Weekend Writing Warriors #8Sunday 8/9/15

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Thank you for checking out this week’s snippet from my soon-to-be-released romantic suspense novel that’s in the capable editing hands of Boroughs Publishing Group. I’ll have info on the new title and a release date soon. Plus, a cover!

I’m putting up this short except as part of  www.wewriwa.com — Weekend Writing Warriors. Be sure to click on that site to see more work from other talented authors.

“Skylar, you have pen on your chin,” Luca said matter-of-factly, jarring her from the kissing fantasy.

“Where?” she asked, her hand flying to her face.

“On the left side of your mouth.”

Skylar rubbed with her fingers, trying to appear dainty but she was certain she looked stupid, or worse, coarse.

“Um, no, the other left,” he said, stepping forward and taking her chin in his hand. Luca’s thumb grazed her skin and set her cheeks ablaze.

Luca’s thumb shifted and brushed her bottom lip. One slow stroke to the right. Another to the left.

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Weekend Writing Warriors #8Sunday

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I’m participating in the Weekend Writing Warriors hop, where a group of authors post 8-10-sentence snippets from their WIPs on their blogs. Fellow Boroughs author and new friend Paula Millhouse suggested this, and it seems like a good way to read some great writing and meet new authors. For more info, check it out here: http://www.wewriwa.com. The following is a snippet from my upcoming novel.

Luca sauntered a few paces toward the gate. Ripping Skylar’s gauzy dress off was exactly what he’d love to do. Turning the knob, he held the door open for her with an expectant look. She stopped and stared at him with teasing eyes and a sexy smirk. The girl was short, and he imagined how he would have to bend slightly to kiss her.

“You have my cell number on my card, if you want to talk.”

He noticed her eyes flitting to his tattoo. His gaze drifted to the light sheen of perspiration that nestled in between the soft cleavage of her breasts. She was about a foot away and her blue eyes, her pale skin and her pink lips were even more gorgeous up close.

Talking was the last thing he wanted from her.

The above passage is from my debut novel, which is coming out from Boroughs Publishing in the fall. Its working title was Uncovered, but we’ve changed it — more details on that soon, along with a cover reveal. Stay tuned.

“You search like it’s your mom out there.”

8428792_GNo sooner did I return from RWA in New York when I had to get back in a plane.

I went up in a C-130 with a Clearwater, Florida-based Coast Guard crew this week. We spent 10 hours flying the Atlantic coast, looking for two missing teen boaters.

Here’s my story.

Once the plane cleared the state’s other coast and was over the Atlantic, it dropped to 500 feet above the murky ocean. The crew eased open the back cargo ramp and two men flopped on their bellies so they could search the sea below.

It wasn’t an easy task. Around noon, the water was the same gray-blue as the sky; the horizon invisible, hazy. Spotting something in the water involves a little luck and a lot of training and experience.

And passion.

“You search like it’s your mom out there,” Petty Officer Garrett Peck said.

And my video:

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So I’m headed to my first Romance Writers of America conference. It’s in New York City. Four days of writing workshops, meeting new friends and getting to know the people at Boroughs Publishing. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to sneak over to the AP and say hi to everyone there, as well.

Good stuff.

I’ll be Tweeting throughout the week at https://twitter.com/tamaralush

And posting photos on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tamaralushwrites

Sharks.

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My take on #SharkWeek, a dispatch from the Outer Banks.

It’s the golden hour, right before sunset, when the light is soft and pretty. The landscape looks like a postcard. Tourists stroll, kids run.

No one is in the water. No one wants to be a feast for a shark.

“This is a very sharky place,” mused 56-year-old John Kane as he stood on the Avon Pier and stared into the crashing surf.

They’re out there, somewhere, in the murky, antifreeze-green water. There are sharpnose and black tips, bulls and tigers. Maybe even a great white or two, if Twitter is to be believed. Always lurking, always swimming, always eating.

Charleston.

Photo by the AP's David Goldman.

Photo by the AP’s David Goldman.

I had the honor of working with many of my colleagues at the AP on this tragic story, and I didn’t deserve this byline. Those other reporters — Allen Breed, Jeffrey Collins, Meg Kinnard, Philip Lucas and Mitch Weiss, were on the ground in South Carolina.

I was in Florida, helping. Making calls. Talking to victims’ families over the phone. Still not easy. I won’t soon forget that the sister of victim DePayne Middleton-Doctor told me that they talked every day, and they started each call with laughter. They often forgot about what they really called each other for, because they were making each other crack up so hard.

It’s those little moments of peoples’ lives that we, as journalists, try to put into context. Here is the story we wrote, trying to capture the senselessness of the day, and the humanity of those who died.

DePayne Middleton-Doctor was a deeply spiritual woman who led the weekly classes at Mother Emanuel. At 49, the mother of four was juggling a new job as a college enrollment counselor along with caring for four daughters. But Doctor always made time for her faith.

Doctor had begun attending Emanuel in January — and on this night Bible study was postponed for a church business meeting that saw Doctor licensed to minister there. She stood before 50 or so people as the presiding elder signed her Bible, hymnal and a church handbook.

Most left after the meeting. Before church member Willi Glee left, one of the part-time ministers approached.

“I need to give you a hug,” Sharonda Coleman-Singleton said.

Not long after Glee left, the wooden door at the back of the church opened, and in walked Dylann Storm Roof.

“I was like, that doesn’t look like fish.”

Here’s a story, video and photo I did of a wonderful little girl named Annika:

Annika — who was born without part of her right arm — was shocked to see a custom-made prosthetic limb, decorated with bright flowers. A bionic limb, if you will, that’s controlled by Annika’s muscles and electrodes.

The most remarkable part: The limb was created using 3-D printing technology.

Limbitless Solutions, an Orlando-based nonprofit run and staffed by University of Central Florida engineering students, made the limb. The group’s mission is to “print” prosthetic limbs for children and to encourage other companies and nonprofits to use the technology by providing the plans and software.

Cozi Zuehlsdorff, the actress who starred with Winter in the “Dolphin Tale” movies, set a cooler next to Annika. The girl opened it, thinking it was dolphin food.

“I was really surprised,” said Annika, whose eyes welled with tears when she saw what was inside. “I was like, that doesn’t look like fish.”

It’s that time of the year…

…hurricane season!

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Here’s a story I wrote about NOAA’s hurricane hunter planes, known affectionately as “Miss Piggy” and “Kermit.” They’re getting new Rolls-Royce engines, new wings and better radar.

And here’s a gem from ten years ago, when I covered Hurricane Wilma in Key West:

Gary Dunn, the bar’s owner, said he is thinking of staying open. He’s making his final decision at 2 p.m. today. Dunn knows that if he stays open, people will come to drink the storm away. Once, a guy rode his bike to the bar in the middle of a hurricane.