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Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT (Lost Children Book 2)
 
 

Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT (Lost Children Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Vachss , Joe R. Lansdale , George Pelecanos , Ken Bruen , Charles de Lint , James Reasoner , Chet Williamson , Wayne D. Dundee , Charlie Stella , Thomas Pluck
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

"Good stories for a good cause. You can't go wrong."
Bill Crider, Mystery Scene Magazine

41 Authors. 41 Stories. One Cause.

We've rallied a platoon of crime, western, thriller, fantasy, noir, horror and transgressive authors to support PROTECT's important work: lobbying for legislation that protects children from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

PROTECTORS includes the exclusive opening chapters to Ken Bruen's upcoming novel Spectre in the Galway Wind, plus powerful stories from George Pelecanos, Andrew Vachss, Joe R. Lansdale, Charles de Lint, Chet Williamson, James Reasoner, Charlie Stella, Michael A. Black, Wayne Dundee, Roxane Gay, Ray Banks, Tony Black, Les Edgerton and 27 others, with 100% of the proceeds going to PROTECT.

Among PROTECT's victories are the Protect Our Children Act of 2008, which mandated that the Justice Department change course and design a new national nerve center for law enforcement to wage a war on child exploitation, the Hero to Hero program, which employs disabled veterans in the battle against child abuse, and Alicia's Law.

PROTECTORS includes a foreword by rock critic Dave Marsh, and fiction by Patti Abbott, Ian Ayris, Ray Banks, Nigel Bird, Michael A. Black, Tony Black, R. Thomas Brown, Ken Bruen, Bill Cameron, Jen Conley, Charles de Lint, Wayne D. Dundee, Chad Eagleton, Les Edgerton, Andrew Fader, Matthew C. Funk, Roxane Gay, Edward A. Grainger, Glenn G. Gray, Jane Hammons, Amber Keller, Joe R. Lansdale, Frank Larnerd, Gary Lovisi, Mike Miner, Zak Mucha, Dan O'Shea, George Pelecanos, Thomas Pluck, Richard Prosch, Keith Rawson, James Reasoner, Todd Robinson, Johnny Shaw, Gerald So, Josh Stallings, Charlie Stella, Andrew Vachss, Steve Weddle, Dave White, and Chet Williamson.

Join the fight, be a Protector!

About the Author

Thomas Pluck writes unflinching fiction with heart. His stories have appeared in Shotgun Honey, PANK magazine, Crime Factory, Spinetingler, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, McSweeney's, The Utne Reader and elsewhere. He edits the Lost Children charity anthologies to benefit PROTECT: The National Association to Protect Children. He is working on his first novel. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Sarah. You can find him as @tommysalami on Twitter, and on the web at www.thomaspluck.com

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1394 KB
  • Print Length: 376 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1479236470
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Goombah Gumbo Press (30 Aug 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0094KRGOK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #143,117 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This anthology exists to raise awareness and funds for PROTECT. What is PROTECT? PROTECT and the National Association to Protect Children are there to help stop and prevent child abuse in. It is a worthy cause and if like me you happen to live in another country this book will make you consider issues you'd rather see as headlines. The next time you are considering charitable donations think of the children.

I nearly didn't bother writing this review as the forward in it says everything I want to say a lot better than I could. There is one line in the forward that I'll paraphrase for you. It sums up everything that is important when considering child abuse. There are two numbers that are important when considering child abuse. One is too many abuse victims and zero is the only acceptable number of abused children (it really is put better in the book so go check it out).

The first couple of stories are classic examples of what most of us would consider the normal (there is nothing normal about abuse so please excuse my flippant choice of words) view of child abuse and all the disturbing details that entails. I found these first few stories really difficult to read. They certainly are not for the faint-hearted. Keep reading though as the tone changes. Every story involves a child being in jeopardy but not always in a way I would have considered before. Some of the stories are very subtle and make you consider your own upbringing. There was one story in particular that involved bleach and a baby. I couldn't believe anybody could be that evil in real life. The very next day there was a story about a woman giving a bottle of bleach to a random small child in a fast-food restaurant.
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No comment. Why do I need to fill this out when I have already rated the goods above? The rating should speak for itself. Would I buy some more? Yes. There, that should fill up the space.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 great authors, 41 great stories, 1 low price 9 Oct 2012
By leknifrag - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book because I believe in Protect.org's mission to be a voice for the children. I thought I would get some neat stories written by some good authors so I would be donating to a worthy cause and get a little reward for my good work. What I got instead was a series of edge-of-seat stories that kept my attention. I also discovered some new writers.
I won't go into all the great short stories here but I will say that i was very impressed with the new writers I found. I encourage anyone to buy this as a gift or a donation to a local library, as well. Money well spent!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this dang book!!! 1 Sep 2012
By J Larkin Stallings - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Even if you're a heartless sob and you don't give a wit about protecting at risk kids, buy this book. You are going to have to look far and wide to find better collection of crime writers (not just saying this just cuz one of the writers has my last name.... he does and I've read every word he's written...always time well spent)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stories. Good Cause. Go get it. 19 Oct 2012
By ND - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Forty-one pieces of writing from 41 writers of crime, noir, horror, fantasy, western, and other pulpy goodness. It's a helluva bargain and the proceeds to go toward lobbying the protection of children from abuse. That last bit is reason enough to plunk down your dollars, but that doesn't mean you walk away empty-handed. These aren't just fluffy pieces, churned out in a fit of charity. Some are hard to read, but it's because they're haunting, not for lack of grammar and spelling. I mean, you have people like Patricia Abbot and Ken Bruen involved.

As with any story collection, some are better than others. But, like anything, "better" is a subjective term so your opinion and mine may differ. That said, I'll tell you about a few of my favorites and if you want to tell me about yours, the comments are open.

"Black Shuck" is one of the longer, if not the longest, of the stories and that gives it space to spread out, not in a blobbish way, but in a layered, atmospheric, moody sort of way that drags you deep into the holler and makes you wonder how you or anyone else will ever get out.

"Adeline" left me with all manner of whatifs, both historically and within the story, the even-if-the-plan-worked-was-it-enough sort. "Done for the Day" is about fourteen kinds of sad and desperate. I found it had almost draped over me the day I read it during lunch and had to shake it off vigorously. "Take it Like a Man" serves as a glimmer of hope in the shape of what, for a while, seems like an all-too-familiar tragedy.

"Planning for the Future" might be easier to accept as a story if I hadn't met girls like that at work. And "A Blind Eye" is about what can happen when ignorance and meanness are met with an overtaxed system. It's easy for people outside such systems to wonder why no one would catch the first or report the second, but people inside know how hard it is to spot the girl in Funk's story and how easy it is to mistake something innocent for something malicious (and vice versa), such as in Gray's tale.

To summarize or give away anything feels unfair. These stories are so compact that it feels like an injustice to let anything out of the bag. Plus, I prefer wandering blindly into short stories. If you're not that kind of person, editor Pluck has been giving you a taste of one per day over on his Facebook page.

Pros: Most of the stories are very strong and some are by well-known names. Your favorites and mine may differ, but it's a solid collection and it benefits and good cause.

Cons: Because of the theme, some of the stories can be a trigger for people who have suffered abuse or may be unpleasant for people who dislike reading about abuse. There's a lot of protection and vengeance in these tales, but just the same... If, however, you feel strongly about the cause, consider giving a copy as a gift or donating to PROTECT directly.

Bottom Line: 39 stories and 2 poems for $4.99 (digital) or $15.95 (paperback) is a good deal. The fact that it goes to help a good cause? Gravy or whipped cream or bourbon -- you know, whichever.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime noir authors write stonkingly good abuse stories 18 Sep 2012
By IuchiAtesoro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This anthology exists to raise awareness and funds for PROTECT. What is PROTECT? PROTECT and the National Association to Protect Children are there to help stop and prevent child abuse in. It is a worthy cause and if like me you happen to live in another country this book will make you consider issues you'd rather see as headlines. The next time you are considering charitable donations think of the children.

I nearly didn't bother writing this review as the forward in it says everything I want to say a lot better than I could. There is one line in the forward that I'll paraphrase for you. It sums up everything that is important when considering child abuse. There are two numbers that are important when considering child abuse. One is too many abuse victims and zero is the only acceptable number of abused children (it really is put better in the book so go check it out).

