Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We're free! Well, our short story/poetry collection is

Once upon a time, in an Internet that is everywhere and nowhere, blogging writers joined keyboards and computer screens to create a blog of free short stories for the masses. Themes, ideas and morning coffee were plenty. A noisy Siamese cat was let outside. A flute trilled over young students’ heads. A library book was carefully placed in the proper shelf.

With an idea and a dream, Raven and the Writing Desk blog was born. Lisa Rusczyk, Cherie Reich, and Aubrie Dionne created these short stories and poetry within, now in book form.

We hope you enjoy them.

The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk is now free on Amazon through 1/21. Go grab your copy now. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk is now available!

Aubrie Dionne, Lisa Rusczyk, and I would like to thank everyone who has supported Raven and the Writing Desk. We closed our doors last year due to the inability to keep up this blog with everything else in our lives, but we appreciate all who read during the year and a half we were open.

We went through our stories and selected some of our very best work and compiled them together in The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk. We also contributed some never-before-seen bonus stories. Now, we bring you our short story and poetry collection, which is now available on Amazon.

Thank you, and we hope you enjoy.


The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk
A short story and poetry collection
by Cherie Reich, Aubrie Dionne, and Lisa Rusczyk
To purchase on Amazon, click here. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Closing Our Doors

After a fun, good run, we have been too busy to continue. We plan on releasing a book of our favorite stories sometime in the next few months. Thank you, followers, for keeping up with us. I am thrilled to have had the joy of working with Aubrie Dionne and Cherie Reich for such a long time.

May we all continue to write and bemuse our muses.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Review: PARADISE 21 by Aubrie Dionne

Our very own and very talented Aubrie Dionne has a new book out. It's Paradise 21, book one of the New Dawn series published by Entangled Publishing. It's science fiction romance and a fantastic read! Go get your copy today. *grins*

Title: Paradise 21
Series: A New Dawn, Book #1
Author: Aubrie Dionne
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (August 2011)
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
To Purchase: Amazon  B&N

Description: Aries has lived her entire life aboard mankind's last hope, the New Dawn, a spaceship traveling toward a planet where mankind can begin anew- a planet that won't be reached in Aries' lifetime. As one of the last genetically desirable women in the universe,she must marry her designated genetic match and produce the next generation for this centuries long voyage.

But Aries has other plans.

When her desperate escape from the New Dawn strands her on a desert planet, Aries discovers rumors about pirates - humans who have escaped her before its demise - are true. Handsome, genetically imperfect Striker possess the freedom Aries' envies, and the two connect on a level she never thought possible. But pursued by her match from above and hunted by the planet's native inhabitants, Aries quickly learns freedom will come at a hefty price.

The life of the man she loves.

Review: In Aubrie Dionne’s Paradise 21, the chance for freedom resides where the heart is.

Aries is a Lifer, residing on the New Dawn and bound by whatever fate test scores and a computer cook up for her. Longing for a life of her own, she escapes to Sahara 354, a land of eternal day, sandworms, lizard-people, and a smoking hot space pirate named Striker. When her betrothed-to-be lands on the planet in search for her, Aries may have to give up her long-lost freedom for the man she loves.

Paradise 21 is beautifully written. Each word sings on the page and lends importance to the plot, setting, and characters. Ms. Dionne brings to life new worlds from cold, deep space to the desert planet and its strange inhabitants. We feel the heat and the isolation within the universe. As a science fiction novel, Paradise 21 explodes with action-packed drama; as a romance novel, it oozes with sweet romance. The strongest part of this novel resides within the characters. They are flawed and wonderful. Their issues and how they overcome them moves the plot forward. There is never a dull moment! Each character shows growth in who they are, although some characters never change, like people. Ms. Dionne yanks the reader into the worlds she creates and doesn’t let them up for air until the last page. Best of all, Paradise 21 reminds us freedom is sacred, sacrifice involves love, and every creature is important.

Aubrie Dionne’s Paradise 21 catapults me into outer space where anything is possible, but most of all love, and I love this novel and highly recommend it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Reading

When I went to school, I used to love summer because without school work, I could read all I wanted. I miss the days where I could lay around and read all day and night. I would binge on books, often forgetting to move for hours at a time, as I was lost in imaginary worlds.

I love reading books, but summer reading always seemed the most fun and most guilt-free.

My book reviews blog is hosting a Favorite Summer Reads Blogfest from August 24-27. All you have to do is sign up and talk about your favorite read--doesn't have to be one you read during the summer--on your blog between August 24-27. You even get a chance to win some awesome books. Click here for more information and to sign-up.

By the way, you even have a chance to win our very own Aubrie Dionne's newest book Paradise 21 and many others!

So what season do you read more?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Short Story: "Cursed Isle" by Cherie Reich

By Cherie Reich

 Waves surged over Mer’s head. The sea god’s wrath raged fierce and powerful. She spat a mouthful of brine and dived down, attempting to move below the surge. Another swell grasped her, dragging her toward the surface. A strange current refused her entrance to her ocean home.
A jagged lightning bolt ripped across the blackened sky. It blinded Mer and she blinked back spots before her eyes.
She was rising higher and higher. The wave crested and dropped below her. She gasped as she hung in the air before plummeting like a boulder into the cement-like water.
Pain radiated from her body. Fear gripped her throat and she tightened her fingers around the pearl necklace. Her theft started this roaring tempest, yet she still was reluctant to release her prize.
Her world tumbled around her, and she angled her tail to stop it. The mermaid thought she would lose her kelp dinner, if this kept up. She slowed and broke through the surface once more.
“Mine.” His voice carried within a thunderclap, and she shuddered, her ears ringing from the sound.
The ocean receded around her, as if a thirsty whale satiated itself with it. She twisted and gasped at the tsunami lifting to greet her.
Mer had nowhere to outrun the monster.
Water crashed into her like a battleship. She swirled and twisted amongst the foam. Her body scrunched up, attempting to be smaller. A plastic bag tangled in her hair. Her arms scraped against coral. Her mind screamed when she could not. Over, under. Around and around.
Mer slammed against sand.
She didn’t move, could barely breathe as the ocean tugged on her. The necklace yanked from her fingers. Magic burned along her magnificent tail, splitting it down the middle. She cried out in grief, anger as air rushed into lungs instead of gills.
Soft rain tickled her bruised flesh. Waves gently lapped on her feet where her tailfin once was. The sky grew lighter, a paler gray with a glimmer of blue peeking from the clouds.
“Mine.” The sea god whispered in a final thunder rumble.
Sun burned her sensitive flesh. She curled upon the hot, dry sand. A whimper pushed from her lips, causing tears to squeeze from her tightly closed eyelids. Why wouldn’t she die upon this sandy beach? She craved death like a fish craves water, and she did need water too. Even the waves wouldn’t reach her newly formed toes.
Something poked her shoulder. It felt hard, remind her of driftwood. She became aware of others around her, and she held a breath in her new lungs. Fear closed in on her like a net, ensnaring her from moving or escaping its clutches.
“Is she alive?” A voice questioned, dry, soft, and older woman’s tone.
“I don’t know. Maybe.” Younger, masculine, strong.
She felt him kneel beside her. His energy radiated towards her like sea lava. It burned as much as the sand. His hand grasped her shoulders, turning her over. She moaned and fluttered her eyelids.
“Quick, she’s alive.”
Arms dug under the sand beneath her, lifting her in the air. She wanted to see who her savior was, but sand particles crusted her lids together, preventing her from opening them more than a tiny bit.
When they lay her down, something soft cushioned her. Gentle water trickled over her face, dribbled into her mouth. It was surprisingly sweet. She opened her eyes, taking a few moments before she could see in the shaded light.
An older woman with hair whiter than a seashell crouched over her and dabbed the water upon her skin. Wrinkles crinkled around her blue eyes. She reminded her of her father’s grandmother.
The man loomed beside her. Golden hair flowed to his shoulders. His skin gleamed like the sun-kissed sand she previously rested upon. She noticed his honey-colored eyes. He seemed familiar to someone she once knew. Her mind wouldn’t give up the name, though.
The sea god, the necklace, and the tempest memories slammed into her, and she gasped for breath as she sat up.
“Who are you? Where am I?” She scooted away from them, wondering if they were truly friend or foe.
“I am Aqualine.” The woman touched Mer’s foot. “I was once like you many years ago. How did you anger the sea god?”
Mer pulled her legs away. Legs, such strange things. She’d seen them from sailors lost at sea, but she didn’t like them one bit.
“And you?”
“I am Kale and you are on the cursed isle.”
She shuddered at his words about this island. Then his name and appearance shocked her. “You’re the sea god’s son . . . his lost one.”
“My father knows where I am, since he put him here. I’m afraid I’m not as lost as you think. What did you do to piss him off?” He crossed his arms.
“And your name, dear,” the old woman asked.
“I’m Mer, and I . . . um, took a necklace, the pearl one. I thought he wouldn’t notice.” She felt a sheepish smile curl her lips. Her cheeks grew hot, but she didn’t know if it was from embarrassment or the sunburn. “So how do we get off this isle?”
They laughed.
“You don’t,” Kale said. “Trust me, we’ve tried. Father won’t tolerate betrayal of any kind. You’re stuck here forever.”
Forever. The word struck her in the heart like a harpoon. Tingles flowed over her skin and tears pricked her eyes. She pulled herself up by a palm tree. Her legs shook, barely able to keep herself standing. The ocean waves splashed against the beach, although she couldn’t see it from the foliage. She ached for the water.
“I can’t stay here.”
“I’m sorry, Mer. It’s not easy, but it gets better.” Kale reached toward her, but she dodged his arm.
Her feet tumbled her forward as she staggered through the plants to the beach. The sun was lower on the horizon. More gentle on her skin and eyes than before. She collapsed into the water. Her legs and arms moved awkwardly like a fish on dry land. She pushed herself farther in. The ocean welcomed her, dragging her into its warm, wet embrace.
She heard their cries, but then she dunked her head into the sea. The salt stung her eyes. Air left her lungs. She sucked in water. Freedom drained from her with each lap of water. She was drowning, dying.
She’d never be a mermaid again.
A wave lifted her, tossing her away from it. Hands grasped her. Her head broke the waves, and she coughed up water.
Sand greeted her, and she looked up into Kale’s eyes.
“Are you crazy?”
She smiled weakly before she turned her head to the side and threw up more ocean water. The sand felt nice this time. Cooler, gentler. She didn’t want to die by the sea’s hand. She wanted to live, but could she live like a human? She didn’t know.
The sea god had banished and deserted them to this island.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wagon Hiest Part III

Rosalind took the opportunity to roll over and hide behind the wagon. Her head ached from hitting the ground. She hadn't even seen the men that threw her off her horse. The battle happened so fast and turned out the opposite of what she'd wanted. She fought through the dizziness, trying to focus her thoughts on the present.

"I had a heart. You stole it. Marvin Harris, you're the biggest thief of them all."

Silence. She wondered how badly he'd been hurt. Was he shot? Could she live with herself if he died? Even though he'd left her and broken off their engagement, the only thing she thought she could steal from him was his money: money that was supposed to be hers anyway.

Rosalind peaked over the rippling cloth of the wagon as a breeze blew through the valley. A shot whizzed by her head, sending her falling backward.

Marvin was healthy enough to send her to the grave. Scrambling up, she crawled around the wagon until she could see his feet. One of his legs bent at a hideous angle. The other bled in a streak down to his spurs.

That leg had wrapped around hers at one point, many nights ago. The memory still blazed in her heart, and she squashed it down. How many girls had he promised to wed before her?

No, it had to stop here. Rosalind sniffed up her tears and raised the gun, aiming for his chest.

Marvin's words stopped her finger from pulling the trigger. "You should have taken the silver I left you and settled for that."

The meager pittance he'd left on the nightstand made her feel like a prostitute, not the daughter of the Sheriff. She bit down a clever retort.

That's what he wanted. He could tell by her voice which part of the wagon to shoot.

No, this time she couldn't talk back, even though all she wanted to do was tell him off.

Rosalind decided that money was hers. Her fingers shook as she pulled the trigger.