Tag Archives: Kayleigh Jones

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It's time for another flash fiction - this one inspired by Halsey's "Ghost".

I'm again visiting the world of my Albion's Circle series. This takes place not long before the series begins. A small glimpse into Anna's head...before she finds out that her dreams are more than she realizes.


~Anna~

Music pulsed.

Lights flashed.

Bodies pressed against me. From every side. The touches, the scents, the heat… All of it, surrounded me, filled my senses, driving everything else out.

I closed my eyes, as anxious to escape what was happening as I was desperate for it. I sighed in relief as hands circled my waist and pulled me back against a very hard, very male body. I leaned into him, letting my head fall to his shoulder, as our bodies began to move.

His lips glided along my ear, and his breath tickled as he whispered, “Fuck, you feel amazing…”

Jamie.

My heart sped up. From excitement, from the knowledge of what the night would bring…from shame. Shame that I was using him. Again. And an even deeper, more painful shame that probably wouldn’t be the last time.

Hands firm on my hips, Jamie turned me to face him. I opened my eyes and, tipping my head back, met his gaze. Swallowing the immediate disappointment I always felt when I looked into his gray-blue eyes—and hating myself even more for it—I forced a smile.

He grinned then jerked his head toward the front of the club. “Let’s get out of here.”

Heat coiled in my belly, and I trembled slightly as I nodded. He grabbed my hand, and as I let him lead me through the crowd, I tried desperately to hold on to the excitement and desire. And not think about the tendrils of dread and regret weaving their way through.

I could only hold it off for so long, I knew. It was inevitable and would fill me to bursting soon enough. Because I wasn’t going to find what I was looking for in Jamie’s bed, in his arms, any more than I’d found it is this club or with any other person. I gritted my teeth as another face flashed in my mind. Another set of blue eyes—clear and piercing and haunting.

I shoved all away as Jamie pushed me up against his car and took my mouth. I let myself to fall into the kiss, to become lost in the bliss of his touch, because however temporary, it dulled the edges, softened the harshness of not having what I yearned for.

And made me forget, for just a little while, that I was searching for something I couldn’t reach. Because it wasn’t real.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Gwendolyn Cease
Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

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I clearly have issues coming up with standalone stories for flash fics... I've gone back to one of my boys... You could read this on its own but if you'd like to take a gander at the other stories in this world:

Part 1 - "The First Step"
Part 2
Part 3 - "Never Gone"

This one is another peek into Justin's head... A similar, and yet very different, spot than we last saw him in "Never Gone".

"Unfinished"


Justin walked toward the kitchen, navigating in the dark, not wanting to wake his guest. Someone he hadn’t seen in years—takeout and booze in hand, wanting a visit and a place to sleep for the night. Justin had a slight pang of guilt that he’d hadn’t had a bed to offer, not in the tiny one-bedroom he currently lived in. He’d tried to give up his own bed and take the couch himself, but had just received a smack upside the head for his trouble. Oh well, at least his couch was fucking comfortable. And after the amount of alcohol they’d downed the night before, he figured the other man likely had no problem falling asleep.

Neither had Justin. Falling asleep was never the issue. Staying asleep, however…

He sighed as he opened the fridge. He should be used to it. He hadn’t had a solid night’s sleep in the last fucking three years. Not since…

He cursed, shoving aside that train of thought, and grabbed a bottle of water.

“Wanna grab me one while you’re in there?”

“Fuck!” Justin fumbled and barely stopped the bottle from dropping to the floor. He withdrew another water and, shutting the door, walked into the living room. “Sorry, boss. Didn’t mean to wake you.”

A soft huff of laughter, and in small amount of light from the streetlamps coming in through the window, he saw Liam—his former boss—shake his head. But he didn’t correct Justin. He’d stopped doing that about an hour after arriving.

“Didn’t wake me.” He held his hand out for the water and motioned for Justin to sit next to him.

“Okay, but I don’t want to keep you up.”

“Shut up and sit down.”

“Yes, boss.” He plopped on the cushion, as ordered, but looked everywhere but at the other man.

After a few minutes of silence, a hand came to rest on his shoulder. “Sometimes, it helps to talk about it.”

“About what?” he asked flatly.

Liam’s fingers tightened. “The nightmares.”

Justin jerked his head around and stared at the older man. “How did you know?”

“That you had nightmares? How could you not?”

Liam tilted his head to the side and stared intently. Justin fought not to squirm. Damn, it’d been a long time since he’d been under the full force of that stare. And fuck him, he kind of missed it.

“Justin,” Liam sighed. “The things we see, the things we face, doing what we do, nightmares are par for the course. But having to face the…horrors, knowing that your brother did those things? Bound to screw with your head.”

Leaning forward, Justin set his water on the scarred surface of the coffee table then scrubbed his palms over his face. He didn’t want to think, let alone talk, about the nightmares. Of course his stupid fucking brain circled back to the one that had woken him less than half an hour before.

Starring his brother, Jonah, of course. He’d been standing over Justin, who had been strapped down on a table. Just like all of Jonah’s victims had been. He’d known it was Jonah from the start, even though he hadn’t been recognizable. His face hadn’t been human. It had been covered in metal and gears and...stuff. But it hadn’t been a mask—it was his face. His face was just…not human.

Justin rolled his eyes. It didn’t take a fucking shrink to figure the meaning of that, did it? Three years ago, he’d discovered his brother wasn’t human. He was a monster. This was just Justin's brain’s way of illustrating that.

The dream was starting to fade, blur around the edges as dreams often do, and Justin couldn’t even bring the particulars into focus anymore. But Jonah’s eyes…  Those were still vivid. Cold, assessing, emotionless—no sign of caring or love. No sign of a brother in those fathomless pale eyes. Only the monster he’d been. The monster Justin hadn’t seen until it was too late.

“Justin.”

Liam’s low hoarse voice brought him out of his mind and back into his dark living room.

“Sorry.”

“You need to stop wallowing in your guilt. You blame yourself and that isn’t going to lead you anywhere good. Trust me on that. You ran away, isolated yourself, wrapped yourself in the weight of that guilt, and it’s suffocating you. You haven’t even given yourself time, or permission, to grieve.”

Justin sat back and gaped at the older man. One, because that was the most words he’d heard his boss string together in one go. Two, because his uncanny ability to see what Justin tried to hide from everyone. From himself. Though he shouldn’t be surprised—Liam had always had that talent—but time had made Justin forget.

“Grieve?” he croaked. “I am not the one who needs to grieve. That falls on the families who lost someone they loved. My brother was not a victim, Liam. He was a monster who tortured and killed at least a dozen men. A psychopath unable to even feel love.”

“Ah, but that’s the thing, isn’t it? He can’t feel love. But you can. You did.” Liam cupped Justin’s cheek a moment then patted it. “You, just like those families, lost a loved one. Lost a brother. And you are allowed to grieve., Justin.

Justin forced a laugh. “Didn’t take you for the touch-feely type, boss.”

“I’m not. Never have been. But you’re family. And family looks after its own—even when they don’t want looking after. Or think they don’t deserve it.”

“Boss…don’t,” he pleaded, heart hammering, throat tight, eyes stinging.

“You may have left the team—hell, I left the team—but you did not leave your family.” He shook his head. “Can’t. Not possible.”

Justin thought of who he’d left behind. The man in front of him—the boss, the man he’d looked up to so fucking much. Adam—SIC, a second boss, really, but the one who had taken Justin under his wing from day one. Scott and Sarah—the agents who razed and supported him in equal measure. And Harris—Justin didn’t exactly know where he fit in the “family” Liam spoke of. Harris had been attached to the team during the investigation that lead to Jonah. Hell, Harris had taken Justin’s place when he’d left. He didn’t really know the kid.

His breath stalled as pale sweat-damp skin, dark eyes and tousled hair flashed through his mind.

“It’s time to come home, Justin.”

He was thankful to be pulled away from memories of what he regretted—regretted leaving behind, not having done. Because he couldn’t bring himself to regret that one night. No matter that he probably should.

“I don’t know if I can,” he whispered. “I always said I would—when I got past all of it. But I’m not sure that it’ll ever be over. Not for me.” He cringed as his voice broke and cleared his throat. “I don’t know that I can come back to the Bureau, boss.”

“It’s time to come home,” Liam repeated. “Don’t give a shit whether you go back to the job. Come back to your family. Let us help you though this. Help you grieve. Because until you do, it won’t be over.”

Justin sniffed and swiped angrily at the dampness now coating his cheeks. He froze when Liam’s arms came around him.

“You are allowed, you know? Grieving the loss of your brother isn’t a betrayal. It doesn’t lessen what you feel for those families.”

Hearing the thoughts that needled at him constantly voiced—and damn him, how does he do that?—Justin felt something deep in his chest give way. A sob forced its way up, up, up until it pushed past his lips. Liam’s embrace tightened, and Justin let himself lean into the other man. To take the comfort for the first time in three years.


Bronwyn Green | Deelylah Mullin | Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris

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2s1ne1472019196

Happy Wednesday, friends.

When we plan out the blog topics for the year, I'm always excited when a Behind the Scenes post comes around, and planning 2016 was no exception.

Now that we're here and it's time to write the post, though... "Can I be real a second? For just a millisecond?"

(Actually, my singing Hamilton lyrics is probably as good a look behind the scenes into my life right now as you can get - as my family can attest.)

Anyhoo... Truth is, as I posted about a short time ago, this year has been challenging for me as a writer, and I'm now just getting back to where I need (and want!) to be. So, sharing behind the scenes is a more difficult task than it has ever been, but I'm going to give it a shot.

My most current project is my next Bound book, Safeword Protected, so I'll share a bit about it and how as an author I"m connecting with it.

B6 - SAFEWORD PROTECTED

Clara Turner loves her life—her career as a travel writer takes her to places most people only dream of. But with the birth of her cousin’s first child quickly approaching, Clara happily trades her fast-paced adventures for the quiet Irish village to be there for the new arrival. 

When Clara’s laptop acts up, her cousin decides to do Clara a favor and takes it to Niall Walsh, the village’s unofficial tech support. Clara panics at the thought of Niall—sexy, sets-her-lady-bits-tingling-from-afar Niall—discovering her secret stash of filthy kinkery living on her hard drive.

Niall lived the big-city life for years and dated the glamorous woman that came along with it before coming back home. He’s heard about Clara for ages, but nothing prepares him for the instant attraction he feels when he first sees her. He ignores it though—knowing she’s only there for a short time.

Besides, she’s the type of woman who fit in his past, not his present. He doesn’t have anything to offer that she’d want. At least, that’s what he’d thought…before he delved into her computer and discovered exactly what Clara likes. As he learns more about her, Niall realizes he can offer her something no one else can—the chance to explore her deepest desires instead of just watching on a screen. 

It should be easy--a hot fling before Clara’s job takes front and center again--but when the time comes, will either of them be able to slip free from the bonds that now connect them?

Writing Safeword Protected? it's been both extremely frustrating and incredibly rewarding. The frustration stemmed for there "other stuff", not the book or the writing of it. I will admit something here that I'm probably not supposed to. As an author, I do have favorite characters. Don't get me wrong, I love them all , but there are some I just really, really love and seem to connect with. One day I may even share who tops the list, but for now, I will say Niall and Clara from Safeword Protected? They're pretty damned high on that list. No matter what chaos and...stuff was going on, whenever I could sit down and work on Niall and Clara's story... Well, it's pretty much this...

LetMeLoveYou

Grabby hands and all.

Why do I love them so much? Hard to put into words (You're an author, Jarman; get with the program!) Niall is a hot Irishman who is ready and willing to guide Clara though her initial exploration into the world of BDSM. So right there? Ticking some boxes, yeah? But there is something about the character that just makes me melt. I think I'll let Brody, Niall's best mate (who happens to be married to Clara's cousin) tell it:

“Niall is one of the most loyal and loving men you’ll ever meet,” Brody added, gaze intent on Clara. “He would do anything for the people he cares about. He came home for his family. He places people, especially people he loves and cares about, above anything else.”

A hot guy is all well and good, but finding something worthwhile when you delve beneath the pretty surface and push past the flaws - because he's still got to be real, right? Man's gotta have layers...

And Clara...she's very real. Has her faults, has the tendency to think things to death and often arrives at the wrong conclusion - usually the one that has her freaking out in a major way. There are times...

All right, I'm going to let you in on another secret, because we're behind the scenes and all. 😉 Readers aren't the only ones who want to wack some sense into characters, to just shake them until their brains come back online and they're making good choices. But that's good, right? Who wants to read a book about two perfect people with no conflict? It's that conflict, those mistakes that the hero and heroine make - the human element - that makes a story really work, isn't it? I think so. And over the years, the best piece of advice I've ever gotten has served me well in creating those real characters that I connect with and sincerely hope readers do, as well.

Trust the characters. Trust the story.

Not groundbreaking advice, really. I've heard similar things from pretty well known authors since I first had that knocked into my thick skull. But it took the right person at the right time to get me to see how necessary it was in the writing process. I still, with pretty much every book, have had those words spoken to me or have said them aloud to myself.

And that is it from me this week.

Make sure to head over to the blogs below to get a peek at what these incredible authors are working on. Also i want to welcome Torrance Sené to Wednesday Randomness blogging. Glad to have you with us. 🙂

Until next time,
~J


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa
Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris | Paige Prince | Torrance Sené

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wordlesswed

Yeah, so I'm going to be a rule breaker - my post isn't going to be wordless. Not even a little.

So things that make me angry... I'm gonna be very real here. There's much in the world right now that make me angry and sad and really really ragey, but I'm not going to go down that road with this post because I don't need to be in that headspace any more than I already am.

So for this post...going a bit more light. Will still talk about things that make me angry and drive me nuts...but just not the big-big things.

So here we go...

On social media, being told if I don't share or repost something, I'm a horrible person, don't love  enough, don't care enough about some cause or issue, or some other bullshit. In these situations, I feel like Ben from Parks & Rec....

The worst

People who can't take responsibility. Honestly, we all play the blame game to a degree, yeah? And I think I'm a pretty understanding person and get that life gets shitty, but when everything is everyone else's fault or something is always happening that gets in the way - particularly when it negatively affects something I'm working on (and that's selfish, isn't it? *sigh*), well, I just...

Hugh I'm OUT

I work a couple different jobs...so when I can sit down and write... OMG people just need to leave me alone and not ask me something or start some long-ass recitation of their day. It's not that I don't want to talk to the people I love. I really really do, but the interruptions... DEAR. GOD. THE. INTERRUPTIONS.

rossfreakout

I probably could go on about little stuff, but I won't. I try to let this stuff roll of my back and not react to stuff or be bitchy. But I would be lying if I said some days, I wasn't like this THE ENTIRE DAY.

TiredofYourBullshit


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kayleigh Jones |  Kris Norris | Paige Prince

songprompt5This month's song is "Little Heaven" by Toad the Wet Sprocket. Here is the song - with lyrics -  for your enjoyment.

This one was a hard one for me - not a shocker. I haven't blogged a lot lately. Or written. But I was determined to get something. I listened to it again and again. Stared at the lyrics so many times. Whined to people about lack of ideas. (I should probably apologize this...).

Finally after much time, and perhaps a couple margaritas one night before heading off to the fab writer's retreat I'm currently at, I came up with something.

Kinda working of of these lines:

Change'll happen whether we
Are still or moving
Breathe in waves of doubt
Bitter in your mouth

I wrote something that went with my serial, Your Lies (I don't think you have to read what I've posted so far to get the gist of what's happening here, but if you want to have a gander at the chapters posted so far, head on over to the serial page).


I groaned and scrunched up my face as my phone rang. Again.

“Whoever that is,” David, my friend and current study partner, said, looking up from his books briefly, “is just going to keep calling. You might as well just answer it.”

I hummed quietly and turned a page without responding.

He sighed. “Your mom?”

“Yep.”

“Maybe she’s calling to apologize,” he said quietly. “It’s been nearly a week.”

It didn’t matter how long it had been. I was angry. More angry than I had been with my mom in a long time. What I was feeling rivaled the emotions I’d battled back when my dad disappeared. The intense anger I had directed at her back then hadn’t been fair at all, and I still felt guilt over that. But this? Having people watching me and reporting back to her? I wasn’t going to get over that any time soon. And no amount of apologizing was going to make it happen any sooner.

“She’s probably worried,” he tried again.

“She’s knows I’m fine. I texted her. Besides, I’m sure her little spies have told her the same thing.” I closed my book the leaned back against the wall as I stretched my legs out in front of me on the bed. “Not ready to talk to her. Not yet.”

He pushed the chair away from the desk and turned to face me fully. “I get that. I really do, but after everything that’s happened, with your dad and all that, and everything with the anti-magic groups and—”

“You don’t have to defend her to me,” I said quietly. “Even though it drives me nuts, I do actually understand where she’s coming from and why she worries about me. But what she did…” I swallowed thickly and shook my head. “She showed how little she trusts me, and—”

My phone rang again—a different ringtone this time. I snatched up the device and stared at Kyle’s face on the screen. I hadn’t spoken to him—my best friend—since I’d left for school. We’d texted and IM’d but actually talking… The fact he was calling now wasn’t a coincidence. That fact pushed my anger and annoyance up, but I still answered.

Before I could say anything beyond the initial “hello”, Kyle’s voice exploded in my ear. “What the fuck are you thinking, Dee?”

“Well, I’ve missed you, too. Been a long time; how have you been?” I said, voice sickeningly sweet.

“I’ve got your mom calling me, yelling at me about how you won’t answer her calls…like that’s somehow my fault. Then, she tells me you’ve been basically making a target of yourself and seeing that Roberts kid. Fuck, Dee, we talking about this! Don’t draw attention to yourself, don’t let anyone know. Speaking at a pro-magic event, dating the fucking poster boy for the antis? How is that laying low and helping keep your secret? Are you fucking stupid?”

“Keep it up and I’m hanging up,” I responded tightly. “My mom has no clue what she’s talking about, and neither do you.”

“Did you speak at the thing or not?”

“I helped out—behind the scenes—and when things got messed up the day, yeah, I spoke. But hardly at all. I basically welcomed people and introduced the first speaker. It’s not like I gave a big speech and came out as a magic user anything, for crying out loud.”

“It doesn’t matter!” he nearly shouted. “Just being there is too much. For fuck’s sake, Dee.” He inhaled deeply, then asked, “And Maddock Roberts?”

“What about him?”

“You’re dating him?” When I didn’t answer immediately, he plowed ahead. “Are you insane? He’s the last person you should be in the same room with, let alone date. His parents, his whole fucking family, are among the most vocal against our—”

“I don’t care. He’s not like that,” I argued.

“So he’s not leading the anti-magic rallies on campus, telling people to sign petitions to ban magic users and basically lock us up? I’ll admit, he pretties it up and tries to say it’s for our own good as much as for the general public, but come the fuck on, Dee. Tell me you’re not falling for that?”

“You don’t know him.” I said quietly.

“And you do? Does he know you? All of you. How do you think he’d react if he knew the truth about you? Do you even think of that? Or are you just blinded by how cute and how into you he is?”

“Stop it. Just…stop it.” I swiped at my stinging eyes, his words bringing all the doubts and fears I had to the forefront. “You don’t get to disappear, off doing what you’re—and I’m not so stupid I don’t know what that is—then call when summoned to try to talk some sense into poor Delia. Maddock isn’t one of the bad guys. He may not know about me, but we’ve talked about magic and what he’s believed. He may not have questioned it in the past, but he listens to me. He doesn’t just blow me off. He’s actually considering what I have to say. Even before all of that, he wasn’t hateful toward magic users.”

“You really think you’re going to sway him? That him ‘listening to you’” he repeated with a sneer, “is anything more than him trying to placate the girl he’s romancing? Come on.”

“Like I said, you don’t know him.”

“I know enough. He’s dangerous. Things are changing quickly. In a bad way. It’s going to get much worse for us before they get better. And if you think he’s is going to stand beside you when he knows what you are and when things hit the fucking fan, you’re delusional. You’re going to get your heart broken…or worse.”

“You’re exaggerating,” I said, even though I knew he wasn’t. It didn’t take a genius to realize things were bad in the world and the conflict between magic users and those who wanted them gone was escalating. All you had to do was turn on the news to see that.

“War’s coming, Dee. Doesn’t matter if we’re fighting or standing still, it’s coming. You need to surround yourself with people you trust, with people who will have your back when everything falls apart. Can you really say Maddock Roberts fits that bill?”

There was shouting in the background on his end—loud, frantic words I couldn’t quite catch—and Kyle cursed.

“I’ve got to go. Take care, Dee. I love you and I want you safe. Make the right choice before it’s too late.” A quick pause and more shouting. “And call your mom, yeah? She loves you, too, and wants the same. Remember that.”

The call cut out then, and I dropped the phone onto the bed in front of me. David stood and crossed the room to sit beside me. It was clear from his expression he knew full well the other side of the conversation had gone, even if he hadn’t heard the exact wording.

“Want to talk about it?” he asked quietly, resting his hand on my knee and squeezing.

“Not even a little. Besides,” I looked at the clock on the wall, “I need to get ready for my date.”

David smiled and, after another quick squeeze, stood and moved over to start packing up things into his backpack. I smiled, comforted by his easy acceptance. David was a magic user too. And he knew Maddock and trusted him, supported my relationship with him. All of my friends did. Even Addie, who had been hesitant and uber-distrustful to begin with.

I loved my mom, and I loved Kyle, but… I closed my eyes a moment and pictured a handsome face with piercing green eyes. I was beginning to love Maddock too, and I was pretty certain that went both ways. War coming or not—he would never hurt me.


Bronwyn Green | Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris

 

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So this week, we're talking about our writing pet peeves. What drives us up the wall when we read it. So I'm just going to jump right in.

Insta-love

This is first for a reason. I get instant attraction...find it hot to read. But as a reader, I need to be able to able to believe the main characters are falling in love. I cannot suspend belief when, within a short period of time together, they're declaring their love.

infatuated

Similarly, when the hero and heroine (or hero and hero, heroine and heroes - any variation thereof) spend most of the book apart from each other? How can I believe there's love there? And a mention of some time together "off screen" doesn't cut it. Don't tell me they bonded and are developing feelings for each other. I want to see it. That's why I read romance, FFS.


Ass Claiming - The Final Frontier
AKA If you really, really, REALLY love me
you'll let me do you up the butt

Okay, this one is...well, it's a major pet peeve of mine. MAJOR. And I've read this in so many books by different authors, and I don't know if it's how they want it to come across - My guess would be no, but it really does.

The hero and heroine are together and falling in love and things are progressing...but the hero is obsessed with getting in the heroine's backdoor. I mean, OBSESSED, thinking about it constantly, talking about it. And when she finally gives in and lets him do it...well, it's the confirmation he needs that she really, really loves him.

cake drop


Hello?

Hello
Hey, I have characters talking to themselves, muttering and the like. And anyone who knows me can tell you I totally talk to myself. However, when a character is all alone talking aloud, info-dumping all over the place.... Nuh uh.

It isn't believable and there are other ways to get that information to the reader. I guess info-dumping, in general, is a pet peeve of mine, now that I think about it. It’s lazy story-telling and having a character soliloquy-ing all over the place? It’s screams laziness.

GettheFOut


It doesn't matter that there's a gun in my face,
all I can think about is tappin' that.

Are You Sitting Me

Now, I love me a sexy story. I love a story full of tension and characters unable to keep their hands off each other. Oh yeah... BUT, as in life, there is a time and place for such things. I'll let you in on a secret - a situation fraught with danger, lives literally on the line, that sort of thing? Not the time and place to be all up in your head about how much you want to do someone. It certainly isn't the time to be copping a feel. I don't know about you, but if I have a gun all up in my face, I'm not thinking about sexy times. Even in an erotic romance, in certain scenes, SOME things take precedence over getting some.


Who the hell needs character development?

While it's last on this list, it's really high on my overall pet peeves list. Lack of character development. This can appear in a couple of ways. Either the character doesn't change or grow in any way, which is boring and unrealistic. Or the character does a complete change that doesn't make any sense whatsoever and we are supposed to just go along for the ride, even if it doesn't make sense.

I think I've seen this more with heroes, to be honest, and I don't know why that is. But a common scenario I've seen is the hero is super aggressive, gruff...kind of an A-hole to be honest. And seriously I don't have a problem with a guy bordering on A-hole-ness if there are reasons for it and we get to see him grow and change and become better. But, what usually happens is when it comes time to get to the happily ever after, suddenly he is a changed man, for the better, of course, and off into the sunset he rides with his girl or guy. We don't get to see the change, the reasons behind the change - it's just suddenly there.

rossfreakout

And there you have it, in all my judge-y glory, my top writing pet peeves. o.O Make sure you go and check out what drives the other ladies up the wall. 🙂


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa
Kayleigh Jones | Kellie St. James Kris Norris

 

5 Comments

tumblr_inline_mqq14yJrpu1qz4rgp

Saying goodbye to 2015...

Like any other year, 2015 was a mix. Good, bad, exciting, frustrating...but gonna focus on the good today, and then, gonna make 2016 even better. 🙂

JANUARY

I finished writing London Bound this month, and it was a hard won but fantastic accomplishment in my life. I was writing something I'd never written before and battling some serious self-doubt about it. Luckily, I have the best people in my life; they helped push and prod me along. And I'm so glad they did, because this is a book I'm very proud of.

FEBRUARYScreen Shot 2016-01-05 at 8.36.40 PM

This was about the time, after London Bound was completed, that Bronwyn and I first started talking about doing a series together, and the Bound series was born.

MARCHB1 - LONDON BOUND

Released London Bound. I love this book, and it was the start of the Bound series with Bronwyn. One of the best things of my 2015, IMO.

APRIL

Went home for a 2 long weekends in a row. One of the kiddos spent her spring break up there and I was transport. But it wasn't just that. Nope, I got to spend quality time with my girl, see Mom and Dad as well as my sister and her family - including meeting my newest niece - and enjoy a bit of a break from "real life". And don't get to see my parents and siblings nearly enough. So this made me very happy.

MAYIMG_4486

Attended Austin Author Affair. Had a fantastic time! Saw old friends, made some new, met some fab people. A wonderful time, despite the crazy flight delays and time spent in the airport. Mostly because I didn't mind the time in the airport since it meant more time with Bron, and we were able to do some fun planning with the Bound series.

JUNE

My oldest graduated this month. One of the proudest moments of my life - even if it makes me feel old. Add the fact my parents came into town, so it was another fantastic time with family and it was a highlight of my year.

RETREAT!!!!! This will always, always be on my Best of list for any year. Seriously. A week away with several of my favorite people in the world, relaxation, lots of writing, MONK MUFFINS (muffins made by monks that make us sing they are so good), laughing so, so much.... The only serious downside to this year was Norris wasn't able to make it, but we texted her lots, sent her selfies, and she'd better be there this year (you hear that, Norris? DO YOU??)

JULY

Shockingly, camping is on the list this year. And anyone who knows me knows me saying camping and favorites in the same post... Well, it's not likely to happen. But it did this year! We camped over fourth of July weekend with the hubs' family, celebrated my birthday, and the best part, I was able to do it with all my kids. Oldest spends his summers away working but was able to get the time off to come and see us. It was the best. 🙂

AUGUST

What is becoming a yearly tradition - I spent a week at Bron's house this summer. It was AWESOME. I was able to get a ton of writing done, made Bron ugly cry, visited with a bunch of other friends while there, wished some others were around to make it absolutely perfect, drank ciders, drooled over Colin Morgan (please, you can't be surprised), bugged Bron's family and warned them I'd be back. 🙂

IMG_0609 IMG_0612While there, I got my second tattoo (Got my first the year before when I was there - the hubs is a bit afraid THIS will become a yearly tradition 😉 ) I love it - it's the sword that's on my Albion covers. 🙂
AC 3 - EDGE OF DARKNESSReleased Edge of Darkness, book three of my Albion's Circle series. This was a helluva hard book to write and finishing and releasing it was amazing.

SEPTEMBERB4 - NOTHING SERIOUS

Released Nothing Serious, book four of the Bound series and my second contribution. This was my first MM book I released, though I've written MMF menages, had MM couples featured in books - like Albion's Circle books.

If I had to choose a favorite book/release of 2015, it would be this one. I fell in love with Jack and Aaron, and it was actually hard to write "The End" on this one. I didn't want to say goodbye.

OCTOBERScreen Shot 2016-01-05 at 6.50.35 PM
Released Tempted to Death as part of a paranormal collection, Dark Pursuit, with some pretty fabulous ladies - Kris Norris, Paige Prince and Bronwyn Green. Tempted to Death was a fun book to write, a MMF menage, which is now available as a single title release.

NOVEMBER

Okay, November was a tough month. I was sicker than sick, was having a hard time finding the ever elusive balance, and as a result, not much happened writing wise.

writingshard

But I got through it, yeah? And started my game plan for 2016. So that's a plus.

DECEMBER

I went home for Christmas. Being able to spend the holidays with my parents, my sister and her family was a fantastic way to round out the year.


Bronwyn Green |Gwendolyn Cease Jessica De La Rosa |Kayleigh Jones
Kellie St. James | Kris NorrisPaige Prince

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photopromptFirst flash fiction of 2016! Yay. Let's get to it!

01-2016 LightinForestFIRST STEP

The low murmur of conversation did nothing to ease the knot of complete and utter fear that had swelled inside Liam. It wasn’t mixed with the jittery, overwhelming surge of panic any more. That had been soothed once he’d been allowed into the room, allowed to see Adam. Though the sight added another layer to the knot choking Liam. The pale skin covered in colorful bruises, the long line of stitches at the man’s temple, the similar, yet shorter, one mending his split lip… And that didn’t even take into account the other injuries Adam has sustained while taking down their suspect. Broken ribs, dislocated shoulder, gunshot to the thigh…

Liam closed his eyes and turned away, unwilling to let the rest of Adam’s team, their friends, see just how affected he was by all of this. Hell, if Adam woke—no, no, when Adam woke—he didn’t need to be worrying about how Liam was handling the situation. That couldn’t be on his radar, at all. He needed to focus on recovering. Period.

“Hey.”

A hand settled on Liam’s shoulder and it took everything in him not to jump at the contact.

Adam’s second, Scott, moved so he could look Liam in the eye, hand still heavy, fingers twitching on Liam’s shoulder. “he’s going to be okay? Hardly the first time he’s been knocked on his ass. He always gets back up. You know how scrappy our boy is.”

“Yeah, the doc said he’s gonna be fine,” Sarah piped in from where she sat beside Adam’s bed. “Soon enough, it’s going to be complaining and whining as he waits to be field rated again. And we’ll be thinking back to this day longingly…the brief, brief glorious time he was still and silent.”

“Oh, come on, guys,” the last member of the team—the newbie—Harris, protested quietly. “That’s not—”

“‘s’okay. Le’ them ge’ their snarks in now, while they ca’.”

Liam spun around, dislodging the hold Scott had on him, at the sound of Adam’s voice—soft and slightly slurred.

“Well, welcome back,” Sarah leaned forward, laid a hand over Adam’s. “Why don’t you open those pretty green eyes, so we know you’re really awake there?”

“Don’ wanna,” he said, half whining though the corner of his mouth quirked up—followed quickly by a grimace of pain. “Jus’ leave me alone. ‘M’fine. Go wrap up your reports, yeah? Le’ me rest here. Pre’sure the docs wan’ me t’rest.”

“Just had to make sure you weren’t bailing on us,” Scott said cheerfully. “You heard him; let’s get back to work.” Then, with a light touch to one of Adam’s feet as he passed, he added softly, “Be back tonight.”

Harris followed Scott from the room after a quick murmured, “Glad you’re okay.”

Sarah rolled her eyes and rose. “Have it your way. I’ll smuggle you in some real food when we come later.”

The soft huffing laugh was Adam’s only response. Sarah shook her head, flashed a bright smile at Liam and left.

Liam stayed where he was, gaze firmly on the man in the bed, wondering if he should just slip from the room—Adam probably none the wiser that he’d even been there. No explaining why he’d dropped everything and run the moment he’d heard Adam was injured and in the hospital.

“Gonna be fine, Lee.” Adam winced as he shifted slightly and finally opened his eyes, pinning Liam with a stare that was steady as hell despite the pain killers that were swimming in his system. “Was one thing for you to stew in the guilt of it all when we were on the same team, but now? No need. Not that there was any need before…”

Liam shrugged. “First big case you’ve had since I…since I transferred. Thought I could count on them to have your back.”

Fuck, he hadn’t meant to say that. Hadn’t meant to give away one of the reasons he’d avoided moving on, career-wise, giving control of the team to Adam.

“They do have my back. Jus’ like you did. Jus’ like I had yours. Not their fault.” His tongue popped out, nudging the stitches once, twice. “Par’ of the job, Lee—the risks. You know that.”

He did. Didn’t mean he had to fucking like it. He’d hated it then, hated it now. And nothing was going to change that. Certainly not the fact they worked on different teams now—hell, different buildings, different agencies.

“Glad you’re here, though,” Adam muttered, eyes closing again. “Can’t believe I’m gonna say this, bu’ missed seeing your mug every day.”

Liam closed his own eyes, inhaling deeply. The fear was gone—well, mostly—but a knot of a different kind lodged in his throat. One he was so familiar with it was almost comforting. Almost. Lifting his lids, he just stared. For once, free to do so openly. Adam’s dark hair, normally styled within an inch of its life, was a tousled mess, falling over his forehead. And the man may be beat up, but he was still so fucking beautiful it took Liam’s breath away—another all too familiar feeling.

Adam’s tongue snuck out again, slipping over the fat lip, prodding the stitched wound.

“Stop poking at it,” Liam snapped, probably a bit too harshly, but Adam just snorted

“Can’t tell me wha’ to do. No’ the boss of me.” He lifted a brow, green eyes darkening with…something. “No’ anymore.”

Liam searched for something, anything to say—a scathing reply worthy of their normal back and forth that no one else seemed to get. The opportunity passed as the silence stretched to long and Adam’s gaze moved away, just a little bit to the left.

“That…” He squinted a moment, tilted his head to the side, which led to him pressing a hand to head, hissing in pain. “That is the most unfortunate piece of art for a hospital room. Stupid fuckers.”

Liam twisted to look at the framed print on the wall. A forest scene with rich greens and browns. Beyond a tree, a light shone brightly. It wasn’t clear what the light’s source was—that was probably up for interpretation or some bullshit, he supposed—but its rays spread outward, kissing the dirt path and leaves. Staring intently, he couldn’t figure out what about it offended Adam. But, he thought, turning back toward the hospital bed, he just had to wait it out. Adam would spill eventually, always did.

“Oh for—” Hand still pressed to the head—Liam thought maybe he should hit the call button, talk to the nurse about the obvious failure with Adam’s pain management—Adam chuckled. “Don’t you think a picture of a damn bright light is the last thing someone in the hospital should be looking at?” When Liam just frowned deeper, he let his hand drop to his lap. “Sometimes, Lee… I’ve successfully avoided going into the light so far. I don’t want it staring me down the whole time I’m awake.”

Liam looked between the picture and the other man several times. “Seriously? It bothers you that much?”

“Well, yeah. How’m I s’pose to sleep knowing that it could take me, huh?”

“You’re ridiculous,” he muttered, taking a step close to the wall and pulling the picture off the hook. Making sure Adam saw his exaggerated eye roll, he strode to the door and reached around to prop the photo against the wall outside the room. “There,” he said, moving to the side of the bed. “All safe from the big bad bright light. Idiot.”

“Thanks…boss.” He grinned, faltering a bit as he again stuck his tongue out to push at the stitches.

Liam shook his head and gave in, just a little, tapping Adam’s chin with his finger, silently telling the other man to leave them alone. “Not your boss anymore,” he reminded. “We’re…we’re equals now, Adam.”

He cursed the questioning tone in his voice, heart hammering as Adam held his gaze, assessing even as it was clear he was struggling to stay awake. Liam wondered if he’d mis-stepped, but the strange, yet exciting, dance they’d been engaged in for years had changed dramatically the moment he accepted his current position and left the team. Even though he’d done it in part to open up the possibility of building on this thing between them, he hadn’t been sure footed since. The rules before—those he had understood, had stood behind even when it’d been difficult and maddening. But now? What if he’d been wrong? What if this thing wasn’t actually a thing? What if—

“I never minded you being the boss, but,” Adam drew in a shaky breath, “I like this better.”

“Yeah?” he said, sitting in the chair Sarah had vacated earlier.

“Yeah, I really do.” He swallowed audibly, and his eyes drifted closed. A few moments passed, then he jolted, a pained cry falling from his battered mouth as his eyes darted around. “Lee?”

“Hey, hey,” he soothed, hands gently easing the other man back down onto the pillow. He didn’t pull away this time—like he would have in the past—and slid his hand into Adam’s thick hair, careful of the bumps and cuts. “Just rest. I’m here. Not going anywhere.”

“Bu’ work?”

“Not going anywhere,” he repeated firmly then, knowing the way Adam worried, added, “Called in, took care of it.”

Adam turned his head, nose nudging the sensitive skin of Liam’s inner wrist. “Good. No one else I wan’ to see when I wake up?”

Throat tight, hope higher than he’d ever felt it, Liam managed, “Yeah?”

“Mm hmmm.” Adam’s eyes opened, half-mast, and his lips twitched. “S’cause you’re so pretty.”

“Oh, fuck off.” Liam snorted then leaned over to press a kiss to Adam’s cheek. “Get some rest.”

Adam huffed and once again pressed the tip of his tongue against his fat lip before muttering, “Better fucking heal quick.”

“Yeah? Why’s that?”

“After all these years, ya really think a freakin’ kiss on th’ cheek is anywhere close t’enough?”


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa
Kayleigh JonesKris Norris | Paige Prince

 

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songprompt3

 This month's song is "Iowa" by Dar Williams. You can have a listen here:

For this prompt, I again went into the world of my serial.

For those interested, here are links for the other flash fiction peices that are kinda connected/set in that world:

The Lies Begin
Lying in Wait
Lying to Myself
The Lies We Tell

And the link to the chapters of the serial: Your Lies


This story isn't about the hero or heroine of the serial but a follow up - from another POV - to a flash fiction peice I did in that world.

Awakening

The lyrics:
How I long to fall just a little bit
To dance out of the lines and stray from the light
But I fear that to fall in love with you
Is to fall from a great and gruesome height
prompted this month's song fic... "Falling"

This flash fiction has explicit descriptions. Not a ton but more so than any of the others have. You've been warned. 🙂


I sat on the top of the picnic table, doing everything I could not to look over at the group of guys laughing and throwing a football around.

“Some senior trip, eh?” Sofie nudged my side then dropped her head on my shoulder.

“Wasn’t too bad until the bus crapped out,” I said quietly.

“Even being stuck rooming with him the whole time?”

I fought not to cringe. “He’s not a bad person, Sof.” And did cringe, then, at the automatic defense.

“He’s a jerk,” she muttered as she straightened. “Totally strings you along, then suddenly acts like you don’t exist? Stands by and does nothing while his stupid friends treat you and everyone else like shit? The old saying—you know person by looking at their friends or whatever? So true.”

“He’s not—” I snapped my mouth shut and took a deep breath.

“I know what you’re going to say,” she said quickly.

I snorted. She should know what I was going to say because this wasn’t the first time we’d had this conversation.

“What he and his family went through…” She shook her head. “When his sister died, I could excuse a whole lot of his shit toward you, toward everyone. But it’s been a year, and no amount of grief excuses—”

“Stop. Just…stop. It doesn’t matter. He’s made it clear he doesn’t want anything to do with me, and I’m done dwelling on it. Have been for a long time.”

“Would be easier to believe that if you didn’t have sad, crumbling hearts in your eyes whenever you look at him.”

I was saved from having to answer when one of the chaperones approached us. From the corner of my eye I saw another walk up to the group on the grass, calling out for them to gather around.

“They’re sending a new bus,” the woman said cheerfully. “But as it’s so late, it won’t be here until morning. We’ll be staying here.” She gestured at the motel behind her. “We’ll have room assignments soon, same roommate pairs.”

My gaze flicked over before I could stop myself and met his intense stare. It didn’t last long—just enough to have my stomach jumping—before he turned away and went back to playing with his friends.

“It’ll be okay,” Sofie murmured, snaking an arm around my waist and leaning into me. “It’s just one more night, right?”

Yeah, just one more night… No big deal.

* * * *

I didn’t look up when the door to the room opened then banged shut. I flicked my finger along the screen of my phone, watching gems explode, even as my body tensed at his presence. He cleared his throat.

“Um, we’re supposed to meet at the diner in half an hour for dinner.”

My jaw ached as I clenched it but kept playing the game, telling myself his voice had no effect on me. That he had no effect on me, anymore.

“Are you just going to ignore me?”

A shiver skated up my spine at the roughly snapped question. Yeah, I was never really any good at lying to myself. Not for the first time, I wished I could go back in time and never met him. Never felt anything for him, only to have those feelings stomped on, again and again. Well, at least after graduation, I wouldn’t have to see him every day. That was something.

I tossed the phone on the mattress beside me and stood, walking toward the bathroom without looking at him. He stepped forward and grabbed my upper arm. I jerked out of his grasp and shoved against his shoulder.

“Don’t touch me.”

His eyes widened, and he gaped at me. After a moment, he shook his head. “What is your problem?”

My problem? Are you fucking kidding me?” I muttered and started to turn—only to be stopped by his hand on my arm again. I froze. “I said don’t touch me.”

“Seriously, what—”

I spun around and, slamming my hands against his chest, backed him up against the wall. “You don’t get to do this. Change things again. Leave me alone. Don’t talk to me. Don’t touch me. You’ve been doing really, really well with that until now.”

His heart pounded beneath my palms, and he studied me intently, brow furrowed. I didn’t want to see the pain and uncertainty in his eyes, the way his bottom lip trembled just a bit before he pressed his mouth closed. While I didn’t paint him as the villain as Sofie did—she claimed it was her right as my best friend—I couldn’t deny the anger I felt for him, simmering under the hurt. And I had to hold on to that anger and remember how fucking awful the last year had been, because I couldn’t let myself fall for him again. It would destroy me, that long and ultimately gruesome fall. I don’t know that I could survive that.

“Go back to your asshole friends and pretending I don’t exist,” I practically begged.

“I don’t pretend you don’t exist,” he argued.

“That’s right.” I pressed closer, got right in his face. “You look right at me while they shove me around, call me a fag and threaten worse.”

“I hate that they—”

“Shut up,” I snapped. “You don’t get to hate it. You don’t get to—”

His hand on the back of my neck and his lips against mine cut off my words, my thoughts, my sanity. His fingers slid into my hair, nails scrapping my scalp, and I groaned. Wrenching away, breath quick, I frowned at him.

“What are you doing?”

“What I want to do every fucking day,” he bit out, “but can’t.”

He used his hold on me to reverse our positions. Back to the wall, I held his gaze, waiting—waiting for him to explain, to make sense of all of this, of the last year.

“I hate it,” he whispered. “Hate seeing you, wanting you and knowing I can’t have you.”

“Why? Why can’t you? What changed?” Shit, how could I ask that? Even if I didn’t understand it, I knew what changed.

“Everything.”

He took my mouth again and pressed close. The drag of his cock against mine, even with the layers, had me canting my hips forward, desperate for more. I couldn’t stop, even though everything in my head was screaming at me to push him away, save myself the pain. But every slick glide of his lips and tongue, every touch, every movement of our bodies muzzled those thoughts, drove them out until there was only him.

He murmured my name against my lips, breath hitching as we ground against each other frantically. I squeezed my eyes shut and held on tightly to his shoulders. His hands slide down to cup my ass as his movements quickened. My head thudded against the wall, and immediately, he dropped his head to mouth at my throat.

It didn’t last long—how could it? I’d wanted this for so long, and even if this was just complicating things impossibly, my body didn’t give a shit. A low groan rumbling in his chest, he bit down just above my collarbone as his body stiffened. I could feel his cock pulsing against mine, and that was all it took to push me over.

We didn’t move right away, just stay wrapped around each other against the wall—breathing heaving with come in our pants.

Then, he pressed a kiss against my neck and whispered, lips tickling, “I’m sorry.”

I kept my eyes closed a moment longer, determinedly ignoring the stinging behind the lids. Sliding my palms down to his chest, I pushed firmly until he stepped back. His eyes were red-rimmed and glistening. He wet his swollen lips and opened his mouth to speak. I didn’t give him a chance.

“Nothing’s changed, has it?” I demanded. “We’re going to walk out that door and it’ll be like this never even happened. We just, what? Forget?”

“I’m sorry,” he said again. “I wish—”

“Don’t.” I held my hand up then sidestepped to get away from him. God, I had to get away from him.

“Please.” He reached for me but I moved quickly enough to avoid it. “Nothing’s changed—it can’t—but…but I won’t forget this.”

“Well, I’m going to do everything I can to try to. Fuck you for jerking me around, again. Fuck me for letting you.”

“I’m sor—”

“Stop saying you’re sorry!” I yelled, stepping back into the bathroom. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I lowered my voice and added, “Just be gone when I come out. And I’ll…I’ll figure out somewhere else to sleep.”

“You don’t need to do that,” he protested. “I don’t have a problem being here with you.”

“I do.” I slammed the door, shutting out the way he jerked back as if struck and the hurt expression on his face.

Leaning my forehead against the wood separating us, I took several deep breaths, trying to still the quivers wracking my body. Nothing had changed, I told myself. This meant nothing. I’d forget about it and keep on going as I had been. And escape it all when I left in the fall. And this would mean nothing.

Damn, I really wished I was better at lying to myself.

 


Bronwyn Green | Kayleigh Jones

 

2 Comments

So, this week, we're talking about our first manuscripts - the mistakes, how we've changed as writers since writing them...

The first book I wrote was The Boy Next Door. I'll be honest, it's been a LONG time since I'd even looked at that book. I was a bit nervous to get into it, knowing I'd see things that I would do differently now. I'm definitely a different writer than I was back then.

When I reread it, I was pleasantly surprised. I knew I still loved the story itself. It's friends to lovers, which is one of my all-times fave tropes in romance. I ADORE IT. I still enjoyed the hero and heroine - Mac and Darcy. They were fun characters to write and fun to revisit.

The things I'd change?

Dialogue - It didn't feel as natural to me as in more current books. I'd definitely do that differently. I'm fairly picky about dialogue and try to make it sound as natural as possible. I'm always reading stuff aloud, seeing how it sounds, and I didn't do that back then.

Point-of-view shifts - While I didn't head hop (going in and out of characters' POVs willy nilly) exactly, I did go back and forth way too often in the sex scenes. It didn't read smoothly to me now.

The sex scenes - They were all right, but it was the first time I'd written explicit sex. Remember, that was a time in my life that if you'd have told me I'd be writing BDSM, MM or menage, I'd have laughed and said no way. I enjoyed reading those things but didn't think I had it in me to write them myself. Imagine my surprise...jazzhands

...I've written all those things and continue to...so that is definitely an area of growth for me since then. And I'm soooo happy about that. 🙂 So yeah, I think the sex scenes could be...more in The Boy Next Door. LOL

Flat characters - Not the main characters, but some of the secondary characters could have been fleshed out, more well-rounded. Particularly Darcy's mother. I cringed when I read scenes with her, because very flat, one-note character, and I could certainly do better.

Those are the big things. The Boy Next Door would be a different book if I wrote it today, for sure. Though, for where I was, at the time, it's pretty solid, I think.


 

Bronwyn Green | Gwenyolyn CeaseJessica De La Rosa
Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris