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Posts tagged ‘Hunter Family’

Teaser Tuesday: JuNoWriMo Edition

So, next month(which starts tomorrow! Eek!), I’ll be participating in JuNoWriMo once again. I love doing these monthly writing challenges(if you haven’t figured that out by now). I’m not only working on one project for this, though. I actually have 6 different on-going projects right now(that doesn’t count the 3 that are in active revisions) and will be working on all of them during the month. For today, I’ll share a short summary and the last few lines I have written.

Protecting the Heart(BC Security #2):

Declan Portor, who has spent most of his life protecting others, is brought back to his first client, but saving her a second time could cost his own life.

His throat went thick at that, and he glanced back at Eva. He hadn’t been doing a great job of helping them. Barely staying one step ahead of trouble. He was going to have to change that. But Eva was smiling at them, like that thought wasn’t even bothering her. She trusted him, and he had to make sure he didn’t betray that by letting either of them get hurt.

“Can you read them to me? I think I’d like to know more about this Nighthawk. As long as he doesn’t fly around my apartment anymore.”

But, Dani grinned at him and put the rest of the books down. “I can do better. I made up a story about him. I can tell you that one.”

Declan settled back on the couch and gestured for her to climb onto his lap. He glanced back at Eva again, worried she wouldn’t like that. But, she was still smiling at them. “I’m listening,” he told Dani, bringing his attention back to her and trying to make sure his eyes stayed open.

***

Ready When You Are(Hunter Family #3)

Kelan Hunter has never quite fit, but just as he feels he may have found someone who accepts him as he is, they face blackmail and threats and are left wondering what will become of their lives.

There was that desperation again, and it tore at Kelan’s chest. “[xx], there’s nothing wrong with you. No matter who you’re attracted to and who you aren’t. Have you talked to your parents about this?” He certainly didn’t want to be the one to out the boy to them if they didn’t know already. But, someone should know what he was going through. Kelan hadn’t had anyone at that age, and he still hadn’t known just what he was then. Maybe if he’d talked to someone else, it would have saved a lot of years of questioning himself, though.

***

Paint Me a Picture(Gilbert, CO #4.75)

Artist, Rylan Stevens, wants to give single mother, Kirsten Matthews, and her daughter the life they deserve, but just as they get started, someone from her past returns.

Rylan took the hand Kirsten offered and let her lead him back to her bedroom. He’d seen the fear go through her eyes when he’d said he wanted everything. Was she really afraid of him? She had to know he would never hurt her. Not even once. So, it had to be something else.

He turned to her as they stepped into her bedroom doorway. He slid one hand up her neck to cup her cheek. “We don’t have to do this,” he told her. “We don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.”

“I wouldn’t have invited you over if I didn’t want this, Ry,” she told him. “That’s not what scares me. I know it doesn’t have anything to do with you. It’s all me.”

***

Shed Some Light(Gilbert, Co #5)

When his brother is apparently framed for a crime he didn’t commit, Carlos has to turn to the one woman who could save or ruin them both.

Tereza grabbed her bag from the seat beside her and hurried out of the car. She was already running behind. She’d wanted to have a chance to stop and see Brent before the hearing. See if he would be at least a little more cooperative than the last couple meetings they’d had. But, her car hadn’t wanted to start, then after it finally had, she’d gotten stuck in traffic. She’d realized she wouldn’t have time to stop by the jail and get to court in time.

Like it would have done any good anyway. Brent refused to help her help him at all.

She slammed her car door shut and walked as quickly as she could without losing her footing on the icy parking lot. The last thing she needed was to show up in court with a sprained ankle. She did slip a couple times, but thankfully managed to not fall. Thankfully the sidewalk had been shoveled and salted, so she was able to move at a brisker pace once she hit it.

***

Break on Me(Kurztown #4)

Gabriel Saranno wants to honor his friend’s memory with his father’s latest construction project, but when that friend’s sister gets involved, with the project and him, he doesn’t know if he can hold on to a promise he made.

His house for dinner? Why had Lora agreed to that? Being alone with Gabriel Saranno had to be a mistake. A huge one at that.

But, still, instead of calling him, or at least the office since she didn’t have his personal number, she stood in her closet, trying to decide on an outfit to pack. They were just going over the presentation to give to the town at the next council meeting. It’s not like it was a date.

So why did she have to agonize so much over the choice?

“You’re being ridiculous, Lora,” she muttered. “Just grab something, so you can put the rest of your shit in the bag. You don’t need to impress Gabriel.” Not like she’d ever been able to anyway.

