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

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/
Elizabeth Black - Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/elizabethablack
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

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.