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Moving Violations

News about Moving Violations: Collection of Short Stories

Gingerbread’s Giveaway


gingerbreadExcerpt from Gingerbread:

My gingerbread bundt cake sold for eleven dollars at the craft bazaar auction. Hard to believe but that’s the God’s honest truth. I’ve been making that cake for thirty odd years and my family just scarfs it down. But no one gets worked up about it. It is just one of those things we eat at Christmas. Well, except for this year.

Giveaway:

This week’s giveaway is a trio of handmade gingerbread scented soaps in the shape of a bundt cake, gingerbead cake mix, and a signed copy of Moving Violations. I adore the scent of gingerbread, even beyond Christmas time. I especially love a slice of warm gingerbread served with cool lemon pudding.

This story is a revised excerpt from one of my “drawer novels,” books we writers keep in a bottom drawer, knowing they are not fit for publication. But I hold the experience near to my heart. I loved Bernice’s voice and her determination to keep her family together, even as they tore themselves apart.

In order to win, I’m asking you to share this contest on Facebook. Or as always, you may complete any of the previous week tasks (Tweeting, becoming a fan on Facebook, liking my author page on Amazon, etc.) to enter. You must leave a comment on my blog or Like this Facebook post to be entered.

The winner will be announced at 9 am on August 2, 2013. Thanks for playing!

The Beauty and the Beast’s Mojito Mix Madness


Excerpt from The Beauty and the Beast:

The idea of going to O’Hare airport in my red negligee to protest the TSA’s overzealous searches sounded clever two days ago, after four Mojitos, and surrounded by my sorority sisters.

“If the TSA want to strip search us on our way to Spring Break, we’ll save them the trouble!” Bree had declared to the throng in our common room.

But standing alone in front of the swooshing doors, I only felt alone. The cab ride had been awkward to say the least.

Giveaway:

mojito madnessThis week’s giveaway is a selection of Mojito items, including handmade soap, mojito scented candle, my favorite calorie-free Mojito mix, and umbrella straws, and a signed copy of Moving Violations. I grow mint in my kitchen, using a hydroponic garden so this is a drink I enjoy on a regular basis. But I am proud to say I have never been seen in public in my lingerie.

This story was a contest entry. I loved the idea of joining the crowd, only to have the crowd abandon you.   Some very beautiful women treat their beauty as a super power or a tool. And I liked the idea of her arrogance being used in a way she never intended.

In order to win, I’m asking you to like my Author page on share this contest on GoodReads. Or as always, you may complete any of the previous week tasks (Tweeting, becoming a fan on Facebook, liking my author page on Amazon, etc.) to enter. You must leave a comment on my blog or Like this Facebook post to be entered.

The winner will be announced at 9 am on July 26, 2013. Thanks for playing!

Burnt Offerings Peanut Collection


Excerpt from Burnt Offerings

As soon as the light dinged off, the skeletal, aging stewardess wheeled up the aisle and eventually handed Aidan a bag of pretzels and a printed napkin, and another set for Cole.

“What to drink?”

“’Scuse me, ma’am,” Cole interrupted, speaking loudly over the snarl of the engine just outside his window. “Are there any peanuts? For the boy here?”

“What?”

“Peanuts? Can he get peanuts instead of pretzels?” Cole said again, trying to hand back his cellophane bag of pretzels.

“Oh no, sir,” she said, leaning in so he could hear her. She smelled like talc and stale French fries. “There are no peanuts on this flight. Too many people are allergic.”

He didn’t know what to say to that. It seemed ridiculous that one person’s issue could change tradition or custom. Getting through security was the same way. Some dipshit put a bomb in his shoe and now they all had to get scanned with full body X-rays. Someone couldn’t have peanuts, so none of them could?

Giveaway:

peanutsThis week’s giveaway is a peanut lover’s dream: a peanut basket (nuts on one side, shells on the other), burnt peanuts candy, peanuts in shell, and a signed copy of Moving Violations.

This might be my favorite story from the collection and my most recent. Cole’s complete inability to see why someone else’s issue should affect him was his defining characteristic. I think it is in our human nature to assume everyone experiences life the same way we do. And I think there is nothing that could be further from the truth.

When I first set out to write this story, I wanted to write about a man who was not fine but always answered “Fine.” I was pleased with where this story ended up.

In order to win, I’m asking you to share this contest on Facebook. Or as always, you may complete any of the previous week tasks (Tweeting, becoming a fan on GoodReads, liking my author page on Amazon, etc.) to enter. You must leave a comment on my blog or Like this Facebook post to be entered.

The winner will be announced at 9 am on July 19, 2013. Thanks for playing!

Re-Hearsed’s Hearse Keychain and Bank


Excerpt from Re-Hearsed:

When Uncle Rick strolled in the kitchen, he had his usual Citgo’s Styrofoam coffee cup in his hand. He looked like Tory’s dad but a squashed, stunted version. Both brothers featured a non-existent chin and a dark mat of fur on their arms and chest. Their chest hair appeared in a straight line at their neck, as if trimmed with a guillotine.

“Ready to drag race, kiddo?” he asked, taking a swig of his coffee.

