#SixSunday – January Black #22

Two weeks ago, Matty and Iris shared an close moment after she tripped on the sidewalk and he caught her as she fell. This next six is several days after their first date. The first line is Hadrian’s.

“I hear your girlfriend is coming over for dinner.”

“Dinner, yes,” Matty said, sitting on one of the kitchen barstools. “The girlfriend part I’m not so sure about.”

Hadrian frowned at him and spoke slowly, “You invited a girl…to your house…for dinner with your parents, and she said yes. Is that not the situation?”

Matty’s pulse quickened; his breath shortened, and he replied, “It is.”

Also, for your enjoyment, here is my husband’s book trailer for January Black. Enjoy. 🙂


Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Steven Montano, and Goran Zidar.

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#SixSunday – January Black #21

Last week, Matty and Iris were looking at Hadrian on the cover of Spark!, a fashion magazine. I’m skipping ahead a bit here. Matty and Iris are taking their date to a The Bazaar, a sovereign, walled-in enclave near downtown Aventine. Iris is walking backward in front of Matty as they discuss a joke he plans to play on his parents. She trips on uneven pavement. Matty wraps her up in his arms, stopping her fall. This exchange happens after he gets praise for his “nice catch” from people around them.

Matty stepped back and brought her to her feet. She seemed to be searching his eyes for something.

Finally, she asked, “Are you a brat, Matty?”

“Depends.” He felt as if he would shake apart if he let her go. “Do you like brats?”

Add January Black to Your Goodreads Shelf

January Black

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Steven Montano, and Goran Zidar.

#SixSunday – January Black #20

Last week, Matty’s feet kept him walking towards his date while the halves of his brain argued about whether or not showing up was a good idea. (Praise the feet for having a mind of their own.) Matty does meet Iris, on the third floor of the bookstore/cafe, and he’s found more reasons to be insecure. First, she’s dressed fashionably, reminding him more of his former classmates than the gardener he’s so fascinated with, but her charm calms him down, until she shares what she’s been reading to pass the time.

A tingle of his insecurity about the date returned as he took it in his hand. It was ‘Spark!’, a fashion magazine very popular among the schoolgirls that despised him.

The current issue had Hadrian on the cover, wearing a white suit, similar to the Kitsune uniform, accessorized with a pair of lingerie models. One model held onto his arm and stared at the camera while resting her head against his arm, while the other had her arms wrapped around his shoulders, blowing a bubble with her gum toward his cheek. For his part, Hadrian was preoccupied with a black netlink and ignored both women.

The magazine printed a teaser on one model’s side: “King Hadrian Still Single at 35.”

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Steven Montano, and Goran Zidar.

#SixSunday – January Black #19

Last week, King Hadrian promised to have Iris’ schedule “corrected” so she could go out with Matty. This scene takes place the next day, and Matty is nervously walking toward front doors Libertea, downtown Aventine’s most popular tea shop, and the agreed upon meeting place.

[Matty] knew girls that spent their free time at Libertea. They walked into their first hour classes with the cafe’s logo on their cups, and all of them found him generally intolerable. With them in mind, the halves of Matty’s brain argued. One assumed that Iris might be just like his former classmates and warned him that no good would come of walking through the cafe’s door. The other side snapped back that those same snooty girls would sooner talk to him than to a gardener.

His feet ignored his brain and kept walking.

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Steven Montano, and Goran Zidar.

#SixSunday – January Black #18

Two weeks ago, Hadrian teased Matty about maybe misunderstanding why Iris didn’t want him bugging her. In this scene, Matty has just asked Iris out on a date, also during work hours.

“I’m so sorry.” [Iris’s] disappointment sounded genuine. “I’m working.”

“A scheduling error, surely,” Hadrian said. “I’ll have it corrected.” As Iris stared at the king in shock, he joked, “I have some pull with your supervisor.”

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Steven Montano, and Goran Zidar.

#SixSunday – January Black #17

Would you believe that I completely forgot about SSS last week. I’m pretty sure if you took a piece off my skull, you’d find something akin to rice pudding where there should be brain. I blame my day job.

In unrelated news, January Black was slated for a publishing date in January. There’s been a snag, so I’m not going to have the manuscript back to my publisher–Crescent Moon Press ROCKS!–in time to make the date. The delay shouldn’t be long. (I’m hoping, anyway.)

Now, back to regularly scheduled programming. In the last scene, Matty was depressed that Iris found his (very nerdy) efforts to run into her creepy, and Hadrian yanked him out of the library. This six is a few minutes later, in the palace’s East Lawn, and Hadrian has just asked Matty if he’s just going to give up on the girl. Matty replies that Iris doesn’t want him around. The first line below is Matty’s.

“‘Stalking’ was the word she used.”

Hadrian pinched [Matty’s] cheek and said, “Matty, Matty, Matty.” He followed his teasing with a playful slap. “She’s a contractor. Employment lease reviews start in two weeks. Do you think she might possibly have meant she didn’t want you showing up while she was at work?”

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Steven Montano, and Goran Zidar.

#SixSunday – January Black #16

Last week, Matty was working into the early morning hours, writing a script on Hadrian’s computer. The program he was creating was intended to anticipate Iris’ supervisor’s discretion when assigning daily work details. Matty used it to figure out where Iris would be everyday. Things don’t go exactly as he plans.

In this scene, Matty is lying the the floor of the library, listening to a string concerto, and studying the ceiling while trying to figure out where his program went wrong.

After sitting down on the floor behind Matty’s head, Hadrian placed the book of sonnets back where he found it. “I assume that your discretion program either failed, or worked beautifully with equally disappointing results.”

“How’s that?”

“Had it gone well…” Hadrian propped his chin on his clasped hands as he gazed down at Matty, “…would you be in here, with gorgeous weather, committing a despairing sonnet to memory on your birthday?”

“She found my uncanny ability to find her disturbing.”

“Come on!” Hadrian quipped, grabbing Matty’s hand and pulling him up off the floor.

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Steven Montano, and Goran Zidar.

#SixSunday – January Black #15

Last week, Matty met Iris and helped her plant trees. Its a few weeks later and he’s working on a way to “accidentally” bump into her. Being the geek he is, the method involves writing a computer script. In this scene, he’s spent the night in Hadrian’s library. At some early hour, Hadrian comes in to talk to him.

“Morning, Hadrian,” [Matty] said without looking up from his code.
“Barely,” the king yawned. “Your parents called late, worried about you.”
“Sorry.” Matty’s apology was absorbed into a yawn of his own.
Hadrian replied, “I told them that a meteorite fell on the library and offered my condolences.”

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Steven Montano, and Goran Zidar.

#SixSunday – January Black #14

Last week, Matty learned that the king’s challenge wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be. This week’s six takes place a few months later. Matty is stumped. While sitting outside, enjoying the sun, a pair of gardeners catch his attention by dropping their tools out of their truck.

They’re girls, about his age, and he thinks the blonde is really pretty. It’s been a while since he played in the dirt, so, he approaches them.

“Can I help with the trees?”

The gardeners looked at him before shifting their eyes to each other.

“Don’t know,” the blonde said, smiling brightly. “Will it take me longer to explain than dig the holes myself?”

Grinning, Matty rolled his eyes and held out his hand for the shovel. “Where would you like them?”

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Steven Montano, and Goran Zidar.

#SixSunday – January Black #13

After he was expelled from school for a small act of defiance, Matty Ducayn has been given a challenge by his king. If he answers a question–What was January Black?–his former school will give him a diploma.

It’s a silly question, the boy thinks. It would be like asking an American elementary school kid “What was the Mayflower?” Everyone in Matty’s kingdom knows January Black was a ship.

It’s a few days later, and Matty has returned to the king’s library with an answer in the form of a report. The first speaker below is King Hadrian.

“It appears concise, well-written, and the part detailing the engines warrants a thorough read.” Matty smiled with pride, until the king said, “But, there’s a problem with your answer.”

“Sir?”

Gesturing to the report, Hadrian said, “You have answered what January Black is. I asked what January Black was.”

Matty hadn’t considered Hadrian’s challenge might involve semantics.

Please check out the other talented writers participating in this week’s Six Sentence Sunday. These are some of my favorites: Sarah Ballance, Krystal Wade, Monica Enderle Pierce, Siobhan Muir, Sarah W., Steven Montano, and Goran Zidar.