"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Alphabet Challenge - The Why & The How

I was recently asked to review a book that talked about listing prayers & scriptures by the letters of the alphabet. The purpose was for memorization. They talked about the Hebrew Acrostic Tradition. An example if you’ve never heard of this: The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters, and Psalm 111 has 22 lines in the Hebrew text, and each of them begins with the next successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Now, while I didn’t care for the book I read & reviewed, the best thing about it was the resource section in the back which gave me a list of books to add to my TBR list. Plus, it gave other ideas for listing things by the alphabet, one was an exercise to come up with 26 things you are thankful for.

I thought this a good idea this year for the week of Thanksgiving. I’ve had an issue with the holiday since I took a class in college called Minority Literature where we did a study on Native American Lit. I get a little too riled up about the blatant lies in the history books now, and the more I learned over the years, the more I found I had trouble celebrating this holiday. As I continued to study, I learned more about Thanksgiving as a National Day of Mourning – Read here if you are interested in more information on this: http://www.uaine.org/dom.htm Thankfully, what I’ve gotten from my research was the idea of alternative ways to celebrate, which has become a theme for me in recent years in all of my holidays.



I wish I could remember where it was that I read this, but one native American Indian mentioned (and I’m paraphrasing from my poor memory) being thankful on Thanksgiving for hope, something that could not be taken away from anyone, the hope of better things to come. I liked the idea. In fact I bought a box the other day with the word “HOPE” on it and I placed it in the center of my fall decorations. I also like the idea of being grateful, all times of the year, each and every day. As one who battles depression, I’ve found meditating on what I'm thankful for can help when all my medicines and other preventative tools fail me some days.

So, with all those angles explained, you can see why I decided this year to try my hand at the Thanksgiving Alphabet Exercise or Challenge. Some letters are easy, and I couldn’t decide on just one, for others, I struggled to find anything at all simply because there are not as many words that start with say U, X or Z. So, you have to get creative or use a site like http://www.scrabblefinder.com/

And so, I challenge you to sit down, take some me-time, with pen and paper, and try to come up with your own Thanksgiving Alphabet. Putting mine below just by way of example, but I think you could sum it up by being thankful for family and my writing along with a few other things *winks*


Thanksgiving Alphabet 2014 - Kiki Howell

Amazon Top 100 Best Sellers, Hidden Salem and What Lies Within Us
Books
Compassion & Candles & Creativity
Dreams
Emotions
Family & Food that Nourishes My Body
Giving Hearts
Home & Health & Happiness & Holidays
Ideas
Jonah
Kisses
Love
Marriage & Meditation
Netflix
Open-Minded People
Paranormal Creatures
Quinn Family & Heritage
Reading & Reviews
Solomon, Steve & Spirituality
TV & Time Spent with Family or Friends
Unity - Finding Regardless of Differences
Vacations
Water & Writing & Winter
X-tra Special Moments
Yoga & Youthful Feelings
Zeal & Zoom Feature that keeps me from wearing reading glasses at times


Friday, November 7, 2014

Paid Call for Submission: We Go On - A Veteran’s Anthology for Charity


This anthology will be published to raise money for various charities that support veterans. With each month’s royalties, I’ll donate 100% of the profits to go to charities such as Operation Homefront or the Wounded Warrior Project, etc.
About the Anthology:
This Anthology will include poetry, fiction and non-fictional stories.
Story Lengths/Payment:  Anything from 1K – 15K
Accepted Poetry – Payment is $10 plus a copy of the anthology.
            Accepted Stories under 5K – Payment is $50 plus a copy of the anthology.
            Accepted Stories Over 5K – Payment is $100 plus a copy of the anthology.

