Focusing my energies – WIPpet Wednesday/ROW80

I usually start with my WIPpet, but it relates to my ROW80 update, so I’ll begin by saying my goals have taken a back seat this week, or should I say, all but my writing goals. I dedicated the time to working on my NaNo novel and things are progressing at a steady pace. I’m still behind, but that’s okay.

So, on to WIPpet. The maths is easy this week – 19 paragraphs for the date. I wrote the scene this morning, so it’s still a little rough around the edges, but I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

As he walked the path to Lilly-May’s door, Tyler was consumed with memories. A week had passed since he’d lost his mind and kissed her, but it could have been moments ago. The feel of her soft mouth on his, the surprised little sound in her throat, her small, capable hands on his arms. She hadn’t been appalled by his behaviour, she had been intrigued by it.

His feet paused before the first step, finding a stubborn will of their own to prevent him from moving forward. He knew why – Lilly-May was a beautiful, sensual creature, driven by curiosity, and when it burned away, he would be a pile of ash.

The same fierce determination he used to confront a fire spread through his system. He could do this. Then she opened the door and he could barely breathe, let alone move.

She’d left her hair down, so it caressed the edge of her slender shoulders. The golden hue of her skin was untouched, making him want to groan. She wore a deep blue strapless dress, which clung to her generous curves and stopped just below the knee. And, sweet Jesus, he was in so much trouble.

“Thank you,” she breathed, her green eyes sparkling. “Though, if you keep looking at me like that, we may not make it to dinner.”

Tyler grinned, he couldn’t help it. He wasn’t even embarrassed she’d seen his reaction to her, he was tired of hiding it. Tired of hiding himself. “How about we skip to dessert?” He was shocked as soon as the words left his mouth.

Lilly-May, on the other hand, laughed in delight. “You’ve been keeping secrets from me,” she said, closing the door and turning the key.


Her shoulders lifted in a careless shrug, pulling his eyes away from her face. He wanted to sink his teeth into that soft flesh. So much trouble.

“I always knew you were charming, but I’ve never seen the affects of that first hand.”

“That’s because, where you’re concerned, I’m usually trying not to trip over my own tongue.” What the hell is wrong with me?

Her eyes widened in shock, a moment before she smiled. “Who are you, and what have you done with Tyler?”

He groaned at the reminder. She only saw him as the quietly serious and loyal member of their group. A family she’d claimed as her own. There was no going back from this, because he wouldn’t pretend anymore. “Promise me something, Lilly,” he said, needing them to be clear on this one thing. “Promise me, whatever happens, this won’t come between us.”

She searched his face for a moment, all traces of humour gone. “I promise. Whatever happens, you’ll always be my friend.”

It should have discouraged him, yet he was oddly soothed by the term. His heart might be in tatters by the end of this, but he wouldn’t lost her completely. Enough with the drama, Ty.

“In that case,” he said, moving up a step so they were nice and close. “Good evening, Lilly.”

Before she could reply he bent his head, and did what he’d wanted to do since the moment she stepped out of the house. Pushing aside her hair, he placed his lips against her shoulder and kissed the smooth skin.

Her sharp intake of breath had arousal beating in his blood, so he stole the sound with his mouth. She came alive, her arms locking around his neck as she tried to get closer.

It was a wild thing, the fire building between them. Every thought in his head snapped out, until there was only Lilly-May.

Thanks, as always, to K.L. Schwengel for providing us with an outlet to share our works in progress. I’m on my way to visit the rest of the gang!

I hope you’re having a good week.

Thanks for stopping by.


Last minute changes – WIPpet Wednesday/ROW80

As it’s the first Wednesday of NaNoWriMo I was all set to share with you a snippet from my new project – a continuation of the scene I shared with you last week.  But Tyler will have to wait a while, because my mind is on other things. The short version is that The Fifth Watcher is all set for its release on the 21st of November and, while that should be the end of that, I haven’t been able to get a scene out of my head all day. So I wrote it, and am now considering adding it in (because we all like to make changes at the last minute!).

I’d like to share it with you for WIPpet Wednesday, and am hoping feedback will help me to determine what I should do. You’ve been so helpful in the past when it comes to this project, and I’m grateful for that.

For the math, I added the day and the month together to give me 16 paragraphs. It’s a little on the long side, but I hope there’s enough action to make it worth your while!

