Tag Archives: Love

Dear Mommy By Cynthia B. Ainsworthe


This very short story is a tribute to my furry grandson and my lovely daughter, Cindy. Fur animals and feathered friends have always been part of my daughter’s upbringing. She has a natural love for animals which illustrates her gentle and loving nature. I like to think I had something to do with that influence, but realize her true and giving heart guides her positive outlook and kind deeds.

Cynthia - kitten

Dear Mommy,

One night in September, at four weeks old, I found myself tossed out like a forgotten food wrapper. My left eye hurt from an injury. I don’t remember how I was hurt. I remember feeling cold, hungry, frightened, and wet. The rain poured down, drenching my fur and causing it to stick to my skin in wet mats. I couldn’t stop shaking. I felt weak, and only wanted to be safe and loved.

I traveled from bush to bush. Every noise caused me to jump. Where was my birth mother and my siblings? I missed them and didn’t know how to return to my home. I didn’t recognize a sound or smell. I knew I had to be strong or a mean person, cat, or dog would hurt me. Though I was young, I’ll never forget those feelings of being rejected. I was on my own and only want to survive the night.

I crept close to houses. I cried as loud as I could. I was desperate to be rescued, but no one turned on a light or peeked through a window.

I’m strong. I won’t give up.

Another home is ahead. Again I cry loudly and mournfully. What is that? A door is opening from that house. Someone is coming near. I sense kindness. Your warm hands pick me up and embrace my heart. I’m too weak and young to know how to purr. But I can kiss. Even though my throat is dry from incredible thirst, I manage to kiss your finger to express my thanks.

You bring me in from the cold, dry my fur, and give me food. You say my eyes are a vivid blue, though I don’t understand that. From the first, your voice makes me joyful and feel secure. I curl up in your lap and snuggle close to you in that warm towel. The sound of your heartbeat comforts me and allows me to release my fear. My only thought is, I have a mommy and she loves me. Peaceful dreams come to me that night. It’s been so very long since I dared to sleep more than a few minutes at a time.

You take me to the doctor for a checkup and to have my eye fixed. I’m scared, but won’t let that kind man know it. He seems nice and is gentle. I’m glad to have my eye feel better. I had almost gotten used to the pain.

You take such good care of me and pet me so gently that I forget my fearful beginnings. Every now and then all those fears and bad images flash in front of my eyes, and I lash out—not to be mean, but because of the trauma of being rejected so cruelly and I’m again scared.

I love your kisses and cuddles. You give me treats, toys, and gentle words. I couldn’t want for a better home or for a nicer mom. Be patient with me. I’m still learning how to belong to you and the rules that I must now live by. Every day, I’m doing my best.

I will always love you,

Draper xxoo, meow with purrs and kisses

© 2016 Cynthia B. Ainsworthe


Cynthia B. Ainsworthe writes suspenseful romance. She has won multiple writing awards. Though she writes mostly romance, her short stories cross many genres. She loves animals and is a parent of five poodle children. Ms. Ainsworthe is currently finalizing Forbidden Footsteps book 3, and writing Dangerous Reach book 4 in her Forbidden Series. A lover of culinary arts, Passion in the Kitchen, is a whimsical approach to French cuisine with delicious recipes, a romantic story thread, and luscious photos of shirtless men.





Seasons By Cynthia B Ainsworthe



Sitting in the hotel’s lounge, dressed in my finest, waiting for him. Another afternoon to relive my youth, as I will gaze upon his. My mind brushes away my past years and dreams, and live only in the present. The future has lost its brilliance—what might be a new adventure around a worn corner, and only presents with the sameness of routine.

He enters in a well-tailored suit—a diversion from the autumn of my life. I look at his trim physique and smooth skin over firm muscles and high cheekbones. Eyes that are filled with hope as he lives his spring—a spring he must feel is eternal. Laugh lines have yet to make their mark. His quick, energized steps bring him closer as he reaches out his hand and a broad smile emerges. Oh, to be in that devil-may-care season that is his home.

I stand as he approaches and discreetly hand him the room cardkey that I secured an hour earlier. My stilettos click on the marble as we walk to the elevator. If Charles had lived, would this same situation be my refuge. I chuckle to myself at such a silly thought. Charles and I had been married for twenty-five years before that terrible car crash that put him into a never-ending coma. The hardest last gift from me to him was to give permission for cessation of life-support measures.

In the elevator, he holds my hand and smiles. I smile back, knowing that for a brief afternoon I will whisk away all the pain and loneliness that has become my existence. As prescribed by such an arrangement, he kisses me with passion—a passion that he has honed from many such assignations with others. He knows his part and plays it well.

He slips the card into the door-key slot. The familiar buzzer rings, and then opens the door. I enter first. Opening my purse, I retrieve crisp bills and place them on the dresser. The money is new and is as untainted as possible from the bank, as if this small detail will erase all seemliness from what is about to be. He takes no notice of the payment and proceeds to unzip my dress.

I shut my eyes as his lips caress mine in passion. It is Charles kissing me—not this young stallion marketing on his youth and the loneliness of an older woman. My husband whispers in my hungry ear that he loves me. My heart cries out, “Forgive me Charles. I never wanted to let you go. Be with me again, even if only briefly, through this young man.”

