Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Wait No More

I hope everyone survived the holiday!

My family had a wonderful day—no traveling, just staying home all nice and cozy with our new tech gear and good food. I watched more holiday television episodes and said good-bye to Matt Smith's Doctor. I'm still not quite settled in with the idea of the new actor, but I'll give him a chance.

Looking forward to my fave shows returning. Almost Human, Sleepy Hollow, Arrow, The Tomorrow People, Walking Dead, Sherlock, and probably a few I’m forgetting at the moment. Currently watching a Farscape marathon on Pivot then switching over to some recorded stuff I haven't watched yet.

Tonight's post is from the novella, Wait No More, featuring two characters that get the chance to re-explore the road not traveled.

Here's the tagline:

Zoey Blythe pushes Cash Mateson out of her life when she sees how much good he can do as an elected official. Ten years later, their paths cross again and Zoey realizes she should have fought a little harder to stay by Cash's side. Heading up the security detail for Cash's campaign, Zoey feels the spark again, but marriages and careers are on the line, even if she doesn't want to wait anymore.

And the sneaky peek…

"Cash. Did you read who your head of security will be?"
Cash Mateson continued working with his tie, trying to decide what type of knot he wanted to attempt. His mentor, dead and buried a week ago, used to do the same before a big speech. Life in the political arena tended to be nothing but.
"Cash?" His wife prompted, waiting a response.
Starting over with the tie, Cash answered. "Not yet. Haven't got started on the morning memos." Satisfied with his appearance, he exited his dressing room.
Delia Mateson perched on the edge of their bed, perfectly dressed, as usual. A frown marred her face and a sinking feeling hit Cash's gut. He dreaded her next words.
"Sub-Commander Zoey Blythe." She rose and almost bumped into him when he sank down, feeling like he'd smacked up against an aerobus.
Her wide eyes met his. "Cash, how do you want to handle this?"
He took a moment, his gaze sweeping over Delia. She looked stunning and the sun had barely broken the horizon yet. Cash let his eyes roam over her trim frame and wished, not for the first time, he loved his wife with passion.
But he didn't. And Delia knew and understood. His lack of abiding feeling didn't stop her from working tirelessly to propel his career forward.
Sometimes he didn't know why she stuck around.
He blinked. "Yeah, sorry." He rose and grabbed his jacket. "We'll handle it like we do everything else. Head on." He shrugged into the coat and made his way toward the door. He'd fix the tie on the ride to the office.
Delia smiled. "Shall I schedule a time for you to meet with the chief? To make a new choice?" She wrapped a light shawl about her shoulders.
Cash shook his head. "Why bother?" He exited their room and trotted down the stairs.
Delia caught up with him, grabbing his arm. "History, Cash. Think of the backlash if it's dredged up." Her hand slid down and grasped his.
He scoffed. "Ancient history, Deal." Not in the mood, he made a turn toward the kitchen. Coffee sounded great.
Delia followed, unable to let the matter drop. "No such thing as ancient history, Cash. That's what most people are interested in." She poured two mugs, adding sugar to hers.
Cash pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Don't worry about it, Delia. We'll muddle through just fine." He lifted the hot liquid, blowing across the top. "Why rock the boat? Especially if we don't want to make waves." He turned and entered his office, effectively shutting the topic down.
Delia sighed softly. "Because Zoey Blythe is a tsunami waiting to happen… and you still love her."


Delia nails the problem with complete accuracy. Zoey is the one who got away for Cash and the tidal wave will be unstoppable when they cross paths again. This one has been really fun, but challenging to write. Not sure when I'll complete it, but I think it'll be a good story once it's done.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Victory

December 22, 2013

Happy Almost Holidays!

The family and I are thisclose to being ready for the merry season. We always wait and decorate the tree a day or two before December 25 so the lights are strung, but nothing else until tomorrow. :D

I'm watching holiday episodes of my favorite TV shows. Warehouse 13, Eureka, Doctor Who, and last year's Arrow episode, Year's End. Up next is Leverage with the Ho, Ho, Ho Job. :D

Tonight's post is from Victory, a short story with my main characters seeking to win a wager.

Here's the tagline:

Nevin Fram and Chase Barlow put everything on the line when they wager who can get the drop on the other first with a hot kiss. Nevin's executes a plan to catch Chase during a sparring match but he turns the tables on her and wins. Nevin wants to go double or nothing, but first her brain has to start functioning again.

