Monday, July 21, 2014

Tuesday Tales - Bloom

Welcome to another edition of Tuesday Tales, and more White Moon, Yellow Leaves, a M/F contemporary romance.

 This week Dana and her son join Jonah for a walk through the woods that surround Mud Puppy Lake.

Our word this week is 'Bloom'. As always, all comments are greatly appreciated. Make sure to check out all the Tuesday Tales authors great contributions.




White Moon, Yellow Leaves

*~*~*




           

            Jonah and Rhett were lakeside. I ambled over to them. Jonah was trying to teach Rhett how to skip rocks. It saddened me that the boy had to rely on a relative stranger to do things his father should be doing.

            “So you like football or baseball better?” I heard Jonah asking as I walked up behind them, my hands crammed into the pockets of my heavy fleece jacket. “Try again." Jonah drew back and released his rock. It skipped several times, making the pristine reflections on the still lake bounce.

            “I can`t help it,” the boy replied, his own attempt at rock-skipping ending in a single plunk. “My rock keeps sinking.”

Jonah laughed. It was a rich, warm sound that bounced off the oak and elm. “Hold it like this.” He then showed the lad the proper grip again. Leopold chose that moment to explode from the woods. His barks of greeting had the guys once more finding me behind them.

“Hey gents,” I said then smiled. Jonah smiled back. Rhett threw the rock as far as he could then ran after the never-tiring dachshund. Around the lake boy and dog went. I was exhausted just watching them. “I`m ready for our hike.”

Jonah nodded and we set off, stopping to wait by the lone dock for boy and dog to finish their lap and join us. Rhett would sleep like a fallen tree tonight, which would save me being kicked in the back until the wee hours.

The four of us began the hike by walking behind the line of camps. The grouse path was really nothing more than a heavily used deer path. Why it`s called a grouse path I don`t know. Over the years humans have made the deer path a part of a meandering trail that circles the lake. The path increases gradually at first, levels out, climbs again, and then really takes off. If you`re an intrepid sort you can try to follow the path the deer made up the rocky slope. I`ve never been off the path though and didn`t intend to start now. I`d get enough cardio staying on the lane hunters and weekend hikers used.

We walked in companionable silence for about fifteen minutes. Rhett and Leopold were finally beginning to show signs of fatigue when we huffed our way to the first rise. My son fell face first into the dewy leaves, the dog collapsed at his side, tongue lolling.

“Sweet Mary and Joseph,” I panted, slapping my hands to my knees. Jonah chuckled breathlessly. “I need to do this more often I guess,” I added.

“It gets better,” he teased as he walked past me. “Let`s grab a few breaths."

 I straightened. Jonah had found a rock formation that looked down on the roofs of the cabins. I shuffled over, my hiking boots burrowing up wet leaves that released that damp smell of forest loam.

“I`d have to say ‘better’ is a rather subjective word, Mr. Big Deer.”

“True.” Jonah patted the rock next to where he was seated. I dropped down on it gratefully then took in the scenery while my breathing slowed. The air was still and the trees were dropping their offerings slowly. A sugar maple to my right let go of one of the few remaining leaves on its boughs. It fluttered down and I caught it. The ends were dried and curled but the middle held a tint of gold yet. I studied the veins, cradling the leaf carefully.

“When I was a child I used to think that God had gilded the leaves with gold,” I said. “I think I`ve always preferred the yellow leaves for that reason.”

“I always liked the red leaves myself,” Jonah interjected. I turned my hand over. The leaf joined the hundreds,  perhaps thousands, of others on the ground. “When I was a kid Andy told us why the trees turned red in the fall.” He glanced over at me. “Would you like to hear the story?”

I nodded for him to tell the tale then called my son over. Once Rhett was situated on my thigh Jonah began speaking.

 “Once there was a mighty bear that was making trouble for a village. He would circle the village, scaring away or eating the animals the people survived on. Hunting parties were sent out to kill the bear, as the people were close to starving. The hunters searched for days and days, following the tracks closely. One day they came upon the bear and shot him with arrows but it did not kill the bear, his skin was too thick and the arrows couldn`t pierce it. The bear grew angry and killed most of the warriors.

The survivors returned to the village and told their story. Party after party was sent out. None could slay the great bear. One night, as the bear stalked around the village, three brothers had the same dream. In the dream they saw themselves tracking and killing the great bear. They set off to find the bear and free the people from starvation."

             I peeked at my son. He was spellbound.

"They tracked the great bear for days and days until they were at the end of the earth. The bear saw them coming and leaped into the sky. The three warriors followed the great bear into the heavens. The bear was slow and tired because his winter sleep was coming soon. The three hunters were able to get close to the drowsy bear and shoot their arrows into his body. His blood drips from his body and changes the leaves in fall, but, he does not die. He always gets away,” Jonah explained to my wide-eyed son. “Great Bear becomes invisible for a time, but he reappears in the skies as the Big Dipper with the three brothers still chasing him.”

“That`s a great legend,” I said. Rhett bobbed his head in silent appreciation. Jonah lowered his head theatrically then thanked us warmly.

“Someday I`m going to track and kill a bear!” My son, who had sat still  for a whole two minutes, exclaimed, leaving my lap to find a stick to slay something with. Leopold lifted his brown head from his paws, wagged his tail and leaped to his feet to aid my boy in imaginary bear slaying.

“And there goes your attentive audience,” I laughed and waved at the departing twosome, my hand coming back to rest on my thigh.

“Ah well, I had him in the palm of my hand for a couple of minutes,” the man chuckled. The aforementioned palm moved over to rest on top my hand. The smile fell from my face. My head spun to the right. Eyes as dark as night bore into mine, sending my heart into a funny sort of dubstep kind of rhythm. Pink bloomed on my cheeks, the heat of embarrassment and desire searing my nose.

“Jonah, what are you doing?” I asked after swallowing. I did not pull my hand away. His was warm and big and calloused.

“I`m being bold and holding your hand,” he answered matter-of-factly.

“I`m ten years older than you.” I had to say it. It needed to be out there in front of his face. He leaned over to the left just a bit and pawed into the front of his coat with his free hand. I sat there like a bump, scared to turn my hand over and grip his yet also scared that he would let go. From the inside of his shirt he pulled a necklace. It was beautifully crafted and decidedly masculine. Five claws were strung on a thin strip of rawhide. Between the wickedly curved claws were silver and turquoise beads.

“Do you know what these are?” he asked, giving the necklace a rattle. I shook my head. “They`re puma claws,” he clarified, mischief tweaking up the corner of his mouth. “I killed the cat when I was down in Florida working on my uncle`s sheep ranch last summer. She started killing livestock, then attacked the child of one of my uncle`s employee`s. Took five dogs and ten hours but we treed her.”

“So you`re trying to show me that…”

“I`m not scared to tangle with a cougar, Dana.”

*~*

The story Jonah shared with Dana and Rhett is just one of many wonderful Seneca legends. If you are interested in learning more about the Seneca legends and folklore, you can check out the following pages:

Seneca Legends
Copyright 2012 ©by V.L. Locey

*~*~*

Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.


See you next week!


Campus Cravings Cover Reveal!


I love, love, love being able to share in cover reveals! Today we get a peek at the cover of Campus Cravings, a new boxed set from some wonderful M/M authors. Enjoy!








Welcome to Cathia University, where school is in session! Nine of today's hottest gay romance authors have crafted brand-new interrelated novellas celebrating everything wonderful about college, with over 200,000 words featuring sophisticated professors, sexy teaching assistants, ambitious grad students, and spirited undergraduates, all looking for the same thing: an A+ in true love.

Annabeth Albert: Winning Bracket 
Cassandra Carr: The Eloquent Jock
Dalton Diaz: Lesson Learned
Mia Downing: Switching Leads
Whitley Gray: Artistic Endeavor
Bianca Sommerland: Solid Education
KyAnn Waters: Private Lessons
LA Witt: Did Somebody Order a Pizza?
Sara York: The Dust Of Everyday Life





Add Campus Cravings to your Goodreads to-be-read-list here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22738703-campus-cravings

Sunday, July 20, 2014

It All Began With Bryan Singer

While having a morning visit with my dear friend and hockey guru, Lola/Lydia, last week, an idea was brought up. Actually, it was a rather big bunch of ideas. Really interesting ones as well, but that`s not surprising coming from this particular woman. She and I were discussing something rather secretive yet, but during this plotting and planning meeting, she said that she thought women of a certain age, which she and I are, might find it interesting to hear how I found myself starting a new career at this stage of my life.



I had a doubt or two. I mean, I`m not exactly exciting. I herd chickens, chase geese, read comic books, and get far too excited over Swedish goalies and Norwegian wingers. Who would want to read about that? Lola disagreed. She tossed out a lot of other great suggestions for blog posts, so, trusting in her implicitly, I decided to follow her advice. Lola has yet to steer me wrong. So, how did I, a stay-at-home mom on a hillside farm in the boondocks of Pennsylvania decide to be an author as she approached fifty? Well, it all started with Bryan Singer.

Actually, as I look back on things, my brain has always been the brain of a story-teller, I just didn`t know it. For as long as I can remember, I would have scenarios running in my head. These scenarios would always come to the fore when I was trying to go to sleep, or that was when they were most noticeable. Some nights I would lay there for hours, scenes and dialog and other assorted things bouncing around inside my head. Being kept awake like this was not fun, but it was how things had been since I was a teenager. My mother, when I would tell her about this odd affliction, would say I had an overactive imagination, or a guilty conscious, then look at me with one eyebrow arched.

So, that was me, rolling and tossing for sixty minutes, trying to let the stories inside my head play out so I could sleep. That went on for many years. Marriage and a child didn`t stop the cinema reels in my head. It`s kind of fascinating, for what it`s worth, that since I started writing daily, I now go to bed, close my eyes, and fall asleep almost instantly. The writer`s brain is an amazing, and damn scary, place at times.

One day I heard tell that an X-Man movie was in the works. Let me tell you I was one happy comic fan! I waited breathlessly for the movie, as many a Marvel fan did. It would be the first time we would see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, the man that is tattooed onto my left bicep. Wolverine, that is, not Hugh.

Unfortunately, I was not happy with how Mr. Singer handled my favorite mutant. Not at all. Nope. I was downright miffed to be honest. So miffed that a few weeks after seeing the film, and hearing the complaints of other comic fans, I decided to take matters into my own hands. If Hollywood wouldn`t give me a film that represented my hero, then I`d write my own darn story.

And I did.



It was terrible. Really. Terrible. The work was loaded with grammatical errors, lacked paragraph breaks, and was overflowing with things that dangle and misplaced commas, when I even used a comma. I still hate commas, but we won`t go there. It`s too dark to speak of. But this ghastly first story stirred something. It brought something to life, fanned an ember, birthed a muse. It was through that first fan fiction, written because Mr. Singer hosed up my mutants, that I found the joy of writing. Or, perhaps it finally found me.

Whatever the case, I spent two or three years writing only fan fiction. I loved it. I wrote tons of tales! I could not stop. I still pen fan fiction when I can, which is not often, sadly. I made some wonderful friends, and learned a great deal during my fan fiction years. I toyed with submitting stories to Marvel, and was encouraged to do so by the other fans who read my work. I never did. It is incredibly hard, nigh onto impossible, to get a story into the hands of an editor at Marvel or DC. Then Marvel stopped taking unsolicited submissions. That was pretty much the nail of the coffin for that idea. What now?

I was kind of lost for a time. I had all these ideas. What could I do with them? I had plenty of time. My daughter was now in school. Mister worked all day. It was me, the farm, and that overactive imagination. I wanted to do more than just fan fiction, but what? How? Fate, as it tends to do, gave me a nudge in the right direction one chilly October day. I was at a book fest in town, gathering up bags of gently used books, when I spied a flyer on the wall. It was an invitation to participate in a new writer`s group forming at the local library.

Everything changed the minute I walked into the library that first time. But that`s a story for another day, and another post. So this is how it began for me. I suppose I should thank Bryan Singer for making that movie, but yeah, I just can`t. I can thank him for being the catalyst that shoved me into writing that first story, so, here we go . . .

Thanks, Bryan.





Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday Tune

Sure, the lyrics seem silly but it`s Sting, with a guitar, in the snow, so it`s all good. What`s your favorite Police song?




Monday, July 14, 2014

Tuesday Tales - Picture Prompt

Welcome to another edition of Tuesday Tales, and more White Moon, Yellow Leaves, a M/F contemporary romance. We have a picture prompt this week so the excerpt is written to reflect the image and must be three hundred words or under.  

Last week Dana was left a bit flustered by the intense physical attraction she felt for Jonah. That he seemed to be attracted to her as well left her stammering. Now, as she readies for the agreed upon walk on the grouse path with her son, Herr Poopbottom, and Jonah, we get a short glimpse into her mindset. 








I showered in water that felt like it had been piped in directly from Mud Puppy Lake. The tiny water heater had been drained by Aunt Jo earlier and no-one had started the generator to get things percolating again. My teeth were chattering as I tried to brush them afterwards. Cracking the door to invite some heat in, I dressed quickly, pulling on a pair of jeans and a russet sweater packed for Thanksgiving Day. The thick turtleneck felt divine, as did the long sleeves dangling past my fingertips. I opted to do just a bit of makeup: light foundation, powder, blush, eye shadow, liner, mascara, lip stick, and a dash of perfume. Once I was done I stared at myself in the small oval mirror above the sink.

            “What the hell are you doing, Dana?” I questioned my reflection. I was trying to look good for a young man who was probably being nice to me out of respect for my age and family friendship. I dropped my head, hands splayed on the counter, and stared at the toothpaste spots in the sink. Was I really that starved for attention that I`d take a nice gesture and warp it into something it wasn`t?  The answer was pretty obvious. Next I`d be fantasizing about him and I sharing a heated embrace under a glowing white moon! Such silliness. As if a man like Jonah Big Deer would be interested in a divorced mother who was far from a size two and ten years his senior.  I grabbed a washcloth then scoured the makeup off. When I stepped outside, my face was clean, my hair was uncurled, my jeans and sweater were scruffy, and my place in the world was secure once again.







Copyright 2012 ©by V.L. Locey

*~*~*

Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.


See you next week!



Friday, July 11, 2014

Harper A. Brooks Stops By!

Please give Harper a big welcome. She`s got some great information for us about her novel, His Haven, which sounds like one super read!






BLURB:

Ignorance isn’t always bliss…


Handsome and diligent Avrum Brenin should have died in the fire with his mother and older brother. Instead, he is saved by the powerful and wealthy immortal, Lord Henri. Placed under his care, Avrum shares in his world of endless splendors. He must do one thing in return—look after Haven, a human and Lord Henri’s newest rescue.
The simple task proves to be more complicated than it seems. Haven is disobedient, ungrateful, and hostile, yet she is beautiful and mystifying at the same time. One night, when Avrum stumbles across Haven barely clothed and bound at the wrists, the world he has trusted in unravels before his eyes. He soon discovers that no one—from Lord Henri and Haven to his closest friend, Lysander—are who they seem to be.


Now faced with the truth, will Avrum choose to surrender to the man who rescued him, or will he have the courage to save the woman who captivated him?
EXCERPT:
Avrum stared at her for a long while, saying nothing. Slowly, his eyes returned to their normal soft brown color. He released her wrists, and his attention dropped to her parted lips. Haven remained still as his hand slid down her arm and entangled in her hair. His mouth pressed against hers with such desperation that it stole her breath away. She could feel his body soften against hers, the anger gone. His tongue ran along the seam of her lips, and she opened for him, enjoying the little explosions of heat that spread throughout her body in every place his skin touched.
He took his time kissing her, his movements never rough, but tender and full of need. Then, he released her lips and pressed his forehead against hers. Her breath came in short, quick gasps as he looked down at her. “I would never do any of those terrible things to you,” Avrum whispered to her, “because I am not like him.”
“I know,” she said softly. “I should have never said it.”
“I would never do anything to hurt you. I need you here, Haven. I need you here with me.”
Haven’s heart clenched. He wasn’t like Henri at all. His touches were gentle and slow. She wondered how she could ever compare the two. There was no fear, no pain with him. Haven tilted her chin and captured his mouth with hers again. He kissed her with just as much fervor as before, which made her knees weak and her head swim. A pleasant hum coursed through her, and the desire to feel him closer to her became overwhelming. She wanted him. She wanted him more than anything else.
Avrum’s hand ran up her back, causing her to arch forward and press more into his hard chest. His lips traveled along her jaw. A small whimper escaped her. She could feel his fingers grasping the strings at the nape of her neck. He pulled them until the knot gave way. His hand moved along her shoulder, taking the thin cotton material of the nightgown with it.
Haven twisted her hips, heat pooling at her center. Her nightgown slid down her arms, settling around her hips. The cool attic air kissed her newly exposed flesh, and it wasn’t long before Avrum’s hands were on her again, cupping her breasts and running up and down her flat belly. Haven almost cried out from the sheer pleasure of it.
She knotted her hands in his shoulder-length hair, the tie falling away. She had never felt anything like this before. It felt like her skin was crawling with electricity and simplest touch could send her over the edge.





Praise for His Haven:            
“His Haven is a fantastic mix of historical and paranormal romance… Action. Romance. A touch of horror. You can’t put this book down.”
–Cynthia Carole, author of the Cedarville Novella Series

Exciting and suspenseful… sweet and hot all at the same time. I recommend that anyone that loves books about vampires read this and you won’t regret it.”–Crystal N., Reviewer from SSYL

Ms. Brooks has started a story of other-worldly magnitude where adventure and secrecy filled the pages. Twist and turns ran amok as the author delivered angst, love, friendship and intrigue.”–Evelise, Reviewer from S.E.X. Reviews

His Haven is NOW available in ebook AND paperback!
GET IT FROM
Amazon      Barnes & Noble       Allromance      Bookstrand       Sony       Secret Cravings Publishing      Smashwords



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Harper A. Brooks lives in a small town on the New Jersey shore. Even as a young child, she has surrounded herself with good literature, so it is no surprise that her love for reading and writing has expanded into all parts of her life. She is a dedicated softball coach, student, teacher, and friend who enjoys writing about fantastical worlds when she believes real life gets too mundane.

To celebrate HIS HAVEN's one year publishing anniversary, Harper A. Brooks will be visiting Lacey Library in New Jersey at 2pm. There will be raffle contests, prizes, book swag, and food for all guests. Copies of HIS HAVEN will be available for purchase and signing.
For more information, visit her Facebook page.

FOLLOW ME

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday Tune

In honor of the fantastic musical Jersey Boys coming to the big screen, we`re going to enjoy the real Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons today! Have you seen either the live show or the film?