#Thursday Throwback ~ Review for Examining Kitchen Cupboards by Stevie Turner @StevieTurner6

Jill Hayes discovers that not all is as it seems in her new post as a college examinations administrator. When she turns whistle-blower and tries to report her findings to the authorities, she is horrified to discover that some people will stop at nothing to ensure her silence.

Our Review

Starting a new job is always fraught with tension, you worry whether you will be liked, and more importantly, are you able to convince them of your competence?

Jill Hayes is met with total disdain from her new superior, so when she questions something that doesn’t seem right, she is met with hostility on many levels.

If you discover something is wrong, could you be a whistle-blower, or would you hope that someone else would do it instead?

This story has it all, corruption and greed, and an interesting cast of fascinating and true to life characters. Although Examining Kitchen Cupboards is a work of fiction at its finest, you could be forgiven for thinking it seems far too real to be comfortable, and I’m sure some of it must be based on fact, which of course, makes it all the more chilling…

About the Author

Stevie Turner is a British author of suspense, paranormal, women’s fiction family dramas, and darkly humorous novels. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017. Some of Stevie’s books have been translated into German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

Stevie can be contacted at the following email address: stevie@stevie-turner-author.co.uk
On her website http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk you can find a free suspense novella to read so that you can check out her writing style. You can also find her blog at the following link: http://www.steviet3.wordpress.com and you can sign up to her mailing list at http://eepurl.com/dvNklL

Book of The Week ~ Splitting Infinities by Sian Turner #Psychological Fiction @SianTurner1066

A relatable story full of suspense, with psychological twists and turns in every chapter.

Dawn Foster lost her 18-year-old son, Ben following a tragic accident and a few months afterwards her husband Gary left her. Then, quite by chance, Dawn discovers her son’s ‘lucky stone’ concealed in the pocket of his favourite jacket. She carries the treasured stone with her everywhere, even keeping it under her pillow at night.
The day after the discovery, Dawn’s life suddenly begins to take a series of inexplicable turns that leave her suspecting she has some form of stress-induced amnesia. But soon she is forced to face an even more frightening explanation that leaves her doubting more than just her memory. With her son dead, her husband gone and life quite literally out of control, how will Dawn ever be happy again?

Meet the Author Sian Turner

I am a UK author based in East Sussex and am a long-standing member of Shorelink Writers. My first two novels were historical fiction stories, but I now write magical realism (contemporary novels with a paranormal/supernatural element).

If you wish to receive updates from me, including freebies (usually a FREE ebook), information about future releases and news, please sign up to my mailing list by visiting my website:
http://www.sianturnerauthor.wordpress.com/
I’m happy to hear from you on social media too:
http://www.facebook.com/SianTurnerAuthor
http://www.twitter.com/SianTurner1066

To anyone who has bought one of my books, a resounding THANK YOU. Reviews are tough to get though, and can make or break a book, so a huge double thank you if you have also reviewed any of them.

Our Thoughts

Splitting Infinities is a remarkable story.

An extremely clever and complicated plot that will tie your brain in knots.

The attention to detail is quite amazing.

I loved the way Dawn had to start keeping a journal to understand all the confusing changes in her life.

Not that it helped much, for as fast as she thought she understood what was happening and why, it all changed again.

How I managed to cope with such a complex story arc, I don’t know, but I enjoyed trying to figure it all out all the twists and turns!

Amazon Link (as the usual way doesn’t appear to be working!)

Book of the Week: Satin & Cinders by Jan Sikes

A wild black stallion has cautiously watched a beautiful white mare, from the safety of the forest for many years. He longs to be with her, and ventures close to the barn nightly to communicate with her. They share their deepest desires and secrets. Now it is winter, and the rest of the wild herd has moved on, but the stallion stays. He cannot stand the thought of being so far away from her. The scent of sweet alfalfa hay and the enticing lure of the white mare is too much for him. He must find a way to be with her. But will it be worth the risk? Satin and Cinders is a story of courage and determination.


More about the author, Jan Sikes

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I can still remember the excitement that surged through me the first time I realized I could decipher words. Many summers, I won the highest award possible from the Hobbs, NM Public Library for reading the most books.
There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in a story.
Oddly enough, I never had any ambition to be a writer. But I wound up in mid-life with a story that begged to be told. Not just any story, but a true story that rivalled any fiction creation. Through fictitious characters, the tale came to life in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books. Not satisfied to stop with the books, I released music CDs of original music to match the time period of each story segment.
In conclusion, to bring the story full circle, I published a book of poetry and art. I was done.
Wrong!
The story ideas keep coming, and I don’t intend to turn off the creative fountain.
I am a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Romance Writers of America, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. I am an avid fan of Texas music and grandmother of five beautiful souls. I reside in North Texas.

MyThoughts

As a lifelong lover of horses, I looked forward to reading this story, the equine equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. Beautifully written, this touching and romantic tale of the love and longing between Cinders and Satin reminded me that love really can find a way and will conquer all…

A Ghost and his Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle #historical African History #Ghost Horror @RobertaEaton17

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summons a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.
Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?
After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.

An image posted by the author.
Robbie Cheadle

Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has 2 published novels, Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy, and A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.

Roberta has 9 children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.

Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.

Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written 7 publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

Our Review

A Ghost and his Gold is based in South Africa.

I was expecting a jolly good ghost story, but I wasn’t disappointed, for this story is so much more than that.

An interesting combination of the paranormal entwined with history. History that had to be closely and accurately researched to ensure that all the details are portrayed sensitively.

In the beginning of the story, we learn about two ghosts, soldiers who fought and died on opposite sides of the second Boer war. We learn a lot about this war from these two ghosts. Robert, a British soldier, and a Boer called Pieter. Their heart-breaking duel story is brilliantly written, as is the sad story of Estelle, the third and very vengeful ghost and daughter of Pieter.

Far from ordinary, this story is a complicated tale of revenge.

I wish I could forget the horrors of the Boer War, but I will never forget these character’s.

Just remind me never to play with a Ouija board!

The Castle by Anne Montgomery ~ #Review ~ @amontgomery8

Ancient ruins, haunted memories, and a ruthless criminal combine with a touch of mystic presence in this taut mystery about a crime we all must address.

Blurb

Maggie, a National Park Ranger of Native American descent, is back at The Castle—a six-hundred-year-old pueblo carved into a limestone cliff in Arizona’s Verde Valley. Maggie, who suffers from depression, has been through several traumas: the gang rape she suffered while in the Coast Guard, the sudden death of her ten-year-old son, and a suicide attempt.

One evening, she chases a young Native American boy through the park and gasps as he climbs the face of The Castle cliff and disappears into the pueblo. When searchers find no child, Maggie’s friends believe she’s suffering from depression-induced hallucinations.

Maggie has several men in her life. The baker, newcomer Jim Casey, who always greets her with a warm smile and pink boxes filled with sweet delicacies. Brett Collins, a scuba diver who is doing scientific studies in Montezuma Well, a dangerous cylindrical depression that houses strange creatures found nowhere else on Earth. Dave, an amiable waiter with whom she’s had a one-night stand, and her new boss Glen.

One of these men is a serial rapist and Maggie is his next target.

In a thrilling and terrifying denouement, Maggie faces her rapist and conquers her worst fears once and for all.

Anne Montgomery

Biography

Anne Butler Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. Her first TV job came at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, and led to positions at WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter. She finished her on‐camera broadcasting career with a two‐year stint as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery was a freelance and/or staff reporter for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archaeological pieces. Her previous novels are A Light in the Desert, The Scent of Rain, and Wild Horses on the Salt. Montgomery taught journalism and communications at South Mountain High School in Phoenix for 20 years. She is a foster mom to three sons, and spent 40 years officiating amateur sports, including football, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball. When she can, she indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, musical theater, and playing her guitar.

Contact Information

602.275.6064

annemontgomeryauthor@gmail.com

Excerpt of The Castle

“Holy crap!” Maggie dropped the phone. Someone peered from outside the darkened window. A child. Big eyes in a bronze face. “Hey! You can’t….” But the boy—nine maybe ten—disappeared. She heard a laugh, a light tinkling sound like tiny brass bells on the breeze.

Maggie scrambled for the phone, punched in the number, and made her report. Then she grabbed a flashlight from under the counter and bolted out the back door of the Visitor Center.

A half-moon lit the concrete trail. There was no sign of the boy. The wind pushed through massive Arizona Sycamores, their star-shaped leaves fluttered, the sound mimicking a stream rushing over small river rocks. Maggie rushed down the path. Her Nikes would have served her better than the brown ankle boots that were part of her uniform.

