Monday, February 29, 2016


Please welcome the winner of the 
IWSG Anthology Contest

Parallels: Felix Was Here!

L. G. Keltner

I can remember the day when the story “Felix Was Here” began to form in my mind, though I can’t recall the exact date.  I was looking through a list of publications that were looking for submissions and contemplating how amazing it would be if I had the courage to submit something to one of them.

The details are fuzzy now, but I remember an anthology was asking for stories inspired by the 1939 World’s Fair.  I didn’t have time to write something for it, and even if I did, I didn’t have the confidence at the time to write the story.  This all happened about a year ago, and I hadn’t yet found the confidence to really start putting myself out there.  Still, the idea began brewing in my mind behind the scenes.  In my spare time, I started researching the 1939 World’s Fair out of curiosity.  The idea of the World of Tomorrow intrigued me.  People were so excited about the possibilities and they looked eagerly to the future to provide a better life.  That hopefulness stuck with me, and I started to wonder what might have happened if someone tried to make that future happen.

That question followed me over the next several months.  I considered writing the story, but several things stopped me.  Time, other projects, etc.  The biggest thing stopping me, however, was my own insecurity.  As much as I loved the idea, I didn’t know how to go about writing it.  I was afraid of failure.

Then the IWSG short story contest was announced, and I knew I needed to enter.  It was simply too good an opportunity to pass up, so I started brainstorming ideas.  I soon had a list of ideas drawn up, but none of them felt quite right.  My mind kept stubbornly returning to the characters Felix and Betty and the society inspired by the World of Tomorrow.  The idea still intimidated me, but I’d also realized that this story needed to be told.  It was going to keep bugging me until I did it.

With a bit of research and a lot of patience, I wrote the story that had been nagging at me for months, and now here we are.  “Felix Was Here” is going to be shared with the world, and I feel pretty good about that.

Coming May 3, 2016
Preorder HERE



Utopia isn’t meant for everyone.


Betty’s family lived in a small Brooklyn apartment when the 1939 World’s Fair offered the nation a stunning vision of the future.  A charismatic man worked with the government to make that vision a reality.  Six years later, Betty has a nice home, a good husband, and all is right in her world.

When someone casually mentions the name Felix in conversation, everything changes.  Betty’s dreams suddenly revolve around a boy named Felix.  A boy she doesn’t recognize.  Sleep deprived and confused, Betty begins to question the foundation upon which she’s built her idyllic life.
Pre-Order HERE!

L.G. Keltner has been trying to write novels since she was six years old.  She’s wanted to be many things over the years, but the dream that survived into adulthood was that of being a writer.  She graduated from Drake University in 2008, but she’s still learning every day.  L.G. lives in Iowa with her husband and children.

Thanks L. G.

What do you think folks - do you find stories that just won't let go until you put them on paper?


Friday, February 26, 2016


Write a complete story in 100 words or less.
·     Take your time
·     Proofread
·     Edit
·     Include photo prompt and InLinkz code
·     Post and Link your story URL
·     Reciprocate. Read and comment. It's half the fun!



I told you not to park there!

Calm down. We'll find out where they're towing it too and pay the fine.

So much for hiding our time machine in plain sight. What if someone hits the wrong button?

Quit panicking. I created the remote starter for a reason. All we have to do is lock it down, and no matter what button they hit, nothing will happen. Just hand me the beach bag and I'll make sure.

You mean that cute blue and white number I bought yesterday.


Uh, sorry, but it's on the back seat of the car.

Yolanda Renee © 2016



Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is a weekly writing challenge designed for both the flash fiction newbie and the more experienced writer. It is the desire of this challenge to allow writers the opportunity to clear the cobwebs from a more tedious and involved project.
Our Host Roger Shipp

How Do I Love Thee?

There it was sticking out of the torn lining of the battered book of sonnets by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The poem I'd written to Elise. The book was sitting on the corner of the desk where my wife Jane, was working.

I stepped into the den. "Hey, gorgeous. Why don't we pack a picnic lunch and enjoy this beautiful day in the park?"

She looked up. Smiled. Then sat back in her chair mulling over my idea.

"Sounds romantic. Why don't we take a bottle of champagne? That way we can discuss my million-dollar divorce settlement. And you can celebrate the fact that I won't sue Elise for alienation of affection."

I chuckled. "Sounds like a plan. We'll work this out over caviar and champagne."

