Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Down and Dirty

December 4, 2016

Tis the season! The final month of the year filled with joy, happiness, and insanely crazy schedules. LOL

I'm working on a little something I hope to share throughout the month, with the idea dependent upon how many hours I have left over during the day.

Television this week had the best almost full week crossover in the DC universe. Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow went up against the dominators and came out on top. Pretty great stuff!

The Librarians had a fun episode. I like it when Jenkins and Eve have adventures. The Walking Dead's Tara-centric episode ended up being pretty terrific, too.

Gotham got interesting with the introduction of Selena's mother and Gordon landing in another hot mess. Of course, Barbara and company teaming up with Nygma can only be a good thing.

Agents of SHIELD took a twisty turn having Mac inhabited by the fiery vengeance seeker for a brief period. I'm liking where everything is headed.

For fun, I started what I’m calling my Great Holiday Show Binge Watch. I started out with all the holiday episodes of JAG then dove into the Doctor Who Christmas specials. I'm up to "The End of Time" when David Tennant hands over the TARDIS to Matt Smith. Hoping to finish out the Whoverse episodes and maybe start on NCIS next.

And that's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Down and Dirty, a sexy short that should end up being a free companion read for the full-length novel, Follow Me.

Here's the mini-blurb:

The tale behind how a certain pool gets started that put Sloan and Molly in the hot seat. And how Specialist Neve Campbell thought she might have caught them in the act.

And a sneaky peek…

The nearly empty flight deck sounded oddly quiet on third watch. Only the deck chief, Keegan Douglas, and Specialist Neve Carlyle remained, handling some routine maintenance reports and cleaning up. The chief sat on a stool at one of the workstations, catching up on the paperwork. Specialist Carlyle cleaned up around the perimeter of the flight deck with her push broom, every once in a while she'd stop to spray down a workstation and wipe it clean. Neither the Chief nor Neve paid much attention to the two pilots in a darkened corner of the deck where a mangled bird needed extensive repairs.
Finishing up a workstation, Specialist Carlyle took a moment before she started sweeping again. Resting her chin on the handle of the broom, she stared dreamily, her mind flitting back to an earlier incident after the first dog CAP.
Phoenix—Lieutenant Molly Ryan—came in hot and landed hard. The CAG—Captain Sloan MacNeill—read her his riot act. Not that Neve blamed him. The lieutenant pulled a daredevil maneuver against the captain's orders and cut it too close. If the CAG hadn't jumped her shit, the chief would have. The space carrier's planes were his babies and he got very protective—and extremely grouchy—when pilots decided to play rough with them.
Neve stumbled onto the scene on her way back from the mess. If she'd known what would go down, she'd have brought popcorn. Keegan… Chief Douglas… hovered close to the action, which drew Neve's attention right away. The chief rarely stood still on the deck. He preferred a constant state of motion, the better to put out fires with a quick response. Neve stopped and followed his line of sight to the CAG and his top pilot.
Her breath caught in her throat. It usually did when the captain and lieutenant got within five feet of each other. Even when they argued—sometimes a daily occurrence—something, chemistry maybe, oozed back and forth. Sloan and Molly had a history and baggage with each other, but the depth of feeling, always there, defined their friendship. Lieutenant Ryan pushed MacNeill's buttons, but everyone knew she respected him. That helped smooth the way when he took over as CAG.
It really saved the day when Captain MacNeill had to get in the lieutenant's face. Molly often stood toe to toe and argued with him, but she held the key to his acceptance among the other pilots and crew. The fact Molly approved of him meant everyone else did. And the current turmoil made it vitally important. The pilots were the front line defense, protecting the fleet and providing safe passage. Neve wouldn't hesitate to admit she appreciated having them around. Being on the run and having them as backup made her take extra special care with her duties. Even something as mundane as cleaning up the flight deck.
Neve worked her way around the hangar and edged closer to the bent plane, but she hadn't made it far enough to see who lingered there. Besides, the darkened corner could wait a few minutes for the swipe of her broom. Maybe she'd get lucky and they'd leave before she reached it. She hoped none of the nuggets decided to try the chief’s patience by sneaking in a quickie on the flight deck.
It would not go over well. Just last week he'd caught two newbie crewmen all hot and heavy in one of the transports. Her ears still rang from the scathing lecture he'd delivered. Neve wondered if maybe he'd been listening to the CAG and picking up pointers. Captain MacNeill blasted Lieutenant Ryan not long ago for disobeying a direct order. Neve would totally deny it, but watching them go a round always made her a little hot under the collar.
And why wouldn't it? The air between the captain and lieutenant literally crackled. Neve took a moment, letting the scene play out in her head.

Sorry, but I'm stopping here. Stay tuned for the free download when and if I finally get Follow Me polished up and ready to go.

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.

ML Skye

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Domino Effect

November 27, 2016

I hope everyone survived the crazy sales if you ventured out. Me? I stay home and avoid the insane traffic, surly moods, and disappointment. LOL

Thoroughly enjoyed the premiere of The Librarians. I love this show. The Walking Dead had a solid episode. Love the interactions with the Hilltop people and Maggie and Sasha are terrific.

Gotham is truly coming into its own this season. I'm thrilled the show finally found it footing.

I'm so excited for the crossover episodes with Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. It's going to be a fun week!

I started my Great Holiday Show Binge Watch. JAG started the marathon and Doctor Who is up next.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Domino Effect, a novella that started as something of an experiment in storytelling. I'm hoping to show how much two people can affect each other in positive and negative ways.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Every action Frank and Katya take pushes a reaction out of the other. And like dominos, one barrier crashes into the next until nothing is left but a tangle of emotions they have to deal with.

And a sneaky peek…

"What the hell is your problem?"
"I blew up a civilian ship."
"We blew it up."
"I fired first."
"What? You wanna cigar for that?" Her voice dropped low, her tone clipped. "The ship was empty, Frank."
"We don't know that." He heaved a sigh. "And I knew you wouldn't understand."
He turned to walk away. Her hand grabbed his arm.
"Look. Let's go look at the gun camera footage and put this to rest once and for all." She reached into the side pocket on her cargo pants and produced a bottle of vodka. "Empty or not, we'll raise a glass to them."
Oh, she understood all right. More than he knew. Guilt could eat a person up, swallow them whole and spit 'em back out. She absolutely did understand.
Her sins could fill a spaceport. But Frank would take on an entire galaxy to right his perceived wrongs. Katya wouldn't let him wallow in "what it" this time.
Grabbing his arm, she dragged him to the viewing room. She queued up the mission and settled down beside him. Checking under the seat, she found the bottle of alcohol stashed by one of the other pilots. She waited until the footage looped to their takedown of the ship.
Once the explosion cleared and debris hurtled through space, Katya passed Frank the bottle. "You know we couldn't risk that ship getting through, right?" The late arrival, the radiological alarm, the lack of contact after the initial logging in… too many variables to let sentiment rule the day.
Frank downed several gulps of the clear liquid then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "Doesn't it bother you?" He held the bottle between his fingers, swirling the contents.
Katya answered with honesty. "Not as much as losing the entire fleet would." Brutal, but true.
Frank met her gaze. "Does believing that help you sleep at night?" A skeptical brow lifted.
Vodka helped her sleep more than pretty platitudes about losing a few to save many, but she'd never admit the guilt sometimes ate her alive. And Frank would think less of her if he discovered how much she relied on the crutch of inebriation to numb the reality of what they'd done.
She held his gaze and threaded their fingers together. "Yeah, it does, Frank." She checked one more sin checked into her ever growing spaceport.
But the squeeze of his hand on hers lessened the impact of the small lie.

I'm having a wonderful time writing out the scenarios that bring Frank and Katya together.

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.

ML Skye

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Domestic Partners

Ugh. It's been a long week with terrific and terrible happenings. In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, I'm choosing to focus on the terrific. I'm the proud owner of a new to me car! Very excited to have an extra vehicle. Yay!

Television didn't disappoint again this week. I only half-watched The Walking Dead, mainly because I had several deadlines I needed to meet. I'll be front and center tonight for The Librarians, one of my favorite escapist shows.

Gotham upped the stakes again and I'm truly interested in where things go from here. I love the interaction between Cobblepot and Nygma. Seriously, I would probably watch a spin-off show of just them. LOL

The Flash laid some groundwork for the showdown with the Alchemist. Looking forward to the crossover episodes starting on Monday.

