Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Crimson Romance

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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Samhain!!! And....Last Chance for Crescent Moon Press Book Discount on Amazon

Happy Halloween!!

Violets are purple, blood runs red
If you think to not celebrate Halloween
You'll find something to dread!

Ghosts and goblins,
Running amok....
All I have to say is Good Luck!

It's the last day to purchase Crescent Moon Press's library of books at a discounted rate on Amazon!! The sale lasts until Midnight tonight, 10-31-11, Halloween.... grab some great reads!!

Books range from the sweetly romantic to their new genre, New Adult, to the extra steamy!

Here are the link's to some of the book's I've reviewed under their label.

Soul Reborn by Jean Murray...Egpytian Gods and Goddess, huntresses, love...fantastic read!

Wasteland by Lynn Rush...Demons and Angels, romance, New Adult genre, loved it!!

Ruined by Kinley Baker...what happens to the shadow shifters? Love, betrayal, excellent story!

Thief of Hope by Cindy Young-Turner...can love survive in a place where hope is lost? Great!

Magick Charm by Jennifer Wells...sweet romance, witches, magical, Wonderful!

All Hallows Blood by Raven Corinn hot German vampire, angsty hunter...Hot!!

Memories of Murder by Lara Nance...old curses, magic, ghosts, revenge...Wow!

Undercover Alien by Barbara Romo...alien visits Earth, discovers love and more...loved it!

Drop by S.J. Edward/Cassandra Cade...most excellent time travel, romance, great read!!

Crescent Moon Press is a small publisher, but their books are anything but small, fantastic stories, well told, great editing, and their cover art is beautiful!! If you a cover art lover, check these out, then read the blurbs, because you're going to love the stories!!  Remember, sale ends at Midnight 10-31-11!

Don't forget to check out this week's flash fiction challenge. And remember to enter contest for a copy of Destined by P.C. + Kristin Cast, ends 11-7--11.

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 65

Good Monday Morning!!

After a long weekend running around the state of Kentucky, we're finally home... And as much as I like visiting, I'm very, very glad to be home. Very tired as well, and guess what ladies? NaNoWriMo starts Tuesday!! Okay, so I'm going to post flash fiction images for the rest of November, but I can't guarantee I'll have time to participate. I'll try, but with NaNoWriMo, 1,667 words are the goal for each and every day. I've been doing some research for the topic of this years NaNo MS... I hope I'm able to write about the topic, I'm going a little outside my comfort zone with this one, LOL... hope I'm able to reach the goal this year. It's doubtful at this point though....

Anyway, back to the flash fiction...

At Ana's request.... I've tried to find something a, welll..., a little fluffy. Something not quite so dark, maybe something with a happily ever after? LOL Hard for me to do the fluff, but I have a few images, so today's one of those....

This is a Beth Fullaway image. Hope everyone enjoys it, and I hope it's fluffy enough, lol. It kind of reminds me of Rapunzel.... I wonder what kind of flash it will produce?

The rules remain the same, 350 words or something like that, and come back Friday to post your response!

Have fun!

I'll talk to y'all soon!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 64 (The Saturday Post....again)

Well, we decided Friday to take a this morning I'm sitting in a very nice hotel room, and posting on my blog... BUT, what about those Cardindals!!!!! Holy Cow! I couldn't believe Game 6, and Game 7.... They just dominated! It was totally awesome!!!! So, back to my flash for this week...

Here's the image:

Blessed Be
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 468

“Blessed be, Mother, for I have sinned....” the prayer started the same as it fell from her parched, cracked lips. Morgana laughed at it's meaninglessness, it echoed through the empty church. “Forgive my trespasses, as I forgive those trespass against me.” As she uttered these last words, she lifted her face, eyes closed, and again she laughed, louder, deeper, bolder. She twined her hands, clasped her fingers as if lost in prayer. Her mouth spilled silent words, then she grimaced, grinding out, “As I have forgiven those who have trespassed against me.” Suddenly, the room flooded with power, pews flew back into the wall, scattering into splinters. She lifted her face higher, and opened her black eyes, her soulless windows. Morgana raged, her throat raw, “As. I. Have. Forgiven!” But no more.

She stood as the smoldering burn of power rolled from her body. She flung her head up, threw her shoulders back, and spread her arms wide as if to welcome the world in a strangling embrace. Arcs of electricity erupted from her hands, sparks fell like firecrackers, and a deep rumble of laughter engulfed her small form.

“With this prayer, I offer this humble servant.” She clapped the streams coming from her hands, creating a massive bolt of lightning. Her body shook as the power increased, building for release. “Save me from trial and deliver me unto evil.” She whispered. With the last words, the lightning arced from her clasped hands and into the man outside the small building. She heard his chuckle before the force of her power slammed into his jerking body.

The church could hardly be recognized, it's steeple gone to the surrounding heap of destruction. The neighborhood which at one time housed young families was now rubble. And the battle raged on.

“Come to me, Little One,” Miguel called lovingly to Morgana, “come to meet your true destiny.” His voice stroked her tired nerves.

“Never will yours be mine.” She growled, fought for the control her needed, fought to save herself, even as she felt herself slipping toward the promised salvation of his voice. Lies. What she had supposed to be another nuance worked into much more. Miguel demanded her, body and soul, to use and discard, as he had all those he encroached upon, those who wielded power such as her own.

She started her prayer again. “Forgive my trespasses, as I have forgiven those who trespass against me!” Mother Earth expected the prayer; therefore, she gave it. It meant little, other than to focus the force building within her. “With this prayer, I offer this humble servant!” She shouted to the emptiness. “Save me from trial and deliver me unto evil!”

Never had the words been more true.

Have a great weekend!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Embraced by the Shadows by Mayra Calvani

Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Pages: 242

(Revised Release: October 5, 2011)

From the Cover:

In a bazaar in Istanbul one evening, ten-year-old Alana Piovanetti sees a man standing in the shadows. He smiles, and over time she convinces herself that it was just her imagination that placed sharp fangs amongst those flashing teeth.

Twelve years later, Alana is surprised when she is chosen to manage a new restaurant opening in her home city of San Juan. She has neither training nor experience to justify her success. But La Cueva del Vampiro has the kind of ambience she adores, for Alana has always had a penchant for horror and the dark side of life. Yet she is also plagued with dreams of dark sensuality, dreams that take on shattering reality when she meets the stunningly handsome, charismatic Sadash.

For Sadash is the man she saw in the shadows so many years before… and Sadash isn’t human…

Alana is head strong, morbidly fascinated with death and monsters, a virginal ice princess. It isn't that she doesn't like sex or men, but more like she waiting for a promised lover, and when he arrives, the ice princess will melt. She will either love him or hate him, with her hot spicy flavor. She isn't the storybook Latina, she has hair to match her fiery temper and pale flesh.

Valeria, Alana's best friend and twin soul, is also the opposite of the storybook Latina as well, which is one of the reasons they're twin soul. She has blazing blonde hair, pale skin with dark brown eyes. But, she's secretive, has a tendency towards viciousness (but so does Alana), hiding things from Alana while expecting her to expose all of her secrets, jealous of anything that comes between them. Valeria is an orphan, while Alana loses her father very young and her mother as a teen.

Humberto is best friend to both, the three musketeers. All three are motherless, though Humberto's father remains. Antonio's secrets nearly cost him his life.

