Category Archives: Written Across the Genres

Collaborative Dock Story Two Completed

My previous post  is a collaborative story that members of my morning writing class wrote for Written Across the Genres. Dock Story One is complete now so I’m posting my afternoon class’s story that begins with the same first paragraph but goes on a different adventure. Neither class knew what the other class wrote until the book was sent to press. We thought the contrasting story plots were interesting.


locket for 2 dock story

Dock Story Two

by Multiple Contributors

Out of breath from racing to catch the last boat of the night and then missing it, Marian slumped on the stairs below the Pont-Neuf Bridge. She had sacrificed dinner with her traveling companions at the La Rose de France to be on this Seine River tour. Taking a cab to the Eiffel Tower light show wouldn’t be the same.

She thought everyone had left the dock, but a slim, middle-aged man in a black topcoat and a hat waited for a boat, on the wrong side of the pier. In his right hand, he gripped a small satchel that had a rip on one side. How long had he been standing there?

“Sir, something is falling out of your case.”

He didn’t move, but a wave of his fatigue and sadness smothered her. Marian struggled to leave. She wondered if she could make it to the street level.

She forced herself to pick up the small object that had fallen. When she straightened, he was gone, nowhere to be seen. For an instant, she looked at the small red pouch and stuck it in the pocket of her London Fog. There might be an address inside.

Along Rue Dauphine, she hurried to meet her friends at the restaurant, but they weren’t there. Disappointed, she walked back to her hotel room, hung her coat, and emptied the pockets. She held the red velveteen bag, thinking that maybe she should take it to a nearby police station tomorrow. A glance at the alarm clock told her it was almost midnight.

Marian turned the pouch in her hands, trying to feel the contents. Curiosity won over conscience. Her fingers untied the tiny blue ribbon wound around it. She withdrew a locket and clicked it open. The picture inside was of a girl about eight years old with golden shoulder-length hair. She dropped the locket and sank on the sofa, tears streamed down her cheeks. As her sobs subsided, she clutched the gold locket to her heart.

Who was that man in the black coat? Why would he have her daughter’s picture? Adriana had been kidnapped ten years ago. The police never discovered any evidence or a suspect. Did the kidnapper take her daughter to France and raise her here? Marian made up her mind. She had to find the man in the black coat.

She splashed her swollen eyes with cold water as she tried to guess which direction the man would have gone. Adrenaline took over. “I must find him.” Stuffing the locket into her coat pocket, she rushed to the elevator and made her way to the street.

Paris corner cafe at night

Oh, dear God. Could it be true? Have I come to France to find my Adriana?

People moved aside to make room for Marian who flew across the bridge. With a heart ready to explode, she spotted the man she had seen on the dock. He sat at an outdoor table in a crowded bistro. There was an empty chair across from him.

Marian realized this was the moment she’d waited for these ten years. The answer drew close. Composing her panic, she walked towards him. Concealed in the shadow, he gestured to the empty chair with a nod, but didn’t look at her. She sat down, put the locket on the table, but didn’t move her hand away.

Marian felt the world was empty while she waited for a death sentence. The man pushed a picture in front of her; a toddler Marian thought was Adriana.

“Jewel, my little girl.” In a coarse voice, the man talked for the first time. “Disappeared.” He paused. “I found her years later in San Francisco.”

With clenched fists, Marian struggled to control her inflating fury.

“She’s sick, needs kidney transplant.” Another long pause. “We’re not a match.”

He leaned over and with gnarled fingers, tapped the table next to the locket, “Open it.” His coal-black eyes peered into Marian as if he saw through her core.

Startled, Marian gasped, inhaling the swirling stale cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust. She pressed back in her chair reclaiming her personal space. Her hands shook as she picked up the locket and popped the latch. Is this picture not Adriana, was I mistaken? She blinked to clear her vision and compared the two photos.

The girls had the same hair color, same button nose, similar smiles—but not the same. The scar, in the locket picture, barely visible, this had to be her daughter. Marian remembered the day Adriana fell from the play structure, the bloody white tooth that pierced through her lip.

“Why did you have this locket?” Marian said, as she matched the man’s assault. “Where is my daughter?”

“I am Philippe Martin Cesar,” he said. “We were young. Jewel was all we had. My wife’s anguish overwhelmed her. I searched the world. San Francisco gave our daughter back. I brought her home. But all I found was my wife’s suicide note.”

“Where is my daughter?”

“Believe me she had the best care, the best boarding schools. Summers we traveled.” Phillipe gazed into the darkness. “But she was ever more distant. Not my little Jewel.”

“You’re telling me you kept her here knowing she belonged to me? You bastard. You set this up didn’t you? You knew exactly what you were doing out on the dock.” Marian felt the locket like a crushed heart in her hand. “Where is she?”

“Please, we are not alone in this. Our daughter needs help.”

“Our daughter? She’s not your daughter.”

A waiter set a glass of white wine before her. Did she order this? She took a sip realizing that she would need to cooperate with the kidnapper if she were to have Adriana back. Her eyes scanned the avenue. There was not a gendarme in sight.

Oh, he’s smooth, Marian thought. He held all the cards. She pounded the table. “Take me to her now.”

“Bon Choix.” Philippe lead her to the station de taxi. Marian wondered if she and her kidney would survive this trip.

Taxi in Paris

The taxi driver plunged them into the Pont de L’Alma tunnel. Marian remembered Princess Diana’s car crashed here. Her heart jumped. She guessed that the next stop would be Petié Salpêtrière Hospital where the beautiful Diana died. She vowed that Adriana would live.

“Adriana and Jewel looked identical. I made a mistake.” Philippe’s voice sounded deep with regret. “She became ill. I had to find you.”

Marian tightened her fingers. “How could you do that to me when you knew what it was like to lose a child?” She shook her head then gazed out the window.

The taxi had stopped before a large metal gate. Marian knew it wasn’t the hospital entrance. She saw a mansion loom ahead.

“Where are you taking me?” She reached for the door handle.

Philippe grabbed her hand. She waved her arms at him but he restrained her. A strong smelling substance entered her nose. Before she lost consciousness, she remembered that ether smelled a little like acetone.


A sharp pain jolted Marion awake. “Where am I?” Her hand fluttered above the bandages on her left side. Phillipe’s face came into view. “Adriana, how is she?”

“Fine. You were a perfect match.” His face softened. “Take her home.”

Movement drew her attention to the bed beside her. A set of familiar smiling eyes greeted hers. A mother’s knowing. She found her Adriana.

Story contributors in the order of participation: Julaina Kleist-Corwin, Beth Aaland, Jan Davies, Linda Todd, Art Tenbrink, Marilyn Slade, Reme Pick, Blanche Wacquier, Sharon Lee, Haihong Liao

This post  completes Dock Story 2. To read Dock Story 1 click below.


The characters and plots for these 2 stories are very different. What preferences do you have in either one?










Julaina Kleist-Corwin, Editor of Written Across the Genres  FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHI

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Collaborative Stories: Dock Story One Continued To The End

In my anthology, Written Across the Genres, there are two examples of collaborative stories. I will post the first one in segments since I believe in keeping blog posts short.

To find the next segment if you read the first one or several, scroll down to the next picture and the story continues there.

Pont Nerf with boat leaving to tower

Pont Neuf in Paris



Two groups of writers wrote separate stories that began with the same paragraph. Story One had 22 participants. Story Two had 10. Via emails, each person, within the maximum of a 150 words, continued the plot line from the last written entry. The larger number of writers who contributed and the clues in the plot made the consistency of details a challenge in Dock Story One. It took several months to complete.

Dock Short Story One

By Multiple Contributors

Out of breath from racing to catch the last boat of the night and then missing it, Marian slumped on the stairs below the Pont-Neuf. She had sacrificed dinner with her traveling companions at the La Rose de France to be on this Seine River tour. Taking a cab to the Eiffel Tower light show wouldn’t be the same.

She thought everyone had left the dock, but a slim, middle-aged man in a black topcoat and a hat waited for a boat on the wrong side of the pier. In his right hand, he gripped a small satchel that had a rip on one side. How long had he been standing there?

“Sir, something is falling out of your case.”

He didn’t move, but a wave of his fatigue and sadness smothered Marian. She struggled to leave, wondering if she could make it to the street level.

She brushed back the chestnut hair from her tired green eyes. Cat eyes, her father called them. She remembered how his disappointment had weighed her down with unbearable guilt, how she hadn’t been able to explain the suffocation she felt following the path he’d created for her, making practical decisions for the future and ignoring the present.

Marian had run away from him. She was tired of dealing with the bureaucracy in the state department and the mountains of paperwork that led to no results. Her domineering father had chosen the tedious profession for her. She didn’t tell him she had resigned. In Paris, she’d be able to think, to breathe, to decide what she wanted.

“I’ve missed the boat . . . again.”

Poised with one foot on the first step, Marian heard a sob. A quiet intake of breath, a wheeze of air as it passed trembling lips. She turned back. Did the cry come from the stranger or was it her imagination?

He stood anchored to the wooden planks. His head bowed over the satchel.

“Sir, can you hear me? Are you all right?” Over the gentle lapping of the Seine, Marian’s senses strained.

“Help me, please,” his whispers drifted through the moist night air. “They have a woman prisoner . . .”

Marian eased closer, yet kept one eye toward her escape.

The stranger lifted his head. “The key. Take it. No Gendarme.”

In the moonlight, she saw the blood, a crimson stream as it flowed from his left temple. He extended his arm and tried to touch her. Then his eyes rolled back in his head, his knees buckled, his body crumpled to the ground.

The hairs on Marian’s arms bristled. “Oh, my God.” The pool of blood told her there was nothing she could do for him. Her mind raced. What now? Think. Think. She sprinted up the stairs frantic for assistance but the streets were empty. “Where is everyone for God’s sake?”

She ran back down the stairs. The satchel. She had to find out who he was, who to call. Her hands trembled as she picked up the bag. The combination of the weight and torn material caused the bag to rip open. Sweat beaded on her forehead as euros spilled on the dock.

Her intuition pushed her to get out of there. Let the local law enforcement handle this. She had two days left to savor Paris. Two days to compensate for a lifetime of missed opportunities. A shame to waste it netted in a police investigation.

Ignoring her instincts, she shivered, jerked her hand away, and jumped up. Her foot slipped on a pile of euros uncovering a photo of a woman in her mid-fifties. The woman, her face not in focus, must be the prisoner. Who was she? Marian turned the photo over. On the back written in red ink were the words: Le Point Neuf, 9:00 p.m. Bring 500,000 euros in small bills.

Marian screamed, “He’s dead. Help.” No one answered her shout. She looked back at the man. How can I save the woman? A key, the money, the picture, and note were the only clues. Her heart pounded.

If she could figure out mystery novels and movies before the halfway mark, she could solve this one. Two days with the Paris police answering questions, or two days solving a mystery on my own? What am I thinking? This is crazy. It’d be different from her everyday work, test her investigative skills. What would her father think?

Sirens wailed in the background, growing louder, closer. Gendarme.

Marian crammed the key and the photo out of sight, into the bottom of her purse. She flew up the stairs. The small group of people who had gathered seemed not to notice her, so she slipped among them. An American told the others, “I heard a woman scream on the dock that someone was dead, so I called the police.”

The singsong siren stopped the voices. One policeman pushed the crowd back while a couple others clambered down the stairs. Marian strolled across the bridge as if she were a passerby. From the opposite side she glanced towards the dock. One man stood apart from the others, hidden in the shadows. Was he watching her?

CitreonShe stepped into the road. Few cars passed, and no taxis. When a sputtering Citroen approached, Marian walked farther into the street and the car stopped.

“Mademoiselle, may I help you?” The elderly woman spoke in perfect English.

“Yes, please.” Marian swung the door open and lunged into the front seat. She tried to compose herself. “I’m meeting friends at La Rose de France, but—”

The woman interrupted. “I will take you. Tonight you are lucky.”

Marian wanted to believe that. She settled into the seat, and pondered what to do next after reconnecting with Pierre and the rest of her group.

They found a sign in the restaurant window that the woman translated, “closed for renovation.” Marian hoped her friends had returned to their hotel.

“Thank you for driving me here. I need to find them.” She reached for the door handle. “I’ll get a cab.”

“No need for that. I’ll take you.” The woman placed her hand on Marian’s arm. “My name is Madame Flaubert. But you can call me Genevieve, or Gen.”

“I’m Marian.” She let go of the door handle and settled into the seat. “I came to Paris to decide what to do with the rest of my life. I have only two days left, but I need more time. Something has happened that interrupted my quest and thrust me into a pursuit more confusing than finding myself.” She didn’t know why she blurted personal information to a stranger. There was something familiar about Gen, she reminded Marian of her long absent mother.

Gen put the Citroen in gear and merged with the traffic. “In Paris you will find many answers.”

Marian wondered how people found their way in the City of Light. To her, it created more questions, not answers.

“Quel hôtel?” Gen asked.

“Le Force Majeur. It’s in the 2ème Arrondissement, near rue de Rivoli.”

Marian absorbed the sights along the way. Lovers strolled along the dimly lit sidewalks and friends sipped coffee at cafes that remained open. The City was alive, unlike the man she had abandoned at Le Pont Neuf. The dead man, whose unique key and photograph now lay in the bottom of her purse, remained a mystery. Marian slipped her hand deep into her bag and gently fingered the cold outline of the key.

The Citröen turned onto an unfamiliar section of rue de Rivoli. Where was Gen taking her?

Marian faked a cough and pushed the key inside her bra before she spoke.

“Oh, I think we should have turned right back there.” Marian tried to sound casual, but inside she doubted every decision she had ever made in her life, including her most recent one to get into the car.

“There are many ways to drive to places in this city,” Gen replied. “I like this route because the traffic is lighter. I have lived in this city all of my life and never tire of exploring its streets.”

That’s when it occurred to Marian why Gen’s name sounded familiar. Pierre had read it aloud to her from this morning’s newspaper. “Wife of French National Police Commissioner accused of embezzling half a billion euros.” Pierre had explained what a huge story it was because the Commissioner was well liked, but little had been publicized about his wife of thirty years. Now she was making headlines—and her name was Madame Genevieve Flaubert.

Marian struggled to figure out where they were headed, heart sinking as her hotel faded in the distance. Fear and anger flared in her gut like bottle rockets on the Fourth of July. Just as suddenly, she felt her mind suffused with a cool, calm determination.

Don’t panic, Marian told herself, breathe. “Gen, let’s stop playing games. You’re not taking me to my hotel. You were waiting for me—it was no coincidence you were idling on the street to pick me up.”

“You are right.” Gen’s voice was reminiscent of a teacher praising a bright student. As they passed under a street lamp for the first time, Marian could see the deep circles under Gen’s eyes and the strain on her kind face.

“I was ordered to collect you and bring you in.” Her voice caught in a sob. “You are about to join my nightmare.”

Marian glimpsed a sliver of opportunity as Gen downshifted the old gears of the Citroen at the red light. She grabbed at the metal door handle, but a hand from behind jerked her back on the headrest. The sweet scent of chloroform filled her nose before her vision faded to black.

The throb in Marian’s right temple pulled her from her sleep, the outline of a man in a chair brought her back to the reality of the dead man on the pier and the ride through Paris with Gen. The instinct to bolt took hold of her, but fear held her in place on the bed.

“Marian, be calm,” said a recognizable male voice. She winced when he flicked on the nightstand’s small lamp, illuminating a face she knew all too well.

Dazed, the disdainful odor of chloroform lingered in her nostrils, and settled on the roof of her mouth.

Key for dock story

Gen offered a bottle. “Here, drink some Evian.”

Feeling queasy, Marian accepted, “This is kidnapping. Why?”

“We’ll explain later. Drink. It’ll settle your stomach.” Gen glared at the man.

Marian did as she was told. The man’s face zoomed into focus. She stared in his eyes, the eyes of the man she least expected here in Paris. She sipped to borrow time, to regroup. She mistrusted him more than ever. Her thoughts strayed to the dock, the dead man, the money, her unforgettable past. How imperfect, yet perfect in timing.

“It was orchestrated, wasn’t it?” she asked.

“Yes, Child. Now, where is the key?” Her father’s voice, the controlling tone she knew too well, the one that annoyed her.

Marian hated the man who was her father. For the greater part of her life, she had tried to love him. It hadn’t worked. She endured his lies, his secrets, his unwillingness to open up to her.

Now here he was bringing a new danger to her. No, not a danger, but more, who could know how many new dangers? The sound of his voice crushed her joy at being in Paris to search for a new beginning, a new career away from his lies.

How did he know she would be on that pier? How did he know that she would go to the old man’s side? She had a thousand questions he probably would never answer.

“I know you have the key, where is it?” her father motioned toward the contents of her purse spread on the bed.

Marian observed the photo among her personal items.

“Give me the key now.” He smashed a chair against the wall.

“Why should I?” She controlled the quiver in her voice. “Tell me what you’re after.”

“We have a common goal. Save your mother.”

“My mother? She disappeared when I was ten.”

“I don’t have time to explain. Give me the key.”

“Where is she? Don’t lie to me.”

“She’s being held hostage somewhere in this Godforsaken city. The key must remain out of their hands.” Marian plucked the key from her cleavage. Her mother must be the prisoner in the faded photo.

He grabbed the key then stuffed it in his pocket. “Your mother’s abductors are evil. You must escape them.” His voice deepened, “Gen, get her on a plane to San Francisco.”

“Yes, yes,” Gen said, with a catch in her voice, almost a sob.

“Get going.” He shooed them toward the door.

Marian grasped her father’s wrist. “No.” Her lips trembled.

He turned his face away from her. “I can’t lose both—”

She interrupted him, “They intend to kill you.”

“You know nothing.” He thrust his chin to Gen, “Take her away.”

“The dock money wasn’t touched,” Marian said, her voice firm. “This isn’t about ransom. What have you done that someone would want revenge?”

Her father’s facial expression flashed a look of agreement, but it changed to anger. “That’s not your concern.” He positioned himself at the door, with his hand on the knob for her departure. “You must stay safe.”

“Father, you’re the one who forced me into a dreary career. Let me do something worthwhile now. It’s my mother’s life at stake and probably because of you.”

“I’m coming too. She’s my sister, and it’s my freedom on the line,” said Gen.

“You’re retired from the agency.”

“I still have a few good years left in me, and I have my service weapon here.”

“The three of us have to save the mother I never knew. We must work together,” said Marian.

Her father rubbed his forehead and grimaced. “I’ll make the arrangements for the meet.”

Eifell tower underneath

Marian approached the Eiffel Tower as her stomach roiled with fear. She moved forward, alert like a nuclear weapon specialist ready to push the button for the next war. She was thankful the lights on the tower illuminated the ground under it. A large crowd of tourists with their cameras stood in line for the elevator to the upper levels. Smells of food cooking in the restaurant above made her hungry. A hot meal would have relieved the damp of the cool night.

A man and woman stood alone a few feet away. Her father and Gen, from opposite directions, looked towards the couple. Marian and Gen received the planned nod from her father directed at the couple. The woman had to be Marian’s mother.

Marian pretended to be one of the sightseers milling around and edged closer to the man and woman, slipping behind them. The man held something in his hand. A gun? She maneuvered closer, and suspected the object was a remote control device. She had read about them in the mysteries. A bomb’s nearby.

The man flashed the object so her father could see it. He in turn revealed the key. Seconds beat along with Marian’s heart as the two men squared off. Suddenly, the man slumped to the ground, a red smear blossoming on the side of his head. The remote flew out of his hand. Marian scrambled to grab it without the fear that it could be a dead man switch. She straightened, met her mother’s abject terror-filled eyes. She directed Marian’s stare to the bulges under her coat. Marian froze.

Her vision blurred and all movement appeared in slow motion. Police descended on the scene. A man dressed in protective gear ambled toward them. Marian couldn’t stop her body from shaking while the expert disarmed and unstrapped the vest of C4 packets from her mother’s body. Marian’s mind raced to figure out what happened. Gen must have shot the criminal and Marian’s own instinct made her recover the remote before it hit the ground. Had it landed the wrong way, there would have been nothing left of any of them.

Marian’s mother crumpled to the ground once she was free from the bomb vest. Marian hurried to kneel beside her and held her tight as they sobbed. Several times her mother said, “Forgive me. I never wanted to leave you.”


Marian felt like an outsider while her father and Gen reunited with her mother. She gazed at the sparkling lights on the dazzling landmark. From the dock to the tower was what she had wanted, but she never expected the dangerous way to arrive there.

“Marian, join us,” her father said as he pulled her closer. She blanched at his touch but followed him. “You must have questions.”

“Interpol? Were . . . are . . .”

“Yes, the three of us since before you were born.”

“I went undercover and then couldn’t get out. All those years wasted,” Marian’s mother said.

“Gen, you embezzled?”

“For your mother’s release. Interpol didn’t send the money fast enough. I had to save my sister.” Gen kissed Marian’s mother on her cheek.

“The key?”

Her father whispered, “Classified information with a potential to start another world war.” Aloud he said, “Let’s go home.”


Story Contributors in the order of participation: Julaina Kleist-Corwin, Anne Ayers Koch, Jordan Bernal, Paula Chinick, J. K. Royce, Beth Aaland, Carl Gamez, Arleen Eagling, Sonia Geasa, Victoria Emmons, Carole MacLean, Emily De Falla, Cindy Lou Harris, Sheila Bali, George Cramer, Stacey Gustafson, Blake Heitzman, Shannon Brown, Neva Hodges, Gary Lea, Diane Lovitt, Linda Todd


I will post the next dock story in the future to show how the second group, starting with the same first paragraph, wrote a different plot. Both stories are in Written Across the Genres.


Julaina Kleist-Corwin

Editor of Written Across the Genres

Available on-line or order from local bookstores

Wag complete from Amazon


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Science Fiction Novels and Short Stories

Blake-Heitzman1 head shotBlake-Heitzman far traveler menu bar

W. Blake Heitzman is a prolific science fiction writer who includes “a dash of science and technology, along with a smattering of history and paranormal topics in his writing.” He is currently working on The Shaman Gene series, the story of Earth’s rise to join galactic society. A Far Traveler, is the first in the series. Two more novels: Panther Watches and Seekers of the Scroll are in draft.  “His love and respect for the desert weaves through his stories. An avid reader, Heitzman is influenced by his favorite writers: Stephen King, H.G. Wells, Bradbury, Vonnegut, Michael Crichton and Tony Hillerman.”  Check his website for more novels available as eBooks from Amazon and Smashwords.

Here is his description about the fascinating story, “Tales of Weissenbach Bridge”  “There has always been a bridge near Weissenbach in the Black Forest. At first it was just a fallen log, a convenience for the Bronze Age natives to cross the Murg River. Later, when settlements developed nearby, a wooden structure was built. When the Romans came, they converted it to stone. Now days, it’s paved and cars pass over it, but since the beginning, locals have known not to wander upon it under a new moon. This, the bartender’s tale, is the first of several stories about careless or desperate souls who did.
The Bartender is the first story in a developing collection of fantasy stories about a bridge that sometimes changes the lives of those who venture upon it during a new moon night. Others never know what became of them. However, the diligent may find clues in the archives and folklore of the village.”

Blake-Heitzman free flash fiction

Heitzman’s flash fiction book is free through Smashwords. His short story, “Weissenbach Bridge” is included in my anthology, Written Across the Genres available through Amazon. His “A Far Traveler: The First Alien” is a novel excerpt in the anthology as well.

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHI

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Poetry in Written Across the Genres

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHIIn Written Across the Genres, the romance section, Mary Lou Haugh contributed two poems and E.A. Provost entered one. Haugh’s “A Forbidden Night” and “Love at Our Heels” are from her book, Love At Our Heels – A collection of Poems.

E.A. Provost wrote “What a Hand Weighs” and she can be found on Twitter: @provost_lissa and on Facebook.

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Romance Genre Short Story

Art-Shack-Todd-300x225Linda Todd wrote a short story called “A Marriage Blessed” for my anthology, Written Across the Genres.” The art shack in this photo she took is important to the protagonist, Celia. She and her husband plan to  renew their marriage vows, “after the recent disastrous years” in their relationship.

Celia wants to shop at the art shack for a koa wood bowl she believes will be vital for their renewal ceremony. Daniel, her husband, doesn’t want to stop because it might make them late for a boat trip. Here is a short excerpt:

Daniel laid his hand on Celia’s thigh and gave her a gentle squeeze.  “It’s going to be fine. We’ll go shopping after our tour.”

Daniel swam below, inches from the reef, while Celia skimmed the surface of the water alternating her view of the fish through her mask and scanning the horizon for a dorsal fin slicing through the water. The captain had assured Celia no shark sightings had occurred in the bay in the seven years he had been piloting these tours.

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHITodd’s story and three poems complete the romance genre examples in the anthology. Two love poems are written by Mary Lou Haugh and one by E.A. Provost.

Written Across the Genres is available on Amazon, Kindle, and can be ordered at local bookstores.

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Romance Short Story Excerpt

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHIIn my last post about my anthology, I gave an example of a romance novel by Sharon Svitak called Simply Irresistible.  Nalini Davison’s story, “Hot and Cool”   is a romance short story. Here are a few paragraphs.

“He paced back and forth in front of Claire. After a few minutes, he threw his arms skyward and gave her a look of desperation. “Listen, I’m not psychotic, or don’t think I am. Never had visions. But I’m having one now, or something like it. I see fire coming out from your head. No, not fire. It’s a bright golden light that’s pulsating. You could be one of those Renaissance portraits of Mary with the halo.”

“I’m not exactly the Virgin Mary type,” she said with an impish look. She sat very still and watched him.

“Then why is your head hot? Why am I seeing all that light?” He backed away, crossed his arms, and tugged on his shirtsleeves.

“Byron, what are you doing? Please, don’t move away from me. It makes me feel as if something is horribly wrong.”

“Maybe it is.”

To find out what happens, check out Written Across the Genres on Amazon or Kindle or order from local book stores.

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The Romance Category in Written Across the Genres

Sharon Shivak Simply IrresistibleIn previous posts, I gave examples of Mainstream Fiction short stories published in my anthology, Written Across the Genres. The Romance Section features two short stories, three poems, and an excerpt from Sharon Burgess’ novel, Simply Irresistible, which she published on July 11, 2014. It is available on Amazon or it can be ordered at local bookstores.

Here are a few paragraphs where Jordan pays attention to his newly hired veterinary assistant, Kat, for the first time:

Suddenly coming back to himself, he spoke abruptly, “Well, Ms. Morelli that was a timely intervention you made. However, I am not certain how you think we should resolve the problem. You are aware, are you not, that I don’t have a senior discount policy at this clinic?”

“Well, you should have.” She straightened her back and glared with a force five tornado assaulting Mount Rushmore. “Old people living on pensions can’t afford high prices. Frequently, their pets are the only family they have, the only ones who care about them. Seniors are forced to choose between feeding themselves and taking care of their animals.”

“And why should this concern me?” Jordan asked. He saw a look of disgust on her face. His attitude had shocked her. He wasn’t certain why he cared, but suddenly he didn’t want this pert young woman to think badly of him.

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHIWritten Across the Genres is available on Amazon and Kindle or local bookstores.

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A short story called “Duration Matters”

high school lockers in hallIn Written Across the Genres, the last Mainstream Fiction short story, is “Duration Matters” by Arleen Eagling. It’s written in first person. The protagonist, Jennifer, is a high school student and she’s in trouble. Here are the first couple paragraphs:

“Three months after I transferred from prep school to Ramsey High, I waited outside the counselor’s office for the second time, my hands folded in my lap to keep them still. Portly, grey-haired Mr. Tanner opened his door and motioned for me to sit in the penalty chair.

At Ramsey High I qualified for accelerated classes. Being in the Advanced Placement program, however, went beyond learning more worthless facts faster. Dr. Math, aka Mr. Schwartz, had declared, ‘a certain decorum was expected in his classroom.’ After I’d mimicked him saying those same words, I was asked to absent myself from the room. Maybe because of how I pursed my lips and worked my eyebrows.”

Eagling deepened the story with Jennifer meeting another student whose complicated life touches her own and helps her to grow.

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHIMy anthology with both of Eagling’s stories in it is available on Amazon and Kindle or it can be ordered at your local bookstores.

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“Saving Sheena” a Short Story by Jan Davies

Sheena's body builderJan Davies short story called “Saving Sheena” is in the Mainstream Fiction section of Written Across the Genres, my anthology available on Amazon and Kindle and can be ordered at a local bookstore.

Sheena’s grown and married children are worried that she’s lonely living by herself. Here’s is an excerpt:

“All five pairs of eyes focused on the man that had just invaded their space. His limbs seemed to go on forever. Brian surmised he was at least a foot taller than his own 5’7″ stature. Steph thought his shoulders were going to bust out of that black silk tee that clung ever so snug around bulging biceps. Monica couldn’t stop staring at those big eyes that looked like the ocean had just poured itself into them, and Allen couldn’t stop wondering how this young man could know his mother-in-law?”

Check out what happens in this family with the new arrival.

FrontCover of Written Across the GenresHI

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Computer Repair Short Story in Anthology

computer-repairsGary Lea wrote “Countdown,” a short story in my anthology, Written Across the Genres. A friend calls the protagonist to repair a computer that has a virus. Here is an excerpt:

“No backup? Did I hear that right?”

“I know. We screwed up. It’s just that Frank thought Len did it and Len thought Frank did it and it just didn’t get done.”

“All right,” I said. “I’m not happy but I understand your dilemma. I’ll be there in forty-five minutes.”

When I arrived, Jim walked with me to the computer room. I booted up the problem computer. The screen showed its normal start up routine, looked okay until a message popped up informing me that the virus would wipe out everything on the computer in six hours. Jim hovered over my shoulder.”

You can find out what happens in Written Across the Genres on Amazon or Kindle or order it from your local bookstore.

And remember to back up your computer. I save everything on my home PC, on a storage disc, and on the PC at the office. I always believe in the power of three.

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