Romance Reviews

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Crimson Romance

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quicksilver by Joy Spraycar

Publisher:  AuthorHouse
Pages:  360

From the Cover:

A recurring nightmare holds Serry Miller in its grip and has for most of her life. In spite of her fear of the man who becomes a monster, she's in love with him. Not only does she have nightmares while she sleeps, she's living in one with an abusive, alcoholic husband. 

When, Serry's drunken husband hit's Quinton Worthington's car, she sees the face of the man from her nightmares on a stretcher entering the hospital. When he looks at her and calls her by her name, she is plummeted into a life that she has only dreamed about. Quinton Worthington has suffered for over a hundred years. That's when his evil father ripped Serenity, the love of Quinton's life, from him. At the same time, he changed Quinton into a monster. 

When Quinton sees Serry's face in the hospital, he believes that Serenity has come back, and he will do anything to be with her. There's only one thing that stands in their way of having the life they want: Quinton's father.

Serenity has been Quinton's love throughout time, for over 150 years, he has dreamed of nothing else... since her death and before. Quinton's father made sure he'd never have anyone. First, he took Serenity for himself and turned Quinton, cursing him with his own brand of cruelty. Nine months later, Serenity comes back to Quinton, pregnant and with birth upon her. She lives long enough to see her baby girl.

Quinton is heartbroken, Serenity was and will be his only love. He's also accused of killing wantonly, but he can't remember any of it. He leaves to spend his immortal life elsewhere.

It is now 150 years later, Quinton has learned to control his beast, though he still longs for a cure. After a car accident, he's brought to the hospital, and who should he find, but the spitting image of a modern day Serenity, and they've been sharing dreams. How is any of this possible? He realizes one more thing, if he's going to stay with this Serenity, he going to have to find a cure, because without it, it could mean her death.

Quicksilver by Joy Spraycar is a paranormal romance with a dastardly werewolf with the form of Quinton's father. We're not told how Quinton's father is turned, just that he was trying to help a friend, and came home covered in blood. We're left to assume, he and his friend were attacked by a werewolf. He leaves his wife and young son because he doesn't wish to hurt them, but something happens to him along the way. He starts out as a fairly decent character, but somehow he becomes twisted, incapable of any kind of real love and emotionally stunted. When Quinton comes looking for him, after promising his mother, he bites Quinton while man handling Quinton's love, Serenity. She later dies from childbirth.  Jump to the present. Quinton once again finds his love, but he has a feeling more is going on, even than he guess. And it could all come back to Quinton's father and Serenity's father too.

Quicksilver is the debut novel by this new author. The story is well told with likable characters and exciting chases. Quinton, at first, suffers greatly with his werewolfism, constantly fearing what he might become or who he might hurt. He's already taken his mother's life, or so he thinks, after she sent to find his father, and his father subsequently turns Quinton too, just because he can. As he comes into his wolfness, he realizes one thing, his father is killing others, and is forcibly blaming the rogue were, Quinton. He runs for his life. The books jumps 150 years to the present only to find Serenity reincarnated, and though Serenity sees him in her dream, she longs for the real thing. Her life isn't all sunshine and roses, but it wasn't in her past life either. Little does she know that she's found her one love, and that she holds the cure for his turning. Quicksilver is a quick read, but a little wordy and with detailed descriptions, slowing down the pace a tad, but still quite enjoyable. And though it just me, I like a little more dialogue between the hero and heroine, and less examining of their feelings. With only these few minor niggles, I have to say the story was wonderfully told and I would read another book by this new author. An excellent first try for a debut novelist, an exciting story and interesting characters. Quinton was a tortured hero, and Serenity endures, reborn through time, waiting for Quinton. Paranormal romances lovers will want to give this one a try.

I received a copy of the ebook for review from Joy Spraycar. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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

Okay.... this Sunday story starter is from Sassy Brit, not this week, but the week before. LOL I was ill and didn't even attempted it, but it kept sticking in the back of my mind. Amy Romine's story starter, Reality Sucks, just kept calling to me, and damn it, I finally gave in and an wrote a response. I couldn't help myself....

Reality Sucks
by:  Dottie Taylor
word count:  930

    “Of course, the hottest day of the summer,” Rachel took a sip of her beer leaning back into Ben’s chest.  Within the course of the conversation Rachel and Ben had become wrapped up within each other as she shifted from his leg to between his legs sharing the edge of the bar stool with him. Her back against his chest, his right arm on the bar and his left resting comfortably along her hip and waist. He hadn’t noticed until she turned to grab her cigarettes off the bar and the warmth that had encompassed him was gone and she was taking his hand pulling him off the stool.
    Waving the pack of cigarettes playfully in front of him, she smiled and he followed her out to the parking lot.
    “Fresh air…” she said twirling around in delight, she precariously lost her footing and he reached out catching her against him. 
    “Whoa, slow down, Ginger,” he said as she laughed against him.
    “You,” she said pointing at him playfully, “haven’t changed.”
    “And that is a bad thing,” he said with a smile handing her a lit cigarette.
    “I didn’t say that,” she replied taking a drag shifting her weight to lean against the wall of the building.
    “And you have?”
    “I don’t know, what do you think?”
    “I think we’ve all changed.”
    “That is an easy excuse.”
    “It’s not an excuse, it's reality.”
    “Yeah well…reality sucks.”
    “So what are we going to do about it then?”

     Ben shook his head at her, she knew his feelings, they'd been here before. He'd only returned for the funeral, not for her. As much as he would like to be attracted to her, he didn't work that way. It was fun to play, but when it came down to nuts and bolts, he needed something different.
     Still Rachel persisted. “Come on Ben, how do you know if you've never given it a try?”
     He laughed at her presumptions. “It isn't necessary to eat a pepper to know it's hot.”
    “Ah, but what if you'd never seen a pepper before?”
    “Then, sweetheart, I'd have a different tale to tell.” He smiled indulgently at her.
    “Come, lets have a few more drinks, I'm not nearly drunk enough yet.” She giggled as she grabbed his hand, leading him back to the bar.
    “Maybe, it's just me, but I think you've imbibed enough already.” But, he let her guide him back inside to reclaim their shared barstool.
   “Malcolm, we'll have some tequila I think.” She called as they returned.
   “Tequila? Are you trying to get me drunk?” Ben inquired, eyebrows raised.
   “Me? Would I do that?” She asked guilelessly.
   “I refer you back to our previous conversation.”
   The band entered and started to play some Emo-Screamo song, but with enough of a beat, that soon, Ben and Rachel were gyrating on the dance floor. The night grew warmer and drier. They danced and laughed, singing along when they could, twisting their bodies when they couldn't, getting drunker as the midnight came and went. When they were near to falling down, Malcolm called a cab, snuffing them inside with Rachel's address.
   When they arrived at the given address, the cabbie poured them into her ground floor apartment, where they continued to laugh and sing, peeling off shoes, jeans, shirts to drop on the floor. A trail led to the bed where they landed with a thud.
    Ben laid sideways on the bed, laughing as Rachel crawled over his body to the top of the bed, climbing inside the cool sheets. She crooked her finger, calling him to her.
    He shook his head, but followed her finger to climb inside the crisp sheets too.
    She ran her hand up and down the breath of his chest, teasing and touching as she brought her lips to caress his, her tongue tasting his mouth. He pulled away, “I'm sorry Rachel,” he said through the pounding of his heart, “I really wish I could....”
   “Shhhh....” she replied bringing her lips once more to his, “it's okay. We're just playing,” she grinned, and he made to push her away. “What? Are you afraid?”
    “Not afraid, but I don't want you to get the wrong idea.” He put a few inches between their bodies. 
    “Lets get some sleep, okay?” He smiled, brushing back the hair from his best friend's face.
    She faked a yawn, “sure....” and she again closed the distance between them.
   “Shhhh.... relax...” and she kissed him again, tongue probing and teasing.
    Ben had never slept with a woman before, knew he shouldn't be doing it now. It wasn't how he was put together. His heart pounded, what the hell was he doing? He thought about Kyle, trying to stop her seeking lips.
    “God, Rachel, I can't....” He closed his eyes. She kissed his lips once more, begging him with her eyes.
    His face burned with shame as he thought of Kyle, alone, waiting for him. Now he was completely sober, the effects of the tequila long forgotten.
    Ben pushed Rachel away. “I have to go.... we shouldn't have let it go this far....” suddenly, he felt ill. He groped around finding jeans and shirt, slipping into his clothing with hurried hands.
    Rachel listened as the front door latch closed. What had she done? Tried to sleep with her best friend, just to say she could? What did that say about her? She wanted to call out after him, tell him she was sorry, say it was the tequila, it wouldn't happen again. Christ, what was she thinking?
    Ben shivered as he walked back to the hotel. It was his fault, maybe he was questioning his sexuality? If there was one thing he did know, he felt unsatisfied, wished Kyle had come with him. He entered the suite to find a suitcase next to his
     “Hey,” Kyle called, “I got a few days off, decided to join you after all.” He stepped from the bedroom, and smiled at Ben. “Hope you don't mind?”
     Ben's eyes landed on Kyle, and he smiled. “No, this is just want I needed. I'm going to grab a shower, I'll join you in a minute.”
    In the shower, Ben washed away the alcohol and Rachel's scent. This is what he wanted, he was more sure of it than ever before. He rushed from the shower, exhausted from the days events. Funerals were always hard, add Rachel into the mix, and his day had been torture.
    Kyle leaned across, grazing his lips. “Long day?”
   “I can't even begin to tell you.” Ben smiled, “lets get some sleep.”
   Kyle reached over, brushing the length of Ben's body as he turned off the light. “Okay, it's been a long day for me too, the flight was hell.” But Ben's body responded instantly to Kyle's closeness. The night was going to grow longer, but they had tomorrow too.

Wellllll.... I've never written anything like this before.... hope it sounds okay.... lol, but this is where my thoughts led me when I saw the prompt....


Shimmer by Alyson Noël (A Riley Bloom Book)

Publisher:  Square Fish / St. Martin's Press
Pages:  208

(Released:  March 15, 2011)

From the Cover:

Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a vicious black dog, against Bodhi’s advice, she decides to cross him over.

While following the dog, she runs into a young ghost named Rebecca. Despite Rebecca’s sweet appearance, Riley soon learns she’s not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is lashing out by keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories.

Can Riley help Rebecca forgive and forget without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories?

Riley Bloom is supposed to be on vacation.  The Council kindly agreed that after her last assignment which she pulled off without a hitch, Riley and Bodhi needed time off and to get to know each other.  But, when they arrive at Riley's dream vacay spot, something else is waiting for them.  It comes in the form of a large black dog, a HellHound.  Riley simply cannot have the beast wondering around, frightening people half to death.  She's determined to cross the dog or else.  What Riley finds when she goes in search of the dog is more than she expected.  Rebecca, a ghost too long left on her own and on the Earthly plane, manifests the worst experience in Riley's life and lets her relived it time and time again.  Then, Rebecca entraps Bodhi and Buttercup in their worst nightmares, and it's up to Riley to free them, and not only them, but the hundreds of other souls Rebecca was trapped in her evil web of hatred and anger.  And now, she'll have to worry about the Council again, because this was not what she was supposed to be doing...

Shimmer by Alyson Noël is another excellent addition to Ms. Noël's growing number of YA reads for both teens and preteens.  In Shimmer, we once again find Riley, the forever to be twelve sister to Ever Bloom from the Immortals series.  While Ever was called back to the Earthly plane and allowed to live, the rest of her family, including the family dog, Buttercup, dies and crosses over to the Here & Now.... except for Riley.  It takes her a while to give up the Earthly desires and Ever, her older sister and the one person she wanted to be just like.  When she finally see she needs to move on, Riley joins the rest of her family and begins her other existence as a Soul Catcher.  In the first book of the series, Radiance, Riley discovers what her new purpose is and get her first taste of a Soul Catcher by crossing the Radiant Boy.  In Shimmer, Riley isn't working with the Council, she hasn't been assigned to retrieve the souls desperate for release from their Rebecca imposed prison, but she exerts her "free will" and follows what she knows in her heart to be the right thing.  Now, if only she can convince the Council she was trying to help instead of being obnoxious and strong willed, that is when she returns to the Here & Now, and she's dreading being summoned.

