Thursday, July 17, 2014

Widow's Walk is now available

The third, and last installment in my memoir series is now available.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Hope can be a wish, a dream, and even a plea. It can come in the form of a plan, a want, or a promise. You can long and yearn for it, an expectation or anticipation. My favorite movie comes to mind, The Shawshank Redemption. Hope can be a dangerous thing, but its worth gambling on, because when it does finally arrive, it provides a reality you can process and cherish. Nothing else compares.

JC Cerrigone Szot 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

'Reality' by Molly Cerrigone


Nothing is what you want it to be,
Yet you can’t help that it will be,
Life isn’t what you’d thought it be,
And yet you still believe,
Frost cracks your hopes and dreams and before you know it,
Everything you dream about, falls to seams,
There’s still a light that reigns inside,
And only then do you try to hide,
That what they say is untrue,
What they say can’t be,
That your dreams can still come true,
In the darkness, light shines,
Only then do you see,
Reality is what you make it to be,
It becomes your soul,
It becomes your fight,
The only way to keep your light shining bright,
Believe what you want, and make belief beam,
And soon you’ll see,
Reality, is what you make it to be

Molly Cerrigone

Friday, May 16, 2014

Those who persevere are well rewarded.

What was empty is now filled. 
What was silent is now audible
Filling my ears with a soothing symphony
An ebb and flow
Pleasant exchanges 
So natural
A discovery that's fresh and new
What was singular is now paired. 
Life alone is better shared
Richer, vibrant with color
It all looks new
Purpose has come 
No two more deserving 
Anguish turns to felicity 
The future now blooming
Black and white now color
A ragged tapestry 
Now a refurbished fabric
I praise the universe 
Thankfulness fills me
Abundance is endless 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Summer Reading

With summer reading right around the corner Painted Posts comes to mind. A story I wrote that's set in Wildwood New Jersey.

Tired of dead-end jobs and a portfolio sitting idle, when Ella Rowen unexpectedly inherits her uncle’s house, she abruptly relocates. Bombarded with change and apprehensive about becoming a homeowner, Ella takes the first job that’s offered. An invitation to join her boss for a drink at the local bar leads to a careless one-night stand. Forced to quit her job due to the awkward aftermath and her impulsive decisions has Ella back at her starting point. Enter, Jayden Preston, her handsome neighbor. Jayden, a seeing-eye dog trainer becomes the object of Ella’s desire, as well as the lens of her camera. As their connection intensifies, a leaky roof leads Ella to making a discovery in her uncle’s attic that sends her into a tailspin. When Jayden’s roommate shares information pertaining to her uncle’s past, Jayden struggles with his position, afraid of ruining a relationship that has him head over heels. Will disclosing hidden secrets prevent any damage or tear them apart?

“So where would you like to do this private shoot?” Jayden asked, tracing the line of her brow. Ella’s photogenic eye couldn’t get enough. She’d brought her camera in hopes of getting more of him with a different backdrop, exhibiting a different mood. “We wouldn’t want Brian emerging from hibernation while the camera’s rolling.” His brows rose. Ella nodded, agreeing. “Upstairs then?”
“Okay.” Ella turned and reached for her camera bag.
They crept up the stairs. Brian’s room was on the first floor behind the kitchen.
“If he hears us, I’ll never live it down. I know harassment is coming, but I’d rather wait,” Jayden whispered, squeezing her hand. Ella grinned at his playful frown. As they went to enter into his room, Ella noticed a small alcove at the end of the hall with a hexagon- shaped window above. A spindled chair sat below. Jayden noticed her attention had been diverted. He tilted his head.
“It’s perfect, the way the moonlight is streaming through the panes. I just have to change my film speed. Take a seat.” Ella rummaged through her camera bag. The film loaded, she turned to find Jayden already in the chair, his palms resting on his thighs.
Various images flirted with her mind’s imaginative eye. Ella leaned against the wall. Ribbons of heat wrapped around her, her skin now warm. Jayden was relaxed, waiting patiently. A sly smile curved  his lips. He was so at ease, but Ella was struggling. She wanted some skin, his skin. She didn’t ever shoot pornographic material. Tonight she was hungering for some classy, sensual shots, and he was the perfect model. Jayden cleared his throat.
“Ella, just tell me what you want,” he told her, his eyes flicking to hers. “I’m all yours.”
She blurted out her request. “Could you please take off your shirt?” She bit down on her lower lip, silencing herself, afraid of giving a voice to any additional, dangerous notions.
“Sure.” Jayden grinned. He leaned forward and peeled his T-shirt over his head and handed it to her. Ella’s mouth parted, her eyes greeted with a plethora of dazzling ink. Four large paw prints were on the back of his shoulder, as if he were being trampled over. On the left side of his chest, Jayden had a set of the comedy and tragedy masks. Half of each mask was inked in black, the other half shaded with yellows, reds, and a copper color. The ink shifted over his lined muscles when he moved.
Jayden’s voice echoed through the desolate hall. “Ella?” His eyes looked up, his brows pulling together.
“Yes, that’s...that’s perfect.” She had forgotten to breathe. She licked the briny salt from her upper lip and started shooting. Jayden hooked his thumbs into his belt loops and smiled at the camera, but then looked away. He tipped his head, glancing at the window. Ella gnawed at the inside of her cheek. He was absolutely stunning.
Milky moonlight washed over his angled face. Jayden parted his lips, his jaw slack. Ella was on fire, her libido not to be trusted. Jayden tilted his hips and reclined further in the chair. Ella walked around, snapping a frontal shot. A thin trail of lighter hair divided his concave abs in half, vanishing beneath the waistband of his jeans.
Jayden leaned forward, his spine curling. He had amazing bone structure. Ella adjusted her lens, wanting to see every joined vertebrae of his spine. Jayden rested an elbow on his knee, cupping his chin in his palm. His eyes lifted to hers, his smile bright, his eyes dazzling.

JC Szot- Author

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Survivor

A battle field of adversaries
Prepared to corrode from within
Siphoning joy
Stealing life
The shield is raised
Ready to conquer 
Repelling all that is evil
You stood your ground 
Attacking the enemy
Waging the war
Staying your course
Life is a journey
Yours wasn't complete
A trail determined to be blazed
Love unites, surrounding you
Building the wall
A ring of Devine protection
Compassionate professionals administer
The receiver fights
Mind over matter
God over us
Granting the greatest gift
Insisting the baton is yours to carry
Striving for the finish 
Your greatest accomplishment 
An achievement of few
The dawn of this day brings elation
Blessings that you are here
Enriching our lives
So many are thankful
Thankful for you 
Live, breath, love and embrace
For this day is yours 
With many more to follow
A celebration above all
As glorious as a bright sun
Let it shine on your face
Radiating all around you
Our world in full bloom
With the vibrance of you

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Darkness and despair has led me to the light

A dark sky has parted
Streams of light filter in
Warming my face with hope
Heat is life
Fueling the blood in my veins
Rushing to my heart
Swelling it with joy
An acute allure exploding
A fire ignited
Passion consuming 
Burning in my bones
Am I too deep
I am without a mask 
You're slowly peeling away the layers
Seeing all that is real
I've seen destruction 
I've seen death
Life now rushes back
I am me
The only one
Up close and from afar
Others turn away
The decision theirs
The courageous has come 
Empty space filled
Occupied by a unique presence
Your nature soft with empathy
Your warm, sensitive ways nourish 
Feeding me
Seeping deeper
Wanting you to take root and stay

Friday, April 11, 2014


Fiction Romance


Memoir Series- JK Publications

Catastrophic events are often life- changing, altering everything and everyone around you. It's during these times when one learns the true integrity of the people that have been in your circle. That being relatives as well as friends.  That truth can be pleasant or painful. My memoir series reflects the experiences I had while being a cancer caregiver for my husband, and the plethora of reactive behavior that stemmed from his death. 

