Monday, May 3, 2010

The Zagzagel Diaries: Forsaken excerpt by Bryl R. Tyne, and The Girl In The Painting excerpt by Anne Brooke

Two short excerpts from two short stories published by Untreed Reads Publishing - The Zagzagel Diaries: Forsaken by Bryl R. Tyne and The Girl In The Painting by Anne Brooke. And for one week only, a special promotion, 25% off each of these two titles!(see purchase information below.)

The Zagzagel Diaries: Forsaken
Author: Bryl R. Tyne
Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing (March 26, 2010)

An unconventional guardian angel attempts to keep his gay charge from committing suicide, while wrestling with his own personal issues. This is the first in the Zagzagel Diaries series.


Just do it . . . .

How apropos.

Above the nineteenth floor, on the verge of his nineteenth birth date, he stepped up onto the ledge, steadied his balance. Perspiration and tears trickled evenly along his chiseled face. Eyes, once stunning blue, dulled with each spent teardrop. Perched less than a shoulder's width away, I listened. His most private thoughts were not immune to me or my prying. Lord—meant with the utmost respect, of course—the man was a work of art. Absolutely beyond compare.

As was his pain, or so he thought.

I had endured far worse, though not mortal, than anything he was capable of imagining. Agony and confusion engulfed him, inflamed his need for relief.

Forsaken—he privately professed.

Obviously, I'd failed at instilling my fine wrangling spirit.

Feathers ruffled. My shoulders tightened. Apparently, my guidance wasn't worth a flip these days. With a stretch and a snap, loose underlining flew in the air about me, fluttering, drifting on the breeze. Despite knowing the young man's agony, his naivety sickened me.

Try living the pain of ten thousand lifetimes, I desperately wished to tell him.
What I wouldn't give for an hour in his shoes, fifteen minutes inside that skin-tight material covering such perfectly honed thighs. He was so beautiful, so mortal, so intelligent—

"Just. One. Step." As his garbling knocked me from my reverie, his right foot slipped.

All right. I concede—he was a fucking moron.

Wings refolded neatly, I appeared beside his unsure legs and, with a stretch, settled, ass on the cool stone, feet dangling free over the edge. "It's a doozy."

His body trembled. With fear or anticipation, I wasn't sure which. For such a young pup, he had balls of steel. I'd give him that. He didn't as much as flinch at the sound of my voice nor turn to eye me as he asked, "What's it to you?"

What was it to me? More like, what was he to me, though I'd never confess. That revelation, I must do everything in my power to ensure never left my lips.

* * * * *

Title: The Girl In The Painting
Author: Anne Brooke (March 15, 2010)
Untreed Reads Publishing

When Celia becomes obsessed with her grandmother's painting, she realises her life will never be the same again. How can she ever break free?


There was something about the picture that Celia didn’t like. It wasn’t the subject matter that disturbed her, nor even the way it was painted. She could see nothing to irritate her eye in the simple country scene with corn meadows in the foreground giving way to rich green hills in the more distant perspective. In the middle of the painting stood two young people: a boy and a girl, perhaps early twenties, both dressed in bright colours. Red and blue. They were walking towards the hills. The girl’s blonde hair streamed backwards in the breeze as her face turned sideways to the boy, and she was laughing.

The way the girl laughed made Celia’s heart beat faster. It wasn’t an outright joyful expression; the side of her mouth that could be seen was twisted downwards and she seemed to be gently mocking her companion. Whether in seriousness or jest was impossible to tell; she couldn’t see the boy’s face, so could not judge what his response was supposed to be.

She wished more and more strongly that her grandmother hadn’t bequeathed the picture to her. When the package had arrived at her door a month ago, she’d been pleased at the gift, even though the painting herself had not been to her taste. She preferred her art to be more austere. But she remembered the kindness of the woman who in her final hours had thought of her and had not been able to bring herself to place it into storage.

So she’d hung it on the stairwell wall of her two-up two-down house; it was not, to her mind, a piece of art she could put in a room and live with.

For a while nothing was different. Celia drove to work in the mornings, came home in the evenings, read a little and went to bed. But gradually she became aware of the space the painting occupied.

She could be passing the item in question on the way downstairs or heading up towards her bedroom to retrieve a book when, without warning, some lure in the colours or the way the light fell on the corn would make her pause and gaze at the scene. She would peer at it as if searching for someone or something she might have missed – another person perhaps, or an animal. But she could never locate anything new. Of course. The useless search and the knowledge that she seemed unable to find the will to stop made her feel unsettled. It came to the point when she began to plan her day so that she would not have to use the stairs if she could avoid it; she brought all her books and papers downstairs when she first got up so she wouldn’t have to fetch them in the evening. She even left a cardigan in the front room so it would be a matter only of slipping it on if she grew cold.

When she had no option but to pass by the picture, she tried to avert her eyes, but always the scene would call to her and she would have to spend a few moments searching. For what couldn’t possibly be there.

It was at about that time that the girl in the frame began to move.
To purchase, click here. From May 3rd through May 9th, 2010, use coupon code EXCERPTS to save an additional 25% off each of these two titles. Also available at Smashwords and many other etailers.


victor J. banis said...

Ah, two of the best writers in the business (and two of my favorites, needless to say) showing how it can be done. Thanks for the enticing snippets, guys.


Anne Brooke said...

Thanks so much for the lovely comments, Victor - much appreciated! Hugs & stuff Axxx