Karen loves fiction, reading and especially writing short stories and novels. She is also an avid blogger and book reviewer.
She lives on the beautiful Isle Anglesey, off the North Wales coast with her husband and dogs.
ASummer Garden tells the story of Sam, who was a down and almost out, with little prospect for the future, when he meets Rachelle, the beautiful wife of the philandering Peter, the kingpin of an international underworld empire.When Peter catches Sam ‘in flagrante’ with Rachelle, he ensures Sam’s simple life becomes… ‘complicated’. From then Sam’s life takes on a surreal path, where the only plausible outcome is for Sam to end up in prison or dead… most probably both.
Available as an ebook, and a dinky little pocket book.
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We all have a story to tell, you don’t have to be a writer. A funny incident, a television programme, a good book, poetry, news reports, or a meme or joke that made you laugh. Literally, anything, because life is full of stories. So come and join our friends and us. A place to chat, laugh, and enjoy good company.
I’m Charlotte, writer of The Naïve Princess, The Crystal River and Trouble at Tarpon Springs.
I used to live in the north, as the people of the south call them. Winter was way too long. The chill crept in late August nights, then sprung like a mountain lion nipping at your fingers and toes. More layers upon layers, became a planned event.
I was fortunate to be tucked into the Niagara Escarpment, (Lake Ontario) an hour from Toronto and twenty minutes to the breathtaking Niagara Falls, which one could never tire of.
Up near Lake Huron, the Grey Bruce county, feet of snow might surprise you when you throw open the shutters. But an hour the other direction was Lake Erie, which gets its big wintery dump as well.
“What the F,” is an expression I’ve used often, although mostly at some crazy folk on US 19 where I live now, also known as Death Valley by local hospitals.
For decades, I dreamed I’d be a snowbird and planned my retirement on those dreams. Life, as we all know, does not go as planned. Sometimes we are lucky and all the ducks are in a row and others it is tipsy turvy and we are left scratching our head.
My life took me on a wild journey. I was standing at a Y junction and it was continuing as is, which meant I couldn’t moan or complain as it was the choice I had made, or go on the road less travelled and take a huge leap of faith and jump headfirst into chaos.
So here I am, I am not a snowbird, I live here on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I’m busier than I have been in a long time. I haven’t had much time to write as of late, but as my schedules change, then I’m getting my fingers back to the keyboard, much like I’m doing right now.
The latter was my choice. The great thing about choices is that you are not cemented into those choices. That’s the thing about roads, they have detours, U-turns, side streets, highways, etc., and you can change direction at any time.
So that is what I have done. I didn’t want to be a snowbird any longer. I wanted to call Florida, my land of inspiration to a lot of my books, home. I used to come here often and I started telling my family and friends that I was heading to my office for a couple of weeks to work (write). But as I said about life’s mysterious plans, I didn’t expect to take the turn that I did.
How have you lived your life? Have you kept a steady path or have you followed a wild journey?
Most importantly: Are you living your life to the fullest? Are you? The you that you are meant to be?
If there was nothing else in these woods, he would manifest sorrow and use it to fill the damned silence.
The silence, immaculate. He recognized its unfathomable descent into itself. The purest forms often diluted his attention to the strongest hidden beauties. To follow these flawless silences might induce a cessation into a different yet similar lifetime. With one’s mouth agape, there is always more to swallow. And Tristen always wished to be filtered, chewed, and spit out bodiless as a dream, to be the raindrop plunging into white sea, to not shatter and spread wide the body, to pour out like the hungriest wound and demand to be filled at once. Happiness is to be loved to death. No matter how strange, the leap into silence demanded a sacrifice of the highest order. He came to relinquish his life for a different one.
His muddied shoes stepped through the brightly lit division in the trees. A hillside not far ahead oversaw the great abyss which nurtured the lowest regions of the wood, where the city limits were eaten alive by pine and lichen, where the meteorite fell just days before.
Canine laughter sprawled out against the void, just near enough to hear. Then, spoken slowly and dully like a voice from the sink, in the middle of the raspy sunrise, his name seemed to hum within an acute ringing: “Trist-en.”
The ringing grew and took hold of his arms and pulled him to the ground. The sky pealed his name unto him as he bowed over the whitening earth. He coughed into his chest. Frostbite and blood covered his skin from wrists to elbows. Curling his fingers into the snow, his knuckles cut deep; using them, he lifted his body and swung forward.
He moved with determination, each spring forward going farther than the last. Everything was a cry to continue moving. It even echoed from fractures in the bark. Eternity was waiting for Tristen. His ankles were set in a motion too hypnotic to break.
Torn trunks pointed their roots toward the hillside where old snow whistled with old wind. At the hillside’s ledge, deformed trees met the capsizing sky, longing back to the morning’s jaw. Mist peeled back to reveal the ledge.
Tristen walked to it slowly.
The sound bawled from everywhere, two drawn-out torrents of energy. They droned the essence of shared solitude, unmasked arousal of vulnerability and, at the center of the sound, consonants proudly shattered and burst. “Tri-sten.” A cry so lowly, lovingly, morbidly exasperated—stretched open and crackling. All around him coursed a magnitude of feeling. Catching a deformed tree’s lowered branch, he waited at the ridge. These—these long waves, this sheer density—this heavy slowness were the years of his life that hadn’t happened yet.
Then, pushing down on the branch, it snapped halfway, and Tristen tumbled fast into a scar in the earth.
Also available as a pocketbook
Jonathan Koven grew up on Long Island, NY, embraced by tree-speak, tide’s rush, and the love and support of his family.
He holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from American University, works as a technical writer, and is Toho Journal’s head fiction editor and workshop coordinator.
He lives in Philadelphia with his best friend and future wife Delana, and cats Peanut Butter and Keebler.
Read Jonathan’s debut chapbook Palm Lines, now available from Toho Publishing.
His award-winning novella Below Torrential Hill is expected winter 2021 from Electric Eclectic Books.