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WeWriWa: This Day

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. Still sharing from Hawk’s story and hoping I don’t end up catching up to myself. I think I’m still safe for now. Last week, we left Hawk remembering the last time one of them had been used as bait to get at the other. Picking right back up from there:

I reached out and cupped a hand around his cheek. “That’s not going to happen,” I told him. “They took me by surprise; I won’t let it happen again.” Then, I pressed my lips to his.

A chuckle from the front seat had me pulling my head back. Then, I met Mr. Bentley’s gaze in the rearview mirror. His face wrinkled from how wide he smiled. “I always figured this day would come,” he said.

“What day?” Damon asked, his brow furrowing.

So what day has come? What’s going to happen next?

And if you want, I have Chapter 9 up on Wattpad now. So you can check that out.

Sunday Summary: Gathering

I had a pretty good start to the week, even with the holiday throwing some things off. Then, there was Thursday. It started off pretty well. Then, my computer started acting up. Kept saying it wasn’t responding and everything was running slow. Ended up restarting and I lost a whole scene from Whatever It Takes. Most of which I’d written on Wednesday, so I have no clue why it didn’t save(I don’t think I’ve ever had that problem with Scrivener before). Thankfully I had most of it saved in a document. Since I’m writing 5 different projects for Camp NaNo, whenever I finish my words for the day on each, I copy them into one document to make it easier to validate my count at the end of the month. So, I at least still had Wednesday’s words for that scene. I just had to retype the ~200 I’d written Thursday morning. It wasn’t a huge deal, but still a pain. At least after the restart it was working better.

Made a swing for the fire hydrant sprinkler with her helmet.

This weekend our town has ‘The Gathering at French Creek’, and Friday night they have fireworks. Our fire department has a food tent there(this year they brought back the chicken barbeque instead of the sausage and onions they’ve done the last couple years) and the Explorers post sells pop right next to it. My husband is an adviser for the Explorers, so he had to be there. He picked us up after work and we went in, met up with his mother and walked around. There was a paparazzi jewelry tent and the girl ended up getting 2 rings(they were $1 each). I don’t know where she gets it, I hate dressing up and wearing jewelry, and she loves it. Then, we ended up staying for the fireworks. I may have mentioned before that I really don’t like fireworks. My anxiety was already up before we even left the house, and there were way too many people there. So when the fireworks started going off, I was already on edge. And then my rational brain and anxiety brain start arguing. Which is basically:

Rational brain: They’re just fireworks. They aren’t going to kill you.

Anxiety: Yes. They will.

So, fun times.

The girl and her pup

Saturday was a pretty laidback day. Husband had to go back to the Gathering to work the tents again, but we stayed home. I got a lot of reading done and wrote another short back story for Jonas and Isaac(this one overlaps with a scene from Not Meant to Be). Today should be another laidback day, though we do need to go get groceries at some point.

Writing:

