We are never alone, not truly. We exist within systems; families, societies, governments, countries, continents; all within a singular planet in a singular solar system in a singular galaxy in a singular universe. And none of these are perfect. Many are broken, some beyond repair. Some could become broken over time. Others need to be destroyed to be improved. This book is about broken worlds, from families to a multiverse, where things are not what they seem or seem to be what they are: utterly broken from the top down and vice versa.
Features the short stories Re: and The Interview by Shannon Iwanski.
The good neighbors, the folk under the hill, the fae. Spirits, ghosts, and outsiders, often thought to be gods. They step into the real world to play, not caring or knowing how humans live.
And like children playing with dolls, they have the power to completely change the story.
Features the short story Afternoon Tea by Shannon Iwanski.
A Body to Die For
Strip Mall Mysteries, Book One
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Max has returned from a trip that was supposed to help him get his head and heart together following a break up. Unfortunately, it didn't work, and now Max has to face his ex, Bobby, who also happens to be his business partner. It was bad enough to find out Bobby had already moved on, but it gets worse when the new boyfriend, Skylar, is murdered. Now, Bobby is the primary suspect, and Max takes it upon himself to find the real killer. That will be easier said than done since Skylar was involved in illegal activity right under Bobby’s nose, and Skylar’s accomplice—and potential murderer—may be closer than Max realizes.
Ride the Train
From the radioactive dust and ruin of a devastated United States, The Party has formed three super-cities as beacons of hope for people who survived the worst thing they could ever imagine. While food and other resources are scarce, The Party makes it everyone's responsibility to work together in order for humanity to thrive and rise from the ashes. Unfortunately, disease runs rampant among the populace so The Party has instituted mandatory testing for all citizens. Anyone who tests positive for an aspect of the disease is immediately separated from society and sent to be cured. Everyone must be tested. Everyone with the disease must be cured. There are no exceptions.
Carla has long feared her son, Jacob, may have the disease. Following his first mandatory test, her fears are realized, and now The Party is coming for Jacob. The law says he must be cured, but Carla has doubts about The Party's promises. Rumors have spread from one end of the city to the other and back again for years that a cure doesn't actually exist. If you're diagnosed with the disease, no one ever sees you again. Or so the rumors say.
Finding a plain white card with the words Do you want to ride the train? inscribed on one side, Carla has a spark of hope. But the simple act of possessing the card is an act of treason, punishable by death. Carla wants to believe she can get Jacob to freedom, but that means trusting a man named Alex, who appears at the worst and best possible time. Alex offers the only means of protecting Jacob, but dark secrets from his past are quickly catching up to him. Those secrets may mean the end of hope, but they could also be the means for a better future for all of humanity.
Happy Days, Sweetheart
Modern fairy tales promise that villains will be punished and everyone else lives happily ever after. But in these pages, no one gets a happy ending.
The family next door, the ghosts from the past, schoolyard bullies, undead rockstars, and more find themselves on a desolate road with no way back. Fourteen tales of tragedy in a dark spectrum of genres, guaranteed to break your heart.
Features three short stories by Shannon Bozarth [Iwanski]:
Finding Annie; Good Morning, Mr. C.; and Monsters
Beyond the Nightlight
Fears fade as years pass. They are never as salient or real as they were when you were a child.
Unless they are.
Though these terrors stem from children, the stories are not for them. From the dark to boogeymen to real life horrors, there is no innocence here.
Features the short story The Dark by Shannon Iwanski.