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500 and Counting ~ A short story readers help write. Catch up and join in!


Each week I use readers’ suggestions and write exactly five hundred words based on their feedback.

And just to make this interesting, I offer up one of my novels free to the commenter whose suggestion I use.

Okay…let’s write a story.

(If you haven't read the first scenes, please click on the link. Otherwise, the story won't make sense. Don’t worry; there's a link, which will bring you right back.)

Scene 9

The driver sat across the street in a new Chevy pickup, holding a pair of binoculars aimed at Gino and Sheila’s house. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. When Gino’s grandparents died twenty years ago, that should have been the end of all of this, but it seemed the secrets would never go away.

Killing the first time had been difficult, but doing it again had been harder. If there had been any other way to handle the situation, it wouldn’t have been necessary. But sometimes, people just wouldn’t let the past die. They continued to try to resolve problems instead of just letting the past disappear.

Now the problem was Jenny’s diary. No doubt, she’d kept one too. For some reason, women back in the fifties tended to record all their personal secrets—and other’s. Nowadays, narcissistic people simply documented their life on Facebook for the voyeurs of the world.

The radio crackled as if the light-rock station had suddenly changed to an out-of-area frequency. Odd, the radio was a top-of-the-line digital stereo, according to the salesman. It wasn’t supposed to have static. Figures. It seemed you couldn’t count on anyone to tell the truth, especially a car salesman. It was as if they purposely tried to take advantage of the buyer by recommending faulty aftermarket items to pad their pockets.

A chill swept through the truck, and the driver raised the window in response. Shifting the vehicle in reverse, the driver started to back up, but saw a figure standing behind the truck, and slammed on the brakes. When the driver whipped around to look out the rear window, nothing was visible except inky darkness and a deserted street.

Music blared out of the stereo at decibels loud enough to cause the truck’s windows to rattle in the darkness. The engine revved, as the gear shifter moved into drive. The driver heard a shrill scream and realized it had come from within, as the truck barreled toward a streetlamp.

The speedometer’s white arm moved to the right with speed almost as fast as the truck careening toward the corner and the waiting pole that would split the truck down the middle like a hot knife through melted butter. The steering wheel refused to turn in either direction, and the brake and accelerator pedals were nonexistent. At the last second, the driver closed both eyes and prepared for the crash, but nothing happened.

Opening one eye cautiously and then the other, the driver realized that the car had never moved from the parking space down from Gino’s house.

The radio had fallen silent and the window was down as it had been only minutes earlier. Heart racing and blood rushing, the driver carefully turned the ignition. The Chevy sprung to life with a quiet purr and the soft-rock station started up again. An old Three Dog Night tune filled the car at the radio’s normal volume. But the song that played caused the driver to blanch. Liar.

Okay, friends, what happens next? If you’ve been following along, we now have a suspect. Heck, some might say we have two. Who's the mysterious driver? I still have all the suggestions from last week, and I think they will work in perfectly next week as we start to bring this story home. I couldn't resit using the nighttime to bring a little paranormal back, though. Can’t wait to see what you guys have in store for us. J

Please feel free to jump in by leaving your comments below.

About me:
While I do not write "Christian" books, I do share my characters' Christian beliefs. My characters are real people who come with real flaws; no perfect people allowed.

I characterize my stories as modern-day fairytales, as they are overflowing with romance, mystery, suspense, and of course, tragedy. After all, what would a fairytale be without a tragic event setting the stage? All of my novels are sensual, but not erotic, gripping but not graphic and will hopefully make you cry, laugh, love, and hope.

Both of my published novels, She Belongs to Me and Land of the Noonday Sun, have reached bestseller status right alongside Nicholas Sparks, J.D. Robb, and other great authors. My third novel, Entangled Dreams, releases this month.

I love talking about all things books, so please connect with me via one of the links below.

Books available:

When two strangers have nothing left but their dreams, they must forge a relationship in Nantahala, North Carolina, a small town known as Land of the Noonday Sun.

After secrets and a mysterious background leave a wife’s life hanging by a thread, a husband must look for answers in the only place he knows—the past.

Now available at:

And coming soon, Entangled Dreams




  1. Oh, I love it! A ghost from the past protecting what belongs to him? Makes me wonder if it was old Smitty in that truck! Great to think of where to go from here!


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