Sadash walks into the picture at a time when Alana is most vulnerable. She hasn't been feeling herself, dreams have been plaguing her, and Valeria discovers her sleep walking. She puts it all down as nerves, starting a new job she's barely qualified for as manager of La Cueva del Vampiro. But, no sooner does she start her new job that she meets the sexy, strange, overwhelming Sadash. But, he wants to whisk her away, and keep her all to himself, regardless of her feelings. And he's something more than human.... and maybe he's the beast haunting Alana's dreams.

Embraced by the Shadows by Mayra Calvani is the story of a vampire with a longing for what he can never have. Back before the years of vampirism, he was a Turkish Ottoman prince and soldier, sure to be the next ruler of his people, when he loses his ten year old daughter to a mysterious disease (the plague? is my assumption). A noble woman sees his suffering and wants to alleviate it, leave him at peace, so she takes him, drinks him, leaving him vampire. Some three hundred years later, Sadash find himself in a Turkish market, staring at the image of his long dead daughter in the form of Alana. It begins his quest from a distance until need becomes desire, and he decides to take Alana, much like he was taken. Even though Alana wants Sadash, and might, one day, choose to become like Sadash, he seduces her, drinks her, turns her, without really getting her any choice. Now, she both hates and loves the dark vampire. She has much to learn, and Sadash is a great teacher, but she grows weary and wants the comfort of the only friends she has known, Valeria and Humberto. But, Valeria's jealously comes into play, she can't stand the thought of Alana separating herself or the fact that she'll grow old and die as Alana stays young and beautiful. Valeria is also hiding a secret, one about the day when Alana's mother died, and Alana must know how she died or possibly who killed her.

Embraced by the Shadows is a different kind of vampire world, it is a paranormal romance without sex involved, and honestly, there's the romance of seduction and touching, but it's a love/hate relationship, on both Sadash and Alana's part. Not that the vampiric bite doesn't cause ecstasy. But in Mayra Calvani's world, vampires can't have sex. They are, after all, dead. The young must take their prey completely to feel satisfied, instead of the delicate bites that leave their human prey alive. This is how Valeria discovers the truth of Alana's life. The niggles I had with the book are few. I didn't like the idea of Sadash being draw to the young Alana as he might have been to his daughter. Then fantasizing about about how he'll take her and change her. It seemed a little incestuous, though Sadash denies it repeatedly in the book. Then, after Alana's is changed, her blood lust for Valeria is overpowering, it's almost too much for her to bear, almost costing Valeria her life, who demands Alana to change her. But, it's Valeria's jealousy for what she can't have on display over and over again throughout the story. All in all, I liked and enjoyed the story, and the niggles were probably just my point of view (and besides, I like my vampires hot, which Sadash is, and ready to perform, which Sadash is not....disappointing). Urban fantasy lovers might want to give this one a peek, it's definitely a different world for the vampire genre. 4 out of 5 fairy kisses for this reader.

If you'd like to try Ms. Calvani writing style, she's giving away her first two books, here's the blurb from her website:

The FREE ebooks I’m giving away are: Dark Lullaby and Cat Cellar and Other Stories and they’re available in various formats on Smashwords:

The Cat Cellar and Other Stories

Dark Lullaby

Enjoy! Happy reading and happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Destined by P.C. + Kristin Cast ~ Promo + Giveaway!!

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 352

(Released: October 25, 2011)

From the Cover:

Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet – which would be a whole lot easier if the High Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow…

But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia’s handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there’s the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more – or possibly less – than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there’s something strangely familiar about him…

Will Neferet’s true nature be revealed before she succeeds in silencing them all? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox’s humanity in time to protect him – and everyone – from his own fate? Find out what’s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

WOW!! It sounds like Zoey and her friends are up to their necks in trouble! Can't wait to see what Zoey does next, and if she and her friends will survive in this next installment in the House of Night series!

Book Trailer: Destined, Book 9, House of Night series

Giveaway Details:

St. Martin's Griffin and Zeitghost Media would like to giveaway ONE copy of P.C. + Kristin Cast's new book, Destined, Book 9 of the House of Night series to my blog readers (US and Canada addresses only - sorry). To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post. Giveaway ends 11-7-11.

Thanks! And enter away!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Author Interview: Cindy Young-Turner

Good Morning to Everyone in the Blogosphere!!

Today I have to good fortune to welcome Cindy Young-Turner to my blog! I had the opportunity to review her new book, Thief of Hope from Crescent Moon Press... so good!! I hope you have a chance to pick it up!

Welcome Cindy!!

Why don't you start by telling my readers a little bit about yourself?

I’m a technical editor by day, fantasy writer by night. I’ve been an editor for a while now, but my favorite job was working as a VISTA volunteer at an adult literacy program in inner-city Baltimore. I really felt like I made a difference in people’s lives there.

I also love bagpipes (listening to them, not playing them).

What drew you to writing?

I’ve been writing forever. Sometime in elementary school I must have been given an assignment to write a story and that began my love of writing. I’ve always been a big reader, so the idea that I could create my own stories and characters was exciting. I used to carry around a notebook and pen and I’d write wherever and whenever I could. When I was about twelve I wrote my first novel, an epic SF novel that ripped off all my favorite movies. I still have it, carefully printed on notebook paper in a three-ring binder.

Do you write for the story burning to be told or do you write for a character that won't leave you alone?

Usually it’s a character that won’t leave me alone. Once I start paying attention, the story starts to unfold.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

Totally a pantser. I can’t outline to save my life, and I’ve tried. It would certainly make things easier sometimes. But for me part of the fun of writing is figuring out where the story is going. I honestly don’t know exactly what will happen until I write it because things often change or characters do things I don’t expect that might take the story in a different direction than I envisioned. I often know a few plot points along the way, but how I’m going to get there is never certain.

When do you like to write? Mornings, Afternoons, Middle of the Night, or somewhere in between (like when the kids sleep)?

With a nearly full-time job and a three-year-old daughter, my days are pretty full. I usually write at night, in the wee hours of the morning. Sleep, who needs sleep?

LOL.... I know what you mean.....

Do you have some favorite music that inspires your writing? A movie? What inspires you?

I like to listen to movie soundtracks. The Lord of the Rings movies, Braveheart, Last of the Mohicans, and original Star Wars trilogy are all favorites for when I write. I have really eclectic taste in music, so it also depends on the tone of the scene I’m working on. Sometimes I listen to harder music, like Metallica, Godsmack, or Cold, and sometimes it’s Irish music like the Chieftains.

I like The Killers, David Bowie, and The Beatles...

When you're not writing, do you have a favorite author or genre you enjoy?

I read all kinds of authors and genres. It’s hard to pick a favorite. I’m a big fan of Diana Gabaldon and love her Outlander series. I have a bunch of fantasy on my to be read list, like Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games. Sadly I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like, so I have to squeeze it in wherever I can.

What advice would you give to others in the journey to becoming published?

Just keep writing and don’t give up, because you will get rejected and feel discouraged. Join a critique group or find a good critique partner. I feel lucky enough to belong to two amazing critique groups (over ten years in each of them) and they have been invaluable in helping me with my writing. You really need to get honest feedback from other writers, plus have that support and encouragement.

Did you have a long line of submissions before you “got the call”?

Yup. I do have an agent and he’d been submitting my book for about two years before I received the offer from Crescent Moon Press.

Where can we find you and your books?

Thief of Hope is available at Amazon and Barnes &

Share with us something about your current book.

Thief of Hope was recently named a EPIC ebook finalist in fantasy! I was so excited to get the message that I was a finalist. Winners will be announced in March 2012, so we’ll see what happens. Thief of Hope has an unusual heroine, Sydney, a pickpocket with authority issues who becomes involved in the fight to overthrow an oppressive regime, not to mention some dangerous magic. And there’s a bit of romance also.

Oh! Congrats!!

What are your future plans for your series? Are you cooking up a new one?

I’m currently working on a sequel titled Thief of Destiny that continues the adventures of Sydney and Willem. The scope is much bigger in this book, and Sydney faces new challenges that make her question many of the things she believes. Fun new characters and old favorites. Plus there’s a lot more Willem in this one. 

I, for one, would love more about Sydney (she's so sweet in her own way) and Willem (Willem is such a great character!)

Some fun stuff!

Coffee, Tea, or Something Harder?

All of the above! I’m a tea fanatic, though. I have drawers full of tea. Loose tea, tea bags, I love it all. I’m like a kid in a candy store when I find a tea shop, and there aren’t nearly enough of them around here.

If you were stranded on a desert island... would you hope that Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman, or Gerard Butler was stranded with you (if hubby/boyfriend decided to stay home while you cruised, for me, not likely, lol, but I'd have a hard time choosing...)?

I think my husband would understand (right, hon?) that Johnny Depp would win, hands down. Plus if anyone could get us off a desert island it would be Captain Jack Sparrow. Riding on the back of a giant sea turtle? LOL Not that we’d want to leave…

Cake or Ice Cream (or both, what flavor)?

Chocolate peanut butter ice cream

Favorite all-time read? Movie? Favorite banned book?

There are too many to pick just one. A few on my “favorites” bookshelf are Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, and a collection of stories by Edgar Allan Poe. Same with movies, but I love the original Star Wars trilogy and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. So many good banned books also. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time favorites.

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time favorites as well... and Edgar Allan Poe!

Favorite paranormal creature?

I’ve always had a fondness for vampires, thanks to the vampire Lestat and The Lost Boys movie.

I LOVED Louie in Interview with a Vampire! The Lost Boys is a must watch, lol, every time it's on...

If you were going to pick a book/movie character to become...who would it be?

Eowyn from Lord of the Rings. I love a strong warrior woman.

Secret desires?

To buy a VW van and drive cross country. I’m a hippie at heart.

Sounds like fun!

Thanks again for being here today Cindy! So much fun to learn more about the authors I love!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wasteland by Lynn Rush

Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Pages: 284

 (Released: August 1, 2011)

From the Cover:

Bound by the blood contract his human mother signed four centuries ago, half-demon, David Sadler, must obey his demonic Master's order to capture fifteen-year-old Jessica Hanks. But as he learns more about her, he realizes she may be the key to freedom from his dark enslavement.

The only obstacle-Jessica's distractingly beautiful Guardian, Rebeka Abbott. He must not give in to their steamy chemistry, or he will lose his humanity. But fresh off a quarter millennia of sensory deprivation as punishment for not retrieving his last target, he may not be able to resist temptation long enough to save what's left of his human soul. 

David, half demon by his mother's blood contract, has spent 245 years at the mercy of his Master's torture. Unable to fulfill Master's demand, he was sent to the burning pits, darkness, sensory deprivation, and unending hungers. Upon his release, David is sent after Master's newest desire, Jessica Hanks, with no other information other than the name of a nightclub in Arizona and that she bears a mark.

Gage, his demon 'brother', jailor, and unwanted companion, tries to intimidate David, cow him into become the full demon he knows rests inside David's body, the one who claws for release, the one who wants to taste tender flesh. But, David knows, the instant he gives into his unholy desire, his life as he knows it will be over. His humanity lost. This he cannot live with.

Beka is a guardian angel sent to protect the one thing David must have, Jessica Hanks, but with as little information as David. She and her 'brother', Russell, become the operators of this nightclub where Jessica is to be found. Who is Jessica Hanks? Why is she so important? Beka has the answers to some of these questions. She knows what Jessica will transform to be. And she'll sacrifice her life to make sure it happens.

But, when David meets Beka, he is tempted, first by the feel of her pale flesh, then by her lilac scent. When Jessica is discovered, it's David who ends up protecting her and saving Beka's life, linking them together forever. But, with his failure to obey Master or to give in to the desire of Beka's flesh, Master will punish David all over again.

Wasteland by Lynn Rush is under Crescent Moon Press's new genre of New Adult, targeted toward the emerging late teens to early twenties, those facing first time relationships, jobs, life of an adult. It has some of the qualities of YA, looking for answers, but also some of the qualities of Adult fiction, finding love, making lasting commitments. Wasteland is the story of David Sadler, half-demon who is held by a blood contract signed by his mother before his birth. Sold for riches she never enjoyed, raped by a demon. He's a 400 year old immortal who's clinging to what's left of his human soul, who has done Master's bidding to the best of his abilities. His only failure occurred with the death of his last mark. But, even the tiniest failure earns Master's wrath, and he spent 245 of a 250 year sentence in torture, released early to find Jessica Hanks. But, what so special about this girl that makes Master release him early from punishment? Why must it be he to bring Jessica to Master? Why not one of Master's other demon slaves? What is Master truly trying to accomplish? When David is sent to retrieve Jessica, he meets Beka Abbott and he discovers some of the answers to his questions. But, will he lose himself in the process? Will he be able to resist what he desires most? Can the dark survive in the light?

Wasteland is a wonderfully told tale of the discovery of truths. The title of the book speaks volumes, and it's uniquely found. Lynn Rush creates a world that exists within the bounds of the human realm, one where demons exists to do their Master's bidding, and guardian angels exist to stop the demons and protect the innocent. But, what happens when one of the innocent has been sold to evil? Forced to become what should have never been, but as destiny would have, has indeed occurred. That's what happens in Wasteland. The question is can one survive the other. Can our hero, David, become what our heroine, Beka, needs? Or will they fail each other, especially when the truths are laid out for everyone to see. Crescent Moon Press has taken an ambitious step filling the role of this new emerging genre with Wasteland as it's first entry. It accomplishes the feat and more. Wasteland is for the paranormal romance lovers, urban fantasy lovers, and for anyone who loves the struggle to find and then hold on to love once it's found. Readers of YA outside it's targeted audience, and for those emerging from YA hoping to find a middle ground, should also give this new genre a try. Wasteland is an excellent read, highly recommended. Lynn Rush will follow up Wasteland with Awaited in 2012. She also has a new release coming March 2012, Violet Midnight, Book 1 of the Violet Night Trilogy. Wasteland gets 5 out of 5 fairy kisses for this reader. I encourage you to go out and grabbed this read now, discounted on Amazon until midnight 10-31-11.

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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 64

Good Morning Flash Fictioneers!

We're a week closer to Halloween! I've loving these images and the flash, keep it coming! So, it's time for another edition of....

This is another from the deviant art website! I can't get over the talent!

Where last week's image had a little "feel good atmosphere" with the playful ghostly image, this one is the exact opposite.

The rules remain the same, 350 words or something like that, and come back Friday to post your response. Have fun! And I hope everyone has up the Halloween decorations.... next Monday is the day for little ghouls and goblins to be out and about!

