#BookReview- In Search of McDoogal by @MaeClair1 #RomCom


In search of something ugly…

All Brady Conrad wants to do is earn a few merit points with his artist girlfriend, so he volunteers to cover her gallery when she leaves town. What should be an easy day of sales goes belly up when he mistakenly sells a cherished painting.

With the clock ticking toward Vanessa’s return, Brady has less than a day to track McDoogal down. He coerces his friend Declan to tag along for moral support. How difficult can it be for an investigator and the director of a renowned institute to find a single painting in a town the size of a postage stamp?

Neither Brady nor Declan counted on a suspicious sheriff, rival baseball teams with a longstanding grudge, or a clueless kid trying to win his girlfriend with all the wrong gifts.

McDoogal is smack in the middle. But Brady’s biggest dilemma isn’t the disastrous hunt. It’s confessing to Vanessa her painting is the ugliest thing he’s ever seen.

Biography

A member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, Mae Clair is also a founding member and contributor to the award-winning writing blog, Story Empire. She has achieved bestseller status on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, with several of her novels chosen as book club selections.

Mae writes primarily in the mystery/suspense genre, flavoring her plots with elements of urban legend and folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail, and cats.

Discover more about Mae on her website and blog at MaeClair.com

Photo by Matthias Oben on Pexels.com

My Review

The things we do for love…

When Brady Conrad inadvertently sells his girlfriend’s prized painting of her beloved feline, he talks friend Declan into helping in its recovery.

They follow a vague trail of clues leading them to a small town with a suspicious sheriff and a calamity of events that make for entertaining reading. Brady and Declan act more like brothers with their witty dialogue and unending support and the supporting characters are a hoot!

The more we learn of this painting, the curiouser it gets and was a highlight of the story for me.

If you’re looking for a little lighthearted relief from the current world crisis, this book fits the bill!

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I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!

Mr. Sagittarius by M J Mallon #NewRelease #Poetry


Who Is Mr. Sagittarius?

And what is his connection to twin brothers, Harold and William?

When Harold dies, he leaves a simple memorial request

Will his sister Annette honour it?

Or, will the magic of the garden ensure that she does.

A magical story expressed via poetry and prose with photographic images.

Mr. Sagittarius is a collection of poetry, prose and photographic images inspired by the botanical gardens in Cambridge. It features a variety of my photos including: trees, a robin and a dragonfly! As well as this there are several stories, and even some Halloween poems!

I doubt I would have created Mr. Sagittarius if it wasn’t for these two amazing ladies: Colleen Chesebro (for her weekly poetry challenges and Charli Mills – Carrot Ranch (flash fiction challenges.) Both ladies have been a huge source of inspiration and encouragement.

Mr. Sagittarius is a magical celebration of the natural world, a story about the circle of life, with an emphasis on the changing seasons of the year and sibling relationships.

Huge thanks to my amazing cover designer and formatter: Rachael Ritchey who has done an amazing job creating the ebook, paperback cover and graphics.

Get your copy today

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B084DQV3HW/Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084DQV3HW/

Contents include:

THE GOLDEN WEEPING WILLOW (story and poem plus photo of a dragonfly)

GOLDEN WILLOW TREE (poem and photo)

ROBIN: ETHEREE (poem and photo)

LIFE LESSONS FROM BUDDHA (poem)

LIFE LESSONS FROM CATS – poem – (photo image via Samantha Murdoch)

MR. FROWNING TREE (poem and photo)

RAINBOW CHILD – story – (image of Tourmaline crystal via Samantha Murdoch)

FRIENDS FOR TEA (poem)

THE CANDY CORN MONSTER (Halloween poem)

CANDYFLOSS CRITTER (Halloween poem)

MR GHOST WITH EASE (Halloween poem)

DREAMING AT HALLOWEEN (Halloween poem)

ODE TO LOVE –ETERNAL (Ghost/love poem)

LOVE TAKEN BY DEATH: DIAMANTE (poem)

GHOST: SEPTOLET (Ghost poem)

A FACE ON BARK: ETHEREE (poem)

LOLLIPOP SUNSHINE TREE (poem and photo)

FOR MR. SNOWMAN (poem)

SERENA’S CHRISTMAS BUBBLE MONSTER (humorous story and photo)

BUBBLY SNOWMAN KISSES (poem)

THAT TWINKLE IN HER EYES IS MAGIC (poem)

THE OLD MAN OF SNOW AND THE SNOW SNAKE (story)

MY HEART IS A CAVE (poem)

MR. SAGITTARIUS (story)

MR. SAGITTARIUS DIED THIS DAY IN THIS SNOW DROP GARDEN (poem/prose/photo of snow drops.)

Love (story)

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Other Books by M J Mallon:

YA Fantasy:

The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone

http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime

Coming in 2020

YA Fantasy:

The Curse of Time Book 2 Golden Healer.

Short Stories in Anthologies:

Bestselling horror compilation –

Nightmareland edited by Dan Alatorre –

“Scrabble Boy” (Short Story)

Ghostly Rites Anthology 2019 –

“Dexter’s Creepy Caverns” (Short Story)

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018 –

“Ghostly Goodbye” (Short Story)

My author page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/

Author Bio

I write YA Fantasy/Paranormal novels, Horror/Ghost short stories and multi-genre flash fiction as well as micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I share book reviews, poetry, flash fiction, photography and inspirational details of my writing journey at my lovely blog home: https://mjmallon.com/

I’m a member of two professional writing groups: The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators  and Cambridge Writers

As well as this I run a supportive group with fellow Administrator D G Kaye on Facebook: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club

I work as a Receptionist/Event organiser for an international sixth form and live in Cambridge, England.

Book Review- Red Eyes in The Darkness by D. L. Finn #Suspense #amreading @DLFinnAuthor


What happens when you’re living the good life after retirement and your world suddenly turns upside down? Will and Cass Henderson learn the truth after a family member is murdered, but no one believes them because they’re the prime suspects. The Hendersons have a red-eyed killer in the family, and they’re next on its kill list.

Biography

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

Photo by Joonas kääriäinen on Pexels.com

My Review

When Cass Henderson’s sister is murdered, she and her husband are confronted by the killer- Cass’s husband- and he admits to the crime. Unfortunately, no one else hears him and the police don’t believe the Henderson’s story.

It, as Cass thinks of him, created an airtight alibi for himself while leaving supposed clues that make Cass and Will the chief suspects. Family and friends turn their backs on the couple, leaving them alone and vulnerable to a murderer’s master plan.

But, he wasn’t prepared for Cass.

This is a fast-moving story with all the right elements of suspense and a touch of paranormal thrown in to create a book you won’t be able to set aside!

I give Red Eyes in The Darkness 5 lovely kisses- Scary good!

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#BookReview- Life’s Rich Tapestry by Sally Cronin #Booktalk @sgc58


Life’s Rich Tapestry is a collection of verse, microfiction and short stories that explore many aspects of our human nature and the wonders of the natural world. Reflections on our earliest beginnings and what is yet to come, with characters as diverse as a French speaking elephant and a cyborg warrior.

Finding the right number of syllables for a Haiku, Tanka, Etheree or Cinquain focuses the mind; as does 99 word microfiction, bringing a different level of intensity to storytelling. You will find stories about the past, the present and the future told in 17 syllables to 2,000 words, all celebrating life.

This book is also recognition of the value to a writer, of being part of a generous and inspiring blogging community, where writing challenges encourage us to explore new styles and genres.

I am one of those people who has led an eclectic life. My father was in the Royal Navy so we lived abroad several times and I only really settled down in the UK at age 14. My education suffered a little from switching between seven schools in different countries but I now have a repertoire of swear words second to none!

I trained as a secretary as my parents felt that my dream to be an actress and music diva was probably a little unrealistic!  I started well in my first job but a pregnant chair side assistant who developed a phobia to blood meant that I had to step into the shoes of dental nurse, a career I enjoyed before moving to the hospitality industry.

This resulted in me meeting my husband (known as room 40) nine years later and we had a whirlwind courtship over five weeks and married 36 years ago. We still have the whirlwind courtship moving over several continents to reach the final outpost here in on the East Coast of Ireland in a small harbour called Courtown. Luckily with the Worldwide Web it is still possible from this terrific place to keep in touch with all the amazing people we have met off and online.

I have spent a number of years in each of the following industries – Hospitality, Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, radio and television and had a blast. I love learning new skills and eventually I might even master WordPress!

I have written short stories and poetry since a very young age and when I went ‘Indie’ in 1998 I combined my retraining as a Nutritional Therapist with this love of writing with my first book. I also began contributing columns in the media in the UK and Spain and my own monthly newsletter.

My first health book  was Size Matters which told the story of my journey from a very overweight 24 stone – 330lbs to a slimmish and healthier individual.

Over the last 18 years this love of writing has developed into another eleven titles, my blog and also into Indie Publishing in 2004.

Some of my printed books are available from me directly but here are the books that you can buy from Amazon in E-book.

Over the last 13 years I have managed to fit radio and Internet television both in front of the microphone and camera and behind in a producing and directing role.  So whilst I never became the UK Esther Williams I did get to perform without getting too waterlogged.

You can find more reviews and follow me on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Social Media connections.
I would love to connect with you on other sites too and here are my links.

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1

https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

Books
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/author/sallycroninbooks

Smashwords
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin or you can buy safely direct from my own selling pages.

If you would like to talk to me about guest blogging or to participate in any of the FREE book promotions you can find details at this link.

Photo by Natasha Fernandez on Pexels.com

My Review

Like the threads in cloth, Sally Cronin’s compositions lead us to a more fulfilling life!

Life’s Rich Tapestry is a variety of poetry, short stories and microfiction designed to engage the reader to look at the world in a different light. Whether delving into human emotion, nature, or flights of fancy there is something slightly magical about the author’s turn of phrase.

Here are a couple of my favorite passages:

Romance

When

a man

and woman

reach out and touch

one another’s souls

with open heart and mind,

it draws them into a place

that brings their lives significance,

with mutual empowerment and grace,

enough to sustain their desire through life.

Cronin, Sally. Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words . Moyhill Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Wedding Anniversary September 11th

On

this day

two people

young and in love

walked into the sun

of a September day.

Above them in the blue sky

machines of war flew in combat,

gunfire serenading bride and groom

on what should have been their

most treasured day.

Sixty-one years later on the same date,

an old woman reflects on her life.

Remembering all of the love,

still so strong despite her loss,

and saddened to the core,

that despite the years,

machines of war

in blue skies

still bring

death.

Cronin, Sally. Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in Words . Moyhill Publishing. Kindle Edition.

This is a beautiful book and one I would recommend to anyone. I give Life’s Rich Tapestry 5 lovely kisses- thoughtful and intelligent!

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Take Me Now by @CarlyPhillips #NewRelease #Romance @jennw23


“Carly Phillips can take you to romantic places you haven’t yet dreamed of!”- Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Take Me Now, an all-new, never before published sexy short story from New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips, is available now!

CPTakeMeNowCover5x8_MEDIUM.jpg

He acts like he barely knows her.

But she knows he’s the one.

Matt Banks was ready to tell Harper Sanders that he loved her, that he’d always loved her and that even though they were young, she was his forever girl.

Then her brother stepped in, wanting more for his sister than a garage owner. Too young to stand up for himself, Matt made her brother a promise that he’s regretted every day since.

After years of being ignored by the guy she’s always loved, Harper is on a dating binge. No one is Matt, but a girl can keep on trying. Then she gets stranded on the side of the road, and she has no choice but to call the only mechanic in town.

Matt comes to her rescue, and then to her bed. It’s an idyllic, passion-filled weekend—but there’s still the matter of his promise. And a man’s word is his bond.

**Take Me Now is a never before published short story in the Knight Brothers series.**

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Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NFObiX

AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2NBmaZS

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TakeMeNowcp

Nook: http://bit.ly/2U9L18o

Kobo: http://bit.ly/30BEaad

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2Znekua

Meet Carly Phillips

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller, Carly Phillips gives her readers Alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire. She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. The author of 50 romance novels, she has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a full time writer. Carly’s book, The Bachelor, was chosen by Kelly Ripa as a romance club pick and was the first romance on a nationally televised bookclub. Carly loves social media and interacting with her readers. Want to keep up with Carly? Sign up for her mailing list and receive TWO FREE books at www.carlyphillips.com.

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Connect with Carly

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2FIG6FH

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2QyGiLl

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2TI6LX9

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2Nk4bID Sign up for Text Updates of New Releases: http://tinyurl.com/p3upm5s Join Carly’s Addicts: http://bit.ly/2CM78tY Twitter: http://bit.ly/2FJRa5y Website: www.carlyphillips.com

Blog: http://bit.ly/2HQaYXg

What’s in A Name by Sally Cronin #Anthology #BookReview @sgc58


There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow. 

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

I am one of those people who has led an eclectic life. My father was in the Royal Navy so we lived abroad several times and I only really settled down in the UK at age 14. My education suffered a little from switching between seven schools in different countries but I now have a repertoire of swear words second to none!

I trained as a secretary as my parents felt that my dream to be an actress and music diva was probably a little unrealistic!  I started well in my first job but a pregnant chair side assistant who developed a phobia to blood meant that I had to step into the shoes of dental nurse, a career I enjoyed before moving to the hospitality industry.

This resulted in me meeting my husband (known as room 40) nine years later and we had a whirlwind courtship over five weeks and married 36 years ago. We still have the whirlwind courtship moving over several continents to reach the final outpost here in on the East Coast of Ireland in a small harbour called Courtown. Luckily with the Worldwide Web it is still possible from this terrific place to keep in touch with all the amazing people we have met off and online.

I have spent a number of years in each of the following industries – Hospitality, Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, radio and television and had a blast. I love learning new skills and eventually I might even master WordPress!

I have written short stories and poetry since a very young age and when I went ‘Indie’ in 1998 I combined my retraining as a Nutritional Therapist with this love of writing with my first book. I also began contributing columns in the media in the UK and Spain and my own monthly newsletter.

My first health book  was Size Matters which told the story of my journey from a very overweight 24 stone – 330lbs to a slimmish and healthier individual.

Over the last 18 years this love of writing has developed into another eleven titles, my blog and also into Indie Publishing in 2004.

Some of my printed books are available from me directly but here are the books that you can buy from Amazon in E-book.

Over the last 13 years I have managed to fit radio and Internet television both in front of the microphone and camera and behind in a producing and directing role.  So whilst I never became the UK Esther Williams I did get to perform without getting too waterlogged.

You can find more reviews and follow me on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Social Media connections.
I would love to connect with you on other sites too and here are my links.

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1

https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

Books
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/author/sallycroninbooks

Smashwords
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin or you can buy safely direct from my own selling pages.

If you would like to talk to me about guest blogging or to participate in any of the FREE book promotions you can find details at this link.I

Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

My Review

I’ve long been a fan of Sally Cronin’s wonderful blog, Smorgasbord, and was excited to read her books. What’s in A Name, much like the author, is filled with stories to inspire, make us think, and for me, shows the fundamental strength and support of family.

Each story in this anthology stands on its own merits. Some are sweet, others sad, and some, like Clive, deeply touched my heart.

Life can take many twists and turns, no matter where you live, but we all share a common thread- Love.

I give What’s in A Name 5 lovely kisses- It’s like a cozy blanket for your heart!

October #ShortStory Challenge and #CoverReveal #mgtab


close up of hand over white background
Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

 

I thought I’d try my hand at a short story challenge!

This challenge comes to you via Didi Oviatt’s lovely blog. Pay her a visit, she’d love to hear from you 🙂

Didi’s challenge:

For the month of October, I challenge you writers out there to take the characters from your WIP and plug them into frightening scene with the theme of “bump in the night”. Have fun with it, as it IS a practice writing challenge, meant to polish your skills and introduce your characters in a fun way, apart from their original plot.

 

This is from Skating on Thin Ice, the story of an injured hockey player and the therapist he doesn’t want. Or does he? 🙂

Now seems like a good time for a cover reveal!

 

Skating on thin ice 5x8 FINAL

 

Who goes there?

Sam jerked awake, gasping. Her heart beat an urgent fight or flight warning, hands clenching the down duvet into a hard ball around her neck. She lay there for a moment, trying to hear over the raspiness of her own breathing. Nothing. The house was silent except for that silly cuckoo clock ticking off the endless minutes of the night.

She never slept well in strange places anyway, and today had been particularly stressful. Mac, The Hammer, Wanowski wasn’t making her job easy. He’d made it more than clear what he thought of therapists. Too bad he didn’t have a choice, the team managers called the shots- whether he liked it or not.

There it was again.

An eerie moan accompanied by a scratch, scratch, bam. Scratch, scratch, bam.

If Wanowski thought he was going to get rid of her that easily, he better think again. Sam rolled out of bed and grabbed the first defensive thing she could find, the hard cover book she’d borrowed from the den earlier.

The door creaked like an old woman’s knees, instantly ending any element of surprise she might have had. The hall was dark, quiet. Too quiet.

“Hel… hello?” she asked, her voice little more than a squeak. The book remained clenched to her chest, ready for… who knows what. She wished she hadn’t skipped those self-defense classes her best friend, Grace, had taken.

Mo-a-a-an.

The hair stood up and tried to run off her neck. Why hadn’t she just stayed in her warm, cozy bed hiding under the pillows like any other scaredy-cat would do?

Sam swallowed hard and stepped into the hall. “Not… not funny, Mac.” A set of glowing green eyes, halfway up the wall, turned her way. Sam screamed.

“What the hell?” Mac hollered from his room upstairs.

Not Mac then. 

The clunk of crutches on hard wood floors heralded her host’s arrival. The lights flicked on and Sam got an eyeful of rumpled, annoyed man glaring at her from the head of the staircase. Boxers never looked so good. The random thought warmed her cheeks.

“Do you make a habit of freaking out in the middle of the night? Doc? Because, I gotta tell you, it sucks.”

Embarrassed, she dropped the weapon/book to her side, noticed his narrowed gaze on her chest, and brought it up again. Right, her nightshirt was soft and comfortable, but white, and threadbare in spots.

Sam pointed down the hall. “Something was staring at me out of the wall,” she accused as though it was his fault.

