Monday, October 28, 2013

"Conjured" for Spooktoberfest!

Right, so; here's my entry for fellow blogging buddies/writers Dani and Jackie's boogety-boo blog hop...

Participants were challenged to compose flash fiction between 300-500 words which:
  1. had to be set in the location depicted in one of the four pictures provided; and
  2. had to use three out of six words listed (the three I used are in purple).
To see all the pics, possible word choices, and check out links to other participants' entries, click here or there.

This is the pic.
October was a busy month of work travel for me and though I'd decided on the pic, no story emerged in my mind. Then just this past weekend, as I settled in for the night at the B&B I stayed at while visiting my Kid for Family Weekend at his college, one of the other images demanded my attention. A weird and, frankly, rather disturbing story unfolded in rhyme, much darker than is my wont...I think. It turned out to be the sequel to my first Spooktoberfest entry, though it's told from a different point of view and it's nowhere near as lighthearted. Anyway, er...hope you enjoy?

Conjured by Mina Lobo
(300 words)

I'm the wretch that lurks at the bottom of the stairs
with the long, sharp beak and the coarse dark hairs,
whom you summoned to your home in the middle of the night,
whom you called when quite alone; now I have you in my sights.

You thought yourself so lonely and you felt yourself to ache
for some pleasures yet unknown, thus this action you did take:
you dug out that old spellbook that you'd hidden long ago,
when your last attempt went sour; yes, you stashed it down below

In the basement of your duplex, just behind your ancient dryer.
(You'd have been better off if you'd tossed it in the fire.)
Skimming quickly through its pages, soon you saw the thing you craved,
little knowing it was you who would find herself enslaved.

As others' children left to go begging for some sweets,
you sought to entertain yourself with one especial treat.
You went into your room and bubbled up a potion,
then mixed it with some cream to concoct this haunting lotion.

The scent so arousing, the sentiment inspired,
by all your burning hopes, and your dreams, and desires.
And with the aid of beings you believed safe to enlist,
you crafted what a thing like me can't possibly resist.

It called me from the deep, and up your dirty steps,
I wake you from your sleep, your eyes go wide and next,
your throat prepares a scream; I keep it from this task
by covering your lips and sliding off my mask.

You moan as though it's tragic that what appeared is me,
well knowing that your magic is what caused this beast to be.
I lean into your body and whisper what I'll do,
then on your moonlit bedding, I lay right into you.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Two-fer: A Writerly Type Blog Hop & A Review

One of my good bloggy friends, Allyson Lindt, tagged me in a hop AND I've just finished reading her most recent contemporary romance, so for today's post I'm offering a two-fer-the-price-of-one. (Not that I'm charging y'all to read this, or anything, but you know what I mean...) So first, let's go to—

The Hop!

For this writerly-type hop, authors who've been tagged answer a buncha questions, then tag 3 of their fellow writers to do the same. (There's always a catch.) The questions are as follows:

What are you working on right now?
'Cause I'm pressed for time (and lazy), I'm gonna rip off the answer I gave in an interview I did earlier this month, with one of the gals I'm tagging for this Hop:
A mini-anthology of three short stories, as I want to show my more “modern voice.” In terms of fiction, my readers will have come to know the “Homer meets Jane Austen” voice I used in That Fatal Kiss, so I want folks to know I’m not a one-trick pony. Two of the shorts are paranormal/supernatural stories set in the present, and the third tale will follow Hades and Persephone as they settle into married life (with all the horrors that entails).
How does it differ from other works in its genre?
Well, I claim to be an author of "dark and whimsical romance." While there's plenty of paranormal stuff out there, even funny paranormal (MaryJanice Davidson & Katie MacAlister are two of my fave writers), my particular brand of whimsy has an especially sophisticated edge to it. I like to think so, anyway. (Be a lamb and don't shatter my delusions, if you disagree.) (Better still, don't disagree; it's not nice to contradict a Goth Mom.)