Ciao and have a great week!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sassy Sunday Story Starter

Sassy Brit offers her own version of a flash fiction challenge. This week's prompt is brought to us by Selena Blake, author of Stranded With A Cajun Werewolf. Since I'm gearing up for NaNoWriMo, I thought I'd give it a try, though what I came up with isn't my usual paranormal style. But, I figure, I need to stretch my writing muscles once in a while anyway.

Lexi Armstrong, Bounty Hunter
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 1000

She had him in her sights. Billy Ray Roberds was one slippery-son-of-a-gun but nothing that Lexi Armstrong, bounty hunter extraordinaire, couldn't handle. Lungs burning she sprinted around the corner and drew her weapon. 

"Freeze Billy Ray!"The dark haired man stopped and then slowly lifted his hands. The boys back at the office were going to be doing her laundry for a month thanks to their latest bet. Lexi always won. Always. "Up against the wall." There was a sudden tremor somewhere below her belly button as six feet of lean male did her bidding. But just as she was about to put her hands on him for a pat down, he turned and pegged her with the brilliant blue gaze she'd never forgotten."Dillon?" 

Stunted, Lexi gazed back into the eyes she hoped never to see again. She cursed, gun still pointed at his chest. She kicked the dirt, grimaced. “I said up against the wall.”

“Come on Lexi, it's me.” He held out his empty hands. “You know a gun isn't my style.”

“Forget what you think I know. Forget you ever knew me in a previous life. Forget everything!” But as she stared back into his brilliant blaze, that same tugging sensation, the one she tried to ignore, came again. “Jesus, just grab the cement.”

He shrugged his massive shoulders, and turned around, hands stretched wide, and leaned. She stood watching him, remembering those hands and the magic they possessed. The way he touched her body.... Damn it, she could hear the rank laughter, Alexis always gets her man.

She stepped between his legs, briskly running her hands up and down his muscular arms, biceps bulging, across his broad shoulders, over his tightening chest, hardened abs, then lower to his belt, skimming her hands front to back.

“Christ, Lexi, careful where you touch. Damn!” He swore, tensing as her hands moved lower, over his bulging zipper, down the inside of his well-formed thighs. Her hands moved back up to his ass, before he relaxed again. She remembered his response all too well.

“Alright, I guess you're clean. Turn around, hands in front please, where I can see them.” He did as she asked, where she quickly and expertly zipped the band around his wrists.

“Lexi, will you look at me? Do you really think you need the cuffs?”

She didn't want to meet his gaze, that's when she got into trouble. “It's procedure, and you know, I'm a safety kind of gal.” She stared steadily at his chest. “Lets go, you aren't my only pick up today.” She nudged him with her foot, urging him forward.

He planted his feet wide, “I'm not moving until you tell me what happened. Where'd you go?” They had two fantastic weeks in San Juan, and then one morning, he got up and she was gone.

“Lets just say I came to my senses.” She slung her blonde hair over a shoulder. Finally, she raised her hard emerald gaze to his, making his catch his breath, she smiled. His face was darkly tanned, crinkles around his eyes from laughing, blue-black hair waved almost to his collar, a little longer than she remembered. But, it was the brilliance of his eyes that stopped her pounding heart. Her knees trembled, she squirmed, trying to relieve the tingling sensation.

“Lets go.” She pushed him, and he started walking toward the midnight blue Porsche on the corner.

“This your car?” He whistled. “Sweet!”

She opened the door, “Just shut up and get in.” With little effort, he slid into the seat, for a big man, he moved with grace and ease.

After she sat and buckled them in, he twisted to stare as she put the car into gear, pulling away from the curb. “Are you going to tell me what happened?”

“That Saturday, I decided to take a swim, order breakfast on my way back. A pretty pregnant woman was asking for Dillion Roberts's room.” She smiled up at him, watched his face pale.

“Shit, Veronica...”

“Yeah, Veronica.”

“My sister, she'd left her husband.” He shook his head.

She reddened. “I don't know what to believe.” She sighed, and drove in silence for about thirty minutes before she pulled into a garden neighborhood, stopping at a small brick house.

“Where are we? This can't be your office.”

“It's not.” Lexi whipped out a blade, cut the zip strip. “Come on in.” She stepped from the car, a few seconds later, he followed. They entered her house, he looked around. “Now, why don't you started at the beginning, tell me what's going on.”

For the first time, he looked uncomfortable. “I worked for this outfit, found money missing from the books. When I took it to my boss, he said he'd take care of it. Next thing I knew, the cops were at my door. Asked where I was the night before. Showed me pictures of my boss sliced and diced.”

“Shit, what's you're real name, is it Billy Ray?”

“No, I'm a reporter, working undercover, my name's Dillion Roberts, just like a told you in San Juan.”

“Okay.... Dillion...” She walked over to him, shoved him hard into the sofa. “Lets lay some ground rules.” She strolled over to the marble counter, poured two fingers of Jack, brought him one glass, downing her own. “Rule number one, I make all the rules. Rule number two, there are no other rules. Do you understand?”

“I think so, are you turning me in?”

“Not yet.”

“Why'd you bring me here?”

“Giving you the benefit of a doubt.” She slid onto his lap, her fingers swept over his chest. “Unfinished business, curiosity.”

He lifted his hands to cover hers. “Do you know what you're doing?”

“Not really.” She'd never hear the end of it, it would cost her greatly, but more was going on than she'd been told. “You're the first skip I haven't brought back.”


“Yeah, oh....” She brushed her full lips across his, sighing a breath, her tongue sweeping their seam, until they opened, and she tasted him. Her legs twined themselves around his waist, his hardness against her softening body.

He groaned, wrapping his hands across her ass, lifting them together. “Bedroom?”

“Second door.” The tip of her tongue licked his lips.

He sighed, resting his forehead against hers, “Jesus.” And he kissed her back, hard.

This wasn't how the day was supposed to end, but what the hell, you only live once.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 63 (The Saturday Post)

So, between ortho appointments, shopping, going to the football game...I totally missed the Friday post, but that's okay. This is why I have a blog. I can post today what was supposed to be there yesterday... Okay. Stopping now. Already rambling.

My response to last Monday's flash image.

The Tale of Sandra McNeal
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 1100

“Mer-rily we go a-long, go a-long, go a-long.” She skipped, her sing-song voice rang throughout the emptiness. It was always dark where she lived. “Mer-rily go a-long..all day lo-ong.” She danced, kicking up the forest ground cover, twirling, her short skirt flared out and twisted around her girlish thighs. Leaves drifted up and down like a small tornado of floating debris.

“Mer-rily we go a-long, all day lo-ong.” A shrill giggle fell from her pale cold lips. She tipped her head up, her short brunette curls floated around her face as she twirled, gazing into the foggy sky. It made her dizzy, it made her feel alive.

She used to be so different, before, back when she could leave the forest.

She glanced down at her bare ankles, bare legs, bare arms and then at the light brush of snow... at least she didn't feel the cold anymore. She was cold all the time, another giggle escaped her lips, and then another, until it sounded more like shrieks.

She wrapped her arms tight around her body, hugging herself, no one else could. She only got scared if she stopped to think about it for too long. No need to dwell on the past, it couldn't be undone.

Another giggle escaped her lips before she dashed across the forest.


A small family gather around the freshly turned mound of Earth. The woman wiped her eyes, bit her bottom lip, it quivered before fresh tears fell. They'd buried an empty coffin, after more a year of not knowing. Sandra's body had never been found, just the blood, so much blood. Police assured her, no one could survive.

