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Archive for November, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: ‘Sensed the Urgency’

This will be the final teaser from Healing the Heart seeing as it releases this Friday. You can pre-order it if you’d like and be able to read it as soon as it’s out. For now, here’s a teaser:

Kaden yanked him close. “I don’t have your woman. If you don’t find her, she’s going to be dead. I’ll have to kill you both. I don’t know why, but I don’t want to do that. You’re a Coyote.” He sounded confused as if that was reason enough to want to. “Get out of here.”
He pushed Jared away from him, and he felt as confused as the boy looked, but he didn’t see this getting any better. He glanced over his shoulder but just made out the figure of a man in the car. Something about it seemed familiar. He couldn’t believe someone would drive something that fancy into this area of town. He’d sensed the urgency in Kaden’s voice, but he turned back to him and said, “This isn’t over. If I find out something happened to her, you’ll be the one to pay for it.”
Probably a mistake, but he turned his back on the young man and walked to his car. He didn’t even relax until he had driven out of the neighborhood. He shook and pulled over to the side of the road when he figured he was safe again. He laid his head back against the seat. He already felt the pain spreading through his ribs.
“Damn it.” What had this even solved? Melanie was still gone. He still had no idea where she was. Kaden’s words rang through his head. If you don’t find her, she’s going to be dead. No. He couldn’t let that happen, and he couldn’t stop thinking about the person who stepped out of that car. Who was that? Could it be…no. That didn’t make any sense. Why would he have tried to win over Melanie if he was behind these threats to her?
“Where are you, Melanie?” Feeling desperate, he took out his phone and dialed her number one more time. “Please answer,” he murmured when it started to ring. “I need to hear your voice.”

WeWriWa: ‘That Look’

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’m still continuing with the scene I’ve been sharing from the last couple of weeks. Last week I left Hawk with his fist cocked back as if to hit Jumper. Picking up this week after Devil tries to stop him.

He looked over at me then, his eyes glazed over. This wasn’t the boy I’d known, or the man who’d brought me into the fold here. This was something else entirely, almost like he’d been possessed. I took a staggering step back from him, but he blinked and that look was gone from his face. He looked at me, and I swore that was anguish that came into his eyes.

“Damon,” he whispered, but I shook my head and turned for the stairs, jogging up them. What I’d seen in him scared me, and he’d never done that, not in that way, before. I’d seen that look, in my father’s eyes before he took off his belt, in Trace’s stepfather’s when we went to get Birdie, in those Crows’ before they tried to kick the shit out of me.

But, I’d never expected to see it in Hawk’s. I wasn’t sure what to think about it, and I couldn’t face it tonight, so I locked myself in my room, deciding to deal with the insomnia instead.

Just what did get into Hawk there(May not find out exactly until I write Hawk’s story, though I have a good idea)? What’s going to happen next? You’ll have to wait until next week to find that out. But, this is the end of the current scene.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday – “Pretty”

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is to use “pretty” somehow in the post. I was trying to figure out how to use it toward one of my current project, then another character started waving his arms around. I wrote “Midas’ Daughter” back in May for the Story a Day challenge. Then I revised it and submitted it for the World Unknown Review. Well, I heard back about that on Monday, and it wasn’t accepted(neither was my other submission unfortunately). But, I decided to take her comments on it and flesh it out some more, maybe even add in POVs from the other characters, and possibly turn it into a novella(maybe novellete if it falls short of novella length). Then…I don’t know. First, I have to rewrite it, then I’ll decide what happens next. but, today, I’ll be looking at events from another character’s perspective(without looking back at the original. right now, I just have the first line in my head).

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

“Yeah, pretty girl,” Flip said, rubbing a hand down the mare’s neck. “I miss her, too.”

He’d seen Calla walk past the stable not too long ago. Of course, she hadn’t even looked in here. He’d only been able to sneak peeks of her the last several days. She wouldn’t stay away by choice, so he knew exactly who was making it this way.

Not that he could ever have her. Old Man Midas had made that clear the first time he showed interest. He was just a stable hand and would never deserve her. Neither did that creep her father was currently pushing at her. The mare nudged his shoulder as if she sensed his mood. He patted her neck once more than moved toward the door to the stall. He had more chores to see to.

