October #ShortStory Challenge and #CoverReveal #mgtab

close up of hand over white background
Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com


I thought I’d try my hand at a short story challenge!

This challenge comes to you via Didi Oviatt’s lovely blog. Pay her a visit, she’d love to hear from you 🙂

Didi’s challenge:

For the month of October, I challenge you writers out there to take the characters from your WIP and plug them into frightening scene with the theme of “bump in the night”. Have fun with it, as it IS a practice writing challenge, meant to polish your skills and introduce your characters in a fun way, apart from their original plot.


This is from Skating on Thin Ice, the story of an injured hockey player and the therapist he doesn’t want. Or does he? 🙂

Now seems like a good time for a cover reveal!


Skating on thin ice 5x8 FINAL


Who goes there?

Sam jerked awake, gasping. Her heart beat an urgent fight or flight warning, hands clenching the down duvet into a hard ball around her neck. She lay there for a moment, trying to hear over the raspiness of her own breathing. Nothing. The house was silent except for that silly cuckoo clock ticking off the endless minutes of the night.

She never slept well in strange places anyway, and today had been particularly stressful. Mac, The Hammer, Wanowski wasn’t making her job easy. He’d made it more than clear what he thought of therapists. Too bad he didn’t have a choice, the team managers called the shots- whether he liked it or not.

There it was again.

An eerie moan accompanied by a scratch, scratch, bam. Scratch, scratch, bam.

If Wanowski thought he was going to get rid of her that easily, he better think again. Sam rolled out of bed and grabbed the first defensive thing she could find, the hard cover book she’d borrowed from the den earlier.

The door creaked like an old woman’s knees, instantly ending any element of surprise she might have had. The hall was dark, quiet. Too quiet.

“Hel… hello?” she asked, her voice little more than a squeak. The book remained clenched to her chest, ready for… who knows what. She wished she hadn’t skipped those self-defense classes her best friend, Grace, had taken.


The hair stood up and tried to run off her neck. Why hadn’t she just stayed in her warm, cozy bed hiding under the pillows like any other scaredy-cat would do?

Sam swallowed hard and stepped into the hall. “Not… not funny, Mac.” A set of glowing green eyes, halfway up the wall, turned her way. Sam screamed.

“What the hell?” Mac hollered from his room upstairs.

Not Mac then. 

The clunk of crutches on hard wood floors heralded her host’s arrival. The lights flicked on and Sam got an eyeful of rumpled, annoyed man glaring at her from the head of the staircase. Boxers never looked so good. The random thought warmed her cheeks.

“Do you make a habit of freaking out in the middle of the night? Doc? Because, I gotta tell you, it sucks.”

Embarrassed, she dropped the weapon/book to her side, noticed his narrowed gaze on her chest, and brought it up again. Right, her nightshirt was soft and comfortable, but white, and threadbare in spots.

Sam pointed down the hall. “Something was staring at me out of the wall,” she accused as though it was his fault.

“Ookay.” He looked at her like she was crazy before slowly, carefully making his way down the stairs on that bum knee. She’d feel bad if she didn’t get the feeling he was mocking her.

Mac stopped by the elegant sofa table cleared of everything except for a silver filigree picture frame. He straightened it on the table, his fingers almost caressing.

“Who is that?” Sam asked. She remembered seeing a younger, softer version of Wanowski, a beautiful woman smiling into his eyes, and a little boy in a stroller. His family, maybe? Where were they then?

Mac ignored her to bend at the waist, his broad back glinting under the brass and glass ceiling light. When he rose a big, black cat rested over one muscular forearm.


“I think I found your ghost,” he murmured.

Sam smiled. “He’s gorgeous. Yours?” She moved hesitantly toward them. “Is he friendly?” She’d been bitten by a neighbor’s cat as a child and had never quite recovered from the experience.

Mac nodded, fondling the dark, silky-looking ears. “It’s a she. Cleo. And yes, she’s a pussycat.”

Sam giggled. The man was attractive when he wasn’t being a jerk. “When I heard those bumps in the night I wasn’t expecting a harmless feline. Or a badass hockey player to come to my rescue.”

His lips tilted in an almost smile. “How do you know the cat is harmless?”

Sam shrugged, her own lips flirting with a smile. She noticed he didn’t argue with his description. Badass, indeed. This was going to be an interesting two weeks.


  1. Loved it!! The cat is genius 😊
    Thanks for joining!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fun challenge! Thanks, Didi 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Jacquie! I love your characters. I’ll be checking out more of your stuff soon 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, that made my day. Thanks!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You’re most welcome. Thank you! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, now. Let me take a slow gaze over this new cover. YIKES! I love it. I’m just as happy with your short story. It’s terrific, Jacquie. Nice job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, yes. That cover is downright inspirational 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mae Clair says:

    A man with a cat. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A bare chested man with a cat, even better 🙂
      Have to watch those nails, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice cover, Jacqui! I guess he won’t get cold skating with that hot body. Ha ha. (I couldn’t resist). What an intriguing challenge, and you pulled it off with a rather sweet ending. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. Not exactly your normal skating gear 🙂
      Thanks, I had fun with this!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. An outdoorsy man–yeah. Pretty good.

    Oh, nice story too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jacqui!


  6. iScriblr says:

    This is nice!❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the mention, Didi!


  7. “The man wasn’t attractive when he wasn’t being a jerk. I love that line.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That can be said about too many men. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Jacquie. Wow, you have another winner on your hands! Kudos.
    What you wrote is delightful too. That’s such a fun challenge. I wish I had time to come out to play. Maybe I will anyway! Happy Halloween hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Teagan,
      I’ve been fighting with Chrome all day, soI’m just now checking the blogs. Will be over to see you soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A great story, Jacquie. Sharing.


  10. Colleen Chesebro says:

    Excellent. Well done. I really enjoyed this, Jacquie. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Colleen! I thought the black cat was a nice touch 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Colleen Chesebro says:

        I loved the black cat. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Staci Troilo says:

    Interesting two weeks, indeed.

    Wishing you all the best with this one, Jacquie. Looks like another winner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Staci. It started out as a contemporary, but I had a great inspiration for suspense so it’s changing, lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Staci Troilo says:

        I love a romance/suspense mix! All the best to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Darlene says:

    Great short story! Your cover looks fab, Jacquie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I love that Caribbean green color, it reminds me of this lake we lived near in Alberta 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Darlene says:

        Which lake was it? You know I’m from Alberta.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Patricia Lake, near Jasper. Have you been there? I grew up in Edson, about an hour and a half east of the park. Beautiful country.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Darlene says:

        Yes, a beautiful part of the world. I grew up further south, near Medicine Hat. We visited Jasper and Patricia Lake and were amazed at the scenery. xo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We used to camp near the Little Bow Reservoir outside Vulcan. Another beautiful lake. The water is bathtub warm 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Beware Of The Reader says:

    First time I read your writing Jacquie and it’s good!!! I had fun reading this scene. Oh and oggling the cover too LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, thanks, Sophie! Yes, I kind of like this cover, too 🙂


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