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Part 6 of Holy Fudge Nuggets - An ORA Round-Robin

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The writers of Ozarks Romance Authors have launched their own Round Robin. New installments will be posted monthly. Be sure to check back to see how the story is progressing!

The next installment of our story, HOLY FUDGE NUGGETS, is authored by Kayla Griffith. If you like what you read, be sure to check out her work.

Need to catch up?

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5


Holy Fudge Nuggets

"No. No, no, no…" loud cracks drown Lauren's words as the sky rent itself into a violent show of colors again. Her hands fumbled for her camera as a long, shiny—

"You've got to be kidding me." Her finger convulsed on the shutter as the not-so-mesmerized part of her brain almost laughed at the absurdity. "What is it with you people and penises?" Did aliens have Freudian issues, too?

Roan let out what had to be a curse by its tone and intensity. "We have to get out of here. Stop that and drive."

The camera jerked out of her hands. "Hey!"

She whirled on him with every intention of fighting to get her precious camera back, but the fear etched into his features brought her up short.

His body rippled with tension as he looked feverishly around her Jeep. "Do you have any weapons?"

"Weapons?" Her voice rose an octave. "To fight a freaking spaceship?"

"How fast can this vehicle move?"

"Wait. Isn't that one of yours?" Lauren shoved her thumb at the bulbous cylinder hovering over the crater created by Roan's now invisible ship.

The hard set of his lips answered her before his words. "No. That is my enemy."

Goosebumps rippled over her skin as panic raced through her body, but she wrenched the key and shoved the Jeep into gear as she slammed her foot onto the accelerator. Without thinking, she whipped the Jeep around and headed back up the dark, barely there set of tire tracks that passed for a road.

"We… can't… outrun them," she yelled over the noise and constant pummeling of the backroad. Without headlights she dared not take her eyes from the trail, and the Jeep's jerking rendered the rear-view mirror useless.

She had no idea if the interstellar man-part was still following them.

Roan twisted in his seat, his eyes rivetted on the scene behind them. "We must find a populated place where we can hide."

"Populated? This is New Mexico." She yanked the wheel to the left and the Jeep climbed up onto a forestry road. The logical reporter within her came out of hiding, shoved her panicked self aside, and began to piece together a plan. "Wait. How much of a population?"

"They won't dare show themselves in the open to large groups of people. That would be a temporal act of war."

"So, we can be safe if we find a place where a naked space or time traveler, whichever you are, with glowy hands won't attract any attention?"

"Essentially, yes."

She grinned despite the danger they were still in. "I've got an idea."

After a few more turns, a forestry sign appeared marking where the dirt road intersected a two-lane paved highway.

The arrow pointing to the right read "Roswell 38 Miles." An old truck rumbled past going much faster than the posted speed limit. Lauren pulled out onto the pavement behind it, turned on her headlights and followed it down toward the dim light of the city.

 

Wind whipped at Roan's hair and exposed skin as they followed the rusting vehicle in front of them. Occasionally, a piece of debris or bug hit him with a loud pop. His empty stomach rumbled its displeasure at regular intervals, darkening his already black mood. The constant barrage of sensation blocked his abilities to sense where his enemy might be. For all he knew, the ship could be hovering over them undetectable in its cloaked mode.

Next to him, Lauren sat with her hands locked on the steering wheel and her eyebrows knit together, creating a small line between them while her mesmerizing eyes remained focused on the road. Though she said no words, her lips kept moving in some internal conversation. A conversation that wasn't going well, if he read her expression right.

That shouldn't have distracted him from the very real danger of his situation, but it did. Or at least she did.

He blew out a breath and looked across the horizon to the streak of pink showing clearly where the desert met the sky. They'd followed him. The crash wasn't an accident but sabotage shoving him through a rift into the wrong space and time. What about this mission was so important that the Zantherians would attempt that?

The vehicle slowed and Roan looked up to see several lights on poles and a hanging green circle that turned yellow and then red. Lauren pulled the Jeep to a stop and whirled on him like a cornered animal.

"I hate you. Really, really hate you." She punctuated each word with a poke to his chest and then turned before he could respond to reach behind her and pull up a black cloth bag. She dropped it on his lap with far more force than was necessary. "You need to hide that thing."

He felt a ridiculous urge to smile at her. "Why do you hate me, exactly?"

The red changed to green and she looked back at the road as the vehicle began moving again. "Because Mr. super-cute, touchy-feely alien guy, this is the story of the century and no one will ever believe me. Not even with the pictures."

"They can't believe you. If you tell anyone, you will be targeted for removal."

"And that's why I hate you. I have proof that space travel is real and I can't tell anyone."

"Technically, they are the same thing."

"Right. Einstein's theory of relativity. If you accidentally rip through one, the other one gets screwed up, too."

He raised an eyebrow in surprise. She was more intelligent than he'd given her credit for. "I shouldn't be here, Lauren. I need to get back to my mission and lead the Zantherians off this planet before they hurt anyone or damage the timeline."

"Zan-whatsits?"

He pointed to the sky. "The other ship. They are a race of beings resembling your species of arachnids with impenetrable armor, eight opposable thumbs, and nasty prehensile stingers."

"Spiders?" Her voice grew oddly shrill. "You're being chased by super spiders?"

"Humans are a rarity in the galaxy and are often at a physical disadvantage. The universe does not favor the soft skinned." To their right, he spotted a sign he'd been seeking. His tense muscles relaxed just a bit.

"Turn at that yellow sign," he said, pointing to the well-lit building, one of the only ones containing other humans. "They can't follow us in there. We can eat in safety while I make further plans."

Lauren looked incredulously between him and the bright, yellow arches, but she turned into the wide expanse around the building before screeching to a stop.

"Seriously?" She was almost screaming at him. "It's not enough that you're a naked guy from outer space and fly a shiny, disappearing penis, your enemy is a spider from hell, and the universe hates me because I'm squishy." She pointed up at the yellow light above them. "Now you're telling me burgers will save us?"

Roan smiled at her. "Technically, it's the French fries that can save us. The galaxy is a strange place."

 


About the Author

Kayla Griffith has served on the ORA Board since 2017.


The story continues in August, with author Yvonne Erwin taking the reins. Check back to see what happens!

