The Long Road Home- #Fiction in a Flash #Challenge @amwriting


Suzanne Burke stimulates the imagination with her weekly Fiction in a Flash #Challenges!

You can read the participants entries and join in here

The Long Road Home

The creak of saddle leather and gentle sway of Maggie’s horse lulled her toward a long overdo nap. Two weeks and still no sign of the men she chased. The ruthless bastards had taken everything from her, she wouldn’t stop until they paid for what they’d done.

When she awoke, the sun had dropped behind the distant Texas hills coloring the sky in shades of magenta, burnt orange, and saffron. The air was cooler, whispering an early fall warning and she huddled into her loose-fitting jacket. She’d lost weight on this trek, lost some of her sanity, as well.

Images of her too-trusting husband swinging from a rope in the shed, face swollen, purple tongue protruding played a never-ending loop in her head. As did the attack from men they thought were friends. Men who’d dragged her to the floor and had their way with her in front of Sam and Jeff. Her boys.

The reason she couldn’t, wouldn’t, give up.

Grunting from stiff, aching, muscles, Maggie dislodged from the saddle and slid to the ground, her grip on the pommel the only thing holding her upright. Pins and needles in her feet assured her she was alive, as did the hunger gnawing at her belly. Didn’t matter though, nothing mattered except finding her sons and meting out the retribution they deserved.

***

A day and a half later, she came upon the cabin. Rough-hewn slats of gray wood made up the walls, smoke curled in a thin ribbon from the crooked chimney, and moss grew in a thick green blanket draping the eaves. A couple of beaten-down horses, she recognized as theirs, stood silently in a pen next to a dilapidated shed. She hurried to place a hand over the muzzles of her own mounts. They’d approached from downwind, but she didn’t want to take a chance on the animals announcing her arrival before she was ready.

It was dark by the time she had everything in place. The horses were tied in a ravine to the west, close enough to get to if she were injured, but far enough to keep them from panicking when the fireworks started. As she’d expected, Sam and Jeff were brought outside to use the latrine before bed. Her tired eyes feasted on their wiry frames. They looked so small next to the monsters shoving them forward. She ached to break cover and swoop them against her breasts, but reconciled herself to waiting until they were safe.

The moment the boys entered the outhouse and closed the door behind them, she set her plan in motion. Hefting a good-sized stone in her hand, Maggie sent it sailing through the air to smack the ground in the pen, startling the horses who reared up and danced away from the unseen threat. The men ducked, then ran for the nearest cover- the shed.

Next, she lit the fuses on the leftover fireworks Conrad had bought for the family to enjoy on the fourth of July. The sparks snaked across the ground and exploded, sending bright strobes of white, orange and red shrieking into the night sky. Not wasting a second, Maggie streaked across the uneven yard and dropped a heavy board over the door to the shed, sealing it closed.

The men realized they’d been tricked, and shouting obscenities, hammered the door with their fists trying to break free. Knowing she only had seconds before the flimsy structure gave way, Maggie turned to the pile of wood she’d carefully arranged near the wall of the building. A strike of a match and the oil-soaked cloth caught, the fire quickly spreading to the dry kindling. A moment later, the wall caught flame, driving her backward away from the heat and destruction. The shouts became screams, then coughing cries for mercy, echoing the weeping in her soul.

Then silence.

Instead of guilt, Maggie felt joy sweep through her chest, pushing all the hate and pain and anger away. A phoenix rising from the flames.

“Momma, Momma,” Jeff cried, his stubby little legs carrying him to her side, Sam following close behind, his eyes reflecting the funeral pyre in front of them.

Maggie wrapped shaking arms around her kids and pulled them close. “Let’s go home, my loves. Let’s go home.”

Love’s Tempo- Fiction in a Flash #FlashFiction Challenge #WritersCommunity #amwriting


Love’s Tempo- Fiction in a Flash Challenge #18

This week’s photo prompt for Suzanne Burke’s Flash Fiction Challenge is a mysterious piece of sheet music and a woman holding a rose. You can take part here:

He was at it again. She rued the day she’d allowed him to buy the baby grand. Day and night, he lived for those damn ebony keys. He didn’t even share their bedroom half the time, preferring instead to sleep with his infernal music.

It was their tenth anniversary and she’d worked all day to create the perfect meal; chicken cordon bleu, garlic and chive mashed potatoes, savory roast vegetables, and his favorite dessert, bananas foster. And through it all, he’d played. She’d tuned out the actual melody years ago. It was either that or go stark raving mad. It was the same song, over and over and over again.

At first, she’d tried to take an active interest in his… let’s call it what it was–addiction. She’d join him in the den, offering input into the music. In return, He’d give her a vacant smile and continue the way he was, dark head bent lovingly over the keyboard.

Then she’d gone the opposite direction, ignoring him, going about her day as though everything was perfectly fine. Making excuses for his negligence. Alone, and lonely.

But, tonight was the end. She couldn’t do it anymore. He was turning her into a bitter shrew and she didn’t like it. After dinner, she was going to give him the separation papers.

“Hungry?” she asked with forced gaiety.

“Hmm?” he murmured, penning some notes onto the sheet music.

“It’s our anniversary. I made dinner.” Not quite as cheerful now.

“Can it wait? I’m close to a breakthrough.” He glanced up with a smile.

Her heart did that stupid leap, still affected by him after all these years. “Please.” She hated the entreaty in her voice.

“Sure, babe. I’ll be right behind you.” He turned back to the piano and she slowly returned to the kitchen. Picked up the heavy butcher’s knife, and waltzed toward the den, buoyed by the harmonious chords bursting down the hall.

She was surprised by how easy it was, the cold steel sinking like warm butter into his back. The tune he was playing turning strident, a cry for help echoing in her head.

Then nothing.

Blessed silence as the ivory keys turned red and his precious music died with him.

She yanked the knife free, his body slouched over the keyboard, and gouged deep lines in the shiny black finish. The shriek of steel becoming cries of agony- hers. It was his fault- all of it. He’d destroyed their love as easily as she’d just ruined his beloved piano.

Finally, she circled around to the sheet music, and was about to rip it to shreds when the title stayed her hand.

Love’s Tempo- an pledge to my beautiful wife, who loves me far more than I deserve.

Yours forever, honey

Slowly, painfully, she sank to the floor near her husband’s head and sliced her wrists. As she grew faint, their blood melded into an eternal chorus–the day the music died.

Fiction in a Flash Challenge 17- #WritingCommunity #amwriting @pursoot


Fiction in a Flash Challenge #17

The week’s flash fiction challenge is titled Message in a Bottle. Join here on Suzanne Burke’s inspiring blog: https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/2020/09/11/fiction-in-a-flash-challenge-week-17-new-image-prompt-join-in-the-funpursoot-iartg-asmsg-writingcommunity/

The sand is cool and grainy under my toes, a refreshing relief from the warmth of the sun on my shoulders. I’ve been walking this mostly deserted beach for hours, lost in memories of happier times.

I arrived as a visiter, but for the last twelve years this has been home. I’m not sure how I’ll survive without the wash of the waves, the briny scent, or the crimson sunsets, but I must. It’s up to me to continue the search.

Something green glints in the shallows and I pad out to investigate. It’s a bottle, half-buried in the wet sand, its cork pointing toward the North Star sparkling brightly in the evening sky.

Heart pumping, I tug until the sand gives up its treasure with a pop and carefully carry the fragile glass up the beach. Upon closer inspection, I spot a roll of paper inside the luminous green bottle.

“Sam, is that you?”

A wavery voice from my past jerks my attention away from my find.

Could it be?

The woman I never thought to see again, picks up her skirts and runs toward me, her silver hair flowing like a moonbeam.

With a joyous bark, I bound toward her, the aches and pains in my old bones forgotten. She came back.

“Oh, Sam,” she cries, falling to her knees to wrap frail arms around my neck. “I can’t believe I found you.”

I want to tell her I’ve been searching and searching for her, too, but of course I can’t. Instead, I whine and lick her chin in greeting, my tail swishing the sand.

“It was the cancer, boy. I’ve been in the hospital all this time. I thought I’d lost you.” She puts her head to mine and weeps.

A long while later, she slowly rises and, with a hand on my back, follows me over to the green bottle.

“What do you have there, Sam, a treasure?”

I already found my treasure tonight, but I bark and push the bottle toward her.

“Okay, okay.” She chuckles. “I get the message.”

She carefully works the cork from the bottle and tips the paper into her hand. Unrolling the missive, she reads, “Whoever finds this note, know this; there is no greater gift than love.”

As my old friend and I make our way down the beach, I sigh, contented for the first time in months. The bottle is right, love soothes the soul.

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The Final Countdown- #FictioninAFlash #Challenge


This week’s Fiction in A Flash Challenge

I’ve been enjoying the many posts inspired by Soooz Burke’s wonderful prompts to the Fiction in A Flash Challenge and decided to give it a try. You can read more and join in here.

The Final Countdown

Four.

Three.

Two…

Any moment now and the final performance of my career will begin. I can’t complain, I’ve had a good run, but I wish I was more prepared.

I’ve wasted so many opportunities. Chances to live, love, create meaningful connections.

Instead, I’m here the way I’ve been most of my life- alone.

It’s not all bad though.

I’m more successful than I could have dreamed. People know my name. They cheer for me. Buy tickets to see me.

I’m famous.

I wonder if any of that will matter now.

One…

The gates open and I step through.

My afterlife begins.

#TeaserTuesday- Virtually Gone #WIP @amwriting


Teaser Tuesday

I’m hard at work on my next novel, a police procedural suspense, coming out the beginning of June.

This is an eight book collection of high tech novels, each one releasing two weeks apart, with characters from our books making guest appearances in other stories within the series.

It’s fun and interesting, but definitely poses challenges as well. We have to be careful to maintain characteristics and fit varied careers and locations (even if by phone) into our plotlines.

Here is a short excerpt from my book, Virtually Gone, with Edward Dasso’s character, Wes Watley, mentioned within the passage.

Excerpt

Julie paced her bedroom like a twitchy cat, stopping to stare out the window at the empty street, then across to her silent cellphone on the dresser. Connor had been gone for hours without word—it was driving her mad.

The house was too quiet without her boys. Usually, she’d hear Dustin tossing and turning, and Freddy’s light snores, but tonight there was only silence. It unnerved her. Ever since she’d been kidnapped by the ABC Killer, the smallest things made her jumpy. She used her job as a journalist to combat the fear, to do what she could to protect victims like her. And yet, another rapist was loose in their city.

She shivered and left her room to double-check the locks.

There’d been two rapes near the university a couple of months ago. The women had escaped with their lives but were brutally beaten and robbed at knifepoint. Then there was the young girl last week, barely old enough to drive, killed just minutes from her home. The police were assuring the public they had no reason to be alarmed, whereas Julie disagreed. Maybe if those targets had been warned of the danger, they would have stood a better chance of avoiding his trap. If there was one takeaway she’d learned from her own experience, it was that psychopaths were in it for the thrill of the chase. They got off on terrifying their victims. The only answer was to take away their power.

Which was why she was up pacing instead of getting some much-needed sleep. Connor was keeping things from her and she didn’t like it. Either there was trust in their relationship, or it couldn’t continue. She didn’t expect him to divulge details of the investigation, but at the same time, she wasn’t just any reporter, either. He knew how personal cases like this were for her—she’d defied death and now it had become her calling to help others going through the same thing. Beating back the monsters one story at a time.

She turned from the locked front door and stopped in front of Mike’s photo hanging in the hall. Her husband’s green eyes stared at her with a perpetual smile. He was the light in their relationship, able to drag a laugh out of her even in her grumpiest days. He’d been a wonderful father to the boys—their daughter would have loved him, too, if not for the accident that took their lives. Julie liked to think they were together now, watching over their family. He’d certainly been there for her when that madman had chased her through the woods. He’d given her the strength to hold on until help could arrive.

“I miss you so much,” she murmured, her finger tracing the glass. “I think you’d like Connor… he’s a good man.” Warmth filled her chest and Mike’s eyes seemed to glow with tenderness and a sad acceptance. He would always be her first love, the gangly teen who’d stolen her heart and given her two beautiful sons, but he was gone and life moved on. She hadn’t expected to fall for another man. For a long time, she’d put her growing feelings down to loneliness, but Connor had impacted her life too much to be ignored. He could be arrogant at times, and overprotective, but he was also sweet and incredibly patient with Dustin and Freddy. She was happy for perhaps the first time since the accident that took her husband and unborn daughter. Was it wrong to wonder when the other shoe would drop?

The phone rang in the bedroom and she hurried down the hall, expecting it to be Connor. Instead, Taylor’s number showed up on the display.

“Hi, what are you doing still awake?” Julie asked, sitting on the edge of her bed and tucking bare toes into a plush throw rug she’d grabbed from a bargain bin.

“Sorry to call so late,” Taylor said in her no-nonsense voice. “I managed to book you onto a seaplane to Vancouver tomorrow morning. Can you make it?”

Julie blinked. What…? Oh, yeah, the private security consultant she was supposed to meet. With everything else that happened tonight, it had slipped her mind.

“Tomorrow is fine. The kids come home this weekend, so I’d just as soon get it over with. What was his name, again?”

“Watley. Wes Watley. Ex-FBI and Army CID Officer. He knows his stuff. Hopefully, you can bounce ideas off each other and come up with a solid lead. You never know, maybe he can even suggest something to catch our rapist.”

Privately, Julie was more cynical on that score. She’d met FBI types before and found them to be close-mouthed, but maybe this would be different. A little quid pro quo. “Where do we meet?” she asked, turning as the front door opened and closed.

“He’s coming into YVR at nine. By the time he gets through customs you should be able to catch him near the baggage claims.” Taylor paused. “Laurie is a mess over this. Anything you can do to help…”

Julie wandered to the dim hallway in time to catch Connor rubbing a tired hand over his neck, the streetlight from outside turning his hair to burnished copper. He stopped when he noticed her and raised his brow. Her pulse scattered.

“Of course,” she murmured. “Can you send me a recent photo of Mr. Watley, so I know who I’m looking for?” If not, she planned to do an online search for his company, his bio should be there.

“You’ll have it by morning,” Taylor assured her. “It shouldn’t take more than a couple of days. An introduction to your contacts with the VPD should set him on the right track. Thanks, Julie.”

“No problem. See you when I get back.” Julie ended the call and strode into Connor’s welcoming embrace. His chest was warm and comforting, the arms around her waist strong, yet gentle. He nuzzled the top of her head and she leaned back to look at his face. “Hi,” she said softly, concerned by the dullness in his normally expressive eyes. “Long night?”

“You could say that,” he agreed, bending to steal a kiss. “I thought I was dreaming when I walked in. That shirt never looked half as good on me.”


Some might recognize Julie and Connor from my Mended Souls series. While this book has the same characters, it is focused more on detective work than the paranormal element highlighted in the other books. I might add a bit of guardian angel influence, but it’s not the main element of this new sub-series I think I’m starting 🙂

I’m curious whether you think readers will accept the new direction. Any ideas for a series title that will tie into Mended Souls?

Virtually Gone: A Mended Souls Novel (High-Tech Crime Solvers Book 6)

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085PQTV69

International: https://books2read.com/VirtuallyGone

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/virtually-gone-a-mended-souls-novel-high-tech-crime-solvers-book-6-by-jacquie-biggar

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52329219-virtually-gone

From USA Today Bestselling Author, Jacquie Biggar, comes a gripping techno-thriller, part of a multi-author series tied together by an interlocking cast of characters, all centered around the fantastic new promise of high technology and the endless possibilities for crime that technology offers, in a world where getting away with murder can be not only plausible, but easy…if you just know how..

Investigative reporter Julie Crenshaw stumbles upon the case of a lifetime–one that could cost her everything.

When Julie is called on to investigate a string of sexual abuse cases, she doesn’t expect to land in the crosshairs of a serial rapist. Soon she’s in a race to find the facts before a killer makes her the headline.

Detective Matthew Roy is frustrated with his inability to track a rapist terrorizing his city. Added to that, his partner’s reporter girlfriend is dogging his every step and won’t heed his warnings. Time is ticking with the perpetrator escalating his crime to murder. Matt needs to find the killer soon, or chance losing someone he cares for- the question is, how?

★★★★★ “This author is an auto-buy for me. Each of her novels including this one is a perfect mix of angst, suspense, humor, and steaminess.”

Life’s cycle- #FlashFictionChallenge #amwriting


This week’s flash fiction prompt is a tribute to Charli Mills’ beloved friend, Bobo, now running in Heaven’s daisies.

February 6, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to the theme “a dog in the daisies.” It can be any dog, real or imagined. Push into the setting and as always, go where the prompt leads!

Bodetta Bosephine, Bobo to her friends, paused for a moment. The sun warmed her back and the meadow’s grass tickled her feet, but that’s not the reason she stopped. A faint call, one she thought she’d never hear again, made her delicate ears quiver.

“It’s time,” her brother’s voice whispered on the dew-laden breeze. “I’ve missed you, sister.”

Her heart skipped a beat. “Grenny, is that you?”

“Come,” he said. “We must go.”

Bobo glanced back to where she knew her humans waited. Could she? They loved her so, and she them. But Grenny was right- it was time.

A Parent’s Nightmare- #FlashFictionChallenge #amwriting


This week’s challenge courtesy of Charli Mills Carrot Ranch:

January 16, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a protest story. It can be about a protest, or you can investigate the word and expand the idea. Who is protesting, where, and why? Go where the prompt leads!

I decided to take mine in a more personal direction. This is from a WIP- hope you enjoy my interpretation of PROTEST.


“There’s no easy way to say this—” Matt met the growing horror in Mrs. Carter’s eyes, his heart hurting, “your daughter was murdered last night on the Galloping Goose Trail. We believe she was on her way home at the time.”

The poised woman who’d met them at the door disappeared in a swelling tide of despair. She vigorously shook her head. “No, you’ve made a mistake. Emily was home last night. I brought her home from school myself. It’s not possible.”

“How do you know it’s our child?” Carter asked, his voice gruff. “It could be anyone.”

Skiing Mishap #FlashFictionChallenge #amwriting


This was written for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge:

January 9, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a carried wife. Why is she being carried? Who is carrying? Pick a genre if you’d like and craft a memorable character. Go where the prompt leads!

You can join in here: https://carrotranch.com/2020/01/10/january-9-flash-fiction-challenge/

Jeff juggled to keep his balance on the ice without dropping his wife.

“I told you to stick to the bunny hill,” he chastised.

She giggled and held her arms out like a bird in flight. “But it was so much fun- until I fell.”

“Well, let’s see if you still think it’s fun when you’re wearing a cast for the next six weeks.”

“Aw, Jeff, don’t spoil my high. Did you see me? I hit those moguls like a pro.”

“Yes, honey you did,” he said, tenderness running strong in his veins for his brave, incredible, beautiful wife.

Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque #amwriting #BookReview @tammi_ninja


Are you struggling with email? Newsletter numbers getting you down? Fewer people opening your messages? No real reaction when you launch a book?

There’s another way—better way.

Imagine having a large list of happy readers who devoured every email you sent. Or launching a book and activating an army of fans who did the selling for you. You could be that person, with the help of Newsletter Ninja.

Newsletter Ninja is a comprehensive resource designed to teach you how to build and maintain a strongly engaged email list—one full of actual fans willing to pay for the books you write, rather than free-seekers who will forget your name and never open your emails.

• Learn new ways to think about your email list
• Re-energize your existing subscribers
• Embrace not just the basics, but next level methods
• Improve engagement and watch those open/click rates soar
• Build a happy list of passionate readers
• Launch your books into the charts

You’ll get a handle on open rates, click rates, and engagement—while also learning about yourself, your readers, and what you’re really selling when you send an email. (Spoiler: it’s not your books.)

Whether you’re building a mailing list, want to grow an existing one, or simply want to raise your email game, Newsletter Ninja has solutions that will work for you.

Biography

Tammi Labrecque lives in Bangor, Maine with two kids, three cats, and dozens of fictional characters that keep her awake nights.

She writes under a few pen names across several genres, including romance, fantasy, urban fantasy, mystery, LitRPG, and horror.

Under her own name, you can find her writing romance novels that no one reads or teaching at newsletterninja.net.

My Review

This book has been on my radar for quite a while now. It was highly recommended by marketing guru David Gaughran and The Creative Penn.

I’ve been actively working toward a strong mailing list/author website as I agree with the importance of not counting on social media as a reliable marketing basis.

Tammi explains how to build your newsletter from the ground up. She’s smart, funny and uses easy-to-implement techniques. She also added a host of helpful links in the back to reference just about any questions you might have.

A big section of the book relates to the behind the scenes work needed to set up a successful newsletter (I found some great tips here!) and then she walks us through the best ways to connect with our readers, once we have them, and how to keep them from hitting that unsubscribe button. Also, she explains the importance of gaining an active fanbase as opposed to those who never open our newsletters and therefore bring down our rankings with email providers.

There’s a ton of useful information here. I know I’ll be going through it again and again!

I give Newsletter Ninja 5+ lovely kisses- Add this to your Writer’s Toolbox!

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Series or Standalones- Does it Matter? #amwriting #Romance


Series or Standalones

That was the question posed by a member of The Story Empire earlier last week. You can read his full thoughts here– well worth your time.

I’ve read many great standalone books, (Cinderella anyone?) but have to admit I enjoy stories set in a series much more. There’s a deeper connection to a) the characters, and b) location- though either of those can, and often do, change throughout the course of a series.

From NY Book Editors:

Writing a book series can be incredibly challenging (that’s the bad news), but it’s also one of the best ways to develop a loyal fan base (that’s the good news).

NY BOOK EDITORS-2016

The books can follow one or two main characters through a variety of adventures- such as J.D. Robb’s In Death series or the Harry Potter franchise.

They can also be set around a location and the citizens within- Susan Mallery’s Fools Gold series or J.R Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Some follow a progression of events and are best read in order, while others are self-contained stories within the series and can easily be read out of order.

Whichever style you prefer, series seem to be growing in popularity, some are even twenty books long and counting!, and readers can’t get enough.

I’m currently working on the third story in my Gambling Hearts series, My Girl. The series follows the lives, and loves, of three siblings born and raised on a Texas hill country ranch.

This is Aaron’s story:

Sometimes, the right decision isn’t the easiest one to make

Trish Sylvester knows her family and when they accept a week long stay at a rustic dude ranch, she is concerned- especially since it’s at her ex’s home.

Aaron is overjoyed at the opening of his family’s guest ranch, until he learns their first guest is his ex-girlfriend, her parents–and a fiancé.

And that isn’t the only surprise.

Excerpt

“I met your fiancé,” he said, his voice ripe with challenge. The outdoors clung to her skin, sun and flowers combining to intoxicate him more than the whiskey.

She lifted her chin, eyes narrowing. “What did you say to him, Aaron? I’d hoped we could all act like adults while we’re here.”

Aaron laughed, his hands doing the job his heart urged him to do, forcing her to come up against his chest with a soft oomph. “Darlin’, I’m definitely a man, make no mistake.” He leaned down and brushed her lips, setting up a warning through his chest. He was playing with fire, and if he wasn’t careful, there was little doubt who was going to get burned. Again.

“Aaron, stop this,” she murmured, though her lips parted on a sigh. “We can’t…”

He lifted his head and stared at her upturned face. “Can’t what, Trish? You invited yourself onto my territory and brought reinforcements. I want to know why.”

She moved out of his arms. He pretended not to feel the loss.

“We needed a break from the city,” she said. “Surely, you can understand that? Your sister sent an email to me highlighting the new business venture—congrats, by the way—and I thought it would be fun to come and check it out. End of story.”

He eyed her nervously tucking her hair behind her ear and knew she was bluffing. The question remained; why?


Box Set News

We have a new box set releasing August 30th!

Sweet and Sassy Baby Love 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KHEMW5

Add to your TBR list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47873355-sweet-and-sassy-baby-love

Recommend us on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/sweet-and-sassy-baby-love-by-suzanne-jenkins-and-jen-talty

Nine NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors offer stories of men and women who go to great lengths for the children they love.

A scent of innocence, that touch of softness, an angelic nap, and deep belly laughs. Babies and toddlers bring great joy, love, humor, and even conflict into our lives. But first, we need a passionate encounter, a romance that transcends time.

How do you feel about series or standalone stories? Let’s talk about it.

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A short Teaser from my upcoming #WomensFic #WIPWednesday


Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

I’ve had heroes on my mind lately.

From Dictionairy.com:

noun, plural he·roes; for 5 also he·ros.

a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character: He became a local hero when he saved the drowning child.

a person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal: My older sister is my hero. Entrepreneurs are our modern heroes.

the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.

Classical Mythology.

  1. a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.
  2. (in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability.
  3. (in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In my novels I try to create men/women who have many of the qualities above, along with vulnerabilities that create empathy in my readers.

It’s a fine balance to tread.

To me strength comes as much from inside a person as physicality. You have to be courageous to do the jobs they do. But more than that, is their Achilles’ heel, for want of a better name. What is their weakness? The thing that makes these strong warriors weak in the knees?

I like to think it’s compassion. Love of fellow man. Gentleness and mercy.

This week’s teaser comes from a women’s fiction novel I’m working on about two estranged sisters and the path to forgiveness and understanding.


Many evenings she and Susan would sit at his feet and listen enthralled, as he regaled them with tales of pirates and princesses, mischievous elves and buried treasure. As with every good fairytale, a dashing hero would arrive just in time to save the day. It was probably then, listening to stories at her father’s knee, that Holly began to dream of her own hero. He’d need to be strong enough to slay dragons. Charming and kind, yet able to make her laugh. Handsome and gentle; a father as perfect as her own. A good kisser; that’s as far as her nine-year-old mind would go at the time. And above all else, someone she could talk to, share ideas with.
Even then, she’d known the value of a true friend.
The rattle of a key in the front door lock jerked her back to the moment. Self-conscious, she dropped her hand from where it had been resting and turned to greet her parents.
Except it wasn’t her mother and father.
Susan hesitated on the threshold, their gazes fusing across the distance. A cold draft knifed its way between them filled with ugly words and betrayals.

© Jacquie Biggar 2019

What does a hero mean to you? Let’s talk about it!

Teaser Time #WIPWednesday #amwriting


WIP Wednesday

I enjoyed the new Wednesday theme Staci Troilo and Joan Hall came up with for sharing either a teaser or something relevant from our WIP- check them out in the links above.

I thought I’d give it a whirl and share a short teaser from my upcoming contemporary romance, My Girl. This will be the third book in the Gambling Hearts series. If you’ve read Hold ‘Em or Crazy Little Thing Called Love you’ll be happy to know this is Aaron’s story.

Photo by Alexandria Baldridge on Pexels.com



Plans for the upcoming Harvest Ball moved along at a steady pace, with Sophia in her element. Aaron did his best to stay out of the way, but his sister knew all his hideouts and eventually tracked him down in the horse barn.
“There you are, I was beginning to think you were avoiding me,” she said, entering Dickens’ stall. “I need help.”
Aaron finished filing his horse’s back hoof before patting the smooth flank. He looked at Sophia over the broad back. “I knew it couldn’t last,” he sighed. “Okay, what do you need?”
She huffed out an exasperated breath. “Don’t sound so excited. I’m doing this for the ranch, you know.”
He did know. Unfortunately, it didn’t make having their home overrun by strangers any more palatable. In all fairness, Sophia had gone over and above on the website and the hacienda. He was no tech guru but even he would pay the astronomical prices to stay as their guest. Her sales pitch was nothing short of genius.
But she looked tired.
If only the agricultural firm he’d shown his ideas to would call back with a contract—none of this would be necessary. He ducked under Dickens’ neck and came up next to his sister. “Shouldn’t you be taking it easy?”
She patted her growing baby bump and smiled. “You sound like Tony. I’m fine. It’s just there’s a hundred and one things to get done and only a few days left before the big event. This ball will give us the free advertising we need to get the guest ranch off the ground. I’ve invited some of my old contacts from New York and Trish promised to put the word out, too. She’s been great, Aaron. I would have been lost without her.”
The mention of Trish sent the now familiar fluttery feeling to his stomach. He’d spent the last few days rehashing that kiss by the fountain; the near-desperation in his voice when he’d begged her to come away with him. Her negative reaction.
He was an idiot to keep bashing his heart against the stone wall of Trish’s soul.

My Girl- Jacquie Biggar

Aaron is the middle child in a family of strong, independant siblings and he’s had trouble getting his voice heard. I come from a family of three siblings as well, and though I’m the oldest (and therefore, the boss :)) I can see now, with the wisdom of time, how hard it was for my brother to show his individuality.

Has anyone else noticed this within their families? Let’s talk about it!

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