Why do you write what you do?
Oh, why the hell not? J/K. In her answer to this question, Allyson said she writes about what she wants to read: characters "living" in her world. I write about the world in which I'd like to live: one filled with magic. Also, I'm getting a little tired of the preponderance of nubile virgin chicks in the 21st century of romance fiction. C'mon, folks—in the 21st century??!?!!?! I want to read about middle-aged gals, like me, who've been around the block a few times, stalled, and eventually got their motors running again. (I'm hoping that last bit comes to pass for me sooner, rather than later.)

How does your writing process work?
When it's working, with lots of coffee. Formerly, with cigarettes, too, but I've been off them for a little over two months now. (Yay, me!) Uh...I like to write at night, possibly because when The Kid was little, that's the only time I had to write. I usually write a first draft long-hand, then typing it out becomes the second draft, though I've also written first drafts on my laptop (which I find both exhilarating and terrifying).

Writerly-friends, I tag YOU:

And now...


TOEING THE LINE is #2 in Allyson's Bits & Bytes series (though actually, a prequel makes this the 3rd book, technically). Here's the gist of it:
Zane’s time in the Air Force doing electronic surveillance has taught him a thing or two about keeping secrets. But when his best friend, Riley, finds out what he’s kept from her, their “friends with benefits” relationship won’t be what threatens their growing feelings for each other.

Riley tends to fall hard and fast for the guys she dates, and it never ends with the wedding bells she expects. Tired of the heartbreak and unsure if she even knows what love is, she swears off unreliable things like dating and trying to find that elusive happily-ever-after spark. Focusing on her art seems like the perfect distraction, except she’s missing the physical side of being half a couple. Fortunately, her best friend, Zane, is happy to model for her drawings and tie her up in the bedroom, with no expectations. Just fun.

Zane’s granddad raised him with the belief that people who bring joy to the world should be protected at all costs. For Zane, his best friend Riley is one of those people, and he definitely doesn’t mind when making her happy involves helping her pursue her creative dream and some sport sex with a hint of kink. They can have fun, and he can keep her from falling for the next idiot who comes along while she searches for her Prince Charming.

Regardless of her resolution, as things heat up between them Riley finds herself falling again. She needs to decide if she’s in love with the idea of being in love, or if—despite Zane’s insistence that she deserves someone better—what she feels for him is the real thing. If she can’t learn to trust her heart and convince Zane he’s exactly what she needs, it will obliterate a lifelong friendship.
The idea of "no-strings-sex" seems a recurring theme in this series. Interestingly, apart from book 1, the couples involved already know each other, they've already got a history. With history, there are, naturally enough, feelings, which tend to make "no-strings-sex" tricky to pull off. On the other hand, when the sex is as hot as Zane and Riley's, I can understand being reluctant to leave off having it. The book starts off hard and fast with some spicy remote-sex, and develops into lightly-kinky real-life sex not too far down the storyline.

In this work of fiction, Allyson explores a truth that always amazes me: how people so intimately involved with one another physically can be completely clueless about one another's emotions (and sometimes, about their own). I can truly empathize with Riley's confusion as to whether what she feels for a man is actually love, or if she's just so lonely that she projects feelings which aren't real. (I really, truly can.) Toward the end of the tale, Riley does seem to have come to a resolution on this matter, which isn't altogether clear to me—I'd have liked to have seen what brought her to the point of action which broke through the impasse her relationship with Zane'd hit. But her choice didn't surprise, as every thought of hers (and Zane's—love the name, BTW) led up to this very moment.

TOEING THE LINE is a fun, quick, steamy read set in a modern world that fans of shows like The Big Bang Theory may really get into. I look forward to more of Allyson Lindt's hip love stories...and as it happens, her newest contemporary romance novella, Unconventional Fling, is available TODAY!

Click here to read Chapter 1 for FREE!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Excuses, excuses...

Y'all, I had great plans for this week's blog post, but they've thus far come to naught. I won't bore you with a litany of excuses as to why ('cause I hate that shizz when other folks do it). The week got away from me and that's that. Forgive.