Shimmer is a great read for grades 4 and up. As an adult reader, I was turning the pages of this quick little read, hoping Riley would find her way, as well as saving Bodhi, Buttercup, and all the others.  And there is a moment in time where she's trapped and has to save herself first, I found myself cringing along with Riley, but hoping for the best.  This is an easy read for the younger readers and an intriguing read for the older readers.  Riley was always one of my favorite characters, and her story is being laid out for us, bit by bit in every book.  I highly recommend this series for younger readers, and those who feel young at heart.  There's always a positive message left behind, and even when there's conflict, it's age appropriate and resolved the same way.  If you haven't read Radiance (Book One), I'd recommend picking it up, but it's not necessary to read these books in order, each book can stand alone, Shimmer (Book Two) has enough background given to easily be enjoyed.  YA lovers everywhere, if you enjoy the Immortal series, pick up Riley Bloom's series, Radiance and Shimmer, you won't be sorry, it's an excellent read for every age.  Riley's adventures will continue in Dreamland (Book Three).

(Release Date:  September 13, 2011)

From the Cover:

Riley’s finding that the afterlife can be a lonely place when all you do is focus on work. So she goes to the place where dreams happen, hoping to find a way to contact her sister, Ever. She meets the director, who tells her about the two ways to send dreams. 

As a Dream Jumper, a person can jump into a dreamer’s dream, share a message, and participate. As a Dreamweaver, an entire dream can be created in a studio and sent to the dreamer. But Dreamweaving was outlawed decades ago, and the studio was boarded up. 

Thinking it’s her only way to reach out to her sister, Riley goes in search of the old studio. There she finds a ghost boy, who’s been creating and sending nightmares to people for years. In order to stop him and reach out to Ever, Riley is going to have to confront and overcome her own fears. 

Book Trailer:

I receive this book from the publisher, St. Martin's Press for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 37

Good Morning!

I hope everyone had a great Easter. Though my kids are teens, they insisted on Easter baskets and chocolate bunnies.... lol.  I guess you're never too old!

Well, it rained all weekend, glad to see an end of it, and I can only hope we've seen the end of the rain for a while... (Cos, I sure am tired of it!!)

But, anyway... since it's finally Monday again, that means it's time for another edition of....

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!!

We've had some awesome entries in our flash fiction, picked up a few members to add to our little group, and in general, just having fun!  I hope it continues this way too!

I thought we'd try another fantasy image today, and what's more of a fantastical than a warrior, a unicorn, a huge moon filling the background, and wolves in tne distance (maybe werewolves?)?

There's lots going on in this image... so many possibilities!  I hope it satisfies everyone's needs... You can use all of image, a part of it, or pick a piece of the image you want to use to write your flash. I tried to find something this week to allow flashes from various pieces of the image, if that's what someone wants to choose.  But, you also can use the entire image with the right storyline.  And, most important, have fun and let your creative juices flow!

The rules remain the same, 350 words more or less (I'm usually way more) and come back Friday and post your response. Can't wait to see the flash we get!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

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

This week Sassy Brit as offered an interesting story starter.  Our story starter has been provided by Tracy Cooper-Posey, the author of FATAL Wild Child. Check out her website here.


Fatal Consequences
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 750

The last two hours of my life formally began at 3:07 a.m. on Tuesday when Frens Yngvar tapped on my apartment door.

I didn't know right then, of course. It would take another four minutes for me to catch up on the news, because I was busy filing down the trigger on my Glock and had to cover up the tools and slide my back-up into my pants before I answered the door. I didn't hurry because who hurries at three in the morning? Visitors at that time are always bad news.

So I glanced through the peep hole and sighed when I saw Frens' buck teeth and pulled the door open just enough to glare at him. I also kept my foot against the back of it.
"Better be good," I mumbled, like I'd just woken up.

Frens got a funny look on his face. "Christ, where you been the last few hours?"
"Sleeping," I lied. "Until you woke me."

Frens glanced along the dim corridor, his top lip trying to curl over his big teeth. It was a sure sign he was deeply worried, when he tried that impossible feat. He leaned towards my door, making me reach for the gun at my back. But I didn't draw it. Not yet.

"Brody put a hit out on you," he breathed. "Maybe an hour ago."

Brody. Not Big Youta, who I had expected to be pissed at me. But Brody.
Goddamn it. That changed everything.

The fact that Brody had arranged the hit, not Youta, was distressing, so I could be maybe forgiven for being a little distracted. But that's how idiots get killed in my line of business. Frens must have known how the news would go down. Known and counted on it because what happened next was his fault.

Frens leaned against the door, whispering nervously, “Come on, let me in, anyone could be out here.” He twisted around, trying to see everywhere.

“Nah, I don't think so Frens, because you're right, anyone could be out there. You gave me your big news. Why don't you push off, head home, get some sleep.” My hand eased to the small of my back, resting on the .45.

He grinned, “Okay Sammy, whatever you say.” Almost wistful he added, “Why'd you go and piss off Brody?” Then, he acted like the biggest idiot in the world, not surprising, seeing what he was working with. It was either that or he had balls made of brass thinking he could take on Sammy Sunshine.

Frens's weight suddenly slammed into the door, but my foot didn't budge. As he brought his weapon up from his side, I shoved my .45 against his big nose. His eyes grew ten times their normal size as I motioned him inside the apartment. He fell onto the chair where I'd sat moments before.

“Tell me, Frens, who's out there with you? Don't lie to me, I can tell when you lie, you buckteeth stick out more.” And I grinned, smacking the gun on his nose, bringing tears to his eyes.

“Honest Sammy, no one's there except me. I swear.” Why did he try to lie? I told him not to lie.

Sliding the gun up along his head, I brought it to the middle of his forehead. “Call them.”

“Honest...” He started and I pushed the barrel into his pallid flesh.

“I said to call them.” Grinding out the words caused him to flinch, he realized in that moment his life was forfeited.

“Hank, Willy! Get in here! We got the freak!” Frens lied as he stared into the cold darkness of my eyes. In my other hand now rested the Glock with the hair trigger.

Hank and Willy burst through the door, guns drawn, to find the silenced barrel of my Glock smoking. Two quick shots to the brain, two little pings and Hank and Willy were done.

Frens made a small noise, not quite a scream. When I looked down at him, a dark patch grew to cover the front of his jeans.

“Je-sus Frens! Now how you going explain your wet pants?”

Relief flood his milky blue eyes, “you mean you're going to let me go?”

I barked out a harsh laugh. “Hell no! I meant when you spoke to Saint Peter at the pearly gates!” The Glock popped a third time, and he sagged in the chair. He would have only come after me again later.

Twisting my hair up in a sloppy bun and out of the way, I dragged the bodies to the corner and pushed the door closed. It wasn't my sunny disposition that earned me my unique name, but my long blonde hair, like rays of golden sunshine. Right now, Frens was probably wishing otherwise.

Time to go find fucking Brody, the asshole. Youta would have been easier to handle, Brody easier to find. He didn't think anyone had the cojones to come for him. But, this time he was wrong. He had met his match.

The apartment was small and had only been home for a couple of weeks, I wouldn't miss it. Grabbing the rag that laid at my feet, I brushed the door handles, the window seal, the fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom, the most likely places where trace was left behind. It was time to move anyway. The police would be crawling all over this place in a couple of hours. I snatched up my backpack and shoved my meager possessions inside; a few articles of clothing, a picture of my mom and sister. Dad was long gone by the time I was born.

The duffel was more important than a few pieces of clothing. My arsenal resided inside, and if I was going after Brody, I was going to need it. Fortunately, cash wouldn't be a problem, my line of work paid well.

With one last look behind me, I edged out of the apartment door and it to the stairwell as the elevator chimed. Looked like more company was coming, hell there was going to be a party! The door clicked behind me as I heard the pounding. There was a small woosh as the fire blew out into the hallway before sucking back into the apartment, taking those at the door with it. Collateral damage in the war that was about to start.

Thanks for the most excellent story starter Sassy and Tracy!!

Have a great Sunday!!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day 2011

Just want to post quickly to remember to treasure the one home we all share. 
Reduce, reuse, recycle! 

It's Not Easy Being Green by Kermit the Frog

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 36..... The Friday Post

Good Friday Morning (and Happy Good Friday/Earth Day)!!!

It's been another long week here in Sullivan IL.... but I'll have another post up later for Earth Day, it's a Green thing....

As promised, my flash today is an androgynous one... it was much harder than I thought it would, and I kept slipping in pronouns, identifying gender... and they were all feminine, so at least in my psyche, the image has a feminine gender...

So... here's an androgynous flash....

The Dream Arranger
By: Dottie Taylor
Word Count: 460

“It feels like falling... that's the only way to describe it, falling... endlessly.”

“I am the dreamer, a tireless landscaper, an arranger of dreams. I have always known what I was, when I was needed, where to go. I am creator of your life's continuance or new reality revealed. In others words, your heart's desire.”

Elan's newest client has been assigned the destination of early life retrieval.

“Will it hurt?” Client 2249 inquired as Elan prepared them for the retrieval unit.

“No, it doesn't hurt. You'll never know it has happened.”

“Good, that's what I want.”

“Relax.” The sedative took effect and the client slipped into a dreamless sleep.

It had taken days to locate the correct sequence, but now as the client prepared for the retrieval, Elan could insure a safe transition, a seamlessness. The client would never even know their life had been taken. It would just happen, but as the dreamer, Elan could imagine another existence, supplanted into the wavering consciousness in the last moments. For the client, life would continue, of a sort. For Elan, it was the fulfillment of destiny, unable to live in any other way. All Elan needed to know were their desires, and the client would 'walk away' either into a new existence or a continuation, suspended eternally.

For Elan, it was all the same.

The retriever glanced up, seeking Elan's glazed eyes. “May we continue with the extraction?”

Elan nodded, slipping back into the client's thoughts effortlessly, able to bend reality around the retrievers. The client slipped into the endless sleep, a dream forever after. The filament of a silvery stream was lifted, gathered slowly. It slid around and between the retrievers, who in turn, let the slippery soul drift and sink, finding it's way to it's new home.

Elan's part was finished, now it was up to the maintenance crew to take over. Client 2249 had been retrieved, ready for storage, the dream in place for eternity. The client would never grow any older, never experience the pain of death, never see their life extinguished. But, they would also never leave their imagined reality. Elan always reassured the client, but wondered, what happened when the client grew tired of their existence? Would another dream arranger be called to repair reality? Elan had never seen the same client twice.

Elan reached out to touch the client's forehead one last time, and sighed before the crew removed the client to the prepared storage unit. Though the dream arranger would always have a place, it didn't mean it was a joyful life. Elan often wondered, was this the reality, or had arranger's retrieval already occurred? Was this an imagined existence? As the dream arranger, Elan would never know.

So, after I wrote this, I had the urge to write something extremely sensual..... I still might, because.... well... I was left unsatisfied, lol.  Apparently, I need more than androgyny.

I hope everyone enjoy this image... I hope someone wrote something more... less.... I don't know...  I can't wait to see what everyone came up with!!!  I'll be by to have a peek!

And remember to come back Monday for another flash, new possibilities....

Have a great day, weekend, Easter!!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 36

Good Monday Morning!

I can't believe it's Monday again.... I spent the weekend at home, except for when I had to go watch the concert band performance. And I might add, our band was robbed.... we got a 2! A 2!! Should have been a 1... The kids were excellent... same thing happened last year. Oh well, I'm way too competitive....

So, it's time for ....

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!

This weeks image is one from Christophe Vacher, and I hope you enjoy it.  It's interesting, all kinds of possibilities...

We haven't had anything like this in a while, can't wait to see what kind of flash we get!

The rules remain the same, somewhere around 350 words, and come back Friday to post your response.  It can be anything the image evokes, so have fun!!  And most importantly, let your creative juices flow!

Have a great week!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 35..... The Friday Post

Good Friday Afternoon.....

I've been a bit under the weather, and my kids have been too.  So, between making doctor's appointments, driving from one thing to the next.... I have not been blogging.... at all.  Sorry for missing last weeks post, and for being late with this weeks.  I promise to try to do better.... really.  I wish Summer would get here, and kill all of the these flu germs....

So, since I didn't do last weeks, I'm going to post both at once.... see how it goes....

The Promised One
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 730

Vale bent down to the stream, cupping the water, and bringing the cool clean liquid to his parched lips. He watched as his reflection shimmer in and out, wavering as the sun bounced off and on the water. His journey had been long, and still he looked.

Nolie watched Vale's travels through her forest. She took a step, shifting as bones popped and fur took the place of flesh. She was now the doe, and she boldly strolled out into the small stream, her mother and father joining her, there was safety in numbers.

Vale left the air move around him. As he glanced down, he saw the reflection of the small doe, surrounded by the older deer, a buck and a matron doe. He felt the young doe's eyes bore into his back, and he twisted around, peering into her doe's unnaturally blue eyes.

Then he spoke, could she be the one? “I am Vale, Prince of the Fae. I've come seeking what was long ago promised. Our land is in great need, the elders have sent me to gather the promised one.”

As he watched the buck transformed into his Fae form, and he smiled, holding out a hand. “I am Tisten, Leader of the Wood Fae. Cousin, come, there is much to speak of.”

Vale glanced at him warily, not all Fae are to be trusted, he should know, he'd been wandering this woodland for a fortnight waiting to be greeted. “Tisten, I bow down before you.” Vale made the homage. “Let me sit at your fire and we'll talk.”

“Come, Vale, Prince of the Fae.” And Tisten lead them deeper into the enclosing forest.

As they walked the young doe and matron shifted, and joined his side.

“I am Mara, wife to our leader. And this,” she gestured to the young woman on his other side, “is our daughter, Nolie, the promised one.”

Vale turned to face Nolie only to lose his footing, catching his breath. The young woman beside him had long flowing blonde hair, skin the color of the doe's fur, and sapphire eyes which glowed in the near darkness. Full red lips sang of the pleasures to be found in her arms. Small round breasts peeked through the soft camisole hiding her tender bits, her feet encased in a whisper of leather. She was the promised one, the one who could bring life and joy back to his people. And, by the gods, he would have her.

He grasped her hand, bringing it to his lips to place a kiss held in her warm palm. “At last we meet, Nolie, the promised one. It is with a happy heart we come together.” And he let his own full lips promise more than a kiss. Then turned to Mara, “When can the ceremony take place?”

“For the magic to bind, it must be on the next full moon, two nights hence.”

Two nights? Vale thought, how would he contain himself for two nights?

Tisten turned to the young prince, “There is much to say, two nights will barely be long enough.”

In two nights Vale will have won the young maiden, he was sure of it. He would bring her back to his clan, she would be his willing bride, it could be no other way. His heart was already hers.

Nolie took back her hand. She wasn't one easily convinced, to be promised before birth to another galled her. She bent her head down, peeking up through her lashes, “Prince Vale, promised I might be, but it is only by choice I will go.” She looked him full in the eyes, “And please do not presume I will meekly follow.” She strolled ahead and joined her father, letting the prince know she was an equal, not a pretty doll to be fondled.

Ah, this young doe was not the timid animal he was led to believe. He grinned. He was going to thoroughly going to enjoy this conquest. He would be the victor, and she would proclaim it with her own unruly lips.

Mara lips quirked into a smile, Nolie would never be seconded to any man, but she may have met her match in the young prince. Determination flowed from him with every sure step. Nolie may have found an equal.

And, last week's flash....

Magic Most Foul
by: Dottie Taylor
word count: 590

Sera felt the short sword pierce her body, knew the raven had been an omen. But the crown had been her destiny, she was sure of it, not her mother's or her sister's. Why shouldn't she take what was rightfully hers?

As she fell to the ground, she felt the After Lands open to her, and gratefully she entered, never knowing what laid beyond the gates. It might be Heaven or Hell, either way, she had no choice but to enter. Her life was forfeited to her sister, Keila. But, she'd bide her time, soon enough she'd see her sister again.

Kieran waited for her in the After Lands, where Sera had banished him, while his body remained on the Earthbound plane, her tool to use. With Sera's death, he'd be cursed into a waking nightmare, claimed by the After Lands, where no one could save him. True love was his only hope, and women of her clan found men useful, as warriors or bed partners, but love didn't come into the equation. Kieran was lost. She was sure of it.

Keila dragged Kieran faster toward the gate, it was either their exit to the Earthbound plane and their entrance into Hell. All the stories told of a great wizard that resided beyond the gates, He was their last hope. If He couldn't help them, no one could.

They burst through the gate, and again, there was a figure in the distance waiting for them, drawing closer. A cold chill washed over and around Keila, she knew this power well, it bit into her flesh. Sera waited, she would demand to be confronted one last time. Her magic would be stronger here in this place where life had no business and where magic knew no boundaries, nothing to hold it back, focused on the practitioner's desired target. The only question, would Keila draw her wrath, or would Sera try to take Kieran, possessing him as she had once before.

Keila pushed the warrior behind her back, throwing up a protective shield, if her sister wanted his soul, she'd have to pay Keila's price. Once a soul died in the After Lands, there was no chance for rebirth in another lifetime, the penance had been paid.

As Keila and Kieran drew closer to Sera, another figured stepped between them, a bent figure, clutching a staff on which he leaned heavily. But, Keila was not deceived, appearance were not always as they seemed. It was He, the wizard from the stories of old. Though his body appeared to be bent and broken, his eyes glowed with magic that swirled and tumbling through the air.

“Stop!” He command, and Keila stopped, halting Kieran in his tracks as well. “Why have you come to this place, it is not your time.” The wizard spoke, it was like thunder to her ears.

“I've come to collect my one true mate. He was wrongly sent to this place, and legend says any huntress may enter the After Lands to break a spell binding the unrightfully taken. I've come break that binding.” Keila let her own power fill her voice. “My sister cast him here, tying his soul to this place. He must be released.

The wizard turned and spoke the Sera, “Is what she says true?”

Sera looked indignantly down at the ground surrounding her feet. “Not, entirely, he came of his own free will.” Sera chuckled, and looked at her sister. “Ask him sister, ask him whose bed he last warmed?”

So, two for the price of one.... too much??

Join us Monday for another edition of

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge

I'll be by to check you everyone else's flashes......

Have a great weekend!  (I hope the flu stays away from everyone else!)


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Promo ~ Enclave by Ann Aguiree

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Pages:  272

(Happy Release Day:  April 12, 2011)

Ann Aguirre, author of the Corine Solomon Series & the Sirantha Jax Series, releases her first -ever Young Adult dystopian novel, 'Enclave':

To read an interview and the first two chapters:

From the Cover:

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy.

When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.

As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

Ann Aguirre introduces her new YA series with the debut release of Enclave.  An excellent addition for YA/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance lovers everywhere!  I'll be adding it to my collection!

Book Trailer

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 35

Good Monday Morning!

It's time for Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!

I haven't felt very well the past few days, so here's an image for the flash this week.

Looks interesting, can't wait to see what take of flash it brings!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Crushed Sugar, The Ophelia Dawson Chronicles by Kimber An

Publisher:  Decadent Publishing
Pages:  57

(Released:  March 25, 2011)

From the Cover:

Ophelia’s had a wicked crush on Martin since they were kids, but she was always just his geeky little friend. Then, on the first day of her junior year, he’s suddenly and wildly attracted to her. She can’t imagine what’s changed, but shocking her small school’s social order fills her with vindication for insults suffered.

Ophelia meets Adrian right after and true love extinguishes the wicked crush. In secret, he gives her courage against a specter threat.

Tristan is pale and hungry, and draws Martin’s immediate ire. He knows things about Ophelia which she assumes are delusions brought on by an aggravated illness like her own, diabetes. When battle breaks out between his ancient race and new blood, even the courage of her secret love might be crushed

Ophelia is starting a new year, junior year at her high school. Togo, Alaska is a small town, everyone knows everybody else, for most of their lives.  And that's what's so strange... Martin has known Ophelia for her whole life, and they've hardly been more than friends. Suddenly, Martin (who has been Ophelia secret crush) losses interest in all the girls who follow the local football hero and principal's son, especially, Katelyn (Ophelia's evil nemesis).

Suddenly, she's his Sweet, and he'll have no other.

But, there are two new boys in town and at her school.  Tristan, who somehow appears all alone, pulling on Ophelia's heart string with his solitary standing, always alone.  And Adrian, he really wishes Ophelia would stop trying to touch him and driving him crazy with need.  She doesn't understand what he is, or Tristan for that matter. What's a girl to do when her dreams come true, and she finds it wasn't what she wanted all along?

Crushed Sugar by Kimber An is the prequel to her YA paranormal romance, Sugar Rush. This novella gives us the background for the story, how it all came together, and the beginnings of Ophelia's destiny, either to become entrapped by Martin and enslaved by his need, or the find her own way, maybe with Adrian. Only time will tell if Ophelia becomes Martin's Sweet or if she escapes her fate.

If you haven't read Sugar Rush, you're in lucky, this is an excellent prequel. If you've already read Sugar Rush, once again, you're in lucky. This little novella fleshes out the story, gives us the background and how everything was set into motion. YA lovers of paranormal romance may want to give Crushed Sugar and Sugar Rush a try, a new world built around the vampiric need for survival.

Ms. An is very fortunate with her cover art, both books having beautifully enticing cover. Look for the next in the Ophelia Dawson Chronicles, Sweet Bytes, release date to be announced.

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Lincoln Lawyer ~ Movie Review

Starring:  Matthew McConaughey, Marissa Tomei, William Macy Jr., Ryan Phillipe, Josh Lucas
Director:  Brad Furman
Running Time:   118 minutes

The Lincoln Lawyer is the story of a criminal defense attorney, Mickey Haller [Matthew McConaughey], who has lost his driver's license (and though we're never told why.... he does like to drink...a lot). His driver, Earl, is kind of like his social secretary, people pull up and he pulls over. Mick likes to conduct most of his business right out of the backseat of his Lincoln Continental, his office on wheels, and very low overhead. Everything is going along swimmingly until Val (an electronics monitor) [John Leguizamo] sends some business Mick's way. A young wealthy playboy, Louis Roulet [Ryan Phillipe], has been accused of assault, attempted rape (and several other offenses) and he has asked that Mick take his case. His mother, Mary Windsor [Frances Fisher] is ultra-wealth, and can't have her son sitting in jail, where all the criminals are. This is when the story gets interesting, because a defense attorney doesn't get to defend very many innocent clients...

The pictures of the supposed prostitute who suffered Louis's hand are horrific. He can't even stand to look at them, his chin quivers as he relays his story to Mick, the innocent young man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And his story is almost plausible... almost. Then, incriminating evidence starts turning up... like his knife at the young lady's apartment. Mick can smell a set up, but at first, he's not sure who's being set up, him, his client, or the prosecutor [Josh Lucas]. He sets his investigator, Frank [William H. Macy, Jr.] on the job of ferreting out the truth.

In the meantime, Mick is partying it up with ex-wife, Maggie [Marissa Tomei], trying to find out what information is missing from his case. Then, the shit hits the fan. One day after Mick gets Louis out on bond, he starts seeing coincidences between this case and another, and he becomes suspicious all over again, Louis isn't being straight. And just when he thinks he's going to catch a break, someone murders Frank, and the most obvious killer is Louis.

As Mick begins to dig, Louis is stalking him and his family.  Is he a murderer is Armani? It only gets better from there.

If you haven't seen The Lincoln Lawyer, I highly recommend it. It's fast and funny, deadly serious, heart warming. I know everyone says that Matthew McConaughey only plays one part, the introspective exuberant over confident smart ass know it all. If this is the case, he does it so well, and I'd encourage him to do more, it is a treat. And as an extra bonus, he's easy on the eyes. This is a riveting movie, a power play, and until the very end, it was a whodunit with questions to be answered. There's also some interesting secondary characters, like the detectives [Michael Pare/Bryan Cranston] haunting his steps, the motorcycle gang and it's leader Eddie [Trace Adkins] who dogs his car and takes care of his problems as they crop up and he takes care of theirs, the young drug addict/prostitute, Reggie [Margarita Levieva] without her help, Louis can't be setup, and jail house snitch, Corliss [Shea Whigham] who sets the cops on Louis once again. I really wish William H. Macy Jr. had been in the story longer, only because I think he's an interesting character, never know what kind of part he's going to play or where it will go.

All in all, The Lincoln Lawyer was well worth from my sixteen dollars. I'm sure the dvd will join my collection.

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

From the Cover:

Mickey Haller has spent all his professional life afraid that he wouldn't recognize innocence if it stood right in front of him. But what he should have been on the watch for was evil.

Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense pro who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, to defend the clients at the bottom of the legal food chain. It's no wonder that he is despised by cops, prosecutors, and even some of his own clients.

From bikers to con artists to drunk drivers and drug dealers, they're all on Mickey Haller's client list. But when a Beverly Hills rich boy is arrested for brutally beating a woman, Haller has his first high-paying client in years. It's a franchise case and he's sure it will be a slam dunk in the courtroom. For once, he may be defending a client who is actually innocent.

But an investigator is murdered for getting too close to the truth and Haller quickly discovers that his search for innocence has taken him face-to-face with a kind of evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, Haller must use all of his skills to manipulate a system in which he no longer believes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Saint Valentine's Clash by Raven Corinn Carluk

Publisher:  Raven Corinn Carluk /  Smashwords
Pages:  320

(Release Date:  February 13, 2011)

From the Cover:

Her powers are growing, her depressions are gone, and Keila is doing what she does best; helping those who need her. The young psionicist has her life back on track thanks to her considerate vampire lover and close friends that love her.

Varick is out of town, and Keila keeps herself busy to avoid any longing. Simy is suffering flashbacks from childhood, Giovanni says kids are going missing, and a strange presence is affecting Portland. More than enough for a young woman to juggle and solve, keeping herself happy.

Events culminate quickly; Simy is kidnapped, a sex cult is enthralling people, and an enticing incubus becomes her ward. Suddenly, it's a race against time with an enemy from her past.

Keila must face her greatest challenge, alone, and prove to the world just how deadly capable she is.

While Varick is away on business, Keila finds herself in demand. She has finally come to understand that she is strong enough to stand on her own. Since the death of her parents, she's been a little lost. With Varick's help, and steady pushing, she's glorying her own abilities, and they're many and varied, and growing everyday. And she's found out something else about herself, without her vampire lover at her beckon call, she's becoming more like the vampire, in her thoughts and her needs, maybe even becoming a little bit of a vampire herself.

Simy, Keila's best friend, has been summoned back to New Zealand. But, when she drops him at the airport, he's kidnapped by a distant relative, a sex mage. It turns out, though Keila or Simy can't remember anything about what happened before, this is the same mage that kidnapped Simy and his sister. It's also the last thing Keila's father did before his death, freeing Simy from the very same sex mage. Now, it's up to Keila to find her friend and set him free.

While the airport and before she knows about Simy, she discovers another man, a gentle Japanese man, being forced into a van by other stronger men. It goes against her family creed not to try to help the weaker when possible. She frees the man, Kiyoshi, only to find out, he is one of the sex's mages underlings. Moira bound a demon to his soul, turning into an incubus and immortal. His abilities are to soothe, calm, use others with his sexuality. To get Simy back, Keila will need his help.

Also, Giovanni, since losing his daughter, Charlotte, has left the vampire's employment and he's now running a shelter for teens. Trying to give back and help other teens as he wasn't able to help Charlotte. When teens go missing, Keila thinks she knows where they are, and it all comes back to the sex mage, Moira. And there's more going on than Keila is even aware of.

When Varick calls Keila to see if she'd like him to return, in need of his help, she refuses. She needs to try to do for herself.

Saint Valentine's Clash by Raven Corinn Carluk is the second installment of her Keila O'Brion, Psioinic Warrior series. In this installment, we find Keila on her own, her German vampire lover, Varick Eitenhauer, out of town on business. Simy has been called back to New Zealand, but it's all a ruse to get him back into the evil clutches of Moira, ancient sex mage and distant relative. Without her vampire, Keila has to depend on herself, use her wits and cunning along with her powerful abilities to find and free Simy.  Moira, sex mage and wicked witch, has intruded once more into Keila's life and is daunting her with facts she doesn't remember, the reason for her father's death. Keila is also, with the help of the vampire's networking abilities, being called to help with preternatural problems. A private investigator, Cliff, calls about an odd book left in his care. He gives Keila the ancient book.... covered in something besides leather... and there's something about the book, something unclean... (there's more story to tell here, so there's hope for a three book for this series). Keila is the same gothic tongue-studded character from All Hallows Blood, Book 1 (Crescent Moon Press) who uses her abilities for good. She refers to herself a sociopathic, but I prefer "emotionally divergent" (she may exhibit some antisocial behaviors by not conforming to the societal norms, but she is engaged and she helps those who need her). It is through her emotional divergence that she's able to stay calm in extreme situations, not minding a little blood shed.

Saint Valentine's Clash is an excellent follow up to All Hallow's Blood, though I would have enjoyed seeing more of the vampire, Varick Eitenhauer. He was a strong character in the last book, and I missed his presence in this book, other than phone calls and dreams. But, Keila becomes more focused, a stronger character without the vampire taking care of her needs, letting her grow and come into her own. There is less romance in this book than the first, with the vampire out of town, but the introduction of Kiyoshi and his growth in the story, helps fill out the missing pieces. Though Saint Valentine's Clash is Book 2, it is easily read as a stand alone. Raven Corinn Carluk also wrote a flash fiction with Keila and Varick on her website, it's definitely worth a peek too. This is a book that all urban fantasy lovers will want to take a look at. I enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series.

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

Monday, April 4, 2011

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

Well, I know I'm late, but only a little, and I finished a book last night! YAY! Now to write the review...

But instead of writing the book review, I whipped up a quick tale for Sassy Sunday Story Starter from Alternative Reads brought to us by Viviane Brentanos, author of Womens Contemporary Fiction. I know, not doing what I'm supposed to be

Murder By Design
by:  Dottie Taylor
word count: 720

A hard rain drummed out its incessant beat. Max Jackson rested his head against the mullioned windowpane and wondered if he’d ever get used to the capricious climate. A mundane deliberation, really. The weather was the least of his worries.

Now, the police, that was the real worry. That's why he was hold up here. Not that it was bad here, except for the incessant raining, the heat and humidity, mosquitoes big enough to carry away small animals ... aside from that, it was pretty great.

And who knows, maybe they'll try to pin the murder on someone else. Yeah. Right. His fingerprints were all over the knife, her blood on his clothes, and they had been seen together, earlier in the evening. All looks pretty suspicious, even to him. Fucked. That's what he was, fucked.

He ran a hand over his tired face, and sighed. He wished Billy would call.


Back in New York, Billy stared at the phone. She'd promised him she'd call, but she hadn't, knew she wouldn't, it was too easy. Instead she opened the phone and dialed 911.

“Nine-One-One operator...What's the nature of your emergency?” The police operator spoke through the clicking of computer keys.

“I know the location of Max Jackson, he's wanted in connection to the Linda McNeary murder?”

“Please hold for the detective.” The operator voice was anxious, suspicious. Moments later, another voice filled her ear.

“This is Detective Michaels, with whom am I speaking with?”

“That's not really important is it? I mean, I'm just want to do my civic duty, I don't want to leave my name.”

“Yes, ma'am, but there's a reward for information regarding the case, no name no reward.”

“Oh, well... I guess it wouldn't hurt... My name is Susy, Susy Kurts.”

“Okay, Ms. Kurts, why don't you tell me what you know?”

“Well... Max Jackson, he's kind of a friend, and well, he called me. Said he was staying down in New Orleans, in the French Quarter, place called Mabel's. He supposed to have murdered that girl...”

“You sure about that?”

“As you as you're sitting there whittling your thumbs, and he did call me.”

“We'll check it out. Can you come in, sign a statement?”

“Gee, detective, I don't know....I don't want to get involved.....”

“Ma'am, you're already involved. It'd be better for us if you could come in.”

“I'll have to think about it, Detective....”

“Is this a good number, if we need to, we can reach you back?”

