Wednesday, June 27, 2012

55 Word Challenge - Week 15

Contest details are here.

Update- This received an Honourable Mention! Thank you to the judge, Rebecca Clare Smith(@jocastalizzbet).

Image Prompt

My Entry

Just a spark had been enough; the forbidden spell shredding his veins, scoring his skin.
A mangled corpse lay under earth.
And Lucifer, all thought.
Foolish humans, not to recognise a mere vessel. Not to check his scalp.
A wicked smile curled her lips as she placed roses on the grave.
“You should’ve loved me.”

55 words


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Visual Dare #10 - Peeking

Visual Dare details are on the lovely Angela's blog, here.
You should join in - just use the image prompt for a little flash fiction or work-in-progress inspiration!

Image Prompt

My Entry

Two little faces pressed into glass, long yearning breaths clouding the windowed world.
On the table inside was a basket of village berries, a plate of biscuits and in the middle, a cake holding a candle.
The mother lit the wick. There was orange and yellow.
And a little blue, a shaken sliver.
The daughter’s eager gaze fell on the flame.
The girl outside puckered her lips. Her eyelids dropped and for a moment, just one sparkling moment, there was a dream.
The girl outside leaned on her brother’s shoulder. “Thank you.”
He held her closer. “Happy birthday, sister.”

100 words


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

55 Word Challenge - Week 14

Details of the contest are here.

Photo Prompt

My Entry

Wind from the window was slapping her face and the whir of overhead blades, overwhelming her senses.
Her hand bit into his comforting grasp.
He spoke but she only felt his warm breath.
Outside, the Eiffel Tower glowed; a lit French giant saluting them.
He kissed her forehead and said in her ear, “happy anniversary.”

55 words


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

GUEST POST - Napping Blogger Award

I've rented out a little spot on my blog to my admirable friend, Miranda Kate, who I've nominated for the Napping Blog Award.
Read on and find out just what this hard-working writer does to relax!

The rules for the Napping Blogger Award are easy:
  1. Link back to the ones who gave you the award.
  2. Tell us what you do to take time for YOU! That might be a hobby, a musical break, a favorite movie or show, sitting outside enjoying nature, or even taking a nap!
  3. Nominate five other bloggers - especially folks you think deserve a break from their routine.

Take time for me? I wish!! Although in all honestly I suppose I do as I live in the virtual world of Twitter and Facebook hidden away up here in the converted loft – mostly to avoid a very mundane, uninspiring life in a remote village in the middle of Holland (wouldn’t recommend it!).

Besides managing a home, running after two small children (3½ & 6), and avoiding going out and circulating amongst another culture I find ‘exasperating’, it is difficult to define what I would do to relax. At the present time if I stop for 2 minutes I fall asleep! LOL But if given the opportunity I try and read, as I have over 40 unread books on my shelves – mostly of the Stephen King variety (I am behind by 3 books on his books! ARRGGH). And I am a total film lover with a collection of more than 150 DVD’s, and can watch films I love over and over!

But to get away entirely – I have been known to go to the Spa for the day with my husband and there I love to lie in the ‘Rest room’ where they have lights that slowly change colour and soft ‘muzak’ playing, or bubble away in a Jacuzzi!

And if I get time away in my home city of London, which I have managed twice in the last year, house-sitting for a friend, I love to walk through the central London parks, or visit my favourite park in Wimbledon, South Park Gardens where I can sit and people watch for hours!

Meantime back in the day to day mundane, I do meditate, although not routinely. I use lavender oil to help clear my mind, and I am a dabbler in Tarot, Angel Cards, and my new favourite cards; The Enchanted Map, Oracle Cards.

Who to pick for this is hard as there are so many people, who I am I most curious about?

Jessica Maybury @JessicaMaybury
Dionne Lister @DionneLister
Laura Huntley @LauraHuntley
Cara Michaels @caramichaels
Jen DeSantis @JenD_Author

Tuesday Tales 45

Details of the contest are here.

