Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic NEW #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about  the topic NEW

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


He lifted my chin. “Since the cookies you devoured were meant for me, we need a new batch, milk, a plate, and another movie. I’m partial to ‘Stalag 17.’ Okay, sweetie?”

Vicki Batman


The town sat nestled in the bosom of two mountainous ridges. Not quite the Caribbean getaway she should have been enjoying with her new husband—the rat fink.

Jacquie Biggar


The open house for my new career counseling office needed a proper launch, one that could only be achieved with pastries from a Sicilian bakery.

Joanne Guidoccio


The gentle sound of horses shuffling about in the pens began to permeate her consciousness, and she opened her eyes to see the wonderful, misty light of morning that happens just before the sun rises with the birth of a new day.

Kathryn Jane


If she won the contest and got her pictures publicized, it might distract Jake enough to turn him in a new direction.

Marian Lanouette


Giles had always been a jerk, but when he shouted the nickname that had taunted me throughout high school, that was a whole new low for him.

S.A.Taylor
Sharp Blades (work-in-progress)


Scott hoped the love Ellie and Joe shared could stand up to the new evidence of his infidelity, in the form of whoever the presumed son was.

Marsha West


Nate opened the door slightly, and Sarah peeked under his arm. This area smelled older, like new paint over mildew.

Sharon Wray


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Hanukkah & Merry Christmas Eve

I’ve always loved when these two holidays fall at the same time. They don’t always since Hanukkah shifts around during the months of November and December. But there’s something magical (or especially spiritual) when they fall the way they have in 2019.

th4XL733K8

Hanukkah began Sunday and runs through Saturday. Today is Christmas Eve followed by Christmas Wednesday. When I was in third grade in El Paso, we had neighbors who were Jewish, and I was fascinated by the kids getting a gift every day of the week. Over the years, I’ve had numerous Jewish friends and feel a connection to their faith. We have so much in common. Love the candles and the music.

We don’t have to travel since both daughters live in town about fifteen minutes away. Sorry, not bragging, just stating a fact. We know how fortunate we are. Our older daughter hosts Christmas at her house. (I do Thanksgiving and our younger daughter does Easter.) This will be the first time in their new big house. They moved in the first of this year, and we’re all excited about being there to celebrate for the first Christmas.IMG_2323

Just like Thanksgiving and Easter, the rest of the family brings food. My daughter asked me to bring ice cream and cranberries. I don’t think they are to go together, and we’re not having turkey, so I’m not sure why she asked for that, but of course I’ll make them. 😊

Each family does its own thing in the morning, and then we join up in the middle of the day. It’s nice that way.

Whichever you’re celebrating, are you ready? What are your favorite foods, songs, gifts? Are you traveling? Happy Holidays to my sisters here and to all of our readers.

Christmas features prominently in my second published book, TRUTH BE TOLD. The cover is a likeness of a house I used to drive by several times a week and fell in love with. Who lived there? What was their life like? I had to write about them.

Truth Be Told 300dpi

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2gTtfDs

Amazon Print: http://amzn.to/2hs7UTk

KOBO https://bit.ly/2hAEccW

B & N  https://bit.ly/2wUzrRq

iTunes https://apple.co/2Xtp7wU

Love to hear from you.

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about HEART #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about  HEART

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Nate’s pulse ratcheted up into heart attack territory. Sarah was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.

Sharon Wray


Tears pooled in my eyes. My heart ached, and my soul plummeted to my feet. My prized things were destroyed.

Vicki Batman


Aaron swore and grabbed the dash, his foot punching the floor in a search for the phantom brake on his side of the vehicle. “Holy shit, you trying to kill us, bro?” Once he got his heart out of his mouth and released his death-grip, he leaned back and laughed.

Jacquie Biggar


“She will always have a special place in my heart and the hearts of all who knew her.”

Joanne Guidoccio


“Ouch.” Now he was actually laughing at her while he pretended to pull a dagger from his heart. “I forgot how damned honest you are.”

Kathryn Jane


Darcy ignored the package from her favorite online store and ripped open the letter, her heart skipping a beat–it wasn’t signed.

Marian Lanouette


I watched helplessly as the only person that kept me strong during the move walked out the door and carried my heart with her. Tears that I’d held back finally burst free.

S.A.Taylor
Sharp Blades (work-in-progress)


Her crooked smile earlier had torn at his heart. Her bravery about this crazy dude attacking her family touched him.