I shifted the instant I received confirmation from Havers, the sound of Audrey’s torment travelling with me – a scream which reverberated inside my head long after she’d blacked out.

As I arrived in the small laboratory, I became aware of two things. Audrey’s sister slumped unconscious against the wall, and three armed men piling through the doorway.

I had mere seconds to react. The renegade heading up the crew had already fired his weapon; his henchmen turning towards the prisoner. Diving in their direction, I hit the floor with a resounding thwack, taking all the weight on my right shoulder.

The jolt made my teeth rattle, but I didn’t think about that, or the aroma of burning cloth from the shot which had grazed my arm. I rolled towards Audrey’s sister, disengaging my own weapon as I fired at the nearest scumbag.

Nate loomed behind the group, his arm around the shooter’s throat. “Are you out of your God-damn mind?” he yelled at me.

I took it for a rhetorical question and kicked out to bring the fight to my level. My shot had found its target, rendering the other man unconscious, so it was two against two.

My opponent was surprisingly strong for his size. He was small and wiry, with protruding joints he used to his full advantage. He jammed his elbow into my shoulder, the pleasure in his eyes letting me know how much he relished the fight.

I barely felt the pain because I was pissed. I’d behaved impulsively and deserved the reminder. That didn’t mean I was in the mood to wrestle with an untrained thug. The sound of battle rose up from the hallway, as my men cleared the building. I used it to focus, pinning my scrawny foe to the floor so I could think for a second.

Nate stepped forward, as if on cue, and jabbed him in the neck with a syringe. “Don’t ever pull that shit on me again.” His voice echoed with barely contained rage. “How am I supposed to watch your back, if you take me out of the equation?”

“It won’t happen again.”

“You’ve got that right,” Nate snapped out, clearly working on his anger. “Because if…” He felt the threat the moment I did, and started to turn.

Cursing myself for the complete lack of preparation, I grabbed his weapon from its holster and fired at the doorway; mine was on the damn floor where I’d dropped it.

Nate glanced at my handy work. “Nice shot,” he said, as we rose to assess the damage.

The renegade officer, a bear of a man at least 6ft 3″, had hit the deck hard. Stepping over him I couldn’t help but feel a wave of pity; he might prefer death to Taylor’s brand of interrogation.

“Why don’t you do the honours?” He motioned towards the hall. “Since you’re hell bent on sticking your neck out.”

I ignored the jibe, bobbing my head through the opening to get a better look. “All clear.”

I know it needs a little work, but I’m hoping the bones are there. I will be doing a cover reveal next Friday (the 14th), so if anyone would like to help out by featuring the cover or allowing me to do a guest post, please let me know. That would be great 🙂

Thanks so much to K. L. Schwengel for hosting and providing us with an opportunity to share with and support one another.

ROW80LogocopyI’ve been concentrating on my writing goals this week, for NaNo, and have about 8,900 words so far. I haven’t connected with as many people this time, but I’m hoping to rectify that. I know we write mostly in isolation, but one of the things I loved about NaNo last year was the sense of community.

My editing goals are on track. I wish I could say the same about my blogging goals, but I haven’t made much progress in that department.

Overall things are good. I’m a little tired, but I’ve been interpreting a lot in the past few days so that takes up most of my brain power!

I hope you’re having a good week, and I look forward to catching up with you.

Thanks for stopping by.


Turning up the heat – WIPpet Wedensday/ROW80

Welcome to another instalment of WIPpet Wednesday, organised by the wonderful K. L. Schwengel. A chance to share our progress and support one another.

This week I’m moving on to my new WIP and, as it’s Halloween week, I thought I’d give you something fitting. The math is easy – 10 paragraphs for the month…maybe I should have said the math is lazy 😉

Enjoy Tyler, and don’t be too hard on him – he has a good heart!

Tyler eased his foot off the accelerator, just a little. He felt the car protest. It was built for speed.

His grin was slow and easy. Life was good. At eighteen he didn’t have a care in the world; no responsibilities, nothing to worry about except which university to choose.

Convincing his father to buy him the sports car had been child’s play. All it took was reference to his brother’s absence and his genuine envy that Sebastian was out in the big wide world. Tyler couldn’t imagine leaving Winchester long term, but the thought of losing another son had kept his father sweet.

He felt invincible; young, smart and sophisticated in the flame red Porsche. The road stretched ahead, enticing him to open her up – to give the beautiful beast free rein. He couldn’t have known what was around the corner.

Tyler sensed the commotion before he saw it. Some impending doom, or perhaps an echo of the disaster ahead. Fire was the first thing he noticed. It demanded attention as it mushroomed outward, threatening everything in its path. Heat was the second. Even from the opposite side of the carriageway, separated by the central reservation, it was enough to incite fear.

For a moment his brain froze, stuttering in its attempt to process the scene. The twisted, burning metal of a dozen vehicles too horrific to contemplate. As he edged closer he hit a wall of sound. It was like a physical blow, and it snapped him out of his stupor in time to prevent another collision. Slamming on the breaks he stopped a hairs breadth from the car in front. He knew what had caused the tail back; the carnage across from them was hypnotizing.

Flipping his indicator, he checked his mirror and pulled over. His wasn’t the only car to hug the hard shoulder. The small group gathered at the front of a dark blue range rover were all talking frantically into a series of devices.

He stepped onto the road, his eyes drawn to the wreckage opposite. Without the insulation of his car he could hear the piercing screams of those trapped. The sound shot straight through his heart, sending another ripple of fear through him. He wanted to stay and fight for these people, as much as he wanted to get back in the porsche and leave the nightmare behind.

A siren cut through the chaos, and all but Tyler turned towards the sound. His gaze followed the sea of cars, all the way back to the ball of heat he could feel like a brand against his cheek. He made a quick calculation and estimated there were twenty cars surrounding the crash site. It felt natural to follow the small group as they headed towards the central reservation. They were the only line of defence until the firefighters arrived.

He climbed into the danger zone, thinking only of the desperate cries of those trapped. His heart was pumping adrenalin around his body so fast that, at first, he didn’t react when the explosions started.

That just leaves my ROW80 check in.

I don’t have anything of interest to report. I’m editing, writing and blogging as much as I can, so I’m beating back those goals 🙂

I hope you’re all having a productive week. I look forward to checking in with you.


Pipped to the post (in a fashion) – WIPpet Wednesday/ROW80

I’m really late with my WIPpet today. I have eight minutes to post this, or it doesn’t count because it will be Thursday! So, I’m rushing through it.

This will be the last snippet from Fractured, as it is now ready to go to betas. I thought I’d leave you with a scene involving Maddison and Tobias. Next week I will be using my new WIPpet, and I’ll tell you more about that later (I’m against the clock!).

Here is the math: 22-10=12 – the following section is taken from page 12. It follows on from the snippet last week. Maddison is in her room when she senses Tobias’ presence in the doorway. She isn’t particularly happy – he’s in her physical space, and he’s already taking up too much room in her head!

“I don’t remember giving you permission to enter my quarters,” she said, taking a step towards him, despite her better judgement.

“What else is there to do? You’ve been avoiding me.” The deep, throaty sound of his voice rumbled with frustration.

“You flatter yourself.” She hated the fact he was right.

“Just say the word, Maddy,” he said in challenge, eyes darkening. “I’ll relieve you of the unpleasant memory.”

She moved closer to him, her own anger burning bright. “Don’t you dare.”

His mind tricks wouldn’t work on her, she told herself, despite the niggle of doubt. She had seen his power in action, the way he took control of the reins and made people bend to his will. Then she saw a new light enter his eyes and she had bigger things to worry about.

“You enjoyed it,” he said, the slight surprise in his tone taking her off guard.

Her shoulders rose in what she hoped was a careless shrug. “I live with my mistakes, as you live with yours.” She had to take control, had to put them back on an equal footing.

Thinking only of the assignment, she welcomed the magic gathering inside her and pushed outwards. Her long mane, tied as always into a single plait down her back, whipped out to snake around his neck. She wasn’t gentle as she pulled him down towards her and clamped her mouth over his.

For the briefest of moments she felt the lick of desire as it battered against her magic. It was strong, stronger than it should have been. He tasted earthy, like the forest he loved so much, with a spice beneath that was all his own.

Before she lost herself to pleasure, or worse, the fantasy, she pulled back. As she did, her hair slid away from him and to her side. “Now we’re even,” she said, straightening her shoulders.

It pleased her when he did nothing but stare down at her with a mixture of shock and arousal. It allowed her to turn and walk towards the door. “I’ll take the assignment,” she said over her shoulder. “But right now I have to get ready for a date.” He didn’t have to know the date in question was a rambunctious meal with her room-mates.

“Maddy,” he began taking a step forward.

“Yes?” She stood in the doorway and gazed back at him.

His dark eyes frosted a little, setting her nerves on edge. “Nothing.” After a brief pause he shook off the emotion. “Usual place?”

She nodded, relief flooding through her. “I’ll see you tomorrow at noon.”

She didn’t wait for a response, she walked briskly down the hall and into the bathroom she shared with three others.

Pressing her back against the old, familiar wood, she waited until she heard him move down the hall and let out the breath she’d been holding.

So, moving swiftly on – here is an update on ROW80:

Blogging Goals

1. Develop Author Spotlight Section on Writing Room 101I’ve made some improvements. I’ve added to the Author Gallery, which is great, and I have a new guest post and additional interviews.

2. Weekly post on Lance Legion – No progress on this yet.

3. Update layout for Nat Hobson – No progress on this  yet.

Writing Goals

1. Title New Project – Haven’t found a title I’m happy with yet.

2. Write 8,000 words per week – I exceeded by around 2,000 this week.

Editing Goals

1. Edit 1 chapter per week – I exceeded this and actually completed Fractured, so I’ll have to add a new goal!

ROW80 Sponsor duties – I have visited my group each check in and though a little later today…I’m hopping over to cheer on my team next!

Thanks for visiting


On taking a guilt-free break – WIPpet Wednesday and a ROW80 check-in

Welcome to another round of WIPpet Wednesday, a feature created by K. L. Schwengel. This week I’ve been editing The Fractured and, as I wrote a new section, I thought I would share with you. I kept the maths simple, and used fifteen paragraphs to align with the date.

Maddison roamed the great halls, her eyes blind to the ancient beauty of her surroundings. Instead she was tormented by memories of Tobias Locke, the half-blood leader of the Enchanted League.

He needed her help. Tobias trusted few outside the league. As a freelance hunter, she regularly crossed his path. More than once they had formed a tentative alliance, a partnership of sorts.

She hadn’t accepted the assignment. Yet. She would, despite the fact he was an ass. An ass who had kissed her and completely changed the rules of their relationship. He hadn’t just crossed the line, he’d obliterated it. And the worst part. She had enjoyed the kiss. His sensuous mouth had dominated her dreams ever since he’d so carelessly laid one on her. Though at least the fantasies held back her nightmares. Perhaps she should thank him for that. Beating him bloody probably didn’t count.

“Who crapped all over your day?”

She turned to Jonas, their self-proclaimed matriarch at hunters-are-us. He was the only human among their band of merry fighters.

“The Enchanted League,” she grinned at him. “But you know I never turn down a paid gig.”

“Or the chance to get your hands dirty,” he said, eyebrow raised when she opened the electronic door with the flick of a wrist.

“Well there is that.” She laughed, falling into step beside him as they made their way down the long stretch of corridor.

After the demonic war, a battle which had devastated the mortal realm, buildings like this one were all but extinct. Once a prominent part of the community, the town hall was now a base of operations. The former meeting rooms they passed had been transformed into living quarters and housed the mercenaries fighting to keep people safe.

For the most part, humans kept to the major cities. They lived a kind of ignorant bliss; aware that monsters were real, yet convinced they were safe now the war was over.

“Have you thought any more about the Alliance?” Jonas asked, and she wasn’t fooled by his casual tone.

The Race Alliance existed outside of the mortal realm, and had been established to keep order. They had shown an interest in her skills. In a way she was being head-hunted by the big leagues.

“You know me.” She shrugged. “I like my freedom.”

“I get that and, don’t get me wrong, you’re one of the best freelancers we have…”

She stopped outside her room. “But?”

“But I don’t want you to waste an opportunity. The Alliance would be lucky to have you.”

I know you were probably hoping for more from Obadiah, and I haven’t forgotten about him. I’ll probably share him next week, he’s been getting up to mischief 🙂

So, that just leaves my update on ROW80.

I still haven’t made a great deal of progress. My daughter was thirteen yesterday and I’ve given her my undivided attention for the past few days. We’ve had fun, and best of all, the break from writing was guilt free. For the most part I’ve achieved my blogging goals, and though my writing hours leave a lot to be desired, I’m ahead in terms of editing. So, it’s not all doom and gloom, as it was on Sunday!

I hope you’re all have a good week, and look forward to catching up with you soon.

