This week, Avery has continued the Civil War story (part 2). The prompt she used was “to have gunshots in your story.” She also used part of the another prompt. See if you notice sleep and bandage in the story.
I hope you enjoy the story! When your done, be sure to check out the links at the bottom.
Angel of Mercy
Henry left the injured soldier resting against the tree. He wanted to turn, look back at Emory, but didn’t want to appear desperate. Focus on the man’s health and well-being, not his physical attributes.
Henry jogged the last hundred yards to his farmhouse. Taking the stairs two at a time, he reached the armoire in the hallway outside his bedroom. He pushed aside an extra quilt to locate his first aid supplies, and grabbed some linen fabric strips. These would suffice as bandages. He then took an unopened jar of salve off the shelf. He’d been lucky of late—no serious farming injuries. He paused to think . . . when had the last one been? That’s right. On that unseasonably warm day this past March. He’d been working to repair damage to the barn from a hard snowstorm. The saw jumped, knocked him off balance, shredding part of his left forearm. He winced recalling the blood. He still had deep scars from the incident. Enough reminiscing, Henry! Get back on track!
He needed a bag to carry these supplies. Probably wouldn’t hurt to take a knife along. Henry would have to expose the wound before he could treat it. Soap, too, to clean the wound.
Upon returning to the mudroom off the porch, he located a canvas bag. Perfect! He added a knife and a bar of soap to his supplies. As an afterthought, he took two ripe peaches from the bowl on his kitchen table. Emory might enjoy them. The crop had been very juicy this summer. Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: Angel of Mercy”→
Okay, I admit, I’m a day late for the Fourth of July. Regardless, I wanted to write a flash that would coincide with the Fourth and with the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg. The prompt that I used for my story this week was “have a Civil War soldier in your story.” Remember, too, I was limited to 500-1000 words so there will be more to come. I hope you like the guys and the story!
Friend or Foe?
Last week of June, 1863
Henry trudged down to the stream. Two empty buckets dangled from his calloused fingers. These hot, humid summer days would be the death of him. Despite the weather, chores on his farmette didn’t cease.
He crossed the last bit of farmland, taking a well-worn path through the trees to the stream. As he entered the shade, he breathed a sigh of relief. Henry dropped the buckets before he plopped on the ground. He shucked his shoes and socks then rolled up his pant legs. Sliding closer to the stream, he dangled his feet in the cool water. Ah, heaven!
Closing his eyes, Henry lay back on the cool ground, his feet lazily kicking the cool water. He crossed his arms comfortably over his stomach. A short nap was in order. Mable and Marshall, his two horses, would survive until he returned with fresh water for their trough.
Sleep had nearly overtaken him when a rustling in the bushes startled him awake. Bolting upright, Henry jumped to his feet and waited. The noise came again, louder this time. The sound had come from off to his left. Henry tried to calm his racing heart. This was his land, after all, and whoever was out there was trespassing. “Announce yourself! Who’s there?”
His surprisingly forceful command was met by silence. Henry took a couple of steps toward the shrubs that lined the stream bank. A great crash broke the stillness, followed by muffled curses. “Gosh dern rocks! What’s with all these here briars?” Continue reading “A Holiday Wednesday Briefs”→
Sawyer is too busy to worry about something as frivolous as Christmas. College is hard, but he’s focused on getting into law school. Kable is studying to make the family business, Del Buon Gusto, into a successful chain restaurant. When a party debacle at the restaurant gives Kable a chance to get close to Sawyer, he’s shocked to learn Sawyer’s a Christmas Grinch. He’s determined to change Sawyer’s mind, but their dates are one debacle after another. It might not be possible to make this into Sawyer’s first Merry Christmas after all.
What a waste of time. He could’ve been home starting his paper or even watching a movie if he wanted to slack off.
Fed up avoiding questions of family traditions and travel plans, Sawyer strolled away from the crowd in the dining room and headed toward the tree. He nodded and smiled at a few people but didn’t stop. Everyone else was enjoying the appetizers that had just come out, but he’d already had dinner before he left home, since he’d expected to work. He could pass more time pretending to examine the ornaments or watching the snow drift down now that the storm finally hit. He’d just have to wait a little longer until he could politely make his escape.
A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.
Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.
Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.
Cosmic Inception is the 3rd book in the series Saving Caeorleia, so a lot of it is born of the stories that came before. The series originally started from a creative prompt on GayAuthors.org, but the “short story” was so popular it became the first chapter of The Experiment and just bloomed from there. Cosmic took me a LONG time to write, because I’m not great at more than one chapter per week, so there’s about a year gap between each book in the series. The best part of the story is that it’s set in the future and involves space travel and aliens, so my imagination can really just go wherever it wants, which is amazing freedom—but requires a ton of research and plotting.
