Tattoos and Tiaras, Update One

I’ve been picking away at this since November, off and on, making little edits here and there. But since I’ve finished writing the first two Importance Books, The Importance of Blood and The Importance of Stars, I’m taking a break on that series for a while and decided to work on Tattoos and Tiaras while I wait for Mom to finish editing Spinner of Secrets

Here’s a snippet:


“James? James, I’m home.” Helen called, stepping into the New York City apartment.

“Hey, babe!” A voice called, and a slight smile played on Helen’s face as she closed the door and wandered into the kitchen.

James was setting the table for two, a pair of red taper candles burning already. They gave of a cinnamon scent that blending curiously with the baked honey and curry chicken he had made.

Rather than sit down, Helen leaned against the counter. “How was your week, James?” She asked, running her fingers down his tattooed arm. He smiled, catching her hand and lifting it to his lips to press a soft kiss against her knuckles before moving towards the stove.

“It was fine. How was yours?”

“Long.” She let out a sigh, watching him take the pan of chicken out of the oven. “I went to the doctor’s in LA.”

He set the pan on the table, forehead wrinkling with concern. “The doctor’s? Are you okay?”

“I’m pregnant.”

If he hadn’t just set the pan down, it would have crashed onto the floor. His mouth fell open and his eyes widened, staring at her until she gave a small laugh and crossed to him, closing his mouth. “You’re sweet.”

“I’m going to be dad!” He yelled, throwing the hot mitts up in the air. Then he caught her around the waist and kissed her firmly.

She submitted to that for a few seconds before pulling away. “Sit down.”

“Sit? No, I want to go climb the Empire State Building and let the whole bloody city know!”

“James, sit down.” The odd note in her voice made him pause, and he followed her example, sinking into a chair across from her.

“I’m pregnant, I’m filing for divorce, and I’m giving full and sole rights of the child to you.”

James just stared at her. “Wait, what?” Helen tapped her perfectly manicured fingertips against the table, tap-tap-tap-tap, and James stifled the urge to hold her hand to stop the noise. “Wait… Helen, I want kids… but I don’t want us to end because of it. I don’t need kids, I need you. We can put the kid up for adoption or… or something. I want kids, but I need you.”

She shook her head. “I’m sorry. It’s not the kid’s fault. And it’s not your fault. It’s just that I can’t do this anymore.”

He frowned, a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. “Is there someone else?”

She snorted. “No. That’s the whole point. You’ve been an amazing husband, James, and I know you’ll be a perfect father. But I can’t do this anymore. I can’t come home one more day to see your face, all lit up with a damn Christmas tree to see me. You have such a big heart, James, and so much love to give. It’s one of the things that I fell in love with when we were kids. But we’re not kids anymore and I can’t love. Loving costs too much. I can’t do it and I need to not. It’s killing me, the strain of being married to you. You deserve something better and I can’t give it and I’m leaving.” She stood up, and James could see the small swell of her stomach where their child lived – his child, since she was abandoning them. “I’ll be back in New York to give birth, then you won’t see me again. Goodbye, James. I’m sorry.”

“Helen,” he pleaded, but she was gone. He stared at the apartment door for an incredibly long time, until the taper candles had burned low. She didn’t come back. He dropped his head to the table and wept, hearing his heart breaking and burst into a thousand pieces on the table amid the untouched supper.

He ran.

Obsessively. Feet pounding on the sidewalks of New York City, running miles at a time and then dropping onto the couch of his apartment and staring at the TV until he fell asleep, only to be haunted by dreams of Helen.

Goodbye, James. I’m sorry.”


How could she say that? How could she ruin him and then say sorry as if she’d just bumped into him at the grocery store and made him spill a can of peaches out of his shopping basket?

He worked out at all hours of the night, using the gym on the ground floor of the apartment building. Weight lifting. Running. Cardio.

Anything to make him so tired that his sleep was dead heavy and he didn’t have to hear Helen’s voice in his head. Didn’t have to feel a phantom touch on his shoulder. Didn’t have to keep catching her out of the corner of his eye.

Anything to make the memories go away and shut up so he didn’t have to keep remembering that he had been abandoned because he loved her too much.

He promised himself that he wouldn’t fall in love again. Not that way. He could love the baby, of course, and he would. And he’d have friends, someday. But he promised himself that he wouldn’t live a romance again. Helen was the strongest woman he knew but he was too much for her. He wouldn’t make that mistake again.

Once he’d decided that, it was easier to just banish all thoughts of romance and Helen entirely. He was James, single father, book reviewer, blogger. And that was that.

Copyright 2017 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Christmas Candles – Guest Post by James K Bond

From the desk of James K Bond

Reader, Writer, Blogger, Father

December 13th, 2016

I like candles.

For one thing, they smell pretty (assuming you get the right kind). They look elegant. And in the few seconds required to light the candle, it’s just you and the candle and the flame. I find that incredibly soothing. Nothing else is in that space with you. There’s space to breathe, space that’s separated from all the hustle and bustle around.

Take time to breathe today, okay? You don’t have to do it all. I know it feels like you have to, but I promise, you don’t. Take a minute to breathe. Admire what you have done already, instead of finishing one project and going right to the next. Just sit for a minute and practice breathing deeply – it’ll help you relax.

Read books, drink water, and smile at people.

Maybe light a candle. Or two. Or nineteen.

James out.

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell
James K Bond is a fictional character created by Annie Louise Twitchell

NaNoWriMo Update (and Happy Thanksgiving!)

Making good progress! This is just a quick update because this week is crammed full for me. Yesterday I spent all morning sewing, was out all afternoon (we went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – oh my stars), and wrote a thousand words or so when I got in. So I’m a bit behind my projected goal, but making good progress today. 
Wednesday and Thursday will be crazy for me – I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 12 people. I don’t know if I’ll get a lot of writing done. 
And then my youngest brother’s birthday party is this weekend. 

Oh, and I made a thing.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


So I missed my usual blog post last week… Oops. I was a little preoccupied, recovering from an injury and doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) planning like crazy. 

I decided. I’m sitting down and finally doing NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in the month of November, no big deal, right? Eh… Hopefully. I’m super excited about it though. I’m doing Tattoos and Tiaras for this year. I’ve been working on character development and story planning for a year.

Kailee Mae is, according to her not-at-all prejudiced father, the sweetest, cutest, most adorable little girl on the planet. Her father, James, is a heavily tattooed, very muscular, and generally all-around tough guy, who melts like butter when his little girl asks him to paint her toenails. 
Being a single parent isn’t easy, James writes on his blog when Kailee is a year old. But so far it’s been worth it. 

So I’ve been rather busy lately…

This is just a placeholder cover. I haven’t had a lot of time to invest in cover design.

Kailee Mae!

James is a blogger, book reviewer, and magazine writer. Also he drinks coffee. I might have to get a cup of coffee sometime, I’ve never had it.

Floor plans of an actual apartment that you can rent in Greenwich Village, which I’m using as a rough outline for James’s apartment.

My story takes place in New York City… so I’ve been doing a lot of research about New York City recently. 

Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell
Photos used – free stock photos from Pexel. 

Love Lines, Part Three

Armee and James are probably one of my favorite character couples. They’re from Tattoos and Tiaras, a work in project that I’m in the research and development stage of. I have a few people who have been helping me out with character development and they, um, think James is pretty great and Armee is a sweetie. And I’m under orders to share the story as soon as possible please and thank you. So I guess I have beta readers for Tattoos and Tiaras. Now I just have to finish the first draft or something, you know, so there’s something to read. 

So here’s the quote that you gals wanted. ^^

Oh yeah, and happy Fourth!

Image credit to original artist
Quote credit to Annie Louise Twitchell
Copyright 2016 by Annie Louise Twitchell