A Blazing Seal of Approval: An IDIA Short Story

Why, hello, everyone!!! It seems I’ve been neglecting this blog a teensy bit. The school semester has been crazy, but I’m trying to put together a few more posts for you guys before next semester. I’m also still working on the editing for Lightporter, and I’m hoping to have an update (with a release date!!!) for you guys soon! We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, I was looking over some of my older stories and I saw a short story I wrote as fluff a little while back that takes place right after Twinepathy, and I thought that would be a fun way to celebrate the new year with you guys! So I hope you enjoy, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

“It just makes absolutely no sense.”

I look over at Denver as I pour milk on my cereal, trying to decide if I should shake my head or laugh. The two of us are the only ones home. It’s Saturday, so the rest of our family is out shopping. We opted to sleep in, instead. “Denver, Brooklyn and I can speak to each other with our minds, and you don’t seem too weirded out by that. Why should teleportation make sense?”

Denver sighs, stirring his oatmeal. “I don’t know. It’s just weird. None of this makes any sense scientifically.”

I shrug. “It’s kinda weird, but I’m starting to get used to it.” I lean forward. “And I also told Blaze he could join us for breakfast, so be nice.” It’s been about three weeks since we officially joined IDIA, and while our family has met some of the IDIA members, Jen thought it might be a good idea for them to hang out some more. I think she just wants to keep an eye on our family, but that’s fine with me. As long as we don’t have to lie to them anymore, I’m happy.

Denver’s frown deepens. “Every time I’ve met him he seems sarcastic and rude. Why do you like hanging out with him so much?”

“You’ve spent five minutes with him!” I protest. “Give him a chance.”

He sets down his spoon. “His illusion stuff and teleportation don’t help. He could be spying on you when you least expect it.”

There’s a laugh nearby, one that I instantly recognize. “Like right now?” Blaze teases. He appears, grinning. “Hey, Jazz. ‘Sup, Colorado?”

Denver and I both look at him with blank expressions, and Blaze’s grin widens. “Your name’s Denver. That’s in Colorado…”

I groan. “Blaze, you are not helping his opinion of you.”

Denver takes a deep breath and turns back to his oatmeal, electing to ignore Blaze, I guess. Blaze sits down at the table. “Do you guys want donuts?” he asks. “Because I can go and grab some.”

“You mean steal some?” Denver asks, looking up at Blaze.

Blaze’s face reddens, and he glares at my brother. “I would never do that!”

“Sure, Blaze, I’d love some donuts!” I interrupt cheerfully, trying to break up the tension. “Maybe you could grab some more milk, too, if that’s okay? We’re almost out.”

“Definitely,” Blaze agrees tiredly. He disappears instantly, and I wave a hand through the spot to make sure he teleported and didn’t just turn invisible.

I immediately turn to Denver. “I thought I asked you to give him a chance! He’s trying super hard to impress you.”

“Does this really mean that much to you?” Denver asks with a sigh.

I nod. “Yes, it does. Could you just try to find some common ground, or at least not insult him by insinuating he’s a thief?”

“Fine.” Denver leans back in his seat. “I’ll ask him about his powers. Maybe he’ll like talking about himself.”

“Denver!” I protest.

He smiles. “I’m teasing. But just so you know, I do not give you permission to date him yet.”

“WHAT?!” I practically screech, but before I can protest further, Blaze reappears with donuts and milk in hand. I clamp my mouth shut and slump back in my chair, glaring at Denver. With Blaze here, I know I can’t protest about Denver’s statement because I’d never hear the end of it from Blaze. After all, we’re just friends, and Blaze said he doesn’t date… whatever that means.

Denver reaches over and picks up a donut out of the box. “So, Blaze, how exactly does your teleportation work?”

Blaze looks over at him, as if trying to decide if Denver’s trying to get valuable information on how to destroy him. “Well, it’s all based off of light,” he explains vaguely. “It’s kind of complicated, and I’m not sure I completely understand it, either.”

Denver straightens, actually looking interested now. “It’s based off of light? Really?”

“Yeah…” Blaze glances at me and back to Denver. “Why?”

“I did an in-depth study of light for a science project in high school.” Denver leans forward. “So if your powers are based off of light, I might be able to understand them.”

Blaze tilts his head to the side. “Maybe you can help me figure out exactly how my teleportation works, too. If you’re interested, that is…”

Denver smiles. “Definitely! You know, we might be able to use the physics lab at the college to run some tests, as long as you can make sure no one sees you teleporting or anything.”

Blaze brightens. “Sure! And I could bring in some other teleporters, too, if you want to compare the difference between our teleporting. Most teleporters’ powers work similarly, except for mine.”

“Don’t even ask Trav,” I add in. “She’s always so grumpy.” At least they’re getting along well. I should have known my nerdy brother would find something interesting to do with Blaze. I stand up, putting my empty cereal bowl in the sink. “I’m going to leave you two here to do your science stuff while I go… read or do something interesting.” I grin at the two of them as I leave.

A couple of hours later, I’m deep in a novel, laying on the couch in the living room, and Denver comes in, flopping down in an armchair. I ignore him, flipping a page in my book, but he clears his throat. I sigh and put my book down. “What?”

“You now officially have permission to date Blaze,” he says with a grin.

“Denver!” I protest. I consider throwing my book at him, but I opt for a pillow instead. “Come on! We’re just friends.”

He shrugs. “That’s what I always said about Ezra before we started dating.” I groan, but he grins at me, although his grin is a little sappy since he’s thinking about his girlfriend. “Anyway, Blaze and I are going to get some teleporters together next month to work on some tests and stuff to figure out exactly how his teleporting works. Do you wanna be my lab assistant?”

I give him a fake grumpy frown. “Not if you’re going to keep teasing me about Blaze.”

Denver leans forward. “But if you’re just friends, why should it bother you?”

I want to wipe that teasing grin off of his face. “Because…” I groan. “This is a losing battle, isn’t it? Fine, I’ll help you.”

He stands up. “Good. I’ll let you get back to your book.” He ruffles my hair when he walks past. “And you were right, by the way.”

I lift an eyebrow. “As usual. About what?”

“Once I gave Blaze a chance, it turned out he wasn’t so bad.” Denver smiles at me. “I may be your big brother, but you can still teach me a thing or two, I guess.”

I grin. “Well, that’s what I’m here for.”

I hope you enjoyed that fun little story! What did you think? Would you like to see this published as an ebook on Amazon? Comment below! I’d also love if you’d leave a review on Goodreads if you can!

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Tales From The Writer’s Desk: A Special Day

Hullo, everyone! Nothing like a book release to get me posting again, hmm? In case you missed it yesterday, Twinepathy is now available on Kindle! I realized it was about time I did another Tales From The Writer’s Desk, this time with the characters from Twinepathy. Because, let’s face it, why wouldn’t they hang out with Bri? Also, the sign-up for the Twinepathy blog tour will be posted tomorrow. So keep an eye out for that, and enjoy this post! I know I sure did!

I know immediately that something’s wrong when I walk into my office the day after my July 4th break. To start with, the mess of Post-it notes and index cards that usually covers the walls of my office is gone, replaced by rows and rows of horribly identical sticky notes. My usually cluttered desk is spotlessly organized, with all the pens in the penholder and all of the scattered papers gone. Instead of having my usual movie theme song music playing, my laptop is spouting classical orchestra music. The bookshelf behind the desk has been dusted, and the books are somehow organized by both color and height. I shudder at the thought of what my cluttered book room must look like now.

“What did you do?” I ask the woman sitting at my desk, my voice tight.

The woman spins around in the chair. Her brown hair is about shoulder length, and her eyes sparkle with both life and sadness. “I was waiting for you, and I honestly couldn’t stand the mess in here anymore.”

I cross my arms. “Jen, has anyone ever told you that it’s not polite to rearrange other people’s belongings?”

Jen–or Data, as she’s known with her code name–smiles at me. “Of course. But it’s also not polite to keep someone waiting.”

She has a point. So of course I shift subjects. “Why are you here?”

Jen leans forward. “Just wanted to check up on an old friend. There’s been a lot happening at IDIA lately. Some good, some… less good.”

I raise an eyebrow. “Really?”

She smirks. “Somewhat. Actually, I was just looking for our favorite troublemaker, and that brought me here.”

I groan. “What’s Blaze gotten up to this time?”

“I don’t know,” Jen admits. “I just wanted to check and see if he was here. And I wanted a chance to say hi to you and see how you’re doing. And to let you know that we’re taking over.”

“You’re taking over what?” I ask with a frown.

Jen grins. “The blog.”

I sigh. “Please no.”

“Just for one day,” she reassures me. “It’s just going to be an… interview. By commenters.”

I grin. “Well. That’ll end well.”

Jen nods. “Of course. I’ll be in charge. If you’ll excuse me, I’d better head back to headquarters.” She stands up and heads to the door.

“Bye,” I tell her, turning back to my ruined office. As the door closes behind her, I can’t help but grumble, “Handful.” Time to see what damage she did to my book room.

I open the door to the book room and stop in shock. In front of me lies the book room, looking perfectly normal… except the floor is covered in grass and there’s a huge tree growing out of the middle. The ceiling’s gone, and above I can see blue sky with fluffy cotton-ball clouds over it.

I sigh. “Blaze!!!”

The teleporter appears in front of me with a grin. He waves a hand slowly in front of my face. “I am not the agent you’re looking for.”

“Hardy-har-har,” I grumble. The illusion disappears, leaving my normal book room. “Thank you.”

“Any time,” Blaze says. “I’m just going to go mess with Benedict, ‘kay?” He jabs a finger towards the book room. “Just wait until that illusion disappears and you see what Data did to your precious books.” He grins and teleports away.

I sigh again. “This is the start of a wonderful day.”

Hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out Twinepathy and come back tomorrow to sign up for the book tour! The aforementioned takeover by the IDIA agents will occur on the day the print book releases, and the post for questions will open up on Friday, or before. Comment below with what you think should happen in a future Tale From The Writer’s Desk!

 

Be Careful What You Say In A College Coffee Shop

Hullo, everyone! Did you know that sometimes you have to write for school? Isn’t that nuts? I recently finished a 700+ word essay for my comp class about one of my least favorite subjects: *whispers* poetry. So much fun. But yesterday I got to write a short story for American Lit! Yay! I thought all of you would enjoy it, and it’s been a while since I posted a short story, so I present to you… Be Careful What You Say In A College Coffee Shop.

“I just don’t know what to do,” Steven said, rubbing his forehead. “She won’t eat anything except spicy chicken wings anymore.” The college coffee shop buzzed around the two of them, their lattes sitting untouched.

His friend Colin smothered his laughter and pasted on a solemn face as he leaned across the table. “That’s a problem all right. Have you tried everything? Steak? Ribs? Ground beef?”

Steven snorted. “If she develops a craving for steak or ribs, I’m in trouble. My wallet’s having trouble with chicken wings as it is.”

“Well, they’re normally picky, just not that picky,” Colin commented.

“I’m not sure what to do next. I think I might—” Steven stopped, looking over Colin’s shoulder at the person sitting next to them. “What are you doing?” he asked.

Colin turned around to look, and the girl turned from her computer screen. “W-what do you mean?” she stammered.

Steven pointed at her computer. “I saw it! You’re writing down our conversation!”

The girl shifted nervously and glanced at her laptop. Colin leaned over and read it. “‘If she develops a craving for steak or ribs, I’m in trouble.’ You are writing down what we’re saying!”

She shifted again. “Um, yeah. About that. What in the world were you talking about? I just tuned in.”

Steven gaped at her. “We were talking about my dog. Why were you writing that down?”

She laughed. “Your dog! And here I thought it might be your girlfriend.”

Colin leaned towards Steven, eyeing the girl. “I think she might be crazy,” he whispered.

The girl’s cheeks turned pink, indicating she had heard. “I-I’m sorry. I’ll stop.” She stood up quickly and began to pack her things.

“No, wait.” Steven stood up. “I want to know why you were writing down our private conversation.” He focused on making himself look as imposing as possible.

The girl visibly cringed. “Um. Well, I’m a writer. And your conversation sounded like something interesting to make a story out of.”

Steven gaped. “What?”

“That’s a story I’d like to read,” Colin said under his breath.

The girl sidled to the side, hugging her laptop to her chest. “Um, can I go now?”

Steven stepped back. “Um, if you want. I’m, uh, I’m sorry if I intimidated you.”

She scampered off as quick as she could, and Steven sat back down at the table. Colin smirked. “I guess the lesson for this ‘Embarrassing Episode In The Life of Steven’ is ‘Be careful what you say in public, because you never know who could be listening and your words might end up in a book someday.’”

Steven glared at him. “You need to work on that.”

Colin grinned. “I know.”

Book Review: Our Intrepid Heroine by Ness Kingsley

I believe this is the first fantasy book I’ve read since Ashlee Willis’s The Word Changers… which, yes, I will be reviewing soon. I need to reread it first, though, since it’s been so long, and I might as well review this book while it’s fresh in my memory. 🙂

ourintrepidheroinecover

 This book was awesome. The prologue was wonderful… I’m not the type who skips over prologues, and I certainly would not skip over this one. I really liked Ness’s writing style.

When I began to read the first chapter, I was a little annoyed because the narrator kept interrupting the story, which made it take a while for the story to get started. But I really got to like the narrator and didn’t mind so much. She – I assume it’s a she – added some awesome irony and just helped add some extra zing to the story. Zing. What a fun word. Just like the story. 😀

Back on track. Our Intrepid Heroine (which is how I must refer to her) was a really good character. All of the characters were nice. “The Female” was appropriately annoying, I must say. 😉 But somehow I still liked her a little.

This plot… *sigh* Just the idea behind it was enough to pull me in. A girl going to kill a dragon… which she’s never done before. I could tell the story was going to be funny just by reading the summary. “And a frog” is now going to be my go-to funny line when listing things off. 😉 I was definitely not disappointed. Ness Kingsley has a wonderful sense of humor. The situations, the characters, the narrator, and Our Intrepid Heroine’s dragon-killing instruction book… all just wonderfully crafted. (And I’ve found myself referring to her book as the How To Kill Your Dragon book since I can’t remember the title. 😛 )

I can’t wait for the sequel to this book to come out! Go check out Ness’s blog, and go get Our Intrepid Heroine! You’ll love it, and it’s totally worth it! 🙂

Book Review: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Westing-Game-Cover

This book was amazing.

If you like mysteries, Sherlock Holmes, and (I quote from the dedication) “puzzle-mysteries”, then you should read this book. It was first published in 1978, so it’s kind of old. And it’s wonderful. It makes me think of a huge game of Clue, except… different. Very different. And funnier.

I was taking notes during the story, trying to figure it out before the characters did, but, although I did on a little of it, I didn’t get all of it. There were so many amazing “Aha!” moments while I was reading. The characters are wonderful, and I really liked how we got to step into the minds of so many different characters. There weren’t so many characters that you got lost, but there were enough to keep things interesting.

And the funniness. Yes. There were so many things that were simply implied that just made you laugh. Here’s one of my favorite funny moments and quotes *NOT A SPOILER*:

“…the same male nurse who chased Otis Amer out of the hospital for sneaking up on a nurse’s aide carrying a speciment tray and shouting, ‘Boom!'”

Ah, yes. Just think about that for a while. You’ll get it.

All in all, I definitely recommend this book to everyone. It’s a great mystery, whether you like murder or not, and it’s really, really intriguing. I had a lot of trouble putting it down, and it took me less than a day to read. 😉 So read it, it’s awesome. If I could write mysteries like that… *sigh*

Read it!