Goodbye My Love, Goodbye

 

Attribution: J. R. Cotner

Goodbye My Love, Goodbye by Jack R. Cotner Copyright 2015

Retreating inward from the pain,

I smell the sweetness of her hair

As we move along the path. I strain

Uphill, dragging muddied weight to where

Headstones squat like sacred peaks between

Mowed grass where walked mourning crones.

Stoic statues weathered, weeping, still serene,

Guarding lengthy rows of buried bones.

We halt. Crows pass, loud caws abating.

A portal beyond the pale awaits, silent.

The gaping hole lies open, waiting, waiting

For my dearest here quiet, broken, spent.

Farewell, sweet beauty, unfaithful miss.

I weep. Red lipstick on blue, icy lips

Beckons. Entranced, I take one final kiss

Before tossing splendor into the dark abyss.

Goodbye my love, goodbye.

 

Copyright Trolls: A Reblog from Writer Beware

Copyright J. R. Cotner

Victoria Strauss over at the Writer Beware site has some important information if you use works of art or images not of your own making on your blog or other online presence. From her post:

“Here’s how Wikipedia defines a copyright troll: a copyright troll¬†is a party (person or company) that enforces¬†copyrights¬†it owns for purposes of making money through¬†strategic litigation,¬†in a manner considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic[.]

This kind of copyright troll creates and registers copyright to content that they then make widely available online, to increase the possibility that people will re-post it without permission. Using search technology, they find infringers and use threats of litigation to shake them down for cash settlements.”

Here’s a link to her original article. Good read!¬† When the Copyright Trolls Came for Me – Writer Beware

Stolen Obsession by Marlene M. Bell. A Review.

Amazon’s description of Stolen Obsession by Marlene M. Bell: “People die, but legends live on.

New York antiquities appraiser Annalisse Drury recently lost her best friend to murder. The killer‚Äôs identity may be linked to her friend‚Äôs expensive missing bracelet‚ÄĒa 500-year-old artifact that carries an ancient curse, one that unleashes evil upon any who dare wear the jewelry created for the Persian royal family.

Weeks later, Annalisse sees a matching necklace at a Manhattan gallery opening. She begs the owner to destroy the cursed piece, but her pleas fall on deaf ears‚ÄĒdespite the unnatural death that occurs during the opening. With two victims linked to the jewelry, Annalisse is certain she must act.

Desperate, Annalisse enlists the gallery owner‚Äôs son to help‚ÄĒeven though she‚Äôs afraid he‚Äôll break her heart. Wealthy and devastatingly handsome, with a string of bereft women in his wake, Greek playboy Alec Zavos dismisses Annalisse‚Äôs concerns‚ÄĒuntil his parents are ripped from the Zavos family yacht during their ocean voyage near Crete.

Annalisse and Alec race across two oceans to save his mother, feared dead or kidnapped. When the killer changes tactics and goes after Alec behind Annalisse’s back, can her plan to rescue Alec’s mother save them all?

Hold on for a heart-thumping, thrilling adventure through exotic lands in this fast-moving romantic suspense mystery by Marlene M. Bell.‚ÄĚ

From the book cover: ‚ÄúA prominent Manhattan antiquities appraiser, Annalisse Drury believes the butchery of her college roommate was a targeted hit‚ÄĒnot a mugging. The loss of her closest confidant rips a canyon across her heart and unleased a familiar ache from the past. Detectives have no leads, and Annalisse would do anything to find the killer‚ÄĒeven if it makes her a target‚ĶAt a gallery opening weeks later, Annalisse notices a necklace of horse heads‚ÄĒa relic identical to her roommate‚Äôs stolen bracelet. Convinced the jewelry collection carries hideous evil and must be destroyed, Annalisse enlists the help of Alec Zavos. The gallery owner‚Äôs womanizing son who has his mother‚Äôs ear, but doubts Annalisse‚Äôs concerns. A startling second victim hurls Annalise and Alec together in a tempest of pulse-pounding treachery through exotic lands‚ÄĒthat move them into an unimaginable future‚ÄĒif Annalisse can survive‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

 

Stolen Obsession by Marlene M. Bell is a blend of murder mystery and romance that offers an easy yet sometimes confusing read. While it leans more towards the romance side than I expected, the story remains engaging for those interested in a mystery with heavy romantic elements. The protagonist, Annalisse, an antiques appraiser, finds herself entangled in a mystery connected to the murder of her best friend. As she teams up with Alec, the rich Greek playboy son of the gallery owner, the plot unfolds with well-designed and unexpected twists and turns.

The story begins with immediate action, which was disorienting at first but quickly found its stride. However, it seemed the relationship between Annalisse and Alec developed too quickly, lacking subtlety. The author manages to introduce surprising twists and uses the Greek backdrop effectively to create an engaging, colorful atmosphere. It was especially vivid for me because I lived in Greece for several years and found the setting descriptions of Greece spot on.

I felt the opening scene of the horrific murder of Annalisse‚Äôs roommate needed more background information. It seemed thin though it was a central focus in the story. Details are, as one might expect, revealed gradually, but a prologue or earlier explanation to provide a stronger foundation might have been helpful. Additionally, I found the writing style was somewhat difficult due to odd phrasing and unclear dialogue exchanges that disrupted the flow. A ‚Äúnecklace of horse heads‚ÄĚ is an example. They are not actually horse heads but, as you might expect, jewelry pieces resembling horse heads. Proper, thoughtful, informed editing could have addressed these issues.

I have mixed feelings about the romance in the book. I would have appreciated a slower pace giving the characters time to get to know each other before becoming intimate. I am by no means a prude, but once the romantic moments switched to sexual activity, I felt they occurred at inappropriate times and there was, in my opinion, an excessive focus on sexual tension and explicit scenes.

The two main characters, Annalisse and Alec, lacked likability for me. Alec, the Greek playboy character, appeared one-dimensional and overly focused on sex, even in the face of tragedy. Annalisse’s personality and actions didn’t resonate well either, and I struggled to connect with her. Both characters made unwise decisions throughout that created suspense but somehow seemed contrived and unrealistic.

The book’s strengths lie in its global settings, intricate web of clues and misdirection, and the constant suspense surrounding the murders and kidnappings. The story’s concept is interesting, and the potential for a captivating mystery is evident. However, I often felt disconnected from the story and struggled to connect with the characters and the author’s writing style though she has crafted a very good murder mystery.

All in all, “Stolen Obsession” presents an intriguing premise and a well-developed story, blending murder mystery and a big dose of Harlequinesque romance. While it may not appeal to all readers due to issues with character development, dialogue, and pacing, those seeking a romantic-heavy adventurous tale with elements of suspense and tinged with sex may find it enjoyable.

This book was a recommended read from a fellow writer and I have put Marlene M. Bell‚Äôs three other books on my ‚Äėto read‚Äô list.

About the Author

“Marlene M. Bell is an award-winning writer, artist, and sheep breeder who resides in wooded East Texas. Her renown sheep photographs grace the covers of many livestock magazines.

The fourth book in the Annalisse Series, Copper Waters, is a New Zealand sheep station mystery with light touches of romance. Stolen Obsession, Spent Identity, and Scattered Legacy, books one through three in the series, have received numerous awards including the Independent Press Award for Best Mystery and two FAPA President’s Gold awards. Her work can be found at marlenembell.com.

Marlene also writes children’s books. Her picture book, Mia and Nattie: One Great Team is based on true events with a bottle lamb from Ewephoric ranch. It’s a touching story of compassion and love between a little girl and her lamb. Mia and Nattie is suitable reading for ages 3 – 7 years. A Mom’s Choice Gold Award winner and Eric Hoffer Award Grand Prize Short List winner.

Marlene shares her life with her husband and a few dreadfully spoiled horned Dorset sheep: a large Maremma guard dog named Tia, and cats, Hollywood, Leo, and Squeaks. The animals and nature are the cornerstone for Marlene’s books.”

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day Event 2023

2023 Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony

If you are out and about in Fayetteville, Arkansas Memorial Day, consider attending this celebration at the Fayetteville National Cemetery:

Fayetteville National Cemetery will be conducting its annual Memorial Day Ceremony and invite the NWA community to attend.

Building from last year’s theme, “The Year of our Youth”, this year’s theme is “Recognizing Military Diversity” and highlights the many walks of life of our Veterans and their families. We will have a wreath-laying ceremony, special guest speakers, the Singing Men of Arkansas, the Ozark Highlander Pipe Band, and other guests as we honor those who served and the families who supported our Veterans.

The ceremony will be held on Monday, May 29th beginning at 10:00 am.

Please note that the road going south from MLK along Lt. Col Leroy Pond Ave up to National St / Dunn Ave will be blocked off to traffic.

For more information, please contact the cemetery at (479) 442-2566.

 

 

“If the Creek Don’t Rise: Tales from the South”

‚ÄúA Creole beauty. Eccentric sisters and a black rose. One granny woman and a red button. Church suppers and bingo nights. A poet out of his element. Dreams of Mexico. The shadowy world of thoroughbred horse racing. If the Creek Don’t Rise is a collection of hard-used characters, tangled relationships, family angst, and fortitude. Step into the Deep South and experience the lives and hardships, hopes and dreams, of folk who have nothing except grit‚ÄĒand sometimes love‚ÄĒas their currency. Eighteen tales and six postcard vignettes, highlighted with artwork by Susan Raymond, make this collection a skillful and moving exploration of the commonplace, the hidden, and the unforgettable.

Review: “If the Creek Don’t Rise” is an appealing collection of Southern-based stories that captures the essence of the region. The author’s deep Southern roots lend an authentic voice to the tales woven within this book. Readers are transported into a raw, unfair world filled with relatable characters. The stories evoke vivid sensory experiences, allowing readers to feel, smell, and hear the surroundings while immersing themselves in the characters’ emotions. The honest and genuine dialogue transports readers back to a bygone era, reminiscent of conversations heard in front of a country store on a Saturday morning. The figurative language and storytelling of the South are a perfect fit, and Nancy Hartney skillfully addresses themes of race and gender. This collection is an interesting tapestry of Southern life, painted with diverse tales reflecting the soul of its people. It is an easy and enjoyable read, providing both entertainment and insights into life’s experiences. The characters come to life through the author’s keen understanding, making readers feel as if they truly know them and are present in every scene.

About the author:

author Nancy Hartney

Nancy Hartney author

According to her bio, Nancy Hartney writes short stories and, although she has lived in Texas and California, she is a daughter of the South loving its sweaty beauty and feeling grief about its dark underbelly.

She has contributed to Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, The Ocotillo Review, Arkansas Life, The Chronicle of the Horse, Sidelines, and the Horsemen’s Roundup. Her book reviews have appeared in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, motorcycle touring articles in American Iron, general interest pieces in Do South, Fayetteville Free Weekly, and Ozark Mountaineer. Her fiction has appeared in mid-west regional anthologies while Cactus Country, Frontier Tales, and Rough Country have featured her western tales. She writes for the Washington County Historical Journal Flashback (AR).

 

Visit With New Author

Had an enjoyable visit yesterday with one of Fayetteville’s newest authors, Cindy Quayle at Pearl’s Bookstore here in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Cindy’s debut work is a cozy mystery “Death On Cozumel Island, A Claire O’Keefe Mystery”¬†

Book signing at Pearl's Books

Author Cindy Quayle

Cindy Qualye, Jack Cotner

Authors J.R. Cotner, Cindy Quayle

Pearl's Book Store

Pearl’s Books Fayetteville, AR