we are a little different this year:
some contributions are exclusive stories, others are excerpts
from the authors' novels,
but all have our traditional format of...
Read the Story - Guess the Song
Here's a clue to the song title
Excerpt from A Rip in the Veil.
This is my first book baby and as such very, very loved.
Alex closed her eyes and pretended to sleep. She didn’t want to talk about her mother. Even leaving aside that last horrifying afternoon – no, don’t go there – Mercedes had been uncomfortable to grow up around. Too intense, too ... well, weird.
He kicked at her foot. “Alex!”
“Why do you want to know?”
“Why don’t you want to talk about her?” he asked back.
She didn’t reply.
“Ah, lass, I’m sorry. Is she dead then?”
Alex shook her head, feeling an uncomfortable rush of heat up her throat and cheeks. She had no idea; she supposed Mercedes was dead – she should be – but she wasn’t sure, not anymore. Alex pulled her legs up and studied the barren landscape. No cars, no distant tractors, no distorted music from a passing vehicle. She missed that, all those sounds that she belatedly realised had tied her to her time.
“Mercedes,” she said, “her name is, or will be, Mercedes.”
“Mercedes? And that’s a Spanish name?”
“Well it certainly isn’t Swedish or Scots,” she replied with irritation. “Her first name was really Maria de las Mercedes, but as every second woman in Spain is called Maria in one form or other, she was always known as Mercedes. And her sister was Dolores, but I never knew her. She’s dead.” And taboo; Mercedes clammed up whenever Alex asked her about this unknown aunt.
“She’s an artist,” Alex went on, smiling at the memory of her mother in front of her easel: smudges of crimson and cobalt on her hands, emerald green streaking her arms, and that ubiquitous cigarette, lying forgotten in the ashtray as Mercedes bent forward to add yet another miniscule dot of zinc white to her latest masterpiece.
“She painted the occasional cat or horse for me, but mostly she painted…” Her voice drifted off as she tried to think of how to explain the disturbing canvases that flowered from her mother’s hands. “I think she painted grief, grief and loss, you know?”
“How’d you do that?” he asked.
“I don’t know. But when you looked for too long at her paintings it was as if a silent scream built inside of you.”
Matthew looked pale and Alex laughed dismissively.
“Silly, right? I guess she was good with her brushes, twisting those columns of colour so that they pulled your eye in; always red and orange, always like a huge fire that surged and struggled against the constraints of the frame.” Alex stared off across the faded greens and browns that stretched in silence all around them. “Sometimes she painted small canvases, blues and greens with the odd dash of white. John always complained that they gave him a headache, made his stomach heave, and he’s right, they were rather weird, disconcerting somehow.”
She felt a sharp twist inside at the thought of John. What was he doing now? Would he believe Diane when she insisted that she, Alex, had decided to go AWOL, or would he know that she’d never do that?
“You don’t speak much of him, John, either,” Matthew said.
“Well, you don’t speak too much about her, Margaret, do you?”
“No, but if you want me to, I will.”
“It’s not really any of my business, is it?” Her eyes caught his and held them, and they sat like that for some time, green locked into blue.
“Mayhap it is,” he smiled, and stretched out a finger to run down her cheek. All of her thudded, wanting him to touch her some more, but instead she sat back, forcing him to drop his hand back to the ground, to rest very close to hers.
“Maybe. And if you tell me about her, I’ll tell you about him.”
He splayed his hand so that his little finger touched hers. She closed her eyes and concentrated on her breathing.
He helped her back onto her feet, holding on to her a bit longer than necessary. Blood was flowing so swiftly downwards it left him lightheaded, and his fingers tightened round her hand as he struggled to bring himself back under control.
He couldn’t walk like this, with his privates a coil of aching tension and throbbing blood. For an instant he saw himself pulling her back down onto the grass, saw how he struggled with her odd breeches and … He snaked an arm round her waist and pulled her close, ignored her little “oh” of surprise, and kissed her.
She stiffened at first, hands flat against his chest. But then an arm slid round his neck, the other followed suit, and he drew her even closer. She opened her mouth to his, and she tasted of tart, unripe blackberries, of the grass stalks she’d been chewing as they walked, and, very faintly, of smoked fish.
He just couldn’t let her go, and she didn’t seem to mind, grinding her hips against him in a way that made him groan. Ah, Jesus; he was on the verge of losing all restraint, and so, seemingly, was she, a pliable warmth in his arms.
He released her so abruptly she nearly fell. She stepped back, an unreadable look in her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” he stuttered. “I shouldn’t …” His chest was heaving, as was hers, and in silent consent they turned away from each other, a moment in which to collect their thoughts and regain a semblance of control over themselves.
When they began to walk he took her hand and she let him, opening her fingers to braid them with his. All that afternoon they said nothing at all, but their intertwined hands seemed to fuse together, and it was with reluctance he let her go to set up their camp for the night.
When I wrote the last half of this scene, I kept on humming my way through
Song: “Sometimes when we touch”
by: Dan Hill
|BUY LINK: http://myBook.to/ARIV1|
About the Author
Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with three absorbing interests: history and writing.
Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England. (Medieval knight was also high on Anna’s list of potential professions. Yet another disappointment…) She has also written The Wanderer, a romantic suspense trilogy featuring fated lovers Jason and Helle.
Her most recent release, The Castilian Pomegranate is the second in her Castilian Saga, medieval historical fiction set in Wales and Castile. Earlier in 2021 she returned to her first love, time travel, and released the first book in a new series called The Whirlpools of Time.
|read our review|
|read our reviews|
read our reviews
The Castilian Pomegranate
Find out more about Anna by visiting her website, www.annabelfrage.com or her Amazon page, http://Author.to/ABG
Sign up to Anna’s newsletter to keep up with new releases, give-ways and other fun stuff: http://eepurl.com/cjgatT
Follow Anna on twitter: https://twitter.com/abelfrageauthor
Follow her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/annabelfrageauthor
images via: Pixabay unless otherwise stated
Note: it is illegal to copy lyrics but there is no © for ideas!
our stories or excerpts to enjoy
1st Deborah Swift - an excerpt from Pleasing Mr Pepys
2nd Graham Brack - The Clock Struck One
3rd Cindy Vallar - Rumble the Dragon
4th Barbara Gaskell Denvil - The Great Forest
5th Nicky Galliers - Two Stories
6th Annie Whitehead - excerpt from To Be A Queen
7th Judith Arnopp - an excerpt from The Winchester Goose
8th Paul Marriner - First Love
9th Loretta Livingstone - Labour of Love
12th Amy Maroney - excerpt from Island of Gold
13th Richard Tearle - excerpt from the North Finchley Writer's Group
14th Inge H Borg - Excerpt from After the Cataclysm
15th Juhi Ray - the movie Jodha Akbar
16th Clare Flynn - Excerpt from The Green Ribbons
17th Anna Belfrage - A Light So Bright
18th Elizabeth St John - excerpt from Written in Their Stars
19th Nicky Galliers - Duty
20th Erica Lainé - La Belle Russe
21st Anna Belfrage - Excerpt from A Rip In The Veil
22nd Kathryn Gauci - Excerpt from The Poseidon Network
23rd Cryssa Bazos - Excerpt from Rebel's Knot
24th Debbie Young - The Secret Ministry Of Frost
* * *
you might also enjoy books by Helen Hollick
or direct to an Amazon near you