Marsha West


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starry Night

author 100 x 100When we look up at the heavens, we are captivated by the stars. They winkle and twinkle. They form constellations. We are guided by them. Isn’t it joyous to lay on soft grass and stare up with a loved one by our side?

I love all things Christmas. I have many wonderful memories of decorating the family’s Christmas tree when I was a kid. My mom put an angel on top. As an adult, I put a star. The star on top of a Christmas tree represents the Star of Bethlehem, the star which guided the Wise Men to where Jesus lay in the manger.

Isn’t this a beautiful way to remember what Christmas is all about?

Every year, I travel with girlfriends to a small town for the Christmas Candlelight Home Tour. I have always been captivated by the Enchanted Forest. It’s a collection of donated trees decorated by family and business set up in a park. I find it peaceful to wander through the display and look at the lights and ornaments. Some have goofy designs like the Grinch. Another is decorated in all things related to dentistry.

Several years ago, I don’t know what happened, but I found myself captured by the tree toppers, specifically stars. Some changed colors. Some were large. All made me smile. I thought I would share a few I found:

star topper 2         star topper 1         paper tree topper 3

Delightful–right?

Talking about stars brings me to a favorite holiday movie. My sister discovered it several years ago and shared it with me. Star in the Night, an Oscar-winning short film, tells the Nativity story in an auto court motel.

 

I hope all your days are Merry & Bright!

 

p.s. My story, “The Littlest Angel,” is about my mom’s angel tree topper. Find out more at: Amazon & KU

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic VISION #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about the topic VISION

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


She stomped across the front of her room, looked outside, but rage clouded her vision, and she saw nothing.

Marsha West


A black willow tree stood between the courtyard’s gas lamp and the window, casting eerie silhouettes around the walls. Where was Nate?

Sharon Wray


Whatever? Blinking, I stared at my cell phone, not believing this. Thanks to his crappy attitude, my blood boiled, and red flames danced in my vision. I embodied a fiery wrath.

Vicki Batman


Her breathing faltered. Little spots floated in and out of her vision. She was going to pass out right there in her daddy’s kitchen and he wouldn’t be able to save her because he’d never taken the time to learn CPR.

Jacquie Biggar


All those years ago when I had fantasized about connecting with Carlo, I had envisioned many wonderful scenarios where we would bump into each other and fall in love—on the beach, dance floor, even at a bar.

Joanne Guidoccio


“Today she charted new territory by dragging all of us along in her vision. Perfect example of gifts expanding.”

Kathryn Jane


In his dreams his vision faded and sometimes he met his maker waiting for his judgment. Sometimes Eva, along with his father, waited there to greet him.

Marian Lanouette


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Deadly Force Primer Part 1: The Fianna

To celebrate ONE DARK WISH‘s recent release, I’ve put together a primer about the Deadly Force Series. In today’s post, I’m discussing a secretive group of men that is threaded through these stories as both friend and foe of the ex-Green Beret heroes who populate the series. This group is known as the Fianna. 

In all of the Deadly Force books, the Fianna are led by a man known as the Prince. The men in the Fianna come from every army in the world. For personal reasons, each man leaves his men and his family and tithes to the Fianna where they then undergo extreme training for missions that are not sanctioned by any government. This army has more money than most nations and works completely on their own.  They are known for their assassinations although they perform many other missions that protect the innocent and bring justice where there was none previously. Governments and their armies stay out of their way.

But the idea of a secret army, that undergoes pagan-like training (including running naked in the woods during winter and speaking only in memorized Shakespearean verse) is not made up. My fictional army is based entirely on the life and history of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, the hero of the Fenian cycle of Celtic Poetry. According to the exploits of Fionn and his men, they lived in Ireland prior to the Roman Invasions of Britain. As Rome expanded their empire, Fionn gathered men, trained them hard, and attacked the Romans before they could get a foothold in Ireland. Irish storytellers (and some historians) believe that Fionn’s army is the reason why Rome never settled Ireland.

These Irish fairytales about Fionn and his men are, of course, loaded with fairies and magic and druid priests, but there is some written historical evidence about a fierce tribe of young men who traveled from town to town, protecting them from all invaders—from Roman to Viking. The stories themselves are so much fun to read and the men, when they’re not fighting or falling in love, think up more and more brutal ways to train. The key thing about these men is that they are required to give up everything that ties them to this world—all their worldly goods and the people whom they love and who love them back.

So, as a fiction writer, I took all of these myths, and legends, and gossip and spun it into my books, adding my own tidbits along the way. Below is a list of terms used throughout the series to describe my fictional version of the Fianna.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Prince:
 The leader of the Fianna. Any Fianna warrior can become the Prince if he challenges the current Prince  The challenging warrior must defeat the standing Prince in armed combat (of the standing Prince’s choice) and then complete his walk through the Gauntlet. If a warrior survives both, then the Council holds a vote of confidence. If the vote is unanimous, the warrior becomes the new Prince.

Warrior: A man who goes through the Fianna’s recruiting requirements and successfully becomes a foot soldier. In order to become a full-fledged warrior, a man must pass four stages of training, each one harder than the last, culminating in his Tithe. It could take up to two years to become a full-fledged warrior.

Recruit: A man going through the brutal process of becoming a warrior.

Pair: Fianna warriors always work in twos, also known as hunter/killer pairs. Once two men are paired, they stay together for life. If one dies, then the other takes another partner or may be given the option of becoming a Ghost.

Ghost: A seasoned warrior who no longer works in hunter/killer pairs and works on his own under the Prince’s direct command. A Ghost has more options and flexility with how he runs his operations.

Prince’s Second: the warrior who is the Prince’s second-in-command. This warrior is in charge of recruitment of potential warriors and all Fianna training.

Council: A group of ten warriors, chosen by the entire Fianna army, who sits in judgment of rogue warriors who’ve broken the honor codes. The Council also votes on the new Prince. A new council is chosen every two years and any warrior in good standing may run for a seat.

Misericord: All warriors carry a misericord which is a thin, very sharp retractable sword. When retracted, it’s is about ten inches long. Made of steel, it’s a deadly blade that when slipped beneath the armpit can pierce the heart. When slipped behind the ear, it takes out the brain stem. It’s a fierce, silent weapon that leaves a small entrance wound and little blood behind.

Intellectual Training: The first of the four stages of Fianna training. All recruits learn how to speak Latin, memorize all of the words in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets, learn to speak in verse from these plays and sonnets, keep a nightly diary in Latin, pass exams to prove advanced proficiency in math, science, and languages. All recruits must know all military history and memorize strategy.

Physical Training: The second of the four stages of Fianna training. All recruits undergo a brutal, medieval form of training including: fighting naked in the middle of winter, being hunted through the woods by other warriors, sword/misericord training, sniper rifle training, small arms combat training, urban fighting techniques, hand-to-hand-combat including knives, rocks, etc., must be able to swim five miles in a freezing cold lake, and various other horrible things I don’t want to add here.

Gauntlet: The third of the four stages of Fianna training. When a recruit has completed the first two stages, he must suffer the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is an alley with forty full-fledged warriors (twenty on each side), each one holding a weapon. The recruit must fight his way through this column of forty men. If he makes it to the end, and is still alive, he can go on to the fourth stage.

Tithe: The fourth stage of Fianna training. If a recruit makes it through the Gauntlet, he is given the choice to make his tithe. The Prince chooses an individual tithe for each recruit. A tithe can be a gift from the recruit to the Prince, or is a promise to give something up for the Fianna. Each warrior’s tithe, though, strips him of the thing that he loves most in the world, the thing that ties him to the world. It could be a demand for a warrior’s life-long celibacy or the demand for poverty or a demand that the warrior leaves behind those he loves forever. Whatever the tithe is, it will cut each warrior off from what he loves most in the world. Thereby tying the warrior to the Fianna brotherhood forever.

Name: After a recruit makes it through the four stages of training and becomes a warrior, the Prince will give him a new name derived from one of Shakespeare’s works or the original Fenian Cycle of Irish poetry.

Tattoo: After a warrior is named, his left arm is tattooed with a sword piercing a heart. His new warrior name is inked below the pierced heart.

Honor Codes: A list of rules all Fianna warriors live by based on the original rules Fionn Mac Cumhaill required of his own men in old Ireland.

Ember Runs: Four times a year, during the Ember Days that separate the seasons, recruits are stripped naked, their hair (which has grown longer) is braided, and they’re hunted through the woods at night by seasoned warriors. Each recruit must run until he is captured. If he makes any noise (breaks twigs, grunt, etc), or if one hair is out of his braid, points are deducted. Once captured, they’re buried in a hole in the ground with only one arm free and holding a stick. With this stick, he must fight off the warriors who captured him until he can no longer defend himself. He is then given points based on how far he ran before his capture, given points for how long he fought with one arm, and given points for how many warriors he took out on his own. If a recruit doesn’t get the required minimum points, he must leave the training program and will never become a warrior. If he succeeds, he’s allowed to continue the training program.

Next month, part two will introduce the heroes of the Deadly Force Series!!


Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

Her acclaimed debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife.

Her second book, ONE DARK WISH, will come out September 24, 2019 and is available for preorder here: Amazon |  Barnes and Noble Books-a-Million | iBooks |  Google

EVERY DEEP DESIRE is available on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBoundKobo|  Google

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic WINDOW #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about the topic WINDOW

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


 At the counter in her studio Melinda continued to stare out the window after Jake and Louie left her studio to apply for their warrants.

Marian Lanouette


He lumbered on then swung himself onto the roof jutting out below the window. Despite the cold temperatures, sweat ran down his face and soaked the shirt under his jacket.

Marsha West


Hearing someone outside whistle “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” while I worked, I turned my gaze to look out the storefront window where I spied Jack, who rounded the corner. A pizza box from Mamma and Pappa’s Italian Bistro was perched on three of his fingers.

Vicki Batman


The velvet sky made a beautiful background for the barn, dressed like a grand old dame with a multitude of lanterns and fairy lights spilling from the open doors and windows to light their way.

Jacquie Biggar


I noticed a man making his way through the crowd that had gathered outside the front window.

Joanne Guidoccio


She distinctly remembered locking the door and checking the windows when she turned in after their long security shift, but someone was definitely in the room with her now.

Kathryn Jane


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Magic of Creativity

by Kathryn Jane

The creative process is different for all of us. But I’ve recently realized that mine is magically the same whether I’m writing fiction, or painting a picture.

When I’m writing a story be it short or a novel, it begins with a vague image of an opening scene, and the story grows one word at a time. Some people find this hard to fathom and describing it adequately has been difficult. The closest I get is to say the story unfolds for me, just as it does for the reader…like magic.

Painting works the same way for me…mostly. The exception being when I do commissions of people’s pets. But even then, I can’t think about the finished product. Instead I concentrate on one stroke at a time and somehow in the end, I have a remarkable likeness that amazes me.

But recently, after seeing a friend’s photo of a famous door set between two large trees, I was itching to create it in a painting. I grabbed a small canvas board and set to work. And…minute by minute I got farther away from the original inspiration of this:.

The final result was a fairy door at the base of a tree.

And then I knew I needed to paint what was behind that door.

I imagined it would be something like the adorable little scene always at the end of the Friendly Giant TV show. Yes, now you have an idea what generation I belong to!

For the fun of it I posted a photo at the end of each evening to show the progress I was making, while not sure what I would add the next night…just like when I’m writing, and proof that for me, the creative process is always by the seat of my pants.

The final product took almost 2 weeks and every day I looked forward to sitting down with my brushes and setting my imagination free.

  

Want to see more of my creativity?  Pop on over to my website to check out my books and art.

Cheers!  And Happy Holidays to all.

Kathryn

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic SEX #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about the topic SEX

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


She was wearing exactly the same clothes as he was, but it made her look sexy as hell. What was it about a dead serious-looking woman wearing a shoulder holster that was so damned hot?

Kathryn Jane


He said it was part of their sex game. Like that book that came out last year on bondage.”

Marian Lanouette


A couple of women she knew in Fort Worth had a fireplace in the bathroom. They’d told her it did a lot for their sex lives; not an idea she needed right now.

Marsha West


Sarah hadn’t been lying when she’d told him it’d been a long time since she’d had sex. But, honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered when the last time was because no man had ever made love to her like Nate had.

Sharon Wray


Since high school days, I underwent an overhaul and improved. No longer did I wear all black, except for the occasional sexy Little Black Dress.

Vicki Batman


She’d moved out of their bedroom only months after the wedding, the night he came home smelling of sex and cheap perfume.

Jacquie Biggar


That undercurrent he’d felt around her since he’d hit puberty had intensified from a vague tingle along his nerve endings to full-on waves of sexual attraction. Animalistic and powerful.

Jeannie Hall
Old Friends, New Lovers (work-in-progress)