Just River has won the Silver! ….
In the Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards! I’m so proud of this one, because the Wishing Shelf gang is so thorough and transparent. They send the books to tons of readers–real readers in book groups. Here is a little of what these readers said about Just River:
“A very original story, character-led, with lots of underlying humour. I enjoyed it very much. I particularly enjoyed getting to know Sam, the cross-dresser. I liked hie style and the way he lived his life.” Male reader, aged 55
“Although there’s an interesting plot here involving domestic violence, it’s the characters which jump off the page. I loved the author’s writing style; the flow is excellent, and the character development is spot on.” Female reader, aged 49
“I suspect anybody interested in small town America and the way a community works (or might not work) will find this story compelling. The author is a strong writer who’s in no hurry to tell her story. As a result, the characters are given room to develop, and there’s plenty of suspense, particularly in the second half.” Female reader, aged 41
“For me, Garnet was the most interesting character. I felt she developed the most in the story. Interesting mix of gritty (domestic abuse, prison, etc.) and humour; I felt the author pulled it off well.” Male reader, aged 56
“Worth reading just for the small town, American setting. Utterly enjoyable.” Female reader, aged 44
Paper Airplanes: A short story
It’s not a measured strategy, my confession to Angelo in the hallway, class still in session.
Inside is chaos: fifteen-year-olds gleeful at their newfound freedoms, thinking they are the shit, but with no understanding that they are merely sacks of hormonal electricity whose brains haven’t developed enough to control their behavior.
Outside, however, in the hall, sequestered and alone, Angelo listens.
To read the rest of this story, head over to Stoneboat Literary Journal.
The Visitor: A short story
It is two o’clock and Merche knows that her husband and son are at home, waiting for lunch.
She puts the remaining fish—two slippery eels; three flounder; and half a salmon, its flesh plump like a toddler’s—into the refrigerator. As she shuts the door and unties her apron, a woman approaches and asks if she has any sardines. She’d put them aside for the stray cats because they were two days old already, but she says yes, there are seven left.
The woman speaks with a languid South American accent, dropping S’s from the ends of words as if they were too much to ask of her. She wears a coat made of canvas and several silver rings with colored stones. Merche puts the sardines onto a hanging scale. Almost a kilo. She pushes the scale with her finger as she turns the dial to face her and gets them to weigh just over. She tells the woman the price as though she were giving a discount.
“Four euros is fine,” she says. “Está bien.”
To read more, visit ALR’s site.
Just River is a finalist in the Foreword Indies Book Awards. Thanks, ForewordINDIES, for the recognition. Winners will be announced in June. #humor #finalist #forewordINDIES
Thanks, IndieReader, for the wonderful 5-star review! Here are a few highlights. Click on the link for the full review.
“Sara B. Fraser’s prose is fluid, stylish and filled with exquisite turns of phrase. This may be only her second novel but she writes with immense confidence and a rare compassion for everyday people. There is truth and beauty in the pages of JUST RIVER and it deserves a wide readership.”
“Author Sara B. Fraser builds her fictitious town of Wattsville with great skill and populates it with carefully drawn characters who still cling to their hopes and dreams by the very tips of their fingers. It is a book of planning and failing, of expectations dashed by bitter reality, of trying to make the best out of the hand you are dealt. Less skilled authors than Fraser may have let the setting and themes, of the repercussions of domestic abuse and substance misuse, sink into a quagmire of joyless social realism but in JUST RIVER the characters never let their circumstances crush their spirit. They make mistakes. They have lucky breaks. They fall down. They get back up. They remain exuberantly human. The characters are messy and contradictory and unpredictable and completely believable.”
It’s not The Times, but it’s a Times!!! Check out this mention of Just River in the Cape Cod Times!
“Fraser, a Massachusetts Spanish teacher who was formerly part of the Wellfleet arts community, reveals ‘the bleak and gritty truth’ for one ‘90s family in this novel set in a former mill town on the Otis River. The stalled, post-industrialized community is now rife with poverty, violence and substance abuse. When a young woman is imprisoned for defending herself against a violent boyfriend, her mom and her mom’s best friend plot to prove her innocence, but find some unexpected consequences along the way. Fraser has had multiple pieces of short fiction published and is also the author of the 2019 novel ‘Long Division.'”
“Diverse residents of a small industrial city seek happiness against the odds in a madcap novel about class and love.” Read the full Kirkus review here. “Madcap!” That’s what I was going for! Yay!
My second novel will be published by Black Rose Writing on November 24! Stay tuned!
Trajectory of a Random Camaro: A short story
Stella would still be alive if not for the crazy confluence of factors that, when one considered the probabilities, one-in-a-million, one-in-a-billion, made it seem like the work of some all-knowing orchestrator.
Stella’s husband Hank had cut down the dogwood just two weeks prior. Had the tree been there, it might have blocked the Camaro. Stella had been in a chair in the southwest corner of the sunroom and had dozed off while reading. If her head had slumped to the other side of the armchair, she might have survived.
And there was the fence. Hank had started to rebuild it, as it had been assaulted in slow motion by creeping ivy over the years. So there was a part missing, big enough for a car. The tree. The fence. Either one would’ve slowed or altered the Camaro’s trajectory, kept it from hurtling across the yard, over the dogwood stump—orange mole on the skin of perfect green lawn—and through the flimsy wall and windows next to which Stella slept with a book sprawled across her lap.
You can read the rest of the story in the latest issue of the Jabberwock Review.