New Story from Writober – Zeit’s Grand Entrance

So… Writober just ended, the anual writing event I participate in every October. So I’ve got a fun new story for you all. I’ll be posting it in segments. I hope you enjoy!

“Where the heck did you come from?” The blond woman from behind the counter says as I emerge from my portal. I’ve arrived in a meager antique bookstore, rows of weathered first editions line my path. How fitting that such books, little snippets of their time, should welcome the arrival of one such as myself.

“The proper question to ask would be ’when,’” I say with a dip of my top hat. “But then that would depend on what timeline you’re perceiving me from, and that is another matter entirely.”

She gives me a puzzled look, one I’ve grown quite accustomed to over the centuries. “Suffice it to say, I am from… I believe you call it England, just a different time period than yourself. My name is Zeit, and I am a Time Walker.”

I remove my hat and bow as I announce my title. She stares at me a moment longer, then sticks out her hand.

“ Kylie. Nice to meet you,” she says.

I take her hand in mine and place on it the gentlest kiss.

“A pleasure,” I say. “Now, do you have a spot of tea?”

New from Carlo’s story – Perch

Here is a new segment in Carlo’s story. I drew inspiration for this installment from Terri G Long’s BlogFlashDaily prompts. I hope you enjoy!

My first instinct was isolation. After a hit as big as this one, anonymity was essential to survival. I found a perch, as I always do, and continuously scanned the blacktop below for any sign of pursuit. My lookout was an abandoned terminal, the vast windows of its bridge overlooked the runways and airplanes waiting for takeoff. The terminal was dark and blocked off by security, which wasn’t a problem for me, obviously, but would prove inconvenient for any pursuers. I could also see the travelers crossing the fully-functioning bridge in the terminal across from mine. Though without knowing what to look for, they would never spot me. The perfect perch.

My hands twitched in their barrenness. They were incomplete without my rifle. I felt vulnerable without it and the comfort the scope brought to my ever scanning eyes. I would have make do watching the old-fashioned way.

My plane from DC to New York was already boarding. The last thing I needed while being hunted by Detective Foster was to be confined to a cramped plane with no easy exit while people were pouring in.  No, I would stay hidden and board at the last possible moment.

Movement on the bridge parallel to mine caught my eye. Foster. He was here quicker than anticipated. Frantic, he zig-zagged in and out of passengers.

I stood stone still. Waiting. Barely breathing.

Foster stopped mid-stride.

“What are you doing, Foster?” I said in a whisper.

He turned toward the window with his hands cupping his eyes to better his vision and stared across the way, directly at where I was perched. We each held our gazes for a second, like counterparts on opposing fence-lines. Even from this distance, I could register the realization on his face.

My feet took off before my conscious mind decided to run, and out of the corner of my eye I saw him do the same, direct mirrors of each other.

I was out the door in five strides and was deposited into a stream of passengers. Security was alarmed at the sudden outburst, but I was lost in the crowd before they could pursue. I dodged businessmen on cellphones, families on vacation, suitcases, children, and the little motorized carts. People jumped out of the way as I passed, some yelled profanities, while others just stood gawking. This game of dodge-the-crowd was taking much longer than I could afford.

“Carlo!” Foster shouted from behind. He was gaining on me, but my gate was just ahead. They were already starting to close the ramp. I fished my boarding pass from my pocket while I ran.

“Hold the door!” I yelled as I neared the gate.

The attendant scanned my pass and I slipped through, sneaking a glance behind me as it closed. Detective Foster’s face filled my view before the doors sealed me inside.

I could hear his muffled voice on the other side of the closed door.“I’m a detective and that’s my suspect. Let me pass.”

No doubt he flashed them his shiny badge.

“I’m sorry sir…” was all I needed to hear of the attendant’s response. Foster was a little too late, once again.

Make Up Mondays – Writober Part 3

Hi All!

Soooo…… I’ve been a little MIA… again. Sorry about that. Things in life get crazy, and I find that my blogging and writing habits tend to take the hit when that happens. Trying to get better…

That being said, let’s kick off Make Up Mondays again with a story that I should have posted back in October for “Writober 2015”

This is the next installment in Jayne’s story

Air caught in my lungs as I halted my full-out sprint. It hurt to breathe. Worse were their accusations—those ripped at my insides like a hunting knife. People I grew up with, old family friends, turned on me like white blood cells to a virus. Suddenly I was their enemy. Freak of nature, witch, cursed.  All words they had hurled at me with stunning ferocity. They didn’t know, couldn’t understand or fathom what had happened. They assumed the worst and practically chased me out of my own home town.

So I ran.

And ended up here… wherever ‘here’ was. The first town I came to consisted of a gas station, a small grocery store, and a bar/restaurant. I walked to the latter, eager for some water. Willie’s Watering Hole Bar & Grill, the sign read. The inside was as I expected, wood panelling gave off the ‘barn’ vibe, while the predominant fashion statement was boots and cowboy hats. Every table was full, which wasn’t saying much, considering the place could probably only fit fifty people, maximum. The only place to sit was a solitary stool at the bar. I was only twenty, maybe the bartender would let the year deficit slide.

“You sure you’re old enough to sit here, darlin’,” he said in a heavy southern accent.

“I’m sure I don’t have many options,” I said, looking around.

He sighed. “What’ll it be?”


He rolled his eyes and produced an ice-cold glass, which I promptly inhaled.

“You’re not plannin’ on driving after all that, are ya?” The man next to me asked, though his back was still turned to me. He wore a suit jacket and a black fedora.

“It’s just water.” I tried to hide the nerves in my voice. The guy gave me a weird feeling.

“What sort of circumstances could have possibly brought a young girl such as yourself to this middle-of-nowhere bar to drink water by herself?”

My hands started to sweat. I didn’t need any extra attention right now. Who knew how long the incident on the farm back home would stay a secret.

“My ride’s outside. We’re just passing through; I was thirsty, so we made a pit stop.”

My breathing accelerated, and I was certain the man didn’t buy it. He finally turned to me, though his face was partially hidden by the brim of his hat.

“Where are you from? I’m guessing one of the nearby towns. Daddy’s probably a farmer, am I right? Me, I’m a… hunter… of sorts.”

Wind rattled the windows, and I became undeniably aware of the sudden storm brewing outside. The weather must be responding to my growing anxiety.

“I… I’ve got to go.” I stood, but so did this hunter.

Lightning flashed outside the restaurant. Then again. Somehow I knew the second bolt wasn’t from me. It had a different… flavor.

The hunter?

Rain padded the roof as lightning struck again, plunging the restaurant into darkness.

“See you again,” he said confidently.

Chills prickled my arms as I fled the building.

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Grounded Book Review

I realized it’s been a while since I’ve posted a book review, and I’ve been reading and listening to audio books like a mad lady. So here is my review of one of my most recent favorites, The Grounded Trilogy by G.P. Ching, which consists of Grounded, Charged and Wired.

Here is the official synopsis of the first book:

In Hemlock Hollow, life isn’t easy, but it is simple. Things in my community haven’t changed much in over three hundred years, since the time my Amish ancestors came to what is now the Green Republic. I milk my cow by hand, make fresh bread every morning, and hope to be courted by Jeremiah, a boy I’ve known since childhood.

When my father falls ill, the English doctor says a hospital outside the wall can heal him. Jeremiah convinces me to go on rumspringa, to experience the outside world as an Englisher in order to be closer to my father during his recovery. Others have gone before me. They claim it’s an adventure. But adventure turns to horror as an ordinary light switch thrusts me into a new world, and revelations about my personal history make me question everything I believe.

All my life I’ve worked to be simple. I can’t pretend anymore. Nothing about me is simple.

Writober – List of Names

Taking a break from Jayne’s story, I decided to try out one of the many writing prompts I’ve pinned to my Writing Prompt Pintrest board.

“Pardon me,” Lisa said while she, as politely as she could manage, climbed over the handsome gentleman in the aisle seat.

“Not a problem,” he said with a smile that made his eyes sparkle.

Taking her own seat by the window, Lisa scratched her temple to hide the sudden flush of her cheeks.

“My name is Dom.”


He reached for her hand, but instead of shaking it, he held it for a brief moment. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Lisa.”

Whoever said chivalry is dead? She thought. A smile inadvertently parted her lips.

“So, what brings you to town? Business?” Dom gently let her hand drop.

“Excuse me,” an elderly woman said, hovering over Dom’s shoulder and pointing at the vacant middle seat between them. “I think that’s my seat.”

Dom rose to let her in, but not before winking at Lisa. 

Was this a dream? Complete strangers just aren’t that charming in real life.

The woman had no carry on and promptly buckled her seatbelt. “I’m not a fan of flying,” she said to Lisa.

“No worries,” Lisa said. “It’s a piece of cake. Just try to think about something else.”

“Thank you, honey. My name is Dolores.”

“Lisa. Nice to meet you.”

Dolores looked down at her boarding pass. “You know what, I think I’m in the wrong row. Shame on me for not using my glasses.” As she stood, she whispered to Lisa, “He’s a keeper.”

Lisa’s cheeks flushed again and her eyes immediately darted to Dom, who had already stood to let Dolores out. He hadn’t heard a thing.

Lisa just smiled and nodded as Dolores left.

Only too late did she notice a folded sheet of paper sitting on the vacant chair.

“Oh, wait, Ma’am? You forgot this,” Lisa called after her. “Where did she go?”

Dom looked around too, but to no avail. “What’s inside?”

Lisa opened the paper to find today’s date and a list of names scribbled below. Each had a small sketch next to it.

“Just a random list of names, but…”

“What is it?”

One of the names on the list was Dolores Hastings with the sketch of a pen beside her name. Weird.

Before Lisa could answer Dom’s question, a voice came on the intercom. “Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Tom Connelly, and I’ll be your Captain for the next two and a half hours…”

Lisa’s mouth dropped. The next name on the list was Tom Connelly with a picture of an airplane. Lisa examined the list a little more closely. Further down were her parents’ names. She was flying into town to visit them. They were picking her up from the airport. Could this get any stranger?

One more scan of the list revealed another name she recognized. Just above Dolores’ name was Dominic Morgan and a sketch of a wedding ring.

Dominic… as in Dom?

Lisa chucked the paper to the floor as if it was on fire. Dom gave her a startled look.

What is going on?



Writober 2015 – Parts 1 & 2

This year, as in years past, I’m participating in Writober: every Monday, Wednesday and Friday of October, you write something, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, long or short, doesn’t matter. It’s just to keep you consistently writing. Periodically throughout the month, I’ll post some of my Writober installments. Below is last Friday’s and yesterday’s posts. The first one is an introduction, of sorts. I meant for it to be a stand-alone piece, but the character was too fascinating for me to leave alone. I had to write more. Her story will probably continue here and there throughout the month, so stay tuned, and I hope you enjoy it!

Thunder rumbles in the distance; growing louder, ever louder. Wind rustles my dress and brings with it the scent of rain and wet grass. 

The charge in the air is palpable—I can feel it crackling under my skin, traveling down to my fingertips. Its reach expands with every breath. 

Concentrating, I beckon the clouds closer and darker, bending them to my will. As the electricity radiating off my skin sizzles the falling rain, I’m consumed in my newfound power. 

“Jayne, Jayne, wake up!”  Someone was shaking me, shouting my name. “Come on, we have to hurry.”

“What’s going on?” I asked, attempting to open my eyes. 

My senses slowly came into focus. Corn field. Dark sky. Swirling clouds. The wind itself would have knocked me down if I wasn’t already laying on my back. 

One final observation: A crackling heat.

“Fire.” It was a statement, not a question. The crops around me were burning hotter than I’d ever known a fire could burn.

“We have to get out of here. Now.” I finally recognized the one who’d woken me: Donna, who I’ve known pretty much her whole life. She was about fifteen, five years younger than me, and has always looked up to me. I had a feeling that might soon change.

She helped me to my feet and together we navigated through the flames and ran to the neighboring farm, which belonged to Donna’s family. Luckily, they had already harvested their crops. Their closest field was only dirt. We stopped, hunched over and panting. The smoke did nothing for lung capacity. 

“Thanks for saving me,” I said between breaths. 

Donna just stared at me for a moment. “I saw the whole thing from my kitchen window.” 

“What are you talking about?”

“The sky got unnaturally dark, then came the lightning bolts. They were striking the ground all around you, over and over again. It was like they were responding to you, or something. It didn’t take long for the crops to catch fire. Then you passed out and I knew I had to get to you before you burned to death.”

“I remember the storm, but the lightning bolts I don’t remember.” 

Which was true… Mostly true. I remembered the storm, I just wasn’t going to tell her that I summoned it. It was still weird to think about. I didn’t even know I could do all that until today. The wacko lightning on the other hand—that I really didn’t remember, which worried me. If these powers could make me pass out and lose time… that wasn’t good.

“There’s something else.” Donna hesitated. “When I got there, in almost a perfect circle around you, the crops weren’t burned at all. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s almost as if the fire purposely didn’t touch you. How could that happen?”

I stared at her for a moment. What could I do? I didn’t even understand what was happening to me. How could I possibly explain it to someone else. 

Thankfully, I didn’t have to. To my relief, my dad, along with half of our little town were rushing toward us, interrupting the growing silence.

They all seemed to shout their concerns and questions at once, until finally, my dad interrupted them to ask what had happened. 

Oh boy. How was I going to explain this one.



Make Up Mondays, Edition 4 – Horizon

“But The Hand of Midas is a myth, Captain.”

“Is it now…well I’ll be certain to use it on you first, then we’ll see how real it is,” I said with a dip of me hat.

My first mate stalked up the wooden steps to the wheel and gave me the signal we were ready to set sail.

“Enough of this nonsense,” I shouted to the whole crew. “If any of you lazy dogs want gold enough to buy a hundred ships, hoist up the anchor and bring me that horizon!”

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Make Up Mondays, Edition 3 – Midnight

I can hear the echoing gongs of the castle clock in my mind, counting down to midnight when my life may very well end.

I am a princess, though in title only, as I no more sit on a pompous throne than the beast I am about to face.

I stand on the precipice of a cliff, where the only direction to go is forward, across a wooden bridge that will lead me to the dragon’s lair.

There is a stillness in the air, and from beneath my feet, I see his horned snout rise from the shadowy abyss.

I stand my ground, blocking his flames with my sword, unwilling to back down until my people are safe once again.

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Make Up Mondays, Edition 2 – Forgotten

For this week’s Make Up Monday, I’m posting an idea I’ve been toying with for the prologue of my WIP about an assassin named Carlo Cappelletti who first made his debut in my novel, No Exit. Some of you may also have read about him in previous blog posts. So what I came up with just so happened to fit in with one of the Five Sentence Fiction challenges – Forgotten.

Assassins are a tricky lot.

They don’t typically stay in one place for long, and they are never caught or confined unless that is exactly where they want to be.

They can recall every hit and every wrong done to them.

Nothing is forgotten, nothing is forgiven.

And nothing is out of their control.

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Wacky Writing Prompt Scavenger Hunt

I follow this blog called The Write Practice. They publish fun writing prompts and tips. This one used a scavenger hunt to collect the different items and elements that need to be included in your story.

1. To find the first sentence of your story: Take the third book from the left off of your book shelf. On page forty-two, third sentence from the top,  is the first sentence of your story. (If it is a blank page, keep going until you find a page with type.)

Answer: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

2. The leftovers in your fridge, is what the main character ate for breakfast. ( If there are no leftovers, your character has to eat a fried egg.)

Answer: Polska Kielbasa

3. The conflict in the story is what is under your bed. If you are one of those organized minimalist people like Joshua Becker, and don’t store anything under your bed, then I will give you another option because I am so nice. Not just nice, but, so nice. Here’s your other option: your protagonist wants the last item you purchased.

Answer: Cardboard box

4. Your main character, okay, okay, the protagonist, is wearing what is hanging in your closet, fourth item from the right. I will give you another option, if you hate what is hanging fourth from the right. Your character may wear whatever clothes you left on the floor last night. If there are only your white socks that you didn’t put in the clothes hamper on the floor, here is a terry-cloth house coat, and a pair of pyjamas for you.

Answer: White and silver teeshirt

5. The protagonist’s hair color is the color of your dog, or your cat, or your neighbors dog or cat. If both of your neighbors have pets, go with the neighbor on your right.

Answer: Reddish tan/strawberry blonde (I don’t have a dog and neither do my neighbors, so I’m going with the color of my mom’s dog)

6. The protagonist will use whatever is in your pockets to win their conflict. 

Answer: Cell phone

7. Please, please, please, use this word at least once in your story, “bacon.” I said, please, please, please, so I didn’t sound so bossy. (To be nice, I will give you a choice of three words to choose from. One of these words has to be in your story.) Did you notice the word has was in italics, and bold? That means I really mean it.

a. bacon
b. cat
c. page seventy-four in your dictionary, left-hand column, fifth word from the top. If the word is a dirty word, go to the next word. (i.e. dirty words, as in body parts, or bad words, as in you wouldn’t want your children to read the word. )

8. The Antagonist, the person trying to keep the protagonist from getting what they want, has the same name as the person you had a crush on in grade two. (If you didn’t have a crush on anyone in grade two use the name of your best friend in grade two.) The name of my antagonist is Dug. In the basement of a house on Avenue K, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, on a two by four, is written in pencil, I love Dug.

Answer: Butch

9. The location is where you spent your last vacation.

Answer: Colorado

10. You will get help to resolve your conflict from a brown paper bag. 

 It looked to me like Edward was trying to avoid my questions.

“Kielbasa and eggs for breakfast?” He said with a scrunch to his nose. “I would have preferred bacon.”

“Well, this is what we have,” I said, not bothering to hide my annoyance. “You’re changing the subject.”

“Hayley, you’re making a bigger deal about this than it needs to be.”

“What’s in the box?” I glanced at the cardboard cube nestled in the corner.

“It’s complicated.”

I shook my head. “You show up here, like you didn’t just break up with me a week ago, and ask me to store this thing without telling me why or what it is.”


“Don’t even say, it’s complicated.”

The doorbell silenced our argument.

“Another surprise?” I asked him, but received no reply.

I straightened my white and silver teeshirt and tucked my strawberry blonde hair behind my ear before answering. The warm summer air wafted my face as I opened the door. It was a record high for Colorado.

A man I didn’t recognize barged right past me.

“Edward here?” He said, jaw tense.

“Excuse me? And you are…”

Edward was already standing by the time we reached the kitchen.

“Butch, what are you doing here?”

“You told her, didn’t you?”

“Tell me what?” Though I was completely ignored.

“Actually, I was about to,” Edward said. “Did anyone follow you here?”

“No. And don’t. What makes you think we can trust her?”

“Trust me with what?” I said louder.

“She’s helping us. We owe her.” Edward’s hands balled into fists.

“This is my call. We owe her nothing.” Butch.

“What’s in the box!” I yelled.

Edward, fuming by now, bounded to the box and ripped the side open. Foam popcorn spilled to the floor, exposing a clay jar with ornate engravings circling the rim.

My hand raised to my mouth. “Where did that come from?”

“Where do you think, Sweetheart?” Butch said sarcastically.

“You two stole it?” I yanked my cell phone from my pocket. Butch jumped up like he might tackle me. “Chill, Mr. Paranoid. I’m not calling the cops.”

I pulled up the news on the internet and played the first video that came up:

‘A touring history symposium, sponsored by Valet Corp, was robbed this morning of a rare clay jar dating back thousands of years…’

I stopped the playback and looked at them. “How much is it worth?”

“Six figures, easy.” Edward said, looking at his feet.

“You should see this,” Butch tossed me a paper bag. I didn’t even realize he’d been carrying it.

Inside were police files on both Butch and Edward.

“I swiped these off a nearby detective. They know it was us.”

I paused for a moment.

“Count me in,” I said, gently setting the files on the table. “Now, who wants breakfast?”