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L.S. Temmer Books
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Novels and short stories by L.S. Temmer
Novels and short stories by L.S. Temmer

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Available on Amzon.com in paperback, kindle and supported devices.

The God of Rock is novella composed of interlocking short stories, in which the destinies of a rock guitarist and a fledgling painter become intertwined. Brought together initially by desire, they are parted by life’s circumstance. Through dreams, memories and a long process whereby the ego unravels and allows the soul to lead, the two are eventually reunited many years later. This collection also includes The Burial, six tales of the Sarmations, the great horsemen of the steppe, which span from 500 BCE TO 1400 CE. The merger of historiography and archaeology produce a fictional reconstruction of a preliterate people, illuminating the eternal human condition.
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A new collection of short stories, available on amazon .com in kindle and paperback
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a review from kirkus.
TITLE INFORMATION
MR. HEATHCLIFF'S FORTUNE AND OTHER SHORT STORIES
Temmer, L S
CreateSpace (174 pp.)
$12.00 paperback, $8.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1482391930; May 14, 2013
BOOK REVIEW
Temmer (Throw Granny off the Balcony and Other Short Stories, 2012) offers a collection of five diverse, experimental
short stories.



These tales, ranging in length from the 14-page “The Sentimental Imagination” to the novella-length title story, take
place in disparate settings and time periods, such as the Ottoman Empire, the United States during the French and Indian
War, or Paris in the late 19th century. However, they’re united by their exploration of metafictional elements and the
concept of time. Some stories share common themes such as spurned love, desperation and unfortunate beginnings. “Mr.
Heathcliff’s Fortune” offers an explanation of the title character’s whereabouts during his absence from Yorkshire in the
Emily Brontë novel Wuthering Heights: He was in Louisiana, earning money gambling and wrecking lives. However,
the author’s portrayal of Heathcliff as evil may disappoint readers who see the character as merely haunted and obsessed.

The metafictional final story, “The Cartographer,” begins with the doomed romance of a beautiful courtesan, Guilia, and
Antonious, who she doesn’t know is a eunuch; their story is told within a second story about a fictional romance
between academics Vittoria and James, which is itself told by novelist Marguerite. The novelist’s actions, meanwhile,
are directed by the Divine Mind and the Universal Mind. It’s the most successful story in this collection and the most
amusing as well, with the priceless line: “[A]ll sorts of cruelties exist when women and eunuchs are left to their own
devices.” Interestingly, many stories’ turning points hinge on written documentation, such as diaries or poems. Despite
often flawless prose, the stories tend to suffer from lengthy buildups, with climaxes only occurring in the final pages.

Overall, however, although some stories skirt the fine line between intellectual experimentalism and just plain weirdness,
fans of short fiction will find them well worth their time.
An ambitious, if occasionally uneven, story collection.
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Book trailer for End Game: A Legal Injustice. On Amazon.com
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An excerpt from the Affair in Mr. Heathcliff's Fortune, This was written because so many of my kind friends thought I should do a Fifty Shades of Gray type thing for money. In any case, it turned out to be a lovely story, my personal favorite --and I'll say it consists of stories within stories that chronicle a love affair over a 40 year period through the changing/ maturing style of a writer.

The day had been a balmy one, but toward evening the wind had turned and now the night was foggy and cool.
'Number 12, Rue Chabanais,' the older of the two gentleman ordered the cab. The older man was tall, well dressed and heavyset. Years of good living had left his once handsome face florid and bloated. Still, behind the good natured facade, he retained a keen intelligence. He was accompanied by a younger man, who stood a little over six feet and was so excessively slender as to appear a good deal taller. His dark hair, piercing gaze, firm chin and sharp nose gave him the air of a brilliant bird of prey. The younger man seemed both amused by, and detached from, the circumstances.
His nephew had a fine mind but a cold nature, the older man thought, but it was so with the English. This outing was just what was needed to thaw him out.
The two men disembarked in front of an undistinguished and unassuming facade, but passing through its doors found themselves in a grotto, met by a black man in a Moorish costume. He ushered them past a second set of doors where they were met by Mrs. Kelly.
'This way, please,' she said, leading them to a mirrored and excessively rich salon where gentlemen dallied with young women in various states of repose.
'Hmmm,' Mrs. Kelly said, looking over the younger man who met her gaze unflinchingly, 'I think, yes, he would suit the Persian room.' She glanced over at the uncle who was already being entertained by two scantily dressed young women. 'Do follow me,' she said to the young man, leading him up the stairs.
'Will he know what to do?' one of the women asked the uncle while tickling his beard.
'He is English, my dear, but I don't suppose one act is too different from the other,' the uncle replied, as the two girls burst into laughter.

The young man was left alone in the room. He seated himself and crossing his legs, took a cigarette from a case and put it in a holder.
'Ha!' he exclaimed, looking around him at the false Persian décor. He sat, smoking, seemingly preoccupied by personal thoughts, indifferent to his surroundings.
A dark woman entered the room. She was veiled apart from her glittering eyes, which were amber in hue, and wore a long embroidered coat over sheer trousers. Persian slippers, and many rings on her fine fingers completed her outfit. She ascertained at once that the young man had an acetic temperment. Generally that type developed rarefied tastes in time, she thought wearily. But he was still young, and so without hesitation, she lit a hookah that had been prepared with hashish, passed it to him, and sat on a cushion at his feet.
As the young man smoked, she said:

'In Persia there was a sultan, who, betrayed by his wife, made a vow never to trust a woman again. True to his word, whenever he would spend the night with one of his concubines, he would have her beheaded in the morning to avoid emotional entanglements.
In his harem there was a clever girl named Shahrazade, who determined she would live, hatched a plan to keep the sultan's interest. She would begin a story to entertain him, but before it was finished, it would lead into another story and another, and so she fascinated him for one thousand and one nights, until he had fallen in love with her and decided to spare her.'
The young man raised his brows. The girl had a lovely voice, clear as a bell, though her consonants, save her rolling R's were soft. Not Persian, he surmised, though she was from the East.
'This is the story of the golden apples,' said the girl, and proceeded to tell the tale of a Sultan and his vizier, who down by the dockyards, where they had gone among the common people, had found the body of a beautiful woman who had been rolled into a rug and thrown into the sea. Who could have done such a thing? they wondered, when a grieving man appeared to tell the tale.
The woman was his wife, he said, and had been ill and craving apples, and he so in love with her that he would have gratified her every wish. He sneaked into the sultan's orchards, and there risking his life, had stolen three golden apples and brought them back to her.
But the next day, as he was returning from his shop, for he was a merchant, he saw a black slave tossing one of the golden apples in full view. “Oh, where did you get those golden apples?” a passer-by asked. “I have gotten them from my lover, a beautiful woman who would do anything to please me,” the slave replied.
And so the merchant came home and saw his wife still abed and two of the apples next to her and the third missing. And so in his madness, he fell upon her, and when he had killed her, he rolled her in the carpet and threw her in the sea.
When he returned home, he saw his young son weeping and asked what had passed that ailed him so. And his son told him, “I stole one of the golden apples from my mother, but when I went to outdoors to play, a black slave snatched it away from me.”
And so, weeping and lamenting, the merchant asked the Sultan to punish him for the murder of his wife. But the Sultan said, “Let us hear from the slave, for it is surely he who set the events in motion.” And so a search was instigated, until the man was found.
As the merchant prepared for death, he kissed his children goodbye, and as he kissed them, he found a golden apple in his little daughter's pocket. “How came this to be in your possession?” he asked. “I bought it from a black slave,” she said, “who sold it to me for three dinars.”
Then the slave was found, and weeping, confessed to the Sultan that he had made up the story of the lover and had stolen the apple from a boy, and yet had sold it for three dinars to a little girl who was craving apples. And the Sultan said in awe, “Was any tale more strange than this?”
“If you spare the merchant and the slave, then I will tell you a tale more wondrous,” said the Vizier. And so Shahrazade launched into a new tale.'
The story ended as his pipe was done. 'The merchant acted rashly before he had all the facts in hand,' the young man said.
'Indeed he did.' The woman stood and made to remove her veil, which was attached to a tiny flat hat.
'Leave it,' he said.
He watched her remove her garden of flowers, he watched as she took off her garment of rain. He saw her through a haze of blue smoke, an expanse of whittled whiteness, imprinted by braided rope, like a tattoo, where she had lain. But the Englishman was unused to affection, and as the girl approached him, he was crippled with shame.
'Why did you tell me that story?' he asked.
The girl shrugged, releasing her hair. 'I don't know. I suppose that for some men it enhances the fantasy of the Persian room. And, of course, there is the element of death, of the beautiful innocent wife, and the potential death of Shahrazade, which may heighten arousal - in some men,' she added. She didn't know why she was speaking to him this way, but he had made her feel self conscious and strange.
'And what story would you tell me, if we weren't in this room?' he asked.
Well, he really is strange, she thought, lying back on the silk pillows that were scattered about the carpet. She propped herself up on one elbow, 'I would tell you of wolves in a snowy land, where the wind blows all winter, and the trees creak when frost is upon them, and the nights are so dark, dark as the blackest tunnel, dark as death itself. I would tell you of the wolf lover and the white maiden, who was abandoned in the forest by her wicked stepmother and left to fend for herself. And of the wolf, who ran alone, separated from his pack, until he grew wild and solitary, and roamed the great forest and the grassy plain, watching with his brilliant, intelligent eyes, indifferent to human pain.'
'Not indifferent.'
'Inured, perhaps?'
The young man's lip twitched and formed a semblance of a smile. 'The wolf becomes the maiden's lover?'
'Yes, because not even a lone wolf can remain so eternally.'
'Can he not?'
'He becomes the maiden's lover for a short time, yes.'
'And then he leaves her?'
'He is a wolf. It would be his nature to rip out her throat and leave her bleeding in the snow.'
'But before he does that?'
'Before he does that, he would cast off his pelt and wrap it around them, and he would lie next to the maiden in the cold, cold snow.'
The young man removed his jacket, vest and tie, and mirroring her pose, lay next to her, observing the length of her body. She sank back onto the pillows.
'The wolf, attracted to the maiden's hair would take hold of it,' she said.
'Like this?' The man ran his fingers through her dark auburn hair. His touch was unexpectedly delicate, and though the girl shivered almost imperceptibly, he noticed. He traced his finger across her brow and the bridge of her nose, stopping short of the veil.
'The wolf had never seen a human girl before and was curious, and so he touched that delicate part of her neck where he knew her blood ran,' she said, moving his hand to the spot. He gripped her neck, stopped and stroked it, and watched the mild throbbing of her pulse accelerate. He touched her ear, a small pink shell, and ran his fingers across her chin and her marble shoulders. He crossed her arms, her long thin palms, and began again at that central river of tiny golden hairs that lie between her breasts, growing downward, which sprang to life before his fingers. And then he stopped short, hesitating.
She saw his pupils dilate, and rolled over on her belly, boldly gazing at him. The wolf was swift and merciless. Grabbing the girl's hair and sinking his teeth into her shoulder, he covered her body with his.
The woods were dark, the snow was cold, three drops of blood upon it. He rent her veil, he bit her lips, her breasts were marked with bruises. He held her down, he turned her around, soundlessly, his green eyes open. He shattered her and split her lengthwise, he rolled on her until they lay crosswise, he entered her, their mutual eternities suspended. Three gypsies on a road, a flash of knife, their footprints told of two remaining, illicit lovers, who had become bold. In Babylon, he had her stoned, and wept alone amidst his gold. And near a Hindu temple she stepped on his foot; she, the creeper, he, the root. In Florence, he played the mandolin and sang, to turn her head, dissatisfied until she lay dead, at her husband's hand. In feudal Japan, she was the daimyo and he, the concubine; in Africa, child lovers who were sold eastward into Arabia. Once, she was his mother on the steppe. In a cave in Spain, they huddled together and watched a magician, with antlers on his head, whirl about before a great hunt.
The girl opened her lips to him; he was a wolf, he was a snake, he was a seed planted deep within her. She was the sea, he was the wave, rocking the girl away from that vulgar room, away from that monstrous house of pleasure.
'I have to pee,' she said.
'Pee on me.'
'I couldn't,' she smiled, and disappearing behind a screen for an instant, expelled a hot golden rush of water, the absence of which made her feel melancholy and abandoned.
The young man was waiting for her on the bed, his arms outstretched, pale and slender as a white ash. Astride him, she held him in, employing the thousand and one tricks of the orient she had learned. 'Don't move,' she said. The young man observed her with his brilliant hawk's eyes: her haloed crown and grave expression, her rippling belly, as she tightened and moiled. He moved her hair from her face, and brought his mouth to hers. And swiftly sitting up, he cradled the girl on his lap. He wrapped his arms around her; he enfolded her in his embrace. The girl's heart broke, she softened and became tender, pressing her lips to his head.
He laid her back among the pillows, he clasped his hands about her hips. He crushed her soul with his pressure, he wrenched her body with his grip. He leveled her and breaking her, drew her together, until they were once again face to face. The girl entwined her legs around him, she clasped her hands about his neck. He assaulted her with a fervor, he pierced her shrouded space. Between agony and rapture, and the slow circumlocution of time, the memory of the evening's delirium folded itself within them, long before they were prepared to separate.
The boy remained within her, the wolf was under her skin, the ash impaled her, until they were ready to move again. She caressed him with her gaze, touching him gently. Slowly, stealthily, she stroked him to a frenzy. The two lovers lay side by side, looking into each others eyes, the pull of an unknown spirit between them. Her legs about him, entangled, they met the morning light, and the man kissed her lips, her eyes, her hair, with the mournfulness of an elegy that had long been sung, and made love to her with a sadness that was beyond death, beyond his inviolate solitude, beyond anything that had happened since or would happen gain. When they fell apart, he clasped her fingers between his.
'And when the wolf had finished, he left the maiden in the snow,' she said.
'It is his nature to be alone.' The young man rose swiftly and put on his clothes. But the girl couldn't look at him and closed her eyes.
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An excerpt from the short story Mr. Heathcliffs Fortune, from Mr. Heathcliff's Fortune and Other Short Stories, on Amazon.com , in kindle and book form.

