Character Profile: Jasper Hart


Who is the handsome, mysterious and elegant Jasper Hart?

Tonight, as another shameless plug for my romantic urban fantasy novel Reborn, I’m reposting this character profile for one of Siobhan’s love interest Jasper Hart. [To those of you who had the misfortune honor (sorry, I’m feelin’ silly tonight) of reading the earliest version of Reborn, Jasper has undergone a surname change. It’s still a clue as to his true identity, but I kinda, maybe changed the underlying mythology of the book…..]

ID-10012562Jasper Hart

From: Reborn (paranormal romance, urban fantasy)

Character Type: Antihero

Age: Really old, but he looks about late-twenties (of course)

Physical Description: Tall; shoulder-length, slightly wavy dark hair; midnight blue eyes; well-built with magnificent black wings

Species: Alien from a parallel universe

Occupation: PhD student in the history department; teaching assistant for World Myths and Legends

Relationship Status: Widower

Love interest: Siobhan

Goals: To win Siobhan’s trust and heart

Obstacles:

  • Farrah, Siobhan’s sorority’s nosey new house mother (who probably isn’t human, either)
  • Siobhan’s stubbornness and independence

Strengths: Physical strength and power; seductive; persuasive

Flaws: Arrogant; chauvinistic

Enjoys:

  • Learning about new cultures
  • Flying around the city at night
  • Enticing Siobhan
  • Brooding

Inspiration: Ville Valo, HIM frontman

“You belong to…”

You belong to me. I know that’s what he wants to say, but after a pause he corrects himself.

“We belong together. I love you. You believe me, don’t you?”

***

Book cover black

 

Reborn teaser: The Encounter


Book cover blackAs promised, here’s a teaser from Chapter One of my romantic (erotic?) urban fantasy novel Reborn. (Kids, don’t try this at home. And by “this,” I mean going off into the woods at night because you see something kinda strange.)

***

“Hey, look at that!” He pointed into the woods.

Anna joined him and peered into the thick, dark trees. “I don’t see anything, Jim.”

“No, look! Something’s glowing!” He turned and gave me a lopsided grin. “Let’s go see what it is, kids!” He swung his arm in a sideways punch as if it were the 1950s and something was really swell.

“Ugh, come on, Jim,” Anna groaned. “Just stay here. Dad’s picking us up soon, anyway.”

I came up on Jimmy’s other side, the distant flicker of a white flame catching my eye. “I see it.” I didn’t know what it was, but there was something mesmerizing about it. I took an involuntarily step forward and looked over at Jimmy.

“Let’s go.” I smiled. Jimmy grinned back, his eyes alight with mischief. Anna sighed, and I sensed a frustrated inner eye roll.

“Fine.” She looked back at our drunken peers. “No one’s even going to notice we’re gone. If something happens to us –”

“If we realize it’s too far, we’ll turn around,” Jimmy assured her. Sometimes it was hard for me to believe that cautious Anna and impulsive Jimmy were even related, let alone twins.

We crept into the woods, our feet crunching over fallen twigs and leaves. Even though it was late and dark, I wasn’t afraid –maybe because I was with Anna and Jimmy, or maybe that one beer I had instilled me with false confidence. The white glow really wasn’t as far away as it seemed from the yard, and it grew steadily larger and more luminous. A cool autumn breeze caressed my face, bringing a blend of sweet scents to my nose, like someone was burning a honey vanilla candle.

“It’s a fire,” Jimmy whispered. We stopped a few yards away from it. But it wasn’t like any fire I’d ever seen –it was yellow-white and lapped at the ground without burning it. It stayed inside an almost perfect circle a few feet wide, only the curling tendrils of sweet-smelling smoke escaping it.

“You came.”

All of us went completely still at the sound of the weak, hoarse voice. I looked wildly around but didn’t see anything.

“You saw my signal, and you came to help me.”

Then, I saw him, sprawled against a maple tree beyond the strange fire.

I looked away quickly, my face flushing in embarrassment. I got enough of a glimpse to realize he was mostly naked, muscles rippling down his marble-white chest and abdomen before disappearing underneath a black loin-cloth.

“Siobhan.”

My head snapped up again when he whispered my name. This time I couldn’t look away, my eyes drinking him in. Even in as vulnerable a position as he was, his presence permeated the forest, seeping into every crevice of every tree trunk, saturating every pore in the dirt floor. And he was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. Tousled dark hair brushed his shoulders framing high cheekbones and a sensuous mouth. A pair of magnificent, black feathered wings protruded from his back, crushed against the unforgiving ground. He reminded me of a fallen angel, but if angels existed, I didn’t think they had his kind of sinister, carnal magnetism. But what shocked me the most wasn’t his perfect body, his handsome face or even the wings.

He was the man from my dreams.

“Siobhan.” This time it was Anna saying my name as she fearfully watched me tiptoe around the fire to go to him.

His thick eyelashes fluttered open, and underneath his eyes were a deep blue whirlpool sucking me in even further. His lips moved, but I couldn’t hear him, so I leaned down closer.

“Psyche. You came back to me.”

What was Psyche? And what did he mean, “You came back to me?” With the exception of my dreams, I’d never met him before in my life.

I didn’t pull away or snap at him. In his final moments of life, he was feverish and confused. “I don’t know you,” I reminded him gently, “but I will help you if I can.”

His eyes pleaded with me as he raised his hand into the air, palm facing me. In a trance-like state I extended my own and brushed my palm and fingers against his, which were warm and slick with sweat. I almost jerked away, but I took a deep breath and maintained the contact, all the while staring into the dark pools of his eyes.

