Flash Fiction Friday – March 24, 2017

Flash Fiction Friday

I’m doing something slightly different today. I waited (for the 3rd week in a row) until Thursday afternoon to write the post, but that turned out to be a good thing because I stumbled upon this “daily writing prompt”…

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…over at the Writers Write blog on Thursday and decided to use it along with the one prompt word (disappointment) that was left on last week’s post.

So here you go—10 items found in the rubbish, and 1 prompt word. Although this does continue with the same characters from last week, I’ll file it under Random Standalone Flash Fiction because I don’t intend for them to become recurring characters. I’ll revisit that if I change my mind down the road.

It had to be in here. Grant used a finger and thumb to gingerly pick up a rotting banana peel and toss it aside. He shuddered. Who put food remains in their bedroom trash can, anyway. No wonder the room reeked.

“Ew,” he muttered. The used condom could sift to the bottom. He wasn’t touching it despite the fact that Dreamy Daniel from the carnival had worn the thing. At least he assumed it had been Daniel and not Andy wearing the rubber. Either way, no doubt it was a contributor to the funky odor. The crumpled tissues and wet wipe were probably related, and also not anything Grant wanted to touch. He fetched a pair of tongs from the kitchen, because clearly this job needed either that or rubber gloves. This mission had better be worth it.

An empty chocolate syrup container, a candle stub, and an empty can of Reddi Whip came out next. Grant shook his head. Had they made banana splits in the bedroom, or drizzled this shit all over each other and licked it off? He could get behind the latter option, at least if he was one of the participants.

Good grief. An empty champagne bottle and about a dozen bitten off strawberry tops? On a first date? Andy’d pulled out all the stops for this guy. Even if Grant managed to finagle a date with the man, he’d be hard put to compete with this shit.

As he lifted off the last few strawberry greens the paper he was after emerged. Grant’s shoulders slumped with disappointment when he saw it. Daniel’s name was readable, but the ink for the phone number underneath it had run and speared into an illegible mess. Andy’s phone was the only hope of retrieving it, now. That or flirting with the man right in front of Andy. No, he felt low enough going through Andy’s trash. What plausible excuse could he have given even if he’d discovered the number, anyway? It was time to concede defeat. He sighed and returned the garbage to the plastic can.

Andy stood in the doorway with a hiked eyebrow when Grant turned to leave. “Find what you were looking for?”

“My self-respect? No, left it behind.”

Leave a prompt word in the comments, below, and I’ll use it in next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please, up to 15 total.

Camp NaNoWriMo & Progress Report

Camp NanoWriMo

I swore I’d never do it again, but here I am, signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. My goal is a very modest 20k words to be used to finish my current project, which is a total rewrite of an as yet unnamed story that was previously published using the title A Dream Come True. The story is undergoing such a complete revision that it deserves a new title. I am not merely editing the existing words. I’ve got the old story open as a guideline as I rewrite it in 1st-person from a single POV (Mike’s). The old version was in 3rd-person alternating POV. The gist of the story remains the same, but a number of details are also changing.

I will be doing the same thing for Another Dream, and Dreaming of You, for which I plan a bit of an expansion from novelette to short novel length.

Cultivating Love - Cover

I recently finished my facelift to Cultivating Love, which also includes an expansion from Novella to short novel length with the addition of about 6k words. The contract for the first edition with Loose ID runs through June 9th. They’ve acknowledged receipt of my notification that I won’t be renewing again this year. Presumably the first edition will be available through that date, but I don’t know for sure, so if you want a copy of that edition you’ll need to get on it before then. The revised and expanded second edition will become available at JMS Books, LLC on June 24th in ebook format, and on June 30th in print format. I don’t have the new cover yet, but I’ll share it once I do.


Camp NanoWriMo

Flashback Scenes from Sam’s POV – Chap. 16 No. 18

The flashback scenes in ’Til Death Do Us Part chronicle the time from when Henry and Sam first began their courtship through to the night before Henry leaves on his ill-fated flight. To catch up with the flashback scenes previously posted, click this link to the the category archives: https://authoraddisonalbright.com/category/til-death-do-us-part/flashback-scenes-from-sams-pov/. Additional bonus scenes can be found via the menu at the top of this page.

This series of blog posts was motivated by a comment from one of the book’s reviewers, Bethany at Rainbow Gold Reviews, who made the comment that she wished the flashback scenes had been from Sam’s POV instead of from Henry’s.


This week’s scene is from the 16th flashback in the book, found at the beginning of Chapter 18 (Note: Chapters 1 and 15 did not have flashback scenes).

This one’s a little longer than average, but heavy on the dialogue. It did have a few spots where the POV could make a difference, though.

With a spring in his step, Sam approached the bathroom where Henry was finishing up, sealing the grout on the floor of the master bath. Their final project. At long last, they were finally done.

“You know what we need to do after we finish this bathroom remodel?” Henry asked, looking up.

“Seriously? You want to take on another project after this? There’s nothing left,” Sam replied. His eyes widened, although the role reversal was kind of amusing. Sam was the one who’d wanted to buy the fixer-upper. Henry’d needed to be convinced.

“Well, it won’t be pressing, like this other stuff was. And we can easily drag it out as time and our budget allows.”

Sam squinted. “What do you have in mind?”

“Finish the basement. Build us an awesome game room like Bill has. We could start hosting some of your family gatherings, and it would be great for when we have friends over.”

“You know, that’s not a bad idea. I know my nieces and nephews would love it.”

“Yeah, so would we. My only fear is that we might get distracted by it when we should be grading papers.”

Sam laughed. “Nah, I know you better than that.” While Sam wouldn’t call Henry a workaholic—he loved his leisure time, too—he did have a strong sense of responsibility and always took care of obligations before he played. “You’re right, though. The basic finishing would be simple enough to do, then we can add decorative touches as we go along, like build a bar, maybe, and add cool lighting. We can pick up games and furnishings as we find good deals over time.” The more he thought about it, the better Henry’s idea sounded.

“Exactly, a lifetime project we can enjoy adding to for the next fifty years.”

Sam snickered. “I can just picture us as a couple of eighty-year-old men still competing for the high scores in Dig Dug and Donkey Kong.”

I’ll concede to your greatness in Donkey Kong, but it’s time for you to admit you’ll never beat my Dig Dug score.”

“I admit nothing.”

“Fine, then you’d better watch your back with our future Donkey Kong machine.”

Sam waggled his eyebrows and grinned. Henry had such a fun competitive streak, Sam couldn’t resist teasing him. “I look forward to the next fifty years of watching you try.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

’Til Death Do Us Part

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

eBook Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Kindle Universal Link | iBookStore | B&N | Kobo

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#RainbowSnippets – March 18, 2017 – WIP with Wes & Mike

I’ve joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. From their description: “Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).” Pretty cool, eh? Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page and/or my Facebook profile while you’re over there checking out this fantastic group!

Rainbow

Today I’m posting a snippet from an as-yet-unnamed WIP which will be a total from-the-ground-up overhaul of my old story A Dream Come True. The rewrite is told entirely from Mike’s 1st person POV (whereas the original was in both Mike and Wes’s 3rd person POV). While it will be essentially retelling the same basic story, this overhaul is significant enough I feel it deserves a fresh and shiny new title.

These are the opening 6 lines:

Chat up a telemarketer—that was one thing I’d rather do. Or engage in a conversation with someone handing out religious tracts on a street corner. Maybe ask that burly guy with the perpetual frown at the Express Lube to help me out with a little manscaping. I shuddered. No, maybe not that one.

Point being, there were plenty of things I’d rather do than face another roommate interviewee.

#RainbowSnippets


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FYI, JMS Books, LLC is having a 30% off sale this weekend. All ebooks in the store (including pre-orders) are 30% off through Sunday!

Here’s a handy link to mine:

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Kindle Unlimited

The books are also all available for #FREE download with your #KindleUnlimited subscription.

Amazon Universal: Author.to/Amazon_AddisonAlbright

Rainbow Snippets

Flash Fiction Friday – Prompt Word Ficlet – March 17, 2017

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m using 15 random prompt words for my Flash Fiction Friday story scene. I got one word (hamburger) from the comments of last week’s post, and 14 words (screw – conduct – degree – square – print – clever – existence – boot – famous – crack – hungry – hands – ignite – stiff) from a random word generator (screenshot below).

Screenshot 2017-03-16 13.16.09

This week I wrote another random standalone scene, unrelated to any of my existing publications or returning flash fiction characters. I think it might be my shortest non-drabble to date, coming in at only 244 words:

Screw that,” Andy said. “I’m hungry. Let’s go get some hamburgers or something before we get on any more rides.

“The line’s not going to get any shorter, you know.” Grant stood stiffly with his hands on his hips, tapping one gleaming ankle boot on the asphalt, and one eyebrow hiked up so far its very existence was in question, since it was out of sight behind his—admittedly long—side-swept bangs. Grant was famous among their circle of friends for his over-the-top theatrical conduct. “And I can’t stay late, I’ve got to get up at the ass-crack of dawn for work tomorrow. Boss-man from hell doesn’t care that today’s St. Patrick’s Day.”

“But I’m so hungry, I could…” Andy’s gaze landed on a strikingly good-looking man with green-streaked blond hair who’d just gotten into the line in question, and his attitude took a sharp one-hundred-eighty degree turn. It wasn’t a guarantee, but there was a good chance the guy was gay, wearing a shirt with rainbow lettering printed on a black square, stating, “He who is born round won’t die square.” Which was a clever Sicilian proverb meaning people don’t change their fundamental nature. So, yeah, the rainbow lettering was a clue. “Actually, come on. Like you said, it’s not getting any shorter.”

Grant’s eyes about popped out of his head. “What the hell ignited a—oh.” He turned and started walking. “Just because you saw him first does not mean you have dibs.”

Leave a prompt word in the comments, below, and I’ll use it in next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please, up to 15 total.


If you’d like to enter a big giveaway that includes signed print copies of ’Til Death Do Us Part (which includes the short story, From This Day Forward), To Love and To Cherish, and Snapshots (my collection of eleven short stories), then hurry on over to Day 4 on the Diverse Reader week-long March Madness party: http://diversereader.blogspot.com/2017/03/march-madness-week-long-giveaway-day-4.html

 

Getting a little of Myles’ (Emmitt’s) POV – March 15, 2017

To Love and To Cherish is told entirely from Nash’s point of view, and although I stand by that decision for various reasons, I thought it would be fun to pick some scenes to redo from Myles’ (Emmitt’s) point of view. Here’s a link to the category including all of these alternate POV scenes. Links to other bonus scenes for To Love and To Cherish, as well as from some of my other published works, can be found in the “Bonus Scenes” category in the menu at the top of the page.

So far I’ve rewritten all of Chapter 1 to show it from Myles’/Emmitt’s perspective, as well as a random scene from Chapter 3. Today’s post is a bit longer, and is a scene from Chapter 9 that I thought would be good to see from Myles’/Emmitt’s POV:

Random Scene – Chapter 9

The regular chirping of the heart rate monitor soothed Emmitt’s nerves. Many people might not find it comforting, hating hospitals in general, but to Emmitt it meant Nash was doing well.

Emmitt’s mood had swung sharply from cheery, at the turn his life had recently taken, to alarmed when he’d received Harley’s panicked call using Nash’s phone. As much as he recognized Nash would be facing a difficult next couple of months, at least he now knew his fiancé could expect a full recovery.

Nash stirred on the bed as Clancy stood on the other side of it, checking the IV. Clancy looked down at Nash and smiled one of those jaunty smiles the nurses gave patients to boost their moods. “How are you feeling?”

Emmitt put his hands on the armrests ready to rise, but stilled again when Nash spoke.

“My fiancé,” he croaked. “Was he hurt? Is he okay?”

While it was heartwarming that Nash was concerned about him—all things considered—it was mildly concerning that he didn’t remember the accident enough to know Emmitt hadn’t been involved in it. Not entirely unusual, though.

Clancy glanced at Emmitt. “Oh, no. Don’t worry, Nash, you were the only one hurt. Dr. Burlingham wasn’t even in the car, and Harley and Oliver are both fine.” He paused. “What do you remember?”

Nash paused a moment and stared blankly at Clancy before replying. “No,” he rasped. “I don’t remember the accident.”

Emmitt stood and stepped to the other side of the bed. “You have a mild concussion in addition to your arm injury. Don’t worry. It’s not unusual for people to not be able to remember the accident.”

“Okay,” Nash slurred. He appeared to still be a bit dazed from the anesthetic.

Nash’s left arm was in a cast, so Emmitt picked up Nash’s right hand and held it between his palms. “I’ll go speak to Dr. Beltran. He performed your surgery, so he’ll come in and assess you. I can’t…obviously…but between the concussion and the infection risk from the compound fracture, you’ll probably be spending a night here in the hospital.”

Poor Nash appeared so pale, muddled, and in obvious pain, Emmitt wanted desperately to be able to ease all of it instantly. If only such a thing were possible. He raised Nash’s hand to his lips and kissed the back of it, then patted it gently and carefully laid it back on the bed.

Nash stared blankly, then gave a weak smile. Emmitt turned and left the room to find his partner, Dr. Jordan Beltran.

When they returned, Nash seemed more wakeful, but also seemed further distressed. Emmitt took a deep breath to calm his nerves. Jordan glanced at the Patient Controlled Anesthesia pump and asked, “How’s your pain level, Nash, on the comparative pain scale from one to ten?”

Nash opened his mouth, then paused, as if thinking before he replied, “Eight. At least. It’s pretty bad.”

Jordan nodded. “Use your PCA as needed. I’ll repeat all this tomorrow, after your anesthesia has completely worn off, but to ease your mind for now I’ll tell you that your prognosis is good. For an open fracture, this one was minor. The debridement and irrigation went smoothly, and internal fixation was successful. You’re all closed up.

“Antibiotics were started promptly in the ER, and we’ll continue an antibiotic regimen until you’re released, possibly tomorrow. You did require a transfusion in the ER…three units. This cast will come off in about three weeks so we can remove the stitches, then you’ll get a fresh cast for the remainder.”

He pulled out his mini light to check Nash’s eye dilation, then used an ophthalmoscope to look inside the fundi. He proceeded to check eye movement for a more thorough concussion check than he’d been able to accomplish when Nash was unconscious.

“I’d still call this concussion on the mild end of the scale. Myles said you don’t remember the accident, is that right?”

“Right,” Nash replied. “And Clancy said no one else was hurt?”

“Correct. It wasn’t a car accident, although you were in the backseat of a Jeep when it happened. Apparently you had your arms in the air enjoying the feel of the rushing air, and a large bird swooped down and slammed into your arm.”

“Huh. Well, leave it to me to find such a crazy was to end up in the ER.” Nash reached up to touch the bandage on his forehead.

“You’ve got some bruising and a few sutures there. Nothing major. Tell me about the last thing you do remember,” Jordan asked. “Do you remember what you did this morning?”

“Uh, had breakfast and went for a ride with Harley and Oliver.”

Emmitt narrowed his eyes. Did Nash not remember that they’d been transferring the last of his belongings to Emmitt’s apartment? “Where were you going?”

“I…uh…don’t remember that part.”

Emmitt stilled, and Nash’s panicked mein began to make sense. “What did you do yesterday?”

“It’s…a little fuzzy. I’m sure it’ll come back to me soon. That’s not a big deal, is it?”

It was a huge deal. Colossal. Emmitt’s heart sank. If Nash didn’t remember yesterday, there was a good chance he was missing a couple months, at least. “I think it might be.”

“What’s the last thing you do remember?” Jordan asked.

“Coming home from work. Hanging out before dinner.”

Emmitt willed himself not to fidget, and tried not to project the apprehension that flowed through him at Nash’s evasive words. “One more question.” He took a deep breath, fearing the reply, but he had to know. “When you woke up here a few minutes ago, you asked Clancy if your fiancé was okay. To whom were you referring?”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Blurb: To Love and To Cherish

Will Nash find love again? Of course he will. Will he go about it in the usual manner? Now that’s another story entirely.

Jilted by his fiancé two weeks before their wedding, Nash Marino’s outlook on life in general, and love in particular, is jaded. After months of couch-surfing, Nash is fed up. He’s sick and tired of his living conditions, worn out by the demands of his nursing job, and despairs of ever finding love again. In fact, he doesn’t think he’s capable of true love. Monogamy, commitment, companionship, and regular sex…that’s all he wants, and the sooner, the better.

When Nash crosses paths with a like-minded man who’s also in need of a live-in nurse for a beloved relative, Nash figures all his problems are solved. Matters are complicated by a freak accident and amnesia. When Nash’s marriage of convenience scheme is muddied by notions of love after his memory reboot, will their plans go awry, or will Nash’s new outlook on life be just what the doctor ordered?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Links: To Love and To Cherish

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

eBook Links

(Read it for FREE with your Kindle Unlimited subscription)

JMS Books, LLC | Kindle Universal
iBookStore | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BookStrand | Blio

Print Links

JMS Books, LLC | Amazon Universal | Barnes & Noble

Flashback Scenes from Sam’s POV – No. 15, Chap. 17

The flashback scenes in ’Til Death Do Us Part chronicle the time from when Henry and Sam first began their courtship through to the night before Henry leaves on his ill-fated flight. To catch up with the flashback scenes previously posted, click this link to the the category archives: https://authoraddisonalbright.com/category/til-death-do-us-part/flashback-scenes-from-sams-pov/. Additional bonus scenes can be found via the menu at the top of this page.

This series of blog posts was motivated by a comment from one of the book’s reviewers, Bethany at Rainbow Gold Reviews, who made the comment that she wished the flashback scenes had been from Sam’s POV instead of from Henry’s.


This week’s scene is from the 15th flashback in the book, found at the beginning of Chapter 17 (Note: Chapters 1 and 15 did not have flashback scenes).

This one’s short and minimalist. I didn’t go adding bonus thoughts for Sam except to replace corresponding thoughts Henry had in the original.

Sam bounced in place and smiled reflexively as Henry hurried toward baggage claim. It had been seven longs weeks since they’d seen each other—in person, anyway, not counting Skype. When he arrived at the empty luggage carousel, Henry tapped his foot and stared at the backs of the people in front of him.

Clearly, he hadn’t noticed Sam waiting. Sam snuck up behind him and took a deep breath of Henry’s scent before murmuring, “How was Greenland?”

Henry jumped, but his smile was wide when he spun and threw his arms around Sam’s waist.

“Damn, I missed you!” he said. “And the answer to your question is ‘cold.’ So how was India?”

“Hot.”

Henry tightened his arms, giving Sam a big squeeze. “Much as I appreciated being able to see and talk to you every day, thanks to modern technology, nothing quite beats getting a big hug from you in person.”

“Nothing? At all?”

Henry smirked. “Well, I’ll think about it on the drive home and let you know if I come up with any ideas.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

’Til Death Do Us Part

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

eBook Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Kindle Universal Link | iBookStore | B&N | Kobo

Print Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Amazon Universal Link | B&N

Promo - Teaser - Promo - Blurb - ’Til Death Do Us Part

Flash Fiction Friday – Prompt Word Ficlet -March 10, 2017

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m using 15 random prompt words for my Flash Fiction Friday story scene. I got one word (champagne) from the comments of last week’s post, and 14 words (bike – aromatic – bad – limit – hiss – bow – squeeze – train – soap – snow – improve – rainy – pain – grass) from a random word generator (screenshot below).

Screenshot 2017-03-08 21.25.31

This week I wrote a random standalone scene, unrelated to any of my existing publications or returning flash fiction characters:

Darren squeezed through a group of passengers standing near the exit and stepped off the train. He pulled up the hood of his jacket and hummed “Rainy Days and Mondays” as he made his way to the bike rack. A deep-toned hiss behind him indicated the doors had shut and the train would move on to its next stop.

Mondays were usually bad enough, but he’d reached his limit today when his pain-in-the-ass boss had dumped another project on his desk and announced he’d probably have to work through the next weekend to meet the deadline. There hadn’t been much he could do except bow his head in acceptance of his employer’s decree. Could his day—no, week—possibly get any worse?

“Could be worse,” a deep voice behind him said, as if its owner could read his mind. “At least it isn’t snow.”

Darren turned toward the holder of that sonorous sound, and his heart leapt into his throat, blocking the automatic reply he’d intended. Instead, he stood with his mouth hanging open, staring at the greenest eyes he’d ever seen. They were green as fresh grass on an early spring day, and framed by strawberry blond hair that seemed the perfect accompaniment to the aromatic cologne or soap the man wore that hinted of the apple-y floral scent of a fine French champagne.

Instead of raising a haughty eyebrow at his graceless reaction, the man smiled widely as his head tilted inquiringly to the side as if he both recognized and returned Darren’s undefended interest. “Hi.” He put out a hand for Darren to shake. “My name’s Stuart.”

Darren grasped the offered hand and found his voice. “Darren. And you’re right. It could be worse.” In fact, it was starting to improve already.

Leave a prompt word in the comments, below, and I’ll use it in next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please, up to 15 total.

King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate – POV Switch Part 2

Promo - Teaser - King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate

I kind of like rewriting various scenes from my published stories in an alternate POV to post here on the blog. If you check out the Bonus Scenes tab at the top of the page, you’ll find links to those, as well as other bonus scenes for some of my stories.

Today’s post is the second part of the opening scene from King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate. The first part can be found here. The published (FREE) short story is told entirely from Blaine’s POV. Using 1st-person perspective, here’s how George perceived this scene:

Mr. ‘Captain Morgan Rum and Diet Coke’ crossed his arms, and his jaw tightened with a scowl. The man hadn’t earned the money to buy that fancy suit by being stupid—he knew I was laughing at him. He sucked in a deep breath and slowly blew it out, then took a sip of his Skinny Pirate. “What’s your name,” he asked. “Or should I just call you ‘King Kong’?”

I laughed. It was good to know the guy had a sense of humor and could take a joke. “That depends. You wanna be my Ann Darrow?”

“Blaine will do fine, thanks.” Not bad. I’d half expected something like Preston or Bentley, but it still fit him well enough. Kind of like my name fit me.

“George. My name’s George.”

Blaine put out a hand. “Pleased to meet you, George.” It looked like I was maybe gonna to get laid tonight after all. I took his hand in mine. It was warm and dry—always a plus when you’re hopin’ to have those hands on your naked body in the near future. “So what do you do? Mechanic?”

I smiled and looked at the traces of grease embedded in my fingernails. “Never can get it all off, no matter how much I scrub.”

“It’s honest work,” Blaine replied.

I leaned back and considered the guy. Maybe he wasn’t as snobby as I’d supposed. “It is. Hard, sweaty, and grubby.” I grinned and went for broke. “Kinda like good sex.”

Blaine’s eyes widened a bit, but I figured it was a good sign his jaw didn’t drop, so I pushed on.

“How ’bout you, Blaine? I don’t get the impression you work with your hands.” That probably deserved an understatement of the year award.

“I’m an attorney.”

“I was gonna guess either that or some kinda corporate raider.”

Blaine smiled. “Well, I’m the attorney for a corporate raider, so you got a pretty good read on me.”

“There now, you see? We’ve got two things in common. We’re both pretty astute observers.”

“That’s one thing. What’s the other?”

I tipped my head to the side. “We’re both horny gay men.” I grinned again. “And here I’d just complimented your powers of observation.”

Blaine laughed. “You got me there.”

“So the question is, what are we going to do about it?” I figured I’d put the ball in his court since I’d already made my intentions clear enough. I didn’t have to wait more than a couple heartbeats for his reply.

“I believe this is the point where one of us asks, ‘your place or mine’?” Blaine tossed back the rest of his drink and raised his eyebrows.

Hell yes, I was gonna get laid. My smile couldn’t have been any broader. “I cleaned my apartment and everything, too.”

Click this link for more information about King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate.

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Flash Fiction Friday – Photo Shoot Bonus Scene – 15 Random Prompt Words

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m using 15 random prompt words for my Flash Fiction Friday story scene. I got one word (coffee) from the comments of last week’s post, and 14 words (build – office – furtive – approach – near – upbeat – receipt – open – undesirable – string – pen – note – smell – lackadaisical) from a random word generator (I used a new one this week).

screenshot-2017-03-02-16-59-40

This week you’re getting a bonus continuation scene for Photo Shoot, one of the short stories in my Snapshots collection. This is from Eddie’s 3rd-person POV:

Eddie cast furtive glances down the halls of the fine arts building as he passed near the art department offices. The smell of coffee hung in the air, and an upbeat instrumental melody of mixed string instruments drifted out as he approached the open door to the studio where he was supposed to meet Trent.

Ever since posing for that nude photo shoot for his now-boyfriend’s project, he’d been reluctant to go anywhere near the department where the panel of instructors who’d passed judgment on the assignment might be hanging around, and—God forbid—recognize him. Trent knew it, too. He knew Eddie would come up with excuses if Trent asked to meet him anywhere in the building. He knew this from experience. That’s probably why he’d left a cryptic note written on the back of a receipt—so Eddie wouldn’t have the opportunity to come up with some pretext for not meeting him. He’d used that purple pen with ink that smelled fruity as if that would sweeten the deal. It hadn’t.

A woman walked briskly out of the room in question and did a double-take as she strode past. “Trent’s already in there. Go on in.” She turned the corner before Eddie had even registered she was talking to him.

Heat infused his face, and he stopped short of the door. He’d never met that woman before. How did she know he was meeting Trent? Had she seen—

“Eddie!” Trent appeared in the doorway, a huge smile on his face. “You made it!”

More voices drifted out of the room, so he could discount the notion that the woman had made a logical assumption based on Trent being the only one in there. “Yeah. You ready to go?”

Trent seemed confused as he scratched the side of his nose. “Go where?”

“Huh?”

Laughter and a middle-aged rail-thin woman wafted out into the hall. “Ah, there you are, Trent.” She smiled in Eddie’s direction. “And I see your Eddie’s arrived. Come in and join the party.”

Party? Eddie’s eyes widened, but Trent took his hand, possibly sensing Eddie’s urge to run in the opposite direction. “The department’s having a little celebration. One of the professors is getting married.”

“I’m Celia Hall,” the woman continued. “Has Trent had the chance to explain my offer to you, yet?”

Oh, dear God. Did he want to know? “Offer?”

“I need a model for my sculpture class. I think you’d be perfect.”

Perfect? The way Trent looked at him, he’d come to accept he wasn’t exactly undesirable, but he was hardly flawless. Of course, artsy folks maybe wanted imperfections to make things interesting.

“Oh, uh, geez. I don’t know…”

“It pays twenty dollars per hour.”

Eddie’s eyebrows shot up. His gaze darted to Trent, then back to Professor Hall. He opened then closed his mouth. Twenty dollars per hour? He could really use that extra money. He had to at least consider it. “Clothes?”

She shook her head. “Nope.”

His cheeks puffed out as he slowly released a stream of air. Could he really do it? He hadn’t thought he could handle posing for just Trent, but in the end, he’d felt comfortable enough. Maybe it was all about the attitude. He couldn’t walk in there all red-faced and obviously mortified, but if he could cultivate a lackadaisical mien, he could maybe bluff his way through the experience.

“Twenty, huh?”

She smiled, looking every bit like she knew she had him hooked. “Per hour.”

With a soft groan, he closed his eyes. When he reopened them, Trent winked. Bastard had no shame, whatsoever. Eddie’s “okay” sounded a bit whiney, but she didn’t seem put out by the tone.

“Wonderful. I’ll get your contact information from Trent and be in touch.”

Mission accomplished, she returned to the party.

How Trent managed to look so innocent standing there was a mystery. “You tricked me,” Eddie said, but the words lost some of their intended effect since he had trouble resisting a spontaneous grin in response to the thumb Trent was rubbing across his wrist.

“Aw, you’re too self-conscious. There was no reason for you to avoid showing your face in this building.” Trent leaned in to kiss his cheek. A delicious shiver rippled through him as Trent’s warm breath floated across his ear. “And, I’ll be sure to show you how much I appreciate you joining me here, later.”

Leave a prompt word in the comments, below, and I’ll use it in next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please, up to 15 total.

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Click here for more information, review snips, and  purchase-links for Snapshots. Information on all my publications can be found in the menu at the top of the page.

Flash Fiction Friday – To Love and To Cherish – Bonus Scene

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m back to using 15 random prompt words for my Flash Fiction Friday story scene. I got one word (patriarchy) from the comments of last week’s post, and 14 words (level – cleanwaitcrimeapparelrocktestyagreeableunhealthyhangchannelbackrelyisland) from a random word generator (got them in three batches, otherwise they’re blocked by ads—screenshots below).

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I should get bonus points this week for getting the word “island” and not using it for a scene from ’Til Death Do Us Part. 😇

“Oh, please. Don’t even try to tell me patriarchy isn’t alive and well.” Nash’s head snapped up as Angela’s voice carried over to where he and Emmitt were arranging a tray of fruit and vegetables to offer their company. “Did you read that idiotic letter to the editor some fool politician in Utah wrote?”

“No need to get testy with me.” Harley put his hands up in surrender. “I didn’t say it wasn’t still a concern, only that my company doesn’t discriminate or pay women less. I run a clean business.”

“Misogyny should be a crime,” Angela grumbled. “And don’t get me started on the sexism rampant in children’s apparel, either.”

“Lock ’em all up,” Harley prodded. “Send ’em all to ‘The Rock.’ Lower level, in solitary.”

Angela’s eyes narrowed. “I can always rely on you to stir in a little hyperbole.”

“I don’t suppose,” Emmitt whispered, “that it would be a good idea to inform her the Utah guy resigned two days later due to the backlash, would it?”

“Go ahead,” Nash snickered. “I’ll hang back here and wait while you go over and point that out.”

Emmitt chuckled and picked up the tray. “Not on your life.”

Nash grabbed a bag of chips out of the pantry since Harley had requested “something unhealthy” to go along with the nutritious stuff he’d known Emmitt would select.

“Or better yet,” Harley said, “ship the offenders off to that little island where Nash’s—“

“How about we change the channel,” Angela’s husband, interjected, “to something more agreeable than the news?”

“Good plan.” Harley’s fiancé, Oliver, picked up the remote and switched to a music channel. “Get us in the right frame of mind before we head out to Winterfest.”

Nash sat next to Emmitt on a sofa, and snuggled up under his husband’s arm with a spontaneous smile on his lips.

Harley raised an eyebrow and smirked. “Honeymoon’s still not over?”

Emmitt’s body shook with restrained laughter. Nash said, “Never. Is yours?”

“We’re not even married yet!”

“But you live together.”

“Not for that long. Not alone, anyway.” Harley waggled his eyebrows at Oliver, then pointed his finger at Nash. “It’s only been a few months since you moved out.”

Nash shuddered. “That was a fateful day.” The injury he’d sustained during the drive to move the last of his belongings to Emmitt’s condo had affected his life in so many bizarre ways.

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again,” Harley declared. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to you.”

Nash wouldn’t have accepted that statement while enduring the pain and confusion of his recovery, but as Emmitt’s arm tightened around his shoulders, pulling him in for a hug, that familiar warmth spread through his chest, and he knew Harley was right.

Leave a prompt word in the comments, below, and I’ll use it in next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please, up to 15 total.

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Click here for more information, review snips, and  purchase-links for To Love and To Cherish. Information on all my publications can be found in the menu at the top of the page.

Flashback Scenes from Sam’s POV – No. 14 – Chap. 16

The flashback scenes in ’Til Death Do Us Part chronicle the time from when Henry and Sam first began their courtship through to the night before Henry leaves on his ill-fated flight. To catch up with the flashback scenes previously posted, click this link to the the category archives: https://authoraddisonalbright.com/category/til-death-do-us-part/flashback-scenes-from-sams-pov/. Additional bonus scenes can be found via the menu at the top of this page.

This series of blog posts was motivated by a comment from one of the book’s reviewers, Bethany at Rainbow Gold Reviews, who made the comment that she wished the flashback scenes had been from Sam’s POV instead of from Henry’s.


This week’s scene is from the 14th flashback in the book, found at the beginning of Chapter 16 (Note: Chapters 1 and 15 did not have flashback scenes).

Sam bit his lip at the sight of Henry’s exaggerated wince as they pulled up outside the house on Lake Sammamish. “Let’s just look inside. We’ve driven all the way out here and all.”

“Sure.” Henry nodded, and they joined the real estate agent at the front door.

“It looks bad, I know,” she said. “The inside is a wreck, too, but the bones are solid, and you’ve got to consider the location.”

They’d already agreed that a commute into work was a small price to pay for a peaceful setting in the suburbs, and the proximity of this listing to Sam’s parent’s home was a huge plus. Wandering through the house, Sam had to remind himself to breathe. Yes, to say it was a “fixer-upper” would be putting it mildly, but the condition was the reason it fell within their budget. This house was likely to be their only chance at a home right on the lake.

The layout was great, the amount of space was just what they were looking for, and there were so many charming architectural features they could salvage to turn this house into a beautiful home. Sturdy built-in shelving, crown molding…

“None of the fixtures or appliances have been updated in thirty years, at least,” Henry remarked. “the bathroom and kitchen need a total remodel, everything needs to be painted, this popcorn ceiling shit would have to go, the carpets stink of dog piss, and the yard is a weed-filled jungle.”

Sam calmly ran his hand over the stone wall. It was gorgeous. “Look at this, Henry. It’s amazing.”

Henry turned slowly, studying the room, his brows drawn together. A dog barked in the distance, and the faint sounds of happy children’s voices floated through the open patio door. Sam stood, unruffled, certain Henry would make the right decision. He just needed to process all the data.

Henry expelled a deep breath and turned to Sam. “We won’t be able to afford the kitchen and bathroom remodels for a year or two, but if we spend every waking minute of the summer working on it, I think we can find the money to update the rest.”

A slow smile stretched across Sam’s face. “We need to add replacement windows to the list, too. But can’t you just picture how beautiful this place could be with a little TLC?”

Henry’s nod was barely perceptible, but his smile was just Sam wanted to see. “Let’s make an offer.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

’Til Death Do Us Part

Excerpt/Info/Review Links | Goodreads

eBook Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Kindle Universal Link | iBookStore | B&N | Kobo

Print Buy-Links

JMS Books, LLC | Amazon Universal Link | B&N

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King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate – POV Switch Part 1

I kind of like rewriting various scenes from my published stories in an alternate POV to post here on the blog. If you check out the Bonus Scenes tab at the top of the page, you’ll find links to those, as well as other bonus scenes for some of my stories.

This one’s the first part of the opening scene from King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate. The published (FREE) short story is told entirely from Blaine’s POV. Using 1st-person perspective, here’s how George perceived that scene:

I cast a side-eye peek at the guy who’d just slid onto the stool next to me at the bar, and the hope that briefly boosted my mood dropped swiftly away. He seemed a bit prissy, smoothing his hands over his suit. In other words, not likely to go for me, but it was slim pickins tonight, and he might be my last chance of getting laid.

“A Skinny Pirate, please,” the man requested.

Ben the bartender’s eyebrow shot up, but he kept his poker face. “Coming right up.”

I turned to give Mr. Prim and Proper a good look-see. He pointedly ignored me, turning to check out the clean-cut lookin’ yuppy-wannabe on the other side of him. I stifled a chuckle as the guy snubbed Mr. Starchy Pants.

My target’s suit looked pricey, not that I knew much about what suits cost, but I recognized well-fitting when I saw it. His hands didn’t look like they’d ever done a day’s hard labor in his life, and I’d have spewed my beer if I’d been mid-sip when I caught sight of his fingernails. I would bet my last paycheck they’d been professionally manicured. I’m not a total rube, I knew some men did that. I just hadn’t met one before, let alone considered hitting on him.

Ben put Mr. Swanky’s drink in front of him, and the man slapped some bills on the bar.

I knew the answer to my question, but figured it was as good an opening line as any. “Why’s that called a Skinny Pirate? Looks like rum and Coke to me.”

He sighed as if I was wasting the few precious seconds it would take to answer and swiveled on his seat to face me. Points for that, anyway. “Because it’s made with Captain Morgan rum and Diet Coke.”

He picked up his drink and spun on the stool, looking out over the room. He wasn’t going to find a hookup at any of the tables. They were all couples.

I turned on my seat and took a swig from my bottle of beer. “Not much hope out there. I’ve already scoped the place.”

Mr. Still-Hoping-for-Better-than-Me glanced at the guy on his other side.

“Preppy there’s got someone who’s going to be joining him.” I shrugged. “I already tried.”

The man heaved another sigh and looked me up and down, taking in my bald head, unkempt beard, and large, very hairy body, clothed in basic—but at least clean, if a bit wrinkly and weathered—blue jeans and a snug T-shirt.

I grinned. “Feelin’ desperate, are ya?”

He scowled. Fuck it. I might not end up getting laid, but I could at least have a little laugh at the expense of Mr. Straitlaced.

I waggled my eyebrows. “I showered and everything.”

Click this link for more information and download-links for King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate.

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Flash Fiction Friday Feb. 17, 2017 – Drabble – Adventures with Harrison & Mason

Flash Fiction Friday

I’m going with a drabble this week—a precisely 100-word scene. It’ll be based on the image below, as well as use the word I got in the comments from last week’s post: cookie.

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This week will be another installment in my Adventures with Harrison and Mason series.

“How is he not freezing his buns off out there?” Harrison peered out the window at Jaxon with his friends.

“They stay warm running around.” Mason approached and laid a hand on Harrison’s shoulder. When he saw the snowman the kids had built he burst out laughing.

“You didn’t give them that idea, then?”

“To build it upside down? No, but I like it. What’s that they’re using for buttons?”

“I brought out a tray of those cookies I baked. I guess they had extras.”

“Those were good.” Mason nuzzled Harrison’s neck. “Mm, but not nearly as tasty as you.”

Leave a prompt word in the comments, below, and I’ll use it in next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please, up to 15 total.

15 Random Prompt Words – Flash Fiction Friday – ’Til Death Do Us Part

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For this week’s 15 random words I’m using:

tadpole

mix – vegetable – disagreeable – immense – aboard – invincible – food – intend – old – hand – alike – romantic – muscle – bad

Above are screen prints of the words it gave me (I got them in 3 batches because otherwise they were covered by ads).

Flash Fiction Friday

This week I went with an alternate POV scene from ’Til Death Do Us Part. It won’t be obvious from the start, but this is a scene that occurs in the story. This time it’s told from Devon’s 1st-person POV.

At the same time, it seemed like only yesterday and yet forever ago that I’d felt invincible. I frowned, remembering how the lyrics of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” had run through my mind aboard that damned plane. I’d been flying high, both figuratively and literally, having just completed a successful freshman year as a linebacker for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and was on my way to a fun-in-the-sun vacation with a couple buddies. I’d felt on top of the world…right up until we’d dropped out of the sky. Being one of only four survivors of a plane crash should arguably reinforce that feeling of invulnerability, but it didn’t.

Sitting in the shade, a few yards into the northern tree line, I looked out over the immense expanse of ocean and shivered despite the heat. I used to think of myself as a romantic, but now, sometimes if felt as if the only thing keeping me from acting like a disagreeable old man in a perpetual bad mood was the kid, “Buddy.”

I didn’t intend to be difficult, and mostly I kept the ever-lurking hopelessness that triggered the occasional outburst at bay.  I rolled my shoulders and shook out my hands to metaphorically push the threatening melancholy away.

I sighed and stood, listening for Buddy, then cut through the interior toward the large rock where we tended to gather. It was our “table” for meals, and it was where Henry kept a basket with extra food for snacking. Fish, fruit, nuts, seeds, and seaweed…day after day after day. Henry tried to mix it up with his meal prep, but after a while, they all seemed alike. Maybe, not entirely, but the menu was short. What I wouldn’t give for a big juicy steak, or a piece of fried chicken, or a hamburger. I even craved vegetables—the non-seaweed variety.

The thought of food reminded me I was thirsty, so I detoured by the Papaya tree grove where our little fresh water “spring” was located. It was little more than a deep puddle that slowly but continually refilled itself, but it was one of the key reasons we’d survived all these years.

With my hands cupped, I scooped a couple mouthfuls before noticing a batch of tadpoles had hatched. We would have to be careful with the water for the next couple months so we didn’t harm them. Henry had schooled us early on about how the tree frogs on the island kept the fruit flies in check. Without the frogs, the flies could easily decimate our fruit supply.

Startled, I jumped to my feet when a scream pierced through the background noise of the ocean’s waves. Buddy! Something had happened. Something bad. My gut twisted with fear as I took off running toward the heart-rending sound, then spun, because Buddy was apparently darting around the corner of the island as he shrieked.

I turned to take the path that led to where the screams had come to an abrupt halt, but now Garrett was hollering my name. Like Buddy, his voice was a moving target so I kept going in the direction I was already headed.

When I burst out onto the beach, Buddy’s arms and legs were wrapped around Henry, with his face buried in the man’s neck, and Garrett’s head spun back and forth. He turned and ran back in my direction, then veered toward the water’s edge with his arms waving. I ground to a halt with my heart in my throat, confused, until I saw it.

A plane—no, it was close, silent, and too small to be manned—a drone was flying past us. I chased it, screaming, “Stop! Stop!” and waved my arms like a lunatic until it was out of sight. But it circled and returned from the other direction.

Circling meant we’d been spotted. The drone operator knew we were here. It couldn’t actually stop, as I’d reflexively yelled, but did he (or she) realize we needed help—that we were stranded? Probably. Our general appearance would make that apparent, and if not, our hysterical chasing and arm waving would’ve put any doubts to rest.

The three of us came together in a huddle on the beach. Henry patted Buddy’s back, but his ragged breathing and wide eyes belied his own fears for the future, mixed with his obvious excitement. Garrett panted. “Sticks. We need sticks so we can write in the sand.”

“Of course,” I said. “I’ll get some.” I brushed my hand across my eyes to clear the tears of relief that welled up as I ran down the path to our wood-stand. When I arrived, the muscles in my legs gave out, and I stumbled to a stop and leaned against a tree for support.

“I’m going home,” I whispered to the universe. I pictured the look of shock that would appear on my parents’ faces when they got the news. My brothers—after five years they wouldn’t look the same. I snickered, remembering how I’d just been thinking about the foods I missed as if they were what was important. No, that craving was overpowered by the yearning to see my family—a longing I’d suppressed for too long to keep despair at bay. I’ll see you, soon, I added silently, then I grabbed three sticks from the kindling pile and dashed back to the beach.

As always, because I can’t resist a good challenge, I’ll take the first 15 prompt words given to me in the comments, below, for next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please. I’ll make up the difference using a random word generator site if I don’t get 15 here.

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Quick links to my website pages with buy-links, blurbs, excerpts, review snippets/links:

’Til Death Do Us Part | From This Day Forward | To Love and To Cherish


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