Monday, February 27, 2017


My aunt was a brilliant woman, full of wit and good humor. She and I shared many things through the years... our love of family, of good books, art, and music, of nature, and of people. We were the watchers who often communicated without speaking.  A look or a touch of the hand spoke volumes.

Sister, as we called her, was a walker. We took many excursions, she strolling jauntily ahead, me struggling to keep up. Her energy was boundless. One memory that stands out is sitting under a huge tree, watching the leaves blow and the squirrels run. Words were unnecessary.

In looking through the family pictures, I have definite favorites, but the one that brings smiles is Sister in her grandmother's wedding dress, taken when she was eighteen. 

Raised in a small southern town, she had all the advantages her parents could provide. She and my father were close, enjoying times with friends and family. These pictures are of the two of them as young adults, playing off each other with their hats, and later in life, after marriage and family.

Sister attended college in Georgia before moving to Boston, where she met and married the love of her life some years later. When I moved to Virginia in the late sixties, I stayed with her until I began teaching. She and my uncle took me to concerts, lectures, and museums, broadening my horizons. Her presidency of the local women's club provided another level of awareness as I witnessed her in that capacity.

She was a brilliant woman, full of wit and good humor, a touchstone for her family. I am her namesake. She was my aunt, but she was also my friend. 

Thanks, Sister, for the memories.

Friday, February 24, 2017


Barbara Chioffi


What finds you in the night?

CHICANERY is a collection of eight horror tales, each with a little bit of deceit and enough of the macabre to have you looking over your shoulder.  

Who knows what awaits us as we go about our daily lives. In these tales, you will find a bit of betrayal, a snippet or two of terror, and a lot of comeuppance. Oh, and a good dose of helpful spirits.

Available at


Wednesday, February 22, 2017


After dinner, Garrett and I sat on the balcony with more wine. The night was filled with stars, cool breezes, and a view into the woods. I made small talk, waiting for Garrett to initiate the desired conversation. I had dressed for dinner in a white low cut dress with my dyed red hair down around my shoulders and was aware of the appreciative looks but pretended not to notice.

Our chairs were close. Perfume was wafting in his direction, encouraged by my flicking my hair more than was necessary. Hoping his inebriated state kept him oblivious, I put my hand on his arm.

"Garrett, this is so pleasant, just the two of us. H never indulges my romantic side."

A slight smile graced his face and he took my hand in his. I had to concentrate on my objective despite his good looks. Damn, he was handsome.

"Bella, I knew when I met H, he was a controlling man. I hope this doesn't upset you, but I have to admit that the offer to be "his eyes" with regards to you is tempting. He and I have a lot in common... appreciation of a beautiful woman, ambition, and a common ancestry."

My eyebrows shot up. Encouraged by his revelation, I took the naive road, "You're Italian?"

"Yes." He chuckled. "My mother was Irish and I have her coloring. My father... one hundred percent Italian."

That certainly explained the instant rapport between him and H. Taking a large sip of wine, I waited a minute, appearing to consider what he had told me. "I wondered what you two discussed. What have you decided to do with his request?"

He kept my hand in his and held my green eyes with his big baby blues. "Bella, you're a grown woman with your own mind. What you do is your business." Taking a breath, he added, "And to be honest, my interest in you is more than friendly."

Inwardly punching the air, I remained calm, smiling with what I hoped was reserved appreciation. After all, I didn't want to jump him on the spot but wanted the door to be open to all possibilities. "That pleases me, Garrett. Let's give it time, and we'll see where this relationship goes."

The rest of the evening was spent telling family tales and drinking another bottle of wine. When he finally left, we were leaning on each other as I walked him to the door.

The next morning, I sat on my balcony with coffee, remembering what H had asked Garrett to do. Although not explicit, I knew what he had meant. This set my jaw on edge. My first reaction was to tell H what he could do with himself, but I had to consider that I wasn't employed and depended on him for my existence. What I had learned from Garrett, however, set my course for the future.


Monday, February 20, 2017


My great-great-great grandfather was born in North Carolina in 1786. At the age of 20, he moved to South Carolina and was admitted into the Methodist Conference. The following year, he was ordained a Methodist minister.

After his marriage, he moved to Alabama and built a fortified house for himself and his family. The town, named for him, developed over time and was known in its heyday as the "Athens of the South". It had collegiate institutes, finishing schools, a military academy, classic churches and stately homes. In 1854, John Glenn, cousin to James, left to establish a school at Auburn and became its first president of the board of trustees. This school in successive changes became Auburn University. 


"Rev. Glenn had a full-rounded face, a florid complexion, a voice like a trumpet and 'faculties naturelle of the highest order'. Being an ordained Methodist preacher, he began his search for a congregation. 

 Mr. Glenn made repeated efforts and failed. One of the peculiar notions of the people and the only one on which there appeared to be a uniformity of faith, was the belief in witches. He resolved to take advantage of this fact, and in due time, was heard throughout the settlement, for miles in every direction, by written posters over Mr. Glenn’s own signature, and by public announcement, that he, on a certain day, at a certain hour, at a certain place, would publicly proceed to kill witches.

There was no cabin or other dwelling large enough to hold the crowd, which gathered for the exhibition. His method of killing witches included drawing of a witch’s picture into which he shot golden balls. His pictures included infidelity, drunkenness, and other vices. After that service he could draw a crowd from a twenty-mile radius at any time."

Unfortunate accident

"Mr. Glenn was very much given to walking long distances. It was March, 1851, and he wanted to walk the two miles to the church, give his sermon, and return home. His family persuaded him to ride a gentle old horse.

After the service, he began his journey. As he rode down a steep slope, a hog jumped out from the brush, scaring the horse, which bucked, throwing him against the pommel of the saddle, injuring him so severely that he died several days later."

He was buried in the Glennville cemetery and his wife, who died a few years later, rests beside him. The town he founded disappeared into history a few years after his death. Refusing to allow the railroad to go through brought about its demise. A few of the stately homes are present as museums, and the restored cemetery remains as a reminder of the souls who lived there.


Friday, February 17, 2017


I'd like to welcome

Karen J Mossman

Karen is a writer from North Wales. She lives on the island of Anglesey. Her first book, The Missing, was published in 2014 and since then, she has followed it with two more themed short stories and two romantic suspense novels, Joanna's Journey and The Secret. In 2016, she wrote her first thriller, and it has been well received. She would love some more reviews.

The Truth Will Out will be on special offer 99p/99c in exchange for a review. This offer is only available at for the month of February.


All her books are also available on Amazon at and iTunes, Kobo, Nook, and Barnes and Noble.

Check out Karen's blog at

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Here I am, a day late, drinking my coffee and remembering my Mr. Hot years. My life definitely took a drastic turn during that time. H, as I'll call him from now on, certainly gave me what I needed... stability...but he also taught me, through his actions, about people in general. Loyalty is a rare trait and something to be treasured.

In the days following the meeting between Garrett and H, I began to suspect there was more to those two than I thought. I'm not the smartest person, but the little imp that sits on my shoulder wouldn't be quiet, so I set out to find the connection.

Inviting Garrett to dinner was easy. His appetite was equal to his good looks,so he readily agreed. Blessed with my mother's cooking savvy, I prepared a delicious dinner, complete with wine and dessert. He was appreciative, complimenting me on my culinary skills, to my delight. He filled his plate several times, drank enough wine to down a rhino, and ate half the dish of tiramisu. Then I proceeded to discover his agenda without revealing my own.

Monday, February 13, 2017


Today, I share a portion of a letter dated 1889 written by my great-great-grandmother, and yes, I have the original in its envelope, as well as others. I treasure these letters that speak of what we would consider mundane things... coach rides to town, Sunday church services, the state of  friends and relatives, and so much more. 

My dear daughter,

It is night, past nine o'clock, and your Pa has just come into his room where he has a good fire. He is all alone with a candle on a little stand and is writing to his sweet child. He got a letter yesterday from Cousin Annie and one from Sister. He was sorry to hear that Aunt Mary is ill and my dear daughter's throat is not yet well.

It has turned cold today, but I have a good piney woods fire to go to bed by. I hope that you also have fire to warm your feet. Little Herndon is down on the hearth keeping me company. He has been at school only four months and reads very well, writes some, and spells wonderfully for his age and time at school.

I'm not much of a walker these days, having broken myself down last summer going up the mountain to your watermelon patch. I would never have gotten to the top if it weren't for you and Alex. He pulled and you pushed and at last I found myself on the top. It was a spectacular view.

I'm getting a little cold and will stop writing for this time. Hoping to hear from you soon. I remain as ever your loving and affectionate...


Times like these are long gone but the sweetness and simplicity of the words live on.


Friday, February 10, 2017


Julie Nicholls

Take it away, Julie. :)

I’d like to announce the release of Blood Brothers. This is the 2nd book in the Blood Trilogy. We have already followed the characters – K34GEN, Gabriel, Lyssa, and GH05T from book one, Blood Ties, but it seems their trials are not over yet.
Gabriel is pure lycan and was caged by Dr. Keller at Solgen Labs. Dr. Keller is a genetic scientist who used Gabriel’s lycan DNA to create the perfect soldier by splicing his genes with a human. K34GEN was Solgen’s top hunter…but then Keller realized he could improve the enhancements he’d given the human and created GH05T. She was faster and stronger than K34GEN, with a few added enhancements, and it meant K34GEN was no longer the top dog. The former hunter, K34GEN teamed up with Gabriel and together they attempted to bring down Solgen Labs.
The story continues in Blood Brothers.

Synopsis : Blood Brothers

When you've been a “guest” of Solgen Labs, brothers from another mother takes on a whole new meaning. Keagen and Gabriel thought they were experts on all Solgen's dirty little secrets. Until they met Ghost and found the deceit and conspiracy goes more than bone-deep; it goes right down to their spliced and enhanced DNA.

Need a sneaky peek?

“Your room’s better than mine.” Keagen pushed the door open wider as he edged his way into Ghost’s quarters. “I guess it’s a girl thing.” He snickered.
“Hey, if you want the pink duvet, take it,” Ghost quipped.
Keagen casually scanned the room while closing the space between them. He noticed the furrows congregating along Ghost’s forehead and blew out a weighty breath.
“I know what’s going on in there.” He pressed the tip of a finger to Ghost’s temple. The possibility she might be right and he should tell Gabriel about his condition was on his mind constantly, but finding the courage to admit he was imperfect wasn’t something he could do easily. He’d never concerned himself with the worries of others previously but seeing Ghost’s agitated expression bothered him. The realization that he could end up like K44 gnawed at him like a dog with a bone, and it was highly probable that this rabid dog would need putting out of its misery. Fear wasn’t in his vocabulary. There had never been anything he was afraid of…until now.
Ghost grabbed his finger and with pleading eyes stared at Keagen. She felt his pain. The possibility not only his body, but also his brain, might betray him was stinging—lacing him with more poison on an already infected wound. She wished he would listen to her and willingly let Lyra and Gabriel help, but the stubborn mask he wore wasn’t about to come off anytime soon.
They turned simultaneously to the sound of a knock on the door followed by Lyra’s soft voice.
“I’m sorry to disturb you. I know you’ve had a long journey, but Michaels wants to brief you on the current situation with K44.”
“It’s okay. We’re ready,” Ghost replied.
She released Keagen’s finger and moved toward the door, but Keagen halted her departure with a firm grasp of her arm. He pulled her close and let his mouth rest against her neck.
“I will tell Gabriel and Lyra about my problems…I promise.”
Ghost shrugged her shoulders. “It’s your business. I get that. I’m sure I’d feel the same, but it doesn’t mean I can’t worry about you.”
She smiled tentatively and headed out the door with Keagen following.
“Where’s Gabe?” Keagen directed his question to Lyra, who was already striding down the corridor.
She called over her shoulder and smiled. “He’s in recovery.”
Keagen charged forward and grabbed her arm, spinning her around. “From what?”
“The procedure.” She frowned. “Didn’t he tell you he’d agreed to give us the samples we need to help K44?”
“No, he didn’t.” Keagen scowled. “He said he wasn’t going to allow anyone else to experiment on him. What changed his mind?”
“You did,” Lyra replied and continued on to Michaels’ office after pulling her arm free and leaving Keagen standing with his mouth gaping.
Ghost sucked in a deep breath and braced. She approached Keagen from behind and stopped suddenly as he whirled around to face her. His furious expression greeted her.
“You told him…didn’t you?”
Ghost lowered her eyes. Before she could open her mouth to apologize, Keagen turned and followed Lyra to the operations room. Her eyes fell shut as she sucked in another large breath. She knew she’d fucked up. Her heart told her to chase after him and make him understand why she’d told Gabriel, but she knew he wouldn’t be interested. While something inside her said it was for the best, she felt guilty because she’d broken his trust.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


To say my blood froze in my veins would be an understatement. I did, however, manage to rise, greet my hot Italian with a kiss, and introduce him to Garrett as my neighbor down the hall. Imagine my surprise when Garrett rose, shook hands with Mr. Hot, and pulled a chair over from another table. Within five minutes, they were talking as if they'd been friends for years. I sat back and took it all in... Garret's body language and Mr. Hot's awareness. Then it dawned on me what was happening. My poolside friend was either conning Mr. Hot or was most likely gay. Another surprise! This day was proving to be filled with them. 

A while later, Mr. Hot kissed me on the cheek and said. "Why don't you go dress, sweetheart? I have made dinner reservations."
I glanced at Garrett who seemed totally relaxed, then caught his wink behind Mr. Hot's back. Smiling to myself, I left to do as instructed, realizing that Garrett had it well in hand.
When I reappeared about thirty minutes later, they were still in deep conversation but both rose when they saw me. I suppose I looked good. My red hair (originally brown) was down around my shoulders, my makeup was spotless. and my little black dress was tasteful. It was off one shoulder but did manage to give the appearance of class. I wore the necklace Mr. Hot had given me on our first date...a gold chain with a red apple pendant. 

Mr. Hot took my hand, then turned to Garrett. "It was nice to meet you. We'll continue this conversation another time. Enjoy your evening."

During my time dressing, I had regained my composure, and bolstered by the wink, I gave Garrett my best smile and a wink of my own.

Dinner was delicious. I was becoming accustomed to fancy restaurants with the equally fancy hotel afterwards. Room service brought champagne and fancy things called hors d'oeuvres. The first time he ordered them, I was told with a grin they were appetizers. This became a ritual in which I, you guessed it, was the main course.

To be continued*****

Monday, February 6, 2017

Kith and Kin

My early years were with my grandmother. I remember her face, her smile, her unconditional love. A small woman, she possessed an elegant grace and an enigmatic smile. One never knew what she was thinking. I thought of her as my mother though I knew she really wasn’t. Grandma was a unique individual, a woman wrenched from her idyllic life one Christmas Day in 1929. Her husband died in a plane crash, and mother told me of the long line of black cars outside their home. My grandfather, the first licensed pilot in North Carolina, had earned the respect of all. His pilot's license was signed by Orville Wright.

Grandma moved from her small town to a larger one, and having no resources, fed tobacco factory workers during their lunch hour to make a living. She was a wonderful cook and an excellent tailor. She would look at a dress in a store window and make one just like it without a pattern. I still remember my favorite, a shirtwaist dress with long sleeves.

A proud woman, she could be utterly charming or caustic with a smile. One memory that brings laughter is of a pretentious man walking away with a “did she just tell me off” look on his face and Grandma’s sweet, Cheshire-cat smile behind him. She was a major influence during my early years, accepting me with all my faults and frailties, never criticizing, always supporting. I never told her of my many failures, the family grapevine did that; but she always greeted me with a smile, a hug, and lots of love. I pleased her despite myself and to this day, I will remember the feeling with gratitude.

Grandma and I loved the trips we took home every year.  We would turn a nine-hour trip into fourteen or fifteen hours, stopping on the spur of the moment for anything that looked inviting.  We usually took the scenic route, staying off the interstates, so we passed through many little towns filled with craft and gift shops, fairs, and restaurants.

One year, I was in a hurry to get home.  Bad weather was on the way and I took Interstate 95.  Atlanta was notoriously busy and we hit it at rush hour.  I was a little nervous, but having taken the yearly trips home had given me a familiarity with the traffic. Grandma was sitting next to me with her hands folded, probably willing us down the road.  

I was in the middle lane when suddenly, a car shot from the left in front of me across all lanes of traffic headed for an exit on the right with no warning and no turn signal.  To my credit, I didn’t slam on the brakes but out came the dreaded “F” word followed by “you S.O.B.”  As soon as I uttered those horrible curses, I realized who was sitting next to me.   I spent the next few minutes profusely apologizing.  Grandma didn’t say a thing and when I finally stopped, without batting an eye, she patted my hand and said, “That’s alright, honey, I probably would have said the same thing.”

Many other tales come to mind, but this one always brings a smile. Thanks, grandma, for all the memories.


Friday, February 3, 2017



Release date: March 7th


A mysterious, blinding white light, followed by a vision, haunts Mandy until something unthinkable happens. She comes home from school to find her mother badly injured. On instinct, through her tears, forces from within surge through her fingertips into her mother, giving her a second wind. She urges Mandy to take a note and leave, but she can't -- not yet.

Her hot, dark-haired, muscle-bound neighbor, Joel, finds her and drags her crying towards the door. What awaits them on the other side sends them back into the house, where she learns Joel isn't who she thought. Her entire life gets turned upside down as her destiny sends her and Joel deep into the world of Bloodseekers and other supernatural creatures.

Here's the links to The Vampires Next Door for anyone who might be interested in starting the series.

Amazon -

Kobo -

B & N -

iBooks -

Google Play -


Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Where was I? oh hot Italian. Shaking my head at the memories. Hot? Definitely. Alpha male? Absolutely. Imagine my surprise when he set me up in an apartment, he in one state, me in another. I realized early that my situation could best be described as 'mistress', but I agreed to our arrangement and entered into a relationship that profited both of us. My rent in a respectable apartment complex was paid for a year in advance, and he had me on retainer.

Making friends had always been easy, and soon, I enjoyed the company of residents in the complex. Days by the pool and nights entertaining helped pass the time when hot Italian was otherwise busy. I realized this wasn't the love I had always craved, but it would do.

Then I met Garrett. Intelligent and funny, he had a way that put me instantly at ease, something I had never felt around any man. Deciding that moving slowly would be a good idea, I promised to keep it 'friends only' and made a bet with myself to see how long it would last.

Sitting by the pool, Garrett and I were talking, oblivious to those around us. Someone called my name and turning, I froze. There stood my hot Italian, his expression one of displeasure.

To be continued