Tag Archives: Short Stories

Book Blitz: ‘Fast Fiction’ by Scotty Cornfield

Title: Fast Fiction: 101 Stories

Author: Scotty Cornfield

Publisher: BookBaby

Genre: Short Stories

About the Book:

In Fast Fiction, you’ll enter a cafe where the menu is loaded with nothing but literary appetizers, designed to be quickly consumed and easily digested. You’ll meet people with secrets and others who wished they knew how to keep them; characters looking to exact revenge and others getting their just desserts when karma calls. Fans of the combo platter will see it all here, from the dark to the darkly comical; the laugh-out-loud funny to the thought-provoking; offering more twists and turns than a pretzel—more ups and downs than a soufflé.

Like the world of improv, each tale has been inspired by a prompt (a single word or a phrase) provided by readers. From those simple suggestions, the stories evolve. You’ll meet people from all walks of life, but they’ll all have at least one thing in common: Your brief encounter with them will be over in less than a minute. Welcome to Fast Fiction where you’ll find 101 stories of exactly 101 words each. How’s that for symmetry?

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US


A most unexpected gift

On the street, everybody knew him as “Shakes,” but nobody knew where the name came from. A human hermit crab, he spent his days scavenging for whatever he could “find” be it from dumpsters, Wal-Marts or unlocked parked cars.

The keys he retrieved from a puddle in the alley were particularly intriguing because they belonged to a Mercedes. Not many cars like that around here. He kept pushing the horn button until he located his nearby prize.

He casually drove off like he owned the thing.

The real surprise would be later—when he discovered the body in the trunk.

Prompt: Found Property

What people are saying:

“Scotty Cornfield’s 101 word tales are a dazzling feat of small plate fiction. With his dry wit and his cop’s expertise, Cornfield’s unique ‘fast fiction’ is like reading the beginning of dozens of Elmore Leonard stories. They’re that good. This is a dazzling debut.”

Tom Rosenstiel, Author of The Days To Come and the rest of the Rena-Brooks series

“Shocking, humorous, unexpected and very original. These vignettes of life, filled with quirky people are like cartoons in words.  Simply great.”

Anna Maria Manalo, Author of supernatural thriller,  The Way Through The Woods.

“Here’s a brilliant kaleidoscope of short and bitter sweet stories. Each different. Each mind twisting. From family funny to cop tragic. Laughter to tears. Upset to relief. All within 30 seconds of erudite, insightful prose. Amazing stuff!”

Michael Latta, author of Deep Salt adventure series: MichaelLattaBooks.com

“The author holds the power to write tantalizing sentences that quickly and effortlessly draw readers in: “Jessica playfully kissed his ear as she removed the .22 revolver from her purse.” The brevity of such statements compels readers to speculate beyond the confines of the narrative itself. This speculation is all part of the fun.”

Kirkus Indie Reviewswww.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/scotty-cornfield/fast-fiction

About the Author:

Although he now writes fiction, makes movies and operates as a licensed P.I., in a former life Scotty spent 30 years in the crime-fighting business, hunting murderers and sexual predators, as well as working deep undercover assignments, SWAT and a few other gigs.  Throughout his career, he became a recognized interrogation expert, ultimately working as a consultant for the State of California and the federal government, traveling the country to train detectives in the fine art of truth detection. No lie!

If space permitted, this paragraph would include his previous experience with  U.S. Customs, in San Francisco and Alaska, tracking down smugglers and searching suitcases full of dirty underwear. 

Naturally, no bio would be complete without mentioning that the former newspaper reporter and magazine writer also performed stand up comedy and can still occasionally be found performing improv because…what else is a fiction-writing, ex-cop gonna do for fun?

Social Media Links:

Website: www.scottycornfield.com

Blog: www.scottycornfield.com/blog

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Scotty.Cornfield.Writer

Twitter: @ScottyCornfield

Instagram: www.instagram.com/scottycornfield

TikTok: ScottyCornfield

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scotty-cornfield-2077

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Scotty-Cornfield/e/B0BGY7YM5T

Goodreads: https://tinyurl.com/mvtzxnaa

BookBaby: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/fast-fiction

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Blitz, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Blitz: ‘Goodnight Suzy’ by Hans Joseph Hellmann

Title: Goodnight Suzy

A Collection of Short Stories

Author: Hans Joseph Fellmann

Publisher: Russian Hill Press

Genre: Short Stories

About the Book:

Goodnight Suzy is a collection of semiautobiographical short stories narrated by Fellmann’s reckless alter ego, Johann Felmanstien. The stories appear in loose chronological order, documenting the author’s development from a lovelorn kindergartener into a hard-drinking globetrotter. The narrative deals with crucial elements in this process, such as his childhood crush becoming a stripper, his dangerous romance with an air rifle, his crash course in boozing, his witnessing a man’s death, his first solo-trip abroad, and his college relationship with a nymphomaniac who dragged him to the final layer of hell. Though the book cradles a largely negative space, much like the night sky, points of light are visible, and a sliver of hope can be found. 

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Barnes & Noble


The Brownie Incident

I slouched on my parents’ sofa and watched empty-calorie TV. I was still jetlagged, having returned from Spain a week earlier. I dozed during the climactic interlude between ElimiDate and Blind Date. I heard a knock at the front door. I groaned and stood. I went to the door and opened it. It was my buddy, Mason. He waltzed in with a JanSport on his back.

“I got a little surprise for you,” he said. 

He unzipped his backpack and pulled out a wad of tinfoil; I snatched it from his hand and opened it. A cube of green-tinted chocolate was inside.

“I just picked it up from the clinic,” he said. “It’s poty as hell though. Won’t take much to fuck you up. Especially you.”

I had never tried pot brownies. The last time I smoked was in eighth grade. Weed didn’t sit well with me. I either lay around muttering or spent the night screaming at the toilet bowl. I was determined to change that. I broke off a chunk, popped it in my mouth, and chewed. I could taste the crystals of THC mixed with the chocolate.  

“When will I feel it?” 

“Give it an hour. But don’t wait for it to happen. Let it creep naturally.” 


He inhaled half the brownie. We put on Scarface and kicked back. Everything was gravy. We ate Cheetos and enjoyed the flick. An hour rolled by. I still hadn’t felt a head change. I looked over at Mason. 

“Lemme get another nug’a that shit.” 

He glanced at me. His expression was a mix of uncertainty and morbid curiosity. 

“Go ahead.” 

I grabbed a hunk and scarfed it. I nestled in and watched the film. A tingling sensation crawled up my spine. I twisted my neck and squinted my eyes. Al Pacino cruised around on the screen in a white Caddie. He yelled, “You cock-a-roaches.” A surge of giggles burst from my mouth. I pounded the cushion and shouted:

“Al Pacino’s blowin’ it up, hahahaha,”

I could barely finish my sentence. Mason grunted disinterestedly. I leaned back to shout again. My consciousness flickered like an antique lightbulb. Reality arrived in chewed puzzle pieces. My heart clawed at the bottom of my throat. I turned to Mason in panic. 

“I think I ate too much,” I whispered. 

“You’re fine, dude,” he said, yawning. “Just chuck.”

I stood and paced the room. I held a hand to my chest. My heart clapped like a thundercloud.

“I think I’m having a heart attack!”

Mason looked at me with bloodshot eyes. “I think Al Pacino’s in Bolivia.”

I stamped my feet and grabbed the phone. I quickly dialed 911. Mason paused the movie.

“What the hell are you doing?” he said. 

I held the phone to my ear. It rang and rang. A woman answered. 

“Nine-one-one, what is your emergency?” 

“I’m having a heart attack,” I screamed. “I live at two-twenty-two Schenectady Lane. Send somebody right away.” 

The last word left my mouth and reason kicked in. The anxiety drained from my body and my head cleared. I realized what I’d done. 

“Never mind,” I told the operator. “I’m just a little panicky. Please don’t send an ambulance.” 

“We’ve already dispatched one, Sir. I can’t recall it.” 

I groaned and hung up. Two minutes later, the air throbbed with sirens. I stumbled outside. An ambulance with spinning red lights screeched to a halt in front of my house. Six EMTs hopped out. I stood dumbfounded. An EMT approached me, carrying a first aid kit. He was a lanky black man with a bald head and a stern face. He looked like an African general.

“You the one who called about the heart attack?” he said. 

“Um, yes?”

He grabbed me by the elbow and took me into the house. He sat me on the couch and whistled in his friends. They flooded my living room with a crackling of walkie-talkies. They brought syringes, breathing masks, stethoscopes, a stretcher, and a heart monitor. They ripped open my shirt and attached leach-like electrodes. I heard my dog bark in the kitchen. Mason shushed her. I prayed my parents were still asleep upstairs. 

“Your heart’s beatin’ like a hummingbird,” the general said. “But you ain’t havin’ no heart attack.” 

