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Wrinkled Shorts – releasing a collection of my short stories in one volume

December 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Huge exciting news! Okay, honestly – not so huge, not that exciting, but news nonetheless. I’ve put together all of my short stories into one collection, with a bonus story added. It’s like getting 20% additional for free! [Insert infomercial voice here.] The new volume, called WRINKLED SHORTS, is now available for Kindle and Nook, and should be out on Kobo and the iBookstore very shortly. It’s also available via Smashwords for online reading or other devices. [Update: Kobo and iBooks versions now available.]

What is Wrinkled Shorts? It consists of my four current short stories – Incursion, Special Delivery, Opt-Out, and The Awakening – plus a new, never-before-released short called Dreamshift. Below are the blurbs. If you felt like spreading the word via social media, bullhorn, or carrier pigeon, whatever, I’d surely appreciate it.

wrinkledshorts600x900Incursion (science fiction): A young boy working on his village’s plantation watches as alien craft scream overhead. His first emotion is excitement… until the technologically superior aliens start shooting. He has no choice but to grow up quickly, becoming one of his village’s most trusted defenders. What does human nature mean?

The Awakening (science fiction): Robert has been running the Monhegan Island-to-mainland Maine ferry for years. This morning, however, he and his boat are greeted by mysterious lights emanating from the small rocky island. No one greets him when he ties up to the dock, and not a structure is in sight – all the houses and buildings have disappeared. All he sees is a curtain of light. Curiosity gets the better of him, and he steps through the curtain…

Special Delivery (horror): Kerry Jensen is nervous about her upcoming blind date, and one glass of wine isn’t doing the trick. Before she has an opportunity to pour a second, there’s a knock at her door. Her blind date is early, but it’s an unexpected package that will change the rest of her night — and possibly her life.

Opt-Out (suspense): A massive global social network announces an initiative to encourage its nearly one billion users to donate organs and body parts with just the click of a mouse. Millions of potential transplant recipients rejoice, but there is a dark side. For a young, newly engaged professional in Portland Oregon, that dark side arrives wearing a smile and designer suit during a chance encounter at a train station.

NEW: Dreamshift (scifi/suspense): Jeremy is a college student, struggling to make ends meet. After hearing of a sleep experiment than pays handsomely he eagerly signs up. The tests seem innocent enough, the reasoning behind them intriguing, but the end result may cost Jeremy more than he’ll ever earn. Can dreams tell the future, or are they in fact the future itself?

And here are some completely made up Frequently Asked Questions of Wrinkled Shorts:

  • Q: Why is it called Wrinkled Shorts?
  • A: Steve has never been very good at ironing. His Author Page/Twitter profile image was taken overlooking a vineyard in St. Tropez, France during a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, but all anyone ever talks about are the wrinkled shorts he wore. Oh, and the bird poo on the light post, but “Bird Poo” was rejected as a title early on in the process.
  • Q: Why is buying a collection of short stories better than buying them individually?
  • A: You save money. Jeez.
  • Q: Speaking of money, why does this collection, which combined isn’t even half the length of a novel, cost three bucks?
  • A: Steve needs a better iron. Plus, each story provides a solid 15-30 minutes of enjoyment, adding up to several hours of intense reading pleasure. How long did the intense pleasure last from your last Starbucks triple-half-caff-skinny-vanilla? And don’t count the burned tongue or acid reflux.
  • Q: Is there anywhere we can donate to buy Steve new shorts? I mean actual shorts, not short stories.
  • A: No, but we’re sure he’d appreciate a download or two… perhaps even a review. And he won’t tell anyone his waist size anyway.
  • Q: Can I return one of the stories if I don’t like it and get 20% of my purchase price back?
  • A: Seriously?
  • Q: I love these stories so much, Steve is so talented, I hope he writes some more!
  • A: Mom, I told you never to post here…
  • Q: Will Steve be writing any erotic shorts soon?
  • A: MOM!

UPDATE: This sucker got a review already, might be a record in terms of quickness…

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steve

Just published some short stories – need some horror or scifi in your diet?

April 3, 2012 2 comments

Well, lookie here… I snuck some published works in without the publicity frenzy of the media circus that usually surrounds my novel releases*.

* Disclaimer: I’ve never had a media circus. Not even a flea circus, actually. I totally made that part up.

Over the past year, I’ve done some short fiction, sometimes based on prompts, sometimes for informal ‘writing contests’, and sometimes just for fun. (I’ll ignore the short fiction that resulted from me writing a Chapter 1 and abandoning it…that doesn’t count, though lord knows I’ve done that enough.)

I took two of those works, polished them up, put together a cover, blurb, etc. and whipped up some ebook files. And here they are:

       

Now, coincidentally (or not*), both of these were from two different prompts/reasons from my good friend Al Boudreau. Special Delivery was his personal challenge to me (and keeping me in practice – the way a writer gets better is practice..therefore, writing) to write outside my usual genre. He gave me 24 hours, and if I remember correctly, I had it back to him in three. He gave a few lines to open it, and told me to run with it. It ended up just over 1700 words, and was quite different to step outside my usual scifi mindset.

The second one, The Awakening, was part of Al’s “Cage Match“, where two writers in similar genres are given the same prompt and 24 hours to write a short story under 2,000 words. Much more back in my wheelhouse, and very enjoyable. I was honored to go up against one of the most successful independent scifi writers today, Michael Hicks (he of the In Her Name series and Season of the Harvest).

* Coincidence that what I feel are my two best shorts came from Al’s prompts? Not if you know Al, a fantastic supporter of the community who tends to bring out the best in many a writer.

Both are now available for public consumption for all e-book platforms. Unfortunately, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble make it difficult-slash-impossible to publish a book for free all the time (first person to suggest KDP Select gets keelhauled), and I honestly have a hard time justifying charging anything for these stories. Therefore I also posted them on Smashwords, and eventually they’ll feed through to iBooks, Sony, Kobo; they are listed for free. Free as in beer.

Here are the links:

Special Delivery: Amazon Kindle ($.99) • B&N Nook ($.99) • Smashwords (free)

The Awakening: Amazon Kindle ($.99) • B&N Nook ($.99) • Smashwords (free)

 

Enjoy…would love to hear your thoughts.

 

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