Wednesday Randomness: First Meeting

This is a new feature we’ll be doing a couple times through the year – highlighting characters sharing firsts. We can post something from an already published work, a work in progress or something completely new. This time, we’re talking first meetings.

I decided to share the first time Grace met Noah and Ethan in Santuary.

This new world is full of risks, but which is greater…being alone or trusting others?

For Grace Summers, life after the super solar flare and deadly viral outbreak can be summed up in one word. Alone. Having lost everyone she loved, Grace travels on foot to her family’s remote hunting cabin, where her father had stockpiled food and supplies for this type of situation.

Along the way, she meets Noah Hill and Ethan Erikson, a couple traveling the same direction. Grace struggles with her attraction to the pair until they make it clear they are just as interested in her.

With Noah and Ethan, Grace is no longer alone, but can she bring herself to trust them in this new world where everyone is just trying to survive no matter the cost?


The sound of Callie’s growling jolted Grace upright from where she’d slumped farther against the tree trunk. She gripped the rifle and jumped to her feet, even before her eyes were fully open. Bringing the gun up snugly against her shoulder, she scanned her surroundings to find what had Callie sounding the alarm. She didn’t have to look far.

Her heartbeat sped and her breathing stuttered when her gaze landed on two men standing no more than twenty feet away.

“Whoa.” The taller of the two stepped forward, palms out in a peaceful gesture. He stopped in his tracks when Callie let out another low, menacing growl and moved in front of Grace. “Wanna call off the hound?”

“Wanna keep moving?” she returned.

“Not really,” the other man snapped.

“Let me rephrase.” She shifted slightly until the rifle was leveled directly at him. “Keep moving.”

“We’re not looking to cause any trouble,” the first man assured. “I’m Noah; this is Ethan. We’re just passing through, looking for a place to catch a few winks before moving on.” He gestured around. “There’s plenty of room, and we’ll share.” He pointed back at his partner, who sighed and lifted a hand. Four good-sized fish dangled from a line held between his fingers.

“Not interested.” Grace widened her stance and waited. The last thing she needed was two strange men hanging around. She wasn’t going to feel guilty about sending them on their way into the night. Honestly, if they couldn’t understand why a lone woman wouldn’t want two strange men hanging around, they were idiots.

“God, enough.” Ethan stepped forward. “You have no claim on the place. It’s late and dark; I’m tired and fucking hungry. If you don’t like it, you can move on.”

“Ethan,” the other man admonished. “There’s no need—”

“Hey,” Grace interrupted, exasperation edging out the panic. “Last I checked, I’m the one holding the gun, so I’m sure as hell not going anywhere.”

“Look, sweetheart—”

“I’m not your sweetheart!” she snapped. “Do you always make everything so damned difficult? I was here first, and I don’t make camp with men I don’t know.” For good reason. She shook her head slightly and tried to push thoughts of her last, and only, encounter with another person on this journey. Her stomach roiled, and her dinner threatened to make a reappearance.

Ethan let out an annoyed huff of breath, and Noah moved closer to him. Grace watched as he ran his palm down Ethan’s arm then wrapped his fingers around the other man’s hand. Ethan turned his head, and the men exchanged a long look before responding.

“And that’s completely understandable. Smart,” Noah said “But it’s late, dark; we aren’t going to be able to get much farther in any case. We just want to eat, sleep, and, in the morning, we’ll be on our way. How can we make that happen? What can we do to ease your mind?”

Grace’s gaze drifted back to their linked hands, where Noah’s thumb slowly rubbed the back of Ethan’s hand. She tightened her grip on the rifle and inhaled a shaky breath.

“You’re lovers?” she blurted, jerking her head back to look at their faces.


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

Wednesday Randomness: Look Back at 2017 & Goals for 2018

I’m happy to see the end of 2018. It wasn’t the worst or anything, just a year full of…growing pains, I suppose. I spent much of the year learning things about my health and things I needed to do and all that jazz – which I will not go into detail about, because no one needs that. LOL

Writing definitely took a backseat to all of that. Not something I can or even would change, because it was important for me to go through, and there were lots of important things I needed to learn and change. And I’m sure that there will be more of that in the future but I feel as though I have a firmer grip on things and I can move forward now.

So, basically, I’m not going to bemoan all the things I didn’t do in 2018. I’m going to chalk it up to learning and getting my head on straight with things, and call it good.

Toward the end of 2018, I started writing regularly again (before the craziness of the holidays started), so that is what I want to focus on as we start the new year. I’m keeping my goals simple to start with, and I’m going to revisit them several times through the year. I’m just focusing on writing-related goals for this post.

  1. Write regularly – as near to daily as possible, even if it’s only 100 words.
  2. Re-release the contemporary novels and the paranormal novels I’ve gotten the rights back for.
  3. Write and release two Bound books.
  4. Complete and release Albion’s Circle.

Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris

Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Things I Want But Don’t Need

I’m still pretty under the weather, but I said I was going to blog this week, so darn it, I’m gonna. 🙂 I don’t know that I can come up with ten things, to be honest, but I’ll give it a wack.

I don’t NEED it, but man I want it. And love it. 🙂

Never enough washi…Yeah I have a problem.

Yes, yes, YES! 🙂

Another trip to the UK and Ireland. I mean, I’d argue that I need it but apparently I won’t die withough it…whatever.

And that’s it from Sick!Jess because my brain is seriously offline. But tell me what you want that you don’t necessarily need. Then, make sure to head over to Bron’s blog to see what she came up with for this Top 10.

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #35

It’s our final Promptly Penned of the year, and I have been waiting for this one for soooooo long. From the very beginning, this one sparked an idea for Bron and me. We have plans for some connected Bound books—written separately but connected and happening concurrently—and this prompt… Well, it brought forth two guys that I fell in love with from word one. So, our posts are similar but from differering POVs, giving you a taste of two heroes you’ll be seeing from us in the future.

The prompt will be in bold within the story.


Sam cursed under his breath—again—as he stumbled over his own freaking feet—again—and wondered—yes, AGAIN—why he wasn’t buried beneath the warm duvet, unconscious and blissfully thought-free.

But no. Instead of that wonderful escape from reality, he was up at the ass-crack of dawn, tripping like a drunk duck behind his older brother on a trail that clearly led to nowhere. And, because he’d woken late, he hadn’t even had a single cup of coffee. Seriously, up before the damned sun, and Ollie was bitching about being late. Late to where, exactly, Sam wanted to know. It wasn’t like the blasted hill beneath their feet gave a damn that they were treading upon it fifteen minutes later. At least then he’d be clear headed.

He tripped, yet again again—didn’t they have people clearing rocks off the trail? Fucking dangerous is what this was. This…this was not what he’d signed up for. Though, Ollie… Sam sighed, and a small smile curved his lips. Ollie was probably soaking it all up, getting almost high on freaking nature. This was his idea of heaven, no doubt.

Not for Sam. No, give him cities, night-life, clubs, a coffee shop on every corner, a nice enthusiastic fuck to— Nope, not thinking about that. No thinking of fucks, Samuel, enthusiastic or otherwise.

Of course, trying not to think of it…sure fire way to zero his thoughts on the very thing he wished would stay hidden behind the exhausted, hangover fog he’d been swimming in since falling out of bed.

Last night.

Which, he granted, had been rather enthusiastic. But it hadn’t been his finest hour. He grimaced—not that he’d lasted remotely that long. God, the guy had been so freaking pretty, too. Right down to his thick, flushed co— Sam grunted as he walked right into Ollie, nearly falling back on his ass.

“What’d you stop for?” he snapped.

Oliver turned, brows lifted. “I’m just enjoying how fucking gorgeous this is. I mean, look at this place.”

“I’ve been looking.” Sam gestured around them…at all the nothing. “Not a goddamn coffee shop anywhere.”

Oliver rolled his eyes and started walking again. “Being away from a city and all its conveniences isn’t going to kill you.”

Sam snorted and followed. “You don’t know that!”

“Rough night, I take it?”

Sam inhaled deeply through his nose, teeth grinding at the cheerful, amused tone. He liked his brother. Scratch that, he adored the hell out of him, but aside from their shared features, the two men had very little in common. Sam spent most of his life sincerely believing he’d been adopted. Some days, like today, he still clung to that theory as the only explanation for being in a family who thought outdoorsy shit was fun. Sam appreciated nature as much as the next person, he really did. He just didn’t need to be in it.

“My night was just fine, thank you very much.” Keep telling yourself that, Sammy-boy. It’s the morning I’m having trouble with.” He panted, curses bursting from his lips, as he righted himself, yet again, toes throbbing from where he’d kicked a large rock. “And what the hell is wrong with you that this is your idea of a good time?!”

“This is a great time. And besides, I did the London pub crawl with you when we first got here.”

“Um, excuse me, but that pub crawl was steeped in…in culture and history and shit! We drank at pubs that had been there for centuries. Can’t do that back home. We have trails and dirt and…and fucking rocks,” he kicked another out of his way half-heartedly, “at home, Ollie! And you’re missing the biggest draw of all, brother—there was beer at the pub crawl. There’s no beer here, Ollie. None. There is zero beer.”

He knows he’s ranting, but what choice did he have, really? It was the ultimate distraction from things he’d rather not think about—it’s what he did, always. Not that his torrent of words was in any way stopping the humiliating little movie in his head of the night before. Nothing like acting like a fumbling teenager, from start to, God help him, premature finish, to cut a man down to size.

He lifted his gaze and stared at his brother’s back, happy to see the relaxed movements and the absence of tension in his shoulders. Of course Sam also used his ranting to distract others, too. And after everything that had happened before they’d come here, Ollie was much more deserving of a distraction than Sam was. His brother had been gutted by his break up with Gina. Not that he should still be that cheating bitch. Sam hadn’t been lying when he’d confronted her—if she hadn’t come clean about her fucking around, he would have laid it out for Ollie. He’d have hated every second of it, but no way in hell was he going to let his brother waste any more of his life on that woman.

Sam’s drunken pursuit of cock that ended in embarrassment didn’t rate high at all in the grand scheme of things. And hey, at least he still had dick-twitching memories of Mr. Pretty Boy. He was sure he’d pull those up front and center when jacking off in the future. Once the sting of said memories faded.

Ollie snorted and paused at the top of the hill to look back. “When we get back, I’ll buy you a pint at that pub down the street from Gram’s.”

Before he can respond, he stumbles again. And fine…just fine. He gets it—the universe hates him. He drops to his knees in the grass framing the narrow trail, flips over and starfishes on his back, staring at the lightening sky. “No need to bother, dear brother… This is my life now. I have climbed this hill, and now, I will die upon it.”

Oliver suddenly towered over him, unsuccessfully fighting a grin. He nudged Sam’s hip with his foot. “Shut up. We’ve only been hiking for twenty minutes.”

With a groan, Sam started to sit up, only to collapse again, spreading out even farther, bumping in to Ollie’s legs.

“Could you be more dramatic?” Oliver asked, nudging him again.

Oh, he did not just… Clenching his fists, Sam arched back, opened his mouth, and wailed wordlessly at all the stupid, stupid nature around them…that he would endure any time he had to because it made his brother so stupidly happy.

“That wasn’t a challenge!”


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease

Promptly Penned #34

It’s time for another Promptly Penned post. We’re all given the same prompt and see where it takes us. This week is a bit short and sweet and, dare I say, kinda fluffy (well, much fluffier than I could have done with this prompt LOL). Because that’s exactly what I needed, right now. 🙂 The prompt itself is in bold in the post.

“For God’s sake!” I shoved at his shoulder then, turning away from him, put distance between us. “I’m trying to have a conversation with you!”

“And I’m trying to subtly avoid it!” he shot back, amusement coloring his voice, like he was holding back laughter.

“Ass,” I muttered. “This is important to me, you know, and we have to talk about it eventually.”

“Didn’t think there was anything to discuss, really.”

I jerked away when he touched my arm, and his answering chuckle made my blood boil.

“Nothing to discuss? I don’t know why I even bother anymo—”

My words morphed into a startled yelp as he grabbed hold of me and hauled me back across the mattress. He wasted no time in getting me on my back and pinning me down. I narrowed my eyes at his stupid laughing face. Before I could say anything, his expression softened.

“Babe,” he sighed. “There’s nothing to discuss, because you’re not going anywhere. Of course I’m introducing you to my parents when they come for the holidays. I’m not hiding what we have. You’re not my dirty little secret, not ever.” He dropped a fast hard kiss on my mouth. “And you bother because you love me.”

I rolled my eyes at his exaggerated drawl but brought my arms around him, unable to hold back the low moan as he dragged his lips along my jaw.

“And I love you. Now,” he breathed the words against my arched neck, “let me show you how much. No more talk tonight, yeah?”

I made a small sound in the back of my throat. Not exactly a sound of agreement but close enough. Of course there was still loads to talk about. His parents were coming to visit. and they didn’t know about us yet. Didn’t know I was now officially living in their son’s house…where they would be staying for a full week.

I let out a shuddered breath as he kneed my legs apart and settled heavily between them, pressing me delciously into the bed. Tomorrow… Tomorrow was soon enough to talk about all that. And I could admit, even if just to myself, I didn’t exactly mind his method of avoidance.


Bronwyn Green | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: Wordless Wednesday

Or not so wordless

 

 

 

 

Working on a cowl and messy bun hat for my daughter for Christmas.

 

 

My daugher, her guy and their dog on Halloween. (The dog’s name is Marshmallow LOL)

 

 

 

 

The weird stuff I find when searching pinterest. I can say, when I searched natural beauty products, weed lube didn’t even enter my mind…

 

 

 

 

What my week has been like. Seriously.

 

 

 

On an important note, everyone in the house who could went and voted today.


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness – Top 10 Fairytales

This post actually isn’t going to be a Top 10 from me. I love fairytales…mostly the more recent Disney-fied versions because the originals are gruesome. LOL But it is the night before the blog post is going live, it’s been a hellish day, and I’m fighting a migraine. So, I’m going to share my favorite fairytale and go to bed.

#CurrentMood


Bronwyn Green

Wednesday Randomness: October 2018 Brain Dump

Time for a brain dump!

Mostly, what’s on my mind, right now, is writing. Which is a good thing. LOL I’m actually writing regularly and making good progress on the book I’m working on. Quite a change for me. I actually feel like I’m a writer, again. And frankly, it had been feeling a bit like this when it came to writing:

But no more! Some of it is due to the fact I’ve been a bit more…hmm, assertive when it come to claiming my time for writing. 

That’s always been a challenge for me, I’ll admit. I always tended to put everyone else’s stuff ahead of mine. Granted, I still do that – hard to change a life’s worth of habit in a short time – but I’m getting better.

I’ve been thinking a lot about our dog, Sascha. She died a little over a week ago, and it’s been rough. She passed in her sleep peacefully, and I’m grateful for that. We’re all doing okay, but it’ll hit me at the strangest times. Like, the other night, I started to call for her to let her out one more time before I went to bed. Then, promptly started crying. Here she is, where she was happiest…in a hole she just dug LOL 

Other than that, it’s been pretty standard here at Chez Jarman. Work, school for the kiddos, trying to make the house not look like a bomb went off in it, getting to laundry often enough that everyone has clean stuff to wear… Yeah, the usual. 😀


Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness – If I Could Win a Lifetime Supply of Anything…

Today’s topic: If you could win a lifetime supply of anything, what would you choose and why?

This was easy. Patience. I need more of it, and never have enough. If I could have a lifetime supply, I wouldn’t spend most days like this:


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Paige Prince

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #33

It’s time for another Promptly Penned post. We’re all given the same prompt and see where it takes us. The prompt itself is in CAPS in the post.

Closing my eyes, I braced my hands on the edge of the sink and dropped my head down. Everything hurt, I had blood everywhere – could still feel some dripping down my face – and it was taking everything in me not to puke my guts out. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Tonight had not gone as planned.

Plan? What plan? You had no plan!

Christ, I was hearing James’ damned voice in my head, now. I supposed it was appropriate since he hadn’t said a damned word since we’d gotten home. The silence was deafening, and apparently, my brain was going to make up for that.

“Hey.”

Yelping, I straightened, and immediately stumbled backwards. Would have ended up on my ass or cracking my head off the tub if James hadn’t stepped forward and steadied me.

“Sorry,” he murmured.

“Not your fault. Didn’t hear you come in.”

“Obviously.”

Narrowing my eyes at the dry drawl, I met his gaze in the mirror. “You need something?”

He stared for a good long minute or two then, reaching around me, he pulled open one of the cabinet drawers and withdrew the first aid kit. He motioned with his free hand. “Sit.”

Still watching him warily, I sat on the closed toilet as he opened the kit and began setting out supplies. He then grabbed a couple washclothes from the other drawer and wet them. As he was doing this, he caught my eye in the mirror.

“ALL THAT BLOOD LOOKS GOOD ON YOU, babe. IT REALLY BRINGS OUT YOUR EYES.”

“Smart ass,” I murmured.

He was trying to downplay everything, make me laugh – I knew that. But I wasn’t listening to his words, now. Because the slight catch of his voice, the stiffness in his posture, the tightness around his eyes were all telling another story.

He was freaked out.

A look I rarely saw on the man.

Shit.

When he turned toward me and lifted the washcloth, I caught his wrist. “I’m okay. I promise, I’m okay.”

He jerked out of my grasp and took a step back. Pressing his lips together, he closed his eyes. His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed audibly before taking several slow, deep breaths.

Then, those clear blue eyes were on me, bright and almost wild. “Well, I’m not.”

“Wha–” I cleared my throat as fear jumpstarted my heart and froze my skin with an instant prickling sweat. “What’s wrong?”

“If you’re going to keep ignoring everyone’s advice and feedback and keep doing shit on your own, I can’t…” He gestured between us. “I can’t do this.”

My mouth went dry. “Don’t…don’t say that.”

“I’ll still be here,” he said stiffly. “I said I’d help, and I will. I will always help protect you. But I can’t–” He broke off, mouth snapping shut.

Blood rushed in my ears, and I actually started to shake. If freaked out was a rare look for James, this – damp eyes, muscle twitching in his cheek from clenching his jaw, hands fisted at this sides and his posture no longer stiff, but…defeated – this was even rarer…and infinitely more unnerving.

“When I caught up to you,” he continued, voice quiet and rough, “you were on the ground, covered in blood and not moving. I thought you were dead… All because you’re too damned impulsive and believe invincible – and fuck if your friends will tell you otherwise because they’re under the same fucking misconception.”

“James, I’m sorry.”

“I know, but sorry isn’t going to save your life the next time. I know how important what you’re doing is to you. I get it, but you’re more important. Don’t you understand that?” He stepped forward and cupped my face, his hands cold and trembling. “You are more important. Losing you is going to destroy me.”

“You’re saying it like it’s a given, but it’s not,” I said quickly, desperately. “And, if you’re really staying, no matter what, I don’t see how not being with me would make it easier if something were to happen to me. It’s not like our relationship, or rather lack of, is suddenly going to wipe away the feelings you have.”

“It’s a given if you keep doing what you’re doing,” he countered then sighed, thumb skimming along my lower lip. “Nothing is going to wipe away my feelings for you, but I can distance myself, try to protect myself for the inevitable.”

I shook my head. “So, are you breaking up with me?”

“Are you going to admit you’re important, and start acting like it?”

“That sounds like emotional blackmail.” I stood, crowding into his space and settling my hands on his hips, and his fingers twitched against my face. Panic was still kicking my ass, but relief was quickly pushing it out. If we were done, he’d outright say it.

“Babe,” the corner of his mouth quirked up, even though his voice was still raspy with emotion, “I’m a thief, a criminal, and you’re surprised over a wee bit of emotional blackmail?”

I pressed even closer and rested my forehead on his shoulder. His arms came around me fully, and my chest ached as I heard him sniff. “Not really blackmail, just honesty…but still brutal.”

His embrace tightened momentarily before he let go. “We need to get you cleaned up.”


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Siobhan Muir