Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happiness Guaranteed by Wendy Laharnar

Back Cover:

Bianca, a beautiful Epicurean Supremo from a privileged futuristic society has a flaw which, if discovered and reported to the Rulers, will threaten her life and that of the man she loves. Unable to pinpoint the cause she tries to hide her anxiety until an ingenious birthday present from her husband provides a respite. Now, on her thirty-third birthday, her primitive behaviour and thought patterns return; stronger and more dangerous.


Bianca’s bed swayed in gentle rhythm with her floating condominium. Smiling, she opened her eyes and reached across the white expanse for Derek. He wasn’t there. Damn. She’d overslept; very out of character. What if he noticed? No. He’ll return soon and find me on the balcony exactly where he expects me to be, especially today.

She rolled onto her back, stealing a few extra minutes in bed and glanced up at the domed ceiling high above her: Derek’s masterpiece. The wide, stained glass panels let shafts of coloured light sprinkle life into her sterile world. She watched the lazy sunbeams paint murals on the milky walls. They tinselled the buckles on the two pairs of shoes and spotlighted the confusion of clothes on a moulded chair.

Flinging back the covers, she stretched, letting the sun energize her skin. “What a glorious morning,” she murmured. Only Penthouse Dwellers, like Derek and herself attained this privilege. According to Derek, sunlight symbolized their status. For a moment she revelled in true contentment.

An image of her grandfather snuck into her mind. He’d told her of a time when sunlight shone on everyone, but he’d been a storyteller, a bad influence. On her seventh birthday her parents forbade her to visit him any more, and placed him out-of-bounds. Years later she heard he’d died.

Her happiness shrivelled. “Unimportant.” She scowled, jumped out of bed and slipped into clear, tensile slippers. A filigree tunic lay on the floor where she let it fall the night before. She picked it up, grabbed yesterday’s clothes off the chair, hurried to the primping room and dropped them all down the trash-chute. “There!” She stabbed her finger on the Restyle button.

With her fingertips, she massaged her cheeks and studied herself in the mirror. Thirty-three, today. No obvious flaws, not yet, apart from that one little glitch Derek inadvertently fixed last birthday.


Bianca lives in a society in which happiness is required and unhappiness is considered a flaw.  If the Rulers ever knew she experienced even the most fleeting feelings of unhappiness, they would scrap her and start over.  And they would probably scrap her husband, Derek as well, not believing she could hide such feelings from him, despite the fact that she takes great pains to do so.  After all, they’re genetically perfect Epicurean Supremos.  They live in a penthouse with a stained-glass skylight and a balcony where they can bask in the sun and watch the cars whiz by on the accident-free highway.

But her grandfather told her of a time when the sun shone on everyone, and people lived on the ground amongst trees, and had babies just because they wanted to, and not because the geneticists said they could have a child designed in a test-tube…  And she dreamed of a woman with a baby.  Could it be her?  Why would she want to live among trees and carry a baby on her back when she already had the ideal life?  Why couldn’t she suppress these dreams?  And how could she keep Derek from finding out?

I highly recommend this thought-provoking, yet very entertaining short story.

Length:  25 Pages

Price:  $2.50

You’ll notice I always include the publisher’s buy link.  That’s because authors usually receive 40% of the book price from the publisher.  Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%.  When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left.  So, if this book costs $2.50 at Secret Cravings and you buy from there, the author will receive about $1.00.  If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $0.30.

Downloading the file from your computer to your Kindle is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive.  Plug the USB end of your chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from your “Downloads” box to your Kindle/Documents/Books directory.  I actually download my books using “Save As” to a “Books” file on my computer that’s sorted by my publisher, friends, and books “to review,” and then transfer them to my Kindle from there.  That way, if there’s a glitch with my Kindle, the books are on my computer.  Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

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