Featured Author Harmony Kent @harmony_kent with her #NewRelease #Pre-Order ‘Interludes 2’ #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

 Hello and thanks so much for joining me. Today I’m delighted to be hosting talented author Harmony Kent with her latest release … “Interludes 2.”

Let’s meet Harmony:

After spending around thirteen years as an ordained Buddhist monk, living in a Zen Buddhist temple, and six years after a life-changing injury following a surgical error, Harmony Kent returned to the world at the tender age of forty.

Now, she is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her adorable husband, ever-present sense of humour, and quirky neighbours.

Harmony is passionate about supporting her fellow authors.

And now over to Harmony!

 Thanks so much for having me over at your place today, Soooz.

Hi everyone. It’s great to be visiting with you all.

While I’m here, I’d like to talk about my latest book, Interludes 2. This is a book of short erotic romance fiction. As with the original Interludes (which you can find HERE), the book contains 10 short stories, with the first tale totalling 1,000 words, the second one totalling 2,000, and so on up to 10,000 words in the final story.

For each story, I used prompt cards from a great creative tool called Storymatic.  Here’s what the set gave me to work with:

  1. a) ghost, b) carnival worker … c) logger … conflict = first night in a new home

A and B relate to the main character. C relates to the secondary character. And the final prompt gives us the conflict.

From the above set of prompts, I came up with SOUL MATES—supernatural romance in 10,000 words.

A bereaved woman seeks solace in remote woodland. All too soon, she discovers that she’s not as alone as she’d expected. And her heart isn’t the only one that needs to mend.

 BOOK BLURB

GUEST POST COVER OF INTERLUDES BY HARMONY

Interludes 2

 From author, Harmony Kent, another best-selling collection of short erotic fiction that will tickle more than your taste buds and wet [sic] more than your appetite.

With a range of genres and styles, this book has enough steam for everyone.

WIGGING OUT—contemporary romance in 1000 words. Two strangers. A crowded platform. A collision. And a wig on the floor.

STORM CHASER—ménage à trois in 2000 words. A sabotaged tire. A raging storm. Passion mounts.

MOON-STRUCK—shifter romance in 3000 words. Trapped on a ship orbiting the moon, a horny astronaut falls for a hunky author who has a secret.

THE CLUB—contemporary romance in 4000 words. An invitation and a host, who is so much more than he seems, bring excitement, enticement, and a choice to make.

NUDIST CAMP—contemporary romance in 5000 words. An older woman. A younger man. A gossip discovers their secret tryst. What will happen when it all gets laid bare?

INITIATION—contemporary romance in 6000 words. A pretty daydreamer arrives for her first day at university. A brutal initiation, and a man with an unusual issue, leave her reeling. Strange, the places you find true love.

THE INCOMER—contemporary romance in 7000 words. A divorced beekeeper has spent her whole life in or around her local village. Then a city-slicker architect comes to town. When two worlds collide, a big bang is sure to follow. Can you have a frenemy with benefits?

DOWN AND DIRTY—contemporary romance in 8000 words. On the run from a sadistic ex-husband, Ellie flees to a remote mountain town and takes a job in the mines. Wary of men, she resolves to keep herself aloof, but mother nature has a way of having the last word and will, quite literally, make the earth move if she has to.

REUNION—contemporary romance in 9000 words. A school reunion looms. Not wanting to arrive sad and single, Molly talks her long-time friend Paul into going with her. While the music plays, the sparks fly.

SOUL MATES—supernatural romance in 10,000 words. A bereaved woman seeks solace in remote woodland. All too soon, she discovers that she’s not as alone as she’d expected. And her heart isn’t the only one that needs to mend.

READER ADVISORY: This book contains explicit sex scenes and language hot enough to melt your book. For mature readers only.

Excerpt from Soul Mates:

At the bottom of the lane, her boyfriend let them into a side door. At the front of the structure, she could just make out the reverse of the signage for the attraction, and her brain translated the mirror image: House of Horrors.

She giggled. ‘What, you trying to scare the pants off me?’

The young man chuckled and closed the door behind them, then he pressed her up against the wood and leant down for a kiss. He pulled back and licked his lips. ‘Mmm. Sweet.’

‘All for you.’ She stretched up and kissed him. His hands wrapped around her waist and then dropped to squeeze her buttocks. She squirmed against him. ‘We can’t. Not here.’

‘I need ya.’ He claimed her lips once more. Rough, raw need surged up inside her. No boy had made her feel like this before. And still, she tried for coy, ‘How do I know you won’t just disappear when the carney leaves town?’

‘I love ya, missy. I’d do anything for ya.’

