2014 – September 30 – Eli and Damon

On the 30th day, we’re reading “Eli and Damon” by Joanne Jagoda.

[cryout-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”33%”]The Tepper twist:  “Stand clear of the poison arrow.“[/cryout-pullquote]

Ah … I’ve got to stretch. I hate writing up these detailed reports.

“Here is your coffee Mr. Dangott.”

“Thanks Susan. This Starbucks Cappuccino is the best. I’m going to miss it when I head back to Israel.”

“Anything else sir?”

“No thanks Susan. I’ll be going downstairs to the interrogation room in a few minutes.”

Last month left me with a couple of questions: “Is Damon really as awful as he seems in this moment? Is Anne’s relationship radar truly so scrambled Continue reading

2014 – September 29 – Four Ounces, Plain

It’s the 29th day, and we’re reading “Four Ounces, Plain” by Vanessa Wiebler Paris.

[cryout-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”33%”]The Tepper twist:  “Blind is one way of doing it.”[/cryout-pullquote]

We’re eating dinner when the phone rings. Riiiing. I look at Iris expectantly.

“You really want to get that? To interrupt our dinner?” she asks. “Really, James?”

Riiiing.

“Just this once?” I ask in my quiet voice. I can’t even remember the last time the phone rang.

She sighs. “Fine.”

This is another cycle that has been one heckuva ride so far. What started as a humorous take on offbeat romance has turned into a regular Dolores Clairborne adventure in control. Iris is gearing Continue reading

2014 – September 28 – Swallowed Whole

On the 28th day we’re reading “Swallowed Whole” by Kimberlee Smith.

[cryout-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”33%”]The Tepper twist:  “Mum you gotta let her go.”[/cryout-pullquote]

She’s breaking most of the rules. It’s early, still dark, as Mum’s hands hover over the Ouija Board. She’s concentrating so hard to force a conjuring of what she wants to hear, that she’s not allowing me to lead her.

Last month I wrote: “So much remains up in the air even as we learn more. How will things turn out?” Which is a sort-of summary of my reaction to this series. When it’s on, it’s one of the best in the books, active and Continue reading

2014 – September 27 – The Clone Whores

It’s the 27th and time for “The Clone Whores” by Nathaniel Tower.

[cryout-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”33%”]The Tepper twist:  “Samford, Samford, Samford, we made him out of clay…”[/cryout-pullquote]

Samford has never been a one-woman kind of man, but he is longing for Sarah, the cloned girl with the tight ass he hasn’t seen for a couple months. He hasn’t thought of her much lately, mostly because he’s been running from the government – or so he thinks.

Last month we learned a disturbing thing about this whole clone-human interface thing. This month, Samford discovers it’s even more dastardly than he thought.

He Continue reading

2014 – September 26 – Letter to Q

On the 26th day we’re reading “Letter to Q” by Gary Percesepe.

[cryout-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”33%”]The Tepper twist:  “And the beat goes on…“[/cryout-pullquote]

Q,

I received your sweet email today and it made me cry. I have not been able to cry for a while (or write) so it was good to finally feel something.

But look – we are not very good with boundaries, you & I, are we?

Last month I wrote: “This series cuts through pretense and leaves us with the meat of a man.” This month continues the paring down. Q has moved beyond reach, and so he reaches.

I love getting your emails, Continue reading

2014 – September 25 – Morgana Malone and the Mystery of the Secret Gift

It’s the 25th and we’re reading “Morgana Malone and the Mystery of the Secret Gift” by Matt Potter.

[cryout-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”33%”]The Tepper twist:  “Change your name change your luck?”[/cryout-pullquote]

“La Petite Fleurette Select Patisserie and Gifterie,” I say into the receiver.

“Is that the Royal Rose Cake Shop?” a voice, sing-song wavery and uncertain, says on the end of the line. “I’m looking for the Royal Rose Cake Shop.”

Recent events may have subdued Morgana, but nothing will ever tame her. As we discover again this month when a simple retail transaction leads to zinging accusations, reverse boob jobs, and a 73-year-old mother defending her daughter’s cougar behavior. It Continue reading

2014 – September 24 – Take a Leap

On the 24th we’re reading “Take a Leap” by Teresa Burns Gunther.

[cryout-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”33%”]The Tepper Twist: “If that doesn’t work, take a walk on the wild side.”[/cryout-pullquote]

It’s Wednesday night. The days are shorting out to fall. The lights downtown are visible in my “view slice ” through the houses across the street. My tea has gone cold in my surfing shark mug – a gift from my cousin , Susie. She followed Steve, Kevin’s cousin, to LA and landed her dream job – a part in a daytime soap.

Rachel is a nerd and she’s been working through a checklist of self-betterment since January. Making a better me, you might call Continue reading

2014 – September 23 – Big as Life

It’s the 23rd, and time for “Big as Life” by Darryl Price.

[cryout-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”33%”]The Tepper twist:  “Stuck between a soft place and a hard place.”[/cryout-pullquote]

Hey. It’s me. And I suppose by default it’s you. Have I said that before? I’ve been feeling flat again lately. Like a piece of paper. Not part of any stack. We’ve talked about this before. I’ve been having a few thoughts going around like loosely rolling marbles racing past each other in my head lately. So I thought I’d run them by you. See if they’re worth listening to.

Last month left me hoping that our protagonist Continue reading

2014 – September 22 – Dr. Stanley Has a Date

It’s the 22nd, time to read “Dr. Stanley Has a Date” by Margaret Bingel.

[cryout-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”33%”]The Tepper twist:  “yummy those dog treats.“[/cryout-pullquote]

Nora’s foot taps on the ground as she sits on the park bench. Even though there is no chill of autumn yet, she pulls on the sleeve of her blouse, fingers tracing the seam. I could leave now, she tells herself. I can just get up, and go, and pretend this didn’t happen and I can go back home. A stranger’s laugh tears her from her thoughts, and she whips her head over her shoulder nervously.

This has been an intense series, mainly centered on Ned, but his Continue reading

2014 – September 21 – One Way or Another

On the 21st we’re reading “One Way or Another,” by Mandy Nicol.

[cryout-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”33%”]The Tepper twist:  “Mum you gotta let her go.”[/cryout-pullquote]

Charlie and I went to Angela’s wedding yesterday. Angela looked beautiful, in a sheathed mermaid type of way. She confided she had stacked on the kilos this past fortnight while fretting over whether she’s doing the right thing, whether she really wants to settle down and live the rest of her life with one person.

This intriguing series has been an extended tennis match between Nadia and Mum. One month is a lob, the next a two-handed backhand smash. Last month I wrote: “Point to Mum, Continue reading