February 2019 Monthly Check-in

How we are at the end of February, I do not know. This month has FLOWN by ridiculously fast. So, here is my check-in… Starting with a look at what goals I made at the end of January.

  • Daily writing. 100 words minimum – I did do this and am super proud of myself and very, very happy.
  • Complete Stealing Time – Not quite, which is a shame, but I’ve made steady progress and will have it finished very soon, and it will release in March.
  • All scheduled blog posts – OMG so, so close. I missed one! *sigh* Shame on me.
  • Complete all day-job tasks before the 13th – Came close to this one, too. Ended up having to finish an edit on the 14th, but it was just a little bit to go, so I’m not kicking myself over that one.
  • Continue making self-care a priority – Definitely have done this. And honestly, it’s the reason I closely missed some of the other goals by such a fine margin. I chose to listen to my body and do what was best, instead of pushing myself into a flare or sickness, which this girl does NOT need.
  • Finish friends’ Christmas gifts before the 13th. LOL – Yeah, this was one I just removed from my goals list pretty early on. After a couple rough weeks, weatherwise, when EVERYONE was at home because it was too dangerous to go to school or work, I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to do this one. It’s cool, though; my friends are totally okay with getting Christmas pressies in June when I see them next. 😀
  • Enjoy the time away from “real life” at the end of the month, so I can come home refreshed and ready to jump back into it – OMG, yes, yes, yes, to this one. Two weeks away was just what I needed to relax and enjoy myself and spend time with friends and write. I’m actually enjoying my last evening at Bronwyn’s as I type this. I’m sad to be leaving, but at the same time, I miss my family. I’m so excited to see them tomorrow night. And I do feel like this time has refreshed me and I can hit “real life” running…okay, at least a fast walk, anyway.

And those goals I didn’t quite make? I feel like I’ve evened that out with the extra things I accomplished this month. I’ve gotten all my books uploaded to Eden Books – in time for their opening, this week. Super excited about that. I helped Bronwyn get her computer organized. The first day I was here, I nearly had a stroke when I saw the state of her laptop desktop and her files. So, I ever so gently guided her, and now, her files are purged and organized. Her desktop is clean and uncluttered. It’s like heaven. (I may have been super dramatic and heavy-handed…but it was for her own good!!)

Looking forward to March:

  • Write daily. I’m bumping my daily minimum from 100 to 250 words.
  • Complete and publish Stealing Time.
  • Work on co-writing holiday Bound story with Bronwyn.
  • All scheduled blog posts.
  • Re-release the five contemporary books I’ve gotten the rights back for.
  • Be more active on social media.
  • Continue to make self-care a priority.

And that’s it’s for me. Make sure you check out how Bronwyn did this month and what she’s aiming for in March.

Wednesday Randomness: Promptly Penned #37


It’s time for a Promptly Penned post – we all get the same prompt and see what we come up with. As always, the prompt itself will be in bold.


“So, performance reviews this week.”

Molly looked up as Leah, her friend and coworker, set two cups of coffee on the desk then flopped into the chair on the other side.

Dread settled heavily in Molly’s stomach, and she grimaced. “God, don’t remind me.”

“Don’t know what you’re worried about.” Leah waved a hand in front of her. “You seriously don’t think you’re going to get a bad one, are you?”

Lifting a shoulder, Molly dropped her gaze. She wasn’t worried about that—she was good at her job, and she knew it. It was just…awkward and humiliating.

“I…” She cleared her throat, face already flaming. “I had the dream, again.”

“What do— Oh! The dream!”

She rolled her eyes. “Yes The. Dream.”

“Well, what’s the problem, Mol? It’s not like you can control what you dream.”

“I know! You think, if I could, I would be dreaming that?” She dragged her palms over her face then leaned her head back against her chair, eyes closed. “For fuck’s sake, I don’t even like him!”

“Don’t have to like him to appreciate, my friend. And there is plenty to appreciate,” Leah drawled.

“Easy for you to say. You’re not having recurrent sex dreams about our boss then having to face him day in and day out. Come on, give me some real, serious advice how to de—” Her words dried up when she opened her eyes and caught a pair of amused chocolate-brown ones focused on her. Oh no…no, no, no. This couldn’t be happening.

“Ms. Halwell, my office in ten. Performance review.”

She nodded, still unable to speak, gaze shifting to her wide-eyed friend.

“Looking forward to it.”

The deep, gravelly murmur—eerily similar to the voice that echoed in her mind long after she woke—chased a shiver down her spine. She was so, so screwed.


Bronwyn Green | Kris Norris

February 2019 – Photo Fic

We’ve all be given the same photo and have to come up with a story based on the image. It’s always fun to see what everyone comes up with. 🙂

I’ve delved into the world of my (horribly neglected) serial, Your Lies. It isn’t about any of the main characters – just set in the same world.

Cora Hale stared at her reflection, ignoring her family’s voices behind her. This was the last place she wanted to be, but she didn’t have a choice.

She never had a choice.

It was just a fact of life, and she’d accept it.

“Cora.”

She jolted at her father’s voice and turned quickly.

“Come on,” he said, gesturing for her to join the rest of the family.

She nodded and crossed the room, stopping next to the couch her mother and two sisters sat on, waiting for instructions. They were having a family portrait done—immortalizing the perfect family before they sent her away. For her own good, they said. She’d get help with her “problem” then come back home, they claimed.

But she knew better.

She was getting locked up and was never going to be free, again. All because of her dreams. Dreams that came true. Something she had no control of.

She bit back a snort. When had she ever had control of anything? When had she ever really been free? She was getting sent away, but it was really just going from one prison to another.

“She’ll stand here,” her father said, waving away the photographer who had stepped forward with a murmured suggestion on positioning.

Ah, yes, standing to the side while the rest of the family sat together. Wouldn’t want anyone to think you were too close to the daughter who had magic—not that anyone knew, but just in case it ever got out. That was her father, always thinking ahead, protecting the family image. His image.

“All right, everyone look here. Smile.”

Cora lifted her gaze and stared at the camera, trying to smile but she suspected her expression wasn’t a picture of happiness. She blinked rapid after the flash went off.

“Cora, smile.”

She nearly stumbled back. That wasn’t her father’s voice. It’d come from behind the camera. She looked at the dark-haired man with stormy gray eyes intent on her. The corner of his mouth twitched slightly as he held her gaze.

“What—”

Whatever her father had been about to ask was cut off when the photographer waved a hand without looking away from Cora. Heart pounding, she glanced over and gasped as she saw her family slumped against the sofa, eyes closed, but chests raising and falling rhythmically.

“Are you ready?”

She turned back to the man…the Magic-user. He’d stepped away from the camera and was watching her, head tilted to the side slightly.

“Ready?” she whispered.

He reached out, hand open. “To be free.”


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kayleigh Jones

Wednesday Randomness: Top 10 Children’s Books

I hope everyone is warm and cozy wherever they are (you know, if you’re in parts of the world where it’s cold. If you’re somewhere wehre it’s warm…I envy you. A lot!) Schools have been canceled most of the week as it’s been super, super cold. As I write this, it’s -27/feels like -48. o.O

It’s a Top 10 week, and we’re talking children’s books. I’m gonna keep it short and sweet, because my bed with aaaaaaaall the blankets is calling me. I’m going to burrow under them all and veg out with a movie.

So, here are my top 10 children’s books, in no particular order. (and yeah, I counted all Dr. Suess books as one because I couldn’t decide)


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Kris Norris | Siobhan Muir

Wednesday Randomness: January 2019 Brain Dump

Not a whole lot to brain dump, this time around. Since the first of the year, I’ve been focusing on writing daily, and have been managing that. So definitely happy and a wee bit proud of myself on that front.

I had one kid, my oldest son, move out (for school) and miss him like crazy. And had another one, my younger daughter, come back home. Not that she was gone long, and we knew she wasn’t gone for good yet. It ties into the other thing on my mind. Her boyfriend of nearly 3 years was sworn in yesterday morning and is off to basic training for the Air Force. Very proud of this guy, who has become family to all of us, and I know the next couple weeks especially are going to be tough for my girl.

She also brought this girl with her.

Who definitely is NOT supposed to be on the bed. Luckily, it was washing bedding day, anyway, so I didn’t get to worked up about my allergies going crazy come bedtime. Also she’s too darned cute. Though, I still show her who’s boss, even if my daughter keeps referring to me as Grandma when she talks to the dog.

And that’s it from me…my mind is a simple place, right now. Writing and family. 🙂


Bronwyn Green | Gwen Cease | Kris Norris

January 2019 – Song Fic – “God of the Ocean Tides” – Counting Crows

Time for a song fic. This month we’re working with “God of the Ocean Tides” by Counting Crows. Here’s a link, if you want a listen.

Kept it short and sweet, again, this time. This isn’t connect to any particular story, but it’s set in the same world as Tempted to Death, where there are paranormal creatures and a network of hunters and researchers.


“So…”

Bastian was impressed. He’d felt Owen’s gaze on him since they’d left town—it’d taken the other man a full half hour to speak. Yeah, impressed he’d waited that long, but also annoyed because Bastian knew what was coming.

“You gonna call her?”

Fingers tightening around the wheel, Bastian shook his head. “Nope.”

“Why not? You guys have history and seemed to be rekindling something…” Owen sighed. “You really want to spend the rest of your life with just me for companionship? ‘Cause I like you and all, Bas, better than most, but…”

“It’s what I signed up for.”

“That’s bullshit, and you know it. There are plenty of people in the network who have relationships and do their jobs.”

“Good for them,” Bastian snapped.

“All I’m saying is there’s no reason you and Callie couldn’t—”

“I think I’m a better judge of whether there’re reasons standing in my way,” he ground out, fingers aching, knuckles now white, on the wheel.

He didn’t want to think of all those reasons, right now. Not when he could still smell her, feel her, taste her. He’d been an idiot. Weak and stupid…and careless. He’d allowed himself to forget what he’d dedicated his life to, and that was unacceptable. Even for a short time, because it brought too much pain. For both of them.

Because how was she supposed to understand what he couldn’t tell her? She couldn’t know that he spent his days and nights hunting things most people didn’t believe in. That he had to be ruthless and focused in his work. That he’d given up more than he ever thought possible to do it. That he could never love her the way she wanted, the way she deserved.

Owen sighed. “So, that’s it, then? You move on, satisfied with the small amount of time you had with her, but refuse to go after any more?”

“Yep, that’s it,” Bastian replied—a mix of half-truth, half-lie.

Because satisfied, he most definitely was not. And he wouldn’t be, not really. He couldn’t love her the way she wanted, but he also couldn’t love her the way he wanted. Not if he was going to do the job he was called to do.

“So, while I appreciate the support and concern,” he continued, “do me a favor? Call in and see where we’re going next and what we’re up against.”

“Yeah…” Owen pulled out his cell but didn’t make the call immediately. “I didn’t mean to make it more difficult, man. Sorry.”

Gaze firmly on the road ahead, Bastian nodded. Yeah, me, too.


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

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