“Is anybody here with you?” another EMT asked. 

“Uh, my dog Buffster.” 

The EMT raised his eyebrows. “This kid’s off his rocker,” he whispered. 

“Son, do you take any medication?” the general asked me. 

My head wobbled in its socket. “Do gummy vitamins count?” 

He snickered and reached in his pocket. He pulled out his flashlight and clicked it at my pupils. He raised a half-smile.

“We’re done here, gentlemen,” he said.  

People chuckled and cleared out. I signed a waiver and handed it to the general. He took it and bounced. I stood and schlepped back to the family room. Mason looked at me from the sofa.

“Are you a genius?” he asked.

“Whatever, man.”

I plopped in my seat and leaned back. The shock subsided and the weed took over. My mind detached from its root. My eyes melted down my cheeks. My body turned heavy as granite. I looked at Mason and smiled. 

“I never knew it could be so wonderful,” I crooned.

He chuckled and nodded. I turned my head and closed my eyes. I saw vibrant mosaics of color. I felt simple and serene. Tiny high-pitched voices screamed “Sunshine. Sunshine. Sunshine.” Through golden reeds, a figure appeared. He was a tall black man in a white suit. He had long legs, a neat beard, and an afro that blew up from his head like a tumbleweed. He lay in a canoe and strummed a guitar. A rainbow waterfall whooshed behind him. 

“Hey, man,” he said. “I been waitin’ on you.” 

He had the voice of an ancient redwood. I walked closer.

“You a high-strung cat.”

“I know,” I replied. “I always have been. Especially when things are out of my control.”

“Wha’chu need to do is chill out and let yo’ mind take you for a ride. Otherwise, you gon’ go crazy.” 

“Okay,” I said, nodding. “But I have a question.”


“Who the fuck are you?”

He smiled like a distant memory—one stuffed way back in the brain closet like the rhinestone jacket of a dead relative. I stared at him in a daze. His gaze played Tetris with my DNA. The scene slowly faded. I opened my eyes and saw Mason snoring into a pillow. I stood and clicked off the TV. I staggered upstairs and crashed.

I woke up groggy. I drank a tall glass of tap water and washed my face. I hobbled downstairs to the kitchen. My mother was at the stove and my father was at the table. They looked up from what they were doing and stared at me. I readied myself for the knife. My mom smiled.

“Would you like some eggs, sweetie?”

About the Author:

Hans Joseph Fellmann is a writer from Livermore, California. He has visited ninety countries and lived in Spain, Turkmenistan, the Czech Republic, and Oman. A graduate of the University of California at San Diego, his writing has appeared in the UCSD Guardian, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and The Prague Revue. He has published two novels: Chuck Life’s a Trip, based on a journey he took around the world with his childhood buddies in 2006, and Saving Jahan, which is anchored by his wild experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Central Asia. He has also published a collection of poems, The Heart That Beats, inspired by his life as a writer in Prague.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.hansjosephfellmann.com

Twitter: @Felmania47

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Blitz, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Blitz: ‘The Wallace House of Pain’ by S.M. Stevens

Title: The Wallace House of Pain

Author: S.M. Stevens

Genre: Literary Fiction

Sub-genres: Short Stories, LGBTQ+

About the Book:

The Wallace House of Pain is a portrait of troubled family relations, modern social justice issues and deeply personal choices. 

Activist Xander Wallace and his straitlaced father do not have an easy relationship. Jim’s views on race, immigration, gender, sexuality and even millennials alienate his son no matter how hard Xander tries to find common ground. Toss in Jim’s second marriage ten months after Xander’s mother died and it’s a volatile cocktail. How, against this backdrop, will Xander dare to bare his soul and reveal his greatest secret?

Social justice issues have touched the life of every American in some way over the past few years. The Wallace House of Pain explores the differences in generational attitudes toward these social justice issues, in parallel with exploring a difficult father-son relationship. The novelette delves into that age-old question: Can two people meet in the middle without sacrificing their own beliefs and convictions?

As a novelette, it is longer than a short story and shorter than a novella.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US


“Have you ever talked to your dad about your mother’s death?” Charley asked.

Xander shifted to face Charley. “What’s that got to do with anything?”

Charley shrugged. “It seems like maybe you have to deal with the elephant in the room before you can move on to other things.”

Xander’s blue eyes studied her for so long she dropped her eyes momentarily.

“We’ve had years in which to talk about it so it’s reasonably safe to assume no one wants to. He’s never asked how I felt. Not once.”

This time, he looked away from her steady gaze.

“I don’t think you’re desperate for your father’s approval. I think you’re desperate for his love. I feel guilty because I’m not sure I loved my parents enough when they were here. And I feel sad because I’m not sure they loved me enough.”

“You have to stop concerning yourself with that. What we have has to be enough.”

“I know. But what if you don’t know how much you have? And you can still find out?”

About the Author:

Stevens began writing fiction during back-to-back health crises: a shattered pelvis and ovarian cancer. Her books include the novelette The Wallace House of Pain, full-length novel Horseshoes and Hand Grenades (both Contemporary Adult Fiction), Shannon’s Odyssey (Middle Grade), and the Bit Players series (Young Adult) for musical theatre-loving teens. Her forthcoming novel, Beautiful and Terrible Things, addresses social justice issues and will be published by TouchPoint Press in early 2023. When not writing fiction, she provides marketing and PR for solar energy companies. 

Beautiful and Terrible Things features the same cast of characters as The Wallace House of Pain. The novelette presents one of the key story lines cut from the full novel for length reasons. So if you like the characters, you can spend more time with them when the full novel is released.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.authorsmstevens.com

Blog: www.authorsmstevens.com/blog

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/AuthorSMStevens

Twitter:  @SMStevens17

Instagram: www.instagram.com/s.m.stevens

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/s-m-stevens

1 Comment

Filed under Book Blitz, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Author Interview: ‘Escape Reality’ by Jasmine Gorton

About the Book:

Everyone is looking for a way to escape reality. Why not jump into someone else’s shoes for a change?

Fall into a world of wonder as it feels like you are standing right beside the character. From sprinting away from hoards of green-glowing skeletons to a simple kiss that could sweep you off your feet. Feel chilling goosebumps rise on your arm as you hear the deafening sound of doom slowly approaching!

This short-story collection offers a variety of unknown worlds to humankind. You will be sitting on the edge of your seat because you will need to know more!

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into writing?

I’m a 19-year-old girl who started writing at the age of twelve. I published my first book after I turned sixteen in 2019. I currently live in OH with my family. What got me in writing was when I had a sudden realization that I should write my own books. All I knew was that I loved reading, and thought I should become a famous author like the ones I read. Now that I’m thinking about it, it was an awe-inspiring moment that set me on my writing career path.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Well, for me I either have to be in the writing mood or I will typically write in the afternoon as I’m not a morning person. And I can write in just about any place.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from everything around me. Such as books, movies, people, places, etc.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I do a mixture of both. For books I’ve been writing a long time, I like to plan it out if I don’t have a particular word count I want to accomplish.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I write in fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure. I write in those genres because I love reading those genres. And because those genres are just the easiest to write.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

That is a tricky question. I really don’t know. I feel like my books would be more animated than live actions.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read every single day, even if it means reading five minutes before I go to bed. My favorite authors would have to be Brandon Sanderson, Rick Riordan, Shannon Messenger, and Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

The books I’m currently reading are Spy Family number 6, Dune Messiah, and Cytonic.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

My favorite book would have to be A Star Named Vega because I finished it in one sitting. I absolutely loved the characters, storyline, and the world-building Benjamin J. Roberts created.

10: What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a writer?

If you’re becoming a writer, just know it takes time to craft your skills. And if you ever publish, make sure you have your book edited beforehand.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work? 

Here are my Social Media handles for people to find more about me and my work below,

Instagram: www.instagram.com/Ladyginnaandtheninjaseries

Twitter: @GortonJasmine

TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@JasmineMGorton

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ladyginnaandtheninjaseries

About the Author:

Jasmine M. Gorton is a young adult, who currently lives in Ohio now. She loves to write, read, and listen to music. She’s lives with a family of eight and is a huge fangirl for Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and other action movies out there. She loves reading graphic novels, manga, and novels. She is also a Christain who loves God. Her illustrator, Katherine E. Gorton, is her younger sister. She also has fan pages on Facebook and Instagram. The Facebook fan page is called The Ninja Series Jasmine M. Gorton. And Instagram is called Lady Ginna and The Ninja Series. She has four new books that are in the editing stages, and will be published later this year in 2021! Look out for the new reads, Imagination Land, The Chosen Sensei: A Ninja Series Prequel, The Chosen Purple Ninja: A Ninja Series Prequel, and a book called The One Shadow she is working with two other newly aspiring authors. Hope you all are having a wonderful day, and stay safe everyone!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interview, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Author Interview: ‘Again. Again and Again: Awakening into Awareness’ by Mathias B. Freese

About the Book:

Having once been a psychotherapist who’s never hesitated to turn the therapeutical gun barrel toward himself, Mathias B. Freese ramps up his radical reflexivity in this latest work, from confessional first-person narration to third-person “stories” starring “characters” named Matt. (This genre could be called meta-Matt.) “I write to know perhaps something about who I am,” Freese writes. “I write to arrive at some awareness, however dim, about self or other, for when I have that fleeting moment of awareness, I feel at one — true.” Truly, Again. Again and Again. is a song of himself.