After she consumes the digitalis, we'll walk to the highest point in the park to admire the view. 

Her black heart won't see a dime.

150 words
Yolanda Renee © 2016

To read the other flashes click


****************   Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.



Monday, February 22, 2016


Starting today, published authors will give feedback on the query's and first 250 words.

The judges will vote for their favorites to go onto the final round.

They will cast five votes each, anywhere they want, and the top 20 will go onto the next round.

Visitors are welcome to comment on this lead in blog but not the individual blogs!

Votes will close on Thursday 11:59 p.m. MST.

Participants do not comment on other entrants' posts, only your own. You can bribe, coax, share, tweet, and do whatever to your entry, but you cannot comment on anyone else's.

Our hostess Katie Hamstead Teller

The Judges

Ayden Morgen
Elsie Elmore
Leigh Statham
Mara Valderran
Stacy Nash
Elisabeth Roderick
Samantha Bryant

And to make it easier to get to all the entries 
Here they are by catagory!

Young Adult:
Elsie Elmore's Blog:

Quantum Fairytales Blog:

Samantha's Blog:

New Adult:
Ayden's Blog:

Ayden's Blog:

Samantha's Blog:


And don't forget to offer helpful advice for your favorites HERE and only HERE!

His Soul Purpose


Category and Genre: Adult paranormal romance

Word Count: 90,000


Byron enjoys his damned existence as a vampire until the night he attacks a young twentysomething with a gold cross around her neck. She stirs memories of when he had been human so long ago, and a pang of guilt prevents him from hurting her.

Although red belt librarian Grace is frightened of the vampire, she thinks his act of conscience might mean he isn't damned after all. After another vampire attacks them and destroys the library, Grace convinces Byron he is worth redemption.

The quest for Byron's soul leads them to uncover an ancient conspiracy to keep vampires damned forever—and brings them far closer than either intended.

While rejoining Byron and his soul may save him, it may also kill him.

First 250 Words

Byron curled back his upper lip. "You've displeased me for the last time."

"I'm… I'm sorry. Please." The man backed up, hands raised defensively. As if he could defend himself from Byron. "Please, give me another chance."

He circled around the pathetic man. Illumination from candles flickered against the white walls of his office. Byron never did care for artificial lighting. "Against my better judgment, I already did. Twice. A third chance to wrong me just wouldn't be prudent."

"But… my family…"

Byron held up the faux gemstone. "You think I wouldn't realize it was a fraud?"

"N-no… I never meant… My contact assured me—"

"Your whining grates me." The gemstone ground to red dust in his hand. He opened his fist, allowing the specks to filter to the hardwood floor.

"Please, I can find you—"

"You will do nothing for me."

Byron snatched the man's neck, lifting him a foot above the ground. His hold tightened, the man's eyes bulging, his attempts at fighting growing more pathetic with every passing second until he slumped over.

"You will do nothing for anyone."

He dropped the man onto the floor, on top of the ground stone. Clapping the remnants of red from his hand, Byron stepped over the body and left the office behind. He could have, and perhaps should have fed on the man. Even now, his thirst grew, a pulsating need that could not be denied much longer. Recovering the Ruby Heart could wait. 


Participants do not comment on other entrants' posts, only your own. You can bribe, coax, share, tweet, and do whatever to your entry, but you cannot comment on anyone else's.

The Judges



Visitors welcome!

Please comment as to whether this pitch piques your interest and what feedback you have about making it stronger.
Your assessments will be appreciated by the participants.


Category and Genre: Adult Science Fiction

Word Count: 120,000

Mike and Sam must save the world from a time loop, but they only want to save each other--and that's what's causing the loop.

After his boyfriend Sam is killed in a car crash, soldier-turned-copper Mike Scott buries himself in investigating a modern body that's been dug up at an undisturbed sixteenth-century site. But his investigation leads him back to Sam's death, and the existence of a time machine Sam 'forgot' to tell him about. The attraction the machine held for TV historian Sam is obvious. But Mike's more used to burying the past than revisiting it.

Once Mike finds the machine, however, it offers more adventure than he's had since quitting the army: A trip to Tudor England. A way to save Sam. Mike will gladly give his life for Sam's, but, after a few trips round the loop, he realises they've been there, done that. By using the machine to change the past, he and Sam have trapped everyone in a time loop that endlessly repeats.

