Scream Reads! #instafreebie #group promotion #free

 

ScreamReadsPROMO PUMP IG

Choose from eleven short stories that are sure to rattle your bones or raise your goose bumps!  Click the link below to browse and choose the stories that appeal to you, then download and read for free. http://bit.ly/SCREAMREADS

Most of the stories are through Instafreebie, a site where authors share some of their works to spread the joy of their writing styles.  You, as a reader, agree to sign up to their author newsletter.  Your e-mail is not shared with anyone else.  Most indie author newsletters are unobtrusive to your time.  For example, my newsletter gets sent out once every 3-4 weeks.

Your choices range from horror, gore, to paranormal.  Choose from all sorts of things that go bump in the night, tales of ghosts, vampires, Death, etc.  Enjoy!

P.S. My story offers Death as a character, as a dramatically disturbed young woman seeks revenge for the loss of her family.  Sort of has a Godfather/ Book Thief feel to it.  Try it!

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#WeekendCoffeeShare. Turn off the News! #poetry

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Diana at parttimemonsterblog.com. If we were having coffee today, on August 18, I’d tell you I’m glad for a new school year in a job that I love, but I’m tired. I dream about distant shores, maybe since I didn’t travel much this summer, and my writing projects are on hold until I have the energy.
I’d tell you to stay safe during the upcoming eclipse, but to enjoy this natural phenomenon, because nature is the greatest thing in this world, and we should all appreciate it much more.
I’d also tell you I’m terribly sad for our world, and I am praying for peace while I avoid the news today. I just can’t take anymore of it today. I penned a poem expressing my frustration.

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(c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2017.

On that note, I am signing off to spend some time with a loved one, enjoy some play with my dog, and hopefully have time for reading and appreciating nature! I suggest you all do something today that makes you appreciate this world.
Does anyone have a different hobby that gets them away from reality?
Have a great weekend, and check out the other coffee shares at parttimemonsterblog.com! You may even want to add your own.

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#WeekendCoffeeShare. Who Says I Can’t Still Vacation? #amwriting

cappuccino-1149061_1280 Images via Pixabay.com

Welcome to the #WeekendCoffeeShare, hosted by Diana at parttimemonsterblog.com!  If we were having coffee today, on 8/13, I’d tell you…

Summer’s over, but I can still visit Endless Summer in my mind!  I’ve been back to work this past week, getting ready for the new school year, trying to stay on the positive bus.  I know how to do it, so I’m going to try.  For me, it certainly involves relaxing, getting away (even if only in my imagination), and to avoid workplace negativity/ burnout or dwelling on national and world news (Ugh).  So, this morning for coffee, I’m visiting Italy with a dark roast and a bit of almond milk with sweetener.   Yes, it’s 11 a.m. and I’m still working on my coffee. Don’t judge! I like where I am.  So, in my imagination, I’m sitting, sipping my coffee and staring out at this.  Ahh.

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In reality, I’m sitting here choosing that as my reality by using my words and my keyboard.  You see how this writing thing works?  It has saved my life on occasion.

I must confess, I’m drinking coffee late because I slept in due to being out last night dancing with friends.  One of them was in town so I knew I’d see her and a few other mutual friends.  My boyfriend and I met them.  It was a great escape, talking about non-work stuff, watching a crowd of people I don’t know, who all seem impossibly younger than I but not caring or worrying that I look a fool when I hear a song I’ve got the nerve to dance to.  I  know, that seems like a run-on sentence, right?  I’ll leave it be this time.  Anyway, wearing sneakers helped a lot.  I’m at an age where comfort is key, and a t-shirt, sneakers, jeans combo is my go-to attire.

Funny, I was going to mention how I am empty in the writing area lately, but it is doing me right today.  I don’t know if you like it, but I like where it’s taking me.  Yes, my thoughts seem a little disorganized, and I apologize.  Summer left me unfocused, but I really needed to relax.  The writing I’m doing right now is helping me keep my state of mind positive.  The purposeful writing that I need to do to get my ideas channeled into writing projects will likely come when it truly feels like fall.

Since summer’s over, and fall is on its way, let me share my letter to fellow teachers.  I see an epidemic with new teachers and some veterans that leaves them with little personal life, children who long for them to come home, or neglected friendships and relationships.  Some of them work during the summer to set up a room, only to find they were re-assigned to a different school.  Others are just so tired that they take it personally when kids don’t respond to them (the latter is me; I did that).   Really, those long days will happen in the fall, when you have to reach a parent right away or some other urgency occurs.  Right now it is too soon to stress out.  So, here it is:

 

Dear teacher,
Yes, your classroom looks good enough. Go home! Yes, you’ll likely forget some little detail. It means you’re like the rest of us. Go home and remember you’re a human being with friends, family, hobbies. Relax. It will make your first day smile much more genuine when you meet those kids.
Signed, 
A 17 year veteran teacher who has been there.

