A to Z Blog 2019 P is for Pirate

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Hello again. I hope you’re enjoying this alphabetic look at some of my novels. It’s fun to try and find the posts to share with you.

AtoZ2019PToday is Day 16 and the letter is P. I’ve decided to talk about pirates. Piracy isn’t something that’s only in the past. Today we have book pirates who steal from legitimate authors as well as those who still ply the seas as they did in days of old. Somali pirates for instance pose a clear and present danger to ships off the coats of Africa. The Maersk Alabama, a container ship  immortalized in o in Paul Greengrass’s critically acclaimed film, Captain Phillips described the modern day ship-jacking.

Many of us have romantic illusions about pirates based on films like Johnny Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean series, but in truth, the pirates of old were men and women to be feared.  In The Captain’s Promise, Etienne plans to smuggle Danielle out of France and to safety, but fears the potential danger of pirates.

Captain's Promise_Ebook CoverEtienne, garbed all in black, his hair loose, his face shaded by the wide-brimmed slouch hat he wore, sat at a table in the far corner of the Faucon d’Or, a tavern on the left bank of the Seine, in one of the more infamous sections of the city. He’d been there almost two hours, pretending to drink more than he actually had. Four of his most trusted men were scattered among the crowd, ready to come to his assistance should it be required. Two others were in back with the proprietress. On the table in front of him sat a pewter stein of ale and the remnants of a capon he’d consumed.

He continued to mull over the words Beauclair had spoken earlier in the day. There were very few of those sailing with him whom he didn’t know well. Leo, the doctor, his newest crew member, had been with him only two years, but he trusted him implicitly. The man had saved his life. Since each of the others had been hand-picked from among his own soldiers, Etienne didn’t see how they could be the problem. No. If there was a rat, he was aboard another ship. Possibly, they’d be preyed upon by pirates in coastal waters—either when they reached the New World or coming up from the Barbary Coast. For a price, the Barbary pirates would take on any unsavory chore. He couldn’t risk being captured by them. They dealt heavily in the slave trade, and white women, like the crew’s wives, daughters, and Filles du Roi, especially a woman as beautiful as Danielle, would be a great prize for them. If he were to change course, he’d have to go north, not south.

He thought of the corsairs, funded by those who sought to see the venture fail. They were supposed to protect the Belle Rose. They were heavily gunned, and he didn’t trust Valois or Lemieux. The informant could easily be a member of the crew aboard one of those ships. It would be a simple matter to slip aboard his vessel one night if they were moored within hailing distance. Maybe he’d be wise to lose his escorts while he could.

He’d been spending the last few nights in a room upstairs, pretending to be a merchant from Toulon in Paris to restock his supplies. Three wagons of goods sat in the stable guarded by four of his crew members. The supplies were for the ship, and provided an excellent cover. Hidden under a few bales of fabric and bags of dry goods were several casks of powder and heavy shot for the cannons, far more than anyone knew the ship carried. If someone were going to ambush him, he and his men would be ready to fight. He’d discussed the matter with his senior officers, and they’d agreed to give their escorts the slip. The ocean was vast, and they could take a few liberties with their heading. As well, although it would take an extra week or so, they could go to Martinique first. He’d acquired the necessary charts, just in case, and the men had taken on additional food and water. At the moment though, his ship was the last thing he should be focusing on.

That’s it. Come back tomorrow for the letter Q!

All of my books currently available can be found on Amazon and many are available on KU. Check them out for yourselves. https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Matthews/e/B00DJCKRP4/

Looking for other posts to read? Follow the link.

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A to Z Blog 2019 O is for Opportunity

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Good morning. Another heavy frost last night, but the weatherman promises better today. So glad to see that. I’m so done with winter this year.

AtoZ2019OToday is Day 15 of the A to Z Blog Challenge for 2019 and it belongs to the letter O. I’ve decided to focus on the word opportunity. The definition of the word says it all: a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.  But is that really all it means? For me, the word tends to mean chance–not something fixed, but something fleeting that is often lost or overlooked. 

There is a commercial I’ve seen about Winners, a store where you can purchase designer goods at a reduced price. The women all bemoan the lost opportunity to pick up a great bargain. Sometimes, you simply don’t have the means to grasp the opportunity. At others, you let it slip through your fingers.

Disillusioned FBI agent Jason Spark feels that way and bemoans the fact he didn’t take the opportunity to stay In Sacramento, but sometimes fate plays a bigger part in our lost opportunities than we think.

Have a peek.

On His Watch

Vengeance is Mine Bk 1

“Son of a bitch!” Jason Spark cursed for the umpteenth time, running his hand through his hair. How the hell had he gotten himself into this mess? He should’ve spent the night in Sacramento with Anderson, the other agent on vacation this week. They’d flown out together and Jason had offered him a ride. Whoever said it never rained in California must’ve been a tourist.

This early spring storm was one of the worst he’d ever seen. Would’ve been nice if Rick had mentioned it when he’d called him after his plane had landed in Frisco. The weather there had been fine. It was amazing how quickly things had changed.

So far tonight, he’d skirted several fender-benders along Highway 101 as he’d traveled west from the capital city. The deeper into the hills he drove, the nastier it got. As much as he needed a change, he didn’t intend for it to be permanent. The last thing he wanted to do was exchange his gun and badge for a halo and a harp. Who was he kidding? If he was going to trade them in, it would probably be for fire, brimstone, and a pitchfork.

He pulled off the main highway onto Dry Creek Road and had traveled no more than a dozen miles when a flash of lightning illuminated the sky. In the distance, he could see the road blocked by a large tree. The news lately had been full of images of torrential downpours complete with mudslides and flash floods. He couldn’t imagine a worse fate than being buried alive.

He sighed. The last thing he wanted to do was get out of the nice warm cab to pull a tree off the road, but it didn’t look as if he had much choice. The damn thing blocked both lanes.

Tapping his Bluetooth, he contacted his brother.

“Rick, it’s me. It looks like I’m going to be later than I expected,” he said. “Don’t wait dinner for me.”

“How are the roads?”

“Like shit. Would’ve been nice if you’d told me I should’ve requested an ark from the rental place rather than a truck.”

Rick laughed. “It’s just a little rain. Don’t be a wimp.”

“A little rain, my ass. Noah probably didn’t have this much to cope with. Listen, you should know there’s a tree down on Dry Creek Road. I’ll pull it to the side enough to pass, but you should send … What the hell?” He stopped the truck, slammed the gears into park, and turned on his brights, not that they helped much with the way it was coming down. “Rick, it looks like the tree hit a car. I’m going to get out and have a look, but you’d better send someone a.s.a.p.”

“I’ll send a tow truck. Let me know if you’ll need an ambo. Where are you?” he asked, the humor gone from his voice.

“About a dozen miles from the cut-off. I’ll call back when I know more.”

He hung up, praying the driver had abandoned the car and he wouldn’t find anyone inside. Grabbing the flashlight out of his bag on the backseat, he opened the door, only to have it yanked out of his hand. Thanks to the wind, the cold rain soaked through his clothes in an instant. Moving around to the back, he opened the tailgate and reached for the tow rope Rick had asked him to pick up. Talk about a lucky coincidence.

Fighting the wind, he walked around to the front of the truck and secured one end of the rope to the truck’s bumper, holding onto the line as he walked toward the vehicle.

The tree’s lighter top branches had landed on a newer model luxury sedan. He caught glimpses of the car through the branches and saw that the light was on inside and its windows were fogged. There was definitely someone in the car.

Once he slipped under the branches, the rain barely touched him. He pushed his way through the budding foliage until he reached the driver’s side door. He tapped on the window, and jumped back when a woman screamed, and the piercing, shrieking cry of a frightened child erupted from the vehicle.

“Lady, it’s okay.” He yelled to be heard above the wails of the wind and the child. “Open the window. I’m an FBI agent.” Where had he put his damn credentials? “Is anyone injured in there?” The child’s cries continued to echo and actually got louder as the window slowly slid down, proof that the battery was on its last legs.

