Wednesday, May 6, 2020

IWSG - Meditation



May 6 Question - Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? Care to share?


My favorite is to take my notebook out onto the patio and just mellow. A cup of tea and quiet time is my meditation. Yesterday I wrote over 5000 words of a new novel because I allowed myself to ignore everything in the outside world. I’ll be honest sometimes it works better than others, but on the whole, it’s served me well.


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The co-hosts are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, & Chemist Ken! Please be sure to visit and say THANK YOU!



“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”―Oscar Wilde




Monday, May 4, 2020

Thank You, For Hosting Murder, Just Because!

To all those who hosted Murder, Just Because.
I say ‘THANK YOU’ from the bottom of my heart!

Denise @ Denise Covey
LuAnn Worley @ Rockin’ Book Reviews
Cathrina @ Constantine
Elizabeth Spann Craig @ Mystery Writing is Murder
L Diane Wolfe @ Spunk on A Stick
Shannon Lawrence @ The Warrior Muse
Bish Denham @ Random Thoughts
Susan Flett Swiderski @ I Think: Therefore, I Yam
Juneta Key @ Writer’s Gambit
H. R. @ H.R. Sinclair
Beverly Stowe McClure @ The Story of A Writer
Chrys Fey @ Write with Fey
Jemi Fraser @ Just Jemi
Mason Canyon @ Thoughts in Progress
Madhuri Palaji @ The Clipped Nightingale
Kathleen Kelly @ Celticlady’s Reviews
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash




Monday, April 20, 2020

"dispel their sorrows"


Photo by Tim de Groot on Unsplash


Omy God!  O Thou forgiver of sins, bestower of gifts, dispeller of afflictions! 

Verily, I beseech thee to forgive the sins of such as have abandoned the physical garment and have ascended to the spiritual world. 

O my Lord!  Purify them from trespasses, dispel their sorrows, and change their darkness into light.  Cause them to enter the garden of happiness, cleanse them with the most pure water, and grant them to behold Thy splendors on the loftiest mount.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá




It may seem odd on such a blog to see this post. But the virus doesn't distinguish any of us from the other. The virus's only goal is to kill, maim, destroy, and leave the world in complete and utter mourning. Our family has been touched by this scourage. I offer this prayer for all those we have lost.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

WEP - Vessel of Evil



Vessel of Evil

Carole put the last book into the box, closed, then sealed it with packing tape. “Done, done, and done,” she said proudly. “Just in time for lunch too. All that's left to do is load the truck, drive to Goodwill and drop some of this off, then take the rest home. I bet we make several hundred dollars on eBay for these items.”

“I’m glad your uncle kept the good stuff in the original boxes. I say we’ll do as good as a thousand dollars," Jerry said as he kicked at a pile of crumpled newspapers on the floor. “Ouch!” He groaned and rubbed his toe then knelt to pick up the item he kicked. “What in the world?” He held up a large, iridescent vase with silver veining.

Carol laughed. “The old doorstop.”


Jerry inspected the fifteen-inch-tall, blue-green iridescent vase and repeated her words – "doorstop? It looks like a vase or an urn."

“Well, obviously it’s a vase. Urns have lids, but someone filled it with cement, and now it’s only good as a doorstop. At least that’s what Uncle Joe used it for. Although he did say it’d been in the family long before he came along.”

“Is it worth anything?”

“Sentimental value only. The appraiser said any value became moot when it was filled with cement.”

“What do you want to do with it?”

“I’d like to keep it. It’ll remind me of Uncle Joe and his crazy stories. He used to tell some doozies, and I swear that vase would get brighter the spookier they were. It’s funny that you mentioned an urn. Uncle told a story about that once.”

“Really, what was it?”

"Sorry, my mom called me out of the room that day. But like I said, he had all kinds of stories."

Jerry scrutinized the vessel. “Really odd, but it is attractive, in a macabre sort of way. My toe did some damage but only to the cement at the top. There’s a crack, or was that there before?”

“Nope, that’s new,” Carole said as she checked the top of the vase. Sure enough, a crack about a half an inch appeared in the center of the cement that was an inch from the top of the vase’s neck. “Come on, let’s get this stuff delivered to Goodwill and get some lunch.”

***

Jerry finished unloading the last of the boxes from Uncle Joe’s then retrieved the vase from the back seat. He rubbed his finger across the crack and decided to investigate further. He grabbed a large file off the workbench and got to work. In an hour, Jerry had created an opening of over an inch. It was long enough and wide enough to stick a half-dollar into. But the most exciting thing he found when filing into the cement was that the bottom of the bottle was hollow.

"I just turned our doorstop into a bank." Jerry pulled a John Kennedy half dollar from his pocket and dropped it in. The next odd thing was that it didn’t make a sound. The coin just disappeared into the slot. When he shook the vessel, it was still silent. “Must be something softer inside.” he decided, as he polished the exterior and made it shine, especially the silver inlay.

In the house, he handed it to Carole. “I’ve fixed it. Now it’s a bank.”

Carole took the vase from him and laughed. “If we put money in there, how do we get it out?”

“What if we put all our silver Kennedy half dollars in it. We have a small collection of them, and we always planned to hand them down to our kids. We’ll fill it up and leave it as an heirloom.”

“I like that,” Carole said and sat the vase in a special spot on the bookshelf. “In honor of Uncle Joe! Our first family heirloom.”

***
That night, a dark gray cloud of smoke rose from the blue-green iridescent vase, and with it, the silver dollar floated out and plopped to the floor. The darkness swirled and circled the room, floated down the hallway, and entered the master suite. As Jerry inhaled, the gray smoke entered his nostrils and disappeared.

At 6:00 A.M. Jerry awoke to find his wife, Carole, dead beside him. She’d been eviscerated, dismembered – murdered! He was covered in her blood and held her heart in his hand.

***

"Well Detective, what do you make of it?” the coroner asked.

Detective Martin shook his head. “The butcher knife was found under his pillow. No sign of a break-in. No blood anywhere else in the house. Yet, he claims he’s innocent."

“But how do you kill like that then just fall asleep in the middle of it?”

“Rage? Maybe he wore himself out? Someone with more knowledge than I have is going to have to answer that question,” the Detective acknowledged.

***

In prison, on death row, Jerry re-lived each moment of the murder. He saw every detail, recalled the thrill of each stroke, but especially the way his knife sliced through her body like a blade through butter. But mainly how satisfying the final cut to Carole’s throat had felt. Then as the blood flowed, how he celebrated and allowed himself to shower in the spray of it. He saw it clear as day, but he had no control over his own actions. The worst of his nightmares were of the other murders. All women from Whitechapel, London. He even knew their names, Mary Ann, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Mary Jane.

A defense of insanity didn't convince the jury.

Jerry gave over to the death that awaited, knowing that soon, Jack the Ripper, would strike again.

***

The vase went to the highest bidder and sold for twenty-five cents at an auction to help pay for Jerry’s attorney fees.

971 Words

Yolanda Renée © 2020

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Monday, April 13, 2020

Even Stowy Has A Humane Way to Kill


SO HE SAYS


Excerpt from 
Murder, Just Because


***

“Sorry, folks. I enjoyed the ride, but now I want to be alone,” Stowy said, looking down at the two-unconscious people at his feet. George and Irma West had befriended a killer. While Irma reminded him of his dead mother, and George, the father he barely remembered, murder was Stowy’s favorite way to say goodbye.

Hiding in the storage compartment under their bed worked like a charm. The border guards never even looked. Who could doubt these two, these typical-looking Grandma and Grandpa, especially with their homemade cookies to share? They were a kind couple, and they said he reminded them of their son Cooper, who’d died in Desert Storm. It probably didn’t hurt that Stowy claimed to be a veteran from the same war. He loved the attention and care they’d shown him, but he was good at biding his time, and once they crossed the border into the United States, they were no longer useful.

Stowy killed them, and because they’d been so kind to him, it was a gentle murder. He drugged them, and as they slept, he put them in plastic bags and buried them side by side in the same grave. Buried alive, they eventually died by suffocation. According to Stowy, it was his most humane murder, and no one could say he broke his promise. Nobody in Alaska died.

Pleased with his escape from the frigid weather of the north, Stowy headed farther south to the hot desert of Arizona.
*****



The Tour continues:




April 13          Christine Rains – Writer – Review & Excerpt
                   Alex J. CavanaughGuest Post -Top Ten Murder Movie List

April 15          Elizabeth Seckman, Author Guest Post - Heaven on Earth
April 17          Writer’s Gambit – Q & A & Excerpt

April 20          Tara Tyler Talks – Interview
                        H.R. Sinclair – Guest Post - How to Write a Thriller 

April 24          Write with Fey – Guest Post - Evil Exists
April 27          Just Jemi – Q & A 
April 29          Thoughts in Progress – Review
May 1             Celticlady’s Reviews – Feature


Monday, April 6, 2020

The Tour Continues

Murder, Just Because

Tour Schedule


April 1            Denise CoveyGuest Post - Writing Your Real-Life Experience                     
                        Mythical Books Q & A with the Author & Excerpt
                        Rockin’ Book Reviews Feature

April 2            Constantine – Feature
                     
April 6            Mystery Writing is Murder – Guest Post How I Wrote My Mystery
                        Spunk on A Stick – Feature

April 7            Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews – Q & A

April 8            The Warrior Muse Top Ten List of Literary Detectives
                        Random Thoughts Excerpt & Feature

April 10          I Think Therefore I Yam - Interview With A Monster
                        Ellen Jacobson Author Q & A

April 13          Christine Rains – Writer Review & Excerpt
                        Alex J. Cavanaugh Guest Post -Top Ten Murder Movie List

April 15          Elizabeth Seckman, Author Guest Post - Heaven on Earth

April 17          Writer’s Gambit Q & A & Excerpt

April 20          Tara Tyler Talks Interview
                        H.R. Sinclair Guest Post - How to Write a Thriller 
                   
April 24          Write with Fey – Guest Post - Evil Exists

April 27          Just Jemi – Q & A

April 29          Thoughts in Progress Review

May 1             Celticlady’s Reviews – Feature










Wednesday, April 1, 2020

ISWG - Book Tour



April 1 question -The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the Covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?


Does crazy make sense? We live in a popular tourist site, and the local government has asked all non-residents to leave as of last Sunday. I must admit, that makes me feel safer, mainly because my husband’s job is listed as essential, and I want him protected as much as myself.

I’ll also admit to having regular episodes of anxiety, and I’ve tried to fight that with my preparations for the book tour that started today.

Please see my schedule of appearances below Thank you, everyone who decided to host me and my new book Murder, Just Because.

Plus, this month there’s a new WEP Challenge - Antique Vase. Distract yourself from the virus by participating!

Stay safe, stay well!

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Murder, Just Because

Tour Schedule


April 1            Denise CoveyGuest Post - Writing Your Real-Life Experience                     
                        Mythical Books Q & A with the Author & Excerpt
                        Rockin’ Book Reviews Feature

April 2            Constantine – Feature
                     
April 6            Mystery Writing is Murder – Guest Post How I Wrote My Mystery
                        Spunk on A Stick – Feature

April 7            Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews – Q & A

April 8            The Warrior Muse Top Ten List of Literary Detectives
                        Random Thoughts Excerpt & Feature

April 10         I Think Therefore I Yam - Interview With A Monster
                       Ellen Jacobson Author Q & A

April 13          Christine Rains – Writer Review & Excerpt
                        Alex J. Cavanaugh – Guest Post -Top Ten Murder Movie List

April 15          Elizabeth Seckman, Author Guest Post - Heaven on Earth

April 17          Writer’s Gambit Q & A & Excerpt

April 20          Tara Tyler Talks Interview
                        H.R. Sinclair Guest Post - How to Write a Thriller 
                   
April 24          Write with Fey – Guest Post - Evil Exists

April 27          Just Jemi – Q & A

April 29          Thoughts in Progress Review

May 1             Celticlady’s Reviews – Feature










Saturday, March 28, 2020

Don't Give Up!




“She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders & made it look like a pair of wings.”

“The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.”

“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me”

It’s better to break your own heart by leaving, rather than having that person break your heart every day you’re with them.”

“I will breathe. I will think of solutions. I will not let my worry control me. I will not let my stress level break me. I will simply breathe. And it will be okay. Because I don’t quit.”

“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”

”I’m not arrogant. I’m just humble enough to know that I’m a different thing and not everyone deserves to know me.”

“Today I want you to think about all that you are instead of all that you are not.”

“Don’t pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

“You’re allowed to scream, you’re allowed to cry, but do not give up.”

                                Stay safe, stay well!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Smashwords Book Sale

Murder, Madness & Love



After a gritty detective becomes involved with a beautiful widow suspected of murder, slander and obsession obstruct his quest for justice. More
Use the code AGB30 at checkout for 30% off 



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Memories of Murder


Adult

World damnation is a psychotic man’s goal, but two obstacles stand in his way, greed and a dedicated detective. More
Use the code AGB30 at checkout for 30% off 



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Murder, Just Because


Adult

The Snowman is back and as his bloody rampage continues, terrified Alaskans increasingly doubt Quaid’s abilities. In a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, Jenkins starts picking off the people in Quaid’s life… and drawing closer to the most important person in Quaid’s life...his wife. The Snowman’s cruelty knows no bounds, but the object of his hate knows no fear! More
Use the code MX87X at checkout for 33% off 

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Murder & Obsession and The Snowman will be available March 31st on Smashwords and at a bargain too!