#WeeklyWritables ♥ The Contractor


The Contractor

Delta Simone was everything Dru Simmons would never be. Tall, lusciously curved and exotically sexy. About the only thing they had in common, was their brazen confidence. That hadn’t been the case five years ago, when Dru had taken a job at SinChats to keep a roof over her head while paying a college tuition. Not that she’d been a wallflower, but she’d never envisioned herself as a phone-sex operator, either. Once she’d realized she could spend a few hours being taller than five-two, trade her b-cups in for D’s and finally fill out the ass in her jeans, Dru had given life to her alter-ego and never looked back.

As Delta, she’d become so successful at creating a following, she’d been able to stash enough money away for a cheap house, plus the capital needed to strike out on her own. Desperation may have driven her into the industry, but she could no longer imagine doing anything else.

On the very first night of operating her own business, she anxiously waited for her phone to ring. Could already imagine her bank account doubling, since SinChats would no longer be taking their fat cut out of her paychecks. She was pleased when it didn’t take long for the first call to come in.

“Mm, hello,” she answered in Delta’s sultry, husky voice.

The other end of the line was quiet for a moment, but that wasn’t a shocker. Most callers had given her voice the same response their first time hearing it. Now, over half of them were repeat customers.

“Hi.” A man finally replied.

Dru smiled at the hesitance in his voice. Definitely a first timer. He had a nice, deep timbre, which would make talking to him quite easy.

“Who’s this?” she asked, open and sensually curious.

“This is Don Masters,” he answered, his tone even more uncertain than before.

“Don,” she breathed, savoring his name, as if it weren’t the most obvious cover in history. That wasn’t a surprise, either. Some guys, especially phone-sex virgins, were too embarrassed to give their real names. “What can I do for you this evening, Don?”

With Delta’s voice, the very real promise of giving him anything he wanted dripped off each syllable and she heard the telling catch in his breathing.

“I was calling to see what I could do for you,” he said forcibly. “I’m the contractor.”

“Oh, my,” she replied, intrigued. Yay, role playing! One of her favorites. “Don, is it true what they say about contractors?”

He was silent again. “Depends on which story you heard,” he ground out. “Do you always answer the phone like this?”

Dru chuckled quietly, seductively. “Should I answer it differently?”

“How about like a normal person?” he suggested, sounding agitated.

Dru rolled her eyes. One downside to branching out on her own was having no one to vet her calls. It was a risk she’d weighed and decided to pay, though she’d never thought it would rear its ugly head right out the gate.

“I’m sorry. Hello, Don, how are you this evening?” she asked, ready to please so the call could end sooner. It was too bad, because she really did enjoy the sound of his voice.

“Can’t complain.” His gruff tone said otherwise. “But, I’m looking for Dru Simmons.”

Everything in Dru froze. It was a phone-sex operator’s worst nightmare, that someone would find a way to crack through all their securities and discover their true identity. She had to play it off, play it cool and not let on that he’d succeeded or she’d be done for.

Dru gave a light, husky laugh. “Well, you got Delta Simone, sugar,” she replied, satisfied when the panic didn’t carry through to her voice. “But you can call me Dru if you’d like.”

“I think I’ve dialed the wrong number,” he rushed out and hung up.

Dru was hyperventilating. Hand clutched to her chest, she stared at the phone for a full second and then yanked the cord from the base. Next, she dove under her desk to recheck which jack it had been plugged into. When the phone in the kitchen started ringing, she froze again. Then, her heart leaped to her throat when the answering machine clicked on and she thought about a customer getting her real personal greeting meant solely for family and friends. Dru shimmied out of the cramped space in a hurry, halfway between a full-on anxiety attack and fury, when a familiar voice filled the house.

“Dru? It’s mom–”

“Ow, fuck!” she swore, whacking her shoulder on the underside of the desk so she could bolt down the hall and slide into the kitchen to grab the phone.

“I’m here, I’m here,” she panted.

“Druscilla, what have I told you about running in the house?” Her mother chastised.

She didn’t bother checking for hidden cameras this time, but in most other cases her mom’s intuition was just as uncanny. “Mom–”

“Listen, sweetie, I know you’re probably busy with that naughty business of yours.” Dru groaned at her mother’s emphasis, not because it was said in disgust, but in an exaggerated purr. It was one thing for her parents to accept her chosen profession, quite another for her mom to find it fascinating. “I just wanted to let you know that I contacted the contractor that did all the work on our gazebo a few years ago, you remember, Donald Masters? Nice man. Anyway, he’s going to send one of his foremen out to get all the details for your office. He’ll probably be calling to set up a good time with you as soon as possible.”

Dru’s lungs had stopped working the second her mom had uttered his name. Her mind raced back to the gazebo’s construction and could only recall a nice, older man with blond hair and friendly blue eyes, wrinkles fanning out of the corners from the way he squinted in the sunlight. If that was Donald Masters, he did not match the voice of the man she’d just had the most unfortunate conversation with.

“Mom, which number did you give Mr. Masters?”

Her mom laughed. “Honey, I only have one of your numbers and it’s the free one! Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll call soon.”

Oh, yeah. He hadn’t wasted any time on that. Now, she was left with a major dilemma. It was Friday night, one of her busiest times, and the phone company was already closed. She didn’t even want to calculate all the money she was losing out on, but it wasn’t worth the risk of clients getting her personal recording. Dammit!


Don Masters was a professional. He worked for a very clean, legitimate construction company with high standards and even higher expectations. He thoroughly loved his work and took immense pride in it. Through a pair of Oakley’s, he stared at the rambler he’d just parked in front of. It was a corner lot, which was a bonus in the older neighborhoods. He wasn’t a painter, but that would be at the top of his suggestion list, because the pealing baby blue was an eyesore that hadn’t been popular for at least two decades. The lawn was in vital need of some TLC and landscaping advice. There was a single car garage up the slightly sloped drive where a cherry red Saab was parked.

Don grabbed his clipboard and climbed out, trying to ignore the foul mood still percolating in his system. There were only two explanations for what had happened the night before. Either he’d been given the wrong phone number or someone in the godawful blue house was a phone-sex operator. He prayed it was the former, because he’d never been so aroused just by a woman’s voice before and knowing she wasn’t anything like he’d imagined pissed him off. The outright manipulation was why Don had never and would never pay for phone sex.

He’d just made it to the top of the driveway, when a loud slamming noise broke through the sky and startled him. Brows creased, he followed the continuous racket around the side of the house and through the open gate into the backyard. Don paused, his shielded gaze drinking in the five-foot-nothing woman going at the exterior wall of an obvious DIY mudroom sticking off the back of the house–yet another eyesore–with a sledgehammer. It had to weigh twice as much as she did. Ninety percent of her belonged to the sun-kissed legs sticking out of her tiny denim shorts topped with a fitted tank under an unbuttoned dress shirt rolled halfway up her arms. Her medium brown hair was naturally curly and pulled up into a ponytail at the back of her head.

When she lifted the hammer to take another swing, Don couldn’t stop himself from intervening. Honestly, he would’ve been the world’s worst citizen if he didn’t step in for both her and the house’s sake.

“Whoa, you don’t want to do that,” he approached her with his hand held out, like she was a wild horse. “You’re going to break your arms, before you ever damage that wall.”

She gave a little start, her hazel eyes growing wide behind her safety glasses. At least she’d had the brains to use them and the gloves covering her hands.

“I’m gonna damage your face if you don’t tell me who you are and what the hell you’re doing on my property,” she threatened.

Her voice was honey rich, with enough smokey rasp underlining it to have Don reevaluating his previous stance on phone-sex operators. Because, if the petite juggernaut wasn’t the same Delta Simone he’d spoken to the night before, then he’d trade his tool belt in for one of those nifty white jackets that buckles in the back.

“I’m the contractor,” he stated deliberately, watching her like a hawk for any kind of reaction. “And I’m looking for Mr. Dru Simmons.”

It had been harder to say than he liked. The idea of her being Mrs. Dru Simmons had a hard knot forming in his gut that messed with his head after the things she’d put his body through the night before.

She gave him a smirk that would’ve crushed the ego of another man. “Yeah, and I’m looking for Mr. Drew Barrymore.”

“You’re Dru Simmons?” He was more relieved than surprised, which was a bad thing because it meant she was his potential client and Don never mixed business with pleasure. Ever.

“Look, are you the foreman Don Masters sent or what?” she asked, impatient.

“No,” he smiled. “I am Don Masters.”

The hammer dropped to the ground with a thud and she leaned it against her stomach to peel the gloves off first, then the safety glasses. She was even more attractive with bare hands, devoid of any wedding rings.

“I know Donald Masters,” she stated. “You’re not him.”

It wasn’t the first time he’d gotten that response from old customers of his father’s. They didn’t look anything alike. Don had taken after his mother in every way, from his black hair to his Irish green eyes and a smile that many claimed came straight from the fae; as equally charming as it was mischievous.

“Donald Masters is my father,” he said. “I’m Donovan. Donovan Masters.”

And you’re Delta Simone.

The tiniest jump of nerves in her eyes confirmed what he’d already suspected. It was completely unprofessional. It would break every single one of his own rules. But he would prove her secret identity before he was done with the job. He simply had to. She’d tossed that gauntlet at his feet the moment she’d answered the phone in a way specifically designed to get him all hot and bothered against his will. It wasn’t just a challenge, it was justified dues.



Maybe I should put a word limit on this challenge, I’m just getting worse! LOL When I thought of noise, I immediately thought of construction, which reminded me of this little gem buried deep, deep in the dusty archives of my “story ideas” waiting for me to do something with it. So, I took it out and thought of all the ways I could build on it for today’s post. My original plan was the opposite, having Dru waking up to the racket of construction and going outside to complain about the noise, but this works even nicer, I think. 🙂

#SongLyricSunday ♫ “Ashes” – Celine Dion


Hi all, don’t forget to stop by Helen’s blog, This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time to join in the fun or check out all of the other song picks for today! I know I just included this in my “Top 12 Things I Learned From Watching Deadpool 2” post last week, but the song is too fitting for today’s theme, so I had to share it again.

This week’s theme is: Soul

Everyone knows who Celine Dion is and this song is no less of an inspirational masterpiece than the rest of her tracks – BUT, for those who don’t already know, it is the theme song for Deadpool 2 – which is why the video is both beautifully moving and quite humorous. It’s a good combination to kick off your Sunday, right? 😀 (p.s. you won’t understand the high heels unless you’ve seen the movie, but trust me, it’s funny.) Enjoy!

What’s left to say?
These prayers aren’t working anymore
Every word shot down in flames

What’s left to do with these broken pieces on the floor?
I’m losing my voice calling on you

‘Cause I’ve been shaking
I’ve been bending backwards till I’m broke
Watching all these dreams go up in smoke

Let beauty come out of ashes
Let beauty come out of ashes
And when I pray to God all I ask is
Can beauty come out of ashes?

Can you use these tears to put out the fires in my soul?
‘Cause I need you here, woah

‘Cause I’ve been shaking
I’ve been bending backwards till I’m broke
Watching all these dreams go up in smoke

Let beauty come out of ashes
Let beauty come out of ashes
And when I pray to God all I ask is
Can beauty come out of ashes?

Can beauty come out of ashes?


Songwriters: Jordan Smith / Patrick Martin / Tedd Tjornhom
Lyrics found on Google
Ashes – Deadpool 2 Motion Picture Soundtrack lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Fox Music, Inc

I do not own any rights to this song, lyrics or video. All rights remain with the artists and their respective agents. No copyright infringement intended.


Top 12 Things I Learned From Watching Deadpool 2


Yes, 12. It’s the second movie so we have to add 2 to the previous 10, right? Good enough, just go with it…Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve only ever seen the “Super Duper” extended cut on Blu-Ray, so you might be missing some unimportant, yet hilarious scenes! It’s time for another round with our favorite Merc With A Mouth, so here is that handy-dandy warning I stole from the first movie’s post…

Warning: This post is about Deadpool. Take everything you know to be inappropriate and multiply it by the number of pock marks in Wade Wilson’s face.

Okay, moving on. The top 12 things I learned from watching Deadpool 2 are:

#12: The 4 other senses will NOT get heightened after blindness if you have a previous cocaine addiction, which means you should probably not own any lethal weapons or shack up with an anti-hero who takes pleasure in tormenting you. Unless your plan is to give him the best pep talk in cinematic history that leads to him making several attempts on his own life after consuming your entire hidden stash of cocaine. On second thought, I think this one is just: Don’t do cocaine.


#11: Be modest. You can have a blockbuster hit without anyone knowing it has an ALL-STAR cast. Viewers, keep your eyes peeled for these surprise cameos and roles: Bill Skarsgard, Brad Pitt, Terry Crews, Rob Delaney, Matt Damon, James MacAvoy (Professor X), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Evan Peters (Quicksilver), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler) and of course, Stan Lee’s giant picture on the side of a building. Post credit cameos are Hugh Jackman (not really), Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool (not a typo) and baby Adolf Hitler – okay, fine that one doesn’t count.

#10: Foreshadowing can be an important tool. Especially when the punchline is delivered in the very next scene! (p.s. washing your hands isn’t always as sanitary as you think.)


