Friday, September 19, 2014

#ThursThreads - Week 136 - Winners

Week 136 of #ThursThreads had some terrific tales. I'm honored to see all of the returning writers and read your stories. Thank you for coming back again and again to write and for helping me celebrate these years of flash. And so great to have some new faces in the crowd this week. Welcome! Great thanks to Cindy Stark for judging this week. Be sure to check out the #ThursThreads #flashfiction group on FB to keep up with news, etc.

  • Alice Raine | @AliceRaine1
  • Silver James | @SilverJames_
  • Eden Connor | @EdenConnor
  • Wendy Strain | @WendyStrain
  • Susanne Matthews | @jandsmatt
  • Kelly Heinen | @Aightball
  • Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil
  • Sandi Layne | @sandyquill
  • KB Gardener | @KBGardener
  • Charley Emma | @Charley_001
  • Anna Lund | @AnnaLund2011
  • Josh Peters | @Joshbgosh
  • Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir
  • Cara Michaels | @caramichaels
  • Even Sultry | @EvenSultry
Cindy says: So many great entries. It really was hard to choose.

Winners Announcement:

Honorable Mentions

Josh Peters | @josbgosh
Cindy says: I was immediately drawn into the story and wondered why Gana seemed so afraid. Having rich clothing, joyous family members and being chosen seemed like good things until I read the surprising last line.

Sandy Layne | @sandyquill
Cindy says: I found Stephan's attitude endearing and loved seeing Mikki through his eyes. Loved the beginning of their romance and his thoughts when he kisses her. Dying to know what happens next.

Silver James | @SilverJames_
Cindy says: This story has great characterization and a sexy, sizzling level of heat. Love that he's so strong and yet she has a hold over him.

Week 136 Winner

Cindy says: The first paragraph was pure poetry. The heroines internal dialogue gave me great insight into her character, and I fell in love with both characters immediately.

“How does she end up among the stars? The woman who wants the earth and grass between her toes, who studies and tends the life the soil offers up?”

His words carried a romance that turned my cheeks red. He offered me the distance of third person to tell my tales. Silly that it should work. He had a surprising knack with people, my space pirate. A half-smile curved my lips. And when had I started thinking of him as mine?

“It cannot have been easy to trade the endless cycles of growth for the dead of space.”

“No.” Maybe I—she—even changed her mind once or twice. “But then she gets a letter. You know what I mean?” Had he ever seen paper?

“I’m familiar with the concept.” He grinned. “I made a fortune on parchment and stationery once on the third moon of—” He cut himself short. “So. She receives a letter…”

“Understand, out of tens of thousands of candidates, twenty get this particular letter.” The claustrophobia of those insane early months closed in on me— “The press is hounding our every move, family and friends are angry and hurt, those who didn’t make the cut hate us. And there’s EASA, just feeding the frenzy. Go here. Smile there. Wave. Yep, here we are—the chosen ones. Gaea’s Chosen.”

“Do not ask me to pity you, love.” His smile invited a response. “For the journey brought you to me, a turn of events I cannot regret.”

Congratulations THIRTEEN TIME Winner Cara, Josh, Sandi, and Silver! Don't forget to claim your badges and display them with pride. You certainly earned it!

Pass on the great news on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, shiny mirrors, Morse Code, and signal flags. Check out all the stories here. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading! :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 136

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. It's Thursday today, so get your flash ready. Writing a #flashfiction thread! Welcome to Week 136 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Want to keep up each week? You're welcome to join the FB #ThursThreads group where we'll do events and make announcements. Need the rules? Read on.

