Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Need

Greetings on this final day of 2017. I hope everyone had the best of holiday seasons and wish all nothing but wonderful things for the upcoming new year. I have several goals I'll be working toward and I'm kind of excited about starting with a shiny new calendar.

Holiday movies are winding down and I'll be a little sad to see them disappear until the next holiday season. There's something a little magical about Christmas movies. My one wish would be to see some diversity and have Hanukkah, Kwanza, and even Yule or the Solstice represented. I'm fascinated by other traditions and wouldn't mind seeing some movies built around them.

The Doctor Who Christmas special ended up being good. "Twice Upon a Time" tied some things up and delved back into the shows history and, yeah, I'll give credit to Capaldi's final bow. A worthy ending to Twelve's tenure.

Murdoch Mysteries "Home for Christmas" hit all the right notes. This show is in its eleventh season and, honestly, it's only improved with age. The cast is top notch and the revolving round of historical bigwig and the guest stars that portray them rarely disappoint. I'm happy this remains on my watch radar.

I've also been enjoying Frankie Drake Mysteries—another Canadian show. I like the leads and, so far, the mysteries have been entertaining. This is a little similar to Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. If you enjoyed that one, give Frankie Drake a try.

I've started the second season of Chicago Fire and I'm a little disappointed in the whole McLeod storyline. Maybe if I had a little more to go on with why she's hell-bent on getting Boden out I might care a little more. And Benny Severied whispering in her ear isn't quite enough in my book. That said, I love everything else about the first five episodes.

I don't think I've talked about Passionflix, a new $4.99 a month subscription streaming movie service. It's brand new and they're creating original movies—and possibly series down the road a ways—and also offer several classic romantic films with more to come. To date, they have three original movies available for viewers. They're all based on best-selling romance novels and have varying levels of steaminess. The site has a convenient BON—Barometer of Naughtiness—rating system so viewers can find their comfort zone. I've been able to catch the first two, Hollywood Dirt and After Burn / After Shock. Guys… it's worth the $4.99 a month for those two alone. I'll be viewing the final new release The Trouble with Mistletoe later today. If you love romance, give this service a consideration.

And that's it for television viewing this week. This year's final post is from Need, a sexy short that might end up turning into a novella. It's a fun narrative style and little different for me.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Circe Nash and Oz Paterson, two top-notch pilots, have the strangest courtship in the galaxy—one they swear doesn't even exist. But when the need to be together hits them, they inevitably find themselves in the same place at the same time, with a little help from their crewmates.

And a sneaky peek…

And the crew did see. Oz and Circe balanced each other out. Not that they'd ever admit it.
But the long, strange mating dance or courtship or whatever one wanted to call it became the stuff of legend, kind of like the two pilots themselves.
The following is the official recollection of Circe and Oz.

Circe skated into the morning briefing at the last minute because she had trouble finding a matching uniform.
Oz deviated from his usual greeting to call her out. "Lieutenant Nash, nice to see you slide in this morning. What, pray tell, kept you today?" He quirked an eyebrow.
Circe resisted urge to slump in her seat. "Nothing important, Sir." She hoped he'd move the hell on and start the briefing.
No such luck.
Oz stepped out from behind the podium. "Let's see, two days ago, you were late because you had a little too much fun on R and R." He along the edge of the seats, heading in her direction. "Yesterday, the galley ran out of coffee and you had to wait for a caffeine fix." He stopped at the edge of her seat. "And here we are today. I'm starting to get a complex, Lieutenant." He folded his arms across his chest.
Circe smirked. "Sounds like you've got a problem, Sir." Chuckles erupted from the rest of the squadron.
Oz leaned in close. "Oh, I do. And she's sitting in front of me." He straightened. "What's the reason today, Lieutenant? Maybe we can fix whatever issue you had so you won't be late again."
Circe didn't want to be put on the spot, but she had to concede defeat. The damned man wouldn't start the actual briefing until she admitted the reason for being late this morning.
Heaving a sigh, she mumbled. "I couldn't find a clean uniform that matched." Her face heated and she kind of hoped the deck opened up and swallowed her.
Oz opened his mouth then closed it before tilting his head to one side. "Quarters after the briefing. We're going to solve your uniform dilemma." He turned and went back up front to begin going over the day's important information.
Circe waffled on the fence. Her curiosity piqued at the idea of Oz helping her out. Mortification also filled her over the state of her locker.
Not that she would tidy up. Definitely not her style.
But pushing Oz's buttons? Standard flight trajectory for her.

I'm hoping the mingling of narrative with character point of view meshes well together. We'll see how it goes and hopefully have a sexy short story in 2018.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Napalm at Night

Season's Greetings!

As usual, I'm running around like a crazy woman finishing up everything at the last moment. I'm only halfway through Operation Wrap Shit Up but I'll get it all done. I always do… even if it's not until four a.m. Christmas morning. LOL

Slow week in television, which isn't a bad thing because I had a few editing projects to finish up and I didn't need the distraction. I did manage to finish the first season of Chicago Fire and I can't wait for the second season to start arriving in my mailbox.

I have the Murdoch Mysteries holiday special ready to watch while we're decorating our tree later tonight. I'm looking forward to the Doctor Who special if only to watch the regeneration into a new doctor. Sadly, I never warmed up to Capaldi as the Doctor and I'm ready for a new face.

I still have the Riverdale winter finale to watch and I'm hoping to finish up my wrapping while viewing that episode. Considering I'll probably be going nonstop until the wee hours, I might even watch it more than once. LOL

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Napalm at Night, a novella that started as a prompted fanfic where the requester asked to have the female character working as a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam and the male character as a soldier behind enemy lines. I liked the concept and wanted to put a sci-fi romance spin on the story.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Napalm at night is dangerous stuff. Jensen Wallis, an extraordinary helicopter pilot, makes her fair share of early dawn rescues after enemy forces unleash the potent explosives on her fellow soldiers. She comes to the aid of Rip Rafferty's squadron and gets them to safety, but not before the enigmatic man sets her curious nature on fire.

