Friday, January 30, 2015

#ThursThreads - Week 153 - Winners

Week 153 of #ThursThreads had some great tales. I'm honored to see all of the returning writers and read your stories. It was so nice to see so many of you this week and new folks. Welcome! Thank you for coming back again and again to write and for helping me celebrate these years of flash. Great thanks to Sonya Weiss for judging this week. Be sure to check out the #ThursThreads #flashfiction group on FB to keep up with news, etc.

  • Charles W. Jones | @ChuckWesJ
  • Kelly Heinen | @Aightball
  • Anne Chowdhury | @TwiAddictAnne
  • Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil (prose)
  • Silver James | @SilverJames_
  • Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil (poem)
  • Sandi Layne | @sandyquill
  • Charley Emma | @lindorfan
  • Cynthia Hudson Keane | @AuthorCAKeane
  • Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir
  • David A. Ludwig | @DavidALudwig
  • Eden Connor | @EdenConnor
  • Cara Michaels | @caramichaels
  • Josh Peters | @joshbgosh
Sonya says: This was a lot of fun and I loved the entries. I read the pieces as they came in throughout the day and it was hard to narrow them down. It's easy to tell that these writers aren't beginners.

Winners Announcement:

Honorable Mentions

Josh Peters | @joshbgosh
Sonya says: Because Tina was interesting due to the way the scene was set up. His descriptions were excellent. His ending line gave an image of a character dealing with exhaustion, determination, and strength.

Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil
Sonya says: Because her piece had a solid opening hook in the second sentence. “Do you sleep better this way now that your wife is dead,” asked the prosecutor.” Opening hooks and chapter ending hooks along with characters to root for are something that editors and agents like to see. I thought it was a quirky way to start a scene.

Silver James | @SilverJames_
Sonya says: Because this, “He wanted to wake her, to gather her into his arms, kiss and shower her with words of love. That wasn’t his way. He was a solider. A hard man living an even harder life. But she made him want to be soft, tender” is a good way to present insight into the core of a character. Gave me a mental picture of a great hero.

Week 153 Winner

Sonya says: I picked David A. Ludwig’s piece as the winning entry because of the way he handled the characterization. With this part, “In his time Lenin Blackwell had been a hero, then a drifter and a drinker. By the time I met him he was just a drinker, but that didn’t stop him from saving Chris and I”, he was able to portray a great description. He made Lenin come alive on the page.

Insectile clacking rippled the plains unlike anything I had known. The dark haired drifter on the porch didn’t notice it at all. His stony gaze extended out to stars the other side of the sun’s languid descent. Something about the man was more disquieting than the unseen grass bugs.

In his time Lenin Blackwell had been a hero, then a drifter and a drinker. By the time I met him he was just a drinker, but that didn’t stop him from saving Chris and I. Fumes from his breath dispersed lazily through stifled air. Risking second hand intoxication, I resolved myself to join him on the porch.

Our stubble faced host proffered his flask to me without a sideways glance. Sitting down next to him, I waved off the gracious gesture.

“That stuff will keep you up, you know?”

Hawking a great wad of phlegm back in his throat, Lenin sent it sailing over the rails toward the setting sun. Then he took a long pull from the flask.

“I sleep much better this way.”

In the silence that followed I massaged my legs. My injuries no longer precluded travel.

“I suppose I’ll be heading out tomorrow.” I ventured. “I’ll send doctors back for Chris as soon as I reach town.”

“Doctors can’t do anything I ain’t already doing.” Lenin scratched his chin. “Besides, what happened’s my responsibility.”

I tilted my head, “How do you figure?”

“It’s my fault the bastard was alive to jump you in the first place.”

Congratulations Two Time Winner David, Josh, Sheilagh, 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, January 29, 2015

#ThursThreads - Tying Tales Together - Week 153

Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. It's Thursday today so get your flash ready to celebrate and write a #flashfiction thread! Welcome to Week 152 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. If you're able to join us, we're here. Want to keep up each week? Check out the #ThursThreads #flashfiction group on Facebook. 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 153:

Ghost writer and contemporary romance author, Sonya Weiss.

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

"I sleep much better this way.”

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, January 28, 2015

Mid Week Tease - A Centaur's Solstice Wish - Backup

Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for a new year, literally, 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 my new release A Centaur's Solstice Wish, a sweet M/M fantasy romance, and Book 2 in the Rifts series. Sedgewick is in the infirmary on Christmas Eve and Bethany, from Take the Reins, is talking to Sedgewick about friendship and backup.

"Hey, Sedgewick. How are you feeling tonight?"
Bethany stopped beside his window and gave him a warm smile.
"I'm feeling better tonight, Master Healer. Thank you."
"Oh, you can call me Bethany. It's Christmas Eve. No need to stand on ceremony tonight." She tilted her head with a small frown. "Are you having trouble sleeping? Is the pain bothering you?"
"No, MaBethany." He grimaced at his slip. "I heard you singing."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize it had been that loud. I just get into the spirit of the season and lose track of where I am." She shook her head. "I should remember to be quieter."
"No, no, it was beautiful. Peaceful and yet wistful. Are the songs from your home?"
"The Christmas tunes? Yes. Things we used to sing as kids. We'd go caroling from house to house when my mothermy dam was alive." The Master Healer smiled as she set a lit candle down on the windowsill. "It was damn cold, but the singing kept us warm and there was always hot cider or cocoa waiting for us when we got home."
"That sounds like a pleasant memory." He grimaced as his shoulder twinged. "Full of magic."
"It's a magical time of year."
Sedgewick snorted and shook his head. "Not magical, just harder. Colder. Darker."
"That's why we have candles and cheery fires, and after the solstice, the days get longer again." Bethany gave him an understanding smile. "But it can be a lonely time without loved ones." She sighed a little. "I miss my brother most of all."
Sedgewick heard the sorrow in her voice. "Has your brother returned to the Goddess?"
"What? Oh, no. At least, not that I've heard." She shook her head. "I just don't get to see him much, and now, not at all."
"Why is that, Master Healer?"
"He's a soldier, a fairly elite one, and he's always off saving the world. It's impossible to know if he'll be home for Christmas, and most of the time he's deployed somewhere exotic." She snorted with amusement. "The lucky jerk usually gets to go somewhere warm in the southern hemisphere.” But her smile fell away. “Unfortunately, he doesn't get to have fun there. He's a sniper." She paused. "Do you know what a sniper is?"
Sedgewick frowned and shook his head. "I'm not familiar with the term."
Bethany bit her bottom lip in thought. "He's really sneaky and quiet, and usually takes the enemy out by long range...bow shots. He's too far away for them to see him."
"That doesn't seem like an honorable way to fight."
Bethany nodded. "No, but it's a good way to keep his team safe and to facilitate rescue operations. He's their backup." She smiled a little. "Still, I send prayers up each year to keep him safe. I'm his backup."

Available now at Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords

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