Saturday, March 31, 2018

#Sci/FiFantasySaturday A May Day Anthology

May Day has been celebrated since Roman times with dancing, baskets of flowers, and bonfires. In this collection of May Day stories, Rogue's Angels--Christine Young, C.L. Kraemer, Rosemary Indra and Genie Gabriel--continue the celebration with humor, faeries and falling in love.

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Highland Miracle -- Christine Young

Sean hit the side of his head. "I'm hearing things." Meet my true love, a soul mate, find a miracle in the highlands...?
Who the devil am I supposed to be trusting? There isn't anyone around. I'm the sole person in Central Park. But he leaned forward, inching his way closer to the portal of the crazy machine. He'd be pure loco if he stepped inside but Bandit seemed fine. The dog had disappeared a couple of times into the darkness only to return again, sit down and bark at him.
I can do this.
He stood half in and half out, inhaled deeply then stepped inside. Behind him the door clanged shut. He jumped out of his skin at the realization he might be trapped.
The quiet was eerie then suddenly lights began to blink and something hummed. It was as if the machine had sprung to life. His nerves sizzled and terror crawled down his spine. He searched the room for the dog.
Bandit sat on a chair in front of a panel of buttons and blinking lights. It appeared the dog meant to drive this contraption. But drive it where?
Oh, to his one true love, to his soul mate and a miracle. Sean let out a loud roaring laugh.
Praying it wasn't too late, Sean turned to leave. But the door was shut tight, and he couldn't find another way out. Banging on the door did not make it open. He ran his hands up and down his arms in hopes of warding off the deathly chill seeming to take over his body as well his senses.
Bandit jumped from his perch and sauntered to the wall where he pulled down a handle and dog food poured into a bowl.
Well, at least the dog wouldn't starve.
"Please sit down and fasten your seat belt."
Sean jumped and looked around for the source of the voice. His heart raced as if it was going to run right out of his body.

Defying the Odds -- C.L. Kraemer

In a meadow east of Eugene, Oregon

Bram ambled up the roughly hewn stairs to the willow lounge chair located at the front of his home. He pulled the scrimshawed pipe from his pocket and filled the bowl with his favorite blend of black cherry tobacco. The paced routine of loading the ivory bowl with fragrant leaves and tamping them firmly into place was one of his favorite after dinner rituals. Withdrawing a matchstick from the inner pocket of his vest, he struck the sulfured end against a river rock he'd placed on the root of the towering oak that served as his home.
The fading evening sky showered the mountains in hues of gold and red. Pushing away the light, a blanket of dark blue velvet sprinkled with luminous star points soon prevailed. Bram puffed smoke rings at the darkening heavens.
"Evenin'." A scruffy black and tan terrier mix meandered up and, after circling three times, lay next to the chubby gnome.
"Evening, Silas. How's the family?"
"Well, thank you. Daisy announced we're expecting--again."
Bram chuckled into his beard. "Congratulations."
"Humph. I'll be glad when we're both too old to care. I came over to ask if there are any jobs in sight. I'll need to be working as much as I can now."
It seemed he got one batch of kids out of the house and another was on the way.
Silence stretched between the business partners. Bram pulled deep draughts on his pipe, blowing the smoke away from his friend. His eyes were drawn to the large block of light spilling from the picture window of the behemoth on the hill. The Saun clan, night elves whose callous actions nearly destroyed the fae population of the meadow and surrounding forests, owned the out of place monstrosity.
Bram squinted his eyes to focus his vision on the methodical movement that broke the beam of light. He could just make out a figure pacing rhythmically in front of the casement. Unable to ascertain which of the night elves was engaged in the determined striding, Bram was sure of only one thing…if the night elves were restless and unhappy, the rest of the valley was in trouble.

Love in Bloom -- Rosemary Indra

Mattie Harrison sat up in bed when two golden lights floated down beside her. The shimmering lights from her fairies caused excitement to bubble within Mattie in anticipation of their visit. For as long as she could remember the two fairies were her constant companions. Tonight she had something important to ask them.
Cara sat cross-legged on Mattie's pillow. Kendra adjusted her green dress several times before she too sat down. Mattie looked down at her small friends then crossed her legs in front of her mimicking the way they sat.
Every so often Kendra's wings fluttered. Mattie knew she preferred playing than sitting still but tonight Mattie needed someone to talk to. Like always Cara listened quietly as Mattie described her day and her plans for tomorrow.
When the fairies stood, their transparent wings flapped as they started to take flight. "Can you stay a little longer?" Mattie asked quickly.
Cara gracefully bowed her head and moved closer to the little girl. "What's troubling you tonight lass?"
A smile touched Mattie's lips at the sound of the fairy's soft voice. Cara had brown hair similar to her own. She always had suggestions and Mattie felt calm after talking to her.
They'd visit every evening when she went to bed to say goodnight. Mattie had asked her father for a nightlight not because she was afraid of the dark but so she could see the fairies easier without scaring them with the bright overhead light.
"My dad is very lonely." Mattie knew what she wanted but all of a sudden she didn't know what to say. She looked at her friends. "Can you help me find a wife for him?"
"Mattie it's bedtime. Quiet down," her father's voice carried down the hallway. "Tell your friends to go home."
Cara tapped her index finger against her lips and looked thoughtful.
"He doesn't believe in fairies," Kendra whispered. "That might be hard. He doesn't have faith in us."
"We haven't even started and you're already negative." Cara put her hands on her hips then glanced at Mattie, "You have to remember a non-believer doesn't like interference."
Feeling disheartened Mattie's lower lip started to tremble. She'd given this a lot of thought. After much consideration, Mattie knew she'd needed help to find a wife for her dad.
"We'll see what we can do." Kendra looked at Mattie her expression softened. "We'll help you."

No More Poodle Skirts -- Genie Gabriel

Life seemed much simpler when all a girl had to worry about was keeping her bobby socks and the pompom on her poodle skirt a brilliant white. Daphne Madison wiggled and gyrated into panty hose that seemed determined to twist around her like a boa constrictor squeezing its prey.
A modern woman was expected to have it all--a husband, a family, a career--with never a wrinkle in her face or her confidence.
Daphne zipped up her dress and drew a shaky breath as she stared at herself in the mirror. The form-fitting pink dress wasn't as comfortable as her skirts, and the high heels shoved her feet down into the pointy toes.
I can do this, Daphne reassured herself. She hadn't even been born in the fifties, but it seemed like such an innocent time. If she could pretend to live in that time, surely she could live in the current millennium.
Something doesn't seem just right, she thought, as she fastened a strand of pearls around her neck. However, she refused to wear the short skirts she had seen on television programs. The pencil thin skirt that ended just above her knees was as daring as she would go.
She slid her arms into the pink jacket that matched her dress and considered herself once again. Something still seemed amiss. She settled a pink pillbox hat borrowed from her sister on top of her smooth blond hair. Better.
White gloves restored her confidence even more.
With another deep breath, Daphne swept down the stairs to garner the reaction of her family. She knew her adult son, Ryan, would be of little help but to offer a gourmet breakfast gleaned from the latest cooking show on TV. A meal Daphne knew her jittery nerves wouldn't tolerate.
Her sister wouldn't be stirring yet, but Linda would be organizing the house for the day. She was the mother of Daphne's daughter's husband. Did that make her and Daphne sisters-in-law? No, that wasn't quite right, and thinking about it made her brain hurt.
She gave her head a slight shake. It didn't really matter. Linda was quite practical and had motivated Daphne out of her fantasy life. She would know if Daphne was dressed appropriately for her job interview.
"So what do you think?" Daphne turned slowly as she entered the kitchen.

Friday, March 30, 2018

#Friday'sFeaturedTitle #AuntMaddiesDoggoneAdventures #Humor #Romance

Doggone fun! Come to Aunt Maddie's castle, where exploding inventions,
hilarious misadventures and sweet romance are part of everyday life for
a cast of zany characters and the dogs who talk to them!


Doggone fun! Come to Aunt Maddie's castle, where exploding inventions,
hilarious misadventures and sweet romance are part of everyday life for
a cast of zany characters and the dogs who talk to them!

1 – Chasing Rainbows
An artistically eccentric aunt, an uncle who invents a mechanical dog, a
mother who wears poodle skirts, and a brother who wears pearls provide a
hilarious backdrop for the courtship of a young woman who yearns for a
"normal" family.

2 – St. Batzy & the Time Machine
An eccentric inventor is determined to reclaim his wayward time machine
from the neighbor girl's dog and save his beloved wife from her latest
misadventure. If only they can travel safely past the black hole...

3 – No More Poodle Skirts
After drifting for years in the innocent age of the 1950s, a woman
struggles to join today's world by finding a career and a new love, with
some help from her zany family and a talking dog.

EXCERPT: Aunt Maddiei's Doggone Misadventures

Ka-boom! The blast shattered the settling peace of dusk as Marissa Madison pulled into the circular drive. Rissa threw open the car door and sprinted toward the gray stone house.
“Please, no blood this time,” she whispered as her feet hit the rough-hewn steps leading up to the broad double doors.
A bespectacled man stepped through the doorway amid a confetti shower of envelopes and leaflets. His silvery hair stood in startled spikes around a balding pate as if it too had been a victim of the explosion.
“Too much torque in the mail conveyor,” he muttered with a frown.
“Please turn it off, Uncle Horace!”
“Right.” The old man disappeared back into the house. Within moments, the clanking stopped and silence fell over the rolling hills once again.
Just another normal day, Rissa thought, as she surveyed the day’s mail scattered in gay abandon across the landscape.
The sullen gray sky rumbled ominously and tossed a few raindrops against her face. Rissa grabbed a check out of the privet hedge, an overdue bill off the bird bath, a shampoo sample from the branches of the azaleas, and a plain brown envelope from the lawn.
I hope I didn’t miss anything important. Rissa scanned the inner courtyard once more. Lightening crackled across the sky, hurrying her steps back to the navy blue sedan to grab her briefcase and a bag of groceries. She closed the heavy wooden door behind her as a gust of wind pushed fat, sloppy raindrops against the mullioned windows.
Maybe Uncle Horace should invent a mail dryer instead of a mail conveyer. Rissa dropped the soggy mail on a cherry wood table as she stepped out of her shoes. With the bag of groceries balanced on one hip, she padded barefoot toward the kitchen. A tall figure in a sweeping lavender print dress stood at the sink.
“I couldn’t tell if the grocery list said chips or cheese, so I got both.” As Rissa moved closer, the person she thought was her aunt turned toward her. She shrieked and dropped the groceries. “Ryan!”
Rissa’s twin brother grinned at her from beneath the purple feathers of one of her aunt’s collection of hats.
“Do I want to know what’s going on?” Rissa asked warily.
“I’m going to a Valentine’s party tonight,” Ryan replied.
“Dressed as Aunt Madelaine?” Rissa retrieved a head of lettuce and a package of marshmallow pinwheel cookies from the marbled tiles.
“It’s a great way to pick up women.” Ryan bent down and caught an escaping tomato. “You’d be amazed at what they tell dear Aunt Mads.”
“You’ve done this before?”
“Sure. Madelaine thinks it’s a hoot.”
“Where is Aunt Maddie?” Rissa pushed aside a stack of unwashed dishes to set the tattered grocery bag on the counter.
Ryan shrugged. “She’s been gone all day. By the way, I left your food in the microwave since I knew you’d be late.”
Rissa opened the microwave and poked at the still-warm entree.
“It’s beef tips over rice—one of your favorites.”
“Thanks.” Rissa glanced over her shoulder. With the hat pulled low across his face, Ryan bore an uncanny resemblance to their tall, raw-boned aunt. She couldn’t resist one jibe. “You’ll make someone a wonderful wife some day.”
Ryan fisted a hand on one hip and struck a pose until Rissa chuckled.
“Come with me,” Ryan urged. “When was the last time you went out?”
“Thanks, but I’m tired.”
“You work too hard.”
The truth of her brother’s statement stirred a wistfulness in Rissa, which she quickly pushed away.
“I think Madelaine might have a special surprise planned for tonight.” Ryan grinned wickedly.
“What are you scheming now?” Rissa frowned at her brother.
“Guess you’ll have to come with me to find out.”
“Oh, no. I’m not falling for that trick. I’m going to eat this gourmet dinner you so thoughtfully prepared and go to bed.”
Ryan shrugged, and Madelaine’s lavender feather boa slid off his shoulder. “Well, you can read about it in the morning paper anyway.”
Rissa’s fingers gripped the plate holding her dinner. Ryan was baiting her. That was all. He wouldn’t really do anything too foolish.
The muffled thud of the front door echoed her brother’s departure.
He’ll go to the Pink Flamingo, have a few drinks, pick up another blonde, and come home just before my alarm clock goes off, Rissa told herself. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Of course, she never would have guessed Ryan dressed up as their aunt, either—and apparently got away with it.
“No, I am not going to follow him.” Rissa marched to the kitchen table, pulled out a chair, and spread a napkin across her lap. She even lifted a bite of food to her mouth.
“Oh, bother and damnation.” She set her fork carefully back on her plate. What if her brother really did something spectacularly stupid? Rissa would have to pick up the pieces anyway. She might as well stop the disaster before it got started.


dogs, time machines, misadventure,1950s, family, talking dogs, zany


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