Friday, November 6, 2020

First Friday! Woohoo--Alexander, George, Helms!

 It's First Friday again, and time for a welcome distraction from the news. Three 150-word stories based on a single picture by three very different authors. Read them and find some great authors to love.

Dreamstime by @Raggedstonedesign


"The Tree"

I come here every year on our anniversary. I come to remember the day I carved our initials on the trunk of this old tree. How her blue eyes sparkled and the wind tossed her long blonde hair across her face. Her excitement was contagious and I laughed at her sassy commentary on how together we’d change the world.

We built our house close enough so we could watch as the tree grew older and bent with age while we did the same.

I turn and walk back home. I stop on the bottom step, remove my boots, and enter the warmth of the kitchen.

“Come out of the cold, you old fart.”

My beautiful girl still puts a smile on my face. Her hair is silver now but the sparkle hasn’t left her eyes.

Did we change the world? She changed mine.



"Now what: A Retelling"

My start was great. Dr. Frank, as I call him, selected only the best parts. When he connected me and I sprang to life, I almost laughed at Igor’s startled reaction.

I was put to work immediately, tidying, scrubbing. I had a purpose in life. I was fulfilled.

You could have knocked me over with my feather duster when Dr. Frank presented me with my Bride. My solenoids overflowed with joy.

We awaited All Hallows Eve with almost unbearable anticipation. That would be our big night. I didn’t know it would be the end. I thought our happy life would go on. And on.

Dr. Frank drove us to the huge, crumbling mansion and gave us our instructions. I loved turning my head, raising my hand, and intoning, “Run.” My Bride would cackle.

This morning, though, we were dumped here. My power is failing.

Now what?


"The Tree"

Then came a day when the boy returned to the tree. The tree was overjoyed to see the boy, now grown into a man, but the boy seemed troubled.

The boy said. “May I use your limb?”

The tree said, “For what purpose?”

“I want to throw this rope around it,” the boy said, and he held up a thick hemp rope onto which he had fashioned a noose.

The tree felt sympathy for the boy and could not keep its silence. “Boy,” it said, “We can find another way…”

“What?” the boy said. “You think this is for me? It’s for Rocco, the guy stuffed in the trunk of my car.”

“Ah,” the tree said. “Of course. Rocco is a rat. He deserves whatever he gets. You are welcome to my limb.”

The boy tossed the rope over the limb and walked back toward his car.

And the tree was happy.



Jerrie's characters weave their way through death and danger to emerge stronger, because of, and on occasion, in spite of, their love for each other. If they’re tough enough, they live happily ever after.

The author of eleven romantic suspense books, she's added the contemporary erotic romance genre to her booklist.

Jerrie lives in Texas, thrives on sunshine, children’s laughter, sugar (human and granulated), and researching for her heroes and heroines. Find a complete list of her books at or contact her at

Come Hard

Permanent isn’t in my vocabulary…until she walks through my door.

My brokerage business built me billions, and my clubs wet my appetite. Not many women can handle the kind of kink I crave. When fate has Morgan knocking on my door, all I want to do is take her to Club Silken and make her scream.

Relationships are for the weak…so why do I want to give up control the moment we meet?

I’ve only experienced sex in shades of vanilla, but Zack…oh God, Zack…he turns me inside out with desires I’ve never known I had, but I sure as hell want to explore. 

Come Hard is available for preorder for $.99 until November 10 when it changes to $3.99.



Kaye George is a national-bestselling, multiple-award-winning author
of pre-history, traditional, and cozy mysteries (her latest is the
Vintage Sweets series from Lyrical Press). Her short stories have
appeared online, in anthologies, magazines, her own collection, her
own anthology, DAY OF THE DARK. She is a member of Sisters in Crime,
Smoking Guns chapter (Knoxville), Guppies chapter, Authors Guild of
TN, Knoxville Writers Group, and Austin Mystery Writers. She lives and
works in Knoxville, TN.

Deadly Sweet Tooth

Second in the series: Vintage sweets, a deadly surprise, and a
mischievous Maine Coon cat—Deadly Sweet Tooth is the delightful cozy
mystery you’ve been waiting for!

In a darling tourist town like Fredericksburg, Texas, a vintage sweet
shop offering delicious old-fashioned favorites is a perfect fit—until
someone decides to debut a recipe that’s lusciously lethal…

Kaye George, National Best-selling & Agatha-nominated mystery author~~
REVENGE IS SWEET, 1st in new series~~
DEADLY SWEET TOOTH, 2nd, out now~~
Sign up for my newsletter above (or on Facebook)


Derringer and Thriller Award Winner

Richard Helms

Former college professor and forensic psychologist Richard Helms is the author of 20 published novels, including Brittle Karma, coming in November from Black Arch Books. He has been nominated eight times for the SMFS Derringer Award, winning it twice; six times for the PWA Shamus Award; twice for the ITW Thriller Award, winning it in 2011; and once for the MRI Macavity Award. He is a winner of the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for his novel Paid in Spades. His short story "See Humble and Die" (The Eyes of Texas, Edited by Michael Bracken, Down and Out Books, 2019) was selected for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Best American Mystery Stories 2020. An avid woodworker, gourmet cook, and fan of the Carolina Tarheels and Panthers, Richard Helms lives with his wife Elaine in Charlotte, NC.

Brittle Karma

Eamon Gold is your basic meat-and-potatoes San Francisco private eye. He's a blue-collar sleuth just trying to keep his head above water in a tough, knuckles-and-know-how business.

Abner Carlisle spent a quarter century in a ten-by-six cell on twenty-three hour a day lockdown, serving a sentence for a botched armored car robbery. After he is released, he asks Eamon Gold to find the wheelman for the robbery, Eddie Rice, who disappeared years earlier with the take and Carlisle's daughter Lydia. Gold suspects that Carlisle intends to murder Rice, and refuses the case.  Carlisle is found murdered in his hotel room days later, piquing Gold's interest. Gold discovers that the insurance company that paid off the armored car claim will pay ten percent for any amount of the heist money that is recovered.

Gold, temporarily bucks-up but ready for a challenge, takes up the search for Eddie Rice on spec, trying to make a little quick bank on the coldest of cold cases he's ever investigated. As usual, things become complicated.

Brittle Karma, an Eamon Gold novel, coming in November from Black Arch Books!


Feel free to join in--150 words for your take. Post in the comments.