Monday, July 31, 2017

From the Writer's Desk - Into August

Tomorrow is the 1st of August. This year feels as though it has flown by.  A lot of the people I know have said the same thing. Some of it, I think, is that too many of us are always looking forward to the weekends, towards some future date or event. Some, I think, may be that age thing.

I have finally finished transcribing all of my handwritten pages. I revised as I added them, changing things or catching an inconsistency. I wrote further after I finished transcribing. My spreadsheet deal says I'm about 67% finished and I need to write 768 to finish Behind the Masque by August 31st. That is my deadline. Self-imposed, but a deadline all the same. There is a slight hiccup with those numbers though. When I entered the original word count goal - I figured 75,000 words should give me enough room to tell a story - it's contemporary, fairly straight forward.

Then my characters got involved.

I'm just over 50,000 words into it. I'm fairly certain this will hit 100,000 words. Or close to it. At least the first draft. Then I'll sit on it for a bit before revising it again - and submit it. It started out intended for one thing, but took a duck walk early on. So, I'll submit it. Hopefully it's liked and accepted.  I have more details to add when I start revising. Questions that I wrote in the margin of my manuscript that may or may not require research or rewriting depending on what happened at the end of the story.

My goals are time based instead of word count based. My focus WIP is Behind the Masque. My goal is to write at least 1 hour every day. To spend at least half of that actually writing sentences that belong in the story. But part of writing is also research, it's also character development and set design. There is a lot more to writing, then simply sitting down to the computer or notebook and writing. I had to give myself permission to do that. If you're writing a paranormal, sci-fi, or fantasy then there is a lot more that has to be done. Because worlds and cultures must be explored and created in addition to figure out where the characters are heading now, because they don't care what you as the writer wants. Not really. They don't even fake it.

In reading news, I'm reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, which was not listed on the books (here) I was going to choose from.

So,7 hours of writing - 1 hour per day this week. My 30-day Writing Challenge is also supposed to kick off tomorrow, which is 1 hour of actually story writing, not any part of the writing process.

Happy Reading.

Blessings,
Simone.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Bissari Confederation

 The Bissari Confederation Series --

The Bissari Confederation, is a confederation of planets and solar systems that united against common enemies and found strength in numbers. This is the chronicle of the current affairs and events of the Bissari Confederation.

Bond Mates -- Book 1  --

 






 Excerpt:



“What’s your pleasure soldier?” the soft male voice purred, the words wrapping around him.

Thane ap del Kala did his best to ignore the voice and the fingers, which trailed cautiously up his thigh. He’d come in for a drink and sex, if he found the right person. Six months on patrol in space along the borders for the Bissari Confederation had taken its toll. Twenty-four hours left of a two-day leave while the ship underwent minor repairs. He normally didn’t take a quarter of that, spending just enough time away from the ship to find some relief. This time he’d taken the whole thing, needing to rid himself of the stress and tension from the last few months. The bar, a short shuttle ride from the star port, was clean and the boys working were legal and healthy. It was his favorite place to come when they stopped at the star port.

The edges of Thane’s senses tingled. The dormant psychic link programmed only for his soul mate vibrated. Every Karrgi knew the signs. One of the many humanoid races in the universe and the Bissari Confederation, his people had innate abilities gifted to them centuries ago. He knew when his soul mate was nearby. Every Karrgi knew when they were with meters of their soul mates. He’d brushed off earlier signs as the result from being in space and with out sex for too long. Now, within feet of his soul mate, there was no disputing the fact. Growling, he shook his head. Nothing good could come of meeting someone here. A bar on the fringes of a star port was a decent place for sexual release, but not for finding a life mate.

“I can do hard, soft, fast, or slow,” the male said, his fingers dancing lightly over Thane’s neck. “You could even spank me.” The words were soft, whispered against his ear, followed by a flick of a tongue.

Thane finally turned his attention toward the barfly. He knew their type, most were prostitutes looking for money, some wanted a way out of their current situation, but a few were simply after a good time. The practiced movements and voice that went straight to a man’s cock told him which type this one was. Money was a strong motivator. Briefly, Thane wondered what happened to make the boy choose this option.

“Who runs you?” Thane asked. He had no desire to enter into any sort of agreement without knowing exactly with whom he would have to negotiate if he was right. And everything proceeded like it should.

“I run myself.”

“Owner?” Thane asked, unconvinced.

“No.”

“How long have you been down here?”

“Maybe an hour,” the man purred. “I’ve never seen you here before.”
“Don’t toy with me,” Thane spat grabbing the thin wrist before it could reach his groin.

“Six months. Long enough.” The voice lost its sultry sound but still connected with his cock.

