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Three Reasons to Get into the Holiday Spirit on Kobo

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Love Bug Blog, 13 December 2018 · 0 views

Do you read with Kobo? Are you missing books from your Blueberry Springs collection?


From now until the 17th you can enjoy 40% off my Blueberry Springs Series Starter Box Set!

That means the $5.99 box set (already discounted from purchasing each book individually) is only $3.60! That’s less than the price of Rum and Raindrops!

Promo code to use at checkout: DECSALE

Click to see the box set on Kobo.


Click here to see all the items that qualify for this special discount code.


P.S. The Kobo Books app is a free download! You can start reading and saving today!

Box set contains Whiskey and Gumdrops (a best friends romance), Rum and Raindrops (falling for the wrong man), and Egnnog and Candy Canes (a Christmas romance book where opposites attract).


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WEP Challenge - By Candlelight

  Posted by Jemi in Just Jemi, 10 December 2018 · 0 views

Dylan wiped his hands on his new jeans. Maybe he should change into more comfortable ones. Or dress slacks. A tie. He should wear a tie.
No. Too stuffy and he’d never be able to swallow. Or breathe.
Okay. No tie. Stick with the jeans.
Deep breath. If he couldn’t get it together, he’d sweat right through the shirt he'd chosen.
Calm.
His sister was all about yoga and meditation. She’d know how to set the stage and not panic. She’d know how he should dress too. But if he called her for advice, he’d never hear the end of it.
He was doing this solo.
And he was doing it right.
The timer on his cell beeped. Ten minutes. Only ten minutes. Screw calm, he had things to do.
A peek in the oven showed the lasagna bubbling away. Another few minutes and he’d pull it out to rest. Salad was prepped and ready to toss. Garlic bread set to go in as the pasta came out.
He’d set the dining nook and hidden the little box behind the plants on the ledge so he could pull it out at the right time.
At the thought, another wave of sweat rolled down his forehead. He used a tea towel to wipe it away then looked in horror at it. He hadn’t done laundry. Were there any clean ones left?
With a sigh, Dylan swiped the ruined cloth over his neck and wished it wouldn’t be totally disgusting to use it on his arm pits as well.
He’d burned three of his ten minutes. Dylan grabbed the barbecue lighter from the drawer and headed back to the dining nook. It took three tries but he got it working and he slowly walked around the room, lighting the candles he’d clustered. Apparently the effect was better when candles were set in odd numbers, so he had groups of three and five. Seven had looked more like a pyre than a romantic setting, so he’d scrapped that.
The buzzer nearly had him jumping out of his skin. With a sigh at his nerves, Dylan tossed the tea towel and the lighter, then moved to the door to press the button. “H-Hello.” He thunked his head against the wall over the stammer. He couldn’t be lame. Not tonight.
“It’s me.”
Dylan nodded, then groaned and pressed the buzzer. “Come on up.”
“See you in a minute.” The smile reached through the speaker, bringing one of his own. Everything about that voice soothed him right down to his soul.
Dylan unlocked the apartment door. He started back to the kitchen then decided he’d rather meet the elevator than check on the pasta one more time. He walked down the hall and leaned back against the wall to wait. After a moment, he shoved off, not wanting to look too casual. He straightened, then loosened his knees. Not uptight either. Hands in pockets. Yeah. That would work.
He was driving himself way past crazy.
The elevator dinged and in only an eternity the doors swooshed open. “Hey you.”
“Hey yourself, handsome.”
The kiss soothed any remaining nerves. This was right. All the way right.
“Is something burning?”
Dylan whipped around to see smoke snaking out of his apartment just as a smoke alarm split the night.
They raced to the door but the smoke was thicker and a peek showed flames from where he’d tossed the tea towel too close to one group of candles. Talk about a pyre. The sprinkler system kicked on but the flames didn’t seem to care.
When he started into the room, Marc tapped his arm. “Be careful. I’ll call 911.”
Dylan grabbed the fire extinguisher from under the sink and aimed it at the flames. It didn’t take long to kill the fire, but the mess was unbelievable. His shoulders sagged and he swore. “Tonight was supposed to be… I planned everything… Damn it, I was going to propose!” Well, that wasn’t the romantic speech he’d planned.
Marc’s eyes widened as he finished the call and shoved his phone in his pocket then joined Dylan while neighbours gathered in the hallway.
A small smile kicked up the corner of Marc’s mouth. Without breaking eye contact, he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a small box. “In a few decades, it’ll make a fabulous story to tell the grandkids.”

***
This story is part of the WEP challenge. Hope you'll check out the rest of the entries for the twin themes of Ribbons & Candles! There's still time to sign up as entries don't close until December 20th!

WEP CHALLENGE FOR DECEMBER - RIBBONS AND CANDLES





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THE FIRE ECLIPSE

Posted by Joshkatzauthor89 in Joshkatzauthor89's Projects, 06 December 2018 · 0 views

THE FIRE ECLIPSE Sorry I've been away for so long, but now that I'm back, I present to you THE FIRE ECLIPSE, BOOK 2 OF THE ENCHANTED DESTINY CHRONICLES. If you've had the pleasure of reading BOOK 1, THE SWORD OF THE SANDS, then I'm sure you'll be excited to join Elaina Crawford and friends in the next Chapter of their magical adventures. Go to the link below to purchase your copy today and if you haven't had the chance yet, feel free to enjoy Book 1 as well.

https://www.joshkatzbooksite.com

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FIRST FIVE FRENZY with Jennifer Grimaldi of Chalberg & Sussman Literary

  Posted by Amy Trueblood in Amy Trueblood's Blog, 30 November 2018 · 0 views

 

 

Writing the opening chapter of a book can be a struggle, especially penning those critical first pages. There are always questions about where to start, what you should include to have the most impact, and more importantly, how to get the reader to turn the page.

The First Five Frenzy is all about getting an agent’s perspective on what works, and what fails, in those first few pages of a manuscript. It’s tricky to get the right balance, but I hope by reading each agent’s comments you’ll learn how to make your manuscript a shining gem that’s requested over and over.

Today, I’m proud to share Jennifer Grimaldi’s perspective on what’s important in those first five pages.

 

Amy: Many writers have the impression that a great first line is imperative to drawing in the reader. How important is a first line to you as an agent?

Jennifer: An author’s real first line to an agent is their query: that’s what I read before anything else. However, not every good writer knows how to sum up their title in a few measly paragraphs, so I try not to hold it against them. I always request that queries include the first 5 pages of their actual manuscript so I can get an early sense of how the novel is written.

So, by the time I’ve gotten to that first line, I’ve already made some kind of quick, snap second decision. If I’m interested and the first line reads well, I’m almost always going to clear some time to read the rest of the query and possibly make a request for more pages. On the flip side, if I’m not already hooked in and the first line is poorly written or uninspired, I’m way more likely to mentally move on.

 

Amy: A lot of books open with common things like dreams, eating breakfast, riding in a car, starting at a new school, etc. What are some openings you recommend writers stay away from?

Jennifer: All of the above! Your opening should be structured like you’re relating a story to a friend: If you wanted to tell them about that time you got abducted by aliens, would you walk them through bickering with your little brother first? A lot of writers feel like they have to set status quo and stakes for relationships, but readers want to jump right into the action. I don’t recommend that every novel start in media res, but if I haven’t been given a reason to keep turning the pages within the first scene, you won’t be holding my—or other reader—attention for long.

 

Amy: When you’ve responded to a writer to request a partial or full manuscript, what was it about their first pages that piqued your interest?

Jennifer: I request more pages when I want to keep reading: This means the characters were dynamic, the setting was interesting, or the concept was unique. Hopefully all three! Of course, writing is a factor, too. But I’m an editorial agent—I like to get my hands dirty. So an exciting concept that needs some editing will always win out for me over excellent writing in service of a concept I don’t care about. I’m a big nerd, so I like to work with books I can get excited about. I love to champion the novels and authors I work with, so it’s always a good sign to me when I can’t stop talking about a manuscript I’ve just read to all and sundry; if I’m starting to pitch to the people around me, I know that I’m eager to take it into the publishing world at large.

 

Amy: What resonates with you most in those first pages? Voice? Pacing? Unique concept?

Jennifer: Certainly all three of those come into play. I don’t think it makes sense to prioritize one over another. Concept is the first thing that will grab me in a query, since it’s the easiest to connect to, but without a strong voice and characters to serve as backbone, the idea won’t get across. Pacing is something that comes into play once I settle in to read the work. I consider it to be the easiest thing to edit, but if I’m struggling to get through a first or second chapter even though I’m interested in the plot and concept, that can be a big read flag.

 

Amy: What is one piece of advice you’d like to give writers about their opening pages?

Jennifer: Don’t waste your real estate! If a scene is boring or unnecessary, don’t open with it. If you don’t need to describe your character in a mirror, at cheerleading practice, or at their minimum wage job, don’t. Open with the scene where things happen. If you’re worried removing breakfast with Mom makes her death by sorcerer less impactful in scene 3, the issue isn’t the time you’ve spent introducing her on page, but the lack of emotional weight your character is struggling under. Make sure your first few pages hook me, and don’t let go.

 

Jennifer Grimaldi (formerly Jennifer Letwack) has always gravitated toward otherworldly, fantastical novels that reflect our own world’s past and present. Formerly an editor with Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press, where she acquired and edited S. Jae-Jones’ New York Times bestseller WINTERSONG, she is now building her list as an agent with Chalberg & Sussman.

At C&S, she is actively looking for clients with historicals, romance, horror, and YA & adult sci-fi and fantasy novels, Across all genres, Jennifer loves strong, voice-driven novels, dark and romantic themes, and books that make her think—and learn. She is particularly excited by books that explore gender and sexuality, especially those with diverse, LGBTA+ leads, and own-voice writers.

If you are interested in submitting to Jennifer, please check the Chalberg & Sussman website for their submission guidelines.

 

 



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A Simple Strategy to Increase Writing Productivity

  Posted by Lora Palmer in Lora Palmer's Blog, 25 November 2018 · 30 views

Photo by BonnieHenderson at Morguefile.com
If you're anything like me, you find it's all too easy to get caught up in hectic everyday life, and a daily habit you want to build and maintain slips by the wayside. For me, this was writing. Between a full-time job, taking online coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis in preparation to eventually become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and making time for much-needed fun, I could let days could go by without doing any work on my stories.

Lately, the inspiration has struck to write again, and I started to remember all the things I love about writing. I love creating new characters and new worlds and bringing them to life. I love the process of trying to just get all the ideas down, the struggles to find just the right words, and even editing and polishing a story to make it the best it can be.

Then the latest unit in my coursework covered self-management, among other topics, and it galvanized me into action. What I needed was to arrange my environment to support returning to a daily writing habit and to reward myself for meeting the daily goal. For my first step, I found a productivity/habit-building app for my iPhone that lets me set the goal and mark it done. It has a calendar that even displays each day the goal is accomplished and how much of it. Because I'm not a fast writer most of the time, I started with a somewhat low, achievable goal during this baseline phase. My current goal is to write or edit 200 words, but after a week or so I may re-evaluate to see if it should be raised to 250 or 300 words. The app even reminds me to complete the goal, so it offers a great set-up to keep on track. Another strategy you could use if you want to up your writing productivity is to make yourself a simple data sheet with the date and number of words written, or you could create a NaNoWriMo account and utilize their goal tracker. If it's simple and easy to use, you'll most likely keep using it.

Once you have your goal tracker, you need to reward yourself whenever you meet your daily goal. For me, I chose time playing my favorite game app. But the key to success is not letting yourself access the reward unless/until you meet your daily goal. Also, going public with your commitment (for example by having an accountability partner like a critique partner) can help.

Maybe you know all this and are already living it, or maybe this little reminder is just what you need right now. Either way, I hope this #writetip helped. Happy, productive writing! If this inspired you to develop a new writing goal or habit, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below :).


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Absent but not Missing

Posted by Terence Park in T.P. Archie's Blog, 08 September 2018 · 205 views
Writing Theory, Angel in my Heart and 4 more...

Absent but not Missing I have been absent from these pages for 2 years but I am not missing. Writing does not provided me with a living; for that I provide account and business inputs to companies.For those with an interest in business, this can be broken down into helping companies know where they made money and lost money, and help them decide where they can make more money and cut losses. That's it in a nutshell - I can, and often do, a lot more than that. Here's a Linked in profile to prove it :smile:
Similarly with writing - not all of my projects belong on here. At the moment I am working a book about Writing Theory. Want to know more? It's the most popular post on my blog by a mile. ETA? Unknown.
Current projects are, in order of my writing plan.
Nymphs. Four takes on the Classical Greek beings out of myth in which we look at Ice Nymph, Storm Nymph, Dryad (tree) and Nereid (sea - offspring of Nereus).
The Tale of Jonny Burco. Jonny joins Men for the Stars, a club set up at his high school after the discovery of and alien relic (class 3 sign of aliens) not realising the club was an ironic joke. But he wants to go to the stars. Taking in the Tohono O'odham, the Mexican Wall, newly established statelet Londany and hot topic: 'immigration!!' Oh yeah - Jonny goes on to become the first human to make contact with aliens
The Oversphere, Dark Matter and Dark Energy are placeholders provided by scientists to explain the missing matter and energy in the universe is. Hint: it's all around us. :cool:
The Central Sea. The early years of Norman Sicily are from a fascinating period of time. The Maltese Islands were the frontier between Islam and Christianity - another rendering of the Mediterranean is the Central Sea. In this series of linked narratives, love, loss and survival are examined against a background of corsairs.

Works ready to go
The Turning Stone - young adult fantasy set in the present day (with extra added Eastern mysticism)
Angel in my Heart - Angels of love, angels of destruction, guns, God and stuff.
Dragon Shard - Maybe there are entities out in space that a) we'd rather not know and b) be better off not attracting their attention

Work in real need of TLC
The Epheleri - Aliens, pollution, sex and lur-r-r-rve :unsure:

The 'Winter Bough' piccy is from a collection I withdrew as I hijacked a couple of stories to make them into something new (here's that Womble reference)


Enough


(I have to get my car fixed - balding tyres and binding brakes)

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The Time Has Come

Posted by JordanTheNinja in JordanTheNinja's Blog, 09 July 2018 · 160 views

There comes a point in everyone’s life when they have to take control.

For the past year or so, I’ve been stuck. I’ve been stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of negativity. I’ve toyed around with the same potential remedies; I’ve contemplated every avenue I could to break away from these feelings. Nothing. And more nothing.

Most of the duration of this darker period, I was working on a novel. It started out as a mere exercise to take my fears and ambitions and see where I could take them when I virtually had no limit. What came out of creating this novel was a new solution to my problem—as well as my favorite piece of writing that I’ve ever made.

Perhaps the best art comes from those deeper, sometimes darker places within ourselves. I’ve never been so stuck on characters, so stuck on a story in my life. I needed to tell this story, because I felt that writing this story would give me all the answers that I was looking for. And, in a way, it did.

There’s something about taking what you’re afraid of and attacking it head on. And the way that I do that is through words. Words hold so much power, and the more that I write, the more I find it to be more true.

When I finished the novel, I felt a strange yet monumental relief. The creation of something through trials is a feat that is unparalleled. And I’ll admit, I was a little sad when I finished it. But the book had helped me in a way that I never imagined. It opened my mind and suddenly, like magic, I understood things better.

Now, I’m not saying that I had some kind of sudden epiphany as soon as I wrote the words “The End” but there was a type of clarity. A major theme of the novel is power, and reclaiming our own power. And that was when I realized I had lost my own power and that I (and only I) could reclaim it.

It was time for me to take control. Time for me to reclaim the power that I had lost somewhere on my journey of life. Time to stop replaying the same pointless solutions to the problems that I had.


We all have Power. We are beings of triumph. Never forget that.

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This Blog Is Moving!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 in Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, 07 May 2018 · 286 views

I've been blogging since 2011, and always used Blogger as the home for Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire. Unfortunately, Blogger hasn't seen an update since 2015, and lately I've been spending a lot of time filtering out spam comments.

It was time to move on, and so I've created the new Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire blog. Don't worry, all the content has been moved over, and posting schedules and content will remain the same.

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I am pretty excited, My first Book is Published!

Posted by Lara Rose Lee in Lara Rose Lee's Blog, 06 May 2018 · 281 views


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I am finally a published Author, This is the first manuscript I have ever written, with a brand new cover. My Guardians book Series will be published next. Keep watching for them.


A Shadow Lurking is a story about obsession and Faith and Hope. Lissa Tyler is a single mother who wants to be free from an obsessed stalker. She is a survivor in spite of the odds. It had been three years since the murder of her husband and his killer is still free and lurking in the shadows of her life. Marc Stevenson is the new man in town and the brother of Lissa's best friend Pam. As he learns of Lissa's stalker, he takes it upon himself to do all he can to protect Lissa and her twin daughters. Now the killer wants him out of the way and will do all he can to do it. Read 'A Shadow Lurking' to find out what happens and how Faith and Hope wins over evil.


Check it out HERE: http://a.co/6DS6Jwe


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Sun versus Snow 2018 Submission Day and Twitter Party

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs in Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details, 23 January 2018 · 287 views

No government shut down here. The submission window for Sun versus Snow opens today at 4:00 pm EST! 

The instructions and rules for entry are repeated below.


Act fast. We will only be taking the first 200 entries. Please do not enter early or your entry will be deleted. You can resend at the proper time if this happens accidentally. Confirmation emails will be sent. If you don’t receive one, don’t resend. We don’t want duplicate entries. Please check with us on Twitter first to confirm your entry did or did not arrive, then you may resend. 

