Home of a mother, wife, writer

I have another teaser from Healing the Heart for you this week. It’s still off with my beta reader, but if anyone else is interested in reading and giving feedback, let me know & I can send it out. I’m still planning on having it out by the end of the year hopefully.

“You said you found it like this?” the detective questioned.

Jared cleared his throat. “Yeah. One of my patients came back in and said he saw it out here.”

“No one saw anything?”

He sounded almost like he couldn’t believe that. Jared pushed down his irritation. “I told you no one said anything to me. That doesn’t mean they didn’t see it, but they likely would have told me if they did.”

“Unless they saw you.”

“Seriously?” he asked, disgusted. “That’s where you’re going with this? I have done nothing but help this neighborhood since I started here. I want a good, safe place for the people who live here. Why would I do this in my own place? I know the doctor who drives this car. She works for me here. She’s an old friend of mine. Why would I do something like this?”

“That’s a good question to ask, doctor,” the detective said, a sneer on his face. “Why have you ever destroyed property or caused havoc in the streets? You know, I’ve been a cop longer than you’ve been a doctor. I know what you are, Doctor McDermott.”

Jared cursed in his head. He didn’t think this guy had ever arrested him. Sure, he’d gotten into trouble with the cops. He hadn’t been one to deface property. He’d never killed anyone. He’d fought, and he’d stolen. It had all been to protect Denise. He didn’t have to do that anymore. “You say that like I’m not a real doctor. Yes, I come from these streets, and I did what I had to in order to survive and help my sister. I’ve done a lot of good since then. I told you what I know about this,” he said with a wave at the car. “Now, it’s your job to figure out what happened.”

The man lifted one shoulder. “Probably some punk gangbanger doing it for kicks. You’d know all about that, wouldn’t you, Doctor?”

It’s been a pretty good week. This pretty much sums it up:

Definitely a good week. This weekend hasn’t been too bad either. We’re having some friends over for lunch today(chili) and for the kids to carve pumpkins(even though our kids carved some with grandma yesterday) and play together for a while. And then tomorrow it will be back to routine.

My lazy puppy has his priorities straight on a cold, rainy morning

My lazy puppy has his priorities straight on a cold, rainy morning

  • Write 14000 words – 15163/14000 words. Definitely a win here.
    • Break on Me – 10381 words – Gabriel opened his mouth, as if to say something, but he closed it again. He was worried, she could see that. But, he wasn’t stepping in. He’d come over when he thought she was in danger, but now he was letting her handle things. Her chest suddenly felt too tight. Aaron already would have been between her and the danger.
    • In the Moonlight – 1061 words – Mom wasn’t here. And Yasmin was right. I needed to stop making my decisions based on what she would think. She wasn’t here, and I was a grown woman now. I didn’t need her approval.
    • Defending the Heart – 1085 words – The sharp tone in Piers’ voice sent a spear of pain right through Xavier’s heart. He didn’t care how melodramatic that thought seemed. It was what he felt in the moment. “I’m moving into the apartment upstairs,” he said through the gnawing ache in his chest.
    • Toby & Denise – 1051 words – She gave a shake of her head, but he was already turning away, his brother with him. Jonas gave her a little shrug and roll of his eyes. Like he didn’t have any clue what had gotten into his brother either. Her shoulders felt a little heavier as she continued on to the table.
    • Brann & Jaya – 1585 words – “I think your plan worked,” she said, nodding over his shoulder. Jessica was heading their way. She brushed a kiss over his cheek. “Maybe guard your heart this time.”
      He sent her a smile that looked just a touch sad. “What would be the fun in that?” he asked. *Oh, poor Austin. Him and Jess will eventually figure it out(their story is up next). I also wrote more for this for my SOCS post this week
  • Edit: Guarding the Heart Read through – finished this on Friday. Have over 300 notes on it. A lot of them are little things, so that hopefully isn’t as bad as it looks.
He loves sitting with her for reading time at night.

He loves sitting with her for reading time at night.

