Sunday, September 29, 2013

#SnippetSunday - WIP - Family, Connection, Memories


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. Currently, the snippets are from a Work in Progress, the third story in the Cloudburst, Colorado series, and while they aren't consecutive, they are in order within the story. You can read last week's snippet HERE.

Today, I'm offering another snippet from the second chapter of The Cloudburst Coffee and Spa, a WIP in the Cloudburst Colorado series that deals with some of the darker kinks in love. Aiden has returned to Cloudburst to recover his heart in the form of Moira Callahan. At the time he left, she was too young to deal with some of his darker needs, but eighteen years allows for a lot of growing up. The snippet is unedited.

It couldn’t have been Moira. Aiden had heard she’d gone to school at UC Denver before moving on to Stanford to get her masters in business administration. With that kind of schooling, why the hell would she come back to this little town in the middle of the Rocky Mountains?
Probably for the same reasons you are, moron.
Family, connection, memories.
But he’d really come back for her. Moira had been the only one to calm his dark sexual needs, turning off the over-analytical part of his mind, and took away the desperation. Only pain had the same capability. When he’d left eighteen years ago to protect her from the darkness he carried, he’d turned to tattoos to keep the needs in check. Now he had one full sleeve, a gauntlet on the opposite arm, a large sweeping tribal across his shoulders, and “tramp stamp” across his hips. His shoulders still pleasantly ached from the touch-ups he’d endured just a week earlier.
Pain was good. It kept him anchored and focused on the being “normal”, and quieted the dark sexual addictions driving him. At least it worked for a while.

We all find our coping mechanisms, yes? ;) If you'd like to see a photo of the inspiration for Aiden, click HERE. There are several great authors on the Weekend Writing Warrior list and in the Snippet Sunday Facebook group. A few of my favorites are Anastasia Vitsky, SJ Maylee, Gem Sivad, Goran Zidar, Zee Monodee, and Karla Doyle.

Thanks so much for stopping by and happy reading. :)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

#ThursThreads - Week 89 - Winners


Week 89 of #ThursThreads had some terrific tales. I'm honored to see all of the returning writers and read your stories. Thank you for coming back again and again to write. And welcome to the new folks who stopped by. Great thanks to CJ Ellisson for judging this week. :)

Entries:
  • Cari Oleskewicz | @carilynn72
  • Mark Ethridge | @LurchMunster
  • Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir
  • Lizzie Koch | @Lizzie_Koch
  • Sandra Bunino | @SandraBunino
  • Terry Crouse | @ducknado
  • Theresa Breaux | @theresabreaux
  • David A. Ludwig | @DavidALudwig
  • Brandon Yusuf Toropov | @BYToropov
  • Silver James | @SilverJames_
  • Jeff Hollar | @klingorengi
  • Kelly Heinen | @Aightball
CJ says: Thanks for having me, Siobhan! And may I say, if I was allowed to pick more people I would have. Truly excellent work from all participants! I took a while to pick a winner, and I apologize for the delay. I wanted to give each piece a chance to simmer in my brain and see which one stuck with me the most after a good night's sleep. Siobhan didn't prepare me for how difficult choosing a winner would be! Every single entry has positive points and I'm honored to have been asked to read them.

Winners Announcement:

Honorable Mentions

Brandon Yusuf Toropov | @ByToropov
CJ says: I was really intrigued with the premise and setting and would LOVE to hear why he killed the father and son.

Jeff Hollar | @klingorengi
CJ says: Sales Pitch: Perhaps it's because I was in commission sales for over a decade, but the idea of a negative (but truthful) pitch for a supernatural PI really got me smiling. The concept reminds me a little of the Dresden Files, which I adore.

Week 89 Winner


CJ says: In 250 words she clearly established genre, setting, premise, and feel for the characters and their situation. The reader instantly wants to know what lead to this piece and what will come after it. The resulting story promises action, adventure, intrigue, sexual tension, and possibly an epic battle of good over evil. Bravo!

Lightning

“Record on: Processing Facility 963 on Planet Cromb. Captives usually struggle,” Sandra said aloud. “Subject 1586 seems to enjoy captivity. Standard integration methods have failed. Record off.”

Just breathe.

He could be the one.

She could save him.

He could save the world.

Quickly, she checked her office closet. Her bolt bag was there - ready with everything she needed to escape. Grabbing it, she did a mental check: Data securely encrypted elsewhere - check. Boots for running – check. Weapons – check. Super-secret energy shield that protected two people and would deflect a nuke – check. Food, medic packs, blood stores, ID cards, money, and sundries packed away in a hundred different safe houses – check. Good breakfast and washroom trip – check.

Bag in tow, she went to the cells. She nodded to the well-bribed guards as they left for an “authorized” break. She had five minutes.

Just breathe.

“Hello, Dr. McCombs.” The soft voice from the shadows tickled her ears.

“I know what you are, that you were hurt. You came here on purpose – to heal.”

“What do you want, Sandra? A tame demon for your war?” Blue orbs glowed in the dark.

“No,” she whispered, “A free Lightning Elemental to destroy all who oppose him.”

Silence.

“Your offer?”

“Me: body and blood - for the duration.”

He snorted.

“I’m fertile – only woman in over six thousand kliks,” she said shivering. “You’ll have progeny.”

“Then, I can help you,” she heard.

Static electricity crawled cross her skin as the lights went out.

Congratulations Three Time Winner Theresa, Silver, Cynthia, and Jeff! 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! :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 89


Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Is it fall yet? It's Thursday again, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 88 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Need the rules? Read on!

Here's how it works:
  • The prompt is a line from the previous week's winning tale.
  • The prompt can appear ANYWHERE in your story and is included in your word count.
Rules to the Game:
  • This is a Flash Fiction challenge, which means your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 250.
  • Incorporate the prompt anywhere into your story (included in your word count).
  • Post your story in the comments section of this post
  • Include your word count (or be excluded from judging)
  • Include your Twitter handle or email (so we know how to find you)
  • The challenge is open 7 AM to 7 PM Pacific Time
  • The winner will be announced on Friday, depending on how early the judge gets up.
How it benefits you:
  • You get a nifty cool badge to display on your blog or site (because we're all about promotion - you know you are!)
  • You get instant recognition of your writing prowess on this blog!
  • Your writing colleagues shall announce and proclaim your greatness on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus

Our Judge for Week 89:


  Vampire lover, and sultry-voiced corset wearing urban fantasy author, C.J. Ellisson.



And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“Then I can help you.”

All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Now, away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThreads. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mid Week Tease - Her Devoted Vampire - Waking Up With Handsome


Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for this week's Mid Week Tease hosted by Sandra Bunino.

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.

My Mid Week Tease is from Her Devoted Vampire. Bridget Shanahan has been taken to a stranger's house after she was mugged and has just woken from a very odd dream starring Fredrick MacGregor, the man she met briefly at her favorite coffee shop.


“Do you remember me, Bridget? I met you at Snickerdoodles.”
Oh, she remembered, all right. She remembered the scent of his skin and the warmth of his body beside her. At least, she thought she did. He’d wrapped his trench coat around her, hadn’t he?
She closed her eyes and shook her head to clear the cobwebs of mixed memories.
“I returned your book and tried to hail a cab for you. Do you remember that?”
No. Wait. Yes, she remembered the terrible kidnapping scene in the book and how she’d left it on the table in the coffee shop. Her memories played out in a reel until it ended with red eyes and searing pain.
Bridget’s eyes flew open, and she stared at her companion with dawning unease. His expression filled with concern and compassion, his eyes a deep chocolate brown. No sign of red anywhere. They weren’t even bloodshot.
“You’re Fredrick MacGregor.”
“That’s right.” A smile flitted over his lips.
“And you smell like spiced apples and vanilla.”
His black eyebrows disappeared into his hairline, one tendril falling across an eye. It looked soft and smooth, and she wanted to push it behind his ear for him. His smug look banished any tender feelings that might have developed.
“You were stabbed in the side, and I brought you to my home here in Gloucester to take care of you.”
Stabbed? She’d been stabbed? Gasping, she wrenched the emerald bedclothes away from her body and scanned the skin of her belly. The bruised pain she felt directed her eyes to her left side, but there was nothing there, not even discoloration. If she’d been stabbed, where was the scar, the scab?
Is he just teasing me? What kind of a jerk does that? Then the rest of his words sank in.
“Gloucester?”
“Yes. It was the safest place I could think to take you.”
Bridget narrowed her eyes as she raised her gaze to meet his again, her hands still holding the bedclothes up.
Safe for whom, you chocolate-eyed kidnapper?

Get your sultry vampire fix here:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Double the Trouble - Two Sunset Point Stories from Hennessee Andrews and Susan Hayes

It's the ultimate #MenageMonday...

Off the coast of Florida, surrounded by sand and sea, there lies a secluded island that has a very interesting history and an even more intriguing present…

Sunset Point Island is a tropical Mecca, consisting of a quaint town, a lavish resort area and a top-grade security force that keeps its wealthy inhabitants safe. But there is more to Sunset Point that first meets the eye. Founded by those seeking a haven for their unusual lifestyles, this island is a place where ménage relationships are cherished and protected. Closed off from the outside world, Sunset Point is a place of fantasies…won’t you come join us?

Tattoos and Cupcakes Blurb:

Being sequestered on Sunset Point Island is the least of Lane Erikson’s worries. Being a witness to a murder may be her demise. What does one do when a network of FBI wanted criminals are looking to kill you? You run like hell, even it’s to a place you’ve never heard of.
Dane Hutchinson, local tattoo artist, sets his sights on winning Lane’s affection and sharing her with Bannock Garrison, Sunset Point police officer. Bannock never wanted a ménage relationship, even though his parents have lived a happy life in one. The idea of sharing a woman bothers him, but losing Dane’s friendship bothers him more.
As the relationship begins to soar with possibilities, Lane is faced with her world crashing down again and her life hangs in the balance. Can Bannock and his colleagues save the day? More importantly, can Bannock overcome his distrust for women and allow Lane into his heart and share her with his best friend?

Story Excerpt:

The rush of the waves crashing in filled the silence between them. Dane wasn’t sure how to proceed from there. Seeing how she worked at avoiding his questions and sounded almost insincere when answering, Dane knew that Bannock was correct in one aspect. Reece was in fact hiding something. Now whether or not it was worth hiding, he couldn’t be sure, but he doubted she was a criminal or anything. How he’d really like to know what brought her here. All he could come up with was serendipity.
They sipped their wine and together looked out to the ocean, mesmerized by the moonlight playing on the water. Reece’s glass was almost empty, so Dane refilled it and his own as well.
“When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?” She asked as she scanned the view before them.
Dane chuckled, amused at his dream from so long ago. “I wanted to be a rock star.”
Reece laughed with a cute, infectious tone that made him smile. “What about you?”
“Well, as young girl, I wasn’t much to look at. I hated my hair and my freckles. A geek, I was quite a case, all gangly, tall and thin, towering well above most all in my class, even the boys.” She smiled and shook her head. “I always dreamt of growing up, growing out of the goofy stage. I’ve had just one goal my entire life.”
“And what’s that?”
“I wanted to be that ugly duckling that became a swan. I wanted to see myself gracing the spread of a high fashion magazine as a model. I yearned to prove I was worthy, capable.” She seemed to be reminiscing.
“And what about now?”
“I find that I still seek that validation, but the importance is not as much now, since I’ve been here.”
Dane listened, knowing that concealed in her words was the story he wanted to know. If she was just there on vacation, she was taking quite an extended one. On the other hand, if she was there to sort out her life, she seemed well on her way to accomplishing the task. What happened back in Kansas? He wondered, but refused to ask. Under the cover of her long black lashes, he could see pain in her eyes, although she tried hard to cover it. “You’re gorgeous whether or not you’re in a magazine. Seeking approval from others is a tough business. I’ve been there.”
“Yes it is a tough business.” She looked down into her wine glass for a moment. “It’s okay to change my mind about what I want to be when I grow up, isn’t it?”
“Of course it is.” Dane scooted closer to her and lifted her chin with his finger so she was forced to look at him. “You can change your mind a thousand times if you’d like. Happiness is the key. As long as you’re happy, the world can go to hell.”
She smiled and it reached her eyes this time. He wanted nothing more than to kiss her right then. He also wanted to kiss away the pain he sensed inside her. He wanted to hold her and assure that no matter what was going on, she’d be okay and he’d be there if she needed him.
“I’ve never been this close to an angel.”
Reece’s smile faded and she blinked her eyes as if she didn’t believe him. A serious expression replaced it.
“Kiss me, please.”
Reece moved swiftly, throwing her arms around his neck and pressed her lips to his. He could feel the urgency in her kiss and it matched his own. The kiss deepened, her mouth sweet with the flavor of the wine. Their tongues swept together, finding harmony, and a sensual rhythm. Her innocent scent enveloped his senses, pulling him in. His hand ran through her thick, fire red hair, so soft on his skin. He missed this, the feel of a woman, the scent of a woman. His hand grazed her bare shoulder with his other hand, loving the smooth, satiny feel of her skin. He wanted to caress her all over and get lost in the curves of her body, explore her soft flesh while finding all the little areas that drove her wild.
 The kiss heightened Dane’s arousal. He wanted her, right there on the soft grass with the waves singing their sensual song, serenading them under the moonlight. By her response, she wanted it too, but Dane couldn’t, and wouldn’t go any further. Pure emotion and sexual tension was pushing him and he decided he couldn’t allow his cock to lead, not yet anyway. He worked to slow it down, his hormones raged against him while he fought for control.
They regained coherent thoughts not affected by lust, placing their lips together one last time before awkwardly backing away.
Reece blushed and flipped her hair back. “Sorry, that probably wasn’t the kind of kiss you were expecting.”
Dane was astonished. “No, it was much better.”

Breaking Point Blurb:

Lexa Fox lost her childhood the day her mother took her and fled Sunset Point. Twenty-three years later, she’s returning to claim her inheritance from a father she barely remembers, in a place she doesn’t belong.
Detectives Beau Rivers and Diego Mendez grew up in ménage families and always knew they’d be a trio if they could find the right woman. They’d found her once, but fate took her out of their lives long before they were old enough to stake their claim. No woman since has ever managed to live up to their memories of Lexa, so when fate brings their childhood sweetheart back into their lives, they do everything they can to convince their gray-eyed, world-weary beauty to stay.
There are dangers to be faced and enemies to overcome, but in the end it’s up to her men to show her that some hearts never give up hope, and some loves have no Breaking Point.

Breaking Point Story Excerpt:

Lexa turned around and opened her mouth to say hello, only to find herself caught up in a powerful hug that lifted her off her feet. Her arms were trapped at her side and all she could do was laugh as Diego spun her around and then handed her off to Beau, who nearly crushed her to his chest with the force of his embrace.
“Hi,” she managed to squeak out as she stared up into a pair of aquamarine eyes. “Beau?”
“You do remember us!” Those beautiful eyes lit up as he gave her a lopsided grin. “I was starting to worry.” He lowered her slowly to her feet, and tried to squelch a gasp as she slid down his body and felt nothing but hard planes and solid muscle. Her pussy tingled and her entire body heated up a few degrees, then combusted into open flame as she lifted her head and found him staring down at her, his eyes sparkling with desire.
“I forgot some things I shouldn’t have,” Lexa whispered. “But I’m remembering it all now.”
“Good.” Diego laid a hand on her shoulder and gently spun her back in his direction. “Because we never forgot you.”
Lexa found herself mesmerized by a pair of dark eyes and a smile that made her panties damp. “Outside. Air,” she muttered, her brain only partially working.
“I think that might be a good idea, we seem to be holding up the auction.” Beau laughed and Lexa glanced around to see everyone was watching their reunion.
“Shit,” she breathed. “Just great. I so love being the center of attention.”
Diego slid an arm around her shoulders and Beau’s hand landed in the small of her back and Lexa found herself being escorted to the nearest exit caught between two handsome men who towered over her. They guided her out into the hotel lobby and headed away from the main doors, leaving Lexa confused as to their destination.
“Uh, guys? Where are we going?” she asked, struggling to keep up to their much longer strides, no easy feat when she was the only one of the three wearing heels.
“We know a place.” Beau glanced down and winked at her. “Nice and private. We can catch up and play hooky from what would have been an incredibly boring evening.”
“But I—dinner—we can’t just leave and not come back.” Lexa looked from Beau to Diego and back again. “Can we? I mean Simon brought me, I shouldn’t leave him sitting there for very long.”
“Would you rather go back to Simon than talk to us?” Diego asked, his voice dropping to a low rumble.
“Well, no. I was going to try and track you guys down soon anyway so of course I want to talk to you.” She tossed a look over her shoulder as the lobby disappeared from sight. “But I was thinking five minutes out front, not—where the fuck are you two taking me anyway?”
“Did you just curse at us?” Beau’s delectable mouth was quirked up into a grin that made it hard for Lexa to remember she had asked a question.
“Yes, I cursed at you. I do that a lot when I’m annoyed. And right now I’m getting very fucking annoyed. You two lugs can’t just swan in and whisk me away like that. It’s rude!” Lexa dug her heels in and forced the men to stop. “I’m not going another damned step until you two tell me where we are going.”
“I don’t remember her being this stubborn,” Diego said.
“Then your memory is faulty, she was always this bloody minded.” Beau ran his hand slowly up Lexa’s spine, leaving a path of tingly heat in his wake. “She wasn’t this gorgeous though.”
“I’m right here. You can stop referring to me in the third person, Beau,” Lexa grumped and tried not to quiver as his fingers reversed course.
“Believe me, we know you’re here.” Diego moved so he was facing her, his fingertips brushing over the bare skin at the nape of her neck. “We’re very happy about that. You have no idea how happy.”
Lexa looked up into Diego’s chocolate brown eyes and was amazed at the heat burning in their depths. “Guys? We’re in the middle of a hotel. Whatever you think is going to happen, is not happening, and it is especially not happening out here in public.”
“Just a taste, please?” Diego murmured and lowered his head until their breath mingled and she could feel the heat of his skin shimmering against hers.
“Whoa, Dig! What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Diego’s childhood nickname tumbled out of Lexa’s mouth as she tugged her head back and away from him. She tried to move away but Diego’s hand spanned the back of her neck, making it impossible to step backward more than a few inches.
“I’m saying hello to an old friend,” Diego stated and then kissed her, his lips gentle as they lingered over hers. Before she could muster the brainpower to react he withdrew, leaving her heart pounding and her legs shaking in response to his touch.
“Hell, if you get to say hello with a kiss, so do I,” Beau said and moved in behind her so that her small body was tucked up against his. She could feel every hard inch of him as Beau leaned in and kissed her cheek. “We missed you,” he whispered against her skin and then moved back just enough to nuzzle her ear. “Can you tell?” Lexa’s insides turned to liquid heat and a shiver of eager need raced through her, obliterating every thought and instinct but an overwhelming urge to throw herself at one or both of the breath-stealing hunks currently touching her.


Thanks so much for stopping by and happy reading! :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

#SnippetSunday - WIP - Too Stupid To Live


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. Currently, the snippets are from a Work in Progress, the third story in the Cloudburst, Colorado series, and while they aren't consecutive, they are in order within the story. You can read last week's snippet HERE.

Today, I'm offering another snippet from the second chapter of The Cloudburst Coffee and Spa, a WIP in the Cloudburst Colorado series that deals with some of the darker kinks in love. Eighteen years have passed since Moira saw Aiden under the ponderosa, and now he's back in town, at least for a while. The snippet is unedited.

Aiden Westmorland parked his old Chevy pickup behind Mazie’s Five and Dime, and wondered for the millionth time what the hell he’d been thinking coming back to Cloudburst. Too stupid to live, I guess. He could give any excuse he wanted, but deep down the answer had been and always would be the same. Moira Callahan. She represented true north on his compass star, and he’d always be drawn back to her allure.
He’d hit the outskirts of town just ahead of the snowstorm bearing down on the little Rocky Mountain town. He didn’t believe this would be a quick one, despite the town’s name. The scent in the wind suggested the storm might last for quite a while. Mistress Cloudburst strikes again. The nickname made him grin and he turned off the truck before shoving his hands into gloves. The windows immediately fogged up as his warm breath hit the cooling glass, obscuring the view of the frozen parking lot.

So not so unaffected by his lady after all. ;) If you'd like to see a photo of the inspiration for Aiden, click HERE. There are several great authors on the Weekend Writing Warrior list and in the Snippet Sunday Facebook group. A few of my favorites are Anastasia Vitsky, SJ Maylee, Gem Sivad, Goran Zidar, Zee Monodee, and Karla Doyle.

Thanks so much for stopping by and happy reading. :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

#ThursThreads - Week 88 - Winners


Week 88 of #ThursThreads had some terrific tales. I'm honored to see all of the returning writers and read your stories. Thank you for coming back again and again to write. And welcome to the new folks who stopped by. Great thanks to Lexi Post for judging this week. :)

Entries:
  • Sophie Weeks | @torncashmere
  • Jeff Hollar | @klingorengi
  • Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil
  • Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir
  • Kelly Heinen | @Aightball
  • Cara Michaels | @caramichaels
  • Terry Crouse | @ducknado
  • Silver James | @SilverJames_
  • Cynthia Hudson Keane | @AuthorCAKeane
  • David A. Ludwig | @DavidALudwig
  • Mark Ethridge | @LurchMunster

Winners Announcement:

Honorable Mentions

Silver James | @SilverJames_
Lexi says: Great voice in this one that invites a reader to be part of the fun. Good tension and diffusion with sexual implications..

Cynthia Hudson | @AuthorCAKeane
Lexi says: This one satisfied on so many levels. Builds emotion in the reader and satisfies it.

Jeff Hollar | @klingorengi
Lexi says: Good mix of description, action, and historical flavor with both characters appearing strong (not easy to do).

Week 88 Winner



Lexi says: This piece was beautifully written with well placed wording and dialogue. Excellent depth to the main character and his inner turmoil with a clear idea as to the conflict that provides a strong hook. Makes me want to read the rest right now.

“Nemesis.” Her name left my mouth as the barest murmur, but Nemesis heard all; from the greatest roars to thoughts held in the darkest corners of souls.

She rose and faced me, a faint smile turning her mouth. The gentle curve reached along her cheeks, touching the corners of her eyes.

“It’s been too long, Eros. Centuries, if I’m not mistaken.” Arms outstretched, she took my hands, leaning in to kiss me lightly. “But I know why you’ve come at last.”

“Do you?” I exhaled a slow breath. “Then you are a step ahead of me. I am not sure what I expect from you.”

Justice. Revenge. Righting a wrong buried so deep within me I couldn’t be sure it was real.

I expected you to seek retribution. Long ago. I expected you to fight.” Her cool gray eyes assessed me, her head canting from left to right.

“I don’t remember.” I freed my hands, drove them through my hair. “I don’t remember a damned thing. Or maybe I do. But it’s twisted up and I can’t make sense of her.”

“Her?”

Her? No. There was no her. “It. I can’t make sense of it. Hades take them all who broke my mind. My memories.” My heart.

She heard my every thought. “There’s no revenge sweet enough to ease your bitter heart.”

“I don’t need revenge.”

“What, then?”

“I need to right what’s gone wrong.” I tapped my head, then my chest. “Inside of me.”

“Then I can help you.”

Congratulations TEN TIME WINNER Cara, Silver, Cynthia, and Jeff! 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! :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 88


Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Is it fall yet? It's Thursday again, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 88 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Need the rules? Read on!

