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Archive for the ‘Book Picks’ Category

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Emerson’s Attic Series


Bette A. Stevens:

Delighted to find author Kathleen Andrews Davis on BOOK CHAT. I’ve interviewed her here on my blog and read THE BLUE VELVET—thoroughly enjoyed it. I know you will too! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on BOOK CHAT:

Books One and Two

By Kathleen Andrews Davis

The Blue Velvet Book One – THE BLUE VELVET

In Book One we meet Emerson Mcbride, a typical American teenager who does the same things any other teen would do. That is, until she is sent up to clean the attic. What happens there will surprise you.

Emerson finds herself on her back in a large room, not her attic.  A strange voice keeps telling her to wake up and is calling her Emma. Lizzy is a housemaid in Harrington Hall.. Though Emerson is confused about everything, Lizzy helps direct her through her household chores and daily life in this huge manor..

Emerson is living in another time and has no idea how she got there, or how to get back home.  What’s more, she is becoming suspicious of the eldest son of the owner of the Manor.

Book Two – SMOKE AND MIRRORSSmoke and Mirrors

In…

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Micki Peluso


Micki Peluso and book signing

 

Mick Peluso is the author of …And the Whippoorwill Sang—an outstanding memoir:

“Micki Peluso takes readers along on her journey through life as she deals with the tragedy of the imminent death of one of her six children in a story that will bring tears—not only of immeasurable sadness—but also those wonderful tears of the joys and hilarity of a family’s life. As I traveled with Micki along life’s highway and byways, I not only met her wonderful family and friends, I felt like I was one of them. That’s what I call great writing! From antics to dilemmas, you won’t want to miss out on the laughter, the love, the sorrows, the courage or the tears as Peluso poignantly weaves a well-written memoir that will not be forgotten in AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG.” ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

Let’s get ready to meet Micki

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to an outstanding author; and once you’ve met her, I invite you to grab a copy of her book and get reading. You’ll be glad you did!

Hi, Micki. I’m delighted to have you with us on 4writersandreaders today. I absolutely loved …And the Whippoorwill Sang. I can hardly wait to learn more about you and your memoir and to find out what you’re up to now. To start, tell us a little about yourself.

I almost wanted to be a ‘Super Hero’ as a child, save the world and help people; perhaps as a missionary or Peace Corps worker in Third World countries. Plans for that and college collapsed along with my parents’ divorce. Instead my ‘Marilyn Monroe’ type mother talked my boyfriend and me into eloping in our teens with her and her new boyfriend. Get lemons, make lemonade. We went on to have six children and 10 grandchildren and now three great grandkids and I have become a ‘Soupy Hero,’ according to one small grandson referring to my medicinal chicken soup.

How about your family?

My husband and I (mostly me) raised six children, each a year or two apart. He came from a large family which I loved. Our kids were our life and because I kept journals off and on, it gave me lots of fodder for a writing career. It was in the late 1950s through to the mid-eighties before most of them were grown . . . Except for one, our 14-year-old daughter Noelle, the lively, comical beauty that wove the fabric of our family together, who was killed by a drunk (DWI) driver in 1981.

 How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?

Like many writers I started with poems and did a lot of creative writing throughout school. With so many kids, I put away most writing until Noelle was killed. As a family of eight we were so shocked and devastated that none of us could speak of her. I turned to writing as a way of expressing my grief. I wrote a short story of the incident which was published by Victimology; an International Journal, along with several poems. That led to slice of life, usually humorous stories about my family, which were published in my daily newspaper. I then became a staff writer and journalist for our biweekly newspaper, writing news items, analysis, interviews and commentary.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of “…And the Whippoorwill Sang”?

Whippoorwill Cover & BUY BUTTONThis lively story opens with eloping teenagers, Micki and Butch, in a bizarre double ceremony with Micki’s mother. The couple share wonderfully comical escapades spanning decades, until tragedy strikes. There has been a terrible accident in the placid valley nestled in the Susquehanna Mountains in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It occurs just blocks away from the family’s 100 year old farmhouse, complete with ghosts and visiting varmints of all varieties. Micki narrates happier days, using their delightful past to confront an uncertain future—as the family copes with fear and apprehension. One of their children is fighting for life in the hospital; in a semi-coma, hovering between this world and the next. The family embarks upon an unbearable journey to the other side of grief and grasps the poignant gift of life as they begin . . .

To weep . . .

   To Laugh . . .

       To Grieve . . .

           To Dance . . .

. . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

What prompted you to write your memoir?

