#Flash Fiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community ~ #Poetry

September 17: Flash Fiction Challenge

September 17, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story of mice. It can feature any variety of the little critters in any situation. Are the the character or the inciting incident? Use any genre, including BOTS (based on a true story).

Milo, a little grey mouse
With the heart of a giant
He could stare down the largest cat
And get away unscathed
he would be sent out
For the most timid of his clan
His days were long and slow
He wanted more.
Dressed in his best suit
Knapsack on his back
He was off to the cries of “Don’t go
Who will hunt for us, we’ll starve!”

“I will teach Jacko before I go
I must seek my fortune.
If Mickey can make it big
In Hollywood, Then so can I
I will take Hollywood by storm someday…”

©anitadawes 2020

#Keepitalive ~ #Whatdoyousee ~#WDYS ~ #Poetry

Keep it alive

What do you see # 47- 14 September’20

Image credit- Elena Mozhvilo- Unsplash

As I sat at my workbench
I told myself I would paint myself into history
Like Di Vinci, Van Gogh, Monet
Only my mind is as blank as the page I looked at
Where did they get their inspiration from?
The five and dime, the local minute mart?
If only
I don’t remember painting the strange circles
Other worlds, my notepad splashed with paint
As if a five-year-old sat in my place
Fred, my friendly skull
Told me to pursue a different career
I thought this a good idea, closing my notepad
The next time I look at a blank page
I will fill it with wonderful words
Produce the next best seller
Ten weeks at number one I told myself
Hoping that one day, what I say
will be so…

©anitadawes 2020

ABOUT US: For those new to our website and blog, we would like to thank you for visiting. Between us, we write in several different genres, so there should be something for everyone to enjoy. Anita cannot abide computers, so I (Jaye) do all the technical stuff! Our books tend to be varied, from horror to supernatural romance and coming of age, and mystery thrillers.  We try to keep our website interesting with guest posts, bloggers, poetry, and reviews for all the books we read. Our books are shown in the right-hand sidebar and clicking on the images should take you straight to Amazon. If you enjoyed your visit, we would love you to leave a comment…

Hoping to see you again!

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #17 Entry Part 2) By Harmony Kent @harmony_kent #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompt

message-in-a-bottle-3437294_1920

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #17 Entry Part 2) By Harmony Kent @harmony_kent #IARTG

I felt my hand tremble
As I pulled the paper from the bottle
Thin, fragile, delicate with age,
the edges burned
as if they meant to destroy it
before placing it in the bottle
I could hardly bear to unroll it
It felt like the Rosetta Stone in my hand
With great care the words came into view
A sad tale of a young man’s loss
I could feel his pain in every word
He was sorry he had to go
Tell Laura, I love her
The date on the letter was my birthdate
My name is Laura…

©anitadawes 2020

#FlashFiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community ~ #Poetry

September 10: Flash Fiction Challenge

September 10, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes something heard on the radio. It can be from any station or era. What is heard? A song, announcement, ad? Think of how radio connects people and places.

I remember falling in love with a song
After hearing it coming from
my mum’s little Dansette radio
Indian Reservation
Years later I bought it on vinyl
Played it until it became paper-thin
The neighbours banging on the wall
Begging me to play something different
It’s strange how one song
Heard on a tiny radio
Can colour your life
To me the world suddenly
became wonky, off-kilter.
Why do people think they can take
what doesn’t belong to them
Changing Nations with their greed
Indian Reservation
remains one of my favourite songs
to this day
Played often…

©anitadawes 2020

#BlogBattle ~ Conceal

Untitled design (1)

#BlogBattle: Conceal

Blogbattle_CONCEAL
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

He heard the sound the minute he walked into the dining room to start work removing the ugly fireplace.

A faint scraping sound echoed around the room, but where was it coming from?

His mind returned to the job in hand, the removal of the totally unsuitable faux marble fireplace. He swung the large club hammer at the bolster chisel to separate the cheap surround from the wall. Seconds later, the scraping sound set his nerves on edge. He winced.

“Don’t be daft…you’re imagining it!”

But every blow he made was answered by the sound that seemed to be coming from the walls.

Once the fireplace lay on the floor in pieces, he started to carry the pieces out to his truck. Each time he returned; the noise greeted him. 

What began as curiosity and amusement, slowly turned to annoyance and he couldn’t decide what to do about it.

He had to be imagining it, for he had moved in six weeks ago and not heard anything before now.

Maybe he should just ignore it.

Instantly, as if it heard his thoughts, the slightly louder sounds seemed to argue with that idea.

He slowly walked around the room, pausing at each wall but annoyingly, he heard nothing.

Three of the walls were brick, but the one adjoining the kitchen was a partition wall, plasterboard on a timber frame. He remembered building it the week before, and if there was anything trapped, it would be in that one.

It was getting late, and he was hungry. Whatever was going on would have to wait until tomorrow. As he turned to leave, the noise began again, and the sense of urgency was palpable.

He reached into his toolbox for his utility knife and approached the partition wall. Carefully, as he couldn’t remember exactly where the power cables were, he cut a sizeable hole and using the torch on his phone, he stretched his head through to see what the wall might conceal.

He could hear something moving about. He tried to see what it was, but the hole was too high. 

Minutes later, after cutting a hole at ground level, a small, bedraggled cat crawled out, barely alive.

But how had it managed to get trapped in there?

©Jaye Marie 2020

#Throwback Thursday ~ As it Was in the Beginning…

Although I used to dream about writing when I was younger, life came along and made sure I forgot to remember this, always finding new ways to keep my mind from straying.

Even when my sister, Anita started to write and needed help with transcribing and editing her own stories, my own dreams stayed dormant, while life continued to throw some major curve balls.

I learned to love working on Anita’s stories, mainly to keep from drowning under such a lot of misery and frustration. Her characters and stories somehow gave me hope that everything would one day be better.

I needed a lot of patience at that time, and editing is an exceptionally good way of teaching this!

I’m not sure where the first idea came from, but I began to think about writing a story about a woman called Kate Devereau. Someone remarkably like me, as it happens.

I refused to admit it would be a memoir or in any way autobiographical. She just happened to have similar life experiences, that’s all.

After all, they do tell us to write what we know, and I knew Kate very well.

Looking back, I think Nine Lives had to be written so I could move on to a better life. One with more hope in it than I ever thought possible.

Although I have moved on since then, Kate has followed me and has remained a haunting heroine in my first three detective stories, Nine Lives, Out of Time, and CrossFire. My favourite detective, DI David Snow fell in love with her and she haunts him too.

But will Kate Devereau and David Snow ever have a happy ending?

Book Description

Death has been stalking Kate all her life, convincing her that she has nine lives, like a cat.
With nothing to live for, no family to speak of, just a brother she hates, she waits for death to take her away when her lives run out.
People around her are dying at the hands of a serial killer, so has Kate run out of lives?
Will she find a reason to live before it is too late?

“If you like the thriller genre that keeps up the momentum then Nine Lives would be a good read for you. The pace never falters, building up the plot and characters with timely intervention. The author cleverly keeps the story centred around the main character, with the other players coming into the story and yet there are no plot holes or false timings.” Amazon Reviewer

“The story is very mysterious and suspenseful, and I was left wondering if Kate would escape the murderer. The mysterious voice plays a big part in the story and the ending does a wonderful job of explaining the voice and it’s purpose in Kate’s life.” Amazon Reviewer

#Tuesday Book Blog ~ The Beast Within by Jacquie Biggar ~ #SuspenseActionThriller @JacqieBiggar

The Beast Within: A Gripping Psychological Thriller (Mended Souls- Book 2) Kindle Edition

When Julie Crenshaw is offered a news reporter’s job on beautiful Vancouver Island she didn’t expect to land in the crosshairs of a serial killer.
Connor O’Rourke has seen his share of human depravities during his fourteen years as a homicide detective, but is still sickened by the murderer terrorizing his island shores.
And threatening his key witness.
As the stakes rise, can two people get a second chance at love?
Or will a killer become the winner?

From USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar, Can two displaced angels save a woman from the clutches of a vicious psychopath?

The twists and turns in this story are amazing. Just when you think you know where the adventure is going, it switches to the unexpected. Definitely kept me entertained and on my toes!
Jacqui Nelson

THE BEAST WITHIN by Jacquie Biggar did not disappoint! These books are a great blend of contemporary romance with added suspense and the paranormal element of guardian angels that have ties to the main characters.
Avonna

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MQEVI55/

Our Review

I found the opening paragraph of The Beast Within painful to read, but it did set the tone for the rest of the book very well.

I love a good mystery thriller, and the premise for this book promised to tick all of my boxes. It has a strong emotional  and romantic element, warring guardian angels and an evil serial killer, all combining into one of the best suspense novels I have read in a while.

Add to all of that, an unrelenting pace, beautifully descriptive writing and multiple storylines, in short, a book that will not allow you to stop reading.

The Beast Within is the first of Jacquie Biggar’s books I have read, and it didn’t take me long to realise I would have benefitted from reading the first book in the Mended Souls trilogy. The story itself stands alone, I just felt the need to know the characters a little better.

I will be reading the first book in this trilogy while I await the conclusion to this amazing series…

Excerpt from The Beast Within

Mike sank into the chair his wife had recently vacated in the conference room at the police station. He stared at the door and pictured the cop holding Jules pressed up against its smooth surface while he locked lips with her like she was in need of CPR.

And she’d let him.

His head fell back, and he closed his eyes, desperately trying to erase the preceding minutes from existence. Moisture leaked down his cheeks and into his ears. The heart that he’d thought was frozen in time, cracked. Great fissures of agony and sorrow spilled into his chest, filling his soul with darkness and rage. Why was this happening to him? Why was he being tortured this way? Wasn’t it enough that he’d lost his family and then was given the task of teaching his enemy repentance? How was he supposed to stand by and watch the love of his life move on with another man? Maybe even raise his children?

No.

Mike erupted from his seat, and the chair flew against the wall before bouncing to the floor. He strode for the door, determined to bust the cop’s face and then grab his wife, throw her over his shoulder, and head for home where she belonged. Then the memory of what he was drew him up short. A freaking angel. It didn’t matter how much he ached to stake his claim, it wouldn’t do any good, would it? Unless they were going to re-enact that sappy chick flick Jules used to pick every other month for their date night, it wasn’t going to work. He was a ghost—and she wasn’t.

His stomach sank. That meant he was going to have to learn to accept other men entering her life, and maybe even staying.

She deserved happiness.

About the Author

JACQUIE BIGGAR is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want, that is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls. She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters. Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

#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

The Freedom of the road…

Image by Robin Ganstrom from Pixabay

I read a post the other day, where they were talking about the wonderful sense of freedom to be found behind the wheel of a car.

Immediately, I was transported back to my own independent, working woman days when I owned a car.

Learning to drive was a nightmare for me, as it takes me a while to learn anything new, but once mastered, the world became my oyster. Not only did I drive myself to work every day, my family found a newfound freedom with that car, as we visited so many interesting places.

Becoming an experienced driver opened a very different world for me, a world where I finally felt competent and capable, something I had never felt before.

It wasn’t all roses though, there were a few hair-raising experiences along the way.

Someone must have dropped something from the bridge, just as I drove underneath. The windscreen splintered into a million pieces, leaving me in a state of shock and unable to see anything in front of the car. 

I had been travelling at about 65 mph and for a few seconds I froze. I had no memory of anyone behind me, but my instinct was to slam on the brakes in an emergency stop. The silence after the car stopped was deafening, and I sat there stunned, and with my eyes shut.

I became aware of someone shouting, and when I opened my eyes, a furious man was standing beside the car, demanding to know what the hell I thought I was doing.

I couldn’t answer him. I was still in shock and confused but I remember thinking, what the hell did he think I was doing?

More to the point, I wonder what he would have done in the same situation?

He stomped back to his car and drove off. At that point, I wanted to go home too, so somehow, I punched a hole in the splintered glass and drove away.

Another time, we were just leaving the garage in our car, feeling rather pleased that it had miraculously passed its MOT. It was a lovely sunny morning and our spirits were high. We were looking forward to a visit to the coast that afternoon.

We were waiting at the top of a narrow exit ramp, when we saw a rather large laundry van at the bottom of the ramp.

We wondered what the van was doing. Surely, he wasn’t going to reverse up the ramp?

Oh yes, he was, and he obviously hadn’t seen us waiting at the top. He continued to reverse, we expected him to stop at any minute and when he showed no sign of slowing down, we started thumping the horn like a pair of crazy people.

Because the ramp was narrow, we couldn’t get out of the car. We were being forced to watch the disaster unfolding.

The car needed a new bonnet and radiator after that, but our nerves took a while to mend!

To this day, every time we see a Sunlight Laundry van, we still want to scream!

I was a driver for more than 25 years before my hip put a stop to my fun, but all those years sitting in the driving seat were some of the best years of my life…

Has anyone else had any near misses when driving?