Sunday, October 25, 2009

Holiday Full Free Read

Excerpt Monday Logo
Welcome to the special Halloween Full Reads for Excerpt Monday. This month, in addition to our typical excerpt week, we're having a week of full stories written by several fabulous EM writers.
Excerpt Monday site! or click on the banner above.

Please enjoy: Trick or Treat, Slap a Creep - my Hallowe'en young adult short about a date gone wrong.

Trick or Treat, Slap a Creep
By Kendal Ashby

Another scream pierced the night air, followed by the loud screech of a chainsaw. I wrapped my arms around my waist, trying to force my body to stop shaking. I hated scary stuff and that included scary movies and going to Horror Houses.

“He’s cute, huh?” Beside me, my friend pinched my arm, pulling my attention from the looming two-storey mansion in front of us.

My eyes drifted from the Horror House, over toward my date standing in the ticket line ahead of us with Amber’s boyfriend Keith. I shrugged my shoulders and rubbed the red welt from Amber’s pinch. Sure he was cute, I mean, hello, I’ve always been a sucker for the jock type. And Carl did the super cool basketball star better than Zac Efron. He didn’t go to our school, but I’d put money on the fact he played on a sports team at Trinity Prep. I couldn’t deny that my heart skipped a beat when he turned his charming smile on me. I mean come on, the boy had dimples and I’d always been a sucker for them.

“I don’t get his costume though,” Amber whispered.

I did a once over of Carl’s profile, taking in the loose fitting dress pants, crisp white collared shirt and oversize gift tag hanging from his neck; “To Women, from God.” I snorted, but covered it with a giggle. “He’s God’s gift to women.”

Amber’s mouth fell open and a glint of horror flashed in her eyes before a smile cracked her lips. “He’s either very witty or extremely arrogant.”

“The jury’s still out on that one.” I glanced down at my own costume wondering if anyone understood the Astroturf wrapped around my shoes and body, my green dress and the pink flamingo pinned to my shoulder. Amber thought dressing up like a lawn was lame, but I liked it so too freaking bad.

A chill slid over my skin, goosebumps raising the small hairs on the back of my neck as someone’s scream echoed deep in the belly of the house. It was as though an ice cube had melted down my back. A masculine laugh vibrated next to me and my eyes snapped up to Carl standing beside me. “You look scared to death, Jaclyn, and we aren’t even inside yet. Chickening out, babe?”

“No.” I wanted to say yes. Would I come off like a complete wimp? I gritted my teeth together and forced a smile. “I’m in.”

“If you’d rather skip it, I’m sure we could find something else to amuse ourselves with until Keith and Alice are done.”

“Amber.” I corrected him, not really sure I liked the suggestive tone of “something else”.

He grinned down at me and squinted one eye shut in what I guessed was a wink. He swung an arm over my shoulder and pulled me close to his side. I strained to not cough as a strong whiff of cologne penetrated my nostrils.

Our foursome moved forward in line, inching our way closer to the ticket booth. I gave the booth a fleeting look and my eyes locked with the guy sitting on a stool collecting money. His brown eyes almost glowed in the setting sunlight, glinting with a hint of gold. The tight line of his lips betrayed the humour I thought I saw reflecting in his eyes. His coffee brown hair brushed the collar of his black long sleeve hoodie, giving him a shaggy dog look. One eyebrow arched high in question, almost in a challenge. Heat flushed up my neck and my cheeks tingled. I quickly turned away from Shaggy.

The arm draped over my shoulder slid low around my waist, hovering inches about my Astroturf ass. My spine snapped rim-rod straight and I glanced at Amber for help, but her tongue was currently shoved down Keith’s throat. I almost choked, feeling panic claw at my throat when Carl’s hand moved lower to rest on my butt cheek.


Amber and Keith stopped their groping and turned to Shaggy. “Four tickets please.”

Shaggy took Keith’s money, but his attention kept drifting to me. Creepy Carl’s hand gripped a bit of my turf and I jumped, moving a few inches forward and away from his touch.

A hyper bundle of black hopped into the ticket booth behind Shaggy. “Time to switch, Dude.”

I kept my eyes cast down at the hard ground, but watched as Shaggy traded places with his co-worker through my thick eyelashes. He looked back at me, hesitating for a moment before pulling open a side door and disappearing.

“This is going to be great,” Keith said, pulling Amber close to him. “I hear over a thousand people chickened out last year.”

Given half a chance I’d gladly be on that list this year. I looked wearily at the house. The blacked out windows stared at me, sending a violent shiver of dread shooting through my body.
The fast, hard rap of my heart against my ribs seemed to be a message of warning.

“Just stick close to me and you’ll be fine.” Carl whispered in my ear, his hot breath blanketing me and did nothing to calm the wave of horror flooding my body.

Keith handed out the tickets and gestured for us to move up onto the porch and wait at the front door. The wooden steps groaned under our weight and a voice boomed over a hidden speaker. “Welcome to Cardin’s Haunted house of Nightmares. Once you pass through this door you’re mine, so if you’re going to chicken out, do it now. Otherwise prepare to experience fright like never before.” An evil throaty laugh crackled, and the floorboards vibrated under my feet. I jumped and clung to the nearest person to me -- Creepy Carl. His arms circled around my waist and held me close. He snickered and I resisted the urge to hit him. I gave a pleading look at Amber, but she seemed to be enjoying Keith’s attention.

The front door scraped open and a long bony finger reached out and crooked back, gesturing us to enter. To hell with it. If I was going to be on edge it might as well be from the horror house and not my date. I pushed past Carl and entered the dark foyer. A cracked mirror hung on the wall with tacky blood red velvet wallpaper. The mirror fogged up, distorting my image and like a ghost was writing in the fog, the words “Get Out” appeared. The sinister fun house trick did its job in freaking me out, but I refused to cling to Carl no matter what twisted and sick things this house contained.

I narrowed my eyes and looked behind me at Amber. She shrugged her shoulders and gave me a thumbs up sign. This date sucked. Carl lingered too close for comfort, making my skin crawl like a thousand ticks were latching onto me. When his hand rested at the small of my back, I moved forward, following the arrow leading to the winding staircase. Cobwebs clung to the walls and fake plastic spiders the size of my fist were weaved in the sticky webs. Something scurried across a step and I bit back a scream. Amber sobbed and grabbed Keith, wailing how frightened she was.

I tried hard to ignore the jerks behind me, especially the one groping my backside, and kept my attention focused on the doorway looming at the top of the staircase. Blood pounded in my ears so loudly it almost blocked out the eerie sounds filtering through the rest of the house. Somewhere below me a chainsaw ripped to life and screams filtered through the entire building.
I struggled to mentally draw a floor plan, remembering we where we’d been and where that chainsaw might be. I swallowed pass the lump of fear lodged in my throat and looked at the darkened doorway in front of me. Sweat prickled at the edge of my hairline, but I refused to wipe it away.

“Which way do we go now?” Amber asked eyeing the four doors leading off the hallway.

“You guys go in that one and we’ll go here. See you at the end...if you make it out alive.”
Keith’s attempt at a disturbing laugh was spine-chilling as he tugged Amber down the hallway and disappeared into one of the open doors. I couldn’t stop the shudder as I stared into the void of blackness in front of me.

“Frightened?” Humour laced Carl’s voice as he whispered the question in my ear. “Remember, I’m here to protect you.” His hands circled around my waist and he pulled me back against his body.

I tried to step away but he didn’t get the hint and stepped forward with me. I sighed and said, “I’m good.”

“Are you sure, babe?” His suggestive purr and wandering hands were starting to really piss me off.

“Look jerk, back off,” I hissed the words between clenched teeth and pulled away creating a barrier with my raised palms. A look of shock followed quickly by disgust flashed across his face and I didn’t give a flying fuck if God’s gift to women didn’t want a second date.

