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The Book Bazaar / PEARL LUSTER, FREE Dec. 11-14 First Chapter INSIDE
« on: December 11, 2012, 06:42:19 am »
About PEARL LUSTER  and the Touch Time & Soar Miniseries
(Please enjoy the full first chapter of PEARL LUSTER below.)

The stories in the Touch Time & Soar Miniseries are all linked by a fascination with artifacts and our delicate sense of touch.

Never underestimate the power of touch. Add in a beautiful family heirloom and you’ve got the makings of powerful and magical time travel.

In this story world, 21st century time travelers do exist. They are everywhere; the grocery store, movie theater, and even the typical (or mundane) place of work.

They are hidden in plain sight. Many of these travelers may appear as a free spirit passing through a life, and then they are gone, leaving only a whispered memory behind.

Touch Time & Soar is a miniseries consisting of short story episodes featuring one traveler’s experience.
The characters in these stories are the Daughters of Athena. A hidden bloodline, they have been among us since before the beginnings of written history.

It is their mission as warrior women to give aid to those in need, heal others when necessary, and lead women into greatness. (Think in terms of creative inventions like writing or great strides in women’s history like the right to vote.)

The independent women in this series are gifted with wanderlust and they know how to use it. There may be boyfriends or husbands in the picture, but they are grounded in time and do not travel with their women. This can frequently add to the conflict of the story.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


[ 1 ]  Happy Birthday
Present Day
East Stowe, Florida

Aunt Maggie’s earrings arrived on my twenty-fifth birthday. The gift was completely unexpected because she died when I was two years old. It turned out she left specific instructions the pearl earrings should be held until ‘Barbara is of the proper age.’

Those were her words, not mine.

The doorbell rang just after I arrived home from a long day working at the woman’s shelter.
It was rather late for a delivery. But when I pushed the curtain aside and peered out, the delivery man looked respectable enough.

Handsome, clean shaven, and dressed in the casual Friday style, he didn’t set off any predator alarms within my head. So I opened the door.

“Good evening,” he said. “Are you Barbara Gibbins?”

“Yes.”

Broad shoulders relaxed noticeably beneath his shirt.

“Finally!” he said. “Did you know there are three addresses listed for your current home? I’m from the law firm Meyers & Lake. I have a special delivery for you. The instructions clearly state this package must be delivered today. Frankly, I worried after you weren’t at the Ridgemont address.”

“I moved four months ago,” I said, slightly impressed he had searched two different towns for me. “What kind of package?”

He placed a black briefcase on the chair next to the door. “I’ll need you to sign for it,” he said, while spinning the small combination dials.

The latches snapped and he opened the black case. “The first document is just standard when receiving your inheritance. That one is for the probate court. The second is for a family member who insisted the handover be done by a qualified person to serve as a witness.”

“Inheritance?” The word made me shiver with a sense of dread. “Who died?”

“Oh, forgive me.” He spoke quickly and tried to reassure with a wave of his hand. “I should’ve mentioned this isn’t due to a recent death. It’s from your great Aunt Margaret. I believe she died twenty-three years ago.”

“She left me something in her will? No one ever said anything. In fact, growing up I only heard whispers about her. You know the kind I mean. Those soft muted words that were silenced when we kids came into the room. Aunt Maggie was definitely a woman of mystery.”

He laughed. “I have an aunt like that.”

The fact that he answered so openly increased my curiosity. “But why now? I mean after all these years. And what’s your name?”

“I’m James Markum. The answer to your question is easy. You haven’t received your inheritance because of her specific instructions.” He shuffled some folders in the briefcase, straightened, and held a dark green file with the papers that needed signatures on top.

“Don’t worry. I’m an attorney. That’s the reason Mr. Meyers sent me. I’m here as witness, too.”

“That’s comforting. I mean that you aren’t some evil doer. Instead, you’ve been sent by a reputable law office, but I’m still surprised.”

“Ah, you’ve heard of Meyers & Lake?”

“The law firm in Tampa that handles the difficult family and probate cases? Of course I’ve heard of them.” I glanced toward the street and finally stepped outside. Nearly twilight, I did not invite him into my home.

The balmy breeze felt great and there was plenty of foot traffic along the street to give a sense of security. The scent of summer flowers and the friendly passers-by along Virginia Street reminded me of two reasons I moved to this small town in Florida.

