Category Archives: Fiction

A Review of Tex and the God Squad by Author Stuart West

Tex and the God Squad By Stuart West

Tex and the God Squad By Stuart  R. West

The third book of Tex, the Witch Boy series begins with the suicide of a classmate. Everyone at school is shocked and fearful, unable to understand why Bittany, a pretty, popular cheerleader would suddenly kill herself.

In spite of the fact that Tex had never spoken to her, he suspects there is more to her death than what anyone believes and begins asking questions that makes him and his friends, very unpopular and targets for whoever is hiding the truth.

Tex’s intentions when he shows up at the girl’s family home after the funeral, is to show his support and respect to her family. But soon after arriving, the questions that have bothered him from the beginning, become too much for Tex to ignore and he does a little investigation of his own.

He discovers something in her room that could prove if the girl had committed suicide, she was driven to do it by someone else. Now the big question is who would do such a thing and why? But finding the answers to these questions would ultimately lead to Brittany’s killer and a very disturbing truth about a sinister church.

I found this well written tale of murder and deceit hard to put down. I’ve also read the first two stand alone books of this series and loved them both and just like Tex, the Witch Boy and Tex, and the Gangs of Suburbia, Stuart R. West’s third book does not disappoint. The characters of Tex, Olivia and their friends are well rounded and highly developed characters, making the book very entertaining and real. I highly recommend it!

Many of Stuart’s books can be found at MuseItUp Publishing’s website, Amazon , Barnes and Noble and many other places books can be found. If interested in learning more about Stuart R. West and his books, please visit his blog.

I Don’t Want to be One of Those!

VISIONS book two of THE NIGHTMARES SERIES  Emily must help a murdered child find closure and stop a vengeful ghost from possessing and destroying innocent lives.

VISIONS book two of THE NIGHTMARES SERIES
Emily must help a murdered child find closure and stop a vengeful ghost from possessing and destroying innocent lives.

The second book in The Nightmares Series, Visions, is now available on MuseItUp Publishing’s and Amazon’s websites and also many other places where e-books can be found, but that’s not what this post is about.

I feel as though I’ve neglected my blog the last couple of weeks months okay! Years! I’m a terrible blogger. I admit it. It’s not that I don’t enjoy blogging, because I do. It’s really because I want to talk about my books and seriously, it’s not that I expect anyone to read them. I just like mentioning their titles, Nightmares, Visions and next year, The Rose Stalker and if that should happen to inspire someone to buy, well then that’s great. I’m not trying to force anyone into reading them, I just like telling people what they’re about.

Book One of The Nightmares Series: Emily must regain her memory of the past before a psychopath kills her and those she loves.

Book One of The Nightmares Series: Emily must regain her memory of the past before a psychopath kills her and those she loves.

Take Nightmares for example: It’s a paranormal/mystery about Emily. She’s eighteen and getting ready to graduate high school when a mysterious voice tells her she must remember her past and accept her gift of clairvoyance  in order to prevent her own demise and others.

The really exciting news, Nightmares will be published sometime between now and Christmas as a paperback. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands!

I was talking the other day to another author who agrees with me, that people get tired of always having someone trying to sell them their books. It gets really annoying when that’s all they talk about.

Everywhere you go, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, it doesn’t matter, there are ads at every click of the mouse. Buy My Book! And whatever you do, don’t give them your email address or you’ll come home to find hundreds of “Buy My Book” emails.

I don’t want to be one of those people. If I can’t think of something else to write about…well then, I’m just not going to blog, and I thought I should explain my reasons.

Say! Did I mention that The Rose Stalker will be released sometime in the spring/summer of 2015? Isn’t that exciting? I don’t have a cover for it yet, but I’ll share it when I do. But don’t worry, I won’t mention “buy my book” even once.

Please leave a comment and make some suggestions about what you would like me to write about. I can use all the help anyone can provide.

 

NIGHTMARES HAS BEEN RELEASED!

