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Archive for November, 2010

Dear Vampire Diaries,

Why have you abandoned me? Going on hiatus until December. Don’t you know that I will now have two Thursdays free to actually work on my writing or catch up on my TBR pile?

Yet, I am already going through withdrawals. I mean, all I can think about is Damon Salvatore—why won’t Elaina just kiss you already? If she doesn’t want you, then I’ll take you (grins). And Bonnie, what in the heck are you thinking—don’t you dare hook up with that witch (or rather “warlock”), because Jeremy needs someone to love him.

Speaking of Jeremy, why can’t you pick a woman who won’t die or desert you? Seriously, if you need someone to take care of you and love you, well I’d be glad to volunteer (unless of course Damon decides to forget about Elaina).

Stephen, wow, you are certainly earning your title of hotness this season. And I definitely love that smile.

Now, I will have to say goodbye and go sulk.

December cannot come soon enough…

But in the meantime, perhaps I can revisit some of my old favorite vampire movies and books. Because all my shows are deserting me (sniffle). True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Being Human…

Maybe I’ll try and watch The Lost Boys, or Twilight, or Underworld, or Dracula.

I know—it won’t be the same! And so I end this letter, dreaming of December.

Love,

Me

P.S. Next time clear this little “break” with me.

P.S.S. I could totally forgive this if maybe Damon (Ian Somerhalder) showed up with a bow on (LOL).

P.S.S.S. Seriously, you could’ve been on TV for Thanksgiving, I would’ve watched.

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

Sand blew across the small desert town, scratching against my skin like tiny claws. I pushed the kerchief higher around my chin, then used the mallet to secure the last tent stake. I grinned as I stared at the large white and red tent, Father’s name in swooping black letters. Rudy Riser’s Robotic Circus.

His robots were the most revered in the country. People even came from Mars and the space stations to watch his show. Robots, humans, animals, all interacting under one roof. It hardly seemed possible, especially after the Dark War when machines and animals took over. Father had managed to cut a deal with Prez, the top bot in the states. He’d run the circus and continue to create new weapons for Prez, as long as we could be free to travel the systems.

Prez agreed, and so I was marked as one of his. Most humans hated us, the robots thought we got special treatment, and the animals, well they didn’t care much either way, as long as someone fed them.

The low drone of Bray’s travel ship made me turn. I held a hand up to block the sun from my eyes and smiled. His dark hair curled at the nape of his neck, his mocha colored eyes fixed on me. He climbed from the land ship, his tall frame moved toward me.

“Kaye, your dad said to take you out for a bit. Get you something to eat.”

His hand caught mine, and he dragged me away from the tent. I saw the electric whip, fastened at his belt, the armored gauntlets attached to his billowy shirt. Bray was our lion tamer. He trained both the live ones, and the robotic ones. It was hard to believe he was only eighteen, a year older than me.

“What’s the occasion? Dad never lets us have time off.” I untied the bandana from around my face, and used it to wipe my forehead. Already, strands of blonde hair clung to my sweaty skin.

Bray didn’t answer right away. Instead, he climbed behind the wheel of the ship and waited for me to do the same. As soon as I was seated, he placed his palm against the dash and the computer registered his prints. Like a flash of lightning, we were flying.

“Prez stopped by. He didn’t look too happy,” Bray said at last.

Goosebumps dappled my skin, and I turned to him. Oh God. What had Father done? My grip tightened on the edge of the seat. “What’s going on?”

We passed two large RAM (Robot Army Men) platoons marching toward our tents.

“Don’t look back, Kaye.” He reached for my hand, his fingers entwining mine. “Rudy said to take you to Hank.”

Boom! From behind us, I heard the sound of explosives. Then screams. All the animals and robots and humans. Then silence enfolded the desert surroundings.

Tears streamed down my cheeks, and I scooted closer to Bray, burying my head against his shoulder.

“What did he do?” I demanded through choking sobs.

Bray pulled back on the steering wheel, lifting us higher into the sky. He released my hand, pushing a button to close the top of our ship. Oxygen blasted through the vents, and I fastened my seatbelt, as Bray triggered the warp-speed.

A small computer slid from the console. He typed in our coordinates, then switched to auto-pilot.

“Bray?” I said again, tears burning my eyes.

“Your father started a rebellion, Kaye,” he said. “The people, robots, and animals didn’t just work for the circus—they were soldiers. They planned an uprising against Prez.”

I swallowed hard. This couldn’t be true. Father wouldn’t have risked his life like that. Then I remembered the meetings, I wasn’t allowed to attend. The mail and disks I had to deliver on his behalf. Oh God. It was true. 

“And you? You were a part of it?”

He touched my cheek, his fingers gliding over my skin. “Yes. I wanted a better future Kaye—a future where I wasn’t a prisoner of the robots. A chance to have a life with you,” he whispered.

“Now, we have nothing! Father’s dead. The others are dead,” I cried. 

“Your father gave me money to take care of you. When we get to Hank’s, he’ll hide us and I’ll get messages to our contacts and let them know there’s been a change of plan. That I’m taking over the rebellion.”

Bray’s eyes begged me to believe him. And I wanted to. I’d been in love with him since I was eleven—after Father had first brought him on board to help. But I’d seen what’d happened to the others. Besides, how was Hank going to protect us? He was just a robot. A retired cowboy robot.

I closed my eyes. Bray was all I had left. My stomach knotted as I thought about Father, and his workers. They deserved to be remembered. They deserved to be avenged.

“Promise me, we won’t stop fighting until Prez is gone,” I said at last.

Bray leaned closer, his lips brushed mine. “You have my word.”

***

Our ship landed later that night, at an abandoned space ranch. Bray led me toward a cave like room, an old barrel sitting by the entrance.

“That you Bray?” A robotic cowboy head poked up from inside it.

“We’re here Hank,” he said.

“The others are gathered inside,” Hank said. Then his gears shifted and he glanced at me. If robots could cry, I knew he would. “I’m sorry about Rudy.”

I patted his metal armature. “Thank you.”

“I’ll take care of you, Kaye.” His gloved hand brushed mine, then he disappeared back into the barrel.

There was no telling what my future would harbor, but I knew the rebellion had just begun. Prez might’ve stopped my father, but his plans lived on—through us. 

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Morguefile  hotblack

 

The sky grew dark as I rounded the corner near the park. Shadows clung to everything like sticky syrup. I shivered, pulling my jacket tighter to guard against the dreary Dublin weather, the light mist made me wish I’d grabbed an umbrella.

It probably wasn’t the best night for a walk, but I needed to get away from Grandma for a few. I was still pissed at her. She shouldn’t have taken me from the States. And everyday, I contemplated calling my mom to tell her I wasn’t in Michigan—that Grandma had kidnapped me.

Then I’d think about Grandma’s excitement as she showed me hers and mom’s “native Ireland”. The rolling green hills, the out of the way ruins. She’d been trying for years to get Mom to bring me here, but Mom refused. It had something to do with their falling out, or at least I thought so.

I sighed. Even after all the strange things I’d seen at the cottage, I still wanted to be here. At least I was pretty sure I did.

Ahead of me on the sidewalk two figures drew my attention. Not because of the dark colors they wore, or the way their unnatural gazes seemed in constant motion. But because people avoided them, like an invisible force-field had been erected around them to keep onlookers away.

My skin tingled, the hair on the back of my neck prickling as if an electric current crackled through it.

“Bollocks, are you trying to get yourself killed then, Keavy?” A hand closed over my mouth, and I was tugged behind a nearby tree.

I threw my elbow, connecting with a solid chest and jerked free. When I spun around, my eyes fell on Grady Connelly, Grandma’s, friend’s son.

“Shit! You scared the hell out of me,” I said, my heart still lodged in my throat.

Grady grinned, his dark disheveled hair sticking up in messy tufts. “Sorry ‘bout that didn’t mean to frighten you.” His smile wavered as he peeked around the tree. Two bands circled his wrists, glowing golden against the dusky surroundings.

I quirked an eyebrow at him. “Are you stalking me?” I asked when his gaze shifted back to me.

“No. But I am keeping your arse from being killed.” He ran a hand through his hair, then leaned closer. “If those two realized you can see ‘em,” he pointed to the two figures I’d been watching, “They’d kill you or if you got real lucky they’d force you to go with them.”

“What are you talking about?” God, he sounded like a psychopath, maybe being alone with him wasn’t such a good idea.

“I’m talking about your ability to see through their glamour—to see the Fae they truly are.”

I swallowed hard. What in the hell did that mean?

Just then, Grady pulled me against him, his mouth covered mine. I started to fight him, until I felt them grow closer.

Darkness swept by us like a parade of gloom. The air became sickly sweet, the scent of honey and soil assaulting my senses. Ancient flutes and drums filled the park, and my skin puckered with goose bumps. My stomach knotted and I gripped tighter to Grady, pretending not to notice them.

Once they’d passed by, Grady released me, but didn’t move away. “You’re a Fae Seeker, Keavy. Just like me. Just like your grandma. It’s our duty to protect the humans. We find the Fae, capture them, and send them back to their own world. Our kind have been doing it for centuries.”

I sucked in a lungful of air. “How do you capture them?”

“With these.” Grady held up his wrists, showing me the golden cuffs.

Grandma had a similar pair—and now I knew why.

“That’s why you’re here, Keavy—to help even the odds.”

“My mother…”

Grady shook his head. “She was one of us too, but she was scared, and she ran away, taking you with her.”

That explained the falling out. Shit! Why hadn’t they told me? I closed my eyes, and tried to ignore the faint tinkling of music in the distance. This was madness. I didn’t know what I was doing…

“Keavy.” Grady touched my arm, and I opened my lids a crack.

“Yeah.”

“This is your choice. But know that we need you. One more Seeker on the streets, means less Fae to spread their darkness.”

Deep down, I knew Grady was right. With a nervous sigh, I grabbed his hand and started walking in the direction of the Fae.

“I guess we ought to get moving then, before they get away.”

Grady smiled, and he slipped a pair of cuffs over my wrists. Within seconds, my skin tingled with warmth, power dripping through my veins. This was my destiny. A life as a Fae Seeker.

 

 

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Mindy Buchanan

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Vanessa Barger

 

Giant snowflakes clung to my eyelashes, as I slipped across the rut covered road toward home. Chilled to the bone, I tugged my cloak tighter about me, wishing for warmth. In the distance, I saw the wooden bridge, green grass flourishing on the other side.

I stopped and stared at it—longing to escape the constant winter landscape I lived in. But Mother’s warnings came back to haunt me. “Don’t ever cross the bridge, Elle, the creatures will try and lure you away. But it will mean certain death.”

 

 With a sigh, I began to walk again when I spotted a glimmer near the bridge. My heart thudded against my chest. Had one of the monsters come through? My mind told me to run, yet, I moved closer to the wooden structure.

Hiding behind a tree, I watched a boy about my age step onto the bridge, his shaggy dark hair blowing against his face. His eyes scanned the woods, and landed on me. He stood taller, his sun-kissed skin glittering beneath the moonlight.

“Hello,” he called to me.

My legs trembled, but I stepped from behind the pine. “Who are you?” I asked.

“Lars Oakwood. I come from the village of Summertime, just over the ridge.” He pointed behind him.

“You live beyond the bridge?” I moved closer to him. Had mother lied to me? He didn’t seem like a monster.

“Yes.” He smiled, making my legs turn to butter. “I’ve come to find a girl, named Summer. She is to be my mate. Our village mage has seen it in the stars.”