Mr. Shinn, an elderly neighbor, paused while walking his dog Sootie. “Evening,” he said from the sidewalk and waved. Sootie, a rambunctious Scottish terrier, tugged eagerly at her leash. She loved evening walks, but if there wasn’t someone to pet her, she always wanted to move onward.

I approached the porch rail. “How’s Ethel?”

Mr. Shinn tipped his head at James Markum and gripped Sootie’s leash firmly. “Ethel’s fine. She had a good afternoon. The doctor said she’s spry and will regain her mobility with physical therapy.” He fixed his attention on the stranger standing on my porch and motioned toward his house. “My wife fell and broke her hip.”

“That’s too bad,” Markum said. “Hope her therapy is successful.”

“Thank you,” Mr. Shinn replied. Sootie pulled toward a drifting butterfly. “I best be off. You folks have a good evening,” he said, and sent me an inquiring glance.

I gave him a reassuring nod.

Satisfied, he allowed Sootie to guide him down the street.

Two more neighbors jogged past and waved, but didn’t stop.

“You’re in a close knit community,” Markum said. “Are they satisfied you’re safe now?”

His question made me laugh. “Did you expect anything less in East Stowe with its tree lined streets? We’ve got an excellent neighborhood watch. Yes, they know I’m fine.”

He clicked a pen and handed it to me. “Well then, let’s sign these papers and you can get back to the business of celebrating your birthday.”

The porch swing was a convenient place to get comfortable. I sat and placed the folder on my lap while I read. The first paper had the formal letterhead for probate court. Reading through the legalese, I saw the original date of execution at the Blount County Court of Alabama, and toward the bottom of the page the listed bequeath. “Pearl earrings?”

Markum pulled a small red box from the briefcase, and held it so that I could see. Everything was tied neatly with an antique satin ribbon. A yellowed envelope beneath the box was probably a birthday card or private note. “This has been in the firm’s vault all these years.”

He motioned toward the papers, waiting for my signature.

“This second page is a proof of delivery for an Uncle Bob?”

“Yes. Is there a problem?”

“I don’t know an Uncle Bob.”

“It’s my understanding he’s from an estranged branch of your family. He didn’t protest your bequeath; just wanted legal proof you received everything. If you’ll sign, I’ll witness, and then you’ll be finished. I realize you probably have plans.”

Refocused on the pages, there was something that held my hand motionless over the signature line. It would be a simple action writing my name, but I hesitated.

A deep honesty blossomed in my heart and kept my hand motionless. I had to admit that my hesitation had nothing to do with the unexpected earrings. Yes, I was also curious about what may be written on the card.

But the true cause of my stillness was a sudden urge to know James Markum. “I don’t have special birthday plans. There was a party at work and I expected to go out with friends, but they were called to a crime scene. You know the life of police officers.”

“That’s unfortunate,” he said. “Especially since it’s Friday night. You know… There’s a concert at Pier 66 tonight. A walk along the beach and some music would be relaxing and fun. If you’re interested.”

With a flourish, I signed the second paper. “It’s an excellent idea.” I tucked the papers into the file folder and handed them back. “Give me a few minutes to freshen up?”

“Sure thing. Wear these,” he said, and gave me the package. “I bet they’ll look awesome.”

A soft warmth lingered where his fingers had held the small gift. The energy transferred through my skin in a rush of adrenalin. More at ease with him, I said, “Will do. Would you like to come inside while you wait?”

“Not necessary,” he replied, cocked his head toward the street, and winked. “I can pass the time out here. Keep an eye on your neighbors.”

The adrenalin rush from the warm velvet box carried me up the stairs to my room where I suddenly froze. A quick glance at the bedroom clock, it’s eight-thirty. Downstairs, the grandfather clock confirmed the time with its resonant declaration.

The concert, which is a weekly event during summer, usually lasted until eleven. It’s casual with people coming and going as they pleased, but at past events the music always grew livelier as the evening progressed. We wouldn’t miss anything getting there after nine.

Okay, what to wear? I kicked off my heels and changed quickly into comfortable capris, a soft blue printed tee shirt, and then pulled my favorite strappy sandals from the closet. They slipped on easily and enhanced my fresh pedicure.

As dusk deepened outside, I turned on the lamp.

The red box on the dresser drew me to its special contents. I paused before untying the bow. The satin was slightly stiff from age and the ribbon ends frayed.

It was strange that at this moment my mom rushed into my thoughts. She has been gone since I was thirteen. Vanished, leaving behind only the occasional hushed whispers of her name.

I shook the memories away, pulled the bow and set the ribbon aside.

The hinge on the red velvet box creaked softly when I lifted the lid.

Pearl luster glowed in the lamplight.

My fingers trembled slightly as I touched the smooth surface. The earring posts went into my ear lobes easily.

An unexpected sensation of tingling began at the top of my head. The feeling grew, and then traveled down my body as though I was being painted with faery glimmer.

A physical consciousness deepened the faery glimmer feeling as if a supernatural power touched the bone marrow within me. There was nothing different in my mirror reflection.

Everything still looked the same.

I stared at the luminescent pearls with their soft pink tint. The simple beauty drew my fingers upward, and I touched them again.

The room, dresser and mirror blurred into a combination of mist and darkened color that gradually became black.

The air in my bedroom spun as though a tornado burst through the solid oak door.

A blackness grew deeper than a starless night sky and engulfed my whole world. The only relief from darkness was an occasional bright light of color that flashed with the power of Fourth of July fireworks. The air sizzled with magic.

During those moments, I flew above what my mind perceived was the floor. As the motion intensified, it became difficult to discern which way was up, and even if there was a down anymore.


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

~ Aithne

2
Writers' Cafe / Color Me Confused... Amazon Reviewers Ranked?
« on: July 04, 2012, 11:38:43 am »
I know this seems like an odd question. Frankly I didn't know there was such a tight system ranking reviewers. The reviews I've had in the past were just that--comments about my stories.

Someone just gave Claire: the Lost Fae a 4*   ;D  and of course I'm pleased. So I clicked on her profile (something I've never done) and discovered she is reviewer ranked #1792. As a comparison I clicked another reviewer and that one is #397,305.

Do you ever compare the ranking of your book reviewers and does a higher ranking reviewer help your sales & book ranking. I guess I'm wondering behind all this, do reviewers have followers?


Thanks for any comments & insight.  8) <<< because it's a wonderfully hot 4th of July...


~ Aithne

3
The Book Bazaar / Claire: the Lost Fae
« on: March 01, 2012, 07:41:27 am »
Thank you for clicking the link and joining me here on this Kindleboards page.  ;D




Novella Product Description:

CLAIRE: THE LOST FAE will carry you through perilous dreams and danger invoked by legions of wicked daemons.

Perhaps you'll stick around and eventually soar over the San Francisco Bay rainbow.

One thing for sure, you'll wish you had never met a nasty hound from Hades, tangled with a wicked scarecrow or discovered the River Styx is real.

However, the chance to grow magically with Claire as she overcomes wicked challenges will win you over with appealing enchantment.

The window of opportunity is here—just a WhisperNet click away. Come in. Journey step by magical step as Claire carries you into this earthly in-between realm. Meet Claire's new friends (including Leeson, the love of her life) and challenge the darkest forces of Hades.

Novella - Word Count: 37,782

Here is a preview of Claire's magical world. Excerpt: What would you do if you didn't like the guy that just rescued you from vicious hounds?


They landed on a hillside dotted with old headstones. She shoved away from her rescuer. "Who are you? Didn't you hear me? That creep can smell magic! He'll follow us!"

"No. He can't follow. Besides, that old blanket will confuse the scent."

"Dammit! That old blanket and the clothes on my body are all I own. I'm asking again, who are you?"

"Name's Leeson. We'll get you a new blanket."

She growled. "Well Leeson," she said, fisting her fingers. "We need to get out of here."

"We're safe for now."

Exasperation spread from her belly upward. The resulting heat made her head feel on the verge of explosion. "Are you a brainless idiot?"

He peeled the mask off, revealing high cheekbones and mussed dark hair with cinnamon highlights shining from the moon glow. With a twist, he shoved the mask into a pocket of the long coat. "The hound can't track us here."

She hissed through her teeth. "That's just peachy! I don't believe you. You can stay. I'm going!"

He grabbed her arm. "No."

"Let me go, you [illegitimate person]!" Sister Teresa would have scolded her for swearing, but that guidance was no longer a part of her life. She wiggled and pulled. She could magic herself free but that would have called Grismere the hound to them.

* * * * * *
(lol...yes this is a love story;)

Thank you for stopping by.

*** Before you leave I wanted to mention that I unpublished Wyndy: in a Heartbeat from Smashwords yesterday. Because of this necessary action, I don't know how much longer this short story will remain FREE on Amazon.




4
Just wanted to share this FREE book with everyone because so many authors have been very helpful here at KB.


http://amzn.to/yOFMRq


Go for it. :D

5
Long ago... way back in October, I tried to get Wyndy: in a Heartbeat FREE on Amazon.

Yesterday, the Magic Day finally arrived.  :o

FREEdom At Last!

Who knew it would be such a long journey. lol

So, without further delay, here's some info for your reading pleasure....

Story Overview:

Haunted by his past, Malik rushes through a tempest filled Florida night toward an unexpected meeting with destiny. Harboring a soul that longs for unity with his mate, he tries to understand the shallow dating experiences up to this moment. He is positive there is someone with whom his heart beats in tandem. Where? He doesn’t have a clue.
Wyndy, Tempest Tamer Faery, has waited lifetimes for the return of her soul love.
Will Malik return?   


Excerpt:

Malik punched his foot down, seeking one last push of high before slowing down to turn into his driveway.

The light changed. Red glared, waving like a spectral omen on the coastal wind.

Lightning flashed, blinding him briefly, then…

A scream and sudden flash of movement surrounded by blue.

He braked hard, unsure of the apparition. Tires squealed. Lexee lost her grip on the wet pavement, spinning rakishly. Rotating the wheel opposite to Lexee’s motion, visions of his life flashed before his eyes.

He expected a crash. None came.

Silent stillness…

Breathing hard, grateful for continued life, he reached for the door handle. The scream echoed in his mind, horror at possibilities out in the wet world compelled him forward. He stepped out, instantly soaked, feet moving of their own volition.

His heart shook…

Blackness engulfed the world beyond the blue white lights shining from his car. He froze, unable to make his body move through the shock wrapping his brain.

She stood in the center of his car’s beams. Wet blue robes moved and shifted finally billowing outward in the rising wind. Head tilted back in full acceptance of heaven’s tears, arms raised to the stormy skies, the young woman remained motionless.

“Hey,” he said while noticing the blue flowers in her waist length blonde tresses. “You all right?”


Click the link below for your FREE Download.  Enjoy!



6
Writers' Cafe / Kindle Board the first to know?
« on: September 30, 2011, 05:24:20 am »
Well, I had a pleasant surprise this morning. Yesterday, I finally put one of my short stories on KDP. I waited all day for the 'approval process' to take care of itself. Last night I checked. Still not available.

This morning I checked again...

Oh what the heck. Still not available.

So I decided to pop in on the Kindleboards and check for someone else's good news. (daily habit)

So I click on the link to my novel and low and behold...

There's the book cover for my new short story.

Kindlebords got the notification before my KDP Bookshelf. Go figure.


Has this happened to YOU before?

I know, lurker coming out of the shadows to ask nosy question...

Would really like to know if someone else has experienced this phenomenon.

~Aithne

p.s. Betsy fixed my messed up sig-line. She's an Angel. :)

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CONCENTRIC CIRCLES: Twin Sparks of Love  


Shayla Brinawell comes from a fragmented family. Fearful of the dangers her daughter could face, Shayla's mother raised her to deny and hide her magical gifts. Shayla is about to have her world turned upside down and every other which way. Witch way that is. She must come to terms with her magical destiny in hyper drive.
 
Meekal Chilkwell has always known his life purpose. To protect the magical and healing waters of The Chalice Well located in the shadow of the great mystical Tor in Glastonbury, England. A new danger has arisen. One that threatens not only the Chilkwell family, but also the non-magical world.

Shayla & Meekal join together in order to conquer Syther the Quitch, an evil wizard bent on spreading darkness.

Favorite review:
"A nonstop thrill ride. Everything about this book was so intriguing." Beth Senters: ParaNormal Romance Reviews

The buy link in my sig will take you to Amazon where you can read the free sample. (FREE Kindle sample extends into 3rd chapter ;o)

8
I just found this and wondered if there's someone here with experience enough to know about legalities.

http://kindlegraph.com/books


Would love to hear your thoughts about this.

Thanks.

~ Aithne

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