But, he’d barely made it halfway through the next stall before Ariadne pawed at the stall and snorted. she wasn’t usually high-tempered, so he knew something was up. He moved back toward her then heard the raised voices outside. He couldn’t make out any of the words, but he recognized one of the voices. Calla. He closed his eyes and leaned against the wall. He wanted to do something, wanted to make everything better for her. But, what could he do? He knew what would happen if he made a scene out there. He’d be fired, and if she needed him he wouldn’t be here any longer.

He needed to be here just in case things went bad. And he couldn’t see them going good with the direction they’d taken.

The other voice rose even more, and Ariadne’s ear went back flat. His own chest felt tight, claws digging deep into him. “I know, pretty girl,” he said, trying to soothe the animal. “I don’t much care for him, either. But, the important thing is if Calla does.” He rubbed her neck, taking as much comfort from her as he was giving. This pain in his chest was almost too much to bear. But, he’d known for a long time that Calla was the only one who could take it away. “We’ve already chosen her. She just has to choose us back.”

And he was afraid that was never going to happen. It would mean fighting back against her father. And she’d never done that before. He’d offer her whatever strength he had to make sure she could do that. It just meant he had to stick around as long as he could. He wouldn’t give up yet. He would never give up on them until she made that choice.

Fiction Friday: Goin’ Down – The Beginning

I wrote this story earlier this year, and submitted it to the World Unknown Review, but unfortunately, it wasn’t accepted. I’ve thought about putting a few of my short pieces together into a collection and publishing. I might throw them up on their own, too, if I can figure out cheap covers. But, for now, I’m going to start sharing this one here. I’ll share one scene each week, which will take us through the next 5 weeks. There’s actually 6 scenes, but the last is pretty short, so I’ll include it with the previous one. For now:

I was drowning.

I knew it in every cell of my body. But, I didn’t know how to save myself.  My lungs burned, my body thrashed, my muscles ached as I tried to kick to the surface. Something held me where I was. I couldn’t drag any air in. I was never going to make it, never going to see my husband again, never start the family we talked about.

I would die here.

A great burst of air and cold suddenly blew over me. I dragged in a breath then another. I wasn’t drowning. I wasn’t even in the water.

The bed shifted under me. “Why do you always insist on sleeping with the blankets over your head? You always have the same dream when you do.”

I heard the impatience in my husband’s voice and turned away before opening my eyes. Justin’s irritation wasn’t the first thing I wanted to see upon waking up from the dream.

The sun just rose over the trees. A much better sight to wake to.

“I don’t insist,” I finally said. “It happens when I’m sleeping.”

“Well, make it stop happening. I get tired of dragging you from it.”

I mumbled an apology, but he was already moving away. I didn’t even bother. I waited as his measured steps headed out of the room. I didn’t know what had happened to us. It was so hard to find the man I’d married in the one I still shared a bed with.

I wanted to get us back. I just had to figure out how.

I moved slowly through my morning routine, the dregs of the dream still clinging to me, making my limbs feel heavy. It was like I still struggled through that water. I don’t know why it was always water, why I was always drowning. I couldn’t remember ever living near the water or swimming anywhere but the community pool.

I’d never nearly drowned there. At least not that I remembered. And I’m pretty sure I would.

He was gone by the time I made it downstairs. I hoped coffee would help burn off the remainders of the bad dream. And maybe clear my head enough I could think of a way to get the husband I remembered back.

What do you think? I always appreciate any feedback. I’ll have the next scene in another week.

Writing Wednesday: Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and today the kids only have half a day of school. No school tomorrow, Friday, or Monday(first day of hunting season is practically a holiday around here). I have mixed feelings about the holiday, especially the sanitized history we’re all taught. But, I won’t go into my rant on the treatment of Native Americans(and how it still hasn’t changed all that much) here. I may get dragged into that at my parents’ tomorrow or some other political discussion(I don’t seem to share many of my family’s views), but I’m really hoping to avoid that by taking my kindle and finding a quiet corner of the house.

Anyway, you’re either here today to read a snippet of a current work or to see my progress for the week so far(possibly both), so I’ll get to that. And I just changed my routine slightly. I had been working on each of my projects every day. And that’s been going okay. But, I’m going to try something different. Working on a different one every day. I’ve done this before, too. I’m going to write from the time I get up in the morning(usually sometime between 4-5) until 9 a.m. Then, I’ll wash dishes, workout(possibly), & get a shower before coming back to work on editing until lunch time. And I’ll take care of the rest of my to-do list in the afternoon. That break between the two seems to help switch my mind over. We’ll see how it goes.

