Weekend Writing Warriors: Explaining Her ‘Situation’

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where participants share excerpts of their books or works-in-progress. It’s a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! Be sure to check out their website. For the next few weeks in honor of the upcoming holiday, I’m going to post excerpts from my Christmas novel, Full of Grace (the full synopsis is below). In today’s selection, we’re jumping ahead three months. Joseph is at first happy to see Mary after she returns from visiting her relative Elizabeth; but that joy soon turns to something else as Mary finally shares with him her incredible destiny as the mother of the promised Messiah. Note, ‘malakhs’ means angels; and ‘Mashiac’ means Messiah.


Snippet:

It was a spacious room, not unlike his; it just struck him as odd that he was noticing all this now, as Mary was explaining her ‘situation’. Really, he didn’t know what else to call it, with all her talk of malakhs and the Mashiac. He was a good Jewish man, who believed in the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and went to synagogue and prayed daily; but to believe his betrothed had been impregnated supernaturally?

Joseph’s eyes wander around the room, trying with all his might to shut Mary’s voice out. Just an hour earlier, it was all he wanted to hear; now, he can’t stand to hear it. She had betrayed him and expected him to believe this nonsense—an incredible feat, considering not even her parents believed her. He can see it in their expressions, their body language: Heli stands propped against the back wall, his hand covering his mouth, while Anna anxiously wrings hers, pacing back and forth, looking everywhere but him. If they don’t believe Mary, why should he?


Synopsis:

Front CoverSpanning the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy, Full of Grace sets the foundation for the Christmas story. Chosen as God’s handmaiden for the purpose of bringing his salvation to the earth, Mary expects the honor and glory that accompanies such a title. She quickly finds this new status is not so easily received by those around her, especially Joseph, who cannot see she didn’t betray him. Left to face a bleak future alone, Mary learns what it means to be full of grace.

 

The book is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunes or Kobo.

#FullofGrace #RuthEGriffin #AwardWinningAuthor #Christmas #ChristmasStory #MaryandJoseph #Nativity #JesusChrist #WeekendWritingWarriors #8Sunday

Weekend Writing Warriors: How will this be?

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where participants share excerpts of their books or works-in-progress. It’s a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! Be sure to check out their website. For the next few weeks in honor of the upcoming holiday, I’m going to post excerpts from my Christmas novel, Full of Grace (the full synopsis is below), which tells the story of Mary and Joseph, as they are called of God to become the parents of Jesus Christ. It takes a humanistic look at the young couple and their relationships with the people around them, including Anna and Heli, Mary’s parents. In today’s selection, Mary has shared with her parents the incredible words the angel spoke over her, but they do not react the way she expected them to.


Snippet:

Anna closes the gap between them, Heli behind her, and asks, “How will this be? How can you become pregnant without having relations with a man?” Her voice is considerably lower.

The mirth in Mary’s eyes disappears.

“He said the Holy Spirit will come on me and fill my womb with the son of Adonai,” Mary responds, meekly.

“That is blasphemy, Mary,” Heli advises, the edge back in his voice; he looks around, as though someone might hear them. “You are smart enough to know you ought not speak that way.”

“But you taught us to pray,” Mary pleads, turning to Anna, “’I am available to you, Adonai…’”

Anna wants to believe Mary: after all, this was her sensible, obedient child with a practical head on her shoulders; she had never been one for fantastic stories, so why was she telling them now?


Synopsis:

Front CoverSpanning the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy, Full of Grace sets the foundation for the Christmas story. Chosen as God’s handmaiden for the purpose of bringing his salvation to the earth, Mary expects the honor and glory that accompanies such a title. She quickly finds this new status is not so easily received by those around her, especially Joseph, who cannot see she didn’t betray him. Left to face a bleak future alone, Mary learns what it means to be full of grace.

 

Download the ebook on AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunes or Kobo

#FullofGrace #RuthEGriffin #AwardWinningAuthor #Christmas #ChristmasStory #MaryandJoseph #Nativity #JesusChrist #WeekendWritingWarriors #8Sunday

Weekend Writing Warriors: What They Could Be

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where participants share excerpts of their books or works-in-progress. It’s a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! Be sure to check out their website. Today’s selection comes from my book, The Best Love (the full synopsis is below). Hoping to get drunk and forget Julieta after inadvertently breaking her heart, Alex instead gets drawn into his thoughts, remembering the one he lost.


Snippet:

Julieta had always been ‘Manny’s little sister’, invisible to him; now, though, she was something else, something more: she was smart and ambitious, but also beautiful, with dark, expressive eyes, and a warm, inviting smile. He had never considered her appearance before, but looking at her now, he couldn’t deny his attraction to her. This new view of her forced Alex to take stock of his life: he had distanced himself from his past when he met Manny, but now that he knew Julieta saw something in him worth caring for, he wanted to try harder, he wanted to be better—for her. Alex didn’t understand everything that was happening, but the longer he was around Julieta, the more he wanted her.

So, when Manny told Julieta to register for class, Alex jumped at the chance to be alone with her. How else could he know if everything he was feeling was real or not? And when he finally mustered up the courage to kiss her, it was like a spark shot through him, leaving him wanting more—of Julieta, of them, of what they could be.

Then Alex had to screw everything up.


Synopsis:

Front Cover“Ever since the accident…”

Julieta cringes every time she hears those words. Everything lately is a result of ‘the accident’, and she is so over it: after almost losing her life, Julieta’s had to make adjustments to deal with some of the challenges she now faces – physical therapy to regain use of her leg, lost school time and lower self-esteem, among them.

However, none of those changes compare to the ones in the people around her: her brother Manny is pushing her like he’s never done before; her sister-in-law Sonia is nesting and treating her like a daughter; and Manny’s friend Alex is now offering her the attention she’s been craving from him for years. So maybe good things do come out of bad situations…

Except that when Julieta finds out why Alex has been so attentive, her world comes crashing down. With her already-fractured family now at odds with each other, she is ready to give up on the notions of fate and love and happily-ever-after’s, when another accident shows them that sometimes the best love is one that begins accidentally.


The book is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks and Kobo.

#TheBestLove #RuthEGriffin #AwardWinningAuthor #Love #LoveStory #Romance #WomensExperiences #WomensStories #InterracialLove #WeekendWritingWarriors #8Sunday

Weekend Writing Warriors: He Wanted To Forget

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where participants share excerpts of their books or works-in-progress. It’s a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! Be sure to check out their website. Today’s selection comes from my book, The Best Love (the full synopsis is below). Last week, Julieta learned the truth behind Alex’s actions. What was it? Well, I can’t share that, but there are at least two sides to every story. Unfortunately, no one wants to hear Alex’s, especially Julieta, who feels betrayed by him. With nowhere else to go, he heads to a bar where he runs into a coworker.


Snippet:

She continued filling him in on the events of the day, but Alex stopped listening after a while. He wanted to be alone; but more than that, he wanted to forget. So, when the bartender came back with Lisa’s order, he requested another beer. Then another. And another. With each beer that followed, he waited for the numbness to set in, so he could forget Julieta. It never happened though. The more he drank, the more he remembered: how she looked, how she felt, how she tasted.


Synopsis:

Front Cover“Ever since the accident…”

Julieta cringes every time she hears those words. Everything lately is a result of ‘the accident’, and she is so over it: after almost losing her life, Julieta’s had to make adjustments to deal with some of the challenges she now faces – physical therapy to regain use of her leg, lost school time and lower self-esteem, among them.

However, none of those changes compare to the ones in the people around her: her brother Manny is pushing her like he’s never done before; her sister-in-law Sonia is nesting and treating her like a daughter; and Manny’s friend Alex is now offering her the attention she’s been craving from him for years. So maybe good things do come out of bad situations…

Except that when Julieta finds out why Alex has been so attentive, her world comes crashing down. With her already-fractured family now at odds with each other, she is ready to give up on the notions of fate and love and happily-ever-after’s, when another accident shows them that sometimes the best love is one that begins accidentally.


The book is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks and Kobo.

#TheBestLove #RuthEGriffin #AwardWinningAuthor #Love #LoveStory #Romance #WomensExperiences #WomensStories #InterracialLove #WeekendWritingWarriors #8Sunday

Weekend Writing Warriors: Fueled Her Rage

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where participants share excerpts of their books or works-in-progress. It’s a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! Be sure to check out their website. Today’s selection comes from my book, The Best Love (the full synopsis is below). Without sharing spoilers, Julieta has been caught by her brother Manny making out with his friend Alex. Manny doesn’t take it well, and beats the young man, who admits the true motivation behind his attention. Needless to say, Julieta is feeling some kind of way…


Snippet:

“Jules, please…” Alex begged, reaching out to her.

Hearing him call her by that name only fueled her rage. Julieta slapped him, hard.

“Go to hell,” she exclaimed, then turned her wrath on Manny, who was equally guilty in her eyes, “You too–both of you go to hell!”

Manny frowned.

“What did I do?”

“What right do you have to walk into my bedroom? I don’t need you checking up on me or rescuing me.”


Synopsis:

Front Cover“Ever since the accident…”

Julieta cringes every time she hears those words. Everything lately is a result of ‘the accident’, and she is so over it: after almost losing her life, Julieta’s had to make adjustments to deal with some of the challenges she now faces – physical therapy to regain use of her leg, lost school time and lower self-esteem, among them.

However, none of those changes compare to the ones in the people around her: her brother Manny is pushing her like he’s never done before; her sister-in-law Sonia is nesting and treating her like a daughter; and Manny’s friend Alex is now offering her the attention she’s been craving from him for years. So maybe good things do come out of bad situations…

Except that when Julieta finds out why Alex has been so attentive, her world comes crashing down. With her already-fractured family now at odds with each other, she is ready to give up on the notions of fate and love and happily-ever-after’s, when another accident shows them that sometimes the best love is one that begins accidentally.


The book is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks and Kobo.

#TheBestLove #RuthEGriffin #AwardWinningAuthor #Love #LoveStory #Romance #WomensExperiences #WomensStories #InterracialLove #WeekendWritingWarriors #8Sunday

Carmilla: A Good Old-Fashioned Monster

downloadI just finished my next audiobook adventure: Carmilla, the classic by Joseph Le Fanu, about a mysterious female vampire who preys on the young daughter of an Austrian nobleman. Given that this follows on the heels on Frankenstein, I’m thinking you can probably sense a theme here: monsters of yore. I am a fan of the Gothic horror genre. Forget the blood, gore and guts of modern horror tales, I’ll take an intelligent tale of things that go bump in the night, moral heroes and most importantly, monstrous monsters.

Yes, I said monstrous monsters. As of lately, monsters have gotten … conflicted. They have ‘reasons’ for doing what they do. They justify their actions. They lack the original mystery that made us scared of them. We’ve become so familiar with these monsters that we’ve had to add blood and gore to their stories to find any kind of fright in them. And in that familiarity, we’ve humanized them.

What do I mean? Dracula, in Dracula Untold, was forced to become a monster by an enemy who was more monstrous than him (again, using Ms. Shelley’s argument that man is the real monster). Damien, in the short-lived series reboot of the original story of the anti-Christ’s early years, was described as a millennial in therapy, conflicted about whether he should take over the world or not. The vampires in Stephanie Meyer’s books sparkle and marry and have children – a inside joke that made it into Hotel Transylvania, which went further to humanize and endear the monsters more than any other film I can think of (I actually liked the series).

I think this is what irked me most this time. I did what I usually do when I complete a book I know has a film adaptation and I googled Carmilla. I found sequels and reimaginings that focused on the lesbian love part (if only to titillate their audience, no different than Mr. Le Fanu), but dismissed the part where she was undead and preying on young women. And I know that authors and writers can create their own worlds and visions for stories, but there are some rules that don’t really change. Undead is undead. No matter how ‘romantic’ the notion, vampires can’t have kids, they can’t feel emotions, and no, they don’t sparkle in the sunlight – they burn. Plus, drinking blood is gross and unhygienic, not sexy.

And while we’re on it, silver kills werewolves, not vampires.

So yeah, I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to this. Give me a good old-fashioned monster any day. Their backstories might be tragic, and their tales meant to shed light on the unexplained, but in the end, they are evil and worthy only of vanquishing. When lines like that are drawn, life goes back to being simple. Black is black and white is white; and we find our purpose in the evil we battle.