Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Short Story I KNOW You Will Love!

I have been very excited for today's post.

Recently, I had the chance to read this short story by Karen Wojcik Berner when she posted it on her popular blog, Bibliophilic Blather. This story, "Sheep Boy," had won an honorable mention in the short story contest at WOW! Women on Writing. Well, when I read it, I just had to ask Karen if she would share it for my FFD followers, and thankfully, she agreed. Because I know you're going to love this story and I'm going to stop talking now, but don't forget to read Karen's bio that follows, and learn about her book, A Whisper to a Scream.

Sheep Boy
By Karen Wojcik Berner

Okay. Mail the bills. Go to the bank. Get bread and milk, and, oh yeah, Brianna wanted more markers for school. Twenty minutes until the bus dropped the kids off. Just enough time to pick up a quick cappuccino.

"Hey, how are ya? Care to sample our new low-fat crumb cake? Not that you need it or anything."

Leah gave the kid a WTF look.

"No, I meant the low-fat part. You look pretty good to me."

Good save. He was cute, this kid, with his fuzzy white-guy 'fro all the college boys were sporting lately. She wanted to shear him. "I'll have a medium nonfat cappuccino, extra hot, please."

"Extra hot indeed." He smirked, then called out her order to a taller, skinnier fuzzy guy with a square Herman Munster head. Him, she had no desire to shear.

Drew had gone punk, not goth. What was wrong with her? Did she honestly think he would go all emo on her? When Leah was young, "goth" and "emo" did not exist, only jocks, preppies, nerds and stoners. She was beginning to feel more like her mother every day.

"What'll it be? Oh, hi. Nonfat cappuccino, right? Size?" Sheep Boy's grin was charming.

"Medium, please. Can I ask you something?"

He draped his hands over the cash register. "I'm all yours."

Leah shifted nervously. "Maybe you can help me understand something. My son recently went punk."

Sheep Boy's eyes lit up. "Awesome. Ramones. Green Day."

"Older bands?"

"Yeah, punk's punk. Wait, how old's your son?"

"Thirteen. He's in Junior High."

"No way." Sheep Boy threw his hands up and backed off the register, shaking his head. "There is no way you have a thirteen year old."

"Unfortunately there is." This did not look like calculated flattery for tips. This was a moment of true astonishment.

"Well, you sure don't look it. I mean, I knew you were older when you said 'son,' but I didn't think that old, no offense." He winked.

And so it began. The daily conversation. The oasis from her family's insanity. Her crush on Sheep Boy.

The cappuccino was waiting for her when she walked in. "Saw your van in the parking lot. How's your son?"

"He discovered 'Combat Rock' this week."

"Epic disc. Three-fifty-six, please."

Leah dug in her purse, remembering how old she was the first time she heard "London Calling." It was a lifetime ago. When everything was new. When there was electricity in the air. When music was...she chuckled to herself...epic. She handed him a five.

His hand touched hers briefly when giving her the change. Her face flushed. He did not look away. "So what are you up to tonight?"

Leah could not bring herself to recite the litany of monotonous chores awaiting her. "Not much. How about you?"

"My band is playing at Frankie's." Sheep Boy's eyes sparkled. "You should come. It's going to be awesome."

"Maybe." Leah scurried out of the coffee shop.

That night, Leah dreamt of being in the front row at Sheep Boy's concert.

"This song goes out to a very special lady." Taking her cheek gently, he tilted her face toward him and...

"Leah! Get up!" Her husband poked her. "Your alarm's been ringing for five minutes. Don't forget to pick up my suit from the dry cleaner. I need it for Thursday."

There were several people in line before her. Leah scanned behind the counter for Sheep Boy, but could not see him. Disappointed, she collected her cappuccino from Herman Munster and headed toward the door.

"Wait. Don't leave." Sheep Boy caught up to her. "I thought of you last night."


"I heard 'Should I Stay or Should I Go?' on 'XRT while I was driving home, and I thought of you." He searched her face for a reaction.

He was taller than she thought, standing there before her, out from behind the counter. She wanted to say she thought of him often. Each time her husband came home pissed from work expecting dinner. Each time she drove the same neighborhood streets over and over transporting the kids from school to activities to friends'. Each time she closed her eyes at night.

"That's a great song." Leah looked down. "I gotta go."

Sheep Boy's face fell.

"Goodbye." She left, knowing she could never return.

Karen Wojcik Berner is the author of A Whisper to a Scream, the first novel in the Bibliophiles series about the lives of the members of a suburban classics book club. It is available through in paperback and e-versions, as well as for Nook e-readers.

She has been a writer/editor for 25 years, ten of which were spent in editing trade publications. A two-time Folio Magazine Ozzie Award for Excellence in Magazine Editorial and Design winner, her work also has appeared in The Chicago Tribune and countless regional newspapers and magazines.

She is currently working on her second book, How Long 'Til My Soul Gets it Right?, the second book on the Classic Book Club series.

To learn more about Karen, please visit

Monday, July 18, 2011

Special Delivery by Jacqueline Vick

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

I'm starting out the week, introducing readers to author Jacqueline Vick, and her VERY FUN novella, Special Delivery.

When someone strangles the life out of cantankerous postal employee Abigail Watts, Deanna Wilder is certain that an odd phrase uttered by the victim on the day of her death holds the key to solving Abigail’s murder. Unfortunately for her daughters, Roxanne and Vanessa, Deanna turns the investigation into a family affair.

This 9,500 word novella introduces The Wilder Women, the sleuthing family featured in the upcoming novel, "Family Matters". A sneak peek at the first chapter of the novel is included at the end of the novella.

Just prior to the scene in today's excerpt, Deanna Wilder is enrolled in yet another class at WACKED (The Wilton Adult Center for Knowledge and Education). This time it’s Doing Vegas in Style. She’s set up a weekly Texas Hold-em game to help her practice for the final, and the players include obnoxious postal clerk Abigail Watts. Deanna puts up with her snide comments in order to practice against the best player in town. This particular Monday evening, Abigail is a no-show.

AND NOW, AN EXCERPT FROM Special Delivery by Jacqueline Vick:

Deanna Wilder nudged her daughter, Vanessa, with a sharp elbow to the rib-cage. “Stop squirming.”

Vanessa glared at the grandfather clock and said, “You promised I’d be home in time for NCIS. If we start playing now, we have time for a couple of hands.”

“It’s summer. It’s a re-run, for goodness sake.”

Ida Nichols, Deanna’s sister-in-law, shuffled a deck of cards with the skill of a Vegas dealer. “Young people aren’t the only ones with lives. Maybe we should call her again.”

“Yes. Maybe we should.” The woman who so readily agreed with Ida was her fraternal twin, Mabel. Mabel entered the world twenty minutes after her sister and was left to scrounge up whatever attributes Ida had seen fit to leave behind. Mabel stood two inches shorter than her twin, was less striking in appearance and manner, and lacked a mind of her own.

“Abigail didn’t pick up the last three times I called,” Deanna said. “What makes you think four is the magic number?”

“Who cares if she plays?” Vanessa chewed a hangnail on her thumb. “Why can’t we start without her?”

“She’s a good player to practice against,” Deanna admitted. “In fact, I wanted to replace her, but I can’t think of anyone as good. I might have to put up with her for a few more weeks.”

“I’m good.” Ida fanned her cards out and swept them up in one fluid move.

“You have a tell,” Deanna said. “You snort when you have a good hand.”

Roxanne, Deanna’s youngest daughter, had until now suffered the evening in silence. She set down her poker chips and said, “Since you won’t start without Abigail, I’m driving over to her house to see what’s keeping her.”

As the evening’s hostess, Deanna opted to remain behind in case Abigail showed up. She convinced Ida and Mabel to stay, primarily because she couldn’t trust the twins to return.

“I’m going with,” Vanessa said.

The drive across town took ten minutes, ten minutes filled with Vanessa’s complaints about her wasted evening.

“Just because Mother thinks I don’t have a life….” Vanessa fingered her curls. “Well, if I don’t, it’s her fault. Every time she takes a class, I wind up as her guinea pig. Today it’s poker. You watch. Tomorrow it will be mind reading and I won’t have any secrets left.”

“I don’t know why you bother to argue,” Roxanne said. “I just agree with her and do what I want.”

“Then why are you spending Monday night running around town looking for some old hag?”

