Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WINNERS!! & Writing the Next Line...Won't U?

I have 2 purposes here, today. Here's #1: I was completely blown away at the attendance to my book giveaway a week ago. OMGosh...I had over 188 comments on that post alone, over 1,000 new hits to the Alleyway, and 92 gracious people decided to follow me.

Can you say Cha-Ching in blogger's language???? I am truly humbled and extremely happy to announce the winners of said Package 1 and 2, chosen by

ANNE is the WINNER of Package 1: Clockwork Angel/Fallout

CHARLIE is the WINNER of Package 2: Torment/Awakened

AND the WINNER of a copy of Terry Lynn Johnson's DOGSLED DREAMS is MEREDITH!

Many Congrats!! I have all your emails and will contact you.

And, ooh...I'm 4 followers shy of reaching 400!! I am so thankful. Tell you what, if you can help me get to 400 today by either tweeting for me, blogging, Facebooking, or whatever, I'll host a special 400 followers giveaway in February. If I end getting there and hosting a giveaway, let me know you plugged me for extra entries. Merci à mes amis.

I'm a huge fan of writing exercises, although most of you wouldn't know that anymore. When I fired up the Alleyway, I had short writing exercises posted every Monday morning aka Monday Morning Munchies.

That fell to the wasteside and was renamed: I Imagine. Haven't done those in a while, either. But I will. So in honor of my lame efforts, I joined the fangtastic Christine's Journey Write the Next Line Blogfest. Yeah, most others posted there entry on Monday. Already signed up for another festie-fest, I decided to write up a post for Christine anyway, and post it today.

I've put Christine's beginning in bold. The rest is all mine. Thank you for reading. Heart you, guys!!

3:00 am. Those numbers glowed green, staring at me, letting me know I wasn't sleeping. I couldn't. If I did, who knows what injury I would wake up with. Every night a dream would consume me, and when I woke, something on my body was cut, bruised, or almost broken. 

I started at the ceiling. The fan squeaked and wobbled, trying to produce air flow. It wasn't succeeding. I turned over, hugging my pillow. What's happening? Maybe I should see someone, but who? A doctor? Padded room for sure. Is there such a thing as a dream specialist?

A branch scratched the window. I turned over again. 5:00 am. Where did the last two hours go? Adrenaline pumped through my veins, accelerating my heart. My T-shirt was damp and clinging to my back. What happened? Did I dream, again? 

Bang. Bang. Bang. I jumped up. Someone was at my door.

The room stilled, the only sound my racing pulse. My temples throbbed. A similar banging on my door had happened last night, only I hadn’t been awake…really.

I gnawed on the inside of my cheek. Blood squirted into my mouth and pooled under my tongue. The metal on my retainer was giving off a stale odor, so I flipped it out of my mouth and set it on my nightstand. Gulping the salty fluid confirmed I was awake. Was that good or bad?

My fuzzy slippers, the ones Chad, my boyfriend, had given me for Christmas, were warm to my feet. Well, I think he was still my boyfriend. We’d argued the week before he left for summer break and hadn’t spoken since, although someone said they saw his sister back in town, somber and nervous. What would she have to be nervous about, blonde-bombshell and the desire of every boy in town?

The banging turned to a gentle knock. One knock. Someone whispered my name. I pushed off my mattress, my pink sweatpants bunching at my kneecaps, my camisole noosing my torso. Readjusting the cotton, I stepped forward putting pressure on my heels first.

I’d called Chad a million times and even texted him. He was probably busy by the pool, hobnobbing with some European family at his parent’s villa in Spain. I’m making this sound like fun for him, but he hadn’t wanted to go. I encouraged him to do it for his parents. That’s what we argued about. I remember feeling like he was scared or anxious. But really, Spain?? Yeah, oh the horror. My toes crushed the soft cotton of my slippers; it wasn’t as settling as I’d hoped.

The crease where my carpet met the bottom of my bedroom door pulsated with a light glow.

“Who’s there?” I asked, but no one answered, only the sound of heavy breathing.

Gripping my desk chair, I cramped the back under the doorknob. Two heavy books sat on my desk. I lodged one against the wooden legs, securing the brace. My arms hugging my chest, and I ebbed from the door.

credit for photo
Light thickened to a bluish hue and seeped further under my door. A misty cloud floated aimlessly toward my desk and then slithered up the wall. The urge yard my door open and bolt down the hallway was pretty strong. But I couldn’t move. Not because some poltergeist possessed me, but because the mist had taken form, a human silhouette reflecting off my window.

The smoky figure stood tall, wearing a familiar football jersey and a torn pair of jeans. His face was sullen and his lips, blue. His eyes were as green as freshly cut ivy. A baseball cap sat backwards on his head, the emblem of the Red Sox staring at me. I bit the meaty part of my fist and stuttered an inhale.

With thumbs hooked in the pockets of his jeans, he gazed at me, soft and gently, and then with more urgency. The tips of his hair tapped his shoulder like they were waiting for him to make a move. 

His lips parted and he said, “Help me.”

I knew that image.

“Chad!” I yelled, and he lunged for me.

Here's some of the other writers who posted for the blogfest. There's great stuff over there!!
  1. Christine's Journey
  2. Jen @ Unedited
  3. anne gallagher
  4. Sonia's Blogfest
  5. Tessa Conte
  1. Writers' Ally aka SA Larsen
  2. Nicole @ Where Fantasy and Love Take Flight
  3. Dawn Embers
  4. Myne Whitman Writes
  5. Mara Nash


  1. Congratulations to the winners. You're so close to 400!

    I'm hosting a 400 followers contest, if you'd like to enter:

  2. Congrats to the winners. And good for you on almost reaching 400. That's great!

  3. Congrats to the winners! Those are some awesome books (I know because I've read them).

    I hit 400 followers yesterday. I know you'll reach that goal today! :D

  4. Ohhh I like. Nice. Thanks for participating. You're the best. Congrats to the winners and almost reaching 400.

  5. Yay for almost 400!!! You can do it!

  6. Woo! That's a lot of traffic! Way to go!

  7. wow! Congrats to the winners- what an awesome contest! And I have a feeling you'll be up to 400 in no time!

  8. I'm #398, only two more! Thanks for visiting my blog. I love making new bloggie friends. I'll go tweet for you.

  9. Congrats to the winners! And for being 3 way from 400. :) Awesome finish to the blogfest too.

  10. Great job!!! I've always loved writing exercises like this. And congrats to your winners. I'll be adding myself to your list of followers.

  11. Congrats to the winners (and for being more gutsy than I by entering!)

  12. Congrats to the winners! And I'm so glad you've almost hit 400 followers. How awesome!

  13. Awesome blogfest! I love it!

    Congrats on almost 400! So cool! =D

  14. Somehow I missed your awesome contest! Darn. Thanks for following and commenting! LIke you - I love complicated plots where all the threads tie together!


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