Wordless Wednesday

We all know my post will have many words, but… I will have photos, too, lol. This month is… a photo a day for a week… and I’m lucky enough to be spending the week with the awesome Jessica Jarman. So without further ado…

SATURDAY… (okay I arrived at midnight, but I’m counting it for Saturday, damn it) Brilliant views of San Fran on my flight to Minneapolis.

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SUNDAY…. My EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING TRIP TO TIM HORTON’S USA!!!! LEARN FROM YOUR NORTHERN BROTHERS… QUICKLY. AND EARL GREY IS NOT FREAKING REGULAR TEA! IT’S JUST NOT!

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MONDAY… I arrived to discover this week is Shaun T week on Beachbody on Demand. I’m dying already…but oh the view.

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TUESDAY… Release Day!!!!!! BLUE COLLAR COLLECTION is live on Amazon…including my story CABIN FEVER!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0722XRLPM

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WEDNESDAY…. slutty brownies for the win… and they are. Very, very slutty. Jessica made the rule we had to say “whore” every time we took a bite. I said that word a lot.

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THURSDAY…Jess has been letting me use and abuse her Beachbody on Demand, and I’ve been giving Hard Corps a try. Tony Horton does not disappoint, folks. There’s no warm-up (he does warn you to do one or the available Cold Start if you want) and it’s truly Hard Core the entire time.

FRIDAY… Lunch with Jess and her hubby. At OUR place… (shhh, it’s a secret.) And packing to go to our annual retreat! Obviously Jess and I have our priorities.

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I had to add some extras… my youngest, Syd, performed today. And here are some of the amazing photos of her and her bestie, Brynn. These two girls are incredible. So proud. Syd is the one upside down in the first, and the solo in the second. Then the lower one in the last two.

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That’s it for me. Please hop on over to the other ladies to see what they posted.

Bronwyn  |  Jessica  |  Deelylah

Song Flash Fiction ~ Ghosts That We Knew

Okay, first off, it’s retreat week. Which means this is probably the only flash fiction post I’ve written in advance. Where I’m not trying to pull a story out of my ass at midnight, lol. Might be nice to make this a habit… who am I kidding? I’m too much of a procrastinator.

So, the song is Ghosts That We Knew by Mumford and Sons. I’m familiar with their ‘radio’ titles but hadn’t heard this one. I liked this version, very acoustic. So, here’s the video if you’ve never heard it before, and the resulting story.

Of course, as I’m searching for something to write, I’ve decided to do a bit more with Devlyn and Ryker… none of which is in order to the other bits I’ve written, lol.

“Well?”

Ryker dragged his gaze away from the broken window to glance at Devlyn over his shoulder. She’d propped herself against one of the walls, cradling her left arm in her lap. Blood stained the bandage he’d tied around her shoulder, the red colour opening mocking him.

He cleared his head, focusing on the encroaching forest. “Nothing but trees.”

“Thinking unless you’re the freaking Predator, you won’t see anything until it’s on top of us.”

Ryker sighed. “You don’t have to remind me I let you down. Again.”

“That’s not what I said.”

“But it’s true.” He took another scan of the area, then moved over to her. “I need to check your shoulder. It doesn’t look like that patch job is working.”

She grabbed his hand when he thumbed her shirt. “It’s fine. Just…keep watch.”

“It’s not fine, and keeping watch won’t mean shit if you bleed out. It’s been long enough. We should be clear for a while.” He took her hand and placed it in her lap. “Stop being stubborn.”

Dev huffed. “I’m not being stubborn, I’m… Shit.”

She clenched her jaw as he eased back the cloth. The material caught a bit, stretching her skin before popping off, leaving two oozing holes puckered against her flesh.

“Fuck.” Ryker slipped off his jacket, then yanked his shirt over his head. Bits of thread fluttered to the floor as he ripped his shirt into strips, folding one up then placing it against the wounds. “The only upside to this whole thing is that at least the damn bullet ricocheted and came back out. Having it still in there…”

Devlyn closed her eyes, swallowing what sounded like a whimper. “Yeah. It’s a real ray of sunshine.”

Ryker made eye contact. “Having a hunk of lead lodged inside you? Definitely worse.” He pressed a bit harder, cursing under his breath when her breath hitched a her eyes rolled slightly. “You never should have done that.”

She blinked, focusing on his face. “Done what?”

“Seriously, Dev?”

She chuckled, the sound morphing into a grunt. “So, I was just supposed to let Slader kill you? Hide behind that car and watch you bleed out?”

“You could have—”

“What, Ryker? Reasoned with him? Talked him down? Or maybe you think I could have ninjaed my way through his men and taken them all out with my superior skills.”

“Taking a bullet for me…nearly getting yourself killed…” He shook his head. “We’re both damned lucky to be alive.”

She laughed, again. “I knew you’d pull me out of there. And it was a lucky hit on Slader’s part.”

“Second time that bastard has gotten the jump on you in the last few weeks.”

She glared at him. “Are you suggesting I’m losing my edge? Because I’m pretty sure you just thanked me for saving your ass.”

He smiled, enjoying the way her gaze followed the uplift of his mouth. Damn, but the girl was dangerous. Two weeks together and he felt as if he’d stepped backwards in time—as if he hadn’t screwed everything up by leaving. Not that she’d listened to him, yet. But being around her—it was like a slap in the face to everything he’d had, and let go.

He huffed. He hadn’t done it by choice. Not that it mattered. The outcome had been the same—he’d lost the other half of himself. The one woman he’d ever love.

He tucked some hair behind her ear. “Thank you.”

Her eyes widened, creases marring her brow before she shrugged her good shoulder. “Don’t get all sentimental on me. I’d just rather have the pleasure of shooting you, myself.”

“I thought you wanted to stick a knife through my…how did you put it?” He grinned. “Right. Cold withered heart.”

Her lips quirked, and his damn stomach flip-flopped. “I’m not above adapting.”

He thumbed her cheek, staring into the deep blue of her eyes. “Christ, you’re beautiful.”

Her expression softened. “Ryker.”

He silenced her with a gentle finger over her lips, the soft play of her skin only ratcheting up the uneasy roiling sensation in his gut. “Don’t. For just one minute can you stop being mad at me and let me look at you. Stop the bleeding and hold you.”

She furrowed her brow, her chin quivering for a moment before she visibly surrendered. “You’re not going to cry, are you?”

“You really are a piece of work, Dev.” He taped up the wound, satisfied he’d stemmed the bleeding enough she wouldn’t get any worse. Then he wrapped another few strips of his shirt around her shoulder, tying them in place. “You need to stay still for a bit. Give that a chance to heal before we move on.”

“Aren’t you worried Slader will find us?”

“Not my first time ditching a mark. We’ll be fine for the night. If he’d managed to track us down, he’d be knocking down our door as we speak.”

“Then why did you spend the last ten minutes staring out the damn window?”

“Are you determined to be difficult? Every freaking second of every day?”

Her eyes glassed over before she turned away. “This isn’t easy.”

He turned, scooting in beside her. She snapped her gaze back to him as he eased his arm around her, tucking her against his side, her head notched into his shoulder.

She swallowed noisily. “What…”

“Shut up, Dev.”

Her breath hitched, and she stayed firm against him for several heartbeats before melting against him. Her breath feathered across his bare chest, the subtle caress easing the frantic beating of his heart. At least, for now, she was safe. Hurt, but safe.

Her hand landed on his ribs, each finger anchoring him more to her. “Fine. A truce. But just for tonight.”

He smiled against her hair, dropping a kiss on the top of her head. “A one-off.”

She took a few shuddering breaths, glancing up at him. “If we’re really having a truce, then I want you to do one thing for me.”

“What’s that?”

“Lie to me and tell me everything’s going to be all right.”

He wrapped his other arm around her, pulling her close. “Everything’s going to be all right. Promise.” He gave her another squeeze. “Close your eyes. You can go back to fantasizing about killing me in the morning.”

She hummed, snuggling against him. A soft sigh warmed his skin. “Or maybe, I’d rather just kiss you.”

He stilled. Had he really just heard her say she wanted to kiss him? He forced in a calming breath. “Devlyn?” He looked down at her when she didn’t answer, snorting at the contented look on her face as she slept against him. “Figures. Never could catch a break, could we, sweetheart? Sleep, because sooner or later, you’re going to listen, and I’m not going to stop until you’re mine. And this time, nothing will get between us.”

 

And that’s it for me. Please join the other ladies and see what they’ve written.

Bronwyn  |  Jessica  |  Siobhan  |  Deelylah

Promptly Penned ~ June

Woot! Getting close to retreat time. And I’m visiting with the amazing Jessica Jarman before we head to the UP. This week’s prompt is a fun one…

“Just call the police. No one has time for your Nancy Drew shenanigans.”

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“More popcorn?”

Jax glanced over at his friend—date, he supposed. At least, that’s what he hoped this was. Cason Sinclair had invited him over to watch movies and chill together on the couch, something the man hadn’t done before. And after nearly a year of trying to get Cason’s attention—to have him notice Jax as more than just a guy he studied with. The same guy who had helped the jackass pass Biochem202 this semester—Jax had just assumed he’d been firmly rooted in the friend zone.

Then, out of nowhere, Cason had called, stammered through ten minutes of random conversation before finally tossing out that he was hanging out watching movies, and that Jax should come over—hang with him.

Jax gave the man a guarded smile. “Sure.”

