Reflective Moments lead to A Healing Heart

On Life and Writing 

Do you get reflective moments flooding you at the most unusual time?

cuteStanding in the middle of a small, gorgeous shop, on a warm summer afternoon, I couldn’t help smiling at this sign hooked on the door.  The nut house turned out to be a charming shop with beautiful sculptures, glorious scarves, and delightful furniture pieces.  Walking through the store with my favorite person in the world, I couldn’t help smiling over and over.  A wonderful feeling when all I have done is feel inundated in work and responsibilities of late.

Reflective moments struck me then, wondering why I have felt as though life is so hard lately?  Why have I been so focused on the outside things, instead of those things that matter to me?  Why have I cared so much about what others think?  What others are doing, instead of what I’m doing?  Why haven’t I just focused on the things that make me happy?  Why the hell was I thinking about this in the middle of someone else’s shop? Suddenly, this little message jumped out at me…and I wondered if I wasn’t the one who lived in a nut house….?  I took a picture of the little love heart…it made me happy to do so, can’t explain why.

Of course, the discovery of thisroses bucket of roses brought me this sudden urge to get a story I’ve loved and nurtured for a while upfront and center.  In this not so new story, My main character Talin gets a rose plant from his beau, Dimitri.  The sight of this bucket of roses had me thinking about those two.  So, on writing I said, here ‘s a small glimpse into A Healing Heart.

A Healing Heart was first published on GA.  The site that makes me happy.  This story has been part of GA for a year or so.  I thought it was about time for it to get an eBook.  L made me a cover that made me smile…and all these smiles coming one after the other, warmed me up inside!

Here is a small excerpt from A Healing Heart.

healing heart cover1What happened last night?”

“Jon was on edge.  He wasn’t looking for a dealer, he was selling.”  Dimitri rubbed his fingers together to get rid of crumbs.  He sipped his coffee with a speculative gaze.  “I was going to ask Jon why he was back when you showed up.”

“What was I supposed to do?” Talin asked.  “You guys were assaulting a kid in my parking lot.”

“Your defense wasn’t wrong.”  Dimitri assured with a smile.  “I love seeing you get all protective.  It’s a sight to see.”

Talin stared at him then he burst out laughing.

Talin’s laugh was infectious it had Dimitri smiling.

“Why are you laughing?” Dimitri asked when Talin wouldn’t stop.

Talin wiped his eyes.

“I feel like an idiot.  This whole time, I thought you and Ken dated.  I figured kids his age were your type, not thirty year olds married to their business.  That you were watching me the same way I was you…well, it’s kinda pathetic.”

“Why pathetic?” Dimitri asked.

“You know, I’m not sure.  It just is.”  Talin glanced at his watch and sighed.  “I’ve stayed too long.  I should get going.”

Talin pushed his chair back and got up stretching his arms above his head.

“You can’t leave yet.”  Dimitri stood too.  “Why so soon?  The club doesn’t open ‘til later.”

“It’s almost three o’clock,” Talin said.  “I need to do grocery shopping, as you’ve pointed out to me.  I promised to get Lori food; she must think I abandoned her.  Wait…can I take some of these cookies for her?”

“Is she your girlfriend?” Dimitri asked half-afraid of Talin’s answer.

The question was irrational.  He was sure Talin was gay.  But, he’d seen how Talin cared for Lori.  It would be wrong to interfere in their relationship if they had one.

“No!” Talin said staring at him in surprise.  “I mean, she’s like a small sister to me.”

Relief flooded Dimitri.

Happy, Dimitri went to the counter where Katerina had left the cookies on a tray covered with a white cloth.  Dimitri found a container from the cupboard above, and put six cookies into a sealable plastic container.

Dimitri turned to find Talin standing in the middle of the kitchen looking around the warm room with longing.  He took advantage of Talin’s distracted mood to study him.  Talin looked good in his blue faded jeans and t-shirt.  The heavy black boots Talin wore added his height but not that much.  He couldn’t be anymore than five foot eight.  Talin’s Asian heritage gave him slanted eyes, like a cat, they added character to Talin’s oval face.

Dimitri closed the distance between them, wanting to feel Talin’s black silky hair.  He’d dreamed of touching it so many times.

Talin gasped when he turned to find Dimitri so close.

The sound drew Dimitri’s gaze to Talin’s parted lips.  Dimitri touched Talin’s jaw, running his right thumb over Talin’s clean-shaven jaw.  He stepped closer, his gaze on Talin’s lips.  They looked soft; he wondered what they’d taste like.  Talin took in a deep breath and Dimitri met tumultuous brown eyes.

He slid his fingers along Talin’s jaw to the back of his neck.  Talin tipped his head back and Dimitri lowered his head.  Talin’s eyes slid closed as Dimitri skimmed his lips over Talin’s.  The simple caress left them both breathless.  Talin responded by stepping closer, his fingers bunching the front of Dimitri’s black t-shirt.  Dimitri dropped the sealed container of cookies on the floor and grabbed on to Talin, pulling him into his arms.

Dimitri kissed Talin again, this time a full kiss, one that had them both clinging to each other.  Talin moaned; the sound of it had Dimitri hard and aching for more.  He couldn’t get enough of Talin’s taste.

Butterscotch, coffee and Talin, addictive, Dimitri thought.

When they broke apart, Talin buried his face into Dimitri’s shoulder, his breath coming faster.

Dimitri held Talin, his world shifting, the axis completely changing.  He brought his right hand up to Talin’s messy braid.  His fingers made short work of it.  The silky strands sifted through his fingers.  He buried his face in Talin’s hair taking in Talin’s scent mixed in with vanilla, a heady scent that added to his raging hard-on.  Dimitri took in a deep breath, holding Talin closer, afraid if he didn’t memorize the feel of him, he wouldn’t survive when Talin left.

Want more?

A Healing Heart is now available on Smashwords for free.  Download your copy!

My Reflective Moments continue, they don’t end, no matter what.  L tells me it’s part of life to reflect on great moments, weak ones, hard ones, embarrassing ones, and the beautiful moments like standing in the middle of a cute shop and giggling over a bucket of roses.  My reflective moments led me to a new e-book.  I hope yours lead you to something magical too.


Those Rainy Days…

So, you know those days?

The ones you wake up, the sun is shining, the weather is beautiful, and well…even the birds are chirping, and it feels like a damn fairy tale story.

Yes, these are the visions I get in my head some mornings.  It can get pretty creative some days.  You know, including a light, happy soundtrack for effect.

Nothing could go wrong on these perfect days.

Then around two o’clock in the afternoon today, dark clouds moved in, and the atmosphere changed to dark and gloomy with thunder in the distance for effect.  Everyone on the streets dashes for safety because no one anticipated it would rain on this fairy tale-like day.  Big, fat drops start falling, suddenly a new world is born.

You’d think this change of atmosphere would worry me.  After all, I’m in my favorite white jeans, and matching flat sandals…walking along the wet streets should be a no, no, fear of splashes of dirty water on the jeans and all.  But, luck is good because there was an umbrella in the office.  I stepped out to head for a meeting, and chose to walk.  The streets were quiet, the rain soothing…the world is different when it rains.  Rain falling around me, the umbrella the only defense, my feet wet from splashes…the squishy feeling quickly turning comfortable.  Weird, but in some ways, I think walking in the rain can turn into the perfect calming moment.

These rainy days, so unexpected…

Song of the Moment:

Jam Session – Je Jung’s Love You More


Love You More is the title track in Kim Jae Joong’s new album No. X.  This song grabs you right at the start, catchy, laid-back, great hanging out music, I listened to it all day today, it’s become top on my list.  I love his voice!!


Kim Jae Joong has really come full circle.  His new album No. X covers an amazing range of songs, each one makes me want to keep listening over and over, I have a hard time moving on to the next song.  When I do, it is just as great.  Listening to No. X, makes me feel as though Kim Jae Joong understands what his audience is looking for, what his audience expects from his voice, and his lyrics.  He goes a step further and gives us an album with that extra… an album that I just want to keep dancing to, and that connection makes him my favorite singer. His voice is always on my  playlist.