“Siobhan, you’re it.” At least I thought that was what he said –his voice was so small and weak.

“Let’s go back to the house.” Anna’s insistent voice was shrill with anxiety. She pulled on my arm while Jimmy pried this strange man’s hand away from mine. Jimmy didn’t let go of my hand immediately, instead clasping it firmly in his.

“Anna’s right,” he said, although I barely heard him as a flood of nausea suddenly seized me, waves of it coursing through my stomach and back.

Wait – my back?

I slipped my fingers out of Jimmy’s and brought both hands to my stomach.

“What’s wrong?” Anna asked and took a step toward me, but I staggered away from her. I didn’t know what was happening to me. All I knew was the urgency crashing down on me. I had to get away from them before it happened.

“Wait! Siobhan!”

Their panicked voices followed me as I took off deeper into the woods. Frenzied footsteps picked up behind me, but a burst of adrenaline pushed me forward so I outran them even in my delirious state. I made it to the muddy bank of a stream before tossing the orange sports drink I’d drained at the game all over the matted grass.

I felt better after throwing up, my stomach settling, but the unfamiliar rolling underneath my varsity jacket persisted. Bone and muscle liquefied as two jagged edges knifed through my skin. I tore my jacket off to the sound of splitting seams as they exploded out of my back, leaving the vest of my cheerleading uniform in strips of sweaty polyester.

Panting, hands still at my stomach, I sat still for a few beats to calm myself. Once the hammer of my heart in my chest dwindled to a patter and my breathing steadied, I crawled to the bank and looked through bleary eyes at my reflection in the roiling dark silver surface on the creek.  My violet eyes glanced at my face, white with shock, and the blonde hair sticking to my cheeks and neck before coming to rest on the butterfly-like wings looming behind me, shimmering midnight blue and indigo in the dark.

Music Video Monday: Radiohead “Creep”


Thursday’s “Guilty Pleasures” episode of Glee reminded me of how awesome this song is, although I didn’t really like what they did with it. Don’t get me wrong; I think this song could potentially work well in a rock musical/opera performance. It could have even worked on Glee if their interpretation had been a little more “angsty” and sinister. However, they made it too glamorous, and it didn’t seem to go with the situation (Rachel breaking up with her NYADA boyfriend, who is also apparently a gigolo).

The song reminds me of high school and of one of my all-time favorite fictional couples of my own creation, Ava and Tyler. Tyler is the outcast, and Ava is sort of a goody-two-shoes and definitely a bossy know-it-all. So since Music Video Monday is supposed to be about musical influences/inspiration, I’ve decided to include a little excerpt, which takes place at a high school dance. (After perusing Star Eyes for this excerpt, I really really want to work on this story again. But there’s never any time. Can someone please just pay me write stories, please???) After the excerpt, I’ve embedded videos of the Radiohead original and Glee cover, if you missed it.

***

“Shall we?” Tyler asked playfully, and he offered Ava his hand.

She took it, and together they walked out onto the crowded dance floor. He wrapped his arms carefully around her waist as she slung her arms around his neck. For a few moments, they swayed in awkward silence.

“I like your dress,” Tyler finally said, his eyes sweeping over her strapless fuchsia dress.

“Um, thanks,” she said hesitantly. “I tried to find an all-black dress, but this was the only one I tried on that my friends actually liked,” she added with a laugh.

“Do you like it?” he wondered.

“Of course. I was just worried that you might not like it.”

He shook his head and chuckled. “I’m not anti-pink,” he assured her. “I just want people to be themselves. ” He reached over and brushed aside one of her brown curls. “And you look beautiful. I’m sorry it’s taken me this long to say it, but I’m better at expressing myself in writing than talking.”

“I understand. The way you’ve treated me tonight is more important than what you say. But it’s nice to hear it,” she said as an afterthought, but, when she noticed his intent stare, she wondered if he had heard anything she’d just said.

His face leaned in closer to hers, and she felt his hands tighten in apprehension around her waist. Ava’s heart pounded so loudly she was afraid that Tyler could hear it. She leaned in more towards him and closed her eyes.

Friday Fictioneers Take One


This is the first time I’m trying one of these Friday Fictioneers photo prompts. The photo is below, and my piece is after that. The challenge is to get it down to 100 words, although it’s not required.

I don’t know what made me want to write it from first-person-plural, but it was a fun experiment. So it’s either a group hiding out, or Gollum…..

Copyright-Janet Webb

 

Genre: Science fiction, apocalyptic

Inside

Inside we wait for the explosions to stop.

Outside the sky is thick and gray with veins of red fire. But in here everything is pitch dark. We can barely see our hands as we reach for each other.

Last night she came. We had to ask her to leave. There’s no more room and not enough rations. When she wouldn’t, we had to make her. We try not to think about it now and hope that the war will stay out.

Finally the earth stills and we can uncover our ears. When we emerge, it’s all gone.

Word Count – 98

 

For VDay: A Romantic Excerpt


Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow (but mostly since I haven’t written anything new), here is a romantic post from my young adult novel, Star Eyes. I’ve posted an excerpt or two before (here’s one), and now that I’ve reread this chapter I’m tempted to post the whole thing. But I’ll try to stay focused on new writing (unless someone tells me that they’d really like to read the rest of it!).

In this excerpt, you will meet the two young men in love with our protagonist, Celeste Lowe: Hazri, a handsome alien from another world (although he looks human) and Dave, a normal human teenager. Yes, this story involves a lurve triangle, which I know at least one of my followers hates (lol!). But hey, I was writing about love triangles before Stephanie Meyer made it cool.

***

Celeste was still grounded Friday night, but she decided to make the best of it. It was supposed to be a clear night, so she set up her telescope on the small balcony outside her bedroom. She glanced at the star chart she had printed off the Internet and then bent over the eyepiece.

“I did not think I would find you here.”

Celeste nearly leaped out of her skin. She spun around to see Hazri standing behind her. In faded jeans and a red and white striped polo, it looked like someone had cut him out of a Tommy Hilfiger catalog. She wondered where he was getting his human wardrobe.

She felt the gentle nudge of his telepathic voice. I went to the mall. I also…how do I want to say this? I get a kick out of startling you.

The expression sounded awkward coming from him, especially telepathically. What do you want? she asked him, exasperated.

I thought that humans felt compelled to socialize on weekend nights, but I am glad you are here, he said. I have another memory to share with you.

Celeste had been afraid of this. She knew that at some point Hazri would be back to share more of their history with her, but she didn’t want anything to do with it anymore.

I’m not in the mood. She tried to make the tone of the thought as vicious as possible. Whatever it is you want to share with me, I don’t care. I don’t want to know.

You cannot avoid this. It is your heritage. It is your destiny.

“I don’t care!” she exploded, unable to contain her feelings in a mere thought. “Just leave me alone! I don’t ever want to see you again!”

“Celeste, what’s wrong?”

She was startled again, this time from the sound of Dave’s voice. She hadn’t even noticed him come out onto the balcony. He walked over to her.

“Is he bothering you?” Dave asked her, putting a protective arm around her shaking shoulders. “I think you should go,” he said to Hazri. He pulled Celeste closer to him.

“I am not bothering her,” Hazri said. His icy gaze locked with Celeste’s. “She was just overreacting.”

“Just go!” Celeste yelled.

Hazri’s lips were pursed, but he acquiesced, “I will see myself out.” He went into her bedroom as though he were going to go downstairs and leave the normal way, but Celeste knew he was alerting the mothership to transport him back.

“What happened? Did he try to hurt you?” Dave asked. He drew Celeste into his arms. Her heart was still beating wildly in her chest.

“No. How did you get up here? My parents let you in?” she asked in disbelief.

“I think they felt bad for me. I looked so dejected when they told me you were grounded that they let me in. I’m not even kidding,” he insisted when she looked at him doubtfully. “They let what’s-his-face in. Why wouldn’t they let me see you?”

Celeste didn’t know what to say. Well, that wasn’t exactly true –she knew what she wanted to say. She was about to stop herself and think it over first, but she was tired of thinking everything through. She let her mouth open to say what she knew she shouldn’t tell him.

Everything.

“Dave. There’s something…there’s a lot I have to tell you,” she said, pulling out of the embrace.

He reluctantly let her go. “What is it?”

“Let’s go inside,” she suggested. “You’ll want to be sitting down for this.”

He nodded. Celeste picked up the sky chart and led the way back inside.

 ***

“So you’re telekinetic.” It was a statement of fact, not an uncertain question. Dave was sitting on the edge of Celeste’s bed, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees. Celeste was pacing back and forth as she talked.

“Don’t worry. I can prove it,” she told him earnestly.

“You don’t have to. I believe you,” he said.

Celeste shook her head and rolled her eyes. “Are you watching closely?” Her eye had caught something shiny on her bureau. Her crystal paperweight gleamed invitingly under the ceiling light. Extending her arm for effect, Celeste wrapped her mind around the paperweight like an invisible hand and lifted it off of the dresser. She guided it through the air and let it fall into Dave’s lap.

Dave’s intelligent green eyes had grown wider and wider as he watched the paperweight drift in his direction. Now, he took it in his hands and held it up to his face.

“Whoa. That was sweet,” he exclaimed.

Celeste laughed. “Sweet? I’ve never heard you say that before.” With a swift sweep of her gaze, the paperweight flew out of his hands. She returned it to its spot beside her jewelry box.

“I figured this was a special occasion,” he said, smiling wryly. “Have you always been able to do that?”

“Ever since I was little.” Celeste studied him warily. Was that a glint of fear in his eyes? Was his laugh a little nervous?

“That’s what you were talking about,” he suddenly realized. He straightened up. “At Jamie’s party, when you said that you were different.”

She nodded. “But there’s more. I’m also telepathic.”

“You’ll have to prove that one, too,” he said, but he was grinning. “I’m thinking of a number from one to infinity.”

“I can’t just automatically read your mind,” she explained. “I mean, I could read it if I tried, but I have to concentrate on making a connection between my mind and yours. You would be able to feel my presence in your head.”

He stood up. “Do it.”

“What? Dave, no,” she protested. “It might make you sick. It’s really disorienting if you’re not used to it.”

“Celeste, I don’t care.” He cupped her chin with his hand. “I want to feel what it’s like. I don’t have anything to hide from you. I wish you could hear what I was thinking about you all the time.”

She searched his gaze. It was steady and honest. He was serious. Keeping their eyes locked, she extended her mind out again like she had to Jamie. It was like psychic energy was flowing out of her to embrace his mind, body and soul.

Are you feeling O.K? Celeste wondered. She could tell he was a little queasy, but his mind felt calm. Even though he was holding her, she didn’t even notice anymore. They were both absorbed in each other’s thoughts. It was exciting. And it felt right.

You told me once that you saw me around before we actually started talking, she recalled as the memory of their failure of a first date crept back into her mind.  When was the first time you saw me?

 Dave allowed the memory to surface. Celeste saw herself sitting alone in the school library. She was listening to her iPod and was writing something down in a notebook. Celeste had no idea what she had been working on at the time, but she realized that it was a memory from winter of last year. Her white down jacket was draped over the back of the chair.

She slowly started to see herself as Dave saw her. A wistful-looking girl with pretty hair that fell in front of her face like a silver-white curtain when she leaned over to scribble in the notebook. She glanced in his direction and then returned to the paper, but her eyes had shone like blue gemstones. She was beautiful, but it wasn’t just that. Focus, determination and goodness radiated from her.

That’s how you see me? She wouldn’t notice it until the connection was broken, but her cheeks were wet with tears. How had she never seen him before a few weeks ago? Now it felt like she had known him forever, and that they should never be apart. Who knew that I’d have to be sent clear across the universe to find my soul mate?

She could sense that this thought had confused Dave. She didn’t fight the memories that swam into her mind.

She walked into her kitchen, seeing Hazri for the first time. He told her that she wasn’t human, that they were from the planet Mondra and that she was a princess. She took out her mental box of concealed memories and remembered connecting with Jamie’s mind and seeing her aboard the Mondrian mothership. She vividly recalled the genetic experiment the Mondrians had performed on Jamie. She let the fears that had been building up inside of her spill over.

They’re abducting humans and introducing genetic mutations into them. They’re not good people. But I’m one of them. I’m not a good person, Dave. I’m not the good person you think I am.

Celeste retracted her mind from his. Uncontrollable tears ran down her face. Dave was holding her face in his hands, and his forehead was pressed against hers.

“Stop it,” he pleaded with her. “You are a good person. You’re the best person I’ve ever known, Celeste. It doesn’t matter what they do. You aren’t really one of them. You were raised by loving parents, and that’s how you learned to be who you are.”

As he was talking, he kissed her furiously in between sentences and wiped away her tears with his thumbs. Celeste eventually calmed down, but Dave still held her.

“Now you know everything,” she said. “I’m really glad it all came out like that, actually. At least you know I’m not crazy.”

“I would have believed you anyway, and you know that,” he insisted. “But seriously. That was really beautiful. Thank you for sharing your abilities with me.”

“So you’re not going to run away?” Celeste said.

Dave shook his head. “I’m not going anywhere. I know you’re not like them, Celeste. You’re good.” He kissed her again, gently this time. The kiss sent a chill down Celeste’s spine while a pleasant wave of warmth surged up her abdomen.

When they pulled away, reality set in again. “I have to save her,” Celeste said, meaning Jamie. “I’m the only one who knows where she is. I’m just not sure how to do it.”

“Maybe you’ll think of something,” Dave said. “I know it’s already been a week, but just give it more time. Don’t do anything rash.”

“I won’t. I don’t even know if there’s anything I can do but keep an eye on her. Well not an eye, but…you know what I mean.”

Dave chuckled softly and nodded. “There really is nothing that would keep me away from you,” he assured her again. “I love you.”

Celeste was so relieved to hear those words that she hugged him tightly and buried her face in his shoulder. He didn’t really have to say it out loud, though. Love and acceptance had radiated from him when their minds were connected.

Copyright 2013 by S. L. Stacy

Coming to a Bookshelf Near You: Star Eyes


This is my response to today’s Daily Prompt: Coming to a BookShelf Near You.

“Write a summary of the book you’ve always wanted to write for the back cover of its dust jacket.”

Here’s a book summary I wrote for my YA book, Star Eyes:

 

There’s something different about Celeste Lowe. Her friends sense it. Strangers are awed and terrified by it. Even her parents suspect it. And it’s not just the metallic sheen of her blond hair or her silver-blue eyes.

Celeste has a secret: She can move objects with her mind, without touching them. She can’t tell anyone her secret, so she never let’s anyone get too close –until Dave. Handsome, smart, normal Dave. Since she met Dave, she’s finding it harder and harder to keep her secret.

But then Hazri shows up. He’s not human, and he tells her that neither is she. They’re members of a highly advanced species from another world. To their people, she’s a VIP –the daughter of the ruling family. Not only that, but she’s already been promised to someone else…him.

Celeste finds herself caught between two worlds: The one she never really felt she was a part of (until Dave), and the one where she truly belongs. But is this world everything Hazri claims it to be, or does it have a secret of its own? Are his people –their people –behind the disappearances of her best friend and so many other humans? Which world does she choose?

And does she have a choice?

Working Title: “Title”


Well, I wanted to keep to my Sunday, sometimes-Thursday, Friday posting schedule, but didn’t have time to write anything new, insightful or nerdy. So instead, I perused My Documents for a sample of my old writing. I decided to go with a document named “Something,” which contained the Prologue and first chapter I wrote to a planned book with the tentative title “Title.” I think it’s pretty cute…it’s another Greek myth-inspired story (which I apparently subconsciously gravitate to) and depicts a nostalgic Calypso talking to her friend, Dewdrop. (The most adorable name ever, if I do say so myself.)

***

She stood where the beach met the crisp blue water. Digging her feet into the yellow sand, she curled her toes and allowed it to seep between them, wet and rough. Beyond her, the waves rolled like sheets of blue silk billowing in the salty air. Her hair, the color of the golden beach, blew across her face and briefly obscured her forlorn expression. Then, she brushed the hair out of her face to reveal her sad, teardrop-shaped eyes once more.

