BlogFlash With A Difference 1

The next post to appear on the Heart Search Blog Tour was a little something different. The lovely Joy Keeney set me a challenge which was “Take your main
character and your favorite childhood character (book, cartoon…you pick) and
write them into a scene in Heart Search.” She was kind enough to allow me a little leeway with the word count (thank goodness)! Anyway, when I was a kid, my favourite book was Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild and the character I most related to was Pauline Fossil. So, I decided, in my infinite wisdom, to marry up Pauline Fossil with Joshua from Heart Search and here is the result:

Joshua walked at a normal human pace across the park; he didn’t want to draw attention to himself. Although he didn’t feel the cold, he had the hood of his sweatshirt pulled over his face; he wanted to be anonymous, to blend in.

The leaves on the trees were a glorious profusion of gold, red, orange and bronze. Autumn had arrived. As he strolled over the fallen leaves, he heard a faint sob from a female ahead of him. He didn’t think much of it at first until a little further on he saw the lone figure of a young girl sitting on a bench, tissues in hand, trying to stifle the sound of her misery.

He inhaled deeply. Her young blood had the sweetest fragrance and venom automatically pooled on his tongue. He’d fed before daybreak so wasn’t thirsty, yet her blood called to him. As he moved closer, there was something in her dejected demeanour which called to the human he used to be, so he went over and sat beside her.

“Why are you crying? What’s wrong?” he asked, his voice gentle and kindly.

She looked up at him, her eyes red and puffy. She seemed to be scrutinizing him as if working out whether she should trust him. After all, she’d always been told never to talk to strangers. Something she saw in Joshua’s eyes made her feel safe. “I’m lost and I’m late,” she sniveled.

He noticed the bag on the seat beside her; it was the sort dancers used. “Well, let’s see what we can do about that, shall we? What’s your name?”

She straightened her back a little, her eyes beginning to dry. “My name is Pauline Fossil,” she announced proudly, “and I’m a dancer and actress. What’s your name?”

“Joshua.”

“Joshua what?” Her eyes still on his face.

“Just Joshua, that’s all. But that’s not important is it? You said you’re lost and late – tell me where you need to go and I’ll help you,” he replied trying to change the subject.

She was much sharper than her gave her credit for. “So don’t you have a surname then? And why is your skin so white?”

“Look, I have somewhere I need to be so do you want my help or not? Where are you supposed to be going?” Joshua sidestepped her question and injected a little impatience in his voice.

“Madame Barnetta’s Theatre School,” Pauline replied automatically. She was a little taken aback by his sudden change in tone.

“Okay. Grab your bag and let’s go. The longer we sit here the later you will be.” Joshua began walking a little faster than normal human speed and even running she couldn’t keep up with him.

“Wait, please, you’re going too fast for me,” she gasped. Joshua turned around and walked back towards her.

“Jump on my back,” he commanded crouching down. She did as she was told, her arms clasped around his neck and her head rested on his shoulder. As he walked quickly, his nostrils were again assailed by the honeyed scent of her young blood. This was getting harder by the minute. He wasn’t one to feed from children, but the smell was too delicious. It took every ounce of his willpower not to bite into the flesh so close to his lips.

Within minutes they had arrived at the old building with the faded sign declaring the name of the school. He crouched again so she could climb off. “Good luck, Pauline Fossil”

“Thank you very much, Joshua,” she replied. She took half a dozen steps towards the school then turned around to say something more, but he had vanished. She shrugged her shoulders and ran up the steps. She had an audition to attend.

I hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I did writing it!

The Top Ten Books Challenge

My dear Twitter pal, KD Rush, threw down the gauntlet and challenged his friends to name their top ten books and give their reasons why. Never one to refuse a challenge, here are my top ten and why they are special to me:

10) Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild: I started dancing when I was 5-years old and it’s been a huge part of my life ever since. My parents were dancers and I followed in their footsteps. As a child I wanted to be a ballerina too, but was told I was too tall so never got the opportunity to find out if I would have been any good at it. I really related to this book in a big way and although I haven’t read it for more years than I care to remember, the enjoyment of it has always stayed with me.

9) The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty: As a teenager, I was into horror and anything paranormal and this book gave me both. I read it when I was in my early teens and it scared the crap out of me, so much so I wore a cross to bed for the next month! Funnily enough, I had the same reaction when I saw the film (under age of course, lol). But whatever way you slice it, this book is powerfully written and scary as hell.

8) Salem’s Lot by Stephen King: Ahhh, my first encounter with vampires. This book drew me in to a new world and was responsible for my burgeoning fascination with vampires. Since reading Salem’s Lot, I’ve read a whole host of other vampire novels since (The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice is another favourite, but didn’t quite make my top ten) and still do for that matter; I even write about them!

7) Kane & Abel by Jeffrey Archer: This, along with the sequels The Prodigal Daughter and Shall We Tell The President (2nd version) are firm favourites. The stories are very well written and I really enjoyed them.

 

6) The Rats by James Herbert: (Along with Lair, Domain and The City, the rest of the books in the series). There are several reasons why I like this series, but the main two are, they had a ring of believability to them, and I knew some of the places mentioned. As I’m British and my first job when I left school was in the city of London, I used the Underground on a daily basis. These books fed my love of horror/fantasy!

5) Wit’ch Fire by James Clemens (The Banned and The Banished series): For me, this is a great fantasy series. I found myself rooting for the main protagonist all the way through. It contained most of the elements you find in a great fantasy series and I didn’t want to put them down once I’d started them!

4) Lightning by Dean Koontz: I haven’t enjoyed all of Dean Koontz’s books, but there were a few memorable ones. Lightning was, for me, the best of them. I think it contained a great concept, was gripping and I enjoyed it so much I’ve read it several times over the years!

3) The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe by C S Lewis: It’s funny, but for some reason I never actually got around to reading the rest of the books in the series, something I still plan to rectify! Although my love of fantasy ultimately began with the fairy stories of Hans Christian Andersen and The Brothers Grimm, this amazing story further fuelled that love and remains a firm favourite even now.

2) Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone in the US) by J K Rowling: With great characters, Hogwarts and the wonderful creatures she created, what’s not love to love about this series. It’s fabulous escapism, the stories are great and the climax is amazing.

1) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer: I don’t care if I hear a few groans from the audience, this is my favourite book! I thoroughly enjoyed all of the Twilight books, but this final one gripped me more than any other book I’ve read and I didn’t want to put it down until I’d finished it. The other big plus for me was it had vampires in it. I enjoyed Stephenie’s new take on vampires and the humanity she gave them. I enjoyed the back story of how the wolf pack came to be and how the synergy changed between them and the vampires throughout the four books. I think the saga will stand the test of time; they may never become ‘classics’, but I don’t care – it’s still my No. 1!

I have to admit, narrowing my huge list of favourite books down to just ten was a major task and one that’s taken me several days. Just outside of my top ten were books by Sidney Sheldon, Dan Brown, Alison DeLuca, Anne Rice, Terry Brooks, Raymond E Feist and David Eddings.

Ok, now it’s your turn. What are your top ten books and why? Care to share?