If you're under 18, then go on and git.

Monday, October 24, 2016


The Brilliant and Amazing Beany Sparks has generously donated her ARe freebie code for this contest! Woot! Thank you Beany! Here's Beany's website and publishing site if y'all want to check it out. She's really a wonderful person, author, friend, business owner-- all-around amaze :D

Beany Sparks!

Rainbow Ninja Press

Now, the contest and deadline to enter--

We've done this before :-( Y'all regular blogees know the drill but I'll explain it for any newcomers. This is a chance to win a book that's on your ARe wishlist. Comment below with the title of the book you want, and if your comfortable doing so, your ARe address. If you aren't, that's fine. I'll be announcing the winner on here anyway. 

The gift code expires on November 2nd, so I will be picking a winner via random.org on Oct. 31st! In the evening of course :D 

So get those books listed here for your chance to win! 

And thank you, Beany, for your generosity! <3

WINNERS! I know, late again...

But, it might make Monday better for a few people?

How is everyone? We're all okay here. I took the boot off and started using a wrap because fuck that. I can walk fine with a little support and the swelling is all gone anyway.

I've been on a cleaning spree for a while now, doing that intense, start at the baseboards kind of cleaning. Let's hope that impulse ends soon.

Now, on to the winners, and stay tuned for a new contest post coming later today! Thank you to everyone who shared a bit of their life with us!

Okay, on to the winners, chosen via random.org! All winners, please email me with your ARe addie :-) Even if I've sent you a prize before, because I want to make sure addresses are current. <3

Congratulations to:

Donna said...
My weekend was quiet compared to yours. I just have some sore muscles form moving some furniture. My daughter and her boyfriend have been refinishing the rooms upstairs for my large bedroom and it was finally finished, so Saturday was moving day. That and I have been sewing my Halloween costume. It's Queen of Hearts meets Day of the Dead. Leaving for a long over due visit with friends and fellow writers in Mass. Dalton Diaz does a great haunted house and this year I am going down early and spending several days and then on to another friend's house for some more R&R. Will post pics of costumes on FB. I hope your ankle heals soon and hugs for Amber's face.

Nichole said...
Ouch! Hate how those boots mess with the rest of you body while you are wearing them. I've been catching up on a game I hadn't played in awhile that you play online and of course reading when not working. Hope you all heal quickly.

AiboPals said...
Dang hun that's a lot of ouch, gladly I had a totally non drama weekend, totally snoresville LOL, literally too hehe

Kim Bytheway said...
Spent weekend gardening , reading and visiting stepmother in nursing Home. Some old same old.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Jasper Stone Chapter 23

Copyright 2016
Bailey Bradford

Chapter Twenty-Three

My home was burning—again. Isolated as it was, I could see the black and grey clouds of smoke streaming up to the sky from miles away. I knew it was my place, not a grass fire or someone burning a pile of trash.
I felt strangely numb. At least this time, there wouldn’t be anyone dying. I lived alone. The fire when I’d been fifteen had taken all my family with it, while I’d only taken the jasper as I’d busted out my bedroom window and fled.
“It’s happening again,” I whispered, aching for comfort from a man I couldn’t have. The stone was unresponsive in my pocket, neither heating nor cooling. True horror hit me when I feared that I had lost Aklink. The thought hadn’t occurred to me until that moment.
My hands shook too hard to continue driving. I pulled over and shoved the gearshift into park. My face was wet, tears slipping out before I even knew I was crying.
Something was wrong with me. Something had to be. I pulled the stone from my pocket.
“It’s burning, Aklink, and I think… I think you’re gone, too. I’ve lost you because I did something stupid, just like I lost my parents and sisters because I… “ My breath hitched on a sob as pain lanced me, as fresh as the night I’d lost my family. Voice cracking, I babbled out my past, even though I was certain I was just talking to a stone. “I was a coward that night. Maybe you know, maybe you don’t. I didn’t try to get back inside. My bedroom door handle was too hot for me to touch. If I’d used a blanket, screamed louder—I went out the window and crawled away. Couldn’t walk, broke my ankle. That’s no excuse. I didn’t try to get inside the front or back door, and they died—Dad, Mom, Savannah, Merry. Gone, because I didn’t try.”
The smoke seemed to grow darker, malevolent. I began to shudder so hard my teeth clacked, causing me to stutter when I spoke. “I lost you because I tried to force you out of the stone. If I hadn’t taken you to Jean…” That was the conclusion I’d reached. It was my fault that Aklink was gone. Whether he’d been taken away because we’d had sex or just because I’d used a psychic to bring him out, used some of her life force, the result was the same. My actions, my decision, had taken Aklink away from me.
Before I could say anything else, the memories broke free of the place I tried to keep them locked away. I couldn’t think about the night I’d lost my family objectively. In my memories, I didn’t hear anyone cry out as I escaped from the fire, but in my nightmares, I always heard them and saw them burning, trying to escape, reaching for me, accusing me of letting them die.
“Electrical wiring,” I muttered finally. “That’s what the investigator said, but it wasn’t the fire that killed them. It was me.”
The memories were too much. They took my voice, my present.
I had slept with the jasper stone under my pillow. It was such a pretty stone, and I didn’t want anyone to steal it from me. My sisters were one and two years older than me, and sometimes they ganged up on me to torment me as siblings did. They weren’t mean, weren’t horrible or anything. They were beautiful, vibrant, mischievous and yes, sometimes ornery, but they loved me, and I loved them.
It wasn’t like I didn’t aggravate them, too. My favorite was to annoy them had been to answer the phone when their boyfriends called and imitate Merry and Savannah. In the midst of puberty, I sounded just like them.
I wished I had them back, and Mom and Dad, too.
I woke up soaked in sweat, so much so that I at first thought I was sick.
Then I inhaled, and started coughing. Smoke was everywhere. I could hear the crackle and pop and even the roar of a fire. My sleep-dazed brain went from hazy to alert in that second.
I leapt from the bed, grabbing the stone from under my pillow. My room wasn’t as dark as it usually was. There was a glow coming from under my door. The heat grew more intense as I stumbled to toward my door. Inside, a voice screamed, “Fire!” but I couldn’t really believe it.
Nothing bad could happen to me, to my family. We were a few steps below middle class, but we’d always been happy, healthy. This had to be a nightmare.
But when I touched the door handle, it burned my hand, and not just a little. I screamed, bursting out in tears, surprise and terror beginning to clog my throat.
I could have found something to use to grip the handle. I do realize that I would have probably died, because the heat coming from the hallway meant the fire was right there. I couldn’t get to the bathroom to wet a towel or blanket, but I could have tried… something. Instead, I freaked out, and bolted for my window.
Our home was up on blocks since the ground was so unleveled where we lived. My bedroom was on the west end of the house. I tried to get the bedroom window open, but it was jammed, or it might have just been my nerves. I was shuddering harder than before. I put the stone in my shorts pocket and grabbed my nightstand.
The rest is kind of a blur. I was so panicked, so afraid of being consumed by that fire, too frightened of what that fire might have already taken away—
I have a dim memory of going out the window. I landed partially on the nightstand, that’s what the doctors told me later. Broke my leg, had cuts from the glass left in the window frame, a second-degree burn on my hand—

And no family. Doctors didn’t tell me that right away.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I know...

I'm behind. I'm trying to catch up. I'll have an installment up tomorrow, this ankle thing has me thrown out of whack all over. Also, winners of the ARe bucks will be announced Saturday evening. I hope everyone's doing well. Happy Thursday to you! ***huggz***

The Jasper Soul Ch. 22

Copyright 2016
Bailey Bradford

Chapter Twenty-Two

I wasn’t myself for days. How could I be? Something more than sex had occurred between me and Aklink. I felt like I was missing a part of me, and when I touched the stone, looked at it, begged and pleaded with it to release Aklink to me, I didn’t feel comforted anymore. Anger, disappointment, desperation, those were my primary emotions.
I wanted Aklink. There had to be a way out for him. A way that didn’t end up with his soul floating off to the afterlife. I’d considered that possibility.
Jean was no help. She said she wanted to be, but her to her knowledge, there was no way for Aklink to be freed to live a normal life. The gods had put him in the jasper, and the gods were the only ones capable of releasing him. Even then, Jean believed Aklink would be taken to the afterlife.
And to make it worse, she didn’t even know what gods had put him there. Those names were long gone from human memory, and even a true psychic (or whatever terms one used to describe people like Jean) couldn’t recall them. The language didn’t exist anymore.
But I had heard Aklink, understood him, even though he’d not spoken English.
Maybe that was the key. I tried to remember his actual words, which was odd because I could hear him speaking them; my brain processed them as my native tongue, but my ears had heard another language.
I wrote down what I could recall, and created voice memos, too. There were words I thought I knew the meaning of, and many I didn’t. The whole brain/ears/processing differences were messing with me. Perhaps there were other forces impeding my progress as well.
There were gods…That was a total brain-scramble right there. I wondered if they were still around, or if, like so many legends told, the deities faded away as people stopped believing in them.
So many questions, and not a single fucking answer.
I missed a day of work before I got my act together. I hadn’t slept much at all since Avery had attacked me the last time. Without a doubt, I was a total mess.
Odd that no one seemed to notice it.
That creepy-as-hell feeling of being watched was pervasive when I was outside, and sometimes when I was at work. Being in my home was torture. After the first sleepless night, I went to a hotel and fared no better.
Instead of the hot, sexual dreams I’d had, nightmares tormented me if I did doze off.
Fire—always fire. Screams that I never heard were so realistic in those nightmares. I woke choking on guilt and smoke, nostrils burning, lungs aching, and so sweaty, the sheets were left damp.
A week passed by, a week that both dragged on endlessly, and passed quickly.
I was a goddamned mess, and I came to realize that I was suffering from heartache.
Somehow, Aklink had taken my heart with him when he’d slipped back into that jasper stone.
There had to be a way to get him out!
“How can you fight the great evil if you can’t come out again?” I asked, rubbing the stone with my fingertips. “You’ve popped out of there before. Even if it’s just for a minute, a few seconds, can’t you do it again? Please?”
How many times had I begged in the past week?
It was depressing, but also the only bit of hope I had, the only bright spot keeping the darkness from taking over. The deep, heavy weight of depression had been my parasitic companion many times since childhood. It was trying to seep into me now.
The lack of sleep, stress, and almost constant fear of being attacked again would break me down if I didn’t get my shit together. There was also that desperate need to find a way for Aklink to be freed—and with me, if he wanted—along with the whole defeating evil thing.
Avery was a part of it, too. Jean had said he was a tool, not the evil incarnate. Regardless, he’d tried to kill me, or at least hurt me on more than one occasion. Chances were, he was still being used and I was still a target.
How can I fight something I know nothing about?
Aklink heard Matt, and it caused him great pain to be unable to respond. He’d been able to come out of the stone before. It’d been easier every time he’d done it, yet once he’d used Jean’s life force to make himself corporeal, he’d been unable to do more than lightly heat or cool the stone.
He couldn’t leave it. His gods and goddesses weren’t communicating with him. If he were honest, he hadn’t heard from them in a long time. What if they’d forgotten him? Would he spend eternity locked in stone?
And what about vengeance? Justice? Aklink pounded the inside of the jasper with all his might, to no avail.

Then he grew angry—not just with his mortal enemy, but with the gods and himself, with everything that kept him from Matt.