Colleen’s Weekly Tanka #Poetry Challenge

#Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 221 #SynonymsOnly

This week, Jude chose the words for you to select your synonyms:

Search & Lost

The hunt on
I am adrift
They can look for me
I will not stay dead long
I can explore this new world
I hear their tears in the distance
They search my blank face for signs of life
The machine waiting, do they flip the switch?

© Anita Dawes 2021

Image by Lutz Peter from Pixabay

Review for Girl in the Walls by A J Gnuse #GothicRomance

Girl in the Walls: A thrilling fiction debut, the Gothic novel of 2021 Kindle Edition

She doesn’t exist. She can’t exist.

‘A uniquely gothic tale about grief, belonging and hiding in plain sight’ Jess Kidd, author of Things in Jars

’Those who live in the walls must adjust, must twist themselves around in their home,
stretching themselves until they’re as thin as air. Not everyone can do what they can.
But soon enough, they can’t help themselves. Signs of their presence remain in a house.
Eventually, every hidden thing is found.’

Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.

Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists?

And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?

Our Review

When I began to read Girl in the Walls, I wondered why anyone would want to live in a house without anyone knowing, or it was even possible. I knew all about hollow walls and the spaces in the attics and cellars, but how would someone survive, having to eat and drink in secret?

I loved how Elise listens to everything and how she finds comfort in knowing what is going on around her.  The way that old clock with all its different sounds helps her to keep track of the time.

This story made me more conscious of the noises in my own house, all those noises we usually ignore, telling ourselves it’s just the building settling or the timbers contracting.

Elise’s story is devastatingly sad but beautifully written, describing the desperate lengths a child will go to find a safe place. Elise’s story grabbed hold of me like the poor lost child she is, insisting that I stay with her and read every word.

Jonah Traust, a villain in handyman’s clothing, obsessed with the notion that houses have secret occupants, terrified me as he hunted for the mystery presence in the house. I was on the edge of my seat as he systematically homed in on the poor child.

Elise is determined to stay hidden when the levee breaks after a storm and flood waters attack the house. Traust perishes, battling on in his search, and I could breathe again.

I worried for Elise. How would she survive if the house did not?

This story is both terrifying and upsetting. The fate of Elise, this helpless child, will haunt me for a long time…

#Throwback Thursday : Shattered Figurines… (Det. Jo Naylor Series Book 1) Our 5* review for Allan Hudson’s brilliant new #Adventure Story @hudson_allan



Detective Josephine Naylor receives an email telling her where to find the last body. The messenger tells her “only you can stop this madness”. Discovering a shattered figurine on the corpse, she’s overwhelmed by the possibility it might be the one she sold in a yard sale. If so, she knows who the killer could be. She prays that she’s wrong…

Our Review

The opening chapter presents the detective, Jo Naylor, with a very important question. One she didn’t really want to answer but knows she must.

The next chapter, one year later, hits you square in the face with full on complicated and violent action as we discover what this story is all about.

Shattered Figurines is a surprisingly unusual detective story in that it doesn’t follow the usual plotline for this genre and the characters aren’t run of the mill either. The author has captured a very real element in both the story and the characters and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I love a good detective mystery story and Shattered Figurines is one of the best I have read this year. I shall be first in the queue when the author writes another one in this series.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie ~ Photo Challenge #360 #Poetry

Yuuki Morita


There are days when I feel like a wild dog

Ready to devour anything that gets in my way

I am the silver back gorilla, king of my own urban jungle

I am expected to have eight arms

Like the octopus, to get the workload done

I try blending in like the chameleon

I feel the slow plod of the rhinoceros baked in the sun

This is the menagerie I call my mind

With bull frogs calling, late into the night

Still, I sleep with the silence of the lambs…

© Anita Dawes 2021

The Sunday Whirl ~ Wordle 496 ~ #Poetry

Wordle 496

It is no surprise my soul has sunk below the water line

I lost the race to suppress the evil in me.

I had a morsel of hope, for the feeling of shame

Would act like a hand to pull me back to reality.

I would not wait in line to vote that Spring

would bring forth the changes

To prevent my soul from becoming charcoal

It is inhumane to ask the congregation

For more prayers, rosaries spoken on my behalf.

I am beyond redemption…

© Anita Dawes 2021

#Whatdoyousee ~ #Keepitalive ~ #WDYS ~ #Poetry

What do you see # 74 – March 22, 2021

Image credit; Eric Muhr @ Unsplash

(For the visually challenged reader, this image shows a forest scene with a path going deep into the forest. The trees at the distance are shrouded in mist)

As I walk the woodland path

Two giant sentinels hold my attention for a moment,

while I ponder the mist shrouded distance

Should I walk further into the unknown?

Will this strange feeling let me pass?

The soft whisper in my mind underlines the words

careful, you may not find your way back.

On this occasion, the feeling had me

turning on my heels to the safety of home.

I will forever wonder what lay beyond the mist.

My mind stretching, growing with every scenario

Turning away, has given me so much more…

© Anita Dawes 2021

The Sunday Whirl ~ #Wordle 495

I have given up on the idea of becoming enlightened

By some trick of the mind, meditating,

floating over your favourite meadow.

Ideas written by supposed enlightened minds

don’t work for me.

I resign myself to the fact that my shine is hidden miles away.

I stab another needle into my homemade doll,

Whispering rude things

while telling myself I am entitled to get my own back.

The child in me remembers the fright.

The evil intended by so-called friends.

There can be no reconciliation.

Their denial of wrongdoing falls on deaf ears.

The bile rose in my throat

As I stabbed the last needle into the doll’s image

Let the deed be done…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #110

The image is from RHADS at DeviantArt.

For the visually challenged writer, the image shows a pole on top of which are surveillance cameras pointed in every direction, a Do Not Enter road symbol, and a sign with a drawing of a brain. In the distance are smokestacks spewing gray smoke into the atmosphere.

To all fools that enter here

Deposit your brain at the door!

Once inside, you will no longer know how to use it…

© Anita Dawes 2021