***

In the Moonlight

When Yasmin Reisner inherited her great-aunt’s house, it comes with more than she expected; an alleged ghost, a relentless realtor, and possibly the love of her life.

“I’ll see you in the morning then, Ms. Reisner.” She turned away,  but I reached out and put a hand on her arm. She stopped and waited for me to say something.

“It’s Yasmin,” I reminded her. “I told you to just call me Yasmin.” I didn’t need the formality.

“Yasmin then,” she said, and her smile nearly knocked my legs out from under me. “I’ll see you in the morning. I hope you have a more restful night.”

I watched her walk away and highly doubted that would happen. But, I might get some good dreams out of it. And I’d still call that a win.

 

Looking forward to working on all of these. Anyone else participating in JuNoWriMo this year? Any other writing challenges you like to participate in?

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A-Z Challenge: Y is for Dillon Yates

Y

Dillon Yates stepped out of his classroom and glanced down the hallway. There didn’t seem to be any students loitering in the hallway after the last class on the first day of school. He couldn’t really blame them for being anxious to get out of here. It was a beautiful day out, and he didn’t know many people, especially kids, who’d rather spend it inside.

He glanced toward the room at the end of the hallway. He’d met the new Industrial Arts teacher when they’d been setting up their rooms the week before. But, he hadn’t had much of a chance to talk to him. Hunter, he’d said his last name was. Dillon had known a Hunter years ago and wondered if they were related.

He started that way, wanting to find out. And from everything he’d heard, the new guy had kept mostly to himself. He wasn’t going to make it for long here if he couldn’t even make one friend. It had been more than a decade, but he still remembered being the new guy here. It had been rough until he’d made his own connections.

He knocked once on the door before poking his head in. The young man standing in the middle of the room, his hands on his hips, looked a little lost. Dillon thought he looked a few years older than his own daughter, Sakura. Probably a little past his mid-twenties. His red hair fell a little past his ears, a lot longer than Dillon’s own short-cropped hair. He turned then and caught the wariness in the blue eyes.

Blue eyes that looked familiar. “You are Carrick’s son,” Dillon said.

The other man looked stunned for a minute. “Uh, yeah,” he said. He glanced around as if he might be trying to find a means of escape from the crazy man in front of him.

Dillon gave a little laugh. “Sorry. That probably did sound a little creepy. You’d said your last name was Hunter, and I’d wondered if you were related. I didn’t have much of a chance to speak to you before, though.”

“Oh. Yeah.” He ran a hand through his hair and let it drop again. “My brother was at a fire that day. He was taken to the hospital. Or I would have stuck around longer.”

“He okay?”

The other man nodded. “Not much will keep Tate down for long. His guardian angel probably has a permanent handslap mark on his forehead, though.”

That made Dillon chuckle. “Your dad helped build my house ages ago. We realized we had some things in common, mostly time served in the Army”–though Carrick hadn’t been in nearly as long as he had– “and we’ve tried to keep in touch over the years. I haven’t heard from him for a while, though.” Then, he realized something. “I’m Dillon Yates, by the way.”

“Kelan. You already know my last name, so…”

Dillon laughed again. There seemed to be a sense of humor hidden under the nerves. “It’s good to meet you, Kelan. I think I’ll like working down the hall from you.”

Note: I’m currently working on Kelan’s story(which is also Oliver’s story), and his friendship with Dillon comes into play a good bit in it. Kelan’s younger brother, Jace, also gets involved with Dillon’s daughter(not Sakura) in Burning Bright, book 1 of my Hunter Family series.

Word a Day: Hope

Today’s word for the Word a Day challenge is Hope. This is another theme that tends to run through my stories. Sometimes characters may not have a lot of hope at the beginning. But, by the end they always find it. They may not always end on a “Happy Ever After” but I always have at least a “Happy for Now”. And since I tend to write connected series, you can usually see that “For Now” turn into “Ever After”. It’s actually one of my favorite parts of writing this type of series. Being able to bring other characters back in and see what’s happening with them.

Just this morning I actually wrote a bit about hope in one of my WiPs. Ready When You Are is part of my Hunter Family series, which is a spin-off of my Flames series. I’m not too far into this story, but these two actually first met in the previous book(another thing I like about writing connected series…being able to set up future books/relationships). If two men kissing bothers you, you may not want to read on.

Something heavy felt lodged in Oliver’s chest. Was it hope or something darker? He knew the weight of hope and how sometimes it could bury you. He hoped Kelan would help lift him out if that started to happen this time. “Yes, to both of those.”
At the sound of shouted numbers from down the hallway, they both turned their heads toward the door. Nine. Eight.
“It’s almost midnight,” Oliver said.
“Sounds that way.” Kelan pushed up from the bed and took a step closer to Oliver.
Five. Four. Three.
Oliver met Kelan with another step, and one hand reached automatically for his hip. He’d promised to take things at Kelan’s pace, but the other man had come to him. “It’s tradition to kiss someone at midnight,” he said.
Kelan faltered a little, then he smiled. “So, it is. And my family’s pretty big on traditions.”
One. Happy New Year.
Oliver leaned forward, and Kelan met him halfway, their lips pressing together. He wasn’t sure how long it lasted, as he felt himself spiral away, falling deeper and deeper. Then, Kelan was stepping back. Oliver had to shake himself out of his stupor. Everyone was still cheering out in the living room, so the kiss couldn’t have lasted the years it felt like. It must have been less than a minute.
“Friday,” Kelan said.
Oliver gave a little shake of his head. “Huh?” he asked, still a little dazed from how Kelan’s lips had felt on his.
“Dinner,” Kelan said. “If you still want to do that anyway.”
Oliver winced a little. Kelan had apparently gotten the wrong impression from his stunned reaction. He lifted his gaze to meet the other man’s now. And saw some of that wariness in those [xx] eyes. “Of course I do. Especially if it means we can find a way to kiss like that again.”
Kelan’s shoulders lowered slightly. Maybe Oliver wasn’t the only one feeling the weight of hope. Friday was only two days away. It shouldn’t bury him too deep by then.

Flames A-Z: Yates Family

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts. I let my extra posts drop during November while I was doing NaNoWriMo. Only have two more posts in this series, though.

Dillon Yates met Hisa Sakei when he was serving overseas in the Army. Her older sister married Ewan Magaldi, who Dillon served with for a time, and is a cousin to Shae Magaldi’s husband. After leaving the Army, Dillon became a high school history teacher. Hisa runs a bakery. Together, they have three children.

The oldest, Sakura, was born in 1981. She works with their mother in their bakery and has a special hand with decorating. She married Brent Tabbert in 2006, and they have 2 children, Kiana and Raiden, who are about fifteen months apart.

Kaemon was born about 2 years after his sister. He works with computers and would often choose them over interacting with people, other than his family. Although he does teach some classes at the local community center. He married Suzu Cousens in 2009, and they have one kid, a daughter, Leiko.

Kameko, usually called Kammi, is the youngest, born nearly five years after her brother. She’s a teacher, like her father, but she teaches in the elementary school. She meets Jace Hunter, and…well, that would give away the events of Burning Bright. So, you’ll just have to wait for that. 😉

Flames A-Z: Oliver Stiel

If you read any snippets I’ve shared from Flames of Retribution, you probably met at least some of the Magaldi family. I established in Flames of Renewal that Adrian had a lot of cousins, the Magaldis among them. Well, the Magaldis also have a lot of cousins. Dougal, Caitie Magaldi’s father, is the youngest of five siblings. His two oldest siblings are twin sisters, Carina and Letizia. Letizia married Roderick Stiel, a corporate lawyer from Pittsburgh, Pa. They had three children; Emilia and Oliver, who were also twins, and another daughter, Adreana.

They haven’t actually shown up yet, but both Emilia and Oliver will get involved with the Hunter family in the Flames spin-off. And since I don’t have any actual words written in a story for Oliver, a little snippet from his back story(written in 1st person, as I always do for back stories):

I don’t want to say I had a normal childhood, although there wasn’t necessarily anything abnormal about it either. I don’t know that normal could describe life with a corporate lawyer father and social worker mother. Dad tried to groom me practically from toddlerhood to join him at his firm. I took a little too much after Mom. I wanted to be a help to others and didn’t see how manipulating deals would do that.
Emilia didn’t really take after either of them. Maybe a bit like Mom. She did have a thing for causes. But, she was more of a free spirit. Dad tried his best to dampen it, despite Mom’s protests. Our younger sister, Adreana, took more after Dad in both looks and temperament. She was the one to follow him into the firm, which he never stops throwing in my face.
At least when he chooses to speak to me. You see, I knew from an early age I wasn’t like him. He’s always considered himself a ladies man. As far as we know, he’s never once actually cheated on Mom, but he’s always had a wandering eye. It seemed like he was always tossing girls my way. Daughters of clients and associates, granddaughters of his partners, even a few relatives of family friends. I was never interested.
Maybe if he’d thrown some of the sons in my path, we could have talked.

So, that’s Oliver. I’m excited to get to his story…eventually.

Flames A-Z: Nolan Hunter

I did a post on Nolan back in April for the A-Z challenge. At the time, I was in the middle of writing his story. He’s another of those characters who was supposed to just have a walk-on part in the first book. That first book was supposed to be a standalone. HaHa. I seem incapable of writing those. He only has a small appearance in the second book, but he’s in a good bit of book 3. And we learn something new about him at the same time Mark does. In fact, I learned it only shortly before that and may have resisted just a bit.

Nolan is the third son of Carrick and Ariana Hunter(that kind of makes him sound like royalty, huh?) and grew up in Crystal Glen, Pa. His father works in construction and his mother was an art teacher. Nolan and his brothers grew up around hammers and power tools. Only his oldest brother, Tate, followed in the family business. Although, his other older brother, Kelan, at one time planned to be an architect. He also has two younger siblings, Jessica and Jace, who are about 10 years younger than Nolan. Jessica also followed in their father’s footsteps.

When Nolan graduated high school, he went to college, majoring in psychology. During his second year at college, he left and joined the Marine Corps.* While there, he met Mark Young, who became one of his best friends. He served four years, a lot of that time spent in the Middle East. He was wounded just before his enlistment term was up, and he was also growing disillusioned, so he didn’t re-enlist.*

After that, he ended up joining the Crystal Lake Fire Department. He spent a few of his teen years as an Explorer for the town’s volunteer department. And his father, two of his brothers, and his sister are all volunteers as well. He’d been there for a couple years when Mark returned home badly wounded. After he’d recovered, Nolan convinced him to move up north(same state, but they come from different parts of it) and join the department as well.

Since him and Mark were friends, Nolan had gone home with Mark a few times when they were on leave. And he met Mark’s sister, Maura. Unfortunately, the first time he met her, she was already engaged to someone else. So, he became her friend. And he waited. He stood by her even when her husband treated her poorly. And when she finally left him, he was still there to support her and waiting for her to be ready to move on.

Writing Nolan’s story did push me a bit out of my comfort zone(and no, still not revealing Nolan’s secret. haha. I’m evil like that). But, I do really like it. I’m hoping others will, too.

*these lead to stories I wrote for this year’s Story a Day challenge.

Flames A-Z: Jace & Jessica

I talked a little about these two when I wrote about the rest of the Hunter Family. Jace and Jessica are Nolan’s younger twin siblings, born when Nolan was almost ten years old. As they grew up, though, their birthday was really the only thing they had in common.

Jessica was born first, and never really lets Jace forget it. As he told Kammi in Burning Bright:

“I imagine she’d have to be tough,” she said, “with four older brothers.”
“Three,” he corrected. “I’m technically younger. By about two minutes.” He gave a slow shake of his head. “She never lets me forget those two minutes.”

Jessica is tall and strong, with flaming red hair and bright blue eyes. The height and blue eyes she gets from their mother. The strength and red hair come from her father. Not that her mother isn’t strong, just not as obviously. Jess has always been tough, always wanted to build. Another thing she got from her father. All the kids spent time around construction sites growing up and knew how to use tools. So, it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise when she joined her father’s company after high school. Her oldest brother was basically her boss, and he learned pretty quick that she could handle anything the other men could. She’s also a volunteer firefighter, along with most of the rest of the family. And she fits right in there, too, not taking any crap from the other men. For the last few years, she’s hand an on-again/off- again relationship with one of the younger firefighters at the paid fire department. At this point, that’s about all the more she’s told me.

Jace is shorter, looks scrawny(which surprises people when they see how strong he actually is), has auburn hair and hazel eyes. A mixture of both parents, without really looking like either of them. He has always been on the quieter side and loved to draw and paint. Took more after his mother there. And he always looked up to Nolan, who he saw as a hero, especially when he joined the Marine Corps. He thought he’d follow in his footsteps, then accepted that wasn’t the path for him. Though he did become a volunteer firefighter after Nolan came back and joined the paid department.

Jace never exactly felt like an outcast, but he never really felt like he completely belonged either. Like he hadn’t quite found his place yet. He’s had some success as an artist, and that’s how he initially meets Kammi Yates. I could tell more about their story, but I think I’ll just make you all read Burning Bright instead.

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