Consequences For Melanie Robertson-King / @RobertsoKing / #LLm

Today we’re spotlighting The Consequences Collection by Melanie Robertson-King. Read on for an excerpt!

The Excerpt

Drawn by some inexplicable force, Sylvia went back to the foyer and collected the letter and the mangled envelope. She returned to the kitchen, flipped on the radio and sat down at her small table. Why had she opened it in the first place? She should have just binned it. That’s what she usually did with unsolicited mail. But there was something strangely familiar about it. The addressee information was on a computer printed label so there was no clue there. The sororities from University had crests or emblems to differentiate one from another. She wracked her brain trying to remember what they looked like. It had been over thirty years since she’d attended. Sylvia never belonged to a sorority because she thought the girls who did were snooty and stuck-up.

She’d call her friend, Laurie and tell her about the letter. They’d been friends since childhood, attended the same elementary and secondary schools and even the same University. She could tell her anything, couldn’t she? Sylvia picked up the cordless handset and dialed. “Hi Laurie, how are things?”

“Not bad. Just getting a load of laundry ready to go on the line. You?”

This was her chance to bring up the letter the mailman had shoved through her door. “Fine. I’ll let you go since you’re busy. Call me back, okay?” Sylvia hung up. There was something strange about Laurie’s tone, she thought. Like someone was there or something was wrong. She’d find out later. She knew Laurie would return her call. Rather than put her lifetime friend into a panic, she decided not to mention what she’d got in the mail earlier that morning.

Instead, Sylvia picked the letter up and read it out loud. “I know about that night. I know about your illegal abortion. You might think you were alone that night at the backstreet clinic but you weren’t. I saw you.”

Bloody hell, Sylvia thought. Who could have been there that night? She knew who took her there – it was Marianne’s boyfriend, John. He was the one who got her pregnant in the first place. They’d been at a party. He had fought with his girlfriend, Marianne, and she’d left in tears.

Sylvia recalled the crush she had on John. She stayed with him rather than go after her friend and comfort her, thinking they’d broken up. He didn’t need consoling she remembered. He took her off to the backseat of his car and they had sex. It had been her first time and she hadn’t known what to expect but being fumbled and fondled in the back of a ’57 Chevy wasn’t it.

The Consequences Collection

The Consequences Collection

The Consequences Collection is an eclectic compilation of twelve stories ranging from non-fiction through creative non-fiction to pure fiction, in prose and poetry. More info →
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Melanie’s Café Order

“I don’t go to cafes very often, but there is one close to me (within walking distance) where they make cheesecake that is to die for. You need someone with you to help eat it because it’s so rich! So, it’s a good thing I have willpower and don’t stop every time I walk by.”

Melanie’s Music

“I wouldn’t say that music inspired my writing, but since my novels (so far only one published) are set in Scotland, the influence would come from Scottish Folk music – bands like The Corries, Old Blind Dogs, Runrig etc. I used to write to music, usually sitting in the kitchen where our satellite radio is listening to BBC Radio 1. Unfortunately, BBC Radio 1 is no longer available in that format. Since then, whether I’m reading or writing, I prefer to have things totally quiet.”

Let’s listen to one of the groups Melanie mentioned, Old Blind Dogs.

How Do You VooDoo When You’re Never Alone? @LinnBHalton / @JaniceHorton

Hello rockstars and Happy Tuesday! Welcome once more to The Author’s Café, where we blast the music, refill your coffee, and talk books–endless books. This week I was in the mood for some spooky stuff–and if a little romance is thrown in, all the better! Read on for info on these great titles from Janice Horton and Linn B. Halton.

How Do You Voodoo? (Voodoo Romance #1)

How Do You Voodoo? (Voodoo Romance #1)

Author:
Series: Voodoo Romance, Book 0
Genres: Romance, Romantic Comedy
Loveless fashion model Nola Nichols thinks being beautiful is a curse; that is until she is cursed and her looks begin to fade just a week before the most important photo shoot of her career. More info →
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Excerpt From How Do You VooDoo?

Nola Nichols settled herself into her first class seat aboard a British Airways flight from Barbados to London and accepted a glass of chilled champagne, which she sipped in the hope it might help her to feel happier than she actually was.

Leaving her polo playing boyfriend behind was going to be a wrench after the fabulous few weeks they’d just spent together. She sulked at the thought of him playing chukkers in the Caribbean sunshine, while adoring girls waved at him from under the palm trees that surrounded the St James Club, and tried not to imagine the parties he would attend without her afterwards.

Their relationship had been passionate, but it was still far too new for her to expect him to do it long distance. Not that you could frolic in the surf or make love in a beach hammock by iPad. Well, not for real anyway.

His life was simple and hers way too complicated. His home was an old sugar plantation house and hers was, well, anywhere, as she continually lived out of a hotel and a suitcase.

When they had said their goodbyes at the airport, and he’d presented her with a single rose, she’d known instinctively rather than from its symbolism that she’d lost him. She might be the most beautiful girl that Miles Montgomery-Smythe had ever dated (his words not hers) but clearly out of sight was out of mind.

While the in-flight safety film played, Nola braced herself for returning to the UK. She had been sent to the Caribbean by her Agent because of some stupid headline and an unflattering photograph in the tabloids. ‘Nola No Knickers’ had gone viral when the paparazzi had caught her exiting a limousine with her legs ever so slightly parted.

‘Of course I was wearing knickers!’ she’d exclaimed to Marilyn, who was right in the middle of some sort of mid-life hormonal crisis as well as negotiating Nola’s debut appearance in Vashion Magazine, the hottest glossy to ever hit London, Paris and New York. ‘They were just a bit see-through and I had been perspiring.’

 
 

Never Alone

Never Alone

Life is all about the choices we make… More info →
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Excerpt From Never Alone

“I read an article once about a man who was dying of some horrific lung condition. The interviewer asked if he was scared of death and he said, “No, why—should I be? I am scared about how my wife will cope when I’m not here anymore. I know I will be in a better place, but she will always wonder, until it’s her time”. What struck me most was how firmly he believed it wasn’t the end of anything for him and that his wife was the one he felt sorry for.”

“That’s sad. I guess if there is an afterlife, then that’s not going to be perfect either. Well that’s depressing. To go from one imperfect life to another…” Celia thrusts her glass towards me and I raise mine obligingly. A clear, hollow ring fills the air as glass touches glass.

“Here’s to a better life beyond,” she adds dully.

“Sometimes they do manage to make contact,” I try my best to sound matter-of-fact. “I’ve experienced it myself.”

Celia turns to look at me, studying my face. “Yes, but is it real, Holly?”

“It’s real to me when it happens. You don’t have to be a medium to see spirits. Cara says I’m getting help from the other side, from my grandmother. So there are things they can do.” I don’t know what I’m trying to say exactly, or whether I’m only trying to give Celia some hope. A part of me, buried deep inside, seems to want to open up. I know there is something beyond death and perhaps it’s about time I faced up to that fact.

“But, Holly, the things you’ve seen have scared you. They haven’t comforted you; quite the opposite. How sad is that?” Celia doesn’t look upset, merely resigned.

“I know. Why can’t I see or sense my grandmother? That would be a good experience, surely? Will and I did some research and one book we came across said everyone is born with a natural psychic ability. Cara said much the same. As we grow we learn to dismiss it and question it in such a way that eventually we lose the ability to ‘see’. In some people it’s activated, their abilities are much stronger or they have decided to learn how to use the gift they have been given. An important part of that is learning how to protect yourself. The trouble is I don’t want to get more involved. If I learn more, then I’m worried that I will be encouraging what’s out there to see me as receptive. How awful if it never went away.”

“It might all end here. You weren’t the only one affected by Bisley Rise so it must have been strong. I know you were upset and it really spooked you, but gradually you’ll let it go and things will return to normal.” Celia tries to sound reassuring.

“I wish it were that simple,” I sigh, but my words sound fraught.

“What do you mean?” Celia asks.

“I thought Bisley Rise was the first time. I’m not so sure now.” She looks at me, puzzled. “I’ve been going through my portfolio of writing. It spans almost ten years; I started writing poetry and short stories when I was a teenager. Bits and pieces, but I always enjoyed it. It was my way of relaxing and I’ve had a few things published over the years. I went back through some of my earlier writing yesterday. Let me show you something I found.” I run upstairs to the bedroom and pull a folded piece of A4 paper from the pale yellow box file on the desk next to the bed. I unfold the paper as I walk back into the sitting room.

“Listen to this. It’s something I wrote when I was just sixteen years old. It was a shock when I found it the other day.”

The Uninvited

I can see the breeze

Rustling through the branches

Laden with leaves

That should be basking in the sunshine

But not today

I hear that sad howling

Through the corridor

Next to my room

The eerie sound makes me feel alone

And sadly afraid

For what might walk

Fretful and angry

Encouraged by the chill

And the high-pitched whine

Barely audible

But unmistakable

There is a shadow

I saw it move, hover

As a wisp of smoke

Clearing before my eyes

And I move my head

To check the swaying trees

Beyond the window

Which now seem strangely calm

I know you are there

I’ve seen you before

But I bow my head

And continue reading my book

Afraid to acknowledge

Scared to see more

I had the conversation once

Told a friend what I had seen

Suffered the pitying glance

Dismissive smile

Because you are never there

When I’m not alone

Your message is for me

But I’m too afraid

To listen or respond

Please

Just leave me alone

Celia exhales slowly and loudly, letting it sink in and then takes a long, slow sip from her wine glass.

“Perhaps it wasn’t your own experience that inspired the poem, it might be based on a story or incident you read about perhaps?”

“No, it was a way of voicing what was hidden away deep inside of me. Things I couldn’t talk about, although I did try to confide in a friend once. I guess I’ve spent years pushing this away and ignoring things. Bisley Rise frightened me because for the first time ever it was so strong I couldn’t ignore it. If I hadn’t then had that awful experience in the basement of the pin mill, I would still be trying to convince myself it was an isolated experience. I know that isn’t true and I suppose I’m trying to face up to what’s been happening for a long time now.”

 

Recipe of the Day

Image Courtesy Wikipedia Commons

So I was thinking today…since How Do You VooDoo is set partly in Glasgow, Scotland, we might have a bit of Scotch coffee? What do you think? Here you go…

Ingredients

  • One shot of espresso
  • A shot of your favourite single malt Scotch Whisky. (Keep in mind that whiskey is not Scottish. So if you want to be authentic, lose the e.)
  • Sugar
    Milk

How To Make The Magic Happen

  • Combine espresso and Scotch Whisky in your favorite mug.
  • Steam the milk until it has a light, frothy foam.
  • Pour the milk over the combined ingrediants in your mug.

 

Music of the Day

I’ve been listening to rock n’ roll all day and honestly, there could be no other song for today… Enjoy!

 

Jimi Hendrix – Live at Woodstock – Voodoo Child (Slight Return) from Dernouny Anass on Vimeo.

The Last Protector Of A Shadow In The Past / @RobertsoKing / @StephanieKeyes

Hey guys! Today is a real treat for me, because I get to share some of my own work with you. Read on for more!

 

The Last Protector

The Last Protector

Author:
Series: The Star Child, Book 3.5
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Gabriel Stewart helped his best friend Kellen St. James save the world from The Scourge in the Battle of Dublin. But before that? Gabe was just an ordinary guy who kept having dreams about a little boy with black hair and green eyes—a boy he hadn’t even met yet. More info →
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Excerpt From The Last Protector

The grass was still damp from the rain earlier, from constant rain, really. Moisture seeped through the opening in the bottom of my right boot and I pulled my coat tighter. It hadn’t been cold a moment ago but, all of a sudden, I could see my breath.

Finally, I stopped outside a squat brick building. I knew deep down to my bones that this was it–where I needed to be. But why had I come in the first place?

Only one window was lit on the ground floor. Through the glass I could make out a small boy with dark hair. He sat alone, reading. After a moment,

It would have been a totally normal scene if it weren’t for the unease slithering through my veins. Something was gonna go down.

“This is the one. I’d know him anywhere.” I glanced to the left and caught sight of two guys standing just under the kid’s window. Shrinking back into the shadows, I hugged the wall and crouched down behind a bush. Wherever the weird sense in my gut had come from, instinct told me it had everything to do with these two.

“I dunno, Ewan.” The shorter of the two men moved a step closer, and I caught something I hadn’t before. One of the guys was green. Short and green. Like a wicked witch but not as tall. “I know he’s here. I followed the scent.”

The other one held up two hands. “I believe ye. You’re definitely right. It’s just…if the lord finds us here it’ll be both our heads.” The one called Ewan took a step closer.

The one called Ewan took a step closer. “We’ll use the boy as leverage. We must listen to Cana’s warnings.”

“The old hag knows nothing. Kellen St. James–”

“St. James will have power.”

“That’s a rumor and nothing more. It ain’t worth risking our necks over, you ‘ear?”

“Look at him, just sitting there. Murder him now and we’ll avoid trouble later.”

 

A Shadow In the Past

A Shadow In the Past

Sarah Shand is a nineteen-year old who finds herself thrust back into the past where she struggles to keep her real identity secret from a society that is put off by her strange comments and ideas, not to mention the forwardness in her speech and actions, More info →
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Excerpt From A Shadow In The Past

 Sarah spun around at the sound of the approaching engine. Headlights sparkled and danced in the closing darkness, blinding her. The next few seconds appeared to unfold in slow motion. A horn blared, brakes screeched, and smoke surged out from beneath the tires. Hypnotized by the dazzling light, Sarah couldn’t move. The impact of the car’s bumper sent a searing pain through her legs. Her bones snapped like twigs as she flew into the windshield and over the car onto the road.

With a sickening thud, her head smashed against the asphalt. As Sarah lay there, vomit and blood rose in her throat. She tried to roll over to keep from choking, but her body refused to obey. All the strength drained from her body, and her world faded away into nothing.

“Oh my God! Oh my God!”

Sarah thought she had imagined the hysterical woman’s voice.

“Don’t die on me; please don’t die. I’ve called 9-9-9. Help will be here soon.”

Sarah felt the soft touch of a hand caressing her forehead and looked up into the face of a wide-eyed girl of about her age. Behind the girl, a mangled car rested against a tree. Sarah opened her mouth to speak but couldn’t. She shivered.

“You must be freezing. Here, let me cover you.” The young girl removed her coat and placed it over Sarah. “Please just stay with me,” she pleaded, looking over her shoulder. As the sirens wailed in the distance, everything went dark.

When Sarah’s eyes flickered open, the frantic girl and her wrecked car were nowhere to be seen. Instead of the asphalt surface of Kendonald Road, Sarah lay sprawled out on a narrow, gravel lane.

Sarah’s chest felt as if her father’s entire herd of cows had run over it. She gasped for air and tried to prop herself up on her elbows but collapsed as stones gouged her arms.

Using her last ounce of strength, Sarah hauled herself to her feet. Her head throbbed as if it was about to explode, and something wet and sticky ran down the back of her neck. Dirt and blood covered her rugby shirt and jeans, and her trainers were gone. Sharp gravel bit into her stocking feet as she staggered, trying not to fall. Sarah was surprised she was able to stand. She was certain the impact with the car had broken her legs and maybe even her back.

She wiped her hands on her shirt and cried out in pain. Dirt and blood covered her palms, and her knees felt like they’d been scraped with sandpaper. Her chest hurt with every breath, and she wondered if her ribs were broken.

Barely able to make out a faint light shining in the distance, Sarah stumbled toward it, thinking it was the yard light near her father’s barn. She clapped her hands over her ears in an attempt to block out the incessant ringing, but it didn’t work.

Sarah blinked and stared at one of the ghostly trees lining the roadway. The trunk expanded and contracted before her eyes as if it were breathing. A gust of wind rasped through the branches, and a sudden cry of a long-eared owl made her jump. Shivering, Sarah crossed her arms and rubbed, but pain shot all the way to her fingertips, forcing her to stop.

 

Recipe of the Day

Image Courtesy Of Jeff Wilcox, Flickr
Image Courtesy Of Jeff Wilcox, Flickr

I’m from Pennsylvania and we are into pumpkin everything here. My favorite drink is a Pumpkin Spice Latte. I thought I’d share a great recipe I’ve found online.

Make Your Own Damn Pumpkin Spice Latte For $1

Music of the Day

I listened to a ton of music while writing The Last Protector. One song that really sets the mood of the story is Cool Kids by Echosmith. Have a listen!