Bouquet: A Dozen Short Stories
List Price: 12.95
Available: April 2014
Bouquet: A Dozen Short Stories is an arrangement of stories about women in different phases of their lives. Drawing from a myriad of experiences and interactions with women, author Louise A. Hess shows the relationships between a grandmother and grandson, two cousins, women living alone, and a woman betrayed. She recounts aspects of happy marriages and of an abysmal marriage. She tells of an adopted woman searching for biological relatives and of sisters trying to solve a family mystery. Hess’ interest in plants, sea treasures, and antiques evidences itself in several other stories.
This is the author’s first body of fiction. Hess enjoys writing dialog and uses it well to move the stories along and keep the reader engaged and entertained. The glossary at the end is as absorbing as it is informative. Bouquet is a delightful book. The large type and short stories of various lengths make it perfect for traveling, waiting for the school bus, or reading on vacation. Each woman who is the focus of a particular story could be you, a co-worker, a friend, or your mom. It is easy to identify with these characters because no matter where we come from, or how much education we have, or how good or bad our own lives may be, we are women who understand love—or the lack of it.
Louise A. Hess is a free-lance writer. Bouquet is her first book of fiction. She is the author of Apple Blossom Time: An Autobiography in Prose and Poetry, 2011, and Something Yummy: Treasured Family Recipes, 2007. Hess is currently writing The Power of Ten, a memoir for her family archives. In addition, she is working on a non-fiction book called Random Thoughts by the Sea. A native of New York, New York, she now happily resides in Florida with her husband Bill. Hess writes, collects gifts from the sea, propagates houseplants, and adds to her Victorian buttonhook collection houseplants. In the past she dabbled in oil painting and more recently in watercolor painting. This multifaceted woman is an avid reader and seasoned world traveler. She enjoys living her life. After a hiatus of 30 years, Hess returned to college when she was 50 years old, and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Women’s Studies from the Mount St. Joseph College in Cincinnati, Ohio. She earned the Distinguished Student Award, the highest honor the college had, in addition to the Harrington Leadership Award, and the Women’s Studies Outstanding Student Award. While an undergraduate her paper, “Women: An International Perspective,” was presented at the North Central Women’s Studies Conference at the University of Ohio. Hess was also editor for one year of PERSPECTIVES, an annual literary journal at the college. She wrote for that journal for six years. After graduation she was editor of Voices & Visions, a newsletter for the college’s Women’s Studies Department. Hess was also a volunteer on the editorial staff of Creative Voices, an annual literary journal by retirees who are students in the Learning in Retirement program at the University of Cincinnati.
She started writing shortly before her college graduation in 1991—at first just for fun, then eventually for publication. Her work has appeared in Filtered Images, an anthology by women remembering their grandmothers, and in various other periodicals. She has plans to write a children’s book and to co-author a book of poetry with her granddaughter. Louise A. Hess is a wife, mother of two, and grandmother of four.