Hump Day Hook – 26 June 2013

Hump Day Hook


Greetings, all! It’s time for a Hump Day Hook!

To celebrate the release of Sophomore Season, today’s hook is from Coxswain All the Way, which appears in the collection.

As coxswain of the varsity eight, Derek was the little guy who sat in the stern of the boat, yelling to the oarsmen about where they were with respect to the other boats in a race, working with the stroke—the stern-most and lead oarsman—on strategy, and acting as in-boat coach, fine tuning the oarsmen’s rowing technique.

1006Christina013-01He wasn’t really that little—light, yes, but solid muscle. The only reason he didn’t row was that he was only five feet, seven inches. A swimmer in high school, Derek had been on Grandville’s swim team his freshman year, but the swim coach hadn’t been demanding enough. He didn’t challenge his athletes the way Coach Diedrickson did. When Derek was honest with himself, being around big guys with bulky muscles was more his speed anyway.

That’s how Derek happened to be riding through Kentucky in the passenger seat of Kevin Patterson’s stripped-down van with seven hunky guys sleeping behind him. With only two seats in the van—one for the driver and another for a passenger, the team took turns in them. At night, since they were driving non-stop, the navigator’s job was to keep himself and the driver awake.

Thanks for reading!

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To purchase the paperback of Sophomore Season, click here.

(Don’t worry, ebook formats are coming soon!)


‘Til next time!

Hump Day Hook – 19 June 2013

Hump Day Hook logoGreetings, all! Time again for a Hump Day Hook!

I’m continuing with Subeo. If you’d like to catch up with the story so far, click here.

 “Liam! Liam, wake up!” The voice—Keith’s, he recognized—whispered nearby.

His tongue was thick and stuck to his teeth. He fought to sit up. Metal creaked loudly in the pitch black.

“Lie still! Just listen!” Tension pulled at Keith’s voice, making it thin and reedy “You can’t get out of here by resisting. The only way out is through the ritual.”

Ritual? What sort of shit had Keith gotten him into?

20051002190321_103Cautiously he felt about. He was back on the cot. His clothes had been removed—he was oddly thankful not to be wearing piss-soaked jeans—and replaced by some sort of loose fabric that covered him from neck to foot.

“Don’t move!” Keith paused, his breathing fast and shallow. “Oh, crap—he’s coming back! I’m not supposed to be here! Don’t take the easy answer! Remember—don’t take the easy one!”

Easy answer? Any answer—hard or easy—would have been good!

This was getting worse by the minute.

Thanks for reading!

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‘Til next time!

Hump Day Hook – 12 June 2013

Hump Day Hook logo


Greetings, all! Time once again for a Hump Day Hook!

I am continuing with Subeo; if you need to catch up, click here. WARNING: Today’s snippet contains violent content which may upset some readers. Continue at your own risk…


“Stand up!”

He jolted awake, his head thumping painfully against the door. The room was still impenetrably black—he had no idea how long he’d dozed. It could have been minutes… or hours. Why had Keith done this?


“Stand up!” The voice cracked again. “I shall not repeat the request.”

He struggled to his feet, his legs complaining. The chill floor had sucked the life from his muscles, leaving stiff soreness behind. He supported himself against the doorframe. “Keith, where a—?”

“Silence!” Sound didn’t come from behind him, beyond the door. The voice seemed to issue from the very darkness that engulfed him.

Pain chewed at his joints. His head ached where he’d struck it, and he needed to take a wicked piss. Anger flared in his chest—he wanted answers. And he wanted them now.

“Keith! Answer—“

“SILENCE!” The voice thundered with a trace of feedback. It was some sort of PA system.

“I want to—Aarrgh!” A powerful electric current shot up his left leg, numbing it and throwing him to the floor. Refusing to acquiesce, he struggled to speak. “Wh… why?”

More current shocked him, his limbs twitching against the floor. Warmth flooded around him as his bladder let go, and he fell into even deeper blackness.

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‘Til next time!

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Hump Day Hook – 05 June 2013

Hump Day Hook logo

 Greetings, all!

Once again, Wednesday is upon us and it’s time for a Hump Day Hook! Although Luk has come out of his sulk, I’m continuing with another piece from Subeo:

He sat on the floor in the dark, leaning against the cold implacable steel of his cell’s entrance. What the hell had happened? He remembered stopping by Perk ‘n’ Brew after class to write more of his clinical psych paper. Keith, Dr. Mellor’s T.A., had been there, and they’d talked about some of the research material. At that point he’d pretty much lost interest in working—he just wanted to look at Keith and listen to the animated way he spoke. Psychology wasn’t his major, but he’d have considered it if the dark-haired grad student were at every class.


Keith had offered refills, and he’d taken the opportunity to use the john—his cock had gotten uncomfortably full as he watched Keith’s lips, imagining them doing things other than sipping latte. Good to his word, Keith had procured two fresh cups and was texting when he returned from the men’s room. The T.A. quickly apologized and stuffed the phone into his jacket pocket.

“No problem, dude,” he’d assured him. “I don’t mind.”

“I don’t like to text really.” Keith shrugged. “It’s rude if you’re with someone—like speaking a foreign language that someone in the group doesn’t. Everyone always thinks you’re talking—or texting—about them. Which I wasn’t.”

He recalled taking a sip, savoring the chocolaty smoothness as Keith got warmed up on a discussion of Freud and egocentrism.

Then the world had slid sideways…

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‘Til next time!

Hump Day Hook – 29 May 2013

Hump Day Hook logo

Greetings, all!

Once again it is Wednesday and time for a Hump Day Hook! I’m stepping away from Ark for a bit (Luk has chosen to be rather quiet lately), so today’s hook is the opening to another WIP, titled Subeo, which is Latin for ‘I submit.’ (Ironically, this too involves a door…)

The snap of ammonia assaulted his nose. 

Waking, he struggled to orient himself. Where the fuck am I? Last he knew he was at the coffee shop across from campus. Now darkness pressed against his senses, filling his vision, stopping his ears. He shivered.

prison cell doors / / CC BY-ND

He lay on what felt to be a narrow cot, its frame digging into his shoulders. Carefully he reached out his left hand and encountered a rough, cold wall. Cinderblock. To the right his other hand found empty air. Rolling to that side, he cautiously sat up. The cot creaked loudly in the heavy silence.

Standing, he swayed a little and steadied himself with a hand on the wall. Trailing fingers along the bricks, he shuffled forward, his right arm extended. A few steps brought him to a corner; turning right, he continued his tour. Another corner.

“Ouch!” Table. He sidled around the obstruction, keeping his hand on the wall. The table stood next to a door.

Sweeping hands over the surface of the door, he found no window, no lock, no knob, only an expanse of cool metal.

“Hello!” His fists drummed on the door; hollow echoes followed. “Anyone there? Let me out!”

The darkness absorbed his shouts, muffling his cries for help. He kept pounding, kept hoping for a response. Only the silence screamed back.

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‘Til next time!

Hump Day Hook – 22 May 2013

Hump Day Hook logo

Greetings, all!

Posting really late, but it’s still Hump Day!

We are continuing with Ark!

12 Sept 217 ARY

Luk lovingly fingered the cool pieces of metal in the pocket of his jumpsuit. Eighteen months of archival research had paid off. He hoped.

Doors had loks, which he had known, of course, but his door—that was how he thought of it now—had a mechanical lok. Pins and tumblers kept the handle—the strange metal piece, he’d learned—from turning and allowing the door to open. They required a mechanical kee, which could be inserted to make the handle move. The fact that he had no kee had disappointed him for months.

Until he learned about lok picks.


Luk had discovered this fact in an ancient document about crime on Old Erth—apparently people used to take things they wanted and didn’t have from other people who had them. So, it was theoretically possible to defeat the pins and tumblers with small metal tools called picks.

Luk was about to find out.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out more Hooks here.

‘Til next time!

Hump Day Hook – 15 May 2013

Hump Day Hook logo

Greetings, all!

It’s Wednesday and time for Hump Day Hook! I’m continuing with my dystopian work in progress, Ark.

Luk’s thumb again found its way to the corner of his mouth. If the schematics were at all correct, there was no reason for this door in the first place—yet there it was. Hence, it must lead someplace. But to where? Cru-member spaces were restricted; to trespass was to invite disciplinary action. Clearly the door was unused, but Luk suspected that would not be an argument in his favor, should he get caught.

He glanced over his shoulder. Master Jon would not come to check on him; there would be no question in the Tutor’s mind that Luk was focused on his task—his reliability distracted from his differentness.

Now his curiosity warred with his caution. The schematics. XAP. The hidden door. The dust.


4BlueEyes Pete Williamson / / CC BY-NC-ND

Curiosity won. Luk stepped forward, pushing on the door. It shifted in its frame and sent an avalanche of gray powder over Luk’s hand. But it did not open. The metallic protrusion moved a little—maybe it was key to getting through the door. Luk could turn the piece left and right, only to have it spring back to its original position. Frustrated, he shook the piece and pounded on the gray metal. To no avail—the portal remained closed.

Clearly he had a lot to learn about doors.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out more Hooks here.

‘Til next time!

Hump Day Hook – 08 May 2013

Hump Day Hook logo

Greetings, all!

First off, congratulations to Mandy Earles who won the drawing for the $5 Amazon gift card  in last week’s giveaway.

We are continuing with Ark this week. To catch up with Luk and his world aboard the Ark, click here.

At least he thought it was a door—there was no keypad, only a weird piece of what looked to be metal sticking out of one side. Fine gray dust filmed its surface and had piled up on the odd protrusion. Luk could see words on the door, faint letters beneath the layer of forgottenness. He reached out to brush the dirt away. The surface was cold and rough, so unlike the smooth regular plastinel found everywhere else in the Ark. A cloud of dust tickled his nose. He sneezed.

Photo credit: adrazahl / / CC BY-ND

Photo credit: adrazahl / / CC BY-ND

Authorized Personnel Only.

Luk didn’t know what authorized meant—it sounded like it had something to do with writing. But he did know what personnel meant. Personnel meant cru-members. Cru-members were the elite, the upper-most class on the Ark—only the healthiest, smartest, and strongest people were chosen to join the cru. Once admitted, cru-members lived separate lives; rarely were they seen among the bulk of the people aboard, unless there was an emergency. Everybody aboard had responsibilities on the Ark; cru-members were responsible for the operation of the Ark.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out more Hump Day Hooks here.

‘Til next time!

Hump Day Hook – 01 May 2013

Hump Day Hook logo

Greetings, all! It’s Hump Day! And even better—it’s a giveaway day!

Yep! Each author on the HDH loop is hosting a giveaway, so be sure to visit everybody for lots of chances to win!

For today’s hook, I’m continuing with my WIP, Ark. If you would like to catch up with Luk and his world, click here.

Luk dropped down and sat on his haunches, a thumbnail trapped between his teeth. The misteree called to him. What was behind the rack? Why wasn’t it in the schematics? He glanced from the shelves to the hallway and back.

With a sharp nod, Luk crept across the room, quickly looking up and down the companionway. Master Jon was occupied out of sight, whistling tunelessly as he worked. Luk keyed the lock code, and the entry slid closed with a soft shush.

Quickly he unloaded the contents of the shelves, piling the containers wherever they might fit. Next went the entire section of shelving, each piece stacked neatly to the side. The exposed bulkhead resembled every other section of wall in the Ark—gray plastinel squares joined to more gray plastinel squares. Luk examined the segment and could find no irregularity, hearing only a hollow thump with every tap. He poked and prodded along the connections and was rewarded with a snick. A section had come loose.

Photo of old Door with lock

Image courtesy of nuttakit at

Luk let out the breath he’d been holding. Grabbing hold he pulled, and the entire section swung out to reveal a door—a really strange door.

So, what’s beyond the door?

Leave a comment with what you think lies beyond the hidden door—along with your valid email address—to be entered in a drawing for a $5 Amazon gift card!

Be sure to check out more of the Hump Day giveaways here.

‘Til next time!

Hump Day Hook – 17 April 2013

Hump Day Hook logo

 Greetings, all!

Today we find out a little bit more about Luk and his world:

Stuck in Customs in Space

Stuck in Customs / / CC BY-NC-SA

Grabbing his compad, Luk accessed the internal schematics of the Ark. Master Jon’s laboratory was located in the third Ring, making the storage room one of the outermost spaces in the Ark. According to Luk’s Engineering class, that meant there were no other spaces beyond except superstructure, then exoskin, then…nothing. The schematics confirmed it. The back storage room was a rectangular space, labeled Storaj Lokker 3-3-639677—XAP. Luk didn’t know what an XAP designation meant—and neither did the schematic legend, apparently—but the schematics showed no irregularity in the room.

Curiosity poked at Luk. He knew he should alert Master Jon to the inaccuracy, but this was something different. Like him, it was not quite the way it was supposed to be. An Old Erth word came to mind—misteree.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out more hooks here.

‘Til next time!