I know, I haven’t done a Teaser Tuesday post for a while. I haven’t really had one close enough to ready to go. But, I have gotten Stained Blood back from my critique partner and re-plotted it and have now started writing new scenes for it. So for now, I’ll be sharing from it for the next little while. First, the new opening:
Barrett Kline stared out the window at the now empty ranch yard. The cattle were all gone, either driven to the stock yards or sold to another ranch. Almost all the horses, too. His neighbor, Patrick Bailey had taken the best of them to add to his own remuda.
He’d found buyers for the others, except for the one he had kept for himself. And that was all there was to it. The only thing left was to move on from this. The ranch was sold, pieced off to other ranchers, to homesteaders, to whoever had wanted to purchase the lots.
He smiled a little. Offering parcels to homesteaders had been a bit of poetic justice to his mind. Since it had been what had brought everything crashing down for his family. He’d felt those just trying to make their own from the land deserved it the most after what his brother had done.
He’d thought getting rid of the ranch would be easy. Hadn’t expected that there would be some things he’d miss about it.
Barrett turned to face the woman in the doorway. “Lizbeth,” he greeted the maid. “I thought I gave all the servants the day off. I don’t know what the man who bought the ranch will do, but there’s nothing for you here right now.”
Her face fell. He wasn’t sure if it was because he referred to her as a servant—she’d been a lot more than that to him a few times. Or if it was another reminder that he was leaving this place. Lord, he really didn’t want to do this again.
“You’re still here,” she said softly.
So, they were going to do this again. As much as he didn’t want to. “I won’t be for long,” he said. “You knew this was coming. I explained months ago I couldn’t stay here any longer.”
“I still hoped you would change your mind.”
He shook his head. “I can’t do it, Lizbeth. I will drown here, and I may very well take you with me.”
She looked at him, confused. “There is little water around here. Not unless you go all the way out to the stream. I can give you reason to stay close to the house,” she said, giving him a saucy smile.
Barrett couldn’t help but smile back at her and her vixen act. He could see to the fear under it, to the lonely girl she’d been without parents when she’d first come to work for them. The one afraid yet one more person would leave her. Just like she’d always been able to see under his own mask. But, that wasn’t what he needed right now. He just needed to be gone. And Lizbeth couldn’t help him with that.
“As tempting as that sounds,” he said, making sure his voice and smile stayed soft— he didn’t want to hurt her— as he moved around her, “I can’t stay, Lizbeth. I’ll be staying in town for a little while. At least through Leah’s wedding. You can find me there if you wish.”
Her lips turned down into a pout. At one time he’d loved to kiss that look off her, but he just couldn’t bring himself to now. He left the study and headed for the front door. Like the rest of the servants, he’d given the stable boy the day off. Days off, really, until the new owner showed up. So, he’d have to saddle his own horse. He’d already sent most of his things ahead to the hotel. Mostly just his clothes and books. He had his favored pack of cards in this saddlebags.
He didn’t see what else he could need.
I don’t currently have a release date. I still have to finish rewrites and send it through betas. But, I’m hoping for late spring/early summer.
It feels like I’ve been running behind or just barely on track the last couple weeks. Things might be falling into place with my routine now because I’m actually ahead this week. Well, for the most part. Thursday I had trouble focusing on any words and barely managed to squeak out 700+ words on Defending the Heart. And I didn’t have much motivation to work on my secondary project or editing Stained Blood. Friday I got up and words just tumbled out(over 1700 in 1.5 hours). But, again, the motivation to work on anything else was just…nonexistent. It probably didn’t help the kids were home Friday for an in-service day. That always messed with my routine. But, I am well ahead on my reading. It’s Saturday morning and I’ve already started reading Sunday’s book(yes, I even put my reading on my to-do list). And I’m putting this post together already.
I also worked on getting my Patreon page ready to go. I hadn’t been sure about doing this, but I finally decided to go forward with it. We’ll see how it goes. I have a list of stories, little side trails from my novels, that I’ll write for it. So far there are 24 on there. That should keep me busy for a while. And of course, feel free to check it out if you’d like.
That’s pretty much all the other business I’ve got for the end of the week. So, on to my progress for this week:
- Write: Shoot for 10000 words between projects – 7863/10000 words. Yeah, so I wasn’t quite ahead of things on this one. Maybe next week.
- Defending the Heart – 5914 words – Ross sighed. “Do you actually expect me to believe this? Come on, Xavi. I know you, and I know when you’re telling tales. What actually happened to him? And why don’t you want the authorities to know?”
Xavier grit his back teeth together. Ross thought all he did was help install security systems. It was just better, easier, that way. He would have gotten pissy, thinking they were stepping on the cops’ toes if he knew everything the security company did. *Xavier seems to keep running into “friends” of his. Though the two different ones had different reactions to him being with Piers.
- Midas’ Daughter – 504 words – There was just something about her that kept drawing him in, no matter how much distance he tried to maintain. It wasn’t going to work. Not when every part of him wanted to be as near to her as possible. Just to soak up some of that natural joy she seemed to carry with her. At least when her father wasn’t around.
- Stay a Little Longer – 780 words – “It’s not a problem. Not like I didn’t deserve it.” Even if some of the barbs still stung.
“I don’t know,” Patrick said after a moment, “I think you deserve more than you give yourself credit for.”
- Not Meant to Be – 581 words – His willpower against his own addiction was pretty low at that. And he was going right toward her, but he didn’t see another choice.
- Playing with Fire – 84 words – Jeremiah had confided in him about what was going on, with him, and Corrin. How she’d started crashing on his couch nearly two months ago now. He hadn’t told him everything, but then again, he didn’t even know everything.
- Edit: Stained Blood – write new scenes – I finished 2/14 scenes and started the next one. Added 854 words
Plot: Playing with Fire – finish outlining scenes – I finished this on Wednesday. Nothing else to plot until I’m almost finished with Defending the Heart and start planning a novella to go along with the series.
Side Projects – 1000 words – 1059/1000 words. I had all these done by Wednesday
- Fade Away – 213 words – What the hell was going on here? I was used to being mostly ignored. Sometimes I didn’t even mind it. But, this was different. It was like they weren’t even seeing me.
- Patrick & Sarah – 207 words – Patrick felt something shiver down his spine at her explanation. It didn’t make sense to him. But, he hadn’t been her, either. Maybe it had happened just as her son had said. He hadn’t met the older boy, so he didn’t have any idea if he’d lie about something like that or not.
- Tavin & Haiwee – 213 words – That brought even more softness to his face, and it made her feel light. That she could be the one to bring that to him. She didn’t know why that was so important to her, but she wanted to keep that look there in his eyes.
- Roman – 223 words – She left the kitchen then and for the first time in what felt like weeks, even months, Roman felt hope that they still existed.
- Dougal & Shae – 203 words – Instead he only had thoughts of a green-eyed lass who had barely even granted him a smile the night before. She obviously didn’t care for him, so why couldn’t he get her off his mind? *Haha, oh poor Dougal. 😀
- Snow White Twist –
fill in [xx] and start read through – I got all 52 [xx] filled in and sent it to my kindle do start the read through
Listen: Glass Sword(Victoria Aveyard) & Unintended Consequences(Marti Green) – I finished Glass Sword(!!! And that ending just about killed me), started Unintended Consequences but after an hour still didn’t care, so stopped. Got some more through Kindle Unlimited and started listening to From the Moment We Met(Marina Adair). Much better. 🙂
Read: Finish Duke of Thorns(Sara Ramsey), Dead Before Dying(Kerry Schafer), The Unsung Hero(Suzanne Brockman), Truths We Tell(Brenda St John Brown), Of the Bauble(Debbie McGowan), Relic of Sorrows(Lindsay Buroker), Best Worst Mistake(Lia Riley), Written in the Stars(Aisha Saeed), The Rule Maker(Jennifer Blackwood), & Against the Sun(Kat Martin) – I finished Duke of Thorns(liked), Dead Before Dying(really enjoyed), and The Unsung Hero(enjoyed) on Sunday. Read Truths We Tell on Monday(really liked) and finished Of the Bauble Tuesday(loved). I also finished Relic of Sorrows(loved), Best Worst Mistake(really enjoyed), Written in the Stars(really enjoyed), and The Rule Maker(loved). I finished Against the Sun last(Saturday) night. I enjoyed this one too.
Knit: Clean Slate Hat – I just finished this morning.
- A to Z Challenge: Draft – Posts
A-Z – I finished the ‘A’ post with almost 900 words and I’ve written about 275 words on the ‘B’ post.
Quite a bit of blue and green and only the one red. Not a bad week at all. So, not to look toward next week’s goals:
- Write: Shoot for 10000 words between projects
- Edit: Stained Blood – continue writing new scenes, shoot for total of 1000 words
- Side Projects – 1000 words/200 per project
- Patreon – write new side story(this one will be Mason & Lila from First Choice, Second Chance) & if I get chapter 1 of Patrick & Sarah’s story back from beta & edited I’ll post it too
- Snow White Twist – read through
- Listen: From the Moment We Met(Marina Adair) & The Emerald Brooch(Katherine Lowry Logan)
- Read: Walk the Edge(Katie McGarry), Leveling the Field(Megan Erickson), Ignite(Rebecca Yarros), Forbidden(Beverly Jenkins), Murder Comes Ashore(Julie Anne Lindsey), Destiny(Carly Phillips), and It’s Always Been You(Jessica Scott)
- Crochet: Flower Coaster
- Loom: Ambrosia Love Scarf
- A to Z Challenge: Draft – Post B-Z
Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I finished the first draft of Dance with the Devil last week, but I’ll still be sharing from that for now. Let’s see, where did we leave Devil last week? Oh, yes, Devil asked Icarus to stop because he needed time to process everything he was saying. I’m jumping ahead a bit here. Devil is all healed up, and he and Hawk are finally getting onto the same page. After a ride and a talk, they’re back at the clubhouse and rather into each other…until they realize they have an audience.
A whistle broke out just as we hit the steps, and I jerked my head to the side and saw Trace, Birdie, and Arrow leaning back against the wall. I groaned but Hawk laughed and pressed another kiss, a softer one this time, to my forehead. “Hold our place,” he murmured. “We’ll have to pick it back up later.”
He stepped back from me, and I turned back to the other three. “You all suck donkey ass,” I said and retreated toward the basement steps. If I couldn’t be with Hawk now, I needed to find another way to work this all out of my system.
I heard Birdie laugh as I headed down the stairs. “Come on, Devil,” she called, “we know you still love us.”
The hell of it was, I did, and I couldn’t quite stop the smile despite the frustration filling me.
Ah, Devil and his colorful language. One of the reasons I loved writing him so much.
“Where’s the ham?” Dani asked as she looked around the table. “We always have ham for Christmas.”
Declan laughed and set his hand on his stepdaughter’s head. “I told you some things might be different this year. We always had turkey for Christmas when we were here. But, I think…” He smiled as his aunt brought another platter into the dining room. “Aunt Eileen also made some ham.”
The grin that spread over the girl’s face made everything worth it. He always wanted to do whatever he could to keep it there. And he was glad he had his whole family around, at least through the holidays, to help with that. It had been a while since he had seen all of them, and he’d miss them again when it was time to return home. But, this vacation had been good. For all of them.
Really short one this time for Stream of Consciousness Saturday. This is sort of a continuation of one I wrote back in December. Still in pre-brainstorming mode for this possible novella.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had some plans for the back story novellas I started sharing here. But, I never said any more about it. Well, I’ve been quietly working on getting my Patreon page set up. Yes, I’ve decided to do this. I figured it could be a way to make some extra money from my writing, and possibly even a steadier stream of income than I’ve been making from my books. I was willing to at least give it a chance.
So, I’ve got my page set up and finished typing the first piece to share there. You may have read it before as it showed up in the first World Unknown Review. Most of the other ones I’ll share will probably be shorter, though some may end up longer. And I’m planning to share the back story novellas chapter by chapter. For now I’ll only be sharing Patrick & Sarah’s & Tavin & Haiwee’s, since those are the only ones where the main stories have been published.
I’m going to be going through my published novels and making lists of the little side stories I can write from them, side characters, back stories, or even some “after the HEA” moments. If you’ve read any of my novels and have any ideas for more I can write, I’d be glad to see what they are.
And feel free to check out my page and let me know what you think?
So, yesterday was Valentine’s Day. I’ve never been a huge fan of the day, but it is what it is. We don’t really do anything for it. A couple times my husband had gotten me flowers. But, they wilt after a little while. Chocolate is nice, of course, but definitely not something I need. And I don’t wear jewelry(how do I spell this wrong every time), so why would he waste the money on that(seriously, my wedding ring is the only I wear). I’ll take the cash he gave me Saturday to go the library book sale since I only had a couple $ in my wallet and a nice dinner out. We spent some time together yesterday while the kids were at school, but that was about the extent of it. And I’m happy with that.
So, not much else here except today is WiPPet Wednesday. Woohoo! Today I have 6 paragraphs(1+5 for the day). This happens shortly after what I shared last week. Piers woke up in Xavier’s bed…alone. Then, remembers Xavier putting him there and heading out to the couch and he goes out to find Xavier in the middle of a nightmare. It’s not the first time he’s witnessed one of them.
The words wrenched right through Piers. This was what Xavier was dreaming about? Him? He brushed hair back from Xavier’s forehead. “I’m right here,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere. No matter what my head says I should do. I just can’t seem to leave you behind.”
Xavier’s cries dropped down to murmurs, his thrashing calming as well. Piers ran his thumb over Xavier’s temple, his lips following the movement. Then, Xavier’s eyes fluttered open. For a moment, they remained glazed, as if he was still coming out of sleep. Then, they cleared, and a shutter fell.
“What are you doing out here?” Xavier asked. “You should still be in bed. Your side-”
“Is fine,” Piers lied. “And what did you expect when I thought someone might be killing you out here?”
It was too dark to see any color flush Xavier’s face, but Piers’ hand was still next to his temple, and he could feel the heat there. “I wasn’t that loud.” Piers just looked at him until Xavier finally broke eye contact. “I’m sorry. I haven’t had to worry about waking anyone up with them for a while.”
He sensed them both freeze at that. Piers knew what that meant. No one had been in his bed to witness the nightmares. Maybe not since him. He shouldn’t even ask, but he had to know. “Define ‘a while.’”
So how long has it been? Piers is a bit surprised by his answer. Though, he clarifies that’s only for how long since someone’s stayed all night. And things are about to heat up. 🙂
And now for my progress so far this week:
- Write: Shoot for 10000 words between projects – 4664/10000 so far. I still have my secondary project to work on today, so this will be a little higher.
- Defending the Heart – 3380 words
- Midas’ Daughter – 504 words
- Stay a Little Longer – 780 words
- Edit: Stained Blood – write new scenes – I’ve added 664 new words this week. On 2/14 new scenes.
- Plot: Playing with Fire – finish outlining scenes – 54/69 scenes outlined. Hoping to have the last ones done either today or tomorrow.
- Side Projects – 1000 words – 856/1000 words. I only have 1 more side project to work on, so should be able to get to that today. I did adjust the individual goal and spread the total goal out among all 5 stories.
- Snow White Twist – fill in [xx] and start read through – nothing on this yet this week. Will be working on it this weekend.
- Listen: Glass Sword(Victoria Aveyard) & Unintended Consequences(Marti Green) – Only have a little over an hour left in Glass Sword. It’s breaking my heart right now.
Finish Duke of Thorns(Sara Ramsey), Dead Before Dying(Kerry Schafer), The Unsung Hero(Suzanne Brockman), Truths We Tell(Brenda St John Brown), Of the Bauble(Debbie McGowan), Relic of Sorrows(Lindsay Buroker), Best Worst Mistake(Lia Riley), Written in the Stars(Aisha Saeed), The Rule Maker(Jennifer Blackwood), & Against the Sun(Kat Martin) – I finished Duke of Thorns(liked), Dead Before Dying(really enjoyed), and The Unsung Hero(enjoyed) on Sunday. Read Truths We Tell on Monday(really liked) and finished Of the Bauble yesterday(loved). I started Relic of Sorrows last night and got about halfway through it. So I’m ahead on this goal at least.
- Knit: Clean Slate Hat – Made some more progress on this.
- A to Z Challenge: Draft – Posts A-Z – got the first ~350 words written on my A post. Hoping to get more of it done today.
So, yesterday, one of the Erie County libraries had their yearly romance paperback sale. All the books were $1. We met my mother-in-law there while my husband and son went over to the RV show pretty much next door. I wasn’t expecting to find a lot. But, there was a much bigger selection than I’d expected. I found 12 books, some that I’ve been having trouble finding at the used book store I usually go to but need to continue the series(I really hate reading out of order). Plus my MIL had 2 bags of books for me. I’d only read one of the books. In fact, most of the authors are ones I haven’t read anything from. So, needless to say, I have a lot of books to read right now.
About 10 of these were already there.
After that, we got groceries, and I finally got a new pair of wireless headphones. I’d ordered some from Amazon around Christmas, but after I got them, they didn’t work. Didn’t want to connect with my phone and the sound was bad when they did. So, I ended up sending them back. Well, Walmart had some on sale, so I grabbed some. So far they seem to be working pretty well.
We came home, got changed, and the kids packed bags and sleeping bags then we took them to grandma’s. They got to spend the night and we had dinner out with some friends. We’d thought about seeing a movie, too, but ended up just going home after dinner. It was still a good time. Apparently the girl didn’t fall asleep until after midnight, though. So, the next day should be interesting. And even without the kids here, I was awake early. Of course.
I’ve got quite a bit done this week. So, I’ll get right into that.
- Write: Shoot for 10000 words between all projects – 8754/10000 – not quite there this week. But, I made some progress on all of the projects.
- Defending the Heart – 6427 words – Not that he should have been worried, with what the lieutenant reported to Alex and Casey. Xavier had it all handled, but Piers still couldn’t shake off the fear. And he knew Xavier wouldn’t appreciate that, so he shoved it down and tried to put a lid on it.
- Midas’ Daughter – 252 words – “Flip,” he said. “It gets less confusing that way when we’re together.” That was the problem with naming your kids after yourself. But, they’d found a way around it. He’d been Flip for almost longer than he could even remember.
- Stay a Little Longer – 670 words – What if he couldn’t do it? What if he ended up letting the lieutenant, the only one who seemed to believe in him, down? Again. He wasn’t sure that was something he could come back from.
- Not Meant to Be – 559 words – Garren actually laughed at that. “Careful or I’ll start calling you a young whippersnapper or something. Anyway I was just joining the Academy when he was killed. I remember Michael talking about it on one visit out to the ranch, though. Said the guy had so many enemies, they’d probably never find the one who’d finally done him in.”
- Playing with Fire – 516 words(some of this was from a Just Jot It I decided to include with the main story) – He glanced over at Nolan, who was dropping down beside him. From some of the other guys at the station, he’d take that as an unfunny joke. But, Nolan was different, so he smiled over at him.
- Buried Secrets – 330 words – She’d always been friendly since he’d started this process. And now it almost seemed like she couldn’t get away fast enough. He couldn’t figure out what that was all about. But, that didn’t really matter anyway. He only had a short amount of time before he had to go, and he wanted to explore his new house.
- Edit: Stained Blood –
finish Story Toolkit & outline new scenes. Start writing new scenes – I finished the Toolkit & outlined the new scenes. And got the first 323 words written of a new opening scene.
- Plot: Playing with Fire –
finish Story Toolkit & outline scenes. – finished the Story Toolkit but am still going through and outlining scenes. Have 33/69 scenes outlined. And I did end up starting the first scene even without everything outlined. I’ll keep working through them during my plotting time and working on writing it on one day a week(which happens to be Thursday with my current schedule).
Side Projects: Add 1500 words – 1847/1500 words. And I finished Dance with the Devil!
