Happy Memorial Day! Enjoy it with your loved ones! Remember those who gave us this beautiful day!
~ The Pen & Muse Staff
The GalleryAuthor: David D. LandrumLength: 10,800 words/29 pagesGenre: Paranormal fiction
What I liked:
Although short, this is a beautiful story about two people who are
artists who fall in love.
It was an easy read and great to follow.
I really enjoyed the setting and the characters.
But not everything is at it seems, a mysterious man
appears to thwart them and their love.
He will do anything possible to stop them.
Will their love pass this test? You'll have to find out!
Blurb:Martin Rollins and Siobhan O’Conner find it easy to fall in love,especially since they’re both artists.partial amnesia she experiences from an accident doesn’t preventher from creating beautiful, valuable art.
But a mysterious man appears and insistsHe’s a musician, she’s a painter,and the that she not sell her art—andhe’s willing to resort to any means possible to stop her…
Excerpt:“‘How can you tell the dancer from the dance?’” he said.he line sounded vaguely familiar to Martin. Poetry? An old song?That was by the Irish poet William Butler Yeats,” Kierce continued.““I knew him. Fine fellow, good writer.”“What you’ve said bothers me a lot, Mr.“I need to go.” Martin paused and thena Kierce. Stay away from Siobhan. I’ll call the police if I even think you plan to harm her.And I’m going to call her and tell her what you said.”xpected to be confronted. “She must not sell those paintings—or her own.”
Martin stood. After a few seconds, he turned and walkeKierce looked a little confused—he apparently had noted out to his car. He called Siobhan and told her what had happened.“He was sitting next to you at the concert—the guy who kept giving you dirty looks.”“Did he say his name?”reland. He was a“Seamus Kierce.”
She laughed—a kind of delighted, sparkling laugh. “Maybe he’s Seamus the Wraith.”
“Seamus the Wraith—a ghost who supposedly lives in my family’s area of
I priest, a choirmaster who supposedly buggered countless choirboys.Protestantism, and became curator of a local museum—museums were pretty new things back then.When this got found out he fled to the north, said he had converted t
After he died they say he became a ghost who haunted art galleries oro houses where there were lots of paintings on display.”
Gypsy CrystalAuthor: Lorrie Unites-StruiffLength: 33,000 wordsGenre: Paranormal thriller/romance
What I liked:
What was there not to like about this thriller/romance? For one, I love that Gypsy (Roma) magic was used asan element to fight crime. I love that the author used it because it
made it interesting and such a great read!It also made the plot and scenes very believable.I really enjoyed Rita's character, her determination and
her passion to capture the ritual killer.I also liked how her character finds someone more equally
to her as Agent Boulet who has his own thoughts on the killer he won't share.So will Rita find out the family secret and be able to deal with it?
Blurb:Homicide Detective Rita Moldova has a secret: a crystal amulet, a Roma family heirloom that allows her to see the last thinga person saw before they died.rorizing her town, FBI agent Matt Boulet is sent to lead the task force to catch the murderer.
While Rita feels she has a conWhen a ritual killer starts ternection with Agent Boulet, she senses he is holding back a deep dark secret about the killer.Her suspicions deepen when she learns another secret about her Roma family—
one she finds impossible to swallow.
Excerpt:Before Rita had time to get her fingers on the gun, the man had shot out of the door, yanked her forward, and somehow shoved her headfirst onto the front seat. She skidded over the vinyl, her nose and cheek hitting hard, blocking her breath for a moment. Rita yelled; the door slammed shut. She scrambled to sit upright, gagging when she inhaled the dank, moldy scent of the interior. A metal object, hanging
from the roof above the mirror, clunked heavy against her head. She swallowed the acrid taste in her throat.
The driver’s door opened and the man slipped inside. One corner of her mind wondered how he could have possibly run around the front of the van so fast.Rita rubbed her bruised temple and twisted the door handle.
It was stuck. She rammed her shoulder into the door.
It didn’t budge. The window was up.
Her purse with the gun lay on the sidewalk.
