Friday, February 3, 2017

"Unexpected" by P. F. Citizen One

Short Stories from Around the World
by P. F. Citizen One

Unexpected by P. F. Citizen One is currently on tour with Providence Book Promotions. You can get your copy for only $0.99. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

A series of short, true life stories, which are the product of the travels and observations of one man. The stories are a miscellaneous collection of the funny and sad, of tragedy, love and friendship. And they are all, in a way, unexpected.
Unexpected takes you on a journey from a Brazilian working on the oil rigs of Venezuela, who gets the shock of his life, to the uplifting story of a Chinese beggar living on the streets, entertaining passers-by with his songs and surviving through the mercy and kindness of others.
There is a story for each of us in this book. Each one is subtly different and each carries either a message of hope for lost, or of caution for the unwary.
Unexpected is just that. Just as life is and just as the course of our lives run, at times unexpectedly.

Excerpt from "The Wedding Contract"
Julie’s parents were concerned. Julie was a single child from a pretty wealthy family with many properties and stores. So, her parents, her family, and her friends convinced her to protect herself by writing a prenup agreement. Should they get divorced, Julie would keep all her family’s belongings. All her entourage pressured her so much that Julie finally arrived at the idea that it was necessary to sign a prenup.
Jean-Pierre didn’t accept it at first, but in the end, he had no choice: Was it worth losing the woman he considered to be his soulmate?
Jean-Pierre and Julie finally got married and had two gorgeous daughters. But Jean-Pierre was still a little bit sad. After all, if they insisted on a contract, it was because her family didn’t completely trust him.
Jean-Pierre had been writing for a few years, and he had written many books. He was also working as a French teacher to get some additional revenue. However, he decided to stop writing to become a full-time teacher and contribute more to the family expenses.
He threw himself into his work as a teacher. One day, as Julie was watching television, she saw that the press was looking for the anonymous author of three books. From their description of the writing, she immediately recognized her husband’s style. After he was identified as the author of these books, he was given royalties for the book sales.
Jean-Pierre soon became very rich and famous, so much so that Julie (and, indeed, the press) was now waiting for the day when Jean-Pierre would cheat on her. She expected that he would eventually divorce her to marry another girl - probably an actress or a model or simply a younger woman. He was now famous and powerful, far richer than his wife and her entire family.
Rumors of cheating grew more and more persistent. The rumors said that Jean-Pierre would ask for a divorce and that he was getting ready for another wedding.
During a press conference, Jean-Pierre was asked about the rumors. He answered that he would act like a man and not hide anything anymore. In front of everyone, he told his wife:
"Honey, since the very first time I met you, I loved you more than I loved any other woman. Then, we got married and had two wonderful girls. I love them so much Over the years, I always thought about ... that prenuptial agreement I had to sign because I was poor. Today, I am very rich ... I am sorry, honey, but I am announcing ...
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"This is an extremely short book that I read in a matter of about an hour. All of the stories were about people the author has met along the way in his life. Each story ended in a way I did not see coming! It makes you think though about how you interact with each and every person you meet along the way in life. You never know how you will make an impact on a person." ~ Gina
"Fast read of short stories of people the author meets during a period of time, fun read with sometimes ending you don't see coming. Great way of telling stories love the writing style, a trip trough different cultures, nice present too. [...] I enjoyed it." ~ Niki. Mattes
"Interesting word-journey through geography, cultures in recent times. The refreshing writing and surprising stories catches one attention and make it a good and flash read." ~ Cris
"Short and interesting stories. Easy to read!" ~ Amazon Customer
"I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest for short stories of any type. There's humour, sadness, comedy all captured here." ~ Javed Samnadda

My Review
Unexpected is a collection of seven (very) short stories featuring characters from around the world that the author met during his travels as a petroleum engineer. Each story concludes with an unexpected ending.
In "João Silva Oliveira, the Brazilian Guy" a Brazilian engineer working on an oil platform in West Argentina invites the author to be the best man at his wedding in Brazil. João thinks he fiancée might be cheating on him, but the reality is even more shocking.
In "Chelsea, Miss Ohio" Gustave, a French student, meets Chelsea in a night club in Paris and falls in love. But does Chelsea have an ulterior motive?
In "Adios" Henry has a bit too much to drink on New Year's Eve at a mining site in Pennsylvania, and a joke goes too far.
In "The Judge" Jason is convicted and sent to prison for sixteen months. But did he really commit the crime?
In "The Magic Biscuits" Juan gives Eduardo, a shy miner in south Peru, some "magic biscuits" to help him meet a woman.
In "The Wedding Contract" Jean-Pierre meets the perfect woman on the first day of college, but before they get married, her family demands a prenuptial agreement.
In "Li Fuang Zu, A Chinese Hero" find out how Li, an illegitimate child, becomes a town hero.
This is a collection of sad, bittersweet stories centering mainly on the themes of love and death. They are all very short and could probably be fleshed out more to get us a bit more invested in the characters before going for the final "twist". The copy I read contained numerous editing errors, especially considering the short length of the book.
Warnings: coarse language.

About the Author
P. F. Citizen One is a writer. He works as a petroleum engineer, which requires a lot of traveling to different countries, and he uses the situations and varied people he has come across as an inspiration for his great love of writing. His interest in travel has meant that he has picked up some useful languages along the way, and he is now fluent in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and German, allowing him to go just about anywhere and still be understood. Most of the time. He lists his great fear as ''being stranded alone on a desert island'' and, as a result, he avoids traveling by boat whenever he can.
P. F. Citizen One’s new book, Unexpected, was published October 2016 and is a book of short stories, inspired by his travels throughout the world and the people he has met.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three $15 Amazon gift cards (US only) or one of two ebook copies of Unexpected by P. F. Citizen One (US only).