Monday, March 2, 2015

Calling All Book Reviewers!

Hello Everyone! I was delighted to learn recently that Four Spooky Short Stories by Kathryn Meyer Griffith will be free to download from Amazon - at least for a short time! I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Four Spooky Short Stories by Kathryn Meyer Griffith back in January of 2013, and I reposted my reviews in August of 2014.

Yes, from Wednesday, March 4, 2015 until Sunday, March 8, 2014, Kathryn Meyer Griffith's supernatural short story collection Four Spooky Short Stories will be available to download for free from Amazon. Four Spooky Short Stories is also available as an audio book from Audible, narrated by the absolutely fantastic Wendy Tremont King. So, you'll have to hurry and grab your own copy today!

As a matter of fact, Ms. Griffith would also like to ask one teeny, tiny, little favor of you all. If you'd be kind enough to write a brief but honest review of Four Spooky Short Stories for her on Amazon, she would be absolutely delighted. Hey, you'll be able to download a free copy for yourselves from Amazon from Wednesday to Sunday of this week - so, go grab yourselves your own copy and have fun reading!


Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-two years ago now, and have had twenty (ten romantic horror, two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last five novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my dinosaur novels are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-six years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and Cleo, and live cat Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my horror novel The Last Vampire - Revised Author’s Edition ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.

Four Spooky Short Stories by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2013)
Length: 103 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Four Spooky Short Stories Blurb:

Four contemporary spooky short stories:

Ghost Brother…

So what happens after you die? Do you go to heaven, or hell? Or do you go to a special place fashioned just for you based on the life you’d lived in the real world? Based on how you treated people? What you did to them?

And do ghosts exist? Do they roam the earth and plague the living, persuade them to do things they shouldn’t do?

Two brothers and their tale follow; their journey through life and death.

Do you believe in ghosts? Some do.

Running with the Train


Sarah has always been lonely. Searching for a love she’s begun to believe will never come. Her family and friends depend, need her…but they can’t give her what she wants. True, eternal love. Like the wolves have.

So she goes on an adventure of a lifetime to the Grand Canyon; rides the train from Williams to the South Rim and sees these huge wolves running alongside in the evening twilight; scurrying unbelievably below on the Canyon’s ledges among the trees. She’s told there are no wolves but she hears their haunting cries. No one else sees or hears them. Just her.

Has her loneliness made her crazy?


The Banshee and the Witch


What would you do to live forever, stay young forever? To find true love again?

And if you were a white witch with the magical powers to make it happen…and the secret of how to do it, would you?

So when the banshee comes calling for you one rainy dark night you’ll do what you have to do to get what you desire the most. More time.

Too Close to the Edge


Artist Penelope had been looking forward to going with her husband, sister and brother-in-law to see the Grand Canyon…even though she was terrified of heights and, when she got there, couldn’t bear to get too close to the edge. She watched people balancing on one foot, acting foolish, taking photos, oblivious of the death waiting below them. It scared her.

Especially when a woman relates a story of a small child that fell into the Canyon the day before. Over the edge.

Then she sees a young girl go over the rim and no one will believe her.

For there was no child that had died - that day anyway.

Was she seeing things that weren’t there, or was there another explanation?


May you read well and often

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reading Wrap-up For February at Emeraldfire's Bookmark


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out February with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from authors, Amazon and Paperback Swap.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Epitaph: Revielle by Victor Nieves
Not Without my Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace by Andra Watkins
- Growl by Ashley Fontainne

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- The Black Elf of Seaward Isle by Joni Parker
- Tangled Omens by Joni Parker
- The Cat Who Brought Down the House by Lilian Jackson Braun
- Blood Mission by Joni Parker
- And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare by Lilian Jackson Braun
- The Cat Who Smelled a Rat by Lilian Jackson Braun
- Growl by Ashley Fontainne

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 3
Pages Read: 872
Grade Range: A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was February. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Introducing Animal by Nikki Rae!

I'm delighted to announce that Nikki Rae's latest horror novel, Animal has just been released today! Yes, Ms. Rae's new adult book is now available to download from Amazon -  so grab your own copy today! I had the pleasure of reading the three-part novella, The Donor by Nikki Rae, from July to October in 2014 and here are my reviews in July of 2014, August of 2014 and October of 2014. I'm also looking forward to reading Animal by Nikki Rae sometime very soon.

