500 Word Story: A Roll of the Dice

Please note: this story is a stand alone piece and has nothing to do with the young adult novel, Super Me, or A Super Series whatsoever. Just a little piece written from a writing prompt.

The prompt: Rolling the Dice. Sticking to my 500 word challenge, it is exactly 500 words.

 

-A Roll of the Dice-

It was a routine call…. nothing to be nervous about tonight. I cracked my knuckles looking, again, at the clock.

Five more minutes until midnight. Four.

How much longer would he make me wait? The dice had gone warm in my hands. I rolled them around, careful not to drop them. They clicked together in the otherwise silent house. I moved my shoulders, trying to loosen the grasp tension had on my neck. Two minutes until midnight. Maybe he wasn’t coming. No, he would.

The room was dark. Blinds closed. The room empty. I heard his steps before seeing his face. “You’re here,” he said, sounding almost surprised. Like he didn’t think I would show up. As if I had ever let him down.

“You’re late,” I answered.

“Made it before the bell.” He took this too lightly. If they knew how much he joked…

But he knew I’d never say anything. Anyway, we had a job to do and best get to it.

“Let’s just get this done,” I said, grabbing his gloved hand. Of course he would wear gloves. He was so dramatic. Probably had his cape on as well. I smiled to myself but made sure he didn’t see.

“Do you have the dice?” he asked me.

“What do you take me for, an amateur?” I snapped. Then took a breath. “Sorry, just a stressful week. Here.” I set one of the dice in his gloved palm. “Please don’t drop it.”

He raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. Instead, set his free hand over his die and closed his eyes, leaning back slightly. Feeling the moment.

I rolled my shoulders again. Blew out a breath and copied his stance, cupping my own die in my hands. I’d never wear gloves. Loved the feel of the dice heating up too much.

The clock struck. Then again. Again. I counted in my head along with the chimes, like I knew Grenaldo was. Ten. Eleven.

Following the twelfth bell, he cleared his throat.

I felt the die glowing in my palm. Yearned to peek but didn’t dare.

“Zanafran,” he said. “Aralduous. Abibulous. Braticine.”

“Zinique Cayan,” I said with him. I couldn’t help it. Almost felt his glare, but I ignored it.

The tingle up and down my forearms told me the spell had worked.

I silently counted to three then opened my eyes to meet his.

Together, we tossed the dice into the air.

When I flipped the light switch, I saw he’d worn not only his cape, but also a mask. I grinned to myself.

He blew out a breath. Brushed his hands together. “Let’s go before we’re found.”

“Agreed,” I answered.

I always stole a glance before leaving. Mine read six. His, a four. “We’ve an interesting year to look forward to,” I mused aloud.

“Ciara, you know it’s bad luck to peek.”

I laughed as we exited, slipping into the shadows of the alley and on to the next location.

A Fortune Keepers’ work is never done.

 

Check It Out… Literally

So I got the email from the Longmont Library the other day.

Yep, that thing I’ve been waiting for has finally happened.

They have catalogued Super Me!

 

I had to rush over and see for myself.

Sure enough, my book is now on the shelves of a PUBLIC LIBRARY in Longmont, Colorado.

 

You can find Super Me in TEEN NEW FICTION.

This is the kind of stuff dreams are made of.

Author Reading at FoCo Book Fest AND a New Bookstore for Super Me

I had my first reading on Saturday at the FoCo Book Fest in Fort Collins, CO!

There were lots of things going on with the Book Fest at various venues downtown on Oct 19th and the 20th, including writing workshops, a poetry reading,  book signings and best selling authors speaking–including the keynote speaker Andy Weir (who wrote the Martian and Artemis).

There was also a local author reading at the Art Lab on Saturday. It was an all day event  where local authors had a chance to share their work.

My slot was from 12:05-12:15. I read the first chapter of Super Me.

 

 

This was the first time I’d read from my novel  to a group. I was nervous! But a few friends showed up to the reading, the room was kind, and it ended up being a really great experience.

