Lucky-Charm

I have never had the pleasure of featuring a Hashtag guest blog of this sort before and I’m over the moon to have Pauline Creeden write this for this month’s theme “Luck and Charms”. This is a Choose Your Own Adventure story that ends with you learning a little about the meaning of the color of your “Lucky Charm”. This is fantastic and I am indebted to Pauline for unloading this awesomeness on my blog! Thanks you infinitely for being this month’s first Hashtag author!

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Choose Your Own Lucky Charm ~

1. START

You are walking through the mall during your lunch break because you are trying to get at least 1,000 steps in on your pedometer before you get back to the daily grind at your desk. Phone calls to make, e-mails to write. Ugh. You just don’t want to think about that right now.

But you head down one of the not-so-often traveled branches in the mall where they are getting ready to open a Belk, when a sudden flash of light catches your eye. A strange woman stands at a kiosk, wearing a gypsy skirt and a red bandanna wrapped around her hair. Her wide smile welcomes you as soon as your eyes meet. And then the glint of light happens again. It’s come from one of the many crystals she sells on her cart.

“Oh, young lady. I can tell you are seeking something…” The woman starts.

Hmmm… seeking something? Peace in my life maybe? You start to walk around her kiosk in a circle so you can continue your step count in peace when she says, “One of my crystals has called to you. And if you find it, you can have it for half price.”

Surely it’s a scam, but you’ve never been able to resist a good deal. You stop and eye the crystals. The ones that are on black cord for wearing around your neck are in the general area of the glint you saw earlier. You’re favorite color is blue, but the yellow one is by far the prettiest, and the green one is appealing, too. All three seem to be “calling” your name. Which will you choose?

Choose blue? Go on to #2

Choose yellow? Go on to #3

Choose green? Go on to #4

2. You choose the blue one and ask, “How much?”

The woman’s eyes twinkle. “What a wise choice. I can tell you are an honest and intelligent woman, and your choice proves that it is so. With this stone you will find a loyal friend who will accompany you on your journey, for that must be what you seek. For you, it will be five dollars.”

It takes everything you have not to roll your eyes. This woman must really say this kind of stuff to everyone. You pay for the stone and put it around your neck while you continue your walk.

After heading down another strange branch in the mall, you notice that an animal shelter has set up a meet and greet. You think “how nice” and start to circle the crowd around the animal cages when a small head pops up over the crowd. Right in front of you is the cutest pair of big brown eyes you’ve ever seen—and they belong to a yellow lab puppy. After making some of the most annoyingly cute sounds you’ve ever heard come out of your own mouth, you step over. On impulse you adopt the puppy, along with all the accessories that come with him. His name is George Clooney.

With your new friend at the end of the leash, you make your way back to the car. You’ve put in over 1,500 steps on your Fitbit by now and you really do need to get back to work. Only then do you ask yourself…what are you going to do with George? THE END

Blue symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

3. You sort of feel bad for the woman because so few customers come down this way, so you choose the yellow one and ask, “How much for this one?”

The gypsy woman puts a hand to her chin and nods. “Of course. A bright woman with your kind of energy would seek to be happier and healthier. It is the obvious choice for you to choose yellow. This stone will help you find the joy you seek. For you, it will be five dollars.”

You shrug and open your wallet. You pay for the stone and put it around your neck while you keep walking. A full lap later and you’re feeling pretty good about putting in your extra steps. Just as you’re heading back to your car, someone calls your name from behind.

You turn around and find your high school best friend, Stephanie running toward you and wrapping you in one of her signature bear hugs. Before you can blink, Stephanie and you are catching up on everything that has happened in the past few years since you last saw each other. You’re excited to see her again, and before you can break away from each other, you’re already making plans to meet up again. Amazing that you had just been thinking about how lonely you’d been outside of work lately, and now you’ve found that old friends are often the best friends.

Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy.

4. Well, the green one will bring out the color of your eyes the best, so you choose that one and ask, “How much for this one?”

The woman’s smile grows wide and she claps her hands together. “Without a doubt, you are a shrewd one. This stone will help you find the harmony you seek. Only five dollars for this one.”

“Okay,” you say, and dig the money from your wallet. You put it around your neck and keep walking. The smell of pretzels draws you in. So much for your diet. That salad you’d eaten earlier just wasn’t cutting it anyway.

You head into the pretzel shop and get the one with cinnamon and sugar on it, feeling a little guilty while you dig in. But just as you’re finishing up, you notice that there is a scratch game on the back of your diet soda. You grab a quarter from your wallet and scratch off to see what you’ve won… if anything.

After a few minutes of scratching off the silver bit, you find yourself with and free one-year membership to the 24-hour gym. Maybe this is just what you needed so that you can finally shed that last ten pounds. With a smile, you take your cup up to the counter to ask how to redeem your prize.

Green is associated with meanings of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment.

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Raven-Resize

RAven (Chronicles of Steele) Synopsis:

This is the complete Steampunk Fantasy novel – all four parts of the serial in one volume! Also includes bonus features not found in the episodes ~

Human life has value.
The poor living in the gutter are as valuable as the rich living in a manor.
The scoundrel is no less valuable than the saint.
Because of this, every life a reaper takes must be redeemed.

Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she’s been spending years redeeming the lives she’s taken. By her count, she’s even and it’s time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore… Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she’s pulled right back in.
add-to-goodreads

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Raven (Chronicles of Steele) Books:

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Raven (Chronicles of Steele) Excerpt:

Two sets of footsteps clipped across on the cobblestone. Before they rounded the bend to the stable door, Raven’s fingers twitched over her knife. When she saw Gorman and the younger baron, she relaxed and continued attaching her weapons.

“Can I trust you?” Baron Darius’s voice rose hesitantly as he approached.

She smiled. “I’ve saved your life once and promise to do it as many times as necessary.”

“Why?”

“It’s the reaper’s way. A life for a life.”

“How many have you killed?”

Raven clinched her jaw. “Too many.” Her gaze met the butler’s. “Will he have his own horse?”

“No. The young master’s condition makes him subject to untimely fits. He would be in danger of falling.” His ice blue eyes held a fire unmatched by his frozen features.

“Right. I expected as much.” She placed her boot in the stirrup and mounted. “Hand him to me then.

The butler lifted him to the front of her saddle. She knew it would be an uncomfortable place to ride for a long period of time, but he’d only have to make it to Gregory’s house. On a horse, it should only be about four hours if they took it slow, less than three if needed.

A horn sounded, and the butler paled. “It’s him. The duke approaches.”

“Father is early.” The boy sounded happy but tentative.

Gorman gripped the horse’s rein and turned it toward the other stable exit. “We must leave by the north gate. The duke approaches from the south. You may have as much as an hour’s head start before he commands a pursuit.”

Raven swallowed hard. “That’s not enough time.”

“Follow me.” He released the rein and jogged forward.

The horse trotted in response. Even in the jarring up and down motion of the trot, the young baron remained silent. He gripped the chestnut mare’s mane with both hands. His knuckles glowed white under the lamps. Raven pulled gently on the reins to slow the horse to a more tolerable speed but followed the butler closely.

“Guards!” Gorman reached the gates, speaking in breathless tones. “Baron Solomon orders passage for this woman and the young baron.”

Raven recognized Grant’s red band before he turned around. He narrowed his eyes at her and barked the order to open the gate. Before she could urge her horse forward, Grant gripped the bridle by the cheek piece. He called back toward the butler, “Will she need guard?”

“That will not be necessary. She is capable of caring for the young baron on his errand.”

Even in the half-light, Raven could see the guard’s jaw tighten and nostrils flare in indecision. “Baron Solomon trusts this woman?”
The butler frowned and stiffened in disapproval. Still he answered softly, “Yes, with his brother’s life.”

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Meet Pauline Creeden:

Pauline Creeden is an Award-Winning Dark Fantasy and Steampunk author, horse trainer, and overall book ninja. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been a #1 Bestseller in Christian Fantasy and been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Gold Award for First Place YA Horror Novel.

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Pauline Creeden’s Web Tracks:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Pinterest

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Pauline Creeden on All The Things Inbetween:

Any Day That Ends In YA – First Impression by Pauline Creeden

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Reader, writer, gamer, nerd, and kpop lover; Ms. Ali Cat lives deep in her own imagination within the grand city limits of San Diego, CA. A proponent of afternoon naps, kitten cuddles, and hashtags, she will be voting: #COFFEFFORPOSITIVECHANGE in the next presidential election.
Hashtag: Luck and Charms – Choose Your Own Lucky Charm by Pauline Creeden
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