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Crimson Romance

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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 20..... The Friday Post

Oh. My. Word.  I forgot today was Friday.... *headdesk*

I glanced at the clock, it read 8:00 P.M.... I wondered through my blog roll which hadn't been updated since 5:30 this morning to find Michelle's flash fiction entry... and then I hurried over to Facebook, and B had her entry posted.... O.M.G....  IT'S FRIDAY!!!  I spent most of the day playing with my brand spanking new iPad..... it's a great reader!!

Oh well, it's been an INCREDIBLY long week with Kevin and all three kids stuck in the house.  And to boot, it's New Year's Eve... but we always stay home on New Year's Eve so I don't feel so bad about forgetting it was the 31st...  I just called my niece to wish her a Happy Birthday, and she was all like, well Aunt Dottie, I thought you forget.  When I told her I had her birthday present here, she asked to me to transport it right on over to her.  LOL.... Her mother watches WAAAAY too much Star Trek....

Anyway, here's the lovely image for this week....  and my flash, which is hot from the fingertips....

Moonlight and Wine
By Dottie Taylor
word count: 455

The moon looked larger, shone brighter as it neared it's zenith. One more night until it reached it's fullness, Sabin thought as she lifted the goblet to her lips. She glanced over her shoulder, already she could feel the need growing, her smooth flesh itching as with a prickling rash, but no cure would stop the crawling sensation of the change.

She shuddered as Raul brushed his fingertips across her bare arm, gooseflesh breaking out where soon a silky softness would grow. She warmed to his touch, desire flaring fresh to life. He reached for her bringing her hand to his lips, partaking of her wine.

As he released her fingers, he captured her waist, pulling her back hard against his body. “Soon sweet, we'll run with the beast.” He growled into her ear, his lips colored by the redness of her wine, his need throbbing, his mouth seeking.

Involuntarily, her head fell back against his shoulder. It was as if she had no control of her senses, not when his lips heated her flesh.

“Don't,” she whispered. Then even quieter on the breath of a whisper, “Stop....” Sabin knew Raul would hear her, his preternatural senses were stronger than her own. But, she couldn't help herself, nor, did she want to. His beast roared a little as his mouth sought the sweetness of her flesh.

She twisted in his arms as his head came up, his eyes fiery. His lips found hers in a heart pounding kiss. If he should leave, she would stop breathing, stop living, because he was the reason for her existence. He was now and always would be, for how ever many years they existed together, the reason for her life.

She watched his eyes, glowing with the reflection of the moon as he gathered her closer, until it was near impossible to breath.

“I curse myself with every full moon.” He whispered as his gaze roved over her, reading her, and she reached up to press her fingers against his lips.

“Don't, you know I would want it no other way. I love you, I have to be with you, you are my life.”

In the heat of passion, Raul had changed, taking Sabin's life into his hands, forcing the same curse upon her. It was an accident, but one that could not be undone.

He swept her into his arms, dropping to the pine needle cushioned ground. Brushing away her long raven colored hair, his fingers shook with need. The clasp of her gown loosen as it slipped from her shoulders.

“You're so beautiful.” Raul breathed into the moonlight.

“As are you my love.” Sabin smiled as she leaned into his kiss.

I hope you had as much fun this time image as I did!!  I didn't mean to write a love story, but it's what come out when my fingers started flying over the keys... a whole 45 minutes ago, lol.  I'll be by to see how everyone else reacted to the prompt... soon... I promise!!

Man, I need to start looking at a calendar, writing these things down... old age is a bitch.... grumble.... grumble.... grumble.....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Solid by Shelley Workinger

Publisher:  CreateSpace
Pages:  228

(July 9, 2010)

From the Cover:

Eighteen years ago, a rogue Army doctor secretly experimented with a chromosomal drug on unknowing pregnant women. When he was killed not long after the children were born, any knowledge and evidence seemed to die with him - except for the living, breathing, human products of his work.

Almost two decades later, the newly self-proclaimed "open-book" military unearths the truth about the experiment, bringing Clio Kaid and the other affected teens to a state-of-the-art, isolated campus where they soon discover that C9x did indeed alter their chromosomes, its mutations presenting as super-human abilities. The military kids, who come from across the nation and all walks of life, come into their own as lighter-than-air 'athletes'; 'indies' as solid as stone walls; teens who can make themselves invisible and others who can blind with their brilliance.

While exploring her own special ability, forging new friendships and embarking on first love, Clio also stumbles onto information indicating that the military may not have been entirely forthcoming with them and that all may not be as it seems...

Clio (Calliope Kaid) is a teen with a small difference that she's never known about, but she's always been a bit out of place.  It could have been the traveling, when your mother is a best selling author, you're on the road quite a bit, seldom at home long enough to cultivate lasting friendships.  She's never really known her father, an accident took his life during her infancy.  Or it could be what happened more than eighteen years before... while her mother was pregnant and under the care of a rogue doctor with his own agenda.

Now, Clio is an eighteen year old girl, ready to start the next year of her life when her mother is contact by the Army.  It seems Dr. Heigl, her obstetrician all those years ago, was prescribing more than prenatal vitamins.  When Clio is asked to participate in an Army conducted camp to see the effects on Dr. Heigl's "children", she decides it may not be a bad way to spend part of her summer, as far as she knows, there's nothing different about her than any other teen.

Clio's and her co-conspirators start in their own investigation of the circumstances of their creation when the Army answers don't add up, when they seems to have trouble contacting the outside world. Jack, affable lovable wanna be boyfriend, Garrett, super jock, Bliss, whimsically wise almost sister, Melinda, tigress in the making, and late comer to the group, Alexis, orphaned goth-like teen techie ready for any challenge, take on the Army only way they can, sneaking out to gather evidence.

It would seem that Clio and all her new found friends all have special abilities, dealing with the solidity of their existence.  All are different, but because of Dr. Heigl's mad experiments, all are the same.  Janet, Clio's wanna be mentor and friend, isn't all she appears to be, is Colonel Clark, who seems to know all about Clio, all he says too?  This tight group of friends need to find the answers to their questions and they need to do it quickly.

Solid by Shelley Workinger is a YA fantasy that grabs the reader's attention on the very first page, and holds it until the end.  It's a quick little page turner that I had trouble putting down.  Clio is a likable character who seems pretty confident, who seems pleased with her life for the most part, she's just a little out of step.  In the book, Solid, the teens are divided into basically three categories:  the jocks, the teens that repel others (the goth-like group, always a little angry), and the group who can influence their solidity with their very thoughts.  Clio belongs to the last group, but her friends are a mixed bag of her group as well as the other groups, there's so distinct lines of belonging to only one group or the other, which I very much liked about the book.  Jack, her wanna be boyfriend, doesn't belong to any group or maybe he belongs to them all, but he's likable and fun, and maybe in the next book, he'll play a bigger role or maybe not (I've read the Prologue for the Book Two, Settling.... see the bottom of the post).  The teens in the story all find out the Dr. Heigl, obstetrician, was doing rogue experiments, developed drugs to try out on his patients who he went to great lengths to pick out for his experiments, traveling to different Army bases around the US.  But, he's killed before the experiment can reach it's completion, and the Army claims to have just found out about what he'd been doing to his pregnant patients.  But, would the Army really tell all if they did know?  People have been disappeared, killed, maybe something more is going on there too.

Solid is an attention grabbing story, that YA and adult audience will enjoy, it's a fun little tale of what can happen with a rogue slightly mad scientist does his own thing with or without permission.  And the experiment so far doesn't have any really bad effects yet, all the teens are nice looking, some appear to have adjust issues just like real life, but we're just entering Shelley Workinger's world, so who knows what the future holds.  The ending is good as well, I knew something was up with the bad dude, but never saw the ending coming, and one of the students close to Clio's group is involved too, that kind of surprised me.  I've been reading lots of YA recently, it's one of my favorite genres, and I'm adding Shelley's books to my list.  I don't read many self-pub books or indie books (I know, I need to expand my horizons), and I'm surprised this wasn't pick up by one of the small publishing houses, it's definitely a good read with well developed characters, and the world building was pretty good too, there's lots going on for quick read.  If you enjoy a quick fun/mad scientist/Army secrets/fantasy YA read, pick this one up.  I very much enjoyed this quick read, and I'll be looking forward to the rest of the series!


