Category: Short stories (page 1 of 3)

It’s a Wrap! Volume 7 – NEIGHBOURHOOD WRAP hits the virtual shelves!

The last instalment of the NEIGHBOURS Series is out! Here’s the blurb. Look for the complete series in both ebook and paperback – coming soon!

Volume 7 Neighbourhood Wrap- Finale

The Malloys have taken over the neighbourhood! This ‘rough around the edges’ family from Newfoundland are back in the final instalment of “Keeping Up With the Neighbours’. Will Jed be admit he has a drinking problem? Will Reba’s strong will keep her from finding true love? Will Pip return to his philandering ways or has he been bitten one too many times? Has Will given up or can he make peace with his feelings? What about Zeb? Will this ginger giant succumb to love or will he stubbornly stick to his vow as a bachelor? And will Bo ever get over the first real love he’s felt? There are no easy answers as the clan set to work solving their troubles in typical Malloy fashion. In the midst of the surprises, a greater love than any one of them ever expected comes to call: The love that only God can give.

Note to readers: This series, although labelled ‘Christian’, does contain elements that may be troubling to some readers, such as the use of alcohol as well as pre-marital sexual encounters. (The latter take place ‘off camera’.) There is, however, a faith based element throughout with a strong redemptive message at the end of the series.


Interview with Zeb Malloy

Here is the sixth and final character interview with the Malloy family, who have taken centre stage in Neighbours Series II – Keeping Up With the Neighbours. Meet Zeb Malloy!

Q: Welcome, Zeb. You’re the last Malloy sibling to be interviewed.

A: Saved the best fer last, eh, b’y?

Q: We’ve had some pretty interesting interviews and your name has come up a few times. 

A: What kind of malarkey have they been feeding you? Can’t believe everything ya hears.

Q: Nothing too bad, don’t worry! Tell us where you fit in to the clan.

A: I’m next in line to Jed, if that’s what you mean. We gots an older sister, too. Fanny, and then a passle more after. Not sure why the folks didn’t just stop after three. Ha! There wasn’t much point since they got perfection the third time around! What? Don’t look so all fire shocked! I’m just joshing with ya. I loves my entire family – the whole lot of ‘em. Wouldn’t trade any one of ‘em for the all the gold in China. Or was that tea?

Q: Since you and Jed are next to one another in age, I’m assuming that you’re pretty close. Have you ever been in a fight?

A: Lard tunderin! That’s a funny one and no mistake. We been fighting since we were in diapers – maybe before. I’ve had more than a few scraps with Jed, that’s for sure. Not sure when he’s gonna learn that he just can’t beat me when it comes to a fight! Mind you, it’s all in fun. Mostly.

Q: So you’re saying you usually win?

A: Course! All joking aside, Jed can hold his own. We just do it for fun. It’s our way. No real harm in it.

Q: Is that why you were both seen sporting black eyes shortly after Christmas?

A: You saw that, did you? He had quite the shiner, that’s for sure. I guess I did, too, but I avoided the mirror.

Q: You were the second one of the family to leave your home province of Newfoundland. Tell us about your decision to do so.

A: Work, plain and simple. Lots of folks left home and moved west when the fisheries went south. Oil patch mostly. That’s what I did. Moved to Fort McMurray almost four years ago now. Some folks call Fort Mac ‘little Newfoundland’ cause there are so many of us there. If everyone moved back home that’s left for the west, we’d double the size of the province, b’y!

Q: You’ve been credited with giving your siblings some interesting nicknames.

A: You mean Pip and Reba. Pip’s real name is Steve, but the story goes I called him Pip-squeak once and it stuck. I don’t remember it exactly, but that’s what I’m told. I call Reba ‘Spitfire’ but that one didn’t catch on as good. I’m the only one to call her that, but she doesn’t seem to mind. I have names for the rest of them, too, but you probably aren’t allowed to print them here.

Q: I hear you’re quite the ladies’ man. Is that true?

A: I like women, if that’s what you mean. I don’t mind admitting it.

Q: And they seem to like you, too, if what I hear is correct. What do you attribute that to?

A: Hm. Not sure, exactly. It’s just the way it is, I guess.

Q: Your brother Pip said it was a gift.

A: About him or me?

Q: He was speaking of himself, but he also mentioned, and I quote, “they flock to him (meaning you) like flies to honey.”

A: Sounds like Pip – the first part, I mean! As far as the rest goes, I’m not keeping tabs or anything like that. I’ve had a lot of women friends, if you know what I mean, and then moved on. I’ve never been one to make promises I can’t keep. ‘Here for a good time, not a long time’ and all that. I make no apologies, though. I am what I am.

Q: What’s your take on love?

A: I just told you.

Q: I don’t think so. I mean real love, as in a committed relationship.

A: I can’t really comment cause I don’t think I’ve ever had the misfortune of falling in love.

Q: Why do you call it a misfortune?

A: I’m not sure I’m the ‘commitment’ kind. Just can’t be bothered getting tied down just yet – although that doesn’t mean it’ll never happen.

Q: But if the right one came along?

A: Stranger things have happened, eh? Not making any promises, though… I mean, the sky could fall, too.

Q; So, for now you are a confirmed bachelor?

A: You got that right, b’y. As confirmed as they come, and then some.

Q: Thanks for joining me. Maybe I’ll interview you again in about a year from now. It’ll be interesting to see where you end up.

A: You know something I don’t?

Q: Stranger things have happened, eh, b’y?

A: Nice try! Although your Newfie accent sucks – just sayin’!

Buy the individual volumes on Amazon or get the complete verion in both ebook and paperback! 

Vol 1 – Neighbourhood Tangle – JED

Vol 2 – Neighbourhood Watch – BO

Vol 3 – Neighbourhood Rebel – REBA

Vol 4 – Neighbourhood Upstart – PIP

Vol 5 – Neighbourhood Freedom – WILL

Vol 6 – Neighbourhood Cupid – ZEB

Vol 7 – Neighbourhood Wrap – FINALE



Interview with Will Malloy

Here is the fifth character interview with the Malloy family, who have taken centre stage in Neighbours Series II – Keeping Up With the Neighbours. It’s Will’s turn!

Q: Tell us a bit about your background.

A: Well, I’m from the ‘Rock’ – the province of Newfoundland for those who don’t know. Born and raised. I’m the seventh of nine- five boys and four girls. Folks have big families back home – even the non-Catholics.

Q: What brought you to Alberta? I hear you had a good job that you liked back home in Newfoundland.

A: That’s true. Worked at a regional park for quite a few years. Seasonal. It meant I could spend most of my time outdoors, which is what I like best. It was also ideal cause I got to collect ‘pogey’ in the winters, so I had lots of time for snowboarding and stuff.

Q: What’s ‘pogey’?

A: Oh! That’s EI – Employment Insurance. I thought come-from-aways called it that, too.

Q: Come-from-aways?

A: Folks not from Newfoundland.

Q: I see. So if you liked your job that much, why did you move?

A: I visited my brothers out in Calgary and when I got home I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I think the grandeur of the Rockies got to me. Not that Newfoundland isn’t beautiful. It’s got some of the best scenery on the continent, in my opinion. Gros Morne National Park is pretty darn spectacular. But I guess I just like adventure and was ready for a change. I’m loving it so far. I think I’ll probably miss the ocean the most, though.

Q: How did your family react to the move?

A: Funny you should ask. Actually, it’s not funny at all. Ma was right upset. She cried when she first found out and wouldn’t talk to me for days. I think it hit her hard on the heels of the others leaving. I was the last of her boys left. Now it’s just my three older sisters and their kids left in Newfoundland. And Pops, of course.

Q: Speaking of adventure, I hear you’re a bit of a daredevil. Is that true?

A: I don’t know about that! I just like to have fun. You know – sports and stuff. And speed. I suppose I’ve done my share of stupid stuff, but if you really want the truth, most of it wasn’t even my fault. Zeb and Jed were always tricking me into trying stunts when I was a kid. They’d say, “Hey, Will. Why not try riding your bike down that hill?” or “Bet you couldn’t hit that ramp at full speed and land it.” I usually fell for it. Got a few broken bones outta the deal. Jed says I have no fear in me – that it got knocked out with one too many spills, but… I just like to have fun.

Q: So you’re the athlete of the family?

A: I suppose you could say that. Dirt-biking, snowboarding – even team sports. I like to be active. I’m not much for sitting around – or reading. Not like Bo!

Q: With such a large family, who would you say are you closest to?

A: Bo, definitely. Me and him were like two peas in a pod growing up. We’re kind of opposite, I suppose, but sometimes that works out.

Q: What do you mean opposite?

A: Like I said, I’m into sports and anything outside; he likes books and thinking. Not that I don’t think, but I mean he thinks things through where I tend to just go ahead and do stuff. Like that. But we are closest in age and spent a lot of time together. Shared a room and got paired up for chores and such. I know I can talk to him about anything and I think he feels the same about me. We’ve got each other’s backs.

Q: Can you give me an example?

A: Well, take my moving west, for instance. I knew it would be hard on Ma. But Bo said I needed to do what was best for me and not worry about trying to please everyone else.

Q: What about any other advice? Anything about the opposite sex?

A: Ha! Zeb’s usually the one to give that kind of advice, although I don’t advise anyone take it!

Q: So you have nothing to tell me about that? I heard you might have met someone.

A: That’s the trouble with having such a large family. Can’t keep a secret no how!

Q: So there is someone?

A: Well… it’s nothing serious. She’s an artist. And her dad is my boss.

Q: Ah… dating the boss’s daughter…

A: Not dating – exactly. We’re just friends.

Q: I’ve heard that before. So does this mean you’ll be staying in Alberta permanently?

A: No! I mean… maybe. Who knows? I’ll see how the summer goes and take it from there.

Q: Thanks for joining us today.

A: No problem – although you were getting right personal with some of them questions, b’y!

Q: Just doing my job.

Buy on amazon:

Vol 1 – Neighbourhood Tangle – JED

Vol 2 – Neighbourhood Watch – BO

Vol 3 – Neighbourhood Rebel – REBA

Vol 4 – Neighbourhood Upstart – PIP

Vol 5 – Neighbourhood Freedom – WILL

Vol 6 – Neighbourhood Cupid – ZEB

Vol 7 – Neighbourhood Wrap – FINALE



Interview with Pip Malloy

Here is the fourth character interview with the Malloy family – the clan from Newfoundland who have taken centre stage in Neighbours Series II – Keeping Up With the Neighbours. Meet the baby of the family, Pip Malloy:

Pip Malloy

Q: Pip is an unusual name. Is that your real name or a nickname?

A: A nickname. My real name is Steven, but I don’t think I’ve been called that since the time I whacked down Ma’s peonies with a golf club.

Q: How did you get it?

A: The story goes that Zeb called me ‘Pip-squeak’ when I was a baby and the name ‘Pip’ just stuck. Zeb’s good at that. Making up names for people.

Q: You are the youngest of nine children, correct?

A: That’s right.

Q: Would you say being the baby of the family has spoiled you in any way?

A: Sure. I’d be lying if I said no. It’s not a bad thing, in my books. It definitely has its advantages.

Q: Like what? Can you give us an example?

A: I usually got the last piece of pie if I whined enough! But seriously, I think my parents were a bit more relaxed when it came to me and Reba. I didn’t get a lot of spankings – not that I remember, anyway. Either I blocked them out of my mind, or maybe its cause I could run faster! I guess they were busy and a lot of the time I just tagged along with the older kids so they probably did lots of the ‘parenting’. Things were different then, though. Not like today where kids are pampered. I probably had to be more careful than nowadays or I’d get the tar beat outta me by one of my brothers. I got fussed over a lot by my older sisters, too.

Q: Did they dress you up like a live doll?

A: Pretty sure there are some photos to that effect. I probably blocked that outta my mind, too!

Q: Sounds like you have a close bond with your siblings. What is something that you love most about your family?

A: The fact that we stick together. We’re not perfect, but we stand up for one another when the going gets tough. Sometimes they do try to control my life – get up in my business and all that. I suppose it’s the curse of being the baby. I usually just smile and nod and then do whatever I want anyway.

Q: Who would you say you’re closest to?

A: I’d say Reba except she’s mad at me right now – again. Being the youngest, we tended to hang out more together, and Reba was never a girlie girl, so she had less in common with the other girls her age. She liked to get into mischief, and honestly, so did I. I suppose Jed would be the other one I feel the closest to. He’s sort of like a second father in a lot of ways.

Q: When you said Reba was mad at you, what did you mean?

A: She thinks I wrecked a couple of her friendships. All I did was date a couple of her friends and then when we broke up they wouldn’t talk to her anymore. It’s not my fault if her friends are shallow.

Q: Maybe they just found it embarrassing.

A: I suppose it could be awkward for a while, but honestly, it’s the 21st century. Real friends wouldn’t dump her on account of that. At least that’s what I think. Reba just likes to control people and when she can’t, then she gets upset. Can I help it if girls are naturally attracted to me?

Q: Some might say you think of yourself as a bit of a ladies’ man. “Right cocky,” to quote one of your brothers. Is this true?

A: Haha! Who said that? Jed, I’ll bet. When you’ve got the gift then why not use it? I just like to have a good time and I like girls. You should talk to my brother Zeb about that one. The women seem to flock to him like flies to honey.

Q: What are you currently doing for work?

A: I got a job at the same construction company as Jed – Titan Construction. We’re working on a high-rise project downtown. It’s a good job for now, until I get bored, I guess.

Q: Is that something that happens often? You get bored?

A: Some might say so. (Someone like Jed!) I just don’t see why I should tie myself down to one job – or one person, for that matter. Life’s too short for that.

Q: Is there anyone special in your life?

A: Well, I did get into a bit of trouble with a few ladies here in Calgary. I don’t want to go into the details, but it caused some ruckus. I didn’t mean any harm to anyone by it, though. We were all just having fun, like I said. I did meet this one girl, recently, who stands out as special. She’s from California, though, so I haven’t seen her in a while. I’m hoping that’s gonna change – and soon, if I can figure it.

Q: Thank you for joining me today. Try not to cause too much more ‘ruckus’, if possible!

A: I’ll do my best, but I won’t make any promises. It just seems to follow me around.

Purchase each volume on amazon – or wait for the complete series coming later this summer!

Vol 1 – Neighbourhood Tangle – JED

Vol 2 – Neighbourhood Watch – BO

Vol 3 – Neighbourhood Rebel – REBA

Vol 4 – Neighbourhood Upstart – PIP

Vol 5 – Neighbourhood Freedom – WILL

Vol 6 – Neighbourhood Cupid – ZEB

Vol 7 – Neighbourhood Wrap – FINALE



Interview with Reba Malloy

Here is the third character interview with the Malloy family, who have taken centre stage in Neighbours Series II – Keeping Up With the Neighbours. Meet Reba Malloy.

Reba Malloy

Q: I heard that you have a nickname. What is it?

A: Spitfire. My brother Zeb labelled me with that one. Nobody else calls me that, though.

Q: What’s behind it?

A: You know what they say about red heads. The fiery temperament to match the hair and all that… I just speak my mind, that’s all. I don’t see any point in beating around the bush, as they say.

Q: What is your relationship like with your other siblings? Do you get along?

A: I think we all get along pretty well. There are nine of us so there’s bound to be some fighting, but I’d say it’s generally pretty good. My sisters are all kind of bossy, but my brothers pretty much leave me be. Pip – he’s the youngest after me – and I have had a few ‘issues’, shall we say, but I won’t go into that now. One thing for sure – you mess with one of us you mess with all of us.

Q: Sounds ominous. Can you give me an example?

A: Well… I don’t want to be telling tales. Let’s just say, even if we don’t see eye to eye, we won’t put up with anything from an outsider.

Q: As the youngest girl, do you think you got spoiled by your older brothers?

A: No.

Q: That’s not the impression I got when talking to them.

A: Then they’re out to lunch.

Q: What made you decide to move to Calgary?

A: I don’t know. I just got bored at home. That and I was tired of my Ma telling me what to do, or one of my older sisters. I think I was just ready for an adventure. When I heard Bo was heading west for Christmas I decided to tag along.

Q: What are your ambitions in life?

A: I’m not really sure. When I was really little I used to want to get married and have babies, but all three of my sisters done that and it looks kind of boring. Maybe someday, but I’m definitely not ready to settle down just yet. I guess I just want to get a good job and have fun.

Q: What do you do for a living?

A: Right now I’m apprenticing at a hair salon. Gemini’s. It’s run by twin sisters, Andrea and Angela Carravagio. They’ve been really good to me and are teaching me a lot. I took a course in high school, too, so it’s come in handy.

Q: Is that what you want to do with your life? Be a hairdresser?

A: Not particularly. It’s alright, but like I said, I just wanna have fun.

Q: And it sounds like you are. I hear you can party with the best of them. Is that true?

A: I can hold my own. Just cause I’m a female doesn’t mean I can’t hold my liquor or keep up with the men. I probably shoot a better game of pool than most, too.

Q: How’s your love life? Anyone special you’d like to tell us about?

A: That’s a bit touchy for me right now. I’ve been through a few break ups. I do have a crush on this one guy in particular, but I’m still working on it.

Q: Are you going to tell us his name?

A: No! What if he reads this and then thinks I’m acting like a dumb teenager or something? I am twenty-four, you know, not some little kid.

Q: I understand. I may have interviewed him previously, if it’s who I’m thinking it is.

A: Now you’ve gone and told. Thanks a lot, you –

Q: Keep in mind that this is a family friendly blog and I won’t stand for any swearing or name-calling.

A: Hmph. Too bad. I’ve got a few choice names I can think of right now.

Q: I’ll just bet. Anyway, thanks for joining me today. And good luck with everything.

A: Thanks, I guess. I’ll probably need it.

Read the series on Amazon:

Vol 1 – Neighbourhood Tangle – JED

Vol 2 – Neighbourhood Watch – BO

Vol 3 – Neighbourhood Rebel – REBA

Vol 4 – Neighbourhood Upstart – PIP

Vol 5 – Neighbourhood Freedom – WILL

Vol 6 – Neighbourhood Cupid – ZEB

Vol 7 – Neighbourhood Wrap – FINALE



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