Of Mice and Men…

Image by Wilfried Pohnke from Pixabay

Jaye

The best-laid plans and all that, always seem to backfire when it’s me who makes them.

Doesn’t matter what it is, something will always get in the way. My best days are those when I don’t plan anything, almost as though I must keep it a secret from myself.

I have lost track of how many good writing days just happened.

This works for everything. If I plan to cut the grass, the heavens will open, and it will rain all day. Some of my unplanned days turn out to be amazing, far beyond my expectations.

As you can imagine, this state of affairs plays havoc with my progress, something I have trouble accepting. I mean, who is in charge around here?

I love it when it happens with writing. I can be in the middle of the daily chores, and emails when I get this overwhelming desire to pick up a pen and write something that has popped into my head.

I welcome these moments, even when they happen first thing in the morning when I only have one eye open. I suppose this could be what happens to rebels when they get old, if it is, it’s the only part of growing old I approve of!

I often wonder if I need more discipline, although saying the word puts my teeth on edge.

It would increase my book production though…

Another reminder of Bookfunnel’s latest promotion!


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There are a lot of interesting and FREE thrillers just waiting to be read,

click on the link and fill up your kindles!

Tuesday Teaser… #Fiction #Excerpt #WIP

Excerpt from the WIP for Ghost of a Chance

The basement door was easy to overlook, it looked like a cupboard. It opened easily, revealing a dark hole leading down into the bowels of the earth. I looked for a light switch, my hand searching where my eyes could not but found nothing.

As we made our way down the stairs in the dark, I used the torchlight on my phone to see the way. I found the light switch at the bottom of the stairs.

The air in the basement smelled old and musty, with the faint odour of tobacco. We were in a large room, set out like an office with an old desk and overflowing bookcases. An even older leather armchair sat in the corner surrounded by a neat stack of cardboard boxes.

Laurie must have read my mind, saying exactly what I was thinking. ‘Phew, thank God there’s no freezer, nowhere to hide a body…’

My next thought I kept to myself, maybe the body had been cut up and was in all those boxes.

A loud noise made me jump and Laurie shriek, and that was when the light went out.

‘What was that? Snow, where are you?’

‘I’m here, Laurie. Stand still while I switch on my phone light. I don’t suppose you remember seeing any torches when we were here before?’

The limited light from my phone isolated us as we stood at the bottom of the stairs. I strained my eyes, trying to see the further corners of the room. It looked as it did moments ago, but it didn’t feel the same. Weird rustling sounds, creaking and what sounded like whispering came at me from all the corners of the room.

Laurie must have heard it too, for she turned away from me. ‘I’ll go look for a torch, shall I?’ And shot up the stairs like an athlete.

I wanted to follow her, but something kept my feet rooted to the floor.

The whispering came closer and seemed much louder. Something brushed against my face and the image of a bat flew across my mind. This was unlikely, as there didn’t seem to be any access to the outside, something bats had to have.

I shone the light around the room again and as it reached the leather armchair in the corner, the light flickered and went out but not before I thought I saw someone sitting there.

I barely had the time to consider this when something shoved me.

I felt hands on my lower back, strong enough to cause me to stumble.

Instantly, my arms thrashed around, expecting to contact whoever touched me, but found no one.

‘Laurie, is that you?’

The room was silent, the creaks and the whispering stopped as if waiting for someone or something to answer my question.

I tried to move, to make my way up the stairs but my feet refused to move.

I felt the hands on my back again, a growing chill spreading from the site of contact. ‘Who are you?’

When the voice began to speak, the whispering grew louder, creating a tornado of sound, circling around me.

‘You don’t want or need to know who I am, MR Snow. Get out of my house!’

When the shove came, it sent me flying across the room and I found myself in the leather armchair, pinned down by the hands that sent me there.

As I sat there, stunned and very disorientated, I tried to make sense of what had just happened. A flickering light appeared, bobbing up and down. Now what, I wondered. My rational mind not quite accepting any of this.

‘Snow, where are you? I found a torch, it’s a bit feeble but better than nothing.’ As she shone the light around the room, she found me sprawled in the armchair.

‘What are you doing? Don’t tell me you wanted to take it easy, what are you like?’

A small laugh escaped from my mouth as I thought about trying to explain what I thought had just happened.

I did my best to describe what happened to me in the basement. Laurie listened, but I wasn’t sure she believed everything I said. One thing we did agree on, we were trying to help a lonely and confused woman, not get involved with ghost hunting.

That’s what I think, but is it really? ( all opinions gratefully welcome!)

Jaye Marie

A New Week Begins… with a Wordle…

I wasn’t ready for the week to start, as still immersed in my WIP. I have made amazing progress, (some of Anita’s alchemy) over the weekend, so it does seem a shame to switch off that part of my brain,

So, I won’t.

Luckily, Anita has been busy too. A new poem, I Cannot Live and The Sunday Whirl Wordle, so I hope you won’t miss me today!