She melted for him. Sensing his opening, he reached down and lifted the hem of her summer dress. Then he trailed his fingers up over her knee and thigh. At the top of her leg, he caressed her hip and then slipped his hand inside her knickers. She tensed, and he stopped moving. Even in the dark, she could tell he was watching her and waiting. After a deep breath, she whispered one word, ‘Please.’

He didn’t need telling twice.

***

 I had so much fun writing this one, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this little teaser. I’d love to hear what you think via the comments at the bottom of the page. Thanks for stopping by.

You’ll find Harmony Kent here …

Website: https://harmonykent.co.uk/

Story Empire (co-authored): https://storyempirecom.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks

Twitter: @harmony_kent

LinkedIn: Harmony

Goodreads: Author Page

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/harmony-kent

Interludes 2 Pre-order Link: mybook.to/Interludes2

 

 

 

 

“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Week #11 NEW Image Prompt. @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  Week #11 Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Please put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at My email address. by DEADLINE: 4pm EDT on Thursday, August 6th. Subject: Fiction in a Flash Challenge. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be much appreciated.

I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here beginning on Friday, August 7th.

Here is the week #11 Image Prompt.

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

Thanks to Adrian Mato for sharing their FREE IMAGE on Unsplash.

Photo by Adrian Mato on Unsplash

I hope the image inspires you! Come and join in the fun.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

 

 

‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge’ Week #10 Entries Part 3) @KIngallsAuthor @JanSikes3 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #10.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 4)  by Karen Ingalls and 5) by Jan Sikes.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

Flash image free PIER

This contribution by Karen Ingalls

CARIBOU LAKE

Every 4th of July, our family spent a week at Caribou Lake in Minnesota. I remember running down the old wooden pier and jumping into the water. Swimming in the safe water, our cabin nestled among the pine and aspen trees, and the long days.

By the time, I was fourteen I was an accomplished swimmer so my parents did not worry about me. My sister, Joan, who was one-year younger hated the water and never learned how to swim.

“Come on in, Joan. The water is great.” Watching her shake her head, with her arms folded across her chest, I’d yell, “You are a scaredy-cat.”

She would just stick her tongue out and holler back, “I’m going to tell Mom that you called me a name.”

“I don’t care. When you tell Mom that makes you a tattle-tale.” I laughed at her childishness and called her sissy, namby-pamby, and chicken making clucking sounds. I watched her run up to the cabin slamming the door behind her.

I swam further out into the lake enjoying the warm water that July day. With each stroke, I thought of how different Joan and I are. She is a red-head and I am a brunette. She is short and I am tall. She is a little plump and I am skinny. She is scared of spiders and other such critters. She struggles with math which I find to be easy.

Lost in my thoughts I did not realize how far I had swum nor the large, gray clouds now blocking the once bright sunshine. I turned back towards shore and the old wooden dock and began to swim. All too soon, my arms and legs felt heavy and weak. I shivered from the now chilly water. My heart was pounding and my chest hurt with each breath.

“Oh, God. I’m not going to make it back. I’m going to drown.” Those were my thoughts as I frantically searched the distant shoreline and surrounding water for help, but I saw no one. My cries for help went unanswered. I rolled onto my back, closed my eyes, relaxed my tired body, and hoped I would float to safety

“Rebecca, you are strong. Do not give up.” I heard these words but did not know where they came from. I looked up into the clouds where a shaft of light had broken through the clouds.

. “We are here to help you.”

I saw two angels swoop down through that shaft of light and surround my tired body with golden light. Soon I felt stronger, my legs and arms were no longer weak, and I could breathe normally. I swam toward the old dock and in what seemed only a few minutes my hands reached up to the rickety old ladder. I climbed up and stood looking around to say thank you to the angels, but they were not there.

The gray clouds were now dark and thick and thunder rumbled in the distance. I ran up the hill to our cabin shivering from cold, exhaustion, and elation.

As soon as I entered the cabin, Mother asked me if I had called Joan some names. I looked at my sister and saw her differently. I realized how my words hurt her. “I am sorry, Joan. You are not any of the things I called you.”

The next day while we were eating our breakfast, Joan said, “I wish I liked the water, but it scares me. I’m afraid I will drown.”

“I understand. The thought of drowning is scary, but I will always be by your side to help you.”

She agreed to let me teach her how to swim. We soon became swimming buddies, enjoying the water together.

We also became closer and our differences were less important.

The angels saved me for a reason and I learned a powerful lesson: live my life with kindness.

Karen may be contacted here …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

~~~

5) This contribution from Jan Sikes.

Flash image free PIER

AN EMPTY PROMISE

 

Emily poured a fresh cup of coffee and strolled to the end of the rickety wooden dock for the hundredth time. Where was he?

She sipped the hot coffee and stared across the tranquil lake, searching intently for any sign of a boat.

A twinge of guilt crawled up her spine. Leaving a note was a piss-poor way of saying goodbye. But the thought of a confrontation and one more fight with Malcolm was more than she could handle. When he’d left for work that morning, she’d packed her suitcase, left her keys, checkbook and a note by the door.

It hadn’t been hard to walk away from a twenty-year marriage. In fact, it had been one of the easiest things she’d ever done.

She’d skipped and twirled like a giddy school girl when she’d arrived at Levi’s cabin, where she’d visited many times over the past few months.

Lying in the circle of his strong, tanned arms, Emily found her center. He made her feel like a beautiful goddess, and when they made love, the earth tilted on its axis.

She sighed deeply and tugged her soft sweater closer. Despite the warmth it provided, she shivered.

“Where are you, Levi?” She paced the length of the dock. He should have been here hours ago.

She checked her cell phone for the umpteenth time.

Malcolm would be home by now. How would he react to the note?  She could picture him sinking into his favorite chair and dropping his head in his hands. Well, she’d set them both free, and he should thank her.

“Levi will be here,” she said to no one. “He just got hung up somewhere.”

She thought about the first time she saw him. Desire stronger than anything she’d ever felt swept the length of her body, leaving her knees weak and the sweet spot between her legs moist.

It had been a girl’s night out. The crowded club was the perfect backdrop for Levi to saunter onto the stage and serenade the ladies.

He was a gorgeous specimen of a man. Long legs, tapered waist, bulging biceps, and the most striking blue eyes she’d ever seen. And when a lock of his wavy brown hair fell over those mystifying eyes, women swooned.

She wanted him.

That had been three months ago.

Now she’d walked away from her stable life. The home she’d built with Malcolm meant nothing anymore. She’d traded it all to be with this tanned god who made her feel alive.

The sun began to drop below the horizon, and she turned back toward the cabin.

“Surely, he’ll be here soon,” she told the birds. “He promised.”

Minutes ticked by, turning into hours.

Emily wrapped a soft blanket around her shoulders and lay on the sofa. Her eyes took in every detail of the love nest where she’d spent many blissful hours.

A lump of dread formed in the pit of her stomach.

Something had happened.

Maybe he’d gotten cold feet. Or, perhaps he’d met someone else younger, prettier and richer.

Emily thought back over every conversation, searching for a clue.

She tried for the thousandth time to call him. It went straight to voice mail.

What to do now? She couldn’t go back home to Malcolm.

Bitter bile rose in her throat. What a fool she’d been to believe she’d found true love.

While her life crumbled around her, she squared her shoulders and walked the length of the dock one last time.

A plunge into the icy waters would end it all.

Her cell phone buzzed, and she grabbed it.

Sorry.

The text lit up the screen.

That was all she got? What a piece of shit! She sprinted down the dock, grabbed her suitcase, and tossed it in the car.

She stared hard at the cabin. A can of gasoline on one corner of the porch caught her eye. Without hesitation, she doused the dried wood, lit a match, and drove away.

Never again would she believe an empty promise.

~~~~~~~~

CONTACT JAN SIKES:

All books are available at http://www.jansikes.com

Amazon

On Twitter

On Facebook

Thanks so much for stopping by.  The Week #11 Image Prompt is now up.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge’ Week #10 Entries Part 2. @MaeClair1 and @gmplano #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 2)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #10.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 3) by Gwen Plano and Entry 4) by Mae Clair.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

Flash image free PIER

This contribution by Gwen Plano

As I looked at the photo, I imagined dancing on the pier with a lover and then returning at a much later date alone. The image carries sadness for me and the movement of time. I tried to capture those sentiments in my poem. 

Flash Fiction week 10 poem by GWEN PLANO

Flash Fiction week 10 poem by GWEN PLANO WORDS

Gwen may be contacted … here

Reflections on Life … Blog.

Author Page: Gwen Plano on Amazon

On Twitter.

Gwen Plano on Facebook.

***

 

This Contribution from Mae Clair

Flash image free PIER

Down Deep

“Don’t do it,” Jake said. “We’re tourists, and they say it has no bottom.”

Sampson eyed the life preserver before looking to the lake. It seemed like a straight shot. Grab the ring and jump off the end of the pier. Everyone knew the water was deep—all the pamphlets he’d studied said as much—but how bad could it be with the preserver to keep him afloat? He wasn’t a novice. He’d been in rough waters before, and the lake was placid. A little cloudy, but he’d take milky over a rough current any day. Jake, on the other hand, was predictably cautious. More scholar than adventurer. They might be twins, but his brother lacked a sense of adventure.

Sampson fingered the preserver, feeling small imperfections like tiny scars, cut into the surface. How many others had given it a try and failed?

Squaring his shoulders, he shot Jake a sideways glance. “Scared?” Bravado was a familiar friend.

