Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Leading the War Effort

August 27, 2017

So… The Last Ship has a beyond awesome two-hour season premiere. I'm so happy this show is back on my television! I love where the characters are and I've added Meylan to my "do not kill" list. The showrunners better be listening or they're paying my bar tab at the end of the season. Just saying.

I'm making headway on my catch-up viewing of Killjoys, Dark Matter, and Wynonna Earp. Totally love where all three shows are going. Killjoys just makes me happy with the twisty turns it takes when I'm least expecting them. I didn't know if I'd be on board with the whole Aneela shtick, but I really like the small revelations we get here and there. Dark Matter can be uber confusing sometimes, but I like the overall arc of where things end up. Wynonna Earp blows my mind. The cast interactions are amazing and I'm so happy another season will be on tap.

Catching up on Teen Wolf and, yeah, Gerard being back makes things very interesting. I love the element of fear being almost personified. Looking forward to where everything ends up.

In casting news, one of my favorite actresses signed on to be a villain on The Flash. Looking forward to seeing what Katee brings to the table as a baddie.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Leading the War Effort, a novella that got a prompted beginning of writing something with a WWII feel, having one character as a Rosie the Riveter-type. I took a different spin on the prompt and like where things are going.

Here's the mini-blurb:

North Normandy becomes the test subject for a super soldier project and his first mission is to rescue his captured father. Frankie Gant knows the venture inside out, but lacks the emotional connection her superiors feel the candidate will need. Frankie acts as North's handler and when the planned op goes south, she risks her life, undergoing the same process to pull both men out of enemy territory.

And a sneaky peek…

North stopped mid-exercise, his eyes narrowed on Frankie. "What's your problem?" His tone demanded an answer.
She widened her eyes. "Problem?" Her brow quirked a little and his mouth thinned to a flat line.
North huffed out a harsh breath. "Yes. Every time I go through a set of maneuvers, you make this face like you find me wanting. Or you roll your eyes and snort with derision. So, yeah, I'm asking what your problem is." He snagged a towel and mopped his face.
Chastised, because he shouldn't be able to read her so well, she debated whether unloading on him would accomplish anything. She could be removed from the program if she pushed him too hard or too far. Then again, she didn't have much to lose anymore.
She tilted her head to one side and made her choice. "I don't have a problem, solider. You do."
He arched a brow. "Is that right? Care to share what you think are my shortcomings?" He folded his arms across his chest and widened his stance.
Her lips curved. "You asked for it." She set the clipboard aside. "One, you're not engaged. You go through the motions, half-assing each set. Two, you're not taking this seriously, and you should be because your father's life depends on your ability to survive the program. You fail, you die and so does your dad." Warming up to the tirade, she ticked off another observation. "Three, you walk around like it's your divine right to be here, when undergoing this process is a privilege most won't have the honor of having." People like her, who'd give her soul to be included. "And four, well, you wouldn't understand even though you're supposed to have above average intelligence so I won't bore you with the details." Why would he care anyway?
North showed no outward reaction, standing silently but holding her gaze before he finally nodded, acknowledging her words. "Okay, first, why don't you explain why I'm doing basic training maneuvers when it's already standard practice for every recruit when they enter standard military? This is supposed to be an elite program." His voice held censure. "Second, I'm definitely serious about saving my dad's life, but we're wasting time with the aforementioned issues in your first point. The stakes are high but the regimen I'm doing doesn't come close to matching them." He started pacing back and forth. "Third, divinity has nothing to do with why I'm here and you know it. I volunteered because your case study suggested the emotional element is the key to surviving the treatment. Bonds don't get much deeper than a parent with their child, regardless of age, unless you're talking about the love shared between significant others." His voice had risen, but he paused and lowered it when he continued. "Which leads me to your fourth point, the one you don't think I'm capable of understanding." He stopped then resumed pacing. "You know this program inside and out but, even though you're probably the best candidate for the process because you're emotionally involved and have been from the beginning, they won't let you undergo treatment because they won't risk losing an asset they consider too valuable to the work." He stopped and met her gaze. "How am I doing so far?"
Frankie flicked her tongue along her back teeth to keep from gnashing them together. North pretty much had her number with everything he'd said. She didn't like it, but couldn't deny he'd nailed everything.
She lifted her chin. "You're more of less spot on." Shrugging, she turned to pick up the clipboard again.
North moved forward and stood toe-to-toe with her. "I'd call that progress." He took the case study and set it on the table again. "Now that we understand each other better, let's make things a little more interesting."
Frankie weighed the pros and cons of giving up some of the control. "Okay, what do you suggest?" What else could she possibly lose?

