Monday, December 18, 2017


Dawn inserted the last invitation into the envelope and sighed. “Just weeks away, can you believe it? Charles will have a full month of leave before his next deployment. Our wedding and honeymoon will be heavenly.”

            “I’m sure it will be dear. You’ve been very patient, both of you. Your father, and I are very proud of you.”

            “It’s been difficult, but we’ve both wanted to fulfill our obligations. Working at the Pentagon has been a great honor, and Charles has spent three years in Afghanistan. Now he’ll join me in Washington, and we’ll complete our military careers together.”

            “I’m amazed that you’ve both stuck to your goals so stringently, but it’s why we’re so proud of you.”

            Thanks, Mom. This wedding proves that.”

            “Your dad thought it was the least we could do. You’ll need your money to furnish that new house.”

            “Has Charles told you where you’ll be going on your honeymoon?”

            “No, he’s got it all arranged though. Charles said I won’t know until we land. A private jet and all first class. The one thing I’m sure of is that I’ll need a bikini.”


The minister started the ceremony with Isaiah 32:

“Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a covert from the tempest, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness, and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. Please be seated.”

“The bride and groom have written their own vows. Dawn, please share with us your words for Charles.”

Nervously Dawn cleared her throat, smiled at Charles, and their eyes locked. “Charles, you are my life, my love, my hero. I promise to cherish, honor and always be ready for a new adventure.  I pledge to hold your hand through life, to never interrupt your football games, and to always seek your guidance for the important decisions. I am blessed with your love, your friendship, and vow my devotion, forever and always.”

She smiled through her tears when she saw his eyes fill with moisture and delicately wiped the escaping drops as they rolled down his cheek.

“Now it’s your turn, Charles,” The minister said.

“You are the most blessed thing that has ever happened to me. I cherish you, your honesty, your strength and especially your smile. I promise that laughter will always outweigh the tears. I vow a shared future, of fulfilled dreams, diminishing obstacles, and a balanced life of love, family, and personal satisfaction. You are my hero, and I will love you until the end of time.”

They exchanged rings, and the priest pronounced them husband and wife. At the reception, their first dance as man and wife held so much meaning as it was their first real moment together since his arrival was last minute and just hours before the start of the wedding. Dawn finally relaxed in his arms, and they clung together in silence. Swaying to the music, appreciating each other, and looking forward to their future together.


Spending Christmas and their honeymoon on the beach in Hawaii was everything Dawn had ever dreamed of, and as they soaked up the sun, she noticed their glasses were empty. Rock, Paper, Scissors decided who would refresh their drinks. Charles won again, but after declaring himself the winner, he kissed his wife and told her. “Relax, Mrs. Collins. It will always be my pleasure to serve you.”

Charles had only been gone minutes when the air raid sirens went off. Thinking it was just another drill Dawn remained in her seat but searched the sky. Hearing shouts of "it's not a drill! I can see it. Look!" She jumped to her feet and sprinted toward the bar and her husband. 
During those same moments, Charles dropped the drinks he'd just purchased. He witnessed the missile hurtling toward them and raced back to Dawn. They met in an embrace just seconds before their world ended.



750 words
Yolanda Renée © 2017

My apologies to those looking for a happy ending, I honestly meant for my story to be light and uplifting when I first started. I began writing it while at the dealership waiting for the oil change on my car. The television station on in the waiting room was set to CNN, and a story about Hawaii reinstating regular Nuclear Attack Warning Siren tests caught my eye and sadly changed my story.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017



As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Everything. But life doesn’t give us that option so dealing with what will be is the current goal.

Wishing for you and yours a 2018 that is the most prosperous, most love filled year ever!

The awesome co-hosts are

Be sure to stop by and wish them well!




Wednesday, November 1, 2017


 Question: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

Yes, and no. I’ve finished several times and almost finished others but the works have all gone on to be published in one way or another. I’ve always considered the work successful, but I’ve yet to go direct from NaNo to publication. My first, second, and usually even the third drafts are extremely ROUGH. 😊

The awesome co-hosts are Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton, MJ Fifield, and Rebecca Douglass! Be sure to stop by and wish them well!






Monday, October 16, 2017



“I knew it! Halloween night is when they fly. The man-eating gargoyles that prey on unsuspecting girls.” My ten-year-old brother Tommy said in earnest.

