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Book Review: The Raven Tower by Emma Miles

Title: The Raven Tower

The Raven Tower coverSeries: Fire-Walker, Book 1

Author: Emma Miles

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Pages: 485 pages (Print)

Blurb: What price will Kesta and the fire-walkers have to pay to keep their people from enslavement? The raids were more ferocious, more desperate and much earlier in the year. When Kesta sees in the flame who is really behind the attacks the Independent islands of the Fulmers seem doomed to fall. Their only hope is to cross the sea to seek the help of the King of Elden and his sorcerer, the Dark Man.

 

Review:

Life-like characters, beautiful world building, epic battles, political intrigue, a mysterious man, and masterful storytelling. What more could a girl ask for? A map, but I just love to nerd out and look at maps. This was an exciting read for me, and now one of my new favorite fantasy series. Emma Miles did such a great job on showing me the different cultures and letting me get to know the different characters introduced, I had no confusion when switching to a different character’s perspective either, which is a huge bonus. There were twists I couldn’t see coming and now I’m craving more, I have to know what happens next on Kesta’s adventure. I definitely be watching for book two of the Fire-Walker Series.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for a fair review.

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Book Review: An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson

Before we get into the spoiler free review here are the details:

An Artisan Lovestyle - Hi-resTitle: An Artisan Lovestyle

Series: The Lovestyle Series, Book 2

Author: Kiltie Jackson

Genre: Chick-lit, Paranormal Romance

Publication Date: June 28, 2018

Pages: 349 pages, Paperback

Blurb:

Are you ‘living’ your life or just living your life?

Elsa Clairmont was widowed barely five years after marrying her childhood sweetheart. She has struggled to come to terms with the loss and, six years later, has almost ceased to live herself. She does just enough to get by.

Danny Delaney is the ultimate ‘Mr Nice Guy’. He’s kind, caring and sweet. A talented artist in his teens, his abusive mother ruined his career in art and he turned his back on his exceptional gift. Now, he does just enough to get by.

On New Year’s Eve, both Danny and Elsa die in unrelated accidents.

Thanks to some poker playing shenanigans, Elsa’s husband Harry, and Danny’s old Art teacher, William, manage to orchestrate a deal with Death that allows Danny and Elsa to live for one more year on the condition they both agree
to complete three tasks.

They have until the last chime of Big Ben on the 31st December to fulfill their quests.

If they succeed, they stay in the world of the living.

If they should fail however…

‘An Artisan Lovestyle’ is a story of personal growth and self-discovery as two people find themselves forced to make overdue changes in their lives, changes in other people’s lives, and all with the added challenge of
finding true love before their time runs out.

Will they do it?

Can they do it?

After all, it’s a matter of Life or Death…

Review:

I’m officially a “Lovestyle Series” fan. I’m always worried when another book comes out in a series when I really loved the first one. Well this author has done it again and I loved so many things about it. I feel like these characters are so well rounded and life-like, that it feels as if I could bump into them on the street. You really get to see Elsa and Danny grow throughout the book and transform. I loved how we got to pop in on occasion and see how Pete and Sukie were doing, from book one in the series. In all honesty I was biting my nails right up until the end with the way these characters interacted with each other. I cannot wait to read more in this series and delve deeper into some other characters. I could keep going but then I would be revealing all spoilers. If you love chick-lit mixed with some paranormal romance elements, this is a must read. Also, I do recommend reading the first one, “A Rock ‘N’ Roll Lovestyle”, you can find the review and details of that one HERE.

 

Disclaimer: I did receive this as an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) in exchange for a fair review.

From the Author:

Hi there,

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Lovely to meet you. I’m Kiltie Jackson. I spent my formative years growing up in Glasgow but when I was old enough to do so, I high-tailed it down to London.

I spent thirteen wonderful years in the Big Smoke before relocating once more – this time to the Midlands. Those London years gave me many interesting experiences, many of which are now finding their way into my novels.

I now live in Staffordshire with one grumpy husband and five cats who kindly allow us to share THEIR house. We’re allowed to stay as long as we keep paying the mortgage!

Our little home is known as Moggy Towers – plenty of moggies but no towers!

I like reading, watching movies, and eating things I shouldn’t! I really dislike going to the gym! I’m hoping that one day I can give up the day job and write my stories for a living.

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Book Review: The Date by Louise Jensen

The Details

The DateTitle: The Date

Author: Louise Jensen

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publication Date: June 21, 2018

Length: 320 pages (print)

Blurb: 

One night can change everything.

‘I know it as soon as I wake up and open my eyes… Something is wrong.’

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognizable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her.

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her…

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Sister, The Gift and The Surrogate, The Date is a gripping page-turner that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep.

Review: 

Wow! What a ride! I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat with this thriller while biting my nails. I thought I knew where the story was going and I was pleasantly surprised, and wrong when the twist hit me. Big props to books that I don’t guess where the plot goes. I will definitely be reading more by Louise Jensen as I loved how real the characters felt along with their relationships. I had to take a two day reading break to really think about the book and let it all sink in.  I definitely recommend “The Date” as a must read for any thriller lover.

About the Author: 

Louise Jensen photo

Louise Jensen is a Global No.1 Bestselling author of psychological thrillers The Sister, The

Gift & The Surrogate. To date Louise has sold approaching a million books and her novels have been sold for translation to nineteen territories, as well as being featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award.

Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at http://www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction and writing tips.

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Book Review: Furyborn by Clair Legrand

Before we get into the spoiler free review here are the details:furyborn cover

Title: Furyborn

Series: The Empirium Trilogy (Book 1)

Author: Claire Legrand

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Publication Date: May 22, 2018

Pages: 518 (print)

Blurb:

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable—until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world—and of each other.

Review:

To start off I would like to say that while this is categorized as a Young Adult I feel that it would be more appropriate for older teens (10th grade and up) due to the sex scenes. I was excited to read this book after just the first chapter, grabbed my attention and I was ready for more. After I grasped that each chapter was going to bounce back and forth I easily fell into understanding just how much time had passed and the points of view I could expect next. One thing I loved is at the beginning of each chapter is a bit of text from the world of Aritas relating to the era you are about to read for that chapter and also giving more lore to the story. It really helped me realized just how much time has passed between the characters to see the dates of the small bits of text at the start of each chapter. However, I felt there could have been more explained in the way of world building with the cultural changes and technology along the way. I did find myself more enamored with Rielle’s story rather than Eliana. I felt that Rielle’s story was more flushed out and believable than to Eliana’s story and romance, and enjoyed the moral tests that went along with her magical trials. While the first half of the book was a slow burner, the last half I felt was a wildfire. I will give Claire Legrand this, she really knows how to leave a chapter on a cliffhanger. While I wished there was more time taken on some world-building and character development on Eliana’s part I found the story was great (but I did guess a few plot points) and cannot wait to see what happens next and that maybe book two in the Empirium Trilogy will give more details into the world of Aritas and more character development so I can really be immersed in the story world. Overall, I would recommend this for readers of the fantasy genre as the story overall was an interesting concept with the magic system and a refreshing new take on angels.

About the Author:

Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now she is a librarian who writes novels for children and teens. Legrand is the author of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, The Year of Shadows, Winterspell, Some Kind of Happiness, and Foxheart. She is also the author of the upcoming YA epic fantasy Furyborn, the first book in The Empirium Trilogy (May 22, 2018), and Sawkill Girls, a YA horror novel (October 2, 2018). She is one of the four authors behind The Cabinet of Curiosities, an anthology of dark middle grade fiction. She lives in New Jersey. Visit her at claire-legrand.com and on Twitter @clairelegrand.

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Book Review: Write A Novel In 30 Days

Before we get into the book review here are the details:

Title: Write A Novel In 30 Days: The interactive writers guide to finishing your novel in 30 days 

Author: Megg Geriwrite a novel in 30 days cover

Genre: Non-fiction/ Creative Self-help

Publication Date: January 18, 2018

Pages:

205 Pages (eBook)

227 (Paperback)

Blurb:

This book walks you step by step through planning your novel to writing your novel. It even has a section to read about where things will go wrong and what to do when they do. This is more than just a book about writing, this is a book about surviving the writing process.

THE BOOK IS DIVIDED INTO FOUR MAIN SECTIONS:

01 | THIS IS YOUR DREAM

This section is all about discovering yourself within the writing world. It’s about getting over your insecurities and creating your dream writing life.

– Show Up

– Inner Critic

– Take A Leap

– It’s All About You

– Start To Think Like A Writer

– Be Curious

– Start A Journal

– Take Care Of Yourself

– Think Happy Thoughts

02 | PLAN IT ALL OUT

This section teaches you to plot and plan your book. From time scheduling to discovering ideas and writing applications and resources.

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Quote found in Write a Novel In 30 Days

– Before NaNoWriMo

– Writing Apps And Resources

– Choose A Genre

– 100 Ideas

– Planning Is Important – How To Prepare

– Set Deadlines

– Routine

– Create A Process

– Follow The Process

– Keep Track Of Your Writing

– Time Yourself

– Write Faster

– The Quick Start Method

– Organize Your Book

– Plot Formulas

– An Outline

03 | WRITE IT OUT

This section covers the actual writing process that happens.

– Characters Are Important

– Imagine Describing Everything

– You Still Have So Much To Learn

– Take In As Much As You Can

– Find What Works For You

– The Most Important Rule

04 | WHEN THINGS GET TOUGH

This is a survival guide to writing. This section of the book handles everything from writers block to loss of inspiration and when you’re getting yourself down too.

– Honour The Process

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Quote found in Write a Novel In 30 Days

– You Have To Be Persistent

– Avoid The Overwhelm

– Remain Constant

– Check In With Your People

– Don’t Carry Your Failures With You

– Where You Might Get Stuck

– Survival Tips

– What To Do If You Fall Behind

– The Most Important Rule, again

BONUS MATERIAL

This is not called an interactive book for no reason. This book comes with access to a resource library of downloads like; word trackers, worksheets, charts, and checklists.

And you will get a 28-day course to get you ready for writing.

Review: This book is great for aspiring authors and those already published. It is extremely motivational to keep you going when you feel like you’re stuck. I really like how this book breaks it down into manageable tasks and sets you up for success. Also there is bonus material you can download and print out along with emails you can sign up for that will be sent everyday to help you on your way to writing that novel in a month. While repetitive at times it is repetitive for a good reason and it can help a nasty habit that can hinder your word output. While not every author and writer wants to write a book in a month it does help you find your creative process and if you find that writing a book a month doesn’t fit your process it can be adapted to fit you. Plus there are journal prompts, which I absolutely love! Overall I would definitely recommend this book to writers and those who don’t know where to start but want to write.

About the Author:

Megg Geri, author of WRITE A NOVEL IN 30 DAYS also writes fiction and owns Megg & Co Editing Boutique. She specializes in novel editing and coaching by day and by night she reads, a lot. She also runs an online international book club for women who love to read.

Megg loves interacting with writers on Twitter and Instagram (where she shares her favorite writing tips).

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Hello Again!

Hello everyone!

I’m so sorry I was gone for the extended period of time, I had personal stuff going on that took up some time. Which reminds me that no matter how much I have a plan and like to plan for the future, sometimes life sets us on a different path on our way to achieve our goals. But, now I’m working out a new writing and blogging schedule to get myself back on track. I look forward to be back at my keyboard to finish “The View” – a least a few more parts in the works.  I have also found a book that has ripped me from my reading slump and that means more book reviews. Stay tuned for more features to come.

Happy reading and writing all!

LIfe is full of

Photo Credit: kareni


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Book Review: ‘Mists of the Miskatonic’ by Al Halsey

Before I begin this spoiler free review here are the details:

Title: Mists of the MiskatonicMists of the Miskatonic

Author: Al Halsey

Genre: Horror, Occult

Publication Date: April 23, 2016

Available in eBook and Paperback (235 pages)

Blurb:
Tremble as the ordinary becomes terrifying and deadly. Humans turn into monsters and monsters are reality.

These stories of past, present and future will take you through sleepy small towns, then to the edge of space, time and madness. Danger lurks as the end of the world approaches, concealed by organizations and institutions whose goal is a semblance of order until the end.

So lock your door, find a comfortable easy chair and set sail into the realms of terror that twist space and time. The ending is not the end: this is only the first book in the series Mists of the Miskatonic…

 

Review:

I had to show off the cover of this 1st Edition copy.

Going in I wasn’t sure what to expect as I have never read any of H.P. Lovecraft’s work. After reading Al Halsey’s ‘Mists of the Miskatonic’ I’m enamored with the mythos and need to read more. While I haven’t read any of Lovecraft’s work I was still able to get immersed inside this world of horror.

While reading these stories I found myself feeling the hot grit of sand between my toes in ancient Egypt, the frozen snows of a treacherous Tibetan mountain, then out of our own atmosphere to Mars, and back to Earth and locations throughout the beautiful and rugged Pacific Northwest. It was fun to puzzle out while reading to see if I had my guess for the correct time period for each story. The final story in this anthology was great finish as it connected each story with a promise of more to come.

After closing this book it made my mind wander. Wander into unknown depths of how far this ancient foe has wrapped it’s tentacles of fear, and how far powers are willing to go to keep order in a world full of vile peril.

 

About the Author: 


When most everyone fawned over prancing, sparkling vampires, Al toiled away writing about zombies. Fantasy zombies, western zombies, zombies and more zombies. To say that zombies are an obsession of his is an understatement. Very few zombie movies have escaped his cadaverous eye. A little known secret: when he was 12, he thought he was HP Lovecraft reincarnated.

A lifelong resident of Lewiston, Idaho, Al graduated from Lewiston High School and Lewis-Clark State College in his hometown. He spent the last twenty eight years working with children with emotional and behavioral problems and training other professionals to do the same. Two years ago his career path switched from non-profit residential treatment to a state juvenile correction facility.

In his free time Al trains in martial arts, plays paintball, tells his rescued cats to get off of the counter, is a wargame/roleplay nerd, consumes large quantities of Thai food unapologetically, and is a connoisseur of fine dining: Arby’s. He loves music and regularly attends concerts. Favorites include Tantric, Theory of a Deadman, Rob Zombie, Nickelback, and the Offspring. Montana and the Oregon coast are frequent destinations.

His biggest accomplishment is his 18 year old son.

Considered by some to be the neighborhood curmudgeon, he wears this title as a badge of honor. He hates writing autobiographies.

Al is the author of the Permuted Press paranormal thrillers Hellgate, Montana and Retributor: Hellgate, Montana Book 2. He also penned Salt Lake City: Hellgate, Montana Book 3, The Chronicles of Dorian Christianson: Nephilim, Empires of the Dead: Son of the Sea, and coauthored Kinemortophobia: Zombie Dreams for Sleepless Nights with John Reed.

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Short Story Sunday: The View – Part Two

So sorry as I missed posting last Sunday. I had to decide where I was going to end this short story, as to not aimlessly write. Thankfully now I have a destination in sight. Before you read part two, if you missed part one and need to catch up. Click here.

Part two social media

“I can’t see anything.”

My mother began to sob heavily at this point. The numb feeling began to spread throughout me more as the moments passed. My quiet tears made lines down my face.

Between her breaths mom sputtered out, “I th…thought you said she would have blur….blurry vision?”

“Blindness is possible between the gas in your eyes and the concussion.” Doctor Sianna said. “It could be temporary. Let’s just give it time. I will continue the eye drops as well. You don’t have to wear the eye mask during the day, only during sleep. We will continue to check in on you. If anything changes, like blurry vision, some light starts coming back or anything like that let Sandra know. Do you have any questions?”

Still stuck in a numb state of shock his words were muffled, mom was muffled. Then a beeping sound broke through. I heard the sound get louder. “I have to go, there’s an emergency. Sandra keep me informed.” Sianna said rushing out the door, the beeping sound following him.

“Sorry about him leaving like that.” Sandra Cold-Hands apologized for him. “Anything you need, let me know. That goes for the both of you.”

“Can I speak to you out in the hall- hallway.” Mom said, her sobbing more quiet.

“Of course. Deborah you okay for a moment alone?” Sandra asked me. I just nodded, their steps retreating out the room and the door clicking shut. I could hear their muffled voices.

How could something like this happen so quick and with no pain in my eyes? I would have thought that my eyes would be burning from the gas. But it has been a few days. How long will I be blind? Will I ever see again? Questions, upon more questions assaulted my thoughts until the door knob turned and the door opened. I could hear their muffled voices more clearly.

“…what can she do to help pass time?” Mom asked.

“Well there are plenty of ways for her to pass….” nurse cold hands Sandra was saying in a clear voice before the door shut again and turned their conversation into a incoherent muffle.

“Who’s there?” I asked.

“Just me, Beth, your roommate. I’m back from my walk outside.” she said in her delicate voice.

“What is the weather doing?” I asked her, my eyes desperately darted around, wanting to be able to see out a window.

“Sunny. But deceivingly cold out there.” Beth said, her bed creaking a bit as she sat or laid down.

“Typical January.” I replied. “Anything good on TV this time of day?”

“Just your grandmother’s soaps.” Beth answered as she flipped on the TV and I could hear conversations getting cut off by her quick channel surfing. “I can’t believe some of these shows are still going. I remember being a little girl watching these when I was at my grandmother’s house.”

“Ha, I remember going to my own grandma’s house to see the same thing. Oh, I can tell it’s almost one o’clock. You just passed the opening theme line for one of my grandma’s favorites.” I giggled thinking back on my own memories. “The amount of times I was confused as they had to switch actors for their characters always got to me.” I told Beth.

“Oh my god! ME TOO!” Beth exclaimed.

Our laughter was interrupted by my mother coming back into the room. “Oh Beth, you’re back. Glad you two are getting to know each other.” Mom said with a steady voice. “Deb I was going to see if you wanted me to go get you anything from your place? Your iPod, laptop, or anything like that?”

“I think just the iPod would be good, maybe my laptop, I’m not sure how I well I could use it.” I let my voice trail off.

“You let me get that taken care of.” Mom said. “Anything else?”

“Yeah my own pillow and that sherpa blanket off the couch. Other than that, just some clothes so I can get out of this dreadful hospital gown I’m sure I’m dressed in.” I said while feeling the thin fabric between my fingers.

“Ok, I will be back. It might take some time to get back.” Mom started saying. I could hear her pause from gathering up her things.

“Mom, I’m awake now. I will be fine.” I said to her with my head towards her but not sure if my eyes were on her, I kept moving my eyes around.

“Just push that button if you need anything. I will be back with your stuff, oh your phone charger…” She started to say, making one of her mental lists. “I love you and will be back.”

“Love you too Mom.” I said.

She finished gathering up everything. I could hear her walking out the door. I fumbled on my bedside table for my drink and found it, this time without dropping it. I listened to the channel surfing some more before Beth decided on a game show channel, airing a trivia game show. We competed against one another trying to answer the questions. We were tied with seven points each. I heard the game show host ask, ‘How many of the seven dwarfs in Disney’s Snow White, had mustaches?’ Beth paused the TV.

“Five!” Beth yelled out quickly.

I smiled, “None of them.”

Beth pressed play on the TV. A contestant with a nasal voice said three, and the other two contestants said four and five. A double buzzer sound emitted from the speakers and the game show host said, “There were no mustaches, only beards on six of the dwarfs. Dopey was the only dwarf without a beard.”

“Damn! Not my strong suit.” Beth said. “I call for a rematch.”

“I watched that movie so many times as a kid I lost count.” I said laughing. “I accept your rematch challenge.”

“The nurse is here Deborah.” Beth said to let me know that someone had come into our room.

“Just call me Debbie.” I replied. “Hello Sandra.”

“Here to do your eye drops Deborah. We do them three times a day. The first one you had done when you were still asleep, four pm is your second dose, and bedtime is your third dose. These are really cold and should help soothe any pain you might have.” Sandra said to me.

“I still don’t have any pain. Which is weird, for having gas in my eyes a few days ago. How long do we need to do these drops?” I asked her.

“For a few more days, a week total for these drops.” Sandra answered. “If you can tilt your head back and keep your right eye open for me.” She was right they are very cold, my right eye blinked shut as soon as the drop hit. “Now the left.” I felt the drop hit in the left eye and quickly was blinking. “Absolutely no rubbing your eyes Deborah. You can lightly dab the excess with tissues but no wiping them or rubbing them.” Sandra said while putting a tissue in my hand.

“Thanks. So still no chance I can keep the eye mask off while sleeping?” I asked her, worried it will annoy me and my rest.

“Sianna thinks it will be best to still keep it on, just in case you try to rub your eyes in your sleep.” Sandra answered me.

“Ok. I need help finding the bathroom, all this water I’ve been drinking is finally catching up.” I said. I could feel my face was hot with a blush. It was embarrassing asking for help to the bathroom.

“Of course. Let me take down these bed rails for you. I’m taking off this pulse oximeter, the thing on your finger, and the blood pressure cuff on your arm. You don’t need those on anymore.” She took the thing clamped to my index finger and the thing wrapped around by upper arm. I felt more free. “Just be careful standing up, your balance may be off kilter since you can’t see your surroundings. I’m here and will let you hold my arm and talk you through how to get there.”

I sat up in bed and could feel a draft on my back. I’m definitely in a hospital gown. I felt Sandra’s hand go around to tie the strings together to keep the back from leaving everything to view. I smelled a faint citrus scent from Sandra Cold Hands, but it was being overpowered by hand sanitizer. Once my gown was securely tied, I stood up. Wavering in place for a moment, I gripped onto Sandra’s arm.

“Steady now.” Sandra said, her hand hovering around my waist. “When your ready take some steps forward, I will tell you when to turn.”

On instinct I raised my cast arm to feel out but decided against it. I know how the last bump against something hard felt. I stepped forward in a shuffle, unsure and unsteady. I squeezed her hand harder in an iron grip.

“Good Debbie. Now I’m going to have you take two more steps and then take a left, that is the bathroom. I’m going to put your hand on the rail and the toilet is to your left and the toilet paper is below the bar to your left. I’m just going to move your hand to show you where it is. Did you want some help further help?” Sandra asked me.

“No I’ve got it from here I think.” I said, ready for her to go so I could do my business.

“Ok just pull on this cord when your done, no flushing since we still need to record some output data.” Sandra said, like this shouldn’t bother me. I guess to her this is normal everyday stuff.

“Got it.” I said as I heard the door shut. I used my one arm to pull down my underwear when I realized, this isn’t my underwear. It felt paper-like and crinkled. I’m wearing a damn diaper!!! I pulled the cord. I could hear a click to my left as I pulled the cord then heard a beeping sound from outside the room. Sandra knocked and asked, “All done?”

