Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mid Week Tease - The Navy's Ghost - A Brand New Nickname


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 my upcoming release The Navy's Ghost. Ensign Christiana Brickman woke up in the hospital with a broken and torn leg. She's out of the SEALs, but she's always worried about her squad. Fortunately, the men are just as concerned with her.


“Did you catch them all, sir?” Crushing the terrorist cell would improve her mood.
“Yes. Bravo Squad went in at 1900 the day you returned to Coronado.” The lt. commander lost his smile, but fierce triumph glowed in his eyes. Hooyah, they’d gotten the bastards. She nodded her gratitude, but her gut clenched with loss. She’d been left behind already.
“Glad to hear it, sir. Would you pass on my congrats to the squad, sir?”
“Will do, Ensign.” A half-smile curled his lips. “They also took your nickname for the Squad.”
“My nickname, sir?” Chris blinked.
“Bravo Squad does it mo’betta?” He chuckled at her blank stare. “They shortened it to Beta Squad, because they’re second to none.”
Chris gaped at her CO. “Did I really say that, sir?”
“Yes, Ensign. Under the influence of morphine. I have multiple reports.” He raised an eyebrow. “You don’t remember?”
“No, sir.”
“They’ve adapted it out of honor and affection for you, Brickman.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”
“They are all looking forward to seeing you.”
“Thank you, sir.” Chris didn’t really want them to see her like this.
They lapsed into silence again. What more was there to say? The squad had vanquished the terrorist cell and only she’d sustained injuries. At least as far as she knew.
“Was anyone else wounded in the latest op?”
“No, Ensign. The squad came through without a scratch this time.”
This time. Chris tried not to take it personally, but the phrase stuck in her mind.

The Navy's Ghost will be available on Smashwords, ARe, and Amazon on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snippet Sunday - Christmas ICE Magic - Seeking the Light


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. Today I'm introducing my Christmas novella in the Happy Holidays from the Crescent Moon Lodge anthology, Christmas ICE Magic. It was just released today, November 24th! Squeee!

Lily Sinclair hates Christmas because it only reminds her of her twin brother's death. She's determined to see him one last time, even at the expense of her own life.

Lily Sinclair shouldered her overnight pack and settled her goggles over her face as she resumed her trek into the gently falling snow. Extreme camping at Christmas on Mt. Charleston hadn’t seemed like such a bad idea in October, but the weather proved to be more challenging than she’d expected in December. Too late to turn back now.
She’d already been hiking for four hours on Christmas Eve and the sky grew darker with each step up the slopes. Her crampons crunched in the crusty snow and icy wind chapped her face below the goggles. She had a funny feeling she’d be seeing her brother soon, and no matter what her reason told her, she couldn’t shake the certainty. Linus has been dead for two years. You won’t see him tonight no matter what extremes you go to. But the certainty wouldn’t leave.

Sounds like she's hurting pretty bad. 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.

If you're interested in more from Christmas ICE Magic, here's the blurb:

For Lily Sinclair, Christmas means sorrow and loss since the death of her twin brother. The magic is gone and she only wants to see her brother one more time. As an Ice Demon Zachary Snow is used to rescuing people in winter, but he’d never rescued anyone like Lily. Now he must convince her the magic she wants is in life itself.

It's available now at Smashwords. Thanks so much for stopping by and happy reading. :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

#ThursThreads - Week 97 - Winners


Week 97 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 it was wonderful to have some folks we haven't seen in a while. Welcome back! Great thanks to Jeff Hollar for judging this week. :)

Entries:
  • Rafe Brox | @etcet
  • Kelly Heinen | @Aightball
  • Mark Ethridge | @LurchMunster
  • Eric Martell | @drmagoo
  • Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir 
  • Robert Mahone | @computilizer
  • Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil
  • Silver James | @SilverJames_
  • Doris O'Connor | @mamaD8
  • David Ludwig | @DavidALudwig

Winners Announcement:

Honorable Mentions

Sheilagh Lee | @SweetShiel
Jeff says: Who doesn’t love a story about a boy and his pets? I had something of an idea of where this was headed but was thrown for a loop by the vampire twist. Guess zombies won’t be as much of a threat to the already dead, eh?

