Spicin’ It Up Flash Fiction Contest

Some of you might be aware that Beachwalk Press runs a blog called, Spicin’ It Up, where they showcase the work of their writers. One of the writers, Olivia Starke, also runs a flash fiction contest every Wednesday. The rules are pretty simple: you must use the given phrase somewhere in the story and it has to be between 150 and 250 words. Everyone, from writers to readers to lurkers are welcome to compete.

Last week I entered with a piece of fiction that was 162 words (and lost to a wonderful piece by Krista Ames). My daughter, who happens to be my first reader (except pieces with explicit sex, she is fifteen, afterall 🙂 ) and biggest fan was so mad at me because she felt like I didn’t finish the story. So this week I added to the story with a piece that was 188 words and won the contest.

(I have to be honest and admit that I am aware that no one else actually entered, so I kind of won by default).

Anyway, this is what I won:

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And, just for fun, here are both stories for your enjoyment:

Story 1 was to include the phrase: She couldn’t believe her eyes…..

She lay alone in a big bed that was made for two. There wasn’t a noise in the house, not even the comforting creak of the building settling after a day of intense heat. Not the movement of another human being, not even the soft pitter patter of a cat’s feet.

He should have been there beside her, his slow, easy breaths the white noise she went to sleep to each night. But he was gone, never to lie beside her again.

She rolled over, tried to forget the ache that had developed in her chest from the moment she got the news. But how could someone forget news like that? It reverberated through her mind, repeating so often it had become something like a mantra. “Your life is over,” it seemed to say. She would never forget that.

And then there was a sound, just the slightest moan, as the bedroom door began to swing inward.

She couldn’t believe her eyes…

And the winning story:

The required phrase was: He stared at the tattered shirt….

He walked through the door and approached the bed with shuffling footsteps. She stared, trying to figure out how this was possible. The things they told her, the things she had seen, words that created the mantra that had been replaying in her mind for weeks:

Your life is over.

“How are you here?”

He looked at her, a deep sadness in his eyes that made her heart melt where it stuttered in her chest. But he didn’t speak.

“They said…I saw you…”

He stared at the tattered shirt that barely covered a body that was more familiar to her than her own, confusion rushing across his face in waves that were nearly palpable. He looked up, desperation in the unasked questions in his eyes. But then his expression softened as he let his gaze move over the curves of her face, the tear stains that suddenly seemed unnecessary.

She reached out her hand and he took it, allowed her to pull him down onto that bed designed for two.

“I’ve missed you so much,” she whispered.

He answered with a kiss that stole everything from her soul.

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Royalty

The experience of publishing a book can be a daunting one. There is such a long process just to have your work accepted by a publisher. Then there is the lengthly editing process in which you must know when to bite your tongue and when to stand up for the integrity of your work. And then the fun stuff, like working with the artist to design a cover and working, then reworking, the blurb that will act as promotional material for your book. Its such an amazing, frustrating, exciting, aggravating, awesome experience. I hope to go through it many more times before I must retire my laptop.

And today the first royalty statement for To Be a Man was sent to me via my publisher.

This is real.

(The balance on the royalty statement was actually a negative since To Be a Man only came out a month ago…but it was awesome just the same. 🙂 )

The Consummate Bachelor

For those of you who have noticed, or haven’t, I have a collection of books that I have self-published on Amazon. All these books are titles I wrote before my relationship with Beachwalk Press. They include one full-length novella, No More One Hit Wonders, a short story, Wasted Time, and a series of short novellas all about the same characters: a doctor, his former wife, and his new lover. The series is called Need for Control and includes four short novellas. They include: Complications, Treat Her Like a Lady, Annie’s Story, and Living in a Moment.

There is another book I had published on Amazon and took down some months ago. But I’ve decided to put it back up there. So, for those of you who might want to take a chance and read more of my writing, The Consummate Bachelor should be available for purchase on Amazon within the next day or so.

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Daniel is a highly successful lawyer who can have almost any woman he wants. He should be happy. However, Daniel hasn’t been happy since that day years ago when Jean, the love of his life, disappeared. He knew her father disapproved of their relationship, knew that she was struggling as she attempted to appease her father’s demands and her love for Daniel. But he never imagined she could just up and walk away from him. However, that’s exactly what she did.

So, imagine his surprise when he sees her so many years later, walking through security at the airport and again in the first class lounge. Jean, still so beautiful despite a bruise that discolors her temple. How can he resist reminiscing with her on their long flight, remembering everything that was perfect about their relationship? But reliving those memories only opens up old wounds and Daniel reaches a point where he simply cannot do it anymore. He walks off of that plane hurt and determined not to allow himself to feel that way again.

However, he can’t get Jean out of his head. And when she shows up at his office…what is a man to do?

LASR Anniversary Celebration

So, it’s been a terribly long couple of weeks. I won’t go into details, but needless to say, I totally forgot to post here about the Long and Short Review 7th anniversary going on this week. They kindly allowed me to write a guest blog post about summertime…go check it out. The anniversary is over today, but the post is still there.

And to everyone who made such kind comments about To Be a Man over there….thanks. I am humbled and awed by the number of encouraging comments I have received about my book. Beachwalk Press readers are the best!!!

Oh, and congrats to Shelley S who won my $10 Amazon gift certificate giveaway!!!!

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Reader’s Chat Awesomeness

Yesterday was an awesome day!

Reader chat was a lot of fun. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but really loved all the feedback and the positive support from readers and Beachwalk Press writers alike. Thanks a lot, guys….

So, I hope everyone had a great time. I hope those of you who have bought and read my book enjoyed it. If so, please leave me some feedback here….positive, negative, whatever. All the feedback helps to make me a better writer.

And, those of you who haven’t read it yet…what are you waiting for? Hate to say it myself, but Demetrius and Sutton are awesome and their story makes me cry, and I wrote it….so go check it out.

Thanks again to everyone who has been supportive during this process, especially everyone over at Beachwalk Press…..