“Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #6 Entries 1-3 @pursoot @KIngallsAuthor @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

 

Flash Fiction best header

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 1 of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week 6.

Today I’m featuring contributions from Karen Ingalls and D.L. Finn as well as my own contribution. Part 2 entries 4-5 will be posted here tomorrow.

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.

#1. Contributed by Karen Ingalls.

FREE FRAMED IMAGE OF BABY AND DADDY SLEEPING WEEK 6

 FATHER AND SON

 POEM

by

KAREN INGALLS.

 

        I HOLD YOU WITH LOVE

MY HEART REJOICES

         YOU ARE A MIRACLE

 

 WE SLEEP TOGETHER

IN A SILENT RHYTHM OF BREATHES

         YOU ARE A BLESSING

 

   GOD’S LOVE EMBRACES US

ALWAYS WITH US

YOU ARE A GIFT

 

    YOUR SWEET SPIRIT

CALMS MY BEATING HEART

        YOU ARE SPECIAL

 

THIS TREASURED MOMENT

  IS ONE OF MANY TO COME

        YOU ARE MY SON

Karen Ingalls can be found on

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

#

#2 A Haiku Contributed by D.L.Finn

FREE FRAMED IMAGE OF BABY AND DADDY SLEEPING WEEK 6

Chests rising in rhythm
A sleepy moment captured
Love’s perfection
D.L. Finn can be found here …

#3 My own Contribution;

FREE FRAMED IMAGE OF BABY AND DADDY SLEEPING WEEK 6

“I did it, Dad!”

by

Suzanne Burke.

Michael D’Angelo looked up from his laptop as his assistant knocked on the door.

“Problem, Danny?”

“Oh, no, sir. At least I don’t think so.” He handed across a large envelope, “This just came for you.”

Michael looked at the envelope for a brief moment. “Thanks, Danny. It’s from my father.” He flicked a glance at his watch, “What time are we leaving?”

“We need you to be ready to go in just over an hour.”

“Okay, can do. Uh, Danny, I’m taking a moment. Can you see I’m not disturbed?”

The man nodded and left the office.

Mike looked at the handwriting again. He’d be seeing his father in just a few short hours, so why this? A photograph slid out onto the desk as he opened the envelope. Mike picked it up. “What the? How have I never seen this one?” There was a letter waiting, and Mike’s hands shook a little as he opened it.

Hello, Mikey.

Now I know this is gonna seem strange, and maybe it is, but I needed to say some stuff now and it’s too important to risk me freezing up when I try to say it out loud later. So, I’m writing them down as they come to me.

I took that photograph of you sleeping with my newborn grandson.  I kept this picture framed on my desk down at the precinct. It was such a huge milestone in your life. I was privileged to be around to see it happen. I recognized the moment and I cherished it. But did I ever tell you that? I should have.

I was there when you took your own first steps, you tottered towards my outstretched arms and giggled with delight when you made it! You had a smile that your mother swore could melt ice cubes, and then there was the other smile that you shared only with me. I always called it your ‘I did it, Dad’ grin.

It surfaced often in those early years as you added other firsts to your journey. Do you remember the day I got called down to the school because you’d been in a fight? Man, your left eye had some black and blue shiner in the making. The principal sat me down and laid out the facts. “Michael was witnessed to strike James McGuire. We have strict rules about violence here. Now, if Michael will apologize to James and the McGuire family, we’ll avoid suspending him.”

I looked at you and recognized something in the set of your jaw as you spoke up, “I’m sorry, sir. I’m afraid I can’t do that. Not unless McGuire apologizes to the little kid from the special needs class that he had shoved up against the lockers. He’s only nine-years-old, sir! If McGuire does that, I’ll apologize.”

You got suspended for two weeks. I took you out for burger and fries and tried to look stern while we celebrated. You gave me that smile. But did I say the words ‘I’m proud of you for standing up for what you believe in?’ I should have.

That kinda brings us over the mountains and the milestones that time hands us, to today. I love you my son and I’m proud of you. I’ll say that to you a little later.

Dad.

Mike shook his head and took a deep breath. Then he composed himself and dressed ready for the afternoon ahead.

***

Frank D’Angelo stood alongside his eighteen-year-old grandson. They held onto each other’s hands tightly as Michael Thomas D’Angelo was sworn in by The Chief Justice as the new Attorney General of the United States of America.

Frank cried as his boy flashed him his ‘I did it, dad.’ Smile.

He applauded with the others.

Mike hugged his son and his mother then turned to his dad, “Can you say it now, dad?”

“I’m so very proud of you, my son.”

Mike pulled him into a man hug. “It goes both ways, dad. So, let me get this formal stuff out of the way. Then you want burgers and fries?”

His father laughed, “You buying?”

“You know it. Let’s go celebrate our way.”

#

 

Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll take this opportunity to wish all my American friends a safe and Memorable 4th of July 2020.

Don’t forget to drop by tomorrow for Part 2 of the entries.

The Challenge Photo-Prompt for Week #7 will be posted on Friday, July 3rd.

Contact me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

 

“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Image Prompt Week #6. Join in, have fun and let the creative muse loose. @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Flash Fiction best header

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “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 a 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 4pm EDT on Thursday, July 2nd. 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 begin sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here on Friday, July 3rd.

Here is the week #6 Image Prompt.

FREE FRAMED IMAGE OF BABY AND DADDY SLEEPING WEEK 6

 

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 #5 … Entries 1-3. @KIngallsAuthor @gmplano @pursoot #IARTG #WritingCommunity

Flash Fiction best header

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

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 a form 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 4pm EDT on June 18th. 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 on June 19th.

 Here is the prompt image and ENTRIES 1-2 and 3…For #Week 5.

Entries 4 and 5 will be featured tomorrow.

flash best marionette

 

#1 …This contribution by Gwen Plano:

My contribution is a Tanka poem, a 31 syllable poem known for its five lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables. The photo prompt is the figure in the bottom left corner.

Flash week 5 Gwen Plano Tanka june 25th 2020

You’ll find Gwen here:

Reflections on Life … Blog.

Author Page: Gwen Plano on Amazon

On Twitter.

Gwen Plano on Facebook.

 

***

#2 … This contribution by Karen Ingalls.

flash best marionette

For this challenge, I have written my first Haiku poem, which is a short form of Japanese poetry. It consists of three lines, with seventeen syllables divided into 5/7/5 syllables. I hope you enjoy it.

Karen Ingalls can be found on

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

***

#3. My own contribution:

flash best marionette

‘The Puppeteer’.

By

Suzanne Burke

“Our audience will arrive soon, my pretty one. We must give them a show they’ll always remember.” The man looked down at her from his perch on the step ladder, “What are those grey eyes of yours asking?” His voice dropped to a cracked whisper, “Tell me.”

“ Look, I’m really sorry, but I don’t think this is my kind of assignment. I’ll give back the modeling fee. ”

The man’s laugh echoed around the basement studio. The sound made Holly shiver. “Not your kind of assignment? Trust me, my pretty one, this assignment will make you quite famous.”

Holly’s voice was tight with fear, “I’m leaving now.” Holly stood and took a close look at the ties that bound her. “These bindings need to be removed.”

“Oh, no, no you can’t go now. You’re about to be launched on the worldwide stage.”

“I said these need to be undone. Please, I, … I’m already late. I have a two-year-old daughter waiting. I just want to go home.”

“She’ll get to brag about her famous mommy.” The man turned his head and caught the beam of a flashlight shafting through the small window just below the ceiling. “Ah, perfect. Our audience has arrived.”

Holly dropped to her knees, “Please, please… whatever this is it’s not too late to stop! Please?”

She looked up to discover the gun he now held aimed at her.

“It’s far, far, too late, my pretty one. The ball’s already in play.” His voice was soft and somehow wistful.

Holly grew silent, scrambling to think clearly through the adrenaline-fuelled fear.

She heard the heavy thud of a door upstairs being rammed open, and the boots overhead moved towards the basement stairs.

“Here they come!” The Puppeteer flicked on another spotlight and illuminated his stage; he moved with assured steps to stand behind his living marionette. Holly felt the gun barrel of the Glock placed against her left temple. She moaned in fear.

Seconds later the basement door was forced open, “FBI … Drop the weapon! Do it now!”

“Oh, no…no, I don’t think so. You aren’t about to risk me getting a shot off before your bullets take me out of play. You can’t let ‘The Puppeteer’ add another victim to the list. You’d kiss goodbye any hope of furthering your career.  He laughed. “I believe that gives me the advantage.”

“Let’s calm this situation the fuck down. What is it you want?”

“Ah, of course, and you’d be the hostage negotiator?”

“Declan O’Connor. Talk to me. Let’s all walk away from this with no bloodshed. Now, what will it take for you to cut her loose and let her walk over here?”

“Oh, nothing much. I’m thinking a Presidential Pardon would suit me nicely. My very own ‘get out of jail free’ card.”

“Not about to happen. Not with the sixteen females you’ve butchered. Now ask me for something I can do.”

“I don’t need anything else. Pity. She’s quite pretty.”

Declan O’Connor whispered into his mouthpiece, “Do it now!”

The Puppeteer screamed as the sniper’s bullet came through the small window and removed three fingers and the gun from his right hand.

NO! NO! You, damned fools! You are meant to kill me! There’s no glory in this.”

