Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Snippet: Quality of Care

May 31, 2015

Wow. School's out for summer where I'm located and I have to say now that my kids are older; we're busier in the summer sometimes than during the school year. LOL

Okay, I've forgiven Orphan Black for killing off one of my favorite characters. But as I figured, the show still blows my mind. Seriously, I'm always amazed by what I see on my screen.

Bitten turned up the crazy with this week's episode. I forgot how truly creepy the show was this past season. Alestair taking over Clay's body was something of a joy to watch though. Kudos to both actors for pulling the swap off.

Really looking forward to Defiance's return in a week or two. Watched a catch up marathon, which got me revved up for the new episodes. I have a character or two I'd be happy to see meet their end the season. LOL

And I'm almost done with mainlining Teen Wolf. I'm slowing down so I don't have long to wait for new episodes. Very excited to see how the rest of season four plays out.

Enough TV… tonight's post is from Quality of Care, a novella that puts my main characters in a dangerous situation.

Here's the tagline:

Stuck on the fringe of space, cut off by an enemy blockade, Phoebe Point and Dane Moragson keep their ragtag crewmembers from going stark, raving mad. When food rations become non-existent, Phoebe and Dane plot a daring plan to improve the quality of care for their comrades—even if it means going against orders and risking court martial.

And a sneaky peek…

Noell brought a bag, a small one, out from behind his back. "This is for you two." He opened the pouch to show its contents.
Phoebe glance up, meeting Dane's gaze before shifting her attention to Noell. "Where did you get this?" The sack contained more food than Phoebe had seen for a very long time.
Dane shook his head. "He doesn't need to answer, Phoebs. Let's thank him instead of putting him on the spot." His hand closed around the offering.
Phoebe winced. "Yeah, sorry. Thank you." She couldn't quite wrap her head around the generosity.
Noell flashed a quick smile. "Look, why don't you two hit the storage locker next to aft control junction and have some downtime." He shuffled from side to side, clearly a little uncomfortable.
Phoebe tilted her head. "Why?"
Dane asked the same. "Yeah, while appreciated, this gesture is surprising to say the least." He shook the bag, almost like the food might disappear.
Noell lifted a shoulder. "The reason is simple, really. Even though the pilots don't always show it, they get it. How much you guys do." He paced, making a slow back and forth across the width of the corridor. "Trying to keep the peace, breaking up the throw downs over rations, boosting morale." He paused. "And even if no one will admit it, they also know Dane gives up his share every third day to keep the numbers even." He nodded toward Phoebe. "And Phoebe skips assigned eating times so someone else can have more." He folded his arms over his chest. "Well, it's your turn. Someone has to take care of you guys, too. And the quality of care you two strive for matters… to everyone." A blush stained his cheeks. "We just forget to show how much it means sometimes."
Phoebe reached out and gave his arm a squeeze. "We appreciate it, but we're doing our jobs." And would continue until one or both were dead.
Dane clapped Noell on the shoulder. "What she means is thank you, we'll take the downtime and enjoy a brief break from work." He started off in the direction of the storage locker.
Phoebe sent Noell a quick glance. "Will you be okay? If anyone has the smallest regret, their reaction could blow back on you."
Noell shrugged again. "I'm a big boy, Lieutenant. I'll handle whatever fallout—if there is any—that comes my way."
Phoebe nodded. Noell had a good head on his shoulders. If he said he'd be okay, he'd be just fine. With a quick, wobbly smile, she turned and caught up with Dane. The lack of sleep, hunger, and high-stress of the past few weeks had her emotions all over the place.
A brief respite should help her get things back under control.

The somber tone of this story is actually fun to work with, which probably sounds bizarre. I'm enjoying this one so much.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday Snippet: Pushing Buttons

For all those in the US, Happy Memorial Day when it gets here tomorrow.

Now for the good stuff. Orphan Black… I'm so very angry with you, right now. *side eyes the show runners* All I have to say is the loss better be worth it, which I figure it will be, but yeah, still sad.

The Bitten on Friday was one of my favorite episodes from season two. I'm thinking they planted some seeds for season three, which we are getting. Yay!!

Finished season three, part two of Teen Wolf and wow… I'm going to miss a few characters. I'd rather have both back and NOT have to insane Kate to deal with, but okay, I'll reserve full judgment. LOL

Looking forward to the new episodes of my previously listed shows. Bring on June!

Tonight's post is from Pushing Buttons, a novella where my main characters endure some pretty serious outside conflict while trying to keep their relationship going strong.

Here's the tagline:

Chet Vondallson hates complications—integrating two crews when a space cruiser goes down sits at the bottom of his list of fun things to do. Parson Browd, one of Chet's top pilots—and his lover—likes to push his buttons and get a reaction, something Chet knows but finds hard to resist.

And a sneaky peek…

Cyrus slammed his hand on the desk. "You're not the right man for this job."
Chet folded his arms over his chest. "I see." He figured he'd meet opposition, just not this soon.
Cyrus snorted. "No, you don't, Chet. That's the problem." He got up and paced the area behind the desk. "You're too blinded by loyalty to get your father is playing favorites again."
Chet let Stingray's comment slide… not the first time he'd heard all about the elder Vondallson's shortcomings.
Parson didn't. "What's the matter, Stingray? Didn't get top billing on the new admiral's roster?" She shoved away from her spot along the wall. "Well, guess what? You have to earn that spot."
Cyrus sent her a nasty look. "Do I wanna know what you have to do to get credit?" He moved around to the front of the desk.
Parson drew back and let her fist fly. Chet grabbed her arm, and she got Stingray on the chin. Not as satisfying as cracking his nose would have been for her.
"That's enough." Chet moved between the two pilots. "Stingray, I suggest you take your grievance up with the admiral." He slid his gaze sideways. "Glamor, suit up. You're gonna fly CAP this shift."
Parson opened her mouth to argue, but Chet silenced her with a quick look.
Shoulders slumped, she grumbled. "Whatever. I could use the quiet time." She crossed the floor, yanked the door open, and shot Cyrus a quick glance. "Are you coming or do you have a burning need to keep being a pain in the ass?"
Cyrus rubbed at his chin. "No, I'll take my leave…" He met Chet's gaze. "For now." He brushed past Parson and strode from the room.
Parson turned. "You should've let me get a good jab in. He crossed the line."
Chet held up a hand. "And got the reaction he wanted. He pushed your buttons and took pride in your response." He leaned in close. "Really? Punching him in the face?"
Parson snorted. "Well, I can't exactly do what I do with you, can I?" Her lips quirked.
Chet narrowed his eyes. "You'd better not." He smacked her on the ass. "Now go fly CAP and ponder all the kinky things we can do later."

Parson will totally make Chet pay for his little public display. LOL

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

ML Skye

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Snippet: Powering Down

Whew. How about that Arrow finale? I'm pretty happy with season three overall and look forward to four. Now we'll find out what happens with The Flash and then patiently wait for Legends of Tomorrow. If you haven't seen the trailer, go find it and watch. :D

Orphan Black? So much love for the show. I was actually pretty thrilled to see some Paul and Sarah interaction. My fingers are crossed he stays firmly on her side. And the Helena one-liners were totally golden. On a freakish note, I'm really interested in what's going on with the women the Castor clones have slept with. I kind of want Gracie to be okay.

Bitten and Lost Girl are rolling right along. Looking forward to having Defiance and Dominion back on my television, and I hope Killjoys and Dark Matter prove to be good viewing fare. Nothing beats new episodes of my favorite shows in the summer months.

And last but not least, my mainlining of Teen Wolf continues. I'm up to the second part of season three and quite engrossed. Each season seems to be better than the one before, which always makes me happy.

So… enough TV talk. Tonight's post is from Powering Down, a sexy short where my main characters finally act on their attraction… with a little help.

