Flash Fiction Friday: Midnight Snack

The cat needed food.

Joanie groaned and looked at the clock beside her bed. One thirty-two A.M. Fantastic.

She crawled out of the sheets and took care of business as fast as her tired muscles would allow. With one final pat on Max’s head and a prayer that he wouldn’t wake her again, she climbed into bed, settled into warm arms and a firm chest that welcomed her. She nuzzled in, breathed the spicy scent of cologne, relaxed into the embrace.

Her eyes shot wide and she gasped. She didn’t have a husband!

She lived alone.

 

©Laura L. Zimmerman

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Photo credit, Me. Meet Maximus the Manx!

Caffeinated Convo: Time Travel–Past or Future?

For whatever reason, I’ve been writing a lot of time travel stories lately. In every instance my story has revolved around a person (or persons) that has traveled back in time. As much as I love Back to the Future, I had to stop and ask myself: Why? Why is it that I’m not writing stories where the main character travels forward? This got me thinking (furthermore)–If I had the opportunity to time travel, which would I rather do? Travel to the past or to the future?

And so I pass the question on to you: If you could time travel, would you choose to go to the past or the future? 

It won’t surprise you to learn that my answer would be the past! (Of course!) I’m not frightened of what I might find in the future, as much as fascinated by what came before. Oh how I would love to be a fly on the wall during the reign of King Henry VIII! Or how cool would it have been to get to watch the signing of the Declaration of Independence? I’m young enough to wish I could’ve been inside the studio with The Beatles to hear what really went on during their recording sessions!!

What about you? Past or future? Please leave a comment below and let’s get chatting! I’d love to hear your reasons for traveling through time!

*cue Huey Lewis and the News “Back in Time” as a Delorean pulls to the curb and whisks me away*  

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Photo credit Unsplash by Ales Krivec

Caffeinated Speculation: 13th Doctor Announced!

First off, I realize it’s not Thursday. But considering I’ve either missed or had other stuff to post for the past number of Thursdays, I figured I could get away with a little Caffeinated Speculation on a Monday! 🙂 I was actually tempted to post this last night but then thought I’d give the world a good twenty-four hours to digest the news of the 13th Doctor announcement! 

Which leads us to this week’s speculation: Sooo, what do you think?? 

If you haven’t been anywhere within a mile of technology in the past day, I’ll clue you in to the fact that the internet has exploded with the disclosure of the final doctor (or is it?) on the hit TV show, Doctor Who. You can check out the announcement that Jodie Whittaker will be playing the role, here.

My personal opinion: It’s about time! 

And no, I’m not excited that the Doctor is a woman just because I happen to be one. *wink* There are many reasons I think a female Doctor is a good idea but I won’t bore you with my thoughts. I want to hear from you!

Are YOU excited to see a female play the role for the final Doctor? Feel free to comment below and share your thoughts!

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Newly announced Doctor, Jodie Whittaker (image: Colin Hutton, BBC)

Jeremiah Jones, Cowboy Sorcerer: Author Interview with H. Duke

Hi guys! Today I get to interview fellow writer and blogger (and friend!) H. Duke! Her blog, The Writersaurus, is a hub for anything and everything writing! Be sure to visit, if you haven’t already. H. Duke and I met on my brief stint in AZ and I’ve enjoyed getting to know her and follow her journey with Jeremiah Jones. Not sure what Jeremiah Jones is? Read on to learn more! (Her third installment in the Jeremiah Jones series releases Tuesday. Find it here.)

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Tell us a little about yourself. What genre(s) do you write?

Hi, Laura! First let me say I’m super excited to be here on Caffeinated Fiction! I’m a writer and blogger. My blog, www.thewritersaurus.com, features educational articles and tips for writers of all levels.

As far as my fiction, I write a little bit of everything, but my two main genres are horror and contemporary fantasy.

Oooo! Both genres I love! 😉 Is this your first published work? Where else can readers find your work?

Cowboy Sorcerer is my first published work of long-form fiction, but I’ve had shorter stories published elsewhere. Links to those pieces can be found on my author website (hdukeauthor.com).

What inspired Jeremiah Jones? Is this a story that’s been ruminating for a while, or did it hit you all at once?

Jeremiah has definitely been ruminating for a while! About four years ago I wrote a truly awful story about a girl named January who finds out she’s a witch. One line in that story describes January’s grandfather as a “gunslinger wizard.” And the story snowballed from there. Continue reading

My Birthday Flash Fiction Challenge Part Deux!

Happy Birthday to me! *Blows out candles and grabs a present*

Last year I challenged my readers to write a Flash Fiction story in honor of my birthday! It was so much fun–you can read some of those great stories here–that I’ve decided to do it again! Yippee!! *Throws confetti*

Sooo, put on those creative thinking caps and get writing! I challenge you to write a story in 43 words or less, following the theme: Birthday. (Why 43 you ask? Hrmmm…that’s how old I am! Tee hee.) I’ll start with my own story, then you can post yours in the comment section below. Have fun and celebrate!

Happy writing, friends!

 

My Birthday Flash Fiction Story:

“Happy thirteenth birthday, Kirsten! It’s time you know the truth. Surprise!” Her mom pressed a button.

Kirsten’s eyes glowed in the mirror, skin pulled back to reveal metal. Every part of her body was a machine.

Her jaw dropped. “I’m a robot?”

 

©Laura L. Zimmerman 2017

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Photo credit Unsplash by Brooke Lark

Flash Fiction: The Quest

Sweat drips down my back. The day is unusually warm for the autumn equinox.

“How much farther?” I say to my father.

There are eighty of us, male, hiking to the temple. I’m the youngest, privileged to be among the men of our tribe. Pride swells inside my chest.

Each year one male is chosen from those aged thirteen. Me. I’m the chosen one. Friends before me were chosen, are still on their Quest to seek the knowledge life. No one knows where they go, what they do.

Now I will find out for myself.

My father glances at me with worried eyes. Does he not think I can’t face the Quest?

We arrive at the temple, a table stained with blood before us. Is there to be a sacrifice today? Father stands beside the table and all fall silent. My pulse races.

“Gods of the harvest, we thank you for a plentiful season and ask for renewal of the soil during the dead months. Bring it to life again, provide for our people as you have always done.” He looks at me. “It is time, Raeliki.” Father motions to the platform.

My heart skips a beat but I do as he says, climb onto the table, lie down.

“Gods of the harvest, guide this young man as he begins his Quest to seek the knowledge of life. Aid him in his needs. Bring him back, within your will.”

He pulls a knife from his belt, his eyes no longer worried but filled with anguish.

“Father?” I say. My gaze darts to the crowd, my hands shake.

He raises the knife.

It all makes sense now, why I’ve never seen my friends return. My Quest for life will be on the other side.

“Father!” I gasp.

The knife comes down.

 

©Laura L. Zimmerman

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Photo credit Unsplash by Frances Gunn

Fantasy Flash Fiction 101

Hey guys! I meant to post this yesterday but, erm…forgot. *wink* So here it is! My most recent blog post for the AlmostAnAuthor website! Have you ever wanted to write flash fiction but weren’t sure where to begin? Check out my post here and give it a try. **Warning: Writing flash fiction can become addictive. Write at your own risk. (Tee hee.)

Okay, for those waiting for the official flash fiction story for today, it’s coming! Look for it a little later.

Happy writing, friends!

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Photo credit Unsplash by NASA

Caffeinated Convo: How do you celebrate July 4?

Happy Independence Day, friends! I hope this post finds you doing something fun to celebrate our nation’s birthday. In the past, our family has celebrated by going to a nearby park to eat a picnic supper and play games with friends, then finishing the night by watching the Lititz fireworks. Alas, we are in a new state, so we shall see what sort of tradition(s) we create to party!

What about you? What is your favorite way to celebrate the Fourth of July? 

** Is there a party you attend annually? 

** A special dessert or meal that completes the day for you?

** Are you a fan of fireworks?

** Or maybe you like to skip the crowds and just hang out at home with your family and light sparklers before bedtime? 

Leave a comment and share how you enjoy celebrating America’s birthday. I’d love to hear what you guys are up to, or what you’ve done in the past. Let’s talk!

Happy celebrating, friends!

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Photo credit Unsplash by Cristian Escobar

Ironwood Alchemy Anthology Release–Including a short story by moi! (*squeal*)

Yay! It’s finally here! I’ve been wanting to tell you guys about this super fun anthology coming out this month, but didn’t want to post until the link was live. And guess what? It is!! Go find it here.

This is the first anthology I’ve been part of and I’m really excited to read all the other stories by my fellow writers from the Parchment and Prose Writers’ Group in Phoenix, AZ. My time in AZ was short but I was crazy blessed to be part of the group and to meet so many talented writers! This anthology reflects the blood, sweat and tears of the fourteen authors that went into creating it over the past year. (Special thanks to H. Duke for editing/formatting/literally-putting-together-the-entire-thing! The Parchment and Prose group is indebted to you, girl! *heart*)

Since the theme was Transformation, my brain went in the direction of taking a classic children’s tale and adding a twist. Check out my middle-grade short story, Wonderland Revisited, and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your comments below. And feel free to come back and post which story was your favorite of the lot! Maybe you’ll find a new favorite short story. *wink*

Happy reading, friends!

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Ironwood Alchemy is now available on Amazon. 

ACFW New Releases–July 2017

Hey guys! It’s a new month–which means a new list of books from fellow ACFW authors are ready to be read! Run, swim, or do whatever sort of vacationy-type-thing you need to do to get to the nearest bookstore and grab some of these titles up! And don’t forget to soak in a few rays while you’re at it. *wink*

Happy reading, friends!

July 2017 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

On Love’s Gentle Shore by Liz Johnson — When Natalie O’Ryan’s fiancé books their wedding in her hometown, Natalie didn’t know the only reception venue available would be an old barn belonging to Justin Kane–the best friend she left behind all those years ago after promising to stay. As they work together to get the dilapidated building ready for the party, Natalie and Justin discover the groundwork for forgiveness–and that there may be more than an old friendship between them. (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Their Ranch Reunion by Mindy Obenhaus — Single mom Carly Wagner is surprised to learn she’ll have to share ownership of the home she’s inherited with her first love—and first heartbreak—Andrew Stephens. The man who fled their tiny Western town is back and standing in the way of her dreams to expand her B and B. Now a successful businessman, Andrew has eight weeks to buy Carly out. But Carly’s too stubborn to persuade—and too beautiful to ignore. When fire ravages her inn and she and her daughter move in to their shared property, Andrew’s in over his head. Time is running out and Andrew must decide: leave and chase another deal…or stay and chase Carly’s heart. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Time and Tide by Kristen Terrette — Recovering from addiction and a near death experience, Chad moves to Moanna Island, a small island close to Savannah off the Atlantic coast, to begin a job with his family’s real estate empire, a job he was supposed to have taken years ago. Free-spirited Ryan Mason is a Moanna local girl from a blue-collar family. She’s dropped her own dreams to help her father care for her schizophrenic brother. When Chad and Ryan meet at the rehabilitation center where her brother lives, feelings develop between them. Can their crazy worlds ever fit together once he learns her secret and she finds out he is the sole heir to the Cusher Empire? (Contemporary from Hartwood Publishing Group) Continue reading