An anthology by Patricia Flaherty Pagan, Editor
Book Title: Approaching Footsteps
Book Genre: Four Suspenseful Novellas (more than “suspense”)
Release Date: 11/18/16
Synopsis: Best-selling novelist Donna Hill spins a gripping tale of desperation and danger in 136 Auburn Lane. Author Jennifer Leeper puts a unique spin on noir fiction in The Reiger File. In A Night with Kali, writer & scholar Rita Banerjee blends a story of two unlikely allies trapped in a monsoon with a tale of murder and magic. In the historical novella Brave Enough to Follow, debut writer Megan Stuessloff tells the story of an interracial couple and the deadly price that must be paid for freedom.
Excerpt from “136 Auburn Lane” by Donna Hill
Martha pressed her ear to the door. “Hello,” she whispered.
Footsteps on the stairs—coming up.
Martha scurried across the hall to her apartment and ducked inside. She pressed her eye to the keyhole. Moments later the man with the hat appeared at the top of the stairs. He had a suitcase, apparently light enough to carry since she hadn’t heard the usual thumping.
He used a key, opened the apartment door, and shut it behind him. Martha’s heart was hammering so hard she felt it hitting against her door.
Excerpt from “The Reiger File” by Jenifer Leeper
“Tom skittered like an insect to the side of the office, which was a freestanding box, waiting for the trio to exit. As soon as he heard the door to the outside slam, he bolted toward the door.
Lady V, Stigler and their supplier slipped into a black Chrysler Imperial. Tom clicked the camera several times before jumping in Fox’s wagon. He caught up with the supplier’s car, remaining at an innocent distance.
Tom realized the city was long gone a couple of hours later when he was still driving. By the time the Imperial pulled over at a gas station in Pennsylvania, Tom convinced himself he was already too invested to turn back.”
Excerpt from “A Night With Kali” by Rita Banerjee
He jerked the car forward on the waterlogged streets. The water slid over the tops of our tires and over the front bumper. The engine, cranked up to the max, whinnied in complaint. Our Ambassador, the old beast, was trying to push through the flooded alley, to no avail.
The wheels of the car were first rolling in knee-deep water, lurching in jerky spurts across the road. In the distance, a small corner street was visible as the old cab hurtled towards it. But even its thick tires were no match for the rising, rapid yellow-brown currents running through the streets. Soon a small sliver of beige water marked a streak across the black leather floor of the Ambassador. Following it, a choppy wave of muddied water snuck in through the cracks at the bottom of the door.
“Tamal-da,” I shrieked, lifting my feet up and crossing them in the backseat. I placed the few bags of books we had procured up on the seat next to me, hoping the water would not rise up and devour us.
Excerpt from “Brave Enough To Follow” By Megan Steusloff:
A few days after she was fitted for her gown, Sadie and Isaiah sat barefoot together in the creek. They watched the water flow over their skin and the tiny droplets sparkle in the sunshine. It was late afternoon on a Sunday, and the sun was still high in the heavens. After a few moments of sitting in silence, breathing in the beauty around them, they rose and began walking along the shore. Suddenly, Sadie slipped on a wet stone, and in her fall, gashed her lower leg on a jagged magnolia root. Blood raged into the water. She caught her breath.
Isaiah ripped off his shirt and tied it tightly around the wound. He lifted Sadie into his arms and raced to the big house.
About the editor: Patricia Flaherty Pagan loves writing and reading about complex female characters. She is the author of Trail Ways Pilgrims: Stories and the writer of award-winning literary and crime short stories such as “Bargaining” and “Blood-red Geraniums.” After earning her MFA in creative writing from Goddard College, she founded Spider Road Press to champion writing by and/or about strong women. She edited Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers. She teaches flash fiction writing at Writespace in Houston. An adoptive mom, she spends her free time composing silly poems with her son . Find out more at http://www.spiderroadpress.com and http://patriciaflahertypagan.com
For signed copies of the book: http://spiderroadpress.com/book-store/