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The Door Part 1: Down the Alley

Summer was good.  Late spring, okay.  So was early fall.  But winter was dying time for the homeless.

Sammy followed the two boys through the snow and stopped on the sidewalk peeking around the corner and down the alley they’d entered.  He watched as they stopped at an oddly shaped door, opened it and disappeared into the lighted interior.

He ran down the alley wanting to see.  The door was closing but what he glimpsed caused his mouth to drop open.

He raced back to the shallow doorway where his little sister, Maddie, huddled.

Perhaps they wouldn’t die after all.

 

The Door Part 2: Leaving

“Where we goin’?”

“It’s a su’prise.”

“We goin’ to th’ mall to git warm?”

“Uh-uh.  Told ya, it’s a su’prise.  Wait ‘n see.”

“’Kay, Sammy.”

He hurried his little sister into the alley halting in front of the strange, wooden door.  He twisted the knob and pushed.  A brilliant light swept into the alley.

“C’mon,” he said, smiling.

They stepped into a warm, sunlit landscape filled with wondrous things.  Maddie squealed with delight, eyes wide, as the door slowly swung shut on the frozen world behind.

Outside, only small footprints in the deep snow ending at a blank wall remained.

 

The Door Part 3: Otherland

A small, smiling elf greeted them as the door closed.  “Welcome, Sammy and Maddie!” it exclaimed.  “I’m Tony.”

“Where we at?” asked Sammy.

“A great place!  Always warm, plenty of food, lots of toys.  It’s called Otherland.  Look around, check it out!”

“How long kin we stay?”

“Forever, Maddie.”

It was wonderful.  All manners of delicious food grew on trees, incredible toys waited for them.

They were hungry so they ate first then played happily.  Until the fiery monster came.

Maddie screamed, Sammy grabbed her hand and raced back the way they’d come.

The door was gone.  Flames licked out.

 

The Door Part 4: The Monster

Fire washed over them.  Sammy held Maddie close, sorry he’d brought them here.

“Well, what are you waiting for?” came a voice from above them.

“Huh?” Amazed, Sammy realized they weren’t burned.

He looked at Maddie and saw she was clean and sparkling.  So was he.  He looked up at the white haired, red monster.

“Whut’d you do?” he asked, puzzled.

“Gave you a bath, what else? You were dirty. Didn’t Tony tell you?”

“No.”

“Darn that elf!  Well, come on, it’s time for bed.”

Taking them both by the hand, Santa lead the children off into their new life.

 

*Note: This was written as a drabble series.  Each part is exactly one hundred words long (not counting the titles).

First, let me say that it has been a while since I read a vampire story, but of course I’ve heard of, and read the synopses and samples of several popular such books, including the ones that were made into a series of movies.

To my pleasant surprise, this one is not like those.  It has a much different (and, in my opinion, much better) plot, and while I generally don’t care for prologs, the one for this book was really good.  It gives the prehistory that explains the circumstances in the story without over-telling, or getting too long and convoluted.

This is not your usual vampire story and I’d like to thank the author, and ebook Miner at Goodreads, for giving it to me for free in return for an honest review.

I’m not much for reading romance and this book does have that element, which is great for those who love romance with their paranormal.  This story, in fact, has a fair amount of elements common to paranormal/fantasy, but the author has managed to present them in such a manner that makes for quite a different and interesting read.

My only criticism is I felt the book would have benefited from at least one more edit as I noticed a few inconsistencies and errors, and some repetitions, that I think would have been caught with another one.

However, for the most part, it is pretty well written and the author seems to have a touch for this kind of tale.  This was an enjoyable read and a great beginning to the series.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has a liking for paranormal/vampire/fantasy.

Second Coming: It’s all just a game by Andrew Smith

 

This is a very well written mystery/ thriller/supernatural/horror story which also dips into metaphysics.  I know that’s a mouthful, but that’s how I see it.  Not to mention the very interesting historical component involving the Crusades.  This story has a lot of twists, and I’m going to be as general as possible as I don’t want to introduce any spoilers, but it’s definitely not for children or the faint of heart.   There is no fluff involved here.   This is deep and dark with lots of violent action, and a lot of the horror is not of the supernatural variety.

The book starts a little slow, in Jerusalem, with the very pregnant wife of the protagonist, Charles, stopping on a lark to see a fortune teller, or oracle, and immediately getting into a situation that went terribly wrong.  The plot builds up from there, and  I must admit that at first I thought it wasn’t going to be my kind of story or to my tastes at all because of the violence, or the political/religious aspects, and I’m not much into either of those.  If you feel that way, I would advise you to keep reading.  I did, and am extremely glad I did.

The author is so descriptive with his characters that in short order, the reader gets to know them well and they become real people with personalities that are likeable (or not, such as the priest Estevez).  One can get pissed at them for doing something thoughtless, such as Charles’ seeming obliviousness in certain areas of his life which, among other things, strains his relationship with his son, Marcus.

There are plots and subplots, and things are not all black or white; the reader gets a sense of people doing the things they do because they believe it’s their duty or is the right thing to do (even if they’re wrong).  These are not cardboard characters; even the bad guys have layers (though some are what I, or anybody else, would consider to be just plain bad).    We learn a great deal about the revenant, Izz al-Din, and to my shock, there came a point where I found myself actually sympathizing with him, and believe me, I can’t remember a time when I’ve done that before!  And, he’s a truly bad, bad guy.  Trust me: this bad guy’s story has a real twist, in more ways than one.   The author sure knows how to surprise you and how to use words to paint images so you actually see a particular scene, some of which get pretty graphic.

This is a full-length, standalone novel but did leave what can only be construed as some “loose ends”, so I’m sincerely hoping there’s a sequel in the works.  In the meantime, this book is a highly intriguing, thrilling and enjoyable read.

christmas-wallpaper-Blue Demon

“You look great, Max.  Thanks, I owe you one.” Leaning on a crutch, he favored his broken leg.

I felt ridiculous.

“What if I am seen?”

“Don’t worry about it.  Just be careful and you’ll be fine.  I’ve been doing this for years and I’ve always gotten clean away.”  He explained how I was to get in and out.

“Why that way?” I asked.  “Why can I not just –”

“It’s traditional,” he replied.  He patted me on my back and sent me on my way.

I was dubious but I climbed into the vehicle and took off.  I was somewhat worried, I mean, a lot of people kept firearms.  What if I was seen and someone was to fire upon me?  Or called 911? After all, it was breaking and entering.

I did not care for the outfit he had given me to wear, either, even though he insisted it was what he always wore for this particular activity.  He said it was wonderful at helping keep him concealed in the dark.  And it was traditional.

As I worked through the night, things were going well, so I began to relax.  I arrived at my last assignment, finished up and stooped to get my bag and leave.  Then, I heard soft footsteps.  I did not have time to go back out the way in which I had come, and there was nowhere to hide.  I was discovered.  I hoped they did not have a firearm.

Two small pairs of eyes peered up at me.

“It’s him!” squealed a small voice.

“No it’s not!” cried the other.

A man entering the door behind the children, stopped and stared at me wide-eyed, his mouth agape.  The cup in his hand clattered to the floor.  He shoved the small ones behind him and out the door, backed slowly away from me, then turned and ran.

A woman’s voice sang out.  “What is it, Honey?”

I heard him shout,  “Get the door, I got the kids!  Let’s go!”

“What?”

Get the door!  And call 911!”

She glanced in as he hustled them away, saw me and emitted a piercing shriek.

It appeared the clothing I was wearing were not such good camouflage after all.  Of course, the bright, unblinking tree lights were somewhat revealing.

They rushed off and I felt it was time I also left.  As I passed the window, I saw them dashing frantically down the driveway dragging the children with them.  I could hear a siren in the distance.  I did not have time to hold to tradition.  I needed a quicker way out.  The chimney was not going to be fast enough.  I teleported to the roof, leaped into the sleigh, grabbed the  reins and gave a whistle to the deer.  We took off expeditiously.

I suppose seeing a big blue, horned demon dressed in a red velvet suit putting gifts under their Christmas tree was a bit surprising, but, gracious, I was merely aiding a friend.

