Tuesday, April 18, 2023

WEP - Life is Beautiful

 Today you'll find me at Operation Awesome's A to Z. It's all about Quaid.


"Welcome home," Major Wilson said as he helped Steven from the plane. "I'll bet Anchorage never looked so good."

"You have that right. Thank you for the ride, Major."

"My pleasure. If the Russians weren't breathing down our necks. I'd join your search. In fact, I know an entire company of men who would, but it was an honor to get you home, Detective Quaid."

"Appreciate that, Major, but thanks go to you for your service. You and your man have your hands full. I've got the entire Tlingit nation on board. We'll find my wife in no time."

"Yes, sir," Major Wilson said as Steven walked away.

Steven picked up his suitcase, unloaded by the ground crew, and crossed the tarmac to the hanger.

Just moments after landing at Elmendorf Airforce base in Anchorage via an SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest Air Force jet in the US, Brent greeted him on the tarmac and walked him to the hangar office. "I have another jet waiting to take you to Kodiak. From there, a helicopter will take us to the headquarters in Yakutat. But first, I thought you'd like to see your son."

Steven had already spotted the little guy. Tiama had his nose pressed against the glass door as he waved frantically from the jet's hanger.

"Thanks," Steven said as he hurried forward. Once inside, he dropped his bag and gathered his son in his arms. Steven pressed the little boy close. Kissing, hugging, and treasuring the little boy as Tiama giggled and said. Daddy, daddy, daddy, over and over again. Steven hadn't allowed emotion to control his actions. But, momentarily, the reality of the task before him became overwhelming. To avoid any added emotional torture, Steven took Tiama outside.

"I came home to you on that plane called Blackbird. You and Mommy mean everything to me. So I give you my promise, you'll see her soon," he told his son.

"Mummie," Tiama said.

"Yes, son. Mommy," Steven answered, tears filling his eyes as the pain in his chest became almost suffocating. Then looking to the aurora borealis, he held his son close, further suppressing all sentimentality with a prayer to the Great Spirit.

Helen, Brent, and Emma watched the reunion in tears. Emma fought a waterfall of them, waiting for her turn.

Steven returned to the hangar office and immediately went to her side. He put Tiama in one arm and pulled her close with the other. "I've got this, Emma. Sarah's coming home. I promise. I know those mountains. I'll find her."

Emma's tears couldn't be stopped. "I know you will. Brent and Helen have been busy getting things ready for your arrival."

Steven acknowledged Helen with a thank you as he pulled Emma close. Then, with her head on his chest, he said another silent prayer. Tiama wrapped his arms around his neck, and Steven absorbed strength from their love.

But time was passing, and Steven had to say goodbye and begin the search for his wife. "Don't worry, Emma, I'll bring them both home. And you know Sarah, she's a survivor. She knows the wilderness, and we bought that plane with every safeguard. Even though it's on the ground, it's filled with survival gear, first aid, and everything she needs. I won't be surprised if I get there and she's baking cookies. And you know Chet, if he had to bring the plane down, he did it with the precision of a surgeon."

Emma laughed as she wiped her eyes. "You're right. I know you are. Now, kiss your son goodbye and go get her!"

Steven twirled Tiama in the air before giving him a final hug and kiss. "My big little man," he said proudly. Eighteen months old, Tiama was growing up fast. But now, they had another on the way. His family was growing, but the danger he tried to protect them from could not be stopped.


Yolanda Renée © 2023

651 words

TAGLINE: Life is beautiful, family is everything.

This is an excerpt from the 7th book of my Alaskan Series, Murder on Mount Fairweather coming out December 2023. 

Detective Steven Quaid was working a case in New York when the plane his wife was on went down. But his friend pulled some favors and got him a ride on the fastest jet. But the scene with his son seemed to fit the prompt (family). I hope you think so too.


To learn more about the SR 71 Blackbird, check it out here:



Wednesday, April 5, 2023



Proof of Existence

Book 2 of the Existence series

By J Lenni Dorner


There's a fine line between a nightmare and a horrifying memory. In Proof of Existence, chapter 5, Dragon Hunting, Gwendolyn (Wend) recalls a traumatic event. In the nightmare, she calls out to Xavier. The reader doesn't know how much of this scene happened. What is known is that she actually screams.

Moments later, Xavier appears by her side. They fought before she went to bed, and that argument picks up as soon as she awakens. He once warned her of dangers, a warning she did not heed. She makes an angry joke about danger now, and he responds with sarcasm.

Dragons might not be actually hunted in the Existence series. Both of these characters have played a chat-based fantasy online roleplaying game (MMORPG). Hopefully, you'll enjoy this glimpse into the story. 

Proof of Existence

World-ending secrets and threats…

Proof of Existence picks up from Fractions of Existence's cliffhanger, where Gwendolyn is among the hostages of the Eyes in the Shadows, a religious sect that has been trying to free humans from the “prison” of life on Earth for millennia. Rescuing her requires the Existence to expose themselves. As omnipotent beings, their work to protect humanity has been mostly in secret for the last two centuries.

