Tag Archives: short stories

Author @JustinBog interviews Eden Baylee for THE BOG ZONE

Friend and author, Justin Bog interviewed me on his new segment—The BOG ZONE.

It was both fun and thought provoking to answer his questions. I even had to write a short piece of fiction. The PRESSURE! I think you’ll like “Kitchen Goddess,” but you may never want me to bake you a pie!

I enjoyed writing it and think you will love Justin’s easy interview style, so hop over and give it a read, will ya?

Hit the graphic below and be whisked away to The BOG ZONE!

the bog zone

Justin is currently on tour with his newly re-released book, SANDCASTLE and OTHER STORIES. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about Justin’s blog stops for his interviews and reviews.

justin bog blog tour

 

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Filed under Eden's Guest Blogs & Interviews

Author @JustinBog tours SANDCASTLE and OTHER STORIES

Good friend and author, Justin Bog is touring his newly re-released book, SANDCASTLE and OTHER STORIES. It has a brand new look since Booktrope recently republished it, and it’s gorgeous!

Find out more about Justin’s blog stops and follow him on his tour for reviews and interviews.

justin bog blog tour

The Complete Edition of Justin Bog’s First Collection of Dark Psychological Suspense Tales. An award‐winning collection, Sandcastle and Other Stories reveals twisted secrets that are mined like plutonium. These twelve literary tales are nothing short of an adventure through a roiling sea of emotion. With authenticity and eloquence, author Justin Bog holds a provocative and compelling mirror on the human condition.

Buy from Amazon

Add it to your Goodreads List

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Find Justin at all his virtual homes

 Justin bog head shot

Website and Blog | Twitter @justinbog | Facebook

Google + | Linkedin |  Goodreads

Amazon USUK

Justin was originally interviewed here June 2012.

Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island. Justin was Editor and Pop Culture Correspondent for In Classic Style. He is an experimental cook, a lawn mower, and master to two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n.

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Author @JustinBog releases HARK in time for #Christmas

It’s December! And one of my favorite writers, Justin Bog, has just released HARK, an anthology of six Christmas stories. It’s a stellar collection from one of America’s best short story authors.

For 10 lucky residents of the US, Justin is giving away copies of his paperback via Goodreads until Dec 14th. Enter to win, easy to do.

hark goodreads

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I encourage you to read my 5-star review and grab your copy!

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 HARK will touch your mind and your heart

HARK brings us six wonderful stories that occur at Christmastime. Unlike many books about this time of year, Mr. Bog’s collection pays tribute to the season without being melodramatic or candy-cane sweet.

In the lead-off story, “Hark,” a police officer replays an event that changed his life forever. Just as Christmas marks time each year, so do the memories and consequences of his tragedy. “Hark” is a strong lesson in our inability to change the past, to live in the present, and to hope for a better future.

If you are in the mood for a romantic-comedy, you will love “Seducing Santa.” It is whimsical and tongue-in-cheek, but it conjures the magical spirit of the season.

“Bracelet” in its simplicity brings to mind “The Gift of the Maji” by O. Henry. The ebb and flow of the story will cradle you like a warm ocean tide. The ending is picture-perfect with a delightful twist.

“Everyone Wants Me To” is the longest story in the collection with a similar theme to “Hark.” It’s about the intersection and merging of lives and the effects of these meetings. The story begins with Arlene as a young girl and finishes with her much later in life. It’s an incredibly ambitious tale, not easily told in a short story format, yet, Mr. Bog does it brilliantly. The use of several points of view and a seamless movement from first to third person narration adds layers upon layers of complexity. It is a cautionary tale about how adults deliver love and hate during the formative years of a child. Though it would be an over-simplification to say that negativity and abandonment begets a miserable life, I can fairly say that one is certainly at a disadvantage. Allegorical in its telling, “Everyone Wants Me To” reminds us of blessings we might otherwise take for granted.

My favorite story of the collection is “Snow Globe,” which takes place at a posh Christmas party. The atmosphere is festive; the conversations clipped and pretentious, as conversations tend to be at parties. I enjoyed the diversity of the guests—gay, straight, men, women, all intermingling at what is supposed to be a joyous occasion, yet, there is tension dripping out of champagne bottles. Despite all good intentions, one guest decides to speak his unpleasant truth. It’s an accurate study of human motivation, especially when confined in a pressure-cooker environment.

In “The Heralds,” the story that completes the collection, Kenneth Herald is battling a life-and-death illness. He and his wife discover a shocking truth right before Christmas and what they do is completely unexpected.

I compare the flow of these stories to that of a jazz song. They are delivered in slow, crisp tones. The notes hit the mark and draw in the reader. Like a ‘seasoned’ jazz singer though, Mr. Bog knows that too many trills or too much scat singing can rob a song of its essence, even if it may impress initially.

As such, HARK is a true lesson in storytelling restraint. Each tale, including the bonus “Poseidon Eyes” provides a window into the lives of people we know. They are not Christmas caricatures; their lives are not always extraordinary. They are pieces of you and me, and their stories will touch you whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

Hark

Buy the e-book from: Amazon worldwide

Buy the print version on Amazon

From the back cover:

A beautifully written collection of short stories from critically acclaimed Pacific Northwest writer Justin Bog, Hark explores the range of emotions surrounding the holidays.  From melancholy to madness, loss and despair to hope and forgiveness, these six tales shimmer with feelings, some we’d rather stuff away, that Christmas can evoke.

Spanning from Anacortes, Washington, to Ann Arbor, Michigan and Sun Valley, Idaho, each tale is woven of people who struggle to make good choices, learn lessons, and maybe even find peace.

A bonus story, Poseidon Eyes, from the upcoming  Sandcastle and Other Stories–The Complete Edition, is included.

flourish

Find Justin at all his virtual homes

 Justin bog head shot

Website and Blog | Twitter @justinbog | Facebook

Google + | Linkedin |  Goodreads

Amazon USUK

Justin was originally interviewed June 2012.

Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island. Justin was Editor and Pop Culture Correspondent for In Classic Style. He is an experimental cook, a lawn mower, and master to two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n.

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Farewell My Love ~ A story written and read for @RBwood’s Word Count Podcast

You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #28 of R.B. Wood’s “The Word Count” podcast.

The prompt for this podcast is One. Two. Three. He caressed each bullet in the palm of his hand before slipping it into its chamber…

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James stopped typing mid-sentence and glanced across his desk to where she sat. Her sweet scent alerted him to her presence. He knew she’d return this morning to continue their conversation of last night. Mesmerized, he watched her put down her writing tablet and unwrap the long, silk scarf from around her neck. Curled up in her favorite chair by the picture window, knees drawn, her face revealed a woman of timeless beauty and infinite wisdom. Torn between his love for her and his work, he re-read the three nonsensical paragraphs on his computer screen. They were the same words he’d been typing for the past several days.

She wanted out; he couldn’t imagine writing without her.

“How can I go on if you leave me?” he said. “You’ve given me the best five years of my life, helped me through the darkest hours when I thought I would never see light again.”

“Oh stop it, James.” She pursed her lips in a manner that showed her annoyance. “You’re being melodramatic, cliché in fact.”

He wiped his brow and sniffled. “I need you Calli—now—more than ever.”

She took a deep breath and let her shoulders drop, as if to unburden herself from the responsibilities she held. “You don’t need me anymore, James. I’ve been your mistress, your lover, your confidante, but lately, I’ve been nothing but a roadblock. It’s time I move on. You know I’m right, and ….”

James cupped his hands over his ears and squeezed his eyes shut. “La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la …” He repeated over and over hoping to drown out Calli’s voice. Surely, she had to understand he couldn’t just let her go. Without her, he would never have written his three best-selling novels.

“James, please, stop being childish. We’ve had an incredible relationship—a true meeting of minds, but it’s time to say good-bye.”

He opened his eyes to see a sunbeam brush Calli’s hair and highlight her face in a colorful prism. She was a goddess, beautiful even when he exasperated her. She was the one who taught him perseverance, listened to him ad nauseam as he cried over missed deadlines and rejection letters. She stuck with him and helped him hammer out hours upon sleepless hours of prose, dialogue, narrative, description, and then one day, her persistence paid off. In exchange, he cast her in a thousand scenes, made love to her, worshipped her, but now … her impatience with him hurt more than anything.

“I can’t say good-bye to you,” he said.

“You must.” Her voice was barely a whisper. “You’ve come to an impasse with your writing, and the only way to move forward is to let me go.”

He pouted and cradled his head in his hands. “Now who’s being cliché?”

Calli released a heavy sigh and slowly rose from her seat. She glided gracefully toward James. When she stood in front of him, she gathered up the skirt of her flowing, purple gown and crouched at his feet, resting her head in his lap.

“You know I love you, James. I always will, but I’ve been around much longer than you have, and it’s not good for us to continue like this. You will grow to hate me when your wellspring of creativity dries up, as it is already beginning to.”

James stroked Calli’s head and unraveled her tightly braided hair. He splayed her long, golden tresses down her back, breathed in her clean and earthy scent that held a hint of roses. He loved her even though he’d felt the past months tinged with boredom and lack of motivation. He wanted to believe the feeling would pass, but it didn’t. Only when confronted by Calli did he realize he was too cowardly to end it himself. Now her permission to do so flooded him with guilt.

“Calli, how can I go on without you?”

“You can, and you will.” She picked herself up and knelt in front of him. “Take this.”

He eyed the revolver she held in her hand. “What? Where did you get this?”

“Never you mind,” she said in her characteristic melodic lilt. You know I’ve lived long enough to have many sources.” She slipped her hand into the folds of her gown and pulled out a handful of metal. “You’ll need these too.”

James stared at the bullets she gently placed in his palm. “Calli … no.”

“You must, my darling. It’s time.”

­James stared into dark, emerald eyes and witnessed centuries of creative inspiration gone by. She was right, after all. He’d have to kill her if he held any hope of ever writing again. Her lips curved in a tiny smile and she closed her eyes, seemingly ready to accept her fate.

His fingers trembled as he caressed each bullet in his palm before slipping them into the gun’s chamber.

“Farewell my love,” he said with tears rolling down his cheeks.

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James awoke in the middle of the night agitated but filled with wild ideas. He jumped out of bed, flipped open his laptop, and pounded away at a fresh, new manuscript.

If you enjoyed this story and would like to read a collection of erotic flash fiction and poetry, pick up my ebook Hot Flash, which includes two non-erotic stories too.

Click on the cover and LOOK INSIDE to read a sample.

Available at Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Germany | France | Japan | Italy | Spain

No Kindle? No Worries.

There is a Kindle App for just about any electronic device (Click here to get one).

 

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Filed under Short Stories & Poetry

MISTAKEN DOUBLE IDENTITY ~ A story written and read for @RBwood’s Word Count Podcast

You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #27 of R.B. Wood’s “The Word Count” podcast.

The prompt for this podcast is “Mistaken identity at the pub…”

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Kim initially cast a wide net by chatting with nearly a dozen men who responded to her ad. After just two weeks, the field had narrowed to one. His name was Richard. He offered to send his picture early in the relationship. She preferred not to see it, said it wouldn’t change her mind about him.

After weeks of phone chat and texting, she thought he finally understood. “Looks are unimportant to me,” Kim said. “I like you. Let’s not complicate it with physical appearances until we are ready to meet.”

They connected on every level of likes and dislikes, but more importantly, they shared the same family values. He wanted to have children, maybe two or three. He had no clue what she looked like either, yet his willingness to continue their relationship revealed an important character trait in her eyes—he wasn’t fickle.

“I’d be a good provider,” Richard said in one of his emails. “You wouldn’t need to work, unless of course, you wanted to. I guess I’m old-fashioned that way.”

“I like that you’re old-fashioned,” Kim wrote back. “That’s how it was with my parents, and they were happily married for over fifty years.”

Conversation flowed smoothly between them, an effortless union. Following a three-month courtship, they finally agreed to meet at a pub downtown. Kim had dreamt about walking in to the bar, scanning the crowd and seeing a man in a dark suit, a red rose on his lapel to identify him. He’d spot her too, smile, and know she was the one. She’d saunter over and look into his blue, green, or brown eyes. He’d hold her face in his hands and say, “I’ve waited for you all my life, Kim.”

Yes, that was how she envisioned it would happen, but it never did.

On the eve before they were to meet, Kim received an email from Richard, devoid of a subject line. Had he changed his mind? She opened the email in a panic only to stare at a headshot of a male model’s face—large, brown eyes, an aquiline nose, curvaceous lips, all framed by a strong jaw line and flawless skin. Beneath the photograph were two lines:

“Taken last year in San Diego. I can’t wait to see you, Richard.”

I can’t wait to see you. I can’t wait to see you … The line echoed in Kim’s mind. She had thought Richard was different than other men, that looks were not all that important to him. Obviously, she was mistaken.

She shuffled to the bathroom, her heart heavier with each step. The mirror on the medicine cabinet reflected a thirty-year-old woman whose face was perfectly proportioned. “Women would die to have such beautiful eyes as yours,” her mother had said to her all her life.

Kim grabbed a bottle and several large cotton balls from a nearby shelf. She unscrewed the cap and pressed the absorbent fibers to the opening, soaking the cotton balls in clear liquid. She stared at her perfect blue eyes and swabbed her right cheek, wiping away a layer of foundation and blush. She did the same for the other cheek, aware that tears now blurred her vision as she uncovered the hemangioma. No matter how much make-up she applied, she could not conceal the reddish-purple birthmark that blanketed the left side of her face.

Following a good cry, Kim returned to her computer and fired off a note to Richard.

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Richard had hoped that by sending his picture to Kim, she’d be even more excited to meet him. His handsome face had always attracted women.

After receiving Kim’s terse rejection, he realized he’d made a big mistake, though he couldn’t understand why she never wanted to hear from him again. He turned off his computer and sat for a moment with his head in his hands. Muscle fatigue plagued his weary body. He pushed himself to his feet and reached for his cane. A bout of polio as a child had left him with an atrophied right leg. As he hobbled to the bedroom, a heavy sigh escaped his lips. He wondered if he’d ever find a woman who would love him, in spite of his imperfection.

If you enjoyed this story and would like to read a collection of erotic flash fiction and poetry, pick up my ebook Hot Flash, which includes two non-erotic stories too.

Click on the cover and LOOK INSIDE to read a sample.

Available at Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Germany | France | Japan | Italy | Spain

No Kindle? No Worries.

There is a Kindle App for just about any electronic device (Click here to get one).

 

12 Comments

Filed under Short Stories & Poetry