EURYALE by Stephen Perkins: A Featured Fun Guest Post

Copyright 2017/Star born publishing LTD. This is a work of fiction, a product of the author’s imagination and cannot be reproduced without express permission. Any similarity between the created characters and persons now living or deceased is purely coincidental.

EURYALE

(Iraq, near Mosul, 2003, Operation Desert Storm)


Bullet riddled, brittle and broken, he awoke, prone upon a blood-soaked Iraqi dune. Astonished, Dow found a shepherd girls soft, healing hands everywhere upon him, drawing out the pain. Until, he was magically whole again.

Lethargic lids slid open.

From the zenith of a cloudless blue canopy, a merciless sun scorched drowsy eyes. Possessing some strange power, the mysterious girl had seemingly rescued him from death’s fiery darkness.

“Who are you,” Sergeant Dow said. “Where are you from?”

Slowly, she removed the black burqa, serene smile blooming upon angelic features. Dow’s stubble strewn face riddled with wonder. He felt her soft reply flow into the brain like the waters of a trickling brook. And yet, crimson lips made no attempt to form syllables.

“I am Euryale. You shall soon know where to find me. And, I shall be waiting!”

Up over the horizon, Dow heard the whining rotors of a helicopter, and shielding his eyes from the sun, turned to look.

“But how will I…” he said, turning back, anticipating her sweet gaze.

But, Euryale had mysteriously disappeared.     

***

Flown back to the green zone in Mosul, Dow reported to Colonel Stansfield Booth.

Walking through the office door, steely hazel eyes looked right through him.

It was as if the old man, hat decked with ‘scrambled eggs’, and more medals hung on his immaculate uniform than ornaments on the Sergeant’s Christmas tree back home in Omaha, possessed vision boring right through the skin, straight to the soul beneath.

Sitting in front of the colonel’s enormous desk, Dow felt his parched throat gulp. Blood wildly throbbing, he realized this was the moment of truth. His career in the US Marine Corps was on the line. He knew old man Booth, an iron chinned full bird colonel, wasn’t likely to believe the truth. Or, would he? How best explain the unexplainable, about Euryale, the simple shepherd girl brought him miraculously back from death’s inevitable brink?

Sergeant Dow’s pulse raced, skin growing hot as if he were standing in a burning building. His arid throat gulped again. Now, Dow considered, I must tread carefully. The old man might even decide to throw me in the brig. Maybe, even court marshaled.

Outside, the colonel’s spartan office, night blanketed the sun baked terrain of the Iraqi desert wastes.

The old man’s deep baritone ruptured the thick silence like a fog horn.  

“Alright, Sergeant,” the old man’s deep baritone rumbled. “Out of nine men sent to find the insurgents outside the Green zone destroyed ammo and weapons dumps last week near Mosul, including your squadron commander, Captain Welsh-only you survived,” the colonel detailed.

Puzzlement etched Dow’s rugged features.

The Colonel seemed almost disappointed.    

Dread buzzed in the Sergeant’s brain like angry wasps.

Sweat beaded his darkened brow.

“It was almost like they were waiting for us, Sir,” Dow’s mid-western drawl wobbled. “These insurgents were clever,” he tried to explain, with more urgency. “They had some sniper hiding in the hills. Picked us off one by one. I suggested to Welsh we retreat, and hump it back to recon. Let the helicopter gun-ships turn those hills into a parking lot!”  

The Sergeant fidgeted, wanting desperately to tell the old man what most of the squadron had really thought of Captain Welsh, some high-hat Ivy grad just out of officers training-dressed up to play hero in some Marine recruiting video.

“I tried to tell him, sir, once the action started getting too hot, how we should’ve humped it back here double time,” Dow tried to plead. “But, like I said these insurgents were smart. They seemed to know how to hit us and when, like they had a game plan-knocked out our vehicles, our satellite and ground communications destroyed. They were waiting for us!”

The colonel tapped steel boned fingers on the desk.

“Go on Sergeant?”

“It was like they could read our minds, what we were going to do,” Dow replied. “These weren’t, well, I got a good look at them, sir!”

