Friday, August 16, 2013

Flash Friday



This week's Flash Fiction piece is brought to you by Monique Happy. Find her links at the end, and enjoy!

Triumph of Chastity

She cocked her greying head and listened intently.  She could faintly hear a baby crying, which was odd because she was nowhere near the village.  It should have been deserted this far out in the forest.  She rose stiffly to her feet, grabbed the lantern from the table and stepped outside.  The evening air was cool and dark, and the lantern cast only a faint circle of light around her feet.  It was enough, however, to light her way along the path to the creek.  She could still hear the baby, its wail drawing her on.  She shivered and hugged her shawl more tightly about her with her left hand, the right holding the lantern before her.

“Hello?  Is anyone there?”  She called out, then wondered why she felt so nervous.  After all, if someone was traveling the dark forest at night with a baby, they probably weren’t a brigand or a…

*sssnaaappp* 

She froze as she heard the branch break.  All sounds nearby ceased, the forest holding its breath.  She felt the hairs on the back of her neck bristle and she knew she was not alone. 

“Hello?  I know you’re there.  Come out.”  She tried a commanding tone, but her voice quavered, betraying her fear.  She cleared her throat and called out again, louder this time.  “Show yourself!” 

Slowly, out of the darkness ahead a large, glowing shape detached itself from the lingering shadows of the conifer trees.  Pacing regally towards her was a creature straight out of myth.  It was vaguely horse-like in appearance, but its head was tinier, its neck more sinuous and lithe.  What brought a gasp of delight to her wrinkled lips was the creature’s luminescent, nascent horn which spiraled straight up from its forehead.  The unicorn - for that’s what it was - stopped directly in front of her and then bent its front legs in obeisance.  It bleated gently, and she recognized the sounds she'd been following. 

"Well, hasn't this turned into a fortunate excursion?  Come here, my beauty," she crooned, aged hands stroking the unicorn's nose.  The beast rose to its feet and trustingly followed her along the path towards home.  The old crone smiled to herself, her fingers tangled in its mane.  With what she could get for selling the unicorn's parts on the black market, she could retire and get out of this damned forest.  It certainly came in useful, sometimes, being the oldest virgin in the kingdom.

Finis



Visit my website: http://www.moniquehappy.com
Follow my tweets: http://twitter.com/moniquehappy

Friday, August 9, 2013

Flash Friday

It's that time again, Flash Fiction Friday. This week's piece is also from the writing prompt, "You find a package with nothing but your name on it."

Package
Rick Powell



July 12, 2013
This is my confession in the death of Judith Robinson. I do not know how long I have left. I feel the poison going through my system as I write this. My hand is still burning from the needle after it pierced my left hand. I hope to finish this statement before I pass out. Yeah, I killed her. Me. Johnathon Edwards of 131 Maple Street in Monince, Delaware. I killed her by strangulation on June 6th, 2013. I killed her in the back of the Chemistry Room 101 in the Monince College Campus. I do not know how she managed it. I know it was her. No one could have done this to me. She always said she would never die without me. I had no idea what I got myself into when I fell in love with her. She loved me even more. I tried breaking it off so many times when the love faded. She wouldn't let go. She would not stop loving me. Even when I could not take it anymore and had my hands squeezing her neck, she never screamed or even showed any fear. Just her smile. She was strange. She was different. I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I could think clearly. I am following the instructions in the package I opened up 3 hours ago that just had JOHN written on it that was left at the door of my dorm. The box is on the counter along with the note she left with the instructions to write this confession. The syringe is on the table after I pulled it out of the packing peanuts. I knew she would get me. God help me, I knew. Look at the date on the package. Look at when it was mailed. I could not have believed it myself. There was no way I could have been free after what I did. Look at the letter. That is her writing. I know her writing. That package was mailed 2 weeks after her death!
Hard to breathe god forgive m

Friday, August 2, 2013

Flash Friday

It's that time of the week! Flash Fiction Friday.

This week's prompt was, "You find a package at your door with nothing but your name on it."

MATURE CONTENT WARNING
Please be aware, the following content is for audiences 18 and older.

The Day My Heart Came Back
Eric Keys
Word count: approx. 525


I heard the box land on the front porch with a thud. I opened the door and could tell it wasn't an official package from any shipping service. It looked like it was wrapped by a one-armed drunk. And there was no address, just my name - Johnny. Well, not my real name but the one I used most often.
I tore it open and inside it was my still-beating heart. I half expected to see a note saying: From the city of San Francisco. Instead I saw Liz out of the corner of my eye aiming a sawed-off shotgun at me with her left hand. Her right arm was mangled beyond recognition.
"That explains the wrapping job," I said. She then shot my face up with the shot-gun. "Bitch," I said.
I pulled my heart out of the box and began to eat it.
"Better eat it fast, the cops are hot on my trail," she said. "State police should figure out which way I'm headed pretty fast and the locals will be here shortly thereafter."
"I'm underwhelmed with the response," I said as I saw one town cruiser pull up.
"I guess I overestimated how soon they'd pick up my scent," she said.
By this time my wife had woken up from her drunken stupor and come down to see what the commotion was all about. The cop was pointing his gun at us and yelling something.
"I got to disentangle myself before we go, Lizzie," I said. I then grabbed my wife by the neck and twisted her head with a satisfying crack. The cop shot me a few times. I guess he underestimated how quickly Liz could move because she clocked him good with the butt of her shotgun.
I secured his half-conscious body in the back of his cruiser and Liz began licking the blood and gore left on my face from her shotgun blast. "You sure know how to get a guy's motor running," I said, watching her spit out little bits of buckshot she had torn from my mangled flesh. "But we got to run. Our Patrons probably would frown on a big shoot out with the cops."
She nodded and we got in the car. She rode shotgun, of course. As we drove, the cop in the back started sobbing. "Please don't kill me, I've got kids," he choked out.
"Oh, shit," I said, "we can't kill him 'cuz he's got kids."
"Well," said Lizzie, adopting a very rational tone, "we'll just have to kill his kids first."
The stupid cop went back to sobbing. I knew Liz could get the locations of his children from him. She can be very persuasive. I couldn't wait to watch his face as we killed the little tykes in front of him, pain all the worse for knowing he'll have let them down by helping us find them.
"I love you, Lizzie," I said.
"Don't be a sentimental fuck," she replied with a huge smile, rubbing my hard cock through my bloody jeans with her good hand.
Criticism, kudos and hate mail always appreciated. Leave comments below or 
feel free to email me at eric.keys@live.com.
Also visit Eric's blog.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Flash Friday

It's that time again. Flash Fiction Friday! Just because I say 'flash' does not mean it is an excuse to get naked.

This week's prompt: Write about moving and neighbors.
Please note, some content is not suitable for under 18.
Here are a couple pieces from Hydra Morningstar and Rick Powell:

Moving Day For Cody
by Hydra M. Star

Cody never understood why his neighbors didn’t like him. He was a hard working guy, living in a working class neighborhood. He didn’t bother no one. Sure, he’d gotten into that little feud with the people who use to live next door a few years ago. The police made too much of a big deal out of that and he’d spent three weeks in jail because of it.

That girl was only fifteen, but when he dropped his pants in the middle of the street and exposed himself to her, inviting her to “suck it”, that wasn’t the first time she’d seen a penis. He was willing to beat everything he owned on that little fact. No, sir, and the police wouldn’t listen to him when he tried to explain that all he was trying to do, when he went out front and started screaming at her and her brothers, was to get them to stop playing basketball in the street. All the dribbling and running around were annoying. It was the weekend. He was trying to relax and watch a little television, but instead he got taken to jail because a bunch of disrespectful kids got smart with him when he told them to knock it off.

It was all okay in the end, though. He got them back for calling the law. They’d never been able to prove who gave them puppies of theirs that anti-freeze and they moved not long after. Good riddance!

After that Cody–who’d already lost his driver’s license due a couple of traffic cops a few different nights not having anything better to do than pull him over and give him a breathalyzer test–had a hard time finding and keeping a job. Damn owner of the garage where he use to work fired him because he couldn’t legal drive a car and “couldn’t stay out of trouble”. Damn cops! Damn boss! Damn neighbors! Damn them all! Didn’t they know our society is going to shit? Good hard working Americans were being pushed out of their jobs by legals, every day. But no, none of them were worried about arresting none of them. They were too worried about how many beers a night Cody had and how he got home from the bar and rather or not he was still driving that old truck of his. The one without proper headlights or insurance. But won’t none of that any of their business. He was an American, born and raised. He paid his taxes.

Well, he would have paid them had he not been being paid cash, under the table. Damn Obamacare wasn’t going to be funded by him.

That was why he’d started working on cars in his backyard, but damn if the neighbors hadn’t complained about that too. They were worried about him not properly disposing of old oil and other fluids from the engines he worked on. What did these idiots think the sewers where for, if not to flush fluids into? It won’t going to hurt nothing and the noise? Yeah, old engines make a lot of noise. So, what? Won’t no one asleep at ten at night, no way. He had jobs to do and money to make. But no one understood any of that, they just kept calling the law and the law kept telling him he didn’t have the proper zoning and permits to run an auto repair shop out of his backyard.

So, Cody was damn glad to be moving. Damn glad. Maybe his next batch of neighbors would all be a little more reasonable.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

4/12/1998. The smiling neighbors next door helped me me the numerous boxes in the to loading truck. Perfect spring day. This new job in the city will help me pay off those bills in no time. Jessica objected to the move. We argued for weeks about this but it is for the best. She said the apartment is too small for the both of us but once I start making the good money, it will change in no time. Loading went easy until we moved the crate. took all 3 of us to carry it. Everything fits fine now on the truck. 

4/13/1998. Finally arrived and got everything carried in. Took a little time to drive here. Had to make the detour by the river last night. It was easier to unload the crate off the truck and just have it fall into the water. It is heavy enough and sunk fast. 

4/15/1998. Finally settled in. This one-bedroom apartment is just what I need. Will report for work tuesday.

--Rick Powell

Friday, July 12, 2013

Flash Friday

This week's Flash Friday prompts were, "Use the full moon and cigarettes in your story" and a photo prompt of a fox chasing a mouse over snow:

Do I smoke too often?
Allow me to light a cigarette
While I think about that.
It is a night of memories,
All reflected in the vacant eyes

Of the Man in the Moon.

I wanted to be the moon
Before outsiders pushed me toward poison.
But someone told me once I would be
A wonderful moon, indeed.

On some nights, I hear that belief;
Or I see him when I look in the mirror.
I feel the empty spaces
Which should be occupied by him;
The infinite density of surrounding voids.

But he remains there;
In a way no drop of alcohol,
No needle, no balm or cigarette ever can;
In a way which only this full moon
And I can hope to feel.

 
--M.H.P.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“We see here the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) pursuing its prey the grey field mouse (Mus musculus) in the never ending struggle that is life in the wild.”

The fox stops, “Excuse me, my name is Jerry and this is Ted.”

“Yeah,” Ted adds in. “this is a game of tag until the Coffee Shop opens.”

“Damned no-it-all British narrators!” the fox says shaking his head. Then he turns to Ted and hits him. “Tag you’re it!”


--Joseph DeRepentigny
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She used to look out at the newly fallen snow when she was a child. The beauty and unblemished wonderment as far as the eye can see. One day, she spied the playful fox chasing the small mouse at a frantic pace. The skittering rodent always a few paces ahaed. When she pleaded with her mummy to go out to play, her mother would give in with a sigh. When her mother finally bundled her up for the journey outside, there were no creatures to be found. Even more strange is the absence of any pawprints or any evidence they were there at all. The little girl would lumber back inside, saddened but hopeful that her playmates will be back again tomorrow.

--Rick Powell

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

*Poof!* purple smoke filled the room, causing the two sisters to cough. Fanning a hand in front of her face, Vix glared at her sibling. "I told you it wouldn't work," she said. 

"Open a window, we can at least clear out the room," Min snapped, scowling at her sister's back. Throwing open a shutter, the room began to clear. 

"You're just lucky it was smoke this time," Vix said. "The last time you messed up a spell, mum and dad were turned into trolls." Min stuck out her tongue at Vix. 

"It could have been worse. I know what ingredient I missed, let's try again." Vix sighed and re-lit the candle. The two sisters began to cast their spell... 

*Pop! Pop!* 

"Oops," Min squeaked. 

"Oops?" Vix growled. "I thought you said you knew what you did wrong?" Vix lashed her fluffy orange tail and before her sister could say 'cheese', had chased her out into the crisp winter day. "You better fix this! I don't want to be a fox for all eternity!" 

Min bounced over the fresh snow, and said, "You think I want to be a mouse!?"

--Mel Chesley 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Flash Friday

The prompt for the following pieces of Flash Fiction was: "When is it okay to lie?"

Here are 3 pieces from some of our Word Weavers:


 Joseph DeRepentigny:

John sat in the living room watching TV. It wasn’t a particularly good show but it was something. Just then, his wife Delores walks in wearing an awful looking dress.
“What do you think?” she asks.
He looks at her and ponders the truth. Tell her it is awful and face a night of arguing or say nothing. The decision made he grunts.
“Does it make me look fat?”
He bites his tongue. He could say, “That’s an awful lot of blame to put on a dress.”
Instead, he shakes his head and says, “No, you’re fine.”


BC Brown:

Now. Now, he thought, would be an okay time to lie. It was one-thirty in the morning, on the most exciting day of any child's life - Christmas Eve. Well, officially Christmas morning now. And he should lie. His daughter's bright green eyes peering up at him beneath long blonde lashes, THE question lurking in their depths. "Will Santa really bring me presents tonight?" she asked. He should lie. It would be okay; it's socially acceptable to lie to a four year old about Santa Claus. But Dan Jamison couldn't bring himself to lie to his little child - his sweetheart. Not even for the preservation of the Santa myth. Yes, now it would be okay to lie but, as he sat on the bed beside her, he realized he might have the lie on the tip of his tongue but its weight was too much in his heart.

Rick Powell:

She put the little bundle down on the step at the Police Station that spring night. A tear falling from her eye as she bends down an kisses the slumbering baby on the forehead. She has spent $75.00 to take the bus here. She knows she should have met up with the couple 5 miles south into the city. They were going to pay the $10,000.00 that Calvin said they would. Cash. Then Samantha showed her the article in the paper from 7 years ago. The same couple. Arrested for the slave trade. Did she really want to give her baby to them? She needed a hit so bad. Her body ached for it. Calvin is expecting her call. There is no telling what he will do if he doesn't get that money. She wipes the tear away as she dials the number on the pre-paid cell phone he has given her. As she wipes the tear away, he hand brushes against the cheekbone that Calvin fractured 8 months ago. She types in the number. Shivers as she waits for him to pick up. "You got the money?", he growls. "Yeah, baby", she says, lips quivering. "I'm on my way back." She ends the call. Walks towards the bus stop. Knowing that she will not come back here. Ever. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Flash Friday

  • Upon the Watchtower
    Dylan T. Miller



    The field outside had been empty for weeks, save the occasional caravan or courier. They would lay overnight, sometimes staying through the next morning, but never longer than that. I know because I watched them from the old lighthouse, rifle at hand. That field was the sole barrier between ocean and Corel, the settlement I called home, and my nerves were always shot when bedrolls appeared around a campfire. Yesterday, though, I couldn't sleep, couldn't close my eyes because of the scene that replayed in the darkness.
    It was a calm and quiet morning, two days ago, with but a single messenger sent ahead, weary and worn from the road, to foretell the arrival of a traveling casino. It was quite a buzz in the city to warrant someone relaying the news to my door. Yet my fears were all the same, and the child laughed when I voiced them before running off to his family. Someone luckier than she should ever know. They arrived as the sun set, and I watched all of Corel watch them. There had never been so many of them in one place. Once the tents were up and the switch pulled, the field became like day, full of light and life and energy. The night went by without consequence, with Corel reveling to stacked decks and quick hands. It was a party I was not invited to, for I had no coin on me, so I did as I would have any other night of the year. I sat and watched, rifle at hand.
    I slept as the sun rose, through midday and awoke only as the sun once again fell. Vermin scurried about, so I killed one and set it to roast. The stairs were torture, old wounds upon my legs deciding to flair up at such sudden activity. Curiosity fueled me, curious if the casino had left, if someone had arrived early, if some townsfolk had enjoyed the night so much as to stay and force my hand in relocating them. Yet once I was at my perch, I had to lean against the tower itself, afraid that if I collapsed the railing would fail and let me fall a full six feet into the ground.
    The casino remained, the lights off but otherwise still plying it's trade. I know not how long I stood there, paralyzed as I was, but by the time I could move again the field was alight and the smell of burning raked my nostrils. Adrenalin surged, and I grabbed my rifle before running downstairs for all the ammunition I could find. It was only then that I recalled my breakfast, but it was past saving, so I kicked the spit over before loading boxes of 30-06 into my arms. I used my rifle as a brace to hold it all, legs on fire with pain as I tried to get back to my perch. I arrived just in time, rifle at hand, to be useless.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Flash Friday (Content Warning: 18+)

Please be aware, this Flash Fiction has a content warning, suitable for audiences 18 and older.


The Porcelain Man


I heard laughter from outside. It was time for a cigarette. I threw the blankets from me and, supposing the laughter to be nothing more than a figment of my imagination, I rolled a cigarette and stepped into the night.
The patio glowed a cold blue from Christmas lights wound round the familiar columns and the stairway beneath them. Every surface lay under a sheet of wrapping paper. Snowman holding crimson packages outlining iridescent green. Atop the stairs, a ragged company of twelve or so men and women. Total strangers grimly gazing at me.
“I told you someone lived here,” one said in a wildly flamboyant voice. I thought immediately, That man is a raging queen.
“I know!” said another. He was the only one smiling; from a face of porcelain, his cheeks radiant with blush. He wore a wedding gown, torn here and there; with deeply stained fragments of the garment wrapped around wounds on his arms, he waved to me.
His joy mesmerized me. I backed away and told myself to wake up.
I opened my eyes. I knew it was just a dream, but I decided to go down the stairs and reassure myself.
So, I went down the stairs and the first thing I saw was the porcelain man. I don’t know what happened to the others.
His voice was jubilant.
“Oh!” he laughed. “You’re awake! It’s just like I live here now! I was wondering, did you by any chance hear any gunshots? Several of my friends you met before. They heard gunshots. And I haven’t seen any of them since.”
I opened my eyes.
“Son of a bitch,” I whispered.
That was a terrible dream.
I decided to read for a while. Leave my bed behind.
And when I stepped into the living room, the porcelain man said, “My doctor was a lovely gentlemen. He came form Singapore. I’d love to go and see him, for my prostate is enflamed. But he heard gunshots, you see. And I haven’t seen him ever since.”
I opened my eyes.
“My God! I hope I’m awake.”
I hurried out of bed.
And from the kitchen the porcelain man said, “Summer is my favorite season. For more than just one reason. ‘Tis fun to fight in the middle of the night, if only you would play with me.”
I opened my eyes.
“Please let me be awake!”
I ran from my bed. Jesus Christ! There he was!
“You’ve done a lovely job of not hearing any gunfire. I’m afraid I must leave. But please remember to listen for it. It would be lovely if I could come and entertain again. So, this is good-bye! But before I go, I must clean.”
And a stone crashed through the window. I hurried to the glass and looked down into the lawn. There were his friends from before. I could see their faces shining. The Christmas lights burned so brightly. Their faces were expressionless, iridescent and lost; the flow of blood coagulated from holes in their foreheads. Each of them raised a rock.
From the distance, I heard a rifle firing.
That is when I actually woke up. And ate breakfast.
—Marten Hoyle
Helm, Washington.
2013
(Gothic Comedy for the Profoundly Disturbed)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Flash Friday

I'm going to try to get this blog rolling! So on Fridays, I'd like to start flashing you all.

Flash Fiction, that is!

I'll start off with this. It is entitled "Cherished" and the prompt for it was, "when is it okay to lie?". So without further ado:

“Does this dress make my hips look too wide?” Hannah's mother asked. Hannah rolled her eyes, and blew a bright pink bubble to avoid the question. “Hannah?”
Pop.
“Yes, mom. It makes you look like you need a 'wide load' sign posted right above your rear.”
“Thanks for that,” her mom said, acidly. She shot her daughter a dirty look before disappearing into the changing room. “I don't understand why you can't just tell me a little white lie once in awhile. Why do you always have to be so blatantly honest?”
“I would rather be honest with someone instead of telling them what they want to hear,” Hannah said. She flipped quickly through the pages of the latest fashion magazine, curling her lip at the so-called styles.
“That is not a skill that will get you very far,” her mother chided her.


Hannah pondered what could have caused her to recall that memory as she rode the elevator up to the fourth floor of the hospital. She had been 16 years old. Her mother's words still harangued her, even after all these years. Hannah sighed as the bell dinged, and the doors slid open. She hated hospitals. She didn't know if it was due to the smell, or the idea that people were sequestered away in little rooms while they waited to die, or simply the spread of disease. She could feel the germs creeping along her skin like malicious little sprites waiting for their chance to infect her.
Down the hall, and fourth door on the left. That is where they had taken her mother. They wouldn't let Hannah see her after the accident. She just got in the way. Now she had been stabilized, and they would only allow Hannah to see her for a few moments.
“Is she going to live?” Hannah had asked the doctor, her voice tremulous.
“She's lucky to have come this far. If we don't get the internal bleeding to stop, she may not make it. We're going to do everything we can for her, miss Lanford.”
Hannah stopped in the doorway, and stared at all the tubes and lines connected to her mother. Her beautiful blonde hair that she had always insisted be styled before she left the house, now lay against her skull, dull and flat. If her mother got hold of a mirror...
Hannah worked hard, and made a good life for herself, despite what she now called her best trait and worst flaw. She lost a lot of friends over the years for being so honest. Most of the time, in public, she kept her mouth shut. But at work, she would let her honesty have full reign. She was probably one of the most hated critics at the newspaper. Her stacks of hate mail far outweighed her fan mail. But when she did get a nice letter, a gem in the pile of crap, the person always thanked her for her honesty. Her mother never did understand where it came from. When Hannah was little, she was always told to “be honest”. Hannah lived her life by the Golden Rule, to treat others how she wanted to be treated. She certainly didn't want people to lie to her, so she took it to heart.
One of the monitors beeped as Hannah stood by her mother's bedside. As she looked down, her mother's eyes fluttered open. For a moment, she looked at Hannah, confusion furrowed her brow. After a moment, recognition flickered, and her mother smiled weakly.
“There you are,” she said. She could barely speak, the oxygen mask muffled her words.
“Don't try to talk, mom.” Hannah dropped her coat on the nearby chair, tried to hide the pained expression on her face. She had always known she would lose her mom someday, but not now. Not like this. Taking a deep breath to compose herself, she turned back to her mother, but she had fallen back asleep. Hannah dragged the chair over to the bed, and sat down.
It seemed like hours passed instead of moments when her mother opened her eyes again, and looked up. Hannah smoothed back her mother's hair, and tried to smile.
“I look like hell,” her mother said.
“No,” Hannah shook her head. “You look fine. Really.”
She stared at her daughter, breathing in her oxygen. “Am I going to make it?”
Hannah thought it over a moment, debating whether or not to tell the truth. Her mother studied her with serious eyes as Hannah struggled with the Honesty demon within.
“Yes, mom. You're going to be just fine. The Doc reassured me. You might even be out of here in a couple of days.”
Her mother regarded her for several long moments.
“That is exactly... what I wanted to hear.” Her mother's eyes closed once more, and her breathing became slow and even. Hannah stayed close, knowing in her heart it would be the last time she would see her mother, and those may have been her last words.
It was a short time later when Hannah noticed her mother's chest had stopped rising, and she had a peaceful look upon her face.

