WELCOME TO DAY 5 OF THE 9 DAY #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @LINNEATANNER @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

Welcome to Day 5 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  I would like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Linnea Tanner.  Take a peek at her writing below…

DANCE OF SOULS

Universal souls dance together

One takes the lead as another follows

Lifting our hands in unison, we twirl into a cloud

Floating high, the sun warming our faces

Yet we can fall as rain, our souls in free fall

Souls metamorphose into fluttering butterflies

Wrens chasing us, snapping their beaks to devour us

We abruptly shift flight and transmute into foxes

Leaping and snatching songbirds into our jaws

Our souls melding, singing, and clapping in rhythmic dance

Memories twist our fibers into rope

Past voices connect to the depths of our essence

Summoning ancestral souls, we embrace their power

Mortal and divine moving together toward light’s truth

Past, present, future merging as one in the dance of souls

One would think that authors had more opportunities to write in 2020 with social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic. Creative processes would enhance in cocoons of isolation. Instead, I struggled as an author to finish my fourth book in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. At times, the significance of events in 2020 overwhelmed me. I found myself grieving the loss of my lifestyle and the ability to interact closely with family and friends. Yet, the unsettling period made me reconsider the theme of my book and replot several scenes. Some would call this a writer’s block. I considered this a sign that the story needed to be transformed into a tale that resonates with readers.

Last year was a time of reflection for me as contrasting forces in juxtapose sometimes maintained balance in our chaotic world. As everything locked down at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, air quality improved globally. With the threat of global warming from carbon emissions, oil demand fell rapidly in 2020 as governments closed businesses and restricted travel due to the pandemic. Automakers, foreseeing a more profitable future, began to develop electric cars in earnest. The revolution of new technology and vaccines provided hope that humans could reverse the ill effects of climate change and virulent disease.

As white supremacy groups inflamed fear and hate through their rhetoric, anger over racial inequities ignited widespread protests demanding change. As an invisible virus took control over our lifestyle, corrupt politicians grasped for the illusion of power. But still, when people learned they had voted in a unifying leader to replace a divisive president, a dance of joy erupted on the streets.

In essence, Charles Dickens summed up the year 2020: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

What resonated most with me last year are universal truths in past civilizations are similar to modern-day times. Disease, warfare, and accidents wantonly take the lives of rich and poor, young and old, and male and female. Without the ability to control what happens in their lives, people often turn to superstition and conspiracy theories to explain what they can’t understand. In the Roman Empire, slaves were treated as property and abused without rights, similar to what the United States experienced before the Civil War. Lust for power corrupts absolutely. Yet, power is nothing but an illusion that one surrenders to another.

As I reflected on the unsettling events in 2020, it became clear to me that I needed to transform my work in progress in the series to capture the theme that opposing forces often provide insight into what we must do to achieve our dreams. Only in the depths of our darkness can we see the light and view the world with a new lens—a revolution that explores new possibilities.

I’m inspired to explore new forms of writing and balance my life by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So that I have the vitality to create, one of my goals is to adjust my diet and exercise three to five days per week. I want to stay connected with family, friends, authors, and the community through phone calls, e-mails, and Zoom for my emotional well-being. Hopefully, by the end of summer, I’ll be able to participate in live events where I can chat face-to-face with readers and other authors. I’ll continue to expand my knowledge by reading various books, researching topics that support my writing, and traveling to locations in my books (stretch goal, whenever it is safe to do so).

My primary goal as an author is to release my latest project at the end of 2021, hoping that the story will resonate with readers. The characters will experience a gamut of emotions of love and hate, compassion and retribution, and corruption and virtue. They must decide from a range of possibilities on how they will move toward their destinies. One of the subplots, based on the impact that Black Lives Matter had on me, is that a warrior grieving the loss of his murdered wife finds redemption and love by aiding a female slave to escape her brutal predicament. Another goal is to draft a novella that will be a prequel to the first book in the series.

I want to transcend my writing into other realms and become more focused. One of the beneficial aspects of being in a writer’s support group such asRWISA is that other authors inspire and support each other. As a result, I would like to explore the possibility of composing poetry, short stories, novellas, different genres, and nonfiction. As a member of RWISA, I wrote my first short story in 2020 but plan to write more in 2021. Most of all, I’d like to expand my support for other authors by hosting blog tours and reviewing their books. We all succeed as authors when we support each other in a dance of souls.

***

Did you enjoy Linnea’s writing?  Then please, help us support her and her work along this REVOLUTION tour! Just click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of Linnea’s profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

You can also support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What Linnea has to say about RWISA…

Check out Linnea’s book…

“APOLLO’S RAVEN”

***

Are you interested in a chance to promote your writing?

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work. If this sounds like you, come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

RWISA membership includes only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

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WELCOME TO DAY 4 OF THE 9 DAY #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @WENDYJAYNESCOTT @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

Welcome to Day 4 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  I would like to introduce you to an incredibly talented Author, who is also RWISA President, Wendy Jayne Scott.

Take a peek at her writing below…

HAPPY DANCE

In March 2020, with only a few days warning, alongside the rest of New Zealand, I was plunged into total lockdown. Saying this was a surreal experience is an understatement. As none of us knew how long this altered state would last, what this meant for our jobs, or the financial or health repercussions. We’d become entangled into the twilight zone of Covid-19. UNPRECEDENTED, screamed from the headlines alongside worldwide body counts and estimated infection rates. No compass existed to guide us out of the pandemic fog shrouding our futures. We were confined to our specified people bubbles.

Teddy Bears sprouted up window ledges and letter boxes, a sign of hope and solidarity, signalling to passers-by that even though 2 meter distances and masks now ruled our physical world, we were together in our hearts. I remember gathering, with my son, at the end of our driveway, in the predawn, to pay homage to our fallen ANZAC soldiers. Dawn parades were cancelled for the first time in 104 years. The haunting bugle tone of ‘The Last Post’ filtered from an unseen neighbour’s gateway and shivers resonated along my spine.https://www.youtube.com/embed/f7V07V1rjbM?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

During lockdown, I had a choice of how I would respond to my altered reality. Black voids of despair, conspiracy theories, and fake news plied for my sanity. Yet, sunlight glistened on the tall summer grasses in my yard, my son’s laughter trickled on the breeze, and my dogs’ tails wagged like helicopter rotors, ecstatic to have their human pals home 24/7. So, I chose to focus on becoming a healthier and happier version of me, and a positive role-model for my son.

Fast forward to February 2021, New Zealand is no longer in lockdown, but our borders are heavily restricted, and the new media buzz words are QUARANTINE and VACCINE. Uncertainty looms like a bloated storm cloud. Fears of further job losses and financial ruin taint our summer days. Staying positive is harder to maintain under this sustained assault of negative news.

Changes are happening. Although, I fight against the dismantling of my comfortable world, my will alone doesn’t curb the tidal jetsam from Covid-19, so I must adapt to this foreign landscape.

Since lockdown, I’ve embraced personal development, focusing inward, aware that I may not be in a position to influence external circumstances, but I can take responsibility for myself. Being positive is easy when life is rosy, yet it is how I react when life is battering away at my defences that define me as a person.

Here are my top tips for positivity:

  • Express your gratitude every day for what you do have
  • Show and tell your loved ones how much you care for them and hug them (if you can)
  • Use your creativity!!!! Keep feeding your creative addictions
  • Resonate with nature by strolling on the beach, sniff garden flowers, or listen to birdsong
  • Smile more, at everyone, this is the right kind of contagious! If a mask hides your mouth, then smile through your eyes!
  • Be kind, laugh, and dance – play music that lifts your spirit

So, smile, and join me in singing and dancing into the light.https://www.youtube.com/embed/MOWDb2TBYDg?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

***

Did you enjoy Wendy’s writing?  Then please, help us support her and her work along this REVOLUTION tour! Click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into Wendy’s work, along with others showcasing the author’s talent.

RWISA Profile

What Wendy has to say about RWISA…

Check out Wendy’s book…

“FEEDERS”

***

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to consider RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we strive for members who are the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re not quite ready to join, but are looking to improve your writing skills, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

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WELCOME TO DAY 3 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @YVETTEMCALLEIRO @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

Welcome to Day 3 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Yvette M. Calleiro.  Take a peek at her writing below…

Take a peek at her writing below…

EMERGENCE

The cocoon –
Formed because of a virus,
Reinforced by fear and anxiety.
Surrounded
Protected
Sheltered
Imprisoned

The incubation –
Agonizing silence led to loneliness.
My inner voice tormented
Until the tears flowed freely
And the salty river healed the soul.
Meditation led to self-reflection.
Acceptance
Forgiveness
Release
Self-care

Emergence –
The walls slowly crumble.
Timid to step out but
Resolved to join the world again,
To rise up and feel whole.
Resilience
Strength
Courage
Hope

The RWISA Revolution Blog Tour challenged its authors to write with this year’s theme in mind: A New Year – A Fresh Start. Immediately, I thought of a cocoon. A caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly is not an easy one. This past year has not been easy for any of us. Even though I’m used to being home most of the time, being isolated and fearful of getting COVID (or worse, giving it to someone I love) has crippled me at times. I spent this year working on my inner self. I took meditation courses and worked with my therapist to manage my anxiety better. I’m a constant work in progress, but I feel stronger and healthier today than I was a year ago. For that, I am grateful. RWISA (Rave Writers – International Society of Authors) asked us to ponder a few questions, so here are my thoughts.

What are your plans for the new year?

This year, I plan to continue being careful and cautious when out and about. I will continue to strengthen my physical, emotional, and mental well-being. I will nurture the friendships that held firm despite the distancing. I will continue to create memorable moments with my family. Without them, this year would have been much more difficult.

What are your goals?

I had hoped to write an entire novel during COVID since I was home so much, but my muse locked herself in her own cocoon and refused to cooperate. She, too, has burst through and has begun to share her mojo with me. With the help of my RWISA critique group, I am going through my final edits for a new novel. It’s a young adult novel with no connection to my current series. I will publish it at some point this year.

I am also writing Drake’s story once again. For those who have read myChronicles of the Diasodz series, you know I’ve been working on this for a few years. He and I have had a bit of a difficult time in telling his story, but we are finding our way through. My goal is to finish writing his story this year. Then, I’ll use next year to revise and edit it before sending it out into the world for everyone to enjoy.

What will you do to contribute to the betterment of our society?

I believe in the energies of the world, and I choose to spread kindness, love, and laughter as often as possible. As a teacher at a middle school, I empower my students to be confident in their abilities and challenge them to be positive and productive members of their communities. I also post inspirational quotes on my Instagram. I have a separate Instagram that focuses on being proud of the beauty within. It’s been dormant for a bit, but I’m hoping to get it restarted. We need more positivity in the world, and that’s my little contribution.

How will you succeed in the midst and in spite of COVID-19?

One needs to define success in order to answer this question. For me, success is a day when I stay present in the moment. It presents itself as a moment where I notice my anxiety and allow it to flow down my mind’s river of worry without me. It’s when I make a student feel accepted and cared for or when my son sits with me at night to watch a show together.

I do not measure success by money earned or by a title. Instead, I measure success by the impact my choices have on those around me and on myself. As we continue to deal with COVID-19, any day where those whom I love are alive and well is a successful day for me. This year, I celebrate the little things because those are what matter most.

***

Did you enjoy Yvette’s writing?  Then please, help us support her and her work along this REVOLUTION tour! We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What Yvette has to say about RWISA…

Check out Yvette’s book…

“BREATHLESS”

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

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WELCOME TO DAY 1 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @HEALTHMN1 @RRBC_ORG @RRBC_RWISA @TWEETS4RWISA #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

I’d like to introduce you to RWISA Author, Harriet Hodgson.

