Thursday, 27 October 2011

RFW Challenge/Blogfest - Haunting!

Each week Romantic Friday Writers hold a themed challenge for romance writers. This week, because it's Hallowe'en coming up, this challenge is open to all! So why not kick the dusts of time, look through the mirror at what's beyond and let your imagination take flight.  

The remit is to post up a flash-fiction piece or a poem and max 400 word count. It's a tough thing to do but it's a great way to practise honing one's work by making every word, every sentence count, yet convey a complete story/cameo within those 400 words.

Last week was my last week in the role of admin for RFW. I simply have too much going on in my writing life at the moment, but I'm staying on as a member and will post up pieces as and when I can.

As this week's theme centres around Hallowe'en, I'm breaking all the rules. Note (((cackle of laughter))) and the Devil's mark. I'm way over word count 666: code MPA.

I give you: Haunting!

“Don’t be silly, it can’t possibly have disappeared,” said Amy, kneading dough. “Who in their right mind would stop by to pinch an axe?” She paused, looked her husband in the eye, a glare of accusation. “I bet if I go out there, I’ll find it lying in the long grass somewhere.” 
     Jake threw his hands in the air, frustration evident. “I tell you I left it in the wood shed.”
     Mattie glanced up from her homework. “Dad’s right, mum. I saw him plunge it in the chopping block as I came back from feeding Jupiter.”
     Once again dough received a good pummel. “Then the chopping block is where it’s at.”
     “Was at,” snarled Jake. “O.K., fess up. Who moved it?”
      Amy's hand thumped the dough with zest. “You think I have time to waste playing shuffle the axe?”
      Jake watched as Amy panned her eyes around the kitchen, air of desperation about her. A grin spread across his face. “Lost some thing?”
      “I swear I left a damp tea towel, on the end of the table.” She glanced at her husband, hands behind his back. “Give it here.”
      He bared his hands. “Not guilty.” Laughter then rumbled from the depths. “Don’t look at me like that, I swear I haven’t got it.”
      Mattie laughed. “He hasn’t moved, mum, not an inch.”
      There was a loud thump and sound of splintered wood and the door swung open. There, in the door frame an embedded axe and blood seeming to drip from the blade.
      Jake stepped forward to shield his wife and child from a potential intruder, but none came forth. With bated breath, he wrenched the axe free and glanced back at Amy cradling Mattie to her breast. “Stay here.”
      It took but a moment to check outside, and Jake’s first thought that of Jupiter in the paddock. Much to his relief the pony momentarily looked his way and carried on grazing. He checked all around the house, and then it struck him. Smoke. He could smell smoke. He dashed back to the farmyard, an unbelievable scene before him. It could not be, could not be happening.      
      He shut his eyes, prayed it was some strange vision. But no, there were horsemen circling the yard, animal furs about their shoulders. They were warriors from another time, another place. He yelled at them. Threw stones, anything to distract them. He had to lure them away from the house, away from the burning hay barn, away from his wife and child. Not one of the horsemen noticed him, each stone falling short of its target.
      Oh no, Mattie with a tea towel in her hand. What was Mattie doing?
      “Go back, Go back inside.”
      He ran forward protesting, shouting her name, but a warrior scooped her up, cradled her to chest and before he could reach Mattie the horseman turned about and rode off at the trot the other horsemen surrounding the lead horse.
      There was nothing for it but to get the shotgun. He lunged himself through the doorway, and there stood Amy kneading dough, Mattie at the table absorbed in homework.
      What the hell had just happened?
      He glanced back at the hay barn. No smoke. No fire.
      “What day is it?”
       “All saints eve,” replied Amy.
       He kissed Mattie’s head in passing, moved to stand behind Amy and wrapped his arms about her waist. “Have I told you lately that I love you?”
      “Yesterday, I think.” She turned in his arms, floured hands about his neck and leaned into him. Their lips met in a familiar and lingering caress, until, “I love you, too.” She smiled, and whispered, “They come every tenth year.”
      “The horsemen.”
      “You saw them too?”
      “It’s my second time of seeing them.”
      “And you never thought to tell me when we moved here?”
      “The last time I saw them I was ten years old.”
      He glanced at Mattie. “She’s ten.”
      Mattie suddenly said, “It’s all right, dad. I belong, here.”         

That's all folks. Hope this caused a spine tingling sensation.

To see entries by other participants please go here.  

Friday, 14 October 2011

RFW Challenge - "First Love" - Blogfest: Book Trailer!

Purple Emperor Butterfly

This beautiful butterfly brings love to the fore in my latest historical novella. Believe it, although a moment of bliss occurs things are about to go awry...  Please note this novella is not yet available on Kindle. When it is I will post details on my profile blog

404 words: slaps hand for being over 400 max - MPA

She leaned further forward, better to see its wings fanned out, and in doing so a loose stone came adrift and tumbled forward. He lunged backwards, his arm about her waist and she then hauled back from the edge. “My fault in tempting you forth.” He glanced back at the parapet, his arm still about her waist in protective manner. “Damn place is a death trap.”
  “A loose stone, that’s all it was, and my fault for leaning over the edge.”
  He turned to face her, their eyes meeting as they had five years previous. All that time ago in church, and this time there was no denying something had passed between them that day, as it was passing between then now. His lips coming to hers not to be evaded, but to be enjoyed, to be savoured, to be kissed back in like manner. She sensed his hunger, her own leading her into temptation.
  She coiled her arms about his neck, and the strength in his crushed her to him. What joy, what bliss, this coming together in wild passionate embrace: and in this special place. She had so dreaded heated exchange in the arms of Hathaway and now it was perfection in the arms of Robert Lord Devonish.
  Sparring with tongues became a new delight, for she’d resisted engagement with Hathaway even though forced to succumb. His lordship was so different, so gentle, teasing and tendering her to respond fully to invasion and possession. If asked of any thing she might easily say yes at this precise moment in time, but it was over, and her lips once again free. The kiss potent, intoxicated by him, it was as though the best wine had been consumed too fast and heady paradise gained. 
  “Well Miss Napier, we seem to have a new understanding between us.” His smile warmed her heart, his eyes laughing but not mocking her. “Are you happy with this situation?” He kissed the tip of her nose. “Shall I now walk you home?”
  “Home? Oh goodness  . . . No. We cannot be seen together.”
  “Ah, your mother.”
  “Yes. Mother. She has her heart set on Hathaway, but I am hopeful he will be otherwise engaged sufficient long to change her opinion of him.”
  “How so?”
  “I’m not sure I should tell you, but if you promise, swear you will not say a word to your sister, then  . . .”        

The video will be much crisper in visuals when I post it to Youtube. 

To see entries by other members of Romantic Friday Writers go here

Monday, 10 October 2011

Book Launch and Fabulous give-away Prizes!!!!

If you don't know already, Roland D. Yeoman's is having a book launch with fabulous free gifts on offer. You will not believe what he has lined up as the top prize: bet you wish you had one!

Despite all the books he's written and already published via Kindle at Amazon, it is Victor and Alice' passionate love affair that he's chosen for a blogsplash. 
You see, R's really a secret romantic at heart, hence he's a member of
  Romantic Friday Writers.

He has lots of ways you can score points etc., in trying to win the top prize.

To enter Roland's competition go here.

Happy Birthday Roland. XXX   Alice

Shift your ass Victor. No one knows we're here, yet.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Challenge 22 - Rock Candy!- snippet from previously published novel.

Today I’ve chosen a snippet from a previously published contemporary romantic thriller, one I’m seriously thinking of putting out on Kindle and as a paperback at Amazon! 
Brief: it’s early afternoon, and Mac (an American secret agent) is on a mission, and Cassie (English businesswoman) his prey for reasons relating to US National Security. They’re lounging on a lawn in an English country garden while the others in their company continue playing croquet. They’ve spent a night away and slept together . . . This scene is a pivotal point in the story, for the hero is treading a minefield of female emotions he thought he could cross without getting into difficulties, but he’s in trouble and can’t afford to let loose his guard.  Male POV.

O.K, word count 372: code MPA.

“Mac, you do realise we’ve been awfully wicked in lying to everyone. That we were not where we said we were.”
       “Yeah.” The way she chopped a rod of lettered rock candy to bite size pieces caused him to wince. “Guess they know now, with that hideous pink candy in bits.” He watched her pluck a sticky piece from the chopping board and slip it between luscious red lips, and the way she licked sticky substance from the tips of her fingers blew his mind. He rolled over onto his stomach to shield manly arousal, her perfume intoxicating. He closed his eyes, the heat from the afternoon sun adding to the warm glow of contented male, as he recalled the sound of distant seagulls . . .
      He revelled in the sensation of hot grains of sand sifting between toes.  Savoured sparkling waves swelling and surfing onto the beach then receding through burrowed rivulets in the wet sand. With shoes in one hand, Cassie’s hand clasped in the other they idly ambled to the waters edge and strolled along through the gentle surf. He glanced over his shoulder; their indented footprints fast filling with seawater just as he would again vanish into obscurity.
      They strolled on, avoiding larger incoming waves. Sometimes leaping sideways, bumping into one another, their closeness enjoyable. She paused to pop seaweed, and again to pick up shells. He was dangerously on the edge of declaring something but instead stole a momentary kiss in passing. He clasped her hand and led her away from the waters edge. 
      Just to sit and stare out to sea bliss in itself. But they lounged back resting on elbows raising their faces to the sun and the pull between them too strong to resist. He rolled over, his mouth on hers potent, lustful and declaring his intentions. But it sure couldn’t go on forever. He had a job to do.
      Whoa. He stirred, conscious of a hand on his back. Sense of danger overwhelmed him. His gun was locked in the glove compartment of the car. With air of caution he opened his eyes: long shadows casting across the lawn and Cassie kneeling beside him. Could she be the enemy? Hell, he hoped not.
 To see entries by other participants go here.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Ever met a "Star Guide"? A Sci-Fi Author, to boot!

So, what is a Star Guide? See below in bio -  What does a "star guide" do in her spare time?

Answer: she pens thrilling Sci-Fi novelettes.

In her own words...   

About M. Pax: Inspiring the words I write, I spend my summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where I live with the husband unit and two loving cats. I write speculative fiction mostly and have a slight obsession with giant, man-eating reptiles and Jane Austen. I know, they don’t really go together, but it’d be interesting to insert Godzilla in the middle of Pride & Prejudice.

And so we come to the fun thing "M" does in her spare time. 

Description for Semper Audacia : Alone. Leda is the last living member of the brigade, the sole defender of her world. War took everyone she knew, leaving her in the company of memories and ghosts. Or is it madness?

The siren blares. The enemy is coming. Or is it? The approaching vessel isn't a friendly design, but it answers with the correct code. Leda must figure out whether the arrival is reinforcements or the final assault. In an aging flyer, she ventures out to meet her world's fate, the last stand.

Visit M's web site   or check out M's blog.

Semper Audacia is now available through the following outlets: