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Synopsis

This collection features a novelette, a short novel and three short stories. It totals about 51,000 words.

THE GREEN PILL (about 14,000 words): The year is 2022. A green pill has been developed that cures breast cancer, but in the huge majority of cases, a side effect reverses sexuality. Basically, straight people turn gay, and gay people turn straight. Marcia Brandon, whose marriage to Jim has faded into monotony, keeps waiting for her side effect to kick in, but it never seems to. Marcia is dismayed; she’d counted on the side effect to shake up her life. On the other hand is Byrony Russell, who hasn’t told her husband, Griffin, that she experienced the green pill’s most notorious side effect. She keeps hoping an antidote will hit the shelves, and she can have her idyllic, heterosexual life with Griffin back. Marcia and Byrony meet at a support group and become friends. And eventually, perhaps more.

ONE HOUR (about 24,500 words): English teacher Jessica Harmon and one of her students, seventeen-year-old Riley Jenkins, hide in a classroom closet while a gunman rampages through their high school. They’re the only people in the room because it was Jessica’s planning period, and Riley stopped by with concerns about a debate assignment. When the gunman finds them in the closet, they figure they’re as good as dead. Except Jessica and Riley survive, without injury, their harrowing, surreal conversation with the gunman.

Their shared trauma and their guilt from failing to stop the gunman haunt Jessica and Riley and bring them close. They’re not the same people they were before the shootings, and Jessica, who never had given as much as a second glance to a student, finds herself drawn to Riley.

“One Hour” is the story of how Jessica and Riley help each other through their unique situation. Do they ultimately find happiness and a future with each other?

THE NIGHT THEY DRANK WINE (about 5,000 words): Mallory and Vanessa are sisters-in-law and good friends. One night, they get together to gossip and drink wine. One thing leads to another, and the next morning finds them naked and in bed together. Will they ignore what happened or try to make some sense of it?

STAYING IN (about 3,200 words): Becky Wilson decides one day she’s not leaving her condo again. Her unusual choice brings her backlash—and much more.

TOMMIE (about 4,300 words): Claire has a secret—her first love, Tommie, who died of leukemia twenty years ago, has been reincarnated. Kendall Paulson is nineteen years old, almost twenty, and has no idea who Tommie was. What Kendall does know, however, is that she likes Claire a lot. A heck of a lot. Is Kendall really Tommie? Either way, what does it mean for both women?

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