Jayne Martin

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron

Here are snippets from some of the stories in Tender Cuts.

Tender Cuts

“Julie-Sue’s hair cascades in golden ringlets past tiny shoulders. The “Little Miss Soybean Pageant” pays $150 to the winner and Mama says they need the money.”

The Elephant Roars

“No one wanted to talk about the elephant in the room except for the children who would talk of nothing else.”

Family Time

“My fathers fury thunders down upon us as we cower on the cracked and cold linoleum floor. He says he is going to kill us, but it is our terror he most enjoys.”

Cover of Darkness

“Anna quietly slipped out while he was still sleeping. He’d seemed a nice enough guy. Sam? Steve? Saul? She knew it started with an S.”

I Married a 1985 Buick LeSabre

“He was solid, dependable, and had a spine of steel. Never a small woman, I felt dainty when I sunk into his embrace, his ride snug and gentle.”

Carry Me Home

”There were days when he’d climb on Lucky and they’d be off in the hills for hours. I never asked what thoughts he shared with that old horse that he didn’t share with me.”

Travels with Ivan

“As Margot tossed him off the icy Austrian peak, she marvels at how he twirled in the updraft and blew him a kiss as he disappeared from sight.”

The Wedding Night

“Her gaze fell upon the discarded heap of satin and white lace lying on the floor, causing a swell of panic to encase her in its grip once again.”

Last Date

“You arrive from her bed flushed, rushed and unapologetic, wearing the sea green cashmere V-neck I gave you for Christmas.”

A Lobster Walks Into a Laundromat

”None of the women could recall when the lobster first appeared, his large claws clacking against the floor as he folded his laundry along with the rest of them.”

Pinky Swear

“We stroll the sandy boardwalk, smoke cigarettes stolen from my mother’s purse. Our bodies distort in fun house mirrors and we wonder who we will become.”