Category Archives: love story

#PitchWars is here!

I’M SO F#$<*&@ NERVOUS!!!!

Sorry, Cap.

Anyway, as I’m sitting and deciding on whether I’ve chosen the right mentors for my story…
Should I really submit the revamped Darrows? Because it is somewhat a repeat.
Who should I really submit to? Because they can help make me or break me right now.
Is every single person who read that story being sugary and fluffy with their praises or are they being so-very-true blue?

I just now–like literally right this second–remembered that I hadn’t even done a #PitchWars Bio for this year. Not that much has changed since last year. I’m still writing and unpubbed, except now I’m also serving up coffee and talking to everyone under the sun at my coffee-house job…

The story I’m submitting:

Love, Darrows

This is the retelling of the whole Cupid tale from myths of yore. And I say it like that because most people think of Cupid as being Greek myth, but he started out in Roman myth circles. Which my story touches on both here and there. The twist to my Cupid tale is the fact that my Cupid is gay. Plus, there is a Psyche (the original Cupid’s love) but I’ve included the other erotes and Greek/Roman myth characters and stories to create a modern-day, high school Cupid with his own unique story and personality. Quentin Darrows is seventeen–a poetic little $#!+, too–and in love with his best friend who loves to date anyone, male and female alike. And this poor Cupid is just trying to cope with it all.

(Quentin is going to kill me for using this Cupid image. He really doesn’t like babies in diapers being Cupid.)

Love, Darrows is a modern take on a Cupid who can’t control his own love life with his phone app arrows, so he fights for his boyfriend, Lex, in any way he can. The story I am submitting it part one and part two, Love, Carter, completes the tale.

What I am ready to do:

I am ready to rip this baby apart if I have to. I want to learn and make QUENTIN THE BEST DERN CUPID ever! I want to get his story out there and into the world. Give him the wings to fly because I know when he does, he’ll fly far! I’m ready to work hard and absorb all the advice a mentor wants to give. Be harsh with me, because I need the honesty to get my story living. I’ll stay up all night. Work all day, except when I’m working, and even then I’d be working on Darrows.

I just look forward to having new eyes and new thoughts on something that’s been with me for years.

Even if I’m not chosen, MY ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO GET DARROWS PUBLISHED.

What I typically write:

Usually my stories fall into a million different categories. Well, except for my NYC-RomComs. I write adult and YA. I usually go contemporary with my tales, though I’ve been in and out and twisted around almost every genre out there–Paranormal, supernatural, retellings, rom coms, myths, knights and princesses, angels and demons, ghosts, dystopians, mystery, space, and superheroes[ish]–with the exception of horror.

What I read:

I like almost any kind of story. Romances tend to be in my top picks (most recently Mónica B. Wagner’s Frosh series and Rachel Van Dyken’s The Matchmaker’s Playbook series). I love a good non-romantic series (see the Lunar Chronicles and Divergent). Graphic novels–Scott Pilgrim, Agent Carter, Spider-Gwen, and Ms. Marvel are among the tops ones I read.

Well…I just love a really good book I don’t want to put down but then I regret when I finish reading because I want to keep those characters and events with me forever.

Favorite Movies/TV/Netflix/Hulu

In other words, random stuff that has nothing to do with writing, yet has somehow inspired me in so many ways.

Anything Chris Evans, my favorite being What’s Your Number?

And Scott Pilgrim…

I like Captain America, The Avengers, Underoos (aka Spider-man), Back to the Future, Star Wars (Han Solo), Guardians of the Galaxy, Parks and Rec, The Office, Rick and Morty, Supernatural, Brooklyn-9-9, Stranger Things, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Friends from College, iZombie, Game of Thrones…

I CAN’T BELIEVE CAP KISSED MARGERY TYRELL!!! *WORLDS COLLIDE*

…Westworld, you name it and I’ve probably watched it. Almost anything you can find at a Comic Con panel or that will make me laugh. Or sigh. Or go awww, or even just…

Random things about me:

I am becoming a polyglot.

I speak American natively, and I have many years of Spanish under my belt. Recently, I started learning French, Norwegian, and Japanese. (I have plans for Swedish and Italian in the future.) I can already label some items and ask questions in French and Norwegian. I also can recognize a lot of Hiragana on packages (and read a few things) when I’m shopping at Daiso–Japan’s answer to the dollar store.

Daiso is one of my favorite places to go.

I have a growing collection of Funko figures. Mostly Captain Americas. The first one I owned  was Han Solo I found back in 2011/2012. Then Marty McFly and Doc. Then Chewbacca. Then when Cap came out…and so on and so on…

Recently, I used a plastic Coca-cola crate and turned it into a shelf for my Toby Stanks (yes, I did that on purpose. #TeamCap #SorryNotSorry) and Underoos Funko figures on the other side of the room from Cap and me.

I like photoshopping photos into looking like a comic or something someone drew. (This is one I did for a coffee project at work.)

