Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Snippet: A Thousand Reasons


Another great TV week. The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who truly made my entire week. Sooooo nice to watch a show I love on BBC America and not get stuck with ninety-seven episodes of some Gordon Ramsay show and/or Top Gear. Don't get me wrong, both shows are okay, I'm just really tired of how often they're on during the day. The BBC has a HUGE library and I used to love watching all the various offerings before the network got overrun with a chef and three car enthusiasts. *sigh*

Anyway, Arrow delivered and provided several off the charts levels of awesome. Seriously, I live for Wednesdays. Let's see, Sons of Anarchy brought some good stuff to the table. Sometimes I think if certain people would shut up and other certain folks would sit down and have an actual conversation, things might go a whole lot easier. I may have a nice, long post on my TV blog—which rarely gets used—once the season is over.

I could go on but since it seems like next week is hiatus for the Turkey Day holiday, I'll save some reactions for that post.

Tonight's snippet is from A Thousand Reasons, a short story about an established couple who have an issue to work out.

Here's the tagline:

Dix Benson wants life to finally settle down after he passes the advocacy exam. But when Willow Gold decides to accept a job flying missions in a very hot zone, he can think of at least a thousand reasons it's a very bad idea. Convincing Willow will be the challenge.

And a sneaky peek…

The new opportunity had Willow excited. Something she really wanted to do. She loved consulting but hated the red tape and endless waiting for parliament to play its political games. She knew how important it had been for him to take a shot at the legal process… knew how much he loved it. Could he really hold her back from something she loved as much?
The question answered itself as the final sputtering gurgles indicated the coffee was finished brewing. Flying was her passion just as the law was now his. Willow needed to get back to what she did best… pull it out of the fire while the iron was still hot.
And he'd be right here waiting every time she came home.
All the frustration, hurt and anger dissolved while he poured two steaming mugs of the freshly brewed liquid. Picking them up, he made his way back up the stairs feeling a little sheepish at how quickly his reaction had pushed them into a full blown argument, complete with flying pillows and a slammed door, which was now cracked open. 
Glancing down the hallway, he noticed the bathroom mirror steamed up from a shower. With a mug in each hand, he used his foot to nudge the door open and swallowed hard. Willow stood making the bed… naked… except for a towel wrapped around her hair. Looking up, she caught the look on his face and straightened, gauging the atmosphere. She didn't say anything… didn't have to… knowing instinctively he wouldn't give her any more grief over her decision.
She moved around the bed, coming to a stop in front of Dix and she smiled as she took one of the mugs, closing her eyes when the aroma hit her. Bringing the cup to her lips, she watched him and blew across the surface before risking a long sip of the fortifying brew. He doubted it would be sexy to anyone else but him, but god, it made him hard. Lips quirking appreciatively, he took a bracing gulp from his own mug letting his eyes close in satisfaction.
When he opened them, Willow's lips were curved wickedly as she placed her mug on the dresser. Doing the same with Dix's, it freed his hands to cup her face… his fingertips working under the edge of the towel loosening it until it fell to the floor. He leaned in to kiss her as she hooked a finger in the waistband of his jeans, tugging him toward the bed, undoing the buttons of his fly on the way. Bumping up against the edge brought her breasts into contact with his chest and she moaned appreciatively, breaking the kiss. Dropping his hands, he helped her push his jeans out of the way. Unable to resist, he snagged her lips again.

Needless to say, a resolution should be coming soon. :D

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

ML Skye

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Star Chasers

November 17, 2013


Gotta say, my television shows are eating my brain lately. I'm dying for Walking Dead tonight even though the Governor makes my skin crawl. I got caught up on Sleepy Hollow and totally love the dynamic of the entire show. Reminds me so much of the X-files. Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. is coming together pretty nicely. I'm enjoying the character dynamics. Sons of Anarchy keeps me on the edge of my seat and I so want to hate Gemma, but can't quite go across the line into loathing territory. But I would love to see her get some kind of comeuppance. We'll see what happens.

Again, Arrow and Tomorrow People had me glued to my screen on Wednesday. Arrow truly gets better each episode. Tomorrow People keeps me guessing and I hope it stays that way. I'm really excited to see where Haven ends up going and how they'll resolve the current storyline. I can't remember if this is the last season or not, but I'm almost hoping it isn't.

And hey, I'm currently enjoying a Firefly marathon on the Science Channel. I have much love for that show.

So… tonight's post. The snippet is from Star Chasers, which might end up becoming a series, but the sages are being giant pains and won't decide how much they're going to give me. Evil little trolls. LOL

Here's the tagline:

Marnie Ritoli, a kick ass mechanic for the premier team in the galaxy, is presented with a dilemma: choose a new mate or leave the Chasers. But Marnie knows Luce Carrington isn't dead, and she won't play second fiddle to anyone, so she does what she's best at and finds a loophole in the league rules, picking Luce's best friend… the person who backs her into a corner in the first place.

And the sneaky peek…

Marnie Ritoli tossed and turned. Her mind filled with images of Luce Carrington, friend, lover, the only man for her. His dark hair pulled back, eyes burning for her, mouth descending to steal a kiss. Not that he ever had to steal them. Marnie craved his lips covering hers, their tongues dueling for dominance until they fought for air.
She could almost feel the firm pressure of his mouth over hers, the way his hand always slid up to cup the back of her head, drawing her in and holding her close. Marnie wanted to taste his lips right now, even asleep, she hungered for them. For him.
Rolling to her side, she curled up against the pillow, a very poor substitute for Luce's powerful, solid frame. She wanted to wrap herself around him and drift off in the warmth of his arms. The fluffy pillow didn't offer the deep, rhythmic breathing that usually soothed her overly tired mind.
Then again, nothing did right now.
The annoying buzz from the bedside phone had her giving up all pretense of trying to sleep. She grabbed the handset and pushed herself upright.
"Yeah." Her voice sounded rough, but after 2 am, who cared?
"It's Win. I know it's late, but we gotta talk." His voice lowered. "Canteen, five minutes."
She didn't respond. Didn't have to. Win had already cut the call.
Rolling out of bed, she twisted her hair back and secured it with two pins. She knew, bone deep, whatever Win wanted to discuss couldn't be good. Dragging on a pair of pants, she buttoned the closure and reached for her vest.
The crew's name emblazoned on the back didn't bring the comfort it usually did, but putting it on gave her a boost of confidence. She hoped the mantle of protection remained after she met with Win. If she lost his support, she'd be out in the cold.
She jammed her feet in her shoes and looked at the empty spot in the bed. God, she missed Luce. He'd been gone way too long.
"Dammit, Luce. Where the hell are you?"
Striding across the room, she yanked the door open and started for the canteen.

Marnie won't enjoy her chat with Win, but she'll buy some time. For what? I can't actually say… spoilers.


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

ML Skye

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Spider's Webb (A Furlough 99 Novella)


Well, my week in television ended up being pretty damned awesome. Seriously, the Walking Dead kind of caught me off guard, but gotta give it to Rick. When he steps up, he sorta goes full tilt and gets it done. Not sure how I feel about the parting of ways, but I'm leaning towards it being a good thing.

Thoroughly enjoyed Castle, which is a nice change since I've been kind of 'meh' about this season. I love getting to see Rick and Kate together—that kind of never happens and it pisses me off—but the storylines either underwhelmed or made me scratch my head. Sons of Anarchy continues to rip the scabs off old wounds. I love having my smart Jax back. He's always at his best when he's not reacting to and working through shit like watching his best friend die. Very interested to see what side Tara's actions have him landing on. My hope is he'll stay smart, get the Irish out of the way, deal with the DA, and then let the emotional fallout hit. And good Christ, stay away from Gemma so she can't throw gasoline on the fire. *shakes head*

Arrow and The Tomorrow People just make my Wednesday the best day of the week. I can't say enough about Arrow at the moment, and anything I would say would contain spoilers, so *zips lips*. Haven twisted everything sideways again, but hit on a theory I had from the first episode. I kind of can't wait to see how the new wrinkle plays into the mythology. I have more thinky thoughts, but again… spoilers. LOL

So, that's my week in TV. Maybe I should get to the actual post, right? Tonight's snippet is from Spider's Webb, my next installment for Furlough 99. The story features Spider Smith from Finding Home. Spider is fun to write, but his female counterpart, Hailey is an absolute joy. Her voice is very strong and very insistent. LOL

Here's the tagline:

Spider Smith, techno geek extraordinaire, meets his match when Hailey Webb decides she needs his expertise. When her carefully planned escape from a life of crime goes awry, Spider wants to help, but with his team out on a fool's mission, Spider has to fight the battle on his own.

And a sneaky peek…

Hailey Webb let her fingers fly over the keyboards at a comp station, ignoring the four burly men standing behind her. Haj urged her to speed it up. Mal kept asking if she'd hacked in yet. And Dom informed her she'd better crack the system or their plans were fucked. Well, no shit. Taking the time to answer them would only slow her down.
One man remained silent. And he would be the one she worried about. Lou Bonera, their esteemed leader. An ex-enforcer, he tolerated Hailey for her hacking skills, but considered her expendable. Hell, he pretty much thought her only good for sucking his dick, taking his cock, or catering to his sexual whims. Within twenty minutes of meeting the guy, Hailey started referring to him as 'Boner' in her head. And she set him straight on their first encounter. She would not be his semen receptacle… but she would make him as bleeding rich as he wanted to be.
He didn't appreciate her point of view until she flashed her blade and promised to unman him the next time fell asleep. When she proved she could back up the promise of almost unlimited funds, he'd settled back and kept a watchful and sometimes leering eye on her.
Two years and she'd avoided any kind of physical entanglement with Boner. She found money and goods and hacked security systems to get the team in. They grabbed the bounty and split the profits—her share being considerably less than theirs. She could live with the cut. The men did the dangerous stuff. Hailey had the talent and know how. She also had money stashed in slush accounts all over the galaxy.
Lou finally broke his silence. "Come on, we don't got all day."
Fidgety and impatient never equaled a good combination with the crew she worked for.
"Yeah, yeah. I know. I'm almost there. Give me ninety seconds." She prayed she had the time right. Thirty to finish working through the firewall into the vault control mainframe and sixty to lay the trail of kilobytes she hoped would be found on a timed delay.
Her life might just depend on it.
She'd been a master thief since the age of twelve. But at twenty-five, she'd taken a hard fall when her drop cord failed and she barely made her egress point before the ISP hit the scene. Hailey missed the thrill of getting in and out under the nose of authority, but the close call signaled her retirement—at least from the physical end of stealing. She had to keep her hacking skills current, hence the necessity of working with Bonero's team. She knew it would be dangerous, knew Lou to be ruthless, but lately he'd become sloppy, too. He'd left bodies behind on their last three jobs. Bodies that didn't need to be dead. Hailey always worked an op from the angle of no bloodshed unless absolutely unavoidable. And seriously… with the size of the men she worked with, a gloved fist to the face would render most opponents unconscious long enough for them to escape. Why chance leaving trace DNA? So much smarter to get in and out, leave nothing behind. The first two deaths she wrote off as shit luck of a coincidence. But the last heist… she knew, deep in her gut, Boner murdered one of the guards… simply because he could.
Hailey took it as her cue to get the hell out while she could. And she had a plan… a risky one… but she lived for risk. What she didn't live for? A trail corpses. She could totally do without dead bodies.
She hit the last keystroke, laying her plan into action. She'd picked the next target for the team with great care and deliberation.
Her crew's next stop?
Furlough 99.
Her last chance to get the hell out.
For a great introduction to Spider, please pick up Shyler: Finding Home on Amazon.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Security Risk


YAY! Strike Back got a renewal even though it'll be the last season. I can live with one more ten episode run with Stonebridge and Scott. I'm torn between wanting to see them go out with a bang—Butch and Sundance style—and hoping like hell my two heroes find a way to be happy and live long lives. :D

And Arrow… holy crap. I can't even form coherent thoughts about last week's episode yet. Without getting too spoileriffic, I'm usually not keen on recasting a primary character, even if they've had almost zero screen time, but I'm definitely reserving judgment on this one. Mainly because I can't wait to see where they take the character and how they tie her into the DC 'verse. *rubs hands together gleefully*

Haven keeps impressing me and doesn't always do what I expect. If I haven't mentioned it before, I LOVE shows that keep me guessing. J

Anyway, time for the actual post. Tonight's snippet is from Security Risk, a short story where Izzy and Quinn have too much on their plate to act on their slow simmer attraction… or maybe not. LOL

Here's the tagline:

Quinn Kavanaugh and Izzy Nance, military intelligence experts, are tasked with keeping the peace during a planetary summit. But when they act on their attraction for each other, they have to check their feelings at the door or potentially become a security risk.

And a sneaky peek…

Quinn entered the Sit room and found Izzy sleeping away. He wanted to be pissed, but couldn't muster up the energy. Besides, she looked like the girl from their childhood when she slept like that. Head turned sideways on crisscrossed arms. How many times had he and Izaak come home to find her like that at the kitchen table?
She always tried to wait up for Izaak, and rarely managed.
Quinn pushed the nostalgia aside. If he didn't, he'd let Izzy wrap him around her finger and not accomplish what he needed—getting her to back off on Bergda Naimbi.
Quinn nudged her awake. "Hey, Iz. Nap time's over." She jerked and he stepped back in case she came up swinging.
As tired as they were, he wouldn't be surprised.
Izzy yawned and blinked, then gave her head a shake. "That was almost refreshing." She lifted her arms up and stretched out the kinks.
Quinn's lips quirked. Sarcasm meant she'd be ready to go again. A good thing since they had to several details to settle and he figured they'd get the hard one out of the way first.
He dove right in. "What's the deal with recommending the block on Delegate Niambi's wife?" He dropped down on the seat across from Izzy, noting the still tired lines around her eyes.
Izzy frowned. "She threw up a red flag. A great, big, shiny one." Izzy fished through the pile of papers on the table. "See, look at this." She pointed to a highlighted passage on a security report from at least a decade ago. "She got tagged with an extremist group and hauled in for questioning." She leaned back in the chair and crossed her arms, ready to do battle.
Quinn sighed. "Iz, it was at least ten years ago. And that group disbanded not long after the incident in question. Don't you think she might have changed?" He cocked his head from side to side, trying to work out the tension in his neck.
Izzy scoffed. "Not my job to know if she's turned over a new leaf. My job is to find security risks and eliminate them. That's what we do, Quinn."
"Not in this case." Quinn shook his head. "They're married, Iz. We can't block her."
Izzy snorted. "Yes. We can. We have the final say for who gets through the doors."
Quinn argued. "Uh uh. It'll cause too many problems if we ban her."
Izzy got mad. "I don't see how. If we say she can't be here… she can't be here."
Quinn sighed. "Izzy, did you read any of the books I gave you about the cultures we're dealing with?" He rose and crossed to the desk in the corner.
A guilty flush stained her cheeks. "No. I, uh, had other things to read."
Quinn rolled his eyes. "Yeah, like the latest issue of Guts and Guns." He rounded the desk and pulled down a book.
Izzy shrugged. "Yeah, well, I get more out of G&G than the pomp and etiquette stuff."
Quinn snorted and flipped to a page in the middle section of the huge protocol tome. "See, the Neophytes, once married, do not travel without their spouses. It's a cultural thing regarding the importance they put on the sanctity of matrimony."
Izzy flopped back against the cushioned seat. "Shit."
Quinn closed the book and returned it. "Yeah."
She straightened. "But what if she decides to off her dear beloved husband and blame it on another delegate. This would be the perfect opportunity for someone to try that."
Quinn sank down in his own chair. "Jeez. Your brain scares me." But she had him thinking.
She shrugged. "It shouldn't. You taught me most of what I know."
His lips quirked upward. "Not hardly. But you've got a point. We'll need to amp up the detail that covers Delegate Niambi."


Izzy didn't like his solution, but it would have to do. "Right. Major security risk protected by a lame ass document and protocol." She sighed. "I'll add another full contingent to them." That meant she'd have to pull a team from someone else, but if it kept anything from blowing up in their face, she'd do it.
Reaching forward she dragged a roster out from underneath the pile of papers on the table. "It's gonna be a problem, though." She flipped through the pages looking for a team she could spare. "Everyone is full up on the schedule." Izzy looked up. "If I have to go through this list one more time, I'll go cross-eyed." Her gaze scanned the names anyway.
Not a single unchecked ident slot. She'd have to redo the entire thing.
Throwing the file across the table, Izzy rubbed at the bridge of her nose. "God, my head hurts from this crap."
Quinn's hand grasped her shoulder. "Okay. Come on." He nudged her off the stool and tugged her toward the door. "Let's go for a stroll around the grounds."
Izzy snorted. "You mean the lovely and highly touted gardens that are cultivated by the fake sun?" She wrinkled her nose.
Quinn scowled. "Fake or not, it works. And it takes real water to grow all those plants." He pushed the door open. "And you have to admit, the Quad looks pretty damn good." He lifted a brow and held out his hand. "Coming?"
Izzy sighed. Anything would be better than looking at that stupid schedule.
"Yeah, yeah. Fine." She brushed past him and looked back over her shoulder. "And the Quad may look great, but it's a massive pain in the ass to keep secure."
Quinn shook his head. "Do you ever just enjoy something without thinking about it?" She opened her mouth and he held up his hand. "No. Don't answer. Just turn your brain off for five minutes, okay?" He made a quick turn and led her through the double glass doors. "Please."
Izzy rolled her eyes, but capitulated. "Your wish and all that."
The strangled sound he made could have been laughter or choking at the thought of her actually granting his every wish. She decided to not worry about it. Quinn knew better than to dream the possibility would ever happen.
Oh, Izzy, you'll be so surprised to find out how often Quinn dreams about you. :D

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

ML Skye