By none of my own volition, I abandoned my chair to meet him in his – uninvited maybe, but not unwelcome. One minute I’d been seated, steady; the next traversing the gap between us without touching down. All I knew was that there’d been nothing but air supporting me until I’d climbed into his lap and connected with the solidness of him.

His response to my assault was not immediate, clutching the armrests as long as conceivably possible while waging an inner battle between desire and decorum. His conflict – his need for me held in check by his uncertainty – froze his body as if he were scared of me. Or more likely not so much of me as of us.

Breaking his resistance, I ran my hands up his shoulders to touch his fine hair, prickly soft under my fingertips. On his lap, facing him, I nudged up his chin, making him look into my eyes and see that this was what I wanted, what I needed. Our faces a breadth apart, I felt heady breathing in the delicious scent of him. My heart sped up to match beats with his, my hunger for him an intensity I’d never experienced when I claimed the first kiss.

That first taste was like the first bite of the apple, the one action that opened the floodgates. So this was why Eve was the slandered one, the seductress. And in the same instant that I knew there was no going back, that nothing could tear me away from this forbidden nectar, he stopped fighting and met me there, joined me in the us. His hands smoothly traded the armrests for my waist, his strong fingers spreading across my lower back as he pulled me more securely onto the seat. My knees slid up to his hips, my legs still folded underneath me but now pressing against the outside of his. Now it was he who deepened the kiss, hurtling from concession to conviction, keeping a firm claim on my backside as I bowed deeper against his chest.

Without fully separating, we both inhaled a necessary gasp at the same instant, seeming to breathe in the same pocket of air, resealing our lips with yet more urgency. Where did the air come from when your need for each other was too fierce to even break for a second? More even than just I want you, but I need you - need you more than air?

As if from a distance I heard my own throaty moans, vaguely aware that I should be embarrassed by the near-growling, but his grip only tightened at the sound. The heat climbing higher, his hands followed suit, up my back and sides all at once, over my bursting ribcage, rounding the tops of my shoulders and trailing down to rest lightly on the front of my biceps in an unexpected but tender hold. I wanted the moment to last forever. He was so strong yet safe, soft and vulnerable all at the same time. So intense, so overwhelming, so…not Jack.

As a side note, I'd like to add CreateSpace posted that the Amazon and Penguin are holding a writing comp, more details click here.

I received my copy from Shelley Workinger for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Morning (Evening) Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 20

It has been a wild and crazy day here, trying to snow again, Christmas returns (stood in a line for 45 minutes.... and they didn't have what my kid wanted), more returns (with less hassle....), and finally haircut finished... back home again!

I hope everyone had a great holiday... it sure felt long here with all the kids home and the hubs taking a vacation at the same time... makes it feel like the house is about to burst, lol!

Thankfully, it only comes once a year...

Now, since I finally have a few untethered minutes to sit by my computer, here the Monday Morning (yeah, I know, it's dark here too) Flash Fiction Challenge.

I grabbed this image from Michelle's folder.... I've been in serious need of a little darkness... and this one doesn't get much darker.

I hope we see some interesting flash from this one!!  It is dark and gloomy, and I know B and Michelle will find some darkness deep down to tell us!

The rules remain the same.... 350 words (more or less is fine), come back Friday and post your response.  I know it will be great!!  Let your creative lose and have fun!!

PS:  Want another challenge?  Check out the Deadline Dames Readers on Demand  (cool image!) post (250 exact word count posted in comments, due 12/29/10 midnight), prizes to be had!!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Keepers by Heather Graham

Publisher:  Harlequin Nocture
Pages:  288

From the Cover:

At the core of New Orleans lie the otherworldly vampires and shape-shifters that hide in plain sight among mankind. As one of the Keepers, an elite group possessing superior skill and strength, Fiona MacDonald's duty is to maintain peace in a place where one vampire's bite could ignite war. When Detective Jagger DeFarge, a vampire, is called in at the discovery of a body drained of blood, both the detective and Fiona must join uneasy forces.

Jagger will stop at nothing to find the murderer - including working with the sensual and suspicious Fiona. As more die, it becomes clear that this isn't the work of an ordinary vampire. No one is safe. So when the killer's attention turns to Fiona, will Jagger risk destroying his own species to protect the woman he so passionately desires?

The Keepers: Three extraordinary sisters, balancing the duties of their birthrights and the yearnings of their hearts.

Fiona, Caitlin, and Shauna MacDonald, three sister, and three Keepers of the Underworld, Fiona - Vampire Keeper, Caitlin - Shapeshifter Keeper, and Shauna - Were Keeper; all three came into their powers with the death of their parents.  Their parents had been powerful Keepers who gave their lives to stop the Underworld war ripping their society apart.

Fiona MacDonald doesn't know who to trust, Jagger DeFarge the police detective/vampire in charge of the murder cases, David Du Lac vampire local night spot owner, Billy Harrington vampire and in love with one of the murdered women, Grenard Mateas newcomer vampire... all are on her radar, but would any of them risks themselves, be willing to give up their lives to start a new war between the races?

Jagger DeFarge doesn't want Fiona intruding where a Keeper shouldn't be, but he finds himself drawn to the Keeper, it's her power, but is it the power of the Keeper or the sensual woman?  David Du Lac appears to be the father figure of the vampire community, is he something more?  Billy Harrington appears to be sweet and innocent, but could he have murdered all these women.. just to keep the one he loves eternally at his side?  Grenard Mateas, newcomer to New Orleans, and doesn't believe in all their rules, could he be trying to take control of the city, starting a war to prove vampire superiority?

Fiona and her sisters need answers to all of these questions to stop the brewing war that could rip their society apart and well as their city, and exposed them all to the humans they're suppose to protect.

The Keepers by Heather Graham is a paranormal romance with elements urban fantasy that encompasses three races of paranormal creatures:  weres, shifters, and vampires.  There was a great war between the races in recent history caused by a mixing of the race, the root of the war... prejudice, when lovers came together to defy the separation of the races.  War of this magnitude should never be allowed to happen again, many were lost to the destruction including Fiona MacDonald's parents.  But, there's one that doesn't believe there should be a second chance, one that believes one race over the others is to blame.  The question that needs to be answered is who would want such a thing?  Then, the murders start happening, and the beautiful young blonde blue eyed victims rise from the death, turned.  Could a vampire be responsible for the deaths?  Who would jeopardize their life, freedom, and more war?  It's Fiona's job to prevent more war from ever happening again, her job to police the vampire society.  It's DeFarge's job to find out who could be responsible, and stop them at all cost.

The Keepers is an excellent read with a love story brewing at it's base.  Fiona MacDonald and Jagger DeFarge are drawn together by the need to stop the murders.  But, once thrown together, the vampire and the Keeper find each other irresistible.  This could have been an erotic romance, but instead, we're left with the sweetness of a true love, sensual in nature, and there are sex scenes, but sweet not graphic.  It's the story of two people who find each other, who made for each other, and love blossoms where least expected.  As for the murders that have been occurring in some of New Orleans cemeteries, everything indicates a vampire, but Fiona is warned, not everything is as it seems, or is it?  The Keepers was a quick page turning read.  Jagger DeFarge is strong, sexy, with all the powers of a vampire.  Fiona MacDonald is beautiful and strong, but carrying the baggage of her parents death and having to protect her two younger sisters as they all three come into their powers.  Basically, this story is about what can happen when prejudice against one race versus another is allowed to roam free, unchecked, leading to war.  One of the questions left to be answered is did this Underworld society learn from their previous mistakes?  If you enjoy paranormal romances or urban fantasies, you'll enjoy this read.  I ended up very much enjoying this one, and will be patiently waiting to see if Caitlin and Shauna get their stories as well, and to see if the races can become one large Underworld society able to live in peace and work together.