Now, it’s time for another WiPPet Wednesday, where we share a snippet of a current work that somehow relates to the date. You can check out other snippets here. Today I’m working on Crash and Burn, so you’ll get a little more of Brann & Jaya’s story. I have 7 paragraphs(1+1+2+3) for today. A little context: Jaya works out of the fire station as a paramedic. Tony is one of the firefighters there, and he was giving Brann a hard time about wanting to see her(said maybe he should have called her/ brann didn’t have her number/ well maybe there was a reason for that). This picks up right after Brann being afraid the guy might have a point:

“Give it a break, Tony,” a voice said from the next bay over. Then, Jaya was stepping out from behind an ambulance. “I swear sometimes one of you is worse than both my brothers put together.”
Tony grinned and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “You know we love you.”
She shoved him away, but Brann could still see the smile flickering around her lips. “I’m still not dating you.”
“Well,” Tony said, “my wife in particular will be happy to hear that. I’m a little disappointed, though.”
She laughed and shook her head. “Stop being an idiot. You know I meant in general. Now, go away.”
Brann could feel the grin stretching his face. She came closer as Tony stepped back then finally turned away. “They certainly do act like big brothers,” he said.
“Which is only one reason I refuse to date any of them. I see enough of it at work. I’m not the kind of person that needs to be protected. I certainly don’t want the guy I’m dating to think he has to be some kind of shield.”

What does Brann think about that(he grew up with a sister with a similar mindset if that tells you anything)? Is Tony actually disappointed(hint: NO. He’s very devoted to his wife)? Are Jaya & Brann going to date(spoiler: Absolutely)?

Playing in all the snow we got over the weekend.

Playing in all the snow we got over the weekend.

As for how things are going this week: Pretty good, actually.

  • Write – 10000 words(cutting it back because of the holiday) – 8632/10000 words. Definitely shouldn’t have a problem meeting this goal.
    • Defending the Heart – 1257 words – “You worry about a lot these days, Dec.” When his friend didn’t respond to that, Piers let out a long breath. “Why don’t you do it if you’re so concerned?”
      “Because I’m not the one who’s loved him for the last fifteen years.”
    • Crash and Burn – 3955 words – “So,” he said, bringing his gaze slowly back up to her face. God, she was something. Keeping his hands to himself tonight might just be torture. “Where did you want to go tonight?”
    • Not Meant to Be – 1098 words – “He is not one of your criminals, Tobias. He’s a sweet sixteen-year-old boy who doesn’t have it all that easy at home. That’s why he spends so much time in that park where Jonas met him. He is always welcome in this house. I don’t want you to make him feel otherwise.”
    • Stay a Little Longer – 1234 words – “Ouch, Doren,” Erik said, though his amusement had turned to confusion. “I know you can hold a grudge, but that’s harsh even for you. Hell, you even let me at least speak to Cassie these days without threatening to break my remaining leg.” *I doubt Doren ever actually made that threat, but possibly close. Not that he would actually do it 😉 But, Erik really was an ass in high school, and Cassie was one of his favorite targets.
    • In the Moonlight – 1088 words – “What do you care? You brought your girlfriend with you, and you really think Mom will want to see you, want anything to do with you after that? You know how she feels.” *Nola’s sister is not very nice
  • Guarding the Heart – Polish – I’m through 15/50 words on the list for this. Hoping to get through at least 25 this week.
  • Side Projects – Write 1500 words – 751 words. Managed at least a few words on all of these.
    • Dance with the Devil – 243 words – I was afraid Icarus or even Bull would put me on the detail that was staying here with the Ladies. Worried they’d say that it was too dangerous when the Crows had already attacked me twice. I had all my arguments ready to go. I’d never cared about danger. Hell, I’d been in dangerous situations for years. 
    • Snow White Twist – 124 words – “Hold on, princess,” she whispered hoarsely. “You hold on to that thread of life until I can make this right.”
    • Patrick & Sarah – 115 words – Her reputation in town was already set. That didn’t mean she needed to ruin his as well.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 25 words(would have been more, but I was doing some research) – Eydyami nodded and waited for him to go on. 
    • Roman – 148 words – Roman leaned over the table until their faces were merely inches apart. They were so close, he could see the way the boy’s eyes glistened. His sister had definitely been a tender spot. He wondered if he could hit another one. And if he did, what way it would push Carlos. 
    • Dougal & Shae – 96 words – Dougal knew he shouldn’t have made that comment. It had been inappropriate, and one of his new buddies certainly hadn’t appreciated it. Obviously they knew the woman somehow. Just as co-workers? Or maybe there was more between them. Were they together or something? *or, you know, her brother.
  • Listen: Now That It’s You(Tawna Fenske), I may pick Furious back up if I finish before I get my next credit on Friday. – I finished Now That It’s You yesterday. Really enjoyed this one. Decided not to pick Furious back up, but returned the Kindle Unlimited ones I’d listened to and borrowed more. So, I started Summer in Napa(Marina Adair) and enjoying it so far.
  • Read: Finish Lead Me On(Victoria Dahl), If I Didn’t Care(Kait Nolan), Fly With Me(Chanel Cleeton), Rise of the Storm(Christina Ochs), To One Hundred(Melissa Blue), Fatal Secrets(Allison Brennan), Right Wrong Guy(Lia Riley), Anxious Love(Sydney Aaliyah Michelle), His to Protect(Elena Aitken), Bladelore(Krista Walsh), Raptor(Lindsay Buroker), & Perfect Fit(Carly Phillips) – I doubt I’ll get through all of these. I’m already about 2 books behind. But, we’ll see how the next 2 days go. I could catch up. I finished Lead Me On(really enjoyed) and If I Didn’t Care(loved). I’m a little more than halfway through Fly With Me and enjoying it.
  • Knit: Finish Polly Wolly Doodle Hat – I’m a little more than half through the main part of the hat. wp-1479914037922.jpg

 

Teaser Tuesday: “What It Means”

Healing the Heart is set to release in another 2 1/2 weeks. So, this is at least the next to last teaser from it. From Chapter 22, at Garren & Lisa’s wedding:

She started to head for the dance floor, but Jared’s arms came around her. “It’s okay, you know. It’s okay to feel whatever you do.”
“How did you know?” she asked and couldn’t fight back the tears forming in her eyes.
“I know you, Melanie. Sometimes I think I know everything going through that head of yours.”
“I never would have expected this from you, Jared. Even as early as this morning, you couldn’t stand him, or the fact you thought I still had feelings for him,” she said and faced him directly.
He shook his head. “He’s not a threat to me. I can see that now.”
“What about my feelings? Are you worried about those?”
“As I said, they are yours. What you feel about him doesn’t matter, as long as I know what you feel about me.”
“Do you?”
He slid one hand around her back and the other over her ribs. He started swaying, causing her body to move in time with his. “I’m a doctor. I know what it means when your heart rate speeds up, when you can’t breathe,” he said and covered her mouth with his. “I know what those are symptoms of.”
“Oh really, Doctor?” she asked but couldn’t keep the smile from her face. “What’s your diagnosis?”
The hand at her back ran up to her neck and into her hair. “I’d say you have a severe case of unrelenting lust.” The word slammed into her, and she wanted to insist it was more. How could she when it’s exactly what she’d been trying to convince herself of? He leaned down to whisper in her ear. “Only one cure I know of. You in my room tonight, wearing nothing but those heels and my tie.”
That took her breath away. “I’m not so sure that’s going to help,” she finally managed to say and saw the wicked grin on his face. Before either of them could say anything else, she was being called to the dance floor for her part of the dancing. Now she couldn’t wait to get this over with and get back to Jared. What else could he say or do to turn her on without all these people noticing?

You can pre-order this now at Amazon, Kobo, & B&N.

Sunday Summary: Snow

So, we’ve got our first snow of the year. Yesterday when we woke up it was almost 60 degrees out. And yet they were calling for snow. Oh, it probably won’t be much, I’m thinking, and it won’t stick. This is what I woke up to this morning:

It's definitely sticking

It’s definitely sticking

Looks like winter is here after all. And I’ve got the first of our Christmas presents ordered and one box received. I love online shopping. Still waiting on another box and our kids gifts will be taken care of(other than new pajamas and stocking stuffers). Still have to get the nieces’ and nephews’, but I’m planning on taking care of that this week.