Doris O'Connor | @mamaD8
Jeff says: This bittersweet dream vignette really popped with descriptive phrasing and well-chosen characterization that left me almost feeling as if I were a fly on the wall in the main character’s bath chamber. This has real potential to be a larger work and I might just read such based solely on the snippet here. Very engaging effort.

Silver James | @SilverJames_
Jeff says: This bittersweet dream vignette really popped with descriptive phrasing and well-chosen characterization that left me almost feeling as if I were a fly on the wall in the main character’s bath chamber. This has real potential to be a larger work and I might just read such based solely on the snippet here. Very engaging effort.
 
Week 97 Winner




Jeff says: The overall tone of this piece was what kept drawing me back to it. Though I have no idea of the specifics, the narrator is obviously a being of great power who is not only familiar with mankind but none too impressed by us. That feeling of distaste, veiled anger and impending judgment left me wanting to know more about what exactly this being has in mind for us. Masterful!

They die too soon, the trees. Even the longest-lived oak retains its verdure for no more than a few centuries, barely enough to register in my consciousness. The plague that is humanity, however, that I am fully cognizant of. Miniscule though they might be alone, collectively they have the power to bring ruin to anything they touch, even one as mighty as I.

Vain though it might be, I have strived through the centuries to moderate their behavior. I am but one, however, and they are many. I know exactly how many, for I have a list with each of their infernally short names inscribed upon it. The ones who meet my criteria are rewarded with plentitude and joy. The ones who do not are denied my largesse. But selfish though they be as a species, even the promise of material rewards are not enough to ameliorate their basest instincts.

Their reckoning will come, long delayed though it may be. I have gathered an army of fell beasts to do my bidding. Once only eight, they are now nine, and nine is a number of great power. In a few short weeks, hardly enough time to breathe, we will begin our assault on the beasts that crawl over the world, fouling everything they touch. The red light in the sky will herald our coming, and none shall escape my wrath.

Congratulations Four Time Winner Eric, Sheilagh, Doris, and Silver! 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, November 21, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tale Together - Week 97


Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. How can it almost be Thanksgiving? Well, it's Thursday today, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 97 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 97:

The Ferengi dealer, Klingon warrior, zombie encourager, Jeff Hollar.


And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“They die too soon.”

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, November 20, 2013

Mid Week Tease - The Navy's Ghost - Boys' Names


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 my upcoming release The Navy's Ghost. Todd "Magic" Hunter is the medic in Bravo Squad of the Navy SEALs Team 9. He's just managed to save Ensign Brickman from bleeding out and the near loss has triggered his emotions. Brickman is high on morphine and says anything she feels.

Dear God, of all of us, why her?
It didn’t matter. She’d survived. End of story. Magic made sure the morphine dulled some of her pain as they medevac’d her ass home and periodically checked the bandages around her thigh. She’s fine. Stop fussing. But he couldn’t help the checking or the worry.
As she lay dying on the grimy floor of the Nicaraguan warehouse, his feelings for Ensign Christiana Brickman had crystallized into blinding clarity. I love her. He’d ignored the thought in favor of saving her life, but now, with the squad around him and the action settled, it came roaring back into his mind, clear as day. Jubilation mixed with terror settled into his gut. No fraternization within the ranks. Too bad his heart couldn’t remember the rules.
“How’s she doing, Magic?” Retro shouted through the mic to Magic over the rotors.
“Stable for now. High as a kite, but stable.”
“Good to hear. Pilot says back on base in fifty mikes.”
“Roger that.”
“Why do they always use boys’ names for everything?”
Retro and Magic turned to the woman lying between them and met the clouded hazel gaze beneath the lowered brows. “Say again, Brickman?”
“Boys’ names. Why do they always use them for everything?”
“What are you talking about?” Retro raised an eyebrow.
“You know, Mike for minute, Roger for understood.” Brickman rolled her head to pin Retro with her focus. “Jimmy for futzing with locks. Hey, your name is Jim.” She licked her lips and swallowed. “I like your name, Jim Retro. And I like you, too. You’re handsome.”

