Writing Prompt: Why Did You Start Your Blog? #amwriting #bloggers

 

2.jpgUnder today’s date in my prompt book this popped up as a prompt. It’s a good question as my blog has kind of moved in a new direction.  When I originally started over a year ago, I saw it as a way to share my work which I still do. Now also I’ve started to promote and feature other authors and writers. Which I actually really enjoy. Meet The Author has become really popular, I’m beating off writers with one of my romance paperbacks! The response rate is great. I now have no choice but to feature two to three per month this is great. I like also connecting readers with new books.

Before I started writing I ran a book club for almost five years. Back then I read about two books a month, met up with like minded book lovers, had lunch, chilled and talked about books we read for the club that month. I really miss it, so now I do read and reviews via an actual book promotion company I signed up with this month. I used them to promote some of my newly released work, I had such a positive experience I decided to become a host for them. My blog is now a stop for  other authors  on tour and as  a reviewer. I’ll also read and review my Meet The Author featured author’s work too. I love reading and miss the discussion and sharing thoughts.

I also now share tips and tricks I’ve learned as a writer. This started as a fluke, other writers reached out to me for advice, so I thought if I can help I will.

My blog one year on I see as a personal space, for you to get to know me. For me to get to know you via talking and comments, to show case my latest work and promote others. One year on this is why I blog, it’s clearer to me. Not just to promote my own work. Making friends and helping others is a big part of it too, as well as engaging with as many readers as I can. And do giveaways! I love a giveaway 🙂

Why do you blog? Has your blog gone in a new direction?

Advertisements

100 Words Wednesday Short Story: The Cocktail Bar #100wordswednesday #100WW

It’s Wednesday and another challenge from Bikurgurl. What 100 words (or so) can you give this image? It’s great that every Wednesday her post is live on my feed as soon as I wake up. I set up my son with his breakfast, make a coffee and mull over the picture. This week’s photo of cocktails spoke to me, it prompted a short story/ flash fiction. I’m a little over 100 but… I write novels don’t shoot me!

 

100ww_w30.jpg

 

 8:00 p.m Friday Night, The Cocktail Bar,

 I glance around the bar looking for my date. Hell, not that I know who I’m looking for this is a blind date. Lucy bless her she set me up with some guy from her office, she thinks is “perfect for me.” I couldn’t pass up a night of free cocktails, I thought what the hell you only live once. 

The air is thick with cigar smoke and the lights are low, all eyes focus on centre stage as a Jazz band entertains the crowd. I spot him over by the bar nursing a drink. That has to be him right? I make my way over closing the gap between us, as I snake my way through the tables. What do I say? My heat pounds, what if it’s not him?

“Hi I’m Julie.”

“Hey, I’m Brian.”

He offers me his hand as he glances me over from head to toe. Is it him? He snaps his fingers at the bar tender.

“Put another one in there for me.” He demands.

As  the bar tender makes quick work of his drink and slides a fresh tumbler across the bar, I  drink him in. He’s handsome and well dressed, but is it him? He’d know me by name surly.

“So you been here before Julie?” 

“No never, I’m… I’m… here meeting a friend you could say.”

“Ah a date?” He sniggers  then takes a healthy sip of his scotch to hide his amusement. He snaps his fingers again at the bar tender. Clearly Brian is used to being the authority.

“One for the lady too, what’s your poison Julie?”

I raise an eyebrow in his direction. “Cosmopolitan.”

***

 After two hours of conversation against the back drop of smooth jazz, and four Cosmopolitans thrown back, I’m tipsy and dateless. Old whats-his-name did a no-show. His loss… As Brian and I stumble into the back of a black cab from London Bridge to his place, the Cosmopolitans start talking to me. “You only live once! That’s why you went on this date.” Cocktails were always my weak spot, as well as a man in a sharp suit smelling good.

 

I’m Just Teasing… #amreading #kdsuspense

Of all the stories I wrote with this suspenseful chick across the pound Didi, this has to be up there as one of my favourite! Never seen before, bonus story #1 Guilty As Charged, In Self Defence…. Our Catherine is quite a character, and the ending will leave you with your mouth open. 🙂

Teaser:

Monday June 1st, 2016, California Supreme Court.

In the lady’s room, I look myself over. I feel good. I take in all the minor details. The sharp fringe of my blunt bob, minimal make-up, my best well-tailored black Chanel skirt suit, sky high red bottom Christian Louboutin heels. Perfect. I feel confident I’ve got this in the bag. I was raised a strict catholic by my mom, I bow my head in prayer before I walk out. Today as confident as I feel I’ll need God on my side. The prosecution lined up a good case. Naturally they have played on her as a money grabbing whore. She was a Las Vegas showgirl, doing what she had to do before she met that bastard. That does not give her a motive for murder… I hope.

***

“All rise please. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we’re here to hear the case of Mrs. Dennessa Chevelle. On trial for the murder of Ronald Chevelle.”

I watch an officer move over to Mrs. Chevelle, and hand her a bible to place her hand on. She gives her plea of not guilty and the show begins. The prosecution swim around her like sharks. A jumped up over confident suit, with way too much hair gel takes the center stage. He tries to break her down. I clinch my jaw, as my eyes watch him prance around the court room.

“Mrs. Chevelle, is it true you were a stripper before you met your late husband?”

“No, well yes but not a stripper I was a performer in Las Vegas. That’s how we met.”

“Right, right.  A performer.

The sarcastic chump uses quotation marks around performer, as he looks over at the jury. My anger rises.

“And how would you describe your financial situation at the time, stable? Or unstable?”

“I… I did not have much that’s true but I got by.”

All eyes rest on Mrs. Chevelle as he pushes her.

“Mrs. Chevelle, if you could please answer the question.”

A low voice leaves Mrs. Chevelle, she lowers her lashes to the ground.

“Unstable.”

“Unstable you say? Is it fair to say a man like Mr. Chevelle was desirable due to his financial status, maybe?”

The fuckin’ douche, he’s wasting no time. I get to my feet and call out to the judge.

“Objection!”

“Ms. O’Neil, please remain seated. As you were Mr. D’Costa.”

I look over at Mrs. Chevelle and hope she doesn’t fall for the trap.

“No, certainly not. How dare you assume such a thing. He was my husband, not a meal ticket!”

That-a-girl Mrs. Chevelle. I take a seat and breathe a sigh of relief. I look over at the jury. Predominantly female, excellent. I’ll let this shark paint whatever picture he wants of Mrs. Chevelle, in my defence case I’ll hit ‘em with the abused woman story and give them some shit the female jury members never got to read in Hello magazine.

***

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, as you can see the prosecution has tried to paint a picture of a money grabber, a whore and a stripper.”

I move closer to the jury, and slowly walk past the stand with confidence as I talk.

“The woman you see over there in that stand, is none of these things.”

I stop for a beat in front of a female juror around Mrs. Chevelle’s age.

“You see that lady over there, she was an abused woman, mentally, physically and emotionally.”

The female juror moves her eyes over to Mrs. Chevelle, she takes a closer look at her on the stand. Right on cue, Mrs. Chevelle blows her nose into her tissue and wipes her eyes. Perfect. I watch the women in the jury stand some more. Their faces move from pinched up discomfort to shock. Beautiful. I walk back across the room to center stage, and command their attention. ….. TO BE CONTINUED!!

 

A suspenseful novel with a twist. Eight short stories, by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With just creativity and the use of writing prompts, to craft one tale, with two different writers. This anthology of suspenseful, fast paced and engaging tales covers multiple genres. From heart felt romance, crime, fantasy, and steamy historical fiction. There is a story for everyone!

Steamy Historical Crime Fiction: It was The First Time I Killed A Man.

It’s 1972 and New York’s first female serial killer Lisa Vanacilli is in the hot seat again, ten years after her conviction of murder to the first degree and innocent plea. The ruthless but sexy reporter Tiffany Low cracks Lisa for a confession… at a price. Lisa is strong, courageous and says it how it is. This story has been extended due to reader’s demand. And is only for adult readers.

Psychological Fiction: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement.

George appears to be harmless. The local neighbourhood geek on the outside, married to Jolene. In reality, he’s a very disturbed man. His path crosses with Dana, the local check out girl. This is a psychological suspense story with a twist.

Crime Fiction: The Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out.

Juan is a wanted man, and an ex-gang member on the run from Atlanta to Mexico. With a hundred grand in cash stolen from his ex-boss, he meets an unlikely fate in Mexico. A fast-paced crime fiction story.

Contemporary Romance: When His Hands Run Up My Thighs I…

Love has no time limit, age limit or use by date. Sarah now in her fifties is reunited with her long-lost love Joshua. They last had contact in 1961. In the present day, thanks to the advancement of technology their paths cross. A heart-warming and modern tale, about long distance love, that will leave you warm inside.

Suspense: We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times:

In 1963 Russian Femme Fatale Mila Petrov is London’s top Madam. Her entertainment house is booming, she has a team of London’s strongest women behind her. Unfinished business from her past creeps up and haunts her. It’s nothing she can’t handle. A suspenseful historical tale, with a strong femme fatale.

Fantasy: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To The Surface.

A beautiful coming of age story, featuring sixteen year old Zoe and her mother May-Li. Myth becomes reality, as Zoe finds out who and what she really is. Her mixed descent reveals more than what meets the eye. This fantasy story is set against the backdrop of a Greek island and Hong Kong, China.

Suspenseful Crime Fiction: Guilty As Charged, In Self-Defence

California’s sassy, tough, and likeable defence lawyer Catherine has taken on a case so high profile, if she wins she’ll become a partner of Martin Law Firm. Defending forty six year old Mrs. Chevelle. An ex Las Vegas show girl, now a Hollywood wife, on trial for the murder of her high-profile husband. She claims she’s innocent. Readers are taken on a fast -paced journey on a mission to seek the truth.

Contemporary Fiction: It’s A Man’s Man’s World:

A beautiful modern tale showing the love and appreciation of a woman. James Brown said it right when he said, “it’s a man’s man’s world, but it would mean nothing without a woman or a girl.”

 

Updated-Telling-Tales-Weekly-Challenege-Kim-&-Didi

100 Words Wednesday Writing Challenge: The Beach #writingprompt #amwriting

I found this super cool blog via another blogger’s challenge I read.  Bikurgul challenges us every Wednesday, with a picture as a writing prompt. Check out her challenges and interesting blog! This week this picture spoke to me, I love the beach and water. Also of late I’ve spent many hours researching exotic locations and beaches in every corner of the world, while I  visualise them and write steamy but heartfelt romance in exotic locations. I could not pass up this week’s challenge . Thanks Birkurgul  here’s my participation  🙂

100 words Wednesday.jpg

 

Blue skies surround me, and I feel the warm sand between my toes. There’s something about this place I love it, it feels like my “special place.”

Every time I’ve been here I’ve felt a sense of ease, peace and the ability to be free.

At times I wish this place is nearer to me, I live in a big city called London you see. I need to get on the train, which is such a shame, why can’t it be nearer to me??? Whenever I visit this place, I just sit and watch the ocean’s rhythm as it kisses the sand.  In my dreams it could be the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, or even the paradise of the

Caribbean Ocean ….any one will do. In my mind’s eye I’m sitting under a palm tree, with a cocktail, my laptop, journal and good romance novel. This dream and vision sounds like some kind of

Heaven to me!

 

 

It’s raining in London … typical!! Who stole the sun?

Romance Writer’s Blogging Challenge Wk #28: Life Lessons In My Books #MFRW #amwriting

I’m late again, damn-it but I’ve arrived! This week romance writers were asked, to talk a bit about the lessons within their stories. Hmm, let’s see well quite a lot are in mine! I like to write about life dilemmas and real issues within romance. When it comes to crime and thriller, I try to have this spin on it too.

Here’s a lovely four star review I received this week, with feedback on this very subject. Thank you reader. Your feedback let’s me know I got it right… I wrote it right.

havana Heat

This is an interesting story because it shows the problems of trying to find love when previous relationships always rear their ugly head and seem to spoil what could be promising new beginnings. The couple in this story have to face just such problems before they can try to get together. I enjoyed the authors take on this dilemma and how she dealt with it. This is a really good beginning to a series.

So what are your messages and lessons Kim?

Well, I always touch on real life issues no matter what I’m writing. Be it a heart felt romance or a gritty bit of crime/thriller/suspense. Here’s a quick break down of what I was thinking when I wrote these stories.

A Stranger in France: This story touches on many things, jealousy, emotional abuse, life changing decisions a woman can make, and survival. All wrapped up around loooooove. The life lesson I guess in this story is that relationships are about give and take, and should never be one sided. Love can be found in the most random places, at the most unexpected time. When we find it, go with it.

 

Not Just For Christmas: Aww I loved writing this novella. It’s such a realistic story-line it could happen in real life. How far would a person go to find love? Many use online dating. This is online dating with a cute twist. The message in this story I guess is to take a leap of faith, sometimes when things don’t work out it happens for a reason. If you find something that could be worth a try, give it a go. A leopard can change its spots.

Havana Heat: This books is steamy. 🙂 But like the reader who left me that review said, Sometimes the past needs to be buried fully before we can move forward. If not you may miss that second chance love. I loved writing this novella too.

Lover’s Retreat: This is a lil’ steamy too. 🙂 Well, this one is all about personal growth. Sometimes we need to make a journey in life, that we may not know we have to make to be a better person. Once we make it we always end up in a better place. No matter how shit we feel at the time, while making the journey to self discovery. Also, we must love ourselves before we can love others.

The Suspenseful Collection: Volume One (with Didi Oviatt): Ha!! This anthology I loved writing every second of with her. It started out as nothing more than writing buddy challenges. It went well! It’s like we morhpe into each other, and create one great story it’s so scary when I read them back!! … And yes if you’re wondering we will be returning to the weekly writing challenges, and engaging with you all at the end of July.  In this anthology of tales there are a lot of strong women, quite vivid male characters too. We have some crazy ones, a bad boy, a love able mature Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome.  I guess the message in this anthology, is really about taking  readers on a journey. Placing readers in the character’s shoes whether they are sane… or not so sane in some stories.

Overall, I’d say my stories are always based on some kind of realism or life situation. I like to give my character’s issues, good and bad, make them grew and turn out better people. After all, that’s what we all want as people right? To be the best we can be.

badge-blog-challenge-updated

Wk #6 Short Story: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To Surface. #fantasy #kdsuspense #amwriting #amreading

Three Day Quote Challenge 3

 

“The ones who live at the bottom of the ocean come to the surface.” 

Fantasy Week!

 

AUTHOR ONE: SCENE ONE

 

It’s approaching midnight here at Chania’s Port, Greece. I’m not usually one to stay up late on a school night, but I just moved to the area. Learning a new language has really been kicking my ass. I’ve been studying the Greek language for months. I thought I was doing great, until we actually made the move. The people talk so fast here, their words spew together in thick choppy waves. I’m completely lost. That’s not to mention the embarrassment of having a translator follow me around like an eager puppy. He’s trying to please my father no doubt, hoping for a bonus.

I need sleep, I don’t function well without it. Not like other sixteen year old girls do, anyway. My friends used to tease me about it all the time, calling me names like Zombie Zoe every time we snuck out at night. God, I miss my old friends. I’d never actually tell them, or my family for that matter, but I blame my dreams for the weird necessity I have of sleep. They consume me, rejuvenate me, and without sleeping deep and long enough to have them, my body wakes up lacking. My friends are really the only thing I miss about Canada. Well, them and the dry air. It’s only been a week since we settled in, and this damn humidity has already enlarged my pores and permanently shortened my hair with unmanageably tight frizzy curls.

My father is a businessman, he was born and raised in New York, and my mother is the daughter of a very prominent Import and Export leader of China. They met in secret during a business merger, and of course I was born just over nine months later. It goes without saying, I’ve never met any of my mother’s family. She was disowned after the news of her pregnancy by an American stranger. His African American ancestry made no difference. The affair all was a disgrace. She was sent away with the first plane ticket available, never to be seen or spoken of again. In my opinion we’re all better off, especially my mom, it sounds like my grandma was a real dick.

I power down the Greek tutorial that’s blasting into my head from a You-Tube lesson on my iPhone, and pull out my earbuds. If I put off bedtime any longer then I won’t have enough time. I need my fix, to see my little monster babies in my sleep, or else I’ll be completely useless tomorrow. I open my window to let the sound of the ocean waves chopping against the shore make their way into my room. I love that my father chose a Venetian Island to expand his business for the next several years. The water here matches the color of my eyes perfectly. I feel more at home in the darkness of night than I have my entire life. The sounds of my ocean whisper to me from outside of my window, cradling me, like a familiar lullaby. It’s pure, and I feel it deep inside my bones. The way the moon lights up the sand on my beach, and the way the night breeze here in Greece blows a calming song into my lungs. It tells me that I’m finally where I’m meant to be. My mom claims that I have an ‘old soul’ whatever that’s supposed to mean, but for some reason I’ve felt the truth of her statement on the beaches here in Greece.

I lean slightly out of the window and pull in a long draw of the thick salty air, and listen. The voice from my dreams always sings in the most delicate tone, it’s smooth and flawless. Since our move I’ve heard it whisper that name while I’m awake too. Every night before I doze off she speaks to me, calling me the name given by my dreamed sea beasts.

Ceeeettttttooo”, her voice is beautiful. It’s high in pitch and as soft as the breeze, as if sung by a Goddess flowing around me from every angle. Automatically, my mind wanders to the thought of a Dietie whispering the name underwater. The sound matches that of my dreams, and of the voice calling to me from the night air swirling atop the water, it’s perfectly distorted.

            I smile a little with contentment. It’s exhilarating to hear that intoxicating sound outside of my ulterior consciousness. I crave it like a drug, it fills my veins and leaves me to linger in a joyous question, and a sleepy pull to the monsters calling me from sleep. I love them, they’re mine. At night when I place down my head, I come alive in a distinct way. The way I care for the bottom dwelling sea beasts in my sleep is intimate in a maternal way. Every night I feed them, I sing to them, I even rub the fins on their toes and fingers the way a mother would tickle the back of her toddler’s neck to relax them. Finally, I open my eyes and reach for a hair-tie before taking a seat in front of my make-up station.

I take a long look at the reflection staring back at me from the large mirror, with a Victorian antique finished edging, that’s mounted to the wall of my new room. I have a lot of my mother’s small dainty facial features, with high cheekbones and a distinctly square jaw line. My skin is very lightly kissed with a smooth darkened tone, compliments of my handsome dad. My distinct look isn’t as exotic here as it was in Canada. In fact, if it weren’t for the language barrier I’d blend right in.

