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And don’t forget about this one:
The characters in the following story are from my novel, Shadow of the Drill. After a moderately grueling assignment, they take a day off to enjoy a Sunday barbecue.
Charlene squealed, leaning to the side to avoid an airborne hot dog. She need not have worried, for the meaty missile bounced neatly against the chest of JT, who was seated next to her.
“Damn it, Rudy!” JT grabbed a napkin from the table and scrubbed at his shirt. “That wasn’t funny!”
“Really?” Rudy flashed an innocent grin over the top of barbecue grill. “I thought it was hilarious.” He flipped a pair of hamburgers, then added a dash of seasoning to each.
“You got hot dog grease on my shirt,” JT said crossly. “Next time, warn me so I can duck.”
“Don’t run your mouth, and there won’t be a next time.” Rudy raised his right arm, pointing at the cast that encased it from wrist to elbow. “Even with this, I can hit what I’m aiming at.”
JT shot a glare in Rudy’s general direction. “Can you believe him?”
“You shouldn’t have said he was getting old, and you definitely shouldn’t have said he was losing his touch.” Charlene refilled her glass from the pitcher of lemonade on the table. Lemonade, and just the right amount of tequila.
“Who’s getting old?” Decker stepped from the dining room onto the deck, leaning on a cane with one hand and holding a bowl of potato salad in the other. “You best not be talking about me!”
“Don’t worry, Peter Pan, we weren’t.” Charlene pulled the chair to her left away from the table so that Decker could sit. “JT said it about Rudy.”
“Well, that was stupid.” Decker set the bowl onto the table, then dropped into the chair, leaning the cane against the table before reaching for the pitcher.
JT pointed to the stain on his shirt. “You’re not kidding! Good arm, bad arm, it don’t matter. He’s dead on.”
He shifted in his chair, muttering a soft curse when his broken ribs objected.
Decker smiled sympathetically, knowing from firsthand experience how he felt. “Give it a couple of weeks,” he advised. “You’ll feel better before you know it.”
“I know,” JT replied. “But in the meantime, it really hurts!”
“Your face looks better.” Decker reached across the table, tilting JT’s head to the right. “At least, the swelling’s gone down. You’ll have the color for a while, yet.”
Charlene leaned back, tuning out the conversation while she thought back over the last six days.
It had started as just another job, but it had quickly become so much more. Hired to find and retrieve a stolen Shelby Daytona Coupe, Decker and his team had landed in the middle of an auto theft ring that stretched from Bellevue to Portland. Finding the missing car had been difficult – retrieving it had been damn near impossible.
The car had been located in Vancouver and liberated in the dark of night with considerable damage to all concerned. By the time the Shelby was safely in a truck headed north, Decker had calculated how much of a wear and tear fee he was going to charge his employer before the car was offloaded at its destination.
Bruised and broken, Decker’s team had limped back to Tacoma and gone their separate ways. After checking on the Shelby, Decker had contacted the owner and arranged a time to meet.
Charlene had greeted him at the door when he arrived home, the sight of his battered body bringing tears to her eyes. He had assured her that he was not seriously hurt, so there was no discussion of seeking medical help. He knew his body – and its injuries – better than any doctor, so she did not question his analysis of the situation.
Injured and exhausted, he had needed rest. A great deal of rest. But, after only a day and a half, he was limping restlessly from room to room, and she knew that something needed to be done.
The barbecue had been her idea, and he had willingly agreed. Though they often entertained, they had never invited more than two or three people over at once. The fact that it was JT’s first social visit to the house contributed to the uniqueness of the event, as did the presence of Decker’s old friend and occasional teammate, Hunter Grae.
The side gate rattled, and Charlene jumped up to open it before Davis dropped his armload of Tupperware containers. The investigator gave her a warm smile, thanking her for her assistance.
Charlene looked over his shoulder. “Where’s Bert?”
“She’ll be along soon,” Davis told her. “She had to run her mother to the grocery store, so she’s a little behind schedule. But don’t worry, she’s not far behind me.”
He handed over three of the containers. “Pasta salad, deviled eggs, and some sort of asparagus thing.” He shrugged apologetically. “Personally, I don’t think asparagus has any business being at a barbecue, but you know how Bert is.”
Charlene laughed, then sobered when she noticed the manila envelope beneath the remaining two containers. “That better not be what I think it is.”
“It’s everything I could find for the Palmer job. I promised I’d bring it by today.” He waved at Decker and JT, then slid the envelope from beneath the Tupperware to show he’d brought it.
