BC Mom’s Author Update: new Harlequin Love Inspired novel by Jill Weatherholt

Welcome to Book Club Mom’s Author Update. Open to all authors who want to share news with readers.

I recently caught up with Harlequin Love Inspired author Jill Weatherholt, who has some exciting news to share. Take it away, Jill!


Thanks for hosting me today, Barbara. I’m relieved you didn’t make me come on your YouTube Channel!

They say things happen in threes. That’s certainly been the case for me during the month of August. My third Harlequin Love Inspired novel, A Mother for His Twins, releases on August 20th.

Earlier this year, I was invited to participate with four authors on a collection of inspirational romance novellas. My story, “An Apple Orchard Reunion,” will release within the collection on August 29th with pre-order opportunities starting on Amazon August 16th. This is my first venture into the world of self-publishing.

Finally, my fifth romance short story, “A Labor Day Reunion,” will appear in Woman’s World Magazine in their September 2, 2019 edition. The magazine should be in stores the last week in August.

Although it’s been a busy time, the writing continues. I’m currently working on my fourth Love Inspired, a novella, and several short stories. You can check out my books and keep up with other news at jillweatherholt.com.


A Mother for His Twins is available in stores and online.

First-grade teacher Joy Kelliher has two new students—twin boys who belong to her high school sweetheart. If teaching Nick Capello’s sons wasn’t difficult enough, the widower’s also her neighbor…and competing for the principal job she wants. Now with little matchmakers drawing Joy and Nick together, can they overcome a painful past to build the family Joy’s always wanted.


By day, Jill Weatherholt works for the City of Charlotte. At night, and on the weekend, she writes contemporary stories about love, faith and forgiveness.

Raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., she now resides in Charlotte, North  Carolina, but her heart belongs to Virginia.

She holds a degree in Psychology  from George Mason University and Paralegal Studies Certification from Duke University.

She shares her life with her real-life hero and number one supporter. Their relationship grew on the golf course, and now they have one in their backyard.

Jill believes in enjoying every moment of this journey because God has everything under control.


For information about Book Club Mom’s Author Update,
email bvitelli2009@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Friday Fiction – A Man and His Phone

Welcome to A Man and His Phone – a series of relationship mishaps!
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Chris sat at a tall table, far away from Karma’s dance floor. The beat was shaking the room. He drained the last of his Yuengling and looked at the crowd. Somewhere in there were Jane and Adrienne and their gaggle of friends. Karma was not Chris’s usual hangout. He much preferred Chasers in Philly where he could play foosball and drink beer with his buddies, not this suburban New Jersey dance club. But after catching both Jane and the intriguing Adrienne in the stairwell of his apartment building, he wasn’t about to send them off. So he’d smiled when he saw Jane holding Adrienne’s shoes, claiming they were her own, and he’d laughed when he saw Adrienne’s face pop into view through the little window of the seventh floor door to the stairs.

“Who’s your friend?” he’d asked and when Adrienne revealed herself, Chris knew that he’d be hitting Karma.

He was contemplating getting another beer, but the place was packed. And if he left their table, they’d never get it back. Besides, holding the table was a good excuse for not having to hit the dance floor. Yes, Chris was interested, in what, he couldn’t quite figure out, but he wasn’t about to make a fool of himself with dance moves he hadn’t used since junior high.

His phone vibrated in his pocket. Why he’d even brought it into Karma was beyond him. It went counter to his “it can wait” way of thinking. He ignored the buzz. Having the phone in his pocket was one thing, but whoever was trying to reach him would need to wait. So he settled into his seat and tried to look casual in the chair that was way too high to be comfortable. From a distance, the mob on the floor seemed to be moving together. No way to find anyone in that crowd. No problem, Chris could wait. That’s what he was best at.

The music slowed and the beat subsided. Maybe the DJ or whoever was running the show was taking a break, although how hard could it be to queue up a playlist? No matter, Chris was glad for the break, especially when he saw Jane and Adrienne walking toward him.

“Why didn’t you answer my text?” Jane demanded, though she was laughing, a little manically, he thought, as she approached.

“What? Why would you text me when you knew I was right over here?”

“I wanted you to come out here with me,” she answered. “When’s the last time you and I danced together, like never?” Jane had a funny look on her face. Kind of territorial, he thought. Before he could get a good look, however, Jane had somehow climbed the tower of his stool and was sitting on his lap.

Chris panicked. Jane was his girlfriend, yes, but making a claim like this in public was something else. Like an animal in a trap, Chris had the irrational idea of gnawing off a limb to free himself. He sprung to action.

“Ack!” he exclaimed. “Hop off – my phone is vibrating and I have to answer!”

Thank you for reading!


Click here to catch up previous episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Copyright © 2019 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Who’s That Indie Author? HL Carpenter

Author name:  HL Carpenter

Genre: We’re multi-genre authors. We write mysteries for adults, young adult and middle grade fantasy, coming of age, and mystery novels and novellas, space operas, and short stories. All of our books are family-friendly, with minimal offensive language and sweet romance.

Books:
Murder by the Books, mystery
Taxing Pecksniffery, space opera
The Ghost in The Gardens, middle grade mystery
“The Demise of Fyne Literature,” allegorical short story
Walled In, middle grade/young adult
A Cause for Murder, cozy mystery
Pirate Summer, middle grade/young adult fantasy
The SkyHorse, middle grade/young adult fantasy
Jack and The Fountain of Youth, middle grade/young adult fantasy
Dream Stealer, a middle grade/young adult fantasy

When did you begin your writing career? Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Or maybe just yesterday. We lose track of time when writing and each story is a fresh beginning.

What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? As you can probably tell by the varied list of genres above, we resist being boxed in. We like the freedom provided by structure, and we also like freedom from structure. This is one of the true benefits of writing with a partner—we balance each other.

What’s your working style—morning or late-night writer? This depends on the flow of the story. When the words of the first draft are tumbling over each other, the writing session that begins in early morning can last until late night.

Do you work at a computer or write long-hand? The computer for intense sessions; long-hand for those times when random ideas strike.

What gets those words flowing, coffee or tea? Water, please, either plain or with a twist of lemon. And hot chocolate on cold days. With whipped cream. Lots of whipped cream! 🙂

Favorite book: [Loud discussion arises] We have to pick just one? [Hems and haws around for a few minutes] Okay, this question should not be so difficult. Let’s just tell the truth here—our favorite book is the one we are currently reading.

Favorite movie: The last movie we watched in the theatre was Mission Impossible #4,569. Probably not a fave, though we do like Tom Cruise’s acting. We did get a good chuckle out of the longest motorcycle chase in the history of movies.

Favorite musician: This can vary depending on the book. Handel’s Water Music plays a role in our cozy mystery, and we enjoyed listening to it while writing.

Links:
Website: hlcarpenter.com
Twitter: @hl_carpenter
Pinterest: HL Carpenter, Author


Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author!

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

2018 recap – a year of change

Fred H. Rohn

This year was a time of great excitement for me, as I helped my father, Fred Rohn, publish his second book, Encounters – Relationships in Conflict. My father was ninety-two when the book was finished, and working on it together was a special time for me. He had been writing short fiction about relationships for most of his adult life and wanted to compile these stories into a collection.

2018 has also been a time of sadness, as my father passed away in June, just weeks after his book was published. During the last few months of his life, we had long discussions about where Encounters fit into the book world and how to promote it. We were both very excited about launching it and acting as our own book publicists.

   

These plans are now my own and, during this transition, I have begun to think about how I will honor my father and what place Encounters and his memoir, A Fortunate Life will have in the indie author market.

Thank you to those who have read and reviewed his books, and shared your enthusiasm on your blogs and on social media. Your comments mean a great deal to me.

My father was also very excited about this video interview, which was published by the Madison Eagle in January 2018. You can view it here or on YouTube below.

 

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Friday Fiction – “A Man and His Phone” – Part 3

“A Man and His Phone” – Part 3

Welcome to Friday Fiction! If you stopped in the last two Fridays, you may have read Parts 1 and 2 of “A Man and His Phone.” If not, here’s a rundown of what’s happening:

Jane is in a twenty-something predicament. She has a sometimes boyfriend who likes his own space. But Jane wants more. Chris is in no hurry to change his life. He’s planted on his couch, drinking some beers and watching ESPN. Maybe he’ll go out, maybe he won’t. But he has no interest in making plans with Jane tonight. After a tense call with her, Chris has powered off his phone. Meanwhile, Jane is determined to make something happen. His phone may be off, but that’s not going to stop her.

