Sunday Sample ... The Long Game

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Long Game is coming this week ... 

I pushed away my plate and made room for the Shih Tzu I'd taken home a couple of days ago. She'd come to me through a customer who had a litter. For months, my client kept offering me one of the pups. I'd wanted the puppy, but kept procrastinating because I didn't have the ideal home situation.

Not that I was in any better position now, but I'd finally taken the little cutie pie after I'd seen a digital image of her last week and after I had a talk with Mama. Kiki was now five months old and very cute. She put her paws on the table and sniffed at my leftovers.

I moved the plate farther away. "Nope. That's not on the menu, girl."

Vance continued eating while he watched us.

"You're not leaving her locked up here during the days, are you?"

I shook my head while scratching Kiki under her chin. "Mama will keep her."

He closed the knife and fork, finished his orange juice and then asked, "So what's the point of getting the dog?"

"I've been thinking about it for a while now."

"You never mentioned it."

Playing with Kiki's silky ear, I said, "I don't talk about every single thing with you lot."

"Understood, but it's just weird you never mentioned Cookie before."


He folded his arms and cocked his head. "Cookie fits her better."

I wouldn't admit I agreed with him, but her black, tan and white coloration did remind me of a slice of marble cake.
"Whatever. Since when are you interested in my household affairs anyway?"

His wide smile said it all. When he poked out his lips and then pursed them, I knew he had something to say that I probably wouldn't like. "Does this dog have anything to do with Brianna?"

I looked at him like he was crazy. "You're comparing a baby and a dog?"

"Well, Brianna is cute and the dog is too."

"I don't know what you're implying and I'm not even going wherever with you."

Now, he grinned. "Don't think I don't see the way you and Anna-Lise look at that little girl, as if the sun shines out of her. I think the two of you would pop one out if pregnancy wasn't so long and complicated."

I was speechless. After cutting my eyes at him, I shook my head. "You're so vulgar."

"It's not like you didn’t know. But anyway, you know I'm not lying."

When I didn't say anything for a bit, he added, "Like I said, being a mother would suit you."

"All in good time, I guess."

Kiki barked as if she agreed with that I'd just said.

"Isn't she going to complicate your life?" Vance said, pointing at Kiki. "Especially since you're now going to the gym."

"Man, you're all the way into my business."

"As your man, it's my business to know what's going on in your life."

His declaration sucked my breath away. He'd put into words what had been lingering on the edge of my mind. If I had a doubt about what we were doing, Vance had just blown my doubts away.

For reasons I hadn't clarified with myself, I'd started the gym at the beginning of the week. This thing with Vance had me shaking up my life, which wasn't a bad move since I'd fallen into a crater and hadn't climbed out except to go on that date with Lawrence. I could have told myself I didn't need to work out, but I knew better. I was fit enough, but there was room for improvement and if I was to keep up with Vance, yeah, I needed to step up my endurance.

Kiki squirmed in my lap, so I got up to give her a snack. She didn't eat much, but until I learned her habits, I didn't want to run the risk of starving her. In the kitchen, I doled out a bit of kibble and put fresh water in her other bowl. Kiki dipped her head in the neon-pink bowl and got busy with her snack.

When I stood straight, Vance was behind me carrying our breakfast plates. He went to the bin, emptied the leftovers and moved to the sink. Watching him washing up brought a smile to my face. He was trying, which pleased me. Although he lived alone and was used to tidying up after himself, when we got together, Ayisha, Kathy and I tended to clean up after the guys.

I paid attention when Vance stood before me. He looked at his watch, a big old thing that had smart features, including measuring the yardage on the golf course. It was the only thing he wore that was obviously expensive and he hardly ever took it off.

A sly grin twisted his mouth and he gripped my waist with both hands. "We have some time before we head out to the course."

Sliding my arms around his shoulders, I mumbled against his lips. "Don't you ever get enough?"

"Not with you," he said, easing his fingers under my tank top.

Exciting IWSG News!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Today is IWSG post day. As we do each month, we share our insecurities and offer encouragement to other writers who may need it. Today’s hosts, along with Captain Alex are Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner!

August question - What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

In terms of writing and editing, the only peeve I have with myself is starting the job without some kind of outline. It wastes time when I have to go back and check through the manuscript for make and model of vehicles, where characters live, as well as their habits. It makes the job so much easier if I note this from start. 

In reading a work not my own, it's hard to enjoy a story when it is riddled with typos or inconsistencies.

Exciting IWSG News!
The IWSG pitch party was a wonderful event with #IWSGPit trending on Twitter on the day. If you didn’t get to participate, not to worry, you’ll have another opportunity in January.

As always, there is something coming in the pipeline with the IWSG. In October, on our IWSG post day we’ll have another contest! Post a photo of yourself (or your alter ego) with any of the IWSG swag or with the IWSG logo. 

After you post, leave a comment on the IWSG website’s post or the IWSG Facebook thread with a link to your photo. (All blog, Facebook, Goodreads, and newsletter members are welcome to participate, but your photo must be posted on a blog or Facebook to qualify.) 

The IWSG site admins will visit each post and pick the top three for some awesome prizes, which are listed below.

Third place – EBook of A Change of Mind and Other Stories by Nick Wilford, eBook of The Remnant by William Michael Davidson, eBook of Cling to God by Lynda R. Young, eBook of Already Home by Heather M. Gardner, and eBook of Dragon of the Stars by Alex. J. Cavanaugh. 

Second place – The entire eBook collection of the Totem series by Christine Rains, eBooks of Princess of Las Pulgas by C. Lee McKenzie, audio book of CassaSeries by Alex J. Cavanaugh, eBook of Black and White by Nick Wilford, and your choice eBook from J.L. Campbell. 

Grand prize winner - IWSG website interview, IWSG newsletter spotlight, IWSG pinned tweet for one week, C. Lee McKenzie's Featured Follower for the month, the IWSG Goodreads book club eBook for October/November, a short chapter critique, and a pair of IWSG erasers. 

We have some great IWSG swag – pens, mugs, magnets, erasers, etc. All proceeds will be used to fund the upkeep of the IWSG site.

Last, but not least, on August 24th at 2:00 pm EST, Chrys Fey will be participating in a LIVE YouTube interview with Evan Carmichael, an entrepreneur who she'll be interviewing about his book Your One Word and getting some great advice for IWSG members. You'll be able to watch the interview live HERE. You can set a reminder if you click on the link, or you can watch it later. The video will be uploaded in the August 30th IWSG newsletter issue. Link -

Writing Tips from Michelle Stimpson

Monday, July 31, 2017

I'm happy to have Michelle Stimpson on the blog, sharing tips about becoming a better writer. I've also shared my thoughts on Who Killed My Husband?

5 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer

1.            Know the difference between showing and telling. If your main character suffers from anxiety, don’t write, “She suffers from anxiety.” Instead, show the reader her issue through her actions and words. Let her bite her nails, show her having a near panic attack on an elevator, let her throw up over something that wouldn’t upset most people. You want the reader to come to the conclusion that she battles anxiety based on what happens in the story. You don’t have to show everything. Minor characters and issues don’t have to be so explicit. Focus on the main plot.

2.            Plot if you can. One of the things that has helped me write faster books that still have quality is to have a very detailed outline before I ever start writing. This came as a result of writing a screenplay (which hammers down details about locations) as well as reading books on how to speed-write. I still don’t write 10,000 words a day as other authors claim, but I can get up to 2200-2500 words an hour when I shut down everything else and concentrate on making that outline come to life. I used to think that plotting took away my creativity. I have gotten over that idea. I can be creative when I write the outline. I can change things if something comes up while I’m writing. But to know where I’m going from the very beginning is invaluable. For me, this is how books actually get finished.

3.            Don’t edit as you write. I know a few people who have finished books who say they edit as they go, but those people are few and far between. For the most part, the people I know who can’t seem to rest until chapter one is perfect have never actually gotten past chapter 1. Writing is an art. It’s okay for a chapter to be imperfect. It should be imperfect the first time. I think you should love your story and your characters from the start, but you may not be in love with the chapters and paragraph along the way. It’s okay. That’s how love goes anyway, right? You don’t have to love every single thing about a person in order to love them.

4.            Read like a writer. Every good writer I know is always reading. Reading gives you ideas, teaches you new vocabulary, shows you how other people are stringing their words together in ways you hadn’t imagined. When you read, keep a pen or a highlighter handy to mark interesting phrasing or techniques. Then rephrase and try them in your own writing.  I know, I know. It seems as though it will take away the joy of reading. Don’t worry. You can read the book again if you want to. But if you want to become a better writer, you will learn to “steal” from the best artists.

5.            Find Your People. You need people. Partners. Other writers who will ruthlessly critique what you’ve written and allow you to do the same for them. There are critique groups online and there’s probably one within 35 miles of every semi-major city. I know a lady who drives 2 hours every Thursday in order to meet with a critique group because they make her better. Coincidentally, she finished her first novella months after joining the critique group, which was something she had been trying to accomplish on her own for years!

Bonus: WRITE! There is no substitute for writing. Thinking about writing, talking about writing, buying new spirals and fancy pens, opening a Word® document, planning to write—none of that is writing. Only writing is writing.

Review - Who Killed My Husband? 

Ashley and Allan Crandall are a young couple who are experiencing difficulty in their marriage. Allan, or DJ Pistol Whip as he prefers being called, is heavily involved in his music business, while Ashley is concerned about his soul and the survival of their marriage. When Allan is murdered, Ashley is forced to stand strong on her faith and get through a difficult situation.

Though short, I enjoyed this story. It speaks to the sometimes unrealistic expectations we have of others and how the people we are colour our own expectations. I wondered how Ms. Stimpson would handle the subject of murder in such a compact story, but she did it well. 

The pacing was good, the tension continued to build until Ashley came face-to-face with her husband’s killer. The book came to a satisfactory conclusion and I will definitely be reading more from this author.

About the Author

Michelle Stimpson is an author, a speaker, and an educator who received her Bachelor of Science degree from Jarvis Christian College in 1994. She earned a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002. She has had the pleasure of teaching elementary, middle, and high school as well as training adults. 

In addition to her work in the field of education, Michelle ministers through writing and public speaking. Her works include the highly acclaimed Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road (National Bestseller), and Falling Into Grace. She has published several short stories for high school students through her educational publishing company, Right Track Academic Support Services, at 

Michelle serves in women’s ministry at her home church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, in Dallas, TX. She regularly speaks at special events and writing workshops sponsored by churches, schools, book clubs and other positive organizations, and she has taught writing classes at the University of Texas at Arlington. Michelle lives near Dallas with her husband, their two teenage children, and one crazy dog.

Tour hosted by Write Now Literary 

Click here to follow the tour 

Sunday Sample - The Long Game

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Coming in August ...

After a brief stint during their teenage years, Vance and Ayisha called it quits. With one remark, she turns Vance's world upside down and he's suddenly trying to be the man she wants  ... but will she accept his love?

Garth parked the cart, got out, and pulled a club from his bag. Before he walked to his ball, he spoke over his shoulder. "At the rate you go through women, your life will be short. Period."

After hitting a perfect shot that landed on the green, he cleaned the grass from his club and got behind the wheel. 

I didn't think his comment deserved the energy it would take to respond, so I ignored him and watched Ayisha take her stance over the ball. She went still, took her backstroke and hit a smooth shot. Her finishing position was elegant, I grudgingly admitted, but her smart mouth took away from my admiration. I could just bet she'd been yakking it up with Anna-Lise and getting all over my business. Then again, my exploits were common knowledge so they wouldn't spend time talking about what they already knew.

She had no right to suggest there was something wrong with the way I lived my life. I was doing what I chose to do and didn't have anything in my past which caused me not to want to settle down. Although my mother and father were married for years, that wasn't what I chose to do. I was all about living it up and that's what I planned to do as long as I had breath left in my body.

While Anna-Lise took her shot, I shuffled my feet on the floor of the cart, wondering why I couldn't let Ayisha's words go. I had a date this evening and that's where my focus should have been.

She was a fine one to talk anyway. Ayisha didn't have a man, nor did she have a life. If anybody was qualified to talk about relationships and how they worked, it wasn't her. The last time she'd had a man was more than two years ago.

That stopped my mind from running.

I studied her, lean and toned in a long-sleeved golf shirt and a skort that left most of her honey-gold legs on display. From experience, I knew her inky-black hair was soft to the touch and her mouth, pouty and …

"That's more like it," Garth said, breaking into my thoughts. "At least you're not looking like you want to skewer her."

Why I was thinking about Ayisha as if she was dating material, I didn't know. I'd been there and done that and it wasn't pretty. She was the sort of woman guys like me stayed away from, demanding and full of unsolicited opinions. On the other hand, she was amusing, intelligent, and gave as good as she got.

"It's not like she doesn't deserve it," I grumbled.

"Simply because she stated what is?"

"So now you're on her side?"

Slapping me on the shoulder, Garth laughed. "I'm not on anybody's side. Come on, man. You're taking this thing way too seriously. She's said much worse things to you and you never took them this badly. So what if you're not meant to settle down and can't be the kind of man sane women admire?"

His paraphrase of Ayisha's words tickled his funny bone, because he chuckled again.

"Now you're beginning to annoy me," I said.

"You're getting upset for nothing."


"You're the one who always takes a joke too far and now it seems you can't take a bit of truth from a hundred-and-fifty-pound female. Anna-Lise would give you hell if she knew."

"Don't you dare tell her," I said, hanging on to the side rail. "The two of you are to blame for this anyhow."

"How on earth did we get involved?"

"Well, if you weren't making love over lunch, Ayisha wouldn't have been thinking about everything she doesn't have, which led to her taking out her frustration on me."

"You're full of crap, you know that?"

"It's the truth though."

"So what you're saying is that A has a case of sour grapes?"

"You said it, not me."

"If that were the case, she wouldn't still be friends with you. That woman has the patience of Job to feel the way she does about you and still be hanging around with you."

I put on a tight smile as Anna-Lise and Ayisha shot past us on their cart.

"Hold up, what d'you mean the way she feels about me?"

"Vance, not even you can be that dumb. Anybody with two eyes in their head can see she still has a thing for you."

Frowning, I followed the girls' cart with my eyes. "But that was—"

"Years ago, yes, but we can't choose who we love, so while you've been whoring … "

Garth droned on, but I was stuck at the part where he thought Ayisha was feeling something for me. So we'd hooked up briefly when we were teenagers, but our personalities were too similar for us to survive as a couple. Since then, I'd worked my way through countless women, while she'd been a fixture in my life.

It was hard to believe what Garth was saying, but if I thought about it, Ayisha was more than a friend to me. We spent a lot of time together on the golf course, and not so much off since I was always keeping company elsewhere. Despite that, she counted as one of the most important people in my life. Bryan, Garth, Cathy, Anna-Lise, Ayisha, and I had been a team since high school and though we had many disagreements and some hardship, nothing had separated us since we were teens.

Garth usually made sense, but this time I had to conclude he was way off base. Yet, I couldn't help wondering if there was one grain of truth to the way he saw things. If he was right, I didn't want to think about how the things I'd done must have affected her all this time. She was a strong woman, but still ...

Who Killed My Husband? - Michelle Stimpson

Friday, July 28, 2017

Write Now Literary is pleased to announce Who Killed My Husband? By Michelle Stimpson
Virtual Book Tour. July 17-28, 2017.  
Genre: Short Story/Mystery
ASIN: B071743ZLP
Michelle Stimpson is an author, a speaker, and an educator who received her Bachelor of Science degree from Jarvis Christian College in 1994. She earned a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002. She has had the pleasure of teaching elementary, middle, and high school as well as training adults. 