Cason grinned back, sweeping his gaze down Jax’s torso before grabbing the empty bowl and heading to the kitchen. Jax watched the man leave, studying the way the denim hugged his ass perfectly. Shit, it was as if Cason had painted the damn jeans on, the firm fabric hugging the man’s muscles perfectly.

Jax drew a deep breath, trying to still the raging heat simmering just beneath his skin. It’d been far too long since he’d been in a relationship—hell, since he’d had a date or even a one-night stand. And sitting beside the object of his fantasies for the past several months was taking a toll on him. He’d been trying to hide his growing hard-on for the past twenty minutes.

He glanced at the kitchen, smiling when he heard Cason singing softly to himself. Christ, even his voice was a turn-on, despite the fact he was slightly off-key. Jax sighed. The fact Cason had been able to walk off without adjusting himself seemed to suggest the attraction might be one-sided—Jax’s.

“Hope you like extra butter. And I put some seasoning mix on it.”

Jax jumped, glancing up at Cason. Shit, Jax had been so entranced in thought, he hadn’t heard the man walk back in. Damn, he’d probably been staring at Cason amble across the room the entire time with some goofy, love-sick expression on his face. Jax grabbed the bowl, nodding his thanks when Cason placed another beer on the coffee table in front of him.

Cason pursed his lips, looking somewhat divided before planting his ass on the cushion directly beside Jax—close enough their thighs touched. Jax tensed, swallowing past the sudden lump in his throat, as he made a point of shifting the popcorn bowl over so it was resting on both of their legs. If he didn’t cover his crotch, Cason would get a pretty telling view of just how much his ‘friend’ excited Jax.

He popped a few kernels in his mouth, coughing at the strong salt flavour. “Shit, Cas, are you trying to kill me?”

Cason focused on him, his smile making Jax’s heart race. “I like salt.”

“Apparently more than you like a healthy heart because I can feel my arteries hardening as we speak.”

Cas shrugged. “If you sweat enough, some salt is good for you.”

“Were you planning on having us go for a run next?”

Cas chuckled, wetting his lips. “Not a run.”

Heat billowed around Jax as Cas smiled, openly checking him out, before he turned back to the movie, shoving a fistful of popcorn into his mouth. Jax closed his eyes for a moment, physically pulling himself back, before staring at the television. He’d tuned the damn film out thirty minutes ago, far too occupied with wondering if Cas was remotely interested in him or if the guy regretted inviting Jax over.

Cas groaned beside him, shaking his head as he huffed. “Christ, who the hell wrote this movie?”

Jax laughed. “You were the one who picked it.”

“I thought it was more of a Jason Bourne kind of thing.”

“You mean instead of this jacked up chick flick?”

Cas frowned. “It’s not that bad…” He sighed. “It is, isn’t it?”

Jax smiled. “It’s okay. I’ve seen worse. Though these two…how are they still alive?”

“I know, right?” Cas cursed this time, shaking a finger at the screen. “Or for fuck’s sake. Just call the police. No one has time for your Nancy Drew shenanigans.”

Jax coughed, nearly spraying his beer across the table. “Nancy Drew shenanigans?”

Cas cringed, glancing at Jax. “Did I say that out loud?”

“Every word, buddy.” He knocked Cas’ shoulder with his. “It’s okay. I promise not to hold it against you, though coupled with your choice in movies…I’m starting to wonder if I know you at all.”

“Fuck off.”

“Is that an offer?”

Cas’ eyes widened and Jax groaned inwardly. Christ, he really needed to learn how to flirt, or simply shut up. He glanced away when Cas grabbed the bowl and plunked it on the table. Then he turned, laying one, broad hand on Jax’s thigh, his long fingers lightly scratching at his pants.

The man leaned in, stopping a breath away. “It is if you’d consider saying yes.”

Jax opened his mouth, then closed it.

Cas smiled, lifting his hand and thumbing Jax’s jaw. “Fuck you’re cute when you’re speechless. Your cheeks blush and you get these adorable creases above your nose.” He drew his finger along Jax’s lower lip. “Surely you’ve noticed how attracted I am to you. Hell, I’ve been sending you signals for months.”

Jax coughed again. “You’ve been sending me signals?”

“Do you really think I needed that much help passing Biochem?”

“I…” He frowned. “I’ve been trying to get your attention since last semester. How didn’t you notice?”

“Maybe because your idea of sending signals is, well, shitty.”

“And yours is about as good as this movie.”

Cas exhaled, another smile lifting his lips. “Fair. So how about I make things crystal clear.” He leaned in, brushing his mouth of Jax’s. Not quite enough to be called an actual kiss but more than enough to broadcast the man’s intentions. “I like you. A lot. In fact, I only went to the kitchen so I could adjust my damn dick because I’m about to rip through these jeans. So…here’s what I’d like to happen.” He made another pass. “We laugh our way through the rest of this horrible movie. Eat the popcorn and drink our beer. Then, I seduce you on this couch, then take you to my bed, where I plan on making you sweat all night long. And if I’m lucky, you’ll want to do the same damn thing tomorrow. And the next night. And the next.”