**Addition to Post**  Amazon is offering The Keepers for a remarkable 99 cents!!  Check it out!

I received this ebook from Harlequin and Net Galley for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 19..... The Friday Post

Good Christmas Eve Morning to all my blogosphere buddies!

I still have so much left to do, pressies to wrap, pies to make, cookies to bake!  So this is short and sweet, lol, just like me!

This is our prompt I chose from the two offered on Monday this week:

Why Kringle Lives
by Dottie Taylor
word count: 900

I was told this story by a very special Faerie friend, and as far as I know, every word is true.

Once upon a time, in a land lost to time, there lived an elderly gentleman. The man was much loved by his neighbors, especially the children. His fondest memories were of making toys. Not just any toys, but ones with moving parts, dolls with eyes that blinked, coasters to sent carts flying. And his toys kept getting better and better.

On this cold crisp morning, as the sun rose over the horizon, the man realized his life was ending. But, he'd lived a good long life, he'd had 135 birthdays, and though his body might be tired, his soul and spirit felt young, full of life. He attributed his long existence to hard work and happiness.

As he laid upon his death bed, he called out to the tiny creatures of the magical world, those who came to him as he worked, sat on his shoulders to hear his stories, his friends who helped him. He wanted to say goodbye. He could weave stories full of mystery and magic... but that's a tale for another day.

All of Faerie knew the man was leaving, and they were very sad. The flutter of wings brushed against his face, tiny dibbles of sparkles fell upon his cheek. Finally the Queen of Faerie came forward as sad as the rest for she had fallen in love the man. She came a lite upon his rosy nose, stomping her tiny foot.

“Kringle, Faerie refuses to let you go. You have much left to do, stories yet to tell.” She sparked haughtily, jiggling as she marched, creating a flurry of Faerie dust.

“No, I'm sorry, it just can't be done!” She settled on his chin, sitting in his fluffy white beard.

Kringle focused in on the tiny queen, “Madam,” he whispered, “I'm afraid the decision has been taken out of you hands.” He chuckled weakly, “All creatures big or small eventually have to meet their maker.”

“We'll see about that!” The Queen of Faerie stood, and as he watched, she began to twirl around and around, faster and faster, until she was nothing more than a blur of shining light. Then, Kringle heard her voice as it boomed around him.

“I called upon all that's true, all that's merry, release this man to the World of Faerie. From mortal to immortality, let it be, I demand it as Tatina, Queen of Faerie!”

As Kringle took one last breath, he felt his body being whisked away. He glanced around dizzily, the land changed, his small cabin where he'd lived his whole life gone, and in it's place stood a structure, with spires, turrets, and yes, windmills, surrounded by evergreen trees.

“Where am I?” Kringle called, and the Faerie Queen, who now stood upon the snow covered grass, reached out and took his hand.

“Why, I told you, Faerie could never let you go.” She smiled and spun around, “Welcome to Faerie!”

“But, I don't understand,” Kringle said as he stood, “it looks like the stories I told the wee ones when they'd come to play in my shop.” As he watched, birds, rabbits, and deer came out of the forest to surround them.

The Faerie Queen beamed, “We want you to feel at home in our world, Kringle, I hope we got it right.” She led with to his new home, and behind it stood his workshop, where Faerie upon Faerie fluttered, each in the process of making some toy. When the Faeries saw him, they glittered and flashed, sparks of Faerie dust flying madly, they were so happy to see him.

“Well my little friends, what have you done?” He grinned at them, as they fell around him showering him with dust.

The Faerie Queen spoke again. “We kept you in the land of man for as long as we could, Kringle. Faerie needs you, you breathe life into our existence. You can make all the toys you want, and we'll help you take them to the children who need them, one night every year.” The Queen looked around, all the heads nodding.

Kringle gazed upon his Queen who stood beside him, fiery hair glowing with a red burn, sparks of magic filled the air around her. Her eyes shimmered, her flesh fairly glowed. She leaned over and kissed him full of the mouth with a giggle and a wink. As she leaned in to kiss him again, he lifted his hands which were strong and young once more, gathering her to his body. He smiled, meeting her in the kiss, happiness bubbling up and out to fill his soul. He fell in love in love with the Faerie Queen, and together they rule the land of Faerie, even til this very day.

That's why, on one night per year, Kringle is allowed to return with the help of Faerie magic to bring toys in the blink of an eye to all the children around the world. He bears to the colors of his Queen, red for her fiery hair and green for the land, sparkles of Faerie dust. Wherever Kringle goes, happiness follows.

Most people believe it was Elven magic, but most people are wrong.

I wanted to write something Christmasy and the legend of Kris Kringle came to mind....

If you'd like to play along, post a response!  It can be anything your heart desires, let your creative juices flow!

Come back next Monday for another edition of....

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!

Have a great Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 19

Good Monday Morning Blogosphere Peeps!

It's been another long weekend here at the Taylor house.  Christmas shopping, the wrapping of the pressies, cleaning in case we get unforeseen company, and altogether exhaustion.  LOL  I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season, and personally, I'm glad it only comes once a year.

This is the 19th week of our flash fiction, not quite 2 weeks left in 2010, where did this year run away to?  It sped me so fast.... a blink of an eye!

I really struggled trying to find an image that could be somewhat true to the season, but with enough fantasy that would allow addition thoughts as well.  I wanted something that would allow for anything to the written, but nothing to sweet, because if you noticed, I don't do sweet well, lol!  So, for this flash, and this flash only lol, I'm giving a choice of the two images that I liked the best.

This first image is of an elfin warrior, but see?  It has the feel of a Christmas tree look in the background.  Sort of, lol.  Maybe she's one of Santa's elves?  Everyone needs security these days...

This second images is one of Michelle's and I had to actually glance through our previous flashes to see if we'd already used it or not, lol.  Old age is a bitch!  Anyway, I thought this manly angel (I do mean manly, and damn, he looks angelic to me!), could embody the season (again sort of!).  I absolutely love the dragons peeking over his shoulder!  Maybe he's the Christmas angel, granting Christmas wishes? LOL  Anyway, I hoping he is!

I hope you enjoy these images, and can't wait to see what they produce.  Have fun with it!  And if you'd like to play along, please feel free to do so!

As always, the rules remain the same.  We have a 350 word count (more or less) and come back Friday (or Thursday if you need to see how Friday is Christmas Eve... or if you can't play along this week, I totally understand.)

Have a glorious week and remember only 5 shopping days left until Christmas!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sassy Sunday Story Starter.... from Sassy Brit 'Alternative-Read'

Sassy Brit offers a Sunday morning story starter, and this week's starter was offered by Laura Tolomei.  Thanks Laura!  It was supposed to be a naughty one, but I've been thinking about last year's NaNoWriMo story, thinking it's time to give it another peek, and a short story involving it's world came to me.  So, no naughty for me this morning, lol, urban fantasy instead.  But I really had fun with this one, and it let me bring one of the secondary characters to life.  Without further ado (because I really should be cleaning and wrapping Christmas presents.... lol), here's a taste of the book, Magic is Murder.

Magic is Murder, A Short Story
by Dottie Taylor
word count: 1000

“Delicious.” Sucking avidly, the beautiful man with long, light-brown hair and mysterious smoky-green eyes scraped off all traces of her taste before raising his gaze. “You think it’s her, precious?”

“Delicious.” Sucking avidly, the beautiful man with long, blue-black hair and mysterious dark chocolate eyes scraped off all traces of her taste before raising his gaze. “You think it’s her, precious?”

Franklin twisted around, finding Micca's eyes upon him, and grinned at his old adversary, laughing at the endearment.

