This list was derived from crowdsourcing off my social media accounts along with researching other lists. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
I'm somewhat of a history buff, especially interesting little tidbits that I missed in college 101. As a 46 yo (happy bday to me;), I also have an appreciation for learning from the past I didn't have as a late teen. So, for those of you out there who share my love for all things in the rearview mirror, here are some podcast recs. Varying from true crime to hidden historical gems, these shows cover the spectrum. Have fun exploring! If you have a rec, please leave it in the comments.
#Soyouthinkyoucanwrite asked participants to write 400 words or less on an alpha-beta hero pairing. Here's my submission with comments from readers and editors. Hope you enjoy and feel free to leave comments/feedback!
Mara Malone dropped the fork on the empty salad plate with a clink and folded her trembling hands in her lap. Upon looking at Seth, her older brother's best friend, unmistakable fire lit her eyes.
In measured tones, she replied through gritted teeth, "You do not get to tell me what to do."
In response, the infuriating man stared at her with such patronizing patience, she stifled the overwhelming urge to scream. In deep, velvet tones, he urged, "Calm down, Mara. At least try to act like a grown-up. You must see the boy, and that is what he is, doesn't deserve you." Finally, all pretense of dignity flew out the french doors and over the bay.
Her eyes narrowed. "Is this what tonight is about? she asked, shaking her head as it all became clear. "You didn't pick me up from my apartment to celebrate my twenty-first birthday. You made a babysitting call to tell me who I can and can't date!"
Tossing her napkin on the white tablecloth, she ignored the stares from the other tables. It wasn't every day this five-star establishment received a show worthy of daytime television. Well, they might get their money's worth tonight.
Seth grasped her arm, and she stopped, for once towering over him. "Don't worry, Seth. I'm of age—officially. Consider yourself off duty. Go back to your life." Seth began to say something but thought better of it. His grip tightened, but she jerked away.
Mara ran down the steps and made her way down to the boardwalk. The intoxicating combination of rippling water and cool breeze allowed for gratifying deep breaths. Several moments passed before the cadence of her heart slowed.
Then she jumped as Seth stepped to her side. A hand flew to her heart. "The time in the FBI has made you annoyingly stealthy. I could always hear you coming from a mile away when we were kids."
He chuckled and nudged her shoulder, playfully. "That's probably because Marshall and I were fighting."
She mumbled. "Probably."
"Mara," he began.
When she ignored him, he tilted her face toward his. "Mara."
"What?" she bit the word out.
"I'm not trying to ruin your birthday. And no one sent me to talk to you. I care about you. You know that."
Slowly, he closed the space between them and planted a kiss on her forehead.
I could feel the tension! Darn that kiss on the forehead though...
Love it! I wanted to know what happens next.
I love this. I really want to see where this goes.
Kelly K. Heuser
Older brother's best friend AND he's FBI? Excellent!
I get the impression there's deep feelings boiling beneath the surface.
Connolly (SYTYCW Editor)
This was such a fantastic scene! I love the hooks layered in here and the way that you dropped readers into a relationship with a lot of background without making us feel like we were missing essential information. I'd be interested too know how and when they would ultimately get together. Great job!
If you have comments or hopes for Mara and Seth, let me know!
Praise God for multiple ways to take in content! 4 books, y'all! Woohoo!
Here's the intel:
1) The Silent Dolls by Rita Herron (Kindle)
A mystery set on the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia introduces the fascinating character of Detective Ellie Reeves. Ellie is called in to investigate the disappearance of a little girl. Eventually, with the help of a very handsome FBI agent, she realizes this is not an isolated incident. This one is not for the faint of heart. It's a thriller that gets into the heads of the protagonist and antagonist. Here are my 5 things:
2) Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Audible and Paperback)
I've heard a lot about this book before reading it, but I didn't really know what it was about. I love how Celeste Ng begins with fire, tells the story, and ends in the same place, guaranteeing that I will go back and re-read the beginning. There is a television show based on this book, but I have not watched it yet. 5 things:
3) Beach Read by Emily Henry (Paperback)
Oh, this book is so dang smart! It's absolutely delightful situational irony from beginning to end. Two authors, complete opposites, live next door to one another on a beach while trying to write a novel. It's fresh and unexpected! If you like any of the romcoms, you'll LOVE this book. (There is language, and there is sex. Proceed with caution.) 5 things:
4) Twilight (Kindle)
I'm only over a decade late on this one. I get it. But when I binge-watched the entire series with my daughter during the never-ending quarantine, I decided I had to take the plunge. Ok, so I've always said 95% of the time the book is better. Y'all. The book is better. No offense to the movie peeps, but I understand so much more about America's favorite vampire family. Ironically, this is the only book this week that really doesn't involve sex or language. Go figure;) 5 things: