Category Archives: Guest Post

Guest Author: Hannah Lokos

“Before the fifth century B.C., before Socrates breathed or Aristotle stopped to think, the newly unified city-state of Athens was struggling to survive.  The Parthenon had yet to be built; the Acropolis was nonexistent.  Neither Greek comedy nor Greek tragedy had ever been performed. A long, bloody war with Crete had left Athens crushed and demoralized.  And as its people attempted to piece together their tattered lives, much was uncertain.  Could Athens afford to pay the required tribute?  Even then, would Crete honor the treaty?” Excerpt taken from the preface of Labyrinth of Lies.

This is the world of my story. It is set in Ancient Greece, during a very critical period in Greek history, a time when war has just barely ended in a tremulous peace treaty and the threat of further bloodshed still lingers overhead.  Many of the classic characters from Greek mythology make appearances, but this time, they show up as real people.  And in real life, they are slightly different from their immortal, mythological versions. Yet, although they have been robbed of their supernatural abilities, they are just as devious as they are in mythology.  Each and every one of them has their own set of motives that all contribute to a gigantic tangle of secrets.

I chose to write a story in this particular setting due to an Art History project I was assigned in high school.  I had always enjoyed Greek mythology, and I had thought I thoroughly understood the topic.  Yet, as it turned out, I was wrong. When I was researching the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, I learned something.  Theseus was a real person.  There is historical evidence pointing to the fact that Theseus actually lived.  The Aegean Sea in Greece was named after his father, King Aegeus, who appears to have been real also.  King Minos, the cruel and harsh ruler of Crete, built a palace at Knossos.  You can still tour the ruins of his throne room today. Among the ruins was a structure that even resembled the fabled labyrinth.

This, naturally, got me thinking.  I began to wonder that, if all of these people actually lived, and there was possibly even a real labyrinth, then what could possibly have been going on?  We know today that Minotaurs do not exist.  There cannot possibly be a half-man and half-bull creature that survives by gorging itself on fourteen youths only once a year.  So, if there was no Minotaur, then why build the labyrinth?  What secret could be so horrific that it would necessitate the annual shedding of fourteen innocent lives?

This is essentially what my story is about.  It suddenly struck me that maybe there was more to this old, tired myth than I had originally thought, and thus, my story was born. It is essentially the back story to a Greek myth, and is situated at that unique junction where historical fiction meets adventure meets romance meets conspiracy theory.

~*~

About Labyrinth of Lies:

Something foul is afoot in Ancient Greece. Athens is bruised from a previous war with Crete. Worse still, King Minos annually demands fourteen Athenian youths to be fed to the Cretan Minotaur, which is locked inside a maze. Theseus has grown up amidst this tangle of pain. When his own beloved, Zosemine, is taken to be fed to the Minotaur, Theseus finds himself at the heart of a web of conflicting motives, with the sense that even those closest to him cannot be trusted. Questions abound. Why is his father so ashamed? What is King Minos hiding? Is the Minotaur even real? And if not, what truly lies at the heart of the labyrinth? Little does Theseus know that all the various plots and motives all weave around one terrible secret. Theseus must navigate the labyrinth and see past the masks, to slay the Minotaur.

An excerpt:

Pallas raised his eyebrows and spoke. “You are brave, indeed, if you seek to kill the Minotaur. I dearly hope you succeed, for blessed is the one who will rid us of that beast. But the world is a fearsome place, Theseus. It is filled with twisted hearts and hopes and dreams. You think to enter the Minotaur’s maze once you arrive in Crete, but here you are wrong, Theseus. You have already entered the labyrinth—you were born into it, and in it, you can trust no one.”

~*~

goodHannah Lokos is a sleep-deprived college student (biology major) who writes novels on the side, usually between the hours of 1 and 4 a.m.  Her first novel to be published, Labyrinth of Lies, is scheduled for release this December 2, 2013.   Fun facts about Hannah? She has climbed Mt. Whitney, been stung by a jellyfish, and yes, unfortunately, she’s even eaten a cricket. (It was dead, so no worries!) She likes Mozart and heavy metal, knitting and paintballing, and she absolutely loves cats.