Jax arched a brow. “Only four nights?”

“And that’s why I can’t see straight when you’re in the room. And four nights is just the start if I have any say in it.” He nipped at Jax’s lip. “And I definitely want to have a say in it.”

Jax grinned. “Do you plan on yelling out Nancy Drew references again?”

“Maybe. But not while I’m making you yell my name.”

Jax swallowed, closing the last bit of distance. “Then you’ve got yourself a deal.”

 

And that’s it for me. Please join the other ladies for their stories…

Bronwyn  |  Jessica  |  Deelylah

TOP 10 ~ June

So excited. Later this week I’m off to visit fellow blogger and soul sister Jessica Jarman, then it’s cabin retreat time! I can’t wait. I so need some ladies only time.

Anyway, this month the top 10 countdown is ways I procrastinate. Me? Procrastinate? I think it’s way beyond simple procrastinating, but… we’ll play along. So, in no particular order, because it’s more what I’m in the mood for than anything else, lol.

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~ Netflix binge watching. Yes, I think I watched 10 seasons of Supernatural in less than two months. Probably more like 6 weeks. So…. putting Netflix on at all, is a great way to lose an hour, or two, or twenty-four!

~ Reading. Okay, sometimes it might honestly be for research or during some earned down time. But I often start reading as a way of avoiding a book where I’m stuck. It’s with the hope that it will give me inspiration, but often I just love reading.

~ Social media. I don’t think any explanation is needed. We all know FaceBook, Instagram or Pinterest are black holes that suck in entire day’s worth of time.

~ Exercise. Okay, not the actual exercise as I will never admit it’s not worth every minute. But, often, after a super long run, I’m so exhausted I end up doing absolutely nothing. Or, I binge on Netflix. See, I’m a multitasker.

~ Sleep. Naps. Whatever you want to call it. Sometimes I just need to zone out.

~ Computer wonderland. It might be online browsing or looking up information. Shopping. Whatever, but it’s not really social media related, or movie watching, so, it deserves to be its own category.

~ Photoshop. True, often this is the other half of my job. But I will use making graphics as a way to get out of writing. Again, especially if I’m stuck. Though it’s definitely not a waste of time, it does act as a barrier to getting words on the page.

~ Cleaning. This is a rarity but… on the odd occasion, it has happened.

~ Music. I still love just lying on the bed listening to tunes. Though it might lead to having a nap, lol, it’s another way to get out of doing anything productive.

~ Hanging with friends. While much needed, sometimes it’s a way of avoiding other priorities. Not a waste, but a definite time draw.

That’s it for me. Now check out the other ladies and see how they procrastinate.

Bronwyn  |  Jessica  |  Deelylah

 

June ~ Photo Flash Fiction

It’s June. Wow! Unlike most of the States, we’re still in school here, and I’m desperately trying to help kids finish up those last projects and get ready for summer, especially since I’ll be away for a couple of weeks. (I can’t freaking wait!) But in the meantime, it’s time for another flash fiction.

This photo’s an interesting one. And I’ve decided to continue with the flash I started in December… with a certain witch who’s trying to summon a very powerful being. You can read that bit here… and because I’m always short on time, I’m just picking it up right where I left off, so apologies. Hopefully it will still make sense if you just want to jump in here.

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38479482 – dark witch calling thunder powers . fantasy and surreal studio shot

Grace inhaled, using the deep breath to calm the nervous roil of her stomach and stem the obvious tremors shaking her hands. Now wasn’t the time to let uncertainty invade her thoughts.  More than just her and Patrick’s lives were on the line. If she didn’t stop her sisters who’d strayed into the dark from completing the shadow spell and breaking through the walls of Hell…

She swallowed against the burn of bile at the back of her throat, when her brother nudged her.

He arched an brow. “You okay?”

She forced a smile. “Considering the circumstances, I’m doing great.”

“I’ll say it again. We don’t have to do this. We can find another way.”

“There isn’t any other way. We’ve tried everything. Banishing spells. Mirror spells. Nothing is strong enough to stop an entire covenant of dark sorcerers.” She toed the floor. “Besides, it’s not performing the summoning that has me worried.”

Patrick chuckled. “Right. Because summoning Satan is pretty much a daily thing for us.”

“You’re such a jerk.” She sighed. “What if he won’t help us?”

“He’s Lucifer. Isn’t he bound to make deals or something?”

“But we’re talking about Hell. About freeing demons. Won’t that kind of work into his ultimate plan?”

“And you’re privy to Lucifer’s plans, now?”

“Again. Jerk.” Grace wet her lips. “All the scriptures say he wants to rule over Earth. Wouldn’t releasing Hell onto it be a pretty great way to achieve that?”

