Phoenix People by Jan Pauw

Today’s excerpt is from the novel Phoenix People by Jan Pauw


Mark was a self-made billionaire but now is in prison after losing his wealth, reputation, marriage and freedom. Katy, a graduate student in forensic psychology, wants to do a PhD dissertation on his case.

At first Mark talks only about his business. Gradually he opens up about his family, friends and associates, trying to persuade Katy that he was a kind and caring husband, father, friend and mentor who did nothing wrong.

Katy is skeptical. She assumes he is manipulative and unreliable.

Mark thinks she is a naïve, affluent dilettante, but something seems odd about her. Slowly she reveals a terrible childhood and troubled adolescence. He becomes obsessed with her, but this frightens her and drives them further apart. They overcome distrust and misunderstandings as they learn about each other and themselves.

Their story is told mostly through letters they exchanged over several years and Katy’s notes and transcripts of meetings in prison. Katy also provides a brief introduction and a final chapter explaining how they eventually found mutual respect, admiration and affection.

Set up:

Mark keeps trying to persuade Katy that he is a kind and caring person who handled many business and family problems with great compassion. In this excerpt, he describes a time when he and his wife Cindy found their 17 year-old daughter hosting a skinny dipping and pot party at their lakefront mansion. (“Buddy” refers to one of Mark’s political proteges, a Congressman who later has an affair with Cindy.)


In late August 1991, shortly before Julie left for college, Cindy and I came home one evening and found five or six cars in the driveway. Julie and her friends were out on the dock and in the lake. There were beer bottles all over, piles of clothes here and there, kids skinny dipping. Julie saw me, giggled, handed me a cookie and said, “Have one.” Several kids laughed.

“What’s in ‘em?” asked Cindy.

“They’re A-B-T-Rs,” one of the kids said, giggling again.

“A-B-T-Rs?” I asked.

“Alice B. Toklas recipe,” said Julie.

“Pot,” said Cindy.

“Shit,” I said. Several kids snuffed out what they were smoking.

“Dad, I’m not a smoker so I can’t suck it in far enough or hold it in long enough to do any good, so I use the edibles, most of us do. Try one.”

“No, Julie, you know how I feel about that stuff.” I handed the cookie back and started to leave. Then I turned around and came back. “Listen, you guys, and that includes you girls too. I wish you hadn’t done this, but here we are, and now I’m worried about how you’re gonna get home safely. Most of you probably want to get your clothes back on and leave, but please don’t drive out of here drunk or high. Stay all night if you want, or at least stay long enough so be safe driving home. Or have the security guards drive you home.”

Cindy went in the house and I went to talk to the security guards. “There’s some kids out there that look pretty, ah, impaired.”

“We know, Boss. We didn’t know what we should do about it. What should we have done?”

“I don’t know. But try not to let them drive out of here if they seem drunk or high. Give them coffee or something. Drive them home if they’ll let you.”

I went in the house and got in bed. Cindy said, “She’s right you know. If you’re not a regular smoker and somebody gives you a joint, it’s hard to suck it in far enough and hold it in long enough to get any effect.”

“And you know this how?”

“By trying it, of course.”

“When you were a kid?”

“No, last month after Buddy’s fundraiser.” Another warning sign I missed.

“Was he smoking pot?”

“No. He said he promised you not to smoke it in the US until it was legal, and to tell you he’d kept that promise.”

“Oh, well, that part’s good.” I stared at the ceiling. “But this thing with Julie tonight, it’s so hard. I try to be a good father, and then this kind of shit comes along. What should I do now?”

“Go to sleep.”

“Cindy, this isn’t a joke. I really want to do the right thing, but what would that be?”

“I wasn’t joking. I know you try hard, but maybe too hard sometimes? Just relax. You’re usually so positive, so optimistic. Just be yourself. It’ll all be alright.” She rolled over and went to sleep. I stared at the ceiling for a long time, with a piece of song looping through my head:

“Try not to worry, try not to hang on to

“Problems that upset you, oh yes

“Everything’s all right, yes, everything’s fine,

“And we want you to sleep well tonight …”

Is it possible to try too hard to be good?

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About the author:

 I graduated from Shoreline High School in 1962, the University of Washington (B.A. English, 1966) and the Stanford Law School (J.D. 1969). At Stanford I was President of the Legal Aid Society and became interested in poverty law and other issues of the poor, but also interested in real estate, business and finance. After law school I went to work for Weyerhaeuser Company, expecting to work in those fields but quickly drifting into environmental and natural resources law. I retired in 2006.This is the first fiction I have written.

Dream Stealer by HL Carpenter

Today’s excerpt is from the middle grade/young adult fantasy novella Dream Stealer by HL Carpenter

Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Ever wonder what became of the dreams you once had? Fancy Moonstruck can tell you.

Fancy is supposed to steal dreams. It’s what her family does for a living, and now that she’s fifteen, the job is hers.

It’s a job she’d rather not have. She knows first-hand what dreams mean to the dreamer because she dreams of her mom, who died five years ago. Losing her dream would be like losing her mom all over again. That’s a pain Fancy doesn’t want to inflict on anyone.

But the rules are clear: Steal a dream—or lose her own.



image003Another moment and the dream will be gone.

The winter sea breeze brushes my hair from my face, its cold caress as light as the layer of fear I wear like my dark hoodie, and as soft as my shallow breathing. In the way of every good thief, I take care that the whispery puff of my breath is the only sound I make.

Though I’m not touching the fleeing dream, it kisses my mind, sticky as a spider’s web. I stand still, wide-awake in the hush of the two a.m. darkness, staring at the pulsing silver sliver. The external details are breathtaking: the shivering tendrils of longing; the filaments of hope, quivering like the strings of a harp. They float through the window of the ramshackle beach cottage where Mrs. Hooper sleeps, reaching upward with fog-thin fingers, anchored within her heart, searching for the sky.

Mrs. Hooper’s dream is one of love-longing, and I peek inside as it sways above me, though I’m not supposed to. The Dream Buyers pay well for dreams of love-longing, and they pay especially well for dreams untouched by us Stealers.

Even so, I can’t stop myself from lingering inside the dream. I spend precious seconds there, warming myself in the heat of Mrs. Hooper’s longing for the love of her son, before drawing back into the chill of the night’s reality, and my work in it. I fumble to release the dream catcher, which dangles from my belt on a leather cord, then grasp the handle of the delicate, tightly-woven net. I focus on the hours of practice runs I went over with Dad. I need only reach out now, and my very first dream-stealing excursion will end in success.

And I will keep my family safe.

I must do this. Yet I hesitate. Dad says Mrs. Hooper will never miss her dream. Is it possible he’s wrong? I dream a similar love-longing dream myself, every night, and I know what it means to me—the same as this dream must mean to Mrs. Hooper.

If I’m right, I cannot take it from her.

I must take it.

I must…

Get your copy today at: Amazon —

And be sure to check out the authors’ site at


image001HL Carpenter is the pen name of a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes from their studio in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Their work is featured on their website []

Madame Lilly, Voodoo Priestess by Dormaine G

Today’s excerpt is from the  novel Madame Lilly, Voodoo Priestess by Dormaine G


madame lilly DORMAINE G ebook cover

Standing up, Lilly’s body stiffened uncontrollably. There was something wrong. A force was pulling her in. That wasn’t supposed to happen . . . she was supposed to feel in control at all times but she was losing it.

There was something else here, something she hadn’t invited. Despite the humid night air her body turned cold, rigidly cold, making her teeth chatter. Her followers saw the change when she stood up so suddenly. They stopped beating the drums since they could tell something was wrong by the way she held herself so tightly.

A force had a hold on her. Lilly could feel it in her bones. She desperately wanted to close her eyes but something within her wouldn’t allow it.

The wind howled and the dirt flew around them, making it almost impossible to see. Something fierce was coming for her. The other spirits knew it because they stopped walking but instead hid in the shadows of the trees, finally showing themselves as they moved swiftly past the other spirits that were coming right at her. There were two of them, no longer holding human forms, but white shadows of their former selves.

Lilly held her arms rigid as the forces rapidly circled her body, spinning her round to see her. Stopping close to her face, they intertwined with each other as if to figure out what she was. They appeared identical with hollow pits for eyes and mouths but she could sense they were not truly the same. They hovered in front of her for only a moment before they shot through her body, taking a part of her with them and knocking her to the ground from the blinding pain.


About the Author

I was born in New York and lived there with my family until I was eight when we moved to Mississippi. I studied the skill of nursing in Louisiana and New York but learned life experiences in Massachusetts. After stationary nursing in NY and travel nursing to other states, I planted roots in Colorado. Throughout the years I’ve always written stories but never thought to publish. After years of playing adult and realizing that I will never grow up, I took some time off to live the dream of writing. My first book, Connor, was published September 2013 which is book 1 of the series. I truly love writing and will continue to do so.

You can grab your copy of Madame Lilly, Voodoo Priestess on Amazon

Breaking the Silence by Jesse C. Rice-Jones

Today’s excerpts are from Breaking the Silence by Jesse C. Rice-Jones


For the curious this book is an in-your-face expose’ of actual events and activities not generally discussed in a public forum. For those prepared to embrace the mysterious it offers glimpses into the unknowable. As regards inspiration, the text implies that the search for inspiration is an individual journey that can not be universalized.

Too soon circumstances taught me that an imaginary father, no matter how idealized the image, can never be enough. Yet, that same positive image I had cherished made it possible for me to finally accept and even to love my father in all his frailty, body and soul. I thank my mother for not tarnishing my conception of my absent father. And by some harsh perhaps twisted logic, I must also thank my father. His absence allowed me to walk on the wild side. Brutal as that path has been, I like where it has taken me. And yes, I am still walking. So come now, walk with me awhile…

My mother, my sister Naomi, and I attended my father’s memorial service. There were many others–friends, patrons, gallery owners, and fellow artists. They had brought paintings and sculptures of his they’d collected over the years, as well as many words of love, admiration, and amusing anecdotes. Finally, my father’s best friend at the end of his moving eulogy pointed to my sister and me saying, “Peter, to his great loss, neglected to acknowledge his best work.”  All eyes turned to us. For a moment we became part of the exhibition of collectables. Most people in that room hadn’t seen or heard from Peter for years; most had no idea that he had children and that two of them were in their midst. My sister wept. I took her hand and we went out into the freshness of the surrounding May gardens. A crow was waiting for us.

