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Archive for April, 2018

A to Z Challenge – U is for Callum Riley

This is another one I had to use a letter within the name.

Name: Callum Riley

Age: 30 years old

Description: Callum is tall and skinny, with dark brown hair and sharp green eyes.

Short Bio: Callum is the third son born to Donovan and Chrissa Riley. He is about a year and a half younger than Adrian and three years older than Darcie. He didn’t always get along with his siblings, but had a rather normal childhood until he was thirteen, when his little sister died in a house fire.

He hadn’t even realized what was going on until Adrian woke him up. He never even thought of Doreen until after he was outside. He could bear the weight of that guilt, so instead he shoved it all onto Adrian’s shoulders. Even that didn’t make him feel any better. He started sneaking out of his grandparents’ house, where they were staying until they could find a new house, and drinking. Which led to taking drugs, anything that would numb him to what his family had lost.

He spent a lot of years lost in that haze. And he ended up estranged from his family because of it. He found himself falling in with Tobin Fahey, who imagined himself a bit of a crime lord, though he wasn’t much more than a petty criminal himself. Callum never fully initiated into Tobin’s “gang”, but the man used him for his own ends. Something Callum didn’t really understand until he met and fell in love with Megan Luzat.

She tried to get him clean. And he did make the attempt for her. But, it wasn’t easy, and he failed more than once. Still, he thought she would stick by his side. Then, he was arrested and got a letter from her that basically said she wished she could erase him from her memories(She has reasons beyond what’s here, that he’ll learn later on).

He got out of prison after a couple years and has been trying to make things right. Things are still tense with Adrian, who was the one who’d arrested him. But, they are slowly mending.

Snippet:

He turned from the freezer as Adrian stepped into the kitchen and nearly laughed. He’d been wondering how much deeper he could get the man to dig into what had happened. Maybe he wouldn’t shove his foot right down his throat again. He’d dismissed it. But, now he was here. “What are you doing here?”
“Kayla said you were off today. I had a late shift, so I’m off for the rest of the day. Got a couple hours sleep, but didn’t feel like spending the rest of it cooped up in the apartment.”
“You’re not going to go spend it with your family?”
He shifted his shoulders as if uncomfortable. “Callum’s there.”
“Things were going better with him, weren’t they? He’s done with rehab, right?”
“Yeah. He spent a few months in a halfway house. All of his tests have been clean. He has a job working for David in the maintenance department up at his office. He’s living with Mom and Dad until he can get his own place. I just…it’s still tense between the two of us.”
“You’re not going to resolve that by hanging out with an old man instead of your brother.”

We really only see a few glimpses of Callum in this one. He’ll play a bigger role in book 3, then there’s his own story in book 4.

A to Z Challenge – T is for Teresa Takoda

Name: Teresa Takoda

Age: 50 years old

Description: Teresa is short and curvy. She has curly brown hair, that’s turning more to gray and brown eyes.

Short Bio: Teresa is the only child of Cesar and Sheilah Caridi. She grew up in Crystal Glen, Pennsylvania and became friends with Sarah Rafferty when they were young. They were nearly inseparable from that first moment.

Teresa was with Sarah when the other woman met James Brooke. Teresa was attracted to the man as well, she didn’t understand how someone wouldn’t be. But, it was obvious her friend was even more than that. So, she took a step back. And was happy to see them married barely a year later. When they welcomed their son, Kieran, she thought of him as her nephew. And when Sarah and Kieran died in a fire a little more than a year after the boy was born, she grieved.

Teresa didn’t have any desire to stay there any longer. She traveled around some before settling in Pittsburgh and getting a job at a library there. Which is where she met Joseph Takoda. They married a couple years later then had Samantha and nearly seven years later, Christopher.

They’d been married a little more than sixteen years when Joseph was killed during an apparent mugging. Shortly after his funeral, Samantha ran away. Teresa was never able to find her, though she’d get occasional phone calls over the years. Only to ask for money, which Teresa didn’t have to give.

