Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic could bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.
On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.
A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks. Will these two not only survive but find unexpected love along the way? Or will evil forces win and destroy them both?
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, Ghostly Interference, so I knew I would love Jagged Feathers.
Vann Noble is a wounded ex-service man, doing his best to adjust to a life he didn’t think he would come home to. A life he wasn’t sure he wanted anymore.
But life hadn’t quite finished with him.
What follows is one of the best many-layered love stories I have ever read. Heartwarming and affirming, reminding me that love can always find a way, one way or another.
The two leading characters, Vann Noble and Nakina Bird, are both damaged and hampered by past experiences. They were not looking for love, just a little peace and time to heal. Add an adorable dog to the mix, one who also needs time to heal, and you have a very good combination…
When a dirty blue car mows Maggie down outside her local supermarket, she becomes trapped in the nightmare world of a coma patient. She manages to rescue an abused and neglected child in this very different world.
But when it looks like she will finally wake up, she cannot bear the thought of leaving the child behind.
But is this other world real, or was she just dreaming? And if it is real, can she help this child?
“Maggie is a likeable character who is easy to engage with, and I found myself willing her to find the courage to embrace happiness. If you like a story that is more than just your average romance then I thoroughly recommend this one…” Amazon Reviewer
“Excellent reading, excellent writing with several unexpected twists that lead to…well, that is for others to find out too. A heart-wrenching and gripping story. Well done, Anita Dawes!” Amazon Reviewer
Excerpt from The Scarlet Ribbon
I felt the sheets being straightened, and deft fingers checked my tubes and wiring. I still seemed connected to the real world, but for how long? How long would I be allowed for goodbyes, even though I couldn’t say them?
It was childish, but if I couldn’t say goodbye, maybe it couldn’t make me go. I held on to that thought, hoping it would somehow make it true.
I heard the sound of rubber soles crossing the floor, then the metallic click of the door latch. I hoped Doctor Marsden hadn’t left the hospital. I would be very interested in his explanation.
Jack smoothed the hair from my face, and his lips touched my cheek. He whispered in my ear, ‘Where are you, Maggie? If you can hear me, please come back. I love you so much. Whatever it is, Maggie, fight it. Don’t let go. I’m not leaving this hospital without you.’
As I listened to him, wondering if he meant it, I drifted away again.
I had no idea how long I’d been lying beside Annie. Days and nights here seemed normal, but back in my world, I knew time seemed to be faster. I was so confused. I didn’t understand why I was incapable of touching Annie, yet the arm I wrapped around her hadn’t fallen through the mattress the way it did everything else. I couldn’t catch the belt, yet it had marked my skin. Why didn’t any of it make any sense?
All I could think of was that some inanimate objects were different.
Annie’s arms and legs looked sore, but the skin wasn’t broken. Her mother hadn’t even come to see if she was all right. God knows how long she would be left on her own. I could hear muffled voices from below, another fight brewing. Why on earth did some people have kids? If they were so capable of hurting them, they must have known beforehand, had some little clue that they didn’t really want them.
Annie had relaxed a little. Her breathing was easier, hardly punctuated by the remnants of the sobbing, although a shudder would disturb her every now and then. One small, grubby hand lay open while the other was closed in a tight fist. I could see a piece of red ribbon sticking out between her first finger and thumb. I reached for it but couldn’t move it. The determined way she held on to it even in her sleep, I knew it meant something special. I wondered if somebody had given it to her. I doubted if those things downstairs masquerading as parents had anything to do with it. It had to be someone nice by the way she clung to it.
I wondered if she had built up some false hope that the giver might come back and save her from the misery she lived in. I knew it was possible. It was also possible that the accident had damaged my mind, that this was all a dream. Whatever the truth was, I had no choice but to go with what I was being shown…
4.0 out of 5 stars Seeking answers on the other side
Reviewed in the United States on 17 May 2022
“Scarlet Ribbon” is a story that made me wonder about the afterlife and what is in between. Maggie was out with her husband when she was run down by a car. She ended up in a coma for two long years, but her time became relative as she found herself in a strange place. Her body was in the hospital, but her mind or soul was experiencing a different reality.
While she was under, she could see what her husband was doing and was taken to other worlds and the past. She wanted to help, especially a young girl. There was cruelty and a blissful existence that coincided in the different places. As she seeks answers to her dilemma, she finds out more than she wanted to about how sheltered a life she had and people’s true side.
I have always wondered what goes on when people are in a coma, and this was a fascinating idea of what could happen. There never seems to be one simple answer or outcome to Maggie’s desires. I love her determination to do what is right, but within her new world, I felt her confusion as she bounced from one situation to another. I was rooting for the person she connected with on the other side.
The story picked up the pace when she emerged from the coma, and work began for her to heal and try to remember. The ending was a surprise but didn’t feel done just yet. I hope there are more versions of her life to come and I will be reading them.
Many thanks to Denise for her wonderful review!
My absolute favourite story of Anita’s, The Scarlet Ribbon is 2.99 for the next two weeks, and can be found HERE
I thought I would get to the end of my current WIP, Ghost of a Chance, yesterday…
I expect many of you have reached this point, only to have the same thing happen to you.
In my head, one by one, each character had a but, and to be fair, they were legitimate buts.
Consequently, I spent the evening reviewing their ideas. I realised the story was nowhere near finished.
I eventually switched off my brain and went to bed after scribbling several pages of notes and detailed plans for at least three more chapters. As I fell asleep, I knew why this had happened. It had happened before with one of my earlier books. After staring at the story, day after day, I had become obsessed with coming to the end, as if this would magically be the answer. Of course, it never is. On that earlier occasion, the ending I came up with was rushed, and it showed. Badly…
Endings are so essential to get right. It’s a shame they came at a time when we wish we hadn’t started…
Is this bad habit just me, or have any of you had this problem?
This post is to show our appreciation to JOHN HOWELL, our kind friend and fellow writer/blogger, who has just published his fabulous review for Anita’s book, Bad Moon.
We have always found this to be a hard story to promote. Powerful, disturbing, and set in Virginia at the turn of the last century. Not one for the faint-hearted, for sure, although those who have been brave enough to read it have sung its praises!
We thank you, John, for adding your voice to Bad Moon’s journey…
John Howell’s Review
John W. Howell
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unusual Story Not to be Missed. Reviewed in the United States on 8 July 2022
After reading the book’s blurb, I picked Bad Moon by Anita Dawes. The part that got me was. “Young Annie’s life was perfect until she uncovers a nasty family secret, something her parents have been doing for years.” I was intrigued by the idea of a story about someone coming of age in a family with some dark secrets. I expected maybe some unusual sexual activities or maybe abuse. These would be bad enough, but it turned out undoubtedly mild compared to what Annie had to discover and overcome. The story is told in the first person by Annie herself. Although not unique in point of view, the author crafts the narrative so the reader not only sees the world from Annie’s perspective but identifies with the struggles Annie must overcome. Even when Annie is at her worst, I was always rooting that she would find her way to happiness. Although the setting is the backcountry, the emotional turmoil and the depth of character development give the reader the feeling that this story could have taken place anywhere. This fact is where the quality of the author’s storytelling skills shine. Using the backcountry setting as an excuse for what transpires in the plot would be easy. However, that would be a disservice to the story since the action gets down to fundamental human issues and predispositions that are not necessarily only the purview of uneducated backcountry folks. There are examples that I would like to cite, but each would be a spoiler. So I guess I will leave it at this. Once you start reading Bad Moon, you won’t be able to stop. The story is well crafted and moves at just the right pace. If you like well-written human drama stories with a lot of action, this one is for you.
From the very beginning, a prophecy from a creepy voice threaded throughout this story. “Winter is coming!” it warned. As the Journeys progressed, we became aware of additional related prophesies like one of the “lost white brother” and “the frozen sands.” Both of those are touched on in this concluding novella. Other threads from the previous thirteen Journeys also come together in this volume, which concludes Dead of Winter. .As many readers said they don’t want these Journeys to end, in the final chapter, I added hints about potential future adventures for many of the characters. These are food for the imagination of readers, so that the story can continue in the mind. .This has been as much of a “journey” for me as it was for Emlyn. I’ve seen truths about myself along the way. Perhaps the same applies to you. .“Who can say? What is true for us? That with which we are born? Or that which is the manifestation of our heart and soul? I like who and what I am, as well as the way I see the world I see around me, when I am a dragon.” .Thank you for being an important part of the Journeys of Dead of Winter. Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
Out Thoughts for Dead of Winter 14
The penultimate episode set even more questions.
So many problems to be resolved
So much truth to be discovered
The final episode has been a long time coming…
As this episode begins, the land seems to be holding its breath.
Mist travels down the mountain and through the trees, reinforcing the belief that the forest is haunted.
When the veil separating the Realms of the Living and the Dead from the Realm of the Dead was broken, life had become unbearable. Something had to be done, but who was strong enough to defeat Arawn, the King of Hell?
Warriors are preparing themselves, and in the calm, before the storm Emlyn is visited by her late mother, Eriu, who explains what happened all those years ago, and why she must help Boabhan and rescue her from Arawn.
My favourite part of this series was the developing story of Emlyn and Lucetius, although I was left wanting more. Maybe another story?
The author has excelled with this series. Every scene is worthy of the silver screen. Heartbreaking moments and devastating losses come thick and fast as one by one the obstacles are met and then defeated, leaving just the veil to be rebuilt.
Can Emlyn, a twelve-year-old child succeed where all else has failed?
An amazing epitaph for the series. Vividly dramatic, remarkably tense, an amazing, well-written story…
Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene is the acclaimed author of the epic high fantasy series, “Dead of Winter.”
Teagan lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA. She had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.
Her work is coloured by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cosy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy. That element is also present in “Dead of Winter” but the whimsy is presented in a serious way.
Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories spontaneously written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com Some of those serials have been rewritten into books, like “Hullaba Lulu,” “Brother Love, a Crossroad,” and the series “Pip’s Three Things.”
Major influences include Roger Zelazny, Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.
I wasn’t ready for the week to start, as still immersed in my WIP. I have made amazing progress, (some of Anita’s alchemy) over the weekend, so it does seem a shame to switch off that part of my brain,
So, I won’t.
Luckily, Anita has been busy too. A new poem, I Cannot Live and The Sunday Whirl Wordle, so I hope you won’t miss me today!
It’s official, I hate computers. The laptop is one of those touch screen ones, and apparently, I have the wrong kind of finger. And it’s not just the one, I have tried them all. The slightest touch has things flying about all over the place, and then there are those times when I can stab at the screen like a maniac and absolutely nothing happens.
The demon that inhabited the main computer that has now gone to the PC heaven in the sky seems to have moved into the laptop, doing all kinds of things that are out of my control. If anything finally kills my dream of being reasonably successful, it will be a computer. My ageing brain seems no longer capable of the kind of mindless patience (or insane tolerance) that is needed to use them.
I am convinced they are here to drive us all insane, starting with me. And as for using it in the garden, which was the plan, no such luck!
I thought this would be such a brilliant idea, combining two of the things I love most in this world, writing, and gardening, but when I tried, the screen faded so badly, I couldn’t see a thing!
Just when I thought life couldn’t get any worse…
It has occurred to me that it is quite possible, or more than probable, that the weird things my PC has been doing of late, might mean something is dying inside that metal box. And if I am right, this could mean it will give up the ghost when most inconvenient. With this thought firmly lodged in my (by now worrying itself into a coma) brain, I toddled off to Amazon to see how much a replacement would cost. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I can get a refurbished laptop for literally peanuts.
Panic over, I could handle it, whenever ‘it’ decided to reveal itself.
Now if I could just get my head around all these new improvements that are taking place at the sites I use, there might be a danger of progress being made around here…
Once more with feeling…
For some reason, the muse has wandered off again. I haven’t added to the word count on WIP or written anything new for a while. I get these blank moments that I’m trying not to equate to old age. It crossed my mind that whatever is wrong with the PC might just be contagious, as I also get periods of quiet in my head, a bit like being becalmed at sea in a boat.
Not that I mind any of this weirdness, as it sure makes a change from depression…
We are happy to announce our participation in Load Your Kindle for May! a brand new Book Funnel promotion for the month of May.
Loads of FREE books in General Fiction, Mystery & Suspense, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy, including my own mystery thriller, CrossFire…
Every decision has consequences, and logic gets you every time.
France Leighton is studying Egyptology at Miskatonic University, hoping to return to Egypt via a field school offered by that institution. But France has a talent for rash decisions, and things are complicated by the arrival of her twin half-brothers from England. Edward and Peter are contrasts—one a rational scientist, the other a dabbler in the occult—but they are equally capable of persuading France to help them with dubious schemes.
France does return to Egypt, if not quite the way she intended. She encounters old friends and new enemies, and challenges rooted in her previous adventures and her family’s complicated history. Accusations of antiquities theft drive France and her companions into hiding in the Theban Hills west of Luxor. An attack from the unknown turns an adventure into a desperate predicament. On the brink of yet another failure, France must make hard choices that may demand the ultimate sacrifice.
I loved the Egyptian theme of this book, interesting right from the first sentence, the perfect sequel to She Who Comes Forth. Despite being slightly longer than I am used to, I enjoyed the story very much. This story was perfectly plotted, with no plot holes or thin parts, believable, and with a strong cinematic quality.
France Leighton makes an impressive leading lady, considering the unusual life she leads. Obsessed with Egypt and its mysteries but without the necessary knowledge, France manages to find work at an archaeological dig site, sorting stones. A menial job, but she loves every minute.
She Who Returns is an easy read yet complicated tale, full of mysterious goings-on and delightful magical touches. Once I figured out exactly what shabtis were, I thought this element was one of the best parts of this story. Intrigue made real and plausible.
I found the ending a little sad, but I have the feeling there might be more in the pipeline, as I would love to read more about France and her Egyptian forays.
Audrey Driscoll grew up reading books and became interested in making stories. As a child, she made her friends act out little dramas based on Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, her favourite at the time.
After establishing a career as a librarian – first at the University of Saskatchewan and then at the Greater Victoria Public Library in British Columbia – a meaningful encounter with H.P. Lovecraft’s character Herbert West turned Audrey into a writer.
The result was The Friendship of Mortals and three more novels, which became the Herbert West Series. Two other novels followed, as well as a collection of short stories.
When she isn’t juggling words, Audrey Driscoll negotiates with plants in her garden, which is located in Victoria, British Columbia.
I loved reading Audrey Driscoll’s She Who Returns! I have always been fascinated by all things Egyptian, and thoroughly enjoyed following France Leighton as she explored that fabulous country.
Turned out to be one of the best and most interesting history lessons!