My guest blogger for Independence Day is Kaye George, short story writer and novelist, who lives outside Austin, Texas. Kaye’s short story, “The Truck Contest,” was nominated for an Agatha Award at the Malice Domestic Mystery Convention. What are you doing for the 4th? Don’t set your hair on fire!
Fireworks, by Kaye George
Fireworks… None for me this year, living in drought-stricken central Texas. All the towns have cancelled and the stands are closed–banned for the Fourth! I see the need for the ban, of course, but I adore fireworks and will miss them. I wouldn’t dare light even a sparkler, it’s so dry and windy.
Speaking of banning, the idea of banned books sets off fireworks for me! I remember my mother picketing in front of a bookstore in support of a book that had been banned. Or maybe the bookstore was being censured for selling a banned book? Okay, I was a child and don’t remember the particulars, but I did understand that Mom was against banning books.
So it was kind of funny when she told me she didn’t want me reading the Alfred Hitchcock collections on my Aunt Lois’s bookshelves. I’ve never seen them anywhere else since my childhood, but these hardcovers had the pudgy man’s name on the cover and they were thick books full of scary, twisty short stories. Mom thought I would have nightmares if I read them, I guess. But one spring Aunt Lois bought a chest-style deep freeze and announced to everyone that she would have on hand, at all times, THREE flavors of ice cream. This was something unheard of. But exciting! I pedaled my bike across town many times that summer, telling Mom I was going to get ice cream at Aunt Lois’s. Sure, I would eat ice cream, but I would also sit on her couch and devour those delicious short stories. That was the beginning of my love affair with them. I moved on to O. Henry and still re-read the complete works that I proudly own.
To make up for the lack of sparks in the night sky this year, I’ve decided to try to put some spark into my ebook sales by lowering the price on both my humorous mystery, CHOKE (Mainly Murder Press for the paperback, me for the ebook), and my short story collection, A PATCHWORK OF STORIES. They’ll go for 99 cents each the first week or two of July (maybe longer, I haven’t decided yet). I’ve started the price reductions at Smashwords and hope they filter to Kindle and Nook ASAP.
Hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth!
Kaye George is the author of CHOKE: An Imogene Duckworthy Mystery (Mainly Murder Press), as well as A PATCHWORK OF STORIES, a collection of her previously published stories, and THE BAVARIAN KRISP CAPER, available at Untreed Reads. FISH TALES: The Guppy Anthology contains her story, “The Truck Contest”. She reviews for “Suspense Magazine”, and writes for several newsletters and blogs. She, her husband, and a rescued feral cat named Agamemnon live together in Texas, near Austin. http://kayegeorge.com/