The first thing he saw was a Padres’ cap under which was the most incredible red hair imaginable. Reaching past her shoulders, it reminded him of fine copper wire. Frightened almond-shaped hazel eyes stared at him out of a pale face, the only color provided by a smattering of freckles across her nose. She reminded him of one of the paintings he’d seen at that gallery he’d visited last month in Washington. Almost too beautiful to be real.

“You’re an answer to prayer,” she said. “If I ever needed an angel it’s now.”

 

That’s it. Come back tomorrow for the letter P!

All of my books currently available can be found on Amazon and many are available on KU. Check them out for yourselves. https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Matthews/e/B00DJCKRP4/

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A to Z Blog 2019 N is for Naive

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Good morning. Well, yesterday was certainly a banner day, and not in a good way. Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned as did the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Imagine two places of worship ablaze at the same time and yet only one really got all the Press and attention. Such a sad state of affairs. It goes to show how naive I am believing that the news is reported evenly without bias.

AtoZ2019NThis morning we hit Day 14 of the A to Z Challenge Blog for 2019, and I’ve chosen to give N over to the word naive.  When I began my writing career, I submitted my books to various publishers, not knowing how many truly unscrupulous publishers were out there. I was naive–not stupid, simply innocent and trusting. And I wasn’t alone. Many of my writer friends fell prey to publishers who promised them success and in the end robbed them blind. No one wants to admit to being naive, but at one point or another, we all get taken advantage of. It could be by friends and family; it could be by employers or fellow employees; it could be by sales pitches for products that don’t work or scammers; it could even be by someone who claims to love us.

Check out this bump in the road for a naive MJ in Wedding Bell Blues.

WBB final coverDraining the glass, MJ closed her eyes. Maybe this was just a dream—a nightmare conjured up by the flight from Hell. When she gazed around once more, the scene hadn’t changed, although the number of gawkers seemed to have increased. How could this have happened? Her brain couldn’t make sense of this latest disaster, and her lungs were quickly finding it impossible to filter the oxygen from the air. She rubbed her forehead.

“I am very sorry, Madame,” the manager said, forcing her to accept the horror of what was happening. “Obviously, we have made an error, but unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to remedy the situation right now. I’m afraid you are stuck here for the moment. The boat to Martinique has left and will not return until Tuesday.”

Panic bubbled inside her. “There must be some place I can stay. Is there another room available somewhere else on the island?” she asked, trying to suppress her fear.

Hélas, the resort is completely booked, and it is the only one on Paradise. We may be able to get one of the fisherman to return you to Martinique, but first, you must have a place to stay. Rosette will see if we can find you a spot in a sister hotel in Fort-de-France or Saint Pierre, but I am not optimistic. This is our busiest time, and with the treasure hunt, even the few spaces in private homes in the village are booked.”

“Seriously? I thought it was off-season,” she said. Hadn’t Carla said something about hurricane season starting in early July?

The manager smiled at her, the look on his face the same one her father had worn when she’d said something particularly naïve, spoke rapidly in French to the receptionist, and then turned to her again. “Any season is the season for love, but with Monsieur Leroux’s treasure hunt this week … Perhaps if you would move over here while Rosette sees what she can find.”

Treasure hunt? Had Mark mentioned a treasure hunt? He’d insisted on these dates, but she’d assumed it was so that they would have a month to get settled in the new house—another one lost to her.

MJ nodded and moved aside to allow the last few people to register. Poor Monsieur St Louis was almost as upset as she was, and strangely, seeing him that distressed calmed her. She glanced at the rest of the couples who’d been aboard the boat. Were they all treasure hunters? Many of them knew one another. Was it common for friends to honeymoon together?

As they finished checking in, seemingly staring at her as if she were some kind of alien, she fought the childish impulse to stick out her tongue at them. Would there be an empty room once they were all registered? Ten minutes later, Rosette came back to the manager’s side and spoke quickly in the patois that might as well have been Chinese as far as MJ was concerned. He frowned, asked a question, nodded at her quick answer, and turned to MJ again.