She worked the lock button and slammed into the door again.
The impact sent shock waves down her arm to her fingertips. The van was rigged.
Rita looked at the serial killer, her heart banging against her ribs,
her breathing short and shallow. Tapping the mic with frantic fingers,
all she could do was pray.The man grinned.
I Came Up Stairs: A Victorian Courtesan’s Memoirs, 1867 to 1871Author: MC HallidayLength: 87,800 words/ 337 pagesGenre: Historical EroticaWhat I liked: For lovers of historical and erotica, here is a treat!This read really reminded me of those underground readsthat women read in that time. This story follows the likes of character named Mae, who literally comes up from poor conditionsto riches ad she shaped into a seductress.These are her encounters and stories,but will she have to give up due to her ways?Will she have to finally conform to the ways inwhich she denied or will she still be true to her passionate ways?You will just haveto find out and read it.A long read, it's one that you have to read in one sitting without reading and its tantilizing at every page turn.Halliday does not disappoint in this hot and warming read.Blurb:Led from filth and poverty by a gentleman in the hopes of gaining coin for his purse, Mae is shaped into a lady and tutored in the arts of pleasure.With raw sensuality, she creates a seductive dance that entices the peerage in puritanical England, and she quickly becomes favored courtesan to Prince of Wales.Her renown and riches ever rising, she continues to romp with gamely men and women of both the nobility and the lower classes.Eventually, Mae’s bohemian ways cause suffering for those she loves and her own heartbreak. Must she conform to Victorian mores, or can she remain true to her sensual desires? These intimate memoirs reveal a young woman’s journey from the slums of Whitechapel to celebrated dancer of the Victorian music hall, and courtesan to the highest peers of the British realm.From the years 1867 to 1871, Mae recounts her varied lovers and false loves, and her heartbreaking losses in a quest for happiness.Excerpt:came up stairs into the world, for I was born in a cellar. Love for Love William Congreve (1670–1729).The squalid room where I was born was much less than a cellar, for the stairs led only downward to the stinking streets of Whitechapel, where misery draped over us as heavy as the coal soot-laden air. We were filthy and neglected as the derelict structures, and our subsistence was made worse by the urine and feces ever emptied from chamber pots onto the street cobbles. Splashes oft occurred from the higher windows, and once, a full pot was tipped upon my head. Without fancies such as bathing or washing clothes, I had to abide the dousing.Every drop of water hauled from the fetid river in a rustedbucket we set aside for a boiled dinner of potatoand cabbage.Seven of us lived in the small room above the butcher.We kept to the streets to escape the bickering and steady smell of rotting fleshand sour blood. The scurry of rats heard in the walls by day became a persistent scuttling over us at night.My brothers, sisters and I slept together on a heap of flea-infested straw with our boots on and one thin blanket wrapped tight against the damp.Mam and Da would come in late of an evening, singing and falling over us until my da would curse and kick before falling onto his narrow bed.And my mam laughed and laughed in that shrill way she had until she dropped beside him. After, I would listen to the little ones crying and Da’s snoring as I pushed at the rats until sleep took me again. I was Mabel Gray in those days,but I left that life and name behind the night I met Mr. Roger Vickers.The PendantAuthor: Mirella PatzerPage Nos: 375Genre: Historical RomanceWhat I liked: Patzer surely pleases with this historical romance. This was really a page turner that you won't be able to put down.This book has everything from a family feud, romance, and lost treasure. I loved Morena's character, I liked everything about her,her character, her passion, and her tenacity. I loved Amoro's characters because he is caring and faithful. Their journey is a touch one, butwill their love survive it? Go ahead and read it! I dare you! Those who love historical romance will fall in love with this book as I did.Blurb:A lost ancient treasure. A 100 year family feud. And a woman with a passion richer than the bloodstone pendant she wears around her neck.In medieval Italy, as spirited and stalwart as any man, the brazen Contessa Morena is