“Yeah, sure.”

Billy disconnected the call, went to the memory, and erased it. The night was dark, she didn't think anyone was paying attention, but still better safe than sorry. As she walked along the sidewalk, she wiped the phone clean, dropping it into a trash can, and kept walking, not missing a step. As she turned the corner, she held up hand, hailing a cab. This side of town was definitely not for her.

Back in her apartment, she turned on the hot water, added some bath salts. What was that old commercial her mother used to say? Oh, yeah...  Calgon, take me away! She sighed. She'd had a long day, and she deserved a soak, she thought. She slipped out of her clothes and into the hot water.

Well, at least all of that nasty business had been taken care of. What a mess Linda turned out to be! Then, she'd had to do damage control, get her out of the way, and it wasn't nearly as hard this time. She did have to sacrifice her one of her best outfits, she really was going to miss her Louis, that's for sure. Next time, she pick up one of those cheap rainsuits, she just didn't own anything suitable for that kind of mess.

The easy part had been getting Max to go check on Linda, that meant framing him was easy too, and the police, the idiots were eating out of the palm of her hand. The hard part was the clean up, so many loose ends to tie up. And who would have guessed Max was so damn slippery? Murder, such a messy business, only to be done when absolutely necessary. She thought for a moment. Maybe she'd make that her new personal motto.

So, okay, a little dark, but not too bad. Fun to play with...


Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 34

Good Monday Morning!!

Well, it's been a long weekend here, the weather was chilly Saturday, but so nice and warm on Sunday (75 degrees!!)... it would have been great if not for the tornadic winds!!!  LOL  Everytime I went outside, it looked like a bird's nest was resting of my head, a sea of brunette weeds swirling around my head... lol.

Since it's Monday... it must be time for...

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!!!

Today's lovely image is kind of different...., there are all kinds of story arcs to go with it. We've had a steady diet of kick-ass images lately.... hope this one isn't over the top and everyone enjoys it!!

Now, to see if I'll be able to come up with anything for it.... I've been have a bit of a dry spell lately imagination wise... 

Also, the lovely Anachronist made an awesome badge for our Fridays...!  If you'd like, you may post it as well...

The rules remain the same.... 350 words (or somewhere near it.... oh, what the hell, I haven't hit 350 in weeks... lol!!), come back Friday and post your flash!

There aren't any other rules... and the most important thing is to have fun, be creative, tell more a story that has me begging for more!!  Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Have an awesome week!!!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge, Week 33..... The Friday Post

Woah! This isn't Friday, is it??  Damn, I've forgotten to write my flash fiction again!! I've been so busy this week.... I can't believe I've completely forgotten. Yesterday, I could have sworn it was Friday, only to find out it was Thursday.... I'm all screwed up!!  LOLOL  It's just been one of those weeks!

Once more dear readers, you're going to get a flash written in moments, but I've tried to read through, correcting spelling and inconsistencies.  But, it is what it is...

Magic Most Foul, Part Three
By: Dottie Taylor
word count: 700

Kieran study the land before him, so different from where he was only moments before. Where was the battle? Keila? Where was he?

Everything was so green, the ground plush. He blinked his eyes and found himself lying into the long grass, moving his fingers through it. The blades caressing like a lover's touch.

Then, he flashed back, the battle surrounding him once more, his mind no longer his own as he felt another take it. His head pounded. How could this be?

Sera, his lover's sister stood over their queen, her mother's crown upon her sick head. Though his body didn't want to react to her's, he felt her pull. And when she touched him, he burned with horrified desire. She repulsed him and yet drew him. She laughed at his need, both to flee and to take. He felt the swirl of magic flow around him, and suddenly he knew. Sera had captured the old mage power, using him as it used her. She tinkled her fingers lightly over his flesh, heating it, and again she laughed.

“Oh, if my sister was here!” She called gleefully. “I will possess what she has claim for her own. Her crown, her consort, her love!” And she brought her body closer to his. Kieran's hand itched to touch her, but would he caress her or kill her? He felt his fingers tightening, kill her if given a choice, but his body was not his own, it was treacherous.

“Oh, but you want me..” She teased as she laughed, her scent filled his senses, and he knew if she gave her body at this moment, he would take it, cherish it even though it was Keila he desired. What was this horrible magic she wove to control him?

“Gods, what are you doing to me?” She stepped closer, and he buried his face in her hair. Gods, he wanted her.

“I'm taking my lover and consort, I'm taking what's mine.” She returned as her fingers move over his flesh, making him shiver.

“Then, come, let the foul deed be done, release me from this horrible desire.” He grounded out, his need override truth. He closed his eyes, his head dizzy with unclean arousal.

Once more, he felt his body pulled to find the green grass surrounding him. He sprang to his feet, determined not to return, not if it meant Sera would warm his bed. He began to rush through this strange new wilderness as he thought of Keila. How to find her, how to call her?

Off in the distance, a great gate stood open, and he quicken toward it. Someone stood before it, awaiting his approach. As the figure moved, long red hair floated out with the bristling wind making him hurry his pace. He was with 500 yards when he felt his body shift again. He tried futilely to grab ahold of this reality to keep it with him.

When again he opened his eyes, Keila stood before him, bloodied and battle ready. And in his hands was a short sword, glistening and deadly. Though he tried to halt it's swing, he growled out as it arced through the air with all the strength his body could bring. She easily deflected it, bringing back her battle ax to slam against his forehead. Blessed peace came to him then.

He shook himself awake to find the gate still before him, and the figure he'd seen in the distance, now hovering over his body. Keila! “My Gods, what is happening?!?” He cried as he clutched her body, planting kisses on her warm soft lips. “Please let this be truth, because I can't endure the other.”

She hurried him, pulling him to his feet. “Kieran, there is no time. I've killed my sister, but her soul has come home, it lingers, waiting to take you. I feel her even now. The After Lands are a tricky place, and neither of us are ready to reside here. We must leave, come, hurry!” She tugged his hand, but Kieran couldn't trust himself any longer. Was this merely another illusion? Or was Keila here to save his soul?

If you've chosen to play along, leave me a comment and I'll be by to take a peek! I hope you made as much fun with this image as I did... because I sure didn't think I would. As I sat this morning, I almost posted no flash today, but I couldn't and whipped this out instead. Once again, I've dedicated my first free hour to flash.

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

Monday Morning Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you have an image you'd like to flash for, please contact me!!  Thanks and thanks for playing along!

Have a great weekend!!


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