Monday, December 10, 2012

$50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway from Christmas Ever After by Elyse Douglas

Christmas Ever After by Elyse Douglas
Can 26-year-old JENNIFER TAYLOR overcome her past—the death of her fiancé that has left her bitter and angry? Will she accept the gift of an adventure from a mysterious woman before it’s too late: a trip to New York City on Christmas Eve, where she’ll meet three men who will change her life forever?

Suddenly, everything seemed to happen at once, and in slow motion. Mrs. Stanton stepped in front of the shop, stabbing away at the snow with her cane.

Jennifer’s back tires slid away into chaos. It was as if the world was spinning away from her. She frantically fought for control of the car, but the steering wheel became useless. She was slipping away toward the east wall of Cards N’ Stuff. Jennifer held her breath.

Just then, Mrs. Stanton’s left foot found an unfortunate old patch of ice beneath the newly fallen snow. She felt it give way, and her cane, which should have been a support, slipped from her hand and sailed away into a snowdrift. Jennifer watched in horror as Mrs. Stanton’s body lifted from the earth and rose like a great bird above the spread of undulating snow. She seemed suspended in time. For a brief hopeful moment, Jennifer had the irrational belief that she could somehow scramble from her car and rescue Mrs. Stanton, as one would rescue a priceless fragile vase falling from a great height.

But there was no rescue. There was no one to catch Mrs. Stanton and there was no one to stop Jennifer’s car from its collision course with the garbage cans in the alleyway, and the inevitable impact into the side of the building.

Mrs. Stanton’s body finally hit the snow, like a massive meteorite striking the earth. The impact threw up a plume of whiteness. The crater was deep and impressive. Mrs. Stanton let out an almighty howl that scattered chirping sparrows into the trees. Her yell was eclipsed by Jennifer’s car slamming into the garbage cans, and colliding into the side wall of Cards N’ Stuff.

Then there was silence. But only a brief one.

From somewhere, close by, came a low rumble. It was a foreboding sound, like the low moan of fate in the apprehension of an imminent catastrophe.

Cards N’ Stuff began to shimmy and quake. Icicles snapped and fell. Fractures formed on the roof. Sliding snow whooshed down in avalanches, crashing to the ground.

Mrs. Stanton was frozen in fear, looking bug-eyed, hearing a roar, like the sea.

Jennifer managed to shove open the jammed car door and roll out, falling into a mound of snow. She heard the frightening sound, struggled to her feet and staggered away from the building, running, stumbling and gasping.

There was a terrible, miserable groan as the roof buckled and plunged down into the shop in a storm of wood, roof-tiles, dirt and snow. In violent hammer-like blows, it shattered snow globes, jewelry boxes and porcelain figurines. It smashed glass displays and chopped through shelves, burying Christmas angels, Santa Clauses, Christmas cards and delicate earrings. The window Christmas displays were blown into oblivion; the Victorian town demolished; the electric train flicked away and buried by a powerful cascading shaft of dirt and ice. The family around the piano was pummeled and destroyed.

In a final act of destruction, sprinkler pipes ruptured, shooting streams of water into the air like geysers, flooding the place. Books, CDs and DVDs floated by, little boats navigating a chaotic space.

When it was finally over, an uneasy silence settled in, like a warning.
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About the Authors

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse's mother was a painter and her father a textile consultant. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated from Columbia University with a Master's Degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers. His grandfather was a gifted humorist and storyteller from Kentucky.
Elyse Douglas' four novels include: The Astrologer's Daughter, Wanting Rita, The Christmas Diary and Christmas Ever After. They live in New York City.

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Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/16/12
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copied from their site, on people who need people: to feature their writing style further and give more insight into the authors.

The total history of almost anyone would shock almost everyone.  - Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960.
I love people’s eccentricities, weaknesses and shortcomings.  I love the endless variety of personally and the diversity of race and cultural background.  I find it utterly fascinating how crazy we all are and yet how successfully we manage to hide this behind facades of cultivated responses, religious beliefs and cultural brainwashing.  I love to observe myself and others and then marvel at the variety of creative ways we struggle to be right and good and wise.  Of course, we can never be any of these most of the time, because we are human, even if we can’t accept the fact or are afraid to do so. 
As Benjamin Franklin said:  “Who is wise?  He that learns from everyone.  Who is powerful?  He that governs his passions.  Who is rich?  He that is content.  Who is that?  Nobody.”
All people want the same things: happiness, fulfillment, health, freedom and a good life for their children and for themselves.  As a writer, I like to observe how people go about trying to achieve these noble pursuits.  Will they steal for it?  Kill for it?  Die for it?  Work three jobs for it?  Will love cause a man to go insane?  Will a woman sacrifice family, career and respect to chase after a no good lout.  “But he’s really good, and true and loving on the inside.”  It is the exposing of the “awful thing” that someone did, or thought about or wants to do that often sets up a good potential story.  And, as a writer, I must confess that I am daily attracted to studying these things in people.
If we had no faults of our own, we would not take so much pleasure in noticing those of others. ~Francois duc de la Rochefoucauld.
So, I love people because deep down, I believe we all want to be good and true and loving.  I believe there is something in all of us that is heroic.  Otherwise, how could we shoulder on, battling “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”
What gets in the way and stops us from our finding happiness and “I want to be a good person” goals?  I once had a writing teacher who said you can build all your characters upon one simple emotion: Fear.  What are your characters afraid of?  Fear drives everyone: fear of failure; fear of loss; fear of love and of not being loved; fear of dying; fear of inadequacy, fear of not fitting in; fear of fitting in; fear of doing a bad thing and fear of getting caught... and on and on.  This intrigues me.  It is what I explore as a writer.  What motivates people to act and react, based on fear.
None of us is as bad as we think we are or as good as we want to be.  We are simply struggling to evolve, to understand, to be a little more conscious and hopefully a little more compassionate with ourselves and others.  We are all living on a little round rock that is spinning out in the middle of nowhere and we don’t know how we got here or where we’re going.  Most of us live with this incredible fact, calmly.
In most people, there is a splendid beauty.  Call it the human spirit or soul or whatever.  The majority of people live their lives the best way they can.  I find that heroic.  I find that admirable.  I have great respect for that.  Do we all fail?  Yes, most of the time.  But that does not negate the heroism (to quote Dorothy Fields) of picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off and starting all over again.
I do not believe that enlightenment will come in a dramatic illumination, but in suffering stumbles and lengthening strides of patience, compassion and self-forgiveness.  I suppose that is the way of the hero.  And what keeps the hero going?  Well, a good story can help.  A good and true and loving story can always help a little.  At least, Elyse Douglas likes to think so.

1 comment:

  1. Please let Kathy know a couple of entries weren't retrieved, so I couldn't follow them.


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