Bitter Pill Contest!

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33 Comments
First Happy Halloween!

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk books!

This is a little bit of a different kind of release day, but Stacey Kade's adult novel, Bitter Pill, is officially available on Amazon and B&N.


This is a novel that Stacey actually wrote several years ago.  It's a mystery with a little bit of romance and trust me, the main character, Rennie, she'll make you laugh too. It's like a grown-up Nancy Drew if Nancy didn't quite have her life together. 

I adored reading this book and I was so happy to be able to help Stacey make it widely available to more readers. 


To celebrate, I propose a contest!

How about another 100 word writing challenge. 

You need to write a short story using these five words:

Sheriff
Bitter
Pill
Misunderstanding
Criticize

Bonus points if it has a mystery element!

Post your story in the comments by 11:59 pm 11/3 EST

The winner will receive a paperback copy of Bitter Pill and my undying appreciation. 

Oh and a query or first page critique that you can use for yourself or give to a friend. 



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33 comments:

Megan said...

The heavy bars slam shut behind me.
"This is all a misunderstanding! I was set up!"
"That's the same excuse every junkie says, from pill-poppers to crack heads. You're all a bunch of low-lives," the sheriff criticizes.
If he would actually do his job, he would see I'm innocent. All he has to do is check the footage. Being betrayed is nothing new to me but not from her. Clare would never betray me or so I thought. why would she set me up? Now I can't trust her either which leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

ashland said...


That bitter bitch done did it again. She took the pill, swallowed it whole.

Only this time I didn't stop her.

Naw, I'd had too much of her fat mouth, criticizing me every other breath 'cause I was laid off. Broke. A deadbeat, as she was more than happy to tell anyone who'd listen.

But that ain't the case, not that she'd ever admit it. I got tired of her misunderstanding my position, so I just took a step back and let her do it.

Now the sheriff's almost here and I've got to wonder—will he see it my way?

Rebecca Fields said...

The sheriff raised his hand and silence filled the cavernous space. Entire families waited. They were the poor, the homeless, the addicts.

“I don’t want any misunderstanding,” the sheriff said. “The effects are permanent. You’ll never know hunger, pain, or suffering again.”

A murmur rose and the crowd pushed forward.

I’d been the first to criticize the rationale behind the pill, but it’s funny what money can do. I’d shut up and grown bitter at my weakness.

The first in line swallowed their pills. I glanced at the sheriff and he held my gaze. He knew. I’d killed them all.

Ambiguous_A said...

Only one memory is left, the senses within crossed. Tastes are sounds are colors, and somehow the mental misunderstanding isn’t confusing, but beautiful. Criticize me, hound me for more, but it’s all I have to offer.

Bitter black coffee on my tongue for the way he whispered my name, the metal cuffs around my wrists wet tongues, his timbre the last puff of gas in a lighter.

“I borrowed these from the sheriff,” he whispered, the weight of his words crimson, his breath dry from the pill we’d shared minutes earlier.

I never imagined what it would do to us.

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol said...

“I’m the sheriff.” Brooke pinned the tin star to her violently pink shirt.

Of course. Aaron sighed. Which made him…

“You’re the crim’nal,” she said.

Absurdly, this status added to his bitterness. But really, who could criticize him for it? Thanks to a bizarre misunderstanding, he babysat while this brat’s sister Lacey partied.

Brooke’s stubby finger became a stubby gun. “You’re under arrest.”

Aaron put his hands up, thinking: How about a sleeping pill? Knock her out for the night. But –
not cool to do to a five-year-old.

As Brooke cuffed him, he considered his real crime: stupidly loving Lacey.

Morgan Leigh said...


The sheriff emptied the bottle, a single white pill clattered against the wooden desk. It nearly rolled off but he quickly reached out and stopped it just as it landed on the edge. With a glass of water he swallowed it wrinkling his nose at the bitter taste of the coating. He tossed the empty bottle into the trash and leaned far back into his chair and shut his eyes. Tomorrow he would go to the pharmacy, holding his head down so they wouldn’t criticize him. It was all a misunderstanding, he wasn’t crazy he was unhappy.

fordhamgirl1 said...

please let me know if we can submit more than one entry. thank you.

Kay Kay said...

