AuThursday – Shilah Ferr

nLvYYxkJReGf1dtc+aE4pwPlease welcome Shilah Ferr to The Clog Blog.  Shilah, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I grew up in northern New Jersey with my brother and sister. We share treasured memories of high school, the Jersey shore, and skiing with cousins, all of which became a part of April’s Heart! I went to college in Washington, DC, and became a teacher. I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia with my husband of thirty years. Our two boys are in their twenties making their own way in the world. 

How do you make time to write? 

Well, before the pandemic, my husband often worked nights, so I would write at night. Now I find time between working at home, and on the weekends. 

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

Not really. My second book is not coming as easily as the first, but I believe in writing about things that really happened, and I have a ton of memories that eventually will make another epic story. 

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

I love the feeling Romance novels can give you. I love feeling the character’s angst, hurt, and joy. I love erotic romance too. It gets your blood flowing! 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

I am a first-time author, so definitely publishing independently! 

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work? 

I am more of an extrovert because I cannot say I am introverted. Yet, some of the content I write is controversial (underage drinking, mild drug use, sex) and I sometimes feel self-conscious about it. Afraid of what people might think. I’ve learned to deal with that. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

Whether you say you can or you can’t, you are right. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

My advice is the advice that was given to me, and I keep it in mind always. And that is that not every book is everyone’s cup of tea. So understanding that not everyone is going to like your book, and that’s ok. If I become afraid of content because of what somewhat might think, I tell myself to be brave, and just put it in there! 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? 

https://aprilsheartbook.com 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Pi1L9k2v7dGlCGm2PWF0e3KpcswUnvExKnDXTeZWyoo/e

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us? 

Mitch and April made plans to meet at the pool. 

He waited for her just inside the entrance structure, in the shade. 

She walked up in her string bikini top and cut off jean shorts. The fly was splayed open, a sexy little look that exposed a little more of her tight belly. Holy crap! 

God love her, thought Mitch to himself, feeling his erection beginning already. 

She saw him leaning against the wall on his hands. April walked up to Mitch, and seeing his hair in his face, pushed her hand through his hair for him. It was such an intimate gesture. No words were spoken. Her hands in his hair was her way of saying hello. 

Quick as a wink he had switched places with her and had her up against the wall. 

They looked into each other’s eyes. They were desirous for each other in the worst way. 

April’s heart was pounding in her chest. She was nervous. It had been such a long time. 

He put his hand over her heart to feel it, thus confirming for April that if your heart beats loud enough, another person CAN hear it. 

She filled her lungs with air taking a deep breath. 

He moved his hands behind her neck and kissed her, passionately, for a small moment breathing her in. 

They were standing in a public place. 

“We gotta get out of here,” Mitchell said. 

“No swimming?” April teased. 

AuThursday – Autumn Stone

Please welcome Autumn Stone to The Clog Blog.  Autumn, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I am a personal finance influencer who was fell into writing romances. It was an experiment that has become one of my favorite ways to make passive income. I run two very different projects: a website and podcast about personal finance and a website and podcast about Colorado (I’m from Colorado). I also speak at different conferences such as Podcast Movement, FinCon, and others. I’m also a mentor for a podcasting program that is being held here in Denver for the second time this summer. 

How do you make time to write? 

I try to write when I’m feeling relaxed. Typically, I will write from a coffee shop patio or carry a journal with me so that I can capture inspiration whenever it hits me. I don’t have a daily writing goal. 

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

Absolutely, sometimes the muse slips from you. 

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

I write both fiction and non-fiction books. For my romance books I write in the BWWM genre and I love sharing endless love stories that show women like me in different situations ranging from the fantastical to realistic situations depending on the story. I’m a romantic and love writing about love! 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both) 

Self-publish! I love it so much because there are no limits placed on me and I can publish as many books as I would like. I don’t have to wait for someone else (other than my fans) to validate my stories. 

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work? 

Extrovert. I’m very comfortable with marketing my work. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” –Anonymous 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Keep trying, keep learning, it’s never a mistake it’s a learning opportunity. Most content creators (authors/bloggers/podcasters/vloggers/etc) Don’t spend enough time marketing their work. It’s a daily process. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? 

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07FCT2BNF 

 

AuThursday – Idabelle Aylor

idabelle transparent logoPlease welcome Author Idabelle Aylor to the Clog Blog.  Idabelle, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I’m a wife. I’m a mom of teens and a 6-year-old. I have loved writing my entire life. I am a US Navy veteran. I am a business owner and a licensed massage therapist. 

How do you make time to write? 

Funny this question is here. We used to own a tire shop but it has pretty much gone under. So, now my husband is my agent and I get to write! 

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

Yep.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

I am currently writing in sweet romance but also want to write women’s fiction/chick-lit. I like sweet romance because I like happy endings. I like happy stories even if there is some drama. There’s enough sadness in life, if I’m going to escape in a story I want it to be a happy/funny one or at least one where love always wins. 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or something else) 

Indie. I co-write in a different genre under a different pen name and have gotten a dozen rejections and after learning that you still need to promote yourself, I figured I’d publish myself and keep more of my hard-earned money. 

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work? 

A bit of both. I don’t like promoting myself so I’m glad my husband does. But I do love talking to people and learning about them. I use what I learn and people’s personalities and some life experiences in my stories as well. A good thing about being a little introverted is that it doesn’t hurt my feelings to stay in and write instead of going out. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

Success is not so much achievement as achieving. Refuse to join the cautious crowd that plays not to lose; play to win. – David J Mahoney 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Keep writing. Keep talking about your work. Keep writing. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? 

http://www.idabelleaylor.com/

Amazon 

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us? 

413XYrwZY-LSofey smiled, the backyard condo for June’s pet squirrel and magpie had been quite the project. 

“I remember when we built that condo. That was fun.” Sofey wiped the condensation from her bottle, “I miss Barney.” 

“Me too, Dolly.” June finished her drink and stood up. 

“Hey, why don’t you come over tonight and watch the finale of Jury of Love with me. I didn’t even know the dadgum show had started a season!” June pursed her lips and took a sip of her pop. 

“They say there’s a local guy on there this season. Well, local like a Caraway.” 

“Caraway? Really? Huh, that’s only like 15 miles away.” 

“I know, I’m sure he’s a celebrity now around these parts but I doubt I’d know a celebrity from Adam, if I ran into one.” June set her empty pop bottle on the table and stood up.

 “Well, I’m ordering pizza. You bring the refreshments.” She was already at the front door when she added, “See you in an hour!” 

 

AuThursday – Lainee Cole

Lainee Cole author picTell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a born and bred Midwestern girl who escaped to Southern California for one year during my early 20’s but came home when I missed the change of seasons. Growing up in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois will do that to you! On cold winter days, my older bones talk to me, as in “What the heck were you thinking?” Now I live in Central Illinois with my husband, who always wants to talk when I’m trying to write. My two kids and one grandchild live nearby, and we see them often.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember! I wrote horse stories as a child, then poetry in junior high and high school. My friends and I traded romances starting in high school, and it didn’t take me long to decide I wanted to write them. It took me a lot longer to actually do it, but here I am! My goal is to give readers the same escape I discovered in books.

How do you make time to write? 

I’ve learned it’s important to write every day. My muse is happier that way! I don’t have set writing hours, but usually spend a chunk of afternoons and evenings writing, or doing writing-related tasks. In some respects, it’s easier since I retired from my day job last summer. While my husband is doing outdoor chores or golfing with his buddies, I can write uninterrupted. When I was working, I sometimes struggled to make time to write because it took away family time. But writing has always been important to me. Laptops were a great invention! My laptop allowed me to be on the computer as much as possible, even when my kids were sprawled around the family room watching TV or playing video games.

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

Definitely. If my creative well is low, I struggle to put ideas together, to make words flow the way they should. Self-care is important as well. I try to walk every day for at least an hour. But sometimes the words just aren’t there. In that case, I read, have more conversations with friends, and go for longer walks. Ideas tend to spark for me when I do those things.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

I write sweet contemporary romance. I love it because I can explore characters and their relationships without being explicit. My characters can have all the feels without restricting their actions to MY imagination. Readers can use their own imaginations for what happens with my characters behind closed doors.

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

I just Indie published my most recent book in January via Amazon. To be honest, I’ve always wanted to be a traditionally published author, and I haven’t given up on that, but the publishing landscape is open now. I discovered the Common Elements Romance Project (https://commonelementsromanceproject.wordpress.com/) and wanted to be a part of it. All books for the project were required to be self-published, so that’s what I did!

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work? 

I’m an Extrovert, very much a people person. I can talk to almost anyone. Being an extrovert is a blessing and a curse as an author. It’s a blessing because, well, people! Everybody has a story and you never know when someone will trigger an idea, whether from something they say, their behavior, or even just their appearance. People-watching can be interesting! Being an extrovert is also a curse because when I’m working on a book, it’s hard to stay isolated and focused. I crave contact with other people. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” 

— Louis L’Amour

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

If you are passionate about writing, don’t just take courses or read books – you have to WRITE. The more you actually write, the more you will learn. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Please follow me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LaineeColeAuthor/), Twitter (@LaineeCole), and Amazon (https://amzn.to/2VuobuD). I’d love to hear from you!

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

STORMS OF THE HEART excerpt

Storms of the Heart high resHome. She blinked several times. She’d finally grown up and realized people made a place home, not buildings. Her heart climbed into her throat, but she refused to cry. Breathe in, breathe out, she coached herself. You can do this! Despite Uncle Wayne’s pleas and assurances, it had taken a long time to find the courage to return. Now that she was home, she couldn’t wait to feel his firm bear hug.

She straightened her shoulders and pushed away from the house. Yes, she could do this! At twenty-five, she could finally take control of her own life. She could put her past to rest and look forward to her future.

Emerson flinched when another crack of lightning split the air and forked through the sky, illuminating two cars parked at the side of the house. She hadn’t noticed them before. One was a distinctive black and white car with SHERIFF in gold lettering on the side. 

Her breath hitched as she peered through the downpour. Wait. What is the Sheriff doing here? She’d already lost her parents and her aunt. She couldn’t lose Uncle Wayne, too. Not now.

 Swallowing her panicked thoughts, she hurried toward the front door. Her shoes squished cold water between her toes with every step. She stripped off her wet jacket and dropped it in the corner. The dim yellow porch light flickered and went out. 

With her heart beating faster in the darkness, Emerson scrubbed her hands over her wet face. Add cops and power outages to what else could go wrong.

Damn those negative thoughts! She inhaled deeply and shoved them out of her mind. She knocked on the door. The cop car didn’t mean anything. Uncle Wayne was expecting her. Soon she would be warm and cozy inside.

She knocked again, harder this time.

Still no answer. Maybe Uncle Wayne couldn’t hear her over Mother Nature’s cries, but he wouldn’t expect her to stay out in the rain. She tried the knob and found it unlocked.

Another deafening crack of lightning shattered the air. Something hit Emerson’s knee from the side. The momentum tore the doorknob from her hand. Her backpack fell to the ground as the thing brushed by and sent her stumbling through the doorway.

Ooof!

Strong arms caught and cradled her. She froze as earthy cologne with just a hint of citrus filled her nose. A long, whimpering whine sounded before a voice from somewhere above her head ground out, “Get back out there, dog.”

Snug against his chest, her body absorbed the rumble of the man’s words, while her mind struggled to place the oddly familiar scent of his cologne.

“Oh, let him be,” twittered a high, excited voice nearby. “He doesn’t like storms.”

Welcome to the club. It was too dark to see the woman, but she must be the live-in housekeeper Uncle Wayne had mentioned. Mrs. Beresford. This man, though. She inhaled his scent again. His embrace warmed her chilled body as he steadied her, but didn’t let go. She felt strangely safe in his arms.

“I’m sorry. The lightning startled me,” she offered into the darkness as she pushed against the man’s chest. He released her and she shivered.

“It’s not the dog’s fault.”

The man sighed, and then she heard the front door close heavily against the wind. The dog pressed against the back of her legs. Her jeans soaked up his dampness. He whimpered and her heart went out to him. I’m with you, buddy.

The strong odor of sulfur wafted through the air, followed by a welcome glow lighting the room.

“You must be Emerson.” A woman with a short, layered bob of red hair held a lantern as she came forward, reaching out a thin hand. She smiled, and her touch was gentle on Emerson’s arm. “Wayne told me all about you.”

She squeezed the woman’s hand and smiled. “You must be Mrs. Beresford.”

The older woman glowed with pleasure. “Please, call me Irene.” She gestured toward the door and her smile faded. “This is Sheriff Lomax.”

Emerson’s pulse jumped, but she pasted on a smile and turned. 

Max. His hair was darker than the last time she’d seen him, but even in the shadowy light, she knew those grayish-blue eyes, that straight nose, and that little cleft in his chin. It had been seven years, and yet she’d never forgotten the heat between their bodies as she’d pressed against him down by the creek. The tenderness of his kiss had surprised her, had made her feel when she didn’t want to feel anything. 

She’d tried to seduce her crush and failed miserably. What had she been thinking? Oh yeah. That was the problem. She hadn’t been.

“Hello, Emerson.”

 

 

AuThursday – Shelly Sharp

Tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I’m a business owner with my husband, I have three adult children and one 17-year-old. I homeschooled my kids for twelve years, I have loved to write since I was a child and now I’m finding time to write books. I’ve published two on Amazon, one last April, and one this February. 

How do you make time to write? 

I have a goal of a chapter a day. I make a list of all I have to do each day and I write a page between each chore or project on my list. 

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

No. I write several books at a time so if I get stuck on one book I simply move to another. 

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

I have a goal to write five books, all of them a different genre. I love to read many different genres so I want to try to write a book in each genre that I enjoy. So far I’ve written non-fiction and romance. Right now I’m writing a psychological thriller, a suspense trilogy, and a satire. 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both) 

I self-publish on Amazon, so Indie I guess.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work? 

I am definitely an introvert. I think this enhances my work. I can spend a lot of time alone writing. I enjoy my own company and I find my sense of humor hilarious! I am my own best friend and my imagination is amazing which makes for good writing. The books I write are in my mind in movie form, It helps me visualize the characters I write about. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”– Helen Keller 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Publish that book! Hesitation leads to fear. As Winston Churchill said,

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal.” Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web? 

My books are on Amazon.com, I’m also on Twitter and Facebook. 

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us? 

As they descended the hill, the largest bull with the longest horns Dae had ever seen emerged from behind a bush on the path ahead of them.

Jack stopped and stood very still, but the bull noticed him anyway and began pawing the ground and breathing heavily.

Dae moved up to Jack and managed to get in front of him on the narrow path. Dae wanted to put Rose down, but the child was now sleeping heavily and Jack was too small to hold her. Dae shook the picnic basket at the bull and yelled, but that just seemed to make the creature more agitated and focused on them. Dae turned sideways to protect the sleeping child she carried from possible harm and ordered Jack in a quiet voice to back slowly up the hill, gesturing with the picnic basket.

This, unfortunately, seemed to incite the bull, who bellowed and shook its massive head. When the bull began pawing the ground again and lowering its frightening horns, Dae screamed, “Run Jack!” and turned to run up the hill herself, throwing the picnic basket on the ground and moving as fast as she could with one hand holding up her skirt and both arms cradling Rose…

AuThursday – Cee Perkins

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Ok, well, I’m Cee. I have a husband, three adorable kids, three giant dogs, and I write anti-heroine romances. I have a four-book series planned, the first is out now, titled “Corrupt Love: Love Is Dangerous book 1.” I started writing in high school, but like most teenagers, I needed to learn the hard way to follow what I’m good at. 

How do you make time to write? 

Making the kids nap. Haha. Mostly, I have my mom to thank for that- she moved in with us recently, and she’s been handling the kids so I can work. 

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

Oh, yes. Corrupt Love was an idea that began way back in 2016, but when I got to Chapter 7, I ran out of steam on it and couldn’t get the story out, no matter what I did. Fortunately, I was able to fall back on an old friend and she finally was able to push me through it. 

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

Ah, romance. Who doesn’t love LOVE, really? I’ve always loved the opposites attract trope, and people who make a life together despite differences of opinion and ethics. I love when a happy ending is hard-won and the whole “smooth sailing after the Big Fight” kind of gets on my nerves, so I write (what I hope is) as close to real-life relationships as I can. People aren’t perfect, even after working through a big blow-up with their significant others, and books who portray relationships that way set a standard that I think is too much for most people wanting love. Sure, we all want the perfect wife/ girlfriend or husband/boyfriend, but the reality is, it just doesn’t exist. I don’t like books that make it look common. 

I guess it’s sort of in the same vein of model-perfection. Even Jennifer Lawrence has something about her body she doesn’t like, but society makes it so that she has to pretend it doesn’t exist. It makes it so that people who are overweight or battling acne or something like that feel like they’re not “good enough”. I can’t stand that.

Disclaimer- I love Jennifer Lawrence. I don’t think she needs to change anything, I was just using her as an example. 

Anyway, all of that to say that I love writing romance because I love love, but I write the way I do because I want to contribute to the growing idea that “perfect” doesn’t exist. 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

Indie because I’m too impatient and scared of rejection to go traditional haha. 

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work? 

Um… I’d say I’m an introvert with some extrovert qualities. I think it affects me in that I can stay at home, away from lots of people for periods of time, and write characters who are outgoing. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

“I chose to have these children.”

Wait, that’s my meditation mantra. My favorite motivational phrase is probably

“Just keep swimming.”

No matter what happens, just keep going. The bad will pass. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Remember that at the core of being a published author is writing. You are a writer first, then a marketer, decision-maker, self-editor, etc. You’re not expected to know everything immediately, but when you’re lost as to what to do, ask questions. Find groups that have experience and listen to them. They’ve been where you are and will help you cut through a lot of the bs of publishing so that you can stay a writer. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

On my website at https://www.ceeperkinsauthor.com/ or on my Facebook page.

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Sure. This is Dan and Corra’s first date. 

***

Corrupt Love c OTHER SITES (1) (1)Bottom line, I wanted in his pants that night. Likely to happen? Mmm, probably not. Would I work for that goal anyway? Definitely. 

So there I was, sitting across from Dan in that sports bar, trying to sit close enough to him that my boobs brushed his arm every time I leaned over to fake reading the answers on the trivia device. Not surprising, he knew the answers. Not to toot my own flute or anything, but so did I. We made a great team, and we were in First place. Woo. I could die happy with this championship belt. Insert epic eye roll here. But Dan wasn’t taking the bait. I was trying my damnedest to flirt with him, down to pretending to absentmindedly trace my fingers along his neck. God, what would it take to get him to break?

“So, Dan, tell me a little more about yourself. Do you have siblings? Speak to your parents? Have a secret D/s fantasy?” I asked, making Dan choke on his drink. “Sorry, I can be a little off the wall sometimes,” I said to make up for it. But really, I just wanted to see his reaction.

Dan wiped his mouth and gave a little smile. “Ah, no siblings. I speak with my mom regularly, especially lately since my father passed away about a week ago and she doesn’t really have anyone now. She has…a gambling problem and if I don’t check in with her, she can go days without coming up for air.”

“I’m really sorry to hear about your dad. Were you close to him?”

“No, not really. I mean, we had a…tolerable relationship, but he was an alcoholic and sometimes couldn’t function beyond drinking. They gave me the best they could, what with their addictions, and I never wanted them to think I was ungrateful, so I tried to take care of them. Oh, and no D/s tendencies.”

I felt my eyes burn, hearing Dan talk about his parents. What the fuck was wrong with me? They were addicts, but he still spoke of them like they were at least decent. I cocked my head, studying him as a thought occurred. His parents were addicts. They couldn’t have given him a stable upbringing. Is that why he was so rigid and uptight? Because he never wanted to live the life his parents did?

“Um…Corra?” Dan was staring back at me, and I could actually see the insecurity in his eyes. I snapped out of my trance. 

“Yeah, sorry. What’s the next category?” I asked, wanting to sidestep the feelings I was feeling for Dan. I didn’t do feelings like this. Especially for Dan, who was so uptight, he could probably iron clothes with his butt cheeks. He was a conquest, nothing else. Jesus Christ.

We got back to the game while munching on appetizers, trying to keep the conversation light. I’m not sure if Dan wasn’t interested in knowing anything about me or if he was too shy to ask, but he didn’t ask questions about me. Not even about what I did for a living. Regardless, I found that I was actually having fun with him. He was smart, which was not something I was used to. Normally, my hookups were dumb as rocks. It was easy to conquer the dumb ones, but with Dan being intelligent, I knew I wouldn’t be able to simply put my hand on his dick and lick my lips. Figuring out how to get around that hurdle would be just as fun as the rest of them, I think.

When the final round had played and we won the game, we high-fived and sat back in our seats, sipping our drinks. 

“Now it’s your turn. Siblings? Parents? Secret society membership?” he finally asked. 

I grinned. “Yeah, I have parents. They’re great, still married after thirty-six years and two or three affairs. I have an older brother— you may have seen him last night, with the leather vest? Tall, blond, man bun?— that happened from my mom’s first affair. And I have a younger sister who’s a nurse, and a younger brother, who’s in college for software development. We’re a close family, even my dad, and Salty. Hm. I never really thought about that before…my dad never treated Salty any differently than the rest of us.” I looked at Dan then and almost laughed at his expression. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

He shook his head and looked down at the table. “You speak about your parents’ affairs like they’re no big deal. Is…monogamy, not something that’s important to you?”

That drew me up short. I’d never had a relationship, so how could I really answer that? I mean…“Well, I suppose for them, it wasn’t a big deal because they knew they still loved one another best. Even if they had sex outside of their marriage, they always knew they’d come home to each other. As for me, well, I’ve never been in a relationship, so I can’t honestly answer that question.”

Dan’s head jerked up. “You’ve never had a boyfriend?”

I shook my head. “Normally, I’m not interested in someone beyond one night.” Wow, that made me sound awful. Also, made me kind of a liar since meeting him. “You’re actually the first man I’ve had to work for and the first man to make me think the work is worth it.” And that was the damn truth of the matter. The whole crux of my situation, right? Dan didn’t fit my normal, which made me want to pursue him. He was definitely the first to make me think that way. 

“Are you serious?” I looked at Dan and realized he wasn’t being rude or accusing. It was genuine disbelief. “Me? You see me, right? My baggage not only has compartments but also its own separate cargo ship,” he said, then clapped his hands over his mouth like he couldn’t believe he’d said that. 

“Dan…yes, I’m serious. And yes, I do see you, and I know you have issues. But,” I paused so I could say this carefully, “everyone has something about them that makes them unique, even hard to deal with sometimes. Shit, even my siblings find me hard to deal with sometimes. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I can be kind of an asshole. It’s what gives us personality. And maybe I’m crazy, but my personality thinks your personality is the bee’s knees.” God, I could be such a sap.

Dan chuckled, a slight blush across his cheeks. “Well…my personality is starting to think that your personality is the cat’s pajamas.”

So corny. So cute.

Cover Reveal – Miscreants by Natalie Bennet

Title: Miscreants
Series: Badlands: Next Generation
Author: Natalie Bennett
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: May 23, 2020
Cover Design: Daqri Bernardo with Covers by Combs

 

Love is madness.

