Friday, January 14, 2022

A NEW RELEASE by SHANNON LAWRENCE! THE BUSINESS OF SHORT STORIES ...

Hi All,

Today, I am thrilled to announce Shannon Lawrence's  forthcoming book, THE BUSINESS OF SHORT STORIES...

Blurb: Whether you're looking to add short stories to your repertoire as a solo pursuit or in addition to novel writing, The Business of Short Stories covers every aspect from writing to marketing. Learn the dynamics of short story writing, where to focus your editing efforts, how and where to submit, how to handle acceptances and rejections, what to do with reprints, and how to market yourself and your stories online and in person. The information in The Business of Short Stories has been distilled from over a decade of short story publishing experience so you don't have to learn the hard way. You'll find information on submission formatting, cover letters, querying a collection, sending proposals to writing events, how to create a website, SEO, social media, and so much more. This is an invaluable resource for short story writer

"There's never been a better time to get into short stories!" 

I couldn't agree more, that is why I preordered my copy. For those of you, who like me, is finding it hard to get your novel published, why not start with short stories and build up your writing experience and portfolio. Often, agents and publishers ask for writing credentials and if you have a few short stories published, it may help...it certainly couldn't hurt. I can't wait until the end of the month to start my short story journey. Why not start yours as well? 2022 is forecasted to be an excellent publishing year. Now is the time to get your stories out to the readers who will enjoy them.

Here is more information about Shannon and her collected works.


Author Bio: Shannon Lawrence has made a career of short stories, with over a decade of experience and more than fifty short stories published in magazines and anthologies. In addition, she's released three horror short story collections with a mix of new and previously published stories. Her true crime podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem is going into its third season. 


Book: The Business of Short Stories: Writing, Submitting, Publishing, and Marketing
Author: Shannon Lawrence
ISBN: 978-1-7320314-5-6
Format/Price: Print ($13.99) and e-book ($3.99)
Release Date: February 1, 2022


(**Note: Shannon is waiting on the pre-order for the paperback, and will send that out when she receives it)

The book will also be available after the release date from Ingram, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and other sites.

Shannon's website and social media:





Wednesday, January 5, 2022

A GREAT WAY TO START THE NEW YEAR... AN IWSG POST


 Hi All,

First, I would like to wish everyone a HAPPY, HEALTHY, and PROSPEROUS new year!   is incredible how quickly 2021 passed us. I know it has been a long year for many, but even though it was a trying year, we managed to get through it. 

Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and the illustrious IWSG team, we were able to vent our anxieties all through this troubling year. Please sign up at Alex's site if you would like to join us.

During the closing months of 2021, I decided to write an essay and a few short stories to submit into various venues...well, I am DELIGHTED to say that my first published work will be featured in the IWSG-FIRST LOVE ANTHOLOGY! My story, Oliver's Girl, was selected! It has been a very long journey for me to publication, and I am honored to have my story chosen. This is my first step, and I hope an pray this is the begining of many more to come. 

I plan to submit a pitch for the IWSG Twitter Pitch on January 26th. Mark that day if you have a polished and completed work to pitch! You never know, your pitch may be picked! I have queried my latest WIP with no luck, so this is my last "pitch." So many of my collegues have selfpublished and have been very successful. Perhaps it is time for me to do the same. The publishing world has changed dramatically since I started to write over ten years ago and the forcast for this year is very positive. With Covid still amongst us, many people have turned to reading. I have certainly read more. There was an amazing article that I read on Anne R. Allen's blog about the 2022 publishing forecast. It was very insightful and a must read. Here is the link

Well, my friends, thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful January. Stay warm and safe.

HAPPY IWSG DAY!


Friday, December 17, 2021

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL MY WONDERFUL BLOGGER FRIENDS!....


 Hello All!

Can you believe it? Christmas Eve is only ONE week away! I decided to go ALL out this year. This is the first time in decades I have all my Christmas decorations in ONE place. I perused all my dozens of plastic bins in all sizes along with countless boxes, and I have to admit, I was OVERWHELMED. Lol

But, after calming down and opening them up one at a time, I managed to separate them into decorations for each level (I have three levels in my home). I decided right from the beginning that I would put up three trees: one nine-foot in the entry (shown in the first pic), Another fuller, nine-foot tree for the living room, and a third, seven-foot pencil tree for the lower level. I started to take down my Thanksgiving decorations and pack them away the day after Thanksgiving. I have quite a lot of Fall decorations so it took me the whole day. Saturday, I began to open bins and bring down decorations for the table surfaces and fireplace. I thought it would be easier to do it this way than bring down the bins two flights from the attic and then lug the empty bins back up-they are still heavy even empty. Sadly, at some point, I had to bring down at least twenty of them: the ones that held the tree ornaments. 

