Books by Craftie Ladies

Friday, October 24, 2014

It was a Dark and Stormy Night--Halloween Serial Chapter Seven by Danica Favorite

It was a Dark and Stormy Night--Halloween Serial Chapter Seven by Danica Favorite

As they rounded the corner, an old hag, complete with gray, stringy hair and a bulbous nose with too many warts to be real, stepped in front of them.

"It's about time you showed up." Her harsh raspy voice was definitely real, as was the angry flash of eyes. "Do you have any idea how bad this looks to our guests?"

Our guests? Just a moment ago, JT had been saying that to Ellie. And now this woman, this hag, was saying it to JT. Okay, Ellie would admit that the woman was probably not really a hag, but boy did she look creepy. As the woman held up a candle, the shadows created even more distortions that gave the hag's face an even more reptilian look.

“Who’s she?”

JT put his arm around Ellie. Almost like he wanted to protect her. A shiver ran down Ellie’s spine. So far everything that had frightened her had seemed to have a perfectly reasonable explanation. But there was no explaining the way his touch made her quiver. Or the way the hag’s narrowed glance made her stomach feel like she’d just taken a sip out of a nasty, dirty cauldron. 

“This is Ellie,” JT said, pulling her closer to him. “She had a little car trouble on the way up.”  He gestured toward her bare feet. “She also had a mishap with those overpriced torture devices you women call shoes. Can you see if there’s anything in Mandy’s closet that will work for her?”

The hag gasped. “You can’t be serious. Mandy’s shoes are-“

“It’s not like she’s going to use them. I’m sure there are at least a hundred pair that have never been worn.”

A hundred pairs of shoes that had never been worn? That sounded about like any woman’s dream. If this whole thing didn’t feel like a nightmare, Ellie might have been excited at the prospect. And if the hag wasn’t looking at her like she was going to make off with the crown jewels. Of course, if they were nice shoes, like Ellie’s Louboutins, she could understand the woman’s trepidation. Not that anyone would have so many expensive shoes just sitting around. Still, she didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot with this already angry woman.

“I’m sure I’ll be fine,” Ellie said smoothly, trying to give the woman a reassuring look.
JT pushed Ellie toward the hag. “None of that. Your shoes are ruined, and you need something to wear. We’ve got plenty, and a single pair won’t be missed.”

He glanced at the shoe sticking out of her bag. “And judging by the size of your shoe, it looks to be the same as the ones I’ve had chucked at me a million times over the years.”

A shoe-throwing woman? And JT wanted Ellie to borrow a pair of her shoes? Clearly JT knew nothing about women at all. When he’d first pulled up to rescue her, she’d thought him to be the scariest thing she’d encounter all night. But as the fearful events kept piling up, Ellie couldn’t help but think that this shoe thing might be the most terrifying of all…

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It was a Dark and Stormy Night--Halloween Serial Chapter Six by Missy Tippens

It was a Dark and Stormy Night--Halloween Serial Chapter Six
Missy Tippens

Ellie bit back a gasp. He lives here. This is his party. He's probably not a crazy killer.

The mantra didn't do much to reassure her as she looked at the uninhabited hearse.

At least she hoped it was uninhabited. "Um, yeah. That's unusual all right."

"It was supposed to be parked out front, a prop for the party. But I'm late and need to get inside to greet my guests." JT picked up Mina, the bat cat. "Ready to go?"

"Gladly." Anything to get out of this dark garage. As she stuffed her weapon, aka her shoe, back inside her handbag, thunder once again rattled the door.

He turned off the hearse with some kind of remote control. Then he shined the flashlight to lead the way inside. They stepped into what appeared to be a long hallway. When he set down Mina, she scurried away, her tiny costume wings flapping.

Photo Credit: Crestock/inhabitant

"It's pitch dark in here, too," Ellie said, wondering why in the world she'd risked life, limb and Louboutins to come to a silly party on such a stormy night.

He sighed. "I hope my housekeeper has lit candles. Otherwise I'm afraid everyone will be scared." He stopped, and she nearly bumped into him. Turning toward her, he pointed the flashlight at their feet, creating a dimly-lit circle with them inside . "You have to admit, this house is a bit creepy."

His nearness took her breath away and made thinking clearly difficult. "It is with you in that cape and horrifying mask."

