Friday, 1 March 2013

Familiarise Friday meets Flora

I'd like to extend a huge welcome to Flora who has come along with her creator, Erin Thorne. They're both very familiar with a story called Flora's Tale in the collection of stories called -'Behind The Wheel'. 

Let's find out a bit about what Flora is like...  and then read on to find the excellent excerpt that Erin is sharing, today.

Hi Flora. Please describe yourself to us using only 6 words.
Bored, undervalued, adventurous, pretty, smart, brave.

Bored doesn't sound so good, but maybe the adventurous part will happen to you soon. Where are you from?
I’m from a little village in Germany named Rodenburg, not far from Hamelin.

I've visited a number of place in Germany. I don't remember ever being near Hamelin, but there are so many beautiful towns and villages. If that's where you're from, is it still where you live?
I live in a small house there, with my parents and younger siblings.

Name your most favourite place in the whole world.
I haven’t seen much of it, but I’d have to say right now, it’s the blacksmith’s shop, where Friedrich works. You haven’t heard of him? He’s the apprentice, and trust me, you’d know him if you saw him…

Oh, that sounds interesting. I'm not sure if that means he's a great apprentice, or not? Or even,  if you like him! Who would be your ideal holiday companion if you took off on a sudden unplanned trip?
Well, I’m sure my best friend Ilsa would want to come, if her father agreed to let her out of his sight… Friedrich would probably be the best choice, though; he’s so strong! I’m sure he could take care of any trouble we might run into.

What’s your main job just now?
I’m usually stuck at home, cooking and doing housework, along with lots of other boring chores.

Oh, dear! That does sound pretty boring. Are you a gadget freak, or a technophobe? 
Technophobe? Is that some strange sort of illness? As far as gadgets, the spinning wheel is probably the most complex one you’ll find in my dull hamlet.

Well, let's imagine something different from kitchen work and spinning. You've been granted a whole week where you can choose every single thing you want to do. What would that be? Can you get married and establish a household in just a week? That’s what I’d do, with Friedrich, of course.

Ah, so you do like Friedrich! If that's the case -who, or what, are you trying to avoid most just now?
Housework. There’s always some new mess my little brother and sister are making, and I’m the only one who ever cleans up around here.

What new foods would you like to try?
Anything, as long as it’s not cabbage stew or black bread. We have that all the time, and I’m sick to death of it.

You know I rather like black bread and I love cabbage, though maybe not every day...

It's been a pleasure getting this glimpse of you, Flora. I do hope things get a whole lot better for you. Best wishes from me. 

About Erin Thorne's Behind The Wheel: 

A family discovers who's really in charge when they buy a car that drives itself... The characters from a well known fairy tale live on after their story is over... A docile species of farm animal transforms into a pack of ruthless creatures, bent on the destruction of humankind... A werewolf stalks a young girl's backyard... Tiny pets, rescued from certain destruction, are not what they seem... Enter a land of fantasy, and learn more about the hidden side of the world you take for granted.

Excerpt, from the book's title story, Behind The Wheel:

Jason slouched into the passenger seat, pulling his hood up and keeping his eyes on his phone. His mother got in; he responded by looking out of the window. Halfway to the supermarket, she attempted to engage him in conversation.

“So, is there anything special you want at the store?”


“You sure? What about those spicy nacho chips you like, we could grab some of those.”


“It’s kind of neat, being driven around like this. There’s even a little map where you can see your progress. Cool, huh?”


Denise played the last card she could think of. “Maybe you can drive it sometime. Take it to a friend’s house or something. What do you think?”

He liked that idea, yet stifled his approval as much as possible. “Sure.” Denise saw the tiny spark of interest and smiled. Her grin straightened, as they sailed right past the grocery store.

“What the heck?” She double-checked the map. Sure enough, the little checkered flag that marked their goal corresponded to the store’s location, but it was now receding into the distance behind them. Tapping the AutoDrive’s off switch was useless; the car was driving itself, and wasn’t yielding control. Feeling a small jolt of anxiety, Denise tried maneuvering the steering wheel. It was loose, spinning around without any connection to the tires. Was this a programming glitch, or was the wheel just there for show? The salesman had said it was functional in emergency situations, and this was starting to feel like one.

A loud click, broadcast in stereo from all doors at once, signaled the AutoLock’s activation. Denise yanked on her handle, to no avail. “Jason, see if your door’s locked.” He pulled, gently at first, then harder as it continued to resist him.

“What’s going on?”

“I don’t know, honey.” She was desperately endeavoring to maintain her composure. Not wishing to alarm her son, she said, “I’m sure it’s just a bug, nothing to worry about. I’ll call Dad and let him know where we are; maybe he can get us some help.” She tapped her phone’s screen. Nothing happened. The power button wasn’t responding either. Removing the battery and replacing it usually did the trick when it froze up, but it didn’t work this time. “Jason, is your phone working?”

He was already tapping and shaking it. “This thing sucks. It’s two years old, I need a new one.”

“Mine’s not working either.” They locked eyes momentarily, then Denise dropped her gaze. “I don’t want you to panic, but we might have a problem here. We need to find a way to stop the car, or at least signal for help.”

“Maybe we can make a sign.”

“Great idea! I have a pen in my purse.” She dug the black ballpoint out, and pawed through the pocketbook’s contents looking for paper. “You don’t have a notebook or anything, do you?”

“No.” The boy was showing some initiative now; he checked out the back seats, which were still immaculate. The family’s efforts to keep the new vehicle clean had succeeded all too well.

“Hang on, the driver’s manual is still in here!” Denise grabbed it from the glove compartment, and tore the cover off. “You make the sign, while I look through this. There might be something about an emergency shut-off or something.” She pored through the thin book, discovering nothing useful. During her second perusal, her son handed her the cover, which now bore “HELP” in thick black letters. It would do.

She waited for someone going the opposite way to pass her. There wasn’t much traffic headed in that direction. In fact, there seemed to be none. It was starting to become more congested on their side, though, so she held the sign to the windshield. The car in front was too far away for them to see if they’d been noticed. She went to the back of the minivan, shoving the paper against the wide window. The occupants of the AutoDrive following them looked terrified; could they be having the same issue?

She put the sign down and was in the act of waving her arms, when everything went dark. Denise froze.


That got her moving. She bolted to the front, laying a hand on her son’s shoulder. “I’m here.” He looked pale and sickly in the green light of the dashboard. It was the only illumination; all of the windows, including the windshield, had AutoTinted themselves completely black, shutting out the view of the outside world. The pair could feel their metallic prison gliding down the road, rocking them gingerly around corners. They had no choice but to trust that the satellite responsible for AutoDrive’s guidance was still operational.

Buy links for "Behind The Wheel":


Erin Thorne is a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, where she lives with her family. She writes primarily paranormal fiction, and is the author of Diane’s Descent, a supernatural novella set in upstate New York, as well as Deals Diabolical, a collection of eight spine-tingling short stories. In addition, she’s written a book of short stories encompassing science fiction, fantasy, and horror, titled Behind The Wheel. Her work has also been featured in Adventures for the Average Woman (now IdeaGems Magazine).

Links to my Author's Pages on Amazon and Facebook:

Thank you for sharing that great excerpt on Familiarise Friday, Erin, and my very best wishes for the success of your book. It was nice to meet you, too, Flora! 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my blog. Please pop your thoughts about this post in the comment box. :-)