 

I plan to be the teacher who is all about positive energy this year, and it will happen because my brain is calm and relaxed.  That’s my goal.  I’m also planning on things going smoothly with the family, so that my brain energy is focused on being all that I can be for myself and for the needs of others.  Yet, if someone in my family needs me, this calm state of mind could only be helpful at that point, as well.

Have a great week, everyone!

**Please visit Diana’s blog at parttimemonsterblog.com to check out other Coffee Shares or to share your own by clicking on the blue linky button.  You may also feel free to leave me a comment about your week, your taste in coffee, vacation experiences, writing progress, etc.

Watch RWISA Write! An Author Discovered, John Howell #RRBC

RWISA TOUR (1)[2337]

I’m proud to display the work of fellow author, John Howell, today.  John is a fellow member of Rave Reviews Book Club and RWISA (Rave Writers International Society of Author).  You can find out more about his writing and published books following his brief story below.

John W. Howell

Last Night by John W. Howell © 2017

So, with nothing better to do, I figure I’ll stop at Jerry’s place and grab a couple of drinks and a burger. Usually, I don’t go there on Saturday night since there’s a crapload of amateurs taking up what would be considered prime space. I figure since this is a Friday and close to Saturday, it may be packed, but not as crazy as Saturday. It’s the kind of place where everyone minds their business. They’re there for a good time and will likely not notice me. Even so, I go through the door, stop, and have a look around, trying not to make eye contact. I hope that the ball cap and large coat will keep me from getting noticed.  The bar holds a weekday crowd, hanging on each other like they never had a date before. I tighten my eyelids against the smoke and make out four guys near the pool table, and what looks like a couple of girls fetching drinks. I search for a seat beyond the table in the back, but it seems like they’re all taken.

A guy bumps into me as I stand here. I say excuse me, and he looks me in the face. “Hey, don’t I know you?” he says.

“I don’t think so.” I make to turn away.

“Yeah, you’re the sports hero who lost all his money. I saw you on TV.”

“Naw, people always say stuff like that. I’m not him, buddy; trust me.”

He gives me a puzzled look but doesn’t want to push it, in case he has it wrong. I turn away and continue to look for a seat.

Straight ahead lies the bar, and it has a place right in the middle. I move in the direction of the empty place and look over to the other side of the room. The tables look full of happy drunks. Buckets of empties line the bar top, and the barmaid’s trying to sell more. She doesn’t have much luck since most of these people just spent their last five bucks on this outing. Upon making it to the stool, I hoist myself up and lean on the bar.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. “Whadda you have?”

“Evening, Jerry. I’ll have a Gin on the rocks with a water back.”

“Comin’ up.”

I like Jerry’s no-nonsense way of handling things. He doesn’t like small talk and gets right to business. My eyes smart from the smoke, and I wonder how Jerry gets away with letting people kill themselves, when clearly, it’s not supposed to be allowed in this kind of establishment.

“Here you go. Want me to run a tab?”

“Yeah, I would appreciate that. I intend to have another drink and then a burger.”

The guy who thinks he knows me grabs my shoulder from behind. I almost fall off the stool.

“You’re Greg Petros, the big fund manager. I knew I’d seen you on TV. You took a beautiful career in football and ran it into the ground.”

Jerry leans over the bar and lays his hand on the guy’s shoulder. “Move on, my friend. You made a mistake. This guy is nobody. Go sit down and let me buy you a drink.”

“You sure? You called him Greg.”

“Yeah, I’m sure. Go get a table, and I’ll send someone over.”

The guy looks at me one more time but does as Jerry suggests. He believes Jerry’s wrong, but the idea of a free drink lets him get away without losing face.

“Thanks. I didn’t mean for you to have to jump in.”

“No problem. Gimme the high sign when you’re ready for another drink.”

“Will do. Thanks.”

“For you buddy, anything.”

I should mention that Jerry and I go back aways. When I fell on hard times, he became the only one that seemed to give a shit. I take a sip of my drink and wait for the burn in my throat, which signals the good stuff. Here it comes. I take a swig of the water and almost believe life is good. The Gin needs to get to the brain before making any honest judgment.

While I wait for the warmth to go from my stomach to my head, I check out the folks seated on either side of me. They both have their backs turned to me and sit engrossed in some discussion with their neighbor. I figure it’s just as well since I don’t want to go through that old “don’t I know you?” bullshit again. Also, I don’t figure on staying the night, so no use in getting into any long discussions about life.

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband, either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still, and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but, I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that, too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

 

END

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH RWISAWRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

 

John Howell  RWISA Author Page

Another Soulful Sunday. #WeeklySmile

SunflowerBuddingIMG_0335Photo taken Friday morning.

The natural/animal world makes me smile.  I get to see this sunflower budding while I walk my dog.  He always aims for the bushes surrounding it, but never for the sunflower plant.  I think this is a type of respect in the natural world.  Yes, I think he purposely does not aim at the sunflower plant,  as he knows it is higher in the pecking order of plant life.

Am I right?  I respect him more for it.  Seeing this thing grow makes me smile.  I’ll certainly share a picture when the flower blooms!  My smile this week is a quiet one.  A smile of acceptance and gratitude.  I am so thankful for my little dog monster that gets me out of the house and looking at these things.  I might not otherwise!  This little dog/monster that pulls on the leash and would chase every cat and squirrel if I let him….He’d also come home with deep scratches, I am sure.  He is quiet around me, just like me son is, but we enjoy a walk out in nature together,  my son and I, or my dog and I.  My son doesn’t chase after cats or squirrels, though.  🙂  My point is, the outdoor walks are very healthy for me and whoever is accompanying.

The natural world is so good for one’s mind.  This week at my workplace, we said goodbye to a co-worker who taught Science at my school for many years.  A dedicated teacher, she also took in and adopted several small critters into her classroom over the years.  She had such a respect for nature.  That’s what I’ll most remember, her nurturing and curiosity.  She was also friendly and always had a smile when I took my then younger son to work on an off day or after school.  She was about 60 and it was recently discovered she had cancer.  I want to go on about how her death didn’t have to happen.  Instead, I’ll just remember the stories of her outdoors adventures studying nature and her smile and, at times, sardonic wit.  My smile is a smile of acceptance, and even though that is hard, there is something worth smiling about, that I was privileged to know her.  Nature will reinforce our belief that life goes on.  I think Deb would appreciate that.  Always remember, but don’t tarnish your remembrance with regret.

IMG_0338  Photo taken Saturday evening.

***Weekly smile is a blogger’s challenge started by Trent.  Visit his blog and his Weekly Smile post at  https://trentsworldblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/i-want-your-smiles-weeklysmile-83-reminder/

Have a great week!

Watch RWISA Write! #RRBC, Gwen Plano, Author Discovered.

RWISA TOUR (1)[2337]

Join me in welcoming author Gwen Plano to my blog.  Gwen is a fellow member that I have met through Rave Reviews Book Club, a truly supportive community of authors and avid readers!  Today, you’ll get a sample of her writing skills and style, with a link at the end to more information on her writing and published books.

RRBCGwen Plano[2324]

Love at First Sight

By Gwendolyn M Plano

 

“It doesn’t seem real. It just doesn’t seem real.” Mom muttered as she ran her hand over the curves of dad’s headstone. Sighing deeply, she stared blankly into the horizon.

After a few minutes, she turned and faced me. “I tell myself that it must be real.” She seemed to want my approval. “The stone says we were married 70 years. It must have happened; I must have been married. But, but…why can’t I remember?” She searched my face for answers.

Stooped from the burden of years now elusive and sometimes vacant, mom held my arm while she walked to either side of the monument.

“I saw him in a dream. Did I tell you that?”

“No, mom, I don’t think you did.”

“He was young, like when we first met.”

“Really? Could you tell me about how you met?”

“How?” Mom’s eyes darted to and fro as she struggled to answer. Then, as though the curtains lifted, she responded.

“Yes…yes, I can tell you how we met.”

“Let’s sit here, mom.” I led her to a cement bench under a tall oak tree near dad’s grave. “Now tell me how the two of you met.”

Mom took a deep breath and began. “It was during the war. I remember it now. It was 1944. There were posters in our high school which asked us to sign up to work at the Consolidated Aircraft factory in San Diego. They needed help building B-24 bombers. We called the bombers the Liberators. My sister and I and several of our girlfriends decided we wanted to help our country. Most of the boys in our class were enlisting in the army or navy. We wanted to do our part too.”

“Like Rosie the Riveter?”

“Oh, yes! We all wanted to be Rosie. Your grandparents didn’t much like the idea, but they knew the families of the other girls, and since we’d be living together and would watch out for one another, they finally agreed. After all, it was the patriotic thing to do.”

I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of mom being Rosie and asked where she lived.

“We lived with Aunt Lena on India Street in San Diego. She put in bunk beds for us. At night, we’d wash out our clothes and tie the pieces to the bedsprings so that they could dry overnight.”

“When we arrived at Consolidated, they gave each of us a uniform – blue pants and jacket. And, we had classes for a week or two. Most of us were assigned the job of riveting. It’s hard to believe, but there were about 20,000 women working at the factory. The assembly line was a mile long, and believe it or not, we built about nine bombers a day. Isn’t that amazing?”

“That is amazing, mom.” Pride glowed from mom’s face, and I couldn’t help but feel proud of her as well.

“I was assigned to the wings. I hate heights, but I’d climb on top of those wings and pretend I was sitting on the hood of a car. I didn’t get afraid that way. One day, when I was sitting up there, holding a riveting gun, your dad came by.”

“Hey,” he said. “What’s your name?” I thought I might be in trouble, but he smiled, so I smiled back.

“It’s Lauretta.”

“Well, Lauretta, you’re doing a great job. If you need anything, let me know. My name’s Jim, and I’m the foreman for this area.”

I put my arm around mom’s shoulder. “My goodness, mom, you were on the wing of a bomber when you met dad?”

“Sounds funny, doesn’t it? But, yes, that’s the first time we talked. I didn’t pay much attention to him, but my sister would whisper to me, “There he is again. I think he likes you. He keeps looking this way.”

Mom lowered her eyes and giggled. “Of course, I didn’t believe her.”

After pausing a bit, she continued. “Your dad started walking home with us in the evening. He lived further up the hill from us, so it wasn’t out of his way. Mind you, I was wearing the company uniform and had my hair in a bandana, so I was hardly a beauty.”

“Anyway, one day he asked if I’d like to come up to his place. And, I was stupid and said okay. That’s when I learned about the facts of life. You know, sex.”

“You didn’t know before then, mom?”

“No, but he taught me that night.” Mom giggled and put her hand on her face. “He wanted to get married right then. But, I told him no, he had to talk to my parents. We needed to do it right. Besides, I hardly knew him. There were a lot of shot-gun marriages those days. We all thought the end of the world was coming, and well, young lovers didn’t hold back.”

“So, you and dad became lovers?”

“You know the answer to that, don’t you? When I didn’t have my cycle, I knew I was pregnant. Your dad was elated and didn’t hesitate to talk to your grandparents. Of course, I was ashamed. But, I want you to understand something. You might have been the reason we married, but you were not the reason we stayed together for 70 years.”

“Did you love him, mom?” The question came out before I could filter it.

“I did, I just didn’t know I did. Your dad would tell anyone who would listen, ‘When I saw Lauretta on the wing of a B-24 bomber, I knew that she was the one for me.’ He’d say it all the time, ‘She’s the one for me!’” Mom giggled as she thought about this story. “Your dad always said it was love at first sight. But it wasn’t that way for me.”

“What do you mean by that, mom?”

“Well, love is a strange word, isn’t it? Your dad seemed to know from the first time he saw me that he wanted to marry me. I didn’t feel that way. I think my focus was romance or dreams. And, your dad wasn’t the wooing type.”

“I believe I fell in love with him after you were born. He thought you were the most beautiful baby in the whole world. In fact, I think he was happiest when he was holding you. He’d sing to you and rock you to sleep every night.”

She dropped her head, and tears rolled down her cheeks. My tears fell as well.

“He was a good man, a faithful man. Did I tell you his promise?”

I shook my head, and said, “no.”

“You know that he grew up hungry, right? During the Dust Bowl, his family barely survived. In fact, two of his sisters died.  Well, your dad promised me that his children would never go hungry. He would make sure of it. And, he did. He worked two jobs most of our marriage, and you kids were never hungry.” She paused and looked into my eyes.

“Your dad kept his promises.”

Mom grew silent. Her face turned from animated to expressionless, and I did not know what to think. She whispered something that I had to ask her to repeat. She sighed and looked at me again.

“It just doesn’t seem real.”

**Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH RWISA WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Gwen Plano  Author RWISA page

 

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge. Saying Goodbye to Summer. (I’ll be Back)!

BeachGoodbySummer0823151033-00

This post was perfect for today, since I was at the beach this morning.  Regretfully, I’m back to work next Monday.  This changes things because my son works on the weekends, while I am off on the weekends.  He just started this schedule a month ago.  At any rate, I’m sure we’ll find a way to adjust our quality time.  I had a nice morning walking the beach with him, getting good food at Maple St. Biscuits, and since he’s not much for conversation, playing Words with Friends with him on his phone. I’ve spent the last few years reading his cues and finding new ways to interact. Parenting. No two are alike.

The Black and White Photo Challenge was started at Cee’s Photography.  Visit https://ceenphotography.com/2017/08/03/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-walking-paths-and-trails/

CB&W CHALLENGE POST

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
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