#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

Book Tour for Annie’s Song ~ by Anita Dawes #BackwoodsFiction

GIVEAWAY

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/annies-song-book-tour-and-giveaway

Now in PaperBack HERE

This book tour is a bit of an experiment. Seemed like a great idea at the time, but I really don’t know what I’m doing, but everything is so well organised, it is happening all by itself, for which I am grateful!
As you know, life has been a little crazy stressful of late!

Better Late than Never!

All the indications are pointing towards a much better week for all of us, a little more freedom in the world and less problems for us to deal with, so feeling extremely optimistic.

Last week I really found myself rolling with the punches so often I lost track of everything. The truckload of family troubles had gathered momentum and what with worrying about Anita’s health, a large part of me wanted to just crawl into a dark cupboard and stay there.

The weekend was a game changer for most of our troubles. Fate obviously decided to play fair for once and with a bit of wangling, most of the bigger problems have faded away like a bad smell.

No news from the hospital yet about the MRI, but Anita seems to get a little stronger each day. She is really fed up with all the restrictions (and me being on her case!) I must be really careful not to overdo the nagging as she is a bit like a dodgy stick of dynamite! I mean, how do you stop someone worrying, when they were obviously born to worry?

The book tour for Anita’s new book, Annie’s Song began on Saturday. We will be posting all the websites involved every day to allow people to comment. This is the first time we have enlisted the help of Silver Dagger Tours, which has turned out to be more than lucky, for one way or another we didn’t get to do much promoting of Annie’s Song.

Best laid plans, eh?

With the dust barely settling, my mind is already wondering what to do next. I had some serious thoughts about the current WIP and might shelve it to make way for something different. Maybe something that has nothing to do with detectives?

We have been a bit lax with the newsletters this year, so must do better there too…

And finally, has anyone anything to say about STORY ORIGIN?

Sounds a bit like Book Funnel, but is it something we should be looking at?

Hoping this is a much better week for all our readers too!

Not With a Bang, but a Whimper… #MysteryFiction

Today is the day we chose to launch Annie’s Song, Anita’s latest powerfully moving story of Annie Steele and her family . It is now available on Amazon but somehow the launch just didn’t happen!

When we decided to do this, the virus was only a rumour, we were both well and confident about so many things.

How things can change in just a few months…

So, if you hear a mangled squeak in the blogosphere today, I’m afraid this is the long-awaited birth process of Annie’s Song.

We did, however, arrange a book tour with Silver Dagger Book Tours, which kicks off on 4th July, so we haven’t completely thrown the baby out with the bath water, so to speak. We will be linking with Silver Dagger during the tour and would really appreciate it if our readers could join in?

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/tour-sign-ups/annies-song-tour-sign-ups

Book Description

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 her 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?

We would really be grateful for any help…

Book Tour and Giveaway with Silver Dagger Tours…

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/tour-sign-ups/annies-song-tour-sign-ups

Annie’s Song is still on presale on Amazon https://mybook.to/AnniesSong until 1st July and Silver Dagger Tours are running a Book Tour and giveaway for a month, starting on 4th July.

We had planned a big promotion for this book, but this was before our world began to crumble… I will do what I can, of course, but if you would be so kind as to share the Silver Dagger linkaround a bit, it would help a lot!

If you click on the Silver Dagger link, you could even be a host and take part in the giveaway!

Best wishes

The Longest Day of the Year…

Image by Witchgarden from Pixabay

Today is the Summer Solstice, which means we are mid way through the year already.

When did this happen?

We have all been so busy worrying about so many things, that the year is half gone, and in a hurry to finish, if you ask me.

There is also a brand new moon tonight, so maybe the rest of 2020 will start well and produce some good results.

And speaking of good results, we thought we would celebrate the Solstice with some positive news. We have started the process of publishing Anita’s book, Annie’s Song.

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
and 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?



We would love some help with the book launch for Annie’s Song, now on Presale on Amazon until Ist July…

This is probably not the best time to publish a book, but we are constantly being told to concentrate on our writing, at least until the world has stopped cringing. Annie’s Song is ready, so why not launch it now, then we can both move on to the next story…

We will supply all the usual material, so if you can help in any way, please let us know by email: jenanita01@btinternet.com or in the comments at the end of this post.


Our Review for Wild Horses on the Salt by Anne Montgomery #Women’s Action & Adventure Fiction @amontgomery8

A woman flees an abusive husband and finds hope in the wilds of the Arizona desert.

Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.

Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress but is enthralled by the splendour and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.
Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?


Our Review

This isn’t the first book by Anne Montgomery I have been lucky enough to read, so I already knew I would enjoy Wild Horses on the Salt.

The Scent of Rain on Amazon about a young girl’s life in a fundamentalist community literally had me gripped by the throat, so I was expecting a gentler read this time!