Rocker Billy Idol proves to be an unlikely but apt echoer here: “When there’s nothing to lose and there’s nothing to prove, well, I’m dancing with myself.” As a one-man show, Freese puts the “dance” in “abundance,” stressing an author’s singularity, the innerness of writing, the sharing — rather than the proselytizing — purpose of artistic expression. In other words, as Freese says, “a book is one person’s awareness as he or she sees it.”

More than a few times, Freese had implied that Again. Again and Again. would probably be his swan song, his “final stirrings,” his ultimate testament. How laughable, considering both his prolificacy and “urge and urge and urge” (as Whitman would gush). Sure enough, the author is no longer so sure that he’s expressed enough, and it seems that yet another stirring idea spurs him to create again. Again and…

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing? 

Author, teacher and retired psychotherapist, one can never retire from writing. The subtitle of my most recent book, Again. again and again, a book of essays and stories, is “Awakening into Awareness.” I am not on a spiritual journey as life has taught me that I enter awareness gradually as I evolve. Kazantzakis’s epitaph reads: “I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.” What got me into writing was a primitive sense to express myself, then it became to know myself, and now in my old age it is to observe myself. I see writing as construction work and I just finished repairing my roof. More to work on. Consequently, I do not market my books nor target an audience. They are for me. It was Dinesen who summed up the artist: “An artist is never poor.” I own these hard-earned riches. 

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write? 

At my age let me be cranky. This is of no or little purpose. It is much to asking me if I ever use a pencil. Ask this question: How often do you draw upon your unconscious to express your thoughts and feelings, that is, how effectively do you use your associations as you write? 

3: Where do your ideas come from?  

The unconscious, the most reliable ghostwriter the writer ever has. I will argue that books are already written in the apses of our minds before we begin. We are unconscious creatures animated in human form and believe, mistakenly so, that we are in charge. Say Ukraine a thousand-fold, exponentially so, and you have proof we are driven by forces we cannot harness. 

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go? 

Think of Moby Dick and the sailors hunting whale in their boats, what was called a “Massachusetts hayride,” as the beast pulled them along. I find the best work for me is to be a story whisperer to the unconscious, soothing the beast if he wishes to be soothed, more often trusting in his desperate thrusts here and there, and when he breaches then I may have the start of a story. I had no idea that I would associate to the great whale and I offer it proof of what I am expressing — who really is in charge. 

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre? 

I generally like to write short stories and self-disclosing essays, often confessional. I am awakening to my intelligence and let the chips fall where they may. 

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book? 

Again, I don’t think in this way. I am the cast and the character of all my books. I am working on myself. I am investigating my short stay on this planet.  

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors? 

Kazantzakis, Krishnamurti, some Freud 

8: What book/s are you reading at present? 

A book on Reiki, a novel by Duff Brenna 

9: What is your favourite book and why? 

Report to Greco by Kazantzakis. It is a verbal Parthenon. See his The Last Temptation of Christ.  Greco is probably the best autobiography or confessional of the twentieth century 

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer? 

Buy olive oil and anoint yourself in the woods as a writer; buy a tube of epoxy to affix to your chair when you sit down to write. Stay away from advice, it usually sucks no matter how well intended. 

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?   

Go to my author’s page: www.amazon.com/Mathias-B-Freese/e/B000APHUQW. All nine of my books are listed, described and criticized.

About the Author:

MATHIAS B. FREESE is a writer, teacher, and psychotherapist who has authored eight books. His I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust won the Beverly Hills Book Award, Reader’s Favorite Book Award, and was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Book Awards, the Paris Book Festival, and the Amsterdam Book Festival. In 2016, Tesserae: A Memoir of Two Summers, his first memoir, received seven awards. The following year his second memoir appeared,And Then I Am Gone.

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interview, Reading Nook Blog Posts