Frankie has some big ideas and North might be the one person who truly gets her. I can't wait to write the rest of their story.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Last Best Chance... at a First Impression

I'm so excited for The Last Ship season premiere tonight! I can't wait to see where my favorite sailors are and what they're doing.

I'm an episode behind on Teen Wolf, but should be caught up later tonight or tomorrow.

Got another episode or two in of Dark Matter and Killjoys. Still need to catch up on Wynonna Earp. I'm truly loving Killjoys this season. I'm totally wondering if any additional traitors will be revealed. New nerd is on my super watch list. Just saying.

Hoping to start The Defenders this week. So far, I'm reading positive reviews… not that I wouldn't watch if they all tanked the show. I like too many of the characters to not see what they're up to.

I might have to break down and watch Midnight Texas, but it'll be on Demand. I have such a negative hate on for NBC as a network… which truly sucks because they own one of my favorite channels.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Last Best Chance… at a First Impression, a novella that got a writing community prompt of creating a story were a pilot meets their CAG for the first time. I got the best mini-movie in my head right away.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Cadence Coll, a top pilot, dreads her new assignment to the Cressida because the scuttlebutt has the CAG known for his rigid adhesion to the status quo. Nik Garrick likes order and structure and his new flying ace has a mile-long list of infractions. Cadence and Nik discover first impressions aren't always what they seem and a rush to make a judgment isn't the best idea.

And a sneaky peek…

Cadence Coll boarded the interstellar transport headed for a group of ships ready for a new deployment from Silica base. She looked forward to reporting in to her new ship, even if the flight would end up being long and probably boring.
"Pass the word. IST flight nine zero two is now delayed. Departure is now scheduled for twenty-three seventeen. Pass the word. IST flight nine zero two is now delayed."
Cadence groaned. "Dammit. With my luck, I'll end up being late." Even if the circumstances were beyond her control, she hated the idea of being at a disadvantage.
The guy next to her popped his eyes open. "Where're you headed?" He straightened in his seat and blinked to clear the sleep from his eyes.
Cadence grimaced. "Sorry for waking you. Didn't realize I spoke out loud." She took in the lieutenant pips and his last name, Brimer. "I'm headed to the Cressida."
He snorted. "Don't worry about the wake-up call. I try to catch a few zzzs whenever I can." He narrowed his gaze. "You're a pilot? Man, I feel bad for you if you're headed to the Cressida." He grimaced.
Interest piqued, Cadence pressed for information. "Care to share why?" She'd heard good things about the ship, but never fully relied on what the brass laid out.
Brimer shrugged a shoulder. "The CAG, Nik Garrick, has a stick shoved up his ass. He's demanding, hard on his pilots, and makes life miserable for everyone." He paused a moment. "Garrick is a pretty boy type with a long history of late, great family members' reputations to live up to." Kicking his feet out, he slumped down in his seat. "I'd wish you good luck, but it wouldn't do anything to help you."
Cadence's eyes widened. "Wow. Guess I'm in for a fun time." Her heart sank a little. "How long ago did you serve with him?" She made the assumption the men were on the same ship based on the detailed dislike Brimer harbored.
The lieutenant snorted. "It's been four years, on the Melchum. Can't say anyone on the hangar deck liked the guy." He folded his arms over his chest and ducked his head.
Cadence blew out a long sigh. "Thanks for the heads up. Looks like I'll have to keep a low profile." Something she had yet to master.
Brimer shot her a sideways glance. "Now that I can wish you good luck with." He chuckled. "I haven't met a pilot yet who can manage that one."
Cadence laughed. "You make a good point. We're kind of a rowdy bunch." Putting one's ass on the line created a lot of tension, which meant egos clashed and tempers flared.
Brimer's lips twitched. "Always good for the entertainment value though."
Cadence rolled her eyes and settled back in her seat. Brimer tucked his chin and went back to rest mode. She turned his warning over in her mind. A superior officer with rigid standards gave her a headache. Considering she didn't have a spotless record, her time aboard the Cressida might be a nightmare.
No, she would do her best to toe the line and keep her head down. And she'd make the best damn first impression of her career once she arrived on board. She needed the chance to prove she could move up the ranks.
Determined to make her mark, she crossed her ankles and folded her hands over her stomach. She had five hours to get rid of the butterflies and hope she didn't end up being late for reporting in.

I'm pretty pleased with how this one is coming together. I like the dynamic between Cadence and Nik.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Kick in the Burn

Wow. I so look forward to my Sunday posts, mainly because the crazy that is the real world makes discussing fictional television shows and books a nice, lovely interlude.

Teen Wolf followed up with a terrific episode. I literally laughed for a good, long while during Stiles's FBI scene. The return of Old Man Crazypants didn't disappoint either. Just saying.

Had a seriously busy week playing taxi driver for the kids. Didn't get to catch up on any more Killjoys or Dark Matter. I have to throw Wynonna Earp in there, too.

Now that the end of Orphan Black happened, I'll be adding that show to my queue to binge watch the entire final season. Can't wait!

The Last Ship premieres next week!! Really looking forward to having my favorites back on the screen. And crossing my fingers that I don't lose my super-secret top few this season. Won't be holding my breath on that one. LOL

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Kick in the Burn, a sexy short where my main characters bond over fitreps and flying.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Jaden Scratch and Ridge Quartermain spend a lot of time comparing notes about flying. Working late into the night filling out fitreps on their pilots, their conversation takes a very personal turn and kick in the burn takes on a whole new meaning.

And a sneaky peek…

Pass the word. Captain Quartermain, report to the CO's office RFN. Pass the word. Captain Quartermain, report to the CO's office RFN.
Ridge Quartermain didn't miss a beat in his "workout" with the cute petty officer. She used the excuse of asking his advice on her form with the weight machine. She really wanted to set up a date, for later that night. He'd watched her for several moments before the overhead comms kicked on. She had perfect moves, but not for the gym. Between the sheets, he had no doubt she'd hit every mark necessary. He grabbed a towel, flinging it around his neck. RFN meant the colonel wouldn't care if he arrived in his shorts and tank. Right fucking now didn't leave any room for a shower and change.
When PO Jansen jumped up from the bench, her mouth opened and her hand shot out, wrapping around his bicep.
Ridge saved her the time. "Briefing room. Eight o'clock?" He needed to get a move on or risk the commander's wrath.
Her face lit up and she bounced on her toes. "I'll be there." She shot him a sexy side glance before returning to the machine.
Ridge booked it to the commander's office, knocking on the bulkhead. "Quartermain reporting as ordered, sir." When the CO glanced up, Ridge bit back a groan.
Edward Ramsey appeared less than happy.
He motioned Ridge inside his office. "Close the door, Quartermain."
Ridge complied and moved to stand in front of his CO. Ramsey drummed his fingers on the desk and made a point of sweeping his gaze across the top of the pristine surface. Everything had a place and nothing looked out of order.
Ramsey snapped his attention to Ridge. "I seem to be missing something from my desk, Quartermain. Have a guess what that might be?" His tone bordered on angry.
Ridge frowned. "Uh, no, sir. Everything seems shipshape." Of course, something had to be out of place; otherwise a RFN order wouldn't have been issued. "But I'll be happy to find whatever you need."
Ramsey quirked a brow. "You'll be happy to find whatever I need? Let's try the past six weeks of fitreps, Quartermain. They're not on my desk and unless you've got them tucked into your shorts, you don't have them ready for my review." He got up and leaned forward. "I'd suggest you postpone whatever you had planned for later this evening and get those reports reviewed and filed then have them in my hands by 0600." He settled back in his chair.
Ridge blew out a harsh breath. "0600? Uh, yes, sir." He'd never get through a month and a half of fitreps in under twenty-four hours.
But orders were orders.
Ramsey's lips curved in a half-smile. "Not gonna be possible to make that happen, is it, captain?"
Ridge shook his head. "Probably not, sir. Am I really that far behind?" He gave a mental calculation and, yeah, he actually could be.
The commander snorted. "Closer to seven, but I'll cut you some slack on last week's." He leaned back and crossed his arms over his chest. "I'll assign one person to help you, but that's it. Those reports are your responsibility and I'd better not have to remind you to keep up again." He leveled his impressive gaze on Ridge.
Ridge nodded. "Yes, sir. Won't fall behind on reports from this day forward."
Ramsey eyed Ridge for several long beats. "See that you don't." He grabbed his handheld comm unit. "Who do you want for help?"
Ridge didn't hesitate. "Scratch, sir. She's organized, efficient, and knows the pilots as well as I do." And hopefully Jaden didn't have anything else going on today.
Ramsey punched in some numbers and spoke to the petty officer on the other end. He relayed his request and hung up.
He nodded toward the door. "Go on, you're dismissed. Get started and I'll send Scratch down as soon as she reports in."
Ridge snapped off a salute and exited the office. He gave a brief thought to missing his hookup with Petty Officer Jansen. Oddly, missing the hot date didn't bother him as much as he expected. Then again, sex for the sake of sex got stale sometimes. And Maria Jansen made it pretty clear she wanted a hard dick and not much else. She shouldn't have any trouble finding another willing participant. The guy might lack Ridge's rank and possibly his—based on the responses he usually received—size but neither should matter when the primary goal became getting off.
He needed to grab a shower, break a date, and report for duty. And order coffee… lots and lots of coffee.

I love writing characters who are getting a little tired of the standard norm and the moment they discover a spark of something more… the future potential, the endless possibilities, the call of love.

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

ML Skye

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Keeping Up with Honor

Hello August! So many things going on this month. School starts for my one and only daughter and one and only student this year. She's involved in the music and athletic departments and the fall tends to be very busy. She's already started her golf season and band practice started also. She had a busy week with band camp from 8 to 3 and then golf qualifying from 4 to 6. She's got the number three spot right now and is happy being there. They have almost twice the amount of girls this year and everyone is excited about growing the sport.

Teen Wolf's premiere didn't disappoint. I'm excited to see how everything wraps up. I loved the surprises and can't wait for more. Keep them coming!

Got a few more episodes of Killjoys in and really like how the season is shaping up. Here's hoping there's a renewal in the future.

I'm also almost caught up on Dark Matter. I continue to enjoy the interactions and character arcs.

Need to catch the last two episodes of Wynonna Earp and I hope I can get that done this week.

Seeing more promo for The Last Ship… looking forward to the premiere in two weeks!!

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Keeping Up with Honor, a novella with a specific sci-fi prompt. Write the scenario when one character jumps away to another location and what happens next. My favorite thing… what if?

Here's the mini-blurb:

Honor Brock goes against orders and runs a fool's mission to find a lost artifact. Rush Masterson tests a theory and risks his life to track her down. Once he finds her, he has to keep up because Honor won't go back until she has what she wants.

And a sneaky peek…

Honor Brock hightailed it down the corridor of the Valeria with the sole intent of getting to the CAG's office for their weekly working dinner, which almost always dissolved into at least forty-five minutes of arguing. Then again, going over the flight roster to figure out how to cover their asses proved to be a challenge. Rush Masterson liked to make it overly difficult because he could.
Honor wouldn't have him any other way. He made sure she stayed sharp and kept her sarcasm and snark skills finely tuned. The fact they'd been practicing their verbal repertoire since the age of ten leveled the playing field.
She made a turn and started for the stairs down to the next deck.
"Honor Brock?"
She ignored the voice, not wanting to get waylaid by anyone.
"Lieutenant?" The tone became stronger, with more authority.
Honor kept going, making it halfway down the steps.
"Lieutenant Hibs!"
That one stopped her and she glanced upward to meet the gaze of the chancellor prime, Mellia Drake.
Well, shit. Honor jogged back up meeting the CP at the top of the steps.
She nodded in greeting. "Ma'am. Hibs is my call sign. No rank required." Smiling, she waited for the woman to give a clue what she needed.
Mellia frowned. "My apologies. I'm still finding my footing with the military codes." She grasped Honor's arm and led her to a small alcove. "And I'll try not to keep you too long. You look like you're in a hurry."
Well, yeah, definitely. Not that Honor would tell the chancellor prime to fob off. She rather liked the woman, for the most part.
She answered honestly. "I have a meeting with the CAG, ma'am. It's our weekly time to get the flight roster in order." Did she sound snarky? "Nothing that can't wait, ma'am."
Mellia smiled and her face transformed from lady in charge to co-conspirator. "In that case, I have something to ask you." She paused a moment then leaned in a little closer. "Do you believe in the mystics?" Her voice lowered to an almost whisper.
Honor blinked. "Is that a trick question?" Religious beliefs didn't belong in the military.
The commanding officer, Rod Masterson, enforced the hard line separation of civilian tenets and military professionalism. The code of conduct required the distinction.
CP Drake's lips curved upward. "No, dear. It's a simple one. A yes or no will suffice."
Honor snorted. "I'm sorry, ma'am. It's not that easy." Propping a shoulder against the bulkhead, she clarified. "I was raised on their teachings so I could answer yes. But… I won't." She met Mellia's gaze. "Not until you tell me why you, the CP, are asking a common soldier." Not backing down, Honor waited for a reply.
The woman huffed out a breath. "You don't mince words, do you?" A note of respect entered her tone.
Honor tilted her head to one side and back again. "I find honesty keeps things simple. Not a lot of room for misunderstandings that way." Unless, of course, one of the Mastersons got involved.
CP Drake studied Honor a few moments then moved in for the kill. "In that case, let me share some information with you." She pulled an old image from her skirt pocket. "My scribe came across this, buried inside one of the ancient texts." She handed the picture to Honor. "What does this look like to you?"
Honor perused the drawing in the photo, turning the four by four square in different directions. The detailed rendering almost looked like a star drive. But… Honor didn't believe it possible.
She met the CP's gaze again. "This can't be what it looks like." Her brain wouldn't wrap around the idea.
Mellia quirked a brow. "Why not?" She didn't mention the words star or drive.
Then again, she didn't have to.
Honor shook her head. "Because this technology is only fifty years old and a second generation unit." She paused, looking at the image again. "The scrolls date back to ancient times." Before science really existed and technological advances grew by incomparable lengths.
The chancellor crossed her arms over her chest. "That's true. But I'd like you to consider something… that isn't common knowledge." She leaned in again. "The commander has been making calculated guesses to this point about where our new home is located. The artifact in this picture could give us an advantage." Her gaze took on an almost fantastical glow.
Honor didn't like where the conversation headed, but she pushed for more information. "Why do you think so?" She could guess, but would rather have the CP spell everything out.
Mellia went all business again. "A prophecy. One that says the artifact can be used as a guide."
Honor got a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. "What are you aiming for here, chancellor?" Like Honor didn't already know.
Mellia laid it out straight. "We need that artifact."
Honor bit back a groan. "So, go to the commander. Let him know." Chain of command existed for a reason.
The chancellor let out a sigh. "I already have. He laughed me out of the room."
Honor's eyes widened. "Wow. Harsh." She paused a moment. "Do you really blame him?" They had a fleet of ships to get safely through uncharted space with the hopes of saving humanity.
Mellia's shoulders slumped a little. "No, I guess not. But I'm convinced we have to retrieve the artifact." Her voice filled with conviction.
Honor blew out a harsh breath. "What do you want from me?" She could try to speak with the commander, but her influence would only go so far.
The chancellor went in a completely different direction. "I want your incredible skill as a pilot."
Honor almost choked on her responses. "What? No. No way. Are you really willing to risk one of the fleet's top pilots on a possible suicide mission?" She'd be crazy to even consider Drake's suggestion.
Mellia countered. "I have faith it won't be suicidal." Again with the conviction thing.
Honor shook her head. "Lady, you're crazy." No wonder Masterson laughed her out of the room.
Drake's lips twitched. "There are many who consider you the same."
Honor lifted a shoulder. "You're not wrong." Rush accused Honor of being insane almost daily.
The chancellor pressed her point. "Can you honestly say any other pilot has the wherewithal to pull this off?"
Honor could only think of one—Rush—and he'd never, ever, go along with this crazy ass stunt.
Her lips quirked. "No, ma'am." Geez, would she actually lean toward attempting the chancellor's plan?
Drake nailed her with a bold stare. "Will you do it, Lieutenant? It might be our only true hope."
Honor snorted. "Gee, ma'am, how can I possibly say no?"
Who cared if she completely wrecked her life in the process?

I have this one all mapped and I'm excited about the direction my characters are taking.

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

ML Skye