Emily must accept her gift of clairvoyance and remember her past, when a psychopath returns to kill again.

Emily must accept her gift of clairvoyance and remember her past, when a psychopath returns to kill again.

My debut novel Nightmares has been live since May 8, 2013, two days earlier than expected. Whoo hoo! Here is the longer Excerpt I promised:

Chapter One

Emily Preston looked up into her boyfriend Tony’s worried blue eyes and squeezed his hand. “You’ve been frowning at me for a month now. Can’t we just enjoy the prom?”

His frown deepened. “I know something’s wrong. Why won’t you tell me? Is it something I’ve done?”

Emily’s stomach lurched. “No, you haven’t done anything. It’s me.”  She gestured toward the crowded, noisy room. “Look, we can’t talk here. Besides, I thought we were meeting up with Kaylee and Shawn.”

Tony took his gaze off her to look over the crowd of prom goers. “Shawn said he might be a little late…something about Kaylee having a problem.”

Strange, Kaylee never mentioned anything to her. “What kind of problem?”

Tony shrugged. “Don’t know.” He nodded toward the other side of the room. “They’re over there by the prom decorations. Looks like they’re arguing.”

Emily caught a glimpse of Kaylee’s black hair and pink prom dress. The music started and couples began to move to the dance floor, blocking her view of her best friend and Kaylee’s boyfriend, Shawn. Even with the brief glimpse, she thought Tony was right. “So you don’t know why they’re arguing?”

He leaned toward her with a grin. “Nope, but, since they’re busy, we could talk outside?”

He said it to her like a question, as if he wanted her to decide if she wanted to talk. She knew he wouldn’t let it drop until she agreed. Might as well get it over. She forced herself to smile. This was the moment she dreaded from the beginning of their date. What could she say? If she told him everything, he would think she had lost her mind? He guided her to the nearest exit while she fought the urge to run in the opposite direction.

The closer they came to the door, the greater the panic grew inside her. What was frightening her? Not Tony, he made her feel safe. But losing him? Maybe. His choice of a college did freak her out, since it was in another state. She would miss him horribly. Maybe deep down she feared he wouldn’t return. It would explain the feelings of impending doom. Maybe even the nightmares. But it didn’t explain the voice she had started hearing, or the warnings.

Maybe I’m losing my mind.

Outside, Emily shivered. A short, black, strapless prom dress doesn’t offer much protection against the cold wind, no matter how good it looks on you.

Her boyfriend slipped behind her, wrapping her in his arms, blocking the wind. The heat from his body was warming.

“Have I told you how great you look?” he whispered in her ear.

Emily giggled and turned in his arms to look into his blue eyes. “No, why haven’t you?”

His hold tightened and he pulled her closer. “Because I wanted to do this first.” He kissed her.

She grinned. “You clean up pretty good, too. I almost didn’t recognize you without all the grease and oil from that car.”

Tony laughed and reclaimed her hand. “Come on. You’re freezing. Let’s go sit in that car so we can talk.”

Emily giggled. “You know I’d follow you anywhere, but could you slow down a little. These shoes are new and I’m not used to walking in heels.”

Tony dropped her hand and put his arm around her. “Oh, sorry, I forgot”

For the moment, with his arm around her, she felt warm and protected, until she remembered why they had come outside. Tony wanted answers. From the determined look on his face, she knew he wouldn’t settle for anything less. But could he handle the truth? Did she even know the truth?

She remembered having nightmares about a thunderstorm as a child. Her mother had told her scary nightmares were part of childhood. She said they’d go away when Emily got older and they had. So, why terrorize her now, night after night, just like when she was little?

The nightmares were frightening enough, but the voice warning her of danger terrorized her. What she really wanted to do was run away and hide, but she couldn’t, not if Tony was in danger, too.

“Remember your past,” the voice had said, “so you can save Tony and yourself.”

