LOOKING FOR ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: The Story of L.M. Montgomery and Her Literary Classic by Irene Gammel. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 2008.

I loved ANNE OF GREEN GABLES as a kid, and was delighted to receive it in hardcover, along with its sequels, over a period of years. I found copies of the EMILY books, PAT OF SILVER BUSH, etc. in thrift shops, and gobbled them up, too. Yes, as I grew older, I recognized the idealistic/unrealistic environment of the books. I alternated between getting irritated by it and feeling comforted by it.

A few years ago, I added copies of L.M. Montgomery’s journals to my personal library of journals and letters. Five volumes of “Selected Journals”, edited by Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston, ordered out of Canada, and AFTER GREEN GABLES: L.M. Montgomery’s Letters to Ephraim Weber, 1916-1941 (which Strand Books tracked down to me). One of the things that surprised and saddened me was how unhappy Montgomery was in her diaries. What gets frustrating is her refusal to change what makes her unhappy. In 2008, the family’s revelation, via CBC that Montgomery committed suicide (link to article here) was another sad revelation. Gammel discusses this revelation in her review of Rubio’s biography of Montgomery that released in 2008 (link to review here).

On the one hand, it makes sense to whine in a diary. The diary is a place to deposit what stifles one’s soul, so that one can move on and make better choices. But in volume after volume, there isn’t an indication of making better choices — there’s a continued cycle of unhappiness and nasty comments about those around her. Since these are “Selected” journals, one has to wonder why these particular passages were selected — were they the most upbeat of the content? If not, why not choose a wider range of emotions? Choices?

Gammel’s book is much more upbeat. She doesn’t deny Montgomery’s sharp tongue or unhappiness, but she also reveals, through letters and journal entries marked as “unpublished” a much livelier, funnier, intelligent woman. Montgomery was determined to create her an identity for herself — ANNE allowed her to do it, although later in life than she would have liked. When Montgomery finally managed to travel to places like Boston, she was able to partake in intellectual and cultural events she dreamed of up in Prince Edward Island. The reader gets to see Maud taking and receiving pleasure from the reception of her work.

The chapter detailing the evolution and social context of “orphan fiction” is especially interesting. It traces inspirations for Anne and how other orphan girls named “Ann” set the stage for the beloved Anne Shirley, and places Anne in context with other popular characters of the time such as Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, the Pollyanna franchise, and Little Orphan Annie.

I consider setting as an additional character in well-written stories — if I read another Ye Olde Generic Scotland in a novel by someone who’s never visited Scotland or bothered to research properly, I am going to HURL — so Gammel’s exploration of the power of place and nature, and which settings inspired important locations in the book resonated strongly. Places such as Lover’s Lane, The White Way of Delight, the Lake of Shining Waters — all bring back fond memories both of the book itself AND memories connected with the experience of reading the books. That, I think, is one reason the books keep resonating, and people smile when they remember reading them.

The book is lively, well-written, thoughtful, and a good counterpoint to the sadder published journals. If you’re in the area, come by Marstons Mills Library yourself to check it out (and find other jewels in our collection), or order it via CLAMS network. I intend to track down and purchase a copy for my personal library, in addition to recommending it to library patrons whenever appropriate.



“Lake Justice”, my ghost story, released on April 27, 2014, courtesy of Amber Quill Press. It’s only a buck, and you can buy it here.

I thought readers might enjoy some background on the piece:

Can a witch chaperoning her godson’s camping trip lay to rest the ghosts of murdered women? Or will Lake Justice take its own revenge?

When Bronwyn Rowan, a practicing witch, gets talked into chaperoning her godson’s trip to Lake Justice, she doesn’t expect to find some of his classmates have untapped paranormal talent, or that they’ll need to use it to thwart a serial killer and lay to rest the ghosts of the killer’s previous victims.

A Q&A With Devon Ellington

Question: What was the inspiration for this piece?
Devon Ellington:
Photographs I took up in Maine, visiting family. They’re just north of Portland. It’s really spooky woods. Some days you can watch the fog roll down the street. One can see why so many horror writers originate in Maine! The forests have genuine personalities. There’s a sense if you intrude, there are consequences. I love old-fashioned ghost stories, and I wanted to combine that sense of the eerie lake in the woods with a ghost story. The characters of Bronwyn and her godson started talking, and I decided to follow them, at least in the first draft, to see what happened.

Question: Did the piece go through many drafts?
Oh, yes. All my pieces do. “Editing” and “revising” mean more than running it through spell-check. I tore it apart and put it back together many times. I tried a few different antagonists, but the character who wound up as the primary antagonist in the piece was the most insistent, and, ultimately, the strongest choice.

Question: You make it sound like the characters are separate from you. Aren’t you, as the writer, playing God?
I am and I’m not. Yes, ultimately, it all comes out of me, but from different parts. Our subconscious knows far more than our conscious minds about what works, what has integrity in a piece, and what doesn’t. The characters are created out of the subconscious and evolve, feeling like independent entities, but always tied to that core integrity. In early drafts, especially, I follow the characters and see where they lead me. As I revise, I layer in structure and deeper sensory detail, so that the craft supports the story and characters. But I usually start from character, try a few “what ifs?” and go from there.

Question: You don’t believe in breaking structural rules?
I believe in breaking them if the writer has strong enough craft to break the rules while still remaining true to the characters and the genre. Outstanding authors are also outstanding craftspeople. They understand the craft of writing. When they break the rules, it is a choice, not an ego moment or out of carelessness. It works because it is a choice made out of deeply knowing and being rooted in craft. As a reader, it’s painfully obvious when a writer “breaks the rules” out of either ego or being too lazy to learn craft. Those aren’t writers I continue reading!

I don’t mean to sound perfect, because I’m not. I rely on my editors when I go off the rails. I like and need to try new things. Not everything works. But I try to learn from every piece, from every note an editor gives me, and apply it moving forward.

If you look at each note as only pertaining to the words on which it was noted, you cheat yourself, and, ultimately, you’re wasting your editor’s time. Learn, understand, apply.

<strong?Question: What happens next between Bronwyn and Kyle? Will we see more? Will Bronwyn train the kids in their talents?
DE: The story was written as a stand-alone, but if readers want to see more with these characters, I’m open to it. Definitely give me a shout, and I’ll see what they do next!

Excerpt from “Lake Justice”:

“You’re kidding, right?” I stared at my godson, careful to make sure my bottom jaw didn’t dangle down to the floor. “Do you have any idea how inappropriate I am as a chaperone for a bunch of kids? In addition to the whole Wiccan thing, which will probably cause some of the parents to picket your school.”

“Okay, first of all, you’re way cooler than most of the parents, even when you kick kid ass for breaking rules,” my twelve-year-old godson Jamie tossed a lock of dark brown hair that tended to obscure his view of the world as he listed his arguments on his fingers. “You treat us like people, not like action figures or small morons. Second, my school’s full of parents with alternative lifestyles, everything from Santeria to same sex parents to Quakers to that family that thinks they’re descended from aliens. That’s why Mom moved us up here and not somewhere like — well, whatever area I list is going to be insulting. No one’s gonna care you dance naked around a bonfire once a month.”

“Hey! That’s only a couple of times a year.” I couldn’t help smiling at him. “And how did you know that?”

“I heard Mom grilling you about it one day. Yeah, I eavesdropped. Deal.” He tossed his hair back and continued. “Third, It’s a small group of the really smart kids in the school, and you’re the one who convinced Mom to let me be part of it, even though most of them are older. Fourth, we’re going camping on a lake–”

“I don’t camp.”

“But you’re really into nature!”

“Yeah, when I can hike during the day and enjoy it from the porch of the inn, with a dry vodka martini in my hand. I don’t think that’ll go over so well.”

“It’s for one weekend. You can be in a tent for one weekend. It’s up on Lake Justice, it’s really pretty up there–”

“It’s autumn. It’ll be really cold up there.”

Available from Amber Quill Press here.

BEG, BORROW, STEAL: A Writer’s Life by Michael Greenberg. New York: Other Press. 2009.

As I’m getting to know the stacks of the Marstons Mills Library here on Cape Cod, I’m picking up random titles that catch my eye and writing about them. This one is a memoir by writer Michael Greenberg, a New York writer. Since our time in New York overlapped somewhat, I felt guilty about not knowing him or his writing while I lived there.

The book is a series of chapters as memories — some are of his childhood, some are of incidents in contemporary time that spark trains of thoughts or send him on adventures, such as riding a subway on Christmas with a friend who got a job as a motorman or investigating Hart’s Island (aka Potter’s Field). There are very few chapters actually about writing — although one, about adventures as a for-hire writer, is hilarious and very telling to any of us who job out. Many of the chapters seem to be about NOT writing, doing other things.