Gwendolyn must remember and embrace what she truly is, though fear and doubt stifle her. She risked everything by acting on her attraction to Xavier, but her religious beliefs stop her from taking the important next step. Life-threatening news has her wanting to go home to see her family. Will they still love and accept her, despite her actions and choices? Or could a secret rip her family apart?

Feeling lonely, tormented, and useless, Existence member Heath goes off the grid. A ransom video from Eyes in the Shadows demands he be traded for the lives of others. Can the Existence find him in time to tell him about the threat? Even if Heath can be reached, would his kind really trade him to potentially save someone else?

The Eyes in the Shadows is set to finally end all human life on Earth forever. Only if the Existence is reunited, with all members at full power, could they stand against them. How many will suffer if the Existence should fail? How much damage could possibly be done in the next twenty years? Proof of Existence, the second book of the Existence mythological urban fantasy series from J Lenni Dorner, is set during the first half of 2006.


J Lenni Dorner is best known for the Existence book series. Book one, Fractions of Existence, and book two, Proof of Existence, are on Amazon. Author of the short story, Lumber Of The Kuweakunks, on Smashwords. Also known for the writer's reference books, Preparing to Write Settings that Feel Like Characters and Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier.

J is part of the Operation Awesome Team, where he runs the Debut Author Spotlight on most Wednesdays. J is an April Blogging from A to Z #AtoZchallenge international bloghop co-host.

(he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Speculative Fiction & Reference Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge




https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BYN6SG7Y Buy it here.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/65150644-proof-of-existence Add to your TBR here.

https://www.bookbub.com/books/proof-of-existence-by-j-lenni-dorner Glimpse it here.
Enter the Giveaway here!

Saturday, April 1, 2023

No April Fooling - The Entire Series for $5.99


Amazon.com only .99 cents each
For the Entire Month of APRIL!

Are you ready for a 
It's HERE!

Prepare now
Post April 19th thru the 21st


I took part in a Writing Challenge sponsored by Nicole Breit called 
The 555 Story Challenge.
All about CNF (Creative Non-Fiction)
The exercises were filled with tips and exercises.
Each one was thoughtful, useful, and fun.
After the lesson, she tasked us to write 100-word paragraphs 
based on the lesson.
It was fun and definitely challenging.
Here are my entries:


"The Monster Mash" played on the radio the night I wore my best blue dress with lace and black patent leather Mary Janes. Gary, the boy next door, told me I was special, a princess. We danced. I was four and balanced perfectly on his black leather loafers. The lights were dim, and the house was empty. We were alone, but I wasn't afraid.

He made me laugh.

But mom yelled at me for peeing my pants. A good girl would never let a boy tickle them.

The truth surfaced in nightmares, and every time I hear "The Monster Mash."


Thrown Away

Every item I owned, books, typewriter, and clothes, sat on the back porch. "I'm done. You're gone." Tears fell nonstop as she deliberately shredded my heart. "Forgive me. Please. I'll do anything." Mortally scarred, I leaned against the refrigerator for support and clearly recall how cool the metal felt against my fire-hot skin.

Mom washed the breakfast dishes. Soapsuds rinsed off before she placed them on the drainboard. So calm and indifferent. Memories include the smell of dish soap, bubbles, and spiraling steam. But her words are forever etched on my soul. "It's just a shame you were ever born."



Anticipation grew with each mile vanquished on the flight to Fairbanks, Alaska. In an open jeep, we drove through miles and miles of emerald conifers and stately white birch. The Tanana Valley, a kaleidoscope of earthly browns and jades, was framed by snowcaps. Mount Denali, the sovereign.

A rusting gold dredge scarred the pristine landscape. But crisp, clean air, fresher than a stick of Wintergreen gum, clears my soul of discontent. Poe's aristocratic black ravens cawed a welcome, or was it a warning?

No matter. I'm energized, even though I have no idea what's ahead. Truly free, I've found utopia.



Don't look at the clock. The wait will lengthen. Don't admit your love. He'll disappear. Four hours later.

Breathe. Stay cool. It's just a little landslide. The train will arrive soon. He'll be glad you're here.

I pace. Distract myself with magazines, scenery, and even eavesdropping, yet time seems to stand still. Unsettled, I consider driving to him, but what if he's not on the train? Did he change his mind?

Miss Independent waits for no man, yet she's wasting time for—him.

After all, no strings—no emotional ties means no regrets. It was our vow.

We were wrong.



I'm flying through the windshield and shards of glass sparkle like stars as they move with me. Blood trails in gelatinous drops. There is no pain as my mangled body reposes face down in a ditch. Cars speed by. Has no one noticed?

I gasped.

"Are you all right?" my boyfriend asks. He's driving."

"Yes," I whisper.

The day passes.

The next morning, as I round the bumper, I'm stopped cold. An invisible wall of dread, an intense heart-stopping fear restrains me.

Is death stalking me?

My hands shake. Keys clatter on cement.

For ten days, I'm unable to drive.