Thursday, 30 April 2015

Z is for Zooid


We made it! Time to catch some Z's.

For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Zooid.

Zooid: An individual member of a colony of invertebrate animals.

Zachariah watched helplessly as every day members of his colony were eaten. As sea worms, they spent their time bedded into the sand, their upper bodies swaying in the currents. But it made them prime targets.

One day, he felt different. Stronger. One of his best buddies, Hubert, was being viciously attacked by a crab. He swung around in a wide arc and clobbered the critter between the eyestalks. It actually had an impact, and the crab scuttled away, stunned.

“Wow!” said Hubert. “Thanks. How did you do that?”

Zachariah flexed his muscular body. “I think I grew a spine!”

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Y is for Yawp


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Yawp.

Yawp: (noun) A harsh or hoarse cry or yelp. (verb) Shout or exclaim hoarsely.

Sorry I'm late today. This was my hardest story to edit down, from an initial length of about 230 words.

* * *

Lawrence yawped as he twisted his ankle on the uneven ground. When the Frisbee sailed into Old Stanley’s field, he wanted to run. But his brother had goaded him on before disappearing.

He hobbled on, glancing around. A movement from a hut at the boundary caught his eye. He gasped. A boy about his age was waving frantically at him through the window. Should he go help?

After two faltering steps, everything went black. Next thing, he was in a hospital bed with his family around him. Where was the boy? He should tell them… but had he imagined it?

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

X is for Xebec


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Xebec.

Xebec: (historical) A small three-masted Mediterranean sailing ship. (I knew xebec before, but my dictionary only had 20 X words and most of them were scientific.)

The xebec unleashed a volley of fire on the enemy ship. They made a hole in the side, but a return salvo narrowly missed the captain.

“Let’s bail,” said the first mate.

“Agreed.” The captain cloaked the vessel before transforming the xebec into a gleaming spaceship and exiting the atmosphere. The crew reverted to their true form.

“That was okay, but I’m looking forward to being a Spitfire next week,” he said. “Airborne battles look fun.”

He meant no harm. He just wanted to have a little fun with the only planet apart from his own where he’d found life. 

Monday, 27 April 2015

W is for Wyvern, and the Wonderful Patricia Lynne releases Zadekiel


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Wyvern.

Wyvern: A winged two-legged dragon with a barbed tail.

Wilbur the wyvern had fought to get into Fireclaw’s Training School for Dragons, determined to prove that wyverns were just as good as those big oafs.

He challenged Krarg, one of the biggest dragons, to a duel. His few friends said he was crazy, while most turned up simply for the entertainment.

He couldn’t breathe fire, but that didn’t matter. He nimbly sidestepped every volley the dragon unleashed – until he drew Krarg to a tree he had previously soaked in oil. The dragon ignited the tree in his fury, singing his wing, and the cunning Wilbur was declared the winner.

* * *

W is also for the Worldwide release of Zadekiel, Book 2 in the Path of Angels series by Patricia Lynne! (Tenuous, but I got a W in there.) I've enjoyed getting to know Patricia through the Challenge and reading her dark and thrilling flash fiction, so I was only too happy to help out with her launch. 


The path is lost.

With Michael gone, the mantle of leadership falls to Zadekiel. In this time of darkness, with tempers running short, Zade struggles to guide his brothers. Hope comes in the form of a green haired woman with a unique gift. She represents a way back to the path they lost when Michael disappeared.

Zephyr fills books with cryptic poetry, a powerful compulsion, which is more a curse than a blessing. With no control over her ability, she struggles to live a normal life. When she meets Zade, he insists her ability is a gift from God. Reluctantly, she agrees to join the cause–it’s hard to dispute a man with wings.

Now the path is found, but one question remains. Will it lead to further darkness?


You can also pick up Michael, the first book in the series, here.

About the Author:
Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Links:

Saturday, 25 April 2015

V is for Vatic and Nicki Elson's Vibrizzio


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Vatic.

Vatic: (literary) Predicting what will happen in the future.

Chelsea normally kept her vatic abilities to herself. When she’d told Roshana she was going to break her leg falling off a horse, her former friend had laughed, then blamed Chelsea when it happened. And the visions didn’t always come true.

People didn’t want to know. But this was different. The entire school would be packed in the stadium like sardines, helpless when the ball was kicked to unleash a fireball that killed and maimed them.

Kickoff was in half an hour. She wasn’t going to go... But ridicule be damned. She rushed out without a word to her parents.

* * *

V is also for Vibrizzio, the enticing new release from blogger friend Nicki Elson!


Mini-blurb: "Lyssa Bates doesn't need a man. Not when the world is fully stocked with double A batteries and a wide array of options in Amazon's health and sexual wellness category."

My honest reaction to the blurb (as requested by Nicki!): Maybe us men could get together and hide all the batteries!


Hope everyone has a great weekend recharging their batteries for the final leg of the Challenge. Four days to go - we can do it!

Friday, 24 April 2015

U is for Uxorious, and Once Upon a Nightmare: A Collection


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Uxorious.

Uxorious: (of a man) very or excessively fond of his wife.

Douglas was extremely uxorious, his friends had always said; or would have, if their vocabulary was as wide as his. Fenella was his everything. That’s why, when the terminal cancer diagnosis came, he hadn’t wanted her to be humiliated and subjected to endless rounds of fruitless chemotherapy.

He’d come up with a plan so they’d never be apart, and be as one in the most intimate sense.

He savoured another delicious mouthful, her flesh tasting even sweeter than it had when she was alive. The gun sat alongside for after, waiting.

“Here’s to you, darling,” he said, raising his glass.

* * *

U is also for Once Upon a Nightmare: A Collection by Cherie Reich (yes, it is!) I read this superbly creepy collection on its initial release, and I look forward to seeing it get even more exposure in this new, revised edition.



A monster hunts us. After hibernating for a decade, it’s ravenous. We long to stop this nightmare, but the end of the road is far. There is no waking up once a legend sets its sights on you.

Disappearances every ten or so years make little impact on the small town of New Haven, Virginia. Hikers get lost. Hunters lose the trail. Even when a body is discovered, the inhabitants’ memories last about as long as the newspaper articles.

No one connects the cases. No one notices the disappearances go back beyond Civil War times. No one believes a legendary monster roams the forests in Southwestern Virginia.

I don’t either until the truck breaks down on an old mountain trail. Cell phones won’t work in this neck of the woods. It’s amazing how much a person can see by starlight alone. So what if we can’t feel our fingers or toes as we hike toward the main road. How many more miles left to go?

Crrraaack!

Hear that noise?

Purchase Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection by Cherie Reich at Amazon. The ebook is on sale for $0.99 until April 30th.

Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction author and library assistant living in Virginia. Visit her website and blog for more information.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

T is for Troublous


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Troublous.

Troublous: (old use) Full of troubles.

Panning for gold was a troublous occupation. You had to find an unexplored spot. Then, there was the risk of bear attacks if you were in their fishing patch.

Jeremiah had almost given up for the day when he stirred his pan one last time and something glinted at him. Not just a flake, but a gold ring! He could pawn it.

He froze. This was his mother’s wedding ring, which she never took off even though Dad was long gone. How had it gotten here, seventy-five miles downstream?

Jeremiah pocketed it and bolted. He had to get to Mom.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

S is for Sudorific


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Sudorific.

Sudorific: Relating to or causing sweating.

In the sudorific heat of the desert, he walked away from the plane crash. The only survivor as far as he could see, he was amazed he had no injuries. But there was nothing for miles around and no cellphone reception out here. He would die from dehydration before he reached help.

“Stuart!”

He recognised the voice instantly and a feeling of hope bloomed in his stomach. Rebecca? But how could that be?

And then she was beside him, seeming to materialise out of the air.

“You’re dead, darling,” she said, taking his hand. “But now we can be together.”

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

R is for Riparian


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Riparian.

Riparian: Relating to or situated on the banks of a river.

He enjoyed a riparian existence, sitting on the riverbank and casting out his line. This particular section was new to him and he was keen to see what he could catch.

The bank had looked pretty solid, but as he stepped closer to the water his boot sank into the soft soil. He managed to pull it out with a “glop” noise, but when he put his other foot forward it was pulled down and he couldn’t move at all.

“Help!” he shouted, but no one was around.

His heart went still as something gripped his ankle and tugged hard.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Q is for Quire


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Quire.

Quire: 1. 25 sheets of paper; one twentieth of a ream. 2. Four sheets of paper folded to form eight leaves, as in medieval manuscripts.

Before we get onto the story, just wanted to ask how's everyone doing? Can't believe there are only ten days to go. At this point, I don't have any pre-written stories left. At five this morning, I had nothing for Q, and I was surprised that the dictionary section was quite small and I knew most of the words. I think this story shows that I need more sleep.

Also, this week we are putting our house on the market, and we have been carrying out renovations and doing viewings, so I'm sorry I haven't been round to as many blogs as usual. Hopefully this will get a bit better.

* * *

Friar Jacob had the most boring job, folding sheets to form a quire, then taking them to Friar Dominic who did the exciting bit of writing all those words and doing those fancy-schmancy pictures.

He folded with mathematical precision and looked across the garden at Dominic’s open window. He was sick of walking all the way around.

Maybe if he folded here… and just here…

He didn’t know why, or how, but he’d ended up with a pointy object with wings. He drew his arm back and sent it flying. It landed on Dominic’s desk.

That was much more fun.         

Saturday, 18 April 2015

P is for Pettifogging


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Pettifogging.

Pettifogging: Petty or trivial.


“Look, his horse’s tunic isn’t pressed properly. There’s a big crease in that lion.”

“Oh, yes?” Mabel eyed her rival scornfully. “At least I know how to buff a breastplate. Verily your husband’s armour is as dull as ditchwater.”

Deirdre fumed. It didn’t matter that her brave knight Lionel won most jousts against Edward. Mabel focussed on these pettifogging details as a defence, and dragged Deirdre down to her level.

“Aha!” said Deirdre, eyes aglow. “Another knight hath knocked your husband off his horse with his lance.”

“With no style,” said Mabel. “My Edward knows how to fall beautifully.”

Friday, 17 April 2015

O is for Oneiric


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Oneiric.

Oneiric: Relating to dreams or dreaming.

The wrong people had got wind of his methods, he was sure of it. He was an oneiric investigator, the first of his kind. He had nailed many a perp from the visions he’d had in his sleep. But it wasn’t recognised by the authorities, so he worked privately.

But something was going wrong. He hadn’t dreamt at all the last few nights. That was bad when bodies were piling up. He’d woken up at night, sweating and panting. Most people who had violent dreams filled with death and gore wanted them to stop, but he was the opposite.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

N is for Nystagmus


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Nystagmus.

Nystagmus: Rapid involuntary movements of the eyes.

Geoffrey shook in fear, his eyes flicking from side to side rapidly.

“Be still, child!” said Father Simpkins, flicking holy water into Timothy’s face. Timothy blinked; the priest was just a restless shape before him.

“Begone, foul demon!”

After many more exhortations, the priest turned to his parents and said, “I am sorry, but the devil’s influence is too strong. The boy will have to be taken to a sanctuary for further measures.”


It was a few centuries too early for the priest to know the condition had a name – nystagmus, and it was only made worse by stressful situations.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

M is for Myrmidon, and Already Home Cover Reveal


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Myrmidon.

Myrmidon: A follower or subordinate of a powerful person, especially one who is willing to engage in dishonest activities.


