Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Spot Writers present...RC Bonitz!


Today's contribution to the Spot Writers comes from RC Bonitz, 
author of sweet contemporary love stories A LITTLE BIT OF 
BLACKMAIL and  A BLANKET 
FOR HER HEART. 
Next week's story will be by Val Muller, author of FOR WHOM MY
HEART BEATS ETERNAL, a sci-fi 
romance, and CORGI CAPERS: 
DECEIT ON DORSET DRIVE, a mystery novel for young readers.
Check out our blogs at the end of this 
story. You'll also be hearing 
from Jessica and Cathy soon.
A June Weekend Afternoon   
by RC Bonitz
She watched him come down the street, gliding along with an easy 
ground-eating stride. Before she could see his face clearly he'd
caught her attention. The guy looked interesting. Rising from the chair, Gail Mason moved to the steps of the porch and sat down on the top one.
One house away now, his features were becoming clear. He was one 
good-looking guy. And he'd seen her, she could tell. Her heart skipped a beat. He hadn't slowed or given any sign of changing 
direction-which meant he'd walk right by her pretty quick. Darn, she
should have opened a button or two on her shirt before she sat down.
In front of her now, he stopped. "Hi. Do you know where Eileen Ryan
lives?"
Oh crap. Another of Eileen's boyfriends. "Across the street. Two
houses down."
"The white house with black shutters?"
"That's it."
He grinned. "Are you a friend of hers?"
Was she a friend? Mostly. Except when Eileen moved in on her 
boyfriends, which she seemed to like to do lately. "Yeah, I am. I guess."
"You don't know?"
"Of course I know. Who are you?"
"Chris. Who are you?"
"Gail.'
"Nice to meet you."
"Her boyfriend's there now." No need to be snarky. The poor guy 
probably had no idea.
"Oh? Okay."
"You don't seem too upset. I'd say he's got the jump on you."
"I'd say I'm ahead."
Gail smiled. "You certainly are an optimist."
"Realist, actually. I'm the one closest to home."
She frowned, not sure what he meant.
He stepped to the porch and offered a handshake. "I work with Eileen. She's been telling me about this neighbor she has. A very pretty gal, who's 
been keeping her busy breaking up her dates with other guys."
"What?" she gasped.
"Are you going to shake my hand or not? I'll put it down if you won't."
She took his hand and felt him squeeze, not terribly hard, but definitely strong. And warm.
"That's good. Now, I'm Chris Butler. You're Gail Mason and I'm supposed to ask you to dinner tonight at Eileen's house."
"She sent for you?"
"Yeah. Isn't that cool?"
"I don't know. I do pretty well getting my own dates. Except she messes them up."
"Yeah, that was her plan."
She stared at him, her heart thudding in her chest. He was darn cute. 
And he seemed very nice. And she had liked him from a distance.
"What are you talking about?"
He broke out in a zillion dollar smile. "She says we're made for each 
other."
"Oh God! And you believed her?"
"I figured it was worth checking out. I'd say she's got good taste."
"Oh."
"What do you say? Dinner at Eileen's? And a movie, just the two of
us?"    


The Spot Writers- our members.
Catherine A. MacKenzie
Jessica Degarmo
RC Bonitz
Val Muller

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Spot Writers Present...Me!


This is an excerpt from Historically Yours, the second book in my Johns Creek Second Chances series. The Storm Within, the first in the series, is available now, and the second will be published later this year by Taylor Street Publishing.

On impulse, Chloe stopped by the grocery store and picked up a little pound cake to take to her irascible neighbor. She had no idea if it would work, but it was worth a try. The way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, right? And sometimes, being nice worked much better than being rude. He couldn’t hate her if she didn’t give him a reason to, could he? A small piece of her subconscious demanded to know why she couldn’t just avoid him, but she chose not to answer it, not because she didn’t know, she assured herself, but because she was just being neighborly, and there was nothing wrong with that.

She peeked into his office window and saw him bowed over his desk, seemingly concentrating on some invoices. She knocked on his office door and waited for the maelstrom. The door opened and Chase scowled when he saw here there. “What the hell do you want? One tongue-lashing a day isn’t good enough for you?” he growled, glaring at her.

“Nope. You could say I’m glutton for punishment. I brought you something. Sorry I didn’t bake it, but I’ve been a little busy in my kitchen. It’s not quite ready for culinary works of art yet,” she informed him.

“You can take your cake and go right back where you came from.”

“That’s not very neighborly of you, neighbor,” she said with a grin.

“Yeah, well, if I had my way, we wouldn’t be neighbors.”

“You know, you’re very cranky.”

A chuckle shot out of his mouth before he could control it. “You’re the first person who’s said that,” he admitted.

“Hmm, so everyone else just thought it, then?” she returned, the picture of innocence.

“No, no one winds me up the way you do.”

“So, what does that tell you?” she asked pointedly.

“I still don’t want your cake or your company, Chloe,” he said firmly.

“Well, at least we’re on a first-name basis.”

“Why do you insist on harassing me?” he asked as a pained expression crossed his face.

“I was minding my own business that day when you barged into my house, remember? And again today at the library?” she asked teasingly, no trace of anger in her voice.

“I plead the Fifth.”

“Not going to help you. I have witnesses, you know.”

“Oh, yeah? Who?” he asked, mystified despite himself.

“About four hundred spiders, mice and dust bunnies, and all the wildlife that inhabits Front Street.”
He struggled to maintain a straight face. “Unreliable at best. They’re horrible on the witness stand.”

“I’m willing to take my chances. So, truce?” she asked, holding out the pound cake.

“Why do you want a truce?”

“Because I don’t like fighting, and I’m actually quite nice once you get to know me. Plus, I’ve had enough turmoil and drama to last me a lifetime, and I was hoping my new life here would be peaceful.” She smiled up at him beguilingly.

But it appeared he wasn’t going to let her off the hook so easily. He retorted, “So, you never told me why you decided to rope my brother into helping you.”

She sighed, the long-suffering sigh of someone used to dealing with idiots on a regular basis. “He came to me and offered to help. At this point, I’ll take all the help I can get. I’m all alone here, Chase, and I need help. I understand my being here isn’t convenient or pleasant for you, and I’m sorry for that. But I’m here to stay, and I’d appreciate it if you’d stop harassing me.”

His scowl deepened. “Listen, I’m sorry for your trouble, I really am, but where the hell else am I supposed to put my parking lot? The one I have is way too small for the store, and the townsfolk are complaining about the on-street parking. I need your lot to expand. I’m sorry if I can’t roll out the welcome mat for you. You’re in my way.”

“No, Chase. You’re in your own way. There’s always a solution, if you’re willing to look. And by the way, I don’t care if our ancestors fought like cats and dogs. That was the past, and this is the present. Let’s let bygones be bygones, shall we? I’ll stay out of your way, but you can’t keep giving me a hard time, alright? Enjoy the cake.”

She walked away and left him there holding her offering.

Next week, R.C. Bonitz is presenting some more flash fiction!

 The Spot Writers- our members. You can find our Thursday posts at any of the following blogs:

Catherine A. MacKenzie

Jessica Degarmo

 RC Bonitz

 Val Muller

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Spot Writers Present...Cathy MacKenzie!


Today’s flash fiction comes to us from Cathy MacKenzie. She has just published three new e-books: two collections of short stories, Liars and Other Strangers and Love, with a Slice of Lemon; and a flash fiction collection entitled A Little Bit of FLASH - Fiction, That Is. These books can be found on her Smashwords page at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/camack.