Meet Nikki Rae

Nikki Rae is a writer who lives in New Jersey. As an independent author, she has appeared numerously on Amazon Best Seller lists and she concentrates on making her imaginary characters as real as possible. Nikki writes mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely.

Animal by Nikki Rae (2015)
Length: 405 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Animal Blurb:

Ava has spent her life running from the monsters that lurk in the shadows, always the prey. She finally thinks she can settle down, have a normal life, and work on not being so scared of the world around her. That is until she runs into her worst fear.

He has finally found the potential family he has always wanted. All he has to do is make his little bird sing. Will Ava escape with her humanity intact?



May you read well and often

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ashley Fontainne - Growl

8. Growl by Ashley Fontainne (2014)
Length: 294 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 20 February 2015
Finished: 27 February 2015
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Dorothy at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? since 7 January 2015
Why do I have it? I like horror and Ashley Fontainne is a new author for me.

Eighteen-year-old Sheryl Ilene Newcomb - and yes, her initials do happen to spell SIN - should have little to worry her beyond whether or not she will make the cheerleading squad, missing her boyfriend who is away at basketball camp, and lending a sympathetic ear to her lovelorn best friend. Instead, for the past nine years, Sheryl has been living with a secret. According to her family, the transformation - or whatever it might have been - could probably be traced back to events that happened during the summer when Sheryl turned nine.

That was the year that her elderly great-grandmother died, and when Sheryl's nightmares of the mysterious Shadow-Man started. It was also the year that Sheryl determined no one would ever learn the gruesome details about her Nana's death, nor that Sheryl was convinced that she was in some way responsible. After all, Sheryl had witnessed Nana's mauling, somewhere deep in the woods, and had done nothing to stop it - had she?

However, for the Newcomb family, the day when they truly realized there was a problem - when they had reached the point of no return - was a week before Sheryl began her senior year at Junction City High. That was when the mutilated bodies began appearing in the brush down beside Caney Creek, along with the notes claiming to know Sheryl's terrible secret and warning that the notes' author would soon come to collect what was due - warning that the women of the lineage were going to be eradicated at the hands of their worst enemy.

For eighteen-year-old Sheryl Ilene Newcomb, that was the summer when the fangs and claws of an undeniable monster ravaged all that she held dear; the summer when everything changed and the monster deep inside her soul was unleashed. Because that was the summer when evil awoke and everyone heard its menacing growls. Every living thing in Locasia County, Mississippi quaked in fear, hearing such ominous rumblings.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The plot was very well-written and interesting; I was drawn into the story right away. The character and story development had me intrigued until the very end - I found myself really connecting with Sheryl and I hoped that she and her family would come through everything relatively unscathed.

This was also an unusual treatment of lycanthropy and of werewolves in general; at least in my opinion. This was the first book that I ever read by Ashley Fontainne, but I look forward to reading more in the future. I would certainly give Growl by Ashley Fontainne an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Monday, February 23, 2015

Introducing Human No Longer by Kathryn Meyer Griffith!

Hello Everyone! I was delighted to learn recently that Human No Longer by Kathryn Meyer Griffith will be free to download from Amazon - at least for a short time! I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Human No Longer by Kathryn Meyer Griffith back in July of 2013.

Yes, from Wednesday, February 25, 2015 until Sunday, March 1, 2015, Kathryn Meyer Griffith's romantic vampire novel Human No Longer will be available to download for free from Amazon. So, you'll have to hurry and grab your own copy today!


Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-two years ago now, and have had twenty (ten romantic horror, two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last five novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my dinosaur novels are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-six years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and Cleo, and live cat Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my horror novel The Last Vampire - Revised Author’s Edition ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.


Human No Longer by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2012)
Length: 267 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Human No Longer Blurb:

Jenny and Jeff Sanders become victims of a bizarre crime; leaving Jeff dead and Jenny in a temporary coma. She returns to her children. With Jeff’s death she must move back to her childhood home, a haunted farmhouse, in Summer Haven, Florida, where once they destroyed a family of vampires.

Jenny has no appetite. She’s edgy. Her eyes hurt. She thinks it could be trauma or grief. Until one night she can’t resist the night woods or the overpowering urge to drink warm animals’ blood–and accepts the truth. Her attackers were vampires.

Now she’s becoming what she once reviled. She can’t abandon her children but must find a way to live in the human world. At night she hunts, in the day hides what she’s becoming and attempts to fit in.

Then townspeople begin dying. Like years before. With her blackouts, she fears she may be the killer, or is it her vampire attackers? For they've found her and demand she joins them–or her family will die. She resists until they kidnap her children. Then she has to find a way to outwit and ultimately destroy them.

The prequel to Human No Longer - Vampire Blood - is also for sale on Amazon.

May you read well and often

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Book Blast For Days of Future Past by Sally Smith O'Rourke


Hello Everyone! I hope that you're all having a wonderful day today. I'm so glad to welcome Sally Smith O'Rourke author of Days of Future Past, to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. O'Rourke is currently on a Book Blast tour with Book Blast Tours, hosted by Kathy with I'm a Reader, Not a Writer, and lasting through the end of the month of February. This is also my eighteenth Book Blast post ever, but I still hope that I do Days of Future Past by Sally Smith O'Rourke justice.

The author is also doing an awesome giveaway - she is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card/Paypal Cash to one lucky winner at the end of her Book Blast. Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and I wish you all the very best of good luck in taking part!

About Days of Future Past:


It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think of as our present existence, as a dream. - Edgar Allan Poe

Fate sometimes conspires to right a decades-old wrong. And the 6.8 earthquake that strikes Southern California one warm March night is the fateful event that brings family therapist Ann Hart and trauma specialist Ted McConaughy back together. In search of her cell phone after the tremor, Ann picks up a shard of vintage cut glass from a collection she and her husband gathered during the four years of their marriage. For the millionth time she thinks about the day six years ago when he disappeared on a search and rescue mission in the Sierra foothills.

Sitting atop the shattered crystal, a small silver cigar lighter glistens in the beam of her flashlight. Gently she returns the Victorian piece to the shelf. What does it mean that something she and Ted, her ex-fiancé, bought together survived when Alex’s beautiful glass is smashed to dust? Ann tells herself that it doesn’t mean anything more than glass breaks and silver doesn’t.

Sara Jane McConaughy has never experienced a strong earthquake, and as her father comforts his 16-year-old daughter, his mind is flooded with memories of the Northridge quake in 1994. He was living with his fiancée, his ex-fiancée, and even after all these years he doesn’t know what caused the split, but he always loved her. And he’d been sure she loved him.

Volunteering with the American Red Cross in the aftermath of the earthquake brings Ann and Ted face-to-face for the first time since their break-up, twenty years ago. Angry, flustered, excited, and bewildered by Ted’s sudden appearance and unusual behavior while she’s teaching a small group of people relaxing exercises, Ann demands he leave. Just as excited and bewildered, Ted rushes away. His exit leaves both of them wondering about...everything. The earthquake (or is it seeing Ann?) ignites a series of recurring dreams peopled by total strangers in places Ted has never been.

Accompanied by short lapses of time and sleepwalking, the dreams take a heavy toll on his waking hours. Sara Jane’s concern sends Ted on a quest to discover the cause and find a cure. When all medical possibilities are exhausted, he turns to a colleague, whose diagnosis leaves Ted more baffled than ever. Tom Alderman believes that the dreams are memories of past lives. The lives live in his subconscious, and the cure is hypnotherapy.

After several months of suffering with these increasingly emotional recurring dreams, Ted turns to Ann for help. One of Ann’s specialties is hypnotherapy and since he must be able to trust the hypnotist, Ann is his only salvation. Ann’s agreement to try and help (at the urging of a mutual friend) sends her carefully regimented and calm life into complete turmoil. The garden gate they pass through together sends them on a journey that defies time and reason, forcing them to rethink their past, present, and future. Now, each must reconsider their capacity for love and forgiveness. Things are not always what they seem.

Praise For Days of Future Past:

“This author does an amazing job of interweaving the beauty of another day and age with the harsh modern world. Mystery lovers will be pleased, but the romantic and mystical, even supernatural fans out there, will be over the moon for this one.” ~ Amy Lignor

“From the intriguing dialogue to the expansive plot that wraps around a truly unforgettable couple, this book has it all!” ~ Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Purchase your copy:

Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Kobo * Smashwords

Meet Sally Smith O'Rourke


Sally Smith O’Rourke, a native Californian, lives in a small Victorian village in southern California. She is the author of the much acclaimed Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen, her first solo novel. She is also co-author with her late husband Michael O’Rourke (aka F. M. O’Rourke) of The Man Who Loved Jane Austen (Kensington Books, 2006), The Maidenstone Lighthouse (Kensington Books, 2007), and Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage (Kensington Books, 2009).

Previously, Sally worked on network television, feature films, and documentaries in science, medicine, and aviation. She owned and operated a medical advertising company with her late husband where they produced and wrote teaching films for major medical and surgical manufacturing companies. Additionally, they collaborated on two feature films (direct to video).

In addition to writing every day, she works as a surgical scrub nurse and enjoys sewing, cooking, baking, candy making, cake decorating, and spending time with nieces, nephews, step-children, and grandchildren.

Connect with Sally!

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest

Book Blast Giveaway of $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends March 10, 2015.

Terms and Conditions:


  • Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash.
  • Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you.
  • The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
  • This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.
  • The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I am a Reader, Not a Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

    ENTER TO WIN!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Days of Future Past Excerpt:

    Chapter Eight

    Thursday, March 13

    The courtyard of Toni’s building was unnervingly quiet. The terrarium-like space with a waterfall-fed pond and stream stood silent and dry. The earthquake must have damaged the water system in the building. It made him wonder if Toni would even be in her office. There was no one around, but the faint sound of clanging metal hammering metal indicated that workers were there.

    The door to Toni’s office stood partially open. If she wasn’t there would her door be open? Perhaps her last patient left and the next had not yet arrived. His footsteps seemed to echo in the stillness of the landscaped atrium. He stood at the open door gathering his courage, finally pushing it open the rest of the way.

    The office reminded him of a study or library in an English manor house. The centerpiece of the room was a large desk, mahogany perhaps. A dusty rose leather chair sat behind it. At one end of the large room was a conversation area. There was a small oval table separating a loveseat and two comfortable looking chairs. Knowing Toni, he suspected several of the pieces were antique.

    There was no trite theme like ‘English Country Cottage’ and no obvious color scheme either. It wasn’t the usual therapist’s office with blue or yellow walls with decorations that theoretically created a calming atmosphere. Like Toni, this room was warm and inviting. It was a gift she had, making people comfortable.

    He stepped into the office. At the other end of the room was a spiral staircase of highly polished wood which led to a loft surrounded by railings matching the staircase. He assumed the earthquake had caused the empty shelves that lined the balcony.

    He strained to see if she was upstairs and took a few steps backwards until he bumped into one of the chairs in the conversation area. There she was, sitting on the floor stacking books after wiping them off with a cloth. The sun streamed through the skylight highlighting glints of copper in her hair. She was wearing it up, accentuating the curve of her neck. He remembered how the chestnut tresses looked when they tumbled in soft waves over her shoulders and down her back. He sighed.

    He hadn’t really seen her yesterday, so he didn’t realize how lovely she still was...yesterday! That was why he was here, to apologize for whatever it was he’d done. He sat on the arm of the closest chair and cleared his throat.
    Ann glanced over her shoulder assuming it was one of the workmen who had been coming in and out since she arrived. She couldn’t have been more surprised. She got up and went to the railing.


    “How did you find me?”
    He blew out the breath he’d been holding. “My powers of deduction are quite remarkable these days...you’re listed in information.”
    “Oh.” Her stomach was suddenly tied in knots.
    “When did you change your name?”
    “I got married, if it’s any of your business.”
    “I meant your first name.”
    “Ann is more professional than Toni.”
    “Toni suits you.”
    “It suited the child I was. What do you want?”
    “I want to apologize.”
    “For what?”
    “Yesterday.”


    Eager for him to leave, she rushed to say, “Apology accepted.” She hesitated a fraction of a moment. “You can go now,” she said and started to turn away.
    “I’d like to talk.”
    “About what?”
    “You could tell me what you’ve been doing.”
    “I have no desire to have a conversation with you about anything, certainly not about my life.” She had the souvenir box from Big Bear in her hand, and she almost threw it at him, but controlled herself. “Look, I accepted the apology for your bizarre behavior yesterday, so why are you still here?”


    Ted slipped off the arm of the chair into the seat. “Why are you so angry?”
    She glared at him from her perch in the loft and could see in his eyes that he really didn’t know why. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, turning her back to the room. Why was she still angry after all these years? Uncle Jamie had tried many times to get her to purge the anger, but even through her happy years with Alex she held on to it. If she had a patient doing this, she’d be counseling to let it go. So why couldn’t she?


    Her thoughts thus engaged and her back to the room she didn’t see Ted move from the conversation area to the foot of the stairs. She turned at the sound of an unfamiliar voice.
    “Miss?”
    Ann rubbed her eyes dry before turning. “What?”
    Speaking with a soft Scottish brogue Ted said, “I would know your name.”
    She stepped to the head of the stairs. “What?”
    “Your name Miss, what is your name?”


    Now, what was happening? Ted was standing there looking up at her, but it wasn’t Ted. What did that even mean? Assuming it would be like yesterday, she braced herself for another explosive confrontation. She looked into his eyes; it definitely wasn’t Ted looking back. What was going on? Whatever it was, she was concerned that he might become as volatile as he had been the day before so thought it best to play along until she could figure out what he was doing.

    Slowly she said, “Ann Hart, my name is Ann Hart.”
    He made a deep bow. “Andrew Mcnaughton, at your service, Miss Hart.” His mouth turned into a lopsided grin. “It is Miss, is it not?”
    Baffled, but trying to elicit information, she sidestepped his question and asked one of her own. “How do you come to be here Mr. Mcnaughton?”
    Continuing in the Scottish brogue he hesitantly answered, “The same way you did, Miss Hart. I boarded at Glasgow.”
    “Scotland?”


    He chuckled. Obviously it was Scotland for where else would they have been? “Yes. We left Glasgow under full sail at eventide yesterday, and with God’s speed shall arrive in Antigua three weeks hence.” He looked up at her rather quizzically and asked, “Are you in need of the ship’s physician, Miss Hart?”
    Unsure what to say about any of it she asked, “Why do you ask?”


    “As you are aboard a ship but have no memory of it, I thought perhaps you were in need of medical assistance.”
    Still thinking that playing along would answer some questions she responded, “I am quite well, thank you, however, as you suggest I do seem to have lost some time. Can you tell me the date?”


    “It is, as of the midnight hour, the tenth of May in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and five.”
    A loud rap on the open door made both Ann and Ted turn. A man in gray work clothes looked up at her. “Saw your door standing open, Doc, wanted to check that nothing was amiss.” He looked through squinty eyes at Ted. “Are you all right?”


    Ann looked down at Ted, who looked up at her. He was back. He was Ted again. She turned to the workman. “I’m fine. Thanks, Sam.”

    Glaring at Ted, he said, “Okay, just makin’ sure.” He left, looking over his shoulder as he went.
    Once the workman was gone, she asked, “What’s going on with you?”


    Trying to recover gracefully, from what he wasn’t sure, he answered her question with, “What do you mean?” He glanced around. Before Ann could answer him he said, “How did I get over here?”
    “You walked.”
    “I guess I mean, why am I over here?”
    “Well, you should say what you mean, and mean what you say.”


    “Hmmm, I believe we’ve had that conversation before.” She couldn’t help but smile, remembering their first meeting.
    She was about to ask him about his odd behavior again, when he cleared his throat and pulled the rose out of the pocket of his jacket. He took a few more steps up the stairs, and then held it out to her. “I brought this as a bit of a peace offering. It reminded me of you.”


    His sporadic and peculiar behavior was pushed to a back burner, and curiosity now replaced her anger. Hesitantly she said, “It’s beautiful.” It was almost a question. Taking a few steps down, she accepted the proffered bloom, “I’ve never seen a rose this color. Where did you get it?”
    “The Huntington Library.”
    “I didn’t know the Huntington sold individual blossoms like this.”


    Quietly and with downcast eyes he admitted, “I didn’t buy it, exactly.”
    “Exactly?” Realization struck, and her eyes popped wide open. “You picked it!?! You stole it from the rose garden?”
    He looked, for all the world, like a small boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Then she saw a smile come into his eyes that spoke of satisfaction. She couldn’t help herself; she laughed.


    “I’ve never been given a pilfered rose before.” She smiled.
    It was nice that she wasn’t angry about it. “I couldn’t resist it.”
    “I could probably have your library membership revoked and have you banned permanently from even being allowed in.”
    “But you wouldn’t, would you?”


    Unable to deny her amusement, Ann conceded that she would not. The ‘girl on the swing’ clock chimed the half hour. Ted glanced at his watch.

    “I need to go,” he said as he took the few steps still separating them. “It was wonderful seeing you again.” He leaned in and kissed her cheek then rushed down the stairs. At the door he turned back, “I’ll call you,” he said and left.

    Ann’s mind was in complete turmoil. But when she calmed down and thought about it for a second, she found that she really enjoyed the exchange. She sat on the step in the middle of the staircase, and inhaled the fragrance of the rose. A pilfered flower. She shook her head, making no effort to stop the grin from spreading across her face. She was amazed at how comfortable it was being with him, but even more amazed that she wanted to hear from him.

    May you read well and often
  • Monday, February 9, 2015

    Andra Watkins - Not Without my Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace

    7. Not Without my Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace by Andra Watkins (2015)
    Length: 220 pages
    Genre: Non-Fiction
    Started: 7 February 2015
    Finished: 9 February 2015
    Where did it come from? Many thanks to Dorothy at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
    How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 26 January 2015
    Why do I have it? I like non-fiction and I have read and enjoyed To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis by the same author in the past.

    In March of 2014, to celebrate the release of her debut novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, Andra Watkins planned an ambitious journey of her own. She planned to walk the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace just as the pioneers did. Her trek would last for thirty-four days, at fifteen miles per day. Ambitious, perhaps almost impossible, but at the end of her monumental endeavor, Andra Watkins could claim the distinction of being the first living person to walk the entire length of the historic Natchez Trace - all the way from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee.

    However, the question foremost in her mind was: Can such an epic adventure succeed without a hero? So, Andra decided that she needed a wingman; someone to cheer her on, inspire her, and help her to achieve the incredible goal that she had set for herself. To that end, Andra listed several potential names.

    After striking out with everyone else in her life, Andra was left with her disinterested eighty-year-old father. And his explosive gas; his indelicate self-scratching; the blaring television, which competed nightly with the sleep apnea machine. Sharing a bathroom with a man whose gut obliterated his aim. To Andra, her plan was pure insanity: herself and her father, together in close quarters; for thirty-four days? If it were in any way possible; this was a recipe for true disaster, bound to derail rather spectacularly at any point along the way.

    As she trudged along America's forgotten highway, Andra lost herself in despair and pain. Nothing went according to plan, and her tenuous connection to her father started to unravel. Through arguments and laughter, tears and fried chicken, father and daughter struggled to rebuild their relationship with each other before it was too late.

    Amid the endlessly repetitive stories told enthusiastically to strangers; and the embarrassing instances of fatherly promotion of her novel, Andra invites readers to join her dysfunctional family adventure in this humorous and heartbreaking memoir that asks if one can really turn 'I wish I had' into I'm glad I did'.

    I must say that I enjoyed reading this book immensely. In my opinion, this was a beautifully written story; poignant and funny, but also extremely moving. I was consistently reminded while I read this book that in everyone's life, no matter how difficult the relationship may become with a loved one, there are always certain special moments or memories that can never be forgotten. I give Not Without my Father: One Woman's 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace by Andra Watkins a definite A! 

    Andra has also set a challenge for her readers for this year: she wants us all to experience life, and to make a memory with that special someone for 2015! She would love to hear about her readers' special memories if they wish to share them with her at mystories@andrawatkins.com. Andra promises to read every submission that she receives and highlight them on her website.

    A! - (90-95%)
         
    May you read well and often