READ BY AUSTIN BUNN, LUKE DANIELS, TANYA EBY, RALPH LISTER, AMY MCFADDEN, MIKAEL NARRAMORE, NICK PODEHL
Winner, 2017 APA Audie Awards - Best Short Story/Collections
A brilliant, inventive debut story collection in the vein of Kevin Wilson and Wells Tower.
Brimming with life and unforgettable voices, the stories in Austin Bunn's dazzling collection explore the existential question: what happens at the end, and what lies beyond it? In the wry but affecting "How to Win an Unwinnable War", a summer class on nuclear war for gifted teenagers turns a struggling family upside down. A young couple's idyllic beach honeymoon is interrupted by terrorism in the lush, haunting "Getting There and Away". When an immersive video game begins turning off in the heartbreaking "Griefer", an obsessive player falls in love with a mysterious player in the final hours of a world.
Told in a stunning range of voices, styles and settings - from inside the Hale-Bopp cult to the deck of a conquistador's galleon adrift at the end of the ocean - the stories in Bunn's collection capture the transformations and discoveries at the edge of irrevocable change. Each tale presents a distinct world, told with deep emotion, energizing language and characters with whom we have more in common that we realize. They signal the arrival of an astonishing new talent in short fiction.
Includes a bonus monologue, "Basement Story".
Bunn is a screenwriter (Kill Your Darlings), former journalist (New York Times Magazine, Wired and elsewhere) and performer, whose work has been performed at The Moth, WBEZ and public radio.
A lurid crime scene photo of a beautiful woman arrives on mystery writer Bunny Prescott's doorstep with no return address - and it's not the first time she's seen it. The reemergence of the photo, taken 55 years earlier, sets her on a journey to reconstruct the vicious summer that changed her life.
In the summer of 1945, Ceola Bliss is a lonely 12-year-old tomboy, mourning the loss of her brother, Robbie, who was declared missing in the Pacific. She tries to piece together his life by rereading his favorite pulp detective story “A Date with Death” and spending time with his best friend, Jay Greenwood, in Royal Oak, VA. One unforgettable August day, Jay leads Ceola and Bunny to a stretch of woods where he found a dead woman, but when they arrive, the body is gone. They soon discover a local woman named Lily Vellum is missing and begin to piece together the threads of her murder, starting with the photograph Jay took of her abandoned body.
As Ceola gets swept up playing girl detective, Bunny becomes increasingly skeptical of Jay, and begins her own investigation into the connection between Jay and Lily. She discovers a series of clues that place doubt on Jay’s story about the photograph. She journeys to Washington, DC, where she is forced to confront the brutal truth about her dear friend - a discovery that triggers a series of events that will bring tragedy to Jay and decades of estrangement between her and Ceola.
Edmund and Mary Wilder are very much in love. But the death of their young son, Tommy, has shattered their family. Edmund is determined to bring them back together, drawing on the only bit of strength he has left - his love for Mary and their daughter, Stephanie. But Mary sinks deeper into depression while little Stephanie's anger grows. Edmund flounders in his attempts to rescue his family from the brink of collapse and doesn't know where to turn.
Then Mary receives an invitation for the family to become guests at Manor House, a seemingly quaint bed and breakfast. This, she assures her husband, is the answer to all their troubles.
Edmund arrives ahead of his family to spend a couple days working on his long-delayed novel. But his growing curiosity about the old house leads Edmund to an encounter that will change him forever.
What will you sacrifice for love?
An old fashioned psychological thriller with a nod to Stephen King, Manor House will keep you guessing and compel you to listen to the very end.
A mother will sacrifice anything for her children. A husband will risk everything to save his wife. Manor House will take them all.
As a young girl, Willow watched her mother leave their home in Washington state in a literal blaze of glory: she set the mattress of her cheating husband on fire in her driveway, roasting marshmallow peeps and hot dogs before the fire department arrived.
And, with that, she and Willow set off to New Mexico, to a new life, to a world of arroyos and canyons bordering an Apache reservation. Willow was devastated. Her eccentric mother believed in this new life and set about starting a winery and goat ranch. But for Willow, it meant initially being bullied and feeling like an outsider. Today, as a grown woman, Willow much prefers Los Angeles and her job as a studio musician. But things tend to happen in threes: her mother dies, her boyfriend dumps her, and Willow discovers she is pregnant.
The DeVine Winery and Goat Ranch is all she has left, even if it is in financial straits and unmanageable back taxes. There is something, though, about the call of "home". She's surprised to find that her Apache best friend Darrel, along with the rest of the community, seems to think she belongs far more than she ever thought she did. Can Willow redefine what home means for her, and can she make a go of the legacy her mother left behind?
Told with Kaya McLaren's humor and heart, The Road to Enchantment is a story about discovering that the last thing you want is sometimes the one thing you need.
READ BY BECCA BALANGER, ERIN BENNETT, HILLARY HUBER, LAURA JENNINGS, CAROL MONDA, TARA SANDS, XE SANDS, MARK TURETSKY, J. RODNEY TURNER
A collection of sweet, tender, poetic, beautiful, heart-wrenching, sensual love stories.
These stories share a common theme of love, set in a time period before cell phones and social media.
"Second Best", by B. L. Aldrich, performed by Hillary Huber. 1944. The South. Can a heartbroken young woman learn to love again?
"Didn't It Rain", by Kathryn Burns, performed by Becca Balanger. 1964. Manchester. A teenager realizes her love for music...and for a girl.
"The Painted World", by Cassandra Campbell, performed by Erin Bennett. It's 1959, New York and Tennessee. Will a young woman choose the life she's meant to live or the life for which she longs?
"Adele", by Tony Healey, performed by Carol Monda. A couple who's been married for decades. A secret shared. And a love that shows the beauty in supporting a partner when they share their authentic self.
"Purple Roses", by Christina Thompson, performed by Xe Sands. A quiet farmhouse. A lifetime love, lost. A message sent from beyond that restores faith, hope, and blessings for a new love.
"She Screams", by Jacob Strunk, performed by J. Rodney Turner. 1940s. A smoky bar. Jazz. Where love and lust seduces like a song.
"Can't Get Used to Losing You", by K. E. White, performed by Mark Turetsky and Tara Sands. It's the 1980s. First love. Young love. But is it a forever love?
"To Love Is to Burn", by Amanda R. Woomer, performed by Laura Jennings. 1871, Peshtigo, Wisconsin. A deadly wildfire and the love that rises from the ashes.
These stories will make you swoon and laugh, cause tears and sighs. The world needs more love, and Vintage Love Stories is excited to share it.
We Got Him is the story of one family’s inherited flaws, harbored guilts, and obsessive desires, whether for a child, a parent, or a second chance to do the elusive right thing.
Powerfully worked against the unfolding events of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Elizabeth Searle’s taut drama of a young, pregnant stepmother and her troubled stepson is a narrative tour de force, interweaving public and private acts of terror with the redemptive, but ever fragile, forces of love.