Dow scraped a trembling hand over his sweat slicked pate. Booth poked a button on the desktop red telephone.

“And, what did you observe, Sergeant,” Booth demanded.

Dow sensed the old man already knew the answer.

“These were no regular insurgents, sir,” Dow stammered. “Their weaponry was anything but conventional!”

The poker faced old man merely pursed his stern lips, steel boned chin bobbing once in acknowledgment. The red phone buzzed, and Dow’s trembling hands gripped sweat soaked face.

“Excuse me, Sergeant,” the old man related.

Dow looked up, cruel shadow casting over. Booth’s ursine frame rose out of the chair to full height. Deliberate and heavy steps tapped towards an adjacent black door.

“Colonel,” a civilian bureaucrat greeted Booth as the door thudded shut behind. “As you know, Operation Desert Storm is highly classified. This war on terror is merely a cover for testing these AI ‘super units’ out in the field. Lately, my Pentagon colleagues are not pleased with the less than stellar ‘collateral damage’ statistics. I’m holding you personally responsible for this glaring failure!”

The old Colonel stood at ease, stone faced while the berating bureaucrat sat half-shrouded in darkness.

“Now,” the bureaucrat snapped. “You are dismissed!”

With his ear settled close to the keyhole, Dow scurried for the office door. Somehow, he had to find Euryale. Sprinting towards the collection of Jeeps, he raced off into the night.

His career, life, would never be the same.

Swirls of dust kicked up in the wake of the racing Jeep. Now, well outside the Green Zone, he jammed the breaks and skidded to a stop.

There she was, Euryale, illuminated in the spill of the headlights

“Are you ready to come with me?”

The words floated like butterflies in the mind.

Softly, he took her hand, basking in her angelic smile. Rainbow funnels of light descended from the dark sky, and together, they were swept up.

Stephen Perkins is the author of Raging Falcon and American Siren as well as his latest book Escape To Death. All three books are available on Amazon. You can read more on his blog Newsspellcom.org Watch for his new release coming soon!

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Sick writer is at a loss for words

You might have noticed I have been relying on guest posts for the last few weeks. I have been battling an infection that will not stop giving me trouble. It began on a Tuesday almost three weeks ago and has progressed to me jotting down my will on bedside stationary.

Sure I might be a bit of a dramatic baby at this point but I was so over being sick two weekends ago.  Finally my daughter said enough go to the urgent care. I waited one more day and Wednesday I was in such intense pain I willingly went.  A bacterial infection, ulcers and a creature that likes to drill holes is the diagnosis.

They called or faxed over the prescription and my insurance company promptly denied it.

After two more days of crying on the phone to the pharmacist, the insurance company and the urgent care, the receptionist at the urgent care tells me,”Oh wait they didn’t fax over the right prescription.”  I will have the nurse call you.

The nurse never called.

Friday I called the pharmacy to see if by some chance they had my prescription ready and they did!

Finally, I felt like I might survive this painful illness and nausea.

Sunday morning after a painful and queasy weekend I began to admit I was getting worse not better.

I called the urgent care and asked how long would I continue to get worse before getting better? After getting enough information to locate me in the system she says “Are you taking all your medicine as prescribed. I assured her I am. She then asks if I am allergic to any of the two antibiotics and stomach repair cocktail. I don’t know These clinical names of these rheee drugs. ” Uumm. I have no clue, what’s in them?  I am allergic to penicillin. That’s all I know.”

She says, “What?” Your taking amoxicillin. You don’t need to be taking amoxicillin if your allergic! Let me get you to the nurse.”

Hold nusic entertains me not at all as I wait and wait and wait. Receptionist returns and says I will have her call you. ”  instead about thirty minutes later the pharmacy  calls. ‘Stop taking all medicines and pick up these new prescriptions.”

An hour later the urgent care care receptionist calls and says.”The doctor is pretty sure this is an allergic reaction.”All I can hear with the roar of high blood pressure in my ears is my ever so annoyed brain as it screams,  “Ya think? ”

I’ll be back posting as soon as possible.  I hope that they got it right this time and an end is in sight.

It is sadly too early to tell,

 

Scat Cat! by Nancy Quinn: A Featured Fun Guest Post

Scat Cat!

    When we left the urban lifestyle of Washington, D.C., for a more tranquil existence in the rural mountains of Montana, one of our adjustments was learning to live with the new neighbors.  Our home was in a different kind of neighborhood.  Instead of being surrounded by men, women, and children, we had cougars, wolves, and bears.  These predators rarely comprehend the idea of boundaries, or the notion that good fences make good neighbors, so we find them roaming about our property, often very close to the house.  

    Our most frequent nocturnal visitors are cougars that seem particular interested in our daughters playhouse swing set.  Perhaps it is just the curiosity of all felines, but I often wonder what they would do if I left out a ball of string.  It’s doubtful they would play with it because it isn’t food.  As stunningly gorgeous as they are, we don’t want to encourage their visits.  For the safety of my family, dogs, and horses, our goal has always been to discourage predators.  As an example, one particular night stands out in my memory.

    On the second floor of our home we have a large bedroom window that provides a grand view of the back of our property.  While admiring the stars one dark evening the motion detectors suddenly activated the perimeter lights, nearly blinding us.  Once our eyes adjusted, we saw standing in the middle of the yard a very large cougar.  He paused only long enough to realize the brightness was nothing to fear before walking over to the swing set.  This had me wondering how many times he had visited us before, unnoticed.  He sat regally in the play area, surveying all about him, like a king overlooking his kingdom.  Being a wildlife artist, I was enamored with his beauty and grace, temporarily forgetting what a potential threat he was to our family.  It would be dangerous to allow him to believe this was part of his territory.

    I was about to comment on this fact to my husband, but when I turned to speak, he was not there, having immediately retreated to the closet.  He ransacked it, searching for his rifle and ammunition.  As he fumbled to load it, I continued to admire the feline in his pose.  My husband opened the window, but was blocked by the mesh screen.  As he tugged fruitlessly to remove it, the cat rose from his perch and began to walk toward the woods.  On my last look at him, the cougar, who seemed completely unaware of the flurry he had created only a short distance above, slowly and confidently sauntered into the tree line, still secure in the knowledge that this world was his.

    We tried to follow his movements through the darkness with a flashlight, but the battery soon died.  My increasingly frustrated husband, incensed by the attitude of the beast, rushed downstairs and out onto the patio where he fired a single shot into the air, then shouted, “And stay out!” as a warning for the puma not to return.

    I have no wish to harm this mountain lion or capture him, except in spirit on canvas and paper.  I have handled many cougars in captivity, but seeing them in the wild is a thrill I will never tire of.

For more stories in our western adventure read “Go West, Young Woman!”   https://www.amazon.com/Go-West-Young-Woman-Military/dp/1555718299?  

Book website: https://nancy442.wixsite.com/quinn

Art website:  http://quinnwildlifeart.com/

Doe Deere: The Incredible Business Woman Behind Lime Crime

Doe Deere: The Incredible Business Woman Behind Lime Crime

Being a successful business owner takes a lot more than just having a good idea. It takes time, effort and more importantly, love for your product and company. Most successful business owners will stand by the fact that their business revolves around the things that they are most passionate about.  Doe Deere is one such businesswoman who has taken her love for makeup to a whole new level and has transformed it into one of the most well-known makeup brands on the market today.

Doe deere image 1

Doe Deere was born in Russia and moved to the United States when she was just seventeen. She wanted to make it big on the music scene and started out in the big apple. This was during the nineties, where fashion experimentation was still in its infancy. Doe Deere was known throughout the music circuit not just for her incredible voice, but also for the beauty looks that she put together. She has always been one for eccentric looks and bold colors and knew that she had to wear those in the form of makeup as well. She then went on to make her own makeup in the colors that she wanted, because she could not find it in stores. This has always been one of the founding principles of a good business – finding a void in the market and then filling it. There was a void in the market for makeup that was bold and beautiful, and Doe Deere decided to fill that with the beauty of Lime Crime.

 

Several years later, and Lime Crime has become a cult favorite. The brand was one of the first to accurately make the use of online and social media advertising and was one of the few that brought on the trend of getting Instagram models to showcase their products. Doe Deere herself is one of the faces of Lime Crime and advertises her products to the one billion of followers that she has on Instagram and other social media sites.

 

Today, Lime Crime has grown beyond what Doe Deere ever imagined it to be. The brand has expanded beyond the usual beauty products and now has its own range of hair dyes and also makeup tools. Fashion lovers all over the world turn to Lime Crime as a fix to their eccentric makeup needs. Lime Crime is a perfect example of taking a passion and turning it into a success.

Destiny Revealed by Cris Pasqueralle: A Featured Fun Guest Post

  A fantasy series that’s soon to be a feature film!!!!!
Product DetailsProduct Details

Twins Jack and Maddie Austin have just turned 13 and have been given a mysterious gift of two necklaces by someone they have never met. The gift comes with a message in the form of a poem, but before any explanation can be given, the twins and their family are attacked by an evil wizard named Tardon.

    Tardon kidnaps the twins’ parents and, led by their Uncle Benny, the twins must travel to an unknown magical realm of wizards, gnomes, and hidden secrets to embark on a rescue mission to save their parents. Along the way, the twins are led on a path of self discovery that takes them on a quest to destiny.

    On the surface, The Destiny trilogy may appear to be another fantasy adventure with teen heroes, and it is, but it is a bit different, our heroes are not alone. The family in this story is very much intact. Mom and Dad offer guidance and a loving hand, there is also a sibling love and rivalry that is explored, and the magical creatures are not your standard fantasy fare. Yes, there are dragons and fairies, but there are also Sasquatch, and Keeluts, and Gici Awas, and Thunderbirds, all taken from Native American folklore.  So if you like your fantasy with a twist, take a look at The Destiny Trilogy and ride the new wave in fantasy fiction. Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LXRLRBJ
   I have been asked many times what has inspired me and why I choose to write fantasy. First, the inspiration comes from my daughters. it was their love of the Harry Potter books that made me a fantasy fan, and, when that series came to an end, my children clamored for a wizarding story. After much discussion with them, The Destiny Trilogy was born.  I write fantasy fiction because I like the no boundaries approach to writing, and fantasy allows an author to build his own worlds and make up his own rules.  Plus, it’s a lot of fun.
  Author Cris Pasqueralle is a retired NYC Police Officer who lives on Long Island with his wife and two daughters. Cris enjoys writing for a younger audience because he believes that through reading and imagination, kids build a brighter future for themselves and all of us.
Follow Cris on Facebook  at www.facebook.com./authorcrispasqueralle
  Keep checking his author page on Facebook for news about the upcoming film versions of The Destiny Trilogy.

Book Lover’s Tag – for Lovers of reading

 

Book Lover’s Tag – for lovers of reading

Robbie Cheadle, author, reader, mother, teacher, and blogger at Robbie’s Inspiration, tagged me in this Book Lover’s Tag Tour. You can read Robbie’s answers to the Book Lover’s Tag post here: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2017/09/10/book-lovers-tag-for-lovers-of-reading/.

As an avid reader, I just had to participate. Thank you for inviting me, Robbie!

Questions

Do you have a specific place for writing?

I mainly write on my computer in the computer room. as I am usually alone during the day and I tend to stay up late at night, I get a good bit of quality thinking / creative time.

Book mark or random pieces of paper?

I use scraps of paper and book marks, and many times envelopes. I realize I am hungry, thirsty or need to take Beau out for a potty break after hours of devouring books and grab up the first thing I find to mark my spot.

Can you stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter?

I can stop anywhere. If I am invested in the story, I can pick right back up. If I decide to write or interact with the family, I might have to catch back up.  I am a bit of a flibberty gibbet. I bounce up and I bounce around, so I have to skim to find my last point.

Do you eat or drink whilst reading?

I do keep a bottle of water nearby. I do not eat while reading. I find it a distraction. When I read, I am all in.

Music or TV whilst reading?

Not usually. On occasion I have a song enter my head and dance around so I have to search it out and play it, but usually, I read in the quiet.  Otherwise, I am singing along not following the story.  I do sometimes listen to an audiobook while writing my own books. I listen to Thriller audiobooks and I write feel good fiction. So it somehow works.

One book at a time or several

I tend to have several going at a time. I keep a book on my bedside table for those have to hold a physical book in my hand moments, I keep one on my Kindle on my phone, one on my Kindle Fire, and one on my desktop in the Kindle reader.  I have to admit I have some also on iBooks on my phone.  I am not even going to mention the audiobooks I love to listen to.

 

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

I prefer to read anywhere I happen to be. I love that we can now read on the phone and Kindle as we stay mobile. It makes road trips so much more fun. Funny thing, I sometimes get carsick when reading on a long trip. Especially if there are curvy roads involved. Having a Kindle and phone means I can read at night without light.

Read out loud or silently?

I read silently, I will, however, scoff about a sentence and read it aloud to make myself laugh. My grandchildren think that is funny when I am in my room alone reading funny bits to myself.

Do you read ahead or skip pages?

It is quite funny, I am intimidated by massive books so I will skim a bit until I am involved, then I will go back and reread. If it is a bit slow at the start, I skim. I don’t ever read the ending first. I am a bit of a purist about spoilers.

Break the spine or keep it new?

I try to keep them looking beautiful. I love having them on my shelves after reading and I do not want them looking scruffy.

Do you write in your books?

I do not write in books. I have journals for note taking and reference.

What books have you read recently?

I have been really involved in Children’s books and so I have been a bit heavy on the children and middle-grade books. I also have been enjoying :

last read

 

All time favorite book?

Every time I open a book I run into the possibility of a new favorite, that’s how I found,  Jessica Lost her Wobble by J. Schlenker and The BeeKeepers Daughter by Jane Jordan. But Dickens is the torch bearer. He is the one that begins and ends the favorites at the end of the day.

Jessica Lost Her Wobble by [Schlenker, J.]The Beekeeper's Daughter

My nominations for the Book Lover’s Tag are:

Colin Garrow – Author and reviewer

Orangutan Librarian Reviewer extraordinaire

Book Club Mom Prolific reader and reviewer

If you want to join in, please answer the above questions, link back to this page and then tag three new book lovers.

Have fun!

Vicki / /Sojourner

 


Books by Sojourner:

Pre-order When a Pachyderm Comes to Visit now for only .99. Prices go up after the September 26th launch. Find out what Michael needs a fairy intervention about. Dolcey is ready to help Michael recapture his dream. Won’t you come along for the adventure?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07589BFTB/

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Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas?  Book 1 in the Docley series. Meet Docley and find out how her special brand of magic allows children to find the answers they seek.  Fun for all ages. https://www.amazon.com/Whos-That-Pajamas-Dolcey-Book-ebook/dp/B07118C3NZ

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The Path of the Child. The coming of age story about Melanie and her struggle for freedom, happiness, and an opportunity for a real life. Uplifting with strong characters. https://www.amazon.com/Path-Child-Sojourner-McConnell-ebook/dp/B008IN4HKK/

The Path of the Child by [McConnell, Sojourner]

Find Sojourner McConnell on Facebook.

Find Vicki on Facebook

 

Self-conscious request for votes for Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas?

I admit, it is hard for me to ask, but I was nominated and I am allowed to share my nomination and ask for votes, so I am doing that.

I’m so excited because my book was just nominated for the 2017 Readers Choice Awards! Please vote for it at www.tckpublishing.com/readers-choice-voting.

The title is, Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? YOu can locate the nomination in the children’s section. I would appreciate your votes! I am so very excited to have been nominated!

 

I hope you will check in on my book in the Children’s book division and vote. It would be so appreciated! You will have to go over a few divisions to find Children’s but you might see another book you loved in a different section too.

This is an exciting moment for me.  If you want to read Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? You can ask for a signed physical copy at vicgoodwin@gmail.com.  In addition, the book as always it is available on Kindle and in paperback through Amazon,  Barnes and Noble and Books a Million.

I hope you will vote for this first book in the Docley series.  Your votes are extremely appreciated!!

 

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