Since today is Father’s Day, I thought I’d share with you a father-daughter scene featuring Mads and his youngest daughter, Freya, from Maybe Forever.

Photo credit: rSnapshotPhotos/Shutterstock.
Photo credit: rSnapshotPhotos/Shutterstock.

Once Anton and I rang off, I took Freya into the bathroom and cooled off her skin with a cold compress. The aloe vera gel came next. Freya whimpered at first but as the gel soothed away the heat she settled down and a tiny smile emerged again. I hated seeing her like this. How did Laney deal with this all the time? All I knew was I wanted to make everything better for my little girl.
She was growing so fast–just yesterday she’d managed to pull herself up on her own and balance for a few moments. Laney and I had watched, mesmerized, as our youngest daughter planted her hands onto the sofa cushion to brace herself and try to stand. In a few days she would be eight months old. Would she be an early bloomer and begin walking before she was even ten months old? Or would she be more like Liv, who’d taken her time about walking and explored every inch of the apartment crawling or scooting, only to take us by surprise on her first birthday by standing and taking off almost immediately in a wobbly run.
After a sleepless night thanks to her sunburn, Freya was more subdued than usual, which was understandable. Hell, I was pretty exhausted too. If anything I wanted to take a nap and I’d barely been out of bed for more two or three hours. Picking up Freya again, I asked her, “What do you think, lille ven? Shall we take a nap?”
My daughter yawned, her sleepy green eyes struggling to remain open. We retraced the path to the bedroom Laney and I had been sharing. The bedroom faced the back garden and was shaded by most of the morning sun thanks to the lush canopy of a marbleberry tree. It cast swaying shadows on the wall as a breeze caught its branches. Freya and I watched the shadows dance. She giggled and pointed at the tree. I kept my arm protectively around her as I began to drift off. It wasn’t long until even Freya settled down and her tiny sighs let me know she’d fallen asleep.
The air conditioner’s hum formed a cloud of white noise that lulled me even deeper into sleep. Freya planted her thumb in her mouth. I wondered if she was dreaming of penguins. Don’t grow up too quickly, I thought as my eyelids grew heavy. Stay my baby girl for just a little while longer.

30 Days30 StoriesYesterday marked the end of the 30 Days, 30 Stories challenge. I was hoping to end it with a personal piece, but I started feeling ill on Wednesday and by Friday it was a full-blown cold. Any attempts at writing were aborted due to my head feeling like it was the size of a pumpkin. Instead, I shared the opening scene from a WIP novel that I haven’t quite figured yet.

Many thanks to all of you who followed the progress of the stories on my Facebook author page. You can now find all thirty stories here on wattpad. At some point, I will compile them into a proper e-book. It will have to be later rather than sooner. This cold has sapped me of any energy.

Hopefully soon I’ll also be able to get back to you all with release dates for Maybe Tomorrow and Maybe Forever. I’d initially planned to have both books ready by March, but that’s not going to happen. Work + life + writer’s block got in the way.

Before I sign off I want to give a shout out to Carrie Elks, Christina C. Jones and Inger Iversen–congrats, ladies, to launching new books this week! I’ve got them all lined up on my Kindle. 🙂

I will try to write today. I don’t have any high hopes of greatness unless it’s thanks to a Nyquil-induced haze. Happy weekend…happy reading (and maybe even happy writing).

30 Days30 StoriesEarlier today, while sitting in a meeting at work, I started thinking about my 30 Days, 30 Stories challenge and how it would be great to have all the stories in one place where people can read them. I’ve been sharing them on my Facebook author page and on Goodreads, now I’m sharing it on Wattpad as a compiled book–and, yes, it’s free.

Are the stories perfectly edited? Nope, and they probably never will be until I decide to use them in some future project. But if you want to read them on your phone or your tablet as a proper e-book, you can read them for free by using this link, http://embed.wattpad.com/story/32495751.

Or, if you’re already a member on Wattpad, add it to your library. I’ll be updating until the end of the month. One of the stories, “Drive”, is the first chapter of a novella I’m working on about Jesper, Niklas’s teenage son from Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight. You’ll see it later this spring. I’ve got to finish a couple of other projects first. 🙂

30 daysI thought I’d share with you one of the stories I’ve written for the 30 Days, 30 Stories Writing Challenge. It’s from a novella I am working on that is set in the same fictional Vermont town as Snowbound. Yes, Mia & Jake are in the novella. No, they are not the main characters. This one will focus on another couple, Asha & Nick. If you want to follow the rest of the stories, head over to my Facebook author page. At the end of the month, I’ll add a section here on the blog where you’ll be able to read all of the stories.

Story #8: Dance


Asha extended her left leg and then tested her pointe shoe. It was pliable enough now that she’d warmed it a bit. She rose up en pointe, keeping her upper body perfectly balanced and still, then raised her arms, imagining they were feathery wings as she moved across the floor.
Careful, she reminded herself. It’s been months since you’ve done this.
Yes, her muscles were a little stiff, but she could still do a perfect jeté and relevé. And to feel her body moving again without the pinching soreness or the ache of healing fractures, oh…what freedom. She tested her battements, moving from adagio to allegro and then drifting to the floor in the most graceful of bows.

“That was beautiful.”

She raised her head enough to see Mia Wilkinson standing in the door. She applauded as Asha stood and curtsied for her. “Just wanted to test the old gams, see if they could still do it.”

“You’ve still got it,” she said. “And you’re still so tiny.”

“No, I’m not.” Asha walked over to her, a little self-conscious at being caught out dancing. It was so silly. Dancing was her life. It had always been. She reached for her wrap sweater. “At least it doesn’t hurt anymore.”

Asha shrugged on her sweater and then pressed the stop button on the stereo. She tied the stays on her sweater. The dance studio was chilly even with the old steam radiators hissing at full blast. She’d have to talk to Horace about it. The little girls she’d taught this morning were covered in goosebumps by the end of their ballet lesson.

“I still remember when you and I used to take lessons together with Madame Vivienne.” Mia grinned. “You were always so much better at it. Even then.”

“I practiced,” Asha reminded her old friend, “while you mooned over Owen Cudahy.”

“Well, yeah, you were in pursuit of dance, I was in pursuit of love.” Mia linked arms with Asha. “And now I’m in pursuit of lunch. Aunty Mo’s?”

Asha’s stomach growled in reply. She didn’t remember when she’d last eaten. Had she even had breakfast? “Aunty Mo’s—just like old times.”

 

30 daysLast week (I think) fellow author Nia Forrester mentioned the 30 Days, 30 Stories challenge and I said I was game. So what is it? Starting 27 January, we post one very short story or vignette per day. Of course, I missed the first two days–I blame it on still having a case of mushy brain from having lots to do at the office–but today I posted my first vignette on my FB author page.

Head over and have a look.