Format: Softcover, 277 pages
Publisher: Apex Publications, August, 2008
The Bram Stoker Award-nominated novella "Mama's Boy" is the cornerstone of this 14-story collection from author Fran Friel and Apex Publications. A man whose mother's demented love for him has turned him from an innocent boy to a serial killer to a near-comatose mental patient opens his world to a psychologist determined to reach him as a way of dealing with her own mother's battle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But is she helping, or is there more damage to be done? In "Mashed," a son's simple request for potatoes with his birthday dinner opens up a world of past fears and childhood torments for his mother, while the flash fiction story "Close Shave" presents a horrifically funny solution to an everyday women's issue. From mother and son to broader family ties, Friel explores the bonds of human connection into every dark turn. The humorous yet wickedly creepy "Under the Dryer" begins as a tale told by the family dog and ends in a bloodbath; "Special Prayers," perhaps the most disturbing offering in the collection, exposes a family secret of abuse and power; and the tragically soft and beautiful "Orange and Golden" explores the purest form of the human-animal bond as the sun sets on a natural disaster. FRAN FRIEL is a Bram Stoker-nominated author residing on the coast of southern New England with her husband and their band of animal masters.
Table of Contents: Beach of Dreams, Gravy Mashed, The Sea Orphan, Orange and Golden, Under the Dryer, Close Shave, Connected at the Hip, Special Prayers, Widow Spider, Love Fine Print, Black Sleep, Mama's Boy.