Tag Archives: campnanowrimo

4-14-2016 #WritingPrompt – Forest

Living in Kentucky, I am well acquainted with the feeling of being surrounded by trees/woods… I love the coloring of the leaves in fall, or the smell of honey suckle in spring… I love the fact that what most would considered forest animals feel right at home in walking through my back yard, even though I live a stones throw away from the mall, the railroad tracks, and AK steel… so for this writing prompt I am going with forest… and what would your MC do when surrounded by trees??? 

a forest has the ability to be magical even if you are writing a contemporary themed novel… with out without a hidden waterfall or stream, walking through a forest in fall or spring you are surrounded by beauty… and the sight of the stars through otherwise dead tree limbs is a sight that is hard to describe…

but a forest can also scare the crap out of your MC… some are full of closely packed trees and brush that you have no choice but to go where the forest wants you to go, and the light wouldn’t dare break through the leaves, to noon on a summer day appears like midnight without a star in the sky… add a little fog and you have a place that demands quiet… your quiet, because the forest will be making all kinds of creepy sounds… muhahahaha

don’t forget the animals and bugs that are found in a forest… is you MC afraid of spiders??? well a forest would be a hell of a place for them to end up… and I didn’t add a picture, but a forest is an excellent place to come across a skunk… omg… my dog riled one up while we were camping, one time… we all woke up to the smell… both dog and skunk were under the camper… I ran out to get the dog to come out and leave the a skunk alone before we all suffocated… before mom could finish screaming for me to stay back, both the dog and I were covered in renewed skunk spray… it wasn’t pretty… needless to say, I washed and still mom made me sleep in the car…

as an added piece of character, what would happen if your MC lost their food and water while in the forest… would they know what to eat… if they were hurt, would they know what to use to ease pain… and what if they ate something poisonous??? or heck… your MC could live in the forest, growing their own medicines…

finally, why is your MC in the forest to begin with… are they searching for a cabin deep in the wood, the home of some recluse??? is there some cave or ruin hidden in the trees cover area??? and what types of bridges and trails will they come across on the way… or will they need to create their own… I know there is a cave at Carter Caves that had used the trunk of a tree as a kind of ladder for more than twenty years before it broke… not sure if another was ever brought in, but it was pretty cool… not so much when it broke but otherwise, pretty cool… (and okay, that one pic is actually dark forest cheese cake, but ymmmm)

and for your Pinterest writing prompt… here are some substitutes for ‘look’… if there is a word that you find yourself overusing, see if you can find some substitutes that you enjoy using just as much… happy wordage, tracey


4-13-2016 #WritingPrompt – Emotion

Showing that your MC has emotion/feelings/passion is one of the most important ingredients for great writing… I know I enjoy a story that has emotion over something flat and informational… think of the children’s story ‘Jack and Jill’… while cute and fun to read as a child, as an adult wouldn’t it be more interesting to know what Jill was thinking, how the hill felt as she tumbled down after Jack, what emotions were evoked by the fall…

for this writing prompt, I suggest you take an emotion that you don’t feel at home with when writing, and play with it… push yourself to learn more about that emotion and then write the a scene with it…


Emotions can be seen and felt… from quiet pain/loss, to overwhelming grief… what type of character are you dealing with…  does your MC hold it all in, or wear their heart on their sleeve???

and while you are learning more about your chosen emotions, remember to look up some visuals… these are just a few I came across on Pinterest…

if everything you write down still doesn’t feel right to you, remember that there are times that what your character shows to the world is only the tip of the iceberg… from stoic on the outside to explosive on the inside, or maybe your character is frozen in helpless tears by on the inside those tears are a release, a freedom…  

okay…. now here is the pinterest writing prompt… lol… I thought it went perfectly with this post…. why??? because sometimes your emotions can lead to behavior that is out of character… at least that is what I thought of when I saw this… what do you see…. happy wordage, tracey…


4-12-2016 #WritingPrompt – Dream

all writer’s are dreamers… we dream of love, adventure, chaos, heartache, reality, and the unbelievable… we dream up stories and we dream about the readers that will enjoy them… but because I know personally that ‘writer’s depression’ is very real, here are a few quotes and sayings to keep you going… and then back to the writing prompt…

Does your MC have a specific place they go to in order to dream??? like a child’s clubhouse, do they have a place to get away from it all and dream??? do they dream of that perfect vacations or home improvement like an upgraded kitchen??? or maybe a library to beat all libraries???

What does your MC do in order to save up for their dreams??? do they have a system that can add some quirk to your story??? orrrr, if there is evil afoot, what happens when their hard earned savings are stolen???

And finally, I had to add dreamcatchers to the mix… I don’t know much about my Cherokee heritage, but I have always loved dreamcatchers… in a paranormal story, you could have a mystical dreamcatcher that protects your MC from evil… or your dreamcatcher could transport you to another realm… or in a contemporary, you MC could make them… I have had some beautiful ones in my lifetime… play around with it, and give your MC a ‘Dream’….

And for the Pinterest writing prompt, here is something that most people consider the opposite of dreaming… Spring cleaning… does your MC enjoy this yearly task, or do they despise it… do they need help, or do they prefer to take it all on alone… happy wordage, tracey




4-11-2016 #WritingPrompt – Build

I love words… one simple word can be taken in so many different directions… take today’s writing prompt ‘Build’… for starters, I’m building this post… build is a word that can be applied physically, emotionally, or even mentally… soooo many different ways…

you can have your MC be a master craftsman, or a newbie attempting a DIY project… or just have the act of building be something in the background of a dialogue … you can build a garden, furniture, a home, a greenhouse, decorations or items to sell…

or your character could be building a relationship (either romantic or friendship or unknown)… they could be building a fighting group, a band, a working staff, or any number of groups… but mainly, as a writer, you are building your story… and if you write series, with each book you build your characters and your world… I like to introduce characters that will have a front seat as the MC in previous stories…

A writer is always building… we sit in a place that relaxes us and allow our minds to wonder, to build on the story we’re working on… I like to take a relaxing bath and just dream about my characters… we build worlds for others to enjoy… but never give up… building a story is a process… the first draft is merely your first building block…

And now for a Pinterest Writing Prompt… you can use this to build a character that appears bad, but underneath is redeemable… muhahahaha … happy wordage, tracey


4-10-2016 #WritingPrompt – Wedding

For the most part, it seems that wedding scenes are useful as quickly mentioned and then something happens… like the reception, or the honey moon… or their can be a short story about a hiccup that almost derails the nuptials… the point is that most people want to get through the vows as quickly as possible, and if you don’t enjoy something in real life, why in the world would you want to read about it… so who can you add a wedding scene without losing some of your readers…

a scene from the dressing room, the nervous, the cold feet, or even the giddiness… then in the next chapter, summarize the vows and get to the good stuff… the shower or the honey moon…

and why are they getting married… is this a true love match or is it a one night stand that resulted in pregnancy but after getting married they will fall for each other… or is the marriage all for show (because of work, family, green card) and then there is love… or a drunken night in vagas… what caused the wedding and how do they deal with it…

and just for fun, here are some Oh-crap moments that I found on pinterest… some can be added into a wedding scene but most are for any story you are working on… happy wordage, tracey…


4-9-2016 #WritingPrompt – Activity

What activities fill your MC’s down time… since spring is here, here is a list of spring related activities for you character to be involved in… you could start a scene with either an activity that will relate to the story, or just something random everyday activity that will be interrupted by either the villain or the love interest… something on the list that a lot of people feel the need to do as soon as the sun starts making itself know is ‘wash the car’… buffing up and making your ride shine is a ritual that some hate, and some seem to enjoy…

if the love interest interrupts it can lead to water fights (the inevitable wet t-shirt issue), or the villain can interrupt and the MC will be more worried about avoiding bullet holes in the car than being shot…

think about the time of year in your story, and then sit down and make your own list… how can those activities work in your story… like my MC paints with oil paints, she loses herself in the activity, but she uses it in her work (as well as artistically) … the paint gets everywhere, it takes forever to dry, and is very forgiving and easily to fix when there is a mistake… and if you use something you do often, you can add the little insights into the activity that most people don’t think of..

I would use a side character to screw up with his first time using oils… trying everything to dry his painting (sun, fan, hair dryer) but I would have it in the underlying story… the MC would mostly ignore while he complains or whines…


having an underlying activity can help to move the story along… I mean.. you don’t want your MC just standing in the room for every scene…

and what about your Villain??? what is their motivation??? why are they striking out??? for most stories, the emotion and understanding comes from the good guys, but the villains are there, and if you understand why they are attacking your MC you can better write their actions and reactions… so ask yourself to give your villain a motivation… here’s a list to go by… just have fun with it… their motivation can be typical evil logic, or you can take something that can be found in your MC, like romance or justice, and twist how the villain goes about to achieve their goal… muhahahahaha…. happy wordage, tracey


4-8-2016 #WritingPrompt – Gradening

alrighty… this may sound like a boring Prompt, but the simplest thing can add definition to your character…. I have a favorite series that I read… (Eileen Wilks) and the MC can be found pulling weeds when life is overwhelming… she wont say a word, just go into her grandmother’s back yard and start pulling…


so think of it this way… what does your MC do to relieve stress??? how do they keep from exploding…

but also, their is the beauty and feeling of accomplishment that can come from gardening… is your MC a landscaper… do they add flowers, hedges, and definition to a boring yard, creating something magical??? or do they work the land to get food for their family, or to sell at the local market…. or maybe they have a large operation that contributes to grocery stores??? I’m not a yard working gal, but I think we all appreciate the end results that come from both landscapers and farmers… the hardship of working outdoors can add definition to your MC… so don’t be afraid to add some hardships…

alright… that is it for now… here is a Pinterest writing prompt for the fantasy/paranormal set… happy wordage, tracey


4-7-2016 #WritingPrompt – Passion

ooo la la…. today’s prompt is Passion… that blush of a first kiss, the love at first sight that grows into a need to grow old together, or a blazing heat that never seems to cool… every time you touch, a tingling breaks out and catches fire…

but passion doesn’t stop there… you MC could have a passion to create, a passion for justice, or a passion to explore/to find answers… not all passion is about sex… it is about a need that refuses to be ignored… have your MC cross a sign that clearly says Danger/do not cross, just because they want to know what happened… have they stop an attack without thought or reservations for their own safety… or maybe climb down the side of a cliff to the ledge below because there is a picture/stone/animal that they just have to help or have for their art… find your MC’s passion…

and finally… here is the pinterest writing prompt… you can use fear while looking for your MC’s passion… what do they have to face in order to accomplish their goals… (I’m sure there are more fears… just play around with it) make your MC as real as possible… happy wordage, tracey…


4-6-2016 #WritingPrompt – Food

It is easy to forget to feed your characters but unless you are writing a short story your MC will need to eat and sleep… or you will need to comment on the fact that they haven’t had time to do either… some of the stories I read always make me hungry… lol… there is this one series that I don’t even start on an empty stomach… it is like going to the grocery store… never do it hungry…

But what type of food does your character like, or hate… do they eat out, order delivery, or cook it themselves…and are they good at cooking, or horrible… there really is no middle ground… lol…

maybe your character is a chief or a food critic … or they have the best/worst mean while out and meet their true love when the host walks around asking if everything is alright…

and lastly,  food can be extremely messy… from a baby spitting half of it out, to the disaster in the kitchen if you don’t clean as you go…

now enjoy the pinterest writing prompt… happy wordage, tracey


4-5-2016 #WritingPrompt – Flippy

lol… this seems like a hard word to build a writing prompt around but bare with me … since it is spring, I think of Flippy Skirts… I love long flowing skirts with lots of folds… and the wind is everywhere, flipping the skirt all over the place… soooo, does your MC like wearing flippy skirts… or is it her first time and the wind is causing all kinds of problems… just ask Marilyn Manroe… stay away from heating grates ladies… lol

something else that is flippy??? Hair… women flip and toss their hair, especially to show attitude…but with long hair, a certain amount of flipping is necessary … and lets not forget the masculine hair flip… especially if they have wavy hair… but hey…paranormal men tend to have long hair, so flip away…

and  lastly, we have flip-flops… they are definitely flippy… and it is about time to start wearing less and less on our feet… at least round here… personally, my feet hate being encased in shoes and socks… what about your Character… do they love flip-flops, insist on going bare foot, or maybe they have to have the best shoes and look down on anyone in flip-flops… hmmmm…. what is your Character wearing…

oooo…I just thought of one more clothing  ‘flip’… lol… a kilt… who doesn’t love a man in a kilt… and those are right up there with flippy clothing…

In the non-clothing flippy category, I think of acrobats and cheerleaders… or maybe a ninja or karate expert … those peeps are always flipping about…

okay… I think that is enough for today… here is your pinterest writing prompt… happy wordage, tracey … ooo… wait… don’t forget ‘flipping out’… lol


4-4-2016 #WritingPrompt – Drink

Day four of Camp NaNoWriMo… and today’s Prompt is Drink… immediately I think of mixed drinks… something yummy, and maybe a little strong… maybe your MC is a light weight, and embarrasses themselves… or a strong constitution and can drink anyone and everyone under the table… or maybe your MC is a hot bartender that can flip the bottles and mix up anything you want…

Drink could also mean that your MC is drinking someone in… totally drawn to someone… or they have a thirst that for adventure… or they are dang dehydrated from working or from being lost in the middle of nowhere without anything to drink…

a refreshing drink like iced tea, or lemonade is very important here in Kentucky… but you could also focus on an addiction to coffee or liquor…

this is a short one… here is your Pinterest writing Prompt… happy wordage… tracey


4-3-2016 #WritingPrompt – Beauty

What do you find beautiful??? my mind always goes to nature first… from the sky to the land… I see beauty all over the place… especially in spring and fall… I really love when the leaves turn colors and fall to the ground… use the landscape, something that stands out to you to comment on your MC’s surroundings… personally, I get bored if there is too much info on rooms or landscapes but something is needed to make your story come to life…

Maybe your MC is lusting after a car or a boat… or maybe a horse with fine lines… what is your MC into??? what will they look at when they think of beauty… does your MC favor the newest, shiniest toy… or are they more into antiques… and don’t forget the energy saver cars that usually look like something your five year old would rive…  

 And lastly, there is human beauty… I write romance, and there is always something about the person your MC lusts after that they find beautiful… and it doesn’t have to be physical… it can be a talent, or maybe the way they speak or laugh… maybe they create art that calls to the MC, or their caring/personality shines for all to see… what exactly draws your MC to this person???

okay… that’s it for today… here’s your pinterest writing prompt…. happy wordage, tracey


4-2-2016 #WritingPrompt : Animals….

Day two…. and the prompt is animals… so lets start out with baby animals in a continued Easter idea…

baby animals are one of the things I always think about when I think of Easter… my grandmother used to get us baby animals from the local hatchery when we were small… lots of bunnies, and goose … how does your MC feel about animals in general… and how do they feel about baby animals… do they love them like most people or do they not see a reason to get excited about the newness of the cute little things… lol…

how about big animals… from a loveable dog, to wild animals… and for the paranormal set… can your MC turn into an animal… what traits carry over into their human form… can they fade into the shadows like a jaguar, or clamp their jaw down in a killing bite like a shark or an alligator… or is your MC running from a wild animal in a deserted area they are unfamiliar with…

 Is your MC a zookeeper? Do the animals get loose, or is your MC in the artic facing off with polars….or maybe your MC tames wild beasts, and walks freely among them where others run for their lives… or do they deal with large animals like horse, cows, and goats… farm animals… maybe as a vet…. learn about the animal and see where you can add some humor to your story… or maybe a little suspense… muhahahaha

and here is our rap up pin from pinterest… Happy wordage everyone… Tracey


4-1-2016 #WritingPrompt : Eggs


all pics from pinterest.com

WooWho… It is time for Camp NaNoWriMo… for my writer peeps out there that have never participated in one of the NaNo events, it is easy to join in and definitely worth it… sometimes too worth it… lol… I have a tendency to push myself to reach 50K words during every Nano, which sounds like a good thing in theory… but that also means that I have more and more edits when I still need to finish work on previous projects… I did manage to use the last NaNo as editing time, and instead of creating something new, I worked to edit projects from my growing stack of novels and shorts.. Camp NaNo is great for beginners, as you can set your own goals… and if you happen to reach your goal, you can push the goal line back, and keep going… Go HERE to check out Camp NaNo and see if it is up your alley…


Now lets hit the page with our first Prompt… (warning… I will be adding some Easter-like prompts even though Easter is over… as writers, it is always a good idea to pull information and ideas from our lives and the lives around us, and what better theme than Holidays… like, this Easter, My cousin (newly pregnant) went to her new in-laws and her new Aunt always decorates eggs with the names of those in her family… and she added an egg this year that said Baby Smith… how cute is that…

it is something that you could use to slip in info in your story… a new mother telling the father to be that way, or a code left on an egg in a spy novel… ooo… your code could only show up in black light, and the spy could be fighting to get some kid to give him the eggs they had collected… lol… or you could have a newbie trying to color eggs and they forget to hard boil them first…

But the word Egg can be used as to Prompt your story in other non-Easter ways… like a pregnant person … they have to drop an egg to get pregnant… did you MC want to be pregnant, are they just trying (or trying to trick someone into getting them pregnant) or maybe they just found out they don’t have any eggs…

another way to add eggs to your story is cooking… what can you cook with eggs… does your MC now how to cook… do they need to get the egg from the store or do they live on a farm… or maybe they are new to the farm and don’t know how to retrieve the eggs from the chicken coop… and if you want to combine cooking and Easter… I like the idea of deviled eggs and food coloring… the guests could freak out because the white part of the deviled egg on there plate is green… or some other color that automatically makes them think of food poisoning… lol

alright… time to wrap up our first writing prompt… and this time I decided to use Pinterest pics that I found under Writing Prompt to end my posts… enjoy and happy wordage, Tracey


Camp Nano and Writing Prompts


well just a quick note to let everyone know that I will be doing writing prompts for Camp Nano … I had planned to skip this one, but the dang things are addictive… lol

so I will be writing up prompts and editing… also hope to work on a new contemporary romance… a second in the Skymann series… if off to Mary at Gone Writing Publishing …

and that’s all I have to share right now… see you guys later…. happy wordage, tracey

Friday Feature Tracey Clark Shocking Finds

Source: Friday Feature Tracey Clark Shocking Finds

We’ll collect the email addresses of commenters who post on your showcase weekend (Friday til noon the following Monday) and send the winner’s name and email to you so you can contact them and arrange for the prize delivery.

-CD Hersh

follow the link above and lets get this contest rolling… woo who… cant wait to read your comments – tracey

Blog Tour Wrapup

I want to thank everyone once again for helping with Shocking Finds Blog Tour… you were all great… the writing community is by far a supportive and loving group, full of inspiration and that added push that we all need from time to time…

The final Blogger for this Tour, Dante Craddock, did a great job on the Author interview… visit this Blog to read a few more probing questions, then stick around and check out the site… Dante Craddock’s site is full of Interviews and Spotlights… as well as a bunch of other goodies… You can also check out some of Dante’s work… woo who, wordage 😛

20151007 Shocking Finds cover

Marin Yarthine had trouble containing a childish giggle or two. She had managed to locate an Orion Starbrary Indigo Violet Aura Lemurian Seed Quartz Crystal for her boss. The longest, oddest name for a rock, but Anton had been very specific. Besides, she was the best Finder at Finder’s Keepers, who better to go on this mission.

Okay… so her job wasn’t actually to go out in the field and complete Finder’s missions. Finds were completed by a different department. Marin knew that she was nothing more than a high paid researcher. She could take a piece of cloth and tell you where it had been, what had been near it, who had touched it, and more importantly, she could visualize where any related objects might be located.

Yesterday, Anton handed Marin an old textbook written in something that looked like Latin, and asked her to Find a rare crystal for his collection. The words on the book cover had been meaningless to her, but once Marin had held the fragile text in her hands, she had known exactly where to go.

Marin had wanted to complete just one mission on her own. She had been prepared to search the dank and cold Kentucky cave systems, not stopping until she had her Find. It was a simple case, with no danger involved. She would never attempt the kidnaping cases, or one of the Finds involving a murder weapon.

Marin had been surprised to feel the newest store in the area, Crystal Sights, pulling at her Finder’s gift. Anton had sworn up and down that the crystal would be hard to locate. Aisle six – rare gems and crystals—was not her idea of difficult. In and out and no one had gotten hurt.

Her aunt, Lindal, refused to even allow her to look at the building as they drove past, and now Marin had been inside and explored.

Marin had completed her first solo Finder’s mission. She had located exactly what Anton needed and managed to purchase a crystal of her very own. Not that she believed in crystals and magic. Her aunt had explained how her own ability, to locate the lost or stolen, was the closest thing to real magic left in the world. If Lindal knew that Marin had purchased one of the crystals for herself, her aunt would lose her ever lovin’ mind.

For once in her life, Marin didn’t care. She had felt the heat coming off her crystal as she held it in her hands. Maybe her aunt was wrong. Maybe the shopkeeper had told the truth, and the fragile but beautiful rock would help Marin come through her Transition with more protection and control.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

“Eep.” Marin barely managed to turn her full throttled scream into a small startled cry. She crashed into the small angry redhead, the one suddenly blocking her path, as she cleared the store exit.

Marin snapped her lips together on the urge to ask her aunt questions. Like where the hell she had come from? Trying not to lean away from the look on Lindal’s face, she waited for the sarcasm and disdain to flow. When Lindal merely stood there, glaring in silence, Marin whispered, “I had to run an errand for Anton.”

Lindal’s face brightened to a nice deep red, as her arms crossed, her mouth flattened out in displeasure, and her foot tapped out her impatience. “Don’t lie to me, missy. You work in the office or at home. You do not run around mingling with charlatans.”

Marin held her tongue, her heart beginning to race. She hated fighting with Lindal, and there was no way that this tirade was over. Lindal did more damage with words than lions did fighting over dinner. Marin wanted to be one of those people that could take a browbeating with a grain of salt. But she knew that this time wouldn’t be any easier to take than the other rants spouted over her nearly twenty-one years of life. Lindal’s personality could be vicious, and hard to take, but Marin didn’t have any other family.

Lindal jabbed her dainty finger at Marin, her words hissed with the pressure of contained rage. “Do you want to die like your mother? Do you enjoy making me worry and endangering your life like this?”

Marin lowered her head and whispered, “If magic isn’t real, then I should be safe enough. This is the only unscheduled stop I made.”

“Don’t back talk me, girl. Magic is for fools. And places like this are for those too weak to hold on to their money, those willing to purchase lies because they are unhappy with the imperfections they were born with. If your mother had stayed home, she would be alive. Instead, she was mugged in some back alley and left to bleed out with the trash.”

Marin flinched, yet yearned to hear more. It was the most Lindal had ever said about her mother, or the events that had led to her death. Taking a chance that her aunt would continue sharing, Marin asked, “Is there any way to be safe?” She wanted to ask more about her mother, but feared that Lindal would clam up if she pushed too directly.

“Listen and listen good. People, those freaks with meddling gifts, can see how weak you are. They are abominations, just like you, but they can and will plant thoughts inside your mind, and lead you into danger. Everyone has enhanced senses these days, but you are an oddity. Abnormal, just begging for some fool to believe he can steal your curse, and use it for his own plans, by taking your life. The crap sold in places like this will not give you a shield from the evil in this world.” Lindal had explained many times over the years that Marin had been born without the natural shield that protected a person’s mind.

“But if there are people that can play tricks, put thoughts in your mind, then maybe there could be some small magic that’s real.”

Placing the bag with her new crystal protectively behind her back, Marin fought not to back away from her aunt. The look in Lindal’s eyes told her plainly that she had pushed too far. Any sign of weakness would light a match to these attacks. “Tricks. Nothing but tricks. Your mind is just too weak to figure them out.”

Marin ground her teeth together and avoided her aunt’s eyes. Feeling her hands tighten around her gift bag, her eyes sought out the parking lot for anything to distract Lindal. Marin needed something for both of them to focus on, so that she could get her impotent rage under control. Getting defensive never helped. The woman looked weak and innocent, but ruled their home with an iron fist and razor sharp words.

Instead of continuing to explain all the reasons that Marin had screwed up, Lindal stiffly turned and walked into the parking lot. Apparently, her aunt planned to wait for a private moment to vent the rest of her displeasure. And vent she would. Lindal’s stiff movements and flushed complexion warned Marin that the conversation coming her way would be one of the worst.

Marin didn’t need the lecture repeated. She had it memorized. Rocks and stones are just that. Real magic didn’t exist. She needed to stay at home, safe, except for work. Blah… blah… blah. But Marin wanted more information. How did ordinary people put thoughts inside someone else’s mind? How did her co-worker’s little boy manage to move objects out of her reach when Marin wasn’t looking?

Not knowing what else to do, Marin followed Lindal into the parking lot. Lindal would be in a snit for days.

Marin still couldn’t contain the occasional squeal, though she attempted to keep them as quiet as possible. She needed to get her happiness under control.

Luckily, she had the entire length of the parking lot, to calm herself down. The lot seemed to have more cars than the entire area of Ashland, Kentucky had residents. Crystal Sights had managed to expand on the word grand in Grand Opening. Someone had had the good sense to combine the opening with the beginning of the area’s yearly festival season. Marin didn’t relish Lindal’s anger, but still thought that today had turned out better than she could have hoped. Smiling, she glanced around, as she walked behind her aunt, taking in the different types of shoppers.

Marin watched as three little old ladies climbed out of a bright yellow Caddie, their hair ranging from hooker red to bonnet blue. She saw a younger man pulling his reluctant girlfriend – or possibly wife – from the cab of their truck, her very pregnant belly leading the way. The woman was shaking her head, pointing to the insane number of people, still lining up to enter the store. Marin tried to stop herself from bouncing with every step, not wanting Lindal to see her happiness. This was the closet she had come to attending one of the hometown events, thrown every spring. Festivals that would only become larger when summer finally arrived.

Across the street, by the river, Marin could even see the over-night-assembled rides and concession stands, being mobbed by crowds of yet more tri-state citizens. So many types of people rushed around, laughter in their eyes. Even the pregnant woman had managed a smile, once she made it out of the truck and into the man’s arms.

Every squeak of excitement that Marin failed to contain received a reprimanding glare from Lindal. But Marin was too hopeful to allow Lindal’s mood to kill her joy completely. Claudette – the store owner – had called the stone a Maturation Crystal. Marin’s fingers still tingled from when she had touched the crystal earlier, giving her hope for her Transition Birthday. Everyone went through their twenty-first birthday hoping that they would have better control of their enhanced senses. Even if her birthday came and went without an improvement, the crystal marked Marin’s first independent action.

Marin didn’t want to fight; she wanted to celebrate. With that in mind, she put on a burst of speed, passing Lindal, as she said, “Where are you parked, Aunt Lindal?” Marin wanted to get in her car and head for home before Lindal started listing more ways that this trip had been a mistake. An evening alone in her art studio, admiring her Maturation Crystal, sounded like perfection.

Marin crossed her fingers that Lindal wouldn’t be as irate as the time that Anton had encouraged everyone that worked for Finder’s Keepers to participate in self-defense classes. Marin had been excited. The free classes took place in the gym, off the back of Finder’s Keepers. As far as bosses went, Anton ranked with the best. He even allowed her to compose her Finds at home, in her private studio. The information she came up with helped other Finders on their missions, and working from home kept Lindal from bitching.

Great work hours or not, Lindal still despised the man. Her sneering had managed to run Marin out of more than one room when the subject of Antonius Slade came up, especially after the self-defense debacle. Marin had managed to keep the classes a secret for two years before Lindal found out. And boy had that been memorable. Lindal had found and burned all the workout clothes and the fighting stick that Marin had stashed in her van. She flinched, remembering how the blaze had lit up the front yard, and how Lindal’s reddened face seemed to match the flames. Lindal had burned with rage, expressing her displeasure by instituting her own version of self-defense classes. Marin rubbed her sore hip, trying to shake off yesterday’s lesson.

Marin had gained a good ten feet of distance from Lindal before her aunt decided to reply. Reply and reprimand. “Slow down, child. It is rude to run in public. And I took a taxi, so that we could talk on the ride home. Talk and decide what to do about your current attitude.”

Marin stumbled a little, but otherwise didn’t reply. She absolutely refused to allow anything to put a damper on her spirit. As long as the crystal remained in her possession, she could handle any punishment.

Lindal sneered as she inquired, “Why in the world did you park so far away?”

Marin slowed and turned to walk backward. She couldn’t believe that Lindal chose to ask such a question. “I had hoped that by parking as far away as possible, I could avoid the humiliating gymnastics needed to re-enter my vehicle. That woman we passed a second ago? She was actually climbing in through her sun roof. I don’t know if this type of place is always this packed, but if so, they need more parking. I was lucky to find a spot, no matter how far away it is. But I admit that I concentrated on the area to the rear of the parking lot. Everyone fights for the ones closest to the store. I swear that broken down Toyota back there was circling the lot when I first arrived.”

Marin watched, as the poor rusted contraption made its rounds. She felt sorry for the car, and the driver. Mostly, she felt bad for everyone currently being forced to breathe in the ozone killing balls of smoke emanating from the Toyota.

“Turn around and walk correctly. They can have our spot… once we get there,” Lindal hissed. Her aunt ignored the opportunity to vent some of her rage on the circling motorist. The parking lot had so many cars that the grassy incline along the edges of the parking lot had begun to fill up with unrepentant motorist.

Marin turned and quickened her pace as she yelled, “I’ll just air the car out.” They were almost to Marin’s van, which always smelled of oil based paints and some before-the-invention-of-odorless substances. Mainly, Marin wanted to put off the fight building with each of Lindal’s hissed and clipped words.

“Don’t turn the car on. You’ll…” Lindal’s words ended on a grunt of pain.

Before Marin could turn to look, her aunt’s body flew over her head. She watched her aunt tumble through the air and land, with a sickening crunch, on the hood of her van. She realized that the frighteningly loud cry filling the air was coming from her own mouth, but Marin couldn’t stop. Lindal’s body slid to the ground like a rag doll, a line of blood marking her movements along the bright orange paint. Mere seconds had passed, but Marin felt like she had been frozen to the spot for hours, consumed by her disbelief.

The sound of squealing tires caught her attention, but Marin stood rooted to the spot and continued to scream. Her body refusing to obey her commands.

Eventually, the other sounds in the vast parking lot penetrated her haze. One moment, she was happily looking forward to exploring her new crystal, watching the dozens of other shoppers laugh and dream of the wonders to be found on this perfect spring day. Now, she watched as the only family she had ever known crashed onto the unforgiving asphalt. The need to complete a mission, or purchase her own crystal, started to feel pretty hollow.

Forcing her way out of her hysteria, Marin snapped her mouth closed and glanced around as she rushed forward. The Toyota she had pointed out to Lindal was moving in reverse as she ran for her aunt. No innocent circling for that murderous bastard now.

Marin looked back at Lindal, and her ears filled with a high pitched ringing. She tried to convince herself that this couldn’t be happening. She knew that POS Toyota was to blame, even without seeing the car ramming into her aunt’s vulnerable body.

Marin reached Lindal’s side, attempting to forget about assholes with toxic road rage, so that she could focus on her aunt’s wounds. As she fell to her knees, by Lindal’s broken body, she heard an engine being revved. She could smell burning rubber as she twisted to glance over her shoulder. A horrible metallic noise rent the air, as the Toyota bounced off the lane of cars, and angled in their direction.

Marin sat slack jawed as she realized that the man had the balls to make a second attempt. The Toyota was scrapping along the nearby cars, hell bent on committing death by rust bucket. She didn’t know if she was more upset that someone wanted to kill both her and Lindal, or that her van was about to be harmed in the process.

Marin couldn’t move Lindal to safety, and she refused to leave her alone. She glanced frantically around, searching for a miracle. Run down though the car was, it was still out of her weight class.

Marin twisted back, to face the oncoming vehicle completely, her hands in the air. A plea for mercy? A supplication or a surrender? Marin didn’t know. Time seemed to slow as the Toyota came closer. She felt her usually denied emotions rush to the surface, her anger leading the charge. She felt the rage heat along her skin, begging to be released.

Holding her ground, Marin remained kneeling by Lindal’s side. A blood-curdling scream left her mouth, and for the first time in her life, she allowed her feelings to come to the surface with destructive force. In that moment, Marin felt no fear, no shyness. Just rage. A rage that felt at home and welcoming as it exploded in the air. Even her confusion and denial – those feelings she felt most at home with – had been buried under this red-hot mixture of emotion.

A jolt of pain, from some invisible force, threw Marin to the ground. Lying on her back, her head pounding, she felt as if the invisible entity flowed from her body and zeroed in on the offending car. Her skin tingling, Marin watched, through eyes of indignation, as the tires on one side of the car suddenly left the ground. The Toyota was thrown into the air and onto the tires on its other side. The car slid off course, hitting the vehicles on the opposite side of the lane, and continued to tip, until it was rolling away from Lindal’s defenseless body. Crashing into the cars perched on the grassy incline, at the end of the lot, the Toyota rocked to a stop. It had looked like the car had been encased in some kind of protective shield, a wavering bubble of air, as it rolled away from Lindal’s position.

Marin shook her head to dispel the insanity. Shields didn’t work that way. Lindal had explained that a shield was an invisible defense, in the mind, to keep out unwanted thoughts and ideas. She felt the back of her head, wondering how hard she had managed to hit the asphalt. Did she have a concussion?

After the Toyota had slammed off the cars in the grass, tottering back and forth, it finally landing in the correct upward position. Marin didn’t know what had just happened, and at that moment, she didn’t care. She took a second to watch, as the Toyota clipped the back of a few cars, and miraculously sped away.

The smell of burning rubber and the sound of a hanging bumper, creating sparks along the pavement, were the only proof that this nightmare had ever happened. That and dozens of dented automobiles. The way the Toyota had rolled away from them, as if a giant was playing with his Tonka Trucks, would haunt Marin’s nightmares for a long time. She decided that the entire event needed to be firmly placed in her denial box, and she moved to check on Lindal and to call for an ambulance. She needed help; she needed help now.

Kyland Marcuson’s left eyebrow lifted, as he stood staring in disbelief. Seeing a woman with the power to move a few thousand pounds of metal, or even the brutal act of vehicular homicide, didn’t move him. These acts were common place to those of the Supernatural Community. The astounding number of people exiting their cars and the store, to stand around gawking also left him unmoved. Supes and Norms, supernatural beings without power, alike enjoyed a good train-wreck-worthy incident. Even the powerless humans enjoyed viewing tragedy.

After all this time, he had finally found her. Kyland had searched for Marin for more than twenty years. He had managed to locate her, only to watch as she fought for her life. Kyland shook his head and allowed the pull of the woman’s essence to lead him to her side. His Queen had given him this mission, saying only that she would be the one to save them from the Danshue—the evil Fae.

Once the Queen vanished, Kyland had made it his sole purpose in life to locate Marin, a small babe he knew nothing about. The end of his journey, and the child was now a beautiful woman, with more questions surrounding her than answers. Her blonde hair, big blue eyes, and button nose gave her a vulnerable look. A look that was obviously a lie.

Kyland also felt surprised at the lust tearing through his system. He was here to protect this woman, not bed her. Still, those curves… Marin had to be more than a foot shorter than his own 6’8″ height, but she was still built like a dream. A dream he wanted to memorize with hands, mouth, and tongue. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, Kyland continued forward.

People stood on the sidelines, watching and waiting, afraid to step forward, to help. Kyland pushed and shoved people out of his way to reach the woman he suspected to be the woman he was searching for. When he’d undertaken this mission, more than two decades ago, he was told that the child he needed to find and protect would have no real power. Her biggest gift should have been an overabundance of sensitivity. She should have been as close to powerless as she could get, without being human or a Norm. Apparently, some very important information had been withheld.

On the other hand, Marin had appeared shocked as she watched the car’s near miss. Maybe she didn’t understand her abilities, abilities that she shouldn’t have. Kyland could see in here eyes a slight refusal to believe the reality she now found herself in. He had watched as she shook her head, physically pushing away her confusion.

Kyland was close enough now to feel the denial coming from her psyche in waves. Her emotions were so strong; he could barely focus on anything else. He could also see that the Queen had left out a thing or two about the child’s identity when they’d discussed this mission.

Damn, damn, damn. Right now, Kyland needed to check on Marin and the woman lying at her side. But he needed to move forward carefully. He didn’t want to frighten the young woman, especially after she had just been traumatized. He needed to save her friend, if possible, and slowly build a connection, a bond of trust. If she were the correct person, then… then the future of his people would depend on her. He didn’t understand, not completely, but the Queen had given him a name, a location, and a time frame. He needed to find Marin, somewhere within Earth-side, before her Transition.

Well, if this was Marin, he had the woman/child; he was in Kentucky, so he was Earth-side, just like the Queen’s prophecy; the time frame was the remaining key. Kyland had less than a month left to complete the first step. Hopefully, the rest would fall into place, and by the end of the year, the Queen would be returned.

Kyland had spent the last two decades learning every new medical procedure, every medical aid techniques of any discipline, as they were improved on. The Marin he was sent to retrieve had been kidnaped, and kidnap victims were rarely treated well. Why else would she be stolen at birth unless it was to harvest her power? Supe children could be used as batteries, for the sadistic and depraved. Evil men and women, or Danshue, that sought power above all else and were willing to do anything to obtain it.

Dropping to his knees, Kyland could see that the woman on the ground didn’t appear to be breathing. Time was short, but still he approached slowly. Perhaps the surrounding crowd of useless onlookers had the right idea. If he was correct, the beautiful blonde could toss him across the parking lot, if he surprised her.

“Do you need help?” Kyland slowly reached to check Marin’s friend for vitals, before tilting the head, to begin CPR. The woman he worked on was extremely small, broken, and bleeding. Her flaming red hair seemed familiar, but Kyland couldn’t worry about his patient’s identity. Not with a confused and wary Marin, watching his every move.

“Please… I don’t know… what to do… I can’t…” Marin didn’t know if she should trust this stranger, this mouthwatering man, but she needed help. Lindal needed help. She had already called 911 and told the operator what she could, but now her phone had disappeared. The best Finder the U.S. could offer, and she couldn’t even locate her own cell phone. She held her hand near the side of her aunt’s face, afraid to touch her. Didn’t the people in movies always stay on the phone when they called 911? She needed her phone. What was she— How could she—

Marin couldn’t breathe. She was screwing up. Lindal was hurt. She should have told the operator more. Couldn’t. Breathe.

“Do not worry. Just take a calming breath and work with me. I need you to stabilize her head for me. My name is Kyland, by the way, and I will do what I can to help, if you will let me.” Kyland took her hand, and it was suddenly easier to breathe. “Can you do that?”

Kyland had a manly beauty, one that sculptors would kill to etch. She found it hard not to stare at Mister Tall, Dark, and Handsome, her eyes continually jumping back to outline his features, even in the midst of her worry. He had to be nearly seven feet tall, and his eyes gleamed like flecks of coal.

When Kyland leaned forward to recheck Lindal for breath, Marin could see that his eyes were actually an extremely dark gray. His hair fell in a wave of black silk, to his shoulders, and his muscles looked edible in a glowing reddish brown tone.

Kyland had one of those year round natural tans that women the world over dreamed of. Marin would have assumed a Native American background, but there was just something more, something different, about him.

Marin gave herself a mental shake, to push his looks from her mind, and focus on the woman that had raised her. She would do anything and everything asked of her. She would follow Kyland’s lead and hope for the best.

Nodding her head rapidly, Marin moved to Lindal’s head to do as indicated. She had a purpose. The ambulance was coming, and Kyland would help Lindal until they arrived.

Marin hated the way that Lindal treated her, but she wanted distance and independence, not this. This couldn’t be happening. What if she lost the only family she…

Just as the panic started to take over again, Marin felt someone squeezing her hand. Kyland gave her comfort as his other hand rechecked for a pulse.

As the blonde did as instructed, Kyland continued compressions. He couldn’t think of her as Marin, not yet. There had to be another reason for her to look just like- Kyland took a deep breath, to focus on the here and now. He had cleared his patient’s airway, while sending a healing spell into her body. It would help, but whether it would be enough or not, he didn’t know. He had to get her breathing again if he hoped to save her.

Kyland had done two sets of compressions, and was bending to blow air into her lung, when the woman took a deep breath on her own. Her eyes snapped open. Eyes that he knew, hated, and could never forget.

“You…” The word slipped out of his mouth before Kyland could think about stopping himself. He barely managed to cut off his words before a barrage of her suspected crimes left his mouth.

Well, damn. Kyland hadn’t recognized the injured woman with her eyes shut, but he should have. The wrinkles were obviously an illusion, but the fire engine red hair, the small stature… and now, those liquid sliver-green eyes couldn’t be denied. Only one person had eyes the shade of mixed mercury and vibrant new grass. Lindal Rencoff. Murder, treason, the thief of power by painful means… the list of her suspected crimes went on and on. Lindal needed to be tried for crimes against the Queen and Fae alike, for being Danshue—a Fae willing to lose his or her soul in exchange for stolen power.

The Queen definitely hadn’t informed him that he would find the woman/child that he was looking for with the traitor Lindal Rencoff. What the hell was going on here? His mouth turned down; Kyland had to fight the urge to wrap his hands around Lindal’s neck.

Every Supe in the Supernatural Community believed that Lindal had been cut down, marked as one of the dead or missing, in the last Great War. Instead, she’d hid among a bunch of humans, with her kidnap victim— a woman the Fae people desperately needed. He ran his hands roughly over his face and looked to the heavens for some kind of sign.

Kyland’s gaze darted around to locate any other enemies but found only curious onlookers and banged up cars and trucks. He took a moment to decide if he should call in back up or not as his gaze went to Marin. Why had he been sent alone on this mission?

To answer that, he first needed to answer one every important question. Did the Queen fear her own people?

The fact that Kyland had been sent alone, to retrieve someone that deserved an armed escort, was pretty much answer enough. Had the Queen foreseen that she and her entire house would be cursed and hidden from the rest of the Fae, from the entire Supernatural Community, never to be seen again?

Kyland had been sent alone on this mission, and he had nearly failed. Watching the car closing in, he had known that he would not make it in time. Even moving out of phase—as one with the shadows—Kyland would have been too late. None of his personal magic could have stopped the car from taking the life of the woman he could feel calling out to his essence. He had spent over two decades in search of a poor defenseless child in need of protection, only to find that Marin had the ability to save herself.

The car had been pushed and flipped, as if unseen forces had been displeased. If it hadn’t been for his ability to sense the magic being used, he might have believed the unseen forces theory. After all, he had been told that Marin couldn’t reach, or use, her gifts yet. Dammit. If the power he had felt represented Marin’s untapped gifts, they would all be in a world of trouble if he couldn’t find a way to ease Marin’s power slowly past whatever had them blocked.

If Marin’s gifts exploded from their containment all at once… more than just her psyche and body were in danger. It would be like the magical version of an atomic bomb. Kyland had less than a month, and eventually time would run out. The block had to have been placed over Marin’s psyche, her power. A block Marin’s power had managed to break through, like it was child’s play, only to disappear completely once the danger was past.

Yep. Kyland was in deep and all out of paddles. This mission became more important with every passing second.

Chapter Two

Her perfect crystal now lost in the parking lot of Crystal Sights; Lindal was in surgery fighting for her life, and Marin gazed blankly at the ugliest green wallpaper she had ever seen. Hospital waiting rooms shouldn’t remind a person of moldy vomit. They should be peaceful and comforting. Reminders of the split pea soup incident from the Exorcist were neither peaceful nor comforting. Even a stark white would be more pleasant that the current color palate.

Marin feared that the need to scream and never stop would finally win out. She wanted answers but also needed to forget. Right this second, she’d settle for a nice friendly coat of paint. It would give her mind something to focus on while she waited for the doctors to fix her aunt.

Body shaking like she needed a large hit of the newest controlled substance, Marin pulled her knees up against her chest and rocked quietly in her less than comfortable chair. She glared at one of the chipped areas of vomit-itis paint. It had been hours of waiting with only her headache, stale coffee, and these horrendous walls to keep her company. Everyone else in the room had managed to fade into the background, her mind uninterested in their presence.

The door to the waiting room opened, causing Marin to glare in that direction. A man in hospital scrubs searched the room for someone. His mouth moved, not that Marin could hear anything over the pounding in her head that caused her ears to ring. The name tag proclaimed that this was Dr. Criss. He had a nice looking mouth, but the rest of his features remained out of focus.

Marin counted the handful of people waiting for news, shocked to realize that the room held a deep well of silence. Surely, there should be something to hear. The quiet murmur of loved ones consoling each other, the drone of the television, or even the gurgle of the coffee pot, but Marin caught nothing like that. She couldn’t even remember if the room had been so full when she first arrived.

The doctor looked straight at Marin and walked in her direction with purpose in his posture and compassion on his face. Was he speaking to her? Her feet dropped to the floor at the same time that her gaze sought out anyone else sitting nearby that could be his intended target. The warring emotions, to get answers and to deny that any of this was real, fought for supremacy.

Marin examined the people sharing the room with her closer. An elderly woman with two small children worked to console her youngest child. No more than two, her little face contorted in distress and hopeless anguish, as she sat clinging to her grandmother. Tears ran down her little rounded cheeks. Her face red and body shaking, the child ignored modern rules of society, and expressed her pain the only way that she knew how. It looked almost freeing. Still, she heard nothing.

Marin could see a man on a pay phone, another man holding a softly crying woman, and a few teens. But not a single sound managed to accompany their actions. Her eyes took in the expressions of pain and sadness, but her mind refused to allow her to hear their distress. That seemed wrong.

The doctor had nearly reached her side. Marin couldn’t see that as a positive sign. The paramedics had told her that things looked good; the beautiful stranger had promised everything would be fine before he had disappeared. Lindal’s breathing had seemed even and controlled when they’d pulled up to the emergency room doors. Marin just couldn’t see how anything good could come from five hours of uncertainty after all the positive lies.

The doctor stopped in front of her, his lips still moving. Maybe he had a tick or something. Marin fought the need to smile. The doctor’s brow crinkled, and he reached out to touch her face. Grasping her chin, he lifted her head up. When he moved closer, to look into her eyes, Marin jolted from the chair.

The world was suddenly rent by a mournful cry, a cry that only the young could dare make. Not yet fearful of what others will think, a child will throw her head back, and shriek her pain to the heavens. Marin wanted that freedom. The little girl with the head full of auburn curls and the extremely healthy lungs continued to cling to her grandmother. Her pain the first sound to shatter the unnatural silence of the waiting room.

The silence hadn’t been that bad, in a way. Marin preferred the denial.

“Miss Yarthine?” the doctor asked.

Dammit. Marin finally made eye contact with the doctor. She needed to do better. She needed to focus before she ended up with her very own hospital gown.

Afraid to speak, Marin just continued to stare. Wanting to release her own cathartic wails, she wrapped her arms protectively around her body, and managed a small nod. She felt something touch her shoulder and glanced back in the doctor’s direction, not remembering when she had turned away. This had to be shock. There was a constant buzz emanating from her temples, and that couldn’t be good either.

Marin’s head felt like a stranger. She could feel this ticking beat, as if her heart had managed to make the climb in to her head. The noise in her head kept changing. Sometimes, she felt like she had a few bees in residence, and at others she just knew that an angry band had taken to using the space between her ears for practice.

Did that mean she was in shock? Or maybe, Marin had hit her head harder than she’d realized. Someone had checked her out. She remembered…

Smiling kindly and reclaiming her attention, the doctor said, “Your aunt is unconscious at the moment. She hasn’t woken yet, so we’re keeping her in the ICU, at least until she wakes. Visiting hours are over until tomorrow afternoon, but I think we can let you come back to see her for a few minutes. Her brain received quite a trauma. All her other injuries appear stable for now, but the brain… we really can’t know more until she’s conscious.”

Marin didn’t know what to say. Her head bowed, and she covered her mouth with a shaking hand. Her knees wanted to buckle. She felt weak as the weight of so much worry lightened. With a barely repressed sob, Marin managed to choke out, “Thank you.” The news wasn’t perfect, but at least her aunt was still alive.

The doctor turned to leave, and Marin followed him and a nurse that had managed to go unnoticed. Somehow managing to find the strength to make her legs steady, as they went down the hall, Marin couldn’t help but feel impatient. She wanted to run, to see Lindal with her own eyes.

Maybe if Marin held Lindal’s hand, felt her precious warmth… Who was she kidding? Marin needed her aunt to open her eyes and give one of those frosty glares that she had perfected over the years.

Marin’s hand flew up to catch an inappropriate giggle, and the buzzing in her temple started pulsating to a new rhythm, but she didn’t care. She needed proof that Lindal was still alive, that her only family member would continue to make her life miserable.

The small room where they finally stopped, sat behind a glass wall, the privacy curtain only partially closed, so that the end of the bed could be clearly seen from outside. The crash cart sitting within easy reach of the door left a less than comforting ache in Marin’s chest. The sooner Lindal could be moved to a less threatening room, the better.

“Ten minutes. But then you’ll need to come back during visiting hours,” the nurse explained in a firm, but sympathetic voice. The doctor had already disappeared.

Marin could barely hear the nurse’s words; she seemed kind enough, but at that moment, Marin wanted to be alone. Seeming to understand, the nurse gave her another sympathetic look, and left Marin to peek around the curtain by herself.

Lindal’s small form, lying quietly in the midst of tubes and wires, barely filled half of the twin-size hospital bed. Her aunt had always been small, even shorter than Marin’s own five-foot-two-inches. In the hospital bed, the force that naturally radiated off Lindal’s every movement became subdued, and her strong personality lessened. Her aunt look abnormally vulnerable.

Rubbing her arms, Marin wanted to take a step away from the unreal sight; instead, she forced her hands to grip the footboard tightly. She had come so close to losing Lindal.

The paramedics had arrived quickly, but they never would have made it in time. Marin wasn’t stupid. Lindal hadn’t been breathing, and that meant one thing, and one thing only. Lindal had died. With only Marin to help her, she would have stayed that way. Stranger or not, Kyland had saved Lindal’s life.

Kyland had come out of nowhere and disappeared the same way. Marin shook her head, doubting that she would ever be able to find him or thank him. On one hand, some unnamed tension left her body at the thought that she would never have to face him again. Face the emotions he’d stirred. Still, his absence left a hole in her heart, and a choking thickness in her throat. Which made absolutely no sense. Marin knew nothing about this man. How did he cause confusion strong enough to overwhelm her mind? Marin shook her head. The who and where of Kyland were problems for another day. Right now, she needed to focus on Lindal.

Marin needed answers. Like why had they been targeted? The parking lot hadn’t exactly been lacking for vehicular violence victim contenders. There had been a group of at least four women, standing by their cars, chatting. If there was a target more deserving of vehicular rage, it had definitely been that group of women. They had finished shopping, and courtesy demanded that their parking spots were to be relinquished as soon as possible. Why not them?

The man—and Marin was only guessing that the driver was a man—had bypassed those without parking lot etiquette and zeroed in on Lindal. If she had continued her slow progress through the parking lot, would Marin be in this horrible room with its beeping monitors and bleached air instead of Lindal.

Staring down at her aunt’s unmoving form, Marin tried to find a place to rest her hand. She needed to touch her. She needed to know that the only person willing to take her in, after the death of her mother, was really here and still alive.

“They will find him, Lindal. He won’t get away with this,” Marin made her vow as quietly as possible, not wanting to disturb Lindal’s recovery.

Glancing up to keep tears from falling from her eyes, Marin noticed something swinging off of Lindal’s oxygen line. “What the…” It looked like a Barbie doll with wings, perhaps six inches tall. The odd little creature wore a loin cloth and sported some overly obvious male attributes. Was it wrong to be checking out the abs of someone no larger than a child’s toy?

His arms tugged and his muscles bunched as he attempted to make a knot in Lindal’s oxygen line. His silver skin tone went beautifully with his tri-colored wings— a mix of light purple, maroon, and gold. The little man didn’t seem to realize that Marin was staring at him.

“Stop,” Marin shouted. Dammit, this was a hospital. She needed to lower her voice. She also needed to go upstairs to the psych ward. Head trauma, shock, or hallucinations¼ something wasn’t right. If she told Lindal about this, her aunt would call her every kind of fool.

Hallucination or not, she grabbed the little man by the wings, pulled him from Lindal’s oxygen line, and tried to speak more calmly. “What do you think you’re doing?”

She finally had her figment’s attention. A striking, though small, pair of lavender eyes glared at her through overly long sandy brown bangs. On closer inspection, she could see that his hair was actually multicolored. It seemed to go from crystal white sand to bronzed gold.

“Well, answer me. What do you think you’re doing?”

“Waiting for you, of course.”

“What are you?” She was losing it. The buzzing in her temples was increasing. And she was now speaking to a figment of her imagination. Yep, she needed to be medicated.

The creature put its tiny fists on narrow hips. “A Sprite, of course. Don’t you know anything? I have my work cut out for me.” Now she was being insulted by her imagination. Great.

“Nope. Too Much,” Marin said and tossed the little man with wings out of the hospital window. She needed coffee. Either that or a large dose of Thorazine. Maybe both.

Wow… excellent write up!!

I have to thank Georgie Bolwell for a wonderful write up on her blog Books and Babble …  Head on over and check it out… She has a wonderful way with words…


Georgie Bolwell!!!

I enjoyed answering her questions, and reading her responses to my answers were a treasure… Be sure to check out the rest of Georgie’s site as well, and experience her writing…

“My name’s Georgie and I’m a first year English Literature student at Cardiff University.

I’m using this blog as a way of practising my writing skills, editing my own work and to write about the things and issues that interest me. My main goal in life is to work for a publishing company, somewhere like Bloomsbury Press, Penguin and other places like that, so writing experience is key.

If you have any questions about me, my writing or have any requests, don’t hesitate to contact me…

Happy reading everyone :)” -Georgie

Oct 6 writing prompt… hedge!!

Ooooo… the word hedge can work for both the paranormal/fantasy lovers and the contemporary/history buffs… which are you…

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Magical hedges that grow hundreds of feet tall and reach out to grab the unsuspecting, mystical hedges full of color, or hedges made with love and hard work… needless to say, I will be going with the magical hedges… I love the idea of the Brownies in my Finder’s Keepers series living in trees and other plant life… like hedges…


Not sure if I’m going to go with the type of hedge that swallows you whole, that can move and breathe… or the classic version that my Brownies inhabit…. hmmm… how about you guys… need more choices???


You could have a sexy garner that can shape a garden hedge into a lifelike zoo animal. You could see a vision of a mystical woman in the hedges, or close off an intimate garden area with tall wall like hedges. And a maze made out of hedges is always a winner, no matter if the hedges are normal or alive…

But to me, the word hedge makes me think of hedgehogs … cute and dangerous …


Or maybe hedging your bets, holding back, or even hedging when you answer a questions, when you are hinting at something you want… a person spreading out the risk… that’s what hedging my bets means…. and hedging an answer makes me thing of either holding back, or throwing out hints… like the sexy woman in red picture… she is sooo throwing out hints… lol…


And I’m just throwing this one out there because it is soooo cute… and sooo weird… green puppies born in Spain… I say there was too many hot peppers in the dog food, and I want one… and they kind of fit into the hedge theme… I mean, we have green hedges, hedgehogs, and hedges shaped into to wildlife… why can’t one of the hedges come to life and make a green puppy… 😛


Aliens came down and mated with the wrong mammals… muhahaha

no go forth and write.. happy wordage…

A short piece of pain…

Okay… So this isn’t a piece I am working on, though I see it’s potential for a future Contemporary Romance… Maybe once I get all the other rough drafts and story ideas finished, I will have time to work this one out the rest of the way… for now, enjoy my heart breaking piece of woe…
This idea came to me when I saw,
Kasims Korner Challenge  Follow the link to read his challenge and write out some ideas of your own… have fun and happy wordage
Jason watched as Neil beat his fists into the ground. Bracken, rocks, hard frozen forest floor … Nothing could stop him from expressing his rage, and bloodying his hands in the process.
How had a brother’s bonding, hunting trip gone so terribly wrong?
Eliza … that’s how.
Jason left Neil to his pain, and turned to focus on the couple using a lake side blanket to express their passion. Hunching his shoulders, Jason held his torso tightly, fighting the need to fall to his knees and join his twin. The had both love Eliza from the moment she was transplanted to their small Kentucky town. Her ripe curves were no more than straight lines back then, but still she had an allure that drew all the guys in.
Seeing her spread out for another man’s touch broke Jason heart. He would always love her, but he could let her go.
Turning, he watched as Neil pushed to his feet, and pulled his shotgun to his shoulder. Moving closer, Jason hissed, “What the hell, man?”
Neil’s only reply was to shake his head, and neck stiff with tension, released the safety, preparing to shoot.
The horror of never seeing Eliza’s deep chocolate eyes sparkle with her laughter again, forced Jason’s hand. Before he could think it through, he had tackled Neil to the ground. Taking away Neil’s gun, his only thought. As the shot rang out into the quite forest air, Jason stiffened in surprise, shock, and … pain.
Jason vibrated, wanting to tear his brother’s head off. He wanted to put a bullet between that blonde surfer wanna-be. He didn’t know the guy, didn’t want to know him, but he definitely wanted to kill him.
Shoving at Jason’s chest, he raged, “Get the hell off me.” The element of surprise was gone, and if he didn’t hurry his target would disappear as well.
Jason’s heavier weight had his body imprinting the forest floor. Neil gave up trying to force his twin to move, instead moving his legs around so he could inspire Jason to move himself. When his knee came up to connect with Jason’s tender bits, Neil expected to hear him yell out in suffering. But nothing.
Something was wrong.
“Oh my God …” That soft lilting voice drew Neil’s gaze. There she was, the woman of his dreams. He would turn eighteen in three weeks. He would be a man. A man that could move out of the hell he called home, could give a woman his whole heart, all the attention and love she needed. He would be free, and as soon as he could run off surfer dude, he could place his claim on the finest woman to come out of Jefferson High.
His cheeks flaming, he again tried to rouse Jason. “Come on man. I need to get up.”
Still nothing.
Eliza came to his side, the blanket from her afternoon of fun wrapped securely around her mouthwatering frame. One day he would have the right to touch her, to merge his body with hers. One day.
He was about to slap some sense into his twin when he realized that his hand was covered in blood. Staring at the damning red, Neil barely heard Eliza’s mournful cry. The longer he stared at the dripping liquid, the more he wanted to join her cry. What had he done? There were other women. More important needs. He didn’t care about his father’s belt, or his mother’s dazed stare. He had a twin, someone that knew him and accepted him… faults and all. He had ..
Voice breaking, he pleaded, he prayed, “Jase. Come on. You’re all right.”
But nothing was alright. Nothing would ever be alright again.