#TuesdayBookBlog ~ Annie’s Choice by Anita Dawes #BackwaterFiction

Family or freedom, which would you choose?
Life in the backwoods of Virginia at the turn of the century was perfect,
until Annie discovers a nasty family secret.
Something her family have been doing for years.
She knows she cannot live like this, but her protests fall on deaf ears.
Her struggle to change everything only makes life so much worse,
Forcing her to try and escape…
Annie’s song echoes through the mountains
Her sorrow falls with every drop of rain
Pieces of her heart lie scattered throughout the forest
Will her footsteps lead her to the freedom she seeks?

Excerpt from Annie’s Song

Pa and Nathan left in the truck and it was another hour before they brought Josh’s body home. I know it don’t seem right to say it, but I wasn’t feeling sad that he was dead. Just worried as to how he got that way. Josh was no fool. He knew how to bring a tree down without killing himself.

Watching the truck coming towards us seemed to take forever, like Pa was going deliberately slow. We waited for Pa to get out of the truck and I could see from his dirt streaked face it weren’t good. Nathan’s face looked worse.

Ma tried to stop me running to the truck but couldn’t hold me. I climbed on the back and didn’t see Nathan getting out. Suddenly he was there beside me. I remember kneeling and touching the blue check shirt that covered Josh’s face. I remember the touch of Nathan’s hand on mine and the gentle way he said, ‘Don’t look, Annie please. Just let Pa bury him.’

I had to see for myself, had to know if it was the tree falling on him that killed him. My eyes were wet, but the tears wouldn’t fall. I pulled the shirt back and a scream tore at my throat, trying to find a way out. No sound came as I looked at what was left of his face, dark gaping holes looking back at me. Gone were his blue grey eyes, the very thing I liked most about him had been gouged away.

His face was scratched and torn and bloody. Dried blood matted his hair and dead leaves stuck to him. Nathan tried to take me away, saying I’d seen enough. I felt myself being lifted slowly from my knees, and as Nathan carried me away, and that’s when my brain registered what it had seen. The torn flesh on his face hadn’t been caused by the fall. The skin standing away from the bone and the dried blood made it hard to read, that’s why my mind didn’t see it right off. They’d cut Pa’s name down one side of his face, as if taking his eyes weren’t enough. The scream that wouldn’t come before finally broke and shut down my brain like an axe blow.

Pa climbed on the truck and covered Josh before Ma could see him. Lifting the body, he carried him to the barn like a baby. We buried him under the big old tree at the back of the barn. We all stood there not saying a word and I closed my eyes. I could still see him and was sorry I hated him most of the time. Ma’s eyes were red from crying, I heard her whisper, ‘Goodbye, Josh,’ before she turned and went back to the cabin.

Nathan followed her, but Pa stood a while longer before leaving me there to say my own farewell. There weren’t much to say and no one to tell of his going. I smoothed the ground where he lay and wrote his name in the freshly turned earth, knowing there’d be no marker and the grass would soon grow again and cover him like a blanket…

Now in paperback… and on Goodreads and Smashwords

#Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 186 #SynonymsOnly


Anita Dawes picked the two words for you to choose your synonyms from. Opposites are so fun to work with. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Here are your two words:


Upon me
By evil eye
Sacred ground I seek
Holy blessings I need
With consecrated water
Sorcery follows dark footsteps
Leading me by bewitching shadows
To bury this black curse on hallowed ground…

©anitadawes 2020

This was just what Anita needed right now, as she battles her way back to health, and I would like to thank Colleen personally for choosing Anita for this weeks words!

Nymphs and Chimney Sweeps.

Tallis Steelyard

Nymphs and chimney sweeps

It has to be confessed that as a child, Maljie was often short of money. Still she did what she could to remedy this, but was wise enough to realise that blackmailing older siblings was not a sustainable business model.

Thus one particularly hot summer she got the idea of having a pool. Given that it hadn’t rained for a month and the sun had beat down, day after day, this was an entirely reasonable plan. Indeed, rather than the regimented straight lines and harsh stonework of a formal bathing establishment, one suspects that Maljie had in mind a more sylvan scene. Thus she picked a time when her mother was out and enlisted her co-conspirators to start digging in a flower bed.

Now there is logic in this. Most of Port Naain is built on clay (or at least dried mud). So any hole dug should automatically hold water…

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Anything goes…

The Silent Eye

I was born in… well, we can gloss over that. Let’s just say that my childhood was spent in an era of extremes. War and calls for peace dominated the headlines, crooners shared the charts with pop groups, hemlines varied between revelation and medieval and most married women… and God help you if you weren’t… still stayed at home to raise their children.

My mother had already broken that mould by working full-time when I was small. She had grown from a pretty young woman to look like Susan Hayward and dressed like Marilyn Monroe. She had fixed ideas on fashion and it was into this environment that my first stirrings of femininity would flutter.

I was blonde when I was very young, with pale wild waves that were rigorously moulded into an acceptable shape with rollers, curling irons and a back-comb, then glued into submission with lacquer. When I…

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Daring to Take the First Step – Daily Quote 

Jo Hawk


Arborists say the absolute best time to plant a sapling is ten years ago. The second-best option is to transplant one today. Since I can’t time travel, the solution is to grab a tree, a spade, and dig. The tree’s species is less important than taking action. Digging is not rocket science, and can be accomplished with simple tools. A trowel, a spoon, a post-hole digger, or your own two hands will eventually accomplish the task. I might borrow a shovel, but the job doesn’t require a backhoe. What if your attempt isn’t perfect? Does it matter?

Current events have rocked our world, we feel confused, disoriented, and unsure. Insecurity makes us pause and stop. Inertia keeps us stalled, unable to move. We become embroiled in perfection, caught in the trap of possessing the finest equipment, the latest gadgets, and glitzy gizmos, thinking they are indispensable. The timing must be ideal, and…

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Book Reviews: A Killer’s Wife & Legacy of Lies

Joan Hall

Hey, everyone. During the past few months, I’ve read several books. It’s been a while since I posted a review here, and I have several to share. Today I’ll share my reviews of two legal thrillers, both by authors I haven’t read before.

A Killer’s Wife by Victor Methos

This was the first book I’ve read by this author. The premise of the story sounded promising, so I decided to give it a try.

Federal prosecutor Jessica Yardley created a new life with her daughter after her husband went to prison for a series of brutal murders. She’s well-respected and good in her field. When two new homicides occur, the killer appears to be a copycat criminal of her now ex-husband.

FBI agent Cason Baldwin, with whom Jessica has a past relationship, enlists her help. He wants her to talk with the ex-husband in hopes the psychopathic killer will point…

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Day Trippers

Peacock Poetry

This week young Andrew and I are having a Staycation and plan to be near water most days. Yesterday we headed down to the lovely Lac de la Gruyère which makes up for in rugged authenticity what it lacks in tourist amenities! As I write this post on the train, my legs feel nicely tired, my cheeks still feel warm from the sun and, better still, I get to go home and sleep in my own bed. You can’t say fairer than that, hey?

Wild Wander

Corona masks we had to wear

Upon the train to Lake Gruyère

The sun showed up with kindly rays

and soon our hike was underway

Some forest turns, around the lake

A rural zone – make no mistake

Where natural tones and wild prevailed

We looked for snacks – to no avail!

and as we reached the midway point

My hangry nose put out…

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Holiday Date by @Debbie_Cleo #BlindDate @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

The Quiet Knitter

  • Title: Holiday Date
  • Author: Debbie Ioanna

Copy received from author and blog tour organiser for review purposes.


Relationships are tested in this highly anticipated sequel to ‘Blind Date’.

Jenny is back in this romantic comedy, and this time she has her man. Life is wonderful as she switches her sex dreams for the real thing with her hunk, Zack. As well as feeling loved up, she must also console her recently-single best friend, Sarah. Those much-loved blind dates make a welcome return as Jenny gets the sweet taste for vengeance.

After a girly holiday to Rome, and a somewhat unexpected vegan experience, Zack whisks Jenny abroad for a romantic holiday of their own. However, jolly holidays aren’t on the menu when faced with a twenty-something stunner in the next villa.

Holidays take the centre stage for this sequel, where relationships are put to the test, at home and abroad.

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