Our stories: Balancing Act & Seeing Better

Balancing Act by K.T. Stephens

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?”
To read the entire interview visit Jena Baxter Books

Our stories: Quitter & Summer Rains

Quitter by Day Jamison

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?

Excerpt from Author Spotlight interview with E.N. Loizis at Jena Baxter’s blog

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
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.


To read the entire interview visit Jena Baxter Books