Now you’re set – I hope you enjoy!


Image: Wikimedia Commons

“Let’s do a drive-by,” she said. “I’ll pick you up in a half hour and we can drive over there and see if his car is still in the parking lot.”

Adrienne was usually game for this kind of thing, but tonight she had plans to go out dancing with the girls from the apartment across the hall. Now Jane was on the phone and obsessing over this Chris guy. Maybe Adrienne could get her to go out with them and forget about Chris.

“Jane, you know I like to spy as much as you do, but I’m going dancing at Karma tonight with Felicia and her roommate. You should come with us instead.”

Jane was in no mood for dancing. She was furious with Chris and wanted to make sure he was still in his apartment. Let him sit there and drink beer all night, but he’d better not go out. If he did, she was going to find out. What she’d do then, who knew? She would figure that out if she had to.

“Look, we can drive over there first and then maybe I’ll go to Karma with you. Or, I can take you there to meet your friends.”

Adrienne stalled. She had met someone last night at the dance club and wanted to get back there tonight to see if he’d show up. She was pretty sure he would, based on the dancing they’d done the night before.

“Jane, doesn’t Chris live practically in Philly? That’s an hour from here! Just come with us and forget about him.”

“No, I can’t. I need to know if he’s still in his apartment.”

“What good is that going to do? And how are you going to find that out? Doesn’t he live in a high-rise?”

“Well yes, but I know where he parks his car. We can drive to his apartment building, see if his car is there. If it is, maybe someone can buzz us in to get up to his floor. If I hear music and see a light under the door, then I’ll know for sure if he’s home.”

“Jane, that’s madness. Even I can see how stupid your plan is. What if his car isn’t there? What are you going to do then? And what if he went out and someone else drove? And even if he is there, what are you going to do? He could be getting ready to go out. You have no control over this.”

“Adrienne, he blew me off last week and said he was tired. But you saw him at Zadar’s. He certainly didn’t look tired there. And tonight he didn’t want to make plans. I need to know what’s happening. I’ll feel better if I know he’s just stewing in his apartment, alone. Please come with me. I promise I’ll make it up to you. It’s only seven right now. We have plenty of time to get down there and back before you go out.”

Just barely, thought Adrienne. She didn’t want anyone else moving in on this guy she’d met. But she had her share of obsessions, so she couldn’t really judge. Still, this sounded like a terrible idea and she was itching to find that guy. Things had gotten pretty intense with him…

“Okay, Jane. It’s a horrible idea, but okay. Come over now, we’ll drive to Pennsauken, see if Chris is there. And Jane, wear something hot, okay? Don’t show up at my door in jeans and sneakers because I’m dragging you Karma after this.”

Thank you for reading – come back next week for Part 4!

Click here to catch up with all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.


Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Friday Fiction – “A Man and His Phone” – Part 2

“A Man and His Phone”
Part 2

Image: Wikimedia Commons

His phone vibrated and this time he heard the sound. But Chris was so comfortable on his couch. The highlights from last night’s Sixers game were just coming on… (Read all of Part 1 here.)

Chris thought about answering. He knew it would be Jane. She sure was persistent. He should have just powered off his phone, but it was too late for that now. He liked Jane…a lot, but he was nowhere near ready for more. It was true that they had something. They grinned at each other nonstop when they were together, but once or twice a month of that was enough for him. Anything more would require a label, and work. Just thinking about it made his muscles tighten. He didn’t want to be a boyfriend and he most certainly did not want to discuss it with Jane tonight. Their meeting at Zadar’s had been a bad coincidence.

How many more times would she call if he didn’t answer now?

Chris got up with a groan and picked up his phone. Jane’s number displayed on the screen. He swiped to answer. “Yo”

“Hey, Chris, it’s me.”

“Hey. What’s up?”

“Not much. What are you up to?”

“Just relaxing, thinking about dinner.”

“Oh?” Was that an invitation? Jane wondered.

