Saturday, June 24, 2017
Friday, June 23, 2017
"It's no matter, my pet. One day you'll find yourself besieged with offers of marriage. A dear girl like you, with a heart as big as the sky above! Here, have another cake, love."
Her mother's answer to any challenge in life was a sweetie of some sort. Plagued by worries about her continued spinsterhood, Corina feared her girth might soon match her dark moods.
"Mother, I am no longer willing to sit about, waiting for a suitable man to come banging on the gate, asking for the opportunity to bring me flowers and candies and pallid conversation!
I shall no longer spend my time trying to entertain braggarts, brutes and banal bumpkins!"
She stormed out of the room leaving her mother with mouth ajar, and the maid snickering behind a well-mannered hand.
Corina went straight to her rooms, asked a servant to bring her paper and pen and began to write on the creamy parchment.
"I want you to post this in the village square, where other news items are on display.
Corina sat back and waited for her replies to come in.
The first, as predictable as storms in spring, came from the town dandy.
A lay-about heir to a vast fortune, he was seeking a new thrill to brighten his dull days as a budding cretin. He presented himself to Corina, two of his toadies standing ready to praise him to the heavens if called upon as character witnesses.
His puny overtures were easily deflected by the robust young woman he desperately tried to charm. Any interest faded as quickly as his perfumed wig under her scrutiny and questioning.
Corina scanned his frills and curls, noting the touch of powder on a pale face that never saw a walk in a summer field. She turned on her heels, left the room and smiled when she heard his gasp of disbelief.
Suitor two was not as obviously mis-matched to this fine young lady.
Sir Ralph Longstreet was a well-known intellectual, with several books penned under his name and a penchant for stirring controversy with his political rants. His interests, however, were narrowly defined by a rather blind egotism. He would brook no differing of opinion, as his alone, held the defining one.
Corina thanked him for contributing his humorous views of the world that existed in his very small mind. She left him pacing, mid-lecture, on his unique insights regarding a woman's place as mere muse, in the world of letters.
This parade of sad excuses for a man in full, went on for nigh onto a year. The parchment fixed to the wall on the Village Square was tattered and faded and nearly illegible. Naturally, few had the gift of reading, but word circulated quickly around the countryside and beyond of this outrageous effort to find a man. The Lady's quest soon morphed into urban legend as the months passed.
One day, before Corina's thirty-something birthday, a caller came to the gates seeking entry at an hour still deep in darkness.
His insistent clamor raised half the residents within the manor; the others, being over the age of either hearing, or caring.
Corina was immediately roused by the clanging of the gate as it swung inward. She peered out her tall bedroom window in time to see a hunched figure ride through the gate. He swung himself from his magnificent stead with the grace of a boulder racing downhill. His arms were rather longish for his seemingly short height and swung like loose tree limbs from a stout tree.
"Oh good Lord!" Corina moaned.
Feeling obligated to meet with any who answered her blind manner of seeking a husband, she snatched a comforter off her bed. Wearing it like a queen's robes, she set her jaw for confrontation and her heart for disappointment.
The stranger had his back to her as he stood in front of a warming fireplace. Corina studied him from behind, noting the slope of his shoulders, the stubby bowed legs and a mop of hair that sat on his head like the foam on a small beer.
She cleared her throat. He turned.
His eyes were a deep red in a dead-white face. He smiled and for a moment his eye teeth gleamed long and sharp in his blood red mouth. He had pushed his long cloak to his hunched back, magnifying its deformity.
"Good evening my dear, Lady Corina."
His voice was like the feel of silk upon her skin and she gave a little shudder as he moved toward her, suddenly within touching distance.
He stared into her light gray eyes so intently that she nearly forgot to speak.
"You come calling at an odd hour, sir."
This sounded silly even to her ears and she smiled back at him when he laughed.
"Yes, but this is one of my favorite times; when all is still, but the beating of our hearts."
Corina found this explanation totally logical and gestured for him to take a seat.
He joined her on the brocaded chair she favored in this room, and without asking her leave, took up her hand.
She looked down momentarily at the long fingers and his very pallid skin. It seemed natural that he held her hand. He slowly raised his free hand to to her slightly heaving breast and then up to the pulse, hammering now, at the side of her neck. It lingered there for several heart beats.
His eyes never left Corina's during this intimate exploration. For her part, she only sighed with each contact of his roaming hand.
The fire began to burn low by the time the stranger opened the door to the sitting room. There were no servants about now, save the gatekeeper, lying inert by his small cottage.
They exited the murky hall way as the stranger threw open the heavy doors with a flick of his wrist.
Passing under the velvety dome, into the moon's glow, everything seemed filtered by a heavy gauze to Corina's eyes. She was aware that the stranger had a tight hold of her hand as he led her to his untethered horse. The horse snorted in recognition and the stranger patted him to silence.
Turning to Corina he spoke again, his voice calm and soothing.
"I have come to claim you, dear lady. You will share all my years of living in this world; all that you want shall be yours, in me. My station is equal to your own."
He lifted her onto his saddle; springing like a deer to sit behind her. The comforter she had hung over her shoulders was long dropped away, but she felt no chill as he wrapped his long arms tightly around her, pulling her to his body.
She seemed to find her voice as they cantered out of the courtyard.
"Your station you say, is equal? What then shall I call you sir?"
"Count will do, my dear."
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Starting From a Tough Spot
Abigail grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. A fourth generation graduate of Texas A&M University, she attempted to find a practical career related to her favorite pastime by obtaining a degree in English Rhetoric (Technical Writing). However, she swiftly discovered that writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.
Monday, June 19, 2017
|Photo courtesy of Pixabay|
|Photo courtesy of Pixabay|
There are, of course, many other plants you could include in your poison garden, but I believe I’ve given you enough nefarious ideas for one day. Use your powers for good, people. 😊 Do you have any innocent-looking poisonous plants in your backyard? Are you vulnerable to the evils of poison oak like I am?
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
|photo credit: IMDB|
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Victoria Craven was born to tell stories. Throughout her childhood she was a daydreamer. Growing up she told the most outrageous tales to her friends that got her in trouble now and then. She escaped the mundane to live in her fantasies: She was a mermaid, a princess, a spy, and an explorer trekking across the tundra in Antarctica. Even as an adult she saved just a little part of herself to drift into her dream world.
Then one day she said to herself “I’m going to write a book,” and that’s what she did. She had no idea what it took to be a writer, thinking all you had to do was add some words and ideas to a page and ‘poof,’ a book, and every word was golden. What a rude awakening when her writer friends took her into the light and showed her just how much she had to learn. That process is still going on today!
Victoria has published the first two books in a historical paranormal series with the third one coming out in 2017.
Currently, she resides in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area with her wonderful husband who spoils her rotten. And from time to time is her critique buddy. She is the mother of three beautiful daughters, and grandmother to four wonderful grandchildren.
When she isn’t writing, she doting on her grandchildren, or curled up on the couch with her husband, or having a sleepover with her best friends.
And she still saves just a little bit of her life for those daydreams.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Jane Kindred is the author of epic fantasy series The House of Arkhangel’sk, Demons of Elysium, and Looking Glass Gods. She spent her formative years ruining her eyes reading romance novels in the Tucson sun and watching Star Trek marathons in the dark. She now writes to the sound of San Francisco foghorns while two cats slowly but surely edge her off the side of the bed.
Monday, June 5, 2017
I like the new cover a lot and I'm sharing a favorite scene from the book -
Sunday, June 4, 2017
- That diet I need to recommit to? I’ll start right after the holiday—on Monday—after I go to the store.
- That manuscript wallowing away on my computer? I’ll submit it once I read it one more time—finish editing it—figure out where I might submit it.
- Those updates and tweaks I need to do on my website? I’ll finish them when I have time—when I can hire someone to do it—someday…