And then cops came to her door once more, to tell her Samantha had been found dead. And she’d left behind a six-year-old daughter, who was now Teresa’s to care for. But, they were all struggling to move on from this latest blow. So, Teresa decided to move them back to her hometown, hoping the change would give them all a chance at a new start.

Snippet:

Teresa Takoda lifted a box out of the back of the truck and turned toward the house. Her father walked back toward her. “How much more you got?” he asked.
“A few boxes. The beds and dressers are in the back. You have anyone to help with that? I can, but-”
“Don’t you worry, dear Resa,” he said, bringing back so many memories of her childhood with that name. “I got someone coming. Carrick’s a good guy. Granted he was just getting started in the construction business when we had the restaurant, but his father had the business first and was a good man, too.”
“I don’t need a construction worker. The house is fine, Dad.”
“Didn’t say it wasn’t. Did I mention he’s got four sons to help him? We’ll get the stuff moved just fine. Why don’t you call and check on Avery like I know you want to.”
Teresa let out a breath, but he was right. She did want to check on the girl. She turned away from the truck and pulled out her phone, quickly bringing her mother’s number up on the screen. She heard a laugh in her mother’s voice when she asked, “You guys done already?”
“No, Mom. Just waiting for some friend of Dad’s to get here to help move the furniture in. How’s Avery?”
“She’s doing fine, Teresa. Chris convinced her to let him push her on the swing. Let me know when you’re done, and we’ll pick up some dinner on the way home.”
A pickup truck approached the one they’d rented for the move, the name ‘Hunter Construction’ printed on the side. Besides the man driving, two other men, probably in their late thirties, and a young woman, maybe twenty-five sat inside. She wondered about that since her dad had said the man had four sons. “Dad’s friend is here. Call me if Avery has any issues. This move has been hard on her. Maybe we shouldn’t have-”
“Relax, Teresa. You made the best decision you could. The judge wouldn’t have approved you to relocate with her if it hadn’t been in her best interest. I was there when he said exactly that. You’ve had her for more than six months, and staying in Pittsburgh wouldn’t be in her best interest. Maybe she’ll improve more up here. And it’s good to be home, isn’t it?”

Sunday Summary: Steady Week

It was a pretty steady weak for me. I made progress and ended up being able to cross just about everything off my list for the week. Friday I had a sudden burst of words, so that was certainly good.

There’s not much more to say about the week, so I’ll get right into my progress.

Color Code:

Finished/Monthly Goal Met

Progress

Nothing Done

Set Aside

Plotting:

  • Primary: Nowhere to Run – Outline
    • This week: List all scenes in Scrivener, Outline Act 1
  • Secondary: Craving You – Outline
    • This week: Erik’s back story, Jeff’s back story
  • Tertiary: Flames of Knowledge – Outline Acts 2, 3, & 4
    • This week: Outline Act 2 – 20/20 scenes outlined
  • Stretch: Heart to Heart – Brainstorm

Writing:

  • Primary: Flames of Knowledge – Chapter 21/42 – 26142/~35000 words
    • This week: Through Chapter 15/21 – Through Chapter 15/15
      • “I can’t see you doing that. When have you ever screwed anything up? That’s me, remember?”
        “Except you have two kids and a woman who is so ready to walk down the aisle and marry you. You’re not a screw up, Callum.”
        “Not anymore. That doesn’t change the things I’ve done before. You’re going to be fine, Connor. Trust me, this family won’t let you be anything else.”
  • Secondary: Side Projects – 3350 words – 2893/3350 words
    • This week:
      • Kayla & Reese: 1000 words – 1019/1000
  • Tertiary: Jonas & Isaac – 15 pages – 12.67/15 pages
    • This week: 3.25 pages – 3.67/3.25 pages
  • By the Gun – 2000 words

Editing:

  • Primary: Stained Blood – Beta edits
  • Secondary: Flames of Renewal – Send to Betas(if anyone’s interested in giving feedback, let me know. You can find a summary here)
  • Tertiary: Short Story Collection
    • Mistaken Meeting
    • Hang On
      • This week: edit 5 scenes – 6/5, 2451 words
    • Bree & Jenny
  • Stretch: Law of Choice – send to CP

Reading:

  • Read: 20 books – 16/20
    • Melting Into You(Tracey Alvarez) – Started this Sunday morning. Finished it Sunday evening.
    • Echoes in Death(J.D. Robb) – Started this Sunday night. Finished it Friday night.
    • Love on the Tracks(Tamsen Parker) – Started this Monday night. At 11%
    • Into the Fire(Suzanne Brockmann) – Started this on Wednesday morning. On page 190/578
  • Listen: 5 books – 12/5
    • The Bridegroom Wore Plaid(Grace Burrows) – Started this Saturday morning. Finished it Monday afternoon.
    • Her Every Wish(Courtney Milan) – Started this Monday afternoon. Finished it Monday evening.
    • The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie(Jennifer Ashley) – Started this Tuesday morning. Finished it Tuesday evening.
    • Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage(Jennifer Ashley) – Started this Wednesday morning. On Chapter 21/23
    • The Many Sins of Lord Cameron(Jennifer Ashley) – Started this Thursday morning. Finished it Friday afternoon.
    • The Duke’s Perfect Wife(Jennifer Ashley) – Started this Friday afternoon. On Chapter 7/24

Social Media:

Crafting:

  • Knit: Dunfallandy Baby Blanket
    • This week: get more yarn, finish side 1 of border, picked up stitches for side 2 & knit 2 rows
  • Crochet: Boxy Blanket
    • This week: get to 40 rows – On row 40/40

WeWriWa: “Poking and Prodding”

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’m continuing with Hawk’s story, though I’ve skipped a couple lines ahead.

I was gasping for breath again, spots flashing behind my eyes, darkness rising then ebbing again. “Can you hold yourself upright?”

I tried to focus on Wraith’s voice to keep me in the here and now, but the struggle to stay present made me feel like I was going to throw up. “Not on a bike, I’m pretty sure.”

“I didn’t expect that. I already called Icarus, and he’s sending someone out with a truck. We need a way to haul your bike back to the clubhouse anyway. Should take you to the hospital as well.”

“No,” I gasped out, “I’m fine. I don’t need them poking and prodding at me.”

Why doesn’t Hawk want to go to the hospital? Will they talk him into it anyway? Will the truck get there before more trouble shows up? I may answer some of those questions next week. 😉

A to Z Challenge – S is for Silas Lunden

Name: Silas Lunden

Age: 20 years old

Description: Silas is tall and a little on the scrawny side. He has nearly black hair, bright blue eyes, and wears glasses.

Short Bio: Silas is the oldest child of Henry and Sally Lunden. He has two younger sisters, Shelby and Hadley. When Silas was twelve, they moved to Crystal Glen. During the next school year, he met Jeremiah Brooke while playing baseball. They became fast friends.

When he was fifteen, Jeremiah is the first person he told he was attracted to guys. Jeremiah barely even blinked at the revelation. Coming out to his parents went just about as well. Silas had always been pretty comfortable in his own skin. Unfortunately, he was also pretty sure he was in love with his best friend. And also sure Jeremiah would never return those feelings.

He played baseball through high school and got an athletic scholarship to the local college, where he majored in biophysics. At his high school graduation party, he took a risk and kissed Jeremiah when no one was watching. It wasn’t the last time they kissed that summer, but they never really talked about what it meant.

And shortly after Silas started his first semester of classes(Jeremiah was a year behind him, so still in high school), Jeremiah had a girlfriend. So, Silas figured their kissing days were over. Jeremiah started getting distant that winter, and Silas was afraid they’d damaged their friendship. That summer he found out he’d been wrong. Jeremiah had been questioning himself but not their friendship.

When the next fall semester started, they had a dorm room together. Silas also had a boyfriend, so nothing happened between them. But, now they’re getting an apartment just off campus together and both are single, so who knows what will happen(haha! I do :p)

Snippet:

Silas rapped his knuckles on the back door then pushed it open without waiting for a response. “Hey, Mrs. Brooke,” he said, walking over and snatching a strip of green pepper she’d just cut. He popped it into his mouth even as she shifted a look his way.

“Those are for dinner, Silas,” she told him. “Are you going to be joining us? Jeremiah should be coming down from his room soon.”

“Yeah. Sure,” he said, hoping he didn’t sound too eager.

“Good,” she said with a soft smile. “We haven’t seen you around much this summer. That boyfriend’s been keeping you away.”

His smile fell, and she seemed to notice, her eyes going soft. “What happened?”

He shrugged one shoulder. “Nonsense. I didn’t need his drama anyways.” He’d claimed not to want to share Silas with Jeremiah. Silas hadn’t been able to convince him that wasn’t the situation. So, no, he didn’t need the drama. He also wasn’t going to tell Jeremiah’s mother any of that. Not until Jer told his family he was bi. He didn’t want to be the one to put any suspicions in their mind and have them questioning Jeremiah.

“Well, I’m sorry. Are you okay?”

He smiled again. “Just fine. I bounce back.”

She gave a little laugh then hugged him. “You’re always welcome here, you know.”

“Thanks, Mrs. B,” he said before disentangling himself. “I think I’ll go up and see what Jeremiah’s up to.

“Okay. Tell him dinner will be ready in about fifteen minutes. His uncle’s here, and his sister and Adrian are coming over, too.”

“Will do,” he said, walking backward through the door to the living room. He gave a wave to the two Brooke men in the living room then lunged up the stairs. He didn’t even bother knocking, just opened Jeremiah’s door and stepped in.

Jeremiah looked up from the book he was reading. It looked thick, like a textbook. “Seriously? It’s summer, Jer. I’m not even that obsessive about things.”

Jeremiah laughed and set the book aside. Essentials of Firefighting. Well, that made sense then. He always seemed to be studying that book. “Thought you weren’t applying to the fire academy for another year.”

“I’m not, but it never hurts to study.”

With a shake of his head, Silas moved over to the bed to join him. “Dinner’s in fifteen minutes according to your mom,” he said. “So we only have a little time for this.” He slipped a hand behind Jeremiah’s head and pressed his mouth to his friend’s.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Spoke”

When Isaac didn’t answer him, Jonas started to worry. Who could be at the door that Isaac wouldn’t just call back to tell him? Half-formed theories raced through his head, but he put them all down and struggled to sit up. His crutches were back in his room and his leg wasn’t within reach. But, he still needed to figure out what was going on.

But, even as he’d slid to the edge of the couch, Isaac stumbled back into the living room. “What is going on?” Jonas demanded, but Isaac didn’t look at him.

Isaac’s voice shook when he spoke. “I already told you that you can’t be here. You need to leave before the police get here.”

“You wouldn’t call the cops on your own father, Isaac. I know you better than that.”

Jonas tried to shoot up to his feet at that voice, one he hadn’t heard since he’d sat with Isaac in that courtroom seven years ago. He’d forgotten he couldn’t do that anymore, though. He grabbed for the arm of the couch before he could tumble to the floor.

Isaac glanced over his shoulder at Jonas. Their eyes met for a moment, and it was all Isaac’s father needed to strike.

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

Uh oh. Not looking so good for these two, is it? This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use “spoke” somewhere, in some form, in your post. Bonus points if you don’t use it in the first sentence. This follows right after last week’s.

Fiction Friday: Hang On – Aidan Comes Homes

I’m still working on editing Hang On, so this week I’m sharing another new scene that I’ve added to the story. This part takes place about a year after the beginning of the scene(which I’m turning into a prologue for the real story). This is in Aidan’s POV.