  • Plot: Jess & Terrall – Story Tookit: through Act 2 Beat sheet – got through this one. Hoping to finish the tool kit this week. Then, I’ll do the plot summary and get it all set up in Scrivener so I can start writing on Nov 1. Also have at least a tentative title: Stay a Little Longer
  • Side Projects – Write 1500 words between them – 1751/1500 words. Another win.
    • Dance with the Devil – 532 words – At least that’s what I kept telling myself. That this hollow feeling inside me didn’t have anything to do with Hawk. That I didn’t miss him every day he wasn’t at my side. And whose fault was that anyway?Mine. It was all mine. I’d pushed him away again and again. Why would I think he’d choose to stick around? He wasn’t some toy I could keep on a string, just pulling him back when it suited me. He deserved so much more than that.
    • Snow White Twist – 555 words – “I’ll have something special when you return,” she said, sounding a little breathless after that kiss. Tarian grinned at her. “Even more reason to return quickly.” Then, she turned and headed out the door. Hopefully she’d be able to take care of this quickly and return to the girl she was pretty sure she loved.
    • Patrick & Sarah – 148 words – She was just trying to survive in a world without the man she’d loved. And make sure her boys thrived. What was so wrong with that?
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 150 words – Her brother stepped forward and held his hand up. “We mean no harm,” he said, then he glanced at her. “Haiwee, who is this man?” he asked in their language.
    • Roman – 184 words – The man…kid, really…walking in front of the big, burly guard wasn’t what Roman had expected. Carlos might be nineteen, but he looked like a lost little boy right now.
    • Dougal & Shae – 182 words – The taller of the two men in front of him sighed. “And here I thought we were off duty.” *Little does Dougal know, he’s just met Shae’s brothers. This could get interesting.
  • Listen: Minutes to Kill(Melinda Leigh) – finished this and really enjoyed it. Started to listen to Crooked Kingdom(even though I’ve already read it), then The Obsession(Nora Roberts) was the daily deal for audible on Friday, so I grabbed that and have been listening to it since.
The boy decided to add a third eye to his pumpkin

The boy decided to add a third eye to his pumpkin

  • Read: Finish Signal Boost(Alyssa Cole), Falling into Bed with a Duke(Lorraine Heath), 37 Things I Love(Kekla Magoon), The Shadow Queen(CJ Redwine), Fake ID(Lamar Giles), Rock Addiction(Nalini Singh), Frost Station Alpha(Ruby Lionsdrake), The Invisible Entente(Krista Walsh) – I finished Signal Boost(really enjoyed it), Falling into Bed with a Duke(enjoyed this one too), 37 Things I Love(liked this one), The Shadow Queen(really, really enjoyed this), Fake ID(enjoyed), Rock Addiction(Ah, had some issues with this one. A lot with the hero not taking no, or pushing when she asked him to go. There was a lot of sex(which doesn’t bother me) and while the scenes were hot, it felt like they were all the same. There were 2 parts, and honestly the second part felt kind of boring, no real conflict). I added the novella and the next novel to my to buy list, so we’ll see if I feel the same after them or not). Finished Frost Station Alpha last night(really enjoyed this one, too), and I’m about 30% through The Invisible Entente. I should be finishing it later today.
  • Knit/Crochet – dish cloths. As I said Wednesday, the pup has taken to digging these out of the laundry and chewing them up, so I need to make more. – I finished one of these, but didn’t have a lot of cotton yarn left in any one color. Yesterday, I bought some more yarn, so I’ll be making some more.(we even bought a new laundry bag to replace the one the pup chew a big hole through)

Almost all blue! Like I said, a good week.

And the inspiration for the title of Jess & Terrall’s book:

And now for goals for next week:

  • Write: 14000 words
  • Edit: Guarding the Heart – Work through revisions
  • Plot: Stay a Little Longer – Finish Story Toolkit, start plot summary if I have time
  • Side Projects – write 1500 words between them
  • Listen: The Obsession(Nora Roberts) & A Torch Against the Night(Sabaa Tahir*which I won’t actually have until Tuesday when I get my next credit)
  • Read: Finish The Invisible Entente(Krista Walsh), Landing the Air Marshal(Jennifer Blackwood), Turn My World Around(Kait Nolan), Superior(Jessica Lack), Shadowshaper(Daniel Jose Older), Jerkbait(Mia Siegert), Chase Me(Tessa Bailey), & Keeping Her Secret(Sarah Nicolas)

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’m still sharing from Dance with the Devil, though I think I may be getting to the end of it. I may keep sharing even after I finish the first draft. This picks up a paragraph after last week’s.

He moved closer, his expression open, vulnerable. Why did he have to look at me like that? He knew what it did to me. “You want it back.”

I didn’t have to ask what it was. “No.”

“You only get scared like this when there’s something you really want almost within your reach.”

I hated being told I was scared. It wasn’t true. I wouldn’t let it be true.

What is it? Does Devil want it back? Can Hawk convince him? Will these two just kiss already?

Welcome back for another Stream of Consciousness Saturday. I wasn’t quite sure what I’d use the prompt for this week, as I’ve met all my goals for the week already. Then, Linda commented on last week’s post, saying it made her want to read more. So, more Brann & Jaya it is. There’s a scene between last week’s and this one, but this one has us back in Brann’s POV, using the prompt of a word containing ‘ho’


“That boy better hope he knows what he’s doing,” Mark muttered next to Caitie.

Brann looked out to the dance floor where his brother-in-law was staring. There she was, and she was dancing with one of the firefighters. He didn’t get what the problem was. She was allowed to dance with her date, right? She was a grown woman. he took a sip of his scotch. Yeah, she definitely looked like a grown woman.

Caitie patted Mark’s arm. “Don’t worry so much. he and Jess will figure this out.”

“Jess? That’s her name?” Brann asked before he’d planned to say the words. He felt his sister’s gaze on him and looked down into his glass.

“No,” she said, drawing out the word, and he was sure there was laughter in it. Okay, so he hadn’t been too subtle with his staring since her and that boy came out on the dance floor. “You’ve met Jess Hunter, remember. Nolan’s little sister.”

Right, Nolan, Mark’s best friend, practically a brother. So, since Mark had been welcomed into their family because of Caitie so had Nolan’s family.

Mark picked it up. “Jess and Austin have had an on and off thing going for a while. We never know where it stands. Though, if it was up to him, it would always be on, I think. and now, he’s dragging Jaya into it.”

“Jaya,” he murmured, liking the way the name sounded on his tongue. “Her date doesn’t mind?”

Caitie snorted. “Smooth, Brann, really smooth. And she’s not here with anyone.”

“But, I saw her sitting there with all the firefighters.”

“You know,” Mark said easily, “Kayla would kick your ass for assuming she wasn’t one of them.”

She hadn’t been dressed like the rest of the firefighters. And he’d caught his cousin’s wife’s temper before, so hopefully none of them would mention this. “Is she?”

Mark laughed. “No. She is a paramedic with the department, though. And she has a rule about not dating firefighters. She’s made that clear to anyone who’s tried to ask her.”

“Did you?” Caitie asked, poking him in the chest.

He held his hands up and laughed then drew her up for a kiss. Brann realized someone was standing beside him and turned to look. There was Jess Hunter, and she was scowling out at the dance floor. Brann hid his smile with another sip of scotch. Mark and Caitie seemed to be on to something.

Then, the song was over. Jaya leaned in close to Austin’s ear, but they were too far away for Brann to know what was really going on. Then, she was headed their way. His mouth went dry and his hands wet as he watched her approach. He took another sip to try to fix at least one of those issues. Then, she was right there in front of them and Caitie was grabbing her for an enthusiastic hug. Caitie did almost everything enthusiastically.

“Jaya,” Caitie said as she pulled away, “this is my second oldest brother, Brann. I know you’ve met Cormac before. Brann,” she said before Jaya could say anything about their oldest brother, “this is Jaya Mertz.”

Just barely he heard Mark murmur in her ear, “No matchmaking at our wedding.” But, Caitie only grinned.

Brann didn’t care about any of that as he took her hand. He didn’t want to let go. So, he asked, “Care to dance?”

Last week, I’d fallen behind by Wednesday then ended up picking up the pace for the second half of the week. and I ended up getting almost all my goals met. This week I’m holding to a steadier pace. Not really getting ahead but staying on track. Which is pretty good still. and, yeah, not much more to say about that. So, on to what you’re here for.

