To the Stars!

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may

Welcome to May!! The image we’re writing to this month is an awesome SciFi scene. I was a bit stumped at first, but then remembered the hint of an idea I came up with about  . . . 8 years ago. Hope you enjoy!

 

The meeting room of the Dyson City-State Directorate was huge and imposing. Lush carpeting, marble floors, and an authentic wooden table spoke of absolute wealth. However, it was a wall of floor to ceiling windows that let a visitor know he or she was in the presence of power. The windows displayed a view of the connected walkways, travel tube and buildings of the upper echelon, as well as the top of the dome that protected the city. It truly was an amazing and awe-inspiring sight. Of course, no one in the room noticed the view, they were all too busy yelling and arguing. Executrix Katrill Owen, leader of the directorate and thus Dyson itself, eased back in her chair. She had been in the job less than a handful of days and the council was beginning to realize she could not be controlled. She wondered how long it would be before they tried to murder her as they had her father.

Katrill leaned forward and rapped on the table. The room quieted immediately. “It seems to me a trade agreement with the other city-states would be in our best interest, especially Vorn. We have technology and they have room to grow. If we trade our tech for some of their dome space we can only come out the winner.”

Colin Phipps smiled at her. “Katrill you are new to the council and do not understand the nuances of the trade agreements. If you would allow me to take care of this—”

Katrill turned cold green eyes on him. “Mr. Phipps you are out of order. You do not have leave to call me by my first name. As for the trade agreements, I understand them quite well since I am the person who wrote them to begin with. If I wish your opinion or assistance I’ll ask, but I doubt that will happen.

“In any case,” she went on, “I’ve already spoken to Executrix Fallon of Vorn and we are in agreement. She and I signed the agreement this morning.”

“What?” Letham burst out. “You can’t do that.”

“Oh, yes I can. The Council is an advisory board only. I have full and absolute authority to make decisions. The agreement is good for every citizen of Dyson.”

Jathan Douglas, her uncle, cleared his throat. “Let us adjourn until next week. I’m sure we are all tired and coming back refreshed will be best for everyone.”

The assembly rose and bowed to Katrill, then filed out of the room. She relaxed back in her chair and enjoyed the silence of the room. When it was empty, the room was fairly pleasant. Of course, it never stayed empty for long when she was in residence. There were always people who wished to come and petition her for some favor or another. Too much, people wanted too much from her, took too much from her.

She stood quickly and paced to the window. The view was magnificent. Walkways lined with beautifully tended gardens created a framework for the sparkle of the dome itself. Katrill never tired of the view. But she wondered how the people, her people on the lower level survived. In her entire life, she had never been anywhere but on the top tier. She knew the building she currently occupied was hundreds of stories in the air, but she hadn’t ventured even ten down, ever. People called Grounders lived in the lower levels of the buildings. They were the caretakers of the buildings, ensuring nothing ever went wrong. The people who lived on the ground or the Stews, as it was called, eeked out a living best they could. Finally, there was the Underneath. Katrill shivered. She had heard stories of the people who lived in the underground labyrinth of Dyson. They were dangerous killers, thieves, answering only to themselves. These were her people, all of them, but how to help them.

The only people who were allowed to even gain an audience with her were the Echelon, the ruling class, and the elite rich of the city-state. And they imagined they could rule her, manipulate her. Never again, she told herself, never again would she allow herself to be taken advantage of, used as if she were nothing. Her father had done this and look where he ended up. Dead. She hadn’t had anything to do with it, contrary to the rumors. But she wasn’t sorry he was gone.

“Katrill.”

She rolled her eyes, once again, she was interrupted. “Yes, Mr. Phipps, what can I do for you?” She turned to face the man who had been her betrothed.  He was a handsome man, or that’s what people told her, with his carefully coiffed blond hair, blue eyes, and impeccable clothing choices. Colin knew exactly what to wear to show off his five-seven frame to its best. Katrill had never found him handsome. In fact, she found him fake and pretentious and a total bore. So, when her father was murdered, she had immediately broken off the marriage contract. Colin had been her father’s choice, never hers. Personally, if her father liked him so much, he should have married him. They would have been very happy together.

He smiled at her as if she were a small child needing to be placated. “I do not like how you speak to me in the meetings. Darling, people must see us as a team. Once we’re married and head the council together—”

“We are not getting married.” Katrill said, firmly. “We have already had this discussion.”  She hated that smile and the tone he used on her.

“Your father’s death has made you confused—”

“No, my father’s death made me happy. I do not wish to contract with you. I never wished it, but he insisted. He is no longer here and I am free to do what I wish. With whom I wish. You will only address me as Executrix, nothing more. You do not have my leave to use my first name, ever. Now get out and do not speak of this to me again.”

He narrowed his eyes at her. “You’ll be sorry.”  He turned and huffed out of the room as Jathan reentered. He raised his eyebrows at Katrill and shook his head. “Your father never should have made a contract for you with that boy. He’s weak. You’d run right over him.”

She gave a slight smile. “But that’s the point. He’s weak and father wanted to control him.” She turned back to the windows. “So how are you this day?”

“Well as to be expected since my favorite niece is upset.”

She smiled at the older man and shrugged. “I’m your only niece, I believe.”

“That’s true.” He gave her a brief hug. “I worry about you. After what happened to your father, I don’t think it’s safe. You need some type of body guard, someone who can watch over you all the time.”

Katrill sighed. “Uncle, we’ve been through this before. I do not want someone living with me, getting in my way.”

He paced about and Katrill smiled. Jathan Douglas was her mother’s only brother and Katrill loved him dearly. Since her mother had died when Katrill was very young, Jathan was the only connection she had to the woman who had given life to her. From image cubes, Katrill knew her uncle had the same white blond hair and clear green eyes. The same eyes her mother passed to Katrill. Though Katrill had chestnut hair, like her father, mores the pity.

“What about a Bio-Guard?”  Her uncle asked.

Katrill shrugged. “I don’t know much about them.”

“They are human animal hybrids specifically engineered to be whatever a person wishes. Some want just a pretty pet and others, like you, need protecting. From what I understand, once an imprint happens, they are loyal to the death.”

“Yes, but I don’t want anyone—”

“Katrill,” her uncle cut her off. “They are essentially animals. You feed and water them, and give them a place to sleep. It’s not as if you’re sharing your home with a person.”

Katrill sighed, her uncle worried about her so much. She understood why, she was the only link he had with his beloved sister. Maybe she should look into a Bio-Guard. What could it hurt? If she didn’t find something that pleased her, she could leave.

“Okay, I’ll check into it.”

Jathan smiled. “Good, good, that makes me feel much better. You need to start taking your safety more seriously especially since you plan on shaking up the status quo.”

She kissed his cheek. “How could I not since you worry so? I don’t want that.”  

Now head on over and see what Siobhan came up with.

First Kiss

first time

I love the First Time posts. If you’ve never seen one before it’s where we are given a first time scenario, such as first kiss and we give you a scene from either a current WIP, a book already pubbed or even just the beginning of an idea.

Today, I’m going to give you a first time kiss from the book I’m currently working on Entangled. Since it’s a menage and Rowan has two amazingly hot men in her life I had to chose one. I’ve already introduced Sergei, so this time I’m going with Vlad. Enjoy!

 

“What are we doing?” Rowan finally asked.

“We are learning about one another,” Vlad said. “My son loves you. You killed to protect him. You’re important to my voyevoda. You offered me your vein. And, I want to know your body.”

Rowan stared at him unsure of what to say. The look on her face brought laughter to Vlad’s face.

“You are a beautiful, desirable woman. Your scent is intoxicating. I want to taste you, take you.”

He moved slowly toward her until he slid between her thighs. Instinctively, her hands came up to his waist, but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to push him away or pull him closer. Slowly, he moved down until his lips touched her own. Warm, his lips were warm, and soft, so soft. She kept her eyes open and found he had too. They watched one another until he pulled away.

Rowan cupped his face. “Is this because of Sergei?” She had to ask, had to know. She still couldn’t believe these two amazing men wanted her. Vitala sometimes took humans as lovers, but those humans were extraordinary. They were models and actors, only the most beautiful, sensual. She was none of those things.

“Sergei has never taken a woman without me. For him, to do this with you, that makes you special.” Vlad leaned and spoke against her lips. “Now that I’ve tasted your blood, scented your arousal, I want you. It is now up to you. Will you take me into your body?”

Now go and check out what first kiss scenes the other bloggers have chosen.

Jess      Bronwyn     Kris     Siobhan     Kayleigh

Top 10: Changes I Need to Make

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As soon as I saw this topic I thought, “Huh, this is either going to be super easy with me having to pick through the thousands of things I want to change or hard. Of course, this is depending on how I feel.” Right now, I’m not feeling too bad so let’s jump into this and see what happens. As always, this list is in no particular order except for #1. Number One is one for a reason.

Number 1 – Stop Procrastinating!!!! I was going to say I’m the Queen, but really, let’s be honest, I’m the Goddess of Procrastination. If I have something I should be doing I can find a million other things to do instead. Am I proud of this fact? No, but see below as a case in point.

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Oh wait, found another and it has Viggo Mortenson in it! Woo hoo!

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Number 2 – I need to exercise. I walk, but not nearly enough. There’s always something else . .  aaaaand we’re back to procrastination. See, how that works??

Number 3 – Writing needs to happen more. Much much more. Like everyday more.

Number 4 – I need to start saving money. Yep, I’ll just leave that right there.

Number 5 – I need to start taking better care of myself. I can say that I’m doing way better, since I named this the Year of Self-Care. I’ve caught up on almost all my doctor’s appointments and even went for the dreaded colonoscopy.

Number 6 – I need to get back to De-Cluttering or Marie Kondo-ing if you will. I was doing pretty good for a while, but dropped off. I need to get back to it so I can finally take the bags of clothes to Good Will.

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Number 7 – I need to get myself more organized at work. I have a ton of different events I go to and schools to visit so I need to begin to create a To-Do list at the beginning of every day.  I think this might also keep me focused, since I seem to have a problem with that.

Number 8 – I need to get out more. I always joke that I’m anti-social, but I pretty much am. I’m an introvert and after talking to people all day long I just want to go home and hide. I think it would be better for me to get out at least one evening and one time during the weekend. Probably mentally healthier too.

Number 9 – Have I mentioned I need to stop procrastinating?? Yeah, that. I need to stop that.

Number 10 – Now I’m going to pivot away from me personally. I need to make changes to my Promises Series. I’ve gotten them all back and so many ideas are swimming in my head I can’t wait to jump in and get started. I’ve already rewritten the entire beginning of Dark Promise in my head so I need to sit and put it down.

That’s it for me. Now go over and see what changes Bronwyn thinks she should make. 

April 2019 Brain Dump

new brain dump

I have a lot on my mind this month and it all has to do with self-care. I declared 2019 the Year of Self Care and I’ve been working on that. I had intended to post on it frequently, but, realized, I needed to take care of myself before I talked about it. Huh, how about that?

I’ve been taking steps and did want to share those with y’all. First, I did all the medical things I’ve been putting off pretty much forever. So far this year I’ve gone for a pap smear and had my very first colonoscopy. Eeeeesh! Both of these were yuck for different reasons. The colonoscopy’s prep is miserable. I won’t go into detail, but just suffice to say it sucked. The procedure wasn’t bad since I slept through it, but the recovery has been hard. I feel like the desert and can’t get enough water. This is still going on after 2 days. And I just feel woozy and yucky, which is the anesthetic working it’s way out of my system.

The pap was worse. If you didn’t know I’m a survivor of sexual abuse so to say it’s hard is putting it mildly. Let’s just say the whole things sucked a big old bunch of donkey balls and we’ll leave it at that.

So, for positive steps. I found a really great meditation app I’ve been using called Stop, Breath, and Think. I really like it and it’s helped a lot. I was also turned on to a website by a really awesome friend of mine called the Pussy Portal. It’s this huge educational tool to help a woman regain her power and get healthy. I’ve been going through the classes and utterly love it. I think in this time of the #MeToo movement this website is so needed.

I’ve also been writing. So, yay for me!!! Reclaiming my power in a different way. If you have any questions about things I’ve done please leave me a comment below or email me at gwendolyncease@twc.com.

Bronwyn

 

Top Ten: Best Purchases Evah!!

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Okay, so, as the header states, this is all about the best ten things we’ve ever purchased. Usually, I say that the list isn’t in any order, but this time it is . . . sort of. The top two purchases are where they need to be because, of the best purchases, these are the best of the best. EVAH!

In the #1 spot is my baby kitten Maeve! She just turned 4, if you can believe it. And I can honestly say I do not know what I’d do without her.

IMG_0871Even when she stands in front of the computer and rubs her face on me so I can’t work, I still love her to pieces. I’m kind of iffy when she knocks her water bowl over, but I still love even though I think about kicking her fuzzy butt.

Number 2 is the antibiotics I purchased last night. *face palm* I have a wicked UTI heading into a kidney infection and the pills are amazing. I didn’t care how much I had to pay, I felt that bad. Thankfully, they were only 14.00 and I’m feeling so much better, but, believe me, I would have paid way more.

Number 3 is my laptop. I can’t imagine what I’d do without it. I remember when I began to write on a computer and I thought it was sooooo hard. I needed to write it down first blah blah blah. Oh hell no. Putting pen to paper totally slows me down. Typing is the way to go and my laptop(s) have never failed me. Which leads me to:

Number 4 – Carbonite! If you don’t have it, you need to get it. The software automatically backs up my computer to a mysterious cloud. I will never lose stuff again, which I have done before. I think three laptops ago my computer crashed and it was all gone. All of it. That won’t happen to me now.

Number 5 is my Nook. I love books and have tons of them. Now I can have hundreds at my fingertips. When I go on vacation my luggage isn’t filled with ten to twelve physical books (I have done this before) but I just take my Nook and have hundreds and the ability to buy more right there with me. Magic!!

Number 6 is tickets for Colonial Williamsburg. I love this place! I’ve been three times and could go again tomorrow. I love history and the amazing stories of every day people and this is Williamsburg. The programming is great and the museum is fantastic. If you’ve never been, you should go.

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Number 7 is my very first cross stitch pattern. I got it because I thought it would make a great gift for a friend. Oh, and I kind of wanted to teach myself cross stitch. Yeah, see I truly didn’t know what I was doing. Anyway, once I started on the project I loved it. It’s very meditative. Following the pattern, find the color floss required, and making the stitches. I think I’ve made 5 or 6 thing so far and love it so much.

Number 8 are the first books in JD Robb’s In Death series, Nalini Singh’s Archangel and Psy/Changeling series, and Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series. I love these books!! No matter how crummy of a day, all I need to do is pick one of them up and I feel instantly better. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to them all.  Shelly’s especially still make me laugh out loud.

Number 9 is Scott Cunningham’s book Wicca: Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

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I believe the book was published in 1988 and was the first book I purchased about paganism. I had been interested before this and looked at the library and read books on the sly at the bookstore. I know I had Tarot cards while in high school since my Mom got them for me for my birthday, but this book truly opened my eyes to a practice I could truly believe in. Though I do not follow Wicca, this was the introduction to who I am today, and almost gave me permission to dive into this religion I felt so connected to.

Number 10 is my home. I love this place. It’s my shelter and my hide away. Sis and I have worked to make it cozy and it never fails to lift me up when I get here. Stepping through the door, it’s as if a weight lifts from my shoulder.

That’s all for me, now go and see what Bronwyn says are her best purchases.

Behind the Scenes of my Current Project

Hello! And welcome to Behind the Scenes. I was going to find some kind of fancy art to pop up here, but nothing I found did it for me. I was looking for some kind of curtain and peeking and whatever. So, yeah, there’s that.  What I can share is the cover to the book I’m working on.

So, I’ve been working on this book FOREVER!! Forever enough that a cover was already created. My amazing artist friend and fellow author Kris Norris created this beauty for me and I love it today as much as I love it when she first sent it to me. Here it is:

entangled cover

So much awesome!! I wish I could tell you I have a cover blurb, but I don’t have one of those either. I can give you a brief synopsis of what the book is about.

Rowan Haggerty is a retired government agent who really didn’t want to be retired. But after one of her own peeps tried to kill her she really had no choice. She reconnects with her friend Keller Montgomery, who works for the Vitala Senate. The Vitala are a race of beings who are, sort of, like vampires, but there’s no lurking in cemeteries or turning into bats.

Rowan is living in the middle of nowhere when she stumbles upon three Vitala being held against their will. There are two men and a child. She rescues the child and the chase is on. People are after her and the kid and she doesn’t know why.

She hooks up with the kid’s dad and his second, Vlad and Sergei, and the sparks fly. The three of them are trying to work through a relationship as well as figure out who is trying to kill them.

And there we go. I have over 66k written and I am slowly working my way through it to the end. I will finish this book. This year. I’d like to finish it before my birthday (June 1) and I think it’s totally doable. I got this.

Now go and see what Bronwyn, Jess and Kris are working on.