Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Bloodied Knight by Nicole Zoltack @KMNbooks @nicolezoltack @Desert_Breeze #flashfictionbash #free

The giveaway has ended! Winner of a PDF copy of Black Hellebore goes to Kelley "Celtic Chick"! Congratulations!

KAREN: Nicole Zoltack is a multi-published author of fantasy/paranormal, romances, horror, and historical, for adults and young adults alike. In her flash fiction tale, The Bloodied Knight, Lady Pamela has been jilted, but she meets a knight that is all too willing to set the score right... or does he?

***Giveaway: Nicole is giving away a PDF copy of her new release, Black Hellebore, to one lucky trick or treater! Read on and find out you may add this fantastic super hero tale to your goody bag!

Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter for the last chance to win one of the Grand Prizes! Good Luck!


The Bloodied Knight by Nicole Zoltack

Lady Pamela walked the streets of London with her head held high despite the tears streaming down her face. A fancy black carriage rushed by, and mud splattered onto her face. How fitting. Her day could not turn out more poorly.
For Lance to have betrayed her so crushed her spirit. For months now, he had courted her and now this. Showing up at the party tonight with another woman. Not only was she exceeding beautiful, but she was pregnant. With Lance's child.
She had stormed out of the party after dropping her drink. The wine surely stained Jessebel's rug, for which Pamela would pay for. In the morning. Right now, she couldn't return there. Not even if her life depended upon it.
But she also could not bring herself to return home. The party would last for another three or four hours yet, and if she went home now, her parents would ask questions she did not wish to answer.
So she strolled along the streets. A bitter wind wrapped itself around her, and her heart. The clouds drenched the city below with rain. Soon, she found herself lost within the dark alleys. She turned around to go back the way she'd come when a form stepped out of the shadows.
Dressed all in armor, the man looked to be a knight from the days of old. He stood tall before her, barring her path.
"Please, let me pass." She tried to skirt around him but found no room. Desperation and fear coiled around her heart like ice. "Please, leave me be."
"I can help you."
"Help me? Walk me home?" Pamela took a step back, not about to allow some man she didn't know, let alone could not see his face, to go anywhere with her. "I am quite fine, thank you."
She turned around to walk down the length of the alley, but the knight stood before her somehow.
"I can help you." His gauntlet touched her arm, and she saw a flash of Lance before her eyes. Then her vision cleared in time for him to touch his sword.
"You'll seek revenge on Lance on my behalf?" The idea left her breathless and quite beside herself. Revenge was hardly ladylike. But the hurt and betrayal she had felt… She had truly loved Lance. "I do not wish him any harm. But if you could perhaps scare him?"
The knight nodded and vanished. A large puddle formed where his huge feet had marred the mud. Through the watery reflection, she watched as the knight entered the party, the clock on the wall reading seven, and tapped Lance on the shoulder. Her one-time lover turned around and grabbed his chest. He fell to the ground. A crowd of people rushed around him, and Jessebel's father, a doctor, knelt beside the fallen man. The doctor soon lifted his head, and Pamela could read his lips: "He's dead."
"No. No. No." Pamela stepped back several times until she collided with something hard.
"I did what you wished."
"No! I didn't want him dead!"
The knight lifted his sword and slashed across her chest. Pamela fell to the ground, next to the puddle. The reflection of the bloodied knight shimmered. Then the knight disappeared. Again, the party scene played before Pamela's eyes. This time, the knight approached Lance as before, only Lance did not collapse. The clock only read six.
Unlike the first time, Pamela could hear the partygoers enjoying themselves, talking and laughing, music playing in the background. She heard the knight offer his help to Lance. She watched in her former lover's eyes as he understood what the knight meant. And she watched as Lance nodded, sealing her feat.
She should have killed Lance when the knight had given her the chance.
One more tear fell, and Pamela breathed her last. Then she stood up. Armor covered her body. She was now the bloodied knight, and would remain so, unable to be at rest, until another jilted lover choose to kill their former heart's desire. A curse that had spanned for centuries, donning back to Marc Anthony and Cleopatra.
The End


About Black Hellebore:

Once a year for the past decade, Nicholas Adams returns to Falledge and leaves a black hellebore on his girlfriend's grave. While fleeing Falledge, he spies a shady man sneaking into the laboratory. Nicholas chases after him and dies for his trouble. A witch brings him back to life, only Nicholas is not the same man. Turns out, magic combined with a black hellebore in his pocket changed him into a kind of a super man.

Julianna Paige, his girlfriend's twin and deputy of Falledge, struggles to solve several murders. Nicholas, and his alter ego the Black Hellebore, helps her, even as she helps him move on and start to truly live again.

Unfortunately, Nicholas wasn't the only one changed in the laboratory explosion, and now a super villain is bent on destroying Falledge, and killing the Black Hellebore. But falling in love might prove more dangerous than any super villain. You an purchase a copy of this book at Amazon.

***Giveaway: Nicole is giving away a PDF copy of her new release, Black Hellebore, to one lucky trick or treater! Answer this question: What are your plans for Halloween? Don't forget to leave your email!

