Literary Spotlight: Dawn Hill Publishing’s New Author Soleil Collins & a Peek of Her Soon to Release Book of Short Stories~ He Came On A Summers Day…


Book by Author Soleil Collins




Here we go Readers & Visitors!

My amazing UK friends of Dawn Hill Publishing is sharing with Cat an exclusive Sneak Peek of a brand new author they represent and some of the first chapter of her “Coming Soon” new release titled “He Came On A Summers Day.” Dawn Hill has some fantastic authors and writers.

I am confident Soleil Collins is as well. I’m honored Dawn Hill Publishing chose Cat and her readers for this opportunity to have the first preview of Soleil’s which I hear is packed with action, thrills and a splash of romance.

I’d highly suggest you give Dawn Hill a visit as they have more amazing authors, writers, and BOOKS
here: https://www.dawnhillpublications.com/ & make sure you tell them Cat sent you!


Here is more about the book:

“Randi Moffatt, bounty-hunter extraordinaire, is looking for an escaped convict – a pirate.

She goes undercover at a popular seaside bar in San Diego, where her prey is known to have frequented, hoping to catch him.

There, Randi encounters several interesting characters, but which of them is her prey? Or is she going to return empty-handed?”


Important disclaimer: 

Just so you know that the content in this new book follows themes and therefore require you to be above the age of 18. These themes are:

– Profanity
– Violence 
– Sex
– Drugs


An Excerpt From the Short Story: 

Days turned into weeks. Joe still hadn’t cracked a smile at me, although Bob did warm up a little. It was understandable that Joe had turned up his nose at the trash that passed for female companionship. I’d even made friends with few of them, mostly hookers who wanted my help setting up customers or warn them of the weirdos.

The daily ritual of sharing my tips was at the end of each day was my opportunity to flirt without interrupting work. It was nearing spring when I decided that enough was enough. It was a quiet night – a Monday, not that it made a huge difference at a Seattle bar by the docks.

      “What’s up, Joe?” I asked him, fluttering my eyelashes at him as I handed him a roll of bills. “Here’s your share.”

He grunted and accepted it, stuffing it into his front jeans pocket.

      “Is that a roll of bills or are you just happy to see me?” I joked.

Nothing. Not even a derisory curl of his lip, which I knew that he was more than capable of issuing. “Go get cleaned up, why don’t you? You stink.”

      That’s the most he’s said since we met. Progress indeed.



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So, who is Author, Soleil Collins? Let me share a little more about her in her own unbridled words…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bonjour.

Ciao. Namaste. And a big, big, hello to everyone. First off, I’d like to thank Dawn Hill Publications for this wonderful opportunity. I was asked to write an introductory piece about my upcoming series of short stories and a little bit about myself.

I wasn’t given a title for this blog, so I’ve decided it to call it fun facts. Now, here’s a disclaimer. I think they may be fun, but you, the readers, obviously decide and let me know.

Let me start by saying that English is not my first language. In fact, I grew up learning and speaking five different languages. Also, I learned to read and write in four of them. Ironically, I understand only three of them reasonably well. I speak only two of them fluently. And I write really well in only one of them. Guess which one?

I’m a bit of a brat. Middle child, spoilt rotten, not by my parents but by a host of cousins, aunts and uncles who forgave my every prank, laughing at my irreverence, egging me to get even more outrageous. I haven’t changed one bit! I’ve enjoyed classical education in a private school where equal importance was given to extra-curricular activities including sports, drama, debate, elocution and politics. Oh, yes, politics. Our teachers were amazing, liberal and broadminded, and allowing us the same liberties to express our views without fear of prejudice or reprimand. The majority of my life has been split between the US and UK, although I’ve travelled widely. I began writing at an early age, mostly short stories, although they were fairly childish, a queer mix of romance and thriller.

They’re not necessarily my favourite songs. In fact, there are a couple in there that I don’t particularly like. They do, however, have a bearing on the stories themselves, which is why I selected them. Either there’s a scene in the video rendition of the song or the lyrics, or perhaps the story the song is trying to tell. The first of them is a song by Looking Glass about a girl who works in a bar who’s in love with a sailor. The protagonist of the story is Randy Moffatt, a slightly slutty, cage-fighting, foul-mouthed bounty hunter who isn’t afraid of a brawl.

Randy’s smart (like me, I think), physically active and able (unlike me – I’m a little lazy), highly sexed (I’d rather not say), sassy (definitely me) and brazen. Which is why DHP have started a new series titled Brazen just for little me, yay! Brazen is the one word which is truly representative of my writing. Who knows? They may even create a new genre called Brazen.

I hope you enjoy my stories. Please do tell me what you think in Cat’s comment section as we’d would love feedback.

Au revoir. Arriverderci. Alvida, for now.

Sol Collins



And to close is a message from the fine folks of Dawn Hill Publishing:

Yay, it’s finally here! 

We’re so happy that Soleil’s first short story is ready to go. Soleil’s titles can be described as action thrillers with romance thrown in to spice things up. Soleil has already written all 12 so we’ll be slowly sending them out to Cat.
She’s now started working on her first book with us and that will be in your inbox very soon.

Her 12 short stories is a great way to set up her very own genre at DHP. Which is, Brazen.

~Dawn Hill Publishing Team

New Novel Release ~ Dark Secrets of The Bayou By Multi-Award-Winning Author Kim Carter. Kim’s Seventh Haunting Historical Mystery Novel. . .