Theme/Plot for Fictional Stories and Poetry: A story about a veteran several years out from the war still dealing with war-related issues like PTSD or disabilities, etc but they do not have to be that severe either. I will not specify a war because I would like to see a range of ages of the veterans, so think WWII or Vietnam, or current wars. The story must be contemporary set and the veteran must be done with his service. Another twist here that I would like to see in some stories is for the story to be told through only one point of view, which is not the veterans, but through the eyes of either one of their family members or a close friend, maybe even a girlfriend or boyfriend. For example, I will be contributing a fictional story I wrote, the inspiration for this anthology idea, which is told 40-some years out from the Vietnam War in the point of view of the daughter. Her father is a Vietnam Veteran who has greatly ignored his PTSD until a traumatic life event happens. I welcome all authors to write these.
Theme for Non-Fiction Stories: These will be true-life stories or commentaries about life after war written by either veterans themselves or by family and friends of veterans. I really want to see a mix of both.
Submission Deadline: December 31, 2014
Submission Format:
Email manuscript to howell.kiki@gmail.com
Subject: Anthology
File Naming Convention: author name_story title (example: Kiki Howell_Coming Back to Life)
Manuscript: Just please keep it basic, Title Page, Times New Roman, 12 pt, please no fancy formatting…
Notes: These stories will be edited professionally, so the editor and author will have to come to an agreement on edits before a contract will be sent.
Publication Goal: March 2015
About the Editor, Kiki Howell: I graduated from Kent State University with a Secondary English Education degree in 1993. I’ve been a published author since 2007, currently having over 40 stories published with 11 different small presses. I’ve worked as a publishing administrator and an editor, and have successfully self-published a few of my own stories over the last few years. I’ve been an Ohioana Author and my most recent novel hit three Top 100 Category Bestsellers Lists on Amazon.  Visit www.kikihowell.com for more information.
I’m publishing this anthology in honor of all who have served, and for me specifically, in honor of my father, William D. Quinn, who 47 years ago was wounded serving his country in Vietnam (Vinh Long) with the 175th AVN Co earning himself the Purple Heart and Bronze star:
“For heroism while engaged in serial flight in connection with military operations against a hostile force: Specialist Quinn distinguished himself by heroic actions in 15 Feb 1967 in the Republic of Vietnam… Although seriously wounded his outstanding display of aggressiveness, devotion to duty, and personal bravery is in keeping with the highest standards of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.”
You know how the saying goes: many only wish to meet their hero, but I was raised by mine. I couldn’t be more proud, and this seems a small way to show that. The stories, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as poetry included will be unique in that they tell a story of veterans outside of war, how their sacrifice of service changed their lives long after the war was over. I really hope you will want to be a part of this project that will support so many that have selflessly given of themselves in serving our country. I have many promotional opportunities and other unique gifts plans to supplement this project.
What is a Veteran?

A Veteran-- Whether active duty, discharged, retired, reserve or national guard is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America" for an amount up to, and including his/her life.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Excerpt from What Lies Within Us


Blurb:

After receiving a letter from an aunt she never knew existed, Kyna Hughes travels to Ireland only to find out that her whole life has been a series of well-orchestrated lies. Suddenly, this poor girl from the foothills of the Alleghany Mountains is thrust into a life of not only the wealthy and affluent, but of dark magic and secret societies. As Kyna learns of the magic hidden inside her, purposefully stunted as she grew up for her protection, she must now battle mystical hauntings which are the result of curses while getting a crash course in utilizing her powers. Kidnappings and satanic weddings become her daily events as she struggles not to lose her heart to one of two men—a former Navy SEAL hired to protect her or a wizard hired to train her. Soon she will realize just how true it is that “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

Genres: Gothic, Paranormal, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense/Thriller  

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, Nov 2014

Excerpt from Chapter One of What Lies Within Us:

Ominous fanfare for her arrival in County Monaghan, lightening shred the fall of dusk. As a grisly storm surrounded the car she rode in, her every nerve vibrated with electricity. The well-read letter in her hand trembled in the heat of her clenched fist. Her last minute research of this part of Northern Ireland had not done the place justice. Beauty, that of a rolling and majestic nature even in the dark downpour, stole her already shallow breath.
The thousand slices of light tearing through the sky reflected in the grey water beside the road. The black shadows cast by the trees, Kyna perceived as decrepit, arthritic fingers that reached out for her from the heavy flowing stream. A resounding flood of sound, deep rolling thunder, made her body curl in on itself as she angled away from the car window. The squall so violent, she imagined the glass would shatter. Never one to cower, she swore in a whisper to herself. Ever since she’d landed in Ireland, a someone or a something, specifically an indescribable dark presence, followed her. Sure, it made no sense, but she couldn’t tell her over stimulated brain and racing heart that.
Trying to swallow despite the dryness in her mouth, looking straight ahead, she sought a moment’s peace. Deep breathing exercises had yet to award her any. This unexpected turn in her life over the past few days propelled her toward her wits end. From the moment she’d taken the letter from her mailbox, every part of her being had been altered in some way. From bursts of indefinable energy making her want to run a marathon, to unbidden ideas reminiscent of familiar dreams, to a feeling of having a sixth sense that warned of impending danger, she warred within herself to keep some semblance of composure. She didn’t understand her own body anymore, but had not the time or the mental capacity to analyze the abrupt changes as she traveled.
Erratic thought patterns plagued her instead, a barrage of unanswered questions. Prior to that fateful letter, she’d just been a girl from the foothills of the Alleghany Mountains, having lived her whole life in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia. Her mother’s confession of her true heritage came when confronted with the letter, the damned letter, scrolled in a shaky hand, from an aunt from Ireland she never knew existed.
Apparently, Kyna was more Irish than she knew, as in born in Ireland and adopted through the Irish Mafia into the United States. The father she barely remembered, a man who’d died in a mining accident when she’d been barely five years old, had ties to the organization. She’d been a black market baby, for the love of all that is holy! The adoption had born conditions. Telling the poor child of her adoption stood a deal breaker punishable by death. None of these random facts brought about feelings of safety and security as she traveled abroad to meet her aunt on her biological mother’s side.
The letter, the freaking destroy-a-simple-life letter, ranted on for two pages a heartbreaking tale. Her birth mother, Alana O’Riagain, had passed away a few years ago. Her aunt, Saoirse O’Riagain, now desperately wanted to meet her only living relative. Kyna’s birth father and his family were all long go buried, so whatever perceived danger her mother had given her away to protect her from had passed away with them. Maybe her tired eyes played her for a fool, but even now, Kyna swore that words following danger on the paper in her hand appeared written in an even shakier scroll.
Rain assaulted the car window with the unrelenting onslaught of gunfire. Her pulse beat as if under attack. Another round of multiple lightning strikes, the ones that cross the distance of the sky to the ground, brought Kyna out of her murky thoughts of a re-written past to a clearly foreboding present. Just ahead, the first glimpses of her aunt’s home in Armaugh appeared and disappeared in brief glimpses granted by the windshield wipers and the lightening.
Her breath caught at the vast size of what resembled a castle on a hill. A steep incline of land seemed formed to hold up the formidable three storey stone façade. The structure consisted of several three-sided bays stuck together and one four-storey tower to the right side. On the tower hung corner bartizans. These came into view as they made the steep climb closer to her ancestral home. These rounded turrets cut with windows multiplied her sense of being watched, that some sinister being stood sentinel over her, taking in her every move.
Crazy. All of it. She’d lost it, and she had to get it back in the immediate future. Tough, a fighter in an impoverish world, surely she could handle whatever this display of wealth held for her. But, little made sense. Her past lay in a shamble of lies around her feet. Her future looked, well, scary. She had a lot to sort out, and planned to get right to it once she met her aunt.
Her mouth had remained parched and her shoulders tense since she’d landed in this country. Her body betrayed her in various other ways as well. Strange sensations of heat in her core coupled with flashes of what she could only refer to as static electricity along her limbs, made her feel a foreigner in her own skin.
As her driver grunted and got out, Kyna took advantage of another long streak of lightening to gaze upon this veritable castle of a house. The bays had mullioned windows, curvilinear gables and tall chimneys. While she guessed the stone a light grey in the day, it accosted her with looming shades of smoke, as if old and charred, from her storm-shielded, misty view.
The metallic shriek of her door opening sent a wave of panic crashing over her. From her teeth set on a painful edge to that cold slither of fear down her spine, she forced herself to ignore each physical sensation, each body betrayal. Looking toward her driver, a streak of lightening silhouetted him, made him a dark outline like that of a large monster-figure looming over her. He had several inches on her as well as a bulky, full-muscled build one could only achieve with hours in a gym or steroids she supposed. As he reached for her hand, the strength of his grip intensified to painful when an explosion of thunder rolled over them seconds later. She reminded herself, as way of comfort, what little she knew of the man. Aedan Dunne, employed by her aunt, served as head of security, a man the woman trusted with her life.
In a brief conversation at the airport, Kyna had learned through grumbles of words in response to her barrage of questions, that the man had been injured then forced into an early retirement from the Navy SEALs. Irish-born, he’d come home in hopes of finding similar work, something where a mere leg injury would not be the big deal the military had made it out to be. While he may not be able to hide underwater at night in frigid water for hours like he used to without pain and cramping of the damaged muscles, he could surely protect on land, a home and a woman. From what her aunt had written of Aedan, while he may be short on words, failure wasn’t in his vocabulary.
The cool sweat covering her skin intensified with the firm grip Aedan took of her waist once she stood. While looking at his face, what she could see of it for the shadows created by his hood, sharp cheekbones chiseled into a grimace. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught the image of a man and a woman in black uniforms run to the trunk of the car and grab her belongings in a swift and sure manner. To her, the rain-soaked stones that made up the pathway to the inset of the main door resembled yet another insurmountable obstacle. Really, she’d reached that point in her day. Every little thing currently escalated to dramatic portions. Never the type to make a mountain out of a mole hill, she straightened her spine and raised up her head, determined not to start now.
Yes, life had dumped a whole crap load of change and new discoveries on her. By the looks of things, another dump truck sped her way, but her mother hadn’t raised a quitter. Besides, Aedan’s strong arms and solid frame offered a possible means to diversion if desired. From what her glimpses in the airport had gathered her, outside of being exactly what she’d imagine a SEAL to be, retired he could now pursue a career in modeling with such intense eyes and full lips. Simply put, he had rugged good looks that rivaled anything she’d seen in the movies. He stood beside her an image of masculinity beyond any she’d witnessed before, at least in her mind.
While she dared another look, Aedan focused on getting her inside. With her first glimpse despite the rain that fell in large drops from the hood framing his face, her stomach tightened even more. Locks of dark brown hair fell in long, messy sections on each side of his forehead. Full eyelashes framed moon-shaped eyes, wide with flecks of green and gold shimmering in the house lights. Intense and mesmerizing, she lost her train of thought, even as curiosity and anxiety mixed to further unsettle her.
 In perfect symmetry, the slim, angular fu Manchu moustache thing he had going on accented the sharp ridges of his cheekbones. Scruff filled in his jaw line. Whether intended or not, he worked the look, appeared more wild and beast-like. She quivered at the thought of such a man attacking her with lust-filled eyes. Her fingers twitched to touch the small patch of hair just under the bottom of his full bottom lip. The word fierce popped into her mind, sent a shiver that escalated as it moved from her head to her toes.
The sudden absence of rain and the sound of a large door opening wiped these decadent and wondrously distracting thoughts from her mind. For a moment, she stood in a dark alcove. The primitive chandelier above her head gave the appearance of rough flickers of candlelight over the mahogany-colored wood walls. A chair, massive and medieval in style sat beside her, the only objects in this tight entrance way save for doors on each side of her. Another man in a black uniform entered from the door to her right and snatched her coat without word of greeting as she watched the first uniformed man with her bags disappear into the door to her right.
“Go ahead in, Ms. Hughes.” Aedan’s rough voice made her jump, as did his hand falling on the small of her back.
His gentle push through an ornate-shaped opening reassigned her to a landing on shaky feet. She teetered just inches from a set of stone stairs with an actual red carpet down the middle. Lush on the sides but worn in the middle, it’d obviously not been laid out for her. The thought almost brought a delirious laugh, but her frozen lungs stifled the sound.
“Ms. O’Riagain should be here momentarily.” Again, Aedan spoke, his voice a blanket of comfort for the moment. Although, she wished with every fiber of her being that he hadn’t removed his hands from her body.
Actual armor, minus a man she hoped, stood on a stand next to her. On her other side, a small cannon sat. Of course, a cannon. What else would there be here? Neither provided her a secure feeling of welcome, nor security at all, but rather a sense of being ready for battle. Juxtaposed to these intimidations were the candles perched on wrought-iron stands aligning each side of the carpet on the stairs. Perched between each tall candlestick sprayed an exquisite array of long, sharp green leaves topped with out-of-season pink spotted orchids and white roses. The color scheme surrounded by scarlet walls screamed abundant wealth and refined taste from centuries ago.
Although Kyna had grown up in a mobile home with a single mom, she knew wealth. Opulent displays no longer intimidated her. Her mother had worked tireless hours at The Greenbrier, one of the leading luxury resorts in the States. Allowed to work alongside her mother some days growing up, she’d found employment there herself during her college years.

A woman in a simple, white flowing dress with pale skin and strawberry blonde waves of hair walked into the picturesque scene. Kyna grew unnaturally conscious of her damp clothes and hair as the vision in white flew to her with wide eyes and open arms. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Vignette Winner - The Prodigal Daughter by Elizabeth Black

It was a very tough choice with all the excellent entries I had in my fall-themed vignette contest. So, gathering some extra help, we've come to a decision on the winner. Congratulations goes out to Elizabeth Black for her vignette entry, The Prodigal Daughter, As promised, I'm posting it here again for Halloween, and I'll be contacting you about your reviewer or beta read prize. Also, congrats goes out to Muffy Wilson, my giveaway winner. Your fall-themed gift basket is being put together today! Thanks to all who participated. Happy Halloween! 


The Prodigal Daughter

The house in which Vivien Tyler had spent her childhood sprawled near the cliffs overlooking a churning Atlantic ocean. It was a place so remote it might as well have been at the edge of the world. Twenty-two acres on three sides and tall hedges on the fourth facing the road protected the home from prying eyes, door-to-door salesmen, and Jehovah's Witnesses. It was a large, rambling place with expansive rooms on the first two floors and claustrophobic cubbyholes on the third. The wrap-around porch strangled the first floor, its top bowing in the middle from the weight of years of Nor'easters common in Massachusetts as well as lack of upkeep.
Just looking at the house exhausted Vivien. It sapped her of her energy when she was a teenager and she felt its stifling pull as she stood in the gravel parking lot, staring at it. It gaped back at her, all the windows shuttered except the ones to the storage room that glared at her as if they dared her to cross the threshold. The pointed roof kissed the sky and the walls came together as if banding against her, willing her away from entrance. The aged porch yawned, bored at her presence and choosing to ignore her.
A crisp autumn breeze blew from the ocean beyond the cliffs, tousling Vivien's auburn hair about her head. The scents of seaweed and freshly mown grass filled the air. Crimson, yellow, and orange leaves floated about like shards of a stained glass window come to life. Vivien pulled her sweater closed around her neck. This fall was going to be a chilly one.
The forest died around her as green turned to bronze. She could almost hear the last dying breath of summer as it moved into fall. Wild asters dotted the landscape, a sign that fall approached. Birds swarmed looking for food. It was time for more homey pursuits she never had when she was a child – hot cocoa in front of the fireplace, S'mores, pumpkin pie, banana nut bread. What was it called when you longed to return to a home that never existed?
The rustic smell of wood burning in a fireplace greeted her from the front door of the house. It teased her, pretending to invite her in yet those yawning hallways closed within, making entry difficult.
Vivien had seldom set foot in her childhood home in seven years. Now, in the throes of divorce, she returned home, a prodigal daughter, wishing she felt more at ease.

Elizabeth Black - Blog and Web Site
http://elizabethablack.blogspot.com/
Elizabeth Black - Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/elizabethablack
Elizabeth Black - Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ElizabethABlack
Elizabeth Black - Amazon Author Page

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An Opinion For An Entry to Win a Novel Before It Releases!

Help me pick which of these subtly different covers looks best, and you could win a PDF copy of my Irish Novel, What Lies Within Us, a week before the November release date! Simply put number 1, 2 or 3 in the comment box below along with an email to send your ebook to if you win. I'll take the results into consideration, but the winner will be picked randomly regardless of their choice. I'll pick a winner by end of day Friday, and send the ebook on Saturday October 25, 2014.

Thanks in advance!

If this helps, here's the book info:

What Lies Within Us by Kiki Howell
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Thriller, Gothic Horror, Paranormal, Romance


After receiving a letter from an aunt she never knew existed, Kyna Hughes travels to Ireland only to find out that her whole life has been a series of well-orchestrated lies. Suddenly, this poor girl from the foothills of the Alleghany Mountains is thrust into a life of not only the wealthy and affluent, but of dark magic and secret societies. As Kyna learns of the magic hidden inside her, purposefully stunted as she grew up for her protection, she must now battle mystical hauntings which are the result of curses while getting a crash course in utilizing her powers. Kidnappings and satanic weddings become her daily events as she struggles not to lose her heart to one of two men—a former Navy SEAL hired to protect her or a wizard hired to train her. Soon she will realize just how true it is that “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

Sample 1

Sample 2

Sample 3



Monday, October 20, 2014

Vignette Entry from Delena Silverfox

On All Hallows Eve
Even the moon, full and bright, was ashamed of him and hid her face behind a cloudy veil. He swallowed the lump of ice in his throat, shivering as the wind picked up, and clutched the stolen grimoire tighter to his chest.

You flout the order of things! It will not be her, my son.”

The leaves gave dire warning in their raspy whispers as they trembled at the end of gnarled branches, but he shook his head at them as he had his mother.

Unnatural! Unnatural!” they called.

The altar drew him in. Damp earth still blackened his fingernails, and he trembled with exhaustion from the previous night's exertions. Blisters on his palms split and wept as he clutched the precious tome, but he did not care. The fever had left him weak, but he had strength enough for what lay ahead.

The grey clouds opened, heavy with the moon's despairing tears until they could carry no more. Silver tears burned like ice upon his skin, dampening his mud-caked clothing until the chills set in.

That's how it had all begun, with chills. Then fever.

Then hell.

The patter of rain set the leaves whispering once more. “Back! Back! Back!” they cried. Some trembled at the onslaught and struggled not to fall, heavy with the moon's despair, to whisper no more.

Deep in the oldest heart of the wood, in the hidden clearing where he had first kissed her, she waited upon her bed of autumn leaves he had so meticulously laid in the chill fog of morning. His knees threatened to give way at the sight of her.

The evening's frost still glistened upon her eyelashes and sparkled on her marble lips. Spiderwebs streaked her sable hair in silver. Surrounded by the brilliant umber, gold, and vermillion of her leafy bed, arms positioned to cradle the soft swell of her abdomen, she was breathtaking. More stunning now than even she had been in life.
The circle he had set when he laid her bed was now alight with arcane hunger, waiting. The precious vial of seawater from the far coast was in a bowl set to the west. To the north, at his beloved's head, an owl's feather. At her left, to the east, a jar of the damp earth from her grave. And at her feet, in the south, roared the bonfire he'd built with flames reaching as high as his head.

As the rain pelted him with icy needles, it hissed as it met the flames. “Sin! Sin!”

The salt of his tears mixed with the moon's own icy, silver tears. The grimoire beckoned, promising with its ancient spells.

It was begun.


Author Bio:

For as long as she can remember, Delena Silverfox has always loved writing more than anything. When she was three she taught herself how to read with alphabet magnets and her trusty Speak n' Spell, and her first stories were written in crayon.

She pursued an English/Creative Writing degree in college, but changed her major to Psychology and pursued writing on her own. At 21, she moved to Portland, OR where she spent the next eleven years, and considers that the city where she truly "grew up," as it influenced so much of who she is today as a person and an author.

Delena lives in Southern California with her daughter. When she's not writing, Delena likes extreme sports and verbal sparring.
Links:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/delenasilverfox
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/delenasilverfox

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If you'd like to have a chance to be part of this October Promo Fun, check out all the details at http://anauthorsmusings.blogspot.com/2014/09/fall-contest-giveaway-win-promo.html Not only could your Vignette be featured here, but you could also win a review or beta read. And, even if you don't want to write one, I've got a giveaway going for a Fall-themed gift basket just for sharing any of the Vignette posts! Just comment below with the link to the shout out.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Vignette Entry from Deb Lerew

From "The Phantom Horseman of Holland Farm"

No longer in a party mood, Kyrie Carter slipped quietly out the front door of the farm house to stand on the front porch. This evening had ceased being fun hours ago, and she was tired of putting forth a brave front. Her fiancé, Spook Steele, had stood her up after promising a big surprise that would make this a Halloween she would never forget.
Kyr turned away from the jack o’lanterns grinning through the windows and walked over to the side of the porch, her eyes drifting to the yard below. Ghost- and skeleton-patterned luminaria cast eerie shadows along the path to the orchard. The full moon soared just above the orchard, its orange hue gleaming through the smoky haze in the air.
            Movement in the orchard caught her attention, and she squinted into the darkness. A spectral figure stood just inside the treeline. Was it…could it be…a man on a horse? Her pulse quickened as she recalled the host’s story about Holland Farm’s phantom horseman.
Suddenly the horse stepped forward just outside the cover of the trees, and the rider turned to face her. Both horse and rider glowed greenish-blue in the moonlight. Slowly, the man raised his arm and beckoned to her. A chill that had nothing to do with the frosty night air settled around her bare shoulders, but she was intrigued. She did love ghost hunting, after all. 
Kyr crept off the porch and picked her way quickly but carefully up the rocky path. Once or twice she stopped and looked back towards the house; was she crazy? She didn’t know who or what she was walking towards. It could be the ghost, or it could be a psychopath. A sudden thought made her heart race with excitement–what if it was Spook? He had promised a surprise. She lifted the long skirts of her princess costume and started to run, but she turned her ankle on a stone in the path. Cursing under her breath, she kicked off her shoes and tossed them aside. 
When she started towards the mysterious rider again, she realized that he had moved back under the cover of the trees, luring her into the orchard. She stopped again and glanced back towards the house. The steady thump-thump-thump of the sound system still came from inside; even if she screamed at the top of her lungs, no one in the house would hear her. She turned back to look at the horseman again; he had moved another ten feet or so back into the trees, shimmering even more ghostlike in the darkness. The horseman raised his arm and beckoned to her again. 
Kyr took a few more steps forward until she was underneath the cover of the trees. A single moonbeam filtered down through the branches where the horseman stood, and she saw the unmistakable glint of metal. Her eyes widened in horror, and she realized that she had been stupid to come alone this far from the house. 

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If you'd like to have a chance to be part of this October Promo Fun, check out all the details at http://anauthorsmusings.blogspot.com/2014/09/fall-contest-giveaway-win-promo.html Not only could your Vignette be featured here, but you could also win a review or beta read. And, even if you don't want to write one, I've got a giveaway going for a Fall-themed gift basket just for sharing any of the Vignette posts! Just comment below with the link to the shout out.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Vignette Entry by Elizabeth Black

