Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012!!!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Consoling Angel, a YA Short Story, Time Travel/Romance
Mira did not know what she had in store the day she fell asleep while wanting to escape her current situation. Overcoming the death of someone close and burying herself in school and an internship has kept her somewhat awake and alive. An admiration for the actor James Dean was all that kept the memory of her father alive. If she couldn’t be with her father, she could at least remember what they shared. She always wanted to meet James Dean. Be careful what you wish for. It may just come true.
Consoling Angel Excerpt:
My life couldn’t be more complete. As we reached the apartments, I slowly got off the bike, surprised at myself that I had done this. Ordinarily, I’d never get on a motorcycle. James leaned over and caressed my cheek. Before I could open my mouth to tell him what was to happen to him, he gave me a quick peck on the lips. I couldn’t let James walk away, not now.
Something in me grasped his wrist; my breath caught in my throat. I no longer cared about the rain. I must have looked like a drowned rat to him. “I have to tell you something,” I blurted as I waited for his reaction.
James smiled, then chuckled as he caressed my face. The rain was preventing me from seeing clearly. “Sweetheart, it’s raining and you’re soaked. I hope this is important.” Pulling him toward me, I faced him. I could change history. I could have him live out his life as he was meant to. If I couldn’t save my father, I could save him.
“In the future, when you become famous, please be careful. Remember this: there will be a day that you are off to a race. You will not see a car until it’s too late. James, please promise me. It could mean your life.” I must have sounded like a complete and total idiot to him. Geez! I think I watched Back To The Future too many times. I sounded like Marty talking to the professor about his impending death.
Chuckling, he shook his head, expelling the rain off his head and onto me. Laughter erupted between us as I covered my face. He then cupped my face, kissed my forehead. “Are you sure you’re not an angel? I cannot promise anything, but baby, I can promise I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ll pick you up here and you can ditch your responsibilities. Ride with me.”
Sighing, now I knew how all those girls felt when they looked at him. What an offer that would be. Ditch school to ride with the man who was loved by so many. I was determined he’d listen to me. Gripping his hands from my face, I gazed into his eyes. “I’m serious!”
Before I could utter another word, his lips descended on mine. My body went toward him and melted. I couldn’t help but respond as I brought him closer. I was lost in his warm lips as they caressed mine. Lingering near my lips, he breathed, “I know you are.” Then, winking as he kissed me again, smiling that beautiful smile of his, “How else can my angel guard me if she isn’t with me?”
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Robbed of her husband by the arrows of assassins, Tia must flee to the Northern Prince who has always wanted her. But the price of Hilgi’s protection is too high. Separated from her land and her Goddess, can Tia find a way to return to them…and to a love that may redeem her?
Light flooded through the opening. Hilgi’s tread was heavy upon the stone floor; he was a big man. He looked just as I had seen him some months earlier. He still wore the circlet of a Northern prince, the gold armbands of a Chieftain’s son, and his Havacian battle axe strapped to his chest. His furious expression was the same, as well. So he had looked the day he clove our mutual enemy King Edred of Tumagia in twain with that axe or its twin.
“What have they done to you?” he asked in Omani. It was the only language we had in common. But I did not care to speak on that day and I was the Queen and could do as I liked, so I kept silence.
“What have they not done to you?” he demanded again, wrenching open the drapes. I flinched as he sank into a knee-bend beside my chair, taking my chin firmly inhis big hand and looking into my face. “When did you last eat, Tia? You look like death!”
I made no reply and he backhanded me. I blinked.
“That’s the first one,” he said. “Every time you ignore me, you’ll get another.” I was more shocked than hurt and the hot seep of rage began to fill me like water soaking through a sponge. “Bad enough I was beaten by King Edred and a slave dealer in Omana…but you?”
“That’s better.” Tipping me forward to wrap the quilt from my bed around me, he lifted me, effortlessly. The world spun when he changed my position and I clutched him in panic as he bore me from that chamber, pausing only to kick my chair across the room so hard I could hear the solid oak splinter like kindling.
“That was a perfectly good chair,” I objected.
“I’ll make you another.”
In the hallway, Alcinic guards were deep in conversation with some of Hilgi’s Ancient Order fighters--men feared throughout the world for their habit of cutting out their enemies’ hearts still beating.
“No crying, little Tia,” Hilgi said softly. “If you want your men to live, be silent.”
I was weak from starvation, grief and near-madness and it took me a few moments to realize that Hilgi and his men had not come from the last fighting in Tumagia to pay honor to my dead husband. They had come for me.
