#LyricalFictionFriday | You’re So Vain

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Lyrical Fiction Friday is sponsored by Marquessa Matthews of Simply Marquessa. For more info and to join the challenge start here.

Today’s lyric prompt is:

He looks like a cool drink of water but he’s candy-coated misery…

This was not the New Year’s Eve she’d planned.

She should be in Crete, enjoying a breezy winter day while sipping dry martinis.

Those were the plans she and Rod talked about. Guess she should have known even then it was just talk.

Glynnis Crawford moved through the sea of bodies, smiling and greeting faculty members who knew it was best to stay on good terms with the school’s Registrar. Male staff members, emboldened by a few drinks, didn’t miss the chance to brush up against the buxom thirty-eight-year-old.

Reaching the bar, Glynnis ordered another martini but hadn’t taken the first sip when the noise level in the room rose.

Think of Satan and he appears… in a tailored suit.

Like some upscale version of Cheers, Rodrick Lincoln was warmly greeted by all as he crossed the foyer of the university president’s mansion.

Glynnis glanced over her shoulder to see men clustered around the American literature professor, handshaking and back-slapping. Rod beamed as women pushed in close to solicit promises of a dance… or more.

Was that Mira Kennedy from the Physics Department squeezing Rod’s arm? She had to be at least seventy.

Glynnis couldn’t blame her though. Rod’s model good looks of light, caramel skin complimented by a head of tiny, silken black curls lured women of all ages. His signature day old stubble gave him a rugged Miami Vice appeal and screamed Philip Michael Thomas. She’d noticed more than a couple men around the campus attempting to imitate the look.

Smirking, Glynnis made her way to the staircase. Rod was a beautiful package covered in the personality of a troll. He may not live under a bridge, but Glynnis knew his shortcomings.

The billiard room sat at the bottom of the stairs and Glynnis knew her small office team would be well into their third game by now.

She also knew Rod hated the game—because he always lost—and wouldn’t set foot in there to seek her out.

She’d leave Rod to the masses. He needed the attention and near-fanatical adoration.

Even at forty years of age, Rod needed the constant affirmation that he was unique and special. And worthy.

Glynnis tired of being on Team Rod after only a few weeks. It was exhausting playing to his massive ego. After deciding she’d had enough, Glynnis pulled away, becoming unavailable for lunches and dinners.

Rod upped his game though and turned on the charm. Fresh, yellow roses appeared on her desk, a gourmet catering service delivered her breakfast, and sonnets written on linen parchment filled her mailbox.

Glynnis pushed her irritation aside and gave Rod another chance, convincing herself she’d judged him too harshly.

When a server crashed the Friday before fall classes were scheduled to begin, Glynnis and her staff put their lives on hold and worked around the clock to rebuild and restore data and avoid chaos on Monday morning. So, it was an exhausted, dressed down Glynnis who arrived for Sunday Brunch with Rod. He was not pleased.

“You didn’t do your hair.”

“No, I didn’t.” Glynnis signaled the waiter for a mimosa.

“No makeup, yoga pants… since when do you show up looking like something dogs wouldn’t fight over?”

Something in Glynnis’ head snapped. Tilting her head from side to side, she stretched out the muscles in her neck. The waiter arrived with her cocktail and she took a long drink before responding.

“I’m sure you’re aware, Rodrick, of the mainframe crash just after lunch Friday. I’ve had six pots of coffee and no sleep. I know how you hate to be kept waiting, and in the interest of time, a shower was all I had time for.”

“That’s a lightweight excuse, Glynnis.”

Her hand tightened around the glass. She took a deep breath before responding, emphasizing each word. “Did you miss the part about no sleep?”

Rod waved her off. “Oh, please. Any number of women would lose sleep to share a meal with me.”

The buzzing began at the base of her neck.

Heat suffused her body as her mind warred with itself. Fed-up Glynnis wanted to put the self-centered hack in his place. But cool, composed Glynnis refused to give him the satisfaction.

“You’re right, Rod.” Turning up her drink, she emptied the glass and returned it to the table with a thud. “I’m not worthy of a man like you.”

He smirked, and all Glynnis wanted to do was slap the taste out of his mouth. Instead, she stood.

“I’ll do the honorable thing and step aside to make room for the throngs of women craving your time.” She looked at the area around the table. “I believe you have room to form a line on the right.”

The confidant Registrar took two steps away from her brunch partner before turning around.

“Oh, and Rod? Your poetry sucks.”

She sauntered from the restaurant elated, no longer weighed down by the grueling tasks of the past forty-eight hours… or the middle-aged narcissist who’d never been worth her time.

Rod made several attempts to get Glynnis back during the semester, all to no avail. When the month between Halloween and Thanksgivings had no calls, texts… or overpriced gifts from Rodrick Lincoln, Glynnis believed—hoped—he was anywhere else annoying someone else.


Glynnis reached for the door handle, about to enter the billiard room, when she heard her name called out.

Damn! What did he do? Run across the room and down the steps? Might as well get this over with. She turned as Rod descended the last few stairs.

He approached her looking like sex on legs. Glynnis thought it was a shame that a man who looked better than men ten years his junior was such an asshole.

His eyes roamed her body, taking in the knee-length, silver cocktail dress with its low-cut bodice. Her thick, dark brown hair was pulled to one side and rested on her right shoulder, held in place by a comb which matched her earrings.

“You look amazing, baby. But then, you always do.”

Her smile was pure saccharine as she let his term of endearment slide. “Funny. I remember a time when you thought I looked like something dogs wouldn’t fight over.”

“Glynnis, you know I didn’t mean that. If you’d taken my calls… or answered my texts… or your front door, I could have explained I was having a bad weekend and took it out on you.”

“It’s all water under the bridge, Rod.” She caught herself before she could laugh out loud at her own joke. “Happy New Year.”

Glynnis turned to enter the room and join her staff, but Rod caught her arm.

“Please, wait.”

She turned back, her eyes focused on his hand gripping her arm. He removed his hand and took a step back.

“We are a couple of hours from a new year… new beginnings. A chance to start over. I was hoping you’d give me another chance… that we could start over.”

Glynnis looked up into his deep brown eyes. She saw nothing… and felt nothing. He looked like a cool drink of water, but she knew he was just candy-coated misery.

She smiled, shaking her head. “No, Rod. I’m not the woman for you.” Glynnis reached out and squeezed his hand. “But I do hope you find her.”

She left him standing in the hallway, his eyes clouding with malice and contempt, as she joined her friends, ready for a new year… without him.

How Some Writing Advice Can Actually Hurt You

A Writer's Path

by Chloe-Anne Ross

What Should I Write About?

Whenever I’m listening to another writer’s Q&A on writing, this question seems to pop-up every now and again. I never understood why it would be asked or what kind of answer was expected until I got stuck.

I would love to be a writer and I would love to be published so it’s important to me that I remember it’s not an impossible dream by listening to those who have done it. So I listen to their advice, I learn that I should know my target audience and my genre and if I want to be a writer I need to engage with writing communities and get my name out there. 

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Abuse and how to spot it.

Space writer

Emotional abuse is “any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.”

Psychological abuse and  it can be just as devastating as physical abuse. Psychological abuse can affect your inner thoughts and feelings as well as exert control over your life. You may feel uncertain of the world around you and unsafe in your own home. Psychological abuse can destroy intimate relationships, friendships and even your own relationship with yourself.

Emotional  and psychological abuse are hard to spot, especially when the victim thinks that what she/he is living is completely right. Also, the abuser will make her/him think she/he is completely right through manipulation. Abusers are are self-centered, impatient, unreasonable, insensitive, unforgiving, and they lack empathy and are often jealous and really suspicious. They have a dominant personality and they need to take control, to isolate…

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Marriage is Like a Football Team (Part 3)

Part 3! 😀

Jerry Brotherton

A Man’s Guide to Relationships

My Five Rules of

Football and Marriage – Rule 3

Let’s start off by saying that I am not a licensed therapist or a professional counselor. My observations of my mother and father, who were married for over fifty years before my mother’s death and my own very happy marriage to the same woman for forty five plus years is my only source of expertise. I believe that I have learned some very valuable lesson in that time and feel it is my duty as a fellow man to pass these things on to whoever might benefit from it.

You’ve spent years preparing yourself for the day. You’ve trained, tried out for the team and have been selected. Now what? It turns out that when you were in school and your coach was teaching you the fundamentals of football, he wasn’t just teaching you football…

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“No Quarter – Wenches: The Complete Series” by MJL Evans and GM O’Connor #Excerpt

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No Quarter: Wenches (The Compete Series) – Excerpts

Excerpt 1

Inside the Four Feathers Tavern, Bleedin Art studied a game of strategy, but his mind was on the ships and men he was now responsible for protecting. A three-dimensional tower of checked boards sat with finely carved figurines placed in defensive positions. Art eyed his opponent and knew victory was at hand.

“Knight takes rook,” said Art.

Captain White sighed. “Aye, that he did. How come I’m always white?”

“It avoids confusion.” Art took a mouthful of ale. “Take yer time.”

“I’d like to.”

“Sweet British sackers!” Chuck Talbot examined the game. “He’s got your king trapped in the tower!”

“Thanks, Chuck,” White said. “What do you want?”

Commodore Chuck Talbot ran his fingers through his thick blond locks. He strutted to the table, donning a yellow suit of slashed and braided satin complete with a frilled cape. “The convoy is ready to go. I’ll escort them through the channel to the Bahamas. When I see our cousins from the Tongue of the Ocean, I’ll cut ’em loose and get back here before you can say: Roger the mermaid’s kraken!”

White sneered. “Very good.”

“Nothing my navy boys can’t handle. Not to step on your toes, Captain Valentine, I know it’s a private enterprise and all. Just till yer fleet’s back on her keel.” Talbot gave a pleasant smile.

“Just a slight setback,” Art said.

White slowly moved a pawn. “England appreciates both your sacrifices. I’m sure our ships will be protected.”

“More than your king.” Art took the pawn.

“This one or the one with the wig?”

Art took another turn.

“Tactful move.” Talbot patted Art’s back. “He didn’t see that one coming.”

“Captain White,” a woman called.

Art hadn’t seen Lady Anne Beeston in a while. Her auburn hair was pinned up, and her dark blue gown was trimmed with white lace. She approached determinedly.

“Captain White, our ships will be ready to sail in a fortnight, and we still have no protection. Where’s our privateers?”

“They’re coming,” Art assured.

“I can’t insure the contents until I know we are secure.”

Talbot bowed and winked. “Not to worry, Lady B, I’ve got ya abaft. Just load yer boats on time.”

“What a charming rogue,” Lady Beeston swooned and fanned her face.

Excerpt 2

Dr. Sander Strangewayes stood at the forecastle of the ship smoking his pipe. Over the past few months, he learned never to take solid land for granted and relished the times off ship. Although his medical skills were highly valued and his shipmates were now friends, he felt his age – sixty. It was time to claim a small patch of the world and call it a day.

Red Legs Greaves stood beside him in a kilt, leaning on the rail. “There’s le Grande’s Toro and Coxon’s Dorado.”

“Such manly names, ever notice that?” Strangewayes admired the bull figurehead with sharp horns on Toro’s bow and Dorado’s horse figurehead.

“What flag are they expecting?” Mason asked.

“No flag,” Red Legs said.

“Take us in, Mr. Culliford,” Mason ordered.

Cully climbed up to the quarterdeck. “Aye, aye, Captain Mason, sir.”

“Steady as she goes, Mr. Culliford. We’re among pirates now.”

Once anchored, they took the longboats ashore. Large illuminated tents were erected among the trees and rowdy pirates roared with laugher. The meat cooking in a nearby spit made Strangewayes’s stomach growl. Ship rations were no match for a mouth-watering roast. He, Red Legs and Mason headed into the main tent.

A dancer draped in sapphire blue with a crystal in her belly button paraded by. A Nimcha sword balanced on her head while she clicked brass castanets with her fingers. She shook her hips provocatively.

“Oh, not for me, thanks,” Strangewayes said. “I just finished pillaging the eastern Caribbean, I doubt I could raise more than my drink tonight.”

Excerpt 3

Atia stared coldly at all the self-righteous bastards. The last she’d seen of her da and uncle was when they sailed away on Lucky Charms. It was after they helped her escape from Crisp’s slaver captain, Mandingo, and the pirate Slasher Al. She had waved almost cheerfully; unaware it was the final goodbye. “You’ll not go from me sight, only from me view,” her da had told her before they parted ways. Now her da was dead and Uncle Rourke too. She prayed to all the gods that her brothers were safe. They had been sent to Aragua on an errand.

Atia eyed a guard’s belt, where a dagger gleamed. The shackles weighed heavy on her limbs, but she had just enough leeway.

“Atia Crisp, you are charged with associating with a known pirate, mischief—” Goblet stopped.

Atia grabbed the weapon and plunged it into the guard’s neck. He screamed and flailed his arms, trying to shake her off. Blood jetted everywhere, saturating her dress.

“Order!” Goblet demanded and pointed at the remaining guards, who were staring in shock. “Well, stop her!”

The constable and a guard tackled Atia. Her face was slammed onto the wet floor. The blade slipped from her hand. She was then forced to her feet with a guard on each side of her.

Goblet jotted down an additional note. “You can add murder to your list of charges.”

“Uh, he’s not dead,” a guard said.

Goblet crossed it out and rewrote the line. “Fine. For attempted murder, you are so charged.”

The bleeding guard released a final gasp.

“Oh, he died,” Blower said.

Goblet was about to cross out what he’d written again.

“You’re sure?”

“Aye, he’s dead.”

“And murder,” Goblet continued. “Have you anything to say for yourself before I have you locked in the dungeon as a dangerous offender?”

An evil grin formed on Atia’s lips. “I’m a dangerous offender now, Da. Yer little girl’s all grown up!”

“Take her away and lock her up. Lock the rest of them up for interrogation,” Goblet ordered.

“Me Capitaine’s coming back for me. He’s comin’ for his dangerous offender,” Atia cackled.

“We’ll see how a month in the dark agrees with your tongue.” Goblet smacked the mallet again. “Court is adjourned.”

No Quarter Wenches coverTitle: No Quarter: Wenches – The Complete Series

Author: MJL Evans and GM O’Connor

Genre: Historical Romance

Contains Volume 1-5

Behind every successful pirate is a cunning wench! In 1689, Atia Crisp finds herself imprisoned in the wickedest city on earth, Port Royal, Jamaica, while the refugees from Strangewayes’s plantation in the Blue Mountains are on the run and seeking a new home, deep in the Caribbean. Captain Jean-Paul la Roche must get them to safety and find a way to liberate the woman he loves while waging a war against the English with the pirate Laurens de Graaf.

While besieged people suffer and starve, a group of women form a secret and illegal society deep from within the bowels of the city called: WENCH. A network that deals with smugglers, merchants, cutthroats and thieves. Dragged into the struggle for supremacy of the Caribbean, the women are divided and find themselves engulfed in bloodshed. The pirates of Port Royal and former enemies may be their only hope of escape.

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No Quarter Wenches bannerAuthor Bios

MJL EVANS wanted to be a writer since she was ten years old and in 2014 she finally got her act together and pursued her dream. Author of No Quarter: Dominium and No Quarter: Wenches, she is a huge fan of Monty Python, Red Dwarf, and other BBC shows, her time is devoted to acrylic, oil and watercolor painting, catering to her two senior cats and of course, writing.

You can connect with MJL Evans on Twitter at @artistmjlevans or noquarterseries@gmail.com

GM O’CONNOR is a huge movie fan, writer and visual artist. A lover of sci-fi and history, half his brain lives in the 17th century while the other half sails perpetually through space. Author of No Quarter: Dominium and No Quarter: Wenches, he hopes to one day bring the No Quarter Series to film and/or graphic novel format.

You can connect with GM O’Connor on Twitter at @gm_oconnor or noquarterseries@gmail.com



~ Giveaway ~

Enter the authors’ giveaway for a chance to win one of 5 eBook copies of No Quarter – Wenches: The Complete Series.


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“The Leisure Seeker: A Novel” by Michael Zadoorian

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“The Leisure Seeker: A Novel”

By: Michael Zadoorian

Genre: Humor & Satire/Alzheimer’s Disease

Release Date: October 6, 2009

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The unforgettable cross-country journey of a runaway couple in their twilight years determined to meet the end of all roads on their own terms—a major motion picture from Sony Pictures Classics starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland.

The Robinas have shared a wonderful life for more than sixty years. Now in their eighties, Ella suffers from cancer and John has Alzheimer’s. Yearning for one last adventure, the self-proclaimed “down-on-their-luck geezers” kidnap themselves from the adult children and doctors who seem to run their lives and steal away from their home in suburban Detroit on a forbidden vacation of rediscovery.

With Ella as his vigilant copilot, John steers their ’78 Leisure Seeker RV along the forgotten roads of Route 66 toward Disneyland in search of a past they’re having a damned hard time remembering. Yet Ella is determined to prove that, when it comes to life, you can go back for seconds—even when everyone says you can’t.

Leisure Seeker original cover
Original Cover

Soon to be a major motion picture from Sony Pictures Classics starring Oscar award-winners Helen Mirren* and Donald Sutherland, coming to New York and Los Angeles on January 19th, 2018, opening nationwide on March 2nd, 2018.

I don’t usually mix movies and books in the same post, but the movie trailer for The Leisure Seeker is just too cute! Watch the trailer… and go see the movie in March—but read the book first! 😀

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