Wordsmith– I also write books

Do you enjoy reading or writing in the romance genre of New Adult?  Creating angst in the heroine/hero relationship is paramount.  New adults, basically college aged protags, are figuring out why they’re attracted to a certain person.  Are they getting enough emotion back from that person? In Betrayal at Crater’s Edge Yardley feels neglected.  Marchand wants to protect her.   Here’s an excerpt:

PROLOGUE

 

Six months before, Ice Age Earth

The evening before take-off concealed secrets, one good and another bad.

A blaring horn pierced the frigid night, warning the guards to open the chain-link gate.  The hydraulic brakes of flatbed trucks hissed as they snaked through the entrance with shuttles destined for the habitable planet, Venus.

Marchand LaFond slipped off a supply truck carrying egg incubators and small greenhouse units. The chaos was ideal with twenty-some shuttles being readied for take-off.  He made his way into a warehouse where he’d meet Yardley Van Dyke.  Under-age for the journey, they were about to enter the space race in place of their parents.  Without family responsibilities, the young and the restless couldn’t resist the opportunity.

Marchand shrank into the shadows.  He couldn’t find her and began to search the ramshackle warehouse. The smell of rotten wood clung to the air. He heard a scream. Hers? Beneath him, the floor groaned.  Within seconds he found a stairway. The moan came louder, and racing toward it, he spotted Yardley, slumped against a large drum container.

He whispered, “You fell through the rotten floor!”

“That’s right, smarty.”  Limping, she grabbed his hand as he pulled her up. “Do you hear that?” She jerked her head to listen. Footfalls pounded loud and louder.

His entire body stilled.  A forklift loomed toward them with headlights sweeping. Workers marched behind. Moving ahead of the forklift traipsed a couple of guys with red hair clipped knife-straight.

“Your cousins!” Yardley hissed. “What’s wrong with them?”

Balto and Renny reminded him of leprechauns on steroids. He’d never seen them with such dimwitted expressions.

Marchand pulled her with him against the wall. From deep in the shadows he surveyed the loading of drums onto the forklift. Twice he checked his weapon, a slingshot. As he peered at the mindless crew, he relaxed and didn’t expect to use it.

“Your two cousins and there’s Joey. Guess what? They’re on Savage’s team.”

Another emotion— anger— prickled his skin. His entire body went on alert. They’d never willingly be on his team.

“Brain implants,” she said. “That’s how Vito Savage gets his workers,” she said. “Sharlene told me.”

“She’s in a heap of trouble.” The word was out. “Sharlene spies on her grandmother.” Marchand had heard other rumblings. Sharlene’s grandmother, the CEO of BioMinds, wanted to send her snoopy granddaughter to Venus.

The scent of gasoline from the forklift burned his nose. “They’re heading out.”

“Lucky for us.” Yardley was antsy, nervous.

He put his arm around her and helped her hobble at a sloth’s pace.

Outside in the icy air, Vito Savage was ordering his crew to load the drums onto an elevator. Marchand counted ten containers going up to the corporate shuttle.

“Ew, Vito Savage,” Yardley said.

“That dude smells of rat,” Marchand said.  “I’d like to know what’s inside those drums.”   With his arm around her, they made their way toward their shuttle.

“The crew wasn’t shooting the breeze.” She kept her voice low. “The way they lined up those drums, they have a fetish for neatness.”

He said, “It’s not in their nature.  My cousins are pigs.”

“They’re still in a trance.”

“Damn,” he said. “You’ve got some insight on you, don’t you girl.”

“Impressive, I know. Looks like the last drum is loaded.”

Marchand’s emotions ran wild.  The company shuttle transported weaponry, and whatever the drums contained was part of it.  He had his man. “Vito Savage. He’ll be an evil force on Venus.”

CHAPTER ONE

Looking Cool, Unruffled

Inside her greenhouse on Venus, Yardley Van Dyke kept checking out the glass.  Marchand’s rover was still there. Soon he’d leave on a spying expedition.  Without her!  His three-wheeled vehicle powered by wind proved reliable. His reliability as her boyfriend sucked.

The audacity of Marchand LaFond, not inviting her along! That hurt. Together, they’d pieced together evidence.  Savage planned to annihilate anyone in his way, and Marchand planned to locate the containers and hide them. Both he and she wanted to protect the existing population, those who landed two hundred years before.

Too dangerous? Bull crap! Rest assured, the space race was even more dangerous.

Her anguish over the drums of nerve agent matched his. Contamination of water and soil would end every gardening goal she had, not to mention lives on Venus. Vito Savage had spun the nuclear war on Mars.  His greed was about to do the same on Venus.

Back on Ice Age Earth where Marchand had sailed a blade-runner over the frozen tundra, she’d tagged along on his Robin-hooding jobs. Granted, she was a terrible crew. Barely knew wind direction. Close your eyes, and you’ll feel it? Never happened, but she had something to offer— food.

The one thing an artsy person like her could do was garden. Food came in handy no matter where you lived. Lately whenever she crossed paths with him, it went down like this. She’d give him a casserole. He’d thank her, and then she’d ask him, “What’s on your mind?” The containers of nerve agent were on his mind. Period, end. No more conversation.

Her friend, Sharlene, corrected her many times. Get a grip. Save a little face.

Yardley never learned how to keep it together. A second passed, and she stood up, gazed closer.  He’d added wider tires. Why get so crazy-mad when feeling left out? She inched back.  Would he send a text to tell her he’d gone? Keeping tabs on him derailed her, made her sweat like the creepy person she was.

She heard wind whistle with a pinging sound caused by loose halyard fittings banging the mast. The rover was, after all, a modified sailboat. He was setting to raise the sails. Her stomach roiled. She really should shove, push, and scratch him while he was within reach. Either that or step out and wish him good luck.

Marchand was a good guy, but his silent side intimidated her. She wasn’t about to let him know cold fear shot through her limbs.  She was unable to say, “Pay a little attention to me.” He functioned in a world of his own.

The dusk season arrived yesterday on Venus, the world which spun once a year on her axis. With half of the year daylight, and now in the second half, nighttime, it took a bit of genius to simulate Earth conditions with a twenty-four hour day.

As newbies on the planet with the human need to create night during constant daylight, they’d blocked light within habitats.  Now it was dusk, and they simulated daylight by powering up the wind turbines.  Outside the greenhouse, grow lights lit the area she inspected. Around him! There he was under the clock.  At ten o’clock in the morning, covered in hard, sculpted muscle, he wore confidence like the guy about to save the world.

Not wanting to look pathetic, she moved below window level and used two shaking fingers to prune dead leaves from melon vines. If he doled out a goodbye, she wanted to look not only pretty but productive. Wasn’t focusing on herself the best revenge? As she placed ripe melons into a bin, she weakened and glanced out.  Still there.

His interest in her swung like a pendulum.  Up. Now down. He’d moved from their dormitory-habitat, but didn’t say he’d lost love. He just didn’t say.

Her friend, Sharlene, told her how the wind was blowing.  As if Yardley didn’t know they’d blown apart!  As if she didn’t know he’d moved into the beached shuttle.

Be strong! No more checking, ogling. Be the girl who fiddles with plants. Enjoy your knack. Look anywhere but out the window. At her potting table she pushed seeds into a growth medium. Be grateful, proud. Not everyone has green thumb.  Her skill came easily, and she shared her bumper crops. Why wasn’t this working?

The screen door squeaked. Do I look? She took a deep breath and expelled it slowly, wishing her heart wasn’t thumping like she’d run to the canal and back.

The door slammed. “Yardley.”  Marchand smiled when he found her inside.

As she turned to face him, she choked with a sudden flood of feeling, all the building emotions over their changed dynamics. She blinked a few times, looking at him, so handsome she wanted to take her weed whacker to him, but the voice in her head told her to be cool.  “I saw your duffel bag and carbon monoxide detector beside your rover.” She made weak eye contact.

“Time to go.” Over the course of a long silence, he flashed one of his characteristic expressions— reserved, guarded. “I can’t miss my window.”

“I have a stake in this.” Together they’d witnessed the most powerful company on Ice Age Earth load nerve agent onto their shuttle.

“Spying is risky.”

Because of her, he was privy to Botany General’s plan for the populated crater next to theirs.

He sighed. “I owe you.”

“So bring me along.” Underneath her vengeful hurt, she tried to sound sweet. Wasn’t revenge the dish best served cold? She wanted to serve it scalding hot from the oven of outrage. “Damn!” She slammed her fist on her potting table. “I’m the reason you know.”

He rolled his green eyes. “You’re a garden variety vigilante.” The warm, deep sound of his voice sent traitorous sensations of want right through her.

“Just go.” She hated her squeaky voice.

“You’re done?” When on-mission, like now, he was short on time and entirely clueless.

“I think I’ve covered everything.” Too bad she hadn’t maintained an air of sexy mystery about herself.  “Take care.”

“Don’t be mad.” He paused. “Vito Savage is a dirty genocidal maniac.  No one’s safe over there. Give him time. We won’t be either.”

Her breath caught in her throat. She’d pictured their niche, the place she’d come to love, contaminated. “I agree.”

He leaned down and kissed her forehead.  “I’m on a treadmill. Need to find those drums.” He started walking away, but stopped and looked back when she yelled, “Wait for me.”

AmazonBetrayal

Wordsmith– I also write books

Are you a writer who is thinking about combining stories into a box set or anthology?  Or even better, do you have a group of writer friends who write in the same genre?  Authors Tina Gayle, Elena Dillon, Michele Barrow-Belisle, Geralyn Corcillo, Tracy Reed, and I decided to write a new adult box set which will be released tomorrow.  FLING! We became closer in the process.  It’s emotionally enormous for solitary writers to work together for fun and profit!  I highly recommend this amazing experience.  Elena Dillon’s daughter, Alexa, is a graphic designer and made the cover.  Tina Gayle formatted our books together and even inserted individual book covers inside.

Fling box set

Wordsmith– I also spotlight great authors

Friends, I am excited to spotlight New Adult author Geralyn Corcillo today.  Her book, Random Acts of Violent, is a stand alone on Amazon but is also within the super deal, Fling New Adult box set for the same great price of 99 cents!

Title: Random Acts of Violet   RandomActsofVioletCOVER

Author: Geralyn Corcillo  Geralyn

Tagline: Cautious loner Violet Parker needs a new playbook when her quiet summer on campus collides with an unexpected eight year-old, a monster in the attic, and Noah…

Blurb:  Quietly independent Violet Parker is enjoying an uneventful summer of house-sitting, writing her thesis, and working to make ends meet. But suddenly a kid gets dumped on her doorstep, something keeps going bump in the attic, and most disturbing of all, Noah Swardguard shows up to lead a summer football program.

Noah has never succeeded in getting close to his reserved lab partner Violet. But when he sees her on campus in Julyin charge of a little girl who makes her laugh and live a littlehe wonders if maybe, just maybe, he has a chance with Violet Parker after all.

Excerpt:

“Hello?” he called out.

A slim young woman with a glossy brown ponytail popped up from a sort of alcove in the back. “Hi!” she chirped, turning to face him. “What can I get—” Her mouth snapped shut when she saw him. But then she pasted on a totally plastic customer service smile. “—you? What can I get you?”

Noah willed himself not to react. At all. “Violet Parker.”

“Hi, Noah.”

“So…” he said, “working here for the summer?”

“Yeah. You?”

“Yeah. The team runs a football camp for high school kids.”

“Hm. What can I get you?”

Right. Parker had never liked that he  played football. Not that she’d ever said anything. But she’d been classic with the bullet-proof silences. Even just watching her concentrate over a bunsen burner could be arctic.

“Noah?” she prompted.

“Coconut mango protein shake and bear claw to go. Please.”

“Right.” She quickly rang him up, gave him his change, then paused. “Um, why don’t you go sit over there while I whip up your order.” She was waving to some tables in the far corner. As in, Get as far away from me as geographically possible.

“Parker, I’m the only one here. What? Are you going to bake me a bear claw? I’ll just take one from the case, if it’s all the same to you.”

“Okay.” She quickly tossed his pastry into a thin paper bag and shoved it at  him. “Now just go over there and wait, please, and I’ll bring you your drink.”

Seriously? It would take her, like, a minute to blend it. But she was looking at him steadily. Intently, even, as if she were willing him to go away.

            Ouch.

 

Links for Geralyn Corcillo:

http://geralyncorcillo.com

https://twitter.com/geralyncorcillo

https://www.facebook.com/geralyncorcillothewriter

Bio: When she was a kid growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to constantly pick up litter and rescue animals. At home, she loves watching old movies, British mysteries, and the NY Giants. Geralyn Corcillo lives in a drafty old house in Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite.

Wordsmith– I also write books

When is it a good idea to write an epilogue?  Falling action is the best place to tie up loose ends.  Here are a few uses for to use an epilogue:

1). If your story ends with a trauma, an epilogue can let the reader know the fate of a character. 2). An epilogue can assure the reader justice has been served.  3). An epilogue can explain the fate of a character.  Increase the  feeling of happily ever after and let the reader know the protagonists survived.  5).  An epilogue is a glimpse into the future.

bookshelf

Wordsmith– I also Spotlight books

Under the glow of a spotlight today is talented writer, Helen Henderson.  It’s time to fly with the Dragshi!  Her book, Dragon Destiny, is a romantic fantasy published by High Eyrie Publications.

Buy Links:

Ebook and paperback available at Amazon and Barnes&Noble. Visit http://helenhenderson-author.webs.com for the latest distribution sites about this action- and romance-filled fantasy.

BLURB:

Lord Branin of the dragshi, is more than just a man, but two beings—one a dragon, the other a human. The pair share one body in space in time and are able to change forms with the other at will. From the time Branin’s twinned soul, Llewlyn, awoke, Branin knew the freedom of flight. However, being a shifter came with a price. Branin and Llewlyn are the only two of their kind who have not found their intended mates, despite millennia of waiting…and searching.

The red-haired firebrand, Broch of Ky’Port plans to fill that position in Branin’s life—with or without his cooperation. When a faint thought impinged on Branin’s mind, hope for an ending to eons of loneliness soared. Plagued by doubts because no signs of a dragon shifter’s birth have been seen, Branin searches the world for the mysterious girl he only knows by the name, Anastasia.

Wing into adventure and love at  http://helenhenderson-author.blogspot.com/p/dragon-destiny.html for an excerpt and a free read of the first chapter.

About Helen: Helen Henderson has written fiction as long as she could remember. Her heritage reflects the contrasts of her Gemini sign. She is a descendent of a coal-miner’s daughter and an aviation flight engineer. This dichotomy shows in her writing which crosses genres from historical adventures and westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the world of romantic fantasy she is the author of two series: Windmaster and the Dragshi Chronicles. Henderson describes herself as a tour guide to the stars, the Old West, and worlds of imagination and invites you to journey with her. The trip begins at helenhenderson-author.webs.com or helenhenderson-author.blogspot.comHelen's book

Places– of Charm

Glowing silver-blue clouds – called noctilucent or night shining clouds – sometimes light up summer night skies. They’re seen at high latitudes – say, about 45 degrees N. or S. – from May through August in the Northern Hemisphere and from November through February in the Southern Hemisphere. In 2015, the northern noctilucent cloud season has already begun.

noctilucent clouds

I used this idea in my futuristic Intervenus Series– a little truth goes a long way in Science Fiction. Venus is a planet that rotates once during her year around the sun.  Half of the Venus year is dark, and half light. In my series Venus is habitable after a great asteroid impact which forced planets outward.  Earth sunk into a second ice age.  Meteors caused underground water to erupt on Mars and Venus, creating breathable atmospheres.

People Appreciation

Did you catch the Grammy performance of Hozier and Annie Lennox, Take Me to Church?  Both have incredible talent.  Irish musician Hozier has a beat that lends itself to dancing.  His single Work Song is an example. It’s shot in a cozy place, and the dancers have wonderful sexy moves.  Click above to listen on youtube and see the dancing!

Hozier

Eat– for Good Health

Friends, this is my husband, Gerry’s, favorite dinner.  He requested it for tonight– Chicken and Artichoke Hearts. This recipe can be made with chicken breasts cooked intact with artichoke topping with Parmesan Cheese or as a casserole.  Either is delicious.

chicken artichoke casserole

Ingredients:  14-oz can water-packed artichoke hearts, well drained and chopped.  3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese; 3/4 cup light mayonnaise; a dash of garlic powder.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Spray an 11×7 inch baking dish with Pam.
  3. Salt and pepper the chicken breast halves and place in the dish.
  4. In a bowl, combine the artichoke hearts, parmesan cheese, mayonnaise and garlic powder; mix well.
  5. Spread artichoke mixture over chicken breasts.
  6. Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Eat– for Good Health

Who doesn’t love a summer-delicious Cobb salad? Cobb salads are usually nutrition nightmares. But swapping light and nonfat ingredients for some full fat ones, puts this diner staple back on the menu!  This version is 200 calories and just as flavorful.

chicken cobb salad

  • Ingredients:
  • 8 cup(s) (shredded) romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/3 pound(s) deli sliced turkey, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 pound(s) low-fat Swiss cheese, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large fresh tomato(es), diced
  • 4 slice(s) cooked crisp turkey bacon, crumbled
  • 2 large egg(s), hard-boiled, diced
  • 6 Tbsp reduced-calorie blue cheese dressing
  • Directions:
  • Arrange lettuce in 4 salad bowls. Evenly divide turkey, cheese, tomato, bacon and egg among bowls.
  • Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons dressing over each salad just before serving. Yields 1 salad per serving.

Places– of Charm

Do you enjoy looking at clouds?  Many people believe van Gogh’s masterpiece, Starry Night, was inspired by this unusual cloud formation called Kelvin Helmholtz formations. These clouds form when there’s a velocity difference across the interface between two fluids: for example, wind blowing over water.

You’ll often see the characteristic wave structure in this type of cloud when two different layers of air in our atmosphere are moving at different speeds. The upper layers of air are moving at higher speeds and will often scoop the top of the cloud layer into these wave-like rolling structures.

clouds