WWWWednesday ~ 20th September 2023 #wwwwednesday ~ #bookblogger #booktwt

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is facebook-page-cover-4-1.png

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, where bloggers share the books that they’ve recently finished, what they are currently reading and what books they are planning to read next. Essentially, you have to answer three questions (the Three Ws): What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

I wish I could read faster, for my reading list isn’t getting any shorter!

What am I currently reading?….

This is going to be the longest week of Washington Poe’s life…

Detective Sergeant Washington Poe can count on one hand the number of friends he has. And he’d still have his thumb left. There’s the guilelessly innocent civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw of course. Insanely brilliant, she’s a bit of a social hand grenade. He’s known his beleaguered boss, Detective Inspector Stephanie Flynn for years as he has his nearest neighbour, full-time shepherd/part-time dog sitter, Victoria.

And then there’s Estelle Doyle. Dark and dangerous and sexy as hell. It’s true the caustic pathologist has never walked down the sunny side of the street, but has she gone too far this time? Shot twice in the head, her father’s murder appears to be an open and shut case. Estelle has firearms discharge residue on her hands, and, in a house surrounded by fresh snow, hers are the only footprints. Since her arrest, she’s only said three words: ‘Tell Washington Poe.’

Meanwhile, a poisoner called the Botanist is sending the nation’s most reviled people poems and pressed flowers. Twisted and ingenious, he seems to be able to walk through walls and, despite the advance notice given to his victims and regardless of the security measures taken, he is able to kill with impunity.

Poe hates locked room mysteries, and now he has two to solve. To unravel them, he’s going to have to draw on every resource he has: Tilly Bradshaw, an organised crime boss, even an alcoholic ex-journalist. Because if he doesn’t, the bodies are going to keep piling up . . .

(this one is crazy good, and I’ll be sorry when it’s finished)

What have I recently finished reading…

Blackthorn Ashes was meant to be their forever home. For the first six families moving into the exclusive new housing development, it was a chance to live a peaceful life on the cliffs overlooking the Cornish sea, safe in the knowledge that it had been created just for them.

But six weeks later, paradise is lost. Six people are dead. And Blackthorn Ashes is left abandoned and unfinished, its dark shadows hiding all manner of secrets.

One of its surviving residents, Agnes Gale, is determined to find out the truth about what happened. Even if that truth is deadlier than she could have ever believed possible . . .

What shall I read next?…

A psychological thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat!

Tyler Thompson is Australia’s young, brilliant and charismatic Prime Minister, riding high on a wave of popularity. But the past has come back to haunt him, and there is a shocking secret from his childhood that he will do almost anything to conceal.

The one man who knows what happened twenty-five years ago is back – and he is hellbent on revenge. Tyler’s precious wife and baby have disappeared, and their safe return will cost him everything: family, career and freedom.

But even that may not be enough to satisfy his nemesis – and the truth may be more terrible than he could possibly imagine.

A political suspense thriller that takes you from the remote Australian outback to Parliament House in Canberra, with twists and turns that you will not see coming. 

What does your WWW Wednesday look like?

#Six on Saturday…

I didn’t expect to find anything still standing after all the torrential rain we have been having lately.

I was pleasantly surprised to find no casualties, although one of the tomato plants was leaning precariously!

The yellow tomatoes are doing well. Sowing the seeds late doesn’t seem to have mattered much. All we need now is some sun for them to ripen.

I am not a very good gardener, as I don’t know all the names of the things I grow. Those clovers, for example. The large-leafed one is some kind of Oxalis, but no idea about the dark-leaved one! It kinda fell into my basket because I loved the colour.

The Love in a Mist I planted have gone over, leaving all those seed pods. Hopefully, there will be a lot of them next year.

I don’t remember planting that petunia, so wherever he came from, he’s most welcome!

The yellow flowering bonsai has been my sister’s pride and joy for years. I used to know its name!

The next few days are going to be the summer we haven’t had, so there should be opportunities for catching up on everything that has been neglected. I have treated myself to a cordless strimmer, to help with all the overgrowth at the bottom of the garden. Affectionately called the Jungle!

The days of bending double or kneeling down are sadly over, I must find easier ways of doing everything, in the house and garden…

Hoping you get some good weather where you are!

What the ???

After an uncomfortable night, struggling to find any comfort in my bed, I had staggered downstairs for pain relief at 5.30.

The next thing I knew was my sister sitting down on the end of my bed, waking me from the best sleep of the night.

‘What’s up?’ I asked, thinking she didn’t feel well and wanted company.

‘I can hear scratching.’ She said, pointing to a footstool in the corner of the bedroom. ‘From there.’

I was never at my best or sharpest first thing in the morning, but I tried to look as though I cared. I did care, of course; it was just not within reach right then. ‘Are you sure it was coming from the footstool and not the wardrobe?’

My mind was slowly waking up, going through what needed to happen with this latest development. We have had mice before, so if there was a mouse in that footstool, I didn’t want to open it up here in the bedroom. My days of crawling around the house on my hands and knees, chasing rodents, were long gone. The alternative didn’t sound much better.

‘Of course, I’m sure. Are you going to have a look, Jaye, because I can’t.’ Now I was properly awake, I could see she was scared, her eyes round like saucers. This was not something I had seen before. My sister, scared? Surely not…

‘Yes, of course, I will look, but not up here. And not now, I need to pee and getting dressed might be a good idea. Go and put the kettle on, I’ll be there in a minute.’

While I was dressing, I remembered that there was a chimney behind the wall where the box sat. Sometimes birds dropped stuff, and we often heard noises all the way downstairs; maybe this was all the scratching was.

I listened, all my senses alert, for several minutes but heard nothing. My sister’s hearing is legendary. She can literally hear a pin drop on Mars; at least, that’s what it seems like most of the time. She often hears mysterious humming that no one else can, and it drives her mad.

I approached the footstool on tiptoes like a secret agent. It was actually a small box with a padded lid, very useful for storing things we might never need. I didn’t fancy carting it all the way downstairs, so decided to risk it. I had no idea what I would see when I opened the lid. Hopefully, nothing that ran about on four tiny legs!

It was a bit of an anticlimax when I saw my collection of carved wooden ornaments. A couple of dragons and a wooden ball within a ball. There was also my jigsaw owl, assembled by me many years ago. I inspected them all, hoping I wouldn’t find any giant woodworms or such.

I had wondered where they were hiding…

Enjoy your bank holiday weekend, everyone! XXX

A Little Bit of Fun…

Today, we are posting a little bit of fun from my sister. She gets these interesting ideas from time to time, usually hand in hand with her poetry.

Image and poem by ©AnitaDawes2023

Don't say a word
The Universe is listening
Traps will be put in your way
Keep your desires inside
Pit falls you will avoid
Don't speak your thoughts
People will get in your way...

The Creator… #Poetry

Image by Kanenori from Pixabay

The Creator

As I sail through the river of life
I see stars reflected
I wonder at the hand of the Creator
I see the wonder of the universe
written on the head of a pin
I wonder at the hand of the Creator
I see our world multiplied
each of us in our own universe
At times I see worlds brush 
one against the other
stories told, déjà vu spoken on the lips of man
something known that should not have been,
a helpful push by the hand of the Creator…


Throwback Thursday: Not My Life… #Mystery #Fiction

Dreaming sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

All too often, it can be anything but. Not exactly nightmarish, but many weird, confusing images that can make you feel uncomfortable.

You find yourself worrying about them; what do they mean? Is there a message there somewhere? Why do we dream?

Doctors and psychologists have come up with some interesting theories over the years, but do they really know?

Common sense would seem to suggest that it is just the brain sorting through the day’s images when we are asleep, and most of the time, it does sound likely. But what about all those dreams that seem to mean something? Or those that seem to warn us of danger?

Then there are those that appear to predict the future, which then come true. What are we supposed to think about those?

Personally, I don’t dream much, not that I can remember anyway. The odd romantic fantasy about whomever I fancy at the time, but these are getting rarer. (unfortunately!)

Sarah Curtis, the lead character in Not My Life, is being driven slowly insane by upsetting and confusing dreams where she seems to be someone else entirely. Someone very real and in a lot of trouble.

This excerpt picks up the story when Sarah has wandered into the woods and gets lost…

I didn’t know where to go, so I let fate lead me off towards the woods. I walked for a while, trying not to think of anything. I told myself I should be feeling the beauty of the place.
The trees in their splendid autumn colours. Leaves fall here and there, making little drifts under the trees. I had heard somewhere that catching a falling leaf was supposed to bring good luck. I tried, but it was impossible. They seemed to fall gently towards you and then, at the last minute, darted away on a capricious breeze.

Trying to catch one frustrated the hell out of me. I gave up and sat for a while on a dry log, eating some chocolate I found in my pocket. Then I realised I had no idea of where I was and it was getting dark. I should have brought a loaf of bread with me to leave a trail, like Hansel and Gretel.
I didn’t feel too afraid; they would find me sooner or later. And later might be better. I walked on between ever-thicker undergrowth, hoping it was the way out. That a path, any path, would appear soon.

I found myself in a clearing with a pool, large rocks and slow-running water. My throat was dry enough for me to scoop up a handful, and it was surprisingly good. Deciding I was definitely lost and too tired to walk any further, I gathered up as many fallen leaves as I could to lie down in and buried myself for the night.

The temperature had dropped considerably, and my bed of leaves gave little warmth. I slept fitfully, dreaming of who I really was. A girl called Kelly. And Tommy, my four-year-old brother, who once again had been sent to the coal cellar as punishment for wetting his bed. It wasn’t his fault. Father had made him drink far too much water; he must have known he would wet the bed. And mother, she did nothing to stop his cruel games.
There had been times in the past when she did, only to be cruelly beaten herself, without saving Tommy or myself from whatever punishment he saw fit. I knew the house I was in, these people, my parents, as well as my own skin. Yet there was another place with gentle people I could sense but somehow couldn’t reach.

Soft cold rain washed the dream away, and I awoke alone on a bed of wet leaves. Lost, waiting to be found. Too tired to move. Too dark to try to find my way out. Morning couldn’t be too far away; I would try again then…

We would love some feedback for this book…

Childhood Footsteps… #Poetry

Childhood Footsteps…

Did I just grab the tail end of a plane
as it took off?
Am I soaring high above the earth?
How or why I am doing this
I cannot tell
I should not be able to breathe
My body should freeze at this altitude
Yet the air feels soft, gentle
Helping me to hold on
It wants me here to witness
The earth below in all its glory
At the same time
to know how it feels 
To be free of all restraints
The clouds brush against my skin
The soft touch of cotton wool
Childhood footsteps 
run through my mind
reminding me of mother’s gentle touch
the air pulls me forward
old memories drift away
I can feel my soul rewriting my future
As I let go of the plane…


Milo… growing up!

You will probably remember Milo. That adorable marmalade and white kitten who arrived unexpectedly just before Christmas?

Turned out to be a bit of a monster. Still adorable, of course. Very affectionate and all that, but still a monster.

There are times when we wonder if there can be such a thing as a cat with schizophrenia, as he does seem to have a split personality. He can leap from docile to demonic in seconds, and his temper has to be seen to be believed. He also has one hell of an appetite and has grown so much with no sign of stopping.

Milo had been desperate to go out for ages but had to wait until he was vaccinated and chipped. When we finally unlocked the cat flap, we thought he would sail through it, more than ready to explore. He had spent enough time looking out of windows, so his reluctance seemed odd.

We tried everything. We put his toys outside where he could see them. This didn’t work. He followed me everywhere, always hoping for food, so I went outside, expecting him to follow. Not a chance. Maybe he knew there was no food out there?

After a while, we gave him a little shove. We were getting a little desperate by then, as he still wanted to go out, but only if we opened the door.

He liked being outside, although he didn’t venture very far. When he had enough, he shot back through the flap like a bullet! To this day, he won’t go out through the flap but always comes back that way.

See what we mean? Milo is a very crazy cat. His temper is worrying us, though.

We first began to notice it in the mornings after our number one son leaves for work. Milo runs around the house like a ninja on speed, wrecking anything that gets in his way. We learned the hard way not to interfere or offer any condolences, to simply wait until he calmed down. I was badly bitten just by offering to console him, which hurt my pride somewhat.

His favourite pastime is trying to rip the roller blinds in the living room down. He can jump to reach the chains but also hangs on the bottom, managing to drag all the material from the roller. All carpets are his scratch pad, despite spraying them with a multitude of deterrents.

So you see, life with Milo is certainly different and not what we are used to. Well, mostly. When he is asleep or affectionate, he is lovely…

Those were the Days…

Image by NoName_13 from Pixabay 

Those Were the Days

I read a post the other day where they were talking about the wonderful sense of freedom to be found behind the wheel of a car.

Immediately, I was transported back to my independent, working woman days when I owned a car.

Learning to drive was a nightmare for me, as it took me a while to learn anything new, but once mastered, the world became my oyster. Not only did I drive myself to work every day, my family found newfound freedom with that car as we visited so many interesting places.

Becoming an experienced driver opened a very different world for me, a world where I finally felt competent and capable, something I had never felt before.

It wasn’t all roses, though; there were a few hair-raising experiences along the way.

Someone dropped something from a bridge just as I drove underneath. The windscreen splintered, leaving me in a state of shock and unable to see anything in front of the car. 

I had been travelling at about 65 mph, and for a few seconds, I froze. I had no memory of anyone behind me, but my instinct was to slam on the brakes in an emergency stop. The silence after the car stopped was deafening, and I sat there stunned and with my eyes shut.

I became aware of someone shouting, and when I opened my eyes, a furious man was standing beside the car, demanding to know what the hell I thought I was doing.

I couldn’t answer him. I was still in shock and confused, but I remember thinking, what the hell did he think I was doing?

More to the point, I wonder what he would have done in the same situation?

He stomped back to his car and drove off. At that point, I wanted to go home too, so somehow, I punched a hole in the splintered glass and drove away.

Another time, we were just leaving the garage in our car, feeling rather pleased that it had miraculously passed its MOT. It was a lovely sunny morning, and our spirits were high. We were looking forward to a visit to the coast that afternoon.

We were waiting at the top of a narrow exit ramp when we saw a rather large laundry van at the bottom of the ramp.

We wondered what the van was doing. Surely, he wasn’t going to reverse up the ramp?

Oh yes, he was, and he obviously hadn’t seen us waiting at the top. He continued to reverse, we expected him to stop at any minute, and when he showed no sign of slowing down, we started thumping the horn like a pair of crazy people.

Because the ramp was narrow, we couldn’t get out of the car. We were being forced to watch the disaster unfolding.

Our car needed a new bonnet and radiator after that, but our nerves took a while to mend!

To this day, every time we see a Sunlight Laundry van, we still want to scream!

I was a driver for more than 25 years before my hip put a stop to my fun, but all those years sitting in the driving seat were some of the best years of my life…