Tuesday, June 24, 2014


The soft drizzle fell on his shoulders, making his t-shirt damp, like he was sweating.  It’s an uncomfortable feeling but he needs to get this rosebush planted before his wife comes home.  He should have done this ages ago, now here he is at the end of the day doing manual labor, something he absolutely hates.

He stepped on the rim of the shovel forcing it deeper into the moist rich brown soil.  It came up in clumps.  He didn’t know if that was good or bad, but the hole was getting deeper so it must be good.  Time is of the essence.  Sweat broke out on his brow.  “This is harder than I thought…who was it that told me there was nothing to it?”  He paused a brief moment to contemplate the origin of the comment.  “Oh yeh,” he said silently, continuing to shovel, "it was the guy at the botanical garden in Eden Park.  Sure easy enough for him….hie’s not out here in the drizzling ran,” The rain was comes down a bit harder now.

“Unh, “ one shovel of dirt flew to the side, “unh,” another shovel full.  He stopped for a moment and rested on the handle and peered into the gaping hole.  “That’s much better he said, almost there.  “Unh, unh, unh,” he grunted as he threw the dirt to the side.

“Ping.”  He stopped shoveling.  He raised the shovel  to tap it, water is pouring in, the color of hot chocolate.  He did it again, “ping,”  and again,  “ping.  Down on his knees he went, the rain now pouring down and into his eyes.  With his hand he reached into the small abyss and swished the water aside.  “Hmm, he said upon discovery, “there’s a metal box down there."

Monday, February 17, 2014

BY Steven Atwood
Sci-Fi Adventure
Steven Atwood likes to write and the idea of telling stories that have some meaning.  

Bane is a weapon of mass destruction that in the wrong hands can destroy a planets very existence.

The reader is immediately drawn into the story by the tensions that exist between two characters, Baasar Raad, a military leader and Lizzy Pollard who is captain of a research vessel. They both have their own ideas or agendas how the weapon can be used. Raad uses force and immediately kills Lizzy but not before she got a message off as to what is about to happen.

The writer creates a believable setting by painting word pictures in his descriptions. He uses clear dialogue, the characters have many human frailties. The story is not overloaded with characters so it's easy to keep up with them. Each titled section leads the reader further into the drama taking place.  The weapon is seized and the climax continues to build.  A show down occurs between the two factions.

Atwood uses technical terms that are explained and therefore do not cause the reader to pause and question what he is trying to convey. 

The story follows a chronological order(the reader knows exactly what to expect in each section) which builds and leads  to a climactic ending.

I don't read a lot of sci-fi adventure stories, but I would recommend this to my friends and book club members.  I think it would also be a good movie for the Sci-Fi Channel.
NOTE:  As a reviewer of this book, I am eligible for a free copy. Thank you.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Buried Secrets
By Gary Cecil
Gary Cecil is experienced in writing horror and suspense short stories and novels.

Buried Secrets is about a couple Max and his pregnant wife Megan who have  purchased a Victorian house and have officially moved in.  They're ready to settle down when strange things begin to happen immediately.  That night the wife notices a foul order and  is unable to determine where it is coming from, there's also a visit from a rodent who is found under the covers, the next morning it is found dead on the rug, sliced open. Cecil has set the tone for a mystery horror story and has used the elements of surprise, with clarity he describes the events that are occurring. The reader has a strong sense of the atmosphere in which they find themselves.  He holds the readers attention by continuing to build the suspense adding detail as the story quickly progresses.  The tension builds when they encounter a creature whose description can only be qualified as horrifying and gross, they kill it, or so they think.  The lights go out and the couple makes a trip to the basement in the dark where further surprises await them behind a hidden door.  The ending will have the reader asking for more.  He used all of the elements necessary for a good story, and has fulfilled his goal brilliantly with Buried Secrets.  I will recommend this book to my book club.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Two people in the back of a cab who don't like each other...

Dari sat in the back of the cab with Minna.   Both fuming with anger...The rain poured down strumming a steady beat on the roof.  Both soaked to the gills, with wet hair plastered to their faces.  The cab driver looked in the rear view mirror at the two women.  Both pouting like spoiled children. Through steamed windows, he eased into the traffic carefully, when suddenly another cab nearly rammed into them.  Both ladies thrown forward, screamed at the sudden jolt which seemed o bring them to their senses.

"It's all your fault," accused Dari, sending darts with her eyes, spittle from her mouth.

