Sunday, November 30, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 11/30 edition

Tomorrow brings December, which I'm looking forward to. I should be mostly through the rewrite of Another Day, Another Dollar today and over the next week I'm hoping to get all the finishing stuff done with it so I can move on to book five. I was right that this book introduces my friend Eva. I love meddling characters with a sense of humor, and she definitely qualifies.

I've already read ahead and know how this book ends. I have to say it was my favorite ending, probably of any book I've written. The unknown of what's going to happen next left me barreling through the next book to figure it out.

Well, I'm going to get back to it and leave you with my short story of the week. The challenge was to write 500 words that opened with a door being slammed in the main characters face. You can imagine Nyx wasn't too happy about that.

Punishment is for the Dogs

There are certain things you just don't do

The doorframe vibrated as the sound of the slamming door echoed through the house. Nyx stared at the door for a split second, a little dumbfounded by how it was possible for Clyde to shut it with that much force. She tried to turn the doorknob, but it didn’t budge. The Hellhound had not only shut the door in her face, but he’d also locked her out.

“Open this door, Clyde. We weren’t finished talking.” She pounded on the door a few times, hard enough to let him know she wasn’t afraid to break it down.

“I’m aware of that, Mother. As soon as you stop screaming like a banshee, we can carry on the conversation,” Clyde mentally chided back to Nyx.

Nyx glared at the door, but before she could make good on her threat to break it down, Sebastian was there wrapping his hand tightly around one of her fists. She looked over at him, and a little of the tension ebbed out of her system. She hated that he had a calming effect on her.

“Let me deal with him. Sophia’s hungry and you’re the only one equipped to feed her.”

“Do you even know what he did? There’s teeth marks in one of my favorite knifes. I can live with him peeing on everything in the house, but when he attacks my weapons, I’m not going to stand for it.”

Nyx growled when she thought about finding her poor knife with divots scattered across the blade. The edge was still sharp, but it no longer matched its sister knife. She’d had those knives as long as she could remember, and they were a part of her family years before anyone else received that distinction.

“I know exactly what he did, and I’ll be happy to carry out the appropriate punishment for it. I think skinning the mutt sounds about right, don’t you?”

Nyx’s shoulders drooped a little as she thought about Sebastian’s words. She hadn’t really thought ahead to what she’d do when she caught up with Clyde. She’d chased him around the house, screaming at him until he’d managed to get to his bedroom.

“You know I don’t want him skinned.”

“I know, as much as it pains me. I keep a knife sharpened just in case you ever change your mind. I’ll take Clytemnestra to get her checked out. I’m sure we can find someone to repair her. Until she’s fixed, I suggest we take away his Internet connection. After the last time, I’ve found that’s way more effective than any other punishment.”

“No,” Clyde howled from the other side of the door.

The corners of Nyx’s lips turned up slightly. She lowered the raised fist that Sebastian held and rotated her hand so her fingers intertwined with his.

“Have I told you lately that I love you, Sebby?”

They both had smiles across their faces as they walked off to find their daughter, while Clyde’s begging for forgiveness followed them down the hallway.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 11/22 edition

The regular challenges were back this week and after putting the finishing touches on Working Through the Weekend, and uploading it to Smashwords, I got to work on the "imagine a dinner party where a secret may be revealed" challenge.

Thankfully it didn't take me too long to write a quick 500 words and get it posted. I'm ready to move on to the next Avery book. Things are getting intense and I'm trying to remember exactly where I took it next. I remember book five, and where book four took place, but I can't remember exactly what happens. I think it's the one that introduces a new female character who knows what's going on, but that could be book five.

Anyway, on to that for me while you take a look at my short story of the week or check on the latest Avery story. Have a great weekend, everyone!

An Unwelcome Demon

What do you serve a house guest who eats human hearts?

“Why did you agree to have him over for dinner? It hasn’t slipped your notice that his preferred meal choice is human hearts, has it?” Nyx didn’t bother muting her voice.

Nyx was pissed at Ben, and she didn’t appreciate the demon sitting in the next room, stinking up her house. It’d been months since it was revealed he’d known her mother was Lucifer, and he’d chosen to keep the information from Nyx.

That was about the same time he’d inadvertently had a hand in getting her pregnant, not that any of his DNA was involved. His magical birth control sucked, though.

“Can you please calm down a little? The stress isn’t good for the baby.” Sebastian had tried to get Nyx to sign up for meditation classes to no avail.

“He lied to me. I don’t want him around here.” Nyx clutched her fists together, trying to prevent herself from hitting something.

“Your mom seemed to know quite a bit about Peanut, and being a close confidant, Ben may have heard what exactly we’ve made.”

“We made a baby, Sebastian. Would you like me to describe how exactly that process worked? Our bond was severed and in a fit of desperation to reconnect, we threw our clothes off ...”

“As much fun as this conversation sounds, I think I’m going to stop it right there,” Ben said interrupting from the doorway to the kitchen. “I don’t like the thought of everyone knowing about that beautiful moment in your relationship.”

“I’m pretty sure everyone already knows. Why aren’t you out enjoying our substitution for hearts?” Nyx kept her eyes on Sebastian, looking at Ben made her furious.

“I’ve given hearts up for a little while. I guess that’s as good as any segue to why I really came in here to interrupt. I’ve cut ties with your mother, I thought that was pretty obvious after how things went down. Whether you like it or not, Nyx, you’re the most important woman in my life, and I’ll do everything I can to get back on your good side.”

Sebastian took it upon himself to fill a pause in the conversation. “So, you can’t tell us anything about our daughter.”

“Wish I could, but other than I’m sure she’ll be healthy and look like her mother, nope. Fatherhood is an amazing experience, Sebastian, not that I know personally. Don’t let the questions of what will be get in the way of enjoying what you have in front of you. I’ll leave you to finish your dinner without me. Remember, if you ever need anything, just call, Nyx.”

Ben disappeared from the room, without any fanfare. Nyx was left feeling a bit restless. Learning more about their baby was a great idea, but it seemed not many people had a clue what to expect.

“I’m hungry,” Nyx said, stomping off into the other room. With as big as her stomach was, they’d learn soon enough if there were any secrets about their baby.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My weekly update, sans the short story

I'm not sure anyone noticed, but I skipped the writing challenge I usually post on the weekends this weekend. The challenge was different than the normal ones and happened to be something I do all the time, so I didn't find it that challenging. It was to take someone from your past and write them into a scene or a story.

I think I've mentioned it before, but people, dogs, dragons - they're all based on someone or something from my real life. Granted, I usually give them magical powers, or make them a Hellhound, but I take my inspiration from the looks and attitudes of those I've met over the years. I won't say what book my husband listened to with me while I worked on proofreading, but he's been heard saying something like "she sounds just like you", and it wasn't one of the Avery books where set out to make the character my twin. All my leading females take traits from me, which in some places is really scary.

I like to think I'm a little creative, but if I had to start from scratch with each of my characters, I'd never get any work done. I just finished doing the rewrite on number three of the Avery books and had the opportunity to revisit some of my favorite characters in the story. I so want to just move on to the next one before I do more proofing on this one. The story is heating up in just about every direction. I'm hoping to have a bow on book three and get it up on Smashwords around the end of this week.

Before I head off to busy myself in order to fight the urges to move on to book four, I just wanted to say a big thank you to those who have started reading this old/new series. Picking up books I wrote two years ago has been a lot harder than I thought it'd be. I write so different now and there are times I'm not even sure what I was trying to get across. It's process, but I'll get through it and we'll see who's alive when the dust settles, hopefully sometime in January.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 11/8 edition

Another weekend, another short story. This week's challenge was in 500 words write about a scenario where a character receives news they have long awaited for. In the world of Nyx, one thing immediately jumped to my mind. There's an item Nyx has always wanted and it's about time she got it, along with a reason for having it.

Best News Ever

Good things come to those who wait

“Is the blindfold really necessary?” Nyx wasn’t sure how they’d managed to get it on her in the first place, but she’d found her limit as far as wearing one went.

No one replied and Nyx felt the urge to punch the closest person to her. Since that was Sebastian, who happened to be carrying their daughter, she decided to save it for another time.

The day had started off pretty normal. Sophia woke the house up and Nyx had already eaten her two platefuls of bacon. With Sophia nursing, Nyx found she needed to eat more to keep her energy up.

It was just after she’d finished her last bite that Alex revealed they had big news for her, but in order to find out what the news was, she had to wear a blindfold. They caught her during a moment of weakness, when she was still a bit sleepy and had a full belly, and she went along with their game.

Ever since they opened the door out to the backyard, Nyx had picked up an overwhelming smell of metal mixed with oil. It was one of her favorite fragrances. She didn’t want to get her hopes up, but it was hard not to when she could think of only one thing that would give off that particular odor in large quantities, and it wasn’t a new car.

Before anyone could stop her, she ripped the blindfold off her face and stared at amazement in the direction of something she’d wanted for years. The few people in her way hurried to the side as she ran the twenty feet needed to reach her boon.

“It’s an M777A2. And you’ve even bought the 155 mm rounds to go with it.”

Nyx was a little surprised to find a pile of ten rounds next to the cannon. Not that the weapon didn’t need them to work, but she always assumed she’d need to provide the ammunition if she ever convinced anyone to buy her toy for her.

“That’s where the news part of this comes in. The cannon is a present, of course. You’ve wanted one since you were a little girl, at least that’s what we’ve heard over and over, and now you finally have one to call your own. The good news is we’ve got something picked out for you to use as target practice.”

Alex’s voice barely registered, even though he had moved to stand a few feet away from the cannon. Nyx was busy circling her gift. She’d studied the model enough to know everything there was to know about it, and she was just making sure everything looked in order.

“You’re telling me not only did you finally break down and get me this beauty, but you’re also going to let me use it?”

Nyx’s eyes met Alex’s as he nodded. Nyx didn’t care what they wanted her to target. Second to giving birth to her daughter, it was the best day of her life.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 11/1 edition

It was a busy week taking care of last minute Halloween decorations and changes at work. That meant I had very little time to work on Just Another Day at the Office. I'm hoping to finish up the initial reworking and editing this weekend, but with nine chapters left to go, I'm guessing it's going to go a day or two into next week.

As I continue working in Avery's world, I'm reminded why I loved her character so much in the first place. I think the stories are improving as I add details and clean things up. The first book ended up being an extra 15K words and this one looks like I'll add close to that. As I believe I mentioned, this series will be available for free on Smashwords as I go along improving the stories. So, even if you read them on wattpad, there might be some more details that you'll want to know when it comes to the last book, which will hopefully be out sometime in December now because my time has been so occupied as of late.

Anyway, here's what your probably here for, since the title indicates that's what this post is about. This week's challenge was a bit complicated, five-hundred word romance that had two components out of a list of six. I ended up using the fortune cookie and a stolen locket. The other options included a test tube of purple liquid, a pizza delivery person with a penchant for movie quotes, a hungover ghost and a Parisian cafe. The majority of those don't really work well in Nyx's world in a short five-hundred words, so I made due with the ones that I could see showing up.

Gift of Love

It's in the details

“What do you want, Alex?” Nyx asked.

It was bad enough she was saddled with two guys claiming she belonged to them. At least for her own sanity’s sake, she liked the other guy. Alex hadn’t exactly found his way to her heart, though.

“I know you weren’t ready for it when we were pushed together, but the connection between us has been there since we were born. Sebastian’s tie to you should be mild compared to what we have.”

His words only managed to confuse Nyx. “Are you telling me you love me, Alex? Is that the reason for this date night?”

“Maybe this will explain things,” Alex said, sliding a fortune cookie across the table to her.

She looked at it skeptically. “When was the last time you saw me eat carbs? Even before you brought out the wolf in me, I kept a strict diet of meat.”

“Just open it, would you?”

Nyx wasn’t sure why he sounded like she was pushing his buttons. They’d been in each other’s lives long enough that he should’ve been over the frustration she caused most people.

Nyx picked up the cookie and realized it was hard plastic, not baked dough. Whatever it was made of, it was heavier than she expected. She cracked it open, watching as a necklace and piece of paper fell onto the table.

The necklace looked tarnished and had a square locket amongst the links of the chain. Nyx picked it up and studied the oddity. She opened the locket to find a pair of pictures she was semi-familiar with, only because she followed any history that included a woman beating a man in a shooting challenge. Nyx rarely cared about human history, but Annie Oakley was almost a role model.

“I can see you know who they are, which is why I went the extra mile and stole the trinket for you. Sadly, my cash offer wasn’t enough. I knew you’d probably never wear it; I’m not na├»ve. I just wanted you to know, like the man in that couple, I understand there are things you can do that you’ll always be better than me, and I have no problem being the man behind the woman in those cases.”

“How much have you had to drink?” It was a rhetorical question. Nyx wasn’t really sure how to feel about what he’d said. If she kept a diary, she’d swear he’d been reading it.

“I just want you to know that I’m at the point where I can say I love you, and I know words mean nothing to you, so rather than bring you the head of your worst enemy, which I know is your preferred token of love, I went a bit more traditional.”

Nyx didn’t have words to respond, but she felt a little honored receiving the memento that Alex had procured in her honor. A severed head would’ve been better, but maybe he was keeping that in mind for a future anniversary.