The chapter even got a few laughs, which was pretty awesome.

After the reading, I slipped across the street to a little bookstore called Indigo Rose Books. It’s upstairs above the clothing consignment shop.

 

And now, Super Me now has a new home!

First Book Signing–An Update

Last month was my first book signing!

I did a post a few weeks ago about how much I was looking forward to this event.

 

The Used Book Emporium on Main Street (who is selling Super Me!) invited me to set up a “Meet the Author” table during Longmont’s Art Walk on September 15th.

My husband and daughters came to support me and a few familiar faces stopped by to say hello. The Art Walk was in full swing and there was a ton of foot traffic.

Like a lot of writers, I would not label myself as outgoing. And, frankly, the idea of talking to random passersby about my novel made me a bit uncomfortable. But I’m glad I put myself out there anyway. It was an amazing experience and it ended up being so much fun. I met a lot of people, sold a few paperbacks and handed out a ton of business cards. I had lots of practice answering the question “What is your book about?” A simple question, but one that I’ve struggled a bit with–it’s difficult to sum up the story without giving too much away. This is why writing the book description was such a challenge! The experience actually led me to a redo of Super Me’s description and I think that it is much more clear now.

And a clear idea of what a book is about is important when you’re trying to decide if you want to read it!

My favorite part of this event was when people walked up and asked if I wrote this book.

And I could answer, “Yes, I did!”

 

 

500 Word Story: Trouble

Please note: this story is a stand alone piece and has nothing to do with the young adult novel, Super Me, or A Super Series whatsoever. Just a little piece written from a writing prompt. The prompt: A Police Encounter. Sticking to my 500 word challenge, is exactly 500 words. Here’s what I came up with:

 

-Trouble-

 

I was driving my Chevy on the county road, stuck behind a beater puttering along slow as can be. It was kicking up clouds of dust at me and I was grinding my teeth and gripping that wheel so tight my knuckles went white. My head was already in a spin and that was the last thing I needed.

 

The first time I saw her… when she walked in the bar the night before, I knew I was in trouble. Me and Alicia played some pool, had some fun, and she stayed over. Thought everything was fine ‘til morning when everything changed. It happened just like that, over nothing.

I guess I shouldn’t have laughed at her, but she looked so cute when she got angry. Guess I shouldn’t have told her that either ‘cause that’s when she grabbed her stuff. Said she was leaving. I’d tried to pull her back to talk about it, but she gave me that look that said she weren’t playing.

I thought the whole thing was funny ‘til it wasn’t. Left me scratching my head, watching her drive off down the road and out of my life. It was like a punch to the gut.

 

So, being stuck on that dang road behind that dang idiot that afternoon was the last thing I needed. Felt like he was doing it on purpose just to get a rise out of me, trying to make me later than I already was. That’s how I saw it anyhow. And that cigarette butt he threw out the window… when that landed on my windshield? That was the end of it, far as I was concerned. My left eye started twitching and all I was seeing was red.

Ten years I’ve been driving down that road. Never once before saw a cop on it, not ever. Not until the one time I lose my cool. I’m a decent guy. Not a single tick on my record. Turns out, that don’t matter too much when it comes right down to it.

I guess I shouldn’t have raced up next to that car. Guess I shouldn’t have rammed into it with the side of my truck. And I know I should have pulled over quicker when the trooper’s lights flashed at me.

But, I was too busy thinking about how hard dating was. That I might just give it all up ‘cause women are crazy. When we woke up that morning, I told her to get her makeup on to cover her morning face and to go make us some breakfast quick. Thought we could spend the day together.

 

I was ready to tell that officer off soon as he got to my car. I guess Alicia never did tell me what she did for a living and last thing I expected was for her to be the one to get out of that cop car.

Turns out, I was right from the beginning. ‘Cause I was in trouble, all right.

Exciting things are happening at the Used Book Emporium in Longmont

This is the Used Book Emporium.

 

It is a pretty great little bookstore on Main Street in downtown Longmont, Colorado. It is also the first brick and mortar store to officially sell Super Me in paperback!

A few days after leaving copies of my book with them, a friend of mine happened to stop by the store.

She sent me this photo:

 

And my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe it. That’s my book being displayed in the store’s window. Meaning, people walking along downtown Longmont could just glance over and see the book that I wrote in the window of a bookstore.

But wait, there’s more.

The owners of the Used Book Emporium have asked me to do a “Meet the Author” table next Saturday during some events going on in Downtown Longmont. The last Artwalk of the season is happening that evening (local artists, live music, and family-friendly fun) as well as a “Word Walk” where word-related fun is to be had at various downtown locations such as a story times, riddles and word games, etc. as well as calligraphy bookmark crafting at the Used Book Emporium. I will have a table set up outside of the bookstore for a couple of hours that evening with copies of my novel to sell and to sign.

This is my first book signing! I’m thrilled. And nervous. But mostly thrilled. My husband Mike, always having my back, always believing in me, created a poster to display at the event (it stands on an easel and it looks pretty darn amazing), as well as business cards that I can’t wait to hand out.

The business cards alone are worth celebrating. These little slips of paper hold so much meaning for me. On them, I declare myself an author. And I declare my writing a business. This, seemingly small thing matters so much. It is taking myself seriously as a writer. It is saying that I believe in this. That I can do this. These are all big steps and I am excited about embracing them.

500 words of Random Story: “Choose Correctly”

Please note: this story is a stand alone piece and has nothing to do with the young adult novel, Super Me, or A Super Series whatsoever. Just a fun little piece written from a writing prompt. The prompt was: Glass Half Full or Glass Half Empty. Here’s what I came up with:

 

-Choose Correctly-

“I’m sorry,” I said, tears threatening. “I’m telling you. I don’t understand the question.”

“You don’t understand the question? How can you not understand the question?” The creature in front of me was large and round with slime-like drool dribbling down its green chin as it leaned in to squint down at me with frog-like eyes.

“Because they look the same to me!” I blurted. “They look exactly the same!” I was sick of these games. Sick of being stuck there while they tortured me with these ridiculous questions. I squirmed in the uncomfortable chair and grasped edge of the table in front of me even tighter.

“Impossible,” the smaller of the two croaked from his perch across the room. “She’s being difficult. Ask her again.”

I leaned my head back and closed my eyes. It was too bright in there. And stuffy like a sauna. How did they stand it?

“Which glass is it?” Frog Man asked me again. I sighed and watched as he, again, tapped first one glass of water on the table and then the other, painfully slowly, with his bulbous yellow-spotted pointer finger. “This one?” he asked. “Or this one?”

“What does it matter?” I groaned.

Frog Man ignored my question and grunted, his belly pushing against the table. The whole thing shifted and the contents of the glasses sloshed close to the lipped edge, but didn’t spill over. “One is half full….” he said, “and one is half empty.” He crossed his arms. “Answer correctly and then you may have a drink.”

I licked my chapped lips with my sandpaper tongue. Half full or half empty? I looked from one glass to the other. Which was which? I leaned forward to look at the waterline from eye-level, as if that would help me out. These guys were nuts. Why couldn’t they just let me go? I needed to get out of there.

I ventured a peek at the locked door, where the other one slouched on his tall stool, beady eyes never leaving me for a second. If I tried to run, they’d have me in an instant. I closed my eyes and shook my head. No, the only way out of this madness was to play their game. I had to guess.

But which was which? Both glasses were the same! The SAME!

I put my forehead down on the surprisingly cool table.

“She don’t know,” sang a voice I didn’t recognize. Someone I couldn’t see. “We’s wasting time, we is. She don’t know!”

“Ugh,” I said, pulling my head up. I lifted my finger to point at first one glass and then the other. Eenie, meanie, mine-ie… “That one is half full,” I said, my aim landing on one of the glasses. Fifty-fifty is pretty good odds right? “And, so that makes that one,” I continued, “half empty.”

