Skip to content

End of the line (Friday Fictioneers)

Sean drummed his fingers against the wheel. Behind him a wail grew suddenly sharper. “Oh Jesus Christ,” he grumbled under his breath. She still heard him.

She always heard him.

“Sean, really?”

“You can’t do anything about him?”

“Can’t you?” she snapped. It was her regular reply.

This time his sigh was very audible,

The brake lights in front of his face dropped and then flared brighter. He inched the heavy vehicle forward. The car rocked. The baby’s wail became a scream. His wife closed her eyes and leaned against the window.

Sean would need a holiday from his holiday.



This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

word count: 100


© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Keep looking (Friday Fictioneers)

“Whatcha doin?”

“Watching the sky.” I scrub beneath my nose and sniff harder.


“They’s coming John.”

“Jeez, you serious?”

I cough up a lung and rub my chest. These damned flu tablets weren’t doing shit. “I tell you. They’re coming. Lookit the sky.”

John looked up. I followed his gaze. The clouds were swirling, grey and turning darker. “See.”

“I don’t see nothing, Billy. Sleep it off inside. Damned cold out here.”

I huddle further into my parka, cuddling my bat. “Ima fine.” I needed to watch. I needed to see. When they came, I wouldn’t be caught offguard.



This is a Friday Fictioneers prompt post

word count: 100

© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

False advertising (Friday Fictioneers)

Beth slammed the hammer against the wood over and over taking out the days frustrations on the old water-logged frame. The door burst open swinging drunkenly back and forth. The musty smell of dust, rotted plant life and animal droppings assaulted her nose. “Oh hell.” It took two hard shoves to get the door all the way open. Weeds and roots had erupted from the once tiled floor creating dangerous tripping hazards everywhere.

“Hun, how’s it look?”

“You don’t want to know!” she called. This “fixer-upper” was not quite the “it might require a little weekend work” the advertisement implied.



This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

Word count: 100



© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Author Interview: Tegon Maus

This is the ninth author interview in my series!


Introducing Tegon Maus


Walking around this field all I can feel is heat. Hot air on my face, dry grass snaps beneath my feel. Sweat coats my skin, but when I scratch at it all I feel is salt. Gee I could do with a drink!

My gaze darts up when I hear the buzz. Even under the bright sunshine I can see… lights? Huh, what’s that? When I look down again my guest is standing right in front of me!

Hi Tegon! great to finally meet you.

First up, tell me a bit about yourself.

How I spend my day? I’m an REO contractor…  I work for an investment firm. They buy a house that has been terribly abused; I count the number of broken windows and multiply by the number of bullet holes and then tell them what it will cost to make repairs. I spend a lot of time on the road… I average 100 / 120 miles a day and I like to write in my head as the day goes along. It’s a talking to myself kind of thing. When I go home I try to put it down and refine it as best I can. I usually have 3 different stories in my head at the same time so when I run across something that pricks my interest I apply it to the best fitting story and I don’t get bored. It’s with me all the time, sometimes in the back of my head, sometimes a little closer to the front but always there. What do I like to do in my free time? I seldom have free time but when I do I like to garden… I’m very fond of growing Pumpkins, Watermelons, Zinnia, anything with a flower attached!!

Wow, What a gardener you are (everything I touch, dies… ooooh now there’s a great story idea 🙂 ). Now, tell me about your writing…

Now you got me! What would you like to know? I write in a variety of genre… I write Sci-Fi, Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Action Adventure and all with as much humor as I can get away with. I love a good tongue and cheek story!

Wow, So multi-skilled! (I love a good humorous piece too!) What age were you when you started?

The first thing I can remember writing was for my wife. We had been dating for a while and I had done something really stupid and in an effort to gain her forgiveness I wrote her a little story… something about misunderstood closet monsters and dust bunnies.  That was more than 47 years ago… I no longer remember but as it turns out she married me a short time after so it must have been pretty good!   

How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When Dearheart and I were first married I worked 3 jobs… 2 of which were at night. She would come along and read to me as I worked. In our first 5 years together she read hundreds of books to me… everything imaginable.  Now as time has gone on she has begun to lose her eyesight. Now I write to entertain her. If I can make her laugh then I know I’ve done a good job. I would have to say that I owe my writing career to her.  It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought it was more of a stepping stone. It was the eighties, my wife and I had joined a dream interpretation  group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told. I was thrilled. If there is one thing I enjoy it’s making people believe me and I like to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mine you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not. When I write, I always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, I guarantee you, nothing, makes me happier!  

Awww, she sounds lovely! how wonderful to have such a fan so close to home! What was your favorite book as a child?

As a child?  Nothing comes to mind but in my teens then it was Asimov’s  I Robot. I read it a hundred times. It set me on track for college… I majored in Bio-Physics and was instilled with the desire to build artificial limbs for amputees.  I went to school days and worked at nights. Things didn’t turn out that way, what with a wife and kid on the way I switched to working days and school at night.

Oooooo me too! Oh and did you hear about the new Aussie Artificial limb work? I just watched a story on it! Apparently they have worked out how to “think” to “move” the limb. Amazing! What a time we live in.  So favorite book as an adult?

One of the series my wife read to me was written by E.E.Doc Smith… the Lens Men Series. Written in 1939 it was the most fantastic thing I had ever heard!  Big, sweeping, epic stories with big John Wayne type characters… what’s not to love ??!!

Tell me a bit about your novels?

Ah, this is a longer conversation… I have 6 published and another 3 I’m still working on so let me tell you about my favourite…  BOB. It’s a soft Sci-Fi book about the lights in the night sky over Arizona and a reporter’s search for what is truly going on. Toward that effort he hires a driver… BOB and with that tiny decision all hell breaks loose as the reporter and BOB run into one absurd situation after another in a wild, fast paced, funny  adventure!    

6? wow! that’s brilliant. BOB sounds fantastic. The cover is above and here

Sounds terrific

How do you come up with your ideas?

It depends on the book… different things key different images in my head.  In my book MY GRANDFATHER’S PANTS there is a scene where my character asked his girlfriend to marry him… it is exactly what happened the day I asked Dearheart to marry me… word for word, scene for scene. In my book SERVICE BEFORE SELF there is a scene with a hoarder making a cat food sandwich… all true !  Inspiration comes every day from everywhere!  

OMG that is Hilarious!

Have you always wanted to write science fiction?

I love Sci-Fi… all the wonderful things that are waiting just around the corner for us, incredible things, wild and crazy things! There is no other book, story or written word that promises more than Sci-Fi !!  Nothing !!  I want it all !! Everything that it promises !!

How long did it take you to write your first novel?

My first book… THE CHRONICALS OF TUCKER LITTLEFIELD took me a little over a year to write. It took another 5 years to find a publisher willing to read it!

What about all the others?

Each one took about a year… some a little longer some not so much.

Are you working on anything new?

I’m putting the finishing touches on the 2nd book in the LITTLEFIELD series… BLACK MOON.

Tell me a little bit about it?

In the first book in the LITTLEFIELD series we find Tucker Littlefield to be a lair, a thief and a conman who is put into one harrowing situation after another. When pushed into a corner he ultimately does the right thing in spite of himself. In the BLACK MOON Tucker is dragged along with the Kindred to witness the changing of the Shalic… King for the Kindred.

Every 28 years the whole of the Kindred gathers to witness the moon blacking out the sun and they are cast into darkness. When the sun returns it is the signal for the rise of the next Shalic to rule over the Kindred… each tribe in their turn.  Unfortunately for Tucker Littlefield as soon as the sun goes dark the old Shalic is murdered. With the sun’s return the ensuing madness over takes them all and in hopes of protecting  himself Tucker grabs the dead Shalic’s spear and unwittingly becomes the next Shalic…. Things go to hell shortly after that!

The cover for Book One is below!

Thank you soooo much for your time Tegon! It’s been terrific chatting with you. In a blink he is gone. Wha… Where?

The sun is also gone and a bitter wind sneaks under my clothing! Gosh… when did the weather change? Above my head clouds have turned dark and clash with a rumble. Ahhhh, I’d better find some shelter. Looks like a hell of a storm is coming.

About the Author

I was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends I could conjure. Not that I wasn’t friendly, I just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe I lived in my head way more than I should have, maybe not. I liked machines more than people, at least I did until I met my wife.
The first thing I can remember writing was for her. For the life of me I can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married me shortly after that. I spent a good number of years after following a variety of ideas before I got back to writing.
It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. My wife and I had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.
I was thrilled. If there is one thing I enjoy it’s making people believe me and I like to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an out right lie mine you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not. If I can make people think “it could happen,” even for a moment, then I have them and nothing makes me happier. When I write, I always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, I guarantee you, nothing, makes me happier.

