Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday Snippet: Under the Blackhawk Banner

Hello August! So many things going on this month. School starts for my one and only daughter and one and only student this year. She's involved in the music and athletic departments and the fall tends to be very busy. She's already started her golf season and band practice started also. She had a busy week with band camp from 8 to 3 and then golf qualifying from 4 to 6. She's got the number three spot right now and is happy being there. They have almost twice the amount of girls this year and everyone is excited about growing the sport.

Teen Wolf's premiere didn't disappoint. I'm excited to see how everything wraps up. I loved the surprises and can't wait for more. Keep them coming!

Got a few more episodes of Killjoys in and really like how the season is shaping up. Here's hoping there's a renewal in the future.

I'm also almost caught up on Dark Matter. I continue to enjoy the interactions and character arcs.

Need to catch the last two episodes of Wynonna Earp and I hope I can get that done this week.

Seeing more promo for The Last Ship… looking forward to the premiere in two weeks!!

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Under the Blackhawk Banner, a novella based on a prompt to write an alternative timeline or universe for WWII.

Here's the mini-blurb:

In a battle-torn land, the saving grace is the Blackhawk Banner. Any who fly the flag are protected by the elite group of pilots and their crew who pull off amazing feats of victory. Verity Jones, the lone female in the group, is about to become one of their secret weapons, and Emory Cavendish will make it happen, over the protests of damned near everyone.

And a preview snippet…

Verity Jones strode through the line of men into the huge manor—a former castle—and followed the indicator signs to the company commander's office. She ignored the gaping mouths and widened eyes, very used to the stir she caused. The Blackhawk Banner flew proudly from the parapet, meaning she belonged as much as the next person.
Even if I am a female.
She stopped outside the closed door of Colonel Earl Whitcomb, the head of the civilian base, and rapped sharply on the jamb.
She took a deep breath, twisted the knob, and walked into the office.
The colonel sat behind his desk and another man occupied the chair facing him. Dark hair, longer than standard military, brushed his shirt collar. He angled his head around and met Verity's gaze with his amber one. He rose slightly and nodded then settled back into the seat. She blinked once then shifted her focus to Whitcomb.
His brows knit and he rose from his seat. "Who the hell are you and how did you get access to my base?" He made a move to come around the desk.
Verity stared straight ahead, coming to attention. "VJ Jones, specialist, reporting for duty." The Blackhawks utilized a rank structure similar to the military even though they operated as a civilian outfit.
Whitcomb's eyes narrowed. "You're a woman." He held out a hand. "Orders. Let me have them."
Verity slid them from her pocket and slapped the papers into his palm. He shook the pages open and scanned the contents, grumbling under his breath. When he finished, he tossed the documents on his desk and folded his arms over his chest.
Verity remained silent, bracing for the usual response.
Whitcomb didn't disappoint. "Don't get too comfortable, Jones. You, no doubt, lied on your application to the Blackhawk program, or deliberately tried to mislead the home office by using your initials instead of your name. Women are not allowed to serve in our elite corps." He moved again, putting the wide expanse of oak between them. "I won't let you remain and become a distraction to the men." His face turned a mottled shade of crimson.
Verity itched to smack the man, but calmly met his gaze. "Sir, you might want to review the signatures on the orders and the addendum they included." She kept her tone even and devoid of the frustration coursing through her.
Whitcomb snatched the papers again and flipped to the final one. His lips thinned to a harsh line and his nostrils flared when he inhaled. Anger tinged with defeat entered his gaze.
He glanced at the man still seated across from him. "Cavendish, apparently the president and the prime minister are well aware they've sent a female to work with us. Find her a place to stay—well away from my men—and brief her on our upcoming missions." He pinned Verity with a nasty glare. "If you cause any trouble or start any fights between my pilots, I don't care whose signatures are present on your orders. I'll make sure you're transferred to a place better suited for your kind." He waved a hand toward her in disgust.
My kind? Meaning a woman with boobs and hips?
Verity bit back the terse response. "I look forward to keeping your planes in the air, Sir. I can start immediately."
Whitcomb shuddered. "That's not necessary. Cavendish will brief you, sort out quarters for you, then, if there's time, he can show you the hangar. But only if it doesn't keep him from his other duties. We're a very busy base, specialist." He nearly spat the title at her.
She shot a quick glance in Cavendish's direction. He'd risen and waited patiently for the colonel's dismissal. Whitcomb shook his head and motioned for them to leave.
Verity kept her anger in check and preceded Cavendish out of the office. When he pulled the door closed, she turned and sized him up. He didn't wear the mantle of rage like Whitcomb. In fact, he appeared relaxed and at ease. Might she have a potential ally?
She thrust her hand forward. "We haven't been properly introduced. VJ Jones."
He grasped her palm. "The colonel is short on pleasantries, especially when his world tilts on its axis. Emory Cavendish, captain of the air guard." His firm shake didn't linger, which she appreciated.
But his words caught her off guard. "Captain of the air guard? Why on earth are you acting as my tour guide then?" Whitcomb couldn't be more of an ass.
Emory gave her a half-smile. "Being a civilian operation, we wear a lot of hats around here." He started forward, toward the main hall of the estate.
Verity followed then fell into step beside him. "Meaning you're the colonel's go-to guy when he doesn't want to deal with something distasteful?" Namely her.
Emory huffed out a laugh. "You catch on very quickly, Specialist Jones." He paused a moment. "It won't be easy, but you'll fit in just fine around here." He took a set of keys from his pocket and slid one into a locked door. "Let's get started with some quarters. How about I brief you on the way?"
Verity gave a nod. "Sounds efficient. Please, lead on." Stepping into a darkened wing, she squared her shoulders and took the first steps toward her new place in life.

I'm having a terrific time writing this one. The sages are already feeding me ideas for more books so hopefully Emory and Verity's story will continue.

That's it for this week.



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