With a deep chuckle, JT lifted the mask to the top of his head. "I'm sorry if I've frightened you. I tend to get carried away when I throw a party."

She looked up into his eyes, half scared of what she'd see there. But even in the shadows, his beautiful brown eyes sparkled with humor.

Her tension eased, but just a fraction. Because a single man this handsome was a danger in itself. A danger to her heart. "Yeah. You had me going with the whole 'You can call me Norman' thing. How about if I just call you JT?"

"For you, Ellie, anything." With a heart-stopping grin, he slid his mask back in place. Then he stretched out his gloved hand. "Will you join me in welcoming our guests?"

Our guests? She swallowed. Hesitated. Then, against the voice in her head shouting turn around and run home!, she placed her hand in his.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It Was A Dark and Stormy Night Part Five

Well, at least he was out of the car while she was in..

But, what else was in the car!  Clutching the broken stiletto, Ellie wondered who to use it on first... JT Norman or whatever had just brushed against her leg?

She looked at JT and then back to the floorboard of the sports car.  It was so dark she couldn’t see anything, just hear the movement of something.  She took a step back, then another, and another.

JT, all sinister in his white mask - which seemed to glow in the dark! - came around the car.  Somehow, when she wasn’t looking, he’d managed to put on white gloves.  They glowed just like his mask.

Great, if he strangled her, there’d be no fingerprints!

She stepped back again and bumped into another car. It was slightly warm to her touch.  How many did he have?

“She’s a little shy right now,” JT said, starting to circle the car.  “I have her in costume.  We were in town picking it up, and I decided to dress her up right away.  When we rescued you, she was tucked under the seat sulking.”

Ellie’s feet wouldn’t move.

The hand holding the stiletto felt frozen, maybe from the chill of the room or maybe from fear.

“Come on, Mina,” he coaxed.  “Your sisters are inside.”  To Ellie, he said, “Mina’s the only one who likes to travel.  She likes people, too.”

At that moment, a rustling sounded and a black cat, wearing a bat mask and little body suit with bat wings stepped out to curl around his feet.

Ellie started to relax, just a little.

“I like doing the unusual”  JT said.  His smile was wickedly handsome.  “Speaking of unusual...”

He switched off the flashlight, plunging them into darkness.   The car Ellie leaned against rumbled a bit, as if someone had turned on a tiny motor.  It’s headlights clicked on, loud in the silence of the garage.

Ellie gasped, pushed herself away, and saw that she’d been leaning against a hearse.

A hearse that now had it’s motor running, headlights on, and no driver. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


It was a Dark and Stormy night—Halloween Serial Chapter Four by Terri Reed

          “No, no. Light would be good.” Ellie grappled with the door handle and pulled. The side door popped open and she scrambled out, through her striped stockings the cold cement floor turned her toes to popsicles.
JT flipped the lock on the glove box, reached inside and withdrew a slim, sliver object that glinted in the car’s dome light.
She gasped. Was that a knife?  
She backed away from the car with her stiletto at the ready.  Wildly she glanced around the mammoth sized garage for a place to hide, but the car’s interior light did nothing to dispel the black abyss of the garage.  She didn’t know what dangers hid in the shadows. Better to face the threat she could see.
JT unfolded himself from the car and stood.  He was tall, very tall.  Taller than Ellie, which under normal circumstances would have delighted her, but right now, his towering frame intimidated and threatened.  If she screamed would anyone hear her?
Thunder crashed out side, rattling the garage door as if clamoring to get in. Or was something trying to get out?
He shut his door and rounded the rear of the car, his long legs carrying him toward her. Heart hammering against her ribs, she swallowed, backing up another step, moving farther into the gloom. 
             JT reached inside the car behind the passenger seat.
She watched in fascination as he withdrew a long black cape, swirled it out and fastened the sheet of fabric around his broad shoulders.  Only now did she realize he wore a tux that fit his frame well.  All he needed were fangs.   
He pushed the passenger side door closed, throwing them into complete darkness. Then she heard a click and a beam of light illuminated JT with a garish glow, making the angles and planes of his handsome face sharper.
“Oops, I almost forgot.” JT reached inside a deep pocket within the cape, withdrew a white mask and slid it over his face, then held out a hand. “Come to me.”
Oh, boy.  Isn’t that was what Dracula said to his victims right before he…Something rubbed against her leg. She squealed and jumped.  “Something is in here. It just touched me.”
A rumbling laughed emanated from JT.  “Don’t worry, she won’t hurt you.”
            “What won’t hurt me?” Ellie whispered.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Feature Book: Rocky Mountain Dreams by Danica Favorite

How exciting to hear from Joseph Stone 
the hero from Rocky Mountain Dreams 
a November 2014
release from Love Inspired Historical Romance .

Here's what you can expect to read!

The last thing Joseph Stone expects to discover upon arriving in Leadville, Colorado, is a newfound little sister. Hoping to find his late father's silver mine and hopefully keep his siblings back home out of an orphanage, Joseph needs an ally. The preacher's lovely daughter agrees to care for the little girl. She's just not as willing to trust the prospector…. 
Annabelle Lassiter has seen what men do in pursuit of riches. Yet for all the hardship he's known, Joseph still shows tenderness and warmth. Annabelle's plan has long been to leave Leadville far behind. But Joseph's quest for silver could cost them a more precious dream—one of family, love and new beginnings….

And now for the interview:

1.  Joseph, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
There’s not really much to tell. I get up in the morning, I do what I have to do for my family, and I go to bed. I suppose if you asked one of my sisters, they’d tell you about the time I let them dress me up in one of Ma’s dresses to cheer her up. Of course, that was before Ma died, and things haven’t been the same since.

2.  What do you do for fun?
Fun? I wish I knew the meaning of the word. My fiancĂ©e, Annabelle, is helping me change that, but until I met her and we went through the wild ride that happens in our story, I didn’t have a whole lot of time for fun. I suppose I’ll be making up for lost time now that Annabelle is in my life.

3.  What do you put off doing because you dread it?
Paying bills. It seems like there’s always something I have to choose not to pay because there’s not enough money. I don’t know what’s worse, not following through on your obligations, or having to tell one of the little ones they have to do without. 

4.  What are you afraid of most in life?
Letting my family down, not being able to provide for them, or having them taken away from me. I know our situation isn’t ideal, but all we have is each other, and as the eldest, it’s my duty to make sure everyone is taken care of.

5.  What do you want out of life?
For my family to be happy and secure. We don’t need anything fancy, but I’d sure like for everyone to have what they need and for my sisters to be able to take off some of the load of raising the rest of my siblings.

6.  What is the most important thing to you?
Well, if you guessed family, you’d have guessed right. I think that’s probably pretty obvious by now. Though I suppose I have to say my faith as well. Meeting the Lassiters has shown me the importance of not just relying on myself to take care of my family, but of also relying on the Lord as well.

7.  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Wow, that’s really a hard question. Honestly, I feel like I’ve been through so many changes over the course of my story that I’d really like a break from all that changing. I suppose, though, I would like to learn more about defending myself and my family. There were times in the story that I felt really inadequate in being able to do anything to protect them, and even though I know our ultimate protection is from the Lord, I’d sure like to be better equipped should danger come knocking.

8.  Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
We used to have a farm, but all those animals were farm animals, I never really saw them as pets. Once we lost the farm, there was no money or space for animals. However, Nugget has been asking for a kitten, and I just know that one of these days she’ll catch me during a weak moment and I’ll give in.

9. Can you tell us a little interesting tidbit about the time period you live in?
I don’t know if this counts as little, in my day, Leadville was the second largest city in Colorado. We even had telephone service between businesses and mines, far earlier than many parts of the country. Of course, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, since some of the wealthiest families in America got their start in Leadville.

Danica says, "Thanks for Stopping By!" 

Friday, October 17, 2014

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night-Halloween Serial Chapter Three

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night—Halloween Serial Chapter Three
By Margaret Daley

“Norman?” The word squeaked out of Ellie’s mouth as she thought of the movie Psycho. Norman Bates? She gripped the handle of the door, prepared to jump from the moving car if need be.

“JT Norman. I’m new in town and late for the party. And you are?”

“Ellie Autumn. I’ve lived here all my life and late for the party.”

As he slowed the sports car, a garage door on the side of the house lifted. The headlights and a dim overhead light illuminated the dark shadows. JT pulled inside and turned off the engine. The sound of the garage door closing filled the quiet. Ellie glanced back and watched it trap her inside with a man in a faintly lit, cavernous garage.

A streak of lightning struck some place nearby, immediately followed by a loud clash of thunder. It shook the air. Ellie gasped, swinging around to look at the man only two feet from her. His dark, dark eyes drilled into her with an intensity that stole her breath.

“You okay?” he asked in a rich, smooth voice.

“I don’t like thunderstorms. Sleepy Holler seems to be a magnet for them. I’d planned to leave…” Her words faded into the silence as the headlights clicked off and the garage went totally dark. Her candy-corn gel nails dug into the door handle. “What just happened?” She fumbled in her handbag on the floor by her feet for one of her black Louboutin stilettos to use as a weapon if this man tried—

He opened his car door, and a bright light flooded the interior. “It seems that the electricity went off.”

When he reached toward her, she shrank back as much as she could, finally grasping the stiletto.

He gestured toward the glove box. “There’s a flashlight in there. We’ll need it to see.” His compelling gaze locked with hers. “Unless you prefer sitting out here in the dark until the electricity is restored.” 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night - Halloween Serial Chapter Two by Teri Wilson

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night – Halloween Serial Chapter Two

Teri Wilson

“Oh.” Ellie glanced at the foreboding mansion at the top of the hill and really wished it didn’t look so much like the house in the movie Psycho. “Actually, yes. I’m going to the party.”

“Super. Climb on in.” Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome grinned. At least she assumed he was tall. It was kind of hard to tell since he was behind the wheel of a fancy sports car. But he wasn’t giving off a Norman Bates vibe, and for now, that would have to be good enough. Her Louboutins weren’t going to fix themselves.

“Thank you,” she said, folding herself into the passenger seat.

“You’re welcome.” His grin widened, revealing a most charming set of dimples, and he shifted the car into drive.

Ellie tried not to stare. She really did. But now that she’d gotten a closer look at him, she couldn’t help but notice how very much he looked like Ryan Gosling. That had to be a good sign, right?

She swallowed and aimed her gaze out the windshield. The storm had really picked up. Rain pounded against the glass, and the trees outside bent sideways in the wind. Trick-or-treaters went scurrying for cover. By the time they crested the hill, the rain-slicked sidewalks were deserted.

A chill snaked its way up Ellie’s spine. She’d be glad once she was safe inside the grand house and out of this eerie weather.

But when the car reached the sweeping, circular drive, it didn’t stop. Ellie pressed her palm against the window and cast a longing glance at the mansion.

Don’t panic. He lives here. He’s probably taking you to a separate, private entrance.

She forced her lips into a brave smile. “Thank you again for the ride, Mr…um…I’m sorry, I don’t think I caught your name.”

He arched a brow and gave her a sideways glance that sent butterflies swarming in her belly. “You can call me Norman.”

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It Was A Dark and Stormy Night—Halloween Serial Chapter One

Lenora Worth

It was a dark and stormy night. Ellie Autumn was late for the big Halloween party since her orange VW bug had broken down on Spirit Road. Wanting to be fashionably late, not REALLY late, Ellie hurried along the narrow ribbon of a road that wound up to the big house on the bluff just outside of town.

Unfortunately, she’d broken a heel on one of her black Louboutin stilettoes. Hard to walk with one flat heel and one five-inch heel. Forced to carry her shoes in her stunning midnight black handbag, Ellie could feel each pebble and stick against her black and white striped tights.

“I’m going to this party, no matter what,” she said into the eerie wind. Everyone in Sleepy Holler wanted to meet the man who’d purchased the deserted Maze mansion and renovated it into a really nice but kind of creepy home. Ellie especially wanted to meet him since he had one quality she loved in a man. He was single.

Ellie checked her bright candy-corn gel nails and ignored the little kids running around like munchkins.(Her perfect manicure matched her car and the pumpkin-shaped sequins on her black dress.) Wishing she’d remembered to put a little more gas in the VW, Ellie sighed. “I need help. I shouldn’t be walking alone on this dark, tree-shadowed road. I’m TSTL!”

     A sleek black sportscar pulled up and stopped. The passenger-side door opened with a creak. “May I give you a ride?”
Ellie glanced into the car, her eyes meeting those of the man at the wheel. “I don’t accept rides with strangers.”

Not even handsome, dark-haired strangers with incredibly gentle but deeply dark brown eyes.

“I live up there,” he said with a smile. “That is where you’re headed, right?”