The writing has felt kind of stop and go this week. Tuesday I ran out of steam partway through my main projects. So, I adjust my daily goals on them. Then, the same thing happened Friday. Instead of trying to push through I just set it aside and Saturday morning, I got those ones finished. Part of Saturday’s words came from my SOCS post. So, I still managed to meet my writing goal for the week.

  • Write 12500 words – 13836/12500 words. Definitely a win!
    • Defending the Heart – 2550 words – The other man was studying him close, though, and he was sure he could see it. He ignored that feeling, the way it seemed to crawl over his skin. Don’t see me, don’t see me, don’t see me. It had been his mantra throughout school, and even now, it could be hard to break away from that.
    • Crash and Burn – 3290 words – “So,” he said, “your dad’s a firefighter but you refuse to date one. What does he think of your discrimination?”
      She laughed at that, that loud laugh that brought the attention of tables around them. Most smiled but a few scowled at them. As if them having a good time would ruin their dinners. Jaya didn’t seem to even notice, though.
      “He’s well aware of that vow. He’s part of it. I remember his crazy shifts and how they affected us as a family. For Mom it probably wasn’t too bad, because she could have crazy shifts, too. And the worrying was constant. Plus, I work with the dirty bastards. I know what they’re like, and with few exceptions, I wouldn’t want to date them.” *part of this scene(which ended up very long), came from Closing Time, as the two stories overlap for a bit. I just rewrote it from Brann’s POV
    • Not Meant to Be – 2611 words – He saw the boy grab Jonas’ hand and squeeze, the wide bracelets around his wrists clank together. His nails were short but painted a soft blue. “It’s okay, Jo,” he said, smirking back across the table. “I think I can handle an interrogation. Especially on a full stomach. The enchiladas were delicious, Mrs. Pedera.”
      Toby just barely held back a laugh. The kid was pretty charming. His mother smiled at the boys. “Thank you. I’ll clean up while you two chat. Tobias, you can help me.”
      Ah, crap. That usually meant he was in trouble.
    • Stay a Little Longer – 2849 words – Maybe she just wasn’t cut out to be in a relationship with someone. She had her children, and she had to be content with that. *Oh, Jess. Just wait a few more scenes 😉
    • In the Moonlight – 2536 words – I felt the relief drain everything else away for the moment. She wasn’t just going to leave me there. I don’t know why I’d thought it, even for a second.
  • Healing the Heart – proofread & format – done & done & uploaded to Amazon, Kobo, and B&N where it’s now available for pre-order. It will release on 12/2.
  • Side Projects – Write 1500 words – 1908/1500 words. I got most of these on Wednesday.
    • Dance with the Devil – 552 words – We barely even made it through the doorway. Then, his mouth was on mine again, and he had me pressed to the wall right next to the door. Holy shit. My engine was revving so much I was about to overheat.
    • Snow White Twist – 523 words – No. The word kept bouncing around my head. That look, that touch, could only mean one thing. “No.”
    • Patrick & Sarah – 208 words – He blew out a long breath, which seemed to hold more than his share of frustration. She almost smiled. [xx] had often made that sound around her, too. *Sarah apparently has a talent for frustrating the men who care about her 🙂
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 158 words – She sensed her brother bristle at that. He might be called Great Eagle, but he sometimes acted more like a porcupine. But, she could sense his concern, and it warmed her.
    • Roman – 217 words – Carlos’ hands instantly turned into tight fists, and from the way he started to shake, Roman thought he might just break apart into little pieces. But, when he looked up into the boy’s eyes, they looked like they were what would shatter. His sister. For a moment, Roman had forgotten that Adriana was Carlos’ little half-sister. 
    • Dougal & Shae – 250 words – “Move,” she snapped at him, “or I’ll put you in handcuffs, too.”“Do ya promise?” the man asked, quirking a brow at her. *and now I see where their daughter(Caitie) ends up getting her lack of a filter from.
  • Listen: Kissing Under the Mistletoe(Marina Adair), The Perfect Game(J. Sterling), & It Had to Be Love(Tamra Baumann) – I finished Kissing Under the Mistletoe and really enjoyed it. Started The Perfect Game and was really annoyed with it, so set it aside within the first 15 minutes. Then, started It Had to Be Love. I really enjoyed this for the most part, except *of course* the antagonist/crazy abusive ex is mentally ill. I started Furious(T.R. Ragan), but just didn’t really care, so set it aside after an hour. Then, I listened to She Can Run(Melinda Leigh) and again really enjoyed the story, though I had issues with the antagonist’s motivation. Now, I have Now That It’s You(Tawna Fenske) queued up and ready to start listening.
  • Read: Controlled Burn(Shannon Stacey), Lover Awakened(J.R. Ward), Lucky Charm(Carly Phillips), Playing for Her Heart(Megan Erickson), Fall Fast(Zoe York), Risking It All(Tessa Bailey), Fame & Obsession(Cora Kenborn), & Lead Me On – Finished all of these but Lead Me On. I just started it last night. I really enjoyed Controlled Burn(hello, hot firefighters. What not to like. ;)). Had some issues with Lover Awakened, but it picked up about halfway through. Lucky Charm was *eh*. If I didn’t already have the other two books in the series, I may not have finished it. Loved Playing for Her Heart and enjoyed Fall Fast. Really enjoyed Risking It All(which I hadn’t realized was a spin-off from her Line of Duty series until I recognized a couple characters from that one). And really enjoyed Fame & Obsession.
  • Knit: Finish Wheatfields dishcloth & Polly Wolly Doodle hat – I finished the dishcloth on Tuesdaywp-1479302187760.jpg and got the hat started.wp-1479637445126.jpg

A lot of blue for this week and almost no red. I like seeing that. Now, for next week:

  • Write – 10000 words(cutting it back because of the holiday)
  • Guarding the Heart – Polish
  • Side Projects – Write 1500 words
  • Listen: Now That It’s You(Tawna Fenske), I may pick Furious back up if I finish before I get my next credit on Friday.
  • Read: Finish Lead Me On(Victoria Dahl), If I Didn’t Care(Kait Nolan), Fly With Me(Chanel Cleeton), Rise of the Storm(Christina Ochs), To One Hundred(Melissa Blue), Fatal Secrets(Allison Brennan), Right Wrong Guy(Lia Riley), Anxious Love(Sydney Aaliyah Michelle), His to Protect(Elena Aitken), Bladelore(Krista Walsh), Raptor(Lindsay Buroker), & Perfect Fit *I know it’s a lot, but I need to read 1.5 books a day to get back on track for this month’s goal. It may not happen, but Thursday should be a big reading day. Hopefully at least.
  • Knit: Finish Polly Wolly Doodle Hat

WeWriWa: ‘Cocked Back’

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I still have 400 words to write this week to meet all my writing goals, but one kid has a birthday party to go to later this morning, and grandma is taking the other to lunch, so I’ll have the house to myself for a while. Hopefully I can get it done then. For now, I have the next 10 sentences from Dance with the Devil, picking right after last week’s.

Now, all the blood rushed back out of my face, leaving me cold, but I forced my feet to head closer to the stairs. He didn’t know anything. If Hawk really had left his mark on me, Jumper couldn’t prove anything.

“Don’t poke at him, Jeremy,” Hawk said, his voice low. He had a tendency to use first names instead of the road names we’d been given by the club.

“Funny, I thought that’s what you’d wanted to do.”

Suddenly I heard a snarl then something hitting against the wall. I turned and saw Hawk pushing Jumper up against that wall, their faces close together. This wasn’t anything like the embrace I’d just been in with Hawk. Especially as he had one fist cocked back like he’d hit someone I thought was his friend.

Is Hawk going to hit Jumper? Why did that one comment set him off? What will happen next? I should have two more snippets from this scene before moving on.

I also just got my next release, Healing the Heart, ready to go. It’s the follow-up to Duty to Protect and releases on December 2. It’s up for pre-order now on Amazon, Kobo, and B&N.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Yes”

Yes.”

“You’re saying someone put this note right on your windshield? And you do not know who it was?”

“I’ve already told you yes, Piers. What more do you want me to say about it?” Xavier spun away from him, shoving his fingers into his hair.

Piers could only stare after him for a minute. There was a lot he wanted Xavier to say to him, not the least of which was about the note he still held in his hand. “Who would do this? Who hates you so much they would do this?”

Xavier let out a bitter laugh. Piers hated hearing that sound come from the other man’s lips. Nothing about Xavier should ever be bitter. “You want me to make a list? Hell, I could probably put you on it.”

Piers could only stare at him as that wound bled. “You actually think I would do this?” he finally asked. “You think I would try to frighten you like this?”

Xavier turned back and saw the pained look in his eyes, like his words had been a self-inflicted wound as well. “I didn’t say you would be high on the list. But, if we’re making one of people who hate me, you’d at least make the bottom of it.”

And the knife twisted. “I can’t believe you would think that. I have never once hated you.”

“I don’t blame you. I screwed up, so I can’t really blame you for it.”

Would they just continue to rip each other apart? Was that what was meant for them? Piers had laid down that ultimatum three years ago, an all or nothing situation, how could he take it back now when Xavier still wasn’t willing to give all? But, it didn’t mean he hated the other man. He didn’t think he was capable of that.

“I’d destroy that list before my name ever touched it. And anyone who did make it on there.”

Xavier stared at him, his lips slightly parted, even as Piers wished he could reel the words back. They exposed too much of him, too much of the rawness that had never fully healed. He couldn’t take the look in the other man’s eyes and turned away. he started for the stairs leading out of the apartment and back down to the office space below.

“Piers,” Xavier said, his voice sounding as raw as Piers’ chest felt.

He paused at the door and looked back over his shoulder. There was so much there between them, he wasn’t at all sure how they could ever bridge it. Xavier didn’t say anything else, though, and Piers turned back for the stairs. he’d spent the last several months, ever since he’d seen Xavier again for the first time in years, if he still love him. Could he still love him. But, the answer was pretty clear.

Yes.

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This was for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt of “yes”, using it as either a word or as part of a word. I didn’t work on this story yesterday, so still had some more words to get down for it for this week. This doesn’t follow right after what I did have written, so I’ll have to fill that in later. But, this scene just kind of came to me with the prompt.

Writing Wednesday: Halfway to NaNo

Yesterday was the halfway point through the month, and NaNoWriMo. And I’m more than halfway to the 50000 word goal. So, I should probably remind myself of that when I worry about losing steam halfway through my goal for the day(yesterday). Sometimes that’s just the way things go.

Hoping today will go better, though. I’ve already added words on two of my projects. Almost time to get the kids off to school then I should be able to get even more.

Lazy Sunday afternoon

Lazy Sunday afternoon

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another WiPPet snippet. You can head over here to read some more. Today I’m sharing from Stay a Little Longer, the next in my Kurztown series. You may recognize Erik from some of the snippets I shared from Break on Me. He just kind of popped up in this scene yesterday and wouldn’t go away. Terrall was also in an earlier story, but I’m not sure I ever shared any snippets he was in. Today I have 9 paragraphs(1+1+1+6)

“Erik,” someone called from not far ahead, and the man turned his head. “There you are,” the woman said. “Gabriel was starting to get worried that you weren’t back yet.”
The man–Erik apparently–rolled his eyes before turning to the woman. “I thought he was my roommate, not my granny. You told him the last time I said that, right?”
The woman smiled and shook her head. “You know I didn’t. He wanted to come after you himself, but, well, you know.”
Obviously he did, but Terrall had no idea what they were talking about. But, Erik wrapped his arm around the woman’s waist. “See,” he said, addressing Terrall again. “Don’t need a ride when I’ve got friends worried about me. This is Lora, my roommate’s girlfriend. Lora, this is…I didn’t get your name, actually.”
“Terrall. I was actually headed into the bed and breakfast.”
For some reason, Erik smiled at that. “Looks like I’ll be making you breakfast in the morning then.”
Lora laughed and slapped a hand against his chest. “You’re terrible, Erik. He thinks you’re coming onto him.”
Terrall thought she was someone else’s girlfriend, but she was acting pretty intimate with Erik as well. Maybe the two men didn’t only share a house.
“Maybe I am,” Erik said with a wink.

Oh, Erik. Up to his old tricks of flirting with, well, pretty much anyone who breathes. Unless some other character starts yelling at me in the meantime, I have one more to write before I can finally get to his.

Now, as for how the week is progressing:

  • Write 12500 words – 7279/12500 words.
    • Defending the Heart – 776 words – “You’re an idiot,” Felipe said. “he doesn’t hate you, not even close. It was written all over his face when you were looking at each other, and if you can’t see it, you are an idiot.”
    • Crash and Burn – 1310 words – Jaya laughed at that, turning toward him, and catching heat filling his gaze. She had the sudden urge to kiss him but reeled it back. They’d barely even gotten started on their first date. It was much too soon for that.
    • Not Meant to Be – 1692 words – The lieutenant’s eyes narrowed slightly at that. “Not a lot shakes you up, Pedera. What is she to you?” Toby’s gaze dropped to his hands. “Nothing,” he said softly. “I’ve known her a long time, though. I don’t want to see her hurt.”
    • Stay a Little Longer – 1861 words – She smiled even though his voice sounded gruff. She knew he was just a big softie. Especially now that the dog plopped his butt down on the floor with one look from Doren and stared up at him with adoring eyes. She laughed when Doren pulled a small treat out of his pocket and the dog took it almost daintily from his fingers.
    • In the Moonlight – 1640 words – Oh, yuck. He really thought a lot of himself. “That’s never going to happen,” I insisted, but his smile only got wider at that. Apparently he was one of those creeps who thought ‘no’ meant a girl was playing hard to get. Yeah, not the case here. “And you’re never getting this house. I don’t even have any plans at the moment to list it for sale.”
  • Healing the Heart – proofread & format – I proofread through Chapter 22/34. I’m hoping to be through all of it by tomorrow.
  • Side Projects – Write 1500 words – 555/1500 words. Worked a little bit on all of them yesterday.
    • Dance with the Devil – 104 words – I stopped thinking about that when Hawk snaked an arm around my waist as we neared the porch and pressed a kiss to the back of my neck. I wanted him so bad right then. But, there was no way we could do this right here.
    • Snow White Twist – 100 words – Then, one of the steps around the corner creaked. She went instantly on alert. What if the queen had been here when the brothers came back? She knew they could take care of themselves, but they wouldn’t be any match against that evil woman’s magic.
    • Patrick & Sarah – 73 words – Sarah felt her hand start to tremble, and she wrapped it around the handle of her basket so he hopefully wouldn’t notice. She couldn’t help but wonder what else they had told him about her. She was well aware what everyone thought, even though she hadn’t had a man in her bed since [xx] died.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 64 words – Haiwee couldn’t take her eyes off the red man. Tavin, she reminded herself. It was different, a lot of hard edges to it. He looked like his name, his face sharp edges and hard lines. But, when he spoke, it was all soft rises and gentle drops. She thought that fit him more. 
    • Roman – 80 words – With each question, Carlos seemed to get more agitated. The guard pushed away from the wall, but Roman didn’t want his time with the boy to be cut short. He needed some answers. 
    • Dougal & Shae – 134 words – Shae lifted an eyebrow, and Donovan leaned over her shoulder. “He’s Scottish,” he said as way of an explanation. *this is the only one I’ve met my goal on this week. I may continue working on it anyway since these characters seem to have a lot to say.
  • Listen: Kissing Under the Mistletoe(Marina Adair), The Perfect Game(J. Sterling), & It Had to Be Love(Tamra Baumann) – I finished Kissing Under the Mistletoe and really enjoyed it. Started The Perfect Game and was really annoyed with it, so set it aside within the first 15 minutes. Then, started It Had to Be Love and have listened to all but an hour of it. Really enjoying it.
  • Read: Controlled Burn(Shannon Stacey), Lover Awakened(J.R. Ward), Lucky Charm(Carly Phillips), Playing for Her Heart(Megan Erickson), Fall Fast(Zoe York), Risking It All(Tessa Bailey), Fame & Obsession(Cora Kenborn), Lead Me On(Victoria Dahl) – I finished Controlled Burn and really enjoyed it. Started Lover Awakened and Lucky Charm and both are kind of “eh” so far. I don’t know exactly what it is. But, I decided to start a new book for each day, even if I haven’t finished the one from the day before. Then, if I finish that day’s I’ll go back and pick up what I’d been reading before. We’ll see how this goes. I’ll probably abandon it if a book really pulls me in. Which I started Playing for Her Heart this morning, and Megan’s books are usually ones that yank me in.
  • Knit: Finish Wheatfields dishcloth & Polly Wolly Doodle hat – I finished the dishcloth yesterday. wp-1479302187760.jpg I’ll be starting the hat later today probably.

 

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