Thanks for stopping by.


Something new to share – WIPpet Wednesday

Before I get started, I want to thank S.L. Schwengel for giving us the opportunity to talk about our WIP’s every week, and build a support network.

I want to start with a quick update on my ROW80 progress first – otherwise my snippet won’t make sense!

Blogging: Writing Room 101 – I’ve prepared a few posts for the author spotlight section, but still need to work on the format for the site. Later this week there will be a special feature, but you’ll just have to wait until then – you’ll get no spoilers in this post J I haven’t done my weekly Lance Legion post, but I will. He’s following me around, and using my guilt against me – I’ve neglected him of late.

Writing: I’m 2,500 words into my 8,000 per week goal. I haven’t come up with a title yet, for my current WIP.

Editing: I’ve edited a few pages of Fractured, and my inner editor is brutal. So, the less said about that the better!


I finally let go of The Fifth Watcher and sent it to my beta-readers. You were all a great source of encouragement during the past few weeks, so thanks again for all your support.

I’ve already mentioned that Lance has been pretty vocal recently. What I haven’t said (but you can probably guess), is that he’s not the only one vying for attention. Obadiah is driving me quite mad, seriously, that man is loud! I swear I hear a constant buzzing in my ears, or maybe that’s tinnitus – I should maybe get it checked out J

Anyway, due to the fact I’m tearing apart Fractured, piece by piece, and I’ve nothing worthy to bring to you right now. I’ve decided to share Obadiah with you. I started bits and pieces of the sequel to Fractured (as you do), because, well, the buzzing. I’ve been working on a scene this morning, and I can’t remember if I’ve shared some of this with you before. Apologies in advance, if I have.

Here are ten paragraphs (for the month), of Obadiah’s introduction to our world:

“Holy shit!” Obadiah slammed into the concrete with enough force to break a dozen newly formed bones. He was as weak as a kitten and he didn’t have a taste for it, or the blood filling his mouth. His power would not return until he’d been through the transition, which meant he was bound to the restrictions of his human body.

And the pain, dear god but it hurt like a bitch. He was a helpless as a new-born, and in some respects that’s what he was.

He spat a wad of blood onto the pavement, surprised he had the energy. Not that it would do a damn bit of good against his enemies; he could barely turn his head.

When he did manage a better view, he caught a glint of steel. It took him a moment to realise the metal covered a toe-capped boot.

A boot which slammed into his shoulder before he could process the new information. He had even less time to be thankful it wasn’t his skull, because the pain stole his breath. The demon attached to those fancy boots didn’t let up. He kicked him again, this time in the ribs.

By then, Obadiah was clenching his jaw so tight he couldn’t be sure which bone cracked. He was only conscious of the sound, followed by a white, hot blast of misery.


He registered a new voice in his foggy brain. It ricocheted off the walls of the alley like the crack of a whip.

“Fuck off,” one half of his welcoming committee said gruffly, the foot not missing a beat.

For a moment, when all he could hear was the crunch of his own bones caving under the onslaught, he thought the bastards had broken him. Where else would the howl be coming from, if not from him? Then it registered, the pathetic whimpering came from the scum-in-boots. A noise so undignified he was almost embarrassed for him, and probably would be, if not for the fact he wanted to hurt him too.

Hope you enjoyed it and thanks, as always, for reading.


On being social – a quick update of sorts

As some of you will know, I’ve been sharing my work in progress for the last few weeks, courtesy of a blog hop entitled WIPpet Wednesday – organised by K. L. Schwengel. From the 6 October, I will also be taking part in a Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80), and sharing my goals and progress within that period. For this reason I won’t be taking part in NaNoWriMo this year. ROW80 will allow me to focus on a particular project too, while giving me the freedom to work at my own pace. Last year, nanowrimo took over my life, and though it was a wonderful experience, I don’t have the luxury of checking out this time. Still, if it hadn’t been for nano I probably wouldn’t be here (on WordPress – I’m not that dramatic).

So, while we’re on the subject, one of my goals will be to increase my presence on social networking sites. I forget about Facebook, get overwhelmed by twitter, and don’t even understand what pins are. Okay, so I exaggerate, but you get the drift. And because I like to stretch myself, I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to achieve my goals.