DARK SECRETS OF THE BAYOU

Author : Kim Carter
Publisher : Raven South Publishing 
Pages : 514 
GENRE : Historical Mystery, Suspense, Murder Thrillers, Serial Killers
ISBN : 978-1947140127 – Paperback
ASIN : B08NDVZ755 – E-book


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

“To Avenge The Past, One Must Unearth Its SECRETS”…

Catherine “Tink” Mabry, an up and coming attorney, is shocked by her recent inheritance from her estranged family on the bayou. After her mother died during childbirth, Tink’s father had quickly relocated them to the big city of Atlanta, Georgia. With no memory of her mother, she is determined to learn more about her lineage and decides to visit the bayou town of Kane, Louisiana. Candace, Tink’s co-worker and best friend, agrees to make the trip with her.

Before she has time to explore her family’s history or decide what to do with the declining property, local murders plague Tink’s homecoming. She quickly finds herself caught in the middle of a multiple murder investigation—and quite possibly, the prime suspect. When Candace retreats back to Atlanta, Tink finds support among an unlikely cast of characters and sets out to discover clues that have haunted and tormented her family for generations.

Could a concealed crime from the 1800s, or the family’s estate itself, harbor keys to unlocking the past?

The more they learn, the more they question whether some secrets are best left buried.

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Author & Writer Kim Carter



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kim Carter is a multi-award-winning author of gripping suspense, chilling thrillers and haunting historical mystery novels.

She was a finalist for the 2018 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award and a recipient of the 2017 TCK Publishers’ Readers’ Choice Award for her book Murder Among The Tombstones. This is the first book in her Clara and Iris Mystery series. The characters in this series are a couple of overly curious widows who become private investigators. These funny women were inspired by Kim’s mother and her mom’s best friend.

Her other titles include Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle, When Dawn Never Comes, Deadly Odds, No Second Chances, and her latest, And The Forecast Called For Rain.

Kim’s writing career started after she suffered an illness that made her housebound for a couple of years. An avid reader of mystery novels herself, she embarked on writing as a means of filling her time. She began to share those early writings with friends and family who encouraged her to pursue writing professionally.

Her health struggles and successes have been chronicled on The Lifetime Television in early 2000, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Women’s Day Magazine, and Guidepost.

Prior to her illness, Kim worked in many different capacities in county government as her “Day Job,” but ultimately, it was her job as a correctional officer that provided her the opportunities to talk and interact with a diverse group of people. Her experiences ran the gamete of inspiring success stories to tragic endings, much like her mysteries.

She self-published her first book No Second Chances. One of the guest speakers at the launch party she had at the Performing Arts Center in Newnan, Georgia included her close friend retired Atlanta Police Chief Eldrin Bell. This connection would become helpful as she started doing more research for other books, this time working with a small publishing house.

Kim began networking and made connections with numerous homicide detectives, medical examiners, and prison officials. Her research has taken her many places including morgues, death row, and the occasional midnight visit to cemeteries.

Kim is a college graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She is an avid reader, has raised three successful grown children and resides outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

Kim’s books can be purchased online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM, and Indie Bound.

You can learn more about Kim and updates on new book releases and events by visiting her Official Author Website – https://www.kimcarterauthor.com/


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Let's Keep the Written Word Going


Let’s Keep the Written Word Going ~ A Blog Post From Kim

My mother instilled in me early on the importance of a handwritten thank- you note. I’ll never forget how proud I was to receive my first set of monogrammed stationery.  I would give anything to know where she’d purchased it now.  It was a lovely shade of pale pink and looked very hoity toity!  Long story short, I was all that. Lol. Read The Rest → Let’s Keep the Written Word Going


E-book on Sale at $4.99 or Read Free With KU!




Come Connect With Kim Carter on Social Media!

 Join Author’s Newsletter,
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Dark Secrets of the Bayou by [Kim Carter]
Now Released On Amazon and Kindle
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08NDVZ755/




Readers Need To Know as Cat Raises The Curtain! Author, Joe Siccardi Celebrating A New Book Cover Reveal!

Posted on September 4, 2020
Re-Share From Wisdom From a Father Blog

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for Joe. Last week we revealed the audio version of My Name Is Sam … and Heaven Is Still Shining Through is now available through Audible.

Today I want to introduce you to Wisdom From a Father …one dad’s thoughts on life Volume 2

Drrrumroll please… Boom-Bah-Bah-Boom-Bah-Bah-Boom-Bah-Bah-Boom!

Here it is …

Wisdom From a Father Volume 2 is available for pre-order in the Kindle Store. It is available for customers to pre-order here. Customers who pre-order the book will receive the content on the release date, Oct. 8.

I am offering the e-book at a pre-release price of just 99 cents. After release the price will go to the suggested price of $3.69. Kindle Unlimited readers can download it for free.

Volume Two contains a continued collection of short stories and reflections on everyday life. As I often say, I’m just that ordinary Joe walking on the path of life … and sharing more of it with you. There are joys. There are tribulations. There are reflections. There is every day life. In each essay I try to convey a recognition of a greater Power who colors my perspective. My comments are always filtered through the lens of my Judeo-Christian values and largely based on 40 years of marriage raising five children.

The format is similar to the first volume … short reflections updated from this blog. It is segmented into 52 chapters, which can be read in one sitting or as a weekly reflection. One reviewer commented, “Wisdom from a Father is a collection of delicious, food for thought, short essays/blogs illustrating Joe Siccardi’s life experiences.

Framed in a religious context and punctuated at the end of each essay by an inspirational quote, Siccardi has a knack for taking the ordinary and elevating it to something we can all relate to and be touched by.” Another contributed, “this ‘not quite devotional’ book is inspiring and helps you to keep in mind what’s most important in life — living one in which God is leading.”