Next week’s story will be by me! Stay tuned!
***

The Face

While strolling through the mall, Carmen jerked back in shock at the glimpse of an image in the mirror. The person was someone she immediately recognized, but that individual had been dead for many years. She wished she hadn't missed that last eye appointment, because surely her eyes deceived her.
She peered again, tilting her head one way, then the other. She threw a faint smile at the reflection, before looking grim. Her hand smoothed down her unruly hair. She bared her teeth and scrunched her eyes and stared until the resemblance disappeared. Sanity returned when she finally gazed at herself. Even then, something seemed amiss, although she wasn't sure what.
After she finished her errands, she quickly exited through the back door. She did not want anyone to see her. She had to escape; there were too many mirrors hanging on endless walls and numerous glass doors bragging of more reflections. Self-observation was unavoidable no matter where she turned.
Without examining herself again, Carmen knew the other face had returned. She had caught another glimpse of that same face when passing by a second mirror, even though she pretended she hadn't noticed. She could not deny that no matter how she pictured herself, Carmen's mother, Bernice, who had passed on to eternal life many years previous, glared back at her.
Carmen did not want to test any more mirrors, understanding in an instant that mirrors don't lie, although, of course, that was something she should have known. She realized she could glance into a dozen mirrors of all different shapes and sizes, in numerous malls across the country, but she'd still look the same.
Age had crept upon her. Death lingered somewhere close.
The previously young Carmen - that face framed in her mind of how she thought she appeared to the world – had disappeared. She wondered in horror how the years had crept by before she was aware a life could slip away forever.

[This is an excerpt from Cathy's novel-in-progress, with the working title of Madness Takes Over, Sometimes. It also appears in her e-book of flash fiction.]

***

The Spot Writers- our members. You can find our Thursday posts at any of the following blogs:

Catherine A. MacKenzie

Jessica Degarmo

 RC Bonitz

 Val Muller

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Updates

Hello, everyone!
It's been a while since I've posted any sort of updates, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to let you all know what's going on in the World of Jessica L. Degarmo!

I'll be doing a reading at the Bradford County Library on July 9 at 7:00 pm. For more information, please go here: Bradford County Library-upcoming events. I hope to see you there!

I've recently finished the first draft of the next book in the Johns Creek Second Chances series. When I say recently, I mean an hour and a half ago. I'm excited! I'm devoting the rest of this month and next month to edit, and I'm hoping for a release by July or August. For those of you who might not know, The Storm Within is the first in the series. It takes place in a lovely little fictitious town called Johns Creek in Upstate New York. In the 1700s, Arthur Johns, a wheat miller, made the pilgrimage from England to the breadbasket colony of New York and set up a wheat mill there. The creek running through town became known as Johns Creek, and the town was named for the creek. Historically Yours, the second in the series, delves a bit deeper into the town's history and follows a Johns descendant named Chloe Johns McClain, a young divorcee who comes to Johns Creek to start over. Of course, it won't be easy, especially when she makes an enemy during her first day in town! Historically Yours...due out in 2012 from Taylor Street Publishing.

I'm also working on an unrelated novel that I'm rather excited  about, but I'm not going to get into any detail right now. All I'll say is that it's a psychological thriller, and I've got some great consultants helping me with my research. Stay tuned!

Really, as far as my writing goes, that's all there is to say at the moment. I'm busy as ever and doing way too many things at once, but if you know me at all, you'll know that's the way I like it. Never a dull moment.

I will say that I lost someone very special to me this past week, and his absence will be felt for a very, very long time. My 86 year-old grandfather, Elbert Allen, passed away on May 6. He was the coolest grandfather ever, very spunky and full of life, right up to the end. He used to come to my band gigs and he enjoyed getting a little tipsy and watching the younger women dance. He was a charmer, making women of all ages just fall all over themselves trying to talk to him, and I think half the nurses in the hospital wanted to take him home with them at the end of their shifts. He had a great sense of humor and always remembered to ask how each member of the family was whenever he'd see me.
I used to pick him up to take him places, like my mom's campsite, every once in a while, and it was always an adventure. He couldn't see worth anything, and since I had no idea where I was going, it was literally the blind leading the blind! He was so cute about it, and we always managed to get there in one piece.
When he was an infant, he was premature, so his mother used to stick him in the warming drawer of her oven to keep him warm. As he aged, he grew into a scrappy thing, and I was shocked to find out he was even in a few bar fights! I never would have thought it of my grandpa, but in his day, he was quite the scrapper!
He was a sailor in World War II.  He took pride in his naval career, judged a man by his handshake, and always told it like it was.

He was a great man. I just don't think they make them like him anymore.

Rest in peace, my wonderful Grandpa. It was a true honor knowing you, and better still, to be part of your family. Love you...


Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Spot Writers Presents...Val Muller!


Today’s flash fiction comes to us from Val Muller, the author of CORGI CAPERS: DECEIT ON DORSET DRIVE, a mystery novel for young readers and FOR WHOM MY HEART BEATS ETERNAL, a spicy sci-fi romance with a twist. This is a “deleted scene” from FOR WHOM MY HEART BEATS ETERNAL. In this scene, our protagonist Anna has been sent back in time—inadvertently—and must seek the help of her physics professor… forty years before he became the man who discovered time travel.

Next week's story will be by Cathy MacKenzie, who has self-published two books of poetry, "To Love a Grandmother" and "Poems of Inspiration and Love," which can be found at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/camack. She also appears in various anthologies, such as those published by Rebel Ink Press and Dancing With Bear Publishing. Visit her website (at end of this week's story) for more information on this author.


* * *
Look of Wonder
By Val Muller
Anna slumped back against the stiff couch. It was firm and hideously striped— mustard yellow and brown and something that might pass for green. It was just like her grandmother’s vintage couch from way back in the Seventies.
‘This is the Seventies,’ she told herself.
She stared across the coffee table at the young man sprawled on the shag carpet. His pants were ridiculously orange and ridiculously tight. She felt a blush of a thought and made herself look away.
‘This is your professor,’ she reminded herself. ‘He’s forty years older than you.’ But the twenty-two year old in front of her sure didn’t seem like it. She watched the way his brow raised as he examined the tablet. His eyes remained wide, amazed at what must be alien technology to him. She recognized the same intensity, that look of wonder, on the face of his modern-day counterpart back in the lab each time he stumbled upon something absolutely amazing.
The tablet screen beeped, and his amazement melted to fear. “I think I broke it,” he mumbled. “The data I was viewing just disappeared.” His face paled. “We needed that data… What if we can’t—what if I’ve trapped you here? I’d never be able to forgive myself.”
“The data’s probably still there,” Anna said. She stood up and took the tablet from his outstretched hand. Then she looked at the screen and smiled. “Here it is,” she said. It was just a matter of sliding around icons. But how could she even begin to explain to him about operating systems and apps? If he was going to find a way to send her home, she’d better try.
“Here,” she said, sliding on the floor next to him and getting ready to deliver a lecture on tablet technology. She slid her finger across the icons on the screen and started to explain. In the middle of her lecture she stole a glance at his face. He wasn’t looking at the tablet. He was looking into her face. And his eyes glowed with that sparkling intensity, that look of wonder—the way they always did when he was gazing upon something truly amazing.

The Spot Writers- our members. You can find our Thursday posts at any of the following blogs:
Catherine A. MacKenzie
http://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter
Jessica Degarmo
http://www.jessicadegarmo.com/
 RC Bonitz
http://www.rcbonitz.com
 Val Muller
http://www.valmuller.com/

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Welcome to the Spot Writers!

I'm honored today to bring to you a wonderful piece of flash fiction from my writer friend, R.C. Bonitz. A few of us have formed a flash fiction group, and we're very proud to present to you this first installment. Enjoy!


Welcome to the Spot Writers Club. Today is our first gift to you- a free read. We'll be posting stories to our blogs for your enjoyment every Thursday from now on. Today's contribution comes from RC Bonitz, author of A LITTLE BIT OF BLACKMAIL  and  A BLANKET FOR HER HEART.

Next week's story will be by Val Muller, author of FOR WHOM MY HEART BEATS ETERNAL, a sci-fi romance, and CORGI CAPERS: DECEIT ON DORSET DRIVE, a mystery novel for young readers.

Check out our blogs at the end of this story. You'll also be hearing from me and Cathy in the next few weeks.


This week's story has a special treat. It has a secret. If you're the first to guess what it is you'll win one of RC's books.

September Sunset   by RC Bonitz


Purple clouds and golden yellow light painted a glowing sunset as she leaned against the railing of the dock. She hugged herself against the chill of the September breeze. The other people on the dock ignored her, fishing and talking to each other as if she were a shadow in the falling darkness.
Never mind, she would not brood. So, her kid sister would be married Saturday. And her best friend tied the knot last month. She didn't need a guy, no way. Biological clock be damned. Of course, at thirty-three, she still had a chance.
A gust of wind whipped her hair around her head. She squeezed her collar tighter against the chill, but didn't move. Home had no appeal at the moment and she didn't mind the cold. She glanced at the plastic tub beside one of the fishermen and smiled. It held one tiny fish barely as long as her hand.
Something jerked her collar very hard and the tiniest prick of pain stabbed at her neck.
"Damn it," someone said on the other side of the dock.
She tried to turn, but that pain jabbed her neck again as another pull almost yanked her backwards. "Hey, what are you doing?"
"Oh crap, I'm sorry," the voice said.
The tug at her collar eased and she turned. The tip of a fishing rod poked her in the cheek. She jumped. That little jab in her neck stabbed her again, sharp and painful. "What are you doing? Trying to kill me?"
The guy just stood there, fishing rod in hand, his face shadowed by a hoodie in the fading light. "I'm sorry. My bad. Don't move, okay?"
She stared at him, then felt the little pricker thing poking at her neck. Reaching up to remove it, her arm tangled in a piece of fishing line. And the pricker thing stabbed her again. "Ouch. What happened? Am I hooked?"
"Let me see where you're caught. I'm so sorry. Just hold still," he said, and removing a knife from his belt, he cut the line.
"What are you doing?"
"Does it hurt a lot?"
"No, it's sort of like a pin prick."
He pushed back his hood and smiled. "That's good. The hook didn't go in very far." He stepped toward her, gathering up loose line, then used the knife to cut it away. Almost in her face, he stopped, stared at her for just a second, then put a very strong hand on her shoulder and turned her around. "I'll have you free in a minute."
He stood behind her, moving her hair about, then tugging at her jacket and brushing ever so lightly the skin of her neck. She shivered.
"I'm sorry. My hands are cold. What's your name?"
"Maggie. What's yours?"
"Dan. I owe you a new jacket."
"What? This is my favorite coat."
"You're bleeding a little too." He crossed the dock to a ratty looking tacklebox.
"I'm bleeding? What did you do?"
"I screwed up making a cast and hooked you," he said, returning with a Band-Aid.
"Oh great."
His fingers went to her neck again, carefully applying the Band-Aid.
"Have you had a tetanus shot lately? You better play it safe."
"Oh great," she said, the words barely a whisper. He had such great eyes and he looked so concerned.
"Actually, I think it is."
"What?"
"We'll have to go shopping together for your jacket. And I'll have to make sure you get a tetanus shot. So, if you'll forgive me, I think this will be just fine." He gave her the sweetest smile.
The Spot Writers- our members.

Catherine A. MacKenzie

Jessica Degarmo

RC Bonitz

Val Muller

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

And the winner is...

Emma!







Thanks to all of you who shared, posted, commented and liked! I appreciate it more than you'll ever know.You guys, my superfans, are the reason I continue to write. Thank you so very much for your support and kindness. I love you all!!!!

Hugs,
Jess