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Write a Story with Me # 34 – Where is my family? by Siv Maria Ottem

Last week Morana stole the baby.  Oh no!  Such intrigue!  Let’s see where we end up this week!

34- Siv Maria Ottem – Where is my family?

Natalia awoke to the warmth of the sun shining on her face. Slowly she opened her eyes and looked around her familiar bedroom. It felt as if she had been asleep for years. In a dreamlike state she put her hands on her flat belly and in a panic jumped out of bed.

“Now, now, no need to worry,” said an old woman as she entered the room with a tray of food. “Your child is quite safe for now. You had a beautiful and healthy baby boy.” Natalia rubbed her empty belly and sat down on the side of her bed. “I don’t remember anything. Who are you and how long have I been unconscious? What happened and where is my baby?” The last part of her question came out as a small sob and tears started to roll down her cheeks. “My husband and my children, why are they not here beside me? Please bring them to me.”

The old woman put the tray of food down beside the bed and tried to reassure Natalia. “My name is Morana and I helped you deliver your baby last night. I have seen nothing of your family but I am sure they will return shortly. You will see your baby soon, but now you must rest dear.” Morana slipped some sleeping powder into the woman’s tea without her seeing it and handed her the cup. “Drink this, you will feel much better.” Natalia took a small sip from the cup then slid back under her blanket and closed her heavy eyelids.

Morana needed to find out what had happened to the woman’s family and she knew just the fairy to ask. 

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each week.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Parts One – Twenty Nine Click Here

Part Thirty — Richard Leonard

Part Thirty-One —Sharon Manship

Part Thirty-Two — Shannon Christensen

Part Thirty-Three — Danielle Ackley McPhail

Part Thirty-Four — Siv Maria Ottem

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

  Susan Roebuck— TAG!  You are “It”

#FreeFriday Win a #Free Ebook “Mona Lisa’s Room” and “A Taste of Chocolate” by Vonnie Davis


Yay!  It’s Freebee Fridays time!

First of all,

Congrats to last week’s winner:

You’ve received a free copy of “Trust and Betrayal” by Dani-Lyn Alexander.

If you’d like to find out more about Dani-Lyn, hop on over to her website http://www.danilynalexander.com/


PKO_Alien 3 0003387Ok, I will admit I like the pretty blue shirts,

but I just can’t understand this half-headed man stuff!

He’s not half-headed.  It’s symbolic.  It’s so you can make him look like the man of your dreams.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Oh!  I think I understand, but I still think it’s creepy.

Please, no half-headed covers this week.


Nope!  This week Romance writer extraordinaire Vonnie Davis is here! 

PKO_Alien 3 0003387What’s so great about her?

She’s just great.

Trust me.  You’ll love her!

Alien SmileOkay, happy face time.  Hello.

Oh, you look like a pleasant lady.

Come on in and have a seat.

Ha!  Dani-Lyn told me you had blue hair.  I thought she meant you were old.

Is that your real hair? It’s so long and luxurious! 

Alien SmileWell, yes, it is my own hair.

I’m so glad you like it.  Most Earthlings can’t see the subtle highlights.

.Wow, this is getting a little deep.

Dani-Lyn warned you about the little fire last week, huh?


Quiet Eaton, I’m working the alien here.

Alien SmileWell, Let’s get down to business nice author lady.  Tell me a little about yourself.


I’m known to my closest friends simply as “V”.


Alien SmileOh!  Like the TV Series about aliens?

Umm, no, like “Vonnie”


PKO_Alien 3 0003387Oh.

I never saw that show.

It’s not a show… You know what, never mind.

I’m a choco-holic and caffeine addict. And I want to write the kind of books readers can’t put down, storylines they think about when they’re away from it and characters they want to revisit again and again.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387So, do you?

 No, not yet, but hope
springs eternal for this old broad.


PKO_Alien 3 0003387Old broad?

How old are you?


You can’t ask her that?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Why not?

It’s rude!


PKO_Alien 3 0003387You Earthlings are so odd!  Okay Vonnie err… “V” Why is your book good enough that I would want to take time away from plotting to destroy your meager little world?

