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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Short Story Saturday~ Featuring Author LaDonna Cole's Award Winning "Final Act"

As promised, here is the award winning short story by author LaDonna Cole!  I know many of you have been anxiously awaiting this so you can see how it ends!  Enjoy!

 

Final Act
by LaDonna Cole


Heart pounding in her chest, Liliana drew a deep breath and steadied her Glock. “I need an extraction, now!” She whispered into her com.
“Copy, Vixen. We are ten minutes out.”
“I don’t have ten minutes!” She pressed her back to the marble wall of the Library of Congress, the chill seeping through her thin cocktail dress. She slid to the corner where a slice of light dissected the shadows.
Ding!
The elevator door across the room opened and two men in camo uniforms exited, led by their Browning M2 HB’s at the ready.  Turning toward the north corridor, they stomped away from Liliana.
“Get to the third floor, Vixen.” Her partner’s voice crackled over the com. “We may have another…”
Liliana didn’t hear the end of his sentence. She ran for the open elevator and skidded in just before it closed. She punched the three and checked her clip, chambered a bullet and pressed her body against the wall beside the elevator doors.
They opened and Liliana peered around the corner. The third floor was abandoned. She slipped into the darkness, keeping her back to the perimeter wall.
“Vixen, did you get the documents?”
“Affirmative.” Flinging the blond wig over her shoulder, she scanned the shadowed room. Tall maple bookshelves eclipsed her view, and the odor of dusty books assailed her.
“Good.” Her partner sighed. “I’m gonna get you out safely, Lil.”
“I know.” Liliana’s heart spiked at the tremor in his voice. She and Tim had been partners for seven years and lovers for three.  Inevitable from the beginning, the air sizzled when he was near.
The elevator dinged.
“They’re here!” She escaped further into the back section of the shelves and wove between discarded desks and chairs.
“Lil, get to the last row of shelves on the north side.”
“Why?”
“Just do it.  I have schematics.”
Keeping low Liliana pressed toward the last row. She froze when a radio crackled on the next aisle.
“No sign of the intruder.” A deep voice faded away.
She inched back and her foot struck something on the floor and she staggered. A hand grabbed her ankle.
She clenched her teeth to keep from screaming and whirled around. Bright white FBI letters cut through the dark.
“Help me,” a man rasped and clung to her calf.
“Shhh.” She squatted down beside him and placed her finger on his lips, then checked behind her to see if the guard had heard. He was still moving toward the elevator. 
“Agent Keller, FBI.” He breathed, barely a whisper. “National security risk…must get…” He gurgled out the end of his sentence.
A rusty smell rose from the floor, warm fluid seeped into her shoes. This agent was gone.
“Did you hear something?” the guard asked his partner.
“Back there.”  They jogged toward Liliana.
“Vixen, are you there?” Tim asked.
“Yes.”
“Top shelf to your right, seventh book down, Photogenics A-Z.”
“I don’t have time!”
“Pull the book! Now!”
Liliana yanked at the tech manual. The bookcase slid back like a patio door revealing a staircase winding down into darkness.
“Down here! I heard something!” the guard bellowed at the end of her row and spat a volley of bullets.
Liliana dove into the stairwell and the bookcase door slammed closed.  Bullets pelted the steel door.
“Tim. Tim!” Liliana tapped her com but it was silent.
She placed a stiletto pump on the next step and carefully descended, spiraling into the dark unknown. Gun supported between both hands, Lilana delved into pitch black.
With her eyes useless, she honed in on her other senses.  A waft of stale air fingered through the strands of her wig and she could hear the fading sounds of the guards above trying to blast through the door.
As she crept deeper, sounds above yielded to other noises. The click of her heels on the stone steps, a scramble of tiny claws and squeaks fled before her. Her pounding pulse and ragged breathing clamored. She spiraled deeper.
The wall fell away and the steps ended.  Sliding her foot forward she felt a cobbled stone floor and sensed open space ahead.
Another sound pierced the darkness. Someone else was in the room with her. She could hear them breathing.  A masculine scent filtered past her, familiar and intoxicating, Grey Flannel, Tim’s favorite cologne.
A light flared and Liliana flinched as the pain stabbed her eyes. She blinked and peered through her lashes.
“Tim!” Relief washed over her and she stepped toward a safe embrace. “How did you…”
She stopped. Tim aimed his gun directly at her heart.
“Give me the documents, Lil.”
She pealed back the slit in her gown and withdrew the folder of documents. “What’s going on, Tim?”
“This is my last job, Lil. I’m done. I’m out. When I deliver these documents to my employer, I will be filthy rich.” His eyes flashed with wild ambition.
“Your employer.” Liliana slowly lifted her Glock. “I assume you don’t mean the CIA.”
Tim snorted. “No.”
“You’re a double agent?”
“I prefer to think of myself as freelance.”
“Traitor,” Liliana growled.
“Now, Lil. No need to get hostile.” His eyes scanned her lean form. “Come with me. We can get that beach house in the Caymans.”
“You killed the FBI agent up there, didn’t you?”
“He shouldn’t have interfered.”
“You are never going to touch these.” She waved the documents at him.
“You don’t know the combination to get out of here. If I die, you are stuck here, forever.”
“You said we would be together, forever.  That was the only time you told the truth!”
Liliana and Tim glared, eye to eye, gun to gun and fired.  Documents scattered into the air and both agents slammed back against the walls and emptied their clips into each other.
Tim convulsed then stilled. Liliana slid down the wall leaving a bloody smear as US government seals and Top Secret stamps fluttered to the ground and soaked up her final act of patriotism.

 ~*~
LaDonna Cole, Writer, Nurse, Therapist, Mom, and Ukulele singer extraordinaire, loves to write fantasy/fiction, songs, and poetry. She just finished Holding Kate Trilogy, Heartwork Village Stories (Scifi), is editing Sisterhood of the Sword Saga (Fantasy),  and working on Forbidden Encounters Trilogy (Supernatural) and The Blood Singer (Supernatural), and Donnie Dudgeon series. She is a single mom with two kids and a beagle and looking forward to a research trip to the Bahamas this summer. 
 
 
 
You can sample her work at:

 

Thank you LaDonna for allowing me to feature this amazing award winner!

If you enjoyed this, (I sure did!) be sure to check out
LaDonna's pages and leave her a comment here,
and/or head over to her Facebook fan page and let her know! 




*Do you have a teaser or short story you'd like to see featured at The Realm?  It's easy friend!  Email me DM@DMKilgore.com with your submission, and be sure to send any photos/artwork (be sure they are YOUR intellectual property or you include proper copyrights and permissions) you'd like featured with your tale.  Don't forget to include your photo and a brief bio!  That's all you need to be featured at The Realm!*

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fun Friday~ Can You Relate?

*courtesy of* Women Living Well



If you have kids, even if they are only the kind with fur and four legs, you can relate!

 

Fun Friday is being cut short today by a math exam,
but I hope you got a giggle out of this!
Don't forget your Mother's... SUNDAY is Mother's Day!





 AND


DON'T FORGET TO TUNE IN TOMORROW
For Short Story Saturday

TO READ ALL OF LaDONNA COLE'S

AWARD-WINNING SHORT STORY:  

FINAL ACT

 

What? You missed the teaser?  Oh my!

Stop, drop, and click!

FINAL ACT TEASER







PS  I know I owe several winners' their prizes.  I promise I haven't forgotten.
I just haven't made it out of class long enough for a trip to the post office!
My apologies, I WILL GET THEM MAILED.  Promise!



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thoughtful Thursdays~ Don't Worry, Be Broken...

"I'm not going to worry, I know that You've got me, right inside the palm of Your hand. Each and every moment, what's good and what gets broken, happens just the way You plan. You are here. You're real. I know I can trust You. Even when it's hurts, even when it's hard, even when it all just falls apart..."  
~
Kari Jobe


*picture courtesy of:  The Busy Homeschool Mom*

I've had a lot pressing on my mind and heart this week (not just math- ha!).  Last night, I spent a lot of time praying that I could just "fix" it.  I'm a fixer.  I see someone hurting...

