Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Summer #shortstory - The Day Dave Broke the Internet - 3

Dave didn't know he was lonely until his friends pointed it out. But when he gives in and tries an online dating site, something catastrophic happens - talk about a bad omen.

The Day Dave Broke the Internet
by Tara Tyler

RECAP 2: Were they trying to teach him a lesson? Dave tilted his head as he watched them walk away. They acted like he'd betrayed them. What was wrong with being single?


Once he got home, he was ready to relax with some Call of Duty or maybe a movie. He changed into sweat pants, made a hero sandwich worthy of its name, and settled in for a marathon night of killing the enemy. The perfect Friday night.

But when he turned on his Xbox, it started to smoke. What the...?

Well, it was too late to bother going out to buy a new one so Dave flipped on the TV and searched for a new movie. Nothing drew his attention. He'd seen all the good ones. Only the sappy sad ones or rom-coms were left. Chick flicks. No thank you.

That left him two options. Go out with his friends—the thought made him chuckle—or surf the internet. He didn't enjoy surfing the net as much as he used to. It felt more like he was at work staring at his screen. But it had been a while since he checked his social media, maybe he'd find something interesting or a few funny Youtube videos.

Unfortunately, Youtube was fruitless, so he switched to Instagram, then Twitter, then Tik-Tok. Dave scrolled and scrolled. Nothing but happy couples and families. They were on vacation, telling goofy stories, singing, dancing, cooking. Ugh. What was up with the world today? Were there no single people left?

He came across yet another video of Sunni and Kyle announcing their engagement. He clicked like for his friends. It was the least he could do.

Two seconds later, Sunni sent him a pouty-faced snap. "Dave, come hang out with us."

Unfortunately, Sunni knew he was online and bored if he was liking pictures of couples on social media. Though she was right, he wasn't going out.

He sent back a forehead shot. "Sorry. Busy. Try to have fun without me."

":(  At least activate your account."

He was just bored enough to check it out. And maybe a little curious. He opened the dating site and read over his profile. They'd done a pretty decent job. He wasn't a bad guy. But was he ready for a woman to take over his life?

Dave was a man of numbers, formulas, and programs. As a creature of habit, he did things his own way and liked his freedom to go anywhere, any time. Not that he went anywhere, but he could. And a woman would screw all that up. He'd be forced to consider her when making decisions and deal with whatever faults or bad habits she had. He'd lose the majority of his free time. And there was always the possibility that after all that work, she'd leave him. Logically it just didn't make sense.

On the other side of the coin, there was the possibility of a lasting connection. With many of his friends leaving single-hood, it intrigued him. Maybe he was ready. Or maybe he needed to find some new friends--which would be just as difficult.

A message flashed on the screen.

Still not sure? Try a free preview of a few members who match your questionnaire results.

Well, what a great idea.

"Don't mind if I do." Dave clicked OK

Monday, June 29, 2020

What's a Boggart? and #Fantasy Creatures


Sorry, HP fans, I'm not referring to the shape-shifting non-being that takes on the form of its observer's worst fear... 

Isn't it amazing how authors can characterize the same fantasy creatures in many different ways? Every enchanted world has it's own magical beasts, properties, and setting. Some creatures retain traits from one story to the next, but some are vastly different. Like the disgusting goblins from The Hobbit compared to the crafty, banker goblins in Harry Potter to my own nerdy goblins in Beast World. Authors have the prerogative to put their own unique spin on the creatures and settings in their worlds.

And today, for an IWSG treat, I'm hosting a special guest who's going to tell us about the boggarts in her new MG Fantasy series...

Elaine Kaye
Picture Book and Middle Grade Author

What is a Boggart?

Boggarts are the worst of fairies. They're squat, disfigured household fairies. Dirty and smelly, they wear wrinkled clothes that need to be washed. They have tempers, and enjoy playing nasty tricks on humans. Because of that, they are not welcomed into human homes. If they do get in to your house, they won’t leave willingly. They love to break things, rearrange furniture, and make the phone ring at odd hours in the night.

To get rid of a boggart that has caused you stress in your home, bang pots and sing loudly. Sort of like how you’re supposed to scare bears away from campsites with a lot of loud, obnoxious noise.

In BAD FAIRY, boggarts are a threat to the good fairies. They live just outside Pinecone Grove, in the forest. Thistle Greenbud and her family’s house is beneath a fern bush with blackberry vines around it to keep away critters and boggarts.

After a tornado devastates Pinecone Grove, the threat of boggarts increases as they come looking for things to break. But since the tornado already broke many things, the boggarts are even nastier than usual.

BAD FAIRY by Elaine Kaye
A Bad Fairy Adventure (Book One)
Age Range: 8-12

Thistle Greenbud is not a bad fairy. She simply doesn't like rules. It's just her luck that her homework is to create a new rule for the fairy handbook. But first, she has more important things to do. Like figure out how to get back at Dusty and Moss for playing tricks on her.
Before she can carry out her plan, though, disaster strikes and she finds herself working alongside the very fairies she wanted revenge on. Can they work together and trust each other, or will things go from bad to worse?

About the Author
Elaine Kaye is the author of A Gregory Green Adventure series. She first created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup, thus inspiring the story Pea Soup Disaster. Bad Fairy is her middle grade debut and the first of A Bad Fairy Adventure series.
Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher’s assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home. She is a grandmother of three boys.

1 lucky winner will receive 3 Signed Paperback Picture Books:
Pea Soup Disaster, Doctor Mom, The Missing Alphabet

Hurry! Giveaway Ends: June 30, 2020

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a FANTASTIC week! And a safe & happy Fourth of July!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Summer #shortstory - The Day Dave Broke the Internet - 2

Dave didn't know he was lonely until his friends pointed it out. But when he gives in and tries an online dating site, something catastrophic happens - talk about a bad omen.

The Day Dave Broke the Internet
by Tara Tyler


RECAP 1: Instead of a light bulb, a thunder cloud flashed over Dave's head as he realized they wanted him to enter the horrific scene of online dating.

He shook his head. "No, thanks."

"But you didn't hear our suggestion."

"I don't have to. No."

"Aw, come on, man. What have you got to lose?"

"My dignity, my money, my sanity."

Nathan leaned back. "Okay, dude. But when we start having kids and you're still all alone, our lives will change and you'll be left behind, the same, lonely guy. Crazy old Uncle Dave."

"Sounds good."

Sunni looked at Dave with puppy dog eyes. "Please, Dave? For me? Just try it once. I really want to see you happy. And I know several friends who've found great matches at this website."

"He's chicken." Nathan flapped his elbows. "Bawk, bawk, bawk."

"No, I'm not."

"Oh, I never thought of that." Sunni tilted her head. "Dave, I bet there are tons of women who would love to go out with you. You're a great guy."

"I know I am. I'm not afraid. I'm just not interested."

Kyle had been noticeably silent, chewing on his burger. When Sunni gave him a squinty, pirate eye, he swallowed and spoke up.

"Oh yeah, Dave. You should try it. If you don't, there's always my cousin Eloise."

Dave remembered Kyle's cousin Eloise from a picture of his family reunion. She could probably bench press Dave.

They all looked eagerly at him. If he ever wanted to eat again in peace, he would have to give them a positive response. He chose to string them along for a bit without committing to anything.


Nathan shot a finger gun at him. "The sooner the better."

Sunni clapped her hands. "That's as good as a yes. I won't stop bugging you until you go on your first date!"

# # # # #

Sunni held to her promise. She continuously badgered Dave to try her proven, data-driven online dating website: Nerds Unite. He groaned just hearing the name. When that didn't work, she had them all over for dinner and got him drunk.

Dave, not really that drunk, finally relented and opened a free trial account. With help from his friends, he filled out the information: likes, dislikes, allergies, preferences, etc. That part had actually been fun.

He hoped he could leave it at that and let the free trial lapse into infamy.

But a week later, Sunni was at it again, spoiling his favorite lunch, pasta primavera.

"Any prospects from the website?"

Dave cringed as he was about to take a bite. "I forgot to publish my profile."

Nathan shook his head at him. "I'm disappointed in you, Dave."

Sunni frowned. "I don't know what's wrong with you. We just want you to be happy like us."

"I am happy. A happy uncomplicated bachelor."

With a pout, she stood up. "I give up. I'm done bugging you. If you don't want to try it, don't. I have a wedding to plan. Come on, Kyle."

Kyle shrugged at the guys and followed his fiancée.

Dave couldn't figure out why Sunni was so upset. And he sure wasn't ready to be tugged on a leash like Kyle.

Nathan saluted and left him alone at the table.

Were they trying to teach him a lesson? Dave tilted his head as he watched them walk away. They acted like he'd betrayed them. What was wrong with being single?