I love short stories!

I love to read and write short stories, so I’m excited to welcome my fellow writing friend, Joan Hall, to my blog to tell you about her latest collection of short stories. Please make her feel welcome and press the share buttons to help other people find her book, MENAGERIE.

Thanks for visiting my blog, Joan!

Seven Days

Hi, Judi. Thanks so much for hosting me today. I’m delighted to be here to talk about my latest release, Menagerie, a mixed-genre compilation of thirteen short stories. Each tour stop features a different title and I tell how the story came about. Today’s story is Seven Days, a contemporary fiction piece.

I retired from public work last August. The last six months on my job were probably the hardest. Maybe it’s because I knew my time there was short, but I was also trying to finish this collection in hopes of publishing it in October.

No matter how I tried, there were days when I couldn’t write. The ideas were in my head but getting them into my writing software was impossible. Strange, because I had previously written and published five novels while holding a full-time job.

Several months earlier, the idea of writing a story that took place over a seven-day period came to mind. I had no idea what the story would be about. One day, it dawned on me. A writer is desperately trying to finish a manuscript. She’s also addicted to social media. We authors know the importance of marketing, but sometimes it’s hard to find a balance between writing and social media.

In Seven Days, Mindy Jarvis is an author of historical fiction. The story begins when she’s late for a planned lunch with her best friend Andrea (and it’s not the first time). Andrea recognizes Mindy is addicted to social media.

When Mindy confides she’s having a case of writers block, Andrea suggests she get away for a week. No writing, no texting, no phone calls, no social media. Andrea has the perfect place—a lakeside cabin.

The story encompasses Mindy’s week at the cabin. She goes through withdrawals, but in the end will she find peace and contentment?


“You’re addicted,” Andrea said.

“What are you talking about?”

“To technology. You can’t carry on a conversation without looking at your phone. It’s with you everywhere you go. You constantly check social media updates and read emails. How many times do you wake up during the night to check messages?”

Mindy didn’t want her friend to know the truth. “Having my phone nearby is essential. I am an author. Interacting with fans is part of marketing. I’ll bet you use yours at work.”

“Yes, but there are limits. When was the last time you took a selfie?”

She bristled. “I don’t take selfies. You know I think that’s a sign of narcissism.”

“Isn’t it also narcissistic to interrupt a dinner conversation to answer a text or call?”

“I hadn’t thought of it that way.”

A server appeared with Andrea’s quesadilla. Mindy ordered nachos and iced tea.

“You need a break.”

“I can’t afford the time. I’m behind on my newest manuscript. Can’t seem to make it come together. Unless I find a condo or someplace with an Internet connection so I can continue to work, a trip is out of the question. This time of year, finding one available would be next to impossible.”

“I’m talking about a complete break for say, a week. No writing and no social media. I bet a few days of relaxation will clear your mind, then you’ll be able to finish that manuscript.”

“Maybe you’re right, but where would I go?”

“I have the perfect solution.”


King’s. The Tower of London. Glass. What do these have in common?

Each is a famous menagerie.

While this Menagerie doesn’t focus on exotic animals, it does contain a collection of stories that explore various trials people face and how their reactions shape their worlds.

Survivors of a haunted bridge. Women who wait while their husbands fight a war. Former partners reuniting to solve a cold-case murder.

These are just three of the thirteen stories in this compendium, encompassing past and present, natural and supernatural, legend and reality. The genres and timelines are varied, but there’s a little something for everyone who enjoys reading about simpler times and small-town life.

Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/jh-menagerie

About the Author

Social Media Links

Website   |   Blog   |   BookBub   |   Goodreads

My 5-star review of Menagerie:

I love short stories, and this collection by Joan Hall provided great entertainment night after night. Most of the stories happened in the past, and the time periods gave them more of a personal, small-town appeal. Each story was clever with an emotional ending. I got involved in the characters and their lives. Every story was good, and some were memorable and will stick with me for a while. If you’re a short fiction fan, like I am, these were well done.

35 thoughts on “I love short stories!

    1. Thank you so much, Harmony. Hubs and I sometimes take trips to Broken Bow, Oklahoma. We rent cabins much like the one I described in this story (except not so big for the two of us). Three friends and I once rented a three-bedroom cabin there for a long weekend writing retreat.

      Liked by 2 people

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