‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #18 Entry Part 6) by Harmony Kent @harmony_kent #IARTG #ASMSG #WRITINGCOMMUNITY #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #18.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Harmony Kent.

 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 and Harmony’s Contribution.

music-sheet-5117328_1920

Encore

The melodious and skillful playing on the grand piano rouses me from a deep sleep. Groggy, I reach my hand out for the mobile, thinking the sound comes from the wake-up alarm. But the device displays 00:00 and lies quiescent and silent in my palm. The hairs on my neck prickle a warning. My heart races along with the soaring tempo while the surge of adrenaline forces me into complete and alert wakefulness.

Always this French piece. Always at midnight precisely. And, always, I tumble down the stairs only to find the great hall empty. And still, I have to check. I need to make sure. After a month of this, you could be forgiven for assuming I know better. But the only way I can go on is to remember and hope. Otherwise, what’s left?

I stand framed in the doorway, and the hall light casts my shadow before me … impossibly long and slender and nothing like my old and bent body. A chill draft from who-knows-where sets my body a tremble. The grandfather clock tick-tick-ticks the seconds away. At the far side of the great hall, the piano sits at attention, its lid propped up, the stool pulled back, and the sheet music ready. Waiting.

A solitary tear trickles down my left cheek. So, just a dream. Always, the melody exists only in my mind. But why now? My love will never again sit at this magnificent grand or fill this empty mansion with her beauty. Even though I feel the futility in my blood and bones, and the wrung-out chambers of my broken heart, I ease across the parquet floor and stand behind the pianist’s stool. I lift my arms as I always used to do. Tonight, as with every night, my hands find empty air, for her shoulders are not there.

The blue-tinged moonlight pokes a finger through the slightest gap in the heavy drapes and shines on the decades-old sheet music. Yellowed, now, with age and neglect. My grief prevents me from changing one single thing. All is as Rose left it. Ready for the final performance. Though my reflection stands alone in the gilt mirror in front of me, the moon glow casts a shadow. Her shadow. Dainty fingers grasp a rose. A single note sounds and reverberates throughout the hall … high C … the perfect octave for my Rose’s perfect voice.

A sharp pain pierces my chest and sends cold shards lancing into my heart. My breath catches, and I slump onto the stool. A liver-spotted fist fumbles and grips at my breast. The shadows gather around me while the music plays … builds … reaches a crescendo. A single crimson petal drifts downward on unseen currents and comes to rest on the time-worn ivory keys. My eyelids grow heavy and tug my eyes closed.

My love has come for me. After all these years, my Rose and I shall make music again, together beneath the stars. Into this vast night, I go willingly. Behind the veil … eternal melody.

© Harmony Kent 2020

CONTACT HARMONY HERE …

Website: https://harmonykent.co.uk and Story Empire (Co-authored)

Harmony’s Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks

Twitter: @harmony_kent

LinkedIn: Harmony

Goodreads: Author Page

***

I can be reached here …

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By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as they are received.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #18 Entry Part 5) by Roberta Eaton Cheadle @RobertaEaton17 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #18. Today I’m featuring a contribution from Roberta Eaton Cheadle
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 and Roberta’s Contribution.

music-sheet-5117328_1920

The vintage music books lay in a neat pile on top of her old vinyl records. Reaching out, he picked one up and looked at it. The paper was slightly yellow from age.

I can’t believe she’s still got these books, he thinks. I remember how pleased she was when she found them in an antique shop in Greymont. I’d just passed my Grade 4 practical music exam and she was hopeful I would learn to play some of the songs.

He’d started music lessons at four years old and had learned to read music fluently before he could read. He remember his mother telling him that he had initially struggled to learn the alphabet and to read because it was like learning a second language for him.

She had done everything she could to encourage him with his music. Listening to him practice every morning before she went to work and taking him to lessons in the afternoons when she got home were built into her long list of daily activities. He’d been having three hour-long lessons a week before elected to give up music; one for singing, one for theory, and one for practical piano.

When he’d reached high school and decided to stop playing the piano, his mother had hidden her disappointment and allowed him to do so without an argument. She’d accepted that music was something that no longer interested her tall, academic son. He was not a creative and she couldn’t live her life through him. She let it go and he’d pursued maths, science and IT.

He’d been grateful for her understanding, especially as he knew she would have loved an opportunity to learn to play when she was a girl. One day she’d told him that a next-door-neighbour had started teaching her when she was nine years old. Her family had moved a few months later and she’d never had another chance to learn.

He turned the page of the top book and it opened to ‘My Favourite Things’ from ‘The Sound of Music’.