“No, not exactly.” I responded in a loud irritated voice. “Could I get some real underwear in here?”

“Your mom should be bringing some back, did you need to change?” Cold Hands asked.

Fucking Hell. Mom better hurry with my clothes and now Beth knows I’m wearing a god damn diaper. I thought to myself. I relieved myself and finished my business quickly.

“I guess I’m done then.” I said out.

Sandra opened the door and clicked something back in place from when I pulled the cord. “Ok, you ready?”

“Yeah.” The irritation was still in my voice. Sandra guided me back to my bed, and I still felt like I was walking on new legs. A knock on the door sounded from behind me.

“Just a moment!” Sandra hollered out. She got me sitting down and a blanket over my legs before yelling, “Come in!”

“Oh you were up and about?” Mom asked. The sound of small metal things clank against a metal door frame. “I brought you a change of clothes and a few things for you to keep occupied. Sorry it took so long, I decided to change and shower.”

“I would like to change now.” I said, not hiding the irritation.

“I can help her.” Mom said.

“I’m going to go stretch my legs before dinner comes.” Beth said. “See ya later Debbie. Don’t forget we have that rematch later.”

“Yeah.” I said completely embarrassed as Sandra and Beth walked out the door.

“Ok it’s just us now. I’m going to pull the curtain so the people outside can’t see us. Is everything alright, you sound irritated?” Mom asked as she pulled the curtains.

“Mom, I’m in a diaper.” I said, still embarrassed to even tell her.

“Well they have to take precautions, but I brought you some real panties.” She said. Once back over to me I could tell she brought a backpack or duffel bag since a zipper was being unzipped. “Alright, let’s get you into some comfy clothes.”

************************************

After I was all dressed and feeling semi-normal, I could smell dinner was on its way. Soon after the smell hit me, Beth walked in.

“Jeopardy for the trivia wizard?” she asked.

“Oh yeah.” My mood was much better now that the damn diaper was off and food was almost here.

Someone knocked on the open door, “Dinnertime for the lovely ladies.” This time a male voice, and not Doctor Sianna.

“Please tell me it’s semi-edible tonight Dean.” Beth said, she was smiling from the tone of her voice.

“Is it ever not edible?” The sarcasm was thick in Dean’s voice. Beth snorted as she laughed. “Who has the grilled chicken with the loaded baked potato?”

“That would be me.” Beth answered. A tray was laid on her table.

“The grilled chicken with extra fries?” Dean asked.

“Mine.” I said as I raised up my good arm. He got closer and could hear as the tray was sat on my table. He smelled good, but not overpowering.

“Your chicken is at six o’clock on your plate, fries at two o’clock, and fruit at nine o’clock. You want your chicken cut up or left whole?” Dean asked.

“Whole is fine. For hospital food this smells great. Do you have any ketchup?” I asked him.

“On your plate between the chicken and fries about four o’clock. Everything is in a section as well, like your lunch tray was. If you put out your hand I will give you your fork.” He said. I felt the cold metal touch my fingers and grabbed it. I sat it down next to the plate.

“Then the meatloaf must be for you mademoiselle.” Dean said, referring to my mother. “I will be your nurse’s aide for the night. The name is Dean, as Beth has already told you. If you need anything just call.”

“Ok.” Both Beth and I responded.

Dean left the room and hollered over his shoulder, “Enjoy!”

“Girl, too bad you can’t see Dean…Wow.” Beth said a few moments after Dean left the room, she was still smiling.

“He is definitely easy on the eyes.” Mom said.

“Mother!” I said out with a smile, slightly embarrassed. “He did smell good. I swear if you are messing with me.”

“Oh no, far from it.” Beth said, as she turned up Jeopardy.

************************************

After Jeopardy finished, Beth won and we were both now tied for game points. Immediately after Wheel of Fortune turned on, a few minutes in Beth was channel searching again once she realized that I couldn’t see the letter placement for the puzzles. We both agreed that we would resume our competition tomorrow.

Swallowing the last bite of a chocolate chip cookie that was my dessert I faced in mom’s general direction, “Mom if you want to go sleep in your bed tonight that’s fine. I’m awake, things will be ok and dad will be here tomorrow.”

“Are you sure? I can stay tonight if you want, I showered so I don’t stink and brought a change of clothes.” Her voice trailed off.

“Mom, go home and relax, I’m sure you need it more than me right now.” I told her. “I’m going to probably sleep in a bit anyway.”

“You sure Hon? I guess I forgot to feed the dog when I was out earlier.” She said, already making another mental list.

“See you need to go feed the dog, I’m sure he misses you if you have been here this whole time.” I said, a yawn escaping.

“Do you want me to help you into a nightgown?” Mom asked me.

“I’m just going to stay in the sweat pants and tee-shirt I think. It’s good to be in familiar clothes that smell like home. Plus you brought my pillow and blanket so I should sleep like I’m dead.” I said, not thinking about what I just said. “Sorry.”

“It’s alright, I’m just happy that you are awake now. I will see you tomorrow. Your father should be here with me. His flight is supposed to be here about eleven in the morning.” Mom said. “I love you.”

“Love you too.” I replied, as she kissed me on the forehead.

Her footsteps left the room and it was just me and Beth, who was still channel surfing. Soon after Dean came in to gather up our dinner trays, the night nurse came in after Dean left to do my eye drops. I laid my head back and closed my eyes. Letting my thoughts drift elsewhere in the darkness.

************************************

I was driving along the freeway into town, snowflakes falling towards the window shield in the dark as if I was traveling through space at warp speed. The lights of the oncoming traffic cut off from me as I entered the off-ramp tunnel to turn into the inner city. I was going too fast. I feathered the breaks and they didn’t work. I slammed the gear shift into a lower gear to try to slow down. I was still sliding down the ramp. I could see a clear pathway in front of me as I went to the merge lane. A horn blared to the right of me and I turned my head to see a stuffed unicorn in the passenger’s seat. Headlights glaring through the window into my eyes. I lifted my arm to brace for the impact.

I jerked awake from my sleep. My breath fast, my body sweaty and legs wrapped up in the blankets. My eyes were open but it was pitch dark. There were hushed sounds coming from the hallway. A dream. But is that how it happened? I still couldn’t remember.

“You okay?” a voice whispered to me.

“Yeah, just a dream.” I said as I rolled over to go back to sleep. I shivered as a cool breeze swept along my arm. I snuggled deeper into my blankets into a dreamless sleep as Beth snored softly.


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Flash Fiction Friday: Serial

Case number 789236 has been assigned to my partner and I. An open murder investigation that has a pattern for a month then switches it’s motive and pattern again the next. We are going on day 76 without catching this serial killer. The only detail linking all of the murders, month after month is the latex gloves and the time another victim is found. Everything else from the victims to the weapons. They all change. I’ve never seen anything like this in my 20 years of detective work. Next week victim 20 will turn up if we can’t find this killer.

After a long day I headed home with a copy of the case file. Heating up a frozen Hungry Man dinner in the microwave and cracking open a can of Bud. I set myself up at the coffee table and set the file down on the glass table. Taking another drink from my can I turned on Hulu to a new show, law and order. Funny how after a day of work and bring my work home I want to even watch these types of shows. I bring up a new sub show of Law and Order, this time Las Vegas.

The microwave beeped three times and I go grab my steak and potatoes frozen dinner. A meal of champions for a bachelor. I hit start on season one, episode one while taking a bite of food. I suck in air as the potato burns my tongue. The intro music starts playing and I open up the case file and sort everything into a pile by category, pictures, reports, and so on. The characters on the screen are introduced in their office with the usual banter and I focus back to the evidence logs and begin to reread. I liked to work to background noise.

A gunshot sounds from the tv and I look up. The killer on the tv had gone up behind the blind old man with his service dog walking home on a street that was poorly lit. His bag of groceries falling to the pavement while the dog barked at the killer. The dog stayed faithful to his deceased owner and the killer got away.

My hand stopped feeding my face. I dropped my fork onto the dinner tray and I wiped my hands on my pants. I shuffled through my victim pile of papers. I found the picture of my killers first victim. Blind elderly man, glasses, dentures, brown eyes. Within his wallet was certification for his service dog, a border collie named Hank. The next three victims were also blind elderly males with guide dogs.

I put down the reports back into its correct pile and finished my food while the episode kept playing. They found the bad guy, tried him, and he went away. Episode two began playing and I scarfed down the rest of my now cold meal and helped it down with the rest of my beer.

This episode began with a young nanny taking her boss’s kids to the park. The kids play and the screen cuts to the kids when they come back to the bench where their nanny had been sitting. She is gone. A few scenes later the detectives get a call about a blonde woman in her twenties with her throat slit who is found at the same park she went missing from at two in the morning.

I paused the show and grabbed the files of victims five through eight.

“Son of a bitch.” I said out loud in the quiet of the night. This killer does have a pattern. “He likes Law and Order Las Vegas.”


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Book Review: A Rock ‘N’ Roll Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson 

Before we get into the SPOILER FREE review here the details of “A Rock ‘N’Roll Lovestyle”:

 

A Rock'n'Roll Lovestyle ebook hi-quality

Title: A Rock ‘N’ Roll Lovestyle

Author: Kiltie Jackson

Genre: Chick-Lit, Romance

Publication Date:

September 23, 2017

Available in eBook (315 pages) and Paperback (486 pages)

Blurb:

So who exactly is Sukie McClaren?

A Christmas-loving Cat lover? A Sound of Music Fanatic? A Fiercely Independent Woman?

She is all of the above. And when she is sent to Salzburg for a business trip a few weeks before Christmas, she thinks all her dreams have come true. As she packs her suitcase, the only things on her mind are Christmas markets, lots of snow and finally seeing the Doh-Ray-Me steps. Becoming the new best friend of the world’s hottest rock-star doesn’t even get a look in.

Pete Wallace is a reclusive, reluctant, rock-star and the world’s Number One, best-selling, male solo artist. It’s been three years since his last tour and he’s now preparing to go back on the road again. A week in Salzburg, schmoozing with the music press, is one of his worst nightmares.

He can’t wait for it to be over.

When Pete and Sukie meet, it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Lonely for too long, he begins to remember how it feels to be happy and, for the first time in six years, Christmas feels special again.

Eduardo di Santo however, whose kid sister suffered life-changing injuries at a Pete Wallace concert, is all set on getting revenge. When Pete’s new tour is announced, he begins to make his plans. Plans that will culminate in Pete’s demise.

Will Pete and Sukie’s new friendship die before it has a chance to flourish?

 

Review: 

Wow! I don’t usually go for these kinds of books as it is outside of my usual reading genre. I’m so glad I did and felt like I was in good hands for my first Chick-Lit book! This debut novel is a page turner that I didn’t want to put down. I found myself smiling and giggling at parts. But, I also found myself scowling at parts when certain characters were doing their crazy things. This is definitely not one of the typical Christmas novels that I could usually predict, had me guessing right up until the end.

The characterization in the debut makes me wish all authors would make their characters this real, as if I could pass them on the street. I love the relationship Sukie and Pete have and makes me want Sukie to be my friend. This novel has extra bit of drama added in from a character named Eduardo that I almost regret feeling sorry for.

I also found myself immersed in the book’s environment as I tagged along for the journey from Saltzburg to Italy and places between. I will have to admit I was feeling like a Grinch this year, but the landscape of Saltzburg described during Christmas time is making me want to start decorating and setting up a little Christmas village scene. There were many different times I was thinking, “OOOOOO, I want to visit this place!” So now, thanks to this book I have added a few more places to my travel list.

So now I have a massive book hangover and cannot wait for book two from Kiltie Jackson. Once book two comes along I will be collecting these in paperback.

 

About the Author: 

Head Shot Piccie Kiltie Jackson

Kiltie grew up in Scotland, Glasgow to be precise. A very unique city with a very unique way of looking at life. When she was old enough to do so, she moved to London and then,  after several years of obtaining interesting experiences -which are finding their way into her writing – she moved up to the Midlands.

She currently lives in Staffordshire with five cats and one husband. The cats kindly allow her and her husband to share their house on the condition they keeps paying the mortgage! Her little home is known as Moggy Towers, even though despite having plenty of moggies, there are no towers!

She loves reading, watching movies, and visiting old castles. She really dislikes going to the gym!

Her biggest desire is that one day she can give up the day job and write her stories for a living.

Kiltie first began writing ‘A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle’ over ten years ago. The project was shelved on Chapter Seventeen as she felt the story wasn’t flowing as she would like it to. In her own words “The images in my head would not come out of my fingers!”

Fast forward to November 2016 when, having finished reading  Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow,  she read more about the author and was inspired with how Christie herself came to be a best-selling author.

In that thunderbolt moment, Kiltie knew – with a deep certainty- that she needed to reacquaint herself with ‘A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle’ and begin writing again. She did this in January 2017 and found the words flowed faster than she could type them. Finally, the time was right for her to write her novel.

Her determination to finish what she had started all those years ago was absolute and the first draft was completed on Sunday 16th April 2017.

Since beginning to write again, the ideas have not stopped flowing.  She has begun typing up her second book, ‘Of All the Unlikely Places’, and book three (not yet titled) has been worked out and is waiting in the wings for its turn in the spotlight. She currently has a further ten plots and ideas stored in her file (it’s costing a fortune in USB drives as each story has its own memory stick!) and the ideas still keep on coming.

She now lives her life around the following three quotes:

“I love having weird dreams, they’re great fodder for book plots!”

“Why wait for your ship to come in when you can swim out to meet it?”

“Old enough to know better, young enough not to care!”

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