Tag Archives: GSP

Georgia’s Smile……

4 Feb

Image

The GSP Romance Promo welcomes Lee-Ann Graff Vinson. This is what Lee-Ann says about herself.

 

  Thirty-nine years and two children later, my life finally came back to my passion—writing. Every author knows it is passion, perseverance and a thick skin that breeds success. Hell, that is what breeds success in every walk of life. Success to me is the completion of a rather good piece of writing, if I do say so myself. Luck is the ability to have it published for everyone else to read.
     So, to hurry along my passion of becoming successfully lucky, I entered into the Winghill School of Writing, joined various writing groups, and follow diligently the advice Writer’s Digest sends to my email box almost daily. It is safe to say that the pipe dream of becoming a professional writer is no longer just that. I have worked in various fields in my life, some fulfilling, some not. But, as you know, a career is not what makes you. It is the full aspect of family, friends, loved ones and work that give you your joy or edge. All gave me insight into the way in which the world, and the people in it, revolve. Now that I am, dare I say, older, I am able to look at these “experiences” and channel them into a therapy like no other—writing.
     Life is full of mysterious, romantic, hurtful, joyous, painful encounters. What would the world be without its pain and suffering or its ecstatic happiness? Real life occurrences are what make us who we are. They also make up the majority of my writing style. I can create fantasy and spiritual as well. Let’s face it, life without a little fantasy now and then can seem quite daunting, and we are all spiritual creatures, whether we like it or not. What intrigues me most is the ability of the human mind and heart to overcome.
So, here I sit in my suburban home office, watching all the trials and tribulations of life, and living some of them, forever in hope of creating the next best-seller. Until then, I am enjoying all the bumps and rejections I receive along this journey and am a firm believer in “what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.”

Her book we are highlighting today is Georgia’s Smile.

Image

Georgia parked in front of the flower shop where she worked. Her eye throbbed behind her dark sunglasses. She knew she had to leave her husband, Philip, but after last night’s threat of what would happen if she did, she was even more scared to go. Little did Georgia know that when she opened her car door to go to work that morning, she would run into the man who was willing to change all of that.

Marc Ramos was a man, a very handsome, but married, man. A man who made Georgia’s heart beat again after years of neglect. His mere touch sent chills through her body and took her breath away. Never before had Georgia felt such passion for a man, and definitely not a man she had almost brought to his knees with her car door.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

 

On Tuesday morning, Georgia Robinson drove her usual route to her job at the floral shop. One eye was almost swollen shut behind her dark sunglasses, making it difficult for her to see the road. She came to an abrupt stop at a red light and watched as a young couple crossed the street in front of her. They were holding hands and laughing as they walked, as if to a single melodic beat. Georgia startled at the sound of a car horn honking behind her. She looked at the now green light and stepped on the gas.
    Her life was not going the way she had intended. At thirty-six, Georgia sold bouquets to men and women wanting to surprise their loved ones. Her dream of university after high school and becoming a lawyer ended when her father died and she’d gone to work to help her mother pay the bills.
    She met Philip the day after she turned nineteen. He had entered the flower shop and asked Georgia to give him the biggest and best bouquet of flowers she could create and send them to his mother for her birthday. When he came back to the shop the following day to ask her out on a date, she thought her struggle had finally ended. The day she brought him home to meet her mother, Philip told her she would marry him someday. He was handsome in a Phi Beta Kappa sort of way and worked at his father’s investment banking firm handling the investment loans department. He was successful and four years her senior; he looked out for her.
    When Georgia’s mother passed away from alcohol abuse three years later, Philip proposed to her while standing at her mother’s bedside. Two weeks later, at city hall, Georgia stood beside Philip and exchanged vows. He moved into Georgia’s childhood home and assumed the mortgage, making changes to the décor here and there as he saw fit. Georgia didn’t mind because she thought she would finally be able to go back to school to fulfill her dream. Philip would take care of her now.
    Stopped at another light, Georgia almost choked on the memory. The only person Philip took care of was himself. When Georgia had asked Philip if she could go back to school to become a lawyer, Philip made a guffaw sound first and then, when he saw she was serious, he let out a giggle that turned into a riotous laugh. In between fits, he told her no one as stupid as her would ever make it in the world of law. You needed intelligence, you needed animal instincts, and you needed a backbone. All of which, Philip informed her, she didn’t have.
   Georgia tried to end her marriage to Philip shortly after his degrading verbal attack. That was when the first beating occurred. The backhand was unexpected and hit her square on the jaw. Now the violence was a regular occurrence. Typically, the marks were in areas that could be covered up but last night’s warring had left Georgia with a large shiner to her left eye, one she knew her boss, Natalie, would hit the roof over.
   Georgia pulled into her parking spot and sat with the engine idling, staring ahead into the window of the flower shop. Her eyes scanned the jargon below the business name ‘Petunia’s Flower Shop. If she was good enough for Porky, she’s good enough for you’. Georgia reread the words and stopped on the phrase ‘good enough’.
    “That is something I will never be if I stay with you, Philip,” Georgia said aloud. She let out a heavy sigh, shut off her vehicle and swung her door open.
    “Whoa!” said a masculine voice in alarm. Georgia looked up and saw she had almost knocked over a man. On closer inspection, she noticed he was a very attractive man and he was smiling down at her.
    “Oh, I am so sorry!” Georgia said. “Are you alright?” From behind the protection of her sunglasses, Georgia looked into the stranger’s eyes and felt a slight buzz shoot through her body. Her chest felt funny and then she realized it was the pounding of her heart.

 

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Lee-AnnGraffVinson.html#GeorgiaExc

 

http://www.amazon.com/Georgias-Smile-ebook/dp/B00495XTXM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1359999296&sr=1-1&keywords=Georgia%27s+Smile

 

Christmas is coming……

22 Nov

the goose is getting fat. Please put a penny in the old man’s hat, if you haven’t got a penny, a half a penny will do, if you haven’t got a half a penny, God bless you.

This was a saying my mother used very often. I am not even sure where she got it from, but it has stayed with me all these years. And yes Christmas is just around the corner. Stay tuned because we are going to bring you a wonderful seasonal array of books from the talented Gypsy Shadow authors between tomorrow and the 22 December. Great seasonal reads brought straight to your computer. Blurbs, excerpts and links provided to make your choice easy and comfortable. No fighting the Christmas shopping rush – let your fingers do the browsing.

First up, by way introducing the GSP Christms Promo is The Miracle of the Carp. It is a special read for me personally. The proceeds from this book is going to a charity that means a lot to me. This charity, YANA, is run by students of the International Baptist Church in Prague, working with organisations such th Salvation army.

Their out reach is to the homeless of Prague. They provide food every Saturday for the homeless, hand out clothes and blankets to keep them warm. During winter tempreatures can fall to -13C. Last winter during a cold snap deaths from exposure were recorded. YANA keeps going by donations.

Christmas is dawning and preparations for cats and humans are under-way. Disaster strikes. The centre of the Czech Christmas dinner is in danger. Stray felines? Or is it more sinister? FI aims to find out to save the strays and Christmas.