In addition to her work in the field of education, Michelle ministers through writing and public speaking. Her works include the highly acclaimed Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road (National Bestseller), and Falling Into Grace. She has published several short stories for high school students through her educational publishing company, Right Track Academic Support Services, at

 Michelle serves in women’s ministry at her home church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, in Dallas, TX. She regularly speaks at special events and writing workshops sponsored by churches, schools, book clubs and other positive organizations, and she has taught writing classes at the University of Texas at Arlington. Michelle lives near Dallas with her husband, their two teenage children, and one crazy dog.

Ashley Crandall finally convinced her husband, Allan, to attend the Christian men’s retreat...but he ends up dead there. What happened to him on the campgrounds? Who would want to kill Allan? And why are the detectives pointing fingers at Ashley? In her quest to solve the mystery and clear her name, Ashley will learn something about her husband that she didn’t want to know and something about her Christian faith that shifts her life. 

This short work by national bestselling, multi-published author Michelle Stimpson is packed with emotion, suspense, and a her signature way of weaving hope into a story – always a hit with readers who enjoy faith-based reads.

In Conversation with
Michelle Stimpson

Q: This is a different kind of book for you. What made you venture a little with this title?

A: After writing 40+ books, an author can get kind of stagnant. I have recently started reading clean mysteries, and I found that I actually enjoy them. They keep me up late at night because I truly want to find out whodunit and why. I’m hoping my readers will enjoy a different pace, too. I think they’ll be glad to know it’s possible to change things up and still keep the message of the book strong.

Q: What is the message of the book?

A: The main character, Ashley, is struggling to make sense of things as they relate to her. She has suffered much loss in her life already. But she’s going to have to understand that God doesn’t make His plans around Her. She may be the apple of His eye, but she is not the center of the universe.  His promise to be there always will have to sufficient for some of us until we reach the other side.

Q: Wow! That title really caught me. How did you come up with the idea for this book?

A: You know what, I wish I could remember. Thankfully, I have not experienced much death around me, but I know that the longer I live, the more loved ones will pass away. Death is a part of life.  I don’t kill off a lot of characters in my books, but there was just something about this couple that struck my imagination and I knew they needed a book. Quickly!

Q: How quick?

A: About 10 days from outline to finished first draft.

Q: Seriously?

A: Yes, but keep in mind: This is a shorter work of fiction.

Q: Why did you choose to write a shorter piece?

A: I actually got my start with fiction as a short-story writer. I love shorter reads because I can finish them quickly. My schedule is often irregular, so it’s hard for me to get into longer books during hectic weeks. When I sit down for a few hours with a short read, I already know I’m going to have the satisfaction of finishing it. I usually save longer reads for holidays/vacations.

Q: What else is going on with you outside of the writing world?

A: Glad you asked! I am now the grandmother of a wonderful baby girl. Bless God! I am spending a ridiculous amount of time just staring at her and nibbling on her juicy cheeks.

Q: What’s your next release?

A: I’ve got a non-fiction book coming out entitled Change Your Mind, Transform Your Life: 21 Truths to Renew Your Mind in Christ. I am always sooo excited about edifying believers. Non-fiction is not my first genre, but it is definitely one of the most fulfilling to me.

Q: Do you have advice for aspiring authors?

A: I have more than advice—I have help! They can visit to take classes and learn more about publishing, marketing, etc.

Q: How Can Readers Connect with You?

A: The best way to keep in touch is through my email list. I send out notice of new books and keep people posted on all kinds of things from events to what’s happening with their favorite characters to upcoming releases. 
Click here to join

Tour hosted by Write Now Literary 

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#SundaySample - The Long Game

Sunday, July 16, 2017

It's Sample Sunday!

The Long Game is the second book in the friends-to-lovers series. 

These friends have been tight since their teenage years. Vance is promiscuous, and Ayisha isn't trying to have a relationship with someone who's been around that much. 

He, however, has different ideas ...

Here's a scene between Vance and Ayisha as they re-connect.

The Long Game is coming soon. 

Ayisha tore off a bit of the roll she held in her hand and stuck it in her mouth.

"I forgot to tell you. Garth is finishing up some rush work on some videos and Lise is at home."

"K." Now that I knew they weren't coming, I was even more mystified about where Ayisha was leading me. The way she was looking at me gave me a surge of hope and I wondered if I could trust where my thoughts were leading me.

"About what you asked me … I've been thinking about it."

For a couple of seconds, I drew a blank and then I caught up with her. I must have heard wrong though.

I cut a piece of chicken and chewed on it, taking my time. The meat was tender and I enjoyed the combination of the smoky and spicy flavors. Ayisha knew what I liked and had delivered, as always.

As much as I wanted to, I didn't prompt her. Something told me she was about to say exactly what I wanted to hear and so I could wait.

It seemed the longer she took about it, the more nervous she got. She drank from her glass and then cleared her throat.

I took another bite of chicken, now more sure than ever that Ayisha was about to change things between us.

"I'm still not sure I'm not losing my mind," she said, smiling sweetly.  "But I thought about what you said, and maybe we can try again."

"And you're gonna give me the best news I've had all year  when you're sitting way over there and I'm all the way over here chewing on a mouthful of chicken? You're a cruel woman."

I wanted to haul her over the table and …

Her steady, analytical gaze stopped my runaway thoughts.  "Why now?" I asked.

"Why not now?"

I pulled in my breath, exasperated with her delaying tactics. "Come on,  Ayisha. I'm serious. This is great news, but I want to know why." When she didn't say anything, I added, "Is this some kind of pity move on your part? Are you feeling sorry for me?"

"Are you for real?"

I bit into another piece of chicken and slowly chewed it, making her wait. "Yeah, I'm for real. You do realize with all I have going on now, I would wonder why you had a change of heart now."

She got some attitude, cocking her brow and peering at me. Then she smiled and laid down her fork. "Maybe you're overthinking things."

"And maybe I'm not. I've being sensible. You said what you did about me the other day and this sudden turn around makes me wonder about you." I frowned and then looked at her hard.  "Is this some kinda challenge? You trying to tame me or something?"

She laughed. "Don’t be ridiculous. Like I said, I've put some thought into it and if we try, maybe we can make it work."

I studied her some more and then looked at my plate. I wasn't sure what was going on with her, but whatever it was, I liked it. Ayisha was a confident woman, but I wasn't used to her taking this tone with me. In a way our roles were reversed. I should have been the one telling her to relax and go with the flow of things. Instead, she was taking the lead. My gaze settled on Ayisha when she spoke again. "By the way, what about Corinne?"

Friday Feature - Persuasion!

Friday, July 14, 2017

It's been a while since I've posted here, but I hope to be more regular as the summer progresses. Today, I'm on Stephanie Ingram's blog as her Featured Friday guest. There's a short interview and a little about my latest book, Persuasion. Do drop in on us if you have a moment. 

Have fun and enjoy the weekend!

#TeaserTuesday Sample The Long Game

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#TeaserTuesday Here's a little helping of what's coming in a while ...

I opened the door, and Vance stood outside leaning against one wall. When he saw me looking at his hand, he raised it. "I brought you dinner."

Opening the door wider, I beckoned for him to come inside. "You had to find a way, huh?" 

"I know you're not being your usual nasty self," he said, giving me a sneaky grin. 

"Of course, I am. I should have known you'd find a way to come here and harass me." 

"Who said anything about harassing you?" His sigh was that of someone who'd been done wrong. "I was at Garth's and he had way more food than he needed and since you don't eat properly unless you're forced to, I decided to give Anna-Lise and him some privacy and eat with you." 

He walked into the house and I stepped back, taking the bag from him. "What's in here?"   

"Vegetable chop suey, some kind of peppery chicken and rice." 

"Sounds good." 

He trailed me to the kitchen and pulled out a chair while I slid the food into dishes and then heated them in the microwave. When we sitting across from each other, prepared to eat, I asked, "You want to tell me why you're over here. Really?" 

He shrugged. "I told you and I wanted to talk to you. You know that." 

I wasn't ready for that conversation, but telling Vance that didn't matter. He was like a speeding eighteen-wheeler truck when he decided to have his way. He'd brush my objections aside and say what he needed to express, whether I was prepared to hear it or not. 

We were halfway through eating when he said, "So about the other day, you were unfair to attack me like that, but—" 

"We've been through this several times already and we both know I didn't say anything that wasn't true." 

"Let's agree to disagree, but anyway, I've been thinking—" 

"And we know how dangerous that can be." 

"Stop interrupting me." 

I gave him a cheeky grin, but kept quiet. 

"So I have been a little out of control with the women—" 

I raised one brow, my fork halfway to my mouth. "A little?" 

"Did I say something about not interrupting me?" 

"You did, but when have I ever listened to you?" 

"You're right about that. Anyway, I'll concede that you do have a point." 

I spun a finger in my ear and frowned. "Say what? Did I hear you right?" 

"Stop acting like an idiot and listen to me." 

Other than raising both brows this time, I didn't move. 

"So the thing we had for each other, I'm not sure why we let that die." 

He put up one hand when I was about to speak. "Nope, not your time yet. You're going to listen. Anyway, maybe the reason I am the way I am is that I haven't had any reason to be different." 

If this was an excuse, it was less than poor but since he asked me not to cut into his speech, I wouldn't. 

"There hasn't been any motivation for me to put down roots and build something solid." 

I could have told him everything he'd just said to me was bullshit, but he seemed to believe what he was saying, so I didn't rock his boat. 

He put down the cutlery, propped his elbows on the table and clasped his hands. The silence went on with him staring at the curtain behind me and then his gaze shifted to me. "What I'm not doing a good job of saying is that ... I want you." 

The speed with which my eyebrow flew up on my forehead, I'm surprised it didn't do a backflip off my face. I pressed my lips together while choosing the right words. "You only want me because what I said challenged you. You want to prove you can do something other than running around, like you've been doing for so long. I don't want to be a challenge, Vance." 

"You make it sound like I'm undertaking a dare or something." 

"That's exactly what this is." I put a hand to my chest. "You don't have to prove anything to me. I know who you are and what you're capable of and it's all right." 

He stared at me as if I'd just insulted him. 

"I tell you I want you, and you tell me I'm not up to scratch?" 

"Nobody said that." 

"Then why do I feel as if you just told me to go to hell." 

Because that's exactly what I'd done, but in a subtle way. 

What's New With #IWSG?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

It’s another first Wednesday and the time when IWSGers post to share their insecurities and encourage each other on the writing journey. If you’re not part of this, but would like to be, sign up here.

Captain Alex's gracious hosts this month are JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!

#Optional question this month: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing? Do share

Haven’t quit writing as yet, but I used to step away for weeks at a time mainly due to work and life issues which left little time to plot or write. I did take a 20-year break, but up to today, I have no idea why I stopped writing. I hope I never remember because if I do and it wasn’t a good reason, I’ll probably kick myself for all the time I lost.

The IWSG Book Club pick this month is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. We do hope you will be able to read and participate in the upcoming discussion. 

Guess what? We have another anthology coming!

The IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit

This will be a non-fiction book like our Guide to Publishing and Beyond.

What to write: Share experiences about making a profit as an author, what it takes to become a successful writer, the many skills a writer needs to learn other than writing, share the experience going from hobby writer to published author (without making it a self-promotion piece), the fallacies behind writing for profit, the little known facts learned along the way, what you wished you knew when you first started writing, or marketing tips based on experience of what has worked and what hasn't.

If you gave any questions, email us at admin AT

Word limit: 500-1000 words.

Submission eligibility: All members of the IWSG Blog Hop, IWSG Facebook group and/or members of our IWSG Goodreads Book Club. It's free to join any of these groups and a great benefit to be a part of these communities.

Deadline: July 31, 2017

Send your article to admin at as an attached Word document and note that says which IWSG group you have joined. Please include your name, a one line bio, and one website link.

***The BEST 100 articles will be included in the book!***

Will you be reading The Secret Garden? Have any ideas for submitting to the anthology? Have you ever quit writing? Do tell!