Andy Peloquin

I am an artist – words are my palette

Month: February 2015 (Page 1 of 2)

Book Review: Broken Voices by Winona Rasheed

It’s Bonus Book Review Saturday! Today, we’re looking at a book about a young deaf girl…

 

Broken Voices

New high school student Ella Rose Abbott appears to be normal enough, that is until she tries to use her voice and communicate, and then she wants to run and hide.

Ella Rose is different. She wonders what it will take to make friends and fit in at her new school. She is desperate to belong and seeming normal is not an easy task to pull off amongst her peers. As she soon discovers, her secret does not stay hidden long.

Broken Voices by Winona Rasheed is thought provoking as it takes you inside the world of living with a handicap as seen through the eyes of young Ella, a teenager struggling to belong in a hearing world.

Broken Voices

My Review: 3 Stars

The story was simple and sweet, but it seems like the kind of think you would have read 10 or 20 years ago. It’s all about how this little deaf girl is normal and not weird because of her handicap, but that is really not a relevant topic anymore. With so many TV shows, books, and movies talking about it, the story seemed a bit “old hat”.

A lot of the story is written in the passive “was”, which made it a bit hard to read. Thoughts and inner monologue are often said aloud, and the dialogue can be a bit clumsy, awkward, and unrealistic in many places. There are quite a few typos spread throughout.

Still, the story is sweet and simple, and though it may not be the most creative or original book, it’s worth at least three stars.

 

Here’s a Taste:

Ella looked at herself in the full-length mirror hanging on the back of her closet door. Noticing the slight disarray, she tucked the beige blouse into the waistband of her brown tweed, pleated skirt. The corners of her mouth turned down at the sight of her brand new school uniform. “I am not feeling this,” the 13-year-old said, shaking her head at her appearance. “These drab colors and this uniform make me look like I am going to a scout meeting instead of high school.” She was matching from head to toe, including brown, knee-high socks, a tie, vest, and a brown sporty tam to go with the regulated school outfit. “What were they thinking when they concocted this fashion statement for 9th graders? This is the most uncouth dress code ever, just downright unfashionable!” The words tumbled as though she was talking with mush in her mouth, for her voice was distorted and inaudible. It was like her voice box was disconnected from the muscles in her throat. However, safe in her room, she felt free as a bird talking, for she knew what she was saying and she didn’t feel embarrassed at how she sounded. “They would never wear anything like this to school in Savannah Georgia.”

Before, she could wear the colorful dresses that she loved, or wear her favorite patched jeans with a tee shirt if she wanted. But not anymore, the new school had a strict dress code. They wanted everybody to be the same. All students had to appear equal and uniform. Everybody had to feel that they fit in; whether you were black, white, rich, or poor. However, for Ella, she knew it was going to take more than a regulated uniform for her to feel comfortable and normal, because she wasn’t like everyone one else. She had a handicap and she already knew that kids tend to frown at those who are different.

Thinking it over and speaking aloud the words trickled from her lips. “Being deaf and having speech difficulties would be hard to play off amongst a bunch of strangers.” She wasn’t sure how she would accomplish this without seeming like a snob.

She placed the brown hat on her head and tilted it to the side, trying to add a little coolness and flair to the drab outfit. Not liking the way she looked, she began to complain. “Oh I can’t wear this! Grandma always said that a hat makes a lady look dignified, but this one makes me look like a dork!” Feeling terrible with the way the hat was looking on her head, she snatched it off and tossed it on her bed.

“Hats are for church going and special occasions. Besides, I prefer pretty hats that are girlish looking, big and floppy, because that’s how you do it when you are from Savannah, Georgia.” She began to sway back and forth in front of the mirror as though she was dancing. A smile appeared on her face as she thought of her old home and her old school; she picked up her favorite yellow big hat with the tiny red rose buds around the rim and placed it on her head. She had worn this hat with a yellow, lacy dress to the mother-daughter luncheon at the Silent World Academy, a school for the deaf. She wore it then and she wore it again the day she graduated from the 8th grade.

Standing at the mirror, she was like a Myna bird, talking up a storm, just like she did when she went to the deaf school in Georgia. There she felt normal; her speech problem didn’t embarrass her or make her feel inadequate, unusual, or weird. It was not out of the ordinary seeing students speaking through sign language or writing notes to communicate, or speaking with a voice that sounded strained. But, it was going to be different and difficult now, for her biggest fear was being amongst the normal kids with voices and ears that work. How was she going to communicate with them without feeling uneasy?

Ella flopped down on her bed; she lay across it with her hands folded under her chin as she stretched out on her stomach, her floppy hat still on her head. “I hate going through this; being different sucks! I just won’t go! Why should I?” She uttered. “The kids aren’t going to accept me because I am not normal anyway. They are just going to tease and make fun because my voice is strange, but I can speak! I am deaf, not mute like a fish and I can read lips, because I am not blind as a bat!” Feeling defeated, she just couldn’t understand why her handicap would be a problem for others when it wasn’t a problem for her. She accepted it, now why can’t they? Why can’t kids just be nice to one another she thought? That’s what’s not normal. It’s not me! It’s them!

 

 

About the Author:

Winona Rasheed was born in Troy Ohio. She is a Miami County Trojan and a Virgo according to the stars. Though she lives in the Nation’s Capital of Washington DC, she has a country gal feel about herself. Winona also known by the nicknames of Nona or Nonnie is very creative when it comes to writing and her creativity shows in her books for children and young adults. She has written 14 books, including two novels and 1 nonfiction. At the moment, she is working on Book #15.

Writing fiction started a long time ago, while in her teens, but success did not emerge until she was in her thirties when she stumbled upon a writing course, which when finished began to open up doors and opportunities in her writing career. Her dedication paid off leading her into the world of freelance writing. She also helps others write, edit and prepare their manuscripts for submission. She takes pleasure in inspiring and encouraging others in their quest to write.

“In other words, once you have the writing bug, there is no cure for it. You just have to let your pencil dance and your thoughts flow if you want to be healed.” Winona Rasheed

 

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Book Review: Dissension by Adrienne Monson

I know it’s Friday, but instead of my usual blog post, I’m going to give you a bonus book review to keep you entertained. This one is a different take on the classic vampire stories…

 

Dissension

Leisha used to be a loving mother with a perfect family, but that was more than 2,000 years ago. Though she holds the memory of that time dear to her heart, she must now focus on trying to escape the eternal and bloody war between her kind—the Vampires—and the Immortals, an undying race sworn to destroy her people.

Leisha soon finds herself captured by the government, only to be saved by a young and mysterious human girl. What follows is the beginning of a long and tortuous journey as Leisha and her newfound friend run for their lives while searching for the one thing that can bring an end to the conflict—the prophecy child.

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My Review: 3.5 Stars

I loved the intro to the story! The first few pages had me spellbound, and I found the introduction to the main character to be quite enjoyable.

But after a few pages, it kind of lost me. There was a scene near the beginning that could have had A LOT of tension and excitement to it (a confrontation between the main vampire character and her enemy), but it just didn’t have it.

Then the secondary character was introduced, and I felt like it watered down the story a bit more. The way the two are introduced is a little hard to believe–this shy, unassuming teenage girl breaks into a highly-restricted government lab and shuts down the electricity. It just doesn’t happen like that in real life!

Then the teenage girls almost immediately forms this emotional bond with the vampire character, who seems old enough to be her mother, but they have an older/younger sister thing going on. It wasn’t realistic, and had a distinctly amateurish flavor to the way it was handled. There was almost no tension or uncertainty between the two characters, but they basically went from total strangers to BFFs overnight.

The girl, Samantha, showed far less surprise than she should have when it was revealed that Leisha was a vampire. The way Leisha’s back story was told was quite weak–coming off more as a monologue than a story being told from one friend to another. There were quite a few typos, words being misused, and the dialogue sometimes felt stilted or unnatural.

That being said, I did like the conflict between the Immortals and vampires. Though what the Immortals are and what they can do is never properly introduced, they served as an intriguing antagonist. The twist at the end was one I could 100% respect–it totally took me by surprise.

It definitely made me want to read Book 2, which just came out on Tuesday! You can get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Defiance-The-Blood-Inheritance-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00TNTH5O8

 

Here’s a Taste:

Leisha straightened and schooled her expression into one of indifference. It was offset by the fact that she was having a hard time looking directly at him. She didn’t want to be distracted by those captivating eyes. She focused on his chest instead. “So why are you here?”

He took several steps forward and cupped her face, his fingers digging into the flesh of her cheek, forcing her to meet his gaze.

“I will tell you that I certainly did not come here so you could avoid looking at me as if I were beneath you,” he said firmly, a British accent lightly threading his tone. His voice was still cold and flat, but it seemed to have a little quiver to it.

Her breath caught at his touch. It felt electric, and seemed to make her feel alive in a way she hadn’t felt since she was human. She had not even bothered to defend herself from his outstretched hand, a realization that jolted her.

Her neck was at an awkward angle since she was only five foot five to his six feet.  He let his hand drop but didn’t take any steps back. He seemed oblivious to the corpse at their feet.

They were close enough to kiss, and the energy that flowed between their bodies was of a charged violence with an undertone of undeniable chemistry. They stared into each other’s eyes for a timeless moment.

“That is better,” Tafari said after a few minutes.

Leisha blinked, then scoffed and would have taken a step back if the wall had not been directly behind her. “Oh please, Tafari. You say I’m acting like you’re beneath me? I think that’s the pot calling the kettle black.”

Tafari crossed his arms and smirked slightly. “Seeing as how I am black, would you call me the pot or the kettle?”

She rolled her eyes, but she could feel herself relaxing a little.

A small smile played at the corners of his mouth. “I think I should be allowed one paltry pun considering that is the second cliché you have used thus far.”

Leisha felt her own smile wanting to push itself forward, and her lips twitched.

The small smirk disappeared and he cleared his throat. “So I have not seen you make any reports to Ptah for some time. Is it possible that he has allowed you to go out on your own?”

Whatever warmth she had felt quickly shriveled within her. “How would you know that? You’ve been following me? Watching me?”

She was agitated at herself as much as with him. She had not even had the slightest inkling that someone had been following her. She didn’t like the thought of Tafari being near without her feeling it in some way.

“Look,” he said. “I needed to talk to you, but I did not want to walk into an ambush of twenty bloody vampires just to do that. I did what I had to do to protect myself.” He stared hard. “It is likely you have forgotten I serve a higher purpose than most people could fathom.”

Leisha felt like sputtering. “Right. A higher purpose? So murdering me is a higher purpose.” He opened his mouth, but Leisha kept on. “I didn’t realize your duty was so glorified. So should I bow down to you now, or after you’ve elevated yourself in my presence? It would certainly make it easier for you to cut my head off!”

“There will be no need for that, vamp. I am sure that there will be plenty of time to kill you later,” he said in a biting tone. “I did come to speak with you, so either you can be civil with me as I am attempting to be with you, or we can just end the conversation now.”

She studied him suspiciously. “Tell me what it is you came to say so we can both be on our way. That is, if you really meant it when you said you weren’t here to try and kill me.”

With an edge to his voice he explained. “I came here to warn you.”

“You came here to warn me? About your superiority or your higher purpose in life?”

Tafari’s eyes flashed violence, then he took a deep, calming breath. “The planets are beginning to align as it has been foretold.” Leisha felt a chill run down her spine. “The prophecy child is coming.”

“Thanks for the information,” she said slowly. “But that still doesn’t answer the question of why you’re telling me.”

For a second, Tafari looked as confused as she felt, but then his face went back to its passive state so quickly that Leisha thought she must have imagined it. “I have come to inform you so that I might make a request of you in return.”

Her jaw dropped. “What could you possibly want from me?”

 

 

About the Author:

Adrienne Monson is the award winning author of the Blood Inheritance trilogy and a paranormal Regency novella, Eyes of Persuasion. She resides in Utah with her husband and two children where she works on more stories to share with the world. She also enjoys reading, kickboxing, and cooking.

Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dissension-The-Blood-Inheritance-Trilogy/dp/0984880194

Or on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dissension-adrienne-monson/1114377083?ean=9780984880133

Visit her website to find out more about her: http://www.adriennemonson.com/  

Tweet at her: https://twitter.com/#!/adriennemonson

Connect with her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adriennemonson

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Book Review: Chronicles of Steele Raven by Pauline Creeden

It’s my favorite day of the week: Book Review Wednesday! Today we’re going to talk about a solid steampunk novel I was lucky enough to read!

 

Chronicles of Steele: Raven

Human life has value.

The poor living in the gutter are as valuable as the rich living in a manor.

The scoundrel is no less valuable than the saint.

Because of this, every life a reaper takes must be redeemed.

Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she’s been spending years redeeming the lives she’s taken. By her count, she’s even and it’s time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore… Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she’s pulled right back in.

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My Review: 3.5 Stars

Right off the bat, I loved the rich steampunk world. There are a lot of fascinating things about the book, such as the clockwork machines, the styles, and more. I loved the concept of the Reapers, though why they are so awesome is never explained. It’s a story you will not want to put down until you have reached the end!

But it has its flaws as well…

The descriptions of some of the machines are a bit weak, as is the narrative–particularly in action scenes. The way the backstory is revealed is VERY odd: the hard-as-nails, assassin-like character breaks down and cries in front of a nine-year old child she just met. That is NOT how it happens in real life.

There are a few inconsistencies. For example, she just finishes beating up a bunch of bandits and they are running away when one of them shoots her, then runs away. Not really how it works! Or she uses a diamond-tipped crossbow bolt for some reason. Are diamonds really that cheap/available that someone would waste them on a crossbow bolt? She’s just not rich enough for this to be possible.

Her character is often a bit all over the place. She is a Reaper, but the life of killing people should have hardened her a lot more than she is. The character is a bit two-dimensional, without any real growth or development beyond finally opening herself up to falling in love–kind of cliché and definitely not the strong woman character I wanted to see.

The verb use is quite weak in some places. For example, one of the characters “gave a measured shake of their head” rather than just “shaking their head”. In another scene, “sobs caused his shoulders to move up and down” instead of “sobs shook his shoulders”.

All in all, while the story was interesting enough to keep me hooked all the way through to the end, I couldn’t give it as high a rating due to these flaws.

 

Here’s a Taste:

The fishmonger’s scream broke through the chattering crowd on the bridge. He jumped into the river to avoid an out-of-control carriage pulled by a polished brass automated horse. Steam poured from the nostrils of the metal horse and leaked from its joints in an unnatural manner. Its black lacquer carriage careened on two wheels through the turn onto the bridge before righting itself. Wires shot out of the neck of the metal coachman where the head should have been. The reins in its limp, useless hands were slack and whipping against the horse’s metal flank.

Raven jumped to the rail, moving out of the way of the crowd as they stampeded toward her. She gripped the lamppost and her reaper training kicked in. No fear. Breathe deeply. Think ahead. Make quick decisions.

The black lacquer carriage squeezed between the bridge railings, and the oak boards of the narrow footbridge splintered apart as though they were balsa wood. The railing to the left gave free another meter and the automated horse jerked in that direction.

In a quick, natural motion, Raven unsnapped her crossbow and felt through the quiver attached at her thigh for the right bolt. Pulling the wire from her belt’s winch, she hooked it to the arrow, pointed it at the wooden post of the gas lamp standing closest to the carriage, and pulled the trigger.

For a moment, the heavy metal horse hung over the edge with the carriage wedged between portions of broken railing. The horse’s brass legs still poured steam as they struggled in the air, creating the eerie sound of scraping metal. Gouges raked along the black side of the carriage as it inched its way toward the river. A small hand pressed against the window. The door surged past the railing and swung open. The body of a young boy tumbled out. He hung from the door handle with his fingertips. A gasp and a few screams filled the air behind her.

A female voice shrieked, “It’s the young baron!”

Adrenaline coursed through her veins, and Raven leapt toward the boy—toward the river. She fell in a controlled arc, the wind pulling her long hair as taut as the line from her belt. The carriage broke free from the bridge a moment before she reached it. She thumbed her winch to release more line and grabbed the boy in a full embrace. The cold water enveloped them.

The sudden change in temperature forced the air from her lungs, but she held it in as they darted below the surface. Her submerged body jerked to a stop as the line reached an end. The boy’s forehead struck her in the temple. Saltwater burned her eyes, and stars danced in her vision. Bubbles of air escaped her lips.

The boy went limp in her arms. She gripped him tightly in one arm and hit the rewind lever on the winch. She grabbed the line, and it wrenched her toward the light above. Streaks of her long, black hair stuck to her face as she emerged from the river. She released her breath and gripped the line. The winch pulled her toward the bridge, and the crowd above applauded. Gasping, Raven struggled with the sudden, heavier weight of the boy, struggling to hold him until they reached the top of the bridge. The line cut into her hand and her arm muscles ached.

Her tall black boots squished against the side of the bridge as they were pulled steadily up. She pushed off a tarred pylon to make it over the lip before the cable pulled them against the railing. The winch slowed when it neared the top. She reached up with her free hand and grabbed the crossbow bolt. With a flick of her thumb, she depressed the lever and the grappling hooks withdrew. After pulling the hook free of her line, she replaced the bolt in her quiver. A slow zipping sound continued as the winch on her belt drew in the cable. She allowed hands from the crowd pull the boy from her grasp. She blinked the saltwater from her eyes, her vision still blurred, her muscles quivering.

Four armed guards and one skinny man in a bowtie surrounded the boy she’d hauled to the surface, shooing away the people. Two other guards stepped forward to hold back the crowd.

With a sputter and a cough, the boy retched water from his lungs. The tension in Raven’s chest relaxed. She smiled and attempted to step toward him, but a vice-like grip took hold of her arm. Her fingertips twitched; she was ready to grab the knife on her hip and fight her way out, if necessary. The hard faces of two guards stared down at her. She could smack one in the jaw with the back of her head, and when he loosened his grip, throw a punch at the other. The taste of escape grew bitter on her tongue when she considered the surrounding crowd. She made a count of the collateral damage and clenched her jaw. The last thing she needed were more kills on her conscience, more lives to redeem herself for. With a deep sigh, she remained still.

The man in the bowtie held the wet boy to his chest. His cold blue eyes pierced hers. He pointed and said, “Arrest her.”

 

About the Author:

Pauline Creeden is an award-winning author, horse trainer, and overall book ninja. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been a #1 Bestseller in Christian Fantasy and been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Gold Award for First Place YA Horror Novel.

Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NLL6S42

See Pauline’s thoughts on her websiet: http://paulinecreeden.com

Connect with her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaulineCreeden

Or Tweet at her: https://twitter.com/P_Creeden

Writing Has Taught Me Self-Discipline

Writer’s block is a thing that I have heard many people complain about, but it’s never been a problem for me. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that I write both for a living and for pleasure.

I first started blogging and copywriting about four years ago, as a means of supplementing my income. Within 4 months, I was earning enough to quit my other job and write full time. I spent hours at my desk, working hard to pump out enough content to pay my bills. It was fun and fulfilling, but it was also a lot of drudgery and simply forcing myself to do it.

During this time, I totally stopped writing fiction. All of my “writing time” went to paying the bills, and it was hard for me to write anything for fun because writing was my work.

Then came the day that I rediscovered my love for creative writing. On a weekend trip to visit family, I write a 12,000 word graphic novel script, and I was totally hooked. I haven’t stopped writing since!

But it’s still damned hard to write both for work and for pleasure. I want to ONLY write for pleasure, but I still have to pay my bills. That means first thing in the morning I’m sitting at my desk hammering away at my computer to write blog posts and articles. Only once my work is done can I make time to write fiction.

That has actually taught me A LOT of self-discipline when it comes to writing. When you have an editor breathing down your neck to produce a new blog post or newspaper article, you have to reach that deadline no matter what. You can’t claim writer’s block, so you have to push on.

Thanks to the fact that I write for work, I have learned self-discipline. If I find myself in a bind, I stop, take a breath, walk around for a few minutes, then sit back down and try to find a new way to tackle the problem. I have learned new, creative approaches to overcoming writer’s block, and it has allowed me to overcome every challenge I’ve faced in my fiction writing.

If you treat your writing like a job–one that pays the bills, and one you approach with a professional attitude–you’ll develop a lot of self-discipline that will carry over into every other area of your life!

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Book Review: Serpent on a Cross by Wendy Garfinkle

It’s Bonus Book Review Saturday!

Today’s book is another odd one. It’s historical fiction mixed with metaphysical and fantasy, but with an extremely Jewish/Yiddish twist!

 

Serpent on a Cross

Dennah Dubrovnika is a formidable hunter and talented healer. However, she cannot control her own powers, which have suddenly reawakened in the aftermath of her mother’s violent capture by a powerful warlord who destroyed their village in his wake. As she races to free her mother, Dennah is accompanied by Jeth, the man she loves. But she’s increasingly, inexorably drawn to the mysterious Skallon, who is allied with her greatest enemy.

Will Dennah be able to gain a measure of control over her magic or will she lose everything and everyone she loves to its raging inferno?

Serpent on a Cross Cover

Serpent on a Cross is Book One in a Jewish fantasy adventure series set in Medieval Eastern Europe.

 

My Review: 3.5 Stars

First off, I have to say that I did enjoy the story of the book. It was a pleasure to read, and the quality of the writing was as good as I have read in any of the books published by Tor, Bantam, and any of the Big Four. It is a solid adventure story with your standard fantasy characters, and it moved along at a good clip. Very well-researched, with plenty of flavor to make it very authentic and Jewish.

That being said, I had a hard time reading through it at parts. It relies VERY heavily on its Jewish-ness to set it apart from all of the other fantasy books on the market. Every third paragraph uses a Jewish or Yiddish word or expression, and often there are no explanations of what the words mean. It kind of felt like a crutch in the end, as it seemed the author couldn’t break free of the Jewish side of the story.

There are a few things about the story that just felt odd. For example, the main character shoots herself with an arrow. If the author had every tried hunting with a primitive bow and arrow like the character uses, she would know that it is almost impossible to shoot yourself in the meat of the thigh with a weapon like that. Even after shooting herself, the character doesn’t limp for more than a few pages.

The fact that the book had its Jewish “uniqueness” sort of tripped up the story. The characters had no real depth, and they were completely clichéd. You have the girl who comes into her power, the love-struck hero/sidekick who is always there when she needs him, and the motley assortment of warriors, teachers, and supportive characters who train/teach/protect her. It’s not a complex story, but it’s a simple, high fantasy-style book that feels a bit clichéd.

Writing action is not this author’s forte. The action scenes were a bit weak, particularly the ones near the end. I didn’t feel the crescendo or climax to the story, but it was kind of a let-down. It’s supposed to be the Book 1 in the series, but there was nothing that made me want to keep reading. The ending was a bit lame for my tastes.

Plenty about it to make it interesting, but it falls a bit short.

 

Here’s a Taste:

Stomach churning, a sour taste in her mouth, Dennah hovered above the massacre from her nest in the ash tree she’d climbed at the edge of the forest.

Guilt twisted a knot in her belly as she remembered Mamen’s order to flee, but she couldn’t leave; she might be needed. So she’d climbed the tallest leafiest tree she could quickly find, its branches extending almost to the roof of their cottage. She fastened the leather bracer on her left forearm, finger guards on her drawing hand, in case she was forced to shoot the ash bow. After stringing it, she set it and the bag of arrows in the cradle of two limbs a little above her and out of easy reach so she wouldn’t be tempted to fire down upon the invaders.

From her perch she saw the soldiers enter the shtetl, thundering over the ramparts as if they were fagots; they crushed the golden fields of barley, and wheat, forcing the defenders to give way or be trampled beneath hammering hooves. Seeing the guardsmen attack the horses to unseat the soldiers, her heart raced.

Get them! What right have they to attack our home?!

Anger boiled just under her skin. Her gaze sharpened and the branch grew warm beneath the grip of her fingers. Though there was no breeze, the limbs of her tree swayed gently.

Almost without thought, as if her hands had a will of their own, she pulled bow and quiver within reach and nocked an arrow. With precise aim, she inhaled, drawing the cord back, hearing the soft familiar creak as it stretched. She released on the exhale. Gracefully, the arrow sped toward its target, a soldier who’d edged up behind Marek and raised his sword. The shaft caught him in the throat, sunk deep and broke through the skin at the back of his neck. He fell with a thud, blood mixing with fertile ground in a muddy pool beneath him. Relieved of its burden, the soldier’s horse veered away from the melee.