There is only ONE, yes that’s right, ONE entry per person allowed. Any attempt to cheat will result in entries being thrown out. This contest is only for finished and polished stories. That means do not send us your NaNoWriMo from November 2017 if they aren't ready. 


Important note: The story can’t have been in the agent round of any other contest in the last three months. This doesn't mean twitter pitch events with hashtags, but multiple agent blog contests. 

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Also, Michelle and I have decided not to accept picture books for this contest. Though we love picture books, Michelle holds special contests just for them. We do accept all MG, YA, NA and Adult genres, excluding erotica. To enter you must be followers of our blogs. Click the “follow” button on my blog. You can find Amy's blog here. If following our blogs doesn't work, follow us on twitter or sign up for our newsletters instead. 

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The Format:

Send submission to Sunversussnow (at) yahoo (dot) com. Only one submission per person is allowed. It doesn’t matter if you write under different names or are submitting different manuscripts. You are still one person and get one entry.

Here’s how it should be formatted (yes, include the bolded!) Please use Times New Roman (or equivalent), 12 pt font, single-spaced, and put spaces between paragraphs. No indents or tabs are needed. No worries if your gmail doesn’t have Times New Roman. No worries if the email messes up your format. Yes, we will still read it! :-)  

(Here’s a trick to keep your paragraph spacing: copy and paste your entry into your email and then put in the line spaces. They seem to get lost when you copy and paste. It may look right but sending scrambles the spacing.)

Subject Line: SVS: TITLE, Age Category + Genre
(example: SVS: GRUDGING, Adult Epic Fantasy)


In The Email:

Title: MY FANTASTIC BOOK (yes, caps!)
Genre: YA dystopian Ownvoices (Age category and genre. Add "Ownvoices" here if it applies)
Word Count: XX,XXX (round to the nearest thousand)
Twitter Handle: (Optional so we can contact you. Will not be public.)


Is Your Antagonist hot or cold: 

Describe whether your antagonist is hot or cold. Personalities differ. Does your villain snap easily or are they calm and calculating? (Don't have an antagonist who is a person--then describe the weather of your setting.) 

(Can be in your character's POV, but doesn’t have to be. 100 words or less.)


Query:

Query goes here! Include greeting and main paragraphs. Please leave out bio, closing, and word count + genre sentence. You may include comps if you’d like. There is no word count limit on the query but please aim for 250 – 300 words.

You may include if your story is OwnVoices up in the genre line. We really want diverse and talented writers and striping out the bios sometimes leaves us in the dark.

Remember a query has several paragraphs. Don't send us a pitch.  


First 250 words:

Here are the first 250 words of my manuscript, and I will not end in the middle of a sentence. But I will not go over 257 words. Be reasonable and don’t make us count. Don’t forget to space between paragraphs! No indents!


So that's it. See you at 4:00 pm Eastern time. Good luck!

And now that the rules are out of the way, how about the fun stuff!

bascom hill snowball GIF by uwmadison






TWITTER PARTY!!!



Here are the suggested daily topics. But if you want to make up your own fun games on the hashtag #SunvsSnow then go right ahead! Just keep it clean and inclusive for all.

Jan 23rd- Submission day! What genre and age category will you/did you enter? Show us a sun or snow picture from your neighborhood.

Jan 24th- It’s very important to read new books in your genre to get a sense of pacing and timing as well as style. What book in your genre have you read recently?

Jan 25th- Do you get more writing done when there’s sun (summer) or snow (winter)? When are you most productive?

Jan 26th- Do you have a word count writing goal for each day or use some other measurement? How do you carve out time to write?

Jan 27th- Pantser or plotter or somewhere in between?

Jan 28th- Shout out a favorite line from the ms you entered.

Jan 29th- If you had to choose one goal for your writing career this year, what would it be?

Jan 30th- Beta readers and Critique Partners are important in the writing world. Where did you meet yours so others can check out those places?

Jan 31st- Final advice as before picks are announced on how you manage nerves during contests/querying?


Have fun! Mix and mingle! Make friends! Be active!

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Introduction

Posted by Joshkatzauthor89 in Joshkatzauthor89's Blog, 13 January 2018 · 255 views

Introduction Hello, everyone,

My Name is Josh Katz, recently started on this site and I am an aspiring author hoping to share my many stories with the world.

As far back as I can remember, I was always a story teller. Like most kids growing up, my imagination would fly. I invented my own special heros and dubious characters, creating worlds and places where the Good-Guys, and the Good-Girls, battle witches,
monsters and evil-doers. I loved telling stories to my mother and father, my friends, and my neighbors. As I grew up, my natural creativity expanded and my talents led me to the performing arts and the theater. As an actor, I enjoy doing theater and musical performances at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, the Washington Savoyards, and with the Victorian Lyric Opera Company. The discipline of theater and my love of storytelling cultivated my craft for creative writing. When I sat down to write my first novel series, "The Enchanted Destiny Chronicles" I composed a band of graphic, bigger-than-life protagonists and champions. But I also wanted to bring out the qualités spéciales de vivre in their personalities. How this mix of diverse beings are able to handle adversity amongst themselves journeying through an elaborate myriad of frightening, out-of-this-world situations and contesting adversaries along the way and surviving, well, that's what makes it interesting! It's a pretty good tale of good versus evil. And yeah, there's a lot of adventure, tragedy and mystery.

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assault:

Posted by missmikan in missmikan's Blog, 19 December 2017 · 402 views
assault

assault:

***BASED ON A TRUE STORY***

***THE SCENES DEPICTED IN THIS WRITING ARE NOT ALL INCLUSIVE AND MAY VARY***

***ASSAULT IS NOT GENDER SPECFIC AND CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE***



Evelynn opened the door to her apartment only to find hundreds of roses. Rose petals on the floor, bouquets on every table she owned, and petals down the hallway into her room and onto her bed. They were everywhere. A strong feeling of dread welled in her stomach; she knew where the flowers came from and she didn't like it. She'd spent almost a year successfully hiding and now he'd found her.

She stood in the doorway, frozen, fully aware that he was still in her apartment, somewhere, just waiting for her to walk in. She couldn't move. She felt his presence the way the wind blew; all encompassing. As she held her breath, she stepped forward into her apartment, needing to remind herself how to walk. 'One foot in front of the other.' She set her purse on the rose petal covered couch and kept going with the knowledge of this never-ending hell propelling her forward.

Evelynn stopped in the doorway to her dark bedroom. Other than the hundreds of roses and rose petals, the only evidence that he was there was the gentle breathing coming from her right. She held her breath and gripped her phone a little tighter as he turned to face her.

'Evelynn, darling, I miss you. Come lay in bed with me and forget all this leaving me nonsense.'

Evelynn looked at him as though he'd grown another head. She took a deep breath, looked him in the eye, and said, 'I thought you hated me. At least that's how you made it seem when I left.'

Now it was his turn to look baffled. He stared at her, not knowing what made her think that.

'No but I want to be in a relationship with you. I guess you don't want that though since you're the one that left me. I wish you'd come cuddle me. I don't see why you wouldn't unless you're in a relationship, which you're not, so I'm not sure why you freaked out. Let's do something for Valentine's Day since neither of us have ever done anything for it. You showed all the signs that you wanted to try with me and then you just leave? It's breaking my heart. I can't sleep, can't eat, can't anything.'

'Jax, I'm just so afraid of getting hurt again. Believe it or not, leaving you hurt me too.'

With that response, he quickly turned away from Evelynn and angrily stalked into her dining room, where rose petals followed him. She followed behind him and what she hoped was a safe distance and waited. He looked at her with an intense fire behind his ocean blue eyes that she'd never seen before.

'What do you mean 'get hurt AGAIN'?! What made your decision; what made you leave? Because things were going so well and you just leave? Tell me what really happened. Let's please do something tomorrow since you don't have work anyways.'

'I can't. I have plans tomorrow,' was the only thing she responded with.

'What plans do you have with someone else that you can't see me tomorrow? Are you going somewhere to see someone? Why did you think it was a good idea for us to stop talking after all the love and emotion you showed me, Evie? Tell me how that's fair.'

Surprised at the audacity of what he just said, Evelynn slowly turned to walk into the kitchen. She'd had a long day at work and the last thing she'd wanted when she got home was to see Jax. She poured a glass of her favourite sparkling pink wine before saying anything to him. What she finally replied with surprised him.

'I actually do work tomorrow and after that, I'm going to see a movie with Shantelle. That was what I was going to do, because, even though it's been eight months, I haven't been able to stop thinking about what happened and how afraid I was. I don't ever want to be that afraid of another human being ever again in my life.'

'You said you wanted to try and make this work, so do you or not? You're overthinking about it again.'

'No, I'm really not overthinking about this. You used to always tell me you hated me and I was constantly afraid of you. I don't want to be afraid anymore Jax.'

His expression softened. Evelynn could tell that what she said had finally sunk in. He understood what she said. Whether or not he cared she didn't know. All she knew was that she'd hit a chord and that was good enough for her.

With a saddened expression and a voice like a whisper, Jax said, 'please Evie. Please. We were doing so well and now you're telling me off. Do you have any idea how heartbroken I have been, how heartbroken I still am? Please, let's just talk like we used to. I don't understand what I had done for you to turn such a cold shoulder to me. We were so affectionate before. Where'd it come from? Was it someone else that made you change your mind about us? I think I have a right to know what happened don't I?'

Evelynn was furious. 'Why does it have to be someone else that changed my mind? What is it in your head that makes you think I can't make my own decisions? I'm a big girl Jax. I know how to decide things for myself but thanks anyways. Now, will you stop accusing everyone else for me deciding to leave?'

'Okay cool, so are we going to try to make things work or what? We could fix this right now if you wanted to. Because honestly, things were going so well for us.'

'Well, maybe I'll come by later but for now, I don't know and I need you to leave. I can't decide if you're standing here constantly harassing me about it and I need space. I've stayed away from you for so long, you can't just walk into my apartment unannounced when I'm not even home and expect everything to be fine.'

Finally after escorting Jax out of her apartment, Evelynn needed to lie down. Her head was pounding from the shock of seeing him there. Knowing there was a mess of rose petals that needed to be put in trash bags and taken out, she walked into her room, pulled the covers off her bed, and laid down.

Hours that felt like seconds passed when the alarm on her phone sounded. Evelynn looked at the time; 4:30 am just like every other morning. She was supposed to think about what Jax had said last night but had instead slept through the entire night. Well, she thought to herself, time for work. Get up and go and then you can come home and get ready for your movie with Shantelle tonight and forget about it all until tomorrow.

She climbed out of bed and started to get ready for work. She threw her hair into a tight bun on top of her head, put her uniform on, brushed her teeth, and smudged eyeliner around her deep brown eyes

As she got to work, her phone rang in her pocket. An email, which upon further inspection, and reading of the email, Evelynn noticed that Jax still wanted to see her.

'I don't work today so you should come over in a few minutes before you go to your movie and cuddle with me.'

'So much for being able to forget about it until tomorrow,' muttered Evelynn as she clocked in for her early morning shift.

'Hey!' Shantelle said far too cheerily for the early morning drudge that surrounded them. Then, when she saw the look on her friends face, 'what's going on? Are you okay?'

Evelynn rolled her eyes, looked at her best friend, and said, 'it's nothing. Just Jax. He showed up at my place last night before I got off work and my entire apartment is still covered in the rose petals and bouquets he left everywhere because I haven't cleaned it yet. I can't even see the floor or my table tops. I don't know how he found me Shantelle.'

Shantelle's face fell. She didn't know what to say. For the first time since Evelynn had known her, Shantelle wa speechless. She finally met Evelynn's eyes with a sad defeated expression.

'Evie, I'm so sorry. I don't even know what to say.'

'I don't know what happened. He wasn't supposed to be able to find me; that was why we moved and changed my phone number. He's trying to get me to come over right now and I haven't said anything to him because I really don't want to see him but I'm so scared of what will happen if I say no.'

Evelynn looked at her friend with an indescribable terror behind her eyes that she couldn't mask and said, 'I need to respond to this email though. He knows where I live and I can promise he'll show up at my apartment and keep me from going to the movie if I don't respond.'

She sighed and started to type out a message that read, 'Jax, you may not work today but, I'm already at work and I told you that I have a movie with Shantelle tonight so it's not likely I'll be able to come over later.'

He replied almost instantly. Evelynn sighed once more knowing this wasn't going to be over anytime soon. She opened the email as Shantelle walked behind her with the ice tub and read it aloud.

'Okay so, why can't you early in the morning tomorrow? You used to always love to cuddle in the mornings.'

She knew this wasn't going to be an easily won battle and it scared her. Evelynn took a deep breath, reread the email and responded with what she hoped was reasonable enough to get her out of being harassed into going to his house instead of the movie with her best friend.

'I do love to cuddle in the morning but that doesn't mean that I can just drop everything else I have to do tomorrow just so I can have a moment of what I want. I have a crazy busy week, and likely won't even have a minute to come over and see you. I have to work until six, the tomorrow Shantelle has physical therapy right before I go into work, and then we have our movie tonight. I will not have time.

Immediate response. Of course. She should have known after all. It was always one of his traits to respond immediately when he wanted something from her.
'Why do you have to go to physical therapy with her? To drive her? Can't she drive herself? Have you gone on any dates with anyone in the past few months since we've been apart?'

Evelynn avoided the last question by only answering the one that she wanted to.

'I'm going simply because she asked me if I would. Simple as that.'

As she put her phone into her apron pocket, Shantelle walked into the drink room and said, 'looks like everything is done so now we have twenty minutes to sit at a table and figure out why Jax is here and won't leave you alone. Tell me everything.'

They walked into the small interior of the restaurant and sat at the table closest to them. The dim lighting and empty dining room made the early morning feel like late at night. With opening being the ungodly hour of 5:30 in the morning, they weren't supposed to use the lights until late at night and absurdly dark outside. The old chairs creaked as they sat down just like they did when anybody else tried to sit.

Evelynn pulled out her phone to read yet another email from Jax. Shantelle looked at her with a pointed expression as she read it before she said, 'well tell me what it says! I want to know what's going on too.'

Evelynn startled at the sound of her voice. Instead of reading it aloud, she showed her the email that read, 'okay....when is her appointment? When does she have class? Is there any other way we could message each other?'

Shantelle looked at her in shock.

'Who does he think he is?! He can't just show up here and expect you to forgive him of every wrong he ever did. There's nothing you can do about the fact that he hurt you and you need to tell him that. Don't give him your phone number or you know he won't leave you alone about anything ever again and you'll just cave and start seeing him again. Just reply and don't answer the question about whether or not you could message each other a different way.'

She turned he phone back to herself and started typing out a response that included the time of Shantelle's physical therapy and class. All the email read was, 'appointment at nine, class at eleven.'

Shantelle looked at her friend with a sadness in her bright green eyes that Evelynn had never seen before. She was worried about her best friend getting hurt but couldn't find the words to tell her. She stuck with what she knew and said, 'look Evie, I know you're scared of him but you really shouldn't be talking to him at all. You know it's just going to hurt you more in the long run.'

Evelynn looked at her phone and sighed. She knew she shouldn't be talking to him but the fear of what may happen if she stopped was the only thing that kept her responses going. She looked at her phone again and watched it light up with a new email from Jax, who, of course, wasn't going to let her off that easy. Evelynn read it aloud so Shantelle knew what was happening too.

'Okay...so you'll be here at like 11:30 and we'll just keep everything casual between us like nothing happened okay?'

Shantelle looked at her and sighed. She knew there would be a response to the email that was just opened. She knew there would be more heartache, and she knew Evelynn wouldn't be able to stop talking to him solely because of the fear he impressed into her mind so early on.

As Evelynn clicked the reply button, she felt a sudden knot in her stomach. She typed out the reply anyway and slowly glanced up at her friend. She knew Shantelle didn't agree with her even though she never said anything.

She slowly typed out a reply that read, 'J, I don't actually want sex...'

Again there was an instant reply. Shantelle looked at her and simply said, 'don't even bother with it. Let's get back to work. We still have to open the damn place. We can deal with him later.'

Evelynn looked at her phone and read the most recent message that said, 'uhmm...okay...why? Why not? What's changed in the past two days, when it was going so well?'

By the time she looked up, Shantelle was long gone, unlocking the front door and seating the large group they always had for Sunday breakfast. Even though the hour was early and the sun was just barely rising she felt a new sense of energy as more people walked into the restaurant.

Getting up from the table she was sitting at, she approached the very first table that had walked in the door; her regulars she counted on every Sunday as soon as they opened.

Already feeling the weight of the events that had played out that morning, she walked up to say hi to the rather large party of women waiting at the table. They knew immediately that something was wrong and didn't hesitate to ask her.

'Evie, honey, what's wrong? You look like you just saw a ghost,' is how she was greeted by Anita, the sweet lady she had always thought of as a grandmother figure although she was probably only about fifty.

Evelynn only vaguely heard her question as she was transported back to when she was with Jax; back to when they celebrated his 21st birthday.

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He was so excited for that night. For the night he could finally drink alcohol legally; not that his age ever stopped him before.

His sister was having everyone over for dinner and drinks. The two of them left for her house by about 2:30 that afternoon. When they arrived, there were cars lined up and down the street.

As they walked up, Jax looked at her and said, 'Whitney said she made me a cake and wants me to see it before everyone else gets here.'

Evelynn looked at him in utter surprise. She didn't think there could be any more people coming.

'J, can she even fit any more people into her house? Who else is even coming?'

Just as Jax was about to reply, Whitney walked out the door and exclaimed, 'it's about time the two of you get here! Everyone has been worried about you guys! Didn't I tell you to be here at one? Oh well you're here now come see my cake, it's badass.'

Jax drug Evelynn into the kitchen to look at the cake with him and she reluctantly followed. As she walked into the kitchen, she ran directly into Jax, who had stopped in the middle of the doorway to admire his cake.

It was a rather small cake considering everyone that was there with more supposedly coming still. It was an eight inch round white cake with vanilla icing and sprinkles. Had she left it like that, it would have looked presentable but she added a plastic toilet to the top of it with a plastic action figure bent over the toilet throwing up into it; it seemed as though she had arranged the sprinkles to look like the vomit.

Evelynn was repulsed. But because Jax and Whitney seemed to genuinely love the cake, she put up a façade and acted like she loved it too.

A couple hours later, Jax was six shots and four beers in.

'Jax are you okay? You don't look so great. Maybe you should have some water for a minute. You're worrying me.'

'Stop Evelynn, I'm fine,' he replied, words slurred together in a drunken state.

He immediately stood, wobbled on his feet, and stumbled into the bathroom rather ungracefully.

Evelynn felt a look of terror flash across her face and hurriedly relaxed. She hoped no one noticed.

She felt a gentle tug on her arm. When she turned around, she saw Whitney gesture for her to follow her into the spacious kitchen of her extremely modern house. Evelynn knew immediately her fear was seen.

'Evie, I saw that. What's wrong? He's still okay; it's only been a couple drinks,' said Whitney as soon as the door closed behind her and they were alone.

Evelynn couldn't help but feel herself being saddened by the fact that Whitney knew she was extremely worried and Jax didn't. She couldn't explain exactly why it was she felt like Jax didn't care but the feeling consumed her and she felt herself wanting to open up to Whitney and tell her everything she was worried about.

She could tell Whitney knew something was wrong. It was in the way she looked at Evelynn. She knew she was going to have to tell Whitney whether or not she wanted to. Whitney was the type of person that was very easy to talk to and always seemed to somehow get the things she wanted to know from people without them realizing what she was doing. Maybe it was the long, dark brown hair, or the eyes that were so dark it felt like they could read your mind but there was something that made it hard to keep anything to yourself when she was around.

'It's just that he always drinks more than he can handle, but because he's drunk, he thinks he can handle his alcohol, when in reality, he can't. He's much easier to anger and it scares me when he gets like that.'

Evelynn told her everything she was always afraid to say to Jax, and Whitney looked at her with an understanding Evelynn longed for from Jax.

'I know it scares you Evie, but he's an adult and you have to let him make his own choices. He's a good kid; he's not going to hurt you. He may get angry but trust me, he wouldn't hurt you. He loves you. He talks to me about you all the time. I promise you have nothing to worry about. Just let him drink tonight and you try and have a good time too. Everything will be okay.'

As Evelynn took a deep breath, she nodded, smiled, and turned to walk out of the kitchen. Whitney stopped her to wipe away the small smudge of mascara the puddled in the corner of Evelynn's eye as they started to water.

'Thanks Whit. For everything. You don't know how much it means to me that I can talk to you about things like this.'

'I'm here whenever you need anything. You have my phone number too so you can call or text me whenever. Don't think it's weird for you to talk to me about problems with Jax too. I love to listen and help as much as I can.'

They turned and walked back into the dining room where Jax had placed himself back at the table to take another shot. A shot he chased with a beer.

He looked even worse than he did before he stumbled into the bathroom. Evelynn knew something was wrong but she couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was. He seemed to be less himself than he was five minutes ago but Evelynn didn't say anything.

As the afternoon went on, Jax had more and more to drink and Evelynn began to wonder if he was intentionally avoiding her or if he just didn't realize he was doing it because he was so drunk. She tried to give him as much space as she could so he could enjoy his night but found it more and more difficult to be so isolated since she didn't know anyone other than Jax.

Evelynn started to wonder if Jax would turn into an alcoholic like so many of her family. She chased the thought away as quickly as it came; it was something she didn't want to believe as a possibility.

Suddenly Jax was by her side telling her to go outside with him so his dad could take a picture. Evelynn followed him outside into the blindingly bright light. She had almost forgotten it was the middle of the day with all the drinking and the dim lighting inside Whitney's house.

The two of them stood in the middle of the lawn as his dad took several pictures; just a Jax instructed. Finally, after what felt like hours to Evelynn but had probably only been about five minutes, they were done. To her surprise, Jax stayed close by.

They walked to the pool where most of his family was having drinks. As they got closer and Jax realized everyone was swimming, he pulled his shirt off, drunkenly stumbled into the pool, and tried to take Evelynn in with him.

Fighting to stay dry, she said, 'Jax, hold on, let me put by bikini on and I'll come back out. I can't get in fully dressed though.'

'Okay fine but hurry. I want to be with you but I also want to be out here drinking and having a good time with everyone.'

Evelynn hurried inside and changed as quickly as she could so she could go back outside and be with Jax. She liked that he wanted to be with her. She started to think that maybe if he was an alcoholic, it wouldn't be so bad because at least he would eventually want to spend as much time with her as he possibly could.

Once she had changed, Evelynn walked back outside but, before she got there, she saw Jax through the sliding glass door, smoking his first cigarette in almost three years.

Sadness pulled at the back of her mind. She knew something was wrong now. 'He never smoked before so why would he suddenly pick it up again?' Evelynn thought to herself. She looked out the window one last time before turning and going back to change into her street clothes.

Once she had changed for a second time, she walked into the living room where Jax was now sitting, seemingly unaware that he had just smoked his first cigarette in almost three years. It was strange to see him like that, so unaware of what he was doing and the people around him.

Evelynn made herself a drink and sat next to Jax. They sat in the large living room and talked with everyone for what felt like minutes but in reality was probably an hour.

As the sun started to set, everyone was eager to get up and see the sunset. There were few evenings in the little town of Hillsborough without a breathtaking sunset to see.

Looking at the sunset, Jax moved closer to Evelynn, leaned in, and kissed her on the cheek. She was surprised; Jax never kissed her when there were this many people around. She couldn't help but dread what was going to happen in the morning when he woke up extremely hung over.

After the sun had mostly set, everyone stayed outside on the patio to enjoy the gentle breeze from the warm ocean air. Whitney was sitting next to Jax but quickly stood when she saw Evelynn. Straddling the bench, she sat facing Jax so she would be able to talk with him. She felt like she hadn't seen him all night.

As they started talking, the dark sky made Evelynn feel tired. As she yawned, Jax put his finger in her mouth as he always did. This time though, he didn't move it like normal. As she caught herself, Evelynn pulled her head away and asked, 'why didn't you move your finger this time? I would have bit you and I don't want to hurt you.'

'Evelynn, I don't think you know how much pain I can handle. You biting me would not hurt.'

Jax reached up and tried to put his finger back in her mouth to show her a bite wouldn't hurt him. She was a little hesitant but eventually opened her mouth and let him. She slowly started to close her teeth around his finger and apply a slight pressure.

'Harder, I can handle the pain. Just bite me!'

Again she hesitated but did as she was told. She applied a little more pressure, then released her jaw.

'Jax, I don't want to hurt you. I'm not sure you realize what it is you're asking for. If I keep biting you harder and harder, you're going to get hurt. You don't realize what it is you're doing.'

He was angry now. Evelynn didn't want to hurt him, but she was more afraid that he would hurt her if she didn't listen. She slowly opened her jaw again, just enough for him to slide his finger between her teeth. She started biting again, gently at first, then slowly harder.

'Harder. Bite me harder you pussy!' Jax yelled and she finally gave up trying to keep him from getting hurt. She bit him. Hard.

He didn't react at first but Evelynn knew the exact moment it hurt him. His finger started to curl down and his nail dug into the soft palate under her tongue. She started to loosen her grip but the look on his face told her she'd be hurt if she let go. So, gently, she pressed even harder.

She was worried about drawing blood as his free hand reached up and grabbed at her long black hair at the base of her neck. As she unclenched her jaw and tried to get away from the grip that pulled at her head to go up and the grip on her jaw that pulled her head to go down, Jax tightened his grip on her hair as he pulled her jaw down.

Evelynn braced herself for the pain and turned her head to the side and pulled away. Finally free from the grasp Jax had her in, she looked to Whitney who saw the fear in her eyes and walked to the other side of the yard where she sat down alone.

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Evelynn was pulled out of her memories rather suddenly by her phone buzzing in her hand with what she knew was another email from Jax. She looked up at the group of her most favourite people in the world that, for the first time in what felt like forever, genuinely cared about her.

Anita finally broke the silence by saying, 'well, we all heard it, so are you going to read it Evie? Tell us what's going on.'

Evelynn looked at Anita for a minute before unlocking her phone and reading what the email said. She was dreading it, knowing he'd be angry that she didn't reply to the last one he sent.

As she read the email, another one buzzed in. The group of ladies, obviously curious to what was happening, looked at her expectantly. Finally giving in to the expectant eyes of the women she cared so deeply for, she read the messages aloud.

'Tell me the REAL STORY. Like, you never want sex...ever again?'

Every single woman sitting in front of her looked baffled. Finally Carol said, 'honey, why don't you go get us all some water, including yourself, and tell us what's going on.'

Evelynn looked around nervously as she went to get the waters to see if there were a lot of tables Shantelle was helping. Luckily, it was a rather slow morning for them and Shantelle only had one other customer to help. As she started filling glasses with ice, Shantelle came back to get the coffee Christopher always asked for.

Christopher was Shantelle's favourite part of Sunday mornings because, even though neither of them would admit to it, they both wanted to be with the other.

Reaching behind Evelynn's head for the biggest coffee cup they had in the restaurant, Shantelle looked at the tray Evelynn was putting full glasses on. As she counted them, she noticed the extra glass Evelynn hoped she wouldn't see.

'You know, you better be careful sitting with them. Vickie just put cameras up and she hates when we do that. The last thing you need right now is to lose your job over something as trivial as Jax being back. Because, while I understand it's a huge deal and crazy scary, Vickie wouldn't care.'

Evelynn looked at the glasses on her tray, then back to Shantelle and said, 'I know she doesn't like it but, she isn't about to fire me over something like that. Even if she was going to try, she knows that if she loses me, she loses you and she can't afford that. It's fine.'

Evelynn expertly put the tray of seven water glasses on her shoulder and started to walk away from the drink station they'd set up. She turned and looked behind her before going to sit down.

'Will you be alright if I sit with them for a while and tell them what's going on? They all know something out of the ordinary is happening. They've asked me about it about it at least three times now. I'll still be here; just come get me if it gets busy and you need my help.'

'Of course that's okay with me Evie. I know Jax showing up and finding you in this city is really hard and you're scared. If it gets busy and I need you, I'll call.'

After she placed the glasses on the table and pulled up another chair, she pulled out her phone to respond to him before starting her story.

Evelynn sighed down at her phone. She could already tell it was going to be a long day just by the way he was talking to her. She almost felt bad for him; he tried so hard to make her believe he would change but, Evelynn knew better than to believe him. He'd promise over and over to change only to go back to doing to exact same things he did before.

Unaffected by his emails, she typed out a response to him that read, 'this is the real story. I just don't want sex right now; I have other things to worry about.'

As she set her phone on the table, it lit up with a new email. She ignored it and began telling her table what happened the night before.

Once she had everyone caught up, she took a drink of water and braced herself for what the new email said. She stirred the strawberries and ice in her water as she put off opening it.

'Stop putting it off honey. You're going to have to read the damn thing eventually anyways. You may as well read it right now since we all want to know what it says too,' said Carol.

As she looked up from her water glass, Evelynn saw that every woman was looking at her phone, waiting to know what the email said. She looked back to her water and the strawberries floating at the top and wished she could shrink back into her chair.

She sighed and picked up her phone to read the email she'd left unopened about five minutes ago.

She took a deep breath, opened the email, and silently read it before she read it to everyone sitting in front of her.

'It says 'uh, okay. What in the hell do you have to worry about? When we cuddle and kiss, etc. - which we can for four hours before you go to work - we can have sex, make love, etc. and have all that affection. You were ALWAYS down for it before...what changed...?' He really doesn't know what changed?'

Her jaw dropped. Either he really didn't know what he'd done or he was really good at faking dumb. Evelynn, unfortunately, assumed it was the latter and he did in fact, know exactly what he'd done the first time.

After taking a couple of steadying breaths, she decided to reply to the email. She knew she shouldn't be doing it but she couldn't help it. She felt addicted to him in a way. Afraid of him, but addicted nonetheless.

She hoped no one noticed she was still talking to him as she typed out an email that read, 'I'm sorry okay? We'll see.'

She didn't want to have to explain to everyone why she was apologizing to him.

His reply was fast and short. A simple, 'what time will you be here.'

He'd said it like a statement, not a question. Like she didn't have a choice anymore and she had to go. Like if she didn't go, he was going to come for her.

She looked at her phone as though she were searching it for answers. Finding nothing but the passive aggressive email she just read, she decided to email him in short sentences to, hopefully, make him realize he was doing the very thing that made her leave in the first place.

She stirred the strawberries in her water again, took a drink and slowly started typing out a reply.

'I don't know.' Send. She took a deep breath. She knew she should get back to work but the gentle buzz that came from her phone on the wood table kept her there longer than she wanted to stay. But she had to see what this new email said.

She slowly opened the email to read, 'so at 10:00? Cause Shantelle's physical therapy is at 9:00?'

'Jax, I said I don't know.'

It seemed as though he were waiting for her to respond with how quickly he replied to her last email.

She read the obviously frustrated, 'well why don't you know? You have NOTHING to do after you're done with her therapy which ends at 10:00, then she goes to work or school...so why couldn't you?'

She ignored it and proceeded to get up for her order book and pen so she could get breakfast started for everyone.

As the ladies rattled off the usuals she'd memorized shortly after she'd started working there, she started to think about all the good times she'd had with Jax. She felt what she thought might be a longing to be with him again.

She received another email from Jax before she was completely consumed by her thoughts and a longing of familiarity.

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Suddenly she was back in Hillsborough driving home from the Sunday dinner at her parents. Her phone rang with the ringtone she'd designated for Jax when she pulled in the driveway of the house they lived in.

'Hey baby. I just pulled into the driveway, what's up?'

'Evie, baby, I miss you. Hurry inside and come cuddle with me.'

As soon as she got off the phone, Evelynn jumped out of her car ran inside, left her heels at the door, and crawled into bed next to Jax.

He wrapped his arms around her and she folded into his always warm embrace. There was something about Jax and the way he held her that always made her feel safe. Evelynn never thought Jax would hurt her. She looked up to see him smiling down at her.

'What are you smiling at?' She asked as she felt her cheeks get warm, the way they always did when he looked at her like that.

'I'm just thinking about how much I love you and wondering how I got lucky enough to have you. You're something special, you know that?'

She dropped her eyes as she felt her face get hot again. She never imagined loving someone the way she loved Jax.

Everything with Jax felt like it moved so quickly but still never felt like the wrong thing to do. Evelynn often thought about how things were between the two of them. It felt like something she could only ever dream of. They were best friends when they were out, but when they were at home and alone, he was more than she ever thought she could want. She knew without a doubt that he truly loved her.

Her thoughts were interrupted by Jax slowly running his hand up and down her arm and whispering, 'what are you thinking my love?'

'Oh, nothing of consequence. I'm just thinking about you and how much I love you. How I never thought I'd have what we have now.'

He looked at her with such deep adoration in his eyes when she said that. Something she knew was deeper than what she thought she felt for him.

In that moment, Evelynn knew she loved Jax more than she ever thought was possible to love another person In that moment, she knew Jax was the man she wanted to marry and start a family with. In that moment, everything in her life suddenly made sense.

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Evelynn wasn't given much time to think about all the good things that came with Jax before Shantelle was gently touching her arm, reminding her where she was.

She startled at the touch but quickly recovered and finished entering her order. As soon as she finished, Shantelle was tugging on her arm to pull her back to the drink station to, no doubt, give her the latest gossip on Christopher.

To her surprise, Shantelle seemed to be very concerned about something other than Christopher. Looking her friend over, she finally asked, 'what's going on Shantelle? I can tell there's something you're not telling me.'

Shantelle looked at her friend and sighed as though she were unsure whether or not she could say everything that was really on her mind. Finally giving in to the unrelenting gaze of her best friend, she said, 'I know you're hurting and I know you're scared because Jax is here but Vickie just called and said she was coming in to get the end of day reports from yesterday. You know she'll be pissed if she comes in and sees you sitting with your table staring off into never never land.'

Evelynn looked at her friend as though she were amazed Shantelle thought she couldn't tell her that.

Still stunned by the fact that her best friend didn't want to tell her their manager was coming in, Evelynn said, 'why didn't you tell me as soon as she called?!' She could feel what she thought was anger start to bubble in her stomach as she continued her thought.

'I could have helped you get everything ready for when she got here. I may have a lot going on right now but, I'm at work and that's my number one priority.'

Evelynn sighed in an attempt to calm herself down. She knew Shantelle had good intentions but couldn't help feeling like she was being treated like a child.

'E, look, I know how hard this is for you and I want to make this as easy for you as I can. So, if I can get things ready before Vickie gets here and all I have to do is tell you to get up, I'm going to do that. I could handle this day on my own but you know Vickie thinks I'm incompetent.'

In the very moment Evelynn was going to respond, Vickie walked in the door and, without saying a word, immediately handed each girl a list of chores they knew were expected to be finished by the end of the day.

'Why are the silvers not being folded?! Evelynn, you need to wake up! You shouldn't be sleeping when you're here; you need to be awake. You're never here when you're here.'

Evelynn didn't even have a chance to catch her breath before Vickie had made her way to the kitchen so she could try and tell the cooks what exactly it was they were doing wrong.

Relieved she no longer had to try and understand what Vickie was saying through her incredibly thick Filipino accent and extravagant hand gestures, Evelynn walked into the dining room in an effort to get as far away from Vickie as possible and to appear as though she'd started working on the mundane tasks she was given.

Keeping her distance from Shantelle, she strategically avoided her table of talkative women so as the avoid the lecture she knew Vickie was planning as she shuffled her feet around the restaurant.

As Evelynn walked around the counter, scissors in hand to trim the dead edges off the plants Vickie had scattered around the building, she felt her phone grow increasingly heavy in her center apron pocket.

Without pulling her phone out of her pocket, Evelynn subtly looked down to check the time and saw, not only one but now, two emails from Jax that remained unread.

Making sure Vickie was out of sight and earshot, Evelynn made her way to the dish pit where Shantelle was deep cleaning the cup racks.

'While I was telling everyone what happened, Jax sent me an email I read but didn't respond to. Since Vickie has been here, he's sent another email that I haven't been able to look at. Will you cover for me if she asks?'

Shantelle didn't have to think before she replied with, 'of course I will, E. You know I would cover for you even if I didn't know where you were. Go find out what he said so you can come back and tell me!'

'Thankyouthankyouthankyou! I'll be right back, you're a lifesaver!'

Evelynn hurried to the back of the restaurant where she walked out the back door and toward the bathroom where she could read the ever pressing emails from her terrifying ex-boyfriend.

As she rushed into the bathroom, phone in hand, Evelynn had already read the blatantly irritated 'kay, well let me know what's up when you're at her doctor.'

She rolled her eyes at his petty frustration and opened the next email.

'Is there anyway I can reach you other than email.'

She sighed. She should have known he'd keep pushing for another way to reach her.

She hoped she could get away with ignoring the last email again and simply wrote, 'actually I don't know when her therapy ends.'

As that email sent, Evelynn thought to herself, 'if I keep ignoring him, he's going to get pissed and freak out on me. Better to tell him no and let him be pissed in an email rather than at my apartment tonight.'

She quickly typed out a 'no, not right now, I don't think so,' and sent it shortly after the other.

She knew she had some time before Shantelle texted her and told her to come back because Vickie was looking for her. Evelynn decided to wait it out for a few minutes to see what Jax had to say.

Her phone buzzed in her hand and when she read the 'you said she goes to school at 10:00 and you work at 4:00...' she could feel his skeptikal gaze on her back and spun around in fear.

When no one was behind her and she felt safe again, Evelynn typed out her response of, 'she has school at eleven,' completely unaware that he somehow knew when she went into work the next day.

Almost as soon as she pressed the send button, Jax had replied. She sighed as she whisper read the new email.

'Oh...so at like 11:00 you can come over, and we can cuddle and kiss and such.'

In the moment Evelynn was going to reply, Shantelle texted her saying, Vickie's looking for you, hurry back.'

She hurried and typed out a quick 'sometime around there,' and ran out of the bathroom.

As she walked down the hallway, her phone rang in her apron pocket with yet another email from Jax.

Evelynn rolled her eyes again as she read the 'okay...so you're not going to try and get your things...we're just going to have a chill day...fod, cuddles, sex, etc.'

'Get back to work Evelynn. You can deal with him later; you have to handle Vickie first.'

She put her phone back into her pocket and braced herself for the whirlwind she knew Vickie would be.

Evelynn stepped back into the restaurant where Vickie was immediately in front of her.

'What were you doing? You were out there too long; we're busy in here. Shantelle has three tables.'

Evelynn gave a half smirk as she held back a chuckle then said, 'Vickie, you underestimate Shantelle; she can take care of her three tables and more if they came in. Look how happy she is out there. All I did was leave for a couple minutes to go to the bathroom.'

She put her hands in her apron pocket carefully so as to avoid her phone. She shied away from her phone as though it were toxic.

Vickie looked at her as though she were going to retaliate but saw something in Evelynn's eyes that told her not to.

Evelynn walked past Vickie into the dining room to see Shantelle at Christopher's table, her party that she got as soon as they opened, and one other small table of three.

Evelynn sighed as Shantelle walked up to the open kitchen counter where six hot plates of food sat, waiting to be run to her table.

They took three plates each and loaded them onto their arms to carry to her table.

When Shantelle set the last plate down, Christopher stood up, and, like clockwork, Shantelle appeared at his side.

She checked over her shoulder to make sure Vickie wasn't around before she stood on her toes and kissed him goodbye.

Evelynn ignored them as they started discussing the plans they'd made for that weekend and focused on the task at hand. Vickie's long list of chores.

As she walked away, Anita gently grabbed her wrist and said, 'Evie, baby, you're going to be okay. You're a strong girl and you can do hard things.'

Evelynn smiled to let Anita know she heard her and was appreciative of the sweet comment, and continued to the back of the restaurant for a tray to gather the salt and pepper shakers. She put thirty two empty salt and pepper shakers on her tray, even though she knew she only needed thirty. She knew from too many past experiences that Jacob, the coworker she rarely worked with since he was only scheduled nights, put the caps on too tight and untwisting them had the potential to crack the glass.

She tossed the buckets of salt and pepper onto her tray, grabbed a pair of gloves, and walked out of the back room to fill new salt and peppers and eliminate at least one task on Vickie's mile long list.

As she walked back into the dining room, Evelynn noticed Vickie was out talking to the few tables that were trying to eat. She felt a slight pull of sympathy for the guests in the restaurant as she used to be in their place; but, the feeling was quickly overpowered by relief that Vickie wouldn't be hovering over her while she worked.

She put her gloves on, started to unscrew caps, and, like clockwork, two of her salt and pepper shakers cracked and she had to throw them away.

Shantelle walked behind her and quickly whispered, 'is she ever going to leave? These chore lists, are getting to be unrealistic.'

Evelynn softly laughed to herself but didn't say anything. She knew if Vickie saw them stop long enough to have a conversation, there would be a twenty minute lecture about how it looks bad if employees are standing around talking instead of doing small side jobs that need to be done.

As she finished pouring salt into the fifteenth shaker, she looked up and noticed her table all needed new waters. She usually just put a big pitcher of water on the table for when they needed it so she wasn't filling water glasses too frequently. Her strategy when Vickie was around though, was to get them all new waters as often as possible so she had an excuse to be at their table talking with them.

She dropped off six new water glasses and when she set the last glass down, Vickie seemed to have materialized out of thin air. Evelynn ignored her and asked her table if they needed anything else, knowing full well Anita would make small talk with her about her family or school or her plans for the weekend until Vickie left so none of them had to hear about how 'nothing was ever done correctly and she would just have to come in and redo it all when the restaurant closed anyways' for what felt like the millionth time to everyone.

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dreaming a reality

Posted by Les Rhynox in last call, 11 December 2017 · 398 views
dreams, blogger, writing, reality and 2 more...

last night I dreamed a dream so close to reality that I had to confirm if was a dream when I awoke. the world was burning, the sky was falling, but the people were frozen. birds and pets were on fire dying in the streets. I walked up to the first frozen person and stared at their face. it was someone I once knew, or at least she looked like her. then I glanced around and realized, these are all people I once knew. I even saw my self. at that time I was trying to piece things together. "Maybe I'm dead and this is me looking back on the past?" I walked through the streets of stillness. it was lonely. everyone was "there", but they weren't "THERE". then I saw a house. it was familiar to me, even though I've never seen this house before in my life. I walk up to the door, started to knock, but then remembered I'm alone and just walked in. Once I get in, there's a person! she was the first person I saw when I came into this dooms day '17, but she wasn't frozen anymore. she's sitting on the couch crying. I walked over to her and instantly started to comfort her. Forget everything else, forget the world crashing all around me, forget the frozen family and friends, it was her time now. "what's wrong?" I asked. she looked up at me with the eyes of everyone I know and said "You're so worried about me, everything else is falling apart. you have to forget about me." the sentence stung my heart, but my eyes were paying the price. I looked over her head, out of the window, and watched as the sky fell and set fire to the bodies of ever body I once knew. she was right. then I woke up drenched sweat and tears. I immediately ran out side in just my boxers to feel the cold are and feel something to let me know that it was just a dream. but was it? 



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the explorer

Posted by kkwhatkk in kkwhatkk's Blog, 08 November 2017 · 333 views
#story #review

Hey, Guys so i'm really new to this platform and i have no idea what I'm doing. Anyways i was given a creative task to do and i would love to anyone to review my work thank you.



When I was just a young boy, my father and I would go out to the coast to explore the white sparkling sand that resembled thousands of stars. We would spend hours jumping and dancing in the icy blue sea that was so clear, it was clear as glass. When we became tired, father and I would watch every cloud forming their mysterious shapes and we would use our imagination to guess what it was. These monumental days went on forever. A never-ending journey of exploration of the golden beach that my father and I have once claimed land, the land once we cried with laughter and understanding the beauty of the fiery sunset. As 20 years have passed, I’m standing on the very same beach with the same dancing flames of sand, radiating my toes as I admire the beauty that nature as created. I cannot help but think of him. He would always carry a map and would say “the gods are always going to trick you Charles, that’s why we follow the map.” And now what’s left is grief and pain inside of me as if he had shared his feelings and disappeared.

To me, I admire him as an explorer not some kind of Geologist or Cartographer. He would often go out to the world for months and each time he came back he would tell me stories of mystical creatures he had found and fought, treasures he swore was made from diamonds that was too blinding to take. Even though I loved his stories and I screeched with excitement whenever he told me. I would hide my annoyance of him leaving me again and again. “Pa, why are you leaving again and why does it have to be so long?” “Well son I don’t want to disappoint you with my stories, besides explorers go out with a bang,” he said with a cheeky wink.

The harsh reality behind my father’s stories was never up to my expectations. Every trip he made he became more obsessed with his projects; every trip he took his office would be filled with coloured post notes that would make you sick if you stared at it long enough. I would always be waiting for him to get home. My favourite spot was at the door whenever I would hear his footsteps I would be the first person to open the door and whenever I do I swear the door would get lighter. He would greet me and pick me up, spin me around as if it was just me and him in a different universe. When he was in his office, I would sit beside the closed door with my ear pressed on the wood trying to figure out what his project entailed. I would imagine that he was the only genius, figuring every riddle that had come to challenge him. Whenever he had figure out the riddle he would burst out of the door followed by a gust of wind and laugh, with me up in the air laughing with him we would dance and sing while he showed me his work of art; the maps. I’m glad that I had captured these moments, because as time has passed he had forgotten our tradition of summer days at the coast and even so, me too.

How I come to finally realise that he was gone when I couldn’t find my inner youth. How I realised time was playing games with me every minute, every second he would change into a different man, but obviously, I didn’t realise that I was just a simple child. As time goes by he would go for months in his “adventures” and lock himself in his office for eternity trying to memorise the ghastly post notes trying so hard to keep it fresh in his mind that he became obsessive. His sickness grew every second when he spent time in that room. When he finally opened his door, instead of picking me up and cheering for his victory he slammed me across my face. The burning and tingling sensation spread effortlessly while hearing the painful words of “go away, you are useless and distracting me from my work”. My mother rushed in and comforted me saying “It’s alright Charles he’s just tired, let’s just leave it”. After that, I never saw him as a man, as a father or even an explorer I had once admires and aspired to be. He was now just an obsolescence who is obsessed with rocks; he’s no one to me. He would occasionally let out a scream of frustration because he would have forgotten or couldn’t solve a text and worst of all he would pack his wrecked leather suitcase and not knowing where to go.

One summer morning mother and I smelt something burning. It was like a trail of black wings guiding us and once we open the door, the horror laid on display for us to see. The burning of his art turned into nothing but flames and he was lying in the middle of all the mess with the very first map he had ever created with an emotionless expression.

I’m now pulling myself out of the past and jumping back to reality, I now know I have the power of forgiveness. I knew he had a choice to stop, a choice to restart his life but he didn’t because he thought he was chasing his dreams and nothing could’ve stopped him not me nor time. Life is unexpected and people change: in my case, it wasn’t for the better but my father was suffering and I forgive him even if he decided to leave me forever because now he is in peace, I guess that’s what makes me human. How I can take this lesson and carry this through my journey. I brought out the urn of ashes and set it free with the crystal sea while I burned the once beloved map watching it float its way to the next destination.

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I do not know how or what to do

Posted by Adam Tarawneh in Adam Tarawneh's Blog, 22 August 2017 · 388 views

Long story short, I have been writing poetry for as long as I can remember as it always has been my dream to make a book out of all the effort that I have placed into it. I shared it with a lot of my friends and strangers that I meet up with in person. Many encouraged me to publish my work and ever since, I have been looking for a way to publish.

The first thing that came to mind was to go to a university, and see how they publish their works. I then stepped upon an incident which was unfortunate for the lad involved, but fortunate for me, as I was planning to actually go to the same person who was included in the incident. Anyhow, the lad was furiously attacking the person that I was seeking for stealing the credit of his work by publishing his work under his name instead of the lad's name or something like that. That was my warning and first slap for publishing.

That was the only place in my region that actually publishes books. That out the choice pushed me to search for alternatives, some of which encouraged me to go to India and get it published there, however I do not know anyone in India or know where to begin, so my lack of knowledge about India marked itself out as a choice. Then VALLA!!! I found an online publishing office, which looked so good to be true, however it wasn't. It was your typical "Give me your money" kind of scam. I traced the IP address of the person contacting me, who claimed to be in California, which he was actually in Singapore, and then I googled the website, to find several warnings of it being a giant scam train for writers of all sorts.

I figured I would find a local community of writers and one of them would have a lead... I found a magnificent group of poets and they were beyond excellent, however, all of them were in the same shoes as I was. They were all looking for a way to publish.

What to do, where to go, how to do it...

That is why I am here, I hope that someone can give me a lead, or show me which star to follow.

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My Novel Is Finished... Now to Find an Agent

Posted by Soreen Laythyn in Trinity: Death and All His Soldiers, 28 July 2017 · 356 views
queries, finding an agent and 2 more...

Hey everyone, this is my first post for this blog. I have another one on Tumblr if you want to see that one, but I'm documenting my journey to becoming a published author and I hope that you all follow me on it. So without further or do, my name is Soreen Laythyn and my Novel is called Trinity: Death and All His Soldiers.

It's about a teenage boy who can see, hear and speak the dead but wants to lead a normal life. When his life and the life of his family are put in danger, he finds out that he's not the only person who can do what he does. Enter the Reapers; half-living, half-dead superhumans who fight the dead and help them cross over to the Spirit World.

He'll need their help if he wants to figure out what happened to his family, and why he can see, hear and speak to the dead. Because the Reapers sure would like to know...

If you like it, drop a comment. If you search the title of my novel on the website, you'll find a few discussions on it. Thanks and stay tuned. Follow me on Tumblr at this website:

https://theaspiringwriters.tumblr.com/

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Does anyone feel as though they are directionless

Posted by lcjm1922 in Lavivian's Blog, 13 June 2017 · 449 views

I am 24 years old and yes there have been times in my life where I have felt so lost. This world offers so many different directions its hard to know which one to choose to go in. Since we have to choose a direction to go in all we can do is hope its the right one. Nobody wants to walk around feeling completely lost...Does anyone else feel this way?

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Announcing THE STAR SHEPHERD – an illustrated MG Fantasy

  Posted by MarcyKate in MarcyKate's Blog, 29 April 2017 · 350 views

I’m so thrilled to share the wonderful news that I’m co-authoring THE STAR SHEPHERD with the incredibly talented author/illustrator Dan Haring! THE STAR SHEPHERD is a heavily illustrated middle grade novel and such a wonderful, special story. I’m so excited that this book will be published and that our agents had the brilliant idea that […]

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26 Books

Posted by lbarry in Ideas and Incunabulae, 27 April 2017 · 440 views

Follow the Facebook page: https://www.facebook...32310180551492/

26 Books is a conceptual publishing collective. It is "collective" in the sense that there is a group of self-publishers of artist books, that make their work into a collectible set of 26 books.

A complete set of 26 books will span the colors of the light spectrum, from red to violet, book-ended by black and white [Titles beginning with A are red, to Z (violet), black and white are wildcards]. All books must be at least 100 pages, so as to produce a spine approximately 1 inch to clearly display the color and title. People can collect a complete set of 26, drawn from a library of contributing works organized alphabetically. Some of the books would be blank, and people would fill them with content as unique singular artist books.

You don't necessarily have to finish a book, you can simply choose a color and title it accordingly, and briefly describe what the book is about.

You can register it here, then write it later. It is your custom "Moleskine" book. (All topics are moderated and approved by 26 Books. "Tasteful" adult books will be accepted, such as nude art photography.)

N.B.: 26 Books is Not a Publisher. It is a group-concept of artist books, produced and published by you. It may decide to become a publisher at some point in the future. You retain all rights in your work.

If you decide to self-publish your work to print, contact us for formatting specifications. Currently Lulu.com is the preferred vendor.

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My Blog Is Relocated!

  Posted by Joe Stephens in My Train of Thought, 08 April 2017 · 416 views

Followers of my blog can find it at this new address: https://www.joestephenswrites.com/blog.

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