June 27, 2012

Delectable Daggers: A Guest Post by Rayne Hall

Please welcome to Feed My Need, the fabulous instructor and writer, Rayne Hall!

Rayne Hall writes dark fantasy and horror. She has published more than thirty books under different pen names in different genres. She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing, and teaches online classes for advanced and professional writers.

The Writer's Most Useful Weapon
For historical fiction, a dagger is the ideal weapon: plausible in many scenarios, and  loaded with emotional connotations. Yet, its under-used, because few writers grasp the dagger's fiction potential.

Many authors write sword fight scenes where a dagger fight would be more plausible.  Swords are large and heavy, cumbersome to carry, slow to draw,  and almost impossible to conceal. In many situations, it's unlikely that a protagonist happens to carry a sword with him. By contrast, daggers are small, lightweight, quick to draw, and easy to conceal -  perfect for quick responses, spontaneous action, brawls, suicide bids, self-defense and assassination.
While only people of wealth and rank can afford a sword, owning a dagger is feasible for all but the poorest.  Wielding a dagger requires only moderate strength, which makes it plausible weapon for a lady. Even an injured person may be able to summon the strength for a final defense with a dagger.
For almost every scene,  the dagger is a better choice than the sword (the exceptions are horseback fights and battle scenes).
The concealment offers exciting fictional opportunities. Typically, a dagger is carried in a leather sheath on the belt, easily concealed under a cloak if required. For secrecy, it can also be hidden in a boot or in a bodice. Indeed, during the renaissance, it was quite common for women to carry a dagger between their breasts (the sheath was sewn into the bodice). A dagger can also be concealed in the back of the bodice or  in a hair ornament. The heroine, preparing to fight off a lecherous advance or to assassinate an enemy, can pretend to twist her necklace anxiously, or to fidget with her hair, and quickly draw the blade. Bodice daggers hilts without cross guards.

Besides its many practical uses, the dagger carries a lot of emotional and erotic symbolism.
To stab someone with a dagger, the fighter has to get close, which makes it one of the most intimate weapons. When the dagger penetrates the flesh, the hand almost touches the victim. This is very different from a bullet or arrow, which can be shot from a great distance. The closeness creates an intensely personal connection between attacker and victim. Daggers (and knives of all kinds)  are often used in fights where emotions are running high: gang warfare, hate crime, vengeance. 
The shape of the weapon and the fact that it's typically worn on the belt  make it a symbol of male virility. In many cultures and periods, men demonstrated their manhood by displaying ornate daggers at the front of their hips, the bigger, the better.
Sometimes the hilt rather than the blade was exaggerated: Many daggers from 1200 to 1800, especially in England and Scotland, had  huge, stiff, upwards-pointing wooden hilts with balls on either side. They were unblushingly called  a 'bollocks daggers' (or 'ballock daggers').  Here's a picture of a ballock dagger (be prepared to gasp)
In addition, the motion of sliding a dagger into or out of the sheath can be highly suggestive. Talk about daggers lends itself to suggestive dialogue, with comments like "Nice weapon. Are you any good at wielding it?" "Want to see my other dagger, babe?" "Does your dagger need polishing?"  "So you like swordplay, Milady? How about daggerplay?"

Book cover designers love daggers, especially when depicting the hero. They adore the chance to imply male virility. The elongated weapon on the hero's belt - or in the heroine's hand - hints at other things.
A dagger on the cover may increase your book's sex appeal, so it's worth telling your cover designer about it. However, many cover artists get carried away by the concept, with cringe-worthy results. I've seen covers where the hero wore the naked blade in his belt without sheath: a prelude to self-mutilation!

All fight scenes are fast-paced, and dagger scenes are the fastest of them all.  Use all the fast-pace techniques you know, e.g. short paragraphs, short sentences, short words.  Focus especially on verbs: cut, stab, pierce, act, slash, thrust, target, push, drive, force, press, duck, poke, kill.
Words with 'k' sounds are especially effective for dagger fights: duck, poke, cry, hack, kill.
Daggers are stabbing weapons with sharp points, usually with long, thin blades. When describing a stab wound, show blood spreading or oozing. The aim in a fight is to stab a vital organ. Stabbing directly at the chest seldom works, because the blade may glance off the ribs. If the fighter has dagger experience or  anatomical knowledge, she will  position the dagger below the ribcage and drive it upwards (through the diaphragm into the lungs). This is lethal and works from the front or from behind. If she knows her anatomy well (e.g. if she's a professional assassin), and if the dagger is long enough, she can aim for piercing the heart, which leads to a quicker death. Trained assassins know additional spots where a stab is lethal, e.g. under the armpit or under the chin.
Some daggers are designed for slashing as well as stabbing. These have one or two sharp edges. When describing a slash wound, show a lot of blood, streaming or even spurting. The aim in a fight with this type of dagger  is either to slash the opponent's throat, or to disable him by  cutting tendons, muscles or ligaments (followed with a deadly stab). Fights with slashing daggers are very bloody. The point-of-view character's hand may grow slick with blood, and her grip on the weapon may become less firm.
If you're aiming for a sanitised, gore-free version of a dagger fight  - e.g. for a romance novel -, you may want to stick to pure stabbing daggers.

For an assassination scene, give your assassin stealth and knowledge of human anatomy. An assassin will plan in advance how to kill the victim, and carry out the killing with calm efficiency. It will be with a single stroke, probably a determined thrust from below the ribs. 

An attacker who is motivated by intense feelings, such as outrage or hatred, will stab the victim repeatedly, and keep stabbing, perhaps even after the victim is already dead. If the motive is long-held hatred, the attacker may stab or slash the victim's face, disfiguring it.

If both fighters are armed with daggers, the fight may include wrestling-type moves as each tries to restrict the other's weapon hand.
They will also try to disable each other's weapon arm, for example by slashing the inside of the elbow.  Such fights are often fuelled by emotions, intense, irrational, very bloody, and  fatal.
You can watch a demonstration of dagger fighting with wrestling moves here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=z143thJWRBQ

If a fighter expects a fight, e.g. in a battle, he may use both sword and dagger. He fights with the sword in his right hand and the dagger in his left. This was common during the renaissance.
You can watch a sword&dagger demonstration here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nITldg2dOVk

The versatility of the dagger, combined with its symbolism and connotations, makes it a perfect weapon for historical, romantic and erotic fiction. 

If you have questions or suggestions, leave a comment. I'll be around for a week and will reply.

Learn step-by-step how to create fictional fights which leave the reader breathless with excitement.
The book gives you a six-part structure to use as blueprint for your scene. It reveals tricks how to combine fighting with dialogue, which senses to use when and how, how to create a sense of realism, and how to stir the reader's emotions. 
You'll decide how much violence your scene needs, what's the best location, how your heroine can get out of trouble with self-defense and how to adapt your writing style to the fast pace of the action.
There are sections on female fighters, male fighters, animals and weres, psychological obstacles, battles, duels, brawls, riots and final showdowns.  For the requirements of your genre, there is even advice on how to build erotic tension in a fight scene, how magicians fight, how pirates capture ships and much more. 
You will learn about different types of weapons, how to use them in fiction, and how to avoid embarrassing blunders. 
The book is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes&Noble, Apple, Smashwords etc.
Here's the link to Smashwords with a choice of all possible e-book formats: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87962

June 25, 2012

Author Interview: Amy Metz

PicturePlease welcome to Feed My Need, the fabulous author, Amy Metz!

Amy Metz Lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband and teenage son. She attended Centre College and graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Elementary Education. She taught first grade until her first child was born, and motherhood and volunteer work took up her time until her mother was diagnosed with dementia in 2009.

Life became so crazy after that, she turned to writing as therapy, and an author was born. Amy has been richly blessed with two sons--an adult, and a teenager. When not actively engaged in writing or spending time with her family, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in her hands. Contact Amy at: amy@amymetz.com

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing in 2009, right after my mother was diagnosed with dementia. It was such a stressful time I decided to write a book about it. But because that book was so dark and depressing I also began writing
Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction. I needed an escape after navigating through a contentious day with my mother. As her condition got worse, I spent more and more time in Goose Pimple Junction.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? What is the easiest?

Honestly, the hardest part was writing the query letter and the blurbs for the book jacket. Trying to condense the essence of the book into a few paragraphs, or in the case of the “small blurb” just a few sentences, was
distressingly difficult. Writing the book was the easiest! Seriously.

What music do you listen to while you write?

None. Except for whatever my son is playing on his mirimba or drum set in the basement. And occasionally there’s a barking dog in the background.

What inspires you?

Oh, the dreaded “what inspires you” question. I’ve joked before that my mother inspires me to drink. But seriously, I guess my ancestors inspired me to write a book about their tragedies. My kids inspire me to be the best I can be. God inspires me to be a good person. Great authors inspire me to be a better writer. Don’t ask me to pick one author who inspires me—there are too many.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Yes…but I like to keep them hidden. (She smiles sweetly.)

What are your current projects?

I just finished the second book in the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series, and I’ve started two others. I’m also working on a photography coffee table book that Iconic Publishing is going to publish. And on the
back burner is a thriller I started a year or so ago.

What book are you reading now?

At home I’m reading John Sandford’s Prey series in hardcopy, when I’m out and waiting for my son or killing time waiting on something else, I’m reading Head Wounds by Chris Knopf on Kindle, and I listen to audiobooks when I’m doing things around the house or in the car. Currently I’m
listening to The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly.

Quick: Vampires or Shapeshifter? Why?

Shapeshifter. I would love to be a shapeshifter, hmmm…but on the other hand could you trust your fellow Shapeshifters? No matter. It has to be Shapeshifter. Blood freaks me out.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My main piece of advice is to write, rewrite, edit, and then walk away. Work on something else, then go back fresh and look at your manuscript again. Then rewrite and edit some more. I also think you should seek advice on your work from fellow writers, but don’t let them talk you into changing something you feel should stay in the book. It’s your story and only you know how it should be told. I’ve seen one friend in particular
send his work to editor after editor and they all told him to take out something different. I think it would have been a mistake if he’d followed their advice, even though they’re supposed to be professionals in the
field! Listen to advice, but follow your gut.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for choosing to spend some of your time in Goose Pimple Junction. Please drop me a note and tell me your thoughts on the book and my characters. I’d love to hear from you. And if you liked the book,
please tell your friends. If you didn’t like it, remember what your mother used to say: If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.


August 2012
Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction

If brains were dynamite, Willy couldn’t blow his nose. Could a murderer be that stupid? Jack can charm the dew right off the honeysuckle. Could a murderer be a fine southern gentleman? Told with southern humor, Murder And Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction is a murder mystery that will keep you guessing and laughing until the very end.

Starting a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple Junction, Tess Tremaine tries to learn the foreign language of southern speak and to resist her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright, while dealing with the strange things that happen to her when she begins looking into a seventy-five-year-old murder. A bank robbery, murder, and family tragedy are the background of the mystery which Tess and Jack attempt to solve. As Tess gets close to the truth, she encounters danger, mystery, and a lot of southern charm. Her quest to find answers brings her friends, enemies, and a new temptation for which she’s not sure she’s ready.

Combining mystery, a little romance, and a lot of southern humor, Murder And Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction is the first in a series set in the zany fictional town of Goose Pimple Junction. Iconic Publishing will launch this novel in August 2012 under their Winding Road imprint.

June 22, 2012

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings, #2) 

As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch-like monster in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch's forest threatening to make them disappear, too. When their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out as teens, they stumble upon a sleepy Southern town and are invited to stay with Sophia Kelly at her sweet shop. 

Sophia moulds candied magic: coveted treats that inspire confidence, bravery, and passion. Life seems idyllic and Gretchen and Ansel finally start to forget their haunted past - until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel, who gives Gretchen a reason to fear Sophia: girls have been vanishing at Sophia's annual chocolate festival, taken by the insatiable 'witch' of Gretchen's nightmares. Can Gretchen save herself, the girls of Live Oak, and Sophia? 

Of one thing, Gretchen is certain: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.

My Thoughts:

At first, I fell in love with the cover. It was beautiful, simple and straight to the point. I knew that this was a redoing of a fairy tale, I knew the basic plot and I know which direction the author was taking.

Then I cracked open the book and I have to say, it started off so slow that I ended up watching nature then reading the book. (And wishing that I had a Stephanie Plum series book instead.)

However, I could tell there was a bit of a story underneath all of the boring details and I turned out to be right. 

Now there were some high points, so let's weigh the positive and negatives for this interesting book.

Characters: The characters were the Hansel and Gretel characters. I liked how she added layers of depth to each character. We got to walk through a bit of their life and how they were changed by the fairy tale. 

The characters weren't absolutely, positively great but they weren't forgettable either. They were okay but I think it could have been done better.

Dialogue: It was realistic and it was nice to read.

Plot: This was my major problem actually. It's not that the plot was wrong, it just wasn't pulling me and forcing me to pay attention. I was flipping between  playing with my phone and reading the book. 

And I will admit, the plot did have maybe one twist and turn but most of it was predicable unfortunately. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't find myself gasping or on the edge of my seat. 

Setting: I liked how the author incorporated the setting so much into the story so I'll give her some brownie points for that.

Ending: Rest assured. Everything ends with a bow on it. I don't think you'll be disappointed in this book.

Overall: Would I recommend this book?

Tough call. I would give this book out to people who love fairy tales and fantasy. However, if someone was looking for something a bit different. Something a bit edgy, something a bit darker, then I wouldn't recommend this book. 

I think this book is suited for someone who loves fairy tales and willing to take a chance on a book that's interesting.

Other then that, it depends. Even though I wasn't blown away or overly enthusiastic, I wouldn't put this book away and slam the author. There's potential in this author. This book just wasn't my favorite.

I would give it a shot, if you're willing to and love fairy tales. 

June 20, 2012

Underage Drinking in Young Adult Book: A Guest Post

Please welcome to Feed My Need, Dana Vicktor!
Dana Vicktor is the senior researcher and writer for duedatecalculator.org. Her most recent accomplishments include graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in communications and sociology. Her current focus for the site involves pregnant women and teenage pregnancy.
Underage Drinking in Young Adult Books

The young adult market has really grown in the last few years and with the increased popularity there has been an increased scrutiny of the behaviors of characters in the stories.

Some young adult authors feel that they have a responsibility to their readers to teach them about the dangerous aspects of being a teenager, while others feel that everything should be a reflection of what their readers are experiencing or what they themselves went through. Underage drinking is one issue that has been addressed in several different ways through young adult literature.

Drinking in Books

Teenage drinking is fairly common in a wide variety of social circles, and it appears in a wide variety of young adult books. You can read about it casually in Sarah Dessen’s books or read about the side effects of it in Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles. Both of these authors acknowledge that drinking happens and neither shies away from the negative impact that the drinking may have on their characters. Sarah Dessen has not yet addressed drinking in one of her books as a definitive issue, although several of her books show the fall out that comes after drinking too much. Leaving Paradise is based on something that happens as a result of a drunk driving accident and how it permanently affects the lives of the two main characters in the novel.

What Is the Author’s Responsibility?

Many parents and other adults feel that it is their place to control what their children read and may be up in arms about the inclusion of drinking, drugs or premarital sex in books. They argue that this paints an unrealistic picture of the world that teens experience. However, books provide the perfect place for teenagers to read about the consequences of poor choices and bad behavior. It’s not realistic to assume that teens are not drinking, but if the author can subtly include better choices to go along with the drinking, you may be able to get the message out to teens. For example, several books I have read recently make it a point to have a designated driver at a party or for the teenager to call someone for a ride if they have been drinking. Also while not every drinking experience is going to lead to a negative outcome, it is important to show poor decisions that are made while drinking.

Should This Even Be an Issue?

Teenagers want to read books that they can relate to and drinking does happen on a regular basis at many teenager parties. It is important to look at the entire picture. Should underage drinking be part of the literature in teen books? It definitely has a place since it is part of the culture that currently exists. The same can be said about drugs and sex. Books provide a place for teenagers to think about and process the information separately. Drinking is not going to disappear just because the censors decide to ban all books that casually mention it. So while young adult authors should think about the drinking they are including in the books, it should not be cut out completely. Not every book is going to have teenagers drinking responsibility or should it, but the after math should be real to life both positive and negative aspects.

June 18, 2012

Author Interview: Ednah Walters

Please welcome to Feed My Need, the lovely YA and adult romance author, Ednah Walter!
Slow Burn
When and why did you begin writing?

I started to write after I decided to be a stay-at-home mother. Writing gave me balance when I was going nuts. Seriously, being a stay-at-home mother is really, really hard, so kudos to women who do it and make it seem so easy (while making us struggling mothers look bad)

What was the hardest part of writing your book? What is the easiest?

The hardest is the ending. Why? You have to tie all loose ends, so everything wraps up neatly. The beginning is the easiest. The possibilities are endless and it’s exciting to write.

What music do you listen to while you write?

I love music and have eclectic taste—pop, R&B, and Jpop and Kpop, even though I don’t understand Japanese and Korean, and of course, classic rock.

I love Pink, Evanescence, Adam Lambert, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion…

For fight scenes, 30 Seconds to Mars, Survivor, Becca, and Bon Jovi.

Awakened (Book One of the Guardian Legacy)
What inspires you?

My children. I see them push themselves to excel at thing I can and will never do and I’m humbled—like watching my 7 year old ski or skate, or my swimmers zip across the pool. They make me want to be the best at what I do. Corny, I know, but it is the truth.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I wish. I’m a very boring person, lol.

What are your current projects?

I just finished HUNTED and will start FORGOTTEN next month although I have Lil in my head begging me to write that first chapter. Hehehe, I love writing opening chapters. I might do it anyway just to shut her up. I’m presently working on my next adult romance book and the first book of a lighter YA series I’m working on. 

What book are you reading now?

Existence by Abbi Glines. It is a YA paranormal…fun!!!

Quick: Vampires or Shapeshifter? Why?

Vampires. They are classy, beautiful yet deadly, like a viper. Plus who doesn’t love a guy who must fight his instinct to kill her just because he loves her.
Betrayed: Book Two of the Guardian Legacy
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write from your heart. Don’t follow trends with the hopes of cashing in. You want to enjoy what you are writing and really connect with your characters. When that happens, the characters will leap off the pages and your readers will notice it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for your support. Write to me whenever. I love to hear from readers. Oh, and let’s make the series big, so we can one day see it on a big screen. Several production companies showed serious interest in Awakened. We could make book-to-movie a reality for this series.


Lil isn't just an average teenager. She's one of the Nephilim--the descendants of humans and angels--which gives her some serious psi skills and a mission for redemption. Just when Lil thinks she's found a balance between her normal life with human friends and her training to become a Guardian, she's warned that someone close to her will betray her. 

When the boy she loves starts acting strangely and one of her human friends acquires a supernatural ability, Lil begins to realize that someone is manipulating the people she loves... and won't stop until she's been lured to the dark side.                  

June 15, 2012

Dead Radiance: A Valkyrie Novel Excerpt

Let's switch things up! I've got an interesting sounding book here that I think you should check out!
 Dead Radiance (Valkyrie, Book 1) 


Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras - Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead.

The new foster kid, Aidan, isn't helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human. Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she'd never belonged?

Book Excerpt

Chapter 1

I was cold, like the roses on Joshua’s casket, like the muddy dark-brown soil waiting to embrace the lifeless remains of the boy who was my friend.

My fingers curled around the stem of a butter-yellow rose, knuckles tight. I blinked away the liquid burn stabbing my eyelids. I had to get out. Give him the rose. Then get the hell away.

I tried to squeeze past the old woman who guarded my route to the center aisle, glaring. Her stares slithered down my neck as I passed. I shuffled by, careful not to touch her. But she huffed, her shoulders stiff and unimpressed with my rudeness. Her disapproval slid down my back.

I straightened my pencil skirt and short coat, scraped my wet hands on my hips. I knew the cool black silk wouldn't dry my sticky palms, but I did it anyway, needing to do something with my hands other than clutch the dead flower.
The slim heels of my pumps sank deep into wet ground. I jerked them free and swallowed, my throat aching with tears.. My best friend would soon be entombed within this sodden mush, to lie beneath Craven forever. Until his flesh fell off his bones and he turned to dust.

A cool hand tapped my shoulder.

"Bryn Halbrook. " She spat my name, each syllable harsh, and dripping venom to match the tiny emerald flecks in her hazel eyes. "You've got some nerve coming here." Cherise Barnes knew she looked good, even in drab funerary garb. She stood, a bony hip jutting out, one foot forward. The Cherise pose.
The last thing I needed was a bitch-match. Not here. I straightened, pulling my jacket closer in the face of this poisonous storm. Her eyes widened as I drew to my full height. Guess Cherise forgot it wasn't easy to intimidate a person who was a full head taller. I stared down at her.


"Perhaps you should leave." She tapped the foot. "Now."

"I am leaving, as soon as I pay my respects. You are holding me up."

A streak of red colored her cheeks. She avoided my eyes, then addressed my ear. "You shouldn't have come in the first place. You aren't welcome here."

She wasn't backing off and I knew why. Cherise was The Body here in Craven. Not the body to die for, though, as most guys didn't need to go that far to sample Cherise. Joshua had belonged to her, and she'd lost him. Lost him to me. Or so she thought.

I brushed past Cherise, had no patience for her any more. I fingered the bandage on my temple, touched the braid tied at my nape so my deep red hair wouldn't tangle in the stitches on my scalp. The slight movement shifted my hair and the wound stung, releasing a flash of memory.

White light, blinding, sears my eyes.
Brighter now. Bright enough to hurt.
Tires squeal, harsh screams rip at my eardrums.

I swallowed a gasp, shoving the memory out of my head.

I had to get a grip.

I'd survived and he hadn't. It didn't matter anymore. The only person who'd supported me had died on me.

I'd known he would die. And I'd done nothing to stop it.

As I neared Joshua's parents, they threw me weak and teary smiles, which made the dam of tears inside my own heart yearn to burst free. Even in their time of grief, they'd been so concerned about me, asking if I'd recovered enough to get out of the hospital, if I'd grieved enough, let it all out.

No one shared their concern, not last week and not today. Claws of ice scraped up and down my back. Again.

More accusing stares. Too many eyes. More heads turning. Whispers. I ignored them. Concentrated on anything else but those voices. Cars passing by at the bottom of the hill. People going about their daily lives, neither knowing nor caring that a friend and a son and a brother was about to be consigned to the dead earth of Craven.
Stepping closer to the coffin I sucked in a sob; the hollow in my gut grew harder, more painful, as I stared at the shining black casket.

Roses trailed the ebony lid, droplets of color scattered across its gleaming surface by a careless yet artful hand. Eternity crept by while the box descended into the dark mouth of the grave.

The rainbow of color shivered, slim green stems entangled on the curve of the lid. One rose, bright, blood red, slid off, as the coffin moved deeper and deeper.

Ice sliced through my veins.

Piercing to the bone and to the soul.

Blank, grey afternoon skies shed occasional tears for Joshua O'Connell. The casket lurched, then continued its descent. I gave in. Better give him the rose, a little piece of me to take with him.

I choked on a breath, swallowing a wave of nausea.

Metal shrieks, grating in a lurid embrace. Deafening.
Sparks spit, ozone coats the back of my throat.
Gasoline fumes creep up my nostrils, burning, suffocating.

I stopped at the edge of the gaping wound in the earth. Something felt wrong. Inside the grave, the black box came to rest within deep grasping shadows. Darkness simmered, broken by a line of glimmering, golden light that seeped through the edges of the casket.

He still glowed and I was still helpless.

My fingers uncurled their desperate grip on the rose and it fell, tilting, to drop head first onto the coffin, twirling as it descended into the eerie depths. It hit the lid and shattered. Petals flew in all directions and everywhere yellow scraps of the dismembered flower reflected Joshua's iridescent light.

I turned, eager to flee.

Not possible. Not in heels, which sank into the mushy soil as if the soft earth itself yearned to claim me. Not when mourners had risen from their seats and were lining up to toss soil and tributes onto the casket. I struggled for breath, my heart knocking double, triple time like an angry jackhammer abandoned in my chest.

I steered a path through the crowd. Ignored a young man in the middle row whose skin held the first yellow specks of iridescence. Who was he? Did it even matter who he was? I sighed. It wouldn't be much longer for him anyway. I ignored the woman with the red-rimmed eyes, holding onto his arm. I didn't want to see him patting her pale hand and giving her that watery smile.

Will she be alone, like me, when he's gone? Who will pat her hand then?

Turning away, I kept walking. Didn't want to look anymore. Didn't want to see any more glowing people.

I breached the throng and paused to breathe.

To wait for my erratic heartbeat to slow down.

To forget I left my friend behind, alone in the unforgiving ground.

Author Bio

Image of T. G. Ayer
I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practise given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each other's loves – it works wonderfully…

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.

Purchase Link

 Stay tuned to the tour of this book (starts July 2-27)! You might even win it in a special giveaway!

For more details about the tour, check it out here: https://sites.google.com/a/myaddictionisreading.com/summer-tours/t-g-ayer