Holidays are a time for surprises, and I received a great one this year. My short story “Everything Happens for a Reason” was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2017 Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction contest and has been published in an anthology that includes the top 16 stories selected from more than 200 entries.
Entitled Best Short Stories from the Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2017, the anthology is available now from Amazon.com in Kindle format for only $3.99.
I was happy to see that if you don’t have a Kindle reader (which I don’t), you can get a free app from Amazon to download ebooks to your smart phone, tablet, or computer. You can also have ebooks delivered to your Kindle Cloud reader.
“Everything Happens for a Reason” is the story of a young girl whose mother owns a curb market in Tanner, North Carolina, the same town where my novel Surface and Shadow takes place. On a warm summer afternoon, two would-be thieves armed with knives come into the curb market and demand the cash register contents. Quick action by a customer thwarts their intentions and sends one off with the police.
Not long after the attempted robbery, the girl, who’s still in elementary school, convinces her mother to let her operate the old-fashioned cash register for a few hours a day because she loves to push the buttons and pull down the large handle. Consequently, she’s at the cash register and her mother is in the back of the store when the thieves return with a gun.
“Everything Happens for a Reason” is one of my favorite stories that I’ve ever written. I always wanted it to have a good home, and now it does. In other stories in the anthology, haunting and humorous voices of past relationships, of musicians, office misfits, civil rights activists, and a forgetful man clad in a bunny costume attempt to make sense of the world and find their places in it.
If you like good stories with a variety of characters, I encourage you to give Best Short Stories from the Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2017 a look.