Recent Reads

In the evenings, I’ve gotten back to reading. I’m filling up my tablet’s memory with Kindle books. Trust me, I’m not complaining. The only difficult thing, at times, is to figure out what I want to read next.

Screen Shot 2018-07-23 at 6.56.50 PMI started my “roll” with The Last Echo by Michael Connelly. It’s the first book in the Harry Bosch series. Harry is a detective in LAPD’s Hollywood Division. I’ve read through Book 11, The Closers, and then looked for something else. I wasn’t sure how I would like the books when Harry retired, but I kept on going. I finally took a break because I got the feeling Harry’s going to get really hard on himself, and I’m afraid that’s going to take away from the story. I could be totally wrong, but I decided a change was in order.

I tried John Sandford’s Rules of Prey, the first book in the Lucas Davenport series. It did not work for me. I couldn’t connect with Davenport (the detective), and some of the things that happened in the book left me sour.

Continue reading “Recent Reads”

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Retirement Thoughts

It’s been just over two weeks since I said good-bye to my job…maybe I should say career? I was with the company nearly 21 years. I’m not sure that’s so common these days.

The first week of not working was a bit weird. I felt like I should still be there. I kind of felt guilty, too, for leaving my coworkers short-handed.

The second week I’m starting to settle in. I’ve been more active than I was when I was working, and I’ve enjoyed having time to actually pursue my hobbies.

It hasn’t helped that my cat has been out of sorts, not eating or drinking as much as I would like. After a couple of trips to the vet (ouch! Why didn’t I get pet insurance??) she seems to be slowly getting back to herself.

Now, if Mother Nature would just cooperate with some perfect weather, life would be grand! I mean is it too much to ask for sunshine and the mid 70s with a very light breeze??

Ok, I’m getting back to my Starbucks. Don’t be jealous! *wink* I will leave with a picture from my hike yesterday.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Appalachian Trail, Annapolis Rock

New Release: Blood Feud

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Caught in a deadly conspiracy to forge the next Emperor of the Ethian Galaxy, an ancient rite demands blood… After twenty-two years being held captive on an Outlander world, the long lost Prince Adar Zahn is finally brought back to his true home, but without any memory of his past. As he searches for the answers about himself and what is expected as the Emperor’s sixth son, Adar discovers how difficult trust is to find and that the truth can be worse than a lie. On his journey of discovery, he is left with questions about himself, a growing foreboding about his family, and a rising urgency to discover more about a vaguely mentioned Blood Feud. Can he unravel the mystery that surrounds him before it’s too late?

Amazon buy link

Goodreads link

Interview with Dawn:

Tell us about the story. Where did you get the inspiration for it? How long did it take you to write it? Do you share any traits or likes/ dislikes with your characters? Where is your story set? A fictional place or somewhere you’ve visited/ lived?

This is a science fiction epic series called Emperors of Ethia, and Blood Feud is the first book of that series. I have three core books planned, but have enough story for far more. I even have an outline for a prequel novel and several short stories.  These other works helped me a lot with fleshing out the backstory for the series.

The inspiration for this series came from many places. The show Prison Break, the Sherlock Holmes stories, Farscape, Star Wars, Star Trek were very heavy inspirations for this series, and if you look close enough, you may see some of those parts emulated in the story. Continue reading “New Release: Blood Feud”

Wednesday Briefs: More Girls & Ghouls

The last installment of Two Girls & Some Ghouls. I apologize for making you wait an extra week, but I think you will find the wait was worth it. My story is more polished now. It’s a definite improvement from my draft!

The writing prompt Avery used for this week was to have a ghost in your story. I think Julie was helping me out with that one!! The story meets the word count; it’s over 500 words (but nowhere near the 1000 word limit).

I hope you enjoy what happens between Private Mansfield and Alex! Check out the links below for the other Wednesday Briefers!

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

Two Girls & Some Ghouls (Part III)

by

Avery Dawes

Private Mansfield grew quiet, as if he was letting what he’d heard stew in his mind for a bit prior to making any additional inquiries. “And my wife? Is there anything good which you can tell me regarding her life?”

I looked to Steph. Truth be told, his wife had remarried when the war ended. Maybe five or six years after that, she’d died while giving birth to her fourth child, who then passed a couple of days later. Death and more death. Poor Private Mansfield. I definitely wouldn’t be sharing those particular tidbits with him.

Steph shrugged her shoulders, as if to say “I’ve got nothing.” Okay, so this was all me. Hmm, maybe there was some way I could spin it that wouldn’t be so painful. “She missed you very much after you passed in battle, and she made sure to take very good care of your son.” Technically what I told him wasn’t a lie, but definitely an oversimplification of his late wife’s timeline, leaving out the happily ever after (well, happily for a couple of years!) with another man.