By mid-week, I set up the trees. I usually don't put up my tree until December 15th, but since I had three of them to do, I had to start earlier. The Lower Level tree was a snap; it only took about four hours to do. I have a lovely brick 

wall the tree nestled into rather nicely. I decorated the remaining LL, which consists of the rest of this room, a dining area, a staircase, bathroom, and bedroom. Yes, I put a bit of Christmas in every room. But I will spare you the complete tour...it's a fourteen room house, plus a very large front porch (also decorated to the nines!). This will be my personal space for when I open up as a Bed and Breakfast in late spring.


As we return to the main level, the second large tree hold court in the living room. It has over 500 ornaments. Yes, you are reading correctly, lol. My whole life is represented on this tree. From my first ornaments given to me as a toddler, to my vast traveling, and finally purchasing a few new ones every year. In my teens, I made many ornaments with beads, pearls, and sequins on satin Christmas balls...remember those? They were so IN back in the early to mid-'70s. I pricked myself thousands of times on those damn straight pins. But, they lasted for forty-five years. EEK! Am I really that old? DON'T ANSWER THAT. Lol

This was a tricky shot to take. I wanted to get both tree into the picture. I managed, thankfully! The only thing missing is the roaring fire. Since this is a wood stove, the flames are not wonderful, but the warmth and the flickers of light does enchant one when having a brandy on a cold night...like this one.

The next pic is a different angle of the living room. You can see the dining room to the left of the fireplace in the first LR pic. 

The one feature I love about this room are the front diamond-pained windows. A hundred plus years ago, craftsman took the time to cut each pane individually. That is a LOT of work especially since they are encased in wood lattice, not lead: much harder to do. The previous owners painted them white. ACK! After Christmas, I plan to restore them back to the original walnut stain which encases them.

This next pic is a closeup of the tree. As you can see ornaments galore! I also have dozens of glass icicles. They really make this tree sparkle! There is just one more room that I would to  share with you, the dining room. What is so nice about early twentieth century homes, they all had large dining rooms to sit and enjoy meals with the family and friends. Sadly, because of Covid, there hasn't been much use of it, but I do like to have a meal in there when I want a change of view from the kitchen island, where I normally dine. This room is the exact same size as the living room with paneled pocket door separating the two. I gather, that in the ninteen teens, the most like had a made or kitchen staff, as the family would "go through" into the living room, the maid would shut the doors and clean off the table. My, have things changed. I would kill to have someone clean for me and do the dishes. One thing I honestly do not like to do. I'm sure many of you agree! So, without further ado, here is the formal dining room. Up until a month ago, I had bare windows with only shades. It was time to hang up the silk drapes I made in 2004 for my Parisian-styled vintage condo in Chicago. It was an extemely elegant room. I even hung the same crystal chandelier in this massive room (15x25 feet). The room is much larger than it looks here. There is a large buffet on the right-hand side of the room.

I have the nativity on the buffet. You will see it in the next pic. I love this nativity because it is made of papier mache'. The details are incredible. I also used rafia for the straw and have wool lambs. It is a large set. The standing kings and Joseph are about fourteen inches. I kept this room more simple with just Santa and two reindeer on the table with candlesticks and lladro geese. A few poinsiettas on the top of the clock add some much need festive color.

The chandlier was my mother's. I have been cleaning it since she bought it in 1970. A long and funny story. Let's just say, Mom had to have it and it cost a weeks salary, in those days, that was INSANE. It has so many wonderful memories of my mom and family spending countless holidays and family dinners under that chandelier. I can't wait until we all could enjoy our lives again. I love to entertain and it truly saddens me that I can not entertain for this holiday season. I bought this house at the end of 2019... just as Covid began to show its ugly head.

Well, my dear friends, I hope you enjoyed my Christmas house. The final picture is the front of the house all lit up for a festive holiday season.

I would like to wish you all a HAPPY, HEALTHY, and PROSPEROUS holiday season and New Year! Keep safe my friends. You are always in my thoughts and prayers! 

Sending you all a great BIG virtual hug!!!! 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

DECEMBER...A MAGICAL MONTH INDEED! AN IWSG POST... AND ... NARCISSUS- A WEP ENTRY

 

Happy December, Everyone!

Once again, it is time for another IWSG post! I am so happy to remember it is so early this month. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and the IWSG team for their loyalty and many hours of helping others with their writing and their insecurities. If you would like to join our group, please visit here.

I just LOVE this time of year. One can smell and feel the magic in the air around us. Many of us are frosted in a winter wonderland while others are in sub-tropical weather decorating palm trees into candy canes! 

So far we in NW IL are snow-free with beautiful autumn weather. Perfect for decorating the exterior of our homes without freezing to death. At least, that is my plan for this weekend. 

The holiday season is also a time to gather with family and close friends. Sadly, this year with a new variant of Covid many people will be apart from their loved ones. But, don't despair, we can still have gatherings via Skype and Facetime. It is certainly not as good, but you can still bake together, have a drink, and celebrate with one another.

I know many get anxious over the holidays because they can't find or afford the right gifts. The holiday isn't about going bankrupt or stressing out, it is a time for LOVE. One thing we did learn from this dreaded disease is that we must appreciate what we have and the special people in our lives. So put on your favorite holiday music, BAKE up some scrumptious goodies, sit by the fire, if you have one, if not, bath your home in candlelight. It's amazing how a few candles create such a soothing and beautiful ambiance. Perhaps, create a new holiday favorite drink... Mix ANYTHING with a bit of rum, cherries, cranberries, orange slices, and cinnamon. It doesn't take much to feel the magic. 

When I was in Colorado last week, I found this absolutely LOVELY bookstore. Yes, they still exist! I found the most charming items inside. Since I don't have children, I never had a copy of "Twas The Night Before Christmas." I found the most beautifully illustrated copy and treated myself to it. I can think of no other story to relax us into such a festive season. I just may read it to my fur baby, Hamlet ... Why not? I could start a new tradition!. I am sure there are many pet parents who may enjoy reading to their beloved fur children... I found in my experience reading out loud does have a major calming effect. 

I would also like to take this time to wish every one of you a Happy, HEALTHY, and Prosperous Holiday season. Enjoy your quiet time and be a peace. We all deserve peace after such a turbulent year.

Sending healing and warm hugs to you all~




And now, the final entry to this year's WEP entry of how Art inspires us... Please visit the others stories at the WEP website!





Tagline: Beauty is literally in the eye of the beholder...


In a forest glen, a sun-kissed waterfall twinkles and cascades over jagged rocks into a tranquil sapphire pool. Twin nymphs and several fairies glide along the surface, dancing to an unheard song. 


A flaxen-haired youth approaches and smiles a smile so captivating; the sisters stare at the handsome stranger. With each one of his steps the fairies sigh and beckon to him.


Curious, the flawless, blue-eyed naiads and several sparkling winged fairies edge the mirror-like pond. They flirt for the young man’s attention as he heads toward them. In a voice that can charm a spider into giving up flies, he introduces himself and asks about the exquisite beauty before him. 


“I have never laid eyes on such a heart-stopping scene.”


Swooning, the mystical ladies are awestruck. He meanders around the water’s edge, kneels, and gazes into pond. The stillness of the clear, blue water reflects every breathtaking detail.


Mesmerized, he stares into the liquid mirror. His breath escapes him. 


“Could this exquisite image be of me?” he whispers. 


The fairies zip over to him and tug at his hair, sleeves, and back. 


Ignoring them, he continues staring into his turquoise eyes framed by long, thick lashes. 


Hissing buzzes in his ears followed by assaults to his face. He swats his hand, making contact with several fairies who hit the ground hard. The others pick up the injured and fly away. 


Hungry and thirsty, he reaches into his canvas bag and takes out food and drink. Nourished, he stretches out and falls asleep.



Hours later, the luminous water nymphs return. They place beside him a goblet made of etched gold filled with sweet nectar. Clasping hands, they sink into the crystalline depths of the pond.


The warmth of the morning sun awakens the youth. Stretching, he sits up and notices the goblet. “How thoughtful.” He raises the cup. “To this enchanting place.” He takes a deep sip and an unnatural compulsion to view his image overwhelms him...


After three days of admiring his reflection, he passes. The fairies gather around him, tears flowing from their eyes. They sprinkle his body with glittering opalescent dust as the nymphs rise from the water, singing, their lyrical voices chanting their sorrow. 


A light breeze caresses the youth’s body and he dissolves into the earth in silence. 


The fairies gather as a burst of bright light and long spikes of emerald shoot from the ground. 


Between each spear, a delicate stem rises. A pearl-like bud forms and blossoms into the first Narcissus. Thousands more yellow and white trumpets announce their arrival and blanket the edge of the pond. A subtle scent perfumes the air as the fairies take flight.


The twins emerge and pick several blooms gently placing them in their hair. Once more, they begin to dance to an unheard song and the fairies follow suit…


All is tranquil forevermore.





Friday, November 5, 2021

TOTALLY SPACED IWSG ON WEDNESDAY....



Hi, All


I am so sorry I spaced posting on Wednesday. Getting ready to leave town soon and I just didn't realize the date. 

I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely Fall weather. I know many are doing NaNo this month and I wish you ALL the best with your writing. No time to think about insecurities, just keep writing!

Wishing you all a SAFE and MEANINGFUL Thanksgiving! I know I am grateful and thankful for so much despite the trials and tribulations of our pandemic lives.

Sending you all virtual hugs! 

Stay safe and see you next month.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

THE SCREAM'S CONCLUSION ... A WEP ENTRY AND POST.

 

Hi All,


AS promised, here is the conclusion from my SCREAM entry for the WEP. 

We left off as Kimmie is mysteriously pushed through a tattered curtain...


And then, a dusty wind swirled around me as if conjured up by some strange dark force; it swept me through the curtain, my silent scream following.



A bright flame blinded me. Someone grabbed me by the arm and pulled me onto a shaky wooden bridge. Human sweat, burnt incense, and animal feces assaulted my nose. I tried to catch my breath and choked.


I lost my footing—the broad man, robed in white, vise-gripped my arm and stopped me from falling. His face hid within a hood. 


I mustered up as much saliva in my mouth as I could and swallowed hard. After sucking in a much-needed breath, I cried out, “Who are you? And where’s my mother!”


He remained silent.


As my eyes adjusted, pinpoints of flames darted through what looked like a skeletal wooded area. The chants grew louder as the drums beat out a harsh rhythm. I had no idea what was happening. 


My silent guide loosened his grip and shuffled me off the bridge. Shrieks from a group of women, dancing in a tight circle around a tree, sent shivers throughout my body. I trembled with each step. 


As we drew nearer, I saw him: the voodoo priest. He was about twenty feet away from me. He scattered handfuls of a light golden powder around the tree’s base and then drew something in the powder with his witch doctor’s stick. From his other hand, he poured a honey-colored liquid around the powder’s edge and muttered some strange incantation. I pulled my gaze away from him and searched for my mother and Antoine through a sea of dozens of white-clad Haitians. 


Was that her? A small group of disciples chanted and danced around a large seated person holding some squirming animal. Their bodies shifted, and I was able to see the face of the woman.


“Mommy!” I shrieked. 


The grip on my arm tightened.  


Everything was a blur of white, swirling within the orange flames of the torches and gray shadows. The voodoo priest maneuvered through his disciples as if floating between them. The pounding drums beat a quick, sporadic rhythm. He stopped in front of my mother and held out his arms. 


Mommy jerked into a kneeling position. Her face twisted in horror as her trembling hands held up a baby white goat. 


The voodoo priest called out in guttural tones, as he withdrew a large machete from under his robe. In one swift movement, he slit the goat’s throat. Blood gushed, spraying Mommy and himself with fresh blood. The chants turned into an eerie singing, and it grew louder as the disciples stepped closer to him. 


He first smeared the goat’s blood on Mommy’s head. She tried to recoil, but the disciple behind pushed her forward. He slapped more blood on her face and shoulders. I stared in shock. Never had I seen my mother so terrified. There was no color left in her face, only the fresh blood that glistened from the torchlight. She fell to her knees as her tears mingled with the blood. 


I tried to run, but the hooded man kept me pinned in place. 


Antione was nowhere in sight. Mommy was alone and helpless. 


I struggled to break free. We began to move slowly in the direction of the voodoo priest. Was I to be defiled with the goat’s blood, too? My stomach roiled.


One-by-one, the disciples stepped over Mommy, waiting for their turn for the sacrificial blood. Their sing-songy chant continued as if she wasn’t in front of them. She didn’t move. Fear surged through me as I had never felt. 


I went limp. 


The hooded man dragged me further toward the ceremony. My throat constricted.


We stopped next to a small tree where he released me and withdrew a corded rope from within the folds of his robe. Not one word crossed his lips. He reached out both his hands, fists together. The gesture clearly stated for me to do the same. I tried to run, but he was too fast. He caught and tied me to the tree. 


