What a great turnout this week! Hope everyone had a great Labor Day and enjoyed the final days of summer with friends, family, and food. 🙂
SOLDIER | HONORABLE MENTION | @AvLaidlaw and @SilverJames_
Cara Says: A wicked tale of “dreams gone wrong.” The MC carries a tremendous tension throughout the tale, culminating in the realization that he/she stays awake to keep dreams of the past from gaining new life.
Ruth Says: This is one of those tales that haunts the reader and makes one wonder about the possibility of dreams taking on a life of their own.
Cara Says: Sade is such foulmouthed badass, lol. That her badassery should attract such sexy attention… well that’s part of the charm for us readers, and I do love a good Alpha territory match. Especially that she ends it.
Ruth Says: Every snippet from this WIP is filled with wit, fun, and tension. Love how the scene shifts from wicket banter to full-on action in a heartbeat. And as always, the camaraderie is pitch perfect.
UNDERBOSS | SECOND PLACE | | @SiobhanMuir
Cara Says: It’s not so typical to see a SEAL off his game. There’s a pathetic loneliness to Greg and his request for Zamora to be his “clear water.” As a reader, I ached for him to find his anchor, his safe harbor.
Ruth Says: That phrase ‘clear water’ and the subtext bubbling beneath it pluck the heartstrings. No amount of alcohol can blur the subconscious knowing in his heart.
BOSS | FIRST PLACE | @mishmhem
Cara Says: This tale of love (and faith) renewed is so lovely. I read it twice to cement my understanding of it, and fell more deeply into the sense of peace and acceptance surrounding this MC as he/she learns that the love believed lost has been waiting patiently.
Ruth Says: Nothing tugs on my consciousness so much as a story about the struggle with or loss of faith. The heart and poetry of this piece was lovely and stirring.
The Winning Story by Mary Decker / @mishmhem
Before I Turn Away
I saw the throngs of people entering your house and tried to look away, but the crowd and the excitement swept me up and I found myself inside your house before I could turn away
Don’t bother asking me why I came, you’d probably believe it even less than I do, and I find leaving you a second time even harder than the first.
I’ve got no business here, I know. Any right I had to worry about you ended in our divorce, but old habits die hard I guess.
Looking at you through veiled eyes, I see what drew me to you originally. I see the kindness you spread, and the hope you give— but I see the price you ask as well. It is a heady mix.
I find myself drawn closer to the center of your house, the scent of smoke and incense is stronger here and I find I can draw no closer.
I am no longer part of your inner circle, I cannot invade your sanctuary and yet, as always, I long to see you.
I long to feel your fire burning through my heart. I almost manage to convince myself that that fire burned out long ago, but then I see your smile and all is forgiven.
“How can you do this to me, after all these years?” I demand, falling to my knees.
“You were lost, and I gave you hope; you were cold, so I gave you warmth. You wandered through the desert with nothing to guide you but faith, and though you thought I’d left you— I have always been in our heart.”
I sob, not sure if its from relief or joy but as I surrender, I feel a peace that I thought I had lost.
The desert I traveled, the desertion I felt were mine, not yours— and you waited for me to figure this out believing in me, when I had forsaken everything else, you were there.
When I believed you faithless, you were more faithful than I could ever been, and when I believed in nothing- you believed in me.
Why is it the easiest of lessons, are the hardest to learn?
In your eyes I see the answer: perspective.