June 6, 2014

Fissure Free, a Novel by Shari J. Ryan

Editor’s Note: The following excerpt is from Fissure Free, Book Two in the Schasm Series by Shari J. Ryan. This romantic, suspenseful, and engaging sequel reunites the colorful cast of friends and family with a powerful tribute to the power of the mind and heart. After nineteen years of suffering with a psychological condition, ethereal Chloe has finally come close to finding her ultimate escape—or so she thinks as she walks the vibrant streets of Paris. Finally in a relationship with Alex, the man she fell in love with in Schasm, Chloe thinks life is finally coming together. As she battles her own demons, she attempts to repair the damaged man she’s grown to love. But as his clouded past abruptly crashes into their lives and falls heavily upon their budding romance, Chloe must fight to maintain her…

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June 5, 2014

“Balancing Act” by Jane Ward

8:45 AM Wednesday, July 15th, 2006 It’s a delicate balance, really. I want to be here early enough to beat the crowds of summer people.  Early enough that all I can hear are the waves slapping against the shore instead of the screams of small children resisting sun screen applications. Early enough that all I can see when I look over the top of my John Grisham paperback are the water, the buoys that signal how far out you’re allowed to swim, and way out, across the miles, the faint, mist-enveloped outline of Long Island. But I also want to be here late enough that the sun is shining in full force so that it has a fighting chance at blending the horrendous tan lines I’ve incurred this summer.  There’s the obvious “farmer tan” or…

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June 3, 2014

Here’s The Truth, a Novel by Susan Casey

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from  a young adult (YA) novel-in-progress.  CHAPTER ONE: Day 1   I used to think living was harder than swimming through glue. But now, since I’ve  been locked up in juvie  for the past three months, I realize that my pre-jail life was a freaking breeze. Jail will do that to you; change your mind about things. A girl can do a shitload of thinking over the course of two thousand one hundred and forty hours. Trust me. I’ve thought A LOT about what I did to get myself tossed in an eight by ten foot cell, staring out the tiny window on the back wall. And there’s nothing to look at but the tall wire fence that wraps around the place like a giant handcuff. Here’s The Truth:…

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May 7, 2014

“Call Me Harry” a Novel by Randy Cade

Note: This is an excerpt from the novel, Call Me Harry: Murderer, Bank Robber or Mayor?, which is available as a Kindle book. It is Volume 1 in The Harry Parnes Series. A sequel will be published int Fall, 2014. Harold ”Harry” Parnes, 63 years old, has just been released (again) from a prison in New Mexico. He’s walking the dirt road from the prison toward the town of Mesa Rock. A car passes by. The Toyota Camry stopped and I was glad. I was parched, my forehead was blazing from sunburn, my knee was throbbing and I was closer to panic than I had been since my first seven years worrying about the cellmeat in prison. I heard music, a thunderous, monotonous, pulsing drop beat with angry Afro Americans mumbling rhythmic pornographic curses. Hip…

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May 7, 2014

Lucky, by Jason Brick

Good afternoon, y’all. First off, I really want to thank everybody for coming on out today and giving old Lawrence the sort of sendoff he deserves. I know if he was here to see it, our friend would be just beside himself with joy at all this. Except for the being dead part, I mean. I don’t suppose he’d be too thrilled about that. Well, when Lawrence’s ma asked me to say a few words today, I almost told her no. I’m not too great in front of crowds and all. But Lawrence, well, I know he’da been there for me. So here I am. And here’s what I have to say. I sure hope it’s okay enough. We called him Lucky, the boys and me did, even back when we were all kids. And…

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May 6, 2014

Shallow, by Benjamin J. Trosper

I. Late, as always, but I suppose specters have no clock. “Would you like another Coke?” My waitress, heavy enough to be a mother with a face twice as harsh, did not bother to catch my eye, but how could she when the shadows cast over the tables were deeper than those over the bar?  I looked down into my glass. Dark fizzy foam reminded me where I was, corner booth facing glass splintered with girls. Hot and hotter underneath their sweatshirts and sweat soaked into their hair. There she sits . . . and I softly whispered to myself, as I did on the landing between staircases at home and at school, “Hey . . . Nicole.” “Mr. King of. . .” My waitress blinked, as if tricked by the light. “King of Night-marez?”…

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April 6, 2014

“Remedium” a Novel by Caitlin M. Park

“Remedium” a Novel by Caitlin M. Park

Editor’s note: This excerpt is from Remedium, a novel-in-progress.  Hot white light reflected off Noah’s irises. A beam of sunshine illuminated the corner where she slept in a cot. Her room was the size of a closet. She curled her body in a transparent sheet, soaking in the last comforts of sleep. Her thoughts lingered on the pills stashed underneath her cot. The bones of her arms and legs, all the way up her spine, ached for the Remedine. “These will help a little,” she whispered to herself with a sleepy smile. She reached under the creaking bed, searching for a metal lipstick case. Grasping it, she popped off the lid and shook two round purple pills into her palm. She chewed and swallowed them without water, savoring even the bitter taste, feeling them slide…

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April 6, 2014

Arecibo, a Poem by Jack B. Rochester

Arecibo, a Poem by Jack B. Rochester

Arecibo Observatory photography by Stephen Alvarez There were others, of course, But I will never forget you and how we met At the farmer’s market, Oranges and cantaloupes and figs all around us, The hot sun catching the color of your cheeks, your hair, Your olive-black Spanish eyes smiling up at me, Your lips ripe and luscious as the fruits And how we walked through San Juan, Laughing at the children dancing for money in the street;   As night fell we stood on the edge of Aricebo And you took my hand and held it tight and I swear I could hear the voices of the stars as they fell to the coil; We ate crab legs and drank dark, syrupy rum At a shack on the beach until our mouths buzzed Then we…

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April 6, 2014

“I Survived the End of the World Last Night.” by Shari J. Ryan

“I Survived the End of the World Last Night.” by Shari J. Ryan

                      Photo credit: newyearseve.nyc I don’t know why I agreed to this. I could be sitting at home on my couch, watching the ball drop in Times Square. That would have been so much better. I wouldn’t have to try to keep my eyes open all night. Yet, here I am. 2014—two hours away. Just another year. I jab the pad of my thumb into the elevator button, watching the numbers ascend until the thirteenth floor approaches. Thirteenth floor? I don’t know why the number didn’t dawn on me before, but thinking about it now, buildings don’t have a thirteenth floor. I shrug it off, forcing myself to care as little about that as I care about enduring this party tonight. The metal doors part and I step out…

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April 6, 2014

“Home,” from “Ivy’s Island” a Novel by Laurie Skiba

“Home,” from “Ivy’s Island” a Novel by Laurie Skiba

Editor’s note: This is Chapter 3, “Home,” an excerpt from a novel-in-progress. I found my mother sleeping under the bridge, her arm slung over her eyes, the flies buzzing so loud I couldn’t believe she could sleep. The fact that she had tired herself out swimming across the sound the previous night, and had slept on the beach while I had spent the night in the car awake and smacking mosquitoes, spoke volumes about who was an island girl and who was not. No matter how much I wanted it, clearly I was the non-native species. “Mama,” I tried softly before she woke up, and then, “Ellen,” and nudged her. She groaned and turned over, got a mouthful of sand, spat, and sat up. Her hair was sticking up in clumps, her face smudged with…

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