“You mean instead of learning the finer points of military investigations from Mark Harmon?” Roxanne referred to the handsome star of NCIS.

She turned the Chrysler New Yorker into the driveway of Fourteen Harmony Drive and left the car idling. The windows of the house were dark.

“We probably just missed her.” She instructed Vanessa to wait and then ran up to the front door.
Roxanne might have knocked harder than she intended because the door creaked open after the first hit. She leaned her head in. “Abigail?”

No response.

The car headlamps cast a dim light over the living room, and Roxanne could see the outline of a large lump in the middle of the rug. She felt along the entry wall for a switch.

Blazing light filled the room and exaggerated the purple, bloated features of Abigail Watts. Her large arms were thrown over her head; the hem of her housedress rested in a position to expose the varicose veins threading up her plump thighs. Perhaps the worst element of the scene was a sickeningly sweet odor that hung over the room.

Vanessa appeared at Roxanne’s side. “What’s taking so long?” she asked. Then her eyes followed to where Roxanne pointed.

“I’m going to miss my show, aren’t I?”


Jacqueline Vick has been published in Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, FIDO Friendly Magazine, Every Day Fiction Anthology Two, and various ezines. Her e-novella “The Groom’s Cake” is available through Wicked Ink Press. The e-novellas “Special Delivery” and “The Mystery of the White Revelation” are an introduction to the characters who inhabit the novels Family Matters and The Body Guy, which will be available in 2011. You can learn more about Jacqeline and her books at and at her blog

Other books by Jacqueline Vick:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Maybelle's Revenge and Other Short Stories by LB Gschwandtner

Okay fellow readers - what's better for weekend reading than a great collection of short stories?

Well, I've got just the thing for you!

I just finished this collection myself, and trust me, the stories make for fantastic reading. Of course, I am not only a huge fan of LB's writing, but also have co-authored the chick-lit novel, Foxy's Tale, with her, so I know she can write!

Looking for some afternoon entertainment? Get Maybelle's Revenge and Other Short Stories. You won't be disappointed.

A short story collection with an edge. Paranormal events, vengeful attacks, payback for past pain -- and lots of other quirky tidbits are the stuff of this collection, including a love stricken parrot and a town that takes on an electric glow. It’s all in here but, to start, there’s Maybelle's Revenge. And she is out to get some payback.

What people are saying:
This collection of stories is so much fun the pages practically turn themselves. The stories cover a wide range of subjects and have some wacky, unexpected protagonists - including Maybelle herself - but what they have in common is humor and readability. The stories are short, fast moving and go down like candy. A great choice for beach reading or taking the kids to the pool! -- Kim Wright Wiley

And now, an excerpt from the beginning of "Maybelle's Revenge":

At South Lake Living all the patients were sedated and in bed by eight-thirty, seven days a week. Except for the night aide who sat at the front desk watching a tiny TV, no one stirred until six when the morning staff came on duty and got everyone up to pee.
But not tonight. Tonight Maybelle palmed her pills.

Got them goddam pills right here. I’ll stuff them down her throat, she comes after me.
She slipped out of bed, stepped into her walking shoes and pulled up her knee highs. In the half darkness, as she reached out to the vinyl armchair they had placed next to her bed and plucked her cotton housedress off the arm, old lady DeFino opened her eyes.

“May?” She squinted from the bed across the room. Old lady DeFino couldn’t see past her own hand without her glasses. “Where you going?”

“Shhh.” Maybelle pulled the dress down and snapped the front closed. The dress had two big pockets in front. They bulged a little. She shuffled over to the door. “I’m goin’ out.”
“Whaddya mean you’re goin’ out? If you gotta go you’re supposed to call the night girl.”
“Shut up DeFino. Go back to sleep.”

“Yeah. You’re right. I need my beauty rest.” She rolled over and started snoring almost immediately.

Yeah, you just sleep the rest of your life away, princess.

Maybelle’s plan was simple.

All I gotta do is sneak halfway down the hall, duck into the empty room by the fire stairs where that crazy Marinelli kid pulled the overhead light cord down and caved in the ceiling trying to hang herself last week. Nineteen years old and already nothing to live for. Not me.

She would make some racket by tossing a wastebasket against the steel fireproof door by the bathrooms at the end of the hall. Then out the front door while the night girl was investigating the noise. From there she could hitch a bus to town, get off at the stop two blocks from her house and walk the rest of the way. Simple. If she could just toss the wastebasket far enough.
She shuffled out the door and hugged the wall to keep steady.

Her plan went without a hitch. The night girl was slow witted. She even walked out the fireproof door to see if anyone was there. This gave Maybelle some extra time to lift a walker at the front door. She chose the new kind with wheels.

The night air was mild. That was the best part of living in Florida. The nights. Days were too hot for Maybelle. But Harold had insisted they sell everything and come down here. Whatever Harold wanted he always got. Forty-two years of Harold getting what he wanted. Now Lake Shore. He had put her there.

Maybelle reached into her pocket and pulled out bus fare. She sat on the bench and soon a bus pulled up.

“Need some help with your walker, Gramma?”

“Yes. That would be very nice of you, young man.” Maybelle smiled up at the bus driver.

I could club you with it you son of a snake.

Two blocks from her house she got off. The driver followed her down the steps holding the walker and set it up for her on the sidewalk.

“Thank you, young man.”

“You be good now, granny. Get yourself right home because these are mean streets after dark.”

“Yeah, you’re right. I lived here forty years and I seen plenty.” Maybelle took hold of the rubber coated walker handles and started rolling the two blocks toward her house. It was a lie. They had only come here five years ago.

Goddam lousy buses. Give me a pain up my butt.

It took a long time for her to push her way to the house. The lights were on in the living room. She could see the flicker of the TV against a wall in the den. There was a car in the driveway.
Is that my old Chevy? She rolled over closer to it. Yeah. He’s still driving my car. Used to take that car to the beach. Probably still has sand in the back seat. Took me to South Lake in that car. Wouldn’t let me drive.

Maybelle rubbed her arm remembering other hospital visits. The suspicious looks the doctors and nurses gave her. The questions, always the questions. And yet she never told. Not anyone. She still didn’t know why. Yes, sure, she was ashamed. But it was something else. She was waiting.
Now it was time.

She knew where he kept the gun.

LB Gschwandtner is a writer, magazine editor, artist, and co-owner, with her family, of an integrated media business. Her work has appeared in various journals including Del Sol Review. One of her prose poems has been included in an anthology called “Oil and Water and Other Things That Don't Mix,” a collection published to support victims of the BP oil spill in the Gulf. She has received awards for three different stories from the Writer's Digest Annual Competition in the mainstream literary category and the Lorian Hemingway short fiction competition, and was short listed for a Tom Howard Short Story Contest.

She also founded which offers free, themed, writing contests with prizes for emerging writers plus a blog where writers talk about their experiences in the publishing world. She has published three books, all available at & B& “The Naked Gardener,” “Page Truly and The Journey To Nearandfar,” and “Foxy's Tale.” And now the short story collection, “Maybelle’s Revenge.”

She’s an avid kayaker (touring) and grew up fishing in the Florida Keys. Here's a tidbit of interest. Her husband proposed on their first and only date and they were married five weeks later. They lived in Paris, France, for a time and now live on a tidal creek where they love watching Bald eagles soar past their windows. Email LB at She’d love to hear from you.

Other books by LB:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ain't Love Grand? by Dana Taylor


Today’s featured author is Dana Taylor and she’s agreed to share an excerpt from her novel, Ain’t Love Grand?

They first meet when he tackles her to the ground. All Persephone Jones was doing was trying to stop the bulldozer from destroying the herb garden she planted on property adjoining hers. But her new neighbor, Jason Brooks, was not only building a beautiful new house, but also a landing strip over her garden. Persephone and Jason couldn't be more different. He is a well-known, high-powered defense attorney with money to burn. She's the illegitimate daughter of a flower child, and dispenses wheat-grass smoothies as well as herbal remedies from her modest shop. And neither of them can understand their mutual attraction. In spite of appearances, Persephone doesn't abide by all hippie principles. For instance, when Jason suggests that they make their relationship more intimate, she demurs. For her sex is an important step, indicating that marriage is on the horizon. He feels differently, but love will have its way in this charming tale of opposites attracting.

