Nessie – #writephoto

She had left the house, tears streaming down her face once again. But she allowed no noise to escape. She would not feel weak, not feel helpless, allowing the noise to escape would be admitting defeat. She had held it all together, been holding it all together for months as business had got quieter and quieter. Who could blame the visitors, there had been nothing here for years. Sure it was a beautiful drive, and when the weather was hot you couldn’t help but want to be near the cool blue water of the loch.

Science. She could blame science. People no longer wanted to believe in magic, the supernatural, the unknown. When she was a child she had listened in wonder at the stories the grown-ups told, kids these days scoffed and headed to their phones to the internet, they forgot to enjoy the present. That magic could lift your heart just a little even if it wasn’t true. These days it seemed to be gone.

She lifted her legs heavily climbing up the hillside away from the loch. Away from her sleeping, snoring, drunken husband. She blamed him too. Once their little bar had been the busiest on the loch, people loved to stop in for a drink and a chat. She had loved it too, but as things grew quieter her husband’s patience had grown thin and when she could no longer offer him comfort he turned to the bottle. She’d never admit it, but that hurt her too.

She found the quiet place she was looking for and sat down, watching the slow moving fog above the loch. The sun was barely visible. What time was sunrise? She couldn’t remember, yet the darkness wasn’t carrying its usual weight, it felt fresh. The crisp cold air made her salty wet tears sting a little on her face, but she liked it. Reminded her to feel. As her eyes followed the lazy movement of the cloud a lump formed in the middle. She rubbed her eyes, certain the tears and tiredness had got to her, but when a second hump appeared she knew what she was seeing. What she always longed to see. Nessie.

twilight fog by Sue Vincent

She reached in her pocket and pulled out her mobile phone, her gaze never leaving the shadowed form amongst the fog. Lifting the phone high in front of her she swiped the little screen and the light of the camera came on. Drat! She knew having the flash on wouldn’t work so she pulled the little screen towards her to fumble with the setting, her heart now beating fast that the sight before her would disappear. Cautiously she clicked. Just to be certain she clicked again. Then before her very eyes, the two lumps disappeared, back down into the fog, back down into the loch, back to the legend.

She stood up and raced down the hillside, it was a sign, she knew it. A sign her struggle had been worth it. When people saw her photo they couldn’t not believe. What else could it be? Nessie.


My response to Sue’s wonderful photo prompt. Sorry Sue, couldn’t resist with this photo, definitely something mysterious about it! I loved it. 🙂

If you want to give the prompt a go too, head over to Sue’s Page Thursday Photo Prompt – Twilight #writephoto and join in the prompt. KL ❤

Circling Above – #writephoto

The sound woke me. My head throbbed as the screeching sounds pierced my brain. What was that? I blinked. The light above me scalded my pupils in the few seconds my eyes were open to the sunlight. In fact, as I lay there with my eyes closed

birds wings photo by Sue Vincent

I became aware that I could see the brightness through my eyelids. And the shadows moving beyond the closed veil. And the noise. The continuous noise continued to screech and echo inside my head. There was no way to block it.

I forced myself to open my eyes again. Longer this time. I had to figure out what was going on. As I looked up at the sky the black shadows moved above me, screeching, and swirling like dementors ready to suck out your soul, I had read about those in a book one time. When? I didn’t know.

With every effort I rolled over onto my stomach, the quick roll gave me a wider view of my surroundings. I was outside, on a picnic blanket, but with no picnic. Yet, I could tell I had been with someone. The fuzzy clouds in my brain parted just a little to offer me a filtered flashback of lying on our backs, looking up at the sky, talking, holding hands, did we kiss, or did I just want to kiss them? I wasn’t sure. Who? I shook my head trying to get a clearer picture of the fuzzy picture, any clue, a face, a name, but it was no use.

I forced myself to roll back over, I had to start moving but that small movement alone knocked the wind out of me and sent my head spinning again. Lying on my back I gave myself a countdown. On three I would sit up, regardless of the pain, I had to do this. I lay there and counted, watching the birds swirl above, then after the slow agonising account to 3. At that moment my world went black. Something had been placed over my head, and my arms had been pulled sharply against my back, my wrists held together buying something tight.

“Who is there?”, I asked but the only answer was the high-pitched cry from the birds. I was pulled to my feet, my arms feeling like they were being wrenched from their sockets, and an overwhelming dizziness struck me making me feel nauseous. The grip on my arm grew tighter and I was pushed forward into a walk.

“Where are you taking me I asked?” A low hollow laugh was the answer I was given as I was marched away, the echoing birdsong disappearing in the distance as I walked.


