Tag Archives: Literary Fiction

Tales from the Liminal Virtual Book Tour

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Literary Fiction

 

Date Published: 10-12-2021

Publisher: Deuxmers Publishing

In this collection of fifteen curious and delightful short stories by S. K. Kruse, you never know who you’re going to meet or where you’re going to end up. You can be certain, however, that whether you follow Schrödinger’s cat into the zeroth dimension, or hang out with Bigfoot on a public beach, or have drinks with a woman who’s seen Gertrude Stein in the condensation on her window, you’ll find yourself smack dab in the middle of some befuddling predicament of existence.

Using humor and horror, satire and allegory, fabulism and realism, Tales From the Liminal takes you for an extraordinary ride, submerging you in spaces where anything is possible, especially transformation.

 

Tales from the Liminal tablet

EXCERPT

Tales From the Liminal by S.K. Kruse

BIGFOOT’S GOT A LOVER

He was hairy. And tall. A sasquatch down from the mountain. His tangled mass of hair indistinguishable from his beard. Tufts of thick, brown fur sprouted from his back and shoulders and covered his torso and appendages like wall-to-wall carpeting. Sprawled out on the sand, someone might mistake him for a rug and wipe their feet on him. But people kept their distance. He looked harmless enough, sitting next to me in his SpongeBob swim trunks and listening to Barry Manilow on an old boombox, while he slurped on a raspberry popsicle. When he finished it, he rose from his faded paisley beach towel, did a few lunges and burpees, and then bounded into the ocean with loping strides, leaving a trail of footprints for sunbathers to photograph and submit to National Geographic.

Everybody knows Bumbles bounce, but do Bigfoots float? We all paused what we were doing and squinted out into the sparkling waves, secretly rooting for him to make it or conflictedly hoping he would drown. After a nail-biting minute in which his brown coat bobbed and ducked indeterminately in the waves, his shaggy arm shot into the air, followed by the other, and with perfect backstrokes they hauled him down the shoreline, impervious to the waves.

Next to me, Barry finished singing “Mandy” and started in on “Copacabana.” A greatest hits cassette. Some people look down on such compilations, but I appreciated its efficiency. It made me want to get up and dance. And sing. But my skin hadn’t seen the sun in six months so my cellulite lacked the disguise of a good tan, and I wasn’t as free as the hirsute hominid who now hauled himself through the water in the opposite direction with a flawless breaststroke. I wondered how he’d gotten that way. So free. If it was something he’d had to work at or something forced on him by his … condition. Maybe it had come to him in a flash. Maybe one day he’d been in a coffee shop politely sipping an iced chai latte, hoping his boat shoes and gelled hair and Tommy Hilfiger polo would be enough to fit in with everybody else when management came and asked him once again to please leave the premises, and Bigfoot decided once and for all he’d had enough.

The song was half over. The sasquatch came back onshore and shook the water from his fur. Mothers pulled their children from half-finished sandcastles. Fathers reeled in their fishing lines. People hid the phones that had been mounted on the ends of their arms, but Bigfoot stayed at the shoreline and commenced a series of graceful Tai Chi moves. The phones came back out. Dong Hai Chuan Serves the Tea. I knew this one. I did it myself but in my bedroom with the door closed.

Everybody knows humans worry about what other humans think of them, but do Bigfoots care? Surely, we were all pondering that question as we squinted at his matted fur glistening in the sun, some of us hoping against hope he wasn’t just an elaborate prank staged by an aspiring YouTuber, others of us bristling with indignation that a member of any sentient species would engage in such outrageous conduct on a public beach.

Meanwhile, it was thirty years later at the Copa. Poor Lola was still wearing the same damn dress she had on the day that bastard Rico shot Tony, and I was still sitting on my towel, looking wistfully around the beach, hoping someone would get up and start the dancing. Surely everyone wanted to. And while we were at it, break out singing that final, impassioned chorus about that fabulous, fated nightclub where the whole nasty business went down. I could start it. I could stand up and start singing. Reach my hand out to the person next to me. And that person could reach their hand out to the person next to them, and pretty soon the whole entire beach would be singing and dancing, and I could be the one to start it.