~*~

How to get Hannah’s New Release:

Labyrinth of Lies is currently scheduled for release for December 2, 2013.  Even though you can’t buy it yet, links will be available on Champagne’s website: www.champagnebookgroup.com and her own website www.hannahlokos.com.

The ISBN number is: ISBN 978-1-77155-037-6

~*~

Connect with Hannah:

My website: www.hannahlokos.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hannah-Lokos/358739397569904

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hannahlokos

Tumblr: http://hannah-lokos.tumblr.com/

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Working Wicca Into My World – Jessica Aspen

Today’s guest post is another great one from Jessica Aspen and it’s on the perfect subject as we approach all Hallows Eve. From Jessica:

Witches are everywhere. Sexy witches, scary witches, I wouldn’t even be surprised if we see superhero witches soon. If you haven’t caught on to this new trend, all you need to do is turn on the TV. The last few years a tsunami of fairytale programs has led to dark, witchy tales on practically every network. If you’ve missed them this fall, then check out the smash hit Sleepy Hollow, American Horror Story: Coven, or Lifetime’s Witches of East End.

If we’re seeing witches in TV, you know we’ll be seeing them in books. Oh, wait. We already have. There are some smashing series ranging from funny to scary to super sexy. One of my favorites is Kimberly Frost’s Southern Witch series that starts off with Would Be Witch. Funny, romantic, and it has witches.

I love witches so much that in my new fantasy romance series, Tales of the Black Court, I’ve incorporated witches into my twisted fairy tales. Now, witches and fairy tales go together like frogs and princesses, but I’ve added distinctly Wiccan traits to my witches and left the fairy-spells to the evil queen and the fae.

What is Wicca? Why is it different from snap-your-fingers magic? And why incorporate it into a fantasy romance anyway? Let’s start with a quickie Google definition:

1. Wic·caˈwikə/noun The religious cult of modern witchcraft, esp. an initiatory tradition founded in England in the mid 20th century and claiming its origins in pre-Christian pagan religions.

Wicca is a religion. While it’s based on what modern neo-pagans have researched, it is essentially new. So you’ll find every branch is different and unique. But some commonalities are: worshiping of a Goddess and or a God based either on nature or on an older pagan religion. Lots of communing with nature. And a responsibility for one’s own actions.

How does an author take a religion with so much flexibility and work it into their fictional world?

My fae are based on ancient Irish history, so I’ve used the goddess Danu in my books. The fae heroes, and the gypsy witches, call on Danu for help. The witches call on her in their spells, asking for her guidance and protection. When the magic rises (and in my books it has color, scent, and tangibility) Trina (the heroine in The Dark Huntsman) can feel the Goddess in the magic, helping her and sending her energy and power.

This is much like Wicca today. Modern witches may set sacred circles, call on goddesses and gods for protection, light candles, and call on the four directions to aid them in their spell-casting. They use tools such as carved wooden wands or white handled knives called athames. My witches use some of these methods and tools to summon and manipulate power to aid them in their quests. The difference is that in real-world Wicca, results can be slow. If you ask for help at your job, or dealing with a personal issue, results might take days, weeks, or even months. In the fictional world results are immediate.

dark_huntsmanHere’s an example of Trina working magic from The Dark Huntsman, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court:

Trying not to rush her steps, the wind lashing dirt against her bare skin, she walked the perimeter of the small labyrinth heading sunwise.

North, East, South, West. She set candles into lanterns at the four corners and lit each one with a prayer to Danu. With each step, apprehension uncoiled in her stomach, radiating out and shaking her hands until it was near impossible for her to light the last candle.

She shoved her anxiety back into her aching stomach and pulled her white handled athame out of the duffle. Breathing deep, she moved the ritual knife, sharp double-blade point up, between her breasts. Energy skidded across her skin. Small hairs on her body rose and her nipples puckered tight.

Time to begin.

Earth magic throbbing under her feet, Trina took the first step into the labyrinth to walk the outer circle and set the wards. Her Gift opened wide. The darkening valley glowed magical colors as the earth’s swirling energies, the soft green of growth and the rich brown of decay, flowed up her legs and into her solar plexus.

She used her body, her anger, and her fear. Anger at the Faery Queen for the constant harassment and extermination of her family and her tribe. Fear of what came next, what might be riding on the coattails of the sunset.

