Tag Archives: indie writer

Until Death Do Us Unite: Short Story by @FizaPathan – A Review

Review

Rating: ★★★★★

I have become a fan of author Fiza Pathan’s work over the past year or so. This is a writer skilled in the art of telling a great story. Whether it be her autobiographical essays, or one of her many short stories, Miss Pathan knows how to hold the readers attention.  She accomplishes this with her recent short story entitled Until Death Do Us Unite.

This quick read pulls the reader into the tale of ancient Indian customs, India under British rule, and true love finding its place in the world. After the death of the revered Thakur Ram Singh, both of the man’s living wives are sentenced to die atop his burning funeral pyre—even though both women are still very much alive. While the older of the two wives views this as an honor, the horror of death by immolation doesn’t sit well with the younger wife, who is just sixteen years old.

As the flames begin to claim its victims, the younger wife struggles to break free of this death sentence. The events play out in front of a small group of British men, one of whom is in training to become a Catholic priest. It is this man, Jack White, who does what is unthinkable in ancient Indian culture—he breaks rank with his group and seeks to save this poor soul from a painful end.

I won’t tell you whether or not he is successful. You’ll have to read the story for yourself. What I will say is, grab a copy of this story today. Pathan is a talented as any writer in the market today.

Blurb

In a village somewhere in the Thar desert, in mid-nineteenth century India, the revered Thakur Ram Singh has just died. He will be laid to rest according to traditional Hindu rites. But will he be the only one who will be cremated on the funeral pyre that day?

Meanwhile, a Church dignitary and a band of British soldiers from the nearby cantonment casually observe the proceedings as they unfold—until they are joined by a young, spirited seminarian. His name is Brother Jack and he has chosen to interfere. His spontaneous action will result in certain death, a revolt against the Crown, or a major change in the course of his life.

About Author

Fiza Pathan has a bachelor’s degree in arts from the University of Mumbai, where she majored in history and sociology with a first class. She also has a bachelor’s degree in education, again with a first class, her special subjects being English and history.

Fiza has written eleven award-winning books and a short story, “Flesh of Flesh,” which reflect her interest in furthering the cause of education and in championing social issues. In over seventy literary competitions, she has placed either as winner or finalist, chief among them being: 2018 DBW Awards; Killer Nashville 2018 Silver Falchion Award; 2018 IAN Book of the Year Awards; 2018 BookViral Millennium Book Awards; Readers’ Favorite Book Awards; Reader Views Literary Awards; Eric Hoffer Book Award; Foreword Reviews Indie Fab Book Awards; Mom’s Choice Awards; Literary Classics Book Awards; and Dan Poynter’s Global Ebook Awards. She lives with her maternal family, and writes novels and short stories in most genres. You may follow her on Twitter @FizaPathan and visit her blog HERE.

Comes This Time To Float Blog Tour! @StephenGeez

Greetings to all readers! Join me in welcoming author Stephen Geez to The Indie Spot today, as we celebrate the release of his new short story collection entitled Comes this Time to Float. Take it away, Mr. Geez. . . 

 

Salutations!

Hey! You’ve made it to day 16 of my extended blog tour! I would like to thank my esteemed host, Author Beem Weeks, for sharing some blog space today. I hope to interest you story-likers in trying my first book in way too many years, this my only collection of short fiction: Comes this Time to Float: 19 Short Stories by Stephen Geez. You could add another “by Stephen Geez” to that, as I put the moniker in the subtitle, too. I’d be forcing it to find a theme, except maybe that all my stories try to look at something I think is important, but told in a decorative sort of way. Written here and there among novels over two decades, they show a variety of genres and styles, as I get restless. Now they’re tucked between jacketed hard covers and softs, or in e-however-you-likes.

 

The Enticement

Each tour stop will offer the opening paragraphs of a story from the book, then link to the full story online.  A few will also link to audio-shorts narrated by me. An RRBC-specific promo video will be foisted on you every day. Using a narrator didn’t seem right for my own trailer, so yeah, it’s me. Be sure to post reviews in your favorite places, most helpfully if Amazon. RRBC members, be sure to report the Amazon link to your Reviews Coordinator for quarterly credit.

And you, I thank, too.

A Geez Author Blurb

Stephen Geez grew up in the Detroit suburbs during the American-auto domination. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor. He retired from scripting/producing television and composing/producing television music, then expanded his small literary management firm into indie-publisher and multi-media company Fresh Ink Group. Now he works from a deck overlooking the lake in north Alabama, helping other writers share their compelling narratives with the world.

The Book Blurb

Prepare to think as you explore these wildly disparate literary short stories by author, composer, and producer Stephen Geez. Avoiding any single genre, this collection showcases Geez’s storytelling from southern gothic to contemporary drama to coming-of-age, humor, sci-fi, and fantasy—all finessed to say something about who we are and what we seek. Some of these have been passed around enough to need a shot of penicillin, others so virgin they have never known the seductive gaze of a reader’s eyes. So when life’s currents get to pulling too hard, don’t fight it, just open the book and discover nineteen new ways of going with the flow, because NOW more than ever Comes this Time to Float.

 

The Promo Video

 

Today’s Sample: “Veneer”

In the end, bad weather turned out to be what pierced the veneer.

 

Two uniforms pounded on the door, demanding entry and using her name like they had a right. She remained frozen, barely breathing, her stroke-addled leg throbbing, finger twitching on the trigger of Daddy’s rifle.

 

Bam bam bam! “Mizzus Heidway!” came the door-muffled call of Sheriff Dander, his voice a rumble under that drone of wicked downpour shotgunning the tin roof. “Now, y’alls got to come with us! They’s evacuatin’ the whole valley!”

 

Twenty years since Mama died and left her the house, twenty years since Iris came back to live the South Alabama life she’d fled hoping never to return, twenty years running all her errands in nearby towns to avoid in-yer-business local busybodies, yet now these uniforms had the gall to come uninvited right onto an old woman’s property.

 

“If you’re in there, you’s got to come out now!”

 

Nothing is what she ever got to do, especially for two bullies with badges. She’d seen Sheriff Dander on the news a few times, always under investigation for some kind of brutality. Seems like the kind of person who wants to be a cop is the one who has no business being one.

 

Letting her screen door slam, the intruders retreated into a frenzy of rain. Iris Heidway hobbled to the window and peeked through the curtains. A county van packed with busybodies turned around, then rocked and swayed its way back up the hill, splashing through a frantic gravel-washer streaming down the rutted road. She couldn’t see herself climbing in with that mob, or wedged between all those so-and-so’s at some makeshift shelter, everybody grabbing and hugging, you’ll be okay honey this’ll be over soon anything you need just let us know . . .  Touchers pretend they’re doing something for you, but they’re the ones tricked by a fool’s notion of connection. Anybody lays a hand on Iris Heidway, he’ll be lucky to get it back.

 

 

The Whole Story

I’m adding each day’s story to my blog. Be sure to come back here!

https://StephenGeez.WordPress.com

 

The Audio-short

Okay, find “Veneer” along with the other two in my YouTube channel, precise link on my blog today.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA2kP6eBIs7nUtOzrH7ObBw

 

Find the Book Now

Should be just about everywhere, but here are the biggies:

 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/comes+this+time+to+float?_requestid=1776240

 

https://www.amazon.com/Comes-this-Time-Float-Stories-ebook/dp/B0846WY2HZ/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=comes+this+time+to+float&qid=1582276112&sr=8-1

 

Other Places I Lurk

https://twitter.com/stephengeez

Instagram: StephenGeezWriter

https://StephenGeez.com

https://StephenGeez.Wordpress.com

 

 

A Lost Treasure

I am a garage sale junkie. I spend many summer mornings going through the stuff other people no longer want cluttering up their homes. I search primarily for music CDs. With the advent of digital downloads, MP3 players, and the like, CDs can be had for a dollar each—or less!

I also find books I’ve been meaning to read. Best sellers in near-perfect condition often go for a couple of dollars—compared to fifteen or twenty dollars the booksellers demand.

Every so often I’ll find a gem that maybe didn’t quite make anybody’s best seller list. You know the ones: interesting cover, intriguing blurb on the back, a young author showing promise. This is how I came across a collection of short stories by a writer of whom I’d never heard. I found this book lying in a box with other books designated for sale to benefit a high school girl’s senior trip to a place I no longer recall.

I picked the book from the box, thumbed through its pages, got a feel for style and content. But it was the author’s short bio on the back cover that sealed the deal for me.

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The book is called Downriver, and it’s written by Jeanne M. Leiby. Not a household name, sure, but Miss Leiby grew up in my home state of Michigan. I have a soft spot for Michiganders, be they writers, actors, or musicians. I feel the need to at least give them a chance to show me they’re worth supporting.

After purchasing the short story collection mid-summer 2013, I added it to the growing pile of books sitting in my closet. There it sat for several months, just waiting its turn to dazzle me. That turn finally arrived in early November.

To say Jeanne M. Leiby’s work pulled me in is an understatement. She writes the way people talk. She adds little quirks to her characters that you would swear you’ve seen in people you’ve personally met. There is a realism in Leiby’s work that makes readers appreciate her efforts.

Lieby

I instantly became a fan. That she’s a Michigander only made this discovery that much sweeter. I had to know more about this amazing author. Does she have other published works? Has she written any novels? Info in her bio on the reverse of Downriver indicates she graduated from the University of Michigan (a hated school in my part of Michigan). She also received degrees from The Bread Loaf School of English/Middlebury College and the University of Alabama. Her short stories have appeared in publications such as Fiction, New Orleans Review, The Greensboro Review, and Indiana Review, among others.

I went online and dug deeper, learning Jeanne Leiby became a teacher, sharing her talents with students at the University of Central Florida. She won the 2000 Poets and Writers Writer Exchange. She served as fiction editor of Black Warrior Review and Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Review. In 2008, Jeanne took over as editor of The Southern Review at LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Oh, and if that’s not impressive enough, while working as an intern at a publishing house, Jeanne Leiby became responsible for finding and publishing White Oleander by Janet Fitch—which just so happens to be one of my all-time favorite novels.

But then I saw it, there at the tail end of her Wikipedia page. On April 19, 2011, Jeanne M. Leiby was killed in an auto accident in Louisiana. According to police, Miss Leiby was driving a 2007 Saturn convertible with the top down. She was not wearing a seat belt when she lost control of the vehicle, hitting a guardrail, before being ejected from the car. Doctors at a nearby hospital pronounced her dead on arrival.

That news kicked me in the stomach. I felt cheated. Here is this amazing talent from right down the road, and she’s gone before I get the chance to discover her work. But I also feel cheated by Jeanne M. Leiby herself. Had she exercised a little common sense and worn her seat belt, she just might still be here today, writing some brilliant prose that would make the rest of us writers jealous.

An amazing talent is gone from our midst, but her work remains with us. Do yourself a favor and invest in a copy of Downriver and see how good a short story can be.