Friday, 4 August 2017

Free Fiction Friday - The Beast in Me by Natasha Duncan-Drake


Free Fiction Friday


It's the 1st Friday of August and that means it is Free Fiction Friday over at Wittegen Press. A new short story is now up for all the subscribers to our newsletter.

It is completely free to become a member and all you need is a valid email address. Fill in the form at the bottom of this page and you’re done. Don't worry if you join after the 1st Friday, the password for the month will be included in the welcome email after you subscribe.

What we WILL DO for our subscribers:

  • Send you an email on the 1st Friday of the month to remind you about the short story and give you the password for the month as soon as the story goes live.
  • Send you information about new books, competitions and events, so you don’t miss anything.
  • Give you two Free eBooks just for joining.

What we WON’T DO to our subscribers:

  • Spam you with loads of random advertising.
  • Reveal your email adress to anyone else.

This Month's Short Story

The Beast In Me
by Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: paranormal, contemporary fantasy
Length: ~8K wds

Description:
There are worrying reports about the Misomene Corporation's business dealings. Teiji Inoue was sent in to investigate, but he cover was blown. Now Teiji must survive Misomene's attentions as he discovers that the rumours of illegal practices pale in comparison to the reality.

Misomene are engaged in occult research and Teiji has become one of their experiments. Even if he comes out alive he may not come out sane.

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Friday, 7 July 2017

Announcement - Free Fiction Friday - Dance of the Dead by Natasha Duncan-Drake


Free Fiction Friday


From now on the 1st Friday of every month will be Free Fiction Friday over at Wittegen Press. This means we will be posting a new short story every month for our readers to enjoy.

These stories are exclusively for subscribers of our newsletter, but it is really easy to join.

It is completely free to become a member and all you need is a valid email address. Fill in the form at the bottom of this page and you’re done. Don't worry if you join after the 1st Friday, the password for the month will be included in the welcome email after you subscribe.

What we WILL DO for our subscribers:

  • Send you an email on the 1st Friday of the month to remind you about the short story and give you the password for the month as soon as the story goes live.
  • Send you information about new books, competitions and events, so you don’t miss anything.
  • Give you two Free eBooks just for joining.

What we WON’T DO to our subscribers:

  • Spam you with loads of random advertising.
  • Reveal your email adress to anyone else.

This Month's Short Story

Dance of the Dead
by Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: sci-fi, paranormal
Length: ~2K wds

Description:
A planet torn by war and a lost courier bring Jagati and her squad to a recent battlefield. The dead call to her, but she and her people have a job to do first.

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We'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.
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* indicates required

Monday, 8 May 2017

Dragon Diaries - Reflections - A to Z Challenge 2017 #AtoZChallenge #AtoZChallengeReflections

Dragon Diaries

elcome to my reflections on the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2017:


Each day, I'm told you about a dragon - a dragon inspired by a name that I generated randomly using a name generator (I didn't look up the derivation of any of these names, I just ran with how they made me feel, their sound on the tongue).

I told you all about my Dragon of the Day, and shared some flash fic about their lives. Any genre, any character, any look - I hope folks were surprised and entertained by my dragonly inspirations :). And now I want so share a few thoughts about this year's A to Z Challenge, and honorary mentions of blogs I enjoyed.

~
Previous Posts

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So, it was a big change this year, in that we did not have one list to sign up to, we, instead, were signing up each day to a post on the A to Z blog. This was designed to make the A to Z more sociable and ensure everyone on the list was taking part. Well, I suppose it achieved its second aim, because, logically speaking, if you had given up on the challenge, then you wouldn't be joining each day, but, I would say I don't think this new sign up method increased the social aspect of the challenge - not for me, anyway. I actually found a lot of the blogs I wanted to read during the challenge during the theme reveal posts and I had already made my own list of places I wanted to remember to visit. This really helped me during the challenge, because, since the daily sign ups were not in the same order every day, I wasn't always sure if I'd visited the blogs on the list. I did add a few people to my list throughout the challenge in one of two ways:

  1. When someone visited my blog who I hadn't visited and I then hopped on over to them.
  2. The people just above me on the sign up days.
I'm not sure what the key to making the A to Z more sociable is, maybe being a lot clearer on subject categories, so people can find the kind of things they are interested in - although I have to say, I did find myself reading the odd random blog (type 2 above) on subjects I would not have picked from a category list. What could be interesting might be a 'take me to a random blog' option, but, unhelpfully, I know of nothing that would offer that kind of functionality for a signup list :(.

Having said all that, thanks to all of you who work hard and run A to Z and make it possible, and you were brave to try something different. Thank you also to everyone who visited and commented on my blog, because it was great to get the feedback on my dragons and great to talk to you.

And, of course, I did enjoy visiting the blogs I found this year and there were quite a few I went back to regularly (though none everyday, I have to admit, because some days I struggled to get my post up, let alone visit anyone else, which was just down to mad things happening in real life). So. below are a few honourable mentions in no particular order :).  


PersonThemeURL
ShaliniA to Z Indian Dishes to Die Forhttp://somethingiscooking.com/
AJ VosseMusic & Memorieshttps://ouchmybackhurts.wordpress.com
Patricia LynneStrange Feelingshttp://www.patricialynne.com/
Hilary Melton-ButcherRare Breedshttp://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/
J Lenni DornerTelepathy and Misused Wordshttp://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com/
Sarah Zama40's Film Noirhttp://theoldshelter.com/
Josie Two ShoesFull Circle (FF)http://www.josie2shoes.com/
Jean D DavisEditinghttps://jeanddavis.blogspot.co.uk
Pamela WrightThe Scottish Highlandshttps://thewrightsdaysoffun.blogspot.co.uk
Sara SniderMagical & Medicinal Herbshttp://saracsnider.com/
Rae SquigglesAbbeys and Cathedrals of UKhttps://thequietwriter.com
Tamara NarayanConspiracies and Controversieshttp://www.tamaranarayan.com/
Zalka Csenge VirágWTF - Weird Things in Folktaleshttp://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.co.uk/
Mary BurrisBillboard Hits of 70'shttp://www.jinglejanglejungle.net/
CD Gallant-KingWeird Canandian Facts & Historyhttp://www.cdgallantking.ca/
Melissa AnnBook Reviewshttps://mycreativelyrandomlife.blogspot.co.uk
Roland ClarkAlternative History of Kanatahttps://rolandclarke.com
Nick WilfordSnippets from Black and Whitehttp://nickwilford.blogspot.co.uk/
Laura ClipsonStorytellinghttp://mybafflingbrain.blogspot.co.uk
C R G GalvinLife on a farm in 50's and 60'shttps://earlieryears.blogspot.co.uk
Books before the bloghttps://1001armchairadventures.wordpress.com
David JessonMaterials Science in Fantasy and Sci FIhttps://abackoftheenvelopecalculation.wordpress.com
JodieFairytale Charactershttp://believeinfairystories.blogspot.co.uk
DjinniaAnime Charactershttp://djinniaandtheenglishlanguage.blogspot.co.uk/
Yolanda ReneeAlaskahttp://yolandarenee.blogspot.co.uk/
Anna TanThe Princess and ...http://blog.annatsp.com


~

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Sunday, 30 April 2017

Dragon Diaries - Z is for Zlata - A to Z Challenge 2017 #AtoZChallenge

Dragon Diaries

elcome to my contribution to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2017:


So, what does that mean? Well, each day, I'm going to tell you about a dragon - a dragon inspired by a name that I generated randomly using a name generator (I haven't looked up the derivation of any of these names, I have just run with how they make me feel, their sound on the tongue).

I'll tell you all about my Dragon of the Day, and share some flash fic about their lives. Any genre, any character, any look - prepare to be surprised and (I hope) entertained by my dragonly inspirations :).

~
Previous Posts

Z is for Zlata

Zlata had known the gods of Olympus when the world was young and she knows she will see the stars blink out one by one: she is immortal. She was formed from the death of a supernova and the magic of the gods themselves, a creature whose scales are made of stardust itself, a tool to fight their battles, to keep man under the gods’ control.

But she rebelled.

Now the gods are forgotten. Myths told to children.

But they all remain.
~
And So It Goes

Wittegen Press
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The gentle bleating of sheep as they settled down for the night drifted up the mountain and told Zlata all was well with her flock. She scanned the reddening rocks on the opposite side of the valley, checking for any wolves, or bears, but any predators would be foolish to attempt to steal a sheep when the scent of dragon was in the air. All was clear, so she settled down, wrapping her wings around her to protect from the chill night air, and prepared for sleep.

That is when she sensed the movement off to her right. The pits just below her eyes told her there was a body close by and, simultaneously, she swung round, spread out her wings and snarled at the idiot who threatened her flock.

The sound of slow clapping was not what she expected to hear, but Zlata maintained her stance and watched as a human stepped out from behind a pile of boulders. She was right not to relax, because the smiling face that greeted her was an old master: Ares, dark hair long and clothing slit-denim chic, walked towards her, still applauding.

“Stand,” she warned, puffing smoke out of her nose.

Ares, for once being sensible, came to a halt and dropped his hands to his sides.

“Guarding farm animals, really Zlata?” he tried to taunt, but, as usual, he didn’t understand.

Zlata lowered her wings, but kept her attention firmly on the ex-god of war.

“I am content,” she replied simply.

Ares shook his head and chuckled. “You must miss it, though.”

“What, the death, the killing? Not one moment.”

“But you were made for it.” Ares would not take her answer and he stepped forward again.

This time, Zlata sent a jet of fire to his feet. Ares stepped back rapidly, raising his palms in supposed supplication.

“That is what you and your family believed I was made for,” Zlata countered as calmly as she could. “You know nothing.”

“We are gods,” Ares snapped back, his frown giving away the arrogance that was something else Zlata did not miss.

“You had your day. Go and drink yourself into oblivion for the sake of the old days,” Zlata dismissed and turned.

That meant she saw the glint of metal in the sunset that was coming towards her, and she reared. It caught her round the front leg and she felt its magic try to take hold, but it had missed its target, her neck, so the magic had to fight. Zlata roared and pulled backwards. The owner of the chain fell forward with a grunt: Hephaestus lay at Zlata’s feet. Now that was a shock, the master craftsman had been a friend, but then, Zlata quickly concluded that no one else could have made such a magical chain. A chain that was trying to control her.

Zlata cried out as the power cut into her, making her dizzy, stopping her using her wings, but she would not give in. She sensed Ares closing in to her right and she rounded on him, striking at him head down with her crest that was harder than any metal. He went sailing away, but her heat sensing pits told her there were others approaching in the twilight. Roaring, Zlata reared once more and spread fire in an arc before her. She heard the cries, she saw men, mortals, catch the flames and she heard them scream, and then she smelt their burning flesh. It sickened her.

She rounded on the fallen Hephaestus and begged, “Call them off.”

Dragon and god stared at each other. Zlata saw pain, she saw regret, she saw the death of their friendship. Whatever Hephaestus saw, he released the other end of the chain. Without its master, the chain loosened and, the magic retreating, Zlata took off. Tiny projectiles followed her into the sky, but they bounced of her crystal-hard scales. Zlata did not look back.

*

After a long night hidden in a cave, Zlata risked returning to her flock. They had wandered in the night without her to guide them, but she called to them and their bleated replies soothed some of the ire in her blood. She was half expecting the tall, quiet figure who appeared an hour of so later, walking up the mountain, clearly unarmed. She waited for him to reach her, she owed their old friendship that much. Hephaestus stopped in front of her.

“I am sorry,” he began.

She said nothing.

“Be careful. Ares means to regain his power by calling mankind to war for him once more, and he wants you by his side.”

Zlata snorted and stamped her foot.

“But why did you help him?”

“Aphrodite persuaded me.”

This time Zlata laughed, but she was not amused.

“It is time you realised that creature uses you.”

“I love her.”

Zlata sat down: this was an old, old conversation and she knew she could not win it. Hephaestus sat down beside her and they both looked out over the mountain in the sunshine.

Eventually, Hephaestus spoke. “I think I understand why you are content here. I will not aid Ares again.”

“Go and tell that son of a donkey if I so much as smell him near my sheep again I will send him back to your wife as a pile of carbon.”

Hephaestus nodded and stood up.

“Goodbye.”

“Goodbye.”


~

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