Okay, I’m not sure whether this is a sign of encroaching madness or just that I have too many stories I want to write, because I probably have close to eight different books started. And for some I have a significant amount written. More likely, it’s a sign of my inability to focus…is that a boat out on the water? Did someone call my name?
I would have loved to have picked From Grace book 2, Michael’s story, but…. dear god I actually finished it. I know… no one is more surprised than I. Look for it this coming January from ARe.
Anyway, back to my current WIP. I’m going to chose the next Threshold Book. Sadly, I don’t even have a damn title yet. (Of course I do should I have picked any other WIP) Titles are hard, people. I sometimes have to make crossroad deals so they don’t totally suck…
So… Threshold book 2. I plan to release it this October. One of my few self-published books, though I’m looking forward to expanding next year…more on that later. I wish I had a cover, as I’ll be making it, but alas, I can’t even ply you with pretty offerings. But…I can tell you a bit about the book.
Threshold is an organization within Homeland Security that deals with threats of the paranormal nature. There are different departments, each specializing in their own oddity. Book 1 saw Daniel and Arrynn battle a really nasty ghost with the help of Tanner and Garret, the werewolf division guys. Book 2… you guessed it, is Garret and Tanner’s book.
What can I say about Garret and Tanner? They’ve been known to be a bit arrogant. Other more colourful words might be used to describe their personalities, but underneath it all, they’re loyal, determined, dedicated hunters, who would sacrifice their lives without hesitation. They’re also partners in their personal lives. But they recognize that there’s a piece missing.
In walks Piper Collins. She’s an analyst and dispatcher for Threshold who stumbles upon a grisly attack. She’s the kind of person who prefers to stay behind the scenes. But it’s not because she can’t handle herself. Piper’s harbouring a secret—one that might put her on the wrong side of Tanner and Garret’s silver bullets. Of course, things get complicated when emotions enter the equation.
I’d share a visual board, but… I don’t really make them. I tend to have images inside my head, but they usually aren’t tied to actors. But I can share a snippet… FYI, this book was started as a couple of Flash Fictions. I’ve added to them but, the general gist was there.
Garret Weston stared into Piper’s blue eyes, a tinge of guilt souring his gut as the white in them increased, her gaze darting to Tanner then back. Her chest heaved against his as she seemed to force herself to swallow, the action grazing the edge of the knife harder against her skin.
She froze for a moment, fear clouding her eyes before a hint of color rose amidst the light blue hue on her cheeks, the muscle in her jaw clenching. “Seriously? You’re holding me at knife point after I just saved your and Tanner’s sorry asses?”
Garret inched closer, pressing more of his body against hers. “That assessment’s a bit premature. For all we know, you just want the privilege of killing us, yourself.”
Genuine shock rounded her eyes, an audible inhale accentuating her confusion. Her gaze once again flicked to Tanner, a new emotion shaping her features. “Tanner’s bleeding. He needs help.”
“Just as soon as I’m sure it’s safe for us to head to the hospital. That we’ll make it there alive.”
“Why the hell would I save you—expose myself in the process, I might add—if I really wanted you dead? Running away and letting that…that…thing bleed you dry would have been much easier.” She placed her hands on his chest, giving him a shove. “So either kill me, or back the hell off.”
“You haven’t answered my questions.”
“I don’t know what it is. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
“Fine. Then what the fuck are you?”
Her chin quivered a bit before she clenched it again. “Not your enemy.” She huffed. “For god’s sake, Garret. I work for Threshold. Do you really think I’d do that if I were a threat?”
He cocked half his mouth into a grin. “What better place for a monster to hide, than in plain sight.”
Hurt misted her eyes a moment before he was flung backwards, landing on his ass several feet away. The blue glow on her skin increased, the sheer beauty of it stealing his breath. Christ, it felt…warm. Peaceful.
Piper took a step forward, hair lifting off her shoulders despite the lack of a breeze. “I swear by all that’s holy, if you ever touch me again, I’ll show you just how much of a monster I can be.” She waved at him a second time when he tried to stand, knocking him back again. “I suggest you stay down until I’m finished.”
And that’s it for me. Now go check out the other ladies, including our newest member….
First off… I have to wish my boy, Jared, a happy 17th birthday! It’s today! Love you bud.
I’ve missed a few Wednesday posts—summer is so busy. I always think it’ll be a rest but it never is, lol. But this week is looking back at movies that have special meaning, so I couldn’t miss out on that. Now, I realize I won’t remember all of them, but… So, in no particular order here are some oldies, but some goodies…
This needs no explanation. And these will always be Star Wars to me.
And of course, neither does this….
And thanks to Steven Spielberg, I can’t truly enjoy swimming in the ocean.
I saw this movie a couple of dozen times, and it will always be one of my faves.
I loved this movie and quite the departure for Harrison Ford.
And this is quite possibly my all-time favourite movie.
This… just… now you know why I hate horror movies.
Too many Disney to list, but…this one started it.
We watch this movie every Christmas. It’s a tradition.
I know I’m missing a bunch but…. now go visit the other ladies.
Woot, it’s time for my other pick this year. And while it’s, sadly, not another Nickelback, it is another band I love. And this is one of my favourite songs of there. Angel, by Theory of a Deadman. This song is a regular on my running playlist.
Anyway, if you’re not familiar with the song, you can watch the video below. As for the story…I’m sharing chapter two of Michael’s book, because, honestly, this song is perfect for this one. I just finished the rest of the book, and fingers crossed, it’ll be out within the next few months.
“I know you’re there, Michael.”
Greyson poked at the bonfire he’d built next to the shoreline, watching as the flames flickered higher into the darkness. A bluish hue colored the fire where it kissed the wood, gradually shifting into a deep orange. Heat waves rose into the air, distorting the outlines of the trees in the background. The scent of cottonwood filled the glen, the heady fragrance easing some of the tension bunching his muscles.
He clenched his jaw, wondering how long it’d be before the archangel finally removed his glamor and materialized behind him. Or if his mate would choose to vanish—fly away without even acknowledging his presence.
Christ, when had Greyson accepted the fact Michael, archangel and God’s Warrior, was his true soul? That the sudden racing of Greyson’s heart, the unrelenting urge to wrap his fingers around the other man’s hair and taste his perfectly sculpted lips, meant anything more than uncontrolled lust? That Grey was worthy of someone so…pure?
The word settled uncomfortably in his gut. He was a playboy at best, and one good deed didn’t erase a lifetime of ditching his responsibilities. Of allowing his sister to become one of Abaddon’s victims. If he’d been the kind of man his people had needed, if he’d taken anything remotely serious, he knew in his heart she’d still be alive.
A soft fluttering noise sounded behind, followed by a rustle of wind across his back. The air thickened, the telltale strum of energy prickling Greyson’s skin as Michael’s glamor slowly diminished until Grey felt the angel’s grace envelope him.
Grey inhaled, closing his eyes against the rush of power that rippled through the air. It swirled across his skin, bathing it in a yellowish glow before slowly fading. While he’d experienced his fair share of powerful beings, including his father and Kei’s mate, Gabriel, nothing compared to the pure energy of Michael’s grace.
Hushed footsteps padded the soft grass behind him, stopping a few feet away. “How did you know I was there?”
Greyson shrugged. He didn’t need his inherent abilities as a prince of the faery realm to know Michael already knew the answer. Or that it was the truth that scared the angel more than anything else. “Please, angels aren’t bad with glamours, but faeries pretty much invented them.”
“I’m no ordinary angel. Only a few of my brothers should be able to sense my presence.”
Greyson fisted his hands in order to stop from spinning around—from grabbing Michael and shaking some sense into him. “We both know I’m not your brother.”
He turned, wanting to see Michael’s reaction when he finally stated what he’d felt since the first time he’d met the angelic man. “I’m the other possibility you don’t want to admit exists.”
Michael’s lips twitched, his expression faltering as he stared at Greyson. The angel closed his eyes, drawing several long, slow breaths, before finally gazing at him again, only there was no mistaking the sadness in Michael’s eyes. The restless shift of his feet as he stood there, his feathers rustling in the breeze, the iridescent pearl color reflecting the different shades of orange from the flickering flames of the bonfire. Indecision creased the lines around his mouth before he sighed and turned, walking a few paces away.
The angel’s shoulders slumped as his head bowed toward his chest. “Greyson.”
Michael tensed, his wings snapping with what looked like impatience before he spun, all semblance of indecision gone. He drew himself up, making Greyson’s stomach clench and roll. This was the man Grey had fallen for. The archangel of lore whose courage and honor were legendary. The man who’d fought to save the world, even though he’d had to shove aside his personal feelings for his brother Lucifer to do it. Though Grey wondered if Michael saw himself the way Grey did? Majestic. Unwavering. Pure.
Christ, just staring at the way his grace shimmered like an exploding star around him made Grey want to stay in the man’s presence and never leave. Forever feel the warmth of Michael’s power. His love.
