It has been a while since we ran a book tour, and since diving into the one for Ghost of a Chance, I am constantly surprised by how complicated it is.
I repeatedly wish I had started much earlier, as time is passing at an alarming speed, and I never seem to get everything necessary done.
It would help if I didn’t keep wanting to improve what I thought was already in the bag. Like yesterday, I decided that the assigned blurb for Ghost of a Chance simply wasn’t good enough.
Then I discovered the book file was the wrong font size. Yesterday was also Sunday, a family dinner day, so I was very busy trying to wear several different hats simultaneously. Something that used to be fun, but lately, not so much.
To round off my Sunday nicely, I then looked at my personal bio! (shock horror!)
This plant is called Honesty, one of my favourites…
It is Sunday.
Time to take a moment to catch my breath and my thoughts.
One of these should be easy, but not sure about the other.
To be honest, I don’t think that trying to catch my thoughts will be possible, as some of them have been safely packed away in a box, deliberately out of reach.
This is sometimes necessary to make it through the day without screaming.
I often wonder what other people do when that elephant takes up residence. I suspect, like me, they ignore it for a while, hoping it will wander off and find somewhere else to play.
Because I cannot do anything about this particular elephant, I must pretend he’s not here.
Just like I pretend there isn’t a blockage on one of my arteries…
Or a certain member of my family’s health seems to be slowly deteriorating…
Or that I haven’t a clue how we will manage if the bills get any bigger…
There… that’s all of it back in the box; now I can concentrate on all the good stuff.
Luckily, there is still a lot of it around if you know where to look…
Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water, Microsoft Word has stopped working, and nothing I do has made it turn up. So, I have been forced to see if Google Docs is as good as they say… and I must admit, it’s not bad…
The QA hospital is one huge building, been around since 1904. Parts of it are old and past their best. After twelve hours of sitting in the emergency department, they sent me to one of these old wards.
This ward was not the cleanest place I have ever been in. It was shabby and untidy, and the staff seemed like robots on automatic pilots. An assessment ward is where they put you if unsure of your treatment. Eventually, I would be moved and secretly quite glad of that.
After a few hours, a couple of porters turned up to take me somewhere else. I thought I would walk there, but no. I was told to climb on the bed, and off we went.
I assumed, wrongly, it turned out that my destination would be nearby, but it was on the other side of the hospital, so it was a long ride.
The ward I found myself in couldn’t have been more different. The minute they pushed my bed and me through the door, the patients already there cheered and welcomed me.
It was at the top of the building. It looked new, bright and airy, spacious and cheerful. I was really impressed. The view from the windows was amazing. I could see the sea and most of Portsmouth, including the Spinnaker Tower.
The difference didn’t stop there. In the other ward, you always had to ask for things, like fresh water or help. Here in this ward, chilled water arrives regularly as if by magic. I would only be there for a few days, but those lovely ladies made a sorry occasion much better.
So, time to tell you the bad news.
It had been eleven years since my first heart attack and subsequent stent, so I was expecting more of the same. After my arrival in the Cath Lab yesterday, for what was going to be quick and easy like the last time, I was confident that my troubles were over.
The time went by, and after a while, I knew something was wrong. And when the technician approached me with one of the saddest faces and quietly said, ‘I am sorry, my hopes fled.
There was a blocked artery, but it was hiding behind the stent they put in last time. I wonder how often that happens? They had tried several times to clear the blockage and had to admit defeat. I had the feeling this didn’t happen very often, judging by his face. Later, the consultant explained that it resisted because the blockage had been growing for a while.
Hearing this, I felt really guilty. This had to be my fault, as I have ignored the signs for ages, not wanting to upset Anita and cause her more problems. Her heart problems are so much worse than mine!
So, I have come home with new medication to ease the problem, but if it doesn’t do the trick, there is another procedure they can do to solve the problem. They seemed reluctant to do it yet, so I wonder why they didn’t do it while I was spreadeagled on the table…
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
After weeks of frustration, nothing working the way it should never mind used to, I am extremely happy to report that changing our browser has wiped the slate clean, and the joy of blogging has returned!
I have just spent all morning visiting everything and practically everybody and have not encountered one malfunction. Every like button responded, every comment was accepted, and passwords were always ready and waiting.
I didn’t meet any hitches, delays or errors of any kind.
Riding high on this wave of euphoria, I went for broke and went back to Buffer, a site I have used for years to schedule posts and promo stuff. For some reason, and I can only guess it began with a tinkering, they have been refusing to connect with our Facebook account.
I pressed the button, held my breath, and voila! We were instantly connected.
The transfer from Firefox was painless too. Everything transferred to Edge in literally seconds. I say everything, but I did have to replace those emojis on Twitter, but that was all.
When I think of all the frustration I have been putting up with these past weeks, I am kicking myself for not thinking of this sooner…
Off to wrap up the ending of Ghost of a Chance in a much better frame of mind!
This is for all the hot weather spots in the world… here in UK, ours will hit us hard on Sunday, so we will be visiting this beautifully cool place all day! (not really, of course, but it would be lovely!)