“Do you think she's the one to revive me, bring me back to my full strength? She's so sweet, tasty.” He lapped and chuckled at the horror he saw in Micca's eyes, already he looked as he had in their youth.

Micca struggled against her restraints as she fought for liberation. Her advanced years halting her progress, strength flagging much too early. Devlin Franklin, an old enemy from her past had come back to haunt her, as he had promised; the old bastard trying to fulfill his threats.

She glanced at her granddaughter, Kara, restrained as well and shuddered, this was all Micca's fault, she been in a hurry, careless. She cringed with every touch of Franklin's hands as they brushed across Kara's unconscious body, each sip of her blood a blasphemy, beastly opportunistic.

This wasn't supposed to happen, Franklin had been so weakened with Kara's last confrontation, Micca had hoped his death would rapidly approach. Instead he had become something far worse, he leaned in and partook of Kara's body once more, flinging back his head to laugh giddily, quickly gaining unearned confidence. He supposed Micca was done in, down and out, but the necromancer and warlock had figured wrong, not with her granddaughter's life at stake.

Micca closed her eyes, calling upon the elements of the Earth, she had given much of her power to Kara, but an Earth witch is never truly without unbidden abilities. Micca reached out to terra firma, asking the Earth of spill open. The Earth shuddered, groaned as the floor quaked beneath their feet. Franklin, so taken with his conquest, noticed nothing.

Next Micca, reached out to the creatures crawling through the soil; the insects, rats, and the burrowing animals, ferrets. She touched the consciousness of those tiny creatures, calling them from the Earth and to her service.

Micca felt them, could hear them, scraping the walls, the floor, until seeing the tiniest ones exploring the space, steadily approaching Franklin as he again he leaned over Kara's prone body, taking the smallest of sips, lapping at her blood and the strength held within her body, relishing what he had tried to take once before.

Micca watched as insects of all kinds scuttled across the floor to began the journey over Franklin's clothing, he so involved with seeking his own pleasure, caught unaware.... until the biting started as the insects found a home beneath his robes.

At first he tried to brush away the annoyance, but soon he realized something was wrong as he swatted his body. Next came the rats, advantageous animals that nipped his flesh as he exposed his partial renewed body, half rotting corpse, half defined muscles, the effects of partaking an Earth witch's blood.

Finally the ferrets, bold and inquisitive creatures, leapt upon his head, gouging eyes, biting flesh, as the necromancer half turned vampire flung himself away from Kara's body. How long the creatures could keep up their attacks, Micca didn't know.

Without Franklin blocking her thoughts, she rapidly reached out to the consciousness of her granddaughter, mentally shaking her, breaking Franklin's hold. Kara's eyes fluttered, opened, finding those of her Grams. Silently they whispered, with Kara reaching out to caress her lover, Lucas.

Franklin fought free of his tiny attackers as Micca let the Earth's tiniest ones go. Kara's eyes fluttered closed in feigned unconsciousness as Franklin stormed back across the room.

He leaned down shoving his face inches from Micca's, his fangs glistened as he brought back his hand, smacking her across the face. “Don't interfere again, your time will come, but first the youngling who thought she could challenge me greets her death.” He grounded out.

He straddled Kara's body, bringing his face to her's and in his haste to take her life, failed to see the glow of her body. As his fangs touched her flesh, his strength began to seep away. Finally he saw the barest movement of her lips, and he twisted his head around to watch Micca's move as well.

“What are you doing to me Earth bitch?!” He bellowed, trying to separate himself from Kara's glow. Micca and Kara opened their eyes together, saying what he couldn't hear moments before.

“Take what the necromancer perverted,
return to the Earth the undeserved.”

“Return the power diverted,
by the grace of we two, blessed be, let is be so.”

“Noooo!” Franklin screamed, finally releasing himself, but the flush of rejuvenation halted.  His worm-worned death mask fell back into place, his muscles sagged, wasted once more. He scurried away, the shadows becoming his friendly shades, concealed within their darkness.

Kara freed her wrists, then her ankles, and hurried to the aid of her Grams. Lucas came storming in, guns drawn, ready to kill whatever stood between him and his lovely ladies. He gathered them close, his lips lingering upon Kara's. “I can't let you out of my sight for a moment,” he blustered, “no more Solstice shopping without an armed escort!” Together they headed back to Kara's parents home where rest, and if Lucas had his way, ravishing Kara's body awaited. Solstice only comes once a year.

Okay, Devlin's description doesn't exactly match, but with a few tiny adjustments, blue-black hair, and dark chocolate eyes, it makes this short story, part of the book from last year, come to life (forgive me Ms. Tolomei was slightly adjusting to fit my needs.  Thanks for the story starter!).  I'm way over on the word count, but couldn't turn the story back off once it started flowing.  It was nice to revisit the characters from last year.

If you'd like to play along, join Sassy Brit by clicking here!

Have a wonderful Sunday!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 18..... The Friday Post

Here it is Friday once again, but instead of posting this morning, by hubs dragged me off the Christmas shop, something I've been avoiding, but with seven days of shopping time left, he insisted, a rare occasion.  Not often does he say "Go forth, woman, spend money!"  LOL  Some shopping finished, much left to do.

This is the 18th week of our flash fiction challenge, and I've enjoyed doing them so much!!  Here's the wonderful prompt from Monday...

Undying Love
By Dottie Taylor
word count:  900

Once again the mists streamed over the loamy ground, and once again she stood at the grave. The ravens called, and her raised her sightless eyes as the blustering wind lifted her lank hair away from her face, a death mask, a pall of her love. How many years had she been gone? So many that the gales had washed away the face of the stone, but still he brought flowers, still she could scent the salty flavoring of his tears. Lowering her clouded eyes, she reached down, touching the places where once the inscription could be read...

“Beloved Wife”
“Aged 20”

So long ago....

Serena had loved Will with all of her heart, all of her soul, so much not even death stood in her path. She'd been ten and four years when the ceremony linking her and Will together took place, even then she knew she would love no other.

Will was handsome... roguish good looks, tall in stature with the attitude of a rake, a little boy smile bearing two twin dimples belying the strong bulge of his muscles and the hot vibrancy of his blood and his boundless energy with a bellowing laugh that could be heard across the marshes... a smile graced Serena's pale blue lips. She remembered the times he'd swept her into his arms, marched across the briny fields, thrown her across their marriage bed. How his big strong hands had made her feel small, secure, safe in their care.

Then, as Will and the men of their village were away hunting for the beast disemboweling their precious livestock in the dead of a wintry night, a stranger came, stealing her away. For three days, the stranger partook of her body, of her blood, of her life... she struggled against her bonds, until there was nothing left... no strength, no life, only her love of Will left to her.

As Serena laid upon death, the stranger laughed, harsh and cruel, “Death comes for you on this night, my pretty.” Then he vanished from her sight, leaving her to greet death alone and frightened.

With the last of her dying breath, with the last of her vision, Will burst into the room, followed by the men of their village. A scream tore from his lips as he tightly gathered her to his body, as he gently stroked her death pale flesh, bloodied, bruised, a faint blue tainted to her frozen lips as he tried to warm them with his own, too late.

As Will held her, the last of her life tried to leave. She heard his anguished cry as he lifted his face to the heavens. “NOOOO!” Even though she tried to stay, tried to grasped ahold of Will, she slipped away into nothingness.

Serena had awake so much later, surrounded by wooden planks, the scent of freshly turned soil filled the air, the space tightly constraining her. With no more than a thought, she freed herself from the confines of the grave. From that night forward, she roamed the Earth, seeking the one who brought her to this place, between life and death.

It had take all of Will's long lifetime, but finally she'd succeeded, finding the creature who had take her life and love. She brushed her fingers once more down the stone, now bearing fresh crimson. She'd found the beast as he'd plundered another, bringing death wherever he lingered.

When the vapor of her body came to stand next to him, his blood red eyes widened so different from her opaque ones, as her pale cold fingers secured his neck feeling the muscles strain, pop, and finally break. As his head smashed onto the ground, as his blood soaked her shroud, her death gown, Serena found her voice. “For all the years of longing, all the long years of aloneness, for the pain you've brought, you've bought your place in hell.” She croaked as his unnatural life slipped away into nonexistence.

Serena looked down once more at the grave, her grave. Will came across the loamy ground, now old and gray, she could feel his strength slowly ebbing away with each of his stumbling steps. Without seeing her, he stretched his body out on the ground, one hand touching the stone, and unknowingly, bearing the blood of her murderer.

“On this night, I'll join with you my love.” He weakly said, and as Serena gazed upon her love, his breath halted, faltering as his chest no longer rose. As she watched, his soul stepped away from his broken body, handsome, strong, vibrant as he was in his youth.

Serena felt herself awakening, the blush of death upon her cheeks, a rosy hue of what once was life. She reached out to Will, who found her eyes, once opaque and unseeing, but now, she felt a sharp flash as color returned, a pale blue brushed to her irises, a reflection of her life. Her spindly hair grew supple, curling to fall around her shoulders. Her frozen limbs thawing in his presence.

“I've waited so long for you my love.” She said as his warm fingered clasped hers, bringing heat back to her body. Will hugged her to his side, sweeping her into his arms as his strong steps carried them away from life. They left the Earth together, bound by love, timeless and true.

Well, went a little over the word count, I blame NaNo, can't stop writing now.... lol...!

Leave me a link, and I'll peek at your response!

And join us next Monday for another edition of.... (which I have a feeling will be Christmasy...)

Have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Moonstone, Book 1, The Unbidden Magic Series by Marilee Brothers

Publisher:  Bell Bridge Books/Belle Books
Pages:  236

(Released:  August 1, 2008)

From the Cover:

"Hey, look, I never asked Kizzy to give me the moonstone necklace, all right? And I thought she was just kidding when she said I was meant to fulfill some old prophecy because I had the mark of a Star Seeker in my hand.

I had enough problems already. Mom. School. Junior Rodriquez. Like I really needed a whacked-out guardian angel named Trilby floating in my yard. Like I really wanted to be reading dudes' gnarly thoughts and moving stuff just by looking at it.

And please, moi, Allie Emerson? Solving mysteries and fighting creepy Trimarks. No way. Well, okay. Way."

Alfrieda Carlotta Emerson... yeah, that's her name alright.  Allie's grandfather named her after his mother, the cost of payment for the hospital bills.  Not that Faye, Allie's mom, and Grandpa Claude get along, it's probably the last time they spoke to each other.

Allie's had it kind of rough.  Most people live in a house or even apartment, not Faye and Allie.  They live in a travel trailer next to Blaster the bull's pasture, right on the edge Uncle Sid's property.  Faye is constantly sick, and Allie has to be more grown up than Faye to keep their family together.

When bad boy Junior Rodriquez notices her at school, her life gets when more complicated, only she soon discovers that Junior may not be as bad as he seems to be.  Curiouser.  When Kizzy decides she's the rightful owner of the moonstone, her life becomes even more bizarre.

Moonstone by Marilee Brothers is a sweet story of what happens to a girl who becomes the holder of a magical necklace bearing the rare Moonstone.  There's budding romance, which Allie has seen little of, when you can drive your home and have to empty the sewage tanks, boyfriends are hard to find.  Faye and Allie live just above poverty, Allie's life is hard, with little hope.  But, it rarely gives Allie pause, because life can only get better.  When she comes into possession of the Moonstone, her life takes on a whole new aspect, widening her horizons, bringing magic into her life, and unknown possibilities.  She just doesn't know if all of this is a blessing or a curse in disguise.

Moonstone is a sweet YA story that draws the reader in with the plight of Allie's life.  Allie could be mad at the world, her lot in life is harsh, but she finds ways to look beyond it, most of the time.  She cares for her mother, hoping one day Faye will be able to see beyond their current lives as well.  It's not sunshine and roses,  and there's plenty of embarrassing moments for Allie.  But, into her life come romance and magic, the romance she can almost handle, the magic she wonders about.  She becomes the Star Seeker, but there's someone else who wants the Moonstone, the Trimarks, and they're ready to do just about anything to snatch it away.  There love, action and adventure, magic, mayhem, and bad guys all it this one story.  I recommend this book to YA lovers, young romance lovers, and paranatural story lovers.  I very much enjoyed this quick little read.

I received this ebook for review from the publisher, Bell Bridge Books.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Runes, The Immortal Series, Book 1 by Em Petrova

Publisher:  Red Sage Publications
Pages:  171

From the Cover:

When immortals Will Cochran and Evangeline Mayer are thrown together by a phenomenon known as The Calling, they breech the barriers of a conventional relationship. By sharing their blood and bodies, their minds and souls are also entwined. But Evangeline has been yanked from the arms of her mortal love, Sean Livingston, and the echo of his touch never leaves her.

When she’s kidnapped by a sadistic immortal seeking revenge for the loss of his own mate, Sean is summoned as a means to torture her. Their reunion both titillates and torments her new mate, Will. He and Sean make a pact to share the woman they both love, and find new desires arising in the arms of each other.

Evangeline Mayer has had a hard life, she's been abused mentally, physically, and sexually by her father for years.  Her sister, Jessa, is the golden child, too perfect.  When she can't take the abuse anymore, she tries to commit suicide, but her sister's boyfriend, Will Cochran stumbles across her, and can't let her die.  He revives her with his blood, but at the same time makes her an immortal being.

When Evangeline awakes, it's with the picture of Will stuck in her mind.  She focuses on him, 'Calling' him, but he refuses her.  Soon though, Will can't get Evangeline out of his head, when he finally decides to answer her 'Call', it's too late, she already found Sean Livingston.  Now, she thinks she's going mad, needing both Sean and Will.

When she can't take the probing of her mind by Will any longer, she rushes to him, bonded and claimed, but she can't forget Sean.  Then she's kidnapped and it will take both of her men to save her.

Runes by Em Petrova is a different kind of vampire paranormal romance.  These vampire exist in the sun, aren't incredibly powerful, don't have fangs, and bleed easy.  They are pretty indestructible, only another immortal can kill an immortal.  They have bonded mates, which is kind of like extreme marriage but no divorce, to live without your bonded mate is a death sentence.  When a mortal becomes immortal, they gain tattoos of significance to their mortal life.  Will's tattoos are numbers, Evangeline's runes and stars, it's what was important to the mortal existence.  I liked this different take on the vampire virus and the bonded mates sounded interesting as well, one unable to exist without the other.  It was the last part of the book I had problems with, when the guys were fighting over Evangeline, but it wasn't the fighting, it was when they chose to fight.  She's been thrown into a hole dug into the ground, possibly with a head injury, tormented by her kidnapper, and the guys were having fist-a-cuffs and coming to blows, this I didn't understand.  The confrontation could have come later in the story.  When the guys finally quit struggling with each other, they come to an understanding, and decide to 'share' Evangeline.

Runes is hot little erotic story ending with the formation of menage a trois that develops into a permanent threesome.  Though at first it's not a pleasant combination, the men come accept one another, and it's a love story between the men and with Evangeline, and it ends on a happy note.  Evangeline is a troubled soul, and Will saves her only to realize, he can't live without her or she without him.  This book is really three stories contain in one book, a love story between Evangeline and Sean, a love story between Evangeline and Will, and finally with the guys compromise because neither can stand to hurt her and neither can stand the thought of being without her, it's a love story between Will, Evangeline, and Sean.  There's more than a little explicit language, so if that's a turn off, try something else.  Lovers of menage a trois with a different sort of twist, may like to give this one a try, as well as paranormal romance that conclude in a mortal/immortal union.  This was an enjoyable read, despite the few minor problems I had with the story events, once everyone accepted what was necessary for these lovers to unite.

Warning:  Menage a trois, explicit language all exist in this rapidly building story.

I received this ebook from Net Galley and Red Sage Publications for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sassy Sunday Story Starter.... from Sassy Brit 'Alternative-Read'

I seem to be late with everything these days, lol, and it's the same with the SSSS. Sassy Brit over at Alternative Read offers a Sassy Sunday Story Starter each week, and this week's starter was offered by Angelika Devlyn author of Black Ice.  This week was a single line.... "You'll never guess who has just walked in!"  I had to give it a try.

Soul Fire, Part 1
By Dottie Taylor
word count: 500

"You'll never guess who has just walked in!" Brea squealed as she rushed into the room.

Her sister, Reena, glanced over at Brea, rolling her eyes. “Let me guess, Rob Pattinson.... Daniel Radcliffe.... Joe Jonas...? Stop me if I get close.” Reena grinned, Brea was such a drama queen.

Brea scoffed at her sister. “Nooo.... Don't be silly!” She huffed a little, but couldn't contain herself almost ready to explode. “Omigosh, you're not going to believe it!!” She squeed, happiness shining in her eyes.

“So, who's here?” Reena eyed her sister, truly curious now, Brea was easy to excite, but she was bouncing off the walls.

“Aunt Debbie and Uncle Ron, and guess who they brought? Their new foreign exchange student, Petrov something or other...! Brea buzzed, almost quivering. “He's gorgeous... dark hair, big blue eyes. You gotta see him! But, remember, I saw him first!” She smiled, dragging Reena to her feet.

“Oh, you saw him first alright, go for it, I've had my fill.” Reena pulled her hand back. “Really, it's very okay with me.”

“Just come and meet him.” Brea begged, “come on Reen, I'd do it for you.” She pushed out her bottom lip in a pout, giving her sister big chocolate brown puppy dog eyes. Brea was one with all the looks, red full lips, glossy blonde hair, curves in all the right places. People always thought she was the oldest sister, while when Reena looked in the mirror all she saw was curly red hair, pink pudgy lips, and she was short, not tall like Brea at all. Once guys saw Brea, Reena hardly stood a chance, it happened all the time.

“Alright, I'll come meet your Petrov whatever, don't say I didn't do you any favors.” Reena sighed, following her sister.

Brea hurried back into the room while Reena made her way down the hall, halting as Brea snatched up her hand.

“Reena, meet Petrov, Petrov, my sister Reena.” Brea gushed as she released Reena's hand and grabbed Petrov's.

Petrov's blue eyes rested upon Reena, and suddenly she felt shy, the focus of his attention, she squirmed under his penetrating gaze.  “Nice to meet you, Petrov, hope you're having a good time.”

When he spoke, Reena's eyes were drawn to his lips which twitched in almost a smile. “Nice to meet you too Reena, I was thinking of taking a walk, would you like to join me?” Again those arresting blue eyes studied Reena, but before she could reply Brea burst out, “I'd love to!”

Still Petrov's demanding eyes held Reena's, but Brea was lost in her own thoughts, unaware of Petrov's focus. As Brea pulled him from the room, he broke eye contact to lean in to hear her whisperings. But before they left the house, he once again sought out Reena, with a promise held in those blue eyes, but a promise of what? And why?

I don't know why, but when I read this one line, I immediately thought YA.... maybe it was the words or the way my eyes saw them, but anyway, YA is where this flash went.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it, and I have a feeling there's more to tell....

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 18

Finally, Good Monday Blogosphere Peeps!  Hope everyone had a wonderful restful weekend!  Went to see my kids in the Christmas concert on Saturday, they were great.  Since blogger seems to me liking me again at least for right now, I'm going to hurry through this post (just in case, lol).

So, after a late start (blogger was eating my blog this morning... it was nothing but code, lol)... I'm ready to post the Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge.

I've gathered up another one of the wonderful Michelle's images this morning.

(BTW, it's Michelle's Anniversary today, so make sure you stop by and wish her a happy one!!)

The image is wonderful, dark... well, take a peek and see what you think!

I needed a little taste of the dark, and this image more than delivers!  Can't wait to see what kind of flash this image provokes!!

As usual, the rules remain the same.  We have a roomy (sort of) word count of 350 (a little more or less is fine.... this is just for fun!), and if you'd like to play along, come back Friday and post your response to the image.

Leave me a link, and I hop on over to see what you've come up with!

Anyone who'd like to play along with us, please feel free to join, the more the merrier, tis the season to write flash fiction!! (trying to get in the Christmas spirit

See you Friday!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Building Magic by Lilly Cain

Publisher:  Red Sage Publishing
Pages:  112

From the Cover:
BUILDING MAGIC: When architecture student and summertime welder Tina Moreland develops a reputation as a peeping Tom, it isn’t the first time she’s been teased for being different. Catching a glimpse of the man of her dreams is worth the aggravation. But when she witnesses him doing something stranger than stripping in his hightower office, it’s enough to make her forget that when working unharnessed on the fifth floor, the first step is a long way down.
Working in the human world leaves Devin Ken’Draga frustrated and exhausted. Things aren’t going well. Devin is the Kenta – prime dragon – in a world not far from earth, only a magical breath of flame away. It is a world that is having problems, and he is expected to solve them. The question is how. Civil war has shattered his land and destroyed his home. He can’t come up with an Answer, and the Elders can only tell him he will find what he needs on Earth.
Devin doesn’t have time to rescue a damsel in distress. But since she is literally falling at his feet, he can’t help but to save Tina. Bringing her home wasn’t part of the plan, but once they fall through the magical portal together, there is no going back. It is only when he spreads his wings in his true dragon form that Devin realizes something he hadn’t anticipated – the woman is a virgin, a temptation no dragon can resist.
Tina Moreland is a frustrated iron worker and architect, frustrated because she's taken for granted by the men in her life, by the people who attend the university with her, even by her employer.  She's been largely ignored and overlooked.  She doesn't fit in, too tall, too smart, too hot tempered.  She was orphaned young in life, so if she should disappear, no one would really miss her.

Devin Ken'Draga is a seudo-business man sent to the Earth bound realm to find a way to stop the civil war ripping his world apart.  He's the Kenta of his clan and society, Dragon King, but war is ravaging his world.  If he can't find a way to stop it, there won't be a home to return to.  If only he can find the one thing he needs to stop the fighting, some magical source his for the taking.

When Tina spies Devin, as she's perched upon her skyscraper ironworks, in his daily ritual of escaping his clothing to reach out to his inner dragon and the magic surrounding him with fire at his fingertips, she has trouble believing her eyes.  With one missed step by the red-headed iron worker, she almost plunges to her death, until Devin releases his dragon....

Building Magic by Lilly Cain is a dragon shifting pararomance, which at first glance, the reader isn't sure if it's going to be a happy for now or a happily ever after, because being dragon and the Dragon King at that, can Devin afford to make this human woman his Queen?  When Devin saves Lilly, he drags her into his realm.  The only problem is he wasn't supposed to return without the magic symbol, and the only thing he managed to bring back is a human woman, a tiny wisp of a thing compared to dragons, and a virgin as well.  Her virginity alone can start battles, a source of magic by itself and much prized by his those of his world, and the last thing he needs is more fighting.  But, soon, he realizes that this tiny human woman is more than she appears, and he just might have to claim her for his own.

Building Magic is my first novel by Lilly Cain and from Red Sage Publications, but I plan to read more.  If I have any quibbles with this novella, it would be fleshing out the characters a bit more, because the characters are wonderful; powerful, sassy, engaging, and I would have liked to learn a little more, but that's also a quibble with novellas, short stories only reveal so much information.  I would have liked to know what exactly Devin Ken'Draga did in his office besides stripping out of his clothing to reveal his gorgeous body.  What was his cover story, so to speak?  And Tina Moreland was always so awkward as a human, and orphaned as a small child, did she really belong in the Earth realm?  But, not to worry, my imagination filled in the blanks, and not pertinent questions for this building romance.  I would like to read more about Lilly Cain's new world, an exciting dragon society filled with violence and love, dragons were never meant to be gentle beasties.  I definitely want more, I hope there's a Book 2!  I recommend this book to lovers of dragon shifting pararomance stories, urban fantasy fans, and those who like a hot little romance, it will fulfill your needs, both with excitement and an sensually told love story.

Warning: A little explicit language contained within this erotic love story.

I was offered this ebook for review from Net Galley and Red Sage Publications.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 17...... The Friday Post

Good Morning to the Blogosphere!

We're one day closer to Christmas and I'm still struggling with what to buy and for who!!  Two shopping weeks left (that's a scary thought) and I've purchased two gifts..... out of about a hundred that I need, lol!

Since it's another Friday morning, it's time for the response to Monday's flash fiction prompt.  Here's a peek at the lovely prompt by Fernanda Brussi from Monday.

The End of Wars
by Dottie Taylor
word count: 480

Camilla stood on the lush green grass of County Claire, home. After so many weeks of fighting, you'd think the grass would have bled to red. But that was the beauty of the land, so tolerant of man.

She turned and faced those kneeling before her, placing the steel on one shoulder, then the other.

“Sir Kellam, rise, you are knighted in the Queen's service.”

“Lady Cian, rise, you are knighted in the Queen's service.”

It was her right as the new Queen, replacing her fallen father, it was her honor to show them her gratitude.

“My Queen,” Kellam knelt once more, bringing her hand to his lips, “I fear our enemy is bracing for battle again.”

Camilla glanced around, could she ask the few remaining to die? It would be kinder to fall upon her own sword, ending the battle now.

She shook her head. “Kellam, I value your council, but we cannot sustain more fighting. Go, find our fastest stead, make your way to MacKelter, I wish an audience with the King.”

Kellam hard rode toward the enemy lines, bearing the scarf on his staff for all to see with the Royal Coat of Arms emblazoned on it to present to MacKelter, in hopes to stop the fighting. As he reached the line, it parted allowing him entrance, he rode straight to the encamp bearing the MacKelter insignia, and when he arrived, MacKelter himself waited to receive him.

“King MacKelter,” Kellam dropped to one knee, “my Queen, the Lady Camilla, seeks your presence in hopes to bring peace.”

“Aye, I'll attend your Queen directly,” MacKelter sneared, “as soon as I attend to you.” The King lunged at the young knight, but his reflexes were old, his senses mad with insanity.

Kellam reached for his blade as the old King fell upon him, driving the sword into the man's heart. It was over in moments.

A sudden roar rose up around Kellam, he was lifted to his feet, cheers followed.

“Long Live The New King!” Roared the crowd, King MacKelter's desire to bring death to the land had brought his own. His people were tired of the senseless killing, his cruelty and abuse.

As the new King, Kellam rode back to Camilla, bringing his subjects with him.

He dropped from his horse, coming to bow down before Camilla. “My Queen, I bring you greetings from the new King,” he grinned and brushed her hand with his lips, “my land, my people, for the peace Queen Camilla demands!” Camilla's eyes grew with understand, as a smile broke over her lips.

There were celebrations for three weeks; parties, feasts, the land had forgotten happiness, and at the end, a wedding, bringing Camilla and Kellam together, King and Queen, where they reigned, vowing to keep the land and each other.  And they did for many years to come.

I really struggled with finding a story for this prompt, and in the end, it wasn't the story I had intended to write, I was going to write about the birds, the ocean, it was supposed to be bloody and destructive... I seem to do those so much better.  LOL  But this is where my imagination lead me, a sweet happily ever after... Sweet usually not found here....

Leave me a link if you're playing along, and I'll stop by to see where your imagination has led you...!

Remember to come back Monday for another edition of.....

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!

Ciao Bella!

Mama's Holiday Wish List Meme

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama (link to: and GameStop (link to: are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family?

My holiday wish is for everyone to be happy, nothing more, just happiness.

2. What is your Christmas morning / Hanukkah Nightly tradition?

When the kids were small, they'd wake up us, now we wait for them, lol.  But as soon as they've opened their eyes, wrapping paper begins to fly!

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?

If I could ask for one present for myself, it would be for a nice and long vaca somewhere warm, until about next Spring, lol, but I'd settle for a week!

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?

I make thing for my neighbors and family members, always nice to give something small and homemade, I don't want anyone to feel forgotten.

5. What games did you play with your family growing up?

We had one of those old Atari game players, and we play Munch Man (like PacMan)...

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood?

We got to Grandma's house for Christmas day, spend the entire day with family we haven't seen since last Christmas!

7. Where would you go for a Christmas/Hanukkah-away-from-home trip?

I wouldn't go away for Christmas day, too much family, lol.  But the day after Christmas, I love to go the southern part of the US, so pretty there!

8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year? 

Are you kidding, my kids want one of everything!  LOL  Donkey Kong, Marvel vs Capcom, Tron... and the list goes on....

This is a fun little wish list meme, but if you'd like to participate, it's also a contest!  Check out Today's Mama for more information!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another Chance to Win A Kindle! BBB and S.L. Wright Giveaway

BBB is at it again, along with author S.L. Wright, they're giving away one of these!

 Amazon 3G Kindle EReader!
It's easy to enter, all you have to do is go to their site and leave a comment!  (you also might want to check out S.L. Wright's new book too!  Demon Underground)  Just click the link @

From the Cover:

Half-human and half-demon, Allay has finally warmed up to her new life feeding off the customers at her downtown bar when she finds herself brokering a truce between New York City's most powerful demons. But when she senses assassins around every corner, Allay hides out of sight and underground-until combatants in the growing war tempt her back above the surface. Her choice is clear: live in fear or change the world as everyone knows it.

You also might want to check the first in the series as well!

From the Cover:

After accidentally stealing the life force from a dying demon, Allay became the only human-demon hybrid in existence. Because demons feed off of human emotions, Allay decided the safest way to live as a demon and still retain some semblance of humanity would be to open a bar and drink from her patrons' pain and torment. And she's managed to stay under the demon radar-until now.

Attacked and nearly killed by another demon, Allay is saved by a human who comes to her rescue. Theo Ram is tall, handsome, and mortal-and Allay feels a connection to him she didn't think she'd ever know. But that bond is tested when the demon community in New York begins to rise up, and two opposing clans fight for power. Now Allay is caught in the middle, and she must decide where her loyalties lie…

(I picked up one of these!)

There are lots of ways to enter, and it only takes one entry to win!  Good Luck!


On another note:

Please help: Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan has been taken suddenly and seriously ill.

She has an affliction called Arteriovenous malformation or AVM in her brain which has led to multiple surgeries and an extended stay in ICU.

No family is ever prepared for such a thing and Tina’s is no exception. In times like this, every dollar helps and her friends in the writing community are banding together to ask you to open your hearts (and wallets) to help get Tina’s family through this.

Tina is well known to readers and authors across the country who have embraced her books, most recently, (writing as Cassie Ryan) Seducing the Succubus (Berkley/October 2010) and coming in April 2011, The Demon and the Succubus.

Please send your prayers, positive energy and love out into the universe with Tina’s name on it. Cards can be mailed to:

Tina Gerow
c/o SBP
PO BOX 42255
Phoenix, AZ 85080.

Any donations you would like to make to Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan to help with the burden of mounting medical bills, can be given by visiting:

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Phoenix, AZ 85080.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Day The Music Died by Dottie Taylor

The year was 1980, I'd just met my future husband and I was young and in love.   College had recently started for me, it was different from my high school years... parties, friends, late nights, and happy days.  I was mostly carefree, wanted for little, feeling loved and cherished.  The world at my feet, I was invincible.  The world a magical place, mine to explore. Embracing it everyday.

