Remember the Future–The Final Installment of Cloverleaf Project.

The three part short story, Cloverleaf Project, which I started in March, concludes with Remember the Future. You can read the complete story on Lightning Quick Reads.

Part 1: Thank the Lucky Stars

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Part 2: The Final Transmission

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Part 3: Remember the Future

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Also, anyone who leaves a comment on Lightning Quick Reads for the month of May gets entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card. So let me know what you think.

Here’s a ‘just for fun.’ Each story has a dedication. The first person to comment here with the connection each dedicated person has to their particular story wins a free copy of my book, Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud. If you already have Unveiling, you can win my upcoming release, The Squire and the Slave Master, instead. Think character names, story titles, phrases within the story…it could be anything.

Thanks for reading.

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Fan Input: Excerpt 1

As I work on finishing the edits on The Squire and the Slave Master, I’ve decided to try some things I didn’t do with the release of Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud. I’m going to post pieces of information about the book, and ask people to give me their opinion.

To start, I’m thinking of using this as my first excerpt. What do you think? Do you like it? Hate it? What works/doesn’t work? Is it too long/too short/just right? Any information you want to give me helps. Thanks.

Mock Cover

Promotional image only.

Excerpt 1:

Yara’s mother, her long, brown hair, much like her daughter’s, but streaked with grey, entered the stables. She looked around and must have sensed the remaining hostility. She put her hand on the man’s shoulder. “Oh, Pavit, you didn’t try to tell Yara her place in the world again, did you?”

“Now Kamala, you know—”

“Yes he did, Mother. And do you know what’s worse? He wants to arrange my marriage. And even worse, he wants to go back to the time of slavery.” Yara tried to scowl at him, but she felt a smile break through.

“Now, I never even suggested that.”

“Yara, honey,” her mother said, smiling as well, “a messenger from the castle’s here to see you.”

“Agh! Right now?” She dripped with sweat and smelled like horse manure. “What could the castle possibly want with me? Can he come back another time?”

Her mother turned to leave. “I think you need to see what he wants.”

Yara picked up the hammer and horseshoe and placed them on the workbench, brushed some of the soot and dirt from her clothes, and took the coif from her hair. She never worried about her appearance, but her hair was uncomfortably matted to her head. When she untied it and fanned it out, it stretched nearly to her waist. It felt much better free.

Opening the door, she paused to size up the tall, well-built man, a few years younger than she, who stood outside the yard gate. His hair had grown out since she had last seen him, and it looked like he hadn’t shaved for a week. He wore gloves, but she knew underneath, the palm of the right one looked black and charred. She sprinted and threw herself into his arms.

“Owen! How are you?” She pulled away to look at him. “What’s this on your face? Dirt?” She rubbed his beard stubble.

“Yeah, it’s dirt. I thought I should match you.”

Yara’s face grew warm. She couldn’t imagine how much filth must cover her. She didn’t care to take time to freshen herself for a messenger, but she would have had she known his identity. It must have something to do with their time apart—Owen and Yara used to spend almost every day together—but as the official heir to the throne, each time she saw him, he somehow looked different in her eyes. More noble. More royal.

He smiled and wiped at a smudge on her cheek. “Did I hear you say something about getting married?”

“Oh no! Father loves trying my nerves. I don’t want to talk about it. Why are you here?” And how much of the conversation did you hear?

The Return of George: the Egotistical Basset Hound

Well, George is back. I didn’t realize it had been so long, but he hasn’t been here since October of 2013. If you didn’t see that interview, you can read it here. At that time, I interviewed George about his first book, George Knows. I also had his peep, Mindy, in the interview. Now George has a new book out, Tillie’s Tale. This time I just had questions for George, and had I reviewed the first interview, I could have probably saved us both some time by not repeating things he had already answered. Oh well, I guess peeps don’t have as good of a memory as dogs.

tilliestale333x500With the success of George Knows, and now the release of Tillie’s Tale, how long do you think you can keep solving cases?

George: It depends on if I can get a new secret-ary. The Peep I have now is very slow and doesn’t always listen to me the way she should. She has a big mouth and spends little time doing her work.

Have you started your next case?

George: A basset’s work is never done. There are some lost spoons that need to be found. I’m sure that there may be lost treats, too.

Do you have a message you’d like people to take from your stories?

George: Peeps, dogs are your friends. Listen to us or things may not go well for your species. Feed us, take care of us, clean up after us, and we’ll teach you about the world outside of your puny senses.

Do you also read? If so, what do you like?

George: Gack! That’s, that’s, that’s just plain disgusting. Dogs have in stinks, we don’t need to read like Peeps do. That’s because they don’t remember anything.

Do you have an issue with all the books where the dog, well, doesn’t make it?

George: Not as long as it isn’t a friend. Didn’t you realize most of those books are fiction? Peeps die all the time in books, so why not the dog? There is a need for superhero dogs in comic books. Superdog just didn’t cut it, in my opinion. Maybe a SuperBasset—they could call him George.

Trixie Koontz had quite a career. Which K9 storyteller do you most respect.

George: Lassie was very pretty. Unfortunately, she turned out to be a he and I wasn’t quite as interested. Now I have my own lovely lass. She suffers from permanent bad hair days, but she’s going to be mine.
Who would you rather work a case with, Blue or Wishbone?

George: Blue? Is he a hound? Like a blue tick? Hounds generally smart dogs. I’m a hound. I’ve heard of Wishbone. Terriers waste too much energy.

Since keyboards were designed for human hands, do you find typing your books difficult, or do you get by with a form of pecking?

George: I have a secret-ary. She takes my dictation. She’s not very good, she doesn’t always listen, and she’s very slow. It’s hard to get good help. I’ve offered her all the cookies she could want. Why is it my fault she doesn’t eat them fast enough?

Benji or Lassie?

George: Please! They are both boydogs. Lassie’s only line is Timmy’s in the well. What did Benji do other than look unkempt. K9 from Doctor Who is pretty cool for a metal dog. I’d hang out with the robo-dog. It wouldn’t take my cookies.

Lady and the Tramp, Milo and Otis, or All Dogs Go to Heaven?

George: If I had to choose, maybe Lady from Lady and the Tramp. She’s a lovely puppygirl. I’d clean her ears any day!

Ok. We’re going to end it there. I didn’t know cleaning ears was a thing with dogs, but whatever. Here’s George’s blog, or ‘log’ if you’ve read the first interview: Basset Bones.