101 Spotted Coats (Wednesday Words 11.30.16)

Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!

A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!

With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction Shard based off a three word combination prompt. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!

(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)

For your own enjoyment, click here to get a song to go with my Shard.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

101 Spotted Coats

Anita brushed a strand of hair out of her face, smiling over her shoulder at Roger as she placed her fingers over the piano keys. “Is this right, dear?”

He chuckled and, standing behind her, placed his hands over her gloved ones and repositioned them to the right keys. “You’re learning, I will say that.” He kissed her cheek, letting one hand trail across her arm as he let go.

A pink blush crept across her cheeks as he sat beside her on the bench. She began to slowly play scales as a warm up, getting the feel for the way her fingers moved over the keys and the flow of the music. Her scales soon turned into a very basic tune to which Roger began to hum along to. She added her own words to the tune not long after, ending up missing a note or two in the process and giggling.

The laughing bark of a dog answered her own giggle when she stopped playing, covering her mouth. She turned around on the bench, peeling her gloves off and setting them in her lap before reaching for the Dalmatian sitting behind them.

“Are you laughing at me too, Pongo?” she asked, ruffling his ears.

His tongue rolled out the side of his mouth, tail thumping on the carpet. He practically wiggled around to try to get the best spot scratched, looking quite comical.

“Life is certainly good now,” Roger sighed, wrapping an arm around Anita.

She smiled to him. “Yes. It is. No more villains out for our dogs for spotted coats.” Pongo growled at the mention of it and she patted at his head.

“Indeed. No more villains.”

“No more Cruella.”

“No more Cruella.” Roger wagged his eyebrows and started to sing the piece he had put together years ago. “Cruella De Vil, Cruella De Vil. If she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will. To see her is to take a sudden chill. Cruella, Cruella De Vil.”

Anita laughed. “Roger, now don’t go singing that song again.”

He didn’t listen though, taking her hands and pulling his wife to her feet as he began to hop dance around, grinning. “The curl of her lips, the ice in her stare. All innocent children had better beware, she’s like a spider waiting for the kill. Look out for Crue…”

A loud bang like a door slamming open interrupted their fun. The Dalmatians in the room snapped to attention, ears perking and turning their heads toward the doorway. The distinct click of heels on marble floor echoed down to their ears. Noses twitched and suddenly they all began to growl one by one, standing up with hackles raising.

“Roger…?”

He didn’t answer, just pulled his wife behind him and stared down the hallway. A familiar icy drawl of a voice suddenly wafted down the hall, singing, “She’s like a spider waiting for the kill.”

Anita gasped. “Cruella…”

The white and black haired villainess rounded the doorway and leaned against the frame, pulling her fur cloak tighter. “Why yes, dear.” She grinned. “Cruella, Cruella De Vil,” she finished singing with a low chuckle.

“Get out of our home,” Roger demanded. The dogs began to creep forward with teeth bared, hateful eyes locked on the wretched woman.

“How… How did she get out of jail?”

Cruella sniggered, pushing off the doorway and tilting her head. She fiddled with something behind her back. “Oh haven’t you heard, dear, prisons are so…” she pursed her lips, “overcrowded. I was one of the first on the dismiss list. Now…”

She unwound her hand from behind her back and the couple flinched back, eyes widening as they settled onto a gleaming revolver she twirled around. Her lips quirked wickedly, cocking the gun and aiming it toward them.

“Do be good dears this time and hand over the doggies for my coats, I wouldn’t wish to get blood on my outfit. Dreadfully hard to wash out, you know.” She pouted, then laughed.

A snarl and savage bark sounded from Pongo as he suddenly lunged forward at Cruella. “Pongo!” Anita yelled just as a gunshot rang out. The Dalmatian fell in a heap, a bullet hole trickling blood from his skull.

Cruella sneered. “I always did wish to skin you first.” Her lips pulled down as she noted the blood staining Pongo’s fur. “What’s a little spot of red victory to dot my best coat yet though.” She kicked at the dog’s lifeless body, then turned her eyes up to the rest of them. Raising her hand she pointed the barrel back to the couple. “What will it be? The hard way or the easy way?” She pouted, eyes gleaming with malice.

“You monster… You’ve gone mad,” Roger breathed, keeping Anita behind him while she quietly shook with grief and fear.

A laugh rang out around them as Cruella tilted her head back. It cut off almost as abruptly as it started, her face turning stern and menacing. “Perhaps I have. Don’t worry, your doggies won’t suffer. That much at least. I’m only going to shoot them in the legs from running off then bash their heads in. Maybe skin a few alive just because I can. Oh,” one finger flicked up, “but I forgot, you won’t be around to see to stopping it. Sleep tight, dears.”

There was a scream from Anita as the first gunshot rang out and Roger tried to shield her. He slipped from her fingers to the floor before the second gunshot sounded and she fell to lay against his chest, their blood mixing. The dogs were now beginning to whine and tuck tail, starting to scatter and make a break for it. De Vil laughed lowly, blowing off her revolver in a show before turning her gaze on the scattering dogs. She reached behind the doorway and picked up the baseball bat she had left leaning against the wall when she walked in.