Arrow had a great episode. Loved the gestures of friendship and the twisty betrayal at the end. Kind of leaning toward knowing who the vigilante is, but excited for the reveal… eventually.

Legends of Tomorrow is doing an awesome job of making the hiccups and ripples count. I like not really knowing for sure how much they're affecting their futures by messing about in the past. Fun times.

I got a late start to MacGyver's episode and need to catch up on the beginning, but another enjoyable way to spend the thirty minutes I did get to see.

Still need to watch this week's episode of Murdoch Mysteries, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching the previous week's offering. It's nice to know more about Miss James.

Putting together my holiday show binge watch list. Starting Friday, the holiday tunes and television screen will be filled with merry making fare. LOL

Tonight's post is from Domestic Partners, a novella about a couple in love but their differing views on the future drive a wedge between them.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Tabby and Hale pretend to be domestic partners to keep the man who killed her husband from getting his hands on her. But when they're forced to live together, sparks and tempers fly, because Tabby broke a promise she made to Hale and he's not going to let her forget it.

And a sneaky peek…

Tabby Marsh threw her head back. "God, yes, Hale. Right there." The man had magic in his fingers and thrilling precision with his rock hard dick.
He hit every sensuous spot, driving her over the edge into bliss.
Tabby came apart, shuddering through an orgasm. She collapsed on top of his chest and didn't blink when he shifted out from under her, leaving her sprawled slightly on her side. He rose to his knees and reentered her from behind, smoothly thrusting into her wet sheath. Tabby fisted a hand in the sheet, closing her eyes in ecstasy. From this angle, his cock nudged her g-spot and he'd have her hovering on the brink again in no time.
His hand gripped her hip, fingers digging into the flesh. "Damn, you're hot, Tabby." His hips pumped back and forth.
She angled her head around, meeting his gaze. "Hot for you, Hale. You make me wild with love." Squeezing her internal muscles around his hard shaft, she whispered. "Come for me, Hale. I'm ready to go again." No lie, the friction of Hale's prick started the steady thrum of an impending release, coiling outward from her core and spreading to her nerve endings.
Hale flexed forward, pulling back one more time before sinking deep and coming hard. His breath rasped and he moaned low in his throat. When his thighs finally gave out, he toppled sideways, hooking an arm over Tabby, hauling her close.
His lips brushed over her temple. "Never gets old, Tab. I could die tomorrow and still come back for more." He cupped a breast, circling her nipple with his thumb.
Tabby shivered, loving the sensations still running through her. "And that's why I love you, Hale Wiczen. Stamina, strength, and swearing you'll haunt me for sex." She turned to face him. "You and me… can't go wrong."
Hale's lips curved. "Especially if we get the call to start training for the explorers." His fingers brushed her bangs to the side. "We'll know soon. I can't imagine anything better than having the woman I love by my side doing the job we've waited years for." He let out a yawn.
Tabby schooled her features. "Would be nice. But we can't count on getting the call up." They'd argued more than once about the topic.
And Tabby couldn't handle starting one now.

Tabby's issues with impulse control land her in the fire more than once. It's nice when Hale finally understands why.

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.

ML Skye

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Dodging Reality

I'm always amazed by how fast the last three months of the year fly by. I look at today's date and think, wow, Thanksgiving is in less than two weeks. Which means Christmas is only a month away, then the New Year. It's crazy.

Television didn't disappoint this week, even with election coverage on Tuesday. I did skip The Walking Dead and watched Chris Hardwick for the after show. Sometimes I need some distance from my favorite shows. LOL

Gotham had a good episode. I'm not quite sure if I like not having as much Bruce and Alfred this season. I really like their chemistry and I love the way Alfred interacts with everyone else. Looks like we'll get more of them this week.

Arrow delivered, as usual. I quite love the interaction between Thea and Quentin. With his daughters gone and her parents out of the picture, the surrogate family connection is terrific. I'm very interested in what Miss Ratings-Grabber will do with the information she has on Oliver. Didn't really expect them to address the fact Oliver didn't spend all five years on the island. Glad they've decided to work that angle in.

Legends of Tomorrow had a fun episode. I'm still kind of iffy on the whole Ray thing, but I'm hoping he finds his true footing.

MacGyver's introduction of Murdoc turned out okay. Glad Bozer's in on the whole deal and hopeful they'll start using his skills at some point. Not sure about the Nicki thing, but I'll reserve judgment.

