In her second short story collection, J.A. Carter-Winward weaves tales that engross and immerse you in emotions as versatile as her imagination.
With Carter-Winward's unique take on the complexity of human behavior within intimate relationships, she tackles issues such as monogamy, sexuality, and betrayal with her unique, nuanced eye: from shattered illusions and regret in "Days Past", to the sting and slap of betrayal in "Chance of Rain"; the ambiguities and devastation of acquaintance rape and sexual assault in "Daddy's Girl" and "Violets", as well as the redemptive dissolution of conventional boundaries in "Unspoken" and "Inside".
Her stories "The Bus Stops Here" and "Perfect" explore the themes of the paradigms we hold and how they shift, causing everything from mild, to a terrifying moment of truth. and concluding in a decision that could have literal life-or- death ramifications. Carter-Winward's themes of loss and grief as well as her unwavering belief in the paradoxical light and dark within each of us permeate this collection, with stories such as "Market Time" and "The Third Son".
But Carter-Winward throws in plenty of feel-goods, as well as her special brand of dry humor with "Grapefruit", "Going Nowhere", and "Mama's Boy", tales that will leave you curled in the comfort of knowing that there is goodness in the world.
Included are four bonus stories: the meta-fictional self-parody, "WikiMe", a heart-breaking dialogue of relevance and import concerning religion and LGBTQ issues, "#1Leading Cause", and a heartwarming, breaking, and soothing overview of the human condition, reduced to a form capturing zeitgeist of the Millennial age with "Demographics."
Finally, Carter-Winward's acclaimed monologue, "One Week", commissioned by a local theater owner/director for the 2014 production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues; a piece that will open your eyes and mind to the sacred feminine, the healing beauty of sexuality, along with grief, loss, and the glory of being human.