But, really, isn’t that the “life” part of a writer’s life? Something catches your attention, your interest, you decide to follow it, and you find someone to pay you to write about it. A writer gets to live many lives, sometimes more than an actor. Actors often have to wait to be cast — a writer gets to write his own reality.

The writing is thoughtful, funny, and makes one think about all those places and people one passes every day, living in New York, without giving them a second thought.

If you’re in the Barnstable area, you can stop by Marstons Mills Library and check it out — who knows what else you’ll find in the stacks? The library’s jewel is its theatre collection. If you’re in CLAMS network — order it. If you’re far from the Cape — contact your local independent bookstore and order it!

Strand Books, New York City
by Devon Ellington

I considered calling this “Ode to Strand Books”. It would be appropriate to pen a sonnet singing this store’s praises, but since I can’t write sonnets, I’m writing an essay instead.

If you’re ever in New York, there’s an independent bookstore you MUST visit — Strand Books, at 828 Broadway, on the corner of Broadway and 12th Street. It is a bibliophile’s heaven, originally opened in 1927 on Fourth Avenue, part of the wonderful Book Row (that no longer exists, unfortunately).

Strand is now run by the granddaughter of the original owner, and has over 2.5 million books between its location on Broadway and 12th, and the kiosk near Central Park, at 5th Avenue and 60th Street. They also do business via their website — thank goodness, since I no longer live in New York. They sell both new and used books, handle some wonderful rare books, and hold an exciting calendar of events.

I became a customer of Strand’s back in 1981, when I first started attending NYU. It was like walking into paradise, a feeling I still get every time I walk into the store. The smell of the books, the sheer quantity of shelving and contents. I might walk in there thinking I know what I want, but I leave carrying treasures I didn’t know I needed.

The further I grew in my writing career, the more I needed Strand, especially for research. They could help me find essays, printed diaries, information on steam trains or costume or anything I needed. I could dig into the archives at libraries, historical societies, and special collections, and the Strand would help me hunt down books I needed to own during the writing of a particular piece. Those books then went into my personal research library, and I find myself turning to them time and time again. Sometimes they’ll even come up with something not on my list, but that pertains to a project and ask me if I want it (the answer is usually yes).

The staff both loves books and is knowledgeable about them. They’re happy to help you hunt for something, but equally happy to let you browse the tall shelves — for hours. I went through a period where I could only order by mail, because if I actually walked through the doors — well, let’s just say they had to help me carry the bags of books out the door and load them into the cab with me!

Now that I live on Cape Cod, I still turn to them first when I’m hunting down research books for the myriad of projects I work on. Yes, I frequent the Cape’s many independent book stores (you’ll be meeting some of them on this blog in the coming months). But I also count on Strand. Even when I’m not sure exactly what I’m looking for, or if I’ve forgotten a title or an author, they can interpret vague ramblings and find what I need. Their shipping costs are reasonable, and they are efficient — as well as being friendly and helpful.

They are everything that is best about a traditional book store, while embracing technological needs.

In MY book, Strand Books equals perfection.

First and Last Books of the Year
by Devon Ellington

I always make a big deal about the first and last book of every year. I started doing this in my teens — I’m not really sure why. Choosing whatever book I wanted as the last book of a year, and choosing the first book to read in a new year feels meaningful to me.

Often, I will note on the flyleaf, where I write my name and the year I bought/read the book, if it is “the” book for December 31 or January 1.

The year I lived in Seattle, where I was so unhappy, I chose the “last” book of the year that still has significance in my life: Gail Fairfield’s CHOICE CENTERED TAROT. It’s one of the best tarot books out there (along with Janina Renee’s EVERY DAY TAROT and Rachel Pollock’s books on the Major and Minor Arcanas). That book not only had significance in the way I ended/started my year, but in the direction my life would take from that unhappiness.

I was wandering around Pike Place Market on New Year’s Eve, trying to talk myself out of being entirely miserable and hopeless. I don’t remember the name of the store in which I found it, but I remember seeing the title and the cover and feeling the significance: I wanted more choices. That particular book was a catalyst for me.

Both the last book of 2013 and the first book of 2014 were fiction, and both were gifts from a friend. The last book I read in 2013 was Val McDermid’s CROSS AND BURN, a breath-taking crime novel that doesn’t let any of the characters off the hook easily. My first book of 2014 was Robert Galbraith’s THE CUCKOO’S CALLING, another crime novel, and another one I enjoyed very much. (Of course, we now know that Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for JK Rowling, giving her the freedom to try something new — it worked).

My second-to-last novel was Kim Edwards’s THE LAKE OF DREAMS — very different from the above, and quite lovely. She’s best-known for THE MEMORY KEEPER’S DAUGHTER, which I have not yet read, but now intend so to do. She doesn’t follow formula; she follows the growth of her characters. It was interesting to read this, as a writer, and see how being a literary fiction writer instead of a genre writer gave her a freedom with the organic character development she would not have otherwise had. Her protagonist, in particular, would have been forced into different choices by the genre if she’d been limited by genre. It showed the best of the freedom of the possibilities of literary fiction, without any of the pretensions.

I also started reading, on the first of January, ADAM BEDE, by George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans). A Victorian novelist who broke convention by living with her lover, this book is set in the late 1700s. I’d decided that I wanted to re-read Eliot over the winter, and catch up on the novels of hers I hadn’t previously read — I’ve only read THE MILL ON THE FLOSS and MIDDLEMARCH. So I read a biography of Eliot, and now I’m starting to read her novels in the order written. I’m fortunate because my grandmother gave me a complete set of Eliot novels published in 1887. I am turning the pages carefully, reading them slowly, savoring them.

A few paragraphs in the Eliot novel set me on a research course for what I think will be a new play. It’s amazing how the smallest anecdote can set off a spark of creativity.

First and last — significant, tone-setters for the year, even if we don’t see the patterns for awhile.

What was your final book of 2013? What will be your first book of 2014?


The fabulous writing team of Killion Slade joins us, with the release of their new book, the first of a horror trilogy. They were kind enough to spend some time with us.

Devon Ellington: What was the inspiration for this trilogy?
Killion Slade: The 2012 impeding apocalypse that did not happen. While living in Montana and being secluded from many people, it tends to make you think about the “what ifs” in our man- made society. In learning how to become more self-sufficient, we began to incorporate that into our storyline more and more. Overall, the vampire apocalyptic event and the struggle for humanity is what drove the inspiration for this series.

DE: How did you decide it was a trilogy, and not just a single book?
KS: After we outlined the entire story, we realized there was way too much to cram into one book. When we rewrote the outlines to fit screenplay beats, the series had to expand into four books. In this way too fast world of instant gratification, we wanted to slow down the stories just a smidge, so we could enjoy the character development arcs and allow their personalities to truly shine.

DE: What frightens you the most?
KS: Spiders! No seriously, I won’t speak those words aloud they frighten me so much. I don’t wish to give any energy to my fears. We do however, ask this question of our characters as they are faced with each of their own. Much of the premise is based on the real fears of people and will continue to be a theme throughout much of the series. We address very difficult fears such as kidnapping, rape, loss of a loved one, and losing your mind.

DE: Which character’s voice came to you most easily?
KS: Our heroine, Cheyenne O’Cuinn came extremely easy to us. She’s quirky, she’s smart, and she’s a lot of fun.

DE Which character was the most difficult to develop?
KS: One of our dragons, Torchy Gravenor. He is a Welsh dragon with a Scottish accent. Finding the cadence and just enough vernacular to get his voice to come through was a challenge, but we love him.

DE: Will you tell us a bit about how you work together as a team?
KS: Working as a team is very rewarding, and it has its challenges. We get an opportunity to talk about people who don’t exist and bring them to life. It’s exciting to hear how people care about our characters. I once had a reader explain to me how she was so concerned for both Roxas and Cheyenne [our H&H], that she had done her entire Saturday’s grocery shopping feeling worried about them until she could get back to the story. That to me was a fantastic compliment and a testament to how well try to craft the characters together.

As far as our challenges, we find that most of that is worked out in the outline process when we are brainstorming. Sometimes, while editing the battle is on, but those are silly, niggily things that we put aside quickly. It’s more important to us to work together as a cohesive team than to get stuck on a pride issue. We will finally ask the character how they would handle it and it usually isn’t long before they reveal the answer. It’s usually while I’m in the shower. So it becomes a moot point. ☺

DE: How do you split up writing tasks?
KS: We don’t really split up tasks. We discuss each scene before it is written. What are the objectives of the scene? What is the GMC for each person in the scene? Then we outline it together. With that kind of roadmap, it is easy to allow the words to flow out through my fingers.

DE: Do you switch off chapters?
KS: We used to switch up chapters, but for this book, we stayed consistent with the planning and the writing. In the third book, we have a subplot that is primarily written from his style. Often times Mr. Slade will write a draft of what he is trying to convey and then from there, we modify as needed.

DE: Are you ever each responsible for writing from one particular POV or the other?
KS: We might plan on doing that in a different series, but for Exsanguinate, we’ll most likely stay the on the present course.

DE: How do you split up research?
KS: We each take sections that intrigue us. We’ll take the deep dive down the rabbit hole and show the other what we found. We always want our stories to be a lot of fun, so we go where it’s good for both of us.

DE: Do you know what you want to work on once this trilogy is complete?
KS: The screenplays for the World of Blood series. Actually we have a couple of ideas that have been mulling around in our heads. We are torn between an alternate reality government conspiracy and a high fantasy science fiction. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Thank you very much for having us today as your guests. It is always a wonderful pleasure to work with you. ☺


A Halloween scream night theme park adventure for software gaming developer Cheyenne O’Cuinn reveals a hidden supernatural reality she never dreamed existed. Recovering from a vicious attack and her sisters’ abductions, Cheyenne must rescue her sisters from vampiric kidnappers before they’re used to breed warmongering dhampirs.

Betrayal lurks in every corner. Cheyenne must evade attackers by unconventional means through her online role-play game. She must navigate through virtual, tortuous clues and mailed body parts, which cross over from her virtuality into reality. Can a team of dragons, vampires, and werewolves come together to help her? Who can she trust? Will the help from her virtual lover become compromised when he learns of her new immortal existence and crush the fragile love they share?

Amidst an impending vampire apocalypse, Cheyenne finds herself both in conflict for survival and for her heart. Will her immortal self derail any hope of solving the multiplying puzzles before time runs out to save her sisters, herself and her humanity?

Official Book – Interactive Second Screen Website: http://www.worldofblood.com/
Official Author Website: http://www.killionslade.com/
Publisher: Draconian Publishing – Spirit Imprint
US Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Exsanguinate-Vampire-Urban-Fantasy-Series-ebook/dp/B00H6WI71Y/
Print book will be available on December 20th at Amazon.
Video Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAZPxbWyJoA


About the Author

Killion Slade is a married writing team who met in the virtual realms of Second Life and virtually enjoy everything. Members of the Horror Writers Association and the Paranormal Romance Guild, they storyboard their characters inside Second Life as their avatars reveal their stories. Tucked away in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Northern Montana, they stay busy chasing kids, corralling horses and cats, and enjoying the harvest from their garden. Married on Halloween – they love to live life to the fullest and embrace one another each and every day.

Killion Slade can be reached at the following:
Email: Killion@killionslade.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/killion.slade
Website: http://www.killionslade.com/contact/

KV mod cvr Let’s give today’s guest, Chelle Cordero, a warm welcome, for her new release, KARMA VISITED.

She was kind enough to spend some time with us, talking about the book and the process.

Devon Ellington:  What sparked the inspiration for this novel?

Chelle Cordero:As a child I had nightmares that often had similarities to actual news events – I had no way of knowing how true they were, but some of the dreams really haunted me. One such dream was actually the babysitter in the burning house. I wondered what it would have been like to control some of these “visits” and actually be able to help people.

DE:  Is it a stand-alone, or does it build on any of your previous novels?

CC:Karma Visited is stand alone, I’ve never used any of the characters in any of my other books and at this time I have no plans to build on this in future books.

DE:  What kind of research did you do into police procedure, home invasion, homicide investigation, and dream work?  Did you use sources who answered questions previously?

CC:I did a lot of online research regarding the types of law enforcement, gun laws and even social events in the area where I placed my story. Some of the “facts” came from my own experiences – I live in a small town and have been to many town meetings, I spent several years in the NYC Auxiliary Police and witnessed police procedure and I have many friends in law enforcement and emergency services today. And as I said above, I used to have dreams myself and have always read up on what they meant.

DE:  Do you read in the same genre you’re writing in while you’re deep in a book?

CC: I always read every genre I can get my hands on although I do have my preferences. The fact is that I believe a writer has to be open to all forms of reads in order to understand the craft. I really don’t think that a writer has the right to say “Oh, I never read ____”

DE:  What’s your writing schedule like?

CC: I am a full time writer since I also work as a freelance journalist and prepare many articles for several magazines. I try very hard to get my deadline work done first but sometimes an idea hits me and I just have to get it down on paper. Since I work from a home office most times it’s easy to spend a night writing instead of sleeping.

DE:  What do you do to clear your head?

Read, listen to music and change writing topics. Because I work on so many writing projects at once I feel like I never suffer writer’s block, I just change the subject I am writing about and keep the words flowing. The idea is to just keep writing and keep creating. I love the computer phrase “garbage in, garbage out” and when I really feel stuck I read as if I were starving – words in, words out.

Chelle’s Bio
Chelle Cordero writes stories of Passion and Suspense. Vanilla Heart Publishing has published nine Cordero novels: Bartlett’s Rule; His Lucky Charm; Within the Law; Courage of the Heart; Final Sin; Hostage Heart; A Chaunce of Riches; Common Bond, Tangled Hearts; and Hyphema. VHP just published The Many Faces of Chelle Cordero, featuring several short stories which attest to Chelle’s unique range of writing abilities. She is currently working on her tenth novel and promises another action packed adventure and heartwarming love story. Chelle has been writing both fiction and non-fiction for the bulk of her adult life and has been with Vanilla Heart Publishing since early 2008.

Her books have earned many plaudits which include: Bartlett’s Rule was named one of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Top Ten Reads for 2009; Final Sin was an Honorable Mention in the Fiction Category of the 2010 NY Book Festival and a 2009 Pushcart Prize nominee.; Hyphema won the Dec 9, 2011 Friday Book Cover Vote on the Shades of Love website; A Chaunce of Riches was Winner of D. Renee Bagby’s readers’ choice for The Best Overall First Chapter, April 2010; and Hostage Heart, Final Sin and A Chaunce of Riches had top ten finishes in the 2009 Preditors’ and Readers’ poll. Chelle was also featured in “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” published by The Author’s Show in 2010.

Chelle Cordero maintains an author’s blog at http://chellecordero.blogspot.com/, a promotional blog at http://ccepotourri.wordpress.com/, and offers a weekly writing workshop for Kindle Blog subscribers at http://bit.ly/pILcG. Her website http://ChelleCordero.com offers information on all of her books and her appearances. Bloggers and the media are welcome to visit Chelle’s media room at http://chellecordero.com/media/ with downloadable photos and other information.

Chelle lives in the northeast with her husband, Mark, and family. They have two adult offspring. Jenni (& Jason) and Marc (& Trish); they also live with three mischievous and spoiled pussycats, one of whom has taken up permanent residence on Chelle’s desk. Chelle is a full-time freelance journalist for multiple publications; her articles appear regularly throughout North America and she writes a monthly column on NYS Emergency Medical Services issues as a NYS Emergency Medical Technician (First Responder News).

Excerpt from Karma Visited:

Tears streaked down her cheeks and left lines on her soot stained cheeks. I rested my hand on hers and hoped she felt at least a little bit of comfort. The children were safe, she made sure of that. I let her know I admired her bravery. She appreciated the compliment, for just a moment, and then fear grabbed her again.

She stood again and tried to shake the bars free from the window. Safety bars. Those bars were meant to keep evil out and now all they did was trap her in. Luckily the little ones could squeeze between the wrought iron rods and she dropped them to horrified bystanders on the street. She understood that there was no way she could escape, but she was determined to save the children.

One by one she made sure that her charges would be alright, they were safe. And now it was time for her to die, but now the fear of how she would suffer terrified her.

Coughs seized her body as she sank back down to the floor and cried some more. Flames were licking the walls. There wasn’t much time left. We were both scared, but I knew I had no reason to fear for myself.

We could hear the sirens of the approaching fire trucks, but there wasn’t time. Her eyes were haunted as she looked at me and I prayed that the smoke would claim her before the flames. My prayers were answered. I sat still and stroked her limp hand and felt so sad that the girl’s last minutes were filled with terror.

As the burning ceiling above us sent flaming stalactites raining down, I knew she was at peace.

Blurb from Karma Visited:
Do you believe in karma? Annie Furman has a gift that allows her, while she sleeps, to visit people in their time of need – but who will be there for her when she needs help? Undersheriff Dave Turner is investigating a series of home invasions and homicides. He has no idea that solving this case will lead him to the woman of his dreams.