#9: Always tip your cabdriver. You never know when they’re going to make the world a better place.


#8: Prison Wallet. And now I can’t unlearn it. I really, really want to unlearn it.


#7: Meta is Betta. When you’re a character who is fully aware of the fact that you’re a character in a superhero universe, you don’t just get to continuously break the 4th wall, but reference other superheroes, universes, character’s other roles and movies so frequently its makes up 60% of your dialogue. Try counting them all when you watch the movie! Now, which of you gets this reference?


#6: There is a 5th wall. It’s called the opening credits, and it can be broken by editing them to read like the collective voice of the audience – which is even funnier than using them to make fun of your previous film failures.


#5: It’s all about atmosphere. No one can argue that music makes work more enjoyable, so make sure you’ve got your Dolly Parton and Enya tracks handy for those really tough days.


#4: Follow-through is key. Continuing references and jokes made in the first movie by actually acting them out in the second should be another industry standard. Especially, backing up the threats you make on your own lives.


#3: Canadians stick together. That’s why Celine Dion is singing the opening theme song for Deadpool 2… it certainly has nothing to do with the multi-billion dollar success of the first film, that’s purely coincidental.


#2: Timing is everything. A laugh mid-sentence can be funnier than any punchline. Ever.

#1: Keep your options open. You can pretty much go in any direction with a plot, when your opening line is “Fuck Wolverine.”


And there you have it, friends – all of the important things we should take away from this culturally significant film. A couple bonus items I’d like to add:

Bonus 1: When filming movie trailers, make sure to include super stars you insulted in the movie. Trust me, it works. 😉


Bonus 2: A picture may be worth a thousand words, but nothing beats the real thing.

And now your life is complete. You’re welcome. 🙂

Not-so-little fineprint: I took these pictures, GIFs and videos off the internet without any intention of infringing upon anyone’s copyrights, so if you’d like me to take them down just ask and I will do so immediately. Thanks!


#RocktoberMusicFest ♪ “Nothing Else Matters” – Metallica

I usually say I’m the daughter of a musician, because my dad can play different instruments – BUT – first and foremost, I’m the daughter of a guitarist. Acoustic, electric, steel, ukulele, banjo, dad can jam on just about anything with strings.

You have to watch him at family BBQ’s, though. This is where he likes to sneak the banjo out and pick the creepy chords from Deliverance.

“Oh c’mon, it’s funny.”
“You’re scaring the neighbors.”
“I know, that’s why it’s funny.”

Yep, my twisted sense of humor is all natural, folks, what can I say? 😉

And my dad’s one of those musicians who can play by ear, too, the brat. He doesn’t need sheet music like the rest of us. Growing up with the sound of live guitar music definitely influenced my love for the instrument and there are certain songs where the guitar will instantly cut right through the fabric of my reality, put me in a trance and I’m a slave to it for life. It will always have that power over me, even years later.

Metallica is known for their guitar rifts and intros, it’s one of their trademarks, so it’s not easy to pick a song that demonstrates that better than the rest. And I know, I totally picked a “girly” song from the lot, but you just stick around and I’ll show you some real girly metal [insert evil grin here]. This is my Metallica Guitar Song, the one that did me in from the first note. (Fade to Black is a very close second.) Enjoy!

Man, I totally forgot how bad I used to crush on Lars back in the day…*sigh*

I do not own any rights to this song, lyrics or video. All rights remain with the artists and their respective agents. No copyright infringement intended.

♫♪ Rocktober Musicfest is hosted by Mary B. at Jingle, Jangle, Jungle. Check out her website if you’d like to join the event. There’s no restriction against joining after October 1st or limit/requirement to how many times you have to post for the month. It’s really easy and fun! ♪♫

Rocktober (600)

Don’t forget to click the linky link to check out all the other great picks for today!

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The Hot Seat 🔥 Olivia Chandler

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Greetings and welcome to The Hot Seat! This is a program where I get to take our favorite Heroes and Heroines and put them in the hot seat for some much desired insights and a bit of fun trivia. Results are bound to vary!

My guest today is Olivia Chandler from the Women’s Fiction (I would also say Romance): “In the Best Interest of The Child” and the highly anticipated sequel coming soon, “In The Best Interest of The Child: Family Matters” by Felicia Denise.

AC: Thank you for being here today, Olivia, I know you’re a very busy woman.

(Olivia waves)

Let me set the scene here, audience, Miss Chandler doesn’t think she’s the knock out of the courtroom, but I think a certain someone would disagree. At 5’7″, she has light brown eyes, long black hair and loves adding a pop of cheerful color to her business ensembles. It’s royal purple today.

AC: Okay, let’s get started. Olivia can you tell us a little about yourself? Where you’re from and how you ended up in Spring Falls, Minnesota as a child advocate attorney?

OC: I was a foster care kid. My family was in a car accident when I was a kid. My daddy was killed. My mom was, er… well, she was unable to care for me anymore. Having no other family, there was only one place for me to go… hell on earth. As it turns out, there was an inheritance from my daddy when I aged out of the foster care system. I went to college and became a child advocate attorney to keep children from going through the hell I did. (Looks down and lowers her voice) I wish it weren’t the case, but a lot of the abuse and neglect I went through is still with me.

AC: That must’ve been tough, Olivia, I’m sorry. I’m sure that didn’t make it easy to form any kind of relationship. What’s your view on romantic laiasons?

OC: I didn’t believe in them. What was the point? You allow someone into your heart… and they leave. Then I met Bruce. I don’t think that way anymore, but it’s still not easy to let someone in.

AC: Very understandable, but I’m curious, what was your first impression of Bruce?

OC: I thought Bruce was this huge annoying flirt. And adorable!

AC: Do you think Bruce has changed your previous views on relationships then, or confirmed them?

OC: Oh, he’s definitely changed them! I never saw relationships in my future and this big, brawny guy comes along and bumrushes his way into my life. (Flashes a big grin) I’m so glad he did. He’s so loving. Bruce taught me how to love.

AC: (grins right along with Olivia) Yes, he’s quite the charmer! Would you label yourself a social butterfly, family gal, career-oriented or a little of each?

OC: Career-oriented because of what I do. My actions directly impact a child’s future and I do not take that responsibility for granted, so it takes up a lot of my time. But… um, I would like to be a family gal too. I didn’t grow up with family and am lacking in family bonding skills, but Bruce’s gigantic tribe of a family are teaching me.

AC: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

OC: My past.

AC: You strike me as a very driven woman. What would you say your biggest mission or goal is in life?

OC: To keep children in homes where they’re loved and nurtured.

AC: That’s quite a commendable mission to have. If Bruce were sitting here, what do you think he’d say your best quality is and would you agree with him?

OC: He admires my passion for my work and my compassion for those less fortunate. I can’t say if agree or disagree. Would I be the same person without the childhood I had? My ‘qualities’ were shaped by circumstances. Not sure if that counts.

AC: I think it does, but we’ll move onto something a little more fun. Like compatibility in those spicier parts of a relationship. How would you describe your ideal lover?

OC: (grins real big) I had no clue until I met Bruce. I never had true relationships. More like friends-with-benefits and hook-ups. I didn’t allow myself to feel anything for my partners… they weren’t going to be around long enough.

Then… Bellamy. He’s giving… always putting me first. He’s playful, he doesn’t have that macho thing going on. There’s no dominating or submission… just mutual surrender.

AC: If Bruce could seduce you with his culinary skills, what dish would be the one to have you eating out of his hands hands, per se?

OC: Bellamy can make a Chicken Pot Pie that would upset most grandmothers! Light, flaky crust, tender chicken, veggies with just enough crunch. He totally kills it!

AC: (note to self, get recipe from Bruce when he comes in for his interview…) So, do you play any instruments, or sing? What kind of music do you listen to?

OC: I play a little piano and my singing is best left in the shower! I love orchestrations and arrangements – full orchestras and bands… no synthesized music. I like women with power voices like Anita Baker, Freda Payne, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Marilyn McCoo, Melissa Manchester, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Adele, Tamia, Kelly Clarkson and old Mariah Carey. Not a fan of the kittenish, trying-to-stay-young Mariah. (Laughs) And I can tell by your face you’re wondering how I know a few of them, but my parents loved music. The clearest memories I have of our family life is the music.

AC: (smiles brightly) We have that in common. Fans are dying to know: Do you have any hidden tattoos or piercings?

OC: Nope!

AC: What’s the #1 item on your Bucket List?

OC: To drive a race car! And know what? Bellamy used to race cars! I see this happening… if he can get past worrying about me getting hurt.

AC: Now, that would be fun! If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

OC: The Ionian Islands off the coast of Greece. Trust me, I will get there!

AC: Outside of Bruce, who are the most important people in your life?

OC: Willis Benson, executor of my father’s estate, who fought for my inheritance even when he didn’t know where I was and Margot Schultz, my office manager… and friend.

AC: I love Margot. What is your greatest regret?

OC: I’d rather not answer that, AC, if you don’t mind.

AC: Of course not. How about one of your guilty pleasures, instead?

OC: A big pitcher of Cranberry-Lime Mojitos and several hours of black and white movies pre-1960. I love them all – the gangster flicks, war movies, musicals… and the love stories. ‘An Affair to Remember’ is my favorite.

AC: What is the one thing in this world you would never do?

OC: Turn my back on a child. Any child. I know what it feels like to… to feel worthless, unimportant, and unloved. I will never do that to a child.

AC: Are you keeping a secret? Can you share it with us, we won’t tell?

OC: (Laughs) No, I learned my lesson about secrets. But I do believe Bellamy has one. He doesn’t want me to sell my house, but keeps talking about us ‘living together’…so we’ll see.

AC: (tries not to squeal like a fangirl) What would you do to win the heart of Bruce Bellamy?

OC: That’s just it, AC, I didn’t have to do anything. Since the day we met, he’s known who I was inside… even when I didn’t. He said I made his heart restless and hungry. (Grins brightly again) Isn’t that hot? I was damaged and he still wanted me. He once told me love doesn’t heal everything, but it can hold you up while you heal. (Looks down at her hands) I don’t know where I’d be without Bruce. It only took acceptance on my part to get him, but I’d fight the devil himself to keep Bruce.

AC: I’d second that, Miss Chandler, he’s definitely one worth fighting for! (Turns to audience) Thank you for being with us today and if you haven’t grabbed your copy of “In The Best Interest of The Child”, please take the opportunity to do so now with the link below. It’s everything you could hope for in a book and then some; real, emotional, hilarious, charming, heartfelt, steamy and best yet, there’s more to come!




Severely injured in an accident that forever changed her life, 10-year-old Olivia becomes another faceless, underserved child in foster care. With no time to mourn or grieve, the young girl is easy prey for uncaring social workers and ambivalent foster families.

Olivia quickly learns to hold her tongue and mask her emotions. Even when exposed to neglect, bullying, and assault, no one seems to care. Holding fast to the teachings of her late father, Olivia ages out of the system broken, but no longer a victim.

Now a successful child advocate attorney, Olivia is a passionate voice for children. However, a routine case assignment by the court plunges Olivia back into the trauma of her childhood. If she doesn’t face her demons, a child will be sent into foster care, and Olivia will lose the only chance at love she’s ever had…or wanted.

Foster care for her young client is not an option. But Olivia’s emotional scars run even deeper than she realized. Reconciling with her past means Olivia must confront the one woman she blames for her battered soul.

A woman who has no idea who Olivia is.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!


Also Available in Print!

My Review ♥ Free, a novella

Free_full cover


My Review

Title: Free, a novella
Author: Felicia Denise
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Length: Novella
Rating: 5 ‘s

I first started reading “Free” on Felicia Denise’s website and like all of her readers, I was captured, pulled right into the highs and lows of the main character’s story. Lennie and her memories are so real, I felt as if she’d taken me by the hand so I could walk beside her, a silent witness to the ‘walk-through’ of her life. I was so happy when the author decided to turn this into a novella and even more thrilled with the promise for more!

Though shorter than I wanted it to be, don’t let the size of this *Ahem* prequel, fool you. It is cleverly stuffed to the point of overflowing with emotions; good, bad, ugly and joyful. So, stick some Kleenex in your pocket, grab a glass of wine and meet Lennie on the threshold of the Porter House on Linden Lane, because this is not a read. It’s an experience.

Lenore ‘Lennie’ Porter is every woman. She’s not perfect or overly flawed, she’s just human. A loving daughter, supportive wife, successful entrepreneur and dedicated mother. Her story is all about the joys, hardships, tragic loses, mistakes, fears, illnesses, frights and turning points that brought her to the present. Simultaneously, it’s about those little moments within the bigger ones, that become the linchpins of future outcomes. Those moments of regret, revelations, tough choices and self-honesty.

The memories she shares are full of family bonds, endearing friends, and a cowardly bully of a husband. Most revolve around her three sons and range from laugh-out-loud humorous, to heartwarming, to downright heart-wrenching.

I honestly can’t say much more without completely spoiling it, but if you are a reader who enjoys learning all about another’s life through their eyes, then you will love Free! This is not a romance – though, I am really, really hoping that will come next – and it’s certainly not a fairytale. This is one woman’s journey back to self, through the realistic obstacles life throws in her way. Or perhaps, it’s merely the beginning of a discovery of the woman she’s hoping to become…I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

In a final note about this novella, I can’t end without expressing that Felicia Denise’s style is such that even her antagonists don’t get to just exit stage left without evoking some kind of empathy from her readers. To take a clear picture of bad and turn it into something a little more human is sly, underhanded and brilliant. It’s a true talent to nudge the emotional table off center for the reader with such a brief insight. Yet, in less than a page, it happened. You’ll just have to read it to believe me!

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I confess, I’m always on the look out for new British artists to fall in love with, but I wasn’t on the hunt when I found Anne-Marie. I love Sean Paul and hadn’t heard anything new from him in forever, so when I saw his name tagged to this music video by Clean Bandit, of course I had to watch it! The song, “Rockabye” also featured Anne-Marie, who’d I’d never heard of before and whom I never in a million years would’ve pegged as being British. She has a very Island sound and style – Bahamian, not British Isles.

A little research turned up that she wasn’t new to the music scene at all, but had done quite a bit with the English band, Rudimental, prior to going solo for a second time – and having it pay off in major ways. Along with all of her hit singles, she also toured with Ed Sheeran, so you can only imagine the kind of exposure that brought her. They have a list of behind the scenes videos from that tour that are definitely worth a watch – quite entertaining!

I couldn’t choose a video for this post, but instead found a live performance of Anne-Marie that covers three of my favorite songs by her – which is why I’ve included this preamble, rather than lyrics. I also included a hilarious video of her calling a list of fans who won a contest surrounding the release of her hit single, “Alarm.” Enjoy! 🙂

I do not own any rights to these videos, songs or lyrics. All rights remain with the artists and their respective agents. No copyright infringement intended.

Fun little fact I just learned. My favorite song by Anne-Marie is “Karate” and according to Wikipedia, she has not only been practicing Shotokan since she was little, she’s won a handful of Gold and Silver medals in a few major Karate competitions. Talk about being multi-talented! #Respect


Top 10 Things I Learned From Watching Deadpool



OMG, I’m FREE… for now. Just wrapped up excessive copy editing, so I’m looking forward to getting back to actually writing and Camp NaNo starting on Saturday! To celebrate, I’m going crazy fun with this post – which means, it’s not for kids. In fact, it’s not even for most adults, so here’s that pesky advisory thingy:

Warning: This post is about Deadpool. Take everything you know to be inappropriate and multiply it by the number of pock marks in Wade Wilson’s face.


Top 10 Things I Learned From Watching Deadpool

#10: Unicorns are sexy. Just look at that phallic shaped growth standing fully erect in the center of their foreheads… Wade couldn’t keep his eyes off it. Wonder if he was thinking about Spidey…? Awwww, the one-sided bromance lives on.



#9: Despite being trapped for an entire fight sequence in the same machine that rendered Wade Wilson “unf**kable” in a matter of seconds, Vanessa never even gets so much as a zit. Apparently, it only works on men’s skin. Maybe they should moisturize more often?



#8: Masks that convey facial expressions should be the new industry standard.


#7: Giant superheroes comprised of indestructible metal with a voice like the Terminator, can, indeed, have their man cards revoked.



#6: Rigor Mortis is instantaneous when handcuffs are involved.



#5: You can actually pay for a cab ride with high-five’s, multiple times, as long as you first give the driver the worst relationship advice possible that ends in an accidental fatality. Otherwise, they bill you later.


#4: Negasonic Teenage Warhead is the absolute number one, record-breaking, top of the charts superhero name EVER invented and the person responsible should be promoted to the top of the Fantastic 4 franchise, because they’re now the only one’s who have the cool-power to possibly redeem what little respectable face Fox studios managed to leave our poor superheros after defiling them with their…Foxfuckidness.


#3: Best friends can be royal dicks.


#2: Knowing how to spell is crucial to every punchline.


#1: “O, Canada!” can be conveniently turned into a swear word when one is in pain, and would simultaneously offend an entire nation, if it hadn’t in fact been issued by a Canadian actor portraying a Canadian character. Nice save, Ryan!


Ooh, speaking of America vs. Canada – Given all we know about our own stereotypes – you know, how Canadians are super nice and Americans are like that one kid you never want your kids to play with… Why is it that we have someone like Captain America and they get Deadpool? Is this the mysterious balance in the Force Yoda’s always going on about?


Whew! That was a lot of pent up inappropriateness… guess it’s time to write another Hell on Earth novella! 😀

Not-so-little fineprint: I took these pictures off the internet without any intention of infringing upon anyone’s copyrights, so if you’d like me to take them down just ask and I will do so immediately. Thanks!



And we’re back for week 4 of building our book tacos. Check out the original post HERE for what this is all about and how you can join in. Remember, it’s never too late, just leave a pingback in the comments so I can read your post! Now, for the next layer…

Writing Menu

Cheese: Share a scene where one of your characters interacts with some kind of camera, photograph or video for any reason. If there are none, then share one of their funniest moments or dialogue pieces.

Pulling his classic beauty into the parking lot of Shades Soirée, Matt eyed the modern building with scrutiny. “Looks high end,” he remarked, as they climbed out. “Not very busy, though.”

He counted a total of five cars on their way to the entrance, which was locked.

“Nightclub only,” Zach tapped the smoky glass to the left of the doors displaying the club’s hours of operation.

“We only need to talk to staff right now, anyway.”

They found the service entrance for deliveries around the left side of the building and pressed the call button.

“Yeah?” A male voice crackled over the intercom a second later.

“MCPD, is there a manager on site?” Matt asked.

Silence followed. Zach elbowed him and thrust his chin upward. “Smile.”

Matt pulled his badge off his belt and stuck it right into the camera lens. “Cheese.”

~ Shades Soirée (Matron City Trilogy #2)

Readers Menu

Cheese: Name a favorite book/series that had to do with photography, acting, reporting or any other camera-related theme – OR – where the humor was so off the charts you found yourself ‘cheesing’ through 90% of it.

CoverNakedInDeathJDRobbI either can’t recall or have never actually read a book where the main character or theme dealt with cameras. However, one of my favorite series, the In Death series by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) has a sub-character who makes an appearance or two in almost every book, because she’s the only reporter the main character, Eve Dallas, trusts. Not only is Nadine Furst a memorable supporting character, her and Eve’s banter is always humorous, so I think that qualifies.

If you haven’t ventured into Nora Roberts’ alter ego, J.D. Robb, with her In Death series, I highly recommend it. You get the same amazing writing style she’s known for with a lot more edge, steamier sex scenes and a full cast of characters you’ll fall head over heels for. If you like crime novels, murder mysteries and endless snarky banter, these are definitely books for you. Although each novel is a stand alone, and each homicide case is different, I highly recommend starting from the beginning with Naked In Death, because the series deals with the same characters, whose lives and relationships continue to evolve with each new book.

Don’t forget – If you’re reading this, you’re officially tagged!


Next week’s ingredient: Lettuce!

Lettuce for the writer: Anytime money was used, stolen, given, exchanged or was otherwise the main topic of conversation in a significant way.

Lettuce for the reader: Share a favorite book/series where money played a significant role in dialogue, the story line, or was used as a thrilling plot twist. (The more unique the situation, the bigger the cool points).

Life After? Blogs…



It’s strange to think about how quickly the PC has advanced in such a short time.  I remember writing everything by hand, waiting for the mailman, reading paperback novels and visiting with my friends face-to-face.

We weren’t allowed to leave the house without a quarter in our pocket for a payphone, in case of an emergency.

I used to spend days and nights with my nose in a book, or frantically scribbling away in one of the thousands of notebooks still stored in a Rubbermaid container.  We had a Brother Word Processor once, it was like the next best thing to sliced bread, because you could switch out the ‘font’ wheels and save everything on a floppy disk.  Well, about 4 MB of data, anyway.

I own a typewriter. Still.

So what would I do, if there were no computers?

The same thing I did before there were computers.  I would live less vicariously, see my friends and family more often, get more fresh air. I’d really miss the humorous Meme’s and talking regularly with family in Wales with no International calling fees… Genealogy research would be a lot more difficult and spendy, I would definitely miss the ease that Ancestry and Family Search has provided with digitizing records.

Also, since my novels are only sold in eBook format, I’m not sure I’d be a published author anymore, so I may have to start from scratch… track down a literary agent and pay more of my royalties to a traditional print house.  That wouldn’t be very ideal, but it could happen, and that’s the point…

Things might be less convenient, but Life could and would still happen without computers, tablets, cellphones, etc.  It was happening 20 years ago without them and strangely, the world did not end because our BFF couldn’t get a hold of us to tell us about what she’d overhead that girl from Chem saying about the guy we were crushing on right away in a text, snapchat, KIK or Tweet.. she called my house phone and left a message on my answering machine to call her back ASAP – which was HOURS later – and we survived.  True story.