The Joy of Deception


by Gretchen Johnson

Gretchen Johnson presents characters you will care about and remember. Among them are a widow reluctantly starting a new life, a young woman who basks in the thrill of unhealthy decisions and runs from the monotony of security, a sex offender who flees town after he is discovered, a slushie machine repairman who knows his work is as important as that of any doctor, and many other people whose flaws, fine points, and idiosyncrasies will grab your attention and keep you turning pages.

"Johnson understands small towns are big stages. In The Joy of Deception, she shows us in well-crafted short stories the odd, the bored, and the trapped. As one of her characters says about a mop that absorbs all the water in a swimming pool, they 'wish for that kind of magic' in their lives, and they wait for another life to begin, hoping renewal stands in the wings. Their moments of truth, great beauty, and disappointment seep from the pages." —Jennifer Ravey,

Order from any bookstore, local or online. This title is also available from Fleur Fine Books of Galveston, Texas. 

About the Author


Gretchen Johnson lives in Beaumont, Texas, and is Associate Professor of English at Lamar University. She earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from Southwest Minnesota State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University. Her short stories and poems have appeared in The Blue Bear ReviewThe Meridian Anthology of Contemporary PoetryPoetry HarborSpout Press, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and others. Her first novel, Single in Southeast Texas, was published by Golden Antelope Press in 2017, and the same press published her second novel, Young Again, in 2021. Johnson has a third novel forthcoming in 2023.