Tag Archives: fiction

YA Fiction… Attempt #2 – Input Welcome

The new pack of cigarettes sat mockingly on the kitchen table. Her mother stood next to the table with her arms crossed tightly against her chest. Amanda wished that this wasn’t how her morning had started, and yet, there was a brand new pack wrapped in clean, crisp plastic right next to the half empty basket of laundry.

“I can explain.” Her voice came out as a squeak.

“I’d love to hear this.”

“My friend,” her brain searched for a name that wasn’t actually attached to any person her mother knew. “Mary, bought a pack of cigarettes.” She motioned to the pack on the table. “I didn’t want her to smoke, because I know how you’ve said that smoking is bad, and I took them from her before she could open them.”

“And that’s how they found their way into the back of your sock drawer?” Her mothers voice had gone quiet, that wasn’t a good sign.

“No.” Amanda nodded, her shoulders slumped. Nothing left but the truth. “I’m sorry. My friends were saying how I looked like I’m twelve and that I would probably get carded for a Slurpee. I wanted to prove them wrong, so I bought a pack of cigarettes.”

“They didn’t card you?” Yes, the rage had been diverted.

“I.” She smiled at her mother. “Flirted with the guy behind the counter.”

“You what?” Uh-oh, rage back. Her mothers ears turned red.

“Mom, look at me.” Amanda shrugged. “I do look like I’m twelve.”

It wasn’t her wardrobe of jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt that made her look younger than her fifteen years. Her hairstyle was a cute bob which was just long enough to cover the tips of her ears. She avoided pig-tails and shorty-shorts, anything that would make her look younger. At her full height she stood a few inches above five feet tall.

“I’m the shortest person in my group of friends, if I put on shorts I look like Dora, and anything I do to try to look my age makes me look like I should be on a talk show.” Amanda pointed to the cigarettes. “I wasn’t going to smoke them, they were a trophy.”

“This is a stupid trophy.” Her mother picked up the pack and tossed it in the trash. “You’re grounded, straight home after school, got it?”

“Yeah.” Her shoulders slumped. “I look like a freaking Elf.”

“What did you say?” Her mother snapped, the color drained from her face.

Amanda looked up at her,  this was new. “I said I look like an Elf. You know Santa’s little helpers.”

“Don’t.” Her mother waved her finger in the air. “Never say that.”

“Elves, or Santa?”

One moment her mother was standing by the kitchen table and the next she had her hand against Amanda’s mouth. Her eyes were much too large, it took Amanda a moment to realize her brown eyes had lost their irises. The orbs were now full white with a tiny spot of black for the pupil.

“Mom, you’re scaring me.” Amanda watched as

“Go to school, come right home, and no more of this business.” A strange lilting accent crept into her mothers voice. “I’ll talk to your father once he gets home.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Amanda grabbed her backpack and rushed out the door.

[_-_- NOTE _-_-_]
The story-line with Emilio is being developed into a possible full length selection. If all goes well I might have my first YA offering reading later this year. Until then, I will continue to practice getting the voice right. Oh, and doing my summer course. That’s kind of important too.

I’m thinking of making this one a series too.


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Filed under Short Fiction

Distant Relatives

“Excuses me.” The tall, lithe stranger asked as he walked into the diner.

Talia looked up at the man. Even with his raven black hair he had a European vibe to him; like Dracula, but the accent wasn’t right. His clothes were nice, if a bit generic, almost like he had taken an outfit directly from a magazine. Everything was almost too clean, from his stylist shoes and jeans to the way his shirt had the top button undone. His look was like it had never been worn but the moment he walked into the diner.

“Yes?” She tucked a stray strand of her dirty blonde hair behind her ear.

“I am needing the…” He mimed eating as his English ran out.

“Breakfast?” She offered.


His smile made her knees weak. That hadn’t happened in a long time. She knew better than to flirt with customers. This was just a pit stop on to bigger things, no one stayed unless they were stuck. Plus the scars on his lips didn’t look like they had a nice story attached to them.

“Just you?”

“More will come.” He nodded certainly.

“How many?”

He wrinkled his brow as he gazed up speculatively in consideration. His head bobbed from side to side as he ticked off a few fingers on his hand. “Trea.”

“Three?” Talia held up three fingers.

He nodded.

She led him to a corner booth in her section. “Would you like to order or wait for your friends?”

“Drink?” He offered.

“Sure.” She couldn’t help but smile. “What would you like?”


“Sorry, I don’t know what that is.”

His face scrunched up as he thought about it. He looked at the menu in her hand and motioned to it. She gave his the plastic sheet, which he examined for a moment, and then flipped over. He studied the menu intently, mostly the pictures, and then set it down on the table.

“Milk.” He pointed to the picture of a tall glass on the menu. “Eggs, bacon, and pancakes.”

“Got it.” Talia smiled and headed back to input the order.

It took her a moment to realize that his accent had practically disappeared by the time he had said the word ‘pancakes’. Maybe she had misjudged him for a tourist; he could just be some bored traveler playing tricks on her. It wouldn’t be the first time. She placed the order, grabbed a clean glass, and the pitcher of milk, and then headed back to the table. The process took less than a minute, but there were two other men at the table when she turned around. One was a larger red haired man with an impressive beard that barely fit into the booth and the other was an older man with a patch over his left eye.

They spoke a foreign language in a rapid speed. The other two had that same ‘too clean’ look to them, plus the one with the eye patch was older, but he had sort of an undeterminable age to him. There were some similar features between the large red head and older man, the same strong jawline and powerful ice blue eyes.

“Ah.” The ravenhaired customer clapped his hands as she approached.

Talia set the glass on the table and poured the milk as the three conversed. The word ‘mjöd’ was thrown around a few times, but she still had no idea what that was.

“Do you want some extra time to order?”

The older man made eye contact with her. There was something there she recognized, the shape of his cheeks, or possibly the bridge of his nose if it hadn’t been broken, looked familiar somehow. He took a deep breath and held her gaze. She jumped as something somehow shocked her tongue and ears at the same time.

“Yes.” The older man spoke now, his English was spot on. “May I have your name?”

She pointed to her nametag. “Talia.”

The raven haired customer laughed. “He means your surname.”

Talia slowly turned her head and looked at him. “You’re accent is gone.”

“Yours is horrible.” He chuckled.


“Never you mind him.” The older man interrupted, his tone sounded exactly like her grandfather. “Your surname, please.”


“Talia Lawsen. The first name is something of a mystery, but Lawsen is a bastardization of Lawsson.” He motioned for her to sit.

“Thank you, but I’m working.”

“True.” He leaned back against the booth and sighed. “Miss Lawsen, we are in need of your services.”

“I could tell you the specials.”

The raven haired man chuckled again.

“Maybe later.”

Talia looked at each of the three of them for a moment. “What are you implying?”

“I assure you, nothing uncouth.” The older man waved his hand dismissively. “We are, how would you say, distant relatives of yours, and are in need of your local knowledge.”

“I’m not exactly sure how I could help.” Talia crossed her arms and returned the stare. “My studio apartment isn’t exactly spacious.”

“Then let us shake hands as distant kin and part ways.” The older man extended his hand.

Talia looked at it for a moment, shrugged, and took the proffered hand. Something popped between her ears. She was no longer standing in the diner, but on a great open plain. It was the first true day of spring in what had been a long winter. The gentle breeze carried the welcoming smell of dinner along with the familiar scent of the home fire. She adjusted her shoulders, the axe strapped across her back was new, but well used. The trolls kept her in top form.

Odin let go of her hand. She rocked back on her heels, her breath came in short, ragged bursts. She knew them as she knew the stars. Odin, she looked at the older man. Thor, the large red head. Loki, the raven haired one. She curtseyed.

“Allfather, please excuse my rudeness.” She mumbled, and then realized she was speaking Old Norse.

“Your gift will soothe my injured pride.”

Odin reached over and touched Thor with the same hand he had used to shake hers with. Thor closed his eyes for a moment and then nodded. The process was repeated once more with Loki. There was another shock on her tongue and ears, but this one wasn’t as unexpected.

“What just happened?”

“We’ve been away for a long time.” Odin sighed, he nodded quickly for a moment, the broke his silence with a clap of his hands. “Now, how about some breakfast?”

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Filed under Short Fiction, Urban Fantasy

Rereading The Monster Hunters Series

I was finally able to replace my copy of Monster Hunters International by Larry Correia. My first copy tackled the plunger and needed to be replaced. That’s not code for anything, it was knocked off the bathroom counter onto the plunger. As much as I like the book, I’m not going to read it after that.

Rereading the series. Currently on Book 2: Monster Hunter Vendetta
Contains Minor Spoilers


1. Myers is a tool.
Seriously, he uses Hood’s death as a reason to leave MHI, but then in a flashback we see that he knew that Hood was summoning undead & ‘willingly’ let out Earl. If he really wanted to redeem himself, he should have stayed with MHI.

2. Owen is a jerk to Grant.
Book 1, I understand. Book 2, why? Grant admits (to Julie) it was a bad call, he gets captured by vamps, and Julie chooses Owen. Sure, no one tells Owen that Grant is coming back, but it should be water under the bridge. I don’t really understand why he went to MCB instead of coming back to MHI, but that’s information learned after the fact.

3. Traitors, how did I not see that coming?
Both traitors, how did I not see thing coming? Oh, he’s just a nice MCB agent, and she’s just a newbie who’s taken a shine on Owen, that’s perfectly natural.

4. Is it possible for a vampire to earn PUFF Exempt?
Susan seems a bit more in control than Ray, but she’s pretty focused. I’m not saying a PUFF Exempt vampire would be a good thing, just wondering if it would be possible. I don’t think it would really last since their main food source is people. Unless they hunted animals. Why wouldn’t they hunt animals? A nice health bison probably tastes better than Todd the junkie down the street.
I don’t know, maybe it’s the whole humans taste yummy thing.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Rant

Day 5: Short Fiction 2014 – This Isn’t Cannon

“I have to say.” The bounty hunters grimy teeth showed as he smiled. “I’m a big fan.”

“You’re mistaken.” My shoulder creaked as I turned back to my drink.

“Oh, no.” A crusty hand slapped down a wanted poster on the table near my drink.

I pushed the cup out of the way. His stench and the flecks of whatever was stuck to his skin chased away my thirst. There was no denying that it was me in the picture; a few years younger and with shorter hair, but still me. No one would mistake the web of scars on my cheek for a shaving accident.

“Walk away.” I muttered. “Live another day. Take a shower even.”

He pressed in closer, something hard ground into my side. “Says dead or alive, I ain’t picky. Now, stand up.”

I sighed. “Fine.”

I slipped off the bar stool. My knees and back popped in protest. The bounty hunter snickered. I stretched for a moment and rubbed at the pain in my back. Maybe I should just let him take me in. It had been a few years, surely the wounds weren’t as fresh. They probably didn’t miss that outpost all that much anymore.

My hand closed around the barrel of the gun. I twisted it up, catching his finger in the grip, and pulling him to the ground. He whimpered as he clawed at the gun with his other hand. A sharp blow to the elbow made his hand spasm, the gun practically leaped from his grasp. I caught it, took a step back, and centered the sight on his forehead.

“You’ve been doing this long?”

He cursed at me. I looked around, the other barflies didn’t even bother to look up from their drinks. A wiry little fellow in the corner chuckled, but made no move to intervene.

“Where’s your ship?”

“Docking bay three, docking bay three.” The bounty hunter wheezed as he rubbed his sore hand.

“Let’s go then.”


I smiled, he flinched. “I feel like visiting old friends.”



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Day 4: Short Fiction 2014 – Other Stuff (Mallory’s Bad Day Part 1)

** A day late due to illness. Apologies. **

The rhythmic thrum of the train lulled the packed car into a few moments of silence. An unspoken rule kept the conversation to a minimum. Even people that boarded as a group rarely spoke once they found a place. Mallory didn’t have to worry about that, she didn’t ride the train with friends. They were something she lacked. She didn’t consider that a bad thing. Friends meant baggage, she didn’t do baggage.

A subtle wave on her left caught her eye. It didn’t take long to see the cause. A hunched old man desperately weaved through the crowd of passengers. He looked from one direction to the other in search of a helpful face. Mallory doubted he would find one. This wasn’t the part of town that helped those in need. Keep your head down, do your time, and move on. Those were the rules, the fourth and unspoken one was ‘die on your own time’.

Another form moved through the crowd. A tall, thick thug stalked down the car straight for the old man. The tough had bright red spiked hair and cheap grease clown makeup to mark him as one of the many gangs in the area. She had lost track of the gimmicks, but stayed up to date on the color schemes. Red meant the clowns, yellow for the goblins, and white for the suits. Mallory didn’t understand why the three fought over the right to claim this little patch of paradise. Not even the tweakers and the burnouts were desperate enough to call this stretch of city home.

“Please.” A weary voice said near her.

She looked down to see the old man had stopped next to her. His short gray hair was stained crimson along his brow and his lip had been split sometime recently.

“Keep moving, man.” She looked away. “We all got problems.”

“I can pay you.” He begged.

“Why me?”

“Sure you can.” She looked back at him. Aside from being a bit ragged for wear his clothes weren’t too shabby. “You aren’t from around here.”


“Hey.” Another voice, it had to be the thugs, but it was higher than she expected. “This aint’ your business, nako.”

Mallory stared at the clown for a moment. He was a good three inches taller than her and his arms were as thick as her legs. “How much is he worth to you?”

“Ain’t no worth, nako.” The clown stepped forward. “He’s mine and you hand him over to me or get a pie in the face.” He held up a fist. The word ‘pie’ was spelled along his knuckles.

“Clever.” She sighed. “Can’t blame a girl for trying.”

“Please.” The old man pleased as the clown closed in.

The clown clamped a heavy hand down on the old mans’ shoulder. A twisted grin flashed across the thugs face as he started to pull his quarry along. The old man cast a look back at her as he was pulled away.

“Damn it.” She groaned under her breath.

Mallory began to push through the crowd to catch up to the clown. Her hand closed around the tight around the plastic block in her pocket. She flicked to cap off as she closed the distance.

“Hey, Bozo.” She called.

The thug turned around. His painted face twisted in a snarl.

“Dance for me.” She stepped in close before he could speak.

Her taser snaked out of her pocket and into the clowns’ chest. He went rigid as a a few thousand volts pulsed through him. She counted to five before she disengaged the trigger.

“Come on.” Mallory grabbed the old man by the shoulder. “He’s a big guy, we don’t have much time.”

“Thank you.” The old man almost started to weep.

“Quiet.” She pulled him toward the back of the car. “Just keep moving before my brain starts working again.”

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Free Book! December 5th to December 7th




Bad Mojo Blues. An Urban Fantasy set in the American Southwest.
US: http://tinyurl.com/ok9cv7d

UK: http://tinyurl.com/nzqelyd

Thursday December 5th through Saturday December 7th the book is free to download via Kindle and Kindle able devices.

Don’t have a Kindle?

I use it 🙂

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Filed under Rant, Urban Fantasy, Writing

Working through an idea

I’m taking the day off of writing, something about being obsessed. I was having a bit of trouble in a part of the story I’m working on and that makes me a bit grumpy & reclusive. I would love to be able to have a writers group (online or in-person) to really brainstorm ideas and just work things out.

My problem came from the next step in the story. I see where I need to go but from point A to B is a little muddled. There are two paths I can take and it’s kind of throwing me off.

Vague story breakdown:
MC (main character) finds an artifact that BG(bad guys) want hidden or destroyed. MC accidentally sets off an alarm, goons come to investigate, a fight ensues, and MC heads back to village very confused. The artifact doesn’t look like anything special. MCs friend tells her to go back, clean up any signs she was there while he is getting patched up. While she is going back to cover her tracks more thugs destroy the village forcing her to look for help elsewhere.

HERE is my problem. The artifact is pretty much a non-issue at this point in time, MC was looking for stuff to sell and happened upon it. Now, the only thing that makes sense is for her friend to tell her to take the artifact and put it back to avoid further trouble before she goes back to the scene of the fight. This could work, it also lends to the a good scene of the MC coming back to the village.

Ah, that feels nice. Now I’ve got a flow going again and I feel like it will work once I get back to it.

The other reason why I’ve had some creative stumbles the last few days is due to an idea that I’ve been mulling over for a while now. It’s an alternate history story that I’ve done quite a lot of research on but I’ve had problems with the approach. It makes a great story but I don’t know how to tell the story. The other day it finally clicked on how to get the ball rolling. It would most likely be a novella rather than a full novel but it would be the start to a series of alternate history books. My problem with this one is that after the first book I have no idea what to do with it. I can see how it could be done, but it isn’t my style. 

I wish I could give the idea to someone like Harry Turtledove.

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