My throat went dry, blonde white hair snapped around my head as the wind picked up.

“I am sorry but there’s no one around here who goes by that name,” I said, moving closer to the boy.”

“There is, it is you.”

“No. My name is Elle Winterborn. And Mother said I’m never to cross the bridge, or I’ll perish.”

Lars frowned. “Your mother lies. She’s the reason our lands die, and why you suffer in constant winter.”

His eyes flashed with animosity, and I backed away. “No. Mother tries to keep us safe…”

“Please, come away with me.” He held out his hand, never leaving the bridge. “Don’t you want to experience the warmth? To know what summer is like?”

My fingers brushed his, and I gasped, their warmth sent tiny rivulets of excitement through me. Would Mother know if I went with Lars for just a moment? My skin craved the sun, to feel heat against my chilled bones.

I closed my eyes, imagining green grass and gurgling creeks.

“I’m sorry, I must get home. Maybe we can meet again.” I pulled away from him.

“You must not go back to her. Come with me.” His eyes pleaded with me.

“I’ll be back tomorrow.” I turned and rushed toward home. When I got to our large hut on the outskirts of town, Mother waited for me. Her dark eyes pinned me in place.

“Where have you been? You were supposed to sup with Gregor this night,” Mother said, moving aside so I could enter. “You’re promised to him, remember?”

Bile seared my throat. I didn’t want to see Gregor. Mother had promised the grotesque lord my hand in marriage, in exchange for riches and the right to practice her magic.

“I met someone in the woods, he needed my help.”

“He?” Mother’s eyes widened. “Who was it?”

I wanted to lie, but the threat in her eyes foretold of many punishments if I disobeyed.

“His name was Lars.”

Mother jumped away from me. “You fool, he’s one of them. He’s come to snatch you. From this day forward, you will not travel the woods alone—you hear?”

“Yes.”

“Now off to bed with you. I must send word to Gregor.”

Mother wrapped me in furs then went out into the night. When she was gone, I climbed from bed and hurried into her room. Where was it? I reached beneath her bed, my fingers brushing against the leather bound book. She said the history of the season villages was inside, along with spells to keep our village safe. But I knew she was hiding something. She’d been too jumpy as of late.

Once I found it, I set the book on her bed and thumbed through it, until I came to the family trees of the seasons. Autumn and Spring’s names were already struck from the trees. My sisters. Mother had said they’d died from the “fever” but the book described horrific sacrifices. My stomach churned. This couldn’t be.

I searched for my name on the trees. There was no Elle. I saw a familiar birth date, June 21, but it was for a girl named Summer. My heart hammered in my chest. Had Lars been right?

The door to the hut banged opened, and I jumped, tossing the book beneath the bed.

“What are you doing up?” Mother said.

“I needed more blankets.”

She sneered. “So you’ve figured it out—that I need only drain your powers and Summertime will be destroyed forever.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I kidnapped all you girls, Autumn, Spring—Summer. The essence of your seasons…and once you die, I, Winter, shall rule.”

The glint of a dagger blade flashed in the firelight, and I charged toward the door. She grabbed for my arm, but I shook her off, darting into the night.

“Get her,” Winter shouted.

Gregor stepped from the shadows, and I screamed. “No!”

I side-stepped him, and raced into the night. My lungs burned as I hurried toward the bridge. And there he stood, waiting for me.

Lars grabbed my hand, tugging me toward the other side. Sunlight blinded me, the warmth on my skin like a hug from the sky. Birds twittered their songs, summer breeze tickled my cheeks, thawing the winter from my blood.

Lars struck a match and dropped it onto the bridge, and I watched it go up in flames. Winter wouldn’t bother us again.

“Welcome home, Summer,” Lars said. He spun me to face him, his lips grazing mine.

This was where I belonged. Surrounded by sunlight and flowers, and bees, and children’s laughter.

 I am Summer.

 

Traci Kenworth

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