Category Archives: Just Stuff

Guest Post The Last Drive by John W Howell

I am so pleased to be with you today, Annette. Thank you for helping spread the word about The Last Drive. It is so nice to be here in your home state of Michigan again. I was born and raised in the Detroit area, and it is always nice to come back for a visit. A return visit to my boyhood state reminds me of one of the more unusual things in my book. In my version of eternal life when a person dies, the soul is allowed to select where they want to spend eternity. Part of the story is spent visiting places to see if they would be a good fit. The other part is having to put up with the Devil who is not inclined to make eternal life all it could be.

Here is the blurb and then we can get to a short excerpt from the book.


The Blurb

In the sequel to Eternal Road – The final stop, Sam and James are reunited to look for two souls, Ryan and Eddie. Ryan was killed in Afghanistan, trying to avoid a schoolyard with his crippled plane. Eddie Rickenbacker, Ryan’s hero, is to guide Ryan to his Eternal Home, and now both are missing.

The higher-ups believe that there has been some interference in Ryan and Eddie’s journey by Lucifer, so Sam and James have the task of finding Ryan and Eddie to get them back on the road despite the evil interference. Unfortunately, the machinations designed to prevent Ryan and Eddy from completing their journey takes the pair to horrifying testing grounds. The places visited represent the best work of the Devil. They are the trenches of World War I in France, gladiators at the Roman Coliseum, the sinking Titanic in 1912, Hiroshima 45 minutes before the bomb, and the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943.

This book is for you if you like plenty of action, strong characters, time travel, and a touch of spiritual and historical fiction. So, join Sam and James as they try to find the missing souls while staying one step ahead of the Prince of Darkness, who is determined to destroy all that is good.


An Excerpt.


The soldier looks from the map to James. “What’re you doing here?”

“Um. We’re trying to get to the aerodrome and thought maybe we could hitch a ride on an ambulance.”

“Like hell. You want to get shot for desertion?”

“Oh. No. Why would I want that?”

“That should be, ‘Why would I want that,’ Sir.”

“Excuse me? Why, Sir?”

“I happen to be the officer in charge here, and you need to get up on that trench. Hear those eighty-eights? We’re giving the Krauts hell before we move out. We’re about to go over the top. If I hear any more talk about bugging out to an aerodrome, I’ll shoot you myself. Am I clear?”

“Yes, Sir, but let me explain.”

“There’s nothing to explain except why is this woman with you?”

“Um, she’s an ambulance driver. The Germans captured us, and we escaped.”


“This morning.”

“No one told me.”

“They probably forgot in all the action.”

“All right. Accept my apology. Where’s your unit?”

“The third infantry division, Sir. I have no idea where they are.”

The Officer studies his map. “According to the last information I have, they’re about three or four miles from here. Go a little farther down the trench, and you’ll come to a place with a red cross on it. Just tell them Lieutenant Girard said to get you on a truck or ambulance to the Third Division.”

“We appreciate it, Sir.” James takes Sam’s hand, and they take a step down the trench.

Lieutenant Girard calls after them, “Let the Colonel at third know we could use some reinforcements here.” James waves his understanding. Sam pulls him to a stop in front of the red-cross tent. The whole trench shakes with the continued blasting of the artillery. James and Sam hang on to each other to keep from falling. Once the guns fall silent, they duck their heads and go inside. Again, they must let their eyes get used to the dim light. Once accustomed, James can see what looks like a clinic. Against the sandbagged walls stand wooden shelves with medicines and bandages, which look like they’ve been tossed. A few odd instruments lie among the

dressings as well.

“Can I help you?” The voice comes out of nowhere, causing Sam and James to jump. Sam holds on to James and answers, “We need a ride to the Third Division.”

A tall sergeant comes out of the back. “On whose say-so?”

Sam says, “Lieutenant Girard.”

“Yeah, okay. We’re loading one now. You particular about riding with dead people?”

Sam makes a face. “Not my favorite thing, but if that’s all you have.”

The sergeant waves a clipboard. “I think that’ll be it for today.”

James raises his hand. “We’ll take the lift.”


A Link to the Trailer




Buy Links

The Last Drive is available in paper and Kindle editions on Amazon. Here are the universal links. The Kindle edition is on sale for 99¢ through mid-February.








Author Bio


John is an award-winning author who after an extensive business career began writing full-time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written six other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.


Author links

Blog Fiction Favorites,

Facebook –

Twitter –

Goodreads –

Amazon Author’s page –

BookBub –

Eternal Road Buy links

Kindle Universal link

Paper universal link

RIP Poppa


Two weeks after Thanksgiving, my Poppa began the fight of his life. That fight ended today. What started with heart issues causing him to pass out, resulting in mad ambulance rides to the hospital, ended with hearing the words “metastatic cancer” and “all we can do is make him comfortable”.

Kenneth Ryeson Parent’s earthly departure marks the end of an era. All of his 12 siblings passed before him. It’s surreal to think that finally all of the siblings will be together as several of his brothers and sisters passed before he was even born.

We learned the sound of his voice because he read to us from cradle to college. We learned to appreciate music because he shared his love of classic jazz and classical music with us from birth and beyond. We learned the value of hard work watching him work as many as 3 jobs at a time to ensure he could take care of his family. We learned that we needed to be responsible for our own happiness by his example of pursuing his own. We learned the true meaning of love from a man who had to figure it out on his own.

This is an album from his massive jazz record collection. Whenever Stan Kenton and his orchestra came to the Detroit area, he had a front-row seat, and one of us kids next to him.  He also saw Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, and Count Basie as often as possible. When I was a little girl, he walked up to Count Basie after a performance at the Michigan State Fair and proudly said, “Count, this is my daughter Annette. Annette, this is the Count!”

He made sure we had library cards, encyclopedias, and storybooks. Sunday nights he sat with us watching Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. Summer meant day trips to the lake or the zoo. Any time of year was the right time to go to the park to feed the ducks or go skating.

 I feel as though I am rambling but I want everyone to know this special man the way my siblings and I do, for now, this is the only way that can be possible.

How did you know how to

Be a dad to us kids

When your dad never did

Perhaps it was

That you were just doing

What you wished had been done

Between father and son

As best you could

In our hearts, memories

Of times filled with laughter

And here, ever after

The love you shared

©2023 Annette Rochelle Aben


Annette Rochelle Aben







Fairies Myths & Magic II

Thank you, Annette, for the opportunity to share the news of my new book, just in time for the winter solstice and Yule.

All comments on this blog post will be in the running for a $15 Amazon Gift Certificate compliments of Colleen Chesebro!

Annette and I met on the blogs many years ago, and we both live in Michigan. Of course, we bonded over syllabic poetry. But we also share a love for freestyle poetry. One thing I like to do with my poetry is to work between the realms—a bit of magical realism always brightens a day.

Here in Michigan, we’re surrounded by water. Lake Michigan to our west, Lake Superior to our north, and Lake Huron to our east, while Lake Erie borders our far southern edge.

In this book, I wrote some poetry with Lake Michigan as the location. I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. But now, Michigan is my home. I wanted to bring in a sense of where I came from to this collection.

Besides, it’s true… fairies wander there.

Fairies Wander There

When ancient winter winds spirits prevail,

cold moonlight shakes across the lake

as whirlwind waves grow in scale,

shore birds rustle in deep sanctuary.


Between sand and shore, grass, and bough

star-shine dapples the watery strand

where sand dunes build castles in the air,

and sea grasses sing ballads to mussels in their lair.


Breathe in this pure-frost Lake Michigan air

for fairies wander there.

© Colleen M. Chesebro

About the Book:

In this second book in the Fairies, Myths, & Magic series, step into a world where dark fairies, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by winter and the celebration of the winter solstice.

From Autumn’s scary fairies to the forgotten female characters of Yule, prepare to embrace the magical winter solstice myths from around the world. Meet Frau Holle in the Wild Hunt, Befana—the Christmas Witch of Italy, and the Japanese goddess Ameratasu who controls the springtime. Prepare to embrace the Scottish trows, The Irish Goddess of Winter—the Cailleach Béara, and Snegurochka—the Snow Girl.

Learn how to make Yuletide rituals part of your celebration by embracing the symbols of Yule by decorating with evergreens and crystals.

Fairies, Myths, & Magic II Links:

 Colleen’s Amazon Author Page:

Amazon Universal Link:

About the Author:

An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction.

In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on Word Craft by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry.

 Chesebro is an assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch.

In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books.

Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.

Find Colleen here:

Word Craft Poetry:

Colleen M. Chesebro, Author, Poet & Unicorn Cats Publishing Services:

Facebook Page: Colleen M. Chesebro, Poet & Author:


Saddled Hearts

Welcome, cowboys and cowgirls! Today, I have the honor of holding space for the award-winning author, Jan Sikes! 

Be sure to enter the SCAVENGER HUNT (details below) offering a $25 Amazon Gift Card as First Prize and a free eBook for the second prize. 

I am so super excited to be here with you today, Annette! I was thrilled when you raised your hand to host me on the Saddled Hearts blog tour. Your support is deeply appreciated.  


On this stop, I want to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart, and that is songwriting. Long before I ever tackled writing a book, I wrote songs and was lucky enough to record some of them. So, because my character, Colt Layne, has a band, I also wanted him to have the sensitivity required to write songs. It’s always fun imagining what a character might write. Song lyrics are poems put to music. I also patterned him a little after my late husband where the whiskey is concerned. Let’s take a look.


Once inside the house, he poured two fingers of whiskey over ice before grabbing his guitar. The idea for a new song had been rolling around in his head since his visit with Sage.

Keys open locks. Keys solve mysteries. Keys write songs—albeit a different kind of keys.

He strummed a sequence of chords, stopping to sip the whiskey now and then. Finally, he reached for a tablet and pencil and wrote.

If I could hold the key to unlock all the mysteries on earth, the only key I’d want would be the one that could unlock your heart

By the time he finished the whiskey, he had a song. He played it through a couple of times, stopping to make a change here and there.


“I’ve got a special song I wrote that I want to do for you. You’ll know it when you hear it.”

“Thank you,” she whispered.

“For what?”

“For helping me to live again.”

“My pleasure, beautiful.”

With her heart in her throat, she glanced back at the tall cowboy who made it so easy to forget all her inhibitions, insecurities, and the vow she’d made to be alone―to need no one.

He strummed a quiet floating waltz. “This is a new one I wrote the other day. We go from E minor to C back to A. Follow my lead.”

As he crooned the lyrics, his eyes locked with hers, and it seemed they were alone in the room. “I’ve been a rodeo cowboy, a man with no home. I traveled many highways to wake up alone. But you came along and made me forget all the heartaches, broken promises, and all my regrets…”

It was the song he said was for her―that she’d recognize.


Rick always said a poem is a song. He wrote an entire book of poetry but often said if only one was turned into a song, it would bring a bigger return than the whole book. And he wasn’t wrong. I know Annette is an accomplished poet, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to learn she’s turned more than one into a song. What about you? Have you ever heard a melody when writing a poem? Or have you read a poem that you could hear a melody along with the words? Let’s talk!


Colt Layne owns the Layne Horse Sanctuary. He lives an idyllic life between caring for the animals and playing music with his band. That is until a stranger appears with unreasonable demands. When someone murders the man, Colt is arrested. He’s been framed, but by whom and why?

He needs to talk with his deceased grandfather. But that’s impossible. Or is it?

Sage Coventry is gifted with the ability to communicate with the deceased. Skeptical but desperate, when Colt consults with her, he gets more than messages from beyond the grave as she breezes into his heart with sweet patchouli fragrance and tempting lips he longs to kiss.

The race against time to clear his name and save the ranch launches them on a mission that brings shocking revelations.















Haunted Halloween Holiday

Haunted Halloween Holiday

by Robbie and Michael Cheadle.


For a chance to win one of three US$10 Amazon vouchers or one of three paperback copies of Haunted Halloween Holiday just leave a comment to show you were here.

Follow the tour and comment at each stop for more chances to win.

The prizes will be given away in a random drawing.

Robbie was kind enough to answer a couple of questions!

What 2 writers, living or dead, would you like to spend the day with and why?

Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton is the children’s author who impacted my life the most. As a girl and young teen, I read many of her 762 books for children. I started reading young and the books I loved were Noddy and his adventures in Toyland, The Enchanted Wood series, the Adventures of the Wishing Chair series, and the Mr. Pink Whistle series. My imagination was fired by these adventures involving pixies, brownies, fairies, and other magical creatures, both good and bad.

As I grew older, I progressed to her Famous Five, Five Find-Outers, Malory Towers, St Clare’s, and other series for older children and I loved them all. Enid Blyton was a major contributor to my love of reading. The details and storyline of one of her books, The Land of Far Beyond, remained with me for years after I read it as a youngster. I used my memories of the storyline, namely, the burdens carried by the children, to track down this book and I now have a hardcover version in my library.

I have read that Enid was not a particularly nice person and she is reputed to have treated her first husband, Major Hugh Alexander Pollack, badly after they divorced.

Helen Bonham Carter who played the title role in the 2009 BBC production about Enid Blyton’s life, called Enid, described her as “a complete workaholic, an achievement junkie, and an extremely canny businesswoman” who “knew how to brand herself, right down to the famous signature.”

Her daughter, Imogen, went a step further and described her mother as “arrogant, insecure, pretentious, very skilled at putting difficult or unpleasant things out of her mind, and without a trace of maternal instinct. As a child, I viewed her as a rather strict authority. As an adult I pitied her.”

All the above, being said, it would be fascinating to spend a day with Enid and see for myself what she was like as a person. To write 762 books is an unbelievable tribute to creativity, self-discipline, and obsession.

L.M. Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote two series of books I loved as a girl: Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon. Emily was the inspiration for me to try my hand at writing descriptive prose and poetry, so these books influenced me heavily.

It is sad to know that despite bringing so much joy to readers, Lucy suffered from depression most of her life and was unhappy in her marriage to Presbyterian Minister, Ewan McDonald.

The man Lucy loved, Herman Leard, was not considered by her family to be good enough for her. She broke off her relationship with him as a result. He died a short while afterward of flu and she never recovered.

Her death was controversial and could possibly have been suicide resulting from a drug overdose.

I would like to spend time with Lucy and understand how she overcame her own sadness and depression by escaping into the writing of her novels. Despite confessing to ‘only writing to make a living from it’, Lucy was an incredibly talented writer so it must have been more than just money that inspired and motivated her.

Is there a genre of writing that you would like to try but haven’t as of yet?

To date, I have written eight children’s picture books, two books for children aged 5 to 9, and a book for older teens. I have two published poetry books and two novels, one of which is for young adults, and one is an adult novel. I also have short stories published in eighteen anthologies.

My children’s books are mainly fantasy although Silly Willy is semi-autobiographical and While the Bombs Fell is a fictionalized memoir of my mother’s life as a young girl growing up on a farm in England during WWII. My novels and adult short stories are generally historical or paranormal or a mixture of both.

My current WIP, The Soldier, and the Radium Girl started life as a paranormal novella and has evolved into a historical novel with no paranormal element, so that is a change for me. I don’t envisage myself straying far from my favorite genres to write, namely, historical, paranormal, and dystopian, but one never knows in life. I didn’t think I would ever write romance, but there is a hint of romance in Through the Nethergate, and The Soldier and the Radium Girl has a strong romantic theme.

Thank you, Annette, for the great questions and for hosting my book tour today.  (you are most welcome, Robbie!)

About Haunted Halloween Holiday


Count Sugular is delighted when the Sugarpop Bats invites his family to a Halloween party at the Haunted House. He and his wife, Witch Honey, decide to hire a caravan and enjoy a weekend away with their family.

Includes some fun limericks to introduce the various characters.

You can find the book trailer here:

Purchase links

TSL Publications:

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with eleven children’s books and two poetry books.

The eight Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions that children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie and Michael have also written Haunted Halloween Holiday, a delightful fantasy story for children aged 5 to 9. Count Sugular and his family hire a caravan to attend a Halloween party at the Haunted House in Ghost Valley. This story is beautifully illustrated with Robbie’s fondant and cake art creations.

Robbie has published two books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has two adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories, in the horror and paranormal genre, and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie Cheadle contributes two monthly posts to, namely, Growing Bookworms, a series providing advice to caregivers on how to encourage children to read and write, and Treasuring Poetry, a series aimed at introducing poetry lovers to new poets and poetry books.

In addition, Roberta Eaton Cheadle contributes one monthly post to called Dark Origins: African Myths and Legends which shares information about the cultures, myths, and legends of the indigenous people of southern Africa.

Robbie has a blog, where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Find Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle Amazon Author Page:

Robbie Cheadle Goodreads Author Page:

TSL Publications Robbie Cheadle Author Page:





 Writing to be Read:


 The Many Showers of Blessings

 Patty’s World:

Carla Loves to Read

Zigler’s News:

 Annette Rochelle Aben