Nurture or nature? Does anyone have any answers? #paradox #paranormal #timeslipnovels #timetravel

by Louise Wise   I tend to write about lonely, could-have-psychological-problems characters who mingle with the ‘normal’ so my books have a dark edge, and my latest book is no different, but it has got me thinking about the human … Continue reading

How one writer discovered a writer’s group and never looked back.

by
 Christine Powell Gomez

I started my writing journey about a year ago.  I just woke up one morning and said “I’m
going to write a book.”  No—really, I
did.  Of course my husband just laughed
and responded, “Yeah…right.”  I can’t
say that I blame him for his lack of support. 
Honestly, it is something you get used to after a while.  You eventually learn that your family and
friends could care less about your next chapter or what your characters are
doing.  
I didn’t give much thought about how to write.  I just opened a new word document and started
typing…Not exactly the best way for a novice writer to begin their
journey.   But, no one has ever accused
me of doing anything with caution; I prefer to jump in feet first before testing
the waters.  After a few weeks it dawned
on me, I really have no idea what I’m doing. 
Not that I was going to let that stop me!  It was time to do a little research.  I needed to know how other authors take their
ideas and make real.  That is when I
found the most important tool for success—A great supportive writing group.  I had no idea that other writers could be
such a big source of knowledge, and that they were willing to share that with
you.  Anytime I had a question, someone
was always there with an answer.  I wish
I would have started my journey here; it would have made things a lot easier.
It took 3 months for me to complete my book.  It was like a weight lifting from my
shoulder…That is until I realized it was just the beginning.  I thought writing it would be the hardest
part, but I was wrong.  I now entered the
realm of need-to-find-an-editor, formatting-is-not-my-friend,
I-hate-my-cover-but-can’t-afford-anything-else, and my favorite
if-you-don’t-market-your-book-nobody-will-buy-it.
It wasn’t until latter that I learn about building a
brand and networking—two things that are essential to becoming a successful
writer.  But, every step of the way was
made easier by those in my writing group that had been there before and was
willing to share their journey.
The moral to this story—even if you don’t know where
to start or what to do next, you can still accomplish your dream if you put
your mind to it.  Everyone has a
different journey…So, embrace your journey, join a writing group, write your
little heart out and most important—never be afraid to ask.  There will always be other writers willing to
lend an ear and give advice.
  

Buy Now!

Broken relationships were a constant in Mae’s life,
causing her to swear off men forever. Unwittingly lured to Ireland, Mae finds
herself knee-deep in a hidden world she never knew existed and head over heels
for the very man that tricked her to coming there. His deception is complicated
by his own feelings for the one person that holds the key to merging the
ancient races that once ruled the ancient word.



Mae finds herself in an underground world of witches, and vampires, which are half-breeds of aliens long gone. She learns about her own unique parentage and powers, which she must study in order to control, before they consume her.

Beck and Helen’s love for one another spans across a millennium, her human soul reincarnated to match Beck’s own immortality. This time however the body she occupies is of a being that cannot be eclipsed by her return. After waiting two hundred years, Beck finds himself tormented by Helen’s inability to return and his growing love for her new host.

Some of the underworld creatures welcome her with open arms as a savior, while others seek to destroy the abomination they believe her to be. Will the knowledge of her existence cause a race war when the true power of her blood is discovered? Or will love become her ultimate downfall?


As a teen C.G. Powell was selected as a member of her school’s newspaper staff. After her first article the editor decided the darkroom was a more suitable place for her skills…or lack of. Since then, she has traveled everywhere—thanks to her innate curiosity about the world and the Navy. 


In her life time, she has learned: aviation electronics, CCNA networking, Gemology and how to get bloodstains out of the carpet (you never know when you might need that). But her latest, all-consuming, endeavor is storytelling. 


When asked why, her response was “I live to challenge myself; I like to be pushed outside of my comfort zone and writing is one of those things that pushes my boundaries. Besides it was the only way to share all of the crap bouncing around in my head!” 