“Sensible.”

Sixteen-year-olds didn’t need more than one-word answers.  Even so, Sampson considered it prudent to eye the lake a second time. He swept a hand through his long hair, proud of the shoulder-length locks that connected him to the biblical strongman. And like that Sampson of old, he had faith he could prevail.

Would prevail.

It was time to prove himself to his parents. His mother, the senator, and his father, a high-profile lawyer who hobnobbed with the jet set. Jake never felt the need. Why should he? Already two years ahead in college, he was the golden child, the favored son. Sampson had little more going for him than gut instinct.

Right now, that intuition told him he could make a name for himself by diving into the lake. Screw it all and take a chance. His name would go down in history as the person who discovered what scientists, conspiracy theorists, and countless tourists had failed to prove.

With a backward glance for Jake, he grabbed the life preserver, bolted to the end of the pier, then jackknifed into the water. It parted on impact, leaving the scarred white ring bobbing on the surface. He forced himself deeper into the cloudy depths, pressure building in his ears, his lungs tightening with each downward thrust of his legs. Icy cold and impossible dark enfolded him. There was no up, no down, his sense of direction obliterated within a few frantic heartbeats.

He’d wanted to prove himself the hero but sensed he’d embraced something fatal. He’d never be able to propel to the surface before cold and gloom sucked the breath from his lungs.

Freaking stupid, a hundred times over.

But then as despair slithered closer, something moved below him. A sinuous shadow that flowed through the water with a flick of its mammoth tail. He barely had time to register the movement before it sent him rocketing toward the surface.

Sampson emerged, spitting water.. He clung to the preserver, limp and exhausted, his heart railroading like a locomotive. How had a simple dive left him so depleted? Insight whispered numerous swimmers and explorers had felt the same draining pull before. He wasn’t the first. Wouldn’t be the last.

A slow smile stretched his lips. Raising a hand, he waved to Jake who raced to the end of the pier, eager to haul him back to dry land.

Sampson no longer cared about proving himself to his famous parents or his Brainiac brother. He’d found far more than he’d searched for—not the fame and fanfare of a celebrity, but the quiet wonder of someone who’d been shown a treasure that deserved to remain a mystery—now, forever, and always.

The Lochness Monster.

***

Mae can be reached here:

Twitter:

Amazon Author Page:

Mystery, Suspense & Urban Legends | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up

