Tag Archives: Shiela Stewart

Brain fog and writing


For the past few weeks I’ve been providing you all with one of my previously published novels, Kidnapped. But this week i thought I would share with you what I have been up to and where my writing is going. Not to worry, I’ll be posting more on Kidnapped next week. 🙂

The past two years have been rough on me, with my father’s death, one sons illness and my daughters illness and it has taken a toll on my writing. But on top of all of that, my brain had been in a fog. My usual creative thoughts have been few and far between, which is very odd for me given I’m used to cranking out a book every two months. It’s been upsetting to say the least. Writing is my life, yet lately, I just can’t think, the ideas are there but putting them down just didn’t happen. I knew what I wanted for the story, but when I began to type, my brain was just fog. I began to wonder if i was drying up, if I would no longer be able to write.

Then I noticed, I haven’t been dreaming as much as I normally do. For those that don’t know, a lot of my ideas come from my dreams and nightmares. lately, the dreams have dried up as well. But it wasn’t just the ideas and dreams drying up, but my ability to think straight, remember things or put thoughts to words. And I began to think….hmm…what’s wrong.

Doing some research into some meds my daughter was on for her Aspergers syndrome and Depression, I researched the meds I’m on for my depression and guess what I found? The med I am on had the side effect of numbing a person’s brain, preventing dreams. Well…imagine that. Now I knew why my brain has been so foggy.

So I decided to lower my dosage and see what would happen. Mind you, I’ve been keeping a close eye on my depression just to be sure. Since lowering my dosage, not only has my mind been clearer, but my dreams are back and my writing is on the go again. Yahooo!!!

Since lowering my meds, I have finished off two stories, editing two others and submitted them to publishers. I’ve began working on another story which I’m really fueled about. And I feel great!!

What will I do if my depression starts acting up, you might ask? Well, I’ll deal with that if it happens. Not to worry, I have no intention of ignoring my disease. I’ve been down that ugly dark road before and I don’t care to go there again. But for now, I’m riding the wave of creativity and loving it!

I wonder though, if there are other authors out there on medications who feel the way I did. Are the meds numbing your brain? What do you do to keep the creativity fresh?

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Kidnapped Chapter 7 and 8


Chapter 7

Some men were just not that bright; her abductor, apparently, was one of them. “You may be wary of me, but you certainly are stupid.” Setting her coffee cup on the floor, she began untying herself. It didn’t take her long to get the ropes off, even with her left hand, given the fact that she was ambidextrous. Grabbing the chair she’d been tied to, she waited by the door for him to return.

“You messed with the wrong woman, big guy.” Giddy with excitement, she waited for him to return. She knew there would be no way she could get past him if she didn’t knock him out, and she hoped the chair did the trick. When she heard his familiar steps coming towards her, she felt the excitement ripple inside of her. Lifting the chair as best she could, she grunted with its weight; then with great patience, she waited.

The keys jingled, the door knob turned, the door opened. The instant he entered the doorway, she sent the chair crashing down on him. With a hearty groan, he went down.

“Yes!” Jumping over him, Liz darted from the room, freedom in her sights. Though she hadn’t knocked him out, she’d momentarily stunned him, which gave her enough time to make a break for it.

“She’s loose,” Mac called out, pushing the chair aside and bracing himself as he tried to stand.

She was free at last and nothing was going to prevent her from leaving. Seeing Betty Rubble blocking the bottom of the stairs didn’t faze her; she lifted her foot and kicked him right in the face. Her bare foot sang with pain. Ignoring it, she jumped over his slumped body and searched for an escape. She’d have plenty of time to deal with the pain after she was free.

“Grab her,” Mac yelled as he ran down the stairs.

“She fucking kicked me.”

“Deal with it, she’s getting away.” Jumping over Terry’s body at the bottom of the stairs, Mac ran after her.

She saw the back door and darted for it. Her hand reached out to the door knob as he caught up with her, grabbing her by the arm. She screamed, turning, fists ready.

Managing to avoid the fist flying towards his face, Mac grabbed her hand. “Son-of-a-bitch.” His shin rang with pain from the blow from her foot.

“Let me go.” She lashed out again, using her other hand to beat on his arms to get him to release her.

“The hell I will.” Spinning her, he pinned her against the door. “Get over here and help me already.”

Holding his bleeding nose, Terry swaggered towards Mac. “Just smack her, that’ll calm her down.”

“There’s been enough hitting. Grab her legs when I turn her.” Holding both arms behind her back, he spun them both and hooked one of his legs around hers to prevent her from booting Terry.

“You won’t get away with this.” Liz struggled, fighting to break free. When Betty grabbed her ankles, she bent her knees and tried pushing him away.

“Stupid bitch.”

“Hold her,” Mac warned him with stern eyes.

“I’ve got her.”

“You’ll pay for this, you bastards.” Twisting her body wildly, she made it damn near impossible for them to hang on to her. They carried her back up the stairs and into the bedroom as she struggled. She finally managed to slip her hands free of Bart’s hold, so she struck out at him and connected with Bart’s jaw.

“Damn it.”

“Yes, take that you bastard.” Her victory was sort lived as he grabbed her hands in one of his, then released her body having her angling nearly to the floor.

“Get her to the bed.”

“Now we’re talking.”

“No, no don’t, please don’t.” Liz quivered; she knew that tone in Betty’s voice and she couldn’t go through that

again.

“Just grab the ropes.”

The instant he set her on the bed, she tried to break free. Her breath hitched when he climbed on top of her, pinning her down. “You won’t get away with this. I’ll see you both burn in hell for what you’ve done to me.” She bucked with her hips even though it was useless given the fact the guy weighed a great deal more than she did.

“Yeah, you keep dreaming, princess. Tie up her legs.”

“Ouch,” Liz gasped when Betty yanked her foot hard.

“Take it easy. There’s no need to be rough, Betty.”

“She fucking kicked me, Bart.” Betty grabbed her other foot with as much force as he had the other.

“Get out of here, I’ll deal with her. Go,” Bart demanded.

“Whatever.” Throwing his hands in the air, Betty shot Liz a nasty glare, then left the room.

“Now, let’s get these hands of yours tied up.”

“Get off of me, you brute.” She bucked, trying to knock him off of her. He fell forwards, his head hitting hers. “Ouch.”

“Very intelligent.”

Her pulse began to flutter again and she felt her body react in the most pleasant of ways. They both stilled. Though she stared into the face of a silly cartoon mask, she saw the warm eyes behind it and felt herself lost in his gaze.

Holding her hands with one of his, he used the other to touch her bleeding lip. “You’re bleeding,” he said softly, his eyes shifting to meet hers.

“Oh,” she sighed, lost in his gaze.

“I should clean it up for you.”

“Uh huh,” she panted, licking her lip. She tasted the blood and it drew her back. Blinking her eyes, breaking the hold he’d had on her, she came back to reality with a hard thud. “Get off of me already, you jerk.”

“You’ve got a real smart mouth there, princess.”

“And you’re as heavy as an elephant.” She bucked again, then remembered what happened the last time and settled down.

“If you had any weight on you, you might have been more successful in taking me out.” He slid off of her and stood, looked down then quickly turned away. “I’ll be right back with something for your lip.”

The door closed and she heard him lock it from the other side. Blowing out a deep breath, Liz tried to get her system to level out. She felt hot, but it had nothing to do with the warmth of the room. She knew this feeling and it was not a comfortable one. She’d seen the bulge in his pants before he abruptly turned and hurried from the room, and lord it was doing a number to her system. How on earth could she be feeling desire? The guy was her abductor.

As she lay on the bed, her arms tied above her head, she wondered what it would have felt like if he’d kissed her.

~

Sifting through the medicine cabinet in the hallway washroom, Mac tried to get his mind off of Liz. There was something seriously wrong with him for wanting her. Number one, he was holding her captive, it was wrong to want her. Number two, she was so not his type. He didn’t date prissy prima donna women. She wore designer everything and came from money and walked with her nose in the air, snubbing those beneath her—not the kind of woman who interested him.

Grabbing the skin glue, he reminded himself that in a few days it would all be over, she would go her way, he would go his. Liz would pass him sometime on the street and she wouldn’t have a clue it had been him that had taken her. Sighing, Mac wondered if he would be able to forget her as easily. Lord knew the guilt nagged him, especially after Terry’s attempted rape. His hand curled tight around the bottle. Bastard.

He needed to carry through with it; there was no other choice in that matter. Grabbing a cloth, he wet it, then walked back to the bedroom. In six days’ time, he would hand the bank the money they demanded and he would have his farm, free and clear.

Yes, but at what price?

Chapter 8

She heard the key in the door and turned her head as he entered the room. Look at him, she thought to herself as she scanned her eyes over his body. He was big, his arms were muscular, his chest was wide, most likely as muscular as his arms, and he looked like a frikin’ body builder. So not her type, not to mention the fact that he held her captive, for Christ’s sake. Then how did he manage to turn her on? Yet when he approached, the scent of his cologne floating towards her, she felt her body stirring with need.

“I should have thought of this before.”

Her mind clicked back. Looking up into that silly childish mask, she spoke without thought. “Perhaps thinking isn’t your forte.”

“Perhaps you should be grateful I’m fixing your lip,” he snapped back, just as snide.

“Grateful, yes, I should be fucking grateful your buddy smacked me, splitting my lip. Jackass.” She flinched, waiting for the assault.

Walking to the foot of the bed, he began untying her feet from the posts but leaving them tied together.

“What are you doing?” It astounded her that she constantly got away with the verbal abuse with him and never received any sort of repercussion.

“Moving you to the chair.”

“You really are a glutton for punishment aren’t you?”

He lifted her to her feet, holding her hands tight in his and met her glare. “I learn from my mistakes, princess.”

“Stop calling me that.” She spoke through gritted teeth.

“As long as it irritates you, princess, I’ll keep using it. Let’s go.” His eyes narrowed with warning. “Don’t even try it.”

With a cocky smile, she yanked her hands free.

“And how far do you think you’ll get with your hands and your feet tied together?” Reaching out, he grabbed hold of her hands once more.

“I untied myself once, I’ll do it again.” She hopped as he pulled her towards the chair, creating as much resistance as possible.

“Only because I was stupid enough to leave you with one hand untied.” He pushed her down onto the chair.

“At least we both agree you’re stupid.”

His hands holding her against the chair, he leaned down and got right in her face. “You really are gutsy for someone being held against her will.”

Her chin jutting out, she retorted. “You don’t scare me, Bart.”

“I could change that very easily.”

One look in his eyes and she knew better. He may look big, but he didn’t scare her in the slightest. “Is that Calvin cologne? I love the scent, very soft, very…nonthreatening.” She gritted her teeth in a mock smile.

His teeth grinding, he grabbed the ropes and began winding them around her body.

“Got nothing to say to that, do you, big guy?”

“You know, I still have the gag we used on you and I’m not against using it again.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” she challenged.

With a devious smile, he walked to his dresser, pulled open the top drawer and grabbed a red hanky. Turning to her, he waved it in her face. “Oh, I dare.”

“I’ll scream.”

“No one will hear you.”

She’d see about that. As she opened her mouth, ready to scream, she realized her mistake. He shoved the cloth in between her teeth, then tied it behind her head.

Laughing, he moved around to face her, dusting his hands. “Still in control here, princess, best to remember that.”

“Jackass,” she mumbled through the cloth, furious.

Still laughing, he opened the door and left her to fume.

~

“What was that all about?” Terry asked as Mac came down the stairs.

“Me having a little fun.”

“So why is it okay for you to have fun but I can’t?”

Mac turned to him with a frown. The guy was unbelievable. “Because my kind of fun doesn’t involve assault. Make something for dinner, okay?”

“I’m not your bitch, Mac, do it yourself.”

“What the hell is your problem?”

“I’m bored of this shit already.”

“Fine, then leave.” Nothing would please him more if the guy walked.

“I’m in this just as much as you, Mac, and I’m not leaving until I get what’s mine.” Terry stood, challenging Mac.

“What? An acting gig? Like that’s reason enough to kidnap someone.” Mac snorted, pulling out a cigarette and lighting it.

“A lead role,” Terry corrected, “and let’s discuss why you’re doing it, Mac. Because your daddy couldn’t afford to make the payments on this place before he died.”

Mac’s fist curled at his side but he didn’t use it, even though he wanted to smash it into the bastards face. “Make something for dinner,” he said through gritted teeth. Yes, his father hadn’t been able to make the payments, but only because his health had been failing and he hadn’t wanted his sons to know.

“What the hell am I supposed to make?” Sitting back down, Terry picked up his journal and began writing.

“There’s chicken in the fridge, cook it however you see fit. I’ll be upstairs watching after Liz.” He crushed his cigarette out in the ashtray with a great deal of force.

“Why don’t you cook and I’ll watch her?”

“Because I don’t trust you to even look at her. Do as I tell you.”

His back up, Terry stood once more. “Who the fuck do you think you are?”

“I’m the guy who’s not telling the boss what you tried to do, and you know if he found out, you would be out on your ass without that lead role, or any fucking role for that matter. Still want to challenge me, pal?”

Gritting his teeth, Terry sat down and went back to his journal.

“Didn’t think so.” Enjoying his victory, Mac headed back up the stairs.

Kidnapped Chapter 6


Chapter 6

Her eyes shot open as the alarm clock buzzed beside her. “Shit.” Her heart hammering, she watched as he reached over and shut it off.

“’Morning.”

“It’s only six o’clock.” She yawned, her lip cracking and creating a ripple of burning pain. “Damn it.”

“I’m an early riser. Hmmm, you opened it up some last night. Hurt much?”

“No, it feels wonderful, you idiot.” She paused, shocked that she had said such a thing to him, and waited for any response, however brutal it might be.

“Well, someone’s not very chipper in the morning.”

She cocked her head to the side, baffled by his response.

“I guess I wouldn’t be too chipper either if my lip was killing me. I’ll clean it up for you, then grab some Advil for the pain.”

She watched in complete astonishment as he walked to the washroom—he wasn’t even disturbed with her? Okay, what’s up with this guy? She needed to test the waters. “You try sleeping with your arms tied to the bed and see how happy you are in the morning.”

He stepped from the washroom with a damp cloth, moving towards her. “I wasn’t exactly comfortable either, princess.”

Hmmm. “You could have slept in your bed. I didn’t have a choice as to how or where I slept.” She snarled her response, feeling rather brave now.

“Sweetie, you are in my bed.” Leaning over her, he dabbed the blood on her chin.

Her pulse fluttered beneath her skin and as her eyes lifted to meet his, it fluttered even more. Sweet God, what the hell was wrong with her? How could she be feeling arousal from this man holding her captive?

“Liz?”

“What?” She jumped, her response quick.

“I asked if I let you go to the washroom to clean your lip, do you promise not to kick me again?”

She told her pulse to slow down, calmed her rapid breathing and nodded. She couldn’t be feeling something for him, that was just…wrong.

“I can manage from here,” she insisted as he hoisted her to her feet, trying to pull her hands from his. Her pulse fluttered again, and it pissed her off.

“I’m sure you can.” But he helped her to the washroom just to be sure.

She closed the door in his face and turned to the mirror. Her face looked pale, her lip swollen and bloody, and her jaw hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. Her mind swirled with the arousal she felt being near him. She needed psychiatric help for lusting after her abductor. Splashing water on her face, washing her eyes, then carefully wiping her sore lip, she continued to think how idiotic it was to even think she could feel desire for him.

She did her business, ran her fingers through her hair trying to smooth it out as best she could without a brush, and opened the bathroom door. She saw Mac standing to the side, the ropes dangling in his hand. Her eyes lifted to his, then down to the ropes.

“Don’t even think about it.”

Making a break for it, she jutted to her right, then, faking him out, she bolted off to the left. She climbed over the bed, the blanket nearly tripping her up, then jumping off the bed, she ran for the door. She grabbed the door knob just as he came up behind her. She let out a squeal as he grabbed her left hand and pulled it behind her back, pinning her body to the door.

“Man, you just don’t give up.”

“Of course I’m not going to give up, you jackass. Do you think I’m just going to sit by and let you keep me tied up, for God sakes?” She jerked her body, trying to break free. He pinned her good and tight against the door. Her pulse began to flutter again, making her curse under her breath. When he reached in front of her to grab her right hand, she fought to keep him from taking it. Quicker than she was, he managed to grab it and pulled it behind her.

“And how did you expect to get out of here when the door is locked?”

“You didn’t lock it last night when you came up to bed.” He spun her around and pressed her against the door, holding her in place with his body. This time her pulse didn’t just flutter, it hammered.

“Fine, so you would have made it out the door, then what? You wouldn’t have gotten far, princess, with Betty Rubble keeping watch downstairs.”

“At this hour, only a crazy person would be awake.” She jerked her body once more, trying to get away from him. She felt pretty damn hot and it was getting very uncomfortable.

“Check it out, princess, you happen to be awake. Does that make you crazy?”

She knew she was panting but couldn’t control herself. Being so near to him was making her pulse throb and her chest ache with need. “I didn’t have a choice; your stupid alarm clock woke me.” She lifted her knee, ready to strike.

Faster than she, he blocked her attempt with his hand. “I like the mornings.”

“I like to sleep in.”

Lost for words, they stared into each other’s eyes, breathless. Moments passed before Mac shifted away, pulling her from the door. He didn’t say a word to her as he led her to the chair. Knowing what he had planned for her now, she refused to allow it to happen. When he pushed her down into the chair, she stood right back up.

“Get a grip.”

It shocked her when he lifted his leg and planted his knee on her chest. And when he leaned in closer to tie her up, she could smell his cologne, and it tickled her arousal. His hair beneath the mask brushed against her cheek as he bent near her ear to tie the ropes around her and it felt like satin. Turning her head, she saw the tufts of dark curly hair, and she nearly sighed.

“There, that should do it.”

