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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

My AtoZ Theme Reveal 2014

A2Z Theme Reveal


Hello bloggers,

Being a part of the AtoZ April Challenge is an exciting, new experience for me. My original plan was to post random stories and articles, but it became puzzling for me deciding the topics to write for this challenge.

The deadline was coming up. I kept returning to the AtoZ  community to read and re-read the regular updates and useful guides that seasoned participants shared, as well as the questions that other newbies like myself had.

Participants are encouraged to create a theme, but although I was not particularly interested in doing this, I'm now glad I did. It's a more organised method for me in this challenge, not to mention the fun that goes with it. My theme (the 3rd one) which I'm sticking to, is mainly a collection of stories relating to fairy tale characters. Have you ever asked yourself "Where are they now?" "What are they doing?"

Well, you'll certainly find out what a few of your favourite characters are up in the tales I'm going to post on my blog. I'm really excited about this and have written a few already. If I can't find any characters to match the letters, such as Z, then I'll include other items and poems from my collection.

Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping this theme will be entertaining for you to  read!

Here is a poem I wrote for a senryu contest sometime ago. I thought it perfect for this post.

writers faith

writing a story
must be very creative
reviewers hold fate

Wishing everyone an awesome, fun-tastic AtoZ Challenge!


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Temptation (Acrostic)

Delectable chocolates

Tempting

Enticing

Moaning for more

Pleasing

Teasing

Alluring

Tantalizing for sure

I taste you

Ooh...sweet sensations

Never had it so good before....



It's not easy resisting you.....sigh.

===========================
Image courtesy of wikimediacommons.org

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Book Review: The Elemental Detective





The Elemental Detective


Author: Kirsten Weiss

Published: December 21, 2013 by Misterio Press

Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Mystery

Series: Book 5 in the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mystery novels

Word Count: 70, 647

Available for review: epub/Nook, mobi/Kindle, PDF/paperback

Get it from:

Amazon Barnes & Nobles and Kobo 

Blurb:

Mermaids, menehunes, and murder

Riga Hayworth just wants to relax with her new husband on their Hawaiian honeymoon. But a body on a Kauai beach pulls them into a murder investigation, sending the supernatural world into an uproar.

When Riga detects traces of magic at a murder scene, she knows she can't ignore the call. There's necromancy afoot, and she must prepare for the battle to come. But can Riga fight the forces of nature? Or will they destroy her and everyone she loves?

Book 5 in the Riga Hayworth paranormal mystery series, The Elemental Detective is a fun, fast paced urban fantasy blending romance with the supernatural, and exploring the magic of Hawaii.

Book Review:

This is my first time reading one of Kirsten's Weiss's books in the series: A Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mystery, but it won't be my last. The Elemental Detective is an entertaining, suspenseful story. Riga Hayworth, a necromancer and paranormal detective and her husband, Donovan, spend their honeymoon in Hawaii. Unfortunately for the couple, they discover the bodies of a man and seal on the hotel property. This is no ordinary murder case, as supernatural elements surrounds the newlyweds, trying to weaken and destroy them.

When another murder is committed, Riga and Donovan become prime suspects, as the police find them at the crime scene again. Riga experiences flashes of images and dreams that could help her solve the mystery, but is unable to interpret some of them. She gets some assistance from her relatives, a feisty French gargoyle named Brigitte and the ghosts of the victims, using the spells of black magic.

The Elemental Detective is a well written mystery that had me wondering who the villain was until the very end. I was introduced to the supernatural world of black magic known as necromancy, while being given a tour of the Hawaiian paradise. The story kept good pace with its unique plot, unusual selection of characters and a generous supply of humour. I thought Brigitte added spice with her dry wit, boldness and jealous nature. Kirsten Weiss is talented and writes expertly on a topic which has made this book enjoyable to read.

Excerpt: Pages 1-3

     The palms outside rattled like bones, awakening Riga. A warm salt breeze slipped through the open door, and shivered across her bare skin. Beside her, the mattress sagged, the bed frame creaking an accompaniment to her own, steady breathing.

    One breath rising and falling. Her breath.

    Muddled by sleep, she stilled, her heart leaping with a sudden jolt of adrenaline as she understood it wasn't her husband beside her, weighting the bed. Riga kept her breathing steady, and extended her other senses. Probing. She opened her eyes, peering through her lashes. Through the open glass door, the moon illuminated a winged figure, hunched beside her on the hotel's bed.

    "Brigitte!" Riga sat up, torn between annoyance and the panic rising in her throat. She clutched the sheet to her breasts. "What are you doing here? Where's Donovan?"

     The gargoyle shrugged, the sounds of rocks grating together, and the bed shifted. "Monsieur Mosse left an hour ago," she gravelled, a French-accented Lauren Bacall. "And his whereabouts are the least of your worries."

     Riga lurched to the left and reached for the bedside lamp. Instead, her fingers found emptiness, fumbled in the dark, then touched a wooden leg, upright, seemingly supporting nothing. Where the hell had the tabletop gone? Her fingers brushed a rounded stump and it fell over with a crash. Where the hell had the lamp gone?