Greyson shook away the sentimental thoughts. Despite Michael’s stance, there was no mistaking the look on the other man’s face. The one that said he’d never willingly admit what Grey was to him. That he’d rather suffer alone than give himself to someone who obviously wasn’t worthy of an archangel’s soul.
Michael frowned, tilting his head to the side as if he thought Grey was crazy. “Is that what you think? That I see you as unworthy of my soul?”
Grey’s heart skipped, then raced, making it hard to breathe. “Did you just read my thoughts?”
Michael glanced away, but there was no mistaking the flash of guilt Grey had seen in his eyes.
Greyson crossed his arms over his chest. “Still going to deny what we both know? Feel?”
Michael’s gaze snapped to his. “There’s nothing to deny. We’re…friends, if I’m capable of having such a thing.”
“Friends? That’s your explanation? So can all your friends sense you when you’re hiding behind your glamour? Can you read their thoughts, too?” He shook his head. “It’s one thing to hide behind duty and honor, and another to lie to me to my face. All you have to do is tell me this…” He waved his hand back and forth. “Thing between us is one-sided. That you don’t care, and I’ll walk away. But don’t stand there and pretend that what I’m experiencing isn’t real. I think I deserve better than that.”
The muscle in Michael’s temple jumped as the angel clenched his jaw. “I never said it wasn’t real.”
“You’re just not interested. Not affected the way I am.”
Michael pursed his lips, the fine lines around his mouth tightening. “It’s…complicated.”
“Why? Because I’m not an angel?”
Michael furrowed his brow. “Why would that matter?”
“How the hell should I know? But there’s got to be a reason you’re shunning me, unless we’re back to the simple explanation of you not being interested.”
“Nothing with you is simple.”
“That’s not an answer.” Greyson arched a brow. “Is it because I’m not female? I thought with Gabe and Kei being mates that wasn’t a thing, but—”
“I’m free to love however I see fit.”
“So it’s just…me.”
Michael groaned, carding his hand through his hair—poking it up in every direction. “Why are you pushing this?”
“You know why.” Greyson threw up his hands when Michael merely stared at him. “You think I like this? That I enjoy being drawn to someone who probably won’t ever return my feelings? Who is so bound by duty that he’ll most likely never say what I need to hear?”
“I’m God’s Warrior. I have…obligations.”
“And I’m heir to the throne. True, Oberon will hopefully choose to rule for another five hundred years or so, but that doesn’t negate the fact you’re not the only one whose heritage affects their life.”
“Then you understand why I have to remain distant.”
“What I understand is that you’re scared and hiding behind your legacy so you don’t have to face the truth.” Grey sighed. Arguing with an archangel was like arguing with his father. Stubborn didn’t begin to describe them.
He drew a calming breath. The last thing he needed was to get angry. In the end, Michael had to choose to be with him. Grey couldn’t force the man any more than he could push aside the unrelenting voice in his head that demanded he lay his claim. Recite the ancient binding rite and join their souls. A union only death could sever.
Crickets chirped around them as Grey relaxed his shoulders, stuffing his hands in his pockets in an effort to stop himself from closing the distance and running his fingers along Michael’s arms until he’d reached the angel’s shoulders. Not that Grey would be able to stop there. He’d been longing to sink his hands in the other man’s hair—wrap the golden strands around his fingers—finally discover if the locks were as soft as they looked.
Grey cursed under his breath, focusing on Michael’s face. “I’m trying, so cut me some slack.” He rolled his shoulders a bit. “Just tell me this—if you’re so damn determined to remain distant, why come here at all? And before you answer, you should know that I sense it when you travel through one of my wards.”
Michael arched his brow. “You sense it when people pass through your wards?”
“I said you. That I sense you. Like I’m always telling Kei…words have meaning. And in this case, I was very specific, but that’s not an answer.” He took a step closer. “Why visit when you have no intentions of seeing this go any further? Do you enjoy taunting me?”
“I’d never knowingly hurt you. You know that.”
“Do I? Because from where I’m standing you’re a big blank slate. And try as I may, I can’t figure you out. You come to my realm, then hide from me. You say what we have is complicated, yet you never say why.” Grey shook his head. “You can’t have it both ways, Michael.”
His lips quirked a moment before the color rose on his cheeks. “Believe me, if I could stay away, I would. But…” He slammed his fists against his thighs, fluttering his wings in the process. “I care. More than I know I should. But if I cross that line—take you as my lover…”
Grey sighed as Michael closed his eyes, his mouth pursed into a slight grimace. While a part of Grey wanted to shake some sense into the other man, another understood the angel’s turmoil. Felt his pain as if it were his own.