- Dance with the Devil – 711 words – I did as he asked and he took my hand, holding it to his chest. He brushed his lips over mine, and I slid my tongue into his mouth. This was all we needed. And I was going to make damn sure no one ever took it from us.
- Fade Away – 540 words – I dodged people on the sidewalk. No one even tried to get out of my way. Like they didn’t even see me. Sure, I felt like I walked through this life almost invisible, but I was pretty sure people could see me.
- Patrick & Sarah – 153 words – Sarah’s head jerked around, and he saw all the pleased color drain out of her face. “Oh, nothing,” she stammered. “A dog got in and my son thought it was a wolf. He had to protect his little brother. It was a mistake.” *yeah, Sarah, you know that’s not what really happened, but just go on believing Tommy
- Tavin & Haiwee – 144 words – “I wanted to see you again,” she said, sounding the words out. Not speaking in her own tongue took some effort. It was easier to know the meanings of those words, but he wouldn’t understand them.
- Roman – 148 words – The other pocket bulged too, and he thought back to what Cristine had said. Hoarding food. In case she didn’t get more later.
- Dougal & Shae – 151 words – She’d been afraid of whatever had risen up between them in those moments. No. That’s something Maureen would say with her fanciful books she liked to read. There was nothing between her and that man.It wasn’t like she’d ever see him again anyway.
- Snow White Twist – fill in [xx] – forgot to add this last week – but I got 37/52 of them filled in. Will be working on this on weekends.
Listen: The Sapphire Brooch(Katherine Lowry Logan), Walking on Her Grave(Melinda Leigh), & She Can Kill(Melinda Leigh) – I finished The Sapphire Brooch(loved), Walking on her Grave(really enjoyed), & She Can Kill(really enjoyed, couldn’t stop listening) and finished the re-listen of Red Queen. Then, I went and got Glass Sword(the sequel) right after that
Finish Born Wild(Julie Ann Walker), Gena/Finn(Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson), Make It Right(Megan Erickson), Duke of Thorns(Sara Ramsey), Illegal Motion(Erin Nicholas), Shadows and Silk(Liliana Hart), Dead Before Dying(Kerry Schafer), & The Unsung Hero(Suzanne Brockman) – I finished Born Wild(really enjoyed) and Gena/Finn(LOVED and made me cry) on Sunday. Finished Make it Right on Monday(loved). I’m about 70% through Duke of Thorns, finished Illegal Motion(was enjoying until I got to a part that brought me to a screeching halt), finished Shadows and Silk(enjoyed though there were some parts when I wanted to give the hero a good smack upside the head and a few things that made me roll my eyes), got about 70% through Dead Before Dying on Friday, and am probably almost 70% through The Unsung Hero(that one I’m reading in paperback). I’m trying to finish a book a day, but if I don’t, I’m moving on to the next book and I’ll get back to the others when I finish that day’s, unless one of those has really dragged me in, and I just have to finish it. I’ll be using today to finish the ones that are still hanging, though.
- Knit: Clean Slate hat – made more progress on this and got more yarn for it since it looked like I was going to run out
- A to Z Challenge: Draft – Posts A-Z – nothing yet on this. May start on the A post later today
A good bit of green and blue and not much red at all. Like I said, not a bad week. And now for next week’s goals:
- Write: Shoot for 10000 words between projects
- Edit: Stained Blood – write new scenes
- Plot: Playing with Fire – finish outlining scenes
- Side Projects – 1000 words
- Snow White Twist – fill in [xx] and start read through
- Listen: Glass Sword(Victoria Aveyard) & Unintended Consequences(Marti Green)
- Read: Finish Duke of Thorns(Sara Ramsey), Dead Before Dying(Kerry Schafer), The Unsung Hero(Suzanne Brockman), Truths We Tell(Brenda St John Brown), Of the Bauble(Debbie McGowan), Relic of Sorrows(Lindsay Buroker), Best Worst Mistake(Lia Riley), Written in the Stars(Aisha Saeed), The Rule Maker(Jennifer Blackwood), & Against the Sun(Kat Martin)
- Knit: Clean Slate Hat
- A to Z Challenge: Draft – Posts A-Z