We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.
In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.
Today Elizabeth Merry shares an excerpt from her short story collection We All Die in the End.
About the collection
This is a diverse collection of interlinked stories set in a small, seaside town in Ireland. Some of them verge on the macabre; others deal with abusive relationships and many of them are grim. But there is humour here too – although it is dark humour:
“SADIE said nothing. She trimmed the fat off the kidneys and the liver, her fingers curling away from the soft, red slither and she held her breath against the faint smell of blood.”
“So, I watched Lydia and waited for some bloody nuisance of a child to come screeching after her but no child came. Well, that didn’t make any sense but then Lydia stopped and I saw her speak to the doll. Oho, ARTHUR, I said to myself and I threw down the cigarette. Oho, I said, what’s this? What have we here?”
“ANDY felt the unhappiness grow in his chest again. It was heavy and he fought against it. No, he said to himself. No. He held his arms up and out in front of him and made soft, crooning, engine noises.”
“ROSEMARY always made Dominic wait outside the door until she was in the bed. He could feel the slackness in her thighs and arms; he didn’t have to look at it as well. ‘Come in,’ she called when she was ready. Dominic bounced into the room half-undressed and dropped his shoes. ‘Wait now,’ he said, and brought in a bottle of red wine and two glasses.”
This is just a flavour of the great characters who people this small town, where everyone knows their neighbours, and everyone else!
An excerpt from We All Die in the End.
The last few months have been tough, you know. It’s not always easy. You needn’t think it’s easy to motivate myself. I do the mental exercises – say the right words – but it’s like I’m not listening sometimes, and then I just lie around all day. I listen to the radio and I keep the curtains closed. Jennifer knocks but I don’t answer. The thing is – it always passes and I get up again.
And I remember what I’ve been told, that I should try to help others and not be feeling sorry for myself. It’s easy for others to talk, people with families, cars, holidays, all that. What do they know about routine and exercises and watching every word that comes into your own head? Oh, Arthur, I say to myself. Where did you go wrong? Well, I know the answer to that one all right.
Anyway . . . It was two weeks before I saw Lydia again (having gone through a bit of a bad patch) and I said to myself, oho, Arthur, there she is, poor soul, a woman who lost a baby if ever I saw one. It was obvious, wasn’t it? She was holding the doll again, tight under her arm. You see, other people wouldn’t notice a thing like that – they would just assume there was a child with her. But I’m different – I pay attention. I kept my distance this time, happy to be back by the sea. It was a cold, calm day and the sea was blue and quiet. I sat on my rock and stared out at a ship moving slowly against the horizon and when Lydia turned to go back up the street, I followed her. It would help me to help her and that was a fair exchange.
Well, it was the strangest thing, and it made no sense at all but I thought she was going to my house. She wasn’t, of course; she went straight on up Main Street to one of the wee terrace houses. To think I’d never seen her before and her living right here under my nose! Of course I’ve been away for a long while but all the same, I’d have thought I knew all the faces.
When she went into her house I sauntered past and back a few times and then I went to sit on the low wall opposite and have a smoke. I studied the house; the paint was a bit tired looking but the curtains were white. Poor woman, I thought, with a little dead baby. Maybe she had a collection of pills too and a bottle of that which cannot be mentioned.
I ground out the fag and stood up and right then the curtain moved in the front room. I was sure of it and I stood still for a minute. I lifted my hand to my eyes and peered up and down like I was waiting for someone, and then I thought – so what if she had seen me anyway? I wasn’t hiding, was I? I was entitled to sit on the public wall if I liked – in fact, she had no business nosing around the curtain like that.
© Elizabeth Merry..
One of the recent reviews for We All Die in the End
We all die in the end is a collection of interlinked stories that are placed in a small seaside town in Ireland called Co Down. Aside from the beautiful cover design, the book consists of diverse and colorful characters. Alongside humor, you also get stories that are grim and sometimes dark to the nature of storytelling.
I liked the book because although the book was a collection, the characters all knew each other and somehow connected with one another within the stories.
The stories were descriptive and exciting to read. I particularly enjoyed Eleanor, who was married to Jack and planned to kill her tormenters. Most of the stories were compelling and relished with amusement.
When it comes to collection stories, I always comment on how nice it is for people who like to take breaks between readings. However, since the characters were connected with this one, it was best to read it as a whole.
The book isn’t for the light-hearted but still manages to keep you going till the end. The book’s title is very fitting, and as haunting as it is, we certainly will all die in the end.
Other books by Elizabeth Merry in the Cafe and Children’s Reading Room by Elizabeth Merry.
Elizabeth Merry was born in Bangor, Co Down in the province of Ulster but has spent most of her life in Co Dublin. She has been writing for many years and has previously published a novel for children and many short stories. “We All Die in the End” is a series of interlinked “scenes” set in a seaside town on the Ulster coast where most people know each other. It is a book filled with miserable couples, meddling siblings, or individuals struggling to survive. Some of the “scenes” are twisted, some are macabre, and more than a few deal with abusive relationships. But there is joy here too, and a lot of dark humour.
Elizabeth’s has recently published a collection of poetry, much of which has been published over the years in literary magazines. Also two children’s books Ghost’s in Trouble and Felix Finds Out.
Thank you for visiting today and I know that Elizabeth would love to hear from you.. thanks Sally.
How to participate in this series
In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book. Please check the link if it has been some time since you were promoted in the Cafe.
The aim of the series
- To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
- Gain more recent reviews for the book.
- Promote a selection of other books that are available.
- Share an excerpt from the first book in a series to encourage readers to buy following books.
I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media. I will also select a review that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.
- This series is open to authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have more than one book (as this already gets promoted on a regular basis) and have reviews for that book I can select from. Cafe and Bookstore
- I suggest an extract of 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection. This is a PG rated blog and there are younger readers so it would be great if you could bear that in mind.
- If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
- I will check reviews on Amazon sites as well as Goodreads and select one I feel is a great advertisement for the book.
- As an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I will already have all your details, links and covers of other books so need to send anything further.
- Please send your excerpt and any accompanying images to firstname.lastname@example.org
N.B..If you participated last year in the two series and would like to check which book you shared, please email and I will let you know.
Look forward to hearing from you.