Our Review for Emilia by Na’ama Yehuda #Psychological Fiction @NaamaYehuda

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It is the late 1800s. A young child is kidnapped by her tutor and secreted into seclusion, muted by terror. Will she find sanctuary, and her voice, before it is too late and she is silenced forever? Can anyone she risks to trust, truly protect her? What if safety is only an illusion and nightmares come alive?

As the child’s trail goes cold, Mark Monsey, police officer, remains haunted by it. In spite of little departmental support, he doggedly follows what clues he has. Crisscrossing the county from isolated lighthouses, estates, and groundskeeper’s cottages, to limestone caves, spooky cellars and dreary train stations, he becomes increasingly aware things are not what they seem and he is being deceived.

Can he find the truth, and will it matter when storm clouds and death spread faster than any of them can foresee?

 

Our Review

We first meet KayAnne Brisbane travelling on a train with Emilia, a delicate five-year-old child, a most mysterious beginning. How they came to be on this train is brought to us slowly by revealing flashbacks that explain KayAnne’s motives. She had been employed as a tutor for the child, but after six weeks, she was informed that her services were no longer required, as the child would be going to boarding school.

Unable to bear the thought of her fragile charge being subjected to this, she runs away with the child. But where were they going and what did she hope to find when they got there?

This book is written in an atmospheric style, reminding me very much of a hauntingly illustrated copy of Jane Eyre that I read years ago. Reading this story will break your heart, a compelling story of fear and pain, abuse and nightmare.

The horrifying suspense is there from the first page, turning like a corkscrew with your emotions. The harsh subject matter is somehow made worse by the powerful description and settings, but there is healing there too. You feel it slowly working its magic as you read on, all the way to the nail-biting conclusion…

 

Excerpt

She took a deep breath. She looked down at Emilia, who seemed fit to fall over with exhaustion. “We’ll be on the train soon,” KayAnne said, “and then you can rest some more, okay?” Emilia hung big eyes on her and said nothing, not even in a nod. She knew the child could use some reassurance.

She should tell Emilia where they were going, or at least tell her that all would be well … but she didn’t know if it will all be well, and felt unable to promise what might unravel. She could only put one foot in front of the other and hope beyond reason even as she dragged this poor child all this distance. What if what Emilia needed—what they both were desperate for—wasn’t there? Bereft of reassuring things to say, KayAnne just squeezed Emilia’s hand and prayed her own fear didn’t get communicated anyway…

 

About the Author

Na’ama Yehuda was born and raised in Israel, lived in Africa as a young child, and currently resides in New York City. A Speech Language Pathologist and Audiologist with over 25 years’ experience, she works with children of all ages, teaches internationally, consults, writes, trains professionals, and loves it all. Writing is in Na’ama’s soul and children are her passion, as she aims to spotlight connection, communication, and attachment in development. She also thoroughly enjoys a good story, a good laugh, and a goodly bit of playfulness. One of seven sisters, and aunt (and grand-aunt) to many nieces and nephews, Na’ama is blessed with an amazing family. Goats and beaches never fail to make her happy, and she adores life, words, and the grace of connection. Author of both fiction and professional titles, she is always writing at least two things simultaneously (Yes, a sequel to “Outlawed Hope” is in the works, as is a book for young adults, and more). Visit her at: naamayehuda.com

 

 

 

 

 

#TuesdayBookBlog: CrossFire by Jaye Marie #CrimeThriller #Fiction

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DI David Snow has another killer to catch, a killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits. 

Betrayal and lies come to the surface as Snow struggles to find the truth, but is he looking in all the wrong places?

Can he outwit the killer, or will the truth cost him his life?

 

Excerpt from CrossFire

‘Do you know why we have brought you here today, Ann?’

Ruth thought she would ease her way in, rather than accuse her straight off, for triggering any hostility wouldn’t get them anywhere.