He closed the distance between them, palming Michael’s chest. The angel’s tunic bunched beneath his grip, the soft fabric gathering between his fingers. Michael’s eyelids flew open, his gaze clashing with Grey’s.
Grey took a moment to study the guy. To memorize the deep blue of Michael’s eyes, the hint of pink in his lips. How the skin over his nose creased as he furrowed his brow. The flash of arousal that colored his cheeks. And his hair—golden like his aura and far deeper than the pearl shade of his wings, it made Grey want to sink his fingers into the thick mass as he claimed the angel’s mouth.
Michael gripped Grey’s wrists, holding his hands tight against his chest. Grey waited for the other man to shove him away, but Michael merely stood there, his heart pounding beneath Grey’s touch, his harsh breath sounding around them.
Grey gave him an easy smile when Michael’s hold tightened. “Surely, you’ve taken lovers before.”
The muscle in his jaw tensed. “I have, but…” He averted his gaze. “You’re different.”
Grey’s stomach clenched, and he knew those two words might be the closest Michael ever got to admitting they were mates. That there was so much more than mere attraction between them.
He forced himself to shrug, despite the frantic beating of his heart. “I don’t have to be different.”
Michael slid his focus back to Grey’s face. “What do you mean?”
“What if it didn’t have to be about anything more than one night?”
Michael frowned. “One night?”
“Are you going to repeat everything I say?”
“Only when you’re not making any sense because we both know neither of us would settle for one night.”
“Are you offering more?”
His muscle jumped again. “It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s just—”
He muttered under his breath. “You make it sound as if I want to hurt you. Deny us, both.”
“All I’m asking for is one night.” He eased free of Michael’s hold then took a single step back. “I’ll make this simple. Gabe mentioned that every angel has a sanctuary on Earth. A place no one else knows about. If you accept my offer, and grant me one night with you, all you have to do is picture that sanctuary, and I’ll meet you there tomorrow night. Sunset.”
Grey smiled. “Trust me. I’ll know where to go.”
“How did you know I was questioning that?”
“Same way I’ll know the location of your sanctuary.” He held up one hand. “I won’t say it. Won’t claim to be anything other than what you need me to be.” He backed away. “One night, Michael, then I’ll never ask again. Think about it.”
He turned, striding purposefully away from the pond. He didn’t need to glance over his shoulder to know Michael had taken to the air. Grey felt it. Felt the other man pass through his ward as he used the closest portal, not that leaving the faery realm would sever their connection. An echoed strum of Michael’s heartbeat sounded in Grey’s head, the firm press of Michael’s chest still a ghosted memory on his palms.
Grey hung his head. What had he been thinking? Michael was right. Greyson would never be satisfied with only one night. But under the circumstances, he’d take whatever he could get. Even if it meant he’d spend the next millennium alone.
I can’t believe the summer is half over. I’m not ready to think about school and cool autumn days. I want to stay in this season. Where the sun stays awake until ten PM. Where the only schedule is the one you make for yourself. Plus, I’m running a race in October, which means once fall is here, that race is intimately real.
Anyway, it’s time for picture flash fiction. An interesting image (so very un-summerish). It feels like a conspiracy to hurry this time along. I won’t play along, damn it. But, I do have a story. It’s actually going to be the opener for my next Threshold book, which, if the stars are in alignment and I make the appropriate sacrifices, will be out sometime in October. I know… trust me, I know.
Okay… here’s the image and here’s the story….
“This can’t actually be happening to me.”
Piper Collins carded her hand through her hair as she stared at the bus schedule posted beside the solitary bench, half of the information lost to weather and graffiti. But one section was crystal clear—nothing ran on Sunday.
She groaned as she looked skyward, sinking down onto the worn wooden slats. A few birds chirped in a nearby tree, the distant drone of cars on the interstate drifting along the breeze. She looked up the street, not surprised to find the road as deserted as it had been for the past twenty minutes it’d taken her to walk to the damn stop in the first place.
“Way to go, Piper. You just got played by your ex, girl.”
She should’ve known the jackass didn’t want to meet with her to return the last few items she’d been trying to get back for six months. But, she’d chosen to give the bastard the benefit of the doubt. They’d met at an old coffee shop they’d once frequented together. He’d seemed sincere, at first, offering her a box of some of her belongings. Of course, he’d forgotten a few. The ones that really mattered, so he’d offered to drive her to his loft in the warehouse district.
She’d gone along, never considering that he was merely trying to get back in her pants. That she’d have to toss his ass across the room and bolt before he resorted to a more violent form of persuasion. But worst of all, she’d nearly exposed herself. Revealed her true nature to a guy who couldn’t be trusted. And all because she was naive. Chose to see the best in people. The fact he’d cheated on her—and flaunted the fact when she’d caught his ass in bed with her supposed best friend—should have been a pretty clear warning that trust wasn’t high on his priority list. Yet, here she was, in a derelict part of town, wearing her favourite boots, with the heels that were far too high to be sensible. At least for hiking it the distance she’d have to.
She glanced at her hands. Her skin still held a faint blue tinge to it, though most folks would probably just chalk it up to the cool autumn weather. She needed to rein it in. Push it deep beneath the surface before someone got curious. Hell, she worked for an organization that hunted creatures it didn’t understand. And she was pretty damn sure she wasn’t something most people understood.
She sighed and leaned back against the bench. Releasing control of her power was easy. Regaining that control—it wasn’t always as simple as she hoped, especially when her heart was still racing inside her chest. Her adrenaline making her hyperaware. Even now, she sensed the restless spirits gathering in the abandoned hospital across the street, the otherworldly energy glowing like a beacon beyond the broken glass and boarded up windows.
She pulled out her cell, cursing at the red bar up in the corner and the intermittent signal. Just her luck the damn thing would die in the middle of her call. Better she walk a bit farther and wait until she knew the line wouldn’t simply get dropped.
The old bench creaked as she pushed to her feet. A gust of wind swirled around her, lifting her hair off her shoulders. Maybe she needed to take some time off. Spend some time in the country, surrounded by nature. Revitalize her soul. She smiled at the thought, crossing to the other side of the street, when the hairs on the back of her neck prickled.
She paused, taking a moment to scan the area. Nothing moved around her other than the odd eddy of dust that whirled along the edge of the road before settling. She glanced to her left. A shadow crossed one of the broken windows, the distant echo of footsteps just reaching her.
Piper frowned. Who would be wandering around a deserted hospital? Especially one occupied by as many restless spirits as she sensed inhabited this one did? She sighed. Just another amateur who thought hunting spirits involved nothing more than a Ouija board and a video camera. God, if they only knew the kind of power the human soul contained. The damage they could do…
She pushed down the uneasy feeling, taking another step when a wall of dark energy slammed into her, leaving a wake of goose bumps along her flesh. She turned toward the hospital, inhaling roughly at the sense of evil radiating from the structure. It stained the air, slowly spreading outwards—not stopping until it reached the edge of the property. Piper took an involuntary step back, still staring at one of the doors sitting slightly ajar, when a scream echoed in the space between this plane and the veil. As if the dark energy had simply swallowed the sound.
Dread soured her stomach. Something was wrong.
Fear gnawed at her conscience as she moved toward the rusted gate leading to the back section of the hospital. The hinges squeaked as she shoved it open, the bottom rail dragging across the stone. She drew a deep breath then crossed the threshold, fisting her hands in an effort to stop from trying to wipe the feel of the evil off her skin. It lingered, like an oily film slowly covering her flesh.
Another scream echoed inside her mind, and she raced toward the doorway, no longer worrying about how the energy made her feel. She slipped through the small space, searching the room before heading for a hallway on the far side. Grunts and snarls resonated around her, the metallic scent of blood slowly saturating the air. She followed the noise, weaving her way through a maze of rooms and paths before stopping at a doorway. Bile crested her throat as she stared at the creature feeding on a woman.
The creature turned, exposing a set of jagged teeth as it snarled at her, its greyish form covered in blood. It turned, part of its body shifting into a fine mist before solidifying again. Long claws clicked on the floor as it took a few steps toward her.
She held her ground, allowing her power to cover her skin, lighting up the shadows with its blue glow. The creature stopped, shrieking in seeming pain before coiling in on itself and disappearing through one of the walls.
Piper darted over to the woman, crouching beside her. Long gashes marred her torso, a pool of blood collection beneath her. Piper reached for her neck, detecting a slight pulse beneath her fingertips. She palmed the woman’s chest, channeling her energy, but even as she increased her power, the woman’s soul slowly slipped away until nothing but an empty shell remained.
Pain ricocheted through her heart, the loss roiling her stomach. She looked at where the entity had disappeared, wondering what the hell she’d actually seen. Were there more of the creatures roaming about, or had her heightened senses played tricks on her? Made her see more than what had really been there?
Uncertainty welled in her chest. One thing was certain. She needed to report the incident which meant her troubles were just beginning.
That’s it for me. Please check out the other ladies joining in this week. If you’d like to read the bit that comes after, you can go here… otherwise…