#ExcerptWeek – Linda Bethea @Nutsrok1

 

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We are wrapping up our extended #ExcerptWeek with a contribution from  popular blogger Linda Bethea, which I know you’re going to enjoy! Thanks for taking part, Linda. The floor is yours!

~~~

Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad

Excerpt from Chapter Twelve
Special Times

Most farm business was conducted in Cuthand, but Daddy would sometimes catch a ride with the mailman or hire a ride to go to Clarksville by himself to take care of things. However, on a few, glorious occasions I would awaken before daybreak to find Mama putting breakfast on the table and hurriedly packing food in the blue-banded, enamel water bucket. This could only mean one thing. We were all going to Clarksville! It didn’t matter what went in the bucket. The occasion made everything special.

A family trip to Clarksville was rare and logistics had to line up just so. The weather had to be right, conditions perfect, and the need great. A pleasurable jaunt for the entire family was certainly not sufficient reason for a trip to town. As we loaded into the wagon, Mama casually mentioned something to Daddy about meeting for the noon meal in the wagon yard after she talked to the doctor. What in the world could she have to talk to the doctor about? We didn’t even know the doctor in town. The few times we’d had a doctor, it had been grumpy old Dr. Bohl.

“Mama, what do you have to talk to the doctor about?” I asked.

“Oh, nothing for you to worry about. Just a little woman trouble.” That sounded good to me. Maybe Mama was going to ask the doctor about getting us a baby. I’d always heard the stork brought babies, but after hearing whispers at school, had begun to suspect it had something to do with doctors. I always wanted a baby sister.

“Mama, can you ask the doctor about getting us a baby?” Continue reading

#ThatDarkestPlace Teaser & Catching Up

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That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3
Coming January, 2017

Hurricane Matthew clean-up goes on. Mark has taken Monday & Tuesday off to finish up, and I’m digging out from under a ton of emails, and playing catch up on my blogs. Bear with me, if you would. Hopefully, life will be approaching normal very soon.

In the meantime, I’m also trying to write a book! Made this meme a little bit ago, to let folks know it’s coming, even though slightly later than originally scheduled. Would love to have you share, if you have time. Thanks so much!

And a double thank you for being so patient while I’ve been gone. I have one more Excerpt to get out today, and I can put #ExcerptWeek away until next time. So stay tuned, as I get things settled again. THANKS!

 

#ExcerptWeek – Darlene Foster @supermegawoman

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Finally! #ExcerptWeek resumes with our last three contributors. Today’s guest is children’s author, Darlene Foster, and I know you’ll enjoy her charming excerpt. Please remember to share, thanks! Darlene, welcome to The Write Stuff.

~~~

Excerpt From Amanda On The Danube
The Sounds of Music

The girls continued to look around the market, stopping to pull the strings on jumping jacks and stroking teddy bears dressed in lederhosen, just like the dancers wore the night before.

“Psst!”

            Amanda looked around but couldn’t see anyone.

“Psst!”

Amanda swung around and saw a finger motioning to her from between two stalls. Leah was busy looking at jewellery. Amanda slipped into the tiny space. There crouched in the corner, sat the young boy who played his violin by the Gingerbread House earlier.

“Please, Miss. I need your help.”

Amanda noticed blood seeping out of the dirty bandage on his thumb. “What happened to your thumb?”

“Oh, that. It is nothing.” The young man reached for his violin case. “You are on the boat, yes? The Sound of Music boat?”

“Yes, I am. Why?” She looked at the bloody finger. “You should have that cleaned up. You could get an infection.”

“Please, could you take this with you on the boat?” His large blue eyes pleaded with her as he held out the case.

“Why can’t you take it to the boat?” asked Amanda.

“I do not have a ticket. But my violin must get on the boat. It is of much importance.”

“Well -” Amanda took a deep breath. “I guess I could take it, but then what will I do with it once I’m on the boat.”

“Perhaps you could keep it in your room until you get to Vienna. I will meet you there.”

