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Weekly Photography Challenge: Motion

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Motion.”

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This Saturday just gone was Anzac Day. For those who might not know, we Australians remember the landing on the beaches Gallipoli every year. 25 April 1915 was the beginning of a campaign that saw 26, 111 Australian casualties, a huge loss for such a small country. There’s a lot of different feelings about war in Australia, but we still choose to remember this day and remember all the soldiers who have served. I personally see the Gallipoli campaign as the first moment Australia began to lose the blind faith in ‘Mother England’, but there are still plenty of monarchists in Australia today…

Anyway, I went to watch the parade in the city and took some photos. While I thought it might be a little tasteless to show a photo of servicemen in response to a photo challenge, I figure one of the marching bands was a safe bet. Thank you St Andrews’ School! Lots of school bands marched, brass bands, pipe bands, drumming bands, and even a band from Mackay (which is pretty far up the coast). It was great to see ex-servicemen from other countries participate too.

Flash Fiction Challenge: Schoolies

In response to Charli’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge: Vice

They expected it to be exciting since it was so forbidden. To be fair, the drinking was fun, but only to a point. Dehydration was a bitch, which made you her bitch.

Cigarette smells lingered in their clothes and in their hair. It smelt nice at first, but the novelty quickly lost its lustre. Ash was ash, and vomit was vomit: the facts could not be sugar coated.

Halfway through, one washed their clothes as the other booked a room and their train tickets. Trading one coast for another, they left schoolies behind to go swimming and bushwalking instead.

April 22

For those who don’t know what schoolies is.

Book Series Blast: the Flawed Series

A Short Story Companion to the Flawed Series

Today is the release for Constricted, a brand new short story related to Becca J. Campbell’s Flawed series. This story coincides with the events in Empath (Flawed #1), and takes place in Logan’s point of view. You’ll need to read Empath first to thoroughly enjoy this story.

If you haven’t already, download a free copy of Empath (links below). Read on to find out more about Constricted.

Constricted (A Flawed Short Story)

Constricted_CVR_SMLLogan’s secret has been exposed. When Jade—a beautiful student at the college where he teaches—discovered the truth, he spilled the whole repulsive story. Jade’s empathetic kindness flooded him with emotions he didn’t know he had and isn’t sure he wants to deal with.

It would be the easiest thing in the world to leave and let Jade be a whisper in his past. He can exit now and regain his anonymity, or he can risk everything to stay and face her again.

It’s not an easy choice, and when he’s about to decide, a woman from his past shows up, making his decision even more difficult.

What really happened when Logan disappeared during Empath? Find out in this short story companion piece to Flawed #1.

Get your copy now:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

iBooks | Kobo

Get Empath for Free

Empath eBook cover WEBSupernatural empathy isn’t a gift, it’s a curse. Anywhere she goes, Jade’s emotions are replaced by those of the people around her.

Jade grew up in a suburb of Colorado Springs, protected from other people by her parents. Now she faces college—and the world—with nothing to shield her from unwanted feelings.

When Cam, a classmate with a major crush on her, unintentionally hijacks her emotions, Jade struggles to keep from being carried away in feelings of attraction. When Ethan, a psychopath with a thirst for fear, fixates on her, the emotional impact could be lethal.

Caught in a deadly trap, Jade must untangle the emotions and find a way to use her empathic curse to overcome this killer or be overcome by him.

Empath is now FREE on most sales channels.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

More About Becca J. Campbell

IMG_9824 BW smallBecca J. Campbell writes New Adult (twenty-somethings) fiction that varies from Urban Fantasy to Thriller to Science Fiction. Her stories typically blend a taste of the fantastical with real-world settings and add a dash of romance for good measure.

She’s always looking for a great speculative fiction read, and she holds a special place in her heart for any story that involves superpowers or time travel. Her passion is defying the limits of her own creativity.

Becca is also the co-creator of JuNoWriMo.com, where you can join a vibrant community and write a novel during June.

To join Becca’s writing journey and be notified when her next book is released, sign up for her author newsletter.

Connect Online:

Author Blog | Amazon | Goodreads
Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Google +

 

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Photo Challenge: Early Bird

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Early Bird.”

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How disappointing! Nothing but grey skies looking to greet me when I got up early this morning. Rain is meant to keep coming for the next few days, so I suppose this is the closest to a sunrise I’ll be getting for this week’s challenge. Never mind – I’m looking forward to the sleep ins anyway!

Book Series Blast: The Vargr Clan

I reviewed the first book in this series here, and with the third and final book in the trilogy newly released, a book series blast was in order!

Clicking on each book will take you to its amazon page:

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The following is an excerpt from the first book, The Wolf You Feed:

The fire roared in the center of the clearing, taking the chill out of the December air. Fur boots kept out the snow, while woolen blankets draped across knees ensured shivers were kept at bay. Tore joked with his friends as they shared sodas and wild tales. They fell silent, their eyes flicking to someone behind him. Tore turned. A tall elegant girl smiled at him. His friends forgotten, he found himself staring.

She asked if she could sit. Embarrassed and tongue tied, he shifted along the log to make room for her. Eavesdropping, he heard her friend call her Annike and he locked the information into his heart.

Almost immediately, Tore found himself captivated by her mouth. When her lips pursed in thought, he wondered what it would be like to kiss them. When she smiled, they curled up at the corners, creating pretty dimples in both her cheeks. As Annike ran her pink tongue across her bottom lip, he fantasized about their taste. When she caught her top one with her teeth, his breath caught in his throat.

They found themselves cocooned on the log, their friends having migrated to the barbecue pit. The soft glow of the fire lit up her face. Tore popped the cap on a soda, “You thirsty?”

She reached for the bottle, her fingers touching his. Moments later he blushed, realizing he still held it and was staring at her. Muttering an apology, he looked away. She laughed, placed the glass between her lips before offering it back. Tore put his own to the bottle, his heart skipping at the thought of her mouth having touched the same place.

“You’re Tore aren’t you?” It surprised him that she knew his name. “Annike.” She stretched out her hand. A tingle of excitement raced through him as skin slid across skin. “This is the first time I’ve been to one of these.” She waved her free hand at the partygoers. “I’m only halfway through my transition,” she explained.

Tore continued to hold her hand. “Thought I hadn’t seen you here before, I’ve just about finished mine. I turn eighteen this month.” He cursed himself. Was that all he could think of to say? Any minute now, she’d walk away and find someone more interesting to talk to. Think, Tore. Say something cool. “You…um…want to go for a walk?” Oh great, now why would you ask her that?

“Sure, I’d love to.” She stood folding the blanket that had been across her lap.

Oh, she does! Tore jumped to his feet slopping the soda, splashing her pant legs with fizzy orangeade. “Oh, I’m sorry…” He knelt down and used the sleeve of his sweater to wipe her legs. She was giggling. He blushed as he noticed the wet orange stains on the cream wool.

Damn, he sure was making a great impression.

“You ready?” She nodded towards the trees.

“Sure.”

She led the way through the crowds of other youths. Tore put his hand to the small of her back, not wanting to lose contact for a second.

As they walked through the woods, she slid her hand into his. “I saw you hunt yesterday.”

She did?

Her hand felt warm and soft in his and he squeezed it tighter.

“I was by the out crop. Watched your wolf come across the fields. You’re fast.”

 “It was my first solo hunt. That doe almost got away from me.” Why did he say that? He should have shrugged it off, said he’d caught loads. Now she’d think he was a loser.

“It did? That must have felt good bringing her down, then. Haven’t tried it yet. I don’t have a clue how to read my instincts.”

“I could take you out. We could try something small together. I’ll talk you through it. Erik did that with me a few times before I went solo.”

“Would you? I’d like that.” She was breathless when she spoke. He wondered if she meant it, but her eyes were sincere. A burst of electricity shot through him, she meant it.

They stopped by the river and lent against a boulder to keep out of the wind. Her golden hair shone in the moonlight. Tore was again tongue-tied but she rescued him with a question about his studies. They chatted as they skimmed pebbles across the water’s surface.

“You’re not how I imagined,” she looked sideways, giving him another of her dimpled smiles.

“How long have you been thinking about me then?”

Now she blushed. She skipped another stone, “The others talk, tell stories.”

“They do? What do they say?”

“That you’re cocky. Have lots of human girlfriends. Stuff like that.”

For some reason, he hated that she’d heard that. “It’s just an act…I’m not like that… just talk, with the guys.”

“I’m glad it’s not true.” That whispered breathiness had crept back into her voice. Stone-skimming forgotten, he found himself gazing into her eyes. As she returned his stare, their hands reached out and connected. As their fingers laced, a fluttering in his stomach caused his heart to play copy-cat. He leaned forwards, stopping inches from her mouth.

Annike pulled her hand away and brushed the snow from her clothes. She started to walk down the path and Tore hurried after her.

Did he do something wrong?

“We should get back. Nea will wonder where I went. I didn’t tell her I was going.”

“Nea?”

“My friend from earlier. We look out for one another, she’ll worry.”

Tore walked her back to the campfire, wishing time would slow down, so he could have her to himself for longer. All too soon, they were back in the crowds. She surprised him by sitting down beside him instead of finding her friend. Tore pushed his luck further as he sat closer and pulled a blanket over their laps.

Hours later, the crowds thinned. Annike watched them disperse. “I’d better head back too, I suppose.”

