Archive by Author

Pretty Women

16 Jan

Working Girl by Nara Malone

1. Movie Night

“She’s so pretty,” I whispered.

“And she knows it,” my sister said, dragging an afghan over her daughter, concealing slim legs and new curves.

“I say study hard. I do my best to ugly her up–wrong clothes, bad haircut. All that pretty keeps punching through.”

I punched the button on the DVD player, slid Pretty Woman into its envelope.

“It’ll be okay,” I said.

Neither of us believed it.

2. Candle in the Wind

“It’s too pretty out,” my sister said.

It was. Funerals deserve a rainy day.

She leaned into me.

She didn’t ask why. We knew why.

I asked, “How?”

She was shaking her head as if denial could change results. “She ran off. Some guy gonna make her a star. You know?”

I did.

We held hands. Her nails dug crescents into my palm as dirt showered the pretty coffin.

3. A Star is Born

My sister visited the hospital. My new daughter wailed, but I couldn’t touch her.

“What’s this about?” Sissy said, bustling over to tend the baby. She froze mid-reach.

My heart fell from hope to hell, tumbled like a star. “You see it too?”

Her hands went to fists. “She looks like Arielle.”

She gathered me in her arms. We rocked each other. “This time will be different,” she promised.

I wanted to believe.

~Nara Malone

A somber 69er threesome today with the focus on verbs. The word limit of each verse made this a challenge. All I can say is that at least one of my verbs rocks. This is my contribution to dVerse Poets Meeting the Bar. Stop by and see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.

Flasher Fiction: Working Girls

7 Jan

At the start of the New Year it’s nice to strike out in new directions. That’s what we aim to do here at Passionate Reads and at the Greyville Writer’s Colony. The publishing industry and writers are struggling with digital disruption. I’m ready to embrace it, ready to see if we can make digital work for us in new ways.

Author Tina Glasneck shared an article with me this morning on the J A Konrath’s predictions for the future of publishing. He says some interesting things, including plans to explore interactive media more. A similar theme was at the heart of the Future of Storytelling class I took recently at iVersity. The future is interactivity.

If you know me, you know interactive fiction is my passion. I’m pleased to see that the genre is gaining attention just as the Greyville Writer’s Colony authors are hard at work on new ways to bring interactivity to writing and publishing.

Konrath wound up his predictions with this comment:

“The way to succeed in this future is to live and think in this future. That means continuing to innovate, experiment, and refuse to be satisfied.”

At Greyville Colony we literally log into the future of fiction. We walk around in that future and sit down to chat with it. If you want to keep an eye on the future then this blog is an excellent place to see where that future is headed.

My first experiment of the year was to build a scene in a virtual world populate it with characters and use it to make illustrations for a new form of storytelling I wanted to try. It’s not interactive fiction but is was a story created in a pixel world by an avatar. I call it a Flasher.

My definition of a flasher is a story length somewhere between 55-250 words–a page or less. Sixty-nine words being my favorite length and a sixty-niner threesome being a nice tool for creating the beginning-middle-end setup of a story.

I love flash fiction but I’ve always felt it could gain a wider audience if paired with images. Yes, you can create mood, setting, characterization in just a few words. That’s part of the challenge. By employing a few poetic techniques, flash fiction delivers characters and emotional punch that can get lost in longer narratives.

This process, learning to use the poetry of images and words together, was like crack for the creative mind. The project hooked me and wouldn’t let go until I finished.

Get the complete Working Girls flasher here. It’s a free quickie–7 pages in PDF format. I think I’ll write a lot more flashers. Maybe a 69er threesome flash next time.

If you’d like to make a flasher, keep an eye on the blog. I plan to have a tutorial up in 2 weeks detailing how to make these graphic flash fiction mash-ups–no drawing ability required. If you’re impatient to learn more, drop in and visit us at the virtual Greyville Writer’s Colony where we’re always pushing the limits of what a story can be. Membership is free and open to everyone.

Ode to Friday 55

21 Nov

There are days
when love of you
makes a promise
like June skies
so blue
I want to turn the earth
upside down
and dive
glide through watered silk
to gooey bottom
probing for pearls
mine irritants
transformed to
iridescent orbs
treasure to fill
quickie tales
of adventure and love.
Today wasn’t one.

~Nara Malone

This post is my contribution to dVerse Poets and G-mans Friday 55. Stop by to see what others wrote or to join the fun yourself.

Of Sex Magick and Selkies: Make Me Wet

7 Nov

Hangin’ with Ronin…

I spent my first book release day, way back in 2010, in a beauty shop with purple goo in my hair. It was the my first run-in with release day go-wrong syndrome.  Then I had satellite internet and heavy rain that kept satellite from connecting. So I drove an hour to find a spot with free WiFi. I wound up at a beauty shop blogging from a net-book after I agreed to let them do a “treatment” to my hair. My hair and I survived.

I’d like to say I’ve gotten better at managing the craziness of release days. I haven’t.

Make Me Wet released yesterday. I thought tomorrow was the release day.  So I started the day behind schedule and the go-wrong syndrome kicked in its share of obstacles. I may not be better at managing release days, but I have come up with a few nice ways to deal with the stress. I discovered one of them in the process of writing this story. The opening image above is a picture of me and Ronin, hero of Make Me Wet. We’re recovering from release day in the virtual Selkie Island I created while writing Ronin’s story. It’s not unusual for authors to do some world building and write out dialogues between themselves and their characters. I’m probably not the only one who discovered they could bring their characters to life as a digital being and sit down face-to-face to have a chat. I did my world building virtually too. I like logging in and having the sense of the story world coming to life around me as I sit down inworld to write a scene. That’s what I did whenever I was stuck on where to take a scene. That’s what you can do with Ronin anytime you want. I left Ronin’s world available for readers to enjoy. I hope you find his company as inspiring as I do. Before I tell you how to visit Ronin, let me tell you more about him.

He’s a selkie and legend has it that a selkie has sexy encoded in his DNA. He’s a magickal being, conjured from the deepest desires of the woman he is called to serve. Ronin is summoned to a Maine beach by the priestesses of Shadowling Manor. The sex magick they weave together is meant to bring a lost daughter of the manor home. Ronin will serve for one night. At sunrise he will return to the sea to spend another seven years alone. He’s resigned to his fate, doomed to repeat that cycle of love them and leave them unless he can find a woman who can resist him for an entire night. Which, being irresistible to humans, is never going to happen.

There’s something about the word never that gets my creative juices flowing. Give me a sexy hero with an  unsolvable problem and the words start to flow. Make Me Wet is the result:


Seven tears cast upon the water summon the selkie, summon seal across the ocean, summon man from beast—liquid keys to break the curse. Freed one night every seven years, Ronin is doomed to repeat that cycle into eternity. Unless he can find a woman powerful enough to resist a selkie’s irresistible pheromones and sex magick.

Maille believes she lost reality between Maine and New Mexico. Between where she is now and where she should be. She believes in facts, not magick. But facts can’t explain how she wound up naked on a beach with the sexiest man she’s ever laid eyes on. Or how she knows in her bones that losing herself in the passion Ronin offers is a path to disaster.

It’s going to be a long, hot, wet night. Caught between sex magick and a sexy selkie, disaster is inevitable for Maille. To break the enchantment she has to rely on the oldest magick of all—the power of love-drenched hearts.


I filmed the trailer in Selkie Island Region of Nara’s Nook, a virtual world I created where authors can bring their characters to life and role-play scenes from their stories. The Greyville Writers Colony includes interactive activities for author’s characters to connect with their readers. If you’d like to visit Selkie Island or Greyville, find out how to do that here.

If you’d like to know more about Ronin and read Make Me Wet. You can read the excerpt here and buy the book here at Ellora’s Cave.

If you’d like to learn more about Shadowling Manor and the Passion’s Portal series, you can do that here at the Passion’s Portal website.

Be Your Novel: NaNoWriMo 2013

30 Oct

A new way to tackle Nano.

I’ve been away building a new tool to help writer’s write their stories and introduce readers to their story worlds.

We have a vriety of tools in place that will allow you to write your novel from inside the story world.

Get to know your characters. Hang out with them in the world you create.

Meet authors and explore their stories.

Join us at the Greyville colony. Readers and writers welcome. It’s free.

~Nara Malone

Edit: The link in the above photo has changed. Go here for step-by-step instructions to visit Greyville Writer’s Colony

I’m Up for Best Pet

2 Aug

July 2013 Challenge: Ali Gator

by naramalone on Jul 22, 2013 • 7:00 pm 6 Comments


Well, I’m not personally ahead. Ali Gator, my pet alligator, is.  I made Ali in answer to a challenge to create a 3D pet or pet product. I’m up against a cute earthworm, an incredible flying fish, and a lovely bird cage.

So maybe we’re not as posh and fru-fru as the Westminster Dog Show. I might say we’re more real and down to earth, but these are virtual pets, which are only semi-real. I can say we are more inclusive then the typical pet show. Where else could a romance writer’s pet alligator assume the lead, however briefly? I do expect to be passed up. This is not a plea to vote for me, btw.  It would be really cool if you dropped by Opensim Creations and looked around. I think as more romance writers, like the TeaNStrumpets, discover and use virtual worlds, virtuality will become as popular as romance novels.

You do not have to enter a virtual world to see the pet competition.

Coffee House Communion #Friday55 #FlashFiction

23 May

He had a voice made for smokey conversations:
in blues clubs,
in backrooms plotting crime over cards,
in bed–
whispering spells to part his lover’s thighs.

Her eyebrows were pale expressive lines,
sketching moods.
Her hands rendered emotion.
Gestures adding jiggle,
pert breasts completing sentences
with understated punctuation.

They left:
Coffee gone cold,
An aura of desire–
pulsing like caffeinated neon.

Source: via Nara on Pinterest


This post is my contribution to G-Mans Friday 55. Yeah, I’m a little early. I think Firday 55 posts go live around 8 PM ET? tonight. Or you can wait and check them out on Friday. I hope everyone has a lovely holiday. Be sure to drop by G-Man’s Friday 55 to join the fun or to see what others wrote.

Picture Credits: Black and white Cafe by Phish Pot on Pinterest,
Cooked to Order originally pinned by Aya Padron on Pinterest

You can find me, Nara Malone on Pinterest with handy little links right under my name that will take you to my Twitter, Facebook, and blog feeds.

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