“H – How…”

“Amanda! Where have you gone?” She could hear Leah shouting.

“OK. I have to go.” Amanda snatched the violin case.

Danke, fraulein. Don’t tell anyone you saw me, bitte. I mean, please.”

~~~

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Author Darlene Foster

Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. Following her dreams, she’s now an award-winning author of the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky 12-year-old Amanda Ross who has adventures in unique places. Her books include Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain – The Girl in The Painting, Amanda in England – The Missing Novel and Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. She is also the author of a bi-lingual book, Pig on Trial/Cerdito a juicio. Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, in Spain. She believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true.

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Buy Darlene’s Book Here:
Amanda on the Danube: The  Sounds of Music

Reach Darlene on Social Media Here:
Website
Blog 
Facebook
Twitter
My Amazon Author Page

 

 

 

#ExcerptWeek – Yvonne Blackwood @YvBlackwood

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Yvonne Blackwood
Author

This morning, I’d like to welcome Yvonne Blackwood to the Write Stuff. Yvonne is sharing an excerpt from her yet-to-be-published novel, The Guarded Virgin. (Note: the hurricane referenced in this excerpt is 1951’s  devastating Hurricane Charlie, not to be confused with 2004’s Hurricane Charley.) I know you are going to enjoy this one, so Yvonne, you have the floor!

~~~

Excerpt from Chapter 7 The Guarded Virgin

This summer—1951—Novelette takes off to Westmoreland as usual. I go to the post office in Fairhaven town every few days to collect letters, but I don’t hear from her for three whole weeks. I can’t understand it. We had parted good friends, and promised to write each other as we always do. Usually she would write first to say she arrived safely, and give me a run-down of what is going on at Seaford Town. I would reply and tell her what’s going on here, and back and forth we would write. On August 16th, I go to the post office for the umpteenth time. This time, finally, I receive a letter from her. I rip it open and read it right there outside the post office. It’s a short one, and it baffles me. In fact it doesn’t have much detail like her letters of previous years; it really tells me little.

Dear Winsome,

This summer has been a tough one. I miss you and all the fun things we used to do. My relatives here are okay but very nosey. I wanted to tell you something before I left for the holidays but I didn’t know how to say it. You are so GOOD and focused; I am NOT.

            I met someone before I left Fairhaven for the holidays. It was like electricity the first time he touched me. I was scared and thrilled and worried and excited all rolled up into one. I can’t tell you his name, and I know my mother and father will kill me if they knew I’ve told you this much. I walked two miles to the post office to mail this letter myself; to make sure no one reads it. This is our secret. I just have to share it with you before I burst.

            Write soon but don’t ask any questions about the secret in your letter and don’t mention it.

            Your friend always,

Novelette

I rush home, grab my writing pad and fountain pen, and begin to reply right away. I want to know what she is talking about, why she took so long to write, and what this big secret is. After writing a couple of lines it hits me like a thunder bolt; the holidays are almost over. A mental calculation tells me that it will take about four or five days for my letter to reach Novelette, and a similar time-frame to receive her response if she replies immediately. With a sinking feeling, I realize that there is no point writing now. I’ll just have to wait for her to return. I rip up what I had written. All of a sudden, my mind goes into a tailspin. Casting my mind back to the past, and I see a clear picture. I’ve never seen Novelette pay the slightest attention to any boy, either at school or at church. I actually think she hates boys since they call her “Porky” to her face. When I’d shared my secret with her that I liked Frederick Donaldson, she’d laughed and said, “Ah, Winnie! That scrawny boy? Forget it.” She never once said she liked any boy. Now she’s writing to say a boy touched her and how it was thrilling. This is pure madness! I’m going to sleep on it to clear my head.