Slowly, Thane let his gaze wander over the would-be seducer standing in front of him. Taking his time, using the full range of his senses and abilities, he looked the barely-legal man up and down. Brown eyes peered out from under unruly sandy hair. A small, lithe body radiated need—not the sexual need that the young man might prefer, but the need to be loved and accepted. The thin, clingy material he wore did little to hide anything, including the image Thane sought. In the center of the younger man’s chest, over his heart was a pacing tiger in bright, shimmering white—the boy’s soul mark. It matched Thane’s slightly bigger version and that any Karrgi would see in green. The soul mark appeared green to everyone, but one’s life mate.

Soul mark. Bond mates. Thane mentally swore. If he didn’t bond with the man soon, there was a strong possibility he never would. Especially if the boy continued to work and live here. The idea instantly set Thane on edge. His man. His mate. Not some common prostitute. Not any more. No one would touch his mate like that, again. Ever.

“How old are you?” he demanded. He knew the owner of the bar; too many military personnel came through here for him to be even slightly careless about age.

“Turned eighteen three months ago. You can check. I know the rules. Sixteen for consent and just about anything else. Seventeen to work anywhere in any system. Eighteen if you want in here,” the younger man recited and removed his necklace. A small pouch hung on the chain, and he pulled out a one-inch metal disc and held it out.

Thane shook his head, took the disc and signaled for a reader. The bartender nodded and smiled, handing over a small square black and gray box with a large screen on the top of it. “Name,” Thane demanded, staring at the rent-boy.

“He’s legal, Commander. I did the verification myself,” the bartender said.

“I go by Wolf,” the younger man bit out.

Thane nodded. Not only had he found his mate in a bar, plying the oldest trade in the universe, but the man wasn’t even Karrgi. He’d known it was possible, however rare, for a Karrgi’s bond mate to be of a different race. The smaller man’s race didn’t matter where the laws and traditions of bond mates were concerned. Age and experience dictated that Thane was responsible for the younger man by Karrgi law. Thane knew that now that he’d found his mate, he should leave military service at the end of his current tour, return to his home world with his mate and settle down. Should. It wasn’t a law, he didn’t have to. Not really.

Sliding the disc in, Thane read the important details that verified the man’s age, identity and his valid work permit before using his security clearance to read more of the other man’s file. Taladari orphan. He blew out a breath. By choice or circumstance, the man was parentless. Thane had dealt with the Taladari before. They were a conservative, family-centered race of humans that passed information and skills from parent to child. Children who were fostered or adopted would learn the skills provided by that family. Orphans would learn whatever the State deemed necessary and were left to fend to on their own. Removing the disc, he handed it back.

“I think I prefer Breyan or Tiger. You’re too young to be a wolf, and I’m not fond of Mykel.”

“Did you get my last name too?” Breyan snapped.

“I did. Mykel Breyan Treadway, son of Moira Treadway. I still prefer Breyan,” Thane replied. “I am Commander Thane ap del Kala from the Karrgi home world of Ragini.” He could easily use his security clearance to find out what happened to lead Breyan to this path, but he wanted more than that with his mate. He wanted there to be trust and communication between them.

“You look good enough to eat Commander,” the man purred.

“I’m in no mood to stay here and flirt. I assume you have a room somewhere.”

Breyan nodded. “Five minute walk from here.”

“Let’s go.”

“You—I—yes sir.”

They walked the three blocks to the large house where Breyan had a room in companionable silence. The place was small, but clean and neat. A large bed dominated the area. A kitchenette was in one corner and a door was in another. There was little to suggest that the occupant wanted to stay here or actually lived here.

“How long have you lived here?”

“Two and a half months. I got it when the guy living here previously met someone and moved in with them.”

Thane nodded. “I want to see all of you.”

“Details first,” Breyan said, suddenly looking nervous. Thane knew the look, had seen it plenty of times on new recruits. It was the one that told him the person just realized they had monumentally screwed up.

“Details, yes. Prices, no.”

“No. I’m not free, and if you’re not paying, I’m not willing.”

Thane smiled and stepped back. The kid wasn’t completely stupid. But, if Thane had been like some men, those words would mean nothing, and he would take what he wanted from Breyan. Depending on the investigator afterward, the claim of rape from a rent boy wouldn’t be worth reporting.

“I’m Karrgi, and an officer in the Bissari Confederation military.”

“And that means what to me?”

Thane blew out a breath and ran a hand through his hair. Stepping forward, he placed a hand on Breyan’s chest.

“The Karrgi know when they’ve met their soul mates. In Ragini and other Karrgi home worlds, it’s easy to meet your mate. For those of us drawn to space, it’s more difficult. Our legends tell us that generations of wandering and centuries of war led to the development of a special psychic connection. We can look at a group of people and know in moments if our soul mate is present.”

