Tag Archives: Zvonek Feline Intelligence

CalliCae’s Fate…..

29 May

Another release from Author of the Week Lee-Anne Graff Vinson.

Callie's Fate by Lee-Ann Graff Vinson

When Callie takes the red-eye home to surprise her husband for their anniversary, she finds the surprise is on her. She watches as a blonde tart in six-inch heels teeters out from her home and toward a cherry-red Mustang, which is parked in her spot.

Enraged, Callie does the only thing she can do. She drives to her favorite coffee house, scrolls through divorce lawyers who claim to eat cheating husbands for breakfast, and cries. Her only consolation is Christian, a Marine, whom she befriended on a chat site almost a year earlier.

While waiting for her marriage to end, Callie agrees to finally meet Christian in person. She has always been a woman in control, but the mere touch of this man has her begging for more. Christian is only too happy to oblige, leaving Callie agreeing with the motto ‘The Few and The Proud’. She has never experienced a man who could make her see stars, but Christian does his duty, and does it well.

Unhappy circumstances bring them together. A week of sexual bliss makes it impossible for them to part, leaving them to wonder how they can, once again, test the hands of fate.

Excerpt:

Callie parked her car across the street from her house. Tears trickled down her cheeks, but she didn’t feel them. She was numb. Angry. Done. She had to hand it to him. Donald’s taste in women had improved since the first time she’d caught him cheating. The blonde, in her six-inch, cherry-red heels, clicked merrily across the driveway to her car. The Mustang was noticeably the same shade of slut as her shoes and was parked contemptuously in Callie’s spot. She scowled as the tart shimmied herself into the car. Her mini skirt was wrinkled and tight. She probably didn’t even take it off.

Callie had just arrived home from a five-day pharmaceutical conference where she’d been working twelve-hour days promoting one of her company’s new drugs. Exhausted, she’d caught the red-eye to make it back on time. Today was their fourteenth wedding anniversary, and she wanted to surprise her husband with a day of wine tours and food samplings she’d booked online while she was away. This was the second time the surprise had been on her.

When he’d done it the first time, she couldn’t believe the man she’d entrusted her heart to would hurt her in such a deceitful manner. She’d married him because he was safe. He definitely was not the partying type. He never stayed out late with the boys, and he’d always come home right after work. He was, well . . . boring. He was the one man she’d thought she didn’t have to worry about. Although they didn’t share the same interests—she loved the outdoors, running and biking and he was happy in front of the television drinking a few beers—she loved him and he loved her. Or at least he told her he did.

Back then she’d had an overwhelming sense of failure and guilt, thinking his affair was somehow her fault. Her job took her away quite a bit and when she was home, she worked such long hours they rarely had time for a quickie, let alone what he would call “substantial” sex.

She stared at the car backing out of her driveway. She didn’t have those same feelings of guilt, heartache and complete devastation as before. Only anger and emptiness remained. After eighteen months of counseling and thousands down the drain, this was what they’d accomplished? Well, not again. No more lies. No more wasted money. This time she was done for good.

Her first instinct was to throw open the front door and wipe that smirk off his face with a baseball bat, screaming every obscenity she could think of. She wanted to cause him extreme pain. It’s our stupid anniversary!

As much as physically beating him appealed to her, she needed to hit him harder, in a way that made complete recovery impossible. No, violence wasn’t the answer. Her next move needed to be one that would hurt him as much as he’d killed their marriage. She needed professional help. It was time to consult with the people who knew him best––The Law Offices of Divorce-A-Cheating-Ass.

Callie started her car and gunned it down the street. She expertly cut off Donald’s newest ride, eliciting quite a resentful honk from her, which she quite happily returned with the full length of her middle finger. She sped down the street and away from her beloved home.

The Starbucks parking lot was almost empty as she maneuvered her shiny, silver Chrysler 200 into a lonely spot. She popped her trunk and got out. She always bloated on long flights and her black suede platform heels were beginning to pinch. She tugged at the ruffled skirt she typically wore on business trips, which was now cutting into her waist. She was about to grab her jeans and sneakers from her suitcase to change into, when she heard the vocal admiration of a passing, very well-built, fetching, young male cyclist. She decided against comfort and tossed the items back in. Damn right, I’m sexy.

At thirty-seven, Callie still had a great figure. She wasn’t statuesque, but her legs were muscular, giving the illusion of length. Her waist was narrow. So was her chest, but nothing a Victoria’s Secret push-up couldn’t cure—and she wore it well. Her blonde hair was long and straight, fanning out across her shoulders to mid-back. However, her eyes were what gave Callie her power. The large cobalt orbs could stop men at twenty paces. A flutter of the eyelashes followed by an intent gaze could get her anything she wanted. She used her power well; it had gained many large contracts for her company.

She pulled out her laptop bag and closed her trunk. It was going to take a lot of research to find the perfect attorney who would represent her in the courtroom. Donald wasn’t going to get away with it this time. The son-of-a-bitch!

She found a table and took out her laptop, then stood in line to order while she waited for it to boot up. Now, what type of coffee does a day like today require? When it was her turn to order, Callie spoke with no emotion. “May I please have an I-just-caught-my-loser-of-a-husband-cheating-with-a-whore-and-I’m-going-to-take-him-to-the-cleaners grande, skinny, extra-hot, caramel macchiato?”

The barista stared at her for a brief moment before replying “Of course, and how about we just go ahead and make that a venti at no extra charge?”

The wink she gave Callie was one of a woman familiar with her kind of day, and Callie knew she’d chosen her sanctuary well.

Coffee in hand, she sat down in front of her laptop and sighed. She shook her head as she searched through the myriad of divorce attorneys. How did she get here again? How did she not see this coming?

Tramp-happy Donald was currently between jobs, as he liked to tell anyone who cared to ask. A plumber by trade, they’d met when the pipe in her en suite bathroom burst one Sunday afternoon. She’d called the first company listed in the yellow pages and paid an arm and a leg for the repair, but thoroughly enjoyed the view as she waited for it to be fixed. Donald’s well-rounded, firm, plumber-butt definitely drew her away from her laptop, and she was thrilled when he’d asked for her number. However, his idea of a stellar evening included darts and drinks at his favorite pub, which was where he took her on their first date. And the next five. She’d always dreamed she would find a man who was kind, loving and, of course, fabulously sexy. Instead, she’d found Donald. He drew her in with winks and compliments. He held mystical powers when it came to bullshit, which he opened up like a clogged drain when he was with her. They used to talk a lot back then. She was attracted to his easy-going confidence. She was comfortable in his company and satisfied in his bed. Now, Callie realized he’d played her. She was merely his meal ticket with the option of sex.

Callie had never had a long-term, serious relationship before she met Donald. Her drive to climb the proverbial ladder had kept her from having time to socialize outside of work. Somehow, this man had wrenched his way into her heart. She’d allowed him into her life, her home . . . and now she was paying for him to plumb someone else’s pipes.

“Idiot,” she said.

 

Links:

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

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Callies-Fate-Lee-Ann-Graff-Vinson-ebook/dp/B005NWRJYK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1401382681&sr=8-2&keywords=Callie%27s+Fate

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The Carol Singers…

29 Nov


Today on the GSP Christmas Promo we welcome Violetta Antcliff.

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.

The book we are highlighting today is The Carol Singers.

With only a cat for company, Alice sits in the gathering gloom recalling Christmases past. Outside, carol singers with hands outstretched wish Merry Christmas to one and all: but it isn’t carol singers who knock on Alice’s door this Christmas eve; it’s ghosts from her past.

Excerpt:

Rock, rock, went the old chair, wearing away the last vestige of pile from the faded carpet. Alice had inherited the chair when her mother had passed away many years ago.

She, along with her sister Mildred and brother George had all been rocked in it as babies.
Alice loved the chair and all the memories it held; she recalled the times she’d cradled sweet lovable little Tommy, her own baby in her arms. Remembered how she had rocked him through teething troubles and sleepless nights.

“We’re getting old, Daisy,” she murmured. The old cat she now rocked in place of her baby answered with a low, rumbling belly purr and snuggled deeper into the folds of the shawl spread over her knees.

Alice often talked to the cat; one-sided conversations, she called them. She had no one else to speak to; no one else to argue with, or to exchange points of view.

In days gone by she’d been an avid television viewer, never missing an episode of the soaps; and would pit her wits against contestants on quiz programs, often answering the questions before they did. But the set was old, and when it broke down she didn’t have the funds to replace it. Now it just stood in the corner next to the fireplace, gathering dust.

Alice missed the corner shop most of all; it used to keep her up to date with everything that was going on in the street. Unable to compete with a supermarket that had opened on the outskirts of town three years ago, the owner of the little convenience store finally gave up trying, rolled down the shutter, locked the door and left.

What Alice missed most of all was the neighbourhood gossip, the scandal—who was expecting a baby? Who was in trouble with the law? Who wasn’t married, but just living in sin? This would be whispered from behind a hand, given with a nod and a wink not to be passed on, which it always was. Alice liked to think she’d never been guilty of spreading rumours, but she’d listened and nodded her head along with the rest of them.

The letter box rattled, breaking the silence in the room, and mail thudded to the mat. Alice gently removed the sleeping cat from her knee. “Sorry to disturb you, puss,” she said, getting to her feet. “I know it’ll only be junk mail and bills,” she mumbled, making her way over to the front door to pick them up. “That’s all it ever is: junk-mail and bills; nobody ever writes to me anymore.” She moaned and rubbed the small of her back with one arthritic hand before bending down to retrieve the mail from the door-mat.

“What’s this then?” she murmured, separating an official-looking envelope from the pizza delivery offers and holiday brochures. It was addressed to the occupant of Number Five Cathcart Street. Alice pulled out a chair and sat down at the kitchen table to read it. The table was still set with a cup saucer and plate she hadn’t cleared from breakfast time. She hesitated momentarily before picking up a knife and painstakingly slitting open the envelope and removing the letter. Glasses perched on the end of her nose, she gave it a quick perusal before reading it out aloud. “It’s from the Council,” she said. “This is to inform you of the decision of the local council regarding your house, Number 5 Cathcart Street. It has been condemned and is due for demolition the early part of next year. You will be offered alternative accommodation and help with relocation. Blah . . . blah . . . blah. Yours sincerely.”

Alice read the letter through again, this time to herself, and it was a good ten minutes later before she pushed back her chair and stood up. With trembling hands, she cleared the table and washed the pots. Her mind was not on the task in hand. Instead, she was remembering times past when she had first moved into the little two-up, two-down terrace house.

“I was only seventeen, when Charlie carried me over that door-step. Did I ever tell you that, Daisy? After being unemployed for over a year, my Charlie finally landed himself a job, and he rushed me down to the Registry office and made arrangements for us to get wed. That’s the type of man he was, never stood still long enough to let grass grow beneath his feet. You’d have liked him,” she added.

Links:
http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#CarolS

http://www.amazon.com/The-Carol-Singers-ebook/dp/B00A9N2FWO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354126719&sr=8-1&keywords=the+carol+singers

Xmas Wishes…..

26 Nov


Today GSP Christmas Promo welcomes Lindsey Duncan. Lindsey is a life-long writer and professional Celtic harp performer, with short fiction and poetry in numerous speculative fiction publications. She feels that music and language are inextricably linked. She lives, performs and teaches harp in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Visit Lindsey’s Website at: http://www.lindseyduncan.com/writing.htm

Her book that we are highlighting today is Xmas Wishes.

As Christmas approaches, Irena Maddox faces typical teenaged problems: her mother is half the world away, the boy of her dreams doesn’t know she exists, and it doesn’t even have the decency to snow. Then she meets her eccentric new neighbor, Moira, and everything seems to change. But is there something more to her run of good luck . . . and to Moira?
Excerpt:

Irena Maddox slowed as she passed her neighbor’s garage, trying to catch a glimpse of the contents of the new woman’s life. Since the end of summer, the newcomer had lived in isolation behind the metaphorical moat of her property line. The welcoming committee tried three times to bring her into the community and finally settled for leaving a fruit basket on the doorstep. Bravely, Irena had stolen a kiwi. No one ever missed kiwi.

She felt that same defiance as she peered into the garage. There was no room for a car. Moira Alban didn’t seem to own one, and in fact, Irena had never seen her en route to anywhere. Uneven stacks of boxes filled the shadows. She squinted, hardly noticing she had halted and could no longer use the excuse she was wandering by.

The boxes were labeled, Xmas Decorations—Fragile, and similar phrases. Irena knew some people wouldn’t write the word Christmas out: something to do with the first half being irreverent or not. Her mother would know, but she was never around to pack boxes. Irena wasn’t sure what was worse: her mother’s long absences, or how little she knew about what happened during them.

So the boxes were ordinary. The only thing they told her was Moira put up Christmas decorations—and Irena wasn’t sure there was anyone who didn’t, whether they celebrated or not—and she was the kind of person who didn’t spell the word out, whatever that meant. Maybe she was lazy. Maybe the reason no one knew anything about her was there wasn’t anything interesting to know.

The winter cold impelled her to decision. Instead of scampering onward to her house, to a superstitious grandmother and another holiday that wasn’t, she scuffed up the driveway, moving as subtly as one could while wearing a bright red jacket and towering like a scarecrow. Probably all the boxes were sealed, but if one was already open, or if maybe it had only a little bit of tape . . .

Her fingers scrabbled at a cardboard flap, pulled it free. The box was full of snow globes; the tap she had given the box caused endless blizzards within. She scooped one out. Instead of the expected scene inside—a cute snowman or a foreign landmark—there was a little cornhusk doll . . .

“What are you doing?”

Irena yelped and dropped the globe. It pinged off the concrete. She whirled to face her accuser, a flush burning her cheeks.

Moira Alban towered, somewhere in the infinite expanse of middle age, with auburn hair and eyes the color of storms. “Well, if it isn’t the girl who stole the kiwi,” she continued.

“I did not,” Irena said by reflex, and then bent for the snow-globe. “I was just curious . . .”

She hadn’t seen the globe roll, but Moira picked it up from her feet and cradled it like something precious. “Do you understand the hazards of curiosity?”

In the chill and shadow of the garage, the words seemed menacing. Irena drew back, heart pounding with a rabbit’s fear . . . even though she could easily have dodged past, even though hers was the next driveway over and kids shouted in the yard across the street.

“Killed the cat,” Irena said bluntly, and wished she hadn’t. Her skin prickled, even as her mind shouted at her it was ridiculous. Neighbors didn’t attack each other for picking through boxes, and the garage door had been open. Surely that was an invitation. And besides, how would Moira hurt her?

Moira laughed, a rich sound. The menace evaporated. “Not the most original answer, but it will do. Since you’ve meddled with my boxes, you can help me carry them inside. Come, child.”

Though Irena bristled at the label, her relief, silly as it was, kept her from protesting. She picked up the nearest box and followed Moira inside. The coolness of the house surprised her, though still a relief from the Midwest bluster.

The house was spartan, furnished in white with few distinguishing marks—no hanging pictures, no mirrors, no knick-knacks. The other thing missing was peculiar in itself: no television, no computer, no electronics. The phone even had an old-fashioned cord. Up until then, Irena had thought they no longer made phones like that.

Moira directed her to the foot of a massive fir tree. After the fourth trip, she seemed satisfied. “Take off your coat,” she said, “and I’ll make you hot chocolate.”

Poof: you’re hot chocolate, Irena muttered. “Thanks,” she said aloud with a wary smile, not sure her intrusion had been forgiven, but it wasn’t like the woman would poison her just for peeking in some boxes. Especially not after she had carried them in. She eeled out of the coat, but had trouble with the sleeves. They ended up tucked inside themselves.

Moira started a kettle of water. “Tell me about yourself,” she invited. “What school do you attend?”

Irena wanted to retort she was more interested in finding out about Moira, but answered that question and those following politely, even as she scanned the room for personal touches. She came up blank. Christmas decorations would do the house good.

“What about your family?”

“Grandparents. Mom sometimes,” Irena said. “My grandfather’s a retired something-or-other.” Military, she always assumed. He occasionally referred to the war, but never answered questions. She wished he spoke more; at least enough to put a stop to her grandmother’s superstitious quirks, like hanging a horseshoe over the door and throwing salt over her shoulder. Who did that these days? Besides that, guess who had to sweep up the salt.

“So your mother’s away?”

It was not Irena’s favorite subject. “Yeah. Work.”

Moira arched an eyebrow. “Even on holidays?”

“Sometimes,” Irena said. “Christmases, even.”

Had it been her imagination, or had Moira shuddered? Certainly she drew back, but that was only to remove the kettle from the heat. “And this year?”

“Could be.” Irena cast about the kitchen, looking for a conversation point. It was like finding a toy boat on the ocean. “So, uh, what do you do?”

“Whatever comes my way,” Moira said. “Primarily, I help people with long-term plans.”

Irena frowned, trying to figure out what Moira’s answer meant. “So like—investments or something?”

“Something,” Moira agreed.

Links: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Lindsey%20Duncan.html#XmasExc

http://www.amazon.com/Xmas-Wishes-ebook/dp/B00A9KCSCO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353953359&sr=8-1&keywords=xmas+wishes+lindsey+duncan

The Perfect Christmas….

24 Nov

Today we welcome Dawn Colclasure to the GSP Christmas Promo.


Lynn Johnson’s sister, Patty, visits for Christmas and all seems to go well until memories from the sisters’ past of an abusive childhood threaten the holiday cheer. Will the sisters be able to come together in the spirit of the holiday season in order to find the power to forgive and move forward in life?

Excerpt:
“Is she here yet?”

Lynn Johnson smiled. “You just asked me that five minutes ago.” She turned away from the potato salad she’d been stirring at the kitchen counter, and then sighed as she folded her arms at her son. “I’m sure she’ll get here soon. What’s up with the impatience?”

Her sixteen-year-old son smiled, showing white teeth that seemed to make his blue eyes sparkle. “I just can’t wait to see the look on her face when she opens my present for her.”

She nodded, and then walked over to him and put her arm around his shoulders. “It’s a special Christmas for all of us. I haven’t seen your Aunt Patty for ages. She’s always been too busy with her job. The globe-trotting newspaper reporter.” She swung her head around and nearly sang the last words.

“I’m proud of her, Mom; and you should be, too. Even if she’s not ever around in person, at least we get to have her articles.”

“Yes, and I’m proud of her, too.” She tousled his black hair. “Now go get your sister. It’s almost time to eat.”

She folded her arms over her chest again and smiled as she watched her son walk away, knowing she didn’t have to remind him to wash his hands before dinnertime. Andy knew what was expected of him. So did his sister, Lillie.

As she turned to walk back into the kitchen, Lynn caught sight of the snow coming down outside the dining room window. She frowned, walking over to the window and placing her hands on the sill. She stood there watching all the snow that just never seemed to allow a clear view of anything. The radio had said the weather conditions might cause a delay for incoming flights, but hadn’t Patty’s plane landed hours ago? She hoped the car her sister rented wasn’t stuck somewhere. Then again, she’d probably call on her cell if anything went wrong.

“We can’t eat dinner yet!”

Lynn turned from the window to see her fourteen-year-old daughter, Lillie, standing next to the dining room table, her arms outstretched. The only thing her hair had in common with her mother’s was the blond color; Lillie’s hair ran down her back, whereas Lynn’s was cut to shoulder-length. She had her mother’s green eyes, but her hips were a tad wider than Lynn’s. Still, Lillie remained active in sports, the sweatshirt bearing the emblem of the local tennis club proving as much.

“Aunt Patty’s not here,” Lillie continued.

Lynn smiled. “Don’t worry. She should be here any minute!”

As if on cue, a knock sounded at the door.

“See?” Lynn said, looking from her daughter to the door as she walked to it.

“It might be Dad,” Lillie mumbled.

“Think positive,” Lynn sang. “And anyway, why on earth would your father knock at his own door?”

Lynn didn’t wait for an answer. Instead, she unlocked the front door and opened it. Her eyes widened, she smiled and a squeal of excitement left her mouth as she jumped up and down at the sight of her sister on the porch. “Patty!”

“Sis!” Patty Everett exclaimed, holding out her arms to return Lynn’s embrace.
The two women moved away from each other. “Look at you, all covered with snow!” Lynn said, brushing snow off of her younger sister’s coat.

“And look at you, still as skinny as ever,” Patty said. She shook her head. “I don’t think you’ll ever lose that California girl image, no matter how far east you move or how old you are.”

“Every year I get older is a gift!” Lynn enthused.

“Speak for yourself; I’m not exactly looking forward to turning thirty-five next year.”

“Aunt Patty, you’re here!” Lillie said behind Lynn. Lynn moved away so that Lillie could hug her aunt.

“Lillie! So good to see you!” Patty gushed, hugging her niece.

“I missed you,” Lillie said, moving back to stand by her mother.

“I missed you too, sweetie,” Patty replied.

“Is that Aunt Patty I hear?”

The group turned to see Andy walking toward them, holding a wrapped Christmas gift.

“There you are, Andy!” Patty exclaimed, smiling and holding her arms out to hug her nephew.

“I’m so glad you made it,” Andy said, hugging her. “We were worried.”

“You’re lucky your house isn’t buried in all this snow!” Patty joked.

Andy held up his free hand. “Not on my watch!”

Link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Perfect-Christmas-ebook/dp/B00A9N2EKW/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1353785563&sr=1-3&keywords=the+perfect+christmas

Jason Spells It Out….

30 Oct

On the eve of Halloween, GSP Halloween Promo welcomes back Violetta Antcliff.

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.

We are featuring her latest release, Jason Spells it Out, in time for Halloween. Congratulations Violetta and we wish you loads of sales.

Jason finds himself in troubles of the worst kind when he meets up again with the evil hobgoblin Shrug. How can he stop the Wizard’s book of magic from falling into Shrug’s hands? Magenta, a witch whose broomstick he’d once rescued, is under his spell, thinking she is in love with him. Jason knows without his help she’ll be fooled into telling him where the book of magic is. He has to act, and fast; can a love potion be the answer to his problems? Or will it just add to them?

Excerpt:
Jason was restless; he couldn’t get to sleep—something bad was going to happen and he sensed it. The house was not only quiet, it was unnaturally quiet; no sound of snoring coming from his sisters room or creaking of the cot, from the nursery where little Emily Louise slept.

Jason tossed back the duvet and glanced round the room—it was bathed in beams of moonlight that danced high on the walls and cast shadows in the dark recesses. He got out of bed, padded over to the window, opened it and looked out. At first he saw nothing unusual, nothing different; then from the corner of his eye he noticed a movement. The hairs on his arms quivered as if under attack from static electricity, his heart began to pound erratically and he felt weak at the knees. For a fraction of a second, Jason thought he was going to pass out, but when the wave of dizziness slowly passed, he knew he was going to be all right.

In a daze, he returned to his bed, clambered in and pulled the duvet over his head; he couldn’t believe what he had just caught a glimpse of and wanted to shut it out. He tried to convince himself he was really asleep and just having a bad dream, but he knew he wasn’t, knew the goose-pimples were real and the fearful apparition he’d seen wasn’t a figment of his imagination.

Nerves stretched to breaking point, Jason trembled uncontrollably; he could taste the fear and broke out in a cold sweat. Someone, or something, was in the house, in the bedroom—his bedroom—and he could hear it breathing.

“I know you’re only pretending to be asleep. Aren’t you pleased to see me?” Whoever it was cackled mischievously as if deriving pleasure from his plight.

Jason refused to open his eyes and plugged his ears with his fingers.

“I’ve not come on my own. I’ve brought somebody with me; I told him all about you and what you did.”

Jason screwed his eyes up even tighter and pushed his fingers deeper in his ears. Finally however, curiosity got the better of him and with eyes narrowed, he peered out from behind the duvet.

A woman stood at the foot of his bed, and if Jason hadn’t been so frightened he would have yelled for his dad to come and chase her away. He knew without being told she was a witch because she fit every description he’d ever read about them in books: hook nose, warts; red-rimmed eyes that stared without blinking and a mouth no more than a gash in a white face. Hair blacker than deepest midnight streamed out from beneath a conical shaped hat.

“What . . . what . . . what do you want?” His words came out in short gasps, he was so frightened.

“I told you when you retrieved my favourite broomstick from the clutches of that evil hobgoblin, I wouldn’t forget, didn’t I?” The witch perched herself on the foot of the bed and sat, arms folded, staring at him.

“Did you?” Jason inched away; he still vividly remembered everything about the broomstick and the ride he and Wayne had taken on it. Remembered how it had been whisked away soon as ever they’d landed, but he didn’t recall any witch saying anything; he hadn’t even seen one.

“I said what do you want with me?” Jason demanded bravely.

“It’s reward-time for services rendered for you and your friend . . . where is he, by the way?”

“You mean Wayne? He’s at home in bed where he should be.” Jason wasn’t feeling so frightened now; his nerves had settled, the goose-pimples had disappeared, and his hair was no longer standing on end. And although he felt more in control, he still kept his voice low as he didn’t want his dad to hear and come investigating.

“Shall we go and get him?”

“I said he’s in bed, and I expect fast asleep, as I should be. So you can bog off and don’t forget to close the window on your way out.”

The woman threw her head back and cackled so loud Jason leapt out of bed and rushed over to close the bedroom door. “Shut up, will you?” he mouthed. “Do you want to wake everybody up?”

“Nobody else can hear me but you,” she assured him. “And I am going nowhere without you, so you’d better get used to the idea and get dressed.”

The way the woman’s eyes narrowed, Jason could tell she meant it. He scrambled into his jeans, pulled a T-shirt over his head and pushed his feet into his trainers. “I thought you said you’d brought somebody with you,” he said.

“I have,” replied the witch, “my friend, Bertie Crowsbreath. He’s a warlock, and he’s outside looking after the broomsticks. I’ll call him.”

Eyes closed, head cocked to one side, she muttered something unintelligible under her breath. Less than a split second later there was a whooshing blast, and a broomstick with a man cloaked in black sitting astride it whizzed in through the open window and skidded clumsily to the carpeted floor. The newcomer got to his feet, shook himself, and stood looking around.

“Where have you left my broomstick?” the witch asked, finger wagging.

“Don’t worry, my dear.I’ve parked it on the roof next to the chimney stack. It’s quite safe. I can assure you.”

The man turned his attention to Jason. “And you must be the boy Magenta has told me sooo much about,” he said in a spray of spittle.

“Who’s Magenta?” Jason wondered if they’d gotten the wrong address, he didn’t know anybody called Magenta.

“That’s me,” simpered the witch with a flutter of eyelashes.

“Is it true you have a baby sister?” The warlock rubbed his hands together and licked his lips. “How old is she?” he asked in a lowered voice.

“Ten months. Why?” Jason wondered why the man was interested in his little sister.

“No special reason, dear boy. It’s just that children are so scrumptious at that tender age.”

Apart from his strange appearance, Jason didn’t like the man, didn’t trust him and wanted him to go and take the freaky witch with him. But he sensed they wouldn’t leave unless he went with them.

“I’m dressed,” he said, “but I can’t go anywhere until I’ve scribbled a note for my mum and dad.” Jason was playing for time, hoping to come up with some plausible excuse for not going with them.

He looked for something to write on; a school jotter he been doing his homework in was on the bedside table, so he picked it up and tore a page out. “This’ll do,” he murmured. “Now all I need is a pencil.”

“What for? You’ll be back long before you’re missed. Now stop wasting time and climb up on the broomstick behind Bertie.” Magenta’s mouth twitched at the corner, revealing crooked yellow teeth.

Jason shook his head. He wasn’t ready to go anywhere.

“Come on, stop dithering. Jump on the broomstick behind Bertie. You know there’s nothing to be afraid of, you’ve done it before, and I’ll be right behind you on mine.” The witch put two fingers in her mouth and gave a long, low mournful whistle. Fork lightning streaked across the sky and through the open window Jason caught sight of the second broomstick dipping and diving, countless coloured sparks trailing in its wake.

Seconds later the three of them, on broomsticks that seemed to have grown in size, were swooping and diving over gardens and rooftops as they headed toward Canal Cottages.
Her book is available here : http://www.amazon.com/Jason-Spells-Adventures-Foster-ebook/dp/B009WW8EXM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351614299&sr=8-1&keywords=jason+spells+it+out

The Sainthood Ghost….

29 Oct

Today we welcome Lady Deidre to the GSP Halloween Promo. What she says about herself:
My passions include God, family, and writing. When I’m not playing with my grand-babies, I’m writing newspaper articles, short stories, or working on my trilogy in the hopes of being a novelist some day.
Her book that we are featuring today is The Sainthood Ghost.

When Bella inserts a horror flick into the DVD player, she soon discovers her apartment is being haunted by the sainthood ghost. Tossing the movie jacket into the corridor to rid herself of the problem, only leaves the hallway in danger. Jake, long time friend, comes up with an idea to get rid of the ghost forever.

Excerpt:

The Sainthood Ghost
     She sat huddled on her divan, engrossed in a movie, when the doorbell rang. A frightened Bella yelped, “Son-of-a-ratfink!” as she scrambled for the remote. She clicked off the TV before striding toward the door in her pink flannel pajamas calling, “Who is it?”
     “It’s Jake. Let me in, Bella,” he called, jiggling the doorknob impatiently.
     She swung the door wide, “You scared the crap out of me, dick,” she stated, although she was pleased to see him.
     “I just rang the doorbell,” he said, striding in the living room with a large pizza box. “Besides, you knew I was coming over.”
     “Well, to tell you the truth, just before the doorbell rang the flick I was watching jumped into the horror lane.”
     “That’s why people read the movie jackets, Bella,” he reminded her as he slid the pizza onto the coffee table. “What possessed you to start the movie without me anyway?”
     Bella started to explain when a loud crash exploded from the interior of her bedroom. They both craned their necks toward the intrusive noise and then stared at one another blankly.
     “We better go see,” she finally spoke. She hurried off to investigate with Jake hard on her heels. She examined her neon pink room for a moment before spotting the problem, “My picture fell.”
     “Hmm, that’s weird,” Jake commented casually as she hung the picture back on the wall. “Perhaps, you need a new pink wall hanger,” he smirked.
     “No,” Bella said, standing back to gaze at the photo of Christ. “It’s fine.”
     “It fell for a reason. My guess is the picture leaped to its death to get away from these obnoxious pink surroundings,” he jested.
     She rolled her eyes at him. “Very funny.”
     “Let’s face it, you couldn’t cram another pink object into your hovel if you tried. I’m starved, pinky,” Jake said, heading back to the living room to eat. He plopped down on the white divan in front of his pizza box. He noticed the movie jacket. “Is this what you were watching?” He held it up.
     “Yes,” Bella nodded as she eased down on the divan next to him. “A friend loaned me the movie. She said I would enjoy it because it was a Christian flick.”
     Jake laughed. “She lied. It’s about a gang of evil men called the Sainthoods who go on a killing spree.”
     Bella shivered. “Really, the men appeared handsome and good, but then suddenly this stabbing scene popped me in the eye from nowhere. Freaked me out,” she admitted.
     Jake smiled. “Apparently, you didn’t watch much of the movie because those so-called good men are the knife welders.”
     “That’s just creepy. I hope I don’t have nightmares.”
     Jake opened his pizza box to view the contents. “What’s interesting is that your picture sprang from the wall just after you started the movie,” he commented as he scooped out a large slice.
     “It’s frightening,” she said, leaning over the edge of her divan to peer at her bedroom doorway. The silhouette of a milky white ghostly figure stood watching her. She screamed at the top of her lungs and clutched her pajama collar tightly about her neck from fright.
     Jake dropped his slice of pizza in his lap. “What the . . .”
     “There was a ghost standing in the doorway!” a frightened Bella shouted.

Her book is avaible at this link:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Sainthood-Ghost-ebook/dp/B004UN6JNU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351527716&sr=8-1&keywords=the+sainthood+ghost

The Blood that Flows….

25 Oct

Today we welcome Stephanie Van Orman to the GSP Halloween Promo.

Stephanie Van Orman often writes under the online alias Sapphirefly. Stephanie has written ten online novels since 2001. You may remember her from such online novels as ‘Vampire Kiss’, ‘Mark of the Dragon’, ‘Rose Red: Model 85001’, and ‘Whenever You Want’. ‘The Blood that Flows’ is her sixteenth completed project.

We are featuring The Blood that Flows in this post.

I just wanted to root through Marshall’s files. That was my only reason for getting a job in a Private Investigator’s office. If I didn’t figure out what was happening to my sister soon . . . No. That was a lie. I knew what was happening to London. She was looking for a human and when she found one that suited her tastes, she was going to drink the poor sucker’s blood. If things went bad, he’d drink hers and then I’d have another mess to clean up. The last mess was her previous boyfriend. Yeah, I killed him, but you should have seen what he was about to do to her. I’m lucky that hasn’t come back to bite me, because vampire revenge is uglier than sin.
Excerpt:

Chapter One
Not Just a Bubblegum Girl

“A vampire goes through four phases in its development. One of you two must be able to tell me about them,” Detective Marshall said gruffly. He looked from Dudley to me, like he was expecting one of us to raise our hand.