The Miracle of the Carp

The garden was covered in pure white snow. St. Martin had come early this year. Traditionally, on the 11th of November, which is his name day on the Czech Calendar, he would arrive on his white horse and bring snow to the Czech lands. Well, this year he had been impatient and snow had come early to cover the earth.

Zvonek didn’t mind the snow. He and Honza loved to race around and kick up snow at each other. Much more fun than cat ball. Things were quieter outside, the sound muffled by the layer of snow. He now sat on the window ledge and looked out at the two sets of paw prints patterned in the garden. Metaxa and Koule, playing in the snow, had made their paw prints into fanciful designs.

He smiled to himself. The two of them got on well and he was glad; it kept Metaxa busy, and for the most part, out of his fur. She was growing fast, and Zvonek had a hunch that soon playing around with her little friend wasn’t going to be enough.

He still hadn’t solved her connection to Clawdette. He was sure there was one, and it wasn’t just Clawdette’s compassion for a catlet that needed help. There was still the heart patch . . .

“Are you going out?” Metaxa, who had been sleeping by Mom, hopped silently onto the ledge next to him.

“Not tonight.”

They both sat on the ledge and looked out at the snow; the moon shining down on it gave it crisp shimmering look.

It was good to be home. He’d had two missions in a row with Clawdette in attendance and then Bobi’s capture by the rats. He looked forward to spending time with Mom and Metaxa. Also it was Metaxa’s first Christmas, and he knew Mom was going to make it exciting.

He remembered his first Christmas with Mom. She had put up this tree—well a branch, really—with lovely danglely things on it. He couldn’t resist pawing at them. She hadn’t even shouted at him when he broke one of the decorations by swatting it too hard. However, she did take the presents away because his curiosity got the better of him and he couldn’t help scratching at them. It was after the accident, and he was on sick leave from FI (Feline Intelligence, Czech Republic) and still recovering. It was great to be home, warm and snug while it snowed outside.

On Christmas Eve they’d had a feast of roast chicken, ham and smoked salmon. The smoked salmon was for him, as Mom didn’t like it; and not being Czech, she didn’t know how to make carp in the right way. But he hadn’t minded; there was enough food for an entire clowder! Double cream for dessert!

Later that morning after munching their way through chicken and ostrich wet food, then tasty granules and some cat milk to wash it all down, they settled into their baskets for a morning nap. Christmas was a tricky time as Mom, being on holiday, had an erratic schedule. Most of their going out was at night when she was sleeping.

It was a lazy day. Mom spent a lot of it at her computer typing away on the keys and watching movies on the DVD player. Zvonek and Metaxa amused themselves chasing each other around the flat and taking turns on Mom’s lap for pets and cuddles. Well, cuddles for Metaxa! He would only let Mom cuddle him for a short time. He did have an image to maintain, after all.

That night when Mom went to sleep Zvonek and Metaxa sneaked out the window and into the garden. Everything was blanketed in soft, white snow.

“Ooo, it’s cold.” Metaxa was testing a patch with her paw. “Come on, Zvonek, I’ll race you over the fence.”

They both charged at the fence and over it into the street on the other side. Kicking snow at each other and rolling around it. It was fun, just the two of them.

It had been about six months now since Metaxa moved in. They had their squabbles; Metaxa was feisty and bossy, but she had an incredibly generous heart. Zvonek saw her as his sister; in fact, everyone at FI now thought of her as his little sister. Only Clawdette’s ever-lurking presence and progress reports reminded him of Metaxa’s true identity.

They chased each other up the road to the park. The park had changed its cover from shades of gold, orange and brown to that of pure white. To Metaxa it looked like whipped cream covering the bushes and ground.

Zvonek dived and rolled down the bank with Metaxa in pursuit. She landed, breathless, on top of him. They both sat up and licked themselves. It’s great to have some fun, Zvonek was thinking to himself.

“Hey, what’s that smell?” Metaxa’s little nose twitched at the air. It wasn’t a smell she recognised.

Zvonek sniffed and pointed to a big blue plastic pool on the corner of the road opposite where they were sitting. Metaxa looked in the direction he was pointing and frowned.

“But it’s kind of like a . . . fish smell?” She was uncertain. Why would there be fish on the corner of the road?

“It is fish. Every Christmas there are these pools filled with carp on a lot of street corners. Carp is our Christmas fish,” Zvonek explained.

Metaxa looked incredulous. “Pools of fish, just sitting there!”

“Yes, Metaxa. Why?”

Metaxa thought about it for a few seconds, and then her face softened. “Oh, how nice of the humans to do that.”

Now it was Zvonek’s turn to be confused. “Nice? Why?”

“To leave all these pools of fish around for the stray cats at Christmas.” She smiled.

Zvonek burst out laughing. How so Metaxa to think everything revolved around the cat community. Of course, he agreed it should but, sadly, things had a long way to go to get there.

“What’s so funny?”

“Those pools full of fish are for the humans to buy. They eat them with potato salad for their Christmas dinner. During the day, the sellers let the humans choose their fish then sell it to them.”

“No! You’re not serious?”

“Metaxa, you can’t possibly think people really leave pools of fish around for strays.”

“Okay, so why tempt them, then?”

“What do you mean?”

“Zvonek, you can be so dense.” Metaxa was clearly losing patience with him.

“Would you care to explain it to me, then?” Zvonek asked, still amused at her thinking.

“Well, there are these huge pools, filled with fish swimming around, with no one guarding them. How is that not going to tempt a hungry, cold stray? It’s sitting prey.”

Links:
PDF: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/AnneHPetzer.html#MiracleExc
Kindle format: http://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Carp-Zvonek-FICR-ebook/dp/B00A5X2I0W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353611418&sr=8-1&keywords=the+miracle+of+the+carp+anne+h+petzer

Freedom………..

17 Oct

Today we welcome Julian Adorney to the GSP Halloween Promo. What Julian says about himself.

 I’ve been a writer since third grade, when my teacher made my class write a fantasy story apiece. I was hooked. Since then, most of my life has revolved around my writing: I’ve written short stories, taken writing workshops, and I’m an English major from University of Colorado at Boulder. When not writing, I enjoy hiking and getting together with friends.

My other fiction can be read at Untreed Reads Publishing (‘Deals’) Shadowcast Audio Anthology (‘Souls & Snowboarding’), and Cynic Online Mag (‘Murder’).

Featuring today his title Freedom.

When Brian fell in love with the sorceress Gloria, he thought she was the perfect girl. But when she risks his life without a second thought, he realizes that she’s something else entirely. Her violent possessiveness and Machiavellian control of his life make him wonder who–or what–he’s in love with. All Brian wants is freedom. Is he strong enough to break free before Gloria steals that possibility forever?

Excerpt:
  Blood pumped from his chest, seeping over the spearshaft still pinning him to the ground.
     Brian groaned. Pain lanced through his body. His broken ribs turned every breath into an ordeal, spasming as his expanding lungs pushed them against his chainmail.
     His lifeblood drained away, bringing numbness. The pain dulled.
     He still couldn’t believe it all ended here, bleeding his life away on some nameless field. He had never considered the possibility of his death before.
     He thought of all the things his twenty-five years hadn’t let him accomplish. The books he yearned to write—his imagination overflowed with ideas. The adventures across Qa’mar—climbs up her icy mountains, descents in her deep tunnels—he had hoped for.
     Those thoughts flashed past and were gone. The only thought that stayed was of her.
     Corpses littered the rocky battlefield. Black blood oozed from green-skinned orcs like tar. Drakes lay on their sides, scaly bodies rent. His hand still grasped his sword, and he smiled at the memory of the battle. Monsters swarming him while he used his blade to fight for his life.
     The outcome hadn’t been what he had hoped for, but damn it had been a good fight!
     If he hadn’t rushed into the midst of that clutch of drakes, he might not be dying right now. He shrugged ruefully.
     His thoughts returned to her. To Gloria, the girl who so obsessed him that even in battle he had to wrench his thoughts away. Part sweet maiden, part sorceress who used the Power to blast their enemies into cinder. He sighed, imagining her beautiful face, her green eyes.
     The familiar feelings flooded him, sweeping aside his pain like a waterfall sweeps aside a matchstick. The desire for her. The desperation to be with her, as though he was dying and her presence alone could save him.
     He groaned as blackness seeped into his vision. Unconsciousness loomed and his eyes closed. When they opened again, she was there.
     She stared down at him, pretty features anxious. Her emerald dress brought out the green of her eyes. Curly red hair framed her pale face.
     “Oh, Brian! You’re hurt!” She fell to the grass and touched his chest, tears glistened in her eyes.
     His body tingled at her touch, but he barely noticed. Blackness seeped into the velvet twilight sky as he felt himself slipping into unconsciousness.
     He knew if he let it take him, he would never wake up.
     “Oh, Brian!” He heard her words from a long way away. “Don’t die, my love! You can’t leave me!”
     An image formed in his mind of her face. If he died, then he would never see her again—never again hold her or kiss her or feel her whisper in his ear.
     No, he thought. His desire for her pulled him back from the brink. Gloria’s image sharpened. The feel of the grass beneath him, the stickiness of the blood drying on his ribs, returned.
     Thoughts came faster and he opened his eyes.
     “Oh thank the gods!” she sighed. “You came back.”
     He grinned. “You know me. I could never die and leave behind such a beautiful girl.”
     It was more truth than boast, he realized. His brow furrowed at the ease of his return. He had heard that it was a struggle to come back from near-death, but this . . . it was effortless. He couldn’t leave her; even death had no claim on him where she was concerned.
     He could feel her using the Power to heal his body. His mangled nerve-endings repaired themselves. His wounds healed and blood evaporated from his tanned skin. He lifted his head and caught her gaze.
     She bent over him, hair falling over his face.
     “By the way,” she whispered in his ear, “I’ll kill the bastards who did this.”
     She pulled him to his feet and he kissed her. He drank in her scent, relishing the feel of her lips against his.
     Then she pulled away, jerking her head toward a trail through the trees surrounding the battle-ground. He nodded, and they started walking.
     “I found the people who planned this,” she said, a few minutes later. A breeze swished through the trees, ruffling Brian’s blond hair.
     He looked at her. “Is that where you were today?”
     She nodded. “They’re the same force we’ve been hunting for the past year. I tracked them to the Caves of Rasha, fifty miles north of here.” She smiled. “You killed most of them today, my brave knight. Now all that’s left is to hunt the rest down and slaughter them.” There was a dark gleam in her eyes.
     He shook his head, worried. “Gloria, what’s this about?”
     “They killed him, Brian! I will have my vengeance.”
     His eyes widened. “Gods, love, I know what they did. But you’re talking about an entire clan! Women, children . . .”
     She shook her head. “They deserve it.” Her voice was low and eager. “I saw their leader today, Ra’jaa. I recognized him. He’s the brute who killed my brother.”
     His brow furrowed. “Wait. An old man’s not going to be on the front lines of his camp. How did you see him?”
     “I told you, most of their army was gone. It was an easy matter to slip in and—”
     “And you knew going in that their army would be gone?” His voice came out rougher than he intended. A branch slapped his face, but he kept his eyes on her.
     “Yes, of course I did.”
     “You knew they were hunting me?”
     Her eyes widened. “I’m sorry! I didn’t know there would be so many!”
     “Gods Gloria, I almost died today! That damn force almost ripped me to pieces! And you knew!” He stopped and glared at her. “You couldn’t have stood by me?”
     He spun away as she reminded him that she had left three days ago to hunt Raj’aa. He listened past her veiled statements to the truth: she had known Raj’aa was watching them. She had known he would never send his army out to hunt them both; he would have stayed holed up in the caves, too entrenched for even them to defeat.
     She had abandoned him in order to lure Raj’aa’s force out of their defenses. He had almost died.
     Resentment boiled within him, and he forced himself not to look at her. He knew if he saw her face, her wide eyes, her freckled nose, his anger would melt away. He didn’t want it to.
     Resolutely, he stared at a misshapen tree to their left. It soared into the forest canopy, its thick trunk dappled with sunlight and shade. Bulbous knots protruded like warts.
     He knew she loved him. But still . . . sometimes it felt like she was just using him. Like he was her favorite trinket, to be loved while it lasted but sacrificed if need be.
     Why she would sacrifice him when he knew she was in love with him, he had no idea. He shrugged. Sometimes love didn’t make sense.
     “If you’re having misgivings, love, tell me.”
     He shook his head, forcing his feelings down. Arguing wouldn’t do him any good.
     “Good.” She leaned in, brushing her lips against his ear. “Just help me kill Raj’aa. I promise, I’ll make it worth your while.

Julian’s book is available at:
http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-ebook/dp/B004UGNDWM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350490843&sr=8-1&keywords=freedom+julian+adorney

Philip and The Monsters

11 Oct


Thank you John for being part of the GSP Halloween Promo.
    John Paulits is a former teacher in New York City. He has published five other children’s novels, four about Philip and Emery, as well as two adult science fiction novels, HOBSON’S PLANET and BECKONING ETERNITY. His previous Gypsy Shadow book, PHILIP AND THE SUPERSTITION KID, was voted best children’s novel of 2010 in the Preditors and Editors readers poll.
Congratulations, John, for Winning first place in the 2010 (Philip and the Superstition Kid) and top Ten in the 2011 (Philip and the Angel) Preditors and Editors Readers Poll for Children’s Novel!

For this post we are featuring, Philip and The Monsters.

Could the Frankenstein monster, Dracula and the Wolfman actually move into someone’s respectable neighborhood? Philip and his best friend Emery are convinced it has happened when a suspicious new family moves in down the block. The boys have seen the vampire bat; they’ve heard the werewolf’s growl; they’ve witnessed the coffin delivery to the house. When Emery’s mother invites the new family to dinner, Philip and Emery have no choice but to prepare for the worst.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Boo!” shouted Emery. Philip’s heart shot up, and his stomach tumbled. He spun to face his friend.

“Are you crazy? Are you really crazy? Why did you do that? I walk into your house and you jump out like a maniac? You almost gave me a heart attack.”

Emery laughed and waved a hand at Philip. “Get out. We’re too young to have heart attacks. Unless,” said Emery in a spooky voice, “your arteries are clogged with the cholesterol of fear.”

Philip stared at Emery.

“What?” Emery asked.

Philip continued to stare.

Emery smiled nervously and shrugged.

Philip didn’t move a muscle.

Emery blinked and blinked again.

Philip continued to stare and refused to blink.

“Say something, please,” said Emery in a small voice. He waited. Philip said nothing. “Come on, you’re scaring me.”

Philip kept on staring and counted to himself. When he reached three, he threw his arms in the air and shouted, “BOOOO!”

“Ahhh!” Emery burst out. “Why did you do that? Are you crazy, too? You were scaring me and then you scared me. Why’d you scare me?”

“Can we go back to the beginning?” Philip asked slowly, still giving Emery his coldest stare.

“The beginning?”

“Did you ask me to come over so we could do our homework together?”

“Yes, I did,” said Emery, paying very close attention to Philip’s questions. He didn’t want Philip to start staring and BOO-ing him again.

“Did you tell me you would leave the front door open, and I should just walk in?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Why?”

“So I could jump out and scare you.”

“Then you admit it!” Philip cried. He tried to stay calm. “Why did you want to scare me?”

“Uh, because you said I could.”

Philip stared at Emery again.

“Are you going to do the staring Boo! thing again, because . . . ?” Emery stepped back, arms out, hands waving slowly.

“No, stand still,” Philip said softly. “When did I say you could jump out at me and try to give me a heart attack? When? When did I say it?”

“You said we would do our homework together, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, so? Is giving me a heart attack doing our homework together?” Philip shouted.

“No, but scaring you is. I’m doing my report on how people act when they get scared. You have to do a report too, you know. The class report we have to do about a feeling. Remember?”

“What was the stuff you said before?”

“Before? When?”

“Before. About the arteries and the clogging.”

Emery laughed. “Did you like it? I made it up. I read this newspaper article about good heart health, and I read a different article about how peoples’ hearts beat faster when they get scared.”

“You didn’t have to read about it. I could have told you.”

“Yeah well, I put the two things together and I said . . .”

“I know what you said. What does cholesterol have to do with your report?”

“Nothing. I made a joke, for Pete’s sake.”

“Some dumb joke. Next time, save it for Pete.”

“Never mind the joke. Tell me what you felt when you got scared.” Emery scrambled to the floor and lay on his stomach, pencil in hand and notebook open. “Go on.”

Philip tried the best he could to remember everything he felt when Emery jumped out at him. As Philip talked, Emery wrote fast.

“Good,” said Emery, his pencil zipping across the paper. “Good. Now let me write what I felt when you scared me.”

When Emery finished writing, Philip said, “Lemme see.” Emery handed him the notebook.

Philip read, “When Philip first scared me by staring, I got scared because I didn’t know what he was doing. I felt scared because I didn’t know what would happen next. When Philip jumped at me, I felt really scared, heart-beating scared.”

Philip looked at Emery, impressed. “Pretty neat. You got scared a different way each time.”

“Yeah, it’s great for my report. Now I need you to add things to my list.”

“What list?”

“My list of things people get scared by. Tell me what things scare you. You know, to see or think about. Know what my mother said? She said hairy people scare her. You know with hairy hands and arms and eyebrows and nose hairs and hair where it shouldn’t be, like on warts and stuff.”

“Disgusting!”

“Yeah, but scary. Go on, what scares you?”

“What did you put for yourself?”

Emery flipped back a few pages. “I put waking up in the dark in a strange place.” Philip agreed. No argument there. It happened to him. “Watching scary movies in the dark when my parents are out.” Philip agreed again. Still no argument. “Being alone in the house. Sometimes. Like at night. That’s all.”

“They’re all good ones.”

“Your turn.”

“You took all the good ones.”

“You have to give me something different. Come on.”

“The haunted house scared us. Going inside it, remember?”

Emery wrote it down.

“Somebody finally moved in there, you know,” Emery said, when he finished writing.

“I heard. My dad told me. At least we won’t have to mow their lawn anymore. The new people can mow their own lawn.” He and Emery had beautified the deserted house by mowing its lawn as part of a community service project.

“Give me one more. A good one. How about monsters? Are you afraid of monsters?”

“What kind of monsters?”

“Regular monsters. You know. Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman.”

“Everybody’s supposed to be afraid of them, but they’re not real.”

“I’ll put it anyway.”

“Under my name?”

“Sure.”

“No, no,” Philip scoffed. “I don’t want everybody in the class to think I’m afraid of Dracula. Put your cousin Leon’s name instead of mine. He’s afraid of everything.”

“All right. All right. So there. Only one more person to interview and I’m done making a list. I’ll ask Mrs. Moriarty later what she’s scared of.” Mrs. Moriarty was their favorite neighbor. “Fourth grade projects aren’t so bad. You pick yours yet?” Emery closed his notebook and tossed it on the sofa.

“No,” said Philip.

“You better hurry up. Want to go see what the new haunted house family looks like?”

Philip looked out the window. It was early December and darkness arrived early. Philip checked his watch, hoping Emery got the message and would suggest a time with more daylight available.
Book available at http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Monsters-Emery-Series-ebook/dp/B006JG0N2E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349974756&sr=8-1&keywords=philip+and+the+monsters+john+paulits

The Anvil Ghosts and ……a chance to win a free copy.

6 Oct

Today I have yet another Gypsy Shadow author. I would like to introduce you to Violetta Antcliff.
Blank
Violetta Antcliff has been a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Club for the best part of Twenty years. She is the winner of numerous short story competitions and was area short listed in Waterstone’s WOW factor story competition. She took first prize in Nottingham short story competition with a story called Irish Mouse Tales and has read her poetry and short stories on local radio.
Congratulations to Violetta for being in the 2011 Preditors and Editors top ten Short Story Category for Magic and Mayhem.

Violetta has very kindly offered a free e-copy of her book, The Anvil Ghosts, to the winner of a promo competition this weekend. This is how it works. Below is a question about the book. The answer lies in excerpt. All you as the reader has to do, is read the excerpt to find the answer and then email it off to annehpetzer@gmail.com. On Monday evening the winner will be announced. 🙂

What are the names of Anne Scrimshaw’s children?

The Anvil Ghosts.

When Anne Scrimshaw makes the decision to move her dysfunctional family from the city to a rundown cottage in the Yorkshire Dales, she has no idea what she is taking on. With two broken relationships behind her, a troubled teenage daughter and a six-year-old son who craves affection, the last thing she needs is a cottage with a history. Although Anne doesn’t believe in ghosts, her daughter does and forms a friendship with a ghost called Tom and Silver Blick, a phantom horse she runs away on in the middle of the night.

Excerpt:
The cottage was run-down, drafty and in need of repair; guttering needed replacing, doors rehung, as they didn’t fit properly, and there was no central heating.

Regardless of all the faults, the Estate Agent could tell the woman was interested, and he was desperate to get rid of the property, for it had been on his books for far too long.

“The cottage is worth twice what it’s going for; the owners want a quick sale,” he said, smiling down at the woman benignly. “If you want my advice, snap it up while you’ve got the chance. Look on it as an investment.”

Anne wasn’t looking for an investment, she was looking for something in her price range as far away from Nottingham as she could get. “Would the owners consider dropping another thousand off the price, as it needs so much done to it?” she asked.

The man rubbed his chin as if considering the idea, then shook his head. “Can’t see them agreeing to another thousand—five hundred maybe. I’ll tell you what: you take another look round and I’ll phone and see what they have to say.”

Mobile in hand, he walked round to the far side of his car out of earshot.

Anne didn’t want to take another look around; she’d seen all she wanted to. Anvil Cottage was just what she’d been looking for, but she couldn’t let the man know this; it was the reason she’d been finding fault with every little thing since they’d arrived. She’d pointed out it was a long walk to the village, grumbled about the lack of entertainment in the area, questioned the frequency of the bus service. Gone out of her way to nit-pick, making believe she wasn’t really interested in the property

“Susan! Martin! Come on, we’ve got a bus to catch.” Anne’s tone was sharp, impatient. She hadn’t seen either of her children since they’d arrived and she wondered what mischief they’d been getting up to.

“Susan, Martin, I’m warning you—if we miss the bus you’ll both be in for it.”

A boy no more than six years of age appeared from inside the cottage. Hands thrust in pockets, he ambled over to where his mother was standing and stared up at her. “Don’t like this place, there’s nowt to do ‘ere,” he growled.

Anne ignored him; she had too much on her mind, enough problems of her own to contend with. What her son liked or disliked didn’t come into the equation.

Patience wearing thin, she looked at her watch and yelled again, this time angrily, “Susan, where the bloody hell are you?”

A head belonging to a teenage girl poked over the bottom half of a stable door. “What you yelling for?” she returned hotly. “You knew where I was.”

Anne bit her tongue, determined to keep her temper. Her daughter was the reason she wanted to get away from Nottingham; the reason she’d split from her partner, Martin’s dad.

“Now you’ve seen it, what do you think?” she said, waving her arm around taking in the cottage and out buildings.

“Hate it,” the girl said, “and if you think I’m going to come and live in a dump like this you can just think again. I’ll go and live with my dad and Marlene, if they’ll have me,” she added under her breath.

“Just been on to the owners.” The man sauntered over to where Anne was standing, all smiles.

“And?” she said.

“They have agreed to five hundred off the asking price.”

Anne hesitated. five hundred off the price was less than she’d hoped.”I’ll think about it,” she said, brow furrowed.

Anvil Cottage was the type of property she’d been searching for and she’d considered herself lucky to have found it, but she still wondered if she was doing the right thing dragging the children away from a bustling city to live in the quiet of the countryside.

She was a woman on her own with two broken relationships behind her and two children to look after. Martin, with his dark hair and brown eyes, took after his father. He was a serious child, doing well at school. The girl spent more time playing truant than attending classes; fair skinned, blue eyed and blonde, she was the exact opposite of her brother.

“If you’re worried about missing the bus.” The man tousled the boy’s hair and got his hand pushed away for his trouble. “I’ll be only too pleased to give you a lift into Darlington. You can catch a later train, or a bus from there.”

“I said I’d consider it, I’ll be in touch when I’ve had more time to think about it.” Anne could see the man was weakening. She was no fool; she’d guessed he wanted rid of the property. “If the owners had been prepared to drop it a thousand, well . . . who knows?” she shrugged her shoulders.

“A thousand less it is, then.” the estate agent came back without a moment’s hesitation, and stuck his hand out to shake on it. “You strike a hard bargain, Mrs. Scrimshaw,” he said, ushering her toward the car. “Hop in and I’ll take you back to the office, and we’ll sort out the details.”

The only ones not happy with this turn of events were the children. Sullen-faced, they clambered in the car and sat tight-lipped, arms folded, on the back seats.

To learn about Violetta’s books please visit her page:
http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#AnvilExc

The Tour Bus of Doom

5 Oct

Today I have the special privilege of introducing two very special authors, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough and co author K. B. Dundee. Both their talents were combined in writing The Tour Bus of Doom, which I believe is their third book that they have written together. Another one will feature later in the month, so be sure to watch out for it.

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough is the author of 22 solo fantasy and science fiction novels, including the 1989 Nebula award winning fantasy novel, Healer’s War, loosely based on her service as an Army Nurse in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. She has collaborated thus far on 16 novels with Anne McCaffrey, six in the best selling Petaybee series and eight in the YA bestselling Acorna series, and most recently, the Tales of the Barque Cat series, Catalyst and coming in December 2010, Catacombs (from Del Rey). Her last published solo novel was CLEOPATRA 7.2, soon to be re-released for e-Book download and print on demand under the Fortune imprint of Gypsy Shadow Publishing.

The Tour Bus of Doom.
The Tour Bus of Doom rolls into a small coastal town, spewing zombies to rampage down the main street. To the beat of eerie drum music, they loot, kidnap, and zombie-fy innocent citizens. Spam the cat, self-appointed feline defender of the town, watches in horror from the rooftops. When the zombies abduct Spam’s jeweler friend and take over the nursing home, Spam is certain they are also responsible for the disappearance of his next-door neighbor Mr. Barker, partner of retired police dog, Officer Bubba. Then Marigold, Spam’s half sister, reports that her human family, who went missing while on a mission of mercy to earthquake ravaged Haiti, has finally returned home, just long enough to take their valuables. And They. Don’t. Even. Recognize. Her.

All of that is dire enough, but then the zombies go too far and take over the bodies of the owner and server at Spam’s favorite fish’n’chips place. Searching for help from his vampire friend Maddog, Spam meets a new cat in town, the sinuous Havana Brown Erzullie, who arrived with the zombies. Aided (sort of) by her, Renfrew the raccoon, the urban deer cat taxi service, Rocky the vampcat, and his half-siblings Marigold and Mat, the heroic feline must investigate, before the zombie apocalyps-o destroys not only his town, but his home and his beloved Darcy.

Just when he thinks he may have the situation well in paw, the zombie hunters from Seattle arrive, responding to a bounty on the heads of the zombies. What they don’t realize is that they have the wrong brand of zombies, the un-plagued un-dead, who could revive as long as they keep their heads.

Excerpt:
   Chapter 1

First came the vampires. After all the movies promoting our neck of the woods (the Olympic National Forest, to be exact) as being ideal for the undead, out of town vampires arrived. I helped deport some of them, since they were Canadian, but even I’ll admit Spam, Vampire Deporter just doesn’t have the sound bite—pardon the expression—that slayer does.