Website & Blog | Goodreads

~~~~~~~

Thank you so much for stopping by. Later today I’ll be featuring Part 3 of this week’s entries, contributions by Karen Ingalls and Jan Sikes.

“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Week #10 Entries Part 1) @HowellWave and @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #10.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1) by John Howell. And Entry 2) My own contribution.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

JOHN HOWELL’S ONE LINER FOR WEEK 10

Flash image free PIER

“I thought you were just saying the name when you wanted to go to Milk Lake.”

Contact John here…

Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

 

2) My Contribution.

Flash image free PIER

Connected

By

Suzanne Burke

“Are you asking for my professional opinion, Ellie?”

“Yes, Martin. I am.”

“Mike is in superb shape. You and his physical therapist have both made certain of that. He’ll incur no physical harm from a weekend away.”

“I hear a but?”

“But, in my personal opinion, you’re taking on more unnecessary emotional pain for yourself by going back there. You need to accept that his memory of his past may never return.”

“It’s that may that I cling to, Martin. He has no sign of any mental impairment, nothing identifiable with dementia or Alzheimers. It was the trauma of the accident injury that stole his memories. You said yourself that it may return in part or even fully.”

“Ellie, dear. That was almost a year ago. Each day that passes makes the likelihood of that happening more doubtful.”

The slender woman stood and patted the neurologist’s arm, “I know you’re concerned for both of us, Martin. You needn’t be. You know I’ll never start a conversation with Mike that begins with the words ‘ We used to …’ and I will not ask ‘Do you remember …?’ I can’t force the memories back. But hey it’s a special occasion and just maybe he’ll like the new memories we’re making.”

The man looked at her with worried eyes. “Please, be gentle with yourself, and I wish you happy fishing.” He opened the door and showed her out of his office.

***

Ellie climbed from the RV and stretched her weary bones, she inhaled the sweet tang of the air and waited for Mike to join her.

They stood together taking in the view, and Mike broke the silence, “I wonder how old the pier is. That view across the lake is quite something, isn’t it?”

“Oh, yes. That it is.”

“Is that where we’re fishing?”

“Yes.” She turned back toward the RV. “I’ll need a hand to carry stuff.”

He smiled, walked over, and slung the blanket and the picnic basket from his shoulder. Ellie grabbed the flashlight and the tackle box and tucked the old cassette player under her arm. They made their way down to the end of the dock.

Mike spread out the blanket and removed two hand-held lines from the tackle box. He looked out across the water and then selected sinkers and hooks and began fixing them to both the lines. Ellie held her breath, this was something Mike had always done, he’d say she took far too long to do it herself and shake his head with a smile.

She took hold of herself, this kind of ritual had been deemed learned behavior as was his ability to read, even though he had no memory of how he’d learned to do it.

They caste their lines out and settled down on the edge of the dock. Almost but not quite touching.

The sound of rolling thunder echoed in across the hills, Mike sniffed the air. “Rain’s coming. But not too soon.”

Ellie placed her line on the deck and turned to open the picnic basket. she took out the bottle of Chardonnay and two paper cups. “Drink, Mike?”

“Uh-huh. Sounds good.”

She poured them both a good measure and watched Mike sip his with pleasure. “Nice drop.”

Ellie nodded as she sipped on her own and tried not to keep reading things into Mike’s behavior that just weren’t there. So, he still loved Chardonnay. No biggie.

The daylight hours slipped by comfortably with long conversations unnecessary between them.

They’d eaten their fill of the cold roast chicken and freshly baked bread and had begun on the cheese platter.

The thunder roared again almost overhead, “It’s gonna rain sooner than I thought.” Mike said.

Ellie smiled, “I like the rain. Can we just get ourselves under the blanket and stay?”

“I don’t see why not. I’ll grab the cassette player and the flashlight.”

“Oh, that reminds me … I’ll only be a minute. I need to grab the music.” Ellie hurried off to the RV and smiled shortly after as she picked out ‘Sitting on the Dock of The Bay” from her music collection. If this was to be the last time they ever came here then at least she’d be listening to one of their favorite old songs with him alongside her.

Ellie headed back down the pier and then stopped in her tracks. Mike was standing now and he was humming away to music that only played in his head. He turned towards her and smiled through the tears that now coursed down his cheeks.

“That tape had better be Otis Redding, young lady.” His voice was tight with tears.

“Oh, God! Mike? You remember.”

“Damn it, Ellie girl, where did you go?”

“I’ve been right here waiting, my love.”

She hurried into his arms and they sang together through tears and laughter, “Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun, I’ll be sitting when the evenin’ comes.”

They welcomed the rain and danced in it. It was a truly memorable fiftieth wedding anniversary.

***

Writing this piece linked me back to sweet memories of another pier in another place when I too danced in the rain. Here’s Otis Redding  “Sitting On The Dock of The Bay.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tomorrow I’ll be featuring entries Part 2) by Gwen Plano and Mae Clair.

 

 

 

 

Book Review: “Roundabout: a modern-day Vanity Fair by Gerry McCullough @gerry1098 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello and a warm welcome to my book review of “Roundabout: a modern Vanity Fair” a NEW release By Gerry McCullough.

Let’s meet Gerry.

Gerry bio pic

Gerry McCullough has been writing poems and stories since childhood. Brought up in north Belfast, she graduated in English and Philosophy from Queen’s University, Belfast, then went on to gain an MA in English.