 About the Author:

Nicole Zoltack loves to write fantasy/paranormal, romances, horror, historical, for adults and young adults, novels, short stories, and flash pieces. She doesn't want to get boxed in by genre -- she might be claustrophobic! She's also an editor for MuseItUp Publishing and works as a freelance editor.
When she isn't writing about girls wanting to be knights, talking unicorns, and zombies, she spends time with her loving family. She loves to ride horses (pretending they're unicorns, of course!) and going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, dressed in period garb. Her favorite current TV show is The Walking Dead.

You can find the author online at:
Website 
Blog 
Twitter @nicolezoltack
Facebook 
Google+ 
Goodreads 
Linkedin
Pinterest 
Amazon

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Clarissa's Ghost by AJ Nuest @KMNbooks #flashfictionbash @WildRosePress @AJNuest

KAREN: AJ Nuest is an award-winning author with The Wild Rose Press with her heartwarming romances, and Nov. 2013, she will have an enchanting new series available with HarperImpulse Fantasy Romance! In her Flash Fiction story, Clarissa's Ghost, the spirit loves the new renovations Clarissa has done with the house, and though Clarissa enjoys his company, it's time to say goodbye... or is it?

***Giveaway: AJ has donated an ebook copy of She's Got Dibs! So be sure to enter the Rafflecopter. Giveaway ends on Oct. 31st at midnight PST. The winners will be announced on Nov. 1st. Good Luck!

Clarissa's Ghost by AJ Nuest

An ethereal kiss brushed the skin beneath her ponytail, and the sensitive hair at her nape tingled. Clarissa shivered then laughed. It was during encounters like these, the ghost haunting her latest renovation project seemed decidedly male. “I had a feeling you would like the end result.”

She turned full circle in the empty room. Golden rays from the setting sun streamed through the window, highlighting the rich cranberry walls against the white crown moldings, warming the burnished tin ceiling to a subtle glow.

The plastic wineglass she’d brought with her slid an inch or two along the refurbished hardwood floor. The unopened bottle of at Merlot at its side wobbled. Perhaps her ghost was right. It was time for their celebratory toast. “We’re all done, aren’t we?”

The glass tipped over with an hollow clack and rolled in a wide arc until it bumped the end of her steel-toed boot. She shook her head, chuckling softly. “For a being who doesn’t have to deal with time or space, you sure are impatient.”

The end of her bangs ruffled, and she rolled her eyes. “Fine, fine.”

A quick ransack her toolbox for the corkscrew, and Clarissa poured a glass of wine before ascending the stairs for her final inspection. The furniture would arrive tomorrow, authentic pieces specifically selected by the New Orleans Historical Society. A few days later, the manor doors would be unlocked and the public tours would begin.

The excitement which accompanied the grand openings usually brought her a complete thrill. At the end of each project, her hard work was rewarded, her reputation enhanced. She smoothed her palm along the sleek, wooden banister, her heart heavy as she perused the second-floor gallery. This time everything was different. The money, the accolades, the recognition...they offered hollow consolation in comparison to all she would be giving up in return.

She flicked off the lights as she checked each room. A tear settled in the corner of her eye when a cool hand skimmed her arm and a set of ghostly fingers twined through hers. Four months she and her ghost had spent together, and while, at first, his presence had frightened her, over time she’d come to appreciate his tender assurances. A smile snuck in and she lowered her chin as she recalled the little trinkets she’d often find waiting for her each morning—a rose, a tarnished coin, a small pile of shiny beads. He’d been with her every step, and now...

The time had come for them to say goodbye.

A gentle caress swept her cheek, and she tipped her head back when an airy hand brushed the edge of her jaw. The whisper of a delicate kiss touched her lips. “Find me...” washed past her ear.

The mellow chime of the doorbell echoed off the bare walls and Clarissa jumped. Pressing a trembling hand to her forehead, she descended the grand staircase. Good God, had her ghost just spoken to her? He’d never done that before. And how in the world was she supposed find someone who was dead?

A quick peek through the leaded glass window in the front door, and she slumped. Uh oh... A visit from the estate arbitrator this late in the game was never good.

She grabbed the handle and opened the door.

A gust of cool air rushed past her shoulders and out onto the portico, twirling her ponytail and lifting the hair on her arms. Ramone pushed his sunglasses unto his bald forehead and his toffee skin paled to a strange sickly green. “What was that?”

Clarissa darted a glance around the foyer, but it seemed her ghostly friend had vanished. “I’m not entirely sure.”

“Wretched old plantations and their inquiétant fantômes, ” Ramone muttered, wrestling with the leather portfolio in his arms. “We’ve hit a snag, chérie.” He shoved a piece of paper in her direction and she stooped to catch it, bouncing the sheet in her palm before it could waft to the floor.

She frowned down at what appeared to be an accident report. “What’s this?”

“The owner of this house isn’t dead,” Ramone whispered, eyes darting about the stoop as if he expected some undead zombie to leap out from behind one of the grand pillars.

She scowled, fisting the piece of paper in her hand. Oh no. She’d been here before. And if some lazy bum planned on showing up to take advantage of all her hard work, they had another think coming.

Sure, let the little restorer handle the back-breaking labor. Once she’s done her job, then we move in to our newly rehabbed estate. “What are you talking about? This house was in foreclosure before the historical society bought it and contracted me to handle the renovations.” 

Ramone nodded and shuffled some additional documents. Two errant sheets slipped from the stack and drifted down to rest casually against his leg. “That piece of paper you’re currently destroying is a police report. Five years ago, the rightful owner of this house was in a car accident. Trés tragique, no? He’s been in a coma ever since.”

Clarissa withdrew a step. It couldn’t be. “He?”

“Oui. A fellow by the name of—” A chirp vibrated in his breast pocket and Ramone shifted the load in his arms before fumbling his phone to his ear. “Bonjour.” His gaze drifted to the scrolled header above the door as he listened. A moment passed before he locked his gaze onto hers. “Oui. I’m with her now. Yes, yes, right away.”

“Miraculous.” A shudder wrenched his shoulders as he slowly lowered the phone from his ear. “The owner is awake. And he’s asking for you, chérie.”

She smiled, then grinned, and then tossed her head back with a laugh. “Thank you, Ramone. Tell the hospital to let him know I’ll be right there.”

The End

ABOUT Rowena's Key: 
Antiques restorer, Rowena Lindstrom, finds herself the owner of an ancestral armoire containing a hidden key and a magic mirror leading to another realm. But the handsome warrior prince waiting on the other side is truly the final straw. This must be an elaborate joke, right? As she struggles to discover the truth, Rowena learns Prince Caedmon Austiere needs the key to save his kingdom. In the end, she cannot deny him anything. Including her heart.
You can purchase the series at Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Multi-published, award-winning author and editor, AJ Nuest lives in the middle of a cornfield in NW Indiana. Her loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy of spoiled pets have agreed to stay and, in exchange for three rations per day and laundry service, tolerate her lunacy. While she spends most days happily ensconced in crafting romance across a multitude of genres, an underground coup has been percolating. The dogs just informed her the cat is secretly vying for dictatorship.  
YOU CAN FIND AJ ONLINE AT:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Brunette, a Ghost and a Werewolf Walk Into a Bar @CaraMarsi @KMNbooks #flashfictionbash #free

The Contest has ended and the winner is... Theresa Ryder. She wins a copy of A Groom for Christmas! Congratulations!

KAREN: Cara Marsi is an award winning author of romantic suspense, paranormal and contemporary romances. In her flash fiction tale, A Brunette, a Ghost and a Werewolf Walk Into a Bar, you'll find the company heartwarming and with a good choice of spirits.

***Giveaway: Cara is giving away an Ebook copy of "A Groom for Christmas". Read on and find out how you may add this treat to your goody bag.

Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter, too. You can enter once a day for a chance to win one of the Grand Prizes!!

A Brunette, a Ghost and a Werewolf Walk Into a Bar 
by Cara Marsi,
I stood in the shadows at the end of the bar and stepped around a large werewolf. I was a tall guy myself, but this guy was well over seven feet. The raucous Halloween revelers crowding the small area in the upscale tavern reminded me of the bar scene in the Star Wars movie. With my torn, bloody clothes and bruised and battered face, I fit in with the crazy array of costumed people surrounding me. My best Halloween costume ever, not that anyone noticed. I chuckled at the irony, and glanced at the werewolf’s glass of beer. I licked my lips, thirsty for the old days. Maybe a cold brew, something, anything, could wipe away the events of the past week. No such luck. The injustice of it all threatened to overwhelm me, but I pushed it aside with a brutal mental shake.
I looked toward the door. A sudden shiver rolled over me. Instinctively, I knew the woman I’d been told to expect had arrived. Like a predator focused on prey, her green cat-like eyes met mine and she nodded.
With the sensual smoothness of a tigress, she strode toward me. My breath caught. She was the sexiest woman I’d ever seen. Long, silky black hair framed her heart-shaped face, and soft strands draped the shoulders of her white raincoat. Her clothes seemed to glow as she glided through the crowd.
When she reached me, she smiled, showing even, pearly teeth. “Hi. Been waiting long?”
“No.”
She turned toward the bar where a pretty blonde woman sat twisting the stem of her untouched glass of white wine. On the stool next to her, a good-looking young, dark-haired guy lifted his beer bottle to his lips, but his attention was focused on the blonde’s reflection in the large mirror hanging behind the bar. They were the only two not in costumes.
“He’s noticed her,” the black-haired tigress said.
“They’ve been sitting next to each other for thirty minutes and he’s yet to get up the nerve to talk to her.”
My new friend snorted. “That’s so like him. He always did need a push.”
She headed toward them. I followed. We positioned ourselves behind the young couple. Up close, I could see the blonde’s cheeks glistened and her eyes were red-rimmed. Sadness twisted my heart all over again.
My companion raised her hand, and suddenly, the blonde’s wine glass tilted over, spilling its contents onto the wooden bar. The young guy next to her righted the glass and used his napkin to wipe some of the wine before it could drain over the side and onto her lap. The bartender hurried over with a rag and cleaned it up.
The blonde looked at the man who’d helped her and gave him a tremulous smile. “That was clumsy of me.”
“Don’t worry about it. Can I buy you another drink?”
“I’m not in the mood for alcohol tonight. I thought I was when I came in.” She narrowed her eyes, as if seeing him for the first time. “You’re not in costume either.”
“I don’t feel like celebrating Halloween. But I had to come here tonight.”
“Why?”
“It was my sister Mira’s favorite place. She was on her way here a year ago when she was hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street.”
The blonde laid her hand over his on the bar. “I’m so sorry.” She swallowed. “I buried my brother today. Brent was the only family I had. He died in a car accident a week ago.”
 When she began sobbing, the guy took her into his arms and let her cry. As her sobs lessened to hiccups and sniffles, he took a handkerchief from the pocket of his jacket and wiped her tears.
“Thanks,” she said. “For giving me your shoulder to cry on.”
“I’m glad I could help.” He smiled. “I know a little diner close by. Would you like to go? I’ll lend you my shoulder again if you need it.”
“I’d like that.”
Arm-in-arm, they left the tavern.
Mira, green cat-eyes sparkling, looked at me. “Brent, from this day, neither of them will ever be alone again.”
“Thank you,” I said. “I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving her by herself.” I looked down at my clothes. They were clean and new. I put a shaky hand to my face. No cuts or scratches.
Mira tucked her arm through mine. “Are you ready to go now?”
I nodded. “I had to be sure she’d be okay.”
Mira smiled. “We know.”
We walked through the closed double doors and out to the street.
The next day, a few tavern patrons swore they’d felt a chill and looked up to see a sparkling white sphere heading for the clouds. Because they’d been drinking, no one believed them.
Everyone knows there are no such things as spirits.  
The End 

