Friday, February 14, 2014
Friday, January 31, 2014
The paranormal world was ruled by a council of the Elder races. This was a time of peace, where true mates were abundant, and harmony ruled. There was the movement to reveal the hidden world to the humans, certain races refused.
An uprising occurred in attempts to wipe out the ruling Elder races. Once all the Elder Races were thought to be destroyed the paranormal world split into clans, these clans were ruled by powerful families and rivalries began. The paranormal world had been unrest since creation of the clans.
When the Elder Races disappeared as did true mates.
Chapter 1 - Audrey
Three hundred sixty five days in a year.
Multiply that by four.
Add by one—the leap year.
One thousand four hundred and sixty one days.
In four minutes, minus 30 seconds, it will be one thousand four hundred and sixty-two.
I did not sigh. I did not cry. I did wonder, though, how I could miss something so completely, like a hole in my heart when I’d never had it before.
The first year, I craved a touch as if it were food. The second year, I knew without a doubt I would die without it, as if a touch itself was water. The third year, I tried to convince myself it wasn’t worth it. The fourth year, I had accepted my lies. But, lying to yourself is easier if you don’t clasp your arms around your once full, now sunken form. So this year, I would not fold into myself, close my eyes, and pretend. I looked at the clock.
Ten seconds. I’m fine.
Nine. I don’t need comfort.
Eight. Another year—whatever.
Seven. Another year.
Six. My hands had a will of their own.
Five. No, they didn’t.
Four. I am fi—
A wailing noise pierced the air, forcing my hands to my ears. It wouldn’t stop. They were playing with me now. My fifth year was beginning very cruelly. Maybe this year I’d surrender. It might be worth it for a handshake, even a lingering stare. No, not a stare. I flinched at the thought. Anything but a stare.
The noise wouldn’t stop. I touched my cheek. Tears that I’d thought had dried up long ago poured down my face. That’s when the door burst open. I shrieked and folded into myself pushing closer to the white walls surrounding me. Getting smaller meant less places they could attack. Less places they could stare.
He invaded the white. The room that was blank of color, of life, of anything. He filled it with colors and life. Color. I felt myself yearning for the color, but he was only specks of black. His black clothing covered him completely. Even his head was an emotionless, black void.
“Holy shit.” I wasn’t sure who said it— me or the faceless being. “Jacobs, we got one,” he said into his shirt. I watched him closely not sure what he had intended. He stepped closer and I flinched. I couldn’t see his eyes, I sensed his curious gaze. He couldn’t fully see me. He wasn’t scared yet. Maybe if I didn’t move he’d touch me without seeing me. I wondered what his human touch would feel like. I could live off that touch for years to come. I had made it this far with only violent touches. A light touch might help me survive for the rest of my life.
Another man rushed by, stopped, and then backtracked. He was hidden in the same clothing. The first man who entered turned and looked at the similar clad man. The new guy shrugged his shoulders. These, I knew, were not guards who lived here. The guards who worked here knew me. They didn’t hide their faces. They didn’t hide their eyes.
“What? Um… What should—” the first one said.
His voice traveled through my ears making my body hum with pleasure. I closed my eyes, savoring it. Another human’s voice. I sighed, hating that I did. More footsteps and still the alarms sounded. I wasn’t scared. Death would be a gift for me, but these two strangers didn’t know this hell.
“You should go.” I whispered. I didn’t know how to say, “Save yourselves.” I knew if I said “save,” it would be followed by “me.” What hope I did have would disappear with them. The first stranger tilted his head. The second stifled a laugh. A laugh! I’d save that memory for the endless days.
“What’s your name?” the first one asked, ignoring the heavy footsteps drawing closer to my cell. I retreated from the scene that would erupt in a few moments. The steps stopped. All was silent besides the blaring alarm and in those moments of silence I clung to his question.
He moved a step closer and I moved away, hiding in the corner. I didn’t know him, but I knew his fate well enough. I knew what would happen once the men with faces came. The guards. The ones with the hateful stares and the snarls of disgust.
“Back off.” It was still the first one speaking. His voice was imprinted in my mind but this time, his voice had an edge. His steps were closer now. It was funny how ultra-sensitive I’d become.
I tried to force myself into the wall, to become part of it. Funny, since part of me still craved the touch of another human, his touch, which was getting closer. I heard a strange rustling but didn’t move. He must have been inches away. I turned around suddenly, my whole face now exposed, as was his. The no longer faceless man looked at me in horror, in shock. I knew why he looked that way but I checked the room. Five other faceless men stood in the doorway. I saw them in enhanced color, and I tried to focus. Some of their heartbeats were irregular and intense.