Neither one of us moved. Why should we? This wasn’t bloody school. We were sitting on mismatched chairs in his cramped office, which smelled of tobacco and old French fries. A pile of paper appeared on the verge of sliding onto the floor from the top of Marshall’s filing cabinet, and I suspected a wad of gum ground into the carpet was stuck to my shoe.

Marshall just enjoyed talking like this. A former police chief in some distant city before he’d resigned and moved here to lay down the law about vampires—which would have worked, except the Chief of Police here was a closet blood sucker. With Marshall’s passion for slaying vampires, it was impossible for him to keep a job working with police who sympathized with the undead. So, about ten years before he’d started working as a detective for the masses of humans who hadn’t quite gotten the memo. This was a vampire city.

Me? Yeah, I got the memo. I got it when I was fifteen. Did I know the different phases a vampire went through? Well, I knew some of them, but remained unclear on what happened after a certain point. One thing I knew for sure—vampires were not invincible. As for the rest, I’d come here hunting for the gory details of their lifespan, since things in my life had taken a distinct turn for the worst. I couldn’t let Marshall know that. He wouldn’t trust me if he thought I was a newbie, so I returned his gaze patiently and acted bored, but willing to let him play teacher all day.

I didn’t know Dudley’s story. He looked like he was in his late twenties with dark eyebrows and a rough five o’clock shadow. His expression read like a tombstone. The message was simple—dead men don’t talk, and neither do I. Too bad really, since he looked like a movie star from black and white film noir.

Marshall waited for several long moments before he grunted, “Get out. You’re both worthless.”

Unfortunately, both Dudley and I were in Marshall’s office for a job interview. Dudley was applying to be Marshall’s partner; I, to be his receptionist. Dudley was a private detective already. And me—as I said before, my aspirations were fewer. I just wanted to root around Marshall’s files and get as much information on vamps as I could before I got canned.

I cleared my throat, directed my gaze pointedly at Dudley and said, “Sorry, I rather hoped this would be a private interview.”

“I don’t have time for private interviews,” Marshall said crossly.

I ground my teeth together. I didn’t want to have to do this, but it was better to act like a fool than to let a vampire hunter masquerading as a private detective in on my true stance. Dumb girl routine number four coming right up. “I’m not interested in vamps,” I said, twirling a lock of my hair. I wouldn’t be able to use that routine after I turned twenty-four, so I had to get good use out of it while I could. “I’d rather answer your phone, sort your messages and keep your files straight than get involved with crap that could kill me. I thought you just stalked married women who strayed from the path.”

Marshall gave me a weird look, and then opened a jar on his desk and offered me a piece of round pink bubblegum. Probably the same stuff that had been stomped into the carpet.

I shook my head and said, “No thanks. I’m trying to cut back.”

He smiled. He liked me. No problem. I was in.

“Okay, so girlie here is too smart to get involved with vamps. What about you, Boy?”

Dudley shook his head coolly and recited in a disinterested tone, “A vampire goes through four cycles. First, they are a human who has been tagged by a vampire to be their mate. If the human is unwilling, it will die.”

“And if the human is willing?”

“Then they will end up sharing massive quantities of their own blood with the vampire as well as drinking the vampire’s blood. A human won’t make the transformation into a vampire unless they consume at least ten liters of vampire blood over a two-month period. During this time, both parties experience a drug-like euphoria where they believe that they can’t possibly live without the other. Even ancient vampires can fall into this hole. Many of them can’t bear to kill their lover, even though they know what will inevitably happen next. Once this first phase is complete, the human is a new vampire and even if it is unreasonable, both the new vampire and the old one are filled with suspicion and anger toward each other. The old vampire liked the human and is disgusted by them once they change, so much so that they will murder them if they have the chance. The new one thinks the old one is jealous of their newfound power and beauty. I’m sure there are plenty of different emotions experienced, but in the end—one of them will kill the other. I’ve never heard of a case where one of them didn’t die. Then there’s the third phase, where the vampire who survived is basically not a nuisance to anybody. They don’t kill in the third phase.”

All of this, I knew. It was beyond this that I hit unfamiliar territory. What happened in the fourth phase?

Dudley looked indifferent, but he continued. “In the final stage, they want to mate, but vampires don’t exactly mate. They either make a new vampire out of a human and die, or they repeat the process of falling in love over and over again without giving up their legacy. That path turns them into killing machines and causes no end of trouble. I’m sure you’ve seen it.”

Marshall shook his head carefully. Then he looked at me and said, “Be careful who you date.”

The book is available at:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Blood-That-Flows-ebook/dp/B005R3T5NS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351178512&sr=8-1&keywords=the+blood+that+flows