Romance goes awry in the 26 very short stories in Spicy Alphabet Soup.
As readers glide their way through the alphabet, they learn that Al
philanders. His wife gets even. Bob buys a bulldog, Barney, to use as a
chick magnet. His wife and Barney team up to teach Bob a lesson.
Cleopatra's marriage flounders. She takes steps to rectify the
situation. .. Some hearts are broken. Others mend. Some couples resolve
differences. Some hang in limbo. Frequently, sensible dogs gently steer
as couples make their choices and move on.
This is a work of fiction, a mix of invention, imagination and memory. Except for Burundi, a Foreign Service posting, countries are not specified. Such is the world of secrets. Family members may recognize where truth has been distorted, facts exaggerated, embellished, invented. If they do, I hope they smile.
The book is dedicated to my family. They lived the life. It is also dedicated to all families who lead peripatetic lives and harbor secrets.
Mystery and adventure await Ruth and Ted Blank in 'Dislocation', the opening novella in Part One of this collection. When they move to East Timor to have one final adventure in retirement, they face third world challenges and a crisis which threatens to destroy their equilibrium.
Many of the characters in the interlocking stories, 'Family Matters', in Part Two of 'Endangered Species', first appeared in the novel 'Secrets, an Odyssey', loosely based on the author's life overseas. The children have grown up and have children of their own. The clandestine service is a distant memory. The next generation grapples with new secrets, new challenges. They struggle to persevere.