The dead don’t talk, they don’t play games They walk through doors Somewhere a chain to bind them to time Over time the stories have grown To keep the local boys from playing in the old mill House Many have entered and never returned The towns folk say it should be pulled down The sea has tried to reclaim the old mill house It stands perilously at the edge of the land If you visit the grave of Tommy Wilson You lose the power of free will To plead with your mind would be useless You enter the old mill house, never to be seen again… ©AnitaDawes2022
The Mountain Imagination writes the tale I tell on this dusty road I stood captivated as I observed the glimmering light I walk forth, knowing there could be endless possibilities With the sun setting, the mountain lay under a pink cloud I was finding it hard to believe my own eyes My personal belief now suspended I stood in front of an unidentified flying object wondering at the mind of the engineer I have never seen silver so polished, no nuts or bolts A small door slid open, I blinked There she stood, the most beautiful woman I had ever seen She beckoned, without hesitation I walked to her Knowing I would leave this earth, And go wherever she would take me… ©AnitaDawes2022
Nothing quite like the unexpected review to brighten our days and remind us why write…
Lately, we have needed a break from the constant struggle to stay cheerful, what with our health problems and the terrible weather.
Miserable grey skies do little to cheer us up, so when something unexpected happens, it is very welcome.
This wonderful review from D L Finn really brought the sunshine back!
“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.
Thank you so much, Denise!
Excerpt from The Scarlet Ribbon
I had no idea how long I lay there in the darkness, talking to myself, half hoping that someone or something would hear me and show me the way out. I felt like a defence lawyer, pleading my case before an invisible judge, promising all sorts of things for a second chance. I’d be more patient, and more caring and help all those who needed it. After all, thirty wasn’t a good age to die. That was my final plea. I’d be as good as anyone could be if they’d let me live out the rest of my life with Jack.
But who were ‘they’? Who the hell was I talking to? There didn’t seem to be anyone with me in that dark, empty void.
That’s when I realised I hadn’t left even a small part of myself behind. No children. For the first time, I felt regret. Jack and I had decided that we didn’t need children; we were enough for each other and didn’t want to share our lives with smaller versions of ourselves.
During our second year together, we had allowed one small invasion of our privacy in the form of a tiny black kitten. She’d been dumped in the rain in a brown paper carrier bag like unwanted garbage. It was soaking wet, skinny, and hardly able to walk. I remember taking her home and the look on Jack’s face when I took her out from inside my coat, her dark, spiky fur almost dry from the heat of my body.
It was love at first sight, and we took turns that night feeding her baby milk and comforting her. The following day Jack said he couldn’t stand the smell any longer.
‘She’s got to have a bath, Maggie. She’s a sorry state.’
So that’s what we called her, Sorry. And that’s exactly how I feel now, sorry that we didn’t have a child, someone to remember us, to talk about us when we were gone. But it wasn’t too late; I wasn’t too old, and there was still time…
She may be paranoid, but is she right?
A string of gruesome murders rocks the small town of Alexandria, New Hampshire, with all the victims staged to resemble dead angels, and strange red and pink balloons appearing out of nowhere.
All the clues point to the Romeo Killer’s return. Except one: he died eight years ago.
Paranoid and on edge, Sage’s theory makes no sense. Dead serial killers don’t rise from the grave. Yet she swears he’s here, hungering for the only angel to slip through his grasp—Sage.
With only hours left to live, how can Sage convince her Sheriff husband before the sand in her hourglass runs out?
Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and Expertido.org named her Murder Blog as “Best 100 Crime Blogs on the Net.” She also blogs at the Kill Zone (Writer’s Digest “101 Best Websites for Writers”) and Writers Helping Writers.
Sue lives with her husband in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and writes two psychological thriller series, Mayhem Series and Grafton County Series (Tirgearr Publishing) and is the true crime/narrative nonfiction author of PRETTY EVIL NEW ENGLAND: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs (Rowman & Littlefield Group). Sue teaches a virtual course about serial killers for EdAdvance in CT and a condensed version for her fellow Sisters In Crime. She’s appeared on the Emmy award-winning true crime series, Storm of Suspicion. In October 2022, she’s filming three episodes of Homicide: Hours to Kill for Cineflix. Learn more about Sue and her books at https://suecoletta.com
The mysterious red balloon that suddenly turns up in Sage Quintano’s bedroom triggers panic, setting the scene for a promisingly terrifying story.
Years might have passed, but the fear and the awful memories have not.
I have always loved the relationship between Sage and her husband, Niko, but this time, life might just give them more than either of them can handle. Worrying about them will keep you on the edge of your seat!
The tension in this story never ceases; reading it is like running a nightmare marathon. But I loved every word!
Haloed is one of the best thrillers I have read this year…
New Life Slow running rivers through summer breeze Winter leaves fallen, carrying new life Eaten by time, flowing backwards Every moment ticking into eternity Time folding in on itself, taking back Winter snow covering all the sharp edges Arriving at your destination, time slows Turning your feet to snow, your breath laboured Every step turning your body in on itself Reverse your steps, find that slow running river, step in… ©AnitaDawes2022
We love snow, but will we get any this year?
From a Reader to a Writer
I have always enjoyed reading books. Mainly for the sense of escapism involved. Somewhere you can forget about your own life and live someone else’s, albeit vicariously.
It has been a blessing, sometimes more than at other times, depending on how my own life was going at that moment.
I honestly believe that reading books has kept me sane. They have taught me practically everything I know, for if I need or want to know how to do something, I turn to books to find out. Nowadays, we have the internet, but in my youth, all we had were books.
These days, something else has been added to my enduring love affair with the printed word. Putting it quite simply, they have inspired me to write. You could say that the art of reading could do this anyway, to anyone. But up until a few years ago, I was unaware of this. They were my retreat, my sanctuary. Nothing else.
But then everything changed.
I had always been a compulsive reader, consuming anything I could get my hands on. I didn’t discriminate and read everything. If asked to list my favourite authors, I would have been hard pushed, for I loved them all.
Somewhere along the way, I have developed a ‘criterion’. I no longer just read a book. My brain seems intent on sifting the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Who knew it could have that kind of opinion?
Two pages into a book, and if it is not talking to me by then, I discard it and try another. These days I love the kind of books that inspire me and make my fingers want to pick up a pen. Not to copy or emulate but to write down how the author has made me feel. Sometimes I find myself with a book in one hand and a notebook in the other.
It’s as if a doorway has been opened in my mind. Artists say colours work for them; for me, it’s the power of the words and how they are used.
Something else has changed in me. I have always considered myself reasonably adept with the English language. It was my favourite lesson at school, and over the years, as I have said before, it has saved my sanity on many occasions.
For the first time in my life, I have doubts, and they are growing all the time. I have helped other people edit and proofread their books and have been totally convinced I was good at it. Many people (including an agent) once said that I was. I have also reviewed dozens of books along the way.
But that was before I picked up a pen and wrote a story of my own. I never expected it to be as hard as it was, for words usually came easily to me. But I discovered a very important fact about writing a book. Not only must it have a beginning, middle and end, but it must also flow, make perfect sense and be interesting to read.
It also has to have structure and subplots; the list was endless. I discovered to my horror that I was not as clever as I thought when the pen was in my hand! Words tend to come at me in a rush, short spasms of prose that seem quite eloquent at the time but appear quite truncated when you attempt to join them all together. So much so that I nearly gave up several times.
I began to seriously doubt I could ever be a writer, that this wasn’t something I could simply learn how to do. But I persevered, did my absolute best, and after my edits and even more soul searching, I uploaded it onto Amazon, thinking my work was done.
But I was wrong.
In my haste to achieve something that will hopefully outlast me, I forgot the most important step of all. Someone else should have read it first. Someone objective, who would come to it afresh, with no desire or agenda to bin it at the first error.
I learned that I can’t see my manuscript with a subjective eye. You cannot possibly hope to, really, because you have lived with it for so long. I wrongly assumed the reverse would be true, that the fact you created every word would make you more than qualified.
This was all so long ago, and I have learned so much more since then…
Don’t do it, don’t count the droplets on your window Wait for the family to arrive They are an unexpected gift in life A reason for thanksgiving, for celebration I brush away the dark reality where the black butterfly lives In my head, tormenting my waking hours Vigorous dusting of my thoughts took longer than I expected I decided to make the day memorable Finally, I can predict a happy new year… ©AnitaDawes2022
The Lord of light had me in a whirl My thoughts spun, like a giant Catherine wheel I am losing my grip on life I see disaster loom large in the distance Every now and then, I glimpse a tiny light In the crack of my mind, I curl into a small ball I wonder about my future, my body goes slack As new thoughts crawl through the black space My future is being written by a voice in my head My hope now, is that love is woven into all I do and say… ©AnitaDawes2022
A Butterfly Remembered We fly, we dance, we live. We are fleeting, our beauty remembered. There is double power in reflection. If you see us hovering over water Make a wish, it will come true. Foolish thought, you’re thinking. How do you suppose I became this way? My wish was to fly. Here I am in blue splendour. Before my time is up, I will wish again To be as I was, with a life of a butterfly remembered… ©AnitaDawes2022