Patrick released a weary breath, giving her a firm hug. “Let’s just see if this even works. I mean, it’s not like we’re freeing him or anything. He’ll still be bound, right?”

“This is just a visit. Promise.”

“Then I say light this baby up, and let’s have a talk with the Lord of Darkness.”

Grace gave her brother a curt nod. He was right, as usual. They had nothing to lose by trying. She simply wouldn’t make a deal unless Lucifer agreed to their terms. And if he didn’t, then… she’d send his ass back. At least, she hoped she could. The return incantations always seemed so much more involved—as if the magic only wanted to work in one direction.

Of course, she could screw the entire thing up and kill them both outright, so…

Grace pushed the thoughts aside, accepting the candle her brother gave her. She focused her energy, waving her hands over the top as she recited the words, smiling when the wick fluttered then lit, dancing breath her palm. Heat warmed her skin, as shadows danced across the floor. She glanced at her brother, noting the furrowed brow and wide eyes. He caught her stare and nodded, any trace of uncertainty fading from his gaze.

She drew another quick breath, then dripped the wax across the sigil, outlining a small pentagram, before lowering enough to hold the tiny flame against the surface of the blood. The red liquid hissed, turning into a deep crimson as it seemed to boil, then ignite. Fire raced along the lines, setting the entire glyph alight and casting a reflection of the marking on the ceiling. The room shook, knocking her to one knee as dust and ash billowed into the air.

The scent of brimstone saturated the air as sweat beaded her skin. She managed to look up as the rumbling eased. Clouds of smoke swirled within the circle, the grey mass finally thinning enough to make a dark silhouette within the markings. The man knelt in the center of the sigil, torso bare, curls of smoke rising off his flesh. He rolled his shoulders, extending a set of blood-red wings to either side. The tips snapped in seeming annoyance as he slowly stumbled to his feet, his muscles flexing from the strain.

He shook his head, raking a hand through his shaggy locks before muttering something under his breath as he started to turn. “Oh, bloody hell, Gabriel. I distinctly told you and Michael not to fucking summon me every time you or your mates screw up. I swear if your mage did anything to me on the trip up here, I’ll…”

His voice trailed off as his gaze landed on hers. Steel-grey eyes watched her, his chestnut coloured hair falling back across his face. An amused smile curled his lips as he crossed his arms over his chest, looking far too comfortable. “I’m going to go out on a limb and say you’re not one of my brothers. Or their mates, for that matter.”

She opened her mouth, but nothing made it past the dry rasp of her throat.

The guy chuckled. “Let me guess…you lost your voice in some horrible accident and you want me to give it back to you.”

“What?” Grace shook her head, doing her best to regain her composure. “No. I…” She inched closer, stopping at the edge of the markings. “Are you really him?”

“That depends on who it is you think I am.”

She glanced at her brother over her shoulder, then back at the man. “Lucifer.”

His smile widened. “Looks like you did something right, though based on your expression…” He whistled. “You weren’t sure you’d actually get it to work.” He glanced at the sigil. “Though I have to say, that was one of the nicest summonings I’ve ever had. Smooth. Not too much fire along the way. Are you a mage?”

“Not, exactly.” She tilted her head, unable to look away. Christ, the man was gorgeous. “So you really are Lucifer?”

“Didn’t we just straighten that out?” He sighed. “Yes, I’m Lucifer. Prince of Darkness. Fallen angel. Whatever name suits your fancy. In the flesh. And you are?” He groaned when she didn’t answer him. “Come on, sweetheart. I don’t deal without names, so…you might as well tell me yours, seeing as you went to all this trouble to drag my ass up here.”

Patrick stepped forward, putting a comforting hand on the small of her back. “Her name’s Grace. And I’m Patrick.”

Something flashed in Lucifer’s eyes before he seemed to push it away. “Lovers? That’s a first for me. Usually, it’s just one partner begging me to make the other fall in love with them. Not really my forte, by the way. Love.”

“What?” Patrick scoffed. “She’s my sister, not that it matters. We need—”

“We bought you here to make a deal.” Grace straightened. She wouldn’t let her brother take the fall. This was her doing, her sacrifice.

Lucifer nodded. “I’m listening.”

She wet her lips again, praying her voice didn’t sound as shaky as it felt. “There’s a group of witches—dark sorcerers, really. I need to stop them, but…”

“So, you’re a witch. And not just any one. You’re powerful. I can sense your strength from here. Almost as if you had a bit of—” He stopped cold, all the cockiness draining from his face. “What did you say your name was again?”

She swallowed. “Grace. My name’s Grace Porter.”

He swept his gaze the length of her, then walked toward her, getting as close as he could to the edge of the sigil. “Grace. How…poetic.”

She frowned, not sure whether he was happy or angry. “I said, we’re here to make you a deal. You grant me the power to stop this covenant and I’ll—”

“How about you tell me a bit more about this covenant and what they plan to do before you go giving up your soul?”

Grace frowned. “You don’t want my soul?”

“That all depends.”

“On what?”

“On you.” He waved at her. “So start talking, Grace Porter, and don’t stop until I tell you to.”

 

And that’s it for me. Lots of folks playing today so go check out all the other lovely ladies.

Bronwyn   |  Jessica  |  Siobhan  |  Gwendolyn  |  Deelylah

 

 

Mystery App

So the topic of this week’s post is… An app mysteriously appears on your phone and does something amazing. What does it do?

First off…If I could have come up with anything remotely realistic and amazing, I would have marketed it by now. So…suspend belief from this point forward.

Okay…. I considered a bunch of stuff…an app that emits a sound wave that repels assholes. (you know you want that one, too. Oh, and only they can hear it, like a dog whistle 🙂 ) One that emits a noise that attracts the ideal mate. But… those have some possible side effects, lol, so… here’s the app that I choose…

An icon with a telescope appears, along with a pair of glasses. You put them on and discover they are an advanced form of bluetooth glasses. Head up display and music all delivered through these stylish spectacles… but that’s not all. When you activate the app, you are given super-human sight. It begins with hawk-like vision, but you can dial it to whatever spectrum you want. So… want to see a few miles away… hit that setting. Want X-ray vision… no problem, that’s just another box to tick. Want to be the Predator? That can be arranged. Basically, it allows you to see any wavelength at any clarity for any distance.

And with my eyesight… shall we say aging… I’d love to have this.

That’s all for  me. Now check out Bronwyn, Jess and Deelylah for their apps.

Musical Musings

MusicalMusings

This month’s Musical Musings topics are: parents, siblings, and childhood.

For me, parents and childhood are kinda the same. I don’t think their taste in music changed from what they listened to when I was young. You know, before I picked my own music. But here’s some of their favourites…

 

A few of my first musical decisions, lol…

And my brother…we honestly shared and still share a lot of the same interests. I’m way more country now, but he’ll give a few of my faves a listen. So, he listened to the same as mine above, plus a few more…and here’s some of his new faves.

That’s it for me. Now check out the other ladies…

Bronwyn Green  |  Deelylah Mullin  |  Gwendolyn Cease  |  Paige Prince

Song Flash Fiction ~ All American Rejects

I’m familiar with a few of their songs, but hadn’t heard this one before. Here’s the video for those of you who’d like to give it a listen, and the resulting story…I’m sure I’ll think of something. Prays to the muse gods for a save… (I’d like to use a lifeline. Call a friend. Poll the audience.)

Oh and I don’t really get the whole them in the ocean in this video but…maybe that’s just me.

“Dave? Buddy, you okay?”

Dave Attison stared out the window, watching the gathering of people a few hundred yards off.  They sat in rows, heads bent in conversation as the storm raged around them. A large tent fluttered in the strong breeze, the hollow sound of the rain against the canvass echoing across the open space. He shifted his gaze to the man standing at the end of a red carpet—white square glowing like a beacon against his collar. He wasn’t talking to anyone, his head held high, a book clenched in his hands.

Dave swallowed against the bile cresting his throat. They’d been sitting in the damn truck for twenty minutes, but Dave hadn’t been able to wrap his fingers around the handle—step out into the rain. His stomach clenched at the thought, threatening to spill his recent coffee across the dashboard, not that he’d care. Hell, he hadn’t cared about anything—anyone—in months.

A hand landed on his shoulder, and he forced himself to turn—meet Barry’s gaze. The man looked as uncomfortable as Dave felt, his buddy’s eyes darting between the crowd and him. Creases furrowed Barry’s brow as the man released a shuddering breath, giving Dave what he assumed was supposed to be an encouraging smile.

“Ceremony’s about to start.” Barry swallowed with apparent effort. “Don’t you think we should join in? Might be rude to walk over there halfway through. You know how Father Sean is about tardiness.”

Dave snorted. The man he’d planned on spending the rest of his life with—his fucking soulmate—was ready to pledge his love to someone else, and Barry was worried if Father Sean would flip his shit if Dave showed up late.

He glanced away. “I just need another minute.”

Barry sighed, the sound sparking another clench of Dave’s gut. God, how he’d come to loathe that sound—the pity that seemed to ooze out of it. The way it curled around him, reminding him about all the ways he’d failed. How he hadn’t been enough.

Barry gave his shoulder a squeeze. “We’ve been here for a while. I’m not sure another minute is going to make this any easier.”

Dave scoffed, meeting his friend’s sympathetic gaze. “Easier? Julian is marrying another man, Barry. And as much as I want to walk over there—prove to everyone I’m a bigger man, that I can take the high road in this—all I can think about is how unwanted I’ll be. The man walked out of me. Let me for that…” Dave blew out an exasperated breath. “Four years, and he threw it away because I wanted more. Only to turn around and get engaged three weeks later.” He snorted. “Christ, it’s like some damn soap opera, only so much worse. Poorly written.”