“Now come to mommy, you spotted mutts,” Cruella hissed. “She wants her new fur coat.”


Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!

Shards of Imagination Cover Final

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Final Days

Two days…

Just two days left to NaNoWriMo.

At this moment, I need 7,790 words in this two days to validate.

It’s doable, definitely doable with me. However, I have two work shifts during that time, neither of which are very kind to the productivity scale. I only managed about 1.1k on Monday because of work and issues coming home. Today isn’t going to be much better because I have the same kind of work shift.

And of course these last two shifts are a closing and then opening shift right after so sleep is already going to be non-existent for the last two days. Add on the energy sucking holiday madness and I have a recipe for being totally burned by the time I get off work on Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday I’m also supposed to ride, but again, I have no idea if I’m going. If I still have a big push for NaNo, I probably won’t be going. And if I’m completely exhausted, I probably won’t be going either. (I really need to stop working on Wednesday’s.)

Don’t forget Wednesday also means another blog post and flash fiction Shard, which means time away from writing for NaNo.

It’s not looking good for these last two days.

Of course, I was given the option that I could count my Shards toward my NaNo goal. It is creative writing and words down on a page for this month. If I did that, it would give me roughly another 3.7k worth of words, which means I’d only need 4k to validate, which is a lot more doable than 7.7k at this point.

However… Using the words from my flash fiction writing sort of feels like cheating to me.

Yes, I know it is considered writing and all, but this crazy month of 50k words was supposed to be about finishing Fated to Darkness. (Yes I know it’s not going to be finished, but I’m down to eight chapters left.) To add on something that really doesn’t have anything to do with this series feels like just a cheat to get the win to me.

Granted, if I had finished this novel within 50k words and switched to something else I would have had two works in one validation, but that was because I finished a novel and needed more words to hit goal. Not because I was struggling to make goal and substituting something else I worked on this month that’s more so just for practice and fun.

So I’d like to not use my Shards of Imagination words from this month to validate in the end for a win, but 7.7k is going to be a stretch these two days to make it happen. To be on the safe side of validating, I need at least 3.4k each day to end the month.

That wouldn’t be too bad on Wednesday if I don’t ride, today is the issue though with the shift I work.

I can manage to sneak some words in before work, providing I get my ass up and moving early enough in the morning. (Staying up till 5am Sunday night was not a good idea, and it’s nearly 3am now that I’m writing this so I’m pretty tired.) Hopefully I could get about 2k before work without interruption, and when I get home I still have about two hours before midnight to try to get something more in. Again, providing something doesn’t get in my way as it did last night. As always it seems.

Actually, if I can manage that pattern, I might be okay. Though…I’ll either have to pull an all nighter tonight to hit goal, and then still have time for a Shard after work. That would most likely mean I’ll still be too tired to ride. Or, I could do as much as possible before crashing for a few hours of sleep tomorrow night and probably still missing riding to get this win and maybe get my Shard in.

By the looks of it, depending how tomorrow goes, I’ll probably be skipping riding for the fourth week in a row. Either way, I’m determined to get my first November NaNo win, and hopefully be down to the last six chapters of this novel by the end of this win.

If I can manage that, hopefully I can manage to finish the book by the end of December like I wanted to this year.

Only one way to find out: keep writing. Except, let’s sleep first before I burn out too early.

Do You Even Care? (Snippet Sunday 11.27.16)

Welcome to Snippet Sunday on Darkling Dreams!

Where writers come together to share a few sentences (8-10) of their current project — whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.

snippet sunday

Unfortunately October and Halloween are over, but the next best scariest thing is now upon us. (And no, I don’t mean the holiday madness, although, that is probably scarier than this.) I’m talking about NaNoWriMo, the challenge to write 50k words in a single month. Which on top of the holiday madness is pretty scary anyway, at least if you’re me it is. Coffee is my new best friend for this month. After debating with myself for over a month if I was doing NaNo this year, my fingers decided for me at the last possible moments on October 31st that I was going for it. So in honor of me trying to finish this novel this month (I’m praying it doesn’t take 50k words to do it) I am switching back to sharing from Fated to Darkness this month.

We left the Fraeis family playing Candyland in last week’s snippet, where a fun game turned just a little bit dark. This week we’re skipping ahead to the end of Chapter 7, and we’re also switching POV. This is in Elaine’s POV, Heather’s mother.

Now for the final peek at Chapter 7: Distant…

~*~*~*~

Elaine was standing outside the door, leaning against the wall as she listened to what had been going on. There was a slight frown on her face and she looked up when her husband exited their daughter’s room.

“You know, it wouldn’t kill you to say ‘I love you’ back to her. She wants to hear it from you. She craves to get any sort of affection from you.”

He sighed, rubbing at his face tiredly. “Can we not have this discussion again? It’s been a long day.”

“Fine,” she huffed, irritated. Silence hung between them for a few minutes as they made their way to their own bedroom down the hall.

“Did you notice how…distant she was tonight?”

Her husband paused at his dresser from emptying his pockets, sitting down on the edge of the bed. “Yes.”

“She was like that all day. She ate breakfast, withdrawn, then came right back upstairs and slept the entire day like she hadn’t slept a wink in days. She was so quiet, and so unlike herself. I was afraid something was wrong with her, that she might be sick or depressed.”

“She’s four, Elaine. I don’t think she can be depressed. Maybe she’s just sick of the snow like you are.”

She frowned. “Anyone can be depressed, it doesn’t matter on the age.”

“Yes, dear,” he sighed, obviously not up for any sort of argument.

“I’m worried about her.”

“I’m sure she’s fine.”

Elaine crossed her arms over her chest, not at all amused or reassured. “Do you even care?”

That caught his attention, and he looked up to her with surprise. “Of course I do.”

“You don’t seem like you do. It’s always short answers and vague ones at that. Like you don’t even take an interest in what might be bugging your own daughter.

“I’m just tired. It’s been a lo–“

She huffed and shook her head. “That’s always your excuse. Either that or you have to work. She barely sees you, I barely see you. It wouldn’t kill you to be around a little bit more, to see your daughter grow up. You’re missing everything.”

~*~*~*~

And there’s the first real look at her parents. It seems Heather has more troubles in life than just becoming the Dark One’s Heir.

Fated to Darkness Cover Final

Blurb:
Three year old Heather Fraeis is like every other normal toddler. With a loving family, a family dog, and a little bit spoiled.

But fate can be a twisted and cruel friend.

Kidnapped on the night of her fourth birthday by a woman clad in black, Heather is whisked away to a realm that has never been known to exist. Forced into a life she doesn’t want as her kidnapper’s Heir, she comes to find that monsters do in fact exist, nightmares are more than bad dreams, and magic is more than just the thing of fairy tales.

Lies, fear, secrets, and pain await her around every corner. Swallowed whole by the dark path laid out before her, she is forced to fall with no light at the end of the tunnel to give her hope. Until she meets a young boy that may change everything once more for her…

Can Heather defy all the odds and overcome who is she forced to become? Or will it be too late for her to rise above the fate laid before her?


This story is not yet on Wattpad because it is my baby that I hope to publish one day, and if no one will publish me, I am self publishing. But it’s also not on Wattpad because it’s in first draft phases yet. So there will be no “if you wish to read more…”

However! If you wish to read anything else that I have out for free, you can hop on over to  my profile on Wattpad and check out what I have to offer. Or if you wish to read my debut release, Embermyst, you can find out more about that in the tabs above. (I’m working on the tabs, bare with me.) I love to hear any and all feedback on my work as well. Comments are greatly appreciated, as are the reads. You can also find my on my Facebook author page to keep up to date with all that’s going on in my writing.

And if you’re looking for some other great snippets of fellow authors,
hop on over to Facebook and check out Snippet Sunday!

Stressing For A Win

Sooo… I may or may not be rather far behind on NaNo again…

Alright, there’s no maybe about it. I am.

*Sigh*

I was supposed to write Tuesday night after I finished my blog post, and, well, yeah. I got sidetracked and I was tired already. I don’t think I actually got any words down on the page that day. Then Wednesday my mood was just completely ruined and in another slump that I couldn’t pull out of so you can guess I didn’t get anything done that day either.

I had wanted to be at 40k by Wednesday night too, because I figured 10k would be an easy enough final count to reach within the last week of NaNo.

Well, 40k didn’t happen. 36k didn’t even happen by that point.

I’ve written maybe 600 words since Monday.

*Sighs again*

And even now I don’t have any will to write, and there’s five days left to NaNo. Three of which are pretty much shot to hell thanks to work shifts and other stuff going on. I only have one more day off for the rest of November too.

Right now I am currently 14,426 words away from a win. I need to write 2,405 words a day to reach that win.

Well, I know that’s not going to be possible on at least three days so I guess that means I better come up with 14.5k in three days, since my last three days of November are shot. Go figure.

I’ve not been able to stay on par or stay above par all month. I haven’t even been as excited for NaNo as I would be the Camp NaNo’s. Maybe because of the holiday and work madness as well. Or maybe it’s stress. I don’t know. Whatever the reason I hate it.

Looking back, there’s only been a total of 7 days this month I’ve stayed on or above par. That sucks. Four of them were the first four days of November because I took off the 1st to try to get ahead.

At this point, I’m thinking I should have taken off the last day of November too, because I don’t think I can do three 5k days to get this win, not on top of working two of them.

Now I’m also pretty sure I won’t be getting much, if anything, written tonight because the alone time to unwind to write was just taken away. *Sigh* I hate being an introvert with nowhere I can call my own space.

Deception (Wednesday Words 11.23.16)

Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!

A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!

With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction Shard based off a three word combination prompt. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!

(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Deception

“This is preposterous!” a voice boomed. The Captain of the Royal Guard banged his fist on the table, glaring at his King and Queen. “There is no physical way this outsider could have found his way into our realm.”

“I found my way, did I not?” Dark forest green eyes latched onto the Captain with a challenge. She itched to throttle him but remained poised and calm. “Perhaps your borders and gates are not as secure as you say they are when I found my way in.”

He snapped his gaze to her, sneering. “You, witch… I don’t trust you. I think you are simply lying to us and playing us.”

Actually, I am, but you don’t need to know that.

“That is enough!” The King stood, almost knocking his chair backwards as he turned a stern gaze on his Captain. “Stand down, Bellington, before I have you removed from this feast.”

His jaw clenched in response, shooting one last glare to her. She simply smiled sweetly, eyes glinting for a mere moment. It was too easy to ruffle his feathers, too much fun to pass up the opportunity, but she still had to tread carefully. She had convinced the King and Queen already of her deception play, even if she couldn’t convince the Captain. It didn’t matter when she had the royals on her side already, he had to follow their orders, or it would be insubordination and his head. Finally, he begrudgingly sat back down, stabbing at the piece of boar meat on his plate.

“I do apologize for his…blunt behavior, Miss Hallows,” the King said cordially. “He is out of line.” Another stern gaze shot his way and she watched the Captain squirm in mounting fury and forced allegiance.

Zira took her gaze off the Captain and smiled politely, looking to the King. She waved it off. “It is no issue. I trust you will do everything in your power to capture this dangerous individual and hand him over to me?” Her brow raised a centimeter as she took a bite of her food.

“But of course. You were sent by your realm’s authority to bring this traitor and thief back to your realm for the proper consequences. I have no business about delaying your search, not to another skilled captain.” He shot a look at his own Captain, emphasizing those last words. The Captain visibly tensed in response, clearly trying to rein his tongue and anger in before it exploded.

She had to hold back a dark chuckle. Fools. The lot of them were. The Captain was the only real one with sense to see she was the threat, and not Matthew. The boy she had laid out as a traitor and thief before them hiding amongst their realm, the one she was hunting. But alas, they were too blinded to see the truth, or perhaps she was just that good at this game.

It didn’t matter either way.

Her revenge was just within her reach, she only had to play her hand right. She could underhand every move they made in her favor, and even if they did realize her trickery in the end, it would already be too late. They had absolutely no idea just how dangerous she was, and they were feeding her all the information she could ever need to dangle leverage over their heads like mistletoe. All because of one teensy, tiny mistake in placing trust in her lies and deception.

“Thank you,” she replied with a slight head bow, stamping down her pride. Her gaze slid to the grandfather clock. She stood. “I thank you for the gracious invitation to this feast, but I must be getting back to deliver the news to my Council. I shall be in touch shortly should your scoots locate our fugitive.”

“Of course.” The Queen smiled at her. “We are most grateful for your warning of this criminal amongst our town and we shall do everything in our power to help track him down for you.”

Zira smiled back sweetly and dipped in a curtsy, despite the fact she was dressed sorely for the purpose of fighting. “And we shall be most grateful for your assistance.”

A footmen came with her cloak and she took it before reaching into her pocket and pulling out a small bag of coins, placing them on the table.

“A token of my Council’s appreciation,” she told them. “Upon capture and retrieval I was promised there would be another compensation for your time and effort. Call it a…” Her gaze slid to the Captain and her lip quirked smugly, “sign of good faith.”

His eyes bore into her murderously but she brushed it off like he was a fly. She was not afraid of him, she wasn’t afraid of anybody. Her gaze slid back to the royals, conveying another curtsy before pulling on her cloak.

“There is no need for the formality, dear, not at the moment. We are simply grateful of the warning and chance to nip this in the bud before it can begin.”

She nodded. “Understandable. I shall be in touch shortly.” She bowed her head. “Your Grace, Your Majesty.” Her gaze turned steely as she looked to Bellington, tone sickeningly sweet and clipped as she said, “Captain.”

He sneered at her and satisfaction swam through her to see his hand twitch toward his sword. If only he had the balls to make the move, she would quite enjoy the chance to flatten him with a mere thought and flick of her hand.

“Safe travels back,” the King bid farewell.

“Thank you.” She turned and sauntered out, only allowing the smug smile and malice to fill her expression when she was out of sight. A low, dark laugh spilled from her lips.

Soon. Very, very soon.


Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!

Shards of Imagination Cover Final

The Final Stretch

We’re in the final stretch of NaNoWriMo now. Just a week left. (I’m not counting today because it’s nearly over now.)

Are you panicking yet?

I’m not, surprisingly. Not really at least. I am a little bit because I work the rest of this week — yes, including Thanksgiving, retail sucks — and I don’t know what my work week will look like next week yet to know if I’ll be alright, or if I’ll be pulling all nighters to get that win.

Right now I’m at 35k, which is par for yesterday. So I am at least on track.

Today was my only day off this week and I had hoped for another 5k today because my personal goal was to be at 40k by Thanksgiving. The thinking behind that was I figured I could manage the last 10k in the last six days of November without much issue.

Except… I haven’t written a word yet today.

All because I’ve had to spend my only day off cleaning and getting ready for the family coming to my house for Thanksgiving. The plan was to clean my bathroom, get a shower, do my laundry, and write 5k by the end of tonight.

Yeah, about that… Only two of those things have happened.

I got the bathroom cleaned and got my shower, but I wasn’t planning on sweeping and mopping the kitchen/hallway floor, too. That threw a wrench in things. (Remembering I had to write this blog post did too.) I only ended up doing the floor because a certain someone was in the shower at the time and everyone in this household knows she wasn’t going to do it before Thursday, or at all, so while I had the peace of not getting yelled at for not doing it HER way, I took the chance and got it done.

So these two things have screwed me a little in the rest of my plans.

The laundry isn’t happening tonight now. Mainly because I’m tired and I know I’ve got a long rest of the week ahead of me. I was hoping for at least a little bit of downtime today being it’s my only day off till who knows when. Plus I haven’t written anything yet so I need to do some of that before I crash tonight. Whenever that’ll be.

Granted, I can multitask laundry quite easily with writing, but it’s going to wait till tomorrow for sure now because, you know, riding was cancelled for the third week in a row now thanks to dentist appointments for horses that I just found out about. (Two of these cancellations were not my own doing.)

I guess I don’t have to worry about that now. I’m not sure if that leaves me bitter or a bit relieved. I was already thinking of cancelling so I would be ready for Thursday, and just…riding right after working on a Wednesday is so exhausting. It’s not…fun anymore, not the release and escape it used to be. It’s more stress than it is relaxing when I work the same day, and 90% of the time I work the same day. Go figure. I hate to say it, but riding has begun to lose that appealing and captivating charm it used to have on me.

Anyways, moving away from screwed up plans and stresses to get back on topic…

NaNoWriMo is in the final home stretch and I think I’ll be okay to come out with a win with minimal craziness. (Scratch that. Work will be filling in that craziness, but I’m not going to go down that avenue right now after yesterday’s shift or you’ll be hearing a lot of cuss words from me.)

Fated to Darkness is definitely going to take more than the final 15k of the month to finish unlike how I had hoped. However, if it takes another 50k on top of this month’s 50k I think I’m going to strangle myself. Literally. Or pull my hair out. Or both. (I’m so not looking forward to editing this book.) I’m really starting to worry this book is too long. So it better not take another 50k to finish after this month.

I don’t think it will, but hey, that’s what I said at the beginning of this month too and look how that went! I’m so bad at estimating word count.

On the plus side, I finally figured out something about one of my characters. Well, more accurately, something about one of my characters that happens to be a horse. So sort of a secondary character, kind of.

It’s a start though. I’ve been trying to figure out the breed of this horse for ages, and I finally got it. I figured out a type of coloring too that goes with it!

Although, a plus side always doubles with a downside with me.

I’ve been leaving myself waaaay too many notes as of late of things I need to research. Certain plants. Victorian architecture. I need to make up a name for a crystal that only exists in a fantasy land. Something about the said horse’s breed because I figured out the breed after writing that scene. Yeah. Too many notes.

I should have done a lot more building and research beforehand. Then again, I had no idea I was going to need some of this. Okay, I knew I should have looked up the architecture earlier, I’ve known that one. The others came out of nowhere though.

But that’s a problem for after NaNo. Right now I just gotta get that word count, then I can worry about the rest.

Which… I need to get writing, and I need to finish the damn chapter I’m on, and then I need to write a Shard and another blog post after midnight. It never ends.

Princess of Darkness (Snippet Sunday 11.20.16)

Welcome to Snippet Sunday on Darkling Dreams!

Where writers come together to share a few sentences (8-10) of their current project — whether it’s a recently released novel, a WIP (work in progress), or an older manuscript that’s being revived. Intended to hook readers, gather feedback and build an author’s fan base, Snippet Sunday is the FB group that does all three.

snippet sunday

Unfortunately October and Halloween are over, but the next best scariest thing is now upon us. (And no, I don’t mean the holiday madness, although, that is probably scarier than this.) I’m talking about NaNoWriMo, the challenge to write 50k words in a single month. Which on top of the holiday madness is pretty scary anyway, at least if you’re me it is. Coffee is my new best friend for this month. After debating with myself for over a month if I was doing NaNo this year, my fingers decided for me at the last possible moments on October 31st that I was going for it. So in honor of me trying to finish this novel this month (I’m praying it doesn’t take 50k words to do it) I am switching back to sharing from Fated to Darkness this month.

We started off last week’s snippet with Heather and her parents about to start playing Candyland when her dog, Jazmine, walked in and couldn’t seem to recognize Heather. This week we skip a little further ahead in the chapter and they are now playing the game.

Now for the third peek of Chapter 7: Distant…

~*~*~*~

“Uh oh, looks like I’m headed back to Grandma Nut’s house,” her father booed, sliding his piece back through the winding game board with a plane crashing sound effect. Her mother took her turn next, drawing a double green card and getting close to the finish line.

Heather smiled a little at her father’s antics, but she was getting tired as she pulled her card and ended up getting Queen Frostine.

“Queen?” her father exclaimed as she moved her piece up. “I thought you were our little princess. Did you become a queen and we didn’t know it?”

She looked up a little, that small bit of excitement shining in her eyes before it dulled out. Did you become… The words echoed in her head and she felt that prickle start at her wrist. Yes, she had become something, but it wasn’t a princess. It was an Heir. Though as the thoughts tumbled through her head over it, she started to picture Ciara as some Queen of Darkness with the way she lived and talked. If she was her Heir too, then what did that make her? A Princess of Darkness?

The ring to that title ran another chill down her spine and she shook her head. “No, daddy.”

~*~*~*~

Princess of Darkness… It does have an eerie ring to it.
And fun fact, before I wrote the Candyland scene, I actually pulled out the board game myself so I could remember how to play and the different candy cards it had. No lie. LOL.

Fated to Darkness Cover Final

Blurb:
Three year old Heather Fraeis is like every other normal toddler. With a loving family, a family dog, and a little bit spoiled.

But fate can be a twisted and cruel friend.

Kidnapped on the night of her fourth birthday by a woman clad in black, Heather is whisked away to a realm that has never been known to exist. Forced into a life she doesn’t want as her kidnapper’s Heir, she comes to find that monsters do in fact exist, nightmares are more than bad dreams, and magic is more than just the thing of fairy tales.

Lies, fear, secrets, and pain await her around every corner. Swallowed whole by the dark path laid out before her, she is forced to fall with no light at the end of the tunnel to give her hope. Until she meets a young boy that may change everything once more for her…

Can Heather defy all the odds and overcome who is she forced to become? Or will it be too late for her to rise above the fate laid before her?


This story is not yet on Wattpad because it is my baby that I hope to publish one day, and if no one will publish me, I am self publishing. But it’s also not on Wattpad because it’s in first draft phases yet. So there will be no “if you wish to read more…”

However! If you wish to read anything else that I have out for free, you can hop on over to  my profile on Wattpad and check out what I have to offer. Or if you wish to read my debut release, Embermyst, you can find out more about that in the tabs above. (I’m working on the tabs, bare with me.) I love to hear any and all feedback on my work as well. Comments are greatly appreciated, as are the reads. You can also find my on my Facebook author page to keep up to date with all that’s going on in my writing.

And if you’re looking for some other great snippets of fellow authors,
hop on over to Facebook and check out Snippet Sunday!

Finding My Way

I am really sucking at writing on the days I work this month. I think there’s been a total of maybe four days I worked that I also managed to write. You know the sad part to that? They were during the first week of NaNo when I was so exhausted off my ass that I could hardly think straight.

What is wrong with that picture?

Oh well. I’m still making it work. I’m finding my own way through the craziness that is retail during the holidays and NaNo.

I don’t want to say I’ve had a breakthrough for the second half of the month, but, well, I kind of have.

I’ve been struggling all month a little to write, and not just find the will or time to write. I was okay at the beginning because I knew what the next couple chapters were coming up, and then I sort of got to a part that I knew what had to happen, I knew little ideas, but I didn’t really know how to make those ideas happen just yet. Nothing was forming in my head.

For instance, normally I can picture little snippets of scenes and then hand the reins to my characters and let them tell me how it plays out with those scenes. Sometimes the scenes would change a little, but I still got to point B.

This time I wasn’t getting much though, and I’m wondering if it’s because I’m at the end of the book. There are less than 10 chapters left to write. (Not counting the epilogue if I write it, I’m tossing the idea of it around yet. I originally wanted it but I’m wondering if it might be too spoilerish now. We’ll see.)

But seriously, less than TEN chapters left to write.

To most of you that probably seems like a lot. To me, after working on this book for two and a half years now, that’s freaking short and so, so close to the end. I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

Wait, I jumped ahead of myself here. *Rewinds tape*

Okay, so I said I was struggling this month because I couldn’t figure out where I was headed exactly. I had the ideas but then again didn’t. I was off today and I knew I had to get writing because I fell below par, again, but I was also stuck because I didn’t exactly know where I was going after I finished the chapter I was on.

Now normally I plan out a few chapters in advance so I know what direction I’m going, but I haven’t been doing that for, oh geez, a lot of chapters now. I stopped doing that at Chapter 20 because I was more focused on making Camp NaNo goal and now this goal. I’m now on Chapter 33.

Since I made up my mind to do NaNo at the last possible second this year, I definitely did not have any chapters planned out when I started this month. I’ve been totally pantsing it and seeing where the characters take me. (I do have a rough timeline guide of how things work, so I haven’t been totally blind. Thankfully.)

For the most part I have no issues with pantsing it, the ideas and direction just come along as I write. This time, however, it was beginning to deter me, and that realization finally slapped me in the face today and screamed, “Hey! This is your problem this month! FIX IT!”

Well, I listened and fixed it.

Before I started writing today I spent a good half hour or so talking to myself and pulling my hair out as I jotted down ideas and questions coming to mind and how I could possibly make it all flow together on a piece of scratch paper. I’ll be lucky if I can read all of my handwriting later, or if it makes sense to anyone else who sees it, but at the end I came out with a direction for the remaining chapters, and even a why and how I was looking for.

So I found my own way, and now I’m back on track and excited to keep going without the nagging worry of “where am I going after this chapter?” that was deterring me.

Today I managed to write roughly 6k words so far. I needed 7k to hit par once more since I again fell behind with work. I’m going to make that before midnight. I even held myself to shutting off the wifi and logging out of all social media earlier to write for 2 hours non-stop. I managed 4.2k words in that time frame. Don’t ask how I managed it, I’m not really sure, I just kept going. Right now two of my characters are rather talkative. Which is good.

In even better news, in less than a thousand words I’ll be breaking 30k.

I know this book is going to take more than 20k to finish now, but I don’t think there’s going to be that much more than 20k left to it. I mean, I do only have about eight or nine chapters left to write. I’m determined to finish this book this year, at least the rough draft.

And I will get my first November NaNo win. I don’t care if the real craziness starts next week, I will get this win. I’ve got two days off before Thanksgiving hits. If I keep up this write 5k — or more — on days off, and still manage to write something on the days I work finally, I will be up to 40k by Thanksgiving.

I can do this. I will do this.

I just had to find my own way again first.

Smoking Gun (Wednesday Words 11.16.16)

Welcome to a piece of Wednesday Word’s flash fiction on Darkling Dreams!

A good friend of mine, P.T. Wyant, is doing a blog post every Wednesday called Wednesday Words with a new prompt for a bit of flash fiction writing, just to get in the habit of writing something, anything. (Even if said flash fiction is complete garbage at the time. Garbage is better than nothing though, right?) If you’re looking for some inspiration yourself or just something to aimlessly write, then go check out her blog for this week’s prompt!

With that being said, I am going to share what I came up with for this week’s flash fiction Shard based off a three word combination prompt. So here is my very rough around the edges minute of inspiration based off her prompt. I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!

(Please excuse any errors you may see, I said it was rough around the edges.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Smoking Gun

“Well hello there, gorgeous.”

Marian tensed, her hand immediately reaching into her purse for her concealed weapon as she turned around, her guard up. Her body stilled as her gaze landed on sea-green eyes and a charming smile. She let out a quiet breath, relaxing her stance.

“Don’t you know not to sneak up on a girl like that, Michael?” More like not to sneak up on an undercover federal agent.

“Sorry, babe. I wanted to surprise you.” Michael held out a bouquet of carnations with a red balloon tied to the stems. “So, surprise.”

“What are these for?” She pursed her lips as she took the gift.

An amused chuckle left his lips. He took her arm and guided her into the restaurant. “You, my dear Cathy, are the first girl I have ever met that does not remember the day of their one month anniversary with their boyfriend.”

Pink crept into her cheeks. Was it really one month already? Lords, she had totally forgotten and lost track of time. Trying to juggle her secret identity and her real life was wearing her a bit thin after one year undercover. The simplest details were slipping her mind when she had to remember her cover always. Of course this was part of her cover so she should have remembered it. Although, she had a slight track record with him for being known as a little…forgetful. It made for a good excuse sometimes when she needed it.

“I suppose my mind escapes me sometimes. I never have been very good with dates and times.” She gave him a sheepish smile while Michael thanked the waiter and pulled out her chair for her. She took her seat and allowed him to push her in.

“That… That is quite true. I can’t argue it. You’ve forgotten our own date on occasion.”

Her brow creased in feigned guilt. “I’m dreadfully sorry about that yet.”

Not really. It was either blow you off or blow my cover. You’re a nice guy, on the outside at least, but you are just part of my job description. Perhaps even my smoking gun.

Michael waved off her apology. “Stop with the apologies already, we’re cool, babe.”

Marian forced a smile and looked down at the menu while Michael ordered them some drinks. This was going to be a long night, she could tell that much. Her mind was still back on the job, having been so close to getting a face to face with the Widower. If she could have gotten that, she would have had a ticket of gold in her hand for the department. It could have been the end of the–

“Cathy? Earth to Cathy? Are you in there, babe?”

Her eyes snapped up from the menu, yanking out of her thoughts. For a second she had forgotten her alias was Cathy Banks and had thought he was calling to someone else. “Hmm? Oh, sorry. I got distracted by all the yummy dishes they have listed.” Her smile was overly sweet.

Luckily for her, Michael was a bit of an idiot and he bought right into her lie, throwing the waiter a gleaming smile as he placed a glass of white wine on the table for her and a bottle of Budweiser beer for him on the table between them. She really shouldn’t drink on the job, but…she had to blend in and play along.

Too close a call, girl. Way too close. Get your head on straight.

“Are you two ready to order?” the waiter asked.

“Not just yet.” Michael looked to her. “I think we need another moment.” With a nod he walked away to attend to the other tables and Michael engrossed himself in his menu. “See anything you like?”

She turned her attention back to the menu, leafing through it. “Not just yet.” Her eyes caught on the price range of Ripley’s and she nearly did a double take. Geezus, how can he afford this place? Her eyes shifted over the top of her menu, studying him intently. Or am I right and he really does have some side operation and hand in the illegal activity?

Well, that’s what she intended to find out, by whatever means necessary. Even if it had meant dating him.

“This looks pretty good.”

Marian quickly composed herself when Michael looked up. “What does?”

“Eight ounce sirloin steak with green beans and a baked potato.”

“What page is that on?” She really wasn’t interested in the food, but she had to at least appease him, and the more she played into making him happy and feeling…superior, the easier she could sweet talk information out of him.

“Second to last.”

She flipped through the menu until she came to the right page. A crinkled slip of paper slid out of the menu, landing upside down on the edge of the table. Her lips tugged down, suspicious and cautious as she picked it up to look at it.

It could just be an old receipt or one of the waiter’s papers.

Her blood ran cold and her heart stopped for a second as her eyes landed on the contents of the paper. A single drop of blood smeared the top left corner, and it had one simple message scrawled in red, sloppy ink:

WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE.


Now you can find this flash fiction work and others on my profile on Wattpad! Click here for my profile and go dive into a sea of Shards of Imagination!

Shards of Imagination Cover Final

Funks, Sprints, and Revelations

Before I even dive into my ramblings, I’m going to start with this…

I know, I know. I missed Friday’s blog post. Shame on me. *Slaps hand* I have a reason for it. While I may not be able to say it’s a particularly valid reason, I do have a reason.

To anyone who read my Wednesday Word post This Is How you can probably guess I was less than happy (to put it nicely) with the results of Presidential Election. To be totally honest, the second half of last week was a hard struggle. The results drowned my heart and my will to write for days. I could hardly think straight, let alone focus in the wake of everything.

I honestly fell apart. I’m an author and even I had no words anymore to express what was rampaging through my head. I didn’t write a single word other than my Shard for Wednesday in five days.

Why is this important?

Because it’s the reason I couldn’t make myself write a blog post on Friday either. I knew I should have, but I also knew if I did it was just going to turn into me venting because I was angry, frustrated, fed up, afraid, and on the verge of drowning. I knew I would hate everything I wrote and would simply end up deleting it without even hitting the publish button, so I didn’t bother.

Saturday was my first of two days off and I knew I had to get writing or I was going to really struggle to come out with a win this month.Unfortunately, I wasn’t totally back to myself just yet on Saturday. I was dreading the day — namely the evening — because of an event someone wanted me to go to.

I am not a sociable person, especially to a room full of absolute strangers. Besides, it’s NaNo, I need to be writing, not awkwardly sitting at a table with my head down wishing I could snap my fingers and fast forward time to end the event and get the hell out of there. I just didn’t want to go period, really.

But… To get someone off my back, I told them if I had 25k by Saturday night, I would go. Well, naturally, after falling into a funk for five days that I couldn’t shake, I was nowhere near 25k. It gave me a sort of valid reason to say no, but I had also expected no to turn into a blow out fight, and I was not up for that. Not when said fights always turn around to be blamed on me.

Despite dreading the evening, I managed to force myself to write, and by the time I uttered the word “no” at a mumble to the event, I had gotten about 3k or so written. I was fully expecting a fight and bracing myself, fully expecting to lose the heart to write after, but to my surprise it kind of just blew over without incident. (I think I actually sat in shock for a few minutes that it didn’t turn into a fight. Actual shock, because this never happens.)

Well you can imagine how much of a relief it was to me, and it lifted my spirits. I was able to keep pushing and by the end of the night when I went to bed, I had about 5.7k under my belt.

Sounds great! Right?

Yeah, well, it was still a far cry from where I wanted to be.

You see at the start of Saturday I was 8,009 words below par. Yeah, I crushed half of that deficit to par in one day, and I still had Sunday to write as well. Here’s my dilemma though: This week started what I like to refer to as Hell Holiday in retail.

Work hours are going to start growing longer, days off are going to become fewer. Energy is going to become nearly non-existent thanks to running around like a chicken with no head during work.

That means I’m going to have less time to write, less will and energy to write, and a lot less patience and alone time as well.

Which is exactly why I wanted to be at 25k by Saturday so that everything I wrote Sunday would give me a nice cushion for the last half of the month. Because not only has Hell Holiday officially started, but Thanksgiving is also at my house this year for the family, which means I have to clean on top of NaNo and work. You don’t clean during NaNoWriMo.

Yes I was only 8,009 words below par on Saturday, but I was actually 13,009 words below where I wanted to be. I was only at 11,991 words on Saturday.

Could I write 13k in two days to get to where I wanted to be?

Actually, I knew I could. I’ve done it before. July’s Camp NaNo I wrote 8k the first day, and I’m pretty sure I did another 5k the next day. I knew I could do it probably. However, Sunday also has the only three shows I watch on TV (really the only two, but there’s a show in between them so I watch it anyways) so that already shot 3 hours of my evening.

I tried though. I really tried to get to 25k.

And I nearly did.

By Sunday evening I was at 23,095 words. In two days I had managed 11,104 words out of some maddened induced word sprint panic.

My brain hurt.

I did make it above par finally though! At least until midnight Sunday evening, then I dropped 300 words below it again. In that time frame of maddened writing, I had finished two and a half chapters and nearly finished a third.

I didn’t get a chance to write yesterday because of work so now I’m technically 2k below par again. Thankfully I have a later shift today so I should be able to make it up to par. The next two days will be difficult after this again though. I might just barely be hanging onto par once more instead of having a cushion to work with.

It could be an interesting second half of NaNo yet.

Oh, and did I mention I’m now quite sure it’s going to take more than 50k words to finish this novel? There went that plan.