First up, WiPPet Wednesday time! Woohoo!! I’m still working on Break on Me as my main project. Though this has gone so far off my outline, I’m not quite sure I can find my way back. I had this happen with Love Who You Love, too. Probably means I’ll have a lot of revising to do. But, for now, Gabe & Lora are broken up and I have to work on getting them back together. So, I’ll keep plowing ahead. As for today’s snippet, I’ll be reversing to pick up right where I left off last week. I have the next 4 paragraphs(1+0+1+9-1-6).

Gabriel bristled at that, but he understood. Aaron hadn’t been so welcoming to Erik, had even made things a little rougher on him when the younger man had first joined their unit. “You know the words don’t matter. The message was clear. He didn’t want anyone who wasn’t right for her. And how could I be?”

“Are you fucking serious?” Erik demanded. “You’re one of the best men I’ve ever known. Hell, you let me move in here with you, no questions asked. And I know damn well you haven’t banked any of the money I’ve given you for rent.”

“I told you when you moved in, that I didn’t need you to pay me. It’ll be there if you ever want to find your own place.”

Erik shook his head. “I don’t need you to take care of me. Neither does she,” he said, jerking his thumb toward the bedroom. “I know you don’t think you’re good enough. For anybody. But, that’s not what this is about. It’s about what she wants, and what you want. What makes the two of you happy. Maybe you should take some of that when it’s right there in front of you.”

Erik often acts like nothing matters to him. But, that’s definitely not the case. Can’t wait to get to his story. he’s being rather patient as other characters keep popping up and saying their stories come first.

Now, as for my progress for the week. I’ve been doing a general update for each section of my goals, but I’m going to go back to my list format for now. it’s just easier to keep track that way.

  • Write 14000 words – 6840/14000 words so far and I’m not done with today’s words yet.
    • Break on Me – 5498 words – She snorted. “Aaron used to say I was a wildcat in disguise. If someone I cared about was being attacked, physically or verbally, I have a tendency to jump in, claws out.”
    • In the Moonlight – 1061 words – Mom had said it was disrespectful for us to make assumptions like that. Both Ms. Adriane and Bailey were good, decent people. I had never understood what that had to do with them being in love with each other. And if they did have something going on, I thought good for them. Because Mom was right. They were good, decent people. They deserved to be happy, even if it was only for a short time.
    • Defending the Heart – 281 words – On his next trip in, with just one box this time, he heard cursing coming from the small office. In French. Oh no. No, no, no. Piers wasn’t starting until next week. What was he even doing here? Xavier couldn’t make his feet move any closer to the office to find out.
  • Edit: Guarding the Heart Read through – I’m about 40% through this. I already have almost 150 notes in it. Some of them are little things that will be quite easy to fix. but still. *sigh*
  • Plot: Jess & Terrall – Story Tookit: through Act 2 Beat sheet – On track with this. I’m through the locations worksheet. Will do the second one today. I’ve added 1330 plotting words this week.
  • Side Projects – Write 1500 words between them – nothing here yet
  • Listen: Minutes to Kill(Melinda Leigh) – I’m just about finished with this. It’s the last one I had in my library, but I went and added the audio for Crooked Kingdom(which I read earlier this month), so I’ll listen to that next(I did the same thing with Six of Crows, which I’ve now listened to three times)
  • Read: Finish Signal Boost(Alyssa Cole), Falling into Bed with a Duke(Lorraine Heath), 37 Things I Love(Kekla Magoon), The Shadow Queen(CJ Redwine), Fake ID(Lamar Giles), Rock Addiction(Nalini Singh), Frost Station Alpha(Ruby Lionsdrake), The Invisible Entente(Krista Walsh) – I finished Signal Boost Sunday night(really enjoyed), Finished Falling into Bed with a Duke yesterday(enjoyed) and 37 Things I love(liked, though it made me cry at the end). I’ll be starting The Shadow Queen today.
  • Knit/Crochet – dish cloths – I finished one of these. Ended up using four different colors of yarn. Well, two were purple, but right next to each other, you can tell they’re different shades. Don’t think I’ll make more until I get more cotton yarn. I don’t think I have enough of any one color to finish one cloth. wp-1476878789373.jpg

I was going to share another snippet from Guarding the Heart today. But, I just sent Healing the Heart to my beta reader, so it’s closer to being ready to publish. Whereas Guarding the Heart still has another round of edits to go through before it will even be ready to send to my critique partner. So, instead you get some more of Healing the Heart. I’d like to have this out before the end of the year, but that of course depends on when I get it back and how much I need to fix. Warning: There is mention of domestic/child abuse at the beginning of this snippet.

