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BLOSSOMS AND BLOOD by Mark SaFranko
MSP BOOK #035 / 110 PAGES

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"What I did understand was that what I was doing was wrong -- A MORTAL SIN. During the Sunday sermons the priests had warned us repeatedly about our privates, even so much as thinking about them. In class the nuns hinted at the same thing. What we learned from the Baltimore Catechism was that 'self-gratification,' whatever that meant, exactly, was a sin against the sixth commandment, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery,' and the tenth commandment, 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.' It was in fact, one of the deadly, cardinal sins: LUST. I tried with all my strength to not give in to temptation, but failed again and again.
"This went to prove that I was weak..."

[Mark SaFranko, Blossoms and Blood]

Foreshadowing the turmoil of Hating Olivia and set during the opening half of God Bless America, Max Zajack is in love with the wrong female yet again. This time, however, he's only twelve years old and he has to contend with the additional challenges of confrontational parents, Catholic guilt and the looming threat of adulthood.

Blossoms and Blood is the seventh of Mark SaFranko's series of Max Zajack books, and his eighth book on Murder Slim Press. Here, we see Max torn apart by both desire and fear for the future... prenominitions of his future troubles.

The book is introduced by Tom Buron (Le Blues du 21e Siècle), who acknowledges SaFranko's own heart-rending adolescent blues: "Every kid feels it, every kid knows it, so the story shakes us and sends us straight back into the arms of an irreversible nostalgia - and that’s why Mark SaFranko is a great American writer."