JC Cerrigone/ Nonfiction works

Sunday, April 6, 2014

For Andrea

A dreary morning dawns with a message of devastating news
The past rushes in
Spiraling me back 
The hushed secrets and muffled giggles of my adolescence 
To turn in my desk and be met with such beauty
Hair a sheen curtain, mirroring the blackened gleam of midnight
Eyes so rich, so wide
I'd fallen into their beauty
Seeing the world's reflection 
Our lives full, the journey just beginning 
Sadness bridges the distance
Space created by years
Lives that branched apart
Memories diminish the passing of time in seconds
Returning you to me
Your kindness
Your acceptance
Social rank never mattered
I was always acknowledged 
Able to receive your goodness
You eliminated the boundaries 
Bringing us all together
Today, on this rainy morning I remember you, Andrea LaCosta
All that you were
All that you gave
My heart is heavy
My tears are yours

Monday, March 31, 2014

Rounding the Corner

I crept 
Hesitation yanking me back
The collar of despair cinching tighter
A noose of misery
What is feared is unclear, often unseen
The great seducer
Blackening a future
Dictating it with lies
Love lures
Feeding a weariness with renewed faith
The powers of another realm
A familiar voice cures a starved soul
Nourishing it with hope
Edging forward 
Turning a corner
My path illuminated
Bright rays guide me
What was stunted, now grows with fresh vibrance 
What was dark is now flooded with light
A vacant space smiles
Greeting me, engulfing me with promise
Memories of love warm through my cold, abandoned layers
Settling in my core
Taking root
Fear of the unknown slips from my shoulders
Shrugged off like an old coat worn and torn
A voice that couldn't stay still speaks, forever singing in my ears
An immortal symphony 
I travel on, my footpath now clear
Decorated with  glamor
His greatest gift

JC Szot

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The South Window

Sunday Snippet

“Tess, don’t do that.” Allie yanked the curtain down. “You can see through, the material’s sheer enough.”
“Come on, we want to get a good look at him. Besides, you could use a little stimulation.” Tess turned, flashing her dark, brown sultry eyes.
“Thanks,” Allie sighed, feeling beaten down again by Tess’s brutal honesty. “Listen, I have work to do. Federal Express will be here by noontime tomorrow.”
Allie crawled off the love seat and watched Tess perched on the windowsill with the binoculars as close to the screen as she could get them, the seam of her short-shorts riding up her behind. Allie wondered how she could cope with that thick denim seam searing through her crotch all day.
Tess rested the binoculars on the cushion then scooted off. “Oh well, we’ll just have to investigate him now, won’t we?”
She walked over to Allie’s drawing table. “So, what do we have here? A wedding, baptism, or are those sympathy cards?” Tess eyed all the pastel drawings that lay on her table.
“They decide when they get them.” Allie started to organize her tools, eager for Tess to leave.
 “Okay, I’ll stop back tomorrow after your Federal Express pickup.” Allie listened to Tess’s blackened bare feet slide across the hardwood floor and descend down the stairs.
Allie sat down and attempted to finish the meadow scene with a rustic, red barn in the background. Being in the greeting card business required a lot of thought, and the study of nature. Whenever she felt starved for new ideas, she’d just get in the car with her camera and drive. Nature never failed her.
A loud clanking noise drifted through the open window, coming from next door. Distracted again, Allie got up and went to the window. A rather interesting man had just moved in. The house adjacent to her and Dan’s lot had been empty for years, a foreclosure that just didn’t sell, but now they finally got their new neighbor.
Now Allie felt like a hypocrite as she reached for the binoculars and focused in on him. He looked to be in his midthirties, tall and lanky, with dark hair that rested on the nape of his neck, wavy and thick. He was walking in and out of his shed carrying planks of wood. His jeans hung low, clinging to his hips. With every swaggering step, it looked as if the red bandanna in his back pocket would fall out. There was a peculiar limp in his step.
When he turned, the intense magnification had her lowering the lenses from her eyes for a minute. Raising them back up, she zoomed in for a closer look. His eyes were a light-cedar brown. His chest was bare, displaying a crimson-red tattoo of a bleeding heart on his tanned upper arm. The inked droplets leaked from the bottom like red rain. He turned his head, as if his eyes felt hers, his gaze reaching her window. Allie immediately leaned back, placed the binoculars on the end table, and returned to her work.

JC Szot- Author

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Snippet of the Day/ Hotter Horizons

Snippet of the Day

“Where you gonna go?” Jada asked, her tone now hesitant, laced with a fear Fern didn’t want to feel.
“I haven’t gotten that far yet,” Fern told her, yanking open drawers, stuffing her knapsack.
“Damn! I hate that son-of-a-bitch.”
“Yeah, he’s got a habit of provoking that in people.” Fern took one more glance around the tiny studio apartment. There was stuff she’d have to leave behind, for now. Jada met her thoughts.
“Maybe when you land and get settled, I can bring you the rest of your things,” Jada said, eyeing her small stereo, books, and CDs.
Fern sat down next to her, resting her hand on Jada’s thigh.
“Yeah.” She sighed, exhausted already. “I’ll call...” More words formed on her tongue, words better left unsaid.
The traffic had picked up, the late-day rush hour kicking in.

Fern hiked toward the Wawa, thinking she’d get her last mocha latte. The whine of the train whistle caught her attention. Fern ran across the highway and bolted into the thickets, having missed the last bus out.
Colorful cars moved slowly behind the tall brush. She climbed up the steep bank, watching as the train clanked over the rails. It moved at a speed that was doable, enabling the crazed thought that was forming in her mind to take shape.
Fern sidestepped down the embankment, waiting. With the last car in sight, Fern gripped the hot paper cup, seeing the hot beverage slosh inside.
The oily smell of creosote burned her nose. Fern took two cautious sips, realizing she needed to toss her last indulgence into the weeds until she got to wherever she was going.
Fern threw the cup into the brush. As the last car rattled past, Fern stepped in behind it and started jogging, pacing her steps, watching the tarry pebbles and ashen dirt below pass beneath her feet. With the width of two feet, her adrenaline got the best of her. She hurled her knapsack into the car and quickened her pace, her decision made.
She gasped. Fern dragged in a rush of polluted smog and took that leap, a leap away from Johnny that would buy her more distance, and a leap into a new life that was frightening as hell, holding all the fears of the unknown.
Hotter Horizons


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dark Day Bright Night

Snippet of the Day-
“I love it.” Zane laughed. “I’ve been waiting for a little fire from you.” Meg jutted her chin in defiance. “So tell me, is it Ms. Sullivan? That’s what was printed below your picture in the Holistic Hut’s Newsletter you gave me.”
“That’s right, Mr. Miller. It’s Ms. Sullivan to you.” Meg leaned over, digging the heel of her elbow into his thigh, sending a tickling twinge through his body.
“Well, why are you sitting here playing cards with a guy who has cancer on a Saturday night? Where’s your man?”
Her face fell. All the teasing and bantering dissolved. Zane stiffened, his bold comment obviously a mistake. He liked her face better the other way.
“There isn’t one.” Meg took a sip of her drink, eyeing him over the rim of her glass.
“I’m sorry.” Zane elbowed her in the ribs, wanting to return to the land of razz.
“Don’t be.” Her tone was firm. “Now I don’t have to be disappointed all the time. It makes life a whole lot easier.” She waved him off.
“Disappointed?” Zane leaned back on his stool. Things were getting interesting. “Why all the constant letdowns?”
Meg draped her arm over the back of her stool and leaned into him, her face a pretty pink due to either her bashfulness or the liquor. Her warm breath tickled his lips like a breeze meant to tease on a scorching summer day.
“I’m so tired.” Her eyes rolled. “So done with getting all hot for a guy, all attached and everything, and once...” Her words trailed off.  
Her eyes skirted around him, her reserve attempting to win over the uninhibited effects of the liquor. “Once things get, you know, hot and heavy”—she shook her head, her face lined with frustration—“once we go to bed, I’m always left feeling frustrated. It’s not that I’m hard to please or demanding. It’s just that every guy I’ve ever had sucks in the sack. They’re just out of touch, I guess.” Her cute lips twisted into a pout.
Zane choked on his drink. He turned, clearing his throat. He swallowed past the raw heat. It flamed around in his gut, moving throughout his body. The air between them became heavy, thick and sweet-smelling. Was it her?
“I’m sorry. No woman should have to tolerate that.” His voice was level. His seriousness had her erupting. Meg tossed her head back. Her laughter rang through the quiet apartment. Zane welcomed the conversational turnaround. This was much better. His horny body seized control over his mind. All rational thought was gone as he began to spin the web. His heart beat wildly.
“Well,” he said. Zane shuffled the cards again. “I say, this calls for a bet.” The bourbon had him feeling brave. He didn’t have much more to lose these days. Two things could happen. She’d either go for it or storm out, never to be seen again. “Our wager could enable me to save the rest of my fellow mankind from any further embarrassment. If you lose the draw, I get to attempt to satisfy you. It won’t be an easy feat, since I’m on the tail end of so much displeasure, but I’d like to try. Shall we place our bet, Ms. Sullivan?” 
JC Szot- Author