Declan O’Connor now cradled a sobbing Holly in his arms, he looked over as his men took charge of their prisoner. “We’d already figured you didn’t plan on this ending well. Sixteen cases and you have never made a mistake that could lead us straight to you. Except for this time.” Declan gave Holly’s shoulder a squeeze as the paramedics helped the shaking woman onto a stretcher.

He walked over to man the press had labeled The Puppeteer as another paramedic dressed his wound. “Pity you didn’t commit one of your atrocities in a state that still upholds the death penalty. But, in many ways, it’s far more satisfying to know you’ll do life without any hope of parole. The best news is that we’ll see to it that you’ll do that time in the general population of a maximum-security facility.”

“I’ll plead insanity.”

“Nah … won’t happen. Every psychologist and psychiatrist that has read the case files will testify that these murders were at the hand of someone sufficiently in charge of his faculties to plan meticulously and enact pre-meditated murder. I for one look forward to seeing you live to enjoy your sentence, for as long as it takes for another inmate to kill you. They all have sisters’ mothers and sweethearts. Pity is you won’t last awfully long.

The Puppeteer began screaming as he was shackled and shoved into the waiting van.

Declan addressed his team. “Great work, people. Let’s meet up for drinks after the debriefing. I’m buying!”

***

Holly said a grateful prayer that night as she cradled her daughter in her arms.

#

I look forward to sharing entries 4 and 5 with you tomorrow.

Thanks so much for stopping by. The Challenge Photo-Prompt for Week #6 will be posted on Saturday, June 27th.

Contact me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Old Habits Die Hard” A short-story from my upcoming Anthology. #RRBC #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritersCommunity

Old Habits image

Hello and welcome to “Old Habits Die Hard” a new short story from my upcoming anthology “Glimpses Across the Barricades”

 

Old Habits Die Hard

From the upcoming collection: Glimpses Across the Barricades

By

Suzanne Burke 2019.

 

Cassie sucked in a deep lungful of nicotine and waited for the coughing to start. She shook her head in acknowledgment of her own weakness and abject stupidity, coughed as expected and finished the cigarette. She grinned at herself. Old habits die hard.

The thought caught her unprepared. Were they all simply old habits? Did she cling to things so desperately only because they were familiar? Was it a comfort to know ahead of time how each would respond in any given situation? If that knowledge gave us the tools to avoid the more painful outcomes, did that automatically presume that we’d use that wisdom?

Cassie was irritated with herself for even asking the questions.

She looked across at her iPhone for answers, already knowing she’d find none waiting.

When had he become just another old habit to cling to?

Cassie drew in a shaky breath as the memory of their last conversation played out vividly in her mind.

The 5th anniversary of their sad farewell was tomorrow. They’d been friends long before they became lovers. Their lives had collided the first time three decades earlier. Each acknowledging the chemistry that lit up a room whenever they were both present. They both smiled at each other and refused to allow that fire to burn. Life moved on and so did they.

Then twelve years ago fate had flung them together again.  What had been intended as a casual fling, a one-night stand, had become a passionate affair that neither of them had attempted to prevent from spiralling out of control.

She smiled briefly as a sweeter image tugged at her thoughts. The first weekend they’d run from reality, they’d danced on a rickety old pier in the rain. It was foolishly romantic and memorably perfect, and so was he. She could hear the music they’d played. “Nights in White Satin” by The Moody Blues had echoed out across the deep water of the bay. They’d made slow sweet love in an old fishing shed, and watched on in shared wonder as a violent summer storm came sweeping up from the south. It played out a symphony with shattering crescendo’s and their lovemaking met and matched its passion.

Cassie reached for the safety of the present moment and whispered into the darkness, “Stop it. Don’t do this. Think about something else.”

She stood then and moved about her apartment, only vaguely aware of straightening things on the mantle that didn’t need straightening, and moving books around in the bookcase that hadn’t required moving.

She walked across to the bar, poured herself a double shot of JD and sat back on her sofa and lit up her bong. The balcony beckoned and she moved into the cool night air and the silence, alternating the hits of good weed and the alcohol and waited for the calm she craved so desperately to envelop her.

Yet the memories continued to invade. She was too stoned to avoid them, and they came at her without pity for her vulnerable state of mind.

Her marriage of thirty years had limped to a final conclusion twelve years earlier. She’d initially clung to the memory of it, allowing her mind to paint much prettier pictures of what had actually happened; she’d clung to it long past its use-by date.

Her lover’s staunch Catholic upbringing prevented his long marriage from taking the same course. He never spoke of it. Cassie never asked the questions. It was so much easier to pretend that their relationship may someday lead to them being together.

The memories flowed now, but not in sequence. The laughter they’d shared echoed through time, and conversations that made sense only to the two of them etched themselves afresh in this place and in this moment.

A jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing. Pieces that she now went in search of.

They’d been fishing and hunting together often. They’d spent so many cold nights sleeping out under the stars, where their shared body warmth sustained them completely. They both loved the sounds of the night. Or the sounds of that long stretch of beach on the hottest summer days on record, swimming just after sunrise, cautiously waiting until the great white sharks had fed in deeper water off the reef. Cassie moaned as the sound of his deep voice surfaced unbidden, “We need to burn this into our memory. So, we can take it out and look at it when the world goes to hell.”

She brushed the moisture from her eyes. She’d never forgotten that moment. He had a way with words that echoed the romance of his soul.

The years had gone by so quickly. She watched and waited, wondering if she’d recognize the end if she saw it coming.

She saw it over five years ago. Phone calls that had begun every new day for years suddenly stopped coming, until they spoke only every couple of weeks. The visits went from a driving need to be together as often as they could steal the time, to a late-night knock on the door heralding a man who had only one need that remained to be met.

Cassie had tried so hard to ignore it, she floundered like a fish out of water on the sands of indecision.

She began wrapping her isolation around her like a comforting shawl.

The knock on her door at 3.30am on a hot summer’s morning had awoken her.

She knew instinctively who it was, and was angry well before she opened that door.

He stood there looking sheepish, then smiled. “Aren’t you gonna ask me to come in?”

Cassie stood aside without speaking and waved him across to the sofa.

He looked surprised as she stood there watching him, “What wrong, hon?”

“When was the last time we spoke?”

He looked away uncomfortably as he answered, “Guess it’s been a few weeks.”

“Try for three months!”

“Shit. Really? I’m sorry.”

“So, why are you here?”

He stood then, “You’re upset. I’ll call you later.”

She touched his arm. “I deserve better than this.”

For the first time in the thirty-plus years that she’d known him his dark hunter’s eyes filled with tears. She barely heard him as he struggled to speak, “Yes, honey. You do.”

She followed him across to the door and he turned and touched her cheek, then tucked a wayward curl behind her ear. He was shaking and his voice wavered as he spoke, “Goodbye, my love.”

Cassie felt the sobs tear through her, and she let them come.

He’d phoned after that, every couple of months and at ungodly hours. She’d register who was calling and declined the calls. The loneliness threatened to overwhelm her at first, she recalled using a telephone box to phone his work number just to hear his deep voice when he answered. She tortured herself like that constantly after they’d ended.

And now, what about now? She grimaced at her own question.

For now, she’d just get herself through the next anniversary.

And just before the alcohol lulled her into sleep on that anniversary morning her iPhone rang.

She was drunk, but not suicidal. She declined to take the call.

*

And for your enjoyment. “Nights In White Satin” by The Moody Blues.

 

Book Review: “The Fall of Lilith” by Vashti Quiroz-Vega @VashtiQV #RRBC #Dark #Supernatural #Fantasy.

BOOK REVIEW The Fall of Lilith by Vashti

BOOK REVIEW “The Fall of Lilith” by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

MEET THE AUTHOR:

BOOK REVIEW BIO PIC VASHTI

Hello! My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega. I’m a writer of Suspense, Thriller, Fantasy and Horror. I also enjoy mixing in some Humor and Romance into my stories.

From the time I was a young kid, writing has been my passion. I’ve always been a writer I just didn’t know it until much later. For me, it is easier to express my thoughts on paper than with the spoken word. I enjoy making people feel an array of emotions with my writing. I like my audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

My love of animals and nature are often incorporated in my stories. You’ll read intriguing things about various animals, nature and natural disasters commingled in my character driven novels.

I love to read almost as much as I love to write. Some of my favorite authors are Stephen King, M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown.

BOOK REVIEW The Fall of Lilith by Vashti

BLURB.

In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate, conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels.

If you think you know their story, think again.

Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

“[A] compelling narrative that . . . strays far from traditional biblical text . . . A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

MY REVIEW 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟Dark Supernatural Fantasy at its Best!

When I had finished reading this book, I sat back and thought about what exactly it was about it that had totally captured my attention and kept me riveted until the early hours of the morning, long after I should have flipped off the light.

Author Vashti Quiroz- Vega has undertaken a mammoth task in “The Fall of Lilith”  and she could have quite easily opted for the easy road in depicting the eternal battle of Good .V. Evil. The fact is that she has not done that. Make no mistake, that is indeed the premise on which this well-written book is based, but this author has none of the stereotypical tried and true characterizations that frequent many books attempting to cover that dark premise.

Instead, we are given a deeper insight into the urges that drive these characters, with Lilith’s character being only one of many that frequent this epic. Lilith, of course, is pivotal and as such her driving characteristics are what influence the narrative. She is multi-faceted with her initial desire to do as her ‘God’ had instructed being overridden by her passionate nature, her guile, and her inability to accept that she was all she could ever hope to be in the ‘heavenly’ sphere.

It is that dissatisfaction, that boredom, and her driving and at times overwhelming desire for something more that drives her. Her clever manipulation of the other supernatural beings (Angels) is a joy to read. There are no boundaries that she does not attempt to tear down by the sheer force of her will. She uses her beauty as a weapon, and the forbidden acts only lead her forward with her need to experience more than this life in ‘heaven’ permits.

I have long been fascinated by the supernatural. This author has delved deeply into the religious aspects that permeate any story that focuses on the ‘angels’ being cast out from heaven, she has acknowledged that, and then taken those understandings and beautifully crafted a vision of the alternative  possibilities.

Much has been written by other reviewers that cover the plot very adequately, I prefer to focus instead on the driving force behind the individual characterizations.  None of the characters in this book fail to engage me as a reader, they are each capable of arousing my understanding of the ‘demons’ that drive them. I by turns laughed at the dialogue, then caught myself tearing up when hurt was dealt out in the coldest of ways.

This book is not for the faint-hearted reader. The author has clearly stated that it is written with an adult audience in mind.

The scenes in this book that capture the essence of lust and desire are written with a clever hand, I found them totally necessary in the plot development and as such, they were never a grab for the ‘sex sells’ probability we so often find in fiction.

We witness the struggle to overcome the initial hardships on a dangerous ‘Earth’. The need to belong to another being, and the ultimate desire to survive at all costs, regardless of who may get caught in the trap of our own making along the way. The thirst for revenge is hovering darkly as the book reaches it final pages.  This is the first book in a series. I will most certainly be back to read the remainder.

Author Vashti Quiroz-Vega has captured the essence of Dark Supernatural Fantasy. She should be proud of her accomplishment.

 

 

 

 

Book Review: “The Hat” by C.S.Boyack. @Virgilante #Paranormal #Speculative Fiction #RRBC @StoryEmpire

BOOK REVIEW COVER THE HAT By C S BOYACK

BOOK Review “The Hat” By C.S. Boyack.

Meet the author.

BOOK REVIEW BIO PICTURE OF C S BOYACK

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

BOOK REVIEW COVER THE HAT By C S BOYACK

BLURB

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

MY REVIEW … 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 A Captivating way to spend your reading time.

I have read and reviewed other works by author C.S Boyack and knew from experience to expect an enjoyable read. The Hat didn’t disappoint me! This author has a boundless energy and imagination which he shares quite beautifully in the pages of this novella. We humans all appear to be genetically predisposed to hunger for some small connection to our past. The central (Human) Character of Lizzie finds herself needing to have a memento of her connection to the family when she finds herself adrift from her familiar surroundings.

Denied the chance to take something she’d value she grabs an old box and runs with it.

What the box contains is ‘The Hat.’ And from then on the story takes you on a frantically paced and well thought out roller-coaster ride. The dialogue between Lizzie and her new companion is classic one-liners delivered with superb comedic timing. That timing doesn’t falter for the duration of this enjoyable read.

Attributing a personality to a supposedly inanimate object takes skill, as did the sketches included so beautifully within this paranormal framework. Author C S Boyack has a marvelous creativity that enhances the reading experience.

I will never look at a fashion accessory in quite the same way again.

A Must read.

Find Craig on TWITTER

Purchase THE HAT on Amazon.com

C.S. Boyack Amazon Author Page

Craig Boyack’s Website.

Book Review 2018 “The Neon Houses” BY LINDA C. MIMS @boom_lyn. #RRBC #RRBC_RWISA #IARTG

BOOK REVIEW COVER THE NEON HOUSES BY LINDA MIMS

WELCOME TO MY BOOK REVIEW of “THE NEON HOUSES” BY LINDA MIMS @boom_lyn.

MEET LINDA MIMS

LINDA MIMS BIO PIC

 

The Author’s Story – @boom_lyn #RRBC #RWISA

A former classroom teacher, Linda Mims has enjoyed careers as a high school administrator, a radio show co-host and announcer, and a public speaker. Finally free to roam, Linda enjoys traveling and storytelling. The only thing she loves more than telling stories is reading them.

Her novel, “THE NEON HOUSES,” available on Amazon for kindle books, was born when she overheard a speaker claim that people had lost interest in reading. He joked that decades from now America would be holding “reading nights” in neighborhood parks for citizens who couldn’t read.

The statement took shape in her mind until it evolved into two contrasting societies—one for people who had nothing and the other for people who had everything. Now, Linda is busy writing the second book in the Kennedy Circle Mystery series and shaping the message she wants to send.

A resident of the small village of Matteson just outside of Chicago, IL, Linda spends her days writing, cooking, gardening, and blogging—sometimes simultaneously. She is married, has two adult daughters, and one bossy bichon-pom, Ms. Alexis.

***

BOOK REVIEW COVER THE NEON HOUSES BY LINDA MIMS

BLURB

Murder, mayhem and suspense abound in this action packed page-turner set in 2087 Chicago. Our heroine, Dr. Noel Kennedy hears screams inside her head. They are the screams of her young friend, 20-year-old Zarah Fisher. She’s miles away and screaming for her life!

Noel knows the exact moment Zarah takes her last breath because Noel has a secret that not even her husband, handsome mayoral aide, Richard Kennedy, shares.

As the youngest Deputy Chief of Schools of Gang Territory, Noel has perfected her life. She is a solid, middle-class citizen from New Chicago, Incorporated. New Chicago and Gang Territory have become vastly different societies since the early Urban Wars. Now, year 2087 finds New Chicago’s military-trained police determined to enforce laws that keep “gang people” out.

Harlem Pierce, a New Chicago police detective, has been warned to stay away from Zarah Fisher’s murder investigation and he urges Noel to let it go, too. But a new killing involves Noel’s cousin and her boyfriend and links Noel to it in a startling way.

Who can Noel trust? Should she turn to Warren Simpson—the menacing, treacherous boss of Gang Territory? Or … could he be the killer?

If you like flying cars, robots, androids, dystopia and utopia mixed in with your thriller then this is the story for you!

MY REVIEW:🌟🌟 🌟🌟🌟 A delightful read that any lover of Dystopian & Paranormal fiction is certain to enjoy.

Finding a book that blends the genre’s of Dystopian/Paranormal and Thriller together is rare enough, finding one as well written as this one most assuredly is pure delight for an avid reader such as myself.

Author Linda Mims has woven intricate threads throughout this book, luring the reader down one path and suddenly throwing a curveball that was not anticipated, keeping me relentlessly turning pages right from the first chapter.

Although set in a Chicago of the future time of 2087 this book is highly relevant right now, if we are honest about the monstrous differences our world already permits to exist between those that ‘Have’ and those that ‘Have Not”.

I rate the believability factor into my enjoyment of reading any book. Everything this author has created within these pages it utterly plausible and as such believable.

From protagonist Dr. Noel Kennedy’s strong, resilient, and determined persona, to the convincingly portrayed streets of the ‘Gang Territory’ this talented author weaves a tantalizing scenario.

All the characters portrayed here are multi-dimensional, they are each flawed by the lives they have had no choice but to live.

There are many characters to meet along this journey, but the author has done a remarkable job with each of them, one of my personal favorites is the treacherous Warren Simpson, head of ‘Gang Territory’ his presence is menacing, threatening, and decidedly dangerous.

The many plot threads are handled well and the book is not difficult to follow. I loved being constantly surprised by a character’s actions.

A delightful read that any lover of Dystopian & Paranormal fiction is certain to enjoy.

***

CONTACT DETAILS:

Contact via:

Twitter

Facebook

Blog/Website:

Linda Mims

Title:

“THE NEON HOUSES”

***

 

 

 

 

Book Review: “This Second Chance” by D.L Finn. @dlfinnauthor #RRBC #RWISA #IARTG #Romance #Paranormal

BOOK REVIEW COVER THIS SECOND CHANCE BY D.L FINN

BOOK REVIEW: THIS SECOND CHANCE BY D.L FINN

Meet Author D.L Finn

BOOK REVIEW BIO PIC D.L FINN

D.L. Finn is an independent California local, who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks and cedars, her creativity was cradled until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to her readers to join her.

 BLURB

Newly married Rachael Battaglia finally had it all. The only detail that stained Rachael’s perfect wedding was a gift she received. It was the exact present that her late ex-husband had given her on their wedding day — a snow globe. That marriage was not what she had envisioned, and she endured years of his abuse and charm until one night she escaped with two kids and one on the way. Now Rachael was headed to Hawaii with an amazing man and her chance at happiness. Unbeknownst to Rachael, she had an Angel on her side, although this Angel might not be able to save Rachael and her family from the evil that surrounded them. This is a tale of love, past relationships, things unseen, and redemption. Will Rachael find her happy ending, or will this evil thing get its way?

MY REVIEW: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A Great read for all those who enjoy romance with a supernatural element.

Life doesn’t always offer us second chances to get it right. When it does we treasure and hold on to it with both hands. That is the premise on which this well-written book is built.

Author D.L. Finn takes us on an intricately woven journey. The characterizations of both Rachel and new husband Tony are beautifully depicted, so much so that we as readers care about them and want their future to grant them the happiness they have thus far been denied.

This author has that marvelous gift of bringing our emotions to the forefront of the reading experience.

Rachel’s first marriage was a tormented and violent nightmare which ended as her then-husband died in an alcohol-fueled car crash.

She has finally learned to trust again with the love and support of her new husband, but the package she receives on her wedding day threatens the very fabric of their new found love as she is catapulted back in the nightmarish memories of the violence that characterized her first marriage.

Forces unseen are waging a battle, the eternal joust between good and evil plays out its hand as Rachel’s eldest child Eddie, fathered by her first husband, heads down the same violent destructive path that his father once walked.

The author caught and held me captive as the paranormal elements of this book were woven so cleverly into the story. The plot twists were both unexpected, continuously engaging and introduced with an assured hand.

If you enjoy a love story with depth, the chance of redemption and hope for the future happiness of the characters you have come to care about this book is for you.

I recommend it for all those who enjoy a great read with a supernatural element.

CONTACT DETAILS.

Contact via:

Twitter:  @dlfinnauthor

Blog/Website:

Embrace Your Inner Child

Titles:

“NO FAIRY TALE”

“ELIZABETH’S WAR” 

This Second Chance on Amazon.com

 

“Consider YOUR Verdict!” Is this a glimpse inside the mind of the writer? Or something else entirely! You decide. #RRBC #IARTG #IAN1 #IndBk

Justice shadowed

Welcome to my first post of 2018! I do love sharing some of my quirkier shorts. Just like this one.

The Verdict

By

Suzanne Burke.

Ladies and gentleman, of the jury, I have been wrongly accused of Murder in the first degree. I stand before you and state my case. My defense, if you will. Your duty, as I see it, is to listen, assess and decide.

Were these incidents murder? Pre-meditated, willful murder? Or justifiable homicide?
Abraham Lincoln is attributed widely for the adage, “He that represents himself, has a fool for a client”  I am a fool such as this.
My ability, if indeed that’s what this is, is to read minds—selected by me of course. I cannot only read their thoughts, I have the power in my keeping to alter them. I have the choice of what I see … and what I deem to be a thought unnecessary.

I have the power to change those thoughts.
As I am sure you can imagine, I carry an awesome responsibility on my shoulders. I have the power to change these lives, to irrevocably set a chain of events in motion that may indeed bring these people to an early demise.
Make no mistake, I have done so several times.
Is there then not blood on my hands?
Have I done so without thought or pity?
That depends entirely on how I am provoked.
This then is my curse, my fate. An obsession has eaten into the very marrow of my bones.
Are they victims? Perhaps, they are.

I prefer to refer to them as puppets. Yes, I like that term. It fits perfectly.

They are the puppets and I am the puppeteer.

Like an orchestra, they must obey my commands, what choice do they have, I control every thought and in consequence every action and reaction that they have, I am both the puppeteer and conductor.
Can I maneuver one to kill another? Oh yes, yes indeed. Is that conspiracy to commit murder?

Alternatively, I prefer to think of it as Murder/Suicide.

You are the ones who will decide, I will simply provide you with the instruments with which to make those decisions.
My little puppets were such fun at first, thinking silly thoughts and reacting to them, without contemplating the end result of their stupid reactions and undignified manner.

I simply assisted them to reach a different conclusion. A different action, provoking, of course, an alternative reaction.
In some instances, I freely admit I went perhaps a little too far.
Death and death at the hands of another is not a pleasant thing to witness. However, witness it I did.
I stood back after having set my puppets in motion and watched as they murdered, slicing through the jugular vein and watching as their victims’ lives ebbed away.
Does that witnessing make me the murderer?
Could I have entered their troubled distorted minds and changed the outcome?

Yes, I have that ability.

The fact that I chose not to intervene Ah, yes …does that make me responsible for the choices they made? I helped them put the plan into action; they made the decision by their behavior.

Pitting one against the other is a joyous game to play.
The power is intoxicating.

A husband or a wife caught cheating, does one not need to seek revenge?

I have been gentle with a few of these pathetic puppets and enabled them to work through the poor delusion that they actually have a life.
The vengeance is perfect.

They must remain together; forever tortured by the doubt that infidelity creates.

Do you find that harsh?  I doubt that anyone of you would be able to not at least think about revenge.
Have I caused murder to happen?
Have I blood on my hands?
Do I sleep at night?

“Yes, no and no”…it is up to you the jury to decide which of those questions has which response.

One of my alleged victims was screaming loudly and piercingly annoying, I simply made the screaming stop.

It does tend to be difficult to make that dreadful sound once your throat has been slit.

Each puppet becomes another challenge, these new puppets with vibrancy and color and life to burn, they are the greatest challenge of all. They offer me their thoughts and then battle with my invasion, turning on me and fighting back every step of the way.

Ah, such exhilaration! The wonder of the game when I am pitted against someone I take a liking to.

It is a wondrous, joyous event; I journey ever deeper into their minds and souls, creating white-hot pleasure within them that they have no choice but to share.

Whilst ever they continue to burn so brightly, they remain in my circle of friends. Fettered and spoiled as all my true friends are, I allow them freedom from responsibility; I enhance their lives and make them rich and vibrant. They meet every need of any person, they live, laugh, cry and sometimes they die.
However, life as you all know is full of disappointments.
Perhaps some fools need it.
Not I….!
If foolishly they disappoint me, or, if they should lose that vibrancy, that color, become brown, dull, uninteresting, flat and boring. Then I will turn their lives upside down. Until they scream with rage at my perceived injustice.

T’was, not my doing, I gave them thoughts and feelings that should have allowed them to live and love throughout their lives.
Disappoint me…and you die.
Simple … yes?
No petty discussions or pleading for mercy at my feet.
I do not often change my mind…or the inevitable outcome of their betrayal.
I offered them the magic of life.
They did not live up to it.
I made my choice … and voila, they ceased to exist.
Therefore, Ladies and Gentleman, I leave the verdict in your capable hands.
Am I a murderess, a homicidal maniac perhaps?
Or a writer…whose characters will never learn to behave as they should?

You Decide

 

 

Book Review: “Finding Billy Battles” by Ron Yates. #RRBC #IARTG @jhawker69 The final review for 2017.

Please join me as I share my final review of 2017. “Finding Billy Battles” by Ron Yates.

RON YATES AUTHOR PIC

About the Author

Ronald E. Yates is an author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans from around the world who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction.

Ron is a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of theCollege of Media.
His book, “The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles,” is the second in his Finding Billy Battles trilogy of novels and was published in June 2016. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,” was published in 2014. He is currently working on Book #3 of the trilogy with an intended publication date in spring or early summer 2017.

Ron has been a presenting author at the Kansas Book Festival and the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, among other venues. He is also the author of The Kikkoman Chronicles: AGlobal Company with A Japanese Soul, published by McGraw-Hill.

Before leaving the world of professional journalism where he toiled 25 years, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and bothCentral and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre inBeijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua,El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places.

His work as a war correspondent resulted in several awards, including the Inter-American Press Association’s Tom Wallace Award for coverage ofCentral and South America; the Peter Lisagor Award from the Society ofProfessional Journalists; three Edward Scott Beck Awards for InternationalReporting, and three Pulitzer nominations.

Ron is a proud graduate of the William Allen White School ofJournalism at the University of Kansas and a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served in the Army Security Agency.

BOOK COVER

Cover Billy Battles by Ron Yates

 

BLURB

When a great-grandson inherits two aging trunks and a stack of meticulously detailed journals penned by his great-grandfather, he sets out to fulfill his great-grandfather’s last request: to tell the story of an incredible life replete with adventure, violence, and tragedy. The great-grandfather’s name is Billy Battles–a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control.
For much of his 100-year-long life Billy is a man missing and largely unknown to his descendants. His great-grandson is about to change that. As he works his way through the aging journals and the other possessions he finds in the battered trunks he uncovers the truth about his mysterious great-grandfather–a man whose deeds and misdeeds propelled him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West to the inscrutable Far East, Latin America and Europe.
As he flips through the pages of the handwritten journals he learns of Billy’s surprising connections to the Spanish-American War, French Indochina, and revolutions in Mexico and other Latin American countries. But most of all he learns that in finding Billy Battles he has also found a long lost and astonishing link to the past.

My REVIEW of “Finding Billy Battles.”

on December 5, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A book to be treasured and read over-and-over again.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This book has earned some outstanding reviews and is deserving of every one of them. Finding Billy Battles is an engaging and believable journey through time as told by an aged Billy Battles in the pages of journals that span his existence from 1860 to 1960.

This talented author has crafted characters that engage the reader immediately, we are willingly taken into each scene, we see the characters there, all breathing, moving … and sounding a particular way, the visualizations in this book are superb.

Character depth connects us immediately to the roguish and beautifully layered persona of Billy Battles. The man is revealed with great skill throughout the book. Peel back those layers and recognize the man that dwelt beneath that skin.

I thoroughly enjoyed the journey into the old west and those well-known characters that greeted me there.

This marvelous blend of fact and fiction is a book to be treasured and read, over-and-over again.

What a stunning read to end 2017 with. Top notch.

I will be reading the other books in this trilogy.

 

Find Books by Ron Yates here.

Finding Billy Battles on AMAZON.COM

Ron Yates on TWITTER