Part 5 of Holy Fudge Nuggets - An ORA Round-Robin

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The writers of Ozarks Romance Authors have launched their own Round Robin. New installments will be posted monthly. Be sure to check back to see how the story is progressing!

The next installment of our story, HOLY FUDGE NUGGETS, is authored by Harlow Layne. If you like what you read, be sure to check out her work.

Need to catch up?

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


Holy Fudge Nuggets

Sniffing, I scrunched up my nose at the offending object resting across my lap. “What the hell is that smell?”

“Oh, I think my friend used it last week when she had diarrhea. Does it smell bad?” she squeaked out like a tiny mouse being chased by a cat.

“I think bad is a gross understatement.”

Opening the glove compartment, I shuffled around dozens of films rolls before I could find what I was looking for she slapped my hand away and slammed the compartment door shut. “Hey, what was that for?”

“I don’t know?” she asked back with sass. “Maybe because you were going through my shit without asking. What were you even doing?”

“Looking for something to help cleanse this stench from this retched piece of fabric. It seems like maybe a little more happened to this poor defenseless towel than you’re letting on.”

Lauren slammed on the brakes and whipped her head toward me with a look of fiery vengeance. “Maybe if it’s so offensive to you, you’d like to walk to get your stupid hamburger, fries and milkshake, and find yourself some clothes.”

“No offense, but,” I held the towel up for her to get one last glance at it before I chucked it over the side. “Now that’s been taken care of, why don’t we get this show on the road and get me some burgers.”

Her brows furrowed. “What about clothes?” Her eyes flicked down to my lap for only a second and then met my eyes with her face as red as a bright sunset.

“Oh, I thought we were going through the drive thru.” I replied back cheekily. Surely there were places where we didn’t have to get out to pick up food in her town.

“And have your clumsy ass make a mess of my baby.”

“Baby? I thought that was a term of endearment for Earthling offspring or those you’re intimate with.”

“My Jeep is my baby.” Her eyes lit up with love for her beloved vehicle. “And my baby would appreciate it if it didn’t get alien herpes on all over the seat.”

“Well, I guess if spreading my alien herpes is what’s going to happen if I’m naked then I guess I’m starting an outbreak.”

“Why do you have to be naked?”

I was unsure if I should tell her the weakness of my race, but it seems like I’ll be unable to succeed in my mission otherwise.

“I have to be naked to be in tune with the environment. Clothing dampens my senses and I can’t use my abilities.”

Startled by a shock wave of the atmosphere shattering, we looked up, eyes glazed to see a phallic object falling from the sky head first, falling into the ground.

My enemy’s ship.

 


About the Author

Indie Author. Romance Writer. Reader. Mom. Wife. Dog Lover.  Addicted to all things Happily Ever After and Amazon. 

Harlow Layne is an emerging author of small-town and Hollywood romance.  

Harlow wrote for years before she Luke and Alex’s story that had been swimming in her head for years.

When Harlow’s not writing you’ll find her shopping on Amazon, spending way too much time on social media, reading, or hanging out with her friends, family, and two dogs.


The story continues in July, with author Kayla Griffith taking the reins. Check back to see what happens!

Part 4 of Holy Fudge Nuggets - An ORA Round-Robin

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The writers of Ozarks Romance Authors have launched their own Round Robin. New installments will be posted monthly. Be sure to check back to see how the story is progressing!

The next installment of our story, HOLY FUDGE NUGGETS, is authored by Susan Keene. If you like what you read, be sure to check out her work.

Need to catch up?

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Holy Fudge Nuggets

“Before we leave…” Lauren began to look around. No way NASA would leave an Astronaut in the middle of the desert with a billion dollar machine and not send someone to pick him up. “Is it possible for me to take a look inside your ride?”

He glanced down from his six feet something height to her five feet nothing height and said curtly. “No. Actually, I should move it before we go. I wouldn’t want someone to find it and find themselves an Magula in the morning.”

Why couldn’t she keep her eyes from wandering down? There they were again, dangling for her to see. She had broken up with Bryan two years ago. If she went without sex much longer she wondered if she could again be considered a virgin. “A-a Magula?” She couldn’t concentrate while looking at him like that. Ok, this this had to stop before she jumped this naked stranger right there and then.

She walked self-consciously toward her Jeep Wrangler. She’d left a beach towel in the back when she drove to the lake with her friends. She assured herself it would cover him nicely and fought the urge to glance back and take one more peek. Instead she looked the other way and kept walking then stopped in her tracks to stare at the completely refurbished spacecraft a football field away. Then it dawned on her. “Magula. You’re not from Earth, are you?” By now he stood beside her.

“No but if it puts your mind at ease, this is my third mission here so I’m well informed as to how things work. What I like best about your planet is gravity. It is so much easier to get projects finished when your tools aren’t floating around or on the other hand, so heavy there is no way you can use them.”

Tools. Lauren didn’t want to think of his tools! She rooted through the rear of her vehicle and pulled out a wrinkled, damp, smelly, towel from her last water excursion. She didn’t look at him when she handed him the disgusting thing, she would give him some privacy while he wrapped the nasty terry cloth around his Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson waist.

Privacy? She thought how silly it had been to look away after staring at his junk for the last… who knows how long. As she crooked her head back toward him, she noticed the aircraft had vanished. “What the hell?”

Roan must have seen the look on her face. He helped her to the front of the car and sat her in the seat. She was glad she had taken the top off for the summer.

He gently closed the door then rested one tanned muscled arm on the opened window frame and the other on the windshield. He leaned his lemon and mint scented face so close to hers she saw blue flecks dancing in his eyes and watched them turn dark as he spoke in a voice much lower than she noticed before.

“Lauren, I can’t tell you how sorry I am you were here to see my ship crash. It is important you listen to every word I have to say.

“You said nothing when I said I’d visited Earth before. It makes me think you are not taking this encounter seriously. I don’t want to tell you too much because it is human nature to let others in on events such as this.”

Lauren was so afraid she struggled to get a breath. This man was an alien! She leaned backward, he leaned forward. “I won’t tell anyone.”