Liz sat in her chair as he left the room, her chest rising and falling with each heavy breath she took. “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.” Letting her head fall back, she wasn’t quite sure what to think. The man abducted her and was holding her captive, for God sakes, and she lusted after him. She didn’t even know what he looked like, yet she wanted him. God, Liz, get a grip.

Coming to her senses, she realized she needed to get out, she just didn’t know how. She’d tried to make a break for it, twice, only to be dragged back. The window, it was still her best chance, and the brief glances the night before led her to believe it would be plenty big enough for her to squeeze through. All she needed to do is break free of the ropes and she was set.

Shifting her body, she ignored the burning sensation the ropes caused as they rubbed against her skin. There would be plenty of time to sooth them when she broke free.

~

Feeling more himself after the cold shower, Mac headed for the kitchen to make some breakfast. Seeing Terry sitting at the table eating a plate of fluffy eggs soured his mood. Saying nothing to him, he moved to the fridge, grabbing the butter and jam. Setting them on the counter, he was pleased to see the coffee ready. Pouring himself a cup, adding a spoon of sugar, he pulled out the toaster and added four slices of bread, pressing the lever down.

“He called last night.”

“What?” Mac turned sharply, the coffee in the cup sloshing over the rim to scald his fingers. Setting the cup on the counter, he put his fingers in his mouth. “Why didn’t you come get me?”

Terry shrugged, lifting his own coffee cup to his lips, taking a sip before speaking. “Didn’t want to disturb you.”

“I’m in charge, Terry, you should have called me to the phone.” He turned when the toast popped, annoyed. “What did he want?”

“He was checking in, making sure everything went smoothly. I told him everything went according to plan.”

He buttered the toast then slopped jam on it. “What else?”

“That’s it. Said he would be in touch.”

Great, Mac thought, he’d be in touch. He had the easy part, while Mac put everything on the line. Not like he had much of a choice now, did he, and the guy knew that. Rock and a hard place, that’s where he sat. Pouring another cup of coffee, he set both cups as well as the plate of toast on a tray then turned to the fridge and grabbed a bowl of strawberries, fresh from his own garden. “Tidy up for me while I’m upstairs okay.”

“I’m not your bitch, Mac.” Terry snarled into his cup.

“I didn’t make the eggs, and thank you for sharing by the way.”

“Whatever.”

Clenching his jaw, Mac carried the tray up the stairs, wishing he didn’t have to be stuck with the creep. But he’d had no choice in the matter, so he just had to put up with him.

Setting the tray on the floor, he pulled the key from his pocket, unlocked the door, then, pulling the mask from his back pocket, he slipped it over his head before opening the door. “Room service.”

Her head shifted in his direction and her eyes focused on the tray in his hand. “Cheap restaurant if you call that breakfast.”

“My, what a smart mouth we have, princess.” Smiling, he set the tray on the bed and moved in behind her. “Right handed, right?” The scent of her hair tickled his nose and stirred his pulse.

“Yes.”

Shaking it off, he untied her left hand then tied the right to the ropes around her body.

“I said I was right handed.”

“I know.” He took the plate of toast, lifted two pieces off the plate for himself, put a few strawberries beside hers then set the plate on her lap. “Here you go.”

Liz looked down at the food before her, then back up at Mac. “You must have broken a sweat cooking for me. You shouldn’t have.”

Ooh, he loved her sarcasm. “All the more reason for you to enjoy it.” He took a seat across from her, the tray on his lap with his toast and coffee.

“Where’s my cup?”

“Over there.” He motioned to the night stand, taking a bite of his toast.

She glanced to her left and saw the cup sitting there. “May I have it?”

“In time.”

Her eyes shifted to his as her left eyebrow shot up. “Now what could I possibly do with a cup of coffee, aside from drinking it?”

“You strike me as the inventive type; you’d find other uses for it.”

Her lip curled up but not enough to open the wound. “Like throwing it at you?”

“Bingo, princess.”

“Afraid of me, big guy?” She bit into a strawberry, licking the juices that trickled from her mouth.

He watched her tongue as it lapped up the juices and felt his loins tighten. “Wary.”

“Then why bring me a cup?”

His eyes were glued to the way she ate that luscious red juicy strawberry and the way her lips molded its form, the way her tongue lapped up the juices. “Why do you think it’s sitting over there and not in your hands right now?”

Smiling, she licked the strawberry juice from her fingers. “And you think giving me a cooled cup of coffee is any better?”

He imagined his fingers in her mouth. “Cool coffee doesn’t hurt as much.”

“Ever had a cup smashed over your head?”

Shaking his mind clear, his eyes lifted to hers. “See, now that is exactly why I’m guarded.” He stood now, knowing that if he didn’t leave the room soon, he wasn’t going to be able to. “Finished?”

“No.”

“Then no coffee.”

“Fine, I’m finished.” She’d give up the last pieces of the overly sweet toast and juicy strawberries for the coffee any day.

“Here you go.” Taking the plate, he set it on the tray with his coffee cup then walked to the door. “I’ll be right back.”

He closed the door behind him, locking it.

Kidnapped Chapter 5


Mac didn’t have a clue where Terry had gone off to, and he really didn’t give a rat’s ass. Just as long as the guy wasn’t around him, or near Liz. He couldn’t believe the bastard had been close to forcing himself on her. Grabbing the ice pack from the emergency kit, he gave it a snap to start the freezing process as he headed up the stairs for the antiseptic. Unlocking the bedroom door, he heard Liz sniffling and his heart sank. He didn’t say a word as he moved towards her and took a seat in the chair across from her, lifting the ice pack to her mouth. When she jerked back, flinching, he wanted to kill Terry for making her so jittery. Scaring or hurting her hadn’t been part of the plan.

“I’m sorry.” Carefully he laid the bag against her mouth. “This will help the swelling.” His eyes shifted to the open blouse and to the lush pink breasts, and his male hormones came to attention. Berating himself, he lifted his eyes.

“I…have some antiseptic here, to clean the wound to make sure it doesn’t get infected.” Setting the ice pack on the floor, he lifted the bottle, dabbing a cotton tipped swab in the solution. “He won’t touch you again. I’ll make sure of that.” She winced when he touched the swab to her cut and he apologized once more. “Sorry.”

He didn’t blame her for not talking; her lip and jaw probably hurt like a bitch, and beyond that, she was probably utterly terrified. “Um…I’m going to untie you and let you…fix yourself up in the washroom.” He stood, moving in behind her, and got busy untying the knots.

“There you go.” Leaving the ropes on the floor, he took hold of her arm to help her up. He could feel her body shaking. He led her to the adjoining washroom near the window, stopping by the door. “I’ll be waiting right here.”

She caught the warning and entered the tiny washroom, closing the door behind her. She took one look in the mirror and her legs nearly buckled. With shaky hands she quickly did up the buttons on her blouse. She’d nearly been raped.

Feeling ill, she bent over the toilet and vomited until she emptied herself. Standing, she washed her mouth, then sat down and relieved herself. If the big guy hadn’t come in when he had, she might have been—no, she would have been raped. She needed to get out of here, now. Looking around the tiny room, she threw the shower curtain open to see a tiny circular window that looked no bigger than her head. Damn it, so much for thinking she could escape from the bathroom.

She took a deep breath, gathering her strength, then pushed the door open. Seeing him waiting for her, she knew what she needed to do. With a quick lift of her leg, she kicked him hard in the gut, sending him stumbling backwards onto the bed. Dashing for the door, she yanked it open and let out a loud scream when he caught her around the waist. She wasn’t beat yet, so she kept kicking and flailing with her arms.

“Jesus,” he exclaimed as he tried to get a good hold on her. Wrapping his arms around hers, pinning them to her sides, he dragged her to the bed. It was then that he realized the ropes still lay by the chair. “Damn it.”

“Let me go.” Wiggling, trying to break free of his hold, she feared that now he, too, would take his turn with her. She saw the slimy bastard who attacked her enter the room and went completely still.

“What the hell is going on?”

“Get the ropes.”

Her body stiffened momentarily when he climbed on top of her. “No, leave me alone; let me go; let me go.” Liz grunted, fighting, trying to break his hold. The guy didn’t just look big, he was big, and muscular. He felt like a lead weight pinning her down.

“Want me to tie her up?”

“No, just give me the ropes and go.” He responded to Terry, then looked down at Liz with a thin smile. “Nice try, princess, you’ve got balls.”

Relieved when Betty Rubble left the room, Liz let out a long breath. Then she felt her arms yanked above her head. Her pulse raced and her heart thundered as Bart tied her hands to the posts. “What are you going to do to me?” Was he going to punish her for trying to get away? God, please, don’t let him hurt me.

“Tie you to the bed for one. Then I’m going to put some more ice on that lip.”

Her brow furrowed in confusion. “Are you for real?”

“Last time I looked.” He secured the knots, then lifted off of her to grab the ice.

“I just kicked you and tried to get away. I’d think you’d be pretty pissed at that.” What the hell is wrong with you, Liz? Stop egging him on!

“Oh, I am.” He laid the ice on her lip, his eyes meeting hers. “But I’m not going to smack you around for it. What the other guy tried to do to you, what he did do to you, I don’t condone that sort of thing.”

He was being serious, she could tell by the tone of his voice and the look in his eyes. “You’re a baffling man— what’s your name?” The bag of ice slid from her mouth as she spoke.

“Bart,” he said with a smile, lifting the bag, holding it against her mouth.

“Right.” How droll. “Then why are you doing this to me? Why not let me go?”

“I enjoy abuse,” he said comically, as though trying to lighten her mood.

“Yeah, well, I’ll be more than happy to give you all the abuse you like, Bart.” She emphasized his name, her eyes narrowing with just a hint of humor in them.

“Pretty hard to do that, tied to the bed. Let’s take a look at that lip.” Pulling the ice from her lip, he leaned in to get a better look.

When his finger touched her bottom lip, she felt her breath catch.

“We’ll just leave the ice on it a bit more.” He stood, inhaling sharply.

“Where are you going?”

“Getting the lights.”

“Why?” Her voice quivered.

“I told you, princess, I’m not like the other guy. It’s getting late.” He shut the light off and the only form of illumination came from the TV on the dresser.

“I really hate that name.” She watched as he moved to the TV and shut it off. The darkness filled the room and her heart began to hammer. She felt the darkness surround her, smothering her with its greedy fingers.

“Yeah, why is that?” Clicking on the washroom light, he closed the door so that only a sliver of light could be seen.

She focused on the light, however small, and reminded herself there was nothing in the dark that could harm her. “I’m not royalty for one. What are you doing?”

With the light knitted blanket in hand, he draped it over her legs. “Covering you up?”

“Why?”

“In case you’re cold during the night.” Grabbing a pillow from beside her, he saw her eyes as they watched his every move. “Do you snore, princess?”

Her teeth gnashed again to the silly nickname. “No, I most certainly do not snore.”

“We’ll see. Sleep tight now.” He carried the pillow to the arm chair in the corner beside the bed and tucked it behind his head as he sat down.

“You’re sleeping here?”

“Yep. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

Rolling her eyes, she thought how childish that statement had been. She lay there tied to the bed fighting the sleep. She wanted to be on alert at all times, just to be safe, and every time he moved in the chair beside her, she waited, worrying, wondering. But inevitably sleep took hold and she dozed off.

Chapter 6

Her eyes shot open as the alarm clock buzzed beside her. “Shit.” Her heart hammering, she watched as he reached over and shut it off.

“’Morning.”

“It’s only six o’clock.” She yawned, her lip cracking and creating a ripple of burning pain. “Damn it.”

“I’m an early riser. Hmmm, you opened it up some last night. Hurt much?”

“No, it feels wonderful, you idiot.” She paused, shocked that she had said such a thing to him, and waited for any response, however brutal it might be.

“Well, someone’s not very chipper in the morning.”

She cocked her head to the side, baffled by his response.

“I guess I wouldn’t be too chipper either if my lip was killing me. I’ll clean it up for you, then grab some Advil for the pain.”

She watched in complete astonishment as he walked to the washroom—he wasn’t even disturbed with her? Okay, what’s up with this guy? She needed to test the waters. “You try sleeping with your arms tied to the bed and see how happy you are in the morning.”

He stepped from the washroom with a damp cloth, moving towards her. “I wasn’t exactly comfortable either, princess.”

Hmmm. “You could have slept in your bed. I didn’t have a choice as to how or where I slept.” She snarled her response, feeling rather brave now.

“Sweetie, you are in my bed.” Leaning over her, he dabbed the blood on her chin.

Her pulse fluttered beneath her skin and as her eyes lifted to meet his, it fluttered even more. Sweet God, what the hell was wrong with her? How could she be feeling arousal from this man holding her captive?

“Liz?”

“What?” She jumped, her response quick.

“I asked if I let you go to the washroom to clean your lip, do you promise not to kick me again?”

She told her pulse to slow down, calmed her rapid breathing and nodded. She couldn’t be feeling something for him, that was just…wrong.

“I can manage from here,” she insisted as he hoisted her to her feet, trying to pull her hands from his. Her pulse fluttered again, and it pissed her off.

“I’m sure you can.” But he helped her to the washroom just to be sure.

She closed the door in his face and turned to the mirror. Her face looked pale, her lip swollen and bloody, and her jaw hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. Her mind swirled with the arousal she felt being near him. She needed psychiatric help for lusting after her abductor. Splashing water on her face, washing her eyes, then carefully wiping her sore lip, she continued to think how idiotic it was to even think she could feel desire for him.

She did her business, ran her fingers through her hair trying to smooth it out as best she could without a brush, and opened the bathroom door. She saw Mac standing to the side, the ropes dangling in his hand. Her eyes lifted to his, then down to the ropes.

“Don’t even think about it.”

Making a break for it, she jutted to her right, then, faking him out, she bolted off to the left. She climbed over the bed, the blanket nearly tripping her up, then jumping off the bed, she ran for the door. She grabbed the door knob just as he came up behind her. She let out a squeal as he grabbed her left hand and pulled it behind her back, pinning her body to the door.

“Man, you just don’t give up.”

“Of course I’m not going to give up, you jackass. Do you think I’m just going to sit by and let you keep me tied up, for God sakes?” She jerked her body, trying to break free. He pinned her good and tight against the door. Her pulse began to flutter again, making her curse under her breath. When he reached in front of her to grab her right hand, she fought to keep him from taking it. Quicker than she was, he managed to grab it and pulled it behind her.

“And how did you expect to get out of here when the door is locked?”

“You didn’t lock it last night when you came up to bed.” He spun her around and pressed her against the door, holding her in place with his body. This time her pulse didn’t just flutter, it hammered.

“Fine, so you would have made it out the door, then what? You wouldn’t have gotten far, princess, with Betty Rubble keeping watch downstairs.”

“At this hour, only a crazy person would be awake.” She jerked her body once more, trying to get away from him. She felt pretty damn hot and it was getting very uncomfortable.

“Check it out, princess, you happen to be awake. Does that make you crazy?”

She knew she was panting but couldn’t control herself. Being so near to him was making her pulse throb and her chest ache with need. “I didn’t have a choice; your stupid alarm clock woke me.” She lifted her knee, ready to strike.

Faster than she, he blocked her attempt with his hand. “I like the mornings.”

“I like to sleep in.”

Lost for words, they stared into each other’s eyes, breathless. Moments passed before Mac shifted away, pulling her from the door. He didn’t say a word to her as he led her to the chair. Knowing what he had planned for her now, she refused to allow it to happen. When he pushed her down into the chair, she stood right back up.

“Get a grip.”

It shocked her when he lifted his leg and planted his knee on her chest. And when he leaned in closer to tie her up, she could smell his cologne, and it tickled her arousal. His hair beneath the mask brushed against her cheek as he bent near her ear to tie the ropes around her and it felt like satin. Turning her head, she saw the tufts of dark curly hair, and she nearly sighed.

“There, that should do it.”

Liz sat in her chair as he left the room, her chest rising and falling with each heavy breath she took. “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.” Letting her head fall back, she wasn’t quite sure what to think. The man abducted her and was holding her captive, for God sakes, and she lusted after him. She didn’t even know what he looked like, yet she wanted him. God, Liz, get a grip.

Coming to her senses, she realized she needed to get out, she just didn’t know how. She’d tried to make a break for it, twice, only to be dragged back. The window, it was still her best chance, and the brief glances the night before led her to believe it would be plenty big enough for her to squeeze through. All she needed to do is break free of the ropes and she was set.

Shifting her body, she ignored the burning sensation the ropes caused as they rubbed against her skin. There would be plenty of time to sooth them when she broke free.

~

Feeling more himself after the cold shower, Mac headed for the kitchen to make some breakfast. Seeing Terry sitting at the table eating a plate of fluffy eggs soured his mood. Saying nothing to him, he moved to the fridge, grabbing the butter and jam. Setting them on the counter, he was pleased to see the coffee ready. Pouring himself a cup, adding a spoon of sugar, he pulled out the toaster and added four slices of bread, pressing the lever down.

“He called last night.”

“What?” Mac turned sharply, the coffee in the cup sloshing over the rim to scald his fingers. Setting the cup on the counter, he put his fingers in his mouth. “Why didn’t you come get me?”

Terry shrugged, lifting his own coffee cup to his lips, taking a sip before speaking. “Didn’t want to disturb you.”

“I’m in charge, Terry, you should have called me to the phone.” He turned when the toast popped, annoyed. “What did he want?”

“He was checking in, making sure everything went smoothly. I told him everything went according to plan.”

He buttered the toast then slopped jam on it. “What else?”

“That’s it. Said he would be in touch.”

Great, Mac thought, he’d be in touch. He had the easy part, while Mac put everything on the line. Not like he had much of a choice now, did he, and the guy knew that. Rock and a hard place, that’s where he sat. Pouring another cup of coffee, he set both cups as well as the plate of toast on a tray then turned to the fridge and grabbed a bowl of strawberries, fresh from his own garden. “Tidy up for me while I’m upstairs okay.”

