Friday, November 29, 2013

Now Available to Own: Tales By The Tree

There is nothing like the thrill of seeing your name in print for the first time.  I am so thankful and honoured for this opportunity to contribute to such an outstanding collection of 40+ authors and 75 timeless tales.  A big thank you to Marissa Ames, Laura Jamez, Nick Johns, and Ruth Long for all of your hard work in putting this gem of an anthology together!


With gorgeous design work by the talented Blue Harvest Creative, this 348 page book comes in EBOOK FORMAT and in PRINT FORMAT through Amazon. (Click links to take you to the book)

One last awesome fact: All proceeds go towards the Mount Rose Elementary School Library in Reno, Nevada.  We love giving the gift of reading!  

A fantastic Christmas gift for the bookworms in your family (or a beautiful Christmas coffee table book), this anthology has a little something for every kind of reader in its four categories:



So grab a cup of your favourite Christmas beverage, snuggle up in a cozy chair, and enjoy all of the Christmasy fun!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Taming of the Turkey

Finish That Thought #21 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: Is cranberry sauce supposed to taste like this? 
Special Challenge: Include a zebra without making it part of the meal

Wishing all Americans a very happy Thanksgiving!  May your turkey be scrumptious and your mashed potatoes be smooth."Is cranberry sauce supposed to taste like this?" 

Hetty whipped around to find her nephew chewing on a beet, purple juice smeared all over his chubby cheeks and dripping onto her freshly cleaned counter.

“No, no, no, Freddie, those are beets. Go play outside until the food is ready, ok?”

“But I’m hungry!” Freddie whined, chomped up beet still sloshing around his mouth.

“Shoo! It won’t be done any faster if you’re bothering Auntie!”

She sighed as the little nymph made a face, spat out the remains of the beet onto the counter, then sulked out the door. What had she been thinking when she invited her sister’s family over for Feast Day? Straightening her apron over her petal skirt, Hetty turned her attention to the turkey roasting in the oven. At least, it was supposed to be roasting. It looked limp and unappetizing, just like the withered carrots, wilted lettuce, and lumpy mashed potatoes.

“Someday I am going to put a restraining spell on Matilda’s ogre!” Hetty mumbled as she poked her head into the oven to check on the bird. “Just as soon as I learn how.”

Hetty could not wait until she had her pixie license. Not only would she have the ability to cross over to the human world where all the cool parties were, she’d be able to take care of that nasty pet ogre her neighbour owned once and for all, and plant the perfect vegetable garden she always dreamed of having. That ogre always managed to smash her garden to bits.

Stepping back from the oven, Hetty surveyed her hard work with dissatisfaction. She couldn’t serve her family this!

“What this calls for is a little magic!” she decided. Pulling over a stool, she crawled up onto it and reached into the top cupboard where she kept her wand. Her instructor had very clearly stated that the wand should only be used in class, but this was an emergency. Wand in hand, she faced her flaccid feast once again with a determination that would rival a cat after a fish.

“Sparkles, gleams, an untasty feast
Twinkles, shimmers, be edible eats!”

She sang in a clear soprano as she waved her wand around. Glitter encased the poor vegetables, turning them into healthful looking stalks. Hetty squealed with delight.

“And now for the turkey!” Hetty rolled up her sleeves, concentrating very hard on her spell.

“Sparkles, gleams, a yucky turkey
Twinkles, shimmers, be roasted birdie!”

The same glitter snaked its way from her wand to the oven, glowing as it spread across the bird. It started to blacken, then grew. And grew. Hetty watched in amazement as it spilled onto the floor and began to take shape. Then she was horrified! Dropping her wand, she raised dainty hands to her flushed cheeks and fled from the kitchen straight into the chest of her brother-in-law!

“It smells great in here, sis!” he exclaimed. Then he saw it. “Um, Het? What’s a zebra doing in your kitchen?”

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bedtime Stories

Finish That Thought #19 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: [She] awoke in the grass, freshly mowed except for a ring around [her] body.
Special Challenge: An ending and an answer

"He awoke in the grass, freshly mowed except for a ring around his body.  It took him a moment to realize he was in his backyard and that Mom was ringing the supper bell.  Brushing the bits of loose grass from his trousers, he leapt to his feet, and ran towards the house.

'Coming, Mom!'

As he slipped into his seat at the table, surrounded by his family once more, he wondered for a moment if it had been just a dream.  But he soon dismissed the thought, for everyone knows that the Pixie Dreamers were just another story.

The end."

Cicely Mary Barker - A Little Book of Old Rhymes - The Fairies PaintingGrandpa closed the old leather book and set it on the nightstand beside the rocker.  He glanced down at his granddaughter snuggled on his lap and was surprised to find her blue eyes brightened by the bedtime story.

"Read it again, Grandpa!" Suzy implored.  "Please!  I want to hear about the pixies again!"  Chuckling, Grandpa picked her up and tucked her into her little bed.

"Not tonight.  It's bedtime for you."  With a huff, Suzy settled her head on her pillow and watched reluctantly as Grandpa smoothed her sheets around her.   

"Are the pixie dreamers real, Grandpa?  Do you think they'd visit me, too?" Suzy blurted out.

Grandpa's eyes twinkled as he chuckled again, "Perhaps, but they only visit sleeping children!"  He switched on her fairy nightlight and bent over to turn off her bedside lamp.  "Good night, Suzy.  See you in the morning!"

"G'night, Grandpa," she replied as he closed her door softly behind him.  As soon as the latch clicked, Suzy scrambled to the side of her bed and reached over to turn on her lamp again.  Carefully picking up the book, she reverently placed it on the bed and opened it to the first page.  The colourful drawings intrigued her, as well as the story of the little boy who discovered pixies hiding in his backyard.  Flipping page after page, she ooooh'ed and ahhhhh'ed over each chiseled face with the pointy ears.

"But what if we get caught!"
"Silly imp, she can't see us.  Come now, quickly!"

Suzy's head jerked up as the hushed voices came from her window.  Two little creatures scurried across the ledge. 

"Hello?" she whispered hesitantly as she put the book down.  They froze for a second and dove for cover behind the curtains.

"I told you she would see us!" the distinctly female voice spoke.
"What do we do now?" hissed the male voice.
"Maybe if we stay quiet, she'll ignore us."

Crawling out of the covers, Suzy jumped down from her bed and held her breath as she crept over to the window.  Her heart was thumping so loudly, she hoped her parents couldn't hear it all the way out in the living room.

"She's coming this way!"
"Be quiet!"

Suzy pulled the curtain up and smiled.  They were pixies!  "Don't be scared, I won't hurt you.  My name's Suzy, what's yours?"

The female stepped forward timidly.  "Azamuthel, and this is Kilren," she replied.  "I don't get it, how can you see us?"

"Because she believes," Kilren answered in awe.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Truth or Dare

Finish That Thought #18 (Judge's Comments)
Prompt: I cared what [she] thought, so when [she] dared me, I knew I was in trouble.  
Special Challenge: Use the word "discombobulated" and include an imaginary friend. 

Note: It did not do very well as the judge was slightly confused with how it played out.  She did, however, suggest that I include Josh earlier in the story to help sort things out.  Since I am at a loss, I am opening this up for all ya'll!  How would you introduce Josh? ^^

I cared what he thought, so when he dared me, I knew I was in trouble.  

“C’mon, Lacey, it’s just a dare.  You going to do it or not?” Tricia goaded while folding her arms over her chest.  

I slowed my swing to a halt and glanced shyly at Isaac, the most popular boy in school.  He gave me a smug little smirk as the rest of the class tittered behind him.

“All I have to do is tell my crush that I like him?” my voice squeaked.  Immediately I flushed and looked down at my sneakers.

“In front of everyone,” Isaac amended, grinning at Tricia.  My palms started sweating so I tightened my grip on the chains.  I knew they wanted me to admit to having a crush on Isaac so they could tease me for the rest of the year.  Every girl in class had a crush on him.  And why not?  He was as handsome as 11-year-old boys come with his athletic build, shaggy blonde hair, blue eyes, and dimples.  

“Everyone?” I asked breathlessly.  “And then I can sit at your table at lunch?”

“And then you can sit at our table at lunch,” Tricia mimicked in a high-pitched voice.  Again, everyone snickered.  All of this attention was making me discombobulated.  Regaining my equilibrium on the wooden seat, I timidly brought my gaze to Isaac’s mocking eyes.

“I’ll do it.”

The shock that plastered itself on his face was worth the embarrassment I was about to endure.  Taking a deep breath, I turned to the empty swing beside me as my face prickled with heat.

"Josh, I have a crush on you."