The Grotto's Secret by Paula Wynne

A Collection of Givers and Takers

Genre: Short Stories
$2.99

Book Summary

A collection of twelve short stories about givers and takers—the good, the bad, the self-centered and the disillusioned—from twisted tales about marriages gone sour and people caught up in problems they created or others created for them to glimpses into times past when immigrants struggled to find their place in America and WWII GIs struggled to stay alive. Some horror, subtle and not so subtle.

“Tom” An elderly woman forced to live with her daughter views life from the confused perspective of early dementia.“Tom” first appeared in the 2006 Fall issue of The MacGuffin and later in the 2009 February issue of Literary Mama, which nominated “Tom” for Dzanc Books Best of the Web 2010.

“The Big Shot” Sleazy paparazzo Lester Best is on the run from a New York loan shark when he hits his stride at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks where a top celeb is camping out with her latest squeeze. “The Big Shot” was first published in the 2007 Horror Anthology Damned in Dixie and later in the 2010 Winter issue of Allegory Ezine.

“Youthanasia” While traveling in Italy with her husband, Lidia Drago convinces him to recapture their prime as a legacy to their unborn grandchild but neither of them is prepared for the bizarre consequences. “Youthanasia” first appeared in the 2006 November/December issue of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and later in the 2010 Spring/Summer issue of Allegory Ezine.

“The Baker’s Wife” Rose and Sal Bianco clash over an early retirement that only one of them is destined to enjoy. “The Baker’s Wife” was first published in the March 2009 issue of Halfway Down the Stairs.

“Living on the Bluff” If only Lucy Gambrelli could hold onto the feeling she and her husband once shared as adolescents: that blessed feeling of immortality.

“My Ave Museo” Olivia’s love affair with shoes takes precedence over family issues that cannot be ignored. “My Ave Museo” first appeared in the 2006 winter issue of The Powhatan Review and later in the 2009 summer issue of ken*again.

“Givers and Takers” Disgruntled Barney Davis plots the perfect escape from his needy wife LaRue but who will prove the stronger in this test of perseverance.
“Givers and Takers” first appeared in the July 2006 issue of The Scruffy Dog Review.

“Beyond the Villa at La Spezia” The Bertoni sisters can’t get along with each other in America so why should they while vacationing in Italy. For Margo it means romancing a hunky mime in Florence and for Rita, discovering the intrigue of La Spezia and Cinque Terre. “Beyond the Villa at La Spezia” is an excerpt from ITALY TO DIE FOR, a novel slated for publication in 2012.

“The Meeting Planner” Francine can’t help herself, which makes her the perfect employee for Doctor Omar P. Chance, a charismatic diet guru known as The Silver Fox. “The Meeting Planner” first appeared in the 2004 Winter issue of Enigma.

“Playing Games” Copper mining immigrant Pete Montagna plays more than games such as poker and bocce ball in 1930 Butte, Montana. A portion of “Playing Games” first appeared in the September 2007 issue of The Writers Post Journal and later in FAMILY DECEPTIONS, a generational saga.

“The Arrangement” After bargaining for a bride from Italy, petty bootlegger Carlo Baggio regrets he didn’t stick with the headmistress of Night School, Chicago’s most infamous brothel. “The Arrangement” is an excerpt from THE FAMILY ANGEL, a generational saga.
“Frankie’s Prayers” A young GI from Southern Illinois struggles to survive the horrors he and his buddies experience during The Normandy Invasion.
“Frankie’s Prayers” is an excerpt from THE FAMILY ANGEL, a generational saga.

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