Marek, eyes narrowing, seemed to find her hidden in the ash. He nodded slightly and turned to face another foe. A surge of pleasure warmed her at his wordless approval. Then there was no more time for thought; only action. Again and again her arrows flew true; but she was careful to watch for enemy soldiers looking in her direction. Her stomach dropped when she saw first Yuri, then Selwyn, and finally Yakkov surrounded and disarmed. A quick inventory of her quiver yielded only four arrows. Not enough to free the guardsmen.

I’m sorry.

 

About the Author:

Wendy C. Garfinkle was born and raised in South Florida. She moved to Northwest Texas in her early 20s, but returned to South Florida eight years later. She holds five degrees, including MA and MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She’s a poet, reading addict, and collector of interesting clothing tags, which she recycles into bookmarks.

She has served as a copy editor and reader for Hippocampus Magazine, an online nonfiction lit journal, and as a reader for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Wendy is a crime analyst for a local law enforcement agency, and lives with her teenage son.

Find the book on Amazon:  http://tiny.cc/17adlx

Or on Barnes & Noble:  http://tiny.cc/b9adlx

To see what Wendy is currently working on, visit her at wendycgarfinkle.com.

Tweet at her: https://twitter.com/wendygarfinkle

Or drop a Like on her Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wendy-C-Garfinkle/667623273323781

 

 

Why Writing Makes Me Happy

Steve Maraboli wrote this line in his book “Life, the Truth, and Being Free”:

“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” 

Many people use writing as a sort of escape from their problems. For the short amount of time that they are writing, they are able to stop thinking about whatever it is that bothers them. It’s like watching TV or reading a book–it takes your mind off the problem.

But I like to think that writing helps me to confront my problems rather than escape them!

We all have weaknesses in our lives, and I know that my problems and weaknesses tend to be pretty discouraging. I find myself struggling with the same problem day in and day out, and things never seem to get any better.

So it should come as no surprise to find that the character I am writing is dealing with the same recurring problems. Perhaps the issues of a half-demon assassin are very different than the issues a step-parent of four pre-adolescent children, but that doesn’t mean his problems are any less all-pervasive than mine. In fact, the stubborn refusal of our problems to go away is kind of what bonds me to this character so much!

Writing has helped me to deal with my problems, in a way that may seem completely odd and unusual to some people. I try to help the character find a solution to his problem (being trapped in a maze of death, trying to break free of a torture chamber, and so on), and in doing so, I often end up coming with a solution to my own problems. The creative, oblique thinking I need to use for my character’s story helps me to apply that same way of thinking to my own life.

Don’t use your writing as an escape from your problems! Let it help you face and deal with your problems, and it will make you as happy as it has made me.

 

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Book Review: Genesis by Wade Garrett 

Our book today is a unique combination of fantasy, cyberpunk, science fiction, dystopian, and a few other genres I can’t begin to name!

 

Genesis

After a year of laborious solitude and a conflict brought to the doorstep of his father’s house, Jak, a Southlander of meek circumstance, will come to accept the future isn’t set. With abilities unnerving to any Areht, against forgotten enemies rising in every corner of the planet, he’ll be forced to resolve his destiny as One of Five that can change the world.

Such selfless transcendence isn’t easy, nor simply the heroic result of dark revelations shielded from him since childhood now exposed; rather, it’s because of what’s undeniable, even to him. Like all great forces collected at the tip of the spear, the truth of his purpose and the price of his existence has a cost and there’s no getting around paying it in blood.

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My Review: 3 Stars

Written/Reviewed by Samuel Denberg

This has been a very difficult book to read and review.

To begin with, I absolutely loved the hook and the writing style. From the characters dialogue to the quotes at the beginning of chapters, I very much enjoyed the author’s skill at constructing a complicated world with interesting people.

The downside is that there’s little or no explanation or back-story given for anything. Right from the beginning, we are told it is the “third age”. OK, the third age of what? Why is this the third age? What happened to the second age? These questions and more are never answered.

This author has great potential and is probably a terrific lecturer or essay writer. This book has everything it needs to make it a great story except the story itself. It lacks both narrative and description. I finished reading it because I enjoyed the style.

The reader is left to wonder if this world is a future Earth or a completely different universe. The narrative is often hard to follow because the POV switches from one character at one time to another in possibly a different time, right in the middle of chapters with no warning. This makes it difficult to keep track of who is doing what where and when.

This story is about continuing war. The enemy seems some kind of giant cyborg bug, which was thought to have been defeated and or destroyed at some unknown time in the past. The story centers around a small group of people, one of whom has discovered his father’s mysterious sword. The sword seems to grant or awaken some kind of power within our hero, but it’s unclear if his power is purely mental or some kind of man machine hybrid.

That said, I look forward to seeing how Wade’s writing grows form here!

 

Here’s a Taste:

“She is alive,” said Master Hurac roughly a minute or so after Master Zandril’s last call.

Awake, but tired, Leia closed her eyes again. Was this a dream or another nightmare made real? After all she’d been through, she couldn’t be sure. She heard Evangeline in her thoughts, but couldn’t discern her words. Her right hand fell away from the glowing red sphere hovering infront of her above a smooth silver plate, curved inward to hold the orb when inactive.

Unlike Master Hurac on his way to the stairs at the end of the second level’s open walkway, Head Master Palomeer, seeing Leia’s left hand still on the orb, remained in place. Until it too fell harmlessly to her side, he’d wait to approach the child just returned to their side of reality’s colorful bend.

At Palomeer’s silent request, the Tark moved in as a precaution.

The M-Noid, standing roughly 2.31648 silver meters, weighing approximately 220 kg, represented the vanguard in Areht advancement. Particularly in the areas of mechanized miniaturization and fiberoptic energy storage. And because this unique model wasn’t weighed down with as much or as heavy reinforced plating as normal Tark Units, it moved with a more humanlike quality and control. Much quieter too.

His Tark Unit shielding his position, Palomeer advanced.

Dripping with a sweaty, surreal feeling—the kind when either at death’s door or the broken window of insanity, Leia sighed. Her breath tasted stale and her teeth dusty. When was last time she used her lungs? How long had it been since she saw Jak?

“It is alright,” began Master Hurac, his words articulated to achieve maximum results. “You—”

Leia lifted her head to see who was talking and her left hand broke connection with Red 6. The resulting effect was instantaneous. And because she didn’t have the necessary skills to redirect, filter or compensate such terribly accumulated forces, in anyway—in relation to her transgressions against various Natural Laws—she was hammered to the ground so violently the floor cracked beneath her.