 

End

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Turner: Bitter Change

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Synopsis:  Change happens. It’s a fact of life. But what do you do when the change is so big it changes the world and everything in it?
The world has changed but so has Juri Turner and the change is bitter. Follow along as she struggles to learn what she is and to understand what she is becoming.
A story of change, and of hate, love, and betrayal; of a coming of age, and of spaceships and magic…

 

 

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A Short Trilogy of Quiet

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Synopsis:  All three Cady and Sam stories now in one book…
“Interruptions” – An unwanted visitor makes for some equally as unwanted excitement.
“Living in the Moment” – An unexpected visit from the in-laws can cause problems…
“A Blankie for Baby” – Making a baby blanket for an unusual friend could be more than bargained for!

 

 

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Hard Changes

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Synopsis:  What will Randa do when her vow-mate goes fishing and doesn’t return? She lives in a remote area with her children. With their provider gone, she is the only one left to keep them alive. Will her mate return? What will happen when they meet the beings they believe are demons? Change is very hard, and it takes courage to be able to meet all the challenges. A story of birth, death, and other changes.

 

 

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Synopsis:  Randa faced hard changes after misfortune befell her vow-mate. Two years later, she had to flee marauders who would kill her children for being different. They were rescued by the beings she’d thought were demons and taken to a village set up for the safety of the new Humans where she has to fight culture shock and loneliness. Will she be able to bridge the gap between the old ways and the new?

 

 

Battle for a Kingdom – a drabble of war

The red and blue armies faced off across the field of battle, awaiting the command to begin.

“Ready your weapons!” shouted the commanders, preparing to lead their men into the fray.

The soldiers raised their armaments, waiting.

“Prepare to engage!”

They braced themselves.

“Engage!”

Screaming battle cries, they ran at each other, hearts thudding with adrenaline.  They clashed in the middle, pounding and thrusting at each other.

They fought until the air was hazy, then both armies retreated.

“Okay!” yelled the triumphant red commander, plucking feathers from his hair.  “We have the most intact pillows left!  We win the kingdom!”

End

A Thanksgiving (sort of) Drabble

A Thanksgiving Drabble

“Food’s wonderful!” exclaimed Elizabeth.

“For sure,” agreed William.  “They definitely know how to put on a spread!”

They were seated at a beautifully laid table full of every traditional Thanksgiving dish, with some new ones thrown in for variety.  Around the table, the other six guests were busily helping themselves.  Everybody remarked on how good, and how much there was.  They ate with no thought of tomorrow and all too soon, the food was gone.

The host smiled and waved at them from his secure booth, and threw the switch that sucked the life from the band of condemned murderers.

End

 

Amazon Kindle: amzn.to/11sqD5Y

Title: The Light Who Shines
Author: Lilo Abernathy
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance / Mystery
Amazon Rating: 4.7 Stars
Amazon Reviews: 153
Regular Price: $4.99
SALE PRICE: $1.99
Kindle Daily Deal Date: Thursday, November 20th, 2014 (One day only)

 

Synopsis

When Supernatural Investigation Bureau agent Bluebell Kildare (a.k.a. Blue) arrives at the scene of the crime, it’s obvious the grotesquely damaged body of the deceased teenage boy was caused by far more than a simple hit and run; and she vows to catch the killer. Using her innate sixth sense, Blue uncovers a powerful magical artifact nearby. She soon discovers it acts as a key to an ancient Grimoire that was instrumental in the creation of the Vampire breed and still holds the power to unravel the boundaries between Earth and the Plane of Fire.

Blue and her clever wolf Varg follow a trail that starts at the Cock and Bull Tap and leads all through the town of Crimson Hollow. Between being sidelined by a stalker who sticks to the shadows and chasing a suspect who vanishes in thin air, the case is getting complicated. If that isn’t enough, Dark Vampire activity hits a record high, and hate crimes are increasing. However, it’s Blue’s growing feelings for Jack Tanner, her sexy Daylight Vampire boss, that just might undo her.

While Blue searches for clues to nail the perpetrator, it seems someone else is conducting a search of their own. Who will find whom first?

