Friday, November 24, 2017

FRIDAY'S FEATURED TITLE: ADVENTURE, PARANORMAL, ROMANCE, SURVIVAL

Avid naturalist, hunter and birder, Mr. Gerety has constructed a tale of two people who meet briefly then are reunited after death in a place and time other than the one they have always known.



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Avid naturalist, hunter and birder, Mr. Gerety has constructed a tale of two people who meet briefly then are reunited after death in a place and time other than the one they have always known. In this unfamiliar and pristine environment, his characters find each other, leaving behind their years of professional education and training as well as a lifetime of modern urban assumptions to assume lives of hunters, nomads, lovers and parents in a world emptied of all other people.

EXCERPT

The light grew dimmer and drifted away. He concentrated, forcing the light to become stationary as he moved toward it. Suddenly, he was face down on the hot sand. He could feel the grit of it in his teeth His throat and mouth were dry, and his back felt as if it was on fire.
He rolled onto his left side, trying to see his back. All he could see was his right shoulder, and the part that was visible was badly burned. He looked up at the sun and it appeared to be larger and brighter, the heat intense. His shirt was scorched across the top of his shoulder and was missing from his back. Unconsciously, he licked his lips. His tongue swollen and dry rasped across his lips and gave him no relief. Working onto his knees, he looked around. He was kneeling on top of a sand hill. The sun was slightly behind him, appearing to have passed its zenith. He decided the direction he was facing was east. Looking in that direction, there was nothing but rolling sand hills. North and south, more of the same. He struggled to his feet and looked west. This was slightly better. The dessert continued but in the distance, gradually changing with broken ridges and on the horizon a rugged mountain range. The ridges appeared to have some vegetation.
Standing in the desert sand lonely and confused he could see very little to feel good about. There was no sign to show how he had come to be there. He had landed in this deserted spot with nothing but the clothes he was wearing and some of his hunting gear. His shirt was burned backless, long pants, boots, a belt knife and an old timer's pocketknife. His binoculars were still hanging around his neck. His bow, a quiver with ten arrows and a canteen had been thrown by the explosion and lay undamaged below in a shallow depression. He was hoping for a full canteen. In one pocket he also found a small plastic bottle filled with matches. Slipping and sliding he moved into the hollow. He picked up the canteen first and discovered that it was slightly over half full. He tipped it up and took a mouthful, swished it around in his mouth and swallowed. It was difficult to resist draining it dry. Gathering the rest of his equipment, he climbed out of the hollow, took one more look around, decided he hadn't missed anything and began his walk toward the mountains.
He estimated the distance to the ridges to be about twelve miles. Normal walking, he could easily manage one mile in twenty minutes. He discovered that this would not be the case. The sand was loose and his feet sank into it, restricting his stride and increasing the effort. Looking at the position of the sun, he realized that he would be lucky to make it to those ridges before sunset. He wasn't too lucid, and he was afraid that he might lose his bow or his quiver of ten arrows so he attached them to his belt, along with his canteen. The quiver had a pocket that contained extra arrowheads and blades. He kept his binoculars around his neck.
When he stopped, he guessed he had traveled four, maybe five miles, but the distance to the ridges seemed the same. The sun had passed the apex and was now ahead of him slightly above the mountains. He had put his shirt on backwards, hoping to protect his back from the sun. He had also left the sleeves rolled down, cuffs unbuttoned and shirttail loose. The terrain was essentially the same, but the sand was packed and easier to walk on. There was, however, nothing that provided shade.
Later he realized that he could see something in the distance; a tall slender silhouette that appeared to be of a dark green color. It was in the direction he was moving, so he concentrated on moving toward it. When he finally arrived, it appeared to be some form of cactus. It was better than six feet tall, spineless with two arms extending out and up, the arms approximately four to five inches in diameter. He recalled that cactus had the ability to store water and decided it would definitely be worth his time to test this theory. Circumscribing the lower limb with his belt knife, he managed to break it off. He laid his shirt on the ground and scraped the inside pulp from the cactus arm onto his shirt. At the bottom of the arm, some liquid had collected. Raising the gourd up, he drank it. The taste was bitter and it had a numbing effect in his mouth. He squeezed the pulp, caught the liquid in the gourd and spread the residue on his shirt and pressed it down tightly. When he put the shirt back on, there was stinging sensation then his back felt cooler and slightly numb. He cut a hole in the gourd near the rim and noticed more liquid at the bottom, and he spread this onto his face and hands. After securing the gourd to his belt with his handkerchief and checking his other gear, he resumed his walk toward the ridges, feeling a sense of urgency and hoping to find some shelter before dark.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Highland Miracle: #Fantasy #Romance #Historical

HURTLED THROUGH TIME, Sean Michael Sterling, landed in the midst of a May Day celebration.


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EXCERPT

"Look, Tia," Reagan said as she pointed toward a nearby hill. 
"What is it?"
"A handsome stranger," Reagan giggled, instantly transfixed by the man. "Coming to dance around the May Pole?" Reagan looked a little more closely. "Oh, it's the Laird of Sterling Castle. Why is he on foot?"
"You are not thinking what I think," Tia said. "You dinnae know who he is. He looks like the laird but then he doesn't."
"How do I look?" Regan asked, ignoring Tia and smoothing her skirts then hoping she looked beautiful enough to snare this man. She wanted to sweep the laird off his feet. This might be her one and only chance.
She heard the celebration in the background and watched as all eyes rose to meet the Laird's. Her brother William's eyes were startled then guarded and thoughtful. Tia's were intrigued. Some of the others gazes were wary and distrustful. They were a superstitious lot here in the Highlands. But even as she watched the people around her, she could not fully keep her attention from the Laird who had never attended this celebration before.
She felt a curious draw as she met his piercing gaze. She had only once before seen the man. He was an illusive creature, usually keeping inside the walls of his castle. Rumor had it the castle was haunted and the ghost was a woman who kept him from finding true love or happiness.
"Who do you think he is and where did he come from?" Tia asked peering intently at the man. "I really don't think it's the Laird. No one has spoken to the man in years. He is so withdrawn. A few months ago people were saying he had died."
The man possessed a calm air as if he knew and recognized all the people in front of him. His dark gaze was mysterious, and when he stopped walking, he stood as still as a rock, striking and in clothes she had never seen anyone wear before. She had thought then, though, it would not have mattered what he wore.
Reagan could not draw her eyes from his and felt her flesh grow warm. The way he stared at her was unnerving. Her heart thundered beneath her chest. It seemed as if she knew this man from some long ago time.
But that wasn't possible.
It was May Day. The very air was filled with such excitement, and now this man was here as if sent for her and her alone. In the meadow maids and youths already danced around the Maypole. A man with a bear had the animal dancing circles upon his hind feet, and a marionette show was in progress. A flutist played in honor of King James, a group of Highlanders played the bagpipes. Noise and confusion flourished. The day was bright, clear blue, and so very beautiful.
She saw a strange gold dusting swirling and dancing in the air around her. Instantly, she felt compelled toward the stranger. For a moment she thought someone spoke to her, encouraging her onward.
Reagan was grateful she'd taken so much time with her clothes. Her hose were white silk, and her little leather slippers were blue decorated with glass stones. Next to her flesh she wore a soft silk shift and over it a binding corset and three different petticoats. The dress was blue brocade, with stomachers in velvet, low-cut bodices, and half sleeves with scores of blue lace. Her facemask was covered with feathers and plumes. Her golden hair was done in ringlets, tied through with blue satin ribbons.  When she'd looked at herself in the mirror, she had been quite pleased with the results.
So lost in thought, she had lost track of the man.
Until he stood next to her.
"A...hi," he said. "I'm Sean Michael Sterling." He stared at her with dark dangerous brown eyes as he crossed his arms on his chest.

ALSO BY CHRISTINE YOUNG:




Ireland in 1817, when tensions are high between Protestants and Catholics and faey people guide the fate of villagers. A lovely Catholic lass stumbles upon the weakly ritual fisticuffing between Irish lads. She falls into the lap of a handsome young Protestant. Family ties, grudges, and two conniving faeries threaten their budding love. But the faeries outsmart themselves when they hijack a time machine that has mysteriously appeared in their forest.



REVIEW:

This story is straight from the heart. Told in a passive voice and as a first person account through Elice and Micha's eyes. Their thoughts tug your heartstings. Their memory of their past life, the war and of course the present. They never fell out of love but exhuming those feelings hurt. They also had to face the consequences of their actions when an unexpected visitor arrived in their plantation home. Elice and Micha found out that in war, there is something worst than death and it is cowardice.

BLURB:

A man and a woman on opposite sides of the Civil War get a second chance at love after one final battle returns soldiers to their war-torn homes to rebuild their lives.