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Reflections of the Mind's Eye

                                   Reflections of the Mind's Eye

A double edged sword, held by many
Resurrecting joy
Excavating pain
Which ones to bury
Which ones to erect 
Exhausting to outrun
Hard to look away
Excruciating to numb
Unable to erase 
The mind, a portrait of many images
Arms outstretched 
A phantom 
How to live
The choice to reflect
One more time
Reactive emotions can't be predicted
Pulling on the reins of behavior
Patience, a daily exercise 
One day different from the next
Awake with the darkness
Sleeping with the sun
My numbness melts
Love blooms again
The blade overhead
Ready score me open 
Bleeding once again

Thursday, March 20, 2014

An awakening

  An awakening 

Intricate wires of the heart crossed
I wander through quiet space, life with an empty chair. 
Pleasantly seduced
Eccentric, charming, yet running
An overcrowded life
In a corner I wait
Hungry passion gnaws at my bones
One need could lead to many
The thirst of life quenched 
Indecisiveness stares back boldly
I shall not flatter
My assumptions unconfirmed 
Feelings war against the trying realities of life
A separation you might've mastered
One who complains often remains
It is where you are
A mutual need
Fed by re-acquaintance  
It is where you are
I am where I am
Having seen death
I now look at life
Fulfillment beckons 
Your time limited
Some say I have it all
To whom do I give
To whom is available 
A contest of sorts
There is no winner
I see my future before me
I've banished uncertainly
The premise that time is unlimited
A danger I've witnessed
A lesson learned 
Knowing my wants
Days slip by
One wonders 
Immobile from fear
Frozen by confusion
What one allows will continue 
The need nudges
A reminder to strive
My visitor comes
The lure exists 
Yet their absence reins
What is their purpose
Wants I can't have
Reasoning explodes
One foot in
One foot out
Desire braided
It's encounter brief
Fleeing through the darkness
Emotions unraveling, wild and reckless
Where does it all go
My drifter ebbs and flows 
His significant finger banded
Contentment must reside on one side
Resolution lingers
Time cannot stay still
I walk on
For it may never be known

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Latest Release-All in- Available Now

Snippet of the Day

“Where did you get that?” Cara asked. Her eyes widened at the wad of cash Mick had clenched between his fingers. He straightened out the bills, fanning them in her face like a deck of cards.
“It’s my old man’s, or it was,” Mick said. A cunning grin formed on his full lips.
It was more money than Cara had ever seen, aside from standing in line while at the bank.
“I found it stuffed behind the insulation down in the basement,” Mick told her. “He says he never has any money," Mick shook his head in disgust."Well, now I’ve got a little over three G’s.”
They huddled in the dark alley, shuddering from a bone- chilling wind that tunneled around them.
Mick’s eyes flashed as he pushed the black wool cap back over his brows, displaying features that could easily swing between expressions, and at the drop of a hat. Cara had seen both sides, how Mick could look wonderfully handsome, as well as extremely intimidating.
He kept his dark hair buzzed close to his scalp. Mick had intense hazel eyes that seemed to change with his expressions, often looking as dark as cocoa with a leafy green incorporated in. Those unique eyes were paired with a strong, square jaw. His cheeks were always shaded with a hint of growth.
Checking both ends of the alley, Mick rolled the bills up, returning them to the safe confines of his pocket.
“What are you going to do with that money?” Cara pulled her hood over her head. 
It’s what we’re going to do with it,” Mick told her, his features sobering. He scoured the length of the alley once more, his voice lowering. “We’re getting the hell outta here.”
“What the hell are you saying?” Cara felt her entire body go tight. The look on Mick’s face had her mind racing.
“Just look at our folks.” He sniffed, shaking his head. “There’s no future here. We live in The Hollow, remember?” Mick’s hand reached for her. His fingers dug into her arm. His grip seared through her heavy coat. Mick shook her, jarring her with the brutal truth of his words. “If we don’t get out of here now, we’ll never leave,” Mick whispered, his tone now dripping with an empathy Cara wasn’t familiar with. “There’s better, and I don’t need to become a goddamn basketball player to get it,” he said sharply.
Cara knew the resentment Mick had for his brother ran deep. All Mick’s parents cared about was Theo’s athletic success and what it could buy them later. Theo had won a scholarship for college and was now being considered for the NBA draft.
Mick had always fought to tame his jealousy, only ever getting the leftovers. He’d never been praised for his good grades. His father always told him there was never any money for him to even consider taking a night class at the local community college.
Mick was a short-order cook at the local diner, and a good one, but Cara knew his aspirations were always trying to reach higher.
They’d both been living day-to-day in The Hollow. Mick had been vowing since graduating high school that he was going to split. Cara had underestimated him. She thought this day would never come, assuming Mick shared her own fears about leaving, fears that were connected to failure, only having to return and admit defeat. Silence hung around them as dead leaves swirled in the wind before skidding across the asphalt.
A gust of biting wind stung her eyes. Mick’s voice clawed its way through the shadows.
“We only get one life, and this isn’t how it’s gonna be,” he said, jamming the toe of his sneaker into the concrete.
“Why do you want to take me?” Cara asked, her heart tripping at her own question. She and Mick had been what Cara always thought of as “survivor mates.” This was a radical move. 
“No way am I leaving you here,” he told her through an irritated breath, his jaw tight. “It’s now or never. It’s this one second of indecision that can easily turn into many minutes. Minutes that turn into the hours of days, days that you can never get back. Faltering can do years of damage.” Mick swallowed hard, his eyes narrowing.  “Tomorrow night is the night. Are you in, Cara?”


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Through the eyes of a child

A young world, fresh and new, full of luster and amazement
In awe of sights that captivate
Visions implanted by a parental love
Memories that can be stored, reflected upon, again and again
Untouchable are the pains of life, repelled by the wonders of youth 
There are no enemies to what's dear in our heart
Seize the moment, watch, listen and learn
A child's eye alters our perspective 
Returning us to the beginning, polishing our minds, freeing us from the weight of a tarnishing world they can't see.  
Live it again
Carry it forward
Embrace the joy
Savor all moments 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Snippet of the Day

Snippet of the Day-

Kelly was just about to light the fire when a blackened mass caught her eyes through the trees. She lowered down to the ground, shoving the lighter back inside her pocket. She crawled on all fours, hiding behind an immense oak tree.
It’s him, the guy with the fancy car! She squinted, straining to see. He had a bag in his hand. Kelly felt her teeth grit. 'Great, guess he feels sorry for me.' She felt her body sag into the knotty bark.
He was good-looking, way too polished for her. Broad shoulders were draped in black. The satiny trim of his tuxedo gleamed in the darkness as he moved. Kelly shrank back as he started to pace up and down the tree line. 'What was his name...Dan?' She was certain he wouldn’t start trampling through the woods in his formal attire. Her breaths rose up into the peaceful night air, her heart pounding wildly as he pawed at the bowtie around his neck.
He ran a hand through his hair as his eyes skirted around his surroundings. Turning on his heel, he began to walk across the parking lot. His dress shoes crunched on the gravel as his figure retreated. Kelly shivered, wishing he’d just leave so she could start her small fire, get warm, and get some sleep.
She watched his form sharpen as he retraced his steps. Relief raced through her when he bent down, setting the bag behind a large stump. He stood and visually scoured the tree line and parking lot once more before admitting defeat and returning to his car.
“Man,” Steve groaned. “This is so damn, good,” he said, rolling his eyes in ecstasy. Drake had left her a bacon cheeseburger, pickles, and fries.  
Steve must’ve smelled it from five miles away, having appeared ten minutes after her visitor had departed. The hamburger was massive. Kelly had forgotten how big a portion was to the paying consumer.
How long has it been since we’ve had a meal like this?” Steve asked, his eyes sleepy, relishing the taste.
“Too long,” Kelly said through a mouthful. She reached for the foiled ketchup packets, tearing them open with her teeth. She drizzled the condiment over the fries before splitting the pile down the middle.
They ate in silence, picking the Styrofoam box clean. When they were done, Steve got the fire going while Kelly went in search of the trashcan. Steve stayed until Kelly got settled in her bedroll. The fire crackled, shooting red-hot embers into the sky like fireworks. Steve knelt down to retrieve his backpack. His blue eyes glowed, the firelight dancing in them, making them electric. A peculiar grin moved across his lips.
“What’s up with you?” Kelly asked, chuckling. The food was settling in her gut, prompting her to sleep.
“You know why that guy came back here?” Steve asked, his tone hushed.
“It’s nothing I need to preoccupy myself with,” Kelly said sarcastically. “Believe meI’m glad he brought the food, but—”
Steve’s voice rose over hers. “He’s looking for his princess,” he said, smiling.
“Ohyeah!” Her laughter rang out around them. “That’s the most intelligent thing you’ve said, Steve. Now good night...see you tomorrow,” Kelly told him, shaking her head and rolling over.
“You’ll see. Give the guy some credit. Just because your clothes are a little dirty doesn’t mean he can’t see the lovely woman beneath,” he whispered.
Good night, Steve,” Kelly groaned. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Blinded and Burned- A Lesson Learned?

Aspirations unlinked cannot unite.
Wanting to persevere, certain that happiness could prevail.
So deserving.
Longing to feed your need within.
Brighter days could carry us, entwining with desire.
pathway unexplored, yet paved with joy and love.
To emerge from a shady, forest.
An open field, a vibrant sun, the vast promise before us.
Friendship, the depth of connection, advancing.
A second set of eyes did not see, sequestered by fear.
Denial can be the enemy of most anything.
Blinded and burned by the rays and warmth of my own sun.
A veil conceals my resolution, an ending unknown.
The fearful pain of change, laced with guilt represses, and confines.
Powerful forces go against an acute energy, a potency that weaved between us.
The root implanted inside of me cannot thrive without you.
Did I abandon reality?
Emotions took flight, reaching great heights, my wants, only my own.
I wander on, berating my reasoning.
The light is now dim, your corner dark.
Thoughts of you enable me to hope…yet once again.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Snippet of the Day

Snippet of the Day-
Braided Desire's Birthday - Tuesday- March 11th

After dinner Josh found Cole in the office. He stood at the threshold of the door, watching Cole riffle through a stack of receipts, his face set, his eyes narrowed.
“I think you should ask our new neighbor to give you a hand before everything we’ve worked for goes to hell.”
Cole spun around, glaring at him over the high back of the leather chair.
“It’s just a suggestion, man.” Josh raised his hands, surrendering.
“Her father just died. What am I going to do? Go walking over there with my half-assed filing system, crying for help?” Cole shoved the pile of papers to the side. He faced Josh, then ran both palms over his freshly shaved head.
“Give her a few days to settle in, then go over and ask her.” Josh shrugged. “It’s not like we won’t pay her. I think she’d be better than that dumb-ass in town who calls himself an accountant.”
“Yeah, he’s screwing us over.” Cole nodded, switching off the small desk lamp. He turned his back on the littered desk and empty ledger. He ushered Josh out of the office, then closed the door. He needed to remove himself from the papered chaos.
“We’ve got to do something. Your parents will start spinning in their graves.”
“I’ll give her a week, and then I’ll go ask her,” Cole told him, his tone admitting defeat.
Josh patted his shoulder. “Go to bed, man. We’ll figure it out. We always do.”
Josh followed Cole down the hall, the floorboards cool under his feet. Cole didn’t meet his eyes before closing his bedroom door.
He knew he and Cole seemed an odd match for a friendship. Josh tried to be more open and willing to let others in. Cole’s exterior was harder, a thickened shell that took time to get past.
Josh knew this was a defense mechanism—an icy layer that Cole assumed would keep people away, though there were a few who were patient enough to persevere and break through. 

JC Szot

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What Lies Behind- Available Now-

What Lies Behind- Available now for download. 
Sequel to Leukemia, My Husband, and Me: A Turbulent Triangle. 

Chapter One
Mike Has Left The Building

“Whose phone was that?” my mother asked.
I think it was Justine’s iPad,” my sister, Cecily, said as she rose from the table and began to clear.
Mike had been gone for fifteen hours. I was counting them already. Every hour that passed slammed me in the gut with the brutal reminder that he was not coming back, not ever. His shoes were still in the corner of the kitchen, right where he’d left them. I couldn’t touch them, wanting to preserve anything he’d come into contact with, leaving things just as he had.
My friend Fran, whom I’d met working through the homemaker agency, had just served an outrageously delicious eggplant parmesan. I ate very little. My stomach was nailed down tight, only able to accommodate small amounts of food.
I reached for my iPad to check the incoming email. I had sent out a universal email as well as a text providing the many members of Mike’s family with all the service details. As I scrolled through, I saw that the email had come from Lyn, Mike’s oldest sister.
I had called Jan first after I’d found Mike that morning at 5:18 a.m. She’d been the one to tell the rest of the family. My family, who lives hours away, had gotten to my house as soon as they could, arriving by noon.
It was a muggy August evening. That morning I’d stood in the driveway, the rain drizzling on my head as I watched the gray hearse pull out of the driveway, my husband housed in the back.
Kevin, Mike’s best friend, arrived by 6 a.m., staying with me until the entire coroner’s investigation had been completed, a procedure that took six hours.
My mind was a discombobulated mess, filled with visual snippets, flashbacks of a day I’d never be able to forget. I tried to concentrate on the email, but had to begin reading it again. When my eyes came across the four words shut the family out,” my dinner lurched into my throat. As I continued to read Lyn’s email I felt my face go slack with shock.
We understand that you lost a husband, but we’ve lost a brother and a mother has lost a son. You have shut the family out. Why haven’t you been to see my mother?
I pushed the tablet away and got up.
“What’s wrong?” my mother asked, setting the dirty serving dish in the sink.
“Read the email. I walked outside. I needed air. I could hear the hushed voices of my mother and sister drifting through the kitchen. My friend Fran had taken over the task of clearing the table. The patio door opened behind me. I pinched my eyes closed,exhausted from crying throughout the entire day.
“I feel that email is inappropriate,” my mother said softly. “I think you need to call.”
“I plan on going to see Emma tomorrow. Haven’t I had enough to deal with today? Why hasn’t anyone been to see me?” I yelled. Lyn should be coming down here to see me!” I jammed my finger into my chest with every syllable of my words. The tears I’d tried to hold back spilled. I couldn’t believe Lyn. I’d just found my husband dead in my living room a mere fifteen hours ago, and I’m supposed to run and see her mother!
My sister and I spent the morning at the funeral home signing papers and then had gone to the firehouse, making all the plans for the luncheon afterwards. Once home I'd had to call Social Security and the pension office. Did my sister-in-law not know all the business that had to be taken care of when one dies? Today was only the beginning. It would go on for months. I felt my mother’s touch on my shoulder.
“Give her call. Tell her what’s been going onand that we’re going to see her mother tomorrow morning. Maybe if you verbally share the details, it’ll smooth things over.
I went back inside to get my cell phone. After punching in her number, Neil, Lyn’s husband, answered. He proceeded to tell me that Lyn had left the house and didn’t have her phone. I told him I’d just received the email and that Lyn should call. I set the phone on the counter and glanced back at my sister standing in the threshold, her face creased with confusion.
“Is she there?” Cecily asked.
“She went out. It just so happens that she left her phone behind,” I said.
“That’s complete bullshit!” Fran shouted, shaking her head. “Here it comes. Here’s where it’s gonna get all fucked up. I’m sorry, Justine,” she raised a handbut I’ve got a real shitty feeling right now, one that needs to be nursed with a glass of wine.
If I had had any type of insight into the sequence of events that would unfold during the next few weeks, I would’ve ended it all, gladly joining my husband in whatever peaceful location he was in. 
From this point on, until the trees began to shed their leaves, I would be chained and shackled, dragged through hell by a group of people who were emotionally handicapped and corroded with selfishness.
They say when things like this happen, you learn the truth about people. What I’m about to unveil forced me to face a truth that I never could’ve imagined, and I have a very good imagination, one that has served me well. My usual craft of writing is fiction romance. I’ve published fifteen novellas through three eBook companies. This is my second memoir.

JC Cerrigone/ Nonfiction works