Pulsing with power, she paced deeper and deeper into the labyrinth, static lifting her long black hair into a crackling wild nimbus. She pulled and twisted the vibrant orange and red of her anxiety into the alchemy of the earth’s brown and green energy, weaving them together into an invisible net.

Each measured step layered power into the fabric of her spell. Each movement of the athame directed the energy where it needed to go. Just as darkness dipped its toes into the valley, she turned the last curve into the double spiral’s center.

Her rage and fear coalesced into the final strands of the spell leaving her shaking and exhausted as the last of the afterglow faded from the sky, a stunning show of deep purple on grey. A sonorous quiet descended. No birds, no coyotes. Just the wind sending small trails of skittering leaves through the labyrinth. Prickles of anticipation trembled on her bare spine.

It would be here soon. It was coming fast. And it was coming for her.

As you can see I’ve woven in pieces of Wicca; the calling of the four directions, use of a sacred knife/athame, and of course, magic. Here, it’s live and immediate. It springs to Trina’s call. Real Wiccan magic can be subtle. A message on a piece of paper burnt over a sacred flame. A song, or a recipe, or a poem. Even a box filled with wishes can be a magic spell.

Do you have any experience with Wicca? Do you like realistic touches of magic in your fantasy romances? Are you excited to see that witches may be the next big thing?

To celebrate the release of The Dark Huntsman I am giving away ten print copies on Goodreads. Click HERE to enter to win. Closes October 22nd.

The Dark Huntsman:

A fantasy romance of the Black Court

An evil queen, a dangerous man, and a witch, tangled together in a tale of Snow White…

Desperate to save the last of her family from the murderous Faery Queen, Trina Mac Elvy weaves a spell of entrapment. But instead of a common soldier, the queen has released the Dark Huntsman, a full blooded fae with lethal powers.

Caged for treason, Logan Ni Brennan, is ready to do anything to win free of the manipulative queen, even if it includes running a last errand for her…murdering a witch. The sight of Trina, ready to fight despite the odds, gives him another option: use the witch as a chess piece, put the queen’s son on the throne, and bring down the queen forever.

As the queen slides into insanity and her closest advisor makes plans to succeed to the throne, Logan secrets Trina away in the enchanted forest and makes a decisive move in his dangerous game of manipulation. But the gaming tables of fate turn on him, and when Trina’s life is threatened he discovers he risks more than his freedom…he risks his heart.

Dare to enter Jessica Aspen’s world of steamy, fantasy romance in her new twisted fairy tale trilogy: Tales of the Black Court…

Available today on AMAZON KINDLE or PRINT

JessicaAspenAuthor Bio:

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. Sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email here.

Find Jessica at: www.jessicaaspen.com

or: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s non-spammy, new release email please go to: http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

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WELCOME AUTHOR DIANA GREENE – Space Western…What’s That?

Welcome author, Diana Greene. Diana is the author of the romantic space western, New Sion, that was released this month by Champagne Book Group. I’m looking forward to reading it because it’s in the same, seldom-seen genre of Firefly, a personal favorite.

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Space Western…What’s That?

If I get a dollar for every time this question is asked, eventually I might be able to replace my fourteen year old station wagon. Unfortunately, space western is not a common genre. People usually picture little green aliens in cowboy hats…or worse.

To me, the blending of western and sci-fi genres seems like a natural. Both share expansive frontier settings, a sense of possibility, exploration, and the opportunity for characters to test themselves against extreme environments.

The television show Firefly is a great example of what this genre can accomplish. It feels futuristic and rustic at the same time, striking a marvelous balance between the two. Interestingly, I’d never heard of it, back when I wrote my romantic space western, New Sion.  It was a comment from an agent, noting the Firefly “vibe” to my manuscript, which first piqued my curiosity. After watching a single episode of Firefly I was hooked, and it became one of my favorite shows.

My goal, with New Sion, was to create a unique alien world, which was also reminiscent of the American west. I wanted it be familiar enough to ground readers into a tangible setting, yet intriguing and original at the same time. I suppose you’ll just have to read it for yourself, to see if I was successful. Hopefully, you’ll decide that space westerns deserve a spot on your bookshelf…or e-reader, as the case may be. Happy Trails.

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New Sion

new sion cover trimmedPretending to be a man isn’t easy. Finn Colville has pulled it off for years, but things get complicated when she falls for her new bounty hunting partner, Eamon Sullivan. On the planet New Sion, it’s against the law for a woman to wear pants and carry a gun, much less shoot people for a living. What will happen if Eamon discovers her secret?

On a backwater planet, at the edge of a galactic war, one man, one woman, and one desperate alien cross paths. Together they embark on the road trip of a lifetime, bound for revelation and redemption.

Available at Champagne Books, Amazon, and most other online retailers.

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Diana at Bay cropped 1Author Bio  Since her childhood, growing up in New Zealand, Diana has been an avid storyteller. For years she enjoyed teaching art and special education, while continuing to write as a hobby. After she developed chronic fatigue syndrome, a career change was necessary, but happily this led her to become a professional author.

Diana’s favorite genres are fantasy, science fiction, historical, and romance. She currently lives in beautiful Washington State where she writes for Champagne Books and The Wild Rose Press.

Visit her website at DIANAGREENBOOKS.COM

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Thank You to Shared Whispers Authors

CLICK TO BUYThank you for visiting Worlds of the Imagination to all of the Champagne authors who contributed to  SHARED WHISPERS, an anthology of fifteen  short stories about romance, mystery, adventure, and the paranormal.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Beyond Forever by M. W. Davis – Two ill-fated lovers from the past show a modern day couple the real meaning of love.
Special Delivery by Linda Rettstatt – During a blizzard, a road sign promised sanctuary from the storm until a woman running from her past learns the doctor is a veterinarian.
The Setup by Victoria Roder – Blowing off a blind date might mean avoiding an unpleasant evening with a stranger—or being saved by one.
Life at Full Speed by Ute Carbone – Sparks fly when a prosecutor and a man she almost sent to prison meet under unusual circumstances—a speed dating event.
Frozen Section by Jane Toombs – An acknowledgement of a past loss does more than thaw a woman’s heart. It opens the path to an unplanned future—and a family she never expected to have.
After the Tears by Angelica Hart and Zi – Grief darkened the future, until love took a hand.

HISTORICAL ROMANCE/WESTERN
Colours by Chris Fenge – One woman seeks to escape the grey coloring her world and return to the bright colors of yesteryear and her true love.
Wailing Down the Wall by Julie Eberhart Painter – A Chinese legend comes to life amidst the creation of one of the world’s greatest architectural marvels.
Journey Home by Linda LaRoque – Life is hard and dangerous on the Texas plain for a couple separated by time, distance, and duty. Love brings them together—forever.

FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION WITH A ROMANTIC CORE
Solitude by Ronald Hore – All Keith Sommerville wanted was a little time alone aboard his sailboat. What he found was a future beyond belief.
Cymru Am Byth (Wales Forever) by Jude Johnson – The freedom of Wales came at a price—love. Centuries later, fate intervened
Heart of a Rebel by Dani Collins – Plans can be undermined when love and destiny take charge.
Heaven by Elizabeth Fountain – Angels are not always found in heaven.
Nimue’s Daughter by Rita Bay – The past and the future collide when the Merlin of King Arthur’s court seeks his true love in a world on the precipice.
Gods and Zombies by January Bain – Do humans dance at the whim of the gods or do we write our own destiny.

Click HERE or the Cover to BUY.

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Welcome Shared Whispers Contributor, Jane Toombs

Jane Toombs, author of approximately 100 novels, and novellas, writes in most genres. Her first book was published in 1973. Her contribution to Shared Whispers, “Frozen Section,” not only describes the main character, but also the procedure she will undergo in the morning.

SharedWhispers-Ebook-180x280“FROZEN SECTION” EXCERPT

She worried about that possibility until what would happen tomorrow resurfaced until the sleeping pill dulled the acute edges of panic. After that, she considered the surgery with more detachment. She could live with the results even if the worst happened.  All it meant was she couldn’t bear a child.  For some reason the idea she’d be past having a baby jerked her fully awake again. 

Why?  She was getting near forty, rather late to have the child she’d never wanted anyway.  Why hadn’t she wanted one? Was it fear?  She nodded, realizing this was true.   But what lay behind that fear? Fear of death?  Death, the final pill-less sleep?  

She struggled to stay awake, wanting to understand, but the drug sabotaged thought and she drifted, spiraling off into nothingness.

Read more about Jane and her books:  WEBPAGE / CHAMPAGNE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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Welcome Shared Whispers Author R.J. Hore

SharedWhispers-Ebook-180x280Please welcome WOTI’s guest today, WOTI member R.J. Hore, another Shared Whispers contributor.

I’m not what I would call a romance writer, although most of what I write has a strong female protagonist, or at the least, a strong female character. In many of my tales there is a relationship of sorts. In The Dark Lady, a medieval fantasy which came out in February 2012, the protagonist is a young girl on the verge of womanhood, with all that entails. Housetrap, a December 2012 release, and the first of a series of novellas (four so far) under The Housetrap Chronicles, is a fantasy detective tale with a male lead, but he usually finds himself surrounded by females of various hue, both supporting and villainous. In March 2013 and Knight’s Bridge, I return to a medieval fantasy setting, and yes, the leads are a man and a woman, with all the confusion that often creates. The next novel, released in April 2013, was The Queen’s Pawn. This is another medieval fantasy, about a young man and his adventures with a variety of women of different ages, mainly the mysterious Queen of the land, and her annoying daughter. Perhaps I am more of a romantic than I thought! For a more in-depth biography, please refer to my website, www.ronaldhore.com

The idea behind “SOLITUDE” came to me this summer while sailing up Lake Winnipeg during a thunderstorm. I thought, surely there is a story buried in this madness somewhere. Alone in the cockpit, while my crew, who consisted of one of my granddaughters, remained down below and nice and dry, I figured the scene could work in almost any setting:  science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance. “SOLITUDE” was born from that meager beginning.

EXCERPT

She examined Keith critically. “Just a minute.” Diving down below, she came up with a dry towel. “You are soaked. Take off that bulky coat and let me get rid of some of that surplus water.”

“I’m okay,” came out as a squeak. Still, the coat came off.

“Nonsense, you just keep driving, I will do the drying.”

He found it difficult to concentrate, and although the rain had stopped, a residue of waves meant both hands on the wheel. She dried arms, neck and face.

“Did you have an accident?” he managed to get out. “Should we be calling the Coast Guard?” How do you have an accident in a metal egg that drops from the clouds?

“No that will not be necessary.”

The sun broke through the last of the clouds. She folded her towel, placed it on one of the cockpit cushions and flopped down with a sigh, glanced up and frowned. “Why are you staring at me like that? Is something wrong?”

“Ah…” He managed a weak smile. “Your hair, just looking at your hair.”

“What is wrong with my hair?”

Check out R. J.’s books at:  CHAMPAGNE-BURST BOOKS / RON’S WEBPAGE

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Welcome Shared Whispers Author Chris Fenge

COLOURS C.FengeWelcome Champagne Author Chris Fenge who contributed the contemporary short story “Colours” to the Shared Whispers Anthology.

The Author and the Story

A friend laughed when I said my romantic heroine, Abigail, was eighty-six years old. But there are reasons I wanted her to be this age when the story begins. I’m in the distressing position of watching relatives struggle with ageing, and I know they have ‘back stories’—sometimes very colorful ones—behind their outward appearances. In COLOURS, I’ve tried to retrieve part of one woman’s tale. She may be a frail, forgetful, often frustrated ‘grey’ old lady, but she was something else in her twenties. In this story the intense romance of her youthful days lives again.

As well as being a romance COLOURS is also a tragedy as it deals with the problems of growing old. But mostly, I hope, it’s a ‘rattling good yarn’ which I really enjoyed writing. Part of the enjoyment came from using the livelier portions of my own family history. When, for instance, Abigail turns her dead husband’s room into a dusty shrine, she’s not acting like a latter-day Miss Havisham. What she does is actually based on the eccentricities of my Great Aunt Eva who took matters further than Abigail (or even Miss Havisham). After being jilted at age nineteen, Great Aunt Eva ‘took to her bed’ and never got out of it again until she was carried out dead sixty years later.

But that’s another story, albeit a true one! This one’s not true, and it’s Abigail’s.

Blurb

A random act of kindness from a stranger forces 86 year old Abigail to reassess her life. She vows to be old and lonely no longer. Instead she will join her lover, her soul mate, and they will embark on the greatest adventure of their lives…

But even the best plans may be thwarted by another random act of kindness.

Excerpt

He came nearer and she leaned on him with one hand and removed her shoes with the other, dangling them by their straps. The jacket fell open again, but she ignored it, too absorbed in the delicious sensation of bare toes meeting damp earth. No stockings–not with rationing–but bare toes felt good and so did Jean-Paul’s eyes which were locked on her again. And this time he did not look away.

Her arm dropped from his shoulder and she straightened up, standing naked and proud before him, and no longer vulnerable. When his eyes eventually met hers, she held them there–relaxed, happy and, for the first time that night, in control.

“Abigail.” He released the word reverentially, as though they were in church. “It is fate, Abigail.” Bending down, he kissed her neck so tenderly the touch was a mere breath, a whisper. She shivered, though not with the cold. Then he looked at her face as if searching for something. His fingers lightly traced the swelling on her cheek and his lips caressed her wound. “You are hurt. I should get you home.” He pulled the jacket together over her nakedness and did up the buttons.

Buy Shared Whispers at Champagne Book Group HERE. And find out more about the author, Chris Fenge, and her stories at www.thesalamanderstone.com

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Welcome Shared Whispers Author Elizabeth Fountain

Thank you for visiting WOTI, Liz. “Heaven,” a fantasy short story, is Elizabeth Fountain’s contribution to Shared Whispers. Elizabeth  left a demanding job as a university administrator in Seattle to move to the small town of Ellensburg, Washington, and pursue her dream of writing novels. Her first book, An Alien’s Guide to World Domination, was released by BURST Books in 2013; and You, Jane, her second novel, will be published in 2014. On her breaks from writing, Liz teaches university courses, spends time with family and friends, and takes long walks in the diabolical Kittitas Valley wind. Her quirky and humorous view of humanity is well suited to tales of aliens and angels, love and death, friendship and dogs.  Check out the blurb and excerpt of “Heaven:”

GraveNot all angels are found in Heaven.  Jane is recently divorced, riddled with guilt and fear, but something in her is still stubbornly alive. Her angel, Michael, is ready and willing to bring it out in her. Michael was a Watcher, one of God’s sentinels. But God refused to listen to any of his warnings, so he left his post to take the action he believed the world of humans needs. Michael hides on Earth, falling in love with Jane, and proving that fallen angels make terrific lovers.
But God finds them, and wants Michael back. Now Jane and Michael must stand up for their love and their own choices, even when the alternative is between Heaven and Hell, and the Lord of Lords Himself forces their hand.

EXCERPT OF HEAVEN:
“I’m a Watcher,” Michael began, “or that’s what the old legends called us. We worked for God as sentinels; we looked out. We waited. We waited to raise alarms if we saw anything worth alarming Her Holy of Holies about.

“Well, I did. I saw a lot, a very great deal that alarmed me, as I Watched the world of human beings, and all they were doing to tear one another apart. And Her Holy of Holies ignored all my warnings.”

He sighed and gathered Jane closer. “Then I saw Woman. Woman, who had no idea how beautiful, how strong, how magnificent she really was. Why? Because miss Holy of Holies wanted this truth kept from Woman. Oh, she wasn’t gender biased. She didn’t really want Man to know his own power, either. She is, as they say in the Old Testament, a jealous god. They forget she is also envious. And a little petty, if you ask me. Woman deserved better.”

“What did you do?”

“I tried to tell Her Holy of Holies, you need to wake Woman, to help her really see, feel, be herself. If you do, she’ll be your best ally. Your greatest friend, as you try to spread love and eradicate evil. Her Holy of Holies said sure, I’ll get right on that. And it went into the giant round file in the sky, along with all my other Memos of Warning.

“So I said, essentially, not out loud, of course, to Her Holy of Holies, but in my head and heart, I said F*** This. And I left Heaven to go wake up Woman.”

