WEP Challenge: Feather Gets a Facelift at WordPress

Write, Edit Publish: Welcome to Write…Edit…Publish, the home of the monthly bloghop of the same name.

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What is your first impression of my blog?

After receiving some promotional advice, I’ve been busy meddling with blog design, widgets, headers, side bar stuff, color, etc.

I tried to add follow buttons for facebook, twitter, etc. but I couldn’t follow the instructions on how to add those to WordPress. Ugh!

I’m open to critiques and suggestions. Do the images hook you? Are the pages and other social media connections easy to find?

Now, if you’ve got a ten minute break, I’m giving you a sneak peek at Forbidden.

WEP changing faces book to sky1You wake up, look in the bathroom mirror, and a different face looks back at you.

The following is a piece from my WIP in FORBIDDEN. Setting is a fictional Middle East country / city. Eliza and her American travelling companions have been attacked. A police captain and his men managed to stop the attack but almost too late. Only Eliza survived. In this scene, she is being interrogated by police captain, Hashim Sharif.

One of the themes in Forbidden is that both Eliza and Sharif put on one face for the world while keeping secret the truth of their woundedness. 

FORBIDDEN, by Feather Stone

iStock_000014665836_ExtraSmallShock had begun to wear off. The full magnitude of what just happened became clearer. Massacre. Fifteen, no eighteen innocent people just lost their lives. Eliza felt dizzy trying to comprehend the madness, the devastation and suffering of so many families. In the next few hours, governments around the world would be clamoring to blame, maybe incite revenge.

He (police captain, Hashim Sharif) picked up her luggage, purse and backpack. “Come with me to the Evidence Room.”

“Captain, who did this? Who murdered those people?”

Momentarily he paused and looked at her. “I have no idea, miss. Something this extreme is usually done by terrorists who will most likely be claiming responsibility by morning. I hope.”

The cold night air penetrated through her numbed mind. Eliza slipped into her coat and followed Sharif to a large room. Cabinets and shelves lined the walls behind a barred wall. He set her stuff on a long table and began to dump out the contents of her purse.

She looked on, stunned with the overt invasion of her privacy.  Her mind whirled, attempting to understand his actions. “I’m a victim, not a damn criminal! Captain, why ….”

He interrupted. “What’s your name, miss?” His attention remained solely on her personal items.

“Eliza MacKay.”stock-photo-5526331-woman-with-kerchief

He glanced at her left hand and must have seen her gold wedding band. “Mrs. MacKay?”

She thrust her hands into the coat pockets. “No.  Miss MacKay will do.” Her level of irritation rose. The disrespect infuriated her. “Why are you going through my things?”

“Protocol.” He continued to paw through her stuff – airline boarding stubs, baggage claim tickets, used Kleenex, lip balm and her sunglasses.  He grabbed her international cell phone and iPad and set aside her wallet.  He unzipped the purse compartments and gave the bag another shake. The remaining contents spilled out, small packet of Tylenol, lipstick, and package of Kleenex.  “Where’s your passport, Miss MacKay?”

She hesitated as if trying to recall where she had put it. “I moved it from my coat pocket at the airport into my suitcase, I think. Anyway, I went through all of this at the airport’s customs.” She resisted reaching for her backpack.

He glared at her. She struggled to restrain the signals of her lies. Her self-discipline faded as she crossed her arms across her chest. Damn!Captain Khan

“Open your luggage, miss.”

Eliza decided to attempt a distraction. “Where’s the bathroom, captain?”

Again, he ignored her. He opened her wallet and studied the cards and bits of paper in each compartment. “This birth certificate confirms your name is Elizabeth Leigh MacKay. However, I need your passport.”

Eliza stepped to within arm’s reach of the captain.  “If you don’t want a puddle on your floor, direct me to the bathroom now.”

He appeared repulsed by her statement and stepped back.  He motioned upward with his hand.  “Down the hall and up to the second floor. My apartment.”

She grabbed her backpack as he led the way up the wide cement steps. Open doors on either side of the hallway revealed discarded office furniture strewn about haphazardly. He moved ahead of her and used a key to unlock the door. “The bathroom is here,” he said indicating a door just inside.  “Leave the door ajar.  Do not shut it.”

“Fine,” she said offhandedly as she rushed forward hugging her backpack to her chest.

He grabbed her arm.  “Don’t underestimate me, Miss MacKay.  I will not tolerate any disrespect.  You do exactly as I say.”  His grip hurt. “Exactly as I say!”

“Yes.  Now let me go!”  He released her.

She dashed into the bathroom and slammed the door shut. She expected him to kick the door open. For a breathless moment she stood trembling.

“Miss, you have three minutes before I kick this door open.”

She had won, this time. Inside the tiny bathroom she breathed a sigh of relief to see that it had the standard western style toilet, shower and sink. It had been kept clean and tidy. A hint of spicy cologne from his toiletries helped to calm her. Her dad’s aftershave had had a similar fragrance.

She hoped the captain might get distracted with some other task and forget about the passport.  She believed that once he got his hands on it, she would never get it back. Besides, he would also discover her true identity. Whenever people knew her legal name, they soon discovered reports of her madness. Her life became unbearable.

Her reflection in the mirror confirmed what she felt.  Her friends considered her lovely, a natural beauty, even at 36 years of age. If they saw her now, they would not recognize her. Dried blood covered much of her tangled hair and down the side of her face and neck. Her face, her eyes, pale and blood shot.


13 thoughts on “WEP Challenge: Feather Gets a Facelift at WordPress

  1. I’m with you with the blog facelift. I’m going to create a website, but have had one aborted attempt so far. And it is hard for a blogger to comment here on WP. Usually i have to use facebook or twitter as WP refuses to accept I’m me!! Doh!!

    But your story was very up to the minute. Scary. Edge of the seat suspense. Well done.

    Thank you for linking to the WEP challenge. I’ll alert participants that you have posted.


    Denise 🙂


  2. Feather Stone, a bit on the wild side.

    Hi Denise: Thanks for your comments. I wasn’t aware there are challenges for visitors to comment on WP sites. I’m going to be meeting with a web designer soon and will quiz her about making this site more user friendly.


  3. The story reminded me of an opening movie scene where no one knows what’s happening, who did what, and who’s chasing who. Definitely asked many questions that kept me wanting more.


  4. Intriguing and a volatile setting, the makings for a great story. Enjoyed this excerpt and I’m glad I’m not in her place. . . well done.
    As for WordPress, don’t like it that much, and don’t use it. A solid black background is something many advise against for blog pages, but I have darker backgrounds on both my blogs, too. Good luck with the designing!


  5. Hi Feather
    Suspenseful story. I’d be totally freaked out in the same situation and on top of that she has something to hide. Well done.

    I think your site looks nice. I love the gadget that show off your books. Personally, I just don’t get twitter and never use it except when I’m reading WIP and tweet the stories.


  6. The story was suspenseful and left me wanting to know more. Because this is from a much larger piece of fiction, it’s a little hard to distill and we’re left hanging. Nevertheless, well-written!


  7. I didn’t expect her face to look like that, intriguing and a bit scary at the same time being in a foreign country with a different culture towards females.


  8. Hi, and sorry I am late. Your story had a news flash kind of quality, very edgy, well paced, the suspense done to a turn. A little difficult to assimilate on single reading, because it is part of a larger one, but very well worth the effort.

    And it is a bit difficult to comment on WP blogs for non-WP bloggers, but you already know that, the facelift looks lovely!


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