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

 

 

 

 

 

Love…

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

Love

I felt the winter winds

blow chills through my bones

chasing memories, unable to capture

haunting melodies hung in the air.

Warm winter furs, brandy cupped hands

love songs whispered through the strings of a harp

All lost now to the winter winds.

I cannot walk where your ashes lie

deep beneath the sea, you rest

my mind holds you forever young

my one true love…

AAAAA

Golden Memories…

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Due, I suspect, to the arrival of our Great Grandchild three weeks ago, an air of nostalgia has descended upon our household. All the old photographs have come out of hiding, accompanied by much reminiscing.

We thought we would share some of these golden memories with you…

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It was like having a time machine, going back to all those times and remembering them as if they were yesterday…

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Do you ever take a walk down Memory Lane?

AAAAA

 

My Father…

 

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

 

My Father

What would I say to my father

should he pop up like a ghost from the past?

I want to know where you were when I needed you.

I wait for his answer, to pounce,

to shoot him down in flames.

“It was the war, sweetheart.”

That deserved a slap. My hand itched

but I didn’t move to land it.

“Have you ever heard of writing a letter?

Sending a photo that I could identify myself with?”

“Time,” he told me, “Life, gets in the way…”

With an ocean between us, it must

have been easy to forget the things done

when age hampers the mind.

His voice, absent throughout my life

Still nothing much to say, now he is in front of me

It would have been nice, growing up

to know which part of my face belonged to you.

My mother did say I had your bottom lip

which isn’t much to go on.

What part of my mind, is from your DNA?

I am left to wonder. There is no answer.

Maybe you truly are a ghost

with no trace left behind…

AAAAA

 

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One of our best Worst Ideas Yet?

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As if we don’t have enough to do, we have stumbled into what might possibly be either a brilliant idea, or the worst kind of madness ever to visit our house.

I’m not sure where this idea came from, but for some totally inexplicable reason, we are both equally enthusiastic about actually writing a mystery/thriller book together.

This may not work for a multitude of reasons, for we usually write in such different genres/and the arguments will probably reach hitherto unreached levels/we may end up killing each other!

We have started, and early indications would suggest it could possibly work!

Anita wrote the first section/intro, and I nervously followed. We average about 500 words each, but this could easily change when the musts get going.

Quite apart from being the most unlikely writing partnership, can you imagine what our respective muses must be thinking?

Other writers have done this, and in the past, we have often wondered how it would work. Now we will discover how hard it will be and if it will even work for us. And if we can do it without any of our legendary arguments, it will be a miracle!

Already, the conversations about the direction of the plot have been pretty spectacular, for we have such very different ideas about everything. The fact that I am the thriller writer around here stands for nothing, and my suggestions have not been well received, to put it mildly!

Today’s discussion ended with Anita suggesting that we start again, and this time write a spooky supernatural story.

We could, of course, but I am trying to finish my current WIP at the moment and all of this chaos is playing havoc with my schedule. It is my turn to write the next section, so I had better make it good!

Everything is Upside Down…

 

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This year has been a series of difficulties. More downs than ups, to be honest. So it should come as no surprise to anyone to see a Christmas tree, seemingly floating upside down in mid-air in our front room.

Being white, it looks ethereal, the string it is suspended on almost invisible as it moves slightly on invisible air currents.

It wasn’t easy to do, for these trees are not designed to be upside down, and the top part parted company with the base at the most awkward moment, almost resulting in our giving up on the idea and being conventional after all.

Beneath the tree, looking remarkably like Miss Havisham’s abandoned wedding feast from Dicken’s Great Expectations, we have created a display to reflect the dinner we will not be having in our house.

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The idea came to us because this Christmas will be like no other we have ever had or imagined. For the first time in the history of our family, we will not be here on Christmas Day. Relatives will not be arriving, full of Christmas cheer to share our carefully prepared feast of turkey and all the trimmings. There will be no fun and games at the table when we don’t pull the crackers.

There will be no toasting the cook or pulling the wishbone, not in this house, anyway.

We will all be somewhere else…

 

The next generation in our family is now of an age to change things, to take charge of traditional celebrations and create new ones of their own. This is the way with families.

It came as a bit of a shock for me and for a while I didn’t think I welcomed the invitation. For nearly fifty years, I have been cooking the turkey and mince pies, and I suppose I thought it would continue. I mean, what would I do with myself?

I have accepted the idea now, and the notion of someone else manhandling an uncooperative turkey into an equally uncooperative oven is making me smile.

It will seem odd to have nothing to do on Christmas day, but you never know, I might like it so much I will arrange it for next year too!

 

 

 

My Gentleman and the Stone…

 

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My daughter was weeding her front garden the other day. I was watching and speaking with her when one of our neighbours came along.  I was used to seeing him on his bike, but he was now in a wheelchair.

He stopped to ask if he could have a few pieces of the slate from my front garden, as he liked to paint stones and couldn’t get to the beach anymore.

I was happy to give him as many pieces as he wanted, but before I could bend down to get a few, he asked my name, putting out his hand to shake mine.

Instead of shaking it, he kissed the back of my hand like an olden day gentleman, making me feel like a lady. I could almost feel the crinoline brushing against my legs. He said he would leave a painted piece in my garden when he could.

Two days later, I watched as he tried to maneuver his wheelchair up the small step to my path. Abandoning his efforts, he managed to walk to my front garden.

By now I was on my feet, crossing the room. From my window, I could see a beautifully painted stone lying on the ground. By the time I reached my front door, he had made it back to his wheelchair. Picking up the beautifully painted stone with a lump in my throat, I thanked him and blew him a kiss. He told me that the paint didn’t go well on the slate and had used a stone instead.

I felt overwhelmed by this gift, so much so that I sat on the couch crying my heart out and couldn’t say why.

Jaye said it because it was a wonderful gift, from a wonderful gentleman whose name is Peter…

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