May is Short Story Month – #excerpt of THE SEARCH

It is a rainy May here in Texas. May is also Short Story Month so if you have to stay inside, check out some short stories this month.

Short story month began back in 2007 to showcase books that could be read in one sitting. Now there isn’t an official number of words that constitutes a short story but the general consensus online is that a short story is between 1000 and 7,500 words.

Hmmm…that makes my “short” story, The Search, which is a prequel to my The Elemental trilogy, not technically a “short” story. However, I call it a short story because 12,000 words is much less than my full length novels that have 80,000+ words.

So in honor of Short Story Month, let me share with you an excerpt of my “short” story The Search.

You can get The Search for FREE from Barnes & Noble, the Kobo StoreiTunes or Smashwords where it is available in all e-book formats.

You can also purchase it for 99 cents on Amazon.

The Search: Book Description

For over a thousand years, telepathic cats known as STACs have faithfully searched for those with power over the elements looking for the one foretold to save the Land. None have questioned their duty to fulfill this ancient task.

But when Tosh’s latest charge is murdered because of his Elemental powers, Tosh considers abandoning The Search. Will a glimpse of the future destruction be enough to change his mind?

The Search: Excerpt

The horse’s hooves thundered across the ground. Tosh dug his claws into the saddle as his back legs threatened to slip off. A firm hand pressed against his side, pulling him closer toward the young man behind him. Feeling safer, Tosh leaned out to see the terrain up ahead. He blinked his eyes in disbelief at what he saw.

You can’t be serious.

“We can make it,” Nolan said, speaking directly into his mind.

Tosh looked up at him, but Nolan wasn’t looking at the ravine. He was looking over his shoulder at the three men on horseback chasing them. Tosh caught a glimpse of a hefty man with a red beard leaning forward, urging his mount to run faster. He clearly was gaining on them. Tosh looked at the ravine before them.

It is too far for her to jump.

“Ah come on, Tosh. She’ll do just fine.”

Tosh sighed. Nolan rarely listened to any advice he gave him unless it coincided with something that Nolan already wanted to do. Knowing there was no way and no time to change the young man’s mind, Tosh curled up against him. He dug his claws deeper into the saddle and wrapped his tail protectively around his body. He felt Nolan lean forward as the mare’s hooves left the ground. He closed his eyes, counting the seconds until he felt the mare land on the other side. She stumbled slightly, and Tosh opened his eyes to see a small section of ground at the ravine’s edge fall.

Nolan reined in the mare and turned to look back at the ravine and the approaching men. Tosh glanced up and saw the look of concentration on his face. Suddenly, the ground shook. The edge of the ravine crumbled. Rocks and dirt fell until the gorge was three feet wider than it had been moments earlier. The men pursuing them pulled their mounts to a halt at the edge of the gorge.

“You won’t get away from us,” the redhead yelled.

Nolan raised his hand and waved before urging the mare toward the forest. Tosh glanced back to see the men swearing as they eyed the ravine which now was clearly too wide for them to jump. As they entered the forest, Nolan slowed the mare to a walk.

“That was amazing,” he said with a chuckle.

You’re lucky the mare made it.

“Oh, Tosh, you worry too much,” he said ruffling Tosh’s fur.

Tosh turned to glare at him and then proceeded to lick the fur back into the correct direction. We wouldn’t have had to find out if she could make it if you just learn to control your temper.  

Tosh didn’t really expect Nolan ever to learn to do that. He had been trying to drill that lesso

“I know. I know. And stop using my Elemental power in front of others,” Nolan said with a sigh. “Why shouldn’t I use it?”

I have never said you shouldn’t use it. You just need to decide when it is wise to do so.

“So using it to defend myself isn’t wise?”n into him since he was a headstrong teenager but to no avail.

Defending yourself is one thing. Picking fights is another. Tosh sighed. I guess this means we are moving again.

“But first we have to go pick up our belongings.”

They circled back toward the town. When they entered it an hour later, Tosh kept an eye out for the men, but the streets were nearly empty. No one paid them any attention as Nolan stopped before the boarding house where they had been staying. Tosh remained on the mare as Nolan ran upstairs to gather their things. Within minutes, the young man had returned, and they were on their way out of town.

 

Z is for Zealous #AtoZChallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need.

Here we are at the end of the A to Z Challenge. And today, we have Z is for Zealous. This character is passionate and often overly enthusiastic. They may be blindly devoted and spend a ridiculous amount of time on whatever is the subject of their fanaticism even if it is illogical.

This character makes an ideal antagonist because he or she focuses on the object of their zeal to such an extent that nothing and no one is safe if they provide a challenge to them.

The zealous character is earnest and uncompromising. He cares for one thing, lives for one thing.

Previous A to Z Challenge Posts

A is for Argumentative 

B is for Bossy

C is for Callous 

D is for Disorganized

E is for Envious

F is for Frivolous 

G is for Gullible 

H is for Humorless 

I is for Impulsive

J is for Judgmental

K is for Klutz 

L is for Lazy

M is for Materialistic

N is for Needy

O is for Obsessive

P is for Paranoid 

Q is for Questioning

R is for Reckless 

S is for Stubborn 

T is for Temperamental 

U is for Uncouth 

V is for Vindictive 

W is for Worrywart 

X is for Xenophobic 

Y is for Yelling

Y is for Yelling #AtoZChallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need.

Y is for Yelling. Whether the character just speaks loudly, in a booming voice, all the time or whether they are filled with anger and losing their temper, no one wants to be around someone who yells.

Yelling is never a good communication method. It can induce fear in the person who is being yelled at or they may feel as if they are being berated or it can cause the other person to respond in anger as they feel they are being attacked. Family and friends may avoid people who yell a lot.

Parents too often fall into yelling at their children because they feel like that is the only time their children pay attention to them. But it doesn’t feel good for the yeller or the one being yelled at and as I mentioned earlier, it is not an good (or effective communication method.)

Previous A to Z Challenge Posts

A is for Argumentative 

B is for Bossy

C is for Callous 

D is for Disorganized

E is for Envious

F is for Frivolous 

G is for Gullible 

H is for Humorless 

I is for Impulsive

J is for Judgmental

K is for Klutz 

L is for Lazy

M is for Materialistic

N is for Needy

O is for Obsessive

P is for Paranoid 

Q is for Questioning

R is for Reckless 

S is for Stubborn 

T is for Temperamental 

U is for Uncouth 

V is for Vindictive 

W is for Worrywart 

X is for Xenophobic 

X is Xenophobic #AtoZChallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need.

X is for Xenophobic. A Xenophobic character has a fear or distrust of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. Typically, it is disliking or being prejudice against people from other countries.

Maybe this person fears these people will take their jobs or lower the value of the neighborhood as these people move in. This character might be suspicious of their activities and have a desire to eliminate their presence.

A xenophobic character may see one “bad apple” in the group and generalize that negative experience to the rest of the group. They find it stressful to be exposed to the cultures or people that are unknown or different than them. They may be hostile in their behavior and can get abusive when dealing with those who they fear.

Previous A to Z Challenge Posts

A is for Argumentative 

B is for Bossy

C is for Callous 

D is for Disorganized

E is for Envious

F is for Frivolous 

G is for Gullible 

H is for Humorless 

I is for Impulsive

J is for Judgmental

K is for Klutz 

L is for Lazy

M is for Materialistic

N is for Needy

O is for Obsessive

P is for Paranoid 

Q is for Questioning

R is for Reckless 

S is for Stubborn 

T is for Temperamental 

U is for Uncouth 

V is for Vindictive 

W is for Worrywart 

W is for Worrywart #AtoZChallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need.

W is for Worrywart. These characters worry – all the time. They worry about safety and health for themselves and their loved ones.

Worrywarts take worrying to a whole new level – an unhealthy one. They can be overprotective and obsessive.

Previous A to Z Challenge Posts

A is for Argumentative 

B is for Bossy

C is for Callous 

D is for Disorganized

E is for Envious

F is for Frivolous 

G is for Gullible 

H is for Humorless 

I is for Impulsive

J is for Judgmental

K is for Klutz 

L is for Lazy

M is for Materialistic

N is for Needy

O is for Obsessive

P is for Paranoid 

Q is for Questioning

R is for Reckless 

S is for Stubborn 

T is for Temperamental 

U is for Uncouth 

V is for Vindictive 

V is Vindictive #AtoZChallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need.

V is for Vindictive. This character seeks revenge, often disproportionately to the slight and do not care if bystanders get hurt. These volatile characters are unable to forgive making it impossible to mend relationships and trust that person again.

Their desire for revenge can quickly turn to obsession, making it difficult to think logically or focus on anything else.

“He’s got to pay.”

“She is going to be sorry she crossed me.”

These are common thoughts of the vindictive person. Their bitterness and resentment eat at them until they act upon their thoughts. It is hard to get this person to change their way.

Previous A to Z Challenge Posts

A is for Argumentative 

B is for Bossy

C is for Callous 

D is for Disorganized

E is for Envious

F is for Frivolous 

G is for Gullible 

H is for Humorless 

I is for Impulsive

J is for Judgmental

K is for Klutz 

L is for Lazy

M is for Materialistic

N is for Needy

O is for Obsessive

P is for Paranoid 

Q is for Questioning

R is for Reckless 

S is for Stubborn 

T is for Temperamental 

U is for Uncouth 

U is for Uncouth #AtoZChallenge

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of character flaws – something all characters need.

U is for Uncouth. This character lacks the most common of social graces. They may eat with their mouth open, laugh loudly, scratch themselves in public, or not respect other people’s privacy.

Uncouth characters can be offensive without realizing it. Others may see them as not just uncouth but unintelligent though the lack of social skills doesn’t have to correlate with their smarts.

Looking for an example? Here are two from the animated world – Barney from the TV show The Simpsons and Shrek from the Shrek movies. Neither thinks anything about belching in public and their personal hygiene is definitely lacking.

Previous A to Z Challenge Posts

A is for Argumentative 

B is for Bossy

C is for Callous 

D is for Disorganized

E is for Envious

F is for Frivolous 

G is for Gullible 

H is for Humorless 

I is for Impulsive

J is for Judgmental

K is for Klutz 

L is for Lazy

M is for Materialistic

N is for Needy

O is for Obsessive

P is for Paranoid 

Q is for Questioning

R is for Reckless 

S is for Stubborn 

T is for Temperamental