“Yeah, I can’t decide whether to get pizza or a hoagie.”

“Hmmmm. Tough decision.” She was trying to act casual, but her stomach was knotting. She hated that she was so uncomfortable talking to him now. If they only spent more time together, they would be more natural during these ordinary moments. She was more than willing. More was what she wanted. She took a breath.

“Hey, do you want to get together tonight? I could help you decide on the pizza or hoagie.” She knew this was lame, but it was all she had.

Pause. Chris was stuck. He didn’t know why he felt stuck. He didn’t know why he didn’t want to make plans. He just didn’t. When he felt trapped, even in the smallest things, he could not do anything except try to escape. He reasoned that if he truly felt a certain way, he shouldn’t fake being any different. It didn’t matter that Jane was a great person.

Chris tried to think of something clever to remove the tension between them because his charm usually worked with her. But tonight he had nothing. “Well, my internal pizza/hoagie debate might take a while. I don’t know if tonight’s a good night.”

Jane should have taken this as a definite “no,” but still she pursued. She could feel a sticky sweat under her arms. She had to see him, had to make sure that things were right between them.

“How about if I bring you a pizza? Then you won’t have to worry about deciding.”

Chris thought he had gotten away. When they were both in good moods, their conversations together were playful, but tonight there was only fake lightness. This moment was a bad sign. Jane should have seen that.

She saw her mistake, but could not help herself. She had noticed a change in him at Zadar’s and she was anxious when he hadn’t called. She had to call and now she couldn’t help but push the point.

“Well, Darling, I think I’m just going to hang around here for dinner tonight. And I might go into Philly later.”

The ‘Darling’ part did not charm Jane this time. She snapped.

“Okay, Chris, but I need to know. Were you ever planning on calling me?”

“I don’t know. I might have…”

“Might have? Doesn’t that say something about us?” Jane took a second to think about what else she would say. She hadn’t planned on talking about this, but now she felt she had no choice.

“Chris, I wanted to see you tonight and you clearly have no interest. So please tell me what’s going on with you. I thought things were going well between us, but when I saw you at Zadar’s, you wanted to get away from me fast.”

Now Chris was beginning to sweat. And to think he had just been living the life, drinking beer and watching ESPN, the night wide open, just as he wanted. Now he was being summoned for the relationship talk. The rehashing of events. The analysis of feelings. He was in a corner and there was only one way out. Straight through, no matter the casualties.

“Jane, I can’t change who I am. Why can’t you understand that when I feel like getting together with you, I do? And we have a great time when we’re together. Don’t we?” The words sounded stale. They were, in fact. He’d used them before.

“That’s a little too casual for me, Chris. I need more than that. We’ve been together all this time and still you dole out your attention to me in small bits. If you don’t want more than that, then we have a problem.”

“Jane, all I want to do is get off the phone. I don’t want to talk about anything. I only want to sit on the couch and have a few beers. Then, like I told you, I will probably get some dinner maybe I’ll go into the city. But maybe I won’t. I don’t want to be pressured into seeing you or anyone for that matter. I’m always going to be this way. I will never change and you shouldn’t want to change me. I like spending time with you. You know that, but not now.”

Jane should have known it wouldn’t go well. She’d called him up, tried to force plans on him, and then picked a fight with him. She had made her point. It was out there now. She’d lost.

“Okay, Chris. Fine. I’ll see you. Bye.”

Chris ended the call, powered off his cell phone and threw it on the kitchen table with too much force for an expensive piece of technology. He watched it fly across the surface and hoped it would fall off the end. It slid and spun and instead, slammed against the biography he was going to read next, The Secret Life of Houdini.

Jane stood in her own apartment, furious at herself. She gripped her iPhone. She would keep it close, with the sound turned on. Chris could call her back. She wanted to be ready.

“What am I doing? I’m a fool,” she thought. But then she had an idea…

Click here to catch up with all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Thank you for reading.


Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Friday Fiction – “A Man and His Phone” Part 1

“A Man and His Phone”
Part 1

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Chris sat in his apartment reading. It was Saturday. Music was on. Playing loudly. He was reading a book about the Civil War. He liked to listen to loud music when he read. It was the perfect atmosphere for him and always had been. It did not distract him. It allowed him to escape into a different world. He was relaxed. It was getting to be time for dinner, but he was in no hurry, would figure that out later.