“Fine. Good luck getting out of here by yourself.” Anger blazed in his clear blue eyes like flames from a gas burner. He turned and stomped away from me, disappearing into one of the doorways. A mixture of relief and panic collided together in a cold sweat within me.

A menacing howl followed by shrieks came through the walls and I twisted on one foot, looking behind me. My heart hammered inside my chest, beating so fast it was painful against my ribcage. I stepped into the room, letting the dark swallow me. My eyes strained to adjust until I could finally make the outline of two bodies sitting on a parlour couch. As my vision got accustomed to the dim light, I could see the bloody scene laid out before me. Mannequins. Blood stained the walls, looking like something out of a T.V. crime scene show. I never miss an episode of Dexter and I bet he would have a freaking hay day with the blood splatter patterns in this room.

If I had half a brain cell I’d turn around, go back down the stairs, exit the front door, text Amber goodbye and call mom to come pick me up. But something burned in my gut, making me take another step into the gruesome room. I hated to be challenged, and Creepy Carl had basically called me a coward.

I studied the scene of blood and guts meticulously set up. The fake blood glistened in the dim light, giving the illusion of being fresh. The woman’s head rested at a broken angle, her glassy dead eyes staring at me. I fought the shiver that rippled through my body, and managed to suppress it. I moved through the room to the door behind the repugnant scene. It’s all fake, I repeated over and over in my head, just some lame horror house tricks meant to freak idiots like me who paid for cheap thrills.

The door creaked open and a rumble of maniacal laughter erupted. I paused, my feet not wanting to move forward. Sucking in air between clenched teeth, my eyes darted left and right, straining to see into the dim corners. Black curtains draped along the wall, rippling with movement. I had to walk by. I stopped and stared at them, but my oversaturated brain was so hopped up on adrenaline that I was pretty sure I’d imagined the movement. My jaw ached from grinding my teeth together, so I tried to relax and calm my racing pulse. Nothing in here would hurt me.

A bat swooped down and brushed the top of my hair. My lungs burned from the loud scream that ripped from my throat. I ducked and covered my head, cowering on the floor. My eyes darted wildly around the room searching for that rabid infested flying rat.

The “bat” hung loosely on a string, swaying back and forth. I stood up and flicked the rubber toy away, making a mental note to kill Amber later.

I couldn’t help but giggle a little, and it came out as a nervous hiccup, verging on a snort. I walked a few more feet into the room, eyeing the exit on the opposite side. Time to pick up the pace and get out of this fun house for freaks.

A second bat swung down inches from my face, but I ignored it. Fool me once...

A hand reached out and grabbed my shoulder. Everything rushed together at once. My scream was covered by a chainsaw’s wailing on the floor below me. I pivoted and landed a knee in the jackass’ groin. Creepy Carl fell to the ground clutching his damaged privates and I couldn’t help but smile. This jerk needed to learn to keep his hands to himself.

“I told you to leave me alone, you jerk.”

He grunted and raised a hand in protest. Maybe he thought I was going to hit him again. I smiled at the thought. But something wasn’t right. Carl wasn’t wearing a black shirt. I leaned closer and saw the dark shaggy hair now. Oh. My. God.

“Are you okay?” I crouched on the ground beside Shaggy from the ticket booth. “I’m so sorry!”

He wheezed a ragged breath and tried to smile up at me, but it came out more like a crooked grin of pain. “Job hazard. I’ve been punched out by a three hundred pound guy before for touching his arm.” He sucked in air and struggled to his feet.

“Sorry, I thought you were my date.” Part of me felt guilty -- a small part -- the guy still tried to grab me. But I guess he was only doing his job.

His dark eyes glimmered with humour. “Is this the way you treat all your dates?”

I smiled, “Only the ones that try to grope me without permission.”

He nodded and a small smile tugged his lips upward. The stairs squeaked from the hallway behind us and a guy and girl argued loudly. Apparently someone else wasn’t impressed with a haunted house as a great date night. “Hide here. Looks like my next victims are coming.”

Shaggy pushed me behind the black curtain and pulled two strings taunt against his chest. We stood with our backs to the wall and our shoulder brushing each other. “I’ll get you out of here as soon as these guys pass through, okay? But stay quiet while I do my thing.”

“Your thing?” I covered my mouth to muffle a giggle. He winked at me, before pressing a finger to his lip signalling for me to remain quiet. He adjusted his tight grip on the strings and we waited.

Our “victims” tiptoed into the room, the floorboard sighing under the new weight.

“You go first.” A female voice whispered. Someone exhaled noisily as the two crept further into the room.

Shaggy let go of one of the strings and a blood curdling screams echoed in the room.

“What?” The guy’s voice pitched high with fear.

“Something flew by me!”

The guy laughed and I had to wrap my arms around my waist to stop from erupting in a fit of laughter. Shaggy leaned over and put a hand over my mouth. He whispered an inch from my ear, “Wait here, but don’t laugh and ruin it.”

I nodded and he removed his hand at the same time he released the second string.

Curse words broke the silence as the guy frantically swiped away the flying toy that buzzed his head. Shaggy reached out from our hiding place and a girlish shriek pierced my ear drums.

I shook, trying to not to make a sound, but the second the guy and girl bolted from the room I collapsed behind the curtain in a fit of hysterical laughter.

“Pretty cool, huh?” Shaggy’s smile was so wide it showed his pearly white molars.

“Only if you aren’t on the receiving end,” I muttered as I managed to catch my breath and looked around the room. It really wasn’t all that scary. My attention drifted back to Shaggy when I felt his eyes on me.

A dim light filtered through the curtain and I saw his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down as he swallowed. He hesitated before saying, “Come on, I’ll show you out.”

I nodded and I felt a flush of disappointment. We stood up and he pushed opened a panel behind the black curtain I hadn’t noticed before. A set of stairs lead down to the main floor, and even though the stairs were narrow, they were well lit. Shaggy paused on the landing to the main floor. “Do you want to see something?”

“Sure.” I shrugged, not really eager to end our time together yet. Something about the way his chocolate brown eyes watched me, made me melt a bit.

He flicked a light switch and the staircase plunged into darkness. I instinctively reached out to grab the handrail but found his arm instead. He gently guided me toward him and my heart pounded like a steel drum in my ears. He placed me in front of him, facing me toward the wall.
“Remember to be quiet.”

His whispered warning sent a chill of anxiety through my entire body, but it wasn’t the same kind of on-guard warning bells Creepy Carl evoked in me. Shaggy leaned forward and touched the wall. A panel slide silently to the side and I got a view of a small parlor furnished in old Victorian style.

“Do you see that rat on the ground near the door?” His breath blanketed my neck.

I slowly bobbed my head, my ear brushing his hair as it fell forward while he leaned over me. I wasn’t sure I could speak with his body so close to mine.

“Next person to walk through the door, press this button.” His hand covered mine and guided it to a switch on the wall beside us. He left his warm hand placed over mine, and butterflies tickled the inside of my stomach.

We waited in silence, knowing our next victim would be along any second. I tried to focus on the room but couldn’t stop thinking about the cute guy leaning only inches away from me. Or about his long fingers that rested on top of mine, or how when he shifted he brushed against my Astroturf. Oh God, maybe being a lawn was lame.

“Here they come,” he whispered.

And by “they” he meant him. Creepy Carl sauntered into the room, bitter disgust distorting the face I once thought handsome. He started to cross the room and I felt Shaggy’s hand guide my fingers to flick the switch. The rat moved forward and almost tripped Carl. He jumped back and gasped, but never really lost his composure as the rat disappeared under the couch across the walkway. Disappointment flooded through me.

“Try this one when I say to.”

I nodded, letting his hand move mine down to a button mounted below the switch. We watched in silence, only our shallow breathing in the darkened stairwell making a sound. Carl neared a closed door and I took fleeting pleasure when his hand paused for a second on the door.

He twisted the doorknob and slowly pulled it open.


I slammed my palm into the button and a chainsaw ripped to life, its metal teeth grinding loudly. Carl jumped six feet back and screamed louder than any teenage girl I’d ever heard. The chainsaw revved its motor when I smashed the button again. Curse words flowed out, mixed with sobs of panic and he bolted from the room.

I fell back against Shaggy, my knees weakened with uncontrollable laughing. Shaggy laughed behind me, and his closeness vibrated through his chest and into my body. Tears pooled at the corner of my eyes, and I swiped them away.

“He...he” I could hardly breathe, let alone speak. I gulped in massive amounts of air, trying to gain control, but when I turned to look at Shaggy, his expression sent me off on another bout of giggles.

“If you ever need a job, I think we can arrange something.” Shaggy said, a playful grin lifting the corners of his lips.

“I’d settle for a date.” I wanted to smack my head against the wall the second I realized what I’d said. Holy mother of God! Heat flooded across my face and I was sure I was turning five shades of embarrassed. “I, uhm, should go.”

I pushed away from the wall needing to escape, but Shaggy caught my arm. I stopped and his fingers lingered, sending little ripples of excitement through me, mixing with my burning humiliation.

“Are you free tomorrow night?”

My mouth dropped open and I forced it to close as I bobbed my head up and down. He pulled out his cell phone and we exchanged information. Vince. Yeah, he reminded me of a Vince.

“I have to get back to work but I’ll pick you up tomorrow at seven. We can go see the new Halloween movie if you want.” He said as we emerged from the hidden staircase to the outside. Fresh, crisp air tingled against my hot skin. “But I hear it’s really scary. If you would rather pass, we could do something else.”

I knew I was grinning like a fool, but I couldn’t contain the smile forcing itself on my lips. “Nope, I love scary things.”

The End

“Links to other Halloween Free Reads
Note: I have not personally screened these excerpts. Please heed the ratings and be aware that the links may contain material that is not typical of my site.
Excerpt Monday Logo

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Excerpt Monday Virgin!

Once a month, a bunch of authors get together and post excerpts from published books, contracted work or works in progress, and link to each other. You don’t have to be published to participate–just an writer with an excerpt you’d like to share. For more info on how to participate, head over to the EXCERPT MONDAYS

CHASING SUNRISE - Available now!

Chapter One

Megan Chase scrunched her feet in the blazing sand. The small grains filtered between her toes, and the heavy tension usually knotting her shoulders started to seep away.

“This is the life.” Sadie Cardwell sighed and leaned back in a plastic lounge chair. “Thanks for inviting me, Meg. A week in the sun is exactly what we both need.”

Megan sipped her frozen cocktail of fruity pineapple and sweet strawberries. “Yeah, well, you can thank Mr. Jerkins. It’s his penny that got me this trip.”

“Here’s to the world’s best boss. Unlike the toad I work for.” Her friend lifted her wine glass up in a toast, and Megan bit back a bitter comment. She’d been careful so far not to spoil their trip by telling Sadie the real circumstances that had led to a week’s paid vacation at an all inclusive Caribbean resort.

“Holy crap, look at that guy!” Sadie bolted upright in her chair like ice water had splashed down her back. Megan turned her attention to the edge of the surf and watched two men toss a Frisbee. The blond guy tossed the disc high, forcing his friend to dodge into the thigh high waves. He made a valiant jump into the air as he plunged into the water. He emerged from the foamy waves, his hand grasping the red toy. Water glistened on his bare chest and flowed off his almost black hair in streams. A broad grin stretched across a face that could rival a Roman god. Even from this distance, she could see two dimples pinching his cheeks where his smile curved upward.

“He’s freaking gorgeous.”

Megan pulled her attention off the eye candy and looked at her friend. She knew that voice. “Sadie, don’t.”

