Fedelta Book 2: Bitter Destiny

instagram_7316d278f2

Warning: Language

Stephano quickly returned with her shawl and his jacket which he draped over his arm.  Fortunately for them, the gala was held on the first floor of the hotel so Cassandra didn’t have to endure the elevator.  God only knows what would happened there.  As they got to the front door, their Bentley Bentayaga was already waiting for them.  While Stephano opened the door, she noticed a man who looked out of place, he was wearing faded jeans and a white t-shirt.  With a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, Cassandra figured he was just of the hotel employees, a poorly dressed one at that.  Nothing to look at here she thought to herself until, he gave them the side eye.  Okay, so he was a badly dressed hotel employee with an attitude problem.  However, Cassandra’s gut told her there was something more to this perceived slight but she wasn’t feeling well and figured she wasn’t thinking straight.  Maybe it was the wine?

As the driver opened the passenger door, Cassandra happily got in while Stephano followed.  Once they pulled away from the curb Cassandra started to relax knowing they were only ten minutes from their apartment.  When they pulled up to a red light, Stephano remarked about the lack of traffic and just as he made that statement, the car behind them turned up their high beems, blinding the driver.  Cassandra’s heart stopped as she realized what was going on.  Looking at Stephano, she grabbed his arm but before anything came out of her mouth, several men approached the car from the front as well as the side.  Two of them pulled out guns, and started shooting, “Oh God!” she gasped as a hail of bullets started showering the car.  In an act of utter selflessness, Stephano pulled her down to the floor and covered her with his body.  Though it only lasted seconds, it felt like an eternity for the shooting to stop.  Shaking to her core, Cassandra said not one word as she heard footsteps approaching the car.  Hearing the driver’s door open, she heard a raspy voice announce, “Yeah, they’re dead.”  Listening as the others approach, Cassandra had to fight the urge to shake.  Closing her eyes, she controlled her breathing and lied as still as she could. “Good job fellas,” said one of the men.  This voice she recognized, it was Danny Marchesi, Stephano’s best friend.

“Dump the car and the bodies in the river,” Danny instructed one of the henchmen.  However before they could follow through, Danny groaned “Aw shit!” Listening closely, Cassandra heard several footsteps running in the opposite direction of the car.  As she remained motionless, she heard a car slowly pulling up and to her relief it was an elderly couple who stopped when they saw the driver slump over the wheel.  Thinking he was having a heart attack, they called 9-1-1 and within minutes, a patrol car arrived.  When the officer assessed the scene he knew immediately he was not dealing with a motorist in distress, this was a shooting.  Cautiously, he approached the car, and as he inched closer, he drew his weapon just in case the perpetrators were nearby.  Observing the driver, he nudged him with his hand and asked, “Sir, are you alright?”  After two attempts to communicate with the driver, he stepped back and noticed a black heap of clothing in the back seat area.  With his weapon still in hand, he opened the back door and realized it was yet another male.  Again, he repeated the proper procedure and tried to make contact with the male.  When he nudged Stephano, Cassandra popped out from under him.  Pulling back in fear, the officer nearly fell backwards into the street.  Drawing his weapon on her, he demanded, “Hands in the air.”  However, instead of complying, Cassandra pulled out her Glock 26 and yelled, “Fuck off!”

As the officer took cover behind his car, Cassandra got out of the passenger door and without taking her eyes off the guy, she retreated to a nearby alley.  Calling for backup, the officer could only watch as Cassandra disappeared from his range of vision and when assistance finally arrived, it was already too late, she was long gone.

 

 

Miss Mary Mack: My Latest Um…Novel?

Miss Mary Mack Cereal Authors

 

The sound of little girls giggling and playing a hand clapping game could be heard all the way up to Old Man Oscar’s porch: “Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack…All dressed in black, black, black….She wore her buttons all down her back, back, back…”

“Whacha know ‘bout Miss Mary?” said the old man rocking while the children clapped along. Looking at him one of the little girls answered, “It’s just a song, there’s no Miss Mary!”

“Girl hush! I tell y’all it’s true, there was a Miss Mary and she used to run that ol’ orphanage near LaGrange road.”

Thinking these were just the ramblings of an old man, the girls continued to play on. Meanwhile a skeptical little boy asked, “Oh yeah, how come I ain’t never heard of no Miss Mary?” Seeing a little bit of himself in the boy, the old man answered, “Befo’ yo time boy.” As he slowly rocked back and forth in his chair, the memories began flooding back. Having caught their attention the children came closer to the porch. Noticing he had an audience, the old man took a knife to a scar on his arm and pointed, “You see that there, those is boins (burns) I got fo eating befo’ sayin’ Grace. She grabbed a lit candle stick and just pressed it into my arm like it whattin nuthin’.” The children gasped in horror and now that the old man had their undivided attention, he felt obligated to finish what he had started.

