Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March Paranormal and Fantasy Event: A Past and a Future by Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz

A broad swatch of fiction falls under the heading of fantasy, and Penny Ehrenkranz touches on all aspects of it in A Past and A Future. From princesses in distress and airborne dragons to magic and misdirection, the characters of her stories are at once heroic, unforgettable, and sympathetic. Ehrenkranz deftly weaves plotlines and subplots that touch the lives and hopes and fears of all of us.

Stories included in A Past and a Future are:

1. Flight of the Roc

What would you do if your master told you to collect a roc's egg? Would you be willing to climb a mountain and climb into the nest? And, what would happen if the egg you collected hatched?

2. Blurred Vengeance

Temur's father is murdered, and he must have revenge. Will his journey to honor his father's death bring him what he wants, or will it destroy him and his village?

3. Who Will Heal the Healer

Marzan teaches Niane to control the winds, but what about the winds of fate? Will Niane be able to save her mentor when the underworld comes to claim him?

4. Ashley of Ashland

Ashley, a young magician covets his brother's fiance, but what are her feelings? Is his brother fit to rule the kingdom or is he a brutal womanizer? Can Ashley's magic be enough to save him and his true love?

5. The Watcher

Zerelda lives in a world of women. Her function is to obey and not have feelings. She watches for the one who comes from afar. When he comes to impregnate her ruler, will they find a forbidden love instead?

6. Enchantress

Merlin knows his fate, but he is unable to stand against it when Viviane enchants him. Will his powers be stronger than hers, or will he find himself a victim of love?


She is from this world. He is from another. A dragon draws them together. Will she look beyond his pointed ears and see the man of her dreams? Will she fear the dragon or embrace him?

8. Heshe

Lyda runs from her abusive stepfather, hiding her sex from the world. Her rescuer has a secret of his own. Will they both find happiness or will their pursuers stop them before they find their paradise?

9. The Baby Makers

How far would you go to get a baby if you can't conceive on your own? Would you accept a clone? Would you fight for that's child's rights in a world unprepared for it?

10. 3-D Pictures

Avery's boss thought he was crazy, but was he? When he stared into the 3-D picture, he saw a land others couldn't see. When Elvina emerges from the picture to tell him of his true heritage, will he join her in the picture or accept the doctor's diagnosis?

11. Screen Saver

Clancy is used to strange people. His boss represents them. But when the bullets start flying, will the screen saver really save him?

12. Isolation

The world has died, except for small pockets of isolated communities. The rich can afford to live isolated from the poor who die daily from bad air, poisoned water, and uncontrolled diseases. But what if you are tired of the isolation? What if you wanted to find somewhere to be free? Would you take the chance?

13. Love in a Different Hue

Chiri's father is a scientist. He invents artificial life. Her husband married her for her money and access to her father. What should she do when the artificial life her father has created looks better to her than her husband?

14. Down So Low The Ground Looks Like Up

Sylvan is sensitive to others feelings. It drives her crazy, so she drinks to dull the pain. But does she also drink because she harbors a secret? Will Dev, the police officer who finds her, rescue her from her demons?

15. Rebels With a Cause

Kids will be kids even in the future where people wear a uniform colored to their profession. Juvenile offenders receive an implant so they can be tracked without being housed in a facility. Shahleena is bored with her existence. Will volunteering to help these juvenile offenders help her or help them?

16. Clockworks

John lives in Structured. His ancestors came from Upheaval. On a whim, he decides to visit, only to find the chaos of Upheaval is more than he can handle. Unfortunately, he cannot leave fast enough. What will happen to him when he finds the clocks are all set to different times?

Read an excerpt from "Ashley of Ashland"

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.

Read the reviews!

"Ms. Ehrenkranz makes every word count. Dialogue comes across with an authentic voice of the times; no matter whose voice or what era of time. She portrays her scenes using colorful sensory scales, pulling me along for an entertaining and extraordinary adventurous ride.

Ms. Ehrenkranz’s characters reveal unique personalities, each set apart from another, each strong in their own right.

I find a delightful story in every one I read, and highly recommend this book to anyone who loves short, thoughtful stories, ending in a way that leaves a smile on your face. The kind of smile saying, 'Yea, that was a great story.'"

--Kay Dee

For reviews of specific stories, visit Penny's website.

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz has published more than 100 articles, 75 stories, two e books, a chapbook, and her stories have been included in two anthologies. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications and non fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications. She edits for three small independent publishers. Visit her web site at  Her writing blog is located at

Her anthology A Past and A Future, and her YA chapbook, Dragon Sight are available at GenreMall. Love Delivery and Lady-in-Waiting are coming in 2011 from MuseItUp Publishing. Her MG novel, Ghost for Rent, published by Hardshell Word Factory, is available on Amazon and Fictionwise. Funny Dog, Boo’s Bad Day, and Many Colored Coats, all picture books, and Ghost for Lunch, a sequel, are schedule for publication with 4RV.

A Past and A Future

Ghost for Rent 

Dragon Sight

Love Delivery, coming August, 2011
Lady-in-Waiting, coming November, 2011

Funny Dog, coming May, 2012
Ghost for Lunch, coming September, 2013
Many Colored Coats, coming October, 2014
Boo's Bad Day, coming June, 2015

You can also visit Penny online at:!/pennyehrenkranz


Ellen said...

Wow these sound great especially The Watcher. Thanks for sharing!

Morgan Mandel said...

Great excerpt! Great descriptions. That's something I need to practice on. It's one of my writing weaknesses.

Morgan Mandel

Molly said...

Awesome stuff! Thanks for sharing, Cheryl!

Kate Dolan said...

Wow! What an awesome collection. Sounds like a lot of fun (and maybe something to make you think a little, too)

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Cheryl, I posted a comment earlier, but it doesn't seem to be here. Not sure what happened. I wanted to thank you for hosting me today and the great post.

Ellen, Morgan, Molly and Kate, thank you all for stopping by and commenting. If you like the excerpt, I hope you'll take a chance and read the entire collection. I would love to hear your thoughts if you do.

Tribute Books Mama said...

Great books, thanks! for sharing.