An all too familiar twinkle lit Sadie’s eyes. “Meg, loosen up. We’re on vacation. Remember, you promised no dieting? Well, that guy is a treat I want to sink my teeth into.”

For a fleeting moment, a twinge of jealousy pooled in Megan’s stomach. Sadie always got what she wanted in the end. She had a “go out and get it” kind of attitude that men found irresistible. No one would ever call her beautiful by society’s tall, leggy, stick-figure standards, but her confidence and personality shone through on her pixie shaped face. Men tripped over their own feet to please her.

Megan glanced toward the two guys goofing around. The Roman god wouldn’t see Sadie coming; no one ever did.

“You go have fun. I’ve got my book.” Megan half-heartedly held up the phonebook thick novel sitting in her lap.

“You sure?”

“Yup.” Megan thumbed through the book to the dog-eared page marking where she’d left off. “Already reading.”

Sadie bounced off her chair and tossed her cover up to the ground. “I won’t be long.”

“Yeah, right,” Megan whispered to herself as she tried to concentrate on the page in front of her. She’d be lucky if she saw Sadie again today. Oh well, the book was just starting to get good anyway.
* * * *

Keith Gates tossed the Frisbee to Doug just as a petite blonde with boundless curls trotted toward his friend. One hour. They’d been at the resort one freaking hour, and already a woman was fluttering around Doug. The blonde’s smile shone as bright as the Caribbean sun. The man never ceased to amaze him. A few minutes passed, and it became apparent Doug had no intention of throwing the Frisbee back. Great. Just great. Placing a well practiced smile on his face, he approached the two of them.

“Hey, Keith. Oh, sorry man, I forgot about our game. Oh well, I was winning anyway. This is Sadie.” Doug nodded toward the blonde, a sheepish grin on his face.

“Nice to meet you, Keith. I hear congratulations are in order.”


“So what do you two have planned for your week long bachelor party? God, don’t say hookers. That’s just tacky. Strippers are much more P.C.” She scrunched her button nose.

“No hookers or strippers for straight laced Keith. Just some guy time, boogie boarding, golfing, and good old sight seeing. Ain’t that right buddy?”

“Della’s your sister, man. Have some respect.”

Doug’s head tossed back in a deep, throaty laugh. “Lighten up, Keith. Della’s the one who planned this trip. She gave me very clear instructions that what happens in Mexico stays in Mexico.”

Keith shot Doug a look that could kill. What the hell was his issue? Maybe he’d change his tune if he knew why his sister was so open to him having an affair. Trying to change the subject, he said, “So where are you from, Sadie?”

“We’re from Seattle.”

“We?” Doug’s attention turned to the pretty blonde, a hint of concern edging his voice.

“Oh, I’m here with my friend Meg. She’s up there.” Sadie hitched a thumb over her shoulder toward the lounge chair area. A lone woman sat reading a book,her chocolate hair piled high on her head, dark sunglasses concealing her face. Her figure was hidden behind a cumbersome cover up, but two long legs stretched out over the length of the chair. Her ankles crossed in a picture of complete relaxation. She could be an ad for a travel magazine. By the time he turned his attention back to Doug and Sadie, they were in full flirt mode.

“A personal trainer, huh? That explains your killer body.”

Sadie giggled at Doug’s lame line, and Keith rolled his eyes.

“I’m heading back to the room. I need to take a shower. I’ll see you later, Doug. It was nice to meet you, Sadie.”

“You sure, buddy?” Doug’s gaze never left Sadie’s upturned face.

“Hey, no problem. I want to check my emails and unpack. I’ll see you for dinner.”

Sadie’s golden curls swayed when she turned to look at him. “Are you guys free for dinner?”

“Of course. How about you and your friend join us? We were going to hit the buffet, but we can go to one of the culinary sit down restaurants on site,” Doug said.

“No, the buffet here is amazing. It sounds perfect. I’m sure Meg’s okay with anything.”

Memories of college crept into Keith’s mind. Back then he’d been a third wheel on many occasions. It was a common Friday night routine for Keith to return from the bar alone when Doug’s good looks drew attention from whatever walking set of headlights and pouty lip combo showed him interest. For the first time he really looked Sadie over. She wasn’t Doug’s usual type, but his friend seemed completely intrigued by the petite blonde. Clearing his throat, he started to back away. “Okay, kids, guess I’ll just catch up with you at dinner.”

“Sure, man. See you back at the room in a bit.”

“Bye, Keith.” Sadie’s impossibly wide smile spread across her entire face. He couldn’t help but like her.

He left and trotted up the beach heading to the stairs leading to the individual
cabana bungalows. When he neared Sadie’s friend, he slowed down. His gaze started at the tips of her painted toes and wandered up her smooth, long legs. The cover up hid the bulk of her figure, but her face almost made him stop. She seemed consumed in the novel she was reading; the pink tip of her tongue sneaked out and licked her lips back and forth. He wondered what color her eyes were and imagined they could be a warm brown to match the chocolate tones in her hair.

He continued to the footpath leading to the cluster of tropical white and aqua blue painted bungalows, and his mind drifted to Della. Two questions he’d been wrestling with for the past three weeks plagued his thoughts. Did he love her?

Maybe, but was it enough to marry her?

Uncertainty ate at the lining of his stomach. So much could change in three weeks. And now he was stuck here, at a beautiful tropical resort with his best friend, on a trip that his fiancée arranged in hopes of evening the score between them. More like easing her own guilt, he thought as he slid the card into the electronic reader. One way or another, he was determined to use this week to figure out where his life was heading when he got home.

I hope you enjoyed this section of Chasing Sunrise! Leave a post and you'll automatically be entered for my free e-book giveaways! (see post from October 6th for details!)


Links to other Excerpt Monday writersNote: I have not personally screened these excerpts. Please heed the ratings and be aware that the links may contain material that is not typical of my site.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My love - hate relationship

***Remember I am having a contest for 5 E-books until October 13th! -- All you have to do is leave a comment on any blog from October 6th to October 13th to enter the drawing***

Okay I`ll admit it. I HATE commas. There you go. My biggest friend-enemy is that tiny little half moon shaped thing that is used all over a document.

So this bring me to a book I recently was given to me called Grammar Girl`s Quick and Dirty Tops for Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty.

I started the book doubting it could actually help improve my comma usage. I was all over the place. One section I hardly put any commas in (which was incorrect) and another section I`d litter them in almost every sentence. I frustrated myself, not to mention my poor CPs. When I got this book I started at page one and was going to read through it from front to back, but I gave up on that and started flip-flopping back and forth in chapters because I knew some of the stuff already and only wanted to find out how to use the dreaded comma.

I found this book easy to read. The author gives realistic and funny examples on this rather boring topic. She covers so much material in the book that even though she doesn't go into overkill on any one subject, she does manage to get a lot of particial information into 224 pages. I recommand this book for anyone concerned about their own grammar.

I am always interested in reading and learning how to better my skills as a writer. If you have any "Must own" craft books, I'd love to hear about them! Please post a comment here with the book title and if you recommand it. (I am equally interested in hearing of any books that you feel are a waste of money!).


Monday, October 5, 2009

Blog contest! Win 5 e-books! Oct 6th to 13th

Welcome to my blog! Today is RELEASE DAY!

I am having a release party and you are invited! Leave a comment on any of my posts between today (October 6th) and the last day of the party (October 13th) and five winners will be drawn on the 13th.

Each day between now and October 13th I will be posting thoughts on writing life. Your comments are welcome!

What are the party favors? Here you go:

2 copies of Chasing Sunrise
1 copy of Room with a View
1 copy of Kissing the Sunrise
1 copy of Caught in the Act

Now for the legal mumbo jumbo: One prize per winner. Room with a View and Caught in the Act are erotica content and may not be suitable for all readers.

Good Luck!

Here is the link to Chasing Sunrise if you'd like more details!
CHASING SUNRISE - available now! Click HERE