Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Review of A Past and a Future

A Past and a Future

by Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz

Publisher: Sam's Dot Publishing

First Printing, October 2010

Author's website:



Ashley, younger son of Brandon, Duke of Ashland, sat brooding in front of the fire. Although it was late spring, the stone castle was drafty and always cold. Deep in thought, he tried to ignore the gaiety around him, as party guests frolicked and made merry. A spark from the fire fell on his blue silk hose, and he flicked it away angrily. He sat up straighter on his chair and adjusted his dark blue brocade jacket. He noticed a small smudge spot on one of the white lace cuffs protruding from the right sleeve. He rubbed at it absently, but that only pushed the soot deeper into the fabric.
Ashley glanced back over his shoulder. A small group of musicians, gaily dressed in green and gold brocade, played a rollicking dance tune. Dancers of all ages bobbed, swayed, curtseyed and bowed to each other as their feet flashed through the intricate dance steps. Serving girls wove among the dancers, tankards of ale and goblets of wine balanced on their huge trays. Ashley sighed and turned back to his fire; he had never managed to conquer those dance steps.
Ashley picked up a poker leaning against the stonework and shoved it into the pile of burning logs. The flames danced higher, the sparks flying like tiny fairy lights. Ashley sighed and looked back over his shoulder again. Princess Thalia danced with his brother, Gerand. Her small blond head was thrown back in laughter, her cheeks lit with a rosy glow. She was dressed in a low-cut, lime-green brocade dress, the full skirt trimmed in the finest ermine. Around her neck flashed a choker of emeralds and diamonds. Woven into her hair were strings of pearls. Gerand’s tall muscular frame, topped by his head of thick, black hair, created a stark contrast to the small plump princess as he propelled her around the dance floor in an intricate maneuver. Ashley sighed again. Thalia was so lovely, if only he had been born first, she’d be pledged to him, not his older brother.
Ashley stirred the logs while muttering under his breath. A rainbow of colors flickered, and suddenly an image of Princess Thalia appeared, hovering in the huge fireplace. Several more words created Ashley’s image standing alongside Thalia’s. When a hand touched Ashley’s shoulder lightly, it startled him. The images flickered and disappeared.
“Impressive, Ashley of Ashland,” Thalia’s soft voice murmured.
Ashley spun around quickly, a blush coloring his pudgy cheeks. “Good evening,
Princess. I thought I was alone.” Ashley stood and bowed, his eyes never leaving Thalia’s face.
“You were. I just came to see if my future brother-in-law would like to dance with me?” Thalia’s cheeks dimpled slightly as she smiled, extending her hand.

A collection of sixteen fantasy and soft science fiction stories, A Past and a Future has something for every reader to enjoy.  From sorceresses, evil magicians and dragons to blue-skinned robots and telepathic empaths, each character is unique in their own way.  Each of the sixteen short stories is well written and with such detail that you will find yourself transported into the different worlds, overcoming obstacles and challenges along side the characters.  Each story is an adventure you won't soon forget.

I would recommend A Past and a Future to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy or soft science fiction stories.

** Go about 2/3 of the way down the page

Be sure to come back on Friday when I share an interview I did with Penny.  You won't want to miss it!


Shannon O'Donnell said...

I'm not a fan of short stories. These sound good though. :-)

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Susanne, thank you for the wonderful review. I'm glad you enjoyed the stories. I definitely had fun writing them!

Shannon, short stories are a great way to get a fun read when you don't have time to sit down and read a novel. I hope you get a chance to try them some day.

Deb Hockenberry said...

Hi Susanne & Penny,
I loved this excerpt & review. Is A Past and A Future coming to Kindle? I'll definitely be picking this up!

Deb Hockenberry said...

Hi Susanne,
I loved the excerpt & your review. It sounds like a great book that's right up my ally! @ Penny: Is your book going to come out on Kindle? I'm definitely going to pick this up!

Heather Haven said...

That's our Penny! Wonderful writer and a great gal, to boot!

Julie Musil said...

This sounds like such a fun collection of stories! Perfect for a quick reading while waiting for my kids at school :D

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Shannon. I find short stories to be a wonderful change of pace when I know I'm not going to have time to get into a novel, like when waiting at the doctor's office. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Hi, Penny. Glad you liked the review. I did enjoy the stories. Thanks!

Hi, Deb. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt and review. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Heather! Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Hi, Julie. Waiting for the kids at school would be a perfect time to get in a short story. Thanks for stopping by!

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Hi Deb, Heather and Julie, thank you all for stopping by to read Susanne's review.

Deb, I wish A Past and A Future would be coming to Kindle, but that's not in the works right now. The publisher did say they would be putting books on Smashwords at some point, but I haven't heard when yet. Smashwords does offer the mobi format, so if it gets there, I'll definitely be posting about it.

Thank you all for your support and kind words.

Ann Best said...

This is a good review, Suzanne, and sounds like a good story. The excerpt shows how good the writing is. I'll read an occasional fantasy if it's well written.

Thanks for stopping by and congratulating me on the release of my memoir.
Ann Best, Memoir Author

Mayra Calvani said...

Thanks for the great review, Susanne, and for stopping by my blog recently. :-)

Talli Roland said...

Thank you for the review! Certainly sounds interesting!

Joylene Butler said...

Thank you for sharing Penny's work, Susanne. I think the book and her short stories sound wonderful. I know just the person who would love this as a gift.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Ann, Mayra, Talli and Joylene, thank you all for stopping by and leaving your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt and hope you try a few more of my stories. My fantasy is about relationships as much as anything and so people who don't always read fantasy often find it a fun read.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Ann, Mayra, Talli, and Joylene. I'm glad you all enjoyed the review.

Penny, thanks for coming by to check in and answer questions.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


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