Afterwards, he lies next to me in a light slumber. I look at him and wonder if my body and lined face repulses him. Does my sagging jaw line remind him of his mother? As we make love, does his fantasies create a beautiful young lady to replace the older woman who paid for his attention? I have no idea why these questions come to my mind. They shouldn’t. He gives me time with Charles and that is what keeps me sane in this dark pool of grief.

I slip out of the bed, lean over and kiss his temple as I once did to Charles. He doesn’t open his eyes, merely smiles.

Having dressed, I quietly leave and look forward to another day in my autumn. I shudder to think of my winter. When winter comes, I fear I will no longer be able to taste the sweetness of spring.

© 2015 Cynthia B. Ainsworthe


Author Bio


and http://www.thewriteroomblog.com/?p=3142

Cynthia B. Ainsworthe is a multiple award-winning author. She started writing seriously in the autumn of her life after having raised a family. Her epic length novel, “Front Row Center”, earned the IPPY Award in romance. She has also gleaned the Excellence in Writing Award by It Matters Radio for the short story It Ain’t Fittin’, and shares the Reader’s Favorite Award with other authors for the horror anthology, “The Speed of Dark”, where her two short stories, When Midnight Comes and Characters, are featured. Ms. Ainsworthe has received many 5-star reviews for her novels. She has recently released book 2 in the Forbidden Series titled “Remember?” and is writing the third book in that series. Cynthia is also working with known Hollywood producer, screenwriter, and director, Scott C. Brown on adapting Front Row Center to screen. She is actively honing her screenwriting talent.

Love, Lust and Whodunit


Love inspires us to be heroes and fools, lust has a long, distinguished role as a motive for bad behavior, but the confluence of the mystery and romance genres is something different, and that’s what we were talking about. Five mystery writers who included elements of romance in their novels shared the stage at the 2015 Left Coast Crime conference. The name of our panel was Guns and Roses.

We were a disparate group. Donnell Ann Bell moderated. Her debut mystery, The Past Came Hunting, was a finalist for the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Kendra Elliott has sold over a million books of tightly plotted romantic suspense. Yvonne Kohano’s books are heavy on the romance and include a little spice. Carole Price’s heroine is an ex-cop who is romantically involved with a Navy Seal. Each of my three books is a mystery, but together, they describe a young widow’s journey from emotional devastation to a new love – in other words, the trilogy is a romance.

A sprinkling of romance in a mystery novel isn’t a radical change. Maybe Miss Marple simply didn’t – didn’t even think about it, but others did. Nancy Drew had what’s-his-name, although he always struck me as part of the scenery and not a player. Adam Dagleish, PD James’ poet police commissioner, had romance in his life, however, resolving the relationship always took back seat to solving the crime. On the noir side, our heroes were rarely celibate, but romantic love was a faint and usually regretted glow in their rearview. James Bond followed in that cynical tradition, without the regrets, and had more fun.

In today’s mysteries, there are more partnerships and fewer detectives with a little romance on the side. Attitudes have evolved. Calling women dames, as noir heroes did, is not cool. Still, this is evolution not revolution. Mystery writers who incorporate romance in their stories owe a debt to the past and, strangely enough, to a pillar of noir.

You don’t get much more hard-boiled (harder boiled?) than Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade, but Hammett also created Nick and Nora Charles. The Thin Man, Hammett’s last book, introduced this wisecracking married couple who solved mysteries together. Despite The Thin Man’s enormous success, Hammett didn’t write another Nick and Nora novel, but he and others wrote stories that became five more Nick and Nora movies. These immensely popular films led to a radio show, a TV series, even a Broadway musical. I think it’s fair to say that Nick and Nora are the parents of today’s romantically involved detective teams.

It is a proud tradition. Kendra Elliott’s Callahan and McLane series features FBI Special Agent Ava McLane and the man she has come to love, police detective Mason Callahan. I wouldn’t be surprised if a future book didn’t see them marry. In Carole Price’s Shakespeare in the Vineyard series, an ex-crime analyst Cait Pepper inherits a vineyard, two summer theaters and a lot of trouble. Her romance is a bit more tenuous. RT Tanner, her Navy Seal, has an unfortunate habit of being called back to duty just when things are moving along between them. Donnell Ann Bell writes stand-alone mysteries, each with a romantic relationship that enhances the suspense. Because the books are stand-alone, the romance as well as the mystery is resolved at the end.

Plenty of mysteries are still written with little or no romance, but overall, there is a greater emphasis on romance. Among the panelists, this is most evident in Yvonne Kohano’s Flynn’s Crossing series, which moves from one couple to another in a group of long-time friends. Yvonne’s books are on the romantic side of romantic suspense. The relationship is resolved, and a mystery is solved, in that order of importance.

A romantic relationship provides another dimension to both characters and plot. The reader wonders how a budding romance will survive the stress of being involved in a murder investigation. For the protagonists, seeing their beloved in danger raises the ante. There can be conflicts within the romance. The main character in my trilogy is a young widow with two potential love interests. Which one she will choose, if either, adds another layer of mystery to the who-done-it of the central plot line. That question will be answered in the third book, which doesn’t come out until the fall, but readers are already expressing strong opinions as to how it should go. I’m not telling.

Back when books were only on paper and sold from shelves in stores, genres were important. Lines had to be drawn because booksellers had to decide which shelf. Does this book belong on the mystery shelf or on the romance shelf?  (A little off the topic, but funny: one ex-bookstore employee swears that, back in the day, the question of whether a book was “literature” or “fiction” was decided by whether or not the author was alive. You guess which way it went.)

Genre still matters to the brick and mortar stores, and this is among their challenges. Elsewhere, in our electronic age, a book can “sit” on as many shelves as seems appropriate, and the number of shelves isn’t limited by physical space. A reader looking for a mystery with a touch of romance can click on romantic suspense, or mystery, or romance. The same thing applies to science fiction and fantasy, and steampunk and every other genre. The question of what is literary fiction vs. popular fiction will probably remained unanswered forever, but do readers really care?

The name of our panel was Guns and Roses; it could have been Blurred Lines. Genres still exist, and they matter, but the edges are melting into each other. Bits of this are finding their way into books of that. Readers are getting a wider variety of products to choose from. This has to be a good thing – don’t you think? Being on the panel introduced me to four new – to me – authors. I read something by each before our session and recommend them to anyone who enjoys a bit of romance in their mystery.


Before she became a writer, Patricia Dusenbury was an economist and the author of numerous dry publications. She is hoping to atone by writing mystery stories that people read for pleasure. Her first book, A Perfect Victim, won the Electronic Industry 2015 e-book award for a mystery. Book 2, Secrets, Lies & Homicide, was a top ten finalist in the Preditors and Editors 2014 readers’ poll. Book 3, A House of Her Own, is scheduled for publication in late 2015. All are published by Uncail Press. Pat also writes short stories and you can always find one on her web site, PatriciaDusenbury.com. When she isn’t writing, Pat is reading, gardening, babysitting or exploring San Francisco, her new home. Or, if it is late April/early May, you can find her in New Orleans, soaking up the sounds of Jazz Fest.


Such A Loving Pair by Monica Brinkman


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The couple sat at the kitchen table. The red and white checkered curtains flailed away from the window, orchestrated by the cool breeze of the night.

He touched the small boned knuckles of her tiny hand, turned it over, drew the open palm to his face and brushed his lips against each smooth fingertip. It was still a thrill of pleasure after all these years, and his heart quickened as he felt the surge of love fill his body.

Annabelle coyly cast her eyes downward, a demure smile upon her face. Then she looked up into Gerard’s’ face. Their eyes locked as they experienced a moment of intense emotion, so much more than mere love, nothing less than consummate completion.

“You look ravishing tonight my darling.”

Her cheeks pinked with the blush of a much younger woman. “Thank you, and if not too bold of me, I say that you my husband appear quite striking yourself.”

Gerard’s’ face opened to a large grin. “Why woman, I would accept nothing less than the truth, be it bold or not.”

He noticed her eyebrow arch and a frown take over the smile.

“What is it Annabelle? Have I offended you in some way?”

She sighed softly, rose from her seat and walked to the window and pushed the curtain to one side, holding it against the wall.  “It is exceptionally beautiful, this night. The moon so near, brilliantly white and clear. I feel if I reached out my hand I could almost touch it. Silly of me acting so childishly.”

Annabelle turned toward Gerard. He knew that look upon her face, the sadness, the despair, the hopelessness. How he wished he could alter her situation and knew, no matter how much she sought escape, there would be none. Not from the house, not this night.

He walked to her side, took her hand in his and pulled her away from the window and the nights’ hypnotic trance. It drove him mad to see her in such pain, yet he knew he must do what was best for her well-being, her sanity.

“Shall we go to the terrace? You said the moon is very beautiful and the night air should be refreshing.”

Her eyes glowed with anticipation, excitement and joy. “Oh yes my dear husband, may we?”

Her steps quickened to a fast trot as they passed through the living room and approached the sliding door within the entertainment room. The bright blue walls displeased her, how garish and bold. She would have preferred a more subtle off-white or beige design yet realized her opinion on this matter was meaningless. As Gerard slowly slid open the door, taking precaution to remain as silent as possible, she cast one look backward at the despicable decor, now eager to feel the coolness of the night upon her body.

After exiting the room, with circumspection, he slid the door back into place, leaving a tiny gap between the lock and latch, assuring re-entrance would be safe and silent. Lord knows he did not need the others discovering their presence. He never knew how Annabelle would react to their interference. Though timid by nature, when confronted, she could become quite a handful and create havoc within the home. Gerard preferred to treat any intrusion into their life with understanding. After all, this was not their house; he and Annabelle were only residents.

“Look Darling.” Annabelle pointed to the nearby lake. The water bristled with activity from the wind’s caress. She held back a giggle as she watched the moonlight reveal a raft of ducks paddling toward land. The hen proudly led the ducklings who followed in quacking chorus.

He loved the delight upon Annabelle’s face. He wished he could actually lead her to the waters edge and together toss bits of oats or vegetables their way. Again, he realized the futility in this line of thought. Better to enjoy what was granted than to daydream on what would never be.