MUST.FIX.


I guess my heart has always been overly-sensitive to the plight and pain of others.  It is especially hard when the other person is someone you love.  I really just wanted to take the pain away, even if I had to bear it upon my own heart.  It's a load I would have carried for them willingly (and one I've carried personally before), if only to spare them the hurt.

But, realization arrived as I was catching up with my writing pal José-Miguel.  The conversation turned to going through hard times.  He said, "I truly believe that our strength is shown when we go through hard things. We're just not in the right spot at that moment to see how strong we really are."  Wow.  So true.  You really don't know how strong you are until your strength is tested.  It isn't that we hit the floor and fall apart that matters.  It's that we have the courage and the strength to sweep up all our broken pieces and run with them, to the One who can put us back together and make us whole.

 My favorite song, by one of my favorite bands, Red. 
I think you'll understand how much this one means to me.

I have a quote that I printed out several years ago.  It is one of my favorites and is firmly planted above the desk and computer where I do my writing.  I'm not sure where it originated, but I find so much peace in the message it carries.

"God is the master of restoration,
taking the broken and damaged and making them beautiful.
"




*picture courtesy of: In His Graces*

I am who I am today because of my past hurts.  

 

Everything beautiful and everything broken in my life is what shaped me into who I am today.  Am I perfect?  Of course not, no one is.  Am I better than I was?  Definitely.  Most definitely.  I'm better because of the disappointments, and because of the pain I had to go through, and especially for the journey from broken to beautiful.  That journey brought me to God.  Broken things can become blessed and beautiful things when you let God do the mending.

SuperChick "Beauty From Pain"

 

Who am I to deny someone, especially someone I love, that opportunity?



How blessed are those that are given circumstances in life that allow them to feel every emotion (good or bad) that reveals their strength and beauty?  Who among us doesn't long to become exactly who God meant for us to be?  To find our purpose? To unveil His plan for our lives?  How marvelous it is to learn that we can rise from the ashes!  How precious is it to discover it was all part of God's beautiful and perfect plan for us?





*Romans 8:28*


I might not like watching it all play out, but it's His plan, not mine.  For whatever reason... no matter what we are going through, we simply must carry on. 

He won't let any of us go alone.  He's there.  Right now, lifting up those who are too weary to walk the path ahead. 

I have nothing to worry about.  Nothing to fear.  God helped me to rise from the ashes.  So too, will He help anyone who is hurting, crumbling, or broken.

Are you lost? Broken? Hurting?  


Have you woken to a new reality, one that you never thought you'd find yourself in?  Dear one, believe me when I tell you, I've been there.  And no matter how desperate the pain is at this moment, it will become something more beautiful than you can see right now.  Trust in His plan for you.  Stand strong.  You're not alone.  Reach out.  Even in the darkness, He's holding you. 

He'll never let you go.


Manafest "Never Let You Go / Hold On"


Today's Verse: 

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."  ~I Peter 5:10 

 


Kari Jobe "Steady My Heart"

♫♪ I will run to You,
'cause I know that you are Lover of my soul, Healer of my scars.
You steady my heart. ♪♫

 




Right before I headed to bed last night, I spotted this picture and "fill-in-the-blank" on author Caleb Jennings Breakey's Facebook wall:


I thought my whole world was going to collapse, but then God ______________.

 



 My answer:  "Caught Me."

 

 

What's yours? 

 


I'll leave you with a final video... and pray you know:

It's all going to be okay. 

Fall to pieces.  He will catch you.

Don't worry, be broken.

YOU will RISE...
Out of those ashes rise!

 



 

Thanks for hanging in there!  I know I've shared a lot of thoughts, links, and music with you today.  (Sorry about those video ads, not my idea, just skip them!)  God put it on my heart today to share, share, share!  Even if it meant being long-winded and bombarding this post with all the songs in my head, and all the pictures that sent me searching for verses or songs.  Whatever was on my heart this day, I've shared it!  Hoping that those of you out there that are searching, find what you need to lead you closer to Him and to the joy and peace one can find only in Him.

