Friday, March 23, 2012
Mrs. Lieutenant: A Sharon Gold Novel
By Phyllis Zimbler Miller
President Nixon announces he is sending U.S. troops into Cambodia ... April 30, 1970
“It has been said that when a man acquires a commission, the government has gained not one, but two – the officer and his wife.” Mrs. Lieutenant booklet
They drive around the western edge of Lake Michigan, past the industrial suburbs of Chicago, down into the flat farmland of Indiana, their tiny convertible a bright yellow bug boring through the cornfields.
Sharon Gold moves her cramped right foot, and the Farberware coffeepot bangs against her shin. Then the brown paper grocery bag with its open boxes of cereal and crackers shifts across her seatbelted lap.
It certainly can't be said that they have all their earthly possessions with them. When you have a car as small as a Fiat, you take only the barest necessities: Suitcases with summer clothes and bedding tied atop the luggage rack.
Their wedding gifts, their books and her stereo, and the rest of their clothes remain at her parents' home, moved there from Robert's one-room apartment on Sheridan Drive they shared after their wedding.
The branch transfer to military intelligence from infantry has come through! Robert's orders are to report to Ft. Knox, Kentucky, for nine weeks of Armor Officers Basic to fulfill the requirement of a combat arms course before military intelligence training. "Why combat arms training?" she asked him when he received his new orders. "Surely you'll have a desk job. That's the whole point of getting the branch transfer." Robert didn’t answer.
Her purse holds the official army reporting packet sent to Robert. The orders for Ft. Knox say nothing about his wife. Robert reminded her of the old army joke: “If the army had wanted him to have a wife, they would have issued him one.”
by Alan Dean
He was nervous, fear flickered on the edge of his resolve, but he didn’t move. He could see her clearly despite the lack of light. His eyes had got used to the dark. He could see her face, her smooth, clear skin. Flawless, like it had never seen the sun. She was only a foot or so from him. He knew she would have to see him; that she must have done so already. He knew he had to act or his moment of glory would pass by forever.
Pulse racing he stepped forward. She stopped, but didn’t look at him. She continued facing the way she’d been walking as though it was something else she’d stopped for, not a strange man on a deserted path in a darkened park, but something more usual, something not in the least threatening. Her manner disquieted him. He needed some show of fear to bolster him, and its absence sucked away his resolve. He stopped and waited in confusion for something to happen, for her to run so he could give chase and overpower her.
The girl turned her head slowly and looked straight at him. Bright sparkling almond-shaped eyes held his gaze and a flicker of somewhere long distant found its way through his defenses. He let his eyes drop. He’d not meant to, he knew it was a sign of failure, of weakness, but she was stronger than he was. He could sense that, and he feared that even his gesture of submission would not end what he had started. But no blows came. No sharp stab of pain. He looked up again hopefully. Perhaps she was smiling. Maybe it was something else she wanted, but she’d gone and the path was empty.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
by Malcolm Holt
Slinger stood by the edge of the murky waters of the River Tyne holding a pair of blood-soaked Zildjian drumsticks. As he stood there in total isolation, the evening light was starting to fade. It had been hard for him to stomach the events of the last few hours and he shuddered at the memories of a life gone by, one that he hoped he had escaped from forever. He had been wrong.
Rabbit in the Road
by Danika D. Potts and Oliver Campbell
He gave me a name one day, walking back from the shack. "Rabbit In The Road," he said, pinching my cheek. "You ever see a rabbit run away from headlights in the road? They don't care where they go, they’re just runnin', fast as they can." He passed me the full blackberry basket to carry. "Rabbits are real damn stupid," He said softly. "Better to know what you're runnin' into, not just what you're runnin' away from. So you're Rabbit In The Road, until you know better."
I thought maybe I was starting to.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
by Brandi Salazar
Coming to a stop below the attic door, James reached up and tugged on the long cord that released the stairs, and pulled them down. On shaky legs, his breaths coming in short, labored bursts, he scaled the stairs slowly until he could just peak his head over the floorboards. From this vantage point, James had a direct line of sight between the many boxes leading a straight path to the dormer window where silver moonlight poured in washing the room in its unearthly glow. And there, sitting in front of the window, sat the filmy apparition of a young girl. She had her back turned toward him, but when James gasped his shock, she slowly turned her head, and when her eyes fell on him, she grinned.