And a sneaky peek…

Rip thrashed on the cot, his mind filled with grisly images of men falling and the world around them burning. The cloyingly acrid stench of napalm surrounded him, stinging his nostrils and choking the air from his throat. The shit sticks to everything else, why not my insides?
A cool, wet cloth bathed his face. Is someone coating me with the stuff?
No, napalm burns even when it's not on fire.
He struggled to break free, wanted to get away from the reeking perfume of gasoline and detergent stink. His body rebelled. No… strong hands held him down. Caught between a nightmare and reality, Rip did what instinct demanded.
He fought.
Wrenching an arm out and up, he caught his captor by the throat. "Get off. Now." When he couldn't move his legs, he bucked his hips and arched his back. "Get away from me."
"Shhh, gunny, take it easy. You're not in a battle right now." The female voice spoke in soothing tones then turned commanding. "Let him go. If he reopens the wound, Doc Cassidy will bust us all down a rank." The damp cloth swished over his face again.
"But, corporal, he won't stay still—"
The last vestige of nightmare melted away and he remembered what happened. Hospital. An image of a cool brunette filled his mind and he relaxed, picturing her smile. Jensen. Right. A helicopter-flying angel, waiting on the horizon to rescue him and his men.
Saving him from death.
"See, he's calming down. You each should know what he's going through. Not so long since this was you lying on a cot trying to recover only to be caught in the throes of a nightmare." She took on a stern tone again. "Go on, get moving. There's plenty to do out there." Placing a hand on Rip's forehead, she spoke quietly. "Get some rest, gunny. You'll be okay now." Her footsteps echoed on the wood planks.
Rip tried to wake up. He wanted to ask about his men. Instead, the image of Jensen flashed in his mind and he gave up the ghost. If he couldn't be more than semiconscious, spending time with an angel might chase the dark dreams away.
And hopefully keep me on the right side of sanity.

Gotta say I love writing this one. My goal is to evoke the idea of what Viet Nam might have been like but keeping the setting firmly based on a recently terra-formed planet.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday Snippet: My Best Friend is a Cyborg

Whew. What a crazy week. I'm still in the throes of trying to get the house cleaned up so we can decorate our tree. We usually wait until Christmas Eve to add the ornaments, which is a good thing because I've misplaced a package I bought to go along with our superhero theme this year.

I'm behind on my shows again. Between shopping, editing, and writing, I need about four more hours each day to get stuff done. LOL That said, I'm almost through the first season of Chicago Fire and, yeah, I really love the show. I'm going the DVD route because I never watch first run anything on NBC. I'm in about year twenty of a boycott and don't see that changing anytime soon.

I've also been enjoying holiday episodes of my favorite shows. There are so many classic television shows with themed episodes and I'm trying to build my collection. I also discovered a new to us channel on my local feeds and it shows a lot of old favorites. I won't complain. It's fun to revisit stuff I loved back in the day.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from My Best Friend is a Cyborg, a novella that got a start with a writing community prompt that suggested writing a story about a best friend who ends up being either an enemy or someone not trusted anymore.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Ibby Stoke finds out her best friend is a dreaded and reviled cyborg and it sends her into a tailspin, making her wonder if the man she loves is a mecha-human. Phil McNulty is everything she's ever wanted, but if he's not all man, Ibby isn't sure she can deal with the reality.

And a sneaky peek…

Phil glanced at Art. Offered a hand then remembered Art wouldn't need assistance if he had cybor-tech installed.
Phil shied away from examining the squeamishness churning in his gut. And the kick of guilt that threatened to flare up. He didn't owe a cyborg any consideration.
But Art's been a friend for years. So what? The betrayal cuts a lot deeper for that reason.
Art got to his feet, shaking his head and running a hand along his throat. His skin had the beginnings of discolorations and would probably sport brusing in the next twenty-four hours. Ibby did a number on him.
Phil met the cyborg's gaze. "You'd better have a good reason for not registering as mecha." And it better not be to inform on humans.
Art rolled his eyes. "I did register. They put me under a different name." He started for the exit, clearly done with the conversation.
Phil quickly caught up. "Why? Why would the council list you under an assumed name?" Frankly, he didn't want to think too hard about the reasons.
Art slowed his gait and angled his head toward Phil. "Because of what just happened with Ibby. And before you ask, I told them it was a stupid idea. That if they wanted my friends to accept me and let me continue working with them, nothing but the truth would do." He snorted. "As you can see, I called that one right down the middle." He glanced away, but not before the pain registered in his eyes.
Phil's emotions battled for dominance. He wanted to write Art off, forget they even knew each other. But another side understood too well the sticky place the council put Art in.
Phil nodded toward the small alcove by the door. "Look, this whole thing sucks and I'm pissed as hell for what Ibby's going through right now, but maybe we need to sit down and have a conversation. Find common ground if that's possible." Which he couldn't believe he actually suggested.
Arthur narrowed his gaze. "Why? I'm the enemy now, right? What are you really after?" Distrust marred his features.
A good question. "Clarity for Ibby." Phil dropped down onto on the bench seats. "Unless you don't care about her anymore?" Which Phil doubted because Art could have easily escaped her chokehold.
Arthur frowned. "They replaced my eye, part of my hand, and my left leg. They didn't touch my brain. Of course I care about Ibby, you ass." Reluctance in every step, he crossed in front of Phil and sank down onto the opposing seat. "Don't ever question my friendship for her." The pointed look took on an eerie edge considering Art had a mechanical eye.
Phil shrugged. "Not sorry for asking. She's gonna have a really hard time getting her head around this whole cyborg situation." Leaning forward, Phil rested his forearms on his knees. "Why? Why would you let them overhaul you?" Phil struggled to comprehend.
Art heaved a sigh. "Not like I had a choice, man. They didn't ask permission when they patched me up after that skirmish." His voice took on a hard edge. "I didn't ask for this. And I sure as hell didn't want to keep it a secret." He slumped against the wall, crossing his arms over his chest.
Phil straightened, sick dread filling his gut. "You were ordered not to say anything?" Rapid-fire connections filled his head.
Art gave a nod. "Do you really think I wanted to keep this from you guys?"
A lick of shame lashed at Phil. "No. I guess not." Ibby in particular, since she'd practically grown up beside Art.
Arthur relaxed slightly, unfolding his arms and planting his hands on the bench. "This whole thing sucks monkey balls. Especially since it colors the way people see me now." He pinned Phil with a hard gaze. "And by people I mean my friends."
Another stab of almost guilt cut into Phil. "You're not wrong. It's a bitter pill to swallow." The worst kind because the aftertaste lingered.
Art snorted. "I've got news, buddy." He leaned forward and lowered his voice. "I'm not the first nor will I be the last. What happened to me is the shape of things to come." He paused and let Phil digest the bombshell of information.
Phil So, that means—
Art: Yeah, get used to it, because what happened to me is going to be SOP. Mark my words." He got up and delivered a parting shot. "Welcome to the new reality of this war."
Phil leaned back, shock and dread warring for prominence. He didn't doubt Art—why would he lie? His version of events had the awful clang of truth when it came to the military brass making sweeping decisions without regard to the consequences. Who cared if being a mecha-human carried an inescapable stigma? If it helped win a war, so be it. The personal lives of the recipients be damned.
Phil's shoulders slumped. "A shit storm waiting to happen." He had no idea if or when official word would come down about the military adding mecha-tech to their arsenal. But he did know one certain thing—
Ibby would lose her shit when she found out.

