Sample Saturday: Thirty Days Later

thirty-copyHi, everyone.  Today is Bastille Day; the French equivalent of our Independence Day here in the United States.  In honor of the occasion, I wish to share a snippet from “Two Days in June, Part 1,” one of my stories in an anthology entitled Thirty Days Later, published by Thinking Ink Press. Enjoy!

“A toast to fallen comrades, my friends. General Lamarque has gone to his reward.”

Grantaire drains Bahorel’s glass and smacks his lips in satisfaction as he returns it to his dismayed companion.

“What do you know of the funeral plans?” Combeferre inquires. “Surely there will be a procession, with catafalque and all.”

“Indeed,” Feuilly joins in. “The people of Paris will want to pay their respects.”

“We must find out,” Enjolras speaks with authority. “For we may well use this somber occasion to make a change for the better, all over France.”

Grantaire sees the familiar light in his friend’s eye and shakes his head.

“Innkeeper,” he calls out genially. “More of your wine, and good meat pies, for all. Plotting has ever been hungry work.”

With that, he throws some coins on the table. The innkeeper’s daughter snatches them up when she brings the requested items, barely acknowledging Grantaire as she slaps greasy trays on tables.

And so it is that the night wears on, in discussion of weapons, gunpowder and treason. Revolution has ever been thus.

Want your own copy of Thirty Days Later, an anthology benefiting literacy charities? Here are purchasing options and the book blurb:

Hang on to the edge of your seat with the latest anthology of Steampunk flash fiction, featuring pairs of stories thirty days apart. Filled with rayguns and corsets, ghosts and gamblers, dragons and airships, Thirty Days Later is the latest from the Treehouse Writers, fifteen talented authors, artists and poets returning with a sequel to Twelve Hours Later, the must-read Steampunk anthology of 2015. Thirty Days Later features stories of intrigue and deceit, of comeuppance and conspiracy, of myths and monsters, of defectors and dilettantes, of time travel and time relentlessly passing. Join us again in another nail-biting exploration of the churning worlds of gears, steam, action, and adventure!

Amazon (click through to be taken automatically to the store for your country)

Apple iBookstore

Barnes & Noble

Chapters Indigo (Canada)

FNAC (France)


Smashwords (ePub only)


Sample Saturday: “It Happened in Memphis”

It Happened in MemphisToday’s snippet is from the title tale in my work-in-progress short fiction collection.  I hope you’ll enjoy this peep into It Happened in Memphis. As always, the final draft may look a little different.

“Lina, how about if I take you next door to Dell Taylor’s place? I’ll buy you somethin’ to drink and you can hear my record on the juke box. It’s only been out three days and I’m real proud of it.”

“I’ll bet you ain’t got but two bits in your pocket, Jerry Lee,” Carl said, taking another drink from his flask. “What are you going to do, buy her an RC cola and a Moon Pie?”

Jerry Lee dug into the pocket of his slacks and hauled out some change. “That is every word of a lie, Perkins. I happen to have six bits in my pocket, which is more than enough to get Miss Lina a chocolate milkshake if that’s what she wants, and to play my record for her.”

“That won’t leave you much, will it?”

“No one said I was planning to eat. Now, where’s your coat, baby doll?”

“I don’t have anything but this sweater.”

“That’s all right. You can wear mine. We’re not going far.”


Sample Saturday: “In The Eye of The Storm”

Eye Of The Storm Cover_revisedHi, everyone.  This particular snippet has been on my mind a lot lately.  Please enjoy an excerpt from my Global eBook Awards silver medalist novel, In The Eye of The Storm.

Clarice also spent a lot of time talking to her imaginary grandmother about her best friend and former classmate, Grace Sakamoto. In 1942, when Clarice was eleven, Grace — along with her entire family — had been taken away to live in a camp at the Tanforan Race track. Grace and Clarice had been in the fifth grade together at the Presidio Elementary School. Veronique shopped at the Sakamotos’ little grocery store.

Clarice recalled her confusion at the time; Mommy had said that the president signed an executive order saying that all Japanese people had to go live in camps; at the time Grace thought that this was like summer camp. How wrong she was.

Grace was American, just like Clarice. Mr. Sakamoto was born in Japan, but Mrs. Sakamoto was born in right in San Francisco. Clarice had been born in San Francisco as well, and for a time worried that she would be sent away. After all, Daddy was American, but Mommy was born in France. It seemed to her at the time that people who had only one parent born in America were being sent off and she was afraid for a long while until she got a little older and understood that it was only Japanese people. Veronique refused to shop at the Sakamotos’ little store as long as the new family had it; she said she could shop somewhere else until the Sakamotos came back, that was all. She started buying her little tins of Smith’s Rosebud Salve and other toiletries at the local Rexall Drug on Chestnut Street, and her groceries from another shop entirely.

After the war, Grace and her mother returned to San Francisco; her father, who had not been an old man, had become ill and died in the camp. Grace and her mother were not given the store back as everyone had hoped; they went to work in a dress shop in Japantown, sewing clothes late into the night. Clarice seldom saw her friend anymore; they did not attend the same high school. Clarice missed her; the girls from the monthly lunch club were nice enough, but Clarice didn’t let any of them get too close to her. That presidential order had hurt more than just the Japanese people, Clarice reflected; she feared losing friends too much to be any good at making them after a while.

Even amongst the Saturday Restaurant Club girls, Clarice believed she would never find a friend as good as Grace.

Want your own copy of In The Eye of The Storm?  Here are the book blurb and purchasing links.

San Francisco, 1948

When a mysterious stranger approaches Clarice Kaye in her favorite restaurant, his words trigger a voyage of discovery: “You look just like your grandmother, but you have your mother’s eyes.”

There was only one question in Clarice’s mind: how could he know?

Armed with family diaries that tell of the scandalous grandmother for whom she was named, Clarice embarks on a journey through Paris’ modern art movement, 1906 San Francisco, and the depths of the Opéra Garnier in this long-awaited sequel to In The Eye of The Beholder.

In The Eye of The Storm is the 2015 Silver Medal Winner for Best Fan Fiction in the Global eBook Awards.

Amazon (Click through on this link and it will automatically take you to the site for your country)

Barnes & Noble

Chapters Indigo (Canada)

FNAC (France)






Sample Saturday: “It Happened in Memphis and Other Stories”

Hi, everyone.  Today’s sample is from one of the short tales in my current work-in-progress.  The story from which this snippet is taken is entitled “The Devil’s Music.”  I’m sure you can figure out, from the photo, who the narrator is.  As always, the final product may look a little different than the current draft. Enjoy!

elvis teenager
Elvis Presley as a teenager.  Photographer unknown.

My mama bought my guitar down to the hardware store in the town where I lived as a little kid. I wanted a rifle, but Mama wanted me to have a bicycle. Still, that guitar that Floyd Bobo sold my mama was the thing that changed my life more than any rifle or bike would have done. Brother Frank Smith, our preacher man, and my uncle Vester taught me how to play a few chords. And boy, that Brother Frank could play. He’d get the whole little church to singin’ along with them songs. “Just a Little Talk With Jesus,” “Blessed Jesus, Take My Hand,“ “I Shall Not Be Moved,” all them old songs.

See, that’s where my music really comes from. It weren’t no different from church. Way I saw it, Saturday night was when you sang a song about your baby … and Sunday you sang the same kind of song about Jesus.

Anyway, them shows when I was a young man, I’d go out there so scared my knees was knockin’. But I wore them loose pants like Brother Frank wore, and the material would get to movin’ a particular way … and suddenly them girls would cut loose a-screamin’ every time my legs shook. I started doin’ it on purpose pretty soon, just to see what would happen. And don’t you know, they commenced to screamin’ every time.

I never ceased to be surprised by it. I’d look at myself in the mirror and still see that skinny blonde boy from Tupelo, who had pimples on his face and wore oversized denim overalls. I didn’t wear no denim again from the minute I made some money. Them girls, though, they seemed to think I was the next comin’ of Jesus himself the way they’d carry on.

Sample Saturday: Untitled WIP, with Bonus Track

Hi, everyone. As you may recall, I realized that It Happened in Memphis and Other Stories needed to be taken apart and used differently.  The result of this is that I’ve started two new novels, neither of them titled as of yet.  They feature two of Amos Boudreaux’s (Bayou Fire) brothers, Riley and Harmon.  Here’s a little bit of Riley, with a bonus track so you can hear what they were singing.  As always with works in progress, the final version may be somewhat different. Enjoy!

Laurie got to the café late one day; her car wouldn’t start and she took the bus across town. She started to apologize to Miss Julie, who merely waved her off.

“Girl, sometimes those things happen. Now, take a minute to calm yourself and listen to the music; I’ve got the tables covered.”

Indeed, there was music. Amos was sitting with another man and both of them were playing guitar. The second man had dark hair and blue eyes; there was a distinct family resemblance between the two. He was singing an old Dorsey Burnette song about how he fell in love in Texas, and the two … brothers, Laurie supposed … were grinning from ear to ear and clearly enjoying themselves. After the song was over, Laurie joined the customer and staff in their applause.

And then a penny dropped for her.

As Amos was putting away his guitar, she approached him.

“I’ll get to work in just a second, I promise. But I need to ask you something. You were the singer for Big Muddy back in the day, weren’t you?”

“Guilty as charged,” he smiled. “That was a long time ago.”

“I loved your band. I’m sure I still have a tape somewhere.”

“Amos,” the other man interrupted, “are you going to introduce me to this lovely lady?”

“Laurie, this is my brother Riley. Well-known gad-about and rolling stone, trifling man, and fatal charmer. Watch yourself.”

Riley winked at Laurie. “He always says the nicest things about me.”

I chose the Roger Miller cover of “Ain’t That Fine” to share with you all today, because I like the guitar parts.