Brilliant opening chapter, full of questions that I had to know the answers to…
Becca has run away from a horrible situation, turning to a family friend in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. She was safe, but not happy. She didn’t belong there, had nothing to do and no plans for her future, if that was even possible.
The author’s brilliant world building soon had me relaxing and enjoying the desert, the wilderness with so many horses. This was the kind of story I knew I wouldn’t want to end.
I loved the delightful chapters voiced by the horses, and although I was enjoying this beautifully written story, I knew trouble was brewing, simply biding its time. When it finally arrived, I wondered if Becca would manage to find a way to be free, once and for all…

I recommend Wild Horses on the Salt to readers of great fiction!

You can find more information about
Anne Montgomery and her novels at the following sites:

https://www.facebook.com/anne.montgomery.359

annemontgomeryauthor (@amontgomery8) | Twitter

https://amazon.com/author/annebutlermontgomery

https://www.linkedin.com/in/anne-montgomery-1b995b23/

www.goodreads.com/author/show/14081564.Anne_Montgomery

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Montgomery

annemontgomeryauthor@gmail.com


Excerpt from Wild Horses on the Salt…

Becca curled into a ball beneath the soft cotton sheets and the horse-adorned bedspread. She didn’t want to move, but then her stomach growled. How long had it been since she’d eaten?
She stretched, and her assorted injuries made her wince. She crawled from beneath the bedding, holding her side, surprised to see that she had fallen asleep in her clothes. Becca eyed the small garment bag that rested unopened on a chair in the corner. She needed to brush her teeth. She eased herself slowly off the bed. The bruises on her hip and shoulder were still fresh and achy. Becca didn’t glance in the mirror as she crossed the room. She’d had a black eye before. Understood the rainbow transformation that would render the area purple, green, then a sickly yellow-brown before the wound would finally disappear from her skin, but not from her soul.
Becca ran her fingers through her hair, then opened the door.

“Hello, Becca.” Gabriella Strand was tall with streaks of gray in her dark hair that was cut short and looped behind her ears. She wore teardrop-shaped turquoise earrings set in silver, a black sweatshirt that boasted a herd of galloping horses, black jeans, and a pair of worn black cowboy boots.
If the woman standing before her was surprised by her appearance, she didn’t show it. Becca turned her bruised eye away. “Ms. Strand.”
Gabriella laughed. “Oh, honey, no one has called me Ms. Strand in a very long time. It’s Gaby. Didn’t your aunt tell you?”

“Yes. I’m sorry. She did…Gaby.”

“No need to be sorry. Now, let’s get you something to eat.”

Later, Becca stared at the empty plate before her. She’d devoured the ham, egg, and cheese scramble, four pieces of thick smoked bacon, a stack of fluffy pancakes smothered in real maple syrup, and a large pot of hot black tea.
Gaby sat and wrapped her large hands around a mug of strong coffee. The older woman gazed at Becca with dark eyes, her face etched with fine lines that indicated a lifetime spent outdoors in the Arizona sun.
Becca didn’t know what to say to this woman who she knew only through stories told by her Aunt Ruthie. The two women had been college roommates, both history majors at Northern Arizona University. After graduation, a continent had come between them, with Ruthie moving back to New Jersey and Gaby remaining in her home state. But the two women never lost contact, had often visited over the years. When it became clear that Becca needed to leave, her aunt had insisted she would be safe with Gaby.

“You don’t have to say anything.” Gaby smiled. “I left some towels in your room. You can shower or take a bath, if you’d like. Then, rest. We’ll talk later.”
All Becca could do was nod.

#TuesdayBookBlog ~Cusp of Night by Mae Clair #ParanormalMystery @MaeClair1

The truth hides in dark places . . .

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Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house—a woman whose ghost may still linger. Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, triggers Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .

Visit us at www.kensingtonbooks.com

Cusp_AvailableNow

Forli, Emilia Romagna, Italy: narrow dark alley in the old town – ancient Italian street at night with lampposts and cobbled pavement

Our Review of Cusp of Night

“Equal parts monster and fallen angel…”

I knew when I read the blurb for CUSP OF NIGHT that I had to read the first book in Mae Clair’s new series, and I wasn’t disappointed.

It is an unusual story, beautifully written, dripping with a chilling mystery that draws you into the dark world of spiritualism and myth. Mae Clair skilfully blends and intertwines the chapters, connecting the reader to the 1900’s and the present day and the mysteries of both.

I especially loved the way the mysteries from the past begin to resonate with the present circumstances, leading the hero, Maya Sinclair into the paranormal discovery of an evil that somehow can live forever.

Why would an evil entity visit the present, dragging tragedy and horror with it?

This is the mystery that Maya needs to solve, as disaster begins to strike the people around her. Would she be able to solve the mystery and discover the truth behind the legend?

The tension had me chewing my nails, and then the unexpected sadness had me reaching for a box of tissues, but I thoroughly enjoyed every word.

Already described as  “unique, addictive and creepy…” this new series promises to be a best seller and I can highly recommend Cusp of Night to anyone who loves a haunting and formidable story…


 

EXCERPT FROM CUSP OF NIGHT

She’d left her purse on the dresser, keys by her jewellery chest. A half dozen shoeboxes that had yet to find a place in the closet were stacked beside a white rocking chair. Made from distressed wood, the chair had come from Mrs.Bonnifer’s antique shop. Maya had bought it on the spot after hearing it dated from the 1880s. She’d placed it in the parlour initially, then moved it to the bedroom, where it fits perfectly in the corner by the fireplace. Almost as if it had been made for the spot.

The fireplace had long ago been converted to gas, but the charm of the elaborate Victorian mantel had been one of the deciding factors prompting her to sign the lease.

A soft creak broke the stillness, and the rocker pitched slowly back and forth. The runners bobbled up and down as if someone sat in the chair, controlling the movement. A finger of cold traced Maya’s spine. Secondcrept into second as the deliberate rocking continued, the floorboards creaking in unison with the lurch of the runners.

 Barely breathing, Maya stood. Ever since those few seconds in the Aether, she’d grown sensitive to ripples on the fringe of normal. She didn’t believe in ghosts or hauntings but couldn’t deny the existence of vibrations that breached barriers between life and death. She was living proof of a “between” world. Ivy was the only person she’d ever told what she’d experienced while EMTs fought to revive her.

Shock. Trauma, they’d said. You were lucky.

Be careful here. Mrs Bonnifer’s warning echoed in her head. This place has a history.

Maya stepped to the foot of the bed, her gaze glued to the rocker. Its movement stopped abruptly as if an unseen hand had clamped down on the back…

 

mae author box.jpg

5* Review for Life’s Rich Tapestry ~ Woven in Words by Sally Cronin #shortstories @sgc58

Sally’s book would be perfect for everyone in lockdown, as every story and illustration will make you glad to be alive!

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Life’s Rich Tapestry is a collection of verse, micro fiction and short stories that explore many aspects of our human nature and the wonders of the natural world. Reflections on our earliest beginnings and what is yet to come, with characters as diverse as a French speaking elephant and a cyborg warrior.

Finding the right number of syllables for a Haiku, Tanka, Etheree or Cinquain focuses the mind; as does 99 word micro fiction, bringing a different level of intensity to storytelling. You will find stories about the past, the present and the future told in 17 syllables to 2,000 words, all celebrating life.

This book is also recognition of the value to a writer, of being part of a generous and inspiring blogging community, where writing challenges encourage us to explore new styles and genres.

 

Our Thoughts

There is such wonderful variety in Life’s Rich Tapestry by Sally Cronin.

A really lovely collection of poems and short stories, all delightfully illustrated.

Always a fan of Sally’s storytelling, I really enjoyed reading this book.

Originally bought as an eBook, I will be purchasing a paperback copy for my bookshelf, so it will always be there to read again (and again!)

 

#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody #UrbanFantasy @marciameara

 In Marcia Meara’s second instalment of The Emissary Trilogy, a Riverbend spinoff series of novellas, we find our three heroes at it again. Beautiful new places, exciting new adventures, and a whole assortment of new problems await them, bringing tears, laughter, and an extraordinary amount of love along with them.

 

Our Thoughts

Not all sweetness and light this time, as Azrael gets serious about equipping both Jake and Dodger for their job of helping souls in trouble.

I loved the chapter about the training session, and how Dodger and Jake reacted to the new strong-arm tactics.

I loved everything about this book just as I did in the first of the series.

The way Dodger tries to cope with his insecurities, and Jake’s capable and patient attitude. Azrael had me laughing, he tried hard not to lose it as he struggled to get his point across to these very different personalities.

You never really imagine an angel getting cranky, now do you?

The missing element between Jake and Dodger, always a possible father-son relationship, really gets going in this book. I found it beautifully written and very emotional as I never got to know my own father.

Altogether though, I thought they made a great team as they travel around the country, helping us mortals keep on the straight and narrow.

A subtle reminder that some of us in this world can’t be helped, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to know someone cares enough to try!

 

About the Author

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream.
Three years later, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go!
Marcia has published five other books to date, all of which are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format: Wake-Robin Ridge A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2 Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2 Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love
You can reach Marcia via email at mmeara@cfl.rr.com or on the following social media sites: The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/
Twitter: @marciameara
To keep up with Marcia’s latest news and giveaways, and win FREE stuff, sign up for her Mail List here: https://marciamearawrites.com/mail-list-win-free-stuff/