She lives just outside Belfast, in Northern Ireland, has four grown up children and is married to author, media producer and broadcaster, Raymond McCullough, with whom she co-edited the Irish magazine, ‘Bread’, (published by Kingdom Come Trust), from 1990-96. In 1995 they published a non-fiction book called, ‘Ireland – now the good news!’

Over the past few years Gerry has had more than sixty short stories published in UK, Irish and American magazines, anthologies and annuals – as well as broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster. Her poems and articles have been published in several Northern Ireland and UK magazines, and she has also done readings from her novels, poems and short stories at several Irish literary events. She writes a regular literary blog – Gerry’s Books – and guest writes for several other literary blogs.

Gerry won the Cúirt International Literary Award for 2005 (Galway); was shortlisted for the 2008 Brian Moore Award (Belfast); shortlisted for the 2009 Cúirt Award; commended in the 2009 Seán O’Faolain Short Story Competition, (Cork) and commended in the 2015 Harmony House Poetry Award (Downpatrick).

Gerry currently (2020) has a total of sixteen books in publication –

Cover ROUNDABOUT by Gerry McCullogh

BOOK BLURB:

A novel set in Ireland, with no hero or heroine – love, comedy, drama – life!

Millie and Sooze set out on their separate ventures into life, meeting Josh, Danny, Johnny, Tommy and others.

For some of these people, their ride on the roundabout of life ends well – for others it doesn’t.

Is there more to life’s roundabout than pleasure or misery?

MY REVIEW: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ If you want an entertaining and thought-provoking read this is the book for you.

Do these complex characters gain happiness and security on life’s journey … or rather should they gain them? Do they accomplish those benefits by being selfless and good, or by acting in their own selfish self-interests? The themes of loyalty without hope of gain are questioned in this thought-provoking new read by author Gerry McCullough.

The author once more takes you to Northern Island and the descriptions color that world wonderfully well for the reader.

The pivotal characters of Millie and Sooze are beautifully fleshed out and clearly visible as they undertake a life as friends that neither one of them initially anticipated. The dialogue is rich, and the interactions between all the characters make for entertaining reading.

This author shows a depth of empathy with these people she’s created, this brings the book alive.

If you want an entertaining and thought-provoking read this is the book for you. I highly recommend it.

Gerry may be found here …

PURCHASE ON AMAZON.COM

PURCHASE ON AMAZON U.K

Roundabout on GoodReads

Gerry McCullough
Irish Writer & Poet

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #9 Entries Part 6) By Miriam Hurdle @mhurdle112 #Iartg #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #9.

Today I’m featuring entry 8) contributed by Miriam Hurdle

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

Contribution 8) By Miriam Hurdle

Flash Fiction week 9 another good treehouse

Star Story

By

Miriam Hurdle

 

“No, I can’t do it. I’m afraid of heights.” Michelle shook her head, looking at the bridge.

“Don’t worry. Hold my hand. I’ll just be one step ahead of you.” Michael took the first step onto the bridge. Michelle followed.

“But, but… the bridge is bouncing and wobbling.”

“Let’s go slowly. We’ll take one step and stay still until the bridge stops moving, then take another step.”

“I’ll try. Just take slight steps. I can’t go fast.”

“I know. I won’t go any faster than you want to.”

“My arms and legs are tingling.”

“Okay, let’s stop for a minute. Now just look straight at the treehouse. Don’t look below the bridge or even at your feet.”

“Okay, let me close my eyes and think of something else.”

“Good. When you’re ready, open your eyes and just look at the tree house and follow my steps.”

“My legs feel better now. The treehouse has a balcony with patio chairs.”

“Yes, now hold on to the door and step into the house.”

“Phew! I did it.”

“Let’s grab a couple cans of iced tea from the personal refrigerator and sit on the balcony.”

“How did you find this treehouse?”

“Well, that’s a lengthy story. I haven’t told you about that yet. See, my mom died of cancer when I was nine years old.”

“Sorry to hear that. You told me she died when you were young.”

“Yeah, it was hard for me to talk about it. After she died, I didn’t talk for a long time. I stayed in my room mostly when I was home from school. My dad tried to talk to me, but I just didn’t say anything to him. He read me bedtime stories every night. One night he read a book about a treehouse.”

“Was it this treehouse?”

“No, a smaller treehouse in a boy’s backyard. I was curious. I asked dad if we could build one. I wanted to go to the treehouse and stay in it by myself.”

“What did your dad say?”

“He said our trees in the backyard were not tall enough for building a treehouse.”

“Did you think of a playhouse instead?”

“No, it wasn’t the same. Anyway, one day, my dad took me camping and this treehouse was in the campground. We climbed up here at night and sat in the balcony looking into the sky through the opening of trees.”

“Was the sky clear?”

“Yes, there was a full moon. My dad asked me to look at the bright start close to the moon. He said that was where my mom went. My mom could see me from there, and she wanted me to be happy. He said my mom waved at me with the twinkles. I looked at the star and it twinkles. I waved back to her.”

“I’m sure your mom wanted you to be happy.”

“My dad said we could see the star from our backyard on a cloudless night.”

“We could look at the star tonight and you could wave at your mom!”

“I would like to do that. Thank you for believing my Star Story. You’re the best thing happened to me. I’ve never been so happy after my mom died.”

“I like that when you share stories like that with me.”

“I thought some people may think it was childish.”

“I think it is precious. We could come camping and climb up to this treehouse again.”

~~~

Contact Miriam here …

Author Links and Contacts

Amazon Links

Amazon UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07K1S47W9 

Amazon.com Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K1S47W9 

Contact Links

Website: https://theshowersofblessings.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! 

The Image Prompt for Week 10 is now up.

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‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge’ Week #9 Entries Part 5)– Entry 6) by @gmplano &7) by @jaydawes2 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #9.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from entry 6) by Gwen Plano & 7) by Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

Flash Fiction week 9 another good treehouse

Contribution 6) by Gwen Plano

As I thought about the photo, I imagined a child looking out a window, and so my story begins.

 

Picture
The Cabin In The Trees
by
Gwen Plano

“Grandma, I see a cabin in the trees.”

“You’ve not seen it before?”

“No. Was it there?”

“Yes. Your granddad built it.”

“He did? Why?”

“When he got home from the Vietnam War, he decided to build a house in the trees.”

“But, why?”

“He said he wanted to be near the birds.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Your granddad kept hearing things that he didn’t want to hear.”

“Like what, grandma?”

“Explosions, gun shots, yelling. At first, he’d climb into the trees and sit there by himself.”

“What did he hear up there?”

“The birds. He told me he never heard a bird sing when he was in Vietnam.”

“And, he missed them?”

“I suspect so, but I also think their songs helped him with the other things he was hearing.”

“Can I go up to the cabin, grandma?”

“Well…I guess so. I’ll go with you. I haven’t been up there for years.”

The child grabs hold of her wrinkled hand and walks with her through the grassy field behind the house to a clearing. She brushes aside the overgrowth as she steps onto a suspension bridge. They silently walk across the bridge to the cabin. Once inside, she takes a deep, slow breath. Not much has changed, she thinks.

The child rushes to a pile of papers and picks up an old photograph. “What’s this, grandma?”

“Oh my. I’ve looked many times for this old picture.” Pointing to the three men in the image, she explains. “The middle one is your granddad. The other two were his best friends. They never came home.”

“Why not?”

“They were killed in the war. Sometimes your granddad thought he could hear them when he sat outside. Shall we go out to the deck and listen?”

The two walk outside the cabin to the old metal chairs, now covered with mold and bird droppings. Grandma uses her apron to wipe them off.

“This is where granddad sat?”

“Yes. Sometimes I joined him.”

“What did you talk about?”

“Nothing and everything. Let’s be quiet and listen. You just might hear him whisper.”

The child looks over to grandma. She has closed her eyes and tilted her head upwards towards the sky. Following her lead, he shuts his eyes and listens. After a while, he smiles.

“Grandma, I heard it.”

“What, child?”

“Everything.”

trees speak in the breeze
while birds sing nature’s glory
be still and listen

 

7) Contributed by Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie

Flash Fiction week 9 another good treehouse

No one had mentioned the tree house all day, which was odd because it had been the main subject of discussion for weeks. She knew they had finished building it and awaited the nonstop nagging to get her to inspect their handiwork.

They expected her to climb the rickety ladder and walk along the crazily swaying bridge, but that idea filled her with dread.

She had been watching their hair-raising efforts all summer, as each piece of timber was carefully maneuvered into position, risking life, and limb to reach the platform so high up in the trees.

Now the tree house was finished, it looked dark and menacing, creating shivers that ran down her spine like cold water. She loved the forest, and when walking among the trees she felt free and safe, but she knew instinctively that wasn’t what the tree house offered.

She wouldn’t be able to go up there now anyway, her conveniently twisted ankle made sure of that…

©JayeMarie 2020

 

Contact Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie Here .

Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie BLOG

The Author on AMAZON

on TWITTER

Thanks so much for stopping by. The Final Entry for this week, number 8) by Miriam Hurdle will be posted later today.

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‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge’ Week #9 Entries Part 4)–Entry 5) @MaeClair1 #Iartg #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Flash Fiction best header

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 4)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #9.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from entry 5) by Mae Clair

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

Flash Fiction week 9 another good treehouse

Yellow Bird

By

Mae Clair

Joel said it would be fun, so we picked up our way up a free-standing rope ladder, then hiked across a flimsy bridge to the house in the trees. Once inside, I dropped my backpack, bent double, and sucked in lungfuls of air. After the climb, my legs felt like water. “Tell me again why I agreed to this?”

My boyfriend grinned. “Because you can’t resist a challenge.”

Huh.

I’d resisted ziplining when he wanted to send me careening over a gorge large enough to house the Goodyear Blimp. I’d put my foot down when he’d suggested crawling into a shark cage for a photo op with great whites, and I’d drawn the line at cave-diving in Mexico. So why had I agreed to spend five days in a treehouse tucked in the middle of nowhere?

Okay, so maybe said treehouse came complete with a rollout bed, mini fridge, camp stove, and side deck, but I wasn’t the nature type. My idea of roughing it involved an ocean front hotel with a swim up bar and jacuzzi.

I stole a glance at my cell phone. “No bars.”

Joel rummaged a bottle of water from refrigerator. “You weren’t supposed to bring that. No cell service, internet, radio, or TV.” He took a swig from the bottle then dragged the back of one hand across his mouth. “Five days of nothing but solitude and nature. You’re going to love it.”

“I think I’m going to hate it.”

***

DAY ONE:

A yellow bird with green stripes splayed over its wings woke me just after five in the morning. Joel rolled over with a sleepy grin, undisturbed by the chirp-tweetle-chirp that had me grumpily searching out coffee. I carried a mug onto the deck overlooking a massive blue lake and watched the sun rise.

Joel got up in time for brunch.

DAY TWO:

The same yellow bird pulled me from sleep before I was ready. Morning had barely settled, the lake overlaid with a fine silver mist. Pretty stuff. Quiet, too. No bleat of car horns or squeal of tires. I’d grown up in the city, but the solitude was comforting.

Joel slept too long, and woke with a backache.

DAY THREE:

I named the bird Claude. For all I knew, he could have been Claudia, but the little guy (or gal) seemed okay with the moniker. I got up before he could wake me, humming a tune while I made coffee. Joel pulled a pillow over his head and grumbled I was being too loud. By the time he finally crawled from bed, I was busy drawing trees in a sketchbook I’d found in the cupboard.

Claude chirped his approval.

DAY FOUR:

Joel is a jerk. If he’s not sleeping, he’s pacing. And if he’s not pacing, he’s moaning how bored he is, cut off from everything. Most of the time I ignore him, especially now that Claude makes a habit of visiting morning and night. He perches on the deck railing and we discuss our day.

Chirp-tweetle-chirp-tweetle.

DAY FIVE:

For the first time since we’ve arrived, Joel got up early. He shoved everything he’d brought into his backpack then hunkered by the door, waiting for the hour when he could scurry down the rope ladder, back to civilization—to a maze of car horns, business meetings, bus fumes, and ringing cell phones. Just the thought makes me sick. I haven’t worked up the nerve to tell him I’m not going.

DAY SIX:

It’s far more peaceful since Joel left. Blissful. He said I was crazy for staying. Said I’d run out of food and water, but he doesn’t understand what I’ve found with Claude. I wish Joel well in his fast-forward world. Deep down, I know this is where I was always meant to be.

It just took a wakeup call and a treehouse challenge to make me realize it.

****

Joel took a final look around. He was sure after two weeks Angie would be ready to abandon the treehouse, but she’d disappeared. Most of the provisions that had been stocked in the refrigerator were still there, her backpack with clothes set out by the bed.

He walked outside to the deck, disturbed by the heavy silence. A small yellow bird with green stripes perched on the railing, studying him with keen eyes. As he watched, a second bird joined the first, huddling by its side. Two souls snugged together like one.

Chirp-tweetle-chirp-tweetle.

***

Contact Mae Clair:

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Mystery, Suspense & Urban Legends | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up

Website & Blog | Goodreads

Tomorrow I’ll be featuring the 6th entry for week #9.  by Gwen Plano.

Thanks so much for joining me today! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week 9. Entries Part 3–Entry number 4) by @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #9.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 4)  by Karen Ingalls.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

Flash Fiction week 9 another good treehouse

MATT’S TREEHOUSE

By

Karen Ingalls

Matt had all the money one person could ever want or need. He inherited his parent’s fortune and estate where he lived alone in the 5-bedroom, 6-bath home complete with a swimming pool, putting green, and tennis court on forty acres of woods.

He wore gold necklaces, a Rolex watch, and a gold bracelet. His hair was always perfectly cut, he wore the finest designer clothes, and drove the latest Porsche model. All the gold could not buy Matt happiness. He was too much like his father who treated Matt’s mother cruelly and lived by his version of the Golden Rule: he who has the gold rules.

One evening, Matt and his father were driving the windy road leading to the estate. They both were drunk and were going too fast. Matt lost control of the car, went down a 50-foot embankment, and crashed into a large pine tree. Matt was thrown from the car but his father was trapped and died in the burning car.

Matt was haunted by nightmares and blamed himself for the accident. His only way of coping was to lash out even more at others, especially women. His sadistic actions often left the women with bruises. He would charm them at first flashing his money and buying them expensive gifts. However, when he made sexual demands on them that they did not agree to, he lashed out with intense anger.

Deep in the pine forest of his estate, he had a treehouse built. It was charming and comfortable though not large or ostentatious. Many were the nights that women screamed from pain or ran down the swinging bridge to escape Matt’s anger.

One stormy night, one young woman ran screaming from the treehouse. Matt laughed at her as he watched her scramble through the forest half-naked. “Good riddance,” he yelled from the small balcony.

When he went back into the treehouse, he began to hear the sounds of many women and his father screaming, “help me.” He looked around the room, but no one was there. The screams grew louder.

Matt ran to the door but it was locked and there was no escaping the living nightmare. He covered his ears and ran into the bedroom, but the screams could not be stopped. The wind howled and the tree branches tore at the little cabin. Like giant hands, they pushed and pulled until the tree house crumbled and fell to the ground. Matt was trapped under the timbers and could not move. His cries for help went unheard. For days and nights, he laid there, suffering from physical pain and hearing the non-stop screams.

He died alone with only his gold necklace around his neck which now brought him no comfort or joy.

~~~

Karen can be reached at …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

~~~

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I’ll be featuring Part 4) Entry 5) by Mae Clair later today.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

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