrew recently released his short story collection, Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups, and I’m pleased to help him promote it. 

Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups by Andrew Joyce

Buy the book HERE

BLURB

Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and nonfiction … some stories included against the author’s better judgment. If he had known that one day they’d be published, he might not have been as honest when describing his past. Here is a tome of true stories about the author’s criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though the author is sitting next to you at a bar and you’re buying the drinks as long as he keeps coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.

Comprised of 218,000 words, you’ll have plenty to read for the foreseeable future. This is a book to have on your night table, to sample a story each night before extinguishing the lights and drifting off to a restful sleep.

Mr. Joyce sincerely hopes that you will enjoy his stories because, as he has stated, “It took a lot of living to come up with the material for some of them.”

BIO

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.

Joyce now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, Mahoney: An American Story.

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You’ll be delighted to know that Andrew brought Danny along (actually, I think it’s the other way around 🙂 ). We’ve missed you, Danny!

Danny the Dog

And now, over to Andrew and Danny … 
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Hello, my name is Andrew Joyce. I’m here today to try to sell a few books. I have a new book out entitled Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups. And I thought it might help if I brought my dog along because he’s a bit more articulate than I am. We’re here to discuss a few of our favorite things. But first, I’d like to introduce you to Danny the Dog.
Say hello, Danny.
Hello.
Could you be a bit more enthusiastic?
Could you get on with it? You dragged me away from a Lassie rerun. She was just about to save Timmy, who fell into a well. I wanted to see how she was gonna do it, seeing as she has no opposable thumbs. You never know, I might have to save you from a well someday. Then you’ll be sorry you didn’t let me finish watching my show.
Okay. Let’s just get down to it. I’ll say my favorite things first and then you can tell the nice people about your favorite things.
Why do you get to go first?
It really doesn’t matter to me, Danny. Do you want to go first?
No.
Boy, oh boy! You are something else. I’m sorry, folks, but Danny seems to be in a mood today. I’ll start the ball rolling by telling you some of my favorite things.
Make sure they’re not too sappy.
Be quiet, Danny. Okay, here goes. I like getting up early to see the sun rise out of the ocean. I like rainy days when I can stay inside and read a good book. I like a good cup of coffee, and happy endings in movies. Now it’s your turn, Danny.
Whoa! Are you kidding me? What are you trying to do, fool these poor people? I’ll tell ’em what you really like.
No need to do that, Danny. I’m just trying to sell some books here.
Hush. If you want to sell books, then be honest with the people. It’s my turn and I’ll use it to tell the people what you’re really like. Andrew’s favorite thing is vodka. Then there’s his obsession with beer. You should see him when he has a snootful. He’s just like Hemingway. I don’t mean he can write like Hemingway, but he sure can drink like him.
Thanks a lot, Danny.
I’m not done yet. Sunrises? Andrew hasn’t seen a sunrise since I was a pup. And coffee? Of course, he loves coffee. He puts three shots of vodka in every cup. I will admit he does read a lot, rain or shine.
You are a bad doggie, Danny. Alright, you blew my cover, but we still haven’t heard about your favorite things.
I thought you’d never ask. I love to sniff where other dogs have peed. I love our walks in the morning when it’s just the two of us. I love it when, after our walks, you give me those treats. But do you want to know what I love the most?
I’m afraid to ask.
I love you. I’m hard on you because I’m trying to keep you on the straight and narrow. An impossible task, I think. But I’ll keep trying.
Aww shucks, Danny.
Can we get out of here now? There’s an old Rin Tin Tin movie on TCM that I don’t want to miss.
Sure, Danny. Let me just thank Tina for having us over.
Thank her for me too. It wasn’t so bad.
Thank you, Tina. 
You’re most welcome, my friends! It was my pleasure to host the dynamic duo of the blogosphere 🙂 
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I hope you enjoyed visiting with Andrew and Danny. You’ll find Andrew’s other books HEREBooks by Andrew Joyce
Learn more about Andrew and Danny, and be sure to get your copy of Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups
Website   Blog   Amazon   Facebook   Danny the Dog   Twitter   
Thanks so much for stopping by 

