Weekly News & Audio Books

BSB News

Did you catch our first writing prompt story on Saturday? If not, go read Broken by C.R. Ward (opens in a new tab)! This week’s prompt is below – don’t forget to send in your stories!

Last week’s free download was Cold Feet, a Brazen Bites anthology. This week’s download is live now – peruse the Available Books section to find it…

Next week, Cinderelleper by Ford Forkum will be released on Valentine’s Day, and this Wednesday – Feb. 8th, we’ll post an interview with the author himself, along with a contest to win your very own print copy of his new book. It’ll be fun and funny, so remember to check back! And don’t forget to pre-order the ebook, so it’s delivered right to your kindle (or that of someone you love) in time for Valentine’s Day!

Topic of the Week: Audio Books – Yay or Nay?
Did you know we have several of our books available in audio formats from Audible? There’s a little something for everyone – a little romantic suspense, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, some horror, and some erotic romance (that is very steamy when read aloud!). I’ve never been much of an audio person – it’s more work for me to process audio than text. But I’ve listened to all of the audio books we have available, and I have to say, they’re all very well done. We really got lucky with attracting exactly the right narrators, in my opinion.

I know a couple people who don’t read text books at all, but prefer audio books exclusively. They listen while driving or doing household chores, and it works very well for them. They still get to discover the story, just in a different way. It’s actually more like one would hear stories in an older culture, where traditions and history were passed down through the ages.

Do you listen to audio books? Are you an audio-only fan, or do you read text as well?


Writing Prompt of the Week: A dachshund runs by, barking incessantly. He finally stops at the base of a tree and starts digging down into the snow and dirt, only to find something completely unexpected…

Write a 500 – 1000 word story based on the prompt, and email it to brazensnake@brazensnakebooks.com. We’ll pick the one we like best to post right here on the blog the following Saturday.

Broken by C.R. Ward

The writing prompt this week was: Sitting on a round table in the entry of an expensive home are a half-empty pitcher of milk, a whisk, a bowl of three raw eggs, a small mirror in a picture frame and a vase of dead flowers. There’s one broken eggshell on the floor.

We received one entry this week by our own Carol R. Ward. Here is her story. Enjoy!


Broken
by C.R. Ward

“Please? Pleasepleasepleaseplease pretty please can I practice riding my bike?” Lori was dancing in place, her blonde pony tail bouncing up and down.

“Not right now,” Janice said absently, contemplating the empty pie shell centered on the counter. Pastry wasn’t her forte, but even Edwin’s mother would have a hard time finding fault with this one.

“But Mom…”

Knowing if she so much as glanced in her daughter’s direction she’d be snared by her patented blue puppy dog eyes, she said, “Lori, I don’t have time to watch you. I have to get dinner started, your grandmother is coming tonight.”

Specifically, her grandmother was coming for a light repast not something heavy and hard to digest. The salad was already made, just awaiting its sprinkling of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

“Can’t you mix the egg pie stuff on the front hall table? You can watch me from there.”

“The proper name is quiche.” Edwin was a big fan of proper names for things.

“Mommm…”

Janice sighed in exasperation. “All right. Fine! But I want you to promise to stay on the driveway where I can see you.”

“Yay!” Lori was off like a shot, racing through the house and out the front door, leaving it wide open.

Shaking her head at her inability to say no to her daughter, Janice put the eggs and whisk into the bowl to make it easier to carry, picked up the milk pitcher, and followed in Lori’s wake.

It was with a kind of puerile satisfaction she saw that the vase of wilted wild flowers Lori had picked earlier in the week had left a ring on the table in the front hallway. It was carved oak, Victorian gothic in style, a gift from her mother-in-law. In no way did it fit with the casual elegance of the rest of the house but Edwin had insisted she find a place of prominence for it.

Looking on the bright side she figured that maybe mixing the quiche filling out here was a good idea after all. If she just happened to spill milk or eggs on the table… Edwin wouldn’t want a damaged table cluttering up the entranceway, would he?

“Mommy, watch this!”

Lori’s voice came faintly through the open door and Janice glanced up to see her wobbling down the brick driveway on her bicycle. At Edwin’s insistence the training wheels had been taken off last week. Janice winced as Lori’s wobbling took her to the side where she tumbled off the bike. She still had a problem when it came to stopping.

“It’s okay,” Lori called as Janice took a step towards the door. “I landed on the grass.”

Undaunted, she picked herself up and brushed herself off, making Janice smile. She wished she had half of Lori’s spirit – so brave and fearless, rising to face any challenge head on. She was the glue that held their small family together. The smile faded and she made a mental note to make sure Lori changed her clothes before her father got home. Edwin disliked untidiness.

One by one Janice began breaking eggs into the bowl. Frowning, she muttered, “I thought I had four eggs.”

Glancing out the door again she saw Lori was now walking her bike up to the top of the driveway. With any luck she’d be ready to come in as soon as she put her bike away. Holding the egg shells in one hand she headed back to the kitchen for the other egg.

Yup, it was still on the counter. Leaving it there she searched the fridge for the pre-shredded cheese, the special Tex-Mex blend that Edwin preferred. He was getting more and more picky about his food lately, almost as bad as Lori. Maybe tonight would be a good night to bring up the subject of a full time cook. It’s not like they couldn’t afford it, and it would give her more time to… well, she’d find some way of filling her time.

Scooping up the egg on the way back to the entrance hall, Janice stopped in her tracks. From where she stood she could see a reflection of the driveway in the small, gilt framed mirror on the table. Lori was speeding down the cobblestones, headed toward the road, her bike for the first time holding steady.

The screeching of brakes barely registered. There was a flash of blue, then only Lori twisted up with her bike on the pavement, as fragile as the egg that fell from Janice’s nerveless fingers, breaking as it hit the floor.

###

 


Thanks for reading! Check back on Monday for the next weekly writing prompt.

New Weekly Feature and Character Crushes

BSB News

Last week’s free download was Sprouted by Alex Westhaven. Be sure to browse our Available Books  section for this week’s surprise free download!

We’re starting a new feature this week called “Writing Prompt of the Week“. At the end of each Monday post, you’ll find a writing prompt. Write a 500 – 1000 word story based on the prompt, and email it to brazensnake@brazensnakebooks.com along with your name/pen name, and we’ll pick the one we like best to post right here on the blog the following Saturday! If there are no entries, we’ll post a “house” story based on the prompt. But we’re hoping to hear from you!

Looking for a full schedule of what’s coming up? Check out our new Calendar page, which includes book releases, sales, contests and giveaways.

Topic of the Week: Character Crushes

Have you ever had a “crush” on a book character? That romance hero who is just flawed enough to be perfect, or the heroine who performs unbelievable (but really cool) actions to get what needs to be done, done. Maybe they make you laugh or cry, but somehow they tap into those deep emotions and you wish you could reach right through the pages and hug them (for starters).

Or maybe even a villain/villainess who is so smart, so cunning that a tiny piece of you can’t help but admire him or her, even though you know they’re bad to the proverbial bone.

I get crushes on characters all the time – whether I’ve written them or not. Some good, some bad, but they all steal a piece of my heart. My personal tastes run largly toward older, mature-but-fit men who are strong-headed but still intelligent enough not to let them get them in trouble. Occasionally I find myself drawn in by an incredibly intelligent female character as well…though often, her evil side is winning the good/bad race. I wonder what that says about me? Best not to think too hard about it, methinks.

Still, it’s a harmless bit of fun, and we all could certainly use some of that right now, right?

I’ll admit that one of my favorite crush-worthy female characters Is Melanie Donner, the main character in Canvas by our own Alex Westhaven. And also Gray Pierce in James Rollins’ Sigma Series. Whew! Talk about the full package there…

Care to share your character crush? Feel free to comment below (or wherever you’re reading this at)!


Writing Prompt of the Week: Sitting on a round table in the entry of an expensive home are a half-empty pitcher of milk, a whisk, a bowl of three raw eggs, a small mirror in a picture frame and a vase of dead flowers. There’s one broken eggshell on the floor.

*Write a 500 – 1000 word story based on the prompt, and email it to brazensnake@brazensnakebooks.com. We’ll pick the one we like best to post right here on the blog the following Saturday. 

February Release Dates & Time to Read

BSB News

The dates for our February releases are in! Cinderelleper by Ford Forkum will be released on February 14th – yes, Valentine’s Day. And An Elemental Earth, Book 4 in the Ardraci Elementals series by Carol R. Ward will be released on February 20th, which is President’s Day here in the states, and Family Day in Canada, where Ms. Ward lives and writes. Hooray for holiday releases!

Cinderelleper would make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for that not-so-romantic someone. And if you have the 20th off, what better way to spend it than with Chloe and Zephryn in a harrowing off-world adventure?

Watch for interviews with these two authors coming soon…

Topic of the Day: Reading Time

Do you set or have reading goals for the year? I know several people who set goals to read a certain number of books per year, or certain types of books, or both, though I’ve never really done that myself. I’m not really concerned with how much I read, and I read what I like or what sounds interesting, regardless of genre. The one thing I sometimes have problems with though is finding time to read.

Last year, I set a goal to quit writing early enough to be in bed by midnight at least five nights a week so I would have half an hour to read before sleeping. I ended up getting to bed around 12:15 – 12:30am most nights, but I did read for at least 15 minutes to half an hour even on the nights I made it to bed late.

I find reading to be a good transition between working and relaxing – sort of a mental palette-cleanser when shifting from one state of mind to the other. I often use other mindless activities (*coughfacebook*) in the same way, but social media is far too…communal to relax my mind the same way that getting lost in a book for a few minutes does.

This year, I’m going to try reading more for transitional periods where I would normally surf social media as well as between my writing and sleep hours. It’s kind of a dangerous swap, since I do need to *stop* reading in time to do the next thing I’m transitioning too, but the same is true of social media. Watching real people is often a bit stressful, especially in light of the current political scene, so frustrating as closing a book I want to keep reading might be, it may be a much healthier quick break than the reality shows currently online.

If you have reading goals for the year, or a tip that might be useful to others trying to carve out more reading time, leave a comment here on the blog, or connect with us at your favorite social media hangout.

And don’t forget to browse our Available Books pages to find this week’s freebie download!

State of the Snake 2017

Happy New Year from Brazen Snake Books!

If you’re reading this in an email or feed reader, you probably haven’t seen the new web site yet, so pop in when you have a few minutes to explore. It’s quite a bit nicer than the old one, if I do say so myself. If you’re reading on the site, thanks for dropping by!

Cinderelleper CoverBSB has been in a kind of hibernation state for the last year or so, but we’re starting the year off right with a new site design, and two new releases coming up in the next month or so: An Elemental Earth by Carol R. Ward (Book 4 in the Ardraci Elementals series), and Cinderelleper by Ford Forkum, a satire/humor author who is new to publishing with us. You may recognize the name from his previously published books – Beers in Heaven and Alien Invasion of the Zombie Apocalypse. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, I assure you, you’ll want to check out his work.

Last fall we hired Angela Fitzgerald, a publicity/marketing assistant, and she’s been doing a lot of posting on our BSB facebook page and twitter accounts, as well as helping to spread the word about our books. She’s been incredibly helpful, as it’s a lot of work to keep our social media accounts active and engaging, and I’m not available during the day to keep things going on that front. Angela has been a huge help, and I really appreciate all the hard work she does for us on a daily basis.

Much like the rest of the site, I decided to completely start over with this blog, so everything’s been An Elemental Earth Covercleared out and I’ll be posting not only new releases, author interviews and special sales/freebie events, but also a weekly discussion on either reading, writing, or publishing (depends on what seems interesting in any given week). I hope it will be fun and informative, and I hope you’ll feel free to chime in on a post with your thoughts and comments as well.

For those of you who have never tried our books, I hope you will! To entice you (and reward those who’ve already sampled the goods), there is a free book download on one of the individual book pages, and there will be a different free download (in PDF format) every week of the year. You just have to find it – a literary scavenger hunt of sorts. The link for the first one is up and active now!

We will be sending out quarterly newsletters this year as well that will include new and upcoming releases, and other short articles we think you might find interesting. To get your name on the list, sign up on the BSB Quarterly page. The first one will go out in early to mid March.

Stay tuned – we have lots of great stuff coming your way!