The no longer faceless man moved toward me. I moved my eyes to him again. He was the first man I’d seen in four years and ten minutes who didn’t look at me with pure hatred. He was handsome. He had a flawless tan face with a clean cut jaw, and dark black hair that took away all the colors again. I couldn’t force myself to meet his eyes. I turned away. My tangled hair, hid one side of my face. The side that made no longer faceless man look at me like I was a monster.
“What’s your name?” he asked again, his perfectly full lips no longer muffled.
“Stone, grab her and let’s go. We don’t have time,” the second man spoke again.
I pulled every part of my body close, trying to escape their words. Out of the corner of my eye I saw his movements, his arms outstretched. I didn’t realize that I whimpered.
“Hey, I’m not going to hurt you,” he whispered.
|Author Becca Vincenza|
I know you won’t. It’s not you I’m worried about, I thought to myself. He reached for me. My clothes covered me preventing the skin to skin contact that I craved. I hated that I wanted it. My back tightened, and I tried to move. The only escape would be if I could become part of the wall.
“I promise you are safe now.” Then, he touched me. Four years and five minutes of never touching or seeing another human. The closer he moved, fear coated my body like a warm blanket. The moment his hands touch me the fear became overwhelming, it took over and pulled me into darkness.
“Stone’s got the fucking magic touch!” Someone joked loudly jarring me from unconsciousness. I flinched, but didn’t open my eyes. I still felt scrunched up and I was rocking. There was something under my legs, around my back. Something I hadn’t felt in years. Arms.
“Watch your mouth.” An older voice shouted. “Now what happened? Other than grabbing their greatest hidden secret, what else have we learned?” The old voice sounded almost triumphant but it was gruff and slightly tortured.
While he spoke I felt movements near my head, but I didn’t open my eyes. That’s when I felt the warming touch of another human. The hand, that was soft and smooth, moved a piece of hair from the left side of my face. I tried to act as if I wasn’t escaping his touch. His hand stopped. The hovered movement created a new heated sensation.
“Jacobs, I think she might be waking up.” The voice was close, so close.
“Blindfold and gag her.” The old gruff voice sounded again.
“Do it. We don’t know what she knows. We don’t know anything about her.”
“They kept her captive, and you saw her face.” His voice-no longer faceless man’s - was strained. And all I could think was he thought I was a monster.
“I don’t care. Do it.”I tried not to freak out, but my fear won. I felt my fear take over when the light from behind my eyelids completely vanished. I tried to pull away the blindfold, but someone grabbed my wrist in a painful hold. I whimpered, again unable to speak. Fear clawed my stomach. I felt screams tearing at my throat. Once they covered my eyes, they added a gag. It pulled the corners of my lips into an unnatural smile.
You can purchase Damaged at the following locations:
Amazon ($11.39 paperback)
Amazon ($0.99 ebook)
Barnes & Noble ($0.99 ebook)
Smashwords ($0.99 ebook)
You can connect with the author, Becca Vincenza, via social media at these locations:
100% of the royalties earned by this anthology will be donated to Sandy Hook Elementary School.
You can find Everyday Heroes in ebook at Amazon for $2.99 using this link:
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
In this eye-opening true story, one woman recounts the double life she led working in two very different professions…one revered and the other reviled. Darlene spent over twenty years being thought of as a well-mannered teacher in a Southern California public school district, but her colleagues and students would have never imagined that for eighteen of those years she also worked as a professional dominatrix in a dungeon.
“Playing Darlene” lets the reader take a peek into the mysterious lives of professionals in the sex industry and some of the jaw-dropping encounters she had with the thousands of clients whose fantasies she helped come true. With everything from roleplaying a shopaholic wife being spanked by her husband to wrapping up a muscular cross-dressing client in plastic and watching him wiggle, Darlene helped men realize their most secret desires…while she wasn’t grading school papers on her breaks.
Darlene's true stories of balancing her two different personas are frequently shocking, at times hilarious, and occasionally touching, but at the heart of the story is a woman on a personal journey not only to reconcile with her past, but also to discover the full potential of her own sexuality.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Darlene was born in Hollywood, California, and grew up in Pasadena, a quiet suburb near Los Angeles. She received a BA in German from California State University, Los Angeles.
For several years she worked in television and film. Credits include General Hospital, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and the female lead in the film Monstrosity in which she played a spaced-out punk rocker. She even photo-doubled for Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun and Corey Feldman in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (when they were 14 and 12 respectively).
For the past 20 years, she has been a public school teacher in Los Angeles County.
She currently lives in the San Fernando Valley, where she can be found indulging in her favorite hobby, ballroom and country-western dancing.
|Rally of a Purple Heart|
by Brittany Batong
The road west would lead them to each other… Hilde Graham is an independent-spirited waitress living in the heart of early 1940s America. She is sure that she has found true love with a married man, defying convention to be with him. But WWII and a subsequent turbulent marriage challenge her ideals of love, and she is left alone to raise a small son. Determined to find a future free of past mistakes, she travels west on Route 66 to start a new life in postwar California as a single mother.
Patrick West has known only defeat through the horrors of war, time in a German P.O.W. camp, and a failed union. His lonely life is revived when he meets Hilde. Each is uniquely capable of understanding the others’ heart as they fight for a second chance at love—but can they build the trust they need to mend their wounded hearts and find lasting happiness?
He sits on the steps to the County Courthouse, a pink rubber ball in his hand. His chubby, four-year-old hands can make the ball bounce on the step below—that is not the problem. But to catch the ball before it bounces irretrievably down the steps—now that is another issue. He tried once and it rolled down onto the street, and Mr. Spence of the hardware supply store gave him a sound yelling after nearly running over the ball. Huey saw the tires of the truck barely miss the ball, 'cause he was right there in front of it when it almost happened. Then Mr. Howe didn't even say he was sorry for almost running over the ball. Grown-ups sure are funny sometimes.
Now he is unsure whether he should try again. Daddy always says you can't learn anything new unless you practice...but Mommy said to behave while she and Daddy are away; and he doesn't want anyone else to yell at him.
These things always have a way of getting back to Mommy. Anyway, he wasn't supposed to leave Gramma's house at all. But he likes to explore, and figures as long as he doesn't do anything too bad, he'll be able to get back before anyone knows.
He decides to keep the ball safely clutched in his hand while he instead tries to jump from step to step on just one foot. He's seen some of the older girls in town do it before, and he's pretty sure that even though he's younger he can do anything a stupid girl can do. With one hand holding the ball and the other holding his left leg behind him, he starts to give it a try. He makes it down the first eight steps successfully (counting all the way, 'cause Mommy taught him to count to ten already). But then he loses grip of his ball, and it throws him off balance as he tumbles to the bottom of the steps, right in front of Mrs. Muller and Mrs. Simpson.
Mrs. Muller stumbles. “Hugo Brewer, you naughty little boy! You've nearly tripped me.”
Mrs. Simpson is crouching down to help Huey. “Now, Clarissa, you're fine. We need to see if little Huey is okay...Why, Huey, you've scraped your chin!”
Feeling jarred but not wanting to show that to crummy old Mrs. Muller, Huey holds in the tears that are starting to form and stands as tall as his 3-foot figure will allow, chin jutting forward and blond hair shining in the afternoon sun. “It's all right, Miss Simpson. I'm awful sorry about trippin'.”
“Where on earth is your mother?” Mrs. Muller shakes her head. Huey scowls at his interrogator with icy blue eyes. “Gramma said they're here.”
“Well, as if it wasn't bad enough that she's flouting at God's will, she leaves her young son outside to wreak havoc on the town!”
Mrs. Simpson pulls at Mrs. Muller. “Clarissa, don't make a bad situation worse. I'm sure she had little choice, given her people are all the way in De Soto. It probably didn't seem right to have Mrs. Brewer look after him, given the occasion.”
“What's a 'casion?” asks Huey inquisitively of Mrs. Simpson.
Ignoring his question, Mrs. Muller pulls away Mrs. Simpson. “Come now, Nancy. We don't want to be mixed up in any of this business.” With an apologetic look, Mrs. Simpson follows her less sympathetic friend.
Huey watches them go, until he realizes that now his ball is gone completely. Aw, nuts. It must have rolled down into the sewer from the gutter. Darn that old Mrs. Muller and her fussin'. No way Daddy's gonna get him a new one now. He tromps up the stairs and sinks once again onto the top step. There's gotta be some way to get into the sewer. He looks hopefully over at the manhole cover, and then over to the courthouse. Doggone it. Mommy is just now coming out of the courthouse. Huey frowns to himself—he has to get back to Gramma’s before Mommy finds him gone. It’s now or never. He makes a purposeful stride towards the manhole.
He does not know that a pink ball is the second thing he will lose today. He does not know that, inside, his parents are finalizing the papers that will change his life forever. As he looks over at a nearby tree, devising a way to break off one of the branches in order that he may use it as a lever, he does not know that in two week’s time he will never again sit on these steps, never again get yelled at by Mr. Spence, never again have heads shaken at him in this small county seat. And he does not know that this is the last day he will ever spend with his father.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
|Roan Rose by Juliet Waldron|
The Kingdom of Night
The King of England and I played chess, passing his sleepless hours. After years of struggling with the game, I can truthfully say I'd become a formidable competitor, although never his equal. I will stand firm upon this, even though I am a servant and a mere female.
Nightly, our forces swayed back and forth across the board, ‘til the birds began a summons to Dawn, calling her, as harpers say, from that silken couch whereon she dreams. We sat in a circle of candlelight in a small, high room at the palace of Westminster. From our vantage point, the dark river ribbon, spangled by summer stars, flowed below a single, open window. The distance was sufficient to prevent the smell from blighting the view.
Of late, I had won a few matches. This I credited in large part to the King's growing distraction and exhaustion. By June of 1485, it was clear his rule had unraveled.
What other choices, however, could my Lord have made? If he had let his nephew ascend the throne, his own head, sooner or later, would have become the trophy of his vengeful sister‑in‑law. Either that or he would have been arrested and mewed up somewhere, murdered in secret, like so many unfortunate members of his family.
Richard Plantagenet knew history, and he was not a passive man. All he'd done in deposing the boy was to strike his enemies before they could strike him.
There is a queasy mystery in the hours between two and four. The board, with its black and white squares, swam before my eyes. I, too, was tired to my very bones. The King's wakefulness had become his servant's. I had been about to make my move when his foot, under a long red robe, touched mine beneath the table.
The contact seemed accidental. Or was it?
He knows how greatly I love him, how I hunger for his touch!
Concentration broken, I met his brilliant hazel eyes, burning deep in hollows of chronic sleeplessness. A slight smile curved those thin, mobile lips, but his gaze returned naturally to the board.
Our relationship had always been singular. Only recently had it turned customary. Since his queen, the mistress I'd served and loved for nigh unto twenty years, had died, the Master had turned for comfort to his bondswoman. So it has always been.
This is why his touch distracted me, made concentration falter. I began to wonder if the move I'd planned was so very clever after all.
My hand wavered over the few remaining pieces. Traps lay on every side. Several I saw clearly, for I'd been playing chess with Richard since our shared childhood. Whatever coup de grace he'd planned, I feared I'd never see until too late.
I'd revised, chosen to move my last knight to pin down his king. Of course, I knew quite well that second guesses are nearly always fatal at this depth in a match.
Richard lifted a dark brow in triumph. "Nothing in this world is fair," he declared. As his hand went for it, I saw my doom—a hooded bishop, far across the board.
"Checkmate." He extended his jeweled, elegant fingers, using the piece to nudge my helpless king.
"You touched my foot on purpose, My Lord."
"Quite right. What of it?" It was worth losing any number of chess matches to see him smile. Always glorious and rare, it had, lately, become a thing of legend.
"Old Dick" didn't smile. This was well known all over his Kingdom. Like a great many other things that are well known, there was not a grain of truth in it.
"I don't mind, My Lord. It's only that you used to win by your wits, and now it seems you must rely upon the lowest wiles to best your humble servant."
He laughed shortly, enjoying the backchat, but it was not an entirely happy sound. Playing with my white king now, turning it between ringed thumb and forefinger, he said, "It would have been far better for me had I learned low tricks at a far earlier age."
What could I say? Crouching at the back of this night's wakefulness lay the same old horror.
Poor little Princes! The pawns are always the first to go…
In my Lord's case, crime had brought, as it so rarely does in this wicked world, punishment not only swift, but apt. In the space of sixteen months, the King had lost his adored son and his dearly beloved wife, my gentle mistress.
On this summer night, Richard Plantagenet had traveled almost to the end of his earthly course, to the desolate, crow-haunted land where mortal tribulation ends. Gazing at the ruin of our board, I believe we both knew it.
JULIET WALDRON'S Links
Book Trailer for Roan Rose by Juliet Waldron