“How?”

“We can see soul marks.”

“Soul marks?”

“Everyone has a soul mark, something that is indicative of the person, of the couple and a matching pair binds two souls together. One mark will call to its mate and change color in the presence of that mate. Your soul mark tells me that you’re my soul mate—that you belong to me and I to you.”

“I don’t have any marks,” Breyan protested. “Do they appear after sex?”

“A soul mark isn’t a physical mark. It’s part of your soul. After sex, we’ll share a bond that usually includes a mental connection and an increase in sexual energy. My eyes, Karrgi eyes, will turn green, the color of life, love and purity. A trait that I’ve never heard another race share. Sexually, we’d be sated only by each other.”
 



 






Solar Storm -- Book 2



Baynebridge Cormack, youngest son of a high powered business man, lives a reckless and carefree lifestyle. While on vacation with friends, the luxury starship they are riding on rips in half, separating Baynebridge from his friends and leaving him with life threatening injuries, vulnerable to kidnappers and slavers.

Rogan, Captain and owner of the SkyHawk, takes the young man aboard when no other ship will, knowing the danger he’s in and tries to hide his whereabouts from those trying to force the Confederation’s political hand.

The two men fall in love unexpectedly, but can their love survive run-ins with saboteurs, kidnappers and unexpected danger from within Baynebridge’s own family? 



Excerpt:


Red lights flashed. Sirens wailed. Bayne Cormack sat up in his bed and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. His gaze swept through the large slate gray room and landed on the empty bed next to his. He wondered where his friends were. And why the irritating alarm was sounding. Someone had to have an explanation. He’d paid too much money to be woken up in the middle of the night for something stupid like a drill.

Pulling the sheet from the bed, he wrapped it around his waist. The blue accents appeared to be an eerie shade of purple in the red flashing light. The door leading to the main living area of one of the luxury starliner’s stateroom slid open partway then stalled before continuing to open. Hanging onto the sheet with one hand he ran to the cabin’s second bedroom, swearing when he found it empty.

Heart pounding, he ran through the cabin and pressed the control panel next to the door. It hesitated before sliding open. People in the blue and gray uniforms of the Centuriian Starlines rushed by, occasionally joined by the dark blue uniforms of Bissari Confederation military personnel.

“Brace for impact!” Someone shouted.

“Why?” Bayne asked, disbelief swirling. They were supposed to be on a pleasure cruise, a scenic trek through a couple of star systems before they reached their final destination. His thoughts turned to his three friends. They had all spent the evening drinking and dancing in one of the starliner’s many clubs, and each one had hooked up with a different man. Although, if Bayne knew S’yvyn, there was probably a woman in with them somewhere. The man found himself playing with more couples than anybody else Bayne knew or probably would ever know. Bayne shook his head and wondered where his friends were and if they were okay.

“What’s happening?” a female voice asked. A middle-aged woman peeked out of the room across the hall. She looked irritated and scared, echoing his own emotions. He took a deep breath and schooled his features into a long practiced blank fa├žade.

“Don’t know,” Bayne replied, the noise from the alarms wreaking havoc with his head. “Was told to brace for impact.”

“Why?” A younger looking man asked joining the woman.

Bayne shrugged. “Didn’t say.”

“Pirates maybe?” the woman asked, paling.

The man shook his head. “Maybe we’re going to hit something.”

Bayne nodded, outwardly agreeing with the man. Pirates would be bad. They’d been known to go after smaller starliners, but he’d never heard of them attacking one this big. Hitting anything heading for Van Tora Kai was generally considered suicidal by everyone, since the planet was home to a huge military force. Service personnel always fought back, usually taking the lives of pirates, not bothering to hold them prisoner.

“Rogue meteor,” Bayne offered.

The man shrugged his agreement and pulled the woman back into their stateroom. Bayne watched the door close behind the couple and contemplated his next move.

An older woman in a dark blue uniform bellowed into a communicator as she rushed down the corridor. “Push the override. Open all the goddamned doors. We’ll be sitting ducks. Get the Mayday out!”

He recognized the uniform insignia and rank. She was either the captain of the starliner, or more likely one of the military starcruisers.

This ship was owned and operated by Centuriian Starliners, a civilian company, and had a final port at Van Tora Kai. The space station funneled tourists to one side of the planet while transporting service personnel to the other side. The planet housed the largest military academy and training grounds dedicated to space operations in the galaxy. It was the reason why he and his friends had taken this trip, a last hurrah for Garek, who had followed family tradition by applying for and being accepted into the academy. Eventually he would become an admiral, but first he was looking forward to years as a pilot in the military’s latest starfighter.

The first tremors hit the ship, and he lost his footing. His body lurched forward into the wall and then sideways down the hall. Somewhere along the way he lost hold of the sheet he’d used to cover himself. Pushing his arms out, he tried to stop tumbling about, grasping at anything he could use to secure himself. The ship creaked and groaned. People screamed. Bayne’s left arm throbbed from where he had landed on it. The ship rolled from side to side, tossing him along the corridor as he tried to get back to his cabin. Pain lanced his body. His right arm bent at an unnatural angle. Blood tickled the side of his head. Lights flickered and died. Artificial gravity went offline and he found himself floating to the ceiling with everyone and everything else.

“Why hasn’t the generator kicked on?” Bayne demanded. There were shouts and screams, but no one answered his question.

He needed to get dressed and to find his friends. Keeping his injured arm close to his body, he tried to pull himself along the ceiling to his room. The continual rocking of the ship along with the appearance of more and more debris made any real progress impossible. Everything from clothes and bedding to dishes, toys, and pieces of metal meandered through the corridor, their momentum driven by starliner’s movements.

Metal crunched. The ship lurched violently back and forth. Bayne reached out, catching the doorframe leading to his cabin with both hands as he was about to fly past it. He screamed in pain and pulled himself forward. Agonizingly slow, he dragged himself into the stateroom, now dreading how big it was, and slowly moved toward the bedroom. The ship pitched and rolled, flinging him from one side of the cabin’s main room to the other, colliding with cushions, empty glasses and decorative items. He slammed against the wall, cursing when a chair that either hadn’t been bolted to the floor or had worked its way loose hit him. His head bounced against something hard. Darkness engulfed him.

****
Bright light shone from behind his closed eyes. Bayne blinked rapidly, he could make out blurry moving shapes from where his body had become entangled with some of the furniture. He tried to move, but his body protested. He cried out in pain before he could think to stop himself.

“Help!” He called out. His voice sounded rough and foreign to him, his throat raw. “Help!”

“Shit! Live one!”

“Hold on kid!”

Bayne nodded and closed his eyes. The light and pain burrowed into him. He hoped his friends were okay. He’d never be able to face anyone if they weren’t. The cruise had been his idea. Rough hands grabbed him.

“Hold on kid. We got you. That med transport still around?”

“No sir. Said they were overloaded as it was, they were heading—”

Bayne lost the fight to stay conscious.
****


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

From The Writer's Desk - Last Week of July

2017 has flown by.  It's simply hard to believe it's the end of July. Within a matter of weeks, the leaves will change colors from the multitude of greens to gold, purple, red, and orange before they fall to the ground and the snow begins to fly.

I still don't have my glasses, which means writing and transcribing is slow going. I'm on day three of headache and R has been in pain and miserable for the last week. Hopefully, they are on the mend and will be back to their normal soon.

I finished Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey and IM by Rick Reed. I'm still reading Write by Karen Peterson and finding it very interesting.  I'm trying to decide between starting Dragonquest by Anne McCaffrey, The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson, or Hell & High Water by Charlie Cochet. There is also the books that I added to my To Be Read Pile earlier this month (here) that are tempting.

For the rest of the week, I need to concentrate on finish transcribing my handwritten pages, so I can continue writing. I want to finish this book and get it ready to submit to my editor by the end of August. My goal is to write an hour a day. It may take me most of the day to get that one hour, but I'm committed to finishing this book.

Blessings,
Simone.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Promises


From Resplendence Publishing, you can get it here.


Ten years ago, Jason Caldwell left everything and everyone he knew and forged a new life out of nothing. Now, he has everything a man should want. A call pulls him back to the world he left behind and now that he's home, he learns…sometimes promises need to be broken.


Excerpt:

Gravel crunched under the wheels of the sleek black sports car as it pulled into the nearly empty lot in front of the gray, weathered building, and parked next to an ancient, faded-red pickup truck.
Jason Caldwell released his grip on the steering wheel, took a deep breath, exhaled slowly then turned off the car. He stared out the window at the Spanish moss hanging from the centuries-old trees and the thick vegetation edging the clearing. Yanking the keys out of the ignition, he pounded his fist on the leather-covered wheel, wishing things were different. They weren’t though. No amount of wishing would change what had happened. He’d been given no choice, and he’d broken the one promise he’d sworn on his soul to keep.
Opening the door, he stepped out of the low-slung car and locked it, shaking his head in silent laughter afterward. City habits had little place in the bayou, hours from what most people would term “civilization”. What was foreign and scary for his friends and co-workers was normal and right here. It was the same way he’d felt when he’d arrived in the city years ago. He inhaled deeply, the earthy scent of the trees and soil filling his lungs, welcoming him home. The land didn’t care about promises made between people. It knew who belonged there and who didn’t. His grandma had always told him the land would always call home those who belonged to it. It had called them home after leaving for the war. It had called to him with increasing frequency over the years. He’d resisted. Until now.
Shoving a hand through his hair, he crossed the lot and paused at the bottom of the steps. The two-story, gray-wood building was exactly as he remembered. Windows on either side of the door were open, drawing in the slight breeze and giving him hope that at least the owner would be there.
This was the last building he’d seen before he’d left ten years ago and the last place he should have ever come back to. Gator’s had been the only bar, restaurant, general store and post office in the area for years until someone had gotten the bright idea to offer outrageously priced tours to city dwellers. He’d walked away from Gator’s early in the morning with his ID and fifty dollars in his pocket—all the money he and his sister had. He’d sent cash back several times then finally a debit card so she could have money whenever she needed it. He still stuck money in there every payday. She’d used it sporadically at first, but hadn’t touched it in seven years.
The steps creaked as he climbed them. A single rocking chair sat on one side of the porch, topped by a threadbare cushion. A hard-back chair had been placed next to it with three matching chairs clustered together on the other side of the porch. He could almost hear the voices of the old grandfathers arguing and swapping war stories. Taking a deep breath, he grasped the knob and pulled. Slightly surprised when it actually moved, he stood still for a minute before stepping into the dimly lit room.
“We closed at dusk. Best be on your way,” a male voice yelled from somewhere out of sight. The Cajun drawl sang to his soul, reminding him of what he’d been missing and what he’d worked hard to remove from his own voice and vocabulary.
Jason’s gut clenched. The voice was deeper than he remembered, but familiar in a way only one man’s had ever been. Jason had been expecting to meet his sister or at least Bob, Gator’s son and his father’s best friend. Unable to move or speak, he stared toward the back corner where he knew a small kitchen and storeroom were located, in addition to the stairs that lead up to the private second floor. A mixture of excitement and horror coursed through him.
“Damned city dwellers. Don’t you hear?” The voice was different this time, one Jason didn’t recognize. “We’re closed.”
Bright light flooded the room, chasing away the shadows and dim lights. Jason blinked rapidly, trying to force his eyes to adjust. “I-I was looking for… I’m supposed to meet Miri here.”
“No one here by that name.”
“Miriam Caldwell. She doesn’t live here. She lives over in on Willow Cove with—”
“You sonofabitch! You have a lot of nerve showing up here after all this time!”
Jason swallowed and stepped forward, the man’s face and voice coalescing. Black hair and brown eyes, a beard that was starting to grow in. The soft features of a young man had sharpened into that of a man and spoke experience. It would be a sexy combination on the right man. Any other man, Jason admitted to himself.
“Randy.” The name escaped through ground teeth.
Randall Biddeaux. Jason clenched and unclenched his fists. The man had destroyed his life and Jason had promised he’d kill the older man if he ever saw him again. Time was supposed to heal wounds, dulling anger and the desire for vengeance. He wasn’t so sure. He hated Randy as much now as he had ten years ago. Killing him wouldn’t help the situation. Jason took another breath and let it out slowly. Maybe, time made a way for logic to triumph over anger and hatred.
“What in the hell are you doing back here?” Randy asked, walking over to him.
“My daddy.”
“And you chose to stop here first?” Randy stopped several feet from him and folded his arms over his chest.
Jason shook his head. “Miri said it was easier to get in and out of here for her.”
