Tag Archives: short story

ANNOUNCING A GIVEAWAY

Lorraine Reguly

Lorraine Reguly

I met Lorraine Reguly on LinkedIn and discovered her blog. I enjoyed her writing so much I decided to sign up to follow her. Lorraine writes about everything, from very serious and personal life subjects, to topics on writing, social media, blogging and the occasional review and interview.

On one of her posts, (You can find it here) she offered to let anyone include a link of their blog or website in the comments and to be sure to leave a little information about themselves. She encouraged other bloggers to visit these sites. So of course I added my blog and Facebook author page and I mentioned my debut novel, “Nightmares” was published May 8, 2013 by MuseItUp Publishing.

Soon after posting my information on her blog, she contacted me and offered to post a review of my new e-book Nightmares on Goodreads if I sent her a copy.

Of course, I agreed.

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

As promised she posted this review to Goodreads: “Nightmares” is a well-crafted suspenseful tale that encompasses psychic visions, murderous intent, love, betrayal and acceptance within a captivating storyline. By the third chapter, you’ll be hooked, drawn in by the author to the dilemmas faced by a teenage girl – a young woman – who has a special “gift” of both seeing and hearing things. You’ll join her on her journey of discovery and acceptance while she and her boyfriend match wits with a killer and frequently find themselves in precarious situations. The plot twist will both surprise and satisfy you and leave you wanting more. That is how it was for me – a very good read, indeed!

Hey! She gave it four stars! Not bad for a first book!

The review was great, but she wasn’t done yet, she asked if I would do an interview. Of course I said yes.

If you’re interested in learning more about “Nightmares” and The Nightmares Series, you won’t want to miss the interview on November 1, 2013 on Lorraine’s blog.

It could be your chance to WIN one of two FREE “Nightmares” (The book, not bad dreams) that will be given away to TWO lucky winners.

As I mentioned earlier, “Nightmares” is in e-book format and the two winners will have their choice of PRC=Kindle, e-pub=Nook, PDF=Adobe Reader or HTML=For Web Browser. If you don’t have a Kindle, go to Amazon and get free Apps for your computer, Smart Phone and several other devices. If you don’t have a Nook go here for your free Apps.

This is our way of saying thanks for reading our blogs. All you have to do is post a comment on my blog ON THIS POST and become one of my followers. (If you are already a follower, then you are eligible to win after posting the comment).

If you’d like to double your chances of winning, go to Lorraine’s blog on November 1, 2013 and post a comment after reading the interview and join her followers (If you are already her follower then you are eligible to win, if you’ve posted a comment).

Simple! Right!

The giveaway will run for the first three weeks of November, starting on Friday, November 1, 2013 and ending on Friday, November 29th, 2013. The two winners, one from my site and one from Lorraine’s site, will be chosen randomly using a random generator.

Lorraine and I are both looking forward to seeing you, so please don’t disappoint.

See you then!

Note: We get notifications from WordPress whenever someone follows our blogs via email-not when we gain followers via the WordPress “reader”, so make sure that you click on the button that says: Follow Bog Via and an email will be sent to you. It can be found in the sidebars of our blogs and we will be able to track our new followers and know who is eligible for the prizes!!! Thanks! 🙂

My short story “Trapped” is included in an anthology, Mystery Times Nine 2012 and published by Buddhapuss Ink Publishing on December 6, 2012 and can be found on Amazon. I have had short stories published online at knowonder! your bedtime story and story time resource – a story a day awaitsStories That LiftNew Bumples Interactive Magazine, Online Magazine for Children.The Pink Chameleon and Page & Spine: fiction showcase – The Front Page.

My blog: https://donnajeanmcdunn.wordpress.com/  Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/donnajeanmcdunn Friend me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mcdunndonnajean.