You can get Breaking the Silence from Smashwords:



hugggggJesse C. Rice-Jones is a native of Vancouver, Canada. He grew up without a television. Instead he mastered tree climbing and read The Lord of the Rings, Sherlock Holmes, The Little Prince, The Hardy Boys, Robin Hood, and Eric the Viking, among others, by the age of twelve. He has worked in the film industry and coached basketball to youths. He is currently working as a personal trainer. He is passionate about Martial Arts, music, coaching, and writing.

find out more at!/BreakingTheSilence.JesseRiceJones

To Finish a Quilt by Grant Staley

Today’s excerpt is from the  novel To Finish a Quilt by Grant Staley 


To Finish a Quilt

‘Why did I deserve that abuse? What indecency did I have that made you turn away from me when I called?’

She [Eunice] had asked that very question tens of times almost every day for over two decades. She waited for God to speak to her, but she heard no reply so she searched within her memories for a cause. The same minor trespasses came to mind: a trivial curse when she bumped her knee on a pew, an unkind word to her grandmother, lying to her brother Tommy. Those were not real answers to her question so it was probably as her father had said in his last words to her. Somehow, she had failed God with the deep stains she wore.

That night when she was sixteen, she had been curled up on the bed wearing her long white nightgown with flowers embroidered around the neck, praying with all her might that her father might just go on to bed without another sloppy conversation. The periods of icy silence and cutting jabs between her mother and him had been bad enough, but by that point, talking with a drunk had become intolerable without disgust-soaked words filling her voice. Those prayers had been in vain.

The twenty-one year old echoes of her father bumping his way up the staircase filled her with a medley of hate, shame, and guilt. The sobbing and pain, the stench of alcohol, and the taste of blood inside her lip were still as real as that night when her pale eyes had felt about to burst from their orbits as if the pressure of her imprisoned screams were pushing them out. As always, she decided that desire was not on her bastard father’s mind that night. It was punishment.

More than punishment, her father was a first taste of what men really were. Her brother, who had deserted the family, and her husband, who like all men could not help himself around loose women, confirmed the message of that awful lesson even if they had never assaulted her physically. Her brother’s emotional abandonment had concluded with irreparable and devastating consequences. There was nothing that would rectify what he had done. Her husband’s throwing her over for an infant; however, was a grievance she would not permit. Something must change the course of his infatuation. She needed to prevail this time.

That damn baby was making more noise. Without more of a true-ringing answer to the question of why she had suffered so at the hands of men, she walked away from the bedroom, her head throbbing with every step and every cry of the baby.

Halfway down the hallway, she paused to take in the commanding panorama from high above the San Gabriel Valley. She loved this house, the prestigious address, and the outlook of the city that always gave her a sense of accomplishment. But, the baby’s cry broke the spell an instant later, causing her to sigh before she stole into her daughter’s room.

She walked through the full moon’s blue light that filled the nursery and looked down into the crib. The child kicked her chubby legs in gleeful anticipation, and her mouth arced into a pudgy heart that cooed her welcome. The child had begun to recognize her over a month ago, and she took that as a sign of intelligence. This child would be clever, probably not as smart as the son but crafty and, as a girl, able to manipulate her father.

Watching the child wriggle in its crib, she felt the night’s anger and disgust rise again. She hated this baby. She could right that wrong. It was all in her power. Jules would be sad for a while, but he would get over the loss. She would be there to help him through the pain. Babies die in their sleep all the time; she knew that to be true.

Julie started to fuss again and seemed about to let out a cry. Eunice bent over to caress the tiny, buttery face with the back of her hand. Solemnly she took the pillow from under the child’s head.

“Shhh, there there,” she whispered as she placed the pillow over the baby’s face and pressed it down along her ears.

There were sounds, painful ones that brought back her own vain pleas from long ago, but she could learn to live with those too. The infant’s legs started to dart frantically in every direction. Seconds dragged by as Eunice looked out the window.

How much longer could this take, she asked herself as the convulsions continued. She heard a click and decided it was the crib uttering a final creak.

“Mom?” she heard a second later and flinched.

Glancing out of the corner of her eye, she saw her son Gary slumped on the doorframe behind her. His red plaid pajamas hung from his lean five-year-old body.

Without hesitation, Eunice slid the pillow away, and the baby started to bawl. She spun in Gary’s direction and stomped her way close to him.

“Damn it Gary. See what you’ve done?  I almost had her down, but you’ve ruined that.”

The boy, recoiling away from her, said, “I was having a bad dream.”

“And what can I do about that?”

Gary brought a hand to his mouth and started to gnaw on his thumbnail. He turned back to his room.

“Nothing, I guess.”


Grant, originally from California, lives in the Auckland suburb of St. Heliers with his wife and their two dogs. He is an avid sailor, musician, cyclist, and writer.

 His first novel To Finish A Quilt is a story of a young woman’s unfathomable hurt, the way it influences others around her, and how two men central to her life reach resolution and peace. A second novel is in progress for release in late 2013. Learn more and how to purchase at

Who Will Hear Them Cry by Phyllis Campbell

Kate’s world is secure, a loving husband, a baby on the way, and a partnership in a small town detective agency, until she returns home to a scene of horror. Her husband lies dead in a room covered with his blood. This is the last thing she will ever see with her physical eyes, as the killer emerges from the shadows to hurl a jar of acid at her face, killing her unborn child, and leaving her totally blind.