WWW was great, I think No. X is Fantastic, and I can’t wait to hear his next album when he comes out from the Army.  Kim Jae Joong, Fighting!!

Get No. X on Itunes


Fates Decided – 5

Fates Decided – 5

Insanity had struck, Derek thought as he followed Jade with a cart in the supermarket. He didn’t know why he’d Fates Decideddecided to allow Jade to stay with him. If he had any sense, he’d take her to a hotel. They were at the supermarket because she’d insisted they stop for supplies for their journey. He didn’t know what she needed, but he hoped she’d get t-shirts and easier shoes for the journey. He’d yet to muster the courage to tell her that. If the worst came, he’d give her his own t-shirts and an old pair of jeans his ex-girlfriend had left in his closet. He just wouldn’t tell her who they belonged to.

Jade stopped in the bread aisle.

“Brown or white?” she asked.

“Mix them,” he said. “I can’t be sure what everyone prefers.”

She nodded and started taking sandwich bread from the aisle. She took ten extra large loaves.

“Why so many?” he gaped staring in to the cart. “I do have food in my house.”

Jade laughed. The sound so unexpected, he stood in the baked goods aisle marveling at how carefree she looked.

“I’ve been on a trip to the North, Derek. It’s better to carry your own food supplies. Sandwiches are easy.”

She led the way to the next aisle and stopped to get lunch meats.

“We’re going to make sandwiches,” she said with a shy grin.

“Great,” Derek pushed the cart for her as she piled it with fruits: apples, pears and bananas. Derek helped her choose the sandwich meats.

They finished shopping and headed out of the large supermarket, Derek smiling as he realized he hadn’t gone grocery shopping with a woman in a long time.


Late in the night, Jade wrapped her arms tight around her stomach and sat on the deck behind Derek’s house. There was a lovely garden a few feet away. She couldn’t tell what was growing in the dark, but the scent of flowers filled the clean air. Glancing at her watch, she shuddered. It was one thirty. She should be sleeping. The convoy was leaving in two hours at three-thirty.

She’d tried to sleep, but worry kept her awake. She kept seeing visions of Jihu in the hands of the militia that had attacked his team. Tao had called her earlier to give her more details. Jihu had left the safety of the medical tents to go help a family in the population at the camp. Tao wasn’t sure why Jihu had been allowed to leave. Those details weren’t clear yet. Jihu and his security team were attacked on transit. The driver manning Jihu’s transport had tried to make a run for it, but the militia had thrown a bomb at their vehicle.

She closed her eyes and pressed a hand into her aching chest. Fear had taken root since. Fear that she’d lose Jihu. This insane fear that she’d never see her fiancé again, she shook her head. They had a difficult relationship, but she didn’t want him dead.

Jade shivered when a cool wind swept in, and gasped when she felt a warm wrap settle around her shoulders.

“You’ll catch a cold out here,” Derek said sitting beside her. He was quiet. She hadn’t heard him. “Can’t sleep?”

She tugged the edges of the wrap closer.

“No.” She turned to look at him. “Can’t sleep?”

“Not tonight,” he answered in his quiet voice.

She didn’t wonder what kept Derek up at night. Her experiences in camps cured her of that. Derek’s had to be worse working in security.

“Who is Dr. Jihu to you?” Derek asked after they’d sat in companionable silence.

She frowned because she was sure Derek had read a report on both her and Jihu.

“He’s my fiancé,” she said. “I’m sure you know that.”

“He doesn’t acknowledge you in all the forms he’s signed with the organizations he works for.”

Jade knew that too. “We’re not quite married in the real sense. H-He—

She broke off and cleared her throat.

“Our marriage was arranged by our parents. Jihu didn’t want to deal with it, so he left Seoul.”

“You followed him.” Derek noted.

Jade stared at the moonlit sky. “Yes, I followed him like an idiot. Moving from one camp to another, making sure we don’t land in the same camps. It has been an exhausting five years.

“Does he know?” Derek asked.

She didn’t know. Jihu was independent. Most times, he was so involved in his work he didn’t pay attention to what was going on around him. That was probably how he’d gotten into trouble. Paying attention to others instead of him, she shook her head.

“Jihu is not the type to pay attention to small things.”

“Small things?” Derek asked, he shifted and touched her shoulder. “How is a fiancee a small thing? What kind of man is Dr. Jihu?”

She frowned. “Derek, you don’t understand. Our situation is impossible to handle, and Jihu—

“Chose the selfish path,” Derek finished for her. “He didn’t want to release you, so he ran away. He left you to carry the burden of a marriage. I can’t respect a man like that.”

“No one asked you to,” Jade snapped annoyed by Derek’s perfect analysis.

She sometimes wished she could go back home and tell her parents to help her get a legal divorce. However, she’d invested five years into this. She’d cared for Jihu her whole life. He needed her now. How could she walk away?

“What’s your story anyway?” she asked irritated. “Your father owns Woo Securities. What are you doing working here instead of in Seoul beside him?”

Derek shrugged, muscles rippling across his shoulders under the grey t-shirt he wore. He looked harmless sitting beside her, but she could tell he was lethal. It was in the way he moved and the way he sat, alert, listening. He was handsome. The perpetual shadow across his jaw added to his rugged charm. He kept his hair long and wild. She wondered if he ever cut it, or trimmed it. She fought the urge to reach out and touch it to find out if the dark silky curls could straighten out. He turned and caught her studying him.

She met dark brown eyes in the moonlight and asked, “Why are you living here?”

“I’m here to help you, Ms. Sang.” He flashed a grin. His hand moved fast, soft fingers touched her jaw. “You deserve better, you know. No man should treat a woman the way he has you. It’s not right.”

She looked away from him, hating the soft flutter in her chest at his words.

“How would a mercenary know how a woman should be treated?”

Derek chuckled beside her. “What makes you think I’m a mercenary?”

856422-bigthumbnailShe shifted until her back was against the pillar to her left. Folding her legs under, she tugged the wrap he’d brought tighter around her and studied him in the moonlight.

“That’s the only reason why you wouldn’t be working in Seoul. You must love the wild life, not having to account your actions.”

“That’s not fair. Not all mercenaries live by that principle,” Derek said shifting too until he was facing her, his back against the pillar on his side. “I wasn’t always a mercenary.”

“Oh yeah, what did you do?”

“I was in the army for a while, and then I left.” Derek shrugged. “I joined my father’s security team. We expanded rapidly, and now I’m stationed here.”

“That sounds like a story with very wide gaps,” she said with a smile.

“Yours isn’t that straight either,” he accused with a matching smile.

“What does that make us?” she asked.

“Two people sitting under a moonlit sky,” he said.

She nodded and looked up at the sky. It was beautiful, thousands of stars twinkling beside the bright half moon. When she’d been a kid growing up in Seoul, she’d loved staring up at the stars. Sadly, she didn’t quite remember the sky she’d watched then. Five years was a long time to be away from home.

“Can I ask you something?” Derek interrupted her thoughts.

She looked at him. “Sure.”

“Do you love him?”

Julie and Tao had asked her that question dozens of times. She’d always answered with a yes. She met dark brown eyes, and felt the word freeze in her throat. The Jihu in her memory was fading. That young passionate man she’d known growing up, the one who’d ran away from her, the one who’d made her give up everything. He was fading every night. She closed her eyes sometimes and couldn’t remember his smile.


She cleared her throat and forced a smile.

“Of course,” she said though she could hear her answer had no strength, no straight conviction. She looked away from those dark brown eyes. “He’s my fiancé.”

“It’s a pity,” Derek said, his tone low.

She turned to look at him but he was already getting up. He held out a hand to her.

“Come on, you should at least try and stretch out for the next hour or so. We have a hard journey ahead.”

She took his warm hand and he tugged her to her feet in one smooth move. He really was strong. He let go of her and walked into the house without a backward glance. The disappointment she felt at his departure surprised her.
Back in the guest room, she drifted into a fitful sleep. She woke up at three to the sound of movement in the living room and the kitchen. There were men talking, their voices low.

Jade sat up as she realized Derek’s team was preparing for their long journey.

Wiping a hand down her face, she reached for her cell phone. She found messages from both Tao and Julie, wishes for a safe journey and to call them when they got on the road. She placed the phone on the bedside table without answering the messages. She’d call them at a more decent hour.

Rallying her sleepy body, she went into the bathroom for a shower.


“Wow, who helped you with the food supplies?” Tim Bragar asked, studying the neat plastic containers on the kitchen table.

“Jade,” Derek said, remembering how determined she’d been to finish making the sandwiches.

“Jade Sang, as in the client’s fiancé?” Tim studied him.

Derek ignored the blue gaze on him went instead to the freezer where Jade had made him place Geri cans of water. They were frozen now, but in the coming hours, they’d melt under the heat in the North. He turned to place two of the five-liter containers on the table beside the sandwich containers.

Tim leaned on the counter sipping coffee. “How pretty is she?”

“What does that have to do with anything?” he asked with a scowl.

Tim chuckled. “You know, my friend, women are your big weakness. How hot was it last night?”

“Nothing happened, she’s not that type of woman,” Derek said glaring at his best friend.

He’d known Tim for ten years. The man was brilliant when it came to tactical solutions in the field, but the blonde-haired buffoon leaning on his counter was a pain in the ass when it came to personal solutions.

“Can you try and act like gentleman with her, Tim? I don’t want her to think we’re barbarians or something.”

Tim whistled. “Say that again, boss. I didn’t quite hear you the first time.”

“Bragar,” he said with a warning glance.

Tim chuckled. “Yeah, yeah, the pigs are flying outside if you’re asking me to act like a gentleman on the road. This Jade Sang must be some kind of woman.”

Derek sighed giving up on setting Tim straight. He’d just have to watch out for Jade through their journey. He sighed when he caught sight of the time on the microwave.

“Will you get these to the car? I have to make sure she’s up. We should be on the road in the next ten.”

“Sure, boss,” Tim said pushing off the counter.

“I’ll get the rest of the ammunition from the basement,” Derek said as he turned to leave the kitchen. “We have to be extra prepared for this one.”

Tim nodded. There was no need to explain. Having Jade with them meant they needed extra precaution.
Derek left the kitchen and turned down the corridor headed to the bedrooms. He was glad to see the guest room light on, though he couldn’t be sure. Jade hadn’t slept much. He knocked on the door softly and was surprised when Jade opened the door.

“I’m up,” she said moving back into the room.

She was also dressed in light brown cargo pants and a sleeveless white top. She pulled on a light white shirt that she left unbuttoned. Her hair was tied in a neat ponytail. She looked ready to face the heat. She’d been up for a while too since the bed was made, and her trusty bag sat in the middle already packed.

“Am I late?” she asked as she sat on the neat bed to wear brown hiking shoes.

He’d worried for nothing. She seemed quite prepared in terms of clothing. The woman seated on the bed hardly looked delicate. Instead, she seemed seasoned, as if she’d faced worse situations.

“Not at all,” he said. “We have eight minutes before we get going. Did you get any sleep?”

“Some,” she said finishing with her shoes. She sat up to meet his gaze, “and you?”

Her light brown eyes fascinated him. There were slight shadows under them, proof she’d barely rested. He made a note to ensure she fell asleep in the first leg of their journey.

“I slept enough,” he answered her question. “There is coffee in the kitchen. Don’t mind the men, they’re friendly.”

She nodded and got up. He couldn’t help noting how the white cotton fabric of her t-shirt clung to her petite body. She wore a silver chain on her neck that disappeared under her t-shirt. He wanted to walk over and tug it out, find out what she kept so close to her heart. He berated his wandering mind and turned to leave before he did something stupid.

“Thanks,” she said.

He paused to look at her.

“For what?” he asked.

“Letting me stay here,” she said waving her left hand to indicate the room. “You have a lovely home. It was kind of you to let me stay the night.”

He didn’t want her thanks. He wanted a chance with her, but she was quite unavailable. It annoyed him. “Go get some breakfast, Jade.”

He left the guest room quickly determined to get to Daadab as fast as possible. The faster he got Jade Sang out of his life, the better. He could return to building a deck in the east side of the house instead of worrying about a pint-sized woman who had no sense of preservation.

How could she love a man who clearly cared nothing for her?


To be continued…

Fates Decided – 4

Fates Decided -3

Fates Decided – 2

Fates Decided – 1

Jam Session – One Ok Rock’s Heartache

This is a song that makes my heart ache in that way that makes you nostalgic, and happy too.  It seems am always writing a blog post after my birthday.  This year, there was no large celebration, but a gentle day with friends and family.  Smiles, encouragement, and even wishes of love and happy birthday from friends and family I hadn’t talked to in so long.  It was a nostalgic kind of birthday.  So, I dedicate this song to all of them, for making me love them all the more, even when they’re far from me.


So they say that time
Takes away the pain
But I’m still the same
And they say that I
Will find another you
That can’t be true

Why didn’t I realize?
Why did I tell lies?
Yeah I wish that I could do it again
Turnin’ back the time
Back when you were mine (all mine)

So this is heartache?

So this is heartache?
Hiroi atsumeta koukai wa,
Namida e to kawari oh baby

So this is heartache?

So this is heartache?
Ano hi no kimi no eiga wa
Omoide ni kawaru
I miss you

Boku no kokoro o
Yuitsu mitashite satte yuku
Kimi ga
Boku no kokoro ni
Yuitsu furerareru koto ga dekita
Kimi wa

Oh baby
Mou inai yo mou nanimo nai yo
Yeah I wish that I could do it again
Turnin’ back the time
Back when you were mine (all mine)

So this is heartache?
So this is heartache?
Hiroi atsumeta koukai wa
Namida e to kawari oh baby

So this is heartache?
So this is heartache?
Ano hi no kimi no eiga wa omoide ni kawaru
I miss you

It’s so hard to forget
Kataku musunda sono musubime wa
Yeah, so hard to forget
Tsuyoku hikeba hiku hodo ni

You and all the regret
Hodokenaku natte hanare renaku natta
Ima wa tsurai yo, sore ga tsurai yo
Sugu wasuretai yo
Kimi wo

So this is heartache?
So this is heartache?
Hiroi atsumeta koukai wa
Namida e to kawari oh baby

So this is heartache?
So this is heartache?
Ano hi no kimi no eiga wa omoide ni kawaru
I miss you

I miss you
I miss you
I miss you

Comfort food – Delicious & Liberating

Prompt Me: Delicious Food

What’s for Dinner?



This is a noodle dish mixed in with black bean sauce, which consists of black soybean paste, diced pork (or your preferred meat) and vegetables.

I’m trying to teach myself to love cooking.  I know that sounds crazy, since I eat on a daily basis, and therefore do cook food to eat, but to love cooking means you make great tasting dishes like this and they come out looking and tasting great.  You gotta love cooking to get that to happen.  So, I’m working on teaching myself to love cooking.  Since jajangmyeon is my favorite food, I make this on days that have been truly hard.

To eat this dish, you gotta mix up the ingredients thoroughly like you’re making a mish-mash, the paste has tojajangmyeon get on everything.  Then eat those noodles up like there is no tomorrow.  All I can say is  I only eat this next to people I’m way to comfortable with.  They won’t mind my saucy face, during or after I eat. ^_^  This is why Jajangmyeon is the best comfort food.  Delicious and Liberating!

Don’t eat it on your first date….seriously, unless you’re trying to scare him away.