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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.

 

Sunday Summary: Rainy Progress

*I don’t know what happened, but this seemed to disappear after I’d published it. So here we go again.

It’s rained every day this week. A few days there were some periods of dry. But, mostly it’s just been rain. That hasn’t been too bad, other than when having to get the kids on or off the bus and taking the dogs outside. It’s actually supposed to turn to snow today but then I think it’s supposed to be warming up again. We also got the kids a new swingset on Tuesday. Well, not new, but a new one for us. We got them one of those metal ones when the boy was a baby. But, my husband found one of the wooden ones for sale for only $100 and it’s someone we know selling it. So, that’s sitting in front of our garage in pieces right now. Hopefully once the rain stops, we can get it set up.

Last night we went to an “Adult prom”. It was a fundraiser thing(yes, I do word for a living). Got dressed ‘up, danced to a couple slow dances, and had some hard sodas. My head is hurting this morning, but it was good. My husband asked if my hair was hurting, and I said no, so he said I wasn’t really drunk. I don’t think I’ll live down the night of my 21st birthday(the last, and really only, time I was really drunk).

Plotting

  • Still Burning – finish Story Toolkit, Outline – finished Subplot sheet, event brainstorming sheets, location sheet, Act 1 & 2 beat sheets 6/13 sections of Story Toolkit done
  • Jayla’s Story(Gilbert, Co #7) get through Story Toolkit: Supporting Characters

Writing

  • Not Meant to Be – Add 53000 words/28 scenes to finish 1st draft – 4676 words/6 scenes finished this month, 4676 words/6 scenes finished for this week
  • Side Projects – Add 4400 words between all projects – 1993/4400 words, 1993 words this week(that’s almost 2 weeks’ worth. May have to think about changing this one)
    • Patrick & Sarah – 154 words – He brought his attention back to the path of the horses. His boss would be none too happy with a crooked row. Not that the man typically even raised his voice. Not for anything less than an atrocious misdeed. And anyone committing one of those, found himself set instantly off the farm.
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 119 words – The lad glared at Tavin as he slid his gloves off but didn’t make any attempt to get down from the saddle. “You cannot tell me what to do. You work for me.” *Tavin does not seem to be making friends. Though this little shit doesn’t deserve to be friends with him
    • Mason & Lila – 251 words – “He’ll come around,” she said softly. Then added, “Eventually.”Yeah. Eventually. Like probably the day after Mason’s funeral. But, Mason didn’t say that to Lila. He didn’t like to feel like he was pulling her between him and her father. He knew he’d always come out the loser there.
    • Midas’ Daughter – 134 words – But, she wasn’t a business interest. She was his daughter. Why couldn’t he seem to understand that?
    • Dougal & Shae – 117 words – Donovan’s lips quirked up before he brought the glass to his lips. He took a long swallow before setting it back down and glancing back at Dougal. “So, you and my sister.” *meddling big brothers 😉
    • Hang On – 114 words – We started to hike in utter silence. This bothered me less the further we went. This wasn’t just a way to get up to our favorite climbing spot. Walking through the woods was one of the most calming experiences I’ve ever had. Sometimes I thought this, even more than the thrill of the climb, was my favorite part of coming out here.
    • Hawk – 132 words – And I was perfectly fine with that. Really. After the way he’d kicked me out when I told him I was gay and left me in that gutter, I wouldn’t have wanted to have anything to do with him anyway. I was just glad old Mr. Bentley had found me before I laid there too long.
    • Mike & Fadil – 574 words(this was Thursday’s Story a Day) – “Thanks,” Fadil said, surprised he could get that much out. What Mike had said still bouncing around in his head. Maybe that had been interest he’d seen in his eyes.
    • Roman – 120 words – He didn’t know why this case was affecting him so much. He’d defended other little punks who weren’t too different from these two. But, Toby was only thirteen, barely even that. He still had time to turn his life around.
    • Jacob & Matthew – 122 words – He would never understand how love could be seen on the same level as that perverseness. 
    • Preggers – 156 words – She sighed and headed over to Angelika’s group. There might not be any judgment here, but that didn’t mean it was okay for Angelika to keep running other members out. “What happened here, ladies?”

Editing

  • Flames of Renewal – CP Edits
  • In the Moonlight – Transfer from OneNote(on my Surface) to Scrivener(on my laptop) – 27 chapters(there’s actually 32, counting the epilogue, but I’d already started it before) – 5/27 chapters typed up. 5 this week.
  • Snow White Twist – Beta edits, rename, & submitcompiled notes from 1 beta reader to the main document(so I can put them all in one place when I get them back from other reader) for 1/8 chapters(1st 2 chapters done last month). Have a potential title for it as well. Still simmering on that, though.
  • Dance with the Devil – read through & make revisionsI’ve read through 6/10 chapters.
  • Beta Read – Read 58 chapters(total of 73, but that’s what I have left) & return to author – 14/58, 14 this week

Blogging

Reading

  • Listen: 5 books – 1/5 for the month, 1 this week
    • A Thousand Pieces of You(Claudia Gray) – Started this Friday morning. It’s my second time listening to it. I finally got the second book in the series, and it had been a while since I listened to this one, so decided on a re-listen before I start the next one.
    • The Curse of the Pharaohs(Elizabeth Peters) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Thursday afternoon. Really enjoyed it.
  • Read: 31 books – 6/31, 7 this week
    • Hammer of the Gods(Christina Ochs) – this is book 3 in her Desolate Empire series. I finished it Sunday night. Definitely eager to see what happens next in the series. I finished this in April, so I’m not counting it to my monthly goal, though I will for the week.
    • The Faerie Key(Denise D. Young) – Read this Monday afternoon. It was a quick read, and I enjoyed it.
    • Beyond Pain(Kit Rocha) – Started this Monday evening. Finished it Tuesday afternoon. Really enjoyed it.
    • Over the Edge(Suzanne Brockman) – Started this Tuesday evening. Finished it Wednesday evening. Really enjoyed it.
    • Her Best Friend Jon(Kristy K James) – Read this Wednesday night. Well, mostly I skimmed through out. If I didn’t have the next book on my kindle already, I probably wouldn’t continue. I’m actually more interested in the overarching plot between all the books, than the romance. And that’s unusual for me.
    • Fame & Secrets(Cora Kenborn) – I started this Thursday. Finished it Friday afternoon. Loved it, even if I wanted to slap the male lead a few times and nearly threw the book near the end. But, she made everything right again. 🙂
    • When Beauty Tamed the Beast(Eloisa James) – Started this Friday afternoon. Finished it Saturday afternoon. Really enjoyed it. It also makes me really glad we have antibiotics to treat strep throat now(there was a scarlet fever outbreak. Both my kids have ended up with that rash because they don’t usually exhibit the typical symptoms)
    • Signs of Attraction(Laura Brown) – Started this Saturday afternoon. At 14%.

Crafting

  • Knit: Duo Cable Hat

WeWriWa: “Some Promises”

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I shared the last snippet from Dance with the Devil last week and have the first 262 words on Hawk’s story. Coming in between those, though, is the one I wrote for the A-Z challenge, which is Icarus & Cassie’s. This is the only one of these I’ve written in 3rd person(which is what I write most of my other stories in) and also the only one in the series with an alternating POV(again, how I write most of my stories). I’ll be sharing from that for this month while I build up more words in Hawk’s story. For now, here’s 8 sentences from Chapter 1. They’ve gotten some information that isn’t looking too good for them.

Icarus hadn’t thought Trace’s face could go any paler, but he proved him wrong once again. “Don’t let him get Mom. Whatever you do, don’t-”

“Stop, Trace,” Icarus said, even the thought sending a sharp blade right through his chest. “You have to know the last thing I’d do was let any harm ever come to your mother again.”

Trace didn’t say a word, though, as he headed out into the hallway. Icarus understood. Sometimes there were some promises it was completely impossible to keep.

Who is after Trace’s mom? Will Icarus be able to keep this promise?

WeWriWa: “Down on You”

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’m still sharing from Dance with the Devil and probably will next week as well. Then, I may start sharing from Staring at the Sun(the one I’ve written for the A-Z challenge) until I start working on Hawk’s story.

“I’d be doing you and your pansy club a favor by getting rid of these-“

“That’s enough,” Icarus practically roared.

I couldn’t take my gaze off Hawk, and I saw the surprise light in his eyes. Icarus wasn’t known for losing it like that. Bull was usually the one who roared. But, apparently, Icarus had been pushed close to the edge too many times over the last year.

“You will let both of them walk away from here,” Icarus said, “and our deal will still stand. You leave the club and all the Riders alone, and we will not bring the force of our vengeance down on you.”

Are they going to let Hawk and Devil just walk out of there?

Mentioning Staring at the Sun, I wrote the last of the posts during this past week. I only have the last three to edit and schedule still. And the final seven will be going up during the next week. I have them all linked up at this post if you want to start it from the beginning, though.

WeWriWa: “Read my Mind”

Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. Happy Easter to anyone who celebrates the holiday in any way. We’ll be bouncing between my step-mother-in-law’s, my mom’s, and my husband’s aunt’s houses for the day.  It’s going to be a long busy day and hopefully a not too stressful one. Which for me means getting a lot of reading done while trying to avoid people. Anyway, I bet you’re here to see what happens to Hawk and Devil after last week’s snippet. So, here we go. One of these other men just said an asshole-ish thing about Hawk and Devil dying together. And this picks up from there.

I wanted to lunge toward them, but even from his position, Hawk was able to send me a warning look. ‘Don’t do it,’ it said. Like Hawk could read my mind. He knew me well enough, it was probably close to mind reading.

“Nothing romantic about death,” I snapped back.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. The words kept running through my head even as I couldn’t stop all the others from pouring out of my mouth, and I was afraid that tendency now was going to get the man I loved killed.

Behind me, I finally heard the roar of bikes, but I still couldn’t relax. Two more of the guns turned toward Hawk’s head. I was sure I was going to have to watch them take him away from me, and I wasn’t sure I’d survive it even if they didn’t put any bullets in me.

Is this the other Riders coming? Will something happen to Hawk? Or will they get out of this mess? I’ll have at least one more snippet from this one for you.

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