 

Love is anguish.
Ours was ill-fated from the beginning
Crazier than crazy.
Sicker than sick.
Samael was the epitome of a beautiful nightmare.
Together, we were poetry–the kind that bled and wept, a mess of euphoric bliss and heartbreak.
I promised I’d be by his side until the bitter end, but after far too long I needed to be free of him.
Leaving would be one of the hardest things I’d ever done.
He’d come after me, of that I was sure. Many would lose their lives, becoming casualties in our war.
When this was all said and done our story would be whispered in darkened corners for years to come.
A tale of a wolf pursuing a lamb, but with a masochistic twist.
For even lambs have teeth, and this one bites back.
*T-WARNING*
Miscreants is an enemies-to-lovers standalone full of explicit savagery and an OTT anti-hero. Some readers may find the content within objective. Discretion is highly advised!

 

 

With a penchant for (writing) villainous immoral men, and a tendency to deviate away from traditional happily ever afters, Natalie Bennett is an international bestselling author of twisted and unconventional love stories.
 
When she’s not slaying words she’s somewhere in the sunshine state, happily taking life one curve-ball at a time.
HOSTED BY:

 

AuThursday – Stephanie Patel

Please join me in welcoming my fellow North Dakota author, Stephanie Patel. 

Stephanie, tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was born in a little village in Alaska, the ninth of fifteen children, and moved to North Dakota with my mother and remaining siblings when I was nine, after my father and brother died while fishing. I lived in Jamestown, Kathryn and Valley City in North Dakota, graduating from VCHS.  I went to college at the University of Missouri, Columbia and at Moorhead State (now University of Minnesota at Moorhead). I graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law and practiced law in Alaska for 35 years, minus about seven years creating an alternate junior/senior high school for youth falling through the cracks. I have been writing for many years; however it was only after I retired that I could focus full-time upon it.  My book, Born in the 20th Century: A Novel of the Midwest, was released in eBook form on November 1, 2019 and is now available in print, on Amazon.  

How do you make time to write? 

 I am currently retired and can work 8-12 hours per day if I am motivated. I tend to be obsessive when I am on a project and everything else will fall away. Although I had been working on this book off and on for years, I spent about six months working 6-12 hours per day to get it completed and in final edited form. 

Do you believe in writer’s block?  

Well, I have no reason not to, although I don’t really experience it myself.  I write when I feel the compulsion to do so, and if I don’t feel it, I don’t write.  It’s as simple as that. If I am not writing, it is because I have other things on my plate to which I am giving attention. I have a number of books and other works in progress.  

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it.  

My current book would fit into the “coming of age” genre.  I consider it Literary Fiction. I try to hit all the notes when I write—the entire scale of physical dimension, emotional expression, psychological patterns, intellectual ideas and spiritual context. I love to make people laugh, and so if I can bring humor into what I write, all the better. I like to stimulate thought, assist my reader in getting different perspectives on issues, and most of all give them something that will be interesting and satisfying.

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

I decided to publish my current book myself because I’m a bit of a control freak. Also, it is a long book (almost 225,000 words) and I realized it would be difficult to find a publisher who would take on such a long book, since most traditional publisher’s like to stay in the 150,000 word realm. Finally, although I’d had professional interest in the book while working on it, I did not want to take the time to shop it around.  I did submit the book to Beta readers to test reactions and had such enthusiasm from them that I decided to plow ahead and self-publish, which I did through Kindle Direct Publishing, a branch of Amazon. It’s a pretty simple way to go, involving no expense except for the author copies. 

My current book is  

Born in the 20th Century: A Novel of the Midwest

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work? 

I don’t know that I am either. I like my alone time very much. However, I am not too shy to take the floor when there are issues that are important to me.

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

You will know which path is yours because nobody else is on it. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read and write. Write about what you know. Yes, you can use your imagination and should—however, bring alive your own experience and perspective. Learn the rules of good writing, absorb style from your favorite authors, and then go beyond them. Create your own unique style. As I say, average writers know the rules; good writers know them and when to break them. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I am on Facebook under Stephanie Patel.

My book can be found at Amazon under the following link.  https://www.amazon.com/Born-20th-Century-Stephanie-Patel/dp/1698865740/ref=sxts_sxwds-bia?keywords=born+in+the+20th+century&pd_rd_i=1698865740&pd_rd_r=f80c4a4f-b53a-4949-b906-05f57c085dc8&pd_rd_w=ymPaK&pd_rd_wg=uzz6A&pf_rd_p=1cb3f32a-ccfd-479b-8a13-b22f56c942c6&pf_rd_r=06K081K9DES9ZC45NDV3&psc=1&qid=1574191303

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Cover half of full 11-9-19-page-0By the time we reached Fargo the predicted snow flurries had arrived, along with a good wind. North Dakota highways had a Midwestern personality like their human counterparts: they were straight as arrows, not so bad, and open to the next kingdom. These characteristics did not combine well with wind and snow. Even when there was little of the latter falling, the wind could kick up what was already on the ground, so that often in winter we seemed to be driving through continuous streams and rivulets that ran across our path. It was not a big step from there to whiteout conditions. In fact, visibility was very poor for the last ten miles or so into Fargo, not an unusual occurrence in that part of the country, and Mother kept both hands on the wheel, her eyes focused in front of her. She hated interruptions when driving through difficult weather events. When Yippee tried to get her to take his side on some dispute with me, she barked, “Play nice. I can’t be distracted right now.”

Once we were in the city proper, driving up South University Avenue, visibility improved along with her attitude. She pulled into the K-Mart parking lot to get some aspirin, and gave us some dimes to ride the mechanical horse in the lobby. Then we all had to use the restroom.

When we emerged, the snow was thicker, the flakes bigger. The temperature was still in the high twenties, which meant that the main roads, where there was heavier traffic, were slushy more than slick. We drove up University Avenue to King Leo’s Drive-In, where Mother purchased us each a fifteen-cent hamburger and a ten-cent fries, which was always a treat when we were in Fargo, and always a condiment fiasco. Two hamburgers had to be sent back to be rectified.

Then it was a stop at a gas station to fill up.

The attendant cleaned all our windows and when the tank was full came around to collect payment. “I hope you’re not going far,” he said when he brought back the change. “They say they’re closing down I-94 past Jamestown.”