"Will you please not spit on me when you talk," said Minna beligerently, wiping the spittle from her already rain drenched face.  "And, Missy, it was not my fault that you got us fired.  Your idea of a presentation was lousy.  What's wrong with you?  I know there's no love lost between us, but  c'omon."

"You're absolutely correct in your assesment, I don't like you, never have, never will.  You didn't help matters, you were late to the meeting, that's why I had to wing it...you had ALL of the information," she shouted back at her, moving closer and in her face.

"Ladies, ladies, came the fervent plea from the cabby.  "Must you act in this manner," he said in his lilting african voice.

They looked at him and disbelief, and said in unison..."Let me off at the next corner!"

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Carlos discovered _____ [fill in the blank] under a pile of shoes in the back of his grandmother's closet.

Searching the house from top to bottom was an exacting  ordeal for Carlos, more than he had wanted to take on, but one that had to be done.  He had to be thorough in his search  for  the missing  items listed in his father's will.  Not knowing where to begin, he stood frozen by the enormity of what was before him, "this house is huge," he thought, it'll take me weeks of digging and probing."  He held his hand to his forehead, feeling a headache coming on.  "I need help, but who can I trust."  

Suddenly, his cell phone rang, jangling in his pocket, he hated that sensation, it always set him n edge.  He grabbed the phone.  "Hello," he said a bit irriated.  

"Carlos," said a familiar  voice.

"Maria, hi," he said trying to appear chipper.

"Hows, it going?  Have you begun your search?"   Maria was one of the few people who knew that his lawyer had sent him on a mission to locate the missing documents and items.  "Well," he sighed heavily, taking a deep breath.  " I'm just beginning, and frankly," he said as he looked about him, "I don't know where to begin..."  The room was shrouded in white sheets, even the crystal chandalier hanging overhead was shrouded as well.  A room full of ghosts standing sentinel.  He shuddered at the thought of fourteen rooms of this.

"Listen Carlos," said Maria, getting his attention.  "What say I come over there tomorrow, and make a plan of attack.  Actually we can kill two birds with one stone.  We'll begin the process of weeding things out for the estate sale, and we'll hopefully locate the items you need.  Whatya think? she asked sounding positive as if this would be the easiest task ever.

Carlos appreciated Maria's enthusiasm,  her sweet personality, beauty and charm,  with her on his side, he felt like he could conquer any task set before him.  They would soon be married and he would have her support for a life time.  He is a lucky man and he knows it.  They made a good team.

"Actually," he said drawing in his breath, "that would be wonderful.  This is all s overwhelming for me.  I didn't expect him to die so soon after my mom.  I feel stuck, orphaned,  and full of grief and remorse that I wasn't here for him..."

"I understand Carlos, what you're feel is all part of the grieving process.  You go through it, don't rush, just take your time.  You know I'm here for you."  She could see him there in her minds eye, tall, handsome, with his dark brooding features, feeling lost and alone.  "I'll fly out and meeting you at the airport tomorrow afternoon.  Pick me up"

"Yeh, sure, it'll be good to see you, I miss you.  We'll stay my hotel.  I don't want to be here at the house, not right now anyway."

"I'll see you tomorrow, try not to worry, we'll get through this together."

He ended the call feeling relieved that the calvary is on the way.

1.All of a sudden, the cubicle wall fell in on him.

2.As the bus started to pull away, he looked out the window and watched his mother faint.

1.  The elevator rattled its way up to the thirtieth floor.  Everyone inside stood in silence with the terror of the moment permanently etched on their faces.  The tremor struck just as the elevator doors closed.  The overcrowded elevator sluggishly rose higher and higher, gaining momentum, swinging back and forth.  The horror of the situation was evident to the passengers.  This was the express elevator, there was no stopping in between.  They would have to ride it out, praying they would not plummet t o their death.  The floor numbers ticked by in rapid succession. 20, 21, 22,23, not long before the doors would  finally open and they could disembark this death trap, a steel coffin.  At long last and with a deep breath, the door opened as the bell pinged announcing their arrival, Avery's co-workers quickly exited and ran into the office.  No sooner had Avery sat down in his chair, relieved, he closed his eyes as if in prayer, and breathed a sigh of relief, when all of a sudden, the cubicle wall fell in on
him.  "Wlhat the ...."he uttered in total disbelief.


As the bus started to pull away, he looked out the window and watched his mother faint.

2.  Avery,  along with his mother and father, drove in silence for miles before they reached  the bus station.  Alma, his mother, in her blue flowered house dress, sturdy oxford shoes, and her freshly permed  and died black hair, sat in the front seat of the car with tears silently streaking her freshly  applied makeup.  "I must look a sight," she mumbled into her handkerchief.  \\
"Now honey, said my father, "we've known for some time now that he would leave soon."  His father Ben was a strong and practical man.  He took life at fce value.  When he son had enlisted, it was only natural that he would be called for duty soon after.  He tried to  comfort his wife who had been in tears for a number of days.  "H oney, if you keep this up, you're bound to make yourself sick," he looked at her with concern.  She nodded her head, "I know.  I know," she said as she blew her nose int the already soaked handkerchief
Avery  watched his father and mother in the front seat of the car.  Good parents, they had always shown him a great deal of love.  He felt sad too that he was leaving for duty, and he was scared too.  He was fighting a war that he didn't fully understand, but he was bound t servve.  Promises to wrie and call when he could were made.  
The  bus, fully loaded with passengers pulled away, he waved  his mother and father good bye, forlorn looks in their eyes mad him sad.  Looking out of the window, he blew his mother a kiss as he had done as a little boy.  A weak smile crossed his mother's face and as he watched his father grab her arm, she fell t the ground.  

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Avery's friends all said he was one lucky bloke.  He won the Irish Sweepstakes along with several other winners.  All, now millionaires.  He couldn't believe his good fortune.  

He had made all of the necessary arrangements and the money would be deposited into his once meager bank account.  All taxes had been paid and his money was now free and clear.  He would never have t work again in his life if he played his cards right.  And that was the problem.  Gambling.  His worst fear is that he will gamble and lose every penny.  It caused him sleepless nights as he tossed and turned in his single bed.  He lived like a pauper.  Looking around his one room apartment he realized he no longer had t live in this hovel. Dirty clothes strewn  over chairs and on the floor, the small sink full of dishes, the table a mess with newspapers and rubble.  

He looked at the dingy window that announced the break of day.  A new day, a new beginning.  "A new start," he mumbled.  Never one for making plans, life had always dictated what he would do, and where he would go.  Now he had a chance, a real shot a life unlike he had ever known.  He  had always been so poor, pathetically so. "Where do I begin?  Who can I trust to help me find my way?"

In the corner stood a new black briefcase with brass locks that seemed to glow in the modest light.  It was full of money.  Rising slowly from the bed, it creaked and groaned as he stood.  Moving slowly toward the case, afraid it might be a dream and disappear, he tiptoed to the corner.  Once he had the case, he stroked the expensive leather like a cat.  The smell of the fine leather rose up into his nostrils.  Sitting on a stool he opened the case and looked at the money, more than $25,000, just to get him started, more than he needed.

"I know, I'm going to drive to the lake where I 'll make my plans.  He drove the several miles to the lake where he sat on a bench facing the bridge.  Ducks quacked and made a racket but it was peaceful as he felt the breeze from the woods that surrounded the lake.  He raised his face to the sun for warmth, the case lay on his lap.  He held it with both hands.  Looking at the case for an answer, he sprang to his feet and ran across the bridge.  He had his answer.  "I'm going t the HorseShoe Casin...I'll double my money for sure.  That's it, that's what I'll do.  Excited about his decision he drove the distance in a trance and found himself standing before the poker table, then the roulette table, placing bets and losing money by the handsfull.

The corpse came into the funeral directly from the crime scene.  The body still had handcuffs on it.  What a waste, why hadn't they removed the cuffs.  Avery was new at being a mortician and thought the cuffs were at this stage inhumane, what could the decease do now?  How undignified it looked.  At least in death everyone, even criminas were t be treated with the respect due them as a human being.  At least that it what they stressed in Mortician School.  He adhered t everything he had learned.  He intended t run an upright place for souls to begin thieir journey, find peace and rest.  T some that might seem morbid, but not to lAvery.

Making himself busy, he removed the handcuffs, rigor was beginning t set in, making removal a bit difficult, but he managed.  He tried to be a gentle as possible.  Usually they tucked the information in the body bag with the corpse, but not this time.  Avery searched around and under to body searching fo the file containing the information he would need to process the body,  "Damn," he said to no one in particular.  It was just him and the body tday.  His assistant was off on vacation.  Had the file beeen lost at the deserted building where the body was found in the courtyard...he'd have to call the police or go in search of the missing file himself.