“Rosette has found you a room in a small bed-and-breakfast in Saint Pierre, but they can only put you up for six days. You’ll be well-taken care of by Dubois and his wife, and the resort will cover all of your costs. Sadly, the room will not be available until Thursday. Rosette will ask if one of the staff members can put you up for a few nights. Someone may be willing to let you sleep on their sofa. I would let you use mine, but my mother-in-law is sleeping there.” He shrugged his shoulders in classic Gallic fashion. “If we cannot find you a place, you can sleep on one of these,” he said, indicating the lounge furniture, as if the possibility of something so completely humiliating was a great offer. “Most of the guests breakfast in the privacy of their rooms and bungalows. You would not have to get up before six when the staff come to clean.”

And what do I do? Shower out by the pool and dress in the bathroom? Wonderful, just frigging wonderful.

She smiled at him, fighting the tears she refused to shed. “Thank you. If you can get a fisherman to take me back, I’m certain I can change my flight and get an earlier one.” She swallowed. There was one thing she needed to know.

“When did you say the reservation had been changed?”

“Four weeks ago.”

“I see.” She smiled. “Can you check to see if Mr. and Mrs. Markos Theopolis have arrived?”

He nodded to the receptionist who went to the computer. “Are they friends?”

“In a manner of speaking,” she lied. “We work together.”

“Then you could sleep on their sofa,” the manager said brightly.

Before she could answer, Rosette looked up.

“I am sorry, Madame,” she said, a half-smile on her face. “Monsieur and Madame Theopolis will not arrive until Tuesday.”

The manager asked her a question in French.

She shook her head and said something equally incomprehensible.

He frowned. “I thought we could let you use the room, but it is unavailable.”

She fisted her hands at her side, her nails cutting into her palms, and tried to smile, certain all she managed was an evil grimace.

The dirty, rotten, low-down, two-timing, scheming son of a bitch.

The messed-up reservation had nothing to do with the resort, and everything to do with that cheating, scum-sucking bastard.

“Thank you. I appreciate whatever you can do on my behalf.” MJ said, suddenly calm in her fury. Even her breathing relaxed. She would vent her anger when she was alone, and God help the pillow she would pummel, wishing it were Mark’s face.

She pictured meeting M and M on the beach, maybe watching them sitting in the gazebo she’d noticed, waiting to be called to one activity or another. When no one was looking, she would murder them and toss their bodies into the water for the sharks to eat. Then she would gladly move into their room—her room—and enjoy what was left of her vacation. Someone might even give her a medal for ridding the world of the dirty rat.

Where are Carla’s mob connections when I need them?

That’s it. Come back tomorrow for the letter O!

All of my books currently available can be found on Amazon and many are available on KU. Check them out for yourselves. https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Matthews/e/B00DJCKRP4/

Looking for other posts to read? Follow the link.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nZ7UupzB78MvJnraN9khkLJT3jM6uOP1LTDc8gaQluY/edit#gid=1456286340

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Tuesday Tales: From a Picture

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Mother Nature and Old Man Winter haven’t come to a compromise yet, so my little corner of the world has unsettled weather. I hope things are better wherever you are.

Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, scenes created in current works in progress by a select group of writers. It always astounds me to think they consider me one of them. This week, we have a picture prompt, and a 300 word limit.

I continue with my historical romance suspense, The Price of Courage, The Canadiana Series, Book Two.  It’s still winter in seventeenth century New France, but since I’m longing for spring, I got creative with the prompt.

Here it is:

dandelions

Enjoy!

Guy, his jacket tossed carelessly across the back of his chair, paced his small office, sipping the dandelion wine Maman had served with lunch, claiming it, like the tea she made from the dried leaves and powdered root, had calming properties. While the beverage would never compete with French wines, it was an acceptable drink for such a cold, gray day, bringing back memories of spring and sunshine, the golden flowers dotting the green fields with the promise of hot sunny days to come.

He turned at the sound of someone knocking.

“Come in,” he called, expecting his mother or step-father since both Izzy and Sophie had gone up to rest after the morning’s emotional events.

