Since the Masquerade: Oddly Suited anthology releases on the 30th, we the contributing authors decided to host a bloghop to build anticipation. Each day, one of the writers hosts someone incognito, in keeping with the anthology’s theme.

How it works:

Each day, our guests will appear masked, with some clues provided in the form of a flash story featuring the characters (independent of the stories appearing in the book), three fun facts about the author, and an image of her or his protagonist in masked form. On release day, we’ll all reveal ourselves.

Fun facts about my person of mystery:

In order to capture the right emotion in my writing, I try out a character’s feelings on my face and body. I had no idea I did this until a non-writing friend laughed at all of the faces and gestures I make as I write!

A TV show (Prison Break) inspired me to start writing fan fiction, which led to writing novels.

I write mostly on the weekends, on the sofa, listening to music without lyrics (classical, jazz, movie soundtracks).

Sharp air fills my lungs as I stride toward Andie’s front door to pick her up for the party. This early cold snap has blown in uninvited, moving our baseball and softball practices to the indoor facility too soon. Welcome to Ohio.

Andie skips out and closes the door behind her before I reach the porch. She turns her face up to mine, fresh and pink in the glow of the porch light. Her pastel-striped knit hat fans out her long, blond hair over the collar of her coat.

“You sure your parents are cool with you going to a senior party?” I ask.

She rolls her eyes. “Alex will be there, so he’ll protect me.”

Her older brother’s the starting quarterback for USC. “Your brother’s in town for Christmas?”

“Just for a couple of days, then he has to head back to L.A. before the bowl game.”

When she shivers, I reach for one of her mittens, tug her closer, and lean down to kiss that irresistibly soft and rosy cheek. “C’mon, let’s go.”

I hold the passenger door open for her, and she snuggles into the seat. “Oh, it’s so warm in here!”

I hustle to my side of the car, praying, Don’t break down again. I left the car running to help my chances. As I back out of her driveway, I boast, “Vlad’s got a good heater.”

Her eyebrows scrunch. “You named your car Vlad?”

I nod.

Her head tilts. “What kind of car is this?”

“Chevy Impala. A very old Impala,” I add.

After a few seconds, her giggles fill the car. “Vlad the Impala!” She snorts. “You’re a genius, Colt.”

My dad was the clever one who came up with the name, actually. My smile fades. This will be our first Christmas without him.

We arrive at my teammate’s house and climb out of Vlad.

Her mitten envelopes my glove. “Are you okay?”

I realize I haven’t spoken the entire car ride. “Great.”

The worried look in her hazel eyes remains, sparking a stab of guilt in my chest. My denial wouldn’t impress my sport psychologist.

“Just thinking about…my dad,” I admit.

She slows her stride. “Holidays must be tough.”

I cringe. After meeting her at a charity softball game in September, I’ve already cried once in front of her, on Thanksgiving. Not cool.

The kicky beat of a pop song draws my attention to the house, where my teammate stands in the now-open doorway. “Turner!” Nate hollers. “Get your ass in here.”

Nate is a senior, like me, and my favorite pitcher to catch. Check that—Andie’s my new favorite pitcher. I lead her into the house.

“Hey, Andie.” Nate snatches the hat off of her head as she crosses in front of him.

She spins around and yanks her hat back, right before elbowing him in the gut.

“Oof.” Nate doubles over, but his grin lets on that she went easy on him.

Andie tosses her coat and hat onto the growing pile on the floor. “You need your own girlfriend to harrass,” she tells Nate as she shakes out her hair. “Oops. You don’t have one.”

“You’re supposed to put in a good word for me with Scarlett!” Nate fires back.

She smiles. “Depends on how you behave tonight.”

This. This is why I love being with an athlete. Andie’s sassy, low-maintenance vibe is a total turn-on. After my coat joins the outerwear mountain, I follow her into Nate’s house.

Posting Schedule:

Thur. April 18th: L.G. Keltner
Fri. April 19th: Jennifer Lane
Sat. April 20th: Deborah Solice
Mon. April 22nd: CD Gallant-King
Tues. April 23rd: Elizabeth Mueller
Wed. April 24th: Chelsea Marie Ballard
Thurs. April 25th: Carrie-Anne Brownian
Fri. April 26th: Myles Christensen
Sat. April 27th: Anstice Brown
Mon. April 29th: Angela Brown
Tues. Apr 30th: Book Release and The Unmasking (Just follow links above)!

6 thoughts on “Masquerade Ball Bloghop, Day #7

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