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Showing posts from January, 2013

Featured Chapter--In the Shadow of Sinai by Carole Towriss

Pi-Ramses, Egypt Late 13th Century BC First month of Ahket, Season of Inundation
The crash of the drum echoed in Bezalel’s ears as he slipped out from behind his pedestal on the portico and hastened to the throne room. He dared not risk the penalty for being late—again. His tunic still stuck to his wounds from the last beating and ripped them open whenever he moved the wrong way. He dropped to the cold limestone floor on one knee and lowered his head, raising it just enough to watch pair after pair of bare feet shuffle west toward the dais. The heavy scent of perfumed oil stung his nose. The old king ascended his throne as the bare-chested attendants silently lined the walls on either side of the spacious hall then turned toward their sovereign and bowed low. This daily routine was absurd, pretending that Ramses was a god. He was no more a god than Bezalel was, although Bezalel couldn’t say that El Shaddai was doing him much good at the moment either. In fact, he seemed utterly incompetent.…

Flash Fiction by Author Ramona Cecil

“Reckon me and you’ll be spendin’ plenty of Sundays together soon enough.”
Annie’s back stiffened at Ezra’s self-assured tone. It rankled that he assumed they would take up their relationship where they’d left off at Annie’s marriage to Jonah. Though she didn’t understand exactly why, her feelings for Ezra had decidedly cooled.
She lifted her chin and gave him a chilly stare. “Monsieur Martin is Jonah’s kin, not mine. And how I spend my Sundays is of my own choosing.” Ezra needed to know he was not entitled to her affection. He’d have to win it. Whirling away, she stomped toward the front door. But before she could step outside, Brock’s bright voice halted her.
“Annie, it’s nice to see you again—especially without a musket in your hands.” A grin parted his lips. The twinkle in his eyes suggested he found her agitated demeanor amusing.
Still perturbed by Ezra’s earlier self-assured arrogance, she blurted, “Since men are so pigheaded, a loaded musket may be the only way a woman can get thei…

Featured First Scene--Choices of the Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes

Seabourne, Virginia April 1842
   Esther Cherrett removed the sketchbook from her satchel and lifted it to the highest shelf in the armoire. She didn't need pictures of men whose form existed simply in her imagination's portrayals, in colored chalks—not where she was going. And drawings of her family would only make her sad. Make her feel guilty. She didn't need the satchel either. Its packets of herbs, rolls of bandages, and canvas apron for protecting her dresses during a lying-in would be of as little use in her new position as were the drawings. She started to hoist it up to the shelf too, but her arms shook as though the black leather bag weighed a hundred pounds instead of ten, and she let it drop. It landed on the blue floral rug with a thud. The latch sprang open and poked up like an accusing finger. You shouldn't be doing this, it seemed to say in the voice of Letty O'Tool, the eldest congregant in the church. You aren't answering to your calling. Esther s…

Featured Chapter--Where Treasure Hides by Johnnie Alexander Donley

Chapter One August 1939

The stringed notes of “Rule, Britannia!” grew louder as the crowd quieted, eyes and ears straining in their search for the violin soloist. The patriotic anthem echoed through Waterloo Station’s concourse, and as the second chorus began, sporadic voices sang the lyrics. Travel-weary Brits stood a little straighter, chins lifted, as the violinist completed the impromptu performance, the last note sounding long after the strings were silenced.

Alison Schuyler gripped her leather bag and threaded her way through the crowd toward the source of the music. As the final note faded inside the hushed terminal, she squeezed between a sailor and his girl, murmuring an apology at forcing them to part, and stepped onto a bench to see over the crowd. A dark-haired boy, no more than seven or eight, held the violin close to his anemic frame. His jacket, made of a finely woven cloth, hung loosely on his thin shoulders. The matching trousers would have slipped down his hips if not…

Featured First Scene--Small Town Dad by Jean C. Gordon

His guard unit's tour of duty in Afghanistan had prepared Neal Hazard to face just about anything. Except, evidently, returning to the classroom after seventeen years. He looked down the hall of the main building of the Ticonderoga campus of North Country Community College and wiped his hands on his jeans. How had he ever let his daughter, Autumn, talk him into starting college? "Hey, Dad," Autumn called from behind him. Just what he didn't need, more of her help. She hurried over, followed by a young man and woman. "This is Sean and Lindsay." He nodded to the couple. He wanted to know Autumn's friends, but he wanted to get this advising meeting over with. "So, did you meet with your advisor?" "No, I'm on my way to her office now." He took a step toward the room. "Have you gotten your books yet?" Autumn's voice took on the oh-so-patient tone he'd often used with her when she was small. "You know NCCC has a virtual …

Featured Chapter--Mind of Her Own by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Chapter One      Rain pelted the ceiling-to-floor windows of the family room. The grayness of the evening invaded Louisa Copeland’s mind and home. The oversize chair she snuggled in helped hide her surroundings. The thick romance in her hand further darkened her mood as she read how the hero whisked away the heroine for a surprise dinner on some pier. Were there relationships like that? She didn’t know of any.
     “Give it to him!” Joey, her five-year-old son, joined the fray as Madison, her twelve-year-old daughter, dangled a plastic horse over the head of Tim, her youngest son, just out of his reach.
     Jolted from the fantasy world into the real one, where rainy days turned children into caged animals, Louisa gripped the book tight and took five deep breaths. “Madison, if you don’t give it back to Tim now, I will take your phone away for the rest of the day.”      Madison’s eyes narrowed. “Daddy won’t let you.”
     “He isn’t here at the moment. He is working but will be home for …