They stood, the silence awkward for a moment. Tore wondered if he should ask to see her again. Before he plucked up courage, she stood on tiptoe and pulled him by his sweater to her. Did he dare chance a kiss? Her honey scent filled his senses as she whispered in his ear.

“Tore, Son of Isak, one day you’re going to be my mate.”

Annike didn’t wait for an answer. She turned and left.

A stupid grin appeared on Tore’s face. He watched her curvaceous hips sway back and forth, hypnotizing him as she walked away. With those words, she laid her claim. And with that smile, he accepted his fate.”

 

Author BIO

Angela   Stevens

Angela Stevens is the author of contemporary adult romance novel Lemon Drops and Love and the newly released Urban Fantasy Trilogy, The Vargr Clan. Her first children’s fantasy book, Mariquita will be out in the spring.

Angela is British born and moved to Virginia, USA nine years ago. Always a keen traveler, she has enjoyed spending time living outside of her native country. She is an ex-teacher and the mother of two children. When empty nest syndrome threatened, Angela turned to writing novels to fill her growing free time. Her hobby has now grown into a fully-fledged obsession and she works on her books full time.

Loving both contemporary romance and urban fantasy genres, Angela flip-flops between the two. If you ask which is her favorite, she is always undecided. For now her genres remain separate, but maybe in the not too distant future they may combine. She is currently trying to find the time to draw up plans for a steamy fantasy romance series, so watch this space.

When Angela is not writing you can find her indulging in her other passion, ice hockey. She discovered her love of this sport when she first moved to America. Now a rabid Washington Capitals fan, Angela can often be found ‘Rocking The Red’ at the Verizon center supporting her beloved team.

You can find more about Angela and her works by visiting her website.

Weekly @RonovanWrites Haiku Challenge: New & Time

In response to Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Prompt Challenge: New & Time

Let the sun shine in

Let time pause for a moment

Let you be renewed

Good mood today. Taking a break from study; shall deal with consequences tomorrow.

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Flash Fiction: Neighbourly Garden

In response to Charli’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Prompt: Neighbourly

It was the first summer she’d noticed the little garden hadn’t been tended. The flowers were still managing, but the ground was cracked and the leaves had begun to dry. It was always a highlight on her walk, and she’d always wondered who tended to the strangely well-kept garden that sat outside the old apartment block.

So the next day, she came back with a watering can. The day after, someone had tipped fresh soil around the flowers, but it hadn’t seemed properly tilled. She smiled and came back with trowel and fork to finish what her neighbour started.

April 15

There Are SO Many Collections Out There!

Bundles to tickle every fancy, compiled by Leiah 🙂

So, I Read This Book Today

Have you noticed how many book collections there are out there these days? Multiple authors get together and donate a story to a Limited Edition Book Bundle based upon a theme. I have several of these, and have found new authors to love in nearly every one, as well as new stories by authors I already know. Since today is the start of a new week, I thought I would toss some of the bundles out there for you. Some stories you will like in a collection, some you may not, but for the price, these are GREAT bargains! They range from .99 to FREEE! They are in no particular order, just as I come across them on my tablet. There are a lot of bundles out there – search Amazon for “Book Bundles for Kindle” or “Free Book Bundles for Kindle”. You can also search “Collections” and then search…

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Indie Book Review: Press F5 To Load Game, by LeVar Ravel

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Review:

Straight up this book drew me in with the video-game style title and cover. It looks like a cover you’d find on nostalgic game pack from the nineties. But instead of being filled with floppy disks, it’s filled with video-game references and, bizarrely, politics.

This would be a good book for anyone who’s ever had politicians drive them to violent fantasy.

The story has a unique time-travel method behind it. Unfortunately, I found myself getting board more often than I liked, especially with the scene-setting sequences in offices or government. The main character Lars was nice and sarcastic. He’s not a main character that the reader should like, but it works because he’s so blatantly dislikeable the reader is laughing at him, not with him.

There’s a lot of strange things going on in this story. Frannie’s quirks are jarring at times, but the reader is rewarded when everything comes together in the end. A short read that could’ve been shorter in my opinion, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Recommended for those with the mixed interests of gaming and politics.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Amazon buy link.

Author goodreads page.

Press F5 To Load Game, by LeVar Ravel

Book Length: 188 pages

Time-travel Adventure (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

How to win an election:

  1. Shake hands.
  2. Kiss babies.
  3. Travel through time.

“Politics is more difficult than physics,” said Albert Einstein. Now that we can time travel, this is no longer true.

All the State House gossips go abuzz when an influential senator forms an alliance with Rep. Frannie Upwood, the capital’s most famous underachiever and favorite butt of jokes. Why his sudden interest in such a lightweight politician?

It’s up to Lars Uxbridge, the senator’s disloyal staffer, to find out, after he joins a network of political spies. What Lars discovers is a secret far beyond anything other state reps can muster.