When the Tour Bus of Doom pulled up in front of Elevated Ice Cream, I felt no sense of dread or foreboding, but instead hightailed it to my favorite bench on the back deck. Some of my best friends are tourists. Travelers lonely for their cats at home bribe me with whipped cream and melted ice cream, hoping to cop a pet. Unless they are very young and their hands are very sticky, I graciously oblige. I love imagining the frenzied rubbing and marking the tourists are in for when they return home and their feline housemates get a whiff of Spam.

I’ve made lots of new friends in the last few months. For a while, after the whole vampire thing, I was worried about our human mom Darcy, but she needed me less than I thought she would. In fact, since I rescued her, once she recovered from the shock, she started hanging out with—of all people—Deputy Shelter Dude, the sheriff’s deputy who used to take care of the shelter! That made all of us cats nervous, especially Rocky, though now that he is a catpire (or vampcat if you prefer) he sleeps in the cupboard most of the day so isn’t too aware of what happens then.

The first time Deputy Daryl was still there when the sun went down, Rocky took one look at him—no, one sniff—and rocketed out the cat flap to which only he and I have keys. Maddog, who seems to be sort of Vampire Law and Order South of the (Canadian) Border, installed my private entrance after he helped me rescue Darcy. He recognized the kind of cat I am. He also noticed that Rocky, trying to defend our house, had become a bloodsucker like him. Darcy hadn’t figured out that Maddog and Rocky were both vampires, which was a good thing because after her last experience, she was sick of them. But even she realized I am no ordinary housecat.

Having had a taste of the great outdoors, where I made quite a few new friends, I had no desire to return to being housebound, even to oversee the office, which was my former career. I became an unusual creature in Port Deception, an outdoor cat. Not a stray, not feral, and not lunch for coyotes, thanks to Rocky’s new hunting habits as Vampcat the Coyote Slayer, but an emancipated cat, with my own entry to my house and the freedom to come and go as I wished.

In the long bright hours of summer when the grass smelled sweet and the light sea breeze kept my fur coat from being too hot for comfort, I definitely wished to be out. Not only was there my network of four-legged friends-who-were-not-cats to maintain, I had on my previous expeditions encountered several of my half brothers and sisters, as well as my father, and I wanted to deepen my family ties. This puzzled my mother and my brothers, who couldn’t care less about the old man’s other litters.

But there were some good practical reasons I wanted to be connected to them. For a cat with an exhaustingly wide-ranging if transitory territory, having many siblings who might be prevailed upon to share a napping spot and a food dish when said cat grew footsore and hungry was a good thing. Besides, seeing my lookalike half-brothers and sisters gave me a sense of what my life could have been like. Not that I wanted to trade. I was just, you know, curious.

Most of them fared pretty well, as gorgeous orange tabby cats such as ourselves are apt to do, but Marigold, the last one on my rounds tonight, was so upset I could hear her crying from the street. I don’t have that many lookalike sisters, as for some strange reason cats of our coloring tend to be male. However, Marigold looked just like my brothers and me, except for the girly bits. If it hadn’t been for me, she wouldn’t be alive now. I’d met her and her mother right after she was born at Christmas and kept the owls and coyotes off them till they were rescued by humans and eventually found nice homes. Deputy Daryl told Darcy it was love at first sight between Marigold and her little human girl Amy, less of a cat mom and more of a kitten-sister.

“What’s the matter, Sis?” I asked through the mail slot. “Is someone standing on your tail?”

“Nooo, but my family’s gone and left me and I don’t think I’ll ever see them again,” she cried. “They’ve been gone so long and I tell you, Spammy, I’ve got a terrible feeling about this.”

“They covered the important parts though, didn’t they? Someone comes to feed you and change your box?”

“It doesn’t matter! They’ve been gone weeks and weeks. Even the sitter says they’ve been gone a lot longer than she agreed to take care of me. She wants to go away too! I want my own people back. NYOW!”

“You said they went on vacation, a cruise to some island somewhere?”

“They would not leave me to go play. They are on an important relief mission to help hurricane victims on some wretched island. They think those people need them, but I need them too. And I had them first!”

I really felt I should do something about her situation, but there was a mail slot between us. “If I could come in, I would show you how to work the computer,” I told her. “Then you could maybe go online and find them, since you can’t get out.”

“I know how to use the computer,” she said. “I’ve played video games till I have carpaw tunnel syndrome.”

“I am Spamnotthebadkind@moggyblog.com,” I told her. “Let me know if they show up. I know how upsetting it can be to feel abandoned by your human.”

Since I couldn’t make her feel better, I decided to try instead to make me feel better and proceeded down the hill and into downtown, making a sharp left at the second intersection, pitter-patting across the street and walking boldly into the ice cream store.

My friend Amanda had the counter alone that night, while Eric the ice cream maker worked in the back. Elevated Ice Cream is the best place in town for a nocturnal critter like me, since they are open till 10 to accommodate people who come in to get goodies after the movies and ball games.

Even so, on weeknights when there is no game at Memorial Field, the town is mostly quiet as the evening rolls on. You can hear the bugs buzzing the streetlights. They would be in real trouble if cats could fly! A few people still wandered the sidewalks, but not a soul sat in the red plastic booths opposite the freezers full of cooling flavors or the patio chairs set around little tables in the back.

Nevertheless, I was not allowed to remain on the premises. Amanda and I had worked out a deal. I meowed to let her know I was ready to be served. She came around the counter and knelt down to give me a couple of pets, held my face in her hands and looked into my eyes, “Your usual,  sir?”

“Meow,” I said, affirmatively.

This book is available at:
http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Apocalyps–Purranormal-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B009I3WMGA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349329033&sr=8-1&keywords=the+tour+bus+of+doom
(amazon)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-tour-bus-of-doom-elizabeth-ann-scarborough/1113051371?ean=2940015623864
gypsyshadow
http://gypsyshadow.com/ElizabethScarborough.html#TBOD
smashwords
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240369

Thank you Elizabeth and Mr Dundee

A Dozen of Dreadfuls…

4 Oct

Next up for our GSP Halloween promo, I have the privledge of sharing Charlotte Holley’s entry, A Dozen Dreadfuls.

Charlotte Holley has an inborn love of all mysteries and the supernatural, and has been reading and writing about the paranormal for more than forty years. A mass communications major, she has written and published newsletters, magazine and newspaper articles, as well as poems and short stories since receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1980. As a beaded jewelry designer, she has also self-published twenty-two pattern collections on CD and in eBook form and has produced almost 400 individual original patterns. 
Having spent several years as a professional psychic, she has had extensive experience with the spirit world and has observed supernatural dramas that defy all rational explanation. Charlotte uses her expertise and story-telling ability to weave a powerful tale of mystery and horror, of love and deceit and of the overpowering desire of the human nature to make things right.

About A Dozen Dreadfuls:
It’s been said if two or more people strongly agree on any one thing, no matter how unlikely, that thing will come to pass. When art lovers and critics alike unanimously acclaim Sam Forbes’ monsters in his Dozen Dreadfuls series as real enough to step right off the canvas and into the world, they unwittingly unleash a rash of gory killings and a plague of terror as well.
   As the only living human who knows what is happening, Sam sets out to make up for the damage his work has caused at the risk of losing his first and best claim to fame. Can he save the world from the horror in time, and what will he have left if he does?

Excerpt:
  He was alone; the streets, deserted. The city lay sleeping in the sultry hush of the summer’s night. He trudged along, kicking the debris at the edge of the pavement, stopping now and then to rifle through the trash for anything that might be worthwhile. Here, he found a dime; there, a perfect silver chain someone had lost when the clasp came unfastened, freeing it to slide unnoticed into the piles of refuse. He smiled as he held the gleaming silver treasure up in the luminance of the streetlight before he stuffed it greedily into the crumpled paper sack he carried. The pickings were slim tonight, but he was grateful for what he did find.
     Rounding the next corner, he stopped cold. Two men were arguing in the alley. The heavier of the two grabbed the other by the collar, nearly jerking the man off his feet. “I said, give me the rest of it, punk!”
     “Quinn, I already told ya. This is all I got, man,” the smaller man squeaked.
     Quinn let go and shoved his companion to the pavement. “Sure you did, Amos. Sure you did. Okay . . . fine. So give me the rest of the goods then, and we’ll be square.”
     Amos squirmed at Quinn’s feet, looking like he’d puke when Quinn asked for the drugs. “Uh—no can do. See, my mark—well, he done stole the rest of it from me.”
     “Is that so?” Quinn demanded, kicking Amos in the gut.
     The tramp ducked farther into the shadows, fearing the two men would spot him. This whole affair was no concern of his, and to tell the truth, he knew he should go on his way. He should be making tracks as far from here as he could, as fast as he could, but something made him stay glued to the spot, fascinated by the real-life drama unfolding before him.
     Amos was doubled over in pain from Quinn’s assault.
     Quinn grabbed the writhing man by the hair of the head and jerked him to his feet. Amos screamed, but Quinn just laughed. “How many times do I have to tell you? You’re supposed to take your mark for all he’s worth; not the other way around, stupid. This is—what? The third time your mark has made off with the payload, leaving you with only crumbs? Does that seem right to you?”
     “No,” Amos managed to say between gritted teeth.
     “And does it seem right to you for me to let you live when you are such a screw-up?”
     Amos’ breaths were coming in short gasps now. He tried to escape from Quinn’s steel grip, and the tramp thought he actually heard the sound of the punk’s hair ripping from his scalp as Amos staggered free, leaving a handful of his hair in Quinn’s hand. “Aw now, come on, man. Surely you don’t mean that.”
     “Of course, I mean it. You didn’t lose the goods to your mark, did you? Did you?”
     “I—”
     Quinn threw Amos’ hair to the pavement in disgust and reached inside his jacket, bringing out a .45 and aiming it at the other man in one fluid movement. He brought the gun to bear on Amos so fast the tramp could hardly believe his eyes.
     “No!” Amos wailed. “Please, man. I got a wife and two kids. Don’t kill me. Please!”
     “I’d be doing them a favor, punk,” Quinn spat. “You’re a loser. Why don’t you admit the truth? You sold a little of it for more than you should have and took the rest of it yourself. I know your kind. You’re not just a loser; you’re a junkie to boot. Probably beat on your wife and kids, you filthy—”
     Amos stared down the barrel of the .45, his hands shaking, his gasps a mixture of hysterical sob and wheeze. The front of his pants turned dark with the stain of urine that traveled down his leg and pooled at his feet. He didn’t say another word, unable to pull enough air into his lungs to expel the utterance. He swallowed hard, and then closed his eyes, perhaps hoping if he couldn’t see when Quinn pulled the trigger, it wouldn’t be true.
     Quinn cocked the revolver.
     Amos winced and steeled himself for the shot that never came.
     At that exact instant, the tramp saw movement in the alley behind Quinn. He was still trying to decide what it was when a ten-foot tall monster took two giant steps from the shadows and knocked the gun from Quinn’s hand. Another second was all it took, and pieces of Quinn flew all over the alley before Quinn even had the chance to react. 
Where the book is avaible:
http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Charlotte.html#DreadfulsExc
http://www.amazon.com/A-Dozen-Dreadfuls-ebook/dp/B0043EV9EK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349370168&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Dozen+Dreadfuls

Check out Charlotte’s website at: http://charlotteholley.com/

Thank you Charlotte for being part of my promo.

Phillip and the Haunted House…

3 Oct

John Paulits is a former teacher in New York City. He has published five other children’s novels, four about Philip and Emery, as well as two adult science fiction novels, HOBSON’S PLANET and BECKONING ETERNITY. His previous Gyspy Shadow book, PHILIP AND THE SUPERSTITION KID, was voted best children’s novel of 2010 in the Preditors and Editors readers poll.

Philip and Emery are scared out of their wits when they learn their community service assignment involves dealing with a haunted house, but it gets worse! Circumstances force the boys to sneak inside the haunted house, and when they do, they receive the shock of their lives!

Excerpt:

Philip and the Haunted House

The rumble of a heavy truck caused Philip to turn in his bed and open his eyes. He felt his heart pounding. He had been trapped in some dark, awful house. He immediately recognized his own bedroom and sighed in relief. Only a dream! The sound of the truck stopped briefly and started up again. Turning a corner, thought Philip. As he listened, the truck noise ended suddenly, instead of fading little by little. Philip guessed the truck had stopped somewhere in his neighborhood.

He sat up in bed, turned, put his feet on the floor, and stretched. A long Saturday loomed ahead of him. No school. What a great feeling! Philip thought of his dream again. Yesterday, his teacher Mr. Ware read the class the part of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer where Tom and Huck look for treasure in the haunted house. While they’re looking, they hear someone coming and run upstairs to hide. One of the two men who enter the haunted house turns out to be Injun Joe, who wants to kill Tom for identifying him as Doc Robinson’s murderer at Muff Potter’s trial. Injun Joe gets suspicious, takes out his knife, and starts to climb the stairs. Tom and Huck lie frozen in fear on the floor, peeking through a chink in the wood as Injun Joe, step by step, gets nearer and nearer. Then, CRASH! The old, rotten stairway collapses and tumbles Injun Joe to the floor.

When Mr. Ware read it, he’d shouted the word “crash” as loud as he could. Everyone, including Philip, jumped out of their chairs. For once he’d been paying close attention, and the teacher rewarded him by almost giving him a heart attack. Philip blamed Mr. Ware for his frightful dream.

How could Tom and Huck even want to go inside a haunted house, Philip wondered, even if they thought they’d find some buried treasure? Buried treasure. Philip thought he might go into a haunted house to get rich, but not for fun. No way. He decided he’d go back to daydreaming in school next week and stop listening to the teacher’s heart-attack reading lessons.

Philip dressed and went downstairs. His father lay on the sofa reading the newspaper.

“Well, look who’s awake,” his father said, sitting up. “Your mother went to the supermarket. Becky’s still sleeping.” Becky was Philip’s baby sister. “Emery called twice already.”

“What time is it, Dad?”

“A little after ten.”

He had slept a long time. Maybe if he’d gotten up earlier he wouldn’t have had the dream about the haunted house. Stupid reading lesson.

