Weekend Writing Warriors #8Sunday 8/30/15

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It’s the weekend, and that means it’s time for Weekend Writing Warriors, a blog hop for writers. Check out the site for more interesting snippets from all genres. Here’s a tiny excerpt from my novel, Hot Shade, a New Adult-Romantic Suspense which will be released by Boroughs Publishing Group on Sept. 30.

The kiss shocked Skylar. Slammed her senses. It was all blazing urgency, and it surprised her how soon she wanted to surrender to him. She shifted her head away from his. Her gaze drifted down and she was fascinated by the hard surface of Luca’s chest muscles against the softness of the water that surrounded them.

Trying to catch her breath, she licked her lips. Guilt over kissing a potential source stung her sensible journalist self.

“You’re not going to answer my question, are you?” she whispered.

With half-lidded eyes, he shook his head slowly and kissed her again.

Want to pre-order Hot Shade? Click here. 

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Boomerang

What happens when you have it all, then lose everything?

This is a concept I write about often for the AP.

Recently, I spoke with a Florida woman who bought her dream home during the real estate boom. Then she had to sell it in a short sale.

Tears still spring into Debbie Cooley-Guy’s eyes when she thinks about her dream home, with its wide, sweeping porch. It overlooked a bayou filled with wading birds, a glittering blue pool and the space for not only a 12-foot Christmas tree, but a grand piano as well.

She bought the home in a suburb west of Tampa for $637,000 in 2002. Seven years later, after the economy tanked, she sold it for less than she owed on her mortgage to avoid foreclosure. She recalls the black moment when she was still caring for the lawn but not living there. A falling branch knocked down an outdoor staircase railing.

“It made the house look so sad. I was so sad,” said Cooley-Guy, 60. “I drove away crying. I just didn’t think it was how the story would end with this house.”

Story here.

Florida Monkey Business

In this April 7, 2015 photo, BJ Gerald, a retired horse trainer who lives a few miles from a monkey breeding facility, talks to a reporter, in Alva, Fla. With three monkey-breeding facilities and a fourth in development, rural Hendry County has become one of the country’s biggest suppliers of research primates. Gerald said she opposes the primate companies. She doesn’t think the facilities are humane and believes they were improperly permitted by Hendry County authorities. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush)

In this April 7, 2015 photo, BJ Gerald, a retired horse trainer who lives a few miles from a monkey breeding facility, talks to a reporter, in Alva, Fla. With three monkey-breeding facilities and a fourth in development, rural Hendry County has become one of the country’s biggest suppliers of research primates. Gerald said she opposes the primate companies. She doesn’t think the facilities are humane and believes they were improperly permitted by Hendry County authorities. (AP Photo/Tamara Lush)

LABELLE, Fla. (AP) — Tucked away in Florida’s Hendry County, amid the scrub brush and saw palmetto grasslands just southwest of Lake Okeechobee, are three monkey breeding farms containing thousands of primates.

Story here.

Tampa dad accused of throwing daughter off bridge

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My days aren’t always puppies, monster trucks and theme parks.

Often they start with a police press release that lists scant, yet horrifying, details. Then comes coffee, news conferences, a flurry of calls to my editor, quick reads through public records, more coffee and many interviews.

All of that results in a story like this:

Then police encountered John Jonchuck again shortly after midnight Wednesday. He was going about 100 mph toward the Sunshine Skyway bridge. By the time an officer caught up with him, Jonchuck had pulled over on the approach span to the bridge.

Jonchuck got out, and started toward the officer, who pulled his weapon. Jonchuck grabbed Phoebe from the back seat and “held her face to his chest” as he carried her to the railing, St. Petersburg police Chief Anthony Holloway said.

It wasn’t clear whether Phoebe was alive when Jonchuck threw her into Tampa Bay about 60 feet below, though the officer said he “thought he heard the child scream,” Holloway said.

Phoebe’s body was recovered about a mile from the bridge about two hours later. An autopsy and cause of death is pending.