  • Heart of Christmas – 10000 words – 2953/10000 words, 2684 this week
    • “What do you want?” he cried, flinging his arms out, the keys flying as he pulled them back out. “You want me to say I wish he hadn’t come in and messed with you? That’s true. You want me to say I want to smash his face in? That’s true, too. You want me to admit the man who raised me is a drunken git, and now that he’s set his sights on you, I’m bloody well terrified.”
  • Still Burning – 10000 words – 2779/10000 words, 2379 this week
    • She’d known she wasn’t good for him. That she’d be a destroying force in his life. Which was why she kept trying to let him go. It didn’t seem to do anything good. They were like opposite ends of magnets, pulling back to each other, no matter how either of them fought it.
  • Whatever It Takes – 10000 words – 2737/10000 words, 2471 this week
    • “You’re listening to this again?” Alexa asked.
      “What? I like it.” And some of the songs felt like they fit her life so well. Particularly the one talking about living life on your knees and needing to rise up. She’d been there.
  • High on Loving You – 10000 words – 2824/10000 words, 2605 this week
    • “What’s up with Bry?” he asked.
      She shook her head. “He wants to talk to Dad first before he tells anyone else.”
      “But, he told you?” Morgan asked. He shouldn’t feel jealous that his brother had turned to their sister. They’d never really been confidantes.
  • By the Gun – 10000 words – 2613/10000 words, 2343 this week
    • There was no point going forward. But, he didn’t know if he could go back, either. How could he return without Rosalyn? How could he go on knowing he’d failed his family in so many ways?
  • Side Projects – 10000 words – 2462/10000 words, 2462 this week
    • Midas’ Daughter – 112 words “Calla isn’t yours,” Flip insisted, turning back just in time for James’ fist to hit his eye.
    • Hawk – 244 words – It hadn’t been the Corps that had taught me most of my surveillance techniques. It had been a survival skill in my childhood. The Corps had just helped me enhance and refine those techniques.
    • Jared’s Stepfather – 113 words – “But, what if he does it again. I don’t want you to get hurt again.”
    • Preggers – 217 words – “You deserve more than someone okay with who you are,” Marika said sharply. “They should love and be proud of every piece of who you are.”
    • Sean & Braeden – 174 words – He had to get out of there before he admitted the truth to Sean. That he’d loved him when they were still boys. And he’d never once stopped.
    • Mike & Fadil – 274 words – “Yes,” she said quickly, and he knew it was lie. But, she wouldn’t tell him if she did need something. Tough. He’d send her a check soon anyway. Like he did every month, even though it wasn’t court-ordered. 
    • Jacob & Matthew – 723 words(most of these are rewritten from a scene from Stained Blood) – Jacob wondered how many people did yet. It probably wouldn’t take long. The sheriff’s prodigal son returned would be big news.
    • Dougal & Shae – 120 words – She skirted around the edge of the kitchen and headed for the door leading out to the back yard. Maybe if she could get some air and solitude she’d be able to face people without wanting to punch the first person who spoke to her. *Shae’s got a bit of a temper there.
    • Roman – 154 words – He just wasn’t sure exactly how to do that. So, he left while she finished setting the table. He’d come back to what he needed to talk about later. It wouldn’t be a good time right now. It would only show her she really couldn’t trust him.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 119 words – But, she couldn’t just leave him out there on his own.
    • Patrick & Sarah – 212 words – She looked up at him for a long moment, her eyes softening. Then, she stiffened and glanced down at Will. “Where’s your brother?” she asked, obviously realizing only one of her sons was there.

Editing:

  • Stained Blood – Beta edits – Chapter 1/26, 0 this month
  • Flames of Renewal – CP edits
  • In the Moonlight – Read Through & Revise – Read through Chapter 8/32
  • Hang OnPolish & Submit

Reading:

  • Listen: 5 books – 1/5
    • Bitterblue(Kristin Cashore) – Started this last Monday morning. Finished it Wednesday morning. Loved it.
    • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue(Mackenzi Lee) – downloaded this Wednesday morning. Started listening Thursday morning(would have started sooner but someone *coughShancough* got me hooked on the Hamilton soundtrack and was listening to that in the odd moments instead). On Chapter 14/30
  • Read: 30 books – 10/30, 8 this week
    • Speak No Evil(Allison Brennan) – Started this Sunday afternoon. Finished this Monday night. Really enjoyed it.
    • Knit Tight(Annabeth Albert) – Started this Monday night. Finished it Tuesday afternoon. Really enjoyed it.
    • Taking him On(Debbie McGowan) – Started this Tuesday evening. Finished it Wednesday evening. Loved it.
    • The Trouble with Goodbye(Sarra Cannon) – Read this Wednesday night. Liked it.
    • Song of Wishrock Harbor(Krista Walsh) – Started this Wednesday night. Finished it Thursday night. Loved this one.
    • It Started with a Kiss(Marina Adair) – Started this Thursday night. Finished it Friday evening. Loved it.
    • Protector(Becca J Campbell) – Started this Friday evening. Finished it Saturday afternoon. Enjoyed it.
    • Home Ice(Katie Kenyhercz) – Started this Saturday afternoon. Finished it Saturday evening. Enjoyed it.
    • Winter of the Wolf(Christina Ochs) – Started this Saturday night. At 14%

 

Teaser Tuesday: One Touch – The Prince

I didn’t share anything last week. I’m kind of between editing projects right now, or at least in a limbo of waiting. But, I decided to work on some of the side projects I need to edit while waiting to get other stuff back. So today I have part of one of those. I started this twist on Snow White last year and had hoped to submit it to the World Unknown Review then, but I didn’t have it finished in time. Now, I’m down to the final polishing of it, so I’ll be able to submit it this year.

She had filled the second bucket of water from the well when the clopping of hooves approached. Eira set the bucket to the side before looking up. A white horse, with long graceful lines and majestic carriage, headed toward her. A man, no, a boy not much older than her, rode on the horse’s back. He appeared about as graceful and majestic as his horse.

Her breath caught in her throat as he came closer. Beautiful. Both of them were absolutely beautiful. She couldn’t look away. As he came closer, his eyes seemed to come right to her. As if he was looking for her. His teeth flashed, so white and perfect, when his gaze fell on her. He urged his horse closer.

She couldn’t take her eyes off him. Almost like she was under some kind of spell. That was foolish. Magic wasn’t real. If it was, her wish should have come true after the amulet disappeared from the well. That happened because she’d come back as soon as she’d gotten free from the guards. It had already been gone. Two days had passed and still nothing happened.

Maybe this was him, the fulfillment of her wish. He wasn’t anything like what she pictured. She hadn’t asked for someone royal, and from what she saw of him, he appeared to be from the court. Maybe not hers, but certainly from one. He was dark-haired, a lot like her, his skin pale in contrast. Not a fighter who would help rule her kingdom.

Now he was right in front of her. “Milady.” He swept his body down along his horse’s neck in a bow. Even the horse lowered to one knee, as if it had been orchestrated. This was all too much. She could barely believe it.

He  slid his leg over and dropped right to the ground. “May I help you with your burden? I could carry the buckets to the palace for you.”

“No, you couldn’t,” she told him, not lowering her eyes. A lot of the other ladies of the court did just that. She wasn’t lower than this man, even if he was as much as a duke  As soon as her next birthday passed, they’d be planning her coronation as Queen. “This water isn’t going to the palace.”

Some sort of shadow passed over his eyes. It was gone a moment later, and he smiled at her again. She shivered a little, as if that shadow had gone through her as well.  He bent down to lift one of the buckets. “Tell me where to carry it to, Milady.”

She still didn’t know who he was or where he’d come from, so she wasn’t so sure about this. The guards watching her hardly noticed him. They must not view him as a threat. Therefore, she wouldn’t either.

“I’ll lead the way,” she said. Although having him at her back didn’t make her feel any more comfortable. There was no reason for that. He was helping her.

When they reached her day maid’s house, she said, “Set it down by the door.”

Once both buckets were there, she knocked briskly then walked away. Rhiain had to know she was the one leaving the water for their little girl, but she didn’t need to be thanked for it. She did what anyone should.

Even if her stepmother didn’t agree with that sentiment.

She didn’t realize until she’d reached the main road back to the palace that the handsome stranger no longer followed her. She looked around, but there was no sign of him. No sign he’d ever even been there.

He must have taken another path back to his horse. Yes, that had to be it.

 

Fiction Friday: Dance with the Devil – Chapter 4

And I’m back with the next chapter of Dance with the Devil. If you haven’t started yet, or need to catch up, the previous chapters are all available on Wattpad. And here is the beginning of Chapter 4:

“You sure it’s a good idea to be getting back on your bike?”

I turned from checking my saddlebags—everything was still in place from the day before—and saw Bull standing only yards away, his arms crossed over his chest. “Didn’t know I was required to stay here. Just because you put me on probation didn’t know I’d be treated like a prospect again.”

Bull’s face pulled down into a scowl. “You’re going to want to start watching that mouth, Devil. You’re already on thin ice. Mouthing off to me or any of the other officers isn’t going to endear you to us.”

I couldn’t help but think about Hawk. He was the only one I wanted to endear to. No, no, no. No! I couldn’t think like that. Especially not when facing one of the men who held my future in his hands.

I was sure that was a smirk twisting his lips up. He couldn’t know what I was thinking. Could he? I couldn’t let him. But, I remembered that hurt in Hawk’s eyes once again, and it twisted a knife right through my gut.

“What’s wrong?” Bull dropped his arms and took a step toward him. “Your head still hurting?”

I hadn’t thought I’d reacted physically to that emotional pain, but apparently I had after all. “It’s fine. I need to get out of here.”

Bull studied me for a moment then nodded. “I get it. Despite what you might think, I do understand. Just watch yourself out there.”

“Yeah. Whatever.” I said and pulled my helmet down over my head. If I didn’t get out of here soon, I would lose my mind.

The ride back to my place didn’t do the usual job of clearing my head. In fact, it seemed to be spinning even more. Maybe Bull had been right. I gritted my teeth at that thought.

By the time I made it up the stairs to my apartment, I was pretty sure I was going to be sick. I should have stayed back at the clubhouse a little longer. If I had done that, I’d probably be climbing the walls. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I’d been able to get a little more sleep the night before. I hadn’t been able to forget the feel of Hawk’s hand on my elbow, making sure I didn’t fall as we headed to my bedroom. Or the sight of him pulling down the sheets for me.

You can check out the rest of the chapter here. And I’ll be back with Chapter 5 next week.

Teaser Tuesday: In the Moonlight – Hidden Staircase

Sharing more of In the Moonlight this week for Teaser Tuesday. From Yasmin’s POV this week. They’re heading up a hidden staircase here.

“Do these go all the way up?”
“Right up to the attic,” Nola said. “Or they used to. The door to the attic has been closed off for a long time. Ms. Adriane wasn’t even sure how long. We were always told to stay off the third floor, though.”
I’d been given the same warning, too. Not that I’d always heeded it. I’d never been able to get through the door to the attic, either, though. And there’d been a heavy feeling on that third floor. I’d never been able to explain it.
But, I felt it back there, too. Maybe it had just been the fact no one used these spaces anymore.
I took a couple more steps up the stairs and it was almost like whispers swirled around me. Words of desire, wishes, promises. I gripped the railing a little tighter even though it didn’t feel all that sturdy. “Nola,” I said quietly, my heart hammering faster.
She stopped and looked back at me. “What is it? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
I shook my head. “No, but I think I felt her. Something must have happened back here.”
She gave a soft laugh and turned back to go up the steps. “I’ve told you. Those are all stories. There aren’t actually any ghosts here.”
“Haven’t you ever felt her, seen her?”
She shook her head a little too fast. Maybe she just didn’t want to believe it. But, I knew there was something more here. And I was going to find out exactly what had happened to have her haunting this house.
But, then, Nola took my hand and led me up to the next landing. We went down a short corridor and she opened another door. The hallway was empty, but I recognized it. My bedroom was just down to the right. I didn’t have any idea how I’d never noticed this door. Until Nola closed it again, and it nearly blended right in with the wall.
“Mom hated when we’d play hide and seek back here,” Nola said. “Teagen did, too, because she always forgot where the opening was. So, she’d tattle on us for it.”
“Gotta say it again, Nola,” I said. “But, your older sister is a bitch. Always has been.”
Nola laughed then turned to me and pressed her lips hard against mine. At least she wasn’t angry at me for badmouthing her sister. “I know,” she said, then she was tugging me the rest of the way to my bedroom.

Story a Day: Day 9 – “Mike”

Not following the prompt for today’s Story a Day. Instead I’m following up with Mike & Fadil.

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

Mike stepped through the doorway to the space between the front desk, drive through alcove, and where they mixed the prescriptions. He glanced back over his shoulder once. That man still stood at the counter, his arms crossed and a scowl on his face.

Mike probably shouldn’t find that look so hot.

Fadil Asker. He’d seen pictures of the man when he’d gone to visit Layla a few times. He probably should have recognized him. But, neither Layla nor Janine had said anything about him coming to town. And he’d never seen him in the flesh.

“What’s going on, Mike,” his boss asked, coming up behind him. “Kind of hard to wait on customers from back here.”

Mike jerked. Shit. He’d gotten caught ogling a customer. Probably not a good thing. “Yes, but, um…” His boss arched one eyebrow at him. Right. He didn’t usually stammer. “He said he’s here to pick up Layla Asker’s prescriptions. That he’s her son, and Janine was supposed to get it set up for him. But, we don’t have anything.”

His boss sighed and glanced out there. “Yeah,” he said finally. “I can see it. He looks a lot like his father. I haven’t seen him since Asim’s funeral, though.”

“I don’t remember that.”

“You were rather busy with a new baby and vainly trying to make things work with Jess.”

Mike couldn’t help but smile at that. They were a lot better off as friends and co-parents. But, he would never regret what had resulted in his baby girl. “Can we help him?”

His boss nodded. “I’ll call Layla just to double-check he is here for her then we’ll get him in the system.”

Mike nodded. “Good. Thanks. I’ll just go let him know.”

“You do that, Mike,” his boss said, and he was pretty sure there was laughter in the man’s voice. Mike decided to ignore that and went back out to face Fadil.

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

These two. *sigh*. Mike was only supposed to be a very minor character in Stay a Little Longer(which was Jess’ story). He ended up playing a bigger part and Fadil was even more of a surprise. And then they insisted on their own story, so I started a novella about how they met.

Story a Day: Day 7 – “So Mean”

Yesterday’s prompt was to explore a character’s emotional wound, so I went back to when Austin was about 7. Today’s is to take someone you’ve fallen out of touch with and think of a question you’d want to ask them and fictionalize it. So, I’m switching to Jess, the other main character in Still Burning. Her and Austin have a bit of a push & pull relationship through some of the other Flames novels(basically he pushes for just a little more, and she pulls away. And then they start all over again). This is when Jess is about 13.

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

“Are you sure you’re even a girl?”

Jess looked across the lunch table at Ashley, who she’d always considered a friend. Maybe even her best friend. She certainly wasn’t good at making them. Not nearly as good as her brother, Jace. “That’s what they tell me,” she said.  She wasn’t going to admit the question made her want to cry. What did that even mean, though?

“You don’t act like one,” Ashley went on. “You don’t ever dress like one. You’ve never had a boyfriend. I don’t think you’ve ever even had a crush on one. What’s wrong with you?”

“There’s nothing wrong with me,” Jess snapped, even though the piece of pizza she’d just swallowed felt like lumpy paste in her throat. “Why do you always have to be so mean.”

“I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true. I don’t know why you’re getting mad at me.”

Jess wasn’t even sure how to put words to what she was feeling. But, Ashley did this all the time. Pick at her until she lost her temper, then expect Jess to apologize. She wasn’t going to do it this time. She pushed back from the table and took her tray up to dump the rest of her lunch. She wasn’t hungry anymore anyway.

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

Short one today. This exact thing didn’t happen to me, though something similar with a “friend” and that friendship Jess describes at the end is basically how it went with us. And this was pretty much the end of thinking she was a friend. Though, there are times I’d like to go back and ask her why she always treated me that way.

 

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