Tag Archives: suspense

Book Tuesday

before-he-seesHello, welcome to Book Tuesday.

This week I have read a rather interesting crime thriller called Before He Sees (A Mackenzie White Mystery – book 2) by Blake Pierce.

Mackenzie White is young police detective pulled from the backwaters of Nebraska and recruited to Quantico as an FBI rookie agent. Already a promising student, she is chosen to assist in a series of murders that have the FBI chasing their tales. The pressure to prove just how good she is mounts as another body is found and the powers that be who have given her the opportunity have set a deadline for her to solve the case or lose her job and career as an agent. Flashbacks of Mackenzie’s own troubled past mixed with previous experience from solving the Scarecrow Killer murders, which bear a similarity to the case she is helping solve, puts her in a precarious position. With no-one to turn to or share the burden of responsibility, she is pushed beyond her limits, testing her capabilities as a true detective and agent.

When she is pulled off the case and returned to the status of rookie agent, her own perseverance in cracking the case pushes the powers that be to give her a second chance, but their own stubborn arrogance forces her to take drastic measures which put her in danger.

This was a great thriller and I enjoyed the momentum of riding along with the main character as she pushed her way through a world of dominant characters bent on proving they are right! Though the end was predictable, I still enjoyed the thrill of the story unfolding and would recommend this book to readers who want a light crime thriller.

There are two more books in the Mackenzie White series and I look forward to reading them. If you would like to read Before He Sees, click on the pic below to order your copy.

As always, please leave a review for the author. It’s a great way for other readers to gauge the books. Thanks.




Here is a little taster of what I’ve been writing for the past month. It’s still in its rough draft format, so apologies for any grammar goblins or typos rearing their ugly heads.

The story is called, There’s Something About Harry, and it follows the story of a woman who has had a pretty rough life. She’s in a relationship with a man who has the power to make her life hell or heaven and after a terrible accident, is left alone to survive the cruel world. The hero who saves her from the accident sticks around long enough to fall in love with her which opens a snake’s nest of problems for a woman who is scared of her own shadow. Whether she is strong enough to choose him is the question, with the safety of her past drawing her back to a life in a bubble where she is a prisoner but also safe from the world.  Who does she choose?

There’s Something About Harry

Seb drew her away from him, staring into her upturned face. “Harry, what are we doing here? God knows I keep asking myself that question every time I enter this hospital,” he confessed.
Her silent stare didn’t help. He needed to know how she felt. Life had become a misery, obsessing over a woman that belonged to someone else. Was all this a lie? Did she feel nothing for him, but couldn’t say anything because he constantly bombarded her with his presence? Could she possibly feel the attraction he felt towards her? He needed to know.
“You have to let me know – what are we doing here, Harriet?”
She smiled, reaching up to touch his hair, his cheek, his lips. “I don’t know, Seb, but I don’t want it to stop.”
That was enough for him. He closed the distance between them and kissed her, long and deep. The longing inside him flared to life, drowning out his voice of sanity shouting, think Seb, think! She belongs to another!
Across the hospital, three men in scruffy overalls and work boots crossed the open area to the nurses station in front of the Women’s Ward.
“We are here to visit Harriet Fielding, please.”
The nurse behind the counter smiled and pointed to the open door behind them. “She’s right through there. I think she has a visitor at the moment, but you’re welcome to pop in as there aren’t any other patients in at the moment. I’m sure she will be happy to see more friends as she’s only had one visitor these past few months.”
The men shared a look between them and the older, more weathered one asked, “D’ya mind me asking who has been so kind as to visit her? You see, we are close family friends and we only found out that she ‘n Joe had been in an accident. It was such a shock, we came ri’ over.”
The nurse felt sorry for the three. They looked so tired. “Oh, it’s the gentlemen that saved them both – Detective Inspector Sebastian Turner from the Rembrant Police Department.”
The shock on the three men’s faces made her laugh out loud. “I know, it’s crazy, right? But he has been such a hero and absolute angel to her and her husband. We are glad to know him.”
“Of course. We need to thank him, personal like for tha’,” agreed the older man. The other two nodded in unison. Their bodies were already turning towards the open door across the station. “Well, we’ll go and say hello now. Thank you, miss!” The old man turned and escorted the two younger men towards the Women’s Ward, closing in on the welcoming door.
Sebastian held Harriet close to him, whispering sweet endearments to her as he ran his hand through her hair. She sat up in her bed, head leaning against his hard chest, enjoying the feeling of his heartbeat under her fingers and the timbre tones of his voice reverberating through his chest. His back was towards the door and he didn’t notice the three men enter the ward. They advanced quietly on the couple, looking at each other with questioning glances as they came closer and closer to the couple at the end of the room.
“Ahem! We’re lookin’ for Harry Fielding. Could you help us?”
The couple jumped, Sebastian turning to see who had addressed them. Harriet’s faced dropped at the sight of the three men, their outfits very familiar. They were dressed exactly as Joe had, every day for work. These must be his workmates. The blood drained from her face as her hands dove under the covers, as far away from Seb as possible. He frowned, looking down at her to see what was wrong. Her face said it all. Without a word, he released her from his embrace and felt her move away, scooting to the middle of bed, adrift in the white coverlet and sheets.
“And you are?” he asked, stretching up to his full height and puffing out his chest.
The three sized him up and jagged smiles pulled their worn faces into grimacing smiles. “We are her husband’s closest friends. You must be the hero!”
Sebastian blanched. There was no turning back now.

Writing: There’s Something About Harry

Being the month of writing and completing stories, I thought I’d get out a little post about my new story. So far, I’ve managed to record a car accident, introduce my main characters (MCs) with a dormant character waiting to throw a spanner in the works, create a love interest, formalise a back story for the MCs and move the story to a hospital.

Now all I need is time to get a catalyst brewing for the love triangle, mixed in the secrets and add a sprinkle of lies! 

Cooking up a great story takes time and effort, which is in short supply. So, with that in mind, this will have to be a first draft. If I wanted to challenge myself and get more grey hairs, I would declare that I could have this juicy story ready by Christmas. But that would just be silly…utterly ridiculous.

Or would it?

Watch this space!

Spoilt Miranda is listed!

IMG_3720Imagine my excitement when I discovered that Waterstones booksellers are listing my book on their website under the teenage/children’s section.  Now, for those authors who have found their perfect market niche, this might seem as interesting as finding moss on a rock; for me, it’s huge! Here is why…

I have been writing books for quite a few years now and the struggle to become a recognised independent author is an endless one. There are many helpful sites out there giving their winning solutions on how to become a success and, after following a few, I decided to walk my own mixed and matched path.

Working alongside my fellow author friends, I have tried to get my books listed on as many recognised bookseller sites for ease of purchase for readers and to have a stronger following of core readers.  The wait for a response can be very lengthy and there are no guarantees booksellers will keep you listed.  All you can hope for is that your book will turn up in their search results, which Spoilt Miranda did to my utter delight!

I am now going on the hunt to see if other sellers have taken up the title and I hope Cecil The Bully will follow suit.

Due to my own incompetence, I have missed the opportunity to market the hell out of my new crime thriller, The Iron Pendulum, and even though my subscription numbers have increased, no-one has posted a review for the book.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed this hint will encourage you all to leave a review as this will help boost the book up the listings.  I’ll even throw in a pretty please with sugar on top!

Apart from that, things have slowed down a little on the writing front.  I have a little story that I’m playing around with at the moment, for the early years readers.  If the illustrations survive the cut, I shall post a little sample for you to see in the next few weeks.  Let me know what you think when you see them.

Right, I’m off to scan the book sites for my books.  If you find a random place where you buy books and my name happens to pop up in your search, I would love to hear from you.  Thanks in advance.

By the way, in case you didn’t know it, I missed you all and hope to be back to my regular blogs in the near future.

Speak to you soon!

Book Tuesday: Trent’s World

Hello and welcome to Book Tuesday.

Weekly Smile #WeeklySmileThis week we are digging deep into a fellow blogger’s writing files and picking out wonderful stories that he has written over the past few years.  Trent from Trentsworld has been an inspiration to us all, creating his Weekly Smile to boost positive, humorous stories into our weekly digests. I have to add, his blog is a reason to make me smile every week.  With his constant support for 1000Voices, he tirelessly finds ways to post positive thoughts and words that motivate others to smile and feel happy.

