Molly and Doodle Return!

LFP proudly announces the ebook publication of Out-Sniffed, the sequel to Bed-Bugged, featuring the further adventures of Molly and Doodle.Bed-Bugged

A Nose for Trouble

A Nose for Trouble

In his second outing, Doodle, that incorrigible but good-hearted labradoodle, still works as a bed bug dog for the boss, Josh Hunter of Hunter Bed Bug Detection.

Doodle likes to keep his relations with humans on a business basis. Do the job, get paid—in his case, with treats. So far so good, except when it comes to Molly, the boss’s ten year-old daughter. Somehow, Doodle wants to please her even when she doesn’t have treats. He can’t explain it, but that’s how it is.

His nose gets put to the test when Molly starts training him to find something very different from bed bugs in order to clear her best friend’s brother from drug charges. But then, during a practice for an important certification trial—one which will get the boss more “big time” jobs—Doodle fails to find two vials containing bed bugs. The boss worries that Molly’s training has ruined Doodle’s ability to do his job. Or that maybe he’s losing his sense of smell.

 It takes all of Molly’s ingenuity and Doodle’s keen intelligence to sniff out the real villains and set things right again.

Available on Kindle and coming soon on Nook and Smashwords.

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The Hopi Stories

LFP is proud to announce the publication of Scapegoat, the first of several award-winning stories by Susan J. Kroupa set in Hopi Indian culture.

Kroupa lived and taught on the Hopi and Navajo reservations and studied Hopi language and history. During that time, she wrote freelance features for the Arizona Republic, High Country News, and American Forests on Hopi and environmental issues. In addition, she taped interviews with Hopi elders recounting some of the history and traditions of the people. Praised for their lyrical description of Hopi culture, compelling characters, and poignant storylines,  these works offer a moving tribute to the enduring power of the human spirit.

Scapegoat. FINAL1600A boy. A quest. A terrible sacrifice

Nine-year old Tiyo, the last member of the rainmaker clan in his village, has no memory of the great war, but he sees the aftermath in thirsty, drought-stricken land. Just as he used to see it etched on the face of his mother, before her strength slipped away like water soaking into sand. Devastated by her death, Tiyo now tends his uncle’s goat herd. When a doe gives birth to pure white kid, Tiyo cares for her and names her Nuva—Snow. Soon, Tiyo and Nuva are inseparable. But the drought worsens and the village chief tells Tiyo only one hope remains. A member of the rainmaker clan must fill a gourd from the sipapuni, the sacred pool where the world began, and beg Paloloqang, the water serpent to send rain. A dangerous quest in the best of times, but Tiyo can’t refuse to go when his people face starvation. And so, Tiyo and Nuva cross the great desert to the sacred pool, only to find it leads them into greater danger, to a valley of death, where Renegades, who prey on human flesh, guard the water. With the burden of his villagers’ fate resting upon him, Tiyo must find a way to fill the gourd. But will the cost be more than he can bear?

Originally published  in Realms of Fantasy, Scapegoat tells a powerful coming of age story in a post-apocalyptic setting rich with insight into Hopi Indian culture and mythology.

Available on Kindle, Nook, and in all formats on Smashwords.

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Hands of the Master

Just in time for National Piano Month, our newest publication features a dark story about obsession.

When Celia first hears a recording of pianist Jiri Mrazek, a world-renown pianist who died the year she was born, his powerful, passionate playing changes her life. Drawn to his music, she soon discovers parallels between his life and hers. And when she makes the final round of the prestigious Horowitz competition at age twenty-one, the exact age that Mrazek won the same competition, she realizes her destiny is to be Mrazek’s musical heir. But her endless practice injures her hands, her small, weak, useless woman’s hands. And so, against the advice of her mother and doctor, she undergoes a cutting-edge procedure, a duel hand transplant. With hands like Mrazek’s, nothing can stop her from following in his footsteps. But surgeries carry risks, and dreams nurture the seeds of obsession. Mrazek died at a tragically young age. Celia must discover just where the parallels between her life and Mrazek’s end.

Available on Kindle, Nook, and in a wide variety of formats on Smashwords.

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Harden Times

Read the “story behind the story” about our newest ebook , a reprint of Susan J. Kroupa’s award-winning story, “Harden Times.”

One horse. Two strangers who each desperately need it.

Rachel sits alone in her house and watches the city around her slowly disintegrates, depopulated from a deadly plague. Like most good Mormons, she has a year’s supply of food and clothing in her basement, saved for “hard times.” She had prepared to survive a disaster, never imaging the worst disaster of all might be to survive—alone. And then a horse, a bay mare, trots into her yard and into her heart.

But someone else needs the horse as well, a ten-year old Navajo boy. Johnny Calico, his adopted family now all dead, lives by his wits, eating the food left in empty houses, and hiding from the Church officials who want to consolidate the population into a smaller area. He sees the horse as a lifeline, a means to return to his relatives on the reservation in Northern Arizona. Even as Rachel feeds and brushes the horse, finding purpose in her life for the first time since the Death, Johnny plots to steal it.

First published in Realms of Fantasy (2001), “Harden Times” was later reprinted in Irreantum. It also won an award in the 1999 Utah Arts Council Contest, where the judge, author Ron Carlson, praised the story for its “clear and forceful” writing, and for the characters, “both close to the end of their ropes, tentative, fearful, yet both refusing to let go of hope.”

Now available on Kindle, Nook, and in a wide variety of formats on Smashwords.

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Tricky Coyote

Changing Shapes Changes Nothing

Nobody wants a coyote for an animal guide, least of all Jimmy Shupla. Coyotes are the trickiest of the animals, always getting themselves in trouble. But at every turn in his life—most of them bad—Jimmy sees a coyote lurking nearby. Then his mother makes him move from his grandparents’ home on the Hopi reservation to go live in Apache Junction. Lonely, sweltering in the desert heat, and bullied at school, Jimmy discovers he has more in common with coyotes than he could ever imagine. But will the discovery save or destroy him?

Written by award-winning author Susan J. Kroupa, who has lived and worked on both the Navajo and Hopi reservations, this poignant story of a boy caught in the crossfire of change reverberates with choices we all must make as to what forces will guide our lives.

Available on Kindle, Nook, and in all formats on Smashwords.

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Counting Calories

Can a weight loss program be too effective?

Some hungers can never be filled. Now that Jenny knows this—knows it in the worst possible way—she worries about getting enough of a settlement out of Robert to survive. And then he chooses to meet at Mike’s restaurant, El Hombre Gordo. Does he even remember that’s where Jenny spent so much time with Mike, before Robert’s charm and good looks stole her away? Before hungers for love and beauty convinced her to make the two biggest mistakes of her life? She harbors no illusions about starting over again, not with food prices skyrocketing, not with her looking the way she does now, but sometimes, just when you think you know the menu, life serves up surprises.

Susan J. Kroupa offers a provocative look at our national obsession with weight loss and body image. Available now on Kindle, Nook, and in all formats on Smashwords.

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Stories, Stories, Stories!

Laurel Fork Press is proud to announce the publication of two new stories by Susan J. Kroupa

Kem Song

Running a kemfarm is hard work especially during shearing and lambing seasons, but Ana has never yearned for anything more. Until some off-planet developers start buying up all the land in the area. When they visit Ana dressed in their elegant clothes, talking about all the cultural opportunities that life in a richer place can offer, they make Ana feel very small-planet indeed. And there’s nothing small about the money they offer her for the farm. But what about the kem? Her good fortune will lead to their misery. When the answer comes from a surprising source, Ana realizes that some questions stretch across millennia and inspire astonishing works.

First published in Beyond the Last Star: Stories from the Next Beginning,  Susan J. Kroupa’s lyric story engages the reader in a far-future story that resonates soundly with the world we now live in. Now available on Kindle, Nook, and in any format on Smashwords.

The Niman Project

 

 Honani only wants a fresh start. One free from the evil that has plagued both his people and destroyed his personal life. With the help of an Intergalactic Ethnic Recovery organization, he brings a colony of people to a backwater planet, where he and his people plan to live the traditional Hopi Way. But Honani has forgotten that in the ancient myths, every time the people try to leave evil behind, a witch, carrying evil, steals into the new world.  Soon Honani discovers that his new world also has a witch, a teenage girl, who forces Honani into hard choices and devastating insights.

Award-winning writer Susan J. Kroupa spins a tale steeped in Hopi culture that gives a chill warning to those who, in embracing the past in order to save the future, ignore the dark visions in favor of the light.

The Niman Project

 …”Kroupa present Hopi lore so gracefully, with such simplicity, that the reader is drawn into the story and the lives of her characters without effort.”From a review of Susan J. Kroupa’s “Scapegoat.” by Nancy Varian Berberick, Tangent, Winter 1996.

Now available on Kindle, Nook, and in any format on Smashwords.

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