It was five years after the tragedy when I began the first half of my book, a funny, bittersweet family story, celebrating Noelle’s life and keeping my deathbed promise to her as she lay dying. I was mentored by Bonnie Golightly, a Writer’s Digest teacher who had been part of the ‘Truman Capote crowd’ in her younger days. She wrote a famous best-selling novel plus scripts for several films and other novels. Life dealt another blow and I nearly died from two heart attacks leaving me with half a heart, while Bonnie contracted lung cancer which quickly took her life. The book was on hold until 2006 when I was able to break through the PTSD memory blocks of the times right before Noelle’s death.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

I have two favorite lines from the book, one funny yet an omen of what was to come, and one which ties into the book’s title.

Noelle and her sister Kelly had just spent all their babysitting money on clothing and planned to go for a bike ride. Noelle had put all the clothes that she purchased on at the same time. Kelly was shocked and asked her what in the world she was doing. Noelle replied that she couldn’t make up her mind. Kelly told her she should be saving her them for a special day. “I think every day is special,” Noelle replied.

The other favorite line was written shortly after Noelle’s death:

“The Whippoorwill swooped down the mountains into the trees singing its mournful dirge of summer’s loss, even as I cried mine.’”

Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite characters were my children and while I could not love one more than the other each is a different type of love. A firstborn child’s holds a special place in a mother’s heart and the last child, the baby of the family also holds a special place. Different personalities among the children also cause different types of bonding, yet the love for each of them is love for all of them. It’s common and normal to idolize a lost family member and I tried hard not to do that in this book.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I began the story from the ICU waiting room and flashed back to when I eloped at age 17. I placed short pieces in the ICU in first person, exposing my fears and heartache up until the past merged into the present. These chapters in ICU were the hardest to write along with the ending — both of which I kept as short as possible. Actually the book ends on a good note as something special happens—something sent as a gift from Noelle.

Do you do anything besides write?

Well, I do a fairly good Elvis imitation :). Seriously, I work part time as a law assistant for Kelly, who became the attorney that Noelle had dreams of becoming when she grew up. I helped raise most of my 10 grandkids and I’m still with my husband after 50 years—a herculean feat. For the past three decades I’ve been writing and publishing short fiction, hoping to stretch one into a novel. I do professional book reviews for NYJB (New York Journal of Books) and freelance reviews. My book has won the Nesta Silver Award for Character building, 3rd place on Predator’s and Editors and 1st place in the monthly People’s Choice Awards. Many of my short stories have been published in several book collections and anthologies, including The Speed of Dark which won an International Award for fine writing.

How can our readers get a copy of your book?

My book . . . And the Whippoorwill sang is available at Amazon for Kindle and tablets for $2.99 and in print at a newly reduced rate of $12.25; it is also available for purchase or order from your favorite book store. Signed copies can be purchased directly from me or I can mail a signed bookplate to readers ordering from Amazon or other venues.

What’s next on the writing agenda for Micki Peluso?

My current WIP (Work in Progress) is a collection of humorous slice-of-life, short fiction and non-fiction essays and scattered poems, in a book called Don’t Pluck the Duck, to be released in 2015. My publisher has also accepted a children’s book called The Cat Who Wanted a Dog, also due by the end of this year. Tales@Inspire has accepted four short stories, plus several more by Creature Features and one by Women’s Memoirs. And then there’s that novel beckoning . . . sigh.

Micki, it’s been a delight having you here for an author chat at 4writersandreaders. I would love to get a signed bookplate for my copy of “…And the Whippoorwill Sang”; and, I can’t wait to get my hands on your next book!

  • Readers: Micki and I would love to have you stop by the comment section below for a chat.  I hope you’ll ‘run out’ or ‘click away’ and order you copy of …And the Whippoorwill Sang. You’ll be glad you did.

Happy reading and writing, friends! ~Bette A. Stevens

VISIT MICKI PELUSO:

Celebrate “EARTH DAY” with a FREE Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch Butterfly eBook from Bette A. Stevens


DOWNLOAD your FREE copy of AMAZING MATILDA, the award-winning monarch butterfly picture book at YOUR AMAZON

AM EARTH DAY promoAMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens: Award-winning picture book adventure follows a monarch butterfly through her life cycle and teaches kids important life lessons along the way!

Please share this post…

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch butterflies are a threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

Picture Book Summary:

AMAZING MATILDA (Ages 4-11 + grownups love it too) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf, she stretches and yawns and wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be as amazed as Toad and Rabbit, as you follow Matilda from egg to imago.

AM Look Inside CoverDownload AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch’s Tale! at Your Amazon

“Science, art and wise lessons for children—
wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again!”

 Love Monarch Butterflies?

BEYOND THE BOOK—find resources at your finger tips: Have fun and learn even more about Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ monarch butterflies by downloading Bette’s FREE FUN & LEARNING with Monarch Butterflies PDF where you’ll find:

  • Monarch Facts
  • Coloring Pages
  • Crafts
  • Gardening
  • Video: How to Make an Origami Butterfly
  • Butterfly Teacher Guide and so much more…
  • FIND OUT how you can help protect our Amazing Monarchs

 Find out more about Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens and her books:

 

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Five Star Treatment – The Heart of Annie by Marianne Coyne


Originally posted on Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life:

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Welcome to today’s Five Star Treatment for The Heart of Annie – The Strength of God, by Marianne Coyne. Set in 20th Century America and based on a true story.

About the book.

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Though life in early 20th century America is not always easy, young Annie Salvatore is filled with joy as she embraces the surroundings of her loving Italian family, her everyday life in her adopted country, and the pure happiness of her youth. But as she matures, Annie is awakened to the fact that the love in her heart is not enough without strength. How can she find it? Where does it come from? Through her faith Annie leans on the strength of God as He teaches her heart to forgive and to love more deeply as life unfolds. In surrendering her heart to His strength, Annie discovers the ability to conquer.

Based on a true story…

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Author Harmony Kent on Tour with FINDING KATIE!


Hello and thanks for stopping by! I would like to thank Bette Stevens, my host for today at 4readersandwriters blog , for letting me invade their space. And a big thanks also to 4Wills Publishing for setting up this blog tour for me. For my previous tour stops, please check out the 4Wills current events page.

I am so excited to be able to share my book trailer video with you today for my latest book, Finding Katie.

Who would’ve thought that hospital would be easier than home? Kate hadn’t planned on things turning out how they did, but now they have she has no choice but to suck it up.

Kindle Cover Finding KatieExcerpt from Chapter Three:       

Out of habit, I creep around quietly, walking on my toes. I ease open each door and peek into the room before going in. Once I’ve satisfied myself that the house is empty for real, I head up to my room. Melanie follows. She doesn’t say a word—just watches me.

Self-conscious, I force myself to walk normally, instead of on my tiptoes. Sure enough, my bedroom’s cleaner than the proverbial whistle. My mother needs the psych eval, not me. I hate all the flowers: floral wall-paper, floral bedding, and floral carpet. OMG. You guessed it: … Mother.

Melanie watches while I pack my stuff and shove it into a tatty holdall. She brought the bag along for me. I surprised her yesterday when I mumbled that I didn’t own a suitcase or anything. But she didn’t comment—just raised her eyebrows. And this morning, she turned up with the requisites.

I feel tacky in these clothes. The psych nurse gives me privacy to change, but only after I’ve handed over the bag with my stuff. Is she scared I’ll pack something extra? Does she seriously think I’m thick enough to try and smuggle anything onto the unit?

She pats me down before we leave the house. Gawd, they really do mean business at The Everglades. It feels more like I’m heading for juvie than a mental hospital.

 

Book Blurb:

I killed someone, you see. I killed the girl, who used to be me.

I’m Kate … Kate Charlesworth. I’m seventeen, and self-harming. This time I cut too deep, and I’m in hospital. I hadn’t meant for it to be so bad—it just sort of happened. I needed a lot of distraction that day.

You’ve had bad days, right? Days it hurts too much to think. Days you just wanna stay in bed. Days when the world needs to go away for a while. Right?

What do you do when you’ve hit rock bottom? When there’s nowhere left to turn?

This one little mistake lands me back on a psych unit—the last place I wanna be. Only this time, the nurse I end up with isn’t content to stick on a band-aid and send me home. She wants me to face my demons. But to do that, I’ll have to face who I am … who I used to be … I’ll have to find Katie.

PREORDER HERE

Meet Author Harmony Kent:

Harmony Kent is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour and quirky neighbours. She is single and not admitting to her age.

Here are ten things she thinks you ought to know about her …

  1. Born in 2013 (at least the author was …)
  2. Really boring
  3. Has absolutely no sense of humour
  4. Biographer is a compulsive liar
  5. Reads … a lot
  6. Writes … even more
  7. Completely sane(in)
  8. Neighbours are nuts
  9. If you’re feeling extra brave she’s around
  10. Online …

 

Other books by Harmony

 Other Books by Harmony

 Fiction:

The Battle for Brisingamen

The Glade

Elemental Earth

Anthologies:

Concordant Vibrancy

Rave Soup for the Writer’s Soul

Non-Fiction:

Polish Your Prose

banner 4WillsPublishing HOSTThanks so much for joining us for Harmony Kent’s Blog Tour today. We would love to hear from you (comments below). ~ Bette A. Stevens  at 4writersandreaders blog.

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Five Star Treatment – African Me & Satellite TV by Jo Robinson


Bette A. Stevens:

Jo Robinson is an awesome writer. African Me & Satellite TV is a must-read! I’ve read two of Jo’s books so far and look forward to reading more. ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life:

five-star25

Delighted to feature the lovely Jo Robinson here with African Me & Satellite TV, a story that I really related to and cannot recommend enough to those of you who have never lived in Africa or really comprehended the issues facing those who live side by side in countries such as Zimbabwe.

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About the book

For many years Suzette has managed very well to live her life without actually taking part in it, avoiding any possibility of pain by very carefully ignoring reality. Until something happens. Something so terrible that she has no choice but to abandon her cocoon of safety.

After the brutal beating of an elderly domestic worker, Suzette takes her in, and sets off a chain of events that leads to devastating heartbreak. And an unexpected hero changes everything. Finally finding her voice, she speaks out, and her world explodes, culminating in the death of a very…

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Linda Loegel


Linda Loegel PIC from BlogHi, Linda. It’s great to have you with us today and I can’t wait to find out more about you and about WILLARD MANOR—your first historical fiction novel. I’ve just finished reading it and thoroughly enjoyed taking a trip across American history through the ‘eyes’ of the manor!

Here’s what one reviewer had to say:

This was a great book to read and kept my interest throughout the entire story. It starts out quietly and simply, but picks up speed as you are introduced to a number of characters as new owners. It is a wholesome book and feeds your soul in a positive manner. This book leaves you wanting even more stories about Willard Manor. ~ DJ Tefl

Tell us a little about yourself, Linda.

I’m a born and bred New Englander. I spent thirty years in Connecticut which is the setting for Willard Manor. I have two daughters and a son, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. My husband passed away in December 2014. I have lived in Vermont, Connecticut, California, and now North Carolina. I like to read, write, travel and watch the bluebirds, cardinals, and deer that visit my backyard.

How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?  

I’ve been writing for forty years and have accumulated a drawer full of rejection slips. My first book, The Devil Wore Plaid, was published by iUniverse in 2001. I came alive when I joined, and later presided over, a read and critique group in California. Their support and encouragement gave rise to a few more books. I am now president of my local read and critique group which I hope will grow and be a vehicle to encourage other writers.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of WILLARD MANOR?

Willard Manor is about a fictional house built in 1840 by John Willard, and the generations of his family that lived in the house for the next 170 years from the Civil War to the Woodstock festival, and beyond. One family, one faith, many generations. A young couple, Tony and Shelley Maguire, purchase the old, abandoned house in 2010. During the renovation process, they come across various artifacts that help them piece together the former occupants of the home.

What prompted you to switch from your usual genre and write historical fiction?

Willard Manor Final Cover LINDA LOEGELWhat prompted me to write this book? Up to this point, I had written mostly true accounts of various stages in my life. I took to heart, “Write what you know.” People in my r&c group suggested I try my hand at fiction.  Voila! Out came Willard Manor.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

One of my favorite scenes is this one:

Benjamin looked at Esther. “What do you think, old girl? Do you like it? This is a brand new 1908 Model T Ford automobile!”

“Well I never!” sputtered Esther. “Who would have thought that we’d actually own an automobile in our lifetime?”

Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite character is Thomas, John Willard’s second son. Thomas is the quiet, thinking type. One day, as a young boy, he notices the seeds in an apple he’s eating and asks his mother if they would grow into a tree if he planted them. She suggests they find out, so Thomas carefully plants the seeds, then waters them every day. One day he sees a sprout and tenderly cares for his “apple tree” until he and the tree are grown. His one complaint is that the tree doesn’t produce any apples. Thomas follows his big brother, Jonathan, into the Civil War; his brother comes home but Thomas doesn’t. Shortly after Thomas is laid to rest in the backyard, his apple tree produces its first fruit. Thomas’ apple tree grows along with the family; both suffering setbacks and both strong enough to withstand any blows life gives them.

What was the hardest part about writing WILLARD MANOR?

The hardest (and yet fun) part of writing this book was the research. I studied how to demolish plaster and lath walls, how to install new windows, how to treat polio, and even how to grow marijuana. In addition, I had to research when the Willards would have gotten such modern conveniences as electricity, indoor plumbing, a telephone, television, etc. At one point, I had Ruth swoop up her little son and swing him around the kitchen like an airplane. Then I remembered it was 1900 and airplanes weren’t in vogue yet. Oops!

Do you do anything besides write?

Besides writing both books and my blog, I have a home-based business offering affordable legal plans to families and businesses. Both ventures keep me busy.

How can readers get a copy of your book?

To get a copy of Willard Manor, go to www.amazon.com. It’s available both in paperback and on Kindle.

What’s next for you?  

What’s next? I’m nearly finished with my second novel, a prequel to Willard Manor. It’s the story of Shelley’s father, Mark, as a young boy.  Shelley’s grandfather is shot in a mass shooting when Mark is nine and Mark is left to grow up without the guidance and support of his father. He has to come to terms with how his father’s death affects him and the decisions he makes on his road to manhood. The book is called, Leaving Mark.  Like Willard Manor, I plan to self-publish this through CreateSpace.

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been fun.

It’s been delightful having you, Linda.

DEAR READERS: Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit. Linda Loegel and I would love to hear from you. Just drop us a note in the comment section below.  ~ Bette A. Stevens

Visit author Linda Loegel:

  • Linda’s Blog
  • Amazon (Where you’ll find out more about author Linda Loegel and check out her great books)

 

 

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Dog Bone Soup by Bette A. Stevens Review


Bette A. Stevens:

🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸 DOG BONE SOUP! Thank you, Pamela.

Originally posted on Poetry by Pamela:

What a delightful story of a young boy growing up dirt poor. Dinner, many times, was dog bone soup. But the children still had fun. They made their own fun. They grew up together. So much I would like to say but don’t want to spoil the story for you.

This is an absolutely perfect book for a middle grade boy, but reads well for a grandmother as well. It illustrates that a good book can be entertaining without foul language or sex.

I fell in love with Shawn. As a grandmother, I think I would have wanted to take him and hold him and protect him from his own life. He is such a good boy who did so much to help his mum and family. This book also shows how much words can hurt a child. Children get made fun of because…

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In the Spotlight: ANNWYN’S BLOOD by Michael Eging


Aldonzo—Prince, Fop or…Hero?

Annwyn's Blood CoverAnnwyn’s Blood has its share of heroes and villains that you recognize as soon as you see them chew up the scenery. However, one character in particular developed to be far more than we imagined when we began this journey. Aldonzo, the pampered prince from Southern Gaul is not your typical heroic character. Yet, as the story develops, he finds strength within himself to carry on following some horrific events. The following is an excerpt from Annwyn’s Blood, highlighting this fish-out-of-water prince.

“Sail to port!”

Aldonzo didn’t dare look up from scrubbing the deck. Ever since the previous evening, when he had been dragged aboard this miserable tub, his stomach had been turning in continuous knots. But he didn’t dare vomit. He’d seen a very graphic example the previous evening of what could happen if he did.

There had been an old slave aboard who’d suffered badly at the hands of the pirates—battered and bruised, cursed and tormented constantly. The extent of the abuse had been obvious to Aldonzo from the moment he had laid eyes on the wretch. But in the midst of the evening mess the oldster suffered a fit of coughing that ended in a vomit of bright red blood splattered across the Captain’s plate.

Fearful that he suffered from consumption (not to mention outraged at the slave’s audacity to spit up on the captain’s food) the pirates killed him on the spot before he could infect any others in the crew. So Aldonzo fought down the waves of nausea that washed over him. There was no telling what the pirates might think he could have.

He held no illusions why he, alone out of the entire expedition, had been kept alive. All the others had been merely soldiers. Even Kien, stout, dependable Kien, had been nothing more than another trooper to them. Aldonzo, on the other hand, was different—he was ransom material. He was nobility, from a rich, landed family with ties in both Britain and Gaul. The pirates knew well they could expect a healthy reward for his safe return.

Ha, he thought bitterly. Qualify that ‘safe’ return to mean simply in one workable piece. They beat him thoroughly to find out who he might be, and, much to his disgust and shame, he told them. He’d always imagined that in such a situation he would be filled with iron-willed resolve to oppose his foe, who would have to kill him before anything of use could be revealed. Some hero, he thought ruefully. But he had never imagined reality to be so brutal.

His left hand throbbed in its rough bandage where they had severed his finger to remove his ring.

