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Category Archives: Story Bites

Z is for Zombies

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 4.57.02 PMThe A to Z Blog Challenge

Can’t help talking about what I want to write. It’s a danger though to talk about it too much and not be doing. For the final blog of the A to Z Challenge, I offer you an excerpt from my Zombie Romance (Title to be determined). This is the WIP (work in progress) my husband and I are planning to co-author. Hope you like it.

Dean Logan could not tear his eyes away from his supposedly lost and dead wife. He had thought if he ever saw her again, she’d be a walker. There she sat, though, alive and well. The soft waves of her honey brown hair draped across the shoulder, the bright green eyes hooded by heavy dark lashes, the sprinkle of paler than pale freckles across her aquiline nose. How many photos had he taken of those features? It was like a window to the past, to happier times before Kelley began working at the Infection Institute and became obsessed with the cause.

I shouldn’t be surprised to see her so altered, yet again. Impulsive and sure of what she wanted, they’d married within eight weeks of meeting at a presentation he gave for the Institute.  As a prominent local photographer, the Institute had enrolled his expertise to document in photographs the stage by stage progression of the Great Infection. Kelley had been mesmerized by the series of photos of infected wounds time lapsed from months into minutes. But it was the faces of the victims that touched her most. Seeing their humanity fade from infection onset into slackened face muscle, gray eyed monsters. At that first introduction to his work she’d said, “You’ve captured the plight of the victims so perfectly.”

Legally the infected were no longer human beings.  They had no rights and were a walking danger to society. To Kelley they were people sick-unto-death who ought to be treated as such. Her compassion had been part of her allure. It was a tender affection that grew after she got the internship at the Institute and she began documenting the victims’ fall into greedy oblivion. She called them by name, documented when they stopped responding to it, and knew that for a short time beyond remembering their own names they still recognized the sound of her caring voice. But the more she poured herself into her work, the less there had been of her in their home.

She had seemed so changed to him then. It was nothing compared to now. This quiet, shy woman who moved with careful grace touching things and glancing away from him. Completely altered.

He could have helped ease her, made more than monosyllabic conversational responses. He could have. He didn’t. Whether she was a zombie or not, part of him wanted to pick up that gun and shoot her for what she’d put them through. He wanted to shake some sense into her so she wouldn’t run off to help the monsters again. He was so angry with Kelley. He wanted to pour it out on her. How could he do that, though, when he couldn’t find one ounce of who she had been in her manner or attitudes? Could a person’s character be so fundamentally altered by trauma? He wished he was closer to his father-in-law and could have had a man-to-man discussion about finding your wife so changed.

Dean tore himself away and went into the kitchen without a word. Maybe reorganizing the cabinets would be a helpful distraction from the stranger in his living room who was his wife.

Zombie Romance © Copyright 2014 by Kristin King

Adios A to Z, it really has been a challenge.

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel in the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Story Bites

 

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W is for Werewolves

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 10.17.13 PMIf you could change into any animal, what would it be? I always said I wanted to be a red-tailed hawk, strong and proud soaring over everything. Werewolf mythology did not grow out of such thinking, but I love to take my mind there. And I enjoy the idea so much that I have begun two completely unrelated werewolf stories. Neither will be complete for some time to come. Nevertheless, here is a snippet in honor of the A to Z Blog Challenge for W-Day.

Once upon a time a she-wolf moved into the cave beneath the only piney knoll in the wood. She lived on the vermin, small game, and whatever easy beasts happened by her lair. She lived with a secret that the wolfen once feared and then somehow forgot. They remembered the Old Mother, as the she-wolf came to be called. She they remembered and revered till some of them did not. She permitted it to be because she no longer had a whole heart nor even a whole mind. Twas her own sons tried to steal what they could never possess, and they broke her. Still she had the mind’s eye to hold fast, to be still, and to wait for another.

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Walking to her car as the sunset behind Fillmore Middle School Scarlet Feer caught a flicker of movement out of the corner of her eye as if a shadow darted between the path of the sun and the edge of her own senses. As expected she saw nothing when she turned. She half hoped the sightings were evidence of her stalker’s return. The alternative meant a defect in either her mind or her vision and family history supported the latter.

