Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mid Week Tease - Take the Reins - Something Abnormal

Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for a new year of Mid Week Tease hosted by Sandra Bunino. It will release on Friday this week!!

Authors: this is a great opportunity to spotlight a few lines or even a paragraph or two from a new release or backlisted title. Readers: you get to sample some delicious snippets! We’ll do our best to tease, titillate and tantalize you into the weekend.

Today I'm offering snippets from my new release Take the Reins, a fantasy romance, and Book 1 in the Rifts series. Bethany Stanton is missing and her father is bringing in a special branch of the Army to find her. Except he'll have to convince Major McMacken that it's really worth his time and his team.

Major Stephen “Mack” McMacken stood at parade rest while he stared at the man behind a large mahogany desk. “I’m sorry, sir. Can you repeat that?”
“I want you and your team to investigate the disappearance of my daughter, Bethany.” Senator James William Stanton of Kentucky met Mack’s gaze with utter conviction. His lackey, John Coolidge, stood to one side and nodded vigorously.
“Isn’t this a job for the FBI rather than the Army, sir?”
The senator didn’t quite sneer, but his lip twitched and his chin rose. “If I had any confidence in the FBI or their ability to tackle this problem, Major, I’d have called them. But the uniqueness of this event necessitates the use of a far more capable force.”
Mack digested the enigmatic statement and tried to ignore the sinking feeling in his gut. As part of the Army’s Supernatural Anomalies Investigative Field Unit or SNAIFU, it was his job to investigate the weird events encountered by the military. And one damn letter off from SNAFU which is where we find ourselves most of the time.
“Are you saying there’s something abnormal going on with your daughter, Senator?”
“I wouldn’t say abnormal—”
“Yes.” Stanton didn’t flinch as he cut off his protégé’s hedging response.
Coolidge could be the poster child for Yes Men International. He reeked of smarmy charm and weaselly support. Mack kept his expression from curling into a scowl from sheer willpower.
“I see. Why do you think that, sir?”
Stanton opened his mouth to say more when someone knocked at the door and pushed it open.
“Excuse me, sir.” An older woman hesitated on the threshold, her expression troubled.
Senator Stanton glared at his secretary. “What is it, Rosalie? Can’t you see I’m in the middle of a debriefing?”
“Yes, sir. I’m sorry, sir.” She held up a creamy note folded in half. “But it’s something I thought you needed to see immediately.”
Stanton gestured for the note impatiently, but turned his attention back to Mack. “Recent discoveries on my estate suggest there’s more going on than a simple case of Bethany running away. Originally, I thought she’d left the estate by conventional means, but my security guards had no record of her leaving by the front gate.” Stanton paused, nodded, and waved at the secretary. “Thank you, Rosalie. That will be all.”
“Yes, sir.” The secretary scurried out of the office and closed the door behind her. The senator didn’t even watch her leave.
“It’s been nearly three days, and since she didn’t run crying to any of her less appropriate friends, I assume something else has happened. It wasn’t until this morning I was informed she’d taken her horse as she is known to do when in a fit of distemper.” He glanced at his smarmy protégé. “She and John are to be married this year before the election and it’s vital she’s home in time.”
Damn, can this guy be any more of an asshole?

Take the Reins, available everywhere now.

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading. If you want to read more from other authors, click the link and enjoy...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Snippet Sunday - Take the Reins - Domestic Solutions

Welcome to the Snippet Sunday on the Weird, the Wild, and the Wicked. Thank you so much for visiting. If you choose to comment today, I really appreciate it. The snippets are from my upcoming release, Take the Reins, Book 1 in the Rifts series, a fantasy adventure with romantic elements. This story is connected to my SEALs romantic suspense out now. You can read last week's snippet HERE.

In this snippet, Bethany finds out what General Warrick wants her to do to earn her keep in the village

“I see.” Warrick crossed his arms over his chest and dropped his chin. “So you know military men, horses, and, being female, how to talk to other females, yes?”
Warning bells went off in the back of her head, but she nodded slowly. “Yes, I guess.”
“Let’s do this, you shall speak to my Lead Mare about her recent recalcitrance, and that of the other mares in my harem, and I shall allow you to live unfettered in the village with our people.”
“Wait, what?” Bethany gaped. “I don’t understand. I have to talk to whom about what?”
“My Lead Mare, Idrissa Plainsrunner, the mother of my son, and the most stubborn female ever to gallop across the grasslands.” Affection underlay his irritation. “She has been unhappy and I cannot find what it is to change this, so you shall do it for me.”

So the other shoe has dropped. ;) There are several great authors on the Weekend Writer Warriors list and in the Snippet Sunday Facebook group. A few of my favorites are Charley Descoteaux, SJ Maylee, Gem Sivad, Goran Zidar, Veronica Scott, and Sarah Wesson.

Here's the blurb to Take the Reins, available everywhere now:

Social change is normal for a senator’s daughter, but affecting gender politics in centaurs wasn’t on Bethany’s agenda.

All Bethany Stanton needed was time away to think. She never imagined a walk with her horse might lead her so far from home. When she steps through a rift between worlds at an old archaeological site, she realizes she has bigger problems than marriage to the man of her nightmares. Like a herd of centaurs with distressing views on gender equality and “mythical” humans.

As part of the Supernatural Anomalies Investigative Field Unit, Major Stephen “Mack” McMacken has seen and done more weird stuff than written in a science fiction novel. When called in to track down a U.S. Senator’s missing daughter, Mack figures it’s more a case of runaway rich girl than supernatural mystery. Until his team finds the portal and he’s nearly torched by a dying phoenix.

In a world ruled by mythical beasts, Mack and Bethany find themselves on trial for endangering the centaur village. With the only escape route they know gone, working together to establish their innocence might prove easier than avoiding seductive Sirens and ravenous native beasts.

And then there’s the not-so-simple matter of finding a way back home…

Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading. :)

#ThursThreads - Week 147 - Winners

Week 147 of #ThursThreads had some terrific tales. I'm honored to see all of the returning writers and read your stories. It was so nice to see so many of you this week! Thank you for coming back again and again to write and for helping me celebrate these years of flash. Great thanks to Michele Sieniarecki for judging this week. Be sure to check out the #ThursThreads #flashfiction group on FB to keep up with news, etc.

  • Jason McKinney | @jason_mckinney
  • Anna Lund | @AnnaLund2011
  • Sheilagh Lee | @SweetShiel
  • Silver James | @SilverJames_
  • Kelly Heinen | @Aightball 
  • Charley Emma | @lindorfan
  • Mary Decker | @mishmhem
  • Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir
  • Louisa Bacio | @Louisabacio
Michele says: Many thanks for inviting me to judge.

Winners Announcement:

Honorable Mentions

Silver James | @SilverJames_
Michele says: This felt like a good tease to a story I wanted to read more about. Who were these people? What was their history? Why was this woman always in the company of drug lords? The dialogue was a nice break from mostly narrative entries, and the writer managed to establish three distinct personalities in a short number of words.

Kelly Heinen | @Aightball
Michele says: Despite the potentially distressing content (thanks for the advance trigger warning,) this had loads of tension and suspense. Ultimately, it didn’t have enough of a beginning, middle and end—it seemed more like reading a page over someone’s shoulder on the bus then never finding out what book they were reading.

Mary Decker | @mishmhem
Michele says: It took me a couple of readings to suss out what was going on, but once I did—BOOM! There were so many unanswered questions, though. I spent way more time than is probably wise to admit trying to puzzle out the answers in the words given, but ended up tying my brain in knots and coming up with still MORE questions! If there was a “Made Me Think” badge, this would win it.

Week 146 Winner

Michele says: This was the total package--a perfect, self-contained moment in time that combined atmosphere, emotion and a personal triumph to win me over—with two words to spare! Despite being a self-proclaimed “Happily Married Woman,” she nailed the warring emotions experienced by the newly-divorced, the desire to please her kids (while one-upping her ex, if possible) and the torture of learning skills one never thought they’d have to acquire—and all of that in the rain.

Water blinded Susie, and she wiped the rain from her eyes, and used her palm as a makeshift visor. She peered upward at the dangling Christmas lights. A few more hooks and they’d be done hanging.

Why did the threatening storm have to hit now? The task seemed unfathomable. She couldn’t do it. It was impossible.

Feet sticking in the mucky mud, she dragged the ladder over a few steps, and tested its sturdiness. Up she went, a cross between cursing her lousy ex and praying for her own safety under her breath. The wood wobbled, and she froze –

Steady, Susie finished the last two steps and reached, tip-toes, leaning, stretching and hooked the next loop. A gust of wind blew, slanting the rain against the backs of her jeans. She shivered, teeth chattering.

After hearing Janie gush about the “Lights up at Dad’s house,” Susie had to do it.

Down, and over, and up, all the while the fury built. Blood pounded in her head while Mother Nature pelted her on the outside. She wasn’t cut out for this work. She should have hired someone.

One last hook. Down, and over, and up. She stretched, tossing the strand around the hook Mike had put up last year, and missed. Tears comingled with the rain.

She could do this. It was easy. She reached, flipped and success!

Down one last time, she shut the ladder and stood back – sparkling blue, red, green winked – and rejoiced.

Yes, she could.  

Congratulations Three Time Winner Louisa, Silver, Kelly, and Mary! Don't forget to claim your badges and display them with pride. You certainly earned it!

Pass on the great news on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, shiny mirrors, Morse Code, and signal flags. Check out all the stories here. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading! :)