The Scarlet Ribbon ~ Excerpt and Review #Fiction #UrbanFantasy

what do you think of the new cover?

Book Description

When a dirty blue car mows Maggie down outside her local supermarket, she becomes trapped in the nightmare world of a coma patient. She manages to rescue an abused and neglected child in this very different world.

But when it looks like she will finally wake up, she cannot bear the thought of leaving the child behind.

But is this other world real, or was she just dreaming? And if it is real, can she help this child?

“Maggie is a likeable character who is easy to engage with, and I found myself willing her to find the courage to embrace happiness. If you like a story that is more than just your average romance then I thoroughly recommend this one…” Amazon Reviewer

“Excellent reading, excellent writing with several unexpected twists that lead to…well, that is for others to find out too. A heart-wrenching and gripping story. Well done, Anita Dawes!” Amazon Reviewer

Excerpt from The Scarlet Ribbon

I felt the sheets being straightened, and deft fingers checked my tubes and wiring. I still seemed connected to the real world, but for how long? How long would I be allowed for goodbyes, even though I couldn’t say them?

It was childish, but if I couldn’t say goodbye, maybe it couldn’t make me go. I held on to that thought, hoping it would somehow make it true.

I heard the sound of rubber soles crossing the floor, then the metallic click of the door latch. I hoped Doctor Marsden hadn’t left the hospital. I would be very interested in his explanation.

Jack smoothed the hair from my face, and his lips touched my cheek. He whispered in my ear, ‘Where are you, Maggie? If you can hear me, please come back. I love you so much. Whatever it is, Maggie, fight it. Don’t let go. I’m not leaving this hospital without you.’

As I listened to him, wondering if he meant it, I drifted away again.

I had no idea how long I’d been lying beside Annie. Days and nights here seemed normal, but back in my world, I knew time seemed to be faster. I was so confused. I didn’t understand why I was incapable of touching Annie, yet the arm I wrapped around her hadn’t fallen through the mattress the way it did everything else. I couldn’t catch the belt, yet it had marked my skin. Why didn’t any of it make any sense?

All I could think of was that some inanimate objects were different.

Annie’s arms and legs looked sore, but the skin wasn’t broken. Her mother hadn’t even come to see if she was all right. God knows how long she would be left on her own. I could hear muffled voices from below, another fight brewing. Why on earth did some people have kids? If they were so capable of hurting them, they must have known beforehand, had some little clue that they didn’t really want them.

Annie had relaxed a little. Her breathing was easier, hardly punctuated by the remnants of the sobbing, although a shudder would disturb her every now and then. One small, grubby hand lay open while the other was closed in a tight fist. I could see a piece of red ribbon sticking out between her first finger and thumb. I reached for it but couldn’t move it. The determined way she held on to it even in her sleep, I knew it meant something special. I wondered if somebody had given it to her. I doubted if those things downstairs masquerading as parents had anything to do with it. It had to be someone nice by the way she clung to it.

I wondered if she had built up some false hope that the giver might come back and save her from the misery she lived in. I knew it was possible. It was also possible that the accident had damaged my mind, that this was all a dream. Whatever the truth was, I had no choice but to go with what I was being shown…

Latest Review

D.L. Finn

4.0 out of 5 stars Seeking answers on the other side

Reviewed in the United States on 17 May 2022

“Scarlet Ribbon” is a story that made me wonder about the afterlife and what is in between. Maggie was out with her husband when she was run down by a car. She ended up in a coma for two long years, but her time became relative as she found herself in a strange place. Her body was in the hospital, but her mind or soul was experiencing a different reality.

While she was under, she could see what her husband was doing and was taken to other worlds and the past. She wanted to help, especially a young girl. There was cruelty and a blissful existence that coincided in the different places. As she seeks answers to her dilemma, she finds out more than she wanted to about how sheltered a life she had and people’s true side.

I have always wondered what goes on when people are in a coma, and this was a fascinating idea of what could happen. There never seems to be one simple answer or outcome to Maggie’s desires. I love her determination to do what is right, but within her new world, I felt her confusion as she bounced from one situation to another. I was rooting for the person she connected with on the other side.

The story picked up the pace when she emerged from the coma, and work began for her to heal and try to remember. The ending was a surprise but didn’t feel done just yet. I hope there are more versions of her life to come and I will be reading them.


Many thanks to Denise for her wonderful review!

My absolute favourite story of Anita’s, The Scarlet Ribbon is 2.99 for the next two weeks, and can be found HERE

The Joy of Blogging…

Image by John Hain from Pixabay 

After weeks of frustration, nothing working the way it should never mind used to, I am extremely happy to report that changing our browser has wiped the slate clean, and the joy of blogging has returned!

I have just spent all morning visiting everything and practically everybody and have not encountered one malfunction. Every like button responded, every comment was accepted, and passwords were always ready and waiting.

I didn’t meet any hitches, delays or errors of any kind.

Riding high on this wave of euphoria, I went for broke and went back to Buffer, a site I have used for years to schedule posts and promo stuff. For some reason, and I can only guess it began with a tinkering, they have been refusing to connect with our Facebook account.

I pressed the button, held my breath, and voila! We were instantly connected.

The transfer from Firefox was painless too. Everything transferred to Edge in literally seconds. I say everything, but I did have to replace those emojis on Twitter, but that was all.