“Ookay.” He looked at her like she was crazy before slowly, carefully making his way down the stairs on that bum knee. She’d feel bad if she didn’t get the feeling he was mocking her.

Mac stopped by the elegant sofa table cleared of everything except for a silver filigree picture frame. He straightened it on the table, his fingers almost caressing.

“Who is that?” Sam asked. She remembered seeing a younger, softer version of Wanowski, a beautiful woman smiling into his eyes, and a little boy in a stroller. His family, maybe? Where were they then?

Mac ignored her to bend at the waist, his broad back glinting under the brass and glass ceiling light. When he rose a big, black cat rested over one muscular forearm.

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“I think I found your ghost,” he murmured.

Sam smiled. “He’s gorgeous. Yours?” She moved hesitantly toward them. “Is he friendly?” She’d been bitten by a neighbor’s cat as a child and had never quite recovered from the experience.

Mac nodded, fondling the dark, silky-looking ears. “It’s a she. Cleo. And yes, she’s a pussycat.”

Sam giggled. The man was attractive when he wasn’t being a jerk. “When I heard those bumps in the night I wasn’t expecting a harmless feline. Or a badass hockey player to come to my rescue.”

His lips tilted in an almost smile. “How do you know the cat is harmless?”

Sam shrugged, her own lips flirting with a smile. She noticed he didn’t argue with his description. Badass, indeed. This was going to be an interesting two weeks.

Fairies, Myths, & Magic- A Summer Celebration by Colleen M. Chesebro #Fantasy #BookReview @ColleenChesebro


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Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice.

Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love. You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning. Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong. Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all.

Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future.

 

 

Biography

Colleen

Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood – or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet.

A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Fairy Whisperer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams.

Colleen won the Little and Laugh Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the CarrotRanch Literary Community.com in November 2017 for her piece, called “The Bus Stop.” Her debut novel, “The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy,” won gold in the 2017 AuthorsDB.com cover contest.

Colleen lives in Colorado with her husband. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and friends. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art. You can learn more about Colleen at http://www.colleenchesebro.com

 

 

afterglow art backlit birds
Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

My Review

A wonderful collection of poetry and short stories, perfect for those warm days in the garden!

The cover tempted me to give a new-to-me genre a try and I’m so glad I did! The poetry flows easily and takes the reader on a magical journey that compliments dreamy, entertaining stories of pixies, fairies, and a mystical world I was more than happy to escape to on these hot and hazy days of summer.

I give Fairies, Myths, & Magic 5 lovely kisses- A wonderful celebration of fantasy!

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Who Writes Cinderella Stories Better than Eloisa James? Midsummer Delights by @EloisaJames #Historical #Romance @puretextuality @avonbooks


About the Book

Who Writes Cinderella Stories Better than Eloisa James?

 

No Eloisa James fan should miss these enchanting short stories!

 

A Midsummer Night’s Disgrace!

After Miss Cecilia B​ellingworth has endured two Seasons, she decides that she would rather ruin her reputation than endure further speculation about whether her children will be “silly,” like her brother, Billy.​ ​She puts on a gorgeous gown and decides to flirt outrageously​ with the first handsome servant she sees!  Luckily, a gorgeous musician at the Duke of Ormond’s ball seems the perfect candidate to create a scandal… Don’t miss this charming version of Cinderella, previously published in the Essex Sisters Companion Guide.

 

At Midnight

 

Elias Hempleworth-Gray has only one thing only of value—his title, Earl of Leyton. Determined to leave England and the scandal of his gambler father behind, Elias hopes to turn around his fortunes and come back to claim the lady he loves, Miss Penelope White. But Penny has other plans for the man she has loved all her life…plans that include a masquerade, a stolen kiss and a lost shoe.

Amazon Avon Romance  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play iBooks

 

Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of MIDSUMMER DELIGHTS, we’re giving away two paperback copies of A KISS AT MIDNIGHT by Eloisa James!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. Two winners will each receive a paperback copy of A Kiss At Midnight by Eloisa James.  This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 2/10/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address.  Duplicates will be deleted.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

About Eloisa James

ELOISA JAMES is a New York Times best-selling author and professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at http://www.eloisajames.com.

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Watch #RWISA Write Spotlight Tour with Joan Curtis #RRBC


RWISA TOUR

 

Only a few days left on the Rave Writers-International Society of Authors month long spotlight tour highlighting the diversified talent in this amazing group. Today’s special guest is Joan Curtis.

Welcome to the blog, Joan!

 

Joan Curtis

 

A Gift of Silence

By Joan C. Curtis

 

 

The man stood outside the store window, shifting from foot to foot. I’d have probably gone right by him, but as I passed, he looked me straight in the face, sending a chill up my back. Mystified, I found a place in the shadows and watched.

 

He wore a black golf shirt with a Nike swoosh. His black slacks were neatly pressed, but scuffs covered the toes of his dark shoes. As he paced in front of the store, as if waiting for something or someone, his left foot dragged. Maybe that was where the scuffs came from. A girl passed by him without so much as a glance. She wore flip-flops and short shorts. He turned away from her. Why look me in the face and ignore this young girl with long flowing blond hair?

 

After an interminable twelve minutes, he entered the store. I crept to the side window to get a closer view. A saleslady approached with a big hopeful smile. He jerked away as if he might flee, but she persisted. Probably learned that in Sales 101.

 

Peering inside, I could make out the blurry image of the saleslady as she crouched down to retrieve a box. While she bent, the man grabbed an item off the counter. He pocketed it so fast if I’d blinked, I’d have missed it. Gasping in surprise, I nearly collapsed into the window. So neat. So fast.

 

While I recovered from the shock of having witnessed a theft, the man exited the store. He hurried in the direction of downtown. Hands tucked in his pockets and his head lowered, he wove along the sidewalk, avoiding moms with kids, students with backpacks, and cyclists. I followed. What did he plan to do with his ill-gotten gains?

 

My friend, Rose, would give me a lecture. Why didn’t you go inside the store and raise the alarm? What were you thinking, watching, witnessing, and doing nothing? No wonder we pay so much money for our trinkets. Thieves get away with it, and it’s all because of people like you. But, I never intended to tell Rose about this. Not if I could help it.

 

Instead, I hastened to follow the man, avoiding other shoppers and site-seers. My sole purpose was to find out what this strange person was up to. My watch read two-fifteen. I had missed the coffee date with my cousin. She’d forgive me. I’d have to make up an excuse about traffic or something equally lame, but I couldn’t think about her now. I had to see where this man led me. My curious nature would never let me rest otherwise.

 

Moments later he entered the parking deck. He was going to his car. Darn! Once he got in a car, I’d lose him for sure. My Honda was parked here as well, but on the top level. With my luck, his was probably on the first level. It was impossible to imagine we’d be parked close enough for me to follow him.

 

He entered the elevator. The light flashed up to level 4. I raced up the stairs like a madwoman. Huffing and puffing, I reached the fourth level just as the elevator doors opened. I caught a glimpse of his black form walking to a red Kia. I made a quick turn and hightailed it up to the fifth floor to retrieve my car. Then I plowed down toward the exit, round and round, hoping, praying. Eureka! The red Kia was just in front of me, waiting to pay. The Universe was on my side.

 

Mr. Thief drove with caution, obeying all the traffic rules, making it easy for me to keep him in sight. Nonetheless, I stayed one car back, not wanting to risk him seeing me. Maybe he’d remember me from the street! A shiver ran through me. What would he do, this thief? Stop his car, jump out, and murder me? Absurd.

 

The light changed. We moved down the road. A strange thought filled my head. Had the Universe wanted me to witness this thievery? Everything seemed to be falling into place. “Don’t be stupid.” Rose would say and would add I was being melodramatic.

 

We turned into the parking lot for the Hermitage Nursing Home. This made no sense. Why not a pawn shop? Didn’t thieves go to shady establishments on busy street corners with flashing neon signs to hock their merchandise? Not to a nursing home. Maybe he worked here? Maybe he was some sort of klepto and couldn’t help himself? Maybe he had no intention of hocking the stolen article? He pulled into a parking place a few steps from the entrance. I chose one farther away. From my rearview mirror, I spied him getting out of the car and entering the building.

 

Once he disappeared, I made my way inside and approached the information desk where a girl of about twenty had her head buried in a People magazine. When she finally looked my way, her eyes filled with wonder, as if I’d dropped from the sky, “Can I help you?” she said.

 

“The man who just came in. He dropped a five-dollar bill in the parking lot. I ran after him, but I missed him. Do you know where he might be?”

 

“Oh, that’s Jerome. He’s visiting his mom. Comes every day at least once. Want me to give it to him?”

 

I hesitated. She blinked. “Well… I guess it won’t hurt for you to go down to room 212. It’s the last room on the right, down that corridor.” She pointed the direction.

 

I moseyed away as if I had all the time in the world. Once out of her view, I picked up my pace. Conversation came from room 212. Mr. Thief was talking very loudly. Apparently his mom had hearing issues.

 

At the door, I peered inside where Mr. Thief perched on the edge of the bed near an attractive woman with cottony white hair.

 

“You shouldn’t have, Jerome. I know how much this place is costing you,” the woman said.

