"A must for every Key West collection!"
—David Sloan, author, producer, & publisher of Phantom Press
This Key West coffee table book is a handsome, linen-bound volume with thirty full-color paintings by a local artist paired with twelve short stories inspired by the continental US's southernmost point.
A new Southern voice, Vicki Riley captures the essence of Key West with prodigious prose, vivid characters, and provocative stories. Weaving fictional people and real places, Riley's story collection explores themes of LGBTQ, boundaries, betrayal, breaking points, love, loss, guilt, grief, redemption, and hope. Vibrant paintings by Linda Cabrera complement the stories, creating a cherished keepsake and conversation piece.
The bold fusion of genres creates an enticing experience for readers who may find themselves imagining what it would be like living at the end of the road on the two-by-four-mile Cayo Hueso (or Bone Island), referring to the bones of the Calusa who once lived in the Keys.
Vicki Riley is an award-winning writer recognized by the Royal Palm Literary Awards and Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. She grew up in Key West and is a member of the Key West Writers Guild. Vicki's past writing and teaching experience includes leading a Florida Writers Association (FWA) writing and critique group for over a decade and a career as a high school educator specializing in British and American literature, TV production, cinematography, and creative writing. She founded her school's first literary magazine, Visions.
Linda Cabrera's work is a detailed combination of realism and folk art, showing the laid-back and colorful island life in which she was raised. She strives to add energy to her paintings by including people, animals, and birds that are all a part of her Conch upbringing. She endeavors to portray not only her life as a child growing up in Key West, but also the island as it exists today through the eyes of the many people who visit throughout the year. Her greatest joy is realized when someone views her art and tells her of their own special memories. She considers it an honor to be a part of someone's story. Her paintings are not just places, people, or things; they are memories of a simpler time and places in her heart.
"What a treat to the senses Cayo Hueso is! Working with the delightful elements that Key West's unique life and history inspire, Vicki Riley serves up a panoply of twelve short stories about life at the end of the road, tales that will resonate with everyone. Complementing her rich, clear prose are the charming, stylish paintings by Linda Cabrera. This volume will awaken appreciation for the sometimes strange, but always desirable, Key West as few other books about 'the rock' can. This is a book to be cherished." - Joanna Brady, author of The Woman at the Light
"A must for every Key West collection. Cayo Hueso captures the true Conch spirit of Key West." - David Sloan, author, producer, and publisher of Phantom Press
"Two Conchs offer a loving and vivid homage to Cayo Hueso through their art and fiction. Both endearing and entertaining for fellow Conchs and for Keys devotees as well." - David Beckwith, critic and author of A New Day in the Delta
"Vicki Riley and Linda Cabrera are both that rarity in our transient community that we call a Conch. Vicki's literary interests gravitate to the human heart, its struggle, and her love affair with Key West. Linda Cabrera's work is a detailed combination of realism and folk art that brings to life the laid back and colorful Key West island lifestyle that she was raised in. Cayo Hueso combines Cabera's paintings with Riley's prose and poetry and packages both beautifully!" - Key West Citizen Review