“You mean you’re a fallen angel.” Jane couldn’t help but smile.

Buy SHARED WHISPERS at CHAMPAGNE HERE

Elizabeth Fountain’s links:  CHAMPAGNE BOOKSAMAZON / WEBPAGE 

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Welcome Shared Whispers Author Linda Rettstatt

BarnInWinterToday Linda Rettstatt visits Worlds of the Imagination. She is the author of “Special Delivery,” a contemporary/ women’s fiction story in the Shared Whispers anthology of fifteen stories from Champagne authors. Linda writes women’s fiction and mainstream romance novels, though she is currently working on a paranormal story involving a writer, a ghost, and a murderous sea captain. Linda is a Pennsylvania Yankee residing in Northwest Mississippi, not far from Memphis, where she has yet to report an Elvis sighting. Her books have finaled four times for EPIC eBook Awards, and she was named 2010 Author of the Year by Champagne Books. Love, Sam won the 2012 EPIC eBook Award in Mainstream Fiction.

In “Special Delivery” during a blizzard, a road sign promised sanctuary from the storm until a woman running from her past learns the doctor is a veterinarian.

The Story Behind “Special Delivery”

I once had the experience of being the only English-speaking person in a house with a family of four Haitian refugees. At the time, I was a graduate student working at home on a term paper. I walked into the kitchen for lunch to have the husband tell me in very broken English that his wife’s water had broken and she was in labor. They were very calm and matter-of-fact as they continued to prepare their main meal. I returned my frozen entrée to the freezer and began to hyperventilate. As I considered a short story for this collection, I reflected on this experience and wondered—what if a woman alone went into labor in the midst of a spring snowstorm and came upon a mailbox announcing a doctor, only to then learn he is a veterinarian. How might this ‘special delivery’ change both of their lives forever.

Shared Whispers is available at CHAMPAGNE BOOKS and other outlets.

Visit Linda at her WEBPAGE or follow her on FACEBOOK.

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Welcome Shared Whispers Author Jude Johnson

Cymru Am Byth – Wales Forever is Jude Johnson’s contribution to Shared Whispers. Check out the blurb, excerpt, bio, and pic (Taken on Jude’s trip to Wales).

Blurb:

When Angie Edwards visits Wales, she finds the forlorn emptiness of Caerfilly Castle is not all it seems. Confronted by a strange man in medieval dress, she thinks she’s stepped into some sort of re-enactment. Or is her destiny somehow entwined with the legend of the Tower Ghost? 

Excerpt:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHer cousin’s dark hair gleamed in the light as she tilted her head. “And this man you saw… his tunic had what on it again?”

“I’m not sure of anything, but I remember thinking they were three lions.” Angie closed her eyes, picturing the knight as he’d entered the room. “Yes, three red lions, facing left as I’m looking at them, tail up over their backs, one paw lifted.”

Blwdi uffern.” Gwen whispered. “Bloody hell. Llywelen’s personal coat of arms.” She set her tea on the table and leaned forward, brown eyes wide. “And this fellow called you ‘Angharad’—you’re quite certain?”

Angie nodded, frowning. “Absolutely. It freaked me out.”

Her cousin leaned back in her chair again. “You, dear cousin, met Gethin ap Caderyn. The Tower Ghost.”

“Ghost? No, this guy was solid, real. He cast a shadow.”

“Unlike all the other ghosts you’ve seen so far, I suppose?” Gwen arched a brow. “You think ghosties are as transparent as John Cleese in the Harry Potter films?”

Angie’s mouth dropped open and closed slowly before she replied. “You got me. But I’ve never heard of The Tower Ghost.”

“He seems to be quite particular about who sees him.”

About Jude

Living in Tucson, Arizona, Jude Johnson is a member of Gecko Gals Ink, LLC, a group of five sassy local authors who help other writers develop their craft through writing seminars. She is an active member of the Welsh League of Arizona as well. She has spoken about her research and writing at Welsh Festivals and National Day of Wales in Los Angeles, the Sierra Vista Historical Society, the Adobe Corral of the Westerners, the Arizona Historical Society, and numerous times on BBC Radio Wales.

Buy Shared Whispers at Champagne Books or Amazon    Visit Jude’s Webpage HERE.

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