Tag Archives: comedy

Read-a-Chapter: Rowena and the Dark Lord, by Melodie Campbell

read a chapter

Read a Chapter is *NEW* added feature at As the Pages Turn! Here you’ll be able to read the first chapters of books of all genres to see if you like them before you buy them. Today we are featuring the comic, time-travel romance, Rowena and the Dark Lord, by Melodie Campbell. Enjoy!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00066]

Dark magic…dark passions….

When Rowena is abducted from Arizona and taken back to medieval Land’s End, one thing is clear: she must learn to control her powers of magic. It isn’t easy being a modern girl in an archaic land, and when Rowena accidently conjures up a Roman Legion in mid-battle, Land’s End is on the brink of a war that could jeopardize everything and everyone she loves.

The stakes are raised when the Dark Lord reappears and traps Rowena in a cyclone of lust and passion. Once again, she is torn between the man she loves and the mage who fires her desire.

Purchase the book on Amazon.

Currently #2 Time-travel in Canada!  Top 100 in US!

————————————————————

ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD

PART 1

Chapter 1

The trouble with walking through walls into alternate worlds is you’re an illegal alien when you get to the other side.

“I have to work at something, Rowena.” Thane was pacing my townhouse kitchen with the intensity of a caged tiger. “I can’t be a kept man.”

I sighed and look down at my hands.

Trouble in paradise. This is what I didn’t consider when I pulled Thane through the wall with me from medieval Land’s End into the 21st century.

We’d only been in America for a few weeks. And they had been glorious so far. To know you are loved by another such that they would give up their world—actually their Kingdom—for you is a powerful aphrodisiac.

Now we had enjoyed the luxury of many days together. Enough time to teach Thane how to drive a car, which he adored to the point of obsession. But not enough time to figure out what he could do with his life in modern USA.

Thane didn’t have a social security card. He didn’t have a birth certificate, or any proof of education. And he couldn’t read English. How the heck was he going to get a job in Phoenix, Arizona?

“You could volunteer,” I said hopefully. “People don’t usually ask for identity cards when you volunteer.”

“At what?” Thane stopped pacing and stared at me. His ocean blue eyes were wild. “I’m a classical Greek and Latin scholar and an expert swordsman. How many volunteer positions do you see for these talents in your modern world?”

I was feeling miserable now. It would take me some time to teach Thane how to write English, and that was only the beginning.

Truly, we had escaped Land’s End without thinking of the consequences. How much easier it had been for me to fit into Thane’s world of the middle ages! Was it just that women adapted better to new environments?

“Please don’t worry so,” I pleaded. “You know I’ll think of something. Give me a little time.”

He had his broad back to me now. His heavily muscled arms crossed his chest. I could see he was gazing out the living room window, to the expanse of desert beyond. A lone Saguaro cactus loomed tall amongst the sprawl of lower teddy-bear cacti and Sonoran shrubs. I could almost feel what he was thinking. The lone Saguaro…

“I must work at something, my love.” Thane’s hypnotic baritone voice was sad now, weary. “I can’t bear to see you go to work to support us both. ‘Tis worse, that I know a babe is coming.”

Now I felt really sick.

The sad thing was, this baby wasn’t his. He knew that, of course. I had been married to his older brother Sargon, who was now dead. Thane assumed he was the natural uncle of my child to be.

I knew otherwise.

We had left Land’s End to escape Cedric. Cunning, irresistible Cedric…my distant cousin was a powerful wizard, just as I had been born a sort-of witch (to my great surprise—I didn’t know it until recently.) Cedric had bound me to him with magic more powerful than I could resist. And yes, God help me, there was to be a child from our union, in six months’ time.

It was Cedric’s child. I knew that now for sure.

But Thane did not.

“Do you miss Land’s End, Thane?” It had been haunting me for several days, that need to ask, even if I didn’t want to hear the answer.

He swung back to me and sighed.

“Yes,” he said. “If truth be told, yes. I miss the familiar. The deep greens of our earth, the orange blaze of sun in the sky. Our two moons shining at night. Your world is more muted. It’s restful, but I don’t want restful.”

With a start, his energy surged. He returned to pacing. “Oh, I can train here. I can stay physically fit. But I am a man of my times, Rowena. I like to wear armor. You have no idea how it makes a man feel. To strap on chainmail and feel the weight of a sword in your hand! I was born to it. And while I value books and book-learning, I also love physical challenges. The rush of adrenaline that courses through your body in one to one combat—by the Gods, how I miss that! The clang of metal on metal…” One fist struck the other hand over and over.

I was dismayed. This was the answer I had dreaded. He must have caught sight of my face. His voice softened slightly.

“But most of all, I miss the supreme contentment of knowing my place in the world. I was King there, Rowena—King! But that’s not the worst of it.” He paused.

I waited for it.

“I am plagued with guilt. I left my people…”

There was a catch in his voice. This was the emotion I had anticipated. Oh, I knew it had to be there, lurking in the dark, but he had hid it well until now.

“I left my brother Rhys to face that villain Cedric without me. Logan, too. I left my troops, my people. ” His voice broke with bitterness. “This is the worst of my sins. That I might do it again, to be with you. That’s the hell of it, my love.”

Sorrow cut through me like the sword he still cherished.

“We could go back,” I whispered.

I don’t know if he heard me. The front door swung open and hit the wall.

“Hey guess what?” Kendra’s sunny voice filled the hall. “They have a medieval festival in town! It’s in the paper—see?”

She bounced up to greet us with Richard on her heel. What a contrast they presented—I had to smile.

Kendra with her black bobbed hair and goth wardrobe was a full foot shorter than Richard. She bounced around him like a cyber-punk Tigger. Richard looked for all the world like Richard the Lion heart—blond, two meters tall, broad-shouldered and built to wear chainmail.

His natural state was to gaze at her with adoration. He didn’t appear as yet to be experiencing the angst that tortured the man I loved. Of course, Richard loved cars and all things that the modern world had to offer. He had taken to it like a lion to the chase.

Kendra waved the paper in front of my face. “They’ve just set up in a field past Apache Junction. Can we go, Row? We have to go!”

I took the paper dutifully and scanned it. These medieval times festivals were a yearly thing in Arizona. I had never been before. Maybe it would distract us?

“Thane, what do you think?”

He turned around and shrugged. His face was impassive.

“Oh Thane, don’t be a wienie,” said Kendra. “It’ll be just like being in Land’s End. Of course we have to go. And we need to dress up in our clothes from Land’s End. Oh, we’ll be the most well-dressed people there! Or at least the most accurate. It’s going to be fun!” She did a little dance in the centre of the kitchen.

That’s when I had my first feeling of dread.

Leave a comment

Filed under Read a Chapter

Interview with Bonnie Trachtenberg, author of “Wedlocked”

Bonnie Trachtenburg

Bonnie Trachtenberg worked as Senior Writer and Copy Chief at Book-of-the-Month Club and has written seven children’s book adaptations. She’s also written for three newspapers, and has penned countless magazine articles.Wedlocked is her first novel. She lives on Long Island with her husband, stepchildren, and cats.

Please visit her blogs at:

http://www.BonnieTrachtenberg.com

http://www.Wedlockedthenovel.com

and on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/WritebrainedNY

Q: Thank you for this interview, Bonnie. Can you tell us what your latest book, Wedlocked: A Novel, is all about?

A: Wonderful to be here. Wedlocked is the witty, engaging tale of a struggling actress named Rebecca Ross, who, after years of disappointment and heartache, finds herself catapulted into a disastrous marriage and onto a honeymoon from hell. Readers will find that the story is like a wild ride through Rebecca’s life, featuring zany, memorable characters; unique, unpredictable plotting; and lots of humor.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

A: Rebecca starts out as a perfectionist Pollyanna and talented overachiever but gets taken down quite a few notches by her experiences in life—so much so that she begins to doubt everything she’s ever believed and is compelled to make a desperate decision. Rebecca does what her dictatorial mother, an overzealous convert to Judaism, has always wanted her to do: she marries a Jewish man, namely Craig Jacobs. Craig is charismatic and persistent but brash and defiant too, and he comes into Rebecca’s life like a hurricane. But it’s not until her wedding day that she begins to realize just how wacky and destructive a man he is—and just wait for the honeymoon!

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

A: The characters in Wedlocked are closely based on real people, as the story is based on my first brief and calamitous marriage. Some characters are composites and most were amplified—but not all! I guess you could say that with a few changes, Rebecca is really me. In fact, friends who have read the book say they hear my voice in their heads when Rebecca narrates.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

A: In this case I was very consciously aware of the plot since it was inspired by actual events from my life. In my second novel, which is in the editing phase, I used an idea that had been marinating in my mind for a while. However, in both cases, I found that the stories took unexpected turns as I wrote.

Q: Your book is set in New York, Los Angeles and Italy. Can you tell us why you chose these places in particular?

A: I’ve lived in both New York and Los Angeles and therefore have a great affinity and good knowledge of both. Many of my life experiences can be tied to places and events in both cities. I chose Italy because I’ve been there three times and find it to be a paradise. What better place to set a disastrous honeymoon? Especially since that’s where mine took place.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

A: Yes, all three settings are like characters in what they offer and how they each affect Rebecca’s life. They also lend a certain richness to the story that only location can.

Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?

A: Rebecca is about to shoot her first national commercial and is practicing her lines. She wants to make sure absolutely nothing goes wrong since, thanks to her, all her other career opportunities have gone down the drain. Of course something will go wrong, but this time it will be totally out of her control.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

A: Sure. This is from the prologue and sets the stage for what’s to come:
“As we were announced into a resplendent ballroom filled with enthusiastic guests, it was as if a UFO had plucked me out of my should-be life, only to plop me down in some sort of bizarre alternate universe. For it had been less than a year earlier that I was this close to seeing my dreams of fame, fortune, and romance come to fruition, when they exploded in my face like a cruel joke.