Mrs. Hodgson is the first of nine authors you’ll meet on the RWISA   “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! 

Take a look at her writing. . .

COVID, WRITING, AND ME:  A FREELANCER’S TALE

John and I lived in a retirement community in the heart of the city. We chose the community for its closeness to Mayo Clinic and its many support services. Though we lived here for more than a year, we felt like we were living in a motel. Several months ago, John and I felt so badly we thought we had Covid-19. I called 911 and we took “his” and “her” ambulances to the ED (Emergency Department).

Both of us were tested for Covid-19 and the results were negative. As it turned out, John had advanced prostate cancer. I had cellulitis, a bacterial infection that can be fatal, and was treated with antibiotics. After six days in the hospital, I was dismissed. John stayed a few more days.

Because I had been in the hospital, the retirement community quarantined me for two weeks. It was a serious quarantine. I had to set trash and laundry outside the front door for pick-up. Whenever someone came to the door, I had to wear a mask and practice social distancing. The retirement community didn’t allow visitors and we felt isolated and alone.

“Staying in my apartment is driving me crazy,” a neighbor shared. She wondered if I was going crazy too.

“I’m writing like crazy,” I answered. Because I’ve been a freelancer for 40 years, I was used to working at home. However, being John’s caregiver took up most of the day. But I am a disciplined writer and sheltering at home sparked my creativeness. In fact, I wrote five children’s books.

Covid-19 has increased the need for grief resources. This made me think about how children grieve. For example, teens may turn to peers for comfort rather than their parents. The more I thought about children’s grief, the more concerned I became. With a BS in early childhood education and an MA in art education, I could be of help.

I wrote two books … a workbook for grieving kids ages 5-8 and a workbook for grieving kids ages 9-12. I contacted a grief publisher I had worked with previously and both books were accepted.

My co-author and I finished a leadership book, Ready, Set, Lead! Leadership can be learned, and we think it begins in early childhood. Our picture book is a rhyming poem. The first half defines leadership, and the second half tells kids how to become leaders. We also wrote a companion art activity book.

Weeks passed. I spent more time on caregiving than writing. I knew I had to practice self-care to survive. The grief workbooks are illustrated with doodle art. Though I have a graduate degree in art, I never heard of this art form. What was it? I researched doodle art online and started doodling. To my surprise, I discovered that doodling provided respites from stress.

If doodling helped me, it could help others.

I started writing a book for teens, Grief Doodling: Bringing Back Your Smiles. When I was writing I was almost in a trance. Grieving kids don’t need tomes, they need concise resources. Grief Doodling is the first book I have written and illustrated. My current publisher accepted the book and I contacted influencers—experts who might write reviews. Eight experts responded and their positive words are on the back cover.  

Late in November of 2020 I realized John was dying. He knew it and I knew it. Since John was paraplegic and needed more care than I could provide, he was moved to short-term rehab. After two staff members tested positive for Covid-19, John and I were re-tested. John tested negative. I tested positive and was quarantined again. Thankfully, I never developed any symptoms.

At a time when I wanted to see John more, I saw him less. I didn’t see him for a month. Though we stayed in touch by phone, calls weren’t the same as seeing each other face-to-face. John called several times (which was difficult for him) to say “I love you.” Three days after my quarantine was up, John died. I posted a notice of his death on Facebook.

Nonnie Jules let RRBC and RWISA members know about John’s death and many contributed funds for sympathy gifts. The gifts just kept coming—a food basket, cozy blanket, comfort stones, blessing cards for women, musical jewelry box, and more. Every gift sparked tears. I wasn’t alone. RRBC members had my back and were family.  I am grateful for their kindness and support.

Life had another surprise for me. Three months before the release date, Grief Doodling received a first place award in the self-help category. I was thrilled and am still thrilled. I had a book trailer made for the book and posted it on Facebook. Advance sales are going well, and I hope the book trailer generates more sales.

One of the reasons I write is to figure things out. I researched end of life care and took notes about the tasks I had to complete before John died. I am hard at work on another book.  The purpose of the book is to help spouses and significant others understand the present and believe in a future.

The pandemic is hellish and tragic. All of us know someone who tested positive, gotten the virus, or died. Yet if we look carefully, we can find grace in sorrow. I was able to see the blessings in my life—one-on-one time with John, understanding that every life is a miracle, and writing five children’s books. At age 85 I’m still working part-time, giving Zoom talks and workshops, competing in the book business, and setting goals.

John was amazed at my writing output and often joked, “While you’re up, write me a book.” I love to write and working on a new book gives purpose to my days. I think John would be pleased and proud.

***

Please help me support this talented author and her work. Click on the Harriet’s RWISA Profile below to visit her profile pages.

Harriet Hodgson RWISA Profile: https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meet-the-authors/author-harriet-hodgson/

Follow the rest of the nine day tour here:  “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! 

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Some stories need to be told. This is one of them. “Our Lady of Victory,” by Shirley Harris-Slaughter

Join the #RRBC_Community in celebration of @sharrislaughter, #RRBC November “SPOTLIGHT” Author!

This book evolved out of years of frustration at the total disregard and lack of respect for the contributions of Black Catholics in the city of Detroit. The author says, “We are not mentioned in the pages of history along with the other Catholic churches that sprung up during the World War II era, and that needed to be corrected.” The author did fulfill one dream since publication … that this church can now be found on the web even though it has merged with another church. It is now called Presentation-Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church.

This is a second edition with updates on the state of this historic church. In the original publication files were lost then resurfaced with content altered along with missing photos during transition from one publisher to another. Such is the fate of an Independent Author.

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Take a twenty minute break and get lost in a free short story.

Drama, suspense, and a touch of romance are combined to form a story about violence, friendship and the love of a horse. How far would you go to save a friend’s life?

Following is the introduction to “Mountain Justice.” It is free today through Saturday, November 21st, at Amazon.com.

MOUNTAIN JUSTICE

Gravel scattered across the driveway as he braked his truck to a halt. She glanced out the window in time to see him lurch from the driver’s seat. Trouble was coming. She went outside to meet him, and cringed when he staggered up the steps to the porch. She saw his arm reach out, at the same time a sudden pain jolted the side of her head, snapping her neck forward and knocking her to the maple planks of the splintered wooden floor. 

He took two steps forward, reached for her right arm, pulled her to her feet, and said, “I saw you outside the grocery store with that veterinarian. I saw that look you gave him.”

With her head pounding and her vision blurred, she pulled her arm backward, unsuccessful in her attempt to pull it from his grasp, and thought, “If I don’t get away, this time he is going to kill me.”

He hit her again. Her teeth punctured her lip and the familiar coppery taste of blood filled her mouth. She jerked her arm back and twisted away, breaking his grip. Somehow she got to her feet and sprinted down the steps toward the road. He was right behind her.

In three long leaps, she was across the dirt road, past the fenced paddock and into the woods. Vaguely aware of a sharp pain in her shoulder, she was focused on the heavy steps that pounded close behind her. Running as fast as she could, she felt like she was slowing down and imagined she could feel his breath on her neck. 

He was strong, and he could run, but she was faster, at least she had been before she was five months pregnant. She made it past the edge of the woods before she stopped to listen. Hidden by the width of the vast trunk of a giant old sycamore tree she leaned against the tree to catch her breath. It was quiet. Had he turned back?

Before she could breathe a sigh of relief, she heard his slurred shout, “Don’t think you can hide from me, sweetheart. I’ll find you and make you sorry you ran.”

If she could just stay hidden until morning, if she could just survive just once more, this time she would call the sheriff. It had to end. She moved her hands gently over the swell of her abdomen and whispered, “I’ll protect you.”

She felt his presence before the rustle of the underbrush announced him. She held her breath. He was close, perhaps no more than twenty feet away, but the crunch of the branches was softer, as though he was moving away from her, toward the stream. If he went down over the ridge, she could make it back to the barn and hide there until he passed out or left for the bar. She closed her eyes, and prayed for him to keep moving. Then there was silence.

When she opened her eyes, he was standing five feet away. And when he reached for her, there was nowhere to run. With a grip like a vice, he grabbed her wrist. Without saying a word, he dragged her through the brush and the thorns, stumbling occasionally, but hanging onto her until they got back to the house.

After a brutal shove up the steps and across the porch, he said, “I told you not to run from me.”

He kicked the front door open and thrust her into the house.  She tripped and collapsed onto her knees. He pulled her to her feet, so that he could knock her down again, and again, and again.

***

A licensed veterinarian, Rob Tully lived alone. The nearest town was about twenty-five miles from his home, a log cabin that was surrounded by woods, near the top of the mountain. His family had lived on that mountain since 1882 when his great grandfather acquired one-hundred-seventy acres of land. Although the cabin had been expanded and renovated over the years, the original structure remained a part of the home.

As a child, Rob was taught that the mountain would provide about everything a person needed. As an adult, Rob had found that to be true. Rob loved his mountain and the animals who shared it with him. He particularly liked to watch the vultures that flew above the cabin, roosting in the old walnut trees.  Gramps always said they kept watch and let a person know if trouble was rolling in. Great Grandpa Tully had been a good teacher and Rob learned a lot from him, not only about nature, but also about good vs. evil, and the wisdom of relying on what Gramps called, ‘gut instincts.’ Some called them premonitions.

Beyond the ridge, the sun was making its slow ascent in the clear sky and Rob expected a beautiful day. He was looking forward to seeing Annie later that morning. She had called and asked him to stop by and check on her horse in exchange for breakfast. He readily agreed. That woman certainly could cook.

Rob and Annie had been friends since childhood. Truth be told, he’d loved Annie since they were both about ten years old. He thought about the day they’d gone swimming. School was out for the summer and the weather was perfect for an afternoon at the lake. The grass was high, and billowed in the mild breeze, while the sun’s warmth evaporated the lake water from their shoulders. They were racing up from the lake when Annie saw something move in the tall grass. She froze in her tracks and waited for another motion, before she crept forward to see what was there.

“Oh, look, Robby! It’s a garter snake!” Annie, being Annie, had no fear of any living creature. She carefully picked up the snake and held it up for Rob to see. At the time, he was amazed, not only at the colors of the snake, but that it was absolutely unafraid of Annie.

The snake looked at him and slowly moved around Annie’s hand and lower arm. That’s when ten-year-old Robby knew he was crazy about the red-headed snake charmer. He’d loved her ever since.

***

Please pick up your free copy, at the “Buy on Amazon” link below, then hit the share button, and help me spread the word. Thank you for your continued support!

Free today through November 21, 2020.

If you enjoyed “Mountain Justice,” you might like my crime novel, RACE INTO MURDER. It is on sale for $.99 from November 19th through November 25th, also at Amazon.com.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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“Aftermath”

“Aftermath” was my debut short story. It centers on a house fire. My grandfather was a fireman, and so firefighting was always a subject for discussion as I grew up.

Excerpt from “Aftermath”

The ceiling beam was smoldering on the staircase, but the flames had not yet ignited the first floor. Michelle grabbed the cell phone from the table.

When they reached the front door, Paul took one last look at the staircase before he followed the two women out the door to safety.

Michelle dialed Alice’s number as she stepped out on the porch. Sirens in the distance let her know fire trucks were on the way. When Alice’s phone continued to ring, Michelle said a silent prayer that Alice and Donna were already out of the house.

Suddenly there was a loud cracking noise, and the west corner of the duplex collapsed. That was the corner where Alice’s and Donna’s bedrooms were located. Michelle froze.

Ronnie shouted, “Get off the porch, Michelle. Move into the yard.”
She turned back toward the house to help her sister.

At the same time Ronnie’s foot hit the first step, Paul hollered, “Ronnie, look out!”

She looked at Paul, who was reaching for her when the roof collapsed. Paul gabbed for her as the wood fell, but there was nothing he could do, but scream, “Veronica!”

***

“Aftermath,” originally published as part of an anthology in 2012, is included in “Long Stories Short.”

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Treacherous Love, a short story of misdirected passion

Married, with a seven-year-old son, Rochelle and Ethan have the perfect family. But when passion escalates into violence that threatens the life of their son, the couple is forced to confront the truth about their relationship. TREACHEROUS LOVE is a short story about the consequences of domestic violence. Sometimes love isn’t enough.

Excerpt from “Treacherous Love”
by
Karen Black

Shocked awake by the splash of icy water smashing onto his face, Ethan coughed as he sat up and struggled to catch his breath. He rubbed his eyes, wiped his hands across his forehead and ran his fingers through the waves of his wet, brown hair. He wondered how many more assaults he could endure before striking back.

After unfounded accusations of infidelity by his wife, Rochelle, Ethan had retreated to the guest room a few hours earlier. Over the past few months, it wasn’t unusual for Ethan to sport scratches or bruises inflicted by his wife during one of her tantrums.

“Ready to talk?” Rochelle purred, exposing perfectly aligned, milky-white teeth.

Silhouetted by the dim glow of a hall chandelier, Rochelle’s dark, shoulder-length mane framed her face and her pale, floor-length nightgown gave her a ghostly appearance. Under arched eyebrows, her brown eyes flashed.

“Are you out of your mind?” Ethan peeled the soggy t-shirt from his chest and pulled it over his head.

Despite his irritation, the long, firm muscles of his wife’s arms distracted Ethan, as her delicate fingers clutched a dripping, stainless steel travel cup. He loved it when Rochelle used those fingers to knead his shoulders, instead of pitching ice water.

Rochelle lifted her chin and squared her shoulders. “You snuck off to the guest room, but I want your attention.”

He used the damp shirt to rub some water from his hair, and said, “Keep your voice down or you’ll wake Alex.”

Their seven-year-old son was asleep in the next room.

“It is three o’clock in the morning, and I’m tired of fighting. I have to be at work in five hours.”

“Always an excuse,” Rochelle shrugged. “Call off work. You aren’t leaving this house until we settle this. I’ll be waiting in the bedroom.”

Before Rochelle turned and stomped away, she pitched the metal coffee cup at her husband. Slow to react, Ethan jerked sideways, but the mug bounced off of the front of his shoulder.

“Another bruise,” he muttered, and fell into a restless sleep.
***

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“The Hunted,” a short story, is free from November 9th through the 11th.

From peaceful fields of lavender to a life-threatening forest, Hannah is THE HUNTED. Dreams merge with reality, in this long remembered short story of drama and suspense.
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Please share the links!

USA: https://amzn.to/2WX9Eql
UK: https://amzn.to/2Cv6Bw9
Canada: https://amzn.to/2qyvW5J

The Hunted - Cover resized_edited-1

In the end, you’ll understand.

“The Hunted” is one of ten short stories in LONG STORIES SHORT.”

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Please join Ron Yates and me this Thursday, 9/26/19, on RRBC RAVE WAVES BlogTalkRadio.

The show begins at 12:00 EST, and I will be Ron’s “Spotlight Honors” guest. I was delighted with the invitation! Here’s the link to connect to the program: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ravereviewsbookclub.

If you use Twitter, you can go to #RRBCSpotlightHonors during the show and tweet comments or questions. We would love to hear from you!

We’ll be talking about a variety of things, one of which is LONG STORIES SHORT, a collection of ten short stories that include fantasy, suspense & paranormal. How long is forever? Is there life after death? Is Bigfoot real? What is Mountain Justice? Are magic and miracles interchangeable? (I hope Ron asks me if I believe in magic.)

The Kindle edition of LONG STORIES SHORT is on sale for $.99 through 10/1/19 at Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2y1tOEp

Long Stories front and back

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