Reasons


“Are you there God? It’s me, Katie.” Judy Blume was always my favorite author as a child, and I would often find myself praying that sentence off and on for 20 years. I bartered and begged with Him, but for the life of me I couldn’t get Him to answer my questions. I was so sneaky, I started asking the question “why” using fancier words; that’s what authors do, ktdanceright? I found this more productive; I’d ask a question, and He would put someone in my way with the answer. This went on for years until February 16, 2011, when I was laying in a hospital bed as a left below-knee amputee. That night I reverted to “Are you there God? It’s me, Katie. Now what?” I was waiting for an answer when a nurse came in with a CD. I will be honest with you and say that I hadn’t listened to music in nearly 10 years. The reason was as a former ballroom dancer I couldn’t stand to hear the rhythm and not be able to dance. But this nurse refused to take no for an answer and insisted this CD would help me sleep. I laid there and listened to the voices of Michael Bublé and John Mayer, and this peace washed over me. His answer was obvious, “Now we dance.”

So you might be asking yourself what this has to do with being an author. My series of Christian romance, The Sugar’s Series, features Sugar, a midwestern ballroom dancer who, like me, lost a lot in life and found herself “dreaming with a broken heart.” I began to write Sugar’s Dance while waiting to walk again and found her story came faster than I could type it. My intention was not to write Sugar’s story as a Christian romance, in fact I really had no intention of even publishing it. My intention was to write it for me. As I wrote I found Sugar asked “Why God?” a lot. I was pretty uncomfortable with it, but since this was her journey I carried on. Then one night I said, “Are you there God?” and I poured my heart out Legato_28June2012_BRFMHabout how I wasn’t sure if it was “right” to write a book that could be construed as a Christian romance, if I ever did publish it, when the underlying theme of the character’s relationship with Him was, “I’m still mad at Him, and He knows that. I can agree to be friends with Him, but I haven’t figured out how to love Him again.” When I got up the next day I avoided Sugar like the plague. I didn’t want to admit to myself maybe there was a little of me in Sugar, so I put my MP3 player on and the first two songs were “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Say.” I blew out a breath and opened the document. Without even thinking this is what came through, “That is one of the most frank admittances of imperfection I have ever heard. You are a surprise around every corner Sugar. The fact that you still come out here to talk to Him and you believe in that higher power is admirable considering what you have been through. I’m inclined to believe that He loves you for your honesty because I don’t believe He gets that from a lot of his worshippers.” And with that we began to waltz.

As the days turned into weeks Sugar’s story flowed, and I continued to let her ask “Why?” As her story progressed she began to see the reasons why, and so did I. By the time I had the first solid 14 chapters of the book written I was up walking on two feet again, just five weeks after that night in the hospital, lucky to have a very talented friend helping me. When I hit chapter 25 I needed to do some hardcore research of the Twin Ports. We spend a lot leg 002of time in the Duluth/Cloquet, Minnesota area because it’s where my husband grew up. When I decided Sugar would live there, I knew the book had to be as close to 100 percent accurate as I could make it, and that meant lots of trips north. It is summer now, and I’m holding my husband’s hand as he walked me through Canal Park. I’m smiling as I see another reason for the last 20 years; appreciation of the simple things like holding hands. By the time summer comes to a close I have the final chapter to write. Needing to get this scene EXACTLY right, I found myself staring down the sand-covered path that led to the beach on Canal Park. Sand isn’t easy for an amputee, but with some slipping and sliding I found myself standing in Lake Superior! As I stood there with the cold water lapping over my foot, smiling for the camera, I was sure our waltz was over and I had the reason!

Nope, not even close. After much painful consideration and encouragement from friends I hit publish. Okay dance over, her story is told! Nope. Don’t get me wrong, it felt great, but I was comfortable now in the dance and knew there was more. I started getting e-mails from people reading the book who told me Sugar had changed their perspective and validated their own struggles while others asked me to finish her story, so I answered Him with Sugar’s Song. Once again He put people in my path that I needed to meet in order to finish her song. So many friends from Sugar’s World (Duluth) shared their struggles and triumphs with me as well as shared their love of the region helping make the story true to life. I met two wonderful groups of authors, locally and virtually, who became the lamp unto my feet during a time this summer when I was again asking “Why?” As my father struggled back from a devastating injury I struggled to finish her Song. One of my author friends suggested a song for the new book, and I found myself listening to “I Cry” by Flo Rida. My summer 2010 012heart was once again filled by Him when I heard “When I need a healing I just look up to the ceiling, I see the sun shining down and know its all better now.” Once again He kept me dancing when I was ready to quit. It’s November now, and I hit that publish button again feeling very at peace with how her song ended, but this time I didn’t question if I had the reason, because I knew I didn’t. Sugar had an encore to dance and I sat down to write Sugar’s Night. As the words poured out He laid Sugar’s “why” right out in front of me. BAM! I got up and walked around before reading it again, and there it was in black and white. Being a good author I’m not going to tell you Sugar’s “why,” for that would ruin the journey. I will tell you I have found the answer to mine. As I type this short waltz through my last two years another opportunity to help fellow amputees has arrived in my inbox. There was no way I could know that 25 years ago when I took to a ski hill just how that one day was going to change the course of my life, but He did. He has put me in the places I’ve been because He knew I needed all of those experiences to do His work. So each morning when I get up I no longer ask “Are you there God?” Now I simply say, “I’m here God, lead on.”

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Why Me, Lord?


“The closer you are to God, the more likely He is to listen.” The past couple days I’ve been reflecting on this statement by Reverend Robert Alden from Little House on the Prairie. Yesterday I went to have lunch with a very special friend of mine, who works at a restaurant a couple miles from where I work, and this statement was on my heart so I drove to the top of Kennesaw Mountain, about 20 minutes north of Atlanta. When I got to the top and got out of my van, I couldn’t believe the view. I’m usually scared of heights but yesterday I felt this calming presence come over me, almost surrounding me with a safety net, letting me know I was safe on the mountain top and wouldn’t fall.

IMG_3171If you’ve followed my journey, you know the past several years dating back to 2005 have been really tough for me personally and emotionally with my grandmother’s passing in March 2005 and my grandfather’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s shortly thereafter. I’ve really struggled with myself knowing there is so much more I could do to help my grandfather forget about his Alzheimer’s and try to remember the great times he has had with his family, and the fact I could have spent more time with my grandmother when she was alive, or called her on the phone to talk for a couple hours every week. Some of these memories I will never get back, and this breaks my heart knowing I will never see my grandmother again or get to go fishing with my grandfather or get to see him drive his tractor, plowing his garden in the spring.