The boat meandered down the slow river, leaving a sliver of moonlight in its wake. The night was still and close. The woman had left her stifling cabin to catch a breath of air, but the dampness on deck oppressed her even more.
She fanned herself and looked out toward the dark copse of trees on the far shore. Plantations edged the water. Sans Souci, Belle Reve, L'Esperance: Without a Care, Beautiful Dream, Hope. Lies built on human misery. No need to be anxious, she told herself and took a few deep breaths. Her dress, heavy and sodden, clung to her breasts and back. Turning, she kicked the train outward, almost losing her footing. She would not have seen the man lying on a heap of rope if she had not looked around with self-conscious discomfort.
He stared at her, expressionless, a glassy eye catching the light. As she drew near him, she saw that he was hurt, his body contorted, his other eye swollen shut, mottled and bruised. She reached out a hand toward him, but he cringed.
'You're hurt,' she said, getting on her knees to take a closer look at him. The man turned his head away. 'Come with me,' she said, helping him up.
The first mate looked at them as they passed in the darkness, but she ignored him, although she had been careful not to attract attention to herself the entire length of the journey. She took the man to her cabin and sat him down in a chair at the table in the sitting room.
'Wait a minute,' she said and went to get a cloth and a basin of water. She cleaned his wounds and gave him a drink and took one for herself from a bottle that she kept hidden in the cabinet.
'What happened to you?' she asked standing back, appraising her handiwork, and then the man. He was young, she estimated, about twenty years old and darkly handsome. She wondered for a minute who he reminded her of and then remembered, though she did not want to. The man said nothing and stared at his glass. She poured him another drink, and he tossed it back.
'Where are you from?' she asked.
'From across the great sea,' he said quietly. It was difficult for him to talk because his mouth was swollen where he had been hit. He suddenly seemed more sullen than ever and withdrew into himself. She knew the look, it was one that beaten dogs wore. He would not be answering any more of her questions. It was just as well. She was exhausted.
'Another?' she asked, but he shook his head. 'Well, then Mister... I think we have finished here.'
The man stood and shuffled to the door. She felt a pang of conscience, since she knew that he had nowhere to go. Well, that was his problem. As he was about to leave, he shot her a look that went straight through her, and she had a presentiment that horrified her. It was as if he had been looking at the dead, she thought.
She locked the door behind him and took another drink before putting the bottle away. Don't think, she said to herself. You are Marie Gilbert, and tomorrow you will be in New Orleans. Her dress buttoned down the front, and she undid it herself since she did not have a maid, and had not had one for some time, though she said, when asked, that her Suzette had recently run off to who knows where. She laid the dress out to dry on the back of the chair and let her hair down. She stood in front of the looking glass taking full measure of herself. Thick wavy hair, hazel eyes, a full mouth, a slim yet voluptuous figure. She turned to the side and appraised herself critically. That man had olive skin, just as she did, yet he was English. How odd, she thought.
She put on her nightdress and listened to voices in the corridor, whispering, always whispering. She heard those muted tones and wondered if they were talking about her. It made her afraid, just like before, but her limbs were so heavy, and she couldn't move. She tumbled down a long flight of stairs, and her body jerked before she fell into a deep asleep.
There were lianas growing over the house, choking it. She walked up the cracked steps, across the veranda that was covered with dead leaves. Entering the front door, she walked through the hall, and called out, her voice ringing through the empty rooms. She seemed to recognize the place, but it was eerily abandoned, the furniture gone, the walls cracked. A cross wind swept through the house. She hurried upstairs, to hidden rooms that she had never seen, filled with ivory and strange sculptures. She wondered where they had come from.
Her brother was standing to one side, but he could not see her. She passed her hand in front of his eyes. He was blind, asleep, though he was standing there with his eyes open. She spoke to him, but he faded away.
'Help me get away,' she cried and ran through the house down the back stair and out across the lawn, but the vines were holding her back, and she woke up entangled in the bedsheets, soaking wet. She slipped out of her gown and reached for the deck of cards that she kept next to her bed and laid them out, but she could not clearly see what they were saying. She was afraid, and she knew she had to arrest her thoughts before they overwhelmed her. It would be better when daylight came; the bad would stop, and she would be busy enough not to have to think or remember a thing.
She imagined what it would be like to have serious money, and she pictured herself being safe, so safe and sheltered from the world. She imagined the house she would buy and imagined how she would furnish it, and presently she was asleep and her breathing was light.
She slept into late morning, and when she went on deck she looked for the man from the night before, but he was nowhere to be seen, and she thought, it's just as well, it's just as well. I'm alone now and that is the way I would like it to remain
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End Game Book trailer. Available in book and Kindle forms on Amazon.com

END GAME : A Legal Injustice
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An excerpt from The Sentimental Imagination from Mr Heathcliff's Fortune. A marriage seen through the prose of a husband and the poetry and dream imagery of his wife. On Amazon.com, book and kindle form.

From the time I awoke to the time I lay down to sleep in the ten mat room, I was tormented by the thought that I wanted to murder my wife.
A smile was pushing up Yukiko's lips. She was arranging flowers in yet another attempt to please me. Everything around her was simple, clean and bright, as if a green wind had swept through the room and purged it of last night's goings-on. Her kimono was gray with a simple sash, and her hair was done up, with one tendril escaping at the nape of her neck. She smiled at me when I walked into the room, and all I could think was how much that smile terrified me.
She turned her head towards me, her eyes soft and pleading, and I was suddenly filled with a tremendous sense of manly confidence. She loved me after all.
'I think it will rain after all today,' she said, continuing to arrange the flowers.
My former sense of confidence suddenly dissipated, and I was overcome by dread. Of course, she would not want me to go out today, or any other day.
'I was just thinking,' she paused, 'will you go out today?'
My old malaise was threatening to overwhelm me. 'I think I will go. I can get a taxi to the train. It won't be any trouble,' I said.
'Oh? Then you will go?' She stepped back to look at her handiwork and then placed the vase on a low shelf.
I was obsessed with the idea that I must leave immediately before she could have an effect on me. In fact, I had nowhere in particular to go.
'Yes, of course,' I said scornfully. 'You know how important my work is,' though it was hardly of any consequence to anyone, least of all to myself.
'Yes,' she said.
I could see that she did not believe me, and my fantasy returned. I could glimpse at her lying outdoors with her skull cracked open, her kimono opened to reveal her lady parts, a red rivulet of blood running from her face to the little pond at the bottom of the garden. My sexual excitement was such that I had an urge to seize her …

Yuriko sighed and put down her husband's manuscript. She had had such high hopes for him. But that was years ago when she had been in love with him. Now as the wind whistled through their crummy little house, she wondered how she would manage to pay their bills. Takeo, her husband, had been ill for some time. It had all begun with Sachiko's death. Afterward, she had had to raise money to send him to a sanatorium, and then there were the doctors and the medicines to be paid for.
Snow had begun to fall, and kept falling until it covered the eaves of the house. Yuriko stirred the stove. It was so cold. Takeo would be returning home soon, and she would once again be looking after him. It really was unendurable, she thought.
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An excerpt from The Edge of the Wilderness from Mr. Heathcliff's Fortune. This is a story about how our imagination and the stories we tell ourselves can sometimes help us overcome our deepest suffering. I'd spoil it, if I said any more.

Susannah put her hand over the sun cat and caught the rainbow in her palm. The leaves would be turning soon, she thought.
'Hemlock, beech, pine and maple; oak, cherry, poplar, and ash,' she said the names of the trees just like Pa had taught her. He would be back to stay over winter after he sold the fur he had trapped. Her Ma was in the cold, cold ground, but Susannah had few memories of her.
The forest was all around her. At night, she heard the wolves howling and sometimes saw the prints of the panther on the ground. And sometimes, the little people left hunks of meat in the kitchen when she was out in the woods. She tried to see them, but always, they evaded her.
She had awoken late last night and walked out of the cabin to look at the moon. She had heard the Indians before she ever saw them, though they were moving quickly. The fact that they did not stop meant one thing: another war was breaking out. Last time, Pa had taken her away, and she had stayed at the house of the Reverend Woodbridge and his wife, but their piety and mean ways had not sat well with her, and she had run away. Spare the rod and spoil the child. That was the kind of man the Reverend was, and she had made a vow never to go back.
Her Pa had lived with the Indians before he married her Ma and knew their ways. He had planted the three sisters: squash, corn and beans in the forest between the trees, the Indian way, scooping up the earth in mounds and seeding it. And then, he had taught Suzannah to tend it.
'Women's work,' he had said and looked sad when he said it. They'd have enough food over winter with the berries she had picked and dried and pounded into flour, and the roots and nuts she had gathered in the forest. Pa always brought syrup from the maple harvest with him, and enough game and venison to dry.
He worried that she would grow up wild and strange, he said, but he knew as well as she did that there was no going back to town for either of them. They were too set in their ways. He had been afraid to leave her, but she could shoot as well as he could, she told him, though she didn't care to.
'Soft in yer ways, like yer ma,' he said, when he saw her petting his skins.
There was trouble brewing on the frontier, and he was afraid the western tribes would move into the territory and take her captive to replenish the number they had lost due to war and disease. But they both knew that if fighting came, it would come in the spring. He would be home then, and he would decide if it would be necessary to move to the fort for safety. Pa always knew what to do, she thought.

Suzannah had not liked the Reverend's harsh judgmental God and his idea that nature had to be subdued by man; her nature as a woman, as well. She did not feel sinful. She had listened to his thunderous sermons, thinking, he knows little, and what little he knows, he is wrong about.
She felt the pull of all things around her. The humming of the trees, and the rush of water; the wind blowing through the leaves, the starry sky, and the sunny days moved through her. Life was what it was: beautiful and harsh, but never sinful or impure.
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