Monthly Archives: November 2015


From Afternoon:

“Will you feel good about this decision tomorrow?”

“It’s a guitar, Mom, it’s not like I’m dropping out of school.”

“What about Guatemala?”

“I’m not bailing on that.”

“You just spent all your money on a guitar.”

“It’s not just a guitar, Mom.  This is a nineteen sixty-nine Fender Stratocaster, exactly like the one Dave Gilmour played on the Dark Side of the Moon tour.  And I didn’t spend all my money.  I spent four hundred and eighty-five dollars.  That’s a steal, Mother.”  I squinted and wiggled my eyebrows like a gunfighter in an old western movie.

“You’ve got three months to pay the fee, Andy, don’t wait until the last minute.  This is a great opportunity to serve the Lord.”

“I’ll get the money, Mom.  Sheesh.”  I’d have to pick up some extra shifts at Ramsey’s, that was all.  Two people had just quit so Ron was probably looking for someone anyway.  The thing about my mom, she’s really cool most of the time, but then she’ll get super-strict for no reason.  She thinks I don’t care about Guatemala.  I care, okay?

Three cars.  No, four cars.  No.  Five.  Stay calm.  Peace.  Peace be with you.  Mix the drink.  Pour the stuff.  Add the whipped cream, sprinkle the chocolate thingees, snap on the lid.  “Presto!”

“You’re holding up the line, Drew.  You’re squelching my whole operation.”  Ron started using words like ‘squelching’ recently to avoid cussing at his employees.

“If I move any faster I’ll catch fire.  This whole place might go up.”

“Just bring it, alright?  Your A-game.  All I ask.”

“Yes, sir.”  The orders kept piling up.  My eyes burned from sweat.  You can try the best you can, you can try the best you can, the best you can is good enough.  Singing at work has spared me countless nervous breakdowns.

“More sprinkles here, Drew.  The ticket says extra sprinkles, see?  Right there.”

“My bad, Ron.”

Ramsey’s was a good place to work most of the time.  Ron opened it three years ago after returning from Arizona.  He’d been in the desert for almost a decade, working at a camp for troubled teens.  They did stuff like venture into the mountains for weeks with nothing more than a bag of rice and some water.  He named the place after his mentor who’d gotten bit by a rattlesnake out there and died.  Upon returning to civilization Ron saw all the cafés and figured coffee was a good way to make a living.  He didn’t seem very at home in the world.  I think that’s why people liked him.

“How we doing on drivethru?” he asked.

“Down to three, no, five cars.”

“Good work, team!  Keep it up!  What’s this?”

“They wanted soy, not two percent,” said Jenny.

“Spam it!  Okay, Drew, will you fix this, please?  Spam-a-lot!

The sun beamed at me through a pink and blue swirled haze as I left Ramsey’s that night.  Double shifts always induced a sort of amnesia.  I’d gradually forget everything that existed beyond our red and beige coffee den until the time came to exit through its tinted glass doors.  It was a Saturday.  I checked my phone.  3 calls and 1 text, all from Robby.

Doooood!!!!!!!!  I have one word for you:  THE SINK!!!

A shock of cold crashed over my head rushed down my back and legs then out through the soles of my feet.  Darkness turned deep blue fading lighter and washing away into a clear night sky.


***Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble***

Afternoon (book review)

Reviewed by Lisa McCombs

When high school junior Drew finds himself in an unexpected conflict with his friends on the last day of school, he contemplates the existence of guardian angels, or higher powers that interfere with destiny.  The Sink is a local hangout full of mystery, but never danger.  The Sink is the meeting hole for young folks in town and that is where he, Daniel, Angie, Jane, and Robby go to begin the first day of summer vacation.  Drew is already at odds with his mother because of his decision to spend money on a 1969 Fender Stratocaster guitar instead of paying the balance on his Guatemalan mission trip.  He insists that his journey to Guatemala is in his plans and he assures her that he will be responsible for his debt in an attempt to ease her already concerned motherly mind.  Drew’s life decisions are just not in line with her expectations of him at the moment.  But Drew is content with his commitments and content with his friendships until he and Daniel conflict at The Sink.  Neither of them had ever entertained the idea of inflicting bodily harm on one another.  Was Drew destined to die at the hands of his friend?  Was this his destiny?

Afternoon, a novella by Robert Lampros, introduces a different view of teenage conflicts faced today.  Drew wants to maintain his friendships but he struggles with the existence of Jesus and his own faith responsibilities.  The uncertainty of sharing his experience with friends and family reflects a common uncertainty in each teenager’s life’s decisions.  It is refreshing to find YA fiction based on a religious/spiritual theme.  Thank you, Robert Lampros, for publicizing this touchy subject for your young adult readers.  Afternoon is a very readable, age-appropriate story that will surely appeal to those readers in need of acceptance.

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble


Fits of Tranquility (review)

Reviewed by Karen Jones

Fits of Tranquility is a collection of Christian, inspirational and romantic poetry from the American poet, Robert Lampros.  I always read collections with a vague feeling of unease as some collections I have read even though they were published by internationally recognised poets tend to be quite repetitive in terms of structure, style and content.   Therefore I was extremely relieved to find Fits of Tranquility contained a variety of poetry styles and structures which made this collection immediately more appealing to the poetry connoisseur.  Lampros’ poetry contains a sensitivity and emotional eloquence which flows gently through his work.  I particularly enjoyed ‘Binaries’ because of its beautiful imagery.

‘I looked up

at the sky one night,

maybe last September, and saw two

of every star.  They weren’t

spinning and dancing like binaries,

but only resting there,

one slightly

above the other, as if…’

There is something for most poetry readers hidden within the covers of this collection.  There are  several understated Christian/Inspirational based poems such as ‘Storms,’ ‘Building Character’ and ‘Peace’ which offer soothing thoughts and  could provide comfort for people undergoing personal struggles.  I particularly liked the thought,

‘Bruises become wings.’ from the poem ‘Invisible Arms.’

The romantics out there will enjoy the sensitive love poetry littered throughout this collection.

Fits of Tranquility is a superior collection of poetry and I recommend it to those readers who want to read beautiful, family safe poetry.

Fits of Tranquility can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.