The Navy's Ghost will be available on Smashwords, ARe, and Amazon on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday Souvenirs - To Ink or Not To Ink


Good morning. I'm starting a little late today, but I have a good excuse.

Instead of working on nitpicky edits (which need to be done but are a pain in the butt), I got distracted by designing a tattoo. For one of my characters. In my upcoming release, The Navy's Ghost. Yeah, sometimes I'll do anything to get away from edits. :D

So here's a little excerpt about the tattoo I was working on from The Navy's Ghost.

“I needed you, Magic, and you weren’t there. I needed you and Retro. I still need you.”
Her abject misery tore at his heart and he kicked himself for not paying closer attention. This is the woman you love? What the hell’s wrong with you?
“I’m here, darlin’. I’m sorry I missed it. Retro is, too, I’ll bet. How ’bout we make it up to you?” He reached around her to the end table where he’d dropped his phone and tapped the text feature to answer Jim’s earlier message. “How ’bout I make sure you’re back’s fine then we shoot the shit for a while? Sound good?”
He tapped out a text let Jim know he’d found Chris and right now she needed them. While most of the guys scattered to the four winds in search of hot pussy to take care of the adrenaline build-up after an op, Jim had tried to visit Ghost. And couldn’t find her.
God knows Retro could probably find pussy right here with Chris. Her offer still stood as far as Todd knew and he didn’t mind putting it to the test. The only problem lay in Chris’s inebriation. He’d never fucked a drunk girl and he wasn’t about to start the trend now. Todd hit send on the text and squeezed Chris. “You still awake over there, darlin’?”
“Yeah. I’m thirsty.”
“Let me make you some coffee and I’ll check your back.”
“I don’ want any coffee. Don’t you have something stronger?” She sat up a little, bracing her elbows on her knees.
“Not in this house.” That wasn’t strictly true, but her breath could light a gas fire and he wouldn’t encourage increasing her blood toxicity. “You still on pain meds for your leg?”
“Not if I can help it.” Chris shook her head. “They make me groggy and most of the time it doesn’t hurt that bad. God, my back hurts now.”
“Let me get the coffee started and I’ll take a look.” Magic filled the coffee maker with enough coffee grounds to make a thick sludge. He could almost hear his father’s voice say, Strong enough to put hair on your chest. His phone pinged with an incoming text and he snatched it on the way back to the couch.
On my way.
Todd nodded at Retro’s response. Good. He scanned the living room for his med kit, but he’d taken it back to the guest bathroom. Chris still sat with her elbows on her knees and didn’t look like she’d move any time soon. Magic retreated to the bathroom for the med kit and returned to the couch, setting the bag on the floor.
 “All right now. Let’s take a look at your back.”
Chris didn’t move as he slowly peeled the tape from her taut skin. The odd smell hit his nose again and he held back a grimace as he pulled back the bandage. Thick black lines etched a swath from hip to hip across her lower back in a Celtic trinity knot. The top pointed up her spine and the side tips dipped into the dimples above her buttocks. The central lines of the knot wrapped in an intricate heart pattern before straightening into the larger loops.
The artist had talent and the tattoo looked lovely against her skin. Magic tried not to imagine holding her hips while he fucked her from behind while staring at the crisp, black design. She’s drunk, remember? The coffee would help with her inebriation.
Damn, Retro better get here soon.

Sounds like Todd and Jim have their hands full and better make it up to Chris. But that was the tattoo I spent all day drawing. Here's what I came up with.


This is the first tattoo I've drawn from scratch and I'm considering putting on my own body after all the work I did trying to figure out where the friggin' loops went. Celtic knots are hard to draw and it made my brain hurt by the time I was done. But I think it will go great with the other tattoo I have.


I love permanent art, but it took me several years to find anything I wanted to leave on my body forever (because once it's there, it ain't comin' off). Mr. SM says tattoos are addictive, but for me it comes down to art that means something to me. See the heart at the end of the dragon's tail? It says paranormal romance all the way.

So do you like ink? Would you get a tattoo? And if you already have one, would you get another?

