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Archive for December, 2015

Writing Wednesday: Wednesday Again

Hard to believe it’s Wednesday again. Although, for some reason, I kept thinking yesterday was Wednesday. Not really sure why.

But, I did finally get the Christmas tree up. The tree box was jammed in the back of the boy’s closet, so getting it out was the hardest thing. Then, the box with all the ornaments was at the bottom of the closet. So, I ended up just pulling some of them out, so I didn’t have to pull the large tote out(yes, we have a lot of ornaments and my MIL buys more every year). I put some of the ornaments up then let the kids put their news ones up once they were home from school.

And the second volume of the World Unknown Review released yesterday. My novella, Into the Sun, is included in it. So, you can go check that out if you’d like.

It’s Wednesday, so time for WiPPet Wednesday. Still polishing Chasing the Ghost, so I’ll be sharing more from that. I have 16 paragraphs for today. This is shortly after last week’s. New character who knows a little more about Jason’s history. And ‘the detective’ is Garren, if that’s not clear.

“I don’t know what makes you think I’m a skip tracer, but-”
The other man’s lips did pull up into a smirk. “Because you wouldn’t have used that term, or jumped to that conclusion, if you weren’t one. It wasn’t too hard to figure out. I haven’t been a detective for the last nine years simply because of my good looks.”
He pitched forward slightly. The woman must have slapped his back. Mark had noticed rings on both their hands. That combined with his protectiveness slid another piece into place. “Your wife apparently agrees with that.”
“You still haven’t answered my question,” the detective said.
“What’s it to you? I’m just standing here enjoying some bourbon.”
The detective’s eyes flicked down to the glass, and his tongue moved out to wet his lips. The woman’s hand came around him to squeeze his wrist. He let out a shuddering breath and glanced away from the drink. And another piece.
“I’m not here for anyone, Detective.”
“Well, you’ve been looking at my baby sister quite a bit. I can tell you she’s not one you’d be looking for.”
“No, certainly not her.”
“Him then?”
That brought Mark’s head back up. The detective certainly was sharp. “Why would you say that?”
He lifted a shoulder. “He’s new in town. Don’t know much about him. Look, I’m a homicide detective. Don’t kill anyone, and we’ll be fine. He seems to have wormed his way into my family’s good graces in less than forty-eight hours. If you know something they should, tell me.”
Mark hesitated and shifted his gaze to the side. The woman stood alone in the middle of the dance floor. He quickly scanned the rest of the room, but he didn’t see him. Damn it. How had he lost him so easily?
He turned back to Garren. The cop’s eyes were still on him. “Just tell your sister to be careful,” he said. “He used to be married.”
“Where’s his wife now?” the detective asked as Mark set down his still half full glass and pushed away from the bar.
“You’re a homicide detective,” Mark said, stepping around the man. “I’m sure you can figure it out.”

Did Jason really have anything to do with his wife’s death? Where did he disappear to? What will Garren do with this information?

This week is going fairly well so far.

  • Love Who You Love – 5000 words – 3229/5000 words so far this week. Working on this about an hour first thing in the morning.
  • Chasing the Ghost – finish polishing – Almost finished with this. Shouldn’t have a problem getting through it this week.
  • Come Back Down – get to 7000 words – weekend project
  • Read: Word loss Diet – 70% – 55% through this
  • Read: Bloodlore (Krista Walsh), Sparks Fly (Mari Carr), Fey Touched(Erin Zarro), Unbreak Me(Lexi Ryan), Only Mine (Susan Mallery) – finished Bloodlore and loved it(even if I nearly cried while walking on treadmill during the last 10% of it). Read Sparks Fly which was a really quick one. 29% through Fey Touched.
  • Crochet: Twist’N Shout Hat About halfway finished with this. Ran out of the yarn I was using, so going to pick it up with a new color.
  • Loom: Hat – will pick this up when I finish the other hat.

Teaser Tuesday: World Unknown Review Released

The second edition of the World Unknown Review releases today. So I figured I’d share another snippet from Into the Sun, my novella that is included in this collection.

   I had pulled a chair out at the table when I heard a pounding of feet out in the hallway. I stiffened, but Icarus grinned as the door was thrown open. “Birdie,” he said, “what have I said about flying in the house?”
The light giggle had another part of me stiffening. God, what was wrong with me? She didn’t sound like she could be older than fifteen. I’d just turned eighteen. That was all kinds of wrong.
“I’d heard you were home. I missed you, Dad.”
Dad. If I was right about Icarus, that made what I felt even more kinds of wrong.
“Hey, Trace.”
I still hadn’t turned around. I wasn’t sure I could. But, Icarus said my name softly again. I could hear the worry in his voice. Did he think I was having another panic attack? No, this was much worse than that.
I turned around, and I couldn’t quite keep my gaze from going to the girl. Tall like him, but her skin was darker than either of ours. Her hair was dark too, nearly black. But, her eyes, I couldn’t even say what color they were. Some gold, brown, and green all mixed together. She was beautiful. I wasn’t sure if I could even breathe while looking at her.
“Another one, Dad? You’re gonna run out of room if you keep collecting us.”
“Never,” Icarus said and kissed the top of her head. “My heart grew two sizes that day.”
It almost felt like some kind of inside joke, but I didn’t have a clue what the punchline might be. Now, she looked at me, and I really couldn’t breathe.
I didn’t think I’d ever seen a more beautiful girl. I thought I’d been wrong when I’d judged her age by that giggle. She definitely looked more grown up than fifteen. Especially with the way she filled out those tight jeans and the snug t-shirt. My mouth dried right up.
“Birdie, this is Trace. No last name until he learns he can trust us.” He flashed a smile at me then said, “Trace, this is my little wounded bird.”
“Jeez, Dad, are you determined to embarrass me? My wings certainly aren’t broken anymore.”
More inside jokes, or shared history at least. I didn’t know what any of it meant. “Nice to meet you,” I managed to get out.
She flashed me a smile then Icarus said, “Can you go in and let Cookie know he needs something to eat. I think he’s skipped a few meals.”
I hadn’t had a real one since the night before I’d left home, but I wasn’t going to admit that. “I’m fine, really.”
“Trace, sit down,” Icarus ordered. “You’ll eat then I’ll show you up to your room.”
I found myself sitting without another thought. Birdie laughed and leaned a hip on the corner of the table, only inches away from me. Her chest was right at eye level now. I forced my gaze up to keep it on her face.
She smirked and looked over at Icarus. “This one’s polite at least. I’ll go get his food.”
He stopped her for another forehead kiss. “He wasn’t towards you, and he’d be right back out on his ass.” He said this with a pointed look toward me.
I swallowed and let my eyes fall to the table at the obvious warning. But, Birdie only laughed. “I don’t like ’em polite anyway. I’ve spent too much time around you raunchy bunch.”
“Who’s being raunchy toward you? I’ll-”
“Dad, stop,” she demanded. “None of them are. Just relax. I’m all grown up now. You don’t need to tend to me anymore.”

You can check out the rest of the story, and 9 others now.

Sunday Summary: Christmas Approaching

You can tell it’s getting closer to Christmas. Well, not by looking outside, since it’s been about 60 degrees out this weekend. But, we had a Christmas party for the kids at the fire station Wednesday. Yesterday we had my niece’s birthday party and Christmas with my dad(Amazon gift card. Yes!) after that. Today is another Christmas party at the Moose Club. Then, I think we’re pretty much done until the week of Christmas.



I have most of the shopping done but absolutely none of the decorating. Haven’t even pulled the tree out of the closet yet. Guess I’ll have to actually do that this week(decorating is my least favorite part, which is why only the tree and stocking will likely go up).

Goals have been going pretty well this week, too.

  • Love Who You Love – finish backstories. Start Outlining. – Got this all done. Ready to start writing
  • Chasing the Ghost – finish 2nd round revisions. Start Polishing round. – finished 2nd round revisions. Not quite halfway through polishing though
  • Come Back Down – get to 6000 words – just a little past this
  • Read: Word-loss Diet – 45% – Got to this
  • Read: Finish Dirty Thoughts, Dash of Peril(Lori Foster), Fix You(Mari Carr), A Harry Situation(Kristy K James), & The Iron Daughter(Julie Kagawa) – finished all of these and started Bloodlore (Krista Walsh)
  • Knit: Brimmed Hat finished this.

No color coding this week because we still haven’t made it home today. Christmas party at the Moose Club and elections at fire department. Except about time elections were supposed to start, got a call to help a neighboring department with a fire. So got started about 4 hours late. So posting from my phone.

It was nice enough we went to the park for a bit after the party. And we had a little shadow.

Goals for next week:
• Love Who You Love – 5000 words
• Chasing the Ghost – finish polishing
• Come Back Down – get to 7000 words
• Read: Word loss Diet – 70%
• Read: Bloodlore (Krista Walsh), Sparks Fly (Mari Carr), Fey Touched(Erin Zarro), Unbreak Me(Lexi Ryan), Only Mine (Susan Mallery)
• Crochet: Twist’N Shout Hat
• Loom: Hat

WeWriWa: “You’ve Changed”

Welcome to another installment of Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for everyone who likes to write. Today I’m sharing a final snippet from Into the Sun. This week’s 9 sentences picks up right where last week’s left off.

   ”I’ll take her up to her room. If that’s all right,” I added, glancing quickly at Bull then back to Icarus.
Finally, Icarus nodded. “Yes, I think that would be best. You can get settled in, Cassie. We’ll figure everything else out after that.”
“You’ve changed,” she said.
His gaze went to her again. “So did you,” was all he said.

Into the Sun will be available to read in full on Tuesday along with the rest of the World Unknown Review(including one by our own Shan Jeniah). Next week I’ll have the first snippet from the sequel, Come Back Down, which starts a few weeks after this one ends and is from Birdie’s POV.

Flames A-Z: Yates Family

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts. I let my extra posts drop during November while I was doing NaNoWriMo. Only have two more posts in this series, though.

Dillon Yates met Hisa Sakei when he was serving overseas in the Army. Her older sister married Ewan Magaldi, who Dillon served with for a time, and is a cousin to Shae Magaldi’s husband. After leaving the Army, Dillon became a high school history teacher. Hisa runs a bakery. Together, they have three children.

The oldest, Sakura, was born in 1981. She works with their mother in their bakery and has a special hand with decorating. She married Brent Tabbert in 2006, and they have 2 children, Kiana and Raiden, who are about fifteen months apart.

Kaemon was born about 2 years after his sister. He works with computers and would often choose them over interacting with people, other than his family. Although he does teach some classes at the local community center. He married Suzu Cousens in 2009, and they have one kid, a daughter, Leiko.

Kameko, usually called Kammi, is the youngest, born nearly five years after her brother. She’s a teacher, like her father, but she teaches in the elementary school. She meets Jace Hunter, and…well, that would give away the events of Burning Bright. So, you’ll just have to wait for that. 😉

Writing Wednesday: Ahead of Schedule

It’s already been a pretty good week. I’d planned to revise 4 chapters of Chasing the Ghost a day to finish it by the end of this week. I got 10 revised on Monday. So, I ended up getting through the last 10 yesterday. And started my ‘search & destroy’ round. I’ve already cut 500 words.

For WiPPeT Wednesday, I have another 13 paragraphs(12+9-2-0-1-5) from Chasing the Ghost. This is later the same day of last week’s snippet. This is the first time Garren(Connie’s brother) has met Jason since he started working at their family’s ranch. And let’s just say, he’s a bit protective of his little sister.

Garren’s wife leaned around him. “That’s not what he’s worried about. Jason, right?” At his nod, she smiled then continued. “Garren likes to imagine he’s supercop and can stop anything bad from happening.”
“Lisa.” Her name came out as a groan, but she only smiled.
“It’s true, and you know it.” She kissed his cheek before looking back at Jason. “He’s only worried about if his parents or sister will get hurt by letting you in. I’m sure that won’t happen though.”
“No,” he said, looking away from her sharp eyes. “I’m not here to hurt anyone.”
He took another drink but set the glass down when he saw Connie walking through the room. Just behind her walked another man, who he was sure was staring him down. She said something and laughed over her shoulder. He could feel his fingers curling into his palm already. He took a deep breath and let it out, but he could still feel Lisa’s eyes on him.
The man’s hand came to Connie’s shoulder, and he started to step toward them, but Leo grabbed his arm. “Let her come to you, Jason.”
He glanced over at Leo, confused by his words. There was a twinkle in his eye. “What are you talking about? I thought she was with you.”
Leo laughed at that, and Jason even heard Lisa giggle beside him. “Jason, I’ve known Connie since she was ten years old, and my father came to work on the ranch. I’d see her as my sister even if that wasn’t my partner walking in with her. I’m very committed to him, so you don’t have to worry about me standing in your way. Plus, my interests don’t run that way at all.”
Jason felt his face heat a little. “I saw the two of you together earlier today. You looked awfully…affectionate.”
He heard a booming laugh and turned to see the other man standing right in front of them. “Affectionate’s a good term for Leo,” he said to Jason. “He just likes to touch.”
Leo got up from the stool and brushed his lips over the man’s cheek. “That I do.” Then, he looked back at Jason. “Like I said, Connie’s more like a sister to me than anything. The path’s clear for you.”
“No, it isn’t,” Garren growled from beside him.
Jason heard Lisa murmur his name, but he didn’t take his eyes from Connie, so he didn’t know if it calmed the other man or not. “I don’t need a path,” he said, raising his glass again. “I’m not here for a woman.” Yet, he still couldn’t take his eyes from her.

Garren’s worries about Jason will get worse before they get better. And Connie will chew him out once or twice for being too protective of her.


  • Love Who You Lovefinish backstories. Start Outlining. – finished back stories. Wrote plot summary and outlines for each main character, then merged those into one. Just need to put it into scrivener and do chapter/scene summaries. 2367 words of plotting words written this week.
  • Chasing the Ghost – finish 2nd round revisions. Start Polishing round. Like I said, finished 2nd round yesterday. Added 131 words before starting polishing round.
  • Come Back Down – get to 6000 words – weekend project
  • Read: Word-loss Diet – 45% – just over 35%
  • Read: Finish Dirty Thoughts, Dash of Peril(Lori Foster), Fix You(Mari Carr), A Harry Situation(Kristy K James), & The Iron Daughter(Julie Kagawa) – finished Dirty Thoughts(loved) and Dash of Peril(another good one). Started Fix You this morning. Already 25% through it, so it’s going to be a quick read.
  • Crochet: Brimmed Hat – I’ve almost finished this. Just have to finish the brim and finish it up.


Teaser Tuesday: Into the Sun

Since the second World Unknown Review releases in another week, I figured I could tease everyone with the beginning of my story that will be included in it. Here’s the first scene of Into the Sun:

I shoved the last bundle of clothes into the saddlebag before closing the flap. She stood there in the doorway, and I couldn’t bring myself to meet her eyes.
“Trace,” she called out to me, “you don’t have to do this.”
She knew I did.
“Your father-”
My head jerked up at that one, finally looking at her. Another day, the anxiety in her eyes, the fading bruise on her cheek, the way she hung back would have made me want to comfort her. “Don’t call him that. Don’t you ever dare call him that again, Mom.”
“He raised you,” she insisted, her gaze darting out into the yard before coming back to me.
“He humiliated me,” I said. “He hit me.” He’d done all of that, once again, the night before. I couldn’t take any more of it.
“He took care of you.” I heard a certain desperation in her voice.
“He did his best to destroy me and you too. That man is not my father.”
“How do you know yours is any better?”
There it was, the truth she never wanted to talk about. The truth I learned at fifteen that caused my stepfather’s treatment to only get harsher.
“He couldn’t be much worse.”
“You can’t say that when you don’t know him.”
“Whose fault is that, Mom?”
“You don’t understand,” she said, wrapping her arms around herself. “He scared me.”
“And he doesn’t?” I gestured out toward the road where my stepfather should be coming from soon. I reached for the helmet sitting on the back of my bike but only held onto it for a moment. “You don’t have to stay either, Mom.”
It didn’t surprise me when she didn’t respond. Instead she said, “If your father’d had wings, he would have flown right into the sun. Where would that have left us?”
“Maybe with a man who could actually love us,” I shouted. “I obviously won’t change your mind. I’m outta here.”
I pulled the helmet down over my head and started to strap it on when she walked over to me. “Trace, wait.”
“Why should I?”
Her lip trembled, and I regretted my harsh words. I couldn’t change her mind, but she wouldn’t change mine either. She stepped up to me, resting her hands on my shoulders. This wasn’t an easy task for her, as my shoulders were nearly at her eye level.
“Don’t fly too high,” she told me. “I don’t want to see you burnt. I did what I thought best. I’m sorry you didn’t see it the same way.”
“I don’t see how this could be best, Mom. He hurt you, too. You know I have room on the back of the bike.” I tried again. “You can come with me.”
She only hesitated a moment then shook her head. “I told you I’m never getting on one of those things again.”
Again? I couldn’t ever remember my mother even talking about riding a motorcycle. My stepfather certainly didn’t approve of them. “You’d rather stay here with him than trust me to take you on the bike? I’d keep you safe, Mom.”
“He’s my husband, Trace. I have to stay.”
There was no more point arguing once she started on the ‘he’s my husband’ path. So, I turned away.
After straddling the bike, I turned back to her and reached for the visor on the front of my helmet. “I’ll call you when I can, Mom.”
She gave me a short nod, her arms wrapped tightly around her body. “Just take care of my son,” she said.
I flipped the visor down, twisted the throttle, and I was gone.

Sunday Summary: Moving Focus

Getting colder here as we move into December. We still haven’t seen very much snow, though, which is surprising for the area. Doesn’t look like we’re supposed to be getting much of any in the next week either. One good thing about that, though, is the trip next weekend to my sister’s for my niece’s birthday/Christmas with our dad won’t be too bad.

The last of the presents I ordered online came in this past Thursday.wp-1449406408373.jpg I have all but 2 of them wrapped. I like having everything done ahead of time. Well, not everything. We still need to get something for oldest niece & nephew. They just want gift cards, though, so that won’t be too bad. And we need to figure out what we’re doing for parents. Usually we get pictures done and give them some sort of frame. Haven’t done pictures yet this year, though.

After church today, we helped decorate one of the trees there, then we went up to Erie to get groceries. Also, since I had a gift card from my Dad, we had lunch at Olive Garden. The kids were thrown by the fact there were two forks for everyone. We got groceries, and the kids got to talk to Santa and get their picture taken(it surprised me they actually wanted to. They’ve never been fond of people in costumes, particularly the girl). Then, we went back to the church for a memorial service. And finally home.

I started writing this post before church this morning(we always go to the early service, when we go). It’s now dinner time, and I’m finally getting back to it.

After Monday, I switched from drafting back to a focus on revising. Making good progress there.

  • My Way to You: finish 1st draft – finished this on Monday. Ended up with over 36k for this one.
  • Love Who You Love(Kurztown #3) – brainstorm – got this done and finished Kendall’s back story. Working on Susan’s(may remember her as Doren’s sister) now. Then, I have 2 more to write.
  • Chasing the Ghost: Read through – got this done on Thursday. Had over 160 comments by the time I finished, though some of those are little things. On Friday I revised through Chapter 10 and added 306 words.
  • Come Back Down: add 1000 words – added 1012 words between yesterday and today. I’m liking writing from Birdie’s POV.
  • Read: Word-Loss Diet – 20% – made it a little past this. So far, it’s mostly been what I already have on my search & destroy list.
  • Read: Love, Diamonds, and Spades(Violet Duke), Meet Me When the Sun Goes Down(Lisa Olsen), Almost Perfect(Susan Mallery), Concealed in Death(J.D. Robb), & Beautiful Little Fool(K.K. Hendin) – read all of these, and enjoyed them. Also about 50% through Dirty Thoughts(Megan Erickson). Really enjoying it.
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket – finish – finished this(finally!) on Thursday. wp-1449406413975.jpgAnd started crocheting a hat. Then, I ran out of yarn. I got some while we were shopping today. Even better…had a 60% off coupon in my email so only had to pay $1.80 for it(normally 4.49)

Look at all that blue!! Love getting things finished.

  • Love Who You Love – finish backstories. Start Outlining.
  • Chasing the Ghost – finish 2nd round revisions. Start Polishing round.
  • Come Back Down – get to 6000 words
  • Read: Word-loss Diet – 45%
  • Read: Finish Dirty Thoughts, Dash of Peril(Lori Foster), Fix You(Mari Carr), A Harry Situation(Kristy K James), & The Iron Daughter(Julie Kagawa)
  • Knit: Brimmed Hat – making this for my grandma for Christmas. She’d wanted one of my hats, but I’d already donated them all before she got in touch with me. And this is the first year they’re going to be home for Christmas in several years.

WeWriWa: “That’s Enough”

Welcome to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who loves to write. I’m still sharing from Into the Sun this week and at least one more week. I have 9 sentences that come directly after last week’s, and then there will be another 9 for next week.

There was steel in his voice now, and I felt torn. I understood he was angry, but this was my mom. I wasn’t going to let him hurt her. In any way. I stepped between them. “Dad, that’s enough.” Mom gasped behind me, probably at my use of that term. “She’s here, that’s enough. You don’t have to work everything out right now.”

Will that be enough? Will Icarus and Cassie move past this? Will Icarus be upset with Trace for stepping in? I’ll pick up right after this(especially since this one ended in the middle of dialogue) next week, so you might get some answers.

Into the Sun releases in 10 days with the World Unknown Review.

Fiction Friday: Post NaNo

I let a lot of my extra blog posts fall to the side during November. Doesn’t mean I didn’t do much over the month. In fact, I got a lot done. To the tune of over 100,000 words.

Yes, I participated in NaNoWriMo. Like I’ve done every year since 2010. That first year is the only time I “lost”. I didn’t even start until almost a week into the month. And I jumped right into a story with no planning.

Every year it seems I’ve written more and finished sooner than the last. This year I “finished” on Nov 17. I was also a rebel for the first time. Every other year, I’ve started a new project. But, this year I had a few different projects already in progress. So, I decided to work on finishing those during the month.

First up was Guarding the Heart. Which I started more than a year ago. It was one I worked on off and on during that time. Once I finally settled down to it, it rolled right out. I wrote 24506 words during the first week and finished it. Total word count: 94768.

Then, I picked up Some Fools Never Learn, the second book in my Hunter Family series, which is a spin-off from my Flames series. I spent the next 2 weeks on this one and added 44567 words to it, to finish it. Total word count: 61255.

During the last week of the month, I worked on My Way to You, a novella in my Gilbert, CO series. I really enjoyed writing this one, and these characters. I wrote exactly 25000 words during the fourth week of the month on this. And finished it Monday, the 30th, with another 3850 words. Total word count: 36236.

I also did first round of revisions on Chasing the Ghost(which takes place right before My Way to You). Added 2274 words to that. And I started a new short story/novella that is a sequel to Into the Sun, which will be in the World Unknown Review that will be coming out later this month. I wrote 4098 words on that.

Going forward, I’m working on the second round of revisions on Chasing the Ghost. And possibly even starting revisions on Flames of Retribution(book 3 in Flames series). I’m also plotting out Love Who You Love(book 3 in Kurztown series) on the side and am hoping to even get some words written on it. I’ll be focusing on revisions this month and the next two. Then in March, I’ll be back to focusing on drafting for a bit.

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