In addition to the e-book, I am in the process of generating a paperback, which also will be released Oct. 8. That’s not quite ready for pre-release yet, but I hope it will be within thee next week or so. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m excited about the release. I am particularly pleased with the design created by Sasidu Chamodya. We can’t wait for your comments!

The audiobook formally dropped last week and just gives you — the audience — another way to enjoy this first person, Christian themed, fictional memoir of “just a free-willed suburban Jersey girl trying to figure out this journey called life.”

My Name Is Sam is narrated by Kirsten Kopp and runs four hours and 31 minutes. The book has a list price of $14.95. Member price is $10.46 or one credit. It is downloadable at Audible.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Face the challenge, no matter how hard it is, because something wonderful can come out of it. — Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud, member of the House of Saud and Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States.

Creating Some Book Buzz For An International Best Selling Author & His Book “Aiming High” That Hit #1 On Amazon. Meet Darren Prince Who Is Now Listed On Book Buzz (dot) Net …

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HELLO and WELCOME READERS and FRIENDS,

If you are an avid reader like I am then you must take a visit and find your next read from our amazing friends and the team at Book Buzz! 

You can now find Darren’s best-selling book, e-book, and now offered in audiobook format with Book Buzz! Darren is a popular sought after marketing agent for many icon celeb’s and sports pros and does his job well. Hoe can he Not when his best friend is none other than former ‘LA Laker, Magic Johnson, who also wrote the beautiful forward for Darren’s book. (Banner Courtesy of BookBuzz.net) …

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How Darren Turned his Bottom Into a New Beginning In Life!

Darren shares a story of soaring heights and crawling lows, as chronicled in his book Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top. He explains how he held his marketing empire together in spite of being addicted to opioids for 24 years, what led to his recovery, and how he now helps others who have made similar life detours find their way back.

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Magic Johnson - Wikipedia

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Foreword by Earvin “Magic” Johnson

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Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. is an American retired professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons and founder of The Magic Johnson Foundation.

“Darren and I have worked together for 23+ years. During that time, he has worked 24/7, negotiating memorabilia signings, speaking engagements, appearances, and other services. It was an honor to write the foreword for his book”…(Read more in the book Aiming High)

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Buy Links:


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Today, and through his
Aiming High Foundation, Darren has become a sought after speaker on addiction recovery and mental health. He specializes in helping high functioning addicts and at-risk executives to identify and avoid the pitfalls of addiction and he enjoys working with teens helping them build self-esteem and self-worth. Learn more and where to connect with him, now on BOOKBUZZ.NET ~ Creating Book Buzz for Authors!

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Aiming High a must-read By International Best-Selling Author, Darren Prince

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Links To New 5-Star Book Reviews…

May, 30th, 2020~ Amazon Review
May 29th, 2020 ~ Amazon Review
June 7th, 2020 ~ Goodreads Review
June 11th, 2020 ~  Goodreads Review

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IF YOU ARE AN AVID Sports Buff and Enjoy Reading About Amazing Memoirs of Sports Legends? This is the book to read!

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download (1)

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PRESENTED By Lyon Media Services & Book Marketing and Book Buzz!

More Amazing Book Reviews For Author, Cynthia Ulmer and Book One, “TODD” and The Cedar Cover Chronicles Series…

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AMAZING REVIEWS FOR THE CEDAR COVE CHRONICLES BY CYNTHIA ULMER
A Christian Southern Fictional Drama
At Its Finest. Review Courtesy of
‘On My Kindle Book Reviews’

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Todd (The Cedar Cove Chronicles, Book One) ~ Kindle Available on Amazon on Sale! by Cynthia Ulmer


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Source: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre:  Fiction, Christian fiction, Historical Fiction
Format: eBook, Print
Publication Date:  December 1, 2013

Back Cover

Todd is a southern novel about family love, faith and endurance. In 1943, ten year old Todd Jansan lives with his family on a North Carolina tobacco farm. The Jansan’s neighbor, Horace Hammond is a cruel man who punishes his children by holding them over a well. The Jansans have to deal with his cruelty and with the mystery surrounding Todd’s uncle who is off at war.

Review From “On My Kindle”

Todd is set in rural North Carolina on a tobacco farm during the 1940s and is narrated by a ten-year-old boy, Todd Jansan. The plot revolves around two central themes: the conflict between the Jansan family and the Hammonds, and the conflict within the family between Todd’s father and Todd’s uncle who has returned home after being wounded in World War II. Both conflicts have the potential to tear the family apart as Todd’s father struggles to exemplify the merits of faith, love, and perseverance to keep the family together.

Like some readers before me, I was a bit concerned about the cruelty and abuse mentioned in the book’s blurb; however, my concern was unfounded since Ulmer did not discuss the subject in graphic detail.

In a world filled with gizmos and gadgets to help streamline life, it was a joy to read a heartfelt story that took me back to a time before life became a frenzied, frantic rat-race. The picturesque setting is the perfect backdrop to refreshingly unidealized characters who were so artfully crafted that I sometimes forgot they were fictitious.

The plot itself is brilliant and the dialogue is eloquent! Readers get a glimpse of life on a tobacco farm in North Carolina, as well as internal and external strife, through the eyes of a realistically observant ten-year-old narrator who idolizes an uncle who has served his country. The dialogue makes the characters endearing and imbues the plot with simple Southern flair.

Todd is an enjoyable, cozy read that has a profound and timeless quality to it. I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy historical and Southern fiction!

Rating: 5/5 – Todd has a charming and quaint setting, it is filled with true-to-life and intriguing dialogue, and the protagonists exude old-time Southern Christian family values. It really is the embodiment of “Ole Southern fiction!”

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The Award-Winning Author, Cynthia Ulmer

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Author, Cynthia Ulmer

I enjoy writing, reading, listening to music, being with my family and working in my church. Writing has always been my passion. Some people struggle with what they are meant to do in life and others just know it all along. I’ve known since I was a small child that I wanted to write–the stories were always in my head.

My series, The Cedar Cove Chronicles, is set in the fictional community of Cedar Cove, North Carolina and follows the lives of the Jansan family, their friends and neighbors during the 40’s and 50’s.

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Connect with Cynthia Ulmer on Social Media!

 WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsAmazon

“Author, Rusty Blackwood and Her New Release of ‘The Perils of Autumn’ Book Tour Begins!” Many Updates and Tour Schedule …

WHO IS Author, Rusty Blackwood?

ONLY THE Amazing Best- Selling Canadian Writer and Author of Romantic Fiction, Drama, and Suspense! THAT’S WHO!

And now her New Release and Book Tour for “The Perils of Autumn” has begun in Canada …

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About Rusty Blackwood:

Romantic fiction author Rusty Blackwood, who chose her plume de nom by combining the colour of her russet hair with her husband’s great, great, Scottish grandmother’s maiden name, was born in St.Thomas, Ontario, Canada on October 5th, and grew up on her paternal grandfather’s farm in the County of Elgin, located in the south-western portion of the province of Ontario.

She acquired her love of literature while still in elementary school where she entered her original compositions into county fairs, school contests, and whatever venue allowed participants in the writing field. She has carried that love ever since and has put it to use many times since becoming a professional writer in 2001.

From the time of youth she has loved the Arts in their many unique forms and is a graduate with honors in Interior Decorating & Design. She spent many years on the south-western Ontario stage performing with her family’s country music band: The Midnight Ramblers, followed by the country – rock – blues band: ‘MIRAGE’ as an accomplished vocalist, bassist, and rhythm guitarist. She now resides in the cultural city of St. Catharines, Ontario.

Please visit her official website http://www.rusty-blackwood.com for numerous reviews and information on her work.

UPDATES and TOUR DATES So Far:

First Book Signing Was April 6th, 2019 at Coles, Seawall Mall,  in Welland, Ontario.

Then just today an Amazing Interview that can be listened now and Hosted by “The Joe Show Network – TJSN” Here is a Message from Rusty all about how it went.

“I am pleased to share Joe’s interview with me for readers and followers of my work. As you will hear, I had fun – I always do as Joe, being the exceptional entertainer that he is, makes it enjoyable, and this shows in the finished product.
Note: It wasn’t mentioned by name, but the comedy series we speak about is the Derwood Tugbottom comedy series.

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Next Book Tour Dates:

I am pleased to announce the upcoming official launch and signing series throughout the Niagara Peninsula for my 5 star-award-winning romantic fiction drama, The Perils of Autumn, and they are, accompanied with their event link,  as follows:

 

May 5th, 2019, 1 to 4 pm at Pen Center COLES, 221 Glendale Ave, St. Catharines, Ontario.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2079181012373386/

June 2nd 2019 1 to 4:30 pm, INDIGO/CHAPTERS, 737 Golf Links Road Unit 1, Ancaster, Ontario.

https://www.facebook.com/events/332831857607187/

June 15th, 2019,  at Fairview Mall Chapters, St. Catharines, Ontario., 1 to 4:30 PM.

MORE COMING!

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More Updates will be shared soon! Until then? Make sure you visit her website at “Official Rusty Blackwood Author” and sign up for her News Letter to be “In The Know” where this Beautiful Author Will Be Next …Then, Take a trip over to her “Amazon Author Page” for all her fabulous reads!

Connect With Rusty Blackwood on Social Media

Facebook

Twitter

GoodReads Author

And On All Author!

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“Cat Lyon’s Reading and Writing Den and Lyon Media Services”

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Exclusive and Coming This Fall by Rusty Blackwood. Sneak Peek Chapter of The Perils of Autumn.

I always enjoy sharing one of my favorite romance fiction authors and writers. I am also honored to call Rusty Blackwood a dear friend of mine and meeting several years ago through social media and became fast friends. She is an amazing author with books like,

 

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Passions in Paris:  Revelations of a Lost Diary  Willow's WalkDerwood Returns

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“Such a talented writer that all her books should be on the NY Times Best Seller List!
Who says authors don’t interact with thier readers? Rusty sure does. Just as she enjoys sharing her process of writing a new book as well.”

So, I am privileged she asked and has given my readers another exclusive look and share a Sneak Peek Chapter of her new book coming out this fall titled; The Perils of Autumn. I know all my avid readers will love reading a good long juicy chapter to prepare you for this amazing new release this FALL …

 


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 Photo of Miss Blackwood by Miss Carson Doan ©2013 Carson Doan Photography, St. Catharines, ON.

 

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The Perils of Autumn ~ Chapter 35

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A Four Course Journey Through Hypocrisy

 
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( This is a working cover only for The Perils of Autumn. Image courtesy of Google Images ©)

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A Note From The Author, Rusty Blackwood:

“Hello Avid Readers. This chapter is fairly long but it helps to set the flow of the story. The chapter centers around a dinner party that Autumn gives with hopes of bringing Cyril and her mother closer together – as Autumn and Cyril are becoming close and Abigail (Autumn’s mother) who is not pleased with their relationship because he is so much older than her daughter. The housekeeper, Agnes – life long friend of Cyril’s – begins to show her true colors” …You may read another chapter from my Official Author Website Rusty Blackwood and make sure you sign up for my newsletter while there for this new fall release, news, and author events too!