Charlene put her hand on his wrist, stopping him. “Not today, please. He’ll open it up, they’ll spend the rest of the day plotting and planning, and that’ll be it for the day off. You know it as well as I do. They just can’t help themselves.”
Davis thought for a moment, then nodded. “You’re right,” he agreed. “Okay, I’ll toss this back in the car and give it to him tomorrow. I can’t stall any longer than that, but at least it won’t ruin today.”
“Thank you,” Charlene said gratefully, then headed for the kitchen to unpack the Tupperware while Davis returned to his car.
When she passed Rudy, he handed her a plate loaded with hotdogs and hamburger patties.
“Here’s a first round. Is everything on the food table?”
Charlene glanced over the long fold-up table that Decker had set on the grass. It held assorted buns and condiments, as well as paper plates and plastic silverware.
“Just about. Hunter’s in the kitchen slicing cheese, and I have to put Bert’s stuff on plates, but it won’t take long. So yes, it’s pretty much ready. “
“That’s a good thing.” Rudy pressed his fingers against the pieces of tape that held a long strip of gauze to the side of his face, checking that they were still secure. “So we’re just waiting on the cheese.”
As if on cue, Hunter appeared on the deck, carrying a serving tray that had been loaded down with small plates of pickles, slices of cheese, and crisp lettuce leaves. He called out a greeting to Davis and Roberta, who were coming through the gate together, then headed for the picnic table to unload the tray.
He was clad in shorts and a tank top, and Charlene could clearly see the stitches where the blade of a knife had cut into his calf, and the colorful section of bruising that a heavy object of some sort had left along his collarbone.
She joined him at the picnic table, calling to the others as she set the plate down. She was able to get her hamburger onto a plate, along with potato salad and baked beans, before the table was surrounded by hungry people.
Glad that she had escaped the swarm, Charlene returned to her place at the oversized table on the deck. Taking her seat, she enjoyed a moment of silence, knowing that a moment was all she would probably get.
A light breeze brought the scent of roses, and Charlene closed her eyes, inhaling with pleasure. So far, the day had been wonderful, and she knew that the evening would be just as fine.
Opening her eyes, she looked around at the people who mattered in her life. It couldn’t be more perfect, she thought with a contented smile. Fun, food, and the very best of friends combined to make a day that she would long remember. Especially since, for a few short hours, it was a fairly safe bet that no one was going to die.
Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan. WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:
By Yvette M Calleiro
The written word and I
Are cherished friends,
Embracing each other’s thoughts and emotions
Like kindred spirits,
Dancing on clouds.
Bosom buddies who gossip and giggle
And gasp at all the same moments.
She and I are equals,
More than that, really.
We are two parts of a whole,
Complementing and complimenting the other,
The spoken word and I
Skirt around each other’s social circles.
We stumble around awkward pauses,
Unable to pull the perfect word or phrase
From our filing cabinet of knowledge.
Ease and grace flee without a moment’s notice.
She is more skilled than I.
She whispers her intricately woven ideas into my mind,
But her delicate strength is no match for
The hills of anxiety and the mountains of insecurity
That obstruct her path to freedom.
Before her words can reach my tongue,
They unravel into shreds of confusion,
If only the written word and the spoken word
They would live in perfect harmony.
It is not meant to be,
Neither willing to leave her domain,
Each content to dance alone,
I am stuck in the middle,
Pulled in both directions,
Reveling in the comfort of the written word,
Needing the spoken word to survive.
But still I dream
Of the day when my words will intermingle
And a new love affair can be born.
Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA“ WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan. WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:
I would add my favorite, all-time crutch word: JUST. Let’s throw in THAT for fun.
Today we have a great guest post from Cassandra Fear, author of THE FLAMES Trilogy! She’s got some great advice for selling your book online. Welcome, Cassandra!
There are many ways to sell your book online. There are so many avenues you can go down now with social media. Let’s start with the big ones.
Either way, your first book might not bring you a ton of sales. The best thing to do is write more and write frequently. If you do this and release more books, chances are more people will find you then. But, in the meantime, keep posting those buy links whenever you can. Just don’t make that all you post. Nobody likes a spammer.
Cassandra Fear lives in Ohio with her husband, two kids and two dogs. Hiking, taking care of her fish tank and reading are her favorite hobbies. She loves chocolate, hates driving in the snow and could eat macaroni and cheese every day. In her spare time, she loves to write, and has always dreamed of becoming an author.
Giveaway URL: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Above The Flames (Book 1)
Surrounded By Flames (Book 2)
She continued toward the sidewalk, taking in all the small shops that lined Main Street. Each side looked the same. Blood splatters. Broken windows. Glass sprinkling the street. She saw another body sprawled face down on the sidewalk, a puddle of crimson soaking into the concrete, turning dark brown. It seemed like she was walking through a haunted house, not the town she fell in love with.
Jasmine covered her mouth and she gasped as she passed Mr. Gregory’s barber shop, where Pa always got his hair cut. Mr. Gregory sat with his back to the wall in the doorway; his neck cut open and red streams flowing down it.
Footsteps pounded the asphalt behind her, and she knew the others had joined her, but it didn’t register. She rushed to the barbershop and grabbed the barber’s wrist, checked for a pulse, and let his dead arm fall to the ground. It landed with a thud that echoed off the walls in the small entrance. She cringed at the sight of blood coating his skin. Her stomach roiled and she stepped backward until she slammed into the wall behind. She turned her head, not wanting to see what lay before her.
Caim came forward and crouched down next to the body. “His body’s still warm. They can’t be far.”
“Everyone stay close. We don’t know what we are walking into,” Lamia said quietly but firmly.
Jasmine walked forward mechanically, and Beau matched her pace. She took steps, one after the other, like a zombie. Trash littered the sidewalks. Glass shards crunched under her feet as she followed Caim. The coppery smell of blood filled her senses. Dead bodies surrounded her. So many bodies.
Her voice shook. “Is there anyone left alive?”
Jasmine tapped under his chin and made him draw his eyes back up to hers. “Listen, I get it. The could haves will drive you nuts, though, so I suggest you let it go and focus on the now. It doesn’t matter what the angels did wrong or what they did right. It matters that we are here, now, to stop the demons. Who knows, maybe this really is our destiny. All I know is I’m ready to fight. Aren’t you?”
He smiled and leaned closer to her. “You know, you can be very inspirational when you aren’t sulking.”
“I don’t sulk.” She laughed because even though she’d denied it, she knew she did sulk. A lot.
“Mmm. I think you do. We will just have to agree to disagree.”
Their faces were inches apart now, and Jasmine wanted to grab a fistful of his shirt and pull him the rest of the way to her. She wanted their lips to crash together, to feel the passion that threatened to erupt every time they were together. Just as she was about to let herself do exactly what she wanted, the sound of wings flapping through the sky made her look up. And she froze.
“Uh, Amon, look up there.” Jasmine pointed.
“I’d rather not,” he replied. When Jasmine peered at him, he was staring hard at her lips.
She smiled despite herself, and put a couple fingers under his chin, forcing his head toward the sky. “I really think you need to.”
Amon’s jaw dropped open. “It’s an angel.”
Amon narrowed his eyes. “Fine. I guess I know now that I shouldn’t try to help you.”
Jasmine huffed. “Yeah, because you’re so great at helping. You took Beau’s side.”
“I took no side.” Amon took a step closer.
“And you act like you know everything.” Jasmine pressed her back into the tree.
“I do no such thing.” Another step.
“You are so infuriating. Ugh!” She threw her hands in the air. “I can’t stand talking to you. You’re like an old-fashioned know-it-all. You’re never wrong. But you’re always wrong.”
“That makes no sense.” He stood right in front of her now.
Jasmine pushed her face into his. “You drive me crazy.”
“You were already crazy. I didn’t have to drive you there.”
Amon shoved his fists against the tree, boxing her in. “Oh, now we are name-calling? Fine! You’re nothing but a…a…”
“Ha. You can’t even think of anything.” She gave him a smug smile. “I guess you don’t know everything, huh?”
“You know what, Jasmine. You infuriate me. I try to help you, to show you what I have observed by the story you share, and you treat me like I’m a plague upon you. I have learned a valuable lesson today.” Their eyes locked.
She raised her chin. “And what’s that.”
Amon’s voice softened. “I don’t even know why you are so mad.”
She whispered, “Because I know you’re right.”
Silence stretched. Jasmine kept her gaze locked on Amon’s brown eyes. Those big honey brown eyes. Her breath quickened and she parted her lips. Her fingers trembled, so she shoved them behind her and grabbed hold of her shirt. Amon leaned closer, his warm breath caressing her ear. “Then stop fighting me.”
Title: THE GHOST FILES, VOL.4 PART 1
Author: Apryl Baker
Publisher: Limitless Publishing, LLC
Release Date: December 20, 2016
Cover Designer: Wicked by Design
Sleep, little children,
all safe in your beds.
But when the boogeyman knocks,
if you are up watching…
he’ll make sure that you wish you were dead!
Once every one hundred and fifty years he emerges from the darkest depths to feed. With each soul he takes, he grows stronger. There is but one gift he needs in order to gain the power he seeks. One gift that will allow him to walk amongst all the precious little children.
And it’s the one gift Mattie Hathaway possesses…the ability to bring images to life with just a drop of her blood. The demon Silas has warned her to never reveal this ability, not even to her father who shares her power to communicate with the dead. She’s heeded his warning, but hiding it may no longer be an option.
Children are disappearing all over the Charlotte area. When their bodies are recovered, they are always the same—broken, beaten, and bruised. Fear is spiraling out of control in the Queen City as parents glance nervously around each corner, seeing the boogeyman in every shadow.
When one little girl goes missing in Mattie’s neighborhood, it’s up to her and Officer Dan Richards to find the truth. In doing so, she uncovers a far greater evil than she’s ever come up against. The one thing she was bred to defeat.
Deleriel. A fallen angel…one of the first demons. He is powerful, ambitious, and now that Mattie is on his radar, she’s all he needs to complete his arsenal.
Amid of whirlwind of secrets coming to light, Mattie is faced with uncovering the truth about her own heritage. She must come to grips with it before she can begin to prepare for the battle of a lifetime…a battle she never asked for but is caught in the middle of.
Can she face her own truths before it’s too late?
MEET APRYL BAKER: So who am I? Well, I’m the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up. I LOVE scary movies. My friends laugh at me when I scare myself watching them and tell me to stop watching them, but who doesn’t love to get scared? I grew up in a small town nestled in the southern mountains of West Virginia where I spent days roaming around in the woods, climbing trees, and causing general mayhem. Nights I would stay up reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the covers until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep.
Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot of values and morals, I also learned parents have spies everywhere and there’s always someone to tell your mama you were seen kissing a particular boy on a particular day just a little too long. So when you get grounded, what is there left to do? Read! My Aunt Jo gave me my first real romance novel. It was a romance titled “Lord Margrave’s Deception.” I remember it fondly. But I also learned I had a deep and abiding love of mysteries and anything paranormal. As I grew up, I started to write just that and would entertain my friends with stories featuring them as main characters.
Now, I live Huntersville, NC where I entertain my niece and nephew and watch the cats get teased by the birds and laugh myself silly when they swoop down and then dive back up just out of reach. The cats start yelling something fierce…lol.
I love books, I love writing books, and I love entertaining people with my silly stories.
What a GREAT review!!!!! I love it!
Here’s a new one for you; a twisted teen drama with a dash of romance and killer cooking skills. The Way To Her Heart by Amy Reece really gets down and dirty with what it’s like growing up in a troubled home and the complicated ways young relationships can pull at a couple. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get, going in, but I was more than pleasantly surprised.
Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
Genre: Suspenseful Teen Romance
Bernie lives a tough life. The only child of a drug addict mother with a long list of boyfriends, she often leans on her friend Gabby for support through the hard times. But, Gabby’s been hanging with an increasingly sketchy crowd and, when she goes missing, everyone seems to think that she’s just run away. However Bernie, who now lives in her car after one of her mom’s…
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And I thought I was pretty decent at dialogue…
Today we are going to talk about dialogue. Everyone thinks they are great at it, and many would be wrong. Dialogue really is a lot tricker than it might seem.
Great dialogue is one of the most vital components of fiction. Dialogue is responsible for not only conveying the plot, but it also helps us understand the characters and get to know them, love them, hate them, whatever.
Dialogue is powerful for revealing character. This is as true in life as it is on the page. If people didn’t judge us based on how we speak, then business professionals wouldn’t bother with Toastmasters, speaking coaches or vocabulary builders.
I’d imagine few people who’d hire a brain surgeon who spoke like a rap musician and conversely, it would be tough to enjoy rap music made by an artist who spoke like the curator of an art museum.
Our word choices are…
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It’s all about that plot, bout that….you get the idea.
One of the toughest concepts to grasp in writing fiction is this notion of “inner demons.” In all my years working with writers and busting apart countless manuscripts, the single greatest weakness I’ve witnessed with writers is a failure to truly understand how to plot. And before anyone breaks out in hives that I am encouraging detailed outlines, I’m not.
But the problem with inner demons is they are…well…inner. This means that our job as writers is to draw the demons out so they can be destroyed. It’s kind of like The Exorcist, though green puke and spinning heads is all your call.
You might laugh but if you have ever seen any movie involving an exorcism, what is the general progression?
The victim starts acting weird. Not herself. At first it might be written off as depression or lack of sleep or not enough caffeine. Then as the…
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