Bronwyn Green

The Corner of Quirky & Kinky

This month in the First Time feature, we’ve got first argument. So, I picked Will and Ivy, from In Bounds aka The Sportsball Book.

The screaming sound of an air horn woke Ivy from a dead sleep, and she pushed up on her elbow, searching for the asshole making the noise. Squinting, in the bright morning light, she saw Will in the chair near her bed, eyes closed and head tilted awkwardly to the side in sleep, oblivious to his phone pulsing angrily on the little table between them. She grabbed the device and tried to figure out how to silence the stupid thing. She slid her finger across the screen, and the sound ceased, leaving an almost ringing silence in her ears.

As she shifted the phone in her hand to return it to the bedside table, her thumb bumped the text icon, and a message from someone named Peyton popped up. It was a photo of what looked like a riding crop on a white bedspread and the message, Wanna play? in the text bubble beneath. Her mouth dropped open, and an involuntary gasp escaped—equal parts rage and arousal. She glanced up to find Will watching her with sleepy-looking green eyes.

She threw off the suddenly too-warm covers and sat up. “Are you fucking serious with this?” she demanded.

“You’ll have to be a bit more specific, love. I’m not sure I’m quite awake, yet.”

She turned his phone to face him. “How fucking dare you proposition me when you have a girlfriend? And how fucking dare you try to screw around on her behind her back?!” She pushed to her feet and tossed his phone at him. “I didn’t think you were that much of an asshole. Clearly, I’m a terrible judge of character. And to think…”

“And to think what?” he demanded, looking far more awake than he had moments earlier.

She shook her head and stalked to the bathroom and slammed the door. “Never mind.” 

After she brushed her teeth and splashed cold water on her face, Ivy stared at her reflection in the mirror. Her face looked hideous—blotchy blue and purple, but no real swelling, thank goodness. It seemed all the ice packs had helped. But as she studied her image, she was more concerned about the tears burning her eyes.

She couldn’t believe Will would be shitty enough to cheat on his girlfriend. Though, why that thought was so hard to swallow, she had no idea. Daniel certainly hadn’t had any trouble fucking around on her, and they’d been married. She sighed. If she were being honest with herself, she’d wanted to believe the man who’d taken such tender care of her and who’d seemed attracted to her was genuine. Instead, he was just another asshole. She knew there were good guys out there, but Will obviously wasn’t one of them. And the sooner she came to terms with that, the better off she’d be.

Unfortunately, now, all she could do was imagine his hand wrapped around the handle of the crop as he brought it down on a bare ass. And since she had no clue what Peyton looked like, it was all too easy to imagine herself in that position. For fuck’s sake, she needed to get a grip.

Yanking open the bathroom door, she stopped dead, fingers clenched on the knob. Will blocked her way, his palms braced against the doorframe.

She forced herself to lift her head and meet his gaze. “I get that you’re down to fuck anything that moves, but I’m not interested.”

“Noted.”

They glared at each other, until she couldn’t stand the silence anymore. “Move.”

“Just as soon as you hear what I have to say.”

“If you’re going to tell me that she’s one of those sportsball cleat chasers, save it.”

“I assume you mean football and WAG wannabes.”

Her fist tightened on the door handle. “Whatever.”

“And Peyton? A WAG wannabe?” He snorted. “Hardly.” His smile faded, and he held Ivy motionless with his hooded gaze. “Also, she’s not my girlfriend.”

Ivy didn’t say anything.

“She’s my friend,” he continued. “Has been since uni. And yes, when neither of us are seeing other people, we sometimes have sex.” He tilted his head to the side, slightly, his gaze boring into hers. “We both have…similar interests.”

There was that mental image of him using a crop on her own willing ass again. Her gaze drifted to his hands, and she couldn’t help but wonder if he ever covered Peyton’s mouth when she came. A tiny shiver worked through her, and once again, she forced herself to meet his eyes.

“So, no,” he bit out. “When I’m with someone, I don’t sleep around, and I wouldn’t—not even for you.”

Not even for her? What the hell was that supposed to mean?

“I realize that your knob of an ex didn’t offer you that same courtesy, so I’ll cut you some slack for jumping to that conclusion about me.”

Her cheeks flushed with heat.

“I don’t blame you for being angry with him—just do me a favor and don’t take it out on me, okay?”

She took a deep breath, blinking back the stupid tears that burned her eyes. She didn’t think she had any tears left for Daniel. She wasn’t even sure they were for him. At this point, she might just be feeling sorry for herself. “You’re right—I made some pretty big assumptions. I’m sorry.”

Will’s expression softened. “I get it. I do. When your trust is broken that badly, it’s easy to think everyone sucks.”

Unable to hold his gaze any longer, she glanced away. “And I’m sorry I looked at something that was private. It wasn’t intentional, but it’s still unacceptable.”

From the corner of her eye, she saw his shoulder lift. “It happens. Just so we’re both clear here, I’m about to be very direct.” He paused, waiting until she looked at him. “I’m just as attracted to you as I was twelve years ago.” He shook his head, a rueful grin lifting his lips. “No. More. Much more. So, if the feeling is mutual, and you’re looking to fuck your ex out of your system, I’m available.”



Eden Books * Amazon * B&N * iBooks * Kobo * Audible

Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ first arguments by clicking on their names.

Jess * Kris * Kayleigh * Siobhan * Gwen

This is a continuation of a story that started here.

The farther Persephone walked, the darker the sky became. No longer the fierce blue of an autumn afternoon, storm clouds swirled above and the mist rose from the ground as the air rapidly cooled while rain pelted her, stinging her skin beneath her cloak.. It seemed her mother was having another one of her tantrums, and no act of independence would go unpunished.

So be it.

The field gave way to a few straggling trees, and the trees gave way to a sheltering forest. Icy wind whipped through the branches, clutching at her cloak and chilling her to the bone. The further into the woods she walked, the faster the leaves curled and dried, rubbing harshly together as the wind blew mercilessly.

She had no idea where she was going–she’d never been this far from her mother’s garden before. She simply let her feet carry her down the wide dirt path, knowing that there was something waiting for her. Something or someone calling to her. She felt it in the thrum of her blood pounding through her veins and pulsing against her skin. She felt it in the restlessness of her limbs and the buried ache deep in her core. She felt it in the tautness of her nipples and the brush of her thighs as she walked. What had started out as discomfort, quickly became agony.

The needle-like rain, pelting through her clothing only intensified that ache. And when rain gave way to sleet, she was surprised that steam hadn’t risen from her body the way it had from the forest floor. But she kept moving, knowing that sooner or later, she’d find what she was looking for, what her body had been promising her.

As she rounded a bend in the trail, she saw him, standing in the middle of the path, waiting for her. Until now, she’d assumed he was nothing more than a myth–a product of her stifled upbringing and her overactive imagination. But he was real.

Her steps faltered slightly as she considered the implication. As every heated dream, every carnal impulse, slipped back into her thoughts, unbidden. She kept moving though, stopping only when she stood before him–almost close enough to touch.

“Does your mother know you’re here?”

Persephone shrugged. “Does it really matter to you if she does?”

A slight grin curved his firm lips as he watched her creep nearer. “Not particularly.”

That’s it for me, today. Click on the other bloggers’ names to read their stories.

Jess * Siobhan * Kris

Good news! I’m doing a little better on the self-care front. And on the making time for my own projects front. And, as I’ve discovered, sometimes, that means saying no to other things. Like…the song fic, this month.

These were my goals last month:

  • Continue to make daily progress on the WIP. Yep. And I’m pleased with the direction that it’s going.
  • Finish all scheduled blog posts. Nope. I just didn’t have the braining ability to do the flash fic and work on my book. The book won.
  • Finish all scheduled audio preps. Yep.
  • Finish all scheduled edits. Yep.
  • Finish the remaining Christmas presents. Hahahahahahahano.
  • Practice good self-care. Yep.
  • Have a blast with Jess when she comes to stay with me for two weeks! YESYSYESYESYESYESYESYESYES!!!

For next month, I plan to:

  • Continue to make daily progress on the WIP.
  • Finish all scheduled blog posts.
  • Finish all scheduled audio preps.
  • Finish all scheduled edits.
  • Finish the remaining Christmas presents.
  • Practice good self-care.
  • Finish my newsletter story for Eden Books.
  • Survive my Tell Me a Story experience in Lucy Score’s group on FB.

You can check out Jess’ goals here.

Hey guys!

I hope you’ll help me welcome Stephanie Rose to the blog! She’s got a brand-new release today, and because I’m nosy AF, I asked the lovely Ms. Rose a bunch of equally nosy questions. Let’s find out more about Stephanie, shall we?

Stephanie Rose is a bad-ass New Yorker, a wife, a mother, a former blogger and lover of all things chocolate. Most days you’ll find her trying to avoid standing on discarded LEGO or deciding which book to read next. Her debut novel, Always You, released in 2015 and since then she’s written several more—some of which will never see completion—and has ideas for hundred to come.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I wake up at 6:30, when I should be up at 5:30, shower, get dressed, and push my son to get dressed for school. I drop him off and head to the 6 train subway station to head into the office where I work as an advertising account manager. After everyone goes to bed at night or on a day off or weekend, I write and/or do writing admin stuff.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I always loved writing and at any job I had it was always my best skill. I kept a fake diary as a preteen where I’d make up love stories like they actually happened. Back then, my hero was always Jordan from NKOTB (dating myself badly) but I guess that should have been my first clue I wanted to write.

Do you have any bad habits?

I need to stop mindless scrolling on social media. I’d get a lot more done.

Do you have any pet peeves?

Fake people.

What are some of your writing goals?

My goal is to get better with each book.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what do you listen to?

Not while, but to get inspiration before. I tend to use Daughtry a lot in my playlist

What’s your favorite curse word?

I’m a Bronx native, and appreciate the versatility of the word Fuck.

What sound do you love?

My son’s laugh.

What sound do you hate?

Snoring.

Dog or cat person?

Dog

City or country?

City girl

Morning or night person?

Depends. I can’t get up as early as I should, and fall asleep on the couch a lot. I guess I shoot down the middle.

Get things done early or procrastinate?

Depends, but mostly procrastinate.

Introvert or extrovert?

Little of both. I love seeing my friends, but admit to sometimes being so effing relieved when plans get canceled.

What do you like best about writing?

When it flows, there is no greater feeling in the world. Creating a new story is a high that I haven’t been able to match.

What do you like least?

Sometimes, I get caught up in the rat race. Everyone evolves on their own time, and measures of success aren’t the same for everyone. My 2019 resolution is to enjoy the books I’ve worked so hard for and try not to get caught up in rank or wrong turns I’ve taken with the wrong people along the way. There is too much good to focus on the bad. I have wonderful friends and readers, and on February 22, I will celebrate giving them a brand-new book to enjoy.

What was your favorite childhood book?

Velveteen Rabbit

What are your favorite kinds of stories to tell?

Stories with strong women and good guys. I love reading assholes, but my lot in author life is to show readers how sexy a nice guy could be. Not to say they aren’t complicated, but my heroes have good hearts.

What are your favorite kinds of books to read?

All kinds, mostly romance. I’ve recently started loving historical romance. Sarah McClean is my favorite.

Let’s take a look at the blurb.

One couple risks it all, while the other may lose everything…

At eighteen, PJ was full of dreams. She was on her way to becoming a serious artist and moving across the country, away from the unrequited, tortured dream of her much older brother’s irresistible best friend, Dylan. But when she forced herself to let that dream go, she never expected it to bounce back and refuse to let her. 

One fall may have cost Jack everything. After being severely injured while responding to a fire, he lost the girl, the use of his leg, and possibly the career he’s dreamed of all his life. While away at rehab, he connects with Danielle, his physical therapist and a girl from his past. She can heal him in more ways than one, but she’s nursing her own wounds. 

When your heart is warring with your head, there’s no time to Think Twice.

