Thursday, June 9, 2011

Stepping Through Time by Toni LoTempio

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by Toni LoTempio
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A Raven Grace/Finn McPhee short short

“Where in blazes are we?”

Raven Grace picked herself up off the grassy terrain and brushed off her leather pants. A gorgeous, green meadow stretched before her, dotted with fragrant flowers. In the distance she could see a crystal blue lake shimmering in the afternoon sun. There was a dock with a large boat tied to it, and she could see people milling about – oddly dressed people, by her standards.

A shadow fell across the lawn, and she glanced over her shoulder with a smile. Finn McPhee, his red locks glinting in the midday sun, came over and laid his hand on her shoulder.

“I’m not quite sure,” he said, his Scottish brogue as thick as ever. He looked around at the surroundings. “When we jumped through the portal after that demon, we knew we might end up somewhere…strange. But I never expected this.”

“Where in blazes are we,” Raven repeated. As members of the Recovery squad, it was their job to chase down errant demons and other denizens of the Underworld who went against the Peace Code – and their abilities to shift back and forth through time, both real and parallel, often made it easier –except when they found themselves in a situation like now.

“It would seem we’ve gone back. And quite a way, too.” Finn squinted as he studied the tableaux by the lake. “Looks like eighteenth century England to me.”

“Good Hades. One of these days we’re gonna have to find a way to control just where we end up – if we can.” Raven glanced down at her clothes, then her gaze traveled to Finn’s tight fitting trousers, and the shirt that seemed molded to every inch of his muscular frame. “Damn demon knew what he was doing, allright. What better place for Justa to hide than a picnic? And with his ability to imitate human form, he’ll blend right in. Lots of people, good food.”

“Looks rather pleasant to me,” observed Finn. He reached for Raven’s hand, held it fast as they stood on the grassy knoll and gave a swift look around. Over to their left, a long table was set up, covered with a white damask tablecloth and heaped with food. To the right was another table, with pitchers of cool lemonade. A group of children played tag over in a small meadow. People were scattered about, in couples or in small groups, picking flowers, reading, laughing. “'Twas a much simpler time, lass,” he murmured.

“You can say that again,” Raven answered, her eyes on a group of girls clustered around a table. It looked as if they were playing a card game. “I like cards,” she said, almost wistfully.

Finn caught the note in her tone and squeezed her arm lightly. “Well, we could try and find some appropriate clothing and join them. Justa’s waited this long, after all.”

She hesitated, obviously tempted, and then shook her head. “Nah- can’t you just picture me in one of those high-waisted dresses? I’d probably trip on the skirt and fall flat on my a—“

Finn stopped her with a kiss. “Oddly, I can picture you. You’d look most charming.”

“You would too. In a greatcoat, though, not a dress.” Raven punched his arm playfully. “It would be nice if our lives could be this simple.”

“Ah, but then all the bad guys would escape, and the world we live in would be a far worse place.” Finn closed his eyes, and Raven remained still, realizing he was reaching out with his mental powers, trying to get a bead on the demon. At last he raised his eyes to hers.

“He was here, but he’s gone,” Finn sighed. “Apparently all this tranquility and charm isn’t Justa’s cup of tea.” He took Raven’s arm. “We’d best be going back through the portal again, Raven. I think, according to the mental image I received, we’ll have to jump a little farther forward – maybe 1900.”

“All right.” She gave another, long, wistful look at the peaceful tableaux before her. “Almost seems a shame to leave it.”

“You don’t have to,” Finn took her hand and they turned to walk back up the hill. “I’ve a few Jane Austen books in my library back home. Immerse yourself in those, and you’ll l be whisked back here in no time.” He touched her lips with his finger. “That’s the beauty of a good book.”

Her lips curved upward and her black eyes danced with merriment. “It’s so like you, Finn. Always trying to improve my culture.”

“One can never read enough classics.”

Raven considered that for a moment, then nodded. “Jane Austen, eh? Well, maybe I’ll try it. And the best part,” she grinned back, “is it’ll be demon free.”

a bit about the author:
I’m Toni LoTempio, author of Paranormal Romance/Romantic Suspense/YA Fantasy! I’ve been writing ever since I was old enough to read, when I didn’t like the endings of the stories my mother read me I simply rewrote them ☺ Even though I write mainly in the paranormal genre, I have also written straight horror, as well as contemporary romance/suspense.

In 1995, I joined the staff of SUSABELLA PASSENGERS AND FRIENDS, a pulp magazine for collectors of antique children’s literature (Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, etc.)

Currently I’ve written over 300 articles for that magazine, and I was the first recipient of their Margaret Sutton Award for Distinguished Writing in 1998. I joined the staff of NIGHT OWL REVIEWS IN January 2011 as the suspense reviewer/columnist. My column, DARK STREETS, which features articles on suspense authors and their novels, is featured on a monthly basis. I love to spotlight new talent, so if you’re a suspense author, please contact me!

In 2007, Whiskey Creek Press published BOUND BY BLOOD, a tale of possession, and EBONY, which deals with zombies and the dark side of man. EBONY was #2 on the Fictionwise bestseller list for e-books for the month of July 2007, beating out Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story. (and no one was more shocked than I, LOL) In 2010, after countless attempts to land another agent, I took the advice of a fellow author HP Mallory, and self published NO REST FOR THE WICCA, which has been on Amazon’s list of top one hundred in Occult since March 2011. My short story, THE SACRIFICE, appears in the e-published anthology KISS ME KILL ME, and I also have a YA fantasy, MY SUPERHERO SISTER on B&N and Amazon. A complete listing of my books appears at the end of this bio.

Currently single, I work full time and live in Clifton, NJ, with my muses: Rocco, Maxx, Gata and Trixie. (Rocco is also known as Rocco the SciFi Blogging Cat and has appeared on the SciFi Saturday Night website and radio show, and also on the Kids Need To Read website where he holds the distinction of being the first (and possibly only!) blogging cat to support this charity!)

I love hearing from fans, so please feel free to friend me on FACEBOOK, and visit my website, Rocco and I post daily M-F on his blog.

Toni LoTempio Books:

Bound by Blood – Whiskey Creek Press, trade paperback & e-book, Feb. 2007 (paranormal suspense)

Ebony – Whiskey Creek Press, trade paperback & e-book, July 2007 (paranormal suspense)

Witch’s Pawn – Echelon Press, trade paperback & e-book, December 2008 (horror)

Nom de Plume – Whiskey Creek Press, trade paperback & e-book, November 2008 (contemporary romance)

It’s in the Cards – Whiskey Creek Press, e-book, February 2010 – (paranormal romance)

Out of the Ashes – Whiskey Creek Press, e-book, May 2010 – Fantasy

No Rest for the Wicca – Amazon & B&N Pub-It, e-book, September 2010 – paranormal suspense

My Superhero Sister – Amazon & B&N Pub-It, e-book, Trade Paperback - January 2011 – YA Fantasy

Kiss Me, Kill Me – Amazon & B&N Pub-It, e-book anthology –February 2011 – Short Story, “The Sacrifice”

Raven’s Kiss – Amazon & B&N Pub-It, e-book, & Trade Paperback April, 2011 – Paranormal Romance


Guest post created for captain wentworth's boating party event by Toni LoTempio author of Raven's Kiss
© 2011. All rights reserved.

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by Toni LoTempio
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Meet these characters in...

--~ eBook Giveaway courtesy of author ~--

Raven's Kiss
by Toni LoTempio

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* image source seaside

* part of Raven's Kiss blog tour - check out the other stops for more details on this book and goodies

next blog stop:
June 10 - Novella Vialli’s Blog

~~~ captain wentworth's boating party schedule ~~~


  1. That snippet was sweet as sugar!

  2. So glad you enjoyed it - Raven's a hoot to write and I hope to do more of her before the year is out!

    keep an eye on my blog for future events:

  3. Lovely, thoroughly enjoyed that! [must remember to beware stepping through portals lol]


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