Join me in welcoming Ash to our blog today with his newest novella, Heartifact!
Net proceeds benefit the The Trevor Project in the US,
Heartifact is available from
THE VALUE OF WHOLESOMENESS IN STORY TELLING
When I set out to pen a story, I look to include wholesomeness as often as possible. While it is partially because it represents an ideal—and what better way to achieve escapism and entertain ourselves than with the ideal—but because “goodness” is something most of us naturally identify with and strive for. The friendship that Harper and Stick share in Heartifact is based upon “goodness” and it shines through in a number of places in the story. I hope you enjoy reading Heartifact as much as I enjoyed writing it.
After being away, his kitchen seemed foreign to him, and dismay swept his mien when he remembered he might not have coffee in the freezer. He opened the door and riffled through the contents proudly displaying freezer burn. No coffee. He sighed and closed the door as his phone rang. He looked at the caller ID and was relieved to see it wasn’t Donny.
“Welcome back, Harp! You up for grub?”
Stick, whose real name was Maggie, piloted remotely operated underwater vehicles, or ROVs. Hence the nickname “Stick.” He’d met her on his first internship dig and she’d quickly become his best friend. She was easy and comfortable, and could read his mind; she knew when he needed silence and when he needed to laugh. She was a woman without a vagenda, and occasionally made him wish he liked the opposite sex.
“Coffee,” he grunted.
“Grab your astrolabe and chart a course to that illusive island known as my car.”
“Can I wear a towel?”
“Sure. I’ll protect you.”
He smiled to himself as he terminated the call and went to get dressed.
“Whoa! You wear dark well!”
Harper snorted as he climbed into the convertible and kissed Stick’s cheek. “I see you managed to protect your lily-white ass from the sun.”
She shrugged as she put the car in gear and sped off without so much as a gander in her rearview mirror. “What can I say? I am the undersea drone you’re looking for.”
Thank Poseidon, she didn’t pilot ROVs the same way she drove a car. He imagined a fifteen-fish pile-up on the Bimini Road and suddenly chuckled to himself.
They rode in companionable silence until they reached John O’Groats on Pico Boulevard. Graced with a rare parking space in front of the place, she crammed the car against the curb at a slant.
“You may want to straighten it out.”
“You got something to say about my parking?” she demanded as she hopped out.
Harp couldn’t help but grin as he got out of the car. “Not a chance. I like my head on my shoulders.”
She put an arm around his waist and looked up at him, her green eyes bright in the morning sun. “Smart man.”
He put an arm around her shoulders and guided her inside. The wait for a table was almost an hour and they opted to sit at the counter. Harper perused the menu and decided on Huevos O’Groats. Three months of Aussie Vegemite had nearly killed him.
They ordered food and Stick handed the menus to the waiter. “How was it?”
“I didn’t think I could detest sediment more than I already did.”
She grinned. “Do you know something I don’t know? I mean, how do you propose to avoid it in this line of work?”
“They’re destroying the reef, Stick,” he said in disgust.
She winced. “I couldn’t imagine being part of that.”
Harper sighed. “Donny showed up this morning.”
She rolled her eyes. “I ignored him while you were gone. Couldn’t take the whining.”
“I slammed the door in his face in favor of reconciliation with my plastic.”
She smirked. “Drum and I split.”
Harper couldn’t help it. His jaw hung agape. They’d had a near-perfect marriage for eight years.
“Yeah,” she said softly. “It was time.”
She met his even gaze. “He’s been screwing everything above sea level. Can’t handle me being away.”
“I’m sorry, Stick. Are you going to be okay?”
“I don’t know.”
He’d never seen her forlorn and it tore at his heart. He put an arm around her and gave her a hug. She buried her face against his shoulder for a moment before withdrawing and pulling herself together. “Fucker.”
“Motherfucker,” he agreed.
She suddenly smiled. “I knew you’d understand.”
Thanks for having me on your blog, Eli! Go read Heartifact! It’s a great book. Besides, you can enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card and two signed books from me!
Harper Kidd is a highly respected marine archaeologist. Yet, with the economy in a slump, he’s trapped working in an oil company’s exploration division. Now, at the ripe age of thirty, Harp is disgusted with his employer’s damage to the undersea world he loves, tired of his ATM-card-filching ex, and tormented by beautiful dreams of an undersea lover. It’s time for a change and when his best friend, Stick, pleads with him to assist on a deep-sea dig in the Mediterranean, he jumps at the chance.
Harper’s spirits are high when they discover the ruins of an ancient civilization, and soar to the heavens when they discover a statue of an ancient pelora, a mysterious hybrid creature said to mediate between the worlds of reality and fantasy—and the very lover who holds the starring role in his dreams.
When the crew discovers the site is teeming with unexploded ordnance from the conflicts in the Middle East, and the excavation turns deadly, Harper must choose between saving his best friend and saving the pelora he’s fallen in love with.
Heartifact is available from Men Over the Rainbow
About Aisling Mancy
Ash is an author who lives, most of the time, on the West Coast of the United States. Ash writes mystery thrillers, fantasy, science fiction, romance, and fiction for gay young adults as C. Kennedy.
Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Ash doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Ash contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Ash can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much-maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary. Ash does respond to emails because, after all, it is all about you, the reader.