Friday, November 22, 2019

Would you like to do a review? (Book Excerpt)

Would you like to do a review of my latest release, The Gift of the Songbird?

Since the holiday season is fast approaching, I thought why not "gift" my Thanksgiving short story to my readers who are willing to write a short book review for me?  If you'd like to write a review for Amazon, Goodreads or any other book review site, email and let me know so I can send you the e-format file of your choice. (cynthianna@hotmail.com )

A Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  :)



The Gift of the Songbird
by Cynthianna
https://www.devinedestinies.com/978-1-4874-2753-5-the-gift-of-the-songbird/

Hannah has the chance to sing for the richest family in town, but is it worth disappointing Daniel, her childhood friend, who seems to expect more of her?

Hannah Cummings has big plans for her future. An invitation to sing at the mansion of the dashing Elisha Spielman on Thanksgiving Day promises to launch her music career and help her raise funds to receive further vocal training. It’s a most fortuitous invitation, and Hannah is grateful and excited to accept. However, one man seems to stand in her way.

Daniel March won’t have it. Hannah has always sung for their village’s Thanksgiving festival to support the orphanage, and this year should be no different.

Friends since long before the terrible war separated them, Hannah feels there is more to Daniel’s determination to change her mind than simply his need to get his own way.

Can a songbird help them count their blessings and come to see each other in a different light?


Excerpt from The Gift of the Songbird

Daniel raised one dark eyebrow. “I do want something, but it’s not a hot beverage. I want you to say you’ll help us at the Thanksgiving feast for the orphanage and give up this non-sense of entertaining our town’s wealthiest citizens. They own the mine and the miners’ souls. They don’t need to own yours, too.”

How like Daniel March to get straight to the point! He’d displayed this annoying habit ever since they were first introduced as children. Hannah felt like sticking her tongue out at him but wisely thought the better of it. She sat on the settee instead and frowned.

You’re like a dog with a bone, and you just won’t let it go.” She sighed loudly for effect. “I told you that I’ve made my decision. I’m not going back on my word.”

But you’re going back on your word to the orphans. You’ve entertained them for many years, and you’ve helped Eustace and I raise a lot of money with our Thanksgiving dance and auction. Folks come from miles and miles around to hear you sing.”

Hannah looked heavenward and shook her head. “Hardly. They come from the next valley over possibly, but that doesn’t qualify as any great hardship in this day and age of rail travel.”

Daniel harrumphed. “Lucky for them, I didn’t blow up any train bridges in these here parts then.”

Hannah clenched her fists in her lap. It didn’t bode well to remind war veterans of their time of service. Many suffered nightmares and drank heavily to deal with their pain. Daniel was more fortunate than many, as he had returned home soon after his injury and had been nursed back to health by his older brother and his wife. Still, any mention of the war brought on a dark mood she’d never witnessed in Daniel growing up.

Hannah cleared her throat and smoothed her skirt. “Let’s change the subject, shall we? What are you and Eustace thinking of making for the festivities beside that awful fruit punch?”

Daniel raised an eyebrow. “What’s so awful about my brother’s award-winning recipe? It’s an authentic wassail.” 

“It’s authentic, all right. That’s the only thing that could be said for it.” She chuckled. “Good thing Carrie always brings a couple of her delicious cakes. No one really cares what they’re drinking as long as they have enough sweets.”

And no one really cares what they’re eating if they’re with their friends enjoying an operatic concert courtesy of our resident entertainer.”

Hannah would not be persuaded. “I’m not the only entertainer. There’s Mr. Cletus and his fiddling. Miss Bucket can bang that tambourine and warble pretty good, too. It’s time you encourage a few others to perform. I won’t be here forever, you know?”

A dark cloud descended over Daniel’s expression. “Are you really thinking of leaving us so soon after your father’s passing? Can’t wait to leave this holler behind you and live in the big city?”

The hurt in his voice stabbed at her heart. Could Daniel’s brusqueness hide his true feelings?


The Gift of the Songbird
Available now from Devine Destinies Books (and soon from other fine ebook retailers).
https://www.devinedestinies.com/978-1-4874-2753-5-the-gift-of-the-songbird/






Sunday, October 27, 2019

A Thanksgiving Historical Tale

 Coming in November...
The Gift of the Songbird
Hannah Cummings has big plans for her future. An invitation to sing at the mansion of the dashing Elisha Spielman on Thanksgiving Day promises to launch her music career and help her raise funds to receive further vocal training. It’s a most fortuitous invitation, and Hannah is grateful and excited to accept. However, one man seems to stand in her way.

Daniel March won’t have it. Hannah has always sung for their village’s Thanksgiving festival to support the orphanage, and this year should be no different.

Friends since long before the terrible war separated them, Hannah feels there is more to Daniel’s determination to change her mind than simply his need to get his own way.

 Can a songbird help them count their blessings and come to see each other in a different light?

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Off To MARcon!

We're off  this weekend to see our friends at MARcon. It's been two years since we've attended the convention, so we're excited to visit and catch up.

For a "gift" for those attending the con (and anyone else who happens across this page), I thought I'd share a short short story I penned just today. I wrote it alongside some students at an after-school program where I tutored this past semester. See if you can guess what was in the photo I had for the 15 minute writing prompt. 


Belly Flop

How could I say no? To say no would have hurt Aunt Maribelle's feelings and she had already been through so much this summer what with the chemo treatment and all. So, I said yes--yes, I'd go with Uncle Jeff to that fancy pool club that his boss had given him a couple of summer passes to in reward for all of his hard work. 

Don't get me wrong. Uncle Jeff is a great guy. He's a good employee and a great husband to my mom's sister. This past year had been tough for both of them after my aunt received her cancer diagnosis. If anyone deserved a break from the stress, it was my favorite Uncle Jeff.

The thought that I might run into some of the snooty rich kids from school didn't occur to me until  we arrived at the gates to the pool club. Oh no! That cute guy who 'd been in my science class was there--and so were half the cheerleading squad and the football team. Suddenly, I felt inadequate in my hand-me-down bathing suit with my faded and ragged beach towel on my arm.

But my embarrassment over my outfit was nothing compared to the sheer horror I felt when Uncle Jeff decided he couldn't wait to get into that cool water. I forgot to tell you that Uncle Jeff is more than a great guy--hes a great big guy. He's huge with a capital H.

Also, once Uncle Jeff gets an idea into his head, there's no turning him back. He will carry through with his plan no matter what. 

"Race you to the middle," Uncle Jeff yelled above the roar of the crowd. And then he took off.  For a large person, he's surprisingly fast on his feet.

"No, wait! It's too crowded. Don't go there yet. It's full of people, Uncle Jeff! Nooo!!"

It was too late. He'd already dove into the shallow end of the pool and displaced more than half the water and terrorized more than half the pool-goers in a split second of belly flopping. My face turned redder  than a third degree sunburn.

I thought I'd never live this stunt down.

But the rest of our swim turned out better than expected. The traumatized moms and dads and kids seemed to take belly flop in stride. Soon I relaxed and enjoyed myself and forgot my embarrassment over Uncle Jeff 's enthusiastic splash.

You know, even your craziest relatives love you. They invite you to the pool. We gotta cut them some slack now and then and let them be their crazy selves. Uncle Jeff taught me that.






Wednesday, April 24, 2019

My last orphaned book has found a home at last

My last orphaned book (that lost its home at Desert Breeze Publishing when it closed its doors) has found a new home at Devine Destinies Books. If you've never read this contemporary romance set in the Texas Hill Country, then why not give it a try now?  ;-)

Preachin' to the Choir
http://www.devinedestinies.com/978-1-4874-2136-6-preachin-to-the-choir/
 

Jonathan could do nothing to stop his wife’s losing battle with cancer. With twenty years into the ministry, he can't believe the Lord would leave him with both an empty nest and empty spot on the other side of the bed.

Kat, music teacher and mother of grown twins, feels settled in small town Texas. Life may be dull, but it's predictable, unlike her life with her late husband. Kat concludes a happy, committed relationship with a male is impossible, so she makes peace with herself and with God. If nuns can live celibate, why can't she?

One Sunday, Jonathan spies a golden beam of light descending upon Kat while she is directing the choir. Why hasn’t he noticed how beautiful she was before? From here on out, Jonathan knows he’ll be preachin’ to the choir, but will Kat—and his congregation and their children—let him?

Read an excerpt at my blog by clicking here.

Click on the link on the bar above to read more about my contemporary releases.







Friday, January 25, 2019

Yes, I'm still writing fiction...

I've been derelict in updating my web pages, and for that I do sincerely apologize.  Here are my latest two releases, one an original story in the Divorced Divas series from eXtasy Books (written as Celine Chatillon), and the other the re-release of our YA sci-fi tale in the BloodDark series from Devine Destinies.

Olivia's Escape
(BloodDark series, Young adult- PG rated)
http://www.devinedestinies.com/978-1-4874-2127-4-olivias-escape/?fbclid=IwAR2WoJp1dIZ1t1wV2YgblYLo8l6paYPCC-v9oS4HrX2YDvstGCYS8HRyu1E

Seventeen-year-old Olivia Brown is abducted on her way home from a night out and wakes up to find herself imprisoned by a vampiric race in a dark city bathed in eternal night. Hernando, a handsome half-human slave, reveals what is intended for her-they want her blood for the upcoming festival. Together they escape, and find friends and allies in unexpected places.

Joining a resistance cell, they help plot a revolution and fall in love. Their group plans to take control of the Portal, a teleportation device that links Earth to the world of BloodDark. Getting into the City of Night is a challenge. A narrow window of opportunity opens-but what awaits them in the caverns located deep beneath the city?




What Money Can't Buy
(Divorced Divas series -- R rated)
https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2347-6-what-money-cant-buy/

Francesca has had enough of her dead-end marriage. She walks out with no regrets and in hopes of discovering what will make her life more fulfilling. Following her passions for gardening and sustainable living, she enrolls in a course to learn more and collides head-on with a handsome Irishman, Callan O'Toole. Callan challenges her to apply for a summer internship at the Bouncing Butterfly eco-village. She does and is overjoyed to be accepted.

Working so close to a man who fills her every erotic daydream is a bit more than Francesca can take at first, so she tries to avoid Callan. He won't cooperate—and soon they are in each other's arms and in Callan's bed. Their summer lovin' is approved of by all, but Francesca doesn't want to become a permanent villager simply because she’s Callan's partner. She wants to be invited to live there on her own terms. Besides, her parents and her boss are waiting back in the city for her to return and take up her former existence. Can Francesca have it all—a lover, a career, and most importantly, what money can't buy?


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