by Mel Chesley

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Review: "House of Cards" by Juli D. Revezzo

 Title: House of Cards

Author: Juli D. Revezzo

Publisher: Raven Queen Publications

Pages: 28 (Print), File size: 119 kb

ASIN: B009LAH1Q6

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords



 Summary from Amazon:

You can't escape Fate....

A young nobleman escapes the Reign of Terror in 18th century France to find himself dragged into an even worse fate--a hellish underworld wherein he is cajoled and put on trial by a demon tribunal for crimes he never committed. Can he answer thwart his fate, one worse than the guillotine?


My thoughts:

This short story was a great read. It packed a solid punch and moved rapidly, but not so much you got lost in the rush. It was just right. It reminded me of Dante's Inferno in the fact it was different levels of hell but were riddles instead. Imagine having to move through the afterlife with just your wits about you. If you went mad, you'd be screwed.
However this story also had some special meaning hidden within, in the form of Tarot cards. How you read the Tarot depends entirely on you and your knowledge of the craft. Not everyone listens to their instincts when it comes to reading Tarot. You simply cannot just glance at the image and judge the card by that image. Deeper meanings abound. So while you read this twisted tale, learn the lesson it tries to teach. And not just the one about avoiding graveyards after dark.

I give it a solid five out of five skull and crossbones.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Review: "Spooky Showcase" by Alan Draven

Title: Spooky Showcase

Author: Alan Draven

Publisher: Pixie Dust Press

Pages: 344 (Print), File size: 530 kb

ISBN 10: 0981021336 (ISBN 13: 978-0981021331)
ASIN: B00A6TFQ4U

Purchase: Amazon and Barnes & Noble



Description (From Amazon.com):

A collection of spooky tales featuring three short stories and two novellas--including a brand new novella and an unpublished short story: • The Paradigm • Beyond the Doomed Cave • The Rattling Man • A Madman's Atonement • Vengeance is Mine

My thoughts:

Lots of chilling tales from 'The Rattling Man' to 'Beyond the Doomed Cave'. The book gave me some goosebumps and soothed my nerves with some light humor. Alan Draven's take on Jack the Ripper in 'Vengeance is Mine' is pretty twisted. I never would have pegged the serial killer as... well, I can't tell you!
Well written, lots of different stories all set in Bitternest, Louisiana (except for 'Vengeance').

I give it 4 skull and crossbones.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book Review: "The Goddess's Choice" by Jamie Marchant

 Title: The Goddess's Choice

Author: Jamie Marchant

Publisher: Reliquary Press

Pages: 385 (Print), File size: 902 kb

ASIN: B007VPA9R6

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble



Overview (from Amazon):

Samantha’s ability enables her to discern a person’s character through their multi-colored aura, and Robrek’s makes him the strongest healer the kingdom has seen in centuries. But their gifts also endanger their lives. Royals scheme to usurp the throne by marrying or killing Samantha, and priests plot to burn Robrek at the stake. Robrek escapes the priests only to be captured by Samantha’s arch-enemy, Duke Argblutal; Argblutal intends to force the princess to marry him by exploiting Robrek’s powers. To save their own lives and stop the realm from sinking into civil war, Robrek and Samantha must consolidate their powers and unite the people behind them.

My thoughts:

This was an awesome read! Now, I first have to warn you that this is absolutely an 18+ read. There is some sexual bits and language.

With that out of the way, let me just say I was sucked into this story from the moment I began. The story moves along at a very good pace, not too fast but not slow, either. The world is well developed as are the characters. It kept me up long into the night, reading. I didn't want to put it down until I was finished.

Samantha is a strong female character and Robrek is her equal. Neither of them make the other feel inferior. The other characters are just as developed and hold their own in the story. There were two instances I wanted closure from, but feel I didn't get, but that's okay. It leaves room for me and my imagination to hope that it did come about.

The only other issue I have with this book is it could have had another proofread. But the typos weren't so overwhelming as to affect the flow of the story. I did also contact the author about the formatting of the ebook for Kindle, but again, I didn't let that stop me from reading. This. Book!

If you like epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, you'll like this book. Jamie Marchant is an author to keep an eye out for. I'll absolutely be picking up other books!

I give it 4 out of 5 skull and crossbones.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Review: "Children of Sun and Moon" by Matt Larkin

Title: Children of Sun and Moon (Book One of the Skyfall Trilogy)

Author: Matt Larkin

Publisher: Incandescent Phoenix Books

Pages: 356 (Print), File size: 756 kb

ASIN: B00749W3XW

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble



Summary (From Amazon):

The Lunar King bargained his daughter away in marriage to end generations of war between the two dynasties of the Skyfall Isles. The King sends his niece Chandi along as handmaid to his daughter. Chandi has two tasks: watch over her cousin, and spy on the Solars. The Solars cost her everything she cares about, and now she wants nothing more than proof of their treachery so she can go home.

She knows little of spying, but the blood of the Moon God running through her veins gives her powers mortals can’t match, powers that let her slip into places she’s not supposed to be. Of course, the more she uses her powers, the faster she becomes a lunatic.

When she discovers a Solar soldier, Naresh, watching her, she decides to return the favor and stick close to him. But as he shows her the wonders of the domed underwater city, she begins to realize the Solars are not what she thought. Soon, she’ll have to choose between loyalty to her people and her own heart.

My Thoughts:

I found this book to be an amazing read. Pure, solid fantasy the way it is supposed to be written. Larkin has built up the world with much ease and grace. Chandi, Naresh, Landi and Malin are all solid characters. Even the characters that are secondary have a depth to them that most secondary characters do not.

Chandi is now added to my list of  favorite female characters. Tough, but not so tough as to question her gender. She can hold her own in a fight, but she's still a woman. She fights for what she believes in and then fights for what she loves.

Naresh is a great character as well. He doesn't come off as a pompous jerk who insists that girls cannot fight. He has been trained with women fighting right beside him. Which includes Landi. She could be described as one of his best friends, but the relationship between these two Arun Guards goes further.

All in all, this story keeps moving at a good pace. You don't get bogged down with so many details that you want to tear your hair out. Some of the words are a little daunting and trying to pronounce them can be an issue, but if you are a fantasy buff, you know how to bypass it all and still keep enjoying the read.

I'm going to throw out a suggestion here, something I rarely, if ever, do. If you are going to purchase this book, I suggest you pick up the prequel to the series first. "Curse of Witch and War". It's a short read and opens you up to a lot more of "Children of Sun and Moon". The reason for the suggestion is it prepares you for the world you are about to enter. Of course, don't take my word for it. Read them in the order you like.

I will absolutely be picking up the rest of the books in this series.

I give it 4 and a half out of 5 skull and crossbones.