Smorgasbord Short Stories – What’s in a Name! – Volume Two – Xenia | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

A post I had intended to reblog, before getting waylaid by having to republish my first novel, was Sally Cronin‘ short story, “Xenia.” Sally asked us to choose a story beginning with the letters Q V W X Y or Z to introduce her new collection, which would be published in her latest book, What’s in a Name Vol. II

What's in a Name Vol. II by Sally Cronin

Find all of Sally’s books HERE

I love Sally’s short stories; and as many of you know, she consistently supports authors and bloggers in several ways on her blog, Smorgasbord Invitation. If you’re not familiar with Sally, I think you’ll find her writing most compelling and hope you’ll visit and follow her blog.

Her short story “Xenia” touched me deeply, and I’m pleased to share it with you now.

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Your name is Xenia, after your Greek grandmother, whose wrinkled complexion smelt of roses and almond oil. I remember the hot summers of our visits as we played on the rocks beneath her stone house; working up an appetite for the platters of goat’s cheese, olives and warm bread. The loaves were taken straight from the wood stove; handled carefully with well worn hessian rags, and served up on the rough wooden table in her wild garden. I remember being fascinated by her hands as they sliced thick warm chunks with an ancient serrated bread knife. They were blackened from nearly 80 years in the sun, with dark-rimmed nails from digging into the soil for home grown vegetables.

She was still a beautiful woman, who loved to have her long black and grey hair gently brushed in the twilight; sipping delicately from her glass of rose pink wine. Happy sighs filled the scented air; encouraging continued effort. We dreaded her tears as we left to catch the ferry at the end of summer, with her whispered goodbyes and pleas for us to return again the next year, remaining in our minds for weeks afterwards.

But one summer only my father made the journey, to stay just a week to bury his beloved mother, with her silver backed hair brush and a small bottle of almond oil resting in her hands.

That was ten years ago and I have been saving up her name to give to you, my first child.

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Source: Smorgasbord Short Stories – What’s in a Name! – Volume Two – Xenia | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

 

Again

A powerful story by Andrew Joyce depicting the carnage of war, and drawing similarities between what led to the Nazi takeover of Germany and what is occurring now in the United States. Who or what is the enemy? Could it be our own lack of insight? Could it be that we have placed fear at the helm of our consciousness? This is a story that will stay with you for months, if not years ~ if not the rest of your life… 

Andrew Joyce

I went off to war at the tender age of sixteen. My mother cried and begged me to stay, but my country needed me. I would not see my mother again for four very long years.

Due to my age, I was assigned to field headquarters as a dispatch courier for the first two years of the war. However, by the beginning of the third year, I had grown a foot taller and was shaving. And because men were dying at an alarming rate, I was sent into the trenches.

They say that war is hell. I say hell is peaceful compared to living in a muddy trench with bombs exploding around you at all hours of the day and night. Though there were periods of respite from the shelling. Those were the hours when the enemy had to let their big guns cool or else the heat of firing…

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Smorgasbord Short Stories – Flights of Fancy Anthology – Trust by Sally Cronin

A story of grief, trust, and solace, beautifully written by our supportive friend and blogger, Sally Cronin. Need I tell you, Sally, this is my favorite and most likely always will be? Unlike all the tears I’ve shed over the past four months, these were welcomed ♥♥♥

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Here is another of the stories from my first story collection.. Flights of Fancy.. This time the story of a woman and a dog who come together on a harsh Welsh mountain.

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TRUST

The house was quiet. The men had left a few minutes ago and already she felt alone. The ticking of the grandfather clock in the hall intruded into the silence. Time was passing slowly and each minute felt like an hour.

Claire stared out of the kitchen window at the gathering gloom. It would soon be dark, and she would be unable to see the mountain rising above the house, harsh but fiercely beautiful. It was this mountain that had attracted them last spring, the lower slopes covered in lush grass dotted with the cotton wool white of the ewes and their lambs. The craggy rocks of the mountaintop jutted up into a cloudless, blue sky…

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