* * *

I awake early the next morning as is customary, and start on my chores. First, I pick a basket of succulent Spanish needles to feed the rabbits with. The blades are wet as if it rained during the night, but it’s just from the overnight dew. The rabbits love it though; after eating it, it seems that all they ever do is pee and excrete little pellets that fall through the slots of their pen to the ground beneath. With the rabbits taken care of, I go and tether the goats to a guava tree in a grassy area of our land that isn’t cultivated. At least they can scurry for their own food. I call the chickens together in front of our kitchen and throw out a bowl of corn on the ground for them to eat. They gobble up the seeds before you can sing the first verse of Mary had a little lamb. I plan to check for eggs later. Finally, using a broom that my brother, Amos, made from thatch leaves, I sweep the yard—hard caked-up red dirt—removing all thrash and loose soil that has been blown about by the wind.

By 11:00 o’clock I notice that the animals are very restless. The rooster, normally quiet by this time, continues to crow non-stop. Jane, our donkey, begins to bray at intervals, which is the most unusual thing of all. I’d forgotten Jane even has a voice; she uses it so rarely. To add to the mayhem, our dogs, Rex and Bruno, begin to howl. Outside, the air is as calm as if the whole district is holding its breath. I rush into the kitchen where Vera is preparing lunch.

“Vera, something very strange is happening. Do you hear Jane braying, and the dogs howling?” I ask.

“Yes I hear them. What is it?”

“I don’t know, but something’s in the air.”

“Let’s go turn on the radio,” Vera says. She covers the food with a tea towel and we go into the hall to listen to the radio. There’s a bit of static at first, then it clears up. Nat King Cole’s smooth voice filters through the airways singing his latest hit, Too Young. Vera and I sing along.

They try to tell us we’re too young Too young to really be in love. . .

We know all the words. When the song ends, an announcer comes on. He warns that Jamaica is in the path of Hurricane Charlie. It is a category 4 storm and is expected to hit Kingston in the afternoon.

            “So that’s what the animals are sensing,” Vera says. “I’m amazed that they can pick up on something like this.”

Fear begins to creep into my mind. “What is a category 4 storm, anyway?”

            “I don’t know all the details about these weather things, but I know it’s the second-highest hurricane rating according to the scale they use to measure hurricanes. Winds can get up to150 miles an hour.”

“What do we do now?” I’m beginning to shake. Although I’ve never experienced a full-blown hurricane, I’ve experience storms before. The lightning, thunder, winds, and heavy rains scare me.

Seeing fear in my eyes, Vera says, “Manchester is sheltered by the mountain ranges; the storm may not hit this part of the island. Anyway, we still have to prepare. Run to the field and tell Ma and our brothers about the announcement. We’ll have to board up the windows—that is if we have any boards. We need to fetch water from the tank to fill up the pitchers and buckets. We have to make sure we have kerosene for the lamps; battery for the flashlight, and get some canned bully beef and bread. There are a few things we have to do to prepare; hurricanes can last for days.”

I’m stunned. I stand in the hall as if turned to stone.

Go! Go!” Vera yells.

I sprint to the field far back from our house to give Mother and my brothers the news.

* * *

By 4:00 p.m. the sky changes colour to a strange violet-red mixed in with shades of orange. Standing on the verandah, I see towering storm clouds forming. The clouds look angry. I’d never seen anything like it before. The colours mingle together and appear like colours you would see in a roaring fire when you throw in wood that is wet. At this point there is no wind, just an eerie silence. Maybe, as Vera had said, the storm won’t reach our parish.

Shortly after, the sun sets and darkness descends like a thief in the night; one minute light, the next darkness —no in between twilight. Suddenly, I hear a roaring sound like a train coming too fast into a station. A wind, building up speed, rushes toward Fairhaven. Mesmerized, I stand and stare into the distance. The first blast slams into our house; it knocks me flat on my back onto the verandah floor. I scream.

Mother yells from inside the house, “Winsome, get in here immediately.”

            I want to rush inside, but I can’t stand. My feet feel like they’re made out of Jell-O.

            Oh God, don’t let me die out here. Think Winsome, think.

I roll over, and crawl on my hands and knees, to the door leading into the hall. Fighting the wind, I manage to wrench the door open, and hanging onto it, I swing my body into the house. I lock it behind me, then sit on the floor panting, trying to catch my breath. Mother and my brothers are standing around the radio. It’s turned on but only produces static noises.

