Friday, 15 March 2013

Guest Post - Wendy Laharnar

I would like to welcome to my blog today, lovely Australian author, Wendy Laharnar, whose most recent releases at MuseItUp are three 'shorts', heartwarming stories set in three very different times and places.

Happiness Guaranteed - A Relationship Between Two Perfect Lovers

'Charming and Chilling SciFi Story'

Bianca is a beautiful Epicurean Supremo from a privileged futuristic society, but she has a flaw which, if discovered and reported to the Rulers, will threaten her life and that of the man she loves. Unable to pinpoint the cause she tries to hide her anxiety until an ingenious birthday present from Derek, her husband, provides a respite. Now, on her thirty-third birthday, her primitive behaviour and thought patterns return; stronger and more dangerous.


Bianca’s bed swayed in gentle rhythm with her floating condominium. Smiling, she opened her eyes and reached across the white expanse for Derek. He wasn’t there. Damn. She’d overslept; very out of character. What if he noticed? No. He’ll return soon and find me on the balcony exactly where he expects me to be, especially today.
She rolled onto her back, stealing a few extra minutes in bed and glanced up at the domed ceiling high above her: Derek’s masterpiece. The wide, stained glass panels let shafts of coloured light sprinkle life into her sterile world. She watched the lazy sunbeams paint murals on the milky walls. They tinselled the buckles on the two pairs of shoes and spotlighted the confusion of clothes on a moulded chair.
Flinging back the covers, she stretched, letting the sun energize her skin. “What a glorious morning,” she murmured. Only Penthouse Dwellers, like Derek and herself attained this privilege. According to Derek, sunlight symbolized their status. For a moment she revelled in true contentment.
An image of her grandfather snuck into her mind. He’d told her of a time when sunlight shone on everyone, but he’d been a storyteller, a bad influence. On her seventh birthday her parents forbade her to visit him any more, and placed him out-of-bounds. Years later she heard he’d died.
Her happiness shrivelled. “Unimportant.” She scowled, jumped out of bed and slipped into clear, tensile slippers. A filigree tunic lay on the floor where she let it fall the night before. She picked it up, grabbed yesterday’s clothes off the chair, hurried to the primping room and dropped them all down the trash-chute. “There!” She stabbed her finger on the Restyle button.
With her fingertips, she massaged her cheeks and studied herself in the mirror. Thirty-three, today. No obvious flaws, not yet, apart from that one little glitch Derek inadvertently fixed last birthday.


The calf padded forward. He looked into his mother’s face and mooed softly. Her glazed, weepy eyes no longer focused on his. He nibbled on her ear. She didn’t stir.
The farmer’s wife sighed and reached forward to pat his head. “Come on, little bull. I’ll get you a nice warm drink. What do you think of that?” His hair bristled. Without his mother’s protection, he didn’t feel comfortable with these people. He darted away to the safety of a gum tree.
“This calf will be harder for you to rear than mothering a newborn,” the farmer warned his wife. “This one’s had the real thing for three weeks.”
“Maybe, but you’ll have to help me get a collar and lead on it. After that, how hard can it be? Besides, I must succeed. I promised Misty.”
The little bull waited till they walked up the hill and out of sight. He ventured out from behind the tree trunk and settled on a patch of dirt inside the hawthorn bush a   short distance from where his mother lay. In his cave-like shelter he dozed, until a sudden, terrifying pressure on his ribs woke him.
The farmer’s knee pinned him to the ground. He squirmed and wriggled to his feet, kicking defiantly with his hind legs, but the farmer held him fast. The wife approached with a thin orange strap and secured the collar around his little neck. She picked up a bottle filled with a strange white liquid and pushed its rubber teat into his mouth. The teat smelled like the black boots on her feet. He eased it out with his tongue. She tried again. With her free hand she continually scratched his throat. He had to swallow. Then he gagged and struggled and spat and stamped on the woman’s foot.
She laughed and hugged him. “In spite of your tiny body and cute little face, you’re such a stubborn beast. You behave like a goat. A Billy goat! That’s what I’ll name you.” She stood and tugged on the lead. “Come on Billy, it’s me or nothing.”

A Summer Squall - Loving A Child . . . When Your Story Is Your Child

New Release – March 1st  from MuseItUp Publishing.

A writer, desperate to meet a deadline, struggles with writers’ block. Drawing on the five senses for inspiration, she is swept out of her depth when she tries to rescue a shipwrecked child. She rushes in, ill-equipped for the challenge and unprepared for the ensuing revelation.


Lightning flashed, and a sudden, deafening clap of thunder made me jump. The storm grew fierce and wind captured a small voice spiralling towards me.
“Help! Somebody! Please help me!”
“I’m coming,” I called, unsure if I’d heard the cry of a child or merely a distressed gull. Running, stumbling helplessly, jagged stones cutting my bare feet, I ran faster, feeling no pain.
I pressed forward into the gale and reached the cliff top despite the determined tempest holding me back. Below in the sea, a boy, not more than ten years old, clung to the sides of his frail craft. The sail was ripped, and the mast split like a pencil snapped in disgust.
“Hold on. Everything will be all right.” I must believe that, but how could I? Wind and rain fought my every movement. They twisted my light cotton skirt around my legs and wrapped my drenched hair over my face as though they were using me to hinder myself. The wind knocked me to the ground. I sent a hurried prayer to the gods, pleading for strength and courage to persevere.
Slithering backward, I let my legs dangle over the cliff’s edge. With my feet clawing at the rock face, I found a ledge and carefully eased my body over. White spray sharpened by rain cut into my back. Lightning split the sky. A wild wave flung the tiny boat against the rocks. It rose on the swell and then the ebb sucked it out to the open sea. I counted the seconds, waiting for the thunderclap. The shock of it slammed me against the rock face.
Unequipped and unprepared, this challenge was probably too great. Shouldn’t I delegate someone else to rescue this child? No, I could do it. Focus.
I moved down the rocks again, aware only of my grasping fingers urgently carrying me to the sea. Cut and torn, I reached the torrent the instant the little boat sacrificed itself to the breakers.

Wendy's Website:
Wendy's Muse Author Page
Wendy's Amazon Author Page


Rosalie Skinner said...

Great stories, lovely covers and terrific excerpts from three separate genres. Congratulations Wendy... I couldn't say which I enjoyed the most. Each held me captivated and took me back to their original stories.
They all show your writing talents.

Wendy said...

Thank you Anita for inviting me here today. I love your Romantic blog.

Rosalie I appreciate your support and your generous comment. Thank you for being here.

Marian Lanouette said...

I love your cover and the excerpt pulled me right in. Good luck, Wendy.

Wendy said...

Thank you for stopping by Marian.

Leona said...

Wendy, I enjoyed the excerpts from all three stories. You move well from one genre to the next. I especially liked the goat story. It was different.

Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

I love the look of your blog, Anita, and Wendy, the excerpts were brilliant! And the covers, as well! Good luck

Laurel Lamperd said...

I love your short stories, Wendy. They are witty and surprising.

Your novel, The Unhewn Stone, was an excellent read. I can recommend it to readers who like adventure and fantasy with history thrown in. Who was Willam Tell: he of the famous act of splitting the apple on the head of his son.

Read The Unhewn Stone and discover for yourself.

Edith Parzefall said...

I've read all of Wendy's stories and enjoyed each one very much. Highly recommended.

Wendy said...

Hi Leona, Thanks for telling me. It's always nice to be reassured, especially when I wrote those stories for my own entertainment. Yes, Billy is my favourite, that little bull calf acted like a goat-real stubborn :)

Hi Helena, I agree, Anita's blog is so elegant, like the author herself. Glad you think my excerpts are 'brilliant'. That puts a huge smile on my face. :)Thank you. I can't take credit for the lovely covers. They come from the fabulous MuseItUp Art Department.

Laurel and Edith, Hi dear friends, like Rosalie you're just biased!!! And I'm very glad you are. The feeling is mutual, I'm sure. :)

Anne Stenhouse said...

Hi Wendy and Anita, this is a great idea showcasing some super work. Thank you both. Oh, but it's wet enough in Edinburgh. Reading the passage about the shipwreck made me shiver. Anne

Wendy said...

Hi Anne, lovely to see you here. 'made you shiver' now that's music to my ears!! :)

Pat McDermott said...

Anita, your blog is lovely. And Wendy, so many great stories! You have such a vivid imagination. Wonderful excerpts, and eyecatching covers. I hope you have more in store for us!

Wendy said...

Thank you Pat, maybe that's because I kissed the Blarmey Stone. But you've been through the Glimmer, so your imagination is much more vivid than mine. :) I'm so happy you stopped by

Petrea Burchard said...

Very nice covers. I know from experience how hard it is to get good ones!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great imagination, Wendy - I love that cover for A Summer Squall.

Lovely blog, Anita!

Maggi Andersen said...

Lovely writing, Wendy. Makes me want to read more.

Ginger Simpson said...

Better late than never, but I enjoyed your post and your excerpts. Glad to see you's been far too long since we connected. :)