He owed a debt to Mr Hasbrough, which was what Olly didn’t understand. Kept calling him a “myrmidon”, whatever that was. His kid brother’s fancy university education had left him with too many big words and not enough survival skills. If Mr Hasbrough hadn’t saved him from that gang, he would have been dead and so would Olly, because they’d promised to hunt down his family. So he might run a few scams, fleece a few gullible people. That was the real world and if he didn’t – well, all Olly’s big words weren’t going to help him.

*

Also for M, today I am featuring Heather M. Gardner with the cover reveal for the re-release of the first Maguire's Corner novel, Already Home!

Already Home

A Maguire’s Corner novel




Title: Already Home
Second Edition: formerly Maguire’s Corner
Author: Heather M. Gardner
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Re-release Date: May 20, 2015

~~~)(~~~
Coffee shop owner Maggie Maguire doesn’t trust the new police chief her father hired to protect Maguire’s Corner. He’s a stranger, cold, bossy and annoyingly handsome. But, Maggie’s witnessed a serious crime and now someone’s trying to kill her. The man that aggravates her most might be the only one that can help her.

Police Chief Jack Munro likes his new job and his new town, and unfortunately he also likes the stubborn but beautiful town sweetheart. His self-imposed hands-off Maggie policy is about to be put to the ultimate test when he must keep her close to protect her while he tracks down a ruthless killer.

Determined to ignore Jack’s charms, Maggie attempts to help him unravel the mystery but when their lives hang in the balance she must decide how much she’s willing to risk to save the man she suddenly can’t resist.

~~~)(~~~

Heather M. Gardner's love of books began on the hand-woven rugs of her small town library where her mother worked. There she had a never-ending supply of stories to read at her fingertips. As a teen, her favorite genres to curl up with were romance and mysteries. When she started to create her own stories, they were the perfect fit.

Heather resides in New York with her best friend who is also her husband, plus her talented and handsome son. She is currently owned by four stray cats. Heather's a full-time mom, works part-time from home, a chocolate enthusiast, coffee junkie, cat addict, book hoarder and fluent in sarcasm.


Blog:
The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Twitter: @hmgardner

Goodreads: HMGardner 

Facebook: HeatherWritesRomance Bottom of Form


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

L is for Lour


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is: Lour.

Lour: 1. (of the sky) Look dark and threatening. 2. Look angry or sullen; scowl.

The sky was louring, as if Heaven itself disapproved of what he had done. Which of course it would do. He headed for home after disposing of the shovel by chucking it in a thick clump of trees.

As he drove, he thought of what he could have done differently. He hadn’t meant to kill him, but Nigel just pushed things one step too far. It was self-defence really, although the police wouldn’t see it like that. And as the clouds burst and rain hammered the car like angry globs of spit, it looked like God didn’t either.

Monday, 13 April 2015

K is for Kludge


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is Kludge.

Kludge: Something hastily or badly put together.

It was a real kludge and he knew it, hammered together with mismatched planks and nails knocked in at odd angles. When Sandra had asked him to build a kennel for Bobo – his dog, he still thought – at her new house after she was done divorcing him, he couldn’t believe her cheek.

It was a bit mean to the dog, but it should do the trick. Sure enough, she chewed his ear off when the storm shredded the kennel, leaving a sodden Bobo yowling at her back door, but he knew she wouldn’t ask him for a favour ever again.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

J is for Jejune


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is Jejune.

Jejune: 1. Naive and simplistic. 2. (Of ideas or writings) dull.

Everything had been terribly jejune before April. He didn’t know what it was, he was just going round in circles, nothing was happening in his novel, the characters needed a personality transplant or just a kick up the jacksie. But the stuff he was doing now was some of his best ever writing. Having to come up with a different short story every day was making his synapses fizz and go in loads of directions. And daily feedback helped to show what might be worth pursuing. Already he had ideas for several books. He’d recommend the A-Z Challenge to anyone.

Friday, 10 April 2015

I is for Irenic


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is Irenic.

Irenic: Intended or intending to maintain or bring about peace.

Vantu’s irenic mission was to bring peace to warring tribes throughout Africa, a mission he believed ordained by the gods. But he had never seen anything like this.

The Tokono tribe were split by their dispute over the origin of rice. One side believed it originated from the toenail clippings of the great God Onardor. The other side held that it embodied the souls of maggots which had died before becoming flies.

Vantu resolved the issue by telling all parties they were lucky to have rice to eat, but if they kept killing each other, rival tribes would steal it. 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

H is for Hobbledehoy


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is Hobbledehoy.

Hobbledehoy: A clumsy or awkward youth.


Zebediah watched the village dance he wasn’t allowed into. Just because he wasn’t graceful, they jeered and called him “hobbledehoy”. Well, he could do things they couldn’t. He watched the other youths doing their fancy moves and shuffled his oversized feet. Two couples stumbled and fell on top of each other in the circle and got up again, laughing off their embarrassment, but then it happened to more and more in some beautiful domino effect. The band stopped playing while the dancers disentangled themselves and shook their heads.

Zebediah laughed. Unlike that lot, his feet had real magic in them.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

G is for Grisaille


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is Grisaille.

Grisaille: A method of painting using only various shades of grey.

This was going to be the painting to make his name. He could feel electricity coursing through his fingers. They said the grisaille style was boring. Well, now shades of grey were where it was at. Fifty of them, to be precise.

His depictions of the book’s characters in various erotic couplings were going to sell like hotcakes. And he could use more than fifty shades. Seventy, a hundred.

He went over a line to make it darker. A new shade. Black. No! He threw the canvas to the floor.

There was no room for black or white in grisaille.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

F is for Flocculent, and Dragon of the Stars Release Blitz Scavenger Hunt!


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is Flocculent.

Flocculent: Having or resembling tufts of wool.

Jethro made a grab for the next sheep, which backed away. His eyes widened as the animal bared its teeth and snarled at him. Its face was a sickly green colour, though its wool looked perfectly healthy.

“Come on. I know you’re ill and you don’t want to do this, but I need that fleece.”

He reached out again and yowled as the sheep sank its teeth into his hand. Why were they so sharp? Breaking free, he watched in horror as his arm became flocculent, tufts of wool sprouting along its length.

What sort of sheep was this?

* * *

And now for something extra special...



Available today!
Dragon of the Stars
By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military
Print ISBN 9781939844064 EBook ISBN 9781939844057
What Are the Kargrandes? http://whatarethekargrandes.com/

The ship of legends…

The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. Poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter, he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?

One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?

Purchase:

SCAVENGER HUNT! Comment to win an autographed copy of Dragon of the Stars, tons of bookmarks & postcards, and a $20.00 iTunes gift card–where is Mini-Alex? Visit Alex for a list of the participants. (Open through April 11 – winner announced April 13 at Alex’s blog.)



Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.

Monday, 6 April 2015

E is for Enfilade


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is Enfilade.

Enfilade: A volley of gunfire directed along a line of soldiers from end to end.

Pierre escaped the enfilade by ducking and playing dead. English fools never noticed. He swore vengeance on Napoleon for dragging them into this cursed war. Or maybe on those damned Englishmen instead.

There was another band of those vagabonds. Not the ones who killed his amis, but never mind.

“’Scuse me, chaps! A blasted frog killed my mate and nearly killed me. He let me go if we swapped uniforms so ‘e could pretend to be on the winning side. Gotta find the swine.”

“Good Lord!” said the corporal, turning. “Don’t worry, soldier. We’ll find him.”

Pierre grinned. Too easy.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

D is for Debouch


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is Debouch.

Debouch: Emerge from a confined space into a wide, open area.

Clara debouched herself from the cupboard and stretched. Where were they? This had been the longest game of hide and seek ever.

She wandered around, calling out for her brothers and sister. Her tummy twisted itself in knots. Had someone stolen them? Outside, nobody was on the street. What if the entire human race had been wiped out? Actually… maybe that wouldn’t be so bad. She could do what she liked for a change.

Clara went outside to investigate and yelped as her siblings leapt at her.

“Clara, you’re too easy!” howled her brother as they doubled over in laughter.

Friday, 3 April 2015

C is for Clubbable


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is Clubbable.

Clubbable: Sociable and popular.

Simon sauntered along after a hard night strutting his stuff at Escape. Clubbable, that’s what his mates called him. “He’s the most clubbable bloke we know, innit?” He never missed a weekend on the town, and if he hadn’t left with a piece of fluff tonight, he still had a couple of numbers.


Spotting a taxi idling at the kerb, he increased his stride, swaggering towards it like he owned it. That was until he felt a dull thud and the world shifted and spun. This wasn’t the sort of clubbable I had in mind, he thought before blacking out.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

B is for Boyar


For this year's A-Z Challenge I have selected a word from the dictionary for each day and written a story around it with a 100 word limit. For extra interest I have chosen words that are unknown or unfamiliar to me. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition. Today's word is Boyar.

Boyar: A member of the old aristocracy in Russia, next in line to a prince.

Mikhail moved along the palace walls, only thoughts of vengeance in his mind. His childhood friend had received the medals even though he, a lowly boyar, had defeated many more foes. Not to mention the fact the gallant prince had won the heart of Natasha, his childhood sweetheart.

The scene in the chamber made him gasp, first in shock, then in relief. Alexander had seen what a maggot he truly was and done the deed himself!

“Alexander!” Natasha rushed in and gaped first at the corpse and then at Mikhail. His grin turned to a grimace and he backed away.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

IWSG - The A-Z Edition, and A is for Allopathy

It's time for another monthly installment of the Insecure Writers' Support Group founded by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh (who's got a very busy month ahead). The purpose of the group is to support each other in all our writerly woes without fear of ridicule.


Today marks the opening of the A-Z Challenge for 2015 and I imagine many might be posting on the insecurity of undertaking such a Herculean task. Before we get to the first post of the Challenge I'd like to offer a survival guide based on two years participating.


  • Have fun! This has to be the number one. Don't get bogged down in keeping up with visitors or getting to x amount of blogs. Blogging is meant to be fun first and foremost. Treat it as an opportunity to grow and learn - no negatives.
  • Have goals. Goals can be fun! As long as you don't beat yourself up if you don't meet them every day. The official team suggest visiting five new blogs every day, but if you only manage one, that's still one more connection which has the potential to become a lifelong friend.
  • Life is going to get in the way. Best we accept this now and realise this is how it should be. You still have a job, a family, a WIP, an adopted snow leopard during April. Don't neglect them and know they come before a month-long blog challenge.
  • Keep on swinging. If you don't get to as many blogs as you'd like in one day, don't worry. It was probably just that pesky "life" thing again. You can try and make it up the next day, but see "Goals" above.
  • Make friends. If you make good bonds with bloggers who've come back day after day and laughed and cried along with your posts (and vice versa), nurture the connection past April. That's what this month is about, not an exercise in higher numbers and traffic.
Hope you find these tips useful. Anything to add?

Check out the other IWSGers here.

And now, onto my A post for this first day of April.


I announced in my theme reveal that I would be picking a random word from the dictionary for each letter, and writing a story about it with a 100 word limit. I tweaked that slightly. I have selected words that are either unknown, or unfamiliar to me and saw what they sparked off. This makes it more fun and educational, for myself and hopefully others. All definitions are from the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus 2007 Edition.

Today's word is Allopathy.

Allopathy: the conventional treatment of disease, using drugs that have effects opposite to the symptoms.


“He’s freezing.”

“Yes. I think the allopathy was rather too successful,” said the doctor.

“Well, what are you going to do?”

The doctor made no reply as Sarah touched her husband’s hand, wincing as ice particles adhered to her own skin. He’d been wrapped in several jumpers, a winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves. The fever he’d been admitted with was gone, for sure, but was this really better? How long before his extremities started to snap off?

“His temperature was over a hundred,” said the doctor. “Now it’s minus that. There’s got to be a happy medium somewhere…”