Music Monday with The Byrds and a Birthday Message

This will be my last Music Monday post as a forty-something woman. Yes, folks, tomorrow I cross over into another decade.

eden scared look

Holy crap! How old am I?

I’ve always loved this song written by Pete Seeger. With lyrics taken from the Book of Ecclesiastes, its message inspired my novella, A Season For Everything, considered one of my most moving stories about love and loss.

The song also hit the Top 100 Billboard charts in the year I was born. Don’t you just love serendipity?

“To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven …”

Here’s to spending the next seasons of my life with you. Let’s hope they are warm ones.

Hugs and have a great week,

~ eden 

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On being part of the LEI CRIME world via @tobywneal and @KindleWorlds

Kindle Worlds is a new arm of Amazon where writers can develop stories within an established world of known characters. Included are TV shows, graphic novels/comics, and popular book series.

How does this involve me, you ask? Well … let me tell ya! :D

A short time ago, crime author, Toby Neal, asked if I would like to be part of her Lei Crime Kindle World. She is one of very few authors Amazon has asked to join the Kindle Worlds family. I’ve showcased Toby and her popular series on my blog before. Her books take place in Hawaii and include a host of characters supporting a feisty, female detective named Lei Texeira.

I’ve read several of her books and enjoy her style and storytelling, so I was thrilled to be asked to be part of Toby’s series. Along with other esteemed writers, I will be delivering a novella April 7th to kick off the Lei Crime Kindle World!

I’m excited, nervous, challenged, and all that good stuff, but most of all, I’m honored to be included in the Lei Crime Kindle World.

If you wish to know more, hop over and read Toby’s post: Lei Crime Kindle World coming soon!

You too, can enter the Lei Crime Series Kindle World if you’re able to meet the deadline!

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Connect to Toby Neal

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An interview for Stranger at Sunset by @CameronGarriepy

I was honoured to be interviewed by a fellow writer for whom I have tremendous respect. Cameron Garriepy has been interviewed on my blog, and I am a huge fan of her work. I will highlight one of her upcoming releases shortly.

Hop over to Cameron’s website where she asked me some pointed questions about Stranger at Sunset.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

eden

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On the Subject of Self-Editing

I am a writer and a reader. On occasion, I am a reviewer, but one thing I can never be is an editor of my own work. Given that, I’d like to speak about self-editing, the important process I do before I hand off my manuscript to a professional editor.

Even if you are an indie writer who does not use a professional editor for whatever reason, I hope the following information will be helpful for you.

editor

Many writers hire two types of editors, and the same person can be both in some cases.

Content Editor – looks at the big picture: plot, characterization, voice, and setting.

Copy Editor – specializes in grammar, punctuation, fact-checking, spelling, and formatting.

The reason I self-edit is to provide my editor with the best possible draft of my work, free of: typos; grammatical errors; plot holes; etc., but I know that even with the best of intentions, even after I’ve made changes based on beta readers’ suggestions, there will still be errors.

Why?

I’m too close to my work, and after re-reading my book for the umpteenth time, my mind simply fills in the gaps and I can no longer see my mistakes.

I’ve listed five things I do to polish my manuscript when I self-edit. It’s grunt work but is not difficult to do and will make your final product much cleaner.

1) Eliminate clichés

chiches

Clichés are words or phrases that have become popular from overuse. They weaken writing and make sentences boring because they lack originality. Examples of clichés are:

– fit as a fiddle
– lived happily ever after
– sent a shiver down my spine

I try to replace them with a different phrase or rewrite the sentence without the cliché. It takes more effort, but the reader will be rewarded with fresh storytelling, not the same old, tired phrases.

2) Eliminate repetitive words/phrases/facts

repeating words

I often repeat the same word(s) within a few paragraphs, but it’s not easy to find these repetitions. Reading my text aloud helps. I also have “crutch” words I tend to overuse. A “search and highlight” for a specific word or phrase will reveal how many times I’ve used them in my manuscript. After that, I can replace them with a synonym or rephrase a sentence altogether.

Repetition of a fact/effect is a different problem. This can be two sentences that say the same thing or two paragraphs that convey the same information. It’s akin to hitting the reader over the head numerous times to make sure they understood you the first time.

Example:

Chapter 2: Mary’s hair is a flaming red color, always sitting as a messy pile above her shoulders.

Chapter 4: Mary’s fiery hair falls in a disarray around her neck.

