I am super stoked to let you all know I have a release date of 2.1.2023 for my short story collection DEATH BETWEEN THE PAGES: A Short Story Collection about Death.
The book was reproduced from Kindle Vella. I had such a great response to it from the Vella readers that when the opportunity presented itself, I decided to release it on Kindle. It will also be available in KU after the release date.
The book is a collection of fictional short stories I’ve written over the years ( mostly in the 1990s) when I was obsessed with serial killers and all things murder related, LOL. A long way from the lighthearted romance I write these days.
A cheating husband. A group of widows. A priest. A landlady. A spider. What do they all have in common? Death.
and here’s the cover:
And here’s a little snippet from one of the stories, THE TUESDAY NIGHT MEETING.
“You probably don’t remember my late husband, Major Plowright. I believe he passed when you were just a baby. Well, my dear, if there was ever a tougher man in the world to live with, I’d be sore-pressed to believe it. I truly feel the moment he was brought into the world a military angel crossed his path and predestined him for a soldier’s life. His mother told me after we’d been married for about a year that even as a child, everything had to be precision perfect in his world. He tolerated no fools, silliness or any kind of good-natured fun. I didn’t realize this when I married him, mind you. I know now I fell in love with his spit and polish exterior and superior manner. I never could resist a good-lookin’ man in a uniform.”
A few well-knowing chuckles escaped throughout the room.
“Well, married life was kind of sweet for a while. I got used to his ranting and raving about precision and cleanliness and order. But when the Major was forced to retire at a very early age, well, it all changed. He changed. Nothing I did was ever good enough. I was plum worn out with three babies and a big house to care for, and he never helped a lick with anything. One day he came home from his club and my youngest had spilled his juice all over the kitchen floor. I was just about to clean it up, but the Major didn’t let me. He stormed into the room, saw the mess, and started screaming and hollering so loud I thought my little Jimmy’s diapers were gonna fall off. When I tried to explain about the mess, he smacked me across the face. Knocked me clear across the kitchen with one felled swoop of the back of his hand. I was so stunned I didn’t see the next one coming. He was raving about me being an inadequate wife and mother and that he was going to teach me a lesson I’d never forget. He was right about it, too. I never forgot that first beating. Or all the others he gave me after. I do believe he came to enjoy it when he struck me down. I’d see a gleam in his eyes, kind of like the one I’d seen when he was in the throes of passion, whenever he hit me.”
Wisteria stopped and refreshed herself with a sip of tea.
“Miz Plowright, ma-am. I had no idea,” Cora said.
“Of course not, darlin’. In those days, why, a woman was barely a step above chattel. Men’s property; bought and sold.”
“What did you do? I mean, did you stay with the Major?”
“For a while. I ran away with the children once, to my mother. But the Major followed me and dragged us all back. The beating I endured that night broke my left arm and two of my ribs.”
“I remember he went around town the next day telling everyone who’d listen that you fell down the front steps because you were rushing off somewhere in a dither,” Molly Kane said.
When Cora gasped, Wisteria patted her hand and said, “You see, Cora. We’ve all lied at one time or another about our bruises.”
“Finish your story, Wisteria,” Mavis commanded.
After taking another sip of tea, she did. “I knew I had to do something about the situation, but what? I couldn’t leave him. He’d shown me how he’d hunt me down and bring me back. Divorce was out of the question in those days. No self-respectin’ woman of the South would ever be seen in divorce court, airing all her dirty personal laundry. I finally figured out I had two options. I could stay and put up with this man I’d grown to fear and hate until he finally succeeded in killing me, or…”
“Or?” Cora prompted.
“Or I could rid myself and the children of him right then and there.”
Cora’s loud intake of air was the one sound in the room. To the question in her eyes,
Wisteria merely inclined her head.
“Yes, my dear. I killed my husband. It was the only way I could survive.”
I love sharing my short stories with you all and Kindle Vella has made it so easy. My newest series, DEATH BETWEEN THE PAGES is all about retribution, revenge, and taking back your life after a tragic incident.
Here’s a little snipper to whet your mystery reading appetite:
An early evening Mass was in session when Halley entered the church and found an empty pew halfway up to the altar.
She heard his voice before she saw him. She’d never forgotten that voice. It had a rugged, robust timbre that resonated throughout the church, bouncing off the stone pillars and sailing to every parishioner’s soul. It commanded, demanded, rapt attention. Halley knew the strength behind the voice; the seduction of words meeting air, splicing together to make heads and hearts swim. She remembered how that voice had affected her.
And she remembered what the person behind the voice had done to her.
Then she saw him. He was much the same as her memory allowed. Older, of course, but with age, more appealing physically than before. Gray streaks shot out from
his temples, worming their way behind his ears. His eyes hadn’t changed at all. Ice blue orbs shaded by the blackest of lashes. Eyes that saw into your very core. Eyes that could twinkle with the merriment one moment and ignite with the flames of desire the next.
Halley had been witness to both extremes.
As she knelt and made the sign of the cross, a sudden qualm of doubt at her mission and its ultimate goal fired through her. Just as quickly, reason overtook doubt. She had to do what had been planned; complete what had been started. Hers wasn’t the only life in the balance here. There were the others to consider. They had put their faith, their trust, and their hopes in her. She would not let them down.
Many of you may know that before I wrote full length novel fiction, I dabbled in literary short stories. I did well, too. Had over 30 published. A goodly amount of thosse stories were murder mysteries – at the time, my favorite form of reading material.
Recently, I transposed my favorites of those spooky tales and am now releasing one story a week on my Vella account.