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?”


Make Up Mondays, Editon 1 – Waves

Good Day Everyone!

So something occurred to me the other day as I was going through my blog posts. I realized that I have several drafts that were never published for various reasons… whether I never finished the story, or the challenge/competition I was writing for ended before I could publish it, etc. It made me sad to see all these characters, stories and tid bits that never saw the light of a blog post. So I thought I would create a  new event called, Make Up Mondays. It’s kind of like in school when you’d have a “make up” assignment for a lesson you missed. On Mondays, to start off the week in a fun way, I’ll post some of my “make up” content that’s sitting in my drafts.

If this is something that sounds fun to you, feel free grab the badge below and incorporate Make Up Mondays in your own blog. Then let me know about it… I’d love to read your Make Up work 🙂

To kick it off, here is something I wrote for a Five Sentence Fiction challenge, but I didn’t get to post it before the time frame ended.

Enjoy! And Happy Writing!

The black rocks chill my bare feet as the water recedes farther from the shore; each pull of the tide shoves yet another leg of distance between us.

Who was I trying to fool, thinking this world of air and dry land would ever accept something like me?

“They will always hunt me, and I can’t put you in danger anymore,” I try to explain to the man I’ve fallen in love with–the only person I can’t bear to lose.

“Please, don’t go,” he pleads, knowing his efforts are futile.

“I”ll always love you,” I say as I draw one last deep breath of salty air, submit to the fin that forms where my foreign legs used to be, and dive into my familiar watery home.

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Five Sentence Fiction – Breakfast

Carlo pulled in a long gulp of his black Italian coffee and feigned interest in the newspaper that hid his face from view—all but his eyes, which were simultaneously aware of the cafe’s entrance and his mark seated two tables away.

His person of interest had ordered his usual, a breakfast blend coffee and toasted bagel, but something was wrong.

Carlo had been doing this long enough to know when he’d been made.

The man abruptly rose from his seat, coffee still steaming and bagel untouched, and nearly tripped in his haste to reach the exit.

If Carlo was going to make his move, it had better be now… time for breakfast.



This is my entry into this week’s Five Sentence Fiction challenge over at

A Young Fairy’s Summer Night

“What do you suggest we do?” Mom’s voice rang out from the house. Even though I was in the yard, her voice easily carried past the screen door to where I was laying in the grass.

“I thought year-round school would be better for her, but maybe we were wrong,” Dad said.

Yes, you were very wrong. I was stuck in class while all the other kids were off enjoying their summer. Lame.

“The teacher said Lisa’s having a hard time fitting in. The other kids haven’t been the nicest.”

“She’s changing; I can see it. Sixth grade is hard enough without having to deal with this…”

“We had no idea what to expect,” Mom’s voice was a whisper. “This is unprecedented in your world. A half human child…”

Say what?

I looked up at the dusk sky as the evening’s first few stars began to appear. The sun had almost set and the cicadas buzzed in the trees.

What was wrong with me? I suppressed the moisture that formed in my eyes and returned my attention to their conversation.

“Rowland, I don’t know what to do.” Mom was crying now.

“It’s okay,  Eliza, we’ll sit down with her and figure this out.”

Oh no you won’t.

I shot up from my perch on the grass and marched through our back gate and into the wooded area behind our house.

I was so upset, I almost missed the little sparkling light fluttering around my head. It seemed to be flying with purpose, beckoning me deeper into the woods. Curious, I followed.

“Where are we going, little guy?”

Through shrubs and over moss-covered boulders I trudged, until finally, the fluttering light came to rest on the side of an enormous tree. The tree was so tall, I couldn’t see its top, and it was wide enough to fit three of me side-by-side. Other sparkling lights joined us until the air was full of their magical presence. A moment later, the tree began to glow from beneath its bark. As it did, my skin shimmered with a faint turquoise hue.


Enchanted, I refocused on the base of the tree where an open door had formed. On instinct, I stepped through.

The second I did, I knew beyond a doubt I had found the answer to my question. I was half fairy, and I had just entered my home world.

DFQMNDThis is my entry into the Dark Fairy Queen Midsummer Night’s Dream writing contest

So here are the details:
It is summer, a faint breeze blows, and the leaves are rustling. As dusk falls, the fireflies glow in a distant meadow. Have you not felt the magic of a summer night? Your story should.
Let us celebrate a midsummer night by creating 400 words.

For your theme, your story must take place, at least in part, on a summer evening. Also, choose one from the following list:




In case you’ve read it, this story also ties in with an ongoing series I’m writing about Rowland and Eliza called The Transformation.