AbsoluteWrite’s March Blog Chain

Hi peoples!

Time for another blog chain entry from over at AbsoluteWrite. And in honor of March’s holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, our prompt was “What the Leprechaun said.”

Lots of people joining in and the list will be at the end of this post so take some time, visit and comment on all those lovely people’s blogs! And without further ado, my entry. Enjoy 🙂

*******

“The leprechaun had said what we needed would be down this way.” Michael called to Lisa, who stood at the entrance to the alley.

“I don’t like this, Mike.”

“It’ll be fine. There’s thousands of people celebrating here.” He took her hand, pulling her between the buildings. “It’s not like we have anything for them to take.”

She tried to brush those thoughts away. They’d come to the city parade to relax and escape the recent stress between them.

“Lisa, c’mon, it’ll be fun. He said it was just on the other side of this block.” He pulled her with him a few steps before she shook his hand loose.

“Look up there.” When he did, he saw the laundry lines strewn from building to building, pants and shirts swaying in the breeze.

“Yeah, great. I thought those were illegal in the city.” He kept moving, not quite as fast as he had been as the light grew dimmer, blocked out by the huge buildings of the city sections.

Lisa was looking at what else was hanging from those lines, though.  Some were filled with laundry, yes, but if you looked hard enough, you could see decorations for the holiday. Bright green clovers and store bought cutouts hung from clothespins, even green garland was strung across in places, glittering where the sunlight hit. She smiled before looking to see where Michael had gone.

“Mike, wait up!” She ran to catch up as he made it to the next lot and looked between the buildings.

“Not this one. Must be the next.” Lisa followed as he led the way, leaving him to his half-jog as she picked her way carefully through the dumpsters and over puddles.  She stopped again as the back of another building made her laugh.

“Oh my god, Mike. Look at what they’ve drawn back here!”

He stopped and trudged back with a sigh, giving her that look she hated, the one that meant he was tolerating her and not liking any bit of it. “What is it, Lisa.”

She brushed the feeling away and smiled, pointing at the massive rainbow painted with bright, intense colors that arched across the stone.

“Isn’t it great? Hidden for anyone walking down here to find.”

“You called me back to look at rainbow graffiti?” Michael shook his head and took her hand, pulling her down the alley.

She would’ve liked to have more time with the picture but Mike had wanted to go to that party all week and whether she liked it or not, she’d agreed to go.

As he looked between the next buildings, she turned, wondering if there was anything else. Her eyes lit up as she saw the small green area set up on the other side of the dismal alley. 

“Mike! Look, it’s beautiful!” She covered her mouth with her hands, pleased with finding such surprises in such a strange place.  A small tree grew there, while not huge, it was perfectly shaped, its branches sheltering the grass that had been planted underneath it. It wasn’t large enough to be called a park, but big enough for a few people to remember that the world wasn’t all covered in concrete and steel. She reached over and tried to catch Mike’s hand, managing his fingertips before he pulled away, batting at her.

“Lisa, stop. We have to get going if we’re going to make it on time.”

“Michael, I want to see. It’s just a party; we don’t even know anyone there.”

He kept walking, ignoring Lisa’s words until she called once more, frustration clear in her voice.

“Michael! Where are you going?”

“I’m going where we planned on going. Follow or not. I’m not gonna hang around in an alley looking at some stupid plant.”

The words hurt and for a fleeting moment she considered following him, letting him turn her day into a rush to get somewhere she wouldn’t enjoy anyway, like he had so many times before. But, she looked back at the small tree and felt a sudden pain of guilt at letting him ruin the lovely surprise she’d found.  She walked over and put one hand against the wood, looking up into the branches above. She made a decision then, watching Michael disappear around the corner and smiled up at the lone tree, in such a happy place, hidden away by the cityscape.

 “I guess I’ll just have to explore on my own, huh?”

She turned back towards the painting and the decorations and started to walk away when her foot hit something hard and she fell to her knees in the grass.

There, in front of her was large black bowl overflowing with the shiniest glowing gold coins she’d ever seen.

“They can’t be real…” Her gaze darted around the alley, trying to find who’d put it there when she heard the bright laughter and voice come from somewhere around her.

“I told you you’d find what you needed, if only you kept your eyes open!”

Lisa smiled in understanding. The gold would take care of all her money troubles; allow her to get her own place, more so, her own life.  Another wave of guilt swept across her and she smiled and did something she hadn’t done in a very long time. She did what would make her and her alone, happy.

She swept up two great handfuls of gold pieces and put them into her purse, leaving the bowl half-full and then patted the tree. “Save the rest for someone else. This is all I need.”

The leprechaun she’d taken for just a man in costume appeared and swept his hat off as she stood.

“Aye, a heart of gold you have, lass. You’ll find my luck wherever you wish for that act of kindness.”

********

Other entries this month:

orion_mk3 - http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post) 
robeiae - http://thepondsofhappenstance.blogspot.com/ (link to post) 
writingismypassion - http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (link to post) 
Sudo_One - http://sudoone.wordpress.com/ (link to post) 
randi.lee - http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com/ (link to post) 
pyrosama - http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post) 
katci13 - http://www.krystalsquared.net/ (link to post) 
MsLaylaCakes - http://taraquan.com/ (link to post) 
Angyl78 - http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post) 
Bloo - http://www.emergencyroomproductions.net/ (link to post) 
dolores haze - http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ (link to post) 
ConnieBDowell - http://bookechoes.com/ (link to post) [not 3/15]
Lady Cat - http://carolsrandomness.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Araenvo - http://www.simonpclark.com/ (link to post)
MichaelP - http://portablemagicblog.com/ (link to post)
Ralph Pines - http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
mdgreene50 - http://www.gettotheinside.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
scatterjoy! - http://www.sleepinginanunmadebed.com/ (link to post)
SRHowen - http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
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Celebrating Friends New Release

So over at the not-always-safe-for-work section of the net (you’ve been warned!), a group of friends of mine and maybe some of yours are celebrating good news tonight!

A new release with a beautiful and spooky cover has come out for them from Blushing Books:
detail_2314_Thrill_of_the_Hunt_Detail

This will be the 2nd release from Blushing Mischief, comprised of several people from the AbsoluteWrite Forums and this one in particular is Paranormal Erotica with a Hunt theme throughout the collection. So having said that, I’ll point you over to Blushing Books, where you can read samples and blurbs of their work if you think you might like it 🙂

Those AW authors included in this anthology:

And that was the end of my break from writing so celebrate! And then go write more.

~Kit

AbsoluteWrite’s February Blog Chain – Hunting with Hounds

This month’s AbsoluteWrite’s Blog Chain theme: Suggest-A-Prompt.
The previous poster is meant to give us our prompts and Katci13 was before me so she chose Hunting with Hounds

See the bottom of this post for previous and upcoming Suggest-A-Prompt blog chain posts!

And now, my post:

***

Hunting with Hounds

There was no way I’d catch him on my own. He knew the forest far too well and even though my tracking skills were good, they weren’t that good. He was a killer, one that had already hit several villages already and if I didn’t catch him now, he’d probably hit another before I caught up.

There was no other reason I’d use them. The Hounds they were called. They stayed away from the law, away from civilization, living in the dense forest outside of the castle walls. I’d known several of them since we were children and though we’d grown up on different sides of the walls, we’d stayed loyal friends. We understood each other’s roles in the world and sometimes even complimented them. Times like now.

I walked into the forest where I knew he’d entered and could feel their eyes on me within the first few steps. They’d agreed to help they weren’t entirely comfortable with me being here. I heard the leaves crackle behind me; a conscious sign from them to let me know they were there.

“Rin. Is everyone ready?”
“We are. Are you, citygirl?”
I flashed a smirk his way and glanced to my side where he stood ready to run.

“I can keep up. Remember, yours to catch, mine to take.”

A deeper voice broke in from my left; Rin’s father and unofficial leader of the Hounds.  “We’ll keep our word and not kill him. You’ll be able to take him with no problems.”

The smile the large man gave me was only reassuring to a point. Beyond that and it sent chills across my skin that even the autumn wind couldn’t cause.

I nodded and that was enough. He waved a silent gesture and it seemed the entire forest gave a lurch as person after person, wolf after wolf moved from where they’d faded into the background of the trees, leaves and shadows.

We ran for literally hours. Had I not have spent half my childhood in the forests with Rin, I’d have never lasted. The Hounds listened to their four-legged counterparts in a way that very few could. Their yips and turns of their ears and tails all constant communication with the rest of them, human and wolf alike as they tracked and scented their way through the forest.

The sounds got louder as we got closer, the wolves’ yips turning to growls, spurring everyone to run faster as they caught a stronger scent of their prey.  There was no slow run up, no time for anticipation. At one point we were running through the trees and in the next, the wolves darted off with speed I didn’t know they still had. They were suddenly ahead of us, together in one big circle of grey and brown fur, swarming and moving. It took the rest of us several more seconds to get close to them and Rin stuck his arm out in front of me to keep me from moving forward.

We couldn’t see any of the wolves’ heads inside the ocean of fur but we could hear them, the muffled growls, the snapping of teeth and worse, the ripping of skin and screams of the man under them.

Rin’s father let out a guttural yell and the wolves parted, the fur circle separating and the wolves trotting off to their respective partners with only a few spare glances behind them, making sure their prey wasn’t getting up.

For his part, the killer I was after lay frozen and it took me moments to see that he was, in fact, still alive, if unconscious. Rin let his arm down and I ran forward, looking over the bites that I could see, surprised more and more to find each one was nothing more than a shallow wound.

Rin’s father crouched beside me. “All the bites you’ll find are the same, shallow and harmless.” He clapped me on the shoulder, “But I did say that you’d have no problems taking him back when we got done. You try getting swarmed by that many of our furry friends and see if you’re up to fighting back.”

Soft laughter came from the rest of the Hounds, soon accompanied by the victory howls of the wolves and a smile broke across my face. Another town safe, another hunt over.  Job well done.

***

Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (Yuppies Who Hate the Family Business) 
ConnieBDowell – http://bookechoes.com/ (Unexpected Library Encounter) 
bmadsen – http://hospitaloflife.wordpress.com/ (Cupcake Disaster) 
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (Unfortunate Sports)
HistorySleuth – http://historysleuth.blogspot.com/ (Less-than-fortunate Foods)
writingismypassion – http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (Blind Date with a Ventriloquist) 
katci13 – http://www.krystalsquared.net/ (Evil Cupid)
Briony-zisaya – http://fantasywriterwannabe.wordpress.com/ (link to post) Topic
CatherineHall – http://theelephantinthetemple.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post) Topic
randi.lee – http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic
Lady Cat – http://carolsrandomness.blogspot.ca/ (link to post) Topic
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post) Topic
dclary – http://www.hardhobbittobreak.com/ (link to post) Topic
meowzbark – http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post) Topic
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/ (link to post) Topic

Bumped:
Amanda R. – http://www.twoamericansinchina.com/ (link to post) Topic

Archive of Past Blog Chains

This post is for the Flash Fiction Challenge over at Terribleminds.com, a great site by Chuck Wendig, rough and tumble, straight and direct advice for writers and some great books too!

100 word story:

New neighbors

——————————————

“Seriously?” Tired of that godawful noise, Theresa crouched in front of her sink cupboard and pulled the door open. A jagged-edged hole spanned the entire back of the cupboard. Beyond the pipes walked small, goblin-like creatures. And one was waving at her.

She shut the door, staring at it. “I must be losing my mind.”

“Knock, knock.” Came a small voice, followed by actual knocking.

In shock, she opened the door and the same creature that’d waved before, waved again.

She smiled nervously and waved back. “Hi there.”

The little creature extended its hand to her, smiling. “Hi, neighbor!”

———————

Terribleminds Friday Flash Challenge

WIP Mini Blog Hop

Tagged by our own darling A.T. Quinn for the WIP Blog Hop. Curses I say!! ❤

Here are the rules:

Give credit to the person/blog that tagged you.

Post the rules for this hop.

Answer these ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog.

Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

1. What is the working title of your book?

Shadow’s Heart

2. What genre does the book fall under?

Fantasy

3. Which actors would you choose to play your characters for the movie rendition?

For Terra:

Direct, confident, practical, sometimes sarcastic.

For Zarin:

Efficient, practical in his own way, casual in the most serious situations.

4. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Terra and Zarin are partners, in business and sometimes crime, but when someone endangers both their peoples, they’re lead on a hunt that will take them across realms and endanger their lives and their friendship.

5. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Hopefully an agency, I see nothing wrong with self-publishing but my hope would be that it gets picked up by someone who sees promise in it for a bookstore shelf someday.

6. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About a year, grabbing as many minutes a day as possible between feeding the angry horde and making sure the house doesn’t fall down.

7. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Umm, not sure really, it’s a quest type story but not epic fantasy or high fantasy, so I’m sure it might fit in with other “find the artifacts, get the bad guy” type books.

8. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The characters I think, the idea started only with a scene that popped in my head, and it went from there, the more I thought about them, the more I wanted to write their story.

9. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Sandwiches!  … No, that’s probably not the right answer…   Two strong characters sometimes at odds with each other, at other times compromising, at other times wanting to bash each other upside the head, and sometimes doing just that.

Question #10

Tag, you’re it!

These are my ‘tags’ (will be updated with blog links):

@penelope_prose *NSFW*

@abiellerose

@Bettiekins

@JMSloderbeck (just in case he didn’t see it the first time!)

@KricketKonfess

W1S1 January Blog Chain: Character Interview

Okay, so this is part of Absolute Write’s section of W1S1 (write 1 sub 1)’s blog chain. Be sure to catch up with the previous interview at DiannaG’s post over at: DiannasWritingDen.

This month’s topic was an interview with an MC of your WIPs and among all the hands that raised, the one that didn’t volunteer was of course Zarin and so, because I’m just mean that way, here he is.

KC: Hi Zarin.

*Zarin glances up without raising his head from where he’s been resting his chin on his hand* You do realize I have more important things to do than this, right?

KC: I know, but you just got back from the last trip and you’re not leaving for another few days so you might as well get comfortable and answer some questions for the nice people.

Zarin:  Uh-huh. *He sits back in his chair and crosses his arms over his chest.* Let’s get this over with then.

KC: Okay! *glances at my notebook with questions before seeing Zarin’s glare* Well, where would you rather be instead of here?

Zarin: Wow, that’s just so original.

KC: Hey! It’s my first interview and you’re not leaving till you answer my questions, so?

Zarin: I, would rather be at the tavern, eating hot food and eavesdropping.

KC: Eavesdropping?

Zarin:  Yes, eavesdropping. You’d be surprised at the things you can catch coming out of people’s mouths in a tavern.

KC:  Don’t they tend to notice you at some point or another?

*Zarin gives me a lazy, one-shoulder shrug* Call it a perk of being a Shadow.

KC: Well, that brings me to the next question I had for you. What exactly does being a Shadow mean?

*Zarin sighs and looks at me* Really? Do we have to do this?

KC: The sooner you get it over with the sooner you can go back to your eavesdropping.

Zarin: Fine. A Shadow, or a person from the Shadow Realm has two forms, physical, like you, or shadow, like any other shadow cast by an object in light. Except we don’t need light, we’re simply moving shadows. You can really only see us against the objects that are behind us or under us so, it helps eavesdropping greatly.

KC: I’m sure it helps with quite a few things. *points to a long bandage on his arm* It doesn’t seem to make you invincible though.

*Zarin smirked without looking at it* Let’s just say I don’t carry around seven inch blades for eating apples.

KC: Uh-huh, annnnd with that, before you scare anyone, I’ll let you go get your food and eavesdrop to…  *Zarin is off the chair and out the door in seconds* …your heart’s content.

Such a pain. Anyway, you can continue the interviews next over at BD Wilson’s blog and to check out the other interviews, here’s the full list of participants. Have fun reading 🙂

~Kit

#nerdchick

Friends of mine from AbsoluteWrite and I were chatting today and were reminded that awhile ago, we were going to start a #nerdchick thread, and started using the #nerdchick hashtag.  This kind of gave me an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone of what it means to me to be a geek girl, or #nerdchick (as we’re calling it today.)

Does it mean you have to love Browncoats? For me, a resounding yes, for you, maybe no (blasphemy lol.)

Does it mean that you have to love gaming of some sort? Not necessarily. (Again for me yes.)

Does it mean that you have to love certain movies or cartoons or anything specific at all?  Again, no.

For me, while I love things most stereotypically called “geek,” #nerdchick means this: (my opinion only)

It means you love, whatever it is you love, unabashedly, unashamed and without regret of loving that thing, no matter how weird or how not-expected. Whether it be Firefly, the first first Star Wars, or the second first Star Wars, Star Trek, MMORPGS, FPS, Tabletop gaming or anything your little heart desires, anyone can be a #nerdchick 🙂

Get your geek on!

(And, just for the sake of the silly day: “Hello, My  name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.”)

~Kit