New Books from

PJ Colando

I am a walking exclamation point, eager to share the wit and wisdom of the Midwest … welcome to the neighborhood!

What’s New from the Faith, Family, Frenzy! Series (the separate-and-equal sequel)

The Jailbird’s Jackpot

PJ’s latest “Jailbird Jackpot” continues the ongoing saga of what happens when the sordid topic of coin (and lots of them) instantly alters people’s lives.

The latest in the I am … series

I am … A Quarantine Survivor

More hope, comedy, and heart … as you’ve come to expect from PJ. An anthology of PJ Colando’s blog posts while she coped with COVID-quarantine, compiled as a fundraiser for Second Harvest food bank.

“PJ Colando’s sprightly novel shines its light on an uncommon slice of contemporary Americana, a Midwest culture most often viewed from flyover range.”

– Art Plotnik,
Author – Spunk & Bite.

Books in The

FAITH, FAMILY, FRENZY! SERIES

FAITH… FAMILY… FRENZY!

Life in rural small town can dull the senses. A trio of gal pals—mired in middle age, Middle America, and other people’s problems—long to escape.

When Bonnie wins the Boffo Lotto, her circle of friends urge her to lawyer up, invest, and sequester herself.

But secrets are inconceivable in small towns, so Bonnie and Carl invite close friends to witness their Vegas wedding and honeymoon in Hawaii with endless vagabond beyond. The sky’s the limit!

The allure of travel is fun for a while—hilarious, in fact.

When the husbands are jailed, wanderlust is no longer a romp and things get complicated when you’re halfway round the world, untethered from all you know and love.

Life has its consequences… and there’s no place like home.

Nine months after their comically abbreviated RV road trip, detailed in the award-winning book, STASHES, the Breeden family farm routines have stabilized: Jackie returned to her high school cafeteria job and their only son, Brandon, works alongside his father, Steve, in the family micro-dairy. But then an outsider arrives, claiming to be kin, and HASHES & BASHES begin.

Steve was already perturbed with the brother he has when Carl Edwards strides onto the farm. David Breeden, who lives nearby, is not a bastard but always acted like one. Carl, a charismatic Californian, may be a bastard, but doesn’t act like one…Yet Carl rocks the entire small Midwestern farming community, including a lively cast of characters who assault Steve’s calm-against-chaos pattern in this humorous family saga.

Jackie and Steve Breeden, Baby Boomer parents, have built a solid, idyllic life on a small Midwestern farm. Aching body parts remind them that they are not getting any younger, and neither are their dreams. They long to get their lives on the road like their hero, the late Charles Kuralt.

Opportunity arrives when their married son loses his job – and home to foreclosure. They become reverse empty nesters, and buy a Winnebago to cut loose and explore America.

Son Brandon, and his ambitiously conniving wife Amy, embody their generation’s prevailing sense of entitlement. Before the older couple departs, Amy embellishes the micro-dairy business by growing and selling marijuana edibles, dragging Jackie into the scheme. As the local bank vice president, Amy secretly increases the amount of the Home Equity Line of Credit that financed the Winnebago.

Oops – adventures and adversities ensue.

Books in The

BOOK ONE IN THE “I AM …” SERIES

I call my short story fiction genre “loose with the truth” because there is always, always, always a kernel of truth in the fiction I flash. Some members of my writers’ groups have become confused after they read one of my short stories, certain it was a personal essay despite my disclaimer.
Some have begun to weep because of strong emotion evoked by a tale of visiting a doctor. No one believes that a single picture can sprout a short story with a powerful dynamic. My fiction is often more believable than the non-fiction within my tale. As the famed author, Robert Crais, says, “I’m just making sh** up”— and, to some people, it resounds.
I guess that makes me a story-teller, a talent that has evolved. I never fibbed when I was a kid. Did you?
Some stories are powered by a rant or a personal pet peeve or an encounter that perplexed me. One of these grew into a book, compelled by a need to tell more, to show more, and to create. My opinions have long been submerged due to polite rules of culture, especially when raised in the ’50s in the Midwest. Every Boomer-aged woman I know can recite, in the same sing-song tone: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
I relaxed into this mantle of overt story-telling when I heard Fannie Flagg mention the same manner of upbringing in the South. She confessed to maintaining a rich inner dialogue—studded with sarcasm and sass-back—through life when hemmed in by polite politics of discourse. And, she mined this terrain to produce stories, her vision, her point of view, often hilarious, always cohesive, always whip-cracking smart with insights. And, a catalog of best-selling books. She is my icon for “slice of life” tales.
I’ve exorcized demons, retorted in print to people who’ve been unkind, and changed my point of view with writing as an algorithm for life. I’ve gained empathy, deepened my resistance, and resolved problems that will never resolve in real life.
I write to learn what I’m thinking rather than remain locked in my feelings. Sometimes I even write to process feelings. I write to feel less insecure.
I can’t, couldn’t, won’t imagine life without the ability to write. I think I’d go crazy . . . or else suffer emotional death. A kibosh of monumental proportion on my spunky spirit.

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My Journal

PJ writes funny! Follow along on some romping good fun! You’ll be glad you did!

The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

One of the best, and most blatantly direct writers of the 21st century, James Baldwin interpreted this line to mean that if we fail to solve the issue of racial inequality, we (or God) will bring a destructive fire upon our civilization. The current swarms of fires up-down the west coast suggest the time is now.

Envy is the Source of All Evil

Envy is the Source of All Evil

I've written about envy several times in the past. I selected one I wrote four years ago because it showcases some phrases from Aussie slang that I cherish. https://www.pjcolando.com/2016/02/ While some say the love of money is the source of all evil, in my earthly...

Never Fear – Support is Here!

Never Fear – Support is Here!

Insecure Welcome to the Insecure Writers Support Blog Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for...

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PJ Colando

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