Brain to Books Blog Tour This and That

I have a few days planned for this blog tour that I’ve set aside for a little something extra to share. A collection of poems and excerpts.

From one of our featured authors, Ed Ireland.
authorpic Ed Ireland is a gypsy wanderer with a passion for words. His life has taken quite a few twists and turns,
some happy and some on the regrettable side. It all shows up in his collection of short stories and
poem, Forgotten Treasure. Each story and poem strikes a nerve of some event in his life or shows his
ability to fascinate or confound his readers.
The poetry is inspired by emotions. Anger, joy, love and spirituality all find their way out in them. The
short stories are studies in different genres. There is humor in the Wiki-esque biography of Popeye the Sailor and the irreverent “When the Music Stops”, fantasy in the “Bonds of War” and drama in “Silver Lining”. No matter what hits the chord with you, chances are you’ll find it in this book. Reviewers have said “Every part of this book has something interesting to say. The poetry especially is quite outstanding, really speaking to the heart.” and “Reading through this book encouraged a wide range of emotions and feelings, and that to me is a sign of a good book.”
Forgotten Treasure will be available for free at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/368937 for
the duration of the tour. You can also visit Ed’s website and join his member’s area for news on when
Forgotten Treasure 2 will be available.

Excerpt from Forgotten Treasure:

Treasure6“My Regret” by Ed Ireland

In the twilight times of my days
I sit solitary, surrounded by the voices
Of a thousand wrongs I’ve done
Chastising and screaming for honor to be restored
Honor lost never to be regained
Such is the price of fear
Lost in the twilight times of my hours
Surrounded by the specter of loneliness
Gripped by the cold hands of self-imposed punishment
My strongest regrets are the loves I let slip
Through my unwieldy hands
And my unopened heart
Until finally in the twilight of my minutes
The stone hearts of the multitude open
Their searching eyes resting on what is left of my soul
Their grasping hands reach to render my life
All thoughts turn to you
And the hope you saw the child
And forgave my fear

A little something by H.L. Burke

Thaddues Whiskers and the DragonThaddeus F. Whiskers is a pampered palace pet, a kitten enchanted to never become a cat. Princess Clarice loves him, for in the entire kingdom, there is no other kitten as cute or as clever. He leads a life of cushions and cream until a wizard’s “gift” results in his banishment. Determined to make it back to the princess he loves, he escapes into the wilderness where he discovers the lair of a dragon.
Grandious, the dragon, doesn’t care about anything besides himself. He wants to be left alone with his treasure. However, there is something about Thaddeus that has him entranced. He finds himself opening his home and his heart to the little cat.
Thaddeus is a small creature in a big world. Between him and his beloved Princess stand conniving wizards, would-be-step-mothers, and rampaging rats. However, when danger threatens both Clarice and Grandious, Thaddeus won’t allow his size to get in the way of saving his friends.

Excerpt

For the first several steps, the floor was damp, slick stone, but as he moved inward the ground dried. The warm red glow flickered like the fire in a hearth, one of Thaddeus’s favorite things. He glanced up and stared at the great stalactites jutting from the ceiling like teeth. His tiny mouth dropped open. He put a paw forward, and the ground slipped beneath him with a clinking sound. He stepped again. Clink, clink, clink came each paw-fall. He nudged at one of the strange pebbles, flat and perfectly round, smooth and cold, gleaming in the fire light.
Coins? Thaddeus didn’t have much use for such things, but he knew humans liked them. He vaguely remembered when Hermes had chosen him from a farm cat’s litter to be the princess’s gift. Hermes had given the farmer two of these coin things, and the farmer had seemed quite pleased–even though Hermes had clearly gotten the better end of that deal.
Coins were cold, hard, and not tasty. What was the use of such objects? No wonder they’d been left in a cave.
The only treasure that interested Thaddeus was the source of the light. Light meant fire. Fire meant warmth. Warmth meant dry. Also, someone must have started the fire, which meant there might be humans there. Humans who could feed and care for him.
Water dripped from Thaddeus’s whiskers. He left wet paw-prints as he picked his way over the pile of gold. Coins loosened and slid down the hill in a tinkling avalanche. Thaddeus paused. Had anybody heard that?
He listened, both ears stretching towards the ceiling. He heard something: a repetitive wheezing in and out, like the bellows the maid used on the fire. Lowering onto his belly, Thaddeus crept to the top of the coins and gazed into the center of the cave.
There, curled among the coins and chests, gems and pearls, lay the largest creature Thaddeus had ever seen. Terror gripped the kitten. His tail stuck straight up.
It glistened bright green with scales like a fish’s but solid and dry, rather than supple and covered in butter and lemon juice. Claws, similar in shape to Thaddeus’s but twice the size of his whole body, tipped each of the monster’s four limbs. Great bat-like wings rested in folds at its sides. He remembered seeing a picture of one in Clarice’s books. A dragon. Thaddeus doubted if the creature would fit in King Victor’s throne room.
A creature like this could swallow him without even noticing. As bad as outside was, inside the cave was worse. Where could he go now?
Thankfully, the dragon’s eyes were closed. If Thaddeus backed out slowly . . .
He stepped backwards and something within the pile shifted. The surface Thaddeus had been standing on rolled forward, pulling him with it. He landed on his back even closer to the dragon.

“Lies” by Angela B. Chrysler

As seen in “Broken”

“There at love’s bitter end when the deadened heart is done,
The moon it wanes with one last sigh and the silence breaks. It breathes, “The end.”
And Death it calls as the stone crow breaks. Streaks of blood malform its face.
Death becomes its withered eyes and the shadows whisper, “Lies.”
Broken by Angela B Chrysler 1600x2500Now within the dying ground as I hear my maddened sound,
From the eaves the darkness seeps. It is there that the shadows whisper, “Lies”
With outstretched hand, I call, I moan. My fingers graze Death’s withered hand,
“My love,” I gasp. Despair clamps down, yet all I hear are lies.
With words of love, you kiss my face. Your sodden tears they fall like rain.
With twisted smile or upturned frown, you walk away, my death unfurled,
And I regain my heart betwixt your love, my blood, the lies, the pain
Yet you see none, and there I lay remembering your lies.
Belittle were your words of love, despite the warmth within your touch
You made my body sing and cry, and smiling you would watch me writhe
Voiced with words and sweet caress, you impaled me with your flesh
Now, upon my death we part. Still, the shadows whisper, “Lies.”
Throwing back my naked breast, cold death’s grip, I welcome it.
And at last, with final breath I open up, invite him in.
Through me, riddles Death’s cold hand, as he rakes my skin from bone,
Death, in peace, at last I’ll sleep while the shadows whisper lies.
There at love’s bitter end when the deadened heart is done,
The moon it wanes with one last sigh and the silence breaks. It breathes, “The end.”
And Death it calls as the stone crow breaks. Streaks of blood malform my face.
Death becomes my withered eyes and the shadows whisper, “Lies.”
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