“Hardly,” she said, not rising to the bait. She jangled the keys and headed to the garage which connected their home and the morgue. The black, practical hearse sat in the only parking space. Tory’s bicycle hovered above it, suspended on a noose of wires along with old winter sleds and yard games she had never played as a child. She was too busy at rehearsals and productions, anything to escape her home and morgue.

“Cruising in the Caddy.” Rick patted the top of the roof, which was pristine leather. Her father polished it before and after every funeral, even if there were two runs in one day.

Giveaway:

hearse moving violationsThis week’s giveaway is a hearse keychain and a signed copy of Moving Violations.

“Re-Hearsed” is the reason I wrote “Proceed with Caution” on the back cover of my book. It is also the reason my book is for an older audience and not for some at all.

I try not to let others to scare me away from important topics, including death, abuse, infidelity, etc. The world is full of uncomfortable notions and I’d rather dissect them in stories than let them haunt me at night. But I understand some people are bothered by depictions of certain events. I am still in love with Tori’s preservation and power.

In order to win, I’m asking you to share this contest on Facebook. Or as always, you may complete any of the previous week tasks (Tweeting, becoming a fan on GoodReads, liking my author page on Amazon, etc.) to enter. You must leave a comment on my blog or Like this Facebook post to be entered.

The winner will be announced at 9 am on July 5, 2013. Thanks for playing!

Sight Unseen’s “Don’t Blink. Blink and You’re Dead.” Print


dont blink printExcerpt from Sight Unseen:

Nothing in life remained worth seeing but that didn’t mean Nessa wanted to go blind.

Widowed and alone, life had seemed dim before, but nothing prepared her for the sudden blackness which shuttered her vision in a single moment. Now, months later, a brush of the cat’s tail threw her into a clawing panic. Creeping sensations inched along her skin until she batted them away. Once she smacked away a sunbeam which fell on her neck like a sultry breath.

Giveaway:

This week’s giveaway is an awesome print, ready for framing, which says “Don’t Blink. Blink and You’re Dead.” and a signed copy of Moving Violations. Apparently this is a Dr. Who quote (which I am not caught up on) but once I saw the print, I knew this was the perfect gift for fans of Sight Unseen.

I was assigned this story by the contest NYC Midnight Short Story contest. I had to write a story about blindness and a clinical trial in the genre of horror. To me, there is nothing more horrifying than a terror you can not escape. As a hidden clue, I made their names spell out Blindness as well. (B. Lind and Nessa.)

In order to enter, I’m asking you to  like my author page on Amazon.  Or as always, you may complete any of the previous week tasks (Tweeting, sharing on Facebook, becoming a fan on GoodReads, etc.) to enter. You must leave a comment on my blog or Like this Facebook post to be entered.

The winner will be announced at 9 am on June 28, 2013. Thanks for playing!

Dear Crossing’s Chicken Pot Pie Pan and Afghan Potholders


Excerpt from Dear Crossing:

Up ahead was a Greyhound and two more trucks, including a skateboard and a bobtail. Gauging the traffic behind him, he thought “now or never” and eased over to the left lane before the next hill. He gained on the Greyhound quickly. His cab was eye to eye with the passengers, so he took a quick peek at them. Nothing out of the ordinary, bunch of people reading, a few men sleeping, a group of teenagers huddled in conversation. He slid his eyes back towards the road and accelerated slightly but just as the truck passed the half way point, a glint of red blonde hair caught Ron’s eye. Holding steady, he glanced over to the Greyhound.

It was her!

It had to be.

Giveaway:

chicken pot pieThis week’s giveaway is a glass etched chicken pot pie pan and two afghan potholders and a signed copy of Moving Violations.

Excerpt:

She had been perfect. She cooked a mean homemade chicken potpie and knitted him ridiculously colored afghans. She had paid his taxes and his tickets. She had even bailed him out of jail, holding his hand in silence as they had drove back to her apartment. He could almost smell her strawberry shampoo and taste her spearmint kisses.

For five years in the late 1990s, I commuted one hour each way between Lafayette, IN and Indianapolis. On those long drives, I passed countless buses and semi-trucks and wondered what they saw from their vantage point. I imagined a one-way sighting which was unrequited.

In order to enter, I’m asking you to follow me on Pinterest.  Or as always, you may complete any of the previous week tasks (Tweeting, sharing on Facebook, becoming a fan on GoodReads, etc.) to enter. You must leave a comment on my blog or Like this Facebook post to be entered.

The winner will be announced at 9 am on June 21, 2013. Thanks for playing!

Baggage Claim’s World Luggage Tag


baggage claim giftExcerpt from Baggage Claim:

“You should really fill out your luggage tag,” she said.

I didn’t answer so she shrugged, sliding the luggage behind the counter. What name should I have penned? The names on my birth certificate, the ones I’d been called?

Maria?

Bertha?

Berta?

Huberdina?

Nadra?

They were all false, yet held the morsels of truth. The only truth I could claim was on a slip of paper I tore from a library encyclopedia and carried in my wallet.

I thought of my empty luggage tag. Perhaps I should have written “Philanderer.” But that term was only used for men. There wasn’t a proper word for philandering women. Once again, I was ill-defined. Un-nameable.

Giveaway:

This week’s giveaway is a gorgeous leather luggage tag embossed with a world map and a signed copy of Moving Violations.

I have found writing contests often stretch my limits by suggesting topics or genres I’ve never explored. I participated in the NYC Midnight contest where I was assigned the topics of infidelity and riots, in the style of historical fiction.

I’d never tried historical fiction but I was immediately riveted by the true story of the Nadra riots. I spent a solid week learning about the real woman, Maria Hertogh (or Nadra), and her disrupted life. A single moment in history detoured her life and she was powerless to do anything but follow. Even after the spotlight receded, her life was not a happy one, because of decisions others made for her.  So I created a fictional account of her life, many years after her fame, when she was still picking up the pieces.

In order to enter, I’m asking you to follow me on Twitter (if you are a member). Or as always, you may complete any other social media task (Tweeting, sharing on Facebook, following on Pinterest, becoming a fan on GoodReads, etc.) to enter. You must leave a comment on my blog or Like this Facebook post to be entered.

The winner will be announced at 9 am on June 14, 2013. Thanks for playing!

Week One – Amazonian’s Warrior Woman Cameo Brooch


warrior woman broochExcerpt from Amazonian:

“What is this?” Georgiana had asked, holding the brooch in between her fingers like a dirty rag. “Oh! She’s naked!”

Suddenly, I felt very stupid, the hospital lights illuminating my mistake.

“Wait, wait! You see, she is an Amazon woman. You know, those women who cut off their breasts so they could hunt better.”

Reflexively, Georgiana clutched the hollow in her own chest. She flinched as she touched the new wound—or from the thoughtlessness of my gift. Covered in bandages, you couldn’t see the damage but it was my hope that the sacrifice of a breast would save my wife.

“Amazon women are notoriously strong,” I tried again. “Nothing could hurt them.”

I had been wrong. It wasn’t a significant gift. It wasn’t a talisman to protect my wife. It was a tacky reminder of what she lost.

Giveaway:

Amazonian editThis week’s giveaway is a unique cameo brooch of a warrior woman and a signed copy of Moving Violations.

Amazonian was the winner of a Dayton Daily News contest. As a frequent visitor to garage sales, I am fascinated by other people’s treasures and the stories behind them.

In North Carolina, I worked with the elderly, preserving their stories in photos and journaling. I was always dismayed when the family decided what items were sentimental and important, ignoring the owner’s opinion. Often, the items the family chose were important to them, but seldom to the owner.

Amazonian was my tribute to families who released sentimental items to those who would love them, even if it meant losing them.

In order to enter, I’m asking you to share this contest on Facebook.  Or you may complete any social media task (Tweeting, sharing on FB, becoming a Fan on Facebook, GoodReads, Pinterest.) to enter. You must leave a comment on my blog or Like the week’s Facebook post to be entered.

The winner will be announced at 9 am on June 7, 2013. Thanks for playing!

Summer Giveaway Series


The goal of any writer is to be read. The publishing world has changed drastically since I wrote my first book on construction paper and even since, I typed my last book during last year’s NaNoWriMo. Traditional publishing is still a long-term goal of mine, which is where a publishing house prints and supports your book. But self-publishing offers unique perks as well, such as instant readership and personal control over as your cover, your selections, and your marketing.

One of my goals for Moving Violations: A Collection of Short Stories is to be introduced to new readers who might enjoy my unique brand of writing. I tell people I write “Midwestern dysfunction.” My characters tend to be dark, flawed, but hopeful.

I wrote “Proceed with Caution” on the back cover of my book because I know not everyone will enjoy the topics I explore, including sexual abuse, death, pain, and hopelessness. But it is an all encompassing joy when a new reader finds my work and connects with the words on the page. Writers live for that high.

So as my first readers and my first fans, I am creating a nine-week, summer long contest series to encourage you to spread the word about my book, Moving Violations, and to reward you for your help and encouragement.

Each Monday, I will post a new giveaway on this blog and my social media avenues, announcing the new giveaway and how you can participate. By completing the simple task (sharing on Facebook, retweeting on Twitter, etc.) and telling me, you are entered. On Friday of that week, at 9 am, I will announce the randomly selected winner.

Basic Rules:

To enter each week,

1.) complete the suggested task (or any of the following tasks: share on Facebook, retweet contest on Twitter, fan my author page on Pinterest, Facebook, or GoodReads, etc) AND

2.) either like the Facebook post announcing the week’s contest, or add a comment to the week’s contest blog post.

Your “Like” or comment will add you to the contest pool. At the end of the week, on Friday at 9 am, the contest winner will be announced. Winners need to supply their shipping address before items can be shipped.

You can enter each week. I encourage you to share the contest across your friends and social media avenues. This contest is being held on the honor system. Once you Like the Facebook entry or comment on the blog, I will assume you have completed the task. I do not have the time or inclination to check up on each entry. And you are all honest people.

I hope you’ll play along with me and help spread the word about Moving Violations.


Copyright  2017 Nicole Amsler • Copywriter by day… Fiction writer by night