I do hope you'll listen, enjoy, ponder, and please visit those I've linked and like them on Facebook.  I know that many a morning (or late night) I've found a song or a picture on a Facebook wall that awakens my mind or my heart.  I usually end up studying on the verse that it brings to mind, and in that, many answers are found.  


God speaks to us, in so many ways,
if only we listen with more than our ears,
and look with more than our eyes.
Seek Him with all your heart.

This daily dose of DM brought to you by
a beautifully broken but very steady Blue Monkey.

♥Thank You Jesus!♥




Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teaser Tuesday! A Peek At An Award-Winning Short Story From Author LaDonna Cole!

This week's teaser is a look at a terrific award-winning short story that I will feature this Saturday for my "Short-Story-Saturday" post.  This gem is by the fabulously talented author, LaDonna Cole.  Prepare to have your socks blown off, friends.  Let's take a peek...

 

Final Act
by LaDonna Cole




Heart pounding in her chest, Liliana drew a deep breath and steadied her Glock. “I need an extraction, now!” She whispered into her com.
“Copy, Vixen. We are ten minutes out.”
“I don’t have ten minutes!” She pressed her back to the marble wall of the Library of Congress, the chill seeping through her thin cocktail dress. She slid to the corner where a slice of light dissected the shadows.
Ding!
The elevator door across the room opened and two men in camo uniforms exited, led by their Browning M2 HB’s at the ready.  Turning toward the north corridor, they stomped away from Liliana.
“Get to the third floor, Vixen.” Her partner’s voice crackled over the com. “We may have another…”
Liliana didn’t hear the end of his sentence. She ran for the open elevator and skidded in just before it closed. She punched the three and checked her clip, chambered a bullet and pressed her body against the wall beside the elevator doors.
They opened and Liliana peered around the corner. The third floor was abandoned. She slipped into the darkness, keeping her back to the perimeter wall.
“Vixen, did you get the documents?”
“Affirmative.” Flinging the blond wig over her shoulder, she scanned the shadowed room. Tall maple bookshelves eclipsed her view, and the odor of dusty books assailed her.
“Good.” Her partner sighed. “I’m gonna get you out safely, Lil.”
“I know.” Liliana’s heart spiked at the tremor in his voice. She and Tim had been partners for seven years and lovers for three.  Inevitable from the beginning, the air sizzled when he was near.
The elevator dinged.
“They’re here!” She escaped further into the back section of the shelves and wove between discarded desks and chairs.
“Lil, get to the last row of shelves on the north side.”
“Why?”
“Just do it.  I have schematics.”
Keeping low Liliana pressed toward the last row. She froze when a radio crackled on the next aisle.
“No sign of the intruder.” A deep voice faded away.
She inched back and her foot struck something on the floor and she staggered. A hand grabbed her ankle.

... to be continued!

 

Don't miss this coming Saturday's post!
Short Story Saturday will showcase the entire story!

 

Thank you LaDonna Cole
for this tantalizing teaser and superb short story!



LaDonna Cole, Writer, Nurse, Therapist, Mom, and Ukulele singer extraordinaire, loves to write fantasy/fiction, songs, and poetry. She just finished Holding Kate Trilogy, Heartwork Village Stories (Scifi), is editing Sisterhood of the Sword Saga (Fantasy),  and working on Forbidden Encounters Trilogy (Supernatural) and The Blood Singer (Supernatural), and Donnie Dudgeon series. She is a single mom with two kids and a beagle and looking forward to a research trip to the Bahamas this summer. 



You can sample her work at:










*Do you have a teaser or short story you'd like to see featured at The Realm?  It's easy friend!  Email me DM@DMKilgore.com with your submission, and be sure to send any photos/artwork (be sure they are YOUR intellectual property or you include proper copyrights and permissions) you'd like featured with your tale.  Don't forget to include your photo and a brief bio!  That's all you need to be featured at The Realm!*