Chocking up as he remembered the dust from old dirt road that led up to the ancient manor. Old man Oscar pulled on his collar feeling the blazing Alabama sun as he recalled the hard labor he was forced to do for the demanding matron, Miss Mary. Finding it hard to breathe, he began to take deep breaths as his hands shook, from the trauma at the hands of that unforgiving serpent. Hearing the sound of her leather strap as it whipped in the air before making contact with his skin, he had no choice but to take another sip of gin from his flask so he wouldn’t lose his composure in front of the children who were now demanding to know who this Miss Mary was.

Unlike most people old Man Oscar, considered the memory loss that old age bestowed upon him a blessing for a hard and sorrowful life. He had lost so many friends, and family over his 70 years, but it seemed God himself would not allow Oscar to completely forget Miss Mary, so reluctantly, he began the tale…

He was around 8 years old when his mother brought him to the orphanage ran by the First Apostle Church of Morecliff Hills. As she led him up the stairs Oscar’s mother promised, “Now, don’t fret I’ll be back for ya. This is only for a little while.” When they reached the top of the final step of the porch, she hugged him. Holding on tightly Oscar pulled on her blue cotton shawl, tears streamed down his mother’s eyes as she instructed him, “Now you be good for Miss Mary, she’s gonna take care of ya.” As on cue, a woman appeared from the porch door, as though summoned by all the sadness.  Clad in a black dress covering all her flesh, the woman looked like a ghost emerging from the shadows. Peering down at Oscar she asked, “The people ‘roun here call me Miss Mary, what’s your name?” as though she didn’t already know. What little Oscar didn’t understand was that this arrangement had been in the works for almost a year. Though Oscar’s mother promised to be back, Miss Mary knew she wouldn’t, most parents never returned. A few guilty ones might write a few letters but eventually, all contact would cease. This was why Miss Mary felt it was important to build a rapport with the children in the beginning to make the transition easier so she smiled and spoke sweetly to the young boy to keep him calm as his mother walked out of his life.

Bio: Rachel Rueben is author of YA, supernatural as well as romance books.  Her work can be found her on the Cereal Authors blog as well as Wattpad.  She is also a blogger at Writing By The Seat Of My Pants where she discusses self-publishing and rarely refers to herself in the third person.  😉

We’re Doing It Again! The Fantastic Blog Hop Returns But Different.

fantastic blog hop busJoin us today at 9 p.m. EST (US) for the Fantastic Blog Hop Facebook Event.  Yes, we’re doing it again, and bigger than ever!  Join authors; Karen Vaughan, Dellani Oakes, Marta Moran Bishop, Joan Hazel, Ruth Davis Hays, Dominica Malcom, Joan P. Lane and Juli Morgan for fun, games and possibly Fabio?  🙂

The event will last from Thursday 9 p.m. until Friday 11:55 p.m. so come on over, and have fun.  I plan on giving away a copy of my novel Hag as well as post a few teasers for my next book, “Eternal Bond.”

Memoirs of a Virtual Assistant

Rachel RuebenToday it’s my turn on the Fantastic Blog Hop Tour and I’d like to take the time to talk about me.  Where do I begin?…  Gosh, no wonder Mark Twain never finished his autobiography, this stuff is hard!  Okay, I guess I should start by saying I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was 12, but was told by my writing instructors, you couldn’t make a living at it.  So I went to school and got a certification in IT crap.  It was my plan B, just in case the writing thing didn’t work out.

I went into freelance writing but hated it, I mean the hustle was ridiculous.  The constant querying and networking involved was a huge pain.  So I decided to go into the workforce and get a “real” job.  However, my plan B was officially ruined after the economy crashed.

Just as I was about to go back to school, I saw a posting on Facebook for Red River Writers looking for a virtual assistant for one of their podcasts.  Having no idea what a podcast was, I Googled it and was immediately stoked.

As I listened to authors talk about their books and how they couldn’t live without writing, something clicked and before long, I was writing fiction again.  In fact, one day when our host Dellani Oakes was having technical issues, I was called upon to read one of my children’s stories.  “What?”  I said aloud.  You see, I hadn’t been published yet so this was daunting.  I managed to stammer and stutter my way through my story all the while, sweating bullets.  No seriously, I was Schvitzing like a pig and in the middle of January no less!

After that I was no longer a rookie, and right before one of our shows, Dellani, asked me what I was working on.  Dumbfounded, I had no idea I was supposed to keep writing while I queried.  I figured I’d just wait by the mailbox and see what happened LOL!

Hag by Rachel RuebenIn 2011, I decided to write a YA novel after the highly publicized suicides of several young gay men.  I had no idea where these characters would take me, but by 2012, I had a completed manuscript.  Since I had so much trouble getting an agent with my children’s book and after noticing that my kind of work wasn’t being published by the mainstream I decided to self-publish.  In March of 2012, I released “Hag” to the world and it managed to make all the way to the #10 spot on Amazon’s bestseller’s list.  So I’m in this for the long haul, and with a little hard work, I’ll be able to do it again with my upcoming book, “Eternal Bond.”

Keep your fingers crossed!

~ Rachel

Today, I’m being interviewed by several fellow authors on The Fantastic Blog Hop.  Do me a favor and give them a little love by clicking like or commenting. ❤

Juli Page Morgan: www.julipagemorgan.com/blog
S. A. Hussey:   http://sahussey1.wordpress.com/
Ruth Davis Hays:  http://jorthusbooks.wordpress.com/
Dellani Oakes: http://writersanctuary.blogspot.com/
Karina Gioertz: www.friedgatortail.wordpress.com
Karen Vaughan:www.karenwritesmurder.com
Kristen Duvall: www.kristenduvall.com/blog

———————————————————————————————————————-

The Birth of a Legend: Yes, We Ride Again

fantastic blog hop bus

Birth of a Legend

By Dellani Oakes: Bus Driver

The Fantastic Blog Hop was born out of desperation in March of 2013. A few broke authors got together and decided to try their hands at organizing a blog tour for themselves. And so the Fantastic Blog Hop came to be. We began our maiden voyage in April of 2013.

Never let it be said that we didn’t know what we were doing. (We didn’t, but never let it be said!) We jumped in with both feet, only to sink into the muck up to our necks. We’re still digging our way out.

The hop was fun and moderately successful, so we thought we’d try it again, only this time with a bigger group. In addition to our first Fantastic Blog Hoppers: Rachel Rueben, Karen Vaughan, Ruth Davis Hays, Crimson Kildare, Kat Marlow & Dellani Oakes, we’ve added Juli Page Morgan, Stephanie Hussey, Kristen Duvall & Karina Gioertz.

We’re having fun getting to know one another and we hope you’ll enjoy getting to know us too. The big, yellow bus is gassed up and ready to roam. The tour starts on August 15th. Be watching for messages about the Fantastic Blog Hop and catch a ride on the big, yellow bus as we travel North America.

 

It Wasn’t Supposed To End This Way!

As I got closer to the end of Eternal Bond, I got more and more anxious because I had no idea how it was going to end.  This confuses the heck out of people.  They always ask, “How can you not know how your story is going to end?”  Easy!  I let my characters decide how they’ll end it and what my characters did shocked even me.  The heroes I so carefully created failed miserably and the bad guys wound up stealing a victory that was never meant for them.

I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I will share a little more from my novel Eternal Bond:

Eternal Bond By Rachel Rueben
Coming this Dec.

When Clara awoke, she wasn’t in the carriage house anymore instead, she was lying on a couch in a dimly light room.  Hearing a creaking sound, she thought someone was approaching and she slowly got up from the couch.  Turning around, she saw James hanging from the ceiling.

With a leather noose wrapped around his neck, the leather creaked, as the body swayed back and forth.

Though her lips moved, nothing came out, but a whimper.  Then a small feminine hand appeared pushing the body, making it sway faster.

Cheerfully, a familiar voice said, “Morning.”

Needing no introduction, Clara recognized who it was.  It was the devil’s consort herself, Apollonia.  Stepping out from behind the body, she revealed herself and the enormous smile on her face.

Grabbing a candle, Apollonia went over to the body and examined it with a spectacle remarking aloud, “Nicely executed, just deep enough and very clean!”

Shaking from head to toe Clara stood there scared silly.

Running her fingers through James’ hair, she said, “He was chosen just for you young, strapping—delectable.”

Clara began feeling ill, upon hearing it was all just a set up.

Looking over her shoulder at Clara, Apollonia said, “I told you Clara, thou art highly favored.”

Apollonia went back to amusing herself with the corpse, using pressure points to making the eyes bulge and lips move.

Eventually, she tore herself away from her entertainment to talk further with Clara.  Reaching out to touch her, Clara immediately jerked back from her.  Though Clara had failed in a most miserable way, she wasn’t ready to embrace those failures.

Instead, she was drawn to a window that looked like it was slowly shedding tears.  To her, it seemed as though the angels themselves were shedding tears from heaven.  Watching as the drizzle slowly crept down the glass, Clara found herself unable to react anymore, so she didn’t.  Looking over at the body and out the window again, she stood still.

Sinking deeper and deeper into despair, Apollonia spoke up and said with a tender compassion, “I know what you’re thinking, and none of it is true!”

Bewildered said, “You know not my thoughts, only God does” and she believed that, but she questioned whether He even cared anymore.  Her very soul was being eaten alive by her enemies, and all she received was silence from the throne of The Most High.

Taking the more sensitive approach, Apollonia spoke aloud everything in Clara’s tortured mind.  “You spend all your life following their commandments, whipping your very thoughts into submission.  Then, just as you taste mortality you discover, there’ll be no reward for you!  All those years of fearful sowing, yielded nothing but the whirlwind!”

Clara looked back at her in shock, because Apollonia had managed to recite every single one of her thoughts.  Clara knew she was in trouble, because Apollonia was starting to make sense.

Meeting her in the middle of the room, Clara asked, “What do you want?”

“Salvation just like you!”  Apollonia answered.

“After death comes judgment, not salvation.”  Clara said.

Sensing she was on the verge, Apollonia continued her assault asking, “Death itself was judgment on man, so what is this?”

“I do not know.”  Clara said confused.

“Then let us teach you!”  She said trying to secure the victory.

To seal the deal, Apollonia extended her hand in friendship and without looking, Clara accepted it.