The tub is small, not large enough to contain my bitter tears plopping in tune to Rose’s ravaging through the cabinets. She cannot see me through the sheriff and cowboy-printed curtain serving as a barrier between our two worlds. Every bottle that slams against the floor, every anguished whimper gives me another reason to criticize her. Another compelling misunderstanding that writes out her story in a foreign language I can’t even attempt to comprehend. I don’t want to know, or to sympathize. I just want to hold her pill bottle close to my heart, and never let it go.

Asha Collins said...

My pulse speeds up. I can’t believe he had her come here. I swallow the bitter bile rising in my throat and press my ear against the door.

“Are you certain it was Phil? I’m sure it’s just a misunderstanding,” he says.

I hear her leave and, enraged, spring from the closest.

“I thought you knew what you were doing!” I criticize. “Does she know about the pill?”

He moves lightning fast across the room, snatches me up by my collar, and tosses me to the floor.

“Keep your shit together, Phil. I got this! I’m the goddamned sheriff.”

fordhamgirl1 said...

The Sheriff reluctantly hands me an orange soda. Although I’m more of a bitter coffee girl, I’ll accept any gifts at the moment.
“It’s a misunderstanding,” I gripe. He’s heard it all before.
“Pills this time,” he criticizes, “when are you going to stop covering for your so-called friends?” I’m wondering the same thing, but I take another sip instead of offering them up for sacrifice.
“Can’t you be my dad for a minute instead of a cop?” He pauses and considers the question before shaking his head no.
“I want a lawyer,” I insist just to piss him off.

Madseasongirl said...

Sheriff McEnroe shivered against the bitter wind. He’d forgone his coat to be the first one on the scene. He knelt beside the body better suited for Swan Lake than the strappy red number and high heels.

McEnroe lifted her shoulder and exhaled. The silver coin told him it was no misunderstanding.

“Hey.”

He clutched the coin and swiveled. “Deputy Marsden.”

She frowned. “You take your pill?” He stood, nodding. “You don’t have to be here, Mac. Nobody’ll criticize you for it.”

He slipped his hand in his pocket. His trembling had nothing to do with his GD pills.

Anthony said...

When Melody heard about her grandmother’s present, she knew it was a joke. A misunderstanding, perhaps. Before her Stage 6 Alzheimer’s, Agatha Hartley had been a bitter crone who’d criticized Melody unrelentingly and never—ever gave gifts!

Yet the package sat neatly on Melody’s bedspread with an envelope on top. As Melody lifted the envelope, she felt a pill shape. Her fingers dug inside and pulled forth a letter… and a bullet.

She eyed it, then ripped open the box. Inside, a pistol. Etched on the barrel, one word: SHERIFF.

Confused, she started reading.

First off, please, don’t shoot yourself…

Elizabeth Writer said...

“You criticize me too much,” I said.

The back of Jason’s hand flew towards me. His knuckles slid across my face, instantly bruising.

All I wanted were his eyes to shut forever.

After he left, I curled up on the couch and popped a sleeping pill into my mouth. I never slept much, always anticipating a flurry of punches that would shatter sleep and bones.

Heavy footsteps entered the house. The Sheriff rounded the corner and knelt beside me studying my face.

“Another misunderstanding?” he said with a bitter tone. He reached out and touched my face. “Jason’s dead.”

french sojourn said...


“Mornin Sheriff…coffee?”
“Mornin Doris… yes please.”

She pours a cup of coffee, adds a cube of sugar, and stirs in a packet of creamer. He tastes the cold bitter coffee. She catches his look, leans over, grabs his cup and empties it in the sink.

“Doris…don’t be that way, I wasn’t gonna criticize you bout that…coffee.”
“Bout…….that…coffee?”
“It was a simple misunderstanding.”
“God you are a pill.” She stops, and sadness masks her face.
“Miss him?”
“Sean?”
“Yeah.”
“He was our… your boy too…I miss both of you.”
“Forgive me.”

She wipes away a tear and starts a fresh pot.

Abigail Johnson said...

Sorry tasted bitter on my tongue but I said it under the watchful eye of the sheriff, nodded when words like misunderstanding slithered from Jeff’s tongue. Fingers dug into my shoulder as we walked away. I wouldn’t get my pill if I looked back and for days that became weeks that became months that eclipsed the entirety of my life Before, what else was there? The diamond glittered in Jeff’s pinkie ring as he fixed my smeared lipstick so gently that I barely heard him criticize the rest of me. Instead I remembered the smile that stole me, sold me.

Double Java said...

I was the addict and he was the pill that satisfied. Now he’s gone and the pain of withdrawal tortures me.

The white chair forms around my shaking body. It was the same chair I sat in the week after a random sheriff told me Jake was murdered. I’ve sat here for seven months, discussing my bitter feelings.

The old woman doesn’t criticize, she just listens. I tell her our last session was a misunderstanding and that I’m not hunting Jake’s killer.

I try to look her in the eye as I speak, but I can’t. Addicts are desperate people.

JF said...

Fat and sugar were my crack. Anything that was frowned upon during a diet plan was my pill of choice.

My mother always said she had two daughters, one was pretty and lean, and I was the other.

To my sister it was all my misunderstanding. But she wasn’t behind the closed doors when Mom would criticize me.

My sister’s hand wove into mine as we peered down at my mother’s casket.

Today my bitter feelings were disappearing. I was no sheriff, but this was justice.

Only I knew why the ground was about to consume her.

The Will To Write said...

Blood oozed between my fingers as I held my hands to Daniel’s chest.

“I told you I didn’t want you to be a sheriff,” I said.

“You criticize me even when I’m shot?” he said with a crooked smile.

It was supposed to be a minor domestic disturbance, a simple misunderstanding, a fun ride-along. Bile made my mouth bitter.

Life seeped from Daniel’s eyes.

“I love you. I love you. Don’t leave me,” I sobbed.

It was like I swallowed a massive pill and it got stuck in my throat, cutting off my air supply.

He was gone.

Zoe Ogilvie said...

People love to criticize, especially when they don't know the full story.
If only that was the case here, a simple misunderstanding. But the bonds holding me against the rough wood of a park bench were nothing if not deserved, a pill I needed to take, no matter how bitter the taste.
Michael stood at my feet, a sheriff on behalf of everything good, everything pure, everything true, everything I too had fought to protect. Until two days ago. Until the knife, the wholly unrighteous anger, the blood spilling from her body.
Until the release of the tears.

J. Lenni Dorner said...

The sheriff got pregnant even though she was on the pill. I'd hate to criticize our town pharmacist, as I'm sure this is just a misunderstanding, but someone tampered with the package. I wonder if he's still bitter that the sheriff cheated on him with me?

KrisM said...

Jada’s sleeping in my bed, still wearing her backpack. Poor thing’s stuffed panda is wet with tears. No sleep for me tonight, not without a pill.

Knew the bastard wouldn’t show. Again. “Misunderstanding”, my ass. And not a damned thing I can do about it. Sheriff don’t care none. I’m just another bitter ex criticizing some deadbeat dad. How the hell am I gonna make rent tomorrow?

Sonofabitch stiffed us for the last time. We deserve better, Jada and me. The law ain’t helping. If it’s the last goddammed thing I do, I’ll make him pay. Tonight.

Jessica Gibbons said...

Pill.
Aptly named. Didn’t they say owners tended to resemble their dogs? Well, he was a good-looking animal.
Stacy shoved Pill’s rookie nose out of her crotch, adjusted her hands on the gun, and pushed into the darkened restaurant.
Her tongue flicked over her teeth. Bitter as chalk. Where was her backup? She wasn’t even supposed to be working today. “Just a misunderstanding” Mac said.
Still, who was she to criticize the new protocol or the new Sheriff, for that matter? Yeah, too good-looking by half.
Pill, oblivious to danger, went searching for pizza.
Pizza?
“Surprise!”
Her gun went off.

Alexa Ratliff said...

Emily was excited to start college. Those misunderstandings with those awful girls were all behind her.

She wasn’t bitter about the way they’d teased her, criticized her, harassed her all through her high school years—or how Amelia was always telling her dad, the local Sheriff, how she needed to be locked up in a looney bin forever.

She wasn’t bitter, because Emily was a go-getter. When she had a problem in her life, she took care of it. Once and for all. She popped special pills into their latte’s and moved on.

She was glad to start over.

Hana Sheik said...

“Misunderstandings have a way of bringing you around.” His amber eyes flicked with renewed sorrow. I tried to avoid what lingered there and settled on drowning my curiosity with a particularly long swig from my bottle. The bitter liquid trailed a hot fire down my throat.

Beside me I heard the sound of familiar rattling, and I turned my head in time to catch him popping another of those mystery pills into his mouth. Criticism stopped short at my opening lips.

Out here Alex wasn't a sheriff, no more than I was the baby sister of his beloved missing ex-girlfriend.

Angelia Pershing said...

Bill Murphy had been the sheriff of Canby, a small town in Oregon, for nineteen years before he discovered his world shattered. Everything that he had ever known about the world, about himself was a lie.
He had long since had to swallow the bitter pill of his wife’s brutal murder. He had found her body bloodied, battered, and bruised. His misunderstanding of this town, of himself had led to death. He had assumed, wrongfully, that she was safe.
All he had left was to criticize his choices. To live with her murder, her murderer. To live with himself.

Shifters said...

Jess was happy once.
At first, she kept it to herself. A secret too terrible for any kindergartener.
“This is a misunderstanding,” Her fourth grade teacher said condescendingly.
Of course no one would believe her. Her father was sheriff to this dirt road town. The law.
Nightly, she shuddered as her old house groaned, criticizing. She prayed for a night without a visit. His bitter touch.
When hopelessness overcame her, she knew what to do. Who to see.
Clint, the town’s druggie, eyed her warily as he handed her the pill. “There’s no going back.”
She swallowed, unafraid of death.

Raven Rodriguez said...

It was a dark and stormy night—the glamorous Eleanor Blackwater burst into her local Sheriff’s office, distressed. “He slipped me the pill, Walter!”

“It can’t be!” He popped up. “My love, there must’ve been some misunderstanding at the clinic!”

A roar of thunder ripped through streets forcefully, silencing those who dare criticize its claim on the town.

“No, Walter, it’s the cold, bitter truth.” She started to weep. “I’m dying.”

Walter’s love was overwhelming and he took her in his arms. “I’m sorry.”

“Not as sorry as I am, you lyin’ louse.” She wept angrily and shot him dead.

Alexia Chantel said...

Great cover for Bitter Pill!

---

He likes to call himself Sheriff. Please.

At most he is a bitter man with an overstuffed ego. His steady glare never leaves my face even as he paces before me. The corner of his mouth ticks, drawing my attention to perfectly curved lips.

I grip my clutch tighter, the beading makes a cringe worthy grind. I can’t let those lickable lips distract me from this misunderstanding.

Then the unthinkable happens. He pops the top of my pill bottle and tips it back.

My jaw drops but I don’t stop him. I’ve chased that dragon, who am I to criticize.

Ravina Patt said...

I open my sweaty palm. This is it. One small pill. After this there’ll be no misunderstanding, no one to criticize. My transformation will be complete.

I peek out the window. Sheriff Landers will be here any minute now. I pop the pill in my mouth and roll it on my tongue. It’s not bitter, but sweet. I swallow.

Three, two, one.

First there’s complete stillness. Then I’m yanked into a void, like a hand grips my gut and sucks me into a tiny black hole.

When my eyes open again, I know I’m not on the same planet.

Annette R Burrell said...

Just so there is no misunderstanding. This was my life a hundred years ago.

My dad was always angry.

I remember when I was little I was his favorite. We had family pizza night every Thursday night and he’d yell from the kitchen, “Come on Katie. We have to leave now.” And then I'd run into my daddy’s arms. That all changed.

At age 14 the anger has manifested itself into something unmanageable. My mom seemed very bitter. One night I thought I saw her take a pill and then she slept for days. Then my dad began to criticize me more.

"You’ll never amount to anything!”

It was only when the Sheriff drove in our driveway that I realized it wasn’t about me at all. The guilt and shame of adultery had been eating away at him for years. Like vultures eating away at a dead animal, he had nothing left inside. I saw him sink to the ground and weep. Then as quickly as the Sheriff had left he gathered himself off of the floor, looked down at me and smiled a sad smile and said, “Are you up for a pizza?”

Lucius Cambell said...
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Uhu work said...
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