“Give Emery a call, and I’ll get your cereal.”

Philip called Emery, who said he’d be right over.

As Philip dropped his cereal bowl into the sink, Emery walked into the kitchen.

“Are you sick?” said Emery.

“No, I’m not sick. Why?”

“You slept so long. I only sleep long if I’m sick. My two baby sisters cry so much I can’t sleep late anyway.”

“No, I’m not sick. I had this weird dream, though.” Philip led Emery into the living room.

“You, too, eh?”

“Me, too? You had a dream?” Philip asked in alarm. Maybe something’s going around, he thought.

“No, I mean putting the dishes in the sink.”

“Oh. Yeah, something new.”

“My mother, too. She must have talked to your mother. They do these things together sometimes. What did you dream about?”

“The haunted house Mr. Ware read about yesterday.”

“Oh, yeah. When the stairs crashed, and he made everybody jump. Cool!”

“I didn’t jump,” Philip lied.

“Well, everybody else did. Haunted houses are spooky.”

“Only around Halloween,” Philip said boldly.

“All the time,” Emery replied with a sharp nod.

Philip felt he’d established his bravery, so he dropped the topic.

“Weird, though,” said Emery.

“What’s weird?”

“A big truck pulled up around the corner, and they’re taking everything out of the junky, empty house.”

“The one with all the grass growing around it?”

“Yeah. It’s still got a “Sale” sign on it so I guess nobody bought it yet. That’ll be an empty house now and look even more haunted.”

Philip pictured the house—dark, empty, and surrounded by tall weeds. It could be haunted for all he and Emery knew; and there it sat—right around the corner from where they lived.

“Want to go watch them take stuff out?” Emery asked.

“They’re still there?”

“Yeah. They only got there a little while ago.”

Philip thought of the truck that woke him up.

“Okay,” Philip said. He’d go now, but once they’d emptied the house and left it empty and lonely and scary looking, he planned to stay away from it. Far away.

John’s book is available at: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnPaulits.html#HHouseExc

Songs of the Dead

2 Oct

Dawn Colclasure is the author of five books, among them BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents and 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS: Inspiration, Writing Prompts and Beat The Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity. Her articles, essays, poems, book reviews and short stories have been published in regional and national newspapers and magazines, as well as online. She lives and writes in Oregon with her husband and children.
Perfectly in keeping with our Halloween theme Dawn Colclasure’s dark poetry collection, Songs of the Dead (formerly named Topiary Dreams), is not only dark, but passionate. Anger, fear, hurt and betrayal run under the skin of this work and shine through especially bright in poems such as No Turning Back, Deep Within and I am Madness. Colclasure examines the dark side of human nature; murder, drug use, violence, insanity and isolation. But, beyond the tales of death and darkness there’s also a message of empowerment; the voice of someone who has taken too much, for too long and has finally had enough.

Songs of the Dead is a re-release of the chapbook originally published in 2003 and with more than twenty-seven new poems; it has more than earned the title “expanded”. Colclasure has a flair for prose, with lines such as “walk on the moon and hear the stars breathe,” (from Death Shows my Pain) and different poetry forms stop the reader from falling into a sing song rhythm of sameness and help to keep the collection fresh and interesting, page after page.

Excerpt:

Songs of the Dead
I’m the Only One Who Can Take You There

Push me now into your veins.
Push me softly, deep inside.
Let me take you far away
Where you won’t have to run and hide.

Forget your tears, forget your pain.
Escape from this world of despair.
Come to me, I will save you
I’m the only one who can take you there.

You don’t need to be afraid.
I will shield you in my arms.
No more sadness, no more pain.
I’ll protect you from life’s harms.

Never fail you, always true.
And you enjoy the things I do.
You won’t find better relief anywhere
Because I’m the only one who can take you there.

Where to find Dawn’s book: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/DawnColclasure.html#SongsExc

More information about this amazing author:

Her Web site is: http://dmcwriter.tripod.com/ 
Blog: http://dawncolclasureblog.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/dawncolclasure
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Dawn-Colclasure
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dawncolclasure
Other: http://greenwolf103.deviantart.com/
Read an Interview at Highlighted Author!
              Writer Sanctuary
Thank you Dawn for participating.

Snow white’s story..

30 Mar

Image

Today is my privilege to welcome an author from former Yugoslavia. Snjezana survived the war to tell her story in which she conveys a message of peace. Peace is something the whole needs so much of. Today she is sharing with us about her book, the first volume of two, Born in Sarajevo. Over to Snjezana.

One of the most important things that inspired Born in Sarajevo is a desire to show to a reader that there is much more about Sarajevo than the civil war which happened between the years 1992-1996 in this capitol of Bosnia and Herzegovina. For example, in 1885, Sarajevo was the first city in Europe and the second city in the world, after San Francisco, to have a full-time electric tram network running through the city. In 1984 Sarajevo hosted the fourteen Winter Olympic Games. In 2011, Sarajevo became the first city outside the European Union to be nominated for the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Sarajevo also has a long history of integrating all major religions into its culture. In this city, I and many people I know, were brought up to respect and love diversity. With this book, I also wanted to show to a reader that us, people from Sarajevo, as well as people from some other parts of the former Yugoslavia are much more than war exiles. We love to read, we love to watch Shakespeare’s plays, and between “to be and not to be” those of us who got an opportunity to survive, are grateful to live. Born in Sarajevo is also my personal, an ordinary citizen’s story, about my broken family, war-torn relationships, and lost dreams. Most importantly, with this book I wanted to show to the reader how war can change such a beautiful city and have the influence on such beautifully minded people. My yearning for the more peaceful planet was my biggest inspiration for writing Born in Sarajevo.

 

The gunpowder flows through the air

There are friends sitting on a tank

And there are too few moments to realize

They are targeting someone they know,

Someone who will this last time

Try to wave, try to smile

I run, but in my heart I want to stay

Because this is still Home

 

The blood covers our street and I am afraid

To look around, I am ashamed to hope that

A bird was hit while she flew

Toward her nest to feed her young ones,

But all I can see is Sarajevo helpless, alone,

No matter how far I would go

I’ll remember this is my home

 

 

Sarajevo, March 1992

Image

When first barricades and first gun shots occurred in the capitol of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, I was seventeen years old. It was the year 1992, and one of the worst mass killings in the history of mankind began. At that time, my family, my friends, my neighbors, and I were still unaware that we will lose all privileges related to peace. People of this country, which was called Yugoslavia, proudly holding the title of the biggest and the wealthiest Balkan country, started losing their freedom, their homes and their lives. I, as any other teen, knew about war only from movies and video games until my first encounter with those whose intention was not to act or play but to overpower, destroy and kill. 

Her book can be purchased at : http://www.gypsyshadow.com/SnjezanaMarinkovic.html#top

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BornInSarajevo

Website : http://www.snjezanamarinkovic.com

Book Trailer: Born in Sarajevo-book trailer.wmv

Thank you so much for being part of my blog. I wish you loads of sales of your book and peace.