Saxifrage & Starshine is a collection of five short stories. They chronicle everything from exotic extracurriculars in the Pacific Northwest to the daily grind in a Nebraskan tech company. With twists and turns, bounding from one adventure to the next, only one thing is certain: It’s going to be a fun ride.

* In “Saxifrage & Starshine,” elves battle goblins in Portland’s Forest Park.
* In “Agile Ninja Rockstar,” a hyperbolic job posting attracts a very diverse crowd of applicants.
* In “Tooth and Nail,” a father’s school board campaign goes cockeyed when he takes his middle school daughter’s advice.
* In “Hip Hop Goes a-Courting,” a high school student and her avian sidekick unravel a magical mystery at Kaine Academy while trying to steer clear of awkward romance.
* In “When Kings Go Out to War,” a young scribe in ancient Jerusalem faces vipers, bandits, and his own ignorance on the dusty road to Jericho.

With a sly wit and a rollicking, cinematic style, Saxifrage and Starshine traverses a universe in which the workaday world of delinquent students and bored cubicle drones is a mere hairs-breadth away from the otherworldly and fantastical. Whether it’s a city park revealing its true nature, wild and untamed, or a young man discovering that his best self is revealed through brave and faithful deeds, not pretty words, nothing is quite as it seems.

— Jane Ridgeway, author of “Peredelkino”

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