I am allergic to sulfites, meaning that virtually everything I eat will make me sick–including my beloved fruits and veggies. I was never vegetarian but I really don’t like meat especially without ketchup or a sauce or seasoning.
The only thing I like without that stuff is the Flying Dutchman from In-N-Out. So I’m there a few days a week.

Despite my allergies and my body’s inability to handle food properly, I have managed to lose almost 100 pounds…which is a great feat, IMO. It’s still a work in progress, though.

I always wanted a Captain America sweater, but when I couldn’t find one that not everyone else would have, I looked up knitting patterns and figured out how to knit my own…It’s a great comfy sweater perfect for reading and rainy, cold days.

I like to draw.

I now draw the boards for my store.

this isn’t the best one, but it is the most recent.

 

L’il Sebastian. Because…

 

And…well…if you haven’t guessed by now, I’m a HUGE fan of Chris Evans. He has the BEST SOUL anyone could own.
Everyone at work picks on me, a lot of people roll their eyes, but I will defend him/that fact to the death.

MY FAVORITE CAP IMAGE:

Why? Because it always reminds me that when things look bleak, when you’re feeling down, when all looks lost in the world, keep fighting, keep hoping, keep working and you will come out of it a better person and hopefully on top of it all.

I plan on staring at this one a lot in the coming weeks when the mentor/mentee teams are announced. (And hopefully long after as I’m readying Darrows with my mentor’s help.)

Well, it’s time…

Time to begin. Isn’t it? (sorry, channeling Imagine Dragons there) Time to get those mentors listed and get Darrows into the mix.

*deep breath*

Thanks for taking the time to read. And sorry about the fangirly me. (not too sorry, though. it is who I am.)

GOOD LUCK TO ALL WHO ARE ENTERING!!!
SEE YOU GUYS ON THE FLIP-SIDE!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

all gifs found on giphy.com

all images are mine.

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Filed under amwriting, aspirations, back to the future, Chris Evans, determined, i resolute, LGBTQ, love carter, love darrows, love story, Pitch Wars, posted from another site, publish it, the fangirling has made it here, write

It has been literally an eon and a day…

…since I’ve been here. Real life has taken over and I’ve been killing myself at work. Meaning my reading schedule is a millennium behind. Sadly. I also do have quite a few book reviews to write, but now that Goodreads no longer talks to my blog, it’s going to make that more difficult. In the meantime, my goal is to do PitchWars in a few weeks.

PitchWars is an exciting time. The submission of a story always is, especially when you’ve put your soul into it.

So now it comes to which of my completed, ready-to-go manuscripts I’m going to choose. I am leaning towards going with Love, Darrows. Yes, again. Only because he has had so many agents love him, but they didn’t rep __________ (fill in the blank with whatever minute detail here: LGBTQ, mythical realism, magical elements, Roman/Greek myth), but they complimented him with some of the best words a writer’s ego just loves to hear. I think he and Love, Carter, his partner in crime, can go far with just the right rep.

But then there’s the new incarnation of my opus, Human Touch. Not only is Nikki more improved, but she’s better. The story is better. Still not toned down to one genre. Plus, because of this world building of her side, it’s verbose. I can cut out parts. Not a problem. But…what is that all important part to cut. I understand something that doesn’t move the story forward, but every piece of it is Nikki moving forward and having experiences she hadn’t had before.

I could also do my NYC romances. Which honestly…okay. I can’t say they’re my favorite, because every story I write is my fave, but I can say that I love these because I wrote them for myself, meaning I couldn’t find some fun rom-com type stories that didn’t hold billionaires or army guys. Just a normal guy and a normal girl who meet through weird circumstances and fall for each other with some laughs and quirky characters along the way.

The best part of my stories are…they all interconnect. Across all those genres and styles, the characters/stories are all within each other. I try to keep that in mind when I’m searching for  an agent. That this person needs to have a broad sense of likes when it comes to reading, because I would love to work with them throughout all of my stories getting out there and living a life. I’m in this for the long haul.

So on my day off today, i am going through all of the PitchWars everything–videos, websites, mentors, etc. I am going into it with Darrows in mind, but am keeping my options open. Good luck to anyone else entering this crazy mixed up wonderful PitchWars world. Hope to see you around.

MORE SOON~~~>

{see Brenda Drake’s PitchWars here}

 

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Filed under amwriting, aspirations, having fun, human touch, LGBTQ, love carter, love darrows, love story, NYC romcoms, Pitch Wars, romance can't be antiquated, romcoms are my peeps, supernatural, sync or swim, wings

The master list.

Once upon a time, I was reading a book written by Stephen King and happened upon a character named “Ace Merrill”. He lived in a little place of yore called Castle Rock, Maine. Well, that name/that location sent a smile to my face and memories into my brain. I knew this guy from that story that other time. Talk about being excited when I remembered little things that I loved about the town or couldn’t stand about Ace…It was like being in on a secret. I had to tell people, “Remember that guy from that place? Well, they’re back. No seriously. You have to read it.”

I blame Stephen King for this thing I have about linking my stories through characters, places, or just little hints. Even if no one else gets it, I know it’s there and am proud.

Lately, though, it feels like nothing is connecting. Not a story, a line, a name, or a title. I have a Tinkerbell journal full of notes for another Rom-Com in NYC I think I want to write for NaNoWriMo.

And if I do start writing on this, I will of course crossover locations or mention a person in passing–The Stephen King Effect. (The New York City thing for RomComs came from movies like The Secret of My Succe$s and What’s Your Number? {okay, so that’s Boston, but big city love story nonetheless} and even Something Borrowed.)

I like the idea of Sean and Gemma almost meeting at the same place that Kurt bought an apology latte…I like that Violet works with Sean while Charlie’s boss is Kurt. I like that this one hotspot is used for breakups and make-ups alike. What I don’t like is fishing through over 1000 pages of combined manuscripts to find that name or that place. That’s where the need for a master list of these tales comes into play.

I could just type a list on the computer. I have a few of those in OneNote and Word docs. But I like a solid journal with pages to flip through. I have images of places in my mind that I drew/draw that I like to reference in addition to photos. I like to keep the descriptions the same from story to story to make it more familiar…a home…like Castle Rock before it met its end.

There are three sections: The Stories which has either a book cover/promotional poster idea with a summary, characters, & locations. (The exact reason label makers were made.)

If Only in Our Dreams

Dreams can hold the best life has to offer. Who says they can’t come true?

Gemma has the worst luck with men. After this last date with the loser of her life, she’s ready to give up men. Her friends beg her for one more weekend–because they can choose a better guy for her–of blind dates. She agrees to one last weekend, though she’s regretting it already. Her friends will never find a guy like the one from her dreams. He’s hot and loving and the sex… Impossible.

Sean has the worst luck with women. After this last date with quite the drama queen, he’s ready to give up women. His friends beg him for one more weekend before doing anything drastic. After all, his friends can pick a woman better than the one from his dreams, right? Maybe not.

Life Imitating Art/Life Imitating Art

Every story has two sides, and Jana’s and Kurt’s are no exception. This duet of novels covers the same events, but are two entirely different tales. What he says is definitely not what she says about their lives from the moment they met.

Life Imitating Art: Jana Hampstead–pen name: JR Toscani–is a best selling romance authors of our time. After meeting her new editor Kurt, she realizes their story mimics the first story she’s ever written–Texas Violets, a fanfiction-turned-bestseller. Much like her characters, there’s ups and downs…and more downs…and he’s her editor, so that’s probably frowned upon around the editing firm. Oh definitely it is. Can Jana and Kurt put aside their differences and finish her new novel before their escapades can become office gossip?

Life Imitating Art: Kurt Werner–aspiring novelist and editor at top firm Eckhart & Bernstien–has been suffering a writer’s block the size of Jupiter. Every word he types ends with a delete. The story isn’t there. Then he meets his new client, JR Toscani–real name, Jana Hampstead. She envokes a rage…a passion within him. Next thing he knows, his job is on the line, but the words are flowing like a river flooding its banks. Can Kurt find a way to balance an editing job, Jana, and a new story that just won’t stop before it all comes crashing to a halt?

Wings

Take my hand. I’ll take yours. Together we’ll do this. Until we find love.

Told through two different points of view.

Charlie Everett plays wingman for his best friend, hoping to pay off an old debt. Violet Granger is trying to show “Daddy” that she can make it on her own. One night of wing services, they meet and their world couldn’t be sweeter. But, like always, real life and exes can break some wings. Can Charlie and Violet spread their wings so love can soar?

There are a few more stories not mentioned here. And I’m trying to decide where to put these stories–here, Wattpad, or e-pub them. Plus, this has been great for my story blocked mind. My hands are busy drawing, coloring, painting. My mind thinks as I do this…to the point of generating a new idea for a story that hasn’t been told in YA or adult books that I’ve been able to find. I’ve got a few opening lines to the story I’ve been wanting to type on. And have expanded my old notes on this NYC Rom-Com series, though I have yet to come up with a title.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

all images are my own.
this post is filed under random blathering and writer’s block.

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Filed under art journal, author woes, book covers, keeping entertained, love story, NaNoWriMo, random blathering, romance can't be antiquated, romcoms are my peeps, screenplays, self publish, thinking out loud, wings, write, writer's block, writer's procrastination, writing wishlist

“Hey, 6B.” ~ Chapter 2

{original image used with permission by Thekaskproject-art}

Story Summary: Bucky is on a Mission. Find out about his past and try to remember the Man in Blue. His “mission” takes him to Boston where he meets the fun and flirty, Colin Shea. With Colin’s help, he might just find all the answers he’s been searching for…but he also might find love. With outside pressures, Bucky has to decide between remaining in the dark and staying with Colin or going after the man who haunts his nightmares.

Crossover: What’s Your Number? meets Captain America: Winter Soldier/The Avengers/Captain America: Civil War (more the movies and less the books or graphic novels)

Rating: R if this was a movie. MA if it was a TV show. Mature on Archive of Our Own. Not rated on Tumblr. There is some LGBTQ/slash sexual situations, though nothing erotic. It’s a simple Rated-R romcom. No porn. (Think along the lines of Wings meets Love, Darrows, kiTT.) As Cap would say: Language! Because yes, there is some language and double entendres. Not so much violence as of now.