Here's the tagline:

A little enforced downtime leads to a small power struggle between Nicia Bowen and Jett Vanatta. Nicia isn't thrilled when Jett picks someone else to be his second in command, but once Jett explains his reason—they're too close—she can't argue the point. Instead she decides to accept his excuse and get even more personally involved.

And a sneaky peek…

Jett worked the speedball, letting his mind wander over the stupid predicament he'd put himself in. Taking command of a warship—one of his life's goals—came with headaches. He understood the burden of sitting at the top of the chain of command. But he'd managed to slide past headache into migraine territory. He smacked the ball harder. Leave it to him to piss off one of his oldest allies.
Ally. Nicia counted as so much to him than a solid support system. Hence the reason he didn't make her his executive officer and put her in charge of his pilots as the CAG.
Too bad she didn't understand.
The autohatch slid open and the object of his thoughts stalked into the training room. Jett spared her a glance, hoping to gauge her mood. She rolled her eyes and crossed over to the heavy bag, giving it two good hard kicks before she started warming up.
Cranky with a side of bitchy. Awesome.
He stopped punching the speedball and turned to face her. "Out with it. You're already destroying my calm and you've been in here less than five minutes." He worked the tape around his fingers loose.
Nicia paused her warm up. "Not my problem you're tightly strung, Jett." She bent over to her right, stretching her left hamstring. "Maybe the stress of command is already getting to you." She straightened and met his gaze. "Or you second in command isn't pulling their weight." Her lips twisted into smirk.
Jett opened his mouth to reply but the locking sequence engaged on the autohatch and the lights flickered then sputtered out completely. "Dammit. I thought engineering had the relays fixed from that damned EMP the Axis assholes used on us last week." The solar backup kicked in, providing ambient illumination.
Nicia rolled her eyes. "Did the new XO tell you they had it fixed or did she actually file the report showing the work as completed?" She snorted. "Wonder how she'll deal with you being locked up in here until power is restored."
Jett balled up the tape from his hands and tossed it in the trash bin. "Karmony did both, and she's more than man enough to handle the outage. Don't doubt it, Nicia."
She made a growling sound. "Right. Miss Competent at Everything couldn't possibly have trouble. You've known her all of what? Three months?" A sneer marred her face. "Unlike me, who you've known for over a decade and used to trust with your life."
Jett crossed the space between them. "You know what, Neece? I've had it with the verbal jabs. State your problem in plain terms and we'll talk about it, but keep going with the veiled insults and pissy attitude and those ten years of friendship won't stand in the way of moving your ass off the ship." She never used to have any kind of issue telling him exactly how she felt.
Nicia snarled. "If you can't figure out why I’m so damned angry with you, you're dumber than I ever imagined." She punched the heavy bag. "I should be your XO, Jett. Not some upstart who drives everyone bat shit crazy."
And there he finally had everything laid out in front of him. He'd suspected Nicia felt slighted when he'd picked Karmony as his executive officer, but not because she didn't have the qualifications. No, Nicia disliked the other woman because Karmony cut right through the bullshit and didn't back down. In essence, she didn't let Nicia get away with anything.
Jett pulled a move from his XO's handbook.
Moving forward, he stood toe-to-toe with his CAG. "Enough is enough. Let me see if I can lay this all out for you." He held up one finger. "First, I command this ship. Don't ever forget that fact, Nicia." He added a second. "Next, you're the CAG for a reason and it has everything to do with our supremely long friendship." Another digit. "And finally, this is the important one and you, of all people, should know why." He waved his hand between them. "You and me? We're too close. If there ever comes a time when we cross the line, the entire ship would know in a matter of moments." Finished, he crossed his arms over his chest.
Nicia quirked a brow. "Cross what line?" Her eyes held something of a challenge.
Jett didn't take the bait—they'd left their relationship undefined for a reason.  "Neece, if I have to explain that one to you, you're hopeless." Because sooner or later, they would step across the boundary of professionalism into up close and personal.
He'd dare her to even try and deny the pull between them.
Nicia flattened her mouth, pondering his explanation, then her lips quirked. "Yeah, okay. I'm not sure I want to go to that particular relationship place right now." Her shoulder lifted and she looked away.
Jett heaved a sigh. "Finally. Can you lose the crappy attitude now?" He turned, ready to sit and relax until the power kicked back on.
He got several yards away when Nicia called out. "Hold up there, Mr. Bossman." She planted her hands on her hips. "If I have to lose my attitude, I should get something out of it." Her lips twitched. "After all, it's gonna take monumental effort on my part to be nice to your new XO."
Jett frowned. "Like what? I mean what are you thinking you should get out of this?"
Nicia lifted an eyebrow. "Jett, if I have to explain that one to you, you're the hopeless one." A slow, sexy grin spread across her face.
She could have punched him in the gut and he wouldn't be more surprised. Unless… she could be messing with him.
He cocked his head to one side. "Oh, you mean… like now?" He didn’t stop to consider how complicated the aftermath would be.
Not after finally landing on the same page for once.
Nicia rolled her eyes. "Yeah." She nodded. "Right now."
Jett said nothing else. He took a step forward and ended up meeting Nicia halfway, hauling her close, and crushing her lips with his.

Nicia and Jett are so much fun to write. I love it when my characters are so in tune with each other.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday Snippet: Point of Distraction

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. I've been watching a James Bond marathon on Cloo all weekend so yeah, I'm having an excellent Mom's Day. :D

Great week of television. Gotham had a pretty great finale. For a show with something of a wobbly premise, I actually enjoyed most of it. The Flash and Arrow, again, kicked major ass. I don't know, I've really enjoyed how both seasons have played out. Had some reservations about The Flash, but I'm quite pleased with the show.

Orphan Black continues to deliver quality episodes. I kind of love the addition of the Castor collective. Really creeped out by Virginia and Gracie's mom, though. I don't wish either of those ladies a happy day… ever. LOL

Looking forward to whenever Strike Back graces my screen again and patiently waiting for The Last Ship to return. Also about halfway through season three (part one) of Teen Wolf. If I thought the first two seasons were a little crazycakes, I'm totally blown away by the bat shit insanity of three so far. LOL

Tonight's post is from Point of Distraction, a sexy short where my hero gets creative to help my heroine out.

Here's the tagline:

When Nisa Bight is trapped inside a holding tank with Ives Vanderhouse, she reveals a little known secret—she hates confined spaces. Ives points out she's a pilot and cockpits are very cramped quarters, but his sound reasoning falls on deaf ears and Nisa starts to lose her grip. Ives gets inventive and finds several points of distraction to help Nisa deal.

And a sneaky peek…

Nisa paced back and forth. "How long do you think it'll be before someone realizes we're stuck in here?" Her hand reached up, cupping her nape.
Ives tilted his head to one side. "What's going on with you?" If he didn't know better, he'd swear the tough as nails pilot had entered meltdown mode.
Nisa dragged in a deep breath. "Nothing's going on. Just want to how long you think it'll be before we can get that stupid hatch open."
Ives crossed the small area and pounded on the heavy door. "Down here? I don't know. Might be a while."
A small shudder went through Nisa and her face paled.
Ives narrowed his gaze. "Seriously, Nis. What the hell is up with you?" He grabbed her bicep and made her face him.
She wouldn't meet his gaze. "Nothing's wrong. Just don't like confined spaces." She eased away and walked the small length of the vat. "They make me feel like I can't breathe."
Ives quirked a brow. "Nisa, you're a pilot. Cockpits are very cramped quarters. Smaller than this?" He stretched his arms out and still had space on both sides. "How do you manage an eight hour shift rotation if you can't deal with confined spaces?"
She shot his a nasty look. "There's always something to do in a cockpit. And the canopy, I don't know, gives me the illusion of being in a wide open area." She lifted a shoulder. "A holding tank? Not so much." Her shoulders slumped and a frustrated growl came from her chest. "Seriously? I'm not gonna make it more than an hour down here." She whirled away, walking back and forth, her hands clenching into fists then splaying wide.
Ives didn't know how to handle this version of Nisa. Strong and iron-willed in a combat situation, Ives couldn't wrap his head around the concept she'd fall apart over being stuck in a holding tank. All less than three feet away from him.
Muttering under her breath, she strode around the perimeter of the vat, mumbling about losing her mind. Ives couldn't take watching her. He had to do something to get her brain focused on anything but being trapped in a small space.
He tried conversation. "So, what do you think about—"
She didn't even shoot him a glance, just threw up a hand. "Ives. Shut. Up."
Okay, talking no longer on the table, he pondered other options. He could make a lunge and then sit on her, if only so she'd stop making him dizzy with the continuous meandering around the small space. Right. And she could clock him a good one with a left hook, too. Scratch that idea from the list.
He snuck a glance in her direction, her striking profile creating a gut-punch feeling in his heart. Her attractiveness never in question, something about the slight look of panic made her more endearing, softened the edges of her kick ass persona. The way her lips moved when she mumbled almost begged for—a kiss.
A kiss. Hot damn. What a great idea. One that would shut her up and maybe make her think about something else…
Or nothing at all.
Crossing the few feet separating them, Ives grasped her shoulders, turned her to face him, and meshed his lips with hers.

Nisa won't take long to figure out what Ives is doing but she'll appreciate the effort he's making.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Snippet: Passing Ships in the Night

May 3, 2015

Happy May! We had terrific weather this weekend and I feel like spring has finally arrived. YAY!!

On the TV front, Arrow and The Flash kind of blew my mind. I'm not sure the final episodes can get any more mind bending. LOL Of course, Orphan Black is always twisty and freaky, but the sibling reveal adds a very cool layer. Won't go into specifics here so I don't spoil anyone, but I'm looking forward to seeing more about the new wrinkle.

Bitten and Lost Girl are such a great pair-up on Syfy. And I'm eagerly awaiting Killjoys and Dark Matter. I'd love Syfy to be my place to be on Fridays again. Been way too many years since that's happened.

Starting on Teen Wolf season three and gotta say, I truly enjoy the show. So far, it's lived up to its hype.

And that's it for television this week.

Tonight's post is from Passing Ships in the Night, a sexy short where my characters have to find their way back to each other.

Here's the tagline:

Renny Spur and Chad Raxton have something of an understanding—they meet at the Moonstar shipyard whenever they're in the Milky Way galaxy. When Chad's late for a connection, Renny gets angry and makes a bad choice—one Chad has to decide if he can overlook.

And a sneaky peek…

Zak's on the landing crew for the Scorpia shipyards. Not sure what else I'll do with this one, but Lee and Kara may arrive at the same time and work really hard to avoid each other and Zak decides to get them together. They've been weird lately and he thinks they're stupid about it.

"Hey, Ren, how's it going?" Mac Raxton fell into step beside her.
Renny closed her eyes for a moment before answering. "It goes, Mac. Did your brother send you?" Shit. Why had she asked about Chad?
Mac shot her a sideways glance. "Contrary to popular opinion, just because Chad's the older one doesn't mean he controls my every move." His head shook back and forth. "Seriously, Renny, how long have you known me?"
She lifted a shoulder. "How long have you worked on Moonstar?" She didn't like being called out for her stupid comments.
Mac grabbed her bicep in a loose grip. "Eight years, Ren. I started here right after basic." He stopped walking, halting her progress. "What's going on with you and Chad?"
She gave him a twisted smile. "Not a damned thing." Pulling free, she walked away and didn't look back.

Renny just told a huge whopper of a lie, but it won't take long for word to get back to Chad. Little brothers are great for stuff like that. (Says the sister with two little bros.)

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

ML Skye