            Mother turns to look at me. “What on earth were you thinking, standing out on the verandah? This is a hurricane. A sheet of zinc from somebody’s roof could have sliced off your head! It’s only going to get worse. Go to the bedroom and stay there.”

            I stumble like one of the drunkards on a Saturday night in Fairhaven town into our bedroom and find Vera there. She seems almost as frightened as I am. We hugged each other as we sit on our bed. Rain begins to pour. The noise of the wind and the trees thrashing wildly outside, sounds like it is the end of the world. The sound of the wind becomes louder, changing from a hissing sound to a screaming, moaning sound. It forces its way through every joint and crevice in the windows and doors as it presses itself against the house from every side. Coming in titanic, unstoppable gusts, the wind shakes our house like it is a doll’s house. Drops of water begin to drip through small holes in the roof. Our roof is made from cedar shingles. I suspect that the dripping is coming through the holes made by the nails that anchor the shingles. Vera and I look around for containers to catch the water.

~~~

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Yvonne Blackwood is an author, columnist, blogger, and speaker. Published books include: the very successful Into Africa a Personal Journey—ranked in the top five best-selling books under Ghana on Amazon.com in 2002; the hilarious Will That Be Cash or Cuffs? set in a supermarket chain, and Into Africa: The Return.

 Yvonne has published several short stories and won the millennium short story contest held by the Canadian Authors Association, Toronto Branch, in 2000. The story, Best Friends, is published in an anthology titled In all Directions. She is a contributor to the fabulous anthology Canadian Voices.

Yvonne has written numerous articles for several newspapers including Canada’s largest newspaper, the Toronto Star. She currently writes an interesting blog at http://www.blackwoodyvonne.com and owns the website http://www.healthytealovers.com

In addition, Yvonne is a retired career banker and a world traveler.

 Social media & contact links:
Facebook
Linkedin
Twitter
Book website
Blog

 

#ExcerptWeek Update

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Just wanted to say that I’ve decided to extend #ExcerptWeek another two or three days, to accommodate everyone who has asked to be included. Submissions, however, are closed at this time, since I have several waiting to be shared, already.  Don’t worry if you didn’t get one sent in in time. I like to have #ExcerptWeek “events” every couple of months, so you’ll have more opportunities in the future, I promise.

Mark said if I extend things for another whole week, I can call it #ExcerptFortnight, but I think maybe I won’t go quite that far. 🙂 Stay tuned for the next excerpt tomorrow, as I’m taking a bit of a break today. (Yeah, still fighting that little cold/bug/thingie. Nothing big, I’ve been assured, but it is leaving me with about 1/3 of my usual energy, so I think a rest day is in order.) But not to worry. More excerpts are coming!

Thanks for all the sharing and kind words you guys have been offering to our participants. I know they appreciate it! Now. As you were, folks. And have a great Sun’s Day.

 

#ExcerptWeek – Rebekkah Ford @RebekkahFord

 

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This morning’s #ExcerptWeek guest is paranormal writer Rebekkah Ford, with an excerpt from Ameerah. I’m very happy to have her with us, and I know you’ll enjoy reading and sharing this one! Rebekkah, the floor is yours.

~~~

Ameerah

We entered an uncarpeted, vacant hallway that branched out on both ends. Several metal doors with bolts lined the walls. The blue paper booties I wore crinkled against the bottoms of my feet sliding across the shiny white floor.

“What did they give me?” I asked when we stepped into the restroom straight across from the room I was in.

Ann led me to a stall with no door, only an off-white partition that separated it from the other johns. “It was a barbiturate used to sedate patients. Sleep therapy is what some doctors dubbed it.” She continued to talk while I emptied my bladder, keeping her word to give me as much privacy as she could.

Once I finished, I went to the sink and cringed at my reflection in the mirror. The right side of my face had a purple, yellowish bruise across my cheek, and the luster in my hazel eyes was gone. My complexion had a grayish cast. Whatever was injected into my body created a carbon copy of myself.

Ann handed me a washrag, and I realized there was no hot water when I went to dampened it. After I cleaned off my eyes and face, we headed down the north side of the hall. I listened to Ann tell me that most of the residents were in the common room, which explained the eerie silence.

“There you are,” a manly nurse with thick forearms and a broad forehead said when we rounded the corner from another corridor. She was heading our way and seemed quite annoyed.

Ann stiffened but held her head high. “Ameerah caught my attention. She needed to use the lavatory, and now I’m taking her to the dining room for lunch.”

“I realize you’re new here, Ann,” the other nurse said, “but we do not call patients by their first name in their presence. Each one has a number.” She pointed at me. “This one is number sixty-four.”

A laugh of disbelief escaped my lips. I couldn’t help it. What type of place was this, sedating people, tying them to a bed, and calling them by numbers instead of their names? I found being called Sixty-four another check in the box under the dehumanization category. “Excuse me,” I said when they looked at me, “I don’t know what type of facility I’m in, but regardless, I have a name. It’s Ameerah. To refer to me by a number is demonizing my identity, so I’d appreciate it if you would stick with my name instead.”

The coarse nurse scowled. “We will do no such thing.”

I made a face. “Why? What’s the purpose in such a demoralizing act? And what the hell is this place?”

Still scowling the nurse snapped, “Watch your mouth.”

“You’re in an insane asylum,” Ann said.

~~~

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Rebekkah Ford

Rebekkah Ford is an award-winning author who writes paranormal fiction. She believes her fascination with the unknown derives from her childhood. When her parents were married, they were the directors of the UFO Investigator’s League. They also investigated ghost hauntings and Bigfoot sightings in addition to extraterrestrial cases. Rebekkah’s upbringing, knowledge, and experiences with the paranormal world, along with her colorful imagination, aids her in creating her stories.

Rebekkah has an irreverent sense of humor, is known to annoy her beloved cat, Church, by singing opera to him (Rebekkah is tone deaf, btw), and she believes having a dirty mind makes boring conversations more interesting.

Buy Ameerah Here:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
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Barnes and Noble
Kobo
I Tunes Apple

Connect with Rebekkah Here:
Amazon Author Page
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Website Author Rebekkah Ford
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#ExcerptWeek – Marcia Meara – @marciameara #SummerMagic

 

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Thought maybe I’d sneak in a wee excerpt of my own tonight. A fun poem from Summer Magic, just to make you smile. This little book is divided into two parts, the first being a series of poems based on MacKenzie Cole’s summers spent camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his dad. Mac is the handsome hero in my first book, Wake-Robin Ridge, and I really enjoyed creating some poetry to bring his childhood to life. Hope you like this one.

~~~

AMBUSH

Silent, sleek, deadly,
The predator climbs high, high,
And stretches out full length
On the smooth, sturdy limb,
Well hidden within heavy green foliage.
The wait begins.

Panting slightly as the sun climbs
And dappled light pierces the shade,
Heat rises, but keen eyes miss nothing
And sharp ears catch the first soft footfalls
Of unsuspecting prey, moving quietly
Down a curve of narrow trail.

Patience is everything.
Lie still, still, still!
No slight movement to cause alarm.
Hunger growing, mouth watering at
The smell of food coming ever closer.
Body tenses, ready to leap.

Humans are slow, pitiful creatures.
Lacking panther senses to warn them
Of danger lying overhead.
Teeth bared, growls erupting,
Body drops downward,
Ready for the kill.

With a shout, the man falls,
Hand over his heart.
You got me, you little panther, you!
Don’t eat my fingers!
Don’t eat my toes!
I brought you peanut butter and jelly.

Gotcha good, didn’t I, Dad?
I was patient, like you taught me.
Grabbing a sandwich, he dances away,
Calling over his shoulder,
Race you to the pond now!
After lunch, I want to be a fish.

~~~

 Summer Magic is now available on Kindle for just $.99 – Download HERE        

 

#ExcerptWeek – Lori Spangler

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Today’s #ExcerptWeek Guest has done something  most of us can only dream about. Imagine traveling to ALL fifty states! How marvelous! And she’s done one better. She’s written a memoir about her travels. I know you’ll enjoy reading and sharing this one. Welcome, Lori! The floor is all yours!

~~~

Miles of Memories:
One Woman’s Journey to All 50 States
by Lori Spangler

Several years before I turned eighteen, the voting age changed from 21 to 18. After a lot of debate at my high school, the policy for absence notes changed. Once a student turned 18 she could write her own excuse for being absent from school. Since I turned 18 at beginning of the school year, I was one of the lucky few. I felt grown-up to not need a parent’s signature. Since I never cut classes, and had to be seriously ill for my parents to allow me stay home from school, there was little chance I would abuse my excuse-writing responsibilities.

I wrote my first absence note because I planned to miss school for a college visit. I wanted to go to a college that offered a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement. As a freshman, for a social studies assignment I wrote a paper about a career that interested me. All the other girls wrote about being a nurse, secretary or teacher, except one girl who wrote about being a dog groomer. I wanted to do something different, so I decided on a policewoman. My paper focused on a career in law enforcement, and being a detective on a police force. In essence I probably wanted to be Nancy Drew and solve mysteries, but get paid for it.

My goal of being in law enforcement stayed with me as I shopped for a college. I looked for schools with degrees in Criminal Justice. The University of North Dakota (UND) in Fargo offered this curriculum. Fargo is across the border from Moorhead, a city in northwestern Minnesota.

I arranged with Mom and Dad to miss two days of school, take the Greyhound bus to Moorhead, stay overnight with my sister in her dorm room at Moorhead State University, tour UND, and later get a ride home with her.

When I wrote the absence note, I gave it to the school secretary the day before I planned to be gone. Classes ended at 3:32 p.m. each day, but about 3:20 the principal came to my classroom and asked to speak to me. It was a big deal to get called out of class by the principal. The other kids said “Oh. Oh. What did Lori do now?” and “Busted!” as I walked out of the room. The principal asked me about my note, wanted to ensure my parents knew about my trip, confirmed I had notified my teachers, and that I was considering UND. Yes, yes and yes.

During high school I tried not to have much contact with the principal because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, but he inadvertently became a part of my senior goal. I don’t know how or why, but I decided I wanted to pull a fire alarm. Early in the school year I told my goal to the principal, and asked if I could pull it sometime when we had a practice drill. I mentioned it to him once. By the last week of school, since nothing happened, I assumed he had forgotten about it, but I was happily wrong. With two days of school left, he pulled me out of class. And like earlier in the year, everyone in the classroom said, “Oh. Oh. What did Lori do now?” and “Busted!” But this time he walked me to the other side of the school, without talking. I thought I was in trouble too, until he stopped outside his office and pointed to the red fire alarm. I got to pull the lever setting off the alarm. What a feeling of power to make such a loud noise and be able to stop it again. It felt great to meet a goal. Mission accomplished.

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Lori Spangler

Lori Spangler is a native Minnesotan with a zest for living. Kids and dogs appreciate her infectious laugh, witty sense of humor, and positive outlook. When not indulging in her passion for travel, she can be found reading, biking, eating ice cream or teaching others the finer points of public speaking. Miles of Memories: One Woman’s Journey to all 50 States is her first published book.

Buy Lori’s Book Here:
Miles of Memories Amazon.com
Miles of Memories Barnes & Noble

Contact Lori Here:
www.LoriSpangler.com
Facebook page: Miles of Memories Book

 

 

 

#ExcerptWeek – D. G. Kaye @pokecubster

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Today, I’m very happy to welcome D. G. Kaye to #ExcerptWeek here on The Write Stuff. Deb has been having all kinds of frustrating issues this last week, with both her ability to comment on this and other blogs, and issues getting her latest book formatted and published. I’m happy to say that things are starting to look up, and proud to present this excerpt for your reading pleasure. As always, please remember to share far and wide. And now, the floor is yours, Deb. Take it away!

P.S. I Forgive You

P.S. I Forgive You is a sequel to Conflicted Hearts, a memoir about my narcissistic mother, and the psychological hold she had on me by instilling guilt and fear when her demands weren’t complied with, and the heartache she bestowed on her loved ones.

This sequel is a stand alone in its own right. It’s a new journey about discovering and overcoming the narcissists inflictions, and ultimately, learning forgiveness, both for myself and my mother. The story is a completion of a life cycle, the cutting of the cord with all its frayed ends.

BLURB

I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

EXCERPT

The End Is Near

My mother had been dying for years, and through those years she refused to surrender her bitterness and remained in denial of her flaws. The many times I heard she was dying reminded me of the boy who cried wolf. I almost believed she was invincible, and even though I never wanted her to suffer, she did.

I thought it was just a horrible and sad way to die—holding hatred for those she had chased out of her life, living in bitter seclusion, knowing her days were numbered. Her once vibrant life had diminished into a mere existence of watching TV and complaining. She’d also given all her caregivers a difficult time, bitching at them all and letting them know how useless they were to her because of what her life had become. Nobody was exempt.

I asked my brother Robby why God didn’t just take her out of her misery and pain during one of the many times she was on the brink of death. Why would he not spare her from suffering? He replied, “God has his own plans.” I couldn’t help but wonder if he was letting her suffer because she had hurt so many people in her lifetime, but in my next thought I couldn’t believe God would play those cruel games, tit for tat.

I wondered what thoughts had to have been going through my mother’s head. How awful it must have been to know her time left on earth was limited. I thought about how frightened she must have felt in her lonely world, although she’d never admit it. I was sad for her, knowing that the anger and bitterness she displayed was a front for the depressed state of her pathetic life. I couldn’t fathom why she remained so obstinate in her resolve to spend what little time she had left wallowing in misery instead of embracing the end and making amends with her children. I wanted to fix her, but I didn’t know how.

~~~

D.G. Kaye Author
D. G. Kaye

D.G. Kaye was born and resides in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of Conflicted Hearts – A Daughter’s Quest for Solace From Emotional Guilt, Meno-What? – A Memoir, and Words We Carry. D.G. is a nonfiction/memoir writer. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and the lessons that were taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcomes some of the many obstacles that challenged her. From an emotionally neglected childhood, to growing up with a narcissistic mother, leaving her with a severely deflated self-esteem, D.G. began seeking a path to rise above her issues. When she isn’t writing intimate memoirs, Kaye brings her natural sense of humor into her other works.

Find D. G. Kaye Here:

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Find D. G. Kaye’s Books Here:

D.G.’s book, P.S. I Forgive You was just published this week. Check it out on Amazon Here! And Visit her Amazon Author page to view and purchase her other books.

#ExcerptWeek – M. E. Hembroff @margiesart1

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Today, I’d like to welcome children’s author M. E. Hembroff. Hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from her book, and please don’t forget to share, thanks!

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Bess’s Magical Garden

Chapter 1

The sun streamed in the window and illuminated the ivy wallpaper. Bess looked around and felt bewildered until she remembered that she was in their new home in Pineview. After she was fully awake, she realized that the room looked different in the daylight. The streetlights were on when they arrived the night before. She looked out the bay window and noticed the snow-white apple blossoms. So that was the fragrance she had smelt.

          Bess’s thoughts drifted back to the day she had collapsed in ballet class. An ambulance had rushed her to the hospital, where her parents met her. After several tests the doctors told them that she had a mild case of polio. She ended up spending many months in the hospital undergoing treatment and physical therapy before she was ready to go home. She had worked hard, but she still had to wear a brace and use a crutch.

          Her thoughts were interrupted when Mother breezed into the room. “Rise and shine.”

          “Don’t want to,” Bess grumbled, as she brushed some tousled hair out of her eyes.

          Mother smiled. “It’s a warm sunny day. Let’s have breakfast in the garden.” The air was filled with the scent of jasmine as she walked past. Mother took the clean clothes out of the open suitcase on the window seat.

          Bess rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. “Would rather eat here,” she said. Didn’t Mother know how difficult it was to walk that far? Megan, her cousin and best friend, had always dropped in before school, so they could have breakfast together. Megan had lived in the apartment across the hall. Bess had stayed at Megan’s last weekend, while Mother and Uncle Joe moved the furniture. Megan beat her at snakes and ladders and checkers several times. The fun-filled weekend ended too soon, and her new life suddenly began. She and her mother had left the city early Monday morning and arrived at their Pineview home late last night.

          It wasn’t fair that Mother had wanted to move. The doctors had told Mother that Bess needed fresh air and light exercise and not to lie around the apartment all day.

          “Get up and get dressed,” Mother said firmly. “There will be all kinds of fun things to do this summer. Would you like to decorate your room?”

          “What’s the point? There isn’t anything to do without Megan,” Bess grumbled, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

          “There is a path near the patio door that leads into a sheltered garden. See you there shortly,” Mother answered.

Chapter 2

          Bess reluctantly got out of bed. After tucking her crutch under her arm, she hobbled across the room to look at the clothes that Mother had laid out. Why did Mother want her to dress up? Weren’t her everyday clothes good enough? As Bess tried to decide whether to wear the skirt or a pair of slacks, her thoughts drifted to that day six months ago when they’d received the news about the car crash that took Father away forever. Bess had waited at the hospital with Mother, because she had been released the same afternoon to continue therapy as an out-patient. She and her mother had received the news that someone had sped through a green light and rammed into the driver’s side of the car, killing Father instantly.

          Bess proceeded down the hallway to the patio door and hobbled down the path. She stopped and looked around in amazement. For a brief second, she thought that she saw an archway covered with orange flowers that lead into a colourful garden…. but it was gone in an instant. Instead, an arch covered in tangled vines with a broken gate swung on its hinges. The space was overgrown with weeds and surrounded by a crumbling stone wall. A tangle of weeds almost hid the stepping stones.

          She proceeded to the stone bench in the middle of the yard. Not until Mother arranged a tray with an assortment of muffins and fruit did Bess realise how hungry she was.

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M. E. Hembroff

I was creative and shy as a child. I spent a lot of time outside either playing by myself or with my younger sister. There was an embankment on the south side of the house with a path that led down into my mother’s sunken flower bed that was sheltered on three sides by caragana and lilac bushes. It was fun skipping around among the flowers and it was a great place to let the imagination run wild. The clay was great for making small dishes and utensils. I made a lot of them and dried them in the sun. There was a couple of places among the trees where tables and chairs and swings were set up. We would often play house or pretend it was a store. Our snacks came fresh out of the large vegetable garden on the other side of the caragana hedge. The leaves off the lilac bushes became money. I was impulsive and some of my ideas got me in trouble. A few years later I drew a picture of the Flying Purple People Eater from the hit song.  I was always making up stories in my head but never wrote any of them down. It was easy to become someone totally different whenever I wanted.

I grew up on a farm in southwestern Manitoba, Canada before there was TV and our entertainment was usually listening to the radio, reading, listening to Father play the fiddle and doing crafts. I was the fourth in a family of five and imaginative and impulsive. We went to a red-brick one room schoolhouse three miles from home. Most of the grades consisted of three or four students taught by one teacher.

Many years later when I had young children I started to take courses and put my ideas onto paper. While the children grew up I took art and writing courses. My stories disappointed me so I concentrated on my art for a long time. When I turned sixty five I started to write in earnest and developed stories that I was starting to feel proud of. That was when the idea for Bess’s Magical Garden came and Bess was born. At that time I took an online course to get me started and after four years finally had a completed manuscript. It is my belief that one is never too old to learn a new skill.

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My book can be purchased at the following:
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https://www.amazon.com/author/mehembroff
https://www.friesenpress/bookstore