So it was that when the lookout reported the sail of another ship, Aldonzo just kept his head down, his right hand scrubbing despite the splinters and lye, his left cradled against his chest. He fervently hoped the ship approaching would be one of Cynric’s war vessels. But even that hope hung by a thread. The Anglan king possessed little by way of a navy and lacked sufficient skilled sailors to use even what he did have. And even if he had, they seldom ventured this far from land.

He kept at his work, removing the accumulated filth of regular neglect, working his way aft from the stem to the mast and listening to the shouts and orders around him. Yes, it was a trader’s vessel and, yes, it attempted to evade this vessel crawling with unkempt reavers. The other captain probably knew this ship for what it was even before it sailed into smelling distance. Slow and cumbersome, the merchant’s ship would be no match for the faster raiders’ vessel. All around Aldonzo, the brigands prepared themselves for yet another plunder, yet more death.

From his position by the helm, the first mate shouted orders, and the distance between the ships closed. Aldonzo glanced up. The other ship teemed with passengers—Saxon settlers in search of a new life in Britain.

The other sailors hustled women and children below the decks. The crew and male passengers strapped on leather-covered bucklers and hefted weapons, arming for the impending attack.

Aldonzo put his head back down and slowly crept across the deck to the starboard side, away from the other ship. Deck crew cursed and kicked him as they ran past whether he was in the way or not. Others heaved ropes up from the hold and tied on the grappling hooks. Then the brigands clustered so tightly on the port rail that the ship heeled from the weight.

Due to an unfavorable wind, the fleeing ship wallowed a bit, wind spilling from her sail, and the pirates cut through the waves to close the distance. Aldonzo’s stomach churned with apprehension. The helmsman appeared not to be as skilled as he had thought, taking an unfavorable approach, but it only prolonged the gut-wrenching anticipation of the inevitable, and Aldonzo’s innards had had about all they could take.

A great shout broke from the pirates as the grappling hooks sailed through the air to the other ship’s gunwales. Some caught, some didn’t. But enough held to allow the raiders to start hauling the ships together by hand.

The defenders wasted no time hacking at the ropes, but the pirates constantly pitched out more hooks as archers picked off the defenders. Steadily, the ships rocked closer together, and with a great crash and grinding they struck sides. Brigands poured over the bulwarks to the other deck. The Saxons made a fight of it, but Aldonzo, peeking over a coil of rope, clearly saw they would not be the victors of the brutal engagement.

There were only a few experienced seamen on the Saxon ship; most of the rest were only farmers and had no sea legs. Their difficulty in keeping their feet on the pitching deck proved to be fatal. The Saxons briefly rallied near the afterdeck, but the stand was cut short when those pirates occupied with finishing off the Saxons in the fore completed their task and moved rearward to reinforce the aft contingent.

The entire battle lasted only minutes. Then the real killing began.

Mike Eging-9468sml
Meet Author Michael Eging

Author Bio
Mike has wanted to write since he was very young. His earliest memories are of carrying a battered old notebook around full of illustrations and stories. He would often transpose those ideas on his grandmother’s old typewriter. While in college, he was inspired by professors and visiting writers to BYU. Literary classics such as Song of Roland and Inferno were often in his backpack, along with Russian textbooks. Chapter 4 of Annwyn’s Blood was written during this time as a short story.

Mike works in Washington, DC since pursuing graduate studies in Russian History. He focuses in domestic policy issues. Recently, Mike has pursued an interest in writing screenplays for feature films with his first option being a medieval epic, Song of Roland. He continues to focus on a variety of script/movie projects, most recently a horror thriller, Feast of Saint Nicholas, and a political thriller, The Prince. Recently, he founded and launched Filibuster Filmworks with his partners to produce and develop feature films, television and other projects.

He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Lori and his wonderful children. He dreams of one day driving to Alaska in his old Defender with his kids and their dog, Marlin.

  • What's In A Name CoverAnnwyn's Blood Cover
    Book Links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

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Amazing Matilda by Bette Stevens Review


Bette A. Stevens:

Award-winning picture book gets another ★★★★★

Originally posted on Year 'Round Thanksgiving Project:

I love children’s books and read quite a lot of them to children (4-6 yrs). This story of Matilda shows how a caterpillar develops and changes into a beautiful Monarch butterfly. It is done in a way that is just perfect for young children to understand. I think this book could serve as a great introduction to more learning about butterfly development and habitat. And what a perfect thing for children to learn so they can become advocates for the environment.

Five out of five stars

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