“Julian invited you. Hell, he called the house half a dozen times to confirm you’d be here. Bastard still seems to think you can be the best of friends. So, I’m pretty damn sure that means you’re wanted.” Barry huffed at Dave’s silence. “Are you worried Paul might throw a scene? That he never wanted you to come?”

“That’s not what this is about.”

“Then explain it to me, because you’re the one who insisted on accepting the offer. On torturing yourself more.” He thumbed the steering wheel. “I know you loved him, but…he doesn’t deserve another minute of your time. Fuck, he never deserved you.”

Dave closed his eyes. If he were honest, he didn’t know why he’d insisted on coming, either. He’d tried to convince himself it was for closure—a tangible way of dealing with Julian’s departure. But as Dave stared at the last few stragglers walking across the rain-slick grass, he knew it was a lie. Hell, it’d all been a lie. Their life. Julian’s love. None of it had been more than a mirage. It had just taken Dave four years and a shit load of ninety-proof to get any clarity. To see it for what it really had been—wasted time.

He clenched his jaw, then reefed open the door, stepping into the rain. It stung his face as he stood there, still staring at the make-shift chapel. He drew a deep breath, glancing at his buddy. Barry looked at him over the top of the truck, seemingly unsure whether to join him or simply stand there. Dave closed his eyes, searching for some kind of sign, when the wind picked up, curling around before continuing down the road.

Barry cleared his throat. “Well? We going over there?”

Dave lifted his head. “I think I’ve already gotten all I need. It’s time to stop chasing what was never there.” He looked at Barry. “Beer? First round’s on me.”

Barry grinned. “Hell, yeah. Second round, too, buddy, for making me put on this godforsaken tie.”

“Fine. Two rounds.” He smiled at his friend. “Thanks.”

Barry cocked an eyebrow as he slid in behind the wheel. “For what?”

“Not saying I told you so.”

“Night’s young. I could still gloat.”

“I’ll consider myself dully warned.”

 

That’s all for me. Had a hard time with this one. Now check out the other ladies, who probably scribbled three pages without effort.

Bronwyn Green  |  Kayleigh Jones  |  Deelylah Mullin  |  Siobhan Muir 

 

 

Promptly Penned ~ May

This month’s prompt is an interesting one.

Magic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For example, there are 20 spells for making tea but none to save yourself from falling off a cliff.

Let us, begin…

promptlypenned

 

Magic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For example, there are twenty spells for making tea but none to save yourself from falling off a cliff.

At least, that’s what played over and over in Sebastian’s head as he balanced on the slippery crag, body plastered to the unforgiving rock, each gust of wind threatening to dislodge his grip. Rain fell in torrential sheets from the dark expanse of clouds blanketing the sky, soaking through his woollen coat—making it feel as if it weighed another ten stone. He shifted his weight, trying to find better purchase on a small ledge just off to his left, but his boots slid along the slick surface, nearly tumbling him into the gully.

A laugh bubbled up through his chest, breaking free as nothing more than a murmur as the wind whipped through the opening in the cliff, drowning out any other sound but its echoing whistle and the rattle of what remained of the wooden bridge he’d been crossing. Inappropriate or not, he had to admit, his current situation was funny. Bone deep hilarity that would either end as a tale of his greatest adventure, or the markings on his epithet.

He laughed again when he realized it was most likely the latter. Not that he should have found his last moments of life funny, but… It was more the circumstances of how he’d gotten himself into the deadly situation to begin with.

Gypsies.

He knew better than to trust them. To put blind faith in their ability. After all, most of them were just skilled at reading people. Noticing subtle changes in a person’s facial expressions or how to draw out information all the while making it appear as if they’d received divine guidance. But he’d been desperate—more than desperate. This had been his one chance to track down his brother’s murderer, and Sebastian hadn’t been willing to simply give up. He had magic. Was it too farfetched to believe at least some of these so-called fortune tellers also possessed abilities.

Of course, he’d picked the one without an ounce of magical essence. But that was just becoming obvious now. At the time, he’d thought…

He sighed. He really hadn’t been thinking at all. After a week of tracking the man he believed had struck his brother down, his spell had simply vanished. Either it’d been blocked, or broken—hell, for all he knew a much more powerful mage had rewritten the damn thing and his prey was now stalking him. Either way, Sebastian had ridden into town without a clue of where to head to next.

So he’d taken his only other option—he’d asked a gypsy. And now—now he was trapped on a crumbling ledge a few hundred feet above a rocky gorge doing his best not to tumble to his death.

Sebastian released a calming breath. He was a mage. His magic was real. Surely, he could remember one tiny spell that would save his hide, yet again.