Thanks for stopping by. :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

#ThursThreads - Week 96 - Winners


Week 96 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 it was wonderful to have some new faces. Welcome! Great thanks to Alicia White for judging this week. :)

Entries:
  • Cara Michaels | @caramichaels
  • Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil
  • Doris O'Connor | @mamaD8
  • Lila Shaw | @Lila_Shaw
  • Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir 
  • Silver James | @SilverJames_
  • Mark Ethridge | @LurchMunster
  • Stacy Bennett-Hoyt | @Rowanwolf66
  • Kelly Heinen | @Aightball

Winners Announcement:

Honorable Mentions

Doris O'Connor | @mamaD8
Alicia says: "At your service, ma'am." That line made me grin and let my mind wonder. :)

Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir
Alicia says: This story left me curious. I'm going to read the book. I have to know what happens next.

Lila Shaw | @Lila_Shaw
Alicia says: The ending was really cute.
 
Week 96 Winner



Alicia says: I have to say that the story was touching and emotional. In only 250 words, I was pulled in and now I want to read more. Where can I read Ariel's book?

He stared into her dulled eyes, red-rimmed and rheumy with age. Her gnarled fingers plucked at the softly woven blanket covering legs bent and twisted by the years of her lifetime. With a hand shaking with gentleness, he smoothed listless gray locks from her face.

“Are you ready, sweetheart?”

Her eyes lifted to his and for an instant, he saw the lively, funny girl who’d once lived inside her. Then she blinked, and the girl he’d once loved was replaced by the old woman with no memory of their time together.

His heart hurt, as if such a thing was even possible for someone like him.

“Ready?” She formed the word with great concentration.

“It’s time to go.”

Hands fluttering like nervous birds, she gestured around the small room in the nursing home. “Don’t understand…” Her frail voice whispered like snowflakes drifting on the wind.

“It’s moving day.”

“Oh.”

Just as he picked her up and settled her easily in his arms, a nurse appeared in the doorway.

“What are you doing? Who are you? Put her down! I’m calling security!”

He ignored the woman’s tirade. Gold sparkles swirled around them. “Close your eyes.” Moments later, they appeared in the Summerlands, met by the Goddess and his Queen.

“Where am I?”

“Your forever home, love. As I promised.”

Titania’s lip curled into a disdainful smile. “This is why fae don’t fall in love with humans, Ariel. They die too soon.”

And took a piece of his heart each time.

Congratulations Four Time Winner Silver, Lila, and Doris! 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, November 14, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 96


Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Are you ready for November? No? Well, it's Thursday today, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 96 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 96:


The Iced-coffee drinker, purveyor of hot hunks of the day, and erotic romance author, Alicia White.


And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“It’s moving day.”

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, November 13, 2013

Mid Week Tease - Not a Dragon's Standard Virgin - Fantasies in the Dark


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 Not a Dragon's Standard Virgin. Jonarrion Swiftwind is not your average warrior, nor does he have average goals. A warm bed, a willing woman who's NOT a virgin, and a demon-free lifestyle. At the moment, however, he's missing all three.

Jonarrion shook his head, trying to clear it of memories. He watched the redheaded lass square her shoulders and nod sharply as the moon sent one last shaft of light to illuminate her. She became a glorious angel, her beauty a gift from the Goddess for the work he’d done. The light disappeared, and she vanished into obscurity over the edge of the hill toward the village of Lochmore Cott.
Ah well, you knew you couldn’t have her. He sighed and resumed walking again along the road. Perhaps he’d see her while he stayed in the village, looking his fill from afar. He knew it was all he could do, because any girl with such beauty and obvious breeding had a family looking out for her. And they’d never give such a girl to a dragon. He chuckled ruefully.
Jonarrion wrapped his Dublin plaid, a special blend of pale turquoise, oxblood, and crimson, with a single strand of yellow for his family, around his head and shoulders to keep out the wind. The weight of his bastard sword thumped gently against his back as he walked. He adjusted the thick leather belt, securing it to his hips so it wouldn’t rub against his subsiding cockstand.
Seven hundred years old and the bloody thing still has a mind of its own. He pushed his six-foot-three-inch frame against the wind and hoped the village boasted a decent inn. He could use a warm bed and a hot meal, not to mention a bath. His last bed had been the heather for which the Scottish Highlands were famous, and it had left him smelling like a windswept moor.
If he had luck on his side, he’d see the Fae-like girl once more. Even if not, she’d certainly feature in his dreams that night.

Get your non-standard virgin fix here:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sexy Selkie Sex Magick and a New Release From Nara Malone

Nara Malone stopped by this week to tell me all about her adventure in writing Make Me Wet, her new release from Ellora's Cave Publishing. But like all Nara Malone adventures, she sucks you in and takes you with her. The last time it was cooking with Master Bond. This time, she takes you swimming with a Selkie and you can visit Selkie Island in her online virtual world of Nara's Nook. But for now, I leave you in her capable hands. :)

DCFC0181

Seven tears cast upon the water summon the selkie. Ronin had me hooked when that first line whispered through my mind. I didn't know his name yet. I didn't know his story. Some characters are quick to reveal themselves and others take their sweet time. Ronin likes going slooow.

But he hooked my heart with those tears. Most men run from tears. A selkie swims to them. From across the deep Atlantic, Ronin heard Maille's tears fall into the surf, could taste each one. A woman's tears free a selkie from his enchantment,free him for one night, sunset to sunrise. Free him to be her every desire.

DCFC0153 (2)

My journey to know Ronin's story took me to a small barrier island, where I spent a few days living in a tent. Cold autumn winds pummeled me and the tent.

DCFC0166 (2)

Sand worked it's way under clothes into my sleeping bag, and into my meals. It didn't matter because once the sun started to set the wild ponies came out. The stallions call rang out in the dark and sometimes I get a glimpse of him trotting between dunes head high.

After a couple of days I woke up to find the entire herd grazing around my tent.  Yes, the wild horses made their way into my selkie tale too.

DCFC0223

When I came home I recreated the island in a virtual world online. In that process more characters revealed themselves:

The blue-skinned Goddess, Mere.

The kelpie stallion, Trey. And Maille.

Trailer

Writing Make Me Wet was an adventure for me. I've left the world and the characters I created online for readers to interact with and explore.

You can learn how to login at Selkie Island and visit Shadowling Manor here on the series website: Passion's Portal.com.

I hope you enjoy discovering Ronin's story as much as I did.

Blurb for Make Me Wet:

makemewet_msr
Seven tears cast upon the water summon the selkie, summon seal across the ocean, summon man from beast—liquid keys to break the curse. Freed one night every seven years, Ronin is doomed to repeat that cycle into eternity. Unless he can find a woman powerful enough to resist a selkie’s irresistible pheromones and sex magick.

Maille believes she lost reality between Maine and New Mexico. Between where she is now and where she should be. She believes in facts, not magick. But facts can’t explain how she wound up naked on a beach with the sexiest man she’s ever laid eyes on. Or how she knows in her bones that losing herself in the passion Ronin offers is a path to disaster.

It’s going to be a long, hot, wet night. Caught between sex magick and a sexy selkie, disaster is inevitable for Maille. To break the enchantment she has to rely on the oldest magick of all—the power of love-drenched hearts.

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you
are under the age of 18, please exit this site.

An Excerpt From: MAKE ME WET

Copyright © NARA MALONE, 2013

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

A piercing cry rose above the thunder of surf. Human? A seal could sound so human it was hard to tell the difference. Whichever, Maille recognized it as a wail of mortal distress. She couldn’t say how she understood that, no more than she could say how she wound up on the beach. One fact she was certain of—she couldn’t ignore it.

Without thought for consequences she plunged into the surf, diving under swells, power-stroking through roiling water.

Once past the breakers Maille paused, treading water as she turned in circles, searching in the inky swells for the curve of a human head. Impossible with the waves breaking moonlight into sequined facets and the rise and fall of swells tall as houses.

She’d never find him. She needed him to cry out once more.

“Come on. Give me a hint.”

An irregular shape, not seal-like or wavelike, caught her attention. As she paddled closer, she made out a man waving, heard his hoarse cry before his head disappeared below a wave. He resurfaced choking.

She dove under the water, swimming straight for where she’d seen him last. She resurfaced as he went under again, but she was close enough now to reach his long hair, swirling like dark kelp in the water. She grabbed a handful.

It was surprisingly easy to pull him along, as if he had managed to overcome his instinctive terror and submit to her rescue. He might not have been so submissive had he realized, as she did now, that they weren’t making progress.

Riptide. Crap.

Maille fought down a sudden kick of panic in her chest, struggling to swim parallel to the shore, caught by swells that tossed them dangerously close to jagged rocks. She had to concentrate her energy on swimming north until they were beyond the rip where
she was free to swim shoreward.

When her feet finally found ground, a wave slammed her, flinging them both onto the sand. Depositing them in a tangle of limbs. Maille on top.

A small wave washed over them, and the sensation was that of a liquid blanket settling around her shoulders and then melting away. Panting, draped over his body,Maille was too spent to lift her head from a pillow of seaweed.

Another wave swept up, warm liquid fingers caressing her thighs.

She needed to move him higher up the beach, away from the rising tide, see to his needs. With a groan she pushed up to hands and knees, still straddling his body.

Damn! She’d hauled in one hell of a wet dream. Jet-black hair fanned out on the sand. His body lean, long and lusciously muscled. She started to lick her lips, caught herself, and forced her tongue back in her mouth. She was supposed to be saving his
life, not jumping his bones.

Something was wrong. That realization drowned attraction in a wave of adrenaline.

His chest didn’t seem to be moving. Her breath caught and her heartbeat kicked up to double time. Maille thought there’d been a slight rise and fall of his chest beneath her breasts when they’d first washed ashore. His lips looked blue. But when she put her ear to his chest, the beat of his heart was strong and quick.

She scraped her mind for facts.

Fact—a heart could beat for several minutes after breathing stopped.

Would his lips still be blue?

Fact—in the moonlight everything looked blue.

Fact—his eyelids were at half-mast, and there was a barely perceptible gleam aimed at her. He probably didn’t need to be resuscitated.

Fact—she could discover the state of his respiration in other ways than this slow descent of her head and the pressing of lips to his. He tasted like sin and secrets.

His lips were warm and firm under hers, and they parted in a humid mingling of breath. Goddess, he smelled wonderful. She inhaled the scent of male and mystery laced with magick. Worries over what was real, what wasn’t, where she was, trickled away like so many grains of sand.

Fact…

Fuck a bunch of facts.

Buy link: http://www.ellorascave.com/make-me-wet.html

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

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday Souvenirs - NaNoWriMo Motivation - How to Keep the Flame Alive


We're a week into National Novel Writing Month. Can you hear the nails being bitten and the coffee being drunk? And then the scream of frustration as you just can't get the muse to tell you more right when you need it.

With NaNoWriMo upon us, and everyone feverishly trying to write/finish a novel in 30 days, there’s hardly time to think about anything else. But sometimes even feverish efforts hit burnout and it’s hard to keep up the pace to finish 50K words in thirty days. How do you keep going when you hit a wall?

One of the best things to remember is you’re not alone. There are a lot of people in the writing world who participate in NaNoWriMo and they are all in the same boat. I have several friends who compete each year in NaNo. What they’ve told me works best is having NaNo-buddies, friends who can alternately cajole and whip you into writing when you just want to quit. Having someone like this is one of the essential tools to getting NaNo done. I make an excellent cheerleader and encourager. Just sayin’.

So when you hit that wall where you hate what you’re writing and you’re pretty sure it equals pond scum, just remember you can fix it later. Get the rough story down and don’t worry about its “goodness”. Good writing is rewriting anyway. It doesn’t have to be awesome, it just has to be done. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll get done.


Another thing that helps with inspiration is #flashfiction writing. There are several challenges during the week set aside specifically to encourage motivation and inspiration. #FlashFridayFic, #55WordChallenge, #ThursThreads, and the new one #RacetheDate, are all challenges meant to motivate you into writing and help spark your muse. Each of these challenges occur weekly and can help with your word count for the day.