Need to catch up on Murdoch Mysteries and I have a Killjoys season one disc to watch, but that's it for television this week.

Tonight's post is from Dodging Reality a novella that might turn into something a little longer than what I normally do.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Dodging Reality. Where the front lines meet the ambitions of a reporter bent on snagging the highest ratings… even if she has to push Vic and Caro into a compromising position to get them.

And a sneaky peek…

Vic made his way to the flight staff office off the hangar deck. Basically he shared the space with Caro, his deputy CAG. They'd lost their clerk to command staff over a month ago and a replacement wouldn't be sent. He had no idea what to do about the film crew. The constant disruptions got on his last nerve. He'd been sorely tempted to let Caro go after the viper-tongued reporter. Monique Presley had to be the worst of the worst scavenger-style news hounds. The woman had a sparkle and flash beauty that many men would find extremely attractive. Until they had a five-minute conversation with her and realized she calculated every move she made.
Who the hell wore mile-high heels in the middle of a war zone?
"Darling, there's absolutely no reason I shouldn't be dressed to kill, regardless of my location."
Vic didn't bother to point out how ridiculous she'd look if she broke one of her pointy spikes. No doubt she'd bill the military if anything happened to her precious wardrobe.
He shook his head. "I'd bet a month's pay wouldn't cover the cost of one shoe." His lips quirked.
He'd also hand over a tidy sum to watch Caro take the reporter out with one of the lady's stilettos. Actually, he might be willing to fork over a hefty amount to see Caro wearing a pair of sexy heels. Her legs would look awesome. And her ass… already filled out uniform and workout pants. In a fitted skirt or clingy dress? Vic blinked and shoved the thought aside. Before drool started dripping down his chin.
He huffed out a breath. "Definitely shouldn't go there." Besides, Caro didn't need the frilly trappings to get a man's attention.
Or to get Vic's attention.
Not that he would overtly acknowledge the attraction—especially with a camera rolling all the damned time.

Really having fun with this one. It's almost complete but needs a couple of added scenes.

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.

ML Skye

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Differences Settled

November 6, 2016

Wow, October flew by and I have no doubt November will do the same. It's crazy how fast time speeds along toward the end of the year.

The Walking Dead had a great episode. I really wanted to see where Carol and Morgan ended up. Will probably watch The Talking Dead first tonight.

Gotham keeps me coming back. Very interested in the potential twist thrown in at the end of last week's episode.

The Flash and Agents of SHIELD had great episodes. Very cool to see movement on both fronts.

Arrow, as always, makes me happy. I really like where everyone is headed and I'm definitely interested in discovering who's behind the armor pulling strings. Gonna be really disappointed if it ends up being Malcolm Merlyn. LOL

Legends of Tomorrow delivered an excellent episode. I'm kind of excited about the changes in Ray's status and situation. I love the idea of pairing him with Mick.

MacGyver had a fun episode. I love Jack's weird brand of humor. Looking forward to seeing the rivalry with Murdoc begin next week.

Finished up my rewatch of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and getting ready to start the fifth season of Longmire. Looking forward to watching Katee Sackhoff again.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Differences Settled, a novella about a couple of ace pilots who have to go undercover and are given carte blanche to do whatever is necessary to get the job done… regulations be damned.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Regan Tiedt and Finn O'Kellen are transferred to a new ship under difficult circumstances and find they have to settle quite a few differences with their new crew mates… and their commanding officer.

And a sneaky peek…

Admiral Marshall Grant gazed at his two best pilots. "Tiedt, O'Kellen, I have a problem you two are particularly qualified to help solve." He folded his hands in front of him.
Regan Tiedt took the bait first, as expected. "You want us to whip someone into shape?" Excitement filled her tone.
Her counterpoint, Finn, shook his head. "Nah. Can't be that." He crossed his arms over his chest.
Grant quirked an eyebrow. "And if it is?" O'Kellen wouldn't take long to figure things out.
Finn narrowed his gaze. "Then it's bigger than taking a new pilot and putting them through a twenty-four special." O'Kellen referred to the time period he and Regan dedicated to bringing a transfer up to snuff aboard the Holyoke, the flagship of the Royal Andromedean fleet. "And it's not a half-cock, because our squadrons are flying like well-oiled machines right now."
Grant bit back a smile. Even seasoned pilots got a twelve-hour run-through when they arrived for duty. And O'Kellen didn't boast when he claimed no one on their current roster needed a boost.  Which made the timing perfect for what Marshall needed them for.
He gave a brief nod. "True. The problem is bigger than Holyoke pilots. In fact, it doesn't involve pilots at all." Opening a file, he tapped on the pages and a holoscreen appeared. "The Wellingstone is under the command of Candace Craig—"
Regan cut in. "The cowboy commander. She's got a rep for playing by her own rules." She frowned. "And not telling anyone else what they are."
Grant inclined his chin. "And that's exactly why I need you two to be my eyes and ears on her ship." He scrolled through several pages and stopped on a personnel roster. "As you can see, the list of injuries and reprimands is twice the normal average for a battle cruiser and the admiralty has concerns." Leaning back, he gave his pilots a few moments to scan the file.
O'Kellen broke the silence first. "What's the objective for sending us in?" He uncrossed his arms and eased forward, resting his elbows on his knees.
Grant closed the file and the screen disappeared. "Figure out if Craig is crossing lines she shouldn't be. She was fast-tracked up the chain of command and if she can't handle the mantle of responsibility, the brass wants to know sooner rather than later." Even if doing so meant breaking some rules and regs.
Finn frowned. "Basically we're covering the admiralty's ass so they don't lose face. Is that what I'm hearing?" He got up and crossed the room to pace back and forth.
Regan jumped in. "Hold up. Would we be having this conversation if she were male?" She kicked back in her seat, crossing her legs at the ankles. "I mean, all due respect, Sir, but you've been known to pull maneuvers out of your ass that aren't written down in any text book or how to kick down doors manuals." Her eyebrow arched, daring him to counter her statement.
Grant snorted. "Point taken, Tiedt. However, gender doesn't come into play here." He held up a hand when she opened her mouth to argue. "The numbers are what concern the admiralty. Bottom line, we need to determine if she's got the chops to be in command. Because if she doesn't, sooner or later, those injuries and reprimands will become deaths."
Regan's shoulders slumped and she glanced back to exchange a look with Finn. After a moment of silent communication, something they had down to a science. O'Kellen came back and took his seat again.
Regan straightened up and held Grant's gaze. "How far do you want us to take this?"
Marshall gave each a considering look. He had to give them leeway. He also had no doubt they'd push whatever limits he set for them to the very edge. They didn't operate any other way.
Again, part of why they were perfect for this assignment.
Folding his hands in front of him, Marshall gave them their directive. "As far as you need to. I want you to become Craig's newest problem pilots, filled with bad attitude and a penchant for breaking regs." The admiralty wanted results; they'd have to deal with whatever fallout came with the operation.
Finn slid a quick glance in Regan's direction then met Marshall's head-on. "That means we're going to be crossing lines, too." His unspoken implication came through.
An underlying attraction existed between Finn and Regan. But they maintained a hands-off policy and didn't mix personal and professional. Once they reached the Wellingstone, all that would change.
Grant nodded. "Like I said, whatever it takes."
He'd have their backs. The admiralty could bite the bullet and wallow in the bed they made.
Without hesitation, each replied. "I'm in."

Still working through some kinks on this one, but very happy with how it's coming together.

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.

ML Skye

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Snippet: A Day in the Life

Happy Halloween Eve! Our small town always has its annual trick or treat several days before the actual holiday. On Thursday, it was brisk and chilly, but we had a whole host of costumed kiddos strolling the streets. So much fun!

On the television front, Gotham had another great episode. I'm happy with how things are going on that show. Here's hoping the consistency holds through the end of the season.

The Flash and Agents of SHIELD pulled out some surprises. The new director guy on AoS is actually kind of fun and hopefully not evil. LOL I'm not gonna hold my breath on that score.

Arrow keeps making me happy. Diggle is out of prison, but who knows what'll happen next with him. The new team suffered some shake-ups. We'll see how that all shakes out.

Legends of Tomorrow delivered again. I like the new guy. And Mick is fast becoming another favorite. Brutal honesty goes a long way with this group and he's definitely not afraid to embrace the truth. LOL

MacGyver's episode might have been the set up for introducing Murdoc. I guess we'll see if the ghost pops back up again.

The Walking Dead… I skipped the premiere and watched The Talking Dead instead. I honestly couldn't see the point in watching when I couldn't bear watching any of my favorites die. I'll be watching tonight's episode… I think. LOL

And that's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from A Day in the Life, a tie-in, free read for my Furlough 99 story, Shyler: Finding Home.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Alphie is a kick ass droid who assists Inspector Shyler Lumen. He's also not afraid to offer unwarranted advice.

And a sneaky peek…

Several hours later, Alphie had some quiet time. He got started on a scan of ISP personnel logged on transport flights to Furlough. He wanted to know the inspector's name.
Bingo! Shyler Lumen, Inspector, first grade. He scanned for everything he could find on her. She had a long list of collars for Mars Planetary Police and now with the InterStellar Police. Looked like the inspector almost always got her man.
And what was this? Girl volunteered all over the place. With BAWs—battered and abused women, food distribution shelters, and two different half-way houses.
When did the woman sleep?
Ah… another interesting fact. Shyler had no romantic connections. No past marriages or multiple living occupancy requests on file. The inspector appeared to be a loner.
She was either very careful or had been burned in the past. He dug a little deeper. Nothing on file so she was careful. Smart woman.
More than a match for Marshton Gray. Alphie had a feeling he'd see more of both.
His circuits almost singed at the potential for fun.
Alphie went into quick shut down mode and transmitted data to the Guild. The group of bounty hunters ran a tight ship on Furlough and Spider Smith, their very talented hacker, made sure he received any and all pertinent information. An ISP inspector counted as very pertinent.
Transfer completed, Alphie blinked several times, bringing himself back online. He remotely connected to the security camera closest to the Den and set a facial recog program to ping him when Inspector Lumen entered the bar. Alphie wanted to keep track of her progress.

I'm looking forward to finally putting the finishing touches on this one and getting it out there for a free download. Fingers crossed that happens soon.

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.

ML Skye

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Dance with Destiny

October 23, 2016

What a great week in television for writing inspiration. I love to do my weekly roundup of viewing fare because it always gets my creative juices flowing. Sundays tend to be great writing days. LOL

Gotham might be having its best season yet. Truly, I love everything about it so far. I'm hoping the momentum continues and the show doesn't crash and go off the rails.

The Flash remains excellent. Loved seeing Jessie and Wells again. Also like the slow reveal of Caitlyn's issues. I'll leave it there for folks who aren't caught up yet.

Agents of SHIELD had a great episode. Everyone is finally back in the fold and it's time to move the story along.

Once again, Arrow proved to be awesome. Overall, it's still my favorite show. I love how they worked Quentin into the storyline and the way it went down. He makes so much sense for the new role he's taking on. Looking forward to the next episode to see how things go with Diggle.

Legends of Tomorrow also brought a great episode to my screen. I'm enjoying how hard the team is finding being an actual team. Very interested in seeing what happens with the new guy. Between Gideon and the two resident geniuses, I think he'll be alright.

MacGyver stayed fun. I have a fondness for train hijinks and the show delivered a terrific episode with a last minute save. Can't ask for more.

As usual, Van Helsing left me a little "meh". It's probably time to drop the updates since I'm not completely into the show. Sadly.

And that's it for television this week. I'll have some feelings about Murdoch Mysteries in the next post. YAY!

Tonight's post is from Dance with Destiny, a novella that continues the story in An Answer to Fate.

Here's the mini-blurb:

A prophecy discovered leads to a dance with destiny. Quillan and Jeb have to find their way back to each other and might just tempt fate to do it.

And a sneaky peek…

Another zing. "Damned good thing I haven't seen him." A surge of anger hit. "Thirty years, Quill. Every one of them a lie. How's the old man holding up?"
Quillan didn't know how to answer. She carefully kept the full force of her feelings tamped down. The elder Paldino had stoic down to a fine art. Drawn so taut she feared he'd snap. But the man wouldn't break.
She wished he had a little more room to bend.
"Quillan? How's my dad?"
She answered plainly. "He's your old man, Jeb. He moves forward. No matter how much baggage he has to drag along behind him."
His sigh came through, loud and clear. "You need to tell him, Quill. It'll help if he knows I'm alive."
She snorted. "Exactly how should I pull that one off?" She didn't feel his presence as strongly. "Jeb? Help me out here." Just a few more moments… please, Universe.
"Quill? Did you get that?" Jeb's garbled voice finally cut through.
She focused on the sound of his voice. "No. Say it again, Jeb. I can't hear you."
Instead of words, she received a vivid image of Jeb—maybe at age ten—sitting at a table, blood streaking down one side of his face. His mom stood behind him—wearing a look of abject horror—a broken wine bottle clutched in her hand. Jonah Paldino stepped between mom and son, pure rage marring his face.
Quillan gasped and her heart lurched for the men. But another image washed over the first. The replacement showed Jonah stitching up his son's wound.
With a tender hand, he tied off the thread. "She meant that bottle for me, son. You got caught in the crossfire."
Stoic Jeb sighed. "It's not the first time she's smashed an empty bottle, Dad. You're usually not around when she does it."
Jonah snarled. "It's the last time she'll do it." He cut through the string and stooped down, looking Jeb in the eye. "What's my bond?"
Jeb pressed his lips together, holding back a tremulous smile. "Your word, Dad."
"You have it, Jeb." Jonah cupped a hand on Jeb's cheek, rubbing his thumb over the dried blood. "I'm taking your mom to Holly Bend. They'll help her there." Handing Jeb a wet cloth, he ordered. "Get cleaned up. You'll stay on base tonight. Safe and secure. I'll have Ty make a pass for you."
Jeb packed a rucksack and followed his dad to the truck. He didn't ask any questions and probably didn't want answers. He slept curled up under the huge desk in the major's office.
Quillan sucked in a harsh breath. "Geez, Jeb. I had no idea."
His voice echoed softly in her head. "No one did. And they still don't."
A new set of images played in her mind.
Jonah shook his son awake, checking the wound on his head. "You all right?"
Jeb nodded, folding up his bedroll. "Head hurts, but I'm okay."
Jonah directed his son to the overstuffed leather chair. "Son, your mom and I had a long, overdue discussion last night." He settled down in the matching chair set offside from Jeb's. "She's not coming with us to Bannock." The new station orbiting Tular.
Jeb frowned but nodded.
Jonah grasped his hand. "It's not your fault. She and I need you to know it. You're a bright, smart kid. You understand she's angry with me, don't you?"
Jeb answered, solemnly. "Yes, Sir."
Jonah slid off the chair, kneeling in front of Jeb. "Your mom asked for one thing. She doesn't want anyone to know why she's not coming. At least not the real reason." He met and held his son's gaze. "It's a big burden to put on you, keeping her secret. But I'm asking if you can do it." His voice broke. "It's okay if you can't."
Jeb didn't hesitate. "I can do it, Dad. I won't tell anyone about Mom."
Jonah questioned. "Are you certain? It's a big thing to ask."
Jeb nodded. "I'm sure. My bond is my word, Dad."
Jonah reached out and hauled Jeb close. "You're more than I deserve, Jeb."
The picture faded and Quillan dashed tears from her eyes.
"I never told anyone about my mom, Quill. Until now. You share this with my father. He'll believe you."
Quillan snorted. "Bullshit. He'll think I’m nuts."
Jeb chuckled. "Quill, he already thinks you're insane. Tell him. It's the only thing I have that he knows, knows, I've never told anyone."
Quillan smiled. Jonah did consider her slightly crazy, but he appreciated her offbeat humor. Especially since Jeb's death—disappearance.
She cracked a wide grin. "You're not dead." Jonah would flip his shit when he found out.
Jeb sighed. "I thought we established that already, Quillan."
She laughed. "We did. But your dad doesn't know yet." Scooting around, she swung her legs over the edge of her bunk. "I'd better go tell him before I convince myself you're a figment of my imagination." Warmth infused her along with a shot of lustful yearning. "Dammit, Jeb, don't start something you can't possibly finish."
Jeb whispered, "I miss you, Quill. And I don't know when I'll be able to contact you again."
She tried to project everything she felt for him through their connection. "I miss you, too. And something tells me the hybot will make sure you get through again."
Jeb started to fade. "I hope so. Love you. Always."
A sense of emptiness filled her when the contact ended. "I love you, too, Jeb."

A little longer than usual for the preview. I liked how this scene turned out.

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye