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Tales from the Darkside

 Death and destruction have a party in just a few pages. 

It doesn't always have to be a happy ending as this trilogy of dark, twisty short stories proves. Rated PG-13 for violence and other thematic elements. American author O. Henry is famous for his short stories romanticizing the commonplace - in particular, the life of ordinary people, often with surprise endings. This anthology of short stories, Elementary Contract, deglamorizes the commonplace and explores the darkness hiding in the ordinary.

I've always enjoyed the short story as a reader and as an author. They're lean, mean, treatises into the human condition and telling a compelling story in a compact bullet train format takes a certain element of skill. One I believe every author should have in their toolbox. In fact, I consider Stephen King's quick works far superior to his full-length books and I think the movies inspired by those quick works bear that out (Stand by Me, Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, etcetera). O. Henry, as mentioned above. Steinbeck. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. I could go on but I'm in the "Authors' Lounge" today to talk about myself and the short stories in Elementary Contract.

Spend a day inside the life of an unlikely assassin in the titular story Elementary Contract. Women are often underestimated by society and Galen, the subject of this story, uses that to her advantage in her side hustle as a professional hit woman.

A young woman fights for her life on her morning commute when paranoia and fear run rampant in The Prax. I wrote this several years before the global COVID pandemic struck with no idea how relevant it would become. I found it frightening when I wrote it, but terrifying based on the state of the world today. In fact, my mother found The Prax so disturbing she couldn't remember what the third story was about.

I Love My Wife explores the limits of a spouse's devotion when an ordinary, older man takes his wife's celebrity crush hostage.

Before I found my niche and subsequent success, I was writing short stories in a variety of genres, entering contests. While the three stories that comprise this anthology won no awards or landed any agents/publishers and don't fall into the genre where I've been successful, they are my favorites. And straying into other genres is always fun.

Anyone who enjoys noir, crime stories, and unusual perspectives from a first-person view are ideal readers for Elementary Contract. And I hope they come away with a new outlook on who and what they consider ordinary, for ordinary people are capable of both greatness and great evil depending on the situation. People who enjoy a thrilling psychological ride and don't expect or even desire a happy ending, should enjoy this collection which is available only on Amazon. (https://www.amzn.com/B08T8MZ1N4)

I don't have plans or goals for this anthology beyond offering it as a free title on Amazon occasionally to embrace new readers, those who are less likely to give romantic thrillers - which make up the bulk of my bibliography - a chance.

When I was little, I thought everyone had stories in their head. When I found out only special people had stories to tell, I wanted to be one of the magical ones who shared their stories with the world. I wrote my first book in kindergarten with the help of my teacher, a thrilling tale of two girls lost in the big city. Even then, suspense was my chosen oeuvre. My mom—my biggest fan and most ardent supporter—has that little crayon-drawn book tucked into the pages of her family bible. It took almost thirty years to get from there to published author, but here I am, making my own dreams come true.

Even the dark ones.

#FREE exclusively at Amazon from Dec. 11th through Dec. 15th


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