Romance Reviews

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Crimson Romance

Crimson Romance
For the best in romance, from sweet to naughty!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Liam's Perfect Woman by Beth Kery

Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 224

Released: July 19, 2011

From the Cover:

The moment Liam Kavanaugh first glimpsed the exotic beauty dancing across a moonlit beach, he was smitten. But he was in for the surprise of his life when she turned out to be Natalie Reyes! The big–city cop had returned to Harbor Town to be the chief of police. Instead, he was battling an intense attraction to the woman who was forcing him to confront his past…

The lone survivor of the crash that had destroyed their families, Natalie needed Liam's help to finally move past the tragedy that shattered her life. Yet the innocent beauty wasn't prepared for the passion that flared between them. And now her very future was in the hands of a man who just might be able to heal her heart with his loving touch… 

Natalie needs Liam's help. He's the only one who can find the answers, but he's also the reason she's lost her parents. And why she hides. Or at least that's what they've been led to believe. But, what if there's more to this mystery than meets the eye? What if the reasons are more than either can stand to hear?

When Liam sees the mystery woman dancing in the moonlight, he finds himself attracted, drawn, and yet, when he calls out, she runs away. Now, he's supposed to be taking over the police force in a few days when he gets a call from the last person he ever expects to hear from, Natalie. She wants his help, but he's afraid, he could damn his family even further.

But, how else is he going to find the answers to the question that are haunting them both?

Liam's Perfect Woman by Beth Kery is a fast read that grips your heart from the first pages. The accident that stripped Natalie's parents away, and left her permanently scarred, also ripped Liam's family apart. His father caused the accident. With his death and the ensuing lawsuit, his family loses everything. Now, the person who should hate him the most, needs his help. But, he's resistant, why open up all the pain and hurt again? Natalie makes him realize that they both need this, if they're going to find what they really need, answers. What sparks between them is more than either thought was possible, or needed.

Liam's Perfect Woman is an endearing story with characters that evolve to become stronger than they were, grow as the story unfolds, to become people that the reader cares about. Natalie's plight can only be made better by the person she's always been afraid to reach out to. Liam's unhealed wounds need to Natalie's hand, she's the only one who can understand his pain. Their families are an integral part of the story, secrets of the long forgotten past, and mysteries make this story hard to put down. I read it in one sitting. I've come to love Beth Kery's contemporary romances, and I'm not a typical reader of contemps. If you'd like to try a quick contemporary read, pick this one up. 4.5 out of 5 fairy kisses for this reader.

I received my book as a contest prize, though it was on my list for my next shopping trip :)  All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ruined by Kinley Baker

Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Pages: 282

(Released: July 16, 2011)

From the Cover:

Jessa is one healing away from death. Under the thrall of her gift, the Court's Senior Healer risks giving her life in exchange for her patient's.

Vale is a rebel ruler. When his brother is killed, he's given the throne and the decree from the Court to produce an heir or lose his family's hold on the land--and his deceiving advisors aren't afraid to use murder as a weapon if their directive to stay away from the Senior Healer goes unheeded.

But Vale burns to possess Jessa. The heat between them leaves a wake of smoke, and even the powerful forces above want to bind them in a union that lasts forever. Vale taking another would be a betrayal neither could survive.

Their enemies fear a child born of such a powerful Healer and Warrior, but the true threat lies in the bond forged in shadows and fused in fire.

Jessa has had her named besmirched all because she's a healer. Everyone in her village thinks she has given herself to Vale's brother, King Zander. She's tarnished, wanton, used. When Zander goes missing, she's called to confirm whether she can feel his life force even as it ebbs away. She can't save him if she can't touch him. Though her heart breaks with the loss of her friend, now she'll be forced into the service of his brother, Vale.

Vale believes the rumors, that Jessa uses sexual healing and has willingly given herself to his brother, Zander, and it burns into his soul. When he's forced into the Kingship, he stubs the young healer, thinking to replace her, but no one has her talent. When she saves his life, he realizes his mistake. Slowly, as he spends time with the healer, she reveals her secrets, and Vale comes to realize, he must have her for his own... and it is forbidden.

A race from a distant place crosses into their realm, hoping to find a home, but what they find is a woman, beaten and battered, something intolerable in their society. Instead, they find themselves forced into war not of their own making and just when King Vale's kingdom finds itself in near shambles.

Ruined by Kinley Baker is a fast, fun read with twists and turns, and there's not only a tortured hero, but a tortured heroine, each made for the other. Their people have learned to use the shadows, gifted. When Zander goes missing, Vale is forced to take his place, bringing Jessa and the rebel King together. Vale and Jessa are like coal and flame, and it takes but a spark to ignite their fire. But, even as they consummate their relationship, Vale discovers they can never be married, he must choose another. Though it goes against everything in his soul, he's forced to ask another to be his wife, someone he doesn't want and can't ever love, someone who is already in love with someone else. Crushed beyond reasoning, Jessa agrees to stay, but another problem arises, one she can't share with her lover, Vale, because he has vowed to marry another. Jessa has to make plans to escape his castle, and if she must, their kingdom. To watch Vale with another woman is beyond her capacity. When she recognizes that Vale's intended is pregnant, she knows the time to leave has come. There is evil brewing in the realm, ready to take Vale's place, and this evil is like nothing the realm has seen. Can Jessa live without the one person who stirs her blood? Can Vale understand that Jessa can't share his bed while he beds another? What will become of the love Jessa and Vale share?

Ruined is a great read, from the first pages of the book, I was rooting for the love shared between Jessa and Vale, even before he can understand and acknowledge their love. Jessa is an innocent wrongly accused. Vale is the misunderstood brother of the King, hoping to never have to fulfill his obligation. When these two come together, they share more than love, the ancients brand them, one for the other, a perfect match. Both choose to ignore this branding as law forbids Vale to marry any healer. Ruined is a story of lost love and hope, a love story that ignites the pages. It takes Jessa's disappearance for Vale to realize he can't live without her. Evil is brewing in their kingdom, waiting to take Vale's life and his kingdom. Ruined captured my heart as the two young lovers struggle to be together. Paranormal romance lovers as well as historical lovers should give this one a try. I'm glad I did. This is Kinley Baker's debut novel, and I hope there is much more to come from this author. 5 out of 5 fairy kisses for this paranormal romance lover.  PS: If you visit Kinley Baker's blog and Jean Murray's blog, you can entered to win a copy of their books: Ruined by Kinley Baker and Soul Reborn by Jean Murray.

I received this ebook from the author, Kinley Baker, for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Limerick by Kimberly Spencer

Publisher: Kimberly Spencer
Pages: 49

From the Cover:

Jensen hoped she’d never need Shimmerspell again. But now someone is stalking her, someone claiming to be the Lady of the Lake. To make matters worse, witches and dragons have come out to play. And Jensen must learn how to harness her power and accept her destiny before she ends up losing everyone she loves.

Jensen has been left, alone and abandoned, with her newly found wizard father, Dermott. She's still a little lost without Lauren who seems to have vanished into thin air. Liam, her new faerie boyfriend, has been trying to keep her distracted, but Zoe's twin sister Shelby, wants her boyfriend back, and she'll do everything she can to break the tentative bond Liam and Jensen have built. Throw into the mix stalker dragon boys and a secret that Zoe hasn't shared, and Jensen's life is about to get real interesting. And on top of it all, Brennen has taken a real interest in her safety or lack of it.

Limerick by Kimberly Spencer is an excellent addition to her Faerie Tale Girl series. In this addition, Jensen finds her life turned upside down first by Shelby and Liam, then she overhears a conversation between Dermott and (she thinks) Lauren. Why would he lie and say he hasn't heard anything from her? Then, Brennen, the siren with the magical voice, keeps popping back into her life, and she sooo doesn't need him. And she's recently noticed stalkers, of the male variety, looking surprisingly a lot like dragons. A few weeks ago, the thought would seem ludicrous, now it is more than likely and alarmingly all too real. What is going to happen in her life next? Once again, I'm left hanging and wondering...

Limerick was a fast fun little read, just what I needed between books. It's novella length, and I'd recommend reading Shimmerspell first, it lays down the foundation for the series (click here to read my review). I had fun with this short story, and can't wait to take a peek at the next in the series, Lore, which is actually an inbetween story within Books 1 & 2. Triquetra, Book 3 in the Faerie Tale Girl series should be released sometime in September 2011. It's my opinion that Kimberly Spencer is an author to watch, I've fallen for her series. The only thing that could make it better is a tiny bit of editing, not that it really matters to the story. This is a sweet little YA paranormal romance that I'd recommend to all YA lovers, so much fun. Kimberly Spencer's books can be found at B&N, Amazon, and Smashwords. 5 out of 5 fairy kisses for this short little novella from this reader.

I received my ebook copy for review from the author, Kimberly Spencer. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 60

Good Afternoon Flash Fictionanodes!

I have felt like crap today, so I'm just now visiting my blog to post the flash fiction image, so sorry!

The image today was provided by Blodeuedd, so give her a pat on the back, last week was one of her's too! She has a good eye, and I hope she keeps finding these gems!

This one is a wee of bit fantasy, quite lovely! Hope everyone enjoys it!

The rules remain the same, somewhere around 350 words, and come Friday to post your response. But, most important... have fun and let your creative juices flow!!

Ciao Bella!

Have a great week!

Friday, September 23, 2011

HTC's Android... Phone of the future??

Well, I happened to inherit an Android Incredible, and so far, I'm loving it (but don't know if I'd call it the phone of the future...)! I thought it would be much harder to use... but, I guess like everything else in life, there's a learning curve. My old phone was a Samsung Reality and it was pretty good, but not a smartphone. It had a full open keyboard (who knew I'd become addicted to texting?) and the Droid has a virtual keyboard. It'll take some getting used to, but pretty cool! Here's a picture of the front and back, so pretty!! (of course, mine has a Tinkerbell background...)

When you first turn it on... it has this nifty screen...

If you want to text....

see how easy it is to accidentally tap other My fingers are starting to get used to it, I'm almost as fast as I was on my Reality. It's very easy to use, versatile (I can use it to web browse, download, listen to music, watch videos, play games - Angry Birds, need I say more?), and of course, talk on the phone.

But, when I was on the phone with Verizon, they told me I could upgrade to the new iPhone 5 when it's available.... I'm really tempted! So, in a few months, you might be seeing a whole new review... an iPhone 5 could be in my future (the true phone of the future? *shrugs* you got me!). *grin*

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Come Unto These Yellow Sands by Josh Lanyon

Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages: 200

(Release Date: June 14, 2011)

From the Cover:

Sometimes the adventure chooses you.

Lover of fine poetry and lousy choose-your-own-adventure novels, Professor Sebastian Swift was once the bad-boy darling of the literati. The only lines he does these days are Browning, Frost and Cummings. Even his relationship with the hot, handsome Wolfe Neck Police Chief Max Prescott is healthy.

When one of his most talented students comes to him bruised and begging for help, Swift hands over the keys to his Orson Island cabin—only to find out that the boy’s father is dead and the police are suspicious. In an instant, the stable life Swift has built for himself hangs on finding the boy and convincing him to give himself up before Max figures out Swift’s involvement in the case.

Max enjoys splitting an infinitive or two with his favorite nutty professor, but he’s not much for sonnets or Shakespeare. He likes being lied to even less. Yet his instincts—and his heart—tell him his lover is being played. Max can forgive lies and deception, but a dangerous enemy may not stop until Swift is heading up his own dead poet’s society.

Product Warnings:

The Surgeon General has determined that Josh Lanyon’s smart, sexy, sophisticated stories may prove hazardous to your heart. 

Swift, actually Sebastian S. Swift, renown poet of renown poetic parents, has just about seen it all, done it all, chemically that is. But, he's restarted his life as an academic, he's been clean for six long years, and for the first time, maybe in his life, love has found him. When one of his students shows up at his office beaten and battered, something he can relate to, he turns over the keys to his Orson Island cabin without a second thought.

When later that evening, Max, Chief Police for Wolfe Neck and Swift's lover, explains there's been a murder, and the missing son is their lead suspect. It's then that Swift realizes he may have just screwed up his life. With that knowledge and his neglectful behavior (not telling Max immediately that he's given his cabin to a maybe killer), the cravings of his old life hit him full force. Can he survive this new need crawling in his belly? Can he survive when Max wants to kill him? Can he survive when someone actually tries?

Come Unto These Yellow Sands by Josh Lanyon (reference to Shakespeare's The Tempest) is another excellent read. Swift has been kicked around by life, and admittedly, mostly by his own hand, unable to handle and live up to expectations. When his first book of poetry is hailed as a literary success at age 19, he spills into a downward spiral, worsened by the death of his father. Wolfe Neck is his second chance, and he's afraid he won't get another. But, when controversy visits him, he finds that he's not as well liked as he thought, and most of it is discriminatory due to his sexual preference, how unfair is that? Max, the strong Police Chief who shares Swift's bed and life sometimes, finds himself torn. He's never admitted that Swift means more to him than anyone has before, and when he finds his trust abused by the one person he cares about, it almost undoes their relationship. But, Max can't deny what Swift's action cause him to realize or the fact that someone may be trying to kill the most important person in his life. To solve this mystery and keep Swift in the land of the living, chances will have to be taken, and actions speak louder than words.