I had so many bits and pieces of this one and I think they're all finally starting to come together. Here's hoping it ends up as great as I hope.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Morning Sickness

It's amazing what a dusting of snow on the ground can do to boost holiday spirit. We got just a tiny bit last night and it looks so pretty today.

Gotta say the mid-season finales for my shows pretty much pulled out all the stops. The Flash left Barry hanging in a very precarious place. Not sure I'm totally down with where everything is going, but it's fun to watch. Lost a good character on Legends of Tomorrow in the form of two goodbyes. I do appreciate the revolving door aspect of the show and look forward to seeing how the others interact without their friends. The holiday trimmings of the shows provided a nice backdrop.

Arrow killed it. James is setting up quite the legion of doom in Star City. I'm very interested in seeing how that plays out when the season returns. If his little cohort who got him out in the first place tries to harm Felicity or Curtis, I'll be really pissed. Just saying.

Riverdale shook things up with breakups all over the place. Yikes. I have another interesting theory about Alice Cooper. Can't wait to see if I'm right. Oh, and this theory doesn't involve FP, at least not about their past.

I'm all caught up on Gotham. Gotta say it hurt to watch Alfred and Bruce tear each other apart. I get where Bruce is coming from, I do, but the whole being a brat is kind of pissing me off. That said, rock bottom isn't always an easy trip to take so I'll be patient. Sophia is proving to be a formidable force. I had a sneaking suspicion she was more of a puppet master than anyone originally thought. It's also fun to see the stories with Butch and Tabitha and Ed and Lee unfold. Seriously, Gotham upped its game and I'm loving it. Having Harvey walk away though… yeah, that one hurt, too.

Murdoch Mysteries continues to be excellent. I can't wait for the holiday episode. I think I'm looking forward to it more than Doctor Who this year. I really can't wait for the new doctor and new showrunner. Honestly, I'm so very disappointed in where Moffat took the show. It lost the heart I always loved. Yes, I'm sure I'm in the minority.

I've started watching my stash of holiday shows. I had to get a new laptop and I'm slowly but surely getting all the episodes transferred over. My Plex server is getting a lot of use this week. Also looking forward to The Trouble with Mistletoe when Passionflix premieres the movie!

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Morning Sickness, a novella that started with a writing community prompt of write anything involving pregnancy.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Dava Whales has all the classic signs of pregnancy, except she can't possibly be with child—she's a solider in the middle of a war and religiously takes her mandatory birth control shots. When Warren Carter suggests Dava get checked out, the pricklier than usual officer goes ballistic—especially since Warren is the other half of the parental equation.

And a sneaky peek…

Warren maintained his calm until he got to his office. Then he lost his shit. Breaking out into a cold sweat, he paced the length of the floor. Back and forth. Back and forth.
Scrubbing one hand through his hair, he shook his head. "Dava can't be pregnant." He resumed pacing.
She never missed a birth control shot. And he would know. He had copies of all the records. But what if?
"Geez, the timing couldn't be worse."
Carrying a baby in the middle of warzone couldn't happen. The shit he'd get for not keeping his dick in his pants would be monumental. And Dava wouldn't fare any better. Her career would be all but ended.
He paused again. "Or, she could terminate." She'd only miss a brief stint if she did.
How did he feel about a possible abortion? Would she even tell him? Ask his opinion? She didn't have to.
"Her body, her choice."
And he'd support whatever decision she made. He couldn’t do anything less. His part in whatever happened next would be dictated by her lead.
He crossed the floor and sat down behind the desk. His knee bobbed up and down, the nervous tension needed as escape. Sitting back, he imagined what a kid between them would look like. Her dark hair with his amber eyes. His sandy hair with her gray eyes.
His lips quirked. "We'd make beautiful babies." Shit!
Stop! No. Just no. Zero thinking about offspring and little Davas or Warrens running around. Cripes. Could he be any more stupid?
Probably not. If he'd actually planted a seed in her womb, no, he couldn't be any more rash and irresponsible.
He grabbed some paperwork for a distraction. Anything to stay busy until he heard from Dava.
Hopefully soon.
She can't be pregnant. Right?
Or maybe not.

I'm actually having a lot of fun with this one. The conflict is built right in and gives me a lot to draw from for ideas.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Missing You

Happy December! The most wonderful, crazy time of the year is in full swing. I'm excited for the holiday and really need to get my house cleaned up so we can actually celebrate. LOL

The mega-crossover of DC shows occurred this week and it did not disappoint. So many things happened with interesting pairings and twisty turns. Supergirl and Arrow kicked off the fun and the crazy times spilled over into The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Great to see some familiar and new faces. I won't get into much more, but the double wedding ended up being a surprise for me. YAY!

