#Throwback Thursday~#Out of Time… #MysteryThriller

Haiku Out of Time.jpg

Excerpt from Out of Time…

Kate sat at the table in the Vestry with her head in her hands. She couldn’t believe Jack had found her again, in spite of all the Snowman’s security. She kept seeing the ivory roses, blood dripping from the petals, laid on the altar like an offering. Only Jack could have thought of something that macabre.

The blood reminded her of what had happened to her beloved Dylan, her silver tabby. Jack had ripped him apart in her kitchen, strewing blood and fur all over the floor for her to find. At least this time, she wouldn’t have to clean up the mess.

Why had Michael gone outside?

She knew he was having trouble coming to terms with the fact that their relationship was over. After all this time it must have been a bitter pill to swallow. But going against David Snow’s specific orders was foolish and irresponsible. Maybe his depression had grown bad enough to warrant taking such a risk. Or had he wanted to die?

The voice disapproved. ‘I did ask you to try and be kind to him, Kate. Even though you couldn’t love him, you, of all people, should have treated him better than that…’

It was true; she could remember feeling that bad. Jack had that effect on most people. Just knowing he was out there somewhere had made her suicidal in the past, and the feeling wasn’t too far away at the moment.

The Snowman should have let her see Michael, her imagination couldn’t be worse than the real thing. Right then, it didn’t seem real, and she kept expecting to see him come through the door at any minute. She wished with all her heart that she had run away the first time she suspected Jack was back on the scene. Michael’s sudden reappearance had reawakened all her old desires and dreams, rendering her incapable of thinking straight.

Fate was too cruel. Why had it conspired to bring Jack back into her life at that particular time? If he hadn’t arrived when he did, her brother would not have died and the chain of destruction would have broken.

She wanted to run away but suspected there was no point. Jack would find her wherever she went. The knowledge sunk in that none of them were safe anymore, if they ever were. What would it take to be rid of Jack for good?

Kate heard the door open but realised the noise had come from the wrong side of the room. As she raised her head to investigate, a damp, sweet-smelling cloth covered her face. She struggled against it, but he was too strong.

The room went dark and then faded away…

https://mybook.to/NewOutofTime

Don’t Speak… #Poetry

Image by Maxime THIBAULT from Pixabay

Don’t Speak

Thinking thoughts I dare not speak
They stick like thorns inside my head
How long can I hold them there?
Before they fester, fight their way out
Hurting those I’m thinking about
If I don’t feed them with further thought
Will they go away, stay unspoken?
Then my family will think I am still nice
My friends will still like me
until like most locked boxes
Someone finds a way to unlock them…

©anitadawes 2020

One Good Lie a Day ~ or Make Believe?

The following is a work in progress from Anita, possibly the start of a novel. We would welcome any feedback from our friends and followers as to its future…

Make Believe

I decided it might be fun to make up one good lie a day about my past.

So the next time someone asked me about my parents, I said they had died in a car crash when I was five years old. When in fact, they are alive and kicking and on holiday in Gibraltar.

Instant sad face.

‘Oh God, I’m so sorry…’

‘No need, it was a long time ago.’

That one lie led to many more.

‘So who brought you up?’

‘An aunt. Ancient I might add, so life was a little stale, compared to my friends. Old fashioned, I ran away when I was sixteen. I’m only back for the funeral and will reading. That old mansion of hers is mine. You must come to tea sometime.’

As I walked home, not to a mansion, I might add, I wondered how I could stop this rolling stone from gathering more moss…


Today’s lie has taken on a life of its own.

One minute I hear myself telling someone, ‘my father is an airline pilot.’ Next, ‘he’s a backing singer for the Rolling Stones. My mother is starring in a movie with David Tennant,’ when in fact my mother works in M & S, my father drives a black cab.

Is that more lies?

‘I have been married for three years. It’s our anniversary tonight. Mark, my husband has bought a new car for me. One I have dreamt about. Imported from the USA, a red mustang convertible.’ So I must rush home, ladies. I want to be there when it arrives.’

I heard a little voice in my head say, one of these days, you’ll trip over that tongue of yours.

I had to admit, the lies did explode that day, like a bomb going off but somehow, I managed to keep up with it and sound convincing. At least I could see no trace of doubt on their faces.

All that, and I had forgotten to tell them where Mark had taken me when he proposed. Never mind, there’s always tomorrow.

I’m not married, never have been.

One day, Mark or someone like him might come into my life. I could find myself driving down the high street in a red convertible mustang, don’t you think?


I have one of those faces people like to talk to. I sit in a café, before my coffee is half drunk, someone sits opposite me. I send them home with a story to tell their friends. That way my lies go further than my reach.

I have joined two book clubs, need to keep a check on which lies belong to which club. I know I can’t keep this up for too long, however you’d be surprised by how many people I managed to speak to. Some, in the strangest of places.

Ladies toilets for instance. Standing in a queue, I have found bumping into someone’s trolley in a supermarket to be good for a quick chat. Especially if you manage to make eye contact.

Apologies spoken, you pass each other in the next aisle, as if fate has thrown you together you end up at the same check out. I have even been lucky enough to snag a date on one of my shopping trips…


©anitadawes 2020

How to Survive the Hard Times…

This week has been one of the worst times ever, and I have been literally shrinking away from writing anything, even a post, as I’m sure you don’t need any more depressing.

I know I don’t, and I’m drowning in it!

So hard to keep hoping for a miracle…

To keep cheerful when you feel like screaming.

There has been no news from the hospital about Anita’s MRI, and she has been noticeably down this week. I have practically turned myself inside out trying to cheer her up, to no avail. All I have managed to do is make her grumpier than ever!

I have tried to find out about the delay, but the lack of positivity has only deepened our depression. It almost feels as though Anita has been forgotten.

I have also discovered that stress is no friend to arthritis. Something my knees have been proving as they hurt more every day. I cannot concentrate at all, so the WIP is no further along.

The world (and the handcart it occupies) has slid down even further in my estimation. Whoever said that life couldn’t get any worse must be kicking themselves to death right now. Going to the shops has become a nightmare. And I hate wearing a mask!

So if anyone out there knows how to survive these bad times, do let us know, cos were a bit desperate!

Just to prove that all us not lost, stolen, or completely ruined; I want to finish this post on a better note.

Just when depression was biting hard, I was sitting at my writing desk (twiddling my thumbs and hoping for some inspiration) and looking out the window. The view is not great, just our backyard and the shelves with my bonsai. If I close one eye and squint, I can just about see the end of the garden from here and love to watch the trees moving in the wind.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving among my bonsai. Two birds, Mr and Mrs Sparrow were visiting every small tree, darting about in obvious enjoyment.

Image by Pixabay.com

I wondered what they thought of my tiny forest. They must have liked it, for they came back again this morning.

Something to look forward to at last!

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!

Why I am reposting Broken… #Poetry

 

 

Broken coloured shards of light

inside a kaleidoscope

caught inside a tumble dryer

that’s how my life feels.

Broken, trapped inside a bubble

waiting for someone to burst it

let the pieces out, try to put them back together.

How can one life be so fractured, splintered?

How can I have wasted so much time

on a fool with no eyes to see?

Was he blinded by the shards of light

from an ancient woodland?

Did the light remove part of his

knowing, his ability to love?

Can my love remove the blind?

I am reposting Anita’s lovely poem today because I am broken.

Somehow, I have become a virus victim. I don’t think it is THE  virus… but today all bets are off!

my temperature keeps soaring, but not having trouble breathing, so not really sure of anything yet. I do feel a little better today, so maybe it is on the way out!

Thinking of you all,

Jaye

 

 

 

Progress Report! (Or how I learned to love my work again!)

1364030009430.jpg

BABY STEPS!

 

I have been an editor/proof-reader for years and always considered myself reasonably good at my job. I never had any complaints, which is my benchmark for how good you really are. In fact, several Literary Agents complimented me on the quality of our submissions.

English was always my favourite subject and I read a lot of books, but never once considered being a writer. I was far too busy managing Anita’s books, back in the day when manuscripts had to be submitted to agents and publishers in a very particular fashion.

Over the years, we received stacks of very encouraging and favourable letters from both agents and publishers alike, almost leading to publication a couple of times but sadly, despite almost being good enough, Anita was never published.

This might have been why I didn’t think of being a writer, after all, I knew better than most, just how bloody hard it was. But eventually, my muse arrived. This was just after the Kindle phenomena took off. Suddenly, everyone could publish their books on Amazon, and it was supposed to be so easy, anyone could do it.

I have to say, in fairness to all the wonderful writers out there, I did find it very hard to write a full-length book. 70.000 words seemed an impossible target, and I doubted my capabilities every step of the way. That first book taught me so much about plot and dialogue, character arcs and subplots, even though it made my head spin. The day I finished Nine Lives, a sense of achievement crept over me as I realised I had become a writer!

That was in 2014, and I went on to write two more thrillers after that. Most of you will know the fun I have had finding the right covers for my books, but I didn’t worry about the content at all. After all, I checked them for spelling errors and I had my editor head on, so they had to be fine.

Or so I thought.

What happened to make me doubt myself?

I had written a memoir/novella about my fight with breast cancer and published it on Amazon. It received one review that commented on how short it was, and when I took a long hard look at it, I had to agree. Not only was it far too short, it could be a lot better. That was when I knew I would have to check my other books too.

I read Nine Lives again and was shocked at the state of it. Where was all the brilliant writing, the competent editor, the jaw-dropping prose? To say I was disappointed would be putting it mildly, I wanted to crawl away and die. For nearly a week, I battled with unpublishing my books and throwing them away, for the thought of rewriting them seemed an impossible task.

Gradually, common sense prevailed. They were my babies, I was an editor, I could fix this.

One thought kept me going. If I can now recognise the faults in my writing, does that mean I have improved over the years? I am pretty sure I have, for I am looking at my work with a totally different mindset. Most of what I see is amateur, almost childish. There were so many repeated and wimpy words and adjectives by the bucket load. It probably would have been easier to start afresh, but I am nothing if not stubborn, so I have tried to improve all three books, or die trying! They might be the only thing I leave this world to remember me by!

 

More Important than Silence!

kitten-with-mom-2633283_1920.jpg

Image by Pixabay.com

There will be no #Silent Sunday post this week, as I was reading Jill Dennison’s lovely post about Hugging and decided we needed these more…

Here is an excerpt…

“Today is for hugging friends! Hugging has been around for millennia and is practiced by almost all cultures as a way to connect with others without using language. Hugs have traditionally been given in may scenarios: as a greeting or goodbye, for sympathy or congratulations, and for gratitude, support, and affection. The word “hug” seems to have come from “hugga,” an Old Norse word meaning “to comfort.” “Hug” was first used around 1610, to describe a wrestling hold. It began being used for its current meaning in the 1650s.

Hugs may release a hormone called oxytocin into the bloodstream. This hormone, produced in the pituitary gland, helps lower blood pressure, heart rate, and the stress hormone cortisol. It also reduces anxiety, improves mood and memory, and increase bonding and closeness. Those who hug often tend to have increased empathy for others. In order for hugs to be beneficial, those participating must trust each other and both want to hug. Otherwise, the opposite effect happens and cortisol levels rise, causing stress.

piglet-3386356_1920.jpg

Image by Pixabay.com

I love a good hug and feeling sorely deprived of late. So this post is for everybody who feels the same.  Consider yourselves well and truly hugged today!

lion-3012515_1920.jpg

Image by Pixabay.com