Stevie is smart–smarter than any other girl in school–and cannot understand why Asher rejects her proposal for a date. Finding herself unusually confused, she travels to the edge of the school to seek advice from Stephanie, the spirit inside a forgotten fountain, but what Stephanie advises is not what Stevie expected.
In the Name of Art and Love by Sylvia Heike
Ruby has always dreamt of having a love lock. Now with Jack that dream is finally coming true. They hang their love lock to a bridge only to discover most locks stolen soon after. How will Ruby and Jack reconcile with the loss? Meanwhile, Mona would do anything for her artist boyfriend Angelo. This includes boycotting Valentine’s Day and stealing other people’s love locks. But when Angelo only seems to care about his art, Mona comes to question the purpose of the theft they’ve committed and even their whole relationship. Has Angelo’s artistic vision turned into pride?
Commando by Willow Becker
It’s Jesse Malvino’s senior year, and, to him, that means only one thing – one last chance to take his struggling band into the spotlight. Fortunately, this year Jesse has a foolproof plan to get his band noticed by a visiting talent scout. But, when an unexpected wardrobe malfunction steals the band’s thunder, it leads to far more exposure than he bargained for.
The Tasmanian Girl by S. Sadedin
Andy’s no nerd, but he does know a thing or two about biology. So he leaps at the chance to help cat-eyed Lili on a science project with her geeky boyfriend Terence. And he’s even more excited when Lili reveals the secret laboratory in her father’s basement, packed with costly equipment and exotic samples. But as the project progresses, Terence seems increasingly unhinged. And there is something odd about these experiments. Even Andy starts to wonder: Lili is their muse, but what exactly is she inspiring them to create, and why?
There is nothing more that Amber wants than to show off her beach-body and all-year tan in front of steamy Aaron Wilkinson. However, her mother has different plans for Amber’s day – cleaning Great-Great Aunty Edna’s revolting, hovel of a house. Amongst the mouse poo, dust mites, and mould, Amber’s pride takes an unexpected reality check.
A Mother’s Pride by Teresa Bassett
Shy Ruth can’t believe her luck when she is befriended by popular student Laura Mortoe. Laura appears to have it all: brains, beauty, and parents who dote on her. Before long, however, Ruth glimpses her new friend’s darker side. When the Mortoe family take both girls on a weekend trip to the coast, Laura’s behaviour spirals out of control—with tragic consequences.
With the help of his older brothers, Joey ran away from abusive parents and joined the circus, becoming part of a successful tightrope act. Ten years later, he scorns anyone who doesn’t live up to his standards—especially the new acrobat who consistently fails. It’s in Joey’s nature to pick on Lewis, even though his actions garner negative but much-desired attention from the circus strongman. He can’t trade his pride for acceptance. Or can he?
Seeing Better by Eliza Archer
A girl finds that sometimes the world as isn’t the way you’ve been seeing it all your life. It just takes looking at it with clearer vision.
Excerpt from the character interview Jena Baxter did with Balancing Act’s Joey.
It’s great to have you, Joey. Would you tell us a little bit about your story?
“Ohh, that kind of interview. I thought I was going to get chewed out. Again.” He brightens, sitting a bit straighter. “Sure. See, my brothers and I are tightrope walkers. That’s why we joined the circus. I’m really good.” His brows draw in. “At least, that’s what my brothers and everyone else tell me.”
“It sounds like you having really protective brothers. I hope they aren’t as bad as Selene’s,” he says glancing toward the door. “Are you all pretty close?”
Joey shrugs. “I guess. We take care of each other. The twins are eleven years older than me and like to boss me around. Things are good when they don’t drink our pay away, but I’d still rather be with them than anywhere else.”
Tolor nods. “I agree, there’s nothing like spending time with family. Juliette, Selene and Colovere are my family now.”
He frowns. “The notes I have suggest your parents were abusive. What was it like being separated from them? Were you glad to go with your brothers?”
Colleen has never scored less than 100% on a test. When she makes a rookie mistake on a calculus exam, she’s sure it marks the beginning of a downward spiral. Her best friend Liv is tired of watching Colleen’s perfectionism create walls between them and gives her an ultimatum: learn to fail or learn to live without Liv. Colleen’s brother Roland, home for a surprise visit from his Ivy League university, might unwittingly show Colleen how to mend her friendship and her broken sense of self.
Summer Rains by E.N. Loizis
Joanna’s best friend Violeta has been growing distant over the past couple of years. Popular Violeta seems to have no interest in spending time with her shy bookworm of a friend and Joanna wonders if they still have anything left in common. When Violeta proposes a night out with Joanna’s not-so-secret crush, Joanna thinks their friendship might withstand the test of time. Or will Violeta’s pride get in the way?
I don’t think I ever consciously decided I wanted to be a writer. I kind of always wrote. I started as a kid with rhyming poems about flying or sailing away (which surprisingly was at the core of much of what I wrote as a pre-teen) and went on to more angst-ridden, heart-breaking prose poems and –what I now realize were– flash stories about unrequited love, which also seemed to be a recurring theme in my early scribblings. I also kept numerous diaries from age 12 through 21.
I stopped writing altogether during most of my twenties when sometime around my 27th birthday I realized I was deeply unsatisfied with something. It was the fact I wasn’t writing. So I decided to take it up again and here I am now!
What genres do you write, and why?
I don’t like restricting myself to just one thing, since I tend to get bored easily. So far I have written or started writing all kinds of stories: from creepy dark ones (like “The Bee Eater” due to appear in Apocrypha and Abstractions in October), to humorous supernatural ones (like “Till Death Us Do Part” which appeared in Stupefying Stories) to coming-of-age stories. I also have stories in the works that feature sentient robots, a retired superhero and a man who dies and comes back to life for a do-over. So I’d say my genre of choice is whatever seems to interest me at the moment.
The eBook for the Anthology will be available to preorder soon. Until then you can check our website for a taste of what each of our stories is about. Today we present you with the first three.
The Hazel Crayon by Wendy White Lees
A headstrong young girl’s attempt to prove her oddball classmate is a pirate results in a playground wedding, and a friendship that sails smoothly through adolescence, but is knocked off course in high school.
Good Intentions by Michael Donoghue
A bored 16-year-old boy who has every genetic enhancement his mom can buy, sees a news story about plastic garbage building up in the Pacific Ocean. Proud of his abilities, he decides to engineer a solution. Unfortunately his good intentions lead to more than what he’d initially hoped for.
Masterpiece by J. C. Davis
Avery is convinced she’s the best artist in her high school and she doesn’t need awards or her teacher’s praise to prove that fact. Unfortunately, her arch-rival Nora isn’t convinced and has come up with a plan to bring Avery down a notch or two. When Nora’s prank leads to Avery’s latest masterpiece being ruined, and a shocking revelation about the hot new guy in their art class, everything Avery believes comes crashing down.
Check back in tomorrow to read the synopses of our next two stories: Quitter by Day Jamison and Summer Rains by E.N. Loizis.