Babies' Breath is a collection of twenty-four contemporary short stories about people in crisis. The stories focus with empathy and compassion on individuals experiencing loss, widowhood, abandonment, addiction and other real life conditions. Some characters find relief and resolution. Some characters plot amusing revenge. Some continue to spiral out of control.
As a bonus, for those who have wondered, "How does a story come to be written," Ms. Coogan tells her readers the inspiration for each story without giving anything away. These stories offer the perfect reading opportunity for Book Clubs since they touch on circumstances which exist in all walks of life and which offer fodder for deeper understanding of life in our complex world. Some will empower you, some will touch you deeply and some might even make you laugh.
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"My heart burned as red-hot as the ancient round stones edging the fire-pit and my tears sizzled and steamed like spit when they hit the flames. I thought of hell, in which I believed, and wished that I could pray to heaven, in which I did not." - From Babies' Breath.
In this unique, sensory, and haunting collection of twenty-four, contemporary short stories, author Kathy L. Coogan explores the life-changing circumstances that her myriad characters face when confronting sadness, sickness or evil. The universal theme is the harrowing question, "What if?'
In a fascinating bonus for the reader, she reveals before each story the writer's secret of what small inspiration gave birth to it.
Mystifying, troubling, dark, and all utterly engaging, Babies Breath - Stories of the Sad, The Sick, The Evil - And How They Were Born, delivers an upheaval of emotions to the reader, through the beautifully crafted stories, six of which are summarized here.
- A defiant daughter, unconvinced that her father's cult is the key to salvation, dreams of a way out before it is too late.
- A young woman wakes up in another drunken fog, hoping that she is home.
- A beloved wife struggles to swallow a tiny bit of food to convince her distraught husband to stay.
- A publicly humiliated ex-wife yearns to start a new life - but not before she seeks a fulfilling, funny and high-flying revenge.
- A shy, stuttering boy obeys all the rules until he finds a glimmering bottle on the beach.
- A lonely girl watches an alligator in her backyard pond wondering how dangerous he can really be.
In this collection of short tales, including the award-winning title story, Babies Breath, some characters find relief and resolution, while others, as in real life, spiral out of control.
Kathy L. Coogan is a writer for businesses and non-profits in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her published works of commentary and creative non-fiction have appeared in newspapers and magazines. She and two partners maintain a writers' website, writers-resources-cafe.com, where she provides practical advice for freelance writers, numerous essays and fiction and examples of her published work.
Writing fiction is not more difficult than writing any other genre. But it requires a willingness to think outside your personal moral and ethical code and to enter a place of choices, other than your own.
Kathy initially shared these stories of the sad, the sick and the evil with only a close circle of writers. Eventually she released all of her literary inhibitions. She realized that her imagination is a separate part of her and not the needle on her moral compass. Because she could conjure evil and sadness, didn't mean that she had to experience it. She knows that she is one of the lucky ones that way.
Kathy's story, Babies' Breath was an award winner in an international crime fiction competition sponsored by Fish Publishing.
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