Image To Be Used

Secret Word

My Entry

Hidden in the valley’s dip, Hinata watched as the men exchanged sharp, strategic blows. She’d been brought up in the academy but was forbidden from participating in what was so exoteric for men.
A polished pole halved her vision and she almost stumbled backwards but a pair of legs kept her upright.
Legs behind and beam ahead, Hinata was imprisoned.
“Isamu?” she asked.
“Stand, Hinata.”
“Please don’t - "
He handed her the pole then stepped down, facing her serenely.
“Before training, it’s customary to bow.”
Hinata stilled, and then an understanding smile touched her face.
“You’ll train me, Isamu?”

100 words


Monday, June 18, 2012

Motivation Monday

Contest details are here.
Results are here.

It appears this entry of mine won an Honourable Mention. Thank you to Jeffrey Hollar, the judge!

Source -

My Entry

“You don't need to fight over me,” he whispered under a breath. “Hell, you should stay away from me completely.”
Edward leaned against the cold Corinthian pillar. He balanced a champagne flute between two fingers, tipping it this way and that in a lazy game he much preferred to tonight’s company.
A cluster of debutantes had grown closer, many of them still shielding themselves with their fans as the others watched him not-so covertly.
His words of advice had been aimed at them.
Edward pitied them; not because they were particularly unattractive. No, some of them were actually quite fetching in their silk gowns, and he expected would soon have a few courters to pick from. Not to say the simple-looking ones wouldn’t have a chance at matrimony; old Lord Rutherford was always looking for a young thing to liven his nights.
But Edward pitied them because they couldn’t contain their curiosity. Every year the young women were told that he, the sixth Duke of Chessington was a man beyond the reach of any commitment; not least of all, matrimony.
Oh, but would they be women if they simply complied?
Definitely not.
He almost shuddered when he thought of just how many unchaperoned meetings he’d been lured into. Never was he going to trust another doe-eyed woman who was in ‘desperate need of air.’
Never was he going to trust any woman watching him like he was a regal dish to be won.
His free hand clenched a fist, anger tightening all his muscles.
He did away with his drink and anticipating no enjoyment from the evening, waited outside as his carriage was brought to the front.
In no mood to converse with those also emerging from the ballroom, he eased himself away from the entrance till he was by the rustling shrubbery of the gardens.
He craned his neck, for there was no wind to cause the elemental sound.
It was a little thing, a little girl half sat under a shelter of dark green foliage.
“Excuse me?” Edward whispered, with a step towards her.
Her head darted up.
It wasn’t a girl’s . . . it was a woman’s.
She wiped at her eyes with rough gloved hands and the terse movements loosened her curls.
“Yes, your Grace” she said, brokenly.
Edward’s carriage finally arrived and came to a halt behind him. He glanced at it before disregarding it and stepping further onto the greenery.
“Can I be of assistance?” he asked.
Her big blue eyes were shining with newly shed tears and they reminded him of his many matrimonial escapes. But this woman, she looked puzzled and worried.
She couldn’t be one of those schemers.
He knelt down and pulled out a handkerchief for her.
“You can tell me what’s wrong,” he said.

466 words


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

'Be Inspired' Blog Hop


Volunteered for this blog hop by the (I would usually say lovely here but he might not like that) strange, possibly psychotic but brilliant Matt Sloan (@Matt_Sloan) who has an amazing raven-filled blog you should take a gander at.
There are more things to his credit than just that, of course, but ravens are cute so  . . .

First, the rules:

1. Answer the ten questions
2. Tag five other writers, link to them in your post so we can hop over and see their answers too.

The Questions:

1. What is the name of your book:

Maid For A Gentleman

2. Where did the idea for your book come from?

The idea to actually write a book came, oddly enough, mid-way through one I was reading. I paused, looked up at the ceiling and thought that surely it couldn't be THAT hard to write my own. 
Oh, but ignorance is bliss!
The actual concept of my story came to me as a series of dreams. I saw a maid, an aristocratic gentleman and a friendship between the two of them that felt so intimate yet out of place that I didn't want to let go off it.
That coupled with the desire to create brought upon my story.

3. In what genre would you classify your book?

Historical Romance. (No surprises there!)

4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?  

All I'd like is an actor and an actress with kind features - that's how I imagine my leading protagonists. Preferably, they wouldn't be well-known though; I'd like to have fresh faces to grow into my characters and bring them to life.