The Prodigal Daughter

The house in which Vivien Tyler had spent her childhood sprawled near the cliffs overlooking a churning Atlantic ocean. It was a place so remote it might as well have been at the edge of the world. Twenty-two acres on three sides and tall hedges on the fourth facing the road protected the home from prying eyes, door-to-door salesmen, and Jehovah's Witnesses. It was a large, rambling place with expansive rooms on the first two floors and claustrophobic cubbyholes on the third. The wrap-around porch strangled the first floor, its top bowing in the middle from the weight of years of Nor'easters common in Massachusetts as well as lack of upkeep.
Just looking at the house exhausted Vivien. It sapped her of her energy when she was a teenager and she felt its stifling pull as she stood in the gravel parking lot, staring at it. It gaped back at her, all the windows shuttered except the ones to the storage room that glared at her as if they dared her to cross the threshold. The pointed roof kissed the sky and the walls came together as if banding against her, willing her away from entrance. The aged porch yawned, bored at her presence and choosing to ignore her.
A crisp autumn breeze blew from the ocean beyond the cliffs, tousling Vivien's auburn hair about her head. The scents of seaweed and freshly mown grass filled the air. Crimson, yellow, and orange leaves floated about like shards of a stained glass window come to life. Vivien pulled her sweater closed around her neck. This fall was going to be a chilly one.
The forest died around her as green turned to bronze. She could almost hear the last dying breath of summer as it moved into fall. Wild asters dotted the landscape, a sign that fall approached. Birds swarmed looking for food. It was time for more homey pursuits she never had when she was a child – hot cocoa in front of the fireplace, S'mores, pumpkin pie, banana nut bread. What was it called when you longed to return to a home that never existed?
The rustic smell of wood burning in a fireplace greeted her from the front door of the house. It teased her, pretending to invite her in yet those yawning hallways closed within, making entry difficult.
Vivien had seldom set foot in her childhood home in seven years. Now, in the throes of divorce, she returned home, a prodigal daughter, wishing she felt more at ease.

Elizabeth Black - Blog and Web Site
http://elizabethablack.blogspot.com/
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Elizabeth Black - Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ElizabethABlack
Elizabeth Black - Amazon Author Page

If you'd like to have a chance to be part of this October Promo Fun, check out all the details at http://anauthorsmusings.blogspot.com/2014/09/fall-contest-giveaway-win-promo.html Not only could your Vignette be featured here, but you could also win a review or beta read. And, even if you don't want to write one, I've got a giveaway going for a Fall-themed gift basket just for sharing any of the Vignette posts! Just comment below with the link to the shout out.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Vignette Entry by Angelica Dawson

I'm really enjoying reading the entries, and even more, I love getting to share the best of them with you. If you'd like to have a chance to be part of this October Promo Fun, check out all the details at http://anauthorsmusings.blogspot.com/2014/09/fall-contest-giveaway-win-promo.html Not only could your Vignette be featured here, but you could also win a review or beta read. And, even if you don't want to write one, I've got a giveaway going for a Fall-themed gift basket just for sharing any of the Vignette posts! Just comment below with the link to the shout out. And now, here is Angelica's:

The sky reflected off the surface, light fracturing into a thousand colours. The film made those colours dance and spin, like tiny sprites flying across it. The clouds in the film were no longer white, but lilac and salmon and lawn. The sun was still a bright dot, but shifted from yellow to orange and purple.

Also reflected in the globe were trees, evergreen conifers and leaves on aspen that seemed to tremble and shake in the light breeze. The leaves were new, bright green, but their reflection, like all the others, were distorted.

The surface broke in silence. A few specks hovered for a split-second before disappearing with the rest of the soap bubble.

Taking the plastic loop and dipping it in the soapy water, she blew carefully, steadily, watching the filmy surface bow out and threaten to break. She softened her breath, but kept blowing, the film swirling as more of it spread out to make a thinner surface.  When she was sure the bubble couldn’t get any bigger without breaking, she jerked the hoop aside, closing the bubble.

This one didn’t last as long, falling to the grass and breaking there. Some smaller bubbles rested on the pointed surface, the result of many hours and the enthusiasm of her companion. While she concentrated on building another tiny reflection of the world, he blew hard, letting strings of bubbles float away from his lips. He pointed out his largest ones to her, though they were never as big as hers.

Tiny worlds, distorted reflections, constantly changing.  They were each of them perfect, and none of them the same. She blew one more, and this one floated up, catching a breeze. They watched it together, holding their breath. How far could it go? How long would it last?

Pop.

Author Bio: As an environmental consultant, Angelica Dawson is no stranger to blood sucking hordes. However, they are more like black flies and mosquitoes than vampires. She is the author of Blue Moon House, a vampire BDSM, and its prequels. She has also contributed to the first Serviced anthology and Campus Sexploits 3.
Twitter: @angelicadawson

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Witchy October Sale!


For the month of October a couple of my witchy shorts are available for only $0.99. These are limited time sales - on both my paranormal erotic romance Spelled and my pagan erotic romance Working Out the Kinks - to celebrate the October releases of two new shorts - an erotic, dark fantasy horror story called A Violent Seduction and a much sweeter paranormal erotic romance called Soul Lights, A Hallowe’en Romance of an Erotic Danse Macabre – both of which will also be only $0.99.

Of course I’ll throw in a few extras along the way!

First, I’m having a sort-of BOGO Sale incentive. Just buy one of these books, review it (hey, one to two sentences is good with me), and email me at howell.kiki@gmail.com with the link to the review and the name of the second book in this collection that you would like free. I’ll send it your way :)

Second, I have a giveaway. I’ve just created a new account on Twitter, so anyone who follows me on Twitter up until October 30th will be entered for the chance to win either

~a copy of my witchy suspense novel, Hidden Salem, ebook or print, your choice
Or
~DVD copies of two of my favorite witchy movies to re-watch in October, Practical Magic and The Covenant

If you are not on Twitter, hey I understand, I resisted forever, simply comment below for a chance to win.

Here’s all the book info!
A Violent Seduction Blurb:
When David stumbles into Myrissa’s Wiccan Supply Shoppe — the man bruised and bloody, complaining of strange occurrences and true night terrors — she agrees to help him. After studying his clouded aura and listening to his story, she believes he’s been cursed, bound to a succubus.

Agreeing to come home with him, cleanse his apartment and try to banish the sexual predator, she gathers her supplies. What she witnesses and battles though proves darker and more seductive, than she could’ve ever imagined. Will her magic be enough? Or will she also fall prey to the dark and violent seduction of a demon?
Warning: This story is Dark Erotica/Dark Fantasy Horror involving a succubus. It contains a mix of sex and violence as well as mind control and magic during such acts.

Genres: Dark Erotica, Horror
Available Now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Soul Lights, A Hallowe’en Romance of an Erotic Danse Macabre Blurb:
Lighting a soul light in a cemetery on Hallowe’en hoping to catch a glimpse of her mother in the danse macabre, Nina’s sadness weighs her down. Then something shimmers on the edge of the tree line. Called to it, she lets a spirt whose flesh is hot and solid but invisible, like no spirit she’s encountered before, lead her into the woods.

With sensations of Deja Vu, she immediately trusts him but knows not why. Wanting that dangerous reach for life that comes only through skin on skin contact, she gives into her needs, outside, against a tree, at the whim of this spirit who feels like a real flesh and blood man. But, secrets await her once Kailen’s spirit materializes fully. And, who steps through the portal next with a Hallowe’en gift will change her life forever…
Genres: Erotic, Paranormal Romance; Halloween
Available Now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Spelled Blurb:
When Sandra’s aunt discovers a dark and disturbing spell during a ritual in her store, Sandra flies to California at her families urging. What she never expected was a dark-haired, silver-eyed man to walk into the store and propose the most insane of ideas to her - that they were spelled, generations ago, by a dark warlock. 

The implications of this history lesson are as complicated as they are startling, and their only options are not all that clear. Real or magick, there is an obvious attraction between Sandra and Daniel. Together their powers are strong, and their options appear limited.
Sandra and Daniel have only one night to find a way to not only to save their families magick, but also to save the earth from a magick-al catastrophe. They must put their minds, their bodies, their magick, and maybe even their hearts on the line, or all could be lost.

Genres: Paranormal (Witches), Erotic Romance, Suspense

Available Now at ExcessicaAmazonBarnes & Noble and All Romance Ebooks, etc. 


Working Out the Kinks Blurb:
The First Book In The Erotic World Of Pagan Romance

Can an unconventional sex life a couple experimented with before their breakup be the one thing that might just spark life back into their relationship after months of being apart?
Can a sex magick ritual combined with this BDSM lifestyle help a man win back the woman he loves?
Can he earn back her trust by putting her in a situation where she has to trust him with her safety and emotional well-being?

Making an appointment with his ex-girlfriend under a fake name, David buys himself one hour to get her attention. Hoping to apologize and remind her of their time together, he intends to do whatever he has to in order to make Meredith, a practicing Wiccan, forgive him for being idiot enough to have listened to those around him and choosing his political aspirations over love.

Meredith is resistant to let David anywhere near her heart again. Desperate, David plays all his trump cards and suggests a sexual magick ritual that incorporates the BDSM lifestyle he and Meredith used to experiment with. The methods he uses may be unconventional, like sensory deprivation and sensation play intended to build trust and to achieve altered states of consciousness. David is more than willing to do whatever it takes if he can just get Meredith to agree.

Will Meredith give in to David and put the past behind them?
Can David truly give everything he has ever known and strived for in order to be with his beloved witch?

**Based on real Pagan traditions and celebrations, “The Erotic Pagans Series” brings erotica and romance to reality, and shares the passion of erotic romance in the lives of Pagans with everyone.**

Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Wiccan/Pagan

Available Now at NNP StoreAmazon, Barnes & Noble and ARE



In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.