betrothed to the impoverished, black-hearted Count Ernesto,a man desperate to escape his mounting gambling debts by marrying her and laying claim to the ancient treasure secreted somewhere in the underbelly of her castle.Morena meets her match when Amoro, the handsome and brash heir to the Duchy of Genoa, who swears an oath upon his father’s grave to claim her as his bride and end the feud between their families.Soon, Amoro’s virile charm awakens the passion in her steadfast heart.But a treacherous plot ensnares them; Ernesto abducts Morena and renders Amoro helpless.r destinies become one.Embroiled in a life-and-death chase, Morena learns that not even the devious madness of her captor can destroy her love for Amoro as their hearts unite and thei
Morena stepped into the cell. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the dark, but then she saw him. Her heart lurched with alarm. Amoro lay on his back in blood and filth curled upon the straw with a ragged cloth around him, chained to the wall like a wild animal. He shivered like a rousing cat and babbled something indistinguishable as he held up his arm to shield his face.His face, half-turned into the shallow light that filtered into the room from the tiny barred window, was a mask of filth and bruises. One eye was swollen shut above a bruised and swollen cheek. He cradled his arms to himself in an effort to keep warm. His good eye widened in surprise at the sight of her. He blinked as if in disbelief, as if she were too bright, like some sudden, sharp burst of sunlight.“You have come,” he said, the words less than a whisper, scarcely an utterance. “What dream is this?”
“I am no dream, I have come,” she said. Shocked at his condition, she looked at him on the floor then held out her hands and fell to her knees beside him.Autobiography of a WormSubtitle: The horrid fall of a man who loved beautiful womenAuthor: Ed TascaGenre: Mystery/psychological thriller/psychological drama/crime dramaWhat I liked: Tasca turns up the scary and nightmare to the next level. This is a story that stands the hair on your arm up!What nightmares are truly made up of... The story follows that of Ronnie Churchill whose life falls apart after his married loverleaves him. From there he falls into a deep psychosis and depression that makes him do unspeakable things. Not seeking treament is makingit worse. What will happen to him? Find out!Blurb:There are many ways people stumble into self-destruction. This story may be one of the most bizarre, and in some ways, one of the most common among those who pulse deep inside with rage they are unable to vent. Who among us hasn’t had that richly-demented homicidal fantasy? But what happens when you act on that fantasy? And succeed?Excerpt:Gary arrived a few minutes later with the police photographer, and so did a van filled with other search volunteers. A little after ten in the morning,Officer Shirk had us line up and spread out along the shoulder of the road. When everyone was ready, we entered the surrounding field stepping out in unison. There were about forty of us, and we marched funereally, with eyes andconcentration on the two or three feet in front of us.What did we see? Nothing but dirt, tall weeds - mostly ragweed - and some prickly varieties I couldn't identify, some flowering wild daisies, moss, and patches of burned out November grass. Occasionally, one of the searchers would stop and examine something. Each time it turned out to be nothing more than a bottle cap or some broken glass. The search continued on quietly, respectfully. I found nothing. But the exhilaration remained. After about half an hour, I came across a dead bird, not sure what type, just a bird, probably black, maybe a starling. Its tiny bones and iridescent feathers were smashed into the dirt, and only one eye could be seen from its balding skull. I hovered over it a moment. Death on faces never looked sad, I thought. It never looked troubled. Any time I've seen corpses, which was only in photos or films, and once at an accident scene when I was a child,their expressions always seemed to be of contented collusion,as though death had convinced them that it was all okay before they died.That was the message to me on the face of the dead bird. “Don’t worry about me. I’m going along with all this. I’ll be just fine.”Cassie’s AwakeningAuthor: Brigit AineGenre: Paranormal romance/eroticWhat I liked: Jared is a headstrong guy and he knows what he doesn't want.He doesn't want a mate, but does he have a choice inthe matter.
