The Riptide – Flash Fiction


Devin loved swimming. A powerful attraction drew her to the ocean which she couldn’t resist. The sea had become her companion and like a jealous lover demanded all her time.

The riptide struck and sucked her into the depths. The waves rolling above pulled one way, while the rip current below, pulled her in the opposite direction. Devin kicked hard, finally breaking free.

This had been her longest swim. Now, she knew for a fact, the experimental drugs had caused her lungs to grow. She could spend hours underwater without added oxygen. Her fate as a mermaid was sealed.


Image credit: Pixabay.com

I’ve written this piece of flash fiction for the writing challenge at Carrotranch.com. Here is the September 14, 2017, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a riptide. How can it be used to move a story? It could be a stretch of turbulent water or a pull of another kind. Go where the prompt leads even if you find it unexpected.

Respond by September 19, 2017, to be included in the compilation (published September 20). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

Thanks for stopping by! ❤


Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “Behind the Door,” by Author, P. C. Zick

  • Title: Behind the Door, Book 4 in the Behind the Love Series
  • Amazon Author Page: P. C. Zick
  • File Size: 2535 KB
  • Print Length: 167 Pages
  • Publisher: Self-published by the author
  • Publication Date: May 16, 2017
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B06XK79QZK
  • ISBN-10: 1545593647
  • ISBN-13: 978-1545593646
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Literature, Military Fiction, Romance

*I was given an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the author for review purposes*

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

A VOLUPTUOUS WOMAN UNLUCKY IN LOVE. A WOUNDED PSYCHOLOGIST ON A MISSION. AN UNDENIABLE ATTRACTION WITH AN ETHICAL DILEMMA.

Sally Jean Compton is in love. And this time it’s with a man who isn’t in love with someone else. Dr. Brett Gorman arrives in Victory to help the veterans of Deer River with PTSD symptoms. When tragedy strikes, neither Sally Jean nor Brett are prepared for what happens next.

The shocking aftermath of the terror of PTSD untreated leaves the entire town of Victory reeling. But none are more affected than Sally Jean and Brett who must deal with their own pasts and the trauma left behind.

When Sally Jean seeks out the expertise of Dr. Brett, the psychologist of the river folks, they discover an intense attraction that leads them both to learn about themselves.

But before anything happens, Sally Jean must learn she deserves to be loved, and Brett must forgive himself for the death of his friend and his sister, his wife. It’s a rocky journey to love.

Behind the Door is the fourth novel in the Behind the Love contemporary romance series that features sizzling attractions, dramatic confrontations, and intertwined and complicated lives. Set in the fictional small town of Victory, Florida, friends fight and love and form families of their own choosing.

BUY BEHIND THE DOOR TO START READING ABOUT IRRESISTIBLE CHARACTERS FILLED WITH PASSION.

MY RECOMMENDATION:

Love has found Sally Jean Compton and James Luther once and for all. Head over heels for each other, the two plan their life with an eye toward marriage. Sally Jean couldn’t be happier. James has finally found meaning in his life. Life is the sweetest it could be for two people in love.

Until that day. In the blink of an eye, the couple’s future is changed forever. Sally Jean is devastated as she tries to reason out the turn her life has taken. Thank goodness for her friends who help her cope.

Leah, from Soup’s On (featured in book one), asks Dr. Brett Gorman, a psychologist with a specialty in PTSD to help the veterans deal with the situation. The town of Victory, Florida will never be the same. The doctor agrees, and when he meets Sally Jean, he struggles to keep his composure under control. He is clearly smitten with her. Never has he felt such a connection before. With Sally Jean, Brett Gorman feels alive.

Unfortunately, Sally Jean has her own issues. When her past rises up to suck her down into the morass once again, Dr. Brett is there to help her muddle through. However, Sally Jean doesn’t see their relationship as anything more than great sex. Will Dr. Brett be able to help Sally Jean gain the self-confidence she needs to be part of a loving relationship?

Behind the Door, is the last book in the Behind the Love series. Don’t worry, each novel stands alone. The characters do overlap from novel to novel, giving the reader the chance to get to know them in different situations. That is one of my favorite things about the author. P.C. Zick creates characters that remind you of your friends or maybe even yourself in similar circumstances. There is always someone you can relate to.

I have read so many romance novels that I have lost count of them all. Most of them blend together with predictable plots. Yet, these books have been different. I have loved this series from start to finish. In fact, I haven’t read the third book and will now backtrack to complete my journey to Victory, Florida. The characters have stuck in my heart, and they are like visiting old friends.

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars



Author, P. C. Zick

About the Author

Bestselling author P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.

The three novels in her Florida Fiction Series contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. “Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife—both human and animal—supply my fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable.”

Her contemporary romances in the Behind the Love series are also set in Florida. The novels in her most recent series, Smoky Mountain Romances, are set in in Murphy, North Carolina. She is currently working on a new romance series, Rivals in Love. Join the Crandall family of Chicago as the siblings find love despite their focus on successful careers. All of her books are stand-alone reads, even if they appear in a series.

Her novels contain elements of romance with strong female characters, handsome heroes, and descriptive settings. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion, and through her fiction, she imparts this philosophy in an entertaining manner with an obvious love for her characters, plot, and themes.

Links:

Behind the Altar – https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Altar-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B00N2WPFD0

Behind the Bar – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V41FL26

Behind the Curtain – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JTHQ5I

Behind the Door – https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Door-Love-Book-ebook/dp/B06XK79QZK

Subscribe to P. C. Zick’s Newsletter and never miss a thing! – http://bit.ly/2neozgi

Amazon Author Central

Website: pczick.com

Blog: Living Lightly pczick.wordpress.com

Facebook Fan Page

Follow on Twitter: @PCZick


P.C. Zick is also an editor. Her services include editing, proofreading, formatting, coaching, and consultation on publishing. Please visit her website, The Manuscript Doctor, to find out more about her services and rates.

Do you want to know more about the series and P.C. Zick’s writing journey? Click to read, “Revisioning Into Romance, by P. C. Zick.” 

Thanks for stopping by to meet P.C. Zick.  I’ll see you in the next review – after I finish reading this new book…



A Halloween Encounter

horse-hole

The yellow smudge of a setting sun slipped behind the trees leaving a warm glow to the field.  Nightbirds scattered, roosting in the trees while insects droned on in a constant monotony. The air felt cooler after the heat of the day. Ground fog swirled around the grasses casting eerie shadows on the ground. The evening gloom was rapidly approaching. I shivered in anticipation.

Not far off in the field, our two neighbor horses steadily crunched grass, their teeth reflecting bone-white in the rays of the setting sun.  It was Halloween night – All Hallows Eve.  Children would soon fill the neighborhood with the sounds of laughter, as they went from house to house showing off their costumes and collecting treats.

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My eyes drifted toward the horse hole which was visible in the fading light.  The horses visited me daily looking for handouts of carrots or even an occasional apple. They hung their necks through the opening, all the while munching, as I rubbed their velvety noses.  They were the best neighbors.

I was ready this time. Last Halloween I ran out of candy early. This year I made sure I had plenty of treats to hand out to the kids. My pumpkins were lit, and the decorations spread around the front porch were inviting – not too scary for the little kids. I made myself comfortable in a chair and sipped a glass of wine, enjoying the descending darkness.

The kids came from every corner of the neighborhood, dressed as fairy princesses with dainty shoes, green colored Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, skeletons, Count Dracula’s, monsters of every variety you could imagine. Babies were dressed up as bugs, teddy bears, and even a vampire baby stopped at my door to receive a treat.

The darkness filled the neighborhood. The street lights were lit, and a warm glow cast long shadows on the road. The children ran ahead of their parents, filled with excitement.  Parents milled about in small groups watching their kids, always near. I smiled at the sounds of laughter which completed the friendly Halloween atmosphere. I couldn’t help but marvel at how cute the kids were, enjoying the banter they exchanged with their friends.

By late evening, most of the children and parents were finished with Trick or Treat and were heading home. A few crying fairies stomped their way behind their parents, mad because the great adventure was over for another year.

I cleaned up the porch and put away the decorations in the storage bin.  It was a lovely Monday night, unusual for this time of year. I refilled my glass and walked out back to the patio which overlooked the field where the neighbor horses grazed.

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The view was amazing. Stars lightly sprinkled the sky spread out like a mantle overhead. The warmth of the day had dissipated, and I could feel the coolness creep in between the folds of my sweater. I sipped my wine and appreciated the spectacular beauty of the night sky.

Suddenly, the most obnoxious odor seemed to waft, thick like a fog, drifting in the air around the horse hole. Far in the distance, I could hear the neighbor horses running as their thundering hooves hit the ground. They ran hard, and their frightened cries filled the field. I was rooted to the spot, unable to move. My heart leaped into my throat, and I couldn’t breathe.

It was then, in the inky blackness of the field that I saw him – the Headless Horseman! His profile glowed in the shimmery darkness of the horse hole! A large orange head burned with an intensity that scared me deep into my bones. I felt the wine glass fall from my hand and shatter on the ground. Shards of glass flew into the air, spraying bits of glass into my hair.

headless-horseman

(Image Credit: Telltale Games)

The horseman’s black steed snorted flashes of lightning through his muzzle, and his blood-red eyes glared at me.  The creature balanced a glowing Jack-o-lantern in his right hand. I could see him clearly, and there was NO head. The apparition was so lifelike that I could make out the buttons on his coat which were visible in the light from the glowing pumpkin.

