Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Get a Room

Well, we had a semi-nice weekend. Today is rainy and chilly but Friday and most of Saturday was sunny and beautiful.

I got a lot of television watched this week. Dipped into CW Seed's Vixen and thoroughly enjoyed the first "season". I'm almost finished with Blindspot's first season and I'm looking forward to starting season two. Watched another episode of Chicago Fire and Chicago PD this week. Not sure how much I like seeing Hank defanged on Chicago PD but I'm in for the ride either way.

Legends of Tomorrow delivered an awesome season finale. I'm thrilled with where the characters ended up and having Constatine and Gary drop their little gift on the team made me laugh.

The Flash had a decent episode. I'm actually ready for the season to be over and Devoe to be defeated. Still need to catch up on Black Lightning. I'm hoping to find time this week to watch the episodes I've missed.

I did catch an episode of Riverdale and, yeah, talk about uncomfortable. No one is having an easy time of it right now. Definitely concerned about Cheryl. Her mother is a piece of work. Fred running for mayor… that's gonna be interesting. Just saying.

I got another episode of Gotham out of the way and things did not go where I thought they would. Sofia is a piece of work. I did love the overall theme of getting people back together. "Reunion" is a perfect title for the episode.

Arrow truly continues to amaze me. I'm saddened Oliver seems to be breaking ties with everyone so he can focus on the mission, but I'm also pretty interested in how the rest of the season plays out. I'll go out on a limb and say the councilman is on Diaz's payroll, too.

I'm almost finished with season two of Jessica Jones and I'm truly thrilled we'll have a season three. That said, I hope it's a little more cohesive. It's nice to have Jessica's backstory but I'd like to see her truly throw down with a villain. Just saying.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Get a Room, a novella that started with a writing community prompt of building a scene around a tent, an ice cube, and pretending to sleep. I didn't quite stick to the whole thing, but I got the basic vibe.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Talon and Haim have a complicated past. When she returns and asks Haim for a favor, they're ready to act on their attraction again… except they keep getting interrupted.