The Sunday Whirl Wordle

Love is a kind of alchemy
It leaves you feeling 
as though you have drunk too much
It teases your mind, 
searching for that silver lining
Your eyes blinded by the sparkle 
of the gold ring on your finger
The dirt crumbles beneath your feet
Fools say they will never fall in love
They sit alone at the bar, 
drowning their sorrows
Sometimes I want to shake them 
by the back of the neck
Tell them there is alchemy waiting out there…

©AnitaDawes2022

Once Written… #Poetry #Music

I have always been a fan of Anita’s writing, her wonderful books, and her incredible poetry, so this is what I am posting today.

This week has left me drained, I have been so busy, what with catching up on all the chores that didn’t get done thanks to me being on retreat, locked in my office. And I have managed to get a lot more writing done too, as the muse decided to hang around and nag me. Not complaining, mind you, but couldn’t think of a better way to end the week.

 

Once Written

As long as I can hold a pen
I will write the stories I am sent
They are children running free
In fields inside my head.
Easy you say. Pin one down
Write what's said
They do not come fully formed my friend
They need a few words from me
to help them run
A violent ending or happy
Is theirs to tell
I wait impatiently for every word
Surprised at times at what is said
They were no more than bones
Inside my head
Now flesh has formed
If they could walk from the pages
They would fit in our world
As easily as you or me
Those some I say, should not
Share the air we breathe…
 
©anitadawes 2020

Have a brilliant weekend everyone!

Finding the Joy!

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Finding the Joy…

Every morning, without fail, I switch on the computer and systematically clear my emails, mostly spam. My day would not be right if I didn’t do this. Usually, I don’t have loads of rules, preferring to do what I like, when I want, but this one thing is a must-do job.

Then I log in to our website on WordPress.

I read and answer any comments and then turn to the Reader List. It can sometimes take me over an hour to read them all, but I love every minute. On any particular day, I can communicate with many people, new conversations or ongoing ones—so many discussions about such varied subjects from people all over the world.

When we began blogging over ten years ago, we never knew that it would grow into this huge, wonderful club where we can smile, sigh, laugh and cry, all in the space of an hour.

We marvel at the fantastic images and artwork, share in the joy of writers finally getting a break, share the sadness of losing either people, pets, or sometimes their minds (more common than you might think) and laugh at children’s antics and animals alike.

These lovely people have become our extended family, a family that shares their lives, loves, and sometimes, even their limitations.

We began blogging to help further our writing careers, but somewhere along the way, it has become so much more than that…

We have been trying hard lately to be more organised, to find ways to stop life from getting in the way of everything, but it continues to beat us or find ways to slow us down.

There are days when I wish I could say okay, you win, and crawl away like a sensible old lady. Not happening. There is still so much I want to do; in fact, the list seems to get longer every day.

I hope it’s just my imagination, but I seem to be getting slower and shock horror! I am making more mistakes than usual. There have been serious errors on the WIP, bad enough for me to want to scrap it and start over. But I didn’t.

Being stubborn usually saves me so much work in the long run, not that it helps me much these days. Now that I am a part-time carer and head cook and bottle washer, and apparently, the only one who knows where the saucepans live, time is getting a lot harder to stretch.

I will continue to stretch it until it screams, for I thoroughly enjoyed my recent weekend writing retreat. Apart from writing up a storm, the sense of calm and purpose was very welcome. I must do it again, and soon!

Jaye

A Brilliant start to the Week! #Poetry

We’re back!

I managed to switch off the computer and my worry machine over the weekend. My fingers ache from all the writing I have done, but I am so happy with the results of my first writing retreat. This may be a regular thing until I finish this work in progress.

This year started crazy and has continued to challenge us all. I lost my way with writing, to be honest, I didn’t think I could turn it around.

Somehow, I found a store of better determination, and I’m delighted! I even found time to plant seeds and cut the grass!

I managed 3000 words this weekend and came up with ideas for two more books while I was at it. Not sure why this happens, but so glad it does.

We are kicking off the week with another one of Anita’s incredible yet crazy poems. She may not be up to any long walks yet, but her brain is still working properly. Yay!

This brilliant acrostic poem is actually three poems in one. You can read each font separately, or as one poem.

Best Easter Blessings…

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

This year, Easter will be a peaceful writing retreat for us, so we are signing off until Tuesday…

I, personally, have been making great strides with Ghost of a Chance, my currant WIP, so thought it would be a good opportunity to concentrate my efforts and hopefully finish the second draft. I will let you know how this went next week.

I am feeling very positive, possibly for the first time this year. The weather promises to be glorious, so I might even have time to plant some seeds …

We wish you all a peaceful and happy Easter…

Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

Jaye’s Best Day of the Week ~ WIP Wednesday

My days get busier than ever, so allocating just one is difficult. Wednesday is always WIP day, even though other things constantly get in the way. As usual, fate stuck his nose in, deciding my morning.

I started well, waded through the emails, checked comments on WP and made inroads into our media overload, almost ready to start writing…

When the mouse started playing up again.

Jumping around like an idiot, refusing to go where I pointed, not doing a bloody thing for my happy Wednesday. This happened last month, and I ended up buying a new mouse. Surely it can’t want replacing already?

So, I did what any self-respecting blogger should do, I switched everything off and moved to my writing chair.

I read an interesting post from Joan Hall today about WIP…

I was in heaven for the next hour as I worked on my current villain. I like my bad boys to be special and very human, so it’s always a pleasure to be in their company. I wondered why this was and if it said something about me? I mean, creating heroes doesn’t fill me with this much pleasure. Almost, but no cigar, if you know what I mean…

The other odd thing about writing is that I get such promising ideas while doing it. Ideas for different projects, so I must have a notebook beside me.

I also read another interesting post about Writing and Covers from the Story Empire. Timely, too, for I am wrestling with creating a new cover for one of our books.

I have also saved a copy of an article about Newsletters, something I really need to study.

It is lunchtime, and it’s been a wonderful day already … not counting the mouse! They say the devil works in clever ways…

Jaye

The Grey Squirrel ~ #FFFC #Shortstory

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #162

The photograph is from Anita Creations at DeviantArt.com.

For the visually challenged writer, the photo is of a woman with a pensive expression on her face as she sits upon a large, mossy rock deep inside a forest.

She was starving and very cold.

Her feet hurt, bleeding in several places from stumbling on the sharp stones scattered about in the woods. She didn’t know why she ran to this place every time her life became too hard to bear.

There were no answers here; she knew that. No help either. Just the soul-shattering proof that she really was lost and far beyond help.

She had been here so many times, always ending up feeling far more alone than ever. She strained her ears, hoping to hear a bird song or the stealthy movements of a passing creature, but there was nothing.

Maybe today, there would be a breath of wind to move the branches above her head, letting her know the world was still out there.

But this place seemed as dead as her soul.

As she stared at a large oak, the fallen leaves around the base of the tree began to move. So, something did live here, or were they merely visiting, like she was?

A small grey squirrel appeared as she watched, his tiny hands clamped around an acorn. He suddenly stopped, his fluffy tail twitching. He wasn’t looking in her direction. Did he know she was watching him?

He slowly turned his head and stared at her. His dark, beady eyes seemed to twinkle, and she wondered what he thought of her. He slowly nodded his head as if he heard the question, possibly acknowledging another lonely soul?

This thought caused her to look away in shame, and when she looked back, the squirrel had gone. That was when she realised he wasn’t lonely. He had a purpose.

Something she needed to find…

Jaye

#Throwback Thursday~ A Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs #Review #Thriller @KathyReichs

Number One New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with her nineteenth riveting novel featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, who must use all her tradecraft to discover the identity of a faceless corpse, its connection to a decade-old missing child case, and the reason the dead man had her phone number.

It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.
 
An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.
 
To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue. With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth.
 
But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes …

 

Our Review

Temperance Brennan is back, but not in the pink if you know what I mean.

In this story, she has all kinds of problems, most she doesn’t have a dog’s chance of overcoming.

But you just know she will find the way.

This is the first story by Kathy Reichs I have read, but I have long been a fan of the popular tv series based on these books. It has been a real eye-opener to meet the real character.

She may not be the person I thought I knew, but she is someone I recognise. The same attention to detail and overwhelming need to know the truth.

It took me a while to accustom myself to this totally different Bones compared to the one I have been watching for years, but my first impression was favourable. The Bones in this book is a sensible, technically minded, deep thinking woman, one with a shocking sense of humour and the ability to swear like a trooper. Definitely, my kind of role model!

In A Conspiracy of Bones, Temperance is exhausted and confused, trying to come to terms with losing her job and her recent life-threatening brain trauma. She becomes involved in a nasty and mysterious crime through anonymous images and messages sent to her phone.

Written in the first person, I could feel the alienation with her circumstances, and be inside her head to know how her brain works. Frustrated with being incapacitated and unemployed, she desperately wants to discredit the one person who conspired to steal her job. Trying to solve a case long-distance tries her weakened capabilities to their limit, but fascinating to watch.

I loved the scene where she finally managed to fall asleep while looking at a tiny statue of Ganesh. I wondered if she was praying for him to solve some of her problems…

Biography

Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan novels include Death du Jour, Deadly Décisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, Bones of the Lost, Bones Never Lie, Speaking in Bones and the Temperance Brennan short story collection, The Bone Collection. In addition, Kathy co-authors the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are: Virals, Seizure, Code, Exposure, and Terminal along with two Virals e-novellas, Shift and Swipe. These books follow the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great niece, Tory Brennan. Dr. Reichs is also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina, and continues to do so for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted with identifying remains found at ground zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Dr. Reichs is one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte, NC and Montreal, Québec.