You’ve put together a really interesting project. Your most recent release, Think Twice, features four characters’ points of view and two love stories that unfold concurrently. This seems like it had the potential to be a really daunting project. Did you struggle at all while weaving the two stories together?

Yes and no. The stories played off of each other so it was really one tale, I like to think of it like a movie. The timeline was the most daunting. Dylan and PJ began as a Book+Main serial and Jack and Danielle were a short for an anthology. It’s hard taking one story off novella mode and filling in the background and developing your characters, but to do that for two and then intertwining them, it took work for sure. But it wasn’t a chore. I loved both couples and the entire Garcia family. Spending time with them was a pure joy.

Would you consider writing another book in this manner?

If I thought of another ensemble like story, sure. Is it in my plan at the moment, no—but never say never.

Do you prefer one couple’s story over the other?

That’s a great question. When I wrote Dylan and PJ in the serial, they poured out. They were pure passion and angst and everything I love about writing romance. I had more content of them than Jack and Danielle so I had to fill in a lot more blanks, but in the end, they may have gotten to me more. It wasn’t the exact same type of forbidden as Dylan and PJ, but they broke your heart. Both were so broken but as Jack healed, it highlighted how stagnant Danielle was and how much they needed each other. A beta made me listen to “Rewrite the Stars” from the Greatest Showman, and I tear up each time because it’s really so them.

What do you like best about Jack?

And Jack is the first character I wrote from the time he was in utero (in Only You) and as a man. So, I have a huge soft spot for him and love how he’s evolved. He’s got a ton of heart, and is simply a great guy. He spends most of the story upset over his injury because he doesn’t know who he is if he can’t save people.

What do you like best about Danielle?

How brave she was to take a chance with Jack. There were a ton of potential professional repercussions from, for lack of a better term, messing around with her patient, but after being closed off for so long, to finally take a piece of happiness for herself was huge. She felt she didn’t deserve it and couldn’t keep it, but letting herself get close to Jack was a big risk on her part in a lot of ways.

What do you like best about Dylan?

I loved how unwavering he was in his love for PJ. He wouldn’t let anyone, even a family he thought of as his own, come between them.

What do you like best about PJ?

She may be one of my favorite heroines. She’s a tough little cookie. Brave enough to tell Dylan how she felt, and wasn’t a pushover when he finally admitted his own feelings. She made him work for it.

It’s not a question, but I loved PJ and Jack’s relationship, too. They were typical brother and sister, but the love they had for each other was bone deep. I’m an only child and would have loved an older brother like Jack.

Are there other characters in your story that you’re especially fond of? Why?

Nick. Nick was Jack and Ellie’s savior, and he’s still all about his family. He emulates what you think a fire chief would be, a lion-hearted man who is dedicated to his wife and kids.

Were there any scenes that were particularly difficult to write? If so, how?

Jack and Danielle’s falling out. So much hurt fueled their fight and they ended up brokenhearted and lost. When Dylan had to leave PJ’s house after that one tough scene, I actually got misty at him devastated over the fact he may have lost her.

What’s up next for you?

A beach romance I came up with while staying in Wildwood, NJ last summer. Kind of like a reverse Mystic Pizza where a city girl falls in love with a local in a sleepy beach town.

What would you most like readers to know about you and your books?

I love writing and my readers, and try to give them characters they could love. The biggest compliment I’ve gotten is that my characters are real. I want them to be people you’d fall in love with or want to be friends with. Give them enough depth to make you care.

How about an excerpt?

I’d spent so long trying to somehow will away the affect PJ had on me, but I was done fighting the impossible.  Maybe others would think it was wrong, and I probably would make the same ignorant judgment of a twenty-six-year-old man and an eighteen-year-old girl—a girl he’d known since the day she was born—falling for each other. But when I’d kissed her and she sighed into my mouth, as if she’d been waiting for my kiss for her entire life, it was nothing but right. 

An hour later, I pulled up in front of the Garcias’ driveway, relieved as fuck it was empty. The annoying thing about hiding something, even if unintentionally, is that you were always on edge. Sneaking her across the street unnoticed would be a challenge, but I’d figure that out later. My only worry at that moment was if PJ would like the birthday present I’d just picked up for her. 

When she’d turned sixteen, I’d bought her a sketch pad and charcoal pencils since she was always drawing something, and I still remember her eyes filling with tears as she’d said thank you. When I’d told her “you’re welcome,” my gaze caught hers, lingering a few inappropriate moments too long. That’s when everything had shifted and I’d become very aware of PJ. I’d notice her enter and leave a room, fighting like hell to tear my eyes from the sway of her hips and how fucking beautiful she looked. But she’d been a kid, and what the hell was I doing leering in the first place?  

I wasn’t surprised she’d wanted to go away to art school after she graduated.

Away.

I’m ashamed to admit how relieved I’d been when Jack told me. The temptation to touch her wouldn’t be as strong, or intensify like it was, if she and her petite, curvy body were out of state. Now, the word made my stomach sink. We were doomed to be complicated, weren’t we? 

“Hey,” PJ chirped as she climbed into my SUV. “Dad has a double shift, and Mom is out with Aunt Kate. You can breathe out now.” Her auburn hair poured across her bare shoulders as she fastened her seat belt. As usual, my eyes raked down her body, over the pale blue strapless dress that left just enough smooth, olive skin exposed to drive me crazy. She sat straight up and looked toward the road without glancing in my direction. 

I cupped her neck and kissed her. Hard. I didn’t care if neighbors saw us or if they reported back to her parents. PJ stiffened at first and then melted into my arms, her fingers sifting through my hair as she whimpered into my mouth. 

“Someone could see. Are you sure you’re okay with that?” she murmured, breathless, against my lips, trying to pull back from the kiss, but I wouldn’t let her. 

“That people think you belong to me? Very fucking okay.” I nibbled down her neck and dragged open-mouthed kisses across her collar bone. “Because that’s what you are, Patricia. Mine.” I bit her earlobe and smiled at the chuckle vibrating against my lips. 

 I covered her mouth with mine again, stopping before I pulled her back onto my lap and had a repeat of last night’s activities in broad daylight. 

“This is nuts, right?” She panted against my neck when we pulled apart. “For it to be this intense, this fast?” 

“Maybe it is fast, but not for us, baby.” I took her face into my hands. “For us, it’s time.” 

BUY LINKS

Amazon US * Amazon UK * Amazon CA * Amazon AU

It’s time for another Promptly Penned. The prompt will appear in bold in the story.

Elinor woke with a gasp, sitting straight up in bed, glancing around, eyes wide and barely focused. Kyle laid his book in his lap and shifted toward her, rubbing her back. “You okay, El?”

She blinked up at him. “I had the dream again.” 

“The one where you’re married to some other guy?”

She nodded.

“Michael, right?”

She nodded again, looking almost haunted. “We have a baby. I don’t remember giving birth.”

“Well, you wouldn’t, necessarily–it’s a dream.” He closed his book and laid it on the nightstand.

She slumped back against her pillow. “It’s just so real.”

He leaned over and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Dreams are funny things.” She laid her hand alongside his cheek, and he nuzzled her palm. “Want me to get you a drink of water?”

“Yes, please.” She smiled wanly. “You’re so good to me.”

Kyle got up and filled the cup in the bathroom and brought it back to her. “Here you go, babe.”

She downed it all. “Thank you, Ky…” Her words were already starting to fade. He settled back into bed and picked up his book, occasionally checking the time. He’d even started to drift off a little when the sounds of a snuffling baby and furniture being moved in the next room roused him.

He blinked blearily at the man in the doorway then glanced at the clock. “You’re late.”

The other man shrugged and started stripping down. “The baby needed to be changed.”

“Whatever.” Kyle got out of bed and pulled his clothes on then tossed the pajama bottoms he’d been wearing to the guy in the doorway who immediately pulled them on.

“She out?” he asked nodding toward Elinor.

“Gave her a dose about an hour and a half ago.”

He nodded and crawled into bed with her and closed his eyes, as Kyle padded out into the hallway to look for his shoes and coat.

The baby in the next room began to fuss, and he froze as he heard the guy mutter sleepily. “It’s your turn to get up with her. I fed her last time.”

“What?” Elinor’s groggy-sounding groan drifted to him, and he almost felt guilty.

“The baby’s hungry. It’s your turn.”

“Michael…?”

He mumbled something Kyle couldn’t make out.

Squatting, he felt for his shoes but froze at the sound of rustling in the room. Elinor was climbing out of bed and stumbling toward the doorway. She paused, and he could make out her silhouette clearly in the light from the window.

I had the dream again.” Her voice was a little shakier this time.

“Oh, about your other husband? Kyle, right? Too bad he’s not around. We could put him on diaper duty.”

“Yeah…right.” She stumbled into the baby’s room. “It’s just so real,” she murmured.

There was no almost, this time. Guilt climbed up his throat, and tasted a lot like bile. But it wasn’t like he could opt out. None of them had a choice in this. Least of all Elinor. Not anymore.

Click the other bloggers’ names to read their takes on the prompt.

Jess * Kris

She studied her reflection in the mirror in the hallway outside his hotel suite. She knew what he’d see. A young ingénue eager to soak up his knowledge and wisdom. And possibly his cock if he thought she was legal and he could finesse her into it.

He was beyond predictable. While doing his college campus speaking tours, he’d only grant interviews to guys who clearly wanted to be him. Or pretty young women he could impress and seduce. She might be young and pretty, but she had no interest in his knowledge and wisdom. And even less in his dick.

She checked the time on her phone then opened the recording app that would send everything straight to the cloud and activated it as she knocked. Hugging her notebook to her chest, she widened her eyes and bit her lower lip while she waited for the door to open. The perfect picture of butterflies and nervous admiration.

He opened the door looking surprised. It was just as practiced as her expression of innocence. No…more so. He stood there with his shirt sleeves rolled up to reveal still muscular forearms, his white dress shirt unbuttoned at the neck and the tie he’d worn to the book signing long gone. In one hand, he cradled a snifter of what looked like brandy. “Oh, Miss…Camden, is it? I’d completely forgotten you were coming.”

it was a struggle not to roll her eyes.

“Please come in.”

He gestured for her to enter the suite, and she stepped past him, nearly brushing against him as she did. It wasn’t calculated on her part. That was all the room he’d allowed her.

“I was just having an after dinner drink. Why don’t you join me?”

She smiled slightly and glanced down at the floor as she shook her head. “I’m not twenty-one, yet.”

He bumped his shoulder into hers and winked. “I won’t tell if you won’t tell.”

She pretended to consider it and bit her lip again. “Okay. Maybe just a small one.”

“It’ll be our little secret.” He grinned at her. His thinning, silvery hair glinted under the dimmed lights of the chandelier hanging above the living room area in the suite.

Crossing the room, he turned his back to her as he poured her drink. Surprise, surprise.

“Just a little one,” she reminded him with a giggle.

He chucked. “I promise. I won’t get you in trouble.”

“So, do you write in your hotel rooms when you’re on tour like this?”

“Getting stared on the interview already, huh?”

“Well I’m so excited! This is like a dream come true–I mean, your Regina Jones Mysteries are just so tense and exciting.” You know… if you like serial rapists and murders. 

He chucked again. She was really beginning to hate that sound. “When I’m on the road, this is where the magic happens.”

“Would it be okay if I took a few photos of the space? You know–to use with the interview?”

He turned momentarily, his brows drawn together, but then he smiled. “Sure, go ahead.”

She flipped the camera on the phone to take a quick selfie, making sure her nail polish was in the shot, then reversed the camera to get a wide angle shot of the room, including, Dirk Rook, author of one of the most popular genre fiction series, headed her way with a second snifter of brandy.

She took the glass then spun in a circle as she took more photos around the room while discreetly dipping her finger in the drink. “I’m sure you get asked this all the time, but what’s your process like? How do you produce such tightly written novels at the rate you do?”

Settling into the seat across from where he sat on the couch, she glanced at her nail polish. It had turned color. “Oh, wait! Before you answer that, can I get a shot of you on the couch. With the drink on the coffee table next to your laptop, it’s the perfect shot to open the article with.”

He grinned, clearly pleased and rested his arm across the back of the couch. Predictable to the core. “Okay, one more quick photo.”

She raised her phone again and took a quick selfie making sure that the roofie alert nail polish was in the frame then quickly took a few of him. Pretending to take a small sip of her drink, she set it on the end table next to the chair. “Whoo!” She giggled. “That’s strong!”

He inclined his head slightly. “Well, it’s good brandy. Probably not what you’re used to at college parties.”

“Plus I’m a total lightweight. She rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Okay, this aspiring writer needs to know. How do you do it?”

She wrote his answers in her notebook, plying him with more questions while occasionally pretending to sip at her drink. She didn’t ask him any of the questions she really wanted to ask–like why he relied on horrifying racist stereotypes and why he was such a misogynistic piece of shit. She just threw him softball questions and feigned drunken lightheadedness.

When she finished her last question, she staggered to her feet and stumbled forward, notebook in one hand and phone and glass in the other. She lurched forward as Dirk sat forward.

“Whoa there.”

She stumbled forward again, and her notebook flew out of her hand hitting him square in the face. The papers she’d tucked inside flew everywhere. Most were copies of articles about him.

“Oh no!” she wailed. “Those are the stories I’ve been collecting about you!” As his gaze drifted to the fluttering pages, she lurched into the coffee table and quickly exchanged her glass with his. Then she pushed herself up to a standing position, closing his laptop lid as she did.

His face darkened with anger at her touching his belongings. But he schooled it as she smiled adoringly at him and held up her glass. “Let’s drink a bread! No…” She squinted at him. “A toast!”

He stared at her, seeming more bemused than anything else right now.

“Where’s your drink? You need a drink.” She looked around as if searching for it.

He picked up the glass and stood. “Okay, what should we toast to?”

She leaned across the table and brushed her hand across her chest and looked up at him with what she hoped was a drunkenly earnest expression. “The best writer in the whoooooooooooooolllllllllllee world.”

He grinned, and she raised the glass to her lips and took a huge gulp. He did the same, a predatory glint brightening his gaze.

She raised her glass. “This is good–we should have more!” She took another swallow, and so did he.

Suddenly, his legs wobbled and she scooped the glass out of his hand and set it on the table right before he sat down hard on the couch. “You–what–you…”

“Close your eyes, Dirk. I’ll be gentle. I promise.”

That’s it for me this week, but be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories by clicking on their names below.

Jess * Kayleigh * Gwen

Okay, so new year, new goals and all that. The biggest goal is while I’m still doing freelance work for others, but I’m making a concerted effort to put my writing first. It bums me out, but that’s not what’s been happening for the last year or two. And that needs to change.

So, I’ve been writing every day. I’m experimenting with what time of day works best. But I’m doing it–even with the other projects, I’m still adding to my story every day, and I’m super excited about that.

So this month, I’ve edited an 80K book, a 73K book, a 32K book, and some other minor odds and ends for peeps. I’ve also prepped five 80K (avg.) novels and half of an 800 page book for audio.

I’ve also finished up a number of (late) Christmas gifts and client orders, and I’m working on other late gifts.

I didn’t get all of my blog posts, unfortunately. We had to put Morrighan, our kitty down, the night before the post was due, and I just couldn’t do it. So, in the interest of self-care, I tapped out. I might eventually write it, because it bugs me to leave stuff undone, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t.

Self-care is another thing I’ve ben getting better at this year. I’m making far more of an effort to do it than I have in the past. I’ve also gotten back into the habit of my daily gratitude journal.

So, my goals for February are:

  • Continue to make daily progress on the WIP.
  • Finish all scheduled blog posts.
  • Finish all scheduled audio preps.
  • Finish all scheduled edits.
  • Finish the remaining Christmas presents.
  • Practice good self-care.
  • Have a blast with Jess when she comes to stay with me for two weeks!

That’s it for me on the goals front. Click Jess‘ name to see what’s up with her goals.