I laughed. “Don’t be stupid, gargoyles don’t exist.”

“Yes, they do!” He insisted.

I shrugged my shoulders.

“Witch. I’m telling mom you called me stupid!  They do exist, and this proves it. He threw the paper at me and stormed off.

“Tattletale!” Younger brothers can be so silly. I picked up the supermarket tabloid that he’d left behind and read.

“Footprints in the snow are all that remain of thirteen-year-old Martha Belkin. On Halloween night her parents claim they heard her scream and swear they saw a large bird carry off their one-hundred-pound daughter. Police are investigating…”

I stopped reading. Chilled as though a winter breeze were blowing. I stared at the photograph. Footprints in the snow ended several feet from the barn. I could only imagine Martha’s terror. Was there a flying creature capable of carrying off children? I stared at the deepening darkness above the trees outside. I was sixteen when my brother warned me to beware of the monsters, that haunt the night sky....”

“I’m sorry, Jenna,” my boyfriend Rafe interrupted. Although a great story. My question had to do with how you decided to find a cure for hemophilia.”

“I was getting there.” I playfully punched Rafe, on the shoulder. It’s Halloween, and that is where it all began.” I studied the faces of our dinner guests.

“Please go on, Jenna. I’m curious as hell now. How did a story in the National Enquirer influence your goals?” Greg, my chief lab technician, said.

“Yes, please tell us. I’ve got goosebumps. Did they find little Martha?” Jane, my assistant, asked.

“No. Never. Nor have they found the other children that disappeared under similar circumstances.”

Whispers of shock circled the table. “You actually investigated?” Greg asked. I could hear the doubt in his voice.

“I researched every story, as well as the mystery and mythology of the gargoyle. I found an old text that claimed the gargoyle kidnapped and farmed adolescent children for their blood. And an inordinately high number of these abductions were of children afflicted with hemophilia. The ancient theory is that gargoyles needed the hemophiliac’s blood for infusions to keep their blood from crystalizing and turning them into stone.”

“Awesome. I love it. So due to your childhood phobia and this ancient mythology you wanted to cure hemophilia to save children from being carried off by gargoyles.”

“Odd isn’t it, almost laughable but I’m proud to say, we’re getting close to a real breakthrough.”


Powerful winds blew us down the mountain. “Thank you for driving me into the city. I’m sorry, but Jane said they’d found the solution. I have to be there for the final test. If she’s right, we’ve cured hemophilia.”

“With this storm, I couldn’t let you go alone,” Rafe insisted. Besides, I’m funding this research, and if you’ve found the cure, I’ve got work to do too. Just imagine the future, the most extravagant wedding and honeymoon in the world.”

“Mr. Romantic,” I said and cuddled close. Thrilled with his trust, admiration, and love, I watched my fiancé skillfully maneuver through the blizzard to my lab.

When we arrived, I jumped out, excited to see the achievement of a lifetime to fruition, but an eerie silence greeted me. Something was wrong. I’d barely closed the truck door when I saw blood in the snow and then Greg’s dismembered body. His torso lay across the picture window sill, stuck on a large shard of glass, but his head and legs lay on the ground below him. Inside the lab, an orgy of blood and body parts adorned the clinical white of the once sterile environment. The only thing I recognized of Jane was her long blond hair. Now streaked with blood her scalp hung from the overhead light. I heard Raphe screaming my name, right before his head sailed past spraying me with blood. His body dropped at my feet as the sound of growling, and the rustle of wings grew intense.

Before I could articulate a scream, bloody talons grasped me by the shoulders. I was lifted from the ground, into the snowfall, above the clouds, and into darkness.


The castle they’re holding me in sits high in the Andes’ but has a state of the art laboratory. Still, I’ve not made much progress. Without my team, I’m struggling to find the right formula. The gargoyles want me to keep their blood from crystallizing. I might have cured hemophilia, but the world isn’t aware because these monsters destroyed the records.

The worst part is that they continue to abduct adolescent children and farm them for their blood.

I’m hoping to kill the entire brood, but the gargoyles working beside me watch too closely. My only chance is to cure the children they’ve captured. My clotting agent should turn these child killers to stone, permanently …

~~ The End ~~

Yolanda Renee © 2017
832 words

H A P P Y  H A L L O W E E N !


Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

Sarah, one of the main characters in my murder trilogy, hates telephones. I hate phones. It took me years to get a cell phone, but I am now free from the landline.

Although I have the least technical of the models. I’ll upgrade one day soon, maybe. 

Yes, this is the phone on my wall. It's now art!

My experiences, the characteristics of family, friends, and strangers all make up the characters of my stories. A little fact, a lot of fiction, and loads of research make the story!


It's that time of the year.
Dark Places
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Saturday, September 16, 2017


Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.

              Walt Whitman

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

              Rabindranath Tagore

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.

              Maya Angelou

I hope your life is filled with sunshine!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?

Yes, when I wrote Ever-Ton, now in the anthology Parallels:Felix Was Here, my entry for the IWSG speculative fiction challenge in 2015. I’ve always loved science fiction; my brother was an avid reader and I’d sneak his paperbacks when he wasn’t looking. He didn’t like to share.

I love a challenge, did the research and was surprised by the story that formed. My muse was working diligently then?
Now, today, not so much! I’m in a bit of a slump, due to outside influences. You know that thing they call life, but I do see the light at the end of this long, long tunnel.

Does your muse cooperate?


Monday, August 14, 2017


The WEP is all about the prompt

and this month it was


Did you take the challenge?

Just add your name to the list.

But if you're here just for the stories,

DL after the name means 'direct link' to the story.



Mathew taught me how to catch a football, and was Romeo to my Juliette in the school play, my first kiss, and my first love. Mathew became my friend in grade school and my lover in high school. When an opportunity to go to England for college arrived, he insisted I take it. For the first year, we tried maintaining a long-distance relationship but failed.

He met someone else, and I had to let him go. It was only fair. I’d left him. When I came home to bury my parents, I found that he’d not returned after college. No one knew where he was. And then the reunion committee sent out the invitations to our ten-year class reunion. I had to go. He might be there.

He was.

He caught my eye, and it was as though all those years between hadn’t occurred. His smile told me all was forgiven. Still the most handsome man in the room, all muscle, with deep blue eyes, and dark curly locks. He was just as I imagined, unassuming, funny, and sweet. I couldn’t believe I’d ever let him go. I hoped this time it would end differently.

“You never married?” I held his hand in mine. “Me neither.”

“How could I, you were living in another country.” Mathew grinned, and my heart melted.

“You do realize that air travel has been possible since the last century?”

He laughed. “I’m a pilot. I’d better be aware of that fact.”

I was impressed. I knew he graduated with an engineering degree, but I didn’t know he’d learned to fly a plane. “That’s wonderful, congratulations!”

“I’d love to show you the night sky. Would you fly with me?”

“I’d love to. When?”

“Now. I only came to this shindig to see you.” He squeezed my hand. “Ready to blow this popsicle stand for some adventure?”

“More than ready.” Those were the last words we’d said to each other the day he saw me off at the airport for my flight to England. Time stopped. The room disappeared. The music and noise faded as he pulled me into his arms and kissed me. Long and deep until I was breathless. Just like our last kiss, but this time, we left together.

His Piper Cub climbed into a purple sky with stars lighting the night like millions of shimmering LED lights. It was beautiful and romantic, a view that brought tears to my eyes. We floated through the air. Silent, and comfortable, exchanging sly glances. Emotions were high, the night was filled with possibility, promising passion, and love.

Mathew landed on a patch of land just south a small chalet in the Rocky Mountains.

“I’ve dreamed of bringing you here for years. You don’t mind, do you?”

“No, but, where are we?”

“My home away from home. A place where we can have our own private reunion.”

“I’d like that,” I said as we walked hand in hand to his cabin. I was anxious but thrilled. This reunion couldn’t have been sweeter.

The cabin was an A-frame, with a view of the valley below. I assumed a forest surrounded the lake that reflected the stars above, and I imagined the mountains ahead and above us. It was lovely, I couldn’t wait to see it in the morning sunshine.

We went straight to his bed and made love in front of a fire. That night the reunion was physical, sensual, and more satisfying than anything I could’ve imagined.

“Can you stay?” he asked as I lay wrapped in his arms.

“I wish I could. I have an interview Monday morning. The job of a lifetime in Paris. Can you come with me? Is there anything holding you here?”

He pulled me close. “I’ll think on it. Now sleep, morning will be here soon.”

 After several hours, I awoke to a stranger. Mathew had secured me to the bed with handcuffs, blindfolded me, and proceeded to beat me viciously with a leather strap. I cried, screamed, whimpered, and begged him to stop.

He did, but not until my body was a mass of bleeding welts.

“Why? Please tell me why?”

“You made your choice ten years ago. Now I’ve made mine.”

“I don’t understand?”

“Neither did I.” Was all he said.

He left me alone, still handcuffed to the bed posts. Unable to move, I slept, cried, and screamed for release. I don’t know if he was there. Was I alone or was he watching?

That night, he returned. He threw me into the shower then he attacked again. He raped and stabbed me repeatedly. I prayed for death. But the God’s would not release me from hell. I passed out but awoke just as he threw me into a new hell hole. A cellar where women that looked like me had died. I counted ten in my search for safety as a storm broke overhead.

The smell of death was beyond reason, but decaying bodies, loss of blood, and a flooding grave meant the end will come soon. The winds howled, and the rain came down in sheets. Soon it was pouring into the chamber. I knew the grim reaper had lost patience. My blood mixed with the rising water and I wondered how long I could hold my breath.  I laughed instead and watched the water rise. The other bodies began to float in a macabre synchronized fashion as I realized that the man I’ve loved since the age of seven was a serial killer.

I’d created a monster?


The memory of that night will never leave me. Especially when Mathew came back for me. He lovingly stitched up my wounds and nursed me back to health.  Now, when he takes a new victim, I clean up the mess.

Mathew still doesn’t believe that I’d never leave him again. But each year he adds length to the chain around my ankle. Someday, I’ll earn his trust.


Yolanda Renee © 2017

Monday, August 7, 2017


An awesome blogging friend, C. Lee McKenzie, author of some truly fabulous YA novels, and a blog called THE WRITE GAME has chosen me as Featured Author for the month of August. I am beyond honored, and truly thrilled for this great marketing opportunity.



And she's sharing MY BOOKS!

It takes a true artist to pursue his victims in the art of seduction, and Stowy Jenkins is no exception, especially with blood as his medium.


Reality Check
 The axe struck again and again. The surrounding snow-covered mountains echoed each chop. Muscles rippled, and sweat glistened on a bare chest, but with each strike, the tension eased from Steven’s body. Jena’s rejection and Reed’s continued dismissal from key crime scenes had him searching for answers, and the mountains of the Brooks Range was the place he always found them. His Uncle Sky Quinn’s cabin had always been a sanctuary. After his Uncle Atian was murdered, Quinn, an Inuit tracker, became Steven’s honorary uncle and took over as his mentor and trainer. But Quinn was much more than that to Steven, and while calling him uncle was a sign of respect, he knew Quinn thought of him as a son.
“I had several days’ work out here,” Quinn said when he handed Steven a bottle of water. “Appreciate your efforts. You remind me of Atian. He used to do the same thing when troubled.”
Steven grinned, drank half the bottle of water, and poured the rest over his head. “It’s just what I needed.”
“The water or the work?”
“Both.” Steven began stacking the wood.
Quinn picked up a couple pieces of wood and added them to the stack. They worked together in silence until Quinn asked, “What’s going on?”
Steven put the last of the wood on the pile. “There’s a monster killing young women in Anchorage.”
“Why do you think he’s doing it?”
“Because he can. Because he gets off on it. Because the bastard has the means.”
“So, he walks among ordinary folk, his evil cleverly hidden.”
“Exactly. How do I unmask the beast?”
“Make him come to you.”
“If I were his type that would make it easy,” Steven frowned. “But I think this monster means to make the state bleed.
“Such creatures are cunning. You need to make yourself known to the beast. Get in his way. But, remember, if you bait a grizzly, be prepared for a ferocious fight.”


A killer plays cat and mouse with a young widow against the snowy backdrop of an Alaskan winter. 

World damnation is a psychotic man’s goal, but two obstacles stand in his way, greed and a dedicated detective.


Flames burn between a hardboiled cop and a gifted artist, but soon extinguish as another man’s obsession ignites into an inferno of desire, driving him to destroy the object of his madness.