Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Advocate for the Defense

A random observation to start things off. A new office chair totally makes a huge difference when it comes to comfort for writing or editing. Just saying. I got a new chair on Friday and I can already feel the difference. Nice!!

Busy week on the television front. Gotham had a great episode. I hope it gets renewed because I'm interested in where the characters will end up next.

The Flash moved the story forward and I'm looking forward to seeing the finale. Arrow did a repeat, but this week should be new. Legends of Tomorrow had a great new episode. I'm liking what they're doing with the character interaction.

Agents of SHIELD took another bizarre twist and I like it. My one quibble would be the somewhat constant pulling the rug out will get old if it happens all the time. I do get a little tired of turning good guys into bad guys and that's saying something because I love all the shades of gray between black and white.

Wynonna Earp continues to make me happy. And I got partially caught up on Banshee. Gotta say the first episode kind of blew my mind in a terrific way. Not at all what I expected. I'm about halfway through season two of X Company and I’m still enjoying everything about the show.

I didn't say anything about Orphan Black last week because my brain was still processing the premiere. But, wow, what a terrific episode! And the follow up kicked butt, too. Lovely to see Paul, if only briefly. I have so much love for this show and how they raise the stakes each season.

And that's it for television.

Tonight's post is from Advocate for the Defense, a novella built around a longer prompt of "your character lands in the brig, their third trip, which grounds them for graduation. The other character is brought in as an advocate and has to defend the first character in front of a board." Seriously, I love prompts like this!

Here's the mini-blurb:

Jada Link has self-sabotage down to an art form and she gets into trouble on a regular basis. But when she needs an advocate to get out of her latest scrape, she meets the one person who can make her career... and possibly find his way into her heart.

And a sneaky peek…

Jada Link pushed away from the table and stared down her opponent. "Are you saying I cheated?" She never, ever broke her rules for playing cards.
Always play it straight.
The ensign quirked a brow. "I'm saying your luck is too good to be true. Take that any way you want to."
Jada let out a slow breath. "I suggest you ask around. It's not luck, it's skill. I'm very good at reading people." Her temper simmered, ready to blow up in this guy's face.
Ensign Browers smirked. "Are you good at sucking dick, too?" His hands went to his belt. "'Cause I'd be more inclined to rethink my stance if you are." He lifted his ass off the chair, leaning back.
Jada resisted the urge to fly across the table and put him on the floor. "You'd have to have something worth sucking and scuttlebutt has it you don't." Not a lie—her former roommate went out with the guy—but a low blow.
Browers straightened up, his mouth thinning to a slash across his face. "I'll have you up on charges, cadet. You don't speak to a superior officer that way." He shoved away from the table and made his way around to stand toe-to-toe with her.
Jada didn't back down. "You crossed a line by bringing your dick into the conversation. You wanna bring me up on charges, let's give you a reason." She drew back and mashed her fist into his face.
His head snapped back and blood gushed from his nose. She'd caught him off guard, an advantage she'd gladly take. Browers snarled, bringing one hand up to staunch the flow oozing down his lip. He took a step forward, swinging his free arm in her direction. Jada ducked then darted around behind him, running square into the chest of their lieutenant, Keith Jardine. His beefy palms grasped her shoulders, spinning her to one side, removing her from the line of fire.
He held up a hand. "Lock it up! Browers, report to the infirmary and get your nose looked at." When the ensign opened his mouth to argue, Jardine jerked his head toward the exit. "Now, Browers."
Browers stomped his way to the door and two of his friends flanked him on the way out.
Jardine turned his attention to Jada. "Cadet Link, you'd better have damned good reason for clocking a ranking officer." He folded his forearms in front of him.
Jada lifted a shoulder. "According to regulations, there isn't one." And Browers' buddies would back whatever lame ass story he came up with.
Screwed again.
Jardine shook his head. "Then you know what to do." He swept an arm out, indicating she should precede him out the door.
Jada gave a terse nod. "Yes, sir. Report to the brig." A sick feeling of dread wormed its way into her gut.
Jardine followed her out, droning on about her lack of decorum, her constant infractions, and her inability to follow the simplest of rules. Her big mouth never shut up and she'd finally landed on the hot seat. What did he do to deserve the burden of training her?
Jada stayed silent. His rant didn't warrant answers. He wouldn't want excuses and she had none to give. Her actions often surprised her, too. Not like she actually wanted to have trouble show up on her doorstep, but she never ran when it came calling.
Which happened a lot.

Jada is so much fun to write. I love her snappy comebacks. Looking forward to getting this one finished up and out into the world.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Adventures in Nugget Sitting

Finally, a fairly lovely week. The weather took a turn for the better with mild temperatures and some sun.

Gotta say The Magicians finale shocked and surprised me. Loved it! The premiere of The Hunters has me intrigued so I'll continue watching to see how things pan out. No episode of Bitten this week, unless I missed the US viewing night. I've seen the next to last episode and some big twisty-turns I didn't expect.

Agents of SHIELD had a great episode. I have to give Brett Dalton credit for being so good at playing truly creepy. He's got the chops to pull it off.

Legends of Tomorrow also had another great episode. And finally, looks like we'll have a new / another villain. Glad to see the potential there.

Loving Wynonna Earp. I'm all caught up and really excited about the potential for this series. Still need to watch the first three episodes of Banshee, which I'm hoping to do later tonight. Also started a new ITV drama, Marcella, and so far, really like it. One of my favorite actors is starring so I'll be glued no matter what. LOL

And finally, I'm getting back into X Company, an excellent Canadian drama about WWII. Loving the second season so far.

And that's it for television this week.

Tonight's post is from Adventures in Nugget Sitting, a sexy short that didn't begin with a prompt that I can remember, but it's an idea I fell in love with—having my main female character finally realize a few key truths.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Isla Sands, an excellent poker player, loses a card draw and has to babysit the drunken newbie pilot. Between the endless questions, throwing up, and clingy behavior of her charge, Isla takes time to wonder why Riggs Marvelton always does the same for her. And why he never attempts to just kill her and put both out of their misery.

And a sneaky peek…

Riggs Marvelton hooked his arm around Isla and hauled her close. "Hey there, Sands. You're weaving again." She never failed to end up in his sights when she went overboard.
He made sure of it.
Isla laughed and stumbled. "I'm weaving because there're two corridors. Not sure which one I should use." She turned, facing him, her arms going around his waist. "You gonna help me get to my bunk?"
What else would he do? He always made sure she got to her rack.
He tightened his grip and walked her backwards. "Yep. I'll get you tucked in and settled down." When her hands moved lower to grab his ass, he let his eyes close briefly.
If only she'd get grabby hands when she didn't have alcohol-fueled lust. Just once, he wanted her to make a move that didn't involve beer or shots.
Isla stopped, her eyes going wide. "Riggs. I'm gonna…" Her hand flew to her mouth.
He made a quick turn and dragged her to the head, shoving the hatch open with his shoulder. Pushing her forward, he barely got her clear of the stall before she dropped to her knees and heaved. Guiding her closer to the toilet, he twisted her ponytail around his hand, keeping it out of the line of fire. He'd done the act so many times he had the motion down to a science, knew just how to grip the mane so it didn't hurt her. She expelled the contents of her stomach and took a shaky breath. Riggs had a wad of toilet paper ready, holding it out so Isla could wipe her mouth.
She glanced up, her eyes teary from the exertion. "Thanks." Her hand trembled but she took the paper and scrubbed her lips before tossing it in the bowl.
Rising up on wobbly legs, she leaned against the interior of the stall. Riggs let go of her hair then flushed, clearing away the foul-smelling bile. He backed out of the enclosure and crossed over to the sink. Dispersing several paper towels, he ran them under cold water than returned to Isla's side.
He offered the cool compress to her. "Here. This will help with the headache."
Isla took the moistened towels and held it to her head. "Just leave me here." She groaned. "I can't move or I'll hurl again." Her shoulders started a slide down the metal wall.
Riggs caught her and swept his arm under her legs. "C'mon, Isla. You know me better than that." He turned sideways and eased out of the stall. "Said I'd get you to your rack and I will." Ducking through the hatch, he started for quarters.
Isla tucked her head under his chin. "Remind me to thank you tomorrow." Her voice drifted off and she went slack.
Riggs shook his head. "Sure thing, Isla." Right, as if.
The hatch stood open when he arrived at the senior pilots' quarters. He carried her through and deposited her on the berth. After arranging her comfortably, he drew a light blanket over her. He placed the cold compress on her forehead then sat on the edge of the bunk. Thankfully, quarters were pretty much empty with only a few of the curtains closed on several racks.
He heaved a sigh and stretched out the kinks in his neck then started to stand.
Isla threw an arm out, catching him by surprise. He glanced down, wondering if they'd be making a mad dash for the head again.
She didn't open her eyes, but she grasped his fingers. "I love you, Riggs. You're the best." Her hand pulled away from his, landing on the mattress.
Riggs exhaled slowly. "Yeah, yeah. I'm awesome." Turning, he trudged out of the bunkroom. "Someday you'll actually realize just how much."
If only.

As an opener, I love the dynamic between Riggs and Isla. They've known each other a long time and I hope that comes through in this scene.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Zulu Delta Niner

Just in time for the weekend, snow showers in Ohio. LOL Considering I was still wearing shorts and flip-flops in October, I won't gripe anymore. J

Update on the gimpy kid… she'd made huge strides over the last week, going from her splint down to a boot and now easing into a brace. She's doing therapy and it's making a huge difference. She won't be ready to jump hurdles before the end of track season, but she's mobile and crutchless for the most part. *throws confetti*

Sad there isn't a new Walking Dead, but also a little relieved. I'll give next season a quick go then decide if I can deal with Negan or not.

The Magicians is almost to the season ender and I'm kind of excited to see what happens. Bitten is also two episodes away from its finale and I'm kind of sad there won't be any new episodes to look forward to.

No new The Flash, but Agents of SHIELD had a terrific showing. I rather like how the deep division seems to be setting up Captain America: Civil War.

Arrow… wow. I'm actually kind of shocked at who we lost. That said, never say die in a show based on a comic series. There's a solid chance we'll see the one we lost again.

Legends of Tomorrow put a good episode together. I really love the complicated mix and relationships portrayed. I will admit, I'm actually kind of tired of Savage constantly having the upper hand. I'd like to see a serious blow dealt to him and maybe an introduction of some other villains.

Still need to watch Banshee, but I have the eps ready to go. And the first episode of Wynonna Earp proved awesome! If the second ep is as good, I'm all-in. Kind of looking forward to The Hunters and hoping it holds my interest.

That's it for TV this week.

Tonight's post is from Zulu Delta Niner, a novella built around the challenge of writing a story set in a specific time period. I put a little spin on the idea, opting to write with Kent State 1970 in mind, but maintaining my sci-fi / speculative romance flair.

Here's the mini-blurb:

In a war torn galaxy, Nell Watkinson works to save lives on the front lines in the battle arena. When she returns home, she meets Jerrick Haight, a man who's not afraid to fight if his number is called, but he vehemently opposes waging war when it spreads resources so thin their own people suffer. On opposite sides of a moral dilemma, Jerrick's actions put him in danger and Nell uses everything at her disposal to save his life.

And a sneaky peek…

Nell Watkinson smoothed her hand over her patient's forehead then checked the readout on the thermostrip. "Your temperature is staying down, Rod. That's good news." She noted the degree on his chart.
The flight hit turbulence when they entered inner-atmo and she feared the bumpy ride would jar his slow-healing injuries.
Rod gave a weak smile. "How'd I get so lucky to have my nurse travel all the way home with me?" Another pocket of air and a rough dip made him wince.
She shook her head, cursing the storm, the pilot, and last but not least, her irritating father for dragging her home. Dragging some rolled up blankets, she tucked several around Rod, hoping to add some stability to his remaining journey.
Glancing down, she smiled. "Rod, I'm not a nurse. You know I'm a ranking medic in the combat medical corps and you're stuck with me because I got called to come home." She checked his fluids and pulled out another bag of saline to replace the almost depleted one.
He watched her work. "How long?" He snagged the empty pouch when she hung the new one.
Nell frowned. "How long what?" Her focus split between too many things, she didn't have a clue what he meant.
He chuckled. "Since you've been home?"
She cleared up the debris, doing a quick calculation. "Hmm. Three years, give or take. Shipped out as soon as I made rank and had a choice. Haven't returned since." Too many reasons to get into, even on a longer than normal flight.
But running fast and far topped the list. Quickly followed by the intense need to decide her fate without anyone else's input. And, of course, saving as many lives as she could while war waged out in the black put her training to good use.
If she had her way, she wouldn't be here now. Too bad her father's pull far exceeded hers. But she'd dutifully show her face in his presence and dance to his tune.
For a very short period of time.
Then the gloves would come off and she'd demand he leave her alone again.
Rod cleared his throat. "You must be excited then. Coming home."
Nell held a bottle of water with a straw to his lips. "I'll be thrilled to land." And not because she couldn't contain her glee with being back.
But she wouldn't bring Rod down. His stay would be permanent. He wouldn't return to his unit, the damage to his leg too severe. But he'd live to a ripe, old age, something way too many men would never see.
When he drank his fill, he settled back down and his eyes drifted shut. Good. He needed sleep and plenty of rest. He'd survived a brutal battle that wiped out most of his platoon and the physical scars might fade over time, but she worried over the hidden ones, the mental and emotional toll of war.
Oh, yeah. She definitely wanted a chance to give her dad a piece of her mind.

The introduction of Nell ended up being fun to write. Looking forward to sharing the intro of Jerrick sometime in the future.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sunday Snippet: The Zipper Incident

So, first week of April in Ohio and we had a wintry mix of sleet and snow yesterday. *shakes head* Come on, Mother Nature, cut us a break. LOL

On the television front… The Walking Dead set everything up for the finale tonight. I'm actually thinking I won't watch it live. It's been a rough week and my brain might just break if one of my faves doesn't make it out alive.

Missed Gotham on Monday and haven't caught up yet. This plays into the rough week angle. My teenage daughter had her first track meet Monday night and badly sprained her ankle during the warm-ups. The poor kid didn't even get to compete. The good news is she cleared all the hurdles. The bad news? She needs to work on the landings. LOL Needless to say, she's on crutches and miserable but gets to see the orthopedic guy tomorrow. Whew.

The Flash and Agents of SHIELD had great episodes. I liked seeing the fallout from previous episodes on both shows. Time travel always kicks my interest up a notch and The Flash usually pulls off nice twists when it happens. Henry Simmons is terrific at playing Mack and I'm glad he's on Agents of SHIELD.

Arrow added some new layers to relationships and it was cool to see a Flash villain show up in Star City. I kind of liked having Felicity save the day and Curtis was a total riot in the Arrow cave / bunker. I love his character so much.

Legends of Tomorrow surprised me with revealing how Mick survived his encounter with Snart. Very cool to see Sara back in Nanda Parbot and being introduced to Talia. I loved the little seeds / references to Nyssa, too.

I checked into The Magicians and love the kind of twisty things they're doing with the relationships there. Bitten also had a great episode, but I'm truly sad another pack member met his end. I'm very ready for Elena and company to kick ass and end the menacing presence in their lives.

I'll be catching up with Wynonna Earp and Banshee sometime today. Will probably be adding little bits to next week's post on both.

And that's it for television this week.

Tonight's post is from The Zipper Incident, a sexy short that found life from a prompt I completed for a fanfiction piece. The prompt asked for the same incident to be told from three or four points of view, which was fun to write, but ultimately not the way I like to present a story. But I loved the premise enough to rewrite from the hero and heroine point of view only.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Layne Donaker makes a grave error when she mistakenly uses a super adhesive on Hyde Scarlotti's zippers—all of them, including his flight suit. Hyde is beyond done with her stupid pranks and calls her out in front of the entire crew, which Layne doesn't take kindly.

And a sneaky peek…

Layne Donaker stumbled into the bunkroom and flopped back onto her berth. "Damn Hyde, saying I needed adult supervision." Okay, she might be a wee bit drunk, but she handled her alcohol better than he did.
Always. Even when the drinking celebrated Hyde Scarlotti's new rank of lieutenant, something she should be thrilled about. Except he already started pulling back and away by ordering her to slow down and take it easy.
Rolling over on her side, she heaved a sigh. "As if his promotion suddenly makes him all authoritarian." Well, his bump in rank did make him a superior officer. "Shit. I have to salute him now." Didn't that suck balls?
Not for him. But she'd been up for the same promotion. Two slots, four people. Hyde made the grade, Layne didn't. Something about her lack of by the book decision making. And, yeah, she liked to challenge standard operating procedure. Sometimes the status quo got stale and needed a good shake-up. Of course, Hyde tried to tell her she needed to consider her answers carefully when she took the oral exam. Did she listen?
Hell, no. Layne shot straight from the hip and always would. Even if it cost a move up the chain of command.
But the price also included losing the one person she'd been with since basic training.
Didn't matter if he said nothing would change. Everything would. And Layne didn't like ripples. Not when it came to her personal relationships.
She growled. "He's already thinking like an SO, telling me not to down so many shots and to go easy because I've got first watch." A snort escaped her. "Maybe I traded shifts with someone. Did he think to ask me? Nope." She flung an arm out to make her point and knocked a picture of her and Hyde from the interior wall of her space.
Picking the image up, she frowned. "He's so confident he's got this all figured out." She stashed the frame under her pillow. "Methinks I need to show him he doesn't." A very bad idea formed in her mind and her lips twisted in a smile.
Sitting up, then waiting for the room to stop spinning, she slid off the bunk and wobbled her way to the set of lockers on the far wall. Layne didn't open hers. Instead, she thumbed the combination to Hyde's lock and yanked hard on the door. Fumbling around inside, she dragged out all his clothes—uniforms, flight suits, fatigues, and civvies. Dropping them on the deck, she gave a drunken chuckle at the crazy-wicked prank she intended to pull. Layne crossed over to the community storage area and rummaged around until she found what she wanted. She made her way back over to the pile of garments, stumbling over the heap and crashing to the floor on her knees.
She winced, then laughed. "Serves me right. Shoulda been paying attention." Sorting the pile, she pushed all the shirts aside.
She had no need for those.
Next, she went through the remaining items and found anything with zippers. Grabbing the tube of glue, she popped the lid off and spread a long strip down the first notched length. She picked up the next pair of pants and repeated the process.
Her lips twisted in a sneer. "Mr. Superior thinks everything is going to be the same. But he'll find out it's not going to be. This should get the point across." She glued every single zipper on each piece of clothing—including his flight suit—together then put the garments back in his locker.
She capped the adhesive and stashed it back in the storage area then crawled back into her bunk. Her head throbbed and she already had the beginnings of cotton-mouth from too much alcohol consumed. Rolling over to her side, she let sleep claim her, praying the hangover wouldn't be killer in the morning.

Kind of longish, but this sets up the story, which ended up being so much fun to write.

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

ML Skye