The Lone Wolf by John D. Pepe

Welcome to the blog tour for the Lone Wolf by John D. Pepe! Read on to learn more about this exciting new fantasy novel, and find out where to get your copy.

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Add to Your Goodreads TBR List

While tracking a tribe of orcs, Remence comes across much more than that…an ogre mage seeks to unite all the orcs of the region against humans and non-orc kind. These orcs are well-disciplined, organized, and much better equipped; it is a true army, unlike anything young Remence has ever seen. And they are heading right for his village! When he fails to convince the village elders of the imminent threat to their lives, Remence takes extraordinary measures to save his people.

Caladin and Quinn are much more than the fancy thieves they appear to be. On their latest endeavor, they, too, learn of the orc host bearing down on the people of the region and throw themselves into the fray. After the gentlemen procurers are hired to uncover information about the recent orc attack, they enlist the help of Remence, learning their fight is against a common foe. Alongside a ragtag group of orc hunters, three half-ogre brothers, and a half-orc, Caladin, Quinn, and Remence turn detective and seek to find the person who is aiding the ogre mage. What they discover is that they may be the only ones standing between the massive orc army and the threat to humankind.

Read an Inside Peek Here

About John:

Website|Blog & Podcast|Instagram|
John D. Pepe is the author of THE LONE WOLF. He is a former practicing attorney turned school counselor. He’s a Neek (Nerd and Geek) and a life long D&D player. He enjoys martial arts/working out, podcasting/blogging, travel, and spending time with his family and friends. He lives in So. Cal. with his wife and son.

 

New Release: City of Toys by Lindy S. Hudis

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City of Toys
Lindy S. Hudis
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Published February 26, 2013
#WTMOCOT
Four beautiful women seek fame and fortune in Hollywood, the City of Toys, where actresses are like dolls, playing pretend on the big screen.
Marlo: a former child actress from New York City.
Rhonda: a small-town beauty queen.
Kim: a “nice Jewish girl” with a painful childhood.
Guyla: a “serious actress” with a debilitating, stress-induced illness.
 
 
Marlo, Rhonda, Kim, and Guyla, become friends living in the same apartment complex, in the city where dreams and disasters go hand-in-hand. They come to rely on each other as they deal with sexual come-ons, crazed stalkers, jealous starlets and the constant pressure of trying to make it in showbiz. But when the pressure gets too much, will their friendship save them or will the City of Toys break them?
 
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~4.5 out of 5 Star Rating on Amazon US~

 

5 STARS
“City of Toys is a dark and disturbing story about four young women who live in Los Angeles, California, and are persuing careers in the entertainment business. Although the story has been told before – a la “Valley of the Dolls”- the author takes a unique approach to a story that never seems to get old” ~ Marla Martenson

 

5 STARS
“This is a novel that is pure escapement and fun. Although some parts and hard to read at times, and I found myself having to literally put the book down and ask myself “did I really read that?” it is an entertaining and interesting read.” ~ Amazon Customer

 

5 STARS
“”City of Toys” is a gritty story .  . If you are squeamish, then this is not the book for you.Highly recommend. ” ~ Luscious Reader

 

Lindy S. Hudis is a graduate of New York University, where she studied drama at Tisch School of the Arts. She is the author of several titles, including her romance suspense novel, Weekends, her “Hollywood” story City of Toys, and her crime novel, Crashers. She is also the author of an erotic short story series, “The S&M Club” and “The Mile High Club”. Her short film “The Lesson” was screened at the Seattle Underground Film Festival and Cine-Nights in 2000. She is also an actress, having appeared in the television daytime drama “Sunset Beach”. She and her husband, Hollywood stuntman Stephen Hudis, have formed their own production company called Impact Motion Pictures, and have several projects and screenplays in development. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

 

Lindy S. Hudis Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindyscribe

 

 

 

Silver Bracelets by Tari Lynn Jewett

 


Title: #Silver Bracelets:
(#HermosafortheHolidays Book 2)
Author: Tari Lynn Jewett
Genre: Romance
Release Date: February 14th, 2020
#SBWTMO




Tagline: 


A cop who’s been Framed, a klutzy school teacher. Will one of them end up in handcuffs?? Or will they accidentally fall in love?


