Amanda Thrasher, Article, author, Book Marketing, books, Cereal Authors, Fiction, Literary, publishing, Ramblings, Teens, Uncategorized, writer's life, Writing Process, YA

Yep, I’m a Plotter

Like most authors, I receive emails from aspiring writers asking about my writing process. Most are referring to being a Panster or a Plotter, and admittedly, I have been both over the years, and some want to know about the writing process as a whole.

Early in my writing career, I took the Panster path. Starting with an idea and simply running with it to see where it would eventually take me. I had a general idea of where I was going, but somehow, my characters always seemed to lead me exactly where I needed to go to finish the story. Writing off the top of my head, having no idea which direction the story would take or end up, did work for me for a few years.

As my writing evolved, that process changed for me. Why? Honestly, I have no idea. I found my self Plotting instead of just running with a storyline. Each time I came up with a potential story, I’d spend time contemplating my beginning, middle, end, plot twist, the how’s and if’s, the main character, secondary characters, and auxiliary characters. As soon as I could, I’d outline the entire story on paper, making adjustments as the scenes shifted and changed in my mind. Once I started writing the book, I continually referred back to my notes and outline, and have been doing this now for years. I’m comfortable with it, do make changes along the way, and though I’ve been known to add to it as I write (the outline), it is now the preferred way of doing things.

I don’t believe there is a right way or wrong way to write your manuscript, Panster or Plotter. I think you need to find a method that works for you; that keeps you focused, on track, and allows you to finish the project. So to answer the Panster or Plotter question, for me, I’m a Plotter.

Writers are also often asked about their rough drafts. I’m sure we all have quirky things we may or may not do, but here’s what I do. I work my manuscripts a minimum of four times before edit, and it seems like a dozen times after that between the two rounds of the edit, accepting or declining the changes and applying recommendations, reread it again, add an outside set of eyes for proofing after layout and last but not least proofing again via my editor once completed. Of course, I’m reading it over and over.

The first draft is the obvious, the rough draft. It’s super important, it’s the story, and getting it out of your head and down on paper, which can be fun, can also be an eye-opener when you read it for the second time. For this reason, I reread and correct every chapter prior to writing a new chapter. The second time that I go through the entire draft is where I add any emotion that I may have missed the first time around, and I also double check my narration for cadence and flow during this time. It’s essential to keep the story moving. Often during the first draft these things can be flat. When I’m reading the manuscript in its entirety for the third time, I’m searching for holes in the story or the timeline that may have been inadvertently missed. Did the character leave the kitchen in one scene only to find herself speaking to her boyfriend in the driveway in the next scene? What? How did she get there? When did she leave the kitchen? Usually, a simple sentence corrects the issue. Example: Sophie walked outside to greet Clay. By the fourth read, I practically know my manuscript by heart and anything that I may have missed, repetitiveness, holes, flow, anything, should jump out as I apply the final polish. At this point, the author’s eyes and mind can predetermine what is supposed to be there, and we rely heavily on our editing teams.

Once I’ve completed the above, the work is sent to my editor, who edits the work and sends it back to me to accept or decline her changes and/or recommendations. It is then sent back to her for a second round. The same process is applied, and once I approve or reject for the second time, we hit layout and proofing all over again. Things appear different once the text has been laid-out in book format and it isn’t unusual for editors and proofers to catch different things that might have been missed. Everyone involved is human, have seen the files dozens of times, and our eyes and minds already ‘know’ what is supposed to be there, and it’s amazing how many times we’ll correct something automatically in our heads and therefore it is missed on paper. To avoid this, I read the entire thing out loud. Trust me, people walk past my office and I look quite crazy talking/reading away!

It’s a process, and it does take time, but if you’re currently writing a book, forge ahead. It can be nervewracking, fun, overwhelming, exciting, intimidating, all at once. However, it’s all worth it if you have a story to tell or something to say. Eventually, you’ll find a process that works best for you; it might take a minute, it took me a while, but you’ll get there. Keep writing, have fun, and feel free to keep sending your questions. For those that aren’t aware there’s a contact page on my website. I may not always have the answers, but I’m sure I know someone who does, and I’ll just ask them. 🙂 Have a great day and continue writing!

Text Copyright © 2019 Amanda M. Thrasher

Amanda M Thrasher

New Release
Captain Fin
Amanda Thrasher, Article, author, Book Trailers and Teasers, books, Cereal Authors, Excerpts, Fiction, GENRES, Life, Literary, loss, parents, publishing, Sharing, Teens, Uncategorized, YA


Captain Fin

Just about every author that I know, including my self, becomes jittery right before the release of a new book. As authors, we hope the world will receive our work the way that we had intended. If it’s to make one laugh, we hope you laugh out loud, to think or feel, we hope you walk away and wonder all day why a particular character did a specific thing or made such a decision? If it’s intended to touch your heart and make you cry, well, I promise any tears you shed were likely matched by tears we shed as we wrote the words on the page. I hope you like my latest novel; it’s about loss, betrayal, discovery, love, and hope.

Here’ s an excerpt; it will go on pre-sale within the next few days and will launch May 1st. Enjoy!

A Novel by Amanda M. Thrasher based on a screenplay by Kevin James O’Neill
Hannah Gunner, once a carefree child, is faced with secrets, lies, and betrayal. A life-changing event during her adolescent years forces her to confront a past that she no longer recognizes. Now, questioning everything she thought she knew, Hannah struggles with the person she is supposed to be! With the help of her boyfriend, Grayson Parks, nicknamed Cash, and her closest friend, Lindsey, they discover several clues that may hold the missing links to her life. 
A tattered box filled with worn-out letters holds some of the answers that she needs, but not all of them! With an assist from her aunt and a visitor from her past, Hannah manages to track down the only person in the world who can answer her questions—the Captain! Why did those closest to her lie in the first place? Will Hannah ever find the answers that she needs to bring her peace? Suspenseful, engaging, and with twists and turns that make it impossible to put down, this is a book filled with surprises!


Chapter 1


Shattered Layers

Broken Dreams

Tattered Hearts

A Past Revealed

Twisted Paths

Shadow Dark

Out of Grasp

A Father’s Heart

~ Hannah Gunner ~


“That’s it, then!” Hannah whispered in a raspy voice. “She’s really gone?”

Lindsey stared down at her lap, avoiding eye contact, not knowing what to say to her best friend, who was still in shock and so much pain. Tears had welled up in Hannah’s eyes, and though she’d been fighting to hold them back, they threatened to flow uncontrollably down her cheeks. Hannah couldn’t allow that, not yet, knowing that once the tears fell she’d lose it completely. The air had chilled, and she stood shivering, but Hannah didn’t seem to notice. The oversized black sweatshirt she’d picked that day drowned out her petite frame. She looked like a little kid instead of a teen. Every now and then her arm reached up and swiped away escaped tears from her face, as if denying they were ever there.