Danger lurks in every corner, and Blue needs all her focus in this increasingly dangerous game or she risks ending up the next victim.

Turner: Bitter Change – available now!

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Turner: Bitter Change (Book 1 of the Spaceships and Magic series) out now!

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Change happens. It’s a fact of life. But what if the change is so drastic it irrevocably alters your entire society, your whole world?

Fifteen year old Juri Turner lives in such a world. She knows nothing of the previous way of life, only what she reads in old books and magazines or overhears from roaming new nomads because she was born five years after the Artesio came from somewhere in the galaxy and rolled right over anything Earth had to offer as a defense. She lives in a deteriorating society ruled by a puppet government set up by uncaring aliens who have their own unknown agenda. However, she has problems of a more personal nature.

Starting at the age of three, she began experiencing a transformation, changes of which the most notable are scales growing all over her body, and, for no discernable reason, her parents formed an intense dislike of her. As she later discovers, so does anyone else with whom she comes in contact. She is bewildered – and bereft – but over the years, after a fashion, she has managed to find ways of coping.

One of her ways of coping includes stealing, and she now finds herself in solitary confinement at a government institution for the rehabilitation of wayward youth where she suddenly begins undergoing even more changes. They’re drastic and are accelerating, and there is no way she can keep them hidden.

What happens when her new alterations are discovered and she’s sent to a different location? Does the witch she meets there have answers to what she’s becoming?

Follow along with Juri as she struggles to learn what she is and to understand why she has been subjected to such a bitter change.

This is a story of change, and of hate, love, and betrayal; of a coming of age, and of spaceships and magic…

 

(See three chapter excerpt here)

Last Night – a short horror story

dollwpcopy2

Sherman had no intention of getting stuck in the mud, so he drove his pick-up into the clearing and brought it to a halt on the dry stretch of packed earth several feet from where the water lapped at the edge of the swampy shore.

He jumped from the cab and hustled around to the truck bed, opened the tailgate, and, muscles straining, tugged the heavy barrel out.

He rolled it the short distance to the water’s edge and shoved it in.  He gave a smug smile as he lit up a smoke and watched the gray barrel sink with hardly a ripple into the dark, murky depths.  It barely disturbed the ragged water weeds that covered a good portion of the surface.  A stray cloud occluded the full, rising moon, briefly casting the clearing into darkness, before drifting on across the sky.

He tossed his half smoked cigarette butt into the water, climbed back into his pick-up, backed up cautiously, and headed out of the trees and onto the highway.

Later, he lounged on the couch in the living room of the old house, feet on the coffee table, watching TV and swigging his sixth beer.  Something Ida would never have allowed him to do.

He looked over at the chair where his wife usually sat playing with that damned doll, brushing its hair, straightening its frilly dress, talking to it.

He’d rammed the pickaxe through its eye, cracking one side of its face.  He chuckled, remembering Ida’s outraged screech.  She was looking at the doll, mouth open, when he brought the pickaxe down through her skull.

She couldn’t stop him now, not from the bottom of the swamp.  She and that stupid doll were down there together, forever.  He’d carefully cleaned up the mess, and with some judicious cramming, everything had fit neatly into the large barrel, including the doll, and his pickaxe.

He gave a wet, satisfied belch, flicked the TV off, got up and staggered upstairs to bed, still fully clothed.

A full bladder awakened him.  He opened his eyes to a pitch black room, confused.  Hadn’t the lamp been burning when he laid down?  Why was it so dark?  Bulb must have blown, he thought through a fuzzy brain, as he stumbled to his feet and began feeling his way to the bathroom.

He reached the door, pushed it open, and stepped in, fumbling the light switch on – and gaped in shock.  It wasn’t the bathroom.  It was the attic room of this ancient, decrepit house his wife had dragged him to months ago, and directly in front of him, close enough to touch, was the doll, somehow grown larger, nearly as tall as he was.  Her cracked, one-eyed face leered at him through her bloody, mud splattered hair.

Hot urine rushed from him as his bladder gave way, but he never noticed as the doll  raised the dirt-streaked hand that held his pickaxe, and brought it down through his skull.

End

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