Tag Archives: women

WOLVES DON’T KNOCK

In honour of Canada Day (July 1) and the U.S. July 4: WOLVES DON’T KNOCK is on sale for $10.99 U.S. until July 6. Amazon.com
Also available in Canada for approx. $14.50 on Amazon.ca
Available locally from the author for $15.00.
Wolves Don't Knock FINAL PRINT COVER

Twenty-two-year-old Miranda escapes from her abductor and the wolves that have tormented her soul for six long years. She returns to her childhood home where her mother, Sharon, caring for Miranda’s son, Kevin, has feared for her daughter’s fate. Uncertainty and distrust taint the first year after Miranda’s return. Miranda and Sharon hide secrets they dare not reveal while constantly wondering when Miranda’s kidnapper will reappear. Can mother and daughter bury their demons and repair their strained relationship? Can Miranda bond with the baby she never knew and find the love she so desperately wants? Will Kevin’s father play a role? Will Sharon find the answers she needs to recover from her own troubled past?

Set in Halifax and vicinity, Nova Scotia.

Although this book deals with sensitive issues, there are no graphic sexual scenes.

 

PRE-PUBLICATION REVIEWS:

What a story! What a read! It reminded me a bit of The Room and, of course, a couple other stories like this one. It is engaging though it has difficult themes and elements. —ML

I love the parallel mother/daughter relationship and once the grandmother gets involved, it truly turns into a generational problem. The knock-knock jokes are a stroke of genius. You have wonderful symbolism and use it well throughout. And all the “wolf” connections and descriptions are soooo perfect this should be in a lit course to teach symbolism! —PL

A 5-star novel. Buy it. So many elements of suspense weaved through Wolves Don’t Knock that you feel you can’t read and turn the pages fast enough to get to the end…a real page-turner, holding this reader’s attention from opening to the end. The many threads woven throughout this novel left me exhausted by the end. That is a very good thing…. A lot of the introspections were the best passages in the novel. Often beautifully written… Joyce Carol Oates uses intensive character introspections in a lot of her work. She can get away with it because she has the skills to make those introspections fascinating. So does this author…  —RA

Wolves Don’t Knock is a spell-binding novel that delves into the mysteries of a traumatized young woman’s psyche, as she fights to regain a sense of worth. As the story progresses, the variety of well-developed characters will keep the reader turning the pages. Thumbs up and five stars to this talented author. —KA

 

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The Spot Writers – “Caught in the Act” by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This week’s prompt is to use “he threw open the door” in the writing. Today’s story comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy has recently branched out into children’s picture books and several will soon be published. Check out her website for updates!  www.writingwicket.wordpress.com

***

Caught in the Act

I was caught unawares when Fred threw open the door and shrieked, “What are you doing?” I must have blushed. For sure my arms fell to my sides like limp noodles though I was unaware they had fallen until I raised my arms to protect myself. But, no, Fred was my husband. He wouldn’t hurt me.

Still, I’d been caught in the act. And by my husband, the one person I tried to impress.

“What are you doing?”  he repeated.

“Nothing,” I mumbled, surprised I could even speak.

Fred glared at me for a second before disappearing down the hall to his office.

I slumped into the chair, swallowed the mush in my mouth, and licked my fingers.

I was filling in at Fred’s company while the receptionist was ill. I wasn’t doing much besides answering the phone and offering up greetings when someone entered the building. I’d much sooner be home in my own routine, but I had agreed to help in his time of need.

When Fred caught me in the act, I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do. I almost cried but then reconsidered. What good would tears accomplish, except to run my mascara and ruin my foundation?  And what had I done, really? I hadn’t stolen company funds, nor was I snooping into financials. No, I had simply been caught—literally—with my hands in the cookie jar, to use a cliché.

I had been gorging on donuts—donuts Fred had brought in earlier that day for the guys in the warehouse.

But it was his fault! Despite knowing I have no willpower, he had left the box of confectionary goodness with me at the front desk. I’ve been married to him for almost forty years. Shouldn’t he have clued in to my faults by now?

Yep, you guessed it. I didn’t take those twelve luscious, mouth-watering globs of goodness out back as I had been instructed. I had stuffed my face, was on donut number ten, actually, when he unexpectedly entered the office at 10:35.  He wasn’t supposed to have returned until early afternoon when he was going to take me to lunch. I had already rationalized I’d have a diet soda and salad for lunch, so I wouldn’t consume more calories.

Funny, though, after Fred disappeared to his office, I didn’t feel guilty. I had been on a diet for three weeks. I hadn’t eaten dinner the previous evening nor had I eaten breakfast that morning. I was starving; I had to eat, and there was nothing else available but those donuts. I couldn’t leave the office, not when I was manning the premises. And the boss’s wife couldn’t starve, could she?

“Help yourself,” Fred had said that morning though neglecting to remind me to take the box to the warehouse as he had done previous mornings. Of course, “help yourself” didn’t mean to scoff a dozen donuts. One morning he had even snickered when he dropped the box on my lap, tempting me. “Smell good, don’t they?” he had said before disappearing.

I looked inside the box, stunned to see two lonely donuts. Had I really eaten ten? Gah! How many calories had I consumed? No matter. I might as well put the pair out of their misery. Too late for the box to go to the warehouse. Ten hulking guys couldn’t share two.

The sweet mixture soothed my feelings of inadequacy. Gah, they were good! Lunch be damned. I’ll take donuts any day over a salad and diet pop.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

RC Bonitz: http://www.rcbonitz.com

 

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

 

Catherine A. MacKenzie:https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

 

Deborah Marie Dera:  www.deborahdera.com

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Spot Writers – “Hiding Places” by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to Spot Writers! The prompt for this month is to use at least three of the following words: tremble, start, tiptoe, yank, dresser.

This week’s contribution comes from Cathy MacKenzie, who used all five of the prompt words. Cathy writes poetry and dark fiction mainly aimed toward women. Watch for her next two books of short story compilations. Out very soon!

 

***

 

Hiding Places

 

When I was small, before I started school, I’d sometimes tremble and shiver so horribly as if I were surrounded by sheets of ice. Those days I tiptoed around the house, pretending if Rob didn’t hear me, that he couldn’t see me either. Even if he were deaf, which he wasn’t, he still had eyes, so he saw me and, when he did, depending upon his mood, he might yank my arm and shove me out of the way. Once he did that, though, I was safe, and then I’d race off as fast as my little legs would take me.

Rob got drunk often. I don’t know how Mama put up with him. He didn’t treat her very well, either, but for some reason—perhaps because she didn’t want to be alone—she put up with him. I don’t remember how long he’d been in our lives. It seemed as if he’d been living with us forever. I don’t remember if Mama had a man before him, but I guess she must have ‘cause where would I have come from if she hadn’t?

Mama moaned about being alone, in the past and in the future. “I don’t want to be alone again, Carrie,” she had said, “so we have to put up with certain things in life.”

“But Mama,” I had replied, “he’s not nice to you.”

She had laughed, tousled my hair, and had said, “Don’t worry about me. I can take care of myself. If he ever touches you, though…”

I didn’t dare tell her he had touched me, hurt me. No, not sexually, although at five, would I have known what that meant and tattled? No doubt he would have threatened me and put such terrible fear in me that likely I would have kept mum. I didn’t want to ruin Mama’s life, which I was sure I would do, had I told how he threw me around.

One day, I happened to be in the kitchen when Rob entered. His walk was unsteady as if he was drunk. Mama was outside in the yard. He ignored me as he delved into the fridge for a beer. After a few swigs, though, he took notice of me. I felt cornered where I stood and had nowhere to go. While I cowered where I stood, he lunged toward me. Before I had a chance to move, he heard Mama’s voice outside and turned away. I seized my chance although there was nowhere to go. He blocked the only exit from the kitchen. Before I had a chance to think, I escaped behind the door under the kitchen sink. By grabbing hold of the towel hook, I pulled the door shut after me.

The scene played out in slow motion but happened within seconds. I opened that cupboard door without thinking. That evil look on his face was scarier than previous looks, and I knew I had to hide.

There was silence for what seemed like forever. I heard his feet shuffle and a gasp, then sensed him wondering where I had disappeared to. Perhaps, in his drunken stupor, he thought it a dream I had been there. Or maybe he knew I hid but was unsure where.

I heard him walk from the kitchen, but the next room was carpeted so I couldn’t tell if he had left. I sensed him lingering though. I’d have to stay hidden until I was positive I was safe.

I waited a long time and soon fell asleep. I awoke suddenly when Mama shrieked.

“What you doing in there, Carrie?  Oh, my god.” She pulled me out and gathered me in her arms and kissed my cheek. “Sweetie, what’s wrong?”

I sobbed.

“Carrie? She paused, then dawning registered on her face. “Rob? Were you hiding from Rob? Oh, my god,” she shrieked again. “What did he do to you?”

“Nothing, Mama. Nothing.  I was just scared. He looked mean. I was afraid.”

“Oh, sweetie.  I’m so sorry. He won’t be back. I promise.”

“Where is he?”

“I’ve had enough of him. You were right. He shouldn’t have been treating Mommy that way. He’s gone. He won’t be back, I promise. I have to clean out the dresser and the closet, but I’ll drop his stuff off at his friend’s place….” Mama jabbered on and on, more information than a preschooler needed to know, more than she wanted to tell me or should have told me, but I was smart and remembered most of it although, of course, not word for word.

Life was fine after that. Mama finally met a nice man, and we live happily ever after as if in a fairy tale. I’m ten now.

 

 

*** 

The Spot Writers—our members.

 

RC Bonitz

http://www.rcbonitz.com

 Val Muller

http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

 Catherine A. MacKenzie

https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

 Kathy Price

www.kathylprice.com (Website in development)

 

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The Spot Writers – “Shadow of the Mountain” by Cathy MacKenzie

Today’s post comes from Cathy MacKenzie. The prompt this time was to write a story using five of the following words: shadow, mountain, shell, sunlight, hammock, bottle, chain, wheel.

 

Cathy’s most recent publication, BETWEEN THESE PAGES, is a compilation of 18 short stories. The book is available on Amazon and Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/329083

http://www.amazon.com/Between-These-Pages-ebook/dp/B00DP3RDOA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372780978&sr=1-1&keywords=Between+These+Pages

 

 

Shadow of the Mountain

 

The shadow of the mountain brushed over Sheila as she peered over the cliff’s edge. The long way down scared her, as it would anyone. She turned from the craggy view and faced the mountain. The dark monstrosity loomed back at her, daring her to do the deed.

“You can’t stop me,” she muttered.

She’d return later. She wouldn’t change her mind.

Upon returning to the camp, the first sight she saw was Steve flaked out on the hammock. The last remnants of sunlight glanced across the beer cans on the folding table beside him. Drunk again, she thought. Did he ever remain sober? How much more could she tolerate?

Sheila’s stomach growled, but she had no desire to cook dinner. What was the use? Should she prepare a last dinner for her husband? No, what a waste of food, not to mention her time.

She rummaged in the cooler for the half sub sandwich she hadn’t eaten the previous day. The bread would be soggy and the lettuce wilted, but she didn’t care. Leftovers would fill the void. And there was that unopened bag of chocolate chip cookies. A few of those would take away the hunger. Chocolate chip cookies were her favourite.

When Sheila flipped the metal tab on the soda can, Steve stirred. Just as I expected, she thought.

“Wha’s for dinna?”

“I just finished my sub. Now I’m eating cookies.” Sheila stuffed her mouth with the sweet goodness.

“What about me?”

“What about you?”

Sheila acknowledged his glare. “I’ll make you something. What do you want?”

“Dunno.” Steve, in his attempt to get out of the hammock, fell to the ground.

Sheila giggled. Would he have bruises? Didn’t matter.

“Hey,” she said. “I took a walk earlier, while you were sleeping. There’s a gorgeous view not minutes away. Let’s go take a look before it gets dark. Then I’ll make you dinner.”

“What? But I’m hungry now.” Steve slurred his words.

Sheila relished her husband’s drunkenness. Her task would be so easy.

“It’s only a few minutes away. Come on, it’ll be fun.”

She walked toward Steve, who still remained on the ground. “Here, let me help you up.” Sheila hated the touch of him. Hated the thought of his hand clenched in hers. But she had to continue the charade. Only a few more minutes. Not long. She could do it.

“Come on.” She gripped Steve’s arm. “You okay?”

“I think I had too many beer on an empty stomach.”

“You only had two.” She hadn’t had trouble counting two cans.

“Two? No, I think I had more than that.” Steve giggled.

“Oh.” Recognition dawned. “You were into the rum, too?”

“Possibly.”

“Right.” She should have known. The sun didn’t glint on the plastic glasses strewed on the grass, nor the empty bottle tossed by the tent.

“Okay, let’s go. I’ll lead, okay?”

“Sure, honey. Whatever you want. Always whatever you want.”

Sheila ignored him and continued to drag him to the cliff’s edge.

“See,” she said, once they arrived.

“See what?”

“Look at that view. The land on the other side. The mountain behind us. It’s getting darker now. It was prettier when the sun shone down.”

“It is pretty. You’re pretty. Think we can do it tonight?”

“Tonight?”

“Yeah, you know. It. Sex.”

“I don’t know. I’m getting a headache.”

“Headache?  Now?”

“Well, I feel one coming on. Might have one later, I don’t know.” Sheila stared at her husband. Definitely drunk, yet he still thought of sex? Sure, she thought, that’s what men did. Sex always on their minds.

Suddenly, she felt as free as the wild black crows that landed every day in their front yard. She had watched the birds on occasion, wondering what how it felt to sweep down and accomplish a perfect landing on the grass. Did crows know how well they did? Despite their savage look—their evilness—they were graceful as they soared and landed. Sure, they scavenged, ready to pick at the remains of anything they found, but they were fighters. They existed for themselves. They did what they needed to survive.

As she would. Once Steve was gone, she wouldn’t have to feign headaches any longer. Wouldn’t have to lie. Wouldn’t have to pretend.

She could be herself.

“Over here,” Sheila said. “Come closer.” She grasped his hand. “Look.” She pointed down to the water.

“It looks pretty far down there. You’re not suggesting we go down?”

“No, of course not. Just wanted you to see it. There’s currents down there, too. Look over there.” Sheila pointed toward the west where the water flowed fast and furious over rocks and brush jutting from the water.

Steve turned. Sheila turned, too, in an attempt to move behind him, so she could gently push him over. Yes, she’d be gentle. He deserved that, didn’t he? One last gentle thrust. He’d never know what hit him.

But, when she took one step, she noticed he moved, as well. His eyes, wild and menacing like the crows sprinting across their yard, burned into hers. Mesmerized, she stared. Movement happened fast. Fast, yet slow. Steve’s large hand hit her behind. Not gentle. Not gentle like she would have been. They were inches away from the edge. She had gotten too close. Hadn’t planned carefully enough.

Steve was drunk, wasn’t he? That was her second-to-last thought, just before her feet left the safety of the ground and she was propelled into the air. That one bum-tap had done it. But no, it was more than a tap. It was a push! He had pushed her. Not gentle at all.

When she hung—just for a second, just a mere second—over the boulders jutting from the shoreline below, she remembered the crows. Her last thought. The blackness before her. Black like crows. She flapped her arms, brandishing them through the air, hoping she’d land as graceful as those crows in her front yard.

 

***

The Spot Writers- our members.
 RC Bonitz

http://www.rcbonitz.com

 Val Muller

http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

 Catherine A. MacKenzie

https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

 Melinda Elmore

http://www.authormelindaelmore.blogspot.com/

 

 

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Fifteen Books That Changed Women Forever

Some great books listed here on this site, if you want to check them out. I’m going to be busy!

http://www.elle.com/pop-culture/reviews/best-books-by-women

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