Whiskey Shots Volume 11
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by Barri Bryan
Description: 'The Homecoming Dance'--Is a first love always the best love? Or can love sweeter the second time around? Susan Martin is about to find out. 'Clytie's Pond'--Clytie's Pond is a sylvan glade, a pastoral paradise hidden behind a thick growth of tangled undergrowth. By the time Tom Sullivan learns its dark secret, it's too late? "Pandora's Box" Pandora Penholt takes one look at Chance Chastain and falls madly in Love. When she conspires with Sister Fate Favors, a paranormal psychic with a passing ability to play hunches and a willingness to capitalize on the folly of her fellow human beings, the results are less than spectacular.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2007
eBookwise Release Date: December 2007
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [82 KB]
Reading time: 48-68 min.
"Whiskey Shots Volume 11 is an anthology of three short stories that touches on love in one form or another. First is the story of Pandora Penholt. Pandora is pure and innocent and very superstitious. She sees the man of her dreams when she sees Chance Chastain the first time outside her store window. She runs to Sister Favors, the local charlatan and con woman psychic. Sister knows who Chance is, and the sexy bad boy doesn't know what hits him when Sister puts him in her crosshairs. She tries to milk Pandora for as much money as she can and at the same time win Chance any way she can. Throw these three in a mix and you have Pandora's Box. When the plan is hatched and the dust settles the end result is a surprise to everyone. Next is the haunting story of Clytie's Pond. The pond has a history that goes back to the early 1900's. History states that a man drowned in 1906, followed by a woman in 1927. It becomes clear in the 1970's that there might be something to local legend when Jason Redgraves drowns. Deidere St. Claire is thought to be insane when she is found many times running naked around the pond calling to her phantom lover Jason. She is kept in the local institution for five years until she escapes and is found drowned at Clytie's pond. Now, tall, dark, and handsome, Tom Sullivan is at Clytie's Pond. Is the pond cursed? Is the only way to escape the evil there is to capture another soul to replace the one waiting? Or is it really an Eden on Earth? Is it worth the cost to find out? Then there is the last of the three stories: The Homecoming Dance. Susan Daniels is at her 20 year Homecoming Dance. She is there with her husband of eleven years, when the ex-husband she hasn't seen in more than fifteen years asks her to dance. Her ex, now a free man, lets her know he wants to spend time with her. Susan comes to face several hard truths. Which man will she choose? The man she does choose is the love of her life. Whiskey Shots Volume 11 is a short anthology but it is a quick read and it throws three different stories together and makes for an interesting read. There wasn't a lot of heat in the romance department, but I did like that it was an easy quick read...."--Melisa, Euro-Reviews
PANDORA'S BOX by Barri Bryan
Pandora Penholt was a most prudent person. She was careful to knock wood when boasting of good fortune. Crossing her fingers when she told a lie, even a small one, was a reflexive gesture. Never would she have dreamed of spitting against the wind or whistling in the dark. She had been known to throw salt over her left shoulder. And she gave a wide berth to black cats and leaning ladders.
Pretty Pandora seldom left anything to the whirl of fortune's giddy wheel. To ward off evil spirits she wore a crystal amulet suspended on a silver chain around her neck. For protection from chants and curses she twined a crimson ribbon through her long flaxen tresses. A topaz ring on the third finger of her right hand shielded her from diseases. As an extra precaution, a four-leaf clover, pressed in plastic, was partner to the rabbit's foot that hung from her key chain.
To further protect herself from the many vicissitudes of life, Pandora had become a diligent student of the supernatural. She was familiar with the prophecies of seers and the predictions of physics. Daily she sought the sage advice of her newspaper's horoscope. She had even struggled with the strange revelations of Nostrodamas--such deep and devious predictions. Pandora was confounded, but not defeated. She reasoned, with a shake of her long blond tresses, that sooner or later this terrific tome would be published in a condensed edition. Pandora also possessed the beggar's virtue, patience.
Chance Chastain was a handsome young cowboy. Broad of shoulder and narrow of hips, he had the face of an Adonis and the mind of a budding Einstein. But sad am I to say, inside his manly, hirsute chest beat the heart of a modern-day Don Juan. Our hero's clay feet were firmly mired in moral muck. He boldly burned the candle at both ends and insisted on sowing, with reckless abandon, wild and wicked oats.
It was inevitable that somewhere along the rocky road of life the winsome and the wayward would meet. The fist of fortune loves to deal such spiteful blows. The converging of the prudent Pandora and the charming Chance was further complicated by Fate.
I speak now, not of the clever catalyst that leaps in the dark, goes out on a limb and skates on thin ice. The Fate I refer to is Sister Fate Favors, a paranormal psychic with a passing ability to play hunches and a willingness to capitalize on the folly of her fellow human beings. Sister Favors had the face of a China doll, complete with blank stare, painted mouth and paperweight eyes that opened and closed with the moving of her head. That head, crammed with devious and dilatory designs, was fastened to a corpulent body of mammoth proportions that swelled and bulged in ever increasing folds from the last of her multiple chins all the way down to tiny size five feet.
Indolence and over indulgence combined to make it difficult for Sister to keep her corpulent body and minuscule soul together, for her clientele was chiefly composed of the ignorant and impoverished.
This sad state of affairs was not without just cause. Sister Favors foretold the future with eerie inaccuracy. For most of her clients, that was of little consequence since they were seeking comfort more than prophecy and consolation above revelation. So with convincing candor and unerring imprecision, Sister Favors continued to read palms, observe bumps on heads, and decipher tea leaves at the bottom of stained China teacups. She could also shuffle cards with a slight-of-hand that was prosaic. All in all, she had honed the art of soothsaying to a dull edge.
The story begins, as all good stories must, with a chance happening, a tiny twist of fate. One sunny summer morning, from the confines of her little sewing shop on the main street in the little city of Providence, Pandora lifted her cornflower blue eyes from the fine seam she was sewing and let them wander down the dusty thoroughfare. At that precise and predestined moment, Chance Chastain came swaggering into view. * * * *