Tuesday, December 14, 2010
52 Stitches is now available at Amazon, including my story Dangerous Premonitions.
Aaron Polson and Strange Publications have decided to donate all profits to the Jamie Eyberg memorial fund for his and Anne's two young children. Please open your heart and buy a few copies for a worthwhile cause and excellent tales of terror.
52 Stitches at Amazon
These flash stories are quick, dark, and sometimes mean. You’ll find black humor here. Zombies. Killer angels. Maybe a vampire or two. But there are other, less common horrors at work, even a few subtle, unsettling tales which stretch far beyond their few pages. Each story can be read in a few minutes, but will haunt for much longer.
52 Stitches at Amazon
Monday, December 13, 2010
In my dream there was a way to feature a FaceBook Author page on a kiosk at *cough* McDonalds, guaranteed to boost your fans.
I swear, I only left it up there for twenty minutes before shutting off the ad, but in that time, I gained two MILLION fans to my page. Mostly they were five year old button pushers, with a few eight year old fans thrown in with comments like "This is a neat book!" sprinkled over my page.
It seems the kiosks were centered in the middle of the McDonalds playgrounds, right next to the plastic tubes that look like they're made for giant gerbils. The comments from my "fans" puzzled me though. Did they have little plastic keyboards attached to the screens for young minds to participate in a type of modern-day graffiti?
The teenagers were worse, of course. One wit asked if my book came with fries; others thought they'd practice their stand-up comedy act for the X-rated crowd on my page.
None of this woke me up though. I could deal with it all, calmly considering a change of name and possible move to another country to fix my blunder.
It was the English Professor who left me with heart-pounding fear, waking to stare at the dark ceiling while dread settled in for a comfy spell.
The Prof went on a diatribe of quotation marks, bold words and the horrific s/he vs. they conundrum. I swear an entire English course passed before my eyes. At one point, I bit halfway through my tongue (maybe it was less than halfway, but at the time it felt like I'd severed it).
By the time I read the dissertation s/he had left on my page, I wondered what a person like that was doing on FaceBook in the first place. Really, wouldn't *they* go mad witnessing the grammatical inconsistencies that abound there? Or perhaps defacing my author page was only a pit stop squeezed in between sliding through the gerbil tubes and munching salty burgers.
I could almost feel sorry for the person…almost.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any inconsistencies, since it was a dream. You'll have to take your complaint to the REM department, which keeps strange hours and is totally unreliable…usually…often.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Chronos heard a commotion outside and hurried to the door, opening it to find a tiny reindeer stamping on his welcome mat.
"Are you lost, little one?" The miniature cutie only stood five hands high.
"I ain't lost, Pops," the deer growled in a voice better suited to a carnie with a cigar chomped between his teeth.
While Chronos stared at the small hellion, he heard the roar of Death's Harley in the air behind him.
"Get back in formation, Prancer."
The small deer grumbled and sprang into the air just as Death and seven other reindeer came in for a landing in the middle of Time's carefully tended garden.
"I got us a gig!" Death hopped off his bike and danced over, his Santa hat flopping down to cover one eye socket and looking like a jaunty pirate.
"Doing what?" The second the question left his mouth Chronos decided he really didn't want to know.
Death presented a pointy green cap with a flourish.
"Macy's hired me as their Santa and you're going to be my helper. How cool is that, my friend?"
Chronos backed away to a chorus of snickers from the little deer, waving his hands in front of him to fend off Death.
"No, no…you're not turning me into an elf. I won't do it."
"I have candy-striped stockings for you too," Death continued as if Chronos hadn't spoken. "When I arrived to collect their old Santa yesterday, the manager asked if I wanted the job. It seems the city has a shortage of jolly Saint Nicks."
Chronos shook his head in a desperate attempt to clear it, but the scene before him remained unchanged.
"Where did you come up with the rude reindeer?"
"Lucien loaned them to me," Death enthused. "Aren't they great?"
"Your reindeer are demons?"
"Well, sure. I couldn't take Santa's real ones, you know. How would he get around? Come on, it'll be fun."
Chronos stuffed the elf cap on his head and stalked over to the bike, already regretting his decision.
The mini reindeer caused quite a stir as they strutted into the large department store ahead of Santa and his peculiar-looking elf. The manager flagged Santa down and pulled him aside.
"You can't bring these animals in here."
Prancer left a present in the aisle as response.
"Don't worry," Death said. "The children will love them."
The manager's face turned a deep shade of purple. "Get them out of here!"
A crowd had already formed around them by this time, children squealing with delight as they cavorted with the deer. The demons, for their part, took a perverted pleasure in knocking over display units and creating havoc while leading the kids astray.
Chronos noted one woman gasping for breath as she caught sight of Death over by the perfume counter.
"One of your imminent clients?" Chronos asked as he watched her portrayal of a fish out of water.
Death followed his gaze. "No. She is only suffering the aftereffects of inhaling Poison."
As Death sat down in Santa's chair and listened to the children telling him their fondest wishes, Chronos couldn't help but be proud to call him friend. Even when they were fired a half hour later for giving away the merchandise, Chronos could call it a good day.
"What about the demon reindeer?" he asked as they exited the building without the tiny menaces.
Death shrugged a clavicle. "They'll revert back to Lucien at midnight. In the meantime, let them have a little excitement."
"I have to admit, it was fun watching them tree that manager," Chronos chuckled. "I didn't think he'd climb that display so fast in dress shoes."
©2010 Laura Eno
Monday, December 6, 2010
Debbie Prestwood at Thoughts in Writing gave me the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks, Debbie!
I'm awarding this to:
Lydia Kang at The Word is my Oyster
Cathy Webster at Life on the Muskoka River
Anne of Don't Fence Me In bestowed this Summer Blogger Award on me. Thank you, Anne! As she improvised, it's given to others who put sunshine in my life.
I'm awarding this one to:
Carol Kilgore of Under the Tiki Hut
Mari Juniper of mari's randomites
Sam Adamson of Future; nostalgic
Stephen Tremp of Breakthrough Blogs gave me this Supernova Award. Thank you, Stephen!
I'm awarding this to:
Jon Strother at Mad Utopia for his tireless efforts in bringing the Best of Friday Flash into print. At $7.99, it'd make a great Christmas gift!
Carol Kilgore of Under the Tiki Hut gave me the Go Away I'm Writing Award. Thanks, Carol!
I'm awarding this to:
Clarissa Draper at Listen To The Voices
Virginia Moffett of A Room Of My Own
Jodi Henry of Turning The Page
Debbie Prestwood at Thoughts in Writing
Jodi Henry at Turning the Page gave me the Beautiful Blogger Award. Thank you, Jodi!
I'm awarding this to:
Melissa Johnston at Windspirit Girl for her gorgeous artwork!
Lydia Kang at The Word is My Oyster handed out the Happy Pill Award. Thanks, Lydia!
I'm awarding this to:
Alan Davidson of Conversations From Land's Edge because he's accident prone and could use the happy pill.
Clarissa Draper of Listen to the Voices and Alex of Alex J Cavanaugh both gave me the Cherry On Top Award. Thank you both!
I'm awarding this to three ladies who really are the cherry on top:
Karen Schindler at Miscellaneous Yammering
Deanna Schrayer at The Other Side of Deanna
Anne Tyler Lord of Don't Fence Me In
Virginia Moffatt of A Room of My Own gave me the Fabulous Flash Award. Thank you, Virginia!
I'm awarding this to:
Angie Capozello at Techtiggers' Soapbox for her fabulous series.
Deanna Schrayer of The Other Side of Deanna gave me the Prolific Blogger Award. Thanks, Deanna!
I'm awarding this to:
Stephen Tremp of Breakthrough Blogs
Alex Cavanaugh of Alex J Cavanaugh
Roland Yeomans of Writing in the Crosshairs
Melissa Johnston at Windspirit Girl bestowed the Liar with a Twist Award on me. Thank you, Melissa!
I'm holding onto this one until I find a really good liar. :)
Thank you all for your generous gifts, the way you've touched my life, and for continuing to boost me up whenever I might fall. My online friends are truly exceptional people!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
I'd be honored if you'd go give it a read!
Don't Fall Asleep Review
I'll wait right here...hurry...go now...
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Holiday Book Blog Catalog
Go have a browse and buy a book or three!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Amazon.co.uk: The Hating Game
Amazon.com: The Hating Game
No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more.
Coming soon in paperback. Keep up with the latest at http://www.talliroland.com/.
When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £2000,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?
Go give it a read...you know you want to.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I wish you much joy
With family and love
That surrounds you
To my friends who don't
I wish you the same
For we don't need
To appreciate love
Have a wonderful weekend, no matter how you spend it!
Friday, November 19, 2010
“Were you able to get us a room?” Ron eyed his friend expectantly, surmising the answer when David refused to meet his gaze.
“It’s only for three days,” David explained as they moved up the ramp to board the ferry to Alpha VII. “We’d never be in the room anyway. This leaves us with more money to party.”
“I don’t want to party, slum boy. I want to sleep. You know I get space sick. The only reason I agreed to come with you was because you told me your cousin could get us a room.” Ron thought about three days of dealing with the slow spin of the ship and began to weave.
“Hey, you’re turning a funny shade of green. It was my cousin’s friend and he couldn’t find a room for us but I promise you, you’ll have such a great time that you won’t even notice the star drive.”
“Why do you want to follow a girl clear over to Alpha VII anyway?” Ron grumbled. “Did our own planet suddenly run out of girls?”
David shook his head. “I told you. She’s special – and her dad’s loaded.”
A synthesized voice welcomed them aboard the Star Ranger as they slid their ID cards into the slot, directing them to E deck.
“You’d think they could at least have a human attendant to greet us, instead of a canned speech.” Ron continued to grumble as they made their way toward the crowded elevators. The dank odors of sweat and food in the confines of the overloaded car were enough to make anyone ill.
David didn’t seem to notice, blithely pushing past others to hit the button for E deck. A voice droned out of the speakers, wishing everyone a safe and pleasant voyage.
The deck they’d been assigned to held the dregs of society as far as Ron could tell. Other losers, like themselves, unable to pay for accommodations. Even David looked momentarily dismayed by the flotsam before reasserting his cheerful disposition.
“See? This won’t be so bad. We’ll just claim some chairs…”
They both could see that all chairs were taken. Fortunately, the flooring was of a spongy nature, used to absorb shock waves. They sat in a corner, away from foot traffic and listened to the departure proceedings.
The ship rolled as soon as the clamps were released. Ron grabbed his stomach, wondering how he would survive three days of this.
David stood up. “I’ll go find us some food and bring it back here, all right?”
Ron responded by throwing up on David’s shoes. Feeling grimly satisfied, he consented to having a glass of water and crackers brought back to him.
While David was gone, Ron had a chance to study the people around him. Most seemed unremarkable, but one stood out. A well-dressed woman sat at a corner table, speaking into a vidphone while fiddling with a necklace that she had strung out. It looked like she was disassembling the baubles.
Just as David came back the ship took a roll, scattering the woman’s jewels off the table. They quickly realized her baubles were flash charges when one detonated close to them, temporarily blinding the two men.
The loudspeakers blared a warning that the ship was under attack and all passengers must make their way to an escape pod. Ron and David crawled in a direction that they hoped would lead them to a pod.
Red emergency lights blinked in the corridor as their eyesight returned. The sounds of laser fire and screaming now joined the general bedlam of announcements still being issued.
“We’re being boarded.” David shouted to make himself heard. Ron didn’t waste a breath to respond to the obvious, instead running for his life in the direction of dubious safety.
They leapt into the nearest pod, anxiously waiting for other passengers to join them. Booted feet tramped down the corridor. David stuck his head out, quickly ducked back in and hit the eject button, fear etched on his face. Ron didn’t need to ask who the boots belonged to.
Once away, the two broke into hysterics as they studied each other. The heat from the flash charge had burnt away most of their hair and left their clothes in shreds.
“Won’t we be the fashion trend on Alpha VII,” David said between bouts of hiccups that he’d developed from laughing too hard.
“If we ever get there.” Ron punctuated his statement by puking again.
For three days they tumbled through space waiting to be rescued. When an in-system enforcement patrol ship clamped onto their pod, Ron opened a bleary eye and looked at David.
“Are we there yet?”
As the door circled open and a crewmember helped the bedraggled pair out, a synthesized voice came on in the pod.
“Thank you for choosing the Star Ranger. We hope you enjoyed your flight.”
©2010 Laura Eno
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Death stared at it dubiously. "It looks like Amalthea's horn. Does Zeus know you broke it off? He went to a lot of trouble to fix it."
Chronos clutched the horn to his chest and looked at Death in horror.
"It's not the real horn, only a representation. I wanted to present it as a gift to Lucien for his Thanksgiving Day celebration. What do you think?"
Death took it from Chronos and peered through the hole on the small end.
"Anything you put in here would leak through the hole. It's just the right size for dispensing peanuts though."
To prove his point, he stuck the horn into his eye socket like a funnel and poured a jar of peanuts into the large end. Chronos listened to the sound of nuts bouncing their way through Death's skeletal cavities, making him sound like a pinball machine.
"Very funny." He took it back and laid it on the counter. "It's symbolic. You fill it with food and remember to be thankful for the abundance of life."
"I get that. Do I have to be thankful that Jeeves will be there serving the food?"
Chronos laughed at his friend. "You can be thankful that Lucien will go out of his way to serve you himself."
"He'd better." Death snapped his mandible for emphasis. "It's a wonderful idea he had, hosting a dinner for all of us. I wonder why he's being so sentimental?"
Chronos shrugged and tied his woven belt over his robe, worn only for special occasions.
"I don't know but if we don't leave now, we'll be late. You know how punctual Evil is."
Death picked up the cornucopia and tossed it to Chronos. "Maybe you should instruct Jeeves not to serve the mashed potatoes in this. They'd be hard to scrape out, don't you think?"
Chronos shook his head. "I can see you're going to be the life of the party."
Death nodded and put his humerus around Chronos. "I try to be, my friend."
©2010 Laura Eno
Friday, November 5, 2010
Unless you’re writing a cozy mystery, I think sometimes it’s important to have a plethora of characters for a good story. I remember a new author once received a review from Stephen King. The famous writer of horror and terror wrote what he appreciated most was that there were over 60 characters that gave tremendous depth to the story.
Is Too Much Too Much: Although I do not have close to 60 characters, I took this to heart as I began writing Breakthrough two years ago. I was determined to take the time and commit to developing a rich array of personalities who not only complimented one another, but also caused internal and external conflict. Plus, this pool of individuals gives me more options to kill off figures (eleven murders in my book and many more in Opening and Escalation) without depleting the story of main and supporting characters.
Supporting characters can be almost important to a good story as the protagonist and antagonist. They add dimension and depth to the main character as well as the plot, allowing the author to weave personality traits important to the story line that is difficult to attribute to the main character. Sidekicks intimately know the main character and the author can elaborate by exposition personality traits of the protagonist to the reader. Dr. Watson (Sherlock Holmes), Tonto (The Lone Ranger), Robin (Batman), Festus (Matt Dillon), Mini-Me (Dr. Evil), Donkey (Shrek), and Ed McMahon (Johnny Carson) are all sidekicks who have significantly contributed to the development of the main character.
Sidekicks do all Kinds of Things, from royally screwing things up and getting the main character into danger, to redeeming themselves by saving the protagonist's life or offering that one piece of advice or information that saves the day. They are the yang to the protagonist's ying, but many times in an uncomplimentary manner. Think of Jerry Seinfeld and George Castanza.
Sometimes equal partners can be sidekicks to each other. We see this repeatedly in comedy. They have very differing characteristics that play well off each other. Think of the straight men and the funny guys like Abbot and Costello, George and Gracie, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, or Laurel and Hardy. These characters have entertained audiences for generations because they both offer something so incredibly different than their partner. But together, the duo is inseparable, and writers can be creative and innovative with the polar opposite personalities and talents.
Do You Base Your Characters on Yourself or Anyone you Know: My protagonist, Chase Manhattan is loosely based on me, only he’s a little bit taller than I am, a little bit better looking, a little faster, stronger, smarter, and much richer. The rest of the good guys (and girls) and bad guys (and girls) are partially made up as well as based on people I’ve known. I sometimes use celebrities as inspiration to develop characters. I have to admit that there is quite a bit of me in the antagonist Nicholas Fischer Jr. But that’s another blog for another day.
Where to Find Inspiration for a Character’s Character? Other People, of Course
Last year we hosted two International Exchange Students from Japan for three days and hosted a student from Wuhan China for a semester. Although we were challenged by the expected language barrier, we had a great time sharing a cultural exchange with each other. We spent time at the beach, ate cheese burgers and pizza, and watched movies.
Ironically, the settings in the next two installments in the BREAKTHROUGH trilogy take place in China and Japan as well as the U.S. By hosting these students I have grown to more fully appreciate the people and cultures of these countries.
I'm now developing a few characters from China and Japan that will help balance the violent events that push the world on the brink of war. I think it’s vital to develop characters culturally different from yourself. All too often I read books where explosive events happen that are to engage and WOW! the reader. Lots of explosions and action, but little regarding how people are affected and the losses and pain they incur caused by the events.
Finally, I don’t want the characters to be perceived as merely the “good guys” or the “bad guys,” where the good guy wins in the end. I want the reader to care about and form an affinity with the characters, to relate to and identify with their trials and tribulations, and share in their successes.
Please join me Monday as I visit Alex Cavanaugh .
You can visit Stephen Tremp, author of the action thriller Breakthrough at Breakthrough Blogs .
If you feel this blog is worthy, go ahead and make my day. Retweet it
Thursday, October 28, 2010
"Come on, it'll be fun. Haven't you ever wondered what it'd be like?" Death looked at the frown on his best friend's face and tried again. "Do this as a favor to me. I've always wanted to experience Halloween the way mortals do and go trick or treating."
"I don't know—it seems awfully risky to me. What's the point?" Chronos fiddled with his hourglass as if it might disappear at Death's suggestion.
"No point, other than the novelty. We've been working too hard lately. This is our chance to play. It'll be fun."
Chronos snorted at that but relented, twisting the hourglass a full turn. "Okay, but when we get into trouble, don't say I didn't warn you."
They rode Death's chopper down the city streets until they came upon a party spilling out into the night. Death pulled over and parked, anxious to join the costumed revelers as they marched down the block.
"Whoa, dude. Nice costume. You look like Death," one inebriated mortal dressed like Darth Vader said as he passed by.
"Isn't this great?" Death said and practiced catching peanuts in his eye socket while walking with the crowd. "I wonder when we get to knock on people's doors."
Chronos merely nodded, his attention snagged by a scantily dressed slave girl who winked at him.
Glass broke behind them and the noise of the crowd became a shriek of chanting. A rock whizzed by Chronos on its way to an unknown target.
"I don't think we're going to see any trick or treating with this group."
Sirens rose to a high pitch as the night flashed red and blue. People scattered in different directions, leaving Death and Chronos wondering which way to go. A voice through a bullhorn commanded their attention while police handcuffed their arms behind their backs.
"Are we having fun yet?" Chronos asked Death.
"Oh, yes. What an experience."
Chronos shook his head at the enthusiastic answer. "I was being facetious."
Death dropped his jaw in a laugh. "Once we get to the police station, we can call the bar and have Lucien bail us out. It's perfect."
After Lucien ranted into the phone and hung up on him, Chronos studied the other inmates sharing their cell. They all scrunched into one corner, as far away from Death as possible.
"Do they recognize you?" Chronos leaned over and whispered to his friend.
"Oh, yes. Didn't I tell you? On Halloween many will perceive who we really are, although the constables don't seem to."
A commotion started down the hallway, drawing their attention. Death and Chronos watched in fascination as two officers prodded a furious Lucien into a cell across from them. Smoke boiled out of his ears and his face appeared as red as the horns on his head.
"Are you here to bail us out?" Death called over to him.
"Does it look that way to you? What did you do to my powers, you infernal timepiece. Give them back so I can get out of here!"
Chronos fingered the hourglass on his belt. "Have you had enough fun yet?"
Death shrugged, his metacarpus still wrapped around the bars.
"We can go home now, I guess." He leaned in close. "What about Lucien?"
Chronos smiled. "He's such a hothead. Maybe it'd be better to leave him here overnight."
"I'll get you for this, you rusty clock," Lucien yelled as they flicked out of sight.
"He looked really angry," Death said as they climbed on the motorcycle.
"Just playing a little trick on him." Chronos tapped his hourglass. "He's back in his bar now. Happy Halloween, my friend."
©2010 Laura Eno
Look at the image on the cover of this book.
A man and a boy knee-deep in water. Father and son? Uncle and nephew? Teacher and pupil? Or perhaps just a kid, lost, tagging on to an adult in the hope that he will be taken somewhere safe, dry?
They are wading away from the light into the darkness and gloom. The unknown. Fear. Hunger. Disease. But they are also wading towards you. They can’t ask for your help. You must choose to give it.
A simple way of doing that is to buy this book. Proceeds go to helping the victims of the Pakistan floods.
Now please take one more look at the cover. And remember, they can’t ask…
50 Stories for Pakistan features work by the following authors: Robert J. McCarter, Joanne Fox, Erik Svehaug, Susan Lanigan, Anne Mullane, Lisa Ricard Claro, R.J. Newlyn, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Martin Webster, Jonathan Pinnock, Trevor Belshaw, Julia Bohanna, Iain Pattison, Laura Eno, Dave Clark, Pam Howes, Alun Williams, Annie Evett, Jennifer Stakes, Rebecca Emin, Marjorie Tolchard, Marit Meredith, Paul Malone, Ewan Lawrie, Jarred McGinnis, Alex Tomlin, Gail Richards, Benjamin Solah, Ruchira Mandal, Alyson Hilbourne, Ramon Collins, Darren Lee, Riaz Ali, Nasim Marie Jafry, Heather Parker, Shazia Bibi, Andrew Parrott, Brigid O’Connor, Rob Innis, Tony Williams, Annemarie Neary, Emma Newman, Robert Long, Beryl Brown, Vanessa Couchman, Joanna Campbell, Sylvia Petter, Rosemary Hayes, Paul Anderson, and Alice Turner.
(Stolen from Big Bad Media's website)
I am honored to be a part of this terrific anthology and Greg McQueen's vision of helping those who can't ask for it.
50 Stories for Pakistan
Please, go buy a copy or three now.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
My story, Note To Myself, is up at Erin Cole's Halloween event, 13 Days of Horror. You don't want to miss the 13 nightmares she's featuring!
I'm also a guest over at Clarissa Draper's blog, writing about tossing out the fluff in your story. Please stop in—I'll even give you some virtual chocolate while you're there.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
“Did you remember to shut the windows in the back of the house? I can still feel a breeze.”
“I’ll get them in a little while. I’m listening to the game.”
“Do you hear that? It sounds like someone’s screaming.”
“What? No, I didn’t hear anything. It’s all in your head.”
“Well, if you’d take those headphones off maybe you’d hear better.”
“I’m trying to follow the game. It’s the bottom of the eighth. And would you quit peeking out the window?”
“I’ve got a right to look out my own window. There’s someone walking down the street, but it’s too dark to see anything.”
“Right. So quit looking. Jeesh, you’re a regular Peeping Tom. You’ll have Mrs. Anderson calling the cops on you again.”
“That wasn’t my fault. There it is again. Can’t you hear that?”
“I can’t hear anything, not with you talking so much. Drop the curtain and come sit down.”
“There’re two of them in the street now. They’re almost under the street lamp.”
“You’re an embarrassment, always spying on people.”
“They’re moving funny, sort of shuffling.”
“Shh…bases are loaded.”
“Did you hear that noise? I think it came from the back of the house. Go close the windows. Someone might be trying to break in.”
“If you’re so worried about it, go close them yourself.”
“Those people down the street are getting closer. They’re lurching and their clothes are all torn and dirty. I’m going to go lock the house up.”
“You know I can’t hear you when you walk away while you’re still talking.”
“I said I’m going to lo…”
“Erma? Erma? Jeesh, no need to get mad and quit talk…”
©2010 Laura Eno
Monday, October 18, 2010
CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
October 19, 2010 Science fiction/adventure/space opera
ISBN 9780981621067 Dancing Lemur Press LLC
To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…
Few options remain for Byron. A talented but stubborn young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude, his cockpit skills are his only hope. Slated to train as a Cosbolt fighter pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life as he sets off for the moon base of Guaard.
Much to Byron’s chagrin, the toughest instructor in the fleet takes notice of the young pilot. Haunted by a past tragedy, Bassa eventually sees through Byron's tough exterior and insolence. When a secret talent is revealed during training, Bassa feels compelled to help Byron achieve his full potential.
As war brews on the edge of space, time is running short. Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive, and Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?
“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal
Links to purchase:
Barnes & Noble
Also available in eBook format for Kindle, iPad, Nook, and others
Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He’s experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Currently he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Anthony Venutolo of Bukowski's Basement!
For everyone else, remember the Chinese Whisperings Yin & Yang Books are now on sale in ebook form! Ten female writers (including me) are featured in the Yin Book, while ten male writers complete the Yang. You can purchase each separately or buy both for twice the fun. The paperback version will be available in December.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Welcome to the virtual launch party of Don't Fall Asleep, the first in a series of Dream Assassin Novels. There are assorted goodies over on the side tables, so help yourself. Please note that Jezebel is swimming in one of the punch bowls so I would suggest serving yourself out of the other bowl.
I'd like to thank all of you who have continued to encourage me on my writing journey. Without your support, I'm not sure where I'd be right now.
Description from the back of the book:
In the 27th century, a psychic aberration has manifested in humanity, gifting a select few with the ability to weave dreams for others. They ply their addictive trade, calling themselves Dream Merchants.
Rarer still are those who can assassinate people while they dream…
Newly arrived on Altair IV, Cassandra Dade works her profession as a Dream Assassin according to her own code of ethics. She's beautiful, rich and running from her past—a past which is about to catch up with her.
The partner she trains might be all that stands between her and mental destruction, a fate worse than death. But does his own secret agenda set them on a collision course with disaster?
If you didn't catch the excerpt last week, you can find it here.
Where to buy:
Amazon Trade Paperback
Amazon UK Kindle
Thank you so much for your continued support! I appreciate each and every reader more than I can say!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
You have a chance to win a free PDF of the Yin Book just by leaving me a comment! How easy is that? Leave your comment here before midnight of Friday, the 15th and I will announce the winner on this blog at noon EST on Saturday, the 16th. Multiple comments won't count. :)
The Chinese Whisperings Yin & Yang Books are now on sale in ebook form! Ten female writers (including me) are featured in the Yin Book, while ten male writers complete the Yang. You can purchase each separately or buy both for twice the fun. The paperback version will be available in December.
The experience of collaborating with other writers on this was amazing and I would like to thank the editors, Jodi Cleghorn and Paul Anderson of eMergent Publishing, for inviting me to participate. It was a wild ride!
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Sorry, got carried away there for a moment. Go have a read here:
While you're at it, drop over to Sheila Deeth's blog, the author of the review. She has several more reviews listed, as well as her own recently published book, Refracted, for sale.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
The special-delivery box arrived the night before the big party, the one she'd been invited to even though the director had snubbed her.
"I need a fresh look, someone younger," he'd said. "You understand."
Yes, she understood. Tomorrow night, so would he.
Her fingers traced the contours of the box before opening it, revealing the perfect pair of high heels. Crafted in the image of an alien from the movie, they were undoubtedly a head-turner.
She tried them on, reveling in the sensation as they caressed her feet.
"Are you ready to go hunting, my darlings?"
The heels chittered in anticipation.
©2010 Laura Eno
Thanks to Icy at Icy's Blunt Pencil for giving me the idea with her FB post of the heels. They rock!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The first novel in my Dream Assassin series, Don't Fall Asleep, will be available soon! This project is near and dear to my heart, so I wanted to give you a taste of what's to come. Here is an excerpt:
Light bounced off alley walls in odd places amid the swirling tendrils of fog. Cassandra's heels clicked on cobblestone, the only sound in this junkie's paradise. She knew her quarry heard her footsteps, but imagined his mind tried to fit the sound into his fevered dream as something he created. She smiled. He was in for a nasty surprise.
The only smell in this jumbled place was the man's essence—a mixture of onion/cold/mold that made Cassandra's sinuses ache. Doorways hung at odd angles on either side of her but she ignored them. The man she came for sat against the wall at the end of the alley, a pool of light cast over him like a damn spotlight.
Bloodshot eyes studied her without enthusiasm; she wasn't the pre-pubescent type that got his rocks off.
"Who are you?"
"I'm Death." A blaster appeared in her hand. His eyes widened in understanding just before she shot him.
The alley disappeared, replaced by a gray nothingness that swept his stink away as well. Cassandra smiled in grim satisfaction before stepping out of the dead man's head. Another pedophile off the streets, dead from an apparent heart attack.
She awakened back in her own body, superstition driving her to a mirror to make sure she came back unchanged. Angle-cut auburn hair and startling blue eyes gazed back at her, allowing Cassandra to let go of the tension in her body.
Relaxing on the black leather sofa, Cassandra took in the high ceilinged room with its white walls and carpet, letting the minimalist effect wash over her. She stared out the floor-to-ceiling windows, gazing at the city lights far below her perch on the cliff. Peace stole over her with surroundings so unlike the jumbled constructions of other people's dreams.
One of the hazards of being a Dream Assassin, she thought, having to poke around in the sewers of someone else's creations. She climbed off the sofa and stretched. There was still much to do before the sun rose. She left the house to continue her search.
Cassandra headed to the underbelly of the city. She wanted to experience the heartbeat of the metropolis, not shiny metal and glass buildings full of tourists ogling the sights. The Dream Merchants didn't work up top. They plied their trade down below among the desperate. One of them would make a suitable partner, although she hadn't found one yet in two months of searching.
The nondescript bar Cassandra walked into seemed like dozens of others—smells of booze and sweat, her senses reeling from unsavory essences only a Dream Merchant could read. She blocked them out and wove her way through the tables in the dim light, sitting in a corner where she could watch the customers.
There. In the opposite corner. Another Dream Merchant, weaving dreams for sale as she once had. Cassandra studied the good-looking man as he dealt with a steady stream of customers. He must be an excellent weaver, with a clientele who raced over to him the moment they hit the door.
She let down her barrier for just a moment and watched his head pop up, scanning the crowd as he sensed her. Good. He's quick-witted.
During a lull in his work, Cassandra walked over to the dark-haired man. "Can I buy you a drink?"
He looked up at her with jade-green eyes and a sardonic smile on his face. "Sorry, lady. I don't swing that way."
She smiled back and dropped her mental barrier, watched his eyes first widen then narrow as he recognized what she was.
"I'm not asking for a date. I might have a business proposition for you though." She walked back to her table and let him think it over. His essence was the first one she'd found that Cassandra thought she could work with. He was cinnamon/warm/lemon with a bitter tinge to it. She wondered what had happened in his life to put the bitter there.
Menace rolled off a heavy-set man as he walked in the door, his pug-face scowl deepened further as he walked by the Merchant's table before disappearing into the back room. The man Cassandra waited for raised his glass at the bartender and strode over to her table, flipping a chair backwards before sitting on it.
"The name's Nathan Wilder. And yours?"
"Cassandra Dade." She watched his expression—cool smile but alert for any trouble. "What's the story on Mr. Big, Bad and Ugly?"
Nathan laughed and relaxed a fraction. "The owner thinks I should give him a cut of my profits for using his bar."
Cassandra chuckled and twirled ice in her glass, taking in the faded red wallpaper and burned-out lights above the liquor display.
"You probably bring in more customers than he would ever see without you."
"He knows that, but he doesn't believe in Dream Merchants. He thinks I'm dealing in illicits and complains that Enforcement will find out."
"Did you ever weave a dream for him?"
"Sure, I did. He called it the power of suggestion, although he did admit it was unlike any dream he'd ever had." Nathan shrugged and downed his drink. "I haven't seen you around and I know most of the Merchants. What's your specialty?"
Cassandra observed him while he studied her with greater interest than he would care to admit. That told her he was bored with his present circumstances and looking to put his talent to something new. Otherwise, he would have defended his territory against her.
"I'm looking for a partner. If you're interested, meet me Topside tomorrow in the Golem Café at noon." She stood to leave, meeting his puzzled expression with a smile. "As for my specialty, I don't weave dreams anymore—I enter them."
©2010 Laura Eno
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Welcome to The Great Chocolate Conspiracy! Chocolate Digestive biscuits have disappeared from the shelves right across the eastern seaboard of the USA, and now the shortage has spread to London. Detective Chief Inspector Sam Adamson and his international team of investigators from the Metropolitan Police’s Confectionery Crimes Unit (CCU) have been tasked to solve the mystery.
This is the fifth installment of this multi-part flash fiction story that originated during a chat between the authors on Twitter. You can read how it all began here (links to all the installments will be added to the author list as they are posted).
The next installment will appear on Friday, October 8 at Jim Bronyaur's site. You can keep up with developments in the meantime by following the #GtChocCo hashtag on Twitter.
Trying to pass through the gate to the State Department was another matter. The Crumblies stared out the windows of the SUV at the hundreds of protesters lining the street, their picket signs carrying messages such as 'Save our Chocolate' and 'It's a Government Conspiracy.'
DCI Adamson spotted one bloke with a sign reading 'It's All Your Fault' who seemed to lock eyes with him, even though the windows were heavily tinted. He shivered and tried to reposition his bad leg.
"Are you feeling well?" DI Marier asked.
"I'm fine. Don't coddle me."
Marier rolled her eyes and Juniper smirked.
Adamson turned to La Paglia. "Is there any damn coffee in this State Department of yours?"
Agent La Paglia sighed and reached into her pocket, fingers wrapping around the Snickers bar still waiting for her. What she wouldn't give for a taste right now, but that would be rude.
"There's a coffee shop inside. Since I moved the time for the briefing, we'll have a few minutes to spare—that is, if we ever make our way through this crowd."
Professor Motley drummed her fingers on the armrest as the car inched forward. "Are we sure they still have coffee?"
"I've been assured that they do. Please be patient everyone." La Paglia wondered if she'd still have a job tomorrow if the Crumblies behaved badly in the briefing, not that she could blame them.
Once they passed through security, the team sat down at a table in the corner while La Paglia fetched coffee for them.
"I'm still bothered by the perpetrator being one step ahead of us," Juniper said. "Wouldn't that suggest someone at this table is a spy?"
"Speak for yourself," Marier said. Her face reddened as she stared at Juniper.
"I'm just saying it would be logical to look at all possibilities. I know it's not me, as I can write a better rhyme than that."
Professor Motley spoke up. "It is something that can't be dismissed."
She turned to Adamson. "How much do you really know about DI John Hawthorne, for that matter?"
"He's a bloody thorn in my arse," Adamson grumbled. "But I can't believe that any one of us could be the culprit. None of us are loons…are we?"
Marier patted her boss on the shoulder. "Of course we're not. And as much as I hate the implications, Juniper's right, we can't throw anything out."
La Paglia walked over with a tray of little styrofoam cups, setting it down on the table. She sat down with a weary sigh.
"This is the last of the coffee, I'm afraid. This morning's delivery truck arrived empty."
The team grabbed their cups and drank in unison, grimacing at the burnt flavor. La Paglia's beeper went off and she excused herself from the table, walking over to a house phone. She ran back to them a minute later.
"Hurry up and finish your coffee."
"Why?" Adamson banged his fist on the table. He wasn't in any rush to get to the briefing. "Can't a man enjoy a cuppa, even if it does taste like boiled socks?"
"The briefing's been cancelled—"
"That's the first good news I've heard all day."
"—and we're on our way to the airport." La Paglia gave Adamson a stern glance for interrupting her but he only raised his cup in salute and smiled.
"Where are we going now?" Juniper asked.
"To a small town in Texas called Tumbleweed Junction."
"Why there?" Marier replied.
"Crumblies, I mean, CCU, if you'd all be silent for a moment I'll explain. The sheriff there found a full box of chocolate bars sitting on his desk when he came in this morning, with a card addressed to the CCU."
"Has anyone touched the box at all?" Professor Motley asked.
"Yes, unfortunately. When he stepped out of the office to make the call to us, one of his deputies removed a candy bar. Apparently, the man is addicted to chocolate."
Adamson's stomach churned, knowing what happened next. He'd have to live his bloody nightmare all over again.
"And it exploded, right?"
La Pagila nodded at him, her mouth set in a grim line.
"We don't have any details yet, only that he's in the hospital."
"Why is the perpetrator leading us to Texas?" Marier mumbled.
"Yes," Juniper said. "It sounds so dusty."
"I've asked Agent Bronyaur to meet us at the airport with your luggage. I hope you don't mind."
Juniper and Marier shared a glance, each thinking of the lacy thongs they'd left lying on the floor. Professor Motley caught the exchange and smirked.
"That'll teach you both to pick up your underwear."
"There's no time to waste." La Paglia looked at her watch. "We'll just make it as it is."
They hurried out the door, Adamson realizing he hadn't seen so much as a glimpse of D.C. before being whisked to another part of the country. He crawled back into the SUV with a sigh. Maybe if they solved the case in Texas, they could go see one of those rodeos while they were there.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The boys are still partying at Cathy and Dave's reception (and I've been editing all week) so I thought I'd trot out the first #fridayflash I posted on this blog.
The blood still dripped from the windowsill. Soon the shadows would obscure it completely. No one would be the wiser then. The deed would be lost, not to be discovered until morning. By then, he would have his alibi ready, no longer thinking about the satisfaction that came from rending flesh, nor the pleasure derived from hearing the pop and crunch of bones.
Indeed, by morning he might not even remember this night. That was his way, after all. The morning light would hit his face, showing an innocent composure. But tonight…tonight he still recalled everything that had transpired.
It wasn’t his fault, not really anyway. They shouldn’t have led him to it, shouldn’t have given him the opening to such temptation. They knew what acts he was capable of, but chose to ignore his inner nature, believing that he had been rehabilitated by the docile life forced upon him. In the morning they would discover the truth. This might be his last night of freedom.
He saw the moon rise now. The light spilled across the windowsill, hitting the blood stains. The dark blotches stood out on the carpet to his eyes, but they wouldn’t be noticeable to anyone else…not until daybreak anyway.
What should he do with his last night of freedom? Run? Look for more trouble? No, he finally decided. He was too weary for that. He would just sleep and wait for the morning. Whatever accusations came his way wouldn’t really belong to him anyway. They knew his nature. It was their fault. They shouldn’t have left the damn bird sitting on the windowsill in the first place. What did they expect a cat to do?
©2009 Laura Eno
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Deanna Schrayer of The Other Side of Deanna kindly bestowed her "I'm A Literacy Builder" Award on me, in honor of International Literacy Day. I'm thrilled to be recognized in such a fashion.
The rules are:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Display the award logo on your blog site.
3. Tell us five of your favorite words and why you like them, (add as many as you like).
4. Pass the award on to three bloggers you feel are excellent literacy builders, and link to their sites.
5. Contact the bloggers you’ve chosen and let them know about the award.
Written language is richer than the spoken word. Some of my favorite words are those not used in everyday conversation, such as:
I'd like to pass this award on to:
Karen at Miscellaneous Yammering for her poetry, stories and wit,
Cathy at Life on the Muskoka River who always has something worthwhile to say,
Pamela Jo at There's Just Life who pokes fun at her spelling skills but forges on anyway with a variety of subjects that entertain.
What's your favorite word? Feel free to leave it in the comments.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Death roared into the driveway on his chopper, arriving at the strange address that Lucien had given them for his annual luau.
"Did he tell you why he picked Canada this year?" Chronos asked as he held his robes away from the hot tailpipe and removed his helmet.
"No. He didn't say why, but I suspect he has an ulterior motive. He always does. In the meantime, let us enjoy ourselves, my friend. I can smell the roasted pig from here."
Death hung his helmet on the handlebar and they walked around to the back, where the festivities were.
They found Evil talking to the DJ, one of the special demons he brought up for the event. Lucien spotted them and hurried over.
"I'm glad you both could make it."
"What are all of these humans doing here?" Chronos looked about in surprise. "Is that a wedding party over there?"
"Well, yes. I agreed to cater their wedding reception."
"You what?" Chronos and Death both said in unison.
"I don't see what the big deal is," Lucien muttered.
"And if one of the guests just happens to fall into your fire pits…?" Death glared at him, his eye sockets starting to glow.
Lucien held his hands up. "I wouldn't take the bride or groom, of course."
Chronos turned his hourglass, freezing the scene. "Explain."
Evil chomped down hard on his cigar, curls of smoke rising from his head.
"Look, I was desperate. The bride wouldn't give Jeeves back unless I catered her reception. She's one mean dealer."
Chronos noted the admiring glance Lucien shot in her direction. He seemed rather taken with her.
Death grabbed a bowl of peanuts off a table and tossed one of his favorite snacks in the air.
"You can't have any souls here."
"No. And how did you explain the succubi?"
Lucien shrugged. "They're dressed like hula girls. Can you please restart time now?"
Chronos looked at Death and shrugged, resetting the hourglass. Time started once again.
"I hope the bride knows what she bargained for."
Lucien rubbed his hands together. "It's going to be one helluva party."
©2010 Laura Eno
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Run, don't walk, over to Deanna's site right now! While you're there, have a long look around. She blogs on a number of different things, including hijinks on riding lawnmowers.
The Other Side of Deanna
Thank you so much for your wonderful review, Deanna!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
*see me jumping up and down, scaring the dog and my husband*
If you don't already follow her blog, you are missing out on a daily dose of fabulous posts that concern writing, publishing, book reviews and the occasional mermaid story. She also has a FREE newsletter you can sign up for called Doing It Write…and don't you just love the name of her blog?
Straight From Hel
Go. See. Her. Now.
Monday, September 6, 2010
I apologize for not getting to these sooner. My only excuse is I'm focused on writing, so please forgive my tardiness. I would like to thank each of you for thinking of me, so without further ado…
Aidan from Aidan Writes gave me the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you, Aidan!
Mari Juniper of mari's randomities bestowed the Sweet Blog Award. Thanks, Mari!
Anne Tyler Lord of Don't Fence Me In gave me both the Versatile Blogger Award AND the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you times two, Anne!
Carol Kilgore at Under The Tiki Hut gave me the From Me To You Award. Thanks, Carol!
Alan Davidson from Conversations From Land's Edge bestowed the Strange Award. He knows me too well… Thank you, Alan!
Pamela Jo of There's Just Life gave me the You Deserve A Star Today Award. Thank you, Pamela Jo!
There are various rules and whatnots that I will ignore anyway and I plead
permanent temporary insanity in my schedule for not passing these along right now. Thank you all for your generous recognition. It's what keeps me writing. Please visit these unique blogs. Each one has something different to offer!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
"Admit it. You let Lucien win Jeeves back in the poker game."
Chronos smiled as Death pretended not to hear him, the tunes of Death Cab for Cutie vibrating through his skull from the iPod he wore.
"Okay, I'll quit asking. We should leave anyway so Matilda can clean the house."
Death removed the ear buds and dropped his jaw in a smile.
"I have a client to meet soon. You want to go with me?"
"Sure. I've got time."
They rode Death's Harley down to Earth and into the parking lot of a pre-school. Chronos blinked back moisture as they entered the building and Death sat down next to a little girl coloring at a table. These were the hardest ones to accept, but Death showed the kindness that made him a true friend.
"Good morning, Katie." Death picked up a blue crayon with his phalanges. "Do you mind if I color in the sky while you're working on the trees? We don't have much time to visit."
"Sure, Than-an-t…I can't say your name."
"Just call me Death, honey." The innocent always recognized him for who he really was.
Chronos wiped the tears from his eyes. Maybe he shouldn't have come after all.
Death finished coloring the sky for her and then stood.
"I have to go now." He patted the warm flesh of her hand with his cold bones.
Chronos sniffed and Death handed him a tissue.
"Will I see you again?" Katie asked.
"Yes, but not for a long time. Thank you for letting me color with you."
Death turned and headed for the door, Chronos following in confusion.
"She wasn't your client?"
"No, my client just had a heart attack out on the sidewalk."
"Then what were we doing in here?"
Death swung his radius and ulna around Time's shoulders.
"I wanted to color. It's the special moments in life that give meaning to death."
"Oh. Sorry for blubbering." Chronos rubbed his nose, embarrassed by his emotional outburst.
"No, my friend," Death said gently. "It's your compassion that I value most in our friendship. I would do anything for you."
"Does this mean you'll let me drive the Harley back home?"
Death laughed, the sound rattling his rib cage. "No. I would like to keep valuing our friendship and another dunk in the lake might seriously strain it."
©2010 Laura Eno
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Flashes in the Dark interview
Many thanks to Lori and a terrific ezine!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Lucien greeted Death and Chronos with a jovial salute as they arrived for the monthly poker game.
"Glad you could make it, gentlemen. I want to thank the two of you for sending Jeeves to me."
"Why?" Death said. "Did you find a particularly amusing way to torture him?"
"Hell no. He's the best bouncer I've ever had and he broke Lilith's habit of sticking gum under the tables, too."
Chronos stared at him. "Jeeves? I thought he buttled."
"Buttled?" Lucien gave him a blank look.
Death nudged Time in the ribs with his olecranon. "I don't think that's a real word, my friend."
Jeeves came out of the back carrying trays of food. He set it all down on the table and held up a glass dish.
Death looked at the four peanuts lying there and raised his metacarpus.
"No! Wait." Lucien ran to the bar and hurdled it, racing back with a bowl full of peanuts. He wiped the sweat from his brow with one hand as he offered the snack to Death with the other.
"Jeeves, go greet our other guests," Lucien said and heaved a sigh of relief as Death took the bowl from him.
Chronos chuckled as he watched Jeeves take a clothes brush to Michael's wings and light Clotho's cigar for her.
"You have him well-trained, Lucien, but he's living on borrowed time around Death."
"I see that," Evil muttered. Death's eye sockets still glowed red and he hadn't tossed a single peanut into them yet.
When War stomped in, Jeeves tried to fuss with his cloak and got a smack in the jaw for his efforts. Death settled back and tossed a peanut into his eye socket, his jaw dropped in a grin. He picked up the deck of cards and shuffled them.
"Five card stud, anyone? Opening wager is Jeeves's soul."
©2010 Laura Eno
I wish I had her gift of gab, to come home from work, whip out a camera and shoot pictures then pound out a post that delighted me. I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it too.
While you're there, remember she's still looking for wedding stories. Go on, send her yours…you know you want to.
Life on the Muskoka River
Thanks for being so enthusiastic, Cathy!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
A dour man opened the door to Time's residence when Death knocked.
"Is the Master expecting you?"
Death stared the man down, eye sockets glowing red. The butler didn't blink.
"Jeeves, let Death enter and go buttle, or whatever it is you do." Chronos edged the man away from the door. "Sorry about that."
"Since when did you hire staff?"
Chronos sighed and sank back down on the sofa, looking like he'd fought a battle all morning.
"The Purgatory Registration Center has a new "Right to Work" clause in their union contract. They told me I have to employ at least one staff member."
"That sucks, dude. My Furies count as staff so they won't bother me with that. Hey, Jeeves, be useful and bring me a bowl of peanuts, will you?"
Chronos watched in fascination as Jeeves brought out four peanuts on a crystal dish, insisting on holding onto it while Death snacked. The ensuing tug-of-war ended when Death waved his hand and the butler disappeared.
"Where'd he go?"
"I sent him to Lucien's bar. You didn't want to keep him, did you?"
"No, but he was better than the housekeeper they sent over this morning. She turned on the vacuum while I was watching TV and told me to get my feet off the coffee table."
"I have the perfect solution." Death popped out and Chronos heard the Harley start up outside. A short time later he came roaring back, carrying a statue into the house.
"What's this?" Chronos looked at the lifelike old woman dressed in a uniform as Death propped her in the corner.
"Meet Matilda, your new housekeeper. I went over to the registration center and interviewed staff for you. Matilda here turns into a statue whenever she hears a loud noise."
"Perfect." Chronos clapped his friend's clavicle and sat back down on the sofa, turning the volume up on the TV. Death joined him with a proper bowl of peanuts.
"I wonder how Lucien's getting on with Jeeves?" Chronos said.
Death dropped his jaw and tossed a peanut into the air. "I'm sure by now he's sent Jeeves where he belongs."
©2010 Laura Eno
Monday, August 16, 2010
First of all, I'd like to thank each and every one of you for the tremendous support you give me as friends. If it weren't for all of you, I'd be talking to Jezebel and Mr. Fluffy all the time—and we know how bad that could turn out.
The judges woke up long enough to devour all the catnip and tuna left for them. As a thank you, they each burped once before falling back asleep. The house smells fishy now.
As the random picks out of a hat (by my trusty husband as the judges wouldn't cooperate) the winners are:
Helen Ginger and Deanna Schrayer
Congratulations, ladies. I hope (plead) that you enjoy it!
Email me at: laura AT lauraeno.com with a mailing address and the name I should use, in case you're in the Witness Protection Program.
That was the easy part. Picking the one who kissed my behind/sucked up to me the best was a difficult choice. So many of you deserve gold stars, at the very least. After much agonizing—and multiple bowls of ice cream—I decided the best suck-up person around is:
*one more drum roll*
Congratulations to you, my dear. Please email me your info as well.
As for the rest of you, I'm handing out consolation smooches and virtual cookies. Take as many as you'd like.
I do hope that you will take a chance on my story. It's only .99 at SmashWords and Kindle. Even if you don't have an eReader, SmashWords has it in pdf and html choices as well.
Thank you all for playing along here and showing me such gracious support!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Death and Chronos strained against the winds of the hurricane, gaining ground one slow foot at a time as they tried to reach their goal. Hail the size of oranges beat down on their heads as the unlucky duo struggled in the storm.
Battered and exhausted, both knew that giving up was not an option. Matters far more important than weather awaited them on the other side.
"Do you need help, my friend?" Death's words were lost in the maelstrom, but he managed to grab Time's sleeve before he went down.
"Thanks." Chronos hoped they could take a breather if they reached the eye—unless he collapsed first.
He saw the funnel just in time and signaled Death. They threw themselves to the ground as the tornado spun right over them, sucking up grass and trees in its mad dash across the landscape.
"That was close," Death mumbled and tried to stand back up, his phalanges catching in the hem of his robe.
Snow dumped on them from a blackened sky, the blizzard making it impossible to see.
"Link arms and go straight," Chronos shouted as they high-stepped through two feet of snow.
They both bumped into a tree and slid down the trunk. Death reached up with the last of his strength and rang the doorbell.
Sunshine and flowers emerged as they struggled to their feet. Chronos was still picking twigs out of his hair when Gaia answered the door.
"Greetings, boys. You're late. Earl Grey or jasmine tea?" She turned and climbed the staircase inside the tree, signaling for them to follow.
Chronos leaned over and whispered in Death's auditory tube. "Do you think she'd mind turning off her security system when it's time for us to leave?"
©2010 Laura Eno
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I'm also giving away two signed copies drawn at random from comments left on this post. A third copy will be given to whomever jumps up and down/kisses up to me the best in their comment. How cool is that?
The winners will be selected from a hat by the judge below on Tue, August 17th.
If she doesn't wake up in time, never fear, I have two alternates standing by.
Amazon - Trade Paperback
Amazon - Kindle
Smashwords - Ebook
Amazon UK - Kindle
Loner Travis O'Conner becomes the unwilling champion of a mysterious seer who plunges him into another dimension. His only guide—a deck of Tarot cards in her possession.
He falls in love with a woman who may not be his ally, while battling wizards intent on destroying him. Must Travis lose his love in order to save his world?
The doorbell rang as Travis fought with his tie. He took the stairs two at a time, still in his stocking feet. When he answered the door, an old woman stood before him, the white orbs of her eyes seeing nothing—or looking right through him. He couldn’t decide which.
The landscape behind her lie twisted and torn, burned metal skeletons framed in orange and black streaks. The scenery spoke of a different place, not the cloudless blue sky he witnessed minutes ago while looking out the window, admiring the garden behind their house.
He shied away from the doorway, although the ugly landscape seemed familiar also. The old woman smiled, the stench of decay surrounding her.
“Do you wish to stay in your pleasant dreams? Or do you want your reality back?” She swept one gnarled hand to the ugliness behind her. “Is this all you want? You alone have the power of change. Come to me.”
He slammed the door, heart pounding. Why? Travis crossed to the front window and stared. The empty doorstep opened onto a brick walkway, its edges lined with roses, Lessa’s favorite flowers. The sun shone down from a blue sky. The old woman had vanished.
“Who was at the door?” Lessa leaned over the banister, wrapped only in a towel.
“Nobody. Wrong house.” Something about that woman made him wish to have never laid eyes on her. He felt precarious, standing on the edge of a cliff. How could one brief encounter upset him so? Something bad was about to happen, he could feel it. Something that he couldn’t stop.
“Nonsense. Get over it.”
“Did you say something?”
“No. Just mumbling.” He ran back upstairs and slipped on his shoes, giving Lessa a kiss goodbye.
“I need to get going.” Travis didn’t want her to see his agitation. It was nothing, a crazy old woman. Why didn’t it feel like nothing?
“Have a wonderful day. I might be a bit late tonight. I have hospital rounds after the clinic closes,” Lessa said, then kissed him long and deep.
An inner voice warned him to stay home, not step out the door—ever. Stay here with Lessa. Of course, that was impossible. He straightened his shoulders and opened the front door, feeling like he was headed for doom. The fresh breeze smelled vaguely of roses, the flower petals along the walk nodded in greeting. Everything was as it should be. Travis blew out the breath that he hadn’t realized he’d been holding and stepped onto the walkway.
Everything changed. Gone were the flowers, along with the blue sky. The air carried a foul stench that scratched the back of his throat. Baggy trousers that hadn’t seen soap for days replaced his suit. His polished shoes became scuffed boots, button-down silk now a torn t-shirt.
He turned but the nice townhouse had disappeared, apparently taking Lessa with it. As Travis collapsed in despair amid the rubble of a broken building, he remembered. This was his reality, not the nice clean environment and the beautiful wife. This is where he’d always been, living among the rats, doing whatever was necessary to survive. The old woman suddenly appeared before him.
©2010 Laura Eno