Support

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It doesn’t matter how strong you are, how resilient you are or how determined you are, there are times when you need an arm around your shoulders or a pat on the back.

My subject today is just that…lending support to others.

Many think they are in competition with others, whether it be authors or music artists. But, the whole truth of the matter is that we are all in this together and when we realize that and offer a helping hand to another, the Universe automatically responds. It is an unspoken and invisible law. That is not to say your motivation for supporting someone else should be for a reward. In fact, quite the opposite. When you give freely of your time, your space, your words and your energy with no expectations of a return is when you absolutely get the most.

Here’s a good example. My late husband and I had an antique and collectibles store in the small town of Coleman, Tx.

Sat Store

The opportunity arose for us to purchase the property across the street, so we did. Then, we rented the building to a lady and her mother who wanted to put in another antique and collectibles store.  Everyone thought we were crazy. Why would we want competition right across the street? Because we knew that if there was more than one store for folks to browse through, they’d more likely make the drive from the bigger cities to an out-of-the-way place. And it worked.

That was a lesson in support and networking that I never forgot.

I spend a good deal of my blogging time and space supporting other authors and music artists. And, I enjoy it. I love helping spread the word about a new book release, or a new music CD. I like to post reviews for books that capture my attention. Sharing new discoveries with everyone who follows my blog makes my heart sing.

I find a lot of this same support within the blogging community and I want to take this opportunity to say thank you!

Also, I belong to an organization of authors who offers support on so many different levels. The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB not only helps spread the word about you and your books but becomes more like family and lifts you up through difficult times such illness or deaths. I have never found an organization quite like this one. Lasting friendships have formed around the globe and many members of this book club have read and reviewed my books. I can’t remember who first told me about this organization, but to whoever it was, I am forever grateful.

If you are looking for a kind of uplifting support you can’t get anywhere else, I suggest you take a peek. If you think it is a fit for you, join us! I’d be thrilled to help support you and your books.

in giving

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Forbidden Love – Nonnie Jules #RRBC #RWISA

5-star-review

In my opinion, these two books go hand-in-hand and there is no way to separate them.

If Only There WAs Music              And the music played

“IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC – THE POETRY OF FORBIDDEN LOVE” BY NONNIE JULES AND GIANI JORDAN

BLURB:

This is a book of poetry for and about forbidden love. These poems are sexy, sensuous and hot, but most of all, they are poems of love… and the feelings they arouse in you are unbelievable! They “feel” like love songs and you will “feel” like singing, but they are only spoken words coming from your mouth, without music. If you aren’t in love before you begin reading this book, you will go seeking a love afterward.

MY 5 STAR REVIEW:

This book of poetry is unique, not only because of the authors and the way they collaborated to write these poems but also because of the subject matter ― Forbidden Love.

The emotion, longing and unbridled passion are expressed exquisitely. Divided into two sections, the book explores two points of view. The first is a compilation of poems written by Nonnie Jules. She approaches the subject of forbidden love through the eyes of the woman who is the object of Giani Jordan’s affection. The second part of the book is told through his eyes. The poems are raw and honest emotion felt by both as they take us, the readers, through a myriad of regrets and guilt to longing so intense it causes physical pain. What can two people do who fall in love, yet are committed to others?

In my opinion, the authors work through to a climactic solution and conclusion from one poem to the next. I felt as though I was watching two people waltzing across a dance floor or observing a well-executed opera. Each poem stands alone yet blends with perfection into the next. This is a beautiful book from cover to cover, and it is an absolute must that you take time to read about how the collaboration of these two authors came about.

“…AND THE MUSIC PLAYED” SHORT STORY BY NONNIE JULES

BLURB:

This book is the sequel and the final chapter in the love story between Giani and Christine. The first book, “IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC…The Poetry of Forbidden Love” (a co-authored project), was a love story told thru the eyes of two lovers…but written for the hearts of many.

Across oceans and thru many barriers, two hearts try to connect – but with the distance between them, will their love survive? And, with the forces-that-be against them coming in the form of murder plots and domestic abuse, the bigger question is…will they?

