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?