With Craig’s hand gripping mine, and the Starbright Orchestra’s lead singer channeling Frank Sinatra, the glorious, Gatsby-esque room that had so enchanted me, began spinning even faster than my shell-shocked, post-nuptial brain. What some brides know is that when you find yourself sashaying down the aisle on what’s supposed to be the happiest day of your life, things can sometimes turn bafflingly surreal. Sensing something’s terribly amiss, you chalk it up to jitters, refusing to acknowledge a most unpleasant fact: the man standing before you in white tie and tails is far from the soul mate you hoped for.

If I could have seen this truth in real time, I like to think I would have mustered the courage to make a mad bolt from the chapel. But I was thirty-six—trampled, lost, and romantically bankrupt—so the only thing running away that day was the train I was riding, and I kept my seat, although I was destined to wreck.” —from Wedlocked: A Novel

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Bonnie. We wish you much success!

A: It was a pleasure. Thank you!

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interviews

Why I Love (and write) Humor Books

Rose A. Valenta is a nationally syndicated humor columnist. Her irreverent columns have been published in Senior Wire, Associated Content, Courier Post Online, NPR, Newsday, USA TODAY, the WSJ Online, and many other local news and radio websites.

She is the author of Rosie’s Renegade Humor Blog. This is the blog for people who would be knowledgeable about current events and politics if only politicians and news anchors didn’t stretch the truth. “What else is there to do, but share an honest laugh?” Rose said.

Rose regularly attends the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop at the University of Dayton, is a member of the Robert Benchley Society and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (NSNC).

Rose lived in Philadelphia for over 40 years, where she honed her humor writing skills by being married to a Philadelphia Policeman and giving birth to three children. “Times have changed. Now that we have 10 grandchildren, I’m not sure how I feel about children being exposed to the evening news. Humorous things happen, like the time my grandson asked us to come outside to see his version of ‘Frosty the Inappropriate Snowman’ right after Snowmageddon.”

Rose worked for a subsidiary of McGraw-Hill, Datapro Information Services, for 12 years as a technical staff writer, and also wrote freelance articles for other computer industry publications.

She claims that her Italian heritage stunted her growth. She is English on her Father’s side and believes that in a past life, during medieval times, she was probably a trusted member of the Counsel of the Jesters.

Her latest book is Sitting on Cold Porcelain which you can find out more about at her website at www.rosevalenta.com.

Why I Love (and write) Humor Books

by Rose A. Valenta

As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed reading and writing humor. I think everyone enjoys a good laugh and deservedly so.

Almost on a daily basis, we face all sorts of events that nibble away at our initial good mood. You wake up in the morning feeling pretty, maybe sing in the shower, remember something funny the kids did to make you smile last night – then it starts: rush hour traffic, road rage, unpleasant news reports, crowded coffee shops, and your daily routine on the job. If that isn’t enough, the company café has a lousy selection for lunch; so, you resort to eating a mundane salad; you find that you are overdrawn in your checking account by $30.00; and at 5:00 PM, it’s rush hour again. When you get home, the evening news is filled with doom and gloom and the kids need to be motivated to complete homework assignments.

You, my friend, need a good chuckle. Why? The weekend looms ahead and you already know what to expect. The kids are home from school and a fist fight will break out, your DIY project is waiting, and Murphy’s Law is always alive and well at your house – breeding offspring. Sometimes I believe the more free time we have on our hands, the harder Murphy’s reproductive system works. You have to turn the tables, or else!

In my case, I wait until the crisis is over and write satire about it on my bog, Rosie’s Renegade Humor Bloghttp://www.rosevalenta.com. You can also read humor books and blogs that address the conflicts you face, but with a funny twist.  If you do that often enough, you will actually lighten up and see things in a better perspective.

While my humor book, Sitting on Cold Porcelain, is designed to address myriad topics with a funny twist to entertain you, humor blogs have been underrated. There are hundreds of them that you can sneak read with your iPad or Kindle at work. Trust me; it will lighten your load.

Because of my humor writing, I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet some of the folks, who write humor blogs on the Internet. I have made friends with them on Facebook and have linked the best ones at the bottom of my blog page, so you can enjoy them also.

Just to name a few, we have a school teacher from Texas, Jody Worsham, who is retired and has adopted two children in recent years. She writes a blog called The Medicare Mom. You will love her mature witty take on motherhood. Marti Lawrence, a caregiver from Missouri, usually has to miss our bi-annual get-togethers at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop (EBWW) in Dayton, OH; but we fill her in via e-mail. She is very entertaining and writes Enter the Laughter. Wanda Argersinger is a Director of the Lupus Support Network, she loves to write humor books on motivation and authors a blog called Lost in the Land of Confusion.  The Director of EBWW, Matt DeWald, writes My Five-Minute Commute. Our baby boomer dad, Jerry Zezima, is a very funny guy. He just released a book called Leave it to Boomer and his blog is linked on my page. If you are really feeling down, Dawn Weber’s blog Lighten Up is for you. Please check them all out. You will get more than a few chuckles.▪

 

16 Comments

Filed under Author Interviews