Then one evening, as I lay on the carpeted floor, laughing at some sitcom, thinking I should be doing homework, and occasionally sharing kisses; there was a breaking news story that made my heart pound.  John Lennon had just been shot outside of the Dakota, his New York apartment building, by an unknown person.  My heart nearly stopped, this couldn't be happening, he was my parents' age, maybe younger.  A virtual child in the eyes of my grandparents (though one of those hippie rock and rollers).

As I lay on the floor, scare to move, wondering what could have happened, why anyone would shoot someone who had dedicated their life to the peace movement, the unthinkable happened.  A teary eyed announcer came back on the air saying John Lennon was dead, shot dead outside of the Dakota.  Pictures followed of people crying, Yoko Ono leaving, massive candles and cards strewn on the pavement surrounding the Dakota. 

My instant thought was this was cracked, everyone loves the Beatles, and who signifies the Beatles more than John Lennon?  CNN was barely in it's infancy, not available to our local cable company, but it didn't matter, John Lennon's story was on every network, the audience stunned and shocked.  Later, it was revealed that a crazed fan, Mark David Chapman, who not hours before Lennon had signed an autograph for, shot John Lennon out of some sick misguided need to right an imagined wrong.  As with all insanity, reason had left this damaged mind long ago.

This was the day, for me, the music died.  I lost a little bit of my innocence that day, as I lay in arms of my future husband, crying for a man I never knew and at the same time, loved.  Though I had never met the man, he had influence my life.  My views on war, the death penalty, human rights all had been influence by the generation this man, who the Nixon administration had tried for years to deport, represented.  And then I thought, if only Nixon had succeeded, he'd still be alive.

Maybe I would have never known who the Beatles were.  Rock and Roll didn't live at my home, Dad was strictly country western, Mom lived and breathed Elvis.  It was only because of my Aunt Debbie that I even knew who the Beatles were.  She played every Beatles's scratchy 45 on a tinny turntable.

Dancing and singing into a microphone hairbrush, I laughed with her, joining in her dances, afterall I was only two or three, but I could do the Jerk, the Twist, fling my body to the beat.  Until the day she packed her knapsack, slung her wine flask over her shoulder, with holey bell bottom jeans and a tie-dye tee shirt made in my grandmother's sink in a pair of sandals that had seen better days, she kissed us goodbye and left.  Following the rockers she'd loved so much, it broke my dad's heart a little to see her leave, but there was no stopping Debbie when she was on a roll, the proverbially flower child.

Next time a saw her, she was with a huge hunk of an Alaskan man, warning me not to touch her doobie resting in the van's ashtray.  This was years later, I was a teen, but I'll always wonder what Debbie's reaction was to the news, because she didn't come home again, her life was elsewhere.

It doesn't matter where you were, or even if you were alive at the time of John Lennon's death.  It doesn't matter if you hate the Beatles.  They are an icon in our society.  My own children love the Beatles, know all their songs, know their faces, have all their albums.  They were sadden with me when George Harrison passed away on November 29, 2001.

I often wonder what John Lennon would make of our society today, aside from our current wars, lack of health care, and inability to provide for the poor; I pretty sure I know his thoughts on those.  But, look at the world of music today; iPods, iTunes, Rock Band where anyone with a TV and a game player can pretend to be a rock star.

Life amazes me, it always has.  I was just a youngster when John Lennon left, and I hope he's still making music somewhere else with Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and George Harrison, as well as many others.  His legacy continues in all those his music influenced, in all those who enjoy listening to his music, and in his own children.

"If there's a rock n' roll heaven, well you know they've got a hell of a band."     (The Righteous Brothers, 1974).

Into The Dark by Gena Showalter

Publisher:  HQN, Harlequin Enterprises
Pages:  361

From the Cover:

Three otherworldly tales from the master of paranormal romance.and a brand-new Lords of the Underworld bonus guide!

The Darkest Fire - a Lords of the Underworld prequel

Geryon is the guardian of hell, more monster than man. Kadence is the goddess of Oppression, more angel than woman. Together they will enter the flames to battle a dangerous horde of demon lords - and discover a passion unlike any other.

The Amazon's Curse - a tale of Atlantis

Zane, a fierce vampire warrior, has been enslaved by the Amazons. Nola, a lovely Amazon soldier, has been cursed with invisibility. Now, these two stubborn enemies must overcome the pasts that haunt them and embrace a love that can set them free..

The Darkest Prison - a Lords of the Underworld tale

Once, Atlas, the Titan god of Strength, was the Greek goddess Nike's slave. Now, he is her master. And soon these sworn rivals destined to destroy each other will be forced to risk everything for a chance at love..
Into the Dark by Gena Showalter is an anthology of three tales plus a couple of bonus features that were truly enjoyable.
The Darkest Fire

Kadance is the goddess of Oppression, sent to the domain of Hades to make sure the wall between the topworld and underworld, demons constantly worry the wall.  Geryson, cursed to to the domain of Hades, his life bartered to save another.  Now, he's the beast, Oppressions opposite, making sure demons and underlords don't escape Hades wrath.

This is an excellent short story, finding Kadance and Geryson together, if they can find a way to stay together.  What will they give up to stay together?

The Amazon Curse

Zane has one love, and it's a love he can't have.  Captured by the Amazon warriors, he's held prisoner, to be bartered away to the most powerful, to sire children to become Amazon warriors.  His love, the only touch he can tolerate, is Nola.

Nola, curse by the gods, exists in a different plane, she can see Zane, but never touch him.  She will have to find a way back to him if she's going to save him.

Another excellent short story of vampire and Amazon warrior, who heat up the pages.  Zane is an unique character, this isn't your average vampire tale.  Nola is his one true love, if only she can understand, saving herself and him.  I want to read more about these characters!

The Darkest Prison

Atlas, the Titan God of Strength was imprisoned in Tartarus for centuries, but with Cronus's release, the Titans imprison the Greek Gods in their place.  But, Atlas and Nike, the goddess of Strength, have a past, one where she would have set him free, but Atlas couldn't be true, so she marked him with her name.  Now, the table are turned, and Atlas seeks nothing but revenge from his warden.  Or does he, after he marks her with his name, he has to fight to control his desires, because, they might get him killed.

Nike and Atlas's story is a classical love story, one where they're damned if they stay together, and damned if they're apart.  Both deny their desires until both will combust if they're not together, but to be together, they'll have to escape their respective kings, or face their anger.

Bonus Features:

Bonus Guide  -  Lord of the Underworld series; including her gods, goddess, demons, and other characters, as well as having fleshed out their backgrounds, making them more real.

Twenty(ish) Questions with Kresley   -   She includes an interview with Kresley Cole, which was fun, interesting, and lets you have a peek into both Gena's and Kesley's worlds.

Behind the Scenes & At Home with:  Lord of the Underworld   -  more background information

Round Table:  Women of the Underworld  -  interesting background for the women too

Awakening Pandora

Pandora came to King Maddox's realm promising great magic if he would hide her treasured.  Upon agreeing, Pandora gifts Maddox and each one of his men with one of her "treasures".  To Maddox, she give Destruction.

This little short tells a tiny piece of King Maddox's story and how he's set free from his boxed cage.  Though it's just a tiny bit, it kept me turning pages and waiting for, wanting more.

Frequently Asked Questions:   Gena answers questions from readers

Sneak Peek of The Darkest Passion

The Sacred Scrolls

Glossary of Characters and Terms - very comprehensive for anyone who wants to know more about the characters

Into the Dark by Gena Showalter is a nice little taste of the Lord of the Underworld series.  We get to met some of the characters in greater detail, see how they came to be, explore Ms. Showalter's world.   I recommend it for anyone who loves her Lord of the Underworld series, excellent companion piece with four tasty short stories.

I received my copy for review from Net Galley and Harlequin.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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