Whispers of the Past – a new paranormal anthology

I am delighted to announce that Whispers from the Past, a paranormal anthology, in which I have two short stories, is now available as an ebook from Amazon.

The Blurb

A paranormal anthology with nine stories from seven authors, including the winning story in the 2019 WordCrafter Paranormal Short Fiction Contest, A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known, by Jeff Bowles.

Last of the Lavender Promo

Missed signs

ARC

If you are interested in an Advanced Reader Copy of this anthology, please email me at sirchoc[at]outlook[dot]com.

Purchase Whispers of the Past

Book Review: Nightmareland by Dan Alatorre

James J. Cudney IV has written a great review of Nightmareland, edited by Dan Alatorre, in which I have three short stories.

“Today’s book is an anthology, a collection of short stories designed to frighten us and lure those dark dreams from our minds… Nightmareland will send you into the foggy twilight of the eerie and macabre, with heart stopping stories from:

USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre
award-winning bestselling author Robbie Cheadle
award-winning bestselling author Ellen Best
award-winning author Kaye Booth
award-winning bestselling author Betty Valentine
award-winning bestselling author Alana Turner
award-winning bestselling author Christine Valentor
award-winning bestselling author Nick Vossen
award-winning bestselling author Victoria Clapton
award-winning bestselling author AM Andrus
award-winning bestselling author Adele Marie Park
award-winning bestselling author Barbara Anne Helberg
award-winning bestselling author MD Walker
award-winning bestselling author Dabney Farmer
award-winning bestselling author Marjorie Mallon

NightmarelandNightmareland by Dan Alatorre
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Nightmareland is the latest anthology edited by Dan Alatorre. I’ve previously read one of the others, and I wanted to check out this latest one too. I know a few of the authors from the blogging world, and several were new to me. What I like about this anthology is the ability to read ~20 short stories and learn about different authors and their writing styles. All fall within the horror, mystery, suspense, and thriller genres… but each one runs the range from gentle scariness to hallucinogenic nightmares.

Alatorre kicks off the scene with a story about teenagers thirsting for the latest drug craze — something that awakens your deepest nightmares and lets you live through them like a murderous roller coaster. He has two other stories, which connect to the first in various ways… one even closes out the book bringing things full circle. I like his writing style and will consider reading more of his other work.

Continue reading here: https://thisismytruthnow.com/2019/12/05/book-review-nightmareland-by-dan-alatorre/

#Bookreviews #RRBC @NonnieJules @rijanjks

Book reviews

Open, Shut: A Short Story by Nonnie Jules

What Amazon says

Darcy Lynn has a few problems. Her sister, Lola, killed by a drunk driver, leaves her with an eerie message right before her death; her parents are atheists; her father drinks a little too much, and her brother, Bud, is just annoying. But, her most pressing issue is that things are mysteriously opening and closing around her and she hasn’t a clue as to why…or how.

In this short “sad but uplifting story with a wonderful message,” as one reader tags it, Author, Nonnie Jules flexes her writing chops once again, by introducing her readers to a normal, every day family, whose lives are altered, not once, but twice by unexpected and unusual circumstances.

If you came into this story only believing in things seen with your own two eyes, you walk away with a new and refreshing added sense…the ability and the courage to change, based on where your heart leads you.

My review

This is the first book I have read by Nonnie Jules and I enjoyed it a great deal. Darcy Lynn and her younger brother are the admiring younger siblings of Lola. A bright and vivid personality with an ever ready smile, Lola is the heart of their family. She is an extraordinary girl with a real sense of family and lots of time for her younger siblings.

One dark and dreary morning, the three siblings are walking to school when a terrible car accident claims Lola’s life and her family are left to deal with the fallout. Darcy’s parents are atheists so they do not have Faith to turn to during this time of trouble.

A few years later, Darcy is feeling despondent, the effects of the loss of her wonderful older sister still hang heavily over her family with her father having found solace in alcohol and her mother maintaining her sister’s old bedroom as a shrine. Darcy goes into her dead sister’s bedroom and finds and reads her diary. This action hugely impacts on her life and that of her family, allowing them to re-discover their lost Faith and move forward along life’s path in a positive way.

I liked the style of writing of this book and the inclusion of the diary entries which are read by Darcy during her time in her sister’s bedroom. The ending is rolled out cleverly with the positive outcomes highlighted in a clever and natural way.

Purchase Open, Shut: A Short Story

Jewel by Jan Sikes

What Amazon says

For almost eighteen years, Jewel has known little beyond hopelessness and hunger. Barely existing in a ramshackle cabin, on the edge of a Louisiana swamp with her little sister and their mother, she sees no way to stop the downward spiral. When her mother falls gravely ill, Jewel learns that her life is about to take a drastic turn. But will it lead to joy or more devastation?

Take a heart-warming journey with Jewel as she struggles to rise from the clutches of poverty and shame.

My review

This is an enjoyable short story about a young girl, Jewel, whose family experiences extremely hard times following a work accident by her father. He finds solace in drinking and his family slides further and further into poverty as his ability to support them declines. Their circumstances take a turn for the worse when he suddenly disappears, never to return.

Jewel realises that her mother is very ill as she has a hacking cough and knows that something has to be done to save her younger sister, her mother and herself. She persuades her mother to go into the town and see a doctor. Her mother, however, returns with finery for her beautiful daughter, Jewel, instead of the expected medicine and the two girls soon realise that their mother, who is dying, has given them away to the best takers she can find.

Jewel goes to work for a Madam in a brothel and her younger sister is put into foster care. Interestingly, Jewel doesn’t fight against her fate, seeming to quickly accept that she has no other options for the time being.

Jewel becomes an object of interest for one of the brothel’s wealthy clients. Will she find happiness or will she become just another mistress to be cast aside when her admirer looses interest? You will have to read the book to find out.

Purchase Jewel

Open Book Blog Hop – I want it all!

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What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

Sometimes when I see the topic for the open book blog hop I am not sure exactly what I think about it. It may be a topic I have never really thought about or considered before. This is one of the reasons I was drawn to participate in this particular challenge; it forces me to think about new and interesting things.

I have read a few of the other posts on this particular topic and I have come to know that I would not give up anything. Everything I do is important to me and I am more of an “adder oner” than a “giver upper” of anything. This does not mean that I construe the idea of giving something up in order to write in a negative light, it merely means that I like everything I do and feel a need to do it all and balance it all. It works most of the time for me as I am very versatile and adaptable.

I currently have a full time job in corporate finance which is fairly demanding and time consuming. I have a family with two sons, Greg and Michael, aged sixteen and thirteen, respectively, a husband, parents who live on the same property as I do, three sisters, two nephews, three nieces, a sister-in-law, a mother-in-law, an aunt and my husband’s grandmother, all of whom need to be visited and entertained and made much of (especially mother). I have to help Michael with his school work every night and help prepare him for his tests and exams and I tested Greg at least four times on every section of his school work prior to his recent exams (did I mention his average for the exams was 83% with averages of over 90% for history and computer science?). Hubby also likes to tell me about his problems  day from time to time and I need to engage and listen. I also like to bake and create fondant art as well as make chocolate and gingerbread houses, work on my writing and read and write blogs.

Of course, there is also marketing my books which is a bit hit and miss for me but I try to visit Twitter, Instagram and WP regularly even if the rest slip a bit.

Would I give anything up? Well, no. It is a bit of a stretch to manage it all during busy times at work and my boys examinations, but I seem to manage okay. I don’t aim for to much in respect of my writing goals, as said previously my target is 3 000 to 3 500 good words per week, that includes my editing as I go along. This works for me, I am happy to be a writing plodder.

What would you give up, if anything, in order to write?

Rules:

  1. Link your blog to this hop.
  2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
  3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
  4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
  5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Guest author: Robbie Cheadle – Emily Brontë

Thank you, Sue Vincent, for hosting this third post in my Bronte family series. Emily Bronte was a most fascinating woman and this post includes some less well know facts about her and her life.

The Brontë family

Emily Brontë

Background

Emily Brontë was the fifth child of Patrick Bronte and Maria Branwell. She is known for her intense gothic novel, Wuthering Heights, which has remained consistently among the top three best-selling English language classic novels.

Emily’s is reported to have been unsociable and extremely shy. After her death from tuberculosis, Charlotte said the following about her:

“My sister’s disposition was not naturally gregarious; circumstances favoured and fostered her tendency to seclusion; except to go to church or take a walk on the hills, she rarely crossed the threshold of home. Though her feeling for the people round was benevolent, intercourse with them she never sought; nor, with very few exceptions, ever experienced. And yet she knew them: knew their ways, their language, their family histories; she could hear of them with interest, and talk of them with detail, minute, graphic, and accurate; but WITH them, she rarely exchanged a word.”

 

Facts about Emily Bronté

Some interesting facts and stories about Emily are as follows:

Emily was good at art, as were her siblings Charlotte, Anne and Branwell. Emily was largely self-taught and learned to draw by copying images from manuals and popular prints of the day. There are 19 surviving illustrations created by Emily and these include a series of pen and ink sketches, some paintings, mainly water colours, a few pencil drawings, some engravings and a geometry exercise.

Continue reading here: https://scvincent.com/2019/11/29/guest-author-robbie-cheadle-emily-bronte/

#Flashfiction – Winners

Charli Mills has given us the word winners this week for the 99-word flash fiction challenge. Here is my piece:

“He shuddered at the sight that beheld his desolate eyes. Stiff bodies ending in bloody stumps where their heads had been blown to pieces. Others, in which the pulse of life still beat, despite their shattered limbs lying in parts all over the field, spurted blood in bright sprays. There was also the noise; the screams and shrieks of pain from those who could muster the energy to expel such sounds from their desperate throats. These combined with the underlying low pitched moans and relentless whining of the dying, to form a symphony of despair. War had no winners.”

You can join in Charli’s challenge here: https://carrotranch.com/2019/11/28/november-28-flash-fiction-challenge/

#Bookreview: Artful Alchemy: Physically Challenged Fiber Artists Creating edited by Anne Copeland

Book reviews

What Amazon says

This book contains a collection of beautiful art, plus the personal stories of the 23 multi-talented contributors. The common thread through their lives is that each woman has overcome physical and other challenges to become a successful artist in the textile medium.

My review

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I purchased this book about the artwork created by twenty three physically challenged artists, and it really exceeded any expectations I might have had. Each of the twenty three contributors to this anthology has provided some background to their particular disability and how it effects them in their daily lives. The disabilities are far ranging and most people will have come across at least one, if not more, of them in their daily interactions.

Some of the artists are blind or deaf, some were born disabled or became disabled through diseases like polio or cancer, one woman was shot at close range and another had an accident at work. They all have one thing in common, they have all evolved into fulfilled and happy people through the therapy offered by their fiber artwork. It is incredible to read these stories and understand how someone who has had to learn to cope with a fairly difficult change to their lifestyle, is able to gain so much benefit from their artwork and create such beautiful and meaningful works for other people to enjoy.

There are photographs of each ladies artwork and these are stunning. I have never seen such beautiful quilts. There are contact details for each of the ladies so that readers can contact them should they wish too.

Purchase Artful Alchemy: Physically Challenged Fiber Artists Creating