My response to Sue’s wonderful photo prompt. The start of something intriguing but I’m not quite sure where I am going with it. 🙂

If you want to give the prompt a go too, head over to Sue’s Page Thursday Photo Prompt – Wings #writephoto and join in the prompt. KL ❤

Review of The Kept Woman: (Will Trent Series Book 8) by Karin Slaughter – 5 Stars

The Kept Woman (Will Trent, #8)The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love the Will Trent series. It took a while at first to warm to it I’ll admit, mostly due to the fact that I really liked the Grant County series with Jeffrey and hated that he was killed off. Will (the main character in the Will Trent series) was initially as a character too…well… good – too nice – too sweet – too vulnerable. It was certainly a change of pace from Jeffrey. That said I still loved Sara Linton, the character that crosses both series. I also very quickly liked Will’s partner in the series – Faith. Now that we are in the eighth book of the Will Trent series, Karin Slaughter has really found her stride. The characters are so lifelike and complicated yet you cannot help but like the good guys, hate the bad guys and well feel conflicted about those that straddle the worlds of good and bad.

In this novel, we catch up with Will and Sara trying to live their happily ever after and things seem right on track. That is until an ex-police officer is found dead at an abandoned nightclub owned by a famous sports hero who has just escaped a rape charge Will was trying to file against him. Things go from bad to worse when the team examines the scene and all signs point to Will’s ex-wife Angie being the culprit of the attack. Not only does it look like she was involved but the amount of blood lost at the scene means she could be in real danger. Sara’s scene-of-the-crime diagnosis is that they only have a few hours to find Angie before she bleeds out

This book looks big but it is fast reading. Real page-turning action reading. The writing style is fluid, intriguing, and completely engrossing. And the plot… well, it is absolutely jam-packed twists, murder, drama, deception, secrets, lies, heartache and mystery.

I quite liked the way this book was laid out too. The first half follows Will, Sara and the investigation team. Whilst the middle shines the spotlight on Angie. It gives a real insight into her past, her impulse reactions, her motivations and her desire to have Will to herself. She truly is such a conflicting character who you will love, hate, love, hate. Somehow this makes Will’s storyline even more intriguing.

Whilst this is the eighth book in the series I think it could be read as a standalone. In fact, most of the series can as I read it completely out of order initially, so if you see it at a bargain price don’t let the order put you off.

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Review of The Bell Tower By Sarah Rayne (Nell West #6) – 4 Stars

The Bell Tower: A Haunted House Mystery (Nell West/Michael Flint, #6)The Bell Tower: A Haunted House Mystery by Sarah Rayne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel continues as entry #6 in the Nell West series and we catch up with Nell and Michael a little after the events of “Deadlight Hall”. In this story, Nell returns as the primary character with Michael returning to the secondary research investigation role. I really enjoyed the author’s ability to switch back and forth making two strong protagonists, that’s strengths differ and keep the series fresh and alive. Returning to Nell’s perspective as a primary character gave this story a new refreshing take and also allowed Nell as a character to really develop more. It was also interesting that Nell’s daughter Beth featured a bit more in this story and is a little more grown up in this book. Great use of character progression.

In this story, Nell has bought the shop next door and is working on and extension. When some old plaster is removed Nell finds a hidden message on the wall referring to someone called Thaisa. This leads Neil on a chain of discovery where she uncovers a link with a village in Dorset (where her daughter is holidaying this summer), a mysterious piece of music called Thaisia’s song and a derelict bell tower with a silenced bell. The story is told from a variety of historical sources and also from the view of an old woman living the life of a recluse. She is desperate to protect her family’s secrets at all costs.

As with all Sarah Rayne books, her plotting is brilliant, she lays many, many, threads for the reader to follow and then brilliantly weaves them all together. It did take me a little longer than normal to get into this book. I think there was a little less mystery than others in this series and this was quite a dark storyline. I do like that Rayne still experiments in her writing and tries out many characters’ viewpoints.
I think Rayne has done a great job of developing Michael and Nell’s personal relationship too. For returning readers it is handled very well and the progression can be seen, but it’s also not distracting and confusing for first-time readers. For those that haven’t discovered the Nell West collection, I would suggest these novels are quite similarly written to Phil Rickman’s work; old story exposed, great characters and slightly eerie. The books are well written and well plotted and the historical details are always interesting.
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The Mystery House – #writephoto

High upon the hillside, past the river and behind the trees.

Lies a forgotten house which no-one tends to see.

The old folk sometimes remember those who went before.

Yet the towns’ folk find the old stories such a bore.mystery-house-photo-by-sue-vincent

 

A young lady sets off adventuring on the land

Inspired by the folk tales told to her by her Gran

She comes across the house in the woods all alone

And peers through the doorway to check no-one’s home

 

“Who goes there?” Bellows a voice from within the dark

She gulps rather loudly ignoring the thumping of her heart

“It’s me Olive”, her voice says in a squeak

“I thought no-one lived her, I’m sorry I’ll, leave.”

 

Rather disappointed Olive turned around to leave

“Come in child, you’re here now, you might as well have tea.”

Olive walked into the house that’s hidden in the wall

Finding herself facing an old woman 8 feet tall.

 

“Move Oscar out the way child and take a seat over there”

Olive looked across the hovel spotting a black cat in a chair.

Oscar didn’t take to kindly from being shifted from his perch.

Olive was a bit unnerved when he hissed and swiped at her.

 

Olive smiled politely as the tea was served

The cake that went along with it was superb

Her belly now full and the sun beginning to set

Olive said goodbye to the old lady she had met.

 

You thought there’d be a twist in the tale is that about right?

That Olive would be gobbled up or given a real fright

I thought I would be kinder to this old woman living alone

Besides, I never told you if Olive made it home?….


I think I had way-way to much fun writing this! There was so many delightfully devilish options popping into my mind. I love this image, so intriguing. If you want to ive it a go too, head over to Sue’s Page Thursday Photo Prompt – Mystery #writephoto and join in the prompt.KL ❤

Review of The Guardians by Andrew Pyper – 4 Stars

The GuardiansThe Guardians by Andrew Pyper

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Trevor, Randy and Carl return to the small town they grew up in for the funeral of their friend Ben. They are surprised to find that Ben had become a recluse after they left town and spent most of his time watching over “Thurman House”. The house brings back tortured memories for the boys and they find themselves struggling over whether to confront their past or not, but after another friend goes missing the past can no longer stay hidden.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Trevor and his Dictaphone diary entries with occasional flashbacks to the boys’ childhood. This captures the story really well and Andrew manages to weave a lot of subtler subplots into the story, which really kept the suspense on top form. Trevor is a very likeable character. His journey to discover whether the house is haunted or if it’s all just his imagination brings out the strengths and flaws in his personality, but underlying throughout the difficult situation is his brotherhood “in-it-together-no-matter-what-happens” attitude.

Other reviewers have suggested this is similar to Stephen Kings writing and while at some of the more suspense-driven parts I can see this, for me it wasn’t scary. It wasn’t really a horror, the plot certainly had darker elements but there was very little fear factor. However, I enjoyed the mystery of the novel, and the friendships and relationships throughout.

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I would have preferred this book to be a little scarier (to be put in the same category as a Stephen King/James Herbert style horror) but it was an enjoyable read and I will look out for more works by Andrew Pyper.

Watching from the shadows

I followed her carefully, all in black it was easier to merge into the shadows. The tree-lined street my perfect disguise. Occasionally the earth would shift beneath my weight, it would send a noise out into the night, but her own heavy footsteps and sharp breathing covered any sounds I would make. Creeping closer and closer I could smell her scent drifting towards me, the sweet perfume was mixed by another scent one she didn’t even realise she was exuding, fear. She should feel me near her, but I wonder if that just made her rush even more.
                    She reached the corner and took the opportunity to glance back to the shadows. I knew she would do it and I stood silently waiting. Her eyes caught mine. The bright green of them startled her for a second and then she smiled at me. She hurried away again but I could move quicker than she could and easily caught up. She didn’t know it yet but she needed me to follow her. As she neared the underpass that headed back to her tired estate my hair began to stand on end. This was it, this was the place.
           The first shape stepped out of the shadow forcing her to slow. She moved to the other side of the road and continued forward when a second shape appeared. She froze. The two shapes turned towards each other and then simultaneously began to advance towards her. She took a step or two back, her mind confused. As she came back out of the underpass the two shapes emerged from directly behind her, stretching out to grasp her. I took the moment to surprise them and drop out of the tree I was on, clawing at one of the shapes as I fell. As soon as I reached the ground I hissed and stepped towards  the other, but it vanished back into the darkness of the underpass and away. The other stumbled backwards moving into the recess it had appeared from. I turned my head and looked at the girl, my green eyes held strong. She came towards me and placed her hand gently on my head.
                    “Aren’t you a clever cat to save me?” she cooed at me, and although normally I would hate it, I allowed her to. I already felt the connection with her, even though her change hadn’t yet begun. Yes, I definitely was meant to be her familiar.


Originally written for Mystery – this week’s Writers Quote Wednesday Edgar Allan Poe - Mysterious Cat WritingWriting Challenge #WQWWC with this amazing Edgar Allan Poe quote, but unfortunately I didn’t quite get it finished on time. So hopefully Ronovan won’t mind the slight adjustment so I could add it to his Friday Fiction Challenge using the surprise them.