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Posts tagged ‘A-Z Challenge 2018’

A to Z Challenge – Z is for Megan Luzat

Name: Megan Luzat

Age: 27 years old

Description: Megan is average height with a lean but strong build. She has curly blonde hair and brown eyes.

Short Bio: Megan is the middle child of Adam and Jennifer Luzat. She had an older brother, Warner, and younger sister, Micaela. Her family lived pretty much paycheck to paycheck. Her brother wasn’t exactly responsible, so she found herself in charge of both her siblings most of her childhood, until she was almost twelve, and he died of a drug overdose.  By the time Megan was sixteen, and Micaela would have been fourteen, Megan was the only child her parents had left.

Megan worked hard to make sure she didn’t let her parents down. She got a job to help out, studied hard, though she knew she wouldn’t be able to go to college. And then she met Callum Riley. He was involved with the man she blamed for her siblings’ deaths, which would have been enough to set her off even if not for the fact he was a drug addict.

But, she saw more under that. And couldn’t quite help falling for him. She saw him trying to be better, but nothing seemed to be enough to pull him all the way out. Then, he was arrested. And at the same time, Megan realized she was pregnant. Instead of telling Callum that, she broke off all contact with him, wanting to give her child a stable life, and she was sure Callum would only continue to choose drugs over them even after he was released.

Her parents came together to help her see her dream, becoming a firefighter, after her daughter, Kaelin, was born. After a couple years, she transferred to the smaller fire department in Crystal Glen when there was an opening there.


Mark turned to Kayla, and surprisingly, his jaw loosened. “Brooke.”
She smiled at him. “Hey, Mark.”
“Uh, the guys at the station miss you. You haven’t stopped by for a while.”
She grinned. “Only the other guys, huh?”
“What would I miss about you?” He scratched at the back of his neck, and his lips twitched. “We got a new transfer to the engine crew when Garro came over to rescue, Megan Luzat. I can rag on her.”
Her eyes went wide, but James knew it was feigned. “They brought someone in to replace me?”
“Even Garro can’t replace you,” Mark muttered.
She grinned. “I think that’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me, Mark.”
James noticed the firefighter’s face flush slightly then he pulled his sunglasses off and winked at her. “I’d say sweeter, but your man might punch me. Or arrest me.”
“I wouldn’t bother,” Adrian said. “I’d let her kick your ass.”

A to Z Challenge – Y is for Mark Young

Name: Mark Young

Age: 34 years old

Description: Mark is tall and muscular. He has blond hair, that he keeps buzzed short, and blue eyes. He has several tattoos, though they are mostly covered when he has his firefighter uniform on.

Short Bio: Mark is the second child, but oldest son, of Timothy and Monica Young. His sister, Maura, is less than two years older than him. His brother, is a little more than three years younger than him. The two boys never quite got along. Their father barely spent time with them, putting work ahead of everything else. Their mother tended to ignore them as well. Instead it was usually Maura who took care of them.

Mark met Deena Chase when he was in high school. They started dating and stayed together even after he joined the Marine Corps. He met Nolan Hunter there, as well as Erin Zernig. There were others, but those two were more than comrades-in-arms, they were good friends.

He proposed to Deena after his first enlistment term was up. She said yes, thinking it meant he’d be staying home. And was quite upset when he told her he’d re-enlisted. They started fighting every time they managed to talk and weren’t in a good place the next time he deployed. And one night, he and Erin did more than play pool together. He was ashamed of what he’d done, and yet it happened once more, after they lost another comrade and comforted each other.

When he got home, he came clean to Deena, hoping he’d be able to earn her forgiveness in time. She threw the engagement ring at him and would not speak to him. Finally, one of the times he called, her brother answered the phone and told him she was dead. Because of him.

Then, he was wounded in action, his leg shattered from an explosion that also took the life of Erin and others. He was discharged and after healing, he tried to move on with his life. His friend, Nolan, was up in Crystal Glen and suggested he come up there. He ended up joining the fire department there, where they worked together.


James stepped out of his car to find a crowd already gathered in the cemetery. He hadn’t expected to feel anything but sadness and anger while here. Yet seeing so many people who came out to help, filled him with even more.
Some of these people he didn’t even recognize. Adrian’s family probably. The first person he did recognize, Mark Young who used to work with Kayla, stood near a tree staring off at a small group raking away some small debris laying around the graves. Caitie stood in that group. She looked a little different out of her uniform. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and she wore a blue tank top with a pair of denim shorts.
He stopped near the tree. “Mark. You’re not on shift today?”
The man turned his head away from the group. “Nope. Tomorrow.” He had sunglasses pulled down over his eyes, so James couldn’t see them, but there was a tightness to the firefighter’s jaw. “Sorry about what happened here, Brooke. Some of the other guys plan to show up too if you need the help.”
Emotion nearly overwhelmed him. He should have known he didn’t only have to count on his own family. There was the fire family too. He’d always be a part of it even though he wasn’t actively fighting fires now. “Thanks, Mark. I appreciate it.”
“Whoever did this is the lowliest sort of scum. Desecrating graves. It’s despicable. I’d like to-”
“Might want to watch what threats you make, Young,” a voice said from behind them. “There’s lots of cops present here.”
James turned as Adrian walked toward them, an arm around Kayla’s waist. “Your whole family show up to help, Adrian?” he asked.
Kayla snorted. “This? I don’t think that’s even half of them.”
“You didn’t even meet Mom’s side yet,” Adrian said.
“There’s more?” she groaned.
He laughed and bent down to kiss her. “Don’t worry. It’s smaller.”
“Not saying much. You have thirteen freaking cousins.”
He chuckled. “You’re still stuck on that?”
“I don’t have any. Except,” she added, glancing over at James.
“It’s okay,” James said. “You didn’t know him.”
Mark stepped forward and stuck his hand out. “Riley.”
“Young,” Adrian responded in the same brisk tone, but he took his hand.

A to Z Challenge – X is for Alex Reed

Name: Alex Reed

Age: 25 years old

Description: Alex has red hair and blue eyes.

Short Bio: Alex has only made a very brief appearance in the series, so I don’t know much about him, other than he’s a police officer who answers to Adrian.


At the knock on his office door, he spun around. “What?” he snapped.
The officer at his door took a small step back. “The sketch is done. The boy knew a lot of details and that other woman from the school helped. The Amber Alert’s been issued. We’re getting ready to put out the BOLO. Everyone will be on the lookout. Thought you’d want to see the sketch too.”
“Of course, Reed.” He glanced at the handout the man passed over, but nothing about the face looked familiar to him. “Fax a copy to Lieutenant Shae Magaldi with the Erie Drug & Vice Unit. She has contacts in Pittsburgh and might know something. Have her call me with anything.”
“Yes, Sergeant,” the man said then ducked out of the office.

A to Z Challenge – W is for Scott Rowe

Name: Scott Rowe

Age: 49 years old

Description: Scott is tall and muscular with reddish-brown hair and gray eyes.

Short Bio: Scott was adopted by Curtis and Lauren Rowe when he was younger than he can remember. They had also adopted Pamela around the same time, but the two would never have been mistaken for biological siblings. Her skin, darker than any of her family members’, would have made that mistake hard to make. But, they never thought of each other as anything but siblings.

When Pamela fell for a man who didn’t appreciate her, Scott tried to go to her defense. But, the man left, leaving Pamela pregnant. He did what he could to help her, as did their parents, and her son, Austin. But, there was only so much time between that, his own family, and his shifts with the fire department.

He married Marcy, and they had three children: Asher, Maureen, and Sawyer. He still stayed close with his sister and nephew, even after Pamela married Jai Melnik and he adopted Austin. Scott climbed the fire department ladder until he became lieutenant of the rescue squad. He’s been there quite a few years and very happy with it.


The other two men looked at her, their faces closed up. James took her hands in his. “Nothing we can say yet. I can’t handle this one.” He glanced at the two men then back to her. “Since we’re involved, I can’t be on it. I’m going to call Kayla. She’ll do the walk through and share her findings with me. I’d do it myself but Marshal Haig will take any reason to chew on me. I’m not going to give it to him.”
“Haig’s a prick,” one of the other men muttered. Teresa saw the name Wilson on the tag on his shirt.
James’ lips quirked. “That does seem to be the general consensus.” He must have seen the confusion in Teresa’s face. “He’s the marshal the state usually sends out. Let’s say we don’t see eye to eye on a hell of a lot of things.”
“Is he coming out for this?”
James shrugged. “Depends how much damage was done. If only a little, they won’t bother. I am going to call Adrian in.”
“Why?” the other man asked. “If the marshal doesn’t come out, there’s not much reason for the cops either.”
He nodded at Teresa. “She’s been having trouble recently. This could be connected. If it is, I want him on this.”
“Just because he’s with your niece,-”
“No. Because he’s a good cop. What’s your problem, Rowe?”
“Nothing. You’re right.”
James put a hand to Teresa’s shoulder. “I’m going to call Kayla and Adrian. I’ll be right back, okay?”

A to Z Challenge – V is for Avery Takoda

Name: Avery Takoda

Age: 6 years old

Description: Avery is short and thin with straight black hair and brown eyes.

Short Bio: Avery is the daughter of Samantha Takoda, Teresa’s daughter. She didn’t know her grandmother for the first six years of her life, though. Her mother basically lived on the streets, when she wasn’t crashing with Joel Mathis, a man Avery had never felt comfortable around.

Her mother sent her to another woman’s house one night. She promised to come. But, she never did. Instead, a couple men in uniforms came to the woman’s door and started asking her questions. When she told them who Avery was, they took her away and eventually to her grandmother’s. She was afraid the older woman would leave her or send her away as well, no matter how many times she promised that wouldn’t happen.

Things started to change after they moved north to Crystal Glen, but she still wasn’t sure she could trust how good things seemed to be.


“I need to get going.” Teresa adjusted the purse on her shoulder and once again tried to pry the little girl off her leg.
“I don’t want you to go.” The whine behind the words nearly had a headache blooming behind her eyes. “You said you weren’t going to leave me.”
Teresa sighed. “I’m not leaving you, Avery. I’ll only be gone a few hours. You have to stay here until I get back.”
The girl’s bottom lip trembled. “That’s what Mommy said, too. She didn’t come back for me.”
There it was. The reason she’d barely left the house since they moved back to Crystal Glen, and not without the girl in tow. She knelt down to the girl’s level. “Nothing is going to happen to me. I promise you. I have to go though.” She chanced a glance at her watch as she reached around to hug the girl. No way would she make it on time now. “If I don’t go, they might not going to let me keep you. Chris will stay with you. You know Grandma Caridi always has fun stuff for you to do. It will be okay.”
“Your grandma’s right,” another woman said, stepping into the hallway. “I got lots of fun crafts to do. Why don’t you come into the kitchen with me?”
The girl hesitated still then she nodded and slipped her hand into the other woman’s. Teresa let out a breath. “Thanks, Mom. I should only be a few hours.”
“We’ll be fine. You’ll get back when you get back.”

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.


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.


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?”

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)


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.

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.


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.


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.”

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