Award-Winning Stories

The Flower from the Garbage


SILVER MEDAL- 2023 Readers' Favorite Book Awards

The Flower from the Garbage follows the journey of a newly wedded couple, Joe and Audrey Palmer, when they miscarry their baby and begin to disconnect from each other. While Audrey goes within and isolates, Joe continues to work more hours and make poor decisions, risking his marriage and future.

Their marriage is saved when Joe discovers an unlikely friend and mentor in the form of a homeless philosopher who chose a life on the streets of Chicago after losing his own wife to cancer.

Although Frank, the homeless philosopher, advises Joe on how to work through this specific tragedy, he goes on to teach him many important lessons about what it means to be a good man, a husband, a father, and more. This story shows the world through Joe's eyes as we not only witness his personal struggles and growth, but also as he builds a beautiful friendship and learns Frank's story of how he came to live on the streets and exist to serve others.

The Flower from the Garbage is a philosophical fiction, not only about the struggles of modern America but also about the timeless truths of the human condition and our pursuit of meaning. This uniquely crafted story leaves no stone unturned and confronts many of the most difficult and uncomfortable topics imaginable, invoking a range of emotions but ultimately leaving you with the taste of hope.

Amazon BooksReaders' Favorite

The Mighty Esox

A Supernatural Mystery Novel


WINNER: 2023 Best Book Awards

Mystery/Suspense: Multicultural & Diverse

After a failed petition to change his career, Bill, the local pottery maker and town drunk, is coerced by his neighbors and king to join an expedition to hunt down and slay a mighty dragon that plagues their village.
In this dark comedy novelette from 
13 Acorns- Modern Short Stories for Thoughtful Adults, will Bill try to evade his duty and hide in his cave? Will he be thrown into a pit full of spiders for refusing to fight? If he bravely agrees to go, will his neighbors finally remember his name?
Find out if old Bill will muster the courage to fight and miraculously and unexpectedly overcome the great beast (despite being half drunk with a rusty sword), or if he will die trying!

Genre: Comedy, dark comedy, satire.
Size: 14,000 words.
Parent work: 13 Acorns- Modern Short Stories for Thoughtful Adults.

Amazon Books2023 Best Book Awards

The Nobody Who Fought a Dragon

A Dark Comedy Novelette


WINNER- 2023 American Fiction Awards

Mystery/Suspense: Multicultural & Diverse

In August of 2017, after his grandfather’s funeral, James Roslyn unexpectedly finds a peculiar and decades-old note that was written by his grandfather and hidden between the pages of a book. Inside of the note, James’s grandfather (Hugh Casey) describes a mysterious village upon an Ojibwe reservation concealed deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Casey details how he discovered the village by accident in his youth and was invited to spend several days with the tribe. Over the course of those few days, the village—with its people, landscape, and culture—impacted his beliefs and the course of his life forever.
However, after reading the note, James is acutely aware that his grandfather never returned to the village—despite always meaning to and even asking James to drive him there several months before his passing.
James, being in the midst of several personal struggles and wrestling with his own regrets, becomes determined to find the elusive village and travel there to honor his grandfather, say goodbye, and rectify his own perceived mistakes.
James enlists the help of his older brother, Alan Roslyn, and the pair pack their car full of fishing and camping gear before traveling north in search of the reservation. When they arrive at the hidden town known as Aanakwad, they camp in the woods along the river and plan to stay for seven days.
However, the two brothers come to discover that everything in front of them is much more than it seems.
The Mighty Esox is told from James’s perspective as he details the profound week that he spent in Aanakwad five years earlier—where he rediscovered love, was challenged to reconsider everything he thought he knew, developed a fiery obsession with catching a state-record-sized fish, and unexpectedly found himself as an essential character within a supernatural mystery that he was unable to see as it was unfolding.

Amazon Books2023 American Fiction Awards

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Excerpt from "The Flower from the Garbage."

"Why must I insist on learning all things the hard way? How much time and discomfort would I save if I could simply heed the wisdom and warnings of all those who came before me?
For thousands of years, humanity has been learning and articulating the art of living well. And yet, I constantly insist on living my life like the plot of all tragedies: a hero laid low by his own fatal flaws."

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