Friday Excerpt: MacKenzie Saves the World

MacKenzie Saves the World CoverCall me Josh, please,” he said, leaning forward until she had no choice but to look at him. A mistake, as she knew it would be, because that handsome face of his should require some sort of license to carry. “May I call you Kenzie?”

She shrugged. “Normally only friends call me that, but I suppose since it’s on my sign…”

Well hopefully you’ll consider me a friend eventually. And yes, my sister has issues with comic books and what she calls ‘low-brow’ entertainment in general. As for girls like you…that’s my fault, I’m afraid. The women in my family are brought up to be smart, but to stay in their place. If they step outside the boundaries at all, they’re dealt with swiftly and harshly. The last time I brought a woman home who refused to respect what the family expected from women, they ate her alive – out of jealousy, I presume.”

Kenzie shook her head. “That doesn’t make any sense. They choose to put up with those constraints. It’s just…wrong, on so many levels.”

He bobbed his head noncommittally. “Technically, yes, it’s a choice. But presumably, you were raised in an environment where you were encouraged to make that choice. The women in my family – our social circle, really – are raised with the knowledge that if they step too far out of line, they’ll be ostracized from all their family and friends, and cut off from the life they know. If you think about it, it’s not an easy thing to just give all that up when you can find ways to play along and still remain in the life you’ve always known. And everyone does it, to some extent. I’ll bet even you respect some social or familial boundaries just to stay in your family’s good graces, don’t you?”

MacKenzie considered that as the car rolled to a stop outside the luxurious Fairchild mansion. The driver opened Josh’s door first, which annoyed her more than it should due to their current conversation. As she turned to get out, Josh was there, holding out a hand to help, and she took it, feeling a jolt of awareness at the touch of skin on skin.

Of course that’s why he got out first, she realized. To help the poor, helpless female who had to be kept in her place. The thought stuck with her like a grain of sand rubbing the wrong way as he crooked his arm and she took it naturally, as if she couldn’t walk herself up to the door.

I can feel you thinking,” he whispered, grinning when she frowned up at him. “And maybe you are playing right into the same old outdated patriarchal moves that smart girls such as yourself should know to avoid. Or maybe…” he stopped, pulling her to the side of the door as another couple walked past and through the door, both giving them an inquisitive look as they went past.

Maybe I just wanted you close,” he said, his penetrating stare making her weak in the knees. “Maybe I was using those social niceties to touch something forbidden, even if just for a few minutes.”

MacKenzie was speechless. She stared, trying to decide how to react if he wanted to strip off that mild-mannered-businessman persona and fly her off to his ice-caves or something. Would it make her a horrible sell-out to her gender if she did?

Did she even care?

A loud, irritating squeal sadly characteristic of said gender broke the spell, and they both turned to see Mandy flying toward them at top-speed. How she did that on four-inch heels was anyone’s guess, but MacKenzie braced for impact as her friend ran up and pulled her into a hug.

You’re finally here! Say thank you to Josh so we can go – I have about a zillion men I want you to meet so we can make fun of them later, and the caterer made some canapés that are to die for, and Mom is having a fit that they aren’t the recipe she wanted. Thank God for that, since her recipe sucks.” Mandy wiggled her fingers and grinned at Josh, grabbed MacKenzie’s hand and pulled her through the door before MacKenzie could say anything at all.


Want to read more? Get your copy at any of your favorite online retailers:

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(Coming soon to print…)

Shamrocks, Luck, & Things That Are Green

Irish Cream CoverAre you Irish? Or more importantly, are you Irish once a year, on St. Patrick’s Day (which is this coming Saturday, if you haven’t been paying attention to the calendar)?

I was thinking about this holiday, and how though I am partially Irish (and a lot of other things – read: garden variety “mutt”), I don’t really “claim” that particular heritage more than any other. And I don’t really feel like I can claim it on St. Patrick’s Day, just because I’m so…diluted. But I do enjoy watching everyone celebrate, and sporting green nails and a shamrock or two. I’ll pass on the haggis, but I do love a good corned beef that isn’t green (though it’s liable to make my allergies act up…stupid allergies).

In any case, shamrocks are green, lucky clovers (which are not Jasmine Betrayal Covershamrocks or part of St. Patrick’s Day, obviously) are also green, and green seems to be not just the color of the Irish, but a lucky color overall. Personally, I love the color green, and it does seem to bring with it a certain…lucky vibe. Why is that, I wonder? Is it just that it’s a very calm, peaceful, neutral color? Is it that it’s a main color in nature for things that grow and give life?

Are the Irish actually the luckiest people on earth?

Deep thoughts for a Monday.

In any case, I also got to thinking about “green” book covers in our offerings, and came up with a little something for pretty much everyone. And *that* got me thinking that maybe those three books with predominantly green covers/themes should be on sale for Saturday. Which would make green a lucky Sprouted Covercolor for all of our readers!

So, if you check your favorite online retailer on Saturday, March 17th, you’ll find these three books for just 99 cents:

Jasmine Betrayal by Jamie DeBree
Irish Cream by Trinity Marlow
Sprouted by Alex Westhaven

Enjoy the holiday, and grab yourself a “green read” while you’re at it!


Monthly Writing Prompts:

  • Prose Prompt: Write a story about a field of sunflowers, and at least two people who meet there one day/night. 
  • Poetry Prompt: Write a poem about the beautiful flower on a plant considered a weed.

Stories and poems for each month should be submitted by the last day of that month to brazensnake@brazensnakebooks.com. The following month, one poem and one story from the previous month will be chosen for publication here on the blog, and also in our monthly newsletter. Authors will receive a flat fee of $10 per poem or story we choose to publish. Items submitted must be original, unpublished works, however we only ask for non-exclusive rights to post the work here on our blog for one year, and in one monthly newsletter.

 

Reader’s Report & Weekly Writing Prompts

An Elemental Earth CoverReaders Report – Watcha Reading?

On my nightstand, I’m deep into the paperback of The Seventh Plague by James Rollins at the moment. And undecided about whether I’m enjoying it a little more than I should be, given the subject matter and general state of things (as in, everyone in the world could die, in very short order). It’s rather thrilling, as all of his are, and I’m anxious to see who makes it to the end and who might not. Anxious and just a smidge worried, that is.

On the kindle app, I’m working on Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City Book 1) by Penny Reid. It’s a first person romance that took me awhile to get into, but the main character is just quirky enough that I’m still reading just to see how it’s all going to play out. Not my favorite book, or narrative style for romance by any means, and I have some issues with…things, but not enough to quit on it. We’ll see how it ends, eventually.

And in comic books, I’m finally all caught up with I Hate Fairyland, and this week while I’m off work from the day job, I’m going to catch up on Scooby Apocalypse and see how far I can get caught up on the various Harley Quinn series’ as well. I need to hit the comic shop again next weekend too.

Inquiring minds want to know – what are you reading this month? Doesn’t have to be a BSB book (obviously), just whatever’s keeping you occupied these days.


Wanna write? Grab a prompt!

  • Weekly Prose Prompt: Two strangers bump into each other on a busy street, and both apologize before moving on. Later, one finds a note in their coat pocket – addressed specifically to them. What does it say?
  • Weekly Poetry Prompt: Write a poem about your favorite pen, pencil or keyboard.