Tag Archives: Fiction

Back in The Saddle

Well, technically, the saddle is a chair.

 

At my desk inside the master bedroom. That’s where I keep my laptop.

The Fall Semester has ended and the Holidays have passed, (Thank God! They were exhausting, weren’t they?)

While I am awaiting the start of Spring classes at my local Community College, I’ve been trying to make use of the downtime with WRITING!

And just in case you’re interested, I am working on the third and final book in my thrilling Sci-Fi trilogy!

The book is called REACTION and I’m planning on releasing late this year.

Still tinkering with the cover

INERTIA  and …

*free with Kindle Unlimited!
*free with Kindle Unlimited!

FORCE

*also FREE with Kinlde Unlimited
*also FREE with Kindle Unlimited

were the first two, and as exciting as those plots were, this last one is going to blow them both out of the water. AtomicBomb

I’m just over 20k words so far, but the book is already plotted out in my head! The final, BIG ending is going to be SO much FUN to write. I can’t wait for you all to read it.

terX20j

 

What’s Free This Week!

 

Today marks the beginning of week 5 in Sync Audiobooks FREE summer reading programNumber-5

Below, I’ve listed this weeks selections, available through 6/9!


by David Ring, John Driver | Read by Paul Michael

Published by christianaudio

In 1953, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, a baby boy was born—dead. The attending physician set his little body aside and tended to his mother for eighteen minutes. Now, more than sixty years later, that boy leads an internationally known ministry that encourages hundreds of thousands every year. The Boy Born Dead tells his incredible story from the perspective of his best friend, David Wideman.

As a teenager in the small town of Liberty, Missouri, in the late 1960s, David Ring grew up with the challenges that come with cerebral palsy, a result of his eighteen minutes of newborn silence. Along with his physical limitations, Ring was orphaned and shuffled from home to home, finally landing in an abusive situation that made him feel unworthy of love and, eventually, unworthy of life. But God had a purpose for Ring’s life, and sent an agent to help him achieve it. Through the friendship of David Wideman, a boy he met in the halls of Liberty High School, Ring found strength he didn’t know he had and went on to face his demons, marry the love of his life, and start an international speaking ministry.

Full of hope, this moving story illustrates how friendship and love triumph over adversity. Anyone who faces tough times will treasure this story of hope and courage.


(This one i am really excited about because I love Trent Reedy’s Divided We Fall Trilogy!)

by Trent Reedy | Read by Ariana Delawari

Published by Scholastic Audio

Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Zulaikha knows all will be provided for her—”Inshallah,” God willing.

Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the Afghan poetry she taught her late mother. And the Americans come to her village, promising not just new opportunities and dangers, but surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha—but can she dare to hope they’ll come true?


There you have it, folks!

Remember to use the free Overdrive Media Console app to download and enjoy these free audiobooks and after you’re finished with them . . .

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Week #2 Freebies

Yeah! It’s Friday! You know what that means …

Suit-UP

Okay. That’s a great guess …. But actually, I was referring to the SYNC Summer audiobook program. It’s week #2 and that means more free audiobooks! If listening to free audiobooks isn’t your thing, you can click the link in the titles to get the books on amazon (which is not free).

This weeks pairing of popular YA fiction and classic literature are:

THE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER By Melinda Salisbury 

Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn’t a member of the court. She’s the executioner.

As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla’s problems.

The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies—a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?


DIVINE COLLISION By Jim Gash

Los Angeles lawyer and law professor, Jim Gash, tells the amazing true story of how, after a series of God-orchestrated events, he finds himself in the heart of Africa defending a courageous Ugandan boy languishing in prison and wrongfully accused of two separate murders.

Ultimately, their unlikely friendship and unrelenting persistence reforms Uganda’s criminal justice system, leaving a lasting impact on hundreds of thousands of lives and unearthing a friendship that supersedes circumstance, culture and the walls we often hide behind.


Your opinion matters. wpid-img_20150516_142017.jpg

Book reviews are like literary oxygen: authors need them. So if you’ve read a book you love, even one that isn’t mine, go to amazon or goodreads, and let the authors and potential readers know what you think!

 

Grand Novel Contest

UPDATE: I’m currently sitting at 251st place with the voting! I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I know with YOUR help I can do better! 


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“I have done something brave.” Well, something I consider very brave. For me. You know, because I’ve never done it before.

“What is this incredibly brave and selfless thing that you have done?” You ask.

I blush and confess. “I entered my latest novel–you know, INERTIA, the one with all the five star reviews?–in a novel contest.”


635939429028651305-747438658_storytellerOkay, so that was a little dramatic, but I really did enter a contest!

This is huge for me because contrary to my blabbery all over his blog, I’m pretty tight-lipped about my writing in everyday life. But someone tweeted me a few days ago and mentioned this contest. I looked into it and thought, “What the heck?!”

imagesI’ve got nothing to lose but opportunity.

So, I went for it.

Now, the key to winning this contest is readers. wpid-img_336933048441416.jpegSo I’m pulling out all the stops, and asking you, my dear faithful, helpful readers and fellow writers, to read my book. For free, of course! Or just VOTE for it! It’s like, click-click and then you’re done.

The contest is through Inkitt. Click-click people. It’s easy.

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You know you want to. ian-somerhalder-vampire-diaries-i-know-youre-obsessed-with-me


What I’m Working On

Some time last summer, I decided that I should finish TWO books by the end of 2015. Well, I didn’t finish them but I haven’t stopped trying.

I did release my very first SCI-FI novel, INERTIA! (It’s got really great reviews, you should give it a read!)

But I’m still working on the next two books in my Savor The Days Series: November Mourning and January Falls (note: titles and covers may change)

Anyhoo, I’m pasting an excerpt of the first chapter of January Falls, just so you all can get a feel of what the story is like. Below is a rough blurb and a tidbit of the opening chapter. Be warned, there is a smidgen of bad language:


JANUARY_Cover_Morguefile

January Smith: that is the name Elise Wilkinson chose when she started her new life, but the past has a way of breaking into the present.

Finally putting her abusive history behind her, twenty year-old Elise is anxious to start over. She finds a job, a place to sleep, and gets a new name, January. When she makes a new friend with a high profile family, the fear of discovery and the threat of her past catching up to her becomes all too real.

When January Smith meets Noah Zuniga she can’t help but fall for his gentle heart and deep brown eyes. When she learns that Noah is the step-son to famed Hollywood actor Rhys Matthews, she must make a choice: to keep hiding from the life of shame she’s tryingto leave behind, or stay and fight for the new life she’s found.  


Excerpt from Chapter 1–I Snapped

 

The car eased up. From the tilt, I guessed the flat tire was on the front driver’s side. We must have hit that coyote pretty good. I thought I saw it skitter off, but who could tell in the pitch black? The car made creaking noises with each rotation of the jack and dread filled my stomach. It was a steady, almost rhythmic cranking that made me think Jade would have us back on the road in no time.

My heart ached at that thought. I didn’t want to go to back Vegas. I hated that city. I’d only ever been there a handful of times, even though I grew up just outside Reno, but I hated every trip I ever took there with Jade.

Made me want to shower just thinking about it.

A noise drew me from the dark memories. It sounded like Jade, like he was calling my name. My heart beat faster. If he wanted me I couldn’t waste time. Just as I pulled the handle to open my door, the raised end of the car dropped and the bleak night surrounding the empty road was suddenly filled with Jade’s pained cries.

I was all adrenaline, scrambling from the back seat to run around the car.

I couldn’t see past the beam of headlights, but when i got around to the passenger side of the car, i could see the flashlight rolling over the pavement. I reached for it, calling out.

“Jade! Are you alright?” I heard him answer with cursing, only it was much quieter than before. Flashlight in hand, I turned the beam in the direction of his voice and gasped.

Jade was on his back, one arm trapped under the car nearly up to his shoulder. The flat tire was completely off the axle, lying in the gravel. Jade was squirming and demanding. Screaming at me to “Get the jack!”

I searched with the flashlight, aiming it under the fender. The small jack had flipped over. I could tell from the position how it had slipped out from its’ bracing and didn’t waste any time. I flipped it back up but couldn’t get it under the lip of the fender. I needed to lower the head if it was going to fit back underneath the car. To do that, I needed the lever.

“Jade, where’s the crowbar?”

He cursed some more as I searched the ground. I asked Jade where it was again, partly becasue I thought talking might help keep his mind off the pain, and partly becasue I didn’t see the thing lying around anywhere.

Did he throw it?

Why wasn’t he answering me?

Maybe he couldn’t hear me; he had to be in a lot of pain. Then, something else occurred to me—the possible reason why Jade’s arm was under the car near the wheel.

With my heart climbing up into my throat, I got back down on my hands and knees, and bent low to look underneath the car. Jade was still cursing me out like always, but there was something in his voice I hadn’t heard before. Or maybe it was just so long since I heard it that I forgot what fear sounded like. Well, Jade’s fear. Mine was a constant. I knew what my fear sounded like. It sounded like, “Yes, Jade.” “Of course, Jade.”

I spotted the end of the crowbar wedged between Jade’s trapped arm and the gravel. Just on the other side of that, I spotted a few lug nuts. He must have been trying to hold the flashlight and loosen the nuts from the tire. Stubborn man—changing a tire is a two-person job in the dark. Jade was trying to pull double-duty and shot it all to hell. He probably dropped the dang nuts and then reached under the car to get them. His shoulder probably knocked the jack loose. I shuddered to think of his stubborn flesh trapped beneath the heavy car. I had to get it off him.

“Never reach under the car.” I spoke the thought.

Jade shouted, reminding me how I didn’t need to tell him anything. He was sure this whole mess was my fault after all because the only reason he needed to make money this way was because I was a fat pig who ate too much. Of course, I moved inside the car, too. He was sure I made it fall on purpose. I was evil. I was trying to hurt him. I was a worthless piece of trash that belonged under the wheels of the car, not him. I did it on purpose, I must have, because he was too smart. He knew what he was doing. I was the one who was too stupid to know anything about anything.

That’s the way our relationship was. His mistakes were always mine. ANd i knew that he was just getting started and the longer he had to think on it, the more reasons he’d come up with to make his stupid accident my fault. It was always me. Present or absent. Jade would make me pay for my mistakes. In any way that crossed his mind.

Suddenly I was not feeling as hospitable and barely suppressing the urge to roll my eyes, even though with Jade, that’s about the worst thing I could do, short of kicking him in the man-parts.

I stood up from the ground, empty-handed, running the flashlight over his pinned position, inspecting his injury. It looked like his forearm was trapped. His hand and forearm, just below the elbow were pinned under the bare wheel mount. I was wondering if that made any difference to his body. It just seemed like it’d be a whole lot worse to have your upper arm pinned under there, too.

I stepped back, going wide, as Jade’s free arm swung wildly for me.

“You stupidfuckingbitch! Get me out! I’ll put you in the ground, too! Where you going? Get back here!”

Where was I going? I had no idea, but it’d be the direction opposite of wherever Jade was headed. I was already on the passenger side of the car. My hands were moving but my mind was all blank, back in that protective space where I learned to hide most of me away.

Aside from the fact that I never thought I was smart enough to form a plan—a real plan beyond the ‘if only’ and the ‘one of these days’—I knew the only things that kept me with Jade for so long were money and opportunity. I never had either one available to me at the same time.

I could never get out. Never get a big enough head start. He kept that house locked up so tight there was no way I could find my way to the other side of the front door. And I was not allowed to have cash. I couldn’t go to the store or Laundromat without him. Even the worst criminals under lock and key got an hour in the yard to exercise, but I couldn’t get a minute with the bathroom door closed.

Also, I couldn’t just leave Jade like that, all hurt and helpless, but I sure as hell didn’t want to be around when he was back on his feet.

“I’m calling you an ambulance. You’re bleedin’ bad, Jade. You need a doctor. Where’s your phone?” I sounded so scared. I was scared, but also numb.

He was terrified to die, I knew he was. In one of the few conversations I overheard him having with a rotten friend of his, I heard Jade admit that he thought dying was the scariest thing there was. It was also the threat he made most often.

“In the glove box,” Jade grunted. “Give it to me! Hurry the fuckup!”

Of course it would be in the glove box. The glove box he kept locked at all times. The glove box he wouldn’t let me near, which was why I was always riding in the back seat.

“What’s the combination?” I shouted sounding just as panicked as I felt, but panic was nothing. I spent most my life in a panic.

“Bitch, get this car off me!” Jade screamed. “Please Elli. Please!”

I ran back around to lock eyes with Jade. I hadn’t heard him say please before. Not sober anyway. Still, I kept myself out of his reach. My face was very serious as I broke the news that would surely end up breaking my jaw. “The crowbar is stuck under your hand Jade. I can’t get it out. I can’t raise the car off you. I gotta call for help before you bleed out on the road. You need an ambulance Jade and I need you! Who’s going to take care of me if you don’t?”

He took a short breath and something passed over his eyes. I felt so sorry for him. It must have hurt like crazy and he had to be so afraid.

“J-F-B-F-D.” Jade strangled out the letters to the combination lock on his most prized compartment within his precious car. It was like a safe combination at the Federal Reserve as far as he was concerned. The glove compartment is where Jade kept all his worldly possessions.

Scrambling back around to the passenger side, Jade hollered the combination to me once more because he was so sure I’d forget it.

I punched in the letters, the glove box opened and I took out his cell phone and started dialing.

“What road are we on?” I scrambled back toward Jade and he quickly supplied the highway number and the mile marker we’d just passed.

I waited on the line as it rang and rang. Then, I walked back around to the passenger side of the car when someone finally answered my call. The metered voice of the A-1 cab company dispatcher came over the phone line loud and clear.

“I need a car out on the highway. Mile marker 1-3-7-1.” The guy seemed a little confused, so I explained in the lowest voice I could manage that my car had a flat tire, and then repeated the important information. Once they told me how long it was going to be—he estimated a half hour—I had to break the news to Jade and pray the anger wouldn’t give him enough gumption to find his way up off the ground.

But before I did that, I hung up the phone and emptied the glove compartment. Like the selfish bitch he always accused me of being, I pocketed all the cash in his wallet, his cell phone, and the .25 caliber pistol with the extra magazine. Lastly, I shook out all but one of the baggies of dope onto the front seat and floor of the car.

Then, I had to say goodbye to the first boy to ever tell me that he loved me. I stood for a moment in the dark, pretending to say the words aloud as I looked down at him. Jade understood what was happening when he spotted me running for my life.

I heard his screams for at least a half-mile. Once I got to a place near a street lamp, I tossed the flashlight. The second I spotted my taxi coming up the way, I made the call for the ambulance, giving them the information in an urgent tone, which I didn’t even have to fake. I was worried about Jade. I wanted him to be okay, but I also never wanted to see him again. So I told the 9-1-1 dispatcher to make sure the police came along with the ambulance. “The driver was swerving all over the place before he crashed and he’s been screaming at everything that moves. I think he’s high on something.”

After, I hopped into the back of the taxicab, asking the driver to take me into Vegas and telling myself that I was doing what I had to.

I wasn’t a bad person.

I’m not a bad person.

Teaser Tuesday

I’ve seen the whole “Teaser Tuesday” done on many a wonderful blog that I follow. The whole deal with it is you’re supposed to get out the book you’re currently reading and point to a random sentence or paragraph and post it, along with the links and info about the book.

I have wanted to come up with my own “teaser” post for a while, but keep coming upon the same problems. I’m either deeply entrenched in reading (editing) my own books or I’m listening to audiobooks.

Today (Tuesday), that is still the case! But I have had enough. So, I’m going to do the indulgent thing and give you a snippet of my upcoming work which is my first endeavor into Science Fiction!

As always, I’m still working on the blurb, but here goes . . . .


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RELEASING 10/15/15

One man, three mysterious stones, and more chance to change his world.

G, a 30-something slacker, is convinced he has nothing to lose, except his aging father: an old man with anger issues and lots of secrets. G has never heard of the these mysterious stones, even though they are his legacy. If he were ever unlucky enough to come across them, they’d mean nothing to him.
But Daemon, the guardian of the sacred Threestones, knows what they can do. He’s used them. He knows how powerful, how valuable they are. He’s also convinced that killing the man who stole them from him is the only way to protect the secret of their existence


Snippet:

A jerk hauls me back as the violent funnel cloud begins to shrink. Quickly as it appeared so it disappears and everything is quiet. Not the peaceful serenity that one expects to find out the in the country. No, this quiet is not normal. There are no animal or bird sounds inside the vast field. No chirping insects. Nothing. All of nature is awestruck and scared silent.

“That was the most terrible thing I have ever seen . . . It was beautiful.”

Shaking my cloudy head, I take a look around, noting we are completely alone which is good, but our position in the wide open field leaves us totally exposed in the wake of that enormous inferno of a spectacle that has so inexplicably come and gone.

“That is what you saw?” Eli, who’s been standing beside me equally dumbfounded, is now howling. “That—that thing?!”
In the distance a clamor rises. It’s the chaotic sounds of frightened people who’ve just witnessed something they don’t understand.

“Shut up and run!” Eli instructs even though he is the only one talking. He picks up the stones and frantically tosses them to me. “Put’em away! Hurry!” He cries, but all I notice is how cool they feel though just a moment ago they were burning.

I fumble my shaking hands, jogging and trying to force the dull, cold stones back into the rubber bag as we run, flat out, towards the shelter of the trees. The sickening feeling has come back but I ignore it, holding down the vomit. Everyone within fifty miles had to have seen and everyone on that farm probably saw us. We have to hustle.

Suddenly, Eli stops dead. “Wait!”

Skidding to a stop, I spin to face him. “What?”

He’s talking too fast, barely understandable. I think the gist of his rant is that he wants me to wait here while he goes to get the car. I’m not going to argue, the nausea has me struggling to stay upright.

Seven rows away, I lean over, willing my stomach not to purge while he starts the car. Once it kicks over, he waves. I run as fast as I can and jump in the passenger side.

