poetry

Original Poetry: A Forgotten Voice Recorder’s Lament

The following poem was inspired by the photo below.

A small hand-held Olympus digital recorder sits on a  wooden surface. It is not turned on. It is the kind of recorder made to be carried in a pocket or tucked away in a purse for short voice recordings and "reminder" memos. Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/grabadora-mp3-recorder-retro-6080153/?fbclid=IwAR1S5YPfcJEyDa265qPsfPayvjDCkpnqbbG3Nd0r8OVP4VcyQXnoK16Ehms

A recorder sits on a table alone

With no one to give it a home.

Who knows what stories it has to tell

Or what thoughts get lost in the wishing well

Of voices it carries in its memory bank.

It holds a one-sided conversation

With no one to give any indication

Of whether the messages have reason or rhyme

Or pieces of a story lost in time

And the listener knows not who to thank

For the words of hope and wisdom.

Don’t leave this recorder all alone

Pick it up and take it home

And if there are no messages inside

Record your thoughts from deep inside

Your soul, and do not hide

The message of God’s love.

Here’s a special message for you,

For when you’re feeling sad and blue

This recorder will hold true

Your deepest thoughts and emotions.

Do you leave it all alone,

Or do you dare to take it home

And pour your heart and soul

Into the digital ocean?

Don’t let your thoughts disappear,

Capture your precious words for the world to hear

Keep them close at hand

With the touch of a button at your command

Writing challenge: Use the picture above as inspiration and write your own story, poem or essay and share it on your own blog. Be sure to ping back to this post, so I can read your creation.

author interviews

Inspirational Journeys Presents: Special Guest Interview with DeAnna Quietwater Noriega

Have you ever wondered what it’s like for a blind person to walk with a guide dog by her side? Even though many of you may have seen a blind person walking with his or her dog, my special guest gives you the inside scoop about how the guide dog and handler form a special bond.

INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEYS PRESENTS!

Special guest interview with DeAnna Quietwater Noriega!

Hello:

I’m proud to announce the following guest for your listening pleasure.

Please be sure to read onward after the following message to learn how you can be my guest here on INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEYS.

Thanks for listening and do write to let me and my guest know what you thought of this presentation.

WHO?

DeAnna Quietwater Noriega

WHEN?

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

WHERE?

MORE ABOUT GUEST AUTHOR DeAnna Quietwater Noriega…

DeAnna Quietwater Noriega  is half Apache, and a quarter Chippewa. She is the mother of three, two daughters and an adopted blind son.  She was the eldest of five children in a close-knit American Indian family.  As a result of congenital glaucoma, She became totally blind at the age of eight.  DeAnna Noriega and her husband, Curtis, currently live in Columbia, Missouri. Her latest book is entitled, Fifty Years of Walking with Friends

Description:

In e-book and print from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online sellers. 271 pages in print.

Full details, including cover image, synopsis, author bio, direct buying links, and free text preview:  https://www.dldbooks.com/dqnoriega/

More than half of this eloquent, informative book is devoted to the author’s first guide dog, Tammy, and it soon becomes plain why. As the dog matured from beginning guide to seasoned veteran, the author went from starting college to embarking on her long marriage and her impressive working life.

Each of the author’s nine guide dogs thus far is described in loving detail: what it looked like, what unique personality traits it had, and why it had to retire from guiding. Age, illness, a tragic accident, and more—each required a return for the author to The Seeing Eye ®, the country’s oldest guide dog school. The beautiful German Shepherd pictured on the cover of the book with the author is her ninth dog, Enzo.

In prose and poetry, Noriega describes not just her loyal canine companions, but also the family she was born into, her children and grandchildren, details about her years in college as a blind student, and her subsequent work experience. While she accentuates the positive, she does not shy away from letting us know that there have been more than a few negatives in her life, too, including episodes of abuse and discrimination. 

Experienced guide dog handlers will find much here that is movingly familiar to them. Those who have never walked beside such a marvelous companion will benefit greatly from learning what the dogs are trained to do, how they need to be cared for, and how observers should and should not interact with them. Touches of humor lighten almost every chapter, and the book ends with three imaginative, amusing skits in which the players are all guide dogs. 

Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Walking-Friends-DeAnna-Quietwater-Noriega/dp/B08SGZLF4N/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Fifty+Years+of+Walking+with+Friends&qid=1610682891&s=books&sr=1-1                                                 

Excerpt:

Foreword

A guide dog can be more than a mobility aide to a blind person. The fear of the unknown, of injury, of being perceived as a disability instead of a human

being, can keep visually impaired individuals from stepping outside their door into full participation in the wider world. With Tammy beside me, I met

life head–on and carved out a place in it for myself. I overcame fears that would otherwise have crippled my ability to function and fully participate

in all that awaited beyond the threshold of my door.

In this age of skyrocketing costs, some have asked the question, why spend all that money to train a guide dog when a cane costs a thousandth of the price?

I hope to answer that difficult query through telling you about Tammy and the gift of sight she gave me through her loving amber eyes.

I dedicate this book to Daniel Boeke, who trained the first of my Seeing Eye® dogs. To my husband, children, and friends, both human and canine, who loved

and taught me so much about how to live, love, and flourish. But most of all, to my mother, who taught me to love books and the skills I would need to

live an independent life despite blindness.

Mama’s Hands

by DeAnna Quietwater Noriega

block quote

Mama’s hands are long, slender, and graceful.

block quote end

block quote

The veins stand out on their backs, and their joints are growing a little stiff.

block quote end

block quote

They show the signs of the years and the hard tasks they have performed.

block quote end

block quote

As my world began to grow gray and hazy,

block quote end

block quote

Mama’s hand was strong and slim, grasping mine.

block quote end

block quote

When I was sick,

block quote end

block quote

Her hand was cool against my brow.

block quote end

block quote

Mama’s hands knit me bright sweaters to keep me warm.

block quote end

block quote

Mama’s hands were clever, making our home a pleasant place.

block quote end

block quote

Mama’s hands moved quickly, rolling tortillas,

block quote end

block quote

Sewing on buttons,

block quote end

block quote

Stretching taffy.

block quote end

block quote

Mama’s hands were gentle,

block quote end

block quote

Smoothing back my hair,

block quote end

block quote

Tapping my nose when she said look at me.

block quote end

block quote

Though delicate and slender, they were strong enough to conquer any task.

block quote end

block quote

Though they now show the passage of the years,

block quote end

block quote

Mama’s hands are beautiful

block quote end

block quote

Because they are not the pampered hands of the idle

block quote end

block quote

But the working tools of a loving heart.

block quote end

 

Connect with DeAnna at the following link:

Author page at DLDbooks

https://www.dldbooks.com/dqnoriega/

BE A GUEST…

As authors, creative artists and entrepreneurs, we often find it hard to stand out above the constant chatter on the internet. If that sounds like you, I’d like to help you boost the visibility of your brand. My name is Ann Harrison and I run a podcast called Inspirational Journeys. On my podcast I post solo episodes of value to my listeners, led by the Holy Spirit. I also talk to authors, creative artists and entrepreneurs who want to share their inspirational journeys with the world. If you’re interested in being a guest on my show, please send an email to annwrites75@gmail.com with Inspirational Journeys in the subject line, so I can send you my featured book questionnaire.

 Thanks for listening to Inspirational Journeys and have a Blessed Day.

Follow me on Social media:

https://www.facebook.com/annwritesinspiration

https://twitter.com/annwrites75

https://www.youtube.com/user/annsmusic1

https://anchor.fm/inspirational-journeys

author interviews

Claire O’Sullivan Returns to talk about her debut novel, Romance under Wraps

INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEYS PRESENTS!

Claire O’Sullivan Returns to talk about her debut novel, Romance Under Wraps!

Hello:

I’m proud to announce the following guest for your listening pleasure.

Please be sure to read onward after the following message to learn how you can be my guest here on INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEYS.

Thanks for listening and do write to let me and my guest know what you thought of this presentation.

WHO?

Claire O’Sullivan

WHEN?

Tuesday March 9, 2021

WHERE?

Youtube video:

Podcast episode

MORE ABOUT GUEST AUTHOR Claire O’Sullivan (in her own words)…

I’m a mom and grandmother. When my husband and I married, he already had 2 kids and 2 grandkids, and I already had my son, so I became an instant grandmother as well with the largest family on the face of the earth.

 ((What was funny at my wedding, I didn’t wear my glasses, well, because, who wants to, right? So we’re walking down the aisle and I see all of these folks crowding one side. I’d met my husband’s family at a Thanksgiving dinner, and there were at least fifty family members and their spouses, so going down the aisle I thought, wow, I knew his family was big but… Well, I’d lost my mom and dad years back, and so my son was with me, but no one else. And when I finally put my glasses on, my entire church had turned out and filled up the pews. It was pretty phenomenal. And funny.))

               So I retired officially in 2018 though I’d closed my office quite a bit earlier, got our youngest son and his wife to move into the house while we remodeled and put in a mother-in-law studio, which is quite cozy for us. And we get to see our kids.

               Besides writing, reading, and drinking coffee, I love to garden. My husband says I am low maintenance because I am always reading or writing… never grabbing the remote. We live in rural Southern Oregon weathering the changes.

I started writing in 8th grade with the encouragement of a teacher, and she suggested I get into journalism and creative writing in high school, which I did. My folks were old fashioned and they were firm: no writing, no archeology, no wildlife biology. So I became a nurse, and got married, had a son, and life sort of happened. I wrote a novel in 1989 but never got serious about sending it off, and that was a thriller. Then I went off to grad school and became a nurse practitioner, opened my own office, and didn’t start writing until 2012, and that’s when I started Romance Under Wraps.

Her debut novel is entitled Romance Under Wraps , the book information is as follows:

Description:

Catherine Cade has issues. She’s a partial amnesiac. She has no idea who she really is other than a thief. Once partnered up with an ex-husband/partner, she now runs routinely, changing her identity, but wanting a real life. She fakes a PhD as a nurse practitioner and works for a physician. When a VIP dies mysteriously, she’s worried because, he was her patient. Will she have to talk with the cops? Sign a death certificate? When a detective shows up at her office, he’s not there on pleasantries. When she looks at an unusual note attached to a death certificate, she realizes she is looking at something other than death by natural causes. She must do something, anything, to redeem her unredeemable life.

The detective knows all – almost all about Catherine Cade. Rick Calhoun has his eye on her, and really, with the most innocent of motives until he catches her in the act of a felony. Now, how to deal with the one woman who could turn his life inside out in every which way? The question remains, who killed the VIP, was it her, and what would he do to keep her safe?

Book trailer:

Purchase link: Either through Claire’s website claireosullivan1.com or  Romance Under Wraps – Kindle edition by O’Sullivan, Claire. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Excerpt:

“Someone’s in room two. He came to talk with Dr. Riley, but since he’s out—”

“He’s stuck with me. What does he want?”

She straightened her ponytail. “He’s a cop. Here about Thompson’s death.”

Oh, no. How could you, God? I even prayed. C’mon. The peanut butter stuck to the roof of my mouth as I zeroed in on her face.

“I think he has a hangover. He’s a looker, though.”

“Is he blond? Young? Accent?” A quick peep at the back door might give my concern away, but if Jerry or his goon showed up, how fast could I outrun him? I’d grab my keys, knock Teresa off her feet, and make it to my car with a go-bag already packed and in the trunk.

“Southern accent, darker hair than yours, maybe a foot taller, five years older than you, give or take. Forty-ish. Easy on the eyes. Looks like a defensive linebacker. Unlike your muddy ole eyeballs, he’s got serious blue.”

“Muddy?”

She smirked. “Okay, brown. Why?”

“No reason.” I stacked prescription requests with a vengeance. Jerry, a malicious con, became the Feds’ paid informant in a convenient twist of fate. They made a sweet deal for him but left me out. Funny how that worked. He pocketed cops everywhere. Now one waited for me in an exam room.

I stood in the hall in front of the exam room door. Steeled myself. Checked my pistol, a SIG Sauer I carried under my lab coat. Donned my reading glasses. Gulped water to ease the cottonmouth.

Thompson’s chart showed nothing of interest. Without his information in the electronic medical records, reviewing his loose papers took longer than expected before I went into the exam room.

I wrapped my hand around the knob. Instead, the door opened and yanked me in. I yelped as my forward motion caused a collision, and the documents flew. He caught me and apologized.

“Ah—ah …” I noted an angled jaw, salt-and-pepper hair, and grizzled stubble. “… I’m Catherine Cade.”

“Apologies, ma’am, but I’m in a hurry.” He helped gather the papers. “I’m Detective Rick Calhoun with Whiskey River PD.” He presented his ID, thrust out a big hand, yet grasped mine gently. “Needed to bring you this.” He closed the door and rested his back against it. “Got questions about Thompson.”

Big man, armed, leaning against the doorframe and my one way out. Jerry had sent him. My internal freak-out meter shot straight to nuclear.

Connect with Claire at the following links:

Website: https://www.claireosullivan1.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorclaire1

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/ authorclaire1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorclaire1

   USA.life at https://usa.life/claireosullivan

Gab: https://gab.com/authorclaire1

BE A GUEST…

As authors, creative artists and entrepreneurs, we often find it hard to stand out above the constant chatter on the internet. If that sounds like you, I’d like to help you boost the visibility of your brand. My name is Ann Harrison-Barnes and I run a podcast called Inspirational Journeys. On my podcast I post solo episodes of value to my listeners, led by the Holy Spirit. I also talk to authors, creative artists and entrepreneurs who want to share their inspirational journeys with the world. If you’re interested in being a guest on my show, please send an email to annwrites75@gmail.com with Inspirational Journeys in the subject line, so I can send you my featured book questionnaire.

 Thanks for listening to Inspirational Journeys and have a Blessed Day.

Follow me on Social media:

https://www.facebook.com/annwritesinspiration

https://www.youtube.com/user/annsmusic1

Subscribe to my newsletter for a chance to win a copy of my poetry book and to receive a free short story:

http://www.freelists.org/list/inspiredbyann

Book cover for Romance Under Wraps by Claire O’Sullivan
poetry

Original Poetry: The Dancing Hands of Time

 

A picture of an antique silver-colored pocketwatch on a black background. The face is creamy white. The numbers are black and larger than you might expect. The watch has a sweep second hand at the bottom and the circle of that small dial actually cuts off part of the "5" and "7". The face of the watch says  "Molnija" centered below the 12 with "Made in USSR" along the bottom. The time is 5 minutes until 9, and 40 seconds. The watch has a silver-colored chain but the clasp appears to be either tarnished or made of a metal similar to brass. Photo taken from: https://pixabay.com/photos/pocket-watch-time-antique-clock-6060604/?fbclid=IwAR0Gvn2xsORgFAsBzsNYe8dJdopL9djr4cWzS9Xqg5DqAAadcMnj3690YqQ

An old watch keeps time in my pocket.

Does it show the time of the day?

Or spin away the remaining hours of a lifetime?

 

With numbers big and bold,

And hands covering the face of old

I take out my treasure

And watch as the hours spin away.

 

The second hand dances around the watch face,

As the minutes crawl on by

I’m hypnotized by the circular motion

As I watch the hours fly into the abyss

And the days of my life spin away

author interviews

Inspirational Journeys Presents: Special Guest Interview with Teresa Guffanti

Teresa Guffanti is a child of the Most High God. Teresa was born and raised in South Florida; however, she now resides in Dallas Texas, where she currently is the Host and Author of Struggling Blessed but Not Alone Podcast and blog.

Theresa’s life has been a struggle in every way and in every decade. No matter the struggles of life. Teresa has a Can-Do Attitude living on the bible verse that states You can do all things with Christ who strengthens you. Philippians 4:13.

At the age of 11 she was diagnosed with a child’s form of Macular degeneration called Stargardt’s. People in her life may not have believed in her but that did not stop her. For she knew God created her for a greater purpose.  Therefore, she had determined at a young age She would do great things and make a difference in this world.  Teresa may be almost totally blind, but her vision loss does not define her. It has taught her how to reinvent herself as her life changes.

At the age of 14, while attending school, she embarked upon a career path, filling her life with a variety of jobs, from a general worker to having various leadership roles such as Team leader, supervisor, office manager-Store Manager, customer service rep and manager, business owner and partner. She has also found time to engage her life with many community services, holding leadership roles such as president, director, general adviser and committee adviser in these activities. Teresa has always found time to help change the lives of others and support causes she holds dear to her heart.  Teresa graduated high school and received her childcare certificate in 1989. She earned her personal training certification in 1998. This path of education was not a straight shot like most people have. Years later, God gave her an Opportunity to go back to school and show the world she is able to do All Things with God on her side. In 2008 she earned her AA degree at Broward Community college with honors, and received her bachelor’s degree in accounting at Florida Atlantic University in 2012.  Throughout her life, she had to find places to help her learn how to navigate her life changing eye disease. She received training in the areas of Cane travel, braille, assistive technology and independent living. Her thirst for knowledge has inspired her to pursue her master’s degree in seminary and motivational speaking, Teresa Has started a Focus Group called Sharing Insights To better help her low vision and blind peers. She is working on writing her life story, showing The WORLD that GOD LIVES IN AND THROUGH HER Romans 8:28.

Quote by Teresa “Having faith in the lord is more powerful than wishing on a star!”

 I encourage you to Listen to Teresa’s podcast episode and watch her YouTube Video, then connect with her at the following links:

Website:

https://teresa-blessings.blog

focus Group called Sharing Insights.

Email:

Sharing_Insights@outlook.com

All Things Struggling Blessed but Not Alone!

email

Teresa-Blessings@outlook.com

Podcast:

Twitter

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Struggling-blessed-but-not-alone-100679255392680

#amwriting, News and updates, poetry

News and Inspiration for February 2021

 

 

Hello to all my dearly beloved readers and happy 2021! I have a little bit of news from behind the scenes to share this month. First of all, please except my sincere apologies for not sending a newsletter in January. I had some writing struggles to work through during the month, but I’m back in the swing of things with my current work in progress, Hunt for the Scavenger Killer, the first book in my Hempstead Mystery series. I will revise Shadow of Truth, once I finish my first draft of this novel, so stay tuned for updates on that project.

To update you on my writing progress, I not only conquered the brick wall in my story, I’m also slowly eating the elephant at both ends. Let me explain how this metaphor works. I’ve been working my way through chapters nine, ten, eleven and now twelve, but off and on, during the last few days, I’ve seen one or two scenes while I’m either lying in bed or in the bathroom. Talk about finding a new place to have a brainstorming session! Last week I wrote the first ending scene one morning and a couple of days later made a cup of coffee and wrote a second scene in my place holder document. I’m telling you, God has a way of providing inspiration in the most unusual times and places.

 

I also have another piece of exciting news to share! My 2021 poetry season has begun! My first three poems are pasted below.

 

My Poetry Season

 

My poetry comes alive

When I sit outside

In my distraction free zone.

 

When I must hide

Cooped up inside

Verses drift away one by one.

 

God’s Tin Roof Lullaby

 

The Voice in the rain

pounding on my tin roof

Whispers in the midst 

of the sounds around me.

 

The Voice in the rain

Drumming on my tin roof

Murmurs its song

Of comfort and sweet piece.

 

Do not fear the storms of life

God is with you day and night

Listen to His soothing whisper

And sleep in peace tonight.

 

My Indian Summer Experience

 

Indian Summer,

What does that mean?

Unseasonably warm autumn months,

With temperatures resembling

Those of early Spring.

 

With air conditioner running

And birds singing in the trees,

I sit on my front porch

Listening to the wind chimes

Blowing in the gentle breeze.

 

Wishing for the true feel of Fall

And cooler temperatures

And the sounds of nature filling the air

With my door open all day,

The sound of music

Comes from everywhere.

 

Indian Summer

was a difficult time for writing

with the drone of the air conditioner

a constant distraction in my brain

With the drop of the temperature

The AC was turned off,

And my characters spoke to me again.

 

When you feel weighed down

By the noises around you,

Step outside and sit in the quiet of the day,

Listen to the music of your environment

And let all distractions drift

Far, far away

Like leaves blowing in the autumn winds

And let words flow like raindrops

Fill your blank page.

 

Follow your characters

As they go their merry way

Down the path of your story

Taking you through

Another productive writing day.

 

Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of my series of podcast episodes on how to get stuck in your writing, if you’re having trouble conquering the brick walls in your story. If you’re more of a visual learner, subscribe to my YouTube Channel for a series of short videos to go along with the podcast series.

 

Speaking of podcasts, I have two author interviews to share with you! If you’d like to learn a bit more about me, check out my “no excuses writer” interview on the One Word Writer Podcast, and my most recent interview on the Struggling Blessed but not alone podcast. Keep an eye on your inbox, because next month I’ll have another special treat for you. Until then, happy reading and God bless you all.

 

If you’d like to connect with me online, you can email me, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest so you can see when I post links to videos, podcast episodes, blogposts and updates on my author journey.

 

If you’d like to receive updates like this one in your inbox every month or so, please subscribe to my email list for a chance to win a free copy of my poetry book and to receive a free short story as a thank you gift.

Hugs,

Ann

author interviews

Inspirational Journeys Presents: Special Launch Day Interview with Robin Patchen

Stories that Matter

 

Today’s special guest is one of my favorite authors, because she writes in my particular genre. Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, sit back, relax and enjoy the show. You can either follow one of the links below or you can ask your smart speaker to play Inspirational Journeys: Stories that Matter Podcast. Please subscribe to my email list to receive a free short story and enter to win a free copy of The Spirit of Creativity: Inspirational Poems for the Creative at heart. The winners will be announced on April first.

Without further ado, here is today’s podcast episode.

 

INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEYS PRESENTS!

 

Robin Patchen backcover photo

 

Special Guest Interview with Robin Patchen!

 

Hello:

I’m proud to announce the following guest for your listening pleasure.

Please be sure to read onward after the following message to learn how you can be my guest here on INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEYS.

Thanks for listening and do write to let me and my guest know what you thought of this presentation.

 

WHO?

Robin Patchen

WHEN?

Tuesday February 16, 2021

WHERE?

YouTube

Inspirational Journeys Podcast

 

MORE ABOUT GUEST AUTHOR Robin Patchen…

 

Robin Patchen is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of Christian romantic suspense. She grew up in a small town in New Hampshire, the setting of her Nutfield Saga books, and then headed to Boston to earn a journalism degree. After college, working in marketing and public relations, she discovered how much she loathed the nine-to-five ball-and-chain. After relocating to the Southwest, she started writing her first novel while she homeschooled her three children. The novel was dreadful, but her passion for storytelling didn’t wane. Thankfully, as her children grew, so did her writing ability. Now that her kids are adults, she has more time to play with the lives of fictional heroes and heroines, wreaking havoc and working magic to give her characters happy endings. When she’s not writing, she’s editing or reading, proving most of her life revolves around the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Visit Robin’s website to receive a free book and stay informed about Robin’s latest projects.

 

Tides of Duplicity

 

Robin’s latest book is entitled Tides of Duplicity, which launched today!

 

Description:

A jewelry heist, a kidnapping, and a choice. When Fitz’s sister disappears, he’ll do anything to get her back, even if it means betraying the woman he’s come to love. 

 

Private investigator Fitz McCaffrey went to Belize on a case, bringing his teenage sister Shelby along with him. They have no good reason to leave the resort and hurry back to the harsh New England winter. They lost their parents, he lost his job as a cop, and they both need time to heal. Besides, when Fitz meets the beautiful and charming Tabitha Eaton, he falls hard. 

 

But minutes after Tabby’s flight leaves, Fitz is summoned by a mobster who believes Tabby broke into the hotel safe the night before and made off with half a million dollars’ worth of jewels—and he has the video evidence to prove it. As Shelby’s guardian, Fitz has to focus on caring for his sister, whether Tabby is innocent or guilty. He refuses to help the man—until he learns the mobster has taken his sister. 

 

The clock is ticking as Fitz scrambles to recover the jewels. If he succeeds, it’ll cost the woman he’s come to care for. If he fails, it’ll cost his sister’s life. 

 

 

Purchase link:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08NZT59L9

Other retailers: https://books2read.com/u/bMXwzA

 

 

Excerpt:

 

Tabby had just stepped out of the shower when the doorbell rang, followed instantly by the sound of pounding.

What in the world?

She dried quickly and slipped on her bathrobe, growing more irritated by the second as the doorbell and pounding continued. She was shoving her feet into slippers when she heard a shout.

“Tabby? Are you in there?”

Fitz sounded terrified. He’d acted so strangely at lunch, and now this. What was wrong with him? Where was the easygoing man she’d met in Belize?

She hurried down the stairs and yanked open the door, but the porch was empty. She was about to call out for him when he rounded the house from the side. “What are you doing?”

He didn’t answer, just took her porch steps two at a time and stepped in. “Thank God. Thank God. Are you alone?”

“Um—”

“Are you alone? Is anybody…?” He took in her appearance. “You were in the shower?”

“What’s going on?”

He took her hand and stalked through the dining room, where he checked the windows. One was unlocked. How had that—?

He pulled her behind him into the kitchen, checking every door and window along the way.

“Fitz, what are you—?”

“I’ll explain. Just…” His words trailed as he yanked her through the living room and toward the stairs, tugging her up behind him.

Her racing heart told her there was something seriously wrong. As much as she liked the Fitz she’d met in Belize, the Fitz she’d had lunch with that day was somebody different. He was suspicious and demanding and angry. Whichever Fitz had shown up tonight, she wasn’t going upstairs with him. She grabbed the handrail. “You need to stop.”

He turned to face her, his eyes filled with… fear?

“What’s going on?”

His Adam’s apple bobbed. “I need to search your house for intruders.”

“Why?”

“I’ll explain. I promise. I’d rather you stay with me because I’m worried for your safety. You could wait outside, but… No. It might not be safe out there. But if you’d prefer to wait here—”

“Should I call the police?”

His gaze flicked up the stairs, back to her. “I’d rather you didn’t.”

“Why?”

“I promise I’ll explain. Just let me…” He dropped her hand and ran up the stairs.

As he peeked around, she bristled at the invasion of her privacy. How dare he? He seemed utterly unconcerned when he ran back down, passed her, and rounded the corner at the bottom. She followed into the short hallway between the kitchen and living room and watched as he disappeared through the door that led to the basement.

It was the only door he hadn’t opened on his initial search of her downstairs. Had he known it led to the basement?

How?

Fear coursed through her. Fear of what, she didn’t know.

Of him?

Something else?

A moment later, he came upstairs. Before she could process what was happening, he pulled her into his arms and held her against his chest. “Thank God you’re safe.”

She gripped his jacket. “What is happening?”

“I promise, I’ll explain everything. I just…”

He looked down at her, and the dark fear that had pulsed between them turned to something different.

He dropped his arms. But he didn’t back up.

She stared into his eyes, trying to discern what she saw. The fear was still there, but lurking behind it, desire.

His hands slid along her jaw, into her hair.

Her skin tingled to her toes.

Despite his crazy behavior, despite her own worries moments before, everything in her wanted to step closer, to lose herself in him.

 

Connect with Robin at the following links:

Website: http://robinpatchen.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RobinPatchen/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/robin-patchen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5187882.Robin_Patchen

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Robin-Patchen/e/B00A289790/

 

BE A GUEST…

 

As authors, creative artists and entrepreneurs, we often find it hard to stand out above the constant chatter on the internet. If that sounds like you, I’d like to help you boost the visibility of your brand. My name is Ann Harrison-Barnes and I run a podcast called Inspirational Journeys. On my podcast I post solo episodes of value to my listeners, led by the Holy Spirit. I also talk to authors, creative artists and entrepreneurs who want to share their inspirational journeys with the world. If you’re interested in being a guest on my show, send an email to annwrites75@gmail.com with Inspirational Journeys in the subject line, so I can send you my featured book questionnaire.

 Thanks for listening to Inspirational Journeys and have a Blessed Day.

 

Follow me on Social media:

https://www.facebook.com/annwritesinspiration

https://twitter.com/annwrites75

https://www.youtube.com/user/annsmusic1

https://anchor.fm/inspirational-journeys

author interviews, indie author promotions, podcasting, poetry

Original Poetry: My Poetry Season

The following poem is an expression of how difficult I find poetry writing to be during the winter months. When the weather warms up in the spring, you can find me taking a walk or sitting out on my porch, having a think and either coming up with new ideas for my novels, singing a song that fills my heart or writing a new poem to share with you.

My poetry comes alive

When I sit outside

In my distraction free zone.

When I must hide

Cooped up inside

Verses drift away one by one.

If you enjoyed the poem above, please subscribe to my newsletter for a chance to win a free copy of my poetry book entitled The Spirit of Creativity and receive a free short story. If you wish to purchase my poetry book, it’s available in eBook and Audiobook formats.

Please be sure to check out my latest guest appearance on the Struggling blessed but not alone podcast with my friend and fellow blogger, Teresa Guffanti.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to get a behind the scenes look at my author life and subscribe to my Inspirational Journeys podcast and my YouTube channel for more inspirational content. Until next time, Happy writing.

Blessings,

Ann

#amwriting, indie author promotions

Get Your Writing Discovered in the PageTurner awards Writing contest

“It’s so much more than a simple award: it’s a community and a movement” — The grassroots writing award shaking up the literary landscape.

In 2017, author Paula Sheridan won The People’s Book Prize for her debut novel, The Grotto’s Secret. She was invited to a glamorous winners’ ceremony in London and handed her award by Sir Frederick Forsyth, a great recognition for the hard work and commitment that goes into writing a book.

But like most other writers, before this stroke of good luck, Paula had entered her work into numerous contests, and had found the process to be fruitless – closed and cold. Paula explains, “Most of the writing contests out there never share anything about the submissions, nor do they offer the chance to get published or find an agent — but these are things that aspiring authors and writers hope for the most.”

Frustrated with the soulless nature of the writing awards scene, Paula decided to take matters into her own hands; as writing awards offering agent representation, publishing opportunities, exposure, networking, author development — and most crucially, any kind of personal touch — didn’t exist, then she would create one herself. And thus, the Page Turner Awards was born, with one mission — to change as many writers’ lives as possible.

Paula set to work, assembling a judging panel of literati spanning agents, publishers, authors, audiobook producers, journalists and more. She also curated a collection of prizes that she would have found the most meaningful on her own writing journey — mentorships, audiobook production, eBook production, publishing contracts, PR opportunities and more. By February 2020, The Page Turner Awards was open for submissions.

Paula recalls, “When we first started, we were hoping to get at least one writer published and our fingers were crossed for getting one writer represented by a literary agent. But we weren’t expecting a huge intake in our first year”. Paula was shocked as the entries numbered around 400 by the time the submissions window closed in June — quite a feat for a contest just 4 months old. Her panel of judges were blown away by the quality of the submissions. Within weeks of the contest closing, three authors had been picked up by literary agents, even before the shortlists had been announced.

The online winners’ ceremony took place in October 2020 and was a huge success. On top of the authors who won agents, six writers won mentorships, five won a publishing contract and 19 won an audiobook production. Notably, the audiobook production prize was intended to be singular — but publisher Kelly Rinne was so impressed she offered the prize to 19 authors. “You sent over amazing writers. It was so difficult to actually trim it down”, she explains. “You’ve got a great group of folks here; you’ve got a great contest and we’re just thrilled to death”.

Paula was delighted to have such positive feedback from her judging panel, but stresses that the Page Turner Awards is a writer-centric awards, above all. So, what did the writers’ have to say about the contest? Writer Robert Barry notes that the Page Turner Awards “go above and beyond what’s normally expected [with] all kinds of support and opportunities”.

Such dedication and a hands-on approach is a rarity among the world of writing contests, so why does Paula give so much more than is expected? “That’s easy”, she explains, “nothing is more rewarding than helping an aspiring author to make their break in an industry that is notoriously hard to get into. That alone and the fact that we have changed so many lives means that every late night and early morning has been worth it”.

The Page Turner Awards are now open for 2021 submissions, and already receiving some great entries. The judging panel has more than doubled in size and includes Paul Michael Glaser of Starsky and Hutch fame. There are also new categories added such as a Young Writers Award, a Writing Mentorship Award and a Screenplay Award. It’s set to be even bigger and brighter than last year!

It is likely that the Page Turner Awards will go from strength to strength. After all, as Paula explains, “The Page Turner Awards is so much more than a simple award: it’s a community and a movement.”

Submissions are now open for the 2021 awards, and you can enter here: http://bit.ly/PTA-AWIblog Good luck!

#amwriting

Inspirational Journeys Presents: How to Get Unstuck in your Writing Part 1: Stepping away from your WIP and Taking Care of Yourself

Hello to all my friends and followers in the blogosphere. This week, I aired part one of a two-part podcast series on how to get unstuck in your writing. In this week’s episode, I share tips about how stepping away from your work and reading in your genre can inspire you and get your creative juices flowing. I also talk about the importance of self-care. In the wrap up segment, I share two creative challenges to get you started.

If you like watching videos more than listening to podcasts, I’ve uploaded part one of this episode to YouTube. When you click on either the podcast or YouTube links, be sure to subscribe so you can get notifications when I upload new content. Next week, I’ll be talking more about how to conquer the brick walls in your story.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to get real-time behind the scenes updates on my writing life and sign up for my newsletter to receive a free short story and for a chance to win a free audiobook code for The Spirit of Creativity: Inspirational Poems for the Creative at Heart. Until next time, keep writing, because your story matters.

Blessings,

Ann