Roan stepped back. “There are many mysteries in the Universe. I am one of thousands of members of the Planetary Rewind Academy. You, on Earth, are too naive to understand the gravity of our mission, or to become a part of it. We have been here many times over the centuries and have left signs. Yet Earthlings have reduced our markings and attempts to contact your inhabitants to sightseeing destinations and mere close encounters.”

Lauren knew what she said from that point on could save her or — not. She hadn’t felt threatened until that moment. “I believe this entire happenstance is fascinating. I moved here to be closer to where the majority of alien sightings have been. I swear, your secret is safe with me.”

“I’m going to trust you, Lauren. We at the PRA have many friends on different planets and star-stops. There are few on Earth. No matter how evolved we are, it’s nice to have a friendly face and someone to talk to if our mission is long term.”

“I am honored,” she answered with no more fear.

“Good.” He opened the car door with a smile. Because, the only time I can eat hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes is on Earth. I’m hungry.”

He lifted her from the seat and hugged her as if they’d been friends for years. Wow, she was actually having an encounter with an alien! The way he embraced, and moved against her told her he was more Earthling than he wanted to admit.

 


About the Author

Susan Keene was born in California and raised in Illinois. Now she lives on a farm in the beautiful Ozarks. She writes full time and loves every minute of it.

Her hobbies include treasure hunting with her metal detector, bike riding, reading, art,  walking and her children and grandchildren.

Susan spent the first 20 years of her career in the medical field. She likes to weave her knowledge from the hospital into her novels.

Susan is available for speaking engagements, book signings and reviews. She loves reading her children’s books to schools and teaching children to get excited about reading and writing.

She also enjoys speaking at Book Clubs and writer’s groups.


The story continues in June, with author Harlow Layne taking the reins. Check back to see what happens!

Part 3 of Holy Fudge Nuggets - An ORA Round-Robin

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The writers of Ozarks Romance Authors have launched their own Round Robin. New installments will be posted monthly. Be sure to check back to see how the story is progressing!

The next installment of our story, HOLY FUDGE NUGGETS, is authored by Barbara Bettis. If you like what you read, be sure to check out her work.

Need to catch up?

Part 1

Part 2


Holy Fudge Nuggets

Roan studied the woman—Lauren, she said her name was—gathering the camera. She brushed the debris from her hands and blew the dust from its nose—no, that had been called a lens.

Then she turned her head, hip-high to him, and her face glowed redder than Orian’s fifth moon. Looked like inhabitants of this place hadn’t become comfortable with their bodies yet.

“Why are you here?” The words seemed to clog in her throat as she rose, careful to keep her line of vision on the horizon

What would she make of his reason for suddenly appearing? She thought his cruiser was a time machine; perhaps that would serve for now. “We’ve been experimenting with time slips, and this century has many important events to examine.”

“So you popped back to study us?”

Her glance zeroed in on his face, her eyes focused, narrowed. Green eyes. The color of rare Rhrysthem crystal found in the deep heart of Zanther’s mountain range. His people had battled hard for that prize, and he’d give the last hundred years of his life to find the traitor who’d betrayed them. The traitor or his writings, here in this backward yet beautiful place. But he couldn’t tell her that.

Perhaps that’s why his mission had been compromised. The Zantherians swore to block any attempt to uncover the secret formula. And lord knew they could worm their scheming way into any surrounding. The Silent Force hangar would be no exception and that’s where his ship had been readied before his flight.

The woman tilted her head, her gaze sharpening. “I read that time machines would transport beings through time, not—” she looked at the sky “—through space.” Her expression arrested and her nostrils flared. She must have caught the sweet, floral scent of his ship’s blue metallic shell beginning to reconstruct through the blaze. The fragrance of lilacs, if he accurately recalled his readings about the planet. Thank ye Gods. He wouldn’t be stranded after all, although everything non-metal inside the craft was ashes. He’d need to gather more supplies.

Pops and crackles from his poor heliatron had become muted as the flames went about putting themselves out. In all his studies, Roan had never heard of spacecraft reacting so when entering an alien atmosphere. And this atmosphere’s oxygen level most closely resembled his own planet’s, so there was no reason for the inferno when he landed. Had to be sabotage.

The woman brushed her blond hair from her forehead, the camera in her hand scraping her cheek. Her startled look told him she’d forgotten about the thing. So had he. Damn, he’d better get his thoughts in order. He sure as hell didn’t want to have to hurt this woman, but he had to know what she had captured when he crashed.

“Let me help you with that.” He extended his hand, but she turned a shoulder.

“I’ll just slip it into my bag.” After tucking the camera away, she nodded toward the wheeled vehicle sitting on the road.

“Come with me. Better get you some clothes before we do anything else.”

Roan eyed the cloth bag in her hand. He’d have to go with her for now, until he knew no evidence of his arrival existed.

“We’ll stop at a Target for shorts and a shirt. How big are you?” Her mouth compressed, her gaze slipped down, and her cheeks once more took on the vibrant red of Orian’s flaming moon.

Lauren focused on his beautiful face. I won’t look down, I won’t look down. She swiped her fingers across her forehead, flicking away the perspiration. Oddly enough, she shivered. “Better get you some clothes before we do anything else. How big are you?”

Oh, dear lord, why had those words slipped out? How humiliating. Her gaze lost the fight and sank to his jiggly bits. Not bit-size at all. She slapped her hands against her face which burned as hot as the blazing Time Machine. Time Machine my behind. That did it. Indignation froze away the embarrassment. What game was he playing, and how stupid did he think her?

The entire reason she was in this lizard-forsaken bit of rock, sand, and heat was to find out just what kind of tests the government sanctioned. The air base lay twenty-five miles to the north, but plenty of folks nearby had reported odd lights and sounds during the past two months. Her job—track down the source and film it. Whatever ‘it’ turned out to be.

A flaming flying saucer—or cylinder or whatever—had been the last thing she’d imagined. Obviously, they were testing a new kind of aircraft. She supposed the pilot was damned lucky to be alive. The inferno that once engulfed the craft had died to

leisurely flames. She jerked her head to the side to make certain. Yep. Mesmerized, she followed the flickering light. Little flames, curling around the ship, like tongues, licking it all better, like a live thing. Never before had she understood that expression.

What a fabulous jump-page photo that would make. She looped the bag over her shoulder and pulled out the camera. Damn, it still had debris all over it from her dive into the dirt. Gently she brushed off the body with the tail of her shirt and blew on the lens.

“What are you doing?”

His voice at her back made her jump. She’d forgotten him and her embarrassment in the excitement of finding a great shot. Suddenly, like a cool brush of breath, a faint blue glow curled around her hands and into her new, thirty-five hundred dollar Hasselblad. Well, she’d gotten it second-hand, thus the good price, but it was new to her.

“Hey, stop that!” Lauren bent over the long-range lens that cost nearly as much as the rest. The glow enveloped the whole camera and when it vanished, the body, the lens, the viewfinder—sparkling!

She turned to find his chocolate-brown eyes glowing. She smiled. “Thank you. I don’t know what you used, but my camera is completely clean!”

He smiled in return, a toe-curling, scalp-tingling curving of lips that left her breathless.

“Yes,” he said. “Absolutely clean.” He laughed. “Let’s go.”

 


About the Author

Award-winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math.

She now lives in Missouri, where by day she's a mild-mannered English teacher, and by night she's an intrepid plotter of tales featuring heroines to die for--and heroes to live for.


The story continues in May, with author Susane Keene taking the reins. Check back to see what happens!

Part 2 of Holy Fudge Nuggets - An ORA Round-Robin

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The writers of Ozarks Romance Authors have launched their own Round Robin. New installments will be posted monthly. Be sure to check back to see how the story is progressing!

The next installment of our story, HOLY FUDGE NUGGETS, is authored by Bran Lindy Ayres. If you like what you read, be sure to check out their work.

To read the first part of this story, click here.


Holy Fudge Nuggets

"This is not okay. Not okay." Roan muttered to himself as he knelt to gently lay the woman on the ground. Dirt and debris had caught in her hair and clothes rendering everything a dull brown in the amber glow from the fire.

He glanced over his shoulder at the remnants of his ship. The heat from the flames had his bare skin prickling. How had he survived that? Something to ponder another time. He turned to the woman, checking her over to make certain there were no potentially dangerous injuries. Her labored breathing was punctuated by soft coughs every few breaths.

She must have aspirated some of the debris which could put her at risk for a lung infection later or suffocation right now. Normally he would have taken her to the ship and used the medikit to stabilize her. That obviously wasn’t going to happen. Have to do this is the hard way then. Still kneeling at her side he held his left hand over her face, palm above the parted lips. A moment of concentration and a soft blue glow warmed his palm. Blue wisps flowed into her open mouth. She inhaled deeply, paused then coughed forcefully. Another cough, this time specks of mud splattered across his palm. He pulled his hand away and leaned over her, watching her face. She took another deep breath and her eyelids fluttered open. It took her a moment to focus.

"Oh. You're still here."

"Aye, still here."

He watched her gaze wander away from his face and had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from grinning at the expression that crossed her face.

"Still naked too."

"Still naked. My clothes were on the ship, which … is currently combusting."

"I can see that," her gaze finally found his face again. The laser sharp focus startled him. "Who are you?"

He got to his feet and looked around them. Aside from the burning ship there wasn't much to see. The rocky terrain reminded him of the outpost on Mars. A couple hundred yards away sat a wheeled vehicle. From the design he guessed he'd landed in the early twenty-first century. Not as far off the mark as he'd thought. About two years too late though. Dammit.

The realization struck him. He was stranded. No ship and not even a thread of clothing, never mind his instruments and weapons. He'd never had a mission go sideways so fast. Something about that explosion had him wondering if his ship had been tampered with. If that were the case, someone had tried to kill him. They wouldn't have sent a lone operative, but a whole team if his mission was that important. He knew from reading the casefile that it didn’t have any bearing on the major historical events of this time period. It didn’t even involve saving a life, just a simple case of finding out where an author had left their unpublished works in order to settle some estate issues a few hundred years later.

The rattle of rocks next to him had him glancing down at the woman. He put out an arm to help her steady herself. What could he possibly tell her? Lying seemed the best option. If he was right about the era, then first contact had yet to happen and he could possibly get away with a fabrication. But what?

"I'm a test pilot."

"A test pilot. Flying a UFO. At night. In the desert. With no clothes on."

Okay, that made it sound really stupid. He grimaced and looked away from her. This was awkward. Almost as awkward as being completely nude. Talk about feeling exposed. He drew in a breath, held it and then blurted, "It's not a UFO, it's a quantum-temporal tunneler. QTT for short."

"Hold up, Mr. Nakie-butt. Are you trying to tell me that is-was a time machine?"

"My name is Roan Ask and yes."

"Do you always time travel naked?"

"Do you generally stand around quizzing crash survivors?" He put his hands on his hips and stared down at her. Even with all the dirt clinging to her, she was nice to look at. The shrewd dark gaze didn't waiver.

"Point taken. We should get to safety."

"And so you know, I was in quantum stasis. Normally, I would have had time to get dressed after landing." There was nothing normal about this situation at all. Stranded naked with a beautiful woman in the distant past … nope definitely not normal.

"Right. You’re no Dr. Beckett then."

"I … don't follow..." Roan said.

She turned away with a soft laugh and then bent to retrieve something from the ground. He sucked in a breath seeing the antique camera. Had she photographed him? That could be a problem. A big problem.

 


About the Author

Growing up in rural Missouri surrounded by dense forests teeming with giants, dogwood horses, pine castles and grapevine snakes, Bran has always had a very healthy imagination. This was further inculcated by their mother, who encouraged them to read the likes of Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov. Their love of fantasy and writing has never waned even as they got older, and has developed into a need to write.

They currently live in Southern Missouri with three young nerdlings and three precocious felines. When not writing, Bran can be found with their face still glued to the computer screen playing video games or reading.


The story continues in April, with author Barbara Bettis taking the reins. Check back to see what happens!

Holy Fudge Nuggets - An ORA Round-Robin

roundrobin.png

The writers of Ozarks Romance Authors have launched their own Round Robin. New installments will be posted monthly. Be sure to check back to see how the story is progressing!

The kick-off installment of our story, HOLY FUDGE NUGGETS, is authored by Rosalie Stanton. If you like what you read, be sure to check out Ms. Stanton’s work.