“That is what you did! Twice?! You said it was a car accident!” He’s screaming.

“I’ve never seen it from the outside, I didn’t know!”

Panster Flash Fiction

I’m flying by the seat of my pants with this whole writing thing. Always trying to do fifteen things at once. Work, cook, clean, parent, write, craft and mold, market, sell books . . . it’s gets really tough to work in the time to write a piece of flash fiction that I feel has been edited well enough to post here on my blog.

So, today, in effort to change this pattern on no-blogging-until-it’s-perfect, I am going to free-write a piece of flash fiction that has been parked on my brain for some time now.

I’ve got no title for it, but here goes . . .

^ ^ ^ ^

My eyes are level with the tip of his boot.

I can see the black rubber sole, make it out with perfect detail from my place on the linoleum floor. There’s a brown slash running up on side and a deeper black circle like he stomped out a cigarette before storming into the house and over me.

“This is what I get,” I tell myself. This is what happens when you try.

I’m just going to lay here now. Trying time is over. I’m going to let him shake his fist and call me names, say things about me that aren’t true. Let him roll like thunder until he’s done.

I have to. I can’t change his mind.

So when he tells me that I don’t love him because I don’t have dinner waiting for him on the table the second he walked in the door–four and a half hours after he called and said he was on his way home–I won’t remind him that the food needed to be refrigerated. I fried fish for him. It’s his favorite. It’s best when it’s hot and crispy. I won’t explain to him how I waited for him to call, to tell me he was on his way before dropping it into the fryer so it would be fresh and perfect for him when he got here. I won’t tell him how the fish got cold and mushy as we both waited for him, worried that he may have gotten into an accident.

As he rages on about how I’m getting fat and how he’s starving to death, I won’t tell him his plate is in waiting for him and how easy it would be for me to pop it in the microwave. Because he’ll say I’m too lazy to cook and smash the plate on the floor. Or my head. Right now, he could hit both targets without any effort.

No, I won’t say a word. He’ll just have to find the saran wrap covered plate in the refrigerator

No. I’ll just lie here, staring at the tip of his worn leather work boot and drop my hands. Because I can’t try anymore. Not tonight. It’s too much.

Tomorrow, I know he will be sorry. Tomorrow he will love me again. He’ll bring me flowers and tell me it won’t happen ever again. He’ll kiss my bruises and I will let him.

“Why?” I ask myself.

“Because that’s what I always do.” My inner voice answers.

It’s what my mother and grandmother did. I watched them both go through it for years. Still, I don’t know how I’m supposed to keep going. Where I’m supposed to find the strength. How will I keep living in fear of his mood swings? I have for the past 5 years, 3 months and 11 days.

5 years, 3 months and 12 days ago, my world began shrinking and I didn’t even notice. I thought it was cute that he wanted to know where I was at all times. I liked that he threw fists at other boys when they looked at me.

Soon enough, his direction changed, shifted to me. Somewhere along the line, this all became my fault. And I’ll be honest, I had done things to provoke him. I knew I had to stop, to change my ways because I loved him and that is what you do when you love someone. You change for them.

First, I quit running track because he didn’t like my teammates. Then, school. My senior year, half-way through, it was over. I had to take my GED because teachers kept asking why my grades were slipping. My friends thought I was suddenly forgetful and clumsy, but not my counselor. She’d look at me funny, asking why I was wearing sweats and long sleeves when it was ninety degrees out.

5 years, 3 months and 12 days ago, I could count on one hand the number of times I’d been hit. Three. My daddy always took out my punishments on my mother. Once, I tried to stop him. He hit me three times all along my back. The pain . . . oh, God, the pain of those 3 strokes. I never got between them again.

Here on the kitchen floor, in the house he gave me, in the clothes he bought me, under the roof he shored for me, I realize that this, right now, this is my whole world. Him and these boots. There is no one to step in for me, either.

And that’s fine, because I wouldn’t wish this on anybody else.

Finally, his boots turns away. Footsteps in retreat echo and cut off as he leaves the kitchen for the living room.

I have to move slow. Feel for the aches as I get up off the floor. I mean to start cleaning, but I need to sit down first. Rest a minute.

Both of my cheeks feel hot and too large. One of my hands comes away streaked with red. My nose is bleeding. My other hand holds blue blotches in the same pattern of his boot tread.

That’s when I hear the banging at the front door and a string of curses. Red and blue lights are flashing through the sheer curtains of the front window.

All I can do is sit and watch. The relief that courses through me when I see that dark uniform busting through my front door and taking him away–

Someone heard me? Someone stepped in for me?