The wolf inside of him is hell bent on claiming her.se it, but it just doesn't function around
Jared. Passion flare and tensions rise and these two find each oCassie is a sweet character who knows her gift and knows how touse it, it just doesn't work on Jared.Blurb:Cassie’s talent is dampening the emotions of others. This has been a very useful way of keeping peace around her, but has proven harmful in learning about passion and love. After all, none of the men she has ever dated have been able to profess or show the true depth of their feelings.Jared is happy for Ethan and Red, but he doesn’t want a mate of his own, no matter what his inner wolf might say. Unfortunately, every time he sees the beautiful Cassie, he knows his wolf is winning the battle.
Will Cassie and Jared discover that a powerful force can overcome even a talent?
As their path unfolds, a stranger arrives in Torrent; is this a sign of trouble on its way?Excerpt:“I repeat. What did you think you were doing?” Cassie asked, with more bravado than she was feeling. She had never felt anything like the pulsating emotions emanating from Jared. It seemed to overwhelm all her senses and she was struggling with just getting breath in and out of her lungs. She looked up at him and found herself face to face with eyes that were so intense she could see nothing but them. There was a slight glow that fascinated her; she had never seen eyes like this before, incredibly deep with a special inner light.“Don’t ever touch Kraig again or let him touch you,” Jared growledfrom deep in his chest. He was having trouble keeping his wolf in check. WhenKraig had kissed Cassie it was all he could do to not rip the pup’s head off. Shedidn’t know anything about being his mate, or even what it entailed, but Jared didand he was having trouble controlling the wolf because of it. He had barely managed to control changing, and he certainly wasn’t going to stop the rush of jealousyand anger at his mate being touched by another man. Not just a man, but another werewolf. And with that acceptance, he quit thinking and did what his wolf wanted.He kissed her.
Title: Promises to Keep
Author: Heather Kuehl
Genre: Paranormal / Fantasy
Publisher: Eternal Press
What I liked: Looking for fantasy with a big dash of paranormal? Look no further, Kuehl has this and much, much more! This story follows Starlette (Love the name!) and her journey to find her father who she believes is still alive. Starlette will encounter new worlds and have to find the strength within herself to fight and free her father? You will just have to find out! I really like the story and the character. She was passionate, loyal, and fierce in her belief that she was right about her father. She was willing to do anything in order to save him. Kuehl does a wonderful job telling Starlette's journey and describing a world full of magic.
Blurb: Starlette is on a mission, and nothing will get in her way. Starlette DeFore knows that her father is alive, even though her family buried him ten years ago. When a faerie confirms this she travels to Charleston, South Carolina to hunt down Sivad Night, the only person to have ever escaped from the hands of a powerful sorceress, the Dark Lady Dreashae. With help from a witch, Stalette travels into Verella, a fantasy realm filled with centaurs, dragons and magic. She is very close to finding her father, but first must defeat Dreashae. Will Starlette, a mere mortal, have the strength needed to finish her quest and save her father?
Excerpt from Chapter Seven:
I looked up to the sky, at the rainbow-colored dragons trying to kill one another.
“Wow, talk about your bad divorce,” I said to no one in particular.
“This isn’t funny, Star.”
“I don’t think it is.” A green dragon was scorched, wings ruined. It fell down, spiraling until it hit the ground with a sickening crunch. “We have to do something.” I said my thoughts aloud. I knew the dragons were not our friends. They wouldn’t help us in our time of need. But there was no reason we couldn’t help them.
“Sivad, get on Zarzia. We have to get to the highest point on this island.”
“Starlette, that would be suicide!”
“I don’t care. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if they died and I didn’t try to help.”
Sivad looked up once again, his jaw clenching when another dragon fell from the sky. His eyes met mine as he nodded curtly. We mounted Zarzia, her wings lifting us up into the air. It was no surprise to me that the highest point was the top of Lady Cleoante’s throne room. I reached into my bag of hairpins and pulled them out. A large red dragon flew past us, whipping my hair about my face.
“Which one is Kalin?” I shouted above the din of the battle. Sivad pointed at the large red dragon that had just flown over us.
So that was Kalin. He spiraled around and flew toward us again. As he passed, I threw one of the hairpins. I hadn’t had much practice with throwing a knife. My hit rate was only one out of ten. It never hurt to try, though. The hairpin flew up with deadly accuracy, finding its home in the red dragon’s eye. He screamed, flapping around and pin-wheeling through the sky. I knew it wasn’t a mortal wound as the dragon regained his balance, turned around and headed straight toward us. Zarzia landed and I ran to the gap that led into Lady Cleoante’s throne room. I was just praying that the drop wasn’t too far. I jumped, my heart going up in my throat as I fell through the hole and onto the large stone slab that was Lady Cleoante’s throne. My legs went numb and I collapsed, gasping for breath. I needed to move. I heard a dragon scream, a sound that would forever haunt me in my nightmares.
I rolled off the slab onto the stone floor. My legs still didn’t want to cooperate and I had to force myself to crawl toward the exit. I needed to get out of here before Kalin came after me. The earth started to tremble again and I wondered if the island would survive this battle. I heard the echoing of footsteps walking toward me.
“Sivad!” I cried out. I wondered how he had gotten down here so quickly.
A man with thick black hair stood in front of me. He would have had iridescent red and brown eyes, except one of them was nothing but a bloody mass. I tried to stand to run, but nothing happened. I must have jarred my legs pretty good. Kalin didn’t miss a step as he walked over and kicked me, sending me flying into the wall behind Lady Cleoante’s throne. My head hit the wall, causing spots to burst across my vision. I lay on the floor, trying to reorient myself, but Kalin grabbed a handful of my hair and dragged me to my feet. His face was only inches from mine. I shifted around and found my feet were now agreeing to work. I lashed out, kicking him in the knee as hard as I could. He fell to the ground, releasing my hair as he went. I turned and ran, trying to get some distance between the angry dragon-man and me. I reached in my bag, pulling out another hairpin but cried out in pain as I was once again grabbed by the hair and forced back.
Kalin, with his hands on my shoulders, roughly turned me around to face him. Without thinking, I struck, imbedding the hairpin in his chest. It went in all the way to the decorative jewel. Kalin howled in pain, shoving me back so he could rip out the hairpin. His hand swung out, backhanding me across the face and causing me to land in a heap on the floor, once again seeing stars. I reached out, trying to crawl away. Kalin shimmered and transformed back into his red dragon form. I screamed as he opened his fang-filled jaws with a roar and struck out at me.
First, I want to thank Kerri Nelson again for nominating me. I appreciate it!
Second of all, we have a winner: Linda Henderson has guessed correctly!
My True Lies & How They Saw The Light
1) I am a published author. - Not yet, although that may change!
2) I know Steve Jobs.- I'd love to, yet it has not happened yet.
3) I met and had lunch with a famous author.- I have met a famous author, but I never had lunch with them.
4) I love the Little Prince and quote it often.- I do love the Little Prince, but cannot quote it as much as I'd love to.
5) I'm a huge fan of James Dean.- Ding! Ding! I am a huge fan although I was not alive when he was an actor. I love his work, his charisma, passion, of course I thought he was handsome!
6) I own all technology under the sun. - LOL I wish I did, but I do not.
7) I have written 5 novels. - I'm getting there, but not completely.
This award requires me to tell some lies and have you try to guess which one is correct. If you win, I will give away a beautiful Celtic green journal!
My True Lies
1) I am a published author.
2) I know Steve Jobs.
3) I met and had lunch with a famous author.
4) I love the Little Prince and quote it often.
5) I'm a huge fan of James Dean.
6) I own all technology under the sun.
7) I have written 5 novels.
Now to Pass the torch to 7 new bloggers/writers who will have to continue this burden of telling their own lies as well as passing the torch to 7 other people!
1) Eliza Knight - a great woman and a busy one! She deserves some of this!
2) Denyse Bridger - Love her work and her!
3) Terry Kate - A good friend and such an inspiration with her many projects!
4) Cynthia Owens for Seduced by History - I love this blog, such great information!
5) Beth Trissel - I first read her story in a contest and since then I have been hooked!
6) The Ladies @ Inspiration Ink - a great blog with tons of great authors and writing articles.
7) Gena Showalter - Love her books and her blog.