He had warned her not to testify against his son, the psychopath who called himself the messenger of the lord. If she had only listened! Her adjustment to her new world is excellent, they tell her, but no one knows the paralysis that holds her spirit in bondage as her guilt forces her into a world of computer games where she can control life and death on the screen, a world where she can’t hurt nor be hurt.

Before you begin to read close your eyes, listen, smell, touch. Is that a stealthy footfall? Is that fragrance coming from someone waiting in the dark? Does that hand suddenly touching you belong to a friend or an enemy?

Now you’re ready to walk with Kate through her world of darkness as she follows the trail of a series of fatal accidents in a private school for disabled children. She resists the journey that Brett, her former partner has asked her to take, but something, call it determination, call it love, call it what you will, pushes her from her world of computers into the real world where danger waits.

Walk with her through the dusty attics of the school, to the state mental hospital, to a country funeral, and along a narrow ledge with a sheer drop on one side and a raging fire on the other. Feel her bitter sweet joy as she is enveloped in a man’s arms again. Her world will never be the same, but it is her world, and it is good.


Available now at





Phyllis Staton Campbell was born in Amherst County Virginia, and moved to Staunton when she was seven, where she graduated from the Virginia School for the Blind, where she later taught, and where she still goes three afternoons a week to give private piano lessons. She serves as organist at Faith Lutheran Church in historic down town Staunton.

She has been writing professionally since the 60’s, and in addition to short fiction and nonfiction for numerous magazines, she has written two books, one of which was published in China and the United Kingdom as well as in the US. She writes two bi-monthly columns for “Our Special Magazine” published in Braille by National Braille Press. Who Will Hear Them Cry is her first digital book.

Heir of Nostalgia by Steve Muse

This is an excerpt from Heir of Nostalgia by Steve Muse, available on Amazon.

Age Level: 14 and up | Grade Level: 9 and up

I’m here to tell you, the world never started out this way. It became this way through a mistake, through my pride. I created the Hell we all have to live through. Because of me, the decisions I made, the world has been earmarked for suffering. I tore the veil between life and death. I caused the great shift, the new awakening. Because of me, the world will never be the same.”

Theo Valerian’s world is one of privilege, of always having enough, of having everything go his way. Up until the moment he meets Phillip, a thirteen year old runaway.

Phillip is homeless, hungry, and heartbroken. He’s been living on the streets of New York ever since losing his family. Since that time, the only thing that keeps him going is thoughts of vengeance. He’s looking for the man he feels is responsible for his father’s disappearance, the same man that destroyed his family, a man with silver singing spurs that can walk between worlds. Will a Riot Grrl called Maggie, who claims she can talk to angels, be able to help Phillip? Will a murder of ravens masquerading as teenage thugs defeat them? Or are there stronger forces at work, dark forces? Forces bent on destroying everything in Phillips life?

No one ever said growing up would be easy- then again no one ever said it would be this hard either.


I finally located Phillip, he was with a man- but before I go there, there is something you must know, the corners of the roof, the corners of the doorways, anything at all that resembled a clear ninety degree angle of any sort; they all began to bleed darkness like a severed artery bleeds blood.

And that darkness the corners bled began to pool.

“Dad?” Not a cry, not an observation, but a plea from my son.

“Don’t worry,” I said, trying to reassure him, “everything is going to be alright.”  But I was lying; everything wasn’t going to be alright, because everything felt so incredibly wrong, starting with the man lounging beside the entrance of the stairwell leading back down into Union Station, the one with his hand on the back of Phillip’s neck, the one with the smirk on his face, raven hair hanging in strings alongside a face so pale, so long, as to appear cartoonish and sinister, the one holding a small silver dagger against my son’s throat.

In the fading light of day, “I’m glad you could join us.”  A voice so harsh, so painful, that simply hearing it is enough to cause headaches and nosebleeds.  Gratingly low, it sounded like what dragging your fist through a box of broken glass would feel like, only in your head.

“What do you want,” I asked.

Over the man’s left shoulder, hanging low upon the horizon, Domiciles sword, the all too familiar comet, like a blood smear drawn across the sky.

The man appeared to be dressed in the rags, the haphazard clothing of a street dweller.  In other words, nothing all that unique or familiar about him, in fact, he could have been anybody, but at the same time it was obvious he was more than that.  From the look on Phillip’s face, the boys stance, his drawn shoulders and hunched back, the man’s grip obviously caused him a great deal of pain.

Before the man answered, he seemed to breathe in deeply, as if ‘tasting’ the very air, like a bloodhound seeking to catch the scent of his recently acquired prey, “Nothing now,” he said.

The way he said this only confirmed what I already knew, that we were in for some serious trouble.  It would take more than simply staring the man down to get rid of him.  If he could be gotten rid of at all.

“Is there anything I can do?  Can we talk about this?”  I hated doing it, bargaining with both our lives, but I’d do anything at the moment.  Try as I might, I couldn’t shake the quivering of fear from my voice.

