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Showing posts from November, 2015

The Mental Ward - Men with Guns (28)

"It's Mr. Carlysle!" The murmur rose up from a number of people as Andrew strode into the midst of the miniature base set up outside the asylum.       The blank stares of the policemen reminded him that no one knew his daughter was there, that no one even knew his daughter was alive.  He needed to find the matron who knew where his daughter was.       Before he could voice his request, a tap came on his arm from a middle-aged woman with a somewhat military bearing.  "Mr. Carlysle?"      "Yes."  He looked her up and down.  "I'm looking for the matron of the children's ward."      She nodded briskly, pursing her lips like the bearer of bad news.  "Come with me and I will tell you what you need to know."      Moments later, she had him seated in a tiny cubicle of a room in a building across the street.  He twisted his hat in his hands.  The matron eyed him patiently, as if waiting for him to show her where to begin.     …

Black Friday Book Sale!

It’s that time of year. The time for buying presents, making wish lists, and planning New Year’s Resolutions. If any of those activities involve books for you, Indie Christian Authors has a perfect event for you. From Nov 27 (that’s today!) through Nov 30th, more than 70 independent Christian books are on sale. You can find free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals, and more! And if your budget is depleted from Christmas shopping, they’ve got you covered with some freebies Think 70 books is overwhelming? Narrow it down and find the perfect books for you or someone on your Christmas list by using this quiz to generate a customized book list.> What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?
A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.Acknowledgements: T…

The Mental Ward - Have You Heard, Sir? (27)

Andrew thumbed through the pages of his notebook.  Why was it so wretchedly hard to concentrate tonight?  He silently cursed the swimming letters that refused to organize themselves coherantly on the page.      A light knock sounded on the oaken door of his study.  Andrew nearly leaped to his feet in relief.  Anything to fill the silence of the evening!      "Come in."      Antrin, his faithful servant for the past ten years, entered the room, closing the door behind him. A gust of wind entered with him, filling the room with a dark, suspenseful air.  Antrin looked about him as if afraid of being caught by something.       "What is it, man?" Andrew demanded, but softly, for he suddenly felt as uneasy as Antrin.       "Perhaps you've heard about the uproar in town?" Antrin folded his hands behind his back and spoke in a secretive tone.  "The entire police force is preparing to storm the asylum there."      Andrew pressed his eyes closed…

He Done Told Us

It was dark when the men carried Stony to his cabin.  Dinah held the wooden door open and pressed her hand to her mouth, trying to stop the tears as she heard his groans.  Someone lit a candle and the pale yellow light flickered over the bloodstained bandage that wrapped her beloved's back.        One of the men clapped his big, meaty hand on Dinah's shoulder.  "Do you need anything, Miss Dinah?" His voice was deep and rumbly and oddly strengthening.  Dinah lowered her hand and shook her head.      The men filed out the door, heading for their own beds.  The day would start early tomorrow and no one wanted to risk his ability to work hard by staying up all night.  Dinah was left alone with Stony.      "Dinah." Stony's voice was a whisper.  "I'm so happy, Dinah."      Dinah looked over his battered form and choked back tears.  "Happy, Stony?"      He moved his head so he could see her, and pain washed over his face.  He clos…

The Mental Ward - The Invasion Begins (26)

The control box was heavier than Emery expected.  She grunted as she lifted it in her arms and hurried into the hallway toward the elevator.      Beth trotted beside her.  "Where are we going, Emery?"      "We're getting you out of here."  She stopped in front of the elevator, setting the box on the floor and flipping a couple switches.      "You're letting them in?" Beth asked.      "Yes.  They can get in the lobby now. And we can use the elevator." Emery pushed the button in the wall and the elevator came to life.  As the doors slide open, she shoved the control box inside.  "Are you coming, Beth?"       Beth ducked into the elevator and eyed Emery.  "You're not going to give me to them?"      "Of course not.  I told you I would get you out of here."      "Why?" Beth wrinkled her nose.      Emery counted the floors as the elevator dinged passed each one.  "If one of my sisters were…

The Mental Ward - We're Ready (25)

"Hello?" Emery held the intercom button.  "Anyone there?"       "Hi, Miss Clayton, we're here.  Have you found the control box?" A voice crackled through the intercom.      Emery glanced down at the sheet under the desk.  "Yes, I've got it."      "Okay."  There was a scrambling noise and then a new voice came on the line.  "Miss Clayton, the first thing is to get you out of there.  Use the box to open the necessary doors and bring the box to us."      Beth chewed a finger, looking worriedly at Emery.      Emery shook her head at Beth.  "No.  I think you should come to us.  And one of the staff here needs a doctor.  I'll open the doors for you."      The intercom went silent for a moment.  Then a voice spoke.  "Miss Clayton, can you tell us exactly where Beastly is?"      "No."      "That's okay, Miss Clayton.  Don't worry about it.  We are ready."      A voice …

My Deepest Apologies...and a Tiny Excuse

Hi, guys...

     I am making an appearance today to request your pardons.

     I may seem to be a bad blog host.  I promised you a story episode on Saturday, and I did not deliver.

     It's true.

     And I'm sorry.

     I offer as an excuse the fact that our internet went down -- unexpectedly, unexplainedly, and irrevocably for several days.

     I will make it up to you somehow.  And, if our internet behaves itself, I will be posting regularly again now.

      Thank you for your grace and forgiveness.

Yours Truly,


Behind the Scenes Writing Tag

Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing? Not particularly. If I'm hungry, I nibble on whatever we have in the house. But typically food is not on my brain while I'm writing.
When do you normally write? Night, afternoon, or morning? Whenever I get the chance. This may be early in the morning...or sometime in the afternoon...or late after everyone else has gone to bed.

Where do you write? Most of my writing is done at the computer in a corner separated from the kitchen by a thin wall. Which means that writing just before or after a meal is difficult due to the lively conversations right next to my ear.
How often do you write a new novel? Thanks to Rooglewood, I write at least one new short story every year. My full-length novels take longer, and I haven't been doing this long enough to give you a good estimate on time.
Do you listen to music while you write? Not usually. It's a rare thing. Theoretically, listening to music sounds like a great idea. But when…

I Done Told You

The hot sun prickled on Dinah's face and neck, and sweat dripped from every pore.  She straightened up, trying to stretch the ache out of her back.  The rows of tobacco spread out endlessly in every direction, dotted with dark-skinned workers.
       The woman nearest Dinah stood up and wiped the sweat from her face with a kerchief.  "'Bout time for dinner, ain't it?  Is Stony eat'n at his house or yours?"
     Dinah flushed at the mention of the handsome young man.  "He said he eat w' us today."
     The woman grinned and shook her head.  "When you and that boy gwine t' jump the broom?"
     Dinah bent over, burying her face among the tobacco.  She ignored the strain in her back and legs.  "When he akses me."
       The woman reached down again, pulling a handful of nasty tobacco worms from the undersides of the leaves and crushing them under her bare feet.  "Stony's a fine boy.  He'll make you a good…

Snippet: Path of Death

He placed his foot on the first step and his skin prickled with the knowledge that an hundred arrows could be released into his flesh with the flick of a finger.

The Mental Ward - Missing Egypt (24)

Emery was halfway down the hall before she realized Beth hadn't followed her.  The white-clad little girl stood stolidly where Emery had left her.       "Come on, Beth!" Emery called.      Beth didn't move.  "They're not going to let me leave."      A pang hit Emery's heart.  "I know."      "They're going to come at me with their tubes and their needles."  Beth's voice rose.  "They're going to put me back in the Box."  She grasped her hair with both fists.  "I don't want to go back in the Box!"       Emery ran back and grabbed Beth's shoulders.  "Don't panic, Beth.  It's going to be okay.  I'll get you out of here.  Don't forget what's already happened -- remember?  You are already freer than you have been in a long time."       Beth whimpered.  "I need IT.  IT was the only way I was strong enough to fight them."      Emery shook Beth's shou…

Beautiful Books -- November

This month, I am only taking a few questions out of the ten offered.  Some of them are too much of a spoiler at this particular time, or they don't seem to apply, or I have recently answered them elsewhere.  So, in its abbreviated form, here it goes:
1.Is your books turning out like you thought it would be or is is defying your expectations?       A little bit of both, honestly.  Some of it turned out perfectly as planned.  Other bits turned out better than I imagined -- rather catching me off-guard with a turn of a phrase or a plot twist.  And some parts turned out much, much harder to write than I expected.
5. What do you look for in a name?  Do you have themes and where do you find your names?      I look for the sound of it -- how does it roll off my tongue?      Sometimes I look for the definition of a name -- sometimes I will start with a meaning and find a fitting name that means what I want it to.  Sometimes I will even put a word into Google Translate and make a name out…

ROOGLEWOOD announcement

Attention, those of you participating in the Rooglewood contest, please check out an important announcement on the Rooglewood page:!writing-contest/c22i6
The guidelines haven't changed for us -- we still have the same deadlines. But there is a window of time wherein any submitted forms will have to sit patiently in an inbox for a while. In other words, if you submit your application tomorrow, you can count on not getting your "please-send-your-story" email until December 20th.
Applications must still be postmarked by December 16, and stories must still be submitted by the end of December.
So really, nothing has changed for us, except now we are prepared to be patient. I don't know about you, but I'm actually glad to know I have that long for edits without feeling like THEY are waiting on ME.

The Mental Ward - Beth's Hope (23)

"Precious was your cat?" Emery shook her head incredulously.  "My father came home from work with that story and told me when I was just a little girl."      Beth opened her mouth and shut it again.  She chewed her lip.  "Can I...?"  Her eyes flickered over Emery's face and then dropped to the ground.  "Can I go home now?"      Emery's eyes watered.  "Yes."  She reached out, cupping her hand under Beth's chin.  "Yes, I think so."  She dropped her hand and hurried down the hallway ahead of her young charge.  "I just need to figure a way to get you out of here alive."

Snippet: Strong Enough to Wake the Dead

“Don’t worry.  This won’t hurt you,” the little girl said majestically.  She wiped the leaf on his lips.

       Detlef sucked in a breath as his eyes started to water.  “Won’t hurt?  It burns like pepper on an open wound.”

     She scrunched her face and peered up at him hopefully.  “Won’t hurt…much?”
     He laughed.  “Whoo-eee.”  And blinked the tears away.  "I'll be reluctant to try your cooking when you grow up."

The Mental Ward - The Other Side (22)

Andrew Carlysle pushed open the door to his wife's dressing room.  She sat at the far end, disconsolantly, by a window.  Her hair hung loose over her neck, and her nightgown was black.      Andrew waved a maid into the room.  "Set the box on the table."      The maid carried a box in and did as he directed.  Then she curtsied and left.      Andrew crossed the floor to the table and fingered the silver bow on the box in silence.  Her silence.      "I brought you a dress -- dark blue."  His voice sounded loud in the quiet room.  "I thought it might be time to try a little color.  Nothing too drastic, but..."      "Black is the color for me." Her voice was calm and cultured, but it carried the undertone of some deep emotion.      A puff of exasperated air escaped Andrew's lips.  "It's been 7 years.  People don't wear black for 7 years. A week.  A month maybe.  Not 7 years."      She turned her head and looked at him…

One Lovely Blog Award - from Clara

       Clara Stone, from The Golden Dusk, nominated me for the "One Lovely Blog Award."  Therefore, I shall follow two of these three rules:
Rule 1) Link back to the blogger who nominated you (that's Clara, of course)
Rule 2) Post seven facts about yourself
Rule 3) Nominate 15 other bloggers to participate       The last rule, I'm going to modify a little bit because I'm not sure I can come up with 15 names on the spot.

      Now for the seven facts:

1. I can scratch out a simple tune on almost any woodwind, string, or percussion instrument.  Brass instruments are still rather hit or miss for me.  And I am not terribly skilled at any one instrument because I don't consistently practice.  :/

2. I can't really read sheet music.  My reading level is like first grade:!  r-r-r-r-r--a-a-a-a-a--n-n-n-n-n-n...  I am wel…

Rooglewood Contest -- Challenges as the Deadline Approaches

Greetings, fellow writers and readers!  I decided it was time for an update on our contest entries.  Can you believe it is November already???
THE COUNTDOWN Deadline to turn in submission forms: 6 weeks 2 days Deadline for submission of stories: 8 weeks 3 days Announcement of winners: 17 weeks 1 day
     Are you getting excited yet?  We still have a little bit of time left, but the end is in sight!      I am still working on mine, and these final few weeks bring up a few new challenges.
1) The "Oh, no, this is a mess" challenge      The deadline is approaching and your story is only halfway done.  Or it's completely written but has major plot holes.  The challenge here is NOT TO PANIC.        This is where SPINDLE was a week ago.  And it was not cooperating.  In all honesty, I wrote and rewrote a dozen times.  It was like pulling hens' teeth and I couldn't seem to get anywhere.  And then suddenly it just all smoothed out again.  I have absolutely no tricks …