What readers are saying:
“Dana Taylor is a fabulous new author who has written a laugh-out-loud
romance between a hero and heroine who are so different from each other, yet still manage to fall in love. This is comedy at its best. The plot is strong, and you can't help but become engrossed in the daily lives of Persephone and Jason. You just know they are meant to be together. AIN'T LOVE GRAND? is a wonderful story that you surely will not want to miss.” – Robyn Reo, Romance Reviews Today

Big city lawyer, Jason Brooks, has just moved next door to herbalist, Persephone Jones, with his mother and daughter. Before this scene, Jason’s mother wandered to Perse’s house for a neighborly visit and helped herself to a little too much wine.

And now, an excerpt from Ain’t Love Grand?

Trotting in his direction, I hollered, “Mr. Brooks! I need to talk to you.” I gasped for breath.

He nodded to his mechanic and headed in my direction with a kind of John Wayne thing going in his walk. Suddenly, I felt self-conscious of my ratty clothes and wild hair.
I stopped about three feet in front of him, panting, pushing curls out of my face. He gave me an amused grin. “Good evening, Ms. Jones. Is this a social call?”

“It’s your mother…” gasp, pant, gasp.

His expression changed instantly to one of concern. “Oh, God, what now?”

“She’s alright. She’s at my house. Asleep, sort of. She came over for a visit, and I was cleaning the kitchen and she asked for a glass of wine and…”

Without waiting for further explanation, he struck out for my property. I ran beside him to keep up.

He shot me a disgruntled look. “How much did you let her have?”

“I only poured her one glass. But evidently, she poured herself a few more.”

“She’s an elderly, frail woman taking a medicine cabinet full of drugs. Do you know what alcohol does to her?”

“Well, I do now. She caught me unawares, and then she started crying and telling me how you gave away all her things. She was just so unhappy. How could you sell everything out from under her like that?”

He stopped in his tracks and towered over me. “Not that it’s any of your business, but did she mention the fire?”

I backed up a little. “Well, yes, she did mention a small kitchen fire.”

He reared back his head and laughed. “Yeah, it started in the kitchen but spread to three more rooms before they got it out. What didn’t burn was either smoke or water damaged. Did she mention that?”

Chagrin crept over me. “Actually, no. I guess she doesn’t have a clear grasp of the facts.”

He started moving again. “My mother doesn’t have a clear grasp of reality, especially when she’s sauced.”

We ran the rest of the way home, and I kept my mouth shut. He headed up my porch steps, yanked open the screen door, and then turned to me in disgust. “I’d think someone who supposedly helps the public stay healthy would know better than to tank up a seventy-five year old woman.”

I crossed my arms in a defensive stance. “I did not tank her up. She arrived uninvited and requested alcohol. I was trying to be a polite hostess.”

He stood over her, hands fisted on hips, shaking his head sadly. “I hate the thought of having to put her in a nursing home some day.”

Okay, he got me with that one. I melted and sighed. “If you’ll carry her to my truck, I’ll take you both home.”

He nodded. “Yes, I guess that’s the most practical course of action.” He reached down for her. “Come on Mama, time to go home.”

Dana Taylor writes stories with a mystical touch. Her work as an energy healer influences her tales of flawed humans seeking spiritual and emotional healing. Born and raised in California, she graduated from the University of Redlands. She has been published in various magazines, including the Ladies Home Journal. She hosted the Internet radio program Definitely Dana! at and won various contests with the Romance Writers of America, including Best First Book from the Desert Quill Awards. Her published works include AIN’T LOVE GRAND?, SHINY GREEN SHOES, and DEVIL MOON: A MYSTIC ROMANCE. Her latest release is a spiritual memoir entitled EVER-FLOWING STREAMS: CHRIST, REIKI, REINCARNATION & ME. Her blogsite is She is a founding member of the on-line community and can be reached at

Other books by Dana Taylor:

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Year of the Mountain Lion by Maria E. Schneider

It's Friday again! I hope everyone will be having a wonderful, summer weekend.

I'm ultra-pleased today, to be introducing everyone to a short story, "The Year of the Mountain Lion," by Maria E. Schneider. I'm a big fan of Maria's work, so when she told me about this story being published by Darwin's Evolutions, I bought it and read it immediately. I have to tell you, this is an EXCELLENT story with action, suspense, and a great ending.

Cursed as a drought-bringer, Jolan lives a harsh life of nomadic exile in the desolate desert that surrounds her former home. Now, though, she is being hunted by those who have already cast her out for purposes she cannot fathom. Unfortunately for her pursuers, Jolan is not helpless and she is determined to survive.

A gripping short story by skilled author Maria Schneider that shares a powerful woman's refusal to surrender in the face of either nature or the society that abandoned her.

What readers are saying:
"Maria E. Schneider, Urban Fantasy and Cozy Mystery writer has taken a trip back to her roots with the short story, “Year of the Mountain Lion.” This story is one part of Darwin’s Evolutions, a short story magazine designed specifically for Kindle readers...The Year of the Mountain Lion” is chock full of self-realization, ethical quandaries, powerful friendships, lost chances and misguided use of power.” --

And now for an excerpt from "Year of the Mountain Lion" by Maria E. Schneider:

Jolan ran across the sand and stopped near the top of a gully, crouching. She glanced backwards, scanning the dry, gritty landscape. There wasn’t much time. They were very close now, and if she didn’t lose them soon, their arrows would have her heart.
She jumped and rolled, not away into the sandy center of the gully, but up against the base. From there, she used her agave swish to brush the sand where she had landed. The rolling marks barely showed, and she left them because there wasn’t time. The hunters might easily mistake the slight markings as those made by an animal anyway.
Her clan didn’t know the desert like she did. When they had abandoned her in the cliffs, blaming the lack of rain on her curse, she had learned to live on the scant water that trickled occasionally in the last, drying stream beds. She had learned to move deeper into the desert in the winter, living on even less water, finding it with the same curse that had gotten her cast out from her clan.

Keeping close to the crumbling sidewalls, Jolan headed for the red rock overhang. The harder ledges would give her some cover and the ability to run full out.

This was the third time her tribe had hunted her. Two seasons ago, her comfortable existence had been shattered when she looked down at a curious pattern in the sand. Jagged sticks formed a lightning bolt. Animal hide, representing thunder, was held down with pebbles. It took all her discipline to keep from scattering the pieces into the wind.

“Wat—” Out of habit, she had started to mutter the name of her people, but her voice was so disused, she uttered only a croaking whisper.

Could it be an enemy of the Watahal who chased her and not a tribe member?
No. Only someone from her clan would know that the lightning bolt with clouds was her old name: Taima, Thunder.

Each time she found the sign, she trembled. Each time she took the old, worn piece of hide, torn from…she could not tell. Whoever followed left only rotted hide, likely desperate, likely out of water.

Leaving a few false trails and wandering in random circles, she had led the enemy away from water until they gave up the chase. Finding water was her forte and traveling her life. If she didn’t stay too long in any one place, her curse didn’t steal the rains for too long.

But the enemy got smarter. She had found the signs again this fall, including a few parched oak twigs from the valley, twigs that signified her new name, Jolan: Dead-Oaks. Part of the wood had been burned, a way of cursing her.

Over the seasons, the clan learned where she roamed: the plains, the mountains or the low hills. And they were close this time.

Her breath came hard as she ran under the protective rock outcrop and then out into the open, sun flashing into her eyes before steady steps took her under the next overhang.
She didn’t slow, even as she tossed her swish into a bundle of fallen rocks. It was nothing there, only a dried branch.

Better they chased her now, rather than in the northern mountains where she stayed after the spring melt. The heat of the desert would discourage them from hunting her for very long.


Also available on NOOK

Maria E. Schneider is the author of the urban fantasy, Under Witch Moon as well as the Sedona O'Hala mystery series, not to mention other short story collections. You can learn more about Maria and her books at

Other Books by Maria:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ghost Plane and other Disturbing Tales by Suzanne Tyrpak

Did everyone have a Happy Fourth of July? I hope so!

We're back today after the holiday with a very cool short story from Suzanne Tyrpak's new release, Ghost Plane and Other Disturbing Tales.

Take a ride on the Ghost Plane. Eleven twisted tales about life, love, and insanity. Eleven tales that explore the darker recesses. If you’re afraid to look too deeply in the mirror, read no further.

What this reader is saying:
I don't often review the books that I feature here at Fiction for Dessert, but as many readers here know, I'm a HUGE fan of short stories, so I asked Suzanne for an advance review copy.

