UPDATE: The winner of one a free shorty from among those stories spinning in my carousel is…Carey Sabala!
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It’s Saturday, but I’m up early today. I’m going to a Gelli class at 9 AM with my dd and my mom. What is Gelli you might ask? It’s a printing plate made of this wiggly gel that you brayer on paint, texturize the paint with stencils or your own scribbles, then you place paper over the painted/scribbled-on plate and “pull off” a colorful printed image that you can use in mixed media art. Whew. Taking a breath after that really long sentence! And for most you, what I said didn’t mean a thing. But that’s okay. We’re going to have fun.
What can you do while I’m off playing with Gellis and paint? How about read a naughty story or two. There’s time if the story’s short! And you know what I’m going to talk about now…
I started at the end of January publishing a short story a week in the Kindle store. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, they are free. For everyone else, they are $0.99. I have all these shorts I’ve written over, and other than grouping them in collections, and publishing them that way, I had no way for you to enjoy them. Until KU made it possible for me to get a little compensation for my effort and a nifty way for readers to “sample my wares.” It’s been fun getting each of these short stories ready for publication. I hope you’ve tried a few. Or if you have a really dead weekend, you could sample them all!
If you’d like to savor the pretty covers, I have a web page devoted to my “shorties.”
Here’s yesterday’s new addition:
The Pleasure in Surrender
After the lady of the keep bars her gates to the barbarian the king commands she wed, the half-Viking knight scales the walls of her heart…
A draft brushed her face. She’d closed the door and latched the pigskin curtain over her narrow window. A scuff of a foot had her stiffening, but she heard no more above the pounding of her heart. She wasn’t alone. “Who’s there?” she whispered.
“I think you know,” came a deep, rumbling drawl.
She drew a deep breath and came up slowly, scooting to the far side of her bed. Her knife was on her chatelaine’s belt hanging from a peg beside the door. She was weaponless. “My people?”
“Your man Geade surrendered as soon as he realized the keep was overrun. No one was harmed.”
“Does it matter? I’ve taken this castle. The only question now is one I want answered: Why did you bar the gates?”
Edwina shivered at his graveled voice. “I was promised time to grieve before I accepted another husband.”
“Alred suspected you would grieve until you were old. Did you really think he would defy the king’s order for you?”
She lifted her chin although she knew the gesture couldn’t be seen—not unless Vikings had eyes like cats. “I expected him to honor his promise. I paid for the privilege.”
“About that—he returned the gold. To me.” His footsteps drew nearer her bed. “But that doesn’t answer the question. Why, Edwina?”
Her mouth grew dry at the rasping texture of his deep voice. She swallowed and set her back against the wall. “I wed once for political expediency. This time, I wanted a choice.”
He remained silent for a long moment. “And yet you have turned away every suitor who approached you.”
“None were worthy.”
“You hold yourself in such high esteem?”
“I worried for my people. Warriors don’t make the best farmers.”
His footsteps scraped closer.
She pressed harder against cold stone.
“I will admit, I’ve little experience with farming. But I understood you were competent. That I could rely on you to teach me.”
He said the words slowly, and she tried to read his intentions in the inflections of his voice. Could he be telling her the truth? Would he allow her to continue as steward of her land? “Are we…negotiating?”
After a long moment, he cleared his throat. “You wed young.”
“I had no choice, but Malcolm was malleable and a drunk. We came to an arrangement that suited us both. I managed the estate. He drank and caroused, spending from a generous budget. We were both satisfied.”
“You managed him and the estate.”
After a pause, he said, “I’m not malleable. Nor will I be managed.”
She heard the steel in his tone. She forced a derisive note into her own. “I was afraid of that. It’s why I closed the gates and prepared for a siege.”
He strode closer. His large shadow was inky black, ominous. “You do realize this is our wedding night? You are already my wife by the king’s decree. Only consummation awaits.”
Alarm rattled through her. “But there must be a wedding. The banns should be read.”
“No, Edwina. Your resistance ends tonight.”
Hope you enjoyed! Leave an answer to the following question in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a copy of any of the shorties in the Amazon carousel below EXCEPT The Pleasure in Surrender. That one, I hope you’ll purchase on your own!
Are you artistic, or like me, do you wish you were? And like me, do you dabble?
I like to think I’m artistic. I enjoy ceramics. Started doing it with my mum as a kid and when I find a ceramic shop I’ll stick up on fired pieces to paint.
I whish I was but I dable
Artistic? Well, I majored in fine art for two years. I had hoped to land a job in that area…didn’t happen. I went to work for a bank, then a hotel for 28 years. I do have a artistic side. I like to doodle, make jewelry, (not as good as yours) cross stitch & needlepoint. A few years ago I got the bug to pursue watercolors. I took a class and just recently I’m making an effort to carve out time to paint. I need practice to stir the creative side of my brain.
My hope is to find a balance between the day to day minutiae and incorporate more creative things in my life. I miss it.
My sis, mom and partner were artistic. Me not so much. I am an entertainer, a clown and magician. I try but like my cooking, it doesn’t work.
Honestly, I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. Can’t draw a straight line, can’t cut straight, and God forbid I should try to paint anything. (even a room~~I get the stuff everywhere)
Often thought I’d like to try my hand at writing but never had the courage. So, I just write my books in my head at night as I’m trying to go to sleep. That’s about as artistic as I get. And I am so envious of people with artistic talent. Like your jewelry, amazing what you can do with a few beads.
Hope you have a great weekend with dd and your mom. 😕
Went to college and graduated with a degree in art…..still paint and draw….have sold some paintings….and now I write also…
I make gooey butter cookies and dessert, drink, and ocean candles… They’re a stress release for me
I am NOT artistic at all. I can’t draw and never doodle. I played Pictionary once and my partner was as bad as I am at drawing–so bad, that we could sometimes guess what the picture was because that’s how it would look if we were drawing it instead of our partner!
I WISH I was artistic/creative like you. Years ago I used to do counted cross-stitch but had to stop because it hurt my shoulder.
I love your “shorties!” I’ve read them all so don’t enter me in the contest. 🙂
Not artistic at all!
Pat! Clowning is an art! Entertaining is an art!
Shirley! Word of advice! Start short! 🙂 And surround yourself with writers. That alone will inspire you to keep going!
The rest of y’all, thanks for sharing!
The winner of one a free shorty from among those stories spinning in my carousel is…Carey Sabala!