We locked eyes, and I screamed. 


But not even I could hear it. 


I tried to break free, but the binding was too tight. 


The hooded man headed toward the ritual, parting the disciples as he walked up to the sacrificial site. 


He stood between my mother and the voodoo priest, then dropped his hood. 


The High Priest froze.


The man flipped the hood back over his head. He bent slightly, stretched out his muscular arms, and pulled Mommy to her feet. She looked up into his face. Her stunned expression dissolved; as she parted her lips, one word escaped them, but I couldn’t hear it.


He nodded, then guided her in my direction. 


“Mommy! Mommy! Are you all right?” I held my breath.


Her head jerked, and she saw me. For the first time in what seemed like hours, she smiled.


She raced to the back of the tree and untied me. “Kimmie. Let’s get out of here!”


We followed the hooded man back down the side of the voodoo priest’s house and made it to the street. After rushing down three or four side streets, we stopped in front of a large black limo. I recognized it at once.


“Get in quickly,” Zaxai said as he unlocked the doors.


***


The next morning, Zaxai drove us to the airport. No one spoke. Which kind of surprised me. I didn’t want to push Zaxai. He did save our lives, but I still had some unanswered questions. How did he know I’d be coming out from behind that curtain? Why did the voodoo priest fear him so? What was Uncle Sid’s involvement with all of this? And, the most important one of all, whatever happened to Antoine? We never did see him again. 


I guess some mysteries are best unsolved—especially the whereabouts of a certain waiter named Antoine. 


One would think Mommy’s fascination with the occult would have ended here. No such luck. This was just the beginning…




Well, I hope you enjoyed the exciting conclusion!!! If you are just stopping by today, please advance to the post above to read the first segment.


If you haven't guessed, Zaxai, is Mommy Kay's uncle chauffer and righthand man. He saved them from THE VOODOO KING...

Thursday, October 21, 2021

THE SCREAM.... A WEP ENTRY! MOMMY KAY STRIKES AGAIN....


 Hi All,

It is time for another WEP challenge! Woot! The ladies at the WEP are amazing hosting these challenges throughout the year...my hat's off to you all! This October's theme is THE SCREAM!

So appropriate, don't you think?
There are some incredible entries this month, so I do hope you plan to visit the other authors at the WEP site, who put their talents to the test. You will not be disappointed.


My entry is an excerpt from my current work in progress MOMMY KAY. If you recall, I had submitted an early snippet a few years back from this memoir for the ROADS LESS TRAVELED prompt and won! If you have the time and would like to familiarize yourself with more of Mommy Kay here is the link.

Before you read my entry, I'd like to give you a bit of backstory. Mommy Kay and her daughter, Kim are visiting the impoverished Island of Haiti in the early 70s, the week after the Dictator, "Papa Doc" Duvalier died and his son was newly sworn in as President for Life. 

During their visit to Haiti, Kim mainly stayed inside the hotel. Mommy Kay would be gone for hours at a time. She was up to something, and Kim knew what it was. Mommy Kay had a new obsession. She wanted to experience a Haitian Voodoo ritual. 


I hope you enjoy this little teaser at 997 words.

The now, fifteen-year-old Kimmie tells the story...she didn't want any part of this trip, but Mommy ALWAYS got her way. 



Helplessness wasn’t an emotion familiar to me. For the first time in my life, Mommy wasn’t there. The walls in our suite seemed to press in on me from all four sides. The next few hours dragged as if carrying them on my back. 


The door slammed. 


“Kimmie,” Mommy called out.


A moment later she entered my room, wearing what looked liked white bedsheets. A turban covered her head.


“Put this on.” She dropped a bundle of the same white sheeting onto the bed. “We must blend in.”


I slipped on clothing and wrapped up my head in a similar turban.


“Fantastic. You’re so tan—you’ll pass for a native.”


“I wish I can say the same about you— you’re as white as that sheeting. You’ll never blend in.”


“Oh, stop worrying and try to have a good time.” 


Mommy stepped over to the dresser and stuffed a wad of cash inside her bra. “Antoine should be here soon.” 


“The sun is sinking fast. When do we leave?”


“As soon as it’s dark, around six o’clock. He’s meeting us at the back of the hotel by the kitchen entrance.”


Mommy paced a few minutes, then glanced out the window. “It’s time.”


My heart skipped a beat.


The hotel seemed eerily quiet. We met no one on the elevators, or at the back entrance.


Antoine was waiting for us in a beat-up jalopy. “Welcome my friends, ” he said with a slight quiver.


Mommy sat next to him in the front seat, and I slid into the back. Next to me was a large bottle of rum and a box of Cuban cigars. Antoine accelerated and off we went into the night. The twitchy manner in which he drove didn’t help the situation. Sweat beaded on my face.


“Where exactly are we going, Antoine?” I asked after a long pause of silence.


“Porte au Prince.”


“I figured that. Where exactly?”


He didn’t answer.


We drove on the main road and arrived downtown. The stench from the garbage in the streets barely masked the musky smell of human sweat and the lingering of cooked food. Several people sat on the sidewalks outside their front doors; their haughty expressions watched us as we drove by. We turned up a side street. At the top of the hill, we stopped abruptly. 


“We get out here,” Antoine whispered.


“Kimmie, bring the rum and cigars. They’re presents for the High Priest.”


My shaky hands gathered them up, and I exited the car. Antoine and Mommy stopped, facing a peeling red door.


“We go in here.” Antoine turned the handle.


He entered.


Mommy followed with her head lowered. I wondered what she was feeling. She moved normally; however, my legs shook as I stepped inside the dimly lit room. Flickering candles from a ceiling chandelier created dark shadows that performed a savage dance on the rough stained walls. 


Hundreds of scattered bones, entrails, and piles of white feathers littered the floor. A pungent smell of years of decay, Cajun incense, and dried blood loomed heavily in the air.


I dug my fingers into Mommy’s fleshy arm. “Are you sure about this?” I whispered and pointed to a glistening section of a fragmented wall. “That looks like fresh blood.”


“Yes, I see it.” She shrugged away her arm.


Antoine moved a few paces ahead of us.


“It’s time.” He pointed his finger up. “Follow me.” 


 Unidentified things squelched under our feet as we made our way toward a staircase at the back of the room. Antoine disappeared in a sea of creaks as he ascended. Mommy followed, squeezing between the walls of the narrow entrance. It was my turn now. I sucked in a deep breath and held it. 


Thump, thump, thump, pounded inside of my head as I climbed each of the rickety stairs. My heart threatened to tear away from my chest. 


Mommy’s breathing increased as we turned up the next flight. 


Then the next.


As we confronted the final flight, she stopped, clutching her heaving chest. “I-I need to catch my breath—go—a-head, Kim-mie.”


“No way.”


“Go—”


Antoine stared down at us. “We must not keep him waiting.” His voice cracked.


I stepped over Mommy and continued climbing. My legs grew heavy as if hundred-pound weights were attached to them. Mommy’s stomping feet and raspy breaths kept up with my slower pace.


At the top, hundreds of candles flickered in the room. Beams of moonlight filtered through the five large open windows. A soft chanting and a distant drumbeat played, as a two-story shadow appeared across a fraying, sheer drape.


Mommy stepped into the room, panting.


“He is in our presence. Keep silent until he addresses you,” Antoine whispered.


A massive figure stepped out of the shadows. Yellow light glinted off a jewel-encrusted medallion and rows of heavy gold chains. His frame cloaked in black robes stood rigid, and on top of his head sat an elaborate plumed headdress.


The whites of his eyes shone through midnight blue-black skin. 


“I know what you seek. Leave your offerings.”


I couldn’t move. His terrifying presence nailed me to the floor. 


Antoine pried the rum and cigars from my fingers and bowed, placing the offerings at his feet.


A split second later, he disappeared.


“We must follow him,” Antoine said, as he took hold of Mommy’s arm and dragged her through the drape.


I was convinced Antoine planned to have us sacrificed. And me, still a virgin. How appropriate. The beating drums grew louder and more sporadic. Or was it my heart? I wasn’t quite sure.


“Come, Kimmieeeee!” Mommy’s voice echoed through the rising of the heretic chants.


I willed myself to move. My left foot slid a few inches, followed by my body. 


And then, a dusty wind swirled around me as if conjured up by some strange dark force. It swept me through the curtain, my silent scream following.




Tagline: A tied-up Kimmie awaits her fate, as drums keep beating while her captor approaches a tear-stained Mommy, preparing a sacrifice for the Voodoo King.




I hope you enjoyed this teaser. For all of you LEFT hanging, I will post the remainder of the scene in a few days after the link closes... That is the least I can do. Have a Wonderful Weekend everyone!