That is why the Prince of Havacia carried me like a doll into pounding surf to one of the oiled leather skiffs Havacians used for passengers. Other craft would not attempt to come past the offshore island called Lady’s Weeping for its habit of causing wrecks, but the red and white striped sails of King Maruk’s fleet bobbed there on a fierce undertow and men took me speedily to Hilgi’s ship, the Boar’s Head. Ships of the Ancient Order--their macabre prows carved in the shape of gods and demons--surrounded it, but only skeleton crews were aboard. The other men who had sailed with Hilgi held my soldiers at swords’ point while their Prince absconded with me.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
For those who enjoy a tale about Native Americans, I'm pleased to introduce a new book by author Melinda Elmore.
Archeologist DeShay Graywater finds much more than she is looking for while on a dig on Lakota Sioux land. When detective TJ Hawke and FBI agent Melina Wolfe team up to investigate the murder of a young Sioux woman, much more than the case, and their shared past, present problems.
Native American culture, adventure, and mystery are artfully combined in Blood On The Feather by author Melinda Elmore to make this an edge-of-your-seat, heart-pounding romantic thriller!
Enjoy a visit at Dancing with Bear Publishing as you click the link above.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Today I have a chance to chat with author Smoky Trudeau Zeidel. We have already "met" via emails which began when I realized we had a common interest in the Chesapeake Bay. Smoky is a new-to-me author, but I like what I read. See what you think!
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised on the flat plains of Illinois, and lived there the first fifty-two years of my life. But I always longed to live near the mountains and ocean, so three years ago, I sold my house and most of my belongings, packed up my daughter, my dog, two cats, and a guinea pig, and headed to Southern California. I didn’t even have a place to live!
It turned out to be a good move. Three months later I met Scott, and we married the next year. I found my husband and soul mate because I took a big risk.
What inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. I loved the book Harriet the Spy, and that inspired me to start writing things down. I’ve kept journals, written poetry, and just noodled around ever since.
I began my writing career shortly after I was struck by lightning and nearly killed. My body was severely injured (I’m still feeling the after effects 22 years later), but my mind worked just fine. I answered an ad in my local newspaper for freelance feature writers. Freelancing was a perfect job for me, because I could work when I felt well, and decline assignments when I was not well. But I always wanted to write books; after my first one was published, I never wrote another feature article.
Do you find that your muse takes over when you write?
Absolutely. I think it is very important for a writer to let their characters lead them in telling their story, and that can’t happen if you write by a strict outline. If you let your muse take over, your story will ring much truer.
Do you have any works in progress that you want to share?
I’m working on two novels right now, The Storyteller’s Bracelet and The Madam of Bodie. I don’t really like to talks about my WIPs until after they are complete. I guess I’m superstitious; I feel like if I talk about them, I’ll tick off my muse!
What would be your advice to aspiring writers out there?
First, study your craft. People tend to think they can just decide to write a book and sit down to write one. But writing a book is an art, just like playing the piano and painting a masterpiece are art forms. Yo-Yo Ma didn’t sit down at the cello one day and decide to play, and produce exquisite music. Picasso didn’t decide one day to paint and produce The Guitarist. They studied their craft. Writers need to do that, too.
Second, get your book professionally edited. I’ve seen so many books full of errors because writers had their Aunt Frieda or their next-door neighbor edit for them, even though neither had a bit of editing experience. Editors know things your aunt and your neighbor don’t know about what a good manuscript looks like. They can find mistakes you probably didn’t even know were mistakes. Don’t skimp on this step.
Third, don’t give up just because your book isn’t accepted at first. I used to tell my students, publishing a book is like running into a wall at full speed. When you hit that wall, you knock yourself out and bloody your nose in the process. But if you pick yourself up, wipe the blood from your face, and say, “Gee, that felt good! I think I’ll do it again!” you’ll eventually knock that wall down. The same goes for getting your book published. If you’ve studied your craft and had your book professionally edited, and if, of course, your story is any good, you will find a publisher.
What are your favorite books at the moment?
Well, I’m partial to my own books, of course. But from other writers? Death With Interruptions by Jose Saramago is my favorite book of all time. It’s a tough read, but very worthwhile. Snakes, by Patricia Damery, was a wonderful read. I just finished Malcolm R. Campbell’s fantasy adventure, Sarabande, and loved it. Also Appalachian Justice, by Melinda Clayton, was a fabulous read. In the interest of full disclosure, those last two titles are from my own publisher, Vanilla Heart, but I would have wanted to read them no matter who published them.
What is your favorite word? Least favorite?
Quirky! I love quirky, because that’s what I am. Least favorite word? Hmmm, don’t think I have one. Words are my life. There are no bad words; there are only bad ways of using words.
