#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

#Throwback Thursday ~ Our Review for Silent Mayhem by Sue Coletta @SueColetta1 #SuspenseThriller

Silent Mayhem: The Mayhem Series: #3 Kindle Edition

Some things in life defy comprehension, but that doesn’t make them any less real. Or deadly.

When a familiar crow drops a cryptic scroll at Shawnee Daniels’ feet, she’s compelled to open it, even though everything in her power warns her not to. Mr. Mayhem—the most prolific serial killer the North Shore has ever known—claims her life is in danger. He “claims” he wants to help her, but just last year he threatened to murder everyone she loves.

While Mayhem taunts her with oddly-placed feathers, like The Creator left at his crime scenes, an interstate killing spree rocks Massachusetts and New Hampshire. A madman is decapitating men and women, dumping their headless corpses on two area beaches. But what Shawnee soon uncovers shatters all she’s ever known, her memories shredded, the whispers of the past in shambles on the ground.

Can she find the strength to move forward, or will the truth destroy her?

Our Review

Another remarkable story in the Mayhem series and the main character, Mr Mayhem gets even better!

Infuriatingly enigmatic as always, I love the way he adores his crows, his wife, and even Shawnee Daniels in his own inimitable way.

I loved reading the fascinating history about the Navajo Indians and the importance of the eagle feathers.

They say that all good writing should leave you wanting answers, and Silent Mayhem, the third book in the series is chock full of questions as it gears up for the next instalment.

In the meantime, I have a few of my own…

How, exactly, can a cold-blooded killer be so kind, and believe that Shawnee had killed anyone?

How did he cure her mysterious illness and why did he want to keep her safe?

And who is this Navajo skinwalker?

I can thoroughly recommend Silent Mayhem, the pace might give you a coronary though, so you have been warned!

Morse Code Mouse? #Keepitalive ~ #Whatdoyousee

What do you see # 39 – 20 July 2020

Image credit- Pixabay- S Hermann and F Richter

( For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a tiny mouse sitting in a wicker basket. There are a couple of grocery lists and some dry pantry items in the background)

It was going to be another hot day and I was up early, trying to catch up on the editing I was desperately trying to finish.

I worked solidly for an hour and the heat was beginning to build. Instead of the early morning freshness, each breath of air was warm in my throat.

Sitting at my desk, pen in hand trying to pretend I was writing, I stared out the window, wondering how long this hot weather would last.

I hate being hot and sweaty all the time. They had promised a thunderstorm later, so that was something to look forward to.

From my window, I had a good view of the garden hedge and its half-clipped state taunted me. It had been abandoned when the hot weather struck. It looked ridiculous, with one side neatly clipped and the top and other side sprouting long shoots like a mad hairstyle. I itched to finish it, but not until the heat let up a bit.

That was when the tapping began.

It seemed to be coming from next door, something we used to hearing. They have a small boy who delights in banging anything he can find on the walls.

As we patiently waited for the noise to stop, I began to imagine someone in trouble, tapping out a message to summon help. This is an occupational hazard for writers, we use any opportunity to create scenarios.

The tapping sounded like Morse code, but with no recognisable pattern. We discussed different reasons why the person in trouble couldn’t shout and that was when we wondered if there was anyone at home next door. It was a school day, and both parents worked, so the mystery was getting deeper.

Anita decided to check and knocked on their front door. When no one appeared, she looked through the windows just in case there was someone lying on the floor.

By now, the tapping had reached a seriously annoying level and I wanted to scream to make it stop. It was louder in the kitchen, but every time we walked into the room, the tapping stopped. Almost as though the tapper could see us and was patiently waiting for us to leave.

As the time went on, the incessant tapping seemed to be increasing, becoming more urgent.

We went through all the possibilities, like could the fridge be making the noise. It did produce odd clicks now and then when defrosting, but nothing like what we were hearing now.

Was there something in the wall, trying to munch its way out?

We have bats in the roof but have never heard them. Anyway, the bathroom was between the kitchen and the roof, so it wasn’t likely.

The kitchen floor was solid concrete, so the tapping couldn’t be coming from there either.

It was almost lunchtime and the tapping had been constant all morning. Our nerves were frayed, and the rising temperature added to the desperation.

That was when Anita mentioned that the tapping sounded metallic and she remembered the mouse trap.

This was one of those humane traps, where the mice can go in to eat the cheese but cannot get back out again.  We bought this a long time ago when Merlin started bringing mice into the house. He never kills them you see, and we were for ever chasing them around the house to put them outside.

Now, normally, when one of his playmates has found the cheese, he lets us know so we can release it. For some reason, this time he hadn’t.

I slid the trap out from under the cupboard and peered inside. I couldn’t see a mouse, but the cheese had been nibbled. I took the trap out into the garden and lifted the lid. Instantly, a tiny but very determined field mouse appeared and leaped to freedom.

Problem solved and peace returned to the household.

Now, where is that thunderstorm?

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This post brought to mind when the first of these visitors began to arrive, and the terrible circumstances that ensued.

If you would like to read these posts, you can find them at the following links…

Tom and Jerry  Part One

Tom and Jerry  Part two

Jaye’s Journal …

Jaye's Journal x12

Every now and then, we get a wake-up call, a wonderful moment when a magic light bulb illuminates an area in our brain. This usually heralds a brilliant idea, something groundbreaking or so incredibly sensible, you wonder why it took so long to surface.

Then there are the other kind. The ones accompanied by that awful stomach churning, as you realise how stupid you are or have been.

Today, I had one of these, and it has done absolutely nothing good to my self-confidence. I was rechecking the enormous pile of helpful notes (I use this term advisedly) when the realisation hit me between the eyes.

We make all these lists of things to do, things to remember or try. Then we get a sense of achievement when we actually cross something off. Today, it was brought home to me, just how stupid that is.

I had been watching a trailer someone had made using a company called Animoto. That name rang a bell, but the memory didn’t follow on. Had  I already checked them out? And if  I did, what did I find?

Those of you with fantastic memories will not need the advice I am about to share, but I suspect quite a few of you, like me, will find it useful.

When we read something that needs checking out, we should have a place to record our findings. Either a page in a notebook or an index card in our follow up box. Write a simple assessment, was it good/rubbish/too expensive/unsuitable…and if you logged on to the site, record the URL and your password.

I have no idea why this has never occurred to me before, as I seem to spend my life revisiting sites, only to realise I had been there before. It will be so helpful to be able to see at a glance all the info.

Just think of the time saved!

#Writephoto ~ Painted #Poetry

Thursday photo prompt: Painted #writephoto

 

This week Sue Vincent has chosen a rather lovely image for the prompt.

Shades of Monet there, I think…

 

Image by scvincent.com

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a rather oriental red bridge over a  pool covered with waterlilies and surrounded by trees.

 

Woodland Scent

What lies beyond the red bridge?

Tantalising, teasing, a sound calling me

Daring me to fight my way through the trees

I cross over the shining lily pond

Following the sweet melancholy sound

Of someone singing

Their sorrow filled the air

I felt it, a delicate touch

A small hand brushing against my skin

The scent of woodland must be messing with my head

I reach a clearing where a large tree had fallen

I sat awhile, the strange sound surrounding my head

Again, the touch on my arm

There she sat, beside me

Her eyes the colour of moonlight

Her hair, fallen snow, so delicate

One touch would crush her

I dare not move for fear she would vanish

So beautiful a wood nymph

As any painter would wish to put on canvas

I thought of Monet

How well she would look on his lily pond

Her tiny frame would not look out of place

Realising that the singing had stopped

I remember thinking I had not seen her mouth moving

Her words entered my head

You must save the woodlands

We are many, unseen by human eyes

We need the trees to protect us, to live…

With one last touch against my skin, she vanished.

My mind turned upside down

As I walked back across the bridge

Turning to take one last look

I swear I could see her sitting on a lily pad…

©anitadawes 2020

 

How I returned to work, and possibly ruined everything!

 

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How I returned to work, and possibly ruined everything!

 

I read an interesting post the other day, written by Staci Troilo, where she describes her struggle to get back on the old blogging workhouse after being out of circulation due to trying to finish five novels.

I too am struggling, but not because I have been as productive as Staci. I am fighting to regain the strength I’m sure I had before being cruelly struck down by illness.

I have been wondering where my muse was while I was AWOL and if there was a snowball’s chance in hell of working with him again.

My muse, like Staci’s, is also male but not as attractive. You must read her post, just to see if you turn green with envy like I did!

 

When I first started writing detective novels, I didn’t get to choose my muse but despite appearances, I am more than happy with the one who turned up. I call him Granddad (but not to his face!) He looks remarkably like Mark Twain with his snow-white hair and enormous moustache and he has guided me very well with his old-style wisdom. I could do with him now, for I have another story in my head for my favourite detective David Snow.

I haven’t run it past him yet, but the plot is almost complete. I need to get him on board, as he usually has strong feelings about my ideas and doesn’t always agree with me.

 

So I was completely floored to find the wrong man waiting for me in my office the following morning. It was my detective, David Snow, the tall, attractive man who always reminded me of Tom Selleck in his prime.

As I entered the room, he stood up and approached me.

‘I have been worried about you, Jaye. Are you properly recovered or just putting in a brave face?’

‘I’m fine, David, only tired. How did you know I was ill?’

‘I had the feeling you needed to speak to me, but you weren’t in your office all week, so I knew something was wrong.’

My legs felt weak, either because I still wasn’t running on full strength yet or the effect of having David in my office again. I have never quite relaxed in his company as the man is formidable and quite sexy.

He sat back down, and I almost fell into mine, cursing his scrutiny.

‘You’re not strong enough yet, maybe I should come back another time…’

‘No, I’m fine… And I have an important question for you. How would you feel about being in another of my stories, David?’

His face relaxed and the hint of a smile appeared.

The idea of starring in another novel appealed to his ego but I hadn’t mentioned the awkward part yet. I wondered how he would react when I did.

‘I’m always ready to star in another of your masterpieces, Jaye. You know that…’

Oh well, I thought. Here goes nothing.

‘Not as straightforward as all that this time, David. I am placing this one after book two, Out of Time. And before the current book three, CrossFire and all that happened in that one.’

I paused to see the effect of my words. He raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

‘I have wanted to address your problem with Kate for a while now and this new story will cover that, among other things. What do you think about it?’

The eyebrow was still raised, and I couldn’t tell if it was a good sign or not. ‘I’m not planning on it being a romantic story though…’

He stood up and walked to the door. ‘I will have to get back to you about that, Jaye…’

 

Had I just blown the chance to write the story that had been driving me nuts for weeks?

 

©Jaye Marie 2020

 

#Writephoto ~ Dance #Poetry

Thursday photo prompt: Dance #writephoto

 

Sue Vincent is the host of Thursday Photo Prompt

Image by scvincent.com

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a pale sun piercing the mists above a green path through a golden field, leading into the centre of a circle of stones.

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They Dance

Our star hung colourless

Unable to pierce the grey mist.

As I walked, the green path

with golden fields flanking my sides

I could feel the loneliness

The empty forgotten dance.

For a moment, I wanted to stop

Walk back leave these grey stones

With their ancient memories.

That thought compelled me

To walk on into the circle of stones.

I could barely make out the bank of growth

along the skyline. The mist hung thick

as I entered the stones

I lost the feeling of loneliness.

Replaced by a knowing

I was waiting for something to happen

No, not something, someone

To come back through the mist.

She came towards me

A dark-haired beauty wearing

a white dress that reached the ground

Her arms held out towards me

Before I left the stone circle

I danced with an angel…

©anitadawes 2020

 

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