Posts tagged ‘Giveaway’

FLASH FICTION FEATURE: Amanda Holland

GIVEAWAY NEWS: I was traveling back to Alaska from my mother’s memorial, and we had to spend the night in the Anchorage airport. Therefore I’m late in announcing that Trixi won the copy of Learning to Die by Amryn. Sorry, Trixi! Now back to your regularly scheduled flash fiction: 

This is week four–the last week–of my Flash Fiction Feature, introducing you to some of my awesome Christian writer friends. For the month of June, I challenged four of them to write a flash fiction piece for my blog…only I sent each of them the same photograph as inspiration. It has been fun to see how each one took the same photo and wrote such different stories!

Please welcome the fabulous Amanda Holland!!

Author Pic (1)

Amanda Holland is the author of three short stories and a 2014 ACFW First Impressions finalist for mystery/suspense. Her stories The Love She Never Had, Salt Water, and Coyote have appeared in Splickety magazine. She is currently polishing her first novel and preparing to send it to agents. Working mom by day, writer by night (and weekend and lunch break), Amanda was born and raised in south Arkansas and now lives in Texas with her husband of fifteen years, two boys, and a Yorkie. In her spare time, she runs, knits, and blogs at Grace In Our Moments

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And here is the photo with which I challenged Amanda, and the other three writers.

Bark_Cabin_Wood_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1322

Run

By Amanda Holland

No escape. Mud sucked at her hiking boots as she slid to a stop. She stared up at her escape route, now covered in fog and mist, the mossy rocks too slick to climb. Well, she could scale the hill, but not fast enough to get away. Fear twisted her stomach into knots.

Voices echoed behind her. The cold, damp air muted the sounds. Impossible to tell how far back they were, but the very presence of the sounds assured her they were too close. Another glance up. The other sides of this cut were sheer walls. Her only options were to risk scaling the slippery rocks, or die here in the woods. Death might be her only way out, but she would die fighting.

“Can’t be far.” Clearer. Sharper. Time was almost up. Adrenaline pushed her to the mossy surface of the lowest rocks. Faster. The crescendoing thump of her heartbeat threatened to drown out the voices behind her.

“There’s a dead end ahead. We’ll get her there.” A shiver crawled over her. The distance and echoes warped the voice, but that sounded like—no. Sheer terror and her longing for the safety of home made her imagine things.

Why did she hike that trial? If she’d stayed with her plan, she wouldn’t have seen the body, and she wouldn’t be in this mess. A weekend on the hiking trials of her favorite state park usually erased her stress. With her husband’s “business trips” coming more and more frequently, her suspicions grew that something was wrong. She wanted a clear head when she confronted him and asked for the truth. Instead she’d stumbled across a horrible scene. She might never make it home to sort things out with him.

“Are we close?” Too close. Time’s up. Her muscles went weak. It was over. She’d be dead in minutes. Unless – a small opening, half hidden by moss and leaves, caught her eye just ahead. One more careful foothold pushed her to it. Her hands trembled as she pushed the moss aside to reveal a tiny cave formed by rocks and a fallen tree. Thank you. She breathed the silent prayer as she forced herself into the space, pulling the moss back over the opening.

“Where is she?”

The men came into full view below. Their backs were to her. That voice, the way he carried himself…no. It couldn’t be. They turned. As their faces came into view, she fought back a scream. Her husband gripped a rifle as he scanned the dead-end.

The other man circled the area. “How did she get away?”

“She knows these trails. Came here all the time as a kid. She must’ve cut back somewhere. C’mom, we’ll find her.”

The man she loved wasn’t having an affair—he was a monster, a killer. The sudden cold sweeping over her made her teeth chatter as the men retreated. Escaping this morning was just the beginning. She was going to be running for a long time.

THE END

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Another fantastic author, right?

I encourage you to leave a comment below for a chance to win a handknit tea/coffee cozy from Amanda! What better to go with reading than tea and coffee, right? I’ll draw from all the commenters on Wednesday.

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Blessings, Voni

Photo credit: Paul Baxter http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bark_Cabin_Wood_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1322.jpg

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1322

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FLASH FICTION FEATURE: Heather Gilbert

Today begins my new Flash Fiction Feature! I know some awesome Christian writers whom I’d like to introduce to you. For the month of June, I challenged four of them to write a flash fiction piece for my blog…only I sent each of them the same photograph as inspiration. It has been fun to see how each one took the same photo and wrote such different stories! Tune in each Saturday of June to check it out…and leave a comment for a chance at the weekly GIVEAWAY! I’m so excited.

