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Tuesday, December 10, 2002

The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer book review by John Mudd, for

The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer isn't a novel, but it was quite a novel idea created by author Duane Simolke, who gathered a group of authors together, five in all, to write against cancer in this lovely literary work that includes stories that range from gritty and controversial to gentle and touching, all helping to raise money for cancer cure research.

Simolke, who edited the book, writes in Fat Diary, what some may consider a controversially serious yet comical short fiction work, "I stifled the stereotypes that flooded my mind, and I mentally kicked myself for thinking of those stereotypes."

Ironically, the story is written as if it were the diary of Pam Willard, the 260-lbs. character keeping the diary.

Huda Orfali's Lynching takes a gritty look at violent acts taken toward homosexuals due to discrimination, and what horrible results can occur when individuals fail to deal with their prejudices.

In The Flamenco Painter, Shawna Chandler paints a heart-felt picture of a man's clouded conscience after losing someone special and close.

Bill Wetzel writes about a man's love for a woman who turns out to be a complete klutz, but it turns out that the klutziness is one of the things the man really loves about the woman, in A Morning By the River.

You can read all about a single teacher named Jonathan and his love for a woman named Ana in The 23rd of August by Timothy Morris Taylor. You can read about the many obstacles Jonathan overcame to be with Ana - obstacles that those who are truly in love overcome, no matter what. It's an inspiring story, showing us that no matter what obstacle gets in our way, love really does conquer each and every one.

Jan Chandler writes, in The Gun, "I grabbed the gun off the night stand, the first time I'd even touched it. I was going to take it into the kitchen and throw it in the trash can."

"That's when I heard the door slam."

"I almost wet myself."

There are also some quite touching stories in the book, including Orfali's Dancing With the Angels.

This book makes a spectacular holiday gift for the fiction lover in your life, and when purchasing The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer for that special someone this holiday season, you are not only buying a fantastic collection of short fiction to enjoy. You are also helping these authors to raise money for cancer cure research.

For the millions of Americans who suffer from cancer, The Acorn Gathering is truly a wonderful gift to which they contributed their writing gifts. Now it is up to readers everywhere to pick up where the authors left off and start reading for a cure.

With stories as good as these, it will be hard for readers to resist this book, whether reading for a cure or simply reading as a personal pleasure for themselves.