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

I pulled the truck into the driveway, surprised not to see Ian’s car there waiting. He’d planned to stay home today, work on his new picture book idea. His first one was going to be released in just a couple months. He didn’t know it, but I’d already pre-ordered enough to give to everyone we knew.
Maybe his mom had called and needed something. Of course, he would drop anything to go help her or his father. That was the kind of guy Ian was. He’d drop anything for my parents or siblings, too. It was only one of the many reasons I loved that man.
I slung my tool belt over my shoulder and took it into the house with me. I might mostly just work up the plans these days, but I wasn’t above getting my hands dirty with the rest of the crew as well. In fact, I enjoyed doing it.
But, right now about all I wanted to enjoy was a shower and a beer. And maybe Ian’s hands all over me. Yes, I would definitely enjoy that as well. If only I knew where the hell he was.
I tried the door only to find it locked. Of course, it was if he wasn’t here. I’d hoped maybe he’d just loaned his car out or maybe he’d taken it to the garage. He kept meaning to do that. But, no, he must actually not be here.
Hopefully he’d be back soon. I may have just seen him this morning, but that didn’t mean I didn’t miss him. And anyway, I had something important to ask him. I couldn’t do that during one of our short phone conversations during the day.
I’d hoped to be home sooner, but I knew we weren’t going to have many more nice days before the weather turned to finish this job, so we’d used every moment of light we could get from the day.
I dropped the belt on the table, even knowing Ian would get after me about that when he got home. Smiling to myself a little, I headed through the kitchen. That might have been exactly why I’d done it. I don’t know why, but him lecturing me seemed to flip all my switches. I was odd, I knew that.
Maybe he’d get home while I was in the shower and come in to join me just for that lecture. Lost a bit in that fantasy, I almost didn’t notice the slip of paper sitting on the counter. Ian must have left a note letting me know he wouldn’t be here. I’d already figured that out, so I just kept walking to the bathroom, stripping as I went.
I was sure Ian would get the hint when he got back.
But, he never joined me in the shower. I stepped out of it and grabbed the towel off the rack, drying off before wrapping it around my waist. Disappointment weighed on me as I padded out of the bathroom and down the hall to our bedroom. The house was still silent. Where was Ian?
Disappointment started to shift toward worry. Even if Ian had gone to help his parents with something, he should have been back by now. Once I was dressed, I’d give him a call and see where the hell he was. I dragged on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt then headed back toward the kitchen, checking my phone as I walked. No voice mails or texts from Ian either. I almost felt an itch along my shoulder blades. I ignored it. I didn’t get premonitions. Everything was fine.
I was removing the top from the bottle of beer when I saw the slip of paper on the counter again. I strode over and snapped it up. Ian would usually just text me, not leave an actual note. Why did he this time? I glanced down at the note as I took the first sip of beer. Then spit it back out as the words sank in.
Went climbing. See you tonight. Love you.
That was it. Not even signing his name. I glanced out the window. Sure it had been a decent day, but it had been cooling off with a wind picking up as evening came on. And it was getting dark earlier. Why would Ian have gone climbing on his own.
It didn’t make any sense.
I set the beer bottle down and grabbed my shoes. We didn’t climb alone. Ian knew that. If he had gone out there, I’d make sure he stayed safe.

A to Z Challenge – R is for Robert Brooke

Name: Robert Brooke

Age: 73 years old

Description: Robert is tall, with nearly white hair and green eyes.

Short Bio: Robert was raised in a firefighting family, and he never even thought about taking a different path. His older brother, Zachary, died fighting a fire, but he kept on with it even after that. He married Carol, and they had two sons, James and Zachary, who would also join the fire service.

He loved his family even more than fighting fires, and was always glad to be able to have both. It nearly destroyed him to watch his older son fall apart when he lost his wife and son to fire. Even worse, though, was the way he completely shut his memories away to be able to deal with it. He wanted to tell James that would only come back to haunt him.

But, he was able to watch two of his grandchildren, Kayla and Jeremiah, grow up and also follow in the family’s firefighting path. He wasn’t sure he could be more proud. He lost Carol to her own body’s deterioration just a few months ago and is still coming to grips with that.

Snippet:

James wasn’t so sure, but he hoped his brother was right. He glanced toward the door again. At least this time he kept his eyes open. He wanted to see Teresa again, but he needed to take care of something else first. “Is Dad out there?”
Zachary shook his head. “He was for a little bit, but he went home. Said he didn’t want to sit around here waiting for you to get your lazy ass up.”
James laughed. He doubted those had been his exact words. “Can you call him and ask if he remembers what he did with Mom’s ring?”
His brother’s eyes narrowed. “You said you didn’t want it. She left it to you, but you didn’t want it.”
It would have been Sarah’s if she’d lived long enough. He couldn’t feel the guilt for that. Not when so much love filled him now. “I didn’t want it then. I do now.”
Zachary’s eyes sparkled. “Don’t worry, he remembers. I’d say it will look good on Teresa’s finger.” He turned toward the door then paused. “Do you want it right away? I could get it from him before visiting hours are over.”
He wanted to ask her right away, but it should wait. At least until after he got out of the hospital. “No. I’ll stop and get it when I get out of here.”

I know, Robert isn’t actually in this bit, but it’s the closest he really comes to making it on the page in this story.

A to Z Challenge – Q is for Quinn Parnell

Name: Quinn Parnell

Age: 33

Description: Quinn is tall with a lean build. He has curly brown hair and blue eyes.

Short Bio: He has only been a very minor character in the series, so I don’t know much about his past. He is an officer with the Crystal Glen police department and often works with Adrian on cases.

Snippet:

James stepped out of his car and rubbed at his hand, still sore from his stupid move earlier that day. Maybe that would teach him to take on a brick wall. He rolled his eyes then headed up to the house. He noted the police cruiser parked at the curb and nodded at the man climbing out of the car. He waited for him to approach. “Officer…Parnell,” he said, reading the man’s badge. “I’m-”
“I know, Investigator. I was there back in February. I remember you.”
February. Back when Kayla had nearly gotten herself killed. No wonder he didn’t recognize the man. Most of what had happened that day was a blur. “I’m a friend of Ms. Takoda’s.”
“Yes, she said to expect you. You can go on in.”
James nodded at him then headed up the sidewalk. At least they seemed to be taking this seriously. Teresa had the door open before he even stepped up onto the porch. She smiled, but her lips trembled. “James.”

A to Z Challenge – P is for Pierce Riley

Name: Pierce Riley

Age: 21 years old

Description: Pierce is tall and lanky with nearly black hair and blue eyes.

Short Bio: Pierce is the oldest child of Brannon and Nessa Riley. He has two younger sisters, Lacey and Aileen, and a younger brother, Cody. He had a pretty easy childhood, despite losing his cousin, Doreen, in a house fire when they were young. Unlike most of his family, he didn’t feel like following in the family’s career footsteps. Instead of heading toward the police force, he went a more academic route. He’s been in college for a few years and thrives there.

Snippet:

Pierce glanced across the pond to where the little girl was running around with some of his own nieces and nephews and his grandpa’s dogs. He didn’t know whose she was, but there were a few new people out here for this picnic. He felt an arm wrap around his waist and glanced down at the top of his mother’s head.

“Glad you made it today,” she said. “I’m guessing we won’t see a lot of you now that the semester’s started.”

He didn’t hear a lot of censure in her voice, but he still had to keep from wincing. “I’ll try not to get too swamped this time.”

She laughed. “You say that every semester, Pierce. Then, you take on more tutoring clients and sign up for workshops and…”

He sighed. “I get it, Mom. I’m a workaholic.”

“And you take after your father, so I can only complain so much. I did marry the man after all.”

He didn’t get accused of being like his father too much. It may not be one of his best attributes, the tendency to get lost in work, but he’d take it.

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