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Saturday had arrived and with it growing anxiety for Autumn. She wondered at this for she had everything well planned, dinner would be at six, the menu had been decided, and the weather appeared favorable. Much of the meal would consist of items she and her mother had never consumed, but there was always a first time, and the selection was good. It would also be a feast for Cyril’s pallet, for the menu consisted of many of his favorite foods that he had not enjoyed in quite some time. There was not a doubt he would partake heavily. His assignment was the stocking of the bar which would be left to his choosing. Autumn’s mother did enjoy a nice sherry, or an after-dinner brandy, that of which Autumn had already informed Cyril, and she was certain he would include them in the lineup.

Noon had come and gone. Autumn couldn’t help noticing the cold shoulder she was receiving from Agnes whenever she entered the kitchen, but it was something the older woman must come to terms with, and Autumn was not about to ruin her expected pleasure over someone’s possible attempt at sabotage. She kept checking the time, noticing the hands on the clock seemed to speed faster with each look. Three o’clock finally loomed; it was time to adjourn to her suite. She had less than two hours to prepare for the planned festivities. After a final check in the kitchen, she trod to Cyril’s room to see if he was resting, but he was not there. He did say he was going to exercise Dan for a while; must be where he is. I do hope he’s watching the time, she thought with concern while climbing the stairs to her privacy. Now, what should I wear? She didn’t want to be over-dressed yet wanted to appear festive. It may be a simple dinner for four, but it was a most important one; she wanted everything to be just right, and that included her.

Her wardrobe had grown over time. It brought her comfort when opening her closet doors to find an actual selection within. Both she and her mother could now enjoy nicer clothes, as well as a wide variety. Her mind suddenly flashed to the days when it hadn’t been that way. There had always been clothing, but not always the nicest nor the most recent in style but at least they were clean. She smiled when realizing that sparseness was no longer the case for either of them. She had always admired her mother’s impeccable taste, the way she made a statement with the combination of simple items used with flair, creating her own look, and pulling it off with grace. Autumn’s style was different from her mother’s. It didn’t matter if something was not of the latest trend, in fact, the more flamboyant the better, and aside from wearing conservative riding habits, she fancied her own look with whatever took her eye at the time.

Before long she was attired in a mid-length, long sleeved, crushed velvet coat dress in royal blue, set off with a matching belt sporting a huge square chrome buckle. She wore chunky, three inch heeled knee-high boots of the same color and fabric of the dress, but what set them apart was a spattering of shinny chrome studs around the cuffs, and down the sides. To complete the look, she chose dangly silver hoop earrings. Her cheeks were adorned with a soft pink blush, dark auburn mascara complimented her thick, wispy lashes, and a bold crimson lip gloss finished the look. She decided to wear her shoulder-length hair loose and flowing, and as she stood before the full-length mirror she had to smile, feeling every inch the seventies girl that she was.

The limo, driven by a suit-clad William was Lexington bound to retrieve Abigail Leeves who was expecting its arrival at the time her daughter had given, and she would be ready. A feeling of nervousness touched her stomach, but she shrugged it off, knowing there was no need for such nonsense, and she would not have it. She had always faced uncertainty head on, and this would be no different. She held to her usual conservative look, consisting of a three-quarter sleeved teal linen dress with gold piping, flat heeled, mid-high charcoal leather dress boots, and matching gold necklace and earrings. Her fur trimmed, black shear ling coat fell just below her knees, and was set off by a black leather shoulder bag boasting an elegant gold chain. She struck a stylish figure that she hoped would make her daughter proud.

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Back at the mansion Autumn’s nerves were beginning to get the better of her. Surely things will go as planned, she trustingly thought, picturing everything in her mind as vividly as if it were playing out before her. She couldn’t wait to taste the traditional English fare that had been planned for everyone’s enjoyment, certain her mother would feel the same. She has always encouraged new avenues to try, so this will be no different, but still her nerves encompassed her stomach, as she further thought, what time is it now? Realizing it was almost five, she rushed downstairs just in time to meet her dashing squire of the manor, looking dapper in a light grey pin striped suit over an open-collared apricot colored linen shirt, and in lieu of a necktie, he wore a large silk apricot pocket square tucked loosely in his lapel. It truly was his color, for it set off his silver hair perfectly.

 Sweeping his dancing eyes over her, he exclaimed, “You look exquisite, my dear!”

 “Thank you, Cyril; you’re not a bit shabby yourself!”

 “I suppose one could say we are totally mod.”

 “Mod was last decade, now we are considered groovy.”

 “Then groovy we shall be. Care to cut a rug with me?”


Giggling like an adolescent, Autumn playfully slapped his right shoulder before throwing her arms around him. He grinned at her daring gestures all the while realizing how they affected him, kept him youthful, and wanting to play. However, he didn’t think it wise to appear disheveled when his guest arrived.

Straightening his suit coat, he said, “I so look forward to seeing your charming mother again. How has she been keeping since leaving hospital?”

It took Autumn but a second to clue into the mannerism Cyril was expecting, as she replied, “She’s feeling fine and doing much better, thank you for asking. The new medication Dr. Boxford ordered appears to be helping much better than the previous one. Possibly she had become immune to the prior dosage; that often happens in cases like hers, but her mobility is much improved, and her discomfort has lessened. She’s even walking without the aid of her cane. It is a great relief for both of us,” and letting her eyes again travel over him, she coyly confessed, “You, my elegant horse master, look wonderfully debonair. I just had to say that before my mother arrives.”

