Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wednesday Briefs - The Adored One 2


"Ha! Of course. God, please make me wake up from this nightmare!"

"God has other plans for you," Philip said with a wide smile.

My heart skipped. It took a moment for my mouth to obey my mind. "P-pardon?" I stuttered.

Michael stood up and explained. "You died before your time, Trace. It was an accident."

"God doesn't make mistakes," I shot back with a sneer.

"Exactly," Philip said. "He planned this so that he might give you a wonderful opportunity. A quest of sorts."

I stood up and paced around the room. "Wait a minute. You're telling me that a teenager got drunk and plowed into my bike just so the almighty can give me a job? I liked the job I had, thank you very much! I slaved my ass—"

"Language, please," Philip reminded me.

I scowled and continued, "I slaved my backside off to earn that job and now you're telling me that all of that work was for nothing?"

"Of course it wasn't for nothing," Michael said sharply. "Your life has touched hundreds of people in ways you'll never know."

"Exactly. I'll never know 'cause I'm dead." I ran out of energy and fell down into my chair. When I bounced on a soft cushion, I gasped. My hard, wooden office chair had become a plush sofa.

Philip motioned for me to lay down. "Relax," he said calmly. I rolled my eyes but did as he asked. I stretched out on the soft fabric and looked at the angel. He took my hand and said, "You are truly special, Trace. God doesn't grant everyone this chance at becoming one of The Adored."

"I thought he adores everyone," I said.

Michael chuckled and said, "You're right. He loves everyone, but there are a group of his flock which are referred to as The Adored Ones."

"You mean angels?" I asked incredulously. "God wants me to be an angel?"

"That is his plan, yes," Michael answered. "But you must first do what he asks of you."

I raised an eyebrow. "And what does he ask?"

Philip produced a folder out of thin air and removed a photo. He handed it to me and asked, "Do you know this child?"

It was a school portrait of a young man. The features were familiar: deep blue eyes a little too close together, mousy brown hair, acne. Thin lips attempted to cover teeth held tight by braces, but failed and gave the youth a forlorn appearance. I went back to the eyes and thought for a moment before I said, "Oh, yeah! Max. This is Max Holton."

"Holbrook," Philip corrected. "That was his seventh grade yearbook photo."

"Wow. I haven't seen him since high school. I wonder what became of him."

Michael took the picture from me and said, "In three weeks' time, Max is going to commit suicide. It's your job to save him."

"Save him?" I cried. "How do you suggest I do that? Am I supposed to talk him down off a bridge? I'm afraid of heights."

Michael sighed. "You misunderstand us. You're not going back to your life to save Max three weeks from now."

"Then what's the plan? 'Cause you've lost me."

Philip smiled and asked, "How would you like to go back to high school?"

It took a moment for the words to filter through my foggy mind. When I understood that the Almighty meant to send me twenty-eight years back in time to change the trajectory of Max's life, I hit the roof. "No way!" I yelled, hopping up from the couch. "I'm not doing it! I survived the whole high school thing once, and that was one too many times. If you expect me to go back to doing homework and picking up my room—"

"We don't expect anything," Philip said. "He does. God would not ask this of you if he didn't know you could do it."

"Besides," Michael said. "There are benefits. You can do all of your homework with the knowledge of a forty-six year old mind. You've studied mathematics and economics, languages. You've already learned how to write proper college essays. Think of the advantages!"

I had to smile. "So God's going to let me cheat?"

"That's not the word I'd use, no," Philip replied with a frown. "It's simply a way to make it easier for you to carry out your task without having to worry about spending all of your time studying. You just have to make sure not to give any hints about the future."

"You make it sound easy," I mumbled, flopping back down onto the sofa. I began thinking about my eighteen year old self and my life since high school. One event stood out, and I hopped up from my seat again. "My dad!" I shouted. "The year I graduated from college, my father died from skin cancer. If he'd been tested sooner…"

Neither angel said anything; they glanced at each other, and then placidly back at me. My heart ached as I asked, "If I can get him to have a test, will I be able to save him? Please! Answer me!"

Philip swallowed and said, "I-I don't know."

"You don't know? Too bad! I'm doing it. If there's a way to save Dad, I'm taking it. Maybe I'll try and fix a lot of things I've done."

Philip grabbed my arm. "Listen, Trace. God is charging you only with saving Max. When and where that happens is unknown even to us."

"What does that mean?"

Michael straightened his coat and explained, "It means that any of your actions may be the catalyst for changing Max's life; it is known only to God. We do not know how long it will take. You may say something tomorrow that will inspire him to change, or it could be some interaction years down the road."

"Why does that scare me more than being dead?"


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Avery Dawes
Carol Pedroso
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Chris T. Kat
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Nephy Hart

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday Briefs - The Adored One 1


The clouds were dark, and thick with damp. Thunder crackled through the air, but it didn't cover the agonized shrieks of the angel as the feathers were plucked from his wings.

"No!" the angel pleaded. "Please, Father, I repent! Have mercy!"

His cries fell on deaf ears. He reached out to the other angels witnessing his punishment, but none of them came to his aid. Charles had committed the ultimate sacrilege, and was to be cast out of heaven and into hell. One by one, his smooth feathers were removed until he appeared more like a bat than an angel. Thin, brown skin covered the bones that flapped uselessly around him.

He fell to his knees and begged God, "Please, Father. I made a mistake."

"You are greedy," God said. "You had love. You were one of the adored. For years you have served me with all of your being. You have brought many souls of my children to my side. But now? A young man in the prime of his life is dead because you gave in to the devil's temptation!"

"I'm sorry. Please, I'm so very sorry."

Thunder clapped as God's anger intensified. He stood, towering over the stricken angel. "It is done. I strip you of your name as I stripped your wings. You will be known as Pentus. I cast you down into the pit, where you will serve as carnifex for eternity. While once you guided blessed souls to the heavens, you will now drag cursed souls to hell. Be gone from here!"

The ground beneath Pentus began to tremble. He looked down in panic, then quickly said, "I accept my punishment, but may I say one thing, Father?"

The trembling stopped and God nodded. Pentus said, "Tell Philip I will always love him. I know I've hurt him, but I'm sorry. Please, God, let him be happy when I'm gone."

A fissure opened beneath Pentus' feet. Unbearable heat and the rank smell of death blew up from the portal. Pentus shook with terror. He closed his eyes and stepped off the edge, crying out as he disappeared into the darkness.

God sat on his throne and wept.

In the garden, an angel with long, wavy, white-blond hair sat on a stone bench, covering his ears and whimpering. Although Charles' infidelity had hurt him beyond words, Philip had still hoped the father would show mercy. It wasn't to be. Philip couldn't imagine the torment Charles had endured, but he had heard it. Thunder and screams of anguish echoed around him, as the fallen angel was sent down. When the horrible sounds abruptly stopped, Philip felt as though his own heart had been cast into the pit.

Another angel approached him and touched his shoulder. "It is done," the dark-haired angel told Philip gently. "He is to be a carnifex."

"I heard, Michael."

Michael sighed and said, "I… brought you this."

Philip accepted the offered feather, and ran his fingers over the soft vane. Then, he fell onto the grass and sobbed. His heart was broken. His own wings hung limply beside him, the feathers glimmering in the moonlight as he grieved.



Early this morning, a car driven by Mark Habowitz spun out of control and struck an oncoming motorcycle. Habowitz, 19, is in critical condition. The other driver, Trace Worthy, 46 was pronounced dead at the scene. State police confirmed this afternoon that Habowitz was legally intoxicated at the time of the accident, and speed was also a factor…

I put down the paper and leaned back in the chair. Looking at the two men sitting across the table, I asked, "Is this some sick joke?"

The smaller of the men took the paper from the table and folded it under his arm. His white-blond hair glowed in the overhead light and made his pale skin glimmer like pearls. Narrowing his silver eyes, he said, "This is not a joke."

"Bullshit!" I yelled.

"Please don't use vulgar language in here," the other man said. His looks were as opposite to his crony as possible. Dark hair, olive skin and deep green eyes lent him a sinister appearance, but for some reason I was still not afraid. I knew somehow these men were… gentle?

His scolding had a strong effect on me, though. I cleared my throat and said, "I apologize, but this is insane. Why have you brought me in here to fool with my head like this?"

The black-haired man leaned over the table and said, "We're not fooling with your head, Trace."

"But this says I'm dead! And it's dated yesterday!"

"Yes. You died yesterday."

"Who are you?" I demanded.

"Philip," the blond replied.

"Michael," his cohort said. "We're angels."


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Carol Pedroso
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Chris T. Kat
Jon Keys
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Sarah Hayes
TC Collins

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday Briefs - Boys of Belsmeade 33

Well, The Boys of Belsmeade have reached the end (for now) of their story. Thanks to everyone for reading my first attempt at flash-fiction. I hope you enjoyed it. My next weekly story will be THE ADORED ONE. It's a tale of life, death, angels and one very cute demon kitten. Stay tuned!


Chapter Thirty-Three

My father and Benita were in the dining room, when we arrived. Dad was feeding Benita apple pie and ice cream, and then licking her lips after each bite. It gave me the shivers.

"They're like teenagers," I said. "Jeez, Dad."

He cleared his throat and looked embarrassed. "Oh, uh… sorry."

I took a piece of pie from the table and sat next to him. "I suppose I'll get used to it. I take it you too are official now?"

Benita's smile was shy. "You don't mind?" she asked me.

"God no. It'll be good for the newbie to have someone to hold his hand."

Everyone laughed, and Aristes patted me on the back. "Don't forget you're only a few days older than your father now."

Dad shook his head. "That's a surreal thought. But I have to tell you, El, I'll be moving back here eventually. When I say here, I mean to Benita's villa in Tuscany."

"Sure. Rub it in," I said. "Tuscany. Must be nice."

Benita looked worried. "Of course you'd have a home there, too. You'll always be welcome, and I'll pay to move you there and—"

I put a hand up to stop her. "It's okay. I'm sure we'll visit a lot, but I have my own mate, and from the way you two are acting, I'm sure you'll enjoy the privacy."


We stayed in Italy for another three days before heading back home. We had missed two weeks of school, and if I didn't get back soon, I wouldn't be able to graduate. It didn't take much persuasion to get Dad to let Aramis live with us, especially since Benita had also moved in.

We were having dinner one night when there was a knock on the door. Dad looked puzzled. "Who'd be here this time of night?"

I shrugged and went to find out. When I opened the door, my mouth dropped open in shock. My mother stood on the porch, smiling.

"Hello, darling!" she said brightly.

I was totally incapable of speech. She breezed by me and set her bag down in the foyer. I shut the door and simply stared at her.

"Who is it, El?" my father called.

Mom put her finger to her lips and walked into the dining room. I followed, and wasn't surprised by the look of absolute stupefaction on my father's face.

"Hello, John," my mother said.

I wasn't quite sure how he would react. For a few tense moments, he said nothing. Then, he burst into laughter. "What are you doing here, Karen?" he asked.

Her smile faltered. "I've come for a visit."

"Who is this, John?" Benita asked, hackles raised.

It was only then that my mother noticed the dark, gorgeous woman seated next to Dad. Mom's eyes grew wide. "I'm his wife."

My father and I spoke in unison. "Ex-wife."

Mom scowled and asked, "And who are you?"

Benita put a possessive hand on Dad's arm. I could tell she was getting really pissed at my mother trying to claim her mate. For a moment, I was afraid of what would happen, but Dad solved the problem. He took Benita's hand and pulled her down into his lap. "This is Benita. My fiancée."

"Your what?" Mom screeched.

The look of supreme satisfaction of Benita's face was priceless. She kissed my father gently and turned to my mother. "His fiancée. And I don't share well with others, so I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to leave."

"You can't make me leave. I've come to see my son."

"You've seen me," I said blandly. "Jesus, Mom. Where do you get off? You leave us, out of the blue to move in with what's-his-face, and we don't hear anything for months, and now you expect us to welcome you with open arms? Well, fuck you."

She looked as though I'd slapped her. "John! Are you going to let him get away with speaking to me like that?"

Dad smirked. "Yes. In fact, I think I'll raise his allowance." He stood up and walked around the table to confront her. "You really hurt me. You hurt our son. You've only ever thought about yourself, so I'm grateful to you for leaving when you did. Saved me a lot of trouble. The divorce was finalized months ago, so go home to your boyfriend and don't bother coming back here ever again. I'm happy now. I have an amazing woman to share the rest of my…life with, and an amazing son, who happens to have an amazing partner."

My mother looked around Dad to see Aramis seated at the table, studiously trying to ignore the family drama. She turned to me. "Partner? What are you talking about? You're only seventeen!"

I rolled my eyes. "No, I'm eighteen. Seriously, Mom. Just go. I suppose I should feel sad to say that, but I don't. Aramis and I are partners. He lives here now. Benita does too. So…sorry, but there's just no more room at the inn."

"But Mark left me!" she cried. "I have nowhere to go."

I looked at Dad, unsure what to do. He shrugged. "Well, your mother's got a spare room, right? I'm sure there are tons of things for a shallow, self-centered woman like you to do in Poughkeepsie. Enjoy the drive."

With that, he led her into the foyer, handed her her bag and practically pushed her out the door. When he came back in, we all sat down and looked at each other, still trying to process the events of the evening.

Finally, it struck me, and I started giggling. "You know what's hilarious?"

"What?" Benita asked.

I lifted my drink. "There were four bottles of synthetic blood on the table, right in front of Mom, and she never even noticed them."

We all burst out laughing and raised our bottles in a toast. Aramis leaned over and kissed me gently. "Cheers, babe."



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Carol Pedroso
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Jim Dunaway
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Friday, April 3, 2015

Guest Author JC Wallace - Foolish Encounters Anthology & Giveaway!

I'm so thrilled to have JC Wallace on the blog today discussing his story SHREDDING THE HEART, part of the FOOLISH ENCOUNTERS anthology from Wilde City Press. It's an amazing collection with an impressive list of contributing authors, so I hope you'll grab a copy as soon as you can! Welcome to the blog, JC!

Hi all! I’m excited to share with you the release of my short story, Shredding the Heart, part of Foolish Encounters, an April Fool’s Anthology from Wilde City Press.

To celebrate, I bring you some of the most famous April Fool’s Day hoaxes in history. After that check out an excerpt from Shredding the Heart where skateboarder Nicholas O’Brien’s attempt to get the attention of the hottie Quinn Matthews doesn’t go so well.

Oh, and, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for an eBook copy of my latest novel, Diventando: The Vessel! Enjoy!


April Fool’s Day…the favorite holiday of class clowns, pranksters and children everywhere. While millions of people will be instigating their own pranks, history has shown that a hoax can be wide spread and highly believable. Here are five famous hoaxes!

* The BBC has staged some of the most outrageous hoaxes. In 1957, many viewers were fooled by a report that Swiss farmers were experiencing a bumper crop of spaghetti. Footage showed people harvesting spaghetti noodles from trees. Luckily, they had recently eliminated the bothersome “spaghetti weevil” to increase their production. I know I hate those spaghetti weevils.

* What happens when a fast food chain announces it has purchased a national treasure? People believe it? Many people did just that in 1996, when Taco Bell reported the chain had agreed to buy the Liberty Bell and renamed the cracked symbol of freedom, the Taco Liberty Bell. Wonder if that comes with hot sauce?

* Another fast food chain, Burger King, advertised the sale of the “Left Handed Whopper” (because you know they’re made for righties, right? lol). The print advertisement brought clueless customers in to the restaurant to request the fake sandwich. A definite disappointment to southpaws everywhere when the hoax was uncovered.

* In 1962, black and white TVs were the norm while color TVs were just becoming available. Want to change that B&W TV to color? Easily done claimed Sweden's Sveriges Television on April 1, 1962. A "technical expert" offered the key to that conversion. Just drape a nylon stocking over the screen to take advantage of the “prismatic qualities” of the nylon mesh and you get a color picture. To increase the effect, move your head back and forth (the faster the better). Must have been some pissed off wives/mothers when they found their nylons had been sacrificed to the color TV gods.

* Lastly, a futuristic hoax straight from Google itself. MentalPlex Technology was announced in 2000. Why take the time to type in that itty bitty search box when Mentalplex will read your mind and search for what you desire? Instructions for use: remove your hat and glasses…peer into the magical MentalPlex circle – remember not to move your head!!!...using the power of your mind, project what you desire to search for, visualize clicking on the circle and voile!.........Snort!


Skateboarder Nicholas O'Brien’s sole focus is on perfecting his sport, yet a gorgeous jogger who continually ignores him tests that concentration daily. Boarding into the jogger's path finally gets him Quinn Matthews’ attention along with the brush off. Quinn is adamant that no man will ever take advantage of him again. When Nicholas persists, Quinn finds he can’t resist the enigmatic boarder. Just as he falls for Nicholas, Quinn learns that Nicholas just may have had an agenda all along. Devastated, Quinn pulls away, leaving Nicholas alone and confused. Can they overcome their pain and shred the heart?

Nicholas’s gaze was jerky as he gazed out over the water. Quinn wondered if he was nervous. He took in Nicholas’s profile—the milky white skin, the barely noticeable freckles on his cheeks, the full red lips. He imagined their softness against his own lips, taking possession of him, owning him. But he needed to be strong. Never weak or needy or wanton. Never vulnerable again.

Nicholas looked to Quinn and the lusty gaze stole Quinn’s breath. There was a question in Nicholas’s eyes as he leaned closer, no doubt wondering if…

When their lips touched, Quinn couldn’t suppress his gasp. As if sensing Quinn’s hesitancy, Nicholas hovered, head tilted to the side, their lips brushing, but he ceased any other movement. Was he seeking permission to kiss him? A cold shudder raced down Quinn’s spine with the thoughts of hot tongues tangling in wet mouths. A sign was all Nicholas probably needed to go for it. Quinn closed his eyes and licked lightly across Nicholas’s bottom lip. The groaned response from Nicholas and the resulting crush of lips fueled his desire, raced his heart, and guided his hands to Nicholas’s hips, clutching, holding, wanting.

Nicholas grasped Quinn at the nape of his neck, controlling the kiss, eating at his lips, and devouring his whimpers. Nicholas pushed him higher, and Quinn’s cock throbbed in his dress pants, begging for any friction, any touch. Anything… everything. At that moment, his body belonged to Nicholas O’Brien, and he wanted whatever the man desired, wanted so much more than he could ever hope to have, could risk having again.

Click here to enter the giveaway of an ebook copy of JC's latest novel, Diventando: The Vessel!

JC "Jake" Wallace started writing from a young age, but took a break for marriage, kids, and college (in that order). A few years ago, he rediscovered his passion and ventured out into the brave new world of publishing. He now has several novels and short stories published. At night and on the weekends, Jake writes about all things men, believing there is nothing hotter than two men finding and loving one another, whether for a night or forever. An avid reader of M/M romance, Jake loves a good twist of a plot, HEA, HFN, or tragic ending. He also writes what his bestie calls HUNK (Happy Until the Next Kidnapping). In his daytime hours, Jake works with individuals with autism and behavior problems. He is owned by a beautiful partner, three kids, two grandchildren, two dogs and one cat. He lives in the Adirondack Mountains in Northern NY.

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