I gave the creatures in the room a winning smile, raising my eyebrows.

“Congratulations,” drawled the large looming creature. “You get to live.”

Today is the Day!

It’s finally here… Release Day!

My young adult contemporary supernatural novel, Super Me, Book I in A Super Series, is now available on Amazon in both electronic and physical versions.

Also, as a fun sneak peek, you can find the first chapter of Super Us, A Super Series Book II, at the end!

 

I hope you enjoy reading Faye’s story. It’s been a long journey and I’m so excited to finally share it with you.

At its core, this is a story of self-acceptance–with a bit of love, a bit of magic, a little mystery, and hopefully some smiles along the way.

In case you missed it, you can read the book description here and sneak peek the first chapter here.

And don’t forget, you can find Super Me on Goodreads and follow me on Facebook.

 

When you sit down to enjoy a book… which  version do you prefer, Kindle or paperback?

*****

A Sneak Peek… Super Me, Chapter One

 

Super Me will be released on July 20th at 9am on Amazon. Electronic and physical copies available.

-1-

Technically, I didn’t have permission but I couldn’t let that stop me. Not this time. With the scrape of metal on metal, I slid the key into the ignition. After several tries, the car vroomed to life and my heart raced to keep up. Because I was actually doing this.

I idled loudly in the otherwise quiet parking lot in front of the old apartment building. It was late enough that most of our neighbors had left for the day. Only a few cars remained and Mom’s wasn’t one of them. She’d probably spent the night at her friend Cindy’s or something.

I wrapped my fingers around the cracked steering wheel and fought the urge to hyperventilate. My backpack slumped on the passenger seat like this was no big deal. But I was sitting in my car. My. Own. Car. About to drive myself to school for the first time ever. There was no time left to turn back. So, without any over-thinking of the situation what-so-ever, I pushed the clutch to the floor and pulled the gear into reverse. And I sped past the bus stop without even looking at it. There would be no more getting up at the butt crack of dawn to wait in the freezing cold for that thing ever again.

The drive through morning traffic took longer than I’d thought it would but, eventually, I was pulling up to the school like a regular student. In my own car, just like everyone else did every day. Except that everyone else didn’t have to drive all the way across town. And they had probably left earlier, without debating with themselves all morning. Because everyone else had gotten there before me and had taken all of the parking spots.

I circled around the lots and finally found the single last free space all way in the back. Success. And with exactly two minutes to spare before the first bell. I gave my car–that was slightly bent and a little rusted, but completely mine–a pat and one last glance before booking it to the nearest door, my backpack thumping behind me.

But there were no groups of loiterers between the cars. And no minglers near the doors. I’d never been that late to school before. I guess the one good thing about following a bus schedule all your life was it forced you to be punctual.

I ran through the halls that were completely empty and stopped abruptly in front of my classroom. The muffled sounds of an already started lecture came through the already closed door. Late. I was definitely late. For any other class, maybe not a big deal. But History with Mr. Williams? Madison had come in way after the bell on the first day and he had called on her relentlessly. Worked her name into the lecture. Humiliated her. She’d dropped the class and no one could blame her.

Aside from his strange hang up on tardiness, Williams, with his sweater vests and nerdy puns, was easily the least unlikeable of all my teachers. And maybe he had been just making an example of her or something. Maybe he wouldn’t do that again, to anyone else. But maybe I didn’t want to be the first person to test that theory.

I wilted against the wall as I gathered my nerve to open the door, and caught the eye of a cheery octopus grinning from a large poster hung across from me. It was one of thousands plastered across the school, rallying for the upcoming sweetheart dance. As if, if there were enough of them around, they’d convince everyone to go–more money for the school. And, from what I’d heard, it was working. Everyone was going. Except me.

Bri, beautiful and social as she was, could never understand why I refused to go to these things. But my best friend was like every non-awkward-one-else who saw dances and socializing and dancing and dresses as not terrible things. For some reason. And I’d only ever given her the simplified explanation for me not going: that dances were dumb. Especially underwater themed dances. What did under the sea have to do with Valentine’s Day?

The poster said, “Faye’s to be Under the Sea! Feb 14th at 7 pm.” Weird. Because were they inviting students one by one now or what? I stepped closer to my personalized poster to see that it was in fact, not personalized. The poster clearly read, “Dare to be Under the Sea! Feb 14th at 7 pm.” Which made more sense because why would the poster have my name on it? And anyway, even if it had, I still wouldn’t have wanted to go to the dance just like I didn’t want to go into that classroom and be humiliated. But I was still standing in that hallway, stalling, and the longer I stalled the later I’d be and the more likely that Williams would turn that day into the worst day of my life.

It was not supposed to be the worst day of my life. It was supposed to be my day. My ‘fresh start’ day. It had started off so good. I squeezed my car keys and the metal dug into my palms. If only I could do something else. Something that was not going in there. If only I could leave and be somewhere else instead. Like the coffee shop that I loved so much that was really not very far from school and could be reached very quickly if someone were to have their own transportation.

I couldn’t ditch class. But I felt a wicked ditching-kind-of grin take over my face and it simply wouldn’t be ignored. Before I could talk myself out of it, I was back at my car and off. Taking back my day.

 

Bells chimed as I entered Buzzworthy, the best coffee shop ever. I unraveled the scarf from my neck as warmth and the sweet smell of coffee came to greet me like old friends. Being there had everything to do with hot coffee and not the hot coffee shop guy that sometimes worked there… who I’d had a crush on since I’d discovered the place, but had never actually spoken to. Nothing to do with him at all.

I tripped on the nothing on the way to the counter when I saw him standing behind it. Then regained my composure as best I could, but what was he doing behind the register? Hot Coffee Shop Guy was the one that made the hot coffee. Not took the orders. It was all wrong.

Luckily, he’d been looking away and seemed to have missed my graceful entrance. I stepped forward and then only the counter was between us.

“What can I get for you?” he asked, speaking to me for the first time, and sparks flew all around us. Then he threw his towel over his shoulder and looked at me with brilliantly baby blue eyes that I was sure to get lost in and never find my way out of again. And that was going to be okay with me. Except that he was waiting for me to say something because he’d asked me a question.

“Uh,” I said, responding in the most classy of ways. And then I stared at the menu that was mounted high on the wall behind him. I stared like it was the most interesting and confusing thing I’d ever seen. Like I’d never before ordered a beverage in all of my life and was pressed to figure it out like it was a complex equation that would somehow save the world from certain destruction. Armageddon. It was like Armageddon. Because he was staring at me. And waiting. But I wasn’t thinking about how he was staring at me and waiting. I was too busy focusing on the menu and on not blushing and only being successful at one of those things. There was an answer that I was supposed to be giving right then. A correct answer. A beverage answer. And today, it couldn’t be the same old boring thing I got all the time. It had to be something more interesting, like a macchiato–that was different and new and I was even pretty sure I knew how to pronounce it but he was smiling. Or smirking. Why was he smiling or smirking at me? Did he think this was funny? Was I being funny? Was I taking a long time to order? I was taking a long time to order. I was taking the longest time to order in all of time. I had to come up with an answer. Right then. Before any more time passed so I said, “Caramel macchiato?” and it came out like a question.

He nodded as if letting me know that it was, in fact, the right answer. Thank goodness. “What size?” he asked, asking me another question that I would have to answer.

Size? What size? “Small?” I asked him and I didn’t mean it to be a question. It was supposed to be my choice. My order. Not a question. But was small a good size for a caramel macchiato? What the heck was a macchiato anyway?

“You got it,” he said.

And so, I had chosen correctly again. Then we were smiling at each other and it started to feel like it might not be the end of the world. And that was a nice feeling to have while I fished money out of my pocket and handed it to him. Our fingers touched and more sparks flew. Many sparks. Then he turned away so he could make my drink and so that I could breathe.

As I leaned casually against the counter in a casual way, Hot Coffee Shop Guy steamed and stirred and poured, making my macchiato like nobody’s business.

It may not have taken as long as I’d thought to order. And my cheeks may have been red, but maybe he thought it was from the cold outside. It was cold outside. Things may have been even better than not that bad. Things may have been okay and maybe even good.

Until some girl’s voice jutted in, calling “Lucan?” and a pretty blond girl with pigtails came sashaying in from the backroom.

“Huh?” said not just ‘Hot Coffee Shop Guy’, said Lucan. Because Hot Coffee Shop Guy had a name and I finally knew what it was. And it was Lucan. And it was the best name I had ever heard.

Blond Girl leaned against the counter next to him and crossed her arms, looking his way and biting her thumbnail. I was thankful to her for revealing the name that I’d wondered about for so long. But her work was done and she was now free to leave. And should. But wasn’t. “Do you want to go to that party tonight?” she asked him. “At Becca’s?”

“No. You know what I want to do?” said Hot Coffee Shop Lucan, “Dance.” And then, he turned to me. And he asked me another question. “Whipped cream?” he asked. His voice was low and husky as he looked at me and not at the other girl.

And then I got it. It clicked.

I said “Yes,” and it was an answer. A real answer and not a question at all. Because there was another question–a more important question–at the tip of my tongue. There was a reason I’d ended up in that coffee shop that morning. A reason I was there and not in class. A reason I’d mistaken my name on that poster.

He held my fancy drink out and as I took it, our hands met again. Sparks and more sparks.

“Thank you,” I said, my voice firm and calm and clear. Because that day, my 17th birthday, was not just my day. Not just a day for a fresh start and for new things. It was a day for a new me. A brave me. It was a day for a question that I never thought I’d ask–that I didn’t, until that very moment, even know that I wanted to ask.

“Lucan,” I said, “there’s a dance at my school. You want to go?” And then I looked right into those baby blue eyes of his and added, bravely, “With me?”

And then there was an answer. It had been the best day until that answer. Because the answer was laughter.

 
 

Review from Jack Magnus for Readers Favorite

Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

5 out of 5 stars

Review:

Readers Favorite 5-star rating

Readers Favorite 5-star rating

Super Me: Super Series, Book One is a paranormal coming of age novel for young and new adults written by Jessica Dazzo. She wasn’t going to have to take the bus to school that morning — or ever again, Faye realized with delight, and still some disbelief, as she made sure her mom wasn’t home, and she turned the key of her “new” old car. It was not the fanciest or sweetest looking car out there; there were even rust spots, dents and dings adorning it, but it was hers. She had bought it through saving bits of cash here and there from her job at the supermarket. Faye’s mom had her when she was only sixteen years old, and she had lost the support of her family because of her pregnancy. Brooke now seemed determined to live her life to the fullest and make Faye bear the brunt of what she had had to go through as a teen. Faye had become the adult in the relationship, and even though it was her seventeenth birthday, she seemed to have lost her joie de vivre, if indeed she had ever had it. She was determined to enjoy her seventeenth birthday, however, and even decided to start off the day with a special coffee treat at her favorite coffee house. But from then on, the day only got worse.

Jessica Dazzo’s paranormal coming of age novel, Super Me, grabbed me with that first incomparably heart-breaking episode in the coffee house and didn’t let go until I finished the last page of the book. Faye is a grand character, Dickensian at times, and so very resilient in the face of everything that happens to her. I couldn’t help but feel even more for this girl, who had had her childhood and teen years stripped away by a selfish mother, when she begins to hear things that no one else does; things that make life even more awkward for her than it already is. Dazzo’s plot is creative and original, and her characters are credible and alive. I was quite pleased to discover that this is the first book in an ongoing series and am looking forward to reading more about this intriguing and original character. Super Me: Super Series, Book One is most highly recommended.

 

About Jack Mangus:

Jack Mangus provides professional reviews for the highly respected Reader’s Favorite web community.

« Older posts

© 2018 Jessica Dazzo

css.php