Monday, October 21, 2013
Connie Flynn - The Dragon Hour is featured in the HBS Mystery Reader's Circle today.
Author Genre: Mystery, Fantasy and Romance
Website: Connie's Books
Author's Blog: Imagination Gone Wild
Blog: Bootcamp for Novelists Online
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I have been writing fiction for so long I can barely remember when I didn't. Sometimes people ask where I get my ideas and I can't comment too much on 'ideas' either, since they come one at a time from different sources. What I do know and believe is true for all books --- it's a matter of putting them together, scene by scene, then going back, making sure to leave in all the good parts and take out all the boring parts (which is my writing motto).
That has seemed to work for me. I've made a half dozen or so bestseller list, won a PRISM award for my time-travel paranormal, and been a finalist in a number of other well known writing contest. Now, I'm jumping into the pool of previously traditionally published authors who are choosing to publish independently. I'm truly enjoying the freedom and control this gives an author that allows me to finally be releasing THE DRAGON HOUR in Kindle eBook format. This story is about a Scottish paradise lost in time and invaded by 21st century thugs and will be available for only 99c for the next six weeks.
The Dragon Hour
Author: Connie Flynn
Barnes and Noble
A Scottish paradise lost in time is invaded by 21st century thugs. It was a robbery gone terribly wrong ending in Luke Slade carrying his wounded cousin through a window of light, sweeping them back in time. Just before the window closes, the killers chase in behind them, trapping them all in 1672.
Caryn McLaughlin rules Lochlorraine and deals daily with a terrible threat. When Luke appears she knows her worries will soon be over. She'd seen his face all her life, on a tapestry now hanging in her bed chambers. He is Luke the Dragon Slayer, none other, and his duty is clear. What a pity he doesn't see it that way.
It's a funny,romantic and action packed. ” - Ricky Kimsey
I would have given this book a 5 plus for a great story. ” - R. H., Own
After reading this book, I hope the author decides to do another sequel. ” - D. Speers
"I love the characters in this book. They were not perfect or cliché but true to their individual backgrounds and time period. The premise is out of the ordinary when it comes to "time travel" novels."
". . . Caught my attention. I was not sure it would get my interest but it did more than that. It was fantastic!!!" - Andrea
"Many surprises throughout the story kept me engrossed and left me wanting more from this author." - Debbie
The alarm had sounded.
Giving her boot laces a final tug, Caryn tied them, then gave one last look at the image of the man who would come to redeem her village.
Color rose in her cheeks as she recalled her girlish fantasies. Sir Lucas would ride up Wizard's Spire on a great black stallion, cut off the monster's head, then return to lay it at her feet.
His declarations of love would cause her to swoon, and soon they'd adjourn to their marriage bed where he'd show her the delights bards sang of.
She hurried from her room and toward the stairs. At the main floor, she encountered Ian, who was ascending from the lower regions.
"Caryn," he called. "That blasted fool Chisholm gathered his soldiers and rode off without waiting for my instructions."
The Earl of Lochlorraine hurried toward her, his plaid in complete disarray. Tufts of his tawny hair sprouted from his head. Even now, as he skidded to a stop in front of her, he ran his fingers through the strands, creating more untidy cowlicks. But Caryn was accustomed to his lack of concern about personal appearance, and barely noticed his dishevelment. "These men have come from a future time."
He paused to rub his chin and Caryn waited patiently for him to continue. "One or more may hold the knowledge that I need."
"The needle of your time compass rests on the future?"
"Aye. The years have reached two thousand. Can you imagine? But what excites me more is that finally we've lured a future-dweller into the realm. Surely they can impart wonders I have never dreamed about."
Ian continued speculating about the knowledge so near at hand, but Caryn barely heard him over her disappointment. So this wasn't the moment of the hero's return, after all. Sir Lucas would come from the past, not the future.
Several seconds passed before Caryn became aware that Ian knew she wasn't listening. With a mumbled apology, she gave back her attention. "This knowledge must not be lost. The success of our mission depends on it. The travelers will be frightened and possibly hostile. Go. Keep Chisholm at bay."
" 'Tis where I was going," Caryn said.
She could tarry no longer. Chisholm's rashness in battle was well known. More than one traveler had died under his sword.
A new alarm came from the tower. Three again.
"Six travelers!" Caryn exclaimed. "Never have we had so many."
"A rare opportunity," Ian agreed. "And I must speak to each of them."
Caryn gathered up her skirts. "I must hurry."
"Tell the captain that none of the travelers are to be harmed," Ian called as Caryn turned and rushed toward the great hall. "Inform him that it is my command."
Only with Chisholm would she need the power of Ian's authority, but Caryn was glad enough to have it as she pushed through the heavy castle doors and dashed to the stable. She'd ride her stallion without saddle, saving time, for she feared she'd be too late.
Even as she ran, her mind returned to the dragon slayer and her moment of unseemly lust. A useless fantasy, she thought. A folly, in fact. She'd never accept a man into her bed again.
They had such a tiresome way of trying to rule a woman's life.
The Fire Opal
Author: Connie Flynn
Barnes and Noble
The sudden death of her mother prompts a beautiful young woman to return to the Cajun birthplace she'd abandoned as a teenager, and hoped never to see again. Back in the bayou, she renews her relationship with her former lover while trying to come to grips with her mysterious Creole heritage. But when la fantome noir--the dark spirit that haunts the bayou--appears in the swamps, she is called to battle, and must find the powerful Fire Opal--which is her only hope for survival. Together, she and her former lover must embark into uncharted swamp waters to recover the magical talisman...and perhaps rekindle their lost love.
Zach Fortier has arrived in Port Chatre at the request of the town doctor who claims to have evidence about who killed Zach's brother.
Zach swallowed an impatient sound and dropped his gaze back to the notes on Izzy. "I don't want to rain on your parade, partner," he said to the town doctor, "but there's only a slim connection. Not enough to warrant an autopsy. Thanks for contacting me; but—"
"The wake's being held right now over at Cormier's house. How 'bout just talking to Frank? See if I'm not right about his bizarre behavior. You could speak with the girl, too."
Zach's head snapped up so hard the bones in his neck cracked. "Who?" "Frank and Ellie's girl, Lizette I think. Yeah, Lizette. In her mid-thirties now, but you must remember her. You used to sniff around her enough."
"Izzy?" Zach choked out. "No. Izzy's dead."
"Seems not. Drove in last night pretty as you please to attend her mama's funeral. Care to come see for yourself?"
The wake was abuzz with quiet speculation about Liz's reappearance in Port Chatre and about her mother's fate in the afterlife. Discussion ended quickly at her approach. The gossipers then turned en masse with cautious and sympathetic smiles to rev up their Southern charm and drawl polite questions in soft, lazy voices that never revealed their true thoughts.
Liz pried herself loose from the latest gossip pod and had drifted only a few feet away before the morbid topic was resumed.
"The girl's cursed, just like her mama."
"Not cursed, a witch. Runs in the blood." "I hear she rose outta her vault."
A short, tubby man snickered uneasily. "Sure she did. Like one of them Tales from the Crypt episodes."
"No, no," a woman interjected, lifting her hands and wiggling her fingers. "Ankooorr helped her."
The snickers got louder and longer, but still sounded spooked.
What rubbish, Liz thought. They couldn't honestly believe she was a zombie or that Ankouer truly existed. Judging by the anxious edge in their laughter, it was easy to believe they did. And it didn't help any that her father was sitting in the kitchen, telling his old cronies that Ankouer had sent la maladie malefique to kill his wife.
Wandering aimlessly through the spacious Cormier home, feeling very much like the young girl she'd left behind so many years ago, she sipped on a rum and Coke someone had pressed in her hand.
Liquor was always present at Cajun wakes, along with enormous platters of shrimp and crawdads and plump grilled sausage, bottomless bowls of etouffee, and dirty rice with beans.
Quite a feast, and one provided by the generosity of Richard and family. When she'd lived here, the Cormiers had been struggling to make their grocery a success, living upstairs, giving credit that wasn't always repaid. Seemed as if these twenty years had been kind to them.
According to the others—who were more than happy to fill Liz in—when the Fortier cannery folded, Richard Junior snapped up the wharf that once fed it. He renamed it a marina—a title as grandiose as this tiny town's name—and with the air finally freed of the stench of rotting fish, tourism picked up. Cash customers arrived, needing sup plies, needing rental boats, which Richard supplied for a small king's ransom. The Cormiers then used those profits to build an inn. And so it went.
Regular entrepreneurs. Judging by this mansion, a faithful replication of a Creole plantation house, she wouldn't be surprised to see their industries show up as her next hot penny stock. But their current kindness couldn't erase her memories of their constant bullying during her childhood.
Witch's child. Raggedy swamp girl. Those were the gentler taunts. Other times they claimed she curdled milk or made babies sick with her evil eye. One day she hurled a curse at Richard in retaliation and he broke his arm that afternoon, adding fuel to their accusations.
Liz stopped before one of the large stone hearths to warm herself by the fire. It was unusually cold for an afternoon in the middle of May, and she was grateful for the heat. As she rubbed her hands, she found herself staring up at a crucifix hanging over the mantel, something that graced almost every Cajun home. To most this represented all that was holy, but to Liz it symbolized everything she'd fled.
"Praying for your mama's soul?"
It took a moment for Liz to realize the question had been directed at her. When she turned, a chill crept up her spine.
"Hello, Maddie," she said coolly.
"Lord Jesus watch out for your mama, Izzy. You must trust."
Liz regarded Maddie for a long moment, deciding not to bother with asking if she'd call her Liz She noted with mild surprise that Maddie, who was ten years her senior, somehow did not look a day over thirty.
Although painfully thin, a fact her sleeveless, scoop-necked gown emphasized, Maddie was nonetheless striking. Her dark skin and large almond-shaped eyes gave her an exotic beauty, and her bearing revealed a self-possession that even her ungrammatical speech couldn't belie.
"I pray for her." Maddie brushed back an imaginary stray hair. "I pray God take her soul to heaven and she be very happy."
"How can you pretend you care?" Liz asked acidly.
"It weren't like that between Ellie and me. I love her like a sister. Some things you don't understand, with them big city ways you got now."
Liz placed her glass beneath the feet of the crucified Jesus. "If you'll excuse me."
Instead of replying, Maddie stared at her long and hard. For a peculiar second, Liz felt as if those slanted dark eyes were searching her soul. But she met them boldly. As she did, an electric charge ran from the top of her head and down her spine. Words spilled involuntarily from her lips.
"You will die a violent death," she said in a strangely altered voice.
"Fortunately, it will be quick."
"Ah, you is the daughter of your mama, after all." A cynical smile crossed Maddie's face. "And got her gift of second sight."
The words shattered Liz's trancelike state. Somewhat stunned, she turned away from Maddie and rushed through the open French doors to the veranda outside.
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Connie Flynn is in the HBS Mystery Book Reader's Circle.
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