My looks make absolute sense given the polar opposites that my parents are to one another. I’m a perfect blend of the two, as is my little brother. The only part of me that doesn’t quite fit are my eyes. They’re almost fully round and blessed with extremely long, thick lashes. They radiate a deep sapphire and are outlined with a bright lime green border. Even I can get lost in them if I stare for too long. Sometimes, the color in my eyes seem to move like waves on the water. I can’t be sure, and maybe it’s only me who sees it, but I swear there’s even been a few times that I’ve noticed a half white circle appear in them. It moves around the color, like the kind of wave a surfer would spend his whole life waiting for an opportunity to ride. As I run my long skinny fingers through the mess of hair on my head, there’s a light knock at the door. It’s followed by a tiny sound that’s hardly audible.

“Zoe?”

My little brother’s timid voice can barely be heard through the thick cedar of my door.

“Yeah?”

“Are you awake?” He whines.

I smirk in adoration, I just love the little guy.

“Yeah, it’s okay Drake, come in.” I tell him.

There’s a twelve-year gap between my brother and I. He was a ‘woops’, as my father calls it. With the amount of traveling he and my mom do, I’ve picked up the role of Drake’s primary go-to. I’m the one he seeks out when there’s a scary thunderstorm, and it’s always been my lap he climbs onto when he wants a story or a snuggle. I don’t mind. He makes me feel needed. Much like the sea beasts that I care for in my sleep. They love me, they’re mine, much like Drake.

He pushes the door open slowly and stumbles in, half asleep. Drake is small for his age, he’s most likely inherited our mother’s size too, just like me. His skin is a shade darker than our dad’s, and his lips are identically as full and luscious. I welcome him onto my lap and wrap his light silk lined blankie around his shoulders, to shelter them from the breeze blowing in from my window.

“Sing me song?” He asks, batting his eyes sleepily.

“I’d love to.”

A tight ringlet on the back of Drake’s scalp practically calls to me. My hand complies by twisting and circling each finger through his hair. He snuggles in close, and then rests his head sweetly in the comforting dip, between my neck and shoulder. The same secretive song that I sing to my beasts flows out of my mouth, matching the tone of the voice from the wind. The Deitie’s tune from underwater is mimicked and it doesn’t take long for Drake to doze off in my arms.

“Hush my Scylla, son so handsome. Rest your rage and sleep.

Quiet Sirin, daughter so. Soon revenge is yours to reap.

And to you my favorite Triton, locks and binds will fall.

Kraken keep you anger still, for when I wake it’s you I’ll call.”

 

I look down at Drake’s peaceful little face. There’s so much innocence and love. I hug him tightly to my body and carry him to bed before slipping on some loose cotton shorts, and resuming my place at the window. Hopefully I can hear her voice again, one last wakeful time before I retire and let it consume my sleep.

My window faces the most beautiful light house. A rock wall snakes through the waves, leading up to its tall white rock facing. Tonight’s full moon kisses everything it touches and forces the lighthouse to leave a shadow reaching all the way to the beach. The view is stunning. Again, I close my eyes and let the feeling of home resonate deep inside while I listen. The voice blows in, but with more than the name Ceto I’ve grown so comfortable with. The words are shocking and the sound of them send a lasting jolt of painful energy through my veins.

“It’ssss tiiiiiime Ceto, to waaaaaake them.”

My eyes snap open and an ice- cold chill runs slowly through every part of me. It feels like I’m being frozen from the inside out. Pain courses in my fingers and toes, I look at my hands to see the joints popping in and out in a pulsating pattern. The burning ice in my bones rushes outward and escapes from my skin. I try to scream out in pain, but only silence escapes me. After only a few short moments of the pulsating cold liquid ache in my body I crash to the floor.

I pant for air and peel myself from the plush carpet that cradled my fall. I feel different. Like myself only stronger. I’m not afraid, it seems right, like I’m exactly where I need to be and my water home is calling me. Colors are more prominent, and I can feel the humidity in the air absorb into my rapidly drying skin. I look down to see that my legs no longer hold the healthy mocha glow that they had this morning. There is a shimmery film covering my skin, no thicker than paper, and it’s slightly tinted with a turquoise shine. I feel strong, but my lungs are pulling breath at an alarming rate. I’m thirsty, I need salt.

I glance into the mirror, I drink in the beauty of a Goddess. She looks just like me, only older, and is surrounded by an iridescent light. The waves in her big round eyes dance violently. She speaks to me in that voice, the voice of the wind, of the ocean, of the dreams, my voice.

“It’s time Ceto. Let’s go and wake our babies.”