About the BOB

After 27 years as a newspaper man, Peter Anderson’s career is slipping away, at least it was, until he stumbled upon the story of a lifetime. Sent to do a fluff piece about lights in the night sky over Arizona, he discovers far more than he ever expected when he comes across a mysterious young woman held prisoner in a basement. After helping her to escape, she disappears before he can learn the truth about who she is or where she came from. His search for her leads him back to the lights in the sky and leaves him with more questions than answers. The only thing he knows for certain…the only thing he can count on are the two words offered repeatedly by his friend and guide: “is belt.”

If you want to find Tegon – a very supportive Sci Fi writer!

On twitter : @TegonMaus

His blog is here

Stories (Friday Fictioneers)

“What are they, mum?” I stare, transfixed. The eyes seem to stare right back at me. It was creepy.


“Doll’s don’t look like that… that one’s naked.”

“It’s a human doll, sweetie.”

“What’s a human?”

“They were here before us, hon.”

I burst out laughing. “No, be serious. No one was here before us.”

“Don’t believe all the stories you are told. Earth was full of humans… Once.”

I don’t think she’s telling me the truth, but there’s a strange look in her eye. I laugh it off and scratch at the downy fur covering my body. “Silly, Mummy.”



This is a Friday Fictioneers prompt

Word count: 100


Read more!


© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Author Interview: Linh Nguyen-Ng

Linh Nguyen-NgLinh Nguyen-NgThis is the eighth interview in my series of Author Interviews.

Pull up a chair, sit back and relax. Enjoy reading.

Introducing Linh Nguyen-Ng, author of MOMMY’S LITTLE WORDINGS.

Excitedly I sit on the grass and look over the gorgeous parkland around me. Trees bursting with green create a canopy over my head. I hear giggles in the distance and look up. Two gorgeous children run in circles with wild abandon, mouths wide with pleasure. I can practically see the sunbeams flashing in their eyes. Strangely. Everything around me is made of words. I can read everything.

I wave madly to the figure approaching.

Hi Linh!!

Hi Laurie!

Thank you so much for having me.

It’s great to catch up again! I really really want to talk about your picture book and how gorgeous it is but first… tell me. What is a normal day like for you?

Like most people, I wish there were more hours in a day. I have two toddlers and work fulltime. On weekdays, I’m usually up at 4am to avoid the horrendous highway traffic into work. During the long drive, I brainstorm. I think about my stories, my characters, and my plot. Sometimes, plot holes are revealed. Sometimes an exciting scene emerges in my head. I cherish that quiet time to myself.

4am? Oh my gosh… I’m not sure I could manage that! How important is time management to writing?

I think it’s very important to set aside time to write. It’s difficult when you have a fulltime job. For me, I write either really early in the morning or at night when my kids are in bed.  If you can dedicate at least thirty minutes each day to your writing, I think that’s a good start. The idea is to keep the momentum going. Baby steps are ok, as long as they take you to your destination, right?

Agreed! (I use my train trip into work… ) So, when did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I have always loved words. Even as a child. But I never took it seriously. As I grew up, writing made me happy spiritually, so I began pursuing that dream.

Do you find it hard to write in different genres?

No, I actually enjoy the different mindset for the various genres. Writing for children gives me sense of childhood wonder that’s precious. Writing for adults creates a new sense of wonder that’s deep and overwhelming. I love them all.

What are your favorite types of books to read?

For now, it’s fantasy, mystery, and suspense/thriller. For picture books, I read as many as I can get my hands on. They’re all so unique.

Where did you get the idea for your picture book, MOMMY’S LITTLE WORDLINGS?

My inspiration was my kids. I was a new mom, experiencing a new territory. And that gave me unique ideas to play with.

Was it difficult matching words to the illustrations?

I think that depends on the book. For this one, it wasn’t as difficult for me as some of my other works. I enjoy the challenge of matching the correct words with the appropriate illustrations.

Do you consider yourself more of a writer or an illustrator?

I love to write because as I write I see images unfold like a movie. As I sketch, the story unravels differently in my head. For now, I think I’m more of a writer, simply because I’m currently doing more of that.

What is your most frustrating part of being a writer?

In the beginning it was carving out time to write. Now that I have a regular routine, it’s been easier. My new frustration is learning to streamline. Sometimes having too many ideas float in your head is not beneficial when you’re writing a novel, especially if you don’t follow an outline. Things can get messy and all over the place. Now I make outlines for everything. They’re flexible outlines, enough to give me guidance but also allow room for creativity.

Haha, yes I find myself shouting at ideas to settle down and give me a break! Any advice for someone who is pre-published?

Keep writing what you love. When you love something, it will show in your work. Somehow that love-infused work will find its way to the right publisher one way or another.

Writing is still hard after you’ve published a book. You don’t know when the next will be sold.


Write what you love, leave the rest to the Universe. 🙂

Thank you so much for your time, Linh. Gosh, it’s been sooo fantastic chatting with you. Now you’d better get after those little monsters… I mean angels. They are certainly having a good time.

I wave to the adorable little faces and to Linh who has somehow managed to corral them and lead them off home. Then I spend some time just reading the world around me. What a lovely gift.

Buy this book… It is sooo gorgeous. Children and parents alike will love its gentle messages, and inspired artwork.

About the book

Little words hold big meanings. The Little Wordlings are children who use their simple words to express their feelings for loved ones. No one is more adored than the first person who made them smile. No one is more cherished than the person who gave them life. There is no one like Mommy. Join the Little Wordlings as they show Mommy how much she is appreciated and loved.

You can find Linh at the following and Mommys Little Wordlings at the following


Twitter: @linhnguyenng




My review of Linh’s book can be found here

Review: The Recalcitrant Project by Lauren Lynne

Review: The Recalcitrant Project by Lauren Lynne

About the Book:

When Elise Andrek becomes suspicious that she is being used by the government to design a game which mimics real-life scenarios depicting the eradication of those unwanted populations the government deems underworlders, her world is turned inside out.

Her worst fears are confirmed when she realizes she is responsible for the success of the government’s mass murder of most of her graduating class. In the midst of the tragedy, Elise uncovers a nationwide conspiracy that reveals her class is just the beginning.

After escaping the murderous graduation trials, she becomes a fugitive on the run, caught between an unforgiving regime and a rising faction of resistance known as the Recalcitrants. Things become even more complicated when Bren, the only boy she has ever had serious eyes for, tries to rescue her, and she’s not sure he can be trusted.

As the program she designed begins going online, more graduating classes are marked for extermination. Elise must survive this harsh new world and somehow infiltrate the government’s military-protected servers and take the program offline. No matter how close she gets, no matter how much she tries to protect her friends, or the boy she wants for herself, the risks are high—the consequences even higher.

In a world that is not just possible, but likely, Lauren Lynne establishes herself as a leader among a new generation of dystopian fiction incorporating life-altering decisions, treacherous betrayals, and romance that gives us hope.


My Thoughts:

I really love this book. I am a big fan of Lauren’s work, and this new foray into Dystopian sci fi is a terrific move for her.

Full of technological horrors and governmental controls, Recalcitrant is a terrific and terrifying dystopian tale of YA innocence turned to strength through determination. Elise is thrown into the dark test she helped to create. A hero of circumstance (with only a little foreknowledge from her experience in building the game) she may well be the only survivor. But that only starts her trip to hell. A race to escape the clutches of the government forces sent to capture her Author Lauren Lynne gives us a detailed breakdown of Elise’s capture and the horrors she suffers inside the prison for political “recalcitrants.” Elise is a reluctant hero who has a personal stake in stopping the game from going live. She must find a way to escape, before all hope is lost.

Full of tension, suspense and horrific events. Lauren Lynne has painted a believable world, (a little too much so at times) and of what can happen, if controls are not put into place to stop power hungry people forcing the world into their own image. This is a story of control and the lack of it. Of what can happen when people try to control the lives of others. And of the bravery of one young woman who finds the strength to keep on going.

This is also a story of how to find hope in the dark. And of how to keep fighting when all hope is lost.

There is a love story here too. Elise and Bren, along with their friends and potential friends must fight to survive and escape. Elise is a strong young woman put through hell. Bren is a caring young man with a mission. Together they find there is something to hope for, something to fight for. Each other.

A terrific read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

%d bloggers like this: