Wilde's Fire

The exciting first book of the Darkness Falls series!

Wilde's Army

The second installment of Darkness Falls.

Wilde's Meadow

The conclusion of Katriona and Arland's story.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Who's There?

On a night like any other, Mom and I sat on our dingy, paisley couch covered with a mustard-yellow blanket and watched tv. The big window behind us was propped open wide, allowing the cool breeze to graze our necks. Cuddling was something I liked to do with my mom often, and I don’t believe she minded either. I snuggled into her arms, wrapping myself around her like a leech.

Crickets chirped, singing their evening tune, a song never changing no matter where I’ve lived, then something else chirped, too. A pager.

Behind us.


Mom startled. “Did you hear that?” she asked, hands shaking.

My heart raced. Blood thrummed in my temples. “Yes.”

Turning around, we saw nothing but darkness. Footsteps pounded the earth as whoever was looking in on us ran away.

Tears streamed down my face. I was already afraid of living in the middle of nowhere, and this just added to the mounting torment Lone Oak, Texas offered me.

Dad wasn’t home and neither was Kris, but the spy didn’t come back. Mom and I locked ourselves in tight, slept together for the evening, and wondered just who was out there.

But we never found out.

Happy Halloween everyone. Hope you enjoyed my very true but short story today. The pumpkins below were carved yesterday by my family. :-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

For those of you who didn't participate in Six Sentence Sunday last week, you can see what you missed here.

This will be my last continuation about "HE" (Yes, I'm evil and NO, you still won't fully understand who HE is. Muahahahaha!) Enjoy!

~He laughs, joining me on the floor. “No, Kate, this is not a dream.”

“Well, you have been in almost every one of my dreams since I was fourteen,” I say, not meeting his eyes. Do concussions cause hallucinations? I rub the back of my head. The swelling from my meeting with the rocks on Goat Ridge has gone away.~

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Funny

So I had a whole blog planned for today. I was going to recap my week, talk about carving pumpkins with the kids while sipping on apple cider, complain about the crazy amount of dance practices my daughter has tomorrow for the upcoming Nutcracker (YAY, go Kid #2), let you all know I'll be on the road next week because my brother is marrying the most wonderful girl in the world (and I'll go crazy with Kids #1-3 in the car), and tell you I appreciate every single one of you.

Instead of doing that (snickers), I'm going to share the comic strip @RedTashBooks designed for me based on this week's experiences.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Jail Bait

One day after school, my neighbor ventured across the pastures to play. Like so many other times, we watched tv, tossed the frisbee around for our dog Sam, climbed the wooden walls to the hay storage areas in the barn—very dangerous—and ventured behind the pond to see what we could discover in the run-off.

We jumped into piles of hay from heights that could break something if we hadn’t landed just right. We collected tadpoles from the stream and laughed as they wriggled in our hands.

We were kids, and fun was the only thing that mattered.

As the sun was setting and the tall grasses radiated with a golden hue, it was time for my friend to go home. Mom and Dad would return from work soon, which meant dinner and whatever else they had planned. Probably bathing and bedtime.

My friend and I ducked between the barbed wire fence and exchanged confused looks when her dogs started barking hysterically.

“Don’t they know it’s just us?” I asked ready to bolt for my house. No way was I getting bit by a dog.

She called out for the mangy mutts to shut up, but they continued on as if they didn’t even know we were coming.

Gripping the cold metal wire, I held the fence open enough for my friend to slip through, but we both stopped dead in our tracks.

Living in a trailer without plywood secured to the bottom of it, like ours, gave my friend and I a vantage point neither of us could have imagined. Someone jumped from her back deck, clad in black boots and dark-blue pants, and took off running, jingling all the while.


She looked at me, eyes-wide with panic. “No one’s home but me.”

“Run!” I screamed, trembling while holding the fence open for her to come back through.

We locked hands and ran all the way back to my house, jumping through the fence so fast we didn’t take the time to worry about the wounds the barbed wire inflicted.

Mom and Dad weren’t home yet. There was no one we could call. The police wouldn’t make it to the middle of nowhere fast enough. We were defenseless. I thought about my dad’s gun, then remembered what happened the last time I shot it.

“Don’t you have a knife or something? Anything? We can’t just sit here and wait for whoever that was to kill us.” My friend gasped for air, skin as pale as the cotton in the field next to us. Her hands were frozen and grasped permanently around my arm. “What about your dad’s machete?”

The fools we were, we grabbed my dad’s machete and instead of locking ourselves in the trailer with it, calling the cops anyway, or waiting for Mom and Dad to get home, we ventured back to her property.

I swung the gigantic, rusted knife through the grasses without chopping any of them down. The blade was dull. Just like our plan. My friend’s dogs weren’t barking anymore, there wasn’t any jingling, and we certainly didn’t spot a murderer waiting for us, but what we did see once we reached her fence was our courage run away.

We walked back to my house and waited for the adults to swoop in to rescue us. While we were daydreaming of all the ways we were going to die, I turned on the tv and saw a news report that had my blood running cold for weeks.

Breaking News: Convict escaped local jail and is on the loose in the Lone Oak area. If you see a man . . . .

I didn’t hear any more, didn’t see any more, past those words. I just knew whoever the escaped convict was, that’s who was in my friend’s house, running away in his black boots and dark-blue pants.

When she finally made it home, the only thing missing was money. Isn’t that what a recently escaped criminal would need?

That’s what I thought.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

By popular request, I'm picking up where we left off last week. So if you missed out, go read HERE, then come back...don't worry, we'll still be here when you get back.

~“Y-yes. I came to find someone to talk to and saw all of the food and couldn’t help myself. I’m sorry I’ve made such a mess.” I kneel to gather pieces of plate, chicken and potatoes from the floor. “This is all just a dream, it’s just a dream, and everything is going to be okay,” I whisper to myself.

“A dream?”~

There is no official Six Sentence link this week, but make sure you check back next week for more authors involved in the Six.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Orange pumpkins lined our neighbor’s porches. Carved and downright scary, the most wasted food on the planet illuminated all the decorations people had so intricately put on their homes for the spookiest day of the year.

Walking home from school I envied these families, envied the kids living in those homes who would don their Halloween best and romp around the neighborhood collecting candy later that evening. For free.

My parents didn’t allow us to celebrate Halloween, said it was the devil’s day, it was evil and . . . I’m not even positive what the full excuse was because I didn’t understand it.

I was mad.



Why did I have to stay home when all my friends were out running around? Why did we lock ourselves up? Why didn’t I get to dress up like a witch or fairy or princess?

Pushing through the front door, I dropped my book bag then went for my room where I remained the rest of the afternoon.

Mom and Dad came home from work and dragged me out to spend time with them, but something was different. They had plastic bags full of things they were talking in hushed whispers over.

Could it be? Had they changed their minds? Would I get to go out this year?

I couldn’t contain my excitement. A smile stretched across my face and I ran up to them and tugged on Mom’s hand. “What’s in the bag?”


“Tracks? Like railroad tracks?” I asked, leaning in to get a good look inside the bag.

Dad laughed. “No, like religious tracts. Instead of handing out candy or pretending like we’re not home, we’re going to pass these out.” He dug one out and gave it to me. “This is going to be great.”

No. No this was not going to be great. I may have only been in second grade, but I knew without a doubt how this would go over. We were going to be known as the family who didn’t just hide on Halloween, we were going to become the family who refused to give out candy on Halloween.


“You can help pass them out.” Dad placed the bag on the entryway table and went about his business for the rest of the evening.

I cried on the inside. Opening that door would give me a glimpse into a world I’d never experience. A pure, simple fun I’d never know. Did they realize how bad this hurt? Did they know they were subjecting me to ridicule at school? Did they care?

The first knock came just as the sun was setting, and I had the pleasure of answering the barrier between me and a fun filled night.

“Trick-or-treat,” cried the eager kids dressed as kittens, ghosts and oh so many things I wanted to be.

Dad opened the bag full tracts then handed them to me, and I frowned while dropping them into the cute little buckets and bed sheets the kids had hoards of candy in.

The kids and their parents scowled.

My heart sank to my stomach.

Slinking back into the house, I allowed my dad to deal with whatever people had to say to him then I sat on the couch and didn’t move the rest of the night. I refused. I wouldn’t ever open the door on Halloween again.


I don’t think any of the kids even remembered what we passed out—they were too busy comparing candy counts. And I was too busy hating my life to notice if anyone at school ridiculed me.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Another week has flown by! Can you believe it? I feel like Sunday comes faster and faster all the time. Sigh. Well, I didn't want to give too much creepy away this week. Figured I'd save some for the grand finale. We're going to go for more of a What? response this week. :-) Enjoy.

~I put so much food on the plate it heaps with potatoes and chicken. Turning to take the treasures back to Brad’s room, I bump into someone standing right behind me. My eyes work their way up a man’s chest, neck and face and finally rest on eyes so familiar, my hands tremble and all the blood in my body runs cold.

It’s him.

The dish falls to the floor, breaking and splattering food all over the place.

“You must be Kate,” he says, frowning at me.~

To read more awesome Six Sunday entries, make sure you click here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

First Love

Jason was a pimply-faced kid who lived with his grandmother, and everyone always told me to stay away from him. We were young, innocent, and had ideas for the future grander than anyone around us could imagine.

Before Jason, I dreaded Sundays, but after we met, the epic day of rest became my favorite day of the week.

Mom and Dad tried to find excuses for me not to sit with him at church, tried to tell me I should be with them, with family. Jason and I moved pews. We sat in the back, or behind them. So long as they couldn’t see us, we didn’t care.

As time wore on, Jason's hand held mine with more confidence, less sweat, more thumb grazing over my knuckles. He’d lean into my ear and whisper a whole lot of nothing, making me giggle at all the wrong times. He’d tuck my long, brown, stringy hair behind my ear and tell me I was beautiful, and that I shined like the stars.

My heart learned gymnastics when we were together.

But at some point something changed; Jason missed church two weeks in a row. His grandmother was there, but he was not.

Had I done something wrong? Did I make him not want to see me ever again? Did he find someone else?

After church I rushed up to his grandmother; she was clad in her Sunday finest and wore her dark gray hair in a loosely tied bun. I took her wrinkled hand into mine; she was cold, her skin thin from age, but she was firm in her grip. “Please, tell me where he is."

“I can’t, dear. But I can give you this.” Jason’s grandmother reached into her faux leather handbag, pulled out a crinkled piece of lined paper then handed it to me.

“What’s this?” I asked, heart pounding, chest constricting.

“I didn’t read it. Jason asked me to give it to you,” she said, then turned and walked away.

Tears welled in my eyes. My fingers trembled as I unfolded the piece of paper holding the future of my heart’s status. He was going to break up with me. That’s why he gave the letter to his grandma, because he couldn’t face me himself. I just knew it. Why would anyone like me? My family was poor. We didn’t have anything. I wasn’t special.

I held my breath, unfolding the last bit of our relationship.

I’m sorry. I miss you. Call me.

Underneath his scrawled words he’d written his phone number and drawn a big heart.

I couldn’t wait to get home.

“Is everything okay?” Mom asked.

I didn’t realize she was standing next to me. Looking up into her eyes, I knew she knew something. “Yes. Can we go home now?”

I held the paper in the palm of my hand all day. He’d touched it. He’d written it. He’d wanted me to have it. When it was late, when I was sure my parents wouldn’t care what I was doing, I grabbed the cordless phone, a pillow, and a blanket and went outside. I spread the blanket on the deck just outside the back door, laid down on my stomach and propped the pillow under my elbows. Unfolding the paper, I read the numbers then punched them into the phone.

Ring, ring, ring.

“Hello?” His voice, it was warm—albeit, maybe a little high-pitched—and it was him.

I turned over, resting my head on the pillow so I could stare at the bright starry sky. “Hi.”

Krystal . . . .” Jason whispered. “I’m sorry.”

I really didn’t want to hear he was sorry. I wanted to know why I hadn’t seen him. “Where have you been?”

“I’m moving.”

I gasped. “What? Where?”

“To Louisiana.”

There was a long, awkward pause. I took the time to compose myself, to carefully choose my next words, to wipe tears from my eyes. “Why?”

“Grandma can’t afford to keep me here. I’m moving with my uncle, tomorrow. They wouldn’t let me come to church because I had to pack, and because they were afraid we would do something stupid if I told you.” He sighed.

I sobbed.

“Krystal, don’t cry. Listen, go outside.”

“I’m already outside,” I said, sniffling.

“Me too. Look up at the stars.”

The black Texas sky was dotted with millions of twinkling stars. The Milky Way was white and cloudy, stretching across the dark blanket of space with all its glory.

“Are you looking up?”


“You see that little constellation right in the middle of the sky? It looks like a baseball diamond, a very tiny baseball diamond.”

I scanned the stars, desperate to look at the same thing as him. When I discovered the little diamond in the sky, I sucked in a sharp breath. “I see it.”

“Good. Every time you think of me, every time you miss me, look up and know I’ll be thinking of you, too. I’ll miss you, too. That will be our constellation.” He paused.

“Won’t we talk?” I asked, forgetting about the stars.

“Long distance . . . .”

And that was it, the end of my first honest relationship. The end of our hopes and dreams together. Occasionally I’d look at the baseball constellation and think of him, but it hurt. The first person ever really interested in me, torn away. We spent the rest of the night talking about the stars, talking about what we would do when we saw each other again, but that day never came. I was twelve; I doubt we were in it for the long haul anyway.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

It's Halloween Season, so I thought I'd take us over to the Dark Side (insert evil cackle) this week.


~He leans in, closes his eyes—

The sun disappears. The sky turns black. Emerging from the forest, gray beasts with hollow eyes surround and watch us. Before Arland can turn and fight, a mangled creature rushes forward and stabs him through the heart with a long, dagger-like claw.

My screams fill the darkness.~

Thanks for visiting. Make sure you head over to Six Sunday and check out other participating authors!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Family Ties

My eyes opened, but I couldn’t move. Someone was watching me. Someone was in my room. I tried to bring the blanket over my head, but didn’t want to draw attention. I took a shallow breath, afraid to be heard.

Afraid I’d be killed.

I glanced through my fuchsia blinds, expecting to see someone standing outside my window. No man with a gun or knife waited to murder me. I turned my head slowly toward the door. No one was there, but I felt a presence. Felt the gaze of a hate filled person boring into me, but where? Where was this person? Fear pricked up my arms, pins and needles poked at my chest. My head spun. I needed to breathe. I needed to get to my mom.

If I slinked out of bed, the intruder would think I was asleep. He wouldn’t charge me if I was asleep, would he? I inched to the left, waited, breathed, then inched more. I was still alive. Still breathing. No one had killed me.

Not yet.

Hanging over the edge of the bed, I kept my flowery blanket up to my chin. Whoever was with me wouldn’t realize I was trying to escape, wouldn’t realize I knew he was there.

I fell to the floor with a thud.

My heart stopped.

Deep breath.

Muscles tensed.


I jumped up and ran through the door so fast there’s no way anyone could have caught me. Barreling toward my mom’s room, I screamed, “Someone’s in the house.”

Mom and Kris were both asleep, and neither came to my aid. I hurtled myself in bed with my mom.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, bolting up.

“There’s someone in the house, in my room. Someone was watching me . . . .”

Mom threw the covers off. “I’ll go check it out.”

I grabbed her arm. “You can’t. No! What if he kills you? Please, don’t leave me.”

She looked down at me with those oh-you-silly-child eyes, removed my hand, and left the room.

Sweat ran down my cheek. My feet were freezing. My mind raced through possible scenarios for my mother’s horrible death, but it didn’t come.

She opened her bedroom door and smiled. “Nothing there. You can go back to sleep.”

“Can I stay with you?”

“Of course.”

Mom sat me down on the dingy couch covered in an equally dingy mustard yellow blanket—to make it look nicer—and placed her hand over mine. “There’s something I need to tell you.”

Anytime Mom took on a serious tone, and sat me down, I knew I’d either done something wrong, or someone had died. “W-What?”

“I didn’t want to tell you this. I figured it would scare you—that’s why I’ve waited so long—but I think you need to know.” She rambled on and on as if actually talking about whatever it was she needed to say scared her.

I raised my eyebrow. “Mom?”

“You remember that night a long time ago when you thought someone was in your room?”

“How could I forget?”

“Well, the next day I talked to your father. Remember he was working in the prison at the time? He used to sleep there. He was there that night.”

“I remember.” I hated my dad being so far away from us. We missed him.

“At the same time you woke up afraid someone was in your room, he woke up too. But someone was in his room. He was robbed.” Mom squeezed my hand.

“So, what are you trying to say?” Was I connected to my father? Did I somehow sense his fear a hundred miles away? What was it that woke me up? I’d reduced it down to a bad dream, but what did it mean for me to experience the same emotions as my father when something bad was actually happening to him?

“I don’t know. I just thought you should know.” She returned to facing the tv.

And I’ve been wondering about that night ever since.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blog Award Time

I’ve received a few blog awards lately and have been so busy I haven’t acknowledged them yet. I do appreciate everyone thinking of me when they receive these, and hope you'll forgive me for being so late with a response.

I received the Liebster Award from Derek Flynn and Diana Murdock. They are both wonderful bloggers and writers. (Derek’s also a musician . . . a good one, too!)

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks [blogs with fewer than 200 followers] and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all – have bloggity-blog fun!
6. Don't feel obligated to re-post the awards.

Here are my picks:

1. Sarah Ballance - She's an excellent romantic suspense writer and also a friend. Her publisher loves her right now as she's pushing out lots of titillating (yes, I used that on purpose) novels.

2. 120Socks - This woman is a downright awesome blogger. She writes novels, poetry, blogs, and she's an amazing tweep. Follow her and she'll knock your socks off. (Bad puns all around.)

3. Amberr Meadows - She travels, she writes about travels and she makes us all wish we were there.

4. Johanna K. Pitcairn - There's an element of pain in all her posts, and she uses it to her benefit. Sometimes she scares me, sometimes she makes me laugh, but mostly I enjoy watching her journey to make amends with life.

5. Michelle Moloney - She's a teacher. A good one. Her blogs are thoughtful and insightful, and she's always there to help us grow.

The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

Ashley Nixon and I recently met via Twitter, and she wowed me with a conversation between she and one of her characters. I loved it. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to love her book too. She awarded me with the aforementioned umm . . . award and I am honored.

I'm supposed to supply you with seven things you don't know about me. I can think of seven million things you don't know about me, but compacting it all down to seven?? This is difficult . . . .

1. I played the french horn.
I may not be able to hold a note with my voice, but in middle school I learned to make music with the french horn. There are many days I miss this beautiful brass, but there isn't any time in my life to pick it up again.

2. My favorite color is purple.
My husband often jokes the best way to get me to buy something is to paint it purple. If he wants a jetski or motorcylce, he tries to find matching ones in purple . . . for me of course. I've caught on to his game, and it only works on occasion now.

3. I like things in 3's (appropriate for number 3)
I have three children, three dogs, three cats and I live on three acres.

4. My dream car is a '72 Super Beetle
Yes, that's right. If I could have any car in the world, it would an old VW PURPLE Bug. My hubby and I have been on the look-out for my baby, but have yet to find the right buy.

5. If I hit the book writing lottery (that is, if I become famous), I won't be able to stop working
Why? Well for one, my hubby and son's dream cars are expensive and for two, most of my creativity hits me on my fifty-mile commute to work.

6. I can never decide where my "fantasy rich home" would be.
I love the mountains, I love the ocean, I love the forests, I love NATURE. So when people ask me where I'd live if I were rich . . . I usually don't have an answer.

7. I wanted to become a wedding planner
Yeah, that's right. Laugh all you want, but that's what I wanted to be. I love weddings and I love planning things. I discovered my love for this profession when I was nailing down the details for my own wedding to my wonderful husband. Unfortunately, it's not a business you can easily jump into. I put my creativity to use in other ways, and I think I've finally found my niche . . . writing.

Now, enough about me. Here are my blog picks:

1. Kellianne Sweene - Always fun, always positive.

2. Al Boudreau - Cause he's father twitter for writers and one of my besties!

3. Kelly S. Gamble - She's supportive and fun.

Before I go, I'd like to thank Amberr Meadows and David Beem for assigning awards for my blog as well. Without all the wonderful bloggers, tweeps, and fellow supporters, writing wouldn't be as much fun.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Little Shop of Horrors

Today my family and I went to the grocery store. We like to make an event out of shopping—or shopping makes an event out of us. I’m not sure. Whatever the case, we enjoy going together. My husband and I stick the girls in the race car cart, sip on Starbucks and pick out meals for the week.

But this morning Kid #2 decided she didn’t want to ride in the cart; she wanted to drive the fluorescent-green mini shopping buggy. I shook my head, but daddy couldn’t resist the cheesy smile kid #2 flashed him . . . and so we were off: Kid #3 in the race car cart, Kid #2 pushing the mini-buggy, and Kid #1 bored out of his mind trailing behind.

Everything was fantastic. Kid #2 helped me bag apples and load them in her cart while a few older couples smiled and told me how adorable she was. Who could resist a four-year old in a Hello Kitty snow hat?

I sipped on my caramel macchiato and moved on to the meat section. But Kid #2’s cart was full, and she was getting bored. She jumped in the race car, exciting her one-year old sister so much she bounced up and down. The metal of our cart echoed throughout the store.

Clarissa! Stop.”

Kid #3 peeked through the “rear window” and showed me every tooth in her mouth.

My heart melted.

A young couple passed by, glaring at my lovely kids. I remember being that young, thinking of the future and what I would not be like as a parent. I probably would have glared at my kids, too. I smiled at the obviously child-free couple and kept moving.

My husband had to detour to the bathroom, leaving me alone with all three monsters . . . er, I mean sweethearts.

Kid #3 finished damaging everyone’s eardrums with her buggy bouncing technique, and Kid #2 was following close behind. Too close. She ran over my ankle.


Kid #2 put down her hot chocolate. “Sorry, Mommy.”

“It’s okay. Stay behind me, there are lots of people here,” I said, maneuvering around three women shoppers—all giving me the you’re brave look. Yeah, don’t worry, my husband’s here . . . somewhere.

Doubling-back to the meat section, I grabbed another pack of chicken.

Kid #2 ran over my ankle again.


She looked at me with her hot chocolate mustache. “I didn’t mean to.”

“I know, but you need to be more careful. Where’s your father?” I glanced all around, wondering where the heck he’d gotten off to. “Ethan, watch your sister. Make sure she doesn’t run into me again.”

We returned to walking up and down the aisles, browsing for items on our list. Kid #1 took the “watch your sister” comment to the extreme and the two began fighting.

I met eyes with another woman my age, she shook her head.

“Guys, stop it!”

Kid #2 lost her balance; she and the cart tipped over.

“Where is Daddy???” I stamped my foot, acting similar to my three children.

Truthfully he’d only been gone a couple minutes, but hell broke loose in those two minutes. Kid #2 picked up the contents of her buggy, Kid #3 bounced up and down again, and Kid #1 maintained a smug I hate my life kind of look.

If he only knew, this would be his life one day.

When Daddy finally graced the aisle with his presence, I sighed. The remainder of our trip was uneventful aside from an occasional comment about how beautiful our children are by passerby’s.

On our way out of the store I made a decision: I was never going shopping alone with my kids. I love them dearly, but boy do they know how to push my buttons.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

By request, I'm picking up close to where we left off last week. Brit pulled a very old--and dirty--bottle of rum from behind her back and looked excited enough to drink it.

~ Appalled, I eye the nasty bottle. “You aren’t honestly going to drink that, are you?”

“Not just me. You, me and Brad!” Brit says, pointing to each of us.

I sigh. “Let’s get to the next camp site before we do anything illegal.”~

Thanks for visiting. If you'd like to see other amazing authors who participate in Six Sunday, click here.

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