C.G. Powell lives in Virginia with her husband and children. When she is not writing, you might find her watching hot guys jog past her front window, ordering the cabana boy to fix her another drink or abusing the local authorities…but that’s just hearsay.
Web
Links:
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Reviews: 

I am still dying here from laughter, love the chia pet part of
the story. I must add the running through the castle halls butt naked was a
laughing treat as well 😀 This story is packed with hiding secrets, unknown
events and much more. If your into hot vampires and warlocks this is your kind
of story. They have so a wonderful sense of humor and enjoy using it every
chance they get. Some parts may make you tear up 😦 I know I did, but the story
is so wonderfully put together. Get ready for unexpected events, amazing action
and wild romance. Grab this one now because I can promise you there is going to
be a part 2, and hun I sure hope to be one of your reviewers for that 😀 woot
haha chia pet, haha naked and getting his ass handed to him by his sexy mate
lmao. Ok, ok I’m done now, no I’m not, lmao, lmfao, omg so love it. 🙂

I enjoyed the new take on some of the mythological creatures I
find in books so often. It is quite clear that Ms. Powell has an analytical
mind and it was easy to see from the get go that she had every little bit of
the supernatural completely planned out and understood. She wove the mythical
history that we study nowadays with her own interpretation, and created an
interesting new world.

I was a little put off with Mae at times. She was hard to relate to, because I
never got a good feel of her character. The supporting cast really made this
book interesting, and I am hoping Mae will step up a little more once she
understands herself better. I do look forward to finding out what happens in
the next installment. I think it is going to be even more interesting


Spell Checked is one of the most original
Paranormal Romances that I’ve read in a long time. Forget what you ever thought
about the stereotypical Immortals, this book has you seeing Vampires and
Witches in a whole new light. Truly spell binding, funny and romantic. CG
Powell’s characters are likable and sexy, they will leave you wanting more.
It’s hard to believe this is CG’s first book, I’m anxiously awaiting book 2 to
see what she has in store for us next.

David, an ordinary man in an unordinary world – The Silver Cage

By
Mik Wilkens
fantasy novel
Life is good for David Conner. He has a great job, plenty of money, and he’s just met the woman of his dreams. But his dreams turn into nightmares when he finds himself on Lucasia—a magical world of shapeshifters, dragons, faeries, and other creatures of myth—where he is the key to victory in a struggle between opposing forces: one sworn to save the world, the other intent on its destruction.

If he is to survive, David must learn the rules of this strange new world, master its powerful magic forces, and decide who is friend and who is foe.

But is David the world’s savior . . . or the cause of its ruin?



 
 
 

Mik Wilkens has done a lot of different things in her life, all of them creative. She’s been an illustrator, trophy designer, graphic artist, programmer, multimedia developer, webmaster, and author. She loves science as well as science fiction, fantasy, and other speculative fiction. She’s a rabid Joss Whedon fan, she’s crazy about greyhounds, and she collects moose. Mik participates in Renaissance faires throughout the southwest United States promoting adoption of retired racing greyhounds with Greyhounds of Fairhaven, a non-profit organization she founded several years ago. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband, a pack of retired racing greyhounds, and an ancient, three-legged demon in a cat suit.

Click below for the interview:

What inspired you to write The Silver Cage?
My inspiration was twofold. One of my favorite fantasy authors is Katherine Kurtz. Her novels inspired me to try writing books of my own. They also taught me the importance of having a logical magic system in a fantasy story. Rather than just having some intangible force called “magic,” there needs to be a source of the power and some kind of rules that the characters have to follow to use that power. That idea was one of the driving forces behind The Silver Cage.

The other inspiration was my desire to write a modern fairy tale that could be enjoyed by adults whether they were fans of fantasy fiction or not. By ‘fairy tale,’ I don’t mean the traditional, short folk tales written for children. Instead, I use the term as defined by Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien in his essay ‘On Fairy-Stories.’ Tolkien said that fairy tales are not stories about fairies or other fantastic creatures; rather they are about the interaction between humans and such beings. David Conner, a sensible, modern-day businessman, is the human that interacts with the fantastic creatures in The Silver Cage.

Give us a short, sharp synopsis.
The Silver Cage is a fantasy novel about David Conner, a down-to-earth guy who has everything going for him: he’s got a great job, he has plenty of money, and he’s just met Jennasara, quite literally the woman of his dreams. But David’s world is turned upside-down when he finds himself on Lucasia, a world where magic is a force of nature and creatures of myth are real. To save Jennasara, David must learn the ways of the strange world he finds himself on, master its magic, and decide who is his friend and who is his enemy.