Chapter 7: With her curly and out-of-control crimson tresses, Mary was easy to spot in the crowd of blonds.

I am essentially saying the same thing, drawing attention to the color and state of Mary’s hair. There may be instances where this can work, but in most cases, once is usually enough.

3a) Reduce the use of adverbs

Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. As a rule of thumb, they usually end in -ly.

studly adverb cartoon

Courtesy of the New Yorker

I know writers who are staunch “adverb-haters,” intent on removing all adverbs from their manuscript. I’m not one of those writers. I go by the rule that it’s always better to replace a weak adjective or verb with a stronger one than to use an adverb, but sometimes I choose not to do this. Stylistically, I may prefer the adverb in that sentence.

Adverbs such as ‘really’ and ‘very’ can usually be strengthened with a better word or phrase, and adverbs like ‘rather’ and ‘quite’ can be eliminated altogether.

Examples:

Modifying adjectives:
Really big … replace with HUGE
Very tired … replace with EXHAUSTED
Extremely small … replace with TINY

Modifying verbs:
She ate quickly … She GOBBLED her food
He walked slowly … He SAUNTERED

Modifying adverbs:
He moved rather slowly … eliminate RATHER – or change to: He appeared lethargic
She talked quite loudly … eliminate QUITE – or change to: She bellowed

3b) Eliminate adverbs in dialogue tags

In most cases, an adverb in a dialogue tag adds nothing useful to the dialogue.

Example:

Tom’s mouth curled into a grin. “I’m so thrilled you threw me this surprise party!” he said happily.

Tom’s facial expression and his words already express his happiness. There is no need to insert the word “happily” after “he said.”

Below is an example of where the word “angrily” isn’t needed.

“I’m never coming back here!” she said angrily. Jane stomped out of the room and slammed the door.

4) Be consistent

british vs US english

If you are writing in American English, be sure you use the correct spelling of words and keep them consistent throughout your text. American and British spellings differ for many words. As a Canadian, I’m aware of both spellings but sometimes use them inconsistently in my manuscript. This rule also applies to words that are capitalized or hyphenated, as well as formatting of punctuation.

Examples:

Color vs Colour
e-mail vs email
Internet vs internet

Here is a comprehensive and helpful list of UK vs. US spellings: http://www.tysto.com/uk-us-spelling-list.html

5) Vary the construction of sentences

keep calm and vary sentence structure

A reader alerted me to a specific stylistic technique of mine when he read my last book. The sentences looked something like this:

– With steely determination, she pressed on against the tide …
– Holding his bible against his chest, he preached to the choir …
– Like a wildcat circling her prey, she examined the body …

There is nothing wrong with this construction, but he was correct in pointing out that the sentences had a similar rhythm. Overuse of it can distract a reader.

Varying the structure of sentences helps make the writing more sophisticated. By avoiding constructions that have been overused, your writing will sound fresher and go a lot further to developing your own unique voice.

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I hope you have found this information helpful. If you have any tips on what you do to clean up your manuscript, please feel free to comment and share.

Happy writing and self-editing! :)

~ eden

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Music Monday is Gentle on my Mind

This is a song that Glen Campbell popularized. Performed here with the late great banjo player, John Hartford who wrote the song, and Ricky Skaggs on mandolin, it’s a wonderful rendition of “Gentle on my Mind.”

Glen Campbell came to mind after yesterday’s Academy Awards because one of his songs was nominated. Now stricken with Alzheimers, he wrote the song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” for his family before he lost all his memories. It was performed at the Oscars by Tim McGraw. Though it did not win, I thought it was a beautiful song with moving lyrics.

Hope you enjoy seeing Glen in better days, and have a great week,

~ eden

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ELLA by Stephen Moran (@SMoran26) #psychological #thriller

I’m happy to announce the first book from author and friend, Stephen Moran. ELLA was released late last year.

One reviewer wrote “… If you’re looking for a dark, psychological read that’s tough to put down, purchase ELLA right away …”

Now how can I resist? ;)

Take a look and grab your copy.

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ella

Buy Links

Amazon: US | Canada | UK

In an ordinary world, a girl doesn’t go from being a mental patient to a millionairess overnight. But it happens to Ella Thomas — a beautiful, 20-year-old writer with a dark secret. She flees her small hometown in Massachusetts and drives cross country to Las Vegas in search of adventure and material for her first novel. Stalked by an assassin and wanted by the FBI, she endures a hellish road trip to find the man who holds the key to her tale of abuse and murders. And to her heart.

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Connect to Stephen

stephen moran

Website | Facebook | Twitter @SMoran26

Stephen Moran was born in Rhode Island and lived in New England for decades before relocating to Las Vegas, where he lives with his wife, two dogs and a cat. Ella, the first novel released from a fictional world, will be followed soon by many others.

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Music Monday is Thinking Out Loud with @EdSheeran

I fell in love with this song when I saw Ed Sheeran perform it on the Grammys.

Beautiful music, lyrics, and video.

“…’Cause honey your soul could never grow old, it’s evergreen
And, baby, your smile’s forever in my mind and memory
I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe it’s all part of a plan
Well, I’ll just keep on making the same mistakes
Hoping that you’ll understand …”

Enjoy, and have a great week everyone <3

~ eden

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Coming Soon – TRIPTYCHS – An Anthology

*** Available for pre-order at 99 cents! ***

The price will go up to $3.99 when it publishes March 16th

BUY LINKS: Amazon US | UK | Canada

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I’m happy to announce I’m part of an upcoming anthology with some writers I’ve read and admire.

triptychs cover

Triptychs is the third book in the Mind’s Eye Series. The premise of the anthology was a unique and challenging one for me.

The book combines visual art and the written word. A photograph was given to three different writers, and each of us had to interpret the image and write either a story or a poem. Each photograph in the book, therefore inspired three different written pieces.

triptychs 2

As a teaser, I thought to give a bit of context for how my two stories came about. When Triptychs becomes available shortly, I will provide the BUY LINKS and make a more formal announcement. (See below for details of how to pre-order for only 99 cents).

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My story, “Last Call” was inspired by this scenic photograph.

triptychs Last Call

Photo credit: Helle Gade

I found the picture quite cheerful, but on the day I was writing the story, I was not in a particularly cheerful mood. As such, I twisted the image in my mind and created an ominous, mysterious tale about a woman who pursues sobriety.

Just when you thought it was safe to stop drinking … :)

triptychs SWANS

Photo credit: Martin David Porter

“Swans” was inspired by the above unusual photograph. I struggled with this picture for some time before I came up with the idea of a young girl and her unique relationship with her parents. The story pays homage to Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Ugly Duckling.”

Despite my initial difficulty with the photograph, I think the tale turned out well, and I hope you’ll like it.

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If you want to learn more about the Mind’s Eye Series, visit Darcia Helle’s website, and discover the other two books in the series.

Book 1: Persepctives

Book 2: Reflections

Book 3: Triptychs – Available for pre-order at 99 cents

Publication date: March 16th for $3.99

Buy from Amazon US | UK | Canada

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Music Monday and the #Grammys

Last night, I tuned in to the Grammys to find a song for today’s Monday feature. My taste in music runs the gamut of hard rock, soft rock, jazz, blues, bluegrass, country, pop, and more. It’s diverse, so I thought I would find something new I liked. The pickings were slim.

I like lyrics and music that touch me. What I saw and heard from many of the newer acts was more “show” than “song.” It’s difficult to feel moved by music when the singer becomes bigger than the song. I don’t need pyrotechnics for a country performance, and don’t pass off your auto-tuned voice as your own—not cool, Kanye. All the trills and vocal acrobatics don’t make for a better song when the lyrics are forgettable, and the song is soulless.

The Grammys don’t showcase the best musicians, of course, and some of those I’ve featured here have never won a Grammy.

Bob Marley – The Doors – Queen

Jimi Hendrix – Curtis Mayfield – The Strokes

The Who – Janis Joplin – Sam Cooke

Creedence Clearwater Revival  – Talking Heads – Deep Purple

The Pretenders – The Kinks – Dusty Springfield

What they have won though, is a place in music history. Only time will tell if that is the case for some of the performers last night.

One new artist I do like is Englishman, Sam Smith. He can sing. His lyrics are simple, and he belts them out from the heart.

“Stay with Me” has an interesting association with Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Google it if you’re interested.

Tell me if you watched the Grammys and enjoyed any new music. One last thing, SO thrilled that Beck won Album of the Year. I saw him open for the Stones years back, and liked him then. Grab his album, Morning Phase. There isn’t a bad song on it.

Have a great week, everyone, and stay warm.

eden

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Five stars for ALICE by @HefferonJoe #NewRelease #Review

I’m thrilled to announce a new release by author, Joe Hefferon. Alice is the second instalment of his Texas Trilogy. I introduced the series with his book, Scattergun back in October.

I just finished reading Alice, and I’m still catching my breath—that good. You can find my review below and on Amazon.

Both Scattergun and Alice are a steal at only 99 cents, so grab them. You’ll definitely want more.

flourishGritty, raw, well-crafted. ALICE is a great story

*** 5 stars ***

With a narrative that is taut and fast-paced, author Joe Hefferon creates a formidable villain in his novella, ALICE, the second book in his Texas Trilogy.

Slate Canyon is described as a man with regrets the lifespan of a housefly, whose two best skills are killing and forgetting. Nothing is sacred to him, which makes his character both frightening and fascinating.

The book also sees the return of Captain Lamar McNelly from SCATTERGUN. He teams up with the likeable detective, Chucho Zarate. Together, they pool their unique skills to hunt down a killer.

ALICE is filled with numerous memorable turns of phrase. There are no clichés, no stereotypes. The prose is fresh and inspired. Horrific scenes tear at you but glue you to the page because they are written with such control. Even the minor characters are imbued with so much life that you will want to know more about them. ALICE is not just well-crafted; it is superb storytelling.

Mr. Hefferon is someone I greatly admire in the crime fiction genre. Read him. I cannot say enough about his talent.

alice

Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Detective Lieutenant Chucho Zarate picks up the molecules of a decaying corpse drifting on the midnight air of Christmas Eve. No one in the small church notices, but his nose never lies; he knows some poor bastard has met a violent demise.

What he doesn’t know is this murder will unlock an internal gate holding back a spree killer, soon to be set loose upon Southeast Texas.

As the bodies pile up and the frustration mounts, the governor orders in the Texas Rangers to end the madness, and Captain Lamar McNelly, the synesthetic lawman, leads the team.

Together, McNelly and Zarate find themselves in a race to catch a phantom, with the next victim just a happenstance away.

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Connect to Joe Hefferon

joe hefferon

A former police captain with a penchant for dark humor. Joe has a keen interest in what really motivates people and the secret lives behind the facades.

Joe was interviewed on my blog November 29, 2013.

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Music Monday and Thunder Road

My favourite Springsteen song because I love the opening harmonica and the lyrics.

Hope you like it too,  and have a great week,

~ eden

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Two Questions and a Giveaway with author @TobyWNeal

Mystery/crime author, Toby Neal, asked me a couple of pointed questions on her website.

Toby is the bestselling author of the LEI CRIME series, and she has a wonderful site, so hop over, read the interview AND leave a comment. You will be entered for a drawing to win a copy of Stranger at Sunset!

Thanks, and have a great week,

eden

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Music Monday and Born to Run

This past weekend, I played charades with a house full of guests. It’s been years since I’ve played the game, and this song was one of the clues.

Charades is fun, though the clues we gave were just a bit too easy. Next time, we’ll have to add in 18th century poems (by French poets) to classic films and songs. ;)

Enjoy Bruce Springsteen and hope your week is off to a running start,

~ eden

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An interview and a Giveaway via Long and Short Reviews (@LASReviews)

I was honoured to be interviewed by a wonderful site called Long and Short Reviews, who also reviewed Stranger at Sunset last year.

It’s a terrific place to discover new authors and books.

Hop over and read the interview AND leave a comment or ask me a question on their site. You will be entered for a drawing to win a copy of Stranger at Sunset!

Thanks, and have a great day,

eden

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An Infographic by @Grammarly shows good writing matters … not just for authors

From time to time, I muse on the craft of writing. I don’t go into writers’ tips so much as observations about writing in general. Below are a few of my more popular posts on the subject:

About that C-word

It’s Only Words … Or is it?

Plotting for Pantsers

Although I consider words fun to play with, I do not, however, play without established rules. What are these rules, you ask?

They would be: punctuation, sentence structure, correct wording, spelling, and so on. They are areas I strive to improve upon each time I write a book/story/blog. I know this because I cringe (just a little) when I read some of my earlier offerings. It’s not that they were terrible, but I would have written them differently today. I consider this progress—a barometer of my own learning, if you will.

As authors, words are our tools. We use them to create content that must be both compelling and good.

What makes it compelling is our imagination and passion for telling a story.

What makes it good is our ability to capture readers’ imaginations in the telling.

Mastering the basics of writing is essential, and because language evolves, it is also a continuous learning process. Authors cannot become complacent with the mechanics of writing for it is the very foundation on which our imaginations rest. Without good writing skills, a story, no matter how compelling will never connect to a reader.

And it’s not only authors who need to write well.

Grammarly, a “grammar checker” and education website conducted a study to measure the impact of good writing skills on earnings. The Huffington Post published their infographic, and I have as well.

In the interest of full disclosure, Grammarly approached me to share it. For doing so, a donation will be made in my name to Reading Is Fundamental, a charity that promotes literacy.

I encourage you to read the infographic. Of particular interest to me were the findings related to the finance sector. As a former banker, I always knew good writing skills were important for moving up the corporate ladder. This was especially true as more areas relied on written communication to cement contracts with partners, both domestically and globally.

If there is a lesson to be learned, it’s that good writing matters. And nothing will convince some people more of this than the amount of pay they take home.

writing_skills_matter infographic

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Learn more about Grammarly 

Website | Facebook| Twitter @Grammarly

xx

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Music Monday with Maggie May

Last week I was in the car listening to my favourite rock station. In between songs, the announcer mused on Jimmy Page’s new girlfriend.

She’s 25. He just turned 71.

As he went on and on about the age difference, I thought … this is news? Who cares?

I certainly didn’t. They’re both consenting adults and it’s their business and no one else’s.

The only thing I got out of it was today’s music choice.

I know Rod Stewart has had his share of young girlfriends, but “Maggie May” is about an older woman/younger man relationship.

Enjoy this blast from the past, and have a great week,

~ eden

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THE WRONG SHOES ~ A story written with Bill Kirton (@carver22) for @RBwood’s Word Count Podcast

I’ve always written a story on my own for RB Wood’s podcast, but this time, I collaborated with Scottish writer, Bill Kirton, also a Word Count podcast regular. Last year, Bill suggested we join forces for a story, and since I adore him and his writing, it wasn’t a question of whether we would do it or not, just a matter of when. 

We decided to team up for the first Word Count episode of 2015 and dedicate it to RB, who celebrated his milestone 50th birthday at the end of December. Happy Birthday, Richard, many many more! 

The story was written in four parts, with Bill and me each writing two sections. Bill penned a wonderful post about the process on his blog, so hop over and read it. It’s a great summary of what we did in case you want to collaborate on a project with another writer.

You can hear Bill and me read “The Wrong Shoes” on: Episode #45 of R.B. Wood’s “The Word Count” podcast.

The prompt for this podcast was to use these three words in the story: Frozen. Whisky. Time.

me and bill for wcpc

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The playground of the elementary school, which Jackie crossed on her way to the bus stop, or to anywhere for that matter, had turned into an ice rink. Normally a carpet of grass, it quickly froze after the temperature dropped to minus twenty following a night of freezing rain. The grounds had become a dangerous place for unsuspecting pedestrians.

It was the weekend, and she was at her local until closing time. She’d had one too many, as was her habit most Saturday nights. Leaving the bar, she had to walk across the schoolyard to get to her apartment building. She’d done the trip a thousand times, even when drunk, and made it home without any problems, but that night … she fell. The advantage of having had too much to drink was she fell limp and boneless, like a rag doll. There was no resistance, which meant no broken bones anyway. She was lucky in that sense. Instead, she had stumbled and dropped face down on the frozen ground.

When she came to, she heard voices and an instinct warned her to keep quiet. She smelled cigarette smoke and soon murmurs formed hushed words. The voices were male, with at least three of them from what she could tell as the conversation ping-ponged above her.

“Darren, how about we take her to your place? No one will see us there.”

“Are you crazy? I may live in the basement, but my mom would kill me! She hears everything.”

“Steve, you still have access to that empty warehouse on Merton Street?”

Jackie’s entire body heated up beneath her goose-down coat. Even her face, painfully pressed against the ice, turned fire-poker hot.

She was in big trouble.

***

They say fear or trauma sobers you up quite quickly. They’re wrong. Her mind was still cloudy, slow. Even as she’d downed that last whisky, a double, she knew she was already way over any sensible limits. It wasn’t just her words she was slurring, it was her thoughts, too. So she lay there, trying to clear her head, trying to understand the plans being made by the voices.

“How the hell are we going to get her to Merton Street?”

“Carry her. Drag her. She’s pissed.”

“So what?”

“Well, Saturday night, innit? Everybody’s pissed, staggering about. We’ll just look like all the rest.”

The one called Steve wasn’t convinced.

“It’s too far. She might come round. Start screaming. How about the school? Maybe we could find a door open round the back, a window.”

Silence. Then “Yeah, Okay,” and other muffled sounds of agreement.

As two of them grabbed her arms and hoisted her to her feet, she knew she had to do something. In the school, even if they were stupid enough to let her scream, no-one would hear. Somehow, she had to stay where there might be others around, people who might hear her, save her. She shook her head and forced out a laugh.

“Aw thanks, guys,” she said. “I was bloody freezing down there.”

It silenced them, gave her a tiny advantage. She stammered on, her mind racing.

“I need to be in my bed. Cuddled up. Warm. Don’t suppose you could help me home, could you? It’s not far.”

She saw them looking at one another, uncertain. But smiles were creeping into two of the three faces. She nodded her head vaguely in the direction of her apartment building.

“Other side of the school,” she said. “Just there. Ground floor.”

The one on her right said “Anybody there to look after you?”

The cold was helping to clear her head.

“No,” she said. “Just me.”

“Bingo,” he said, and they set off through the darkness of the slippery playground.

***

Steve hated this. He didn’t want to be here. He had only suggested using the school with the hope they wouldn’t be able to get in, that the cold would eventually deter them, and they’d leave the girl alone. He wanted no part in what his friends had in mind. It turned his stomach to even hear them chat her up, trying to make her feel at ease, no doubt.

“Good thing we came along,” Darren said, his arm around her waist. His six-foot-two frame towered over her. “We’ll take care of you, honey, don’t you worry.”

“Oh yeah,” snorted Kenny, supporting her on the other side. “We’re your knights in shining armour!” He turned to look behind him. “Hey, Steve, keep up, will ya? We’re all gonna get nice and warm real soon.”

Steve bowed his head so he didn’t have to meet Kenny’s eyes. “Yeah … I’m coming …”

It was then he noticed the girl’s shoes. Even while propped up by Darren and Kenny, she teetered along like a child wearing ice skates for the first time. No wonder she fell. She wore the wrong type of shoes for this weather—the heel much too high, the material too thin. There was no support at all. His younger sister had the exact same pair. She had also fallen, fractured her wrist. For the past week, she’d cried with the pain, night after night. Kept Steve awake, hearing those sobs from her room. Made her sound so … lonely. And now here was another lonely, silly woman, out getting pissed all on her own, nobody waiting for her at home. He speeded up, overtook the others and turned to face them.

“Listen guys, we can’t.”

“What?” said Kenny.

“Her,” said Steve. “We can’t.”

“Why not? Look at the state of her.”

“That’s what I mean,” said Steve. “She’s pissed. It’d be like shagging a side of beef.”

“Cheeky bugger,” Jackie said. “You gay or something?”

Her voice was loud, penetrating, and coarse. Kenny hoisted her higher against him. The sudden pressure must have brought on a wave of nausea because she gagged and threw up on the path. Darren and Kenny let go of her and stepped away. She staggered but managed to stay upright.

“See?” said Steve. “D’you want to go home stinking of that? What d’you think your mom would say then, Darren?”

“Hey, gay boy, listen up,” said Jackie, sounding as if there might be more where that just came from. “Nothing wrong with me. I bet you’re talking about that HIV test. Am I right?”

Steve just looked at her.

“Am I right?” she said again, louder, almost aggressive. But, as she spoke, he saw something else in her eyes. Not aggression: a stare, fear, a plea for help.

“You are, aren’t you,” she said. “Bloody Angela’s been tweeting it. Well, she’s lying. It was negative. Right? The test. Negative.”

“What’s she on about?” said Darren, staying well clear of her.

She turned to him.

“Chlamydia, that’s all it was. Bloody Chlamydia.”

“See what I mean, guys,” said Steve. “We can’t.”

Darren and Kenny looked at each other, then back at Jackie. Darren spat on the ground.

“Slag,” he said, and started walking back the way they’d come. Kenny reached out a hand, grabbed her breast, squeezed hard then turned away to follow his friend.

Jackie watched Kenny and Darren disappear into the darkness. She pulled her jacket more tightly around her chest, wincing as her fingers touched against her breast. She turned back and looked at Steve. The fear was still there and tears were beginning to form.

“Thanks,” she said, her fingers gently probing her bruised flesh. “I … I don’t know what to say.”

Steve shook his head and said, “Buy some decent shoes.”

flourish

Thank you for reading and/or listening. Feel free to leave a comment or question. Feedback, whether good or bad is always welcome.

~eden

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Filed under Short Stories & Poetry, Writing Joint Ventures

Author Christoph Fischer releases his medical thriller ~ THE HEALER (@cffbooks)

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of this wonderful man. Christoph Fischer is a prolific author of multiple genres, and I’m proud to call him a friend. He’s also one of the hardest working people I know.

Because he does so much to help others, I am very proud to announce his newest book release.

The Healer is available TODAY!

I pre-ordered my copy and can’t wait to read it. Find out how you can get yours!

the healer

Buy Links

Amazon e-book worldwide link | Paperback

Be sure to mark The Healer as “To Read” on Goodreads

When advertising executive Erica Whittaker is diagnosed with terminal cancer, western medicine fails her. The only hope left for her to survive is controversial healer Arpan. She locates the man whose touch could heal her but finds he has retired from the limelight and refuses to treat her. Erica, consumed by stage four pancreatic cancer, is desperate and desperate people are no longer logical nor are they willing to take no for an answer. Arpan has retired for good reasons. casting more than the shadow of a doubt over his abilities. So begins a journey that will challenge them both as the past threatens to catch up with him as much as with her. Can he really heal her? Can she trust him with her life? And will they both achieve what they set out to do before running out of time?

flourish

Connect to Christoph

christoph with cup

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he is still resident today.
He completed a historical “Three Nations Trilogy” in 2013, comprising of “The Luck of the Weissensteiners”, “Sebastian” and “The Black Eagle Inn.”
In May 2014 he published his first contemporary novel “Time To Let Go” in May.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Christoph was interviewed on my blog February 7, 2014.

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Filed under Author Promotions

Author Rachel Thompson releases BROKEN PLACES (@rachelintheoc)

broken piecesAuthor and friend, Rachel Thompson, has just released Broken Places, the follow-up to her award-winning book, Broken Pieces. Rachel has written several books—from humour to non-fiction, and she also runs BadRedhead Media, a marketing company to help authors sell more books.

I’ve featured Rachel numerous times on my blog, and I’m always happy to give a shout-out to such a hard-working writer.

Please congratulate Rachel on her latest release, and pick up Broken Places in either e-book or print.

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broken places

 Buy links on Amazon: e-book | Paperback

Award-winning author Rachel Thompson courageously confronts the topics of sexual abuse and suicide, love and healing, in her second nonfiction book of prose: Broken Places. The sequel to Rachel’s first nonfiction book, Broken Pieces, Rachel bares her soul in essays, poems and prose, addressing life’s most difficult topics with honesty. As you follow one woman’s journey through the dark and into the light, you will find yourself forever changed. Rachel’s first book in this series, Broken Pieces, has been a #1 best seller on Amazon (eBooks) on Women’s Poetry and Abuse. Please note: this book discusses serious topics, and is intended for mature audiences only.

 Connect to Rachel 

rachel thompson2015

Website | Twitter @RachelintheOc | FacebookAmazon author page

For BadRedHead Media:  WebsiteTwitter @BadRedheadMedia

Rachel Thompson (aka RachelintheOC) is a bestselling author, now represented by Booktrope, and social media/author marketing consultant (BadRedhead Media and Author Social Media Boot Camp).

Three of her four books, A Walk In The Snark, The Mancode: Exposed and Broken Pieces are all #1 Kindle bestsellers! Midwest Book Review and two Amazon Top 10 Hall of Fame reviewers all gave Broken Pieces five stars! She just release Broken Places to stellar early reviews.

Her articles appear regularly in the Huffington Post, San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, bitrebels.com, and BookPromotion.com.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut.

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4 Comments

Filed under Author Promotions

My first Music Monday of 2015 – Don’t Give Up

It’s Monday, and my first post of 2015 is a musical one.

“Don’t Give Up” is a collaboration by two incredible musicians.

It’s not only a beautiful song, but an anthem for anyone who is struggling—creatively, financially, physically, emotionally, and otherwise.

With the world in turmoil sparked by the senseless murders in France, I have, at times, felt incredibly discouraged, but I’m not giving up … I hope you won’t either. — eden

je suis charlie

 

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Filed under Musical Mondays