And a snippety peek…

Talon Lance hung up the phone. "Argh! This couldn't have happened at a worse time." She got up and paced her office. "Not good. So not good." She'd reserved a block of cabins at a state park for a writer's retreat and a fire had torn through three, leaving them short and unable to accommodate the group. "I'm going to have to move the venue, because I can't reschedule the date."
Her client, Dana Morse, would freak. Dana coordinated her group of paranormal romance writers and had at least a dozen who were flying or driving in from other states. Talon landed Dana's account based on an online workshop she'd put together for a Regency romance writers' group. Talon dreamed of expanding her reach and working with other author associations, but…
She sank down behind her desk. "That might blow up in my face." She had to call Dana, but not before Talon came up with a way to salvage the situation. "Think, Talon. Where else can we do this?"
There weren't a lot of options that didn't include hotels and the group expressly stated they didn't want to be cooped inside a big building. They wanted something kind of off the grid. Great if they could get internet access for research, but cell phone coverage could optional. Somewhat close to the airport, but far enough out to have a "away from it all" vibe.
Right, not a short order.
Talon sighed and started a quick search on her laptop for alternative locations. "Dammit, the state park was perfect." The cabins were grouped together and the main lodge had a conference room for the large group discussions Dana wanted to have.
Talon had to find a place to accommodate between fifty and seventy-five authors for a long weekend, Friday through Monday. She drummed her fingers on the desk, scrolling through results and refining her parameters. She rejected anything over budget, which trashed about eighty percent of her options. She'd received a sweet deal on the cabins because she'd booked six months in advance.
Leaning back in her seat an hour later, she closed her eyes only to snap them open when her phone rang. Checking her caller ID, she cringed. Dana. What crappy timing.
Talon answered. "Lance and Talon. Hi, Dana." She put her client on speakerphone. "What's up?"
Dana launched into a tirade. "Are you serious right now? Where are we going to hold out retreat? I called the lodge. They don't have anything else they can give us. And why didn't you call me?" Her voice rose to something short of a screech.
Talon blew out a slow breath. "Dana, I'm already working on getting a new venue. I didn't call right away because I wanted to have some options before I did." Not that she had any… yet. "How did you find out? I only got the call an hour ago." And only my contact information is listed.
Dana gave a sheepish chuckle. "I've got a google alert set up for the state park. Opened my email to see the news about the fire."
Well, that explained a few things. At least Dana calmed down a little.
Talon rubbed the bridge of her nose. "Give me the rest of the day to find something." One idea came to mind, but, no… she discounted it before letting if fully form.
Even though the place would offer exactly what Dana's group wanted. No, just… no.
Dana pushed for assurances. "Do you really think you can pull off finding another place? We're two weeks out, Talon." She paused. "Maybe I should poll the group? If we lower the numbers, we might still be able to use the lodge and—"
Talon cut her off as kindly as possible. "I already asked to have the deposit refunded, Dana. It'll be in the account by the end of business today." The judgmental "hmm" coming from Dana kicked up Talon's defenses. "It's what you pay me for. Handling the details. I'll need the funds to secure another location and the sooner we do that, the better." Nothing like a buttload of pressure.
Dana sighed. "I think I'd feel better if I knew for certain you had something lined up. This is a big deal for me—us, really—since we each have goals we're shooting for with this retreat."
The gentle but not so subtle reminder of what Talon had at stake revved her anxiety up a notch.
Dana continued along… "I mean this is my first big event and I want it to become a yearly thing. And you need a win with this if you want other associations to think about doing something similar." She paused again. "You have to make this happen, Talon."
No kidding? The image she'd been fighting popped into her head. Hell, no. She couldn't, she really—
"I might know a place." Talon bit back a groan after blurting the words.
Dana cleared her throat. "Excuse me? Why didn't you say that in the first place?"
Talon gave a brief explanation. "It's a camp located in my hometown. I used to work there in the summers." Dammit!
Dana brightened. "A true blue camp? That sounds wonderful!" Her excitement buzzed over the phone.
A ball of dread settled in Talon's stomach. "Um, yeah, it's been years since I've seen the place, but I can make some inquiries, see if it's available." And then kick herself for making the suggestion.
Dana made a high-pitched squeezing sound. "Perfect! I'm loving this idea already." The sound of typing came through over the line.
Talon had no such love for the idea. "Look, keep this between you and me for now. It might take me a day or two to finalize the details. No sense in rushing announcements until I do." If she did.
And, yeah, no guarantees there.
Dana made a noncommittal response. "Sure, yeah. No problem." Her fingers still tapped on the keyboard.
Talon warned her client. "Dana, I'm serious. Please hold off until you hear from me."
Dana responded, "What? Oh, right. Yeah. I'll just let you get to it then, okay?"
A dial tone met Talon's ears. "Fuck." If she couldn't secure the camp—and big ass chance of that miracle happening—she'd lose her reputation and possibly her livelihood. "What the hell possessed me to mention the camp?"
Nostalgia. Easy answer.
Aside from the fact the camp would be perfect, she'd been thinking of home lately.
The place where Haim Roosevelt lived.
And the location of Roosevelt Roost, the camp facility his family owned.
God… she'd run from Chamber Corners—and Haim—ten years ago and hadn't been back for more than a quick pitstop or two since then.
She'd have to face him—and crawl on her hands and knees—to convince him to let her use the camp.
A phone call wouldn't work. No way in hell. He'd probably hang up as soon as he heard her voice.
Rising, she left her office in the basement of her condo and walked upstairs. She ducked into her bedroom and grabbed her suitcase. Packing enough clothes for the weekend, she followed with a shower and took only a little extra care with her hair and makeup. No way would she try too hard. But she had to at least look professional and in control when she knocked on Haim's door.
A bubble of nerves burst in her stomach. She hadn't been this stressed when she'd ended things with Tim. Or when she'd married him.
Her current anxiety rivaled what hit her when she'd sent the wedding announcement home to Haim's family. Coward!
Cringing, she grabbed her bag and suitcase and ran for her car. "Ready or not, Talon. You're going home."

Kind of longer than normal preview, but I ended up being pleased with how this scene turned out.

That's it for this week. Happy reading!


Sunday, April 8, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Fuel for the Fire

Ugh. It's been decades since I've had snow in April and we got two days of it last week. LOL

Anyway, television this week had a great run. Legends of Tomorrow continues to make me happy. Actually titling an episode about a guest star is brilliant. Seriously.

I missed Black Lightning's new episode but plan to catch up with everything with a binge watch in the near future. Also need to get caught up on Riverdale, but I have watched two of my saved episodes. Gotta say I'm so interested in Alice's past and who Chic's dad is. Considering she drove me insane last season, I like this newfound curiosity. Also loving the whole Blossom family drama. Seriously, Riverdale is hitting on all cylinders with me right now.

Arrow's episode ended up being better than I hoped. It's probably not a bad thing to have Oliver's leadership tested and questioned. It's not often I get to see a character actually have to progress through a moment of growth. That said, I hover on the fence with Laurel. I know what I'd like to see happen but I won't hold my breath.

