“The Scent and Other Stories: the Dark Side of Love” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle

The Blonde cover fo The Scent and Other Stories

The new Blonde Cover for The Scent and Other Stories

In this collection of short stories, I explore the dark, sometimes violent, sometimes twisted, sometimes touching side of love, the side kept not only from public view, but sometimes from our mates. Set in the modern era, these stories range from regretting losing a lover to forbidden interracial love in the hills of 1970’s Kentucky to a mother’s deathbed confession in present-day New Mexico to debating pursuing a hateful man’s wife to the callous manipulation of a lover in Texas.

To order yours and to view my other works as well, visit my Amazon author’s page at: www.amazon.com/author/philslattery.

Praise for Stories Contained in “The Scent and Other Stories”:

The Scent

“This story has a lovely dreamy quality whilst being unsettling too. It lingers on half processed emotional experiences and leaves the reader asking ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ – feelings that are familiar for so many people.”

“You wrote about something we can all relate to – how, out of the blue, the scent of something evokes a memory of something long past; and the emotions we felt at the time! A clever story …”

“This descriptive piece about remembrance, the thought of what might have been, is a common sad thread that will resonate with those have experienced the pain of that one love lost. Slattery’s use of scent was exquisite as we feel Quinn’s pain and hope that he finds his peace, at last.”

Decision

“Fantastic writing – I held my breath for most of the story. The descriptions of the countryside and the people were beautiful and the tension compelling. This could possibly be the start of a novel or a suite of stories. Thank you very much and good luck with your writing in the future”

“Suspenseful and engaging. The dialogue and descriptions kept pace with the action. Well done.”

A Good Man

“Lots of detail examining an old question of how do you judge a person’s life. It left me wondering.”

“Great job capturing the social climate of the sixties. Good choice for how to present the story – deathbed “confession” by the mother. I enjoyed it.”

The Slightest of Indiscretions

“Excellent writing brings this poignant story to life and makes the reader work to understand more of what might be. Very many thanks for a satisfying, emotionally intelligent read…”

If you enjoy poems about love, check out my poetry collection Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover.

 

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

Phil Slattery’s Sci-Fi Novelette “Alien Embrace” is Free Today on Amazon Kindle.

Alien Embrace is included in my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned.

Logan Rickover, owner of a hardware store in a small town in Kentucky, has lucid dreams of life as an astronaut that intrude upon his life at any moment. Which of his lives is real? The quiet paradise of Danville or the terrifying jungle world of Stheno D?

This novelette is a terrific read for those who have only a quick break to take a breather and escape to another reality.  In this sci-fi thriller, I endeavor to blur the boundaries between alien-induced hallucinations, the brutal reality of the present, and memories of an idyllic past.

Ron Baker calls it “Nightmare Planet”, gives it five stars, and comments: “This short has exactly what I like in science fiction: planet exploration and bizarre otherworldly aliens, in this case insectoid. The horrendous purpose the aliens have for the hapless astronauts who make planetfall to find the numerous previous missing exploration teams is grisly. I love the mystery of the planet and the authors device of alternating from the aliens bizarre perspective then switching to the astronauts point of view.”

Follow this link to obtain your free copy.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other social media.

Check back frequently for updates and check out my Amazon Author’s page for more great works.

Don’t forget: this novelette is included in my horror collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

“Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night…” is Available on Amazon Kindle

The new cover for Nocturne as of November 15, 2019.

Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover is a collection of my poetry written from the mid-80’s to mid-90s, a turbulent, fluid time in my life in many ways, but especially romantically. I have taken many of the poems written during those years and compiled them into a dark narrative capturing the emotional turmoil of a narrator who descends from romantic love for a woman into a lonely world of alcohol and night clubs, where his only love is the night that envelopes him psychologically, emotionally, and physically.  It is about 110 print pages in length and lavishly illustrated with photos I found in the public domain (no, those are not photos of me or of my former paramours).

You can read samples of it and my other works at my Amazon author’s page:  Amazon.com/author/philslattery.

I have tried to make this a wonderful experience for the reader, exploring the bliss of love to the depths of despair and then to resignation to one’s fate in an existential crisis.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or other social media!

While there, you might want to check out my other work on relationships: The Scent and Other Stories.  In this collection of short stories, I explore the dark, sometimes violent, sometimes twisted, sometimes touching side of love, the side kept not only from public view, but sometimes from our mates. Set in the modern era, these stories range from regretting losing a lover to forbidden interracial love in the hills of 1970’s Kentucky to a mother’s deathbed confession in present-day New Mexico to debating pursuing a hateful man’s wife to the callous manipulation of a lover in Texas.

Two reviews have warm praise for Nocturne…:

J. Muckley calls it “Beautiful, Sad, Authentic and Vulnerable Look at Love and Loss” and gives it five stars, saying:

Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover by Phil Slattery is a deep and raw “picture” of experiencing love and lovers of varying type, capturing the moments of ecstasy and pain in a most beautiful way.

Slattery speaks with one voice as his words and pictures depict the full range of human love and loss that both tempts the soul to engage and urges the heart to resist. His opening quote by Augustine of Hippo captures this work perfectly: “I was not yet in love, yet I loved to love…I sought what I might love, in love with loving.”  –Augustine of Hippo

The poems are mostly untitled and written in free verse form. The reader meanders through the past relationships as they ebb and flow through varying stages. The introduction poem tells of the types of poem you will soon encounter:
nights of love
full of life and laughter
as empty as an empty
bottle

The poem closes:
Bring me to that ultimate pleasure
in your all-consuming eyes.
Let us become one
and share the horrors of this
world

All in all, Nocturne, is a beautiful but sad read that speaks to the reality of love and holds nothing back. It engages the mind and the heart longing for lasting, meaningful love that always seems just outside of its reach.

P.S. Winn calls it “Great Poems with Pictures”, gives it four stars, and says:

I like this author’s poems which have a great feel to them. The book is about love but a lot more is included inside the pages. I like the photos the author included to enhance the poetry. A few of the poems held descriptive words about nature and I enjoyed the way the picture author paints in the readers mind is also displayed in the photographs that correspond with the words.

Check back frequently for updates.

June 6, 2020: Trying to Find a Children’s Picture Book Publisher

Phil Slattery portrait

Phil Slattery
March, 2015

As you may already know, I have written the manuscript for a children’s picture book entitled Bobby the Brave Brown Pelican. This morning I have been trying to find a publisher for it. This is considerably harder than finding a short story publisher. I did submit my work to a few publishers a few weeks ago, but I have had to date only negative or no responses. In short, I am having little success in finding just a possible publisher for my manuscript.

Nonetheless, I shall press on.

The two submissions engines I have for short stories, Duotrope and The Submissions Grinder, list very few publishers for children’s books. Consequently, I must resort to doing an internet search. Fortunately, there are few articles which list children’s book publishers. This morning, I have been working my way through a list of thirty publishers that can be found on johnfox.com. After I finish this list, I have another of 75, but this will no doubt include many on the first list.

I have had to develop an Excel spreadsheet to track my submissions. In this spreadsheet I am including the publishers I considered but decided not to submit to for one reason or another. This is to ensure that at a later date, I don’t go forget that I decided not to submit them and don’t go through the effort of researching them again.

Some accept manuscripts by mail, whereas I prefer to submit electronically. This does not mean I won’t submit to them, just that I won’t submit to them right away. I an trying to submit to as many as I can as soon as I can and submitting by mail slows this process considerably. Luckily, it seems only a few won’t accept simultaneous submissions, or at least they don’t state so on their website. Given that, I am submitting to as many as possible and will probably accept the first decent proposal that pops up.

Another stumbling block I am encountering is that, as with many publishers, many do not accept unsolicited manuscripts either throughout the year or during a good portion of the year.

Of course, there is the obvious matter that my subject matter is not to the taste of all publishers. Some have narrow requirements.  For example, Arbordale Publishing accepts only manuscripts that are math or science related. Kids Can Press accepts manuscripts only from Canadian authors.

One big stumbling block is that it seems most children’s book publishers won’t send a message or letter declining a work. They state that if the author doesn’t hear from them in a certain amount of time, he/she should consider the work not accepted. Unfortunately, this time period is usually in terms of months. Three to four months is not unusual. So far I have found one that says 6-9 months.

Some publishers don’t go into detail about what they would like to see and basically say to just to submit the manuscript while others go into excruciating and exacting detail.

Another big stumbling block for my particular work is that most publishers want a picture book to be under a 1,000 words. My manuscript is 1,388 words and it is as concise as I want to or can make it and still get my message across.

I know that these obstacles are common to just about all genres, but, at least compared to the short story market with which I am most familiar, they seem more numerous and frequent with children’s books. Children’s book publishers also seem less organized. There doesn’t seem to be a standard or preferred way of submitting manuscripts whereas publishers of short fiction seem more consistent in detailing what they accepts. Of course, that is only a subjective observation.

I feel like I am taking pot shots in the dark.

Anyway, I will keep plugging on even if I have to go through hundreds of publishers. This is not unusual for novelists or short story writers and, as I am learning, it is apparently not unusual for children’s book authors either.

Stay woke.