Meet award-winning fiction writer Ellyn Bache, author of nine novels (including “Safe Passage,” which became a Susan Sarandon film), a short story collection that won the Willa Cather Fiction Prize, a nonfiction journal, and several books for teens and children.
In this unprecedented, difficult year, it seemed that the only right book to put out would be something fun and a bit funny, a rest from the harshness of real life — something lighthearted and cheerful. So here it is, my award-winning comic novel about two women of a certain age (well, maybe a bit beyond that certain age), very much involved in their not-so-serious lives. I hope it makes you smile.
Madcap Award for romantic comedy
Six years after her husband’s death, BJ Fradkin has a successful career, a nice house, and what she considers a pleasant life . . . until her younger sister, Iris, 55, moves in with her. The recent widow of a philanderer, Iris is sweet, helpful, surgically enhanced . . . and so ditzy that BJ fears she’ll never move out without a new man to take care of her.
But when BJ forms an Over 50’s Singles Night to find Iris a new husband, it draws only a few elderly women from the retirement home and one gay man. Seeing that it’s time to regroup, BJ introduces her sister to a retired neighbor. They dislike each other on sight — though the neighbor likes BJ quite a bit. Then Iris reveals a long-held secret that keeps the sisters avoiding each other for weeks.
Will they ever make up? Will sisterly love prevail? Romantic love? Will Over 50’s Singles Nigh be a failure — or more powerful than anyone thought?
From the reviews:
“In this charming, wry look at sisterhood . . . the love, misunderstandings, anger and complexity of sister relationships are brought out. . . . Well-written, humorous and emotional.” —Romantic Times Book Club Magazine
“Ellyn Bache has written funny bits before [but] she’s never tried a full-length comedy — and the result, Over 50’s Singles Night, suggests she should have . . . Three-Stooges-style slapstick is out, although one hilarious moment involves one poor old dear coughing up her dentures along with half-chewed chicken fajita. . . Pleasant, undemanding entertainment [and Bache’s] sharp eye for character quirks keeps the story from becoming trite.” —Wilmington (NC) Star-News
ISBN: 978-1889199-20-7 (trade paperback), $14.99 ISBN: 978-1889199-21-4 (ebook),$4.99
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Kaleidoscope: 20 Stories Celebrating Women’s Magazine Fiction, a collection of my short stories originally published in commercial magazines in the 1980s and 1990s, during the heyday of women’s magazine fiction. For decades, millions of women looked forward to these stories each month and read them avidly . . . until the market changed and many of the publications went out of business or changed format. I was surprised how often readers asked about them, and surprised at the nostalgia they seemed to inspire. For those who remember women’s short fiction from its glory years or are coming to it for the first time, here’s a taste of the best of this genre.
The Art of Saying Goodbye
Morrow Trade Paperbacks, $13.99
As four women in a close-knit suburban development grapple with the illness of a long-time neighbor, each of them also looks closely at the pressing issues in her own life — a marriage put on hold because of a difficult child . . . a nurse’s eerie and unwanted gift of diagnosis. . . a widow’s destructive bitterness . . . the price of a successful career. A SIBA Okra Pick and book award nominee.
Five stories from Wordrunner echapbooks. Says the editor:
Vivid, unsettling tales [about] the family black sheep you helplessly love or hate — so finely drawn you will never forget them.
You don’t often see fiction in chapbook form, but I think it fits the short story very well. I particularly like this press because they let you read their materials for free, or download them inexpensively from Kindle or Smashwords if you want to keep them in your library.
“Writers’ Bloc,” a musical comedy co-written with composer Joyce Cooper, who penned all the music and all the lyrics. A lighthearted look at the writing life, the show is about a group of seven aspiring writers who meet to critique manuscripts, celebrate small victories and commiserate over rejections — until they discover one of them is not who he says he is.
“Dancing with Steers,” a short monologue about an eleven-year-old boy raising a steer for market at the family farm. Like many other young 4-H members, he fell in love with the steer, and when he had to send it off to be slaughtered, it broke his heart.