This is a huge task you’re undertaking, but you can do it. One hour, two tops, and you can get that word count in. I’ll cheer you on.

If you've done NaNoWriMo before, what tricks do you use to keep yourself going?

Good luck and happy NaNoWriMo!

Friday, November 8, 2013

#ThursThreads - Week 95 - Winners


Week 95 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 it was wonderful to have some new faces. Welcome! Great thanks to Courtney Sheets for judging this week. :)

Entries:
  • Mark Ethridge | @LurchMunster
  • Cara Michaels | @caramichaels
  • Greg Nance | @acenance
  • Cari Oleskewicz | @Carilynn72
  • Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil
  • Kelly Heinen | @Aightball
  • Silver James | @SilverJames_ 
  • Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir
  • Sandra Bunino | @SandraBunino
  • David A. Ludwig | @DavidALudwig
  • Stacey Greene | @RoryBrazen

Winners Announcement:

Honorable Mentions

Cara Michaels | @caramichales
Courtney says: I enjoyed the playful nature of the segment and I'm a hard sell on werewolves. It was fun to read and made want to know what happens next.

Sandra Bunino | @SandraBunino
Courtney says: I enjoyed the underlining angst and subtle ness to the segment. I felt there was so much more to explore with that one.

Silver James | @SilverJames_
Courtney says: I loved her hard-as-nails heroine who faced down this creature who once was obviously her love. I would love to what comes next and how she saves him from this fate

Week 95 Winner



Courtney says: I enjoyed how in such a short allotment of words he was able to create an entire world. The descriptive nature of the segment really painted picture in my mind. Also I liked how the prompt use felt organic and not forced into place.

Perfect Circle

I quietly gazed out the window across the hazy shades of the garden that we once cared for as one. Flowers once bloomed brilliant blues and reds and heavenly white from nothing more than our love and care, but the lilies are all faded, the ‘bells are dead and the roses weep crimson upon the walking stones.

The birds no longer sing happy melodies from the trellis gate, but now hop quietly across the ground preying on the innocent and ignorant. Our sanctuary is a grey shade of death, maligned with hate. I killed the flowers. Their beautiful blooms were my casualties as their stems stand as a legion of corpses from my uncaring and disregard.

The bottle tastes good. It always does, now. A smile twists its way upon my face, but not everything to smile about is nice. The keys in my pocket carry me away. I see the ironic headline in tomorrow’s paper in my head, “Drinking Driver Kills Drunk Driver Who Killed His Wife.”

Clanging keys against my bars wake me from my dream. My past. “Get up, prisoner. It’s moving day.”

Glaring through groggy eyes, I ask, “Moving where? This place is mine.”

Without a word, the guard opened the door and dragged me toward death row. Finally, an end I could live with.

Congratulations Three Time Winner Greg, Cara, Sandra, and Silver! 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, November 7, 2013

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 95


Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Are you ready for November? No? Well, it's Thursday today, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 95 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 95:


The Absinthe cocktail drinker, Wonder Woman in disguise, and erotic romance author, Courtney Sheets.


And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“This place is mine.”

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, November 6, 2013

Mid Week Tease - Not a Dragon's Standard Virgin - Needing a Man


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 Not a Dragon's Standard Virgin. Isabelle Andersen needs a man, bad. But not for the normal things a good Scottish lass needs. She needs him to take her virginity to save her from the Dragon Sacrifice practiced by her village. The problem is, the men in her village won't touch her with a three meter pike. Isabelle just needs one handsome stranger. Tonight is her lucky night.

Isabelle damn near dropped the pottery flagon she’d cleaned when the stranger stepped inside her father’s tavern.
Glory be! I have never seen such a beautiful man.
He stood tall, even taller than Angus MacLeod, the blacksmith’s son who stood at exactly six feet. Dark-brown hair hung, braided at his temples, with the rest pulled back to the base of his neck with a leather thong. Brilliant blue eyes the color of lupine flowers looked out beneath dark, arching brows and long lashes. His neatly trimmed beard framed a generous mouth beneath a slightly flattened nose that looked as if it had been damaged in a fight and healed incorrectly.
Isabelle trembled with his intangible power, reveling in the sight of his masculine beauty. His rugged features made him look mysterious and dangerous, sending a feminine pulse straight to her womb. If ever a man existed to whom her virginity should be given, this was him.
Oh, aye, and now all you have to do is ask him. Her gaze swept down his body as he pulled his plaid off his head and surveyed the great room. William MacLeod, the only elder still left in the Careless Wench, stood talking with her father, and the stranger strode toward them with the sinuous grace of a warrior. He reminded Isabelle of the stories she’d heard about William Wallace of old. The sword sticking up over his left shoulder and the chainmail shirt confirmed it, but so did the way he moved.
She sighed a little as he gave her a view of his broad back, and she had the odd urge to see if it was as heavily muscled and powerful as she guessed.
Bloody hell, lass. Focus on what you’re doing.

Get your non-standard virgin fix here:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Author Spotlight and New Release from Annalise Walker


Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked! Today I have the opportunity to spotlight multipublished author J. Annas Walker. Her debut release Spectral Radiance is out and she's offered an excerpt for you to enjoy.

BLURB

Jody and Austin Pressman have been down on their luck, but things are starting to look up. A new job in a new town might just be the fresh start they're looking for, or it could mean their end. The derelict old house came at a reasonable price, but will the shadows give them peace? What binds a soul to the place of death? Is there any hope of breaking free?

STORY EXCERPT

The rain came down as if someone had opened a tap. One second there was nothing. The next, it looked like a picture of monsoon rains in a scientific magazine. More thunder rumbled overhead.

Stepping inside, she found large white sheets draped over the furniture. The lightning made them look like B-movie ghosts hovering just inside the door. Feeling around on the wall, she found the old-fashioned, push button switch. She pressed the bottom button.

The lights came on but flickered a bit. Clearly, the outside wasn’t the only thing neglected about the house. Dusty fixtures lit up the front room. At the far end, a small hearth sat empty, save a small scrap of charred wood. A small office area connected to the wrap-around porch, allowing guests to conduct farm business without entering the family’s living area. Narrow, steep stairs led up to the second floor. Cobwebs covered the simple newel posts. Beside the stairs, a dark hallway led to what Jody assumed was the kitchen.

She ventured farther in, raking her hands along the wall, hoping to find more switches. Lightning flashed, illuminating the entire kitchen. Something dark darted across the open doorway.

Jody’s stomach clenched tight. Living in a haunted house definitely made the bottom of her wish list. She hesitated, reaching her hand around the door jamb just enough to feel for the switch. The button sank with a heavy click, turning on the simple, bare bulb hanging from an insulated wire over a large rectangular table.

If you'd like to find out more about Spectral Radiance, you can find it here:
Amazon
Smashwords

For Annalise Walker:


Annalise Walker grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Here she spent many hours listening to traditional folktales. From this came her love of writing. After attending UNC-Charlotte, Annalise continued writing by night. These days she lives with her husband, two sons, and her very self-important cat.

Annalise's favorite authors include Laurell K. Hamilton, Darynda Jones, Kim Harrison, Jeaniene Frost, and Stephen King.

You can find her here:
Website
On Facebook
On Twitter

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading! :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Snippet Sunday - Cloudburst #3 - Just One Slip


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 the last 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, but her family wasn't thrilled with him. Her brother Kieran has a different perspective on it. This snippet is unedited and Kieran speaks first.

“But Moira never had a problem with you and I trust her instincts more than I trust my brothers’. I figure they all had it wrong about you.”
“Thanks.”
“Yeah, well, back to my earlier point. If you’re only here for a two week spell and then gone again, stay away from my sister.”
“And if I’m staying longer?” Aiden had come back to Cloudburst for his missing heart. He’d lost it eighteen years earlier when he ran from the one woman the inner statistician said had a ninety-seven percent chance of being his life partner. She’d been too young and too na├»ve then. But she’d grown up and he wanted to be with his heart.
“I might just let it slip where she lives now.” Kieran winked and patted the bar. “You just let me know.”

Not as much animosity as originally thought. 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. :)