Press Release


Michael Just, Author
Post Office Box 726
Mancos, CO 81328

Home – Short Stories from the Grand Canyon – By Michael Just
Mancos, CO/ December 1, 2009


Zumaya Publications announces the publication of Canyon Calls, a collection of short stories about the Grand Canyon. A first of its kind, Canyon Calls, by author Michael Just, contains short fiction in the genres of murder-mystery, suspense, romance and humor. Zumaya Publications, a non-subsidy publisher located in Austin, Texas, is pleased to announce this contribution by first-time author, Just.

What weaves these sometimes funny and sometimes suspenseful stories together is the sense of the eternal a traveler often feels when confronted with the the Grand Canyon. Through its humorous yet adventurous tone, Canyon Calls explores what happens when mismatched characters are thrown together in the harsh environment of the Grand Canyon. The comedic juxtaposition of mismatched characters and the metaphor of an endurance-testing natural journey are enduring refrains.

Kathleen Anne Fleming, author of The Jazz Age Murders, The Demands of the Dead, and One Impulsive Black Rose, writes this about Canyon Calls:

“Powerful and well-written. An unusual mix of mysticism, majesty, violence, introspective narrative and intensity. Filled with great character studies that provide unique insight, the characters are well drawn and offer fascinating studies in relationship.”

Though Canyon Calls has its share of profound moments, the author goes to great pains not to take his audience too seriously. Much natural fiction writing today intimidates the reader with technical jargon or hard-to-reach theories. Just has drawn his characters and his themes in an all-too-human way that puts the audience at ease. Although often educational, the prose does not feel pedantic. And so the book can reach young adult audiences as well as those with more seasoned sensibilities. This approach has the advantage of introducing the joys of nature and our National Park system to a new generation of readers.

The collection is also accessible. Author Just has made a conscious attempt to intersperse his narratives with everyday experiences that each of us can walk into. Most of his characters are non-experts who get plunged into a Grand Canyon experience beyond their depth. The stories are peopled with characters as diverse as the flora and fauna within the National Park itself. The ironic juxtaposition of fish-out-of-water-characters thrown together from different ends of the earth, untried and often inexperienced, undergo their trial by ordeal in the Grand, and either live or die by it.

The wide-ranging subject matter, experiences, locales and perspectives taken in Canyon Calls means that it contains something for everyone. Its eclectic nature broadens its appeal to armchair adventurers who may be exploring the Canyon from thousands of miles removed. The plenitude of perspectives is sure to lure readers to pick it from a title list and, well, to read on.

Perhaps most important, Canyon Calls inspires. This collection of stories should leave readers feeling as if they tapped into the deepest parts of themselves. Almost every story contains morsels of hope, courage and love to nourish the human condition. As the characters they read about often undergo deep transformation, readers should close the cover feeling as if they’ve been transformed as well.

Canyon Calls
Fiction/Short Stories
Zumaya Publications
Imprint: Zumaya Boundless
ISBN 978-1-934841-68-6

For additional information or a sample copy, contact:

Elizabeth Burton
Zumaya Publications or
3209 S. IH 35, Suite 1086, Austin, Texas 78741-6905
(512) 402-5298
Fax (253) 660-2009