Thursday, November 29, 2012

No Regrets A Friday Flash Fiction

Snow blew in flurries, the cloak whipped back from her shoulders. With a gasp, she clutched it back close around her body. This was no day for a woman to be out, much less a country to be at war.

The weather made her job harder as blood stained snow crunched under her feet. The wind howled drowning out some of the faint cries of the men who needed her aid. A chill ran up her body as an icy hand clutched at her ankle under her skirt.

She looked down and swallowed softly, the young face half torn and bloodied by his enemy. His coat was blue a Union soldier. She was told to pass them by, they only had time for their own today.

Sarah pulled her foot from his loose grasp and started to move on.

The Yankee attempted to rise as he reached that trembling hand out. “Please…”

The plea tore at her soul as her mind replayed the doctor and his arthritic finger shaking in her face at dawn this morning with warning their supplies were dwindling.  “To hell with that ole sawbones.”

Sarah turned back and knelt beside the young blue coat. “Easy, now. I’ll do what I can.”

He lay back in the snow, soft white mixed with blood, soot, and gunpowder. Carefully she tried to find his wound. By the way his face squinched and scrunched as he moved there was something far worse than the cuts and scrapes on the side of his face.

The poor boy was already blue enough to match his coat in the winter air. She tried not to open his coat too wide and loose what little warmth he had. His body shivered hard as she found the cause of his great discomfort.

She drew her fingers back from the wound and saw the blackened blood. Her heart sank lower. This ‘man’ couldn’t be more than sixteen, too young for wars against brothers. Far too young to die.

Sarah ad seen the cantankerous physician diagnose many soldiers with a wound like this one. The blood stained black meant the Federal’s internals had been damaged. All they could do was make comforts, take his last words.

Heaviness filled her for not the first time today. Sarah buttoned his coat back and gave the young man a gentle smile.

His eyes held the knowledge of his future. His hand trembled, flakes of ice fell from the digits as they wrapped around hers. “Write my mother, tell her I was brave.”

Sarah nodded once as the snow began to fall again. “What is your name, where does she live?”

He blinked snowflakes from his eyes as he took a ragged breath. “Thomas Lee Brunell. My parents live in Boston, George…..” He had to pause as his body heaved and coughed speckling his lips with dots of red.

Sarah smoothed back his hair and tried to calm him. “Shh, be still now. I’m sure your ma and pa are most proud of their brave son.”

Thomas gave her a smile, for a moment it softened those frightened hazel eyes. “I was, I fought well. I have one regret, I never kissed a girl.”

She smiled softly at the surprise in his pained expression. Many men have made confessions and requests as she tended them. None were so innocent as young Thomas. “Do you have a girl you’d like to kiss?”

Thomas gave her a slight nod, and tapped his watch. She opened and held it up for him to see the photo inside the lid. “She’s lovely, Thomas.”

“Her name is Sarah.” He paused to gather strength. “She’s waitin, for me.” It was plain in his expression he realized he wasn’t going to get that kiss with the pretty girl in the picture. His regret.

Her heart clenched for the young man. She brushed his cheek gently with her fingers. “My name is Sarah.” She pressed a soft kiss to his lips and felt him smile with the delight.

His grip tightened for a moment then the fingers uncurled from her hand. Sarah looked down at him, “Don’t leave me, Thomas.”

The hazel eyes were still, but there was a sweet grin on his face. Her breath caught as she placed his hands on across his chest. Sarah stood and gathered her meager bag of medical supplies. Sarah moved to the next call for help.

Now and then, she would glance over as the snow covered the young Federal, he had passed with no regrets. If she survived this war, Sarah swore to live without regret. The memory of a bittersweet kiss to remind her.

Monday, November 26, 2012

OneWord/60 Seconds: Local

Instead of staking out the local chop shop he could be out with Gina, or Lola. Oh yeah Lola. He popped the lid off his coffee and tossed it onto the dash with the rest of the nights' collection. Maybe this one wouldn't taste like used oil.

After seven hours of crap coffee and no action, he watched the sleek sedan pull up to the garage door. The detective took a tentative sip and sighed as a big man stepped out of the car and straightened his coat, the hood he’d been looking for. He regretfully tossed the first decent cup of java all night out the window and flipped on the flashing lights. At least his wasn't the only date night to get ruined. is a website for getting the muse warmed up. Each day you get one word and sixty seconds in which to write what it inspires.This is my entry for today's One Word. What's yours? For more of my past One Word entries check out my One Word Profile EliseV

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Don't Touch and the Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing is a blog hop where authors talk about their next work in progress or soon to be released. I was invited into the loop by author Mary Ann Bernal, you can check out here next big thing the release of The Briton and the Dane: Concordia in Jan. 2013.

Alright, now for my next big thing...

What is the title of your book? 
For me the next big thing is the up coming re-release of the paranormal thriller Don't Touch to Kindle and Smashwords! 
About Don’t Touch
Dr Ryan Reign has unlocked a gift she calls a curse. Detective Jackson Prince and his partner need her help to stop a serial killer before he kills again. One problem Dr. Reign can't touch or be touched. Can the hard as nails cop Jackson find a way to touch her heart without touching her skin in order to stop the bloodshed.

Where did the idea come from for this story?
Don’t Touch was a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Novel. I was reading a book at the time on the paranormal and there was a chapter on psychic gifts. I was fascinated by psychometry, the ability to obtain knowledge about an object, or about a person connected with it, through contact with the object.

I thought how would that affect someone’s life to suddenly not be able to touch everyday objects without some kind of side effect. What if that person had no idea what was happening or how to control it? Then I thought wow what if they were the only person who could solve something like a murder…. And so a plot was born.

What genre does your book fall under?
Don’t Touch is a paranormal thriller with a dash of romance. I tend to write in multiple genres. Genres are like potato chips for me, can’t have just one :)

How long did it take to complete the first draft of this manuscript?
24 days. No kidding. NaNoWriMo works J

Who or what inspired this book?
I’m not sure there was any set inspiration. It was just a grouping of little ideas that rolled into a big one to form a plot and characters. I knew I wanted to write a murder mystery for NaNo, with some places I picked out around Lake County, Florida. Then the paranormal influences started to creep in and poof…... A coroner who can’t touch or be touched but has to find a way to turn her curse into a gift to find the killer before he strikes again.

What about this book would pique readers’ interest?
Don’t Touch isn’t your typical thriller.  Murder, a reclusive doctor, and a gritty cop with a quick temper make an enjoyable ride through the pages. The underlying theme is for the story is there is always light at the end of the tunnel. We can’t give up on life when it gets tough if we can hang on we might find that what we thought was a curse has brought us a bundle of gifts. Maybe one of them sexy as hell and bearing a pepperoni pizza. Right Jackson? :o)

If you can’t wait for the relaunch of the re edited version for Smashwords and Kindle no problem you can purchase Don’t Touch at one of the links below or click on the Books by Elise tab at the top of this blog. You’ll also find HALF and In the Dark!
Don't Touch on iTunes  (ebook for you iPad or ipone
Keep an eye out for the upcoming announcement of when Don't Touch will be available for your Kindle and more! 
Did you know you can collect my book covers and get them autographed? Check out my page on Authorgraph 

Have you read Don’t Touch or any of my other books or stories? Share your thoughts or a review below. I’d love to hear what you have to say!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Author Chat with Kerry Dwyer About her Ramblings in Ireland

We welcome author Kerry Dwyer to the ludis today! She's here talking about her book Ramblings in Ireland and her life in Europe. Relax and enjoy our visit. 

Tell us who Kerry Dwyer is:
Kerry was born in the North of England and educated in the South. She worked in finance for more than two decades in the UK, USA and various countries in mainland Europe. She now lives with her husband and daughter in the South West of France. She gave up finance and retrained as an English teacher (TEFL) after her daughter was born as she wanted to spend as much time as possible with her. She currently teaches English as a foreign language to adults by telephone and internet. Ramblings in Ireland is her first novel.

What inspired Ramblings in Ireland ?
The book was inspired by our walking holiday in Ireland. I was so enthralled with the place and the people and the different sort of relationship I had with my husband whilst we were there. We hadn’t been in each other’s company quite so intensely for a long time. It started of as a diary or memoir of the holiday and by the time it was finished had metamorphosed into its current state.

Was it difficult to translate your travels into pages in a book?
Not really. As we were walking ideas for the book kept developing. When you are walking it is a wonderful time to reflect. There would be some incident or some conversation and that would set me thinking about a related, how ever tangentially, subject. The book had almost written itself by the time we got back to France.

