Inside the SUV, Gerald uncovers his phone from beneath a stained and wrinkled copy of the festival’s schedule highlighting the Tasting Grand Prize and its amount; in the margins—Mark’s calculations for new equipment, additions to the brewery, more marketing; on the reverse side—Gerald’s scribbles and ideas for labels and brands. But the screen flashing NEW VOICEMAIL – SIMONE sinks Gerald into the backseat and the inked tree spreading its bare branches from his sternum up and across his collarbone, its roots twisting out her name. His knee and jaw twitching, he listens to Simone from a place she calls him into, whenever they talk, where he waits among the past’s dazzling parts that the present has not yet sealed.William Auten – “Clean Slate” from Inroads: Stories
“Clean Slate,” a story from Inroads, my short-story collection available on the 23rd of March 2023, is available on Substack.
And Inroads is now available on NetGalley, and if you are a member, you can you can read and review it and help promote it before and after it’s published.
If you’re not a member, sign up and be part of a community helping authors and publishers promote digital-review copies to book advocates and industry professionals.
Early reviews include:
5 out of 5 stars. An amazing book of short stories. Some will sure to make you smile, and some will bring a tear. The stories touch on young, old, losing, winning, and how to keep loving.
4 out of 5 stars. An intriguing collection of short stories that open your mind to other people’s lives and their dilemmas. All the short stories are well written and a delight to read. A well put together collection by an accomplished author.