Many thanks to Marcia for letting me take over her blog to tell her 3,600 dear friends about the release of my short story collection, Donkey Boy and Other Stories.
The ebook is already up on Amazon at the amazing, introductory price of 99p (which I think translates into $1.34 – still cheaper than a cup of coffee. The paperback will be out in a few weeks.
The cover, which I love, was designed by Melissa Priddy of Creative Station.
It’s a slim collection of stories which will entertain, amuse, and make you think – and there are little touches of humour. The reader will meet diverse range of characters in a number of different locations. A donkey boy in Pakistan dreams of buying luxuries for his mother; a mouth artist in rural Scotland longs to leave the circus; a visually impaired man has a problem with his socks; and a woman tries to come to terms with what may be a frightening gift – or a curse.
Here’s a sample story as an appetiser:
Such Soft Hands
Everyone admires her husband’s hands. They’re delicate with long, tapering fingers, the nails beautifully shaped. They might have been considered effeminate on another man but they’re all of a piece with Jonathan’s overall elegance.
Moira’s own hands are broad with stumpy fingers, the nails cut short. The backs of them are brown from hours spent in the garden. A few liver spots have appeared. She folds her arms, tucking her ugly hands under her armpits and turns her attention back to her husband on the television screen.
The camera focus shifts to his face, away from his soft hands, gently cradling a porcelain bowl. No-one had expected a programme on the history of porcelain to be such a hit but the camera loves him. Viewers – mainly women – adore his sexy voice and shiver at the sight of his beautiful hands caressing rare and delicate objects; they write in to tell him so.
Moira glances at the clock on the mantelpiece and jumps up as though startled at the passing of time. Her husband’s voice fades as she leaves the room, automatically checking for finger marks on the display cabinet which houses the pride and joy of his collection.
Upstairs, from the bedside cabinet, she takes a photograph album, sits on the edge of the bed and turns the pages. She pauses at a picture of Jonathan, an adoring expression on his face, holding Megan, their daughter. He is holding her as though she might break. It was taken before they realised there was something wrong with her. After the diagnosis he couldn’t bear to look at her. Eventually, a place was found for her – too far for Moira to visit as often as she would like. With a sigh, she replaces the album.
A half-filled suitcase lies open on the bed. She throws in some underwear, a couple of skirts, not bothering to fold them properly. Jonathan would hate that – packing, like everything else in his life, has to be perfect. She snaps the suitcase shut and calls a taxi.
She takes a dress from the wardrobe, strips off the one she is wearing. The bruises are still at the dark purple stage. They take longer to fade nowadays. Once dressed, she picks up her case and hurries downstairs.
In the living room she unlocks the display cabinet, removes Jonathan’s favourite vase and holds it for a moment. She relishes the sound it makes when it shatters on the hardwood floor.
The ebook is available now on Amazon.