Fear crippled him and James lost his footing. He grabbed for the floorboards, but it was too late. He fell, tumbling backward down the staircase and landing with a thud on the floor below. Panicking, James didn’t need time to recover. He leapt to his feet, and with desperation born of fear, he hauled the steps up, tucking them back into the ceiling and locking them in place. Then he turned and raced back to his room, slamming the door and locking himself inside until morning.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
by Katie Hughart
“Hello,” she calls, taking a few steps forward.
What is she doing, she wonders. She hates to think that this poor little girl is here all alone in her pretty white dress. Who would do such a thing? Leaving a child of that age alone in a place like this is so irresponsible. The parents can’t be that far away, she muses.
She realizes that the little girl seems to be crouched over something. Is she eating something? Is she sneaking a snack, and hiding from her parents so that they won’t find out?
Cara considers the possibility that maybe she is in the basement of a rundown apartment complex, but how did she get here.
“Hello,” Cara calls again, but the little girl still doesn’t respond. “Hello,” Cara says one more time in an attempt to get the little one’s attention. Maybe she is deaf, she contemplates. Then Cara hears a noise come from the little girl. It sounds as if she growled. Cara’s stomach feels queasy when she sees auburn hair draped out from under this girl who is standing in what she now recognizes as a pool of blood.
The child spins around, snarling, and snaps her sharp pointed teeth in Cara’s direction. She can’t believe that she considered the creature to be sweet looking. The auburn haired being is eating what looks like a mauled version of her, and it now looks like she is going to attack. She stares at the blood that drips down its mouth onto her pretty dress.
“No,” Cara says barley above a whisper as the thing leans towards her with a distinct feline likeness. The sound of Cara’s voice angers it. It turns its head sideways and squints its pitch black eyes.
Monday, March 19, 2012
by Holly Hood
I felt him following me as I made it passed the rocks now. I really wasn’t sure if I wanted this guy knowing where I lived. After all he was wielding a baseball bat. And I had just seen him strike several people with that bat. What if he struck me?
Friday, March 16, 2012
Casting Stones - The Prelude
by G. M. Barlean
He caught her when her knees buckled and bolstered her upright, drawing her in close to him. They stood – bodies touching, faces close, staring into each other’s eyes. He knew he’d stepped out of line, and he had no business being so forward, but it could not be said James Raven passed up opportunities. He leaned down – no hesitation – and kissed her on her pouty, little, pink mouth. Their lips pressed together, conveying in warmth, softness and pressure the degree of desire they both realized at that moment. The kiss lasted only an instant before the bell on the door of the general store jingled.
Evangeline quickly backed away, overtaken with embarrassment; after all, this happened in her father’s store, and a girl should never be seen doing any such thing as kissing a man, especially if they hadn’t even courted. The lines on her face showed her worry about gossip that would surely now fly through town.
“Well, what have we here?” the farmer who entered the shop said with his eyebrows raised at the two young people.
James stepped purposefully toward Evangeline and took her hand in his. He looked at the farmer and said with great pride in his voice, “Sir, what you have here is me and my future bride. Spread the word. This young lady is taken.”
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Coming Home (Sweetwater #2)
by Courtney Lyn Batten
She narrowed her eyes and studied him a moment. He exchanged a worried look with Kendra, and the whole bar could practically see the light bulb that clicked over her head. Cassie stood up quickly, the barstool scrapping along the wood floor.
Warm breath caressed her neck as someone sat his beer bottle on the bar and leaned against it. The tiny black hairs on the nape of her neck stood on end. He leaned over her, his lips dangerously close to her exposed skin.
“Is he what?” A deep voice asked to her ear. She shivered, turning to meet the deep ebony eyes she’d seen only in her dreams for the last four years, then in that faded photograph earlier that afternoon.
“Travis,” she whispered. She hated how her voice cracked, how her heart was beating so wildly in her chest she could swear he heard it, how his smell hadn’t changed, how badly she wanted to kiss him. But the look in his eyes was so different than what it had been the last time she saw him four years ago.
His gaze locked with hers, they were the same deep chocolate she remembered. He leaned down a little, the smirk faded from his lips and his eyes darkened. He was so close, his breath tickled her lips, and his fingers brushed hers. “The one and only.”
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Eternal Destiny - Book 2 (Second book in The Ruby Ring Series)
by Chrissy Peebles
Sarah stared up at millions of tiny, twinkling stars. “I’ve never seen so many stars in my life.”
“I could lose myself here in this place,” Victor said, gripping her hand tightly.
“Me too. It smells like the air after a heavy rainstorm, fresh and crisp.”
