Let me tell you a story about …

For over seven years, I’ve been a published novelist, but I also write short stories. And now I’d like to tell some of those stories to you. My new book, The Silence In Noise and Other Stories, is a collection of short fiction. The stories range from one to twenty pages and offer fascinating, poignant, and often dark glimpses of ordinary people in critical moments.

  • Balance: After tragedy strikes a close-knit family, a grieving father’s inability to cope leads to a horrifying resolution.
  • Straightening the Curves: Nicole made a bad choice when she married Russell. Yet when she finally leaves him, it’s to his family she runs.
  • Unspeakable Words: A young woman receives soul-shattering news.
  • A Beautiful Man: James is only a small-time con artist until he meets the wealthy Ann. You’d think he’d be satisfied with his new Manhattan lifestyle, but James has a wandering eye and a greedy heart.
  • A Heart Next to Mine: Jesse fled a dreaded future underground in the coal mines, but two decades later, he’s a solitary man, emotionally buried just as deeply.
  • Meditation: A cynical woman rejects the possibility that something good is happening to her.
  • My Name is Amy Walls: When Amy awakens one Sunday morning to a terrifying new world, her struggle to survive begins.
  • Ambition: Kelly Jean is determined to get out of Mossy Creek. Unfortunately, her boyfriend doesn’t much care for her plan.
  • Act in Haste: Stan sees himself as a stand-up guy, but a strange encounter late one night leads to a different judgment.
  • Blood Relation: Janine is a tormented mother who lashes out with tragic consequences.
  • Existence: In the near future, strict governmental rules severely impact the life of a teen.
  • Better Left Alone: Newly divorced, Teresa succumbs to temptation when her teen heartthrob, claiming to have never forgotten her, reaches out.
  • Perchance to Dream: All is not as it seems when Nina prefers to spend her time dreaming of a man who is not her husband.
  • Secrets and Shadows: An unusual shadow embodies a child’s fears.
  • The Tisserand Phenomenon: The secret to phenomenal success for one New England family’s business lies deeper than anyone imagines.
  • Sight Unseen: Elise’s decision to meet a man she’s known only online ends in surprise.
  • The Silence in Noise: Beth’s drive to be the perfect mother has devastating repercussions.

IN OTHER NEWS
The Kindle version of my romantic comedy Love & Liability is on sale the whole month of December for only $.99! This is book 2 in my High Tea & Flip-Flops series “starring” Chelsea & Jeremy. I’m working on the last of that trilogy now.

If you celebrate a holiday this time of year, I wish you a wonderful one!

Since I loved it, I will tell you this

A month ago, I mentioned I was reading two story collections, one old, one new. I told you about the old one and promised to tell you about the second collection the next week. Then, I decided I should finish the book first, and life kept getting in my way, so I didn’t finish the last story until a few days ago. Technically, I don’t review books. I’m not schooled in dissecting and analyzing. I can only give you my opinion, tell you that I like a book or not, and maybe share a bit of why.

So, what’s my opinion of this book? Look at that photo of assorted truffles. Can’t you practically taste their rich, creamy, sweet, elegant, lusciousness? Well that, dear friends, is the chocolate equivalent of Robin Black’s debut If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This. The book consists of ten stories, each one a different flavor, each marvelous—like truffles.

I’ll share a quote from the inside jacket flap: “Brilliant, hopeful, and fearlessly honest, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This illuminates the truths of human relationships, truths we come to recognize in these characters and in ourselves.” That’s not hype; that’s truth. From the opening pages, I knew these stories were masterfully written. Robin Black not only starts us with a unique situation: a father taking his daughter to meet her first seeing-eye dog, but she complicates it with the unexpected: as he drives along trying to pay attention to his daughter’s chatter, his mind wanders to visualizing his mistress as she seduced him the night before.

Always, she delights with language:

“A streetlight comes on. Clara waits to see how long it will take another to join it. A minute passes, two minutes. Nothing. They must have different levels of sensitivity, she thinks. They must believe different things about what darkness is.”

And this:

“Her body, no longer thin, no longer seemed striving to be thin and had acquired a relaxed, logical quality, as though the wide hips and general sense of plenty were the obvious right choices.”

And this:

“The truth was, he wasn’t sure he would ever like anyone again. He seemed to have lost the thread of how affections worked.”

I read these stories as a reader, and they enthralled me. I read them as a writer, and they amazed and inspired me. I read them as an editor, and never picked up my red pencil—and, for me, that rarely happens.

Keeping with my truffle analogy, it’s probable best that it took me awhile to finish the book. As with all fine chocolate, it’s best savored slowly.

If you’d like to know more about the author, read Cynthia Newberry Martin’s blog post A Day in the Life of Robin Black. You might also like to read her review of the book and visit Robin Black’s website.

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