First up is the awesome Heather Gilbert!

Heather Gilbert

Heather Day Gilbert writes character-driven novels that go beyond the vows, capturing the triumphs and heartaches unique to married couples. A graduate of Bob Jones University, she’s been married to her sweet Yankee husband for eighteen years. After eleven years of homeschooling and eight years of writing, she really doesn’t have many hobbies. Born and raised in the West Virginia mountains, she believes that bittersweet, generational stories are in her blood.

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And here is the photo with which I challenged her, and the other three writers.

Bark_Cabin_Wood_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1322

Solace

By Heather Day Gilbert

How many times had she come here over the past few months, trying to remember the specific timbre of his deep voice? To recall the roughness of his calloused hands, as they clasped hers? No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t summon the sounds and images to her mind’s eye.

The oversized rocks lay strangely juxtaposed, as if some giant had tossed them like dice down the hill. A heavy coating of moss confirmed that the sun rarely kissed this side of the forest. For so many years, this had been a flowerless secret garden for them, a haven that enabled them to articulate the dreams they hadn’t realized they had.

Now the rocks did not comfort her as before, but reflected the harshness of the scattered barren trees. Gently resting her head on the thick moss, she allowed her gaze to trail upward. The white sky seemed blank and closed, just like heaven had felt for her lately. No spark of love, no answers to her questions.

An anger that had tormented her began to rise like bile in her throat. This deep in the woods, she could give voice to the injustice, shout at the deaf heavens. Her scream filled the air.

“Why, God!? Why him? You should have taken me, not my husband!”

In those early days, when the news sank in that he’d been killed on assignment, she was sure God would step in visibly to comfort her. Whisper in her ear at night, maybe show her an angel…anything. Possibly she was waiting for a Lazarus-style miracle in which someone would tell her it was all a mistake, that it wasn’t his flag-draped coffin that had shipped over.

All she needed was assurance that God understood the grief she couldn’t even put into words.

Yet days went by with no sign. Casseroles and flowers flooded in, accompanied by sad looks of friends and family. No one knew what to say.

That’s when she began to return to the rocky enclave, hoping God would stoop to meet her there and kindly explain why this had to happen.

But each time, she was met with the resounding silence of nature. Not one rabbit or squirrel interrupted her earnest, yet fruitless, quest.

Today would be the last day, she had decided. Her one last attempt to break through the opaque curtain that God had drawn around Himself. Yet even as her scream died, nothing changed.

Until.

Until one still-green leaf fluttered onto her chest and landed on her heart. The leaf itself was heart-shaped. They used to lie here, marveling at the extensive shade that very catalpa tree could provide in the heat of summer.

As she clutched the leaf, deflected sunlight broke the cloud cover and shafted directly onto her. Some would say this was a coincidence. But she knew what it was.

Her refreshed soul sang the words of truth. “He has always loved you, and He always will.”

THE END

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See what I mean? Awesome, right?

I encourage you to leave a comment below for a chance to win an electronic copy of Heather’s latest book Trial By Twelve. I’ll draw from all the commenters on Wednesday. 

Trial by Twelve

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Tess Spencer loves her low-key job at the Crystal Mountain Spa, which allows her plenty of down-time with her one-year old daughter and lawyer husband, Thomas. But when a pool installation turns up eight skeletons in the spa’s back yard, Tess becomes entangled in a sleuthing job destined to go awry.

As the investigation gets underway, someone dumps a fresh body near the excavated burial site, confirming unspeakable fears. A serial killer has returned to Buckneck, West Virginia…a skilled hunter with a unique taste in prey.

When Tess agrees to help the cunning Detective Tucker gather clues from the inside, she discovers the posh spa hides more than dead bodies. Even as she sifts through layers of deceit, Tess realizes too late that the killer’s sights have zeroed in on her.

Unpredictable psychological mystery replete with memorable characters, Trial by Twelve is Book Two in A Murder in the Mountains series.

This novel is written from a Christian worldview.

Check out Heather’s other books on Amazon, too.

And, of course…Tune in next Saturday. Kelli Hughett was the next author to accept my challenge and write a story inspired by the same photo. Another giveaway, too!!

Blessings, Voni

Photo credit: Paul Baxter http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bark_Cabin_Wood_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1322.jpg

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1322