The woman stared at Ruth, her pale, colourless eyes searching for clues. ‘Nah… but I ‘spect you’ll get to it pretty quick…’

Ruth indicated a brown paper bag on the table beside her. ‘We found a pair of work boots at your house, Ann. According to your husband, they’re not his. Are they yours?’

Ann Taylor glared at Ruth. She seemed to be enjoying the interview, her arrogance showing through the previous nervousness. ‘Dunno, can’t see them can I?’

Ruth undid the bag and placed the dirty boots on the table. Most of the mud had dried and fallen off, but still didn’t seem like the kind of boot a woman would wear. ‘Are these your boots, Ann?’

Without looking at the boots, she shook her head. ‘Nah, I don’t think so.’

Ruth looked at Snow, but not for confirmation. She wondered why he was choosing to stay silent. What was the point of sitting in if he wasn’t going to contribute? Not that she cared, one way or the other. She had only looked at him to signify inclusion.

She looked back at the woman. ‘Are you quite sure, Ann?’

The woman shrugged her shoulders and refused to speak.

‘For the benefit of the tape, Ann Taylor has refused to answer.’

Ruth decided to read out the coroner’s report, detailing every bruise and damage to the child’s body. When she read the part about the boot imprint on the child’s back, she slid the photograph across the table in front of the mother.

‘Did you do this, Ann?’

When the woman didn’t answer, Ruth decided it was time to play the ace card, and she looked forward to it. This cold-hearted bitch of a woman was about to be arrested, but not before Ruth had enjoyed herself. ‘Are you aware that the person who wore these boots would have left significant DNA inside them?’

Ruth paused, watching as the realisation sunk in.  ‘And are you also aware that we have tested your DNA and it has been proved that you are the owner of these boots?’

The fear and shame were beginning to show on the woman’s face, and Ruth watched, wondering what she would do now. She didn’t have to wait long to find out.

Ann Taylor’s face seemed to implode, as the terror of being found out took effect.  ‘I swear I don’t remember that part… I know I were angry, but when she fell over and banged her head, I thought she were dead…’

‘So what did you do then, Ann?’ Ruth knew what had happened next, but not which one of them had done it.  ‘Were you aware that Amy was still alive when you dropped her into the canal?’

The horror was all-encompassing, as the woman realised the enormity of what she had done. She looked around the room, just once, before she started screaming…

 

 

 

Another memory of the Falls…

 

St. Nectan’s Falls

 

On one of our trips to Cornwall, we decided to seek out St Nectan’s Glen.

Not realising there was a short cut, we took the long walk through the fields along a small path to get to the Falls.  Single file small!

There were cliffs to one side, the other a sheer drop that was full of trees, nothing soft to break a fall. I moaned all the way there, to find the waterfall at the end, the most wonderful sight.

Jaye had stepped into her own paradise, her love of water. It was plain to see, her face lit up as if the sun shone where there was none.

We noticed people high on a ridge, at the top of the waterfall.

Jaye has a fear of heights, but that day she conquered it, to get as close as she could to the top of the Falls. I am not kidding when I say that there was barely room for a pigeon on this ridge. There we were, my entire family, along with any future grandchildren I might have, vanished in fear.

Squeezing past people coming down was the moment I realised just how dangerous this was. Even now, when I think about it, I remember the nightmares I suffered. I still believe we were fools to have climbed up there.

We found our way to the small hut where St Nectan lived out his days. We signed the visitor book. Back on the flat ground, I gave a sigh of relief. Never again, I said, more times than I can count.

The thing I remember most was the deafening sound of the water and how cold it felt. Would I go again?

Maybe, but taking the shortcut, and no climbing high…

 

 

(This was Anita’s memory of the day I posted about HERE  )

#Wordle 394 ~ #TheSundayWhirl

 

 

Running

Running towards a dark passage

My legs were filled with concrete

The Other is right behind me

I hear the sound, heavy clang of metal

The chain he carries, a reminder of pain

This is no Halloween prank

The Other keeps pace with my fear

No place left to run

I lean against the gate

the metal bar pressed to my back

I rub sweat from my eyes

Instinct tells me to jump the gate

I have no plan to defend myself

The sound of the chain, closer

Made heavier by the darkness

The Other steps from the dark passage

wearing my face…

AAAAA

#Wordle 392

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Not My World

I paid my tithe, ten per cent of all I earned

Still, I was dragged through the wormhole

The ride smooth, my trial begins.

Bright lights beckoned, whispered voices warning

turn back if you can, for you the light holds danger.

A dark vial fell across my eyes

I could hear a rushing tide

Maybe I could swim my way out?

Chide by a strong male voice, “Just hold on,

a way out will show itself…”

My father’s voice helped me traverse the wormhole

My body fell on hard ground

I felt like Alice in Wonderland

As my eyes took in the scene around me

The sky changed colour each time I looked at it

Trees grew then disappeared

Birds with no wings, fish walking.

The wormhole vanished

I am no longer in my own world

My scream for help filled the air…

AAAAA

Dream Walking… #Poetry

 

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

Dream walking

How can I be dreaming

when I know I am awake?

I see the ghost of myself

haunting my family

tormenting them.

Moving things around the house

whispering close to their ears

words they cannot understand

That I myself have never heard

a strange, sharp-tongued sound.

There is darkness in their meaning.

I feel their fear, they have aged.

Why would I be doing this

to the ones I love?

Have I been given a glimpse

of what is to become of me

when my life is done?

Can I change it before it happens?

aaaaa

Unseen… #Poetry

Unseen

My body is home to another

It speaks to me at night

of things I don’t want to hear

of a third inhabitant here.

They want to destroy my mind

they fight to take control.

My mind is broken

with the constant

sound of their voices.

How do I kill

something inside, unseen?

AAAAA

Broken Glass… #Poetry

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

Broken Glass

Each step I take I am sinking deeper

as if walking on hollow ground.

Life is a cracked mirror

splintered images of self

looking back at me

each with a different expression.

I have lost myself in a

kaleidoscope of broken glass.

Which piece holds the real image of me?

Are we truly at the mercy of fate?

Do new winds change the things we look at?

I pray my eyes see the truth

before I am dragged into the mire…

aaaaa

Uninvited… #poetry

 

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Uninvited

Watch out for that stranger of unknown danger

You may have brought back from a dream

That uninvited guest that won’t go

The one that lives in the shadows

He knows your name.

You hear him whisper late at night

“Come back to me, our dream is real…”

You know that it’s not possible to live by day

Then dream the same dream night after night

Yet it never stops. You see strangers wearing his face

You rush from the rain, not looking where you are going

Stepping from the kerb, you are knocked to the ground

Your world has no colour, the way it used to

As if a grey cloud has swallowed you

You wake with the driver leaning over you

A stranger wearing his face, the face from your dream…

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Darkness… #Poetry

 

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

Darkness

How can I speak of a time of darkness?

My soul is not yet born

It waits for the light to bring the world into being

To build oceans, land, and people.

Then I can take my turn on this planet

I am still waiting, remembering the dark place

The cackling voices whispering

Of a time before the darkness

When fate was hidden from man

Given and taken by an invisible presence

How man can have more than

One fate thrust upon him.

How luck can be thrown

Like a handful of sand on the wind

Letting it fall where it will.

How some are born with extra luck

Without the help of scattered winds.

How the soul can be destroyed

Leaving an empty space

For the darkness to grow.

For cruelty to make its voice heard

Before I was pushed into being

I heard the whisper, the secret, the key

To make your life the way you want it

All I have to now is remember as I grow.

Time has a way of taking what thoughts it will

The way some dreams fade come morning.

Do they journey back to their original place

Are they gathered up, sent out and used again?

Does this account for dreams repeating?

Is the source of all things running low

On all kinds of material?

Is that why so many people feel

Their lives are the wrong way around?

That they do not belong.

Can I change it, did I hear the secret right?

Would I remember how to

Drive away sadness, despair

Bring the light where it is needed

Keep the darkness where it belongs…

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