I nod at her with an involuntary compliance. I’ve been waiting all my life for this comforting moment.

It’s time for the ones who live at the bottom of the ocean to surface”.

AUTHOR TWO: SCENE TWO

The voice rings back at me. Is it in my head, or is it me talking? I can’t make out what’s real or not. Looking in the mirror I still can’t believe this is me. I study myself some more. My short frizzy hair has relaxed itself into perfect dark ringlets, around my shoulders. My turquoise skin has small raised bumps, my eyes are alive with their natural green color intensified.

“Ceto… let’s go.”

I look around my room, Drake is still fast asleep on my bed. Before I even know what I’m doing my feet take on a mind of their own. They walk me over to the open window. I look out at the deep navy-blue sky, scattered with stars. The ocean’s waves calmly roll back and forth over the shore. Ordinarily, I’d never feel brave enough to leave the house on my own, especially not this late at night. And as for jumping from a second-floor window, never in my wildest dreams would I do that. Tonight, I feel like if I jump I’ll land and be perfectly safe. My body feels different in a good way. I take the risk and I leap out. On the ground, I land on all fours. Our house is set back a short distance from the beach. Strangely, I don’t automatically

go to stand up and walk toward the shore. My first instinct is to walk along as I am on all fours, so I do, toward to ocean that’s calling me.

***

From the dark attic with just a candle for light, I watch my daughter’s slow and steady pace across the sand toward the beach. I knew this day would come, the day I’d be forced to explain to my only daughter exactly what she is. It irritates me that the day has come so soon, only by chance as Dane decided to relocate to Greece for business. The day he announced proudly the whole family is set for an adventure in Europe, I held my breath and hoped for anywhere but Greece. Mine and Zoe’s true home, if you believe in Greek mythology. Snatching up the phone, with a sigh I dial China’s international dial code.

“Nǐ hǎo.”

“Mother, it’s me.”

An uncomfortable silence passes between my mother and I over the phone line. In the background, I hear familiar sounds. It’s the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong’s market waking up. It brings back childhood memories.

“May- Li nǐ wàngle shuō zhōngwénle ma?”

“No mother I have not forgotten how to say hi, or speak Chinese.”

I try my hardest to suppress my annoyance at mother’s question. She raises her voice to me again. Her broken English meets my ear in a rage. I pull the phone away.

“Then where manners and respect child? Why you call this early in morning? I left strict instruction no contact… until time come.”

“Mother, I-”

“May- Li, there better be good reason for call.”

“It’s time Mother.”

I listen to my mother mutter and curse in rapid Chinese. Once she comes to her senses she addresses me in English.

“Hmm, okay, tell truth to child. She be okay and stay far from water.”

“But Mother, I-”

She places the phone down before I can finish, the line is dead.

“Pìyǎn!”

I curse her out, in Chinese. Yes, mother dear, I still remember my mother tongue. What an ass hole. My mind drifts back to my first ever calling. I was at my aunt’s house in one of rural China’s farming towns, I was just twelve years old. A few years younger than Zoe or Liu -San I like to call her by her Chinese name. I remember I was playing by a stream and running in and out of the long grass, as my aunt watched from a distance while she inspected the crops. I remember her standing there in her large straw sun hat and kimono. It was one of China’s usual hot humid days. At times it was so hot, women would use umbrellas to shield themselves from the strong midday sun. The water spoke to me in a way that it had never before. It almost felt like it sang to me, enticing me to come closer. When I edged closer to the stream and gazed down, all I saw were fish, rockery and then a set of eyes staring out at me. Bright green eyes, that did not belong to any human. That night as I tried to sleep my aunt came into my room. She started telling me stories about the sea and what’s beneath it. I remember she spoke to me about myths, folklore and legends that have been around for thousands of years. She schooled me on each one, and how the manhunt for the truth lives on. She was preparing me for what was ahead. She was right to, a few nights later I looked in the mirror and never recognised myself. My poor baby probably experienced the same thing tonight.

It was Mother’s decision to send me way from Hong Kong, once I fell pregnant with Zoe. It was more out of anger and punishment, for diluting what little was left of our heritage as sea monsters. She planned for me to marry “one of our own kind” to keep our bloodline strong. I upset her and that was unforgivable. As the wife of one China’s leading men, she always got what she wanted. Sue-Li was never crossed by anyone in all of Hong Kong. According to her I was damaged goods, no respectable Chinese man of our bloodline would look at me now that I had a child. She paid me off with a million Yen and I was disowned. I decided I didn’t have much choice but to head to New York with Dane. Life has been good, we made a home in Quebec, Canada once Zoe turned one. I went back to school did a master’s degree in Linguistics and became fluent in French, Russian, Spanish and Italian. I started working as an interpreter, even though Dane’s business thrived I never needed work. Once Zoe started day care, I had an urge to exercise my brain and feel useful.

Dane has no idea about mine and Zoe’s heritage. I’ve managed to keep it away from him. I’ve learned to control myself around lakes and rivers. Something Zoe will need to learn too. I look out the window across the beach, I search the ocean for a sign my baby is okay.

***

All around me I see darkness, the deeper I swim under the sea the darker it becomes. I’m shocked at how strong a swimmer I am, and how far ahead of me I can see, it’s almost pitch black. My body quickly takes on a new form. My legs disappear completely and morphs into a beautiful fin. It whips behind me as I swim deeper toward the sea bed. I move quickly through the water. I have no idea where I’m going, but I’m pulled to the sea bed for some reason. I’m comfortable, it feels right, as if I’m driving a familiar road home. I reach the bottom, it’s pitch black, but I can see clearly through the darkness. The little sea creatures rushing toward me all speak in a strange high- pitched scream. The language feels familiar like I’ve heard it before, but where? My gosh, it’s Greek, these small tiny creatures call to me.

“Welcome home, you’re home.

I understand it, for the first time Greek feels like a comfortable language for me. I hear myself respond to the small creatures in fluent Greek.

“What am I doing here? And why do I dream about you each night?”

“You mean you don’t recognise us?”

“Recognise you? I don’t even recognise myself, where am I and how come I can speak Greek so well?”

“You’re home … Mama. But we were calling Ceto, we thought you’d bring her too.”

“Mama?”

“Yes, Mama. You don’t remember us? It’s good to see you but you better get back and ask Ceto’s daughter to explain.”

I watch the tiny turquoise creatures swim off into the distance. I try to follow them but I lose them. I slowly make my way back up to the surface, I pass sharks, fishes and mysterious looking creatures lurking at the bottom of the sea bed. They don’t bat an eyelid at me as I move quickly through the water. I better speed up, Mom may notice I’m gone.

****

I open the attic window and breathe in the salt air, she’s okay I can sense it, but she’s confused. I keep watch for her petite figure making her way up from the sand. My enhanced vision will seek her out regardless of the dark navy sky. Two minutes later I see her. I close the window, open the large chest of draws in the corner, and then dig out my precious but tattered book on myths and legends. The same book aunt Jia- Sun showed me when I was twelve, back on the farm in rural China. Holding the book close to my chest I then make my way to Zoe’s bedroom, and wait.

“Mom, what are you doing here? Please don’t be mad I sneaked out, I…”

I cut her off and address her in Chinese, using my “mom voice.” You know the one all moms reserve to calm children down, or lay down the law. I only speak to her in Chinese when there’s no time to play. Having spent all her life in Quebec, Canada, on an everyday basis we speak French mainly at home. In firm Chinese, I tell her to sit down I must share something.

“Zuò xià wǒ yǒu dōngxī kěyǐ gàosù nǐ.”

Mom, what’s wrong?”

“Liu – San, sit now!  I won’t tell you again!”

I sigh as I make use of her Chinese name too. Back in Canada she started to call herself Zoe to fit in. With her exotic looks and green eyes. It’s not often you see a child of mixed heritage with a Chinese name. Dane and I agreed for her to have an English name too. I open the large tattered book and place it between us on both of our laps. I revert to Chinese as I question her, this is serious business.

“Do you know who this is?”

I ask pointing at a picture of a woman under water with turquoise skin, four arms, a fin for her legs and black Medusa type hair whipping around her. Liu- San responds respectfully, with a small nod of her head in perfect Chinese. One thing Chinese culture boasts is a natural respect for elders. My heart swells I feel proud of her and her ability to pick up  Chinese and address me properly when she hardly speaks it. She’s been practicing somehow.

“Yes mother. This is Ceto the Greek Goddess of the sea.”

“Good. What else do you know?”

“Well she’s a myth apparently, we learned about her at school. Just some old folk tale.”

I fix my dear naive daughter with a stern stare. The Chinese language spills out of me with a loud shrill, high pitch voice. I sound just like my own mother… Ceto herself.

“No Liu -San. Ceto is not a myth, this is your Grandmother. You’ve never met her. She’s alive and well in Hong Kong.”

She lets out nervous laugh. Out of respect Liu- San tries to respond in Chinese. This time it’s not perfect but I understand.

“Mom, stop kidding around.”

“Liu- San, I know where you have been and I know what happened to you tonight. Your body changed it happened to me too when I was a few years younger than you.”

She looks into my eyes and I can see the tears threaten to spill over. I place an arm around her and point back at the picture of my mother, Ceto.

“Your descent is more than you think Liu- San, your biology also makes you part sea monster. Those tiny creatures you saw tonight are your children. My Grandchildren and Ceto’s great Grandchildren.”

“What? Mom I’m sixteen how can you say that?”

“It’s true. For thousands of years many have thought Ceto is a myth something to be dismissed. She’s a powerful woman. Both in her sea form and human form. She rules the land underwater and Hong Kong for that matter. Your father knows nothing of this, and it’s to stay that way. It’s been too many years.”

Liu- San looks down at her lap. In a muffled voice that threatens to break with tears, she tries again in Chinese. I can just about make out what she’s saying.  Now I see she can understand the language better than she can speak it. This must change.

“Mom, I’m really scared.”

I hug my baby tight.

“I know, I was the same. Tomorrow night you’re taking the evening off from your studies. I will call the nanny over. Once Drake is in bed and your father’s at work,we’re heading to the beach. I’ll explain more and I will take you to Hong Kong’s sea underworld.”

“Mom, we’re going to Hong Kong?! How? we need a plane.”

“Hmm. Yes we’re going. And no, we will get there faster than any plane. You’ll see tomorrow.”

“Mom, why did you keep this from me?”

“Because I was not sure if your time would come, your father is full human. I never knew if my genes were strong enough for tonight to happen. I had to wait it out and be sure.” “Get some sleep I know you’re tired, tomorrow all will be clearer.”

Liu-San gets to her feet and bows neatly toward me, before she hops into bed.

“But Mom, what that just happened to me?”

I stand up, smooth over my red and gold kimono, before I adjust the chopsticks in my hair in the mirror. I walk toward the bedroom door and turn slowly to Liu- San on the bed. In basic simple Chinese, so she can understand fully, I explain to my first born…

“Life sweetheart, that was life. You must learn to live a double life. When the urge calls you to the sea you can go, but you must never get caught. You’ll end up in some researcher’s laboratory, for years. Those who believe in Ceto’s myth have been searching for evidence, and you’re it. We are the ones who live at the bottom of the ocean and come to the surface, now you know who you are.”

Thank you for voting and thank you for reading our first attempt at writing the fantasy genre. We hope we’ve somewhat done all our author/writer friends of this wonderful genre proud!  Didi  and I both love to read this genre.

Who wants part #2 of this story?…. Didi and I are kinda feelin’ this story :).  We enjoyed writing our scenes. I think we can whip up a few more scenes in Hong Kong.

Don’t forget... this is the last story for Kim and Didi’s Suspenseful Collectionfor two weeks! We have a new twist, all will be revealed when we return with week #7’s writing prompt voting poll. If there are any stories you’d like to read part #2 of , please leave us a comment. We know Lisa Vanacilli has a lot of votes for part #2 for the story  “It was the first time I killed a man.” Thank you!

 

Read week one- six stories here, click me.

This interactive writing challenge is simple and insanely creative. It’s a group effort and we are so glad to have you join in the writing fun!!  I hope you’re ready to challenge Didi and I by choosing which prompts we can transform into stellar suspense!  Give us your best shot!  You vote on our weekly prompt, and we provide the entertainment. It’s that simple!  The super easy steps are as follows:

STEP ONE: Every Wednesday we’ll post a voting poll with a few prompts to choose from.
STEP TWO: With the click of a button, you cast your vote on a prompt. (voting will stay open for three days.) Once the winning prompt is announced you can join us and write a story too. Use #kdsuspense to link in.
STEP THREE: READ AND ENJOY!  Every week on the following Tuesday we will post the short story that transformed from the very winning prompt.
 
All comments on the story posts will be open. We love feedback, and I’m willing to bet you will never guess who wrote what!! Therein a challenge of your own! (Yes, one of us writes with  British English spelling, and one of us in American English spelling. We are well aware, and ready for some trickery. Trust me, we are brilliant at adapting styles.)

Kim and Didi's Suspenseful Collection

 

 

 

I’ve signed up to #NaNoWriMo. Can I write 25,000 words in July & complete book #3 of my Romance Set In Paradise series?? #amwriting #romancenovels

nwm.pngThank you fellow author Kristina Stanley for posting her sign up! You reminded me about Camp NANOWRIMO (that’s national novel writing month). I joined in last year also. This is my second time. If you’re an author/ writer will you also sign up? And try to pen a short novella or finish off your current one in July?

 Book #2 is released in July. My goal is to write book #3 of my Romance Set in Paradise Series  In July. I cooked up my idea for the story over the weekend, something just came to me for the next stand along story.  I noted it down in my notebook as always and thought I’ll come back to this story for book #3. As the Romance Series is short novella length books, my goal is about 25,000 words max to write in July. Could be less but around  25,000 that is a good length for short stories. (if you’re a novel writer) this seems short!

Good luck if you join in. Leave me a comment if you do, I’d love to connect with fellow participants again this year.