Here's how it works:
  • The prompt is a line from the previous week's winning tale.
  • The prompt can appear ANYWHERE in your story and is included in your word count.
Rules to the Game:
  • This is a Flash Fiction challenge, which means your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 250.
  • Incorporate the prompt anywhere into your story (included in your word count).
  • Post your story in the comments section of this post
  • Include your word count (or be excluded from judging)
  • Include your Twitter handle or email (so we know how to find you)
  • The challenge is open 7 AM to 7 PM Pacific Time
  • The winner will be announced on Friday, depending on how early the judge gets up.
How it benefits you:
  • You get a nifty cool badge to display on your blog or site (because we're all about promotion - you know you are!)
  • You get instant recognition of your writing prowess on this blog!
  • Your writing colleagues shall announce and proclaim your greatness on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus

Our Judge for Week 88:

Classic Literature professor, left side driver, and erotic romance author, Lexi Post.



And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“There’s no revenge.”

All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Now, away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThreads. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mid Week Tease - The Beltane Witch - Bridge in the Mists


Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for this week's Mid Week Tease hosted by Sandra Bunino.

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.

My Mid Week Tease is from The Beltane Witch. Sabrina Foxglove has awakened in a strange place, a misty suspension bridge. But she's having trouble remembering where she was before...and breathing.

This had to be a dream because nothing like this stood in Cloudburst. The hazy silhouette of a great tree awaited her at the far end of the bridge, but the distance of the span escaped her estimation. She grasped the guy ropes and squeezed to find some sort of physical purchase, but her hands felt numb.
Where am I and how did I get here?
Memories sifted, as insubstantial as the mists around her. She shook her head to focus her thoughts, but everything swirled away as substantial as smoke. Something was wrong.
Sabrina sought to inhale, to find the scents of spring, but she couldn’t breathe. Panic gripped her mind and her hands tightened on the ropes. Oh Goddess, I can’t breathe! She bent at the waist and tried again, squeezing her eyes shut, but her lungs refused to expand.
Dear Goddess, am I dying? Is that why I’m at the edge of the bridge?
I can’t die! Who would care for her children? Who would protect them?
She wanted to wail her distress, but she had no air to expel sound. She bowed her head and tears fell, scalding her cheeks in fiery trails.
The ropes under her hands vibrated and she stilled, opening her eyes. Raising her head, she stared into the misty expanse of the bridge. A figure materialized half-way along the span, more solid than the rest of this world, and extended his hand out to her. She swallowed hard.
Darius? What is he doing here?

Get your magic, mayhem, and motherhood fix here:

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Release, Guest Post, and Giveaway from Silver James

First, thanks to Siobhan for asking me to guest post today. When thinking of something to write about, I realized it’s already September. This is important because September 22 marks the autumn equinox. The day is variously called Harvest home, Mabon, the Feast of the Ingathering, Meán Fómhair, or Alban Elfed. It’s the first day of Autumn, my favorite season of the year! But what exactly is the equinox, scientifically speaking?

The equinox occurs twice a year, in March and September. The plane of the Earth's equator passes the center of the Sun. When this occurs, the Earth's axis is tilted neither away from nor towards the Sun. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, night and day are about equal length.

The autumn equinox is a mysterious time of balance between day and night. From this date, until the spring equinox, days grow shorter and nights longer. In ancient times, it meant time to gather the harvest and to prepare for winter. People gave thanks for the bounty of summer, for the gifts of meat, cheese, furs, cloth—all the things needed to survive during the dark times to come. Today, most people don’t even mark the passing, other than to note it’s the first day of fall.

Me? While I’m not an active practitioner of Wicca, the old ways and gods fascinate me. As such, they often play roles in my writing. This is especially true with my new Urban Fantasy series, The Penumbra Papers. I’m often asked what a penumbra is. And here I get technical again. LOL Penumbra: Etymology: New Latin, from Latin paene (almost) + umbra (shadow). Yeah, I copied that from the dictionary to be all cool and stuff. *wink* The important thing is that light and dark fascinate me—whether physically in the change of seasons or emotionally in looking at good and evil within my characters.

In the northern hemisphere, the sun enters the astrological sign of Libra, which is the sign of the scales and of balance, at the autumn equinox. The glyph for Libra represents the sun setting/rising, expressing the balance between night and day. And I discovered something while putting this post together. Sade Marquis, my main character, is a Libra. She is a balance of light and dark, of human and magic, so it’s very appropriate that her astrological sign is the scales of justice.

I’d like to share a snippet from the newly released novella, THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC. The novella offers  a look at the world of Penumbra, where a human FBI agent deals with all the things that go bump in the night.

SNIPPET

THIS was only Day One of what was shaping up to be a bloody weird week and the gods had been drinking again. Too bad Sade Marquis didn’t have that option. She was on duty. Dammit. Not to mention it was only ten in the morning. However, if things got any stranger, she might change her mind.

She occupied the one booth that gave her a broad view of the whole place. Déjà Vu. All over again. Back in the early days, right after graduating from the FBI Academy, the New Orleans Field Office had been her first assignment. She’d leased an apartment upstairs from the Déjà Vu. The bar-restaurant combo became a second home. Open twenty-four/seven, she could eat no matter the time of day.

