Merry Go Round Blog Tour: April – What are Three of My Favorite Blogs?

Owl Using Computer by RedPigeon via www.deviantart.com

Owl Using Computer by RedPigeon via http://www.deviantart.com

I go to quite a few blogs every morning. Picking three favorites is pretty tough. One I have delivered to my email inbox is Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog, http://www.kristinekathrynrusch.com/ . I especially love her business articles. As a new writer I need all the help I can get and she writes easy to understand articles on how to go about making writing a business. She’s also a most excellent author and I love getting her free short stories on Monday morning. Associated with her blog is her husband, Dean Weasly Smith’s, blog. http://www.deanwesleysmith.com I haven’t subscribed to his blog, but Kristine references articles on his blog and I go over there to get more fantastic writing and writing business advice.

Another blog for writers is http://www.davidfarland.net/. Dave Farland posts a Daily Kick In The Pants article on writing. Every day I get useful advice on how to write better. As a successful writer himself as well as a BYU professor teaching writing, I take his advice very seriously.

But it’s not all writing. As a diagnosed celiac sufferer, I follow peveteaux on Gluten Is My Bitch http://glutenismybitch.wordpress.com. A mother of two children, she’s also a celiac sufferer. Along with a humorous post about what’s going on in her life, she provides a gluten free recipe. I’ve tried some of them and they’re fantastic. I’ve managed to sneak four blogs into this post, hope you don’t mind. But don’t forget there are also all of the blogs on The Merry Go Round blog tour to sample as well. I hope you check them out.

The Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour is sponsored by the website Forward Motion (http://www.fmwriters.com). The tour is you, the reader, travelling the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. There are all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s always something new and different to enjoy. If you want to get to know the nearly twenty other writers check out the rest of the tour at http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com! Up next: Jean Schara!

Flash Fiction Friday: Restitution

Misery by fuuuran via www.deviantart.com

Misery by fuuuran via http://www.deviantart.com

Restitution

Garth felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He did a quick check of the kitchen where he was washing dishes, no one was around. After quickly drying his hands, he answered the phone in a whisper.

“Hi, Mike.”

“Daddy, when will you be home?”

Garth kept watch on the door to the living room, he didn’t want to be caught not working. “After you’ve gone to bed, Sport, you know that.”

“I want you to tuck me in,” the six year-old whined.

Garth’s heart broke. He had to be here despite his wishes. “I’ve explained this already, Mike. I hit a little boy with my car, I have to pay restitution.”

The kid had come out of nowhere when Garth was checking his rear-view mirror. The guy in the car behind him was talking on his headset and was right on his bumper. Garth was bracing for the impact. “Come on, chump,” he remembered muttering. “I could use a slave for a few months.” When he looked back at the road, there was the kid, Clive, he now knew, running into the street from between two parked cars.

Now he was the slave to Davin and Linda Louis, parents of the now deceased, Clive. His lawyer tried to get him off, pointing out the child was not in a cross walk. It didn’t matter. The new legal system didn’t imprison people anymore. Now you had to pay restitution. Garth paid the Louis’ $100,000 and was sentenced to 21 hours per week of labor to the victim’s family for four years. That came to 4368 hours of labor. It was hard labor.

Garth jumped at Linda’s yell from the living room. “I don’t hear those dishes being washed out there.”

He covered the phone with his hand. “Just finishing up, Ms. Louis.”

“Hurry it up,” she yelled. “Those closets aren’t going to clean themselves.”

“Yes, Ma’am.”

“I’ve got to go, Mike. I have to finish my work.”

“Bye, Daddy.”

“Good night, son.” Garth hung up and tucked the phone back into his pocket and stuck his hands in the dishwater. The Louis’ hadn’t done a dish since he was sentenced over a year ago. They saved them all for him when he arrived at 6pm after working all day. Already tired, he did the dishes, mopped the floors, cleaned closets, the garage, vacuumed, anything the Louis’ told him to do.

Linda came into the kitchen and walked up behind him. She looked into the sink. “You’re goin’ kinda slow tonight, Garth.” She grabbed his left buttock. He jumped. Linda Louis was no prize. Lank, sandy brown hair was going grey and she was about 100 pounds overweight. Garth detested her for the constant groping and leering. Always out of sight of her husband though. Davin Louis was built like a line backer. At 6 foot 3 inches, Garth didn’t want to mess with Davin. He was a construction worker and when he was home, he drank beer like a fish. He was a mean drunk. Both of them hounded Garth from his arrival at 6pm until he was done at 9pm. Saturday’s were worse. By the time he arrived at 9am, Davin was three beers into his day. He watched constantly as he directed Garth to mow, weed, paint, or repair everything around the house and yard. Their house and yard had never looked so good. He was supposed to get water breaks and a half hour lunch but that never happened.

Linda rubbed her hand across his buttocks as Davin yelled into the kitchen, “Where’s my damn beer!”

“Garth will bring it right out,” she yelled back then grinned at Garth with crooked yellow teeth.

Garth dried his hands and got a beer out of the refrigerator. He walked it into the living room and handed Davin the beer.

“Bout time.” Davin took the beer, crushed the empty and threw it at Garth. “Pick that up,” he belched. “Move your ass faster next time or I’ll tell the court you ain’t cooperatin’.”

That was the threat. Time could be added to the sentence if he was reported as uncooperative. Garth nodded and picked up the empty. Back in the kitchen he dropped it in the recycling bin and went back to the sink. Only 3003 hours left to serve, he thought to himself, after I get out of here at nine.

As Linda crept up on him it wasn’t lost on him that he was intending to put the chump in the car behind him in this same situation. Now, he wouldn’t wish this fate on his worst enemy.

“Better get with it, Garth,” Linda whispered as she leaned into his back and ran her hand across his chest. “The closet in my bedroom really needs cleaning.”

His skin crawled as he glanced at the clock. Two more hours to go. The seconds seemed like hours as he braced himself to go to the bedroom to ‘clean her closet’. He just hoped Davin fell asleep in his chair again tonight.

 

The End

841 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

Seleana Laurence Cover Reveal and Giveaway

New Covers, New Sales, Big Giveaways!

by Selena Laurence

I could not be more excited today because I get to reveal the cover for Lush 2 – For the Love of a Lush! This cover was designed by Cover It! Designs, who do all of the Lush and Hiding From Love covers. Take a look at Walsh and Tammy, and when you’re done, scroll down for information on the special sale we’re having for Lush 1, and your chance to enter a whole Lush giveaway!

Lush 2 smalljacket

To help celebrate the cover reveal for Lush 2, we’re putting Lush 1 – A Lush Betrayal on sale for just $.99 for a limited time. Don’t miss this chance to try out the rock star romance that NYT  and USA Today Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely described as: “Delicious and intriguing”

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Now for the Giveaway!

Go to Rafflecopter Here

Selena Laurence | April 17, 2014 at 6:00 am | Tags: A Lush BetrayalFor the Love of a Lush | Categories: NewsNewsletterThe Cover Gal | URL: http://wp.me/p3asno-r5

Halfway Point in April 2014 Camp NaNo

Writing in the Evening by ksiaz via www.deviantart.com

Writing in the Evening by ksiaz via http://www.deviantart.com

Tomorrow will be the halfway point for the April Camp National Novel Writing Month, https://campnanowrimo.org/sign_in . So far I have finished a novelette and two short stories. I’m now working on my novel, still unnamed but it’s a fantasy. I set my goal for 50K words and as of Sunday afternoon, I’m over 21,000words. There’s still a lot of writing to be done!

I bought fresh seeds today. I can plant cold hardy stuff like peas and beans now. The rest will have to wait for warmer weather. My Meyer lemon tree has another round of blossoms coming. This is the third time it’s blossomed since January. I have some tiny lemons growing from the last flush. Hopefully I’ll get more on this go round.

I have to go to the dentist on Wednesday, I have a tooth ache under a crown. The dentist says I need a root canal. Yay me! A root canal. Anyway, I’ve had this ache for about a month; it’s time to get it taken care of.

I bought To Our Children’s Children: Preserving Family Histories for Generations to Come by Bob Greene and D.G. Fulford a very long time ago. It’s a list of questions around the person’s personal data, family life, work life, ancestory and so on.  I dug it out of my book case and began asking my mother questions from the book.  If I ask a few questions every day, (I call her everyday anyway) soon I’ll have enough information to put a memoir together for her. I’m liking this project.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Go ahead and sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get first dibs on any promotions, book announcements, and other information. Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here.  Use Control, Click to access the link.

I have an in depth interview on my Smashwords Author page. You can read it here.  Don’t see information about me you’d like to know? Leave me your question in my comments and I’ll try to answer it.

The Challenge: A Gulliver Station Story released March 23rd! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Flash Fiction Friday: On the Run

The Yellow Bomb by decodergrizzly via www.deviantart.com

The Yellow Bomb by decodergrizzly via http://www.deviantart.com

 On The Run

Joy turned the key in the ignition of her 1972 Pinto. The starter groaned then went silent. She got out of the car and opened the hood. The engine was caked with decade’s worth of dirt and oil. She had no idea why she opened the hood; she had no idea how to fix a car.

She was parked on the street outside her apartment building. Joy looked around the tree lined neighborhood. Too much to hope a mechanic with a tool box would be walking by. She reached up to close the hood.

“Need a hand,” a male voice behind her asked.

Her heart jumped at the unexpected question. She turned around. “Yeah, it won’t start.”

The man, early thirties with sandy brown hair cut short, grinned. “Let me take a look. Why don’t you get in and give it a try.”

She got in and turned the key. The starter groaned.

“Try it again.”

Joy did the same, this time in the crack between the hood and the bottom of the windshield she could see him do something. It groaned again.

“One more time,” he called.

This time the engine turned over and roared to life. The man closed the hood and walked to the driver’s window.

“Thank you,” Joy said. “How much do I owe you?”

“Nothing.” He wiped his hands on his handkerchief. “I could use a ride downtown though.”

She considered his open face and nice appearance. “Sure, get in.”

He hurried around to the passenger door. She noticed he scanned the neighborhood before he got in.

“I’m headed to the University,” she told him, is that OK?”

“Yeah, perfect.” He checked out the back window as he put on his seat belt.

Joy pulled into the street. “Everything all right?”

“Sure.” He glanced in the passenger side mirror. He turned and smiled, “I’m Carl, by the way.”

“Hi, Carl. I’m Joy. Nice to meet you.”

They were four blocks from the University when a black SUV raced out of a side street and blocked her path. She slammed on the brakes.

In one movement Carl unlatched his seat belt and leapt out of the car. A black SUV pulled up behind her and men from both vehicles leapt out, guns drawn. Carl rolled between two parked cars and all but one man chased after him. The last man approached gun pointed in her direction.

“Out of the car,” he yelled.

She put one hand up and opened the car door. He pushed her to the ground. Half an hour later the rest of the men returned.

“He got away,” one of them said.

Joy was allowed to stand up. “He say anything to you?”

She shook her head. “He said his name was Carl. He wanted a ride into town.”

“He’s a spy,” another man told her. “We’ve been after him for two years.”

They questioned her at their office all day. Once released, she resolved never to give a stranger a ride again.

Flash Fiction Friday: The Djinn and the Orphan

Genies Simon by sweetpoison67 via www.sweetpoison67.deviantart.com

Genies Simon by sweetpoison67 via http://www.sweetpoison67.deviantart.com

banner_sweetpoison_deviantart_by_sweetpoison67-d37avpp

This story is from the Chuck Wendig (www.terribleminds.com) flash fiction challenge of 3/28/14. We were given 10 random words and were directed to choose any five and write a 1000 words or less. The words: Whalebone, Foxglove, Djinn, Orphan, Lollipop, Casket, Hermit, Hound, Acid and Topaz. I actually used 6 just because it made sense to my story. Check out this post: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/03/28/flash-fiction-challenge-five-random-words-2/ to see all of the other responses to this writing prompt.

The Djinn and the Orphan

Emil walked along the beach looking for treasures. He’d already found a whalebone that he could sell to the carvers in the market. That would pay the street gang to leave him in peace on his tiny bit of street at night. He hoped he could find something else that would buy him a few meals too.

A mile along the beach he saw something sparkle. Using a clam shell he dug it out of the sand. It was a glass bottle, with the stopper still in place. A quick examination showed it was not cracked or chipped. What a lucky day!

He pulled the stopper and was knocked to the ground by a blast of air and smoke. When the air cleared, there was a huge man standing on the beach in front of him. Emil shrank back, large men were usually mean.

“Greetings young master,” the man bowed low. “How may I serve you?

Emil had to think. Generally large men served only hits and kicks. He crabbed backward and then stood up, poised to run. “Who are you?”

The man straightened. “I’m Abdul, the Djinn of the bottle you hold. I offer you three wishes for setting me free.”

Emil blinked. He’d heard tales in the marketplace about the djinn. He remembered they were tricky. “Oh great djinn, I’d like a hound.”

The djinn cocked an eyebrow. “Why a hound, young master.” His deep voice sounded like thunder.

“I’m an orphan and the hound will protect me and keep me warm at night on the street.” Emil dug a foot into the sand to help him push off into a run if needed.

“Fair enough, young master.” The djinn waved his hand and at Emil’s feet sat a massive hound. It gave Emil’s leg a lick and submitted his head for Emil to scratch behind its ears.

Filled with wonder, the orphan petted the hound. This seemed to be working out well. He ventured another wish. “Great one, I’d like a casket of topaz.”

Again the djinn waved and at Emil’s feet was a casket, one by two feet, lid open, topaz of every shade of yellow sparkling in the sun. Emil looked around the beach, no one was near. He bent over and snapped the lid closed before anyone chould see. He tucked it under his arm. This was a windfall that would support him for a very long time.

“Great Djinn, does the hound have a name?”

“That is for you to decide, young master.”

“I shall call him, Aslan, for he came to me out of the sky.” Emil gathered his courage for the next question. “I am Emil. And what is your name, Great Djinn?”

The djinn bowed, low. “Very courteous, young master. I was known as Khan, in my youth.”

“Sir Khan, what is the custom when it comes to the third wish?”

The djinn shrugged. “Some ask for even more wealth. Some wish for fine houses. Some,” he arched his eyebrow, ask to rule the world.”

It was Emil’s turn to cock an eyebrow. Ruling the world seemed a bit greedy to him. It would be nice to have a house and servants though. It was dangerous on the street all alone. He thought back to the storyteller’s tales about this problem. The third wish was the trickiest.

“Great Djinn, I am but a poor orphan boy.” He reached out to pet Aslan. “It would be nice if I had a home and servants and a teacher so that I could grow up to be a fine and wealthy man. If you were me, what would you wish for to achieve that great goal?”

The djinn clapped his hands together, making a loud thunderclap. “Well asked, young master. I can make that happen if you allow me.”

Emil swallowed, this could end horribly for him if the djinn was evil. He tucked the chest of topaz under his arm more securely. “What happens to you when you grant the third wish?”

A look of surprise crossed the djinn’s face. “No one has ever asked that.” He shrugged. “I go back to the bottle until the next finder.”

“That doesn’t seem fair. How can you be freed from the curse of the bottle?”

The djinn narrowed his eyes and stared at Emil. “The bottle must be broken. Then I will be free. But it must be broken before the third wish, otherwise I am returned to the bottle for another hundred years.”

This was a hard choice indeed for Emil. He really wanted that house. The hound began to chew on the whalebone. Emil moved it away from the dog. He could still sell it. The djinn waited patiently, huge arms crossed.

“I have enough, Great Khan. Break the bottle.”

The djinn’s arms fell to his sides. He blinked. After a moment he told the boy, “You must break the bottle, young master.”

Emil nodded. He walked down the beach to find a rock. He came back to the djinn and Aslan and put the bottle on the whalebone. With all his strength, he brought the rock down on the bottle. It scattered in a hundred multi-colored pieces. The djinn sank to his knees and wept.

Emil put the casket down and sat on it. Aslan laid his head in the boy’s lap for more petting. When Khan stood up, he bowed deeply to the boy. “I am grateful, Emil. I have been prisoner for many centuries. Now, I will help you. I will be your guide and protector.”

“Thank you, Khan, but I’d rather have a friend.” He held out his hand.

Khan stood and shook with the boy. “To friendship.”

They lived long and prosperous lives ever after.

The End

958 Words

Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html

200th Blog Post!

Celebration by Star Maiden, PatriciaRodelaArtist, ©2007-2014 PatriciaRodelaArtist

Celebration by Star Maiden, PatriciaRodelaArtist, ©2007-2014 PatriciaRodelaArtist

This is my 200th blog post! I’m amazed to be honest. When I started this I never expected to have much to say. I’ve discovered I have a lot to talk about with you all. Thank you for coming back every week!

I’ve been prepping for the April Camp National Novel Writing Month, https://campnanowrimo.org/sign_in . This is a writing challenge but unlike November’s 50K word in the month challenge, I can set any word goal I want. I have a novelette to finish, two short stories to write, and a novel to do. I’m going to set my goal for 50K words. Lots of writing to be done!

I’ve been doing some gardening. I had to begin watering too. We’ve only had one rain storm since December and it was barely a tenth of an inch. We still get frost in the mornings though so I can’t plant a lot yet. However, things like spinach, lettuce and other cold hardy things can be planted. I’ve been eyeing pansies for the flower tub in my front yard. They’re extremely cold hardy and will look good out there for a very long time.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Go ahead and sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get first dibs on any promotions, book announcements, and other information. Go to the button on the right side of the blog or go to my Newsletter tab to sign up. Or sign up here.  Use Control, Click to access the link.

I have an in depth interview on my Smashwords Author page. You can read it here.  Don’t see information about me you’d like to know? Leave me your question in my comments and I’ll try to answer it.

The Challenge: A Gulliver Station story released March 23rd! I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords today!

Kobo: Both A New Start and The Challenge are up on Kobo. I’m linking to The Challenge on this blog but you can check my author name for other books available on each of the above links.

As of this writing Apple still doesn’t have The Challenge up so I’ve linked to A New Start. It may be up by the time you try it.