The door opened, but instead of Henri, Lieutenant Leclerc’s former secretary entered the room, pulling off his slouch cap as he did.

“Cadet Lallier reporting as ordered, sir, ” he said, his hat trembling as it hung from his quaking hand. The young cadet’s voice cracked on the last word.

“Thank you for coming so quickly,” Guy said. “Please give my condolences to your family. Losing a beloved this way is never easy.”

“Thank you, my lord. My aunt and uncle are devastated.”

The seventeen-year-old’s eyes were red rimmed. He’d idolized his older cousin, and the lieutenant had been proud of the young man who’d recently decided to join the colony’s militia.

“Here,” Guy said, pouring a measure of the golden wine into a second goblet.

The young man reached for it, but made no move to drink.

“It’s dandelion wine. It won’t hurt you,” Guy assured him. “I understand it was Lieutenant Leclerc’s favorite beverage. I believe he provided this very bottle.”

The boy smiled sadly. “It was.” He sipped and straightened his shoulders. “You didn’t call me here to discuss wine, did you, sir?”

That’s it. Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

A to Z Blog 2019 M is for Music

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It must be spring. It’s cold and raining, but as they say April showers bring May flowers and green up everything.

AtoZ2019MToday marks the midway point in the A to Z Blog Challenge for 2019. I haven’t had as many visits this year as i have in the past, but since everything reading related seems to be on a downward spiral, I guess that is as well.

Today is Day 13 and it belongs to the letter M. I’ve decided to talk about music. Some writers have a playlist going in the background as they write. As a rule, I don’t, preferring to work in silence so that nothing conflicts with the voices in my head. That didn’t happen when I wrote my women’s fiction romance, Same Time Next Year, a book within a book. Twyla, a well-known author goes back to the place where she fell in love 50 years earlier for the one and only time, searching for answers to what went wrong. She decides to write her memoirs of the summer of 1967, and as she writes, she’s inspired by the music she loved but has refused to listen to all these years because of the bittersweet memories.

Here’s the blurb for Same Time Next Year

Same Time Next YearA novel within a novel.
For three short weeks, Twyla Lancaster was the fairy tale princess who’d found her prince, but just like that, reality ripped them apart. Now, fifty years later, she needs to know why the only man she ever loved broke his promises. As she writes her memoir and learns more about that summer, she realizes things were not what they seemed.
Hormones raced, promises were made, but Twyla left Michael Morrison high and dry, and within weeks, married someone else. Grieving the loss of his parents and her betrayal, he turned his back on love, focusing on his military career. Now, goaded by his sister, he agrees to attend a wedding and reunion, knowing Twyla will be there. It’s time to find out why she lied to him all those years ago.
The moment the star-crossed lovers see one another, love blooms between them, but when Michael discovers Twyla’s secret, he’s devastated. Is love enough to erase fifty years of pain and betrayal?

And now here’s today’s look into yet another of my books with a link to the music that set the tone for the memory.

Needing to distract herself, she booted up her laptop, selecting her playlist. Who would’ve guessed Lana’s gift could be so helpful? Twyla reached for her headphones and plugged them into her computer. If she turned the music up loud enough, it might muffle the sound of the storm, although it wouldn’t do anything to help with the light display. Although she no longer buried her head under the blankets, she still didn’t like this exhibition of Nature’s power.

How many times had she and William sat in the sunroom watching storms like this one? He’d claimed the familiarity of them would breed contempt, and she’d eventually get over her fears, but it hadn’t worked. She’d quaked with each boom, but, like Ethan, he’d been lost in awe of Mother Nature’s fury. They’d had so many things in common, and she’d been only one of them.

The music filled her ears with the sound of the Walker Brothers, and she found herself singing along to “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP3zCsMC5cE ) It certainly wasn’t going to shine tonight.

Calling up the document she’d been working on earlier in the day, she reread what she’d written. It wasn’t as bad as she’d supposed. If this were to become a novel, it would need more detail and depth. The names would have to be changed of course, but not yet. In this first draft, she needed accuracy and honesty—as honest as memories so steeped in emotion could be—if she was going to recall the events with any measure of reliability and tell the truth. It would be the only way to exorcise her demons.

Truth. Twyla harrumphed. Truth often had three sides—his, hers, and reality. This would be her truth, and hers alone.

Leaning back, she let the music play on, giggling as weather themed songs filled her ears. There were the Cascades with “Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC2Fu20X_KY ) followed by Lou Christie and “Lightnin’ Strike.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhw9wEQvBX8) Twyla closed her eyes. God, she loved this music. Why had she stubbornly refused to listen to it all these years? Not all the memories were bad ones.

Did Michael listen to the golden oldies or were those memories tainted for him by recollections of her? Had he been distraught by the news of her marriage like Mavis had said? How had he even heard of it? He was underage, but had he gone out and gotten drunk like Ethan did after his fight with Father and then driven back here as so many people did in those days when drinking and driving was just another fact of life, like smoking in bars and restaurants?

Ethan had been pulled over for driving under the influence three days before he’d left for basic training. He’d been given a warning and told to drive straight home. It was too bad the police hadn’t arrested him the way they would have today. Ethan would’ve missed his train. While that wouldn’t have saved the family from financial ruin, it might’ve saved her brother. But who would’ve saved her?

Lou Christie’s voice died out and the sounds of the Ronettes’s “Walking in the Rain”(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBBys5TLxCI ) replaced it. As she began to sing along, the words struck a chord, choking her. She’d met him and left him. Pulling up her knees, she wrapped her arms around them, and let the tears flow, crying for everything and everyone she’d loved and lost fifty years ago.

That’s it. Come back Monday for the letter N.

All of my books currently available can be found on Amazon and many are available on KU. Check them out for yourselves. https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Matthews/e/B00DJCKRP4/

Looking for other posts to read? Follow the link.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nZ7UupzB78MvJnraN9khkLJT3jM6uOP1LTDc8gaQluY/edit#gid=1456286340

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A to Z Blog 2019 L is for Legs

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Back on track! Welcome to a bright, sunny, warm Saturday morning. It isn’t going to last, but this peek at spring is much appreciated!

AtoZ2019LToday, Day 12 of this year’s A to Z Blog Challenge belongs to the letter L. Now the obvious L word for a romance writer would be love, but I’m saving that for later in the alphabet. Come back on the 24th to see how.

Legs. We don’t really appreciate them as much as we should. In fact, we take them for granted. As I age, I’ve been unfortunate enough to develop migratory arthritis, a form of arthritis that occurs when pain spreads from one joint to another. In my case, the prime arthritic joints are my wrists, but if they start to feel better, you can bet pain will  start in a different joint–my ankles, my knees, or my hips.  That’s when i realize how debilitating it can be when your legs just won’t work properly.

While most of my novels are written specifically for the adult market, I do have one aimed at teens. My YA novel, Prove It, touches on peer pressure and high school sports.

High school sports can be more dangerous than you think!

Ivy Hill’s track star, Liam Howard, has his future all mapped out: date Hannah Connors, win the New Horizon scholarship, get a spot on the next Olympic team, and then go to medical school. Sounds simple, especially when he’s well on his way to achieving his dream. But someone else has other plans. Ignoring the most recent threatening note, Liam goes out for his regular practice run and is struck by a vehicle and left for dead.

Hannah refuses to believe Liam will never walk or run again, especially when she learns the person behind the accident may be her own track coach. Working with Erik Jenkins, Liam’s best friend, she searches for proof, but Erik vanishes on his way to see the coach. Now, it’s up to her, Liam, and their friends, to find Erik and the evidence they need to put a hit and run driver behind bars. But time may be running out for both Erik and Liam as someone tries to finish the job they started, regardless of collateral damage.

Can you imagine hoe hard it would be to deal with that kind of pain? Check it out!

Prove it!Liam, in as bad a mood as he’d ever been, sat in his wheelchair, staring out the window of his hospital room, wishing he could be anywhere but here. After three days of rain, snow, and sleet, it was a bright, sunny day, the landscape perfect for the upcoming Christmas holiday, but he couldn’t muster much enthusiasm.

Outside, the trees had lost their leaves, but right near his window, a red maple leaf thumbed its nose at the late November weather. The last of the Canada geese flew overhead in their famous vee formation, their honks loud even with the window closed—not that he could open it. Life was moving on as if nothing had happened, but it had. His world had come crashing down around him, and with it, all his hopes and dreams. How long would Hannah be willing to hang out with a guy who couldn’t walk, let alone run, ride, or ski?

As Dr. Connors had predicted, his body had slowly healed, and he’d managed to regain control of his bladder and bowels. Of all the indignities he’d suffered, being diapered had been the worse. Once he could sense the lower half of his torso, he’d felt better about everything and had even been optimistic, but it had been days since he’d reached another milestone.

He’d endured the pins and needles and associated pain that had come with the nerves in his legs working again, and thankfully that stage had passed quickly. Now, he could flex his ankles and bend his knees without discomfort, and when Dr. James, the man taking over for Dr. Connors while he was away, checked his knee reflexes, the legs behaved as they should.

Unfortunately, they still wouldn’t support his weight. And if they couldn’t do that, then he couldn’t walk. If he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t run.

The leg strengthening exercises were going well, but nothing was moving fast enough for him. Sure, he was building a nice set of pecks and had abs from hell, but he should be out there with his teammates running. The last of the fall sanctioned cross-country races was today, and as he had the last two meets, he was letting everyone down.

That’s it. Come back Monday for the letter M.

All of my books can be found on Amazon and many are available on KU. Check them out for yourselves. https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Matthews/e/B00DJCKRP4/

Looking for other posts to read? Follow the link.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nZ7UupzB78MvJnraN9khkLJT3jM6uOP1LTDc8gaQluY/edit#gid=1456286340

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A to Z Blog 2019 K is for Kids

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Good morning. A day late again. My fault. I had trouble getting motivated yesterday. Sales are down, pages read are down, and I have no idea how to prevent what seems to be the death of my writing career. I let it get to me, and just vegged for the day.

AtoZ2019KYesterday was Day 11 and the letter was K. I’ve decided to discuss K as in Kids.

Kids, as in children not baby goats can be a real plus in a novel. They can add humor, or they can be used to convey information. I have five grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.  Their ages run from 9 to 18, now, but the best lines they ever gave me came from when they were younger. Eleni in particular used to make up words–some that actually made more sense than the words we use.

In my novel, In Plain Sight, the third book of the Vengeance is Mine series, I used some of her words and put them in Debbie’s mouth!  Here’s an example.

In Plain Sight

Vengeance is Mine Bk 3

Nick ate his cannelloni in silence, listening to Debbie’s laundry list of what they’d done that day. The two little girls seemed to be sharing some kind of secret at his expense.

“And we bought seed for the chibens and carrots and little green things that look like poop,” she giggled, “for the rabbits. Mommy kept looking ahind her—I think she was looking for you.” She giggled once more and Christy joined in.

“Why were you looking ahind you?” he asked.

He loved the made-up words Debbie used like chibens for pigeons since they walked like chickens. Misty had said she’d start school in September. The little girl would grow up quickly once that happened. He pictured Misty holding a newborn in her arms, and a deep longing stabbed him. He’d been an only child. He didn’t want that loneliness for Debbie. He wanted a big family and hoped Misty did, too. It occurred to him he might be getting ahead of himself planning a family with a woman he’d known for so short a time, but it felt right.

“I was looking behind me,” she emphasized the correct word, “because I thought I’d seen someone I knew.”

She was lying. Why would she lie about such a simple thing? He remembered the fear she’d had the night of the fire. Did she think her enemies had found her? How could he have forgotten that she and Debbie might be in danger? He reminded himself she was here because he had to keep her safe. The truth hadn’t changed because he found it emotionally hard to swallow.

The letter L comes next!

All of my books can be found on Amazon and many are available on KU. Check them out for yourselves. https://www.amazon.com/Susanne-Matthews/e/B00DJCKRP4/

Looking for other posts to read? Follow the link.

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Have a great day!