Was there a character you struggled with?
I’m not sure “struggle” is the right word, but writing about the character Riak was definitely a unique experience. He wasn’t in my first concept of the book or even in the first part of the first draft. I was several chapters into the novel when he walked into my head and said, “Hey, I’m supposed to be in this story.” So I had to go back and add him in several places. Good thing I did, too, because he became a pivotal part of the story.

Is Riak one of the bad guys?
Riak is a creature called a Child of Sytan. He’s part human and part dragon. He’s basically a very sexy guy with wings. When he’s first introduced, he’s definitely one of the “bad” guys. However, whether or not he’s “good” or “bad” by the end of the book is something readers will have to discover for themselves.

How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
If by “lurking” you mean books that will never see the light of day, I really only have one partial novel that I’ll probably never finish. However, I do have several novels and novellas that I’m currently working on getting published.

How did you find your publisher?
Finding my publisher was actually something of a fluke. I got an e-mail from my sister about a new digital publisher, LazyDay Publishing, that would be launching at the end of 2010. She was thinking about submitting something and wanted to know what I thought about them. I did some research and then, basically on a whim, I submitted The Silver Cage. A couple of months later, I got an e-mail saying that LazyDay had accepted it for publication as one of their debut novels.

Would you recommend them?
LazyDay takes care of getting the cover art, ISBNs, and other technical aspects of getting an e-book ready to publish, and they make the book available through major third-party distributors such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. They also help create book trailers, and they even have a professional musician to write the music for them.

What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?
I’m horribly anal about everything being perfect, so my editing sessions can get a little crazy. I’m rarely happy unless I’m 100% positive that every comma is in the correct place, every word I’ve used is perfect for what I’m trying to say, and every sentence is structured just right. Because of that, deciding that a piece is finished and ready for submission can take a ridiculously long time.

Do you use an editorial service?
No, I do all the editing myself. That might not be the best idea for a lot of authors, but I’ve done quite a bit of professional editing in my life, so I feel confident enough to edit my own work.

What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
My productivity isn’t based on time of day. Rather, it’s based on my mood. When I’m in a writing mood, I carry around a pad of paper everywhere I go and write every chance I get. Fortunately, I have a very tolerant husband who doesn’t mind me writing when we go out to dinner or go for a drive. When the writing mood strikes, I write. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is.

Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
I write most of my first drafts by hand. I have favorite pads and favorite pens, but anything will do in a pinch. I’m currently dealing with an neurological issue with my hands that makes it uncomfortable for me to write or type, so I’m experimenting with speech-to-text software. If I can’t get the first drafts of my stories to go straight from my imagination to my mouth, at least I’ll be able to enter the handwritten first draft into the computer simply by talking.

The book cover, and your photo features a dog. Is it safe to say that you like dogs? Do they appear in the novel?
The “dog” on the cover of The Silver Cage is actually a wolf. Wolves and wolf shapeshifters figure prominently in the novel. I like all kinds of animals, particularly dogs; my favorite breed of dog is the greyhound. The dog in my photo is my greyhound Peaches. I’ve been owned by greyhounds for over sixteen years now, and am very involved in promoting adoption of retired racing greyhounds. I’m currently writing a fantasy novel “starring” greyhounds: I’m going to donate the proceeds from the sales of the book to greyhound adoption groups. You can read the drafts of the first four chapters of the novel at:

www.GreyhoundsOfAeravon.com

What/who do you draw inspiration from?
I’m inspired by pretty much anything and everything. It could be something I see, something I read, just some passing thought. Sometimes my muse will just toss a scene out at me and I have to figure out what to do with it. That’s how The Silver Cage started. My muse showed me a scene of a young boy sitting by a spring in a forest. I knew the spring was magic and could be used to access other worlds. Based on that, I came up with the idea for the story.

Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
Not usually. Sometimes I’ll tell myself I have to finish this scene or this chapter before I can do something else, but usually I just write until I’m out of ideas for that session.

What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I’m working on several books right now. I’m almost finished with the sequel to The Silver Cage. It’s called The Golden Drake, and it pretty much starts right where The Silver Cage ends. I’m also almost done writing another fantasy novel called The Greyhounds of Aeravon, which is the first book in a series of novels I plan to use to raise money to support the adoption of retired racing greyhounds. I’m also working on a science fiction trilogy. All three of the books in the trilogy are finished in rough draft form. I’m doing the final edits on the first book, and then I’ll start on the other two. Finally, I’ve recently completed and submitted a science fiction novella called Esora, which is a follow-up story to another science fiction novella I have coming out in 2011 called The Price of Conquest.

How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
My first rejection letter was dated December 7, 1990. I was lucky in that it wasn’t a form rejection letter; it was actually typewritten on letterhead, addressed me by name, referenced my manuscript by the title, and was signed by a real person. For a rejection letter, that was pretty heartening. I’ve received quite a few others since then, both personalized and form letters. I’ve gotten used to them to the point that I just check them to see if there’s any suggestions or comments about the piece I submitted, then I open the spreadsheet I use to keep track of all of my submissions, mark that one off, and then get back to work.

Do you have a critique partner?
I’ve been a member of several online critique groups over the years and some of them have been a lot of help, but I’ve never had a specific critique partner for all of my writing.

The wolves surrounded him. One leaped past his horse’s flashing hooves, its fangs slashing at the animal’s throat. Two more sprang in from the sides; one snapped at the horse’s neck, and the other flew straight for David.

Terrified, he started to throw himself over the horse’s far side, but the animal reared again. He grabbed handfuls of mane and saddle and hung on. The wolf crashed into the horse’s shoulder, and its jaws snapped shut inches from David’s knee.

The wolves behind the horse tore at its flanks and back legs. With a scream, the animal started to go down.

Desperate to avoid being crushed, David threw himself clear. He landed hard on his right shoulder and back, and the air whooshed from his chest in a painful, explosive gasp. Once his lungs unlocked, he took a tentative breath to check for broken ribs or other damage and tried to ignore the horse’s terrified screams and desperate thrashings as the wolves completed their kill.

He would be next.

He forced himself to his knees just as a monstrous black wolf crashed through the bushes beside him. It knocked him to the ground and spun to face him. Slitted yellow eyes glowered above huge, slavering fangs.

This can’t be happening, David’s mind told him, coldly logical despite the horrifying sights and sounds that surrounded him. There are no wolves. There is no horse, no cabin. It’s a dream.

The black wolf leaped.

“No!” He raised his arms in a vain attempt to stop the huge creature’s charge.

I’m at home, in bed with Jenna. It’s just a bad dream.

The wolf’s jaws closed on his right forearm, and he yelled again, a wordless scream of agony and disbelief as his mind exploded with pain.




Links:
(Links to where you can buy The Silver Cage are under the “BUY” link at TheSilverCage.com.)




Taking 1960 by Rosa Sophia

Taking 1960 by Rosa Sophia
Rosa Sophia is a mystery author currently residing in South Florida. She lives with her writing partner in crime and their five cats. She works at a library, enjoys watching old television shows, collecting comic books, travelling and hiking. Her favourite authors are Jeff Markowitz and J.W. Coffey. In her photo, she is dressed as one of her characters from her next mystery novel, entitled Check-Out Time, a quirky story that takes place in a grocery store.
By her own admission she loves criminology, psychology, and collecting comic books and worrying, also has an unhealthy obsession with power tools!
You can purchase her book through the publisher by following this link: http://dreamz-work.com/products/Taking-1960.html
Hi Rosa, and thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. If you could sum up Taking 1960 in a couple of sentences what would they be?

Five young men were murdered in the late 1950s. It is up to Katherine to clear an innocent name and dig through her own family history to find the real killer.

Who are the main characters?
The main character is Katherine Maslin, and the story is hers. However, she is supported by her best friend Corry, her boyfriend Jake and eventually her therapist, Janis Crow.

What category would you put Taking 1960? Is it for adults only?
Taking 1960 was never written with a genre in mind. Nevertheless, I had to define it somehow, so I started calling it a Paranormal Mystery. It is essentially a ghost story, with a lot of twists. It deals with heavy issues including domestic abuse. I am sure that teenagers would enjoy it, but it is certainly not intended for children.

What makes your book unique?

There is a mystery, but it is not at all traditional, and neither is the character who ends up solving the mystery. What is especially unique is that Katherine transcends time itself in order to find the man who bloodied her family’s history.

So there’s a paranormal element like time travel?

There is an element of both the paranormal and time travel in my novel.  My main character is continually visited by the spirit of her grandmother. She is somehow linked to her grandmother’s spirit, perhaps even her grandmother’s own memories, and sent back to the year 1960.  If she can manage to alter events, she will be able to save the life of a young boy.  But if she can’t…?
I enjoy reading crossover novels. They seem to be popular.
I’m sure it could be defined as a crossover, but I’m not sure what the other genre would be.  When I first wrote it, I didn’t do it with a genre, and I had to struggle to find one that would define it properly.  I tend to write outside genre restrictions, and I strive to overcome formulas, rather than stick by them. 

Good for you! So, can you name any other authors or books with an audience who would be likely to enjoy reading your book?
Anyone who enjoys dark mystery will like Taking 1960. Fans of dark fiction and suspense will be interested. The Thief of Always by Clive Barker comes to mind. In Taking 1960, the homestead becomes a character in the story. In Barker’s book, a house takes on a life of its own.

What experience do you have when it comes to writing – is this your first book?
This is my first mystery novel, and my first published book, but it is by no means the first book I have ever written. My first novel is part of a Science Fiction series called The Minder, but it is nowhere near ready for publication. I have been writing since childhood, and I have several more novels lined up for publication as well.

Tell us a bit more about your editing service? Prices etc. Do you do it all on-line?
I don’t charge nearly as much as most editors because I like to help out writers who can’t always afford editing services. It can be really hard to get started, so I like to tailor my prices according to a person’s budget. I do everything online, as the majority of my clients live far away from me. For details on my services, readers are welcome to visit my editing website: http://www.rosesophia.webs.com/

Have you done any marketing for your book so far?
My book launch was very successful. Thirty-two people showed up, they had a lot of questions, and I sold almost thirty copies. There has been a lot of positive responses to my book, and once the book hits Amazon, there should be numerous reviews going up. I am also trying to get into some book stores in my area. I am currently living in Palm Beach, Florida, so I am shooting for Books-A-Million and maybe some smaller non-franchise bookstores. If things go well, I hope to attract more people to future signings and events. I also have an author website, an author group on Facebook under “Rosa Sophia” and I have been interviewed a couple of times. You can visit my author site at http://www.rosewrites.webs.com/.

How did you get on with your book signing? Was it easy to set up? Do you do your own marketing?
It was great! It was very easy to set up. Conveniently, the book launch took place at the North Palm Beach Library, where I work. Because the publisher is very small and only a year old, I will have to do a lot of marketing on my own.

You also did a “book talk”, can you explain?
I read an excerpt of Taking 1960 and then opened the floor for questions. I was surprised at how many people had questions for me, ranging from the publishing process to how I started writing in the first place.

Who is your publisher, and do you have an agent?
My publisher is Dreamz-Work Productions, LLC, and they can be found at http://www.dreamz-work.com./ I do have an agent; he is a fellow writer for Dreamz-Work and does a lot for the company itself as far as marketing and pitching ideas to the owner. He is the author of Honoring the Sacred Earth: A Path to Spiritual Awakening and his book can be found on the Dreamz-Work website as well.

Have you had any feedback from readers?
Readers have told me that they “can’t put it down” and that it is a “page-turner.” The first person to read Taking 1960 excitedly told me that she loved it, and that the house featured in the story is a character all on its own. The integration of Katherine’s family homestead as a character happened unintentionally as I allowed the book to “write itself.” So far, reader response has been extremely positive. I can’t wait to read the reviews once it hits Amazon!

Anything else we should know about your book?
Only that I plan to make it as available as possible in the very near future. Dreamz-Work is a very small publisher, and I hope that through some increasingly intense marketing, I can continue to expose Taking 1960 to as wide an audience as possible, while at the same time helping my publisher. When I wrote Taking 1960, I fully intended to publish it traditionally, because I felt it was meant to be. I hope that the messages I convey in the story reach as many people as possible. It’s my baby, and I want to share it with the world!

Visit Rosa’s writing blog: http://www.lily-scarlet.xanga.com/

Excerpt from Taking 1960

An envelope addressed to Katherine Maslin stood out amongst the pile of bills. It is a notice from an attorney… the rights to her grandparents’ farmhouse and adjacent property.

She believes that a change will rid her of the strange dreams she’s been having, wherein an oddly familiar woman visits her, begging for her help. But when Kat realizes that the woman in her dream is her dead grandmother, she begins to have doubts about moving to the farm.

Rumors and nightmarish tales fill her mind, stories of the five men who lost their lives in the late 1950s to a heartless murderer. A man had been convicted, but was he the one the police had been looking for, or had he been framed?

Kat is thrown backwards through time on a journey to discover a terrible truth. The ghost of her grandmother is always one step ahead of her, leading the way. But will she find the real killer before he finds her?

Taking 1960 is also available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s website.
To learn more about Rosa, you can visit: http://www.rosewrites.webs.com/

by
Ami Blackwelder
America 2060
Three Lovers. Two Species. One Way to Survive

Set in Alaska in 2060, when April enters her Sophomore year at University, she thought Robert might be the love of her life, but as she discovers, she is hiding something inside her, something the rest of the world believes to have died out. She struggles with who she was and who she is becoming as she learns of a family she never knew existed and of enemies she will have to outrun, outfight or outwit to survive. As April embraces her new identity, will she have to leave the life she loves behind?

Tell us about The Hunted of 2060
Summary: Set in Alaska in 2060, when April enters her sophomore year at University, she thought Robert might be the love of her life, but as she discovers, she is hiding something inside her, something the rest of the world believes to have died out. She struggles with who she was and who she is becoming as she learns of a family she never knew existed and of enemies she will have to outrun, outfight or outwit to survive. As April embraces her new identity, will she have to leave the life she loves behind?


With underlining themes of how prejudice breaks human connections and animal/wildlife conservation, this novel which has received rave reviews will leave the reader flipping through the pages of April’s story.)


How long did it take to write the book?
I began writing it in March of 2010 and began professional editing in June 2010. About 3 months to write and 1 month to edit.

And what inspired you?
While in Thailand teaching Kindergarten I had a vision of a woman who could transform into an animal and thought what a fun idea.


Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I write novels from passion. If I love the idea, I will write the story! A few main characters come quickly to mind as they develop throughout the writing process. Other characters usually easily emerge later…the beginning and ending are usually clear, but sometimes the ending is blurred until I approach it. The bulk of the story forms when I take the journey with my characters and allow them to make it their own story. Writers can’t force a story for characters. I usually have to research a bit when writing paranormal and when writing historical I research constantly. When writing my novel The Day the Flowers Died set in 1930 Munich, I used YouTube for videos of that time period for music, sound, place and to set me in the right frame of mind.


What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
A sense of appreciation for the wildlife and forests on earth and a better idea of how prejudice can lead to cruel and unnecessary consequences. I hope my readers are entertained while learning. All of my novels have something to teach, but are also very entertaining.

Any other links or info you’d like to share?
http://paranormalromancereades.blogspot.com/
http://paranormalromance.ning.com/
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000483080700 these are three great sites to gather information about The Hunted of 2060 as well as learn more about me and other paranormal authors.


 

Excerpt from The Hunted of 2060
At my apartment I thought I was safe from it, from myself, but my arms began to itch. I scratched. The tingling returned. I knew what to expect — sharp, intense pain. Unbearable. I threw myself onto my oversized bed propped up on steel bars and held myself. My hands clasped my shoulder bones. My head pushed into the pillows. My teeth gritted into the sheets. My fingers raked my skin as if I were an addict in need of another fix. My body shook with convulsions. My eyes shut. Instinctual, not of volition. It will pass.
A sound bellowed from my lips, a sound I’d never heard before tonight. I curled up like a baby in need of her mother and let the aching pass. It always passes. It always takes too long. Every minute felt like forever. I need him. I need him to help me get through this. When the violence inside my body soothed, I called him on my phone. He will come. He always comes.
The knock at my door drew me from my bed and to him in one fluid motion. He stood at my doorway with an orange tulip in his hands, my favorite. But I didn’t even have time to thank him for his thoughtfulness. My pain needed his comfort. My mind needed his words. My body needed his touch. He hurried through my door to the foot of the bed. He sat in his dark blue jeans, still wearing his crimson sweater. Too desperate for games, I just told him the truth.
‘I need you.’ The words flowed so easily. He drew close to me and I rested my weary head on his chest. The chill from his skin cooled my warm temperature.
‘What happened?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘Tell me where you hurt. Let me help you.’ The fine lines breaking in his forehead revealed his fear for me.
‘Everywhere,’ I grimaced.
‘Tell me what to do.’ The longing in his words mirrored the longing in his heart. He wanted more from me than I could give him right now.
‘Nothing,’ I said shortly, looked up into his pleading blue eyes and then gave him just an inch of what I knew he wanted. ‘Just be here.’
He smiled and didn’t question me more about it. Robert had seen me hurt before, twice, and learned not to ask me questions. They brought out the agitation in me. With his lips closed, his gentle hands took care of me. I abhorred hospitals. He held me in his embrace. His heart beat fast, too fast. I heard it too well, better than I should.
Never mind. He’s here with me now. Everything will be fine.
I rested on his chest, wrapped up in his arms, his large toned arms. He fell asleep, peaceful. I never sleep so still. Every sound, every motion usually kept me awake. But with him near me, I slept soundly.

* * *
I covered my eyes in the bright daylight at first. We strolled out of my apartment and down the block over the chipped sidewalks. The sky cars in various metallic colors flew past us like birds overhead. Their revving sounded like whistles blowing. The black apartment walls stayed in the shadows of the day and the windows glowed in fluorescent lights laced around their borders.
The electrical newspapers beamed in and out against the shop walls and displayed current events. America clones President Strossey in an attempt to derail assassination attempts. The news faded out while the next page faded in. A trip to Mars is scheduled for next weekend: September 14th, 2060. NASA says the highly anticipated Anti-Matter Propulsion is ready to use for distant travel. On the next slide of news, another space-related event emerged onto the screen. The RAM Jet Fusion Engine will reach the Space Walker today to transport food and water to the Moon Station. Go Green, Go Hydrogen!
The gray clouds rolled in like a tumultuous sea about to storm. The thunder crackled and a few rain pellets began to fall. Robert took out his compact umbrella stashed inside of his front jean pocket. He wrapped his hand around the miniature, rectangular tool and hit the silver button with his forefinger. The shape of the umbrella unfolded around us and clicked into place. People on the busy streets brushed past us in dark raincoats and silver radiated umbrellas. The silver color lit up against the lightning. I wrapped my arm around Robert’s and fastened my other hand over my waist.
‘Are you…’ He stopped his sentence. I knew what he wanted to ask, …alright today? He knew I didn’t enjoy those questions. He cleared his throat, ‘…hungry?’ I smiled at him and shifted my eyes to the chipped sidewalk like a coy animal.
‘Sure, I could eat something.’ In truth, I was famished. I hadn’t eaten dinner last night even though I’d been feeling more hungry than usual.
‘Where would you like to eat? We have the whole day to ourselves.’ His strong blue eyes shone lighter than the sky. ‘Thank God for Saturdays,’ he smirked with a scar over his wrinkled chin from playing hockey. We ambled to the end of the sidewalk. A sky car slowed down, dropping out of the sky in front of us. Its wheels, in mechanical precision, lowered out of its body and hit the aluminum street. The car’s angular tip and short rounded frame propelled down the road and disappeared after turning a corner.
‘We could eat at Uro’s Deli,’,I suggested. ‘I’m craving a roast beef sub.’
‘Uro’s it is.’
The silver, black and white checkered walls of the deli stood out between two buildings. The low brick building to the left reminded everyone of designs long gone. The spiraling crisp white tower to the right reached into the clouds. Music somewhere between disco and techno permeated Uro’s (a name based on the monetary exchange of America since 2025) and the sounds seeped out the deli door and onto the city as we approached.
Robert pointed to the spiraling tower with his forefinger. ‘I would’ve positioned the base more to the left and the tip more to the right, placing the spiral off center.’
‘Crooked?’ I arched a brow. He loved architecture, he studied architecture, but his ideas could be grandeur.
‘Interesting,’ he corrected. I grinned. Robert tripped over cement on the other side of the street.
‘Damn sidewalks. Do you know when they’re going to rebuild them?’ he asked, agitated. I don’t have answers. I can only think of my own pain. I can think of nothing else.
‘No.’ I walked ahead toward the door.
‘They’d better reconstruct them with nano-ceramic soon before someone gets seriously hurt.’ He followed. The entire city began to look like one large piece of nano-material, a substance that wouldn’t bend or break in chaotic weather or over extended periods of time.
Robert sat across from me in the oversized black booth with his concentrated expression. We punched our orders into the Electric Order Form, an efficient device, much like the internet fifty years ago. Square, about the size of a book, it fit into the table on each side near the end. It eliminated the need of waiters.
Robert fiddled with his projection watch. He looked like a budding professor playing with the technology in his hands. Despite his strong body and model-like appearance, he maintained a 3.5 GPA and tutored some of his buddies on the hockey team. He hit the silver button on his watch and the hologram of our Biology textbook appeared over the table. He clicked the arrow button and it turned page after page until he stopped at page ten.
I brushed my onyx hair away from my face. ‘You want to show me something?’ I placed my elbows on the table and nestled my head in my left hand. My palm cupped my chin and my hazel eyes shot up at him.
‘I forgot to mention, Mr. Crougar said this was going to be on the quiz Monday.’
Monday? I can’t even think about tomorrow. I have to take this one day at a time…whatever ‘this’ is.
I nodded like I cared about a quiz, like I wasn’t thinking about something else over every word he read. He hit the arrow button again and the page turned. As he finished highlighting the important parts, the Intelligent Service Robot, dressed in the deli uniform of silver, black and white checkered shirt and pants, carried our orders on its metallic arms. Its back squeaked as it bent over to place our plates before us.
‘Do you ever miss it?’ I said in almost a whisper to Robert.
‘Miss what?’
‘Actual people serving food?’ The ISRs were manufactured and found in every business by 2050 and in most homes by 2055. They brought a great relief to the extra workloads carried by most people, but they also took away many jobs. People were angry at first, until new employment opportunities for the manufacturing and upkeep of the ISRs became available.
‘Sometimes.’ Robert winked and began to eat his chili sandwich, one of his favorites at the deli. The smell of roast beef spun my head in a dizzy frenzy and I began to feel the aches in my bones again.
All I can think about is the meat.

