Today's Special Guest Author is
Before I share my review of this book, I've just got to pass on some really exciting news to you. I'd like to congratulate Scott and his lovely wife. Very recently, they've had a new addition to their family, and I can't wait for his new blog posts on this subject. It doesn't matter how old your kids are, if you are a parent, you will absolutely love Scott's new blog, Snoozing on the Sofa. Although my kids have long since left our home, I've gotten many enjoyable moments reading about Scott's escapades with his young son. We've all been there.
I'd also like to take a moment to say how proud I am of Scott and his recent accomplishments as an author. His novel, A Housefly in Autumn, was recently selected as a quarter finalist in the YA Fiction Category for the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest! Amazon has released the first 5,000 word excerpt of this novel. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, Scott!
A wonderful collection of short stories - A MUST READ
If you are like me and love to read but you are so busy it's daunting trying to find the time to read a full-length novel, A SMILE THROUGH A TEAR: STORIES by SCOTT NAGELE is the book for you. The very best comparison I have to reading one of Mr. Nagele's short stories instead of a full-length novel is, it is like eating a bite-sized Milky Way instead of the full-sized candy bar. You get all of the pleasure and none of the guilt.
Each story in this collection of short stories is masterfully written and leaves the reader with a sense of fulfillment after reading them. Mr. Nagele has given the reader variety in not only humor to drama, but writing styles, and time frames from historical to futuristic. I LOVED THEM ALL!
I highly recommend this book for anyone that enjoys reading any genre. There's something here for everyone.
A Smile Through a Tear is a collection of short stories featuring humorous and dramatic pieces in one volume. Five of these stories have been previously selected for publication in literary journals, including Berkeley Fiction Review.
The humorous stories include the tales of: a telephone company executive who must figure out how to use his phone before he is exposed as a fraud; a woman who has accidentally introduced a mysterious white powder into the State Capitol building; and a man whose entire job is to sit on a park bench, and who has trouble meeting that obligation.
The dramatic episodes include the stories of: a father trying to protect his kids from a lifestyle that sent him to prison; a group of WWI soldiers facing overwhelming odds; a space traveler who must make a terrible choice; and a man whose best Christmas would be anyone else's worst.
These tales and many others are brought together in one book to present the reader with A Smile Through a Tear.
The total length of A Smile Through a Tear is 82,000 words.
“Local Boy Makes Good, Dies of Trying Soon After.”
Fearful of this epitaph, Gary Gray seeks to avoid career pressures by working as a temp. Unfortunately, Gary repeatedly gets into trouble by being too conscientious and outperforming the permanent employees. No matter how hard Gary tries to be a meek office worker, he can’t seem to stop himself from becoming a competitive threat to his co-workers and superiors. Meanwhile, Gary’s girlfriend is smart and beautiful, and he just might be able to hold onto her if he can stay employed and quit accidentally mooning her mom.
Gary runs afoul of a host of difficult characters in the workplace. Marge Meko is thoroughly incompetent, but she has “the goods” on the boss, so she easily gets away with blaming her errors on Gary. Marge’s boss, Steve, wants all problems swept under the rug before they become an inconvenience to his cushy position. Rae is a secretary with an overblown ego, intent on consolidating power by crushing all her perceived competitors. Gary is convinced that College President Burton is a mere figurehead, pulled from the ranks of the indigent and propped up by Rae, the power behind the throne. Through his trials Gary comes to the amazing revelation that it may actually be less painful to die trying than to live the “easy” life of the temp.
Wasted Moons is the story of one man's quest to find love, write a book, and maybe do a little cross country skiing in a time of increasing personal isolation, constant distraction, and ever-milder winters. To pursue his quest, he must perform many feats of strength, courage, and outright stupidity. He must argue the Bible with door-to-door religious proselytizers; he must act out Last of the Mohicans with a slightly confused senior citizen; he must watch an entire Detroit Lions game with a man named Bud; he must make turkey gravy in a strange city; but most importantly, he must stop over-thinking every romantic situation and quit tripping over his conscience at every turn. With the spirit of a recently departed blues musician along for inspiration, he is off to conquer (or at least reach a face-saving compromise with) his goals. Will he overcome the obstacles before him, or will the moon that coddles lovers still mock him for his solitude? Only the personnel department of the local library system can say, and they're having trouble making up their minds.
Wasted Moons is a novel of approximately 70,000 words.
A Housefly In Autumn - 2012 ABNA Quarter Finalist in the YA Fiction Category (5,000 word excerpt free on Amazon)
At 17, Anders Christiansen was a prodigy, a young man full of potential. All of his instructors believed he was destined to blossom into a leading man of letters and to enjoy a life of rich rewards.That was before the accident.One day, Anders saw a little girl fall through the ice. He plunged in after her, saving her life. In the process, he nearly drowned. He would live, but he was changed.Now, Anders's great talent lies fallow. He can't produce the complex ideas he once did. His thoughts are slow and his words simple. Like the last housefly in autumn, he finds himself alone, separated from all he once knew. The world holds no great promise for him anymore.Struggling to build a meaningful life out of the wreckage of his dreams, Anders learns the value of simple treasures. Loyalty, devotion, and even sacrifice hold rewards of their own that can renew hope after tragedy.Anders gives meaning to his life in the way he spends it. He will face great danger to protect those he loves, and though his gifts be diminished, he will share them freely with even the humblest of children.Though never sought, Anders's reward is immense and enduring, showing the millions of reasons to go on sharing even the simplest of gifts.