Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Covert Heart

New television started for me this week. Gotham kicked off with a pretty solid premiere. I like Gordon playing bounty hunter. He's definitely got enough escapees to keep him busy. Really interested in where things go with Bruce and OtherBruce (aka Dude Who Looks Like Bruce).

Missed the premiere of Agents of SHIELD, but I'll catch up before the second episode. Looking forward to seeing how the team moves ahead.

Caught the second half of Van Helsing and I'm in for now. My fear is this show will be similar to Hunters where the first few episodes were good but things unraveled from there.

MacGyver ended up being better than I expected. As one of my favorite early adult shows, the original will be hard to beat. Then again, if the updated vibe continues and darker themes are explored, I could get behind the new reboot. Fingers crossed.

Needed some lighter fare, so started Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries again. I'll get back to Strike Back soon. Can't leave Stonebridge and Scott hanging for too long. LOL

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Covert Heart, a novella built around putting my main characters in an impossible situation and exploring how they handle the conflict of doing their duty when it means destroying the incredible life they've planned.

Here's the mini-blurb:

An impossible task. A couple sworn to carry it out or die trying. One big test of the depth of their courage and love.

And a sneaky peek…

Another week went by before she confronted him, or, well, he confronted her. She'd give him credit, he didn't break cover. Instead he put on a flawless performance, walking into her office, a grim look on his face. Apparently her very quiet probe into his background hadn't gone unnoticed. He dropped the asshat persona and the man she'd caught a glimpse of earlier emerged. Sharp, intelligent, and keenly aware of her mistrust, he closed her door and settled himself in the empty chair beside her desk.
Emma barely kept her jaw from dropping when he asked one simple question.
Fully expecting a full blown meltdown or interrogation, she had a list of answers prepped and memorized. Members of the same security team did not run background checks on each other, but she'd come up with several plausible excuses if she hadn't covered her trail. Her only problem? None of her replies could answer such a supremely vague query?
Emma quirked a brow. "Are you asking me why I think you're an egotistical pain in the ass?" As a cover it stuck very close to the truth. "I can give you the rundown in numerical or alphabetical order." She met and held his gaze. "Which do you prefer?"
Rick barked out a laugh. "Great answer." He rose from the seat. "And we'll leave it at that… for now." He crossed the office and opened the door, looking back over his shoulder. "I do strongly suggest you refrain from any more hacking until this detail is over." He left without another word.
Emma's eyes widened. By rights, he should have reported her to the chancellor and she wondered why he hadn't. His amusement puzzled her, and she didn't trust him enough to not be wary. He also hadn't quite convinced her there wasn't more to the walking, talking asshole image he presented either.
Curiosity piqued, she followed him for two days before he turned the tables on her. Again. She returned home after losing him in the throng of people outside a gala art show only to find the man sitting in her living room, drinking her best liquor.
Emma had her weapon drawn and aimed within seconds.
He raised his glass. "You've got excellent taste." He drained the contents. "And you can put the gun away. I'm not here to hurt you."
She snorted, but slowly lowered the sidearm, keeping it in her hand. "What are you doing here?"
Rick's lips curved in a half smile. "Why are you following me?" He leaned forward and poured another drink.
Emma shrugged. "I don't trust you. There's something you're not telling me and it's my job to know everything about the upcoming event." She raised a brow, daring him to deny her words.
Rick considered her for several moments. "You're smarter than you look." He kicked back, making himself comfortable.
Emma bit her tongue to keep from saying the first insulting thing that popped into her head. Instead she asked, "Meaning I look what? Stupid?"
Rick smirked. "No, not stupid. But getting past the tits and teeth to see the intelligent woman probably isn't something most men do."
She didn't whether to be insulted or complimented. "Never let the package fool you. You'll prove yourself to be the utter prick everyone thinks you are."
He laughed. "Touché. And very well said." He took a long sip of the alcohol. "You've got a meeting with Chancellor McBride at 0900 tomorrow." He finished the drink. "I strongly suggest you not miss it."
Emma narrowed her eyes. "Care to tell me what it's all about?" She'd definitely make the meet, but wanted to see if he'd give anything away.
Rick placed his glass on the table. "Just be there." He rose and strode toward her front door. "And play down the beauty queen angle. The chancellor gets easily distracted." Pulling open the door, he gave her a farewell salute and left.
Emma sank down on the loveseat and shook her head. "Dickhead." Pouring a healthy amount of liquor in Rick's empty glass, she gulped it down.
She hoped her meeting with Chancellor McBride solved the enigma of Rick Mannix.
She had no idea how hard that would bite her on the ass.

This started as a short idea built around the one scene, but it's taking on a life of its own. I'm perfectly okay with that. LOL

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

ML Skye

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Command Authority

Whew. The Last Ship had one of the best finales I've seen in a while. I'm so thrilled season four and five are already on tap and we'll get more of this terrific show. I'm honestly excited to see where things go with Tom, who's so broken right now, the Greens and their new family, and the rest of the crew of the Nathan James. Gonna be a very loooonnng wait for 2017.

Still need to catch up on Dark Matter so I haven't seen the finale yet. Hopefully next week I'll have some final thoughts on this season.

I think Gotham starts this week and I'm interested in where things will end up. With so many disturbed and unbalanced people on the loose, Gordon and company will have their hands full.

Fall television will be in full swing soon so there might be more shows added to the roundup.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Command Authority, a novella that started as a sexy short but matured into something else. Still sexy, but with more depth.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Addie Varns and Neal Columbo are thisclose to having everything they want, namely each other, when Neal gets promoted to commander. Used to being on equal footing, Addie needs some time to adjust to the new chain of leadership. Neal gives her some space, but if need be, he'll invoke his command authority.

And a sneaky peek…

Addie Varns wondered if the upheaval and turmoil of the last three months might finally be over. Neal Columbo, promoted from captain to commander a full month ago, certainly appeared at ease during the morning briefing. So did his group of officers. A vast improvement over the previous three months.
War did horrible things to people and surprise attacks, when every military branch got caught with their pants down, threw everything and everyone into a tailspin of reaction. Trying to get civilians to safety and pull all their asses out of the fire while fighting a battle against a relentless enemy had everyone on edge. But they had to keep it together or lose everything.
Addie listened intently when Neal briefed the command officers on the day's schedule.
"First dog watch needs two additional crewmen on comms." He directed his attention to the shift leader. "Make that happen, but don't use anyone who pulled duty yesterday."
Decidedly less formal than Admiral Ames, Neal opted to have everyone seated comfortably on the plush furniture, arranged in a u-shaped configuration, in his quarters. It made a palpable difference to have the commander sitting right among his group of officers instead of looming behind a huge table. Where Ames ignored opinions differing from her own and ruled with an iron will, Neal encouraged independent thinking among his officers and respected what they had to offer. That sense of camaraderie had won over the entire crew.
Addie let her mind wander. She knew the briefing notes upside down and sideways. Had worked with Neal long enough to not need them. Instead, she pondered the difference in command style. She'd respected Admiral Necia Ames, but the peril of war had taken its toll, pushing the novice admiral beyond the limits of sanity.
By the time Ames made the rendezvous—six months after the initial attacks—a third of her crew had been lost. She'd executed her XO for countermanding orders and by doing so, lost the one buffer she had against her questionable grasp on reality. Tim Braddox had done his level best to be her voice of reason.
His replacement, Colonel James Trask, did nothing to dispel Ames's method of commanding by fear and intimidation. He encouraged it to further his own nefarious agenda, but Addie didn't want to think about Trask at the moment. Still broke out in a cold sweat when she did.
Ames's ghost no longer lingered in her former quarters and the bloodstains were long gone. But the shadow of the admiral's harsh tenure had long tendrils. If Addie hadn't overheard the conversation between Ames and her XO Trask, she wouldn't have believed the words flowed from the woman's mouth. But Addie had a prime listening spot, directly behind the admiral in the formerly hidden compartment the woman used to record her strategy sessions and private meetings—a major bucking of protocol.
The discussion continued to haunt Addie.
Ames had a feral smirk when a young private entered, carrying a tray with coffee. "Trask, I think I'm going to have my contingent of marines act as my enforcement squad."
Trask raised an eyebrow. "Do you think that's wise, Admiral?" The man could give two shits, but always played the game the way Ames preferred.
She'd given him a long, sideways glance. "Of course. After all, they did an outstanding job of interrogating the crew to find sympathizers." Her gaze shifted to the young man.
Ethan Janisay. Private, first class. Victim of multiple interrogations.
Trask's lips twisted in a knowing smile. "Whatever you feel is best, Admiral." He shot a quick look at the private. "Although they might need to brush up on how to break the holdouts."
Addie didn't know the history, but she witnessed the final chapter when the lowly private ended the admiral's reign of terror—he shot her after delivering her morning coffee. Janisay barely escaped with his life. Trask had his sidearm drawn and against the kid's head before Addie could blink. But with her mission scrapped, she went against orders and revealed her position to the XO.
With a surprising calm, she exited the compartment, her weapon drawn. "I wouldn't dig myself a deeper hole by shooting him, Sir, but please feel free to do what you want."

I'm looking forward to seeing how this one turns out. Hopefully in early 2017.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Come Here Often

Well… it's kind of fitting the finale for The Last Ship is on the anniversary of 9/11. I have no doubt the end of season three will blow my mind. The previous episode has so much packed into it. Chandler knows what's happening on US soil. And it's not what he expected. The Greens were FINALLY reunited. If Blonde Ambition tries to do anything to their kid, I'm going to reach through the television and bitch slap her. Just saying. Pretty sure she'll focus on Chandler's family instead. Which means I'll still want to bitch slap her. LOL

I missed the double header of Dark Matter so I'll be playing catch up this week. I hope. I've got a crazy schedule through the end of the month so who knows.

No time to work on recaps of Killjoys season one. Maybe next week. I did get to watch a few episodes of Strike Back and should finish out season two soon. Might have to add recaps for this one to my list also. There's so much to love.

That's it for now. Should have few new shows to chat about soon.

Tonight's post is from Come Here Often, a novella showing what happens when two military types finally get to choose their future.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Neely survives a war but not without considerable emotional damage. When Ace offers her everything she's ever wanted, she turns him down, believing they can't pick up where they left off. Ace aims to prove they don't have to.

And sneaky peek…

"We are under general armistice. Peace has been achieved. Those with the requisite number of points are free to see their CO to muster out or re-up."
Neely Jays took a break from her task of rewiring a communications console. "And do what?" She went back to weaving wires and threading them through contact points.
Once she completed the panel, she slid out from under the station. Sitting up, she looked around to see animated discussions and lots of chattering going on around her. She wrapped her arms around her knees, resting her chin on the bent surface. Joining in on the excitement would be premature. At least for her.
Her commanding officer and the upper level brass might not let her go. Or they could make her wait out the standard six month stint after being held behind enemy lines. After all… she could have been programmed to seek and destroy from the inside. She sure as hell didn't have a clue what happened to her. A complete memory wipe did that to a person.
A big body settled next to her on the deck. Ace Buchanan stretched his long legs out in front of him and braced his palms on the floor. He studied her for several long moments, long enough for Neely to get a little uncomfortable.
Ace nudged her shoulder. "They'll let you go, Neels. If you want out, you'll be allowed to leave."
His uncanny ability to get insider her thoughts unnerved her.
She angled her head toward him. "How can you be so sure?" Especially when she had serious doubts.
Ace shot her a sideways glance. "Because you've gone above and beyond for the cause. You've earned the right to choose your future."
Her future. Six months ago, she didn't think she'd live to see the next day. Now she didn't know if she'd turn on her fellow compatriots. Ace's confidence bolstered her flagging spirits.
She certainly hoped he'd called her options right.

I'm having fun with this one. I love the idea of dropping two people into totally new circumstances and watching what unfolds.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Come Back to Me

Holy crap! The Last Ship only has two more episodes left and I'm dying to see both yet dreading the long wait for season four. ARGH! We got a favored familiar face last week and lost a new favorite. We also got to see one major enemy get his due. Now we just need to see Blonde Ambition get what's coming to her and hopefully find out if Jacob the Asshat reporter, who turned into a decent dude after all, met a terrible end. A LOT happened last week. Just saying.

The Killjoys finale rocked. We got some answers and spawned new questions. And, of course, one third of the team is separated from the other two. I wouldn't mind that being a thing for each season finale. I'm so interested in seeing how things play out for season three and look forward to the recurring characters maybe getting a little more backstory. And hey, if Rick Howland can start recurring, bonus points for that. Hat's off to Michelle Lovretta and her team for creating such a kick ass show.

Dark Matter is also weaving intriguing ripples. Yeah, ripples can't really be woven together, but this is science fiction so *blows raspberries*. I kind of loved the whole android / hologram dealio. And I'm kind of hoping we get some development / clear answers on the corporation thing. I'm all for murky waters and all, but I wouldn't mind some concrete motives either.

My rewatch of Killjoys season one is inspiring me to maybe do some fun recaps on my sister blog. If nothing else, I'd love to talk the mix of cast / costumes / music, because the first season nailed everything.

And that's it for television. Tonight's post is from Come Back to Me, a novella built on the prompt of "come back". I love having a word or two to get started then diving into whatever scene plays out in my head.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Tania and James love each other deeply, but have a complicated relationship. When Tania has a chance to right a wrong, James has to trust she'll keep her promise to come back to him.

And a sneaky peek…

Tania Greene downed a shot of piqua and let the minty alcohol burn its cool trail down her throat. Anything to keep grief from clogging her airway. Getting bad news sucked on a good day, but it truly blew balls of space dust when she couldn't make amends for a wrong she committed.
She poured another shot, fully intent on getting stupid drunk.
"Greene, have you seen the casualty report yet?" Monica Ames stopped beside the table and waved the file back and forth.
A new stab of remorse pierced Tania's gut. "Yeah. Right after the initial list came through." Containing one name that would haunt her forever.
Monica shook her head. "Not that one." She placed the stack of papers in front of Tania. "Updated an hour ago. There's a name you're gonna want to see." Stepping back, Monica started for the hatch. "Third page, halfway down." She ducked out, leaving Tania alone in the room.
Tania frowned. She'd lost a lot of friends in the last skirmish with the Carmite settlers. Why the hell would she want to see more?
Flipping to the section Monica indicated, Tania's eyes scanned the new information. Didn't take her long to find what her fellow squadron leader wanted Tania to see. She lifted the report and brought it closer, blinking to make sure she read the update correctly.
Holy five hells. Denny Hatterson. Her gaze shifted to the status column and her mouth dropped open.
She sucked in a harsh breath. "Great gods above. MIA instead of KIA." The red star beside his name indicated a mistake on the previous version.
A wave of relief hit her followed by a kick of guilt. She had to convince her CO—and significant other—to let her run a rescue operation. The past week proved she had some unfinished business to handle.
Bringing Denny home would be a good start.
Rising, she tucked the report under her arm. "Too bad James won't see things my way."
Then again, making the only man she'd ever love understand why she had to leave him to find her ex would sound insane to anyone else.
To her, it hit right about normal.

Seriously? I don't tend to write angst-ridden fare. But I do like to dive into messy and see what happens. Maybe not your typical romance, but life isn't typical and I like to explore the boundaries of trust and the many definitions of love.

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

ML Skye