The first couple of stories are classic examples of what most of us would consider the normal (there is nothing normal about abuse so please excuse my flippant choice of words) view of child abuse and all the disturbing details that entails. I found these first few stories really difficult to read. They certainly are not for the faint-hearted. Keep reading though as the tone changes. Every story involves a child being in jeopardy but not always in a way I would have considered before. Some of the stories are very subtle and make you consider your own upbringing. There was one story in particular that involved bleach and a baby. I couldn't believe anybody could be that evil in real life. The very next day there was a story about a woman giving a bottle of bleach to a random small child in a fast-food restaurant. There really are some nasty people out there, but more importantly there are children who need the help and support of every single one of us.

I'm not going to talk about the individual stories as there are over thirty of them. I will however mention the one that had the most resonance with my own upbringing. Black Shuck by Thomas Pluck. I've read a few stories by Mr Pluck and have really enjoyed all of them. When I was a kid over here in England we had stories of The Black Dog. Anybody who saw the dog will die. It was a tale all of my friends growing up heard round the fire or at a sleep-over. I only knew two people that claimed to have see the dog and both of them died within six months. They were both heading to the gutter at terminal velocity through severe drug issues but the story is still there in the back of my mind. It seems I am not the only one. This story like a lot of the others is one not to miss.

One of the things I like about this anthology is that the transition between stories is not too harsh. It flows like an old rock album. It starts out hard and grabs you by the collar before chilling out a little and finding a groove. Then the second half gradually increases in intensity until the conclusion. It is a well written and put together collection of fictional stories, BUT the jeopardy is real. There are children out there that need us. If you do nothing else for them buy this book. Even that could help save a child.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Repeated shots to the soul and gut in "Protectors: Stories to Benefit Protect" 23 Nov 2012
By Kevin Tipple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Anthologies designed to raise monies for a cause are becoming more and more common. This is true here with "Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT" features stories about children in danger. Monies raised from book go to PROTECT, and its parent organization, the National Association to Protect Children, in order to help keep children safe, strengthen laws against child abuse in its many forms, and to assist the victims of such abuse. Along with a detailed explanation of the group in the introduction to anthology, there is information on how to become a member and how to track the donation record. Then, it is on to the stories arranged in alphabetical order by author.

The book opens with "The Search for Michael" by Patricia Abbott. Max knows that he just saw his son on the crowded pier below a San Francisco Restaurant. It may have been ten years, but Max knows what he saw was his missing son.

"The Drowning of Jeremiah Fishfinger" by Ian Ayris comes next. Jeremiah was the youngest of six children and arrived between the wars. As WWII begins, the family experiences war in England and death while the rage within Jeremiah grows day after day.

"The Kindness of Strangers" by Ray Banks opens with the image of a gymnasium full of noisy kids. It is picture day at the school and the photographer as well as school staff has their hands full. It is time for the new picture for the access cards and the narrator takes his job very seriously. He wants to help all the students. But, then things do always go wrong.

Nigel Bird is up next with his story "Baby's in Blue." Rox and Sox want to have a baby and want Les to help. His girlfriend Libby wants a child of her own too and is all in favor of him helping out Rox and Sox. Of course, nothing is that simple in this very unsettling story.

"The Black Rose" by Michael A. Black is a tale of Brax, Stevie, and the fact that Tanaka Mishima wants them dead. Who knew the dead hooker would be a problem? While many of these tales feature either the child victim experiencing abuse or the perpetrator doing the abuse, this story one was one of my favorites as it had a more distant relationship with the abuse angle of the anthology and was a complicated mystery.

"Last Orders: A Gus Dury Story" by Tony Black follows next featuring a man with a certain reputation in the fine city of Edinburgh. The annoying man who has come over to him in the pub is Urquhart and he is a Church of Scotland minister. His daughter is missing and he wants to hire Gus Dury to find Caroline Urguhart as fast as possible.

Billy and Daryl are in an alley three streets over from their target as "Repossession" by R. Thomas Brown opens. Daryl has been doing repos for a while now and says the targets always park their cars away from their homes. Bill is new to the business and wanted to learn all he could from the old pro. That was at first, but now he isn't so sure.

When you are paired with another young guard in Tempelmore it might be best if one was good and one was dirty. Barrret was the good one in "Spectre" by Ken Bruen. Spec was the bad one and he was very good at it.

"A Tall Horse" by Bill Cameron tells the tale of 10 year old David who has had enough. He'd much rather hang out in the basement at home. He has thrown down the challenge and the battle is on.

The kids are not happy in "Seven Ways to Get of Harry" by Jen Conley. It is supposed to be a fun day at the "Great Adventure" park near Manchester. But, Judy's boyfriend, Harry, is being difficult and not just about the safari deal Danny wants to do. At least his sister, Lisa, has ideas on how to get rid of Harry.

The taxi driver, Billy Joe, in "Dark Eyes, Faith, and Devotion" by Charles De Lint is not having a good Monday night. The woman who flags him down outside a girl-on-girl club is way too beautiful to be playing for the other team. She wants to go and steal her cat back and Billy Joe can't say no.

Using the history of the Orphan Train program which ran from the 1850s to 1929, author Wayne D. Dundee crafted a story where good intentions went disastrously wrong. "Adeline" is one of those children and she needs help. Miss Maybelle wants to do something about it because Hiram Foster has her and he is the lowest of the vermin around. She needs the help of Clete Rawson and she will get it.

Mercer thought he would feel something when he came back to his old hometown. Instead, he feels nothing in "Go Away" by Chad Eagleton. He wouldn't be back if it wasn't to help pull off a robbery.

You can live with somebody a long time. Years even and not really know them. A point Les Edgerton makes well in "You Don't Know Me." Two shots should do the trick.

A child hears a voice calling his name and does not want to come out in the very short piece "Security" by Andrew Fader.

Charlotte hates her after school program in "Planning for the Future" by Matthew Funk. She is sure she and Mama are going to hell. One could argue they are already there.

"Things I Know about Fairy Tales" by Roxane Gay comes next featuring the story of a woman and her kidnapping in Haiti. Kidnapping is what happens when you come from one of the better off families. When the inevitable happens nothing will ever be the same.

An alligator is doing what comes naturally to it as "The Lawyer" by Edward A. Grainger opens. The body on a bank of a Louisiana bayou is bleeding into the water while a man known as the "The Lawyer" stands above him. A chilling beginning to a very good western tale featuring Marshall Cash Laramie. This complicated and well done story was also one of my favorites in the book.

Baby Molly has what appears to be simple eye infection in her eyes in the story "A Blind Eye" by Glenn G. Gray. However, Molly's mom is not the best caregiver by a long shot in this deeply disturbing story. If you can read this one without getting very upset, you simply can't be human on any level.

While many are going a very long way to California, Lettie isn't. Instead, in "Lettie in the Ozarks" by Jane Hammons, Lettie is following the old people to their house in the Ozarks. She may have left it all behind in Oklahoma, but, she can't leave the painful memories.

"1983" by Amber Keller features Reggie and Troy and their plan to go cool off in an old quarry. The quarry is fun but it is no refuge from bullies--familial ones.

Joe R. Landsdale comes next with "The Boy Who Became Invisible." Marble Creek, a small town along the Sabine River in East Texas is the setting. For Hap and his friend, Jesse, everything changed in the fifth grade and not in a good way.

Most of the stories in this book are about bullying and the effects on those bullied. Like the preceeding story, "Take It like a Man" by Frank Larnerd is one of those stories. 7th grader "Squeak" is one of those kids that everyone picks on. At least there is a gun at home in the trailer.

Jack likes to slap his partner around in "Stoop-It" by Gary Lovisi. The duo has done too many jobs back east and the heat is on so Jack had the bright idea to go to California. Jack is supposed to be the smart one of the pair. His plans get the narrator out of his cage and working.

In the twilight of the afterlife victims see things differently in "Monsters" by Mike Miner. While they had no idea he was out there, now as victims, they can see the predator as a burning flame moving through the streets of Los Angeles. To see the predator this way would have been helpful when they were alive. They can also see the detective and the toll the killings are taking on him. They may not be able to stop the killer, but they can help the detective a little bit.

The agencies supposed to help have a problem in "Community Reintegration" by Zak Mucha. Patient Troy Gaylen is a problem patient who is doing everything he can to resist treatment. Once he turns 21, he can do as he wants despite his long history and other factors described in this story of emails and clinical narratives.

It's a bad situation in "Done for the Day" by Dan O'Shea. Mom is dead, Billy is getting worse, and dad is overwhelmed. The fact that the nosy neighbor next door keeps calling the police does not help.

George Pelecanos is next with "String Music" where Tonio Harris lives for pickup basketball games. Life is very rough in the fourth district of D.C. but hitting the asphalt with a basketball is escape. That is until one game goes a bit sideways with ripples that will affect a number of people.

Thomas Pluck contributes next with his story "Black Shuck." Nine years old and out with his dog, Shuck, life in the holler don't get any better. That was until Wade and his friend saw the guitar player known as Blind Joe Death. He has a reputation and not in a positive way. Now there is a thirst for vengeance in the air with death coming again before the night is out.

It is time for the threshing crew to get to work in "Jolly's Boy" by Richard Prosch. It is a cold ride on a cold morning as Tom and his father ride in their Model T to where they need to harvest. Tom wants "Jolly's Boy" to hurry up and show up as Tom has a point to make.

Keith Rawson follows with "She Comes With The Rain." Ella went to God one Friday when the cancer became too much. For the widower left behind, everything changed. That included his relationship with their daughter, Sabrina. It has all led to this in a haunting piece.

Ed came back from North Africa bitter and missing an arm in "The Greatest Generation" by James Reasoner." Coming back to Lockspur, Texas this way is a far cry from going ashore in Morocco with General Patton. As bad as he feels about himself there is somebody far worse off in a war at home.

It is a nightmare for Wade and his wife, Liana in "Baby Boy" by Todd Robinson. Ben is missing and nobody knows anything. The hours pass into days and the pressure mounts on the couple with no sign of their child.

When you live on "Gay Street" in this story by Johnny Shaw you learn very quickly how to fight. It's a hard neighborhood anyway and the street name does the kids no favors. The boys live by a code of honor. Little Jimmy Little is one of them at age 10 and has been hurt. He will be avenged.

Gerald So offers a poem with "Hushed." A quick powerful poem about Cousin Lee and his bruises.

The plan is to finish smoking dope in the 67 Bonneville and then burgle the house they are watching. Tom and his older brother got stuff to steal for Junky Bob who wants 10 percent of the take. Supposed to be an easy gig in "Wooden Bullets" by Josh Stallings. It isn't, of course.

16 year old Joseph lives next door "In Dreams" by Charlie Stella. Joseph also knows how to get an eight year old little boy up to his room in this very disturbing story. Money and toys don't make what is happening right.

"Placebo" by Andrew Vachss comes next with a narrator who knows how to fix things. Sometimes the stuff that needs fixing goes far beyond his building or his normal jobs. One example is the little boy upstairs and his monsters.

"Steve Weddle" is next with "This Too Shall Pass." Staci and Rusty are out in a field watching the stars. That is until they got interrupted by other party goers. Teen angst, a legendary story, and more is at work in this fine tale.

Austin Parker is missing in "Runaway" by Dave White. Coach Herrick thinks the boy might have had good reason to take off considering the living conditions at home. Haunted by guilt over what happened with one boy in Afghanistan, he tries to save another here at home. Easier said than done in so many ways.

The final story of the book is "Season Pass" by Chet Williamson. It tells the story of Mr. & Mrs. Youngers, the passing of time, and solving a problem in this twisted tale.

The 41 tales arranged in alphabetical order by author are good ones in "Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT." While the stories are good ones, this book is not in any way light, easy reading. Most of these stories feature horrific and occasionally graphic child abuse in some form. These are stories that often slap the reader in the face with the kinds of horrific abuse and neglect that are all too common stories in the media today. The level of hurt in these stories makes for very tough reading at times in a powerful book designed to raise money to support the mission of PROTECT.

Material was supplied by Editor Thomas Pluck for my objective review. Material was read on my laptop via the free "Kindle for PC" program.

Kevin R. Tipple ©2012
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