Home of a mother, wife, writer

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, and probably will at least the next couple weeks, maybe even through April. Though I might share a couple from Staring at the Sun, which is what I’m working on for this year’s A-Z challenge(and is Icarus & Cassie’s story). For this week, I’ve skipped a few paragraphs down from what I shared last week. Devil wants to go back for Hawk. Bull’s trying to stop him. Needless to say, it doesn’t go over well.

“Get out of my way,” I told him.

“No, Devil, you have to listen to the rest. We have to do things the right way.”

“And that’s just leaving him there?” I shouted at him, even though he was right in front of me. “You know what they’ll do to him. He’s not going to walk back out of there; they’ll destroy him.” My voice cut on the last words. I didn’t even want to think about what they’d do, what they might have already done. “We have to go back for him.”

Are they going to leave Hawk? What are they doing to him? Will they get him back?

“Danica, you march right in there and apologize to your mama.”

Alaina glanced up at her brother’s voice, but it was the little girl who caught her attention. Her bottom lip was trembling, and tears were welling in her eyes. “I’m sorry, Declan.”

“I’m not the one you yelled at,” he said, but his voice was softening. “She didn’t deserve that, Dani. Go on and tell her you’re sorry. Everything will be fine.”

Alaina waited until the little girl dragged her feet back into the kitchen to approach her brother. He was still crouched down from facing his stepdaughter, and she put a hand on his shoulder. “You make a pretty great dad, Dec.”

He shook his head. “I don’t have a clue to what I’m doing. What if I mess it all up?”

“You did fine with me.”

He looked back at her then. “You were nearly sixteen at the time. There wasn’t much raising left to do. This is different. And I’m not.”

“What do you mean?”

“Not her father. Not really. She never really knew him and thank goodness for that.”

Alaina didn’t know a whole lot about the situation, except he’d been responsible for Declan being hurt over the summer. So, yeah, she could agree with him there. “You’re doing just fine,” she told him. But, she had to hold back a smile. She was pretty sure her brother was going to be surprised when he opened his gift from Eva and Dani on Christmas morning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s prompt for the Stream of Consciousness post was “march” and that first sentence is what popped into  my head. I’m still plotting out Heart of Christmas, but I definitely think this will be included in it.

Last week, we got to see more of Calla’s interaction with her father. Today we get just a hint of what might be to come after that.

Calla headed into the dining room after washing the alcohol from her hands. She’d nicked herself at least once with the broken glass, but thankfully it hadn’t bled too much. Although maybe seeing her hands bandaged would get her father to realize what he was doing.
And that he wasn’t only hurting himself.
But, when she stepped into the dining room, it was empty. Where was her father? She thought he would have come right here from his office. Apparently that wasn’t the case, though. And it didn’t sound like he was berating any of the kitchen staff. She’d definitely be able to hear if he was.
She sighed and crossed the room, pushing into the kitchen. Nita turned from the stove. “Calla, dear, what are you doing? Your father-”
“Is probably shut in his room. I just finished cleaning his office.”
“Calla, that isn’t for you to do.” It was the same thing her father had said, but this time there was softness in the words.
“I know. But, none of you should have to deal with the aftereffects of his rages, either.”
“We are paid for it. You aren’t. Instead you feel you need to pay for what he does.”
She shook her head. That wasn’t it. But, she had never been able to put into words just what it was. Before she could try once more, there was a knock on the jamb of the kitchen door. She glanced over her shoulder and saw Murray, the butler, smiling past her to Nita. If her father knew they’d had something going on as long as she could remember, he’d lose it. He didn’t like anyone having loyalties to anyone but him.
One, if not both of them, would be fired. And her life would probably be even more miserable.
“What is it, Murray?” she asked the butler, smiling sweetly. “Does my father need me?”
The smile dimmed slightly, and she imagined it was the mention of her father. She thought that if it wasn’t for Nita, Murray would have given up his position long ago. Frankly, she wasn’t quite sure why any of the employees stayed on and tolerated her father’s behavior. She didn’t have much choice if she didn’t want to live on the streets. Maybe they feared the same thing.
And she thought her father liked it that way.
“No, Miss Calla,” Murray said, nodding at her. “He just informed me he’ll be taking his meal in his room tonight. I shall take it up once it’s ready.”
“Told you,” Calla said, turning back to Nita. “Sulking.” There were shadows in her eyes, though, and she wondered what the older woman knew.
“I’ll let you know when it’s ready,” she told Murray softly.
He nodded and stepped back out of the kitchen. Even though Calla was pretty sure he wanted to come forward and at least kiss the woman. He wouldn’t do that while they were on duty, though. Wouldn’t take the risk. He probably knew how much Father depended on him, but he’d say he could always get a new cook. Murray wouldn’t put Nita at risk like that.
“He is just sulking, right?” Calla asked.
Nita’s mouth thinned, and she turned back to the stove. “Scheming more like it,” she muttered.
A chill went over her. Though it wasn’t like he didn’t scheme every day. Why should this one be any different?

What could her father be scheming about? How will it affect Calla? Hold on and you might just find out.

 

Today is the official end of the first round of RoW80 for this year. So, even though I did a check-in post yesterday, I have my wrap up of the round’s goals today. I’ll have my monthly wrap-up and goals for the next round and month up next Sunday(4/2). But, for now, here’s how I did for the round:

#Row80 Round 1:

Plotting:

  • Loving the Devil – Outline – set this one aside. The idea wasn’t really forming well into a plot.
  • Playing With Fire(Flames #6/The Rileys #1) – Outline – this is done. It’ll be my main writing project in April.
  • Heart of Christmas(BC Security novella) – I’m working on the story toolkit for this one.
  • High on Your Love(Kurztown #6) – Didn’t get to this one.

Writing:

  • In the Moonlight – 1st draft – Yes! Wrote 14964 words to finish it.
  • Crash and Burn – 1st draft – Yes! Wrote 16098 words to finish it.
  • Defending the Heart – 1st draft – Yes! Wrote 38768 words to finish it.
  • Stay a Little Longer – add 39000 words – 38500/39000 words. Only 500 short. Tomorrow’s words will get me there.
  • Not Meant to Be – add 12000 words – only managed 3683/12000. I changed how I was doing things, so this one got set aside. I think I’ll be getting back to it in May on the new schedule.
  • Loving the Devil – start drafting – no. This one’s shelved at least for now.
  • Playing with Fire – start drafting – I did start this. 6617 words. I’ll get back to it in April.
  • Heart of Christmas – start drafting – No. I don’t have this planned until August now.

Revising:

  • Stained Blood – Rewrite – Good progress on this. 7864 words added. I have 4 more scenes to add & 19 more to edit through.
  • Demons Rising – Revise – Still nothing on this
  • Flames of Renewal – Send to CP & do edits if I get it back before the end of the round – sent it to CP, but haven’t got it back yet.
  • Snow White Twist – Fill in Details – this is done & I did the read through. Ready to start revisions, which I’m hoping to have done by the end of the month.

Side Projects:

  • Midas’ Daughter – Get to 13000 words – 10441/13000 words
  • Dance with the Devil – finish 1st draft – done!
  • Patrick & Sarah – get to 5400 words – 5413/5400 words
  • Tavin & Haiwee – get to 4675 words – 4627/4675 words
  • Roman – get to 5800 words – 6350/5800 words
  • Dougal & Shae – get to 4000 words – 4163/4000 words

I also started a few other side projects, and have 2 more I plan to start this week. In all, I’ve added 17,262 words between all side projects.

Blogging:

  • Row80 – keep up to date with own posts & others – did pretty well with this.
  • Just Jot it January – 30 posts(since I already skipped day 1) – 28/30. Pretty close. I did all except for day 1 and a couple of the One-line Wednesday prompts.

Reading:

  • Listen: 12 books – 24/12. I’d met this goal back in January.
  • Read: 90 books – 77/90 books.

Crafting:

  • Knit: 3 projects – 3/3 projects
  • Crochet: 3 projects – 2/3 projects. Close to finishing the third, though.
  • Loom: 3 projects – 1/3 projects

Overall, it was a pretty good round. Looking forward to the next one.

I definitely think I like my new way of getting things done. I’m working on my writing goals for the first half of each hour. And during the second half, I’ll work through the other things on my list. And once I’m done with my writing goals, I’ll concentrate on the other t0-do items. Yesterday, doing this, the only thing I didn’t get done was my reading. So, I think I’m going to continue with it for now. At least until it isn’t working for me anymore.

Stepmother-in-law brought this back for us from her recent trip to Iceland.

The kids had Monday off from school(they also had last Friday off). So we decided to all get our eyes checked out. I’ve had to wear glasses since I was about twelve. Husband wears them on occasion, but doesn’t need them all the time. Last year we got the kids’ checked and the girl was a little far-sighted, but they said that often corrects as they grow. And this year hers was pretty much perfect. So was the boy’s. Mine haven’t changed enough to matter. And I just got new ones last year, so I wasn’t worried about it. Husband got news ones, though.

The reason we decided to do this now was because we still had a lot in his HSA through work. Which rolls over at the end of the month, and only so much of it will roll over. Well, he went to use it after our appointments, and it was declined. Looking into it, they’d deactivated all the cards because they’re moving to another company. Well, they weren’t supposed to deactivate them until next week. It would have been really nice to know beforehand. We ended up having to pay out of pocket, and the company is going to reimburse us. But, yeah, it kind of defeats the purpose of the health savings account when you can’t even use it.

Anyway, rant over, and it’s WiPPet Wednesday again! Woohoo!! I’m still working on Stay a Little Longer this morning. So, you get another snippet from that. Some context: They’re still at Jess’s daughter’s birthday party, and Terrall and Mike are talking. They share some similar history, but from different perspectives. Mike’s mother was killed in a drunk driving accident. His father was the one driving. Terrall was involved in a different one. Which is what they’re talking about here. There’s 7 paragraphs(3+2+2) here.

He shook his head. “I hardly drink anymore. An occasional beer, but I won’t get behind the wheel if I’ve had more than that.”
“Figured that. From what I heard from family and neighbors, Dad still drinks. Heavily. And doesn’t always wait for someone to come pick him up. That makes a big difference between him and you.”
A small figure came rushing into the kitchen before Terrall could respond to that. “Daddy, I want more fruit, but the tray’s gone.”
He laughed and lifted her to his side. “I was just refilling it, Alexa,” he said. “This is your mommy’s friend, Terrall,” he said, nodding toward him.
She turned to look at him, seemed to be studying him. Even though she had her father’s darker skin—a lighter shade, though—and his dark hair and eyes, he could see Jess in her, too. “Are you a friend like Fadil is Daddy’s friend?” she asked.
Mike snorted but left Terrall to answer the question himself. Great. “I’d like to be,” he said. “But, that’ll be up to your mama to decide.”
“Smart answer,” Mike said as he set his daughter down and picked up the tray.

Kids can certainly be perceptive. 🙂

Now on to my progress so far this week. This is also the end of Round 1 of RoW80. This post is already pretty long, though, so I’ll have my wrap-up for that tomorrow.

Plotting:

  • Primary: Heart of Christmas(BC Security 3.5) – write back stories, plot summary, and complete Story Toolkit – 4/22 sections of Story Toolkit(some of these sections I’ll have to do at least 2 sheets for because of multiple characters, but I’ll put them all in one section). 3317 words so far this month. 440 words this week.
  • Secondary: Still Burning(Hunter Family #4) – Brainstorm

Writing:

  • Primary: Stay a Little Longer – add 45000 words/finish 38 scenes – 32983 words/45000, 33/38 scenes for the month. 3327 words/4 scenes this week.
  • Secondary: Side Projects – 5000 words, edit Chapter 1 of Patrick & Sarah & Chapter 1 of Tavin & Haiwee, read through 9 chapters of Snow White Twist(there’s actually 10, but I read through chapter 1 in February) – 3863/5000 words so far this month. 514 words this week. have read through 9/9 in Snow White Twist. and I already have one reader lined up for this. If any else would be interested in reading a f/f retelling of Snow White(about 21000 words), let me know. I should have it revised and ready by the end of the month. I’ll be adding 2 more stories to my list, one of which just popped into my head one day and then I saw this article this morning, which is kind of similar to the idea(only my characters will meet when they’re already pregnant).
    • Midas’ Daughter – 101 words – Flip had hoped Mr. Midas might one day forget his threats. But, the glares he periodically sent him and the little hints he’d drop, told him that was still not the case. It probably never would be.
    • Patrick & Sarah – 174 words – Just a terror, Sarah had said. Nothing more than a bad nightmare. He glanced back toward the bedroom the two boys shared. He couldn’t say why, but he was sure there was a lot more to it than that.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 85 words – Haiwee shot more words at her cousin, and this time Tavin did catch his own name in there. Then, something else as she gestured back to him.  *I probably would have written more, but I got sidetracked researching. I did find a search engine for the Shoshoni language, though.
    • Roman – 154 words – “Don’t be silly,” she said, and her voice was still soft, still gentle. “We are a family. No matter how we add to it, you and I will always be a family, Roman.

Editing:

  • Primary: Stained Blood – 10 new scenes & apply CP edits to 40 scenes – 6/10 new scenes finished this month. 15/40 scenes edited. 4835 words added this month. 1375 words added this week.
  • Secondary: Flames of Renewal(if I get back from CP) – complete CP edits
    • In the Moonlight – start revisions

Blogging:

  • A-Z posts – draft 24 posts – 5/24 for the month.
  • A-Z posts – edit & format 27 posts – Edited 8/27(almost forgot about the theme reveal post) posts. And my theme reveal went live on Monday. A, B, C, D, E, F, & G are scheduled. So, I’ve got through Week 2 ready. I’ll just have to add links back to the previous post before they go live(hopefully I’ll remember).

Reading:

  • Listen: 8 books – 4/8 for the month, 1 this week
    • King’s Cage(Victoria Aveyard) – Finished this Sunday after posting my check-in. Enjoyed it, but the ending broke my romantic heart. I did see there’s going to be at least 1 more book(I’d thought it was a trilogy, but I guess not).
    • Fire(Kristin Cashore) – On Chapter 3(audible has these chapters split up weird. There are more than one in what it says is a chapter. So I’m just doing what’s on top of the screen on my phone). It’s interesting, but I’m almost 3 hours in and it doesn’t feel like a lot’s really happened. I’ll give it at least a little longer.
  • Read: 31 books – 20/31 for the month, 3 this week.
    • Crimson Stain(Jim Fisher) – this is a true crime story about an Amish man who killed his wife not very far from where we live(It happened when I was about 8 years old). Finished this on Sunday.
    • Hammer of the Gods(Christina Ochs) – this is book 3 in her Desolate Empire series. I got the boxed set, but I’ve already read the first 2 separately, so I jumped right to this one on my phone. I’ll read it in the between moments. I’m on Chapter 38/166(If I counted right. The chapters are labeled with POV characters’ names instead of numbers).
    • The Beltane Kiss(Denise D Young) – Started this Saturday night. Finished it Sunday morning.
    • A Geek Girls Guide to Arsenic(Julie Anne Lindsey) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Tuesday morning. Loved it. Not sure I’ve ever felt such kinship to a character as I do Mia(particularly the social awkwardness).
    • Under Pressure(Lori Foster) – Started this Tuesday afternoon. On page 167/381.
    • The Defiant Hero(Suzanne Brockmann) – This is today’s book. Just starting it.

Crafting:

  • Knit: Georgian Lace Cap – Finished this Tuesday morning. Have 4/4 rounds knitted for the brim. 40/40 rounds knitted for cap lace section. 11/11 for crown decreases.
  • Crochet: Cross-over Long DC Hat – Have 18/28 rounds crocheted for hat.
  • Loom: Ambrosia Love Scarf & Last Minute Slouchy Hat – realized the slouchy hat uses a loom I don’t have, so I’m cutting it off the list.

Teaser Tuesday: Surprise

I’m back with another Teaser Tuesday from Stained Blood. This comes from another new scene I’ve added into the story. Barrett’s about to learn something new about his friend, though he’s not quite ready to process it yet.

Matthew reclined back against a mound of hay, his hair was mussed, his cheeks flushed a bright red. And his lips looked swollen. A couple buttons were undone on his shirt, the material gaping where others were in the wrong holes. Barrett knew that look. Barrett had sported that look often enough himself.
Then, he turned his head and stared at Jacob. His dark hair was mussed as well, sticking up at angles as if it had been pulled that way. Where Matthew’s face was flushed, his was pale. Only one button of his shirt was buttoned, the rest gaping open, and that certainly looked like a bite right below his collarbone.
Barrett shook his head as his mind tried to put the pieces together. He took a step back, his head still shaking from one side to the other. No. He hadn’t seen what his eyes told him he had. Only one thing made one look like that. And there was no woman in sight.
“Barrett, where are you going?” Jacob asked. Even his lips looked like the color had drained from them.
“Out. I need to get out of here.” He couldn’t even think about this right now. Not at all.
“You aren’t…you’re not going to tell anyone. Are you?” His voice quivered as if he feared the answer to that.
“What would I tell them, Jacob?” he asked. “I don’t know a damn thing.”

Just what was going on before Barrett arrived? What will Barrett do with this information? How will Jacob act around him now? All things I’m trying to work into the following scenes(since this wasn’t in the first version…Jacob didn’t really start talking to me until I’d finished it).

A to Z: Theme Reveal

It’s time to gear up for another year of the A to Z challenge. One year I did a whole month of fire themed posts. Last year I wrote short pieces of back story for characters across my different series. I’ve enjoyed doing both. This year will be similar to the last one, except each of the posts will be at least one scene of a bigger story. They’ll all be connected together as well to make a serial story. As for the title for this year’s:’

DRUMROLL, PLEASE!!!!!!

 STARING AT THE SUN

For anyone who has followed me, you may know about the novella series I’ve been working on the last couple years. The first book, Into the Sun, was released as part of 2015’s World Unknown Review. That one was about Trace and his search for family and just what that meant for him. He found it and his biological father with the Riders of Justice. Grady Hartson Jr, better known as Icarus now, has his own story to tell. I’ve told bits of it through the other stories in this series, but this one will focus on Icarus and his possible second chance with Cassie.

The parts of the story(some are named for who will be also be in the scene, or something else that happens during it):

1 – Arrow

3 – Birdie

4 – Cassie

5 – Dive

6 – Edge of Control

7 – Flashback

8 – Grady

10 – Henry

11 – Icarus

12 – Jumper

13 – Kidnapped

14 – Love

15 – Medusa

17 – Never Again

18 – Options

19 – Promises

20 – Quitting

21 – Raven

22 – Set Up

24 – Taken

25 – Understanding

26 – Vengeance

27 – Wraith

28 – By eXample

29 – Your Love

30 – Zenith

And the song that inspired the title(all the titles in the series have been after songs):

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