I looked at Bigfoot, currently engrossed in a fluid and focused Repulse the Monkey. I could feel my toes tingling. My body on the verge of standing up. Lola had lost her mind and so had I! I got to my knees. Stood up on my towel. Opened my mouth to start singing the last refrain, when a group of teenage boys came running up behind Bigfoot, giant slushies in hand. A collective gasp went through the crowd. I started to say something but hesitated, and then it was too late because the slushies flew, and syrup ran thick like glue down the back of the furry sasquatch, and we all could see as plain as day just who got who.

“Get a wax!” one of the boys hollered, and then they all ran off laughing. Next to me, Barry was warning us not to fall in love, but there were more immediate dangers in life like setting yourself up for humiliation. On a public beach. In front of hundreds of people. I sat back down on my towel. Bigfoot stood motionless for a bit, then trudged back into the water to wash off the slushy. When he finished, he came back to his towel, dripping and downcast. He shook his fur, showering me with droplets of saltwater. I tried to think of something nice to say, but everything sounded stupid when I imagined it coming out of my mouth.

“Copacabana” was over. The tape whirred for a few seconds before Barry started in on “It’s a Miracle.” I knew this one, too. You usually did with a greatest hits tape. That was the point. I glanced sideways at the sasquatch drying off and packing up his stuff. Then I looked around the beach where people were pretending to get back to their own business but were really just watching him surreptitiously through their sunglasses. I could hardly believe it when I heard myself speak.

“Are you any good at Silk Reeling?” I asked.

Bigfoot finished rolling up his bag of cheese puffs and looked at me. “Well,” he replied, rather humbly I thought and with a little less bass than expected, “it’s foundational to Tai Chi, so … yeah.”

“Well,” I continued, clearing my throat and glancing around one more time in hopes that at least a few people had gotten bored and gone back to their own business, but everyone still seemed pretty much riveted, “I ask because I have some trouble with it. I’ve been watching online videos for pointers, but it just never seems to flow.”

“Well, I could show you but …” Bigfoot motioned to the crowd, “you might get doused in slushy.”

“I don’t care,” I replied unconvincingly.

“Well … if you want to …” Bigfoot said and then extended his hairy hand to me. I felt my face flush. Could feel everybody’s eyes on me. But I reached up and took hold of his hand.

Bigfoot pulled me to my feet, then took me through the move step-by-step. Everyone’s phones reappeared, mounted on the ends of their arms. Barry crooned about spectacles and miracles as the teenage boys returned and stood cross-armed off to the side. I could hear their snickers. Feel my face burn anew. Oblivious or ignoring of it all—I still do not know which—Bigfoot continued to advise me with articulate patience about the position of my hips and the stiffness of my arms.

“Bigfoot’s got a lover!” one of the boys taunted, but I just kept reeling the silk. Bigfoot wasn’t my lover. That was ridiculous. But, I thought, as our arms moved in synchronicity before hundreds of mocking, documenting cameras, he was very possibly my savior.

About the Author

Sandra Kaye Kruse

Sandra Kaye Kruse grew up in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where she attended Catholic school for twelve years. She then moved to Madison to earn a degree in English from the University of Wisconsin and to launch her writing career. Her writing has appeared in The Onion and Reed Magazine, has been longlisted for the John Steinbeck Award for Fiction, and has won multiple awards in the National League of American Pen Women’s “Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition.” You can find more of her writing at: www.skkruse.com

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Tales from the Liminal Blitz

 

Tales from the Liminal cover

 

Literary Fiction

 

Date Published: 10-12-2021

Publisher: Deuxmers Publishing

In this collection of fifteen curious and delightful short stories by S. K. Kruse, you never know who you’re going to meet or where you’re going to end up. You can be certain, however, that whether you follow Schrödinger’s cat into the zeroth dimension, or hang out with Bigfoot on a public beach, or have drinks with a woman who’s seen Gertrude Stein in the condensation on her window, you’ll find yourself smack dab in the middle of some befuddling predicament of existence.

Using humor and horror, satire and allegory, fabulism and realism, Tales From the Liminal takes you for an extraordinary ride, submerging you in spaces where anything is possible, especially transformation.

About the Author

Sandra Kaye Kruse

Sandra Kaye Kruse grew up in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where she attended Catholic school for twelve years. She then moved to Madison to earn a degree in English from the University of Wisconsin and to launch her writing career. Her writing has appeared in The Onion and Reed Magazine, has been longlisted for the John Steinbeck Award for Fiction, and has won multiple awards in the National League of American Pen Women’s “Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition.” You can find more of her writing at: www.skkruse.com

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Defiance and Redemption Blitz

 

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Literary Fiction

 

Publisher: Clara Publishing/ Spiro Books

Life As a Roller Coaster

Eva and Victoria’s grandfather tells them that life is like a roller coaster ride.

Sometimes things are great and you feel the joy of the heights and sometimes you face the overwhelming down turns. Hold on tight because everything passes!

This will be a hard lesson for the young women to learn for they will be challenged by love, passion, scandal, loss of fortune, and their hard-earned freedom.

About the Author

Maria J. Andrade

Maria J. Andrade was born in Ecuador, South America, and raised in New York and California. She has a bachelor of arts degree in English literature and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. As a licensed therapist and writer, Maria has been diving into other people’s minds and her own, through dreams, poetry, and books for over three decades. She traveled with the Four Winds Society where she studied and was initiated into Andean shamanism in 1990.

Before Maria retired as a therapist, she specialized in women’s issues and founded the Wise Women’s Circle a ritualistic and transpersonal study group that continues today. The women support each other through life’s challenges and in the growth of mind, body, and spirit.

Maria Andrade’s books for children and adults is found in a variety of genres. This is an unforgettable first novel that reflects her imagination and creative storytelling.

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Shifting to Freedom Blitz

 

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Literary Fiction, Autofiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction

 

 

Published: July 2021

In the literary, auto fiction about contemporary women, Shifting to Freedom, Tess, a medical doctor, to escape from fear, pain, horrendous manic depressive mood swings, and hallucinations, dissociates, crossing invisible barriers to become ‘alter’nate personalities.

Her life, heartrending in sadness, constantly threatens to become unraveled.

Her tenuous hope for recovery is as fragile as her emotions.

Shattering” is her constant fear.

We hear her cry from the darkness, tears we cannot stop, but we hold on to what we can—hope.

 

What people are saying about Shifting to Freedom:

Marlene writes with great facility. Her writing is intelligent; her prose is poetic. In my practice, I’ve treated patients with Multiple-Personality Disorder. It would be unprofessional of me to give a definitive diagnosis without interviewing Tess and the “alters.” However, there is no doubt that Tess has dissociative episodes. To survive the horrific traumas of childhood, she would have had to develop an escape mechanism, and dissociating was probably, the only way.”— Dr. David Yeung MBBS, FRCPC.

I can’t help but think, because of the explicit detail, that this story is, at least in part, autofiction. Or else, the author must have known Tess, intimately. Her story is painfully acute, deeply sad, riveting, and all engrossing. It brings awareness to Multiple-Personality Disorder that I could never have imagined. To help rid the stigma that surrounds mental illness, Tess’s story needs to reach a broad audience.”—ML from Vancouver, BC., a beta reader and severe critic during the early throes of Tess’s story becoming a book.

Shifting to Freedom paperback
 


About the Author

I ran barefoot on the Canadian prairies in the dust that settled after the 2nd World War. That makes me an octogenarian, an oldie.

Thrust from the infinity of wheat fields into the warp of the Rockies, Selkirk and Purcell mountains, the light that defined a frightful, but interesting, high school life challenged me.

Our neighbours were all Italian—migrants to Canadian mining towns. With his Welsh-born farmers’ busyness, my father found strange their art of dolce far niente—that is, the sweetness of doing nothing. They practised it, “Come in. Come in. Sit down. Taste my homemade vino.” My father adapted. The family adapted.

And the flames of railway trestles burning and women parading nude colored life. Doukhobors (a sect that had fled persecution in Russia) settled in the Kootenays. They protested having to send their children to public schools.

Wearing a babushka and twirling spaghetti, not only did I survive those years, but I thrived.

Vancouver, the big city, where I discovered traffic lights and city buses, claimed me for medical lab training, and I worked the night shift in the blood bank to put myself through university.

I’ve worked in cancer research, taught at tech schools, become a registered massage therapist, taken up energy schooling in NY., married and raised two kids, and, at 73, published A Many Layered Skirt, a biography about a young Chinese girl trying to keep one frightening step ahead of the soldiers, during the Japanese occupation.

My husband, of 56 years, was Chinese. Our mixed marriage was intriguing, and happiness was ours. Interests in people, cultures and places took us around the world. Many of those adventures find their way into my writing. He passed away, throwing my life into chaos. Now, I’ve picked up the pen, again. I wonder what it will write.

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Harry Harambee’s Kenyan Sundowner Virtual Book Tour

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Harry Harambee's Kenyan Sundowner cover

 

A Novel

 

Literary Fiction

Date Published: 6/29/2021

Publisher: La Puerta Productions

 

 

Intrigue on the white sands of the Indian Ocean. From the award-winning author of Clifford’s Spiral.

A lonely widower from Los Angeles buys a tour package to East Africa on the promise of hookups and parties. What he finds instead are new reasons to live.

Aldo Barbieri, a slick Italian tour operator, convinces Harry to join a group of adventuresome “voluntourists.” In a resort town on the Indian Ocean, Harry doesn’t find the promised excitement with local ladies. But in the supermarket he meets Esther Mwemba, a demure widow who works as a bookkeeper. The attraction is strong and mutual, but Harry gets worried when he finds out that Esther and Aldo have a history. They introduce him to Victor Skebelsky, rumored to be the meanest man in town. Skebelsky has a plan to convert his grand colonial home and residential compound into a rehab center – as a tax dodge. The scheme calls for Harry to head up the charity. He could live like a wealthy diplomat and it won’t cost him a shilling!

Harry has to come to terms with questions at the heart of his character: Is corruption a fact of life everywhere? Is all love transactional?

Harry Harambee’s Kenyan Sundowner is an emotional story of expat intrigue in Africa, reminiscent of The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene and The Constant Gardener by John le Carré.

Praise for Clifford’s Spiral (Independent Press Awards 2020 Distinguished Favorite in Literary Fiction)

We’ve seen and noted the comparison of this author by other reviewers to literary giants like Roth and Vonnegut. And we can’t disagree. Yet we feel there may be yet another strata for Gerald Everett Jones, who arguably is doing the best work of his career. We predict that he lacks only a mention in the The New York Review of Books or, better yet, Oprah, to become a nationwide best-selling author. Five-plus stars to Clifford’s Spiral, a true literary novel if ever there was one. We say in all seriousness that if you only read one novel this year, this should be it. – Don Sloan, Publishers Daily Reviews

Preacher Finds a Corpse (NYC Big Book Awards 2020 Winner in Mystery, IPA 2020 Distinguished Favorite in Mystery, Eric Hoffer 2020 Finalist in Mystery)

This is literature masquerading as a mystery. Carefully yet powerfully, Gerald Jones creates a small, stunning world in a tiny midwestern town, infusing each character with not just life but wit, charm, and occasionally menace. This is the kind of writing one expects from John Irving or Jane Smiley.

– Marvin J. Wolf, author of the Rabbi Ben Mysteries, including A Scribe Dies in Brooklyn.

Harry Harambee's Kenyan Sundowner tablet

Excerpt

On  the  third  day  of  his  visit  to  this  beach  town,  Harry  met Esther  in  the  checkout  line  of  the  Chandarana store.  He  and  Aldo  were  on  a  morning  errand  scrounging  liquor  and snacks  for  their  hotel  rooms.  Aldo  was  still  browsing  the  wine  selections. He drank wine like it was water, but he insisted it be Italian or at worst  French  and  never,  unless  there  was  absolutely  no  choice,  South African. (“Troppo forte,” he would say with a sneer.) She  was  buying  milk  and  bread.  She  spoke first,  looked  down  at the items in Harry’s cart and quipped, “I hope that’s not breakfast.” Harry smiled and shot back, “I don’t have anyone to tell me whatnot  to  do.  Besides,  I  think  there’s  soccer  tonight.  Excuse  me, football. It’s a lot cheaper than room service when we’re watching TV.” She  laughed  and  said,  “Honey,  the  only  TV  that  gets  the  movies and the games is going to be in the lounge. And there it’s definitely not bring-your-own. And the one in your room? Channel One only. Clips from today’s speeches in the National Assembly and some gospel choir! You only #ip that on so you can fall asleep.” He  was  struck  by  how  pretty  she  was.  And  how  relaxed.  It  was uncharacteristically brave of him to come back with, “You got a better idea?”

Gerald Everett Jones

 

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