Here's the review I posted on Amazon:

I just finished this collection of short stories by Suzanne Tyrpak and I give it an A+ for entertainment. There are eleven stories contained within three chapters - Airport Stories, Hot Flashes, and Gothica. The tales within each chapter have a specific feel to them and all exhibit Ms. Tyrpak's talent for writing and story telling. Once I sat down to read one story, I found I couldn't stop. If you think you don't enjoy horror, don't let that stop you from reading these stories! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Okay, so I don't want to keep you in suspense -- Suzanne has graciously offered to post one story from the collection. Enjoy!

"Blue Angel"

There are a lot of ways to die at the airport.

I don’t mean in a crash or at the hands of terrorists. Other ways.

I work at this small airport in the Rocky Mountains. Been working here for years. I liked my job just fine, till the new boss showed up.

She’s got her favorites. Not me—newbies who do her bidding without question, even when it’s all screwed up or against airline policy—eighteen-year-olds who’ve never worked a job before and have no clue what’s what. She makes them supervisors, gives them weekends off, never writes them up for sleeping through a shift or pretending to be sick.

Meanwhile, she writes me up for nothing.

Maybe I didn’t smile right. Maybe I have an opinion. She tells me she wants, “cookie-cutter-agents.” That could only work for me, if I were the prototype.

I try to keep my mouth shut, but she’s always on me.

“Just because you’ve been here ten years doesn’t mean you know anything,” she announces in front of everyone at our station meeting. “You have no more authority than someone who’s been working here two weeks.”


So people who got the job yesterday don’t listen to a word I say.

I see them loading suitcases wheels-down, so the bags are rolling off the cart, sliding around the cargo pit. I tell them to stack the big bags on the bottom, on their sides, handles facing out, then lay the smaller bags on top. But they don’t listen. When bags are jumbled in the pit, when the count is off and the Load Sheet doesn’t add up—when we get a hit with a delay—the boss yells at me. Suddenly, I’m a senior agent: responsible.

“I don’t like your attitude,” she says.

“What attitude?”

“Your tone of voice.”
I shut my mouth, don’t say a word.

But I’m always thinking.

They fly turbo-props into this airport, Dash-8s. Prop planes do well at this altitude, better than jets. Those propellers are powerful. They spin so fast that you can’t see them. It’s easy to forget they’re there.

Say you’re tired—which you always are, getting up at 3am and working a sixteen hour split-shift. Say the flight is running late and the pressure’s on. You’ve got to do a quick turn, get those passengers back to Denver in time for their connections. You’re in a rush. The captain hands you the release—the paperwork the FAA audits—the flight attendant closes the door, the engines rev, and the propellers start to spin, move so fast you see right through them. They kick out a lot of wind, rip the release out of your hand. You need those papers. So, without thinking, you chase them down and run right into the props.

Body parts and blood all over the ramp.

It happens.

I’ve almost done it once or twice.

Maybe you’ve never noticed me, working out on the ramp loading bags. We all wear uniforms and these florescent orange vests, so everybody looks the same. Sometimes, when I’m out here humping bags, breaking my back for less than I could make at McDonald’s, I get these thoughts.

About my boss.

When we’re short-handed and just the two of us are working—like tonight, for example—how hard would it be to push her into the propellers?

Accidents happen.

This guy I know fell out of the bucket when he was deicing. That glycol we spray the plane with is slick. And you’re spraying it in bad conditions, wind and snow blasting your face, trying to beat the clock and get the plane out before the holdover time expires. So there he was in a blizzard, way up in the bucket, spraying. No harness. Who has time to put on that straight-jacket? When you’re deicing, the person in the bucket is dependent on the driver of the truck. Ideally, the person in the bucket radios the driver, tells the driver where to go: along the fuselage, above the wing, around the tail. But things go wrong. Say the radio is broken. Say it’s snowing so hard the driver can barely see. Say the bucket slams into the wing. Maybe the driver hits the brakes too hard, and the bucket sways, tilts crazily. The person in the bucket slips in the glycol, can’t get a grip, slides out. If you’re wearing a harness you’ll hang there, dangling in the air. No harness, and you’re falling twenty feet or more onto the tarmac. This guy bashed his head. Never been the same.

Maybe he’s lucky. He got out before the new boss arrived.

She’s a piece of work. Mandoed me on my day off, even though she knew I had plans tonight. We’re short-staffed, and no wonder. Who in their right mind would work here? Tonight, it’s just the two of us.

There’s always electrocution.

The Ground Power Unit supplies power to the aircraft. We hook it up whenever a plane pulls into the gate. At night we leave the GPU running, so we have light for cleaning the cabin. One ramper brings in the plane, signaling with lighted wands, while the other ramper drives the tug attached to the GPU—this big silver generator. The driver hops out of the tug, unwinds the GPU’s electrical cord, unclips the panel in the aircraft and plugs the GPU into the prongs. Meanwhile, the other ramper waits until the plug is secure before switching on the power. Switch the power on too soon, and the jolt could kill the person plugging in the cord. Especially if the connection is faulty.

I’m here in ops, sitting by the radio, waiting for the captain to call in range. The weather’s going down tonight, a slow-moving storm. My boss is in her office, pretending to push papers, but I know she’s on Facebook monitoring her friends. She sent me a friend request, but I ignored it. That pissed her off.

But everything I do annoys her.

She needs to chill.

I imagine her floating, face-down in a vat of blue juice.

Peaceful. Finally at rest.

Blue juice is what we call the lavatory fluid. It’s bright blue, more turquoise than the Caribbean. Chances are you haven’t given much thought to the toilets on a plane. Most people don’t. Maybe you think all that crap just gets magically flushed into some other universe. Well, someone has to dump it, and that someone is me. Every night I drag this cart up to the plane, unclip a panel, unscrew a cap, and attach the hose. Sounds easy, but it’s tricky. If the hose isn’t snug, or if some bozo up in Denver didn’t latch the cap right, the contents of the lav dumps all over the ramp, all over you: blue juice, clumps of toilet paper, all kinds of nastiness.

Happened to me twice one night. Instead of hooking up the hose, I got soaked in a shit-shower. Hazmat all over the tarmac, all over me.

I took it as a message from the universe.

My boss thinks it’s hilarious, started calling me The Blue Angel.

That got me thinking.

It doesn’t take much liquid to drown a person. People drown in bathtubs. They even drown in their own vomit.

She says I have an attitude, but I don’t think it’s bad. I think my attitude is great.

Gotta go. The plane is calling in.

You know what?

Tonight I really like this job.

Suzanne Tyrpak ran away from New York a long time ago to live in Colorado. She enjoys bike-riding, skiing, hiking and swimming--but she spends most of her free time writing or posting on the internet. She's had numerous jobs: actor, dancer, tarot reader, radio advertising exec, airline customer service. These jobs often provide inspiration for her stories--as does her insanity.

Suzanne's debut novel is Vestal Virgin, suspense set in ancient Rome, available as a trade paperback and in all eformats. Her collection of nine short stories Dating My Vibrator (and other true fiction) is available on Kindle, Nook and Smashwords. J.A. Konrath calls it, "Pure comedic brilliance." Ghost Plane and Other Disturbing Tales is available in all eformats. Scott Nicholson says, "Enter this circus and let Suzanne show you why horror is the greatest show on earth." You can learn more about Suzanne and her books at
Who's Imagining All This?.

Other books by Suzanne Tyrpak:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fleeting Memory by Sherban Young


I hope everyone will be enjoying their Fourth of July Weekend. I know I will! One note: I will not be posting on Monday. Have fun on the holiday, and meet me back here on Wednesday for another great excerpt.

But now for today's delicacy . . .

I bring you a fun excerpt from Sherban Young's Fleeting Memory. If you like cozy mysteries, you are really going to enjoy this one!

The answer lies with Keats… With these cryptic last words, the man sprawled out on the floor of the rustic cabin expires - murdered. What could he have meant? Why Keats? Which answer? (For that matter, what was the question?)

All this and more passes through the mind of the young householder who discovers the body. If only he knew the guy’s name. Or anybody’s name. Including his own...

From here, our John Doe is hurtled along a path of self-discovery. With the help of Enescu Fleet, retired private detective and (according to some) the world’s most fascinating man, he will delve into an exciting new game show called Deadly Allusions, where trivia and murder compete for top billing. Along the way, he will attempt to figure out the dead man’s clue - and quite possibly nab a murderer who is too smart for his own good.