Got another episode of Gotham in and rather liked having Bruce call Alfred. With so much going on, I'm always surprised how well all the plot threads mesh together.

On the other hand, Jessica Jones feels so disjointed sometimes. Not saying it's a bad thing… the overall theme of season two sort of begs for the disconnect. All in all, I'm happy with how things are playing out, with maybe the exception of Trish. My hope is season three will serve as a redemption platform for the character. If not, well… yeah.

Watched an episode of the current season of Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. I'm working my way through to catching up on these. Also watched more of Blindspot. I'm up to the point of new episodes and literally cheered out loud when Jonah Fisher got his comeuppance. I loathed his character. I also wonder if anyone else kept hoping Kurt Weller would go Damien Scott on Fisher's ass? No? Just me? Okay. I can live with that. LOL

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Fuel for the Fire, a novella that started with a writing community prompt of writing a story set around an arson.

Here's the mini-blurb:

An arsonist wants arson investigator Sadie Kyle's attention and burns the home and business Greg DeSoto to get it. When Sadie shows up to investigate, she hits it off with Greg, which only adds fuel to the fire for her pyromaniac. When Greg gets hit a second time, Sadie digs in and calls the burner out.

And a snippety peek…

Greg Desoto struggled to breathe. He coughed, trying to drag in air. Rolling to his side, orange flickered behind his closed eyelids.
Orange? What the—
An acrid smell hit his nose and he shot up out of bed. "Fuck!" The door and part of the wall in his room were ablaze. "Shit. Fire. Gotta move." He dragged a pair of jeans on, threw a shirt over his head, and grabbed his phone.
He scrambled to find his shoes. Twenty-degree weather trumped the burning flames. Jamming his feet in the first pair he found, he dropped low and pulled the quilt from his bed. He crawled to the window, the floor warm under his hands. The lower level had to be burning too.
Putting the blanket over his head, he forced the window open and glanced outside. "Hope the damned fire escape holds." Didn't matter, he had to get out of the building.
Climbing out, he managed to get the metal steps lowered and called 911 on the way down. When he reached the pavement of the side street, he caught his first look at the fully involved blaze currently ravaging his business and his home.
Shivering in the light snow, he stared, watching it all burn. "Son of a bitch."
The wail of sirens sounded but Greg shook his head. Nothing would save the building. The quick response might keep others from succumbing to the inferno, but that would be the best he could hope for.
Numb, Greg barely heard the firefighters telling him to get back, asking him if anyone else needed to get out.
He shook his head. "No, no. I was the only one in the building." Stepping back, he got out of their way.
They dragged hoses out and entered the building, working to douse the flames.
One big thought struck Greg in the middle of his head. "Why the hell didn't the sprinklers kick on?"

I'm hoping the sages cooperate a little more on this one. I have all the broad strokes planned out but the small beats are still forming.

That's it for this week. Happy reading!


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Forever Young

April 1, 2018

Hello, April. Nothing says spring like a very chilly Easter. According to the weather, snow might be in Ohio's forecast. Yay.

No worries, though. Cold weather makes for great television viewing. And this week didn't disappoint.

A great episode of Legends. Getting some information about Ava was kind of great. And Gary is awesome. I love that guy. I'm even kind of down with Damien being pretty funny for such a warped and twisted villain.

After griping about The Flash in my last post, I have to admit to thoroughly enjoying this week's episode. Nice to see Jessie back and also have a hint about a possible new Flash from another earth. Also great to have the team close to figuring out how the pocket 'verses work.

I'm still behind on Riverdale, but I did catch up with an episode. I like the interesting twist of having Clifford's brother added to the mix. But, yeah, Cheryl's not going to be in a good place. Someone needs to buy that girl a friend.

Arrow had a kick-ass episode. Giving Thea a dynamic out with Roy and Nyssa made me very happy. I'm not sure I'll like the John / Oliver direction, but I trust the writers to make it work. Having Curtis lament not having a good bantering partner also made the show.

Got a few episodes of Gotham in. For now, I'm trusting the new version of Ivy is a good thing. Having three different actresses play the role kind of makes me wary. We'll see if it's a plus as I get more episodes in. I loved the twists with Riddler / Ed and the direction Alfred and Butch's storylines are going in.