Is there a place in Ireland a traveler shouldn’t miss? Why?
That is a difficult question. I haven’t visited all of Ireland yet but everywhere I have been is absolutely lovely. It also depends on the traveler, whether they are a town person or a country person. The season can make a huge difference as well. The Dingle peninsular is stunning and you get a chance to see the dolphins there, it can get very crowded in high tourist season though. The highlight for the holiday in my book was Sheep’s Head. I loved it but it is quite barren and bleak in places so not for everyone.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you write everyday or just when inspired? Is there a special place you write in or method you use?
I write something everyday. It is not always something towards a goal. I should be trying to finish my second novel but I am easily distracted. I find it very hard to focus on one thing at a time.  If I have a deadline approaching I am much better. For example a short story or flash fiction competition. I then focus and can finish the story. I wrote a lot of my second novel for NaNoWriMo last year. I just had to get the 50k words out during the month. I did the 50k words in one month, a year later and there are only 10k more. It is in a lot better shape though and has some structure.
I write on my laptop so that I can write wherever I am. I find train journey’s particularly good for writing because there is very little else you can do. There are fewer distractions like emails and facebook.

Tell us about …. The Slut’s Guide to Housework J
That guide was the starting point of my blog. It started out as some words of advice to a friend. She wanted to go out but felt that she had to do her housework first. I simply gave her a list of some of the shortcuts that I take when I am in a hurry. I really hate housework and particularly ironing. They seem such a waste of time. But I also hate a dirty house. How I reconcile these two is an ongoing struggle. My guide addresses part of it. I think everyone has to get the balance that is right for them. I am quite happy to spend a lot of my life in crumpled clothes to avoid ironing. For me the fun part of the Slut’s guide was investigating the word and its many meanings, how it has changed throughout history.

Do you have any projects you’re working on now or coming out soon? Please tell us about them.
I am still trying to write the novel I started for NaNoWriMo. The working title is ‘The Book Exchange’ and it is a fictional novel about expats living in France. I have a few things on back burners as well. I want to write a story about the viscous storms that raged through France at the end of 1999. The storms destroyed huge amounts of property and nature. I think the stories of people who were here and effected would be interesting.

What is your preference in the Nook/Kindle/ iPad discussion and why?
I have never seen a Nook so I really can’t comment on it. A lot of French people have a Kobo. I believe that more French books are available for the Kobo than for a Nook or a Kindle. The iPad for me tries to be too clever. For example if I want to look at something from another perspective I turn the iPad round but it turns the image round. Of course an iPad has a lot more functions than a simple e reader so it is not entirely the same thing.
For me the original simple Kindle works very well. It doesn’t try to anticipate what you want from it so it is very much like a book. It has the advantage of being lightweight and you can carry a whole library with you very simply.

I don’t have any of these devices. My mother has a kindle and an iPad so I have tried both of them. My husband also has a Kindle. I will soon be the only one in the family who reads from dead trees. My dad is putting up strong resistance too.

Was there something you learned about yourself in writing Ramblings in Ireland?
This might sound odd but until I had finished the book I hadn’t realized what it was about. I hadn’t realized the change in our relationship and the importance of investigating each others roots. That realization came with the finish almost as an after thought and yet it was the most important thing. I learned that writing can make you realize things about life that you hadn’t noticed in the living of it.

Can we have a little taste of your book?
There is a lovely French expression “il ne perd pas le nord.”  Literally this means “he doesn’t lose the north.” It means someone who knows exactly what they want and where they are going. They are focused on their target and don’t lose track of it. 
That doesn’t describe me at all.
I can’t read maps. They always seem to be printed the wrong way up. I can turn them the right way but then the names of places are sideways or upside down. I never know which way is north. Bertrand does, and he knows how to read a compass. Makes you wonder why he trusts me to navigate. Maybe he likes getting lost.

It annoys my daughter when we are talking about something and get stuck on a word. Bertrand gets out his French encyclopaedia and I get out the English one. Then we look it up and discuss its usage and history, which seems to her to take ages. She has to bring us back to the story, which was more interesting than the word. Sometimes she doesn't wait, but shrugs and leaves us with our encyclopaedias.

 I can get bogged down with grammar too. I can spend hours researching when to use “many” instead of “a lot of” in positive phrases or how many tenses you can use to make conditional sentences. Luckily my job allows me to correct other people's vocabulary and grammar, otherwise I would lose all my friends! As so many professionals do, I spend my working day telling people how to perform to a standard I rarely achieve for myself outside the office. It's almost like word blindness; I simply don't see my own mistakes.

Life feels quite a lot like that, really.

Where can we find Ramblings in Ireland and Kerry Dwyer?