“I’m not your bitch, Mac.” Terry snarled into his cup.

“I didn’t make the eggs, and thank you for sharing by the way.”

“Whatever.”

Clenching his jaw, Mac carried the tray up the stairs, wishing he didn’t have to be stuck with the creep. But he’d had no choice in the matter, so he just had to put up with him.

Setting the tray on the floor, he pulled the key from his pocket, unlocked the door, then, pulling the mask from his back pocket, he slipped it over his head before opening the door. “Room service.”

Her head shifted in his direction and her eyes focused on the tray in his hand. “Cheap restaurant if you call that breakfast.”

“My, what a smart mouth we have, princess.” Smiling, he set the tray on the bed and moved in behind her. “Right handed, right?” The scent of her hair tickled his nose and stirred his pulse.

“Yes.”

Shaking it off, he untied her left hand then tied the right to the ropes around her body.

“I said I was right handed.”

“I know.” He took the plate of toast, lifted two pieces off the plate for himself, put a few strawberries beside hers then set the plate on her lap. “Here you go.”

Liz looked down at the food before her, then back up at Mac. “You must have broken a sweat cooking for me. You shouldn’t have.”

Ooh, he loved her sarcasm. “All the more reason for you to enjoy it.” He took a seat across from her, the tray on his lap with his toast and coffee.

“Where’s my cup?”

“Over there.” He motioned to the night stand, taking a bite of his toast.

She glanced to her left and saw the cup sitting there. “May I have it?”

“In time.”

Her eyes shifted to his as her left eyebrow shot up. “Now what could I possibly do with a cup of coffee, aside from drinking it?”

“You strike me as the inventive type; you’d find other uses for it.”

Her lip curled up but not enough to open the wound. “Like throwing it at you?”

“Bingo, princess.”

“Afraid of me, big guy?” She bit into a strawberry, licking the juices that trickled from her mouth.

He watched her tongue as it lapped up the juices and felt his loins tighten. “Wary.”

“Then why bring me a cup?”

His eyes were glued to the way she ate that luscious red juicy strawberry and the way her lips molded its form, the way her tongue lapped up the juices. “Why do you think it’s sitting over there and not in your hands right now?”

Smiling, she licked the strawberry juice from her fingers. “And you think giving me a cooled cup of coffee is any better?”

He imagined his fingers in her mouth. “Cool coffee doesn’t hurt as much.”

“Ever had a cup smashed over your head?”

Shaking his mind clear, his eyes lifted to hers. “See, now that is exactly why I’m guarded.” He stood now, knowing that if he didn’t leave the room soon, he wasn’t going to be able to. “Finished?”

“No.”

“Then no coffee.”

“Fine, I’m finished.” She’d give up the last pieces of the overly sweet toast and juicy strawberries for the coffee any day.

“Here you go.” Taking the plate, he set it on the tray with his coffee cup then walked to the door. “I’ll be right back.”

He closed the door behind him, locking it.

Kidnapped Chapter 4/adult


Here is the next chapter in my Contemporary Comedy, Kidnapped. A bit of interesting information about Kidnapped. The book you are reading is not the original. For the most part its the same as the first draft I wrote but after submitting it I was asked to make some major changes. One of which was the scene below with the Betty Rubble character. Originally he was a meek, mild-mannered lady’s man who was a little…well to put it bluntly, dimwitted. To add some suspense and to make it seem more like a real life situation, my editor suggested I add in a rape scene. I refused but did add in him assaulting her. Do I regret changing so much of my book? Yes. But at the time I was a new author and I thought by arguing my point that the publisher would terminate my contract. Word of advice to all those newbies out there. yes, editors can suggest making changes to your books but if you don’t feel comfortable in the direction they want you to take it, speak up. It is after all, your book.

Now, on to Chapter 4.

**************

Tossing his mask on the counter, Mac set the plate in the dishwasher, then grabbed the towel hanging by the sink. Walking to the fridge, he grabbed the bag of ice from the freezer, set it on the counter, then grabbed a knife to open it.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting some ice.” His jaw began to throb now. Who would have thought the woman could pack such a hardy punch?

“Why?”

Grabbing a handful of ice, Mac wrapped it in a towel then laid it on his chin. “She clipped me.”

“What?” His blue eyes lifted to Mac’s with surprise.

“She clipped me, right in the jaw. It wasn’t much of a punch, but enough that I think it might bruise.”

“She punched you?”

“I think I said yes.”

“Shit. What did you do to her for that?”

Lifting his brow, Mac responded calmly. “I tied her up and left her sitting in the chair.”

“You didn’t hit her back?”

“No,” Mac said, aghast. “Jesus, I don’t hit women.”

“Oh come on, you’re telling me you’ve never hit a woman, not even once?”

“No, I have never hit a woman.” And it didn’t surprise him in the least that Terry condoned it. The guy was slime. He may look meek with his perfectly styled blonde hair and pretty boy face, but he’d heard stories about Terry’s temper that worried Mac. That was why he didn’t want him watching over Liz; he didn’t trust the guy.

Terry made snorting noises as he waved his hands in disgust. “You’re a wimp then. You gotta let the woman know who’s in charge.”

“You’re unbelievable, Terry, you know that?” Leaving, Mac wandered outside with the ice on his chin.

He didn’t hit women, and any man that did wasn’t a real man in his opinion.

~

She might be glad he left the TV on for her, breaking the mundane silence, if he’d left it on something other than the sports channel. The sun had begun to set; she could tell that by the lighting in the room. She’d been here nearly an entire day so far and no one had come looking for her, which meant, she was stuck here.

Yeah, Liz, that’s great, give up. Since when do you give up on anything? Struggling once more, she could feel the ropes around her body shifting, loosening. She was going to break free even if it meant skinning her wrists in the meantime.

She heard the door rattle and her heart skipped a beat. She hadn’t heard anyone on the stairs, and when the door creaked open, her worst fears confirmed, as she watched Betty Rubble enter the room.

“Thought you might want some company.”

He closed the door behind him, and she felt her heart hammering in her chest. She didn’t trust him, didn’t like him. He was the thinner of the two, yet he was the one that worried her the most.

“Cat got your tongue?” he said with a chuckle as he pulled a chair up right in front of her.

“What do you expect me to say?” She didn’t want to say anything to him.

He shrugged thin shoulders, leaning forward to run his finger along her knee. “I don’t know, you could tell me how much you want to get out of here.”

Her skin crawled beneath the fabric of her slacks, and as his fingers slid higher on her thigh, she felt the nausea rolling in her gut. “I could pay you anything you like, just name the price.” His eyes met hers and she saw beneath the mask that they were blue. She saw something else in his eyes and it sickened her. She knew just what he wanted and it had nothing to do with money, and when he ran his fingers along her thigh, up her hip, she felt the acid rise in her gut.

“The money sounds good, but I think we both know what I want from you.”

She gulped hard, swallowing back the vomit rising in her throat as his hand cruised up and along her breast. “Please, don’t do this.”

“Oh, you know you want this as much as I do. I’ve read up on you, and I know just how many men you’ve let touch you.” His hand slid to the buttons on her shirt, swiftly flicked one open, then the next.

Her entire body shaking, she knew she was going to be raped and there was nothing she could do to stop it. Your legs are free, Liz, use them, fight, don’t let him take you. She felt his fingers skim over the swell of her breasts and she knew she needed to make her move. Lifting her leg, she rammed her foot right into his crotch.

“Fucking Christ.” He buckled.

She saw the evil in his eyes through the mask when he lifted his head and the fear cut into her like a sharp knife. Keep fighting, Liz, keep fighting. “Keep away from me, you bastard.” Kicking her feet, she caught him in the shins several times. When his fist came up, she wasn’t quick enough to dodge it and felt the blow as it connected with her jaw. Liz saw stars before her eyes, felt the pain spear into her jaw and the nausea build in her belly.

“Stupid bitch, well, let’s see how feisty you’ll be while I’m pounding my dick into you.”

She screamed when he yanked her slacks zipper down, screamed as he began to work the ropes to gain access to her. The next thing she knew the door flew open and Bart came charging into the room. For a brief moment she thought he, too, would have his turn with her, but then he grabbed the slime attacking her and threw him against the wall.

“What the hell are you doing?”

“The stupid bitch kicked me in the fucking dick, man.”

“Get your ass downstairs, now.” To insure he listened, Mac grabbed his shoulder and yanked him from the room.

The door slammed shut behind them, and Liz shook with the thought of what might have just happened. She could hear their voices through the closed door, heard the deep voiced one yelling. She didn’t need to try to listen; his voice rang loud and clear through the closed door.

“You fucking bastard, you were going to rape her.”

“I just wanted a little taste. She kicked me in the nuts, man.”

“You fucking deserved that and more. You touch her again and I swear to God I will make damn sure you regret it. Got it?”

“Whatever.”

She heard a hard thud against the wall and jumped.

“You lay one finger on her again and I’ll make sure you never use that dick of yours again. Get out of my sight.”

The door opened and Liz sucked in a breath, her body still shaking. He simply stood by the door, looking down at her. She heard him mumble something under his breath, then shake his head as he turned to the door and left.

Her lip quivered once, then once more before the tears fell from her eyes. She could taste the bile in her throat and swallowed several times to settle it back down. Her jaw throbbing, she knew her lip bled because she could taste the blood. Looking down at her opened clothing, the tears slid silently from her eyes.

Read the writing contest submissions.


Unfortunately Shiela Stewart can’t make it here today, but we still have some fun for you here at A History.

Check out the submissions for the contest on the contest page or the free reads page. and see which ones you like. Be sure to come back on the 15th to see who won. Winner will be posted at noon.

Judging is in progress!
Author names will be revealed when the winners are posted.

1 – The Girls in the Bar

2 – Kismet

3 – Out of the Frying Pan

4 – Tales of Chocolate Chipmunks

5 – A Memorable Meal

6 – Out of the Frying Pan; Into His Arms

7 -Just Another Day at the Park

8 – Aphrodite’s Dream

9 – The Maid

10 – The Runner

Read through and decide which is your favorite. Then come back on March 15th. Winner will be posted at noon PST.

—-

Are you romantic


I am very late with my post and I must apologize. I’ve got a migraine that won’t let up and on top of it I have the flu. What a week. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to come up with a blog post for today because of the pain and being knocked out on pain meds. So instead I thought I would do something different, for me at least, and post a few quizzes for you all to take.

So here you are.

Are you a die-hard romantic? http://www.funquizcards.com/quiz/love-dating/are-you-a-die-hard-romantic.php

Test your flirting style: http://www.funquizcards.com/quiz/love-dating/test-your-flirting-style.php

Post your results for all to see and let’s have a little fun. 🙂

Shiela Stewart
www.shielasbooks.ca

Writing Tips


When I first started writing my grammar was really poor. I had the basic’s down but things like comma’s after a name, capitalizations for names and places or paragraphs were not my strong point.  Which explains why I received so many rejections when I first started submitting books to publishing houses. It wasn’t until I came across a writing contest that I was given the help I needed. The editor with Linden Bay Romance, (No longer running) Barbara Perfetti was great with me. She sent back my entry with reasons why it wasn’t chosen as number one and gave me plenty of links to help hone in on my craft. She encouraged me to submit more of my work, stating I had a good story but my writing needed working on. So I did. Without her help, I wouldn’t be here today. So as I go on in my career as an author, I like to help out other newbie’s in any way I can.  

That is what my blog post is about today. Helping others. Below are some things I still struggle with in my writing and I thought I would help anyone who, like me, is still confused. I hope this helps.

Another great place to go to help you work on your writing is Avoid Writers Hell http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Avoid_Writers_Hell/

Faith Bicknell-Brown, founder of AWH is a great editor who provides lessons on everything writing. She also has editing books out that might interest the newbie or even the veteran writer.  You can find them all at http://faithbicknellbrown.com/books/howtoavoidwriters-hell/

Effective Writing Tips
  Use concrete rather than vague language.
Examples: Vague: The weather was of an extreme nature on the west coast.
Concrete: California had very cold weather last week.

 

 

  Use active voice whenever possible. Active voice means the subject is performing the verb.  
Examples: Active: Barry hit the ball.  
  Passive: The ball was hit.
Notice that the responsible party may not even appear when using passive voice.
 
    Avoid overusing there is, there are, it is, it was, and so on.
    Example: There is a case of meningitis that was reported in the newspaper.
  Correction: A case of meningitis was reported in the newspaper.
  Even Better: The newspaper reported a case of meningitis. (Active voice)
  Example: It is important to signal before making a left turn.
  Correction: Signaling before making a left turn is important.
OR
Signaling before a left turn is important.

OR

You should signal before making a left turn. (Active voice)

  Example: There are some revisions which must be made.
  Correction: Some revisions must be made.
  Even Better: Please make some revisions. (Active voice)
             

 

  To avoid confusion, don’t use two negatives to make a positive.
  Incorrect: He is not unwilling to help.
Correct: He is willing to help.

 

  Use similar grammatical form when offering several ideas. This is called parallel construction.
  Correct: You should check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Incorrect: You should check your spelling, grammar, and punctuating.

 

  If you start a sentence with an action, place the actor immediately after or you will have created the infamous dangling modifier.
  Incorrect: While walking across the street, the bus hit her.
Correct: While walking across the street, she was hit by a bus.
OR
She was hit by a bus while walking across the street.

 

  Place modifiers near the words they modify.
  Incorrect: I have some pound cake Mollie baked in my lunch bag.
Correct: In my lunch bag, I have some pound cake that Mollie baked.

 

  A sentence fragment occurs when you have only a phrase or weak clause but are missing a strong clause.
  Example of Sentence Fragment: After the show ended.
Example of Sentence: After the show ended, we had coffee.
     
   
       

Who vs Which vs That

  Who refers to people. That and which refer to groups or things.
  Examples: Anya is the one who rescued the bird.
Lokua is on the team that won first place.
She belongs to an organization that specializes in saving endangered species.

 

  That introduces essential clauses while which introduces nonessential clauses.
Examples: I do not trust products that claim “all natural ingredients” because this phrase can mean almost anything.
We would not know which products were being discussed without the that clause.

 

   
 
The product claiming “all natural ingredients,” which appeared in the Sunday newspaper, is on sale.
The product is already identified. Therefore, which begins a nonessential clause.
NOTE: Essential clauses do not have commas surrounding them while nonessential clauses are surrounded by commas.

 

  If this, that, these, or those has already introduced an essential clause, you may use which to introduce the next clause, whether it is essential or nonessential.
Examples: That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.
Those ideas, which we’ve discussed thoroughly enough, do not need to be addressed again.
NOTE: Often, you can streamline your sentence by leaving out which.
Example: That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.
Better: That is a decision you must live with for the rest of your life.

Provided by http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/effWrite.asp

This is a great place for learning everything about writing.

Author Spotlight – Shiela Stewart


This week’s author spotlight is on Shiela Stewart.

“Shiela Stewart is one author that will be on your permanent TBR list.” 5 stars – Manic Readers

“Her style of writing is so electric it just leaps from the pages.” 4 stars – Coffee Time Romance

“Must read passionate and hot romance.” 5 stars – Night Owl Romance

Check out our author spotlight page and read about this wonderful author.

Fashion in Books


I envy those writers who can describe an outfit so perfectly that I can visualize it. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those writers. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a slave to fashion. I never wear anything just because its the ‘New In Thing’ or because it’s a designer name. I dress what makes me look good and what I feel comfortable wearing. No, I don’t wear sweat pants and t-shirts all the time but I’m also not wearing the latest fad. I have shirts and pants that have been in my drawers or closet for several years.  I like to dress nice, I hate looking like a slob.

So when it comes to writing what my characters are wearing, I tend to stumble. Especially when I have to describe my heroine in a gown. ‘Long flowing’ can only be used so much.  ‘Jeans and a shirt’ is so ordinary. It’s been a learning curve for me as a writer and so I ask you, the readers, to lend a hand. Teach me how to dress my characters. 🙂

Below are some pictures of celebs in formal wear and every day people in regular clothing. Describe one of the outfits for me and the best description will win a copy of my latest e-release, Surviving the Darkness. I’ll pick the winner at the end of the day.

Plus, you get to look at pretty clothes. 🙂

 

Shiela Stewart
www.shielasbooks.ca

How do you find time to write when there is chaos all around you?


That is a good question and one plenty of authors ask themselves. Most authors I know aren’t fortunate enough to only survive off of their author earnings so they need to go out and work a day job to pay the bills. And those authors who are home full time are usually dealing with kids, bills, housework, transporting kids to and from school or sporting events. So how do we do it? How do we make time to write those delicious love scenes or the edge of your seat thrillers?

We snatch any time we can.

Authors who work outside of the home often write on their lunch or coffee breaks. Sure, it’s only an hour, or twenty minutes but those are valued minutes when a story needs to be created. Often we work on deadlines so snatching free time to write is important. For those that stay home and take care of the children, nap time is a glorious time. It is not easy to write a love scene when you have a child nagging you to play with them or get them something to eat or drink, Kinda ruins the mood. So we made do with what we have.

When my kids were little, I would sit in my chair, notebook and pencil in hand, put a movie on for the kids to watch and try to write. I was there if they needed me plus it appeared I was watching the movie with them, which for the most part I did. Amazingly enough I was able to write about demons and ghosts and love while watching Nemo swimming for his life. I wrote everything in notebooks back then because it was easier than sitting in front of a computer and being away from the kids. And if something should come up that needed my attention, I simply put the notebook down and tended to the problem. Once everything was fixed I could pick up the notebook and continue where I left off. I didn’t need to save it or worry someone might come by and turn the computer off before I could save it. I could even write while preparing meals. But it was bedtime that I truly looked forward to. That was my free time. My time to shine and I wrote like a woman possessed.

 Now I work on my laptop. I still have the benefit of sitting in the living room, interacting with the kids or hubby and work. Well, for the most part. It’s a little harder these days to concentrate on my work when the big screen TV is on and an action game is flashing, gunfire rapid. Or one of my teen age kids coming into the room needing to talk.  But I still find time, little snippets here and there and if I’m in the writing zone I simply tell the family to go away for an hour and let me work.

I’m lucky, I don’t hold down a day job, so I can write any time I want. But there is still laundry to be done, bills to pay, telephone calls to answer, meals to make, and house to clean. I’m not the type of person who can leave a messy kitchen and sit down to write. The disorganization scrambles my brain and prevents me from getting anything done. I might be a little OCD, but what’s a gal to do.

So how do you find time to write while theirs chaos going on around you? You steel any moment available and make the best of it. What else can you do.

I’m interested to hear what my fellow authors do to find time to write. I’m sure the readers are interested as well so why not leave a comment and tell us how you cope.

Shiela Stewart www.shielasbooks.ca

Possessed by Characters


Today’s post is all about me and my characters and how they are fighting for control over my mind.  Currently I have two works in progress. The first one is called, Awaken the Demon and is book one in my Demon series. It’s a tale of three generations of demons under Satan’s control. The second book, Evil Enchantress is a story of an agent in the Supernatural Investigations Department searching for a killer who drains the life force from her victims while having sex. She’s a Succubus on the prowl.

Originally, I’d wanted to submit Awaken the Demon to a contest Amazon and Penguin were holding but life got in the way and I wasn’t able to finish writing it. This is my fourth rewrite of this book and it’s frustrating me.

“Frustrating you?  Imagine how we feel being left hanging.”

That would be Missy Green, the heroine in Awaken the Demon. I told you my characters were trying to control my mind.

“Apparently we’re not doing a good job of it as you have still left us hanging. Might I remind you that I do possess powers that I could use on you and make your life a living hell?”

Draco Starr, a demon born in hell and a direct descendent of Satan, loves to throw his powers around, but I’m not afraid of him. I still have control.

“Not for long. I will find a way to take control of you sooner or later,”

He’s a persistent man but I’m still not worried. He’s too busy right now trying to convince the woman he loves that being a demon isn’t so bad after all to deal with me.

“I have my ways.”

That he does. Draco is a fierce demon, having worked for Lucifer for decades, claiming souls. Once upon a time he loved taking lives, but now he’s a softy—

“Watch what you say, woman!”

“She’s right, and you know it, Draco,” Missy adds. “But I have to agree with him on one point. We both are getting tired of being left hanging. You left us in a pivotal moment. Draco and I had just made love—which, as usual, was great…but I’m straying. While Draco is dealing with business, I decided to see Troy and tell him that Draco prefers I not speak to him anymore. I have this whole speech lined up and you closed up the program and now I’m sitting here waiting—”

Little does Missy know but seeing Troy is the worst mistake she will ever make. It could be the death of her.

“WHAT?”

Now on to this other story I’m working on, Evil Enchantress. I’m really digging this story and I love the heroine, Robin Sinclair. She’s a tough agent who has a wounded heart. She’s worked in the SID for seven years and her previous partner whom she loved dearly, was working with the bad guys behind her back. Feeling betrayed, she’s a little guarded now.

“Damn straight I am. And what does my so called friend and boss, Devon do? He saddles me with a newbie detective who has no clue about anything paranormal and to top it all off, he’s always wearing designer suits. Guy drives me nuts.”

That’s Robin speaking. She has issues.

“That is putting it mildly and if she just took the stick out of her ass and gave me a chance she would see just how valuable I am.”

Scott Walker, everyone. He’s not as pushy in my mind and I can’t be more thankful for it.

“I’m not pushy because I know how you think and I know you can’t let us go. Our story is the driving force in your life right now.”

“No, Draco, you cannot kill him.”

“I never said I wanted to.”

“No, but you thought it. Let the poor guy have his time. She’ll get back to us. She’s always coming back to us. We’ve been in her mind for over five years now. This new book will pass but we’re a part of her.”

Missy is right, though I hate admitting it to her. Awaken the Demon is special to me though I can’t really put a finger on why. The whole idea came from a weird dream I had about a woman discovering she is really a demon and falls in love with a big bad ass demon.

“Damn straight I’m a bad ass and don’t you forget it!”

As I was saying before Draco rudely interrupted. From the moment I woke from that dream it’s possessed me.

“Ah, so my powers are working.”

Draco can be so smug. I don’t know why but I just can’t get this demon story line out of my head. I’ve rewritten it several times, changing it here and there, adding in Angels now and I think it has the potential to be a rally great book—

“Then why are you leaving us hanging?”

Missy poses an excellent question. Why am I leaving them hanging?

“Because our story makes you feel high with adrenaline.”

Robin is right. Writing Evil Enchantress is giving me a high. I feel energized, juiced, for the first time in a long time. I’m excited to write this story—

“And what? You’re not excited to write about us anymore?”

“Okay, that’s it. The next time she falls asleep I am taking over her mind.”

“Just calm down, Draco. Let her be. She’s troubled and you taking over her mind won’t help matters any.”

“Maybe not but I would get some satisfaction over it.”

“Look lady,” Robin pipes in. “Their story might be great and all but I’m dealing with a murdering bitch. You can step away from us to go back to that demon story but keep in mind. Doing so, you’re putting several lives on the line. My Succubitch won’t stop even if you put us aside.”

“Just relax, Shiela. Take a few deep breaths and let your heart tell you what to do next.”

That is why I love Scott. He’s always so calm and reasonable. And he’s right. I do need to do what’s in my heart and right now that’s….working on the Evil Enchantress.

“That’s it, she’s mine now.”

“Draco, calm down.”

Now do you see what I mean by my characters wanting control over me? And two of them are demons who could kick my ass without even lifting a finger.

“That might be true but I have some pretty wicked powers of my own. Might I remind you that I can control the weather and unless you want a nasty tornado scooping you up, you’ll stick to my story?”

“Our story,” Scott reminds her.

“Whatever .”

So, you see, I’m tossed. I’ve got a demon straight from hell and an elemental demon fighting for control. And I have no idea which way to turn.  WAIT! I’ve got it! This is normal—okay, maybe not having the characters fighting over my mind but switching between stories. I just did a blog about writers block and while writing it and doing research I found a lot of documents stating it’s healthy for an author to switch between stories.

“Damn it!”

It’s perfectly normal to work on multiple stories at one time. If a writer is stuck in one area in one novel, she or he can switch to another one until the creative juices start flowing for the other one. This is perfect. I don’t need to feel guilty about leaving some of my characters hanging while working on a whole different book.

“We’re domed!”

Okay, I feel so much better now. And I’m off to work on—

“She’ll pick us. She can’t let us go.”

Evil Enchantress.

“Son-of-a-bitch!”

“Take that demon! She loves us more!”

“Robin, behave.”

Today’s ramblings are brought to you by Shiela Stewart

Check out her work at www.shielasbooks.ca

A Haunted Past


She stood atop the stairwell looking down. Something didn’t feel right. Her hand, braced on the railing, tensed at the sudden uneasiness she felt.  A chill, so cold it left goose-bumps on her bare arms, whisked past her nearly pushing her down the stairs. She gripped the railing harder, taking a deep breath. What the hell was that? Swallowing the lump in her throat, she turned.  What she saw before her took every ounce of air she had in her lungs away.  He stood a mere two feet away from her. A tall man with dark hollow eyes and a pale complexion, sunken cheeks and thin blue lips. And she knew instantly what she was seeing.

He was a ghost.


Did I spook you? I hope so. No, that is not from one of my books though once it was written a story flashed inside my mind.  The paragraphs above were taken from personal experiences. Last week in my post, ‘Why I like to Scare’, I hinted to my having lived in a haunted house. Today’s post is all about my life dealing with ghosts.

When I was a young child, I lived in a farm house that most saw as a typical farming home. It was a two story three bedroom one bath house that was build in the early 1940’s. My father was a travelling salesman and my mother stayed home to raise her seven children while tending to her duties on the farm. We weren’t rich, as a matter of fact, most of the time we struggled to make ends meet. But for the most part, we were happy. Aside from the nine of us living in this small farm house, there was another presence. Her name was Mary, and she was a ghost. Yep, you read that correctly. She was a ghost. Were we afraid of her? Never. But that’s not to say she wasn’t a pain from time to time. My mother could attest to that. 

Every morning, before the crack of dawn, the living room curtains would open, allowing the rising sun to shin directly into my parent’s bedroom. It didn’t matter how my mother kept the curtains closed, pinned or tied, every morning they would open. Even if my mother closed her bedroom door, she would be woken to the sunlight in her face, door open.

Then there were the early morning sounds of cupboards banging and dishes rattling that would wake everyone in the house. Only it wasn’t anyone one of us doing it. Nope, Mary was up and having her morning tea. She was not the quietest ghost but at least she set her dirty cup in the sink rather than leaving it on the table.

But she was helpful on occasion as well. Often my mother would wake, worried why her baby daughter hadn’t woken for her nighttime feeding only to walk into the nursery to find her with a baby bottle already in his mouth. When questioning the family, my mother soon learned none of us had done it. One night, my mother waited up and when she heard the baby crying, waited to see if someone would bring her the bottle. After several moments, the baby stopped crying and my mother dashed into the bedroom and once again, found her with her bottle. My mother went from room to room only to find each one of us sound asleep in our beds. The only conclusion was, Mary had done it.

For years my family dealt with the helpful ghost. My oldest brother married and moved away and life carried on as usual for all of us. Then on one fateful spring afternoon, everything changed.

While enjoying lunch after having worked on the yard, raking leaves left over from the fall my mother noticed the wall felt hot. The next thing she saw were flames shooting out from the roof. She whisked my younger sister and I out to the barn and she and my oldest sister began fighting the fire. When it was evident they couldn’t control it, my sister went for help.

In the barn, set atop two large barrels, my sister and I sat, frightened. My barrel sat directly in front of a window and I had a perfect view of the burning house. Imagine being 8 years old and seeing your house engulfed in flames…and your mother running into the burning building to retrieve our belongings. I was crying, my little sister was crying but there was nothing we could do.

Then, out of the blue, a woman appeared and placed a hand on my shoulder. In an instant I felt calm and relaxed. My tears subsided as I looked up at the woman. She spoke to me in a soft hushed tone that put both my sister and I at ease. “It’s all right, little one. Everything will be just fine.”

She stood with us as we watched our home disintegrate, as everything we held dear was taken by the flames.  She stayed with us until my oldest brother came rushing home, racing into the barn to make sure the two of us were okay.  Mary made me feel safe and she’s been in my thoughts since. Did I ever tell anyone about her being there with me? Yes. Did they believe me? No.  I don’t know why they wouldn’t believe me when several members of my family had seen the woman over the years and it wasn’t until I was 13 when I had a “moment” and described her perfectly that they finally believe me.

I suffered nightmares from that ordeal of having watched my mother race in and out of a burning home and I think it would have been even worse had Mary not come to me and comforted me during the fire. As the years moved on, she never left my thoughts and when I began to write, she found her way into the pages of my work.  When I wrote Secrets of the Dead, it was Mary’s helpfulness that came through in the pages as a ghostly little girl known as Andrea helped solve a murder. And she’s there in the pages of Discovery in Passion as the character, Eddie Talbot and his parents, as they try to find justice for their deaths.

But Mary isn’t the only spirit I have seen. There have been more. My grandmother has come to me, as well as my son and a cousin. I don’t talk about my ability much because, well…people tend to chuckle and disbelieve. Why am I telling it now? To help you understand why I write what I write.

Having grown up with such paranormal things, it’s only natural that I would be intrigued by it. I can’t remember how many times I’ve heard other authors, editors and publishers say, “Write what you know”. Well, that’s just what I do. I write about ghosts and paranormal because it’s what I know. Now, have I ever seen a real vampire? No. But having grown up not afraid of ghosts, other paranormal things intrigued me. I often snuck down to watch a horror flick that my parents were watching late at night. I remember one movie, though I can’t remember much from it now, called, Straight Jacket. I remember seeing a crazy woman coming after a man with an axe and hacking him to pieces. I think I was about ten at the time.  If given the choice to see a comedy or a horror/thriller, I picked the latter every time. Aside from my novel, Kidnapped, which is a contemporary comedy, each one of my books has a spooky, thriller or horror aspect to them. Escape in Passion: Thriller about a cop running from his past. Mercy in Passion: Thriller about a man returning to his home town to right a wrong only to be stalked and almost killed. Until Death do us Part: A story of a man going into witness relocation to protect his family only to have his supposed killer come back for revenge. And the Darkness series: A tale of vampires living in a city cast in darkness by an evil vamp wanting to rule the town.

What do I like to watch? You guessed it. Paranormal, thrillers and horror. What can I say? I like the scare, the tension and the mystery.

Now you know a little bit more about me. So now tell me, do you believe in ghosts and hauntings? Have you ever experienced something that left a chill down your spine? Or am I the only one?

Shiela Stewart www.shielasbooks.ca

Why do I like to scare?


Good day one and all. My name is Shiela Stewart, I’m a paranormal romance author, and I will be here every Tuesday, sharing a glimpse into the mechanics of my brain.

This past weekend my 15 year old daughter had a birthday party. First off, when did she grow up? Where did my baby go? But back to my point. She invited 8 of her best buds and they sat around watching horror movies. The first movie they watched was Paranormal Activity. If you haven’t seen this movie I strongly recommend you do. It is a fabulous movie that even had me, on my toes and that’s saying a lot because I don’t scare easily but we’ll get to the reason for that in just a bit.

From the moment my daughter asked to do a scary movie night for her birthday my only thought was, “How can I scare them?”  I know what you must be thinking. “What kind of mother intentionally scares her children?” Have you read my books? I LOVE scaring people. Every Halloween I decorate my house with severed limbs (I’ll let you be the judge on whether they are real or not), cobwebs, floating apparitions and scary music.  Halloween is my favorite time of year, but I digress. Back to my daughter’s party.

Halfway through the movie, just as the scenes are becoming more intense, I plot my scare. Earlier in the day, my hubby set his remote control helicopter in the room my daughter and her friends would be watching the movies. Now this is no ordinary helicopter. It’s loud and the blades light up in various colors. My daughter and her friends are in the upper floor living room, my hubby and I are in the lower level family room.  As the nine teenage girls are on the edge of their seats, my hubby takes the remote and starts up the helicopter. There were various explanative and gasps as the helicopter started up, blades whirling.  It took everything I had not to burst out laughing but I held a straight face when my daughter asked if her father had started it up. “Of course not, honey. We’re playing on the Wii. I don’t even know where the remote is for that crazy Helicopter.”  Bursting on the inside, I returned to my hubby and together we split a gut laughing.  But did we stop there? Hell no!!!

Making it obvious to the girl, my hubby went to the washroom. He walked right past all of them as he headed down the hall. What they didn’t know is that he had the remote in his pants pocket. After several moments, he started it up and once again, scared the daylights out of the girls. My daughter yelled for her father to quit playing around. They were watching a movie after all. Well, one of her friend’s points out, “Um…Angie. Your dad went to the washroom.” LMAO. I could hardly keep a straight face when my daughter asked if I was doing it.

“I’m writing, honey. I don’t have time to play with a helicopter.”

“Well that stupid thing keeps going off.”

“Well, why don’t you move it then?”

And so she did. But did that stop us from doing it again? Once again, HELL NO!! LOL

Now you may be wondering why it is I’m telling you this. Let me explain.

As I said earlier, I love to scare. Terrifying people gets my adrenaline pumping. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not mean with it. I’ll jump out of a dark room to scare one of my children or sneak up to their bedroom door and pound real loud. Hearing them curse at me is like music to my ears. (my children are 21, 17 and 15. Not babies, if you were wondering)

But where did I get this desire to scare, or be scared from?

Maybe living in a haunted house as a child did it? You think so? Or maybe I was desensitized by my brother who had a wicked sense of humor and loved hiding under the beds of his two younger sisters and when they were ready to climb into bed, would grab their feet and scare the crap out of them. Yes, I was one of those sisters. Or he would hide a glow in the dark skeleton head in the closet.  Or maybe it was seeing Stephen King’s Cujo at the age of twelve, with my older and younger sister, then walking home along a dark street and having a guard dog jump at the fence, barking madly and scaring all three of us to the point of high pitched, blood curdling, screams.

Or maybe it’s just in my blood. Whatever the case may be, I have no intensions of changing. I love to scare, love to be scared. If given the choice of watching a chick flick or a thriller, I’ll pick the latter every time.  Oh sure, I like the occasional feel good movie, but it doesn’t compare to the feeling of being on the edge of my seat, my heart racing, blood pumping and stomach clenched.  So when I sit down to write, what do you think comes to mind? You got it. Something scary or spooky. But I am also a romantic nut. I may make my characters go through hell and back, scare the daylights out of them, make them confront evil but not without giving them some pleasure to break up the fear. Scaring is all well and good, but its even better when you’re in the arms of the one you love.

So now you know my secret. Now you know why I write what I write. Did I intrigue you with the hint of having lived in a haunted house as a youth? Good. LOL I may tell you all about it in the coming weeks. I guess you’ll just have to tune in here each Tuesday to find out. In the mean time, here are some of my all time favorite scary movies and TV shows.

In no particular order:

Paranormal Activity
House on Haunted Hill (remake)
Cloverfield.
The Possession of Emily Rose
The Others
Blair Witch (the first one. The second one was lame)
The Omen (all of them)

TV series:

Supernatural (I love Sam and Dean and Castielle)
Lost
Medium

For information on me and my books, go to www.shielasbooks.ca
—Shiela Stewart

A History has a new and improved look!


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