Come Unto These Yellow Sands is fast fun read, surrounding a mysterious murder and in the mix is a conniving ex-wife, a conniving current wife, best friends that might not be so good after all, and a hot love story between the hardened Police Chief and the innocent Professor. There are many reasons for Swift to keep walking the straight and narrow, most importantly Max. But, it's hard to deny the cravings that creep back into his life, and when he finally looks for help, all his support mechanisms have disappeared, except for Max. Add to that his agent wants a new book, pressures he doesn't need at this time in his life, or does he? Josh Lanyon as delivered once again, and it's an excellent read. Well written strong characters come to life in this story, and the ending is pretty great too. Something else I loved is at the beginning of each chapter, a little mystery is given, a choice to be made. Soon, I found myself drawn into the story, unable to put it down. If you're looking for a romantic suspense surrounding a murder/mystery, this is the book for you, highly recommended. If you haven't read Josh Lanyon, give this one a try, I don't believe you'll be sorry! 5 out of 5 fairy kisses for this reader.


Excerpt: (from Josh Lanyon website)

It was like those old Choose Your Own Adventure novels.
You are primary unit commander of the Lazarian Galaxy Rapid Response Team --

Well, no. Not that adventure. This adventure started: You are a respectable college professor and the director of the prestigious Lighthouse MFA program of Casco Bay College in Southern Maine. You have had one hell of a day and you just want to go home and enjoy a glass of wine and a nice meal with your lover -- sort-of lover -- Police Chief Max Prescott. But as you approach your office in Chamberlain Hall, you spot a kid slumped in a chair outside the door. Even from this distance you can see that the kid is having a worse day than you. If you want to do the responsible, grown up thing, keep walking. If you want to make life easy on yourself, turn around and leave before he notices you.

Once upon a time, it would have been no choice at all. But Swift was older now -- against the odds -- and he took a certain pride in the fact that he no longer ducked out on his responsibilities. Besides, he recognized that tall, dark and despondent figure. Tad Corelli was one of the most gifted students in the Lighthouse program. He reminded Swift a little of himself at that age -- minus the self-importance and mile-wide self-destructive streak.

Swift found his keys as he reached the door. He glanced at Tad. “Sorry. I was held up. Have you been waiting long?”

Tad lifted his head and Swift dropped his keys. “What the hell happened to you?”

Tad was wearing a dark coat and a black knit cap. The cap framed a bruised and battered face. One eye was swollen shut, his bottom lip was split and puffy, there was a crust of blood beneath one nostril. He bent painfully and retrieved Swift’s keys.

Swift took them automatically, still staring.

“I’m okay,” Tad mumbled. He looked at the door, clearly waiting for Swift to open it, and Swift shoved the keys in the lock and pushed the door open.

His office was a comfortable clutter of books and plants and old posters. The desk was an antique. It had belonged to Carl Sandburg. The leather chair behind the desk had belonged to Swift’s own father, the poet and dramatist Norris Swift.  The chair in front of the desk was a comfortable second hand club chair. Swift put a hand on Tad’s shoulder and guided him to its beige plush depths.
Tad leaned forward, head in hands, and Swift closed the office door.

“Do you need -- what do you need?” He was at a loss. Physical violence was not his area of expertise, though he’d had the shit kicked out of him on occasion. But then he’d generally had it coming.
“Nothing.” Tad looked up, met Swift’s eyes, and managed a gruesome smile. “You should see the other guy, Dr. Swift.”

“What happened?”

Tad put cautious fingers to his split lip. “Doesn’t matter. Look, I-I have to go away for a while. Please don’t drop me from the Lighthouse program.”

“Where are you going?”

Tad shook his head.

Swift sat down on the edge of his desk, trying to read Tad’s face. “It can’t have been much of a fight. Your knuckles aren’t banged up.”



Tad said pleadingly, “I just have to get away for a little while. I’m not dropping out. I just need time to get myself together. Just a week or so.”


At Tad’s look of surprise, Swift said, “I’m not going to drop you, Tad. You’re one of the most gifted writers in the program. But why don’t you tell me what’s going on? I might be able to help.”

“No one can help.” Tad closed his eyes, struggled with his emotions.

“Is there anything you need? Do you have money? A place to stay?”

Tad’s head moved in negation.

Swift gave it some thought. Pay it forward. He was alive today because people who didn’t have to had taken a chance, had reached out to help him when he needed it most -- not just once, but several times in his misspent youth. He leaned over his desk, pulled out the top drawer and fished around for the spare key to his cabin.

