Fiction Friday!

First off, EXCITING news! We just hit 50 blog followers, and you know what that means! I'll be giving away a personalized copy of Christina Berry's award-winning book, The Familiar Stranger. I'll announce the winner of that contest next week. But now for the main event, the first Fiction Friday posting! So grab a cup of tea and some cookies (or crumpets, if you're fancy) and take a seat in your favorite chair.

The way this will work is I've composed the beginning of a story for you and left it on a hook. What I want you to do, in 100-200 words, is write the next segment. I'll choose my favorite, then add to it next week, and so on, until the end of the month. Then, I'll pick my favorite story addition and send that person the earrings I made on Wednesday's vlog. Next month we'll start a whole new story. Got it?

So basically, add to the story for your chance to win a pair of earrings. Super cool, handmade earrings. With crystals.

Without further adieu....

Jaime Rae watched as the ocean pulled back the tide, letting it reach further and further into the sand with each swell but never letting it drift too far.
If only her own life were that way.
But instead, her heart was breaking with regret as each wave rushed back into the depths of the ocean.
She crinkled her toes in the sand and looked off at the horizon as the setting sun colored the sky with brilliant shades of reds and oranges over a blanket of blue.
Just last night she was watching the sunset from a different perspective. She’d been just sure that little box peaking through his jacket pocket was ring-sized. Maybe not a large for blue ribbon to be attached, but still. She’d happily make do with a strip mall jeweler. Heck, she’d be happy with a Cracker Jack prize.
My, how she’d been wrong.
And now she was sitting here wearing two different colors of flip flips and having only eaten popcorn all day. Dry popcorn. And that was saying a lot of her mental state, given her usual daily allowance of chocolate.
She wouldn't risk her heart again, she decided. It just wasn’t worth trying.
And that’s when she saw him.


  1. Camden Jacobs’ smile broke through the shadow of the coming night. His arms engulfed her in a celebratory bear hug.

    She took a labored gasp to stifle the urge to fall apart, but accepted the needed embrace.

    He let loose and stared at her bare left hand. Clearly baffled, he reached for the right. After an awkward moment, the reality of what didn’t happen washed over him. Concern and anger flickered.

    She pulled her trembling hands loose. “Cam, I don’t want to talk about it.”

    His body became rigid and he began to pace circles around her. “Either you talk or I’ll make sure he does.”

  2. At first she'd thought it was a piece of driftwood, tossed back and forth with the waves. But for a second, just a second, a man's arm lifted, the color of skin contrasting with the blue of the water, then dropped with a splash.

    As Jamie Rae stared, confirming her eyes weren't playing tricks on her sugar-deprived brain, the arm disappeared beneath the surface.

    In two kicks, her flip flops lay abandoned behind her and she darted forward, fighting the grip of the sinking sand against her feet. Once she hit the water, her pace slowed even more, fighting the push of the cold water as well.

    She'd never tried to dive for speed from knee-deep water, but she couldn't waste a second. Sucking in a deep breath, she raised her arms and dove forward, praying she could stay close enough to the surface not to knock herself out by hitting her head on the bottom.

    Hard stones brushed her belly and bruised her knees, but she was conscious and moving forward.

    Once she reached the shape in the water, Jamie Rae raised her head, sucked in a deep breath, and dove down.

  3. In the muddy soup of the deeper water the light fought to keep her focused, but was slipping away faster than she could reach her target. She was feeling the pressure of her chest and knew she had to go for more air, but if she did she might never make it back in time. One more push toward the bottom and then she would surface.
    There! Was it her imagination or was that him? She grasped at his shirt as another more forceful wave pushed the body out into the rip tide. In a matter of seconds he was gone. It was no use to risk her life any longer.
    Laying on the sandy shore she looked down at her clenched fist. Even in the darkness she could make out the pattern of the fabric, and the logo embroidered on the pocket she had removed.
    "Nooooo!" she screamed as her world faded from view and she slipped into unconciousness...

  4. Todd Jensen.
    The toad. The tear jerker. The dream.
    He’d once held the sum of her dreams in the palm of his hand. Then scrunched them up and threw them away, like one would an empty paper bag.
    Unable to help herself, her eyes tracked his movements as he jogged smoothly across the sand, singlet ruffling as his arms pumped and his jet black curls bounced.
    Why today of all days did he have to be here. This was her sanctuary. Used to be theirs, true. But all hers now. He was supposed to be on the east coast somewhere, following those dreams that were more important than her.
    Seems like she had a talent for picking men like that.
    Well he’d jolly well better stay clear of me. I am not in the mood to talk to any more jerks. Especially jerks who lead me on with empty promises.
    A watery sniff escaped. She dug around in her pocket for a Kleenex. Giving up on searching by feel she grabbed the bottom of her pocket and tugged hard. Spare quarters, a crumpled tissue, the receipt for dinner last night and a slightly squishy candy bar tumbled out onto the sand beside her.
    Ooh! Chocolate!
    She snatched up the bar and the tissue. Giving her nose a cursory swipe, she brushed the sand off the wrapper and shoved the chocolate into her mouth.
    She closed her eyes savoring the way the chocolate swirled over her tongue. Ah, bliss. She felt the tension of the night before recede slowly, ebbing away like the tide that now inched its way from her toes.
    The squeak, thump of approaching footfalls thudded closer.
    Her eyes popped open. Him. She scrunched up her nose and sighed heavily. Go away. She busied herself stuffing the sum of her life’s achievements back in her pocket, hoping Todd would take the hint and leave her in peace.
    No such luck.

  5. I'm not entering the contest, but just wanted to pop by to say I already own a gorgeous pair of Ashley Clark designer earrings and I LOVE them! Wear them all the time and they are one of my favorite pairs! Thanks, Ashley! : )

  6. Aw, Deb--you are the absolute sweetest! :) Thank you, and I'm so glad you like your earrings. I hope they make you feel appreciated!

  7. The perfect specimen of canine flesh. Her heart's desire - a miniature Australian Shepherd. She lifted her eyes to the magnificent creature's owner.

    She sighed. George L. Peabody III. Why him?

    She returned her gaze to the dog. Small, around fifteen pounds, and beautiful. A blue merle.

    He hopped, skipped, and jumped around George's feet. His trimmed tail wagged in excitement as George spoke to him.

    She looked up. "Hi, George. Who's this?"

    "Lancaster. Lannie say hi to Jamie." The dog jumped in her lap and licked her face. "No, Lannie, down. I'm sorry, Jamie. He doesn't usually jump on people."

    Jamie smiled and scratched Lannie behind the ears. "That's okay. At least someone likes me enough to greet me with enthusiasm."

    "Something wrong?"

    "Why would you think that?"

    "Well, first your comment and I did notice shoes don't match - like you were distracted when you came out here."

    "Yeah, something's wrong, but I really don't want to talk about it."

    George unfolded the towel he held beneath his arm and sat down on it. He pulled a chocolate candy bar from his pocket and handed it to her.