The laughter came again, this time from the wild land amidst the rocks—huge slabs of fractured white limestone that over the centuries had tumbled down the escarpment. Striving to avoid the vicious prickly pear that dotted the slope and the jagged pieces of stone that could slice skin like a honed blade, Maggie left the safety of the trail and pushed past the mesquite and pungent creosote bushes toward the base of the cliff, boots crunching on the rocky rubble that littered the ground.

Her gaze drifted up the sheer stone wall to The Castle, a prehistoric edifice almost iridescent in the moonlight. She could make out the small windows and even ancient logs that jutted from the structure, all of which had been felled and carted up the cliff face many hundreds of years earlier.

Maggie gasped. To her horror, she saw the boy ascending the wall. She flashed on the day she’d scaled the precipice with archaeology students from New Mexico State University. A seasoned climber, she was comfortable in the harness and helmet, but the ladders were touchy. The feel of rock beneath her hands and feet provided a much more solid sense of security. But there were no ladders propped against the ragged limestone now, nor was the child dressed in any protective gear. In fact, he didn’t appear to be wearing clothes at all.

Frozen, she watched the boy mount the wall like an animal, arms and legs working with almost preternatural ease. Then Maggie saw the child hoist himself over the ledge before he disappeared into the cave that held The Castle in its belly.

At six-foot-three, Jess Sorenson towered over her friend. She folded the slim spiral notebook and tucked the pad into the back pocket of her uniform pants. Like Maggie, Jess sported a gray button-down short-sleeve shirt and forest green slacks. But Jess was a National Park Service Law Enforcement officer, so she also wore a sidearm.

“You don’t believe me.” Maggie slumped into a desk chair in the office at the Montezuma Castle Visitor Center.

“Look, sweetie…”

Maggie glared.

“I’m just saying that we’ve had a search team out here for,” Jess checked her watch, “five hours now. And they’ve found nothing. And you have to admit….”

“They think I’m still crazy, right?” Maggie jumped from the chair and paced the room, a palm pressed against her forehead.

“I didn’t say that, but….” Jess creased her brow. “You know I have to ask.”

“No, I’m no longer medicated, if that’s what you’re curious about.” Maggie turned toward the east-facing windows of the Visitor Center, where the morning sun had yet to offer even a hint of illumination.

Jess nodded and reached again for the notebook. She jotted the information in blue ink, stuck the pen in her breast pocket, and ran her fingers through short, shockingly white hair. “Maybe you need some more time off,” she said softly.

Maggie closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. “I know what I saw.”

Jess stared for a long time. “I believe you. But the other guys….” She spread her hands wide.

“I have to work, Jess. Sitting around is doing me no good. I just think too much when I’m alone. When I’m here, I feel better. I can’t go back to the house.”

“I know.” Jess perched on the corner of a nearby desk. “So, what do you want to do? Should we file a report with the local authorities? Ask if any young boys are missing?”

“They’ll send me home.”

“They might.”

“But what if a child is out there injured?” Maggie pointed toward The Castle, unable stop tears from spilling down her cheeks.

“Do you think the child was hurt?”

Maggie blew out a breath and closed her eyes. She pictured the boy scaling the wall like one of the ubiquitous brown lizards that scampered among the rocks, his tinkling laughter playing on the breeze. Suddenly the memory seemed wrong. How could the vision be real? She stared at Jess, frowned, and collapsed into a chair.

Jess got up, walked over to Maggie, and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “I’m gonna call the guys off. Let’s get you to bed.”

Maggie lifted her head and peered from bleary eyes. “What about the report?”

“I think we need to err on the side of caution and tell the local folks, just in case. But maybe we can make it sound not so….”

“Crazy?” Maggie finished the sentence.

“Come on, now.”

Maggie allowed Jess to help her from the chair. Then she picked up the straw-colored hat with the flat brim and dark leather band that symbolized her profession. Her job was all that mattered now. By making the report Maggie was putting her employment at risk. But what if a child was lost or injured, and they stopped the search because she chose to say nothing? Maggie couldn’t live with that.

Maggie dragged herself from bed. After slipping on a pair of khaki shorts and an overly large navy-blue T-shirt bearing the words Plant Lady: I dig dirt, she made a cup of instant coffee, heavily laced with sugar and milk.

Maggie pushed through the screen door to the tiny porch that fronted her one-bedroom apartment, let the door snap shut behind her, and placed the steaming mug on a round wrought iron table. She’d slept until noon—not a surprise considering her run in with the boy/spirit/hallucination—so the sun was directly overhead. Birds chattered noisily in the surrounding bushes and trees. A speckled brown and white roadrunner, who sprinted about the grounds frequently and exhibited little fear of humans, tilted his head as she sat at the table, then went back to pecking among the rocks in a search for insects and lizards.

The apartment, one of several in a tidy row, sat on National Park land, just a short walk from The Castle. One of the benefits of being a National Park Ranger was the opportunity to live at work. Maggie had recently requested one of the simple flats—a bedroom, kitchenette, tiny living room, and bath—because the thought of returning to her house on Beaver Creek was overwhelming. Memories lingered there, once vibrant and joyful, now nothing but dust and shadow, thoughts that clawed at her gut like a small rodent anxious to eat its way out. She fingered the ragged scars that bisected her wrists—cuts that were partially concealed by a pair of colorful tattoos—then stared at the cerulean blue of the high desert sky.

Maggie, who’d grown up in the bulging metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona, had enjoyed the small-town feel of the Beaver Creek area, which encompassed the communities of Lake Montezuma, Rimrock, and McGuireville. On the way home from The Castle, she’d pass Vickie’s Grill—where a sign proclaimed you could get good home cooking—the Feed Store, and Candy’s Creek Side Cottage with its colorful kitschy décor that always made her smile. Further down the road stood the Montezuma-Rim Rock Fire Department, the town post office, and the most popular spot in town, Flora’s Bakery, where indescribably delicious confections came in pink boxes tied with twine. Then Maggie would turn onto the unpaved, dusty lane with the long row of metal mailboxes, mostly black and white and green, some with their red flags at attention, signaling mail within. Maggie’s was the fourth box from the right, turquoise with white flowers and a yellow butterfly that Charlie had insisted on.

Her tiny house was embraced by an ancient Arizona Sycamore, some of the tree’s branches having kissed the earth untold years earlier, after which they’d rebounded into the high desert sky, massive in their height and breadth. She’d felt connected to the tree with the mottled skin—pale green, brown, and white—cool to the touch, verdant star-shaped leaves. She couldn’t wrap her arms completely around the trunk, though she’d tried.

Charlie had loved the tree. Maggie stopped worrying as he’d grown older, no longer concerned that the boy might fall from the enormous limbs.

Bits of Charlie’s life assaulted her as she sipped her coffee. A hand-painted wooden frame clutching a picture of the two of them, smiling on a hike when he was six. A small pair of boots, laces untied, caked with dried red mud. The collection of minerals on the bedside table, including the strange geometrically-shaped white rocks called pseudomorphs, they’d found sifting through the sandy bottom of the open-pit salt mine in Camp Verde.

Maggie forced the thoughts away, not wanting to think about the house she still owned but dared not enter. For six months she’d stayed away. Jess periodically checked on the property and picked up the mail. Maggie continued to pay the mortgage, but the water and electricity had long since been turned off.

A half an hour and two cups of coffee later, Maggie stared at a Queen butterfly that rested on the wooden porch railing. The creature lazily opened and closed white-spotted orange and black wings, and flitted to a nearby patch of milkweed.

Maggie jumped, startled by the sound of a vehicle. A late model green Jeep Wrangler pulled to a stop in front of the last apartment in the complex. A tall man wearing a Colorado Rockies baseball cap unfolded himself from the driver’s seat and spoke into a cellphone as he slammed the door. He ended the call and slipped the phone into his back pocket. Then, he opened the rear of the vehicle and hoisted a large silver cylinder to his shoulder. His phone rang.

“What!” He walked up the wooden steps to the apartment. “I’ll call you back.” He put the cylinder on the porch floor and fumbled with a key.

Maggie recognized the object, strangely incongruous in the desert. It was a scuba tank.

Our Review

The author has dedicated The Castle to all survivors of sexual violence, which has to be the worst abuse every woman fears.

Maggie is back at work as a Park Ranger, trying to lead a normal life after a rape ordeal. That’s if life and her memories will let her.

She meets many men in her job, and they all make her feel uncomfortable. How can she know who to trust?

Like Brett Collins, a serious scuba diver that she is assigned to assist. He seems decent enough and doesn’t even flirt with her. Her boss Glen, Jim Casey the baker and Dave the good looking, dark haired waiter, they all seem harmless, but try as she might, the thought that she could be in danger again will not leave her be.

I loved the way I learned more about the rapist as the story developed, all while I was trying to guess who he was. It was as if once I knew, then he would be caught and punished before anything bad happened!

The author tried hard with the sympathy card, but I couldn’t feel sorry for the serial rapist, sorry.

I also loved the history of the ancient ruins and the thread of mystery throughout the story, which did help to balance the pervading evil.

I cannot say I enjoyed reading this story, due to the subject matter, but it is brilliantly written and plotted, and I didn’t manage to guess who the rapist was until the very end!

Throwback Thursday ~ Eventide by Mae Clair ~ #SuspenseThriller @MaeClair1

 

Eventide (A Hode's Hill Novel Book 3) Kindle Edition

 

The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her.

She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property, or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires, or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?
 Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil.

An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…

my-thoughts-divider2.png

 

Eventide, the last story in Mae Clair’s terrifying trilogy reminded me of a Victorian melodrama, all dark and very mysterious.

The dual timeline ramped up the tension and stretched my nerves so thin, I thought they would break. But I loved the way the past seemed to mirror the present and that they combined at the end in one breathtaking chapter…

Perfectly written and calculated to give anyone nightmares, these books should probably come with a health warning for all those of a nervous disposition!

I loved the part when Madison tackled the weeds in the flowerbeds of her new house, something I love to do to relax my mind. Mae Clair described it all so well too, but the peace wasn’t to last. The tension returns as Madison feels she is being watched, and things begin to happen…

The ghosts start coming out of the woodwork and in no time at all this story becomes icy with terrifying chills coming in quick succession.

Eventide is one of the best ghost stories I have ever read!

Dead of Winter ~ Journey 8 ~ The Lost Library ~ Review ~ @teagangeneviene

Throughout the previous volumes the fantasy aspect of this epic has gradually built. In Journey 8, that fantastical element comes to the fore.
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Emlyn and her companions search for the fabled Lost Library. The entire world is at risk, so they hope answers will be there. However, a new complication arises and the fate of one Deae Matres hangs in the balance.
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Meanwhile Arawn, who tore the Veil between the worlds of the living and dead, tries to make an evil alliance with a long dead king who was known for his ruthlessness.
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Remove the limits from your imagination and join Emlyn and company on this extraordinary adventure.

Dead of Winter Journey 8

This story moves on to another part of this intriguing world and opens with Emlyn and her companions Zasha and Hallgeir exploring the newly found Library, trying to find out why Osabide and two of members of the Deae Matre have disappeared. And as this magical Library seems enormous, not an easy task.

When Hallgeir reappears, he brings with him the ancient watcher, Haldis.

The one who has been watching their progress all this time. Was she the reason they were here? Or the reason the library had vanished all those years ago?

As Haldis recounts her story, Emlyn was reminded of the magic that linked them. But whose side was the magic on, and did it still have plans for them all?

Emlyn grows uneasy as she listens to their conversations and the decision that involves herself, realising that they are deciding her future and that of her own special gift.

Ripples of unease and mistrust begin to circulate, were they all being manipulated into making the biggest mistake of their lives?

I cannot wait for the next journey!

A Great Day after all…

I have to admit that I don’t check Goodreads as often as I should, especially now that the mighty Zon has changed it’s review policies. We cannot rely on seeing our hard won reviews on Amazon anymore, more likely find them on good old Goodreads!

So, imagine my surprise when I found this new review for Out of Time from Diana Peach…

Goodreads Reviews: Out of Time

Aug 15, 2021 D. Peach rated it really liked it

In this thriller, Kate Devereau wakes up in the hospital without any memory of the violence she’s endured. Nor does she remember any of the people in her life, including a past lover Michael who wants a second chance, or her ex-husband Jack, a sociopathic killer trying to do her in. David Snow is the detective tasked with her case. All four of these characters share alternating points of view in the story.

Kate’s character was the most interesting to me as she’s the one most in the dark. As the reader, I knew more about what happened than she did, but there were many tidbits of information I learned along with her. The author makes no secret that Jack Holland is the murderer and intends to finish the job he started. Jack is completely evil, but the other characters are nuanced and easy to relate to.

The pace moves along well, the tension is good, and I finished this book in two sittings. There aren’t many twists and turns; instead, the return of Kate’s memory provides a counterpoint to John’s increasing menace and David’s attempts to learn the truth. Recommended to readers of thrillers who enjoy a fast-paced story.

As you can imagine, this lovely review completely made my day, and I cannot thank Diana enough!

The Scarlet Ribbon ~ #UrbanFantasy

Wordle by Jaye Marie
I cross the old wooden bridge
A time machine to the past
Each step could be the one 
To trigger the magic
I am halfway across, looking back
I can see nothing, 
clouds, mountain tops, no bridge
My footsteps vanished, 
alongside the old wooden planks
I walk on, praying
Please let the next step take me home
The clouds ahead looked thinner
Started to clear
I could see the most amazing buildings
Blue and white
Gripping the rail edge to move on
A white shroud stole my beautiful vista
I was alone, 
nothing but wooden planks ahead of me
That’s when I heard a small voice
Do you want your old life?
I couldn’t stop myself from yelling, yes!
Then turn around. If you have faith
The bridge will appear
Would you take that step back
With nothing to see but clouds?

I hear a voice telling me to run
A hollow sound here in the darkness
Held by a disembodied voice
Telling me there is no touching where you are going
No interfering
You will not be calling any place you see, home
That is the place you left behind
You will be given a chance to earn your way back
You will take nothing from this place
The darkness pulsed around me like a living entity
I thought of those waiting for me to come home
Jack, my husband
What have I done, why must I run?
I feel the rain on my skin, a memory
Jack’s whispered voice, here in the darkness
Maggie, you must come back, I miss you
A new voice nagged at the back of my mind
You liar
I am being pushed into the light
It’s not a place I remember
Strange faces, a woman tries to wave me away
Telling me I don’t belong here
Tears on the face of a small child pull me forward
She needs my help, her home is filthy
Her tear-streaked face a charcoal smudge
Her tiny hand clutching a red ribbon…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Jaye’s Wonderful Week… 5* Review for Simple by @JacqBiggar

Just lately, I have been getting more and more depressed about my performance (or lack of one) as a writer. I do try, but with everything that is going on in my life right now, writing seems to slip through the cracks without my really noticing. That isn’t true, I do notice, and I secretly resent everything that contributed to this situation.

I often nag myself about all the things I don’t get around to, including writing, but also visiting the sites where our books can be found. For some reason, some part of my brain woke up this morning and is pushing me around with what feels like a cattle prod!

My first port of call was Goodreads. I had a good look around and then checked our books and the text reviews they had received. That was when Mister Shame turned up and reduced me to a red-faced wreck.

Simple, Anita’s second book and one of my favourites, has received a five-star review from Jacquie Biggar, one of our favourite authors! The shame skyrocketed when I saw the date, 2020!

I immediately apologised and will do so again today.

Thank you so much, for such a wonderful review, Jacquie

Now that Amazon have introduced these stupid restrictions, preventing many people from reviewing the books they buy, we must all remember to check the other places. I am ashamed to admit that I don’t check Goodreads or Smashwords as often as I should, but that changes now…

And finally, before I post Jacquie’s wonderful review, I have a very important job to do today. Add new links for Smashwords and Goodreads to our book pages, two very good alternatives to the sadly disappointing Amazon!

SHADES OF DELIVERANCE MEETS THE WALTONS…


5* Review for Simple by Jacquie Biggar

Life in the backwoods of Eastern USA is not easy. The hardscrabble country folk live by their own set of tough rules and there is a price to pay for breaking them.
Leanne’s family are as much a part of the woods as the trees and carnivores of the forest. They are rough, cruel, and frightening except for Simple, a big brute of a man with a soft heart and the mind of a child. Leanne would have run away long ago, but she was too scared of what her Uncle Jimmy would do to Simple to leave him behind.

When trouble comes to the mountain, Leanne is forced to make decisions for her and Simple or die.
This is a gripping suspense with intense scenes and complex characters who practically leap off the page. Uncle Jimmy, Jack, Granny are all people I would NOT want to meet in a dark alley!

Favourite Lines

When Simple got worked up his words stuck, stretched out like an echo rebounding around the woods before finding the end of it. Simple- Anita Dawes

Putting on a face, Gran always said, don’t mean you can hide what you are. Simple- Anita Dawes

I fell asleep, listening to the rain and Simple’s mind spilling out on to the dry leafy floor. Simple- Anita Dawes

This book is the haunting story of one young girl’s journey to a new life. It is the story of survival.

I give Simple 5 lovely kisses- Unpredictable!

Thank you again. Jacquie, for this lovely review!

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