As I was up on Kennesaw Mountain yesterday, and all day today, I’ve really been thinking about what else I could do differently to cherish the time with my family and friends, and more than once I’ve asked, “Why me, Lord?” Why has He placed all of these situations in my life, knowing I am not prepared to handle them? Why has He allowed my grandfather to slowly die in front of me when I can’t help him? Why did He take my grandma away from me before I could give her another hug and tell her how much I loved her and how much she has helped me become the man I am today? Why did He let me be born with spina bifida, unable to walk or feel my legs and confined to a wheelchair all my life? Why did He bless me with a wonderful job with the city of Marietta’s communications office, when I knew nothing about writing articles for a website, how to take pictures and upload them to Flickr or when He knew I am really nervous and stutter a lot when I meet someone new or am out in public, talking to strangers about what my office does?

IMG_4607As I am sitting here writing this, and over the past couple years, God has answered all of these questions and so much more. I know God would never give me more than I can handle and that He will be here with me, guiding me in every decision and problem I face. He has been with me in the operating room every time I have had surgery and has healed me completely from my operations. I remember several years ago I was asked to give my testimony at a local church, and when the preacher asked me if I would share my heart with the congregation, I was scared to death. But God calmed my worst fears and I heard Him say, “Jason, you need to share your testimony. You will inspire so many people just by getting up and sharing your heart. Who cares if you stutter or forget to mention something? The congregation doesn’t care if you’re nervous or scared. They love the man you are today and they see a man who’s overcome so much in his life. I love you, Jason, and I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I think the same can be said about why I was given the chance to share my talents and abilities at the city of Marietta. I’ve met so many people in the community and at work who come up to me, wanting to know about my story. They always pat me on the back or give me a hug and tell me what an inspiration I am to them. While it’s true that I am there to work for the city, I think I am serving a higher calling by being in the position I am. I firmly believe there is someone out there, God only knows where, who may be having a rough day or need a word of encouragement or a comforting word of advice, and God has placed me on a course to one day meet them, take them aside for a few minutes to talk and hear their story and share what He has done in my life. Maybe they just need to know they aren’t alone, that there is someone who understands what they are going through and will be there for them when they need a helping hand. Maybe I am the person who God has chosen to minister to a lost soul or a single parent with a special-needs child and let them know that God loves them and will always be there to comfort their worst fears.

God has also given me several key verses in the Bible that I carry with me every day of my life. One of these is James 1:2-3, “My brethren, consider it all joy when you face various trials and tribulations, knowing that the trying of your faith brings patience.” This verse means so much to me that I couldn’t possibly share it in this post. I will just say that I am a better man because of the situations God has placed in front of me, particularly my grandma’s death, my grandfather’s Alzheimer’s and my disability. Every day I wake up amazed by how much I have grown as a man, personally and professionally, thanks to the challenges I’ve been given. I would have given up long ago but my faith is as strong as ever, and I don’t think it would be this strong if I hadn’t forged ahead and worked my butt off to get through the tough times. A weaker man would have surrendered, but God has been right beside me, holding my hand and has led me to bigger and better things I never would have had the opportunity to receive had I surrendered. I’ve also become much more patient and have learned different ways of doing things because of my disability. Now some of the ways I get things done have taken some time to think through to come up with the best possible solution, but I’ve stuck with it and have overcome so many limitations it’s unbelievable. I just hope one person sees how much I have overcome and understands that they can do anything they set their mind to if they just believe in Christ to carry them.

IMG_4622This reminds me of the verse I’ve built my life on, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Growing up, I used to depend on my parents to do practically everything for me, including help me get a shower, get dressed, make me something to eat or drink or drive me to school or a doctor’s appointment. Now I am very independent and am doing things I never would have dreamed of. I’ve been honored as the best ambassador for the city of Marietta and have helped update a large three-panel display at work. I am in charge of creating Marietta’s weekly e-newsletter and am out two or three times a week in the community taking pictures and writing articles for our website. I’ve attended several three-day weekends hosted by Marietta’s Gone With the Wind Museum and have met some of the actors who played in the movie including the beautiful and amazing Ann Rutherford, who played Scarlett O’Hara’s sister, Careen. I’ve had the honor of meeting legendary Georgia Bulldog’s head coach Vince Dooley, the “Voice of the Dawgs” Larry Munson and current Top Dawg Mark Richt.

Recently I applied for a promotion with the city of Marietta, and one verse that gives me a glimmer of hope is Romans 8:28, “Now we know that all things work together for good for those who love God.” This verse is so powerful and so very true. I never would have dreamed I would be working with the city of Marietta after five and a half, almost six years. I never would have imagined I would have the amazing self-confidence I do from working with the city. Now, I hardly think twice about going out in public and talking to someone over the phone. It’s almost like breathing that it’s become second nature. I’ve made so many wonderful friends and have formed so many strong relationships with my co-workers and people I’ve met in the community that I feel like the richest man in the world. It’s pretty remarkable to think that the once scared to death, nervous, stuttering kid in a wheelchair who was afraid to see his own shadow is now a very successful man with the best job in the world and has surprised himself by how far he has come.

Now instead of asking “Why me, Lord?” I just say a prayer of thanksgiving, smile and thank God for everything He has given me. Thanks God!!

Surreal-The Hell in the Family


Welcome to the final installment in this go-round by Cindy Hanson. If you haven’t had a chance to read her other powerful, inspiring stories on the blog, you’re missing out on a great chance to learn about some amazing people. Cindy, I can’t thank you enough for sharing these stories with my readers. You’re an amazing writer and friend.

After too many similar deaths in this family tree, the main character points to the possible source of the root rot! Is it sins of our father, literally, figuratively, or both ruining future generations or is there something else chopping down that tree? This story attempts to illuminate how sins of the father really pass through generations. It illustrates why we feel ill-fated by actions not our doing. Uncover the whole truth about two murders while witnessing real love in action.

The story may, also, make you wonder the following things. Do people really go through “life reviews” before passing to the spirit world? Does this happen in isolation before their disappearance? Or-do past, significant people and important events reappear with clarity as one’s life ends?

By the way, both murders start with a love story but it’s pretty warped emotions and possibly better termed as obsession. 

The PR text often tempts the reader into both murderous tales with the following statements and questions. 

It’s a love story, right?

Then, what drove Annette to kill the person she loved?

Read ‘Her Story’ to uncover some truth! 

And, did Darin really murder someone?

What really happened to his loving wife and daughter? Did he wind up killing the only soul her ever truly loved?

Dig into his version of ‘His Story.’   

By the way, as you read this book, can you detect how much of this saga is truth and how much remains the family’s fiction and legends? 

Can you answer the follow questions?

Is Helen part of the walking dead?

Will any of them ever find peace?

Read Surreal-the Hell in the Family to unearth some of the truth! By the end, you may be able to decide what is real and what is real surreal!

Check out this excerpt from the book:

The hotter the sun; the lazier my thoughts! This interaction allowed me to float like the driftwood arriving at the shoreline. The hovering feeling brought peace or possibly boredom. Either emotion draped my vulnerability as I drifted away from the thoughts that consumed me in my near past. As the heat stepped up, I pulled my wide brim hat tighter on my head, which caused two things. The crossing ocean breezes could not lift it high and blow it away. Also, the sun deflected from my face.

My solitude abruptly halted when a nearby vacationer spoke directly to me. “I jump every time a car backfires. My body jolts while my soul attempts to awaken my physical being from this fog called my life.” Her eyes sparkled as her generous spirit covered the mystery of her statements.

“Jerking from sudden sounds is a fairly common reaction,” I responded to this stranger being able to immediately relate. As I sized her up with my eyes, her face oscillated from very young through the eyes to very elderly overall.

“Oh, but is it natural to react even if the sound travels from far away faintly resounding on the wind?”

“No, people usually only react to their surrounding environment,” I added.

Nearby, just behind some strategically placed palms and shrubs, hid a parking area.  However, in our immediate vicinity, gentle surf lapped at the shoreline. Kids’ enjoyment arrived with the strengthening breeze alternating at various levels. Squeals of laughter drifted to chuckles moving to hearty outbursts and then muffled pleasurable sounds.  Meanwhile, in the inlet some people splashed like shark bait while others made Olympic strides. Almost everyone enjoyed the calm of this sunny day. Not one gray cloud lingered from yesterday’s downpour. Just about everyone played joyfully taking advantage of the sunshine. 

Every age group of sunbathers frolicked or rested in the white, sugar sand as I alternated between sinking my toes deep into its warmth then shaking the grains back to the Earth.  Some of these near nudists were a sight to see in every sense of that thought. It appeared that too many of them forgot to peek at their attire in a mirror before arriving, here. Maybe, they were just too eager to enjoy this day. There was no time to focus on these sights at this beach resort, thank God. While surveying others around me, she engaged my curiosity stealing my complete attention.

“It haunts me. Not all sounds tease me into an examination of myself. Only the sound of a backfiring car brings about revelations that are better left behind,” this woman opened her soul.

For a moment, I stared at the ocean waves with their highlighted peaks and small strings of foam that only appeared as they lapped the shoreline. My thoughts rolled in and out while trying to understand the meaning to her words. Talking casually to strangers rarely occurred in my life but her magnetism provoked further discussion.

Looking back over my right hand shoulder, I noticed she stood. Folding her lawn chair and tucking it under her left arm, she ended our brief meeting, “Will you be vacationing here long?”

Staring blankly past her, I revealed, “Not sure!”

“Then, I will see you, again? Tomorrow? Maybe, at the pool,” this elderly lady with shimmering eyes casually invited me to another rendezvous. The sun touched her right side casting a halo effect as I squinted to watch her exit.

“You never know,” my mouth seemed controlled by her whims rather than mine.

My eyes passed over each wave searching for a clue to as why my soul felt compelled to know this stranger better. Suddenly, a chill sped up my spine because a car backfired.  Looking back, the lady seemed to vanish behind the auto’s fender. When the vintage ’57 Chevy cleared from view, my mystery woman no longer strolled nearby. Possibly, the noise made her bolt from my line of vision. Maybe, she rapidly escaped its sound. I decided to go with my logic rather than instinct; she simply walked out of view.

This break at a beach resort seemed just what the doctor ordered. Thus, I spent the rest of the day enjoying my solitude. My cell phone and hectic pace converted to a memory vanishing into a sea of tranquility. For a period of time, my eyes played with the reflections of the sun through the gathering clouds that floated at the water’s surface far out to sea.  Remembering things from my childhood, I looked for shapes in the puffs of white, off white and blue. I found a Mustang, Ram, Jaguar and Beetle in the cotton against this pale blue heaven. It dawned on me that every cloud reminded me of some car I drove or desired to own. Why this sudden obsession with cars? 

Surreal-the Hell in the Family is for sale as a paperback book and e-book and  available at Amazon and Kindle as well as Smashwords and its affiliates KOBO, Sony, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Cruise2012 001About Cindy Hanson

I work for GOD! Is she crazy or telling the truth? What I mean to say is that I write many nonfiction books that are really just scribing the history of His stories. My tales are Christian-based; at least one of those books points directly to heaven. Most of the time, I explain how bad situations and good ones have the potential to bring hope and love along with stronger faith.

My writing started after a major life change or trauma. In fact, my favorite question during book interviews is: How did you get started writing? The short answer is that in 1991 my mother died. Some people dream of being authors; my writing began as what could be described as a nightmare! However, as she died, mom experienced what would be called a Christian near death experience (NDE) or miracle. My nonfiction witness became Mom’s on the Roof, and I Can’t Get Her Down by Cynthia Meyers-Hanson.

Since then, I diversified into the other books and genres; I continue to toy with writing. I’ve co-authored or compiled several other divine tales. Meanwhile, I have ghostwritten many novels under the pen name Sydney S. Song. I use a pseudonym so that people know when my books are telling the truth and when I am fibbing (a bit). Recently, I’ve produced many picture books for children. I also compile collections and anthologies filled with true short stories from the Divine to mundane including humorous tales.

In real life, I’m a friendly Floridian, born and raised in Miami’s megalopolis. I currently live a bit further north with my husband. We are semi-retired. Our children are out of the house; some are married with their own children. We love outdoor activities such as boating and swimming at the pool, springs or beach.

My author site on Amazon includes my paperbacks and Kindles.

My other author site includes sections for my book genres as well as a blog and video section (the videos are mini movies as book trailers). This site also has my contact information.

Smashwords includes all other e-book providers and formats used for my books including Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, etc.

Check out my other blog on Blogspot.

Other contact information

Do You Believe in Easter?


I’ve posted this story on the blog before, but it has such a wonderful message I pray each of you receives as much joy and hope as I did when I read it. Happy Easter and God bless you all!!!

Edith Burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio, Texas. She was the patient of doctor by the name of Will Phillips. Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as people.

His favorite patient was Edith Burns. One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was because of Edith Burns. When he walked into that waiting room, there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly talking to a young mother sitting beside her.

Edith Burns had a habit of introducing herself in this way: “Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?” Then she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people would be saved.

Dr. Phillips walked into that office and there he saw the head nurse, Beverly. Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking her blood pressure. Edith began by saying, “My name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?”

Beverly said, “Why yes I do.” Edith said, “Well, what do you believe about Easter?” Beverly said, “Well, it’s all about egg hunts, going to church, and dressing up.” Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and finally led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Phillips said, “Beverly, don’t call Edith into the office quite yet. I believe there is another delivery taking place in the waiting room.”

After being called back in the doctor’s office, Edith sat down and when she took a look at the doctor she said, “Dr. Will, why are you so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?”

Dr. Phillips said gently, “Edith, I’m the doctor and you’re the patient.”

With a heavy heart he said, “Your lab report came back and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you’re not going to live very long.”

Edith said, “Why Will Phillips, shame on you. Why are you so sad? Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me I’m going to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends. You have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!”

Dr. Phillips thought to himself, “What a magnificent woman this Edith Burns is!”

Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips. Christmas came and the office was closed through January 3. On the day the office opened, Edith did not show up. Later that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would have to be moving her story to the hospital and said, “Will, I’m very near home, so would you make sure that they put women in here next to me in my room who need to know about Easter.”

Well, they did just that and women began to come in and share that room with Edith. Many women were saved. Everybody on that floor from staff to patients were so excited about Edith, that they started calling her Edith Easter; that is everyone except Phyllis Cross, the head nurse.

Phyllis made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with Edith because she was a “religious nut.” She had been a nurse in an army hospital. She had seen it all and heard it all. She was the original G.I. Jane. She had been married three times, she was hard, cold and did everything by the book.

One morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick. Edith had the flu and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a shot. When she walked in, Edith had a big smile on her face and said, “Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, and I have been praying for you.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Well, you can quit praying for me, it won’t work. I’m not interested.” Edith said, “Well, I will pray and I have asked God not to let me go home until you come into the family.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Then you will never die because that will never happen,” and curtly walked out of the room.

Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into the room and Edith would say, “God loves you Phyllis and I love you, and I’m praying for you.” One day Phyllis Cross said she was literally drawn to Edith’s room like a magnet would draw iron. She sat down on the bed and Edith said, “I’m so glad you have come, because God told me that today is your special day.”

Phyllis Cross said, “Edith, you have asked everybody here the question, ‘Do you believe in Easter?’ but you have never asked me.” Edith said, “Phyllis, I wanted to many times, but God told me to wait until you asked, and now that you have asked…”

Edith Burns took her Bible and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter story of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Edith said, “Phyllis, do you believe in Easter? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?” Phyllis Cross said, “Oh I want to believe that with all of my heart, and I do want Jesus in my life.” Right there, Phyllis Cross prayed and invited Jesus Christ into her heart. For the first time Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried out on the wings of angels.

Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, “Do you know what day it is?” Phyllis Cross said, “Why Edith, it’s Good Friday.” Edith said, “Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. Happy Easter Phyllis!”

Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came into work, did some of her duties and then went down to the flower shop and got some Easter lilies because she wanted to go up to see Edith and give her some Easter lilies and wish her a Happy Easter. When she walked into Edith’s room, Edith was in bed. That big black Bible was on her lap. Her hands were in that Bible. There was a sweet smile on her face.

When Phyllis Cross went to pick up Edith’s hand, she realized Edith was dead.

Her left hand was on John 14: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” Her right hand was on Revelation 21:4, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Phyllis Cross took one look at that dead body, and then lifted her face toward heaven, and with tears streaming down here cheeks, said, “Happy Easter, Edith – Happy Easter!”

Phyllis Cross left Edith’s body, walked out of the room, and over to a table where two student nurses were sitting. She said, “My name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?”

— Author Unknown

My ArmOR (My Life)


I fell and could NOT get up. Simultaneously, I plunged into my personal tragedy saga, which put me in tune with God’s will as well as His plan for the rest of my life. Immediately after my physical tumble an off-duty fireman assessed my injuries as we awaited an ambulance. 

Smiling, he stated, “I doubt your spine broke. But, for precautionary measure, let the paramedics transport you on a backboard when they arrive.” Before fully understanding the extent of my injuries, I thanked The Lord it wasn’t worse.

Soon, my mind chuckled while teasing me, “Walk much?”

As I stayed physically still, my brain raced all over the place including calculating the number of hours before potentially going home. Last time I broke that arm, in the car accident just before my marriage, it took a few hours at the ER and a few weeks before it felt good as new. My mind failed to wrap around any idea that this time could be a worst-case scenario. After all, walking speed verses auto collision, there’s no comparison. The crash of metal, upholstery, engines and other vehicle parts surely was worse than this moment. Right?

I never rode in an ambulance, until something threw me for a loop at the local spring and swimming hole. Yes, a potentially life-shattering event occurred in my personal world- which was the second time I broke my left arm. Before that day, I wrote about others as the observer rather than the one subjected to the harsh realities in this existence. Even while ghostwriting or co-writing inspirational and miraculous tales, those other people’s stories felt more surreal than real because I didn’t have to trust God to the degree that those other writers did. Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks-more like a ton of cement shaped like a sidewalk. 

When my arm shattered from its impact on that pathway, it was worse than I initially imagined. I had surgery and tons of occupational and physical therapy ahead of me.  During the operation, I lost a chunk of my arm’s bone structure to replacement titanium acting as that bone. After a few weeks out of the hospital, I nearly lost my whole left arm to infection. Then, after months of trying to lift that limb to the table or counter top, my doctor warned that I might require more surgery to make that appendage more functional. During the months of recovery after losing part of my humerus, I never lost my funny bone or sense of humor. 

In other words, I fell into my story, which put me in tune with God’s will as well as His plan for my life. The book entitled My ArmOr (my life) follows my adventures; it reveals my growing trust in God and His decisions in my life. Did I ever regain the usage of that arm?   In my book, I describe my “real-life” education in faith! An excerpt follows.

After my trip and fall, the first words out of my mouth as I flew to that crash landing on my shoulder were, “I don’t believe this!” I still don’t!

This is not my typical reaction to a fall. I think that possibly the song on the boat radio before this harsh landing colored my communication. The Journey melody entitled “Don’t Stop Believing” was going to be hard to do.

When I broke my left arm by the shoulder last week, while still conscious, I said to the ER doctor, “I’ve lost my sense of humerus (bone). It broke! Can’t feel it anymore!” In reality, the humerus gave me enduring pain except when they medicated me as needed!

He read my chart hardly smiling so I turned to my daughter adding, “Tough crowd in the ER-today!” The x-ray tech got the joke smirking while relaying my silliness to her colleague! As decisions were made about transporting me to a trauma hospital, I prayed and meditated knowing my only course was through this ordeal and suffering to get the healing started.

In those traumatic moments, I failed to wrap my head around just how bad that bone broke and why a trauma doctor took over my case. If I’d totally understood the magnitude of my issues, my mind might have snapped. My psyche turned fear into intermittent jokes to alleviate the tension allowing for small emotional eruptions.

Even as I told my husband and daughter that I was sorry for falling and ruining our day at the park, feeling sorry as in pity is not an option to healing! Two hospitals later-with the last being an excellent while newer trauma center-several days later, a partial bionic shoulder arm piece is my new normal. They say I have six months to full recovery but I should! My recovery went far beyond those expectations and not in a good way.

My_ArmOr_Cover_for_Kindle[1]I also wrote to my friends and relatives on Facebook, “I still have my sense of humor!” It’s my coping mechanism.

Some relatives and friends came too soon to see me because the two-hour surgery went way past that mark. It lasted over five going on six hours; so some visitors left before talking to me at that hospital. My Facebook entry let them know I understood. At the second hospital, I was not really ready to socialize after surgery but thanks for coming by or calling.

On August 27, 2009, my entry read, “It’s Thursday and about ten days after surgery. I could barely walk to the doctor’s office because of fatigue, rapid heartbeat and dizziness. I blame the painkiller and am taking myself off it!”

On the way to the trauma, orthopedic surgeon, I decided to walk the ten cars and two blocks to his front door. The blocks were air conditioned as well as inside a wing of the huge hospital. I paused and hesitated four or five times with cold sweats and shortness of breath; it might have appeared a stroke occurred each time my body moved more than ten feet-meaning two feet moving five steps each. Not to mention the constipation! Relief from that pain medication gave me more pain and physical discomfort than my bionic limb. I converted to aspirin that very day.

How do people get addicted; that medication made me feel worse and panicked? It made no sense that some people get hooked on these medications or street drugs. Every time a doctor prescribes me a modern drug, it isn’t a miracle medication as much as a wonder drug. I wondered why I took it because my body reproduced the rare side effects. Once, a long time ago, I took high blood pressure medication. Within two weeks, I couldn’t even lift a fork to eat my muscles were so sluggish and tired. My body suffered the rare side effect that could cause death. Taking myself off that drug, I changed doctors, too. We worked on stress reduction to reduce my blood pressure as well as natural remedies.

One Friday, almost two weeks since the fall on August 15, I wrote; “Don’t get me started on the digestive problems brought on by drugs but birthing my second child without medication was easier on my system. I wasted the full Friday feeling as if I was passing broken glass the size of boulders. I blame the prescription pills; who could ever get addicted-a sadistic soul? Over the counter painkillers here I come!

Speaking of digestion, I, also, wrote a message to all who brought prepared food. “To those neighbors, thanks for bringing my family meals; I never ate so much great meatloaf and lasagna in my life!”

When family, friends and neighbors came to my rescue with meals and help, my husband showed off my x-rays. Each time I worried about the “what ifs.” If this surgery had any problems or my body failed to heal, would I lose my arm? In those moments, my psyche never felt secure even though my mind realized modern medicine already saved my limb because it shattered near the shoulder, which was too much to mend without that operation. In the beginning, my mouth never mentioned my worries while my soul spoke volumes in private prayer.

On August 31, 2010, I wrote my thoughts in Facebook, “Physical therapy with a professional begins. It’s scary not to be able to get myself in and out of bed as well as to sleep on my back. My allergies make me need to cough and swallowing in this position can be hard on me. I’m trying to become a bit more independent! I can’t take the weight of the world on my shoulders anymore-at least not the left one. LOL!”

I don’t care what anyone says that last statement was funny! Plus, my trip finally did what mom always recommended and took the weight of the world and my heart off my shoulders. Her exact words if she were alive would have been, “Stop wearing your heart on your sleeve-where people can find it and knock it off!”

On another day in August, my entry mentioned that “My husband and I were late to Chili’s for our daughter’s birthday. After dinner, my attitude and reactions were a bit too irritable especially while at home sharing cake. I hope my mood didn’t ruin her day!”

Around that same time, courageously, I wrote, “I took my sling off while sleeping. It revealed a hard habit to break. In bed, my left arm goes is in the sling sticking up in the air from my elbow; it rises no matter how many times I push it back down to the bed. I can go without that protection in public but my arm adheres to my side in a sling-like fashion. In crowds, there is a need to wear that device to show others how to treat my left side. Be careful!”

On August 29 I wrote, “It’s hard to feel safe in a room full of kids celebrating my grandbaby’s birthday. She kept asking me if I was okay by saying, “G-ma? What happened?'”

What I call exercise and physical therapy-what I think is tons of work to do six or more times a day in order to get my arm use back, most people call every day or every minute movements; humans take our biological complexity for granted. I have to say before my fall, “me included!”

If the occupational therapist, a shoulder-to-hand specialist, told me to do a routine ten times, I did it thirty times. My goal to get back to normal prompted my actions. Plus, I quickly discovered that the pain diminished the more I worked the shoulder joint, arm muscles and surrounding body parts. I told my Facebook pals, “I’m still not out of the woods but hope I am soon because I am allergic to oak, pine, mold, mildew, birds and some other animals. LOL!” No joke! I really do have allergies.

My ability to poke fun at my realities helped me through many bad times in my lifetime- this one included. My entries reflected my coping style. “Now, that I have a new top humerus, because of it shattering at the ball top, I need to say that I’m glad I got that chip off my shoulder.”

Read more in the paperback or e-book version of My ArmOr (my life) available at Amazon and Kindle as well as Smashwords and its affiliates KOBO, Sony, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Cruise2012 001About Cindy Hanson

I work for GOD! Is she crazy or telling the truth? What I mean to say is that I write many nonfiction books that are really just scribing the history of His stories. My tales are Christian-based; at least one of those books points directly to heaven. Most of the time, I explain how bad situations and good ones have the potential to bring hope and love along with stronger faith.

My writing started after a major life change or trauma. In fact, my favorite question during book interviews is: How did you get started writing? The short answer is that in 1991 my mother died. Some people dream of being authors; my writing began as what could be described as a nightmare! However, as she died, mom experienced what would be called a Christian near death experience (NDE) or miracle. My nonfiction witness became Mom’s on the Roof, and I Can’t Get Her Down by Cynthia Meyers-Hanson.

Since then, I diversified into the other books and genres; I continue to toy with writing. I’ve co-authored or compiled several other divine tales. Meanwhile, I have ghostwritten many novels under the pen name Sydney S. Song. I use a pseudonym so that people know when my books are telling the truth and when I am fibbing (a bit). Recently, I’ve produced many picture books for children. I also compile collections and anthologies filled with true short stories from the Divine to mundane including humorous tales.

In real life, I’m a friendly Floridian, born and raised in Miami’s megalopolis. I currently live a bit further north with my husband. We are semi-retired. Our children are out of the house; some are married with their own children. We love outdoor activities such as boating and swimming at the pool, springs or beach.

My author site on Amazon includes my paperbacks and Kindles.

My other author site includes sections for my book genres as well as a blog and video section (the videos are mini movies as book trailers). This site also has my contact information.

Smashwords includes all other e-book providers and formats used for my books including Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, etc.

Check out my other blog on Blogspot.

Other contact information

The Vision


In spite of being born legally blind, from childhood forward, Helen possesses strong insight and guidance. Even with her life’s baggage filled to the brim with problems, this character’s soul finds the inspiration to reach greater heights than anyone expected.  Meanwhile, she arises to any occasion by stooping to honor other beings especially her image of God. Her view of the world evolves as she explores her inspiration as well as her dreams and visions. Do those thoughts keep her sane, or is this lady lost in her own imagination?

While some people leave happiness whenever they go, this novel’s main female leaves happiness wherever she goes. That statement, as her sole accolade, says it all as you meet Helen during her wonder years! She might demand, “Wonder why all this bad stuff happened to me?” Then, this lady would surely wink, blink and nod with her characteristic whimsy.

By the way, going from legally blind to “gifted with vision” was a process. It’s not like the idealist in the movie industry or novelists’ assumptions depict. The individual doesn’t wake up from surgery with everything in your life on track for the “happily ever after” phase.  Plus, the two eyes that have been separate and unequal must learn to focus as one unit.  That takes years! Plus, Helen says her depth perception never quite got to 100 percent or healed; she bangs into many objects but has learned compensating skills.

This book is a fiction based on a true individual. Helen had landmark eye surgery in the early 1960s; the goal was to give both eyes sight. Meanwhile, in her story, the names have been changed to protect the autonomy of others as well as her innocence. An excerpt from The Vision follows; it covers the release from the hospital through a short period where bandages kept Helen’s world dark and lonely. In her words:

It could have been a rainy or sunny day. It might have been nighttime. I had to trust them when the nurses put me in a wheelchair the next day. They brought me to a waiting car.  It was my family’s vehicle. “We have to go get your sister and brother from the ballpark!” My mom immediately spoke, assuring me that I arrived to the right place. My siblings spent time with my cousins while I lived at the hospital.

It must have been high noon at this playing field because I sat in the empty car dropping buckets of sweat into the upholstery. The salty hotdogs and popcorn, of this recreational area, were no match to the smell of my perspiration! Calling out in desperation, “It’s getting hot in here!””
“Mom is on her way,” Dad scolded my outburst feeling the heat as well ramped up his reaction.

Soon, my ears heard giggling and the sound of dancing feet. As my cousins and siblings approached, my eyes couldn’t see them but my soul felt their presence. Each voice echoed distinctly, and each step pounded the pavement as uniquely theirs. My arms tried to reach out for hugs as the children backed away. Shock filled the air. The kids were fearful of my appearance. My sudden isolation distressed me. Tears burned my scar tissue as my spirit felt the loneliness of the hallways invade my spirit.

Weeks later, light shattered my lonely, dark world. It started as a glimmer at first, but both eyes could see from around the edges of the bandages. Lifting my head at an upward angle, my eyes could make out shadows of things such as my hand complete with five fingers. The figures weren’t as clear as the blur before surgery, but my mind knew the light wouldn’t blind me. At breakfast, my mouth bellowed an announcement, “I can see!”

The_Vision_Cover_for_ebooksAfter my family’s laughter subsided, I explained the shadowy figures and objects forming in my mind. A pat on my head assured me that my mom wasn’t amused or even curious with my pronouncement.  “You go to the doctor in a week. He’ll decide then if you can see!”

“But, I can! Not as good as before but…” My voice hesitated as my next thought flew from my lips, “Take these bandages off; I’ll prove it!”

“You leave them alone until your doctor’s appointment!” She scolded as if my hands could even reach my eyes with the splints over my elbows.  She definitely possessed a stronger personality than my nervous dad. 

Superficially defeated, I wandered around the house trying to decide what the light helped me see. “Couch! Chair! Broom!” I named the objects feeling akin to Adam.

“She can see,” my brother declared.

“No, she is touching the things. That is how she knows what they are!” my sister debated.

“I can see!” my voice loudly exclaimed being highly agitated by their disbelief.

“Sure! Sure!” my sister, Leslie, condescended.

“I can prove it!”

“How?” my brother, Bill, questioned.

“Let’s play hide and seek!” Instantaneously, my suggestion fell from my mind to my mouth.

“Fine, you’re it!” my siblings answered in unison immediately disappearing from view.

To be fair, my mouth counted aloud. Then, my mind analyzed potentially good hiding places indoors. I found my siblings so quickly that my sister ran to tell on me, “Mom!” she bellowed. Moving on her heels, we encountered our mother; Leslie continued her tirade, “Helen is cheating at the game!”

“What game?”

“We’re playing hide and seek. Helen must have kept her eyes open because she found us too quick!”

It was hard to see facial expressions through the bandage’s shadows but my mind knew stern when my ears heard it. “She couldn’t possibly see where you hid! She just guessed well!”

Leslie snorted my direction as indignantly as possible; she felt sure someone cheated her. Ever since my operation, my problems and health were the center of my family’s attention. In my parent’s view and my current state, their blind child could do no wrong.  Between my siblings and me, there was hostility in the air; it started that day at the ballpark. Their tempers were thicker than any humidity ever encountered in my short lifetime and hotter than any summer day I ever lived through.

 “Cheater! Cheater!” Leslie chanted as she swished past me. My mother ignored my sister’s reaction and ridicule, which added to our tension. After that, my sis found every chance to lead a rally against me.

“Yeah, cheater!” my brother followed with a poor choice in leaders.

Eventually, my day at the doctor’s office arrived.

The Vision can be found on Amazon as a paperback and Kindle as well as on Smashwords and its affiliates such as Barnes and Noble, Sony, KOBO, etc.

Cruise2012 001About Cindy Hanson

I work for GOD! Is she crazy or telling the truth? What I mean to say is that I write many nonfiction books that are really just scribing the history of His stories. My tales are Christian-based; at least one of those books points directly to heaven. Most of the time, I explain how bad situations and good ones have the potential to bring hope and love along with stronger faith.

My writing started after a major life change or trauma. In fact, my favorite question during book interviews is: How did you get started writing? The short answer is that in 1991 my mother died. Some people dream of being authors; my writing began as what could be described as a nightmare! However, as she died, mom experienced what would be called a Christian near death experience (NDE) or miracle. My nonfiction witness became Mom’s on the Roof, and I Can’t Get Her Down by Cynthia Meyers-Hanson.

Since then, I diversified into the other books and genres; I continue to toy with writing. I’ve co-authored or compiled several other divine tales. Meanwhile, I have ghostwritten many novels under the pen name Sydney S. Song. I use a pseudonym so that people know when my books are telling the truth and when I am fibbing (a bit). Recently, I’ve produced many picture books for children. I also compile collections and anthologies filled with true short stories from the Divine to mundane including humorous tales.

In real life, I’m a friendly Floridian, born and raised in Miami’s megalopolis. I currently live a bit further north with my husband. We are semi-retired. Our children are out of the house; some are married with their own children. We love outdoor activities such as boating and swimming at the pool, springs or beach.

My author site on Amazon includes my paperbacks and Kindles.

My other author site includes sections for my book genres as well as a blog and video section (the videos are mini movies as book trailers). This site also has my contact information.

Smashwords includes all other e-book providers and formats used for my books including Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, etc.

Check out my other blog on Blogspot.

Other contact information

Anthony Price: Writer Without Limitations


Once in a while, I’ll meet someone who, without knowing it, inspires me to be all I can be and to never give up on my dreams. I can’t tell you how many people come up to me and offer a pat on the back, a hug or a handshake and want to know a little about my life. They walk away, telling me I’m an inspiration but they have no idea how much they have inspired me, just in that short amount of time we chatted.

Today I bring you the amazing, inspiring story of up-and-coming author Anthony Price, known to his friends as Ant or to some as Tony, who doesn’t let a disability stand in the way of his dreams.

Anthony was diagnosed with a life-limiting condition when he was two years old, and doctors were doubtful he would reach his teens. Anthony is twenty-eight now, with a BBAC (Hons.), BA (Hons.) and an MA under his belt. He’s also a published author, who lives life to the fullest and doesn’t ever let his disability stop him. “I’d like to think that might inspire some people,” he said.

Diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2, a genetic muscle-wasting condition that affects the voluntary muscles of the body, Anthony survived pneumonia twice and went to school from when he was five until he was 18, passed all his exams with good grades and went on to study at the University of Kent, receiving a 2.2 GPA in Business Administration. He looked for a job, but couldn’t find one, so he went to study history at Canterbury Christchurch University in his hometown of Canterbury. He received a 2.1 GPA, went straight on to his postgraduate Master’s degree in creative writing and has been writing ever since.

Anthony’s weeks are anything but typical, he said. “My time varies a lot,” he said. “I try and spend a few hours each day writing, or reading, but I also go to the cinema a lot, sometimes twice a week.” Anthony can always be found hiding out in a coffee shop, too.

Anthony likes to think that he’d be a good person regardless of his disability. “I think we all do,” he said, “but being disabled has certainly given me a unique perspective on life. I tend to be a lot more open minded and tolerant of people,” he said “My disability has given me ways of thinking outside the box, which has helped in a lot of situations.”

I encourage everyone to heed Anthony’s words of advice whenever you’re faced with adverstiy: “Life can be hard sometimes, and you’re probably going to be put down, berated for being different. It’s going to be frustrating. But above all, keep going and never quit. Fight for what you want tooth and nail because, one day, it’ll be yours.”

Anthony, thank you so much for taking a few minutes out of your day to chat with me and my readers. What do you say we get started? Pull up a chair and relax. I’ll make this as painless as possible 🙂

How long have you been writing?

I began writing when I was fifteen, but back then, I had a lot of things on my mind, so writing fell by the wayside. It wasn’t until four years ago that I refound my passion for it.

Has writing always been something you wanted to do?

It’s always been there at the back of my mind. My grandfather was a cleaner at a local high school and used to bring home spare notebooks. I would go around their house and we’d play cards for a while, then I’d dive in to the notebooks and scribble away. I filled them all with stories and poetry. So yes, I think writing is something I’ve always wanted to do.

What books or stories have you written? Published?

I’ve had several short stories published since getting serious about my craft. Highlights include Drip-Drop (House of Horror E-zine, January 2011 [Sadly now defunct]), Circus Shriek, (Static Movement E-zine, February 2011), Bargain Dreams, (Bad Dollar Project, February 2012) and Hunger, Fear: An Anthology of Horror and Terror, (Crooked Cat Publishing, October 2012). Proceeds from these short stories benefit several charities.

I was also published at the age of fifteen in a poetry anthology titled, Kaleidoscope, and I have self-published a successful horror anthology with Amazon KDP titled Tales of Merryville.

But my biggest publication is my debut novel, The House of Wood, which will be unleashed on the public April 5, 2013, and published by Crooked Cat Publishing.

Can you tell us a little about your books? What are they about?

Well, my work is predominantly horror. My self-published anthology, Tales of Merryville, centers around the titular town of Merryville and the strange things that happen there.  Most of the time people just ignore it. But whatever is out there is getting restless. Situations are getting stranger and stranger, as the darkness closes in on the town. Ash is the only one who knows the truth. This book is his legacy, the only thing left to fight off the evil. Tales of Merryville is an anthology of the bizarre, the twisted and the macabre.

