Haloed: Grafton County Series, #5 ~ Review #CrimeThriller @SueColetta1

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

Our Review

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…

Weekly #Poetry Challenge #ThemePrompt

#TANKATUESDAY Weekly #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 295, 10/25/22, #THEMEPROMPT

Here we are for another #TankaTuesday poetry challenge! Are you ready for a theme prompt? Anita Dawes selected this month’s theme:

What Do You Wish For? Image from Pixabay.com

One
good wish
just the one
across the globe
all minds work as one
no more tears at bedtime
no child crying in hunger
why not join the wish train today?
give the world a hug, with one good wish…

©AnitaDawes2022

Letters to a Friend ~ Part Two ~ #Fiction

My Dearest Anne,

After receiving your letter last week, I had a lot to think about and to tell you. First, I am so pleased that Jack’s landscape business is doing so well that he has employed you to do the books. I will take up your suggestion of checking the census to see if I can find out more about Flo and Albert.

However, I must tell you, I decided to check the attic as you suggested and under a loose floorboard by the round window seat, I found love letters to Flo from someone called Margaret. From the contents, I could tell they were very much in love. I cannot tell if Albert knew about this.

The strange thing is, ever since finding them and reading them, Flo has been quiet. Not a peep from her all last week. Albert, on the other hand, is haunting my dreams. He stands beside my bed, telling me to look under the step. I can only assume he means the front step.

Can you imagine what Richard would do if I started digging it up? I can already see the men in white jackets arriving.

Night after night, Albert is most insistent, so I have decided to ask Richard if we can have a porch built. In light of having parcels left on the doorstep, he thinks this is a good idea. The builders will be starting in two weeks’ time.

It may be nothing, but I am worried as to why Flo is being so quiet.

I loved your idea of writing a book about this, and I am giving it thought.

Richard is still wondering why I use pen and paper rather than email. I tell him that emails are too impersonal when talking with a friend.

Looking forward to your next letter,

Your dearest friend,

            Alice

to be continued…

another episode of Anita’s WIP… possibly a new book! what do you think of it so far?

White Ghosts… #Poetry

 

Image by Ashish Bogawat from Pixabay

Grey clouds on white candy
Black clouds carrying heavy rain
Lovers kiss beneath outstretched umbrellas
Rain splashed pavements wait for blue skies
White prisms of light shine on polished leaves
Trees sway, shedding their last teardrops
The earth greedy with thirst
Eagerly swallows each tear
White ghosts painted on blue skies
Light souls shining through
Touching those below, covering
The earth with memory
Waiting to be remembered
Grey clouds dropping rain
Showering the earth with secrets
Children splash in puddles
As other feet did years ago
Lift your face to the clouds
Taste the rain upon your lips
Do you remember?
Does the taste of something lost come to mind?
Clouds will bring the rain again.
Teasing you, daring you to remember
Secrets of the past hidden in each drop
Clouds pass, unseen by many below
Tilt your head, see the magic they make
The shapes and wonder of sky art…
White bleached clouds sail across blue skies
The day is washed clean as if by magic
Pink clouds hiding behind pillars of white
The day sails through to the purple hue of evening
All is well with my world…

© Anita Dawes 2021

 

Silent Sunday…

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

The last few days I have been in a finishing frenzy, getting closer than ever to writing those magical words, The End. I have just put down my pen and come up for some badly needed fresh air!

When I have finally finished, and before I start the editing, I need to visit the sea, just to feel a bit more normal…

Shadows…  (or a touch of backward thinking)

©JayeMarie2022

Some people live charmed lives, don’t they?

Everything good seems to drop in their laps. As I get closer to the end of my days, I have been unable to stop wondering why my life had to be the way it was. Back then, I always seemed to be at the end of the queue when dishing out happy days.

I would have settled for dull and boring days, anything but one more day of misery.

People who know me know I am a trier, and I sometimes wonder if that was half the trouble. Maybe if I wasn’t so willing to accept everything that fate threw at me, my life might have been easier to live. Not known for ducking and diving, you see. At the time, I thought all I had to do was wait until I was old enough to do my own thing.

I was determined to climb to the top of the dung heap, to breathe fresh, clean air, the air of success, of possibilities, and make something of my life. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried, this never really happened. I trudged through an endless succession of hopeless situations.

I hurtled from one mistake to another. They were never the same mistake, though, something I remember with a touch of pride, not that it helped much.

My life is full of shadows. Shadows that haunt me every day.

My heart is like a piece of Kintsugi, carefully repaired many times but hanging in there like a trooper.

Kintsugi fosters the idea that a broken object can be repaired and be made useful once again. It tells us we can always begin anew despite past failures. Accepting imperfections helps us to break free from the obsession with perfectionism which causes unnecessary stress and inhibits creativity and productivity.

Getting older has been a Godsend for me. I am more in control now, and many shadows have faded, no longer waiting in the corners to ruin my days. There are one or two things I would love to change, to put right what I did wrong all those years ago, but time sometimes makes this impossible.

As my life slows down and my memories lose clarity, I hope to enjoy the gathering peace for a while longer…

Falling… #Poetry

Image by Simon from Pixabay ~ Poem by A Dawes

Falling out of love I find
Opportunities I thought lost
Understanding what to do, however
Nothing I could think of helps
Drowning is how I felt
Always the same feelings repeated
Too late, you lost me
In moonlight I sleep
On wings of white I fly late at night
Nearer to you, before we fall out of love…

©AnitaDawes2022

Another wonderfully sad, heartbreaking poem from Anita!

WIP Wednesday…

I thought I would get to the end of my current WIP, Ghost of a Chance, yesterday…

BUT…

I expect many of you have reached this point, only to have the same thing happen to you.

In my head, one by one, each character had a but, and to be fair, they were legitimate buts.

Consequently, I spent the evening reviewing their ideas. I realised the story was nowhere near finished.

I eventually switched off my brain and went to bed after scribbling several pages of notes and detailed plans for at least three more chapters. As I fell asleep, I knew why this had happened. It had happened before with one of my earlier books. After staring at the story, day after day, I had become obsessed with coming to the end, as if this would magically be the answer. Of course, it never is. On that earlier occasion, the ending I came up with was rushed, and it showed. Badly…

Endings are so essential to get right. It’s a shame they came at a time when we wish we hadn’t started…

Is this bad habit just me, or have any of you had this problem?

The Enthusiasm Wagon…

The tomatoes are growing!

Here we are again, it’s Monday, the sun is shining, every reason to feel optimistic…

But I don’t. Somehow, I fell off the enthusiasm wagon over the weekend. Not sure why, for there didn’t seem to be a reason. Maybe I just needed to chill out for a bit.

Trouble is, today, I can’t seem to find that bloody wagon!

I have been feeling a little uneasy lately, but nothing I could put my finger on. Just enough to make my thoughts wander. I need to be more organised, have more work scheduled, already written, that sort of thing. This simply must happen if we want to move on, or up in the writing world.

Marketing has been a bit of a non-entity this year, and for the life of me, I cannot remember when it stopped being at the top of our must-do list! These days there are so many things going on, it has become difficult to string several thoughts together in order to trigger the creative process.

Apart from the garden, which does see me occasionally. More duty than inspirational though, despite managing to grow our first tomatoes, as they must be watered. But for those few minutes, as I wander around spraying water, something magical happens and I come back inside in a much better mood.

Sunflowers

Now the weather is getting warmer, I think I will be working/writing outside. I’m not sure if this is where the enthusiasm wagon is parked, but it’s definitely not in my office!

Jaye