Lady Ceclia (An Autumn Short Story)

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year. Warm days followed by cool nights. The vibrant green leaves turning into a brilliant spectrum of burning flames. It’s not just the color of orange, gold, palest yellow and burnishing reds that capture my greedy eyes. It’s the play of all those shades layered together in a canopy that only nature can provide.

The perfect backdrop for a mysterious and gay masquerade ball! A dance with decadent waltzes, lively foxtrots, hearty reels and a sedate march. The food will be glorious and varied to tempt the most cynical taste buds. Yet, it’s the costumes and masks that are the true lure. To be clothed in a mystical ornament, glittering accessories and hidden from all eyes behind a fanciful mask. The idea of being someone different, doing something a little wicked and getting away with it gave me a secret thrill that I held close to my heart.

The ball was everything I could ask for and more! Armed in my dark fairy costume and mask, I found myself in more than one dance with men of wild repute. One of them, the infamous Lord Alexander, paid more than close attention as the night drew closer to midnight. He was everything my lady Mother had advised against. Tall, bright copper blonde locks that fell adorably over his face, wicked green eyes and a smile that promised decadent delights that no true lady should ever consider. Rumors say that he’s ruined more than one proper young miss and that he’s been caught with several of the married ladies of court. Drowning in his green eyes, the feel of his strong arm beneath my hand and the way he whispered naughty observances in my ear-I willingly fell beneath the charming rakehell’s grace.

That night, we stole away from prying eyes and he taught me how to kiss, to tease his lips with mine, the way my body will shiver at a simple touch, shudder under a flicking thumb, come alive in swollen need and the truth of a man’s passion. The hardness of his rampant rod and the primal cries of release. He praised my quick wit, alluring curves that begged for touch and the innate sensuality that eagerly caught onto the act of love. He promised to meet me the next night. He said that there was so much more he would teach me about love. That what we had was only the smallest taste of many wild hedonistic pleasures that I have never could have dreamed.

I eagerly drank in his passionate whispers, his promises and voluptuary designs. I did not hide my moans or trembling loins from his sight as he cleaned the flood of our releases from between my legs, upon my belly and thighs. I held close every piece of our memories to my heart and replayed them over and over again as I waited for the next night.

One night became two in a bewildering purgatory of wild imagination and no information. Two turned into three. The days passed in sullen drag of lifeless mud. Even the autumn colors and weather failed to rouse me from the dreadful well of misery I have become.

Then I found fire.

A furious fire of a woman scorned.

An urgent note arrived from a dear friend who has fallen ill. Of all my friends, Lady Amelia was my best friend. We told each other everything and she is the sister of my heart, if not family. Of everyone I know and love, she is pure in heart and angel in life. Where I could not find the spirit to care for myself, I drew up strength to be strong for her. I found a spark of my old self, dressed and left to see my closest friend. I found her listless and drawn. I thought she had caught a cold or bodily ill. Instead, with some persistence, I heard a familiar tale of deviltry, curiosity, debauchery, promises and heartbreak.

Apparently, Lord Alexander has been a very busy man. Very busy indeed.

Sorrow for broken dreams quickly burned beneath the lava thick heat of my anger. Dangerous hatred drew several plans and rejected each until a sound strategy set. I shared my intentions with Lady Amelia and vowed that she would be avenged. That we would both be avenged.

It was simple matter to approach my oldest friend. He fostered with my own family when he was young and we have been close ever since. As Lady Amelia is a sister of my heart, he is a brother of the same. Then all I had to do was draw Lord Alexander out, which I did. The fool never suspected.

I watched avidly as my family wrought their own vengeance on Lord Alexander on a fine autumn day. The fiery leaves a splendid foil his rude comeuppance.

****

This short story was inspired by another short story that I read. Both of the stories are part of a writing challenge for September 2013. Hopefully, you will enjoy reading this story as much as I had fun writing it. Enjoy! Comments are always welcome.

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Unraveling ~ Melissa A. Bryan

  • Title: Unraveling
  • Author: Melissa A. Bryan
  • Genre: UF, PNR
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Author
  • Reviewed by: Soo
  • Rating: 1 out of 5

Description:  Ava is just your average girl, she loves her best friend and they have done everything together since they were children. Now in adulthood they move to start a new life in Montana. They have your average college kid’s life, school, parties, boyfriends, but what Ava did not expect is to come across an unlikely being. Vampires. She at first doesn’t believe anything, until she sees it with her own eyes and then realizes vampires aren’t the only things out there. Werewolves are after her. She and Liam, the vampire, try to figure out why they want to obtain her. But in their journey to the truth, Ava finds something out about herself she would have never expected. Soon after, she is taken by the Indies pack of werewolves. Fearing for her life and leaving no trace for Liam to find her, she is lost and feels her life unraveling. “Are they going to kill me?” Ava wonders. But during her captivity, she makes an unlikely friend, Dax. Now that they have bonded through a time of hardship she fears for him if Liam ever gets to her.

Review:  Ava’s life is turned upside down and sideways. She may as well be an astronaut stranded in outer space. Supernatural beings exist and none of them get along with one another. In fact, Ava’s falling in love with a vampire. A vampire!

Ava just wanted to reconnect with her best friend. Her best friend’s idea of a good time is to crash an invite only night club. Ava didn’t realize that her life would be endangered by learning that vampires and werewolves are real. She didn’t realize that she would be hunted by the werewolves. She doesn’t know why anything is happening. She only knows that her life is in danger and she’s falling in love with Liam, a vampire.

My thoughts:

The story has a lot of potential to become a sweeping & epic Urban Fantasy novel. There were several elements of the book that I liked but I had a hard time staying within the story as a reader due to structural & technical errors. I like the ideas the book is based on. I do not like the book as a whole because I felt that I had to make the story become whole by rationalizing as a reader rather than having the story come together because of the way it’s written.

May 2013 New Releases

Here’s the latest scoop on what’s coming out in May 2013! In order to keep the list at a manageable state, I use Goodreads as my playground for Up and Coming Releases. Take a look at what’s a head for May and see if there are any books you’re interested in! Last month was a doozy and filled with books I just had to get my hands on. This month has a lot of tantalizing picks but only a few that I must get immediately. Keep an eye out for the Cover Wars post by Darth Val. If you don’t know what that is, check out the post for April Cover Wars. Let us know if a title pops out at you and why. Enjoy!

FANTASY:

URBAN FANTASY:

HORROR:

MYSTERY:

ROMANCE:

EROTICA:

PARANORMAL ROMANCE:

SCIENCE FICTION:

April 2013 New Releases

FANTASY:

URBAN FANTASY:

HORROR:

MYSTERY:

ROMANCE:

EROTICA:

PARANORMAL ROMANCE:

SCIENCE FICTION:

Much Ado About Nothing ~ Joss Whedon

In the random and tangential way of my life, I came across a tidbit of information and ran with it to see where it’ll go. I admit that I’m a fan of Whedon and I tend to enjoy the shows he makes. I mean, Firefly and Serenity are only a few of a long list to love. Let’s not forget old goodies like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. There are a slew of shows and movies on television and theaters that I’ve watched and enjoyed immensely.

Now there’s Much Ado About Nothing, a Shakespeare adaptation film that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival 2012 and will have limited release in 2013. I never quite know what to expect from a Whedon project. This one is tagged as a Comedy, Drama & Romance. By that, I’m guessing that I’ll have equal moments of laughter, snickering and maybe an Aw moment or two.

Here are some interesting things I found out about the movie:

  • Film was shot in Secret!
  • Made in Whedon’s home in Santa Monica
  • Shot in 12 Days as Whedon worked on The Avengers
  • Cast full of Familiar faces like Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion & Sean Maher

I can’t wait to see this movie! I’ll be sure to share my two cents on it once I’ve had a sit down with it in a dark & booming room.

Beautiful Creatures ~ Kami Garcia

  • Title: Beautiful Creatures
  • Author: Kami Garcia
  • Series: Castor Chronicles #1
  • Genre: UF, PNR, YA
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Soo
  • Rating: 1 out of 5

Description:  Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Review:   1.5 Stars – I don’t hate this book but I don’t like it either. I would not recommend this story to anyone to read. However, I freely admit that there is a glimmer of promise in the vast waste of pages and that deserves more than a one star rating.

I lost count of how many times I had to make myself pick this book back up to read. The only reason I finished the book at all is due to the fact that a friend asked me to read it to the end. My opinion of the novel is slightly better than the initial response I had to the story.

Beautiful Creatures has a handful of interesting ideas & characters. I wish the book had lived up to the promise and praise I heard so much about. That would have made the reading experience more enjoyable.

1. I should not be able to tell that there’s more than one writer telling the story but it’s obvious because the flow of the story changes drastically in uneven patches that makes me think of an unpredictable roller coaster ride.

2. I heard loads of praise because the main POV is male. It would be nice if it actually sounded like a male character. I didn’t know that the POV was from a boy’s perspective until Amma calls Ethan down for breakfast. Sadly, the confusing & inconsistent female voice is there for most of Ethan’s POV. Some people claimed that Ethan’s character is too nice and doesn’t act like a real teenage boy. That’s true. However, I could have looked over that if he at least thought & spoke like a boy.

3. The utter gross exaggeration of the south and the bludgeoning of small town habits went from quaint to annoying to please kill me now & can you shut up. I grew up in the south and I’ve lived in small towns. Maybe this is what you get when you write about something you don’t really understand. Going by the writing, I would not say the authors really know about the southern lifestyle.

4. The bad grammar in the story is a total turn off. The authors are two well educated women and I’m sure there was an editor that also assisted with the book. I don’t understand why there are so many grammar mistakes.

5. I love romantic stories, adventure, ghosts, nutty conflict, zany characters and all that jazz. I had many people telling me that I will gain those elements by reading this book. All I got is a handful of promising characters with a few twists and tweaks that failed to really make a dent in actual progress or live up to the promise. Things would happen in the story and I would wait for it to mean something or for the characters to do something that makes an impact. Yet, all I really observed are the characters going down a predictable path, taking predictable actions, and the somewhat interesting elements being explained away as “mysterious knowledge you can’t have because you’re too young or something blah blah blah”. I guess some of those unexplained bits are explained later in the rest of the series. However, I do not have any desire to read the rest of the series.

6. I don’t understand why the book is as long as it is. It could be cut down to half the length and be much more enjoyable to read. That way, it would not take over a 100 pages to engage my interest. I was kidding when I said it would suck if the book doesn’t get interesting until the last 100 pages. Well, I was kidding. Then it happened. That’s a sad state for a story.