Dream Girl Banner

Friday, October 21, 2011

Third Campaigner Challenge - Always Look Behind

Another fabulous challenge from Rachael Harrie.  Here are the rules, followed by my entry:

Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:

  • that it’s morning, 
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • that the MC (main character) is bored
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • that something surprising happens.

Always Look Behind

The sun begins to stretch wispy rays over the horizon.  Maria clutches her blanket around her shoulders trying not to shiver.  The tag scratches her neck, reminding her she should have cut it off. 
Her scalp is caked with sand.  Sleeping on the beach isn’t as glamorous as it seems.  What she’d really like is a steamy bath.  She inhales, wishing the scent of lavender bath oil was greeting her nostrils.  Instead, a putrid smell triggers her gag reflex.  She covers her mouth with her hand and crawls closer to the waves.  The fishy smell emanating from the wet sand is better than whatever she’d caught a nose full of.  Probably some rotting animal.  Anyway, she won’t remain any longer to find out.  He’s not coming. 
The golden orange light of the sun intensifies, driving home the point that she’s alone.  What did she really expect would happen?  Devon wasn’t a knight in shining armor.  How could he get away with picking her up and heading out of town, forever, while this godforsaken town snored and drooled in the moonlight?  It had always been a stupid idea.       
Maria buries her face in the blanket and rubs at the sand that has suddenly found its way into her eyes. 
She staggers along the shore, not knowing where she’s going, only that she isn’t going to come back. 
It’s a shame she doesn’t look behind her to find out what that smell is.  If she only turned around, she would see that Devon did arrive, as promised.  Only he has a knife through his neck and a note pinned to his shirt:  He can never have you now. –Your Guardian 
           As is, she wanders on, oblivious to the grave danger she’s in.

If you enjoyed this dark little tale, please head here and vote for it.  It's #94.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ebook Review: Ebenezer's Ghosts by Michael Lawrence

I'd like to start adding ebook reviews to my blog, for a number of reasons.  I won't bore you with them right now. 
To kick off this amazing feature, I selected a short book that promised to be interesting: Ebenezer's Ghosts by Michael Lawrence.  So, on to the review!

We all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, yes?  We also know various adaptations: print, stage, and big screen.  In fact, we may well be sick to death of old man Scrooge.  Then along comes Michael (sung to the tune of Along Comes Mary...if you don't know what this aside is taking about, kindly ignore.)

Michael gives the classic his own unique treatment that is just perfect for this pre-Halloween time of year. 

With most references to Christmas removed, the reader focuses more on the ghosts themselves.  This is made easy by Michael's chillingly detailed descriptions.  A phrase that I won't soon forget, "The hand was folded like a cup of knuckles".  Isn't that a truly awesome description?  What does it mean exactly?  I'm not 100% sure but it sounds disgustingly fantastic.  There are many more brilliant gems like that throughout the story.  Particularly vivid is the scene of the first spirit making a grand entrance, the second ghost's special "party trick", prophetic apple juggling and a fantastic use of the Tiny Tim character. 

While reading, I stopped frequently to admire the word choices and imagery.  Don't let this ebook original fool you.  Michael is a master of language.  Nothing but excellent writing here.

The ending is also quite different than the many variations of the classic original.  Without spoiling it, I'll just say that, for me, the ending hints at Michael's interest in alternate realities and how things might, or might not, turn out. 

My final verdict, this is a good read for middle schoolers and up.  For a quick read with fantastic ghostly descriptions, I highly recommend it. 

With Halloween fast approaching, this is a good tale to cuddle up with in the dark.  If you have a Kindle, or Kindle reading capabilities and want to check this out, I can loan it to the first person who asks.  Just include your email address in the comments and I'll send it along.  I am a librarian after all.   There are also extracts.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Giveaway and guest post

Hello everyone!  How are you?  I'm awesome and because of that, I want to share the love with all of you.  Who doesn't need some love? 

1.  I have discovered a little gem called Novel Publicity.  Every Friday is Karma Friday, in which, authors, like many of us, pay it forward by liking each other on Facebook and Twitter.  The idea is that you never know who you will connect with and who might help you out, or be helped by you in the future.  I've participated the past two Fridays and have already discovered some awesome writers. 

2.  Inspired by the karma, by the platform building campaign by Random Acts of Publicity, I decided to do a little giveaway of my own if anyone is interested in playing along.  I recently created a YA paranormal short story for Halloween and put it on Amazon for fun.  The feedback I've been receiving is really encouraging so I thought I'd follow up with a giveaway.  If you're willing to read "Kiss of Death" and leave a review on Amazon you can comment here and leave your email address for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.  If I get 5 reviews, the gift card will be $5.  If I get 10 reviews, $10.  I can't imagine more than 10 people will play along but we'll cross that bridge if we get to it. 
An offshoot of that which doesn't directly benefit me, I'd love to start an Indie Book Discussion group here or on Facebook so that all the small press, Indie books, ebook authors among us can generate discussion and reviews.  Stay tuned as I work out logistics on that.  Any interest?

3.  Today I'm the guest blogger on author, Chris Eboch's blog.  I wrote about revising...which I'm off to continue doing now.  Unfortunately, this novel won't revise itself and I don't want to be stuck in the revising stage this time next year.  Onward! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Since Halloween is coming up, I decided to offer you, my devoted readers, a little trick or treat.  I wrote Kiss of Death: a YA paranormal short story about Kate, who goes to an out of control teenage Halloween party.  She meets a handsome young man who becomes her savior at the party, she reveals a secret she's been hiding for years and there may or may not be a curse and kissing involved.  Anyway, since the themes in the story are just right for this time of year, I decided to offer it as an Amazon ebook for the month of October.  Since I have amazing friends and connections, it also has this awesome cover by Sean Ashby.  I'm really pleased with it.  Notice that menacing person silhouetted by the title?  What's his deal?  You'll have to read to find out.  I hope you will.  If you don't, the trick's on me but that's just par for the course at this time of year.  
PS.  S.J. Lomas is my YA writing pen name.