Finished up season five of Chicago Fire and got a start on six. Still loving it! Also started Blindspot on DVD. I'd already watched the first few episodes, but I'm glad to revisit them to get a refresher. Finished up season eleven of Murdoch Mysteries and, wow, even without a cliffhanger to end on, there's a buttload of tension to start season twelve. Gotta say I'm on the fence about the manipulations of Miss Hart. We'll see if that ends up being a good thing or not.

And that's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Forever Young, a novella that follows a couple on the day of the silver wedding anniversary.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Gabe McTavish meets the woman of his dreams. Too bad she's his brother's date.

And a snippety peek…

Zak slapped Gabe on the back. "Bro, I think you're gonna owe me one for life." He dragged his phone from his pocket. "And I think we need to memorialize the moment." A quick glance toward Tara received an affirmative nod.
Zak snagged a server and asked her to take a picture. He got behind Gabe and Tara and wrapped his arms around their shoulders. Tara laughed at his antics and the server clicked the button at that moment. Gabe glanced at the image and couldn't believe the sloppy grin he wore. Zak waggled his eyebrows in the picture and, of course, Tara's laughter lit up her whole face. A perfect capture of a perfect moment in time.
I might have to do something really great for my brother.
Zak smirked. "Don't think I won't remember how you stole yet another girlfriend, dude."
Tara's eyebrows shot upward. "There's a story here, isn't there?"
Gabe rolled his eyes. "No, there isn't. Zak was in fourth grade. I was in sixth. The fifth grader he'd gone crazy for liked"—he made air quotes—"older men, meaning she preferred me over Zak."
Tara chuckled. "And how long did this great romance last?"
Zak cut in. "That whole afternoon. By the next morning, Gabe decided he'd rather play the field until he reached the exalted level of junior high."
Gabe shrugged. "She had a new sixth grader on the hook by lunch."
Tara shook her head. "You guys are amazing. Insulting each other left and right, yet the brotherly affection is definitely there."
Gabe cocked his head to one side. "No siblings?" Zak drove Gabe insane sometimes, but he'd never want to be an only child.
Tara shook her head. "Nope. Just me." She lifted a shoulder. "Honestly, it's probably better that way. My mom didn't have much of a maternal instinct." Her lips twisted in a slight grimace.
She didn't want to dive too deeply into her childhood.
Gabe did the chivalrous thing and changed the subject. "What's the weirdest call you've ever gone out on?" Crazy stories usually lightened the mood.
Zak jumped in again. "Ohh. I had one the other day. The engine got called out for a fire alarm trip in a gym." He leaned back against his seat. "Any guesses what set it off?"
Tara pursed her lips and thought a moment. "Cheese-stuffed burritos in the microwave?"
Ugh. Any kind of bean dish exploding in a microwave ended badly.
Zak made a buzzer sound. "Acccck. Wrong." He looked to Gabe. "Two guesses left, bro."
Gabe went with his usual false alarm trigger. "Someone was smoking on the premesis?"
Zak snapped his fingers. "Close… but no dice." He leaned in and lowered his voice. "Two people were in the sauna getting up close and personal and one of them kicked the temperature gauge. It set off the alarm."
Tara laughed. "Oh, man. That's embarrassing." She downed the remainder of her whiskey. "Reminds of my weirdest call on the medic. We were dispatched to a man in distress and when we arrived on scene, we were escorted through a sex club to find a guy with a chastity cup on his genitals. They couldn't find the key and he ended up with a full-blown anxiety attack, thinking he'd have to go home to his wife still wearing the thing."
Zak guffawed. "No way."
Tara lifted her chin. "Definite way."
Gabe chuckled. "Damn. That's gotta rank high on the weirdest ever list."
Zak asked the big question. "So, what happened?"
Tara placed her forearms on the table and lowered her voice. "Well, my partner distracted the patient by asking questions and monitoring his vitals. I used a pair of tweezers to pick the lock. Thank whatever rules the universe it was up by his hip." She laughed. "Seriously, I would not have wanted to be him when he called his wife from the hospital."
Gabe's eyes widened. "You transported him?"
Tara snorted. "The owner of the club insisted and the guy just wanted to get the hell out of there. He claimed to still be having trouble breathing." She leaned back again. "I had no idea I'd be on calls like that when I went through school."
Gabe wanted to know more about her. "What made you decide to go into emergency services?"
Tara tilted her head to one side. "Before I answer. How did both of you end up as firefighters?"
Zak smirked. "Boring answer. It's a family tradition."
Gabe grinned. "He's not wrong. Half our family is involved in the service. Mainly on our dad's side, but Mom's got two brothers on different departments."
Zak filled in the rest. "Besides Gabe and me, we've got Grandpa, Dad, his two brothers, the other uncles, and three cousins in the fire service. Two other cousins are nurses. So, yeah, definitely a family affair."
Tara blinked. "Wow. Well, my mom had a car accident when I was five. She had a drunk blackout and fell asleep at the wheel. She hydroplaned on the wet road surface and the car ended up flipping over, trapping us inside." She paused a moment and Gabe's heart went out to her. "My mom got out, but I was pinned. I was freaking out, calling for her, but she'd passed out again. When the ambulance and fire trucks arrived, I was sobbing and scared and cold. A truly wonderful paramedic crawled through the window and stayed with me, talking to me and helping me not be afraid while the firefighters cut through the back window to extricate me." She glanced up and held Gabe's gaze. "I decided that day what I wanted to be when I grew up."
Gabe flashed a smile. "Looks like it stuck." He lifted his glass. "To a great decision."
They clinked edges, with Zak joining in.
Zak folded his arms over his chest. "What happened to your mom?" He flinched when Gabe kicked him under the table. "If you don't mind me asking. Damn, bro." He rubbed his shin.
Tara lifted a shoulder. "No, it's okay. My mom did time. She'd already had two OVI convictions and I went back into foster care. Stayed there until I graduated."
Zak sighed. "Damn. I'm sorry, Tara." He shot Gabe a sideways glance. "You might wanna kick me again. I know how to kill a mood."
Tara laughed. "No worries, Zak. I don't live in the past but I'm not afraid to share it either." She slid her gaze to Gabe. "Haven't scared you off, have I?"
Gabe snagged her hand in his. "Nope. Not a chance."
Zak rolled his eyes. "Ugh. Sweet overload." He picked up his phone. "Okay, it's almost last call. I'm gonna call a cab so Gabe doesn't have to haul my ass home."

This one is fun to write. I know flashbacks aren't everyone's cuppa, but I love how the story is unfolding with Gabe and Tara.

That's it for this week. Happy reading!


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Follow Instructions

Geez, I'll be really glad when the back and forth weather is over and done. Snow days in March, man, haven't really seen those since the 80s. At least not that I can remember. The year after I graduated, we had a big storm in March and I almost didn't make it back for spring break. Planes weren't flying out of Atlanta to go north. Fun times.

This week, I played catch up with some of my television shows. Got Legends of Tomorrow up to date. Looking forward to Constantine being added as a regular. At least I hope he gets added. He's so much fun. And I really like Wally as a team member.

Gotta say, I'm kind of "meh" with this season of The Flash. I've grown to really like Ralph but I'm rather bored by the uber-smart Devoe and the constant body swaps. Here's hoping next season has better flow.

I'm not sure I'll be able to catch up on Gotham. Gotta find the first episode when it returned at the beginning of March. I hate it when on demand and the station websites remove the episodes before I have time to get caught up. Grrr.

I'm caught one of my missed episodes of Riverdale. I'm still a little on the fence about the whole mafia-style intrigue. Hiram buying the paper? Yeah, seriously, not down with that plot point. I'd rather watch Kevin and Josie deal with their parents and Cheryl deal with hers. Also, Chic. Ugh. I have no clue what to even think about that storyline. I want to love it, but I don't. I did love the Jughead rundown about how tangled their relationships are with their friendships. Too true, my man, too true.

I'm down to one episode left on Murdoch Mysteries. I'm a little heartbroken for William and Julia and I'm almost afraid to watch the next episode.

I took a week off from Jessica Jones. I'll be trying to catch more episodes this week.

Chicago Fire has some great crossover episodes. I'm excited about finishing up season five, but then I'll have to wait for season six—see not being available on demand or website. Bleh.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Follow Instructions, a sexy short with a fun spin on following instructions.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Risa Pym and Ford Thrummond, fellow paramedics, enjoy playing one-upmanship with each other, using sexy banter to bank the fires of their attraction. A slight mishap occurs when Ford exits their squad, and Risa decides it's time he learns the ins and outs of how to use the grips properly… and not so properly.

And a snippety peek…

Ford exited the shower and removed the plastic cover protecting his ankle wrap. "Damn, that's a pain in the ass." He hobbled over to the lockers using the wall as a support.
He should be using his crutches but, geez, he hated the stupid things. At least he could go to a boot next week. And hopefully a brace soon after that. Maybe being mobile would cure him of his shitty mood.
Bracing a hand on the row of lockers, he used his other one to yank open the metal door. Wobbling to one side, he got his clothes out and sat down to dress. When he reached for his t-shirt, a piece of paper fluttered to the floor. After pulling the garment over his head, he snatched the paper up and unfolded it.

Let's see if you can follow simple instructions—you know, unlike not making sure your footing is solid before exiting the medic—and make it to the kitchen in one piece.
Your mission… if you choose to accept it… will garner you a sweet, creamy reward.
No, it's not what just popped into your head. Geez, get your mind out of the gutter, Ford.

Only Risa would rightfully assume his brain would go to the dirtiest place possible. And totally call him out for it. Considering she planted the idea, he should probably think of a snarky comeback when he managed to crutch his way to the kitchen.
But… for the first time all week, Ford laughed out loud. He'd have to give her bonus points for making that happen. He still had a smile on his face when he finished dressing.
Grabbing his crutches, he headed for the kitchen, the note tucked into his shirt pocket. Once he entered the space, he found Risa huddled over two bowls filled with peanut butter chunk ice cream—his favorite. His mood ticked up another notch.
He reached into his pocket, retrieving the note. "As you can see, mission accomplished. Made it here in one piece." He waved the paper under her nose. "You're something else, Reese."
She cracked a smile. "Good to see simple instructions aren't lost on you." Nodding toward the table, she picked up the bowls and headed over. "Too bad you need help with the common sense stuff." A bubble of laughter escaped when she made it to the table.
He followed, slowly. Stupid crutches. And he kept his mouth shut. He wanted the reward.
Risa settled into a seat and placed the ice cream at an empty chair. "Okay, that was a low blow and I'm sorry." She almost managed to pull off a contrite look.
But not quite.
Ford maneuvered onto the seat and propped his crutches against the table. "Yeah, well, the ice cream helps." He snagged the spoon and dug in, savoring the combo of chocolate, peanut butter, and vanilla.
After a few spoonfuls, Ford tilted his head to one side. "What made you think of doing this? Not that I'm complaining, obviously."

Risa is going to pull Ford out of his funk then take him on a wild ride… once she admits she's got it bad for him.

That's it for this week. Happy reading!


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Five Minutes

Ugh, what a week. The crazy weather has me completely out of sync and my sleep patterns are trashed. Here's hoping spring gets here and I find my footing again.

I missed Legends this week and need to catch up. Same goes for The Flash, Black Lightning, and Riverdale. Seriously, my head wasn't into it at all. Gotham is also still on my catch up list.

I did watch two more DVDs of Chicago Fire. I'm really loving season five, through every heartbreaking moment even. And, man, there's been a lot this season. LOL

Also up to episode six of Jessica Jones. Gotta say I'm pretty happy with how the season is progressing. It's good to get the backstory of Jessica became "super". I will say I'm not quite sure about Griffin, friend or foe? The whole engagement think might be a red herring, yeah?

Got to catch the latest Passionflix movie The Matchmaker's Playbook. Loved it! I'm excited for the next installment, especially with W. Tyler Johnson. While I enjoyed him in Afterburn / Aftershock, he truly rocked in Matchmaker. Now if they'd only cast a few of my other fave actors, I'll be thrilled to death.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Five Minutes, a novella built on the idea that one of the main characters has to give up something important to them because they lost a bet.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Remy Deeds never welshes on a bet, until she loses to Eli Rogers, who can't understand why she backs out. But a five-minute kiss, with tongue, isn't something she wants to risk because giving up her last pack of coffee is so much easier than possibly losing her heart.

And a snippety peek…

Eli Rogers accelerated around a slow driver. "Damn. Hate it when I oversleep." Not like he wanted to linger where he'd been.
On cue, his phone rang. Felicity. It figured. He might as well get placate her while he could.
"Hello." The Bluetooth picked up the call.
"Eli? Where are you?" Her sleepy voice purred over the line.
"Driving down the interstate, babe. Headed home."
She made a tsking sound. "You crawled out of bed and left… without even saying goodbye?"
Eli rolled his eyes. He actually did say goodbye. Not his fault Felicity slept like the dead.
He tried for a quick, strategic explanation. "Yeah, sorry. I had to go. I'm already running late and I still need to pack."
She pounced. "Pack? For what?"
Shit. He should've kept the last part to himself. Too late now.
He sighed. "For the training exercise. You know, thirty days out in the wilderness with my team." He braced for impact.
"Thirty days! I thought the training was only a weekend thing." Her voice screeched over his speakers. "What am I supposed to do for a whole month?"
Frustrated, Eli said the first thing that came to mind. "Look, Felicity, you're welcome to find someone else to fill in. I don't expect you to sit around and wait."
She snarled. "Don't think I will, Eli." The abrupt cutting of the call made static burst through his vehicle.
Eli shrugged and passed another slow-moving car. The breakup didn't bother him. He and Felicity had been winding down anyway. His gut-check didn't even register the loss. What did bother Eli? The lack of connection. Felicity became one of a long line of exes that didn't affect him on a deeper level.
What did that say about him?
Did it matter right now? He'd be expected to set the tone for the training excursion. Which meant looking the other way and participating in the standard round of convenience flings during the month.
He sighed. "Not sure I want to do the whole hookup bingo this time around." At twenty-eight, he'd grown a little tired of the whole deal.
Then again, if he missed the briefing, it wouldn't matter. Because he wouldn't have a job.
Jamming his foot on the accelerator, he shaved several more minutes off his commute.

I hope this ends up being as funny and heartfelt as I'm going for. I love Remy and Eli.

That's it for this week. Happy reading!


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Fits and Starts

Well… I'm coming off a bittersweet week. I got to spend my birthday with almost my entire family, which is terrific, but the reason not so much. We buried my beloved Gram on Wednesday and, being in Ohio, the weather ran the gamut from rain to snow to a sleet / hail mixture. Finally, the sun came out toward the end of the day.

Television had a good week. Legends had a great episode even if I can't quite decide if I actually like Damian's campy antics or if I really hate them. It's pretty much a toss-up.

Tuesday's shows are on my list to catch up on. The draining day left me with little to no brain power to watch television. The same goes for Riverdale on Wednesday.

I did catch Arrow and, as always, I enjoyed the episode. I rather like how they keep changing up the versions of Laurel. And having Roy back is always kick ass. I've missed him. I'm also interested in seeing how things play out with Dinah and Oliver. In all honesty, I'm a little on the fence about the Dinah character. Her thirst for vengeance isn't one I bought into, but I'll finish watching to see what happens.

I need to catch up on Gotham also. Totally forgot it returned at the beginning of the month.

Watched a little more of season five of Chicago Fire and still love the show. Looking forward to another DVD this week to see what else happens.

Started Jessica Jones this weekend and season two feels like it's going to be a wild ride. Can't wait to see what else the show has in store for me.

I'll be playing catch up on Murdoch Mysteries again, but I did see episode fifteen and thoroughly enjoyed.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Fits and Starts, a novella that got a writing community prompt start with the words "get out".

Here's the mini-blurb:

After escaping from a madman's clutches, Pru Stark can't quite find her footing again. She pushes her man, Dane Callaway, away and refuses to see the little girl she saved. Dane can give her space, but he won't stay on the sidelines, not when Pru needs him the most, even if she can't quite admit it.

And a snippety peek…

Dane slammed his hand on the desk. "It's been two weeks. Why the hell aren't we combing the district for her?" He glared at the phone, waiting on a response.
A room of twelve board members collectively cleared their throats.
Only one had the balls to verbally reply. "Given Stark's penchant for going off book, pulling resources to search for her isn't warranted. Not yet." Blaine Kudrow… it figured.
Pru's blunt style often annoyed others. And, of course, Blaine topped the list. Dammit.
Dane heaved a sigh. "Then when? The longer we wait the more damage control we could get into." Seriously… someone had to put a stop to the escalating break-ins, before word got out.
Nagy Harnish jumped into the conversation. "Look, Callaway, give it two more weeks. Unless the thefts escalate further." A general consensus sounded in the background.
Dane tamped a flash of anger down. "I'm going to commit everyone not on an active operation to trolling for intel. I trust no one's gonna have a problem approving the overtime." Considering he signed the paychecks, the board could kiss his ass if they did.
Kudrow snorted. "Like you'd care or let that stop you. By all means, use your people however you see fit. You certainly take advantage of having your lover as one of primary agents." The room hissed their disapproval of her blatant insult. "Fine, fine. I'll shut up now. If your people don't turn anything up within two weeks, we'll revisit allocating personnel from the other divisions."
Dane tersely thanked the group and cut the call before he threatened to blast the lot of them. His relationship with Pru rarely interfered with ongoing missions. Hell, he'd waited a full week before bringing his concerns to the board so he wouldn't be accused of playing favorites.
Sitting down at his desk, he drummed his fingers on the smooth surface. "Something isn't right. My gut's screaming Pru's in danger."

This one end up being moved to my science fiction romance pseudonym but I love how the story is coming together.

That's it for this week. Happy reading!


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Feeling Alive

My incredible and awesome gram left the world at around 1AM this morning. She gave me the very best adventures while I grew up and I'm going to miss her something fierce. As she said the last time I had the chance to be with her, "It's no picnic getting old." But she aged with beauty and grace. Considering I'm pretty much the spitting image of her, I hope I have the same experience.

It was a pretty great week for television. Legends of Tomorrow had a great episode. I loved having Wally and Rip together for an adventure and the whole pirate scenario kicked ass. I'm always sad when the show gets nitpicked to death. That said, it's not perfect, but I like that it isn't.

I missed the new episode of The Flash, but I'll catch up soon. Black Lightning turned out a good hour. I like having more of the pieces and outing the new kid on the block to her parents ended up being way better than I expected.

Arrow broke my heart. This is still one of my very favorite shows and having the two teams battling each other kills me. I'm not sure where the whole Laurel storyline is going, but I'm interested in seeing how it plays out. I'm really excited to have Roy return even if he'll probably get tortured… again.

I'm almost finished with season four of Chicago Fire. Still pretty thrilled with the overall arcs of the characters and I loved Mouch and Trudy's wedding. I have a new DVD to watch tonight and then I think it's on to season five.

I finished the first season of The Punisher. Gotta say I thoroughly enjoyed it. The guy I actively wanted to die at the end is still kicking but I'm okay with that. The other one I wanted to see die a horrible death got what he had coming, so there's that. Here's hoping there's a season two.

I have to play catch-up with Gotham's newest episode. I'm also getting a few of my foreign shows lined up. Murdoch Mysteries and Marcella are on tap when I can find a few spare hours. Looking forward to both!

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Feeling Alive, a novella featuring main characters that experience and emotional high together but have to face the hurdle of losing someone close to them.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Maddox loses her partner in a bomb explosion and shuts down emotionally. Wakefield arrives to interrogate Maddox about his brother's death, but she refuses to discuss the trauma. She ends up in another explosive situation and Wake finally breaks through Maddox's defenses, but he also opens the floodgates, which may get both killed.

And a snippety peek…

Wakefield Bigelow dragged his weary ass into the base camp and checked his weapon at the storage locker. He'd been in the field for two weeks and needed a shower, sleep, and whatever passed for food right now. A large deep dish pizza would invade his dreams but he'd settle for anything that didn't resemble an MRE. His quarters looked like home about now.
A bravo team member poked his head inside the barracks. "Yo, Bigs, the CO wants to see you ASAP. Something about your brother."
Wake went on alert. "Avery?" Why the hell would his brother contact him?
Jason quirked a brow. "Dude, you've only got one brother, right?"
A sick ball of dread dropped in Wake's stomach. "Shit. Yeah, just Avery." He nudged Jason out of the way and double-timed it to the CO's office.
Colonel Griffin Ames, retired military now heading up the civilian security operations, didn't demand strict discipline but he usually got it anyway. The man commanded a clean unit and garnered everyone's respect.
When Wake entered, the dread turned to anxious alarm. Colonel Ames's face delivered the news before he opened his mouth.
Wake gripped the back of the seat in front of the colonel's desk. "What happened?" His knuckles went white while waiting on the answer.
The colonel didn't pull his punches. "Your brother died in the line of duty a week ago. We received word this morning." He came around and clasped Wake's shoulder. "I'm sorry, Bigelow. I've arranged emergency leave for you. A military plane is standing by, waiting on your arrival. They'll fly you home so you can make arrangements for him." He directed Wake toward the exit.
Numb, Wake's feet moved but his brain took a moment to catch up. "He'll already be buried. We each left instructions with our folks' attorneys." Considering their professions, Avery had made the suggestion.
Almost like he assumed Wake wouldn't be around if something happened to his brother.
And he hadn't been.
Ames squeezed Wake's shoulder. "You have our condolences, Bigelow. Take whatever time you need. We're wrapping up here. I'll forward our new orders when I get them."
Wake blinked when he discovered the colonel had led him to the barracks. "Uh, yeah, thank you, sir." He entered quarters and grabbed his go bag.
Turning, he left and made his way to the waiting SUV. Food could wait. A shower could wait. He'd grab some sleep on the plane. Maybe when he woke up the nightmare of losing his brother would recede long enough for Wake to focus.
He wanted answers and he needed to be clear-headed when he started asking questions.

I'm rather happy with how this Wake scene came together. I wanted a specific tone and I feel like I got it the way I hoped for.

That's it for this week. Happy reading!