A PAST AND A FUTURE

A PAST AND A FUTURE is a collection of fantasy and soft science fiction short stories.  This collection in print is available from Alban Lake Publishing in both electronic and print formats http://store.albanlake.com/product/a-past-and-a-future/  and from Smashwords in electronic format http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/62608

"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?

7.Drakoni 

  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?

http://store.albanlake.com/product/a-past-and-a-future/

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/62608

 

REVIEWS OF A PAST AND A FUTURE


Heather Kuehl http://www.examiner.com/paranormal-fiction-in-charleston-sc/review-a-past-and-a-future-review

Review: A Past and A Future

  • February 4th, 2011 7:02 am ET

Get your fill of magical fantasy fiction with Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz’s anthology, A Past and A Future.

A collection of sixteen fantasy stories, A Past and A Future has something for everyone. “Flight of the Roc” tells the story of Lona, a sorcerer’s apprentice whose skills have much to be desired.  When her master sends her to retrieve a roc’s egg, she thinks that this may be the thing needed to prove herself to him. When the handsome Tom agrees to help Lona find the egg, she is faced with a dilemma. Will she choose Tom over the roc’s egg?

 “Love in a Different Hue” is about Chiri, a woman in an unhappy marriage. Her father is the leader in the robotics field and by marrying Chiri, Trevon is guaranteed a partnership with him. Feeling alone Chiri becomes interested in her father’s latest creation, Devro. What will Chiri do with a blue-skinned robot who wants nothing more than to love her?

If these two blurbs are any indication, A Past and A Future covers the entire range of fantasy. From sword and sorcery to futuristic fantasy, there is something for everyone. Readers will cheer for Caryn and Rader from “Isolation,” become fascinated with Arthurian legend in “Entrantress,” and bask in Prince Ulric’s love in “The Watcher.” This anthology is a must read for all avid fantasy readers.



Review by Susanne Drazic
http://susannedrazic.blogspot.com/

MY REVIEW
A collection of sixteen fantasy and soft scince 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.

EXCERPT

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.

REVIEWS OF A PAST AND A FUTURE 

 Review of Total Book – by Kay Dee:  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.”

FLIGHT OF THE ROC – Girl collides with Roc as she struggles to find her
magic powers

 

Story Review – by Kay Dee:  Lona wants to be a sorceress. She thinks her only magic ability is talking to animals. Master Rubit teaches her magic. Lona believes he’s the only way she can learn, until something extraordinary happens.

 

Ms. Ehrenkranz creates a full, strong character in Lona, from her untidy image, low self-esteem, and fumbling attempts at magic.

 

Ms. Ehrenkranz’s vivid imagination brings ‘roc’, a large creature of flight and talons, to plausible life, something new to our world.

 

I immediately resonated and sympathize with Lona. It’s a good short read with a satisfying magical ending.


ASHLEY OF ASHLAND – Will the plain, younger brother win the heart of the
fair princess or be executed as a traitor?

 

Story Review – by Kay Dee:  Ashley, the younger son of the Duke of Ashland, loved Princess Thailia, the intended to his older brother Gerand. Ashley finds out Thailia hates Gerand, so unfolds a packed with danger plot around Thailia’s forced marriage. Will Ashley succeed in changing his and Thailia’s future?

 

Ms. Ehrenkranz’s scenes burst with life through word imagery. Each peril wraps in tension, graduating in intensity every time a new occurrence happens.

 

It’s a love story carried through by hope and a willingness to sacrifice all in order that it comes to fruition. Great read!


ENCHANTRESS – Merlin knows the one he loves will be his downfall, but
can he win in the end?

 

Story Review – by Kay Dee:  Merlyn sees his future and follows his destined journey with a fairy woman, Vivian, even though he knows it will mean his death. He loves her, and she loves him. But, Vivian carries a dark side. Will her dark side destroy Merlyn as his future surmises?

 

Ms. Ehrenkranz shows the King Arthur era with colorful passion, and again with all senses open. I am swept away in Avalon and Merlyn’s love of Vivian.

 

Ms. Ehrenkranz gives life to her fable, carrying me along in the midst of it and through the surprising ending. Nicely written, it left me smiling at the end.

DRAKONI – Torn from her modern day world and thrust into a world of
dragons, evil magicians, and handsome elves, will Farah succeed or die
trying?

 

Story Review – by Kay Dee:  Farah reads a spread of dragon tarot cards, each card giving her enlightenment of things to come. Little does she know it comes exactly as prophesied only with a twist of fate, as a Dragon Woman. She finds herself thrown into a crazy destiny, and can she survive it?

 

Ms. Ehrenkranz impresses her wisdom in mythology as well as legendary times. Each character comes across well defined and fully charged with personality.

 

This story read like a present day classic with all the fervor of fairy tales. Dragons are my weakness. I love reading about them and I got a wonderful dose of dragon lore in this story.

 

If you like dragons, magic, and happy endings, I highly recommend this delightful short story. You won’t be disappointed.

HESHE – Forced to hide as a young man, will the young noble woman tell
her benefactor who she is, or will her pursuers capture her and take her
back into slavery.

 

Story Review – by Kay Dee:  Lydia, a princess, ends up sold by her stepfather after the death of her mother. She’s held as a slave, escapes, and befriends a wizard, Garwin. Both secretly masquerade as someone they aren’t, seeking a new life. Will both realize new found freedom? Will they keep their secret identities from each other?

 

With every story of Ms. Ehrenkranz that I read, I’m more enchanted by her style and voice. Romance subtle, yet lingering, scenes vivid and alive, characters reveal individual strengths and weaknesses through fully developed personalities.

 

Bravo, Ms. Ehrenkranz, you’ve written another great tale for the telling, ending with a happy-ever-after. I find this sweet magical romance entertaining, another story that leaves me smiling.

http://kaydeeroyal.blogspot.com/2011/02/contest-penny-ehrenkranz-give-away.html


 


 

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