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Ami Rebecca Blackwelder is a forbidden romance writer in the paranormal and historical romance genre. Her unique experiences from travels in Asia for eight years allows her an original perspective and a plethora of ideas to entertain readers. She graduated from UCF with a BA in English and published her first work after winning the best Fiction of 1997 at UCF and subsequently achieving the semi-finals in Laurel Hemingway Short Story contest of that same year.

An historical fiction set in Munich, Germany in the early 1930s before the outbreak of War World II. Eli Levin and Rebecca Baum fall passionately in love and while their differences should have separated them, they instead forged a passionate bond that would change their lives forever.
While religious and social differences weigh heavily on their families in an increasingly tense Germany, the lovers remain unadulterated in spite of the prejudices. After overcoming family issues and social pressures, the two must sustain under a growing violent governmental regime. When the Nazi party heightens in popularity and the partys ideas influence law, they must face the harsh reality of life and death.
Graphic Novella
Rain is a highly advanced genetically engineered woman designed by the future corrupt government of 2100. She has dreams who remind her of who she really is and decides to go rogue and take the government down.
 
 
The Gate of Lake Forest
Within the small town of Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, there exists a quiet forest where a world undiscovered awaits. When soccer player, Michael Cole, of high school Green Mountain Falls sees the new girl Evelyn walk into his senior English class, he is forever changed.
His passion for her draws him deep into her heart and deep into her mystical world. Will their forbidden love be able to sustain them as their separate worlds collide, and Evelyn and Michael journey into magical adventurous and perilous realms where dangerous creatures are determined to defeat them?
High school will never be the same.

A Paranormal and Historical Romance author
Passion with Taste and Twist