New Year, New Beginnings

MAKY_OREL / Pixabay

New beginnings. Okay, I probably say that this time every year. But I always look at January 1 as a time to start over. To put aside our perceived failures and move forward to achieve our plans and dreams.

As you know from my last post, I didn’t accomplish all that I planned last year. But I’m determined to have a better year in 2018, starting with a new book.

That’s right. I’ve begun writing the third and final installment of my Driscoll Lake Series. Unclear Purposes should will be released in the fall.

It took me a year to write the first draft of Unseen Motives and another year before I began the edits. Unknown Reasons was a year in writing, editing, and publishing. Yes, you heard right. The eBook version is now available at your favorite online retailers. Click here to read more or here for the universal purchase link. For those of you who still like the feel of a book in your hands, the paperback version will be available soon.

I hesitate even to list goals for this year, but there are several things I want to do.

  • Writing – as I mentioned earlier, I’ve started writing Unclear Purposes. I’m toying with an idea for another free-standing novel. Beyond that, I may write a few short stories, particularly if I’m invited to contribute to another anthology.
  • Blogging – technically, blogging is writing, but I need to be more consistent. I would also like to participate in some word prompts and write short fiction pieces.
  • Story Empire – speaking of word prompts, the Story Empire authors have some new and exciting things planned for this year. Check out this post by fellow author, P. H. Solomon about our new Friday features.
  • Visiting – I sorely lacked in my visits to other bloggers. I plan to do more of that during the year.
  • Reading – in 2016, I signed up for my first Goodreads challenge. I set a goal of twenty-five books and completed twenty-six. In 2017, I set a goal of thirty books, but only finished twenty. This year, I’m back to a goal of twenty-five, but hope to read more.

Lofty goals? Not really. With better time management, I feel I can do these things. Did I mention I also have a full-time job?

Just Friends

This is the continuation of a short fiction series. To read the other parts, click on the links.

“Why did you leave, Cassie?”

His words echoed in my head. I left because of you. Because of her. There was nothing left for me there. Nothing but pain and heartache.

But I can’t say those things. I needed a snappy comeback. A cursory comment that wouldn’t let him know my true feelings. Somehow the words wouldn’t come.

“Cassie? Did you hear me? Why did you leave?”

Free-Photos / Pixabay

Jarred from my thoughts, I turned to him and said, “Sometimes we need a change. My grandparents were getting older, and they needed someone to run this ranch. Maybe I just wanted to get away from the day-to-day routine.”

“I would think raising horses would be more of a daily routine than being a cop. At least we never knew what each day would bring.”

“Maybe that’s what I wanted to get away from. I needed stability. I needed to feel like I bel—” I stopped before I said something to embarrass myself.

“I grew up here. Guess in the back of my mind I always knew I’d come back one day.”

“And I remember someone once saying they wanted to get away from the drudgery of living on a ranch. Isn’t that why you went to the police academy?”

“What’s this? Twenty questions? Like I said earlier, people change. Maybe it just took me a while to figure out what I wanted in life. And it’s a good thing I did come home. Now that Gran and Gramps have passed on, this place is my responsibility.”

“Guess you have a point.” He walked across the room and put his hands on my shoulders. “I know I wasn’t there for you, but I am sorry for your loss.”

“It’s not like I told anyone. You couldn’t have known.”

“I’d like to think we are friends. At least we once were. Friends are always there for one another. In good times and bad.”

Friends. That’s what he thought of us. Just friends. Superficial feelings at best. I hated to admit that after he showed up, I begin to believe once again if we couldn’t have something more than friendship. Maybe an old spark could be rekindled. Guess I was wrong. So why was he here?

No way will I put myself through torture. I need to know why he showed up on my doorstep. Whatever his reasons, I can take it. But no more dancing around. I took a deep breath.

“I have a question for you. Why are you here?”

Inspired by the daily word prompt, Superficial







I haven’t done any short fiction lately but this is a continuation of a series of short pieces inspired by the WordPress daily prompts. The other intallments are:

And now for today’s story.

Sure, my feelings for him were dormant. Were being the keyword. Now, as he came close, long suppressed desires came to the surface. Two years had done nothing to change that. I had only been fooling myself.

“Nice morning,” he said.

“It is.”

StockSnap / Pixabay

“Are you always up this early? I seem to remember the girl who couldn’t function until after nine in the morning and only then if she’d had a couple of cups of coffee in her system.”

I shrugged. “People change.”

He glanced around, not making eye contact with me. “Yeah, they do. Sometimes you learn that you never really knew them at all.”

I wasn’t sure what to make of that. Was he talking about me or someone else? “Look, I still need to do a couple of things here. Why don’t you grab a shower? I’ll be inside shortly, and I’ll make breakfast.”


I watched him walk away. People do change. There was something different about him. He wasn’t the self-assured, almost cocky, person I had known. What happened to him? Where was Erica? He wasn’t wearing a ring, and he hadn’t once mentioned her name.

And why couldn’t I control my feelings? The last thing I needed was to allow him back into my life in any capacity. I wasn’t even sure I could still be friends with him. Not that he had done anything to damage that relationship. That is nothing except marrying her.

But even though I tried to fight it, I was drawn to him. The more I tried to pull away, the more he pulled me back.

After finishing the rest of my chores, I went back to the house to start breakfast. I could hear the shower running, but after a few minutes, the door of the guest bathroom opened.

Busy with preparing breakfast, I didn’t hear him walk into the kitchen, but I sensed his presence. I turned to see him leaning against the door frame, his hair was still damp from the shower, wearing jeans that fit in all the right places and a black t-shirt that showed his muscles. He must be working out in the gym a lot.

His blue eyes had turned to an almost smoky hue, his voice low and husky. “Why did you leave, Cassie?”

Inspired by the daily word prompt, elastic.




Can’t Fight This Feeling

This is a continuation of some short fiction pieces. To read the first part click here. The second installment is available by clicking here.

He was still asleep when I walked outside this morning. I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed. Last night he said we needed to talk, but once we were inside the house, I could tell he was exhausted.

By unspoken agreement, we remained silent. I showed him the guest bedroom and then went upstairs. I tossed and turned all night. Hard to sleep knowing he was so near.

Why had he come to me? And how did he even get to Angel Falls? He had no car, the closest airport was fifty miles away, and we didn’t even have a bus stop.

Life on a ranch doesn’t stop for an unexpected visitor. As I went about my daily chores, I couldn’t help but remember one of the last times we were together. A friend had hosted a party to celebrate the promotion of one of our coworkers.

She was there, of course. Anyone would have thought her engagement ring was the Hope Diamond by the way she flashed it around. And she possessively kept her arm linked with his. Seeing them together and not breaking down into tears was one of the hardest things I’d ever had to do.

Finally, I’d had enough. I wanted to leave, but it would have been rude of me, so even though the evening air was a bit chilly, I went outside to the porch. I needed some time to collect my thoughts.

It wasn’t long before he came and sat down beside me on the porch swing. We talked, remembering things that we’d been through together. Everything was work related. That was the extent of our relationship—partners, but also friends.

Almost an hour passed without us realizing it. Inside, the party was in full swing, as evidenced by the music and laughter. No one, not even her, had missed us.

“So, have you set a date?” I asked.

He looked away. “I, uh… Erica wants to get married soon.”

“What about you?”

“I don’t know what I want.”

My head turned in surprise, and I could see the uncertainty in his blue eyes.

“Then why—?”

“Don’t you know? Because of you.” And with that, he pulled me into his arms and kissed me. A long, slow, passionate kiss.

It was what I wanted. What I had dreamed of. But another woman wore his ring. I pulled away, stood up, and walked to the edge of the porch. He’d had ample opportunity to tell me his feelings before. The one embarrassing time I had opened up to him, he turned me away.

I looked back to see that he had also stood up, his head hung as if in shame. “Carly, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have—”

And that’s when the door opened. “There you are.” Erica locked her arm in his, gave me a look as if to say, “Hands off, he’s mine,” and led him back inside.

I called in sick the next three days, spent lots of time thinking about my future and reached a decision. I tendered my resignation before the week was out. Eventually, I got over him.

One of the horses nudged my arm, bringing me back to the present. Once I finished at the stables, I walked to the fence and looked out to the pasture and the mountains beyond the ranch.

When I heard footsteps, I looked to see him jogging toward me. Dressed in running shorts and a sleeveless shirt that showed all his muscles.

I felt my pulse quicken. Feelings that had long lain dormant were once again awakened.

Inspired by the daily prompt, Dormant.