A great waterfall tumbled down towering, steep canyon walls. Everything gleamed under the silver moonlight. In the soft, swirling mist, a geometrical formation in the air caught her eye. A giant, stunning arc of opalescent light and bands of pastel hues appeared in the droplets of moisture, spreading across the falls like some kind of giant banner. She couldn’t stop staring; there was something magical and mystical and addictive about nature’s perfection, her fragile beauty. “A glowing rainbow…at night?”
Victor wrapped his arm around her. “It’s called a moonbow. It has to be a clear night with dark skies, lots of waterfall mist, and a full moon that rises over the granite walls.”
She smiled and snuggled against his chest. “It’s breathtaking.”
“It’s very rare,” he said. “It happens only a few days a year.”
“Wow. I can’t believe we’re actually witnessing it.”
Victor leaned in against her. “Maybe it’s a glorious sign that we’re meant to be together for all eternity.”
She grinned as he placed a soft kiss on her lips. “I’ve got an idea. Let’s go in for a dip.”
His mouth opened to speak, but before he could refuse, she grabbed his hand and started pulling him into the cool pool of water.
“Sarah…” he said.
“What? Are there hungry fish with big, sharp teeth that’ll eat us?”
“No, it’s completely safe, but this isn’t something royalty does.”
“Are you forbidden from spontaneity, Highness? From having a little fun?”
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
by Patti Larsen
Patti has a serious passion for YA paranormal and thrillers. Now with multiple books in happy publication, she lives on the East Coast of Canada with her patient husband and four massive cats.
I batted at the curl of smoke drifting off the tip of my candle and tried not to sneeze. My heavy velvet cloak fell in oppressive, suffocating folds in the closed space of the ceremony chamber, the cowl trapping the annoying bits of puff I missed. I hated the way my eyes burned and teared, an almost constant distraction. Not that I didn’t welcome the distraction, to be honest. Anything to take my mind from what went on around me.
Being part of a demon raising is way less exciting than it sounds.
Monday, March 12, 2012
The Taking of Arianna Grayson - Book Two of the Serial Vampire Series
by JC De La Torre
Detective Arianna Grayson takes us through the harrowing chase for the serial killer known as Allister the Annihilator. When she finally catches up to the fiend, she discovers that there's more to him than being a deranged lunatic. In a struggle for her life, she makes a choice with terrible consequences and her life changes forever.First Pages of the Book:
Death isn’t something to be feared, my dearest. It is the warmest, most welcoming sensation anyone can experience. It’s pure joy, passion and ecstasy rolled into one. As you travel down that tunnel toward the light at the end, you feel the most amazing sensation of belonging. You are finally where you should be - a place with no pain, no horror. There’s no suffering or injustice. There’s just a dazzling light that seems to engulf every single atom of your essence.
Enjoy your death, my friend. Bathe in the light when it comes to you. Be thankful it can come, for not all of us can go down that path. I’ve died. I began my trek down that path but the light was robbed from me; substituted with darkness…terrible darkness that infests you like the worst of cancers.
You see, I was marked by a vampire to become his off-spring – his child of the night. He brought me death but then breathed in an entirely different, terrifying life. Everything that I was and believed in – all that made Arianna Grayson - died with me when my heart stopped and I began my journey to the place of death. It’s gone now. I know and accept it.
All that is left within is a soulless monster that feeds on humans. I never wanted this – unlike so many others. I sought to root out the killer and I became what he was. He raped my soul, robbed me of my decency – my humanity, my ability to die, to love, to have children – real human children.
Friday, March 9, 2012
by September Lynn Gray
“Yes. Jared never worked. At least not that I recall. He claimed he had a bad back and was fighting for a disability settlement. It wouldn't be long before the ship came in. That's what Jared used to say. He promised when the 'ship came in,' we'd go to Hawaii. He said the water was the bluest you'd ever seen and the dolphins were everywhere.”
Did he ever take you?”
“Are you joking? You think I ever went to Hawaii?”
“Don't know. This was all before my time.”
“We never went. The problem was that there was nothing wrong with Jared's back. He was just lazy and content to live off my mom's welfare until he could trick a court into giving him his settlement.”
“Did he ever get the money?”
“That's where it gets ugly. A month or so after my mother's funeral, I was shopping in town with my grandmother when we ran into one of Jared's old drinking buddies. According to this guy, Jared had moved across state and remarried. He was living high on the hog because he'd finally gotten his settlement.”
“That sucks. He got the money so soon after he left you.”
“Don't you get it? He got the money before and hid it from my mother. He was obviously having an affair.” This lent some merit to my grandmother's conviction that Jared had murdered my mother by intentionally withholding her dialysis treatment, but I tried never to think of it. Becoming convinced that my grandmother’s accusations were more than a grieving woman’s ramblings, or never knowing either way, would eat at me.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
by Nikki Jefford
It didn’t take a locator spell to find Raj’s junk heap. The idiot hadn’t even locked the doors, not that that would have hindered Graylee. Unbolting spells were practically Magic 101. Even with all the trouble she’d been having, Graylee could manage unlocking a door. Still, it was nice not relying on mystical aid to climb into the backseat of McKenna’s car.
Graylee didn’t need magic to protect herself. She wasn’t above getting her hands dirty the good old-fashioned way.
Well, okay. At the moment she was invisible—as was the shoelace wound tight in each fist.
She sat poised and ready on the edge of the backseat. She didn’t have to wait long. Raj was out moments after the final bell rang. For once, his lighter was tucked away as he swung his ring of keys around his left finger.
Graylee’s heart rate quickened.
Raj opened the car door and landed with a thud in the driver’s seat. “Another day in paradise,” he mumbled under his breath.
He reached forward with his key, but before he could stick it in the ignition he dropped the ring with a clink. Graylee had the string around his neck.
“Don’t move. Don’t speak,” Graylee hissed.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
by Shaina Cilimberg
Cole was ignoring the chatter of his classmates before history class started, when the cell phone beeped. Everything inside said to turn the phone off, but the unwillingness to wait until lunch period took over. A picture text message from Tanya. Her skin was tan and Cole didn’t see any clothing on her.
When Cole was baptized last month, he became a Christian and truly wanted to change everything for Christ. The moment Cole typed a message about wanting sex with her and pressed “Send”, he realized it was a mistake. This would ruin his relationship with God and with his new girlfriend. Things had been going so well between him and Emily Davis.
A candle flickered in the small, dimly lit Italian restaurant. Cole Martin destroyed the final slice of pizza and waited for Emily to finish chewing her last bite. Then, he got a wad of wrinkled money out of his stained jeans, which Emily always had compliments on.
Putting it on the table, he said, “I’ll pay for it.”
Emily asked, “You sure?”
Cole fingered the checkered table cloth. “Yeah. I had a job at the guitar shop this summer. My treat.”
A smile lit up her brown eyes. “Thanks.”
Then, Emily groaned, “I hate that summer’s over.”
Cole chuckled in agreement.. “Yeah. Maybe we should protest the start of school.”
The next day, Cole sat at his desk before class started, resting his head on skinny arms. He made sure the cell phone was turned off, just in case anyone else tried to sext him. That way, there wouldn’t be a temptation to once again fall into and lose another night of sleep over.
Emily walked up to Cole’s desk. “We should to go canoeing this weekend while it’s still hot out.”
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
By McCarty Griffin
He started toward her, but she backed away, growling past him at the thick wall of trees. She glanced in his direction once more, then, tail tucked, disappeared into the underbrush.
“What the hell? Get back here, dog!”
He could hear timber cracking and the underbrush snapping as something huge tore down the trail, coming on like a locomotive straight for him. He turned and fled.
“Sweet Jesus, sweet Jesus, sweet Jesus,” he chanted as he ran, his mother’s long-abandoned religion returning to him in extremis. He could feel its hot breath on the back of his head and gagged from the rank smell it exuded. Jesus God, what was chasing him?
by J. M. Preiss
Jacob after seeing something very telling:
He shook his head as he ran over the possibilities. "Something went wrong. Something went horribly wrong."
Monday, March 5, 2012
Maxine's frustration at trying to explain her obsessive compulsive disorder to the psychiatrist... #MysterySuspense #Comedy
A Life Lived Ridiculously
by Dr Annabelle R Charbit
He frowned and I cringed. I was nearest to the door. If I bolted now I would save us both the time and embarrassment. Instead, I took a deep breath and steadily described my all-consuming encounters with lampshades, bedclothes, books, and clutter. As I listened to the words pour from my mouth, I could have thumped myself in the face. Not because the words evoked emotions, rather I was disappointed by the extent to which the words trivialized the mental anguish associated with these decorating dilemmas. It was like suffering from a broken leg but only having the vocabulary to describe a scraped knee. Words just didn’t do justice to the pain. How do you tell a stranger that you don’t like the shape of your lampshade and at the same time expect them to understand that you are describing a pain that inhabits you fully, inserts itself between your cells like cement and wears your skin like a coat? I just sounded like I was whining.