*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Dog Days of Summer: Flash Fiction anthology edited by Barbara Venkataraman


Earlier in the year – fortunately, well before I went down with Covid-19 – Barbara contacted me to ask if I would be interested in submitting a 100-word story to her summer-themed anthology. And I jumped at the chance – it sounded like such fun! I sketched out one story, intending it to be the first of three pieces of flash fiction, but in the first week of March I became ill.

BLURB: Dog Days of Summer Flash Fiction, what a blast! The challenge: capture a mood, a memory, or an experience, using exactly 100 words. Stories like Ice Cream Hero, Lemonade Stand, and The Prank take you back to your childhood, while others like Fever Pitch, The Panty Liner Incident, and Lemonade Stand evoke summer heat and the search for relief. Other stories like What’s the Buzz?, Lazy Lake, and Change of Season leave you with a smile. Enjoy stories by Goodreads authors: Jina Bazzar, James J. Cudney, IV, S.J. Higbee, Sandra J. Jackson, Loretta Marion, Didi Oviatt, Carmen Radtke, Amy Reade, Rosemary Reeve, Kelly Santana-Banks, L.A. Starks, and Barbara Venkataraman as well as authors Nico Morales, Kathleen Fowler Costa, Jeff Homberger, Geoffrey Marion, Jodi Markley, and Kaitlyn Sutey. This book transports you to that time of lethargy, thunderstorms, and mad dogs known as the dog days of summer–only our dogs are more fun.

MY TAKE: Luckily, when Barbara sent me a polite reminder that the due date was approaching, I was going through a good spell and able to get together my short about Castellan the Black, a rather grumpy dragon who features in Picky Eaters. And a few days later, the book was published. Now, obviously, this can’t be a review because I’m a contributor. It’s not good form – but the reason why I’ve featured this small book is because it’s such FUN. I was badly struggling when I first picked it up, as I was suffering ongoing symptoms from my Covid illness. But despite that, several of these made me laugh aloud. I’d started reading, intending to dip in and out of these little bite-sized pieces of fun and quirkiness. But as with many bite-sized morsels, I found it far too morish to stop until I reached the end – which came far too soon.

I haven’t yet had a chance to read Barbara’s longer fiction, but she’s clearly a talented editor with a clear vision of what she wants. For every one of these shorts delivers something enjoyable and different. The theme of summer runs throughout, and you won’t be surprised to learn that dogs also feature reasonably heavily – but I wasn’t expecting quite so much humour, and emotion. It takes real skill to achieve such a punch in a hundred words, and every single one of these tales delivers. I was charmed, as I moved onto the next one, impatient to see what was next. Inevitably, some stood out – I winced at ‘Ice Cream Demon’ by Kaitlyn Sutey, grinned at ‘Track and Field Practice’ by Kelly Santana-Banks, sighed in pleasure at the writing of ‘Summer Nights’ by Amy Reade, had a lump in my throat at ‘Eternal Summer’ by Jodi Markley – and burst out laughing at Barbara’s ‘What’s the Buzz?’. I could go on, because each of these gems offered a particular delight.

And the bonus? Dog Days of Summer is a real steal at less than a £1, as well as being available on Kindle Unlimited. If you are looking for a light, refreshing read that won’t break the bank, then this one comes very highly recommended. It certainly brightened up my day, when I was in a very dark place.

12 responses »

  1. Congrats on your story being in the anthology😁 Flash fiction can be tricky to get right, but it sounds like this is a good bunch of skilled writers! And I’m sorry to hear about your lingering Covid symptoms😥

    • Thank you, Tammy. I was honoured to be asked – and very relieved that I had worked out the story before I fell ill. Yes – my life is more or less on hold at present, as I run out of energy so fast. And trying to push through simply isn’t an option. Though, I’m optimistic that I will eventually make a full recovery – I just have to be very patient and accept that right now I can’t do very much.

  2. This sounds like so much fun to have contributed to and to read. I have seen it around and should grab it on KU. Congrats on being a contributor Sarah, I do recognize several of the names. I am so sorry to hear that you are still struggling with symptoms, I hope you continue to improve and get back to 100% soon.

    • Thank you, Carla:). I’m aware that I am very slowly improving – but it is SLOW. And if I try to do too much, I pay for it with days in bed… However, I am also aware that I am fortunate to still be making progress, and that most of the time I am pain-free.

      • Those of us who have not seen someone recover from this virus have no idea what it is like. My prayers for your recovery will continue, Sarah.

  3. Congratulations for your participation in this anthology – from your words it was a hard, uphill road, not in the creative department of course, but because Covid did its worst to keep you from it, so I’m very glad you managed to overcome the… barrier 🙂
    And the anthology sounds fun indeed…

    • Thank you, Maddalena:)). I was delighted to have been asked – and very lucky that I have breaks when I’ve sufficient energy to do little bits of work. I just wish they lasted longer!

  4. Congrats on having your story included in this anthology! So wonderful that this collection brought a smile to your face and made you laugh even when you were feeling so miserable.

  5. Thank you for the lovely review, Sarah, it was so great to meet you and to work with a talented writer like you. I hope you feel better very soon.

    • You’re very welcome. It was a pleasure working with you – and I am delighted to have been invited to contribute a story:)). Thank you for your kind concern – I’m steadily improving, but I still get days when I can hardly function.

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