Jared watched Greg leave the clinic with his mother and his heart twisted. He knew what the boy would go home to and anger for his mother rose up. She could get him and her daughter out of their situation. It wasn’t so black and white. She lived daily in fear of her husband but had even more fear about leaving him.

What would it take to get her to accept her husband was an abusive bastard, and they didn’t deserve this? One of her children dying? Being beaten so bad they could never recover? He’d seen too many come through in the same situation. It broke him every time. Just because he’d survived it didn’t mean the rest would be so lucky.

He clenched his fists at his sides and leaned against his desk. That didn’t do anything to push all those feelings, all those memories away. Melanie’s steps approached his office, and he took a deep breath. He couldn’t deal with her now. He had told her to come to his office. He’d done this to himself.

At the knock on the door a moment later, he said, “I left it open for a reason.” Footsteps sounded then a soft click as the door closed. Still he didn’t face her.

“You could have let me know I’d be working under you. Did you have all the staff call you Dr. J, so I wouldn’t know it was you?”

He shook his head. “They’ve always called me that. So do our patients. I didn’t realize it would still matter. It’s been almost six years.” It was childish to not look at her while he spoke, but he wasn’t sure if he could and remain detached. He continued to face the wall. “I figured you’d moved on.” He did finally turn around. “You went right back to him after all.”

He saw the shock in her eyes a moment before she asked. “What are you talking about?”

“You know exactly what. You kept him between us the whole year we were together. He broke your heart and then you went running right back to him as soon as I left.”

I mentioned on Wednesday that my progress had kind of been stop and go early on in the week. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to meet all my goals for the week. Then, on Thursday, something seemed to clear for me. I got caught up on my words for my main project then and almost caught up on plotting goals. Then, we had to go up to the high school that night because the boy was singing with his class before the girls’ volleyball game. And we ended up staying to watch the game as well(our team lost;(). Friday I got my words in even sooner and finished up my editing and plotting goals, and I got to a couple of my secondary projects. Saturday morning I was able to finish off those secondary projects and get to all of my side projects in the morning. So I spent the afternoon reading and nearly caught up on my goals there.