A metamorphosis spell. 

He shook his head. They were notoriously long and overly complicated. The chances of him getting every pronunciation and intonation correct while barely holding onto the ledge or hurtling to his death seemed unlikely at best.

Levitation.

A great plan, except for the part where he could only induce it within a few feet of the ground. Once he stepped off the ledge, the spell would fail.

Maybe he could manipulate the rock? Mentally carve out a set of steps or…

The wind eddied around the protrusion next to him, blowing him off balance. He shoved his fingers farther into the cracks, trying to flatten his body as best he could. But the searing cold crept up his hands, numbing them to the point it took all his concentration just to wiggle the tips. One more blast like the previous one, and he’d fall.

Sebastian grunted, drawing himself up. Metamorphosis it was. He’d just have to concentrate—ensure he didn’t make a mistake. He inhaled, mentally working his way through the spell, when pieces of rock and dirt sprayed down from above him, stinging his skin as they bounced off his face. He looked up, wondering how this day could possibly get worse, when a rope bounced over the outcrop above him, settling into place beside his head.

He stared at the offering. It wasn’t a regular rope, the shiny golden strands glowing in the waning light as sparks of energy arched off the surface. The rope swayed in the breeze, snapping with apparent annoyance when he didn’t grab it outright. The end curled toward him, more of the strange arcs brightening the small circle of space.

He sighed. While this appeared to be a miraculous answer to his prayers, he knew better than to believe it was anything other than another trap. Though, not falling to his death meant he’d be alive to create another escape plan.

He reached for the rope, cursing when the end snaked toward him, twirling up his arm then around his chest. He tried pull free, gasping when it shook him off the ledge, keeping him suspended above the gorge for several frantic heartbeats before bobbing him upwards. He bounced along the rock, groaning as pain ignited across his ribs and limbs only to be dumped on his ass in the mud.

The sloppy dirt soaked through his pants, tripping him twice before he finally gained his feet. The rope uncurled, hovering in front of him then winking out. Sebastian flicked some of the muddy water off his clothes, scanning the small clearing when a shadow moved out from the thicket of trees just off the winding path. The cloaked figure walked along the flattened stones, a golden glow colouring his hands. He seemed indifferent to the rain, the searing chill of the wind, as he headed toward Sebastian, stopping several feet away. A battle-scarred sword hung around his waist, the hilt poking out from between the edges of his overcoat. He raised his head, tilting his hat back just enough to expose his face to the yellow light.

Emerald eyes stared back at him.

Killer’s eyes.

He quirked his lips, allowing one side to lift into the beginnings of a smile. “Sebastian Thatcher. I’d say this meeting is long overdue.”

Sebastian grinned, allowing his magic to burst across his palms and up his limbs, surrounding him in an ethereal blue glow. He took a single step forward, the muddy water hissing as his power heated the air around him. “Lucian Charlemagne. Just the man I’ve been looking for. Raise your guard and prepare to die.”

 

That’s it for me. Now check out what the other ladies did with the prompt.

Jessica Jarman  |  Bronwyn Green  |  Gwendolyn Cease

Deelylah Mullin  |  Siobhan Muir

Hindsight is 20/20

It’s random Wednesday and this week’s topic is… I wish I’d learned this earlier. Now, I’m not sure if this is supposed to be purely associated with writing or just life in general…though if it’s life in general, I might run out of space 🙂

So… if I look at it solely for writing, here’s my list of things I wish I’d known starting out.

Dialogue tags…

I discovered a few novels in that instead of having endless, he said, she said, he yelled, she exclaimed, or she muttered, etc, that tagging with an action eliminated the need for these. I occasionally will use a tag here and there, but using action tags keeps the story flowing and avoids endless repetition of other tags. I remember reading a book where every character ‘bit out’ every sentence. Even ‘said’ eventually feels overused.

Keeping POV for entire chapters.

While I can say I’m not a POV hopper, I did tend to change POVs in the middle of a chapter. But I realized that the story flows better with less chances of having a reader get pulled out if I kept POV changes to entire chapters. This might be a personal choice, but…I do wish I’d started out this way.

Looking more into the future, with respect to publishers.

I’ve been pretty lucky. I have some really good publishers. But I do wish I’d been a bit more hesitant to sign up for long contracts or to get too caught up in some of them. ARe… I’m looking at you. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. I really need to ensure I look ahead before making decisions in the future.

Learned how to do marketing.

This is self explanatory. I suck at it. I’m trying to learn, but… I do wish I’d learned how to do that from the beginning.

Lastly, I really wish I’d made the decision to pursue writing sooner.

Okay, that’s it for me. Please jump on over to the other ladies to see their lists.

Bronwyn Green  |  Jessica Jarman  |  Deelylah Mullin  |  Gwendolyn Cease