His cell phone was on the kitchen table. During the day, he would occasionally check for missed calls. He didn’t like running to a ringing phone so the sound was always off. He’d set it to vibrate. But he rarely paid attention to it and he almost never made calls. Now it vibrated as he sat across the room, at a safe distance. This time he just didn’t hear it. He continued to read and listen to music.

Jane had been trying to call him. She didn’t have a good reason, but she wanted to talk to him. She wanted to feel reassured that everything was good between them. She had not seen him or talked to him since the night at Club Zadar’s. They’d had plans that night but he’d blown her off, saying he was tired and then there he was, out with friends, flirting with women at the bar. She had given him a few days and still had not heard from him. When Jane felt uneasy, she jumped from one thing to the next. She could not focus until that one thing was settled.

Jane wanted to be settled, as in married with a couple kids. She envied that life. But she was so far from having any kind of life besides a working one. She could not imagine how she could get there. At twenty-five, with nothing going on, she was beginning to realize that she had a long way to go.

She checked her phone. Nothing, no call, no text. What was she thinking? Chris never texted. She knew he hated being tied to a device, but she could always hope. And he occasionally surprised her by doing something out of character. He had emailed her now and again and she loved reading them. She clung to that idea. Maybe Chris had sent her one. Nothing. Late Saturday afternoon, almost night. She had no plans. She thought about calling friends, decided against it. She decided to wait. “Maybe Chris is busy right now, but he’s getting ready to call me as soon as he’s finished whatever it is he’s doing,” Jane thought. She knew how ridiculous that sounded, even in her head. She didn’t care. She continued with this exercise. “It’s 5:30. He’s probably waiting until 6:00 to call me. I’ll wait until then. If he’s sent me an email, I’ll call him. Maybe he’ll call me while I’m checking my email. Then I won’t have to call him. If he hasn’t sent me an email, I’ll decide at 6:00 whether I’ll call him or not.”

Chris was oblivious to this. He had no idea that Jane even thought this way. He would probably be horrified to know it. He was sitting in his apartment, reading his book, listening to music. He was thinking about nothing else except the words he was reading. He was not thinking about what he would do after he finished reading. He didn’t even know how long he would be reading. When he finished, would probably think about dinner. Maybe after that, he would think about what he might do that night.

When Chris did stop reading, he got up and turned off the music. He looked at the clock. 6:17. Then he grabbed a beer out of the refrigerator and headed back to the living room. Seeing his cell on the table, though, he stopped and picked it up. He pressed the home button and saw that he had two missed calls. Jane.

Jane. “She’s probably already made plans by now,” he thought. “If she calls again, I’ll see if she wants to do something.” He put the cell back on the table, then sat on his couch and took a drink from his beer. He would have been more comfortable had he not checked his phone and seen that Jane had called. He had not planned on calling her, but maybe he would have. Now he would not. He finished his beer and got up for another one. When he sat down this time, he turned on the television. Flipping through the stations, he settled on ESPN.

His phone vibrated and this time he heard the sound. But Chris was so comfortable on his couch. The highlights from last night’s Sixers game were just coming on…

Click here to read all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Thank you for reading.


Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

An Update

Fred H. Rohn

Hello,

I am posting this on behalf of my father, Fred Rohn, who passed away on June 2. He was very excited about the May release of his most recent book, Encounters: Relationships in Conflict, a collection of short fiction. Prior to that, I worked with him to publish his memoir, A Fortunate Life, a chronology of personal reflections in the context of growing up during the Depression and World War II.

Music was a very important part of my father’s life. He loved the big band sound and especially enjoyed how many instruments came together to make music.

Below are some excerpts from his chapter on music in A Fortunate Life

I grew up in an era of fifteen member ‘swing’ bands, in the years between World War I and World War II.”

Gas rationing during World War II forced the closing of the supper club venues and the bands played in smaller, downtown locations, close to bus and trolley mass transit. It was both illegal and unpatriotic to drive a car just to hear a band, even if you had some gasoline coupons unused. So, my friends and I, often in my high school years, would take a bus on Saturday mornings to Newark where the Adams Theater on Branford Place housed a succession of big bands in concert.