And the sneaky peek…

Nevin's fist swung out and connected with his jaw.
Chase hit the metal decking, but didn't stay down. Okay, he did. But he brought her to his level, sweeping his leg out and catching her behind the ankles.
She hit the deck ass first. "Well, that was fun." She collapsed back against the bulkhead. "What's next, Chase? You don't look like you've got another round in you."
Chase swiped the blood from the corner of his mouth. "Don't let the injured lip fool you, Nev. And don't think for one moment it'll keep me from finishing this."
Nevin sighed. "Come on, Chase. Admit you've had enough."
He snorted. "Not a chance, Nevin." He rolled to his feet and offered her a hand up.
What the hell… she accepted, figuring he'd need at least five more minutes before he could pick up where they left off. She should have known better. Chase yanked her forward, his hot mouth meeting hers in a hard, unrelenting kiss.
Son of a bitch… he'd won the bet. She'd have to pay up in a serious way. Unless… she could get him to go double or nothing. Yeah, she'd think about that… right after her brain started functioning again… right now, getting Chase naked filled her mind and they were in a damned bad spot to shed clothes.
Reaching out, Nevin nudged the door of the weapon's locker open and dragged him inside, her mouth never leaving his. Kicking off her boots, she made sure they landed outside then slammed the hatch and fumbled for the wrench. Chase beat her to the tool, his lips burning a path along her throat and over her shoulder. He slid the metal home and hauled her close again, working his mouth back to hers.
Hovering less than a breath away, he hesitated. "I win." His mouth caught hers in another hard kiss. "And we're not going double or nothing. Don't even think it." He eased away, slowly backing up, raising his gaze to hers. "It's time to pay up, Nevin." He lifted a brow, daring her to back out.
Shit. He had her. No way to get out of paying up on the bet.
"Fine. You win." She warned him. "But you won't like it."
She'd never pull off her task without looking like a complete idiot.

Chase's lips curved upward and he planted his ass on a crate. "Oh, I'll like it. Trust me on that, Nevin."
A lap dance from Nevin topped his list of fun things to do.
He nodded. "You can start now. Or wait and do a full on naked version in the showers later."
Nevin tilted her head, studying him for several moments. "I vote for later. You have a job to do first."
He quirked a brow. "I do? Care to fill me in?"
She slowly unzipped the athletic warm-up jacket. "Oh, absolutely." She shrugged out of the garment. "You got me all hot and ready, you're not really gonna leave me hanging, are you?" She crisscrossed her arms and tugged her sports bra over her head.
Chase blew out a long breath then cleared his throat. "Uh, no. That would be rude." He rose, crossed the short distance between them, and drew her close. "And I'm nothing if not the epitome of manners."
A wide grin crossed her face and she popped the button on his fatigues. "You have your moments." She shoved the pants past his hips then cupped his ass. "Now take care of this business and I'll figure out a way to rock your world with the stupid lap dance."
Chase chuckled. "Yes, ma'am."
I love writing short, little glimpses into an established relationship. I also love reading them!!

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

ML Skye

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Unlawful Acts


Imagine my embarrassment when I realized the Arrow midseason finale actually happened this past Wednesday instead of last week? LOL Oh well, one great thing came out of it…I got a new ep of Arrow and it was AWESOME!! And if the CW doesn't make Flash (or whatever they end up calling it) a series in the very near future, I'm gonna wonder where their brains are. LOL

Shifting gears (pun intended), Sons of Anarchy completely messed with my head. As mentioned, Kurt Sutter rarely goes where I think he will, and he had me going right until the last act of the episode. I pretty much stood up and yelled at the TV, then prayed for someone else's death… which didn't happen, dammit. But in retrospect, I'm actually sort of glad. I now know exactly how I want the final scene of SOA to play out… and if I don't get it, well, Sutter certainly won't give a hang, but I'll be sorely disappointed. I'm at a place with the show where retribution HAS to happen or I'll pretty much feel like it wasn't work seven years of my life. :D

Okay, enough about television this week, more to come about Sleepy Hollow and other shows soon. Tonight's post is from Unlawful Acts, a short story featuring two longtime friends who finally sort of realize their feelings, but shouldn't act on them because of their work situation. (If you haven't noticed, this is one of my favorite tropes. :D)

Here's the tagline:

Effy Carmichael, an up and coming officer, wants the job of Alpha Team Leader and deserves it, except she's a few years too young to hold the position. When the spot goes to one of her oldest friends, Jonah Kirkland, Effy has to swallow her pride and welcome him even while she fights the powerful attraction between them. Hooking up with Jonah is against regs, but it may be worth committing an unlawful act to finally realize one of her most closely held desires.

And a sneaky peek…

"Son of a bitch"
Effy Carmichael searched for a spare riot helmet to decorate for Popper's 1000th bust. She'd checked everywhere else and the walk-in storage locker was the last place she could think of to find one that couldn't be used anymore. She couldn't figure out where the hell all the old helmets had gone. The unit always had them laying around, usually in the way and exactly where no one wanted them.
She shook her head. Figured. When she needed one, the stupid things disappeared.
She'd find one if it killed her. Everything might be in a state of flux, but it didn't mean the oldest traditions of her team would go away. Not if she had anything to say about it.
And she did. Command Division couldn't take that away from her.
It sucked. She shouldn't be the one searching for a celebratory gesture. Jonah Kirkland should.
Right. Like he had a clue.
And okay, she could have given him one, but dammit, friendship only went so far. Especially when he had her spot.
Five long years she'd wanted and worked hard for the job of Alpha Team Leader. And yeah, she was young, but she knew the post and the team inside out. The position should've been hers.
Instead it went to Jonah.
And as much as she wanted to hate him, she couldn't. They'd known each other forever. He'd saved her as a matter of fact.
She'd been five, he'd been eight and when she'd climbed up too far in one of the neighborhood trees, Jonah talked her down. Even broke her fall when the knobby piece of bark they used for a foothold gave way and she'd dropped the last few feet.
How could she not be friends with him after that?
She'd had the biggest crush on him. Always had. But Jonah treated her like a little sister and she'd never done anything to change that status. Never told him about the way she felt. Because it hadn't been a 'thing'. She didn't want it to be. Older, wiser, more experienced, Jonah had a large group of people he called friend. He'd hang out with her when time allowed, or his group bailed, and she enjoyed it enough to be content.
He graduated, went to college, and three years later, she'd gone straight to the academy. He'd followed her the next year. She'd already been assigned to Alpha team when he finished up and he'd accepted a post with Delta team in another district.
They hadn't seen much of each other over the last five years. Holidays and the odd weekend home at the same time when they'd maybe have a drink or grab a bite and catch up on life. It had been easy to ignore the old feelings with such limited exposure.
But now? She interacted with him on a daily basis. And didn't have a current relationship to draw her focus. She caught herself looking forward to the AM briefings since he'd taken over. And yeah, that one got her. The guy had the job she wanted and got her to not hate mornings.
Oh yeah, big trouble.
And a major potential problem.
Because Jonah was free as a bird, too. Not once, in their long friendship, had they ever been significant other free at the same time. It made her twitchy.
He'd asked her to dinner twice and out for a brew once. She'd dodged him all three times. He'd meant it to be a casual thing, she got that, but it chapped her hide he'd been promoted over her even if through no fault of his own.
And dammit, it pissed her off that Jonah hadn't figured out her deep, dark secret. She wanted him. Still had quite a burning desire to make him hers. And didn't that suck balls.
Because even if he did finally realize how great they'd be together…she now worked under his command. Regulations against fraternization existed for a reason. She got that. And the penalty could be very harsh, if they got caught.
The stupid thing? She and Jonah never, ever played favorites. They wouldn't. But… being the exception to a rule didn't mean squat. She'd seen, first hand, the way a relationship could completely backfire and make lovers do supremely stupid shit.
That left her with crap options. Do the friendly dinner and grab a beer thing or keep pushing Jonah back. She'd opt for the friend thing. But…she wouldn't go out with him until she either had another guy or got over the stupid attraction.
Right. As if. Two decades hadn't made a dent yet.
Shaking her head, she got back to her task at hand.
Effy cleared the last wire mesh locker and came up no joy for the helmet. She grabbed a small ladder and climbed up to look on top of them. The lockers were deep and she couldn't quite see all the way in the back. She needed just a few more inches to reach back far enough to swipe her arm along the top. There had to be something back there.
"I know we have an extra helmet in this damn building, somewhere."
If she didn't know better, she'd almost swear someone had taken every last one of the damned things and stashed them off the premises.
She stood on her tiptoes and hoisted herself up with her arms to see further back. Just a couple more inches and she should be able to see clear to the wall. She kicked out with her foot, trying to find some leverage but knocked the ladder over instead. "Well, shit."
Not good. Tenuous at best, her hold on the top of the lockers became precarious.
Poor Effy. She's left hanging and someone to rescue her would just awesome. (Cue Jonah…)

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

ML Skye

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday Snippet: To Create a Spy


Okay, getting the TV stuff out of the way first, as always, but did you watch the Arrow mid-season finally? If you didn't, why not!! Seriously, the show keeps getting better and better, and it was already pretty damned great. :D

Sons of Anarchy finale this week and whoa. I seriously have no idea how anything will play out. Sutter never quite goes where I think he will and that's part of what I love about the show.

Walking Dead gave me a very satisfactory finale even if it killed off one of my favorite characters. Can't ask for more than that, right?

I'm hoping to start Almost Human in the near future and catch up so I can watch in real time. I've heard very good things about the show.

Tonight's post is from the novella, To Create a Spy. Set in the future, it should have at least one follow up, probably two to tell the whole story. This one is almost complete but the sages have been tight-lipped lately. Maybe posting will loosen their tongues a little.

Here's the tagline:

Mariah St. James isn't what she appears to be when she's recruited by a covert black ops group hell bent on using her supposed skill set. But when she finds an ally in Matthew Jamison, she thinks she might actually survive the rigorous and deadly training… until he betrays her by leaving her alone in a dangerous situation.

And a sneaky peek…

Mariah woke up slowly, taking mental stock, breathing a quiet sigh of relief to have a clear head and no restraints. Past experience taught her not to betray the fact she'd awakened, so she kept her eyes closed while trying to piece everything together. And her memory felt fragmented. The last thing she recalled—before those shocking blue eyes—the homely prison nurse directing a couple of burly guards to 'put her in the jacket'. After that, she had no clue what the hell happened or where she ended up.
Definitely didn't end up in the prison infirmary or hospital. Too damn quiet. And it smelled clean. And those brilliant eyes… no one in the hellhole facility had eyes like that. She'd had all of a few fuzzy seconds to see them, yet the memory remained vivid in her mind, outweighing her terror of everything else.
Back and shoulders aching—no doubt from fighting the restraints—Mariah decided she couldn't remain still any longer, and lifted her head to slowly scan her surroundings. Her muscles screamed in agony—God, it hurt to move—she must've been straining against the fetters for a long time.
How long exactly? One of the big questions slamming into her brain.
Sinking back against the pillow, she thought maybe she'd wait before trying to move again. Eventually the answers would come and she honestly didn't know if she'd like them.
She had a feeling she wouldn't.


Sitting silently, Matthew Jamison watched the monitor, observing the subject with what appeared to be dispassionate interest. A schooled guise, one he'd learned and honed to perfection. Not for anything would he let on how riveted to the screen his attention remained, memorizing the features of the woman resting on the cot—taking in each and every nuance, the sound of her breathing, the flutter of her lashes against her skin, the rise and fall of her chest.
He'd have to tread very lightly with this one, keep his piqued interest a carefully buried secret. It wouldn't do for his associate, sitting less than two feet away, to discover just how keenly he wanted to work with this one. There was something about her, something he couldn't put his finger on, that called to him.
Which could prove to be very dangerous.
Division had a way of sucking the life out of everyone, himself included, but he'd felt a spark when administering the cocktail of drugs that put Mariah into a deep, restful sleep, counteracting the toxic combination running through her bloodstream. A spark could flash and burn or smolder along the edges before finally catching flame. Matthew had spent so much time at Division, trained so many people who'd become faceless entities that either moved through to the next phase or entered containment that it surprised him to actually feel something with this woman.
Her file implied a level of violence he'd never seen in a trainee before. Convicted of multiple counts of murder, vicious displays each, the rest of the information on her didn't mesh with. It was the standard psych profile for a serial runaway. Whatever drove her to carve her victims' faces to ribbons before coldly plunging the blade into their heart would be tapped into, exploited and then molded into what Division considered a functioning operative.
Mariah St. James also had the face of an angel and a body made for sin. Two very powerful assets that would serve her well on active status. Matthew rarely indulged in speculation about new recruits… but his instincts about this one were on overload. She could go either way.
He had a strong desire for her to make it.
A careful movement from the subject, brief as it was, caught his cohort’s attention.
“Hmm… she’s awake.” Caroline Adder made a notation on her screen, logging the time.
Matthew calmly glanced at her. “She has been for thirty minutes.”
Caroline's narrowed eyes didn’t faze him. His statement didn't comment on her ability—Caroline acted as the number two at Division. She relied on machines, technology and periphery observations too much sometimes. They caused her to miss subtle details.
Matthew watched people… observed every degree of change. He knew the moment Mariah woke up because there was a very subtle shift in the cadence of her breathing. But she was good… maybe something in her past allowed the practiced ease she had in feigning sleep.
Whatever… he'd soon know… as he would know everything there was about her.
Rising, he gave Caroline a curt nod then exited the small viewing area to begin Phase One.

I always, always see Roy Dupuis in my head when writing Matthew. A blast from the past, but a terrific inspiration when it comes to having a low-key character who holds so much so deeply. J

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

ML Skye

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday Snippets: Ties Don't Bind


Not much new in TV this week, so finishing up from last week's new episodes. The Walking Dead is my on the fence show. Some weeks I love it, some weeks I'm very 'meh'. Last week was definitely a 'meh' week, but the new episode tonight is pretty good, but the Governor just doesn't excite me all that much.

Sleepy Hollow continues to make me happy. It's so crazy insane I can't not like it. This week's Arrow and Sons of Anarchy have me ready to get through Monday so I can watch new stuff. J I also quite enjoyed Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. I'm not nearly as disappointed as a lot of fans are, but I'm a long time believer in setting up story arcs for bigger payoffs later.

That's it for this week. Should have some great reactions for my next post.

Tonight's snippet is from Ties Don't Bind, a futuristic, speculative romance featuring longtime friends who finally have a chance to become more.

Here's the tagline:

Gemma Neal, a solider, shares a past with Tripp Macintosh and wants to reconnect with her former friend and lover. But when Tripp gets elected to a parliament position, trading fatigues for a suit and tie, she's not sure how to proceed… a foreign concept for the take charge lieutenant.

And here's a sneaky peek…

Tripp entered his quarters after grabbing a hot shower to find Gemma asleep in the chair by the bed. Dressed in fatigues and—he had to be seeing things—wearing his tie. A quick shake of his head confirmed that she really did have his tie around her neck, with the knot resting against the swell of her breasts.
He crossed the room and securing his towel with one hand, stooped down to wake her up.
"Gemma." He nudged her gently. "Hey… wake up."
She came awake slowly, blinking sleepy eyes open. "Hey, Tripp." Sitting up she glanced around, confused, before she realized she was in his quarters. "Damn… I fell asleep. How long does a shower take anyway?"
Tripp snorted. "Depends on how many times you get stopped on the way there and back." Standing, he crossed the room to open the wardrobe and grab some pants and a shirt. "Being half naked does nothing to slow down the wheels of government."
Quickly dressing, he kept up the flow of conversation. "What's up? You doing okay?" He turned back and snagged some socks out of a drawer. "And what's with the tie?"
Stretching when he asked, Gemma glanced down. "What?" Then she grinned. "Oh, nothing. It was lying on the bed and I wondered what it felt like to have a noose around your neck all the time now." Standing, she crossed over to where Tripp stood. "It's not nearly as restricting as I thought it would be."
His hair still damp and mussed from the shower, she reached up and smoothed it back from his face. "For some reason I assumed wearing it would make me feel all starched and pressed, but it doesn't." Dropping her hands, she loosened the knot and let it fall to below her breasts. "In fact, it makes me feel a little bit wicked." Grabbing the edge of her shirt, she lifted it up over her head, somehow leaving the tie behind when she tossed the garment on the bed.
Tripp's eyes narrowed. He'd wondered why she sought him out, but didn't know what to expect. Stripping her shirt off, typical Gemma, but not typical them. Not lately. Not for a long time. Why would Gemma want to…
He leaned forward, trying to get a look at her eyes. "Gemma… what are you doing?" She didn't look drunk… or anything like that. A relief. The last time she initiated something between them she'd been half off her ass wasted. Always hard to tell with her, too. She rarely acted intoxicated. Never had the telltale signs.
She didn't have any now. In fact…
She looked damn good.
Tripp might actually have thirty minutes of unoccupied time he can spend with Gemma, too. Wonder what they'll get up to. LOL

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

ML Skye