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Janine A. Southard lives in Seattle, WA, where she writes speculative fiction and reads it aloud to her cat. She's story gamed a few times and hopes to someday make a tie-in game for this novel, but first she needs to finish writing all the other books on her list!

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Cracked: A Magic iPhone Story by Janine A. Southard

This is the story of a girl and her iPhone. No, that's not quite right. This is the story of a middle-aged statistician and her best friend. Though she didn't consider herself middle-aged. And the best friend was more of a roommate-with-whom-she'd-developed-a-friendship. And this description completely ignores the 6,000-year-old elf with whom the woman and her best friend enjoyed story gaming.

So let's try this again.

This is the story of a woman who would rather play story games than actively work on her love life. Between story gaming and succumbing to the phone's insidious sleekness, she learns that friendship trumps romance.

In Cracked! A Magic iPhone Story, award-winning author Janine A. Southard (a Seattle denizen) shows you how the geeks of Seattle live, provides a running and often-hilarious social commentary on today's world, and reminds you that, so long as you have friends, you are never alone.

 

REVIEWS

  • "Cracked! is kind of my new favorite thing in the world... zany and off-kilter"

    – Taryn Albright, The Girl With the Green Pen
  • "Captivatingly authentic... Particularly entertaining and interesting are the forays into the story gaming world, where the gaming part counted as a respectably nerdy pursuit, and the story part counted as creative ... Cracked! A Magic iPhone Story provides an insider view of Seattle, its denizens, and some of their various activities and belief systems, that contribute to its unique culture. It's a fun read in a much too serious world."

    – Sandy McDow, Chanticleer Book Reviews
  • "If [you're] looking for a book that will make you laugh this is the book for you. I laughed so hard tears constantly built up in my eyes."

    – Shanae Shanae, Reading and Reviews (Fandom of Books)
  • "This is a rather bizarre book. It is told from a narrator's point of view, which was quite humorous at times with some of the comments. The story hits on some really good points – that we are too tied to technology ... and that sometimes friends are all you need.... [If] you are in the mood for quirky this might fit the bill!"

    – Storeybook Reviews
 

BOOK PREVIEW

Excerpt

This is the story of a girl and her iPhone. No, that's not quite right. This is the story of a middle-aged statistician and her best friend. Though she didn't consider herself middle-aged. And the best friend was more of a roommate-with-whom-she'd-developed-a-friendship.

And this description completely ignores the 6,000-year-old elf with whom the woman and her best friend enjoyed story gaming.

So let's try this again.

This is the story of a woman who wished to find love, but who would rather play story games than actively look for it. Especially in the wake of a horrid break-up six months before from a man had who never sent her a single gift.

Until now.

That man, who is otherwise unimportant to this narrative, had no sense of timing.

He had, foolishly perhaps, expected something different from their three-year relationship. He'd been after crazy spontaneity and over-sexualized Carnivale stereotypes from his Brazilian-American girlfriend, whereas she'd merely expected companionship and a proposal.

So when the breakup arrived instead of a ring box, it came as quite a shock to Morena (for that was the woman's name). And on this day, when she saw a package on her kitchen table sporting his return address (likely carried inside the night before by her staggeringly drunk roommate), she almost took it down, unopened, to the recycling bin in her apartment building's garage.

But she didn't.

In a fit of whimsy disguised as righteous fury, she wielded a utility knife and tore into the obviously reused box with Amazon.com emblazoned on the side. She slashed at the cardboard and threw packing peanuts all over her matted beige carpet, which had witnessed many a discarded packing peanut before.

The carpet didn't mind, but it would have worried about usually sensible Morena's mental state if it had the kind of mind that knew how to worry. But it was a carpet, so it didn't.

If this book were a movie, the non-trash-bound contents of the box would now be surrounded in a soft yellow glow. There would be swelling music whose pulsing undertone would let the viewer know that this, THIS, was a significant moment. But since this is a book (and, for Morena, this was real life), these things did not happen. Instead, she got a paper cut from the crumpled newsprint that cushioned a very ordinary-looking iPhone.