I swallowed hard and felt my eyes popping out of my head. I stared transfixed at the horse hole for what seemed like hours but was only, in reality, a few seconds. The Headless Horseman whirled about on his black steed and disappeared into the blackness. The fog churned in great billows and drifted about the field in his wake.

Slowly, the smell faded. The fog grew thicker, and moisture dripped from the leaves on the trees. I trembled uncontrollably. All around me, I heard no sounds. My breaths came in great gasps. I whirled around, trying to catch my breath. I stopped to gaze once again at the horse hole. It was dark – just swirling fog and an eerie quiet which lingered, jangling my nerves.

He was gone. I felt my heart pound a quick staccato in my chest. With great effort, I relaxed my tightened muscles and walked toward the horse hole for one last look. My shoes crunched in the ruins of the wine glass beneath my feet. Behind me, inside the house, a light came on in the kitchen which illuminated the patio outside.

“Colleen, it’s getting late. Come inside,” my husband, Ron called out to me.

“On my way.” I surveyed the area one last time. I took my time walking toward the back door. My thoughts milled about in my head. How could I tell him what had just happened without him laughing at me?

Maybe I better keep this encounter to myself, I thought. Too much wine and a tad too much chocolate could be the answer to my vision. I shook my head at the broken wine glass on the patio, realizing that red wine would stain the concrete. The stain had already spread, and a dark patch of discoloration was visible beneath my feet. With a shrug, I turned and walked away.

I traipsed into the house, locked the door, and turned off the light.That was enough Halloween for this year.

 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed my scary encounter from when we lived in Florida! ❤ True story! 😀

happy-halloween

The Heart Stone Chronicles – Book Cover Reveal

While on a walk during a warm foggy morning in November 2014, I had a close encounter of the fairy kind. We were living in Pensacola, Florida. I still remember the day, as if it had been carved into my memory, something I will never forget.

The road I took on my morning walk

I heard a sound that instantly caught my attention. At first, I thought it might be an injured bird rustling in the thick underbrush. I peered into the foliage and drew back in surprise. At first, I thought I saw a ruby-throated hummingbird with brilliant green feathers. However, that was not so.

Instead, I saw a tiny green swamp fairy fluttering on delicate wings that looked like transparent leaves. She had hair the color of corn silk. Bottle green leaves adorned her miniature body. The heady fragrance of lavender, patchouli, and sandalwood wafted on the air. I stood there transfixed by the vision. I realized then, I was witnessing a miracle. I had been given the gift of fairy vision.

The spot where I saw the swamp fairy

The petite winged-being stared at me with eyes as green as the leaves she was hiding in. I felt something akin to a spiritual encounter. An overwhelming feeling of peace and love surrounded me and held me within its grasp. In an instant, she was gone. She vanished into the fog that swirled around me.

I shook my head and continued my walk. My feet felt lighter that day. I knew something had changed. The swamp fairy had ignited my imagination. I knew what this fairy encounter meant. I had been granted the ability to become a fairy whisperer.

I started to write stories about the swamp fairies. The stories (and blog posts) came in quick succession. Next, the dreams started. I began to channel the stories of the fairy nymphs that had inspired me that day long ago. I watched as the actual swamp that I walked past each day was being crowded out by the building of new homes. Slowly, a story began to form in my mind.

Fairy Swamp is located behind the development site in Pensacola, Florida

By fall of 2015, we moved to Colorado. The dreams continued and grew stronger. The stories changed. The fairy nymphs wanted me to tell their stories. And, that is exactly what I have done.

As I continue to work on the edits of my first YA series, The Heart Stone Chronicles, Book One – The Swamp Fairy, I wanted to share the book cover with you. By the way, if it were not for the editing expertise of Melissa Barker-Simpson, this story would not be as eloquently presented. Mel has my gratitude for life.

The book cover is an exceptional piece of art. My dear friend, Wendy Anne Darling, an author, and graphic artist has drawn and designed the cover art. She was able to incorporate one of my actual photos of the swamp into the cover.

Here is a synopsis of the story:

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative.

Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that has belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.

But with that power comes a greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

Fairy Swamp

As an added bonus to my book cover reveal, Wendy Anne Darling would like to offer a NEW business special. My book cover has helped to launch her new book cover business called, Bookxeedo.

Please click HERE to visit Bookxeedo’s pricing and terms

Wendy would like to offer a 50% discount on the first five book covers that mention my book cover reveal. That is a substantial savings on book cover art. One that is hard to beat!

Hurry, to take advantage of this special offer!

Thank you for being part of my book cover reveal. So many of you have guided me, taught me, and supported me throughout this process. Thank you, all. I can’t wait to share my published book with you all. It’s coming soon!

Rainy Forecast for Eclipse Viewing in Pensacola, FL Tonight

Image Credit: Pixabay Free Images

Do you want to know what time you will be able to see the Blood Moon Eclipse where you are in the world?

Click
here

(timeanddate.com)
to find out when you can view the eclipse!

Eclipses in Pensacola, Florida, U.S.A.

Max view in Pensacola

Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 9:47 PM

Global Type: Total Lunar Eclipse

Pensacola: Total Lunar Eclipse

Begins: Sun, Sep 27, 2015 at 7:11 PM

Maximum: Sun, Sep 27, 2015 at 9:47 PM

Ends: Mon, Sep 28, 2015 at 12:22 AM

Duration: 5 hours, 11 minutes

I was hoping to get a few photos… but the weatherman is saying it is going to rain! Take lots of pictures everyone!

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RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #62 Start & Hot

On this Haiku Friday, Ronovan’s words this week were fabulous (as always) and really inspired me to play with one of my photos. The words, “start” and “hot” have so many different meanings. What fun!

I call this haiku, “Day Break,” a typical Florida day…

Thanks for stopping by. I sure enjoyed seeing all of you. HAPPY FRIDAY!

Hurry Up and WAIT… and Other Miscellaneous Bits

Come on in and have a seat. That’s right. There you go. I have bottled water, coffee, tea… your choice.

I thought it would be fun to just chat for a change. I figured it was time to explain all the crazy blog themes I have been experimenting with and to bring you up to date on my life.

First, the themes. My friend, Ron from Ronovan Writes wrote a great post about our blogs and widgets and all the things we think makes life easier for our readers on our blogs. Make sure to check out this post because it has some valid points worth considering when you are setting up your blog.

Silver is a little crazy!

I know many of you thought I was mad as a hatter for all the theme changes the last few weeks. Well, I am and that has not changed! Actually, I was playing with images and load times for the images. Many of my blog posts are heavy with images so this was something I had to deal with. I had a couple of people say it took a long time for my post to load so they could read it. I did not want to eliminate all the photos for my Writer’s Quote Wednesdays!

I finally settled on the Penscratch theme. I like the way this one loads my header. When I reduced some of the widgets I had, it started to load faster too. In addition, I like the “featured images” part of this theme. It allows you to feature a photo to attract the attention of your readers which is a nice feature.

I also took Ronovan’s advice and reduced the number of blog posts that load on my blog to only five at a time. I think that has made a difference in the quickness of the theme to load. If any of you see differently, please let me know.

Do not be afraid to experiment.

The other thing I did was to eliminate receiving emails for all of your blog posts. Some days I was dealing with 300 emails a day and that is just too much. My phone receives all my email and it was ready to explode! I do not feel so stressed with all the mail since I decided to make another important change.

I have started using the WordPress reader exclusively. That is not exactly true, I do Google your blogs and find your posts that way if you don’t show up in the reader. This whole blogging adventure is meant to be fun but if all I do is go through emails I do not have time for writing and leaving comments. That was a huge concern for me.

Some of my other blogging friends, Hugh, from Hugh’s Views and News, and Judith, from Barrow Blogs have written some excellent posts about finding a happy medium with your blogging and the number of followers and who you follow back. Please read these posts and see if there is a way that you can reduce your blogging stress. (Just click on the bolded names of their blogs to read the articles).

Blogging is fun. Quit making it so much work!

On another note, we had an open house yesterday for our house sale. Only one couple showed up, although all the comments we received were favorable. Patience is something that I am dealing with along with the realization that this is an excellent house and someone will buy it. So, it is “hurry up and wait time.” I do feel a bit more peaceful about the waiting part. After all, everything in the South is slower and there is nothing you can do about it. Good things come to those who wait! J

Thanks for visiting with me and I hope your week is stupendous! If I have not visited you in a while, stop by and let me know. I want to make the people who visit and comment on my posts a priority. You are all important to me. Thanks for taking this great journey with me.

A Love Lost

Howling winds and driving rains seethe

in the dark and hazy recesses of my mind.

Raindrops slowly streak the window pane

like tear drops shed in vain while

all the while waiting and wondering,

I sit writhing in torturous agony and pain.

Sorrow washes in dark tumultuous waves,

crashing against my broken battered heart.

Love’s sweet music now silent –

singing only mournful refrains.

~

2015 © Copyright-All rights reserved
Colleen Chesebro of www.silverthreading.com

Image credit: Google Images of Pensacola Beach