Oh, hon, ask my hero. He’s the one who woke me up at night if I wrote a scene he didn’t like. He’d act it out over and over, and then look at me and growl, “Now do you see why that crap you wrote won’t work?” I was greatly sleep-deprived during the writing of this romantic suspense.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Wakes you up in the middle of the night?

It sounds like he has a Martian appetite.

If that makes you happy, then yes! 

He definitely has a Martian appetite.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Okay, I’m still with you,

but why would I want to read this?

If you’ve ever dreamed of running through the streets of Paris from terrorists while wearing a thong and stilettos, or karate kicking two men in a bookstore while wearing said stilettos, or being arrested as a prostitute merely because you’d misspoken to an undercover policeman with your poor French or painting the shoreline of the Normandy coast while a handsome French government agent sunbathed next to you, then this is the book for you.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Do I even look remotely like a woman who’s dreamed of these things?

Well, I’ve heard you blue haired ladies have a wild side.


PKO_Alien 3 0003387Yes, but I dream about blowing things up.

I want a book with explosions!

Then this is the book for you! In the opening scene my heroine unwittingly foils a terrorist’s bombing attempt in the Louvre. To retaliate, members of The Red Hand bomb several cafés in Paris.


Alien SmileYes!  Finally an author who isn’t afraid to express their explosive tendencies!

Now I am interested.

Tell me more!

Alyson Moore is still reeling from her recent divorce. Finding your husband in the shower with another man tends to destroy your feminine identity. At her sister’s insistence, she travels to Paris, something she’s always wanted to do. Within two days of her arrival to the City of Light, she is put into the protective custody of a French agent, ten years younger than she. They are both pursued by the terrorists in almost non-stop adrenaline packed action. Things soon heat up between them, but more importantly, Alyson finds out she’s stronger than she ever imagined.

Alien Huh CloseThere we go with the robotic response again.

Why do all you authors do that?

 It’s a human tendency. 

You have to cut us lower species a break. It sounds good though, right?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387You said there was an explosion, right?



Right in the beginning

Alien SmileThen yes!

It does sound good!

Does that mean you’ll let me give a copy away? 


Alien SmileYes!  As a matter of fact, you can give two books away!


I can also throw in a copy of “A Taste of Chocolate!”

Alien SmileWonderful!

So we will have two winners this week!

What a great idea!



Let’s get rocking!  If anyone would like to win a free copy of

“Mona Lisa’s Room” or “A Taste of Chocolate”

leave a comment below. We will choose a winner on Monday. Thanks Vonnie, and great job winning over the Little Blue Lady from Mars!

Whew!  That was exciting. 

Thank you so much for having me!

If you’d like to find out more about Vonnie Davis and her books, hop on over to http://vonniedavis.com/Home_Page.html



The Little Blue Lady From Mars © Jennifer M. Eaton.

I Am Thankful – We don’t always realize that the bad things are worth praising.

I cannot take credit for this.

This was emailed to me, and the person who sent it was not the original author.

To whoever you are, Unknown Author… these are beautiful words of thanks we should all live by….


For the wife who says it’s hot dogs tonight, because she is home with me, not with someone else.
For the husband who is on the sofa being a couch potato, because he is home with me, and not out at the bars.
For the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes, because that means she is at home, not on the streets.

For the taxes that I pay, because it means that I am employed.

For the mess to clean after a party, because it means that I have been surrounded by friends.

For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means I have enough to eat.

For my shadow that watches me work, because it means I am out in the sunshine.

For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a home.

For all the complaining I hear about the government, because it means that we have freedom of speech.

For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means I am capable of walking and that I have been blessed with transportation.

For my huge heating bill, because it means I am warm.

For the lady behind me in church that sings off key, because it means that I can hear.

For the pile of laundry and ironing, because it means I have clothes to wear.

For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day, because it means I have been capable of working hard.

For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means that I am alive.

There is a bright side to everything.  It’s all good.

Flash Finish Contest for a FREE COPY of “For the Love of Christmas”– Part of the Still Moments Halloween Blog Hop

This post is just supposed to be a spooky story, but I decided to bend the rules a bit and have fun.  Yes, this is a giveaway.

One random participant will receive a free copy of Still Moments Publishing’s “For the Love of Christmas”, so you can cuddle up with my Holiday Tale “Connect the Dots” as soon as it is available.* Yay!  It’s so cool to be giving away something I wrote!  Wahooo!

Oh Yeah!  By entering here, you will automatically be entered into Still Moments’s main prize drawing, where you can win one of the prizes listed here:  Click me to see the pretty jewelry PLUS books too!!

Okay.  Rules.  Don’t worry, I’ll make it easy.

Click here to follow me on Goodreads (Extra brownie points if you add my book to your “to read” list

Follow this blog (Easy.  Just press the follow button on the right)

Click here to make friends on Facebook.

Okay.  Now the fun part.  I’m going to start a short Halloween story.  All you need to do is finish the story in as few as one line, or as many as 100 words.  (I won’t count your words 🙂 )


Winners will be chosen at random from everyone who’s followed the rules.  (Which means this isn’t rocket science.  We are out to have fun here, by golly!)

Oh Yeah!  By entering, you will automatically be added to Still Moments list of participants, where you can win one of the prizes listed here.

Okay… The spooky story all ready for you to finish… Here we go!

The hinges creak as I push the door open with trembling fingertips.  The light from my candle casts an eerie glow throughout the chamber.  I set the taper down, and search the room.  Where had that sound come from?

A dull thud from behind chills the very blood in my veins, cooling my heart and transfixing me. No one else should have access to this hall.

The glow of the candle flickers over the poker leaning against the fireplace, the only weapon close enough for me to …

A footstep sounds behind be, and cold fingers wrap around my arm.


There you go!  What happens?  It could be one sentence, or a few.  I can’t wait to see what you come up with.  Have fun!

The contest will close October 26th and I will announce a winner soon after.

Note:  Still Moments will draw their Grand Prizes from all participants across the entire blog hop.  Please feel free to visit the other participating blogs to increase your chances.  Grand Prize drawings will take place on October 26th. Email Addresses are required for the Grand Prize drawings.  Entries without email addresses will be discarded.

Want extra chance to win?  Hop along the Blog Hop trail below, and good Luck! (I want that stinking necklace… so cool!)

Participating SMP Authors:

October 22, 2012
Terri Rochenski – http://www.terrirochenski.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Eaton – http://www.jennifermeaton.com/
Ceri Hebert – http://cerihebert.wordpress.com/

October 23, 2012

Liv Rancourt – http://www.livrancourt.com/
Denise Moncrief – http://denisemoncrief.blogspot.com/
Dani-Lyn Alexander – http://www.danilynalexander.com/blog.html

October 24,
Mackenzie Crowne – http://mackenziecrowne.com/
Maggie Devine – http://maggiedevine.blogspot.com/
Liberty Blake – http://libertysspells.blogspot.com/

October 25, 2012

Darlene Henderson – http://dandwh.wordpress.com/
Em Epe – http://www.emeperomances.blogspot.com/
Clara Waibel – http://www.pomadness.blogspot.com/

*Note:  “For the Love of Christmas” Will not ba available until December, BUT I’M GOOD FOR IT! — PROMISE!

Flash Fiction Friday on Wednesday – The Long Walk

First of all… If you haven’t signed up for Write a Story with me, hop on over and sign up.  Our authors are already plugging away.  What fun!  Sign up here.

Okay… now on to the important business of the day… Flash Fiction… Setting the timer for five minutes.  I have a bad headache, and I’m wondering what I can write with this kind of distraction.  Go…

I ease into the long hallway.  Whiteness blinds me.  Where does it go?  Should I really be here?

I turn back, but the door has closed.  No other path lies before me than the one straight ahead.  Lights swirl, voices of the past berate me.  Was I sad?  No.  But was I ever happy?  Did I do enough?

Three steps further.  The light is blinding.  How far must I go?  How far can I go?

The hallway ends.  The sounds stop.  All but a handle disappears.  I’m compelled to take it, to turn the handle and face what lies behind the door, but terror fills my soul.

I don’t know what lies on the other side.  I gasp for breath, but there is none.  The air disappears.  There is no longer a choice.  I must move on.  I grasp the handle, and turn.

A breeze hits my face.  Terror subsides.

I walk through.


(Time:  Four minutes … sans correcting typographical errors.)

Note:  No, I am not contemplating taking that “long walk”, but I did write this with a mild migraine, and the lights are hurting my brain.  That may be where that idea came from.

Review of The Sword: A Novel (Chiveis Trilogy) by Bryan Litfin

I started reading this novel with the “free excerpt” from Amazon, and I immediately purchased it once my free pages were done.

Click on the image to go to B&N Site

This novel was everything I was looking for…  A Medieval setting with a very original twist.  My son (the middle grade reviewer) read over my shoulder one day and said “That looks great, can I read it?”

I had to finish it first before I could answer, but even looking over my shoulder, he picked up on the sharp writing, and compelling plot.

Despite all this, I finished the book disappointed.  Why?  Let’s discuss.

The “sharp writing” swayed a little further on.  The characters lost “their voice” a few times.  At least from my perspective it seemed wrong.  Also, there were too many points of view, and too many characters.  Yes, I understood the necessity of each of them, but with their odd names, I had trouble remembering who was who.

The novel is cut into three “books”.  At the end of book one, I sat back and said.  “Wow, that was cool.”

I was still enjoying it at that point, but then it turned for me.  It got very wrapped up in what happened at the end of book one.  Yes, I suppose that is what the writer wanted to do, but he had me so in-tune to the relationship development of two characters at that point, that the interjection of the new plot element was jarring.

I just really couldn’t get into the second and third books, (the second being the worst of the two)

What I learned as a writer:

I keep going back to that one blog post I read a year ago (I really wish I could remember her name) where she said “The first chapter is a promise to your reader”

That is what my problem was.  I was promised a very different story than the one that ended up the novel.  I supposed the “second story” was good, but it wasn’t what I was interested in at that point.

I would also be careful to follow the rules of POV.  For instance, there is a scene told in a beggar’s POV.  It is only a few pages long.  It is there because the author wanted someone had to see the two Main characters walking through the forest. – WHY?  You never see or hear from this character again.

Little things like that annoyed me, and made me feel less standoffish about the POV cuts I have done in my novel.  There could have been a much easier way to do that scene (above) without injecting another random character in the story.

In the end, I was jumping back and forth from head to head so much, I don’t even know whose side I was rooting for. (You get the POV of the good guys and the bad guys.)

So, Book one I would give four solid Oreos.  But the overall novel… all three books, I would give three stars.

I would recommend this to anyone really interested in religion, and the development of religion.  That is what this novel is about.  Granted, religion is mentioned in the “blurb” but after looking at the cover, and reading the first several chapters, I was ready for something very different.

Bummer for me, because I was really ready to enjoy this.

Biggest Mistakes New Writers Make #3: Nope, you can’t explain yourself. Sorry, not allowed!

At a recent Author’s panel discussion, Jonathan Maberry, Mike McPhail, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jon Gibbs, Jennifer R. Hubbard, and Kristin Battestella discussed the biggest mistakes they believe writers make.

Mike McPhail commented that you CANNOT explain your novel to people.

Think about that. 

What Mike said is that you are not going to be there to explain anything about your novel.  It needs to stand on its own with no questions.  If it can’t stand on its own, you are not going to find a publisher (and remember, he’s a publisher as well as a writer)

I recently read a review from a “self-published” author that said:  “Just get through the first few chapters… you’ll be glad you did.”

I can’t help but wonder if they asked a friend to say that… This is probably why they self-published.  Why would you start your novel out weak?  Personally, if I’m not engaged in the first few pages, the book goes back on the shelf.

I wonder if this person ever had beta readers.

Note:  I would never let a beta-read pass with a bad first page, let alone a bad first few chapters.  That’s like literary suicide in my book.

Make sure your novel can stand on its own, and for goodness sake, if you feel like you have to apologize for your first few chapters CHANGE THEM!

Jonathan Maberry:  www.Jonathanmaberry.com

Mike McPhail:  www.mcp-concepts.com

Danielle Ackley-McPhail:  www.sidhenadaire.com

Jon Gibbs:  www.acatofninetales.com

Jennifer R. Hubbard:  www.jenniferhubbard.com

Kristin Battestella:  www.jsnouff.com/kristin