5. Give us a one sentence synopsis of your book:

After being abandoned by his fiance, Nicholas Reyne decides a change of scene could be just what he needs, and even more, he realises, a change of company . . . even if the intriguing maid he tries to befriend is nothing short of terrified by him when he's sure he's being perfectly nice. 

(I'm really horrible at summarising!)

6. Is your book already published/represented?
No. Not as yet (have to keep the optimism alive) but I'm at 90,000 words and so I'm hoping to close in on the edits as soon as I can.

7. How long did it take to write your book?

It would be six and a half months now. So, not too shabby.

8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours? 

I can't say my style is much like any author's but I hope that readers of Anne Gracie, Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn would enjoy it.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?

As mentioned above; Anne Gracie, Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, Karen Hawkins, Jo Beverley . . .  it really is a long list of talented women.
And, to break the pattern, James Rollins. How the man can take a subject I've never liked and mend it into a captivating story, I'll never know! I even briefly looked into different types of guns because they were included in his novels (not something I would ordinarily do).
That, is surely one of many marks of a good author. 
One day I'd like to make people look up random things featured in my books.

10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.

The story is primarily told from the maid's point of view; Caroline. 
Embedded within the story (in places that make sense, I promise you) are memories that span from the age of 4 to her current of 24. 
Some of them are funny little ones about her helping to tie pudding bags in the kitchen, others are about a filial loneliness she prefers to ignore, but all of them do serve a purpose together. 
If I've been successful at all, collectively, they should show just how much a person changes throughout their life.
And, that love is the best reason to do so.

And now – to tag five other amazing bloggers (apologies if you've already been tagged):

Enjoy! This isn't an easy lot of questions!

Napping Blogger Award

Feast your eyes on The Napping Blogger Award -

Thank you to the ever-magical Anna of the Fairy Courts for nominating me. She always knows how to  put a smile on my face and I love her to death for it!
Visit her stretch of Wonderland here

Update - And thank you to Matt who, like myself, is a child at heart, and finds nothing wrong in watching cartoons from the good ol' days.
Take a very long peek at his beautiful blog here.

The rules for the
Napping Blogger Award are easy:
  1. Link back to the ones who gave you the award.
  2. Tell us what you do to take time for YOU! That might be a hobby, a musical break, a favorite movie or show, sitting outside enjoying nature, or even taking a nap!
  3. Nominate five other bloggers - especially folks you think deserve a break from their routine.

It's hard to take time to relax. I feel almost guilty when I do so I always have a notebook or the 'Notes' section of my phone open, just in case I have an idea. That's probably not a good break though, so lately I swear I've cut down.

I spend time with my brother, who at fifteen years is a bit of a handful. Except when he's watching tv. The silly boy started making me watch Japanese Anime and reading it's Manga too.
And that's not all; it's about ninjas . . .
Never thought I'd be one of those people!

I also go to the Park across the street if the weather will be so kind as to be bearable. 
Lucky for me, no one really goes there. Who needs fresh air, after all?

The number of people I know who deserve this is actually quite frightening but, I know a few of them who always make me glad I try so hard or strive to work a little harder. Which is nice - I need a push every now and then.
Pushing yourself and me (even without knowing it) can be tiring though so I hope you all enjoy this Napping Blogger Award and take a well deserved break!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Heaven Help Him

This is my entry for the Forbidden Love Blog Hop held on the beautiful Ruth Long's blog.
Should you wish to enter (and you should), the details of the contest are here.

 My Entry 

Sebastian touched the tender back of his head and swallowed prayers as his fingers found the swell of flesh-embedded shrapnel.
He’d been branded the lucky one; the only of his friends to survive Waterloo.
But Marcus had been so close. He’d almost come back with him. He’d held the pain, each excruciating second that promised return, but breath had fallen and under a sky of gunfire, he'd entrusted Sebastian with his sister’s safety.
The sister, Sara, walked towards him dressed for the evening ball, her gown embracing her kindly. He turned at the sight.
 Soon she’d walk down a different path, white over skin and smile on her face as she pledged herself to another.
And if he still was, he’d give her away.
Hand all which he coveted to another.
Lucky, indeed.
That the rakehell had fallen in love when his time was knelling to a close.
“Sebastian, why don’t you marry me?”
 “Don’t be ridiculous.”
“It isn’t ridiculous.” The distance shrank between them. “I need a husband and you need a wife. Marry me, Sebastian.”
His hand curled in a fist. “Do you know what you’re saying?”
“Yes. I love you,” she said softly.
Heaven help him.
Her hands sat on his shoulders and he stilled, his mind flickering warnings, his blood burning veins.
She leaned in, and to kiss her was a dream unlike others. Pure, chaste Sara in his arms could absolve the sins he had lived. She poured light over his soul and struck hope in his barren heart.
But she deserved more than his truncated life.
“No!” he tore out, pushing her back.
“Sebastian?” her voice broke in question.
“Leave, Sara. Now!” he thundered.
Her lips settled, disheartened. “I thought you loved me too.”
Sebastian quelled the urge to confess. “Well, you were wrong.”

300 words


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tuesday Tales 43

Details of the contest are here.
Results are here
Would you believe I won an Honourable Mention? Many thanks to the talented judge, Miranda (PurpleQueenNL)

Image To Be Used

Secret Word


My Entry

A Promise

She looked crazy, shoes and bag in hand as she paced the pavement.
But it was a promise, and she always kept her promises. Even if they were made years ago.
Her heart thudded lower and she squinted to see the approaching figure.
A man, jacket roofing his head.
There was familiarity in the way they looked at each other, a concoction of memories that stole them into the past again.
“You’re early,” she smiled.
“So are you,” he returned.
I couldn’t wait, they thought.
With the canopy over their heads they walked down the street in perfect past continued.

100 words


Monday, June 4, 2012

Motivation Monday - Week 30

Contest details are here.
Results are here.

My Entry

“It gets better you know.”
Everyone said it. Her mother had held her hand as she did, her father had patted her shoulder as he did and everyone else had shuffled awkwardly as they uttered those same words like a memorized script.
It gets better you know.
Exit stage left.
But no one said when.
And without knowing when, what use was the platitude? It was like saying it’d be sunny soon, but she couldn’t plan a picnic if she didn’t know when the weather would permit it.
Andrea was thinking those thoughts days after her husband’s funeral. She hadn’t yet changed out of her mourning dress, afraid that if she did it would show her acceptance. An acceptance that she was wasn’t willing to feel just yet.
In the garden her daughter was playing with her mother. At first she’d hated the idea of being taken care of, as if she’d reverted back to childhood. She glanced out of the window at the cloud streaked sky . . . she was glad for the help now, knowing that she wasn’t in a good state to do anything.
Not even cry.
Her eyes burned from the constant tears of the previous day and her throat had never felt so dry before. Her mind was an entirely different matter, shot into chaos without a hope of return.
Lord, but it hurt to think and even not to think.
She hung her head in her hands and Matthew was sitting next to him. He said nothing but she recognized the masculine scent of his body.
Still in silence, he sighed and showing no hesitation, pulled her against his shoulder. The two had become closer since the death.
She had lost a husband and he had lost a brother.
She kept her eyes closed and imagined just for her a moment that Matthew was her husband, holding her as he used to but the memory twisted and contorted her wishes and all she saw was his mangled corpse in the car.
A sob threatened to burst through her mouth and Matthew shushed her, rubbing her back with slow warming movements.
“Andrea?” he asked so tenderly.
“Don’t tell me it gets better,” she choked, still not opening her eyes.
His hand tightened on her shoulder, just a little. But it was enough to let her know she wasn’t alone. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”
Andrea felt the truth in his voice. Neither cared for lies and coaxing words but company was a different matter even if it wasn’t an optimistic sort.
“Thank you, Matthew,” she whispered.
“Don’t thank me yet. I’m going to need you much more than you’ll need me,” he said, trying to lend a little lightness to the words.
And she loved him all the more for it.

467 words


Friday, June 1, 2012

Faerytaleish Pinterest Contest - Entry No.2

Dear readers,
My favourite fairy queen, Anna, is hosting her Fairytale contest here and I made the mistake of skimming through the Faerytaleish Album once more.
Result being, I found another image that spoke to me!
Here is my second entry.
I hope you enjoy!

Chosen Image