My novel, The House of Wood, is a story within a story, one that asks two questions: What happens when a house sees so much horror it becomes evil incarnate? And, can a person ever really escape their past? It centers around Rachel James, a college student in her third year at the University of Maine, who knows the house all too well. When she receives a phone call informing her that her parents have died in a house fire, she must return to her hometown. Rachel is forced to confront her biggest fear when she discovers the House of Wood has been rebuilt in the last three years. But it’s not until she accepts a dinner date with the mysterious Dr. David Cochrane that things take a turn for the worse, as now she must recount the story of what happened at the house three years earlier.

How did you get inspiration for the characters/books?

I get a lot of my inspiration from movies and TV because I watch a lot. Music also plays a big part. But a lot of the time, the characters write themselves. I’m lucky in the sense that I’ve been around various, diverse groups of people my whole life, so I’m sure some of those characters can be found in my work, too.

Are the books based on personal experiences?

Thankfully, all my stories are pure fiction. I’d hate to go through the things that I put my characters through. I think I’d be killed off pretty early on.

Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?

I would say, “Be disciplined and keep plugging away. The worst thing you can do is give up. The more you write, the better you’ll get. It’ll happen. Be patient.”

Can you talk a little about the benefits of getting your work professionally edited?

I’m very lucky in the sense that my editor is very good at what he does. The writer is often far too close to the work to look at it objectively and be ruthless with the editing. We become attached. That’s when a second pair of eyes is needed and to have a professional, someone who knows what they’re doing, is golden.

What are some of the hardest things you’ve had to overcome as a writer, in order to be published?

Well, I think the hardest part for me was actually finding someone to publish my novel. I’d been searching for a literary agent for some time and no one wanted to take me on. So, I decided to bypass those and go direct to the indie publishers. The first one I tried was Crooked Cat, and they loved it.

How did you find time to write your books?

Writing is my full-time job, so I have plenty of time to do it. When I was at university, I would set aside a couple of hours, three times a week. Discipline is key.

Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?

I think writing has many benefits, both educationally and personally. It opens up the mind, allowing you to see and observe things with a greater clarity, keeping the brain ticking over. It’s also a great stress reliever.

Several of my guests have often said writing is therapeutic and relaxes them. Can you talk a little about how writing relaxes you? Any specific examples you can share?

Writing relaxes me, as it allows me to switch off for a few hours. It gives me a purpose.  Knowing where you’re going and what you’re doing can be very relaxing in itself.

Can you also talk a little about how writing your book was therapeutic? What do you mean?

Writing my book was therapeutic for me because when I’m writing, I can lose myself in the worlds and characters that I’m creating. I can switch off my cares and worries for those few hours that I’m working. It allows me to beat out any frustrations. I can do things that I can’t usually do in my real life.

Has writing made you a better person?

That’s a tough one. I’d like to think it has, yes. I’m certainly a lot calmer and happier now that I have a purpose and a goal to work for. Writing has given me that.

Do you like to read? If so, what are your favorite genres and why?

I love to read and have quite wide tastes in fiction and non-fiction. Obviously, being a horror writer myself, I enjoy reading horror. Stephen King, James Herbert, Dean Koontz. But I also have a degree in history, so historical fiction is a big interest, particularly Bernard Cornwell. Non-fiction wise, I love a good film book, or even subjects like physics or philosophy. I’m also a big comic book nerd!

Can you talk about how important reviews are to writers?

I think that reviews are an integral part of the marketing process, especially once the book has been out for a while. They allow the public to make an informed decision about whether to buy it or not. I always look at reviews before buying.

Have you ever received a bad review? If so how did it make you feel?

Thankfully, as of yet, I haven’t had a bad review. I think I’d be okay with it though, provided it was constructive criticism. You have to take the rough with the smooth.  That’s life.

Check out this excerpt from Anthony’s debut novel, The House of Wood, out in e-book and paperback April 5…

The upstairs corridor of the bed and breakfast was long and dark. It went into a “T” junction at either end; one way led to more rooms, the other, stairs and a storage cupboard. The décor was much the same as the ground floor. Old. The difference was that it didn’t have the same welcoming charm. It was more like a narrow tunnel screaming for people to turn back. Rachel on the other hand, couldn’t. Not if she wanted answers.

She made her way down the narrow passage, heading towards the end with more rooms. All she knew was David’s room was to the right. With any luck, she thought, he would be out of his room before she got there.

Dreary faces peered out of ominous grey portraits as she passed by. There was something about black and white pictures that had always unnerved her. She guessed it was because the people in them were usually dead. Ghosts. She shuddered at the thought. They seemed to be even more creepy in the muted, sulphurous yellow light of the hall.

She continued, one step at a time, down the long passage. She could hear the wind howling outside, as it rushed through the old cracks of the building. The sound reminded her of laughter. Maniacal laughter. The kind she had heard before.

There it was again. The image of a whitewashed wooden house in her mind’s eye. Her heart rate quickened. Blood pounded in her ears. A picture of Jesus on the crucifix glared at her with his condemning eyes.

You’ll burn, bitch!

The lights flickered. Howling. Laughter.

You’ll burn in hell!

Rachel’s breathing was coming in rapid bursts. The eyes. Oh my God, those eyes.

She groped her way along the cold wall, as she tried to turn back. Disorientated. Tiny beads of sweat had formed on her forehead. The corridor had started to spin. Her voice was stunted. She couldn’t call out. There was a face. His face.

“Rachel, are you alright?”

She screamed before the darkness took her. The last thing she saw was David catching her in his arms.

Then nothing.

Me and my bookAbout Anthony Price

Anthony Price is a twenty-eight year old male living in the UK, in Canterbury. An avid reader and film fanatic and having always wanted to be a writer, he was first published at age fifteen and since receiving his MA in Creative Writing, has had several short stories published in e-zines and anthologies. He’s also the author of his own horror anthology titled, Tales of Merryville, which is available in e-book format on Amazon.

His novel, The House of Wood, has been in the works for three years and started off as a small writing exercise on his MA. Being a disabled writer, he has had his fair share of doubters, so this novel is extra special. It’s out in paperback and e-book format April 5.

Anthony is currently working on several creative projects to look out for in the future, including more horror novels, a feature film and a TV show. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and About.Me.