I’m getting to the point…honestly. Power2Indies are hosting a Big Book Bash on Facebook. The aim is to allow people (authors, book bloggers, illustrators, publishers, readers, etc.) to meet, chat and have fun. Time slots will be allocated, putting people in charge of the event (hourly), so they can run question and answer sessions, giveaways, and a whole host of things to engage their audience. Check out the site, here, to find out more.

I will be hosting two sessions, for those of you who are interested in stopping by. The first will be on Friday the 17th of October at 9.00pm (GMT), with the second session the following Friday, the 24th of October at 8.00pm (GMT).

I’ve spent time over at the site already, and it was a lot of fun. Who doesn’t like to talk about their favourite books, characters, or movies!

If you have the time, book a slot. You’ll get to meet people in a safe environment and put your planning skills to good use!

Thanks, as always, for reading.



Keeping it short and (hopefully) sweet – WIPpet Wednesday

It’s WIPpet Wednesday again, and this time I’m going to keep it short and sweet!

First let me thank K.L. Schwengel for the opportunity to share, and everyone who supported me last week. I rewrote the introduction and it’s looking better. I’m almost happy with it!

So you’ve been introduced to Audrey, you’ve had a taste of the shift from Keith’s perspective, so the snippet this week will be Audrey’s first introduction to interdimensional travel. For the math I’ve added up the numbers in the year and provided 7 paragraphs.

I shook my head, trying to clear the humming in my ears. The sounds were duller now, my vision blurred. I was looking through some kind of membrane and it was closing in on me. It pulled me further and further inside, until I wanted to scream for it to end.

My father hadn’t prepared me for this. If I could see the enemy I could fight, but I had no way of defending myself against this.

Heat travelled along my skin, but it didn’t burn. There was no pain. I held onto that as everything faded and I was engulfed by a shocking blast of light. It was everywhere. Even when I closed my eyes it pierced right through me.

I couldn’t deny the strange pull; a demand in my blood that told me to let go. I had little choice but to obey.

In the next moment a wave of nausea caught me unaware and I clenched my teeth to control it. The light receded, little by little and my skin felt clammy now, rather than hot.

The silence was deafening and though I was afraid, I opened my eyes, holding my breath until the spinning stopped. The world settled around me slowly, sharpening as I exhaled the air caught in my lungs.

I was no longer at home. I was out in the open, somewhere strangely familiar.

 Thanks, as always, for reading. I look forward to catching up on your news.


Standing my ground – WIPpet Wednesday

Welcome to this week’s WIPpet Wednesday, the brain child of K.L. Schwengel.

First off – I had a very productive weekend! I came to a decision about the name of my female protagonist – perhaps a surprising one. I’m sticking with Audrey. It feels good to stand my ground 🙂 So, no more indecision. It just wouldn’t feel right to change it and she’d never forgive me if I did 😉 I’ve also decided on a title. I’ve scrapped ‘Outlanders’ because it caused too much confusion, and settled on ‘The Fifth Watcher.’ When I say settled on, I mean I’m about 75% sure! I’ll sit with it for a while before I set it in stone.

So let’s get to the math – I was going to go with a page/paragraph combination linked to the date, but I didn’t think it was fair to leave you hanging from last week! So I just added the numbers together, came up with 40 and shared with you the same number of sentences directly where I left off. It also helps me, because although I’m happier with the majority of the book, I’m still having difficulty with the first chapter. This way, you might be able to help me figure out what I’m missing! Oh, and feel free to tell me if something doesn’t ‘sit well’. I have thick skin – I can take it 🙂

Here’s how I ended it last time:
As I watched my father struggling for breath, I felt anger bubble to the surface. The disease had taken so much from him, from all of us. It was hard to believe this was the same man who had trained me relentlessly for hours, preparing me for a future only he could see.

Then I caught the look in his eyes, the steely determination that spoke of his character. Whatever else the cancer had taken, it couldn’t take that.

He sat straighter in his chair and began again in a raspy, uneven voice.

“I’ve had so many opportunities to tell you the truth, opportunities I squandered because of my own cowardice. When we lost your mother, and then years later when I met Ann and we became a family again. I should have told you then. It haunts me knowing how much I failed you. All the hours we spent together, preparing you for this, and not once did I share the truth about your heritage.”

I paused the tape before he could go any further because, even though I knew it was delaying the inevitable, I wasn’t ready to let go. Real or not, my memories were the only thing I had left.

It’s not that I’m a coward. Until that point, I’d spent my life doing my father’s bidding. The simple fact is, at the root of his paranoia was a genuine fear for my safety.

He had almost lost me once, and it haunted him. I was five years old when they came for me. I still don’t recall everything that happened, and perhaps I never will. But I know I got away.

That was worse somehow, being stranded in a place I didn’t recognise or understand. It was dark and cold, a place I was forced to revisit night after night in my dreams.

I remember the strange pull it had on me and though I didn’t understand it as a child, later, when I could identify the emotions, I knew something had been tracking me in the dark.

Perhaps that’s why I tucked the memories away, and why, when we continued to run from an invisible threat, I didn’t question it.

Looking into my father’s tired, drawn face, I couldn’t help but remember the man he’d been before the abduction; his sunny smile and easy-going temperament. That part of him shifted overnight, and to a young girl, the change had been terrifying.

He took longer to laugh, his eyes became troubled, and his face tense. In a way he embraced the soldier in him and forgot about the man. When I was old enough he trained me to protect myself, and we grew further and further apart.

I was thirteen when I began to rebel against his teachings, to question his decisions. Then my mother died and, for a while, nothing else mattered.

We found our rhythm again, and I continued to train without complaint, as we moved around the country.

I never felt a sense of danger, never once feared for my safety. But I came to believe he was the reason for that and I found my father again.

He was always there to protect me, and I relied on his strength. When my best friend died, he was the one to sit with me night after night as I cried myself to sleep.

However many friends I made, and however easy it was for me to connect with people, I did so with an understanding that those friendships were fleeting. Our lifestyle taught me the danger of attachments, and I was careful.

With Nathaniel it was different. For reasons I didn’t understand at the time, his family travelled with us. Right from the start.

Not an ideal place to leave it I know, but the math is there for a reason.

Thanks in advance for your feedback, and for reading.


What’s in a name – WIPpet Wednesday

Before I get to today’s snippet, I have some other related news. I’ve decided to take part in A round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) when the next round begins on the 6 October. I’ve also volunteered to be a sponsor, so I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.

Right, onto WIPpet Wednesday. For my snippet this week I added up the digits in today’s date and came up with 24 sentences. I’ve used the female protagonist this time, and it’s actually from the introduction – something I’ve been struggling with for a while. I’m not sure I like the first person POV for Brooke. I’m not even sure I like the name! She was originally Audrey, and that’s who she is in my head. I had to change it because it’s the name of my grandmother and for reasons that are too long and complicated to go into, *sigh of relief from my readers* this seemed inappropriate. The story works best when told from two different perspectives, given they’re from two different worlds, so changing the POV has only added to the complications.

Anyway, let’s get on with it, before you lose the will to live…or certainly to read 🙂

When some people learn the origins of their birth, information that changes the course of their future and makes sense of their past, it fortifies them. It suddenly makes perfect sense, the fact they don’t belong. There’s a reason they feel disconnected.

That’s not how it was for me. I’ve never felt like an outsider, never wondered why I didn’t fit in. I assimilate to whatever environment I’m in, and I assimilate quickly.

I feel a connection to people on a fundamental level, a level that cuts through societal rules or restrictions. My unpredictability, my direct approach has always been met by acceptance, and for that I’m grateful. Without it I would have been lost in a sea of names and faces.

Until the day I discovered our family secret, I hadn’t stayed in one town for more than six months. Not because my parents were part of the military or had gypsy blood. It wasn’t as simple as that.

They lived in a constant state of fear, and having spent my life running from an unknown enemy, I thought I was ready to learn the truth. That was until I looked into my father’s face on the monitor in front of me, and I was no longer sure of anything.

With an unsteady hand I hit play on the remote and felt a familiar ache spread across my chest. It had been three days since my father’s death. Seeing this reminder of him so soon was almost too much to bear.

My darling, Brooke. If youre watching this, it means weve been compromised, and you dont have much time.

I wish with all of my heart I could protect you. Believe me when I say, if my keeping you safe has failed, and youre watching this now, Im truly sorry for what you are about to face.

As I watched my father struggling for breath, I felt anger bubble to the surface. The disease had taken so much from him, from all of us. It was hard to believe this was the same man who trained me relentlessly for hours, preparing me for a future only he could see.

So that’s it. I’ve set aside some time this weekend to finish the current draft so I can send it to my readers and maybe they can help me out!

Thanks, as always, for reading.