The time machine can't be resisted and it can't be destroyed. Unless Mike can find a solution in his own past, the only way out is for one of them to die. And stay dead.

First 250 words

The day my mother sat us boys down and told us Dad had gone to live with a new family, I thought it was one of those things adults say when they don't want to deal with the truth. Not 'Your dad's dead' but 'Your dad's gone to live with a new family where he can have lots of room to run about'.
It was exactly like that when Sam died.


I was sitting at my desk in CID moving some bits of paper about. Nobody in the office to overhear. I pulled out my phone and hit the speed dial.

Not that I wasn't a little annoyed Sam hadn't rung me. Not this morning. Not the night before. Not since he'd slammed out of the house and gone to stay with his mother.

His visit to his mother being what we'd argued about.

Someone other than Sam answered the phone. I knew that the moment they drew in their breath to speak.

"Who's this?" I said. "I want Sam Ferrier."

"This is Police Constable Sheila Warren. Who am I speaking to, please?"

"My name's Mike Scott. I want to speak to Sam."

Stacking papers on my desk so I didn't have to think about why a PC was answering his phone.

"Are you a relative of Mr Ferrier's?"

Jesus, I'd never expected to be on the receiving end of a death message. "Look, has something happened? What's happened to him?"

"I'm sorry, but I can't release any details until the family have been informed."


Participants do not comment on other entrants' posts, only your own. You can bribe, coax, share, tweet, and do whatever to your entry, but you cannot comment on anyone else's.

The Judges



Visitors welcome!
Please comment as to whether this pitch piques your interest and what feedback you have about making it stronger.
Your assessments will be appreciated by the participants.

Darkest Rendezvous

Title: Darkest Rendezvous
Age and Genre: Adult Historical Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 50,000

Set in alternate 19th century New York, Darkest Rendezvous is the tale of ethereal beauty, Miss Persephone Greaves, who is caught up in a rivalrous love triangle between a wicked Vampyre Count, a roguish Lycanthrope Chieftain and the miserly ghoul next door as she becomes key to a plot by renegade humans to destroy her world.

Count Nicodemus von Shroud, the newest lord of Manor Sanguine Ligurio, is as handsome as he is wealthy and has the eye of every eligible lady of New York's Famous Four Hundred but his heart belongs to the enchanting Miss Persephone Greaves. However, Miss Greaves is a Zombi, a civilized class of zombie recently elevated to the nethermost circles of the necroelite and though she is the daughter of a highly esteemed physician, she is still considered beneath the touch of the most powerful Vampyre clan in America.

Mr. Rufus Bane, chief of the Lupis Tribe, has also taken notice of the delectable Miss Greaves at Nightshade Manor’s latest Moonlight Ball and refuses to concede to his Vampyre rival for the lady’s affections despite her impending engagement to ominous Ghoul, Lord Lucius Newmont. However, insurrections and assassination attempts by Rufus’ fellow Lycanthropes may prove slightly distracting.

Miss Persephone Greaves’ first season is a bigger success than she could have ever dreamed. Resigned to spend eternity as bride to ominous Lord Lucius Newmont, her phenomenal beauty and charm seem to overcome the age old stigma her kind face for atrocities past, garnering ringing approval from New York’s famous Four Hundred. Against warnings from friends and the wishes of her father, Persephone finds herself falling for both the intense werewolf whose kisses set her body aflame and a seductive Vampyre whose gaze sends her mind reeling with wicked dreams.

While Persephone tries to decide her course of action, a mysterious illness starts killing human slaves, Lycanthrope tribesmen and the oldest and weakest members of the necroelite. When Persephone is poisoned, Rufus and Nicodemus uncover a plot to destroy the nation’s undead and must work together to expose betrayals and save their beloved.

First 250 Words

Persephone Greaves stood in the dimly lit hallway and watched as the slaves lumbered by. Even in the mindless state in which the undead allowed them to exist, Persephone didn’t trust humans. Everything about them from the way their grey skin hung loosely from their bones and gaping mouths to the milky unseeing eyes that always seem to be watching, waiting for something made her uneasy. Persephone wished her father would finish his examination of the Newmonts’ kitchen slave who had suddenly fallen ill so they could quit this place. Of course she didn’t have to hover in the slave quarters. Lucius Newmont was in his study but would gladly keep Persephone company in the parlor.

The Ghoul was ten years Persephone’s senior and even as a lanky youth, Lucius had been very serious and solemn. The Newmonts had lost their parents towards the end of the 1812 Uprising, before the humans’ defeat, and at 14 years of age Lucius took the responsibility of his and his sister’s welfare on to his ossified shoulders. Being business partners as well as neighbors, Dr. Sebastian Greaves assisted Captain Newmont’s children as often as Lucius would allow and so became like an extended family. Dr. Greaves would, on occasion, allude to a match between Persephone and Lucius but she simply was not interested.

Repulsive as Ghouls were, the Newmont siblings always made the effort to be fashionable. Lucius was tall, slender and always well dressed. 


Participants do not comment on other entrants' posts, only your own. You can bribe, coax, share, tweet, and do whatever to your entry, but you cannot comment on anyone else's.

The Judges



Visitors welcome!

Please comment as to whether this pitch piques your interest and what feedback you have about making it stronger.
Your assessments will be appreciated by the participants.


Title: Forbidden
Age and Genre: Adult, Crime / Suspense / Romance
Word Count: 100,000


Forbidden will grab and hurl you into a plot full of treachery and passion.
Screams of terror and gunfire echo within the walls of a compound. The horrific massacre of fifteen Americans forces two government officers of The Republic of Islamic Provinces and Territories to cover-up the truth. They thrust the task into the hands of a ruthless police captain, Hashim Sharif. His corrupt superiors’ rules are simple. Maintain silence, or his family will suffer dire consequences.

He cannot bear lowering his ethics to become the same gutter vermin he hunts in Samarra’s dark streets. And yet, if his loyalty is questioned, an unmarked grave awaits him in the desert. He fears justice may never be served. Even so, he cannot commit an act most forbidden – treason. His family’s honor would be forever lost.

Within a week, his nightmare plunges into a bottomless pit. To maintain the cover-up, he must dispose of the one witness – Eliza MacKay. Murder of innocents?

Unthinkable.He keeps her out of sight inside his apartment, risking the wrath of Allah. While searching for evidence of the killer’s identity, Sharif and MacKay struggle to survive. Hit men, the CIA, and his government have them in their cross hairs. When his children are kidnapped, Sharif becomes the beast his enemies dread.

Sharif and MacKay dodge traps and their mutual attraction. Given her PTSD, he cannot trust her. A strangle hold over his desires for the pretty woman becomes his greatest challenge. If escape is possible, love will only get in the way. Or will it save them?

Target Audience: This crime, suspense romance novel will be enjoyed by readers who favor espionage novels with international intrigue, and multi-cultural themes.

Forbidden’s twisting plot and fully fleshed out characters are unforgettable. Other target audiences will include Muslims and those interested in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Muslims will appreciate the accuracy of the references to moderate Islam. 

First 250 Words

Bird With a Broken Wing

Eliza fidgeted with her hijab. Excited Arabic voices echoed throughout Samarra’s busy airport. The arrivals terminal barely contained the hundreds of visitors waiting for the arrival of the next flight.

She stared at the airport arrivals app on her cell phone.  ‘United Air 719 – DELAYED’.Friggin’ hell, they’re an hour late. As she gazed at ‘DELAYED’, a vision blocked out the surrounding clamor. Screams, bloodied bodies, and flames in a dark void engulfed her with waves of horror. Her hand shot up to her mouth, barely containing a shriek. Stop it, just friggin’ stop it! The premonition urged her to run. Get out of RIPT on the next plane.

“Breathe,” she whispered. She inhaled and exhaled with calm deliberation. “Again.” She shivered as the graphic scene faded. Thank God I can control these annoying visions. Whoever said that being a seer is a gift was delusional. Now, if I could manage my PTSD psychosis as easily, I might get my life back.

Her feet ached from wandering through the airport shops for the last five hours. “It’s almost nine. The airport will be closed in another two hours. What the hell happened to the Americans? A man rushing by bumped into her and nearly tripped over her suitcase. He turned toward her and glared.

“Laanah aleiky,” he growled in Arabic.

She squared her shoulders and turned away. Damn you, too. She adjusted her head scarf and smiled confidently at nearby women. 

They stepped away from her.


Participants do not comment on other entrants' posts, only your own. You can bribe, coax, share, tweet, and do whatever to your entry, but you cannot comment on anyone else's.

The Judges



Visitors welcome!

Please comment as to whether this pitch piques your interest and what feedback you have about making it stronger.
Your assessments will be appreciated by the participants.