  • Write 14000 words(Break on Me will be my new main project) – 14443/14000 words
    • Break on Me – 10197 – He was just too much sometimes. “Do you have any shame?” she asked but could quite keep from laughing.”What would be the point in that? My father tried to fill me with it for who I am. I refuse to swallow any more of it.” *Oh, Erik is so much fun to write. Probably because of that lack of shame.
    • In the Moonlight – 1032 words – I could feel my face heat degree by degree at that. She laughed again, though, and cupped my chin in her hand. “Not a judgment, Nola. I think I like you even better a little dirtied.”
    • Defending the Heart – 1105 words – He thought of what Hector had told him the day before. Maybe apologies would solve some things, but he didn’t think it would be enough to fix this between him and Piers.
    • Toby & Denise – 1096 words – Toby thought his heart skipped a beat as what his brother had just said sunk in. “So, no girlfriend? A boyfriend.”
      Jonas smiled, but it seemed nervous. Toby tipped his chair back and smiled. “Well, I hope I get to meet him, too. Think I should run a check on him?”
      “No!” Jonas cried, and Toby laughed.
    • Brann & Jaya – 1013 words – He felt a nudge to his side and almost dropped his phone. “Enough with the dour looks, brother,” Caitie said, grinning up at him. “It’s my wedding. We’re supposed to be celebrating.” This was also my Stream of Consciousness Saturday post for this week if you want to read more of it.
  • Edit: Guarding the Heart – Scene issues(this will mostly be rearranging things, but may be some more new words, too) – got this done. Added 106 words.
  • Plot: Jess & Terrall – Work through story kit – romance arc – got through the romance arc worksheet as I’d planned. Added 6344 plotting words.
  • Side Projects: Write 2000 words – 1839 words. I’m changing this goal slightly. Going to write 500 each on the two main side projects(Dance with the Devil & Snow White Twist) and another 500 between the smaller ones. I was going to try to submit SWT at the end of this month, but that’s just not going to happen
    • Dance with the Devil – 541 words – Icarus got up and patted my leg. “Let yourself heal up before you go and do something stupid again. We’ll talk about your bike situation when you’re back on your feet.”
    • Snow White Twist – 532 words – “Yes,” Tarian breathed. “Oh, Dark Gods, please, yes.”
    • Patrick & Sarah – 140 words – One night of uninterrupted sleep. That was all she asked for. And for her boys to get along, instead of William insisting his brother stood over him when he woke at night. When it was perfectly clear to her Thomas still laid asleep in his bed. *Or is he actually sleeping?
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 155 words – But, this one, the one who looked so much like a bear lumbering along behind her. He she thought she liked. Though she could not quite decide why that was. Why did the wind blow? It just did. Maybe this had the same reason.
    • Roman – 245 words – He just wasn’t sure he could do this. Everything felt like it was weighing too heavy on him. He just might crack.
    • Dougal & Shae – 226 words – These two definitely fell into that first group. Nothing he could do unless they actually started causing a problem, though. And from what he’d seen so far, his boss wouldn’t take action until it went almost too far. Nothing he could do about that either. All he could do was his job.
  • Listen: The Sapphire Affair(Lauren Blakely) & The Matchmaker’s Playbook(Rachel Van Dyken) – I finished The Sapphire Affair & enjoyed it. Got pissed at The Matchmaker’s Playbook between the “hero”‘s attitude(came across as extremely sexist) and then it seemed they were romanticizing stalking & I was done. I listened to This is Where It ends(Marieke Nijkamp), and wow was this intense & emotional & heartbreaking. I sobbed through the last several chapters. It was also awesome. Then, I listened to Almost Dead(T.R. Ragan) and was disappointed though I’ve liked the rest of the series. Not only did the bad guy get away at the end, but the love interest died. Now, I don’t think it was marketed as Romance, but still. I’m undecided whether I’ll listen to the last book or not.
  • Read: Saint and Scholar(Holley Trent), Chemical Reaction(A.M. Leibowitz), Shallow Graves(Kali Wallace), Rest Stop(Catie Rhodes), Personal Geography(Tamsen Parker), A Perfect Storm(Lori Foster), It’s in His Kiss(Jill Shalvis), Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel(Sara Farizan), Signal Boost(Alyssa Cole) & Falling into Bed with a Duke(Lorraine Heath) – I finished Saint and Scholar(liked the first part, but the second half felt like it skimmed over details), Chemical Reaction(enjoyed), Shallow Graves(really enjoyed), Rest Stop(enjoyed), Personal Geography(really enjoyed, though it had a cliffhanger ending), A Perfect Storm(liked), It’s in His Kiss(loved), & Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel(really enjoyed). I’m only 13% into Signal Boost but enjoying it so far. I should be able to finish it today and hoping to finish Falling into Bed with a Duke as well, but we’ll see
  • Crochet: Fall Leaves – Just the one I did on Monday. Didn’t get to any more of them.

A lot of blue in there. Hopefully I can keep it up for the next week:

  • Write 14000 words
  • Edit: Guarding the Heart Read through
  • Plot: Jess & Terrall – Story Tookit: through Act 2 Beat sheet
  • Side Projects – Write 1500 words between them
  • Listen: Minutes to Kill(Melinda Leigh)
  • Read: Finish Signal Boost(Alyssa Cole), Falling into Bed with a Duke(Lorraine Heath), 37 Things I Love(Kekla Magoon), The Shadow Queen(CJ Redwine), Fake ID(Lamar Giles), Rock Addiction(Nalini Singh), Frost Station Alpha(Ruby Lionsdrake), The Invisible Entente(Krista Walsh)
  • Knit/Crochet – dish cloths. As I said Wednesday, the pup has taken to digging these out of the laundry and chewing them up, so I need to make more.

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