Phillip immediately picked up on my fear, because of this, any glimmer of hope in his eyes and on his face, quickly vanished, as tears began to leak from his eyes.  ‘Sorry,’ he silently mouthed.

‘It’s alright,’ I returned.

“There is nothing to discuss.  The only reason you two are still breathing is because, it has been such a long time since I’ve been here.  My curiosity has bought you both a momentary stay of execution, that’s all.”

It was obvious, unlike the majority of bad guys portrayed in popular novels, and/or made for the TV or big screen, our ‘bad guy’ was neither stupid nor obnoxiously helpless, simply put, if dark and gruesome had anything to say about it, we were going to die.

The only real question left to answer, was when.

About Steve Muse:

After meeting Frank Herbert, author of the acclaimed Dune Series, I decided the life of writing was for me. That was about 30 years ago, I’ve been writing ever since.

Heir of Nostalgia is my first published novel, and thanks to the encouragement of my loving wife Janet, is the first in a series chronicling the trials and tribulations of young man in search of his family, his country as well as his place in the world.

Here’s to the land of wonder, an air of Nostalgia, and childhood memories. May we never grow too old to dream… Got a question, comment or review, I’d love to hear from you. Simply drop me a line at:


For more information  please visit :

Warrior by Violette Dubrinsky

This is an excerpt from Warrior by Violette Dubrinsky, a Fantasy-Historical novel available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and All Romance Books.


Jaisyn tugged her arm free and pushed past him, grabbing the brass handle and pushing inward. No fire had been lit in that hearth in the days since her father’s death. Just thinking about that made her want to cry. Her father was dead, the kingdom was no longer theirs and a large, evil wretch of a king now occupied Wilhelm’s chambers. What had her father been thinking, giving Mathilda to someone like him? Of all his daughters, he betrothed the one who would run screaming from this giant of a man?

As she’d sat across from Vulcan, Jaisyn had critically assessed him. She knew that many would find him handsome, with his thick head of silky black hair that cascaded past his shoulders, and stern yet sensual face, but he was in no way approachable. She had no idea how to reach him. She had to do something to get her kingdom back, but she didn’t know what. The people of Lytheria didn’t live for war, and this man did.

So lost was she in her thoughts that she didn’t recognize Vulcan was pushing the door in until she heard an audible snap of the latch. She spun immediately, recognizing that the door was closed and his tall body was against it.

His eyes looked dangerous and that scowl still loomed on his lips. What was he doing?

“Remove your veil,” he said in that pompous voice of his. Was he serious? She was a princess, a daughter of Lyria!

“King Vulcan,” she began stiffly, her hands clasped tightly at her midriff. “You are in my castle because I wish it. Do not think to disrespect me in such a manner.”


Vulcan could have laughed at how she phrased that statement. He was not here because she wished it; he was in his castle because he had conquered it. Twice. He took a step forward and with her fighter’s instincts, Jaisyn took one backwards.

“Take off the veil, Princess.”


Did he suspect it was she who’d tried to kill him on that horrid night? She’d tried her best to put that night from her mind but she’d still had dreams—nightmares—about it.

“My liege, you are being disrespectful. I am a princess of Lytheria—”

Two quick strides brought him directly before her and in the next instant, he was plucking the crown from her head, pulling the veil off and tossing it aside.

Jaisyn let out a startled cry and spun away from him, moving over to the fireless hearth. Vulcan’s voice came from somewhere behind her.

“Turn and face me, Princess. Or are you afraid your face will bring back memories of a night not so far gone?”

He did suspect her. How? It didn’t matter, but he did. Which probably meant that he wanted revenge. And he had promised to continue where he’d left off if he ever saw her again. Her eyes darted to the broadsword above the hearth.

Her father’s sword rested there as a reminder of the great king who had once occupied the place. She sent up a quick prayer to Lyria, and one to her deceased father, praying she would not soon be joining him soon.

Quick as a fox, she reached for the heavy weapon, unsheathed it, spread her legs wide, and spun to face him.


Vulcan was accustomed to the unusual. He prided himself on not being shocked easily, but this…girl—not just any girl, but a princess—wielding a sword? It was almost comical, with her flowing dress and brandishing a man’s sword. The he remembered that this same woman had almost killed him as he slept. There was nothing funny about that.

He lifted his eyes to her face. Her skin was lovingly kissed with the sun’s rays—a dark bronze. Her mass of golden curls was pinned intricately atop her head, and her eyes, cat’s eyes—almost yellow in their vivid brightness—flashed angrily at him.

This was his princess. This had to be his princess, or else she wouldn’t be gripping a warrior’s sword, looking like she was ready to decapitate him.

“Put the sword down, lady,” Vulcan said as calmly as he, known for his bouts of temper, could manage.

Jaisyn lifted it higher as her soft lips curled into a snarl. “So that you can rip off more than my veil? I do not think so! Lytherians are not as barbaric as your people, my liege!”

“Put the sword down before I am tempted to take you over my knee!” Vulcan bit the words out angrily, and took a menacing step forward.

She moved to the left, and the grace with which she did so made Vulcan recognize something: she was at ease with the sword. If it wasn’t completely unheard of, he might even say that she was a swordswoman.

He began to tread more carefully. More than likely she wasn’t skilled at using the weapon, but he was taking no chances. Stupidity did not a High King make.

“I am giving you to the count of three. If that sword is still in your hand after that, you cannot hold me accountable for what I do,” Vulcan threatened.

She held onto the sword. Vulcan had had enough. He took a few steps forward, intent on twisting her arm, as he’d done a few nights ago, and pulling the weapon away from her. He didn’t even get close. As soon as he was in range, she flicked her wrist so the flat of the broadsword faced him, and swung. A resounding crash reverberated in the room as the sword caught his breastplate, pushing him back a step and making his ears ring.

“I will not warn you again! Do not come any closer!” she hissed out, her hands aching slightly.

Vulcan recovered from his state of shock as anger took him by full force. Steel screeched as he pulled his broadsword from its sheath and advanced on her.

About Violette Dubrinsky:

Violette Dubrinsky is the author of the Dark God, Warrior, and upcoming Moonlight (in which she introduces you to her werewolves) sagas. She enjoys writing romance stories with stubborn, at times, clashing characters, who eventually learn the error of their ways and sometimes grow to love each other. She is the youngest of three, and the only girl. As such, she was spoiled rotten (in her elaborate dreams), and always wished for a playmate closer to her age.  At a young age, she began creating stories to fill in for the lack of creativity on the part of her two older jock brothers. Violette resides in New York and Boston, and although she has no pets, is intent on getting a Malamute or Husky (since it is the closest she will ever be to a wolf and she is quite obsessed with werewolves) at some point in her life.

She can be reached at: and

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Genesis by Mark Mackey

Today’s excerpt is from the novel Genesis by Mark Mackey

A young girl of ten, Elizabeth Axelmore, is forced to leave her planet, Tarnex-4, and family and go to earth following a space criminal invading it, hired by Danse Windman, who Elizabeth’s oldest sister Juliara, jilted time and again, and he’s looking for revenge, and wants the space criminal to bring Juliara to him.

There she is taken in by a family, the Duncan’s, Alison,  Deborah, Herbert, where she witnesses her the girl who becomes her best friend, Jordan Ellison, the daughter of US soldier Kimberly disappear without a trace, and befriends a boy, Matthew Briarson, who becomes her future boyfriend whose ghostly older sister, Tess Briarson, has one heck of an evil streak within her. Matthew later traps her in a box magically created to contained souls.

Elizabeth grows up to be seventeen.

Another one of her friends, Nicole Bakersfield get abducted.  She and a girl, Kristen Flemings, 17, roaring into town, fresh from Blue Winter Connecticut, and almost becoming the main coarse of her older sister turned zombie, Jennifer Flemings are forced to go rescue her from a secret underground military base.

There they discover that the mastermind behind the abductions is an extraterrestrial hating general, Mark Taylor, married to Kimberly, bent on destroying her due to his first wife being killed by an extraterrestrial, despite nearly dying at the hands of the general, she manages to survive, finds out that her family and her faithful witch nanny Wendeline Snowdiamond, survived the space criminal invading her planet and decides to return home, with the promise that she’ll soon make another visit to earth.

     The thoughts still fresh in ten year old Elizabeth Axelmore’s mind, the events of the past hour. Her seated in her quarters, painted a dark shade of pink, furnished with an immaculate white bed, a dark gray desk, both just right for Elizabeth’s size and shape. Her nanny, tall, regal Wendeline Snowdiamond, dressed from the neck down in a stunning, velvet dark blue gown, face framed by a thick mane of jet black hair, standing towering over her. Informing her in her familiar warm voice “you’re becoming one heck of a writer Elizabeth,” as she sat gathered behind the dark gray desk, putting words into a spiral bound notebook.

“It’s what I wanna do when I grow up Wendeline!” Elizabeth squealed in a high voice. “It’s my dream!”

“And it’s a good one to have Elizabeth,” Wendeline enthusiastically commented, offering up a warm smile.

The arrival of a unique auburn winged butterfly into the quarters brought Elizabeth to cease with her writing and stare at her with excited eyes.

“A butterfly!” Elizabeth blurted out, her eyes glistening with pure excitement.

Landing on top of her desk, it was only a second before it collapsed and died.

“Oh no, it died Wendeline!” Elizabeth yelled out. “I don’t want it to be dead!”

“Then don’t let it be Elizabeth,” Wendeline quietly commented.

“Wake up little butterfly!” Elizabeth brought forth with enthusiastic glee, restoring the insect back to life with a simple touch of her right index finger.

“I did it Wendeline!”

“Indeed you did, and you should be very proud of yourself,” Wendeline said in a congratulatory voice.

“Good-bye butterfly!” Elizabeth called out. Waving her right hand frantically up and down as it zoomed back out the octagon shaped window.

Elizabeth’s excitement was abruptly interrupted by her oldest sister Juliara come barging in. Wrapped in a sparkling blue overcoat, she immediately yelled out “space criminals had invaded the royal castle, along with her informing Wendeline to find some place to hide, and rushing Elizabeth out.

Where Elizabeth and Juliara ended up, hiding in a closet.

“Elizabeth,” Juliara said, squatting down before her youngest sister, “just in case something bad happens, I want to give you something important.”

And with that, Juliara removed a perfectly square purple object from the pocket of her sparkling blue overcoat, placing it in the palm of Elizabeth’s right hand, wrapping her fingers around it. “This is a history cube, it contains our recorded family history, as well as a few messages I’ve recorded for you,” Juliara informed her youngest sibling. “Now I want you to be brave for me Elizabeth.”

“I will be Juliara!” Elizabeth burst out in a shrill voice, not wasting a moment stuffing the history cube into her trusty backpack she always carried around with her. Unfortunately for the two of them, this fully emotional, tearjerker moment was cut short as the result of the room’s door being whipped open by one Victor Dracmore, a handful of his space criminal underlings standing behind him with her identical twin sister and brother Dawstone and Dawster as hostage. Victor yanking Juliara’s ruby red necklace off her and she kicking it out of his hand, where Elizabeth was able to catch it, point it at the space criminals, who had stupidly released Dawster and Dawstone, eager to join Victor in his fight against Juliara, allowing Elizabeth to point the ruby red diamond necklace and obliterate them. Juliara screaming out for her to run, the last thing Elizabeth seeing before tearing around a corner, filling her with one hundred degrees of horror, Victor murdering Juliara, Dawstone, and Dawster, and then giving chase after her.

“Leave me alone!” Elizabeth screamed out, her white Tarnexian gown, an inch too long, causing her to almost trip over her feet as she ran for her life.

Attempting to escape down a hallway with spotless white walls adorned with large purple velvet tapestries with authentic likenesses of Axelmore’s going back centuries sewn into them. A space criminal who less than five minutes ago, she saw her two older sisters, Juliara and Dawster, and older brother Dawstone lying dead at his black boot feet hot on her trail.

“Get the back here you little brat,” he roared out after her.

“No, leave me alone,” she shrieked.

“You don’t give me that necklace, you’re going to end up like your sisters and brothers, dead,” she heard him holler out.

Managing to arrive back into her quarters, Elizabeth darted under the bed, the same place countless times she mischievously hid from both Juliara and Wendeline, much to their sheer aggravation.

Elizabeth was quick to realize this wasn’t the best place to hide, as the space criminal dashed in, eager to get his hands on her and the ruby red diamond necklace in her possession.

“I know you’re in here you little brat and I’m not going to let you leave this room until you give me that necklace!”

Quick Elizabeth think there has to be something you can do to prevent him from getting his hands on Juliara’s necklace. And then it came to here, and just in time, for the space criminals black, scruffy booths were soon stationed before her bed.

“Gotcha,” he cried out. His shadowed face framed with long, stringy, dingy black hair as he peered in at her. Sliding a right hand underneath the bed, no doubt to try and get a grip on her, causing Elizabeth to move further under the bed to escape his reach.

The next thing Elizabeth knew, the lead space criminal was jumping back to his feet, yanking the bed up with a strength filling her with utter amazement. Just as she feared he would win out, get his undeserving hands on Juliara’s necklace, her natural ability of flight, inherit in all those with Tarnexian blood flowing in them, came into play and allowing Elizabeth safe passage high over his head and out of her quarters all together.

And into the throne room, where Elizabeth expected to find her parents King Kilex and Queen Randa, finding no sign of them. Indication they might be prisoners of the space criminals invading her home, soon to meet the fate as her siblings. Figuring it would only be a matter of moments before the lead space criminal would once again find her, Elizabeth fled.

Arriving at the royal castle’s outdoor docking bay and her silvery white Averson model spacecraft, Elizabeth realized with her family and probably soon Wendeline were all dead, and the space criminal hot on her trail, she had to depart with haste, racing up the landing platform.

“Where should I go? Elizabeth asked the sentient artificial intelligence installed within it.

“The best place for you to get lost on so he won’t find you Elizabeth is a planet called Earth,” the mature sounding male voice responded, sounding like it was suffering from one tremendous heck of a bad case of stuffed up nose.

“Thanks spaceship,” Elizabeth said, heading up a silvery white metallic landing platform and boarding.

You can buy Genesis on Amazon:

Maureen: A Vampire Tale by Mark Mackey

Today’s excerpt is from the Paranormal novel Maureen: A Vampire Tale by Mark Mackey

All eighteen year old Maureen Rogers wanted in her young life, to lead a happy, carefree existence with faithful boyfriend Peter Garrison, college. And then one night, she has it all taken away, delivered by an act of violence, one leaving Peter dead, and Maureen heading down this road. Little does she know, a predator on two legs, dead since before she was born has been watching this whole thing go down, gifting Maureen with the ability to obtain a measure of revenge for Peter and herself. Thus begins a fantastic adventure stretching from Maureen and Peter’s hometown or Black River, to the streets of New York, and back.

Biking. That’s how Sylvia Downford opted to spend mornings before hustling herself over to local public state Northstone College. With her morning’s plan already laid out before her, Sylvia wasted no time throwing on a light blue biking jacket and black biking pants conforming nicely against the thin, slenderness of her body frame. In addition, she connected a red and silver hard plastic helmet onto her head, a sandy brown ponytail snaking out from behind it, granting allowance for Sylvia to make an escape from the small studio apartment she called home.

Prompt arrival down in the basement with hurried steps, the pleasant smell of dried laundry strongly filling her nostrils, allowed Sylvia to unchain her blue ten-speed bike from the green rusting bike rack down in the basement with incredible haste. It, considered her blue pride and joy, inserted between a large row of the other tenants bikes.

Sylvia’s emergence into the outside world minutes later brought her out onto a still starry, comfortable night, not a hint of sun or blue morning sky peeking out anywhere. Of course this was how she liked it each and every morning with doing it.

Except for today of course, not with just last Saturday, Joyce Zelders, age 20, brutally murdered as she stumbled towards home from a college party in a drunken stupor. Not good old, could do no wrong Northstone of course, but the other college Black River Illinois offered, Dyerson women’s college.

Initially Sylvia felt uncomfortable travelling out at this hour, what with Joyce getting her life cut short not even a week ago, and possibly end up suffering the same fate. But then she realized, Joyce had been killed in the late evening, not in the morning. Of course there was still a strong chance she could get killed by whoever did in Joyce, but, perhaps due to bravery setting in, Sylvia decided to go forth biking any old way.

What was so strange about Joyce’s murder, the attacker had not left a single drop of blood in her body. Like whoever, whatever decided to commit this horrendous act, was after it and nothing more. All her personal belongings intact, the only mark on her body, or rather her right shoulder, the Black River Times reporting her murderer had left a pair of teeth bites as his or her calling card. This gave Sylvia the idea that, well, a vampire might have been the one to do Joyce in. But then she realized, just like the majority of the whole world, vampires preferred big city life filled with bustling life as opposed to dinky small towns such as Black River. Climbing on her bike, she began her early morning routine.

Tiredness grew within Sylvia after a long while of her racing at an alarming fast rate of speed down a long stretch of road. This caused her to bring herself screeching to a stop just outside old abandoned Forest Cemetery.

Leaning her bike up against a section of stone wall rising up five feet from the ground, Sylvia hurriedly opened her red and white thermos and started pouring water, still holding some degree of coldness down her throat.

And that was when her ears became filled with footsteps in the cemetery.

“Is someone there?” Sylvia called out in a concerned voice, bringing herself to stare out onto the ancient cemetery, first signs of blue finally starting to creep into the sky, but yet, all she got was a heavy dose of big, empty nothingness. It was as if whoever was there had come down with a sudden case of incredible disinterest answering her.

Curiosity gripping her, Sylvia moved forward a few feet, now feeling desire to discover the source of the noise. But arrival at the entrance, wheeling her bike right along with her, setting it off to the side, given it was shaped into a perfect semi-circle, the fate of Joyce once again infiltrated her mind. What if the person behind the footsteps was in fact the same sick, twisted individual who did her in? No that just couldn’t be possible, whoever killed her had drained Joyce of blood. Only someone utterly demented and deranged would take delight in committing that sort of hideousness. And there hadn’t been any news reports of any inmates locked up tight in the Fordman nut house located downstate managing an escape. With that in mind, Sylvia ventured forth, heading further into the cemetery.

“Hey, hello?” Sylvia called out in a nervous voice, hazel eyes darting about furiously, trying frantically to spot the perpetrator behind the footsteps she had just heard not even five minutes ago, but nothing. And then like a shot in the arm, once again they commenced. From the sound of them, coming from far off. Sylvia’s curiosity snagged so much so, possibly receiving the same treatment as Joyce had, was pushed to the back of her mind for the time being.

“Anyone, here?” Sylvia stammered out, moving at a steady pace past antiquarian tombstones, not hearing anymore of the footsteps. Moving even further into the cemetery, a couple possums scurrying around, taking the liberty of stopping and revealing their displeasure at her being there and hissing, a new idea projected itself into her mind. What if the culprit behind the footsteps was some infantile juvenile prankster, or idiot brained retard? Or worse, a gang of sex starved high school guys out of their minds with desperate eagerness to force a pretty twenty year old woman such as herself down onto the ground, where they would proceed to rape the living daylights out of her.

With Black River being a hairs breath away from hell town USA, AKA Burveton, the thought was once again pushed to the forefront of her mind, Joyce’s untimely demise. The decision hitting Sylvia the heck with it, discovering the source behind the footsteps wasn’t so important after all.

As she began closing back in on the entrance to the cemetery, the rampant sound of the footsteps once again started up. This time they sounded much closer, causing Sylvia to put fire in her steps. This didn’t put a cease to the footsteps, filling her full blast with the idea she needed to get the heck out of there and fast, less she wanted to become the second Joyce that week.

Just as Sylvia was filled with tremendous relief she was going to be cut a break and escape whatever force was behind them, jump on her bike and speed off to safety, the source behind the footsteps was finally revealed to her. Whatever the heck it was grabbed her powerfully from behind, forcing her to the ground, smashing her face into the grass, still a bit wet with early morning dew. A sharp sensation like a pair of needles were forced into her right shoulder blade, and then unconsciousness overtook Sylvia.


A lifelong resident of Chicago, Mark currently attends Columbia College Chicago as a senior, and has thus far, taken third place in the Indie Gathering short screenplay contest 2009, and fourth place in the Indie Gathering Feature screenplay contest. Maureen is his seventh book written, and first to be published.

You can buy Maureen: A Vampire Tale on Amazon:

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