Microseconds after pounding Leia like a nail through stone, the backlash reached the barrier. Sizzling across the field, the unknown energy caused several of the dampeners to catch fire. Ancient panels operating the lab’s most expensive, some irreplaceable testing tools in the corner of the room, malfunctioned. Sparks flew. Everything then went black, except Red 6 and the little light given off by the damaged barrier flickering in the blackness.

“Leia?” Master Hurac waved away Palomeer’s illegal bodyguard.

The M-Noid lowered its blast arm, but continued to scan the room. No. Leia wasn’t a threat. The reserve power coils hidden in the bowels of the Tower slowly reactivated. One by one the protocols returned to full strength. The lab’s many secret wonders soon hummed back to life.

Leia whispered. “I don’t want to die.”

Reading her lips, Master Hurac, surprised she still had a head, even more a mind, ran to deactivate the system.

Buried in her head, Leia heard Cyrano say: “You already are.”

 

About the Author:

Wade Garret, 33, born in NY, but raised in the Southern United States, is married to a wonderful woman and lucky to have his first beautiful daughter. When not reading, writing or occasionally drinking at the pub, he can be found researching the latest comics or in the chair of his favorite tattoo shop. GENESIS is only the beginning of Mr. Garret’s epic Kingdom Come series.

Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Genesis-Book-One-Kingdom-Come-ebook/dp/B00EPESPP4

Or on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/genesis-wade-garret/1117401189?ean=9780988659094

Check out Wade’s Website: www.wjgarret.blogspot.com

Tweet at him: @wadejgarret

 

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Book Review: The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree by S.A. Hunt

Bonus Book Review Saturday–woot! Today’s masterpiece is the ONLY book I have reviewed that I can honestly say deserves a five-star rating. Considering how picky I am, this is a MAJOR feat!

 

The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree

After coming home from a stint in Afghanistan, veteran Ross Brigham learns that his father has passed away. Dearly departed Dad was a famous fantasy novelist, and the 300 fans that show up for the funeral demand that Ross finish E. R. Brigham’s long-running magnum opus.

Ross and two of the author’s devotees investigate his untimely death and discover that he might have been murdered…and the time-bending gunslingers of Dad’s steampunk novels might be real.

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My Review: 5 Stars

The intro to the book took a few pages to get me hooked, but once I was interested, it held my attention for the majority of the book. There few a few parts that bored me, but overall the story was VERY solid.

The writing style was very enjoyable. It was one of those books that intrigued me so much I forgot that I was supposed to be reviewing it. I found almost no typos, no grammatical mistakes, and no errors. All in all, it got about 99% in terms of writing style!

I LOVED how the writer creates the two stories at the same time. First, there’s the story of the main character–Ross. Then he creates the story of this other world, Destin, and the Dark Tower-esque characters that live there. The story within a story was highly enjoyable.

The real-world setting was excellent, and the characters had my interest all the way up until they traveled to the other world. Once they get to the new world, the book started to lose my interest.

The new world was a bit hard to follow, as the writer didn’t quite set it up as in-depth as he could have. The world-building in this book was lacking a bit. It was almost as if we were supposed to have read the novels mentioned in the book, so we should know what the world is like. I found it a bit hard to enjoy it once they reached the new world, as I didn’t really get much of a sense of the overall world.

What really stuck in my craw was the book’s climax, or what should have been the climax. There’s a lot of dramatic tension building up to this big moment, but that moment is set about 75% of the way into the book. The last 25% of the book are slow–a huge letdown considering the buildup of the rest of the book. The characters spend their time training, learning new things, and basically living their lives, but no real STORY to keep you on the edge of your seat.

 

Here’s a Taste:

I crept closer to one of the stalls, and found a rack of tarnished jewelry. Some of it was scattered across the counter. I let my hand rake softly over it, my fingertips brushing against semiprecious stones I still had trouble believing. I saw no deep blue minerals, none of the gold-flecked lapis lazuli I had become familiar with in the desert the previous year.

I was surprised, however, when my rumination was interrupted by the shock of cold gunmetal. Lying underneath the necklaces and earrings was an ancient revolver.

I picked it up and opened the cylinder, relieved to find cartridges in four of the six chambers. “I found a gun,” I told Sawyer, hurrying to show him. When I tilted it so that he could see it, the pistol’s polished flank reflected the moonlight in a flash of cold white that blinded my right eye for a second. The afterimage had a strange shape in it.

I took a closer look at the nickel-plated surface and saw a tiny coat-of-arms behind the cylinder, below the hammer. “Look at this weird shield on the side of it.”

Sawyer nodded, panning the camera around. “Keep it ready, man. This place, it’s…there’s something here. Somebody is watching us. We’re not safe. We’re not safe. We’re not alone.”

I eased back the hammer until it caught, and held it in the three-point stance I remembered from my MP days carrying a nine-millimeter Beretta. It’d been years since I’d had anything to do with a sidearm, but standing there holding it brought back the feeling as if it had been just yesterday that I was taking my place at the firing line of the M9 range on Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Move your selector switch from safe, and watch…your lane, said the range safety in the back of my mind.

I sensed movement in the corner of my eye and my head jerked to regard it, but the window I’d noticed, far above the street, was only a black hole. Something else made me turn and point the six gun at an empty doorway.

An electronic bink told me that Sawyer was doing something with the camera. His face, limned with pale green, gradually fell as he stood there, replaying the video he’d been recording since we brought the mirror to the church. His features flashed from anxious clarity to astonished fear. He rewound the video, then wordlessly turned the camera around and pointed the viewfinder at me.

On the screen, we were creeping down the alley again. The camera hovered here and there, rising to higher vantage points for a quick peek into the windows looking down on the thin space. The video-Sawyer approached a window and held the camera over his head. The windowsill sank out of sight and the lens was thrust into a blackness that resolved into a blur of green, which focused until I could see the interior of the room beyond.

Inside was a table, set with bowls, cups, and dishes, ostensibly arrayed with food long since rendered decrepit. A painting hung on the wall, one corner ripped and dog-eared. A dusty bookshelf stood to the left, littered with the detritus of a life of memories: framed photos, figurines. The video was too grainy to make out any meaningful details from the pictures.

The camera panned to the right. I immediately noticed something in that corner of the room, on the other side of the table.

A man-like figure lurked there, hunched over, nearly shapeless, a ghost made of cobwebs.

As the infrared light of the camcorder’s nightvision illuminated it, the shape slowly turned to look at the camera. It was dressed in the deteriorating remnants of some sort of linen robe. A chill shot through me as it began to creep toward the window before video-Sawyer walked away with the camera.

I checked the pistol again and slapped the cylinder back into place.

“I think I might know what that is,” said Sawyer. “And it’s not good.”

“What is it?” I asked, my eyes canting in his direction. There was a white-faced figure standing behind him.

I raised the gun and pointed it over his shoulder. Sawyer must have thought I was aiming at him, so he dove out of the way. As soon as he hit the ground, he started scrambling away from the creature.

It was clad in a gauzy shroud, and had a pale face that resembled a white hockey mask, only with a long nose and crowned with large, triangular ears. I thought of plague masks I’d seen doctors wear in pictures of medieval Britain during the time of the Black Death. It studied us with lifeless, yet intense black eyes. Simple markings had been fingerpainted across its cheeks and brow in some dark ichor.

“It’s a Wilder,” said Sawyer, getting to his feet and hiding behind me, pointing the camera at the thing. “One of the Bemo-Epneme. You’re not going to believe why, or how, I know that.”

“What?” I asked, backing away as it came closer.

My hand, and the gun in it, was beginning to tremble. The “Wilder” continued to move toward us on nimble feet, gliding-floating like a spectre. As it drew near, I could hear the being behind the mask breathing, hissing venomously. Ice crashed through my veins.

I caught a flicker of movement in my peripheral vision. I looked up and saw that more of them were easing out of the windows of the buildings around us like paper Halloween ghosts. They looked like barn owls, staring at us with those horrible black eye sockets.

“These creatures,” said Sawyer. “They’re from your father’s books. I have no idea why we’re here looking at them. And that gun ain’t gonna do us any good. There are way too many of them and only two of us. We gotta run.

I looked over my shoulder at him.

Sawyer roared, his voice reverberating in the hollow plaza, “Run! OR DIE!”

 

About the Author:

Sam is a U.S. veteran with very little money and far too much free time, which is now spent telling lies about time-bending cowboys and brainwashing witches. He lives in a shack in the woods in Summerville, GA, where he writes books, drinks moonshine out of a clay jug, and plays music with spoons.

You might be able to pigeonhole him in the “fantasy” and “horror” genres, but really he just uses them as backdrops. His stories are mostly studies of the human condition and the power of love and friendship–and a character that’s truly human can transcend the boundaries of its genre.

In 2014 he won Reddit.com/r/Fantasy’s Stabby Awards 2014 Self-Published Book of the Year.

 

Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BJCLMFU/

Visit Sam’s website: http://theusualmadman.net/

Connect with him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsamhunt

Tweet at him:  https://twitter.com/authorsahunt

Or visit his G+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NovelistSAHunt

 

The Number of Words Doesn’t Matter

In my meanderings through the various writing groups I have joined, I always see writers posting celebratory messages like “Yes! I managed to write 500 words today!” I tend to snort in derision at this, as I can get through about 1,000 to 2,000 words in an hour on a slow day. When I get large chunks of time to write, I have been known to produce upwards of 8,000 words in a sitting.

But in truth, I have nothing to boast about, because the number of words doesn’t matter even a little bit!

No one cares how many words I write–or how many you write, or how many she/he writes, etc. What matters is that you are writing, but your output doesn’t matter at all!

If you measure your word count against the number of words someone else writes in a day, you’re wasting your time. If you write faster than someone else, are you really a superior writer? If you write slower, are you really an inferior writer? The answer to both questions is “probably not”.

Some of the greatest books in history have taken years to complete, and the speed with which you write has NOTHING to do with the quality of your work. In fact, if you’re speeding through the writing process, it’s fairly safe to say that you’re going to make A LOT of mistakes.

No one is writing too slow or too fast–we are all writing at exactly the right speed. You cannot be discouraged because the writing process is slower than you like and you should never look down on slower writers.

Write at your own pace, and be comfortable with that pace. It is YOUR pace, and the fact that you are writing at all is truly what matters!

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Book Review: Heart by C.M. Bratton

It’s Book Review Wednesday again, and boy do I have a treat for you. Today we’re looking at a book like you’ve never read before…

 

Heart

In the Land of Wonder, the ruler is known as the Red Queen of Hearts, as she does not have a Heart of her own and must instead consume those of her subjects in order to feel. But the power the Hearts provide her begins to fade. Her advisor, an almost-cat named Chess, counsels her to find the Heart of a Hunter. Desperate for sustenance and haunted by dreams, the Queen agrees.

When the Hunter is found, she discovers he, too, is incomplete, and appoints him her Knave of Hearts. He serves her faithfully, searching to find the Queen’s true Heart. But her dreams continue to plague her, sapping her strength. It is only when she confronts them that she learns the truth and discovers exactly where her Heart has gone.

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My Review: 4 Stars

I’m not going to lie, this was an odd one–but in a good way!

The book started out GREAT, but the setup made it sound more like a vampire story than anything else. You immediately sense the people’s fear of the Red Queen, but then that fades away once you get to know the queen.

It’s like a twisted version of Alice in Wonderland, with a touch of the Pied Piper of Hamelin mixed in. The story is quite good, particularly the ending. I don’t want to spoil it, but I found it to be a far better ending than I expected.

That being said, there are a few issues with the book. Nearly every sentence has a proper noun that shouldn’t be there. Things like The Pipe, The Law, The Binding, The Heart, etc. are all made a big deal, and it actually made it hard to read.

There was no real sense of the place, nothing to engage the senses. There was no sights, sounds, tastes, smells, or feelings. You kind of get a general idea of what the world is like, but the story is missing out on something to keep you grounded and interested in the story. It was a bit too ethereal for my tastes–I like stories I can sink my teeth into. By the end I understood that the book was supposed to be like that, but it was a bit hard to read throughout thanks to that.

 

Here’s a Taste

Chess gestured to the guards, who pulled the large doors apart. The Queen and Knave stepped forward to the threshold while Chess announced them.

“Presenting his Excellency the Hunter, Royal Knave of Hearts, accompanied by her Royal Majesty, First of Her Line, Bearer of the Powers of Blood, the Red Queen of Hearts!”

At the long table located directly in front of the doors, the Royal Guests came to their feet or hooves or paws and bowed low as the Queen and Knave approached. When the Queen reached the table, She gestured to the empty place on Her left, which was reserved for the Knave. As he took his place, She spoke to the waiting throng.

“Thank you All for coming to my very first Grand Ball. It has been a long time since we celebrated anything in the Land, but I believe it is time to begin a new tradition. In the meantime, I would like to thank my Special Royal Guest, the Angry Hatter, for his attendance.”

She nodded at the Hatter, who was seated on Her right. He nodded back, his brows drawn together in his habitual scowl.

“Now, let the Feast begin.”

At Her words, the assembly sat back down while the Cook entered with a large tray, immediately followed by a dozen guards holding trays of their own. They spread out around the long table and placed their burdens down – creamy crab and cheese bisque, sprinkled with sugared cactus. The Cook herself placed her tray at the head of the table where the Queen sat. Chess, who had an appointed seat but preferred to float about as he willed, reacted with delight.

“I do so love sugared cactus!”

With that, the Guests dug in while course after course was presented: wild turkey braised in eggplant sauce, garlic washed whitefish, creamed mushrooms, roasted peppers stuffed with potatoes – the list was endless. The Guests proceeded with abandon, eating merrily and snatching amazed glances at the Queen, whose perfect countenance glowed. She sat with perfect composure, drinking pear wine sparingly and talking to the Knave and Chess when he deigned to appear near to them.

On the Queen’s right, the Angry Hatter sat talking animatedly to the White Hare, his voice pompous with self-importance.

“Well, naturally, one must not ever be late. To trifle with Time is to be caught in-Between! And when you’re Between, you’re not quite Here nor There nor Then!”
He started cackling, hands shaking as he took a sip of tea.

Curious to hear more, the Queen turned Her head and addressed him.

“Then tell us, Hatter, what you know of Time.”

Immediately, all other conversations at the table stopped as everyone looked expectantly at the Angry Hatter. Pleased with the attention, the Hatter cleared his throat, pushed out his chair, and climbed upon the table.

“As you all know, Time is the Enemy. It passes, making our tea cold!”

He stomped his foot in outrage, the boot clicking sharply against the table’s glassy surface, rattling plates and glasses down the entire length of the table.

“Time Changes! Sometimes It slows, sometimes It runs, but never does It stand still.”

He punctuated his last word with another stomp, followed by more clattering dishes. But no one moved, entranced as they were by his performance.

“But oh! When you protest! When you stand atop a grassy hill waving your hat and cold tea, then Time notices! It laughs at your defiance. It takes and takes, leaving you absolutely no Time to wash between the Now and Then!”

His voice suddenly quieted to a whisper.

“But I’ve perfected my song, so perhaps Time will let me free at last.”

The Hatter took a great deep breath before opening his mouth wide and beginning to sing – quite out of tune.

    “Twinkle twinkle little tree

    Come and take a sip with me

   Up above dear Chess flies

   Like a Turtle when it cries

   Twinkle twinkle little Hare

  Throw the Doormouse off the Chair!”

The Hatter took another breath, ready to begin the next verse, when the Doormouse woke on the last line and sat up quite indignantly.

“If you ca’n’t be civil-”

“I deny everything!” blurted the March Rabbit.

The Hatter’s face abruptly turned red in outrage, but instead of yelling, he deflated completely, as if he couldn’t quite remember what he had been singing about. He slumped back onto his seat, grumbling to himself.

“Always in a twinkling. Can someone tell me, why is a desk’s raven like a writing?”

At that, Chess rolled his eyes completely into his head and flopped backwards onto his chair.

“Hatter.”

Once again, at the Queen’s calm voice, everyone present fell silent.

“Yes, great Queen?”

“You were speaking of Time.”

As if Her words revived him, the Hatter sprang back onto the table.

“Ah, yes, Time! I have a verse for that, too:

   Twinkle twinkle little clock

   Shaking, stirring, bang! Tick-tock!

   Up above the Hands that Swing

   Like a Griffin when it sings-

As the Hatter continued his song, a warm breeze flew through the Great Hall, bringing scents of honey and lavender and laurel and laughing crowds. The setting sun broke through the clouds, lighting the Hall in tones of gold and ochre. Around the table, various Royal Guests stood up in surprise. The orchestra, hidden in one corner, took that as their cue to begin a rousing number. As people and animals swept onto the dance floor, a grinning smile and pair of golden eyes appeared over the gathering – Chess was well-pleased with his work.

The Angry Hatter spluttered, upset that his concert had been interrupted. A guard came by with a fresh pot of tea and dropped it before the gesticulating man. Placated, the Hatter grabbed the March Rabbit in one hand and a cup in the other before wading into the crowd to join in the dancing.

At the head of the table, the Queen sat next to the Knave, gazing wonderingly as the False Spring around Her bloomed. She was almost able to ignore the blank Nothing in her chest. Spring had come, and however False it was, for the moment, the Queen was nearly content.

 

 

About the Author

C. M. Bratton writes novels, novellas, short stories, and scripts for film and stage. These stories represent a mix of fantasy, science-fiction, suspense, magic realism, psychological thriller, and yes – comedy! C.M currently has eight books published and one comic. She also was a co-writer on the film, “Sanitarium,” starring Malcolm McDowell, Lou Diamond Phillips, & Robert Englund, which has also been turned into a comic book series of the same name.

In addition, C.M. is a trained performer, with B.A.s in Theatre Arts & Spanish from Yale University, & an M.A. in Drama from TWU. She performs/records all of her audiobooks. Keep updated at www.cmbratton.com with links to upcoming books, blogs, projects, & events. C.M. loves all feedback and/or story suggestions!

 

Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/C.-M.-Bratton/e/B00MCVGU8Q/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7034071.C_M_Bratton

 

Visit her website: www.cmbratton.com

Connect with her via Facebook: www.facebook.com/writercmbratton

Tweet at her: @writercmbratton

Check our her blog, “Left of Write”: britekurl.blogspot.com

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