Sunday, May 8, 2022

Happy Mother's Day by J.S. Marlo


Seasoned Hearts
"Love & Sacrifice #1"
is now available  
click here 


The Red Quilt 
"a sweet & uplifting holiday story"
click here 


Today is Mother's Day!

When my kids were young, they drew cards, made me a gift, a cake, and breakfast in bed (sometimes with their dad's help). I still get cards and gifts, but nowadays, it's my granddaughter's drawings that end up on my fridge, not my kids' cards.

According to RetailMeNot, these are the Top Six Mother's Day Gifts for 2022:

- flowers: 47%

- chocolate: 36%

- gift cards: 29%

- dinner: 26%

- jewelry: 22%

- beauty products: 19%

I think books and wine should have been somewhere in there LOL

And here are my Top Three:

- hugs & kisses

- phone call

- family dinner

Did you know that more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year? These holiday chats with Mom often cause phone traffic to spike by as much as 37 percent. 

To all the mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day!!!

Now I'll go call my mom.

Have a wonderful day and stay safe!




Saturday, May 7, 2022

A Little Help From My Friend by Eileen O'Finlan


My cat, Autumn Amelia, has developed a new interest - my writing. Or more specifically, anything I'm doing on my laptop. Lately, whenever I'm working she insists on joining me. I'll be typing away, totally "in the zone" with my writing, oblivious to everything around me when suddenly an adorable furry face appears, obscuring part of my screen. She sidles up beside my laptop to take a peek at my work. If she approves, I get a head bonk. If not, a pair of white paws appear on the keyboard to help me out.

I must admit this can be rather bothersome at times. Helpful as she may think she is, the sudden emergence of a long string of random letters across my screen can be a bit disconcerting. Worse is when she hits backspace or delete and I lose what I've written. Once when I left my laptop unattended I came back to find that everything on the screen was upside down. I had to call a techy friend to walk me through putting it rightside up again. It took several steps so I've no idea how Autumn Amelia managed to get it into that condition in the first place. She's obviously very talented.

Lest you think I could ever get mad at her, check out this face. No one could get mad at this face!

Autumn Amelia behind my laptop plotting the right moment to "help" with my writing

She's been known to do a little proofreading, too.

Friday, May 6, 2022

An Excerpt from my newest release - Deadly Ties - Jay Lang


Deadly Ties

Jay Lang


 Chapter One


As the door opened in the dead of night, I felt a rush of icy wind seconds before the killers appeared from the darkness.


* * *


A chilly morning wind gusts through the open car deck, almost causing me to lose my balance. Just as I reach the bottom of the metal stairwell, a distorted voice breaks through the overhead speakers. It’s the captain, informing passengers that a pod of orca has been spotted off the starboard side.

Pushing against the wind, I make my way to the railing and look over the churning, grey water just in time to spot a large dorsal fin breaching the surface. Tourists quickly gather and shove to get the best vantage point for taking pictures.

After a few quick moments, the whales disappear and the onlookers slowly disperse. I lean over the railing and watch the whitecaps on the growing swells as we head into rougher seas. As the shorelines disappear, the wind picks up and mists of seawater spray over me. I continue to look out over the water, entranced by the pattern of the rolling waves. Though I get cold and wet from the saltwater spray, I don’t return to my car until the Departure Bay dock comes into view.

The farther the ship gets from the mainland, the more apprehensive and resentful I feel about going back to a place I fought so hard to leave.

I haven’t been home for a long time. I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing him again, especially since Mom died. She was the go-between, the mediator between him and me. Over the years, I’ve opted for self preservation. Instead of visiting, I sent the obligatory card whenever a holiday or birthday rolled around. Yet, here I am in my late twenties, subjecting myself once more to the bullshit I escaped from.

The ferry docks, and as I drive over the noisy metal ramp onto solid ground, there’s a sinking feeling in the pit of my gut.

I knew this day would eventually come. Years ago, when Mom was still alive, Dad was diagnosed with a carcinoid tumor in his lower intestine. From what his care nurse tells me, the cancer has now spread to his stomach and lungs, and as gruff and emotionally arrested as he is, I know my mom would’ve wanted me to help him in his final days.

Dark angry clouds hang overhead as a strong wind pushes against the body of my old Honda Accord, making it challenging to handle on the open highway. Despite this, the drive to Ladysmith goes by too quickly. Before I know it, I’m turning onto Brenton Page Road.

A few minutes down the road, I pull over so I can take a few steadying breaths. I remind myself that it’s better to sacrifice time now than live with the guilt of not helping the cantankerous old codger.

I listen to a couple of Neil Young songs while gripping the steering wheel. Then, feeling as mentally prepared as I can, I pull back onto the road.

After I pass the tall white inn, I turn down the narrow, winding road toward the beach. When I come to the clearing, I see the half-dozen row of waterfront cabins just up from the shore. I park, get out of the car and stand, looking out over the sea.

When I was a child, I would wait until my mom was asleep, then I’d take off my clothes and tiptoe out to the beach. Standing naked under the stars by the glistening sea, the cool wind dancing around my body. It made me feel alive…a part of everything.

I couldn’t do that now. I could never be that naked and vulnerable. Too much has made me feel self-conscious and ashamed. The freedom and purity I felt as a child was diminished by his strategic and calculating attempts to destroy me. Piece by piece, bit by bit he stole away the parts I needed to become a whole person.

But I wasn’t the only one cut in half. My mother, God rest her, was a victim, same as me. It’s why we needed each other so much. Together we made up a whole person.

I turn my attention to my father’s cabin, which is shabbier than I remember— sun-bleached wood with cracked planks and a short walkway overgrown with weeds. The red paint on the door has faded to a dull burgundy, and the wooden chimes that I sent him a couple years ago are hanging crooked on a large, rusted hook.

I take a deep breath then rap twice on the door.

After a few long moments, I hear a gruff voice from inside the cabin. “Who is it?”

“It’s me, Mila.”

The latch unlocks and the door slowly opens. I barely recognize the man that looks back at me. My father, John Dovey, once nicknamed Grizzly for his broad and muscular physique, has become a withered and decrepit old man. He’s thin and gangly, stooping forward in his wheelchair. If I had seen him anywhere but here, I wouldn’t have recognized him.

He wheels backward, making room for the door to swing open so I can enter.

“Hi, Dad,” I say, following him inside. His care-aids told me that he doesn’t need the chair all the time. He can walk, just not for very long or very far.

“So, you finally decided to grace me with your presence,” he slurs as he parks behind a rickety table, on which sits a half-bottle of whiskey and an empty glass.

I shut the door behind me and look around the small room. There’s a worn-out green sofa that slouches in the middle where the springs have given way. His old rifle sits on a gun rack proudly displayed above the sofa. Pictures of my mom are hanging on the walls, along with a large corkboard covered with photos and post-it notes. The small gas stove and fridge have stains and dried food stuck to them. My father was never geared toward cleaning, something that drove my mother nuts.

“I wasn’t sure you’d show,” he says.

“Yeah, me either,” I say in a low tone. “But we’re family, so I didn’t see where I had much choice.”

“Family? Ha!” He grabs the bottle in his spindly, pale hand and shakes it at me. “You see this? This is the only damn family I got. The only family that’s stood by me.”

“That’s brilliant, Dad. Spoken like a true reformed alcoholic.”

“You can drop the sarcasm. It’s beneath you.”

I feel like saying, “No, quitting my job and giving up my life in Vancouver to care for a terminally ill, cantankerous alcoholic who’s done his best to kill himself faster is beneath me” – but I don’t. Instead, I shift my focus from him to the window, and try to compose myself.

He seems pissed off that I won’t engage with him, grunting and pouring another drink. He sets the bottle down hard on the table. “I suppose you’ll be needing to stay here.”

Not on your life. “No, I called the manager of the cabins and asked if there were any vacancies. She said the cabin next door is opening up in a couple of days. Until then, I’ll stay at the Inn up the road.”

“What’s the matter, don’t wanna stay here with me? I wonder why that is?” He waves his arm around, spilling his drink. “Maybe you think you’re too good because you’ve been living in the city. Ha! What a joke.”

“You know, Dad.” I glare at him. “It’s not that I expected you to completely transform from the jerk you’ve always been, but I’d hoped you’d be a tiny bit happy to see me after five fucking years.”

He stares at me, then smirks. “Not sure why you thought that. It’s been years since you’ve darkened my door. You don’t give a damn about me. You’re probably waiting for me to die so you can take all my stuff.”

A loud burst of laughter threatens to escape my lips. Yeah, Dad, I left my peaceful life in Vancouver so I could finally get my hands on your rickety little table and nasty-ass couch. You found me out!

I take a deep breath. “There’s no point in talking. All we do is fight. I’m going to the inn, and I’ll be back in the morning. Do you need anything?”

“Yeah, another one of these.” He points to the bottle.

“Nice try.” I walk to the door and turn the handle. “It would be nice if you were sober when I come back tomorrow.”

He laughs. “For who?”

I walk outside and close the door behind me. That sucked. Still, it could’ve been worse. At least he didn’t throw anything at me.

Just as I start toward the car, I hear my father yelling my name. I turn and open the door, poking my head in.

“What’s up?”

He’s still sitting with the drink in his hand. “Do you need any money?”

Taken aback, I shake my head. “I’m good. Thanks.”


Chapter Two



I watch the small sailboats sway to the rhythm of the waves in the marina below as I debate going to the effort of ordering food. My room is one of six spa-like suites at the inn. I heard that a lot of writers would rent these rooms for months at a time when penning their next novel. Not surprising, considering the peaceful surroundings of the area.

I flop down on the bed and stare up at the ceiling, reflecting on the past forty-eight hours. The call from the medical supports that cared for my father, the disappointed reaction from my boss when I told him I was moving back to the Island, and—of course—the cold reunion with my father.

Feeling overwhelmed, like standing in the eye of a tornado with everything spinning out of control around me, my first instinct is to jump into my car and head back to my safe, peaceful life on the mainland. But I can’t leave, and I know it. I’m bound here until my father’s body gives out. My mother would be heartbroken if I left him to die alone, regardless that he’s a raging alcoholic. My only option is to do what I can while staying emotionally distant and protected—yeah, right.

I order a pizza, then unpack my small suitcase into the chest of drawers. Then I go into the bathroom to freshen up.

I glance in the mirror. I look pale and stressed. When I left Vancouver this morning, I did a quick brush of my shoulder-length brown hair and tied it into a loose bun before dressing in leggings and an oversized hoodie—function over fashion, the same way I dress while babysitting all day. Now, after being to my father’s place, I feel grungy and gross.


* * *


The first blast of morning sun breaks over the horizon and casts a blinding light through the large windows. I turn over and throw my arm over my eyes. For a brief moment, I think I’m home in Vancouver, and then reality hits me.

I roll onto my back and force in a deep full breath, then exhale slowly. I can’t believe I’m actually here, just minutes away from him. I must be out of my fucking mind.

I sit up and swing my legs over the edge of the bed. My life in Vancouver has ended, at least for now. I need to put on my big-girl panties and accept it.

My phone rings on the way to the bathroom. It's the supervisor for the company that provides in-home care for my father.

I listen patiently as she relays the many incidents that care aids endured while caring for my dad. She drops words like abusive, alcoholic, and unstable. All I can think is, no shit, lady, try growing up with him.

She then suggests putting Dad into palliative care. I humor her and agree, knowing there’s no chance in hell my father would ever leave his cabin for a regulated place that doesn’t allow alcohol.

I assure the woman that I’ll be taking care of him from now on, apologize for the trouble he’s caused, and thank her for her service. As she says goodbye, I can tell by her tone how relieved she is to be done with his bullshit.

Just before she hangs up, she informs me that all his care aids have heard my father speak of me with pride and adoration. I snicker to myself. They obviously weren’t aware of my father’s tendency towards sarcasm.

After getting dressed, I head out of the inn and drive into town.

Ladysmith is a quaint little bedroom community with a big portion of the population made up of retirees. Being only an hour from Victoria, a lot of the businesses here rely on tourism to supplement the economy.

Once in town, I stop by a local coffee shop, grab a latte, and find a seat. A few laid-back patrons are scattered throughout the small shop. When I glance at them, they look back and smile, something I’ve grown unaccustomed to while living in Vancouver. In the city, people are stand-offish and typically focussed on an electronic device. Here, there’s a strong sense of community and connection. I never realized how much I missed that aspect of living in a small town until now.

I grab a local paper from an adjacent table and flip to the classifieds. If I’m going to be living here, I’ll have to find a job. While sipping my coffee, I scan the help wanted ads. There are many listings for yard work, handyman jobs and one ad for a cab driver.

I slide my phone out of my pocket and snap a picture of the contact information for the taxi driver job. Then I take the last sip from my cup and am just about to leave when an elderly gentleman with a grey comb-over and pop-bottle glasses walks up to my table.

“Hi, Miss,” he says in a soft voice. “You finished with my paper yet?”

“Your paper?” I repeat, feeling embarrassed. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize it belonged to someone. I just thought I’d search the classifieds really quickly.” I offer the paper.

He laughs. “It’s ok. I set it down at my usual table then walked away.” He gently takes the paper from my hand. “Did you find what you were looking for?”

I smile. “A job. I was scanning the job listings.”


“And I’m not sure. The only job that might be something I could do is cab driving.”

“Ah, yes,” he says. “My nephew owns the cab company here. He needs to hire someone quickly because one of his drivers up and quit.” The man leans in closer to me. “The guy had to leave on account of his health.”

“Oh no. Was he sick?”

“He was messing around with another driver’s wife and got found out.”

I shake my head and laugh. Typical small town. Everyone knows what you’ve done before you’ve got your pants up.

“What’s your name?” he asks.


“Pleased to meet you, Mila. I’m Rupert.” He pulls out his phone. “Tell you what. Why don’t I give my nephew a call and see if he can meet with you?”

“Really?” I say, taken aback.

“Of course!” Rupert stands close as he dials a number on his cell phone, then loudly converses with the person on the other end. By the time he’s finished, the other patrons are pretty much up to date on the fact that I’m unemployed and Rupert is doing my bidding for me.

When the call finally ends, he smiles confidently and tells me that his nephew can see me now, if I have a few minutes to spare. “The office is only a ten-minute walk from here.”

I thank Rupert for his kindness and head out of the cafe, my head whirling.

This would never happen to me in the city. Although I’m completely unprepared, no resume, underdressed and not in the right mind frame to sell myself, I know that an opportunity like this won’t present itself twice.


* * *


The old guy was right—it took less than ten minutes to get to the small, stand-alone cab company on White Street.

Rupert’s nephew, Don, is sitting behind a cluttered long desk with a laptop opened in front of him. He’s about forty-five and has a thin comb-over resembling Rupert’s. He knows my name before I even open my mouth and motions for me to sit in a chair in the corner of the small room. Usually, I would feel over-wrought with nerves in a job interview, but here in this humble little office, sitting with a guy that could pass for a used car salesman or someone in the custodial arts, I am at ease.

Don and I talk for a half-hour about what brings me to Ladysmith, how long I’m staying, and what would make me a good cab driver. I give him a sweetened-up answer to every question he asks, assuring him that I have a perfect driving record and a class 4 licence from when I drove a limo in the city a few summers ago. By the end of the interview, Don is smiling and passing me a map of the area, disregarding the bit I told him about growing up here, and suggests I study it before starting my first shift in two days.

I push aside my enthusiasm over getting a job and slowly walk back to my car, dreading the inescapable visit with my dad. With some luck, I’ll find out how he’s getting his booze every day, but I highly doubt he’ll reveal his supplier. My guess is that he picks up the phone and calls a local bootlegger that survives off chronic drinkers like my father.

Then I remind myself that I’m not here to cure my father. My intentions are much more selfish than that. I’m waiting for him to die.

Not because of the pain and strife that he’s caused my mother and me, but for the simple reason that his declining health isn’t just the by-product of his cancer—it’s the end result of his quest to self-destruct. If anything, I have to give my father kudos for being committed. Be it from guilt, self-loathing, or resentment, he swam to the bottom of a bottle and hasn’t resurfaced since Mom died. Maybe his terminal diagnosis could’ve been staved off if he had the balls to quit drinking.

My perspective would’ve brought on great opposition from my mother, a tolerant wife who always made excuses for her husband. It always enraged me. When my dad came home from a night of binge drinking, belligerent and staggering, he’d go to work on me first, ensuring that my self-esteem was just as he left it: bruised and insignificant. A few coarse words and a random cuff to the head usually did the trick. When he was satisfied with the damage to me, he’d focus on my mother. Every time, she’d only combat his words with a soft, gentle tone of reason.

It never worked. Alcohol was just an accelerant to his already fractured character. From what Mom told me, he had been raised by alcoholic parents. He was imprinted with abuse and never found enough strength to change it. If it wasn’t for the love of my mother, my interpretation of a healthy parent-child relationship would’ve been pretty fucked.

Still, I’ve never had what could be classified as a functional relationship with anyone. My feelings were always too fear-based, which is never a good foundation for building trust. Every relationship ended the same way, with the girl saying I was suffocating her with my trust issues. On occasion, they suggested I seek counselling to help me deal with my emotional problems.

In my defense, I didn’t attract the most honorable of women. The girls I chose always lived fast and shunned commitment. No matter how hard I tried to change the type of girl that I was normally drawn to, they all turned out to be the same inside.


Chapter Three



Over the next couple days, my time is spent running around for my father, getting his groceries and meds, and cleaning his place. Whenever I have a spare moment, I study the new street map of the area.

We scoff at each other a few times, but nothing out-of-control. He doesn’t say much that means he gives a damn, certainly nothing equalling a congratulations over me finding employment so quickly.

Fortunately, I spent my last night at the hotel and can move into my own cabin today. I won’t have to run back and forth from the inn anymore. By a stroke of luck, I meet the old tenants while moving in. They have a brown leather sofa, a recliner, and a kitchen table they don’t want to take, so I offer a few bucks and it’s a done deal. Saves me a lot of time and money. Yesterday I picked up a blanket and a pillow, so for now I don’t have to worry about a bed. I can just crash on the couch.

I’m completely settled in by 4PM, an hour before I have to be at the cab company for my first shift. I take a fast shower, tie my hair into a loose bun, slide on black slacks and a sweater, and head out.


* * *


Don shows me the cab—a Chevy Lumina that looks more like an old cop car than a taxi—then gives me a quick rundown of how the navigation system works on the computer screen fixed to the dash. In the few minutes before my shift starts, I buzz into a nearby coffee spot to grab an espresso and a handful of snacks to keep me going through the night.

My evening starts pretty uneventfully: an elderly lady going from the mall to a nearby apartment, a teen girl returning home after babysitting all day, and two ladies in their fifties off to test their luck at bingo. Every passenger is super friendly and talkative, which settles my first-day nerves.

As I wait for the next call, I idle on the roadside so I can eat a snack and phone Dad.

He’s slurring and ranting about something on TV that pissed him off. After making a bullshit excuse to end the call, I say that I’ll swing by in the morning. He grumbles and hangs up.

I polish off the last bite of my muffin just as Don messages me about another fare. A bus stop, not far from the highway.

En route, it starts to rain. By the time I reach the stop, the sprinkle has turned into a full-on downpour, and my wipers are on high-speed.

Pulling close to the stop, I strain to make out the willowy figure in the darkness. It’s a woman with a large suitcase, two shoulder bags, and a guitar case at her feet.

I park next to the small plexiglass shelter and slide down the window. “Did you order a cab?”

Her long, blond hair is stuck to her skin, obstructing most of her face. She nods before fumbling with her bags. I pop the trunk and hop out, getting instantly soaked. Quickly, I help the girl pack the large suitcase in the trunk.

Once it’s loaded, the girl clambers into the backseat with the rest of her bags and I slide behind the wheel.

“Wow, that’s a lot of baggage to be hauling on the bus,” I say, starting the car.

She laughs. “Tell me about it.” Her voice is soft and unassuming. “I was on my way to a gig. My car broke down. Had to call a tow truck.”

“Where were you heading?”

She lets out a frustrated sigh. “The Joker Lounge here in town. I wasn’t planning on bringing everything I own with me. Or looking like a drowned rat.”

“I’m sorry about your car.” I try to get a glimpse of her face in the rear-view mirror. “Are you from out of town?”

“Victoria, on the rare occasion I don’t have a gig. Otherwise, I stay in hotels in whatever town I’m playing.”

“That’s great. Do you just play guitar? Or do you sing as well?”


The cab passes under a streetlight and I catch a glimpse of the drenched stranger in the back seat. Captivating green eyes shine out from behind wet, blond locks.

As we drive toward First Street, I steal the odd glance. Her lips are naturally pink and stand out against her porcelain skin. She looks to be the same age as me—somewhere in her late twenties. The soft edges of her face remind me of a flawless portrait hanging in a gallery. She is perfect.

Before I had clearly seen her, my words came easy. Now, knowing how stunning this creature is, my hands begin to sweat and I fumble for my words.

Before I know it, we’re pulling onto First Street and only a couple of blocks from The Joker Lounge. The hard rain has reduced to a drizzle, making it easier to read the marquees and signs on the buildings.

“What’s your name?”

I glance in the mirror, relieved we’re not face-to-face. “Mila. Yours?”

I watch as the edges of her full lips turn upward. “Ava.”

Knowing I only have a couple minutes before she exits the cab and disappears forever, I muster my bravery and ask, “What are you going to do with your luggage while you play?”

“I have no idea. I was planning on getting a room before my gig, but the car wasted so much time. I’ve only got half an hour before my first set.” Those green eyes meet mine. “Why do you ask?”

“I…uh…” I swallow hard. “If you need a ride to a hotel after you’re finished, you can leave your bags in the trunk. You can call me when you’re done, and I can give you a ride. I mean…If you want.”

She’s quiet for a moment. “You’re very kind. I just might take you up on that. If you’re sure it’s not too much trouble?”

“It’s fine. I don’t think any passengers will need to use the trunk tonight. Unless they’re disposing a body, in which case I’ll just cram it on top of your suitcase.”

She says nothing, and instantly I feel a wave of regret for spewing out the lame joke.

Then: “Please don’t do that,” she says seriously. “Do you know how hard it is to get corpse smell out of fabric? I can tell you from experience—it’s a real bitch.”

Our eyes meet in the mirror and we simultaneously bust out laughing.

I pull up to the glowing red sign of The Joker Lounge. Ava fumbles with her things in the backseat for a few moments.

“So, any idea what time you’d like me to come back tonight?”

“The lounge is only open till ten. I’ll call you through the dispatch.”

She steps out of the car, then turns to grab her bags. She swings them over one shoulder and hoists the guitar case in the other hand.

Before she closes the back door, she leans down and looks over the seat at me. “Thanks for doing this. I’ll let you know if they boo me off early. I just hope I have enough time to get fixed up.”

“It’s no trouble. And don’t worry—you could wear a gunnysack with your hair sticking straight up and you’d still look great.”

As soon as the words leave my lips, I regret it. I sound like a desperate pervert. My face flushes.

She flashes a perfect smile. “Thank you.”


* * *


For the next few hours of picking up and dropping off passengers, all I can think of is Ava.

The evening passes in a haze, and to my shock I see that it’s nearing ten. Though I’m not tired, I stop by a drive-thru for a coffee, just for something to occupy my brain while I wait.

I’m just taking the last sip when the computer screen lights up and the address for the Joker Lounge appears on the screen. Immediately, my hands clam up.

She looks different than she did hours ago. Her hair is a flowing, golden blond, and her pale skin now has some color. Wearing a tight pair of jeans and a black suit jacket with matching boots, she looks fashionable and hot.

She opens the back door of the cab and puts her bags and guitar case on the seat. Then, to my shock, she slides into the passenger seat next to me.

As soon as she closes the door, the gentle aroma of lavender fills the car. She clicks her seatbelt in and looks over at me. “Thanks for keeping my suitcase safe.”

“It’s nothing, really.” I smile without making eye contact. “Where am I taking you?”

She has a reservation at the motel just off the highway. It’s a ways away, which suits me fine. On the trip, she asks me how long I’ve been in the area. I briefly touch on why I’m in Ladysmith, giving her the rosy version.

Ava tells me how she doesn’t stay in one place long enough to call it home. More often than not, she lives out of her suitcase at motels up and down the Island. She’s getting tired of being on the road, but she’s been performing for years and has no idea what else she could do. I tell her that she sounds articulate and bright, and I’m sure she’d do fine in anything she put her mind to.

My statement makes her blush, and she reaches over and lightly pushes my shoulder. “You don’t know me. Maybe I’m a sociopath and I’m manipulating you into thinking good things about me.”

“You could be right. I’ve definitely been wrong about people in the past. Especially women.”

Ava chuckles, then points ahead to the old, blue motel on the side of the road.

After I pull up to the entrance, Ava reaches into her bag, unearths a few bills, and places them on the dash. “Thanks again, Mila.”

I get out and retrieve her suitcase from the trunk. As I place it on the ground, I notice the name A. Fellows on the tag.

Her hands are full with her guitar and smaller bags, so I follow her to the lobby door with the suitcase.

“I’m good from here,” she says with a smile, hooking an arm through a bag handle so she can grab the suitcase. “Are you working tomorrow evening?”

“No. I work the following afternoon. Why?”

Ava looks down at her feet. “I just thought that maybe…if you were free…you’d like to catch one of my sets at the lounge. I’m here for two more nights.”

I laugh. “If I’m bored?”

“Yeah, or whatever.”

“I’ll come, but not because I’ll be bored. It’d be cool to watch you play.”

She asks for my number, and I watch her punch it into her phone.

With that, Ava walks inside the building and I get back into the cab. My head filled with the beautiful stranger, I drive back to headquarters to conclude my first interesting day on the job.



I hope you’ve enjoyed this excerpt from my newest novel, Deadly Ties. If you’d like to purchase my novel please click this link for your choice of bookstores.  Thank you, Jay







Thursday, May 5, 2022

About Rosemary Morris, Historical Fiction Novelist by Rosemary Morris



To learn more about Rosemary please click on the image above

About Rosemary Morris, Historical Fiction Novelist.


Writing a novel is a solitary occupation. Every day, alone with my laptop, I work for eight hours, posting on face book and elsewhere, reading historical non-fiction to research my new classic historical romance rich in period detail and writing. Before the threat of covid, I visited places of historical interest to convey the lives and times of the protagonists in my tales of past times, who are not 21st characters in costume.

As a historical fiction novelist, I don’t think it is possible to portray every small fact about the past accurately, but I have a responsibility my readers to thoroughly research the eras in which my novels are set.

When my words flow well, I am tempted to work for many hours without a break, which is detrimental. Writing is mentally and physically tiring, so I have a five-minute break every hour, during which I stretch my body and exercise my eyes. If the weather permits, I work in my oranic garden. Prior to covid, I visited the health suite at the leisure centre to swim and enjoy the jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.

I don’t want to be a writer in a garret but sometimes I wish I lived in an ivory tower with nothing to distract me from my imaginary companions. However, the daily chores, cleaning, washing clothes, shopping etc., keep my feet on the ground, so does time with family and friends.

To read Rosemary’s historical, historical romance and literary fiction, set in Edward II’s reign, Queen Anne Stuart’s reign, and the Regency era, please visit her website to read the first three chapters


Rosemary’s novels are available from Amazon and Books We Love Publishers:



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