Blurb:


So, you’d like to go viral on social media?


Fourth grade teacher, Ashley Swensen finds herself in a hashtag nightmare, when a picture of her crashing a bicycle at School Safety Day, goes viral, with the tag #AshleyAccidents.  And why is it that every time she screws up one hunky cop happens to be around? Before she knows it, she becomes an unwilling poster child for community safety. And even a St. Patrick’s Day birthday isn’t bringing her luck.


 Officer Benny (Benito) Lopez just wants to ask the cute teacher for a date, but she doesn’t want anything to do with him. And his friends keep making things worse. Then he remembers his grandmother’s advice, to make a grand gesture.


Will they accidentally fall in love? Or will social media keep them apart? Only her girlfriends and a little ‘luck o’ the Irish’ can help her now. And chocolate of course…


#AshleyAccidents #StPatricksDay #SilverBracelets #TrueLove
 




 

Review:

Silver Bracelets is a cute, fun story about teacher Ashley Swensen and police officer Benny Lopez. Their first meeting ends in disaster when Ashley’s accident makes her the laughing stock of social media.

Despite her annoyance with the handsome officer, Ashley finds herself falling for him. Benny is also smitten with Ashley and decides to ask her out. Yet, chaos ensues as they begin their relationship.

This was a fun story, I loved the characters and not only did it offer plenty of romance, but there were also some humorous parts as well.

 


The Beach Break Coffee Bar was crowded and the girls squeezed through the throng of people to get to the table Evan was holding for them.


“It’s nice to be connected.” Ashley said as she slid into the seat next to Lucy.


Lucy smiled and started to respond just as Ashley smacked her on the arm. “Nooo,” she groaned. “That’s him over there.”


All three of her friends turned to look in the direction she’d pointed. Five good looking guys sat at a table laughing and drinking beer.


“Which one is he?” Mindi asked.


“He’s the jerky one.”


“You’ll have to be a little more descriptive.” Randi said. “I mean, they all look pretty friendly to me.”


“The one in the grey T-shirt. Don’t let that boyish smile fool you. He’s not nice.”


“I don’t know,” Mindi said. “I think he looks very nice. Look at the way that shirt hugs his biceps. Wish he’d turn this way so I could get a better look at his face.”


“What’s his name?” Randi had to raise her voice to be heard over the band who had moved back onto the stage and were warming up their instruments.


“Officer Lopez,” Ashley answered, trying to be heard over the music.


“What?” Randi raised her voice again.


“Officer Lopez!” Ashley said loudly just as the band stopped and the coffee bar buzz dropped to a din.


Officer Lopez and his buddies all turned to see who had shouted his name, and the lead singer of Reflective Lenses who was already standing in front of the mic picked it up.


“Officer Benny Lopez, you’re not even in the band, and cute girls are shouting your name. How’d you do that?”


Laughter rippled through the little coffee bar and Ashley considered crawling under the table.
“It’s okay Ashley,” Lucy said, “Evan just had a new refrigerator delivered. I’ll go get the box. We can smuggle you out of here without anyone seeing you!”
At least Randi tried to hide her smile, but Mindi made no effort to contain her amusement.
 



A sweet, funny, clean, light, too short romance, lol! A fast paced hilarious, never say never, or what could go wrong…” – Madm007
 
❤️‿♡⁀🧡‿♡⁀💛‿♡⁀💚‿♡⁀💙‿♡⁀💜


“Social media in courtship doesn’t always work out especially when your so called friend stuffs it up. Fastpace, lots of laughter, family values coming into play, good friends in most cases. Beware you may end up with sore cheeks and tummy from the laughter you experience in this journey. Loved it.” – Tracy
 
❤️‿♡⁀🧡‿♡⁀💛‿♡⁀💚‿♡⁀💙‿♡⁀💜


“Silver Bracelets was the follow up to the Please Say Yes. It was a fast-paced, delightful, romantic story. I love the characters. Tari Lynn Jewette wrote a fun novel with a happily ever after.”  – A.
 
❤️‿♡⁀🧡‿♡⁀💛‿♡⁀💚‿♡⁀💙‿♡⁀💜


“Very cute sweet short story. Loved the humor and interaction between the main characters and supporting characters. Small-town and great friends, humor and heart. Definitely looking forward to reading more.” – Ruiz Kim
 
❤️‿♡⁀🧡‿♡⁀💛‿♡⁀💚‿♡⁀💙‿♡⁀💜
#PleaseSayYes 
(#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)



Tari Lynn Jewett lives in Southern California with her husband of thirty years (also known as Hunky Hubby). They have three adult sons, all who live nearby. For more than fifteen years she wrote freelance for magazines and newspapers, wrote television commercials, radio spots, numerous press releases, and many, MANY PTA newsletters. As much as she loved writing those things, she always wanted to write fiction…and now she is.


When she’s not writing, you can find her at the beach, in her sewing room, or curled up with a good book. She’s also been known to play a mean game of pool.


Tari believes in happily ever afters…because she’s living hers.


Links:



Facebook: Tari Lynn Jewett


Facebook reader group: Tari Lynn & Friends








 

 

Bella Jeanisse Valentine’s Day Weekend Sale

 

 


 
February 14 – 16 ONLY
 
All of Bella’s books will be $.99!
 
 

 

 




 

The Complete Velocity Series:
 

 

Velocity is a tight knit family. This band of brothers has each suffered some sort of tragedy, and the rock star life allows them to hide from it. On a hiatus from touring and recording, they all have time to think and wonder about the future. Little do they know, nothing will turn out as they expect.
 

 

 

 

 


 

The Silverblade Series:
 

 

After all they’ve been through, Silverblade is ready for a comeback. First they need to replace their fallen brother, Troy. This is no easy task, but they are determined to turn the page and move on.
 

 

 

 

 


 

The Complete Gasoline Series:
 

 

Gasoline has taken the world by storm together for twenty years and their legacy has been the typical sex, drugs and rock ’n roll. The four of them thought that was all they needed. However, fate can be a fickle mistress. How will they play the hands dealt to each, and the hand dealt to the band as a whole?
 

 

 

 

 


Wicked End by Bella Jeanisse

 

The Wicked End Series:
 

 

Wicked End travels the world without caring what anyone thinks of their antics. Their North American tour is anything but typical. Girls are not allowed to stay on the tour bus for good reason. All of them did not do exclusive relationships and most thought women were made to be shared. Little did they know a hurricane would blow Mackenzie back into their lives and nothing would be the same again.
 

 

 

 

 


Triple Threat by Bella Jeanisse

 

The Complete Triple Threat Series:
 

 

Triple Threat is not your typical erotic saga. Follow best friends Crystal and Chad on their journey from high school to fame. Along the way, they encounter love, opportunities, setbacks and tragedy, while they also find relationships, breakups, joy and more on their way to becoming rock stars.
 

 

 

 

 


 

Double Dominance:
 

 


Steel is the Road Captain for the Dark Wings Motorcycle Club. Few dare to challenge this fearsome alpha. Those who do, regret it. He dominates everything in his life, including women. After all, women are for sex and nothing more.
 

By night, Fiona is an impressive guitarist in a local rock band. By day, she is a dominatrix. Music, her submissives, and her motorcycle have always been enough. The last thing she needs is a steady man in her life.

 

When these two dominants meet, an erotic, volatile test of strength and wills erupts. Will they destroy each other with their need to control, or can their dynamic work somehow? There’s only one way to find out!
 

 

 

 




 

Insatiable Appetites:
 

 


Have you ever had an impossible fantasy? What would you do if you had the chance to make it come true? Would you go for it or chicken out?
 

These four bite-sized, dirty tales of fantasy come to life are sure to get your blood pumping and send your loins into a frenzy! Each of these short stories are chock full of erotic moments with a romantic twist. I promise, no cliffhangers, just happy endings!

 

Fast and Easy:
Could you work with your ex? Jonas and Dalia own a tattoo shop. Every day they say nothing as the other beds customers. Jealousy is not something either is used to. They have an agreement to never be intimate again. If they break that rule, will they rediscover their love, or will everything they worked for go up in flames?

 

Joe to the Rescue:
Ever had a forbidden crush? Angie has watched Joe from afar for several years. She wouldn’t dare admit her lustful urges. The young man is completely off limits. What she doesn’t know is he secretly feels the same. Will his daring act of compassion blow up in his face, or will she accept it for what it is?
 

The New Guy in Town:
Do you do one-night stands? Jennifer is dying to meet her new neighbor, but she’s not bold enough to walk across the street. Matthew just wants to meet a woman who understands him. When they find each other, sparks fly and both are ready to try something dirty and daring. Can they handle it?

 

Chance Meeting:

Everyone has a celebrity fuck list, don’t they? Kelsee has one, too. At the top of hers is Josh. He’s everything her man is not. Josh is a playboy not looking to settle down in any way. They meet under upsetting circumstances, some would say are criminal. Will her desire for him overrule what she discovers he has done?

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Bella Jeanisse lives for rock music. Addicted to concerts, Avenged Sevenfold, fictional rockers, and blasting music in the car, she can’t get enough. After her father turned her on to Queen, there was no going back. Of course, it didn’t stop there. Playing guitar became a pastime, which didn’t turn into a career… until she started to pen her fantasies and publish them.
 
Originally from Brooklyn, New York City, she grew up with access to clubs like L’Amour and CBGBs, hung out in Greenwich Village, as well as had plenty of friends in bands. No wonder rockers stayed on her mind. Bringing her ideas to life was a long time coming.
 
She is now living near Tampa, FL with 3 kids and 3 grandkids, as a single mom. Her family supports her writing even when it seems to take up more time than they feel is necessary. Can’t stop the muse, ya know!
 
Besides erotic rock star romances, Bella also writes about wild bikers, hot college men and more.
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

 

 

 

New Release: Concordant Vibrancy 4 Inferno

Greetings, one and all!

If you’ve been following along this past week and a half you probably already know that this is the day that everything has been leading to.

During day one we introduced you to the ingredient of Purpose. Adonis Mann brought up, “Express-Oh”.

Day two we took a look at Commitment via Carol Cassada’s contribution, “Not Always Like This”.

On day three it was all about Consequences; we delved deep into this ingredient via Harmony Kent’s story, “The Fireman”.

Day four examined Love with Beem Weeks’ tale, “The Complications of Fire”.

Day five was overtaken by the ingredient of Reinvention as told by C. Desert Rose’s story, “Calliope’s Inferno”.

Day six told us that Tenacity was an important ingredient no matter what the circumstance through Y. Correa’s, “Moxy”.

Day seven touched on how the ingredient of Risk can be as scolding as any through Synful Desire’s, “Antipode”.

Day eight cleverly showed how Conviction was as good ingredient as any to keep the fire roaring. Da’Kharta Rising showed us how in “The Chronicles of Aidan”.

And last but never-ever least, Queen of Spades indubitably demonstrated how Empathy is the most powerful of ingredients when maintaining our soul’s fire burning in, “The Calefaction of Insight”.

Now that the picture has become clear and Inferno’s stew is bubbling, come serve yourself us a bowl. Come get your copy of, “Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno”.

 

GET YOUR COPY TODAY!

 

Queen of Spades: Empathy

Hello Everyone!

Today is Day 9 of the Concordant Vibrancy 4 blog tour, and we conclude it with today’s guest Queen of Spades. She stopped by to discuss the inspiration for her story The Calefaction of Insight.

Please give her a warm welcome.

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The Kindling
The creation of my submission for Inferno stemmed from an unusual place. Unusual in that I was working on a different story for this project. While working on the original story, an event occurred that I concluded only took place in the thick of my poetry writing—I lost the frequency that the story coasted on.
In order to better understand this, I must give a glimpse between what my approach to writing poetry is like versus essays and story writing.
When I write poetry, it’s an unplanned thing. It’s uncaring of the time of day or what else I have going on. When the inspiration strikes, I have to get the words down right at the moment. Flow, meaning, and rhythm can get lost if I don’t complete the process right then and there.
Typically, with essays and story writing, I have an outline and set rhythm in my head. One that I can return to whenever I get ready. All I have to do is sit down and get the words down. I never had to worry about the algorithm going awry … until recently.
It’s comparable to a GPS malfunctioning when one is halfway at the destination. No matter how many times one re-calibrates the machine or how many time it recalculates, you’re stuck with nowhere to go.
On top of that, the area lacks WiFi and one’s cell phone has just two bars.
For the first time in my short story writing career, I declared the original story a no-go but didn’t have a backup on hand to take its place.
This was around mid-April. Mid May arrived. Still no spark to guide me to an answer to the theme question:
What are the ingredients to a sustainable blaze?
In late May, I went on a personal sabbatical to Ocean City, Maryland. Solo vacations serve to be inspirational as well as invigorating. I read a lot of Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. I did some personal journaling, awaiting the arrival of the short story muse.
He (I only call the short story muse He when I’m annoyed) was being ornery.
One June day—Juneteenth to be exact—an image formed in my mind. It was of a person sleeping on his back. The ceiling had a water spot. Condensation was forming.
I opened my word processing application and typed. It came out in present tense, one I had never dabbled in but felt right for what was developing.
Not too long after, a name. Keller.
Up until I finished the story, the working title was Keller. Another staple for me is to already have the title either near the beginning or in the middle.
Nothing about this was my signature.
After doing a preliminary read—immersing in the words as a reader not an author—I thought, “This is a pretty insightful work. Keller experienced varying degrees in his perception of himself and other people.”
Insight … Insight … Insight. That could work as part of the title. Keller’s Insight? It was better than Keller but I still believed there was something missing. I wasn’t accounting for the temperature of his thoughts nor the heat of them.
Hence The Calefaction of Insight.
The Accelerants
 
 
The Calefaction of Insight is told in present tense by the main character Keller with bits of independent narration interwoven. Keller is a man who struggles with his weight. He is part of a group whose goal is to encourage him to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
An initial accelerant is “Mr. Jack Off”. A disagreement between Keller and “Mr. Jack Off” is where Keller’s tale begins.
What starts off as an activity challenge blossoms into much more when Keller encounters a woman at the park he refers to as “Goddess”. His interactions with her bring forth positive changes that are noticeable to everyone.
These positive vibes are met with negative accelerants. Some are external forces while others are of his own manufacturing.
The Fuel Which Binds
 
 
Overall, The Calefaction of Insight is a mirror on modern day issues (fat acceptance vs. fat shaming, illness and the surrounding stigma, perception of self vs. perception of others) and an ongoing battle of the mind, heart, and spirit.
No matter where one is in life, the presence of empathy is the differential between keeping one’s flame going and having one’s fire dissolve into embers.

 

Da’Kharta Rising: Conviction

Welcome to Day 8 of the Concordant Vibrancy 4 blog tour. Today’s guest is Da’Kharta Rising, who’ll be discussing her story The Chronicles of Aidan.

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What’s good? The SASS here. I normally don’t get out of my cave but when I do it’s for a good reason. Also, when my publisher dictates I have to make an appearance.
However, I do like to talk about myself. Simply because I write pretty kick-ass stuff. Yes, it’s for a specific audience but it doesn’t make it any less killer.
Out of all the Concordant Vibrancy themes, this one spoke to me the loudest. Not because the title is “Inferno” but because it deals with fire. Fire is my favorite element, which you didn’t even know about me.
When it came to my response to the question, I originally concocted a literal perspective, dealing with a dragon and phoenix. Well, it wasn’t any dragon and phoenix. They were very entertaining characters, and the story was a mix of drama and humor, which would have been a big out-of-the-box leap for yours truly.
However, my main characters were getting off track and trying to steal my thunder. Therefore, a quarter of the way through, I abandoned those noisy, wayward animals. Not to say they won’t get their own independent spotlight a bit later, but they did not suit the succinctness I was going for.
You know me by now. I’m the type of writer that is like a strong drink. Little to no ice and no extra stuff to cut through the potency of the main integrant. Or for those who don’t drink alcohol, like a piece of lean meat. Little to no fat, although I think fat is yummy.
If you don’t like meat … um, then I’m all out of comparisons.
Let’s move this along, shall we?
Axing the idea so close to the deadly was a risky move but I was convinced that it would pay off.
See what I did there?
That is the thing about conviction. It is a powerful ingredient in the human existence. It acts as pliable clay, possessing the ability to warp perception and reality. The foundation and steadfastness of conviction marks humanity’s temperature. In my analysis, it is why there’s ease in starting an inferno but challenge in dousing the flames.
My contribution to the anthology, “The Chronicles of Aidan”, begins when Aidan starts speaking on the sad condition of the world to anyone who hears. Fearing that his opinions are signs of a mental break, Aidan is placed in a facility that’s supposed to tackle his ailment.
Dissatisfied with the bleakness of his surroundings, Aidan receives permission to decorate the walls by convincing the facility’s board and psychiatrist Dr. Deitrich that it aids in his therapy.
Through Aidan’s day to day, several events happen which makes one question the power of a mind’s conviction.
Find out more by reading “The Chronicles of Aidan”.

DR

 

Synful Desire: Risk

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to Day 7 of the Concordant Vibrancy 4 blog tour. Today, we have the pleasure of hosting Synful Desire, who will be talking about the inspiration behind her story Antipode.

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Hello Awesome Visitors!

 

I am very glad you could join us on the Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno tour. It is an honor to be featured in a collection with such wonderful talents and that you have gotten a chance to learn about their craft and their stories in this anthology.

 

 

Please, if you have not already done so, take a gander at some of the authors which have come before me. You definitely will not regret it!

 

Today is my feature day and I’m ready to dish on all things risk in my story “Antipode”.
Awesome visitors, the first question you probably have is “Why?”. Why did I select Risk as the ingredient to sustain humanity’s blaze?
When one is in a holding pattern in life, sometimes it takes the unusual to light the fire in one’s belly.
This is my philosophy. Contentment and happiness are not necessarily the same animals. If they were, why are flickers of happiness so intense that they are blazes, but flickers of contentment are so calm that they are nothing more than candles, just to light the way to another path?
The focal point of “Antipode” is a man named Carsen Mulligan. He’s presented as an unassuming, kind man. A man who doesn’t require much to be content. A man who tries to keep the peace and eliminate or avoid conflict as much as possible.
All appears to be going well for him. He’s with a woman (Chelley Priestley) he’s head over heels with, in line to be his life partner. He’s in the running for a promotion at his job at Amphere Museum. He works at the museum with Morton Yang, who he’s been friends with since childhood.
What could possibly go wrong?
As “Antipode” demonstrates, every flipping thing.
An unsettling revelation comes about involving his love Chelley. This causes what should have been a joyous celebration into disappointment, as reflected in this segment:
Carsen was so fixated on Todd and Chelley that he hadn’t noticed the silence of the restaurant or the manager and two additional men surrounding him, ready to pounce at the first sign of trouble. On the outside, Carsen projected an eerie, almost admirable sense of calm in the wake of this betrayal. Inside, his spiritual temperature was dropping, as were bits of his heart.
Then, the promotion Carsen believes is a shoo-in falls through, with an extra insult to injury in regards to who received the job instead, as depicted in this exchange:
The intensity of Carsen’s emotions suffocated his calm. Agitated, he loosened his tie while rising from the opulent seating. Carsen was unsure which bothered him the most—the decimation of Mr. Deschand’s role in Amphere, the allusion to his romantic mourning somehow affecting his job performance, or the betrayal of Morton.
 
“Carsen, this doesn’t have to affect our friendship. I talked to Mr. Toler, and Falcourt Museum has an opening. They would love to have you onboard.”
 
Morton’s suggestion was met with wearing the remainder of Carsen’s fizzy drink. “Then you should have gone to Falcourt. Being the curator of Amphere was my dream and you knew it! You’re not only disloyal but a thief. My moral compass won’t permit me to be friends with either.”
These tribulations put Carsen on a path that catapults him to the verge of madness.
Just when Carsen is at his breaking point, Miles, his next-door neighbor, presents him with a solution that could turn his life around. All Carsen has to do is risk breaking from his comfort zone to try something different. Taking this chance morphs Carsen’s life in ways he never could have dreamed.

 

Find out if the fire of risk consumes Carsen in a positive or negative way by reading “Antipode” by yours truly.

 

 

Y. Correa: Tenacity

Hello Everyone!

It’s Day 6 of the Concordant Vibrancy 4 blog tour and today Y. Correa joins us. She stopped by to chat about her story Moxy.

Please give her a warm welcome.

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To describe “Moxy” is to say that it is a mesh of science fiction, comedy and fire. And if that wasn’t enough to explain the essence of the story, I could add “fun” to that description.
When I started writing for Inferno I had something entirely different in mind. Never did I plan on coming up with the impromptu story that eventually became “Moxy”.
As a matter of fact, the initial idea was to write a follow-up story to my contribution to “Concordant Vibrancy 3: Lustrate”, “Twin Planets”, which I’d left as a cliffhanger on purpose. But, as luck would have it, fate chose differently. It was a combination of things. At first I was having trouble figuring out how to continue “Twin Planets” and when I finally did, the story went completely array. Something that I didn’t notice until well into writing it. Of course, this stopped me dead in my tracks and the only other option would be to come up with another story altogether lest I have no contribution to a collection that I was a pivotal part of. How embarrassing would that be?
Hence, “Moxy” was born.
You see, the thing is that most people consider me to be some sort of grim and serious writer, but the fact of the matter is that I have a great sense of humor. So I dared myself to do a little something different. I dared myself to tell a worthwhile story about tenaciousness and continuity through a science fiction tale drenched in comedy.
The first character to pop his head up and say hello was Joe, the alien. At first glance, Joe is just a funny, interesting and witty character who sort of pops up out of nowhere, but we quickly learn that he is a major player in this story. Ultimately my favorite character of the story, Joe is the catalyst to Melissa’s self-discovery.
Melissa is a headstrong person with her own understanding of how the world works, and frankly, she had no interest in investing her emotions into a world that she thinks is shallow and unfair. Furthermore, life’s struggles have inadvertently taught Melissa that avoidance is sometimes the best policy. Joe comes to challenge her views in a way that Melissa would have never expected. Truthfully, in a way that no one could ever expect.
Taking Melissa on the trip of a lifetime, Joe teaches Melissa what it is to put forth a little effort, tenacity and, well, moxy.
Now, for your entertainment, let me share a small excerpt of “Moxy” my short story contribution to “Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno”.


 

 

 

Excerpt:
 
The man continued waving as Melissa got closer. The luminosity practically blinding her, Melissa cupped her eyes trying her hardest to see better. The closer she got the more she could make out the man’s features. He was an older gentleman with a salt and pepper beard and dressed awkwardly. He wore tattered khaki cargo pants with an opened red and blue plaid shirt with a polka-dot t-shirt underneath, an aviator jacket and striped bomber hat. Most peculiar of all were the Gladiator style slip-on sandals and bright neon green fanny pack.
“There she is!” he said with a chuckle. “I thought that would catch your attention.”
Melissa’s mouth fell open in shock.
Snapping his fingers, the parabolic aluminized reflector lamp disappeared to which Melissa immediately took note and jumped in astonishment. As if by instinct, that light was replaced by the moonlight’s glow. Melissa looked at him, then looked at the floor where the lamp used to be, then back at the man.
“They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. Well, whoever ‘they’ are … they’ve never seen that look on your face. Ooph … if eyes could talk.” The jolly old guy chattered as he chuckled. “Alright. No time to waste, let’s get on with it.”
“Bu- bu- I- I mean- Whaaaat?” Melissa stammered still in unadulterated stupefaction.
“Come on, come on, come on, young lady. I just said we don’t have any time to waste. Time is money, or so the proverbial ‘they’ say.” Throwing his arm around Melissa’s shoulders, the old man coaxed her forward. “You’ve got some learning to do and I’m just the person to learn you something.”

 


 

Well, thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the baby snippet of the fun adventure that is “Moxy”. Until next time, y’all.

 

C. Desert Rose: Reinvention

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to Day 5 of the Concordant Vibrancy 4 blog tour. Today’s guest is C. Desert Rose, who stopped by to discuss the theme of reinvention in her story.

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The Wagon Wheel Watusi …? But, WHY?


Let me ask …
Can we really dance to the beat of a new tune and in so doing find a new way of life?
What brings out the best in people if not the ability to overcome adversity and in the process discover the things that we had inside us all along?
Inner strength, I believe, comes from the opportunity to find that which is hidden inside and bring it to the surface for all to see. But I think I am getting ahead of myself.

 

First let me introduce you to Calliope.
Calliope is the everyday girl that we all know. The fun, funny, awkward, kind but not stupid girl next door. She is confident in somethings and a hot mess when it comes to other things. She is quirky, aloof, but loves who she loves. Calliope is you and me.
More than that, Calliope has a unique way of looking at the world. She sees it through the lens of Dante, the famous poet who wrote “Dante’s Inferno”. This is how Calliope assimilates the world, how she processes things, events, and more than anything, the people she loves. Her eternal besties.
After breaking up with her long-time boyfriend Calliope finds herself in that mental limbo that we all know very well. That place of, “What the hell am I going to do with myself now?”
Throwing caution to the wind in a moment of asinine misadventures—or so she believes—Calliope joins a dance class. This is something she regrets deeply after the fact but now it’s too late and, well … c’est la vie.
What Calliope doesn’t expect is the outcome of such a rash decision to be exactly what she needed all along.
“Calliope’s Inferno” brings you a fun cast of characters, an upbeat and down to earth story, and something that we can all relate to.
If the theme question is “What are the ingredients to a sustainable blaze?” I believe that Calliope answers that question in the form of a relatable and idiosyncratic tale that’ll keep you hooked.
Now, without wanting to ruin the story for you, I’ll leave you with a tidbit of an excerpt for your enjoyment.
Toodles!



 

Excerpt:
It had been approximately six months since I’d broken up with Thomas Mason. Thomas and I had been together for three years. Those were the best and the worst three years of my life. Our union was the existential “vicious cycle”. We fought, we made up, we had makeup sex and we did it all over again the next day for three whole years.
Finally, I had enough.
I haven’t the faintest clue what our last fight was about but not even the makeup sex helped anymore. I felt empty. Like, I had nothing left to give. And so, deciding that throwing in the towel was more of a life saving factor then continuing to brawl, I said “enough”. I packed Thomas’ things, put them on the curb, changed the locks and left him in Fate’s deserving hands.
There was, however, a downfall to not having a poisonous relationship to occupy your time.
I was bored.
With nothing to do other than work and talking to the girls I opted to join dancing class. The dance of choice? The Wagon Wheel Watusi.
PS: Thank you, “Burlesque”. Oh, dear God.
The facepalm that inevitably followed was out of my control.
Dante, for the love of God, please help me out of this one.
Why that particular class appealed to me, I could not say. I think it was the combination of the image of Christina Aguilera at her finest along with the sound of the catchy name, if for no other reason.
Low and behold, I was caught off guard with a surprise that almost made me want to drop the class altogether. A couple of my classmates were none other than the Ricci twins. Stefania had regrown her luscious locks by now and Stefano had grown into a muscle-bound meathead.
“Oh my God, Cal! Look at you all grown up!” Stefania said as she swept her hair from her shoulders. The fake smile did little to divert my attention from her toned body and long legs. It only reminded me of how much I hated her.