Brian wrapped his arms around his mother's trembling shoulders, pressing his lips to her forehead.

“It'll be okay Mom.” He really didn't believe it, but he tried. “You'll see, one day, it'll won't hurt so bad.” She buried her face in his neck, and cried harder.

His father stood a short distance away. He was pale, sickly, Sandra's disappearance had been taken it's toll. He still didn't believe she was... he couldn't say it, she was only missing, she couldn't be.... No, it wasn't possible. This was only a signal, to follow, find her way home.

“Come on Mom, it's cold, lets go home.” Brian rubbed her arms, urged her to the car, but her feet were glued to the ground. “Mom,” he said softly, “come on, please.”

She glanced up at his turquoise eyes, and nodded her head. He shuffled her off to the car, and returned to the small site.

“Dad, we have to leave now. Mom's cold, so are you. Lets go.”

For a long moment, Brian wondered if his father heard him. He lifted his hand, but his father shrugged away.

“No, you go ahead, take your mother home.” He stared at the small grave without a body. “I'll be fine.” He gazed up at his son, “I'll be along.” He turned away to stare into the forest. They'd chosen this place to say goodbye because it was her favorite. He stared hard at the bare branches. Sometimes, if he tried really hard, he could still see her dancing through the leaves. He walked off, away from his son and the small stone, and into the hidden recesses, into the darkness of the leafless trees.

Brian watched his father go, thought about going after him, but instead he trudged back towards the car. It was going to be another long night. He didn't think it would ever end.


Sandra gazed longingly at her father as he made his way deeper into the forest. She missed all her family, even Brian and his smelly cat, Theo.

She walked beside her father, reached out to touch his arm, but her fingers slipped through his coat, flesh, and bone as if nothing was there. But, she knew it wasn't her father who wasn't there, it was her. She leaned in and whispered, “I miss you too Daddy, but you need to go home. Leave me to my forest.”

He stopped as if he heard her faint whisper, then something happened Sandra had never seen before, he started to cry. He fell to his knees. He begged. “Please come home Sandie, please come back to us.”

Sandra would if she could, she'd tried. She couldn't leave the forest. It was her home now. She was tied to it, to it and her killer. “Daddy, go home.” She whispered again.

Finally, her father stood and brushed his knees off. His pants were wetted with melted snow, his hands shook, he was sure it was from the cold. He'd leave, but tomorrow... he'd come back and start looking all over again. He gather himself, muttering as he left.

Sandra watched her father, wished he'd give up. They didn't need to find her body, didn't need to see what was left of her mortal remains. It was just bones now anyway. The huge hacking cuts were gone. The forest called her, and she forgot about her family, at least for now. Then, she grinned, and it split her face from ear to ear.

At least he'd never leave either. He'd hurt her, taken her from her family, and he'd paid. Her thoughts drifted deeper into the forest, to a place where few came, and fewer left.

“Mer-rily we go a-long, all day lo-ong.” She murmured the words to herself and she skipped her way back into the darkest part of the forest.

An old mausoleum rested in it's dark heart, and inside, he awaited for her return. Though, he'd never hurt anyone else... ever again. She'd made sure. She giggled again, more shrill than before. Her revenge was swift and just.

Locked doors no longer mattered, she slipped through the stone wall to find him patiently waiting for her. She rushed up to him, funny she could feel the hard press of his bones. His flesh, what was left of it, sagged loose, a fleshy ghost. He used to cry for release, when he still had a voice. She gazed up at his eye sockets that used to hold muddy brown eyes. He sat next to a coffin filled with forgotten bones, but he was forgotten now as well. No body searched for him, waited for him. No one cared. Except for her. She'd never let him leave.

Life and love, death and unending desire, two faces of the same coin, it only mattered which side the coin fell upon.

Rather dark, not at all what I had intended to write which was going to be a playful ghost story. Instead, murder, mayhem, death, and a haunting. Se la vie....

PS: Crescent Moon Press...ONE OF MY FAVORITE PUBLISHERS... is having a sale, and not only on their website, but through Amazon too. And it a great sale! Discounts on BOTH Kindle and Print editions (and the Kindle app for your computer is FREE!) So, hurry and order, then read! Some great stories being told......and it's only going to last until Halloween, October 31, 2011.....

Ciao! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Author Interview: Kinley Baker, Author of Ruined, Talks About Writing

Hello Everyone in the Blogosphere!

Today I want to welcome Kinley Baker, one of Crescent Moon Press's new authors. I recently reviewed her book, Ruined, and it was great! (I hope you get a chance to pick it up!)

Welcome Kinley!


Why don't you start by telling my readers a little bit about yourself?

I absolutely love a good romance and if it makes me laugh and cry along the way, that’s a plus! Laughing out loud is a win especially on a bad day. I live with my husband and dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. I went to college for writing and now I’m finally starting to understand what they were trying to teach me.

What drew you to the craft of writing?

A penchant for matchmaking (which was a disaster in real life) and my personal belief that the world needs more happy endings.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

Panster more than a plotter. Although, I do need to know Goal, Motivation and Conflict for each character before I start. And I generally have an idea of where I’m going with the story. But sometimes there are curves.

When do you like to write? Mornings, Afternoons, Middle of the Night, or somewhere in between (like when the kids sleep)?

I usually get up early. I write on my lunch breaks, in the evening and on the weekends. I’m usually checked out after 8:00 p.m. but I have been known to work later during official edits. I pretty much write whenever I’m not doing something else.

Do you have some favorite music that inspires your writing? A movie? What inspires you?

My Pandora station usually involves Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert, Hinder, The Verve, Eminem, Rihanna, John Mayer, Oasis, Joe Bongiorno, Johnny Cash, David Cook, Dido, and Journey. Consider me versatile. Although sometimes Lady Gaga doesn’t work for fantasy romance. I find most music and movies inspiring. And the ocean. I’m a big fan of foggy beaches and I’ve always wanted to live in a lighthouse on big cliffs.

When you're not writing, do you have a favorite author or genre you enjoy?

I am big on contemporary romances right now. I just picked up Lori Wilde and she makes me laugh and cry. Can’t get better than that. I’ve read tons of paranormal, but I’m going through an odd stage where I can’t seem to read it at the moment.

What advice would you give to others in the journey to becoming published?

I would tell aspiring authors to keep writing, to believe in their stories and prepare for a rough road. I’m writing a post that might be relevant to this question. It will post on October 14th and if you follow me on Twitter, I’ll be tweeting about it that day.

Did you have a long line of submissions before you “got the call”?

Ruined definitely made the submission rounds. I queried at least fifty agents. A lot of them told me fantasy romance wasn’t selling. I didn’t have a ton of success until I started submitting directly to Editors, who at least had positive things to say. I received some great feedback from Editors that helped me find a home at Crescent Moon Press.

Where can we find you and your books?

My home base on the internet is
I’m also on Twitter at 

Share with us something about your current book.

Right now, I’m spending time with Caleb, the leader of the Varner. Caleb rocks! I’m having a lot of fun writing his book. I love his heroine. I didn’t think I’d ever love someone more than Jessa, but I do. Don’t tell Jessa. I’m working on getting Ruined II wrapped up and over to my publisher now. Some really emotional parts have been hanging me up because they were so hard to write. But I think they will be worth it!

What are your future plans for your series? Are you cooking up a new one?