     She swung her feet out of bed, took two steps,and bashed her shin into something hard. Riga felt along the wall and smacked the light switch, cursing. Uncomprehending, she stared. Everything but the bed had been turned upside down. Cushioned wicker chairs. Wooden table. Television...She grabbed her silk robe, draped over an upside down ottoman, and slipped it on, walked to the entertainment center. That was still upright, but the TV inside had been inverted.

     Wonder leaked past her anxiety. She sniffed. A trace of magic lingered, wild like a forest glade, elemental. Fae? She regarded the creative destruction she'd slept through, and amended that thought. Stealth fae. Dammit. She fumbled the belt of her robe.

     "What happened to Donovan? Where is he?" Riga's voice sounded shrill, even to her.

     "Your husband left of his own accord."

     "Alone?" Riga motioned toward the mess. No, it couldn't be happening again. Not another run-in with the faery world. Not here. Not now. "Did you see who-"

    Brigitte's stone-feathered head reared backwards. "I do not spy!"

    "But you saw Donovan leave."

    "And then I waited by ze rocks until you woke up."

    "You woke me up."

    The gargoyle picked at her feathers. "I grew bored, and the sun will rise soon, and we have much to discuss."

     The diamond on Riga's finger glinted, and she rubbed the back of her wedding rings with her thumb. She and Donovan hadn't yet adjusted to island time, and both were rising well before daybreak. Donovan had probably woken up while she was sleeping and grown restless, hadn't wanted to wake her. Of course he was safe. It couldn't be happening again. That would be stretching the bounds of...She worked the knot on her robe. He was safe.

     She swallowed, despising the remnants of fear that made her muscles twitch, and flipped her emotions to anger. Anger was simpler.

About the Author:

Kirsten Weiss is the author of the Riga Hayworth paranormal mystery series: The Metaphysical Detective, The Alchemical Detective, The Shamanic Detective, The Infernal Detective, and The Elemental Detective.

Kirsten worked overseas for nearly fourteen years, in the fringes of the former USSR and deep in the Afghan war zones. Her experiences abroad not only gave her glimpses into the darker side of human nature, but also sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.

Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes paranormal mysteries, blending her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem. Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn't like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer reruns and drinking good wine.

You can connect with Kirsten through the social media sites below, and if the mood strikes you, send her an e-mail at kirsten_weiss2001@yahoo.com

@RigaHayworth
Kirsten's Website: http://www.kirstenweiss.com

Link: http://www.amazon.com/Elemental-Detective-Hayworth-Paranormal-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00HCNDGPY/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394920747&sr=1-1&keywords=the+elemental+detective



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Friday, 7 March 2014

Lydia of the Lighthouse

Negril Lighthouse


"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times," Mike Walters recited his favourite quote, as he looked out the lighthouse window. A storm was brewing, and the sky had suddenly become darker. He could hear the wind whistling its haunting tune.

"True words spoken, my friend," remarked Gary Morris. "I hope the weather changes soon. The fishermen have a good season so far, and it would be a disaster if the storm ruins it for them. Besides, most of them owe me money for the supplies they took on credit at the store. Let's hope for the best." The two men spoke for a few more minutes before Gary took his leave.

Mike made himself a pot of coffee, realising it was going to be a long sleepless night, as the storm increased in size. A few of the trawlers had not returned to the dock. The sea was rough and the waves beat angrily against the rocks. His thoughts ran on Lydia and he smiled, knowing he would see her soon.

It was early in the evening but the storm was thick, making it difficult to see anything on the horizon. The lighthouse was brightly lit, and Mike prayed anyone unlucky to be out in this weather would be safely guided by its beckoning light that shone from the tower.

As he looked through the telescope, Mike heard a familiar wail and turned to where the sound came from. A woman was running up the rocky path towards the lighthouse. Lydia had finally made it. Mike put on his jacket and quickly made his way down the spiral stairs to meet her.

"Mike!" Lydia called out, reaching out to him with outstretched hands. She wore a long white dress which swayed against her slender body in the strong wind. A beam of light shone on her pale face, and Mike saw how frightened she looked. Lydia was terrified of the loud thunder and lightning flashes.

"Don't be scared darling, I'm here," he gently replied. Mike touched her hand feeling its coldness, and led Lydia back to the warm lighthouse. She always felt safer there with him. They went into the tower and Mike placed Lydia in a chair near the heater.

"I love you so much," he said trailing his hand along her face. They were married fifteen years. Mike closed his eyes, remembering their wedding day which was embedded in his memory forever.

Lydia of the Lighthouse

It was a sunny day and Mike heard the seagulls calling out to each other. He had returned to the lighthouse to speak to Gary, who would manage things while he and Lydia went on their honeymoon. They were married a short while ago. Mike was happy knowing he had finally married the woman he loved. His bride was waiting for him at the church hall, where they would leave to go on the cruise he had promised her.

It suddenly became unusually windy, and the sky darkened blocking out the sun. A loud thundering rumble was heard and a heavy downpour of rain came. A freak storm had hit the small fishing town of Baleen Shore.

Mike and Gary were shocked by this unexpected change in weather, but quickly got into action; sounding the bellowing horn and switching on the floodlights. There were never any signs that this storm would develop, although it was not uncommon for one to occur without warning.

"Unbelievable!" Gary uttered. Mike swore, stunned by this turn of events that now ruined the start of his new life. It rained heavily, and Mike had no choice but to remain in the building and hoped the storm would quickly pass. The telephone line seemed to be damaged by the storm, and the radio was not picking up any frequencies. This made his mood more sullen.

"What's that?" Gary asked, pointing at something he saw. Mike looked closely and picked out the shape of someone running up the pathway. It was Lydia!

"What the hell is she doing out here!" Mike exclaimed and ran out the building.

"Mike!" Lydia called out to him with outstretched hands. She wore a long white dress which swayed against her slender body in the strong wind. A beam of light shone on her pale face, and Mike saw how frightened she looked. Lydia was terrified of the loud thunder and lightening flashes.

"Lydia, you shouldn't have come!" he shouted against the howling wind, running as fast as he could down the path. The water rose higher, pelting the rocks.

"I was worried and wanted to be with you, and the telephone isn't working," she replied. The grass was slippery and Lydia fell, rolling towards the edge of the cliff. She screamed, landing on a lower ridge of the steep cliff. Mike finally got to Lydia.

"It's going to be alright. Don't panic my love," Mike reassured her, but felt scared himself.

"I love you, Mike," she said in a trembling voice as he grabbed her hands, trying to pull her to safety. But the wind was strong, and the rain pelted down his face. A huge wave rose up and covered Lydia, which released his grip on her. Gary had followed Mike when he saw what had happened, but was too late to offer any assistance.

Mike screamed his wife's name, and it took all of Gary's strength to keep Mike from jumping into the raging sea below. They held onto each other, raindrops and tears mixed together as they made their way back to the lighthouse.




"That cursed storm changed my life forever,"
Mike said out loud, realising that he had been lost in thoughts again.

"What do you mean?" Lydia asked, putting a cold hand on Mike's shoulder when she stood up.

"I meant the storm just changes my plans, and now I'll have to stay indoors for awhile," he lied.

Mike closed his eyes, fighting back the tears. Lydia had been dead fifteen years now, and she still did not know. He just could not bring himself to tell her the truth after all this time. Whenever it rained or there was bad weather, she always appeared in her wedding gown, running up the pathway calling his name. Lydia always assumed she had left the church hall to be with him in the bad weather, believing they would go on their honeymoon after it cleared.

Some sailors around Baleen Shore often claimed they saw a figure in white on stormy nights at the lighthouse. The older folks who knew the tragic story called her Lydia of the Lighthouse. Mike had refused to leave this place after his bride died, preferring to remain to protect her from the storms. He blamed himself for Lydia's death and became a recluse, avoiding contact with most people in the town. As long as he had Lydia, he would never be lonely.

Maybe someday she will learn the truth, but not today, he told himself. She will always be his Lydia of the Lighthouse.



Images courtesy of wikimediacommons.org.
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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Feeling The Write Vibes



Yesterday I wrote a 150 word story for the Glipho prompt. After writing it, I edited and was pleased with the outcome but did not submit it. Someone refrained me from doing so. It was my newly employed muse. She didn't think it was the right story for the prompt.

Sure, it was nicely written and we agreed on that, but she wasn't feeling the connection that Glipho wanted. Back to the drawing board, and I typed another story that was entirely different to the first. Again, another good article, but my muse was still hesitant about me posting it.

Why? She explained that writers should always feel comfortable and confident with the content. Never be too hasty to post, especially if it is for contests. I confess I have been guilty of this a couple of times, and regretted my quickie posts.

After writing an article, think about the content and ask yourself if it feels right for the occasion. She though the two stories would be ideally suitable as daily blog posts. That makes sense, I thought. She's earning the pittance I haven't paid as yet.

With the help of a good cup of coffee to stabilise my patience, I sat at the desk and began to type again, clueless to a plot. My fingers moved swiftly, churning out 58 words per minute. You want to feel the damn vibes. Well, I'll give them to you! 

The third time was the charmer, and as much as I hated to admit this to my muse, she was right again. I actually felt the vibes she spoke about, and knew this was the one I wanted to post on Glipho. It was a success, and received great reviews!

With this being said, it made me wonder if other writers have similar problems, or am I being too fussy. This is not the first time this drama occurred, but for some unexplained reason, I actually paid more attention to my muse. The added plus is that there are two completed stories I can use anytime, and will add them to the other ones that are waiting to be posted.


Image courtesy of wikimediacommons.org.
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Monday, 3 March 2014

Butt Out!




"Speak when you are spoken to, and answer when you are called."

How I wish Leslie would heed this advice. 

She always has an annoying tendency to worm her way into our conversations.




This weeks word is Worm (transitive verb)
Your response must be exactly 33 words, using the 3rd definition given in the post.

Worm - 3rd definition :
To obtain or extract by artful or insidious questions or by pleading, asking or persuading - usually used with - out of.

Image courtesy of wikimediacommons.org.
Please feel free to comment.