Jax Martine—or as she liked to think of him “a Jax of all trades”—sailed by her table and two glasses of ice water appeared in his wake. He was human, but Sade would bet dollars to donuts there was a witch in his family tree. She glanced at her watch and wondered if she could squeeze in a late breakfast. She was meeting her partner, who had no concept of time. Werewolves were like that.

Catching Jax’s attention, Sade wiggled her fingers through a complicated series of gestures. A plate with eggs, bacon, and French toast—real French toast made from thick-cut slices of crusty French bread—appeared a few minutes later, along with two more glasses of ice water to replace the ones she’d drained.

She was on her third cup of post-breakfast coffee when two girls sitting at the bar stirred. Their attention swiveled to the front door, eyes on the prime specimen of fae male swaggering into the shadowed space. Back-lit by a sunshine nimbus, Ariel made quite an entrance. Sade looked to heaven for a reprieve that didn’t come. Her day just kept getting better and better.

****

If you are interested in learning more about Penumbra, visit my WEBSITE. And you can buy THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC at:


To celebrate the Autumn Equinox, I’ll give away a free download of THAT OL’ BLACK MAGIC to a random commenter, in the format of the winner’s choice. Just answer this question: What’s your favorite season? And be sure to leave your email address or some way Siobhan and I can get in touch with you if you win!

Happy Autumn!


BIO:    Silver James likes to take walks on the dark side and coffee. Okay. She loves coffee. LOTS of coffee. Warning: Her Muse, Iffy, runs with scissors and can be quite dangerous. She’s the author of the best-selling Moonstruck series and new urban fantasy series, The Penumbra Papers. She's been a military officer's wife, mother, state appellate court marshal, airport rescue firefighter and forensic fire photographer, crime analyst, technical crime scene investigator, and writer of magic and mystery. Now retired from the “real world,” she lives in Oklahoma and spends her days at the computer with two Newfoundland dogs, the cat who rules them all, and myriad characters all clamoring for attention. She writes dark paranormal thrillers, time travel romance, and light contemporary with a kiss of suspense. To find out more about Silver, visit her at www.silverjames.com, email her at silverjames@swbell.net, or follow her infrequent tweets at @SilverJames_.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

#SnippetSunday - WIP - 18 Years and Counting


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. Currently, the snippets are from a Work in Progress, the third story in the Cloudburst, Colorado series, and while they aren't consecutive, they are in order within the story. You can read last week's snippet HERE.

Today, I'm offering another snippet from the second chapter of The Cloudburst Coffee and Spa, a WIP in the Cloudburst Colorado series that deals with some of the darker kinks in love. Eighteen years have passed since Moira saw Aiden under the ponderosa, and now she helps her brother Steven run the family bar, The Cliffhanger. The snippet is unedited.

“Is Talia coming in tonight?”
“No, I gave her the night off.”
“What? Are you crazy? It’s a Friday before St. Patrick’s Day. We need everyone here tonight.” Steven huffed and puffed like a big Irish bear.
“She’s taking her massage certification final. This is a big night for her. We’ll be fine.”
“I’ll call Kallen and Kevin. Hopefully, Kallen won’t be covered in sawdust and Kevin can scrub himself clean of horse.” Steven grimaced and picked up the phone.
“Good luck with that.” Moira replaced the board and shrugged, dissatisfaction eating through her gut.
“Hey, what is it with you? You on the rag or something?”
“Wow, could you be any more disgusting, Steven? It’s a wonder you don’t have a girlfriend with that mouth of yours.”
He flipped her off and turned back to the phone. Moira chaffed her arms and sniffed the air. Beyond the scents of beer and furniture polish, she detected the scent of storm, and excitement washed over her. Oh, knock it off! He’s gone and he’s not coming back.
Aiden.
The summer she’d truly been sixteen and never been kissed, at least not until he came around. But he’d left that fall, two years older and college bound, and she never saw him again.


What do you bet that's going to change? ;) If you'd like to see a photo of the inspiration for Aiden, click HERE. There are several great authors on the Weekend Writing Warrior list and in the Snippet Sunday Facebook group. A few of my favorites are Anastasia Vitsky, SJ Maylee, Gem Sivad, Goran Zidar, Zee Monodee, and Karla Doyle.

Thanks so much for stopping by and happy reading. :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fall Into Romance Hop Hosted by The Romance Reviews


Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for the Fall Into Romance Hop hosted by The Romance Reviews. As authors we spend a lot of time talking about our books (and if you're learning about me for the first time, all my books are in the right hand sidebar of my blog), but we're also readers. It's how most of us started writing in the first place.

One of my favorite authors out there is Karla Doyle. I first met her on Six Sentence Sunday and she would share snippets, six sentences at a time, of her stories. I was hooked immediately, and bought the book. Then she came out with her latest release Body of Work and her snippets pulled me in so fast, my wallet complained.

Here's the blurb:

Cassie has fantasized about the ginger-haired personal trainer for months. Brian is friendly, but never more—until he appears on her doorstep and shows her how much her flirting has affected him. The more she’s with him, the more Cassie wants the fairytale, not just hot sex with the six-two hunk. She can give Brian full access to her body, but after her ex’s reaction to her explicit photography business, sharing her secrets, and her heart, isn’t an option.

Brian knows better than to break the rules. Don’t date gym members. Keep his inner beast on a leash during sex. Cassie tested his resolve on number one her first day in the gym. Shattered the second rule when he touched her. The petite pixie shares his preferences in the bedroom. She makes him laugh and love—but past mistakes haunt him, emotionally and tangibly. Cassie’s worth the price he’ll pay for breaking the rules. Now he must convince her to give him her heart.

What I loved about this book was the reality Karla gave the characters. I could really see myself as Cassie and understand her fears. She wants to be seen as beautiful and to be appreciated for what she does, not just treated as a means to an end or another notch on a bedpost. And Brian has his own fears, with real world and long lasting repercussions from the past, that keep him under the thumb of the scumbag/sleezeballs we love to hate. Their journey in this story is both frustrating and heartwarming, and you cheer for them both the whole way through. Plus, these folks are hot and sexy when they get into bed (or on the table or up against the wall) together. ;)

Karla writes hot stories with witty and funny banter. I was sucked and laughed a good portion through the book, and I so wanted these folks to succeed together. I highly recommend it as a read and as Karla Doyle as an author. She's already on my auto-buy list. :D

Vegas Dice Keychain Swag
So what does this mean for you? Well since this is a giveaway hop, I'm giving away $10 Amazon Gift Card and some fun Vegas swag to TWO lucky commenters. All you have to do is:

  • Follow my blog (under the pomegranate on the right sidebar)
  • Come like my Facebook Page
  • Leave a comment on this post with a valid email address or Twitter handle
  • Answer this question: Would you keep going to a gym just to see a handsome guy who works there?
The giveaway is open from September 13th to 11:59 PM Eastern US time September 21st 2013. My giveaway is open internationally for the giftcard and US only for the Vegas swag. Winner's choice of the black or gold dice keychain.

So are you ready to hop? Click on the button below to visit the next blog. You need to be logged in at The Romance Reviews to hop via the button. If you haven't registered, click on the button and go to the top right side of the TRR page. Registration is free. Good luck and great hopping.

The Romance Reviews Hop

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading. :)

#ThursThreads - Week 87 - Winners


Week 87 of #ThursThreads had some terrific tales. I'm honored to see all of the returning writers and read your stories. Thank you for coming back again and again to write. And welcome to the new folks who stopped by. Great thanks to Bobby Creighton for judging this week. :)

Entries:
  • Kelly Heinen | @Aightball
  • Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil
  • Greg Nance | @acenance
  • Toni Morrow Wyatt | @Toni1777
  • Rebecca Brennan | @bexbrennan
  • Charley Emma | @Charley_001
  • Silver James | @SilverJames_
  • Simone Millien | @Simone_writes
  • Dr. Magoo | @drmagoo
  • Jessica West | @West1Jess
  • Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir
  • Charley Descoteaux | @CharleyDescote
  • David A. Ludwig | @DavidALudwig
  • Tempest LeTrope | @UndeadNether
  • Nellie Batz | @solimond
  • Cynthia Hudson Keane | @AuthorCAKeane
Bobby says: I'd like to mention that they're all very creative and good short stories

Winners Announcement:

Honorable Mentions

Tempest LeTrope | @UndeadNether
Bobby says: Very touching an creative with detail. Really gave me a feel for the words.

Toni Morrow Wyatt | @Toni1777
Bobby says: The end was a surprise, very creative and light.

Nellie Batz | @solimond
Bobby says: I just liked it. Seemed common between couples, but well written. Cliche relationship on the mark.

Week 87 Winner


Camera Shy for Dr. Magoo
Bobby says: He really got the theme and turned it into written poetry. Dr Magoo really hit his mark.

There’s blood everywhere. I can see it in your veins, pulsing forward with each beat of your heart.

There’s blood everywhere. I can smell it, the pure red mixing with the filthy air as it arcs out through the would I made in your side.

There’s blood everywhere. I can feel it, hot at first, then cooling as it dries on my clothes, my hands, my face.

There’s blood everywhere. I can hear it, dripping into puddles, pooling around my feet, coating my soles with a trail that I will leave for anyone who wants to follow.

There’s blood everywhere, but I cannot taste it, forced as I am to cry wordlessly into the night with no tongue.
There’s blood everywhere.

I roll over in bed, dripping and cold, clothes engorged with mingled sweat and urine. There’s no blood. There’s no revenge. There’s only my weakness, and the prison I will never escape.

Congratulations THREE Time Winner Dr. Magoo, Tempest, Toni, and Nellie! 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! :)