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

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fall Contest & Giveaway! Win Promo, Review/Beta Read or Gift Basket!!!

Each year during the fall, I usually do a big giveaway. One, because I’m a paranormal author; and two, because I just love the fall and all it brings. This year I wanted to do something different though, and it means I need to push the season a little to give people a heads up. I’m holding a little writing contest (under 500 words) where an author, aspiring or established, can win a review by an Amazon Top Reviewer (me) or beta read (me also). There will be possible promo too for those who enter. But don’t worry non-writers, I’ve added a way to include you too! All you have to do is share this post for a chance to win a gift basket. All details below…
The Contest: Write an Fall-themed Vignette under 500 words. I don’t care if it’s paranormal or horror or even some sweet depiction of fall leaves. Wait, what is a vignette, you may ask. “A vignette is a short impressionistic scene that focuses on one moment or gives a trenchant impression about a character, idea, setting, or object” –Wikipedia. I think of it as the thousand (or in this case 500) words the picture is worth. So, no action, not a flash story, just a depiction of a moment in time whether it be of a person, place or thing. So get your description on. Clear as mud? If so, I’ve provided an example one below.
For Non-Writerss: All you have to do is share this contest somewhere, a blog or FaceBook or Twitter, put the link below in a comment, and you’ll be entered to win an fall-themed gift basket to enjoy in November with hot chocolate, candy, maybe a scarf, who knows what I’ll come up with *winks*
What You Can Win For Submitting a Vignette: Author’s Choice of either a review of one of their published books to be put up on this blog and/or Goodreads, Barnes & Noble and Amazon (where I’m a Top Reviewer now). Or, if you’d rather a beta read. I’ve done many. And, this should include aspiring authors as well, as I can give a beta of even an unfinished story, or an IOU for when you finish your story. Winners Choice! Winners Vignette will go up on the blog on Oct. 31st.
Possible Promo Just for a Submission: Also, all throughout October I’d like to share the best of the vignettes here on my blog. This won’t indicate a winner, just give some exposure to many who submit. So, make sure to put a short bio with a few links in with your submission.
Deadlines: Deadline for submissions is Oct. 25. Please send all submissions in the body of the email (no attachments) to howell.kiki@gmail.com with Subject Line ‘Vignette’
Here’s mine! I wrote this as a short prequel to a story of mine called “The Stone Hex” published in my Mystic Stones anthology.
Cursed, A Vignette:
Head held high, her black dress taunted the earth with each breeze. A silhouette of a woman stood statue still under the frail protection of a fall tree line where the trunks stopped and opened to an expanse of tightly-knit, burnt out grass. Dying leaves, the first of the season, scented the air, and accosted her dry nose with earthy smells of mold as a chill snaked down her back. The last rays of the sunset, low on the horizon, smudged the multi-colored scene, already rich in crimson and gold and green, with shades of cobalt purple and burnt orange.
The debris of a yard, long unattended, rolled out before her until the twilight-drenched land gave way to the blackness of shadow. From her perspective, the long-abandoned house appeared to have scorched the land with its damned presence. The lack of symmetry of the two-story box of aged wood and cracking paint intimidated even with its weight shifted heavily to the left in a domineering stance. The house sustained the burden of a large fallen tree whose unbroken limbs seemed an elaboration of contorted fingers grappling for possession of the rolling wisps of clouds that muted the emerging moon.
The rotting porch which creaked with each gust of the coming storm, fell short where steps must’ve once been. Despite this, the ancient heavy door with rusted hinges gasped metallic shrieks, moved inches back and forth with each movement of the air, beckoned to a lost soul. The light-play of shadows on filthy and broken windows gave the illusion of specters. Reflections of peeling wallpaper or lost souls dancing? She couldn’t know. The flimsy aura of her curse, only a mist now, lonely and useless, existed without man or woman to rob.
Still, her power singed the air. Fine, dim silver threads waved over the ground, attached her to the cursed stone she’d placed under a floorboard in the entrance long ago. Each object of her dark affections planted now under the weathered headstones behind the house. Each year at this time, the anniversary of the last death, she came to taste the residual fears stuck in the ground.
This year, surely her last, she breathed in the decay of her deed, let the power of her revenge course through her, cold and exhilarating in some demented way. One last look she granted herself at the house, the pinnacle of her generations of dark spells. Dead twigs and unearthed roots held tight to its foundation, worshiped their dying god. Her maniacal laughter stirred the dead.


  1. Great contest, Kiki. I'll be sure to work on something for an entry!

  2. Love the contest, Kiki! I'll definitely be working on something as well.

  3. My first visit to your blog, I apologize. Thought I was tops on the best blogs on the Internet. Well, I am now I have joined yours!! I will work something up for your contest just for ducks and wiggles. I will share this to my fb page and a few more in the meantime. xo


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.