“We’re going north,” Mother said. “Only about forty-five minutes.”

“Well, I wouldn’t delay then. You can probably still make it.”

“We’re leaving right now.”

“Drive careful.”

Mother put the Bonneville in gear and headed for US 81, which paralleled the Red River north into Canada.

“Maybe we should turn around,” Myra said worriedly. “I don’t want to get stuck in a blizzard.”

“What good would that do?” Mother asked pointedly. “If it’s coming from the west, it’s going to be as bad going back as it is going forward. We’re more than half-way. We should be able to outrun it.”

As soon as we got out of town, however, the visibility dropped precipitously. Approaching cars materialized a hundred feet in front of us; buildings and sign posts alongside the highway appeared ghostly. I was, however, not worried. It was North Dakota in the winter. Snow and fog were part of the season. In fact, I was too busy eating to pay much attention until I heard Mother exclaim in frustration, “Darn it! I can’t hardly see the road!” My attention captured, I looked out the window at the passing scenery, only to discover that it had disappeared. We were floating in a sea of white.

The wipers were going slip-slap, and with each swipe they cleared snow from the windshield and left rivulets draining down the glass. I could see that the snow was falling even heavier now, the flakes clumping together on the glass so that everything but the half-moon scraped by the wipers was opaque. Mother was hunched over the steering wheel, which she held tightly in both hands, her knuckles white. I could see that the speedometer needle was hovering between twenty and thirty miles-per-hour. It was impossible to judge our speed or location by landmarks, which had disappeared. We were flying on instruments.

“How do you know where you’re going?” I asked Mother curiously.

“Blind faith,” she hissed from between clenched teeth. And then she added more kindly, “I look over to the side of the road. I can just see the ditch. However, I have no idea what’s twenty feet in front of me. Or behind.” She opened her window and stuck her head out to the side to see if she could get more visibility without the slapping wipers, the scudding snow and water on the windshield.

The good part about North Dakota roads was that if we went into the ditch, we went into the ditch, not over a sixty foot cliff or into a close encounter with a tree. The not-so-good part was that we might be covered in the ditch by a snowdrift twice our own height and they might not find us until spring—or until the next strong wind blew us clear. Drifts were forming even as we drove—Mother swerved suddenly to skirt the high point of a snow bank that stretched across our lane, like a white seal basking on the road. Our progress slowed slightly as she churned through the tail of it, and then for the length of two Middleton blocks the highway was swept clear as if by a giant broom. The wind was so strong that it rocked our car, unprotected by anything except the wind’s own caprice as it created and swept away drifts.

Occasional cars approached, going south, their headlamps appearing dully out of the maelstrom, passing us with a swish! Once a car overtook us from behind, trailing in our wake until Mother pulled over toward the shoulder and slowed even more, allowing it to pass on our left, throwing snow. “Arggh. Some people,” she muttered. 

At Mother’s suggestion, Myra dug out one of Nonie’s bottles. Sitting on her lap, alternately sucking and chewing on the nipple, he stared fixedly out the window, stunned into stillness by the whiteness, whether through fascination or disorientation.

Yippee curled up in his corner with a couple of his little men, occasionally talking quietly for them as they hiked up his bent leg or over the driveshaft hump in the floor. “I’s berry steep. Keep goin’, you ken do it.” His plastic people were very encouraging to each other, at least until they encountered the enemy in battle—then they slaughtered each other with joy and abandon, rarely leaving more than one or two survivors, and sometimes none at all. He did not bother to look up at the maelstrom outside the car, as secure in his personal safety as his three-inch plastic alter-egos might have been devoid of hope in theirs. 

Myra and I both kept our eyes on what was happening around us. Perhaps nothing so much represented the differences between us as our individual reactions. Myra was clearly troubled by the possibilities and kept glancing nervously at Mother. I, on the other hand, was pumped up with excitement. In fairness, she was two years older and therefore more aware of the downside of death, mayhem and suffering in general. I fell somewhere between her and Yippee, who acted out death, mayhem and suffering with such glee. I wasn’t playing war, but I was drawn to imagining adventure. Whether it was encountering space aliens with ray guns, alligators in the creek behind Gramma’s house, or a tornado on the horizon, it relieved the monotony of 9:30 bedtimes, waking up in the same bed every day and passing the same houses on the way to school, every one of which I could have described in detail, along with the names of the dogs who lived in them. I had, in fact, no experience with being on the losing end of space aliens, alligators or tornadoes. No one close to me had died, the only maiming with which I was familiar was the mangling of Yippee’s hand in the fan—which he didn’t even remember—and suffering was a stubbed toe or being sent to my room when Saturday cartoons were on. My interest in such matters as the orphaning of the Monsen children was more curiosity than compassion.

In order to reach Sheverak we had to turn off US 81 and head west into the maze of dirt and gravel roads that ran like dikes between rippling seas of wheat and corn in the summer and frozen snow clogged stubble in the winter. Mother was searching through the flying snow for the turnoff, certain it was near—if indeed we had not passed it. The wind let up for a moment, enough for her to see one of the mile markers. “Dang nab it!” she exclaimed. “We’ve come too far. I’m going to have to turn around.”

The problem was that there was no obvious place to do that, other than right in the middle of the two-lane highway in the middle of a blind snowstorm, with the potential of getting t-boned by oncoming traffic. 

“Is that a side road?” Mother asked suddenly, peering through the windshield. The defrost was running full blast, siphoning the heat from the spacious car interior, so that I had to curl my feet up on the seat so they didn’t get cold. “Myra! Look! Isn’t that a road?”

At that moment Mother jerked on the steering wheel, determined not to miss the turnoff. The car spun in a semi-circle and came to a stop with a dull thud. We all sat still for a moment. Then Mother pressed on the gas pedal. The back tires spun. The car remained where it was. 

Mother thumped the steering wheel. Yippee stuck his head up over the front seat back. “Are we der?”

“No, Stupid, we’re stuck,” I informed him. I put my face up against my window to try to see.

 

AuThursday – Danielle Teigen

Please join me in welcoming fellow North Dakota author Danielle Teigen.  Danielle, Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I’m originally from South Dakota, but came to North Dakota to attend college at North Dakota State University, where I earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and management communication and a master’s degree in mass communication. While in college, I fell in love with the rich history of Fargo. 

How do you make time to write? 

I have two young children and am expecting another, so I write after they go to bed, in the morning before they’re awake or during my lunch hour in the daylight hours. 

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

I do believe we get stuck sometimes when we’re trying to get to the next part of our story or move on to another facet of the storyline. I think we often get so excited about moving on or making progress that we forget we have to finish telling the part of the story we’re on. 

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

As a journalist, I enjoy researching and telling intriguing, true stories and that’s what nonfiction writing is. The biggest challenge with nonfiction writing is being able to weave together the facts while still telling a story people want to read, a story that comes alive not only because it’s true but because of how it is recounted. 

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both) 

Traditional. Arcadia Publishing/The History Press reached out to me to publish a hyper-local history book about Fargo, and then I pitched the second book about the Fargo Fire of 1893. 

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work? 

I’m actually both. I would say this serves me very well because I am completely content holing up somewhere to research or write for as long as I am able to, but I also really enjoy giving presentations about my book or talking with people about the research. Both are satisfying in different ways. 

What is your favorite motivational phrase? 

Done is better than perfect!

I actually do use that phrase when I’m trying to get words on the paper or the facts all in the right order and then I go back in during the editing phase to polish and refine the story. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

Make time to write whenever or wherever you can. When I was writing my first book, I thought I’d block off huge chunks of time to write and make monumental progress every time I sat down. In reality, I had to make time throughout the day or week to make what felt like small steps toward completion, but they all did add up to one finished manuscript. I also encourage writers who believe they have a good story to tell to sit down and actually outline their work. Yes, things may change, but I think having a general framework for where you want to go and what you want to cover in your story can be extremely beneficial, especially when it comes to staying focused and having good direction. 

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

You can read more about me and my work at https://danielleteigen.wordpress.com/

Do you have a blurb you’d like to share with us? 

Fueled by ambition and pipe dreams, Fargo’s earliest residents created an entire city out of the dust of a flat, desolate prairie. Roberts Street might not exist if it weren’t for Matilda Roberts, a resourceful pioneer wife who encouraged her husband’s cousin to set up his law firm on that important downtown thoroughfare. O.J. deLendrecie generated so much success through his retail store that he was able to buy President Theodore Roosevelt’s ranch in western North Dakota. Oliver Dalrymple may have been the bonanza farm king, but the better manager was his rival, Herbert Chaffee of the Amenia and Sharon Land Company. Author Danielle Teigen reveals the intriguing true stories behind many of the most engaging characters and what continues to make the “Gateway to the West” unique. 

AuThursday – Gayle M. Irwin

Please welcome Gayle M. Irwin to this AuThursday edition of the Clog Blog.  Gayle, go ahead and tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Gayle Irwin and Jeremiah_300 dpi_Author Photo 2019I’ve been an author since 2007, and prior to that, I was a journalist for small-town newspapers. I enjoy sharing stories that inspire, educate and entertain children and adults. I am also a freelance writer, contributing stories to newspapers and magazines, and I’m a contributor to seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I grew up in Iowa and now live in the Rocky Mountain region, having been in this area for more than 40 years. In addition to writing, I enjoy spending time in nature, traveling, and taking photographs. I am also an advocate for pet rescue and adoption, serving as a volunteer for various animal welfare organizations and weaving that passion into some of my writing, including my new novel, Rescue Road.

How do you make time to write? 

I work part-time, three days a week, and therefore, I use many of my two weekdays and some of my weekend hours to write. My husband and I have no children, except for the four-legged kind, therefore, I have a lot of quiet time to think and compose. My husband has his own business so he understands and respects my need for time to write and work on my business. I’m a morning writer so I use those hours to compose and afternoons for marketing/learning. Adjusting to time change, however, as we did recently when we “fell back” takes a toll on me now that I’m older, so I’m re-synching my body clock again.

Do you believe in writer’s block? 

I believe we can all come to a point where we have to put a manuscript away for a while and come back later to work on it. Rescue Road is a product of several years. I would talk myself out of finishing the book, whether self-doubt or a new project “calling me.” Also, during the past year, I’d be so involved in the Rescue Road story that I’d meander or “rabbit trail.” So, I had to stop, put it away for a few days, and come back later to focus again. There are various reasons we can’t always “motor through,” and I think that’s okay. I set myself a deadline to complete the final first draft by early summer and turn it over to an editor (I’m an Indie author), and I met that deadline. Now, the book is out, in both e-book and print formats, and I can see the result of my perseverance. To me, that’s what writing is all about, whether a book, short story, article or blog post – a writer must persevere, because we are distracted by so many things and we have “regular life” to do as well. Setting deadlines works for me, likely because of my journalism background, and even though I planned to complete the novel a few years ago, timing wasn’t right, I guess; I had other (children’s) stories to tell first, which I did. Now is the time for the novel, especially this month as November is Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month, and since my novel weaves pet rescue and adoption into the main romance story, the release is optimal. I donate part of my book sales to rescue organizations, and I have a shortlist of rescue and adoption groups at the back of the book. Again, this month’s release is a benefit for the type of book I’ve written.

Tell us a bit about the genre you write and why you love it. 

I started as a children’s author, writing chapter and picture books, and I still have manuscripts for kids in the works. I enjoy sharing animal stories with children, and each of my books weaves an important life lesson or two into the work, such as courage, perseverance, friendship, and appreciation of nature as well as pet rescue and adoption. I’ve written devotionals based on living with dogs, and now I’m graduating into writing novels. I love each genre because I love to inspire, educate, encourage, and entertain. Stories, no matter the genre, can accomplish those aspirations. Rescue Road is my first contemporary, clean romance novel, and it won’t be the last; I plan a series I’ve titled “Pet Rescue Romance,” with Rescue Road being Book 1. I’m already working on Book 2, tentatively titled Discovering Love at Compassion Ranch, with a release planned for Summer 2020.

How are you publishing your recent book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

I am primarily Indie published; I do have one book, Walking in Trust: Lessons Learned With My Blind Dog, traditionally published. I enjoy Indie publishing for several reasons, including (1) freedom and (2) publishing more quickly. Perhaps also I’m a control-freak, stemming from being an only child and working independently for many years. Indie fits my personality.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?  How does this affect your work? 

I’m primarily an introvert, but the past several years, I’ve become more of an extrovert. I’ve given presentations in schools, for various civic and faith-based groups, and even taught a few classes at the local community college. I’ll be doing some speaking events in the coming months with the release of Rescue Road. I believe “getting out there,” whether speaking or doing other forms of marketing, helps increase awareness and sales of books, therefore, as an author, I need to tamp down my fears, square my shoulders, and let people know about my work, whether through a speaking event, online marketing, or Facebook Live (horrors! HA!). I’ve certainly grown a lot over the past decade, and I enjoy sharing my writings and pet rescue passion with others!

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t give up, persevere. We all have a purpose in life, and if you believe you are called to write, then write. Try new things, like article writing and short story creation. A novel, even a picture book, is a big project to undertake; sometimes it’s best to start small. Or, like me, write articles and short stories while you’re also composing your novel, middle grade, chapter or picture book. Grow in the craft of writing as well. Learn from others. Challenge yourself to get better every year and to try something new every year. This work is a journey, not a race, and we can all contribute something wonderful if we persevere and grow. And, have confidence and hope, as Helen Keller said – we need those traits to help us persevere.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Author Website: http://www.gaylemirwin.com/

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/GayleMIrwin

Pinterest (under Waggin’ Tales): www.pinterest.com/gaylemirwin

Twitter: wyoauthor1

Amazon Author Central Page: amazon.com/author/gayleirwin

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2MCklLl

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Excerpt from Rescue Road – Pet Rescue Romance Book 1 (750 words)

by Gayle M. Irwin

Rescue Road_Smaller Front CoverRhiann stood on the porch of the mid-century ranch house. Cup of coffee in hand, she watched the blazing orange sunrise. Streamers of light cascaded on the mountains west of the property, casting a rosy glow on the rocks and patches of snow upon the higher elevation. October’s morning danced with the browning grasses of the nearby pastures as touches of frost shimmered upon tan sprigs surrounding the house. Overhead, a flock of Canada geese in traditional V formation honked as they winged their way south. 

Rhiann observed them and whispered, “We have something in common. We’re starting over.” 

 

******************************************************************************

 

            As he drove closer to the ranch house, Levi noticed a small, red dual-cab pickup parked near the building. His eyes squinted. He remembered seeing a similar vehicle at the Twin Bridges Campground yesterday. He parked next to the truck.

            “Who in the world could that be?” he murmured as he exited his pickup.

            He looked at the license plate. He didn’t remember George knowing anyone from Washington state. He saw a heart-shaped sticker on the side. Levi scowled. He meandered to the driver’s side and saw the “Rescue Road” emblem. 

“Can’t be,” he muttered.

He looked up when he heard the front door of the house slam. He stared.

            “What are you doing here?” he and Rhiann asked simultaneously.

            

*****************************************************************************

 

            Rhiann couldn’t believe her eyes. Left hand on her hip and straw broom in her right, she glared at the man she had met yesterday.

            “Well?” she questioned, looking Levi in the eye. “Answer my question. What are you doing on my ranch?”

            “Your what? YOUR ranch? This is my land,” he snapped.

            “Uh, unless your last name is Kelly or McCallister, I don’t think so.”

            Levi stalked toward the front porch. Rhiann took a step back. She looked into his smoldering gray eyes as he said, “George Nelson left this place to me. Just who are you to come claim it as yours?”

            Before she could respond, he rushed on, “Are you related to George? I didn’t think he had any kids or grandkids. Are you a niece or something?”

            Rhiann shook her head. “I didn’t know Mr. Nelson. I’m the granddaughter of Mary Martha McAllister. She was born here, in that log cabin over there.”

            She pointed to the two-room dwelling to her right.

            “That’s my house,” Levi said.

             She detected the curt tone, and she responded in kind.

            “I don’t know why you keep saying you own this property. That cabin, this place, has been mine for nearly four months and was in my family for two generations. I’m just now getting here after settling the back taxes.”

            Levi’s face blanched. “Back taxes? What are you talking about?” 

            At that moment, his cell phone rang. She watched him pull the device from a back pocket of his jeans. He turned away from her.

            “Mr. Williamson, Yes, this is Levi Butler. You have news for me?” He paused in his conversation. “I see.”

Rhiann continued observing him. He gradually turned toward her. His eyes darkened, and his teeth clenched. Rhiann took a step back, holding the broom in both hands. I’ll swing this thing at his head if he takes one more step.

            “Yes, yes, I’ve met her. In fact, I’m looking at her right now.”

            His icy statement sent chills up Rhiann’s spine.

 

*****************************************************************************

            Levi gripped the cell phone tighter. His mind tried to process the words spoken by George’s attorney. A few moments later, he said, “I see. Not the news I expected to hear but thanks for letting me know.”

            He clicked off and stared at Rhiann. He noticed she held the broom as if to fend off an attacker. He wanted to punch something but knew he couldn’t. He took a deep breath and clenched a fist. He exhaled a ragged breath. A moment of silence ticked by. Levi inhaled again, trying to steady himself. As he released the air and unclenched his fist, he spoke in a terse, but controlled tone. 

“Someone who knows nothing about this place, it’s history or the man who lived here … I guess it’s yours after all.”

            Levi stalked to his pickup and jumped into the driver’s seat. He backed the Chevy toward the Y junction and stomped the accelerator. He heard a large spray of gravel as the truck tires dug in, and he drove from the house.

Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Tina!!

Thanks for joining me, Gayle!