5 Minute Fiction – A Family Affair

The writings of three members of the James family made the finals tonight. The other two stories are also excellent! David is a friend who does a good job writing and Gwendolyn has had some amazing stories. So, go by and read, and vote for the story you like the best!

The prompt was describe a dramatic change either positive or negative. Here’s my story:

He trembled as he put the phone down. “They did it,” he said. He looked at his wife who had been waiting this answer. Either answer would have been fine, but now she knew the direction they would be going.

“YES!” she yelled.

“Yes,” he said with a broad smile. “I start training in two weeks.”

“Honey, I’m so excited for you,” she said. “You’ve worked your whole whole life for this chance.”

“I just hope you can deal with my absence during training.”

“You’ll be happy. What more could I want?” She looked outside as the sun was setting. The brilliant orange and pink hues joined the dark blues and grays of the clouds. She smiled at him. “C’mon outside for a sec.” She gestured to have him follow her.

He followed as they walked out the door. She gazed into the eastern sky. She caught a glimpse of the moon rising over the trees by the lake. She pointed at the moon. “You’ve always wanted to go there. You’ve trained and prepared for this. Now, you’ll have your chance to fly there.”

He smiled. “I can’t stop grinning. I couldn’t have done it without you.” He looked up at the moon. “To know that I’ll be one of the few men that have walked on the surface of the moon.”

She smiled back at him. “Just don’t bring back any dust. That stuff is hard to get out of the carpet.” They laughed together as they looked toward the sky.

Now get out to Write on Wendy and vote!

#5MinuteFiction – Introducing the Judge!

Wendy, from WriteonWendy.com introduces the judge for contest #163: Sam Kane. (from Samantha) So, check it out and get ready for tomorrow night’s #5MinuteFiction Contest. I think you’ll enjoy the challenge of seeing the prompt, sweating out a quick story idea and then writing it all within the time allotted. (Prompt is posted at 7:30. Entries close at 7:45

Introducing Sam Kane

This week’s guest judge is also handy with a number of different genres – almost all cuddling under the erotic romance umbrella. Sam Kane has won a number of awards for her erotic Regency-set historical romances including the Best Historical award from Passionate Ink, RWA’s erotic romance chapter, and the Historical CAPA (best book) award from The Romance Studio.

Don’t worry if you’re not into erotic romance, though. She also has a few titles that leave the erotic element out. Her work is informed by her interest in history (she has a master’s degree in American history) and her 10 years of experience as a high school social studies teacher before retiring to become a full-time writer.

Let’s get ready to type!

Rage’s Echo – Review

Rage’s Echo by J.S. Bailey Publisher: Tate Publishing Copy provided by Author

Ok, now that all the disclaimers are out of the way, here’s the review!

Jessica Roman-Dell is a paranormal investigator (read ghost hunter) with a problem. Nope, it’s not that she spent all of her money on her ghost hunting equipment and has nothing in reserve. Nope, it’s not that she’s lost her job and had to move in with her ex-coworker and a long time friend. It seems that Jessica has found a ghost, and, like the proverbial puppy dog, it followed her home. Jerry Madison, the ghost, has found a way to communicate with an adult human being and seems to have found that he likes having a friend – a little too much. Jerry begins to show signs of jealousy and possessiveness when it comes to Jessica and soon her house-mates Sidney and Wayne begin to see Jerry or feel the effects of his presence in bad ways.

As time goes on, we learn that Jerry is not just a human-infatuated ghost whose fascination with Jessica would be cute, had it not bordered on stalking. Jessica is torn between caring for Jerry and not really caring for any kind of relationship with him as a long covered up desire to be with Wayne begins to come to the surface. We soon learn that Jerry has a deep dark secret. He isn’t ready to “pass” to the after-life because he believes his destination would be hell because of that secret. As a result, the relationship with Jessica becomes more dangerous and lives are at stake as he slowly takes control of the relationship. As the story continues we discover that Jerry is not the only one with secrets as Wayne, the friend who owns the home has his secrets as do Jessica’s hated parents. Does Jerry get a chance to deal with his own personal demons? Can Jessica ever break free of Jerry? Will Jessica and Wayne ever get together? Will Jessica and her parents reconcile?

In small town, America everyone knows each other and knows each other’s business. It’s important to understand that when you get to the end of the book. As the book wraps up the relationships that bring all of the characters together are vital as they help you understand the plot. Slowly deep dark secrets are revealed as we come to the climax of the story; but will those secrets destroy or help the relationships?

I have to admit that when I heard that Rage’s Echo was a ghost story, I was very leery of reading the book. The only reason I agreed to read and review was that I had developed a friendship with the author, J. S. Bailey and she sent me a free autographed review copy. That being said I found this book intriguing, exciting and gripping. I had to put it down early enough so I didn’t read it too close to bed time because it is, after all, a ghost story. But more than a ghost story, it’s a story about relationships; how they go wrong and how they grow. How do our sins affect the way we deal with each other? How does our background affect the people we befriend? If we can’t accept ourselves, how can we expect others to love us as we are? Bailey touches on all of these issues in this book and soon the story becomes ours, if we think deeply enough, as we confront the ghosts of our own past.

I make a point of not posting reviews of books that I can’t recommend.  I can recommend Rage’s Echo highly. Buy it! It’s labeled as “Christian Speculative Fiction.” What does that mean? If you are into ghost stories, you will enjoy this book. If you aren’t into ghost stories, though, there is a lot to like about this book, especially from a Christian perspective. It is not meant to be a theological reference work. It does talk a lot about being truthful with those we love. It does talk about building relationships and how important it is to develop strong relationships with friends and family. Most of all, it does all these things wrapped around a great story and a believable premise.

Rage’s Echo is available now from the author (look her up on Facebook) and from the publisher (Tate Publishing). Here’s the secret: officially the sales start on Amazon on October 1, so you can get a pre-release copy by contacting the author or the publisher. If you want to wait until the official release date you can pre-order it from Amazon. The Kindle Edition is available to pre-order now at  http://www.amazon.com/Rages-Echo-ebook/dp/B00DOAX9CO/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_3 the paperback version should be available soon and it will be released just in time for Halloween.


Rewrites and Help

OUCH! One of the reasons we have friends read our writing is so that they can help point out where we can improve. I have already taken out my favorite line from the first scene of my book based on expert advice, made a plan to change the way I do dialogue based on a different expert’s advice and, got a gut punch tonight when someone pointed out another grammatical issue that would be a glaring grammatical mistake. I had been so proud of the way I constructed those sentences and now I find out that writing like that makes me look ignorant. (I was, I guess, but now I know!)

You can’t have thin skin if you want to be a writer. All of those comments have already helped me improve my writing, or soon will. I am grateful for people willing to help me get better! Please feel free to make comments on any mistakes I make here. I need all the help I can get.

Warrior of the Ages Release Party!

Stephanie over at The Glitter Globe knows how to do a release party as her new book “Warrior of the Ages” is being released today.

The fun begins with the trailer. I LOVE this trailer. It gave me goosebumps!

They have an online release party over on Facebook Release Party and the page for the book is located at Warrior of the Ages Series

Obviously the book is for sale. Dead Tree at Amazon, eBooks and even on the Signed by the Author website. The links are at the party site. They are still giving away prizes, but not for much longer!

The book has a great premise and I am looking forward to reading it. I bought the signed by the author version.


Blood Calls to Blood

FYI! This entry was the champion for this week. I am therefore adding the badge of victory!

#5MinuteFiction winner's badge

5 Minute Fiction Winner Week 162

The theme of tonight’s #5MinuteFiction was “For today’s writing prompt: In keeping with the paranormal theme, write a story in which your character carries a secret in his or her blood.” TBH, there were some good stories there and I am waiting on my vote for a little bit! I am including my entry below:


“Blood calls to blood.” John couldn’t remember how many times his mother had told him that, but it was never important before tonight. As the searched the bushes for the lost girl, his blood started rushing, almost screaming in his veins. This girl was kin and he hadn’t known it.

He couldn’t tell the others – they wouldn’t understand. He slowly led the search party away from their original objective. It took awhile for anyone to say anything. When Frank pointed out that they had strayed from their original path John muttered something about “feeling it in his blood” and moved persistently through the tangled underbrush.

He thought about the purges and how he had barely survived when his mother hid him just before she was taken away. He knew that he couldn’t explain what was happening. The blood screamed louder and off in the distance they heard a short cry. He wondered if it was her. He wondered if she realized what she was feeling.

All those thoughts ran through his mind quickly when out of the brush a figure broke into a run holding the girl. She hadn’t been lost; she had been taken and now her blood called out to his in an almost deafening cry of fear. He called out and the team tracked the kidnapper down, rescuing the poor frightened child. John focused on her and as their blood calmed down together he quietly told her not to say anything; that they would talk soon. After so many years he had finally found another. To think that it was his best friend’s child.


Check out the competition at Wendy’s Blog

Unsuitable for Children

A friend recommended this article and I wanted to share it here. Not only does it have a great message; it’s a great example of sarcastic writing. Check it out.

One Crazy Mother

I had the craziest thing happen to me the other day! I have to warn you that some of the following material may be unsuitable for children. So if you’re anything like me, with at least two little monkeys crawling on you at all times, you may want to excuse the ones who know how to read now. You wouldn’t want them to repeat any of this disturbing story. Excuse the ones that can’t read too, because there’s no telling what reaction this tale may elicit from you.

So my husband and I were sitting at the food court at the mall the other day, just minding our own business and trying to enjoy our lunch. This woman walks over and sits at the table next to ours with her adorable baby in a stroller. I watched, smiling, as the young mother pulled the fat little creature out of his seat, placed him in the…

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How’d She Think of THAT?

In a couple of days I should be sharing a review of the book Rage’s Echo by J.S. Bailey. She has become a friend through various online writing groups and I had the privilege of reading it prior to it’s October 1 release date so that I could review it. Let me just say that coming out in October is the perfect time for this book and I will give it a strong recommendation.

In the meanwhile, she posted an interesting article on her blog “Where Daylight Fades” about how she got her ideas for this book. She lists 8 different sources as inspiration that kept her going and gave her ideas on this book. If you have ever wondered where you might find inspiration. If you have ever wondered how you might break through writer’s block – check out this post “That Story Came from WHERE?” It’s an interesting read especially since I read the book.