Holy Fudge Nuggets

The sky’s curtain of speckled navy had vanished in the span of a blink, ushered away by an explosion of electric whites and flaming oranges. There wasn’t time for thought, so Lauren didn’t waste any—she raised her camera to her eye and began clicking at everything that moved.

Which, at the moment, was the whole damn sky.

It took a moment, through the camera lens, to find the flow of movement through the sea of color that suddenly dominated New Mexico’s air space. Like all good fire shows, this one had to have a source. Through the break in smoky clouds came a—

Lauren frowned and lowered her camera. That couldn’t be right.

“No way.” She blinked a few times, but the scene didn’t change.

Swaying in a speedy blur across the night sky, blanketed with smoke and one hell of a light show, was an honest-to-crap flying saucer.

Or flying cylinder. It was hard to be sure.

Lauren allowed herself precisely one second to gawk before her inner journalist kicked into gear. The camera flew back where it belonged, a series of clicks providing a familiar cadence to unfamiliar chaos. The lens supplied what the naked eye could not, and years of training made following the—yep, that’s a UFO—flying saucer-or-cylinder’s progress much easier. Her journalist’s instinct did the work for her, guiding the camera’s nose as though it was sentient.

Which was how she captured the shot of a century—no, make that a millennia—when the alien ship collided with terra firma. The resulting quake threw her legs out from under her, but she fell with her finger still clicking. A storm of dirt and dust exploded into the air, and before she could close her eyes, every possible crevice in her small, vulnerable body was filled with flooded with flying grime. Tainted air stole down her throat, flooded her nose, and fell in blanketed layers across every inch of her skin. She immediately began hacking, which had the unfortunate effect of dragging more dust down her throat, but eventually the dirt thinned and sweet-tasting oxygen tickled her taste-buds.

“Are you all right?”

Okay. Now she was hearing things. Lauren coughed again, her chest burning with exertion. She blinked and rubbed her eyes, then blinked some more. A blurry collage of shapeless colors winked in front of her before beginning to harden. And then she was certain she was hallucinating.

Because standing before her against a fiery backdrop, was a man.

A handsome man.

A handsome naked man.

Lauren blinked again. “I’m dead, aren’t I?”

The naked man took a step forward, which had the lovely added benefit of jiggling his naked bits. Which were nice to look at, if not a little strange, given the context.

“Are you all right?” Mr. Birthday Suit asked again, kneeling so his eyes—which were a nice, warm brown—were level with hers.

Lauren shook her head, but that was the wrong decision. The world titled sideways and threatened to black out. She managed to stave off the dark, but only just. She knew she was seconds from losing her grip on consciousness, but the reporter in her wasn’t ready to go down without a fight.

She had some questions that damn well needed to be answered.

“You have a nice penis.”

And apparently, the part of her brain connected to her tongue had been blasted away in the spacecraft’s crash. That wasn’t what she’d meant to say, but her mouth couldn’t work itself around the right words.

The man tilted his head, studying her. He looked for all the world like his genitals were often the source of praise. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” Also not what she meant to say. Lauren’s brow furrowed. “I usually don’t see a guy’s penis until date five or six. This is a new experience for me.”

“I am not wearing clothes,” the man said helpfully.

“Oh.” Lauren’s mind screamed something she couldn’t follow. It wasn’t that she was unaccustomed to people overstating the obvious—she worked with the media, so it was a regular part of everyday interactions—but the white noise in her head had grown louder, pushing all thoughts, penis-related or otherwise, out of reach.

She was about to pass out. In the dessert with a lost nudist.

Jesus Christ, could this day get any weirder?

Lauren shook her head—mistake—and looked again to her new friend, whose brow was furrowed, those nice brown eyes filled with concern. He was speaking slowly, but she couldn’t make out the words.

She placed a hand on his chest, concentrating. Ooh, sculpty. She needed to say something—anything, because passing out with a naked alien outside a wrecked flying saucer was not normal, and though she felt no fear at the moment, a part of her knew that was because she wasn’t aware enough. But if she passed out, she’d be at this guy’s mercy. And that would be a much scarier thought when she had control of her faculties.

Lauren managed to pluck words out of the back of her head. She could only hope they were the right ones. “Stop,” she said. “Hammer time.”

And with that, the world went black.


About the Author

Rosalie Stanton is an award-winning author of steamy paranormal and contemporary romance. A lifelong enthusiast of larger than life characters, Rosalie enjoys building worlds filled with strong heroes and heroines of all backgrounds.

Rosalie lives in Missouri with her husband and their dog, Luna. At an early age, she discovered a talent for creating worlds, which evolved into a love of words and storytelling. Rosalie graduated with a degree in English. As the granddaughter of an evangelical minister, Rosalie applied herself equally in school in the creative writing and religious studies departments, which had an interesting impact on her writing. When her attention is not engaged in writing or editing, she enjoys spending time with close friends and family.


The story continues in March, with author Bran Ayres taking the reins. Check back to see what happens!

ORACon 2015 – September 18-19, 2015

Ozarks Romance Authors' Annual Conference (ORACON) is almost here!

Oracon 2015 Line UpYou are invited to Ozarks Romance Authors’ Annual Fiction Writers’ Conference! This event is NOT just for romance writers. The fundamentals of good writing are universal, and you will learn vital information about the publishing industry, no matter the genre you write. Check out our lineup of fantastic speakers and register here. We will also announce the winners for the 2015 Weta Nichols Fiction Writing Contest, named in honor of the woman who founded our group in 1987, the late novelist Weta Nichols.

The conference itself will be held Saturday, September 19, 2015 at University Plaza in Springfield, MO. Check out the agenda to see the pre-conference activities on Friday, September 18th and plan to join in the fun!

Authors at Art Walk during Springfield’s First Friday Art Walk – September 4, 2015

Authors at Art Walk during Springfield’s First Friday Art Walk – September 4, 2015

ORA is participating in yet another First Friday Art Walk with our signature event, Authors At Art Walk! It’s Friday, September 4, 2015, from 5:30 – 10:00 p.m., at BookMarx (325 E. Walnut St., Ste 101, Springfield, MO 65806, 417-501-1062). www.Facebook.com/BookMarxbooks

Please show up, support our members, and make sure it’s a fun night. There is no charge to attend First Friday Art Walk. You will have the chance to meet these authors, purchase their books, and have them signed. We look forward to seeing you!

Participating authors:

Rosalie Stanton 2

 

Rosalie Stanton — a multi-published erotic romance author, with emphasis in paranormal and contemporary, author of LOST WAGES OF SIN,  SEX, SIN & SCANDAL, FLIP SIDE OF SIN, FIRSTS, WITNESS, KNOW THINE ENEMY, and MOVING TARGET.

Ellen

Ellen Harger — a writer at the Chick Lit end of Women’s Fiction and the Women’s Fiction end of Chick Lit, author of STRONG ENOUGH and THE ANONYMOUS BLOG OF MRS. JONES.

Lisa Medley Facebook Crop

Lisa Medley — a reader and writer of paranormal romance/urban fantasy novels about monsters in love, author of The Reaper Series (REAP & REPENT, REAP & REDEEM, REAP & REVEAL), HAUNT MY HEART, and SPACE COWBOYS & INDIANS.

Vera Jane

VJ Schultz— a writer of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, author of DEATH OF BIGFOOT & OTHER TALES, TRUTH OR DARE & OTHER TALES, UNDERCOVER LOVE & OTHER TALES, VERA’S VERSION, and THE GREAT EASTER EGG HUNT.

 

Monthly Meeting – Saturday, September 5, 2015 - Holly Atkinson will present Pitching to Editors and Agents

Monthly Meeting – Saturday, September 5, 2015 - Holly Atkinson will present Pitching to Editors and Agents

 Holly Atkinson2Holly Atkinson was fortunate to receive her first taste in editing when she was thirteen and wrote copy for a local realtor show. In 2008, Holly graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s in English, emphasizing in Creative Writing. Her first real job in the literary world came in the role of line editor for Lyrical Press. In 2011, she was recruited by Mundania Press as a content editor, where she met one of her future Samhain coworkers. In 2012, Holly joined the amazing team at Samhain Publishing.

Holly lives in Missouri with her husband, loves travel, musicals, and goes a little nutty around the holidays. In her spare time, she writes erotic romances and serves as a copywriter for a local marketing firm.

 

Please note that in September, ORA will be meeting at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library, 397 E. Central St., Springfield, MO. The speaker begins at 1:00.

Join our critique group from 10 a.m. to Noon. Want your work reviewed by talented writers and published authors? Bring twenty copies of up to five pages of your work to share for critique or just listen and offer advice.

Authors at Art Walk during Springfield’s First Friday Art Walk – August 7, 2015

Authors at Art Walk during Springfield’s First Friday Art Walk – August 7, 2015

ORA is participating in yet another First Friday Art Walk with our signature event, Authors At Art Walk! It’s Friday, August 7, 2015, from 5:30 – 9:00 p.m., at the Park Central Branch Library (128 Park Central Square, Springfield, MO 65806, 417-831-1342).

Please show up, support our members, and make sure it’s a fun night. There is no charge to attend First Friday Art Walk. You will have the chance to meet these authors, purchase their books, and have them signed. We look forward to seeing you!

Participating authors:

* Tierney James — author of the Enigma Series (An Unlikely Hero, Winds of Deception), There's a Superhero in the Library, Zombie Meatloaf and The Rescued Heart

Tierney James* Brandy Nacole - author of The Shadow World series (Uniquely Unwelcome, Blood Burdens, Sacrifice: A New Dawn) and the Spiritual Discord series (Broken Faith, Raging Storm)

brandy nacole* Willy Robbins -  author of the children's books In My Closet and Brooding School Blues

Willy Robbins

Monthly Meeting – Saturday, August 1, 2015 - Sharon Kizziah-Holmes will present "Telling communicates facts; Showing invites understanding"

Monthly Meeting – Saturday, August 1, 2015 - Sharon Kizziah-Holmes will present "Telling communicates facts; Showing invites understanding"

 Sharon Kizziah-Holmes

You’ve heard it over and over again…show, don’t tell. In Sharon’s program, Telling communicates facts; Showing invites understanding, she will give us insight on how to engage readers by putting them in the character’s world. Showing helps the reader experience the story through actions, words, thoughts, senses, expressions, feelings and conveys your story in more of a visual presentation.

Sharon is a retired road musician and has written songs since the age of fourteen. She became interested in writing novels and short stories in the early 1990’s and joined ORA in 1992. Sharon has served as the ORA President, Vice President, and Secretary, and for four years she was the Conference Coordinator. Ozarks Romance Authors is like home to her. She is also a member of Springfield Writers’ Guild, Ozarks Writers’ League and Sleuths’ Ink Mystery Writers.

Her latest novel, The Will and the Wisp, is historical fiction based on a true story. Though she writes mostly romance, Sharon says, “Venturing out into the mainstream world with my co-author James Armstrong has been a great experience.” She and James are shooting for spring 2016 for release of the sequel The Voice in the Wind.

For three years, in the mid 1990’s, Sharon published an e-zine, Short Stories Magazine, which featured local authors. She gave it up because grandkids started to come along and she felt family time was more important.

However, Sharon has helped writers self-publish since 2002, and in 2012 decided to start her own indie assist publishing company. She now has four imprints - Paperback-Press, Kids Book Press Publishing, e-Book Press Publishing and (with her husband’s recording studio to accommodate) Audio Book press. Being an indie assist publisher has been a learning experience to say the least. Nonetheless, with over sixty books, of all genres, published over the last three years she is proud of her accomplishments and the growth of the company.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/paperbackpresspub

Twitter:  @paperbackpress

Please note that for the August meeting, ORA will be meeting at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library, 397 E. Central St., Springfield, MO. The speaker begins at 1:00.

Join our critique group from 10 a.m. to Noon. Want your work reviewed by talented writers and published authors? Bring twenty copies of up to five pages of your work to share for critique or just listen and offer advice.

Monthly Meeting–Saturday, June 6, 2015 - Lisa Wells will present "Learn how to craft dialogue that carries power!"

Monthly Meeting–Saturday, June 6, 2015 - Lisa Wells will present "Learn how to craft dialogue that carries power!"

Lisa Wells

In her presentation "Learn how to craft dialogue that carries power!", Lisa will show us how to:

• Check your manuscript to see if your dialogue has the essential ingredients of great dialogue. • Weed out the most common dialogue flaws. • Learn techniques to craft dialogue that will emotionally impact (manipulate) the reader.

Lisa Wells is a 25-year veteran educator. For the past 18 years, she's enjoyed a rollercoaster journey called: The School Counselor – Dramas, Dreams, and Destinies. Add the theme song to Jaws, and you have the feel for this fun ride.

Author of DIBS, a sexy romance, nominated as Debut Book That Rocks and Best Book of The Year, Lisa believes writers should never quit studying their craft. Her Dialogue class was born out of a treasure trove of information she discovered while studying dialogue from a screenwriter's perspective.

Represented by Literary Agent, Tish Beaty. In August, her book THE SEDUCTION OF KINLEY FOSTER will be released by Entangled Publishing as part of their What Happens in Vegas series.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisa.wells.737

Twitter @lisawells1

ORA meets in the Frisco Room at The Library Station on N. Kansas Expressway in Springfield, MO at 1 p.m.

Join our critique group from 10 a.m. to Noon. Want your work reviewed by talented writers and published authors? Bring twenty copies of up to five pages of your work to share for critique or just listen and offer advice.

Authors at Art Walk during Springfield’s First Friday Art Walk – May 1, 2015

Authors at Art Walk during Springfield’s First Friday Art Walk – May 1, 2015

ORA is participating in yet another First Friday Art Walk with our signature event, Authors At Art Walk! It’s Friday, May 1, 2015, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., at BookMarx (325 E. Walnut St., Ste 101, Springfield, MO 65806, 417-501-1062). www.Facebook.com/BookMarxbooks

Please show up, support our members, and make sure it’s a fun night. There is no charge to attend First Friday Art Walk. You will have the chance to meet these authors, purchase their books, and have them signed. We look forward to seeing you!

Participating authors:

* ROSALIE STANTON - http://rosaliestanton.com/bookshel/

rosalie stanton* ALLISON MERRITT — http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com/

allison merritt* Heather Snow — http://www.heathersnowbooks.com/

Heather Snow* Yvonne Erwin — http://www.amazon.com/Yvonne-Erwin/e/B007M0KQPK

Yvonne Erwin

Authors at Art Walk during Springfield’s First Friday Art Walk – December 5, 2014

ORA is participating in yet another First Friday Art Walk with our signature event, Authors At Art Walk! It’s Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m., at BookMarx (325 E. Walnut St., Ste 101, Springfield, MO 65806, 417-501-1062). www.Facebook.com/BookMarxbooks Please show up, support our members, and make sure it’s a fun night.

Dec 5 AAWParticipating authors:

* BARBARA BETTIS, author of “Silverhawk” and “The Heart of the Phoenix” — http://barbarabettis.com/

* TERRI LEE, author of "The Bootlegger's Wife" and "Back to Austen" — http://www.terrileeauthor.com/

* S.J. MCMILLAN, author of The City of the Gods series, "City of the Gods: The Descendant" and "City of the Gods: The Betrayal", "Dark Light 3 Anthology", "Lillian's Christmas Surprise" and "An Author's Assistant" — http://www.mcmillansj.com/

* BRANDY NACOLE, author of "Uniquely Unwelcome", "Broken Faith", "Blood Burdens" and "Sacrifice: A New Dawn" — http://www.brandynacole.com/

There is no charge to attend First Friday Art Walk. You will have the chance to meet these authors, purchase their books, and have them signed. We look forward to seeing you!

Jennifer Jakes discusses the Alpha Male on Rachel Leigh's blog

Jennifer JakesOzarks Romance Authors' very own Jennifer Jakes discussed the Alpha Male yesterday on Rachel Leigh's blog.

EXCERPT:

So what do you think, ladies? Do you find yourself drawn to Alpha or Beta males in movies or books? Action hero or Romantic Comedy? Rouge or guy next door?

Want to see what all of the fuss is about? Click HERE to visit Rachel Leigh's blog.

Rachel Leigh is a writer of erotic romance who loves mixing love with good sex and plenty of cheeky laughter. She says the aim of her stories is to turn readers on, as well as making them feel love may be just around the corner. She is basked in the United Kingdom.

Jennifer Jakes writes hot western romance novels. She is the author of "Rafe's Redemption." Click HERE to visit her web site.

Ozarks Romance Authors member Jennifer Jakes is the guest on Rachel Leigh's blog, discussing the Alpha Male.

Barbara Bettis hosts Amanda Barke for Writers' Wednesday on her blog

Amanda BarkeTwo members of Ozarks Romance Authors are heating up the Internet today. Barbara Bettis has welcomed Amanda Barke to her blog for Barb's popular "Writers' Wednesday" feature. Click HERE to see the interview.

AMANDA J. BARKE Amanda J. Barke is an author, editor, freelance journalist, singer/songwriter, and motivational speaker. She lives in the Ozarks (southwest Missouri) with her family.

Her work as a freelance journalist can be found in Ozarks' Senior Living Newspaper, Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine, Missouri Life Magazine, and various other regional publications. Her other articles can be found online at ehow.com, livestrong.com/lifestyle, and amykitchenerfdn.org.

As a motivational speaker, she travels all over Missouri promoting literacy in schools, teaching fellow writers, and motivating teens to follow their dreams. In 2010, she served as president of Springfield Writers' Guild.

She has been a member of Ozarks Romance Authors since early 2011.

Visit Amanda online by clicking HERE.

Her children's book, "The Sleepy Little Sun," is available online by clicking HERE.

Her novel, "A Distant Rumble," is available online by clicking HERE.

BARBARA BETTIS Barbara Bettis is an award-winning author of historical fiction, and a long-time instructor of English and journalism at the college level.

She lives in the Missouri Ozarks and is active in several writers' groups in the area, including Ozarks Romance Authors.

Visit Barb's blog by clicking HERE. Her main web site is HERE.

Be sure to check Barb's blog for future Writers' Wednesday features! Barbara Bettis hosts author Amanda J. Barke for Writers' Wednesday on her blog.

Barbara Bettis welcomes Misty Burke for Writers' Wednesday on her Blog!

Misty BurkeBarbara Bettis visits with fellow Ozarks Romance Authors member Misty Burke to her blog for Barb’s popular “Writers’ Wednesday” feature. Click HERE to see the interview.

MISTY BURKE Misty Burke lives in the romantic Ozark Mountains with her supportive husband and four children. When not enjoying family time, she loves to write steamy romances. Creating exciting fantasy worlds filled with dangerously handsome heroes is one of her passions.

Misty currently writes stories for Summerhouse Publishing, Evernight Publishing, Secret Cravings Publishing, and MuseItHOT Publishing.

She is an active member of Ozarks Romance Authors, Romance Writers of America, FF&P (Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal Chapter of RWA), and ESPAN (Electronic Small Press Authors' Network).

Her novel, "The Madame of Gravestone," is available online by clicking HERE.

Visit Misty online by clicking HERE.

BARBARA BETTIS Barbara Bettis is an award-winning author of historical fiction, and a long-time instructor of English and journalism at the college level.

She lives in the Missouri Ozarks and is active in several writers’ groups in the area, including Ozarks Romance Authors. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America.

Visit Barb’s blog by clicking HERE. Her main web site is HERE.

Be sure to check Barb’s blog for future Writers’ Wednesday features!

Author/Photographer Brenda Brinkley is today's guest at Barbara Bettis' blog for Writers' Wednesday

Author/Photographer Brenda BrinkleyHave you discovered "Writers' Wednesday" yet? It is a feature on the blog of Ozarks Romance Authors member Barbara Bettis. Each Wednesday, she hosts a special guest to discuss their writing. It's always a quick, fun read. Click HERE to see today's interview with fellow ORA member Brenda Brinkley.

BRENDA BRINKLEY Writer/Photographer Brenda Brinkley has been a published writer since 1983. After taking sporadic breaks to raise a family, she now writes passionately. She has had more than 400 articles published, and her short stories have won awards and been published in a number of anthologies. Her photography has graced magazine and anthology covers, including the January 2011 launch of Ozarks Romance Authors' magazine (click HERE) and Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine.

Her latest project is a book for children titled "Cleveland the Green Camel."

Brenda's work has appeared in Ozarks Farm & Neighbor Magazine, Ozarks Mountaineer Magazine, and several editions of anthologies such as Mysteries of the Ozarks and Echoes of the Ozarks.

Visit Brenda's blog by clicking HERE.

BARBARA BETTIS Barbara Bettis is an award-winning author of historical fiction, and a long-time instructor of English and journalism at the college level.

She lives in the Missouri Ozarks and is active in several writers’ groups in the area, including Ozarks Romance Authors.

Visit Barb’s blog by clicking HERE. Her main web site is HERE.

Be sure to check Barb’s blog for future Writers’ Wednesday features! Barbara Bettis welcomes fellow Ozarks Romance Authors member Brenda Brinkley for her May 25, 2011, Writers' Wednesday feature on her blog

Novelist Mia Marlowe visits Barbara Bettis' blog today

Historical Romance Author Mia MarloweBarbara Bettis' guest today on her blog's "Writers’ Wednesday” column is fellow Ozarks Romance Authors member Mia Marlowe. Click HERE to see the interview.

By the way, Mia will be the guest speaker this Saturday, May 7, 2011, at the monthly meeting of Ozarks Romance Authors. Be sure to stop by! She will begin at 1:00 p.m. (Central Time) in the Frisco Room at The Library Station on North Kansas Expressway. We haven't seen her for many months, since she moved away from our area, and we are so looking forward to this visit and her words of wisdom.

MIA MARLOWE Mia learned much of what she knows about storytelling from singing. A classically trained soprano, she won the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions and has shared a stage with Placido Domingo. As she prepared for operatic roles, she devised back stories for her characters. Since she’s worn a real corset, and had to sing high C’s in one, she empathizes with the trials of her fictional heroines. But in Mia’s stories, they don’t die in a Parisian garret. They get to live and keep the hero!

Now an award-winning author, she writes historical romance for multiple publishing houses. Her debut title received advance ovations from romance luminaries. #1 New York Times bestseller Victoria Alexander says Mia’s Touch of a Thief has “adventure and heat and everything I want in a great story!” UK’s BooksMonthly has crowned Mia Marlowe “the queen of saucy historical romance.”

You can visit her at any of the following places: Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

BARBARA BETTIS Barbara Bettis is an award-winning author of historical fiction, and a long-time instructor of English and journalism at the college level.

She lives in the Missouri Ozarks and is active in several writers’ groups in the area, including Ozarks Romance Authors.

Visit Barb’s blog by clicking HERE. Her main web site is HERE.

Be sure to check Barb’s blog for future Writers’ Wednesday features! Novelist Mia Marlowe is Barbara Bettis' guest on her blog's feature, Writers' Wednesday.

Kaye Calkins is Barbara Bettis' guest today for Writers' Wednesday

Author Kaye CalkinsIt's Writers' Wednesday over at the blog of our very own Barbara Bettis! Today, Barb's guest is fellow Ozarks Romance Authors member Kaye Calkins. Barb's blog is always filled with interesting stuff from writers. It's a quick read, and you'll enjoy it.

KAYE CALKINS Kaye Calkins' first manuscript, "Deverell's Dilemma," was recently accepted by Avalon Books.

Selling your first (or any!) book is so incredibly exciting. Would you like to hear the story of how Kaye found out Avalon wanted to buy her first book? Then click HERE for the scoop. It's a great story!

Visit Kaye Calkins online by clicking HERE.

BARBARA BETTIS Barbara Bettis is an award-winning author of historical fiction, and a long-time instructor of English and journalism at the college level.

She lives in the Missouri Ozarks and is active in several writers’ groups in the area, including Ozarks Romance Authors.

Visit Barb’s blog by clicking HERE. Her main web site is HERE.

Be sure to check Barb’s blog for future Writers’ Wednesday features! Kaye Calkins joins Barbara Bettis for Writers' Wednesday on Barb's blog April 26, 2011.