What readers are saying:
“If you are looking for a fresh voice in humorous, cozy, caper-like mysteries, you can't go wrong with Sherban Young.” -Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf

And now, an excerpt from Fleeting Memory:

I knelt by the remains. The figure was male, kind of a fireplug in shape, and totally dead. He was wearing a brown wool sweater damp with blood, tan wool trousers and a black scarf, also wool. I put him down as a wool fan. The way his head was cocked had covered his cheek with the scarf and pushed his glasses askew (thick black frames bedewed with tiny droplets of rain water).

Then, of course, there was the crossbow bolt in his chest.

Careful not to add my fingerprints to the evidence - I wasn’t a complete moron - I poked his glasses into place with my trusty pen and slid the scarf down. His face was mustached, ruddy in complexion and rough, like burgundy sandpaper. I didn’t recognize him (no shocker there) and for a minute I sat back on my heels, wondering who could have killed him and why. He seemed like a decent sort, for a corpse.

Suddenly the corpse spoke, and I sprang back from it.

The Maltese pup, pausing to squat and tinkle again, darted from the room, no doubt feeling its presence was no longer required here. It was just me and the dead guy now: apparently not as totally dead as I had figured him. I scooched over and tilted my ear to listen.

“Heat,” I thought I heard him say.

I nodded sympathetically. If I had been a corpse, I probably would have found it pretty nippy in there too. “I’ll call for help,” I whispered.

He shook his head and said “No time,” softly.

Unfortunately I didn’t quite make this out, and replied, equally soft, “Half past eight.”

He glared at me. “Not the time, you ignoramus. No time.”

I had nettled the poor guy. Even still, I didn’t see why he had to get personal about it. He drew me in closer. He might have called me an ignoramus again, I can’t be sure.

“Ka -” he began. “Ka -”

“Ka -” I said with him. Ka. Ka. Was he trying to pronounce ka-ching? First Heat, then sound effects? It didn’t make any sense.

“K-eat-s,” he concluded. Keats! He had been saying Keats, not Heat. He had sort of muffled the “s,” you see, and well, it had really sounded like Heat.

“Keats,” he said more clearly.

I was totally with him now. He was enunciating beautifully. Keats. A man named Keats had evidently shot him or knew who had shot him. “Keats who?” I asked.

He reached up and gripped my shirt.

“The answer - lies - with - Keats,” he told me.

The line was said with such emphasis, with such a resounding weight to the words, that I had no choice but to lean back and consider them in the spirit in which they had been uttered.

The answer lies with Keats. I took it all in.

“What answer?” I asked.

He shook his head again. “Cretin,” he remarked, and was gone.

He was really dead this time. Really dead and kind of rude.

Sherban Young is also the author of The Five Star Detour, Opportunity Slips and Dead Men Do Tell Tales. Like the hero in Fleeting Memory, he has logged many hours inside casinos - research - and frequently spends his off-hours chasing blondes. You can learn more about Sherban and his books at

Other books by Sherban Young:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Return of the Runaway Bride by Donna Fasano


Well, June is almost over and summer is moving into full swing! I hope everyone out there is enjoying it as much as I am.

Today I'm thrilled to be bringing you a delicious little taste of Donna Fasano's Return of the Runaway Bride. I have this one on my tbr list - it looks like an entertaining read.


Once upon a time...

There lived a lovely young woman named Savanna who was engaged to Daniel, a handsome law student. Theirs was to be a fairy-tale wedding. But Savanna's second thoughts were too big to be ignored, so the would-be bride ran away.

As the years passed...

Daniel's heart turned to ice. It was this unfeeling man that Savanna faced upon her return. The love of her youth was now a stranger. Could Savanna ever make Daniel understand why she abandoned him? And could she convince the man of her dreams he would always be her Prince Charming?

What readers are saying:
"Ms. Fasano's ability to throw humor into her writing adds richness to the story, and had me laughing many times. Her characters have this quality of realness to them which allows them to be believable, flaws and all. I will continue to read any book that Donna Fasano writes and will recommend her books to anybody that is looking for a great read. Fantastic book!" Allie-Kat, Amazon Reviewer

From the Prologue of
Return of the Runaway Bride

"Savanna, everything's going to be all right. You'll see, as soon as we..."

His voice trailed off as she began to shake her head. She pulled her hands from his grasp and stepped back. She couldn't touch him and think clearly at the same time.

"You don't understand," she said. "I'm afraid."

"I know you are."

She saw his dark eyes fill with compassion and love.

God, why can't I get this right? 'Afraid' wasn't the word she'd meant to say. Anxiety swept through her, settling in the pit of her stomach where it churned, slowly and steadily.

"Listen," he said, "I'll go down and tell everyone that we need some time." He reached out and gently cupped her elbow. "Say, an hour? That will give us time to talk." He chuckled. "Time for us to gather up your courage."


"It's okay," he told her. "Dad can break open the champagne early. There'll be no harm in that, now will there?" He gave her a charming, lopsided grin.

Hope budded like a rose inside Savanna. Looking at Danny so confident and assured, she wondered how she had ever doubted that he couldn't make everything right.

He went over and uprighted the chair, leading her with him. "Now you sit down and relax." He settled her in the seat, leaned close and caressed her cheek with his strong, smooth fingers. "It's going to be all right, Savanna. I promise."

His lips were warm and moist as he pressed them against hers. "I'll be right back with a glass of bubbly." He grinned. "And then I'll remind you of all those dreams we made. That'll ease your nerves." He kissed her softly on the mouth.

When Savanna was alone she sat in the warm cocoon of security in which Danny had left her wrapped. She didn't need to worry. Everything was going to be just fine, perfect even.
Those two tiny words sent an icy prickle chasing up her spine. The shadowy cloud of apprehension that descended was thick enough to smother her.

"Oh, God!" The words ripped from her throat like a torturing claw as she ran toward her closet and wrenched out the suitcase she'd so carefully packed for her two week honeymoon.

She snatched the bridal veil from her head, barely wincing as the pins snagged then pulled free from her hair. She reached behind her to rip at the back of her gown, and a dozen dainty pearl buttons bounced soundlessly on the plush carpet.

Donna Fasano is a best-selling, award-winning author whose books have been published in over two dozen languages, having sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide. You can learn more about Donna and her books at and follow her blog at

Other books by Donna Fasano:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Orc Quest: Prophecy, by Tim Ellis

Hello friends! I've been on a hiatus here at Fiction for Dessert while finishing up my latest book, but I'm back now, and I'm back with a whole FANTASTIC list of books and authors to introduce you to. Throughout the summer, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Fiction for Dessert will present very short excerpts from new and emerging authors.

Today's novel snippet is from Orc Quest: Prophecy by Tim Ellis.

Grog the Orc is a coward, and has been banished from the Bloodwolf Clan for failing the passage to adulthood. So begins his prophesied quest to find the last human on Garagol, who it is rumoured knows witchery, and can give him back his courage.

He is joined by a ragtag band of creatures including Alfick the grumpy Dwarf who wants to go home, Targa the Warg who is on her last journey, Piggu his betrothed who has defied her father, Mimeo the baby Dragon who has lost her parents, Ptak - his pet Grumble, and the Mountain Troll N'Guk who wants the Dragon.

Unfortunately, he is being hunted by Piggu's father with a hunter squad, and agents of the Valkyrie Sigrun who want to kill him, but the Elves must ensure the prophecy comes true, and have their own agent in Nub the Goblin.

What Readers are Saying about Orc Quest:
"Fantastic! This tale gripped me from the first line and failed to let go. However hard I tried to put it down, the magical spell kept hold of me right to the very last word."


Head bowed, Grog stood in front of his father.

The evening sun cast a crimson glow over his humiliation. It seemed to him that his short life had come to an end, that his youth lay in ruins behind him. Even Ptak, his pet Grumble, sat quiet for once on his shoulder. Her hairy face snuggled into his neck.

‘The Council of Elders have banished you, my son.’ His father’s deep voice bounced off the surrounding rocks and echoed around the village for all to hear. ‘You are the first Orc since the beginning to fail the passage.’