God, he loved this woman with his entire being. Their partnership was eternal, filled with adoration and youthful passion. He could not foresee a future without his beloved. Her welfare meant everything to him. He was her protector, her security.

Gerard neared her, bowed and extended his hand. Annabelle laughed softly, took his hand and they embraced in a dance, careful to be on tiptoe and not arouse discovery. Each glide across the terrace brought them freedom of space, the moonlight glistened upon the two silver clips which held her auburn tresses in place. All that mattered was the now, the moment, the experience. They danced and pranced. Time ceased to exist, each cast in the magical spell of love. Husband and wife. Partner and mate. Protector and protectee.

Annabelle halted her step, cocked her head, the frown returned to her face. In the silence of the early morning she thought she heard footsteps. Were they coming? The others? It wasn’t fair this life forced upon her. She wanted to scream, lash out and confront the vile family who had taken over her home. They now made the rules, they now called the shots, they now controlled her surroundings. How dare they?

He could see the anger and hatred rising within his dearest wife. Yes, they were prisoners, doomed to exist within the confinement of the home, the rules set by the others, never able to leave its door, to venture outside. They were forced to live in harmony beside the others and were regulated by the restraints of the residence.

They watched through the large pane of glass, knowing their presence would not be detected. They were safe, if silent.

The male child appeared and wiped his sleepy eyes before padding to the contraption the others called a TV. Gerard detested the noise it projected yet pondered how remarkable an object to have the ability to see a variety of people and hear their voices. It did seem rather cold and offensive for surely anyone would prefer the company of friends rather than watching them remotely.

The next other to enter was a blonde-haired young girl. She chatted with the male child and settled down beside him on the burnt-umber carpeted floor. Gerard glanced at Annabelle and saw the rage growing within her. He had to stop her before she allowed her rage to cause distress.

It was too late, she had slid the door open and entered the room. Annabelle walked behind the seated children and flicked their hair. She had to stifle a giggle when they reached up to shoo away the presence of her touch. Gerard looked on in disappointment. It was all a game to Annabelle. A game he wanted no part of, a game his beautiful wife embraced.

She became bolder and pushed the male child into the lap of the young girl.

Oh how she delighted when she heard, “Stop it stupid. Yuck. Get off of me.”

The male child seemed baffled and responded,  “Somebody pushed me, I didn’t do it on purpose.”

“Not that again Bobby. Nobody pushed you. Mom and Dad said it was just our imagination, remember?”

“Magination doesn’t push you Sabrina. I don’t care what they say. I was pushed.”

The young girl shook her head and went back to watching the TV program.

Gerard entered the room and arms crossed, stood next to Annabelle. “Okay, that’s enough. You’ve had your jollies for the day. Let’s go to our room.”

Annabelle turned to him, a broad smile on her face. He knew that mischievous smile well. Her eyes took on the glow of madness. She drew every ounce of energy from within the room into her body and walked silently to stand in front of the others. Her form appeared gradually, from a small orb to a bit of mist to a solid mass. Annabelle extended her hand and in a loud roaring voice said, “Hello children.”

It was hilarious. These others shrieked and screamed, simultaneously jumping to their feet and scurrying out of the room at lightening speed. Let them explain that to their parents.

Gerard shook his head in disapproval. Yet he couldn’t help but smile a bit when Annabelle brushed her hands against each other and shook her finger.

“How dare anyone take over my house, my home. Well there’s plenty more where that came from.”

The loving couple who’d existed since 1892 within the walls of the house they’d built, clasped hands and walked toward the attic door. Just another day within eternity.


Monica M Brinkman believes in ‘giving it forward.’ This is reflected by her writing and radio show. A firm believer that open communication is the most powerful tool to make positive change in the world; she expresses this in her book, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel and It Matters Radio.  Look for her book, The Wheel’s Final Turn, to be release in 2015.

Monica resides in the Midwest with her husband, two dogs and five cats.

Visit her web sites:



Beloved by D. M. Pirrone

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Until she saw him, she never believed in love at first sight.

Everything about him draws her, makes her heart expand to the size of a harvest moon. There was just such a moon in the sky a year ago, the night before they met. A good-luck omen, and ever since, she rarely sees him without remembering that huge, golden orb against the midnight blue. The beauty of it echoes the beauty he’s brought to her life. Who knew mere existence could turn to such joy so quickly?

She loves everything about him. The way his hair slants across his forehead. The merry mischief in his wide, dark eyes. The wonder with which he approaches everything. She loves that most of all. Through sharing the world with him, familiar things are made new. The taste of chocolate ice cream. The darting grace of a butterfly around the backyard roses. Songs he makes her sing, that she’d thought forgotten long ago. All this and heaven too, she thinks now as she sits with him, his head resting against her shoulder.

She’s humming an old favorite: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Unlike Dorothy, she doesn’t have to go looking for her heart’s desire. After years of trying, of slowly losing hope with every failure, she’s finally found it. Not quite in her own backyard, but close enough.

He’s almost asleep now. She shifts in the rocking chair and begins the first verse, moving gently back and forth as she sings her adopted son a lullaby.


Author Bio

  1. D. M. Pirrone  is the nom de plume of Diane Piron-Gelman, who works as an editor and audiobook narrator when she isn’t writing. Her latest novel, Shall We Not Revenge (Allium Press of Chicago), was a 2014 Kirkus Prize nominee and a Notable Page-Turner in the 2014 Shelf Unbound Indie Novel competition. She is also the author of No Less In Blood (Five Star, 2011) and various horror and cyberpunk-themed short fiction. A Chicago native and history buff, she is a longtime member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Website link: www.dmpirrone.net

About Love…

Love – Ah the joy of it. But also the cruel vicissitudes love brings to our lives. I have invited some of the Write Room log members to join me in celebrating love, its joys and its pains.           –Kenneth Weene


Another Kind of Love (and Betrayal)                                                                                                                                                by Bryan Murphy


People say that you stay with your bank longer than your spouse. Yet for many an Englishman, the strongest bond of all is with his local soccer team. In England, you do not choose a soccer team to support; it chooses you. “It” is your home-town team, however small, and life-long commitment is demanded. You may also follow better-known teams, but such dalliances are flirtations that keep a marriage going, rather than signs that divorce is called for. It is your local team to which you pledge your heart, for ever, irrespective of success or failure, logic or reason.

When an uncle took me to our small town’s soccer ground, between the river, the gasworks and the railway junction, he initiated me into an English ritual that has colonized my imagination for over 50 years. In Laos, Luanda, Lisbon, London, I have experienced the power of soccer to overcome cultural barriers and provide shared enjoyment. We fans might not understand each other’s languages, but we understand the power of unconditional, blind love.

Alas, nothing lasts for ever. My love of soccer is heading for a shipwreck on the reefs of reality. It turns out that there is, after all, a greater love abroad in the world: that of a fast buck.

The advantage of soccer over, say, Shakespeare, is that you do not know from the start how a soccer match will end. Make that past tense. The evidence of match-fixing in soccer is now so overwhelming that even we fans can no longer deny it. That corruption reduces sport to mere bad acting.

Rich fans have always tried to buy success for their club, usually legally. The latest scandals around the world are about illegal betting syndicates buying players to do something previously unheard-of: deliberately play to lose. What love could survive such betrayal?

I used to imagine my team was too small and insignificant to be involved. But now, million-dollar bets have reportedly been laid on matches at even lower levels, and players at our level have been charged with fixing.

The betting syndicates are not going to abandon soccer for tiddlywinks, and nor can I. If Tonbridge Angels FC turn out to be tainted by corruption, it will be over between me and “the beautiful game” as a whole. Whatever will I do on Saturday afternoons? Maybe give Shakespeare another try.


Bryan Murphy is a British author who actually has a wonderful normal love-life.

A couple of his short e-books, Linehan’s Trip and Linehan Saves, feature a corrupt international soccer official who is tempted to become good. You can find them here: http://bit.ly/19vt7Ts

Bryan welcomes visitors to his website, http://www.bryanmurphy.eu/ where he regales them with poetry, stories, articles and more.





by Salvatore Buttaci


Define “lost.” In these secular times when love relationships rarely last, divorces and co-habitations abound, perhaps we should say love “thrown away” instead of love “lost.”

While we all agree that love begins with romantic attraction, too often it never progresses beyond it, and for that reason lovers become dissatisfied. The magnetic pull of love is simply not pulling as when the two first met, which now opens the way for “the roving eye” to distract one or both from strengthening their relationship. They find someone else they consider more alluring, more loving, more everything than what they have been accustomed to. “You only live once,” they say in their defense. “Why should I stay with someone I do not love?” Or after having declared undying love, they suddenly arrive at this common epiphany: “I never really loved you at all.”

Then there are those who kid themselves into thinking they are in love. Mark Twain once wrote, “He imagined that he was in love with her, whereas I think she did the imagining for him.”

Why then does love fail? Perhaps it is not taken seriously enough. “If it doesn’t work out, I’ll walk out” reflects a rather poor attitude, but one heard even moments before wedding ceremonies!

Another reason why love remains for too many a passing delight could be their unwillingness to add to romantic love the love of friendship. They go hand in hand. If lovers treated one another as best friends, they would sacrifice, compromise, and make vows that would endure.

Never to have loved is certainly a sad admission, but to have repeatedly loved frivolously, halfheartedly, selfishly –– what kind of love is that? An old Sicilian proverb teaches us, “It is better to walk alone than badly accompanied.”


Salvatore Buttaci is a retired teacher and professor whose work has appeared in The Writer, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere here and abroad. He was the 2007 recipient of the $500 Cyber-wit Poetry Award.

His recent flash collection, 200 Shorts, published by All Things That Matter Press, is  available at  http://www.amazon.com/200-Shorts-ebook/dp/B004YWKI8O/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369920397&sr=1-2&keywords=200+Shorts

He lives with his loving wife Sharon in West Virginia.





by Trish Jackson

One day I visited my neighbor Hilary. She was sitting at her desk sobbing. “What’s wrong?” I handed her a tissue from my purse.

When she finally stopped crying, Hilary told me her story.

“When I was a teenager I got pregnant. My Dad had died when I was twelve, leaving my mom with a heap of debts.  She worked two jobs and still didn’t really earn enough to cover the cost of raising me and my three younger siblings.

“The father of my child was a married man. When I told him I was pregnant, he begged me not to tell and said he would deny it if I did.

“Mom said I would have to give up the baby for adoption as there was no way she could afford another child in the family.  I had just turned sixteen and had promised to get a summer job. Instead, almost due, I pent the summer hidden away in the house.

“Mom was so kind to me. She never complained about the pregnancy. Even though I didn’t want to give up my baby, I knew she was right. I had to give up my baby for Mom.

“When my little girl was born, she was perfect. ‘Please let me hold her just once.’ I begged and I cried and I cried when they took her from me. What made it worse was knowing that adoption records were sealed and that I would never be able to obtain the information that might lead me back to her.”

Hillary stopped for a moment, gulped a breath, and wiped her eyes again.

“Years passed. I married and had two sons, but I never forgot my beautiful baby girl. I often wondered if she was happy. And of course where she was?

“Then the Internet changed things. I found a site where adopted children could try to find their birth mothers. My hands trembled as I typed the only things I knew about my daughter—her date and place of birth. Time passed. I almost gave up hope. Then the email came. ‘I think I am your daughter.’

“The site offered verification services. We sent strands of our hair so our DNA could be tested. Anxious is not strong enough to describe the waiting. Could it be? We emailed one another constantly and swapped pictures. Yes, there was a resemblance; but? Finally, the results: Yes, Angela is my daughter.

“We immediately made plans to meet. She lived on another continent, but nothing was going to keep us apart. I couldn’t contain my excitement.

Then everything changed. Her mother, the woman who had adopted her, raised her, and, I am sure, loves her, doesn’t want her to meet me. She is probably afraid of losing Angela’s love.

I could argue, but I know how important a child is to a mother. I have to give my baby up again. ”

We sat in silence. From time to time Hilary dabbed at her eyes or sniffed. Finally, tears clogging her voice, she said,  “I’m not sorry I found her though. It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Trish Jackson writes emotive romantic suspense focusing on small towns, country folk and their animals. www.trishjax.com





by Micki Peluso

 Sometimes we seem at different poles
Northwinds blow across a frozen heart
While southern breezes boil the blood
Yet we are ever joined as one

Combustible, angry, confused and hurt
Feeling wrenching loss of familial love

Sometimes hurt festers like a canker sore
It wants to heal and yet it won’t
Too much has happened to recant
Guilt picks away at closing scabs

And healing, coveted, will not be heeded
However much wanted and needed

Sometimes, so many sometimes
We yearn for days of yore
Life was simple, love unconditional
And trust as sweet as apple pie

Sometimes our lives seem to normalize
Until leaves wafting on uncertain winds
Drift away, leaving distrust behind
And the vicious cycle begins again

Sometimes I reminisce those days
And my heart quickens with yearning
An optimistic, eternal soul
Sees that love again reborn

And I can almost see it myself . . . sometimes


Micki Peluso started writing as a response to grief. . . .AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG, which won the Nesta CBC silver award for writing that makes a change in the world, shares the story of her daughter’s death and the family’s movement towards recovery. Since then Micki has written humor, horror, and much more. Read more about her at http://






Mary Firmin

Chloe had been in love three times. When she married her first husband, Tom, she was in love; but after ten years they divorced. Then there was Bob. They were married for thirty-five years, most of them happy. Sadly, a heart attack took Bob in his sleep.

But the first and only true love of Chloe’s life was her test pilot, Mike. She had met him when she was twenty-two years old and she had fallen hard. However a commitment was never made. When Mike was finally ready, she wasn’t. Then, one day, he came to her job and asked her to marry him. Sadly, Chloe, still gun-shy of Mikes promises, had already met her first husband. She refused to break her engagement to Tom, not for what she thought was her test pilot’s whim.

For the next ten years they had no contact.

When her marriage to Tom broke up, the first thing Chloe did was try to find her test pilot. He was living on his yacht in the Greek Islands. She knew where to find him because they had planned that life together. When he retired from flying, the plan was to buy a large sail boat and sail around the world, the only criteria being the weather had to be warm enough to wear only a bathing suit on deck.

They made contact, but they never actually spoke. Mike had given her his Western Union account and told her to wire him when and where they could meet. The account was “Camelot,” the name of his boat. He told her if he did not hear from her he would go on with his life just as he had before. It was his turn to be gun-shy.

After the divorce was final, Chloe sent her Western Union message. For the first time in years she felt alive, excited, eager to see him again.

There was no answer. Deeply disappointed, she wired again, and again, and again. She thought about buying a ticket and flying to Greece; then thought better of it. Maybe he had changed his mind. Maybe he had found someone else. She gave up.

Years later and alone, Chloe met and married her handsome, gentle husband, Bob, whom she loved profoundly for thirty-five years—but not with the same unbearable passion she had for her that dreamed of test pilot.

When Bob passed away, Chloe Googled her one and only true love. One more time she would try to find him–but not in this life: Mike had passed away a few years earlier. But written in the same newspaper article she found her answer—why she had been unable to contact him.

Throughout the last years of his life Mike had bemoaned, to all who would listen, that he had spelled the name of his boat wrong. He had spelled it Camalot. Not the correct spelling, Camelot, which Chloe had been using to send her telegrams. Tears streamed from her eyes as she read those words, and her heart ached with loss for what might have been.

Was this Mike’s final message to Chloe?

A message from the grave.


Educated in England and Canada, Mary Firmin has enjoyed several careers. After many years as a ballroom dancer, she settled in Santa Monica, California, raised her family, and sold Real Estate while attending many writing classes and seminars at U.C.L.A. Ms. Firmin wrote a society column for the Palm Canyon Times, and is past President of the Palm Springs Writers Guild. She is a long-time member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Romance Writers of America,. Mary has three grown children and presently resides in Laguna Woods, California. See Mary’s blog:  http://maryfirmin.blogspot.com




Here, the reality of the dark—in its most powerful form, death—can’t keep love from blossoming in its growing shadow. Hence:

Don’t Be Sad

 by Clayton Clifford Bye

The crying beauty of the rose
always fades and dies;
so too the blush of youth.

Yet the searing passion we had
melts in deep comfort
to the full grace of love.

Clayton Bye is an author, editor and publisher. He also offers a wide range of writing services, including small business management for writers. Please visit http://www.claytonbye.com




Tis better to have loved and lost
Than to have never loved at all.

by James Secor


To love is so wonderful, isn’t it? The warmth. Arms and legs thrumming and trembling. Eye-widening eye candy. Touch explosion. Sex or no sex. Even unrequited.

How many times, then, have you loved? And worth it every time, no? Lots of loving and knowing that if you hadn’t loved you’d never have known that passion and that splendor. Like a drug, once you’ve had it you keep wanting more.

But is this everyday love the love Tennyson is talking about?

Lord Tennyson was not mainstream or status quo. Lord Tennyson was an innovator. Lord Tennyson didn’t do the nice and expected and safe. Lord Tennyson was reviled by the critics–until he became Victoria’s Poet Laureate.

So, what kind of love was he speaking of?

The poem is “In Memoriam AHH Obit MDCCCXXXIII 27 Arthur Henry Hallam.”

The original title was “The Way of the Soul.”

It took 17 years to write.

It is 133 cantos long. About 3000 lines. The quote is the last two lines.

Just your everyday love? The kind that opens your eyes, flares your nostrils, takes your breath away, titillates your being and settles into comfort. Or complacency. Or passes away until the next time.

Or is it the everybody-love Buddhists froth about?


Tennyson is speaking to total commitment. Unconditional. The kind, we are told, a mother makes to her infant. No sluice gates. No defenses. All or nothing. If the baby dies or is taken away there is devastation; devastation because entanglement is severed. This is the end of the world.

I had my child taken from me and I never saw him again. I wanted him to begin with; she did not. I took care of him; she put up with him while I was at work. I was the working mother. But she took him and I was damned. I searched. I wrote letters. Last year (2013) I discovered that he died in 2012. I was listed in the obit as kin. My family, knowing where I was and how to contact me, did not tell me. Double the hell.

Forty-three years of desert and desolation.

This same unfettered, all or nothing, defenseless love was also mine in my third marriage. It was, in fact, physically explosive; but it was much more and much more importantly it was a psychic connection. A knowing and communication that went across a partying room and down the road 35 miles. It was always being together.  It was touching the dome of heaven. I made up for a youthful mistake: I had learned. It was my time to live. . .until the face of the social-climbing traitor blew away the ground of my being. Disbelief. Depression so deep there was no sight of my soul. Not being able to live with nothing, suicide was much preferable to a life without connection, entanglement, love that was lifeblood.

I have written about this woman–and none too kindly. But I also never can forget the wondrous beauty, the fullness of life of that entanglement. That love is alive in me still. I know I have loved deeper than the universe. I know love. And I would rather the memory and knowledge, the experience–

Twenty-seven years after, I still cry. I’m not whole any more. But I’d not know it without having loved the woman. Many say this. . .and then go out and find another. Psychologists tut-tut and splutter about selfishness.

Now that I know, how could I have ever have convinced myself I had lived a full life?

The difference is the difference between being told the pot is hot and believing it without question, and touching it to see if it indeed is hot. By touching it you know. For real.

I call it up easily because it’s memory is inside my body, inside my brain, inside my soul and yet I cannot find the words for it.

It took Tennyson 17 years to find the words.

Not your everyday, literary, poetic, romance, religious love and loving. 


James L. Secor, activist, world traveler, author of Det. Lupée: The Impossible Cases available through the publisher at ccbye@shaw.com or the distributor, Ingram; B&N and Hastings list the book. Also, Linkedin and http://labelleotero.wordpress.com.





by Salvatore Buttaci

Verona, city noted, centuries now,

For love? What madness! Say instead for crimes

Against the heart: true lovers judged unfit

To consummate a marriage blessed by God.

My Giulietta, wife, my queen, asleep

Forever! Why? A feud between

Two houses –– hers and mine –– preferred the death

Of both their children. Peace would come too late.

The Capuleti ordered now to lay

Down hatred towards my family would grieve

Together. Future sons and daughters? Love

Would breathe without the fear that once we knew.


Un ultimo bacio“: my final words

To Giulietta. “Kiss me one last time.”

How could I know that truth escaped these lips?

I only meant to say “Until the morrow.”

A sleeping draught the friar gave to her,

Unknown to me; it stopped her heart. A death

Before my eyes was merely sleep. I mourned

Her passing, cried my tears to God’s heaven,

Then took the sip that chokes the breath, in hopes

The two of us would reunite beyond

This vale of grief, two lovers greeted there

By hymns of angels waving palms of peace.


When Giulietta woke from her feigned sleep

And saw me lying dead upon the floor,

“Oh, wherefore liest thou, my Romeo?”

She might have said, but who can say the why?

A ruse that failed. A plan that went awry.

Two bodies still as stone. No breath to speak

Again of love undying. Fate, how cruel!

A love to set the world aflame now ash,

Not heaven. Angels sang no hymns. I walk

The circled rings of hell in search of her:

A punishment for suicide, we roam

The nether world beside the lakes of fire

And call each other’s name to no avail.


Salvatore Buttaci lives with his loving wife Sharon in West Virginia.  Follow him n Twitter at www.twitter.com/sambpoet


Kenneth Weene, a novelist, short story writer, and poet, is one of the editors of The Write Room Blog. You can find more about him at http://ww w.kennethweene.com



Many people have the wrong impression about Christmas.  The story of Christmas is the greatest love story of all. It’s about God’s everlasting love – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).


Christmas proves God’s love!  In fact LOVE came down from heaven on the day we celebrate as Christmas!  Yet realistically, if you think that the average “Christmas message” doesn’t move non-believers, you’re not alone.  That message simply doesn’t resonate with them. Bodie Hodge, Says, “the culture is losing the true meaning of Christmas because the education system and the media continues to indoctrinate people to reject the Bible as absolute truth. Instead, the Christian faith and the Bible is attacked and ridiculed and condemned as a “book of stories” because so-called science has supposedly proved it cannot be true—particularly in its history in Genesis.”[1]


Jesus shows us God’s perfect love.  He is God’s perfect love in human form.  Those who believe in Him and live in Him, live in love.  Everyone in the world needs our type of love.  Daily, the media provides the best thing to buy for Christmas.  Yet, living for Christ is offensive.  It’s ok to Sell-abrate Christmas as long as it’s for commercial gain!  This confuses people so much that now Santa Claus is the symbol of Christmas.


Love should not be a foreign concept to us. Through the caring for one another, we can spread the love of Christ and create a nurturing climate. Our actions often speak louder than words. Whether we realize it or not, the world is paying attention. As Christians, we should express Love by caring for one another, listening to what people actually have to say and by taking time out of our busy lives and trying to make a difference. The life that we lead here on earth is a temporary existence, when compared to the eternal salvation of heaven.


Jesus said a lot of remarkable things.  Three things that stick out and that I’d like to share are…


He said, “No great love…”  This shows He was a willing participant (I’m getting a little ahead of the Christmas story but everyone wants to know what they got for Christmas!)


Second, Jesus said, “the greatest command.”   We must love God with all our hearts, minds, soul…the very essence of our life.  Every iota of our being is His.


Third, Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If we do that, we can learn to love the other person.  The world would be a better place.


The title of this blog is “Happy Holidays, What’s Your Present?”  I think that’s a fair question to ask?  We talked about how God loved us despite the original sin. He gave of Himself, in the bodily form of Jesus Christ.   So, what are YOU going to give this Christmas?  After all, it’s not your birthday.


Christmas is the time of year when some people are depressed.  The world needs to see Christ’s love.  Show it to them. This is the time of year people will go overboard and overextend themselves.  The world needs to know God’s love.


Your smile.  Your handshake.  Your kind words.  Those simple things could be the difference maker.


The Christmas story has been replaced by the Anti-Christ in Christmas Story.  Christmas has nothing to do with buying presents.  The commercial and anti-Christ message is about presents. God gave us the ultimate present.  Instead of worrying about buying someone else a present on Jesus’ birthday, why not give Him a present?


You can have a happy holidays.  But you need to have a merry CHRISTmas.  I hope the Christmas message challenges you into thinking, “How does Christmas change my world?”


My question to you is simple and I close with this.  Will your holidays be happy?  If so, what’s your present?  I hope it’s love.  For that is the present that Jesus wants you to give on His birthday.  The promise of eternal life with God!




Yves N. Johnson is the Founder of Christ Is My Savior Ministries, LLC.  He has spoken both Nationally and Internationally.  His subjects ranges from personal development to Spiritual Warfare.  Yves recently published his second book, Outside The Wire: Every Man’s Guide For Spiritual Warfare.  His debut book was, There Is No Gray In Moral Failure: A Practical Guide In Preventing Financial and Sexual Abuse.



[1] Hodge, Bodie, Making the “Christmas Sermon” Relevant for Today’s Culture, Accessed on November 12, 2013 from http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2003/12/22/christmas-sermon-relevant