Riverdale continues to go places I don't expect. I have such a love / hate relationship with this show. I'm actually so happy we didn't have any Lodge parent appearances. I loved Hermione last season but this season I'm very "meh" about her. I also loved getting some insight into Sheriff Keller's personal life. I'm not necessarily a big Mayor McCoy fan, but I like the interesting twist with them. I also, somewhat shockingly, liked the beginning of Chuck's redemption. I'll stay tuned to see if that comes to anything.

I need to catch up with Gotham. I had way too much work to get through and took a full break from television on Thursday.

I did manage to catch up with Murdoch Mysteries yesterday and enjoyed both episodes I needed to see.

I'm still watching holiday movies on the Hallmark channels and should get started on television episodes this week. I'll probably begin with the Doctor Who specials. That's kind of my thing; I always begin with those.

That's it for this week's television wrap-up. Tonight's post is from Missing You, a sexy short where my main characters are separated for an extended period of time and both discover it's not fun.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Clara Small, the best undercover operative in military intelligence, tends to burn bridges instead of building them. But when she destroys the one she needs the most, she has to find a way to make amends, which won't be easy because Wes Elliot rarely gives second chances.

And a sneaky peek…

Once the initial edge of surprise died, his nerve endings went on alert. It couldn’t be. He slowly turned away from the wall. A lone female sat with her head hanging in her hands, fingers massaging the back of her neck.
She was close enough to touch. But he didn’t. Couldn't make himself, in case she wasn't real.
He whispered. “Clara?” He had to be dreaming this.
Clara shot off the edge of the bed and swung around. “Wes?” She took a step back, shocked to see him.
Clearly Stern had told her he was in the brig, charged with mutiny.
Wes scrambled to the edge of the bunk and swung his legs down. “Yeah… you’re… uh… you’re back.” He stood and crossed to her not quite believing she was here.
Reaching out, he ran his thumb down the side of her face. Real skin… she was here. He brought his other hand up, cupping her face then tilted her head up to meet his lips in a tentative kiss. When she didn’t pull away, he drew her closer and deepened the kiss. Oh gods. Things were looking up… Clara had returned to the fleet.
Clara's hands traveled up his arms and over his shoulders finally stopping to meet behind his head. She started moving him in the direction of the bunk. He wouldn't argue with the idea.
Reaching the edge, he paused and pulled back, searching her eyes for doubts. When he found none, he reached out and slowly unzipped her shirt and slid it off her shoulders. She pushed him back gently until he was seated, then she reached for her waistband and slid her pants down and stepped out of them. Wes followed suit by lifting his hips and sliding his boxers off then he grabbed her hand and pulled her toward him while he lifted his feet and swung them up into the bunk. She landed on top of him and didn’t waste any more time, lowering her head she pressed her lips to his and the fire started.
Wes wound his fingers in her hair and gently tugged her head back seeking the pulse point on her throat. His lips found the spot and she gasped when they made contact. Wrapping his arms around her, he shifted their positions pulling her under him before he continued his exploration of her. He wasn’t going to waste the opportunity to discover all there was to know about her.
Starting at the top her head, his lips trailed kisses all around her face. His tongue traced the curved edges of her ear and she shivered under him. She liked that…he’d have to remember that the next time she got in his face about something. His teeth grazed over her collarbone and her breath hissed out. He placed a soothing kiss over the spot while his hands caressed her skin, gliding down her torso. His lips soon followed as they kissed, sucked and nibbled their way up and down her stomach. Kissing the underside of each breast, he could feel Clara's hips moving as she wound one of her legs around his waist trying to draw him in closer to her.
His hand cupped a breast and he used his lips and tongue to tease all around the peak but never touching the nipple as it tightened in response. He heard Clara's frustrated growl before her hands moved to his head and guided him to the peak. Her whispered plea heightened his desire and when his lips finally drew the pebbled tip into his mouth he was rewarded with a throaty groan. Switching to the other side to pay homage, her fingers tangled in his hair and made him burn just a little hotter for her as she tugged at the short strands.
She pulled him up and caught his lips in a heated kiss. Her tongue sought his and drew it into her mouth stroking against it and he could feel his shaft swell to almost painful proportions. His hand drifted between her legs and his fingers met no resistance as he slid two between her soft folds causing her hips to buck against his hand. Breaking the kiss, he gazed down at her.
She nodded her head and whispered, “Now.” Wes moved over her, still stroking in and out with his fingers. He lined himself up entered her while drawing his fingers out brushing the tips over the nub of nerves at her core.
Clara writhed under him, her head thrashing from side to side on the pillow. He pulled back and plunged forward again, the feeling of her soft flesh surrounding him nearly causing him to spill himself right then. He set a slow steady pace wanting to savor every moment of being inside her. She reached down with her hands and cupped his ass, holding his hips close to hers as she met his slow thrusts, pushing against him. His head lolled back as the exquisiteness of being surrounded by nothing but her warmth pulled him closer to his climax.
Her hands grasped his arms, short nails digging into his skin and her legs wrapped around him holding him still so she could grind hard along his length, and he knew she was as ready as he was. He bumped lightly against her and she went off, clenching around him, biting her lip to hold back her moans. He bumped against her again and her legs slid down giving him room to stroke in and out of her at a rapid pace that had stars exploding in his mind as he came buried deep inside her, hips bumping softly as he fought to gasp air into his lungs.
He was pulled from his starry haze when the alert sounded, and snapped awake to the call for action stations.
He was alone in the bunk and needed to change. A rapid succession of thoughts crashed through his brain as he leaped from the bed stripping off his shorts and replacing them with quick efficient movements. Clara was still gone, his father was still in sickbay, Stern was still in command, and things were still fubar.

Nothing like a good sexy dream cut short by action stations. LOL

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

ML Skye

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Midsummer Mayhem (Capital City Seasons)

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful one. Ours was low key, exactly the way I like it.