It didn’t make sense. What was she supposed to remember from her past? What was she supposed to save them from, his going off to college? How could Tony and her past be connected?

She could tell him about the nightmares, but anything more, and he’d think she was a paranoid schizophrenic. Maybe he’d be right. What was wrong with her? From her earliest childhood memories, she planned to be a normal girl with ordinary problems. She couldn’t explain anything to Tony; not before she put her life back together.

The lights in the parking lot glistened off Tony’s black 1966 Chevelle Malibu. She didn’t need to ask him if he’d spent the entire afternoon cleaning and polishing it. Of course, he’d say he did it all just for her, but she knew better. Tony practically worshiped everything motorized, but the Malibu was special to him. His dad bought it and planned to restore it with the help of his two young sons, but was killed in a car accident before he had the chance.

Sometimes she wondered if she should be jealous of that old car. Tonight, she was just grateful to get out of the wind.

As Tony opened the driver’s door and Emily bent down to hop in the car, she caught a glimpse of a dark shape next to the bumper. She gasped and clutched Tony’s shirt. Her heart raced and the hair on her arms stood on end.

Tony wrapped his arm around her waist. “What happened? Are you hurt?”

She shook her head. “I thought I saw someone crouched down by your car. They were wearing a hooded sweatshirt.”

Tony looked around. “I don’t see anyone? Are you sure?”

She forced a laugh, pretending it was no big deal. “I think it must have been a shadow. Whatever it was, it’s gone now.”

She slid across the seat, pulling Tony inside with her. Every nerve in her body tightened. Her heart pounded in her ears as she peered into the darkness, trying to get a glimpse of…what? What did she think was out there? Was she being watched?

****

So, there you have the first chapter of Nightmares. It can be found at any of the live links below:

MuseItUp Publishing   Amazon  Barnes & Noble

And don’t forget to leave a comment and tell me what you think.

 

NIGHTMARES EXCERPT

A mysterious "voice" warns Emily that she is in danger. She believes she's losing her mind!

Emily’s visions are a warning that she is in danger. She believes she’s losing her mind!

I promised an excerpt of my debut YA paranormal novel Nightmares, which will be released in May 2013 and here it is, but first I want to mention the interview I just completed. The interview is up and running at this very moment on Natter and Review. I would so appreciate it if anyone has a few free moments to take a look and learn about me and what inspired the idea for my book. Feel free to share this link and any of the others, with any or all of your friends. Here is the link to the interview: http://tinyurl.com/caodcxk

This short excerpt is from chapter five. It is rather short, but gives a vivid picture of why Emily believes she’s going crazy and just so you know where it is taking place, she is alone inside her boyfriend’s car.

And now for the excerpt:

She knew it was too soon to expect Tony’s return, but peered into the darkness anyway. She saw her own distorted reflection in the glass. The images shifted and changed as she watched. She felt herself being drawn into the shadows until they completely dissolved. She saw the child from her nightmares lying in a bed asleep, while a terrible thunderstorm raged outside.

Lightning flashed around the room and a crack of thunder rattled the windows.. The child sat up and for the first time Emily could see her face and blond hair.. The girl’s eyes widened with fear when a dog howled. She scooted off the bed.

Her heart hammered inside her own chest to the same rhythm as the child’s. Emily wanted to warn the little girl to lie down and stay where she’d be safe. She wanted to tell her it was too late, she’d already run out of time.

“No!” Emily screamed when the child ran toward the window. “Don’t look.”

The website where "Nightmares" can be found.

The website where “Nightmares” can be found.

So there you have the short excerpt. Does it excite your interest? I’d really enjoy reading your honest, but kind, opinion so please leave a comment.

If you are interested in viewing Nightmares on MuseItUp’s website, click on the title/link where you can pre-order it at a discounted cost and save 20%: Nightmares  

My short story Trapped, included in the anthology Mystery Times Nine 2012 has been released on Amazon.

Other places I can be found:

Facebook Author Page 
Facebook Profile Page 
LinkedIn

MusePub_Readers : MuseItUp Publishing Readers Group

I’m also on Twitter. @02DMcDunn

Click on the title/links below to view sites where my short stories can be found:

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

A Reason To Live

Saving Katie 
Pack Leader 
The Golden Stallion

Gus’ Big Adventure

The Book Cover For Nightmares!

Emily must accept her gift of clairvoyance and remember her past, when a psychopath returns to kill again.

Emily must accept her gift of clairvoyance and remember her past, when a psychopath returns to kill again.

Yes! It has finally happened. I have a book cover for my very first book Nightmares. The days are finally dwindling and May will be here soon…well, okay it’s really not all that soon, but it’s less than four months away.

It is really strange and maybe it’s because I’m not as observant as some, but the first dozen or more times I looked at this cover, I didn’t realize there was a face of a girl in the top left corner.

My niece, who is a photographer and that’s probably why she saw it almost right away, told me there was a girl there. I still couldn’t really see her, until today, when I posted the cover on here. I fell in love with it all over again. 

I received the acceptance email from MuseItUp Publishing on August 11, 2012 and if the book is published in May 2013 as planned, it will have taken nine months for the whole publishing process. It’s kind of ironic that it takes nine months and now I wonder if the reason it takes that long is because writers always call their work their “baby”.

I’ll be posting an excerpt or two later on when it gets closer to the release date. For now I’m more interested in knowing if anyone else saw the girl in the book cover before it was pointed out to them. I can’t be the only one who didn’t, right? 

As always, I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts, so please leave a comment, especially if you couldn’t see the girl too.

My short story Trapped, included in the anthology Mystery Times Nine 2012 has been released and is available on Amazon.

My young adult paranormal/mystery will be released in May 2013, but can be viewed on MuseItUp Publishing’s website: Nightmares

Other places I can be found:

Facebook Author Page 
Facebook Profile Page 
LinkedIn

MusePub_Readers : MuseItUp Publishing Readers Group

I’m also on Twitter.

Other Places to view my short stories:

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

A Reason To Live

Saving Katie 
Pack Leader 
The Golden Stallion

Gus’ Big Adventure

 

 

A Short Story: I Couldn’t Help It

Life Is Fun!

A Short Story: I Couldn’t Help It

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

For all of you out there who have been around children, I have decided to introduce you to a little boy I created. My question for you though: Is he really only fiction? You read the story and then decide for yourself.

****

He looked up and saw Mommy coming toward him. “Oh, oh,” He looked down at the mud puddle he was sitting in.

Oops!

“Shawn Francis Quinn. What are you doing? I told you not to get dirty while I dressed for work.”

She sounded really mad. “I’m just playing.” He wiped his hands on the front of his shirt. It left streaks of mud behind. He gazed up at her. “I couldn’t help it.”

Mommy’s face turned a pretty shade of red. “Shawn, go inside the porch and wait for me there. I’ll run in and get your bath water ready. I’ll be right back to help you—so just wait there and try not to touch anything.”

Shawn watched her go inside the house, but he didn’t want another bath and he didn’t want Mommy to go to work anyway. He kicked the muddy water.

Walking slowly toward the house and stepping in as much of the soft sticky mud as he could while he listened to the neat squish-squish sound of his shoes. He liked squishy mud and he liked that sound, it made him giggle and he almost forgot why he was going inside, but then he remembered and scowled.

He opened the door, leaving a cool mud handprint on the handle. He plopped down on the rug and pulled one shoe off, tossing it to the side. Chunks of wet mud and dirty water splattered on the floor and wall. He watched, fascinated as the icky stuff slid down the yellow wall.

He stood up, leaving the other shoe on and pulled his shirt over his head and yanked. The muddy shirt came off suddenly and he stumbled against the windowsill, knocking Mommy’s flowerpot onto the floor, all of its contents spilled out.

Shawn picked up the cracked pot and stuffed the plant back inside of it with as much dirt as he could. It looked a little funny when he held it up, but he put it back on the windowsill anyway. He tried sweeping the rest of the dirt under the rug with his wet shirt, but it just smeared it around and then everywhere he stepped, he saw his foot print of his toes and the bumpy bottom of his one remaining shoe.

Mommy would be returning soon to take him to his bath. He plunked down on the floor again and tried pulling his shoe off. It was stuck, so he kicked with all his might—the shoe flew into the air just as Mommy stood in the doorway. It bounced off the ceiling, flinging mud and dirty water everywhere and landed with a thud on her chest.

Her eyes were wide with surprise and she just stood there looking down at the muddy goop on her white shirt.

Shawn tried not to laugh, but she looked so funny all covered with mud—he couldn’t help it. The laughter started in his tummy and bubbled up into his mouth. It burst out onto his lips.

Mommy glared at him, but then her face changed. The corners of her eyes crinkled up and her lips began to twitch. She laughed so hard she had to sit down on the floor. Shawn had never seen her laugh so much. She pulled him onto her lap for a hug.

Shawn looked up into her laughing face. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it.”

“I know buddy.” Mommy kissed the end of his muddy nose. “I couldn’t help it either.”

It doesn’t taste as good as it I thought!

So what do you think? Is this fiction?

Well yes, but I couldn’t find the picture I wanted of my grandsons after they “accidentally” played in the mud.

As always, I love comments and appreciate your opinions or questions. If you leave your blog or website address, I’ll visit and comment. If you’d rather be found on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, I will like, be friends, follow, or Tweet.

My facebook author page is: http://www.facebook.com/donnajeanmcdunn

My facebook profile page is http://www.facebook.com/mcdunndonnajean

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/donna-mcdunn/42/819/423

It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.

AFFY A Short Story

The Summertime Blues

I decided to do something a little different this time and post a short story instead of an article. It’s a flash fiction story I wrote for Mary Rosenblum’s writing prompt, I found in the Long Ridge Writer’s Group e-News and Forum letter. It’s title is “AFFY” and I added a few words to the required 500, making it about 1,000 words.

This is what the prompt required:  Are you ready for the ‘Summertime Blues’?  What are they, anyway, other than a song lyric?  Blue has a thousand shades and we can come up with a thousand answers to that question, right?  So I asked you to write a flash fiction story, up to 500 words to represent the summertime blues. 

This is my version of “Summertime Blues”.  I have written several prompts of Mary’s, and I will be using more of them here. I do hope you enjoy reading this one.

AFFY By Donna Jean McDunn

Affy carried the burlap bag over her shoulder as she plucked the soft, fluffy white cotton out of the bolls. She ignored the ache in her back and the sharp prongs, even when they sometimes cut her fingers and wrists. She dreamed instead of a new land. One that Ned had promised would be filled with love and freedom.

She had heard of the Underground Railroad, but didn’t believe it could exist – whites and free blacks working together – helping slaves escape. But Ned assured her it did exist.

He planned to run away, but promised he’d come back for her. She convinced him they should make the journey together. She didn’t tell him about the new life she carried inside. She must wait until they were free.

They planned to meet after dark, at the river where the road bends. The woods and the darkness would provide protection from the probing eyes of the overseer and his whip. Ned would be waiting for her and together they would make their run for freedom. But first, she must wait for the signal. Only then would it be safe to escape.

For days she waited and prayed to hear the song with the hidden message. Her heart filled with joy when the slaves began to sing the words she longed to hear.

Swing low, sweet chariot,

Comin’ for to carry me home!

I looked over Jordan and what did I see,

Comin’ for to carry me home!

A band of angels comin’ after me,

Comin’ for to carry me home!

Affy joined in the song and imagined the Underground Railroad as a golden chariot. The endless rows of cotton disappeared and the golden chariot filled with angels, swept down from heaven to carry the three of them to freedom. Her heart ached with love for Ned, for their unborn child and for those strangers willing to risk their own lives so they could be free.

Finally, the sun began to set and the days work ended. Her and the other slaves trudged down the dirt road. The darkness beckoned to her, offering her what she longed for, a chance of escape. A chance to be free.

Affy swallowed the fear that threatened to choke her. Her heart thumped against her ribs. Would the darkness hide her from the eyes of the overseer long enough for her to slip away into the woods? Many had tried and failed.

As the slaves neared the wooded area – she allowed her steps to slow. The others passed her by, filling in the space between her and the overseer, shielding her from his view. Tears of gratitude stung her eyes, her vision blurred, and she quickly brushed the tears away. The tears would have to wait.

Goose bumps prickled the back of her neck in spite of the heat. Any minute she expected the sting of the whip as she made her way toward the trees. The river was just on the other side of the woods and beyond the river … freedom and Ned.

Entering the trees, her heartbeat quickened again as she thought of being in Ned’s arms. The thorny, thick brush grabbed and tore at her tattered clothing, as she forced her way through. Then suddenly she found herself standing on the riverbank.

“Ned, where are you?” At the sound of her voice the startled croaking frogs and chirping insects quieted, but there was no reply from Ned. Affy waited, as joy died and the fear and doubt crept through her.

Why hadn’t Ned come? Did he leave without her after all? Did he get caught? Her heart twisted in pain.

She couldn’t leave without him, only he knew the way, she had no choice but to go back. She must return before they missed her and set the dogs out. Still she waited as long as she dared.

Affy made her way back through the woods and to the dirt road leading to the slaves’ shacks and the one she shared with Ester, the old woman. She had taken her in when Affy’s mamma died of fever. It wasn’t so bad. The shack kept out most of the cold in the winter and the old woman was kind to her. She opened the door of the shack and crept in.

“Where ya been child. I been waitin’ for you,” The old woman said from the darkness. “I got bad news. That young Ned you so fond of got his self sold today.”

“Sold?”

“Thas’ right…sold…”

Affy stopped listening. The tiny room began to spin as one word vibrated throughout her mind and body…sold.

She crawled into her ragged cot. Her Ned was gone. Sold. Nothing mattered now except the new life growing inside her.

She placed her hands on the tiny mound. Ned had started more than just their baby growing inside of her. He’d ignited a burning desire for freedom for herself and their child.

“You will be born in freedom. I promise you. I will find those who know about the Underground Railroad and with their help we will be free.”

In response, Affy felt the first flutters of life. Her heart longed to tell Ned of his child. Tears rolled out of the corners of her eyes, dripping onto the dirty cot. Ned was out of her reach, but their child was not. Somehow she must survive this pain.

She closed her eyes and saw Ned’s smiling face. “Don’t be sad, little one. “Your papa is strong. He will find us.”

***

As always, I truly do love comments and appreciate your opinions or questions. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter I will like, follow you, or Tweet in return.

It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.

I was recently chosen as one of nine winners in The Young Adult Mystery Times Nine 2012 Short Story Competition. The list of the nine winning authors and their story titles can be viewed at: (13) Buddhapuss Ink LLC    Click on “see more” to view the entire list. The winning stories will be published together sometime in September or October. I will update you then.

My first adult short story, “Saving Katie” has been published at: www.thepinkchameleon.com a free magazine. Once on the site, scroll down the page until you see Short Stories. Click on that and the list of short stories will appear. Find “Saving Katie”.

Some of my work can be found online: My children’s story “Pack Leader” can be found at: www.knowonder.com also a free magazine. Once on the site type in the title of the story in the Search Engine at the top of the page and it will take you to the story.

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at: www.storiesthatlift.com. This too is a free magazine. Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories. There is a Search Engine on this site also.

In May 2012, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” was published at: Bumples Magazine. http://www.bumples.com/  A subscription is required to read these stories, but if you have children between the ages of 4-10, it might be worth it.