#BlogBreakFriday – #AmWriting (Fingers Crossed)

Just a reminder that I won’t be around much today, but if you need me, feel free to email. I’m always stopping by the desk to check on that. With any luck, I’ll make a bit more progress on my WIP, as I’m really anxious to get back in the writing groove again and get a few more stories told. 

We had an unbelievable storm this afternoon, out of nowhere. Lashing rain so heavy I couldn’t see the house across the street, and some terrible wind. It tore our gazebo right out of the ground, and ripped out three sections of the privacy fence between our backyard and our neighbors. (The gazebo was a canvas topped one attached to a wrought iron frame that Mark had screwed to our brick patio. The screws held, but the frame bent nearly flat. It’s totalled. *sigh* )

Luckily, no damage to the house, though Mark saw several large limbs down on houses here and there when he went for his late afternoon walk. No major damage that he could see for them either, but like us, a LOT of clean up involved. So, it’s going to be interesting to see if I can squeeze in some writing between the raking and trash removal tomorrow. I’m gonna give it my best shot, though.


You guys all have a great Freya’s Day
and hopefully a wonderful weekend ahead!
I’ll be back soon!

 

#WIP – #AmWriting (I hope!) – #ColeCole&Dupree

Oh, I SO know how he feels! I’ve been dragging around in Subpar Mode for so long, it’s ridiculous. (And to think that at my age, I consider every minute of wasted time to be a cardinal sin!) But the good (or at least better) news is, I am going to fix this problem, one way or the other! 

Yes, yes, Snape! I should be writing and I’m GOING to be writing, because after all, Cole, Cole & Dupree cannot finish itself, now can it? But I wanted to share my earthshattering improved health news here on TWS first. Plus I thought maybe sharing here might get me even more in the mood to move on with this story. I mean, it’s got a lot going for it, I think. From a very strange mystery for CC&D to solve, to Rabbit’s astonishing find of a Fairy Cross (staurolite) on a wooded trail, to the fun (I hope) relationship between Rabbit and his adopted family, including his sort-of adopted big brother, Austin Dupree. 

Oh, fairy crosses, you ask? Well, they look like this, and are a completely natural and totally REAL (though very rare) rock formation, wherein a natural “twinning process” produces these amazing stones in every size. See:

And here’s one more: a precious little miniature one sent to me from my friend in Wales, Trish, alias Alex Craigie. (Thank you again, Trish!)

But putting all that aside, the main reason to post about what I hope will be my return to Cole, Cole, & Dupree is that it gives me an excuse to share an excerpt with you good folks, and perhaps find out if this prologue would make you want to turn the page for the rest of the story.  So without further ado, here you go:

Just Past Midnight in a Frosty Winter Pasture
Sunday, January 11, 2015
~~~

“THOUGHT YOU NEEDED to see this, boss. Called as soon as I found ‘em.”

“You were right to call, Kip. Any idea what the hell happened here?”

“Not a one. Never seen anything like it.”

Alvy Ballard moved his flashlight in a slow arc across the scene in front of him, as he struggled to make sense of all the darkened forms humped along the ground. With a look of dread in his eyes, he turned back to his foreman. “Big Red?”

“Big Red, too, boss. He’s over by the east fence.”

“Show me.”

The two men walked around the fence line, stopping to check each bloody body along the way. Alvy gave a slow, stunned shake of his head. “All dead. Every single one of them dead. What could have done something like this, Kip?”

“I got no idea. Every throat torn out. All ten horses, gone. It ain’t natural.”

When they neared the middle of the east fence line, Kip stopped and laid his hand on Alvy’s arm. “You sure you want to look at him?”

Alvy nodded. “I need to see for myself.”

Kip watched as his boss continued along the fence to where the body of his prize stallion lay. For a moment the big man stood staring in shock, then he dropped to his knees. Draping himself across his horse, Alvy Ballard wept like a child, shoulders shaking with loud, heartbroken sobs.

Kip knew his boss well enough to understand his need for privacy, so he remained where he was until Alvy stood, wiped his eyes, and returned.

“I still don’t understand what happened to them,” Alvy said, his voice husky with emotion.

“Me, neither, boss. For sure, it wasn’t no animal I’ve ever seen. Animals don’t kill ‘less they’re hungry. All them horses are dead, all right, but not a single one’s been eaten on.”


Well, there you have it. I hope you are intrigued and ready to find out what the heck happened in Alvy Ballard’s pasture. And you can rest assured, when the good sheriff Raleigh Wardell shows up to consult with them, Cole, Cole, &  Dupree will be ready to take on this case!


Thanks for reading this morning,
and here’s to a GREAT start to your week!

#GuestDayTuesday – #Bold&BlatantSelfPromo – #Excerpt – #TheEmissary2: To Love Somebody

See, this is what happens when you guys don’t have any news or ideas you want to share: when #GuestDayTuesday rolls around, you just might get ME as the guest! Et voila! Here I am! 

Decided to share an excerpt from my second Emissary Trilogy novella. It’s a scene I hope you’ll find amusing, even without knowing all the particulars of the story at this point.  And for those who think they’d enjoy reading more, these three novellas should definitely be read in order.

But for now, Happy Reading!

 


EXERPT:

Sitting in a Booth Where Cracked Red Vinyl Had Run Amuck,
Ordering That Too-Late Breakfast or Too-Early Lunch,
While Studiously Avoiding Each Other’s Eyes. 

“WHY DO YOU supposed diners always have red plastic seats and red Formica tables? I mean, is it like a law, or somethin’? Part of the original blueprints? Or building code?”

Jake watched Dodger drumming nervous fingers on that very Formica tabletop and knew the boy wanted to talk. He wasn’t going to push him, however. As proven once again by this morning’s events, that never worked. When he was ready, he would talk. Until then, apparently diner décor was what interested him most.

“No idea. Maybe you can research that while we’re on the road so we’ll learn what’s what before we stop at another one.”

Dodger stared out the window. “You’re bein’ condescending, you know.”

“Sorry. Just trying to help you find something to talk about.”

“Well, don’t. I don’t really wanna talk about diners or Formica or anything else like that, and you know it.”

“Yeah, I guess I do. But to be fair, you did talk about it, so I was just playing along.” Jake took a sip of his iced tea, waited a beat, then tried again. “Dodger, you don’t need to explain anything to me. I’m in your corner, no matter what. But that doesn’t mean you have to tell me every detail from your life before we met.”

Finally, Dodger’s face swung back toward Jake. “But I do—at least I do, if it’s somethin’ I need you to understand. And this is.”

“Okay, then. As long as it’s what you want, I’ll always listen. And I’ll always help if I can.”

“I know that. I think I’ve known that since that day in the hospital parking lot, when you told me you wouldn’t take me back to the crap life I was livin’ before you rescued me. And I do trust you. It’s only that I’ve never talked about stuff like this to anyone. Ever. I don’t have any idea how to start.”

“Well, before you go any further, let me say that I didn’t mean to act like there was something wrong with you. Not at all. The honest truth is, as I look back on my own life and think about what was going on with young people around me, I suspect there were way too many of them having sex before they were emotionally mature enough to take that step. But the right time and circumstances are different for everyone, and I didn’t mean to sound like I was judging you.”

Dodger appeared to be inspecting the Formica all over again while his face turned just as red, but waiting was something Jake was good at. It was a skill the boy had helped him perfect.

A few minutes crept by, then Dodger plunged in. “Don’t know if I was ready for it or not, but it wouldn’t have mattered. Not at first, anyway. I was a shrimpy little kid, and way too young to interest the girls. A couple of years later, I’d put on some weight, and must have looked better. Next thing I knew, there was some coked-up, empty-eyed girl or another backin’ me into a corner every time I turned around.” He paused, then ground out, “I hated it!”

“Okay. Do you want to tell me why?”

It took three tries before Dodger was able to answer, and Jake wasn’t surprised at the pain in the boy’s voice.

“I had this dumbass idea when I left home that I’d find someone who cared about me. Someone I’d matter to.” He looked up, eyes glittering with unshed tears. “I guess I just wanted somebody, somewhere, to love me. No one ever had, Jake, and even as messed up as I was by then, one thing I knew for damn sure—none of those girls followin’ us runners around were gonna love me, either.” He paused, then stared out the window again.

“So, you waited?”

Nodding, Dodger went on. “Yeah. I waited. And kept waiting. Not like I was holdin’ out for something permanent or anything. I just wanted it to matter. I wanted me to matter. Stupid, huh?”

“No, Dodge. Not stupid at all. Love is the one thing in the world that truly does matter, above all else. Of course you wanted it. We all do. We’re born reaching for it, and the fact that you already knew the truth of that at the age of sixteen is one more example of how special you are. Azrael was right in telling me to save your life at all costs, and right again in bringing you back. You have so much to give this world, and you’re making a real difference in the lives of others every single day. And as for someone loving you, I know this isn’t the same, but I couldn’t love you more if you were my own son.”

“Thank you for that,” Dodger whispered. “I can’t even put into words how much that means to me.” The boy stared at the Formica again, his face still forlorn.

“But?”

“But I still wish I’d managed to get laid. At least once.”


You can download The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody HERE
(But don’t forget, these 3 novellas are meant to be read in order.)


BLURB:

They’re back!

Jake and Dodger, the first (and so far, only) Emissaries to the Angels, are on the road again.

They’re looking for mortals about to take a wrong turn. You know the ones—the kid thinking about stealing from a corner market or the man planning to lie about a coworker and destroy her career. Yeah, them. People on the brink of making a mistake that could send them down that wrong road and jeopardize their mortal souls.

Of course, there are rules by which the emissaries must play, and the archangel Azrael stands ready to enforce them. First and foremost, a person’s free will must never be compromised. Emissaries are allowed to use only the smallest of mental nudges. Thankfully, a whispered suggestion here or images of a better course of action there is usually all it takes. The potential mugger walks on by. The thief drops the wallet back into the unattended purse. But whether the results are obvious or not, Jake and Dodger are fully committed to making a positive difference, even as they struggle with issues of their own.

Will Dodger get over losing his chance to learn what true love is all about? Will Jake survive the grueling angelic equivalent of Boot Camp? Will Azrael ever finish the Official Emissarial Guidebook—including the chapter titled Do Not Even Think About It?

One thing’s for sure—Jake’s and Dodger’s strengths are growing daily, as they help more and more people make better choices. But is the price for so much power higher than they’re willing to pay?


#This&That&TheOtherThing – #GuestDayTuesday – #AmWriting – #HappyEaster

Just a quick catch-up this afternoon, since I don’t think I’ll be around much this weekend. All sorts of stuff going on around here, as usual, and also as usual, I’m way behind on ALL of it. Plugging away at things, though! Honest!


THIS

Putting another call out for #GuestDayTuesday posters. If you have a new release, a cover reveal, an excerpt you’d like to share (new or old), a promo you want to share, or some interesting tidbits about writing or marketing, #GuestDayTuesday is a perfect way to go. I’m very flexible about the topic of your posts and will include your author bio and photo, book covers, links to buy your books, and social media links.  Every other Tuesday is pretty much wide open from May 3 through the end of the year. Email me and we’ll set up a date that works for you!


THAT

I have some fun (I hope) ideas in mind for some random posts in the weeks ahead, to include “Question of the Day”  and “Forgotten Words,” for two possible examples. Stay tuned for more. 


THE OTHER THING

Meanwhile, I haven’t forgotten that I promised you Rabbit fans out there a new series of novellas featuring that very special little boy (and his equally special abilities), his doting father, MacKenzie Cole, and his unofficially adopted big brother, Austin Dupree. (The upside of being alone in the world at ten is that you have a chance to choose the perfect family for yourself.)

I know I’ve been unable to work on this novella for a few weeks, but I promise that one way or the other, that will change. Cole, Cole, & Dupree Investigative Services (Motto: We Can Help!) IS coming to a Kindle store near you just as soon as I can make it happen!


And that wraps up this edition of This & That & The Other Thing.
Happy Easter Weekend to All!



#QuestionOfTheDay – #AmReading – #AmWriting

A discussion on Monday’s #This&That&TheOtherThing post made me ask myself if rereading my own books now and then is a really weird thing to do. Honestly, I couldn’t decide, so I figured I’d toss the question out to all of you. Do you reread your own books now and then? Why? Or why not? 

I do, but not more often than once a year or so. And I do it for several reasons:

  1. To remember small details that I might want to mention going forward in the series.
  2. To see if I’ve been consistent throughout with certain plot points.
  3. To help me see what I did then that I’ve learned how do better now.
  4. To remind myself that I’m finally following my dream and have the proof of that right in front of my eyes. 

At my age, I’m not likely to spend a lot of time revising what’s already out there. I’ve chosen to use my remaining writing years telling new stories and hopefully improving my skills as I go.

But how about you? Do you move on without ever looking back? Or do you reread now and then, and if so, why? 

Inquiring Minds Wanna Know 

Let’s Chat!

 

#ReblogAlert – This Week on #StoryEmpire

I’m still in the process of getting back to all my regularly featured series, and today, I’m happy to say I’m picking up with sharing the week’s posts from one of my favorite blogs, Story Empire. And it’s been a good week, believe me. So for those of you who’ve never checked out this blog, or those of you who might have missed one of the posts this week, here are the links. 

MONDAY: How to Write Point of View, Part 5, Third Person Distant by Harmony Kent. Check out this very informative post HERE.

WEDNESDAY: Writing and  Fun! by D. L. Finn. This post is a great reminder that we really should enjoy the entire process of writing. You’ll definitely want to check it out HERE.

FRIDAY:  Three Act Structure: Act 1 by C. S. Boyack. As someone who’s never taken a writing class, I especially enjoyed Craig’s very informative and entertaining post on this topic.  Be sure to check it out HERE.

And there you have it! Another week of wonderful posts on Story Empire. I highly recommend stopping by to see for yourself just how informative and helpful these posts are. You’ll be glad you did! 

#SummerMagic by (ahem) Me! #Excerpt #Review

As summer winds down, I decided to share a poem of mine about a ten-year-old boy enjoying another day camping in the mountains with his dad. This is from my book Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love, and is one of my personal favorites. Hope you enjoy it.

The Rope Swing

Sailing up, up into
Blue summer sky,
Hot rope rough against his hands,
He shouts with joy, and lets go.
For a crystal moment,
He hangs suspended,
Frozen in time
Like a fly in amber.
All awkward angles–
Shoulder blades and
Elbows, and
Knobby knees,
Painted against the sky,
Heart filled with fierce joy.

Dropping, down, down
Into clear green water
Cold on his skin,
He sinks to the silty bottom,
And sits suspended
In an alien world,
Watching the silvered flashes
Of tiny fish darting to and fro,
Startled by his sudden appearance.
I am a fish, too, he thinks,
And holds his breath
As long as he can.

Finally, he rockets up,
Through a stream of
Tickling bubbles,
Breaking the
Surface of the water,
With a loud whoop of
Childish exuberance,
All thoughts of becoming a fish
Forgotten as he
Scrambles out,
Shakes the water from his hair,
And, grinning, hitches up his
Baggy shorts.

He’s ready
To do it all again.
Flying through the summer air,
Dropping into the cold water
To commune with fishes
Silvered in refracted light,
Then leaping to the surface,
A boy of ten once more,
Laughing through an endless summer
Made perfect by a cool green pond,
And an old rope swing.
                                                         by Marcia Meara 

~~~

REVIEW

D.L. Finn

Reviewed in the United States on April 2, 2021