“You took his heart and soul with him when you left. You should have stayed away.”
Shawn. Randy’s younger brother and Jason’s best friend. Jason nodded, his heart constricting. “I didn’t—”
He stopped and stared at the dark-haired man entering the room. He’d filled out, gained a man’s body, but his blue eyes were haunted, carrying more pain than Jason had imagined anyone could.
“Didn’t what? Mean to stay away? Mean to come back?” the newcomer asked standing next to Randy, his arms crossed over his chest.
“Shawn.” The name came out little more than a whisper. Jason took a step forward. Years of pain and regret flooded him. He stumbled and fell to his knees.
“Answer me. I deserve an answer damned it!”
“Yes,” Jason whispered, nodding.
“What kind of bullshit answer is that?” Randy demanded.
Anger rushed through Jason, and he pulled himself to his feet. He’d been forced to leave and promised to never return, to never set foot in the county again. Because of who he’d fallen in love with. “Like you give a shit, Randy.”
“Why you little—”
“Let me handle it, brother,” Shawn Biddeaux ground out, closing the distance between them.
Jason’s gaze stayed riveted on Shawn. The only man he’d ever loved. The only man he’d ever wanted to spend his life with. The one man he wasn’t allowed to have. “I didn’t mean to hurt you. I swear. I had no choice.”
“Bullshit! You had no choice?” Disbelief was evident in Shawn’s voice.
Time slowed to crawl as Shawn drew back his arm and swung. Jason stood still as the fist connected with his jaw. He had it coming. While he knew why he’d disappeared, Shawn had been left without answers or anyone to turn to. Jason staggered backward, fell against a table then landed on the floor.
He shook his head then pulled himself to his feet, wiping the blood from the corner of his mouth. “Yeah, no choice. I didn’t want to leave. Your daddy and mine confronted me, said they knew all about us. They said I wasn’t welcomed here anymore and that it was better for you and on you if I left, since they knew I was the one who tried to seduce you. I promised to never come back.” He winced at the half-lie. There was more, but it wouldn’t do any good for Shawn to learn the truth. His life was here in the bayou with his friends and family. Jason’s was in the city, with people he’d met through work.
“Bullshit.”
“If I had left voluntarily, on good terms, don’t you think I would have been back for Grandma Caldwell’s funeral. Not only was I not there, but I’ll bet you every penny I have, I wasn’t even mentioned by anyone in my family or yours.”
“So why now? Why come home now after all these years?”
“Miri called. Your daddy asked me to come home because my daddy is dying.”
“Miri? She knew how to get a hold of you all this time?”
Jason nodded. “She’s called several times in the past couple weeks. The last time, your daddy got on the phone, told me himself I needed to come home. Both he and my daddy wanted to see me one last time.”
“She never… She always said she didn’t know where you were or how to reach you. Told me I was better off forgetting about you. That you were gone for good.”
“I made her promise not to tell anyone. I didn’t want anyone to get in trouble. Not because of me.”
“Wait, you said you had no choice. That they confronted you. Blamed you. How did they find out?” Shawn asked, pulling a chair out from the table and sitting down hard. “We were careful. Nobody knew.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Jason said flatly. “I came back at my daddy’s request, but I wasn’t asked to come home.”
“You’re leaving again?” Randy demanded. “You come all this way with this bullshit story, and you’re leaving again? You really don’t give a shit about anyone else but yourself do you?”
Jason pinned Shawn’s older brother with a glare. “Yes. And you know damn well I have no choice and never did.” Pent-up anger and frustration rushed forward, followed quickly by guilt as he realized he’d broken another promise. He’d always known who’d told on them. Turning away from Randy, he dropped to his knees in front of the man who still held his heart. “Shawn, I was eighteen and scared for you. For us. Of our daddies. Of what would happen if I stayed.”
“You should have trusted me.” Shawn’s voice broke. “Told me. Taken me with you.”
“I couldn’t.” Jason stood, pulling Shawn up with him and wrapped his arms around the man who had never left his heart. “Our daddies took me to my gram’s then brought me here. I walked to the highway and hitched a ride to the next town. Grandma Caldwell fed me and gave me my grandpa’s watch before I left. We both knew it would be the last time we’d see each other.”
“You could’ve come back for me,” Shawn argued, pulling away from Jason. “I’d have left with you.”
Randy shuffled his feet and blurted out, “I was stupid okay? I thought it was wrong and disgusting. I didn’t realize how bad I’d fucked up until it was too late, after you stopped caring about anything else. I didn’t know he was your entire world.”
“You sonofabitch! I ought to—”
Jason grabbed Shawn and pulled him back into his arms. “Randy’s still your brother. Leave him be. I never stopped loving you, Shawn. Not one day passed when I didn’t think of you at least once. I wanted to share every new experience with you. Wanted nothing more than to hold you when all I had were memories to keep me warm.”

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

From the Writer's Desk - Mid-July is Here

Mid-July is officially here and this year is flying, which means one of my favorite stitching fabric stores - Picture This Plus will have their annual Christmas in July sale on their hand-dyed fabrics and fall feels like it's about 3 weeks away.

I've lost weight since I've started exercising regularly. I don't know how much since I still haven't bought a scale, but I know I've lost about a 1/2 inch overall in the last month. Which makes me over the moon happy, since I started exercising ONLY 10 minutes a day. I'm up to 30 minutes a day and plan on starting walking at night in addition to what I do in the morning. 

My new computer battery arrived and that seemed to do the job nicely. Which is good. Now, I need to transcribe what I wrote long hand and fill in the missing details. My new glasses aren't here yet so my time on the computer is still limited (as well as anything close up), but hopefully this week or next week. 

I put my 30 day writing challenge on hold and plan to re-start on August 1st. That should give me enough time to get used to the new glasses.

I did finish the book I was reading last night - Story Trumps Structure - excellent writing book. It illustrates the benefits of writing - pantser style. In other words - by the seat of your pants - without an outline. Really making it up as you go along. :)

I've started Write by Karen Peterson and I think I need to end July with a Mystery or two and will be starting with Rick R. Reed's IM

Writing wise, I plan on transcribing my long-hand pages and filling in the blanks, so I can continue writing. I won't finish Behind the Masque by the end of July, but I absolutely need to finish it by the end of August, preferably the middle of August, because I want to get Between Classes and Divided Loyalty finished also this year.

Monday, July 10, 2017

From the Writer's Desk - Closing in on Mid-July

It's almost mid-July, that doesn't seem to be possible to be honest. R is back from Orlando. Early. That was unplanned. And something I'm not completely happy about. For a multitude of reasons, but it is what it is.

32 days ago I began this Miracle Morning deal after starting to read the book, the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. 4 days later, 28 days ago, I recommitted to writing daily and since then I have written nearly every day and written more than I have in a long time. The last few days between R leaving and returning and being way more tired than anticipated, as well as eye strain (this is apparently cured by the use of bi-focals, which are now on their way. Insert dramatic sigh here.), I have written less than I have not written. So, time to change that.

I write in 15-minute  blocks. This is a good thing because that's about how long I can write before my eyes start doing this weird double vision/blurry vision deal. But, I'm challenging myself to write at least 1 hour every day. The 15-minute blocks will be good, but also, because I'm writing long-hand for the moment, I don't have to worry about bringing my laptop (which is still not doing real well).  So, the goal is to write at least 1 hour every day for the next 30 days. At the end of which, if I've made it, I get to buy a book or two. I need to establish a new habit, this will help. I also want to make it positive with something to look forward too.

I'm still working on Behind the Masque. I still want to finish it before the end of the month.

30 days of writing.
Finish Behind the Masque.

I can do this.

Blessing,
Simone.

Friday, July 7, 2017

For the To Be Read Pile

In honor of the 241st birthday of the United States of America, I decided to see what I could find to read that was set during the Revolutionary War.  Sadly, not a lot. A search of Barnes and Noble's website turned up a well known m/f romance series set in Scotland, a regency quartet - also, m/f, and a Civil War Romance/Women's Fiction - also well known. Good books, but not what I was after, which was Gay or MM Historical Romance set in the Revolutionary War.  Dreamspinner has a category called Historical Americas, but it's mostly Westerns, which I also wasn't after at the moment. While in search of Gay/MM/Bi Revolutionary War Historical Romance, Indie Author Sylvia Violet mentioned her novel, which I found I can get the paperback version from Barnes and Noble. These are being added to  my TBR pile.


 Revolutionary Temptation - Sylvia Violet

1777 New York City
The American colonists are fighting for their independence, but the battlefield is not the only place to wage war. When General Washington's head of intelligence asks Captain Jack West to spy on the British in New York, Jack agrees, despite reservations about this ungentlemanly pursuit.
Jack's contact in the city recruits bookshop owner Elias Ashfield, an impeccably dressed sensualist who flaunts his desire for both men and women and seeks a place in high society. Jack longs for a simple life guided by clear principles. Eli is a risk-taker who knows how to get what he wants. And he wants Jack in his bed.
Events in Jack's past have made him fearful of acting on his secret craving for a man's touch, but Eli intrigues Jack as much as he infuriates him. As Jack and Eli search for the information the rebel army needs, they realize there's more between them than mere lust. But finding a way to be together may prove more difficult than defeating the British Empire.





Swift for the Sun By Dreamspinner

Benjamin Lector imagines himself a smuggler, a gunrunner, and an all-around scoundrel. A preacher’s son turned criminal, first and foremost he is a survivor.
When Benjamin is shipwrecked on Dread Island, fortune sends an unlikely savior—a blond savage who is everything Benjamin didn’t know he needed. Falling in love with Sun is easy. But pirates have come looking for the remains of Benjamin’s cargo, and they find their former slave Sun instead.
Held captive by the pirates, Benjamin learns the depths of Sun’s past and the horrors he endured and was forced to perpetrate. Together, they must not only escape, but prevent a shipment of weapons from making its way to rebellious colonists. Benjamin is determined to save the man he loves and ensure that a peaceful future together is never threatened again. To succeed might require the unthinkable—an altruistic sacrifice.







The Royal Navy Series - By Lee Rowan by Dreamspinner
At the turn of the 19th century, two sailors will do anything to keep their love. The attraction that David Archer feels for his fellow midshipman William Marshall seems impossible, until desperate circumstances force their emotions to light, in Ransom. After a year spent hiding their feelings, in Winds of Change & Eye of the Storm, traitors and war with France threatens to destroy everything they’ve worked so hard for. In Home Is the Sailor, a different kind of battle awaits them when David’s eldest brother dies under mysterious circumstances. And finally, in Sail Away, explore the missing moments of David and William’s romance, as well as the lives of friends and family, in a series of short stories, including a special nit-picking vignette from Charlie Cochrane.






Revolutionary Temptation is set during the Revolutionary War, and is the only one I found that was from the side of the Colonies. Swift for the Sun is set during the Revolutionary War - from the British point of view, which totally reminds of the memes floating around Facebook about Happy Treason Day and Ungrateful peasants.  The Royal Navy Series seems to be set around the same time frame, but also British. The following - one is a Western or Paranormal Western and the other, I have no idea, but it was under the Historical Americas Section and looks really interesting.



Once Upon a Time in the Weird West by Dreamspinner - Western Not revolutionary

This isn’t the same old Wild West. The usual suspects are all present: cowboys, outlaws, and sheriffs. There’s plenty of dust, tumbleweeds, horses, and cattle on the range, but there are also magical gems, automatons, elementals, airships… even dinosaurs and genetically modified insects. Roaming among the buffalo and coyotes, you’ll encounter skinwalkers, mad engineers, mythical beings cloaked in darkness, and lovers who stay true to their oaths… even beyond the grave. On this frontier are those at the mercy of their own elaborate devices as well as men whose control of time and space provides a present-day vision of the West. There might even be a dragon hidden amongst the ghost towns and wagon trains.
If you like your Westerns with a splash of magic, a touch of steampunk, and plenty of passionate romance between men, these genre-bending tales will exceed expectations.
Hold on to your hats, cowboys and cowgirls. The West is about to get weird, and you’re in for a hell of a ride.
See excerpt for individual blurbs.



Gothika: Volume Five
Since ancient times, humankind has looked into the night sky and wondered: Are we alone? Are there other civilizations beyond the stars? Will we ever encounter these beings? Who are they, what are they like, and what might they want with us?
These questions are about to be answered, but those who discover the truth might wish they had never asked. On the other hand, some might find salvation in visitors from other planets. For while some aliens are hostile, others are benevolent. Some have little in common with humans, but for others, the need for love and acceptance is universal. Lives will intersect and otherworldly passions will ignite as four acclaimed authors of gay romance explore first contact—and where it can lead.






I haven't read any of these, but I'm adding them to my TBR list and can't wait to start them. I will qualify that I was looking for gay or mm historical romance that didn't include shape shifters or vampires and set during the Revolutionary War. I did search the publishers I was familiar with and looked on Good Reads and Barnes and Noble. I found a lot of World War I and II stories, along with the Roaring 20's, ancient history, along with the 1940's and 50's. So, there is plenty to read and keep me busy.  I searched in the ways that seemed the most logical to me, and so I could have easily missed something cool -- in which case, hopefully someone will point them out to me. Some of these authors I know and some are new to me, which will be an adventure.

Happy Reading and Happy Birthday to the USA.

Blessings,
Simone.







Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Fourth of July!!

Yesterday was the 241st Birthday of the United States, I think that makes us a teenager compared to some countries. 

Every one has their traditions on what they do on the Holiday. R is in Orlando, so, my day was quiet - by choice - I didn't go anywhere, didn't see anyone. I wrote until I fell asleep at the keyboard, stitched, cleaned, made homemade brownies, and generally enjoyed the day off from the day job. Next year maybe I'll try a party or parade or the fireworks, but this year, I really just needed the quiet. If I'm up for it, maybe I'll go to the Air Show and Balloon Festival in Battle Creek. It's an annual event, which is where this photo was taken. I've added fly in a hot air balloon to my bucket list.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Fourth of July.

Blessings,
Simone.

Monday, July 3, 2017

From the Writer's Desk -- Looking Ahead to July


 July brings parades, picnics, family get togethers, and fireworks. If you live in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere it means that the summer is almost over and fall will be here before you know. Before the month is out the stores will have their back to school merchandise covering the floors.  This year my neighborhood instituted a firework ban on anything that left the ground. As a result, it's been quiet around here, which I'm grateful for.

I have projects I need to finish this month, starting with my latest book. I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the month, that means I really need to not miss any writing days. I've missed 4 out of the last 20, which isn't too bad. 1 day I simply didn't feel like it, 1 I was dealing with something that took prescience. Yesterday, I woke up with a headache and this morning, R went to see their godparents.

My big goal is to finish Behind the Masque this month. Other than that, my goal is to write every day. I don't have a daily word count goal at the moment, although ideally I'd like to hit 7,000 words over the next 7 days. There is some non-writing stuff I need to do to, but that shouldn't take too much time. Since I have no plans for the Fourth, I will hopefully get some writing done.

Blessings,
Simone.