Mother’s favourite song. She always said she wanted me to play it at her funeral one day. Of course, she didn’t expect to die of a stroke just before her fiftieth birthday. Didn’t know that her blood pressure was a ticking time bomb due to years of work-induced chronic stress.

A tear slipped down his cheek and plopped onto the page.

I can’t play it at her funeral myself but I can see that it is played. This song and Morning has Broken will definitely be included in the order of service at her memorial.

~~~

Contact Roberta Here …

Roberta Writes Blog.

TWITTER

AMAZON.COM

***

Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to reading your comments.

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #18 Entry Part 4) By Jacquie Biggar @JacqBiggar #IARTG #ASMSG #writingcommunity #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 4) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #18.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Jacquie Biggar.

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’s the image prompt and Jacquie’s contribution

LOVE’S TEMPO.

He was at it again. She rued the day she’d allowed him to buy the baby grand. Day and night, he lived for those damn ebony keys. He didn’t even share their bedroom half the time, preferring instead to sleep with his infernal music.

It was their tenth anniversary and she’d worked all day to create the perfect meal; chicken cordon bleu, garlic and chive mashed potatoes, savory roast vegetables, and his favorite dessert, bananas foster. And through it all, he’d played. She’d tuned out the actual melody years ago. It was either that or go stark raving mad. It was the same song, over and over and over again.

At first, she’d tried to take an active interest in his… let’s call it what it was–addiction. She’d join him in the den, offering input into the music. In return, He’d give her a vacant smile and continue the way he was, dark head bent lovingly over the keyboard.

Then she’d gone the opposite direction, ignoring him, going about her day as though everything was perfectly fine. Making excuses for his negligence. Alone, and lonely.

But, tonight was the end. She couldn’t do it anymore. He was turning her into a bitter shrew and she didn’t like it. After dinner, she was going to give him the separation papers.

“Hungry?” she asked with forced gaiety.

“Hmm?” he murmured, penning some notes onto the sheet music.

“It’s our anniversary. I made dinner.” Not quite as cheerful now.

“Can it wait? I’m close to a breakthrough.” He glanced up with a smile.

Her heart did that stupid leap, still affected by him after all these years. “Please.” She hated the entreaty in her voice.

“Sure, babe. I’ll be right behind you.” He turned back to the piano and she slowly returned to the kitchen. Picked up the heavy butcher’s knife, and waltzed toward the den, buoyed by the harmonious chords bursting down the hall.

She was surprised by how easy it was, the cold steel sinking like warm butter into his back. The tune he was playing turning strident, a cry for help echoing in her head.

Then nothing.

Blessed silence as the ivory keys turned red and his precious music died with him.

She yanked the knife free, his body slouched over the keyboard, and gouged deep lines in the shiny black finish. The shriek of steel becoming cries of agony- hers. It was his fault- all of it. He’d destroyed their love as easily as she’d just ruined his beloved piano.

Finally, she circled around to the sheet music, and was about to rip it to shreds when the title stayed her hand.

Love’s Tempo- an pledge to my beautiful wife, who loves me far more than I deserve.

Yours forever, honey

Slowly, painfully, she sank to the floor near her husband’s head and sliced her wrists. As she grew faint, their blood melded into an eternal chorus–the day the music died.

~~~~~~~~~

Jacquie may be contacted here …

Blog: Jacquie Biggar- USA Today Best-Selling Author

On TWITTER

Books On Amazon.Com

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as I receive them.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #18 Entry Part 3) By D.L.Finn @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #Haibun

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #18.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from D. L. Finn.

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.

This Haibun Contributed By D.L.Finn

Her Grief

The heavy dark clouds shrouded the sun in a weary sorrow that mirrored Alice’s mood. She stood alone in their spot under the old cedar tree. It was where Sam had proposed to her fifty years ago. Now her weathered hands were scattering what remained of him. As her tears fell, an icy rainstorm mixed with her grief. She sunk down on the cold ground and lovingly placed their song, and a single red rose from the garden. A hand touched her shoulder, and a familiar warmth ran through her—but no one was there. The wind blew through the forest, playing their song. She smiled, knowing Sam was still with her.

Pleasant memories
Will never be forgotten
When encased in love.

D.L.Finn can be reached here …

Blog site:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

On TWITTER:

On FACEBOOK:

Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to reading your comments.

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #18 Entry Part 2) by Gwen Plano @gmplano #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 2)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #18.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by  Gwen Plano.

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’s the image prompt and the Haiku contributed by Gwen Plano.

music-sheet-5117328_1920

THOUGHTS FROM A PARK BENCH
We’ve yet to meet, my love, but each day I walk to the park at 3:00 to hear you sing. From your fifth floor perch, can you see me – the one who sits alone and weeps?

I was just a babe when my parents moved to New York City. Though they knew English, they only spoke their native Russian to me. Your afternoon serenade of A Million Scarlet Roses reaches deep within my soul – to family.

Can you spare just one, just one of your million? A rose would soften the loss I know and tell me of your sweetness.   
  

(My Haiku follows the photo prompt.)
Picture
 
alone I listen
until roses fill my soul
and bring you to me

Gwen Plano can be reached here …

Reflections on Life … Blog.

Author Page: Gwen Plano on Amazon

On Twitter.

Gwen Plano on Facebook.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as I receive them.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week #18 Entry Part 1) by John Howell @HowellWave and Suzanne Burke @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 #18.
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.

music-sheet-5117328_1920

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

John Howell’s One Line Contribution.

“I’m going back to the baton since none of the musicians pay any attention to the rose.”

John Howell can be reached here …

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

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

music-sheet-5117328_1920

La Vie en Rose

By

Suzanne Burke

A hushed silence greeted the conclusion of Alaina Chamber’s performance. The crowd held its breath in anticipation as her long, elegant fingers raised the stem of the yellow rose from the piano.  She kissed the petals then walked across to the waiting microphone. The familiar strains of the music had them roaring their approval. Then they fell silent and let the magic of her voice enfold them. Alaina smiled at them through tears and walked from the stage. Her adoring audience arose as one, and the sound of their pleasure reverberated through the New York night. They knew that their calls for encore were fruitless. For ‘La Vie en Rose’ was always her final song of the evening.

Alaina hurried to her dressing room and quickly changed into her favorite denim jeans and sweater. She added the baseball cap and joined her security team as they escorted her out to her waiting limousine.

She’d avoided the after party in the green room as always. The sound of the jumbled voices all telling her what they thought she wanted to hear made her want to scream at them to just shut up and keep drinking. Fame and honesty didn’t appear to walk comfortably together.

She gave a smile of greeting to the staff pulling the night shift in the lobby of her Central Park apartment. She let herself into her penthouse, leaned back against the door and took a deep breath.

The emotion of playing her hometown left her drained once the adrenaline high from her performance began dissipating.

The wine smelled wonderful and Aliana savored it, then grinned at herself. ‘Just as well I prefer my own company’. How long had it been since she’d craved all that adoration? How long had it lasted before it began to wither and pale? How long had it been since she turned her back on the one man in her life that truly loved her? She’d been too busy to be bothered with romance, focusing only on what would further her career. Then ridding herself of the people and things that would not. ‘I’m sorry, Anthony. I was so very wrong.’

Had it really been twelve years since she walked away without a backward glance in his direction?

Alaina stood a little unsteadily and hurried over to where she’d left her handbag, she opened it and gently removed the yellow rose. She inhaled the lingering remains of its soft, sweet perfume.

A single yellow rose had been waiting for her on her Grand Piano at every hometown performance she’d played in the last eleven years. She kept all of them pressed between the pages of her leather-bound journals. She read the note that had accompanied each of them, “Remember to always leave them wanting more.”

‘When do you give up, Anthony? It must be soon. You fell in love with your dream of what I was. I never lived up to it’.

“Cut it out.” She admonished herself, poured a hefty glass of Merlot and reached for a forbidden cigarette.

She sat alone as always and watched the dawn break.

***

Alaina had her third Orange juice of the morning seated in the limousine on the way to her late afternoon rehearsal.

Her performance was flawless, despite her tension clenched neck muscles.

She returned to her dressing room and issued her please do not disturb instructions. She’d sleep for a few hours then ready herself for the performance.

***

Alaina walked across the stage and the crowd roared then quietened as she seated herself at the piano.

She automatically sought out the rose. There was none. She played and sang her heart out, the music sheet blurring in front of her tear-filled eyes.

She moved on autopilot and finally arrived back at the sanctuary of her apartment.

Alaina drank down three whiskeys, and for the first time in memory she cried. The sobs racked her slim body, and her hands shook as she tried pouring yet another whiskey.

The pounding on the door irritated the hell out of her and she flung it open ready to do battle.

She gasped and took a step backwards.

Anthony smiled at her and handed her the yellow rose. This time the note read, “Are you ready to be happy yet, my sad little darling?”

Alaina smiled up at him through tears and laughed like a child. “I don’t deserve it.”

“Not always. But that’s just part of your charm. So, what now?”

“Now let us live both our dreams together.”

“And?”

“And …  I love you, Anthony.”

“There now. That wasn’t so hard was it?” He raised her chin and looked down into her eyes, “Now show me.” He murmured as they kissed any last doubts away.

***

Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments. I will as always featuring each new contribution as I receive them. I have included a marvelous clip of the iconic Edith Piaf and La Vie en Rose simply because I love it.

I may be reached here …

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #18 NEW image prompt. Join in the fun! #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity @pursoot

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  WEEK #18 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, SEPTEMBER, 24th . 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.

UPDATE: The response to the prompts has been just wonderful. As a result, I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here AS I RECEIVE THEM. Rather than posting all of them only over a few days.  Thanks to everyone for the amazing support.

Here is the week #18 Image Prompt.

music-sheet-5117328_1920

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

I hope the image inspires you. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

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By Email.

‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge’ Week #17 Entry Part 6) by Jacquie Biggar @JacqBiggar #IARTG #WRITINGCOMMUNITY #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #17.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Jacquie Biggar.

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’s the image prompt and Jacquie’s contribution.

Message In A Bottle

By

Jacquie Biggar

The sand is cool and grainy under my toes, a refreshing relief from the warmth of the sun on my shoulders. I’ve been walking this mostly deserted beach for hours, lost in memories of happier times.

I arrived as a visiter, but for the last twelve years this has been home. I’m not sure how I’ll survive without the wash of the waves, the briny scent, or the crimson sunsets, but I must. It’s up to me to continue the search.

Something green glints in the shallows and I pad out to investigate. It’s a bottle, half-buried in the wet sand, its cork pointing toward the North Star sparkling brightly in the evening sky.

Heart pumping, I tug until the sand gives up its treasure with a pop and carefully carry the fragile glass up the beach. Upon closer inspection, I spot a roll of paper inside the luminous green bottle.

“Sam, is that you?”

A wavery voice from my past jerks my attention away from my find.

Could it be?

The woman I never thought to see again, picks up her skirts and runs toward me, her silver hair flowing like a moonbeam.

With a joyous bark, I bound toward her, the aches and pains in my old bones forgotten. She came back.

“Oh, Sam,” she cries, falling to her knees to wrap frail arms around my neck. “I can’t believe I found you.”

I want to tell her I’ve been searching and searching for her, too, but of course I can’t. Instead, I whine and lick her chin in greeting, my tail swishing the sand.

“It was the cancer, boy. I’ve been in the hospital all this time. I thought I’d lost you.” She puts her head to mine and weeps.

A long while later, she slowly rises and, with a hand on my back, follows me over to the green bottle.

“What do you have there, Sam, a treasure?”

I already found my treasure tonight, but I bark and push the bottle toward her.

“Okay, okay.” She chuckles. “I get the message.”

She carefully works the cork from the bottle and tips the paper into her hand. Unrolling the missive, she reads, “Whoever finds this note, know this; there is no greater gift than love.”

As my old friend and I make our way down the beach, I sigh, contented for the first time in months. The bottle is right, love soothes the soul.

~~~

Jacquie may be contacted here …

Blog: Jacquie Biggar- USA Today Best-Selling Author

On TWITTER

Books On Amazon.Com

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as I receive them.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #17 Entry Part 5) by Gwen Plano @gmplano #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #17.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by  Gwen Plano.

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’s the image prompt.

message-in-a-bottle-3437294_1920

This Tanka from Gwen Plano is entry 5) this week.
When I looked at this image, I thought of all those who threw a bottle overboard in hopes someone might find it. I wondered what a forsaken lover might say, and from that consideration, I composed a Tanka poem of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables.

Perhaps you’d like to join me in this effort. If so, just click on the link above and you’ll be guided to Suzanne’s blog site and her instructions.

I hope you enjoy my simple response to her provocative image.
​ 

Picture

 
 
Gwen Plano can be reached here …

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as I receive them.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #17 Entry Part 4) by Anita Dawes @jaydawes2 #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Entry PART 4) for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #17.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from entry 6) by 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.

message-in-a-bottle-3437294_1920

I felt my hand tremble
As I pulled the paper from the bottle
Thin, fragile, delicate with age,
the edges burned
as if they meant to destroy it
before placing it in the bottle
I could hardly bear to unroll it
It felt like the Rosetta Stone in my hand
With great care the words came into view
A sad tale of a young man’s loss
I could feel his pain in every word
He was sorry he had to go
Tell Laura, I love her
The date on the letter was my birthdate
My name is Laura…

©anitadawes 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. I’ll continue featuring each new entry as they are received.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.