Genre: RomCom/Action

Chapter word count: 1,687

Characters: James “Bucky” Barnes, Colin Shea, OFC Dane, Natasha Romanov. (OFC – Original Fictional Character)

Disclaimer: All characters belong to their original creators. There is no copyright infringement intended. This is all done in fun and love for my favorite movies. Thank you for stopping by and reading.

Notes: I think I am having way too much fun writing out Colin, but then I’ve always wanted to write him. He’s a proud mimbo (male bimbo) and such a flirt…and just so funny. In reality, I would never write him as my own, because he wouldn’t be my own, which is why this fanfiction thing is perfect! I’m living my dream. Plus, I’m getting to know Winter Soldier better, prefect timing for Civil War. Depending on how fast I can get this typed, I’m aiming at uploading a chapter a week, more if it keeps going this fast.


 

The sidewalks in Boston have a ring of familiarity as they pass under my feet. Wet concrete under my shoes…This has happened a million times before, but the image isn’t complete. It’s missing something…

No, someone. Tucked up under my arm. A smaller guy. Something about Paramus? Though when I checked there, it lead to nothing about him, nothing pertaining to James Barnes.

“Bucky,” my boss, Dane, says as he struggles with the key in the lock. The key twists and he smiles. He opens the door and holds it, allowing me to pass. “Good morning. Are you excited for your first day?”

His words are a hyper meld.  “Sure.”

Dane nods towards the counter. “Let’s make some coffee.”

#

“And you tamp down the grounds like so…” He presses a flat metal circle into the coffee grinds. “…and attach this to the machine.”

Dane has been explaining this monolithic coffee machine to me for about an hour. The giant puzzle box only creates a shot or two of black coffee at a time. All pomp and circumstance. Just like something Stark would have designed for no real purpose. It’s tedium for something that anyone walking into a diner would be served without question.

He removes the cup and knocks the used grounds free into a bin. The scoop thing is offered to me. One of his eyebrows lifts and he asks, “Care to take your first try?”

I do everything Dane did. Step by step, checking for an affirmational nod with each step. The cup taps into the dispenser for fresh grounds. Tamped and packed tight, I insert it into the large machine with a twist. Two shot glasses are set under the pour spots. Push the button.

Then I have my hand at steaming the milk in the stainless carafe with the wand coming off the side of the machine. Milk sprays out of the pitcher. I slip it further into the liquid and the milk begins to froth. It builds until it’s as high as the rim. I let that sit beside the filling shot glasses and retrieve two paper cups. One gets a pump of vanilla, the other two pumps of hazelnut. They’re placed on the counter and I pick up the poured shots. One tips easily, pouring in the tea colored liquid. The other…well…Black, sooty sludge slides along the glass before plopping into the cup with a wet splat. Then I pour in the steamed milk to both cups, scooping foam and adding it to the top.

“Done,” I say and present the cups with a wave. Just like Dane’s. Sort of…not at all.

My boss stares at my first attempts of making coffee, blinking slowly and giving a subtle nod. He leans over and sniffs each cup. “Burnt milk, uneven pours.” He straightens and adds, “Well, you can be on register today. How’s that?”

A quick glance passes over the flat black screen, unsure. I took this job for the fact it’s morning work—and I’d be awake not sleeping anyway—leaving me afternoons to search for information anonymously. Anonymous is the key word here. I’m supposed to be hidden and out of sight, thanks to the Stark 2000 coffee maker. Not front and center, which this new position will have me doing. I hope this hiding in plain sight thing works.

“You’ll be fine, Bucky. Just touch the options on the screen as they order. Write their names incorrectly on the cups. Dish out a pastry or two. Most of the customers pay with a card so you won’t have to make change…if that’s what you’re worried about.”

I rub the back of my neck and huff. “Why get their names wrong?”

Dane pins a name badge to a green apron and hands it to me. “Because in coffee culture, it’s expected, and we don’t want to disappoint.”

I should have checked to see if the Globe was hiring a paper boy. Same hours, less difficult. Anonymity a plus.

#

Once I got used to pushing my finger onto a glassy screen during morning rush, I started offering a small smile with purchase. The misnomers I’ve come up with seem to be a hit with the customers, according to Dane. As he calls each one, he congratulates me on my brilliance.

“I’ll have a half-caf, no fat, tall latte,” the red-head in front of me says, tapping on the counter with her pristine manicured fingernails.

I push the buttons before picking up the smallest of the paper cups. “Name?”

“Natasha,” she says in a sultry voice. Her lips pucker into a small kiss before she whooshes it my way. Her green eyes meet mine, blinking as slow as her tongue drags along her lower lip.

I freeze mid N on her cup as it hits me. The street fight in Washington DC. She wore a tight, black leather outfit that hugged every curve as she and the man in blue fought me. I shot at her and barely missed. She’s staring at me. Recognizes me, though I wore a mask then. She knows my eyes.

But before either of us can utter a peep or make a move, the man behind her asks, “How about you buy me a coffee and I’ll give you an afternoon of pleasure?”

Her index finger flies up as though she’s about to declare an idea. “Hold on,” she says in a raspy voice. She glances over her shoulder and utters, “Wannabe rocker isn’t my type. Move along.”

Her finger drops and she offers me a smile, the stare down all but forgotten. “How much?”

I scribble the name on the cup and hand it to Dane. Then I plant my eyes on the screen and let my loose bangs hang in my face and read the total from the screen. She swipes her card through the slot on her side of the machine.

The receipt exchanges custody from me to her just as the guy behind asks, “How about you buy me a cannoli and we can talk about why you think I’m a wanna be rocker.”

Dane calls out, “Latte for Anastasia.” His brow crinkles in confusion as he looks at me. I nod at Natasha. She rolls her eyes and walks to the other end of the counter to retrieve her drink.

The guy’s mess of light brown hair almost touches my nose as we lean to watch the Natasha swaying back and forth in her tight black skirt.

“That’s a no, right?” he asks after her. He rights himself and now his nose is almost touching mine and our eyes touch for the first time.

There is such a thing as love at first sight. I felt the pang with the Man in Blue who refused to fight me…this pulse deep in my heart that made it painful for me to hurt him. Mission or not. But as I stare into those eyes of bold ocean blues from afar, I don’t feel love. Impossible. Once in a lifetime—as short as the memories I do own are—is more than plenty to have such an experience.

I’d classify this moment as one of pure lust.

“See you latte,” I tell him and try to focus on the screen. I’m pushing the options, left and right, without his order being spoken. Honestly, I just need something to concentrate on other than the thought of those perfect lips he licks, then presses flat into a playful smile. Those lips on my body, on my—

“Are you taking an order? Because I believe you’re pushing more buttons than what’s required for the one cup of basic coffee I want.”

Huh. I’ve entered: grande, double shot, 3 pumps pumpkin spice, non-fat with whip latte. Too late to change it. And even if I knew how to do it, I wouldn’t. I want him to tell me his name and we don’t write those on the ceramic cups according to Dane when I wrote “Snott Pang” on one earlier.

“It’s on the house,” I say and pick up the largest paper cup we have. The tip of the green Sharpie touches the surface, ready. “Name?”

“Colin. One L.”

I write the name and check the appropriate boxes. I stick the cup into Dane’s hand. He reads the name. He shakes his head and utters, “Amateur.”

“You wrote colon, didn’t you?” Colin laughs. “Typical.” He leans over the counter, giving my name tag a long study. “Bucky” draws out in a deep voice that is as smooth as it is soulful. Our eyes meet again. “Is that your real name?”

Honestly, I don’t know.

“I haven’t seen you in here before. Any chance you’d want to toss in a complimentary pastry as well, Buck?”

The way he pronounces my name gets my heart racing. Every consonant is given special attention with verve as though every letter is as important to say as the next. His finger taps my tag in a flirtatious way, dragging it along every letter from Y to B.

I’d be willing to trade a crème filled pastry for a cream f—

“Seriously, Bucky,” Dane says wholly unamused. “Colin?”

Colin reaches over the stacks of cups to take his drink from Dane. The whip with sprinkles on top wobbles as he brings it to his nose. A deep mmm purrs from him as he sets it on the counter. “I can’t believe you didn’t at least go for Colon.”

I cough and stutter. “Well, I couldn’t think with you…staring at me.”

A sly twinge hits the left corner of his mouth, forming into a devious grin. His finger slides into the whip and swirls around. The white cream clings to his finger when he pulls it free. It slides across his tongue, being cleaned as those intense blue eyes are glued to mine. When his finger is fully clean, they roll in bliss and he groans in pleasure as though he just made the sweetest love on the planet. “You have the best cream, Buck.”

Is it quitting time yet? I have something to take care of. Like now!


Previous Chapter/Story Beginning

Next Chapter


Ending Notes: This is one of the few original chapters I wrote and kept, having deleted the whole story before. Classic Colin, really. Then yesterday, while googling for the link to Thekaskproject-art’s site so I can link him, I came across this perfect image for this chapter. NOT DONE ON PURPOSE. I DON’T REMEMBER HAVING SEEN IT BEFORE. It wasn’t on my Pinterest board for this story (which is where I keep and store a bunch of stuff, it’ll be locked until I’m done writing) or anything. So blissfully coincidental…I hope it’s okay to share…

 

Bucky’s hat is different, the shirt is different, but good lord, Colin is pegged!!! Happy sigh, happy sigh.

 

 

 

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Filed under fanfiction, fictional beginnings, Hey 6B, love story, the fangirling has made it here

Love, Darrows.

Here I am. Putting one of my favorite stories out there. *deep breath* Not that I don’t want this baby published. I do. But this one… I think I may have to take Quentin and Lex into the world of self-pub. Since he is in the process of being copyrighted, I thought I would go ahead and post the first chapter, then link it into the MY STORIES ↑↑↑ menu ↑↑↑ above ↑↑↑ should anyone want more info about my Cupid. I haven’t decided if I am going to stick with just posting the first chapter or if I’m going to do up to five. Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I do hope you enjoy my Cupid-in-training, high school senior, mister popular, OCD, over studious, overachiever Quentin Darrows. Quent. I would cast William Moseley as Quent in the movie…without the accent. Sometimes.

my own screencap from S1 of The Royals

Title: Love, Darrows
Word Count: 90,000
Genre: YA LGBTQ Retelling of Cupid/Fantasy/Contemporary Mythology
Novel Summary: Quentin Darrows is training for the most important job, Cupid. He has control over everyone’s love life in Romulus High School but his own. What’s a Cupid to do when all he wants is to be with his best friend, Lex?

This novel is part one of a duology(duet), told through Quentin Darrow’s point of view.

Thank you for reading.


Chapter 1.

The morning scramble. Less delicious than it sounds. It consists of running around, last-minute, trying to not forget anything. Clothes, preppy and colorful. Teeth brushed, breath minty. Hair, every strand in place. Books. Shove books into backpack. Backpack on shoulder. Stairs. Overbearing mother.

“Quent, take a moment and eat something.”

“Sorry, Vee. No time. Lex will be here any minute.” The backpack takes a chair as I shove my arms into my jacket.

Overbearing mother sticks a banana in one hand as it emerges. She sticks a small glass of almond milk in the other hand as I shrug the jacket onto my shoulders. “Eat!”

There’s never any arguing with the self-proclaimed goddess of our household. The almond milk slides down my throat in a gulp. The banana is peeled and takes about three bites and a hamster cheek to fully consume. The peel hits the counter and I go for my backpack.

“Quentin…”

Saved by the blaring horn. A blissful poetic justice.

“Bye, Vee.” I book it to the front door, overbearing mother not too far behind me.

“Can’t you call me mom just once?”

I turn at the door and give Vee a quick kiss on the cheek. “You told me you were too young to ever be referred to as ‘Mom’.” I step into the cool humid air of a late, sunny September morning. Lex’s car is sitting at the curb. The windows are too darkly tinted to see him, though.

“That was in public. You are free to call me mom at home.”

“Bye, Mom.” Halfway down the short walk, I look over my shoulder. “Better?”

Vee is absolutely unamused. She looks bronze against the white column she leans on while wearing what most would consider unmentionables. Practically see-through, satin lingerie in a soft pink. As horrifying as it sounds. She tosses a small wave before folding her arms over stomach.

I can’t jump into Lex’s black convertible fast enough. The seatbelt buckle clicks as I slide the metal tongue into it. “Let’s go!”

“Hold on.”

The window hums as it retracts into my door. Lex leans into me, smelling of a raspberry-vanilla mocha and baby powder. Death would be welcome right about now.

“Good morning, Mrs. Darrows.” He says this with almost a sweet tone overlapping the sinister meaning underneath. A flirtatious whim.

Major mistake looking at my mother. She kicks one leg out in some sort of supermodel pose, the lace and silk lingerie hiking up her thigh. “Hi, Lexington.” Her hand waves as though she’s pageant queen on a float with a touch more exuberance. It’s as though she was waiting just for this moment.

I want to throw up.

“How many times have I asked you to call me Vee?”

Lex bares his teeth in a mirthful grin. He’s so close I can see how his two front teeth lean slightly to the left in the upper row of white. “Okay, Vee. We’ve gotta get going.”

The whole display is disturbing.

Lex fastens his seatbelt. The window rises from the door, separating me from my mother. Finally. “Your mom still looks like she’s twenty.”

“You know she’s fifty. Can we go now?”

Lex leans back in his leather seat. His left arm is straight, grip tight on the steering wheel. The Audi’s engine roars to life. The gear drops into drive and we pull away from the curb. Shocking the tires didn’t squeal.

“You’re such a buzz kill, Quent.”

“And you’re sick.”

“And you love it.”

He touches a button on the steering wheel and the radio blasts the interior of the car with music. If you can call what he’s listening to music.

“Are you single-handedly trying to reinstate Seattle grunge?”

He tosses a nonchalant shrug at me. “What?”

“The plaid shirt over the holey t-shirt. Jeans that seem to be hanging on by a thread.” I reach over and give a playful tug on the soft blue knit cap on his head. “This ridiculous beanie.”

He smacks my hand away. “It took two hours to get my hair and this hat just right.” His eyes take a quick roam to my side of the car. “Should I dress like you? Like Abercrombie threw up all over me after a drunken night out?”

“Hey, I’m not heading into the realm of cliché. We live in Washington state and you’re listening to Pearl Jam like they’re music gods.”

“In my defense, it’s the new Pearl Jam.”

“There is no defense for Pearl Jam.” I lean over and twist the knob next to the screen on the dash, searching through the available radio stations in the Olympia area. “I’ll let you keep the retro nouveau look, but I get control of your knob.”

Red Light.

Lex actually stops. Meaning I’m getting my boyfriend’s squinty-eyed, half playful, half serious grin. “What have I told you about using those double entendres?”

“Use them wisely.” I fly through the stations until I’m fully convinced real music just doesn’t exist on normal radio waves. I pull out my phone and connect it to the car’s Bluetooth. Music. A meta name for the only playlist I have. Spoon. Perfect.

The light flicks to green, and we speed off towards school. “Don’t fuck up my speakers with that indie crap of yours.”

“We wouldn’t be arguing over music if you hadn’t made sure I was grounded from my own car.”

“I told you I’ll pay for the ticket.”

“It’s your ticket. You were driving my car when the red light camera got you.”

“Technicalities.”

He drives through our town like he’s Speed Racer trying to outrun Racer X. He manages to only hit the yellow lights this morning. One after another, the last one turning red as we’re in the middle of the intersection. When I see the hints of our high school behind the towering pines ahead, I couldn’t be more thankful.

Home of the Fighting Wolves. Go maroon and grey! RHS. Romulus High.

The place is situated on top of a hill overlooking the student and staff parking lots. There is one long, white concrete staircase, broken into four sets of ten, that leads you from the student lot to the red brick Administration Building. Our school is like a college. Each building is suited for the type of class. The English building sits to the right of Admin. Sciences behind and catty-corner near the cafeteria. The Math building is in the far back of the campus, right near the bus drop.

It’s where I have to go first thing.

School is a conundrum of emotional and mental states. Some of the kids absolutely hate it here. Others, this is the epitome of their lives. First loves. First heartache. Pregnancy scares. Cheating boyfriends and girlfriends. Drama. Comedy. Fights. Love, lust, and likes.

For Lex, school is popularity and friendship. Flirtations and flings. From the car to his locker, no matter how drizzly or sunny the morning starts, everyone pauses to greet him or whisper and point his way. He is attention-getting on his own, without his father’s political status or his mom’s PTA brown-nosery.

“I have football after school,” he says, taking notice in the direction of Anna Lynn Garrison, the perfect blonde of school. His eyebrows lift and he does a slight smile.

I can only roll my eyes. “Cool. I have SC today anyway.” I leave him to wander over to the land of giggles and girls. One day, he’ll walk with me to class. As my best friend and boyfriend. That day can’t arrive soon enough. Until then, I’m on my own. “See ya.”

For me, high school is a job. One of those eighty hour a week numbers that age you well beyond your years, both mentally and physically. I’d love a day off, but in my line of work, there are no days off. No vacation. No sick days.

It’s all ludicrous, though. Honestly, I could use some age on my face. Something to tone down my rounded cheeks and boyish grin. My senior picture looks exactly like my seventh grade picture with a different shirt. Cursed forever to look infantile. Even if I don’t shave, I’m looking severely illegal to the female staff at our school.

I hear things.

“Hey, Claire. How’s Stan?”

“He’s avoiding me as always. Why?”

“Just keep talking to him. He’ll come around.” I always wink at high school girls. They giggle and you feel like maybe you just made her day a little more special. All a part of my job.

The concrete steps can’t move fast enough for me this morning. I barely make it past the first two sets of steps before I’m being hailed from behind.

“Hey, Quent. Can we talk a moment?”

I turn around and fight the scowl from my face, putting on a happy grin as I see the over-eager assault coming my way. Thomas Janice. As two-faced as they come. You never know what his angle is.

“Is this about SC? Whatever you need should probably wait until the meeting this afternoon.”

“Actually, I wanted to find out why Lex has a sudden interest in Anna Lynn.”

Geez. I don’t have the time or the patience for him right now. I proceed on my original path and say, “I’m not my friend’s keeper, Thomas. What’s it matter to you?”

Thomas walks beside me, matching my right with his. Left with left. The only difference is he’s taking the steps as though they’re slippery stones in a river. “Look…” He takes the fabric of my jacket in his hand just so I have to stop. His beady eyes—that are far too close together in my opinion—dart around. He leans in as though a national secret is being passed between us. “I’ve got to know about Anna Lynn.”

“What?” My eyes narrow. I can’t hit a human. I can’t. “You have a thing for her?”

He tries to pull off innocence, but his head flips and I get nothing but arrogance in the shrug.

“What about Samara?”

“I’m going to break up with her. I just need to know if Anna Lynn is available.”

I hate him. Cheating douche. Samara is as gorgeous as a sunset and as kind as Mother Theresa. She deserves someone who will treat her like she is the air they need to breathe. He’s going to destroy her if I don’t do something.

“Look, stay with Samara. She walks on your every word like a ghost in the mist, floating peacefully in bliss.”

“Stop with the poetic crap, Quent. Does Anna Lynn want Lex?”

I make it like he’s pointing a six-shooter in my chest instead of his short, stubby finger. My hands may be up by my shoulders, but I am far from conceding. “Not my place. Ask Lex yourself.”

The last ten concrete steps and I’m home free, cutting through admin to get to my locker just outside of the Math building.

“Quent!”

Now I don’t mind talking to this girl who says my name like it’s the best surprise in the world. “Lana. Didn’t you ride in on Gabe’s fire red pony today?”

The girl can do a hair flip any mean girl could be jealous of, though she has not a mean bone in her body. “Ha ha. I get it. Gabe has a Mustang.” She rests her arm on my shoulder, mesmerizing me with her chocolate eyes. “If my normal ride wasn’t grounded…”

“That’s Lex’s fault.”

“I know. Besides, I have a crush on Gabe and this gives me the chance to talk to him more when he’s not in tutoring. So thanks for that, Quent.” She looks around. “So…where is my brother?”

“Usual.”

“Does he always have to hang out with the parking lot trash?”

She makes a great argument. “You know I can’t ever stop him.”

“Well, I love that you always watch out for him. Even if Lex never listens.” As an outsider, one would see her hug me and think we’ve been intimate for quite a while. The way she leans her whole body into mine while giving my cheek a kiss. As an insider, you’d know we’re good friends with a common interest—worrying about Lex as if he’s lost in the world. “Later, Q.”

She walks away with springs in her steps. Sway, sashay.

Thankfully, she looks nothing like Lex. Actually, none of his three younger sisters look anything like him. They all take after their father with their fair skin and light brown hair with hints of strawberry. Lex got his perma-tan and black-brown hair from his Mexican mother. Still trying to figure out where his magical eyes came from, though.

Time to surf through the students and get to my locker. I need to get this day started.

“Hey, Q.” Sarah Richards. Currently dating Dion Hayes, basketball center.

“Quentin. How’s it going?” Dexter Keating. Mathlete. Loves Eire, head cheerleader. Dates no one. Sad really.

“Quent, did you get number thirty-two on the calculus assignment?” Diana Durant. Sits behind me in class. Also has a secret crush. Her crush? Me. She’s never told a soul. I only know because it’s my job. Insider information.

“I’ll help you before tardy bell, okay?”

She smiles as though she’s been canonized. “Will you help me at lunch, too?”

“If you don’t mind Lex joining us.”

My locker. Just in time. Fourteen. Nine. Fourteen. Door open between us. I can’t look at the hurt on her face any longer. I hate that I have to break her heart on a daily basis. She’s not the one I’m falling for–Lex–but, she’ll find someone soon. I’ll make sure of it.

“It’s fine. I’ll see you at lunch.”

The misery of a downtrodden heart weakens me. It’s fairly painful. I hate it so much.

I check behind the locker door and see her turn the corner. Good. I hope I find a him for her soon. In the meantime, I have others that need tending to.

I pull out my phone and lean against the lockers. The app I need is hidden under the ‘Do Not Disturb’ menu on my phone. I roll my eyes every time I see it. Utterly ridiculous. The app takes a day and a half to load on the school’s shitty wi-fi.

“Mr. Darrows, I expect your texts to be complete before you head into math.” Mr. Sabine. Calculus teacher. See also, teacher advocate for Student Council. Lonely. Not married.

“Q, can you give this to Lex? It’s his government definitions.” Penelope Milner. Penny. Make out queen of Romulus High School. Bi-sexual. Straight A’s she hasn’t earned by studying.

I take the paper from her. She plants a kiss on the corner of my mouth and sends a quick, “Thanks,” before taking off.

Finally, the app is up and running. Nine choices under the arrow label on the menu. Each one carries its own weight and consequence. I have to pick the one that will cause the least amount of pain.

Arrow: Lead.
Duration: Forever.
Send to: Samara Khatri.
Send From: Anonymous.
Message: Janice is lying to you. He wants Anna Lynn. You may want to dump him before he cheats on you and breaks your heart.

I send it without hesitation, knowing that in a few weeks a better guy for her will come along.

Arrow: Silver.
Duration: Two months with an option to renew.
Send to: Claire Ryan.
Send From:Stan Parker.
Message: Been thinking about you, Claire. Wanna meet up after school?

My thumb taps send.

“Who are you texting this time?” Lex pops open the locker next to me.

“Tempest from Omega Phi.”

A man with the expression of someone who just ate dirt looks at me. “Since when do you like a Greek?”

“Never. She texted me first.” I scope out the area behind Lex. Samara stops suddenly, staring at her phone. Her bronze skin pales instantly. Tears hug the rims of her dark eyes. I hate that I had to do it.

“Oh, trying to get practice for college next year, huh?” Lex grins like a devil. He knows better than that.

Fine. Two can play this silly little game. “Oh, look what I have. Penny asked me to give you this paper she wrote out for you? What’s that about?”

Lex snatches the paper from my hand and shoves it into his locker. “A drunken momentary indiscretion. Nothing more.” He slams his locker shut as the bell rings.

We surf into the wave of students, heading towards the Math building. Hordes of them schooling about. Chatting. Pushing. Quiet. Shying away. And one smile and bright brown-hazel eyes, a life saver in the chaos as Claire checks her phone to see the text she received.

I’m willing to bet it’s from Stan.

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