Holly Hobbie’s GEM truly lives up to its title. After a long winter, a toad emerges to greet the blossoming spring, though he soon meets a little girl who’d like to keep him as a pet. In a nearly wordless treatment, Hobbie’s masterful watercolors depict the delicacy of Gem’s environment in this celebration of survival and renewal.
Mike Duran was a finalist in Faith in Fiction’s inaugural short story contest and was chosen as one of ten authors to be published in Infuze Magazine’s 2005 print anthology. He is author of the short story “En Route to Inferno,” which appeared in Coach’s Midnight Diner: Back from the Dead edition, and received the Editor’s Choice award for his creative nonfiction essay titled “The Ark,” published in the Summer 2.3 Issue of Relief Journal. In between blogs, he also writes a monthly column for Novel Journey and has served as editor on the Midnight Diner’s editorial team. Duran is an ordained minister and lives with his wife and four grown children in Southern California.