“Calypso!” a high, clear voice behind her called. Calypso did not turn to acknowledge the voice and still did not turn when a girl appeared beside her. She was young and small, and her long, auburn hair was plaited into hundreds of small braids. She wore a white dress tied at the waist with a yellow cord. Noticing Calypso’s intent gaze, she followed it into the blue distance where it was hard to tell where the ocean ended and the sky began.

“Calypso, what’s wrong?” she persisted and hugged the woman’s petite waist. Calypso sighed and stroked the girl’s hair.

“Oh, Dewdrop,” she said as the girl retracted her arms. Calpyso sat down and patted the sand beside her so that Dewdrop would do the same. “No one ever comes to my island anymore. No one ever comes.”

What are you talking about?” Dewdrop wondered. “The others visit you all the time. Hera, Aphrodite, Aries…everybody loves it here. It’s a beautiful island.”

“I do not mean them,” she replied curtly and diverted her gaze to the ocean again. “They do not come to see me, Dewdrop. As you said –it is a beautiful island. The most beautiful. I’m talking about people. People used to come here.”

“People? From where?”

“From everywhere.” For the first time that afternoon, a small, wistful grin appeared on Calypso’s lovely face. “Explorers would come, travelers, sometimes men going to war –what strong, handsome men used to come here.” Dewdrop narrowed her eyes in confusion as Calypso continued nostalgically. “They would come, and we would entertain them here, give them food and shelter. And sometimes I would just…”

“Just what?” Dewdrop pressed.

“Just keep them here,” Calypso said, laughing musically. Dewdrop laughed too, although she wasn’t entirely sure what Calypso meant.

“Ah, yes, I miss those days,” Calypso confessed. “There was always excitement and anticipation, wondering who was going to come next. But then fewer and fewer came, and the ones that did come tried to hurt us and would not let us help them. And then one day, no one came. No one has come for ages.”

A tear trickled from one of Calypso’s aquamarine eyes. “It’s okay,” Dewdrop assured her. “I’m sure someday someone will come again.”

“Perhaps.” Calypso picked up the hem of her flimsy purple dress as she rose. Dewdrop scrambled to her feet as well. “Perhaps not. Come on –let’s go back.” They glided swiftly over the sand, away from where the sun broke the ocean into a thousand tiny blue diamonds. Above, the sky was clear and cloudless.

“Starry Eyed”


I haven’t been listening to the radio much this summer. When I do, I’m usually in my car, and it’s usually to one of my city’s two pop music stations. You can not listen to pop radio for two months and then hear the same songs when you tune into it again.

However, today I discovered Ellie Goulding while in my car, listening to the radio. I had heard the name, knew she was a singer, but hadn’t really given her music much thought. Then I heard “Lights,” and realized what a different (different good) voice and unique style she has. She almost reminds me of those Indie rock psychedelic bands like MGMT, only she’s a solo act (and a girl).

While exploring her songs on YouTube, I came across the video for Starry Eyed. (Watch it here.) Another great song by her, but what really struck me is how much it reminded me of one of the few books I’ve actually finished writing, Star Eyes. Especially with this video, it’s like the frickin’ theme song. So, I decided to post one of the chapters from Star Eyes before I return to focusing on The Wild Ones. Perhaps at some point I’ll even post Star Eyes in its entirety, although I wanted to play around with the POV and verb tenses first.

(BTW, if some of the characters sound familiar, they are the same characters mentioned in my first post -Ava, Tyler, and Celeste. So this is basically some back story to that excerpt, which would appear in a sequel.)

Also, please feel free to rate (above) and/or like (below) my posts. 🙂 I love getting feedback.

***

Monday night was crisp with the onset of autumn. Celeste kept the passenger side window of Ava’s car open to let the cool night air hit her face. A distinct feeling always overwhelmed her when fall arrived, a mixture of anticipation and tranquility as she watched the leaves on the trees change from green to gold.

“It looks like something’s going on at the park,” Ava said. Celeste snapped out of her reverie. She was surprised they had made it to Hickory Park already; Ava was navigating the side streets at about fifteen miles per hour, her hands gripping the steering wheel precisely at the ten and two o’clock positions. As the car turned the corner, the headlights swept over a small crowd gathered in the middle of the park.

Ava parked and popped the trunk, and they climbed out of the car. Celeste lifted her telescope out of the trunk and slammed it shut. They crept to the edge where the sidewalk met the grass.

“What are they doing?” Ava wondered.

“I think they’re doing the same thing we were planning to do,” Celeste realized. People had broken off into twos and threes and were setting up telescopes all around the park. Some had binoculars like the pair Celeste wore around her neck and were already scanning the black and blue sky.

Celeste sensed movement out of the corner of her eye. Someone was walking toward them.

“I thought that was you,” Dave said as he got closer. “I didn’t know you were in the Astronomy Club.” He had his hands in the pockets of his brown leather jacket.

Celeste knew that Ava was looking from Dave to her in confusion, but Celeste couldn’t speak. Was it possible for your heart to leap up into your throat?

When Celeste still hadn’t said anything, Ava said, “We didn’t know there was an Astronomy Club, actually. We come here all the time. I’m Ava,” she said and stuck out her hand expectantly.  It was one of Ava’s many gestures that usually intimated people their age. Dave, however, shook it amiably.

“Dave. I guess you don’t remember me,” he said to Celeste. He laughed, but his smile was uncertain.

“I remember you,” Celeste finally said. “Dave has A.P. Chem with Mr. Brightman,” she explained to Ava. “I met him doing my make up lab last Friday.”

Ava gave an exaggerated nod to show Celeste that she remembered. “So, since when do we have an Astronomy Club?” Ava asked him.

“It’s something new Mr. Landau is starting this year,” Dave said. “He’s the physics teacher. That’s who’s mostly here right now, our physics class. But come on. You should join us.”

He started to walk away. Celeste and Ava looked at each other before following.

His telescope was already set up. Someone was bent over it, adjusting the field of view.

“This is Tyler,” Dave said. “Tyler, this is Celeste and Ava.”

Tyler looked up. Celeste heard Ava inhale sharply.

“I know you.” Ava pointed an accusatory finger at Tyler. “You’re that guy who bumped into me today in the hall after lunch!”

Tyler’s face remained impassive. He was still wearing his black trench coat, only this time Celeste noticed it was worn over a pair of baggy black jeans and a black shirt. Even his fingernails were painted black. “I guess I really didn’t care enough at the time to actually remember it now,” he said without feeling.

There was a moment of awkward silence. “So. Anything in particular you guys want to look at?” Celeste asked. She looked up at the sky, where pinprick white stars were popping out one by one.

“We’re supposed to focus on constellations tonight,” Dave told her. “Here.” He handed her a paperback book that had a picture of the Milky Way on its cover. She flipped through it, and then handed it to Ava, who was holding her hands out eagerly.

“I see one,” Celeste said. She pointed at a patch of sky fringed by the rust-colored leaves of two maple trees. The others followed her gaze. “Cygnus, the swan. It looks like a cross.”

“It says in here that we should be able to see –” Ava started to say, but Dave talked over her.

“If that’s Cygnus, then that must be Lyra next to it,” Dave said. He came to stand by Celeste. “One of the Greek myths says that, after Orpheus was murdered, he was turned into a swan and placed in the sky beside his lyre.”

Celeste felt herself smiling. “Wow. I didn’t think anyone was as interested in this stuff as I am,” she said.

“I love astronomy,” he exclaimed, but she detected a note of embarrassment in the way he said it. “Thinking about what’s out there –that we’re really just a tiny planet floating in one solar system of one galaxy out of countless more –it helps me put life in perspective.”

“Are any of you listening to what I’m saying?” Ava said as though she were talking to a couple of misbehaving children. She closed the book, marking the page with her finger, and crossed her arms.

 “Hey. What’s that?” Tyler said suddenly. He was pointing again at Cygnus. Celeste didn’t see anything right away. She glanced back at him, about to tell him so, but she stopped when she saw his dark eyes widen and fill with awe. Without looking down, he removed a small, silver digital camera from his coat pocket.

“What are you looking at?” Dave asked.

“See? See that light up there? This is amazing,” he gasped. “Do you know how many nights I search the skies, hoping to see one? It’s always when you least expect it.”

Finally, Celeste saw it.

At first, she didn’t understand what she was seeing. There was a distant, perfectly oval-shaped white light traveling smoothly and swiftly across the sky.

“What is it?” she wondered out loud.           

“A shooting star,” Ava said. “Come on –why don’t we do what we came here to do? I found the Cygnus page in this book –”

“That’s not a shooting star,” Tyler insisted. “It’s a U.F.O.”

“A what?”

“An Unidentified Flying Object.”

“I know what ‘U.F.O.’ stands for,” Ava shot back. “I was being skeptical.”

“Just because we say it’s a U.F.O. doesn’t mean it has little green men on it,” Dave said, although Tyler seemed to be convinced otherwise. “It just means that we don’t know what it is. It’s definitely not a shooting star, though.”

They watched it for several minutes. To Celeste, its movement was too purposeful to be a shooting star. She didn’t know why her heart was pounding so loudly in her chest.

“You know, we have one of the highest instances of U.F.O. sightings in the world. Not just the United States, the world,” Tyler emphasized.

“Why would you know something like that?” Ava said.

“Because I read up on and follow paranormal activity. You’re a feature editor for The Voice, aren’t you?” His tone was exasperated as he feverishly snapped picture after picture.

“I knew you were on the staff. You’re the Tyler that writes ‘Dark Corners,’” Celeste realized.

“Yes, I am.” His voice lost its impatience when he addressed Celeste. “And this is going to make a great article. Shit, where’d it go?”

They searched the sky, but the U.F.O. had disappeared. Celeste peered at the faces of the other students, but it didn’t seem like anyone else had seen the extraordinary light.

“All right, everybody,” Mr. Landau called out an hour later. “Time to pack up. Thanks for coming out everyone.”

“We should do this again sometime,” Dave said to Celeste as he disassembled his telescope. “With or without the Astronomy Club. What’s your number?” He fished his cell phone out of his pocket. She hesitated, but then recited it to him.

“Call me so that I have your number,” she told him. A minute later, the chorus of “Strangers in the Night” sounded in her purse. She took out her phone to save his number.

“Frank Sinatra,” Dave commented, cracking a half smile. “Nice.”

“Ready to go?” Ava asked her pointedly. Celeste nodded.

“It was nice seeing you again,” she said. “It was nice meeting you, Tyler.”

“Have a good one,” Dave said as she and Ava headed for the car.

“So, what did you think of our U.F.O.?” Celeste asked once she and Ava were in the car. She made sure to say the last word with as much skepticism as possible.

“I still think it was probably just a meteor or a reflection or something,” Ava said. “Why? What do you think it was?”

Celeste shrugged. “I don’t know. You’re probably right.” But she did wonder whether it was the kind of U.F.O. with little green men on it. For some reason, Tyler’s fun fact had lodged itself in her mind. Why would their small, unsuspecting town of all places have so many U.F.O. sightings?

“Here you go,” Ava said. Celeste jumped. She hadn’t realized that Ava had pulled up to the curb in front of her house. The lights were still on in the living room.

“Thanks for the ride. I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said and opened her door.

“No problem. See you tomorrow.”

Copyright 2012 by S. L. Stacy

“Look At Us Now”


This may be another little piece of smut. (But S. L., last time you told us you write about things other than smut?! Lies.)

I think I wrote this scene after I saw X-Men: First Class last summer (epic move, LOVE Michael Fassbender). So the male character, Paris, is supposed to be some sort of superhuman. Also, I thought that their names, Serena and Paris, went really well together, and then I remembered that Sarina Paris sang one of my favorite dance songs back in the day. Oops.

When he opened the door, he heard a startled shriek.

“It’s just me,” he called out before opening the door the rest of the way.

“I know!” Serena replied, but her voice was still high. “Turn around! Don’t look!”

But Paris was already looking. Serena’s back was to him, her long copper hair wet, wearing nothing but one of the hotel’s white towels.

She glanced over her shoulder, and her cerulean eyes grew wide. “I said turn around!” she practically hissed. Paris just laughed and strode further into the room.

“It’s nothing I haven’t seen before,” he said, setting the cup holder containing two McDonald’s cappuccinos on one of the bedside tables.

“I thought you weren’t coming back for another hour,” she said. She held a pair of folded jeans and a pink t-shirt in front of her chest as she headed for the bathroom. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been dilly-dallying out here in a towel.”

“I don’t mind.” Paris was still grinning. He beat her to the bathroom door, blocking it with his body. “Really.”

“Paris, come on. Move.” She dropped her clothing shield so that she could try to push him aside, but of course he didn’t budge.

“Come on,” he echoed. He caught her wrist in his hand. “You can’t expect me to just let you go in there and put clothes on.” Still holding her wrist, he rotated her until her back was pressed into the wall.

“This isn’t funny,” she insisted, her lower lip trembling slightly. She had such full, inviting pink lips, whether she realized it or not. “You know we can’t do this. What about Adam?”

Paris released her but slammed his hands against the wall on either side of her. He saw her jump. He leaned in even closer. “Stop being so fucking good,” he said, aware that it sounded like a growl. But he couldn’t help it. His voice was heavy with desire. As soon as he had seen her peach skin barely concealed by that cheap white towel, he had wanted her.

But Serena was trying to bury her face in her shoulder and wouldn’t meet his burning gaze. “Paris, don’t,” she pleaded. “Please don’t.”

Paris hesitated, but then lowered his arms. “I was only playing, Serena. What’s wrong?”

She faced him again as she felt his mind prod hers gently. “Not now, Paris! Don’t look into my thoughts now, please. You know I can’t shut you out.”

But he ignored her, knowing that that was the only way he was going to understand her reaction. He didn’t have to search long for the memory; it was right there on the surface, plaguing her mind.

A crowd tumbling out of a concert. Serena holding hands with some guy, struggling to keep up with him as he towed her through the masses of people but away from the parking lot. Her copper hair was shorter then, shoulder-length, and she was wearing a yellow t-shirt with a giant cat’s head on it.

Where are we going, Jack? she kept asking him. Let’s just go back to the car.

But now they had escaped the crowd, and he had taken her to the alley between two of the buildings, where the dumpsters were and the streetlights didn’t reach. She struggled feebly when he shoved her against one of the brick walls, her mind still cloudy from the alcohol. She said stop, kept saying it over and over again, but he didn’t…

Paris retracted his mind then, not needing to see anymore to know what Jack had done to her.

“How old were you?” he asked her quietly.

“Fifteen,” she said. “I had told him I was eighteen. I thought he was so cool, you know? I thought we were both so in love with each other. I mean, now I know it was just an infatuation and not real love. But I did trust him.

“I know you weren’t trying to hurt me, Paris,” she continued, even gently touching his brow with her hand. He almost flinched at the intimate caress, but he forced himself to be still for her. “But sometimes it’s like he still has this power over me, this power to make me afraid.”

Paris nodded. “But you know it doesn’t have to be like that, right? Hasn’t being with Adam shown you that even a little bit?”

A rose colored blush crept up her cheeks. “Adam and I haven’t…we kiss, and it’s really nice. But I’ve never let him go farther than that.”

“Serena, I can’t pretend to understand how difficult it must be to get over something like that, but you can’t let the memory of it –of Jack –rule your life,” Paris said. He moved in closer again, but more slowly this time, while brushing her hair away from her neck. “Sex isn’t supposed to be scary. It’s supposed to feel good.”

He softly kissed her ear and then continued a trail of kisses down her now exposed white neck. Her breathing quickened, but she didn’t protest or try to push him away. Sliding both of his hands around her slim waist, he pulled her close to him.

“Serena,” he said huskily before kissing those plump lips.

At first, he had wanted nothing more than to rip off that white towel and throw her onto the bed. But now a desperate need to show her how sensuous and beautiful sex could be overwhelmed him, and he forgot that he was supposed to be cold and uncaring.

He took a chance and ran his hands over the curves underneath her towel. She didn’t pull away from him, only let out a tiny gasp while she was still kissing him. Paris gathered her into his arms and carried her to the bed.

“Before we go any further,” Serena said as he laid her down, “I think you need to be more naked.”

He could feel himself smile in genuine anticipation, losing that sardonic edge he so carefully maintained. Rising from the bed, he unbuttoned his black dress shirt, even feeling slightly vulnerable as he watched her eager eyes drink him in.

Serena kneeled at the foot of the bed, running her hands along the muscles that rippled across his chest and torso. “You’re beautiful,” she breathed as she slid his shirt the rest of the way off. It fell to the floor.

“So are you.” He leaned over to kiss her again, and then pulled back so he could remove his black jeans. Serena retreated and stretched out on the bed without diverting her eyes.

“Do you have any idea how sexy everything you do is?” Paris groaned. He was completely naked now, and he saw her eyes drift to his hard member. “This is your fault,” he added playfully, glancing down and back up again. Serena giggled.

Copyright 2012 by S. L. Stacy

Well, here it goes…


It’s almost midnight after a pretty low-key Friday night. And instead of going to bed, I decided that I needed to start a blog where I could share my writings and ramblings about writing with the world (or at least those few that may be interested). Writing fiction is not my profession (although I hope it will be, some day), nor is it even what I’m currently studying. But no matter what else I’m doing in my life, I frequently get an idea for a story, a character, a conflict – and I get the overwhelming urge to write.

I have tried posting a young adult fiction book I wrote chapter by chapter on another blog, but I abandoned the task once I reached a chapter I felt needed heavy revision. I may try to post it again on here, but for now I may just post short stories or scenes here and there, raw without intense editing. (Because, let’s be honest, editing is NOT the fun part, although a necessary evil.)

My characters are usually teenagers or young adults, and my stories have sci-fi, fantasy and/or paranormal themes. If you enjoy these genres, I hope you will enjoy my blog! All comments and *constructive* criticism are welcome.

For now, here is a short piece that involves two characters from a series I’m envisioning. I’m also trying to experiment with different points of view and tenses (usually I stick to third person and past tense, which seems safe), so this one is first person, present tense. This week I’ve been listening to Adam Lambert’s new album, Trespassing, and the song “Chokehold” is definitely their theme song:

“I keep running away, running away, running away from you
But I can’t stand breaking the chains, breaking the chains, breaking the chains
It’s too good, cause I know the second you go
Want you to bring it on back, bring it on back, bring it on back to me
And you know I want your chokehold.”

I’m walking against the crowd pouring out of the high school because I forgot my trigonometry book when I hear someone call my name behind me.

“Ava!” he shouts again before I’m fully turned around, but of course I recognize his voice. He makes his way toward me, a lone punk shark in a sea of preppy minnows. He’s wearing a maroon tie and a black dress shirt that’s not tucked into his black jeans. “I need to talk to you,” he tells me once he catches up to me.

“I really wish you wouldn’t,” I reply curtly, turning on my heel and resuming my walk.

“What?” He sounds genuinely shocked. I don’t even hold the door open for him but he sneaks through behind me.

“Look, the dance was fun,” I say. He’s finally matched my determined stride. “But you didn’t really think this could turn into something, did you?”

For an instant I feel a guilty ache in my chest – my words are coming out colder than I had intended. But then I remind myself that Tyler doesn’t really like me; that he didn’t really want to take me to the Harvest Dance. Celeste used her freaky telepathy to compel him to take me. Because apparently that’s the only way I’m going to get a date to anything, ever.

We’ve reached my locker, and I busy myself with the combination lock, avoiding his piercing hazel eyes.

“I guess I did.” His answer startles me so much that I finally stop and look over at him. His black guyliner emphasizes the intensity and sincerity of his gaze. “I felt something between us. I thought you did, too.”

God, how far had Celeste’s influence gone? I wonder. Did she convince him that he was in love with me, too?

What I hate most is that, as I stand here plotting to hurt him, all I want to do is to brush that stupid lock of his black hair that’s fallen in front of his face. And I want to finish that kiss that got interrupted at the dance.

Instead, I take a deep breath and hold his gaze steadily. “I’m smart. I’m pretty, and I’m popular. How could I ever feel something for some emo kid in a loser punk band?”

My heart is beating so loudly in my chest I wonder if he can hear it. He’s glaring at me now, his jaw jutting out in anger, and if I didn’t know better I might think he was trying to hold back tears. It feels like an eternity before he finally speaks again.

“Fuck you,” he says and stomps away from me.

I turn back to my locker, blinking back tears myself. Why do I have to be such a bitch? But it was for his own good, I remind myself. He’ll realize you did him a favor when he comes out of the fog Celeste put him in.

Suddenly, I gasp when I feel someone grab me and spin me around, pinning me against the lockers.

Tyler’s face is inches away from mine.

“Just thought I’d show you what you were missing,” he whispers urgently before he kisses me.

When our lips meet, I have the fleeting thought that I hope the hall is still deserted, but then my mind goes blank, and my body goes limp and tingles as his hands move to my hips. He coaxes my lips apart and deepens the kiss. For a few moments, the tension deserts his body, too, and I think he’s losing himself in me.

I don’t know how long we’ve been kissing when Tyler pulls away. His pale face is stoic, the vulnerability I felt in his kiss gone.

“Yeah. That’s what I thought,” he says to me and stalks away again.

Copyright 2012 by S. L. Stacy