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Archive for September, 2015

Photo Friday

Some random pictures from the last few weeks:

Waiting for his first movie in the theater to start

Waiting for his first movie in the theater to start

Splashing with his new boots

Splashing with his new boots

Reading her book with the cat for company

Reading her book with the cat for company

Jumping into the picture

Jumping into the picture

Ready for our night out last weekend (you won't see too many pictures of me on here)

Ready for our night out last weekend (you won’t see too many pictures of me on here)

The cat seems to enjoy laying right behind my head then gets irritated if I dare to touch her.

The cat seems to enjoy laying right behind my head then gets irritated if I dare to touch her.

Flames A-Z: Shae Magaldi

Yes, another member of the Magaldi family.  I have mentioned how large this family (and their cousins,  the Rileys) are,  right?

Shae (or Shaelynn, though she’s almost exclusively referred to as Shae is the second oldest child of Conal and Brenna Riley, and the oldest daughter.  Like her older brother,  Donovan,(and her two younger brothers), she joined the police department.  And she married Dougal Magaldi,  who ran one of his family’s pubs.  They had for children together: Cormac, Brann, Caitie, & Giovanni. The older the all followed their mother into law enforcement, while the youngest took the same path as their father.

Shae hasn’t had a huge part in any of the stories, although she had shown up in: Renewal, Retribution, and Recompense (books 2,3,&4). The next two will be following Brann and Gio, so I imagine she’ll have even more of a part in them.

This is from Flames of Retribution.  Shae isn’t actually in this part,  but she is mentioned. And is a pretty important moment for Mark.

“I was sent in for another cooler of beer,” Dougal said. “I figured you could help me carry it out. I see you’re not drinking the hard stuff.”
“Uh, no, sir. I just got off shift and a few hours sleep. I figured it best to keep a clear head.”
Dougal let out a loud laugh. “The family’s enough to throw you off balance. That’s probably a smart move, son. I remember you from Adrian’s wedding. You danced with my baby girl. And she left with you.”
Mark wiped his now sweaty hand on his pants. “She-”
“I told her that night I could see you were a good man. I’m not one to try to make my kids’ decisions for them. Believe me, if I were, none of them would be cops. They’d all have safe, nine-to-five, working at a desk jobs. Or to tell them what decision to make. I won’t ask you your intentions, son. I remember what it was to be young and in love with a Riley girl. It takes your breath away.”
“I’m not…” He trailed off, his steps freezing as they came to a framed picture on the wall. It almost looked like Caitie but not quite. She looked older, and her eyes weren’t that bright flashing blue. They were closer to a green. But, she had a blue cap over her red curls and her blue uniform jacket looked pressed and stiff. She held a stiff posture, but the smile came through.
“That’s my Shae,” Dougal said, coming back to stand beside him. “She makes a picture, doesn’t she? Our Caitie girl takes after her in a lot of ways.”
“I can see that,” he murmured. He couldn’t pull his eyes away from the picture. “How do you stand it?” he asked. “The fear? It brings me to my knees every time she straps on that gun.”
“She tried staying home with each of the kids. Those were the most miserable years of our life together. She loved them, but she was in her element when she was on the streets. It got easier when she got promoted to Lieutenant. Not on the street as much. I still don’t feel quite right until she’s back at my side. It’s not something you get over. Just something you get used to.”

Writing Wednesday: Cooling Off

Well, Fall is definitely approaching here in Northwestern PA. Over the weekend, it didn’t get above 60. Nights and mornings are cooler, even though this week, it’s supposed to be back up into the 70s & 80s during the day. Still, I won’t be one to complain about the slightly cooler temps. I handle them a lot better than the heat.

Today also happens to be my ninth wedding anniversary.  Stingrays that’s hard to believe (I was going to fix that autocorrect mistake,  but I think I just made up a new curse. Some days = stingrays). Overall it’s been a pretty good nine years.

Got a new project for Wippet Wednesday this week. It’s a novella in my Kurztown series,  and takes place just a couple months after Scars and All.  If anyone remembers my snippets from Law of Choice,  this is Brian’s boss (and Natalie is Brian’s mom). I have the first 17 sentences(16 for the day + 1 as a bonus for my anniversary).

Patrick DiSalvo adjusted his tie, first loosening then tightening the knot he’d already fussed over for much too long. He let out a disgusted sigh and turned away from the mirror. “Get over yourself,” he muttered but couldn’t quite stop himself from tugging on it one more time.
She wasn’t going to care anyway. He’d been putting himself out there for almost five years, and she still never cared. He should have taken a hint a long time ago.
At fifty, it was long past time to get over his high school sweetheart.
Maybe he could if he didn’t see the flash of…something in her eyes from time to time. Something Caleb Sharrock hadn’t completely smothered out. Even after that man had died, Patrick had known Natalie would need some time. He may have been little more than an abusive bully, but Natalie had been his wife for more than twenty years. So, he’d waited. More than three years he waited while she got back on her feet. And he saw her thrive. And while he did see that spark of whatever it was from time to time, more often than not, it was still fear and shadows he saw there.
He wanted to wipe all of that away. If only she would let him.

Is all of Patrick’s waiting going to be rewarded?  Well. ..ha! Did you actually think I was going to tell you? 😉

  • Let It Begin – 25k (that’s 5k a day.  I should be able to get this, but we’ll see) – I’ve written 11898 words so far this week. Hoping to hit 15k today.
  • Leo & Bryan – finish back stories – haven’t done any of this yet this week.
  • Into the Sun – finish proofreading & submit – weekend project
  • Read: Take Off Your Pants – 70% – I’m a little over 55% through this. On track.
  • Read: Hot Head(Damon Suede), The Falconer (Elizabeth May), Wings (Aprilynne Pike), & Heartless (L.S. Engler) – I finished the Klaus Brothers set on Monday and finished Hot Head last night. I really enjoyed it. I’ll be staying The Falconer today.
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket – I’ve made some progress on this.  Not a lot,  but some.

Doing good so far this week.  Hope that continues.

Teaser Tuesday: “Safe With You”

Time for another teaser from Stained Snow. Still hoping to get this out by the end of the year.

William finished fastening the second horse into the wagon. “There’s really no reason for you to go, Anna. I’m picking up some supplies then I’ll be back. I shouldn’t even be gone a full day.” He didn’t even look up as he checked each of the straps, but she huffed, and he couldn’t quite fight back a smile.
“Will, I hardly ever get to go to town. Sometimes, I feel like I’m stuck here. I want to see some people, talk to people. We hardly hear anything out here.”
Anna had spent the last several years before William met her living with her father and stepmother at Fort Steele. While she had been surrounded by mostly soldiers, there’d been other families there. Other women and girls she could socialize with. He had taken her away from all of that. “I don’t know if it will be safe.”
“How is it safer for us to stay out here by ourselves than it would be with you? He’s not going to attack us in town. He’s not stupid, Will. That’s why being with you would be safer. He won’t come at you from the front. It’s been weeks with nothing. He’s probably moved on again.”
William shook his head. His brother was good at laying quiet. He could act like everything was fine then suddenly lash out. William had felt the sting of a sudden attack enough times. “Doubt it. He’s waiting.” Waiting for William to let his guard down, which he didn’t plan to do. “You’re not alone here. None of the men will let anything happen to you.”
“Which men? The foreman old enough to be my grandfather who can barely walk straight in the morning? Or the boys barely old enough to have left their mother’s lap? How will they protect us if they’re out riding fence? They can’t be here and taking care of the cows.”
“Then, I’ll make sure at least one or two always stay here with you, but I’m not going to let him get you.”
“Then let us go with you. We’ll be safe with you, Will.”
He was running out of arguments. She apparently wasn’t though. “You told David the next time you went into town, you would take him with you. If you go back on that now, he’ll be hurt.”
William sighed and ran a hand through his hair before putting his hat back on. “Fine. Go get him. You two can visit while I get what we need.”
“Thanks, Will.” She slipped her arms around his waist, and he held onto her for a moment, setting his chin on top of her head. Sometimes he wondered if he didn’t love her so much, maybe he would be able to say no to her more. Then, he stepped back. “Go on. I want to get going soon.”
She hurried up to the house, calling for David as she neared it. He shook his head and turned back to his horses. When had he been able to say no to either of them? Maybe she was right. It would be safer to be with him than alone. The last thing he wanted to do was leave them alone. He’d have to talk to the sheriff and find out if he’d made any progress on tracking Thomas down or finding who else might have been responsible for those deaths. If he hadn’t found anything, he might have to leave his family alone while he took care of it himself.
His jaw clenched as he tightened the last strap and gave one of the horses a pat on the neck. He didn’t want to do it, but he would if it meant keeping his family safe.

Sunday Summary: WeWriWa – “After Me”

Welcome back for another installment of Weekend Writing Warriors,  the blog hop for anyone who loves to write.  Still sharing from Into the Sun,  this is a little farther on from last week’s.  Trace is asking Icarus why he never tried to find them.

“I never knew about you, Trace. I did try to find her. But, apparently the old man, whose name was not Grady by the way, hid her away before he kicked the bucket. If Hawk wasn’t so good at sniffing people out, I may not have found her now.”
“What do you mean his name wasn’t Grady? Mom said-”
“My name is Grady,” Icarus interrupted me. “So was my father, so technically she didn’t lie. Grady Evan Hartson. She named you after me.”

Saturday afternoon we took the kids to see the Minions movie in the theater. It was the boy’s first time,  but the girl had gone before for a friend’s birthday.  They knew they were going to grandma’s, but we hadn’t told them about the movie. Well, the girl didn’t take the surprise to well.  She finally calmed down when grandma showed up at the theater too. Just have to remember she doesn’t take surprises/changes to plans very well.  They both enjoyed it. I dropped my large container of popcorn when we got to our seats, so I felt like an idiot,  but it was still a good time.  Then grandma took them to her house and is keeping them overnight,  so we actually get an adult night out. Going to a local bar to see a friend of my husband’s band play(I’m actually typing this up before we go, so no details on how that is).

So,  this week has been pretty good.  Though,  you wouldn’t know from looking at my word count spreadsheet.  According to it, I’ve written a negative number of words.  This is normal when I’m in the middle of revisions.  I’ll be drafting a new story this coming week,  so I’ll actually have new words this time.

  • Scars and All: Read Through.  Possibly: 2nd revisions.  If time: start polishing round – I finished the read through, revisions,  and 2/3 through the polishing round.  I’ll put this aside this week while I draft Let It Begin,  then pick it back up the following week.
  • Leo & Bryan – keep plotting – haven’t done anything on this while trying to stay caught up on everything else.
  • Into the Sun: proofread & submit – I did a little proofreading yesterday morning. Going to do more today,  but may not have it finished and ready to submit until next weekend.
  • Read: Take Off Your Pants – 45% – did get to this point.
  • Read: Sweetest Mistake(Candis Terry), Run the Risk(Lori Foster), The Klaus Brothers set(Penny Watson), & Hot Head(Damon Suede) – really enjoyed Sweetest Mistake and Run the Risk.  Just started the Klaus Brothers set.  Nothing like reading Christmas stories when is still warm out(okay,  not so warm this weekend as it’s rainy and windy,  but it has been warm). May not get to Hot Head this week.
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket – I’ve made some progress on this but not nearly as much as I’d wanted to.

So goals for next week:

  • Let It Begin – 25k (that’s 5k a day.  I should be able to get this, but we’ll see)
  • Leo & Bryan – finish back stories
  • Into the Sun – finish proofreading & submit
  • Read: Take Off Your Pants – 70%
  • Read: Hot Head(Damon Suede), The Falconer (Elizabeth May), Wings (Aprilynne Pike), & Heartless (L.S. Engler)
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket

Fitness Friday: Steady

Not a lot of progress to report on the fitness front today.  I’m almost exactly where I was a month ago,  weight-wise. Which is a bit frustrating,  but better than gaining.

I have started working out again.  I had mostly been walking the last month. I have a ~2 mile loop I go on. This week I changed things up a bit.  I’ll be walking on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Outside as long as the weather cooperates,  on the treadmill if it doesn’t.  Tuesdays and Thursdays,  I’ll be doing a workout dvd. It’s broken up into 12 5 minute blocks,  so I’ll do as many as I can.  So far, that’s been at least 2(Tuesday). Did 4 on Thursday.

Also trying to get my water consumption back up again.  I have 3 water bottles I try to keep filled. Trying to finish all 3 before the end of the night. Have been doing okay with that the lady couple days.

Also, picking back up with tracking my meals on my fitness pal.  Not always easy to find things or know exactly how much I had,  but it’s at least helping keep me on track.  So,  I hope I’ll see better results in the next month.

Flames A-Z: Reese Davis

When I first wrote Reese Davis into Flames of Redemption,  I just thought he was a total asshole.  And he certainly has his moments of that.  But,  like with most people,  there’s more underneath that. And he started telling me he deserved some redemption,  that he had his own story to tell.  So I started writing it. He gave me some troubles, but I did get his story,  Flames of Justice,  finished.  It takes place between books 2&3.

Reese Davis was born to Camden and Daniele Davis.  His father is a lawyer and Reese followed on that path.  He became a criminal defense attorney instead of joining his father’s personal injury firm, as the older man had wanted. Reese worries he takes after his father more than just in their choice of career.

Reese was at one time engaged to Kayla Brooke. He didn’t like the fact that she was a firefighter,  wanted her to quit. Convinced himself he could talk her into it once they were married.  That day never came.

When he heard the news that his best friend’s house was engulfed in flames,  at a time when he knew Kayla was on duty, he rushed there. He was afraid not only for his friend,  but his fiancée as well. When she came out, he relaxed a bit. But,  his friend’s family didn’t survive the fire. The day of their funeral, Reese gave Kayla an ultimatum. It was either the fire department or him. He was overcome with panic every time she was on duty now. He couldn’t handle it.

She chose the fire department.

Reese made quite a name for himself as a bit of a shark in the courtroom. His younger brother, Chad,  it’s one of the few who knows the man behind the reputation,  and that he really does have a heart.

Halfway through Reese’s first glass of Riesling, Chad showed up. His brother studied him for a moment then ordered an Irish Red Ale as soon as the bartender came over. Reese shook his head as Chad slid onto the stool beside him. “Are you sure we’re related at all?”
Chad just grinned. “Pretty sure, brother. I’ve decided to veer from our parents’ example instead of clinging to it.”
Reese’s fingers tightened on stem of the glass for a brief moment. Chad meant their drink choices, but it could fit most of the rest of their lives, too. He had chosen to go into law like their father. Who never understood why his younger son wanted to go into journalism instead. There were times Reese felt as cold and cruel as his father could be. He looked so much like the older man, but he wished he didn’t act like him.
“I was joking, PB. Relax.” He grinned as he used his old nickname for Reese.
“How many times have I told you not to call me that? I’m not fucking peanut butter.” Still, he couldn’t quite fight back a slight smile.
“You’re nothing like him. You know that, right?” Chad asked, serious again.
Reese shook his head. “I am. Too often I am.”

Briana Deakin is another who sees that man.  They worked for the same law firm at one time before each going out on their own.  While Reese has a tendency to take on more high profile cases, Briana is more likely to take on only those she truly believes are innocent. So,  they do not often see eye to eye. But,  there’s always been something between them. And something else that always made each push away.

And now, something that should keep them apart,  is pulling them back together.  But, can they work through the bumps to find that connection,  or will they end up walking away for good? (Hint: If you’ve read any of my stories,  you probably already know the answer to that)


Writing Wednesday: New Routine







We had the boy’s birthday party on Sunday. It went well although none of his friends showed up. I was afraid of that with it being labor day weekend. May have to plan it for the weekend before or after from now on.wpid-wp-1441810733979.jpgwpid-wp-1441810754665.jpgwpid-wp-1441810773064.jpgwpid-wp-1441810788007.jpg(do you notice a trend in these pictures)

Monday,  my husband dropped the kids off with his mom then came back,  and we got on the motorcycle and took off. We haven’t been on a ride in a month. It felt so good to get out again. I didn’t get a lot of work (or chores) done,  but mostly caught up on Tuesday.

The boy and his mermaid sister at the beach Tuesday.

The boy and his mermaid sister at the beach Tuesday.

And on Monday,  I was on twitter and Krista Walsh mentioned alternating weeks working on projects.  I decided to try this out,  switching between drafting and editing projects.  This week, I had already started my read through of Scars and All,  so I decided to stick with it. Then I changed my calendars to go with this new routine.  So,  next week I’ll start writing on a new project. The next book(novella actually) in my Kurztown series. I’ll probably be adjusting it as I finish projects since I guessed on how long it will take me to finish things.

For today’s WiPPeT, I’m back to Scars and All. I’ve got 10 sentences(9+9-2-0-1-5) from a scene I added during the first round of revisions to Chapter 6.

Doren stood in the door of the garage bay, staring at Cassie’s retreating form. He was such an idiot. No, more than that. He was a damn asshole.
She hadn’t been trying to hurt him with those words. Even as a part of him knew that, he hadn’t been able to stop himself from lashing out. At one time, that had been a pretty normal reaction to just about anything someone said that could be taken the wrong way.
She was right about history, though. It was important. It could change absolutely everything about a person.

Despite not getting much done on Monday,  things are still going well.  Only thing I haven’t gotten anything done on is my knitting & plotting

  • Scars and All: Read Through.  Possibly: 2nd revisions.  If time: start polishing round – I finished the read through this morning. And 6/29 chapters revised.
  • Leo & Bryan – keep plotting – none of this yet
  • Into the Sun: proofread & submit – weekend project
  • Read: Take Off Your Pants – 45% I’m through 30% so far
  • Read: Sweetest Mistake(Candis Terry), Run the Risk(Lori Foster), The Klaus Brothers set(Penny Watson), & Hot Head(Damon Suede) I finished Sweetest Mistake last night. Love this series. Read the first few pages of Run the Risk this morning.
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket – nothing yet this week

Should be able to get more done this week. Hopefully most of it, but we’ll see.

Teaser Tuesday: Stained Snow

Tuesday again, so time for another teaser for my, hopefully, next release. Still waiting to get it back from my beta reader, but hopefully it will be ready to go out by the end of the year. Sharing from Chapter 2 today.

Maggie Barnes stood at the door and looked down toward the barn. She couldn’t see Thomas, but she knew he was inside. He’d told them last night he’d be riding out after breakfast this morning. She’d seen the relief in her father’s eyes. It hadn’t been reflected in hers.
She didn’t want Thomas to leave. He’d only been here a month, and not for more than a few days at a time then. He’d been here almost a week this time. He hadn’t told them ahead of time before when he left. He’d just be saddling up in the morning. It meant something else that he warned them.
It meant he wasn’t coming back.
She wrapped her arms around her body even though the sun was warm today. She still felt a chill. Even though it came from inside her, she couldn’t stop rubbing at her arms as if to warm them. He was riding away, for more than the couple days he was usually gone.
He’d promised to take her to San Francisco, to Denver. Maybe even to New York City. Now, he was leaving her behind. She wanted to ask him why, but feared what the answer would be. That these last weeks hadn’t really meant anything to him. At least not what they’d meant to her. They must not, if he could ride away.
He wasn’t taking her with him.

Sunday Summary: WeWriWa – “Takes Me Back”

Welcome to another edition of Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. Today I have 8 sentences from a little farther on from where I left off last week. Trace has just handed Icarus a picture he took from an old photo album his mom had.

   He took it, unfolding it. “God, this takes me back,” he said. “When did you find out?”
“That Henry Kearns wasn’t my father? Since I was fifteen. That you were? When you said she told you that you flew too close to the sun. She told me the same thing when I was leaving.”

My son’s birthday was Thursday.  The big 5. wpid-wp-1441394291551.jpgIt was also 9 years since my father-in-law passed away.  Yeah,  it’s a bittersweet day. We gave the boy his gifts that night,  but we’re having his actual party this afternoon. wpid-wp-1441394313070.jpgOh yay, people in my house again (this is the problem with kids’ birthdays being so close. 2 parties in a month). Planning on going out on the bike with husband tomorrow,  though,  so that should help drain some of the anxiety.

As for this week’s goals:

  • Scars and All: Finish revisions, Possibly: read through, if still time: 2nd revisions – I did get revisions finished on Friday.  I cut over 5 in scenes then assured a little more than 6k in new words.
  • Into the Sun: revisions – finished these yesterday. Added almost 400 words.  Still need to proofread,  though.
  • Read: Take Off Your Pants(Libbie Hawker) – outlining book before anyone asks. 😉 – 20% through.
  • Read: Turning Pointe, Against the Law(Kat Martin), The Demon in the Wood(Leigh Bardugo), & Winning Streak(Katie Kenyhercz) – enjoyed everything(though was a little disappointed that Demon in the Wood ended at 45%. The rest was an excerpt for Six of Crows, which I am really looking forward to, especially after that excerpt). I finished Winning Streak today and started Sweetest Mistake (Candis Terry).
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket making slow progress on this.  I don’t know why I forget every time how time consuming blankets are. One of these days I might remember.
  • Also working on plotting out the first of 2 novellas I plan to write for NaNoWriMo this year (yes,  I’m going to be a bit of a rebel). I have the brainstorming done and the first back story written out. Leo’s story took me a little by surprise and even broke my heart a bit. I’ll keep working on this when I have everything else finished.


Now,  for next week’s goals:

  • Scars and All: Read Through.  Possibly: 2nd revisions.  If time: start polishing round
  • Leo & Bryan – keep plotting
  • Into the Sun: proofread & submit
  • Read: Take Off Your Pants – 45%
  • Read: Sweetest Mistake(Candis Terry), Run the Risk(Lori Foster), The Klaus Brothers set(Penny Watson), & Hot Head(Damon Suede)
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket








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