 

“But, Mom, it’s your birthday. I wanted to give you a little something.”

 

“Just having you here is enough. But, I do like bracelets. You know how I like bracelets. Remember when your dad gave me a diamond bracelet—of course, I didn’t know it wasn’t diamonds then. It wasn’t till later. Remember? After he died and left nothing but bills and debts, I tried to sell the bracelet and found out it was worthless. I flushed it down the commode.”

 

“I remember, Mom. You told me that story. I wanted you to have a real diamond bracelet before… well, you know.”

 

She hugged him. “This is the best gift ever.”

 

I backed away from the room, my heart racing.

 

Back in my car I didn’t wait for Mr. Thief, a.k.a. Mr. Nice Son, to come out of the building.  I started the engine and drove home.

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Joan Curtis’s RWISA Author Page

Watch #RWISA Write Spotlight Tour with Michael Hicks Thompson #RRBC @mhthompsonsr


RWISA TOUR

 

Only a few days left on the Rave Writers-International Society of Authors month long spotlight tour highlighting the diversified talent in this amazing group.

Today’s special guest is Michael Hicks Thompson.

 

Michael Hicks Thompson

 

Michael was born in his mother’s own bed on a farm in Yazoo County, Mississippi. He grew up in a townof 310 souls. He knows a thing or two about strong Christian women, alcoholic men, and Jesus. He’s a member of Kairos (prison ministry), been to Cuba twice on door-to-door evangelism mission trips, been a Sunday School teacher, and a member of Independent Presbyterian Church for 35 years. He and his wife of 44 years live in Memphis, TN, have three sons and four grandchildren. The little ones call him “Big Mike.”

After earning his undergrad degree from Ole Miss and then a master’s in mass communication from the University of South Carolina, Michael started a one-man ad agency in Memphis. It grew to 87 employees in two cities, winning numerous national and international creative awards.

Michael sold his firm in 2011 and turned his attention to full-time Christian fiction writing. His latest novel, The Actress, is available in book stores and on Amazon in print, and Kindle. The Rector was first in the series. They’re both murder mysteries that take place in the Mississippi Delta. The Rector has already won four major awards.

 

DETOUR à CUBA

 

 

PART I

 

Once the port-of-call jewel for Magnus Wealthy, Cuba has been a country lost in time for the last half century, plus some.

 

Never been to Cuba? I recommend it. But do it before it returns to the playground of the filthy rich and the Hemingway admirers.

 

Yes, I’ve been there twice. But not as Magnus Wealthy. Think short-term mission trip. Door-to-door evangelism. Knock, knock. “May we come in.” (Of course, my interpreter said it the proper way: “¿Podemos entrar?”)

 

An interpreter is essential if you can’t speak the language.

 

But here’s the beautiful thing. Most Cubans are the friendliest people you’ll meet. They love to meet and greet Americans. We’re a mystery to them. It’s amazing. And understandable. Most have never tasted freedom.

 

Castro usurped the country in the biggest land swindle ever. Now, the elderly Cubans alive today are happy with a single, pathetic gift from Papa Castro’s government.

 

“He give me this cooking pot,” the appreciative, sun-wrinkled, Spanish speaking octogenarian said.

 

Never mind that his midget refrigerator will take him a lifetime to pay off.

 

PART II

 

We flew into Havana, via Mexico, spent the night and flew on to Holguin (hole-Keen) early the next morning. It’s a four-hour flight. Cuba is the size of California.

 

The ‘hotel’ in Holguin was once a grand one—now, dilapidated. Papa not only didn’t let the government keep hotels up to standard, he took the toilet seats away. From personal experience, I can assure you he did it to humiliate the eleven-and-a-half-million souls into submission.

 

Ask any American what Cubans look like and they’ll include “dark-skinned” as an answer. However, you’d be surprised to see nearly as many red-headed and blue-eyed Cubans as dark-skinned islanders. The Spanish influence is apparent. Fifty-one percent of Cubans are Mulatto, thirty-seven percent, White, and eleven percent, Black.

 

All Cubans are proud. And friendly. Why shouldn’t they be? They’ve not had the outside world of communications and world events for three generations. They’ve simply missed the rise in socio-economic gain around the world. They’ve been isolated. They don’t know any other life. They’ve lived on Cuban baseball and communism since 1959.

 

And they’ve avoided all the gun-shot TV news and television episodes of Law & Order. God blessed them.

 

Or, did He?

 

When I think of Cuba, I think of Maria. She’s the Lady who led our group through Cuba. Maria was born and raised in Havana, in a prominent family.

 

Shortly after Castro took over, her father gathered his wife and children and fled to America.

 

Maria has such a huge heart for her native land. She’ll always love her people and her land.

 

Many wealthy families left their homes and their businesses behind; to start over. But the ones not able to afford travel remained behind. They faced the dark days of seclusion.

 

Catholicism gradually faded away. To be replaced by many false religions—Santería being the most prominent. It’s a singing religion based on the old songs of slavery. So, most Santeríans are descendants of African slaves.

 

PART III

 

Every morning ten of us would have breakfast, pray, and pile into vans with our interpreters for an hour or two ride to a small village, usually to the south, near Guantanamo. A different village each morning. That way, we could avoid the immigration officials who’d heard we were proselytizing in their country. Only once did we hear our leader yell out, “Everybody in the vans. We have to leave. Now!”

 

We would meet at a local house church and greet the pastor. Some would have no more than ten church members; some as many as thirty. We snuck in bibles, clothes, hygiene products, and boatloads of gum.

 

Each church provided a local member to escort us, individually with our interpreter, to un-churched homes in the village. The patriarch or matriarch always welcomed us. Some even asked us to hold off any discussion so they could gather their family. Even neighbors. All ages would gather around in a small living room, many sitting on the floor, while we introduced them to original sin, Jesus, the Gospel, and a merciful God.

 

The interpreter kept track of those who repeated the prayer of salvation (asking Jesus to come into their hearts and save them from eternal damnation). More than a few grown men cried on my shoulder after accepting Jesus into their hearts.

 

Naturally, there were plenty who preferred to worship their idols. Ceramic statues, sometimes made of wood or plastic.

 

If the idol worshiper wasn’t getting what they wanted from their man-made God, they’d place them face down in their underwear drawer, to punish them. Strange stuff. And sad.

 

At the end of the week, our leader would give us the number. “Four-hundred-fifty-two made a profession of faith this week. You’ve not only sowed the seeds of the Gospel, you’ve been a part of the harvest.”

 

That made me feel pretty good, but we all knew Holy Spirit had been working in those hearts long before we arrived. Only God can change the heart of man. But, what really made me warm and fuzzy, was the sight of my sons who’d been able to join us on the mission field. They had been part of the harvest. And it would have a lasting, lifetime effect on their lives. They talk about it to this day.

 

And so do I.

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Michael Hicks Thompson’s RWISA Author Page

Watch #RWISA Write Spotlight Tour with Robert Fear #RRBC @fredsdiary1981


RWISA TOUR

 

Only a few days left on the Rave Writers-International Society of Authors month long spotlight tour highlighting the diversified talent in this amazing group.

Today’s special guest is Robert Fear.

 

robert fear

 

Born in Leicester in 1955, Robert’s family moved to Surrey when he was 11. He was educated at Reigate Grammar School. After this he worked in a bank in the city for several years before getting the travel bug. Fred, a nickname he got at school, stuck throughout his travels and has remained with him to this day. His travels took him to Ibiza for the summer of 1977, hitch-hiking around Europe in 1978 and the USA and Canada in 1979. During this time he also settled and worked in Germany. Fred’s Diary 1981 was written during the 158 days he spent travelling around Asia.

These days Robert is happily settled in Eastbourne, East Sussex where he lives with his wife and three cats. He works as a software consultant and has been able to combine work with some travel during the past fifteen years, having visited countries as far apart as Australia, Singapore, Ghana and Suriname.

 

The Fight by Robert Fear

Es Cana, Ibiza, Spain – August 1977

Jose took an immediate dislike to me.

He worked as a waiter at the Panorama hotel near the seafront. I had been there to see Diane, an English girl I met while at work in Grannies Bar. Petite and with short blond hair, she had a delightful personality. She was also a real head-turner.

Diane came to Ibiza on a two-week holiday with her friend, Elaine. It felt fantastic she wanted to spend time with me, but Jose thought his role was to be her protector. He glared at me every time he saw us together

Towards the end of her holiday, Diane spent a night with me and I didn’t get her back to the hotel until breakfast time. Jose was on duty and spotted us outside as we kissed. That just made things worse.

After Diane left for home, things deteriorated. The next Friday evening, as I walked to work, Jose headed towards me with a group of Spanish lads. Their intentions were obvious as they stared, raised their fists and shouted at me across the street.

Before they could catch me I escaped down the steps and into Grannies Bar. Their taunts still rang in my ears as I headed for safety.

Friday nights were always manic. Eager drinkers packed the outside terrace after a day in the sun. A queue of customers had already formed as I dived behind the bar to help serve them.

Four of us; Mick, Pat, Graham and myself, worked that evening shift. Pat was half cut and spent most of the evening with her friends. Mick’s mood was not good as a result, but the three of us got stuck in and served the eager punters.

After six weeks at Grannies, I knew the routine. We served drinks and collected pesetas in quick succession. Spirits were easier to serve than at home. Two ice cubes got thrown into a glass and the vodka, gin or brandy poured until the ice floated. Then the mixer was added.

We could drink behind the bar, provided we remained sober enough to serve. Pat loved her gin and tonics and often wasn’t! Mick, Graham and I had regular supplies of vodka and orange but remained level headed as we rushed around serving eager customers.

Willing female hands often helped out. They collected glasses and washed them up in the sink at the end of the bar. As a reward, they had drinks bought for them and got the chance to pull Graham, myself or even Mick on occasions.

Work finished at 3 am. We headed to El Cortijo for another drink and a dance. A group of Spanish lads hung around near the entrance, but I thought nothing of it. Only later did I found out they were Jose’s friends.

The disco pulsed and the dance floor heaved. Lights from the ‘disco ball’ flashed around scantily clad bodies as they cavorted to the sounds of Abba, Rod Stewart and Status Quo. We caught John’s attention, and he passed us a bottle of San Miguel each.

Graham and Mick met up with two girls they had chatted up in Grannies earlier. Pat had gone back to their villa with her friends so Mick was free for the night. Propped at the bar I sipped my beer and relaxed after a hard night’s work.

By instinct, I spun round to find Jose stood behind me. He glared at me and mouthed something. The music drowned out his words. Jose beckoned for me to come with him. Even though it was obvious he wanted a fight, I went. By the time I got outside it was too late.

My fighting skills were minimal. I had been the object of bullying at school. One lad taunted me with the repeated chant, ‘Freddy’s got a rudimentary organ’, while in the showers. This hurt me and screwed with my teenage sensibilities. I tried to avoid the shower room when he was there.

Two other lads pushed me around and sometimes thumped me. They wanted money, but I had none to give them. One time I gave in to their pressure and stole books for them from a sales exhibition held in the school hall. I never thought of fighting back. I did not know how!

Now I stood on the dusty wasteland twenty yards away from the front entrance of El Cortijo. Jose faced me, surrounded by his group of friends. The atmosphere was menacing and none of my friends were even aware what had happened.

‘So, you silly man, what you say?’ screamed Jose in broken English as he edged towards me.

‘What did I do wrong?’ I retorted.

I sweated in the heat of the August night and he must have sensed my fear.

‘You took girlfriend, English scum.’

‘No I didn’t. Diane wanted to be with me you arrogant pig.’

I amazed myself with that response. The drink from earlier in the evening gave me a false sense of courage. Things were dire and soon became worse.

Jose swung his right fist toward my head. I ducked and there was a whoosh of air as he missed.

He turned round and aimed another punch at me. This time he connected and his fist crunched into my jaw. I reeled backwards. Maybe I should have just gone to ground and admitted defeat. This time I fought back.

Well, fought might be too strong a word for it! I stumbled forward and made a dive for his midriff. Jose grabbed me by my shoulders and flung me to the ground.

I spat out a mouthful of dust before I tried to get back up. Then I saw the flying feet of Jose and his mates. It became obvious they wanted to give me a severe beating.

In defence I rolled into as tight a ball as possible with my hands wrapped around my head. The kicks and punches continued and my senses faded as protection against the pain.

Then it stopped. Shouts came from the front door of the disco and the Spanish lads scattered. John, Alan and two others screamed at the top of their voices to get them away from me. A German girl on her way to the disco had seen the scuffle and dived into El Cortijo to get help.

Worried faces peered at me as I uncurled myself. Although bruised and battered there were no broken bones. I hauled myself to my feet. With support from my rescuers, I struggled back to the disco for another drink.

An uneasy truce existed between Jose and me for the rest of the summer.

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Robert Fear’s RWISA Author Page

Watch #RWISA Write Spotlight Tour with @RhaniDChaeBooks #RRBC


RWISA TOUR

 

Today on the month long blog tour sponsored by Rave Writers-International Society of Authors we are highlighting the work of Rhani D’Chae.

I hope you give her a warm welcome 🙂

 

Rhani

Author, Rhani D’Chae has always been an avid reader and began writing in her early teens. Her first ‘novel’ was a Star Trek adventure that she freely admits was a disaster, but she learned from it and never stopped writing. SHADOW OF THE DRILL is her first published novel, and is the first in a series that revolves around an unrepentant enforcer and the violent life that he leads.

She enjoys chatting with readers and fellow writers via Social Networking sites, and loves getting comments and other input from those who have read her work.

The characters in the following story are from my novel, Shadow of the Drill. After a moderately grueling assignment, they take a day off to enjoy a Sunday barbecue.

 

A Break in the Battle

 

   Charlene squealed, leaning to the side to avoid an airborne hot dog. She need not have worried, for the meaty missile bounced neatly against the chest of JT, who was seated next to her.

   “Damn it, Rudy!” JT grabbed a napkin from the table and scrubbed at his shirt. “That wasn’t funny!”

   “Really?” Rudy flashed an innocent grin over the top of barbecue grill. “I thought it was hilarious.”  He flipped a pair of hamburgers, then added a dash of seasoning to each.

   “You got hot dog grease on my shirt,” JT said crossly. “Next time, warn me so I can duck.”

   “Don’t run your mouth, and there won’t be a next time.” Rudy raised his right arm, pointing at the cast that encased it from wrist to elbow. “Even with this, I can hit what I’m aiming at.”

   JT shot a glare in Rudy’s general direction. “Can you believe him?”

   “You shouldn’t have said he was getting old, and you definitely shouldn’t have said he was losing his touch.” Charlene refilled her glass from the pitcher of lemonade on the table. Lemonade, and just the right amount of tequila.

   “Who’s getting old?” Decker stepped from the dining room onto the deck, leaning on a cane with one hand and holding a bowl of potato salad in the other. “You best not be talking about me!”

   “Don’t worry, Peter Pan, we weren’t.” Charlene pulled the chair to her left away from the table so that Decker could sit. “JT said it about Rudy.”

   “Well, that was stupid.” Decker set the bowl onto the table, then dropped into the chair, leaning the cane against the table before reaching for the pitcher.

   JT pointed to the stain on his shirt. “You’re not kidding! Good arm, bad arm, it don’t matter. He’s dead on.”

   He shifted in his chair, muttering a soft curse when his broken ribs objected.

   Decker smiled sympathetically, knowing from firsthand experience how he felt. “Give it a couple of weeks,” he advised. “You’ll feel better before you know it.”

   “I know,” JT replied. “But in the meantime, it really hurts!”

   “Your face looks better.” Decker reached across the table, tilting JT’s head to the right. “At least, the swelling’s gone down. You’ll have the color for a while, yet.”

   Charlene leaned back, tuning out the conversation while she thought back over the last six days.

   It had started as just another job, but it had quickly become so much more. Hired to find and retrieve a stolen Shelby Daytona Coupe, Decker and his team had landed in the middle of an auto theft ring that stretched from Bellevue to Portland. Finding the missing car had been difficult – retrieving it had been damn near impossible.

   The car had been located in Vancouver and liberated in the dark of night with considerable damage to all concerned. By the time the Shelby was safely in a truck headed north, Decker had calculated how much of a wear and tear fee he was going to charge his employer before the car was offloaded at its destination.

   Bruised and broken, Decker’s team had limped back to Tacoma and gone their separate ways. After checking on the Shelby, Decker had contacted the owner and arranged a time to meet.

   Charlene had greeted him at the door when he arrived home, the sight of his battered body bringing tears to her eyes. He had assured her that he was not seriously hurt, so there was no discussion of seeking medical help. He knew his body – and its injuries – better than any doctor, so she did not question his analysis of the situation.

   Injured and exhausted, he had needed rest. A great deal of rest. But, after only a day and a half, he was limping restlessly from room to room, and she knew that something needed to be done.

   The barbecue had been her idea, and he had willingly agreed. Though they often entertained, they had never invited more than two or three people over at once. The fact that it was JT’s first social visit to the house contributed to the uniqueness of the event, as did the presence of Decker’s old friend and occasional teammate, Hunter Grae.

   The side gate rattled, and Charlene jumped up to open it before Davis dropped his armload of Tupperware containers. The investigator gave her a warm smile, thanking her for her assistance.

   Charlene looked over his shoulder. “Where’s Bert?”

   “She’ll be along soon,” Davis told her. “She had to run her mother to the grocery store, so she’s a little behind schedule. But don’t worry, she’s not far behind me.”

   He handed over three of the containers. “Pasta salad, deviled eggs, and some sort of asparagus thing.” He shrugged apologetically. “Personally, I don’t think asparagus has any business being at a barbecue, but you know how Bert is.”

   Charlene laughed, then sobered when she noticed the manila envelope beneath the remaining two containers. “That better not be what I think it is.”

   “It’s everything I could find for the Palmer job. I promised I’d bring it by today.” He waved at Decker and JT, then slid the envelope from beneath the Tupperware to show he’d brought it.

   Charlene put her hand on his wrist, stopping him. “Not today, please. He’ll open it up, they’ll spend the rest of the day plotting and planning, and that’ll be it for the day off. You know it as well as I do. They just can’t help themselves.”

   Davis thought for a moment, then nodded. “You’re right,” he agreed. “Okay, I’ll toss this back in the car and give it to him tomorrow. I can’t stall any longer than that, but at least it won’t ruin today.”

   “Thank you,” Charlene said gratefully, then headed for the kitchen to unpack the Tupperware while Davis returned to his car.

   When she passed Rudy, he handed her a plate loaded with hotdogs and hamburger patties.

   “Here’s a first round. Is everything on the food table?”

   Charlene glanced over the long fold-up table that Decker had set on the grass. It held assorted buns and condiments, as well as paper plates and plastic silverware.

   “Just about. Hunter’s in the kitchen slicing cheese, and I have to put Bert’s stuff on plates, but it won’t take long. So yes, it’s pretty much ready. “

   “That’s a good thing.” Rudy pressed his fingers against the pieces of tape that held a long strip of gauze to the side of his face, checking that they were still secure. “So we’re just waiting on the cheese.”

   As if on cue, Hunter appeared on the deck, carrying a serving tray that had been loaded down with small plates of pickles, slices of cheese, and crisp lettuce leaves. He called out a greeting to Davis and Roberta, who were coming through the gate together, then headed for the picnic table to unload the tray.

   He was clad in shorts and a tank top, and Charlene could clearly see the stitches where the blade of a knife had cut into his calf, and the colorful section of bruising that a heavy object of some sort had left along his collarbone.

   She joined him at the picnic table, calling to the others as she set the plate down. She was able to get her hamburger onto a plate, along with potato salad and baked beans, before the table was surrounded by hungry people.

   Glad that she had escaped the swarm, Charlene returned to her place at the oversized table on the deck. Taking her seat, she enjoyed a moment of silence, knowing that a moment was all she would probably get.

   A light breeze brought the scent of roses, and Charlene closed her eyes, inhaling with pleasure. So far, the day had been wonderful, and she knew that the evening would be just as fine.

   Opening her eyes, she looked around at the people who mattered in her life. It couldn’t be more perfect, she thought with a contented smile. Fun, food, and the very best of friends combined to make a day that she would long remember. Especially since, for a few short hours, it was a fairly safe bet that no one was going to die.

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Rhani D’Chae’s RWISA Author Page

 

Watch #RWISA Write Spotlight Tour with Amy Reece #RRBC #amreading @AReeceAuthor


RWISA TOUR

 

This month the Rave Writers-International Society of Writers is highlighting a few of the talented authors who belong to this wonderful organization.

Today’s guest is Amy Reece. Welcome to the blog, Amy! By the way, you have the coolest website!

 

Amy Reece

 

Hi! My name is Amy Reece and I live in Albuquerque, NM with my incredible husband and two ridiculous mutts, Greta and Sodapop. When I’m not writing, I teach high school English and social studies. I’m a voracious reader and dream of becoming a world traveler. I’m hoping to need many research trips for future writing projects. I write YA and have a 4 book series published with Limitless Publishing.

 

CRAZY CAT LADY

by Amy Reece

 

 

CAT SITTER NEEDED

$50 CASH—One Night ONLY

Apply in Person

653 Silverwood Ln Apt B

 

 

Rita looked from the folded newspaper to the small adobe duplex in front of her. Well, here goes. My chances of getting murdered or sold into a sex trafficking ring are pretty good, but I need the fifty bucks. Need might be overstating it, but she wanted to go to the concert and she didn’t have the money for the tickets. Her meager paycheck from her work-study job didn’t stretch much farther than covering the bare essentials. If she wanted any fun money, she had to find other ways to acquire it. She’d done it all: research studies, selling her plasma, modeling for art studio classes. Answering a jinky ad in the college newspaper was nothing. She had left a note in her dorm room telling her slumbering roommate where she was, so at the very least maybe they’d be able to recover her body. She shook off the dark thoughts and approached the house.

A tall, thin elderly woman answered the door. “Yes? How can I help you?”

Rita held up the ad. “I’m here about the cat sitting job.”

“Oh, my dear, yes. Well, come in.” She opened the screen door and stood back to allow Rita to enter.

The living room smelled musty but looked tidy, with sagging, old-fashioned furniture covered with bright, hand-crocheted afghans and doilies. Several cats raised their heads from where they snoozed on the cushions, then lowered them disinterestedly. A tray with a flowered china teapot and matching cups was set on the coffee table.

“Have a seat and I’ll pour you a cup of nice hot tea. It’s so chilly out this evening, isn’t it?”

Rita sat and accepted the cup of steaming tea while she frowned at the woman. “Were you expecting someone else?”

“Oh, no,” the woman said breezily. “I was expecting you.” She smiled as she sipped her tea. “Or someone like you. I put the ad in the paper and I knew someone would be along presently.” More cats of every color had wandered into the room. There had to be nearly fifteen cats winding their way around her feet, perching on the back of her chair, and leaping into her lap.

“Oh.” Rita nodded dumbly and fumbled with the handle of the delicate cup, spilling tea into the saucer.  “So, when exactly do you need the cat sitter?”

“Well, tonight, of course. I need to go visit my sister in Santa Fe. I’ll be back soon after breakfast tomorrow. Now, let me show you where I keep their food.” She reached forward to set her cup on the table.

“But, but,” sputtered Rita, “don’t you want to know about me? About my qualifications?”

The woman laughed lightly. “It’s only feeding a few cats, dear. It’s not rocket science. Come along.” She stood, shooing the cats from her lap, and led the way into the kitchen. “The dishes are here.” She pointed to a row of small ceramic bowls lining a dish drain. “And the food is in this cabinet. They like to eat around nine and then you can wash up.”

“Okay.” Rita nodded and counted the bowls. There were only six. “Do they take turns eating? Should I refill the bowls after the first group eats?”

“I think you’ll find one round is more than enough. Most of these are ghost cats, of course. Poor dears.”

Rita stared at her blankly. “Ghost cats?”

“Yes. They seem to be drawn to me. They just can’t move on quite yet. They’re not like dogs, you know.”

Rita didn’t know. In fact, the only thing she was sure of was that this woman was obviously insane. Ghost cats? What the hell? But fifty bucks was fifty bucks, and if she had to placate a crazy woman to get it, she was glad to. “Great. No problem.”

“Now, feel free to help yourself to anything if you get a little peckish.” She led the way back to the living room, where she picked up a small, old-fashioned train case Rita hadn’t noticed before. “Be sure to lock up after me. Have a good night and I’ll see you early tomorrow.”

Rita stood in the middle of the living room and watched her leave. “Wait! How do I—” she wrenched the door open to ask her final question, but the woman was gone. She stepped onto the porch and looked upon and down the street, noticing red taillights at the stop sign at the far end. She must have had a cab or an Uber waiting. She shrugged and closed the door, locking it as instructed. Then she turned to address the room. “Well, cats and kittens, I guess it’s just us for the rest of the night. At least she keeps this place clean. With this many of you it could really reek.” She’d eaten an early dinner at the cafeteria so she wasn’t hungry. The remote was on a side table, so she grabbed it up and found a cat-free cushion to sit on. The woman didn’t have cable, but Rita managed to find a rerun of a show she enjoyed and sat back to while away the hours until feeding time. The cats, for the most part, minded their own business and left her alone. A few finally crept close enough to sniff her, but then stalked away. She’d never been much of a cat person, so she took no offense. Feeding time went off without a hitch and the woman had been correct: the six bowls were more than enough. Cats came and nibbled, but none cleaned out their bowls. Many of the cats simply came and stared at the food without touching it. Weird. Maybe they are ghost cats.

She got hungry around midnight, but found nothing but a few stale crackers in the cabinet. She took them with her to the couch, pulled one of the crocheted afghans over her legs, and fell asleep watching an infomercial.

The key in the lock woke her the next morning. She sat, rubbing sleep from her eyes.

“Good morning! I’m sorry I woke you. How did everything go last night?” The woman set her train case by the door as she walked in.

“Um, fine. Yeah, everything went great.”

“Oh, good.” She rummaged in her purse for her checkbook and a pen. “Now, I’ll let you fill in your name. Here you go.” She handed her the check.

Rita glanced down at it, noting the spindly handwriting, but satisfied that it was indeed for fifty dollars. Sweet. Easy money. She sat up and folded the afghan and laid it across the back of the sofa. “Thanks. Well, have a nice day.” She waved awkwardly as she let herself out of the apartment. I’ll just swing by the bank and cash this, then stop to buy the concert tickets on my way home.

“Can I help you?” The voice came from the house next door. “What are you doing?”

“Huh?” Rita turned as the woman marched down her front path to confront her.

“Were you in that apartment? How did you get in? That door is supposed to be locked! Oh, I’m going to kill my husband! He never checks!”

“Excuse me?”

“What were you doing in there?”

“No-nothing! I mean, I was watching that lady’s cats for her.” She realized she’d never asked the woman’s name. “She paid me. See?” She held up the check for the other woman.

The woman glanced at the check and frowned. “I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, but you better get out of here before I call the cops!”

“What are you talking about? I didn’t do anything wrong! I answered an ad in the paper to come and watch that lady’s cats for the night. She paid me fifty dollars. See?” She showed the check to the woman again.

The woman snatched the check from her hand. “Nobody lives there! The woman with all the cats died two years ago! We’ve had a heck of a time getting renters to stay because they swear it’s haunted or some nonsense! Now, if you’re not here about renting the place then I’m going to ask you to leave. Now. Before I call the police.” She glanced down at the check, laughed briefly, and handed it back to Rita.

Rita took the check and looked at it to see what could have made the woman laugh. Her eyes widened as she saw it was not a check at all; it was nothing more than a piece of torn newsprint. It fluttered to the ground as she ran, the woman’s laughter echoing behind her.

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Amy Reece’s RWISA Author Page

Watch #RWISA Write Spotlight with @LauraLibricz #RRBC


RWISA TOUR

 

Today’s special guest on the Rave Writers- International Society of Writers spotlight tour is Laura Libricz.

 

Laura Libricz

 

Laura Libricz was born and raised in Bethlehem PA and moved to Upstate New York when she was 22. After working a few years building Steinberger guitars, she received a scholarship to go to college. She tried to ‘do the right thing’ and study something useful, but spent all her time reading German literature.

She earned a BA in German at The College of New Paltz, NY in 1991 and moved to Germany, where she resides today. When she isn’t writing she can be found sifting through city archives, picking through castle ruins or aiding the steady flood of musical instruments into the world market.

Her first novel, The Master and the Maid, is the first book of the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy. The Soldier’s Return and Ash and Rubble are the second and third books in the series.

 

DENTON’S DEBBY DOLLS by Laura Libricz

 

The lunch bell rings and I set my brush aside, returning the unpainted porcelain Debby Doll head to the tray. A kettle whistles. Sarah runs to make the lunchtime tea.

“Thirty minutes and that’s all!” Mr. Denton barks at her as he hurries towards his production office, whacking his elbow on the filing cabinet as he slams the glass door shut.

The shocked moment of quiet is replaced by the delicate clinking of brushes against glass jars, chairs scraping on the concrete floor, and the idle chatter of the doll painters on their way to the break room.

Do you remember Denton’s Debby Dolls? The ones from the 1947 film “Ten Days Till my Birthday,” where Tammy James plays a little girl who got one for her birthday? Denton’s Debby Dolls Inc. make the dolls the same ever since. Tammy is well into her 80’s but is still loved and remembered for that tearful scene where she unwrapped the Debby Doll on her tenth birthday and said, “Well, gee, Mother, all I ever wanted was a Debby Doll!”

All I ever wanted was a Debby Doll but I didn’t get one on my tenth birthday. That year I moved from the city to Krumville, to Aunt Fay’s, and she said I was too old for dolls. She was a recovering heroin addict who hung photos of herself dressed as a vampire on all the walls. I was not allowed in the kitchen and had to eat my meals in my bedroom decorated with Aunt Fay photos. She said if I wanted a Debby Doll, I should petition the goddess Diana. I thought she was being funny.

Aunt Fay’s house was in the oak forest. She made oak dolls with hair from deer. The deer hair was arranged to look like human hair. She said these were petitions to Diana. Under an oak tree, Aunt Fay had an altar where she buried the dolls. Sometimes she burned them.

There were always gunshots in the oak forest. I never went outside that fall. In the city, there was shooting every Saturday night in our neighborhood and I was never allowed out. I don’t remember my city house much. One day Aunt Fay went outside and never came back in. Child Services came and took me away. I was now a ward of the State of New York.

What luck, I ended up in the same city as Denton’s Debby Dolls. When I turned eighteen, I went to work in the factory and I still do.

“Aren’t you coming to lunch?” Sarah asks.

“I’m working on my doll,” I whisper.

“Don’t let Mr. Denton see you doing that,” Sarah says. “He’s in a bad way today. I heard we’re 500K down this year. We have orders but there’s no stock. We can’t work fast enough.”

“I can tell Mr. Denton that I’m experimenting with new colors on my lunch break, which I am doing.” I stroke my Debby’s porcelain cheek with my pinky. “Look at her complexion. It’s lavender oil and China Pink pigment.”

“She’s not real, you know,” Sarah says. “I’ll bring you some tea.”

“Tea. Thank you.”

A year has passed since I’d first started working on my own Debby. I’d modeled what was to be the hollow shell of her head. Each hand painted layer and each firing was personally carried out by me. Today, I am ready to add the final details and fill her empty eyes. It’s ten days before Christmas. She’ll be my daughter, mine all mine. Mommy loves you, Debby.

There had been a man once, just once. He left a few hairs on my gingham pillowcase. And a legacy. My body changed in ways it had never before; swellings in places that had been unripe. Rosy cheeks, like a Debby Doll. I so wanted the child. Although I could not yet feel the child, I could. The growing presence of another life made me feel otherworldly.

But I was unmarried, alone, and I would lose my job when the baby came. Panic set in. It must have been eight weeks into the pregnancy when the fever came, followed by some mild cramping. During the night the cramping pulsed and intensified until I finally passed out. The next morning, the otherworldly feeling was gone. My unformed child had been born, its life over before it even began.

I forced myself up and out of the house, not wanting to be alone. I was working in the molding department that week and I would bear my child. From Denton’s secret mixture of minerals, bone ash, and alabaster, I poured the liquid clay. Before the first firing, I’d made a small imperfection on her cheek, like a chickenpox scar, so the other workers would reject her. I would always recognize my child. During lunch breaks, I stole moments to paint her face and sneak her head back to the kiln.

You’re here with me now, Debby, forever.

The lavender oil calms me as I blend your complexion to a natural sheen. I can almost feel your heartbeat. Light brown eye brows are added one hair at a time, your sense of humor. Would you like brown eyes like mine? Each brush stroke to your iris gives you another fleck of depth. Two dots of white on the left side of the iris ascertain your personality. I cover your eyes with high-gloss tears and now you have emotions. The creation process is almost finished.

See? I’ve made you a soft pellet body, into which I stitched your preserved mortal remains, hair from your Daddy, and oak bark—my petition to Diana. Your body lies hidden inside the top drawer of my workbench, along with your new gingham dress made from the pillowcase Daddy rested his head on. I forged a certificate from a midwife confirming your birthday, today, and your name, Debby.

Mommy’s here, Debby, don’t worry…

“What are you working on?” barks Mr. Denton. “Ten days before Christmas and you’re messing around with that B-stock? Those get smashed.”

I never saw him come up to my workbench. Debby, don’t cry, I’ll sort Mr. Denton out.

“You have a whole tray with these new dolls that have to be painted!” Mr. Denton’s face ran red. “You’ve been messing with that one since I came in!”

“Sorry, sir, it’s lunch,” I whispered.

Now Debby, be a good girl and get in my top drawer.

“You want to hide the thing as well! Is that a pellet body in there? Are you the one out selling B-stock on the weekends?”

“No, sir, I…experiment.” We may have to make a run for it, Debby.

“So, it is you! I’ve been told there’s a woman on the flea market every weekend with B-Stock Debby Dolls for real cheap. Give me that!”

“No, sir, don’t, you don’t understand…”

“Tea!” Sarah plunks my unicorn mug onto my workbench, brushes my Debby’s head into my top drawer, and slides it shut with her hip.  She grabs my hand and pulls me up. “Come on, we got pizza and it’s getting cold.”

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Laura Libricz’s RWISA Author Page

 

 

 

Watch RWISA Write Showcase Tour with Lynn Hobbs #RRBC #amwriting @LynHobbsAuthor


RWISA TOUR

 

This month Rave Writers- International Society of Authors is celebrating the amazing talent in this group by highlighting some of our writer’s work with you.

Today’s spotlight is on Lynn Hobbs. Here’s a little bit about Lynn:

 

Lynn Hobbs

 

The Texas Association of Authors awarded Lynn Hobbs 1st place in Religious Fiction for 2013 for her book Sin, Secrets, and Salvation…and 1st place in Religious Fiction for 2014 for her book River Town…also 1st place in Religious Fiction for 2015 on her book Hidden Creek. Lynn’s latest book, “Lillie, A Motherless Child” won first place in Biography 2016 by the Texas Association of Authors. The AuthorShow.com named Lynn Hobbs as a winner in their 2013 “Fifty Great Writers You Should Be Reading” contest, and a finalist in 2012 where she was interviewed on their national radio program in the Christian category. Worldwide Who’s Who awarded Lynn “Professional of the Year 2012 in Authorship.” While inclusion in Worldwide Who’s Who is an honor, only a small selection from their 500,000 members are chosen for this distinction.

Lynn is also a National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo) 2011 winner having completed the task of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
She is a member of #RWISA (Rave Writers Int’l Society of Authors), a member of #RRBC, (Rave Reviews Book Club), Jerry Jenkins Writing Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, Texas Association of Authors, North East Texas Writers Organization, past treasurer (2011-2012) of East Texas Writers Association, and a Lifetime member of Worldwide Who’s Who.

 

Not Interested, by Lynn Hobbs

“Cordell.”

A booming voice called his name above the chatter of the crowded café. Cordell perched sideways on a swivel stool.

“What’s up?” An older man approached, narrow reading glasses sliding on his nose. His bald head glistened.

“Mr. Moore.” Cordell stood, and they slapped each other on the arm. The older man towered over Cordell’s lanky frame.

“Look at you.” Mr. Moore stepped back, cocked his head to the side, and scanned the younger man. “What’s with the beard?”

“It’s growing.” Cordell gave a half- smile, and motioned toward the stools.  “Lunch is on me. Glad you could make it. This hot weather isn’t healthy, is it?”

Mr. Moore chuckled. “No, but summer heat is part of Texas.”

Both ordered the lunch special with iced tea. He glanced at the young man.

“Heard some talk…heard you divorced Twyla.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Pretentious female, and all about herself. Guess you know that now.”

“I know it well…and I should have trusted your judgment… not my hormones.”

“Cordell, sometimes no one can tell anyone anything. They have to experience it firsthand for themselves.”

“Oh, it was an experience. I did everything for her.” He frowned at his older friend. “It was never enough, though.”

Mr. Moore grimaced.

Conversation ceased while the waitress set their food on the counter.

“Anything else I can get you?” She yanked two straws from her pocket placing them near their iced tea glasses.

“We’re fine, thank you.” Mr. Moore focused on his friend as she left.

Gazing at the heavy laden plates, Cordell appeared lost in thought, and slowly cut into his chicken fried steak.

“I’m here for you, man.” Mr. Moore spoke in an easygoing manner. “You may have graduated high school three years ago, but I will always be your mentor.” Blending gravy into his mashed potatoes, he waved his fork at Cordell. “Tell me about Twyla.”

Cordell’s shoulders slumped. He glanced at the other customers, and one couple looked in his direction.

“Twyla.” He paused, lowered his voice, and made eye contact with his mentor. “Twyla would not cook. I’d buy something after work, and bring it home. I heard one lie after another. She’d say she didn’t feel good.  I didn’t know she stayed up all night, and slept all day. She wouldn’t wash dishes or clothes, wouldn’t pick up after herself…she always had an excuse. After I washed or cleaned, she’d get out of bed and act sleepy saying she felt a little better. Then on weekends, she’d go out with her friends feeling great.”

“Cordell, there is an old saying for your marriage.”

“What?”

“That’s too much buck for a little sugar.”

“I did try hard to please her…and for what? She never did anything for me.”

The older man gently bit his lip. Leaning forward, he looked straight at Cordell. “Ever consider it was your will to have Twyla, and not God’s will?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Had it been God’s will for you to have Twyla, she would have been a blessing, not a lesson.”

“Wow. What a powerful statement, Mr. Moore.”

“Same principal applies to your money, and your budget. Is it something you want, or something you need? What happens if you over spend on something you want? Something you need in an emergency might not be affordable.  You could be broke by then, or your credit rating could hold you back.”

The young man nodded.

“Hear me out, Cordell. I pray for God’s will and guidance in my life. It is as important to me as is the choice between a good life, and an evil one.”

“I appreciate you, Mr. Moore, and I intend to pray like you do.”

“Wonderful. Thank the Lord. I’m happy Twyla is gone.”

“No more women for me. I’m done.”

“I wouldn’t go that far.”

“Nope, not interested.”

“See our waitress taking drinks to the corner table? I think she’s close to your age. Don’t you think so?”

“I guess.”

“Her face glows when she talks to customers. Seems genuine, and friendly.”

“She doesn’t know anything about them. Give her time, she’ll be manipulating.”

Mr. Moore flashed Cordell a wide grin. “Easy on assuming, now. They aren’t all like that.”

“Maybe, but I’m still not interested.”

“Here she comes, behave.”

“Sir, may I get you anything else? Would you care for dessert?”

“No, thank you, we are done. I’ll take both tickets.”

She scribbled on the order pad, and handed Cordell two slips of paper. “Hope you enjoyed the meal.”

“It was delicious.” Mr. Moore beamed.

She smiled, hurrying to the other end of the counter.

“So… what did you think about the waitress while she was here?” He pivoted to face Cordell.

“I wondered if I’d ever find a bag of rotten potatoes gooey on her kitchen floor…”

“Shame on you.”

“I found that on mine and Twyla’s kitchen floor, scooted against the wall.”

“Not everyone is nasty. Most are clean.”

Finishing their meal, each rose, and veered toward the cashier. Cordell paid while his mentor stuffed a five dollar bill into the tip jar. They meandered through the crowded café, and Cordell opened the exit door. The outside heat engulfed them.

“Mr. Moore, thanks for meeting me here today.”

“My pleasure.”

“Let’s do this again, same time, same place next week.”

“Cordell, I’ll look forward to it.”

They strolled in opposite directions to their vehicles when the waitress came barging out of the café. She raced toward Cordell.

“Sir, you left your phone on the counter.”

Recognizing his phone she waved high in the air, he stopped.

“Why, thank you.” For the first time, he gave her his full attention noticing her warm, caring eyes. “Thank you, indeed.”

He felt her skin flush as she slipped the phone into his hand. Whirling about, she hastened back inside.

He opened and closed his mouth realizing he didn’t know her name, and knew he’d return.

Sprinting to his car, he drove off with a glance at the café while the waitress lingered on his mind.

 

The End

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Lynn Hobbs RWISA Author Page

Spotlight Tour: Last Night by John W. Howell #amreading #RRBC @HowellWave


RWISA TOUR

 

A few months ago I joined a fantastic writer’s group, Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) and from that I’ve met some amazing authors such as Mae Clair and John Howell, who is also a member of the Rave Writers- International Society of Writers, a division of RRBC.

Today it is my honor to spotlight John and his work:

 

John W. Howell

 

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 completes the story. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. John lives in Port Aransas, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

 

 

Last Night by John W. Howell © 2017

 

So, with nothing better to do, I figure I’ll stop at Jerry’s place and grab a couple of drinks and a burger. Usually, I don’t go there on Saturday night since there’s a crapload of amateurs taking up what would be considered prime space. I figure since this is a Friday and close to Saturday, it may be packed, but not as crazy as Saturday. It’s the kind of place where everyone minds their business. They’re there for a good time and will likely not notice me. Even so, I go through the door, stop, and have a look around, trying not to make eye contact. I hope that the ball cap and large coat will keep me from getting noticed.  The bar holds a weekday crowd, hanging on each other like they never had a date before. I tighten my eyelids against the smoke and make out four guys near the pool table, and what looks like a couple of girls fetching drinks. I search for a seat beyond the table in the back, but it seems like they’re all taken.

A guy bumps into me as I stand here. I say excuse me, and he looks me in the face. “Hey, don’t I know you?” he says.

“I don’t think so.” I make to turn away.

“Yeah, you’re the sports hero who lost all his money. I saw you on TV.”

“Naw, people always say stuff like that. I’m not him, buddy; trust me.”

He gives me a puzzled look but doesn’t want to push it, in case he has it wrong. I turn away and continue to look for a seat.

Straight ahead lies the bar, and it has a place right in the middle. I move in the direction of the empty place and look over to the other side of the room. The tables look full of happy drunks. Buckets of empties line the bar top, and the barmaids trying to sell more. She doesn’t have much luck since most of these people just spent their last five bucks on this outing. Upon making it to the stool, I hoist myself up and lean on the bar.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. “Whadda you have?”

“Evening, Jerry. I’ll have a Gin on the rocks with a water back.”

“Comin’ up.”

I like Jerry’s no-nonsense way of handling things. He doesn’t like small talk and gets right to business. My eyes smart from the smoke, and I wonder how Jerry gets away with letting people kill themselves, when clearly, it’s not supposed to be allowed in this kind of establishment.

“Here you go. Want me to run a tab?”

“Yeah, I would appreciate that. I intend to have another drink and then a burger.”

The guy who thinks he knows me grabs my shoulder from behind. I almost fall off the stool.

“You’re Greg Petros, the big fund manager. I knew I’d seen you on TV. You took a beautiful career in football and ran it into the ground.”

Jerry leans over the bar and lays his hand on the guy’s shoulder. “Move on, my friend. You made a mistake. This guy is nobody. Go sit down and let me buy you a drink.”

“You sure? You called him Greg.”

“Yeah, I’m sure. Go get a table, and I’ll send someone over.”

The guy looks at me one more time but does as Jerry suggests. He believes Jerry’s wrong, but the idea of a free drink lets him get away without losing face.

“Thanks. I didn’t mean for you to have to jump in.”

“No problem. Gimme the high sign when you’re ready for another drink.”

“Will do. Thanks.”

“For you buddy, anything.”

I should mention that Jerry and I go back aways. When I fell on hard times, he became the only one that seemed to give a shit. I take a sip of my drink and wait for the burn in my throat, which signals the good stuff. Here it comes. I take a swig of the water and almost believe life is good. The Gin needs to get to the brain before making any honest judgment.

While I wait for the warmth to go from my stomach to my head, I check out the folks seated on either side of me. They both have their backs turned to me and sit engrossed in some discussion with their neighbor. I figure it’s just as well since I don’t want to go through that old “don’t I know you?” bullshit again. Also, I don’t figure on staying the night, so no use in getting into any long discussions about life.

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband, either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still, and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but, I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that, too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

 

END

 

 

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