Story Publication #9

Eat, Drink, and Be Wary ~ by WordFire Press

“You can’t ever go home again.”

And so begins the story of Victoria, who moved to the city to chase her sugar-frosted dreams. But after she loses her bakery and her husband, she’s forced to return to her hometown and a broken-down house in need of repair. Now, she’ll have to face some hard-baked truths in order to patch the cracks in her own broken heart.

My story, “A Recipe for Home” is available in this tasty anthology, Eat, Drink, and Be Wary: Satisfying Stories with a Delicious Twist from WordFire Press (in support of the Don Hodges Memorial Scholarship). Edited by Lisa Mangum. Audiobook narrated by Brenda McGinnis. (February 2022)

WordFire Press link HERE.
Available in paper, kindle, and audiobook on Amazon HERE.


From the publisher’s website:

Food. We use it to celebrate, to provide both comfort and energy, and to show our love. There’s something about mixing a pinch of this and a dash of that to create something new. And when you pair it with the perfect drink … *chef’s kiss*

Stories can do the same thing. They can be a celebration, bring us comfort and energy, and help us express our love. And when the perfect character is paired with the perfect plot . . . well, then you have something worth devouring.

So take a place at the table, and let’s see what’s on the menu.

For starters, gather your pennies to bid for the last two jars of peaches for sale in an apocalyptic future. Follow it up with a slice of pizza guaranteed to bring love into your life. Dig into a shrimp and pasta dish so flavorful, you’d swear it was some kind of witchcraft. Grab a plate of “Lloyd’s Secret Surprise”—it’s out of this world! And for dessert, choose between some very memorable homemade cookies, a slice of chocolate cream pie worth dying for, or a life-sized gingerbread house—just make sure it’s not occupied before you start nibbling at the door.

This collection of nineteen stories is packed full with hearty plots, meaty characters, and a surprising and mysterious twist at the end to serve as the perfect dessert.

All profits benefit the Don Hodge Memorial Scholarship Fund.


Review by Publisher’s Weekly:

“The seventh anthology from the alumni of Superstar Writing Seminars offers a tasting menu of 19 punchy speculative shorts centered on food and cooking.
Though several, such as Aleksa Baxter’s cookies-and-murder story “Tick Tock” and Jessica Guernsey’s modernized Hansel-and-Gretel “The Gingerbread Contract,” are structured so that it’s easy to see the ending peeking through the setup, execution is almost uniformly tight and the wide range of genres keeps the volume fresh even in a straight read-though. Liz Pierce offers sweet fantasy in “The Last Ramekin,” Mary Pletch delivers magical realism in “Roll the Dice,” and Ken Bebelle and Julia Vee weave Eastern mythology into “The Boba Thief.” “The Last Jars of Peaches” by Lauren Lang explores postapocalyptic food scarcity. Mike Jack Stoumbos’s “Mission Impossible” dips into high-tech espionage, while Alicia Cay’s “A Recipe for Home” drips with sad nostalgia. The gonzo horror of Bonnie Elizabeth’s “An Obsession of Peaches” centers on overenthusiastic attack produce. Though the food featured can be dangerous, even deadly, the collection keeps to the appetizing; no spoiled and stomach-turning surprises await, and even the obligatory cannibalism story, “Murder in the Roux Morgue” by Chris Mandeville, is subtle in presentation. SFF-loving gourmands will be delighted. (Feb. 2022)


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