Ruined is part of a trilogy. I’m currently wavering over Book 3 because some of the characters in Book 2 piped up and want their story told now, too. I do want to write Ari’s story. I’m going to worry about getting Caleb’s story told first, then I’ll figure out Book 3 in case vital information changes during my edits on Book 2.

I can't wait to read Caleb's story! He's such a strong leader, not easily misled or twisted, but still so tortured...having been driven from his homeland. Oh, I'm really going to look forward to him!

I do have a few other series in the works, but nothing contracted yet.

Some fun stuff!

Coffee, Tea, or Something Harder?

Can I choose all three? Lol. It depends on the time of day.

Cake or Ice Cream (or both, what flavor)?

Although I do have coffee flavored ice cream in the freezer, it’s been sitting there for a long time. Can I choose chips? I am a big chip addict. The sweet stuff doesn’t call to me anymore. I’m not a fan of cake, but I try to keep that quiet since people get pretty passionate about chocolate.

Favorite all-time movie?

Ever After. I think if you like Ever After, you’ll probably like Ruined. *crosses fingers*

Well, Ever After is one of my favorites and I loved Ruined, so I think you may be right! I loved Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott in the classic Cinderella story...ahhhh... so lovely! I can see a little Cinderella in Jessa! And a little Prince Charming is a larger than life kind of way!

Favorite paranormal creature?

Shadow Shifters like in Ruined :-) I’m biased. But I also have a story about a succubus I want to write. I’m not really picky when it comes to super powers or magic. It’s all cool and I’m jealous of all the people who have special abilities. That’s why I write about them. I live vicariously through my characters.

Your Shadow Shifters are so cool, folding shadows to move through space, loved it! Of course, vampires are my reigning favs! Not often can someone offer to bite you and it feels good, hehe.

Thank you so much for the awesome interview, Dottie! I really enjoyed answering the questions.

Thank you for visiting with us today Kinley! It has been a pleasure!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dead Mann Walking by Stefan Petrucha

Publisher: Roc, The Penguin Group
Pages: 352

(Released: October 4, 2011)

From the Cover:

After Hessius Mann was convicted of his wife's murder, suppressed evidence came to light and the verdict was overturned...-...too bad he was already executed. But thanks to the miracles of modern science Hessius was brought back to life. Sort of.

Now that he's joined the ranks of Fort Hammer's pulse-challenged population, Hessius attempts to make a "living" as a private investigator. But when a missing persons case leads to a few zombies cut to pieces, Hessius starts thinking that someone's giving him the run-around-and it's not like he's in any condition to make a quick getaway... 

Hessius Mann can't catch a break (and maybe he doesn't want to...first aid involves super glue and thread).

First, his wife has an affair with his boss. He knows because pictures show up in his email, displayed in all their glory and living color. Hess rushes home to confront his wife and finds her beaten to death. Everyone knows he has a temper, and when the PD, along with his boss, arrives on his heels, Hess is accused of a murder he swears he didn't commit.

After he's relieved of his mortal life, it's found that the police (mainly his boss, Thomas Booth) suppressed DNA evidence at his trial. Too bad he's already in his grave. But, through the wonder of modern science and without his permission, he's brought back and into a new existence. An immortal (sort of) existence, one of the walking dead, or Chakz (which means jerky...dried meat) as they're referred to, and trying to make a living as a private detective (the PD doesn't employ chakz cops).

Hessius has to admit, it's damn hard to be a PI. See, his kind doesn't remember so well, nor do they move as easy, or frankly, smell as nice as a liveblood. He's luckier than most, he can almost pass for the living, he's one of high functioning few. When reanimation came to be, loved ones were randomly brought back, that is until a few went feral, eating a liveblood is strictly forbidden. Then, the discrimination started.

When William Turgeon steps into his office with a missing person case, he figures he's struck gold, a healthy payday for a chak. Only this missing person is also a chak, Frank Boyle, and it gets stranger from there. Much stranger as his investigation continues.

Dead Mann Walking by Stefan Petrucha is the first in the Hessius Mann Series. It's the story of what happens when, through the magic of science, the wrongly executed are given a second chance at... a kind of life. When Hessius Mann is reanimated, it's to find himself out of a job and with more enemies than he can count (which isn't be very high anyway, not with his new swiss cheese memory). There's also the segment of the population (which is almost everyone) who hated the chakz, they want them segregated from society, and would like them all destroyed. Including Hess Mann. William Turgeon offers him a chance to help another of his kind. So, his search for Frank Boyle begins. But then a strange thing happens, he starts to unravel a tangled mystery. Several chakz have gone missing, just like the one whose head is the only thing missing piece with it's body parts scattered throughout the desert. And Mann can't get it out of his head. Can the reanimated were really die? It haunts him, like a nightmare, only nightmares can make chakz feral, it's a thin line to walk, and he's kind of clumsy anyway. The one thing that keeps him grounded is his assistant, an ex-addict, Misty (she also keeps him patched up). But, Turgeon may not be who he says he is and neither is the billionaire who has a weird fascination for chakz.

Dead Mann Walking is a great beginning to a new zombie series, a zombie series with a twist, a noir twist (also a great twist on the title in more ways than one). Stefan Petrucha creates a near future world where science as achieved what only God has been able to far. Science allows for those who shouldn't have died to be given new life. The only trouble is that it's a temporary fix because, eventually, all chakz goes feral, it's just a matter of time. Then there's the damage to body parts that have a tendency to break or fall off, you know, like ears and noses, maybe even fingers and toes. Petrucha delivers his tale with one line jabs, generous amounts of humor, and horrific as well as graphic details (I mean, cutting the rot from some chak's body parts or bleaching the mildew away..., kind of makes it all too real). And then there's the bad guy and how he rids himself of chak he really doesn't want. It's a must read for urban fantasy fans and horror fans alike, and even room for the adventurous noir or mystery/thriller/chiller readers willing to take a chance. Though it contains little true romance, it has a romantic feel to it, Hess speaks with romance in his words. It's not your typical zombie, Night of the Living Dead, type of story. I very much enjoyed it and can't wait for the next in the series. 5 out of 5 fairy kisses for this reader.

I received my copy for review from the author, Stefan Petrucha. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 63

Good Monday Morning Lovelies!

We're halfway through the month....14 days until Halloween! So, how about another image to stir the dark of your desires with this Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge?

Today's image is another I found while browsing through Deviant Arts website (if you haven't made your way there yet, you should, some absolutely amazing talent!)

Hope everyone comes up with some wonderful Halloween themed flash.... tis the time to be scary!!

The rules remain the same, 350 words or somewhere around there (who knows?) and come back Friday to post your flash. But, most important, have fun!

Ciao Bella!  (^_^)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 62, The Friday Post

So.... it's been a really long week! But, I decided, what the hell... I'd give this week's (and last week's) flash image a shot, so you're getting a kind of two for special.

The images......

The Flash......

The Way Home
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 900

Sam stared down the long emptiness of the dark road. Lightning flashed across the midnight sky, the only light. It was like sensory deprivation. No insects chirped to fill his ears, no breeze ruffled the ends of his dark hair, no car engines idled to attract his attention, no light bled from occupied windows. When he lifted his nose to the nighttime air, it smelled... stale, plain. Where was the scent of garden flowers? This scent of unclean bodies?

Nothing existed here, only death waited.

Is this what the Afterlife looked like? Is this Heaven or is it Hell? Somewhere in between? How could he tell?

The old preacher told stories of the Gates to Heaven, where the Archangel Gabriel stood, heralding the worthy with a mighty blast of his horn, turning away those too infected to receive forgiveness.

What was his fate?

Sam continued his way, passing empty windows, catching a glimpse of his distorted countenance. He appeared drained, sallow, a bag of bones with flesh tightly stretched over them. Was this a lie, a deception? Or did the truth fill his eyes?

“Come, Samuel.” A whispered voice clung to ear, dripping with the tenderness of a sucking leech, but nothing stirred and no one appeared. “This way Samuel, the boat awaits.”

He felt himself pushed forward as the voice prodded him, not sure what it all meant. If this was real... how come it felt like a dream? Then, true darkness surrounded him, his consciousness fell away.

So, this is what death felt like?

When next he came back to himself... he sat in a boat, alone, on a darkened looking glass lake. The boat floated of it's own accord, no oar moved it, no wind carried it or engine propelled it. It drifted with a lazy direction, steady but sure.

“Look Samuel, look where I have brought you.” The voiced caressed him, with almost a loving touch.

Sam glanced around, but it was so black, his eyes registered little.

“Look deeper, harder, fool. Destiny awaits you.” The voice held a malicious tone, his pale flesh wanted to creep away, the crawling sensation shook his body.

He squeezed his eyes shut tight, begged for the finish of the endless night. Laughter peeled around him, and he wrapped his tired arms across his shivering body.

A house came into view, stark white against the black of night. His destination. The boat came to rest on the mossy shore, and he climbed out on unsteady legs, and it floated away without him.

How long had he sailed? He felt weak, his body depleted.

Sam watched the boat makes it's eery way back to the never-never, and a hand gripped his shoulder, first skeletal, then flesh, then skeletal again. A skull stared back at him, then fleshed out, and a beautiful woman stood before him.

“We've been waiting for you. You're late!” She exclaimed. “And for your own party!” Sudden lights glowed in the house, music filled his ears. It hadn't been that way before.

“Wel-come to the Ho-tel Cal-i-fornia....” Slowly filled the black night. “Such a lovely place. Such a lovely face.” And the woman led him onward. “They're living it up at the Ho-tel Cal-i-fornia. What a nice surprise, bring your al-i-bis!”

“What is this place?” Sam turned to the woman as she flashed back to skull, limp straggles of hair hung about her face, before she fleshed out again. He tried to release her hand, but her grip grew tighter.

“And in their master's chambers, they gathered for big feast, they stabbed it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill... the... beast!” The song continued to resonate through his body as he tugged his hand to leave.

“Please, I don't want to be here, I don't belong here.” He reassured the woman, but her cold grip drew him forward. He stood in the doorway. There were others standing within the room, all eyes faced him, and he drew a harsh breath. Not one bore evidence of a soul. All were as black as the surrounding night.

“The last thing I remember, I was running for the door. I had to find the passage back to the place I was before...” The music sang.

Sam turned, the door sealed tight. He pounded his fist against it's steely grain and screamed, “Let me out of here!” And laughter fell from the air again.

“Relax. Said the Nightman, we are... programmed... to receive... You can checkout anytime you like, but you can never leave!” The song concluded.

“Is that what this place is then?” The woman still stood at his side. Fleshed out again, but with the same deadened eyes.

“This place is what you make of it.” Her musical voice rang out, and she smiled her skullish smile, finishing with a cackle. Her lips stretched taunt over her scaly bones, then flesh filled her face again, and her smile became wondrous. With a will of their own, his lips itched to touch the cool paleness of hers. He stopped himself, moments later a skeleton grinned back at him.

Then the music started again. “Wel-come to the Ho-tel Cal-i-fornia....”

“Welcome to Hell.” It should have sung, his destiny, his new found home. “And you can never leave.” His fate fulfilled.

And the guitar played on.

Well, I always felt the Eagles needed a story to go along with their song. I think the images do the song justice!

Have a great weekend, my lovelies! And tune in Monday for another image of demented desire....muwhahahaha! (I feel kind of Vincent Price-ish today...)


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 62 (The Wednesday Edition)

Good Wednesday Morning!

I miss posting Monday because after a long week of attending the MuseItUp Online Writers Conference and a long weekend of Homecoming festivities (pictures to come), my cold/allegeries/death-like symptoms and I were hacking up both of our lungs. I passed out and slept instead. Then, Tuesday was already spoken for (by the way.... stop and enter the contest!!!)... so today, I'm posting the Flash Fiction Challenge!

(Since I couldn't enlarge it anymore, I elongated it a bit so you could see the's fantastic! If you click on the image, it should enlarge, hopefully..)

It's a lovely image I found on deviant arts free stock, they have some really great stuff over there, check it out!

The rules remain the same, but abbreviated... Friday is just a couple days away! Come back on Friday and post your response to the image, somewhere around 350 words (up to you....).

Tener diversión y ser creativo!!

Have a great week and a better weekend!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Author Guest Post: Kimber An + Sweet Bytes Giveaway

Today of my blog, I'd like to welcome Kimber An!


She's going to tell us about her new novel:

Sweet Bytes, Book Three, The Ophelia Dawson Chronicles! 

Going All The Way By Kimber An

Okay, that’s a loaded phrase.

It can mean a lot of things.

I stand upon the third book in the Ophelia Dawson series and there are five books, which means Sweet Bytes is the middle book, the pivot on which the series turns.

What does it mean?

One, the entire series going all the way to publication - that was in question in August. My previous publisher declined Sweet Bytes. I assumed self-publication was the only way it’d see the light of day, but my buddies at Fabulously Young ePubs ( encouraged me to ask around. And Noble YA ( picked it up.

Two, going all the way on the plot - conflict after conflict makes a weak series. I’ve loved other series long enough to know, you’ve got to go all the way. Luke Skywalker must learn Darth Vader is his father and then he must defeat and redeem him to bring the Star Wars saga to a satisfying conclusion.

Three, the heroine goes all the way to her edge, this one’s hardest. My instinct is to mommy-coddle Ophelia. If I don’t let her go, she can never reach her greatest potential and the series will fizzle and die. But, how far is far enough? And how far is too far? The Villain would like to rape her (he’s so twisted, he thinks its love) but is that too far in Young Adult? Would it assassinate the Heroine if I let the Villain get away with it? Or, would it force her to dig even deeper and come back even stronger?

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

Four, okay the fun one, the Heroine goes all the way with Hero in the lovemaking department. Ophelia’s true love is Adrian, always has been and always will be. She empathically bonded him to herself in the very first book when she was only sixteen. Technically, I can let them go all the way once she turns eighteen and she comes of age in the next book, Blood, Dark and Sweet. For some YA, that’s a no-no and understandably so. Lovemaking has life-altering consequences, even when morality is not an issue. YA authors need to handle it carefully in their stories. At Noble YA, the readership is older though, eighteen to twenty-four. Adrian and Ophelia are a bonded couple. That’s practically married, according to the Borean Empaths. Once they’re grown up, what’s to stop them?

Well, the plot for one thing. It’s gotta work for the whole story, and the whole series. I think of the whole series as one big story, as a matter of fact.

