As promised, here’s the quarterly bloghop story. You’ll get a free short story from me and more by the other participants. As usual there’s a list after my story. Enjoy and leave a comment!

 

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Rainbow Girl

The crystal at Eleanor’s window broke the light of the setting sun into rainbows that danced over her white walls. She squinted to read the letters of the newspaper article even tough she knew the text by heart.

“With squealing tires, the bus crashed through the barrier, headed for the long drop at the end of the half finished bridge. Driver and passengers were either deathly silent or screaming for their lives, when out of nowhere, a masked girl in her early teens and dressed in a multicolored spandex suit appeared. She flung her hands out, palms up, and a rainbow grew from the tarmac in front of the out of control Greyhound. The bus rolled over the colorful bridge to the other side of the river where it finally came to rest. By then, the girl was gone.”

“But Grandma, why didn’t she stay?” Billy always asked the same question. At five years it was hard to understand why one wouldn’t stay to get the reward one deserved.

“I wonder why she chose to save the bus.” Eight-year-old Walter pushed his glasses up. “Surely there were many other people she could have saved. But I guess this rescue was more spectacular. It did get a lot of media attention, didn’t it?”

“I’m quite sure that neither sweets nor marketing were on Rainbow Girl’s mind when she decided to help.” Eleanor patted the boys’ brown curls, reached for the purple bowl with the colorful chocolate eggs, and let them chose.

“I wonder why she stopped saving people,” Walter said with his mouth full. “Let’s say she was somewhere between ten and twelve when she started, she was barely seventeen when she stopped.”

Now this was a good question for someone who hadn’t been in love yet. Eleanor smiled her approval. Time would teach him that barely noticed miracles often had far greater impact.

“Maybe her mom scolded her and she didn’t dare any longer.” Billy reached for a second sweet, looking askance at Eleanor. She nodded – approving the sweets, not his theory.

“Why do you keep all these articles anyway?” Jessica lowered her book, a pained look on her face. “Those stories are nearly sixty years old, and not one appearance of Rainbow Girl has been proven beyond a doubt.” It seemed that as the oldest, she had made it her duty to stop believing.

“She was real enough for me.” Eleanor picked a piece of chocolate and unwrapped it. “Keeping the articles is bringing back my youth. None of you will understand this for a long time yet.” She savored the bittersweet flavor of the semi-dark chocolate. It tasted like life.

“Will you read us another one?” Billy looked up at her with the biggest, brownest eyes a child had ever had, melting Eleanor’s heart. He would become a heart-breaker for sure.

“I’m quite tired, dear.” Her age and the cancer were nothing that could be healed with a rainbow here or some glitter there. “Maybe your sister will. What do you think, Jess?”

“Grandma!” Jess put her book aside and swiped a strand of her long, brown tresses behind her ear. “Those stories only put stupid ideas in their heads.”

“You’re reading lies already, and you seem to enjoy them.” Eleanor pointed to the fantasy novel on the small table beside Jess. Had she been this contrary as a teen? “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

“Shakespeare has been dead forever. What does he know?” Jess got up and held out her hand to Billy. “Let’s get dinner ready, boys. Mom will be home soon.”

“Aww.” Billy slipped from Eleanor’s footstool and took Jess’ hand with slumped shoulders.

“Well, I wish she were real.” Walter kissed Eleanor on the cheek and followed his siblings. Just before the three of them left Eleanor’s little realm, a rainbow slid over Jess’ dark hair, causing a multicolored corona around her head.

Smiling, Eleanor leaned back, closed her eyes to her personal pool of rainbows, and allowed the warmth of her love to flood her fragile body. It was good to know that the magic had only skipped a generation.

 

This time, the list isn’t quite as long as usual, but that’s probably due to being a really weird summer. Enjoy these stories too:
A Brood of Harpies by Sabrina Rosen
Crossing A Line by Bill Bush
True Face by Nic Steven
A Touch of Summer Fire by Jemma Weir
Abigail by Barbara Lund
Storytime Blog Hop Juneta’s Website

 

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I’ve helped my good friend William L. Hahn to bring this baby to live. The print version (for saving paper) is 764 pages long, but kindle inists it’s over 950. So you’ll get high value for your money. I suggest grabbing a copy if a) you love epic fantasy, b) you love looooong books, and c) if you prefer complex plots with many, skillfully interwoven story threads and intriguing characters.

After two millennia of peace the relentless war between Hope and Despair flares again. With the innocent in peril, can raw unproven heroes resist immortal foes?

Treaman lives for the thrill of adventure. Guiding a group of enterprising companions, he’d put his life on the line for any of them. But when the adventurers become lost in a land tainted by the growing curse of Despair, he fears his leader’s mission is destined to end in failure and death.

Solemn Judgement will never see his homeland again. Brought to unfamiliar shores, Solemn burns any chance of return along with his boat and his father’s body, before setting out to seek his purpose. But the determined young orphan has no idea that acquiring his education could unleash the ultimate evil.

As Treaman and Judgement separately trek to seemingly inevitable doom, a prince seeks to rescue an old alliance, a mysterious fighter in black slays monstrous foes with his bare hands, and a broad cast of characters unwittingly play their part. All are hanging onto a slim sliver of Hope for their future. But even their combined might may not be enough to stop the ruthless march of a powerful necromancer and his tide of undeath …

In a world that only dreams of heroes, can they rise up against oppressive forces and prevent the Lands of Hope from descending into foul darkness?

Harbingers of Hope is an epic fantasy novel that will leave you breathless. If you like expansive worldbuilding, fierce magical battles, and monstrous enemies, then you’ll love William L. Hahn’s sweeping tale.

Read Harbingers of Hope to stand up and fight today!

 

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I missed last month’s blog post and nearly this one as well. I’ll get to the reasons in a minute. But first the release for May: the fourth and finalfairy tale retellings bundle is available on Amazon (even in KU). I will make the others available at the other retailers as soon as the chaos dies down. Here are all four bundles again:

 

The reasons why I missed the last blog post are manifold. For one, I’ve hit a major low in motivation. I’m currently writing short stories, and I get praise for many of them (e.g. from Writers of the Future judge David Farland and others), but whenever I send them to a paying market, they get declined. I’ve been publishing at least one book per month since March 2020 (so that’s more than a year worth of stories) and there’s no increase in sales.

Also, in December a personal disaster stuck and I’m still not over it. It influences my time management, and the ideas that want to be written tend to grow much darker these days. Many turn into stories I have no interest in writing.

So all in all, I’m questioning my writing career. I’ve written and Indie published non-stop for more years than I care to admit. I’ve seen people have success with their stories (and I do not envy them, they put in just as much heart, blood, and sweat as I do) while mine remain invisible (I know I’m an idiot when it comes to marketing).

I still write, and I still love the writing side, but all drive to get things written and published has left me. I’ve run into a wall and instead of getting up to find a way around it, I’m sitting here, feeling drained and tired and unwilling to go on.

I’d appreciate some motivating words. Have you read one of my books? Shall I keep going or would it be better to concentrate on something else?

 

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Liebster Blog Award 2011