I can also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Are you excited about winning a free book? Do you like mysteries? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

For additional chances to win, enter your name into the contest by sharing THIS POST on Twitter using the hashtag #NightmaresBookGiveaway. For even more chances, share Lorraine’s post: A Special Featured Friday, Featuring Author Donna Jean McDunn, and A BOOK GIVEAWAY! using the same hashtag! There is no limit on how many “shares” you can earn – so share, share, share! 🙂 (NOTE that the link to this post won’t work until November the 1st)

#NightmaresBookGiveaway

Review of Sb Knights “Born of Blood”

The Trilogy is now available!

The Trilogy is now available!

I finished reading “Born of Blood” by Sb Knight last week. It’s the first book in The Blood Chronicles Trilogy. It’s called a dark fantasy and horror fiction. If this is your genre then you’ll love this book. Mr. Knight delivers it well.

The book is not intended for anyone under the age of 18. This book my not be for you if you are squeamish and brutal acts of blood lust and rape upset you. Reader beware: The title of the book, “Born of Blood” is the perfect description of the contents.

But as mentioned above if this is your genre, you won’t be disappointed. I’m not really into a lot of blood and gore. I like scary and tremble in the dark kind of books. “Born of Blood” delivers the best of both the blood and gore and the tremble in the dark scary. So much so, it actually gave me nightmares, but I had to keep reading to the end and I plan on starting the second book of the trilogy, “Drago’s Revenge” soon. (I had to take a break from all the blood and violence, so I’m reading a romance right now.)

“Born of Blood” begins with Jesse (Jocelyn). She’s young and single, but wants a relationship with a good man. She meets Drake through a dating service and really likes him, but she soon discovers he’s not what he seems.

Her next-door neighbor, Sam is a shy, inexperienced young man, who is too afraid of rejection to approach his beautiful neighbor. He watches her (not in a creepy way) and comes to her aid whenever she needs any help and lives in hope that she may someday notice him.

When a friend of Sam’s goes missing and some of the circumstances point toward Jesse’s new friend, Sam begins to research Drake and his family. What he finds is terrifying and the results puts Sam on a violent road of trying to stay alive long enough to somehow save Jesse from a vicious vampire.

My favorite characters, other than Jesse and Sam are Reba and Charles. Charles is an immortal and Drake brings red headed Reba home as a “pet” for Charles. Reba is an outspoken barmaid with empathy and guts and somehow she cracks Charles’ stone cold demeanor.

The one thing that troubled me about this book was how some of the characters reacted to bad situations. Instead of getting the “heck” out of there, they would dawdle around. I’m sure it was to build tension, sort of like the movie’s where the audience is screaming: “Don’t open that door” or “Run you idiot, run!) but it just didn’t seem realistic to me because if I had been in the same situation, I would have been running. A minor quibble I know and it’s probably just me.

Over all I would give “Born of Blood” by Sb Knight four bloody  stars ****.

Here’s a link to Mr. Knight’s website where you can find the book and much more.

What do you think? Does Sb Knight’s book appeal to you? Do you know anyone who enjoys dark fantasy and horror? Sb was kind enough to offer a PDF file of the first three chapters of each of his books. If anyone is interested or just curious, please leave a message stating that fact and how I may contact you to deliver the file.  No strings attached and no jumping through hoops or entering a contest to receive them. Everyone who requests copies will get one, all you have to do is let me know how to get it to you.

Don’t forget! My book NIGHTMARES is now available and also my short story TRAPPED is included in the anthology MYSTERY TIMES NINE 2012

Also NIGHTMARES is available for the Nook at Barnes and Nobel

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

A mysterious “voice” warns Emily that she is in danger and must remember her past. She believes she’s losing her mind!

I can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads and LinkedIn.

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.

Proactive Means Taking Charge

Image

Did this guy learn to do this by simply reading about it? Or did he become proactive, take charge and just do it? 

 Proactive Means Taking Charge

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

I have a habit of saving things I read on the Internet. Little scraps of ideas or sayings, quotes or names I like and may use in a story someday, sometimes its web addresses of websites or blogs that I liked and want to remember. I’ll copy and paste them into a word document so I can read it again later.

Of course after I do this, I promptly forget about them. Then weeks or even months later, while trying to clean up my computer from all the stuff I’ve saved over time, I’ll come across one of those rare ones I should have been reading everyday.

I really need to apologize to the author of this little gem I found, because I didn’t save her (I say “her”, but it could have been a “him”.) I didn’t save her name or even where I found the original article. So if anyone reading this recognizes the words and knows the author’s name please let me know. I want to give her the credit she deserves.

I had no idea in January of 2011; I would start a blog in 2012 and want to pass on some of the great stuff I’d saved. Now when I find things, I do save the authors’ names and where I find the information, but it’s too late for this particular article to get her consent.

The author starts out with: “Fate does not run your writing career. You do.”

Then she lists ten things she believes anyone starting out in the writing business should be prepared to do. Most of what she listed, I now do and some I had to modify to fit my goals.

  1. looking for new markets…check
  2. finishing a novel and starting a new one…check
  3. beginning a blog…check
  4. finding the perfect agent…working on it
  5. landing a publisher…working on it
  6. establishing your writing career…check
  7. attending a conference to find your footing…someday
  8. locating or starting a critique group…working on it
  9. publishing in that magazine you’ve feared for too long…This one I would change to “sending queries/manuscripts to various markets”…check
  10. finding a writing mentor/partner…check

The list may not apply to you if you’re not a writer. And even if you are a writer, there are many different kinds of writers. Some writers write news stories, articles for magazines, short stories of fiction and/or nonfiction, books of fiction, and books of nonfiction…well you get my drift. Some of the list may not apply to you either and that’s okay, just modify the list by setting your own goals and work toward fulfilling your dream.

So what is your passion? Maybe it’s photography or painting beautiful portraits or starting your own business. Whatever we aspire to do or become can only be accomplished if we take charge and press forward toward a specific goal.

In this same article, the author goes on to further state: “Proactive means taking charge instead of waiting for events to find you.”

I think, to put it another way, if we’re still “dreaming” and wishing for something to happen, but not working toward a goal, then we’re not proactive. We’re not moving forward. We’re stagnant. Have you ever seen stagnant water, it’s not a pretty sight and it smells bad too. Are you stagnant?

What are ten things you should be doing to move forward toward your dream? Have you set reachable goals?

It takes more than just setting goals though. The article goes on to say: “being proactive and taking charge would help you fare much better, appreciate yourself more, and open new doors of opportunity by grabbing 2012 and molding it to your desires”.

I began taking charge in 2008. Not by “trying” to reach my goals. The article said “taking charge”, because by taking charge I’m no longer giving myself permission to be excused if I fail. I’m doing the things that make me uncomfortable, like blogging, socializing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, branding my name and sending out queries and manuscripts, searching for markets. I could just write and not do any of the other stuff, and I could say I’m “trying” to be a writer. I’m writing, aren’t I, and learning, but who’s going to read my work if no one knows it exists. Are you really a writer if you don’t have readers. I tried for forty plus years for fate to make me a writer. It never happened and it wasn’t going too, because all I did was “try”. Trying is not doing.

So if trying isn’t the answer, what is? I decided to become proactive, take charge and make things happen. It’s taken time and effort, but I’ve already won; I became a writer and an author in my own eyes that day. And that’s where it has to start. The author of the original article made one final, but important point in her article. She wrote: “If 2011 wasn’t to your liking, make a change. No one else can do it for you.”

Just like the guy in the picture above and the quote here; you’ll never know what you can do until you do it, take charge…and be proactive.

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” – Wayne Gretsky

As always, I appreciate your opinions or questions. Please, leave a comment. If you leave your blog or website address or where you can be found on Facebook or Twitter I will follow you, leave a comment, like, 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 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.