About My Book:
My latest novel release is On the Choptank Shores, a love story. The love between a young wife (Grace) and her decidedly middle-aged husband (Otto), and the love of a big sister for her abused baby sister (Miriam). It is the story of the love for an aging, grief-stricken father (Luther) who is spiraling into a dark world of insanity, and the love of a kind and benevolent God whom Grace knows must exist, despite the crazed ravings of her father, who paints a picture of a vengeful, angry God as he spouts biblical verse to defend his abuse of both Grace and little Miriam. It is a story of the land on which they live, and the power of Mother Nature. Most of all, it is a story of love conquering all.
The tragic deaths of her mother and two younger siblings have left Grace Harmon responsible for raising her sister Miriam and protecting them from their abusive father, Luther, a zealot preacher with a penchant for speaking in Biblical verse who is on a downward spiral toward insanity.
Otto Singer charms Grace with his gentle courtship and devotion to his brother, Henry, but is unable to share with Grace the terrible secret he has kept more than twenty years.
Luther’s insane ravings and increasingly violent behavior force Grace to question everything she every knew or believed in. Then, tragedy strikes just when Otto’s secret is uncovered, unleashing demons that threaten to destroy the entire family. Can Grace find the strength to save her sister … her husband … them all?
My main Website and blog. “Smoky Talks…” is at www.SmokyZeidel.Wordpress.com. Here you’ll find more information about all of my books, my editing services, and links to my other blogs, “Smoky Talks Books” (book reviews), “Smoky Talks Authors” (author interview), and “Observations of an Earth Mage (reflections on nature).
My Facebook author page can be found at www.Facebook.com/Smoky.Zeidel.Writes. Please, stop by and “like” my page!
I’m on Twitter, @SmokyZeidel. If you friend me, I’ll friend you back. I also retweet frequently.
My Goodreads Author Page can be found here: http://bit.ly/pGXAXq
My Amazon Author Page can be found here:
My Smashwords Author Page can be found here: http://bit.ly/qan6Nx
Or, you can Google me. I’m very scattered on the Internet! But what would you expect from a person who describes herself as quirky?
Thank you for this fabulous interview! If you post a comment here, then like my Facebook Author Page (link above), I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a free pdf copy of one of my short stories!
Thanks, Smoky, for this interview today. I'd like to end with the book cover. I love its portrayal of land along the shores of the Choptank River where my parents spent so much time when they were first married. Best of luck with your books!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Today I'm excited to have material from a new release by romantic suspense author Heide Katros.
"Kiss Me Goodbye" continues the story of Nick and Stephanie which began in "Judas Kiss." For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of reading "Judas Kiss," I'll try to summarize:
The promise is simple. If Nick Andropov is willing to risk his life on a suicide mission to Afghanistan, he'll be guaranteed a new identity and U.S. citizenship. For Stephanie's sake, Nick is willing to do anything. Stephanie has no idea that Nick is training covertly for the impending mission until the morning he gets his marching orders. Shocked by that unexpected news, she is too angry to even kiss him goodbye one last time. While Nick dodges enemy fire along the mountain ranges of Afghanistan, Stephanie fights her own battles at home. She is stalked by someone who seems to know her every move. The moment Stephanie is notified that Nick died in a helicopter crash, the stalker abruptly ceases to harass her. But Stephanie is unwilling to believe that Nick is dead. During his life, he was a master at subterfuge. She begins to investigate his death and stumbles across a horrendous secret. Her discovery will do monumental international harm, and those behind it have no intention of letting Stephanie live to tell about it.
Holding both hands palms up in submission, he shook his head in denial. “Steffi, I am sorry. I know that sounds lame after all we’ve been through together. I love you. I knew it the minute I met you. I really thought I’d have more time to prepare you for this. The suddenness of the orders took me off guard. Please, don’t hate me. Give me some hope to take with me into combat.”
“You are going into combat?” Alarm turned her voice into a squeak.
“Yes, that’s what I’ve trained for these past two months. It would be suicide to venture into enemy territory without being able to defend yourself.” It was a suicide mission, but he couldn’t tell her that.
Enemy territory? It sounded so ominous. “When … when did you prepare for all this?” Pressing a hand to her lips, her eyes widened with dread. “God, where are you going?”
His gaze slid away from hers. “Most times I trained while you were at work, but sometimes I snuck out after you were asleep. It seemed fitting since we’ll be moving mostly during the nights. I learned to get along on little sleep. And I’m sorry I can’t tell you where I’ll be headed. I don’t really know myself yet.”
He dragged her back into his arms, tried to kiss her, but she twisted away and his mouth grazed her jaw line instead. Her rejection hit him with the force of a sledgehammer, but he didn’t let on. Instead, he held her close and rubbed his lips along the side of her face, loving the softness of her skin. “Please, believe me, Steffi. I didn’t mean to deceive you. I meant to tell you sooner, I just couldn’t.” It was the truth. The patriot in him told him he was doing the right thing. The lover wanted to hold on to her forever.