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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Sampler - The Price of Scorn by Kae Elle Wheeler

Blurb: Fourteen years after Esmeralda's marriage to Alessandro de Lecce, the birth of Pricilla's son, Jean-Luc, and Prince Charming's and Cinderella's coronation as King and Queen of Chalmers Kingdom, Lady Hildeguard Marit Benegoir-Simmon-Roch lies upon her death bed. 

Hilda has never forgiven Cinderella for stealing Prince Charming from Esmeralda. But in a story of heartbreak, the sisters learn how tragedy and scorn shaped their mother's life into the woman she became. The question is: Can they forgive her? 


Fate was a funny thing, Hilda decided, rubbing a palm over her five-month swollen belly. She smiled, watching Pricilla's tiny hand followed hers. A love so fierce, it was agonizing, squeezed her chest. 
"Maman, when will I get to see my baby?" 
Such innocent words elicited a sharp sting of torment that pierced Hilda's lungs, making it difficult to draw a breath. "Soon, darling," she choked out, praying this new child made it through. 
"Will it be a girl, or a boy? I wish to have a boy, I think." Her little Pricilla was most pragmatic. Hilda knew she would never have to worry over this child. 
She grasped a breath, deeply, releasing it in a slow stream. "We shall have to wait and see. One has no choice in these matters." 
"Whyever not? I want a boy!" 
"Enough,  ma chére," she said, shifting Pricilla to her feet. "I must speak with Gustaf. Off to the nursery with you." 
"Why should you want to talk to Gustaf? You have me." 
With a nervous laugh, Hilda glanced at the closed door, hoping her husband never heard their daughter referring to him by his given name. She leaned over and kissed the top of the Pricilla's head. "I do, indeed." As if Hilda would ever endorse Gustaf with the title of "Papa." Leastways, Pricilla hadn't yet caught on to Hilda's other endearment of himbastard 
A noise just beyond the door snagged her attention, and despite her growing state, she bolted off the settee, jerking Pricilla's arm. 
"Maman," she cried. 
"Shsh." Swooping Pricilla from her feet, Hilda rushed to the wardrobe and thrust her inside. "Quiet. Not a word," she hissed. There was no time reassure her daughter. She just needed her silence. "Do you understand? Not. A. Word." Hilda closed the door on wide blue eyes filled with terror. 
The chamber door flew back against the wall. "What interesting small talk you have with our child, my dear." 
Smoothing clammy hands within the folds of her dress, Hilda moved away from the wardrobe. More than anything in the world Hilda would love withholding the thing her husband most desired. An heir. She would prefer Pricilla's disappointment over this child being a girl. She lifted her chin. "I'm sure I have no idea of what you are talking about, your grace." 
A slow, building breeze rent the air, along with the swarm of bees stinging her lower abdomen from the inside out.  
In a snake-like strike he gripped her upper arm. "Why does my own child not refer to me as papa? Could it be she is not my child, eh?" 
"How ridiculous. I have not been out of this house since the day I moved in," she bit out in a fit of temper. The back of his hand hit her jaw, snapping her head back. But for his hold, she would have landed in a heap on the floor.

This book is not yet up for sale, but its predecessors are! 
The Wronged Princess – book i; Amazon Nook Kobo Smashwords iTunes 
The Unlikely Heroine – book ii; Amazon Nook Kobo Smashwords iTunes 
The Surprising Enchantress – book iii; Amazon Nook Kobo Smashwords iTunes 

About the Author:

Kathy L Wheeler (also known as Kae Elle Wheeler) was born in Presque Isle, Maine.  How she ended up in Texas, then Oklahoma is as much a mystery to her as anyone. She graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a BA in Management Information Systems and a minor in Vocal Music.
She has been writing steadily for only a few years but has multiple completed manuscripts. She is published through The Wild Rose Press. She loves to travel.  Ports of call include a three week stint in Europe covering Madrid, Barcelona, Avignon, Paris, Koln, Amsterdam and London.  Other exciting places she’s visited are Grand Cayman, Puerta Vallerta, Mexico, Vancouver, Canada, and roaming from one romance writing conference to another nationwide.  You may have met her in Seattle, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, New York or Atlanta.  She is an active member of the Oklahoma Outlaws RWA Chapter.

Kathy lives with her musically talented husband in Edmond, Oklahoma.  They have one grown daughter and one bossy cat, Carly!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Doctor Who and Change

On Saturday night, all Whovians in America were glued to their televisions sets. (Unless they had to do something crazy like...go to work.) For you non-Whovians, the reason was not just the first episode of the eighth season of Doctor Who. It was the introduction of the new Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. He is the twelfth actor to portray the time-traveling alien.

When the show started in 1963 (yes, that long ago) the producers had no idea what a hit they had. What was supposed to be a kids’ show gained universal appeal. So when the actor who portrayed the Doctor became too ill to continue, the writers came up with a clever device to explain the new actor. The Doctor would die then regenerate. At the end of last season, boyish Matt Smith morphed into grizzled, gray-haired, fifty-six year old Capaldi. What a shock, especially to the Doctor’s companion Clara.

The companion has two roles on the show. Usually female, she keeps the Doctor company on his adventures through space and time. More importantly, she is us, the audience. She asks the questions we want to know. In Saturday’s episode, she reflects our disbelief and confusion at what the Doctor has changed into. Like previous companions, Clara was a little in love with her Doctor. And this new one isn’t him.

Change comes hard for Clara. Just as it does for all of us. We like the status quo. We’re comfortable with the known, the familiar. Yanking us out of where we feel like we belong is traumatic. Marilyn Baron in her book Stones describes quite accurately the feeling when her main character says her husband “yanked me out of Miami by my roots as if I were a noxious weed he was tossing out of a flower garden and carelessly transplanted us to Atlanta.”

I don’t like change, as I mentioned here back in 2011. I’m a new convert to Doctor Who, having discovered him not quite a year ago. In one way I was lucky to find him just before the show’s fiftieth anniversary. I got to watch the show’s progression and many retrospectives. Since then, I’ve watched all the episodes since its reboot in 2005, following its sixteen year “hiatus.” Prior to Saturday’s show, BBC America ran a marathon of episodes and a series of half hour show where the audience could “meet” all the Doctors.

In watching those episodes, I became “attached” to each Doctor and was disappointed when he regenerated—only to discover I really liked the next. I wasn’t prepared to like Capaldi in that role. I thought he was too old, which is kind of ironic since he’s younger than me. I thought he couldn’t be as funny as the previous two. The writers didn’t disappoint. Before the first commercial, I was hooked. The Doctor was hilarious as he discovered his new body. No spoiler here, but Clara was a lot slower to accept him than I was. He had me with his comment about his eyebrows.

While change is difficult, it can lead to new things, fun things. Whether it’s a move across country, our children leaving the nest, or an actor in a TV show, it’s our attitude toward change that makes all the difference.