MY 5 STAR REVIEW:

I read this short story before I read the prequel to it, “If Only There Was Music – The Poetry of Forbidden Love.” And, because of the way this story affected me, I had to immediately go and read the book of poetry that inspired this short story. When Giani Jordan falls in love with beautiful Christine who lives halfway around the globe, he struggles with guilt. He is married. She is married. But, their love is so strong, so intense neither of them can deny it. So, when Giani walks into his house after making a trip to Italy to see Christine and hears his wife, Lena, making love to another man, he makes an easy decision. Divorce is the only answer. But, Lena’s greed takes over. After all, how can she be expected to live on a measly one million a year? When she recruits her ex-con boyfriend to kill Giani, she is smug and confident all the wealth soon be hers. But, justice is sweet. I won’t spoil the story by telling you what happens, but I couldn’t put this book down. I had to know who would triumph. If you love a satisfying short story filled with intense drama and emotion, you’ll love this one.

FOR MORE BOOKS BY NONNIE JULES, CLICK HERE

Nonnie Jules is the President and founder of THE RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and THE RAVE WRITERS’ INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS.  Both are International Organizations that provide support to and guidance for authors who want to get more reviews for their books and find new readers. But, there is a kicker. You have to give to get. You can read all about it here: https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/

 

#RRBC Writers’ Conference & Book Expo REGISTRATION OPEN

The annual RRBC Writers’ Conference and Book Expo is open for registration. via REGISTER NOW! #RRBC #WCBE 

If you are an Indie Author or a Traditionally Published Author, a blogger, a reader or an aspiring writer, you will gain invaluable information by attending this Virtual Conference.

AND, you can attend in your favorite pajamas as you never leave your home. No expensive hotel bills or meals. Just a plethora of great information, ideas, and writing tips. The added bonus is getting to discover new authors! So, register today!

Register for the 3rd Annual RRBC Writers’ Conference & Book Expo

#RWISA Rising Writer, D.L. Finn

Each month at RAVE WRITERS INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA)  a Rising Writer is recognized.

Congratulations to November’s Rising Writer, Author, D.L. Finn!

She has written children’s books, poetry, a memoir and now a paranormal romance.

Check out a one minute video clip showcasing her work HERE

D.L. Finn is an independent California local that encourages everyone to embrace their inner child.

She shares that she has always best expressed herself in the written word. She explores what is going on inside herself and her characters–how things aren’t always what they seem. She learned that lesson a long time ago with a difficult childhood. She applies this to her work. She believes a message of courage, hope, and wonder is needed in a world where there seems to be less acceptance of it; when it’s easier to embrace fear, hate, and anger, instead.

Her latest book, “This Second Chance” is proof of how diverse D.L. Finn is as an author.

The 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?

This Second Chance eBook Cover

Take a peek at ALL of D.L. Finn’s Books on Amazon!

Follow D.L. Finn

Twitter:  @dlfinnauthor

 

#RWISA RISING WRITER – MICHELLE ABBOTT

RWISA is short for the RAVE WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS.

This is an elite group of authors founded by Nonnie Jules for the sole purpose of introducing the literary world to some of the top INDIE Authors!  These writers are consummate Professionals, dedicated, committed and driven to continually excel at producing the best-written works possible.

Each month a RISING WRITER is featured.

Michelle Abbott was chosen as the Rising Writer for October and I am honored to introduce her and her outstanding work.

Please visit the Rising Writer page on the RWISA site for a sample of her unique writing style.

For this blog, I want to revisit my review of a book by Michelle I read last year, JEM.

jem

on September 12, 2016
The scars of abuse run deep from childhood into adulthood. Jem has those deep scars that he struggles to hide behind fierce anger, violence, and brute strength. Never again would he take any abuse from anyone.
He’s had one true friend in life, Devon, whom he called ‘Angel’. She held him and comforted him when he cried or was afraid. She was four years his senior and to a four-year-old who knew nothing but abuse, she was truly that angel.
When he was fourteen years old, he had a red-headed angel tattooed on his arm to always remember her by.
How could he know she would show up in the oceanside town where he lived? And what a disappointment that she didn’t recognize him? In fact, she seemed afraid of the violence she saw him administer. But, somehow he knew that his angel would eventually recognize and love him again.
This is a romance of the deepest kind – from childhood into adulthood. When Devon, Jem’s angel, shows up in the town where he lives, running from an abusive boyfriend, fate had to throw them together. Both are broken in their own ways and desperately need each other without knowing it.
I loved this story and couldn’t stop reading until I reached the end. I couldn’t wait to turn the next page to see what happened next. Of course, I knew they would eventually wind up together, sharing the same love they’d shared as children, but the plot twists along the way kept me reading. This is a great love story from Michelle Abbott and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a character-driven story.
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Please take time to visit Michelle’s Author Page and show your support!  
Visit Michelle’s blog
Find her on Twitter
Find her on Facebook
Find her on Pinterest

Sweet Temptation – Sarah Stuart #BookReview

5 star

Sweet Temptation

THE BLURB:

Evie Taylor is a career girl with no time for men, but she has a secret passion for Michael Marsh, the unattainable world-famous singer, The Diamond Superstar. Michael has been widowed for two years and the young detective who helped close the case on his wife’s murder still haunts his dreams. He doesn’t expect to find a deadly enemy in Evie’s mother.

Teenage Greta, jealous of her adored father paying attention to Evie, makes a dangerous contact in an Internet chatroom. The Spy, a journalist hell-bent on destroying Michael, sets out to prove he has an incestuous relationship with his eldest daughter, he encourages his adult twins to sleep together, and he is responsible for appalling injuries inflicted on Greta.

Can Evie defeat the virus intent on her death, The Spy, and her mother, to win the heart of the man who’s turned her life upside-down?

MY REVIEW:

I have read all the books in Sarah Stuart’s Royal Command Series, and until I read Sweet Temptation, my favorite of the series was the first book, Dangerous Liaisons.

Michael Marsh, the Diamond Superstar has millions of fans across the globe, but he’s lonely. When his wife, Lizzie, was murdered in front of him, his world shattered. He didn’t believe he could ever love again. That is until detective Evie Taylor, walked into his office. Thirty years his junior, it is a relationship destined to failure from the start. She’s been a fan and star struck by him since she was a teenager. So, when he asks her to move into Mere House with him, she’s ecstatic, but disillusioned when she is never invited to share his bed. She falls gravely ill and lies at death’s door in the hospital for months. That is when Michael realizes he cannot live without her. A hasty marriage in the hospital puts a diamond ring on her finger, but still she is riddled with doubt. How can Michael love her when she is so near death and disgustingly thin? The many skeletons in Michael Marsh’s closet come out and with the help of Evie’s evil and jealous mother, she is convinced the marriage is only a farce and meant to take the heat off Michael when The Spy reports damaging lies about incest and physical abuse in the tabloids. Add Michael’s teenage daughter, Greta, into the mix and the plot thickens. Greta allows herself to become a victim of a sex trafficking ring when she turns to a chat room to ease her own loneliness. She is jealous of Evie and the hours Michal spends at the hospital and convinces herself that her family doesn’t love her. The author did a superb job of getting inside the mind of a typical teenager. But, the danger is real and if not for Greta’s fierce determination, she would have been another statistic.

One of the reasons I loved this story so much is that Michael Marsh redeemed himself. By that I mean, that he had to, for once in his life, think of someone other than himself. The hours he spent with no food and no sleep to sit by Evie’s bedside as she battled to live and fight incessant nightmares put him in a different light. It showed a compassionate caring side of the Diamond Superstar that we had not seen in the other books. 

If you love dysfunctional family drama, suspense, and conflict, you are going to love Sweet Temptation. Sarah Stuart did an amazing job with all the characters, delving deep into their psyche. As a last word, I also have to give her kudos for the detailed way she depicted Evie’s nightmares that haunted her as she lay in a coma. Only someone who had experienced these could write about them in such vivid detail.

About The Author:

Sarah Stuart

Sarah Stuart is an award-winning author whose books are based on her show business experience, her concern for animals, the challenges of her Christian faith, and her passions for history and travel.

Sarah’s hope is that readers will enjoy her novels as an escape from reality, but be left understanding that fame and fortune often comes at a high personal cost. Also, an increased perception of the threat to animals: those shot in the name of sport for trophy heads, endangered species, many poached for their fur and ivory, and tragically discarded pets.

Sarah appreciates reviews very much. Readers have already helped endangered species and discarded pets worldwide; she donates 100% of her royalties to help and reviews encourage others to buy and review for this globally worthwhile cause.

Connect with Sarah:

Twitter        Facebook 

THE ROYAL COMMAND SERIES

RC dynasty and dallas quote

 

Circumstances of Childhood by John Howell #RRBC

I am honored and thrilled to help a fellow author launch his newest book, Circumstances of Childhood by John Howell. 

Circumstances of Childhood final front

Available on Kindle

Priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

This is a different story for John. It is in the Family Life genre and tells the story of brotherly love, riches to rags, redemption and a little paranormal thrown in. Normally John writes thrillers but this time he has stepped into a different place. This book was written with love for the story and the hope it will be an enjoyable read.

Here is the blurb:

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of inspiration, riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

Here is an excerpt:

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed as if I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh, my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

Author Bio.

John Howell Headshot

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The latest Circumstances of Childhood a family life story is available as of October 1st, 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books.

 

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

John is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB

 

D.L. Finn – Book Release #RRBC

Author D.L. Finn has spread her literary wings a little further and released a new Paranormal Romance This Second Chance. It is my great pleasure to showcase her new book here today!

This Second Chance eBook Cover

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?

Excerpt:

Prologue

They hovered over the familiar woman in the wedding dress. She looked terrified, and on the day that she should be at her happiest.

“You are getting a chance most do not get. You understand that, right?” Zelina asked.

He meekly nodded at her. Her brown eyes narrowed, piercing his soul. She clearly didn’t like him—not that he blamed her.

“Good. We are clear. You give Rachael her happy ending. Then you can move on and let go of some of that bad you did,” Zelina said, pursing her lips tightly together.

Her pale silver gown flowed around her like an ocean wave ebbing in and out. He never understood how angels’ clothes did that yet, at the same time, kept their form enough to cover them modestly.

“I understand, and I’m grateful I’ve been given this second chance. I won’t let you, or Rachael, down. I’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen,” he replied, more confidently than he felt.

Although it confused him that he was being given this chance, he’d never question this angel. He certainly didn’t deserve it and hadn’t had a moment’s peace since his death. Everything he’d done flashed before him—over and over. He was relieved to have a break from it and a chance to finally do some good, but he was merely a ghost—a soul, or a man without a body. What could he do to take away that expression on Rachael’s face?

“Yes, it is a break from your much-earned reflections.” Zelina crossed her arms, obviously irritated at him.

He felt his face redden as he nodded back at her. In this form, he felt all the physical and emotional reactions he had when he was alive but stronger. He needed to remember that angels always knew what he was thinking. He had no privacy now.

“I had to watch Rachael make some bad mistakes. I will not do this again; this is too important. You must figure out how to fix this and make your atonement. You know the rules. If I see you doing any harm, I will send you back. This is your only chance to do some good. I will be watching if you need some guidance, but I think you will figure it out,” Zelina finished, suddenly seeming taller to him.

Her black hair glowed as she put her hands on her hips with her wings fully extended. He never tired of seeing the shimmering, feathered wings that reminded him of a peacock tail. They were beautiful. Under all that splendor, he knew, there was a ferociousness akin to a bear protecting her young. Rachael was her cub.

When her wings were tucked behind her, unseen, Zelina seemed perfectly ordinary. She could walk among the humans unnoticed. She turned her gaze on him again and scowled. She oversaw people like him—the tough cases. He sighed. Zelina responded to his sigh with a smirk. On Earth that look would have infuriated him, coming from a woman. Now it scared him.

A sudden chill ran through him. “Is someone else here?” he asked.

“It is not a someone; it is more of a thing, and it is what you are up against. It has no conscience, unlike even someone like you; your conscience peeked out after your reign of terror. This thing has no empathy, no love—only hate. I cannot hear what it thinks. It is the purest form of evil and is called an evildwel. This one has consumed its human—even in death. You had one in control of you, but a part of you remained. Death might have saved you, or you might have fought it off someday. I do not know things like that. What I do know is that this evildwel means Rachael harm. Be careful, and do not disappoint me,” Zelina warned, and then she vanished.

In the corner of the room, there was no form for him to make out, only thick, dark mist. Did the evildwel know he was there? He suddenly wished Zelina hadn’t left him. He was afraid, yet he was going to do what Zelina requested—not because he had no choice, but because he had a lot of things to make up for. It was time to get to work.

Chapter 1

Rachael’s detachment from the image in the mirror smoothing the satin, off-white wedding gown puzzled her. After all, this was the same scalloped three-quarter dress, showing off her newly trim waist, that she’d pictured herself in after seeing it on a Bridal magazine cover over twenty years ago. Frowning, Rachael adjusted the tiny yellow roses and baby’s breath in her Gibson-styled, lightened auburn hair with her set of pink, acrylic nails.

“Not bad for age thirty-seven and three kids,” Rachael tried to reassure the pale image in the mirror.

It didn’t work. The urge to rip off the dress and fake nails and make a dash out the back door was even stronger now.

“Why?” Rachael asked the woman staring back at her in the mirror, unaware of her unseen visitors…

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT:

AMAZON

SMASHWORDS 

BARNES & NOBLE

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.

d.l. finn author pic

Check out other books by D.L Finn:      AMAZON

Follow D.L.Finn:    TWITTER      FACEBOOK    WEBSITE

D.L. Finn is also a supportive member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB,

She is also a member of Rave Writers International Society of Writers (RWISA)

Watch #RWISA Write – Author, Marcha Fox

RWISA TOUR (1) (1)  Marcha

As a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, I am thrilled to promote outstanding authors who are also members of the exclusive RAVE Writers International Society of Authors through a blog tour that will run the entire month of August.

Today I introduce to you, Marcha Fox!

Your Wildest Dreams

I inhaled sharply when I recognized the introductory riff wafting from my favorite 80s station as Your Wildest Dreams by the Moody Blues. Even though I had the original 45 RPM record, the album on cassette tape, and more recently, the CD, I kept them safely locked away so I wouldn’t binge on it. Nonetheless, when KPLV, 93.1 FM in Vegas, got around to playing it every few weeks or so, I’d indulge in a break, a delicious reminder of why I was here.

Consumed by ethereal and intimately familiar soundwaves, I got up, closed the blinds, and even though it was unlikely the song’s strains would penetrate my office’s cinder block walls, plugged in my headset so I could crank it up—I mean really up. I melted back into my chair, eyes closed, with what was probably an idiotic smile on my face, savoring each note as the song segued into its lively, 142 BPM tempo. The next three minutes and forty-one seconds, I’d be in heaven.

Even though this song came out eight years after she left, the first time I heard it, back when I was still in college in ’86, I knew two things: One, it would always be “our song”; and Two, I had to find her.

My heart leapt with visions of galaxies beyond, of what might be out there, where she might be. I plunged headlong through space and time, besieged by memories burned into my heart as permanently and painfully as branding was to a newborn calf. Did she remember? Feel the same thing I did? Sense the enchantment of fate-entangled lives?

I memorize pretty easily, which comes in handy, especially with things like the Periodic Table or Maxwell’s equations. And of course, favorite songs. These particular lyrics struck me, hard and personal, from day one, certain it’d been written exclusively for me.

As my eyes teared up, logic intervened and yanked me back to planet Earth.

Grow up, Benson! What are you, a total schmaltz or what?

We were kids, for heaven sakes. A teenage crush. I should’ve gotten over it, but never did. No wonder. Girls like her are rare. One of a kind. She’d already experienced things I never would. Things that were part of my wildest dreams.

The admonition failed, pushed aside by that part of me that felt alive again, jammin’ like a total jerk, mouthing the words as I sang along in my head. It’s not like I’m a teenager anymore, though at the moment I felt like one. No, memories of the heart never die—can’t die, evereven if you try to kill them.

I’d give anything to talk to her. Which of course I have, numerous times over the years, if only in my head. Okay, aloud more often than I care to admit. I could swear it even felt as if she answered a time or two. I suppose that’s how it is with your first love. Or your first kiss, even if it was only a peck on the cheek. It penetrates your soul and stays there forever.

That mid-summer day in ’78 hauling hay was as vivid as yesterday in my mind’s eye. The cloudless sky, sun hot on my neck, the aroma of first-crop alfalfa sweetening the mountain air. I scratched my shoulder, a reflex memory of itchy, stray leaves sticking through my T-shirt. My chest ached as I remembered tear tracks streaking her dust-covered face at something I’d said. Then, days later, that withering look when we lied about her ship.

The one we still have. What’s left of it quietly abandoned beneath a tarp in Building 15, here at Area 51.

How she knew we weren’t telling the truth, I’ll never know. Pretty funny it’s still sitting there. And I’m sure she’d think so, too. I can just hear her saying, “Stupid snurks, I knew they’d never figure it out.” Though actually they did, just didn’t find technology worth pursuing. Even contractors didn’t want it.

I had to admit it was pretty crazy, but she was my motivation to get where I was today: just short of a decade of college linked with serendipity that put me in the right place at the right time, hoping someday I’d find her. My life had changed a lot since then. How much had hers changed? Did she make it home? Was she still alive? With the effects of relativistic travel, which I understood only too well, she could still be a teenager, while I was easing into the infamous dirty thirties.

Not good. If I ever did find her, she’d probably think I was some lecherous old fart. Either that, or, with my luck, she’d be married with a bunch of kids. I winced with the thought.

My sentimental reverie vanished when my office door slammed open and Hector Buckhorn rolled in. Literally. Hec’s been stuck in a wheelchair ever since he crashed his hang glider into a New Mexico mountainside during spring break his last semester of college. He ridge soared a lot, particularly around Dulce, over restricted areas where he wasn’t supposed to be. Got caught a couple times, but being Native American, never got in trouble, even though it wasn’t his home reservation. He’s amazingly good at playing dumb, in spite of—or possibly because of—his 150ish IQ. He never talked about his accident, said he couldn’t remember. Makes sense, actually, given he suffered a massive concussion. The only time I ever saw him pissed him off was when he woke up in the hospital and discovered they’d shaved off his hair, since grown back beyond shoulder length.

I dropped the headset around my neck and faked a frown. “Don’t you ever knock, butthead?”

“Hey, man, wazzup?” he said, giving me a funny look. “You okay?”

I laughed. “Of course. Just thinking. Remembering. You know.”

Ahhh. They played that song again, didn’t they?”

“Can’t hide anything from you, can I, Chief?”

“Nope. I figured you were up to somethin’ with your blinds closed.”

He wheeled over to the grey metal, government-issue table on the other side of the room and helped himself to a handful of peanut M&Ms. Once I’d realized during my PhD days at Cal Tech that, in a pinch, they made a pretty decent meal, I’d kept that old, wide-mouth canning jar full. He dumped them in his mouth, perusing me with knowing, dark eyes.

“You were sure enjoyin’ that song of yours,” he said, not even trying to stifle his crooked grin as he munched away.

“Yeah,” I replied, uncomfortable with the conversation’s direction.

“We’ve known each other a long time, Allen,” he said. “Don’t you think it’s time you told me about her?”

“Not much to tell.”

He let fly with a popular expletive related to bovine excrement. “C’mon! What’s her name?” he persisted.

I blew out my cheeks and sighed, knowing resistance was futile. “Creena,” I answered, surprising myself when, again, I got a little choked up. I avoided his eyes by likewise heading for the M&Ms.

“So find her,” he said.

“It’s not that simple,” I replied, pouring myself a handful. “I don’t know where she is.” A statement that was truer than he could possibly imagine.

“I have some resources who could help,” he offered with a conspiratorial wink.

I shook my head, then stalled by popping a few colorful orbs in my mouth.

“Why not? If she’s anywhere on this planet, these guys’ll find her.”

I swallowed hard and paused; met his gaze. “She’s not.”

He scowled, making him look a lot like those old pictures of Cochise. “Say again?”

“She’s. Not.”

“Oh! I’m sorry.”

“Why?”

He shrugged. “I assumed she’s dead. She must’ve been quite a girl.”

“She was. Is. She’s not dead. At least as far as I know.”

His jaw dropped, shocked expression broadcasting the fact he’d caught the implications. “You’re not kidding, are you?”

“Nope.”

“Abductee?” he whispered.

“Nope,” I answered, raiding the candy jar again. “Immigrant.”

His eyes widened as he spewed an expletive that elevated excrement to sanctified status. “Don’t tell me she’s an EBE!”

I nearly spewed partially chewed M&Ms across the room. Extraterrestrial biological entity, indeed! Yet by definition, actually, she was.

I chuckled at his expression and shook my head. “No. Quite human. At least as far as I know.”

“Are you?” he added, chocolate-colored irises rimmed with white. His reaction surprised me—UFOs, even aliens, were no big deal in his culture, just business as usual with the Star People.

“C’mon, Chief! You’ve known me since tenth grade, running high school track!”

He leaned back, searching my face with more solemnity than I’d seen since I told him how Dad died. “You’ve got a lot of explaining to do, bro,” he said finally, shaking his head.

“You have no idea,” I said, throat constricting as scratchy lyrics from the headset, audible only to me, issued another reminder of why I was here.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Marcha Fox

 

[NOTE:–This is an excerpt from my upcoming novel, Dark Circles, a slightly dark, hard sci-fi love story. No release date has been set.]

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan. WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

#RWISA Author Page – Marcha Fox

 

 

Watch #RWISA Write – Author, Harmony Kent

RWISA TOUR (1) (1)   author pic small

As a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, I am thrilled to promote outstanding authors who are also members of the exclusive RAVE Writers International Society of Authors through a blog tour that will run the entire month of August.

Today I introduce to you, Harmony Kent!

 

Live or Die?

Harmony Kent

Sometimes, you need to accept help. Sometimes, you need to admit that you need it. Sometimes, you need to take the hand that’s offered. You reached out and took my arm. I let you. I took the assistance I needed. I gripped your hand so that you could pull me to my feet. The last thing I needed was for you to slit my wrists. So much blood. All that carnage. My heart ripped right out of my chest.

I did my best.

Though, what kind of an epitaph is that?

Do I want that immortalised on my headstone?

Does that adequately sum up a life?

What about all the rest?

At the end of the day, what’s left to show for all that struggle, all that pain?

Right now, only one thing remains certain, that things can never be the same. That river? Already crossed. That road? Already traveled. That life? Already lived.

No going back. Not ever.

Going forward, though? Now, there’s the question.

For this gal, only one choice remains. Live or die?

Sometimes, you need to accept help. Once bitten, twice shy and all that, though, ya know? Truth be told, I’ve come to the end. Like I said, no going back. The rub is that I can’t go on either. The wind whips my hair into my face and throws cold pellets of rain at me. I shiver and dig deep for the courage. Never did like heights, yet here I stand. To jump or not to jump? That is the question.

The darkness wraps around me and locks the breath in my lungs and my feet in place—leaves me perched here in a daze. The metal burns cold within my death grip. With pulse racing, I edge my left foot forward a couple of centimetres, and then bring the right one up level. Perforce, I have to let go of the steel girders now. I’ve taken a step too far. Sweat breaks free from every pore and soaks this trembling mass of flesh, muscle, and sinew. With a heart this broken, how does it even continue on?

‘Miss? Are you okay? … Miss?’

At the unexpected voice, I twist and startle. A man reaches for me, indistinct in the arc-sodium lights.

‘Miss? Here, take my hand.’

A sudden gust buffets me from behind, and I stumble forward, a scream frozen in my terrified throat. All of a sudden, it hits me, I don’t want to die. Too late, however, as I’m off balance and too close to the edge. Dimly, as I fall, I see that it’s not about living or dying but about having the choice. It seems the wind has finished your job for you. Limp and spent, I plummet to the waiting river below, which sends up cold plumes of spray and waves like open arms welcoming me in and under to die beneath.

Sometimes, you need to admit that you need it. At the first swallow of brackish water, I swallow my pride, and every molecule of this being cries out for help. I should have grabbed his hand. Should have, but could I have? Would I have if given the chance? More ice-cold water pours into my throat and drowns my lungs. All the philosophising ceases as it becomes a fight for life. The cold pierces and stabs like a knife.

Tired and afraid, and no longer quite so numb, I kick, searching for the surface. Already, my limbs have gone stiff. The pressure in my chest has grown unbearable, and I have to take a breath, even though I know it will mean certain death. I just can’t do it. Can’t hold it all in anymore. Bubbles erupt when the life-giving air breaks free of my now open lips.

They show me the way when they float up, up, and up.

For a second, I hesitate. Do I go for it or not? Here is my chance for total surrender. To not have to fight any further. Do I have the energy? The will? At the end of the day, what’s left to show for all that struggle, all that pain?

I did my best, but I don’t want that on my epitaph.

My legs kick and arms stroke, pushing through the murk and trying for air. With this exhaustion and cold, I doubt I’ll get there. By now, the bubbles have long gone, but I’ve come near enough to discern the orange city glow. Not far now. One more kick. One more. That’s it. Just one more.

Sometimes, you need to take the hand that’s offered. I come to, afloat on my back, and the icy waves provide my waterbed. Way up high, atop the bridge, come the blues-and-twos, as the emergency services rush to the scene of my demise. Don’t they realise that I’ve fallen too far from reach? Beyond any assistance or redemption.

It seems as if hours pass me by while I drift in and out and upon. This time, a deafening roar causes me to rouse. A shadow flies through the sky, trailing a bright beam. The search is on. These arctic temperatures have other ideas—so much so that I’ve begun to feel warm. A bad sign. Sleepy too.

Impossibly white light hits me and burns my eyes. I raise a hand to cover them and, immediately, lose my buoyancy and sink back into the dark. The search light now glows dimly above the water. Too tired, too cold, too done to even try and fight, I let the river have its way.

The universe has other ideas, it seems, and once again, I lose the choice. Strong hands grip my armpits and haul me upward. To the artificially lit night and the cold and the air and the despair. Oh, love, what did you do to me? So much blood. All that carnage. All those lies and abuse. What’s the use?

You reached out and took my arm. It all unfolded in a blur and strobe-like snapshots—the winch into the helicopter, the medi-flight, and them getting me here. Trouble is, I think they left my heart there.

A nurse bustles into the private room and pulls apart the drapes. ‘Time to let in some light,’ she says. Oh, how wrong could she be? The last thing I want to do is see. Right now, only one thing remains certain, that things can never be the same. I want to stay in the dark; hide from my shame.

‘You have a visitor.’ Her voice sounds far too bubbly. It hurts. ‘The police officer who tried to help on the bridge.’ A shadow crosses her face. Then she gets busy tidying the bedding and then me. ‘I’ll just go and show him in.’ Once again, I don’t get a choice. No time to find my voice.

The door opens slowly, and I lay with baited breath. A young man eases in, dark hair and chocolate eyes, with a smile that feels like the most glorious sunrise. ‘May I?’

His question gives me pause. Never before did anyone ask my permission. Dumbstruck, I give a mere nod. My visitor edges to the bed and takes a seat on the hard plastic chair that the nurse placed there. We sit in silence for a while, and then his eyes find my scars. So many. Clouds snuff out that beautiful dawn and darken his face.

Now, he’ll make his excuses and take his leave. He’s done his bit. But no. Instead, he takes my hand. Looks into my eyes. Somewhere from the edges, I register that he doesn’t have on his uniform. ‘It’s okay,’ he tells me, fingers rubbing mine. ‘You’re safe now. We’ll make this right.’

Uninvited, a sob brings the elephant right into the room. ‘No one can,’ I croak.

‘It’s okay. He won’t hurt you again.’

‘You know who I am?’

He nods, gives my hand a squeeze. ‘We know everything.’

All I want to do is shrivel up and crawl within.

With both hands, he reaches out and takes my arms. I let him. He seems an angel in human form, and I feel safe within his embrace. Into my hair, he whispers, ‘It’s okay. I’ve got you. I got you now.’

Can I take the leap of faith?

Now, there’s the question.

Live or die?

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan. WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Harmony Kent’s #RWISA Author Page