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.

“Wake Me Up”

 

once upon a time

This month’s song we’re basing our flash fiction on is Wake Me up by Avicii. I’d hear this song before, but didn’t know the name or the artist. Sadly, I also found out he died, which is a true tragedy.  If you’re interested to hear the song, here it is:

This piece is the beginning of a book I’m writing. It’s not Entangled, but one I pull out and work on when I’m stressed at work. *shhhhh* Don’t tell. As soon as I heard this song, I instantly thought of Tessa and her situation. Hope you all enjoy!

 

She stared at the two small lines in confusion. It wasn’t possible. Couldn’t be. And, yet, here was the evidence. Again. She looked around the bathroom at all the other little sticks and every one said the same thing. She was pregnant.

Feeling light-headed, Tessa put her head between her knees and concentrated on breathing. Just breathing. As she did, her mind whirled. How? When? She was fairly confident if she’d been sexually active she would have known. Sex wasn’t something a girl forgot, even shitty sex. Tessa knew, with certainty, she hadn’t had sex. Ever. In fact, she’d purchased the first pregnancy test as a joke. Sort of. She knew she couldn’t be pregnant but wanted to be able to tell the doctor’s office that she’d taken one, so they could get down to figuring out what was wrong.

Eleven tests later, she knew. Pregnant.

Tessa sat up trying to figure out when her last period had been. June? July? Shaking her head, she went out to her bedroom and dug in her purse for the organizer that went everywhere with her. Her friend teased her for writing down every single event, no matter how trivial, on the pages, but she’d never missed an appointment, birthday or celebration. Tessa was organized. Scarily so, her best friend Kenyatta had declared.

Flipping backwards, she studied each week until she found her last period. It was a little over two months ago. Two months. How had she missed it? Okay, yeah it wasn’t hard since she was no longer on the pill, per her doctor’s instructions, and her period was hit and miss at best. So, once again, the question went back to how.

Divine intervention? She almost burst out laughing at that. She couldn’t imagine any god looking down and thinking she’d be a perfect mother. Okay, maybe Loki. Hey, if it was Tom Hiddleston she might think about it. Since that wasn’t possible, at least she highly doubted it, something had to have happened. What though?

“Tessa?”

She started and looked up to find Kenyatta standing at her bedroom door. Glancing at the clock, she realized it was well after five. She’d gotten nothing done and the day was almost over. Okay, she’d taken eleven pregnancy tests and came to the realization she was pregnant, but beyond that nothing else.

“Tessa? What’s wrong?”

“I think I’m pregnant.”

The words hung in the air. Hearing them said out loud, Tessa’s palms started sweating and her heart pounding. She was having trouble swallowing and starting to sweat. A lot. Freaking out. She was freaking out. She sat on her bed and once again, put her head between her knees and concentrated on breathing. Yep, passing out would be bad. She couldn’t pass out.

“You’re what?”

Her best friend’s voice sounds as though it were coming through a tube. Since, Tess knew that couldn’t really be happening, she continued to concentrate on breathing. Can’t pass out, she kept repeating. Wouldn’t help anything if she did.

A cool cloth covered her neck and an arm hugged her tight. Yep, no matter what, she could always count on her best friend. Neither had much family, or at least family they claimed. On top of that, they were both smart. Really smart. Like genius level, though Tessa didn’t feel like such a genius right now. But, on the first day of freshman year of college, they decided to be each other’s family. And, it had stuck. Now, nearly seven years later, Tessa knew she had someone she could count on one hundred percent.

Kenyatta pulled Tessa to sit up and put her arm around her.

“Okay, now, tell me again what’s going on.”

“I’m pregnant.”

“I saw all the tests in your bathroom.”

“Yep, and they all came out positive.”

“How? And don’t be a smart ass. I know you haven’t been dating and, unless you had a booty call that I don’t know about, you aren’t seeing anyone.”

“Nope, no booty calls.” Tessa agreed. “I, truly, have no clue. Now isn’t that something? I’m twenty-three and have no idea how I’m pregnant. I just know all the tests say I am.”

“Why did you even think you were in the first place?” she asked.

Tessa shrugged. “I’m not sure. I started getting sick, my breasts are tender, of course no period, and I’m really tired. And, I just feel different. Does that make sense?” At her best friend’s nod, she went on. “Okay, so I went onto one of those doctor websites—”

Kenyatta rolled her eyes and shook her head.

“Tessa, what have I told you about that? Did I not forbid you to go on any of those? You know you always think you have the plague or some weird disease that you couldn’t have in a million years.”

“Not every time,” she argued. “The one time I diagnosed myself with pneumonia with it.”

Kenyatta stared at her and Tessa huffed out a breath.

“Whatever, so I went on and it said I might be pregnant. I wanted to rule that impossibility out, but it didn’t. I failed the pregnancy test.”

“Yeah, I saw, like eight times.”

“Eleven. I took eleven of them. I would have taken twelve, but I don’t think I have any pee left in me.”

Her best friend nodded. “Okay, so we’re ruling out divine interference.”

“Yeah, I already came to that conclusion.”

The two women looked at one another and smiled. It was so awesome to have someone who understood her. No matter what.

 

Bronwyn    Siobhan

Promptly Penned March 2019

promptly penned

I love the prompt this month and as soon as I read it I instantly thought of my two favorite people Shay and Josie. It’s short, but I had a fun time dropping in one them. As always, the prompt given to us is in bold. Hope you enjoy!

 

Shay tossed her backpack down just a tad harder than needed. Was she pissed the summoning spell didn’t work? You betcha, but there wasn’t a hell of a lot she could do about it. It didn’t work. So, get over it and move on and think of something else. She wasn’t sure what yet. There was so much they didn’t know. It was almost overwhelming.

Josie pulled a soda out of their small refrigerator and slouched in their one comfortable chair. The living room of the apartment they shared was tiny and had room for a love seat, that might grow up to be a sofa, and the chair. That’s it. No artwork. No dust catchers. Nothing else. Just the tiny sofa and the chair.

“You know why we live like this?” she asked Josie.

 

“Live like what?” Josie looked up from the mystery gadget she’d pulled from one of her million pockets.

“Like this.” Shay waved her hands around. “Every one in the agency does it, but no one talks about it. It’s because when we die, which we all will, usually way sooner than we should, we won’t leave anyone with a mess to clean up. How fucked up is that?”

“I can understand you’re frustrated by everything that’s happened.”

Shay rolled her eyes. “Whatever. I don’t give a fuck.”

Josie burst out laughing. “Who are you kidding? You give so many fucks they’re visible from space. You can pretend all you want that you don’t care. But I know you do. Hell, so do I. Don’t you think I’m freaked out about this whole situation? We have an unknown entity, or, probably, entities out there munching down on our people and there’s not one good goddamn thing we can do about it.”

Shay ran a hand wearily through her hair. “Fine. I care. I give a fuck, but what does that get me? Telling you I care doesn’t change anything.”

“Bullshit. It changes everything. We know what’s at stake. So, we need to calm down and think. Up until now, we’ve been running from one fire to the next. Throwing shit at these things willy-nilly. No thought. No planning. It’s not just us doing this. It’s everyone. The entire agency. And what is it getting us?”

“More dead agents.” Shay sat on the couch that wasn’t a couch and took a breath. “You’re right. We have no plan. So, that means, we need to stop and think.”

“Not just us,” Josie said, sitting beside her. “We need to gather what’s left of the teams and come up with a cohesive plan. And, dude, you’re like freaking magic. You need to work on what kinds of things you can do.”

“Just because I said you were right, doesn’t mean you can call me dude.”

Josie smiled. “Whatever. You know you like it.”

“Like a punch in the head. So, yeah, let’s make some calls and see what we can come up with.”

 

Jess      Bronwyn    Kris    Siobhan

 

 

First Argument

first time

We’re back to our brand new feature called “First Time” and this month we’re posting a first argument between characters. The piece is from a not-yet-published book called Entangled and it’s between Rowan Haggerty and Sergei Bukolov. They are speaking on the phone and he’s assuming all kinds of things that aren’t true. I’ll leave you all to read how Rowan handles it.  Hope you all enjoy!

 

“May I speak with Sergei Bukolov, then?”

“I’m sure the Voyevoda does not have time—”

She cut him off. “He needs to make time. This is about an extremely delicate matter, which your Knyaz will be furious about if you don’t let me speak to someone in authority.”

“Hold on one moment.”

Rowan heard clicking on the line. The fucker had better not have hung up on her.

“This is Bukolov.” A deep raspy male voice said. “Who is this?”

Rowan shivered. She was sure she knew the voice and it disturbed her now, just as it had nearly four years ago. Unless there was another man named Sergei with the same voice, this had to be the same man. Unless she was imaging it. That had to be it. There was no way the man she spoke with was the same man she’d worked with. The world wasn’t that small.

“Hello?”

Shit, get yourself together Haggerty.

“My name is Rowan Haggerty. I have a small child with me named Mikhail. He says his father is Vladimir Rodzianko.”

“What? This is impossible.”

“Mr. Bukolov, I pulled Mikhail out of a dangerous situation. He told me he was supposed to go to his grandparent’s house, but now he obviously wants to come home.”

“What do you want?”

“I want to get Mikhail back to his father safely.” She hoped the duh wasn’t too obvious in her voice.

“How much? How much do you want?”

Rowan tried not to get angry, but after everything that had happened, she was tired and pissed. She looked at the kid’s anxious face and forced a smile. “Hon, would you like to talk to Sergei?”

“Oh yes,” he nodded.

Rowan heard a quick intake of breath through the phone line as she handed it to Misha. “Here he is.”

Misha eagerly took the phone. “Sergei, it is me, Misha. I want to come home now.” He paused, obviously listening to the man on the phone. “Rowan saved me from the bad men. Aleksandr is dead. The bad men killed him. Olik, and Jaska were alive. I do not know if they are any longer. I think Jaska was a bad man too.” His eyes filled with tears and Rowan took his hand. “Rowan is like you and papa, she is a warrior. She got me away from the bad men.” He listened, shaking his head. “I don’t know.” He held the phone out to Rowan and crawled into her lap. She took the phone and held him close as he cried.

“I want this baby to come home. Are you going to help us or not?”

“Yes, I still do not understand how any of this happened but tell me where you are. I will come.”

“We can’t stay here and wait. I don’t want to take the chance. Where should we meet?”

“What do you mean?”

“People may be hunting us and I can’t stay here.”

“Fuck, I need to speak to Vlad. Give me your number so I can reach you.”

“Right now, I don’t know who to trust. So, give me your number and I’ll call you.”

He gave her a number and she memorized it. She hoped like hell this man could be trusted, but she was running out of options if she wanted to reach Rodzianko. If it came down to it, she’d kill Bukolov. She’d do whatever was necessary to protect Mikhail.

“As soon as we get some miles behind us, I’ll call.”

“By then, I will have spoken to Vlad.”

“Bukolov, don’t double cross us. If you make any move to hurt this child I’ll kill you.”

 

Ahhh, can’t you just feel the love?? Anyway go check out the other bloggers’ first arguments.

Jess      Bronwyn    Kris     Kayleigh     Siobhan

An Image in the Mirror

flash header

february

I really like our flash fiction picture for February. It took me a bit to come up with a story, but one it hit I was off and running. Hope you like it.

Sophia stared at herself in the mirror. She saw a woman with cool eyes and serene features, but that wasn’t the reality. The reality was she was scared shitless. Who wouldn’t be when her parents were going to sell her to the highest bidder? Oh, no one called it that, of course. They were too classy to call the “coming out” ball an auction, but that’s what it was. Women, girls really, were paraded around for the wealthy Coadjutors to view and, if one was to his liking, he approached her parents or guardians to work out a deal.

Sophia knew her parents would hold out for a large payment since she was a virgin. It wasn’t a secret either since it said so right in the catalog that was handed out to each Coadjutor as he entered the enormous ballroom. If she could, Sophia would run away, but there wasn’t anyplace to go. Her parents owned her until they sold her to the highest bidder.

Closing her eyes, she breathed in and out of her nose, trying to get her pounding heart under control. It really wasn’t any use though since she was scared. Okay, she was terrified and deep breathing wasn’t going to fix that.

“What are you doing?” her mother whispered angrily in her ear. “Turn around and smile.”

Sophia looked at the woman who had given birth to her and felt nothing but contempt. From the moment she could understand anything, this woman had explained that she was a commodity. They were raising her to elevate themselves. That was it. So, they’d put money into her. Giving her dance and voice lessons, teaching her comportment all so that she could be sold into wealth and power.

Pinching the underside of her arm, hard, her mother yanked Sophia across the room to where her father waited. He stood next to a man older than he was and she crossed her fingers that they were just friends.

“Ah good,” her father said, with a smile. “This is our daughter, Sophia. She is only twenty-two and a virgin, so her power is untapped and ripe.”

Sophia forced herself to stand perfectly still because, she knew, if she moved at all, she would run. Run and never stop.

The man she didn’t know looked her up and down. “I will need to check. I cannot take your word that she’s a virgin. My Daimon would not be pleased if we were to offer for her then found out she’d already been taken.”

“Of course,” her father said, “I understand. I’ve already reserved a room.”

Before Sophia could react, her mother and father had her by the arms and were dragging her into a small room that held a shelf bolted to the wall and a chair.

“Don’t give him any problem, girl,” her father said and backed out the door.

The stranger gripped her chin in his large hand and tilted her face up. Turning her head left and right he studied her.

“You’re pretty enough,” he pronounced. “Now pull your dress up and sit on the table.”

“Excuse me?” she finally forced out.

“I need to check to see if you’re a virgin. Get on the table and spread your legs.”

Sophia stared at him. “Have you lost your mind? You are not going to touch me.”

He smiled. “Oh, I like a fighter. Yes, this will be quite good.”

He grabbed her and wrapped an arm around her waist and he tried to shove a hand up her dress. Sophia fought, but could feel his hand run along her leg. He began to pant and rub himself against her so she tried to kick out at him.

“That’s right,” he said, “yeah, squirm around and fight.”

Sophia held back a sob as she fought harder, then he released her as she staggered forward. Spinning, she found a man she didn’t know holding a knife to her assailant’s throat.

“Doesn’t look like she wants your hands on her,” the new man said conversationally.

“I don’t,” Sophia said.

“So, love, what do you want me to do to him?”

Without hesitating Sophia stepped forward, raised her dress and kicked the man who attempted to assault her right between the legs. Crying out, he dropped to the floor and cradled his genitals.

The unknown man smiled and bowed. “Well, I guess that fixed him. I’m Raiden.”

“Sophia,” she said and curtseyed.

He held out a hand. “Come, let’s get out of here.”

Smiling, she took his hand figuring anywhere was better than where she was.

 

Jessica     Bronwyn   Kayleigh

January 2019 Brain Dump

brain dump

I have so many thing on my mind lately. The state of the world, politics, why is high fashion so weird . . .my thoughts are endless. But let me share just some of what’s on my mind.

If you know anything about me, you know that I’m a crafting crazy. I always say I’m a Jill of all trades, but Mistress of none. So, I knit, embroider, cross stitch, make jewelry, make my own spa stuff, help Sis when she messes with her miniature projects. Now, I’ve decided I want to teach myself to water color. Yeah, I know, but it’s just something I feel I need to do. I’m sure I’ll be crap at it, but I don’t care.

I’ve labeled this year the Year of Self-Care and I downloaded the coolest app called Stop Breathe Think and I love it. It’s meditation, but more than that. It has a journaling section and it walks you through yoga and falling asleep. It’s good stuff.

I’ve also decided to try and teach myself Spanish or reteach myself. I have this app called Duolingo and it’s really good. The lessons are super short and I like it too.

Why is it when you need to work a cat will insist on being cradled like a baby, but when you’re free the cat is nowhere to be found?

Why are the stories in the news always bad? Couldn’t we maybe have 1 good story to every 2 bad?

I still don’t understand how people can back the current president. The man is a liar. He lies so much I expect his pants to just burst into flames at any moment. If they did, that would be really funny.

Why do some people think that if the person in front of them stops at a stop sign they don’t have to stop for it? Are they special? Do they not see it? Do they not understand what STOP actually means?

Cold weather is stupid. That’s all. It’s just stupid. Once the holidays are over the weather needs to be sunny and 65.

If I won the lottery, I wouldn’t stay at my day job. Even though I like my day job, yeah, I’d be so done.

Wow, I think that’s about all for me. If you want to share a random thought, you are more than welcome to jot one in the comment section.

Jessica    Bronwyn     Kris