Author: Bill Kramer
Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press
Release Date: 2008-03-01
In Unexpected Grace Bill Kramer offers a rare look into the human side of the world of scientific research. He goes behind the scenes of four scientific investigations on diverse aspects of the study of unlimited love and offers uplifting portraits of human beings struggling to understand and improve the complex issues facing them. He explores the dynamics between the researchers, the subjects they study, and the participants in the studies, and eloquently tells their personal stories. The stories touch on vastly different social and human issues, but all are connected by love.The first is the story of Courtney Cowart, who was part of a group of theologians who met at Trinity Place in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, not knowing her experience would become the subject of a study. The story of how the group struggled to survive and the formation of a practical, effective altruistic community is heartrending and inspiring. This is followed by a description of a University of California Santa Cruz psychology department study on the dynamics of friendship and prejudice that completely changed the perceptions of those involved.The third study, from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, focused on the benefits of religion on mental and physical health, which led its researcher to a greater understanding of forgiveness, humility, and grace. The final powerful story is about a physiology of love study conducted in Iowa City. Here, a functional MRI is the vehicle for measuring empathy and brings the researcher to wonder, "Is there a point at which empathy shuts down and we turn away?" Ultimately she comes to recognize that past experiences influences our ability to respond emphatically.Each story candidly unveils the transformations the researchers and their subjects experienced in the course of their work. This illuminating book, with its unique insights, will appeal to educators, researchers, students, study participants, and everyone who wonders what goes on behind the scenes of investigative studies.
Author: Octavia E. Butler
Publisher: Open Road Media
Release Date: 2014-06-24
An NPR Books Great Read: Two never-before-published stories from the archives of one of science fiction’s all-time masters. The novella “A Necessary Being” showcases Octavia E. Butler’s ability to create alien yet fully believable “others.” Tahneh’s father was a Hao, one of a dwindling race whose leadership abilities render them so valuable that their members are captured and forced to govern. When her father dies, Tahneh steps into his place, both chief and prisoner, and for twenty years has ruled without ever meeting another of her kind. She bears her loneliness privately until the day that a Hao youth is spotted wandering into her territory. As her warriors sharpen their weapons, Tahneh must choose between imprisoning the newcomer—and living the rest of her life alone. The second story in this volume, “Childfinder,” was commissioned by Harlan Ellison for his legendary (and never-published) anthology The Last Dangerous Visions™. A disaffected telepath connects with a young girl in a desperate attempt to help her harness her growing powers. But in the richly evocative fiction of Octavia E. Butler, mentorship is a rocky path, and every lesson comes at a price. The award-winning author of science fiction classics Parable of the Sower and Kindred bestows these compelling, long lost gems “like the miraculous discovery that the beloved book you’ve read a dozen times has an extra chapter” (Los Angeles Review of Books). Harlan Ellison and Dangerous Visions are registered trademarks of the Kilimanjaro Corporation. All rights reserved.
Author: P.F. Citizen One
Release Date: 2016-10-07
A series of short, true life stories, which are the product of the travels and observations of one man. The stories are a miscellaneous collection of the funny and sad, of tragedy, love and friendship. And they are all, in a way, unexpected. Unexpected takes you on a journey from a Brazilian working on the oil rigs of Venezuela, who gets the shock of his life, to the uplifting story of a Chinese beggar living on the streets, entertaining passers-by with his songs and surviving through the mercy and kindness of others. There is a story for each of us in this book. Each one is subtly different and each carries either a message of hope for lost, or of caution for the unwary. Unexpected is just that. Just as life is and just as the course of our lives run, at times unexpectedly.
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Release Date: 2015-11-15
It is said that a picture may be worth a thousand words but an old photograph can inspire many more. In this beguiling book, Alexander McCall Smith casts his eye over five chanced-upon photographs from the era of black-and-white photography and imagines the stories behind them. Who were those people, what were their stories, why are they smiling, what made them sad? What emerges are surprising and poignant tales of love and friendship in a variety of settings - an estate in the Highlands of Scotland, a travelling circus in Canada, an Australian gold-mining town, a village in Ireland, and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. Some will find joy and fulfilment - others would prefer happier endings. Each of them, though, will find love, and that is ultimately what matters.
Master storyteller Diana Wynne Jones presents ariveting collection of unpredictable tales, including: A cat tells how the kindhearted wizard she owns is suddenly called upon to defeat a horrific Beast. When Anne has mumps, her drawings come to life, and she must protect her home from them. Four children become involved in the intrigue surrounding an innocent prince, an evil count, and a brave outlaw. These fifteen stories and one novella will enchant, startle, and surprise!
