“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

God of Ocean Tides

 

once upon a time

Welcome to the first flash fiction based on a song for 2019! Our song this months is called God of Ocean Tides by Counting Crows. If you don’t know it, which I didn’t, here a video for you to check out.

Also, I’m not a fan of the Counting Crows, especially when that horrible song Mr. Jones was played over and over on the radio. BUT, I like the title of this song and the imagery from the video. So, here’s my flash:

Blaire raised her face to the salty ocean breeze and breathed deep. The rhythmic roar of the waves combined with the starry night sky made the evening perfect. Okay, the man walking at her side holding her hand didn’t hurt either. She and Ryujin had met at a party on New Year’s Eve, a party she hadn’t wanted to attend, a party her friend Stacy had practically had to force her to go to. Stacy had told her all about the consultant who had come from Japan to work with Stacy’s husband’s company on their idea on how to get the plastic out of the oceans.

Blaire had reluctantly agreed, wanting to meet the man that even Tom, Stacy’s husband, gushed over. Ryujin Nakashi truly was gush worthy, from his shoulder length ink black hair to his sharp cheekbones to his startling ocean green eyes, the man was all that and a bag of chips. Yes, he was good-looking, but that hadn’t held Blaire’s attention. What did was the man’s brain. He was smart and funny and the two of them could sit for hours and just talk. Politics, religion, the newest science fiction movie, there wasn’t a subject they hadn’t covered.

Now, nearly eight months later Ryujin’s job was taking him back to Japan. She knew their time was limited, but eight months had seemed like such a long time. Not anymore. Not when eight months was now down to hours. Hours until he left. Hours until she wouldn’t see him anymore.

When they’d started, they said they would keep things light, knowing it had an end date. Blaire had been totally good with that. She hadn’t been in the market for a long-term relationship. Her career as a lawyer was the most important thing in her life. She planned on making partner by the time she was thirty-five so she couldn’t afford distractions. Now, after eight months, she was in love for the first time ever and she would give up the idea of becoming a partner just to be with the man who walked beside her.

Not that she would ever tell him that. They’d said casual with an end date and she had no right to ask for more. To expect more.

“I love the ocean,” he said, his deep accented voice easing over her.

“I do too. I could live on the beach and be quite happy.”

“Really?” He stopped and turned to face her. “Would you really be happy living on a beach?”

Blaire looked out at the moon casting its silvery light over the waves and nodded. “Oh yes. When I first came to California. The very first day I was here. The first thing I did once I collected my luggage at the airport was come to the beach. I remember having beach posters hanging up in my room when I was a kid. I even asked my mom for a table top fountain for like my sixth birthday. I wanted the sound of water in my room.”

“Did you get it?”

“Oh no, water and electricity with a six-year-old. But mom did get me a sound machine that played ocean waves. I had it on all the time. I went to sleep with it and woke up with it.”

He smiled. “Now I understand all the fountains around your home and in your office.”

“I know it’s not the same, but it’s the closest I can come on a daily basis.”

He pulled her into his arms and kissed her. Damn, the man could kiss. She’d found that out on New Year’s Even too. Then she’d taken him home and found out what else he could do with sexy mouth.

He pulled back to cup her face in his hands and stare into her eyes. She mimicked him by cupping his face. They stood like this for long moments, just staring into each other’s eyes.

“I don’t want to leave you,” he whispered. “I know what we said—”

She interrupted him. “I feel the same way. I don’t want you to leave.” Then she took a chance and said the words she’d never said to a man before. “I love you.”

“I love you and I would stay with you here, but I have responsibilities at home.”

“I know,” she said.

“If I asked you to come with me. To my home. To leave your home. Your job. Everything.” He closed his eyes. “Too much to ask of you.”

Something in Blaire rose up. The something that she always listened to, no matter how crazy. It was the same knowing she had when she decided to move to California. Took a different train where she met her friend Stacy. The knowing that had guided her, her whole life.

“Ask me.”

“Will you come with me? Be mine? And I will be yours.”

“Yes, I will.”

He took her mouth in a kiss that was all teeth and tongues and passion. A kiss that always made her crazy for him. This man that she loved and was willing to give up everything for.

“In Japan,” he spoke against her lips, “there are stories about gods of the ocean. Dragon kings who live in cities deep, deep in the ocean. These dragons protect and guard their territories. One of these dragon kings is Ryujin, who rules a kingdom city in the North Pacific Ocean. He had many responsibilities, but no one to share them with. No one to call his own. Until now. Now Ryujin has Blaire who will live with him and love with him.”

She nodded slowly. “Yes, I will live with you and love with you. But I am very human.”

And why wasn’t she freaking out? Why wasn’t she calling him a liar and running away? Because she knew there was something different about him. She’s always known. Once again, her instincts had nudged her and so, she accepted.

“Not so much anymore.” He said and looked a bit embarrassed. “The last few months, when we had sex without a condom, my essence had begun to prepare you, especially since we…you…”

Blaire laughed. “When I went down on you.”

He ran his fingers through his hair. “Yes, that combined with the intercourse had begun to make changes to your body. And, before you ask, if I would have left in the morning these changes would have eventually gone away.”

“Would you have gone away?”

“No, I love you too much. Need you too much.”

“So, what do we do?”

“We leave, if you’re ready.”

“I am ready.”

He backed up from her and smiled then his figure blurred and changed. Blaire blinked her eyes to try to bring him back into focus, but where Ryujin had stood now stood a…dragon. A ginormous black dragon that slowly lowered his head until they could see eye to eye. His eyes were Ryujin’s eyes.

“Wow, you are utterly amazing.”

He nuzzled her gently with his snout and spoke. “Thank you.”

He turned his front paw over and in the midst of the talons was a pearlescent sphere.

“Step in and I will show you our home.”

Blaire stepped up and into the shape that reminded her of a soap bubble and, before she could blink, they were in the water. She knew, that no matter what life brought her, it would never be boring with her god of the ocean tides.

Now head on over and see what Jessica, Bronwyn, KrisSiobhan and Kayleigh have written.

First Meeting

first time

Hello and welcome to a new feature for 2019. It’s called First Time and it’s where we each talk about a first time occurrence for a set of our characters. Today is first meeting. Now, lately I have like 3 or 4 different projects going at once. The keeps me writing no matter what is going on or how I’m feeling. So, I think I’ll introduce two of the three main characters from Entangled, Rowan and Sergei.

Having never done this feature before, I’m just going to jump in and do it the way I want, which is what I’m sure Jessica and Bronwyn would say to do anyway.

Anyway, Rowan and Sergei met before the book started, but it was in a professional capacity so there wasn’t time to talk. I consider this time there true “first” meeting. Hope you enjoy it!

 

She pulled into the parking lot of the motel she’d picked, as a shadow eased out from the darkness around the office. The man was enormous, probably topping six-four with wide shoulders and bulging muscles to spare. Brutally handsome, with high sharp cheekbones and a nose that had been broken in the past. She recognized him. He was the man she hadn’t been able to get out of her head. The man’s ruthless sexuality had stirred something in her, something she’d wanted at the time and, apparently, still wanted.

“That’s Sergei!” Misha said joy evident in his voice. “Hi, Sergei!”

“I’m Sergei Bukolov,” the man said, putting his hands out to show he had no weapons.

Rowan almost laughed, since she knew from first-hand experience this guy didn’t need anything to be dangerous. Menace rolled off him in waves as she rolled the window down so they could stare at one another.

“I know you,” he said, as his gaze roved over her features.

The man still had beautiful brown eyes, which was something she’d noticed when they’d first met. No names had been exchanged, but she’d found a man like this didn’t need a name to be remembered. Only after, had she asked around, wanting to put a name to the face, to the voice, she couldn’t get out of her head.

“We worked together once,” she replied.

“I remember,” he said, his voice deep and accented. “You are not someone I would forget. I’ve already got us a room.”

She wondered at his comment, but instead of asking said, “Hop in and you can direct us.”

And there you have it. Their very first meeting. Now go and see what the other Bloggers did with the task.

Jessica    Bronwyn    Kris    Siobhan    Kayleigh

What a dump!

flash header

dump

Welcome to the first photo flash fiction of the new year!! Obviously, we’re using the pic above to write a short piece. I can’t wait to read what the other bloggers are going to do with it.  Hope you enjoy what I came up with.

 

“Okay, take off the blindfold.”

Andromeda really didn’t want to. She hated surprises, especially the surprises her younger sister Rhea presented to her. Usually, the surprise involved some kind of horrible decision that Andromeda would have to get her out of. Crossing her fingers that this time would be different, she slowly pulled the blindfold off.

The room she found herself in was all wood. From the ceiling to the cabinets that lined the wall. The floor could possibly be wood too except she couldn’t see for all the trash, broken glass, and paper that was strewn about. Bare wires dangled from the ceiling where some kind of light fixture probably hung at one time.

“Well?” Rhea said, practically bouncing on her toes.

Without thinking, Andromeda uttered Bette Davis’s oft-quoted line. “What a dump.”

Rhea gasped. “What are you talking about? I know this room looks rough, but wait until you see the rest of the house.”

Rhea grabbed Andromeda’s hand and dragged her out into an equally dismal hallway. Large holes decorated the walls as the main stairway sagged dangerously.

“This will be the perfect place for a bed and breakfast,” Rhea enthused. “All it needs is a little work. There are a lot of bedrooms upstairs and the kitchen is huge, and, as you saw, there’s a butler’s pantry.”

Andie rubbed her face. “Bed and breakfast?”

“Yeah, you know, the B&B we always talk about opening. Now that we have our inheritance it’s the perfect time.”

“I have a job with a fairly prestigious hotel. I like it. It gives me a salary and benefits. And, my portion of the inheritance is going to help me finally buy a home.” Andie looked around at the disaster surrounding them. “Besides, even if I would think about throwing away everything I have and opening my own inn this wouldn’t be the place. It needs way more than a little work. I’m sure the electrical and plumbing all need to be updated as well as the HVAC system. From the brown stains on the ceiling it needs a whole new roof. So yeah, the best thing that can happen to this place is it burns down.”

She turned to find Rhea staring at her with wide eyes. Wide guilty eyes.

“What did you do?” Andie asked.

“Well it’s the perfect place,” Rhea repeated herself. “So, I bought it.”

“You what?”

“I bought it,” Rhea said, her voice firmer this time. “I signed the papers this morning.”

“What were you thinking? You can’t afford this place. It’s a wreck, but I’m sure with the land and as big as it is, it’s not cheap.”

“No, there you’re wrong. I bought it outright so there’s no mortgage.”

“How?” she asked, though the sinking feeling in her stomach already told her how.

“I used our money. I used our money to buy the house. It’s going to be great. Once we fix it up the place is going to be incredibly popular. There’s even a ghost here. That’s going to pull people in since they love that kind of stuff.”

Andie took a breath, then another. Calm down, she told herself. Just calm down. Stay calm.

“You stole my half of the inheritance to buy this dump? And, somehow, you think that’s okay?”

“I didn’t steal it,” Rhea insisted. “I used it to give us an incredibly future. We’ll own our own haunted B&B.”

“Oh, it’ll be haunted alright, since I’m probably going to kill you dead.”

Jessica Jarman    Bronwyn Green   Kris Norris   Siobhan Muir     Kayleigh Jones

Looking back & Moving forward

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Here we are at the start of another year. I can honestly say I’m really glad 2018 is gone. It wasn’t the best year on record. The depression, an ever present thing, was more present than ever. My day job was a total bear at times and my writing was non-existent.

BUT . . . that was 2018.

2019 is totally different. It is The Year of Self Care! If you wanna know more about this check out the blog post from Tuesday and it will tell you all about it. Anyway, as it is the Year of Self Care part of that will be taking my writing back. I had decided on this right after Christmas. In preparation, I was going to email the publishing house that held my Promises Series and ask for it back. There were changes and additions and fixes I wanted to make and, to do this, I needed to own it again.

The universe must have heard because when I went out to the site they had closed up shop. I was stunned as I hadn’t received a notice about it. I checked in with Bronwyn and she hadn’t heard about it either, but she suggested I check in with them to make sure my books were now mine again.

Yes they are!!!!! This totally kicks off the Year of Self Care with a vengeance. So, this year I am going to work to get the books released again, plus finish, at least, 2 other books. I know big goals, but that’s what this year is about. I’m also going to blog every time. I always say I’m going to “try” to blog, but yeah like Yoda says “Do or do not, there is no try.” So smart.

I’m also going to be more present and take better care of myself. I’m going to put me first. I know, scary concept. But this whole thing is one day at a time.

Tell me what your goals for the new year are and go out and see what Jessica, Kris and Bronwyn say is their goals.