The private nodded solemnly, then proceeded to scratch his thin beard. I wondered if he believed me. Was it possible that he saw through my thinly veiled omission? “Very well then,” he said at last. “What about my grandchildren? Can you tell me anything of them? Were you able to find anything about their lives?” Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: More Girls & Ghouls”

Wednesday Briefs: More Girls & Ghouls

It’s Wednesday, and we all know that means it’s time for some flash fiction! Woohoo!

This was another “free” week so Avery didn’t have to worry about including a prompt. Her story meets the 500-1000 word count. So, good there. Last but not least, be sure to check out flash fiction pieces from other Wednesday Brief authors. Their links are at the bottom of the page.

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

Now, time for Part II of Two Girls and Some Ghouls

Last week, Private Mansfield politely asked if I could find out what became of his wife and young son after the war. I sensed the emotion behind his strong façade and gave him props for not shedding any ghost tears. Using the dates and locations he provided, I thought I might have a chance at finding what had become of his family. Needless to say, it didn’t take much convincing for me to help. His story had touched an unexpected nerve. He and his wife were newlyweds when he left his home outside of Staunton to fight for Virginia. They’d quickly married once she learned she was pregnant—bet that was a big oops back in the 1860s! Thankfully, the baby had been born healthy and had his mother’s beautiful blue eyes. I could tell Private Mansfield thought the world of his son, and not being able to hug and kiss him one last time before he passed was tearing him apart.

I promised Private Mansfield I’d see what I could do. I spent my two days off scouring library archives and old newspapers as well as talking with a number of knowledgeable ladies at historical societies all up and down the Shenandoah Valley. Late in the second day, I finally found the information I had been looking for. I hesitated to tell him all I had learned. While there was some good news, some of the family’s history was definitely bad. Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: More Girls & Ghouls”

Flash Fiction: Two Girls and Some Ghouls

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

It’s that time of the week . . . Wednesday Briefers time! Are you ready for some flash fiction? I sure hope so!

This is a new story start for Avery. It’s F-F paranormal with some romance. There weren’t any prompts this week so it’s a freebie! Remember, the stories have to be between 500 and 1,000 words. This is just a start for this story so you’ll have to come back next week to read the next installment!

Two Girls and Some Ghouls

by

Avery Dawes

The narrow parking space at the end of the lot was calling my name, so I swung the Jeep Wrangler into position and parked as far away from the overhead security light as possible. Getting a ticket for parking in the Battlefield’s Visitor Center lot after dark was not on my agenda. I looked through the windshield. The sun had already dipped below the mountains in the distance. The violet purples of twilight were fading to deep midnight blues. Before long, the black sky would be filled with pinpoints of white starlight.

My Jeep was filled with all the tension of a Mexican stand-off. My girlfriend had wanted to see me work—or so she said—but now that we were here . . . her crossed arms and stiff posture said otherwise. Not one to beat around the proverbial bush, I sliced through the tension with blunt honesty. “Steph, it’s fine. You don’t want to be here. No problem.” I pulled the keys from the ignition and held them out to her. “Take my keys, grab a cup of coffee, and meet me back here. I promise I won’t be angry with you.” Disappointed, sure, but I wasn’t going to share that with her. Continue reading “Flash Fiction: Two Girls and Some Ghouls”

New Release: Upstaged 1 – Opening Act

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  • BOOK NAME Upstaged I – Opening Act
  • AUTHORS S L Danielson and Nephy Hart
  • PUBLISHED BY Extacy Press
  • WORD COUNT Approx. 75,000
  • NUMBER OF PAGES 246
  • GENRE New Adult. Contemporary Romance
  • HEAT RATING 3

Blurb

Wannabe singer and band front man Erik Von Nordgren hates snarky brit Asher Berkley with a passion. From the moment he turns up at practice with his twin sister Daisy, who is one of the band the two have hated each other.

Through a series of ‘tit for tat’ incidents they annoy, frustrate and exasperated each other. The die hard goth with purple eyes and the hard core rocker with dreams of the big time have nothing in common and no need to cross paths. Except to wind each other up.

Until the day that Erik throws Asher in the school pool, when everything begins to change. Erik is so far in closet he’s in Narnia and Asher has a dark past and trust issues that stand in the way of any relationship, let alone one with the brash American who hurts him every time they try to get together.

A relationship doomed from the start, or so you’d think.  Continue reading “New Release: Upstaged 1 – Opening Act”