This page links to all the stories I’ve posted at Smashwords at a price of $0.00. Mind you, this isn’t an act of pure selflessness. I’m hoping one of them will move you to spend a few piasters on one of my books. Click the title to go to the story’s download page.
Unhappy patent-medicine researcher Mike Conlon has stumbled upon an absolute remedy for one of Mankind’s most annoying minor afflictions: post-nasal drip. But the drug has an unprecedented—and hilarious—side effect: one that wins him the consternation of his colleagues, the affections of his dream girl, and the downfall of his grasping, conniving, ethics-free boor of an employer.
Retired New York Rangers defenseman Dave Pargeter has signed on as the evening sports reporter for WHUP, Onteora County’s local-programming cable station. WHUP doesn’t yet realize what a maverick it’s hired. Neither does frosty-as-an-Onteora-winter Diane Loiselle, WHUP’s beautiful, ambitious weather gal. Surprises lie ahead for Diane, for WHUP, for WHUP’s parent network...and for Dave.
God is Love, we are told. Courage, as C. S. Lewis has put it, is the supreme human virtue, because all the other virtues require it when put to the severest test. Is it any wonder, then, that we should find courage so reliably in those who love?
Obsession can come upon us all unawares. There are many kinds of obsession, some more frightening than others. Perhaps the most frightening of all is love that comes upon us unanticipated and wholly unexplained.
Among the great mysteries of modern life is why people who know the benefits that flow from faith reject it, and them, when they need them most. American life, especially, is about as strenuous as the unaugmented human animal can withstand. So why be stubborn? Why not partake? Why not admit that every so often, we come to a pass so narrow that only faith can release us?
Conscience can surprise us...especially in the aftermath of a decision to ignore it. Heavily pregnant single mother-to-be Laura DiGennaro is coping with such a decision and its consequences when she’s “discovered” by a young man of foreign birth, familiar scruples, and a wholly unexpected quality of character.
The oldest war story of all, revisited from a radically different perspective: One that assumes nothing about the attributes or characters of the combatants. In any war, it’s not the propaganda that matters but the outcome of the final battle. Don’t be alarmed. It's just a fantasy. No statement of belief about...well, anything...is expressed or implied.
Everyone has problems. Young, old, rich, poor, ordinary ...and extraordinary. The wonder of that last category is how seldom such folks get a hearing for their complaints. Have you ever wondered what they might sound like?
Ours is a time of relentlessly advancing tyranny. Americans’ rights are steadily being stripped away by the very government that’s supposed to protect them. Who will rise to oppose it, if anyone? Who will see those rights as sacred, to be defended at all costs, if anyone? Who will be both suitably qualified, adequately equipped, and properly motivated...if anyone?
Love takes many forms. It follows many avenues into our hearts. He who has learned something of those forms and avenues should not be surprised to find that the supposedly lesser creatures we choose for our companions know and experience love, as well. Bruno would tell you, but then, being a Newfoundland, he’s wiser than the rest of us.
In our infinitely tolerant, how-dare-you-disapprove-of-me era, what shall we do with the man of absolute standards and unbending judgment? Must we make room for such an unenlightened relic of dark times long past and best forgotten, or may we reject him utterly? Might we discover, to our extreme surprise, that we can hardly do without him?
So! You think only humans have adventures? Have you never watched "Milo and Otis" or "Homeward Bound?" Bah! Meet Bruno the Newf, and share his consternation as he struggles with the baffling Humans, most of whom need minders that few of them possess. In this installment, our hero must deal incisively with a fractured marriage, a late-night intrusion...and a knife.
There are more kinds of trade than just the sort where goods are exchanged for money...and The Law of Supply and Demand applies to all of them.
A Christmas gift to my readers.
Most of us would like to have had more of a say about the stations in life we've come to occupy. We don't get to choose our parents, for example. But what of the man who finds himself assigned to perform a dreadful deed -- one he cannot, by any exertion of will or imagination, avert?
Father Raymond Altomare has the toughest task of his ministry: bringing comfort to a man who knows he's about to die. But Del Nevins isn't sick; he's facing execution for mass murder...and he fears that the destiny that awaits him is eternal torment in Hell. How can the young priest convince the convict of the mercy God has promised to the sincerely repentant?
Journeyman sorcerer Gregor treks slowly across the Great Waste, from one oasis of life to the next, toward the westernmost enclaves where sorcerers more advanced than he will strive to restore life to the world once more. His duty is to travel, observe, record, and pass on...but he did not expect to encounter four virgin mothers desperate for protection from the hatred of their realm.
The anarchists of the Spooner Federation left Earth 1800 years ago, fleeing for their lives from the wrath of the States. A delegation has come to see how the mother world has fared since then...but the wrath that drove the Spoonerites across the black void has not abated, as exobiologist Richard Fiammare and paleolinguist Victoria Hallanson will soon discover.
Richard Schiffers, divorced middle-aged telephone lineman, feels he's gotten a raw deal from the System. Get enough beer into him and he'll tell you about it without being asked. But Schiffers's notions about the System depart rather dramatically from its true nature...which becomes obvious, and very important, when the true Power behind the System decides to take a hand.
In a little storefront on a side Manhattan street, a nameless old man keeps a shop. His customers don't pay him for the dusty, battered items on his shelves, but for the wonders he can do with them...not all of which are good. Into his shop wanders widower and corrupt retail inspector Carl Harris, wearing a wedding ring the shopkeeper will surely covet for the power stored within it...
Middle-aged divorcee Dan Lundquist didn't expect to encounter the perfect woman in an Onteora Aviation stairwell. Nor did he expect her to seek him out as if he were the answer to her prayers. But she did -- and Dan's younger colleagues weren't at all thrilled that gorgeous, poised Angela Bowman, who wouldn't give them the time of day, had attached herself to a man twenty years her senior.
Fireballing pitcher Conrad Bearing seemed to have come from nowhere. A rookie free-agent at 37, he was almost unhittable, mowing down the American League's best hitters as if they were scarecrows propped at the plate. But he was more publicity-averse and reporter-shy than Greta Garbo at her worst. One reporter was determined to crack Bearing's mystery, whatever it might take.
Twenty-two-year-old Morgana Rothman has an odor problem. It's impeded her love life, life-long. Technology may have come to her rescue just in time for her to begin her engineering career at Onteora Aviation, whose staff is 95% men...some of them as single and lonely as she. But first she must deal with her equally lonely lesbian roommate Glynnis.
Allan Fitzgerald, once a Manhattan lawyer, has retreated from life. His wife has left him, as has his enthusiasm for his trade. He expects to pass the remainder of his days alone, reading cheap novels and falling asleep before the television, until an itinerant farm hand, a young woman looking for work who's hitched all the way from Kansas, wanders onto his porch on a breezy late-April day...