Review for The Scarlet Ribbon… #Supernatural Romance #Excerpt @dlfinnauthor

Nothing quite like the unexpected review to brighten our days and remind us why write…

Lately, we have needed a break from the constant struggle to stay cheerful, what with our health problems and the terrible weather.

Miserable grey skies do little to cheer us up, so when something unexpected happens, it is very welcome.

This wonderful review from D L Finn really brought the sunshine back!

“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.

Thank you so much, Denise!

Excerpt from The Scarlet Ribbon

I had no idea how long I lay there in the darkness, talking to myself, half hoping that someone or something would hear me and show me the way out. I felt like a defence lawyer, pleading my case before an invisible judge, promising all sorts of things for a second chance. I’d be more patient, and more caring and help all those who needed it. After all, thirty wasn’t a good age to die. That was my final plea. I’d be as good as anyone could be if they’d let me live out the rest of my life with Jack.

But who were ‘they’? Who the hell was I talking to? There didn’t seem to be anyone with me in that dark, empty void.

That’s when I realised I hadn’t left even a small part of myself behind. No children. For the first time, I felt regret. Jack and I had decided that we didn’t need children; we were enough for each other and didn’t want to share our lives with smaller versions of ourselves.

During our second year together, we had allowed one small invasion of our privacy in the form of a tiny black kitten. She’d been dumped in the rain in a brown paper carrier bag like unwanted garbage. It was soaking wet, skinny, and hardly able to walk. I remember taking her home and the look on Jack’s face when I took her out from inside my coat, her dark, spiky fur almost dry from the heat of my body.

It was love at first sight, and we took turns that night feeding her baby milk and comforting her. The following day Jack said he couldn’t stand the smell any longer.

‘She’s got to have a bath, Maggie. She’s a sorry state.’

So that’s what we called her, Sorry. And that’s exactly how I feel now, sorry that we didn’t have a child, someone to remember us, to talk about us when we were gone. But it wasn’t too late; I wasn’t too old, and there was still time…

Anatomy of a Best Seller #Review @sacha_black

                      

Do you wish you could write like your favorite authors? Do you want to improve your writing? If you want to power up your stories, write with your readers in mind, and deliver what the market wants, this book is for you.

In The Anatomy of a Best Seller, you’ll discover:

A step-by-step guide to deconstructing your favorite books so you can utilize the tools of winning authors.
Tips and tricks for breaking down everything from sentence level prose to plot, pacing, characters, story arcs, and more.
A comprehensive guide to understanding your market and what readers want.
Tactics for turning the lessons and tools you find into practical prose and stories.
The Anatomy of a Best Seller is a comprehensive guide that will help you break down the best books in your genre, understand how and why they work, and then learn how to do it yourself.

By the end of the book, you’ll be armed with the methods you need to deconstruct best sellers, understand the tools those authors are using, and how to implement them in your own work.

If you like dark humor and learning through examples, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to deconstructing winning books. Read The Anatomy of a Best Seller today and start writing your best seller.
    

Our Review

I have always wanted to know why some books become best sellers and some don’t. So when I saw The Anatomy of a Best Seller by my friend and excellent writer, Sacha Blake, I knew I was about to find out.

Sacha is a wonderful writer, and her helpful, well-written books for writers everywhere should be gold-plated, as I have always found them easy to understand, totally absorbing and exceedingly helpful.

I have learned so much from Anatomy of a Best Seller, and I am convinced it will help me to get further up the ladder!

Amazon Review

“If you’ve ever wondered what catapults a title to bestseller status, then this book is for you. The Anatomy of a Bestseller had me both laughing out loud and tearfully wishing it had existed sooner. With her trademark humour, let Sacha Black take you through her step-by-step process for identifying what makes a book truly sing. A must-read for all authors who are serious about success and shaping their work into list-worthy stories from the get-go.” Helen Scheuerer, bestselling fantasy author.

The Midnight Rambler by Craig Boyack~ #Review #Urban Fantasy @Virgilante

Today, it is our turn to host the amazing new story from our friend and fellow writer, Craig Boyack.

Over the years, we have read several of his lovely stories, and they never disappoint.

The Midnight Rambler, in our humble opinion, is the best yet!

Fabulous cover!

Our Review

Craig Boyack’s stories are always a good read, especially at this time of year, with plenty of wonderful characters and situations.

The Midnight Rambler story is the best, with one of the worst monsters!

Disasters follow Lizzie around, but this time she has extra help in the form of Ray C Adair. He is a very likeable character, and although he seems to need more help than Lizzie, I rooted for them both. I loved that he brought a little romance to the proceedings while helping Lizzie find a missing professor, a horde of menacing scarecrows, and of course, The Midnight Rambler.

They have their hands full in this dizzy adventure, chock full of the unusual and the bizarre.

Just the job for Halloween!

Over to you, Craig, and welcome to our blog!

So kind of you to lend me your space, Anita & Jaye. I’d love to have you over whenever you need a place to promote. I love this indie author community and this is just a small part of it.

I tend to write stories that are more toward the outrageous fringe of fiction. I orbit around paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy tales. Today, I want to talk about keeping readers grounded.

Before I get started, don’t forget to check out the cover and blurb. Those will give you more insight into what this story is about. I think it’s perfect for the Halloween season and hope you’ll give it a try.

Back to the topic of reality, I think it’s important to give readers a solid base to start from. The Hat Series is full of monsters and things that go bump in the night. I want readers to come along for the ride, but try really hard to ground them in things they can understand.

Lizzie St. Laurent is a twenty-something young woman who teamed up with a magical talking hat to fight monsters. That’s a lot to expect readers to swallow, so I try to include a lot of the real world. Lizzie struggles with things young people are experiencing right now.

She works multiple meaningless jobs to pay the rent. She has a small cover band that brings in a few bucks on the weekends. When her car needs attention, she doesn’t always have the cash to cover the bills. She has a Keurig in her apartment, which seems to fit a certain age group. Readers can relate.

In this story, she’s going to have to deal with the fallout from a major flood. Her life could take years to get back on track. These are things that happen in the real world, and I think they give readers a way to understand her while she’s dealing with monsters, like The Midnight Rambler.

Hoard some toilet paper and canned goods, bring your snorkel, and check out The Midnight Rambler. I think you’ll have a good time.

Cover Blurb:

Something evil is after the hat. The ageless enemies have battled many times, but this time Lizzie is wearing the hat. She’s also up against a ticking clock, in that if she can’t find the maker of her new friend’s medicine he will die.

The Rambler has kidnapped the only witch capable of making Ray’s medicine in an attempt to make the hat sloppy in his efforts. He’s also flooded the streets with deadly minions to impede any progress our heroes might make.

As if that weren’t enough, Lizzie is facing more of life’s struggles, both financially and mechanically. This all goes down in the middle of a huge flood event that she’s ill equipped to handle.

Join Lizzie and the hat as they battle the elements, the paranormal, and a being of pure evil. Lizzie might be battling some personal demons along the way as she and Ray grow closer.

Get your copy here: https://mybook.to/TheMidnightRambler

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From a Reader to a Writer…

I have always enjoyed reading books. Mostly for the sense of escapism involved. Somewhere you can forget about your own life and live someone else’s, albeit vicariously.

It has been a blessing, sometimes more than at other times, depending on how my own life was going at that moment.

I honestly believe that reading books has kept me sane. They have taught me practically everything I know, for if I need or want to know how to do something, I turn to books to find out. Nowadays, we have the internet, but in my youth, all we had were books.

These days, something else has been added to my enduring love affair with the printed word. Putting it quite simply, they have inspired me to write. You could say that the art of reading could do this anyway, to anyone. But up until a few years ago, I was unaware of this. They were my retreat, my sanctuary. Nothing else.

But then everything changed.

I had always been a compulsive reader, consuming anything I could get my hands on. I didn’t discriminate and read everything. Asked to list my favourite authors, I would have been hard pushed, for I loved them all.

Somewhere along the way, I have developed a ‘criterion’. I no longer just read a book. My brain seems intent on sifting the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Who knew it could have that kind of opinion?

Two pages into a book, and if it is not talking to me by then, I discard it and try another. These days I love the kind of books that inspire me and make my fingers want to pick up a pen. Not to copy or emulate, but to write down how the author has made me feel. Sometimes I find myself with a book in one hand and a notebook in the other.

It’s as if a doorway has been opened in my mind. Artists say colours work for them; for me, it’s the power of the words and how they are used.

Something else has changed in me. I have always considered myself reasonably adept with the English language. It was my favourite lesson at school, and over the years, as I have said before, it has saved my sanity on many occasions.

For the first time in my life, I have doubts, and they are growing all the time. I have helped other people edit and proofread their books and have been totally convinced I was good at it. Many people (including an agent) once said that I was. I have also reviewed dozens of books along the way.

But that was before I picked up a pen and wrote a story of my own. I never expected it to be as hard as it was, for words usually came easily to me. But I discovered a very important fact about writing a book. Not only must it have a beginning, middle and end, but it must also flow, make perfect sense and be interesting to read.

It also has to have structure and subplots; the list was endless. I discovered to my horror that I was not as clever as I thought when the pen was in my hand! Words tend to come at me in a rush, short spasms of prose that seem quite eloquent at the time but appear quite truncated when you attempt to join them all together. So much so that I nearly gave up several times.

I began to seriously doubt I could ever be a writer, that this wasn’t something I could simply learn how to do. But I persevered, did my absolute best, and after my edits and even more soul searching, I uploaded it onto Amazon, thinking my work was done.

But I was wrong.

In my haste to achieve something that will hopefully outlast me, I forgot the most important step of all. Someone else should have read it first. Someone objective, who would come to it afresh, with no desire or agenda to bin it at the first error.

I learned that it is impossible for me to see my manuscript with a subjective eye. You cannot hope to, really, because you have lived with it for so long. I wrongly assumed the reverse would be true, that the fact you created every word would make you more than qualified.

This was all so long ago, and I have learned much more since then…

I would also like to thank everyone for their involvement in last week’s book launch!

I am still stunned by how well it all went…

Ghost of a Chance: Book 4 of the DI Snow Series ~ Tour Stop Day Three ~ Jan Sikes and Colleen Chesebro #Bookrelease #Ghost #Mystery

Day three, and we get double the fun with two hosts for Ghost of a Chance. Jan Sikes and Colleen Chesebro, both wonderful writers, are sharing the centre stage to promote my story.

Jan Sikes

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I can still remember the excitement that surged through me the first time I realized I could decipher words. There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in a story.

Oddly enough, I never had any ambition to be a writer. But I wound up in mid-life with a story that begged to be told. Not just any story, but a true story that rivalled any fiction creation. Through fictitious characters, the tale came to life in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books. Not satisfied to stop with the books, I released music CDs of original music to match the time period of each story segment. In conclusion, to bring the story full circle, I published a book of poetry and art. I was done.

Wrong!

The story ideas keep coming, and I don’t intend to turn off the creative fountain.

I love all things metaphysical and often include those aspects in my stories.

I am a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Story Empire, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. I am an avid fan of Texas music and grandmother of five beautiful souls. I reside in North Texas.

Connect through Jan’s website: http://www.jansikes.com

Follow Jan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

Follow Jan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JanSikes3

Follow Jan’s Blog: http://www.jansikesblog.com

Our Review for Ghostly Interference

Rena Jett grew up inside the foster care system with her brother. I grew up in the same circumstances and identified with her every step of the way. I know how hostile and confusing her world must have been. It can confuse how you see the world, a world you never knew existed while inside a system that meant well but never felt like it did. The author has captured every confusing emotion and how they interact with a person’s life extremely well.

I especially loved Rena’s relationship with her brother, Sam. He tried so hard to be there for her and his constant caring and mysterious presence made this romantic and beautifully written story lovely to read.

Just heard that the second book in the White Rune series, Jagged Feathers is now available, and I cannot wait to read it!

Please follow Jan’s link to read more about Ghost of a Chance   HERE

Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly poetry challenge called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry.

Along with Jules Paige, Colleen is also a co-editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse,” at wordweavingpoetryjournal.com. The debut issue of this journal will publish in October 2021.

Colleen’s syllabic poetry has appeared in various other online publications. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for Carrot Ranch. Colleen’s poetry has poetry in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures,” and Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships.

Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House.

Find Colleen at Word Craft Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com.

Our Review for Fairies, Myths & Magic

 Prepare to be enchanted!


These enchanting poems and stories are a joy to read and would make a truly beautiful present for anyone who loves the magical world of myths and magic.
I had just finished editing my complicated mystery/thriller and wanted something to undo all the knots in my brain. I chose to read this delightful book written by Colleen Chesebro and it worked a treat!
I was transported back to a time when I saw fairies everywhere, and the years simply fell away as I remembered those golden days of my childhood.
Thank you, Colleen, for restoring the magical centre in my brain…

Please follow Colleen’s link to read a special interview with David Snow HERE

Our thanks to both of these ladies for taking part in the book tour for Ghost of a Chance!

Jaye’s Week ~ #Progress

It is getting harder than ever to come up with posts that are not filled with even a little doom and gloom, mainly because I am trying so hard to avoid thinking about the future.

I should be bouncing around like a two-year-old at a birthday party, full of the joy of the approaching release of my latest masterpiece.

The excitement is there, somewhere, as I get moments when I forget everything else and become a writer and nothing else matters.

Book Four in the series, but can be read as a stand alone

The pre-release is going well, HERE IN UK and IN US with interest on amazon itself and also my own marketing efforts on social media and Bookfunnel HERE.

Many, many thanks to everyone who has taken part!

I almost have everything ready for next week’s launch, and I’m busy working on a trailer and the paperback edition.

It crossed my mind that I should be promoting the previous book in the series, CrossFire, so I have reduced the price in case anyone is interested in finding out what happened before and how my favourite detective, David Snow, ended up the way he did.

Blurb for CrossFire

A mysterious thriller about an unusual serial killer, from the author of Nine Lives and Out of Time…

Detective Snow has another killer to catch.

A killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits.

Someone has killed his sergeant and now seems to be coming after him.

He is hampered by the arrival of ‘Ruthless’ DI Ruth Winton,

Someone who is not who she seems to be.

Can he outwit this killer, or will the truth cost him his life?

Jaye’s Week…

This has been a very strange week.

Along with trying to organise the book launch for Ghost of a Chance and sending out the promo material for all those lovely people taking part; I have been battling with not feeling great. Coping with the new meds they have given me to help dissolve the blockage in my right coronary artery has not been a walk in the park.

My body doesn’t care for medications of any kind, never has, but I did hope this time might be different, considering what might happen if they don’t work. The thought of possibly having my ribs cracked and being opened like a filleted fish is scaring me silly.

I have endured a lot in my life, but something tells me this might be a bridge too far.

So, regardless of my fuzzy head, muscle cramps and nausea, I am determined to handle this problem my way. I have reviewed my diet and upped the amount of time I do yoga. At least I feel a little better with all these positive thoughts and actions!

This brings me to the reason for this post today.

Ghost of a Chance is now on pre-release on Amazon for just 99p. UK: and US:

A damaged detective, out of a job
A relationship on the rocks
What does the future hold for David Snow?
Just when he thought life couldn’t get any worse
A ghost with a grudge adds to his pain
A ghost hell-bent on stopping him from rebuilding his life…

Excerpt from Ghost of a Chance

It was pretty late when Alan Turner let himself in. He couldn’t hear the television, so he assumed making himself a cup of coffee was safe. Normally, he wasn’t allowed in her kitchen and forbidden to use the kettle, but he had been sitting outside in the car for the best part of an hour, and his mouth was dry.

The kettle had just switched itself off, and he was pouring the hot water into the cup when the voice of doom spoke from the doorway.

‘What the bloody hell are you doing in my kitchen?’

He didn’t answer or turn around. He figured she could see well enough what he was doing. It wouldn’t matter anyway, for she never liked anything he said. He casually picked up the cup and took a sip, even though it burned his mouth.

Before he knew what hit him, she had knocked the cup out of his hand, the hot coffee soaking through his clothes.

‘Clear that mess up and get out of my kitchen!’ She stood in front of him glaring, almost defying him to retaliate.

When he didn’t move, she raised her hand to hit him. Instinctively, he leaned forward and shoved her. He didn’t push hard, but she went backwards, striking her head on the door frame.

He expected all hell to break loose at that point, but she lay there, her eyes unfocused, making no effort to get up.

An old memory suddenly surfaced, and he saw his mother lying there, blood trickling out of her mouth and eyes, beaten to death by his stepfather. He was just seven years old and terrified of what would happen next. A neighbour had rescued him and called the police. Alan had spent the next few years in children’s homes, finally becoming free on his 16th birthday. His life continued to be unkind until he met his wife.

Looking down at the sprawled figure at his feet, he couldn’t bring himself to touch her to see if she was all right. If she wasn’t dead, he would know about it soon enough. He couldn’t stay in the house; fate had finally intervened, showing him the error of his misplaced loyalty. He left the house to sleep in his car, determined to find somewhere better to live in the morning.

In the guise of his mother-in-law, fate had decided he wouldn’t be leaving just yet. The following morning, desperate to use the toilet, he let himself into the house, praying she was asleep or still unconscious. Not only was she conscious, but she was smiling, and there was a cooked breakfast on the kitchen table, something she had never done before. Deciding to accept what appeared to be an olive branch, he waited to see what she was up to.

Over the bacon and eggs, she threatened to have him arrested for assault if he tried to leave. Not fooled for a minute by this new development, he wondered what game she was playing now. The obvious conclusion was that she didn’t want his torment or money to stop anytime soon.

It was a very subdued but disappointed man who went to work that day…

I know you are all busy and time is short, but if you could buy a copy; UK and the US and leave a few words on launch day, September 27th on Amazon, or Goodreads, you would make this old lady very happy.

Ghost of a Chance might be my last book (although I really hope not!), and I would love it to do well, just in case…

*** ARC copies are available on request in the comments ***

Breaking News ~ Ghost of a Chance #MysteryThriller ~ #Release Date

The worst heat has gone, and we had rain this morning. We are not overly impressed, though; they must have been dishing it out with a teaspoon! Other parts of the country are having bucket loads. Sigh…

No thunderstorms either, so we are reduced to watching what others are getting on the TV. We mustn’t complain, as getting rid of all that suppressed heat was the best gift. We actually managed to get a good night’s sleep without being soaked in sweat!

Book Description

Detective Snow sustained severe damage to his left shoulder on his last case. Forced to retire, his wife is leaving him, and there is not much hope for his future.

He considers being a private investigator something he feels he should be good at, even with a damaged arm.

His first case opens the door to some strange paranormal goings on.

He doesn’t believe in ghosts, but will this case change his mind?


I still have some editing to finish on Ghost of a Chance, but I think it is time I talked about a release date. Technically, it should be two months from now, but I don’t want to publish in October for some reason.

It will have to be as near the end of September as possible.

How about September 27?

I usually ask for beta readers, but every time I look around these days, something changes so I thought I would too.

I would love for readers to offer their help with the promotion and send me their bio and latest book news, so they can really be a part of the book launch. All promo material will be supplied.

Please leave your name in the comments if you want to participate!

Jagged Feathers ~ Book Two of The White Rune Series ~ #Military Romance @JanSikes3

Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic could bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.

On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.

A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.
Will these two not only survive but find unexpected love along the way? Or will evil forces win and destroy them both?

Our Review

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, Ghostly Interference, so I knew I would love Jagged Feathers.

Vann Noble is a wounded ex-service man, doing his best to adjust to a life he didn’t think he would come home to. A life he wasn’t sure he wanted anymore.

But life hadn’t quite finished with him.

What follows is one of the best many-layered love stories I have ever read. Heartwarming and affirming, reminding me that love can always find a way, one way or another.

The two leading characters, Vann Noble and Nakina Bird, are both damaged and hampered by past experiences. They were not looking for love, just a little peace and time to heal. Add an adorable dog to the mix, one who also needs time to heal, and you have a very good combination…

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