He bowed, while sweeping his right arm before him. “My sincere gratitude, Miss Autumn, your charming presence at my side on her arrival can only do me proud,” and sensing her sudden nervousness, he asked, “Are you excited?”

Autumn couldn’t believe the extent of her nervousness, she actually felt nauseous, certain her sweaty hands would slip from within his; that alone increased her anxiety. She took a deep breath, straightened her posture, and then walked hand in hand with him to answer the call of the doorbell now ringing out its usual refrain. The door opened to reveal Abigail Leeves, standing in wait.

Cyril graciously extended his right hand, as he stated, “Welcome to Landon Manor, Miss Leeves, and might I say how lovely you look. Do come in.”

Noticing the grip her daughter had on the Englishman’s left hand, Abigail was thankful he had reached out with his right, but she pleasantly smiled, and stepped into the opulent foyer as he helped remove her coat, and then hung it in the closet.

“It is a pleasure to see you again, Mr. Landon,” Abigail announced, “thank you for inviting me to dinner. I look forward to us becoming better acquainted,” and letting her eyes travel over her daughter, now standing on her own, she said, “You look stylish, my dear. I adore your outfit, it is typically you.”

Autumn said nothing, only smiled as if her mouth had become paralyzed in its present clown-like position while she walked aside Cyril and her mother toward the double parlor. As the trio entered the massive room, Agnes appeared through the dining room door, and appearing to ignore those present, went straight to the bar located at the far end of the room.

“Agnes,” Cyril called out, signaling her total lack of manners, “you remember Miss Abigail Leeves I assume? Do come and say hello. I shall tend to the drink orders directly.”

The sullen housekeeper moved toward the women, extending her hand to the elder of the two, stating, “Hello again, Miss Leeves, it is nice that you could attend our little soirée. I trust your journey was a comfortable one. William does try his best to avoid most bumps in the road,” and she smiled in a sinister way.

As Cyril escorted Abigail to a comfortable heather-toned wing chair, she replied, “It was fine, no bumps, just a smooth ride throughout its entirety. I must say what a pleasant man William is, a most delightful chap indeed.”

Escorting Autumn to a matching chair opposite her mother, Cyril said, “That is our William for you. He enjoys nothing better than a fine conversation. I trust he didn’t bore you with constant horse topics. He tends to forget that not everyone is as interested in them as he. May I offer you an appetizer, accompanied with an aperitif of your choice?”

Abigail looked amused but comfortable as she studied the colorful selections on the silver serving tray, and upon choosing one, she replied, “A glass of sherry would be nice, thank you. Regarding your inquiry concerning William and our conversation, he did not bore me in the least. I find the world of horse racing interesting actually. My daughter has tried explaining different aspects about it during our phone conversations; she is certainly taken with it ever since you taught her to ride. The pony you assigned her is a lovely one, very pretty.”

Autumn, now channeling a bobble head doll, moved her eyes between Cyril and her mother, before stating, “Cinnamon is hardly a pony, Momma, but rather a breed known as Morgan. A small horse – an Indian pony actually – though not a pony. It’s somewhat difficult to explain.”

The expression on Cyril’s face revealed amusement. He found it enlightening that Autumn was trying her best to explain something that she was still a novice about in many ways. He admired her forthrightness in doing her best to clarify things, but he surmised his help was required.

Pulling a chair aside Abigail, he explained, “The majority of horse breed at my stables is thoroughbred, or warm blood, horses bred for professional racing and show events such as open-hunter, show-jumping, and dressage, however I do keep a few different breeds for pleasure, such as Autumn’s mare Cinnamon, whose breed is Morgan. They are solid, tough horses, smaller than a thoroughbred in height and build, not nearly as hot blooded or high strung, but they are perfect for pleasure riding as well as teaching beginners to ride, such as your daughter, whom I understand had never sat on the back of a horse.”

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Setting her half empty glass upon an adjacent table, Abigail replied, “We were never fortunate to be around horses I’m afraid, though I know my daughter has always had an affinity for them but we never lived where having one, even a pony, was possible. However, I am glad that she has been allowed to experience what she was denied throughout her formative years.”

Oh, Mother, must you make us sound like a welfare case? Autumn agonized in thought, doing her best to prevent her eyes from rolling as she continued to listen to the conversation.

Nodding his head in a receptive manner, Cyril remarked, “Yes, I am too, but it has been my pleasure to assist her by teaching her the basics, and she is a fast learner, picking up difficult aspects exceptionally fast.”

“Yes,” Abigail agreed, “that she is, always first to jump into the fray.” Oh, Mother, please, must you be so explicit? thought Autumn with growing annoyance fast boarding on embarrassment. She had to change the subject.

“I’m glad you had a good trip out here, Momma. I knew you would enjoy conversing with William, he is a most interesting dude, always has something delightful to say. Maybe after dinner you might like to have a tour of the stables; even meet Cinnamon — and Dapper Dan!”

“Excuse me, Dapper who?”

“Sir Dapper Dan. That is the official name of Cyril’s horse, a magnificent, dapple grey thoroughbred stallion that is a blue-ribbon winner in his field. Why he simply soars over hurdles, regardless of how high or difficult to maneuver. Then again a lot of that can be credited to Cyril’s exceptional horsemanship.”

The Englishman’s face suddenly reddened, he was actually blushing, as he stated, “Oh my, you must forgive your daughter’s enthusiasm, Miss Leeves, she is rather bias, however the credit she gives Dan is certainly well placed. He is both my stalwart friend, and my champion on the course. We have been together a very long time, and he never ceases to amaze me.”

“Yes, Momma, it was Dapper Dan that saved Cyril the day of his accident. The horse got down on his knees and eased himself upon his side as to allow Cyril to climb on his back, where he then brought him to the stables. It was a miraculous feat, a total gesture of love. I don’t know many humans who would go to that length for another.”

Looking amused, Abigail exclaimed, “My-my, you certainly do have a friend in your horse, Mr. Landon! I would very much like to meet this applauded steed. I must say you were a lucky man.”

“That I was and do call me Cyril. Mr. Landon seems so formal, and I always address my friends by their name.”  “Then you must call me Abigail. I understand you own a Triple Crown winner. That must be thrilling, to say the least.”

“That it is, Abigail! Devil May Care won the Triple Crown in 1969, setting a record for speed along with it. Unfortunately, that coveted series is open to three-year-old contenders only, but nothing can ever erase the memories of his win. I am now hopeful for my newest three-year-old stallion, Fenn’s Fancy. He has what it takes, but it is also up to chance, so we shall see.”

Before another word could be spoken, Agnes, who had previously left the room immediately after acknowledging the company, returned to announce that dinner now awaited them in the dining room. Cyril stepped between Autumn and her mother, and offering an arm to each, accompanied them to the dining room with its emerald green damask walls, and highly polished, colonial-styled walnut table. Six deep maroon-cushioned chairs lined the table either side, capped off with a captain’s chair at each end.

The table, sporting a tapestry runner in maroon and gold, sat beneath a shallow but tasteful flower arrangement consisting of Baby’s Breath, Stephanotis, and trailing English Ivy. Crystal serving bowls lined each side of the runner, each offering an English staple from the designated menu. Autumn and Abigail were seated across from each other on the halfway mark of the table, and Cyril and Agnes took up residence in the captains’ chairs.

To Cyril’s right side, chilling in an ice-filled sterling bucket in its stand was a vintage bottle of champagne. Popping the cork, he walked around the table filling each crystal goblet located aside a gold embellished dinner plate, on which sat a green enameled salad bowl offering a traditional London salad, consisting of assorted greens, walnuts, and apples.

The meal progressed with conversation taking place wherever it seemed to fit. Everyone appeared to be enjoying the assorted flavors of each dish, until the bowl containing Toad in the Hole was passed to Abigail, who awkwardly hesitated, giving the impression she was not sure about what she was viewing.

Agnes was quick to notice. Swiftly wiping a maroon colored napkin across her mouth, she openly inquired, “Is there a problem, Miss Leeves?” It was obvious Abigail did not wish to make a scene, but the pungent look on her face openly revealed her displeasure.

“I am sorry, I don’t wish to seem impartial but …this dish looks as if it contains sausage.”

“It does!” Agnes blurted.

“One cannot make a proper Toad in the Hole without sausage. Why don’t you try it before you turn up your nose? You might find it to your liking instead of jeering at it like you’ve been offered poison.” Abigail sat in quandary, not certain what to say. Cyril could not believe the words emitting from his housekeeper’s mouth. He was totally appalled.

“How dare you speak to my guest in such a disgraceful manner, Agnes? I demand you explain yourself and apologize immediately.”

Autumn sat in disbelief yet knowing full well that the outburst was because of the woman’s growing animosity toward her and Cyril’s blossoming relationship, but she would not sit in silence while her mother was chastised because of it.

“I too am waiting for an explanation, Agnes. If my mother has hesitated to try something there must be a good reason; even if there wasn’t, it does not give you the right to speak to her like that.”

Abigail graciously blotted her mouth, before stating, “I am sorry. I certainly did not mean to cause such uproar, but I cannot eat sausage without it triggering a gallbladder attack. I have not been able to eat sausage since I was a child.”

“No mind, Abigail,” Cyril assured, “you need not explain. Agnes is the one who needs to do that, and if she cannot, she may excuse her presence from my table. Miss Autumn and I can serve the dessert and tea.”

Agnes found it hard to absorb that Cyril would speak to her in such fashion. It hurt, even though she had been wrong to use the tone that she had with Abigail, but she would not be spoken to in this manner, and she would not be banished from the table like an impertinent child.

She abruptly rose to her feet, and began walking toward the kitchen, but stopped, whirled around, and snapped, “I am the housekeeper here, Cyril, until you see fit to dismiss my service! I will clear the table and see to the dessert, but I will not join you!”

The look on Cyril’s face revealed total displeasure. He had always conducted himself with honor, respecting everyone around him, but he could not tolerate what was presently happening before his eyes.

He stood erect, extending each hand toward the women sitting at the table, and in a rather shaken voice, he said, “Would you both please accept my sincere apology I … I do not know what has gotten into her, I don’t understand it at all, any of it. In all the years that I have known her she has never lashed out like that. Abigail, I had Miss Autumn invite you here because she and I have grown close, and you and she are so very close that I want to know you better.

I held such anticipation for this dinner, having you here with me, in my manor at my table with Autumn and me. I hope to have many more dinners with you at this table … Please, I must excuse myself for a moment, if you will both indulge me.” Moving toward Autumn, he added, “Please top up your mother’s glass and keep her company ’till I return. I shan’t be long.”

It was plain to see that the proud Englishman was distraught and had to get out before he lost his composure. It was embarrassing to have an employee – though an old friend – conduct herself in such a disrespectful manner. He would not have it. She had not only spoken to Abigail in the unacceptable manner in which she had, but this was the mother of the woman he had fallen in love with, regardless of whether she had reservations about it or not. She had to be made to understand. He knew he must not be gone long; that would not be acceptable either, but what he had to say could not wait.


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I am enjoying the creation of this novel immensely. The more the story grows the more in-depth it becomes. The characters are raw, bold, and pretentious, yet each carries a certain uniqueness that pulls you in and makes you want to know them more.  ~Rusty Blackwood

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Rusty Blackwood Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Romantic fiction author Rusty Blackwood, who chose her plume de nom by combining the colour of her russet hair with her husband’s great, great, Scottish grandmother’s maiden name, was born in St.Thomas, Ontario, Canada on October 5th, and grew up on her paternal grandfather’s farm in the County of Elgin, located in the south-western portion of the province of Ontario.

She acquired her love of literature while still in elementary school where she entered her original compositions into county fairs, school contests, and whatever venue allowed participants in the writing field. She has carried that love ever since and has put it to use many times since becoming a professional writer in 2001.

From the time of youth she has loved the Arts in their many unique forms and is a graduate with honors in Interior Decorating & Design. She spent many years on the south-western Ontario stage performing with her family’s country music band: The Midnight Ramblers, followed by the country – rock – blues band: ‘MIRAGE’ as an accomplished vocalist, bassist, and rhythm guitarist. She now resides in the cultural city of St. Catharines, Ontario.

Please visit her official website  Rusty Blackwood – Bio/Contact for numerous reviews, author interview requests, and information on her work.

 

 

 

 

Meet My Dear Friend and Author, Whitney McKendree Moore and Her New Book Cover Reveal and Interview.

A fantastic rerelease and book I read that is an AMAZING read and Whitney is an amazing woman you need to meet…She is an “Angel” sent from Heaven! We have been friends a few years and I so enjoy helping authors and my friends alike when they books released that can help many others. And man does she have many books to choose from here: Whitney McKendree Moore! Purchase her current book on Amazon Books!

I know you will love her as much as I DO!  Catherine XoXo

 

A few of My FAV’S!

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God Can!: Parables and Proofs   Downloads from God  Praise in the Storm

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More About My Friend Whitney:

 

RECOVERY IN THE BIBLE

Whitney McKendree Moore says she writes “campfire stories.” Her books are for any Christian discouraged by a loved one’s alcoholism, especially for those who may not realize that help is available. Twelve-Step recovery led Whitney to discover that a relationship with God can be interactive, up close, and personal. She writes to tell of God’s incredible help in her life three ways:

Divine Intervention: “Whit’s End” is her personal testimony of how God revealed denial and delivered her from it into a whole new life.

Direct Connect: “Downloads from God” and “Contemporary Psalms” are companion volumes — excerpts of what it sounds like to be in Quiet Time with the Maker of the Universe.

Divine Connections: “BS-Busters” and “Praise in the Storm” are books of encouragement, urging gatherings where it is safe to “get real” with God, with ourselves, and with each other. Two other titles (“God Can!” and “What the Conductor Said”) offer additional “campfire stories” of God speaking, even through each of us, to one another.

Whitney writes to come alongside other Christians who, like her, have reached the point of saying, “I can’t; God can; I need to let Him.” She has a website called RecoveryintheBible.com and a blog there called The Question Corner.

 

 

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“Cozy Author Interview With ~ Author, Whitney McKendree Moore”

 

1. When did realize that you wanted to be a writer and author?
Ever since ever! I remember seeing a TV ad for coffee when I was a girl (in the late 50s) where a woman was typing in front of a roaring fire with a dog at her side. I always thought that was a picture of me.

2. How long does it take for you to write one of your books? It took me a decade to write “Whit’s End.” At one point, the manuscript was 420 pages. Now it’s 112. For me, it was tricky trying to tell my story without doing so at someone else’s expense.

3. How do you balance your work schedule when you’re busy writing?  I am retired now, but when I worked, I spent many nights and weekends and even vacation days writing. I guess it’s true that if you’re a writer you write!

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?  I am very colloquial, and I actually seek to sound as though I am talking. Also, I make up words. A lot.

5. How do you come up with ideas for your books?  I just decided to package up all those pages I’d been writing on nights and weekends!

6. When did you write your first book? 1986. It was called “Where To Next?” and is out of print now.

7. What are your hobbies when you’re not writing? Walking, singing with guitar and others, playing the piano.

8. How do your family and close friends think of your writing? One relative said, “We loved the cover.” And not a peep else!

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9. What was one of the most interesting things that you learned about yourself when you published your first book?  How reluctant I was to market it myself. I no longer consider “marketing” a swear word. Now I think of it as reaching out to encourage someone with what I have been given to share.

10. How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?  Twelve books of my own, plus another five helping other people tell their stories.

11. What do you think makes a good story?  The truth, which is so often stranger than fiction. When I wrote for magazines, I would describe my subjects as “extraordinary & ordinary people.”

 

12. Now lastly, where do you like to kick back and write your books?  My favorite is to take a thick stack of blank white paper to my great big bed with a bunch of sharp pencils and start there. It never goes well for me if I get onto the computer too soon…

I’d like to close by saying “You are amazing, woman. Amazing. Thank you so much for your incredible generosity, interview and ‘CAN DO attitude.” You give me GRATITUDE! Friends and Readers can come connect with me on social media below!  Visit my  Website    GoodReads   Twitter
Facebook

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I want to “Thank” my dear friend Whitney for allowing me to share her books and more about her with all my readers and recovery friends too! Please do yourself a great favor and pick up a few of her books and give them a read. You will enjoy them all!

CAT

 

 

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