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People read for all kinds of reasons, and this collection has something for everyone! This splendid collection begins with Alex H. Mittelman’s tale of poetic justice in “Blueberry Tea for Burglars.” Readers will experience mixed emotions as an affable bad-guy gets an extreme dose of the crime that he so freely dishes out to others. James Fox’s “The Hidden Trail” features justice of another kind as a bullied and marginalized youth is vindicated—and eventually admired—by his status-conscious pre-teen peers. The story of male alienation ages a little in “Addicted” as Joshua Lane relates a tragic tale about a young man who watches his own personality and behavior degrade under the influence of a most unassuming addiction. “Grand Theft Auto and Soup” by Leonard Treman returns to the theme of poetic justice as a would-be car jacker chooses the wrong victim. Without remorse, the intended victim becomes the gleeful perpetrator of an even worse crime. The “intended victim” in Josh Krigman’s “Que Sera, Sera” is the object of affection, rather than criminality. Krigman’s main character allows us to witness his imagination at work he considers (fantasizes about?) all the possible outcomes of a brief amorous event. “Schizo” by Felix Arrieta is so delightfully unpredictable that I’m reluctant to introduce it—for fear that I’ll spoil the surprise. Suffice to say, the title is more suggestive than exhaustive of the themes in this brief memoir. Regular readers of our anthologies will recognize Patricia Crandall’s name and will welcome “The Wedding Reception,” which is written with Crandall’s typical flair for family-friendly romanticism. “Semotian Tides” comes from a new writer to our press, Maeriah Bond, but from an author who is destined to become a readers’ favorite. Her story has God, demons and humans clash over questions of destiny. The resulting tale stands in the best tradition of fantasy literature. Donna Bruck’s “The Royal Secret” mixes the fantasy and romantic themes in Crandall’s and Bond’s stories and imagines a world where earlier violence and injustice are eventually overcome by a triumph of love. “Leona” by Laci Chiodo and “Chosen” by Patricia Florio each tug at the reader’s heart strings. “Leona” narrates a young woman’s noble, but predictable, struggle against the demons of cancer, leaving the reader to mourn for a lady outside their personal acquaintance. “Chosen” speaks to a family’s love for one another and for their shared Catholic faith. Bill Freas speaks to a similar theme of family in “Home” as a successful, movie-producing, young man returns to the mother who gave him life—only to watch her gave up her own life. Who doesn’t believe in justice? But who knows exactly where justice ends and vengeance begins? These questions are raised in Joshua Pelletier’s “Justice of the Sword,” a fantasy of justice—or vengeance—in a time dominated by the skills of human biceps and the force of hammered steel. Our final two stories flow from the pens of skilled writers who are familiar to our readers, Melba Pena and Kathryn Y. Pollard. Pena’s “The Ceramic Statuette” sketches the history of a relationship as it moves from the joys of young love to the sweet sorrows of old age. Pollard’s “Regrets” speaks to the fragility of life and the private pains that come with the ever-present awareness of our past failures to love as we ought to have loved. Too often our unkind and impulsive moments are the last moments that we ever share with those whom we love so desperately. Phyllis Scott, series editor
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Book Description Phyllis Scott Publishing, 2011. Paperback. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0615523765