What does it say?

Doodled by Anita Dawes

Here I am, in the living room
Watching TV, reading a book
today, the book lay open on my lap
Pen and paper at my side
As a word spoken can set me off
Yesterday, it was the word destiny
Something I have just read
Rewrites itself to end up in a poem
Not today.
My mind went on its own journey
This doodling isn’t something I am known for
I wonder what it says about me.

© anita dawes 2020

#Throwback Thursday ~ Out of the Shadows and Into my Book…

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This is how Silent PayBack began…

For more than a week now, I have had this new character in my head. He has been following me around, watching my every move. I have tried to talk to him, in my head, you understand, but he has this enigmatic smile, and that’s all I get from him.

I think he wants me to figure out what to do with him, guess what he wants to do but so far, my brain is siding with him and refusing to cooperate.

This morning, I decided I would try to interview him, something I have done before with several of my characters, but you guessed it, he wouldn’t even sit down!

All I know so far is that I do want to write about him, and if I must go through hoops to do it, so be it!

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him nod just then, so it would seem the game is on…

At first glance, he seems an unlikely hero, at least for one of my books. Not very tall, and slender with dark eyes and long hair tied back in a ponytail. Simply dressed in a dark shirt and jeans. But there is an aura about him, he could be a magician, magically producing doves from balls of tissue or flowers from thin air.

He has moved a little closer. I seem to have his full attention…

He is probably something in law enforcement, a police officer or detective, or why would he have turned up on my doorstep? I get killers too, but somehow I know he isn’t one of them. I hadn’t intended to write another crime thriller, I fancied a change, something haunting or spooky perhaps.

There is another character in my head, and although this one looks harmless, all blonde and attractive, the boy next door type. But I know instinctively that he means trouble. Are these two men destined to cross swords? I am beginning to think they are…

I have a lot of thinking imagining to do and to save confusion; I will call the dark haired one David and the blonde William. I already know they are two very different people, and discovering what they are about will be very interesting…

And the rest, as they say, is history…

©Jaye Marie 2020

#Jaye’s Week …

Anita came home from the hospital after having the pacemaker fitted with a digital monitor, something that will be plugged in next to her bed to record her heart activity while she sleeps. This amazing gadget is linked to the hospital and can alert them and us in the event of another heart attack. It will also record if it has been called upon to restart or shock Anita’s heart back to a normal rhythm.

Knowing what to do when or if this ever happens, is extremely complicated, so the next home visit from the heart failure nurse will be full of questions.

And speaking of questions, there seems to be far too many answers now, none of which are helping us to know what is really going on at any one time.

In fact, we are more confused than ever as each doctor/person we speak to, seems to have a different explanation of what’s going on.

Anita is progressing, albeit slowly and that’s what really counts, isn’t it?

Ten days later, Anita began to have trouble breathing again, so it was back to the hospital to have her checked out.

It all seemed like the worst kind of Déjà vu.

Before the pacemaker was fitted, Anita was getting on well, doing small jobs around the house and even walking to town almost every day.

This simple procedure seems to have sent her back to how she was in the beginning, something she is not happy about!

They were very thorough with their checks, and everything was deemed normal apart from the fluid in her lungs, but no explanation as to why.

As the next lockdown starts, I am hoping to knuckle down and finally get cracking with the writing as my muse is getting so tired of waiting for me. 

I just wish she could learn to type!

Good luck to those of you who are taking part in NaNo this year!

#Tuesday Book Blog ~ CrossFire…with poem by Anita #MysteryThriller

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Excerpt from CrossFire

‘Do you know why we have brought you here today, Ann?’

Ruth thought she would ease her way in, rather than accuse her straight off, for triggering any hostility wouldn’t get them anywhere.

The woman stared at Ruth, her pale, colourless eyes searching for clues. ‘Nah… but I ‘spect you’ll get to it pretty quick…’

Ruth indicated a brown paper bag on the table beside her. ‘We found a pair of work boots at your house, Ann. According to your husband, they’re not his. Are they yours?’

Ann Taylor glared at Ruth. She seemed to be enjoying the interview, her arrogance showing through the previous nervousness. ‘Dunno, can’t see them can I?’

Ruth undid the bag and placed the dirty boots on the table. Most of the mud had dried and fallen off, but still didn’t seem like the kind of boot a woman would wear. ‘Are these your boots, Ann?’

Without looking at the boots, she shook her head. ‘Nah, I don’t think so.’

Ruth looked at Snow, but not for confirmation. She wondered why he was choosing to stay silent. What was the point of sitting in if he wasn’t going to contribute? Not that she cared, one way or the other. She had only looked at him to signify inclusion.

She looked back at the woman. ‘Are you quite sure, Ann?’

The woman shrugged her shoulders and refused to speak.

‘For the benefit of the tape, Ann Taylor has refused to answer.’

Ruth decided to read out the coroner’s report, detailing every bruise and damage to the child’s body. When she read the part about the boot imprint on the child’s back, she slid the photograph across the table in front of the mother.

‘Did you do this, Ann?’

When the woman didn’t answer, Ruth decided it was time to play the ace card, and she looked forward to it. This cold-hearted bitch of a woman was about to be arrested, but not before Ruth had enjoyed herself. ‘Are you aware that the person who wore these boots would have left significant DNA inside them?’

Ruth paused, watching as the realisation sunk in.  ‘And are you also aware that we have tested your DNA and it has been proved that you are the owner of these boots?’

The fear and shame were beginning to show on the woman’s face, and Ruth watched, wondering what she would do now. She didn’t have to wait long to find out.

Ann Taylor’s face seemed to implode, as the terror of being found out took effect.  ‘I swear I don’t remember that part… I know I were angry, but when she fell over and banged her head, I thought she was dead…’

‘So what did you do then, Ann?’ Ruth knew what had happened next, but not which one of them had done it.  ‘Were you aware that Amy was still alive when you dropped her into the canal?’

The horror was all-encompassing, as the woman realised the enormity of what she had done. She looked around the room, just once, before she started screaming…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

A Hundred Lifetimes… ~ #Poetry

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I am eighteen and my life is broken
I need a new one. With no idea how
or where to find one. Some would say
I am too young to give up on life.
They would feel the same if they had
a hundred lifetimes stuck inside their heads
Their voices, their faces swirl around like a cyclone
All vying for attention, needing to be heard
To be remembered. There is one girl
that shows up more often than the others.
She looks like me, could almost be a twin
All but for the scar on my chin.
Riding home on my bike from college, I hit a small pothole
 I flew over the handlebars and landed flat on my face.
Helped up by a passing stranger,
who gave me a hanky for the blood dripping from my chin.
Walking the rest of the way home, I realised
I could no longer hear the voices in my head
They were all gone. I was the only one left
I felt ready to begin my life again…

©anitadawes 2020

#Throwback Thursday ~ Blue Lake Christmas Mystery (Blue Lake Series)  by Cynthia Harrison #RomanticSuspense @CynthiaHarriso1

Blue Lake Christmas Mystery (Blue Lake Series) Kindle Edition

All Holly wants for Christmas is to prove to her parents that her pricey college education was worth it. When she lands a reporting job in tiny Blue Lake, where the chill winds blow off Lake Huron all winter long, and a guest dies at a dinner party, she isn’t sure she can meet that goal. Holly has a second writing gig as a true crime reporter in mind, but there’s only one problem: the new love interest keeping her warm is determined she should not write about the one thing her heart desires.

Bob has one goal: to get his life back on track after a train wreck of a relationship with a fragile first love named Lily. Oh, it would also be nice to feel excited about work again. Not to mention Christmas. Holly’s new in town and she stirs something cheerfully seasonal in him, but when he realizes she’s willing to take down Lily for her own purposes, he decides a holiday romance is the last thing he needs.

Our Review

Towards the end of last year, I noticed the arrival of several seasonal books on the run up to Christmas. Most of them a fun, light-hearted read for the holidays.

Blue Lake Christmas Mystery is so much better than that.

A clever, well- written mystery that twists and turns, with a fast-moving complicated plot that I couldn’t put down and I loved how the last chapter sorted out all the loose ends!

Holly Fass is ambitious, devious and hopeless at getting what she wants out of life in this Hollywood style romcom/detective novel, but she gets top marks from me for trying!

This is book four in the Blue Lake series, and I was late coming to the party as I hadn’t read any of the others. (something I will be catching up on soon)

I have also read and thoroughly enjoyed Cynthia Harrison’s brilliant detective thriller, Lily White in Detroit.