~ How long have you been writing?
I used to tell stories all the time, growing up, and reading is a lifelong passion. I didn’t start writing and sharing my fiction stories until 2009, though, but once I found GA and interacted with other authors and readers, the passion grew until it’s now something I do every day.
~ What is your favorite genre to write? To read?
I’m a speculative fiction geek. Love sci-fi, paranormal, fantasy, anything that opens up my imagination. I will read just about anything though, and I’ve found that’s true with writing as well. Creativity flows better when I get to make stuff up, but I dabble with contemporary as well.
~ What is the last book you read?
eBook was a re-read of Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts (sci-fi, go figure, right? LOL) and a paper book was actually Writing Monsters: How to Craft Believably Terrifying Creatures to Improve Your Horror and Science Fiction. It has some fascinating insights into monsters versus villains.
~ What is the last movie you saw?
The kids and I took my hubby to Warcraft on Father’s Day, but every Tuesday in summer I take my kids to Regal Cinema’s $1 Family fest events, so last week we saw Goosebumps. More speculative fiction… I’m sensing a theme!
~ What kind of music do you listen to?
I’m very eclectic. In the car with the kids it’s either pop stations on satellite or they like Skillet. Country, though I’m a fan of older stuff from the 90s and 00s (yikes, that’s oldies now! *cries) Really, my “don’t listen to” list is smaller: rap and jazz.
~ Are we more likely to catch you reading a paperback book or on an e-reader?
e-Reader nowadays. I got tendonitis in my thumbs that affected all the bones in my hand/wrists years ago, and my hands often ache even holding paperbacks. Plus, I have 2,300+ eBooks on my kindle… so many options, I always have something I’ll like no matter what mood I’m in. I do buy Outlander and Black Dagger Brotherhood books in print, though.
~ What is your idea of a perfect day?
Rainy, for sure. I hate the sun (redhead) so I love a drizzly day where I can cuddle up with a blanket (I have the softest one, EVER, in king) and a hot drink along with a book or my computer to write.
~ What is your preference: coffee, tea, or soda?
Definitely tea. I’m a snob, though, and prefer my loose leaf tea blends. I have tons of different chai varieties, but I also like dragon pearls which is a jasmine tea. Not a big fan of the fruity teas, though they’re not bad over ice on a hot day.
~ Last but not least, if you were stranded on a beautiful, sandy tropical island, what are the three things you can’t live without?
An industrial-sized vat of SPF 10,000000+. Seriously, when I say I hate the sun, I mean it. My own personal merman to ogle, bring me tasty octopus to go with my pork and pineapple kabobs with coconut milk, and entertain me by helping me scuba dive in what is hopefully a very protected bay (no sharks or jellyfish!!) and last, but not least, a solar-powered kindle with every book ever written downloaded on it.
Hey… you never said they had to be real things. LOL
Today I welcome Kevin Klehr to the blog! Everyone say, “Hi!” Kevin’s going to be talking about reviews as well as sharing his latest release. Hope you enjoy!
First, Kevin’s thoughts on reviews…
Making sense of reviews
Over a decade ago I heard an interesting radio interview.
The guest did his thesis on how Bob Dylan and The Beatles shared a public conversation. The key was to the titles of their songs. Dylan would release a track, then the Beatles would respond to his ideas with their new hit. The dialogue would continue back and forth in an open forum.
One thing I’ve noticed after releasing two novels is the unique connection I find with my reviewers on various book blogs. Sure, we may never have met each other, but like the ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ we all have on social media, I’m starting to understand how they think, and to a lesser extent, what makes them tick. And in some ways it’s a conversation I address as I write my novels.
At the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival several years ago I was surprised to find that authors more successful than me still worried about reviews. I tried to say that I loved reading my reviews and for critics to ‘bring them on’. And this is why.
My first novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes, mostly won hearts, and although what bloggers have said has varied, it’s their individual voices that have helped me both explore and improve my writing.
I’ve had the ‘pat myself on the back’ compliments like “great world building” or observations like the “characters were so real they became our friends”. And some have wanted their own guardian angel similar to Guy in the novel. One even wished the main romance was between Adam and Guy, which is a theme I never thought of, but decided to toy with in the sequels.
On the flip side…
I had one Amazon reviewer state that as a writer I may not be sure if I wanted to “enter the world of serious literature or the world of gay novels of substance”, which at the time crushed me until I saw it was really a compliment of sorts.
And while the first book is set completely in the Afterlife, the second, Drama Queens and Adult Themes, takes place in both my home town of Sydney, and the Afterlife. I was relieved when readers and reviewers didn’t find this a problem, and some even loved this second book more. And the strange thing is I was only ever fifty percent right in working out who preferred which book. But one blogger who said he could see the first book as a film, was lost with the second. Continue reading “Welcoming Kevin Klehr”→
This week Avery is piggy-backing on a flash fiction piece she wrote on Monday. This week’s Wednesday Briefs piece is titled Close Call and features Daniel and Ian. If you read Swiss Delight, this story is set a couple of days after that one.
Don’t worry, we’ll catch-up with Det. Henry LaSalle and his nightmares soon, but this week we’ll be in Switzerland with the boys.
The writing prompt in this story was the use of: Nature, First, and Wish. See if you can spot them in the story. Remember, too, the story has to be 500-1000 words.
Don’t forget to check out stories from the rest of this week’s Wednesday Briefs crew (you’ll find their links below).
Daniel glanced at the clock before shutting down his computer. It was half past six. Technically his work day ended at five o’clock sharp. Swiss bankers were dedicated—at least in theory—so he’d agreed to stay late at his boss’s request. What a long ass day! He shook his head and donned his wool overcoat. Hopefully Ian would be in the mood to go for a beer tonight. Daniel was in desperate need of several.
The security guard nodded as Daniel pushed through the outer door and onto the bustling sidewalk of Route de Verbier Station. Lovely. His walk home would be filled with wealthy European skiers on holiday. With any luck, he could avoid being whacked by a pair of snow-covered skis.
He skillfully rounded a group of French women who were well on their way to inebriation. Taking in his coat, tie, and worn leather briefcase, they pointed and giggled, smiling flirtatiously. Not going to happen. You don’t have any parts that interest me. At least their bright parkas made them easy to spot—and avoid.
The crowds never relented as he turned onto Rue de Médran. Only a couple more blocks until I’m home. Not that Daniel enjoyed calling the shabby studio home. However, it was all he and Ian could afford in the pricey resort town.
When they’d spoken of moving to Switzerland, Daniel had envisioned a modest chalet on a green meadow, surrounded by nature and the bucolic sound of tolling cow bells. Ian, though, had other wishes. He liked being in the heart of the action—both skiing and nightlife. Daniel relented when Credit Suisse offered him a nice signing bonus. Between his salary and Ian’s, they could afford to live just outside Place Centrale.Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: Close Call”→
It’s been a while since Avery’s participated in the Monday Flash Fics group. However, the photo prompt this week was too much to pass up!
To avoid violating copyright, I’ll describe the picture and include a link to the group (where you can check out the picture). Here ya go! Link
The photo is a very attractive dark-haired man standing in front of a tiny stove. He is dressed only in a shirt and flipflops. There is a pug standing behind the man. There is window to his left and a wooden cabinet to his right.
Oh, the story has to be under 500 words. Think that’s all… Hope you enjoy the story! Oh, I should mention it is NSFW and appropriate for those over 18. You’ve been warned!
Daniel crept quietly from their bed in the loft, avoiding the large beam that supported the chalet’s roof. He really despised the dated studio apartment, but it was all he and Ian could afford in the popular resort town of Verbier.
After climbing down the ladder and visiting the bathroom, he decided to start breakfast. Ian didn’t have to work until later, but Daniel’s job at Credit Suisse required him to maintain banker’s hours.
Monte, their runt of a pug, waddled over, begging Daniel for chow. Bending down, he pet the dog before rummaging in the cupboard for Monte’s food. “What do you think? Am I being an ungrateful prick, jealous of Ian and his ski instructor job?”
He dumped several morsels of kibble in Monte’s bowl. Pushing back the lace curtain, he checked the weather. Sunny. Of course. He’d be stuck inside while Ian would be playing on the slopes.
“It is what it is,” he grumbled, letting the curtain fall back into place. Their hole-in-the wall didn’t have a terrace, or a nice southwestern view. “You wanted to live in Verbier, so get over it.”
Monte barked, apparently in agreement. Daniel shook his head and went back to assembling the ingredients for their breakfast.
When the pug licked his bare leg, Daniel turned. “Oh no, you’ll just have to hold it.” When he’d crawled out of bed, he grabbed a shirt but no pants. His feet couldn’t stand the chilly floor,so he’d slipped on a pair of flipflops.
Monte whined before trotting to the door. He sat down, looked at the door then back at Daniel. “I know you want to go out. You’ll just have to wait.” Daniel returned to prepping the pan for eggs.
A short yap intruded. Monte began scraping the door with his paw. “Geez, you pain in the ass.” Daniel grabbed Ian’s ski parka and held it over his privates. He opened the door and watched as Monte scurried down the sidewalk to relieve himself on a shrub weighted down by snow. Continue reading “Monday Flash: Swiss Delight”→
Thanks to Jonas and the copious amounts of snow received, Avery had time to write a story for this week.
This is a new set of characters so I hope you enjoy them! Thanks to Julie for helping with edits and coming up with a title.
Shh…the story doesn’t include a prompt but does fall within the word count of 500-1000 words.
Detective Henry LaSalle pushed through the squad room doors. Exhaustion etched the deep lines of his normally youthful face while his meticulously pressed suit sported a number of wrinkles as well as several smudges of unknown origin.
A round of applause arose from the remaining officers and investigators. Shouts of “good job” and “way to go” greeted LaSalle’s now reddened ears.
He ducked his head, throwing up his hand in a wave of thanks. LaSalle was never comfortable with being the center of attention, even in situations where praise was more than warranted.
The yearlong investigation had culminated less than an hour ago with LaSalle cuffing the alleged murderer and stuffing him into the back seat of a black and white. However, LaSalle’s job wasn’t finished just because the perp was in lock-up. He pulled out his desk chair and sank heavily into the worn black leather. He tugged at his already loosened tie, waiting for his computer to start up.
“Henry, why don’t you just head home? Get some sleep?” Lt. Anson Denton gently pushed a perfectly aligned pile of file folders to the side and made himself comfortable on the corner of LaSalle’s desk. “That paperwork will still be here in the morning.”
LaSalle leaned back in his chair and scrubbed his hands over his eyes. “I suppose you’re right.” He sat forward, staring hard into his supervisor’s face. “Fact is, I couldn’t tell you when I last slept.”
“It’s been what? Over thirty-six hours since you got that tip?” Denton leaned closer to LaSalle and lowered his voice. “Go home and snuggle up next to Jerrod.”
LaSalle sighed, contemplating just how much energy it would take to make that happen. But the thought of Jerrod…being able to touch him and be held by him…was enough to motivate his weary bones. LaSalle punched the power button on his computer and pushed to his feet.
He nodded at Denton. “You know what? I think that’s a great idea. I’ll see you in the morning—but it won’t be first thing.”
His boss chuckled. “Let’s say nine. I think you deserve to sleep in.”
“You’re too gracious, Lieutenant.” With that, LaSalle headed toward the door.
* * * *
Henry sent a quick text, alerting Jerrod that he was finally on his way home. His unmarked car rumbled to life, and before he knew it, Henry was on autopilot to the quiet rowhouse they shared. As he passed his third fast food restaurant, the smell of grilled burgers filtered into his car. His stomach suddenly remembered it was hungry—as in ravenous. Jerrod would kill him for bringing home a burger and fries, but he was always up for trying to bribe his man. It didn’t hurt that Jerrod had a soft spot for strawberry milkshakes.
He shoveled fries into his mouth as he drove. He even managed to polish the burger off before opening the front door of his home. Henry quickly brushed off his shirt. No visible evidence…although, Jerrod would know. He always did. That ridiculous sixth sense of his.
“Babe, you’re home.” Jerrod rushed in for a hug and a kiss, but stopped short when he saw the plastic cup in Henry’s outstretched hand.. “And you have a strawberry milkshake. What did you do?”
“Nothing, darling. I figured since I haven’t been around much, the least I could do—”
Jerrod pressed a finger to Henry’s lips, halting his excuse. “I know how tough that case was for you. I’m so glad you were able to solve it and bring in the bad guy.” He took the cup out of Henry’s hand. “Why don’t you grab a shower while I enjoy my shake? Then, I’ll meet you in bed.”
“Jer, I’m not going to be worth anything tonight. I just…”
“Hey, it’s okay.” Jerrod wrapped his arms around Henry. He pressed a soft kiss to Henry’s neck. “Change in plans. I’ll draw a bath for you, get you cleaned up, and then tuck you into bed.”
A small smile appeared on Henry’s mouth. “I like the sound of that much better.” He gave Jerrod a squeeze before whispering, “And you’ll hold me when the nightmares come, right?”
Hearing his tough detective’s voice sound so shaky and unsure nearly broke Jerrod’s heart. “Of course, babe. You didn’t need to ask.”