He pulled out his wallet, rifled through it. He never carried a lot of cash. Not anymore. It was too dangerous. He’d got out of the habit -- one of a number of habits he’d got out of. “I can give you twenty bucks and you can stay at my place on Orson Island while you figure out what you’re doing.”
Tad opened his eyes, his expression one of disbelief. “I don’t…know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything. I’ve been where you are. Just take the time you need, get your head straight, and come back ready to get to work.”

 Tad stared at him, unmoving, disbelieving.

“Okay?” Swift asked gently.

Tad nodded. He reached for the keys and the cash, shoving them automatically into his coat pocket. He put both hands on the edge of Swift’s desk and pushed to his feet.

“You sure you don’t need a doctor?” Or maybe an ambulance.

Tad shook his head.

“Let me know how you’re doing, okay?”

Tad nodded. He shuffled toward the door. Hand on the knob, he stopped. “Thanks, Dr. Swift,” he said without turning around.

The next moment he was gone, the door closing softly behind him.

I purchased this ebook for my own reading pleasure. All opinions expressed are my own.

Welcome 2 My Nightmare ~ Alice Cooper

With Halloween (one of my favorite holidays) right around the corner.... I couldn't resist posting this....

Release Date: September 13, 2011

Okay, boys and girls, here's a guilty little secret of mine.... I love Alice Cooper (whispering quietly, looking over my shoulder...).... It's a sad little secret, one I've hidden away, because anyone as innocent as Tink appears to be should not be harboring thoughts of Alice. Alice in Wonderland, maybe. I mean, just look at the man, he's one scary looking dude! But, having been a long time admirer...and I had to have Welcome 2 My Nightmare. It's as good as I thought it would be. Here's a list of the songs... (everyone of them is good...)

My particular favorites are "I Am Made of You", "Caffeine", "Ghouls Gone Wild", "I'll Bite Your Face Off" (really a rocking tune!), "Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever", and of course, "The Nightmare Returns", but they're all excellent! I bought my copy on iTunes for $9.99, and for $11.99, you can get two more songs and a couple of videos. I didn't want to go out and buy another iTunes card or I would have purchased the $11.99 edition. I'm lovin and rockin to Alice Cooper, it's my sick obsession, lol. Welcome 2 My Nightmare is the sequel album to the 1975 hit, Welcome to My Nightmare. In Alice's own words...

"It's like the audience is eavesdropping you know on two guys on something that's happened 20 or 30 years ago."

If you enjoy Alice Cooper, this isn't an album to miss!

Here's a couple of stills from the concert: (and yes, Alice is still scary even at 63!)

Original Welcome to My Nightmare cover:

Concert video of "I'll Bite Your Face Off"

Alice Cooper - I'll Bite Your Face Off from NullCO on Vimeo.

On a sad note, REM decided to call it quits today after more than 30 years together. I love REM too! So, here's a music video of "Orange Crush".....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where Demons Fear To Tread by Stephanie Chong

Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Pages: 368

(Release Date:  August 23, 2011)

From the Cover:

Fledging guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares enter Devil's Paradise nightclub on a mission—to retrieve the wayward Hollywood "It Boy" she's assigned to protect. But she's ambushed by the club's owner, arch demon Julian Ascher. The most powerful demonic entity in Los Angeles, Julian is handsome as sin, a master of temptation who loves nothing more than corrupting pleasure–seeking humans. He won't release the lost soul Serena is supposed to guard. Unless she accepts his dangerous wager…

After the disastrous way his human life ended, Julian vowed that no woman would get the better of him again. Yet this sexy–sweet angel, smelling of fresh ocean air and happiness, triggers centuries–old feelings. Now, their high–stakes game of seduction, where angels fall from grace and where demons fear to tread, will lead them either to an eternity in hell.or a deliciously hot heaven.

Serena (names reminds me of serene which all angels should be) is an angel with a purpose. It's her job to save the young heartthrob, Nick Ramirez, from himself. He's on a destructive path being led by Julian Ascher. When Nick ends up in Devil's Paradise (Julian's devilish club complete with hookers willing to let Nick snort cocaine off their... various body parts), Serena makes it her business to enter the Devil's hunting ground to retrieve the wayward Nick. She doesn't count on Nick falling in puppy dog love with her or Julian for that matter.

Julian Ascher spies the fledgling guardian angel entering his demented domain and makes it his business to keep young Nick and to bring Serena to the status of a fallen angel. Nick is an easy score, he's well on his way to giving the devil his due. But, Serena on the other hand, is nothing like Julian has met before, and probably won't ever again. If he doesn't watch out, he'll be the one falling, out of grace with the devil and in love with a guardian angel.

Where Demons Fear To Tread by Stephanie Chong is a paranormal romance between a sexy sweet guardian angel and a soul sold long ago to the devil (though I'm not sure that makes him a demon. I've always viewed soul sellers are minions of the devil, where demons are those fallen angels less powerful than Lucifer, controlled by demonic needs as well as the master this is a new concept for me). As Serena tries to save Nick, she becomes the devilish delight of Julian Ascher. He lets the fledgling guardian escape his clutches on her first transgression, but he can't say the same for himself. He finds himself entrapped by the angel's charms, and it infuriates him. It makes him feels things long forgotten, and he figures he's better off with them forgotten. The angel must be brought down, to bask in his need, to give until he can't take anymore. And he succeeds.... almost. Can things get worse? Will Serena become one of the fallen? Or can she save herself and her new love?

Where Demons Fear To Tread starts out pretty darn good read. I was instantly taken in by Julian's magnetism, his need to have, take, keep. By the way, he's one hot demon! Serena on the other hand was just a little bit whiny, but I'm a little bit whiny, so I can forgive her this one sin. As I continued to need, the plot builds, and diverts from the original purpose without the knowledge of the main character, Serena. It's a nice little I keep reading, waiting for the time when she achieves her goals. But, then, she's having trouble achieving in her first purpose...and then she finds herself drawn to the demonic Julian. I'm really liking this part, lots of good Julian tidbits and I'm still enjoying the story. But, it gets to the end, and suddenly, it feels rushed, almost like I've missed something. So, I go back and re-read the last chapter, but I haven't missed anything either. The book is about angels and demons, so I expected angel-like qualities, but at the end, it felt almost too much angelic. All in all, I enjoyed this quick little read, and I'll be looking forward to the next in the series, The Demoness of Waking Dreams, February 2012. I can recommend this book to all paranormal romance lovers. 3.5 out 5 fairy kisses for this reader.

Other reviews: My Overstuffed Bookshelf, Anna's Book Blog, Lovin' Me Some Romance, Geeky Blogger's Book Blog.

Book Trailer

I received my copy for review from PTA Reviewer Rewards. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 59

Good Evening Flash Fictioneers!

I should've had posted early this morning, but it was one of those day where nothing worked out right. So, after spending the day in one doctor's office or another, I'm finally sitting down to more than five minutes at a time on my laptop. *le sigh*

I'm exhausted....

So, without further adieu....

Today's imagine is one that the awesome Blodeuedd sent to me... It's different and unique...I love it!

I think the image is unique not because of the lack of clothing, but because it shows so many different things in such a bleak image. It isn't the near nakedness that calls to me. There's a starkness here, and at the same time, so many things come to mind.

The rules remain the same, 350 words (or somewhere there about) and come back Friday to post a response.

But, most important, have fun and let your creativity juices flow!!

Have a great week!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Susan Blexrud Giveaway @ Patricia's Vampire Notes

A favorite author of mine is visiting at Patricia's Vampire Notes... Ms. Susan Blexrud

And she's giving away a copy of her new novella, Black Fang! (John and Lauren's continuing story!)

So, hurry over and enter!! (You won't be sorry... her vampires are sweet!)

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 58

Good Morning Flash Fiction Followers!

It's already been crazy here... and it's freaking Monday morning, *shakes head* I hope the rest of the week gets better!

Anyway, since it's's time for....

This morning's image is one I found on the interwebs... and well, you know my fascination for vampires... so... I had to share it with everyone else.

Kind of a vampira kind of thing, LOL! Well, the flash fiction from this image ought to be interesting....
The rules remain the same, somewhere around 350 words... and come back Friday to post your response.

Have a great (and should I say, interesting) week!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 57, The Friday Post (Okay, Early Saturday Morning Post)

Morning Ya'll! I didn't think I was going to write a flash this week, since the kids started back to school, my life has been wicked crazy! But, I was captivated by the image, and before I knew it, a flash had emerged, well, sort of... You'll see what I mean....

Fractured Fairytale
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 500

“And has she was looking around, a white rabbit wearing a waistcoat and spectacles appeared.” Alice read aloud. “Oh dear, said the Rabbit, looking at his pocketwatch, I'm late for a very important date!” She continued, “and down the rabbithole he went.”

Alice set her book aside, and thought about the whole idea of a white rabbit, wearing a waistcoat with a pocketwatch, and talking no less! What an odd fairytale this was! She leaned back against the tree, her favorite spot to read, and rested her head. The sun began to warm her body, and gradually, her eyelids slipped closed, and she fell soundly asleep.

From a distance, a white rabbit sat, watching and waiting for the thing blocking his home to go away. As she slept, the rabbit crept closer, sniffing the strange being who blocked his way. He leapt upon her dress, tickling her face with long silky whiskers. He twitched his nose, and she lifted a hand, and brushed her face. He twitched again, and Alice opened her eyes to find the rabbit's pink ones staring straight into hers. She jumped up, knocking him to the ground.

“Watch it, you clumsy giant you! You'll squish me with all you're blundering around!” Shouted the rabbit. “You're in the way, get out of the way!”

Alice looked down at the rabbit, her story come to life. “What are you?” She whispered, taking a step back. “Where do you live?”

“What do I look like, you blithering idiot? I'm a rabbit, of course. Haven't you ever seen one before?” The rabbit took offense at her senseless questions. “I live here, fool.” He motioned toward the tree.

Alice dropped down on her knees, and there was a tiny opening in the tree. Just large enough for the rabbit to slip through. She pointed to the opening, “Here?”

The rabbit crossed his eyes, vexed by her stupidity. “Yes, dear, down the hole. You do know what a rabbit is? And that we live in burrows?” Alice nodded. “Fine then, you'll stay out of my way now.”

“Are you always so mean?” She asked, feelings hurt.

“Only when ridiculously large beasts try to step on me! Now, leave me alone, I need to get home.” And as Alice watched, he edged into the small hole, vanishing from sight.

She gathered her book, marking her page, and returned home. When she got there, she found the white rabbit waiting for her. “Well, aren't you going to ask me in for tea?”

“I don't think so, Mother will have a raging fit if she finds a wild animal in the house.”

“Who are you calling wild, giantico?”

“My name is Alice.” She giggled, “What's yours?”

“Jack, but you can call me Mister Rabbit.”

Alice had to feeling his was going to be interesting story, if anyone ever believed her.

And her dream continued....

See.... sort of a flash.... lol! Different for me anyway....

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fun Contest and Q & A with author Stefan Petrucha (over @ Vampire Wire)

Wanna check out a fun contest, hear Marta's take on zombies, and Stefan Petrucha answer intimate questions regarding said zombies (or chakz as he refers to them) or at least answer Marta's questions about his new book, Dead Mann Walking? THEN, you need to rush on over to Vampire Wire, cause Marta and Stefan are talkin zombies (or at least about freaking zombie parts....if you know what I mean....*wink* *wink*). Stefan is telling EVERYONE about his leading Mann.... and what you can expect in his new book, Dead Mann Walking!

And remember, I said there was a contest (all of Marta's contests are fun) head on over, and leave a comment (or ask Stefan about his chakz and Dead Mann Walking).

(Psssst.....Hey.... while you there.... show Marta some love for her new YA gothic novel, Dark're going to love it.... here's a peek at the cover art, though it maybe subject to tweeks and don't forget about her Casa Dracula series.... so good you're going to ask for seconds!)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dead Mann Walking by Stefan Petrucha.... An Explanation From the Author


An Explanation From the Author: In my first draft of Dead Mann Walking, a group of peacefully protesting chakz, pushed too far by the living, go feralfulfilling the zombie stereotype. As chak-detective Hessius Mann helplessly watches the mess, he broods on the fictional history of the walking dead.

Upon reading this, Ace editor, Jessica Wade, felt it pulled the reader out of the story-world. I agreed, lopping it out quicker than Ash with a chainsaw-hand.

However, to celebrate Dead Mann’s Oct 4 release, what could be more appropriate than restoring it to half-life? So here ‘tis, a quick, quirky look at Z’s from the POV of a PI who should know.

Dead Mann Talking: A History of Zombies
Crowded, surrounded, attacked, the chakz gave the people what they wanted, proof that they were dangerous. It was as though that group-mind the LBs worried about had actually kicked in. Maybe the ferals just never had the numbers before, or maybe you had to be far enough back to see the patterns. I saw them now.

Flashes of chak-bodies moved in elegant waves, like flocks of migrating birds. The livebloods, for all their higher functions, fled without grace. The big picture pulsed and throbbed. But the personal tragedies played out in tiny spaces, as if the two had nothing to do with one another. In the center of the swirls stood the fair-haired cop I’d seen from the window, bullets spitting from his AK-47. They tore some dead flesh. Mostly, he was hitting livebloods before the ferals took him down.

So was this Ezekiel and his dry-bones rising in the valley of death? Was it then, or later, now, or the future? The edges were arbitrary, the beginnings and endings likewise. But as I watched, this was the shit I remembered.

In 1929 W.B. Seabrook wrote about voodoo cults and resurrected slaves in a novel called The Magic Island. It made sense that Haiti, whose population had recently thrown off their shackles, would have plantation slaves for their monsters.

White Zombie
In 1932, Victor Halperin’s White Zombie took it to the white Europeans. The island lust of Murder Legendre, played by Bela Lugosi, put a white virgin’s virtue at risk.

But these were early, proto-forms. There was no blood yet, not like there was on the Fort Hammer plaza. My eyes singled out a male teen, all buff and dressed to shock with Mohawk, tattoos and piercings. He ran half-heartedly, grabbing at the side of his head where his ear had been once. Red liquid dripped between his fingers. Eventually, he slowed and then, simply stopped.

Last Man On EarthIn 1943 Jacques Tournier’s I Walked With a Zombie gave us a dead-eyed scarecrow. It was more a symbol. No savagery, just foreboding. It was Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend in 1954 that took it up a notch. The book was sort of about vampires, but they were so much like zombies that the 1964 Italian film version with Vincent Price, The Last Man on Earth, became the prime inspiration for George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

night_of_the_living_dead1968, the zombie had arrived. Romero was the first, really, if you don’t count Ezekiel and all the others. What took so long? Well, in those days, the dead moved slowly.

On the plaza, groups formed and collapsed like cauldron bubbles. I watched two families band together. The mothers carried the little ones, forcing the older children ahead. Weirdly, the fathers carried doors, using them as shields. Two danglers and a gleet banged at them. They even tried the knob.

Romero made it biblical again. Cannibal corpses, old friends and lovers among them, children chewing on parents. The condition spreading like plague, and no one knew why or who to shoot. His sequel, Dawn of the Dead, used the same idea, but more directly as social critique, played out in comic-book colors so gaudy you had to get the joke.

I hoped the family made it. Something should survive, and it didn’t look good for anyone else. The elegant swarms had surrounded the LBs, and as they squeezed in, began to lose their pretty shape. Together now, ferals and livebloods pushed and pulled en mass, so many, so close together, they could barely move. Limbs tangled, the center of the blob tumbled, all together, all at once, like football teams in a joint tackle.

zombi2sharkAfter Romero, what could you say? A horde of lesser efforts followed, Fulci’s Zombi 2 notable for an underwater battle between zombie and shark. Then decades passed. 28 Days Later brought some class back to the movies. That was more about plague than the dead, but close enough, and its monsters were fast. The Dawn of the Dead remake followed suit. The books and comics got better – Monster Island by David Wellington, The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and later Charlie Adlard (now on TV!). By then people played video games like Rebel Without A Pulse and Left4Dead, shooting and being shot, eating and being eaten. The great democracy of mass media.

The mob in the plaza had formed a single creature, like one of Colby Green’s orgies, many limbs, manywalkingdead mouths, some screaming, some chewing. Stray Livebloods and ferals tried to pull the bodies free, but for different reasons. 
stubbs-the-zombie-in-rebel-without-a-pulse-01The cop with the flamethrower stood at the edge of the mass and stared, unsure what to do. He tried to help, used his free hand to grab a hand and yank, but when a feral came free, a chunk of dripping meat in its mouth, he’d had enough. He let loose with the thrower, turning it on the writhing pile. Before the cop could barbecue the lot, a liveblood clonked him with a crowbar, then dived into the smoldering mess, screaming that he had to find his girlfriend.
I’d like to say all the books and movies fade against the reality, but maybe it’s the reality that fades. After all, who could forget the surprise hit, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? This is the shit that gives us shape, that let’s us understand the world, even build it from scratch. Shakespeare told us. We are such stuff as nightmares are made on, and our little life is rounded with a scream.

I’d like to say all the books and movies fade against the reality, but maybe it’s the reality that fades. After all, who could forget the surprise hit, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? This is the shit that gives us shape, that let’s us understand the world, even build it from scratch. Shakespeare told us. We are such stuff as nightmares are made on, and our little life is rounded with a scream.

The plaza had reached critical mass. The blob broke and scattered. Bodies, some moving, spilled across the street, then onto the long black hospital entrance ramp that had kept the scene arms distant. The tide was coming in.
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