I’m still comforted by this music, at times in awe of its ability to get the best out of both the instruments themselves and the musicians playing together as a team. It is my kind of music, an integral part of growing up during the mid-twentieth century.

…and for those who want the full experience of the music he enjoyed so much, take a look at this playlist, a collection of songs and artists that formed the backdrop of his life.

On the Sunny Side of the Street, Keely Smith
In the Mood, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
I’m Getting Sentimental Over You, Tommy Dorsey
Misty, Erroll Garner
(I Left My Heart) In San Francisco, Tony Bennett
Embraceable You / I Got It Bad, Louis Prima & Keely Smith
At the Woodchoppers Ball, Woody Herman
Stompin’ at the Savoy, Erroll Garner
Mack the Knife, Bobby Darin
Ciribiribin, Harry James
Hey, Boy! Hey, Girl!, Louis Prima
I’m In the Mood for Love, Erroll Garner
Moonlight Serenade, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
Beyond the Sea, Bobby Darin
When You’re Smiling / The Sheik of Araby, Louis Prima
Swingin’ On the Moon, Mel Tormé
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Mel Tormé
Just a Gigolo / I Ain’t Got Nobody, Louis Prima


Click here for more information about A Fortunate Life.


Encounters was published on May 4. You can learn more about his short stories here.

I will continue to keep his blog and website active. Visit fredrohn.com for updates about his books.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Early praise for Encounters: Relationships in Conflict by Fred H. Rohn

While we work on a few things and before our official launch, take a look at this early praise for Encounters: Relationships in Conflict. Thank you Tracy Ewens, smart romance author, for this lovely review!

“This collection is charming, and yet the author does not shy away from the social mores of the past. From The Depression to world wars, these are stories of people connecting both good and uncomfortable. I loved the author’s voice and the elegance of his writing. I was there at the cocktail reception and the old man’s apartment. Quaint isn’t enough for these stories. They are like tiny windows, complete with all the silent and not so silent goings on. A wonderful read.” Tracy Ewens, author of Tap, Smooth, Brew and eight more “Smart Romance. Happy Endings”

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

 

Book Review: The Storyteller Speaks: Powerful Stories to Win Your Heart by Annika Perry

The Storyteller Speaks: Powerful Stories to Win Your Heart
by

Annika Perry

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The appeal of short fiction is that it offers a glimpse of a character’s life, a problem, a twist and a quick finish. Annika Perry’s debut collection, The Storyteller Speaks, makes good on this promise in her newly published book of fiction and poetry.

Perry gives the reader twenty-one distinct stories about the daily challenges of marriage, children, friendship, family and loss. Her characters are knowable and likable, even the ones who find themselves on the bad end of a decision. Many of her stories depict the author’s upbringing in Sweden and the United Kingdom, yet show a universal understanding of family and relationships. And even though the stories are separate, the reader begins to develop a sense of community, as it seems as if some of the author’s characters might know each other.

Several standout stories will stick in the reader’s mind because of memorable characters and conflicts. In “The Whiteout Years,” a young widower wonders how he can let go of the heavy burden of guilt. Likewise, a young mother faces a very different future in “Sophia!” after a bizarre and tragic series of events. In one, there is a sign of hope. In the other, an unknown challenge.

Other stories finish with a warm feeling of love and friendship. In “Friends Forever,” Perry’s characters overcome a long and painful break and in “Role-Playing,” happiness is a given when old friends reunite.

But Perry isn’t afraid of exploring difficult or dark subjects. In “The Game,” children playing a seemingly harmless game discover the frightening power of their diversion. And in “Smouldering Shame,” Perry’s characters confront betrayal and a sorrowful tragedy. In “A Rare Passion,” a young man acts on impulse and immediately sees the folly of his decision. Can he fix his mistake in time?

Despite difficult subjects in many stories, Perry offers a strong overlying message of hope, love and family, as shown in her final story, “Loss of a Patriarch” in which a family finds peace and comfort after a beloved father and grandfather dies.

The Storyteller Speaks is a touching look at the challenges of life and relationships, an excellent debut. I look forward to reading more from this promising author.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!