About the Book:
When a young woman hires her hometown’s former bad boy to be her pretend fiancé for the holidays, she finds she can’t wrap up her feelings as easily as a Christmas gift.
New York jewelry designer Graceann Palmer has two days to find a fiancé to bring home to Pennsylvania for the holidays so her matchmaking mama will quit fixing her up with jerks. The Falcon, a motorcycle-riding, leather-clad former high school crush, helped her out once before. Maybe he'll do it again.
Jake Falco, man of many mysteries, is back in town on a mission—one the people of Spirit Lake most likely won't appreciate. When Graceann presents him with her crazy scheme, it gives him something he's always wanted—a chance to get to know Graceann. It also gives him the perfect opportunity to add fuel to his project of revenge.
But as Jake and Graceann grow closer, their engagement-of-convenience begins to feel like the real deal—until Jake’s secrets are revealed.
Can a relationship that began with lies and secrets bloom like a rare Christmas rose into happily-ever-after?
You can purchase a copy at: Amazon 

   Barnes and Noble
 ***Giveaway: Cara is giving away an Ebook copy of "A Groom for Christmas". All you need to do is leave a comment and your email and you're entered to win! Good Luck!

About the Author:

Cara Marsi, an award-winning author, is a former corporate drone and cubicle dweller. Freed of her fabric-covered cage, she can now indulge her love of all things romance. She craves books with happy endings and loves to write about independent heroines and the strong heroes who love them. And she loves to put her characters in dangerous situations or situations merely dangerous to their hearts and watch them fight for the happy endings they deserve.
 An eclectic author, Cara is published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She’s also published numerous short romance stories in national women’s magazines and online. Cara and her husband live on the East Coast. They enjoy traveling and she likes to set her stories in the places they've visited. They share their house with a fat black diva of a cat named Killer. 
You can visit the author at:
Website 
Twitter
Facebook

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dancing with Fate by Hywela Lyn @KMNbooks @WildRosePress @Hywela_Lyn #vampires #flashfictionbash

Hywela's contest has ended and the winner of the Gift Token for TWRP is Emily! Congratulations!

KAREN: Hywela Lyn pens fantasy or Science Fiction romances where her worlds she creates are untainted by crowded cities and technology. Instead they embrace the beauty and wildness of nature. Hywela also illustrates for the the interactive blog Author Roast and Toast! Beware: Hywela's FLASH FICTION tale, Last of the Bloodline, will make your blood run cold.

GIVEAWAY: Hywela is giving away a $10 TWRP Gift Certificate to one lucky trick or treater who comments on the post!

Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance at one of the Grand Prizes! You can enter once a day for additional chances! Good Luck!
***

LAST OF THE BLOODLINE BY HYWELA LYN

             “An October moon threw weird shadows all around us, and a slight breeze stirred the crisp copper and gold leaves in eddies around Mike’s feet.
             “I came as soon as I could Karla, what is it? Your text sounded urgent.”
             “Thank you for coming, Mike, I need your help. I linked my arm in his and we made our way into the little parlour. He’d left his car at the top of the lane, since the narrow path leading to my cottage, deep in the woods, was impossible for any motor vehicle. I was fairly sure he didn’t believe in vampires. How could I persuade him to help me destroy the monster who would kill me without a second thought? I couldn’t do it by myself. My enemy was too strong.
            He sat on the small settee and stretched out his long legs. “Suppose you tell me what’s got you so worked up?”
            I seated myself beside him. “It’s Harrington, Mike. I don’t think I can stand it any longer. He’s been watching me, ever since he moved into the village three weeks ago. He follows me to work, he hides among the trees and hovers around the cottage, always at dusk or in the early hours before it’s properly light.”
            “You mean he’s stalking you?”
            “No, not stalkingI think he means to kill me.”
            I saw his face pale, and an expression of incredulity creep across his face.
            “Are you sure, Karla, if you’re really frightened of him I think you should go to the Police.”
            I shook my head and bit my lip. “How can I? What am I going to tell them? I haven’t a shred of evidence; they’d only have my word for it. He’s never openly threatened me and I can’t prove he’s watching my movements.”
            I watched his face closely as he considered my words. I’ve known Mike for six months and we’ve grown quiteclose. Well, let’s not beat about the bush, he made it pretty clear he was in love with me, and I have to admit I found him the most attractive man I’d been with for a long time. I took a deep breath. “Mike, I know you find it hard to believe in the supernatural, but I need you to trust me.”
            He put his arm around me and gazed into my eyes with that intent, serious expression of his. “You know I trust you. Now, what is this all about?”
            I told him everything—well nearly everything. I didn’t tell him who Harrington really was, of course. I did my best to explain how the man was immortal—one of the ‘undead’ if you like, although, like most immortals, he could be killed. I said I felt sure I would be his next victim. When I had finished, Mike gasped and stared at me in shock. But I could see he believed me—especially when I showed him the ancient piece of parchment on which was written a message written in blood, concerning the vampire slayer Van Helsing. It stated  that the greatest vampire in history had cursed him to immortality with his dying breath. He promised his descendants would pursue Van Helsing and any of his bloodline through all eternity.
            “This message has been passed down through generations of my family,” I told him. Somehow he has discovered my true identity. I am the last of my line and if we don’t destroy him first, I know he will kill me.”
            Mike was not slow to make the connection. “So…you’re telling me you’re a descendant of Van Helsing, and Harrington is—”
            I was about to reply when I saw a shadow move past the window.
            “That’s him,” I said. I knew he would come for me tonight, Samhain. All Hallows Eve. It was fitting.
            The door rattled. He must have been trying to force the latch. A slight pause, then the sound of something heavy striking the door.
            “He’s trying to break in,” I said, “Mike, please do something—”
            The old door finally surrendered, the panels splintering as with a mighty crash it fell inwards. The bulky figure of Harrington stood silhouetted in the framework where the door had been. I glanced at Mike. He lunged toward the old fireplace, and the basket of logs. He grabbed the wood axe and wielding it above his head, charged at Harrington and sliced his head from his shoulders. In another swift movement, he reached down for a long, sharp piece of timber from the ruined door and thrust it into Harrington’s heart.
            The headless body fell forward on top of the wreckage. Together we watched as the blood gushed from the wounds, then dried into a blackish red powder, the skin shriveled and fell away from the severed skull. The bones decomposed and soon all that remained was a pile of dust.
            Mike turned to me, a look of horror on his face, and I threw my arms around his neck.
            “It’s incredible, but you were right,” he whispered hoarsely. Did I really just kill…Dracula?
            “Well not quite,” I murmured. “The stake through the heart wasn’t absolutely necessary—” I ran my tongue over my lips as I pressed them in anticipation against his throat. “You see, the man you just destroyed was actually Van Helsing. Thank you for saving me, my love.”  I drew back a little before sinking my fangs into his neck and drinking deeply, Oh, it had been too long since I’d fed!
My strength is renewed, my heart content. At last I have avenged the death of my father, Count Dracula.            

THE END 

ABOUT THE BOOK: DANCING WITH FATE

My fantasy novella ‘Dancing With Fate’ was originally published by the Wild Rose Press, but I have taken back my rights and revised and republished it at Smashwords.

DANCING WITH FATE
When Terpsichore, the Greek Muse of Dance, is assigned to revisit 5th Century Wales, and help the people regain their love of dancing, her task seems simple enough. She is unaware there is a hidden agenda. Before she can return to Olympus her path crosses that of the mysterious Myrddin, and her heart is lost.

But Myrddin is promised to another. His mind is set on the dangerous task that lies before him, and the woman he has sworn to save. Nevertheless, he cannot deny the growing attraction between him and the beautiful stranger he meets along the way. Terpsichore and Myrddin face a deadly force that threatens to part them forever. She seems destined to lose the only man she has ever truly loved. Finally, when all seems lost, in desperation she finds herself DANCING WITH FATE.
READ REVIEWS HERE 
MORE DETAILS HERE 

About the Author:
Hywela Lyn lives in a small village in England, with her long suffering husband Dave,  although her
heart remains in her native rural Wales, which inspired so much of her writing.

Although most her writing tends to be fantasy or Science Fiction romance, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature. Her characters often have to fight the elements and the terrain itself. Her heroes are strong and courageous, but chivalrous and honourable - and of course, handsome and hunky. Her heroines are also strong and courageous, but retain their femininity and charm. However difficult the journey, love
will always win in the end.

A keen animal lover, she has two horses, a rescued Jack Russell terrier and two 'feral  cats.
Her first novel, a futuristic romance and the ‘book of her heart’  Starquest,  released by the Wild Rose Press was followed by a sequel Children Of The Mist. Lyn is working on a third story in the series. (which has been a long time coming but she hopes to have it ready for submission by the end of the year.)

Details of all her books can be found on her website www.hywelalyn.co.uk or her blog www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com

Her Author Page at the Wild Rose Press is where you can download another of her fantasy short stories A Bargain With Death for free.

She is a member of The Romance Novelists' Association (UK)  and Chiltern Writers
***

Remains To Be Seen by Karen Michelle Nutt #flashfictionbash #Halloween #giveaway @KMNbooks

The Contest has ended and the winner of the Zombie Cameo necklace goes to Michelle Willms! 
Congratulations!

Hi Readers!

                              HalloweenFlashFictionBash_medium

If your here for the Halloween Flash Fiction and the Snarkology Paranormal Bloghop, you're in the right place!

***My Giveaway: For my Trick or Treating prize, I'm giving away a real treat, a Zombie Girl Cameo Necklace to one lucky winner! So don't forget to answer the question below and leave an email so I can contact you if you should win.

*Don't forget to enter the Halloween Flash Fiction Rafflecopter for one of the Grand Prizes!*
Snarkology Rafflecopter for a $60 Amazon Gift Card! 

I hope you enjoy the tale! Happy Halloween!

Blurb: Khloe Morgan is rescued by Benjamin Asher after being attacked by a horde of zombies. Her would-be rescuer harbors a secret. Will Khloe be able to accept it? It remains to be seen.
     
     REMAINS TO BE SEEN 
      by Karen Michelle Nutt

She bolted awake with a gasp, going for her dagger, but the weapon wasn’t strapped to her belt. It took a moment to realize she wasn’t in the forest, but in a room. Blood splattered her clothes and she had a bandage wrapped around her arm.
Her gaze riveted to the door as a man entered. “Good, you’re awake,” he said. “I brought you something to drink. Think of it as soup in a glass.” He handed it to her, but she made no move to accept it, wondering if it contained a sleeping potion or worse… poison. She didn’t know this man. Sensing her trepidation, he took a sip first then offered the glass again. “I promise you it’s what you need right now.”
Her fingers curled around the glass. “Who are you?” she asked over the rim. Her voice sounded like she ate sand and she cleared her throat.
“I’m Benjamin Asher and before you ask, you’re at my home. I found you at the edge of the forest and brought you here.”
She took another gulp of the soup, wondering what was in it. It tasted wonderful. Then again she was starving. She couldn’t think of the last time she’d eaten meat. “Did anyone else make it out alive?” Her group had been attacked by a zombie horde. If Benjamin hadn’t come along…
“I found only you, Miss…”
“Khloe Morgan.” Her gaze slid over her host with curiosity. The lighting gave everything in the room a greenish tint, including her host. Benjamin’s one eye was the color of amber, but the other eye was milky white. The imperfection did not distract from his looks. “I thank you for everything, but I should go.” She attempted to stand.
Luckily, Benjamin reached her before she fell on her face. “I gotcha.”
“Thanks, but I’m okay.”
“That remains to be seen,” he told her. “You should stay here a few days.” He gave her a hint of a smile, but there was a note of sadness in that one eye.
She wanted to argue how strong and fit she was, but why bother when they both knew the truth. Besides, she had no place to go. “You’re right. I’ll rest a few days.”
He gave her a curt nod. “Feel free to roam the house, but stay out of the upstairs bathroom.”
Her brows furrowed. “Why?”
“Trust me,” his gaze met hers, “you’ll be sorry otherwise.” At the door, he glanced at her. “I’ll be out for a bit. I need to hunt for food.”
With the zombie epidemic, there weren’t any supermarkets. Everyone had to hunt for meat and grow their own vegetables. “Be safe.”
He grunted a response and left before she could ask him what he said.
She finished off the soup and wished there had been more. Tired, she slid beneath the covers and fell asleep.
When she awoke again, the sun had set, leaving the room in shadows. She stood with caution and her reward…? Not falling on her face. Her movements proved awkward and stiff, but she’d been in a fight of course her limbs were rebelling. “Benjamin?” She wandered into the living room in search of her host.
Silence greeted her. Then she remembered he’d left earlier to hunt.
She investigated her temporary home. The downstairs sported a living room, a kitchen, and the bedroom she occupied. She checked out the downstairs bathroom last. A blue shower curtain lined the tub and seashells decorated the toilet seat cover. Her lips curved when she spotted a real prize. “Toilet paper.”
No mirror hung above the sink, but she spotted a towel next to the soap dispenser. She reached for the faucet and turned on the water to wash the foul taste from her mouth. What she wouldn’t do for a toothbrush. She spit and blood splattered the porcelain and something swirled around the basin. Her hand snaked out stopping it before it rolled into the drain. She stared at the molar. Then she remembered the fight. She’d been knocked in the head by one of the zombies. On instinct she glanced up to inspect the damage. “No mirror.”
She headed out of the room and glanced at the stairs, knowing there was another bathroom up there…perhaps with a mirror. Benjamin warned her she wouldn’t like it, but if he left it a mess, who cared? She gripped the stairwell and dragged her body up the stairs. 
She chose one of the closed doors and got lucky. Her hand searched for the light switch and flipped it. She frowned, wondering what Benjamin had meant by his odd statement. The room appeared clean and unused.
As she stepped inside, something caught her eye in the mirror. She whirled around, her hand reaching for the dagger she didn’t have. “Crap!” She slammed against the sink and her scream proved horror-flick worthy, startling her further as it echoed off the walls. Nothing stood there. She took a ragged breath and chastised herself for being foolish. There were no monsters lurking in Benjamin’s bathroom. She turned toward the sink again and her gaze caught her reflection. Not believing what she viewed, she touched her face and the reflection mimicked her actions. “No, no, this can’t be happening.” Her gaze landed on her arm and she tore at the bandages. Bite marks marred her flesh that had turned a ghastly shade of molted green.
She’d been bitten. Her gaze shifted to her reflection again and the hideous monster leered in delight. One milky eye, flesh greenish in color, hair matted to her scalp… “I’m a—”
“Zombie.”
Her gaze riveted to the door where Benjamin stood. Realization slapped her in the face. His milky eye…his greenish pallor…He was one of them, a zombie…like her. “No.”
“I told you, you’d be sorry if you came up here,” he said. “You weren’t ready to see what you’ve become, but don’t worry. I’ll take care of you until you are.” He held up a glass. The liquid was as red as…blood. “It’s fresh. The hunt proved successful.”
The End... or is it?

Remains to Be Seen Copyright © 2013 by Karen Michelle Nutt
All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters—zombies included, places and events portrayed in this flash fiction tale are either products of the author's imagination or, if real are used fictitiously. 
Cover credit: Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By Its Cover". 

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Adryanna, a Lathe Sith, mourns the death of her recently mated sister, but she finds solace in the most unlikely place—in the arms of Bram, an Oiche Sith. She should fear him, loathe his existence, but instead she longs for their twilight embraces. Bram admires Adryanna’s strength and wishes only to protect her, even if it’s from him.
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The Devil's Wolf (Historical Romance)
Lady Catrione Johnstone knows of the Devil's Wolf and his ruthless exploits. However, the myth is nothing like the man. In his arms, she forgets he is her enemy. Will the magic of love bring peace to the feuding clans or will it only inflame the hostilities?


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About the Author:

I reside in California with my husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, my Chorkie, is my writing buddy and sits long hours with me at the computer.
When I'm not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, I create pre-made book covers with my daughter Katrina Gillian at: Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”.  You can also check out my published cover art designs at Western Trail Blazer and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing.

Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all my stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena of falling in love.
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Snarkology Blog Hop Participants:


1. The Snarkology 2. Lisa Rayns
3. Zoe Forward Blog 4. Tricia Schneider
5. Rose Anderson's Calliope's Writing Tablet 6. Living With The Muse
7. Draven St. James 8. Daryl Devore
9. Hywela Lyn 10. Beth Caudill Author Blog
11. Lisa Chalmers 12. Quill or Pill
13. Shapeshifter Seductions 14. Wickedly hot, dangerously fun.
15. Karen McCullough 16. Kathryn Knight books
17. Pieces of Me 18. Sheryl R. Hayes
19. Dylan Newton Paranromal Romance 20. Broken Faith
21. She Likes it Verbal 22. The Price of Freedom
23. Brenda's Blog 24. Paranormal Romance Author Juli D. Revezzo
25. Phaedra Seabolt (INT) 26. Naomi Bellina Adventurous Erotic Romance
27. Eva Gordon 28. Karen Michelle Nutt's Official Blog


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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Samhain by Romy Gemmell @RosemaryGemmell @KMNbooks @Tirgearr #flashfictionbash #giveaway

CONTEST HAS ENDED. JEAN MP WON AN EBOOK COPY OF Mischief at Mulberry Manor! CONGRATULATIONS! 
 
KAREN: Romy Gemmell's home is on the west coast of Scotland not far from Loch Lomond. It's no wonder her beautiful countryside surroundings have inspired her writing. In her flash fiction tale, Samhain, she gives us another peek at a Scotland with a legend at 'All Hallows Eve', where the dead can return to the living.

***Giveaway: A chance to win an e-download of Romy's Victorian novella, Mischief at Mulberry Manor. Read on to find out how you may add this treat to your goody bag.

Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter, too. You can enter once a day for a chance to win one of the Grand Prizes!!  


Samhain by Romy Gemmell

As the festival of Samhain began on the remote Scottish island, on All Hallows Eve, the air was already thick with a swirling mist, as though the island clothed itself in an atmosphere of mystery and foreboding as befitted the season. Alaina sat by her log fire as late afternoon darkened into evening, determined to ignore the faint feeling of menace that had plagued her most of the day.
Exactly one year ago tonight, her young husband and soul mate had died when his car unaccountably swerved on the hill road and burst into flames as it toppled over the edge. A year in which her life had ground to a halt, when she began to understand what people meant when they spoke of losing your other half and how it left you only half alive. No one could fully empathise if they hadn’t experienced such loss and she struggled to be patient with well-meaning platitudes of sympathy. So people gave up trying. And now she had to be ready and waiting, alone.
Clothed in the silence of the small cottage, Alaina heard the occasional sound of laughter and footsteps passing by, but none of the children would bring their Halloween guising to her door. She’d noticed the way the youngsters avoided her and she sometimes heard the whispers in the village before escaping the speculative glances to return to her sanctuary.
One particular aspect of Samhain had peaked Alaina’s interest. Tonight, the dead could return to the living and those trapped in the other world could make their bid for escape, while the curtain between the two worlds was thinnest. The only possible chance to see her lost love again in this life. Some on the island still lit the bonfires that guided the lost souls through the darkness, as well as warning the evil spirits to stay away. But her interest lay only in what could happen within her own home. She wondered, in an idle curiosity kind of way, if she really had lost her mind. Yet she’d been able to consider all the implications of this night with a certain matter-of-factness.
Alaina shivered as she stoked the dying embers of the fire before crowning it with another log. She watched as the wood caught, the flames licking around the edges as they began to consume it with increasing hunger. Total darkness had fallen outside and time crept onward. The fire provided her only light, apart from the essential candles surrounding the room. She was aware suddenly of the silence. Only the crackling of the flames, as they curled around the log to reach towards the chimney, broke the stillness. Then the hairs on the back of her neck alerted her to a change in the atmosphere.
All her senses had heightened. She could smell the rising smoke, mingled with a stronger, indefinable essence. She saw shadows in the corners of the room where none had been before, thought she could hear whispers but no words. She touched her short hair. It was damp with sweat, yet she felt a shivering coldness in spite of the fire. Then the candles flickered one by one as though someone had passed by each flame. Alaina’s heartbeat faltered.
He was coming. The shadows shifted. She started from her chair. She could feel the love; the desperate love she imagined was lost forever. He had heard her aching need and now he was returning to be with her, when the door between the two worlds allowed his passage. The log shifted on the fire, suspended for a moment over the hearth.
Moving away from her chair, Alaina tried to follow his movement. Then she turned back towards the hearth and stood bathed in the sudden glow of firelight. She held out her arms. He stood before her. She saw him clearly, a shadow outline against the red and yellow glow. She moved towards him, wondering why he didn’t come to her. She could feel the warmth of his body before she reached him, could see the arms lift to embrace her. But still he didn’t move forward.
She could not make out his features. But it was him; it had to be. She took another step, felt the sweat begin to trickle down her face. So hot. Alaina hesitated, just as her arms reached out to touch his. The heat overwhelmed her. The smell of burning flesh. Then she heard his whispering voice at last.
“My love, come…take my hand and we shall be together once more.”
“Together again…yes,” she answered. As they should be: together for tonight and always. Her hands were almost on his. Now he would come by her side and be flesh again.
Alaina felt herself being drawn closer towards his shadow form, to a place of hot, exquisite pain, where she yet felt more alive than at any time in the past year. Then, quite suddenly, she understood.
He was not coming back to this world. He would take her to his.
Alaina lifted her arms, ready to surrender herself to his loving embrace.
“I’m here my love…”

The End

About Midwinter Masquerade


In Edinburgh, December 1816, young widow Lady Lenora Fitzallan accepts an invitation to the country estate of Edward Montgomery, the man she once thought to marry eighteen years previously. Until he left without explanation. Accompanied by her godmother, Lady Pettigrew, Lenora forms a friendship with Edward’s young niece and ward, Annabelle, who has a propensity for getting into scrapes and falling in love with the wrong man.
In the days leading up to the Masquerade Ball on the Winter Solstice, another guest arrives. Mr Henderson has a particular reason for meeting Annabelle, who distrusts him on sight. Meanwhile, Lenora struggles with her rekindled feelings for Edward, while thinking of Robert Masters, the sophisticated man who hopes to marry her when he returns from abroad. As past secrets begin to unfold, Annabelle is rescued from harm, and a dashing, costumed stranger arrives at the Ball.
Once the past is revealed and the real villain unmasked, Lenora must decide where and with whom her future now lies.
You can purchase the book at: Tirgearr Publishing (all formats)
Amazon UK
Amazon US

***Giveaway: A chance to win an e-download of Romy's Victorian novella, Mischief at Mulberry Manor. All you need to do is answer this question and leave your email: What Halloween or Samhain legend has always intrigued you? Don't have a favorite legend, just leave Romy a comment and your email and you're entered in the giveaway!  
About the Author
 

Rosemary Gemmell is a Scottish freelance writer whose short stories, articles and children’s stories are published in UK national magazines, in the US, and online.  Historical novels, Dangerous Deceit and Mischief at Mulberry Manor, and contemporary novella, The Aphrodite Touch, are published under the name Romy and her new full length historical romance, Midwinter Masquerade, is now released from Tirgearr Publishing, Ireland. Her tween novels, Summer of the Eagles and The Jigsaw Puzzle (as Ros), are published by MuseItUp, Canada. Rosemary is a member of the Society of Authors, the Scottish Association of Writers and the Romantic Novelists’ Association and she loves to dance!

You can visit Rosemary at:
Amazon Page
Twitter: @RosemaryGemmell