She chose not to dwell on what she could not change. Accept it and move on, come what may. It was an attitude that had served her well in most areas of life beginning with her mother’s early onset of dementia and carrying Scarlet through her own father’s desertion. Moving on had meant finding work, taking night classes, and calling in her aunt for assistance when things got too rough for Scarlet to care for her mother anymore.

Now she had a teaching job she loved, a solid reputation as a firm but fair educator who was respected in spite of her aloof manner.

Scarlet never thought it right to develop close relationships without first casually feeling out how the person reacted to issues of mental illness. Turned out people whose responses lived up to Scarlet’s expectations were few and far between. Acquaintances and colleagues she had many while her best friend was also family, a younger cousin named Janie who worked as a park ranger in the National Forest and was as tough as nails in Scarlet’s book. They were bosom friends who had rescued one another from all manner of youthful entanglements.

Copyright 2014 by Kristin King

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Kristin King loves animals, especially dogs and has spent the last couple years fostering them so her golden lab, Argos, would not be too lonesome after the loss of his pal. Claryn Anderson, the heroine from Kristin’s first novel,Cain’s Coven,” works at a dog shelter.

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2014 in Story Bites

 

V is for Vampires

CC and DT 2coversTwo dreams of vampires, so close I cannot remember which came first, kicked off my writing career. I told my husband what I dreamt, embellishing a bit to fill in the transitions so lacking in the dream world. “You need to write a book,” he said. He had started working on one, so why not me? What follows is one of the dreams in written form in honor of the A to Z Blog Challenge V-Day.

Halfway down the second block Margie tripped and very nearly fell over a cable or hose snaking its way across the alley.  So much darker here, she thought, as she looked around and saw there were no windows facing this alley at all.  Was this the back of the theatre?  The next intersection was a little too far away for comfort.  Maybe a closer bus stop would be advisable even if she wasn’t familiar with the routes.  She looked back toward the well-lit intersection behind her, but saw the large figure of a man silhouetted between her and it.  With wide eyes she started as a cat jumped out beside her and raced away down the alley.  Margie couldn’t believe someone was that close to her in the alley and she hadn’t heard him at all.  She suddenly wished she could high tail it after the cat, but she needed to watch where she was stepping.

She turned her back on the figure as she kept on walking only to hear a low whistling tune that grew alarmingly in volume.  Foot steps sounded as if on her heel and she wheeled to confront the man with pepper spray extended not caring how foolish she might look.

His face was inches from hers, and he grasped the wrist of her extended arm pulling it out beside them.  “Aw, now little mama, that’s a bit harsh for a meet and eat,” he made a little click-click sound tapping his teeth together and drawing her terrified eyes down to his fangs.

The moment the woman tripped Ridley watched her attacker fairly fly to cut the distance between them in half.  Ridley almost growled aloud as the hunter started whistling; the beast clearly enjoyed the woman’s terror.  The gravely voice stretched the short distance as her arm was seized mid-air and her other arm was pinned under and behind her as she was jerked against her assailant.  A quick two-step turn twirled the poor woman into a shadowy alcove as her partner covered her open mouth with his.

Margie was inhaling to scream at the top of her lungs just as her attacker’s mouth closed over hers and sucked the very breath out of her.  It was like getting the wind knocked completely out—her lungs burned but she was unable to draw another breath for the span of several horrifying seconds as her head was yanked back by the hair.  She felt her own hot breath exhaled against her neck as she looked over her attacker’s head.  And most strangely of all she thought she saw another pair of white eyes in the darkness – blue white eyes as her neck was cut open with excruciating pain and she blissfully lost consciousness.

Copyright 2014 by Kristin King

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel in the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

 

 
 

F is for Faery Lands

A to Z Blog Challenge 2014

Visit home page for this image by clicking on it.

Visit home page for this image by clicking on it.

Customarily I have not been a big fan of faery books as a paranormal sub-genre, fantasy, or fairy tale. Tinker Bell flitted across to introduce the Sunday Night Disney Movies of my childhood, but she lacked depth until Julia Roberts portrayed her unrequited love in the movie “Hook.” So it surprised me when a dream I had inspired my own take on Faeries.

F is for Faery Lands features a Story Bite, my opening sortie on a YA Faery novel. See what you think. This is a work in progress (i.e. WIP). Meanwhile, check out Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy for a solid take on a YA series with intriguing fairy characters. (A screenplay is in the works.)

Dr. Timothy Boone clutched his hair and tugged his scalp up as if he could stretch his brain’s capacity and thus find a solution to his problems. The honor and prestige of being selected to head a special project at one of the foremost private research firms in North America meant nothing if he failed at his first and only task. “Keep it alive,” he was told. He couldn’t even do that.

 

Project B8Z0013 was called Bates by the research team of three, and not only was Bates dying within the walls of their secure laboratory but Boone was certain someone was tailing him to and from work. Did he follow protocol and report the suspicious outsider? No. He’d seen what the thugs hired to protect this place had done to a homeless man found too close to the back fence. No. Whoever was shadowing Boone would have to breach the perimeter before any report was forthcoming.

 

The concrete, cinder block, rebar, and steel of the building were meant to look industrial. The construction felt more like a prison, one where Boone could scarce breathe. He needed to get away from the city, or at least as far as a park. If he could clear his head, breathe fresh air, maybe he’d think of another angle for the project.

Boone took a startled deep breath and shoved his chair back from his cold metal desk. Perhaps better air would help. He stalked the short white hall, keyed in his entry code and pressed his thumb on a scanner before wrenching the control booth open. Ignoring the technician, Boone crossed to a panel of buttons and gauges and stabbed a blue button repeatedly. Then he looked through the large glass window into the cell beyond and watched his project.

“We’ve altered the oxygen level before, sir, more incrementally, of course, with little effect. You know–”

“I know what we’ve done better than you, Johns.” Boone’s staccato steps headed for the decontamination lock.

“I know, sir, I just–”

“Maybe the slowed respiration was a good thing.”

“It started turning colors, sir. It–”

“Go home, Johns. Or catch a movie. Have a great meal out. Just go. I’ll stay on here till Miller arrives.”

 

Excerpt “Faery Lands” Copyright ©2014 by Kristin King

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel in the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Paranormal, Story Bites

 

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Tis the Season Reading : FREE Christmas “Behind the Iron Curtain”

"Behind the Iron Curtain: My Years Hidden as a Boy" FREE here Amazon till Sunday.

“Behind the Iron Curtain: My Years Hidden as a Boy” FREE here Amazon till Sunday.

Today I am featuring a Christmas excerpt from the memoirs of an amazing woman. It’s Christmas 1945 behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany where the Russian Communists rule and send every scrap back to Russia. Here’s what Irene lived:

Fall passed and winter came. If we had not looked at the calendar we would not have known it was Christmas 1945. We had a few sacks of potatoes and very little else to keep us going, but the people in the city did not even have that. They were starving badly. Typhoid fever reached the epidemic stage even though everyone in the city was vaccinated.

I began scouting further from home in the hope of finding more food. With few rations available and money worthless, it took large sums to buy food in the black market. One pound of butter cost 200 Reichsmark, equivalent to fifty 1946 U.S. dollars.

Born in the same year as Anne Frank (who gave us 2 years of WWII), Irene Kucholick’s Iron Curtain Memoirs cover the whole war (Book 1), her 3 years spent hidden as a boy (Book 2), and her final escape to freedom from East to West Berlin (Book 3).

FREE through Sunday on Amazon is Book 2 of this incredible historical treasure. Why is it free? Because Irene needs 10 REVIEWS of this title on Amazon in order to qualify for affordable advertising. Give her your gift here, a read and review. Read the whole set in Iron Curtain Memoirs, the 3-in-1 book. There you’ll find out what Christmas was like before and during WWII as well as all the other incredible events of Irene’s life.

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Before the Iron Curtain: My WWII Childhood

Behind the Iron Curtain: My Years Hidden As a Boy

Escape the Iron Curtain: My Journey to Freedom

Iron Curtain Memoirs (3-in-1 with photos, maps, and timeline not included elsewhere)

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

Contact Kristin King for more information on Irene Kucholick’s books or to book an event.

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Christmas, Freebies Alert, Story Bites

 

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Tis the Season Reading: Free Short Story

When I started my blog, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. I knew I had a post to write, though, so I began with a hurricane and no idea where I would go from there.  I am a writer, so it made sense I would talk about writing and all that entails.  My first love of the written word, however, is reading books. So I find myself altering my blog with a make-over to focus on the reading, the tales I devour whether good, great, or indifferent. I eat books up.

Now, then is my first Christmas with this new bent, and I’m wandering the web looking for posts, for authors  to join in, for heart-warming to chilling seasonal reading. I’ll take it all. Send it my way–and I’m sending it on to you, and to Facebook, and to Twitter, and—you get the idea.

I decided to begin with a children’s book, and then WordPress opened to my Reader. There I found “Free Fiction Monday” by Kristine Rusch. Free during this season (and others) is to me a gift. This is free. I hope you like it. Someone is giving it.  So I am passing this short story on to you.  “Three Wishes Before a Fire.” Click through to Kristine’s copyrighted gift and enjoy this bit of magic for the season.

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel in the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Christmas, Story Bites

 

Thanks for the Memories – Ode to Family Businesses & Tidbit

UKMaybe you’ve driven by the marquis and seen those words “THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.” They make me think of small businesses, Mom and Pop stores, restaurants, services. Whether it’s recession or retirement, they are bittersweet farewells to places like the old country store my great-grandmother ran in Sulfur Well, Kentucky, the insurance agency my folks had where I was first paid by the hour, the restaurant where every kid in the family, sometimes even cousins too, got their first chance to work, and to support the the family operated enterprise.

This week I want to say a few words about these places that have given us such great memories and thank the Moms and Pops who started it all. Maybe my own children will look back nostalgically on Three Kings Publishing, where I became the founder and boss in 2012. Please comment with businesses you’d like to thank and read a tidbit from a short story from my Begotten Bloods Series entitled FATEFUL NIGHT, a bite of fiction written to honor the closing of Tabby’s American Grille & Bar, serving two locations near Cincinnati, OH for so many years. Thanks Mom & Pop.

EXCERPT:

Tabby’s American Grill & Bar was a landmark not far from King’s Island Cincinnati. The local hangout was frequented by a loyal compadre of regulars, light traffic off I-75, and all manner of revelers in between. Kellee might have made better tips elsewhere, one of the bars closer to campus for instance, but Tabby’s was family owned, friendly and neither the owner nor the cooks allowed anyone to get overly frisky with the girls behind the counter. Three of those girls were daughters of the owners who took Kellee under their wings and turned her into one of the best bar keeps around. A fact that irritated Kellee’s mother no end and made the daughter of that cheating ho smile every time she thought of it.

The crowd during the holidays swelled and Kellee took on as many hours as she could including some time now serving as night manager. Truth was the bad economy hit Tabby’s pretty hard, the place was on the market, and if it didn’t sell early next year the family would probably have to shut the business down. Management experience and a stellar recommendation were all Kellee would take with her. Maybe the distraction of these thoughts was why she didn’t initially notice the loner.

He usually sat about as far from the bar as you could without getting in the way of the pool players at the back of the room. Tabby’s only accommodated two pool tables set end to end with an aisle on the far right for foot traffic, mostly smokers in the winter, who went to the narrow deck beyond. He picked up a game occasionally, drank Coors Light religiously regardless of the specials, and ate chicken tenders with mayonnaise like they were going out of style. Thus he was dubbed Mayo Man after only a handful of twice a week visits. Thursday, Kellee’s regular closing night, was always one of his visits.

If he stared over long at the girls behind the bar, it was hard to tell what with the two big screens on the wall behind them. Did his gaze follow them to the kitchen or was he checking out the Keno display to the left of that swinging door with its round port hole window? Mayo Man was a smoker, wore Dickie jeans, a doe skin colored Carhartt jacket and scuffed up work boots, a duplicate of half the men who hit Tabby’s for their great food and to catch whatever sports they followed on the big screens in an atmosphere of down home camaraderie.

Football season was winding down with the Redskins going to the playoffs for the first time since 1999, but college basketball provided the back drop for the tall man who did catch Kellee’s eye that fateful Thursday.

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel in the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint.  Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2013 in Story Bites

 

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