Café Reads A Multi-Genre Anthology
by Casia Pickering Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Thriller, Horror, LGBTQ Romance, Paranormal Romance
Teasing Over Turnovers
A Day in Thornfield Hall
Marooned in Missouri
Through the Veil
The God of the Forest
A gentleman adopts a young girl and questions his decision. A woman joins a production of a well-loved play only to find her enemy is there too. An ancient being of a forest is dying until a single woman chooses to make a sacrifice.
In these eleven stories, Casia Pickering dives into different worlds of romance, fear, and sacrifice. Featuring stories originally published in Perfectly Poisoned Anthologies and Enchanted Anthologies, Café Reads is a multi-genre anthology that welcomes the reader to enjoy a cup of coffee and sit for a story.
When it is that time of the month, you don't ignore a craving. And right now, Bea Kohl craved Sweet Mama's World Famous Apple Turnovers. She weaved down the grocery store, ignoring the judgmental glances of other patrons. Javier Guzman's peppy voice sang from her cell phone.
"What do you say?" He asked.
Bea Kohl brought the phone back to her ear. She held her breath as she reached the freezer section. Sweet Mama's was the most popular brand in the area; if the apple turnovers were there, it would be nothing less than a miracle.
"Yeah. Sure, Javi." She answered.
There were just two more freezers, and then she would have them. She sent a prayer to every deity as she got closer.
"Really?" Javier exclaimed with excitement.
She made it to the freezer and sighed with relief. The baby blue packaging with Sweet Mama smiled back at her. Bea opened the door and reached for the last apple turnover box.
"Honestly, Bea, I wasn't sure you'd say yes. I'm impressed you're willing to be on stage."
Her hand stopped in mid-air. Stage? Who said anything about a stage?
She tried to remember what Javier was talking about, but all she could remember was the stomach pitting hunger for pastries, more specifically the apple kind. Bea sighed and grabbed the box. It was pointless worrying about it; Javier wasn't going to let her back down. When something was agreed on, that person must pay.
"You are the perfect Princess Elorian."
Bea stopped walking away from the freezers. Princess Elorian was confident, strong, and fierce. All qualities she did not possess; the perfect Princess Elorian, her ass.
"Okay." Bea sighed into the phone. She massaged the beginning of a headache away. "What exactly am I doing again?"
There was a moment of silence and then a quick click of annoyance. Bea imagined Javier rolling his crystalline blue eyes.
"You haven't been listening, have you?"
Bea smirked at the sass in his voice.
"Guilty." She sang, hugging the precious box to her chest and resuming her walk to the registers.
"Girl, you're lucky I love you." He grumbled. She smiled, he was right, but she wasn't going to tell him that. "Becky isn't able to play Princess Elorian, and the understudy decided to go to Vegas. She's too busy with the new hubby now. Lord knows if she'll even be back before opening night. You are the only one I trust who knows the lines by heart. Let's face it, you are the princess' living vessel, and you cannot fucking back down now, bitch. I know where you live, and I will cut you."
Bea couldn't help the snort. In their fifteen years of friendship, Javier never hid his vindictiveness. It was the thought of his perfectly manicured hands getting dirty that got her reaction.
Even though she claims she can write anything, the biography remains to be Casia’s arch-nemesis. Despite this, Casia has used her Writing degree to craft stories in over ten anthologies, maintained a book blog for more than a decade, and has begun to write novels. A multi-genre author, Casia Pickering, is incapable of keeping to one thing. Every story has a piece of her personality that she treasures and shares with her readers. She currently lives in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia with her biggest supporter and helper, her son, affectionately known as Bug. Previous works are under the name, Casia Courtier.
Writer’s block. It’s real, folks. Seriously. Take right this moment as an example. I wanted to sound pretentious, informative, and intellectual, permitted to sit among the greats, but really, I’m just me- a writer with the block. The block is called “The Guest Post.”
For me, I dislike calling it a block. A block feels like a Rubix cube or a blockage in the circulatory system. One aspect is easily solvable if you know the formula or have the time to take off the stickers and place them on the cube correctly. The other image? Well, without proper medical care, that shit can kill you.
Unfortunately for me, I don’t have the patience to take off the stickers on a Rubix cube, nor do I feel like getting probed to see if I’m going to kick the bucket anytime soon. Let’s face it; neither image feels very “Author.”
Nope. I consider the block as a wall because that’s what it is. You are running through a maze made by your imagination, and you made the wrong turn, meeting with a wall- The Writer’s Wall.
So, what do you do about the wall? It’s pretty simple. You have three options from where I stand, and all of them suck, but hey, you can get around it.
Option one is backtracking. Follow down the path you just went through and see what had caused you to make that wrong turn. There was one time I met the wall, and I backtracked. It turned out that a secondary love interest to the triangle wanted more screen time. It turns out he was a central character, that he had personality, and I needed to show it. I have to rewrite that story again because it turns out I still haven’t given him the love he needs.
Option two is breaking the wall. Just go for it. Write something completely off the wall in your story. Force the story to happen. Just grab that sledgehammer and slam it into the bricks, break the plaster, cut through the drywall, and make that small home into a beautiful renovation that will make HGTV cry tears of adoration. This is an excellent option if you are on a blank page. A great example of me doing that is at the beginning of this post. That was me taking the sledgehammer into the wall.
Option three is parkour. Come on. I know you had to have run and jumped on a jungle gym as a child. Do you remember being fearless? I do. Sometimes, I do silly things and twirl, all the while screaming “Parkour.” Yes, it does make people stare at me, but hey, it works. No, I don’t do actual parkour, but I do like to do something physical and productive to break what keeps me from writing. Usually, it is chores or just doing something silly. What matters is you don’t focus on the act of writing. Instead, you do something different. Eventually, the blood will get to the brain, and the brain will hit the imagination, thereby helping you write.
So, is the block actual? Yes, but it’s a wall, and everyone knows that if you can build a wall, you can tear it down. That’s why we made catapults, to fly over them and take over the kingdom.
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