Check out my fiction - http://www.jaletac.com
Check out my science fiction series - The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Let's Play Stump the Checker!

It's been a wild week. Too much to do. We've got two kids getting married in June and I'm working on releasing the last two books in my series on top of still being mom to those at home and doing my school work and holding down two part-time jobs. Very part-time, but still. So if my posts are a little spotty the next few weeks, that's why. Once things settle down a little, or if I get an unexpected free day or two, I'll try to get more posts scheduled.

If you have a recipe you'd like to request, please let me know in the comments. Even if it's a "How do I cook eggplant?" type request. I'm happy to see what I can find for you and share what I've experimented with.

How do you play stump the checker? Easy. Find the weirdest produce item you can and see if the checker knows what it is when it's rung up at the register. You'd be amazed how many people have no clue what those weird veggies are. Most of them are tasty, if you know how to cook them. So please, ask away.

Now for more fun. I'm releasing books 10 and 11 together because they are the conclusion to my SF adventure series. Together, they weigh in at over 300,000 words. That's a lot of words to edit and format. But, they should be coming in the next couple of weeks. I'm almost there...

Sneak peek for book 10:

The Phoenix is deep in syndicate territory and they're out for blood. Lowell's power base is broken and Dace is left unprotected. Jasyn will have to marshal all her resources to rescue Dace from the wrath of her enemies.

Chapter 1

The darkness tasted of stones and the wet that dripped in the subterranean maze, sometimes close enough he could touch it, sometimes so distant it made his throat ache. His universe shrank, encompassing only the wet coldness of stone forever under his fingers. Once he had known light and warmth, hidden in the haze that filled his mind. Now was all that existed, all that ever had existed, all that ever would exist. Now was the cold dark and unending stone.
And her. He shivered at the forbidden thought. She came sometimes, into the darkness. She brought light with her, wrapped around her. She brought quiet words and soft touches. She supplied clear water and the almost forgotten taste of food. She called herself an angel. Her absence was his punishment, clear indication that he was not worthy of her presence.
Living was only a habit, a fading one. He once had a reason, another he was responsible for. He didn't remember who he was supposed to protect or what had gone wrong, only that he had failed.
He huddled against wet stone and scurried through the empty echoing spaces between. He was an animal, locked underground forever. The angel brought aching hope and memories, but doomed him to silent darkness when she withdrew. She came, shining in her white robes, to stroke his face with her hands.
Her touch brought pleasure, agonizing in its intensity. He shouldn't want it, he fought the need. And he lost every time. He needed her light even though he knew at some level her touch would kill him. Eventually.
Her touch unlocked his memories for a brief moment of sanity before her touch took it away again and left him sobbing over his betrayal. He had tried to resist her. He had broken every vow he'd ever made after she touched him. He had tried to hide, but she had found him, her voice scolding and harsh even as her hands gently touched his face. She would always find him no matter where he tried to hide. Not in the maze of rock, and not in his mind.
He wrapped his arms around himself, alone in the darkness, shivering with cold and need. She had stolen everything and left him only the hope that she would come back before he gave in to the shrieking madness creeping through the silent stone. He closed his eyes, seeking artificial darkness he could control. It was the only shred of self he had left. He had no name, no thoughts to call his own, no words, nothing but what she gave him. He kept nothing from her gentle questions and her gentler touch.
Except for a single name that echoed through his dreams.
Dace.