Trent has been writing for many years and has a collection of stories for our delectable delight.  He has a few words to describe himself…

Although I often portray myself as a man of all arts, when you get right down to it I’m a writer of fiction. My character driven stories often have a bit of the fantastic to them and sometimes can be considered fantasy or science fiction. I’ll let you be the judge on how to classify them. 

Now, because I don’t want to drag you away from his actual blog page and I would encourage you to explore his work,  listed below will be a few links for stories from his page. Take your pick – they are all excellent.  I hope you enjoy them as much please, give Trent a lovely surprise and leave a message for him to let him know what an awesome writer/blogger/musician he is!

The Halley Branch

The Hamlet Symphny - Alt Image

It started as a dream.  It was strange and vague, as dreams often are, but I knew I had to use it for a story.  I wrote out the scene, changed from the dream, but realized it had to be part of a longer story.

That is how the Halley Branch started.

Fiction (No Discription)


(Note – This has the same content as the main fiction page but there are no descriptions for the main stories.)


A New Life
A series of tongue in cheek stories about a poor, misunderstood creature. Most of these stories are all 750 words or less.

Please refer to the  “A New Life – AKA Frank” Page

I hope you give Trent’s blog a thorough read and find all the gems hidden within.  Let me know which story or blog is your favourite and don’t forget to let Trent know too!

Join me again next week when I will find an interesting book, blog or author to feature on Book Tuesday.  Thanks for joining me today.  Have a great evening.

Book Tuesday

Come in! I’ve boiled the kettle and a fresh chocolate cake has been baked in your honour. Feel free to sit anywhere and let’s begin.

Tonight, we will be discussing a book I read quite a few years ago called Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz.


In the winter of 1919, a young mother named Mathilda Neumann drowns beneath the ice of a rural Wisconsin lake. The shock of her death dramatically changes the lives of her daughter, troubled sister, and husband. . . . Told in the voices of several of the main characters and skipping back and forth in time, the narrative gradually and tantalizingly reveals the dark family secrets and the unsettling discoveries that lead to the truth of what actually happened the night of the drowning. . . .

Now, to be honest, I was struggling to find a book to discuss at today’s meet, mainly because I have been focusing on writing a short novella for my subscribers to Hot Shot Updates.  It’s the freebie I plan on giving to them with this month’s newsletter.  So, while I was sitting here, trying to scratch my brain to think of an interesting book, I caught sight of Drowning Ruth on my bookshelf and remembered how good it was.

At first, I found it a bit odd, and had to get into the rhythm of the various voices telling the story from their points of view.  The way it was written is fantastic, and similar to my preferred style of writing.  Slipping backwards and forwards in time is always fun and the way the author kept a tight grip on the story-line, giving the reader an enjoyable ride into a suspense-filled story about a little girl and her troubled family.

The relationships between main characters bring a tear to my eye when I think of them as they evoke such an honest, plain look at human behaviour that is real and apparent in everyday life. The yearning of Ruth to be loved, the little girl lost in the middle of this beautiful, twisted story,  is very apparent in the whole plot.  The author has a powerful way of depicting her characters with dark souls and secrets, hidden away behind a facade of good behaviour and morality.  Of course, this slowly scrapes away as the history of the people in this small town in Wisconsin unravels, exposing skeletons and the mystery of the death of Mathilda, Ruth’s mother.

If you like a good suspense and a challenge when it comes to following a string of main characters,then this is the book for you.


Thanks for joining me for another Book Tuesday.  I’ll see you again, next week.

Have a great evening.



Monday Coffee

Wow!  What a busy night.  Thanks for coming to join me at home.  We have had a hectic schedule with prospective buyers breezing in and out for the past couple of hours.  Needless to say, I was like a mini-Hitler, threatening my children in case they mis-behaved or messed the house in between viewings.

As a reward, I shared a Youtube video with them just before bedtime.  It’s a lovely, informative video about things I fear most…a spider.  I stumbled upon the link whilst looking at houses (don’t ask me how!) and couldn’t stop watching.  The following video might make some of you want to jump and hide behind the sofa, so I shall hold your tea cup whilst you watch it.  Help yourself to a biscuit and click on the link below.

Would you like your teacup back or do you need something stronger after that?  My favourite line is, “Hi baby, did you crawl on my face?”


Well, as you can imagine, my children were very impressed with my vidIMG_2713eo choice and decided to make bedtime interesting.  Hugs and kisses were given and as I tucked them in, my youngest whispered, “I’ve left you a surprise under your pillow!”  Now, in my house, if someone says that to you, check your pillow with very tentative hands!  Can you guess what was hidden under my pillow? This lovely plastic scorpion.  Thanks kids!

Thank goodness all the excitement is over.  We would have been searching the sofa for more ‘suprises’ if they weren’t fast asleep after a very long day.  By the way, check the bottom of your teacup for a surprise.  *grin*

Apart from the shenanigans of cleaning, screaming, cleaning and prepping the house, I’ve been busy editing my friend Lance’s new novel debuting on the 28th of January on Amazon.  Knitting Can Walk is a fascinating story about a young man’s adventures in Hong Kong and the most incredible achievement of his life.  The stories have a hint of truth to them as Lance delves into his past for inspiration, embellishing stories to add humour and fantastic adventures for his main character Callum.  Due to a lack of time, the editing might not be completed to our expected high standards, but we are working hard and fast to get the job done.  No pressure.

My book, The Iron Pendulum is going to be debuting soon and I hope to have chosen my beta readers from my Hot Shots mailing list.  It’s rather exciting to have people from all walks of life signing up and I am looking forward to unveiling some lovely freebies for the children’s books later on in the year.  In the meantime, more editing and of course preparing a decent cover is a main priority.  Has the year only begun, because it feels as if half of it has flown by with all that is happening.

Carol, my illustrator, comes up with an inspiration phrase, quote or mantra every year and earlier today, we were discussing what it should be for this year.  After sharing our ambitions for the year and manic schedules, she came up with the new mantra for this year…slow down in order to visualise and speed up. We are so busy rushing around, we forget to slow down to see the big picture.  Sometimes slowing down helps us find faster solutions to our problems/objectives.  I liked it and thought I would share it with you.

Right, fancy another cup?  I’ll boil the kettle again.






Book Tuesday: The Knotshop Man

Welcome to Book Tuesday.

Today I have the pleasure of featuring a rather strange but enticing set of books called The Knot-Shop Man by David Whiteland. Now this beautiful set was given to my son as a birthday gift a few years ago. We were enthralled with the detailing on the cover and the way the books were tied together with a rope, using a special knot. It’s not everyday you get to see such personalisation of books. Later, I found out that this bundle was created for its 10th anniversary by the author and publisher, David Whiteland. It sets the bar very high in terms of self-published books!

The Knot-Shop Man is a set of four books, each describing one child’s journey to tie a knot of fate. Written for smart children or thoughtful adults, it’s a story-knot of adventures told with the lyricism of a folk song and the matter-of-factness of a book of knots. Like all good folk stories or fairy tales, things are simple on the surface but, if you scratch deeper, complexity bleeds through.

There is no right or wrong order for these books. Water, Earth, Fire and Air: each story sends us on an adventure to find the fates tied to the visitors of the Knot Shop and under the Knot-Shop’s man’s tutelage, they endeavour to follow their own destinies and unravel their futures.

waterThe Knot Shop rarely has any customers. A knot isn’t something most people (that is, most grown-ups) think they need to buy.
But if you’re a bright, perceptive kind of child, and if you’re in difficulty — maybe you need to find your sister after she has been abducted by pirates, or perhaps you want to seal a reckless promise a prince once made to you — then you’ll know that the knot-shop man can help. He can tie laces or parcels, he can play cat’s cradle or untangle your knotted kite strings . . . and, best of all, he knows how to tie the knots of fate.

Imagine a world where everything was tied to a fate or separated from it. Two dragons are in charge of keeping the fates in order, but, as with life, disorder tends to creep in. Now imagine trying to sort out these elemental knots and ensure they are attached in the right order. What could possibly happen when things go wrong?

I have to share an excerpt from the book of Water. It might not make complete sense, yet to some, it might be completely sensible. I will let you be the judge…

fire and air“There’s a myth – it’s an old myth and I for one don’t believe a word of it – that when the World was started, everything was either tied to a fate or separated from it. But there was one thing, just one thing, that was neither tied nor untied. In the end it came down to two dragons – the only two who knew the elemental knots – to try to sort it out. But the knots always slipped and tangled. The one dragon could not fully join this thing to anything else, nor could the other properly separate it. It defeated them both, and so the Neither-Nor came to be discovered: the one thing in the world that can be neither one way nor the other. The Neither-Nor: the one thing that even the cleverest of people can’t be certain about, and the stupidest of people can be right in not understanding, one way or the other. The Neither-Nor: the one thing that can’t be, and is.”

David Whiteland says these books are for clever children. I challenge adults to read them and find fault! The stories require you to extend your imagination, peruse the nearly impossible and enjoy the ride as each character enters a world that cannot be seen.

Links to his site can be found below.


To purchase your copies of The Knot-Shop Man, click on the link below


A Passionate Spirit Hot Off the Press

SC Skillman Author

I was excited today to receive a delivery of 50 copies of my new novel “A Passionate Spirit”.

"A Passionate Spirit" by SC Skillman “A Passionate Spirit” by SC Skillman

Although I’ve seen and approved the cover design and read through the typeset proofs several times, nevertheless, to hold the freshly-printed book is a thrilling moment, worthy of celebration. At last it’s a reality!

Now I can offer signed copies for sale via my website. Publication date is 28th November, when the novel will be available to buy through all online retailers, and in bricks-and-mortar bookshops. It can be pre-ordered now from the Troubador website. In addition it will be available as an ebook.

I hope that the bookshops I have visited and many more will stock copies for you to buy.

Maybe one of these bookshops is local to you. Here is  a list of the shops where you should be able to find “A Passionate Spirit”…

View original post 55 more words

Book Tuesday: Author Feature – Sean T. Smith

Sean Smith

I’m a slow writer compared to most of my peers. I’m not sure I could crank out a book in three months, and if I did that it would be unreadable. I know authors who crank out four good books a year. I’ll never have that sort of output.

Hello and welcome to the author feature part of my Book Tuesday blog. My author of choice is Sean Smith, a man who caught my attention with his eloquent writing and fluid prose.

He was describing the process of sunshine patriots by sean smithwriting his books and the fact that he did not publish three of four books a year, as authors seem to do these days.  Instead, he took his time and perfected his work to his satisfaction before releasing them for us to enjoy.
Whether it is in the form of a novella, like the Sunshine Patriots, a part of a series, Sean puts everything into making it a masterpiece!

Wrath Trilogy Sean Smith

From Objects of Wrath: “I had seen Gunny in action, had been trained by him, and knew how quick and deadly he was, but Chilli was an artist in his prime form, painting death with deft strokes. With perfect economy of motion he dispatched a seemingly unending supply of enemies in an unrivaled masterpiece of destruction. I hacked and shot behind him through the smoke, and despite the chaos, I marveled at Chilli’s artwork. His canvas was the battlefield, and he was the Rembrandt of the knife, painting darkness, not light. He was the Picasso of the blade, leaving twisted corpses in his wake, his hands and feet brushes that flicked out almost delicately, precisely, colorfully”

Here is a quote from Sean’s current work in progress:

 Fate of the Fallen…”Religion, Malak reasoned, would be at the heart of it. Money and power led to war between men. Religion could destroy mankind. Sometimes money and power were the religion, the worship of those things, by men who held armies on a leash. The worst of it was when money, power, and religion all combined. At the end of the day, it was always some kind of religion.”
Now for your reading pleasure, below is a short story written by Sean.  It is also featured on his blog, https://seantsmithauthor.wordpress.com/.  
Since it is quite long, I will split it over the next two weeks and as always, please leave feedback.  Thank you.
The ocean this morning is that special blue, deeper than any color can be alone, truer than the sun playing golden on easy waves, warm and inviting. The sweet breeze and the singing feeling in my chest and the taste of salt and life and the way light and shadows dance against a vast horizon are all part of one color.
I am an artist, feeling what I see, seeing what I feel, and right now in this moment I have discovered a new color. Hope.
Standing in the surf, hard packed sand beneath painted toes and wind tossing my long hair, hope embraces me, a brilliant color and emotion I have yearned to find. There is freedom and forgiveness and exhilaration in it, but it is more than those things, for it is akin to explaining the sunrise to a blind woman or the joy and pain of childbirth to a man. There are some things that only make sense with color and context.
Henry launches himself into a wave, laughing and carefree and seven, bursting with light and potential, and I am filled with joy and gratitude as I gaze upon my son, and for a moment a cloud passes overhead and there is regret mingled with wonder at his resilience and my own.
“Momma, did you see that? That wave almost got me. It didn’t though.”
“I saw, honey. You beat that wave.”
“Look out,” he shouts, grinning with his hands in the air. “Here comes a big one. Get ready.”
Yeah. I know about that.
Behind us, the castle surrenders to the water, walls sliding into the sea, a work of art doomed to memory from its inception because it was built in the only place it could have been with the materials at hand: Hope and love and sand.
I saw something in him when I first laid eyes on him, and part of me still wonders about that. Doubts my sanity. That’s a man, I thought. Tall and handsome and cocky, a guitar on his back and a searching kind of loneliness in his eyes at the same time. A road trip with some girlfriends to Panama city with a detour to Nashville cast ripples I never could have imagined. Probably we should have gone to the beach.
I’m from a little shit-hole southern town where everybody knows everybody, even though they never really do. They think they do, and make up lies to fill in the blanks. Don’t get me started. That’s a whole separate ball of wax. It’s part of it, though. Part of why I stayed when I should have left after things went like they did. There is hope now, and for me back then in those hard years between the folds, I saw hope in that guy with a guitar and wounded eyes and silver words.
You work with what you’ve got, and sometimes it’s sand. You build where you can, and if it’s the damn beach, then that’s better for the moment than anywhere else if that’s the only place you think you can build.
Worse, if that’s where you want to make something lasting even though you know better, because there is that thing that you can’t explain to anyone with a brain, including yourself. That love and passion and color and self-delusion wrapping around each other in a heady mix of blue sky and Cinderella and faith and kisses.
There are hotel rooms where people to this day cannot go because of us. We f***ed like wild animals and it was glorious, mattresses askew and cushions on the floor and people calling the front desk. It was like that; that was the good part, the beginning, that thing that was real in its own way but painfully elusive in the life I eventually lived. The life we lived for a damn decade.
I wasn’t happy where I was when I met him, raging against the small town and small minds and big egos, and there was this huge man with song and gentle touch. A caress and a look around the eyes that unlocked parts of me I didn’t want to face, but which ignited a tingle and desire and a longing for something I’d almost given up on believing could be real. I wanted to believe. I truly did. I was divorced, he was divorced. I had a boyfriend, he had a girlfriend. We lived 550 miles apart…here we go.
I should go back and slap myself upside the head, but it’s a little late for that. I try to tell my daughters not to make the same mistakes I did, and I pray they hear my plea. They likely haven’t learned the things I wished they would, the right lessons that could have been lived and not said, and it makes me sad still.
That son of a b***h. The man I loved destroyed me and he hurt everyone I loved. There was darkness in me and surrender because I didn’t see anything else.
I am better than that. I remain undefeated, and with the sky true and the ocean sweet, I feel it. He was my enemy, implacable in the way of the tide claiming a castle built upon the sand. He did what he did, hurting and acting and reacting. Hurting me. Harming our family. The tide has no choice, serving the moon, but he made choices the ocean never has. Later, I made choices too. I don’t have many regrets. He can keep those.
The bitterness in my heart devoured me, and that I lay at his feet. That he fell in love with me for a second time when I wasn’t in love with him doesn’t matter anymore. I’d already moved on before I moved on, he just didn’t see it. Truth is often painful but always worth the price, even when it’s paid in heartache…to be continued.
Don’t forget to show Sean some appreciation by leaving feedback or buying one of his books!
Please click on the link below to visit his author page on Amazon. 
Thanks for reading.