The Muse Unleashed

Knock Softly. Bring Chocolate.


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Lady in Red {100 Words}

Rachel twirled in front of her mirror, an involuntary whistle escaping her lips. She’d never looked this great. Despite her misgivings, the Mirror had been right to make her older. Her lingering baby fat had been smoothed into womanly curves that filled the dress to perfection. And it was a perfect shade of red for her complexion.

“Damn, I look good.”

“Talking to yourself is never a good sign, Rachel.” The Mirror’s voice wrapped itself around her shoulders like a shawl. She yelped at the sensation and frantically rubbed her arms.

“Geez, a little warning perhaps?”

The reflection just grinned.

~*~*~

Linking up to two of my old haunts: Leeroy’s 100 Word Song (Chris De Burgh’s Lady in Red) and Velvet Verbosity’s 100 Word Challenge (whistling)

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Elephant in the Room {Friday Fictioneers}

“Are we going to address the elephant in the room?”

I glance over my sister’s shoulder and shrug. Her jaw tenses at the dismissal.

“You can’t keep going on this way. It’s not healthy.” She grasps my hands, stilling the piece of paper twirling in my fingers. I squirm out of her grasp, my fingers burning at her touch. My heart races as I search for my sanitizer.

My sister sighs and places the bottle in my hands. “You need help. Let me help you.”

“It’s a goat, not an elephant,” I say as I slip past her, careful not to touch.

~*~*~

It’s been too long since I have done any bits of flash fiction :) I hope to make up for the silence.

For Friday Fictioneers:

copyright Adam Ickes

copyright Adam Ickes


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A May Bride by Meg Moseley {Book Review}

_225_350_Book.1251.coverShe thinks she has prepared for her wedding all her life . . . but it seems she may have forgotten the most important part.

Ellie Martin, a country girl in Atlanta, has dreamed of a traditional wedding all her life-a wedding just like the one her younger sister is planning back home. Their single mom will pay for Alexa’s wedding, but Ellie started her own wedding fund years ago. She only needs to find a groom.

At a wedding at her church, Ellie bumps into a man who’s one of the guests. She’s noticed him around the neighborhood, but today he introduces himself as Gray Whitby. They embark on a whirlwind romance, but her mother doesn’t trust freewheeling men like Gray.

When Ellie risks her own future for her sister’s sake, Gray feels betrayed. Will he always play second fiddle to Ellie’s family?

Will Ellie and Gray reconcile their differences so her dream wedding can come true, or will the romance they’ve begun come crashing down?

~*~*~

Review

Ellie is an independent sort of girl. She does her own thing and doesn’t want to rely on other people. This becomes very evident as her younger sister’s wedding approaches and Ellie witnesses her mother’s meddling just because she is paying for it.

When Ellie meets Gray at a ‘guerrilla’ wedding at the local church she is immediately attracted to him. Their romance moves fast and before she knows it, he’s proposed and Ellie’s wedding fund is finally put to use…until everything changes. Ellie’s sister suddenly needs the funds for her own wedding and Ellie decides to give her the money she saved. This brings tension between Ellie and Gray and Ellie’s future happiness is threatened. Add in the dislike that Ellie’s mom holds towards Gray and the reader is left wondering if there is a possibility for a happy ever after!

I quite enjoyed this novella. It’s not my favorite of the bunch but overall it flowed well and the plot moved briskly. I enjoyed the humor and the way Ellie and Gray’s characters played off each other. They seemed to be a well matched couple. And the difficulties they encountered with Ellie’s family were done realistically. Family is never easy and dealing with a family member when it comes to planning a wedding can be awful. I have personal experience with dealing with family tension while trying to plan my own wedding years ago so I could relate.

This was a brisk read, perfect for a lunch hour, doctor’s office wait or before bed. And it does give you that happily ever after in the end!

3.5 out of 5 stars

I review for BookLook BloggersDisclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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Girl of Rage by Charles Sheehan-Miles {Book Review}

imagesFour days ago, Andrea Thompson agreed to fly to the United States to help her sister Carrie. Four days ago, everything changed.

Now Andrea is lost and on the run. Dylan Paris is missing. Julia and Crank Wilson are under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. The Thompson family is scattered and in danger, and Andrea’s very identity may hold the key to unlock decades of buried secrets.

Andrea, the youngest member of the Thompson clan, sets out on a search to find answers. Who is attacking her family? Who is trying to kill her and why?

As Andrea seeks her answers, everything she thought she knew about her family will be turned upside down.

~*~*~

Review

I am a huge fan of Charles Sheehan Miles. His Thompson Sisters trilogy sucked me into this totally dysfunctional family and his follow up series Rachel’s Peril is a complete roller coaster of events. The first book in the series Girl of Rage set the tone and began a fast paced series of events that changed everything you thought you knew about this family. Girl of Lies continues in the same vein, exposing characters stories little by little until your impressions are flipped on their heads.

The story follows numerous paths, weaving each character’s story together into a brilliant tapestry of events. Andrea and Carrie are learning the secrets of their parentage, ultimately discovering who their real father is. The other sisters are also traumatized by the many secrets uncovered. Their father, Richard Thompson, is not the man any of them thought he was. And their mother, Adelina, is not the woman they all believed her to be. Her moods, her behaviours, her distance, is somewhat explained by details kept hidden by both their parents.

I was never a huge fan of Adelina. She wasn’t given much of the story previously, only that her behaviour and attitude was the cause of many of the girls issues through their lives. She wasn’t a likeable woman. Now, this book gives us her story so we, as well as the sisters, are all finding out the truth. She is much more sympathetic. I’m waiting to see how Richard is painted. To me, he was a distant father figure but not inherently bad. Now I am questioning all of my impressions.

This book is another example of fantastic writing and a tight, rapid fire plot. All the dribbles given in the previous books are linking up so it makes sense. I can’t wait for the third book in the series to be released but I’m also dreading it because it will mean an end to characters I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about and living with.

5 stars!

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About the author:

CharlesSheehanMilesAuthorPicCharles Sheehan-Miles has been a soldier, computer programmer, short-order cook and non-profit executive, and is the author of several fiction and non-fiction books, including the indie bestsellers Just Remember to Breathe and Republic: A Novel of America’s Future. Charles and his partner Andrea Randall live and write together in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Find out more at http://www.sheehanmiles.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CharlesSheehanMiles

You’re also invited to join the Remember to Breathe Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/remembertobreathe/

Twitter: @CSheehanMiles

 


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A little speculation

I recently began a creative writing program offered by one of the local universities. It’s a condensed version of a longer program so instead of taking a year out of my life I’m getting the same information in only 3 months.

So far it’s been interesting. What I love about it is that I am forced to write, something that has been pushed to the back burner lately. I find if I don’t have a deadline that has consequences or if I’m not scheduled in something I paid for I let this part of my life slide. I need to have that push. It’s why I’d like to keep doing this critique group even though my husband thinks I need to do something new. There is a direct correlation to my productivity and whether or not I’ve shelled out money related to this.

Anyway, the purpose of this is to share something I wrote in one of the classes. It was a course on speculative fiction highlighting the differences between science fiction and fantasy and some of the hallmarks of each. At the end, the group brainstormed to create a world and some key elements such as the protagonist and inciting incident and then we all had to write the opening of a story using these pieces.

So here is the piece I wrote. It’s unedited from the original with the exception of a couple words I realized I used multiple times. I’d love some thoughts.

~*~*~

The pungent tang of singed flesh was nauseating but welcome. Adara followed the aroma knowing a source of heat was near. Even with the dangers, any heat was cherished. The alternative was a slow deterioration of your body as numbing cold claimed it as its own.

This was Hell. Not the Hell documented in ancient texts, a world of fire and damnation, but a world engulfed by crippling ice ages and epic warfare over the few remaining sources of free heat.

Adara crept closer to an outcropping of jagged rock, the smell of her own fear blending with the smoke. She gagged as a gust pushed a thick cloud in her direction, surrounding her in the lingering residues of terror. Someone had found this thermal release and paid the ultimate price for it: his life.

She slid as close to the edge as she dared scanning the half moon amphitheatre before her. In the middle was the tell tale glow…

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