Miss being in a crowd? Conversing with people in public spaces? Feeling the touch of another human? Then you’ll love the latest offerings from Nostos Books!
The Hot Hugs of Summer
by Daisy St. Claire
Struggling to make it in the big city, Jenny has become hard, standoffish. But one bright Saturday morning in July, she runs into an old acquaintance at her new coffee shop. Their conversation is so good they hug each other goodbye. From there, the hugs come hot and often in this gripping tale about the pleasures of platonic touch.
What a warm hugger, Jenny thought. A real full-body squeezer, with a soft, lavender-scented chest and strong, enveloping arms. Jenny fantasized about her upcoming drinks plans with a bunch of college friends. Who would show up? She didn’t know, but she was going to hug them all — hello and goodbye.
Doing It (Working) in the Office
by Holly McMaster
Lauren’s company is doing quite well. There are bumps in the road, sure, but nothing Lauren can’t deal with—nothing, that is, until her boss sticks her with their toughest clients, the Sterns. Their deal might fall through, and the only thing that’s going to hold it up is face time, and lots of it. One-on-one meetings. Stakeholder meetings. Coffees, breakfasts, lunches, dinners. Possibly, a retreat.
During their first break of the day, everyone heads to the micro-kitchen. Mr. Stern puts the communal stirring spoon back on its plate. He licks a drop of coffee from the tip of his finger while Sean Stern digs around in the candy bowl in search of a peanut-butter cup. The space is tight, so Lauren has to squeeze past them. Her shoulder grazes Mr. Stern’s back. She notices, like a provocation, an open sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mints on the counter. “Eat us!” they call to her. “You know you want us. And we want you. We’re so hot—we’re melting into each other. We need you to come lick this fudge off of us.” Lauren curses, grabs four. Her finger slips on the slick fudge, and she comes away with three.
Sweet Afternoon Delight
by Johan Zakovic
The day Joey Sweet was laid off due to the “economic downturn,” he didn’t mind. It was spring in the city, the magnolias were in bloom, and he had money in his pocket. He had tickets to see his favorite band play that night, and a whole afternoon to kill however he wanted.
Joey sighed contentedly when he saw an open seat at the bar with a good view of the TV. He liked to watch, and the Pelicans game was starting to get hot. Fans sat on either side of him. They heated up the little bar, steamed the windows with their excitement. Joey got excited too, found himself high-fiving strangers, and even hugged one guy when the Pelicans took the lead with a long three-pointer.
Orgy of Gratitude
by Dolores Valery
The latest novel from Valery, author of the acclaimed They’re Never Too Old to Snuggle, begins on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. Susan is so excited she might burst. By Wednesday night, all of her four adult children are going to be under the same roof. But how will she cope when her youngest and only unmarried son surprises her by bringing a girlfriend and her two young daughters? Who else might show up?
Taste o’ T-Day:
The house was packed to the rafters. Spouses and the girlfriend, grandchildren, potential step-grandchildren. When they ran through the kitchen to steal cookies, Susan made them pay in hugs and kisses. Dinner was going to be a tight squeeze of forty in a space that fit twenty, but the closeness would make it even more special. As she basted the turkey, dripping its juice over the tight, golden skin while the oven heat made the sweat bead on her forehead, Susan let out a soft squeal of excitement. So much love was going to come together around her table!
Philosophy & Finger Food
by Ingemar Wood
In this cerebral, postmodern pastiche, a group of adjunct professors meet weekly at a dive bar. They crowd around a table, order pitchers of beer and appetizers, and discuss everything from Kierkegaard to the Kardashians.
Just a bite:
“She’ll be voted off that island—not because she’s a woman but because she’s working class,” Henry declared, just as the nachos, hot wings, and steaming potato skins arrived. The conversation paused as eight hands attacked plates. Fingers collided, re-routed, found chips and pulled away, dragging glistening strands of melted cheese. Things were about to get… greasy.
by Charles Chasen
In his debut thriller, Chasen tells the tale of Derek Person. New to the big city, Person discovers that people are his energy source. Though he works hard all day long, every night he’s too jazzed to sleep. He does everything, goes everywhere, and he can’t imagine living anywhere else ever again. But will he burn himself out? Will he go insane from lack of sleep?
Midtown at rush hour was pure, uncut adrenaline. He leaped joyfully into the tight stream of bodies on the sidewalk, celebrated the bottleneck at the steps down to the station. The crowd thickened on the platform. When the train arrived, a tight heaving mass of humanity poured into the car. It’s glorious, Person thought. To be so alone but still feel the heat of so many other people, to have no choice but to inhale their hot exhalations and touch their damp bodies. Someone sneezed, and Peterson felt the drops, like kisses, on his cheek.
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“The Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo
Crude design and composition by the author.