A word from the author… Along with a twenty-year career as an English teacher, I have been a staff reviewer for Romantic Times and Publishers Weekly and written features for popular magazines, including Woman’s World. BLUE LAKE CHRISTMAS MYSTERY is my fifth novel for The Wild Rose Press. I live in metro Detroit with my husband, Al. We have two grown sons. Since 2002, I’ve blogged at http://www.cynthiaharrison.com. Email me anytime at cindy@cynthiaharrison.com. http://www.cynthiaharrison.com

#Throwback Thursday ~ Our Review for Loving Vengeance by Georgia Rose #Women’sMystery/Thriller @georgiarosebook

Loving Vengeance (The Ross Duology Book 2) Kindle Edition

A woman with a troubled past. A new love hanging in the balance. Will an unexpected visitor strengthen her resolve or destroy the life she’s trying to build?

Madeleine’s world, once so organised, is a mess. Suffering the fallout from the mistakes she made with Tag, she has no idea where she stands with Daniel. Are they only friends or is there still a chance for something more?

Enter James – cool, calm and calculated. A stranger, she thinks. But he knows her, and he comes with an opportunity she can’t refuse, involving an enemy she’d tried to forget. At first keen to return to her past, Madeleine soon realises it’s not only the gang that’s changed, and battles her own demons as well as an unpredictable villain.

Can Daniel step up when he’s needed? Or will it be James who rides in to the rescue? Because when things go badly for Madeleine, and all hope seems lost, there is only one who can save the day. And only one who can bring more to the task than merely himself.

Loving Vengeance is the second book in this fast-paced duology. If you like strong heroines, character-driven action and powerful emotions, then you’ll love Georgia Rose’s exciting novel.

Buy Loving Vengeance now to get to the heart of the action today!

Our Review

Loving Vengeance, the latest story from Georgia Rose, picks up where Parallel Lies left off.

Fragile and beaten, Maddy’s secrets are out and her carefully guarded life is over and as the police begin to close in, will they discover the rest of her secrets?

She has no job, and doesn’t think her romance with Dan can continue.

Maddy, or should I call her Scarlet now? seems resigned to her fate…

Her problems are far too complicated for her to deal with on her own, but who can she trust?

Circumstances force her to return to her old ways for help, but considering what she has already gone through, this may not be a good idea.

What begins as a story of love and recovery, quickly changes into a complicated and totally absorbing crime thriller that races along at a breakneck pace.

Will Maddy manage to get it right this time?

About The Author

Georgia Rose is a writer and the author of the romantic and suspenseful Grayson Trilogy books: A Single Step, Before the Dawn and Thicker than Water. A short story, The Joker, based on a favourite character from the series followed and is free to download from Amazon.

Her fourth novel, Parallel Lies, a standalone, encompasses crime along with Georgia’s usual blending of genre.

Following a long stint working in the law Georgia set up her own business providing administration services for other companies which she does to this day managing to entwine that work along with her writing.

Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her passion for people watching and her overactive imagination!

Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire in the UK where she lives with her much neglected husband and dog. Their son, currently at university, comes and goes and their daughter, having delighted them all for long enough, has eventually moved out, got married, and is discovering the joys of being all grown up and having a mortgage.

#ThrowbackThursday ~ Not My Life, by Anita Dawes #Fiction,YA

SOMEONE HAUNTS Sarah’s dreams, someone who looks just like her.

Her name is Kelly and her life is a nightmare.

Are these dreams a message for Sarah’s future, or a glimpse of Kelly’s past?

Or are they both trapped in a world that isn’t their own?


Excerpt from ‘Not My Life’

Their house seemed like any other house, without them in it.  As I walked around to the back door, I couldn’t believe my luck at finding the small side window in the hall was open a crack.  You had to get close to notice it.  The question was, could I climb in?  Did I still remember how?  It had been so long since I had climbed anything.  Looking around, there was no one in sight.  I found a milk crate, one big enough to give me the boost I needed.

Climbing through the small opening, which in a few more months would be impossible, I thought of Jimmy.  He would kill me if he found out, because of the baby.  Mother would simply kill me before dying of embarrassment.  Dad would probably hang his head in a dark corner of the pub and wonder where they had gone wrong.

Once inside, I looked around.  Curious as to what they thought was a normal home.  Mother had mentioned that Sally Woodford would be giving up work soon, as he didn’t want her continuing in the Bank, carrying heavy money bags around. I was surprised he hadn’t thought of a way for her to carry them home, judging by the video collection I was standing in front of. 

There were many old gangster movies; I recognised some of the titles.  I also found several ‘video nasty’s’.  There was ‘Spit on your grave’, ‘Silence of the lambs’ and ‘The Devils’, amongst others. No romance or comedy, nothing light-hearted.  I wondered if Sally watched them with him.  Did they sit here late at night, imagining themselves in the lead roles?

I would have liked to find the place covered in dust and cobwebs, but the house was clean and tidy. Downstairs, there was a faint odour, which gave me a funny taste in my mouth, but I put it down to what I felt about the house.

There was little in the way of ornaments, two cookbooks, an A-Z, and one large, heavy book on old English tortures. Complete with horrible pictures of the rack and other devices.  With details of exactly what happened to those unfortunate enough to fall foul of them.  Horrible things done with hot coals and pokers; it turned my stomach.  I knew I shouldn’t be looking at this disgusting stuff.  A history book or not, it should be burnt.

Making sure to leave everything as it was, I tried the front door and found it hadn’t been dead-bolted.  I couldn’t believe he had been so slap-dash, after telling my mother she was far too trusting.  Open windows and unlocked doors were an invitation to those less desirable.  That was me; I was undesirable.  I was in their home, their sanctuary, a place I shouldn’t be unless invited.

On the way back to my house, I felt decidedly odd and my legs were shaking. People passing by had me jumping out of my skin.  My heart was racing, adrenaline rushing, terrifying and exciting me all at the same time.  Do burglars feel this way, I wondered; when they sneak out with their ill-gotten gains?  Is that what makes them do it again?  For the feeling of excitement, as well as the family silver?

Hoping no one had seen me leave, I crept into my own house.  I couldn’t be sure, but I thought the neat curtains of the house opposite had twitched.  I could always say I had absent-mindedly walked through the wrong gate.

Our front door was unlocked as usual; something that had me wondering if my mother could ever change the habits of a lifetime.  I found her in the living room knitting baby things, all pale yellow and white. I could have told her to go ahead and buy blue wool.

I sat in the room with her, flicking through a magazine to the sound of clicking knitting needles, my mind unable to shake the images I had seen in his book.  One, in particular, stuck fast in my mind. It was a picture of a merry-go-round, a high wooden platform with cruel metal spikes.  How it was meant to be ridden was left to the reader’s imagination, but the poles protruding from the side of the platform allowed the men to rotate the device.  Several images of how it worked flashed through my mind. The caption underneath the picture read, ‘Round and round she goes, where she stops, no one knows.’

The magazine was open on my lap, but I had no idea how long I had been staring into space when mother said, ‘Penny for them, Sarah?’

As if I could tell her what I had done, or what I had seen in that book?


Hell of a Week…

It would be lovely if I could think of one thing at a time these days, but it’s not happening. I have been trying to publish shadows, Anita’s new book of poetry. Fate is conspiring against me, but I aim to release it next week.

And the more I struggle to think about writing, it opens the floodgates for a ton of ideas to jump into my head. I often wonder if I am on the wrong horse, so to speak.

Wrong house more like, as we have had major roadworks outside the house for two weeks. They have moved along the road today, but I can still hear their infernal noise. 

And now we have these temporary traffic lights right outside the front door!

So concentrating has been a mite difficult, to say the least.

Making sure we have enough medication for Anita is proving difficult too, as our doctor’s surgery is obviously being run by a bunch of idiots. That is probably a little unkind, as I’m sure they are doing their best. I keep sending them the updated lists from the hospital whenever the meds change, but they still don’t get them right.

Then today, the heart consultant telephoned to talk about the pacemaker/defibrillator and to reassure us that it will happen soon. This will be the last piece of the puzzle and will finally fix Anita’s wagon!

Petersfield Pond

This afternoon, the family took us out to our local lake, affectionally called the Pond. We love this place, but it seemed as though the whole of Petersfield had the same idea! There was no room on any of the benches and the lovely cafe had removed all their seating, so I had to forego my usual mug of hot chocolate. 

All things considered, it was wonderful to see the water and the wildlife and the walk was undoubtably good for us both…

#BlogBattle ~ Conceal

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#BlogBattle: Conceal

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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