The stories in Three Short Stories are off-shoots of the two novels To Bind Fast and Four People on a Marsh. The three stories are about the further experiences and growth of the two main characters in those novels as they search to make sense of the world in which they find themselves. They never find their universe to be without surprises, sometimes horrendous, and sometimes delightful; but they continually find that universe to be very quiet, perhaps silent, when it comes to values and directions for living. And they wonder if it isn't more hostile than friendly.
"Do you want me?" "Yes, I'm just so excited. These 5 Erotica Stories will make you feel amazing. Stories: 1. Queen for the Night 2. The Wedding Plan 3. Following Her 4. Making First Steps 5. Playing at the Subway Mature Adults Only (18+)
Jacklynn Lord was born in California and moved to Reno in 1975. An ordained minister, Jackie studied at Berkeley, Sacramento State and the University ofNevada—Reno. Jackie is also an author and composer, writing and producing the albums Children Love Trumpet and Lovers Love Trumpet. She also wrote six Suites for Trumpet and Piano, which she performs with her husband, Mark. Jackie has written eight books, including STC The Sharpest Weapons, How Do You Say Thank You?, Tell Me About the War, Daddy and Custer Court House Incident. Now age 73, Jackie is at work on her next novel Catalyst which is set in Santa Cruz. She has three children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Author: John W. Sloat
Publisher: CCB Publishing
Release Date: 2012-10-17
Genre: Short stories, American
John W. Sloat's latest book, Life Surprises, is a tribute to the discoveries and revelations that are part of every life. The book is a collection of seven short stories about the unexpected. These stories illustrate how quickly our lives can take unanticipated turns which lead us to discover surprising meaning in the most routine experiences. A young boy's neurosis produces an unexpected revelation. An adolescent muses about a mysterious girl at the beach. A feather on the beach leads to an unusual love affair. A key found in an old car opens a strange quest. A car radio keeps a driver safe from harm. A detour makes possible a medical cure. A pair of shoes combats racism. These touching short stories, humorous and sometimes off-beat, completely captivate the reader and lead to surprising and unexpected resolutions, a la O. Henry. They remind us of the mystery at the heart of our daily existence, and of the fact that every moment can contain discoveries that may forever change our lives. About the Author John W. Sloat, a former Presbyterian minister, served churches in Pennsylvania and Ohio for over 40 years. He holds a B.A. from Denison University, 1954; an M.Div. from Princeton Seminary, 1957; and a Th.M. from Pittsburgh Seminary, 1977. Previous books include Lord, Make Us One (non-fiction, 1986); The Other Half (fiction, 2001); Memories of My Misadventures (fiction, 2008); A Handbook For Heretics (non-fiction, second edition, 2009); and Moving Beyond the Christian Myth, (non-fiction, 2011). Several of his sermons have been included in Pulpit Digest, a national preaching journal. He has been married to Helen Burdick Sloat, a psychiatric nurse, for 57 years, and they have three children, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He is a pianist/organist and plays the French horn. Retired since 1992, he is a scratch model builder, leads spirituality groups, and writes books.
"Roxanne's heartfelt experience reminds us of the sacred experience we all share." Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., coauthor of YOU: The Owner's Manual Beautifully drawn stories of hope, healing, and courage illuminate the unexpected blessings that lie beyond the hurdles in life. When Roxanne Black was only fifteen years old, she was diagnosed with lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease. As a teenager with a rare and potentially life- threatening illness, Roxanne yearned to connect firsthand with others who knew what she was experiencing. So she made the decision to turn her diagnosis into something positive. Working out of her hospital bedroom, she founded Friends' Health Connection, which is now a nationwide community that matches people with similar health conditions for friendship and mutual support. Unexpected Blessings brings to life Roxanne's moving personal story, as well as the wisdom and lessons of courage she has learned over the years from famous leaders and celebrities, as well as everyday heroes standing strong against adversity. We meet Sara, an eight-year-old mature beyond her years, who is struggling with AIDS and the loss of her mother, and Ruby, a chronically ill woman whose devoted husband eases her pain. We experience Roxanne's poignant encounter with Christopher Reeve before his death, and also see unbelievable kindness and acts of love-family members offering transplant organs to save loved ones, strangers supporting one another through crisis, and more. These powerful stories and reflections weave together a rich tapestry of hope, comfort, and inspiration, and serve as reminders of the incredible resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming challenge. In this gorgeously written book, Roxanne Black reminds us of the courage we all possess.
When Dr. Andrew Smith found CIA agent Eleanor Wright beaten in an alleyway, he knew he had to protect her. Neither of them could have guessed just how far the tangles of their love would reach or what their choices would cost them . . . and the ones they love. Book Two: Staff Sergeant Robert Wright was looking forward to going home to Tennessee. After being away for ten years, the future of peace and quiet laid out in front of him was promising. He was not expecting the truth regarding his sisters life nor the beautiful and innocent red-haired woman tied so thoroughly to Eleanor. Robert must deal with lifes unexpected twists and turns as well as the ghosts of his past. But will he be able to overcome his fears? Book Three: Joshua Smith is about to celebrate his fortieth birthday but not in the way he planned. Instead of being surrounded by his family on the sunny shores of California, he is alone, drunk, and barely stumbling through each day. When an unexpected woman shows up on his doorstep, Joshua feels his bones begin to thaw. But the gorgeous blonde has her own tragic past. As the two of them struggle to find their footing in each others lives, they discover that the horrors of their pasts have not truly been laid to rest.
Author: Michael Marshall Smith
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2012-07-26
What Happens When You Wake Up in the Night - Michael Marshall Smith For Michael Marshall Smith, this was one of those stories that dropped straight into his head, but the problem was that he didn't want it: "It wasn't an idea I liked. It was clearly some part of my brain serving up a notion simply because it could, and because it knew it could frighten me with it. "It did frighten me, and so I did what I always do when that happens - which is write it down, in the hope it will go away." Respects - Ramsey Campbell "'Respects' was suggested by a local incident in which a car thief in his early teens killed himself while fleeing the police," recalls Campbell. "A lamp standard at the site of his demise is still decorated with flowers years after the incident, and the tributes on the obituaries page of one Wallasey newspaper were at least as grotesque as the ones I've invented - the romanticisation of a petty criminal. Cold to Touch - Simon Strantzas "Stories often find their origins in unexpected ways," Strantzas reveals. "I was inspired in this case by a photograph of a Zen garden I once used as my computer's desktop background. "There was something there in the coldness of the photograph, something that brought to mind the barren vistas of the Canadian Arctic, which ended up being the perfect setting for my tale of tested faith." The Reunion - Nicholas Royle "'The Reunion' is based on actual events," reveals the author, "but the story only really came into focus for me when I was invited to contribute to Ellen Datlow's Poe anthology. "Poe is brilliant. I was at a conference recently where a teacher revealed that she had read Poe's 'The Black Cat' to a lecture theatre full of schoolchildren. She switched off all the lights and used a torch to read by. A number of parents lodged complaints, which she took as a measure of the event's success. My tale is inspired by a different Poe story." Granny's Grinning - Robert Shearman "I love Christmas," says Shearman. "Always have done, and always a bit too passionately. The intensity with which I loved Christmas was delightful when I was eight years old, slightly unusual by the time I was eighteen, and increasingly disturbing thereafter. "I was the last one to grow up. It suddenly dawned on me one year, looking into the faces of my parents, and of my sister, that they were all older, and fatter, and less and less festive. And that they were trying so hard to keep me happy each Christmas, pretending they wanted all those presents I'd bought, all those sausage rolls and Quality Street chocs. That what I was trying to do, each December, was somehow reach back into the past and resurrect a time that was dead, that was long dead. "I still love Christmas. But now I recognize - as I still make them perform party games, as I still make them open their gifts and smile and say thank you - that they're zombies now. All of them, zombies. I'll never get my childhood back again, not really, or the innocence of that family get-together. So I'll make do with the dead, and pretend. "This is a story all about that." In The Garden - Rosalie Parker "'In the Garden' was written after I challenged myself to write a horror story about gardening," explains the author. "It emerged more quickly and easily than anything I've ever written. I think of it more as a prose poem than a story."
Do you believe in coincidence, chance, accidents or the power of suggestion? The Night Owl is a selection of unique tales with a distinctly Australian backdrop. From the Sydney Harbour Bridge to dusty country towns, the beaches of Sydney to the deserts of the outback, take a journey into the not so ordinary. The Night Owl offers a variety of twists and surprises in bite size pieces but savour slowly and with great care.