I'm currently in Chicago for a day-job thing. Part 1's been sorted, Part Deux takes place tonight, and then I'm off to Saint Paul, MN on Tuesday. Flying exhausts me, and the Xanax I take so as to NOT flip out on the plane exhausts me more, despite the copious quantities of caffeine I consume when I'm back on terra firma. I'd thought I might be able to compose the blog post in my hotel room Sunday night, but alas, no. It's just too much for me right now.

I go off to bed, wrapped up in self-loathing for my failure to produce*, and leave you with some pics of one of the towers in Millennium Park's Crown Fountain (as well as a teaser for an upcoming blog post).

And the teaser...

*I'm mostly kidding about the self-loathing. Mostly.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Resurrection Blogfest II

Guess whose second anniversary of blogging is coming up.

C'mon, now—GUESS!

Didja guess me?  'Cause if you did, YOU'D BE RIGHT!!!

(Cue ominous rumble of thunder.)

Y'all, I hereby announce...

Sometimes, dead posts come back!

For last year's Resurrection Blogfest, participants resurrected a blog post from the first year of blogging that they felt didn't get enough love the first time around. For Resurrection Blogfest II, I invite folks to resurrect a blog post published between November 8, 2012 and November 6, 2013 (or, since my first Resurrection Blogfest, whether you participated or not) that you think ought to see the light of day one more time before it shuffles off this mortal coil.

There will be PRIZES!!!

Here be the rules:
  1. Sign up by entering your blog's name and URL on the linky-list, below. The linky-list will close after 11:59pm EST* on Thursday, November 7, 2013.
  2. Upload the blogfest badge in this post to the sidebar of your blog and link it back to this announcement post, to help spread the word. (It's not a "button" and there isn't a code for it; you'll have to download the image, upload to your blog's sidebar, and manually link it back to this post.)
  3. Follow me on the Twitter (@GothMomLite) and re-tweet anything with this tag: #ResurrectionBlogfestII. (Folks without Twitter accounts are welcome to participate, but must promote the blogfest on some other social media platform.)
  4. On November 7, your blog post must feature the blogfest badge as well as your resurrected blog post. Be sure to include the date on which it was originally posted and link back to that original post.
  5. I'll review all entries to make sure they fit the above criteria. Failure to have the badge on your sidebar, in your post, the resurrected post, and/or the date and link to the original post will disqualify you from the drawing.
  6. Three winners will be selected at random to win $20 Amazon gift cards!
  7. Winners should be announced on or around Monday, November 11. (God willing.)
Participants should know that:
  • *All days/times are based on EST
  • Subject matter is up to participants but whatever the topic, the post must have originally appeared on your blog on/since November 8, 2012 up to/including November 6, 2013.
  • It's OK to sign up if you've only just started blogging and only have a few posts in your bloggy repertoire.
  • It's also OK for participants to enter more than one blog, however, in the spirit of Highlander—THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE prize per participant.
  • Participants whose Resurrection Blogfest II posts are not up by 11:59pm EST on Nov. 7 will be removed from the linky-list.
  • Topics/blogs with adult themes should have the appropriate preliminary warning before any participants or readers see your blog/post. Any participants' links that take the clicker to adult subject matter without warning will be removed at my discretion. And don't give me any crap about not knowing what I mean by "adult themes," 'cause you totally do.
  • Participants are expected to read and comment on other participants' entries beginning November 7 and on through that weekend (based on last year's sign-ups, this should not be an unmanageable number of blog posts to read through/comment on over the course of four days).
  • The three $20 Amazon Gift Cards are to be sent to the respective winners via e-mail.

Peeps, this has to be one of the easiest blogfests going, seeing as I'm not making you come up with any new content for it. Sign up and Tweet the hell out of this blogfest already, sheesh.

(Whether you choose to participate or not, please help me get the word out by sharing this post on the social media platform of your choice. You can do this easily by clicking one of the icons just above this post's tag: "Posted by Mina Lobo at 12:00 AM." THANKS!)

The image used for the Resurrection Blogfest II badge was taken from a pic snapped by me.