Somewhat of a short week for television. I did enjoy The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Getting some insight into Mick's world made me happy. The big crossover is coming up on Monday and I'm kind of excited to see it.

Arrow's Thanksgiving episode turned out to be excellent. Love having Thea back and hopefully back in true Thea form.

As usual, I'm behind on a few of my binge watch shows but I'm addicted to the Hallmark Channels' holiday movies. I really love having something going pretty much 24 / 7.

Looking forward to the return of Riverdale next week.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Midsummer Mayhem, a Capital City Seasons tale.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Chris Renfer, Alpha Team Leader for the Strategic Tactical Unit, falls for Melanie Pramble at first sight, but she's new to the city wants to get her bearings. But when a Renfer's team is stuck in a bad situation, Melanie is the go to person for negotiation and Chris can only hope their beginning doesn't end before it makes headway.

And a sneaky peek…

Melanie made her way over to Chris and leaned in close. "I want you. Now."
Renfer blinked and shook his head. "Now? As in—"
Melanie nodded. "Right this moment. Yes."
Chris grabbed her hand and headed toward the exit then stopped short. "Shit. I can't. The after action report and weapons' log can't wait."
Jess overheard him. "Are you stupid? When the woman of your dreams wants to get you naked, you don't tell her no." She rolled her eyes. "Geez, Chris. Haven't you learned anything?"
He flushed. "Yeah, I know, but—"
Jess cut him off. "But nothing." She waved, waggling her fingers. "Hello? Joint op with Alpha and Bravo team, even though I had to sit the action out. If the Bravo team leader volunteers to take point, why argue?"
Chris cracked a grin. "You're really okay with me cutting out?"
Jess snorted. "Hell, yes. It's about time I start earning that bump in my pay grade, right?"
Chris grabbed her up into a tight hug. "You're kick ass, Jess."
Jess shrugged. "Yeah, yeah. I know." She stopped him and lowered her voice. "There's an empty supply room two floors up if you can't wait."
His mouth dropped open. "How—geez, Jess. Is there any place you and Murph haven't had sex."
She smirked and walked away.

I love this series. Book one is out and the other three are all underway. Here's hoping I get them finished up soon.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Mia's Choice

November 19, 2017

The weather in Ohio is truly crazy. We had flooding from rain yesterday and snow today.

Television this week ended up being pretty terrific. The Flash pulled in a bunch of Harrys to help save the day. Legends of Tomorrow had a fun episode with old Hollywood.

Riverdale had an interesting episode with some changing dynamics. I'm still on the fence with Hiram and whether or not I like him. I'm coming down on the not liking side but he gets some interesting snark lines so that pitches him into the fun column.

Arrow remains probably my favorite show. If the team can't be together, I like having two storylines that run along a similar theme. Also very glad John's secret is out in the open. Having Curtis work on a solution is excellent.

Catching up on Gotham today. I'll be glad to see the last of Professor Pyg. It's good to see Bruce again, too. There's never enough Alfred on the screen. LOL

I'm behind on Murdoch Mysteries. Having issues with my laptop and I usually watch via the website on that device. Here's hoping I get it fixed this week.

That's it for television. Tonight's post is from Mia's Choice a novella that reunites a former couple with one character having a lot of baggage to get rid of.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Mia Sinclair finally got her doctorate and embarks on a work trade assignment to a new space station. But when she runs smack into Hal Manning, and her past, she has to face her demons, which isn't easy because she promised she'd never be under any man's control again.

And a sneaky peek…

Mia Sinclair paced back and forth in her small suite of rooms across the corridor from the lab. The three box-shaped areas were almost cell-like, but she appreciated the symmetry, realizing a quick rehab job didn't allow for much in the way of aesthetics. She'd had no idea how she'd be getting to the outpost for Space Station Alpha when she signed on the bottom line for the work exchange program, only that a ship big enough to provide square footage for a lab and experimentation would be commandeered for the joint project.
She also had zero clue whose cruiser she'd end up on. When she found out upon boarding, she wanted to expire on the spot. And if she could have left, she would have.
Not that she minded the trade-off—this expedition would pay for her degree. But the main reason she'd signed on for the job had been to get away from everyone she knew and truly stand on her own. If she'd realized she'd be walking smack dab into her past, she might have looked for another way to repay her debt to the Science Academy.
Of course, Hal Manning hadn't been a commanding officer when she'd applied for the program. But a lot could change in two years. She'd never dreamed how much.
"Damn. Damn. Damn." Mia stopped pacing and faced her reality again.
After everything she'd endured, been subjected to, and fought her way out of, she ended up in a place she didn't want to be. Okay, make that with someone she didn't want to see. She wanted a clean start. It couldn't be too much to ask.
Her parents were dead. The divorce she'd fought so hard for, granted. Her joy over that detail marred only by the amount of time she'd had to spend with Fredrick the Dick in the first place. She could finally claim to no longer be under anyone's thumb—or any other part of their anatomy.
She'd earned her freedom.
She'd prepared for it, worked hard to gain it. Why couldn't fate or destiny or whatever ruled the universe cut her a break?
Just once, it would have been lovely.
No such luck.
She ended up being thrust into the orbit of the only person she ever regretted telling good-bye.
Except she'd never told him.
Not really.
Instead, she'd withdrawn. Descended into a personal hell. And never looked back.
Now she had to face the mistake.
And him.
God, so not fair.
And she couldn't do it. She avoided Hal Manning whenever possible and kept things very professional when not.
As if that would work, or keep her safe from dredging up things she didn't want to deal with.
But hadn't it?
Hal had taken her cue and gave her wide berth. He only spoke to her when duty required it. Or if he couldn't delegate the responsibility to someone else.
She wanted that, right? Needed it?
Anything else would crumble her carefully constructed and rebuilt self.
She had to do things on her own—make a new life, walk away from the past.
And it had been going so well aboard the Queen Amalie… until a random test showed the contaminated containment system. If she'd guessed correctly, they'd be seeing a number of sick people in the near future.
Which meant she'd be receiving a visit from Captain Manning.
"Shit. Shit. Shit." She paced again.
The knock on her door… hatch… whatever they called it, didn't surprise her. She walked over and spun the release so she could open it. Stepping back, a fresh-faced petty officer greeted her with a polite smile.
"Doctor Sinclair. Petty Officer Oliver Jones, ma'am. The captain requests your presence in his quarters. I'm here to escort you."
Not what she expected, but why wouldn't Hal want this meeting on his own turf? Mia heaved a sigh. She might as well get it over with. Crossing over to her small desk, she picked up a file and gave the young officer what she hoped to be a pleasant smile.
"By all means, let's not keep the captain waiting." She shrugged into a lab coat, deciding she needed it for armor, and exited her rooms. "I wouldn't want you to get reprimanded."
The young man fell into step beside her. "That's okay, ma'am. The captain isn't a stern taskmaster. And he did say to come at your convenience." He led her down to the next deck.
Mia clicked her tongue thoughtfully. Hal had always been very even-tempered. It appeared that hadn't changed.
"Now is as good a time as any, PO Jones."
The petty officer grinned bashfully. "We're almost there, ma'am." He made a left at the next intersecting corridor.
Mia followed his lead, wondering how the crew didn't get mixed up sometimes. She'd been on the ship for a couple of weeks and still got turned around if she didn't pay attention.
Her guide made a right and stopped halfway down the corridor. He rapped on the outside of the hatch.
Mia waited, a little nervous at her first one on one meeting with the captain since she'd boarded.
The hatch clanged open. "Thank you, Petty Officer. You're dismissed." 
Jones saluted his commander then turned to Mia. "You're all set, ma'am. Have a nice evening."
Mia nodded in his direction, hoping she didn't look as freaked out as she felt. "Thank you." She sucked in a deep breath and acknowledged Hal. "Captain."