One thing’s for sure, I’ve already promised a Happily Ever After. I can make that promise because the series is done in my head, so, actually, I already know the answers to all the above questions. I’m just not telling you! Mwa-ha-ha! ;)

Sweet Bytes is due out October 17th. Please comment to enter a drawing for a free copy. There will also be a Grand Prize to celebrate the event, something really cool and Alaskan.
Here’s the Sweet Bytes blurb-
Ophelia’s escape from Martin, an Addicted Newblood, came at a terrible sacrifice. Adrian, the boy she loves, is now infected and hunted like vermin.
As her new Protector, Tristan Li represents the Oldblood determination to destroy Adrian, along with all the Newbloods, addicted or not.
In her grief, Ophelia hates everything about Tristan, until his subtle strength empowers her to resist being turned into a vampire by the High Prefect.
As Tristan helps Ophelia harness her empathic ability, his need for redemption rings in her heart. Her own strength grows, along with her passion for freedom.
The veil of mourning lifts.
The evil of Martin returns.
Ophelia seizes ownership of her destiny.
Thank you! And a big thanks to Dottie for having me here today.

Kimber An

Kimber would like to giveaway a copy of her book, Sweet Bytes, so please remember to comment!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Passing of a Wizard...Steve Jobs, Gone But Never Forgotten

As many of you know, Apple computers are my computer of choice. I'm sadden by the passing of the visionary who made it possible for the personal computer to exist in the form it is today, for the many users out there, the millions of people who use a personal computer everyday. Without Steve Jobs, the mouse, computer screen, ease of access and use may not have existed. He made computers user friendly, he motivated wonder, encouraged innovation. He changed how we watched the movies that we love, Pixar grew from his image. He has brought magic into the lives of Apple product users. The iMac, iBook, Macbooks, iPod, iPhones, and iPad are all a part of everyday life.

My heart breaks a little at his passing. A shadow has fallen over the industry. My thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. May he rest and have peace. I'm sure his work will continue through others who shared his vision. He will be missed.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 61 (The Evening Edition)

Good Evening Flash Fiction Geniuses!

This is going to be short and sweet, because I'm exhausted! I've been running all day (I was interview by the local college television station, how weird is that?), had to shop for homecoming for my son, and I've been coughing so hard, I know bronchitis is in my future....

So... here's the....

Today's image is one I found on the deviant art free stock, I've been looking for Halloweenie type of, here's the one I chose for today....

A little creepy...but not too bad...

The rules remain the same, 350 word (or somewhere around there) and come back Friday to post your response.

Thanks y'all...

And may the muse be with you!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Midnight Flash @LeahClifford

I entered a little flash fiction contest last night that @LeahClifford (author of A Touch of Mortal) was holding on twitter.... and guess what, I won! So excited, LOL. Anyway, I wanted to shared that wee bit of flash... here were the rules:

First: She tweeted the location of the picture prompt, then the rules...1,000 words, due by dawn, send to LeahCliffordBooks at Winner gets a prize. (I believe the tweet was sent around 11pm central time or so...but if you'd like to participate in the next flash contest...follow @LeahClifford)

Since I wasn't sleeping regardless ...#insomniaismyfriend (lol) .... Here's the flash that I entered....

The Inheritance
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 980

The dusty victrola sat in the corner, the red-label disc spun round and round. When the needle dropped into the grooves, it scratched and popped, but the music poured out. “When the harvest moon is shining, I'll be pining...,” echoed off the cobwebbed corners, back to the small footprints visible on the grubby floor, to the smoky mirror reflecting nothing. No hand had turned the crank to spin the disc, nor lifted the needle to fill the grooves, yet it played it's sad little melody.

Downstairs, the front door banged opened, the family of four trooped in, two small children, two adults. You'd think there'd be laughter to fill the old house, but no one wanted to live here. They entered as the last of the chords resounded in the darkness, drawing their attention.

“Greg, did you leave your iPod playing?” Mom questioned, eyebrows raised.

“You mean this one?” The boy held out his hand, the metallic gleam shined in the entry light.

“Huh, I wonder what's playing?” She shrugged her slim shoulders, before glancing up the steps, taking a step forward.

“Dunno, but I'll check it out.” Dad bounced the little girl in his arms, he smiled and kissed her forehead.

“That's okay, supper'll get cold, we'll eat first. It's stopped now anyway.” She smiled tiredly, taking the little girl from his arms, carrying her to the kitchen.

The young family gathered around the table, when the eery tune began again, indistinct and muted, indistinguishable noise.

“Now, that's weird. Where's it coming from?” She glanced around the ancient home of her husband's family. They only came back for the funeral, that was over two months ago. All their lives had changed with the inheritance.

“I think it's the attic, there's an old record player up there. It's creepy.” Greg raised his blue eyes to the ceiling. “I wish we'd never moved here.”

“Gregory, that's enough. Eat.” His father prodded, but he shivered just the same. He'd hated this damned old house as a child, and now he was forced to return, and to stay.

With his mother's death, everything had changed, and not for the better. She'd been a cold and unfeeling old woman. He was surprised when the Lord took her, he thought she'd live forever. Heaven was too good for her, but maybe she resided in the other place. Her will's provision said the house couldn't be sold until a full year after her passing, and if her son, as her sole heir, thought to benefit, he'd have to live there. Only ten more months to go.

Jennifer started to cry, and her mother gathered her close, shushing her, rocking back and forth. If the truth were to be known, she was as creeped out as Greg, and he was only eight.

The music stopped and the house grew quiet, Jennifer cried harder.

“I know I said we'd live here, but I don't know hon...” She held little girl closer as she felt a hand as cold as death linger on her cheek, her neck, and down her arm. She jumped, jostling Jennifer who started crying all over again.

“The will said I had to live here, it didn't say anything about anyone else. Why don't you take the kids, go to your mother, she hasn't seen the kids in a while.” He stood and stroked his wife's back, “you don't need to be here, and neither do the kids.”

“No, if you're staying, we're all staying.” She leaned closer, “I just wish this weird crap would stop.”

“Can't we just leaving Daddy? I don't want to live here.” Greg watched his parents, his eyes begged and teared. “Sometimes I think I see Grandma around the corner, she didn't like me, and I think she likes me even less now.”

His father cringed, if they could afford to leave they would, but he'd lost his job over a year ago. He looked to his wife, and she smiled weakly.

“Now that's silly Greggy, you know that's impossible.” His mother smiled at him, reassured him, and he tried to smile back. But if a house was haunted, this one would be it.


That night after the lights dimmed, a rocking chair creaked, then as if the weight shifted, creaked again as it began to rock. Soon they would leave her home, soon they'd be gone. She smiled, she'd never leave. A ghostly cackle filled the air. That was the plan all along, they'd come, they'd leave, she'd stay, forever.


Life continued the same for six months, until the day came when the family could take no more.

“I don't care if we have to live on the street,” she wiped the tears from her eyes, “we need to leave before someone really gets hurt.” Greg was sleeping now, his arm in a cast after taking a nasty spill. He swore he was pushed, and the scary part was, he had a bruise in the center of his back, a hand print.

“We'll leave tomorrow, your mother has been asking us to come, so we'll go.” He kissed his wife's worried forehead, then he shouted to the room. “Do you hear that Mother, you win, we're leaving.”

On the next day, a cab pulled up to the house, and a young man stepped out, and knocked on the door.


“Does a Mr. Anderson live here?”

“For about thirty more minutes. What can I do for you?”

“Mr. Anderson, sir, your uncle passed away, leaving you his estate.”

“You've got to be kidding...” He replied as he looked over the legalese.

“No sir, but there's a catch...”

Like sister, like brother.

So, there you have! A wee bit of midnight flash....

Hope you had a great weekend!

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