Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Evacuation Inspiration

As a writer, I write. Sometimes when I’m stressed, highly emotional, or simply happy and in a good place. When we evacuated during Hurricane Florence, we had no idea how things would turn out. The officials didn’t even know precisely when or where this monster would hit.
It’s been a week, and we finally got to come home.We were lucky, we evacuated, and Myrtle Beach, SC did not get a direct hit. Although floodwaters have devastated most of the northeastern part of the state, North Carolina took the brunt any many may not have a home to come back to. Our hearts and prayers are with them.

This is how I handled the situation. I wrote. 

This is a work of fiction. Any names or characters, businesses or places, events or incidents, are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


“I’ve got it! For our anniversary, let’s go watch the hurricane’s arrival in Myrtle Beach.” Eve said as she and her husband looked through brochures for their upcoming vacation.

“I know you love an adventure, but they say it’s going to be a monster,” Brian answered.

“I know, but we’re young and strong, and we may never get another chance. Think of the excitement! Besides, Myrtle Beach isn’t even where the eye is predicted to make landfall.” She hugged her husband and kissed his cheek. “Please?”

He lifted her onto his lap. “Convince me.”

“Like this?” She nibbled his earlobe and undid the buttons on his shirt.

“Uh huh.” He moaned as her fingers and lips explored. His temperature rose, and his breathing became shallow. “Hmmm, Myrtle Beach it is.”


“Myrtle Beach looks like a ghost town. I wasn’t sure the hotel would let me book a room, but I think my cousin’s CNN credentials convinced them.”

I have a sneaky wife, a very sneaky wife.”

“So true.” She kissed his cheek. “Just imagine! We’ll be recording it live for our Facebook friends. Hurricane Lovers, a live report. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even go viral.”

“Maybe we’ll even record our own deaths,” Brian lamented.

“Are you frightened?”

Brian smiled. “Sorry, babe. Just got a weird chill. The proverbial someone walked on my grave feeling. I’ll shake it off.”

“Of course, you will. Maybe it’s the absence of people. Too eerie.”

Brian pulled into the parking garage and climbed slowly to the 4th level. “The car should be safe. I doubt the waters will get all the way up here.”

They checked into their room but were disappointed to find it was on the inland side of the hotel. They’d not have a direct view of the ocean, because the hotel staff thought it’d be too dangerous.

They unloaded the luggage, water, food and emergency supplies, and then decided to take a walk on the beach.

“Doesn’t look dangerous, does it?” Eve said as she admired the fluffy white clouds and bright sunshine. “We have the entire beach to ourselves. Hard to believe a hurricane is just miles north of us” She hugged Brian. “Romantic, don’t you think?”

“Anywhere is romantic when I’m with you.” He kissed his wife deeply. Pressed her body into his and suggested they go back to the room for a quick one.

“Let’s stay a little while longer. Tomorrow, this will all change.”

“Sure baby, sure.” Brian kept his arm around her as they stared at the incoming waves, but when they saw a cop coming up the beach, they high-tailed it back to the hotel. “That was close. Don’t want to get arrested before the Hurricane arrives.” They laughed as they made their way back to their room.

The next evening, the winds grew fierce, and they went out on the patio to check the weather conditions. “It’s almost here.”

“Time to check out the wave action. Let’s get dressed and sneak down to the dunes!”

They helped each other into their cold-weather surfing gear. “I wish I brought my surfboard,” Brian said. “There should be some killer waves.”

“We agreed it was too dangerous, but I’ve got two bottles of Dom Perignon, one for the beach and one for later!” Eve said proudly.

Brian donned the backpack, and Eve made sure to pack the bottle of Rohypnol-laced champagne.

“Also for later, I brought your favorite chocolate-covered strawberries,” Brian said, kissing his wife. “This is going to be the best anniversary celebration ever! Ten years of wedded bliss… can you believe it?” Brian boasted. “Ready?”

“Ready!” They left the room and made their way stealthily downstairs and out of the hotel. Then, under cover of darkness, they ran toward the beach. Despite the wind gusts, despite the stinging rain and blowing sand, they made their way to the largest dune. Ocean waves several feet tall pounded the shore. The sound was deafening, but their excitement was palpable.

Brian secured the backpack and pulled out the bottle of champagne. After they made their way as close to the waves as they dared, Eve turned on the video recorder, and Brian popped the cork. With monster waves breaking behind him, he took several large swigs from the bottle and handed the bottle to Eve. He recorded her lifting the bottle to her lips, pretending to drink.

Once again Eve took the camera, and she made Brian the star. The more he drank, the sillier he got, and while she laughed at him, Eve recorded it all for their Internet followers. The deafening roar of the waves, wind and pelting rain made communication impossible, so they didn’t even attempt to speak.

With a big grin on his face and the bottle raised high in his air, Brian suddenly ran into the surf. She yelled at him to come back, but he kept going. Then before her eyes… and the eyes of the Facebook onlookers… a massive wave knocked Brian off his feet, and he disappeared. Eve screamed and fell to her knees.

Still aware of the live video feed, she ran back to the hotel screaming for help. Police, first responders, and total strangers searched the beach, but Brian’s body could not be found.

Hotel staff tried to console her, but Eve played the inconsolable wife well. Eventually, she escaped their concern and went back to her room.

She dropped her wetsuit on the bathroom floor and grabbed a towel to dry her dripping hair. LED hurricane lamps lit the room as she detangled her hair and popped the cork on the remaining champagne bottle. Wrapped in a towel, she settled on the bed with the chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne.

“Talk about perfection.” She checked her watch. Where the hell are you, Garrett? I’m naked and beyond ready. She popped a strawberry into her mouth and bit into the delicacy. Instead of the decadent pleasure she anticipated, her eyes rolled back in shock, as the cyanide Brian had injected into the berries ravaged her body.

Her last thought: the bastard knew. All that time, he knew.

Several hours later, Garrett, Brian’s best friend, and Eve’s lover, arrived. When she didn’t answer his knock, he persuaded a maid to unlock the door.


The next day's headlines carried the tragic story of the murder/suicide that occurred while Hurricane Florence unleashed its fury on the Carolinas.


Yolanda Renée © 2018

If you wish to help the victims of Hurricane Florence please consider donating to the.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Hurricane Florence

This morning.


Taking a Hurricane Break

and leaving town.

Stay safe and dry! 


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

IWSG - Publishing

Founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh

I am late, rushed and dealing with little to no Wi-Fi. My apologies.
I’ll do my best with this post and comment and then I’m on a break until October.
When I’ll be hosting the WEP’s Halloween Challenge. Can you believe it, HALLOWEEN!?
You’ll not want to miss this one!

Oh, and check out the last challenge and the amazing winning entries HERE!

Your stories surpassed!

Now down to IWSG business:
Question - What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

I’ve done them all, first self-publishing, when it wasn’t COOL! Not a fun time. Then traditional publishing. Not a fun time either. Buyer beware again!
So now I self-publish through Amazon. They PAY monthly, give accurate statistics and make the process EASY. There are some drawbacks to distribution, but even those are surmountable.
Good luck with what you choose! For me, it’s having the control that makes the difference. Now if I could only get better control (understanding) of the Marketing angle. I’d have it made. 😊

The awesome co-hosts are Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler! Don’t forget to visit!

Monday, August 13, 2018



it’s sudden

earth shattering



when love dies

it’s unrepairable

ashes scattered on hurricane winds

never to be whole again

when love dies

light is diminished

color dull

and music, one melancholy note

when love dies

the soul is scarred

life becomes questionable

the future non-existent

when love dies

the heart weakens

trust shatters

but hope eventually fills the void.


Yolanda Renee © 2018


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

IWSG - Pitfalls

Question - What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

Keep track of where you spend your advertising dollars. It’s easy to send money via PayPal on bogus websites promising the moon. Ask questions and get recommendations from other authors who’ve had positive experiences.

One of the best places to ask for advice is on the IWSG Facebook page.

The awesome co-hosts are Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery!

WEP – Write…Edit…Publish
For partnering with the IWSG
Starting in 2019!

Hat’s off to Denise and the rest of the team for making such a great move!
Read more about that HERE!
In the meantime,
have you signed on for the newest challenge?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018



          “I don’t remember! I have no clue. None. Honest!” I shouted. The two men sitting across the table from me just shook their heads. One threw his hands in the air, disgust wafting off him like BO.

          Tears, fear, and rage overwhelmed me. I lowered my head to the table in a feeble attempt to disappear. The kinder of the two pushed a glass of water and a box of tissues towards me. I reached for the Kleenex, desperate to stem the flow of streaming snot before it hit the table.

            I wanted to know what happened, too. All I knew for sure is they found me with a dagger in my hand and my husband’s bloody body sprawled at my feet. Did I kill him? How? Why? What could have pushed me to murder?

Gale and I had been married for twenty years. He was a good father, an excellent breadwinner, sometimes even a great lover. We’d had our ups and downs, but never to the point of …. Sure, I’d been unhappy.  It happens. You get lazy, want something more. Maybe even think that the grass is greener on the other side. Every now and then you get a hankering for adventure, but that’s all. Just fantasy, not something you’d go to drastic measures to make happen. There’s never a reason to kill!

I straightened up, cleaned the hysteria from my face, and blew my nose. “I want an attorney and a doctor,” I squeaked.

          “Fine. That’s your right, but at least tell us what you do remember.”

          I eyed the men individually. They were as desperate as I was to know the truth. I could see it in their eyes. I shrugged. I rubbed my head in a vain attempt to clear the cobwebs. “I remember working all day on the remodel of the kitchen, sanding, painting, and repainting. Then I showered, had a sandwich and tried to read, but I was drained. One of those exhaustions that tend to keep you awake despite how tired you are, so I took an Ambien. Gale had called earlier to let me know he was working late, so I texted him an I love you and wake me when you get home wink before I turned out the light. That’s it. I went to sleep, and woke up, literally, when you found me over his ….” My voice and mind stopped.

          “Body! We found you holding a bloody knife over his dead body!” The detective shouted as he stood. “And now you’re claiming that you were sleepwalking! Shit, lady, nobody sleepwalks with a dagger in their hands.”

          “I told you what I remember.”

            A fresh round of tears and I was done. They’d get nothing more from me. Assholes! I’d seen that show Snapped. It was time to shut up and make them unravel this tale.

477 words
Yolanda Renée © 2018

I wasn't sure I'd be able to participate this month. Health not withstanding, my computer fried when the fan stopped working. so now I have a cooling pad to take care of such a threat. A threat I didn't even know existed before this happened. I am feeling much better and look forward to reading all the entries!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

IWSG - Stressors

Founded by

Question - What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

The first book had six different titles until I decided. That stress began to taper off with each book. Now it’s become much more straightforward.

For secondary character names, I generally use family, but for the main characters, I stress. I want the name to fit the characteristics and to paint an instant picture of the person. So yes, after 5 novels it’s still a stressor

Thanks for visiting, what stresses you when writing?

The awesome co-hosts are Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, Tonja Drecker, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor! Be sure to stop by and say hello.


The WEP sign-up sheet is up.

What tale will you share the June Challenge