Grog shuffled his toes in the dirt. Saliva dribbled from his mouth and spattered on the ground between his feet. No words came to him. Why was he so different from all the other Orcs? This was probably the last time he would ever see his family. In their minds they had already cast him out. Huddled together and sobbing to his left, his mother - Angara, little sister - Gorma, and Piggu, his betrothed, comforted each other, forbidden to look at him. All around the village the Bloodwolf Clan turned their backs on him.

‘I give you, Targa. She is old now, but will last some while longer. Once she is dead you can use her for food.’ Borrum Skullbreaker stroked the grey Warg one last time. ‘Take him far, my friend,’ he said to her. ‘Guard my son with your life as you have mine.’ He passed the heavy chain to Grog.

Targa stretched her neck backward to look at the only master she had ever known.
Borrum continued. ‘Your mother has persuaded me to let the slave, Alfick, also accompany you into exile.’

Grog glanced at the troublesome Dwarf standing in his father’s shadow. Alfick hawked and spat narrowly missing Borrum’s foot.

The back of his father’s chain-mailed hand crunched into the Dwarf’s forehead knocking him to the ground. ‘You would do well to change your attitude, Dwarf. If news reaches me that my son has died and you still live, I will hunt you down and let you watch whilst I peel the skin from your stumpy body.’

Alfick scrambled up. Rubbing his forehead, he stared sullenly across the roof of the Spirit Forest and into the distance towards the snow-capped Dragon Mountains.
Borrum turned back to his son. ‘We will be glad to get rid of him. He might be of use to you if you can stop him from running away.

‘Thank you, Father,’ Grog mumbled.

Grasping his son’s shoulders Borrum said, ‘Many years ago a Goblin by the name of Kot in the Raget lands spoke of a Human female that lives beyond the Veil of Mists.’

Grog’s head shot up. As far as he was aware, no one knew what lay beyond the Veil of Mists. He stared into his father’s face. Saw the clan tattoos on his cheeks beginning to sag out of shape, noticed the sadness in his red eyes. There had been no Humankind on Garagol for as long as anyone could remember. The Orcs had hunted and eaten every last one of them.

‘Whether he spoke the truth I cannot say,’ his father continued. ‘But the Goblin told me that this female knows witchery. Search for her my son, come back to us a true Bloodwolf warrior.’ He let his arms fall to his sides and turned his back on his youngest son. Grog’s two brothers, Krilg and Ruugar, stepped forward and began walking out of the village.

‘Goodbye, father,’ Grog said. ‘One day I’ll make you proud to call me son.’ He picked up the sack filled with food, clothes, weapons and keepsakes, slung it over his shoulder and followed his brothers down the steep winding path towards the Spirit Forest. Targa walked beside him. Alfick shuffled behind grinning and kicking loose stones at the backs of the Orcs lining the path.

Tears welled in his eyes as he recalled the circumstances of his disgrace. The passage to adulthood should have been simple – a raid on a stronghold. Faced with five Ogres he should have killed them, dragged them back to the village to eat, to feast on, to celebrate becoming a warrior. The Elders would have given him his second name, Ogreslayer. Instead, a fear like he had never known, gripped his heart. Where had it come from? How had such a thing happened? There were too many Ogres. They overpowered him. As he cowered behind a boulder, two Orc warriors had killed all the Ogres and saved his life. He wished now they had left him to die. Anything would be better than the shame he had brought upon himself and his family.

He took a last look at Craakar the mountain village that had been his home for eighteen years. The familiar caves hacked out of the mountain rock, the winding paths to the village market place where – in the centre – stood the carved wooden totem depicting the clan symbols. All backs were turned towards him. He had no honour. They stood on the ledges outside their caves, along the paths and outside the Elder’s meeting hall. He was an Orc without a family, a clan, or a home.

His brothers did not turn to look at him. They could not let his dishonour affect their standing within the clan – he was dead to them. Swords clinked against armour as they scuffled down the dirt track leading to the edge of the forest. He clenched Targa’s chain. The comfort of the thick rough links of iron that Alfick had forged gave him the strength to put one foot in front of the other.

At the end of the track his elder brothers turned aside. He passed between them and entered the darkness of the Spirit Forest.

Tim Ellis was born in the bowels of Hammersmith Hospital, London, on a dark and stormy night, grew up in Cheadle, Cheshire, and now lives in Essex with his wife and five Shitzus. In-between, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps at eighteen and completed twenty-two years service, leaving in 1993 having achieved the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 (Regimental Sergeant Major). Since then he has worked in secondary education as a senior financial manager, in higher education as an associate lecturer/tutor at Lincoln and Anglia Ruskin Universities, and as a consultant for the National College of School Leadership. His final job, before retiring in 2009, was as Head and teacher of Behavioural Sciences (Psychology/Sociology) in a secondary school. He has a PhD and an MBA in Educational Management, and an MA in Education.

He has been learning the craft of writing fiction for four years, and is the author of ten novels including: Warrior – Path of Destiny and Scourge of the Steppe (Adult Historical Fiction charting the life of Genghis Khan); The Knowledge of Time: Second Civilisation (YA Science Fiction); Orc Quest: Prophecy (YA Fantasy); Solomon’s Key, Body 13 (Quigg 1), The Graves at Angel Brook (Quigg 2), A Life for a Life (Parish & Richards 1), The Wages of Sin (Parish & Richards 2) and Jacob’s Ladder (Stone & Randall 1) (all Adult Crime Fiction); and a collection of short stories: Untended Treasures. He is currently finishing The Flesh is Weak (Parish & Richards 3), The Timekeeper's Apprentice (YA Science Fiction) The Skulls beneath Eternity Wharf (Quigg 3), and Orc Quest: The Last Human. You can learn more about Tim and his writings at and

Other books by Tim Ellis:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Giveaway Wednesday!

It's still the Six Weeks of Giveaways over at my website, so I'll redirect you there in just a minute.

This week's giveaway:

A copy of the fun chick-lit, Foxy's Tale, co-authored with women's fiction author, LB Gschwandtner. The copy can be a paperback or Kindle ebook -- whichever the winner prefers.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this giveaway and to enter.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Giveaway Wednesday!

I'm redirecting you again this week for Giveaway Wednesday . . .

This week's giveaway at my website is a Chronicles of Marr-nia mug!

Here's what it looks like:

So pop on over and enter to win! It's easy!

CLICK HERE for the contest page.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Interview and Excerpt: Author Consuelo Saah Baehr

I have really been looking forward to this Monday's Excerpt - I have expanded to an interview and an excerpt because the piece I am presenting is from Amazon's new Amazon Singles selections. The author, Consuelo Saah Baehr has graciously offered to talk about Thinner Thighs in Thirty Years (I love that title!) and the Amazon Singles program itself. So, without further ado, the interview:

Karen: Welcome to Fiction for Dessert, Consuelo! Thank you for participating in this interview and sharing your work with us today.

Consuelo: I’m happy to be here talking about Thinner Thighs...

Karen: I’ve read your monologue, Thinner Thighs in Thirty Years, and absolutely loved it. Can you give my readers a short synopsis of the story and how you came to write it?

Consuelo: I wrote this monologue to keep from going crazy in a bad way. Any mother is crazy in a good way but the displacement of divorce was overwhelming. After fussing over the lives of five people for twenty years, I was suddenly sitting alone in a strange (albeit beautiful) little village puzzling over how I got there. If emotions and memory didn’t interfere, it would have been ideal. I finally had the peace and quiet to write my novels. But my mind didn’t cooperate. In desperation, I tried to capture the random thoughts that raced through my head on any given day. With a little shaping, the result was Thinner Thighs In Thirty Years. Writing the monologue showed me a way out of my despair because the thoughts were hopeful and humorous. When a Tony Award winning director offered to stage the monologue, I knew I had made sense and would be okay.

Karen: This particular story was published by the Kindle Singles program with Amazon – what is that exactly?

Consuelo: I got started as a writer with Op-Ed essays in The New York Times. I’ve always loved the essay form and when I heard about Kindle Singles: a platform that publishes short pieces that develop an idea to a certain length, I inquired about the program and asked how to submit. My friend Sandra, a prolific writer said: why do you want to submit anything? Isn’t that what we are getting away from? I said: I still enjoy being humiliated so I’m going to submit my short monologue.

Karen: What was the submission process like and once accepted, did you work with an editor?

Consuelo: The submission process was simple. They request that you publish on the Amazon Kindle Platform first. I sent a file of the monologue and the ASIN # and within a few days an editor e-mailed requesting a doc file of the piece. Shortly after that they accepted, asked for a few changes, reformatted and sent me the finished file to upload.

Karen: The cover is stunning – do you mind me asking who the artist was?

Consuelo: I was extremely lucky. I found the image on a photo site and gave it to my middle child to fashion into a cover. He altered the original to accommodate the lettering.

Karen: I admire your writing style – you are very skilled and have a wonderfully dry sense of humor. I look forward to reading more of your work. Do you have any projects in the work at the moment?

Consuelo: Thank you. I write the way I talk. I’m glad you think it’s dry and humorous.
As of now, I’m working on a crime novel (I use the word “crime” loosely) titled: Tough As Nails. I’ve posted a few chapters on the Sample Sunday offerings on Twitter.

Karen: Would you be willing to share an excerpt from Thinner Thighs in Thirty Years?

Consuelo: Thinner Thighs is written in short segments. The opening segment sets the tone and that is the excerpt I will share.

Constructive Abandonment

(music) If I had to choose just one day, to live my whole life through. It would be the day my darling – the day that I met you.....

In twenty years of marriage, I cooked seven thousand evening meals. It was probably more but I’m ashamed to say how many. Every evening he would look in the kitchen and ask: Do I have time to change before dinner?

You have time to build the freeking Panama Canal. We could skip dinner. You’re the only one who cares about three square meals a day.

What was that?

Nothing. I gave him one chance each night to experience irony. After that I shut up and cooked.

There’s this book, Love, Loss and What I Wore. I don’t remember what I wore for love but it stuns me to remember what I wore for loss. The day I read my father’s will, I burned everything I was wearing - jeans - one of the kid’s souvenir tee shirts. It’s hard to intentionally burn clothing. Matches won’t do it. I had to use lighter fluid. It took a lot of poking.

Mom, have you seen my Bon Jovi tee shirt?


The day I applied to be an airline stewardess, I wore a pink drop-waist dress. It had a huge bow right above my ass. I weighed about thirteen pounds then but how could a dress like that do anyone any good?

When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon I was wearing lilac baby doll pajamas. Whenever I wore those pajamas, I wanted Sister Francisca to see me.

Today I'm driving to Riverhead for my divorce. I bought this divorce dress. Divorce underwear. It's ecru. Something borrowed, something ecru. I'm on PROZAC!

I sound very lah di dah but I can tell you I'm in a cold sweat of remembrance: lost friends - lost love – not doing right and now coping with the consequences. The bottom line? I know without doubt I couldn't have done things any other way.

I'm shocked I can even drive on the Long Island Expressway. Driving and cooking didn't come easy. Cooking was something Sister Mary Joseph did at my old boarding school with a charred wooden spoon. As for driving! I needed a shrink just to enter an expressway. Even dumb people know how to drive, I said. I should, too.

Should? screamed the shrink. I should do this. I should do that. That's the land of shouldhood. And shouldhood leads to shithood – putting yourself down for not doing it. Just drive.

Now I drive with a tape blasting my favorite song: Take Stuff From Work. Take stuff from work. Take a case of White Out. They won't miss it and you might need it some day. Take stuff from work!

There's a hitchhiker on the road. A laid off postal worker going to murder his boss? If I picked him up and he killed me, my husband would get everything as the surviving spouse. At the eleventh hour! It wouldn't occur to him for three weeks that he got everything. It would occur to me in a second and a half. Oh, my God, I get it all!!! Oh, he died.

I park at a meter across from the divorce building – a fake Victorian house. How long does a divorce take? Should I add a quarter for crying time? I don't want a divorce and a ticket!

In New York State a divorce requires something called ‘Just Cause.’ The ‘Just Cause’ the lawyer has randomly picked for us is called: Constructive Abandonment. Oh! Is it like tough love? These two men are going to leave me deep in the woods with a bottle of Evian and a Bic lighter to teach me self-reliance?

Constructive Abandonment is legal language. I will paraphrase the essence of the boilerplate clause. The plaintiff (me) begs the defendant: You've got to have sex with me. It's the law! The defendant answers: When pigs fly, and hell freezes over. Please, Sister Francisca, anybody - just shoot me now!

I read the first paragraph and sign. He sees the word ‘conjugal’, signs faster. “That's it,” says the lawyer. “Now it goes to the judge.” Why do judges get to decide everything?

Karen: I just love that excerpt! Thank you again for stopping by today and sharing with us, Consuelo!

Consuelo: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to think about all of this. I had to really think and that is always good.


Consuelo Saah Baehr was born in El Salvador to French/Palestinian parents. At age five she joined her father and five uncles in Washington, D.C. where they ran the prestigious boutique department store, Jean Matou, a favorite of Bess Truman and Jackie Kennedy. Convent boarding schools came next and George Washington University. After college she began writing advertising copy for the Macy Corp. Marriage and three children followed and the writing was silent until a stunning Op-Ed piece in The New York Times brought a flurry of offers from book publishers. The result was the personal memoir, Report From The Heart (Simon & Schuster). Four novels followed: Best Friends (Delacorte/Dell); Nothing To Lose (Putnam's); Daughters (Delacorte/Dell) and 100 Open Houses soon to be a Kindle original.
Daughters, a historical family saga set in pre-war Jerusalem, has been translated into 15 languages. It was published as a Kindle book in late August. Visit Consuelo at her blog
Set This Writer Free.

More books by Consuelo Saah Baehr:

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I apologize that I did not post this announcement Saturday night as I promised - a minor health issue delayed my ability to get to my computer. But all is well now, so here it goes . . .

The winner of the $10.00 Gift Certificate from our Book and a Recipe Book Club discussion is:

Eric Thomasma!!!


Congratulations Eric! Email me at to arrange for delivery of your gift!

And I hope everyone will join us in May for another book club discussion. We will be choosing the book next Friday, May 6th. Stop by and be a part of the voting.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Book and a Recipe Book Club: SAVING RACHEL by John Locke

Okay - the Royal Kiss is over. Time to get down to business!

It's a Book and a Recipe Book Club!

Up for some fun discussion? Remember, every person who joins in by leaving a comment, enters a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card. So leave those comments! Even if you haven't read the book! The winner will be announced Saturday evening (remember to check back for the announcement unless you leave an email address for notification).

Please help me welcome guest host, Markee Anderson - Markee, tell us about our book today!

This month, we’re reading Saving Rachel (a Donovan Creed Crime Novel) by John Locke. If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed in this twisted story! It’s like a roller coaster of a book, where you swear you haven’t breathed until you get to about chapter thirteen.

Here’s the blurb from

What if the best morning of your life suddenly turned into your worst nightmare? Sam Case is about to find out. Saving Rachel is the story of what happens when killers force a man to choose between his wife and his mistress...and the one he rejects must die. But wait--all is not as it appears to be. In fact, nothing is what it appears to be!

Saving Rachel is a scary, funny, roller coaster ride through hell, with twists, and turns that will slap your face and suck you in!

For a recipe, here’s a classic, from my husband’s grandmother (our daughter LOVES this at any time during the year). It’s been sworn to secrecy, so SHHHH!!!!

Grandma's Pumpkin Pie


2 unbaked pie shells (I use premade)
2 eggs
1 large can of pumpkin (29 ounces)
4 tablespoons molasses (1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons)
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk (that's one can)
1 cup of water--add to evaporated milk to make 2 1/2 cups total liquid
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger


1. Put pie shells into pie pan (or buy already in aluminum pie pan). Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Add sugar, flour, salt, and spices to one bowl and mix together.
3. In a larger bowl, beat eggs, then add the ingredients of the first bowl and mix.
4. Then add pumpkin, molasses, and diluted evaporated milk.
5. Mix together thoroughly (I use a mixer)
6. Pour into 2 unbaked pie shells and put pie pans on a cookie sheet (in case it overflows).
7. Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for ten minutes. Reduce to 325 degrees and bake for 30 minutes, then take out to cool. If the pies aren't set (if they're still gooey), turn off the oven and let them set for about 15 minutes or longer or until set. They will set farther when cooled.

Let the discussion commence!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Giveaway Wednesday!

I'm going to send you on a bit of a detour today . . .

To celebrate the upcoming release of CITIZEN INSANE, I will be doing Giveaways for the next 6 Wednesdays at my website,

This week's giveaway is a TAKE THE MONKEYS AND RUN t-shirt!

Just follow THIS LINK to enter.

And as always, thank you for following Fiction for Dessert!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Excerpt: The Witness Wore Blood Bay by LC Evans

Today's excerpt is from The Witness Wore Blood Bay by LC Evans. If you love humorous mysteries, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this one! I read it several months ago and absolutely loved it then immediately bought the other book in the series, The Talented Horsewoman. Currently, you can purchase The Witness Wore Blood Bay for only .99 cents, but the price goes back up on May 1st to $2.99.


In Talented Horsewoman, the first book of the Leigh McRae horse mystery series, main character Leigh McRae discovers a body. She also ends up solving a murder. Along the way she helps her cousin Sammi, who is dating a burglar, and she manages to get out from under the control of her overbearing ex-husband.

Now Leigh's friend Candy, a fellow horsewoman, finds herself accused of murder. Who else would she turn to for help except Leigh? After all, everyone in small town Del Canto knows Leigh has body-discovering experience. Never mind that Leigh is busy finding out who's poisoning dogs in Sammi's neighborhood and she's trying to renovate her home without going broke. Or that her ex-husband Kenneth and former ranchhand Doug Reilly have become roommates in Leigh's guest house.

There's a murder to solve. And her friend won't take no for an answer.

Readers are saying:

"I would put LC Evans in the category of my other favorite mystery writers, Margaret Maron and Janet Evonovich. The Leigh McRae series are set in Florida and revolve around horses, something I know nothing about, but the reader doesn't need to be an equine enthusist to enjoy these books. Ms. Evan explains it all so it is an integral part of the setting, but not required to enjoy the mystery!" - M. Baldwin, Amazon Reader

And now for an excerpt from CHAPTER TWO:

Mark’s hand shook when he picked up his glass. Clearly, his whole world had fallen apart with the arrest of his wife for killing his Army buddy.

“Do you need help taking care of Benji?” I didn’t know what I could do when it came to a special needs child like Benji Lowell. Not only was I pretty booked up with my job and my life, but I knew the boy needed care I wasn’t qualified to give. Still, even spending a few hours with Benji would be helpful to a man suddenly without his wife.

Mark frowned. After a moment he said, “No, but thanks for the offer. As you can imagine, Benji is really in a turmoil. It’s tough on him when his routine is interrupted. He’s staying with my parents in Fort Myers right now.”

“Be sure to let me know if there’s anything at all I can do.”

“Me, too,” Sammi added, leaning forward and smiling kindly.

“Thanks. But I…” Mark put down his drink and got to his feet. He paced to the TV and back. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. Candy hardly knew Richard. At least that’s what I thought. Now I don’t know. I mean, why would she kill him if she didn’t know him? There has to be motive, doesn’t there? Maybe she knew him a lot better than I thought. She did take Benji and leave and she had blood on her clothes when they found her.”

Sammi and I exchanged startled glances. A shiver crept up the back of my neck. Mark believed Candy had committed the murder. He’d as much as said so.

“What evidence do the police have?” I asked. Darn it. I’d said I wasn’t getting involved and here I was asking questions. Hey, not my fault. Mark had brought the subject up.

“I don’t know. We called them right away—Francine and I. They showed up a few minutes after we found Richard’s body in the stable. Of course, I was pretty worried about Candy and Benji since they were missing, but it didn’t take the police long to find them. They brought Benji home and they told me Candy was at the station to answer questions. The police aren’t stupid. They wouldn’t have kept her there unless they found evidence. Or she confessed.”

He made another circuit of the room and ended up back at the couch where he sat and picked up his drink, pausing to stare at the glass before he brought it to his lips. He finally took a long gulp and then set the glass down with a clunk. I wondered if he even knew what he was drinking.

“She needs to lawyer up.” Sammi flipped her hair back over her shoulders and it whipped the side of my face like a horse's tail, so I discreetly slapped her hand. “You don’t know exactly what she did or why, but maybe it was self-defense and if it was, she needs counsel before she incriminates herself even more. Trust me. I read a ton of books and I love watching crime shows, so I’ve seen it all. Plus, I used to date a guy who turned out to be a burglar.”

I rolled my eyes. Only Sammi would think that dating a burglar for a few weeks would qualify a person to give legal advice.

“Did you know,” she went on, “some people are perfectly innocent and they get so tired after a couple of days of questioning by relays of cops that they confess to crimes they never even thought of committing? What chance does your wife have, if she blabs to the cops without her lawyer there to keep her quiet over whatever she might have done?”

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? It sounded like Sammi had gone over to the dark side—those who’d already condemned Candy Lowell. Even after listening to Mark's version of events I couldn't make myself believe she'd done it.

“Sammi’s right about the lawyer, Mark. Whatever happened in that stable, Candy deserves a chance to defend herself in court.” I would have suggested my ex sister-in-law Kendra, the only attorney I knew, except that A) she wasn’t a criminal defense attorney and B) I didn’t like her.

“I don’t agree. That bitch killed my husband and I want her to fry!”

Sammi stifled a yelp and I jumped to my feet, almost spilling what was left of my tea. Francine Swale stood in the doorway between the living room and the dining room, her hands on her curvy hips.

I couldn't help staring at what I judged to be a surgically enhanced chest. The woman could have modeled for Playboy if she were fifteen years younger, and if her face weren’t all blotchy from rage. Or from crying—I couldn’t tell which.

“Ladies, this is Francine Swale. She works with me selling cars.” Mark cleared his throat a couple of times.

Yeah, and she was also the murder victim's widow. It didn’t take a genius to figure out he’d much rather we hadn't found out she was in the house and had obviously been there the whole time, lurking out of sight and probably listening.

“Francine, ah, didn’t feel well enough to go home, so she’s been resting in the guest room. Francine, Leigh McRae and her cousin, Sammi Hollister.”

“Hello, Francine.” I didn’t bother to remind her I’d met her before and I’d seen her last night at the horse club meeting—arguing with her husband, who was now dead. “Sorry for your loss.”

Francine’s dark eyes snapped. “So am I. But the police know Candy did it and she’s going to pay one way or the other. I hope she fries like breakfast bacon.” She strode across the room and dropped onto the couch next to Mark, crossing her long legs and not bothering to tug her micro skirt down over her shapely thighs.

I pasted on the stupidest of smiles for lack of anything useful to say or do. I mean, how do you agree with a remark like that without coming across like a vigilante?
There, there, Francine. If the justice system doesn’t do its job, we’ll bring the firewood and some lighter fluid and help you take care of the problem.

And if I didn’t agree, I might send this woman into orbit. Judging by the way she’d spoken and the look in her eyes, I definitely didn’t want to be on Francine Swale’s “People Not to Like List.”

L.C. Evans—Linda to the people who know her, has always wanted to own a stagecoach. Sadly, she has had to settle for the occasional photo op at tourist attractions.

L.C. says she only recently figured out that the main characters in her books are nurturers. Leigh McRae, her bumbling amateur sleuth slash animal lover, and Susan Caraway, divorcee with needy family, are compelled to open their arms and their hearts to every stray who shows up.

"Whoops," L.C. says. "I do that, too. Sort of. Everyone thinks I'm their mom. I've finally learned to say no. Most of the time. By the way, do you need anything? Food, drink? A place to stay?"

Fortunately, she's free to indulge her over-developed nurturing gene with her characters. Leigh McRae has more animals in her barn than she can keep track of and even her ex-husband and the local slacker end up living on her property. Somehow Leigh still carves out time to find bodies and "investigate" murders.

Susan Caraway has to learn to stop being everyone's doormat and finally go on a date that doesn't get interrupted by Mama's hysterics or DeLorean's spoiled younger sister antics. But that doesn't mean Susan is an overnight success. She still has to battle with herself to keep from backsliding. In the upcoming second book of the series, We Interrupt This Wedding, Susan has to find a way to get her mother to the altar with Rhett and to make her own wedding happen.

When not writing, L.C. likes to spend time with her family. She loves being at home with her husband and their grandson, The Boy, and their Chihuahuas. She loves to read and take walks with the dogs. She will also tell you she likes to garden, but that's not really true. L.C. likes to have a nice garden, but she doesn't like to weed or dig holes, or deal with insects, and though she tries to extend her nurturing urges to her plants, she has not exactly been successful. Her blueberry bushes don't bear berries, her azaleas don't bloom, and her rose bushes look sullen. But she loves them anyway.

.99 cents until May 1st!

Other books by LC Evans: