Home of a mother, wife, writer

Yeah, yeah, RoW80 is on a break, so why are you all seeing me here? That should be obvious. I don’t do breaks very well. You’ve figured that out about me, right?

Friday night we were on our way to get some dinner and groceries, as usual for us lately. Then, there’s a call over the radio for a structure fire with entrapment in town. So, my husband turns around and we park down the street. he’s the Chief Safety Officer for the department and carries all his gear in the truck. They pretty much had it out by that point. And it turns out, the ‘entrapment’ was a cat. Everyone else had gotten out(and yes, they did save the cat).

Saturday I had planned to catch up on my reading and writing I fell behind on during the week. Then, husband decided he wanted to go to Erie to see if either of the sports stores could restring and resight his bow since archery season is coming up soon. And he had to get some tools. Well, the used bookstore is right next to the tool store. So, I took in two boxes I’d filled with books. Both kids decided they wanted to go with me(usually the boy wants to go to the tool store with Daddy). After trading in the two boxes of books, I had over $78 in credit on my account. After buying 15 books(8 of those were the kids), I still had about $53 dollars. I had to spend $35(only half the price of each book is taken out of the credit). Still, I only would have been able to get maybe 4 books new for that price. I figured we’d go home after we got some lunch. Instead, we ended up taking the kids to the local pumpkin farm. They have a whole punch of activities, hay bales set up in a maze that the kids can run over or go through, a corn box(kind of like a sandbox but filled with…you guessed it, corn, mazes, and several other things. We ended up staying there for almost 3 hours. Needless to say, I didn’t get much reading or writing done yesterday. I’ve been making up for that today, though. Got through my secondary projects and most of my side projects, too. Still well behind on my reading, though. Hoping to catch up on some of that this afternoon.

Today we’re trying to clean out the garage, mostly moving stuff we won’t need for the winter(and baby stuff we keep planning to sell) into our enclosed trailer. But, I got a good bit done before that, and we’re taking a break for lunch, so I’m typing while I eat some leftover pizza.

  • Write – 13000 words(10000 towards Closing Time) – 13590 words/13000. That’s a win! Even if it took me until Sunday to reach it.
    • Closing Time – 10394 words – “I don’t think he does, big brother. I’ve heard you have a reputation for spilling other people’s secrets. Why would he believe you now?” *Oh, I hate Cam’s brother so very, very much. And now I have to find the way to get Cam & Gio back together.
    • Break on Me – 1034 words – She leaned forward then and pressed her lips over the largest of the scars left behind by the shrapnel from the blast that had taken his arm. A shiver rippled over him at her light touch. She wasn’t turned off by his stump of an arm, wasn’t disgusted by these scars. She hardly even stumbled over his anxiety issues. Could she be any more perfect?
    • In the Moonlight – 1144 words – I took a couple more steps up the stairs and it was almost like whispers swirled around me. Words of desire, wishes, promises. I gripped the railing a little tighter even though it didn’t feel all that sturdy. “Nola,” I said quietly, my heart hammering faster.
    • Defending the Heart – 1018 words – Damn. He was still thinking like a Marine three years out. Maybe that stupid old saying was true. He’d heard his dad repeat it often enough.
  • Edit – Polish Healing the Heart(if anyone’s interested in beta reading this, let me know) – Finished polishing this on Friday. Still looking for beta readers, though.
  • Plot – Toby & Denise: Write Denise’s back story – finished Denise’s back story as well as ones for the two antagonists. Now, to do the actual plotting.
  • Side Projects – Add 2500 words between projects – 2643 words/2500.
    • Dance with the Devil – 784 words. All written this morning. – Bull huffed out a breath, but he turned and walked out of the room. She shook her head once the door closed. “Should’ve named him teddy bear,” she murmured. 
    • Snow White Twist – 1298 words. Most of those are from a scene that will come later(I actually wrote it for a Story a Day piece) – Tarian let out a huff of laughter. “They always have had sucky timing.” She took a step back, and fixed the laces Eira had just undone.
    • Patrick & Sarah – 181 words – The woman let out a rather offensive snort. “Like you don’t know. Like all the men in this town don’t know her.” *poor Sarah. She’s obviously not thought too highly of by the “kind” people of town.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 196 words – Tavin sighed and followed more slowly. “I’ll just go out and get us some meat, boys. It won’t take long at all.” Famous last words of a fool.
    • Roman – 184 words – “If you want to help him, Tereza,” he said, biting back the words he wanted to spew out, “if you want me to help him, then you have to talk to me. What did you see? What do you know?” *those words he wants to spew out aren’t towards Tereza, but Carlos, who at this point, he thinks may have taken advantage of a vulnerable girl.
  • Story a Day – Wrote 6/7 stories
  • Read: Writing Active Hooks: Book 2 – 50% – got to this point
  • Listen: Empire of Storms & Obsessed(T.R. Ragan) – I finished Empire of Storms(loved, loved, loved) and Obsessed(Really enjoyed, but that ending. Ugh. It’s killing me). I also started Hour of Need(Melinda Leigh). I’m about 2.5 hours into it.
  • Read: Finish Blightlore(Krista Walsh), The Darkest Hour(Maya Banks), Grave Touched(Erin Zarro), The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie(Jennifer Ashley), More Happy Than Not(Adam Silvera), Cut Both Ways(Carrie Mesrobian), Start Me Up(Victoria Dahl), An Ember in the Ashes(Sabaa Tahir), The Chief(Monica McCarty), & Still the One(Jill Shalvis) – I finished Blightlore(loved, even if it shattered my heart), The Darkest Hour(enjoyed), Grave Touched(really enjoyed), and The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie(LOVED…and had me squeezing to a friend who reads historical romance about it before I’d even finished). I’m 75% through More Happy Than Not and really enjoying it. I’ll finish that today and hoping to read at least most of Cut Both Ways. That still leaves me with 10 books on my list to read this month. Probably not going to happen in 5 days, but that’s okay. They’ll just get moved to next month’s list.

Overall it was a pretty good week. I knew I likely would get to all those books, though I was hoping to get to more of them.

  • Write 13000 words(10000 on main project: Closing Time)
  • Edit: Work in Worldbuilding details for Guarding the Heart
  • Plot: Toby & Denise – Outline
  • Side Projects: Add 2500 words
  • Story a Day – write 5 stories
  • Read: Writing Active Hooks – 100%
  • Listen: Hour of Need(Melinda Leigh) & Frost Like Night(Sara Raasch – this just came out & it jumped the list)
  • Read: Finish More Happy Than Not(Adam Silvera), Cut Both Ways(Carrie Mesrobian), Start Me Up(Victoria Dahl), An Ember in the Ashes(Sabaa Tahir), The Chief(Monica McCarty), Still the One(Jill Shalvis), Sudden Death(Allison Brennan), Right of First Refusal(Dahlia Adler), The Blade’s Memory(Lindsay Buroker), Saint and Scholar(Holley Trent), Chemical Reaction(A.M. Leibowitz), & Shallow Graves(Kali Wallace)

Next Sunday I’ll have my wrap-up for the month and next month’s goals as well as my usual weekly goals(I know RoW80 will be changing how we check-in, but I’ll probably at least continue my Sunday check-in if not Wednesday as well)

WeWriWa: “Come In”

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I haven’t written anything new on Dance with the Devil this week. I’m hoping to change that this weekend, but at least I have some words sitting between what I’ve shared and what I have written. This is a little further along from last week’s snippet.

Hawk stood there. “Can I come in?”

His gaze dropped to my chest, still bare, then slowly climbed back to my face. I stepped back, knowing I probably shouldn’t let him in. But, it had always been difficult saying no to him.

I turned away before he could say anything, but I still saw the flash of horror in his eyes. He must have seen the bruises spreading across my chest and stomach. Those guys really had done a number on me. Before he said anything about that, I really needed some coffee. I grabbed a long-sleeved t-shirt off the back of the couch on my way to the kitchen.

What is Hawk doing there? Will Devil need to make himself say no? Will he be able to?

I also have Chapter 7 of Come Back Down up on Wattpad if you want to check that out.

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was to use ‘bus’ somewhere, either on it’s own or as part of another word. And for Story a Day, it was to focus on genre. Pretty much everything I write would fall under the Romance genre. This will probably come at the beginning of the story that I’m currently plotting(no title yet, but it’s part of one of my series). I’ve just finished all of the back stories, so I may have it plotted before the end of the month. This fits somewhere around the story I wrote for Day 21, Barely Crawling.

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

“You could take your eyes off my sister for even five seconds.”

Beside Toby, Jonas started to laugh. “You’re so totally busted,” his teenage brother said.

Toby put his hand on the kid’s face and pushed him back into the chair. Jonas only laughed harder. “Knew I shoulda left you at home,” Toby muttered.

Across the table, Jared just smiled at the two of them. Then, his gaze went back to Toby even as he balanced his infant daughter on one leg. That couldn’t be easy as she was squirming as if she wanted down. Jared made it look easy, though. “Seriously, Toby, I’m sure she’d appreciate, oh, I don’t know, if you’d go over and talk to her instead of trying to stare through her clothes.”

Heat washed over him at that. “I wasn’t. That’s not-”

Jared laughed. “Don’t worry about it. I know my sister’s a grown woman. Trust me, she’s made that clear to me. And that I need to ‘chill on the overprotectiveness.’ Her words.”

“So Hallie’s going to get all of that now,” Melanie, Jared’s wife, said as she joined them.

He raised one eyebrow and stared her down. But, she only kept looking right back at him. Finally he dropped his gaze and kissed the top of his daughter’s head. “Your mama’s got me beat. Always.”

Toby’s chest burned watching the two of them. The love was obvious between them, even when they were in one of their fights. It was something he’d never thought he’d have for himself. He’d never seen it growing up. The men in his mother’s life hadn’t loved either of them. Not until Edward. The foster homes he’d bounced between whenever he’d been taken away from her hadn’t been all that loving either. Then, there’d been Adriane. But, she’d been taken away from him, too. And he’d seen how losing Edward had nearly destroyed his mom.

Maybe love wasn’t such a good thing after all.

Then, Denise’s laugh rang out again and drew his gaze back to her. Melanie laughed this time. “Go talk to her, Toby. I’m sure she’d like it if you did.”

Did everyone see it? No, because then she would, too. But, she seemed to be oblivious. And it was probably better that way. She was sweet, innocent, and perfect. Everything he hadn’t been since before he even hit his teenage years. It was better for both of them if he just kept his distance. “We should probably get going, Jonas. Mom will be expecting us.”

His kid brother rolled his eyes but stood up from the chair. “How come she’s the only thing you’ve ever run from? You were in the Army. You’re a cop. You’re not supposed to be afraid of anything.”

Jared laughed again. “You’ll figure it out one of these days. Sometimes the best things in life are the ones that scare us the most.”

Toby glanced toward Denise again, caught the grin she was flashing toward another couple. If that was true, then there couldn’t be anything better than Denise. If only he could be good enough for her.

I’ve been able to settle back into a more normal routine this week. A lot of writing done as well as some editing and plotting. And we even went to the kids’ open house at school last night. Hoping I can keep up this routine for a while. For now, I have the next chapter of Come Back Down up on Wattpad. Here’s the beginning of it:

It was amazing to watch Trace draw. Something came alive in him, that I had only caught a few brief glimpses of before. This was different than the light that came on when we touched each other. That was switched on by lust, but this was something deeper, something more.

His hand seemed to fly over the sheet of paper as a picture developed. He’d go back and move a line or shade something else in. I was mesmerized by the time he finished the first one. I looked at it as Trace started on the next one. “I don’t know him.”

“I don’t, either,” Icarus admitted. “I’ll show it to the others. One of them might.”

“He didn’t have a rank patch,” Trace said.

Icarus headed to the door with the first sketch, but he stopped and turned back. “You remember which ones do?”

Trace dipped his head, but his hand didn’t stop moving over the paper. “I have a good memory for things I see. Not photographic but probably close. Henry always said it was creepy and freaked him out.”

Icarus’ fist clenched at the mention of that man’s name. I couldn’t blame him for that reaction. Not after everything Trace’s stepfather had done. “Nothing about you is creepy, Trace. Keep his words out of your head.”

Trace’s head dipped again, but this time it wasn’t a nod, it was shame. I squeezed his hand that didn’t hold the pencil and felt him squeeze back after a moment.

“Whichever names and ranks you remember,” Icarus said, “put them with the sketch. Do you know his?”

“Mace.”

Icarus took out another pencil, set the paper against the door, and wrote the name under the sketch. Then, he left the room.

“He’s upset with me now,” Trace murmured.

“No,” I assured him. “Not with you. He hates he didn’t get you from that situation sooner. There’s nothing he can do to get rid of all the thoughts that nasty man put in your head. He’d never be upset with you for something you didn’t have control over.”

The corners of his mouth tipped up. “You’re good, you know that? At getting into a man’s mind and sorting out their thoughts. You ever think…”

“What? I asked. I hated when he didn’t finish a thought.

He gave a little shrug and focused on his sketch. “Just wondering if you’d ever thought about going on to college for something like that. Like therapy, you know. I bet you’d be good at it.”

Now, it was my turn to duck my head. I had thought about college, but it had always been a vague thing. I hadn’t had a traditional education, but I had the equivalent to a diploma. I could apply to colleges if I’d wanted to.

I didn’t know if I wanted to.

If you want to read the rest of the chapter, you find it here.

RoW80 Round 3 Wrap-Up

I just wrote up my mid-week check-in yesterday, but the round actually ends today. So, today I’ll be posting my progress for the whole round. And next Sunday, I’ll have my monthly wrap-up and goals for the next month. I’ll probably have two check-ins between that, too. Even though RoW80 will be on break, I have trouble shifting away from my regular routine.

Plotting:

  • Defending the Heart(BC Security #3) – I got this one done.
  • Still Burning(Hunter Family #4) – Nope.
  • Toby & Denise(Gilbert, CO #6) – I got through the brainstorming & half the back stories.

Drafting:

  • Protecting the Heart – finish 1st draft – I got this finished about halfway through August. Just over 68k. 20,053 of those were written during round 3.
  • Closing Time – finish 1st draft – Not there yet. but, this week I’ve realized it’s not actually going to be a novella. These two have more story to tell than I figured. So, it’s at least going to be a short novel. I’ve written almost 35k on it this round, and I’m not quite done for the day.
  • Shed Some Light – finish 1st draft – I just finished this last Friday. It came in a little shorter than predicted, but I tend to add during revisions. I wrote 35468 words during round 3
  • Break on Me – get to 51000 words – I’m at 39880 right now. May work on it later today, but still won’t reach this point. I wrote 16208 words this round.
  • In the Moonlight – get to 47000 words – Only got to 35,043 so far. I wrote 14420 words this round.
  • Brann’s Story(comes right after Closing Time) – 1st draft – didn’t even start this. Will once I finish Closing Time(It’s actually been plotted out for a while. Then I realized Closing Time came first)
  • Defending the Heart – 5000 words – Nope. Only got to 1593 words. This is currently lowest on my priority list. it’ll move up as I finish other things and add more below it.
  • Still Burning – 5000 words – haven’t even started this since it’s not plotted yet. Probably won’t do that until Brann’s story is nearly finished.

Editing:

  • Stained by Ashes – apply beta edits once I get them all back – Done & Published!
  • Healing the Heart – Final CP edits – got these done & currently polishing it to send to beta readers. So if anyone is interested, let me know.
  • Guarding the Heart – 1st revisions – didn’t really do any of this.

Reading:

  • Listen: 10 audiobooks – 19/10. This one certainly hasn’t been a problem.
  • Read: 77 books – 62/77 books. Fell a bit behind on this one.
  • Read: 3 craft/research books – I’ve read almost 3.5 craft books.

Not too bad overall, even if there were a couple things I didn’t get to. Now to figure out what my goals for the last quarter of the year will be. I’ll have to get back to you on those.

Writing Wednesday: New Routine

I keep adjusting my routine, hoping eventually I’ll land on one that works just right for me. It’s not too different from what I was doing before really. But, so far this week, it seems to be working. I’m starting by writing 2000 words on my main project(Closing Time at the moment). Depending on what time I get up and get started on that, I’m usually close to being done by the time the kids have to get on the bus. So after some breakfast, I finish that up. Then, I do chores and go for a walk(if the weather and my joints are cooperating- seriously, I’m not quite 32. Shouldn’t have trouble with them, and yet…). Once the chores are done, I come back and work on editing & plotting. Then, whatever else is on my list. I have my other projects listed out at the end of my to-do list, so if I get everything else done, I’ll bounce between those and my reading goals. yesterday I was able to get 2(actually have 3 checked off, b/c I wrote a lot of Snow White Twist on Monday) out of the 9 items on the secondary list done. Whatever doesn’t get done from there, I just add on to for the next day. Monday I wanted to write 200 words on each of my secondary projects. Didn’t write on any, so yesterday it was 400 words. Today’s goal is 200 on Break on Me, but 600 on the others.

So, since it’s Wednesday again, it’s time for another snippet for WiPPet Wednesday. I’m still sharing from Closing Time as it’s my main project now, since I finished Shed Some Light on Friday. Today I have 10 paragraphs(9+21+16=46=4+6=10) from Chapter 4. Cam & Gio are working at a wedding, but Cam hadn’t realized whose wedding it was, or who else would be there. Mainly someone he has some history with. This references something from Flames of Restoration. Gio knew what happened, just not that Cam had a part in it.

“Funny seeing you here.”

His hand jerked, and he almost spilled the drink he’d been mixing together. He set everything down before lifting his gaze. “Nolan.” He still looked good, some of that dark brown hair slipping over his forehead. And he looked happy. Something he hadn’t always been when they were together. If you could call their mostly casual relationship as being together.

“I didn’t know,” Cam said in a rush, feeling it was important Nolan knew and didn’t think Cam was stalking him. Again. “I only knew we’d be working a wedding. I didn’t realize whose it was.”

Nolan was still smiling at him, though. “It’s fine, Cam. Really. I was just surprised to see you.”

Gio stood right beside him, opening a couple bottles and sliding them over to the couple across the bar. But, he could feel his boss’s eyes on them. “I said I’d stay away from you, though. I don’t want you to think-”

Nolan leaned a little closer, and the smile fell away. “I said it’s fine, okay. It’s over. I thought we were fine now. I’ve come into the pub a few times when you’ve been working, and you didn’t freak out.”

“On the outside,” he said with a huff of a laugh. “Still, I never should have-”

“It’s ancient history,” Nolan said. “Just drop it.”

That had Cam’s lips quirking up a bit. “Ancient? It was only like six months ago.” He heard Gio’s drawn in breath at that and nearly winced. He’d probably put it all together now.

“Like I said, ancient history.” Nolan smiled again. “A lot can change in six months.”

Needless to say, Cam hasn’t always made the best decisions. Nolan has apparently forgiven him. Will Gio?(even though Cam didn’t actually do anything to him, Gio still feels betrayed by it) *looks back at last few scenes written and grins* I know the answer to that.😀

This round of RoW80 ends tomorrow, but I’m still going to do a quick evaluation of my progress so far this week. I’ll have my round wrap-up post tomorrow, though.

  • Write – 13000 words(10000 towards Closing Time) – I’ve written 6633 words toward this goal so far.
    • Closing Time – 6205 words – “Stop right there,” Gio said, dropping any hint of lightness from his voice. “I don’t tolerate that kind of hate being lobbed at me or anyone I care about. And anyway, your brother wouldn’t be the first guy I’ve brought home. It doesn’t change the way my family cares about me. Because they actually do love me, unlike whatever your family has twisted love into. Now, get out of my place before I do have to call the cops.”
    • Break on Me – 428 words – “I’ve watched you, Gabe,” she murmured against his lips. “with your family, with Erik, with everyone in this town. There is nothing weak or messed up about you. And I want to be here with you. So stop questioning it.”
    • Story a Day – I skipped a few days last week & over the weekend. But picked it back up on Monday
      • One Touch – part of my Snow White Twist story
      • Looking for Allies – a bit of fan fiction from the Throne of Glass(Sarah J Maas) world. May not want to read if you aren’t t least through Queen of Shadows. Inspired by theories a friend and I have thrown around throughout the series.
  • Edit – Polish Healing the Heart(if anyone’s interested in beta reading this, let me know) – About 2/5 through my polish-up list. Still looking for beta readers
  • Plot – Toby & Denise: Write Denise’s back story – I think I’m almost through Denise’s back story. These two. *shakes head* If only they’d realized they were both in love with the other sooner. *rubs hands together* This is going to be fun.
  • Side Projects – Add 2500 words between projects – I’ve written 1060 and that’s all on Snow White Twist – Eira’s stepmother had always used the things she loved against her.
  • Read: Writing Active Hooks: Book 250% – I’m at 26% right now. On track.
  • Listen: Empire of Storms & Obsessed(T.R. Ragan) – I finished Empire of Storms yesterday(LOVED, but that ending. This is the problem with devouring as soon as it comes out. Now I have to wait for the next book. *wails*). Have Obsessed downloaded but haven’t started listening yet. Will once I start chores.
  • Read: Finish Blightlore(Krista Walsh), The Darkest Hour(Maya Banks), Grave Touched(Erin Zarro), The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie(Jennifer Ashley), More Happy Than Not(Adam Silvera), Cut Both Ways(Carrie Mesrobian), Start Me Up(Victoria Dahl), An Ember in the Ashes(Sabaa Tahir), The Chief(Monica McCarty), & Still the One(Jill Shalvis) – I finished Blightlore Sunday night(loved even if my heart is shattered right now), The Darkest Hour(enjoyed), and I’m about 60% through Grave Touched. Really enjoying it.

Teaser Tuesday: Jared’s Past

I have another teaser from Healing the Heart for you today. I’m back to polishing this up for beta readers, so anyone who is interesting in reading and giving feedback, let me know. This is the follow-up to Duty to Protect, and while it does make references to the first book, you don’t necessarily have to read it first.

If you’ve read snippets I’ve shared for Wippet Wednesday, you may recognize this character.

She trailed off, her eyes locked on something past him. He started to turn then a big hand came down on his shoulder. He started to tense until the voice said, “J-Man, why didn’t you tell me you were coming in?”

He let out a breath. “Blayze. I mean, Carlos.” He still forgot the man had gone back to his birth name after leaving the gang. “This is my…this is, Melanie. She’s been volunteering at the clinic.” He couldn’t believe he’d almost called her his girlfriend. They’d never labeled what they had. He hadn’t wanted to.

The man smirked though as if he understood. “It’s been a long time, J. You don’t come into my place near enough.”

“I’ve been busy.” He didn’t interact with people from his old life much outside of the clinic, either. How else would he be able to say he’d put it behind him? Melanie still stared at the man behind him, and Jared imagined he did make a strange sight. His dark skin was tattooed, his arms, his hands, even his neck. In the restaurant, he always wore a nice button-up shirt and slacks, but it didn’t hide all of it. How many businessmen did she see who were covered in ink?

“Mel, this is Carlos Armas. I’ve known him a long time, and he owns this place.”

She closed her mouth then and held out a hand. “It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Armas.”

He laughed but shook her hand. “Call me Carlos, please, and it’s my pleasure.”

“How’s Brent?” Jared asked. Shadows flitted across the man’s eyes, then they were blank. Not good apparently.

“Haven’t spoken to him recently. I need to get back, but I hope you enjoy your dinner. You’re welcome here anytime, J.”

Jared nodded, but Carlos reached across the table to take Melanie’s hand. It looked strange seeing her perfectly smooth hand in his rough scarred one. Jared felt a spurt of jealousy then Carlos released it and stepped back. “Take care of my boy here.”

“I’ll try to. He doesn’t make it easy.”

Carlos headed back toward the kitchen. Jared turned back to her and saw Melanie’s gaze on him. “What was that about?” she asked. “Who’s Brent?”

“His brother. We used to…run together,” he said, not thinking of a better way to phrase it. Brent had gotten him into the Coyotes, through his older brother. Carlos had made him think he could get out of it when the time came.

“He seems like a good guy,” she said, covering his hand with hers.

“He is. Once you get past the tattoos.”

“I didn’t even notice. He has tattoos?”

She couldn’t hide the smile at her lie though, and Jared laughed. With that, all the awkwardness disappeared. Why hadn’t he made her smile sooner?

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