Lindsey had been Hannah’s best friend since they’d been paired together junior year for a chemistry project. It was a good match. They had more in common than the pair realized. Gossip, boys, music, both lacked fashion skills, which didn’t seem to bother either of them at all, neither wore much makeup, and they both loved to write, especially poetry, and constantly carried a journal or had one close by. They practically lived in Vans, jeans, sweatshirts, Nike shorts and, of course, T-shirts. This day, this terrible day, was the hardest day they’d ever experienced together as friends. Lindsey opened the door of her gently used gold Toyota Corolla, affectionately named Silver. A joke, agreed upon by the two girls, which made them laugh every time they referred to her—except for today.

“Silver awaits. Climb in; it’s freezing. I’m taking you home.”

Ridden with guilt, Hannah felt conflicted. On the one hand, she didn’t want to be with anyone, including her best friend or her boyfriend, and on the other hand, she didn’t want to be alone. Reluctantly, she climbed into the car. As soon as the door shut, face buried in her hands, she sobbed without taking a breath. Within minutes a full-fledged panic attack set in, and she couldn’t breathe. Lindsey pulled the car over to the edge of the road and opened the windows. The fresh cold air blew across the back of Hannah’s neck, but it didn’t seem to help. Gently rubbing her friend’s back, Lindsey whispered words to help calm her down.

“Breathe. Calm down and breathe, in and out, slowly, but just breathe.”

“I can’t, can’t breathe.”

“Just calm down and take a deep breath.”

Hannah’s heart was racing and it felt like her chest was about to cave in. Lindsey continued to talk her down. Finally, Hannah’s breathing returned to normal. Struggling to hold back tears of her own, Lindsey dabbed her friend’s tear-stained face with her sleeve. Sitting in silence for a few moments, the two huddled together inside the car. No words of comfort were offered, none needed—they’d already been said, and Hannah knew that Lindsey was grieving as well.

“Are you ready?”

“Yes. And I’m sorry.”

“No need to apologize.”

Lost in thought as she drove, a slight smile crossed Lindsey’s face.

“What is it?” Hannah asked. “Could do with a smile myself.”

Lindsey proceeded with caution. “It was a memory.” Glancing at Hannah, she continued. “Of the first time I met Gloria. Do you remember?”

Thankfully, Hannah smiled.

“How could I forget? My mom told us, even that day, we were bound to be double trouble.” Hannah laughed, the first time she’d laughed in a while. “She also said we were going to be thick as thieves.”

“Cause we are!” Lindsey grinned. “I’m so glad she moved you back here.”

Hannah remembered the day her mom had asked her to move back to their hometown of San Francisco. After relocating more than a few times over the years, it made absolutely no difference to Hannah where they went next, which thrilled Gloria.

“You have no idea how much this means to me! We’ll be with your Aunt Kathy again, and I can’t wait for you to have a relationship with her, and we’ll all be a family again,” said Gloria.

Gloria had smiled and hugged Hannah longer than usual that day because she was so happy.

“Nothing wrong with just you!” Hannah had grinned.

“Thanks! But you know what I mean, right?”

“No,” Hannah had smirked. “But I don’t care; that’s fine by me if we go back to San Francisco.”


Rolling to a stop at a red light, the cool breeze blew through the open windows. Hannah caught wind of a terrible smell, her shirt. As the air shifted, the stench of the hospital, which was sticking to her like glue, made her gag. Hospital smells, so specific—sick people, bedpans, disinfectant, hospital food, body odors—all together a terrible combination. Hannah had been barely able to walk into the hospital lately without feeling violently ill herself, and now the stench was all over her.

Struggling with what had just transpired and the realization that half of her life had been a lie, Hannah sat in the passenger seat, shaking in absolute shock. There’d been a lot of lies floating around, apparently for the past, say, most of her life! In those few moments, she tried to process three things: what in the hell was she supposed to do now, what exactly was her mom thinking, and last, but not least, could she find the Captain? She pulled a tattered yellow piece of paper out of her sweatshirt pocket and stared at it.

“What is that?” Lindsey asked softly.

“Something I need, but not sure I want.”

       Hands trembling, she moved the worn-out paper, a faded handwritten letter, quickly to one side, so a massive teardrop didn’t splatter it and ruin the letters that were hard enough to read already. The words that were faded and worn weren’t the problem; the problem was that as she read them to herself, Hannah didn’t recognize who had written them. The sound of the voice that reverberated back to her as she read the words from the letter in her hand seemed foreign to her; this man from the letter was a stranger. His voice didn’t match the sound of the gruff but comforting, familiar voice of the Captain’s in her head that had held her together for years—the man who had taken the time to read to her night after night and turned her bed sheets into sails so they could reenact her favorite story. And the man who had created make-believe ships and sailed them to Treasure Island, taught her that treasure could be found anywhere, even in the real world, but that she was his most important treasure. That man, the Captain, who lived in her head—he was dead!

Author Website Amanda M. Thrasher

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher.

Text Copyright © 2019 Amanda M. Thrasher

All rights reserved. Published 2019 by Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, LLC

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data and on file with the Publisher.

CAPTAIN FIN THE NOVEL Trailer by Kevin James O’Neill in honor of the novel


Book Trailers and Teasers, books, Children's story, childrens stories, JD Holiday, review, Teens, tweens, YA

THANK YOU, Fran Lewis for the Wonderful Review of SIMPLE THINGS!

Simple Things: J.D. Holiday
Review by Fran LewisImagine what would happen if there was a world where young teens or middle school children got along. Imagine what would happen
if kindness, understanding and true friendship weighed heavily above greed, material gain and bullying. Author J. D. Holiday introduces us to the Cameron children and their friend Carlos. Meeting them will endear you to the
entire family, including a special dog named Mitch. What happens when a young girl named Trisha comes into their lives? Magic, love, helpfulness and the true meaning of Christmas just might win out when presents take a backstage to help someone in need.
When a Trisha Johnson finds herself all alone when the only person caring for her dies, the events that follow will warm your heart to a group of teens that show kindness, understanding and true friendship an orphan named Trisha. Taking all the money that her Uncle John had before he died, learning about his death from the nurses in the hospital, Trisha is on the street with her dog, Mitch. Tying him to a pole to go into the mission, she comes out to learn he was stolen. Trisha is now all alone in this world, but miracles can happen in many ways as she becomes friends with the Cameron children and events might change it all. Hoping to find Mitch, her dog by going back into the mission and asking for help leaves her nowhere.
While this is happening Kirby. Phoebe, Tucker, and their friend Carlo are watching for a delivery van hoping it will bring them their Christmas gifts. But someone hits the driver and hijacks the van and the gifts or whatever was in the van is gone. Vic is cruel, hurts his dog and does not care about anything or anyone. Daring anyone to try and
stop his reign of terror little does he know he is about to come up against this feisty girl. Watching him pull and tug at his dog, somehow, they manage to get Bates and bring him safely to their home.

But their Gram seems to think that Vic can do no wrong so what will happen if they ask her for help with Trisha, to find her dog or should they call the police? But Trisha pleads with them not to phone the police because she realizes that shemight be in trouble with child services and be placed in a foster home. Hoping to find her real father and with a note from her mother that arms her with what she needs, she meets Phoebe and her brothers and immediately they bond, but daring, zealous and highly intelligent as each one comes up a plan or part of a plan to help Trisha find Mitch and have a haven in their home.
Gram learns about Mitch as her grandchildren tell her about Vic and something happens where they learn more about other missing dogs and the possibility of illegal dog fights as Trisha spots Mitch and other dogs in the back of a truck but she’s too late to rescue him.
What is important to most children at holiday time is receiving gifts and namely the ones that they want. Some people in Santa while others become jaded and think he does not really exist. However, believing in something is what makes the holidays
come alive and special for kids and even adults.
Vic is dangerous and as the reader and the kids get to know him and watch him with Bates and his actions with others, you come to realize that Gram has been blindsided
and does not want to face the truth about him. But, will this ever change, and will she come to terms with who he really is and help Trisha find her dog and act against him for his other deeds?
Gram did not want to believe that Vic was as dangerous as they were saying and then Trisha saw a sidebar on the news on the net stating that there was a dogfighting ring the police suspected operation in their city, leading her to believe that somehow
her dog might be in danger and that Bates the dog really meant BATE.
Things spiral out of control, but first, the author introduces us to Tom Frankel and something about him sends a flare in Trisha’s mind and could
this man be someone she needs to know if so why?
When the truth behind why Tom is interested in her comes out things take on a different and dangerous turn for all the children as they are determined to stop what someone
has put in place. Presents are important to everyone during the holidays and things spiraled out of control when the children asked to go shopping with their mother and the truth behind their reasons might have costed them
more than they ever would expect.
Betrayals, deceptions and a family and several friends that ban together to help one young girl, find the clues and reason for the dog’s being taken and hopefully restore their
faith in friendship, hope, understanding and family as the Cameron children teach everyone the true meaning of friendship and the spirit of the holiday season. But, what about Gran and her faith in someone? The intelligence
and ingenuity of the Cameron children and the faith they have in each other this book could lead to a series having them solve other mysteries and adding in Trisha and more about her and Tom. Characters that are well developed
and realistic and a plot that will keep younger teens and middle school children wanting to learn more about these children and even deciding in discussion groups how they would have handled helping Trisha and taking down
the dog fighting ring, this book teaches lessons in understanding, forgiveness, friendship, loyalty and love.
The future of many are at stake, but the one thing that I really loved is how author J.D. Holiday makes us all realize that it’s not riches, jewels, expensive cars and items that are important it is just plain and SIMPLE THINGS.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, textReview FRAN LEWIS can be found at: 

HER Books and MJ Magazine:

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The Dawnstone Tale — chapter 2 continues

After nursing his bruises, Keinigan dressed and gathered his small assortment of items purchased with the stolen money. He stared down at the beautifully tanned and oiled leather boots, the golden rings, and earrings, sighing resentfully. He loathed returning the things. They would not fetch the same price as he had paid, and he had had such fun picking them out. They were each a tiny reward for his pains and labors. He felt cheated in having to sell them so soon.

Even the sword that he had ordered from a dwarven metal smith in the market of Eddermont was going to have to stay with its creator. Keinigan would head to Oathak’s Metal Goods booth to cancel his order and ask for his deposit back as soon as he sold the boots.

In the sky, engorged gray blankets struggling to hide the sun had reflected his attitude as he left the comfortable inn. The weather had been threatening to storm again all through the morning. However, when he left the leather shop and headed to Oathak the dwarf’s corner booth, he saw the sun thinning some of the clouds and peeking through the shreds. Still, he was grumbling and kicking dirt with his old, stained boots as he walked. Nearing the metal smith, he saw Oathak’s stout, heavily-bearded face peer out at him, then disappear.

“Keinigan Laphae!” A harsh voice snapped from behind him. His blood curdled with the sound of that name.

The dwarven smith had set a trap for him. Two armored hands grabbed his shoulders and spun him to face three, chain-mailed Guards of the Watch. His hood was snatched down by one of them to reveal his long, slanted ears and blonde hair. The dwarf came out and identified him as the man for which they were looking. Keinigan could face a gobberlin hoard, a trollick, or even an ogre or two with a stout heart and wily courage, but armed guards that knew who he was and held a warrant for his arrest scared the hell out of him.

“You are under arrest for thievery and assault. Come quietly,” the leader of the men boomed in a stern voice as he dropped a few silver coins into the dwarf’s eager hands.

Keinigan had been arrested enough to know better than to argue. He settled for chewing his lip in irritation. The three guards surrounded him, pulled his old sword from its sheath, and then wrenched his hands roughly behind him, tying them. Townsfolk stared and pointed.

He was getting the sinking suspicion that his life was turning to figshat again and oozing between his fingers as quickly as he was trying to keep it from falling to hell.

Sighing pitifully, his head hung low as they shoved him through the parting market crowd and into a short alleyway filled with barrels of barley oats. The smell was strong and sweet. Keinigan looked up sharply as they yanked him to a halt. A muggy breeze from the ocean stirred up a dusty whirlwind in the tight space, and the lead guard turned to face him, impassive.

“Search him,” the man ordered. Hard, gloved hands poked and prodded every surface and crevice of the faerlin with detachment. Gathering a marginal collection of pouches, baubles, and his small dagger, the men were uninterested in all except the coin. They tossed the rest to his feet.

“Fifteen silver and two gold, captain.” The voice behind one metal mask reported their findings flatly.

“Well now, that disappoints me, Laphae.” The captain struck an even pace with his gauntleted hands behind his back. “Your bounty is thirty silver pents and here you only have fifteen. How do you expect to buy your freedom with that?”

Seeing with some relief that this was only extortion, Keinigan quickly tallied up the worth of his belongings. He could simply let them arrest him, but he doubted that hiding behind bars would keep him safe from the clutches of a Journeyman. Staying out of jail where he could pursue the matter or, at least, escape the town altogether seemed much more productive. Any hope of increasing his fortunes by gambling with the last of his wealth was dashed on the corrupt rocks of this town’s security institution.

“I was just returning a few things,” the faerlin hastily explained. “How’s this, I’ll just run along to get the rest of the thirty silver, and then I’ll pay you at the end of the day. Good?”

The captain stared at him.

“All right, how’s this, you let me go get my money back, and you follow me to make sure I don’t skip out on you,” he suggested hopefully.

The two underlings turned their helmeted faces toward their captain. He shook his head. Keinigan groaned in desperation. “How ‘bout this? I give you everything I have, you beat the crod out of me, and then you let me go.”

This brought an unexpected guffaw from the captain. “You’ve done this before, I see.”

With a signal from their leader, the faceless guards each felled a quick blow to his abdomen. The faerlin doubled over, breathless, as the captain raised his metal clad fists up, landing a hard hit between the fae’s shoulder blades that sent him to the dirt.

“Pick up his stuff, Karro. Let’s turn it into coin.” The human chuckled. They exited the alley, leaving Keinigan coughing in the dust.

Alone, he strained and worked at the rope binding his hands until it came free. His body quickly recovering from the beating, he stood up, brushing the dirt from his clothes, and looked on the ground in the hopes that they had missed something. He was left with only his shabby, empty scabbard and knife sheath. Deep curses fluttered under his breath.

Slowly, he walked out of the alley and leaned against a wall. All his lawful paths to paying the money back were stripped from him. He had nothing. The dread in his intestines that had appeared that morning when Bastid busted down his door grew larger and writhed inside him. The hours were flying past. Sixty silver pents, he deliberated as he glanced around the market.

His body moved to action before his brain had truly decided. Weaving through the crowd, his feet flew back towards the booth of the backstabbing dwarf. The swords and polished shields gleaming in the brief noon sun, as they lounged on the counters of the metal smith’s booth, were a wonderful sight to him. The only thing that made this sight even more wonderful was the fact that Oathak was nowhere to be seen as Keinigan approached.

A few browsers were turning from the wares on the center table and looking elsewhere for a bargain; the booth was quiet. He spotted the sword that had cost him a deposit lying out for some other buyer to see. Without stopping or even slowing his pace, the faerlin passed the booth and lifted the short sword, as well as a hand dagger. He deftly slid them into his sheaths as he moved on beyond the next few booths. His eyes roamed continuously for anyone who might have seen the swipe. All seemed calm.

One glance back towards the blade smith revealed Oathak coming out from behind a back curtain, wiping his hands and staring at the ground.

Keinigan smiled to himself, his confidence returning with each step. Another good snatch at a jeweler’s booth and he would have the money to pay everyone back. He skipped between two gossiping shoppers and headed for another street to inspect more merchants’ wares.

Rounding one corner, his eye caught by a twinkling of gold and gems, the faerlin rubbed his insatiable hands in anticipation. Until, he glanced down the busy street and saw a sight that made his spine turn to jelly.

Bastid and eight other men were searching the marketplace. The henchmen in the ogre’s company wore tabards of dark blue with the symbol of a yellow horse. He could only assume that they were soldiers of the journeyman looking for him. He froze.

His eyes met those of the ogre. Bastid stood well over the heads of the crowd and spotted Keinigan easily. The faerlin shrank back against the stone wall of a shop. His heart began to pound in his throat. Even as he gave himself up for caught, he saw Bastid scowl and make a gesture with his large, pale hand. The massive fist scratched the unshaven chin and then the thumb jerked towards the end of the street. Keinigan nodded, as the ogre turned back to the armed men in the tabards.

Without hesitation, he obeyed Bastid’s signal and dashed off, heading for the city gates. Once again that day, he was thankful for having been a former partner with the usually callous bounty hunter. Sometimes it pays to have a checkered past, he decided.


Translations from Jorthus series available from Visit the author page for more information on the books, or join the conversation on The Worlds of Jorthus page on Facebook.

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Simple Things Book Trailer and Excerpt


Excerpt from Chapter 1:

              A tied-up Christmas tree leaned against the wall on the back porch where Uncle John left it. The two of them were going to put it up last night. But things have changed for Trisha Frankel.

               With Mitch, her black Labrador Retriever, on his leash behind her, Trisha closed and locked the door of the apartment. She lived here with her uncle for the past nine years in the mainly African-American neighborhood. People would soon be looking for her if they were not already. Before Trisha talked to anybody else she needed to do something.

               She stuck a note under her upstairs neighbor Nell Galock’s door saying, “she needed to see someone, and would come back later.” Last night she was surprised Nell let her sleep alone with just Mitch for company in her own apartment. During the waking hours of the night, she made her plans. She knew she couldn’t stay long with Nell who was scheduled to move to a nursing home soon. Everyone worried about her failing health. Nell’s daughter came around to bring food and take her to appointments since the elderly woman fell last summer. Trisha saw Nell like a frail bird with a broken wing hopping along the ground out of its comfort zone.

              Wearing her backpack stuffed with food and carrying a duffle bag in case she didn’t return Trisha and Mitch kept a steady pace. They walked the long route along the snowy streets over the Seventh Street bridge passing many factories to River Street. Here and there someone shoveled a path on their long trek to the city. Stores were busy on Main Street and they jostled with holiday shoppers while avoiding mounds of dirty snow piles here and there. Trisha and Mitch waited to cross through the narrow path at a red light.

               After almost an hour in the warm sun, Trisha took off her hat and scarf. The storm yesterday dropped ten inches of snow. Though the wind driven air felt cold, the ice and snow on the sidewalks and streets started melting. Snow began slipping off slanted rooftops with a thud.

               Trisha realized they were almost there. After all, she knew the area a little. She and Uncle John would take a bus to Twentieth Avenue on weekends and then go to the Mart walking many blocks to get there. A schoolhouse at one time, someone converted the Mart into a sort of mini-mall or small department store. It was not far from there to her father’s neighborhood, she believed. A long time ago her mother, Anne, wrote the address down on the envelope Trisha kept with her.

On those trips with her Uncle John, she bought books at the Bookstand Bookstore. Uncle John would get a newspaper or crossword book and they would read at the cafe drinking cocoa.

              She and Mitch finally got to the street. Trisha glanced at the torn and smudged envelope. Her name was written on the front, along with the address and inside a letter from her mother. The other contents of the envelope were photos. Trisha treasured them. They were all that was left of her family. Pictures of her parents together, some of herself and a few of Uncle John.

              Mitch sat on the sidewalk, his tongue hanging out while Trisha sorted through some of the pictures. She came to one of her parents together. In it they were young. It was taken about fifteen years earlier. Trisha had no memory of her mother. In the picture, Anne was in a pink summer dress and sandals, her hair combed back off her face. Trying not to cry Trisha studied the boy in jeans and a T-shirt with short dark hair his arm around Anne. He was her father.

              Putting the envelope back in her coat pocket, Trisha sighed. “Come on, Mitch. If nothing else we’ll see what his house looks like,” she said heading down the block.

 At the address, she was looking for they stopped. No one was around so Trisha turned back and stood in front. The slender two-story home appeared to have an apartment on both floors and looked recently painted a light green. Sandwiched between its neighbors with narrow alleys, a closed metal gate on one side led down a cracked sidewalk. She stared at it trying to decide what she should do.

              She heard people talking and turned. In the middle of the block stood a large red brick building that looked like a restaurant with large front windows. On the shoveled sidewalk in front three men talked.

 Trisha decided to walk by them. One of them might be him, she thought. But then two of the men went inside the building and the third, a white man, walked past her. At the doorway, Trisha read the sign over the double doors, Day Mission.

              The doors opened and a woman walked out and passed her. Trisha glanced inside the door. Making her mind up, Trisha put down her duffle bag and tied Mitch to the drainpipe at the corner of the building. A beat-up orange truck pulled up and parked in front of the house next to the mission. A lean-built man with spiky short brown hair got out.               

              Turning to go inside she stopped when the man came over and stared down at Mitch. “That’s a nice dog,” he said.

              “Thanks,” Trisha said. Without glancing at her the man went down the alley between the mission and the house.

              “I’ll go in and get some water. If I get up the nerve I’ll ask if anyone knows him. After all, he lives on this street. When I come out we’ll have a snack. You be a good boy,” Trisha said to Mitch as she went into the building.

              Mixed smells permeated the large room. She recognized coffee and some kind of cleaner. People were waiting in lines getting food or eating at long tables that filled the sizable room. She roamed around until she saw a table along the wall where a large coffee pot, bottles of water and stacks of cups were organized. She took one bottle and a cup while looking around the room. No one resembled the young man plus fifteen years in the photo. She was about to leave when an older, stocky woman with puffed up cherry colored hair came up to her. The deep wrinkles around the woman’s mouth and eyes were more noticeable as she smiled. She asked Trisha, “Can I help you?”

              Trisha busied herself with slipping the bottled water and cup into her coat pockets. “I was looking for somebody but they’re not here,” She mumbled.

              “Who are you looking for? Maybe I know them,” the woman asked.

               Trisha met her eyes for a moment. She seemed kind, but Trisha just wanted to leave. “No, I see he’s not here,” Trisha said again a little sharper.

              She nearly ran from the building only to stop when she saw that Mitch was no longer tied where she left him.

               Her legs shook and her voice grew shrill as she called his name thinking that Mitch might have run out into the traffic. Trisha looked down the street, but she saw no trace of him. She rushed to the busy intersection. At the corner, Trisha strained to see him. But Mitch was nowhere in sight. Mitch never ran away and he always stayed where she told him to. Many times she tied him outside the food market on Seventh street.

              Horrible thoughts raced through her mind. The traffic on the street rushed past her. Not used to streets quite this busy, the noise and traffic might have frightened him enough for him to run.

              People stared, but she did not care. Trisha asked a few of them if they saw him. Those that answered said no.

               She ran back to the mission to look again. She almost expected him to be wagging his tail there waiting for her. But he wasn’t. Her duffle bag sat on the sidewalk by itself. A couple of people passed by going into the mission. She noticed that the orange truck was out front double-parked. Trisha went down the snowy side alley between the mission and a square three-story house next to it. She called Mitch’s name and whistling for him even though his paw prints were not in the snow. In the back, there were seven cars in the parking area behind the building. The doors to the garage behind the house stood ajar and the snow in front of it was ice encrusted. Mitch would come if he heard her, but Trisha picked her way over the ice to look inside the garage anyway.

              A man came down the alley. He was the same one who got out of the orange truck and spoke to her about Mitch earlier. Then she remembered. When she came out of the mission his truck was gone.

Seeing her in the yard he stopped. “What do you want?” he sneered. “This is my yard.”

              “You remember my dog earlier?” Trisha asked, pointing toward the street. “I tied him outside the mission. He’s missing now.”

               From the street, car horns began blasting. The man smirked at her. She noticed him closely now, with his rumpled clothes, and unshaven face, but his sarcastic demeanor gave Trisha the creeps.

              “No,” he murmured, turning to go into the house. “Your dog isn’t here.”

              “Well, my dog was tied out front. You and your truck were there when I went in. Did you see what happened to him?” Trisha said slowly, trying to sound calm.

              “No,” he snarled and went into the house.

              Trisha looked around at the cars in the parking lot. Then the man came out again nearly dragging a dirty looking beige dog struggling on a leash.

              He stopped and glared at her, laughing, “Does this dog look like yours?”

              He continued going down the alley toward the street all the while the small dog struggled, it’s head twisting, tail down. A sick feeling engulfed Trisha. Some tears ran down her face. Trisha wiped at them and hurried after the man. Thoughts were beginning to make a picture in her mind. That man’s truck had been moved when she found Mitch missing. Mitch was small for his breed and did not bite. This guy could pick Mitch up and throw him in that truck, she reasoned.

               At the truck, the man turned and noticed Trisha following him. She met his stare and waited for him to open the back of the truck. She wanted to see inside it.

              He gave the leash several hard pulls then grabbed the small dog’s collar and through clenched teeth, he said to the dog, “Get over here.”

              “Leave that dog alone,” Trisha shouted.

~J.D. Holiday

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The Dawnstone Tale – chapter 2 cont’d

by R L Davis Hays 2009

EDDERMONT, Myretrae.

By a hostile midnight, Keinigan found that his problem had compounded as a noise broke into the erotic peace of his dreams. A loud, repetitive noise. His mind tried to push against it and stay asleep. Dreams were much nicer than the real world.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

What was that? He squeezed his eyes tighter shut. A cannon? A battering ram?


Damn it, he was being relentlessly plucked out of his pleasant land of soft, richly scented pillows and lovely faerlin beauties caressing him in friendly ways.


“What the hell?” he shouted as his reluctant eyes peeled open. There was no war raging or ballista firing. The noise was coming from his inn door. The groaning frame shook and splintered.

As his attention finally focused, the door flew apart to reveal a huge, pale green-skinned ogre standing in (or rather blocking) the doorway. The beast was massive, easily eight mark high. His forearms were as thick as Keinigan’s torso and a mop of black, greasy hair framed his square head. His eyes burned with a fiercely intelligent glow, which was unusual for ogres.

“Bastid!” Keinigan knew him from past misadventures, thus he also knew that this meant he was in serious trouble. The ogre made a living as a bounty hunter, and a very good one at that.

“You little figshat,” Bastid rumbled as he advanced on Keinigan.

A hairy arm shot towards the fae, one huge hand ready to engulf his whole head. Keinigan dove out of bed, rolled to a stand, and deeply wished that he were wearing more than just his breeches.

The door was obstructed by the ogre’s bulk, and the only window was on the other side of the bed from where he stood. The best chance he had was avoiding contact until he discovered what this was regarding.

“What do you want with me? Hold on a minute!” He ducked under another swipe and glanced around for his sword, but he doubted that it would aid him much against this creature. Keinigan had seen him in battle before.

Going from deep sleep to this kind of panicked adrenaline rush left Keinigan shaking and disoriented.

“Damn it, you arse-kecker! Giv’me a second to say two words, will you?” he shouted as he leapt over the rickety bed towards his sword. He heard the heavy whoosh of Bastid’s hand behind his head and felt a few hairs pulled out. His hand closed around the hilt of his sword just in time to feel the hard weight of one huge fist land in the middle of his back.

The blow sent him into the wall; the impact bruised his shoulder and bloodied his lip. Slipping to the floor, stars sparked in his vision.

He’s going to kill me, Keinigan’s mind shrieked as it raced over his past crimes trying to fathom who had sent this beast after him. He shook his spinning head to clear it. The ogre’s enormous fingers closed over his sword arm and yanked him close to the pallid, unshaven face.

“What do you want?” Keinigan wheezed, finding breath difficult.

“Your hide!” Bastid growled.

“Why? What did I do?” There were too many answers to this question in his own mind, so Keinigan was not even going to start guessing. He would only incriminate himself.

“You robbed a whore and apparently bought new boots with the money,” said the bounty hunter with a wicked sneer.

Recognition dawned on the faerlin. “Correction,” he snapped, offended by the accusation that he would be so petty. “I stole it from her pincher. And, how did you know it was me?”

Bastid snickered. “I didn’t know for sure ‘til just now, you idiot.”

The ogre tossed Keinigan across the room like a rag doll. Hitting a small table that sat in the corner, he landed hard with a groan; the wood drove into his groin as his weight toppled it to the floor. His sword was jarred from him.

“I had a hunch,” said Bastid. “When I heard from the wench that one of her clients had been a smart-mouthed faerlin with blonde hair, a desperate need for money, and the habit of washing his hands a lot, I knew it must be you. But, I never thought you would be stupid enough to rob a Council whore.”

Keinigan was slowly pulling his bruised body up to face his attacker again when he stopped, realizing what had been said. Ice shot through his veins like a bolt.

“What?” It was barely a whisper, but the ogre heard it. Bastid began to shake with hearty laughter as he saw that Keinigan had been ignorant of his own danger.

“You didn’t even know it?” he bellowed with a grin as jagged and ugly as broken rocks. “What a kecker you are, Keinigan! I should have guessed. You’re too much of a coward to rip off the Council on purpose.”

“I’d be offended by that if I weren’t in so much pain.” He tried to regain some composure. “You’re working for The Council, as in the Journeymen’s Council?”

Bastid wiped a tear from his eye. “Yes. And, they want you.”

“Dead?” he asked warily.

“Maybe. It depends. They want their money back. You got it?”

Keinigan felt trapped. He had paid off Big Lukas with most of it; bought himself some new boots and tunics with some; had even put a deposit on a new sword that he was to pick up today. A mere fraction of the booty was left. His heart and mind raced.

“Do they know who I am? Or are you the only one that knows that it was me that stole it?” he asked.

“You’re stalling. You spent it all, didn’t you?” Bastid heaved a dramatic sigh, his face cracking into jagged teeth. “I’m going to have to hurt you, then.”

Scrambling away from the ogre, Keinigan verbalized his plan as it came to him. “Hear me out, Bastid. If you’re the only one that knows it was actually me, then we can work it out. You pretend not to find me for a few days, and I will get you the money. Plus some! What do you say?”

“Come now, it wouldn’t look very good on my reputation if it took me a week to find the scad that stole the loot, and then I neglect to bring him in. Besides, there are others looking for you.”

“Me, specifically? Or just a thief?” Keinigan hedged.

“Just a thief, s’far as I know. But, it won’t take ‘em much longer than me to find out who’s been spending money that he doesn’t normally have. You’ve been careless ever since Northgate, Keinigan. It makes for an easy trail.” The ogre almost sounded concerned for the fae.

“Can’t help it, I needed new clothes.” He dodged Bastid’s grip once more. “Look, bastard, I can get you the money and disappear. Com’on now, for old time’s sake? Don’t turn me in,” he pleaded while ducking out of the ogre’s reach.

“The name’s Bastid, you kecking faery!” A fist came out of nowhere and slammed Keinigan to the floor, then a heavy boot pinned him. He sucked in a painful breath. The ogre snorted into his face, “And, you got one day, understand? If you run, you know that I’ll find you. Then, you’ll be a dead man.”

“Thanks be, Bastid. I owe you one.” He gasped from beneath the ogre.

Bastid began to leave, but shoved a warning finger into the faerlin’s face. “No, you owe me sixty. Silver. And, if they find out I let you off, you’ll owe me a lot more than that!”

Keinigan laid his head back on the floor and tried to breathe without pain as the huge ogre left his room with a thunderous stride.

“Draek,” he cursed, “my life stinks.”


Translations from Jorthus series available from Visit the author page for more information on the books, or join the conversation on The Worlds of Jorthus page on Facebook.

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CAPTAIN FIN – What a NOVEL to me

CAPTAIN FIN – Cover reveal coming soon.

I’ve been working on a novel for what seems too long now, but in my defense time hasn’t always been on my side. The story CAPTAIN FIN is based on a screenplay written by the talented actor, writer, movie producer, and director, Kevin James O’Neill.

When Kevin approached me about writing this novel and I read the script, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was, thrilled doesn’t cover the joy that I felt. I immediately fell in love with one of the characters, Hannah. Oddly it wasn’t at all from an angle or perspective that was presented in the script that he had handed me. But I could envision so clearly the direction that I felt he wanted to go; thus the reason he sought out a writer like me, a children’s author.

I was so worried about my time commitments. Already in the midst of writing BITTER BETRAYAL and working every day at a company that I am a partner, owner, and as the CEO am obligated to be committed to running every single day.

At one point I even told him, “Kevin, as saddened as I am, I don’t believe I have the time to finish Captain Fin. I love this piece, and if you want to take my ideas, chapters, and give them to another writer, I completely understand.” To my surprise, Kevin did not accept my offer but gave me a call instead. His words not only humbled me, but I felt as if he handed me a gift instead. I don’t think I will ever forget his words.

“Amanda, I can’t really see anyone else writing this novel. I love your ideas, what you’ve written so far, and I understand how busy you are. I’ll wait. I’ll wait until you have the time to write it.” I can’t tell you the shock I felt. To hear someone had that much faith in my work was amazing to me. #humbled #grateful

I was worried that the flow of the work would be jeopardized by the amount of time that it was taking me to write the story, again, time wasn’t on my side due to work and family commitments. But I recently went back and reread my early chapters as I’m polishing off the manuscript before sending it to my editor. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. I fell in love with Hannah all over again!!!! Her spirit, strong will, the sadness that reflects through her eyes, and the way that she eventually withdraws from others due to the hand that life has dealt her with her gentle spirit still intact, kills me! LOVE HER!

I can only hope that I delivered the novel the way Kevin had envisioned; I know it is exactly how I imagined it to be. It was challenging and exhilarating at times, but writing this piece was such a blessing. The images that you see are components of my cover. The design will be released soon. I am looking so forward to sharing this beautiful story of loss, discovery, love, friendship, and hope with the world. I sincerely hope that you enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it! CAPTAIN FIN, coming soon. #TLA19

Amanda M Thrasher

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The Dawnstone Tale – Chapter Two, cont’d

by R L Davis Hays

After hurrying to the eastern side of Nothshore, he had climbed atop an accommodating tree to observe the activity around the Wayward Inn. He spied at the windows until he found one particularly promising room — a small, dull, corner room; it had only two windows, one on the western side and one on the northern. Very possibly the office.

Sitting in the large oak branches for near an hour staring at the room, speculating on how to access the barred windows, he noticed that the northern sill was considerably wider than the others. An inner wall had been constructed in the office, allowing the pincher to conceal his lockbox from his employees.

This had led Keinigan to inspect the outer wall more intimately, which yielded a few dry-rotted boards just above the first floor level. Weighing his possibilities, he waited until he saw Wendal leave through the front. With the boarding house subdued, he had climbed up, pried the boards loose quietly, and then wriggled into the small interior of the false wall.

He was able to slink through the maze of beams and braces; his eyes adjusting to the darkness. The thin illumination of blocked moonlight and sparse warmth, visible to his fae sight, left him to rely more on his other senses. Much to his discomfort.

Grime and rat droppings were thick, and the space he had crammed into was not much wider than his chest. Forced to take shallow breaths (which seemed preferable to him considering the stinking contents of this crawlspace) he wrestled through an area that was good for nothing, barring perhaps to hide dead bodies. His mind was aglow with an image of his prize; a small box stashed beneath the second story window frame.

The splintered wood of a crossbeam snagged his head by the velvet ribbon so sweetly placed by Lyla. Wincing, he reached up to free it, only to flail in the confines. A cringe of dread braced his nerves as he jerked his head, ripping several hairs from his scalp. Tears stung his eyes, but with an angry snort, he started to move again. Dust that had collected over decades kicked up around his face, tickling his nose dangerously. His entire body squeezed shut as he tried not to sneeze. A moment passed before he could recover.

The effort it took to stay quiet was costing him precious minutes and driving him slowly mad with thoughts of the filth covering him. With each sweaty second, he could feel the contamination seeping into his skin, but he dared not rush.

He had seen some ladies in the windows of The Wayward house, and any strange noise could alert them to his presence.

Twisting his head around, he saw the solid blackness of a surface less than an arm’s length from him. It ran from the floorboards to the ceiling. He guessed by the distance from his entry spot that this was the encasement below the widened window. With an awkward bend of his arm, he released his dagger. Grabbing it tight, he shifted to lie on his side, maneuvering the dagger deftly along the cracks of the board obstructing the box.

As he ran his fingers down the crevice, he found what he needed. A rat hole. The vermin that had left their trail of droppings for him to follow had also done most of his work for him. By the splintering on it, he judged that the whole partition was brittle and rotting. He grinned eagerly in the dark.

With sweat rolling down his forehead and stinging his eyes, he worked. Patiently, with his breath making puffs in the sawdust, he whittled bits of plank away with his dagger tip.

After an eternity, Keinigan had a hole large enough to push his arm in, up to the elbow. That was all he needed, he hoped. It was near midnight, and the occupants would be returning soon.

His hand touched the bottom of the lockbox. His coveted goal was near, but his mind compulsively reminded him that he was lying in vermin refuse. Fortunately, the furry residents of the nest were occupied elsewhere. He tried to focus only on his undertaking. Angling his dagger at the corner joist of the box in order to give the best pry point, he heard noises beyond the inner wall. He froze.

A person was milling about in the office.

Minutes ticked slowly in his brain as he listened intently, his muscles cramping and screaming for movement. Loose strands of hair pasted to his forehead by sweat and dirt itched him, making a panic of misery well up inside his chest. He fought to hold it in.

Footfalls came closer to his position, and he heard a scraping sound followed by a click above his hands. The image of Wendal, opening his lockbox with his suntanned hands just a mere half-mark away from a thief enclosed in his walls, popped into Keinigan’s fevered brain, and a giggle tickled him mercilessly.

There was a heavy thud on the board above his dagger tip and (for the briefest instant) Keinigan saw a splinter of dim candlelight at the corner seam.

Optimism fluttered in his soul as he realized his luck. The box was weakened already; his job just got a whole lot easier. His palms tingling, he waited for Wendal to close the wooden lid and leave the house. Hearing a faint creaking clack as the office door shut, Keinigan counted to twenty and then he positioned his dagger on the place where he had seen the flash of light.

Biting his dust covered lip to douse his giddiness, he popped the pommel of his dagger hard. The board gave a little. The nails straining to grip it in place, the wood groaned in objection. Loudly. Pausing in slight alarm, he craned his neck to listen for any noise inside the house before wedging his dagger in again.

He wiggled his tool; pushed again, and was rewarded with sudden movement, as the seam ruptured. His pulse surged. The board bent, opening under the weight of the bags nestled within. Still restrained by the opposite joint, the bottom did not crash down as he feared it might but, he was able to worm one nimble hand inside the hole. It touched the cloth of a small sack. With barely a breath, he painstakingly extricated his prize, allowing the board to relax and close.

Now, he was anxious to get the hell out of there.

The chill night air was drifting in through the loose entry fracture as he squirmed out backwards, finding his way blindly like a giant maggot with his feet thrashing in midair and dust clouding around his head. Finally, finding a foothold on the windowsill, he yanked himself free and hopped to the ground.

He crouched below the casement for a moment, certain that someone was aware of the activity. All was quiet around him. It had been a risk coming out hindquarters first; his fears had conjured images of a circle of thugs and Wendal watching him grapple out only to pin him to the wall with swords. But, there was no one.

Keinigan was scraped, cut, aching, filthy, and somehow had never been more elated. The more rational part of his brain was astonished by the depths to which he would go for money. He glanced down at the small sack in his hands, testing its weight. It felt as if there were at least fifty silver pents in coin and gems. Hysteria bubbling up from his insides, he had to quickly dash into the back alleys, heading for the city entrance before it erupted.

A heavy, spring sun was coming up over the horizon, showing its shy white face between sullen clouds as he was nearing the city of Eddermont to repay Big Lukas.

Keinigan thought to himself, “Problem solved. I’ll finally have some left over.”


Translations from Jorthus series available from Visit the author page for more information on the books, or join the conversation on The Worlds of Jorthus page on Facebook.

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Chapter Two of The Dawnstone Tale begins…

Chapter Two

INSIDE A WALL, Nothshore, Myretrae.


The young faerlin’s avenues eventually led him into a small, confined space inside a wall of the Wayward Inn boarding house on the eastern end of Nothshore in the middle of the night. He would have bemoaned this fate, if he were not so keenly aware of how he got into this predicament.

Earlier in the day, Keinigan had arrived in the seaside town, eager to gain some useful ideas on where he could get money enough to pay Lukas. He had traveled from tavern to pub, chatting and flirting until he met with one young woman of ill repute who was relaxing before her evening duties began.

Her name was Lyla. He had given her his business before and he fancied that she liked him more than she liked the usual customer. She had brightened when she saw him and, after a little chitchat, she had agreed to start work early just for him.

After an exhilarating romp in her room at the Red Palms Inn, he sat naked on the end of her hard-packed, cotton mattress as she playfully combed the snarls out of his hair. Her hands gathered the jagged blonde waves up and, embracing them with a velvet ribbon from her bedside table, she tied it into a neat tail.

Stroking his head, she had leaned forward to kiss his slanted ears tenderly. Her small bosom smashed into his back as she did so, sending a pleasant shudder through him. He had smiled, content for that moment.

It was not until she had dressed and opened her window drapes to the sunset washed buildings outside that he let reality creep back into his thoughts. Lyla was sprinkling her bedcovers with a fragrant powder to disguise the scent of lovemaking as Keinigan pulled on his breeches and boots. Looking up at her, he had asked, “Where can a fellow get his hands on a bag of silver?”

Not looking at him, Lyla had laughed, “You could work here. We make five pents per customer.”

“Right, but you have to give most of that to the pincher, for housing and protection. I doubt I could make enough tonight to get out of trouble.” He had made the comment sound like a joke, but he was halfway considering the idea of renting himself out. Lyla cocked her head at him sardonically.

“The boys work the south side of town, hon. I was only joking.”

“So was I,” he said innocently. A thought had crept into his mind and he then ventured, “How much does Wendal, your pincher, take?”

She was picking up old clothes around her room; her gangly legs peeked out from beneath her skirts every so often to tempt his gaze. She shrugged. “Three out of our regular five. Anything above that, we keep. That’s why I like big tippers.” She shot him a scathing glance, but he was oblivious to it.

Tossing his tunic and vest on, he had headed for the washbasin to rinse his hands, continuing his train of thought aloud. “How many girls work in this boarding house?” he asked. “About twenty rooms, is it?”

“Yes, but not all Wendal’s girls stay here. Some o’ them rent rooms at his other house on the east end. The Wayward is much nicer. That’s where he has his own apartments.” Finished with as much cleaning as she wanted to do, she was standing with her hands on her hips, waiting for him to pay her and leave. She had a living to earn and he was wasting her valuable time casually scrubbing his face and neck.

“Do you have any cologne?” he asked offhandedly. When she shook her head, he grunted with disappointment. “Does he just keep all the money he takes from you ladies or does he ever buy you anything with it?” He dried his face on his shirt, noting with horror that he needed to launder it. “Does he have partners?”

“You lookin’ to get hired?” She had giggled. “I’m afraid you’re out of luck. Wendal works alone. And, no he doesn’t buy us gifts or anything with his money.”

“The kecker.” He smiled as he wrapped his arms around her small waist one more time and pulled her close. “If you were mine, I’d make sure you got roses every day and a diamond at least once a week.”

She smirked up into his sparkling green eyes. “That’s why I love seeing you, Keinigan. You are so full of figshat. You always make me laugh.”

He pressed his lips to hers; the supple touch made him crave her again. She had pulled back and placed one finger on his mouth. “We better stop or it’ll start costing you extra.”

Bending his forehead to hers and letting his hands caress her shoulders, he tried his best to stay focused on his errand. He had been trying to find a subtle way of asking her where her pincher stowed his fortunes, but his mind filled with more carnal thoughts. Questions faded in and out, losing all coherence as his body ached to be smothered in her scent again. At last hope, as she was pushing him towards the door, he had blurted out, “What does he do with his money?”

“AH!” She was exasperated. “I don’t know! He puts it in the lockbox for his retirement, I guess. Now, will you just pay me and go?”

“He has a locked box? In his room?” He had tried to sound dense.

“No, silly, in his office. Hidden. He has the only key. Keeps it on his neck, but you’re not good enough to steal it from him. So, give it up. Now, are you going to give me my money or do I have to send Wendal after you to collect double?”

Keinigan was bounced out the door and dug into his belt pouch as she shoved. Fishing out a gemstone he had swiped from someone’s purse earlier, he stared down at it; his rebuffed passions waning. The stone was worth ten silver pents, but he supposed that the information she had given him was worth a good tip. He stuck it out to her and smiled, “Can I have credit for later?”

With a tilt of her brown curled head, she had smirked, “What, and leave me with no tip? You still owe me one from last time, hon.” She snatched the gem and shut the door, leaving him in the graywood hall of the inn with his plans.


Translations from Jorthus series available from Visit the author page for more information on the books, or join the conversation on The Worlds of Jorthus page on Facebook.

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Character Quotes: from Simple Things by JD

         Simple Things

by J.D. Holiday, a Christian Middle Grade Novel.

Simple Things cover DONE copy church in it  Kirby craned his neck as the truck drove down the street. Then the Speedy Delivery driver limped down their front stairs shouting, “Hey! Hey!”

Shaking his head, Kirby went to the front door wondering what to say to Gram. She would not believe this.

The doorbell started ringing as his grandmother came into the living room. Her cherry color hair bobbed and her bony arms outstretched while wiping her hands on a dish towel.

The bell rang again as Gram reached it. At the door, Kirby stood to one side while she opened it. The deliveryman leaned against the doorjamb and holding his head. “Someone stole my truck,” he said.  Kirby winced thinking this will not end well.


Dedicated to my parents, Ira and Ruth Day,  Simple Things is about the Cameron children worried that they will not get the toys they asked for for Christmas because their mother is a last minute shopper. The uncle that Trisha Frankel has lived with most of her life with has died. The only option she has is to find the father she does not know, even though her uncle said, “He was no good.” Trisha takes her dog, Mitch to search out her father and find out what he is like for herself. Along the way, her dog is stolen. The most likely suspect in the dog’s disappearance is a man connected to the Cameron children Phoebe, Tucker, and Kirby. Phoebe, Tucker, and Kirby are busy trying to figure out if their Christmas gifts will arrive. But helping Trisha makes them realize that sometimes the lives of others are more important than their own interests, especially at Christmas time.

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