Here's how it works:
  • The prompt is a line from the previous week's winning tale.
  • The prompt can appear ANYWHERE in your story and is included in your word count.
Rules to the Game:
  • This is a Flash Fiction challenge, which means your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 250.
  • Incorporate the prompt anywhere into your story (included in your word count).
  • Post your story in the comments section of this post
  • Include your word count (or be excluded from judging)
  • Include your Twitter handle or email (so we know how to find you)
  • The challenge is open 7 AM to 8 PM Mountain Time
  • The winner will be announced on Friday, depending on how early the judge gets up.
How it benefits you:
  • You get a nifty cool badge to display on your blog or site (because we're all about promotion - you know you are!)
  • You get instant recognition of your writing prowess on this blog!
  • Your writing colleagues shall announce and proclaim your greatness on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus

Our Judge for Week 136:

Medical heroine, mom of teenagers (read = supermom), and romantic suspense author, Cindy Stark.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“We are the chosen ones.”

All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Now, away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThreads. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mid Week Tease - Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack - Clarity of Hindsight

Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for a new year of Mid Week Tease hosted by Sandra Bunino.

Authors: this is a great opportunity to spotlight a few lines or even a paragraph or two from a new release or backlisted title. Readers: you get to sample some delicious snippets! We’ll do our best to tease, titillate and tantalize you into the weekend.

Today I'm offering snippets from Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack, a paranormal romantic suspense. Julianna Morris has been chosen as a Luna candidate, the Alpha female hopeful, and Sabrina is helping her understand her Sister self, the wolf half of her. This is Julianna's first controlled shift.

The world had changed significantly. Every detail was sharper. Honeybees buzzed around the few flowers in the clearing wearing sharp jackets of gold and black while the rocks cast knife-edged shadows on individual blades of grass, waving gently in the breeze like green bristly hair. Everything seemed bigger or taller than she remembered. Even Sebrina looked down on her, though her face showed a satisfied smile.
“Very good, my daughter.” Her whisper carried like a normal voice to Julianna’s ears.
Sounds she’d been ignoring, such as the woodpecker pounding on a tree somewhere nearby or the patter of little rodent feet through the under growth, were as clear as if she’d put on headphones. She inhaled deeply and smelled the rodents and flowers and bees and the deer that had passed through this clearing earlier that morning. Sebrina’s scent wove its way into her awareness, a mixture of satisfaction, wolf, and pride. Before Julianna could savor the sights and scents, sharp surprise, sorrow, and regret tainted the air around the Paiute woman, and her smile disappeared.
Quick as lightning, the woman grabbed Julianna’s muzzle and turned her head sharply to the right, staring at her intently. Julianna had never seen herself in her wolf form so she had no idea what Sebrina was looking at, but whatever it was, the woman paled, and her hand shook where it touched Julianna’s muzzle.
Julianna whined uncertainly and thought, “What, Sebrina?”
The woman jerked as if she’d been slapped and stared at Julianna’s eyes with surprise and disbelief.
“It cannot be,” she whispered then, shaking her head in denial without letting Julianna free of her grip. “It cannot be.”
Julianna whined again. “What can’t be? I don’t understand.”
“Great Mother Moon, I never thought…to see…”
Julianna’s Sister didn’t like the scents coming from Sebrina and tucked her tail between her hind legs, trying to back away from the agonized Paiute woman. A whine full of fearful confusion escaped from Julianna’s chest, and she quailed at the loss of confidence in her inner wolf.
You must be your Sister’s leader, her protector. You must lead in your transformation from now on. It will keep you and your Sister safe. Sebrina’s instructions shot through Julianna’s awareness, and she pushed forward, taking the lead from her Sister.
Julianna tugged her head in Sebrina’s hand, pulling her lips back to bare her teeth, but the woman held fast for a few more moments. Sebrina appeared to be lost in whatever showed on Julianna’s face and the sorrow radiating from her overwhelmed her scent. Julianna’s Sister started to panic, and when Julianna growled like an animal cornered at the edge of fight or flight, Sebrina released her, dropping to her knees in the grass.
“I’m sorry, daughter, so sorry!” Sebrina wailed as she flattened her hands in the grass and placed her head between her arms until her forehead touch the ground. “I didn’t understand all those years ago, and I was afraid. Please forgive me.”

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