I love this story. Mia and Hal are very dear to my heart. Can't wait to finish this one up and put it out there for everyone to read.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Matchmaker's Men

Ugh… what a week. I've been down with a combination of cold / flu symptoms. I'm pretty sure I've pulled at least three different muscles from coughing, sneezing, and blowing my nose incessantly. Bleh.

Not a bad week for television viewing. The Flash had a girls night out that brought Felicity Smoak over from Arrow and entertained in a big way. Legends of Tomorrow kind of disappointed me by bringing Damien Darhk back, even if the fight sequence proved to be very entertaining.

Arrow also had a great episode. Loved getting to know Dinah's former partner and have some background there. I'm fond of the actor who's in the role and look forward to seeing more of that storyline play out. Also liked having Oliver work with Slade. I'm excited to see where that goes, too.

Riverdale turned things up to triple digits. I'm still liking my theory about who the black hood is. Alice's past coming out and her reaction made the whole show for me. I want to see that story explored a little more. My one true hope? The snake charmer ends up being Alice's long, lost sister. How much fun would that be?

Once again, I have to catch up on Gotham. The whole cold / flu thing had me napping when it was on. LOL

The holiday movie overload is ongoing. I thoroughly enjoy the cheesy, sappy, happy fare. I've even watched a couple of them more than once.

Looking forward to more terrific TV this week. Tonight's post is from Matchmaker's Men, a sexy short with two characters who have a whole crew trying to set them up.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Nova Anell and Matz Yarmacher belong together, but neither wants to be the first to admit it. But when their crewmates start working behind the scenes to put Nova and Matz together, they have no choice but to face what they feel and decide what to do next.

And a sneaky peek…

Matz had waited for something like this. Frankly, it shocked him she'd taken this long to reach the point of a meltdown. He'd wondered if she'd make the full forty-eight hours before she lost her grip and went bug ass gonzo on the crew—or worse—on him.
Looked like he got the prize. And he hadn't even come up with anything for the list. Hell, in all likelihood, he'd have let her off the hook and called things even. Enough for him that he'd won.
Probably why the crew had their ideas readily available. Matz tried not to play favorites and cut everyone slack, but he had a soft spot for Nova. She got away with shooting her mouth off more than anyone else. But she usually had valid points and they helped keep him in check.
The others got to have their say if they needed to get something off their chest. Matz had an open door policy and he let anyone enter and exit as often as necessary. But Nova never used an easy entry when she could take aim and blast through a wall instead. Proprietary be damned.
She paid the price—brig time, reprimands, revoked passes—as often as she got off the hook. Nova went to the mat when she had a strong opinion and while it earned her the respect of the regiment, it didn't do her any favors with the brass. She walked a very fine line sometimes.
And backed herself into corners to save face. Like now. The crew got their licks in. They loved her but also had gleeful moments when she went down a peg or two.
Pushing away from the bulkhead, Matz spoke quietly. "First… you lasted a hell of a lot longer than I thought you would. I gave it maybe twenty-four hours before you'd decide to say fuck it all and be done." He slowly advanced in her direction and she backed up, looking skittish, and bumped into the table behind her. "Second… no one, not even you, bothered to ask me what I wanted you to do for me." He stopped a few feet away from her and waited for her response.

Matz catches Nova off-guard and it's fun to write her reactions. Looking forward to seeing this one completed and ready for public consumption.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Manifest Legend

Welcome to November! We're almost finished with 2017 and I'm honestly looking forward to a new year. It's been a rough ten months so far.

Excellent television viewing this week. The Flash had a great episode. It's always fun to see Cisco on the hot seat. Really enjoyed his storyline. Also interested in seeing where things go with Joe and becoming a father again.

Legends of Tomorrow didn't have a terrible episode. The homage to ET maybe went a little overboard but still fun.

Riverdale was sort of on the fence for me… until I got a wild hair theory about who the black hood is and now I have to stay tuned to see if I'm right. I'm honestly fairly disappointed with the addition of Hiram to the fold. He made a better villain working from the shadows.

Arrow continues to amaze me. I love the way roles continue to be mixed up and everything is fluid. That keeps me glued to the screen.

Got caught up on Gotham and watched this week's episode. I won't be disappointed to see the end of Professor Pyg but at least the plot is moving forward and I'm down with that.

Having fun watching holiday movies on the Hallmark channels. There's usually something on one of them that catches my interest.

And that's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Manifest Legend, the opening world builder for Insula Ara.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Insula Ara is a mystical island offering sanctuary to those in need, but when she reveals herself for the first time, Cedric Edward Teasdale, former crewman of a privateer, almost blows his chance for refuge… and a reunion with his lost love.

And a sneaky peek…

A tendril of guilt wrapped around Ceet. He hadn't been exactly truthful with his captain. But it was for the man's own good.
The island would protect them, but one of them had to stay behind. If Avery knew that, he'd insist on being the one. The cause needed good men like James Avery. Men who made the impossible happen.
Ceet thought men like himself, those who didn't quite have what it took to lead others, were expendable. And it wasn't as if he'd cease to exist or anything. On the contrary, he'd live a very, very long time.
The island had picked him and he'd stand by that choice.
Lost in his musings, the arrival of able seaman Foxworthy—carrying a box of munitions—startled Ceet into readiness. He scanned the horizon. The enemy had finally sailed within range.
"Foxworthy, keep those boxes coming for an hour half, then get yerself on a longboat and hightail it out." Ceet primed the cannon and lit the fuse.
The young man kept the ammunition coming while Cedric did his work. First the cannon on the east, then the one to the south. He held off the small fleet of ships intent on blockading the harbor inlet.
"Ceet, I've loaded all I can. I'm off for the Reprieve."
Ceet raised a hand but didn't spare Foxworthy a glance. Instead, he fired off another booming round at the closest vessel to the east. To his delight, the mast splintered and snapped, rendering the ship lost. It would give Captain Avery the hole he'd need to make it out to sea.
"Thank ye, Sanctuary. Thank ye." He spoke directly to the island, his refuge, by its given name. "Now gimme one more." Ceet turned the cannon and lined up his shot. "Right about there." Lighting the fuse, he stepped back and moved to haul the second cannon over to his position.
He kept a steady volley of fodder flying from the battlement as the Reprieve got up enough speed to slip past the last ship in her way. Ceet loaded both weapons and put flame to the wick. He took cover and felt the ground shudder under his feet from the force of the blast.
Peering out, the gutted hull of a flaming ship marked the end of the threat. The island grew peaceful once more.
Ceet knew what truly happened.
Sanctuary destroyed the final ship. The two rounds from the canons couldn't do the devastating damage he now witnessed.
He sank to his knees and gave thanks. "It's done, Sanctuary. And I thank you for it."
The wind kicked up, tree leaves swaying in the playful breeze. Ceet listened and nodded his head. A very good day indeed.
Ceet rose and strolled down the path to the shoreline. He looked out at the inlet and said a sad farewell to his former mates. They were a good crew and he'd miss them.
A quiet hush fell, all around him, and Ceet shifted his eyes around slowly. An eerie feeling trickled down his spine and he jumped when a loud crack reverberated and a deafening roar burst through the skies. Thunder boomed and lightning danced all around him. Even the trees seemed to scream their fury.
Ceet threw up his arms, fists punching toward the sky. "Now just you calm down! I ain't a going anywhere." He shouted, raising his voice as loud as he could. "We had a deal and I aim to keep my end. Now, stop this nonsense!"
He flung his arms down and the noise ceased. Peace and quiet returned.
"Just like a woman, it is."

I'm so excited about this free read. It's fun to write Ceet back in the day.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Make the Call

Whew. What a week in TV. Lots of good stuff going on.

The Flash had a fun episode. I'm rather interested in the behind the scenes manipulation going on and discovering more about that. Also interested to see what happens with Caitlyn when Katee Sackhoff's character enters the narrative.

Legends of Tomorrow is still terrific. I'm hoping they dive into the big threat looming over them sometime soon.

Arrow ended up being better than expected. I want to know what Diggle has himself into and how bad it's going to bite the team on their asses. Also loved Oliver and Felicity helping William out and discovering they work well as a team. The FBI agent is already annoying me. We'll see if that ends up being a good thing or not.

I missed Gotham and need to catch up. Not sure when I'll get a chance, but it should be soon.

Riverdale, you're killing me. There's so much I'm loving but the one thing I'm not on board with—yet—is Hermione and whatever the hell pod person has taken over her character. I kind of love the relationship she had with Veronica last season and right now… not so much. We'll see if it smooths out, similar to Alice last year. I trust the show to make it happen.

Finally watched the finale for Teen Wolf and I'm kind of thrilled with how it ended. I'm very happy with everyone's place and how their stories were resolved—with one exception. I so wanted Monroe to die a slow, painful death. The fact she escaped annoys me to no end. Grr.

Got caught up on Murdoch Mysteries. So far, I'm excited for the new season. I have so much love for this show, which considering it's in its eleventh season, is saying something.

I have my holiday television and movie list all put together and ready to watch. The Hallmark Channels launched their festive season this weekend and I plan to catch a bunch of fare on both channels. Seriously, I won't mind overdosing on the merry happenings right now. The world is a crazy place… why not have some happy, happy, joy, joy in life?

And that's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Make the Call, a novella that started with a two-word prompt of "patience, child".

Here's the mini-blurb:

Gia Pimm has everything she wants, but a reminder from her mother—that Gia will always suffer when good things happen—makes her walk away from Nolan Curry. But when she needs antibiotics, she swallows her pride and makes a call to the man who has them—Nolan.

And a sneaky peek…

Gia came home to find Rand gone. Again.
Shaking her head, she stomped out of their yurt. "Damn the man." She stopped, dragging in a deep breath.
She couldn't get too angry. He'd left because she didn't come home last night. His way of taking some pride back.
She started toward the arena… more like a huge tent with three sparring fields… one of the places he liked to hunker down and lick his wounds—both physical and mental. Of course, he could avoid the physical if he stayed away from the nightly fights, which he wouldn't do as long as she didn't come home.
A vicious circle of her own creation.
Halfway to the makeshift arena, Gia bumped into the colony leader. "Hi, Lila. Have you seen Rand today?" The woman had her thumb on the pulse of the entire community.
Lila gave Gia a tight smile. "Actually, I was just coming to find you. Yes, I've seen him. In medical." She looped her arm around Gia's and altered their direction.
Gia went along, but her heart sank. "How bad is it?" Her mind filled with images of broken bones and stitches.
Lila paused outside the entrance. "It's not what you're thinking. He's not injured from spectacles he participates in." Her distaste came through in her tone.
Lila didn't stop the men from conducting their nightly bouts but she didn't approve of their need to be aggressive off the clock. The community had too much work to do before the cold season set in. If they failed to get the land ready for the incoming settlers, the federation would pull their support.
Gia didn't want to get sucked into an argument over how the federation put too much pressure on the terraforming teams. After being on both sides, she understood each viewpoint, but couldn't offer any answers. She doubted a solution would be forthcoming anytime soon.
Gia nodded toward the medical facility. "So what's going on with Rand?"
Lila tugged her over to the small seating area outside the building. "He's been fighting one of the local viruses. The aides warned him last time—"
Gia cut in. "Wait. He's been here before?" Why didn't she know?
Because she'd been too busy not spending time with her significant other for reasons she'd rather not ponder at the moment.
Lila quirked a brow. "Yes, at least twice. He's been instructed to stay away from the bouts because his immunity is low. He should've been able to weather the symptoms and build a natural resilience to the virus, but he's not taking their advice." She leaned in and lowered her voice. "We're very low on antibiotics and the doctors only want to use them in extreme cases. Since Rand didn't listen and follow their recommendation, they're not inclined to administer what they have."
Meaning her boyfriend defined idiot on a whole new level. Gia wouldn't touch on her part in the scenario yet.
She met Lila's gaze. "What's his prognosis?" Had to be serious if Lila came to find her.
The leader gave it to Gia straight. "Poor. He's pushed himself almost beyond help. Right now, he's being monitored and they're keeping him hydrated with an IV. But he's reached a stage where he can't fight the virus because his resistance is too low." She grasped Gia's hand. "I'm caught in a tough spot here."
Gia nodded. "You can't countermand one of your own stipulations and order them to provide antibiotics because it'll look like favoritism." Lila needed to show strength and let nature take its course. "Dammit. Men can be utterly stupid sometimes, especially ones who aren't getting their way all the time." Like Rand… who showed an annoyingly childish disposition when she thwarted whatever grand vision of the future he had planned.
Lila smiled. "Men don't have a lock on being stupid, dear. Humans, in general, make life messy." She squeezed Gia's hand, the only acknowledgment the leader would give about Gia's ongoing relationship problems.
Gia sighed. "What can I do here? I mean what are my options to keep him from getting worse?" She might not full spousal privileges—didn't want them either—but there had to be something she could do.
Lila tilted her head to one side. "Well… you're former military; you could liaise with Captain Curry and maybe get an allotment from him." Her gentle tone spoke louder any recriminations could.
Gia's head spun and her heart pounded. Liaise with Nolan? Roberts had no idea what she asked of Gia. Okay, Lila totally did. She'd been privy to the details, in fact demanded them when Gia applied for a civilian post.
Could I be more responsible for this fiasco?
The short answer? No. The weight of Rand's dilemma rested firmly on Gia's shoulders.
Fighting the free-fall feeling of helplessness, she launched into all the reasons why Roberts's request sucked. "Look, there's no way I can just call Nolan and ask for something. Hell, anything. He won't be inclined to help… especially if I'm the one making contact." She shook her head. "God… why did Rand have to be so juvenile?" Okay, the why stood to reason. "Now my current boyfriend is in bad shape and the only way to help him is to beg my former lover for the meds he needs. Can this situation get any more stupid? Can men?" She sent the leader a scathing glance. "I'm sorry, Lila, humans make messes, but throw in a man's pride and those messes take on epic proportions." Dragging in air, she went on. "And I don't want to do this. I can't. Isn't there anyone else? I mean how much time does Rand have?"
Lila put an arm around Gia. "Slow down. Calm down." She patted Gia's shoulder. "Yes, the request could come from the head of medical, but I think you know what will happen. The official log will show the request and requisition. If it comes from outside the chain, we can avoid the official nature of asking." Her lips curved in an understanding smile. "Which doesn't make it any easier for you, I know."
Gia shot up and paced back and forth. "Shit, shit, shit. Fine." She stopped. "You're right. I'll suck it up and deal with Nolan. In fact, I'll just go in now and—" She started for the door.
Lila grabbed Gia's arm, pulling her down to sit again. "Patience, child. There's no need to go off half-cocked. Take some time to figure out what you want to say first." She gave Gia's hand a squeeze. "But make the call. It'll ease your mind and maybe keep Rand from pushing so hard all the time."
Gia dreaded the idea, but Roberts had it right. The less official paperwork attached to the request, the better for the colonists. The kick of guilt because Rand landed in the medical because she never stuck around didn't sit well with Gia. She needed to do something about the relationship, one that shouldn't have happened, but only after she got him back on his feet.
She heaved a sigh. "Okay, I'll figure out what to say then I'll make the call. Give me a few minutes then I'll come in."
Lila nodded and got up, heading into the medical building to give Gia some space to think.
She snorted. "Doesn't really matter what I say. Nolan's gonna bust my chops no matter what." And she deserved whatever he dished out.
She really couldn't point fingers and men and their stupidity. She'd made the biggest mistake of her life when she walked out on Nolan. Hooking up with Rand proved to be the second biggest. She needed to fix both and making amends wouldn't be easy. But she'd reached a point where she had to at least try.
Getting up, she squared her shoulders. "Time to face my demons." She strode forward and entered the medical building.

I like writing couples who've made poor choices and need to redeem themselves. Gia is definitely paying the piper for her past decisions.

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

ML Skye