When I think of all the frustration I have been putting up with these past weeks, I am kicking myself for not thinking of this sooner…

Off to wrap up the ending of Ghost of a Chance in a much better frame of mind!

I’m in shock!

A Bloggers Nightmare…

Image by Leandro De Carvalho from Pixabay

My best friend…

When I first started writing several years ago, I became obsessed with the Dragon dictation software. At the time, I think this was the only voice dictation available, and I thought it was marvellous, thinking of all the typing I wouldn’t be doing.

Never mind that it took a lifetime to accustom itself to my voice. Originally, I thought all I had to do was talk and my words would magically appear on the screen. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

You must voice every comma, full stop, and line break. I also discovered that sometimes it can be hard of hearing. Make that stone deaf!

One way or another, I went off the idea, finding it too much trouble. It also costs money, something we didn’t have back then.

Moving on to 2022.

I recently noticed that Microsoft Word, the newly updated one, suddenly had a dictation mode, free to Word users. Word is expensive enough, but I thought this was a bonus if it worked.

I still had to voice every blessed comma et cetera, but it was efficient, quick and pretty accurate. In no time at all, I was dictating everything. And my aching arms and wrists thanked me for it.

I prefer to draft longhand, and transcribing my work and my sisters, has always been a bind, time-consuming too. I can dictate a thousand words in ten minutes these days, and I am more than happy with that.

I use Word a lot, and along with Grammarly I can spell check, edit and move stuff around to my heart’s content. It’s also essential if you need to find overused words, name changes, or simply find something you have forgotten.

My best friend ever…

Something that is not my best friend these days is our current browser, Firefox. I have tried them all in the past, never quite happy with any of them. Chrome, for example, almost sent me insane.

Recently, however, something has been happening to ruin my blogging day. Every time I press a like button, chances are it won’t respond. The same thing happens with my comments. This has been happening to a lot of bloggers, apparently. Someone suggested changing our browser, which can often result in a colossal upheaval affecting everything, so I was reluctant to do this.

Until today, that is. I was trying to visit and communicate with everyone like I normally do, and almost all of the sites I visited were a complete waste of time. My temper turned up.

I have no idea why it took so long, as I have never been known for holding back for long. With steam coming out of my ears, I switched off the PC and made a cup of coffee. I had to do something, but what?

The only browser I haven’t tried is Microsoft Edge. Highly recommended and promises to transfer all our favourites from Firefox. Mmm…

But will it let me like what I like?

Only time will tell, but in the meantime, I feel better, knowing I have tried something…

So Far, so Good!

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…

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?

Loss… #Poetry

Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

Inside my own bubble
Madness passes me by
Paper roses don’t die
Recycled from old news clippings
After the news has faded, been forgotten
Cute cat pictures take the number one spot
Targets to reach,
Inside the financial columns
Caught red handed diamond thieves
Anger explodes over
Loss of emotional items 
        that may never be returned…

©AnitaDawes2022

We are considering compiling more of Anita’s best poems into another book…

Friday Flowers… #Honeysuckle

©JayeMarie2010

Kinda glad this week is coming to a close and looking forward to a quiet weekend.

Hopefully, we can start to feel a bit more normal come Monday!

I am working on the penultimate chapter of Ghost of a Chance, and I might even finish the first draft with a bit of luck. Really looking forward to that moment.

The sunflowers are beginning to open, so looking forward to that, too

Have a wonderful weekend!

In advance!

Business as Usual?

Image by brisch27 from Pixabay

That crazy heat has left us a little like that sleepy cat.

No energy in body or mind and no idea or desire of what to do about it. I thought once everything cooled down, it would be business as usual, but no. Nerves are slowly recovering from being pushed to their limit and feel fragile at best.

To be fair, I have tried to do things, but the simplest of jobs leave me exhausted, and one of these things actually backfired. Not really my fault, but it will be me who tries to put it right, which wouldn’t normally be a problem, been there and have a selection of T-shirts. These days though, I am becoming a little tired of how hard it is some days just to keep treading water.

It is a lot cooler today, and determination has just popped his head around the door, so I might just achieve some progress this afternoon!

I hope you all have a better day too!

Jaye

Friday Follow Up…

There’s not much to follow up on this week, as it hasn’t been much of a week, to be honest.

Even with the increasing heat, we have tried to carry on as normal, but…

There’s always at least one but, isn’t there?

The biggest annoyance this week has been the way the internet is behaving lately. I blame the internet, for the want of something concrete to aim my wrath at, but in all fairness, I’m not sure what is happening, or who is doing it.

I seem to run into problems no matter what I try to do, these days. Quite reduces my joy in blogging, to be honest.

I have always enjoyed reading posts, making a point to share my thoughts, and liking and commenting where necessary. These days most of the like buttons I press don’t work and any comments I make are not accepted, so the poor recipient cannot appreciate my visit. Needless to say, this is most annoying.

Anyway, enough of the moaning.

Work is going well with the WIP, Ghost of a Chance. The end is in sight, just visible behind a mountain of loose ends.

We have a new cover for The Scarlet Ribbon and will be promoting it next week.

New Cover

We shall be taking part in #Six on Saturday tomorrow, as everything is growing like crazy at the moment.

See you then, and stay cool…

Jaye