Monday, January 28, 2013

Guest Blogger Gy Waldron




Thanks for stopping by and chatting with us today Gy.

(Tell us  about your  latest book)





        The title is “Twist of Time”. It is a romantic thriller involving the unusual pairing of Kate O’Flynn an attractive homicide detective in Santa Barbara, California, and Thomas, an Anglican monk with a mysterious past who is an expert in Celtic Studies. They are brought together by the sudden appearance of a legendary Templar diary written in 1314. It was composed by Sir Brychan, a monk and Templar Knight who was on a suicide mission. The diary was stolen from him and for the next 700 years whenever it reappears there are multiple murders – seven centuries of serial killings all linked to the diary.  This time when the diary is discovered, Thomas is hired to translate it from the original medieval Celtic language. But the courier bringing it to him is murdered and the diary stolen. (Another homicide right on schedule!) Brother Thomas and Detective Kate must recover the diary and by using the text, follow the Templar Knight’s trail in France and Scotland to discover the diary’s secrets. But they are being followed by three competing cartels who will commit more murders to get the diary. And to complicate matters further, Kate, the cynical divorcee and Thomas the devout monk, are falling in love.  Seriously.
I am currently writing the sequel to “Twist of Time”.


      (What can we  expect in the future)
The next book “Fugue” is a romantic thriller now being prepared for publication. The title has a double meaning; fugue in classical music is a composition involving counterpoint; and secondly, the term “fugue state” in psychology refers to a type of amnesia brought on by sudden severe psychological trauma. The flawed hero, Quinn is a famous concert pianist who suffers from “fugue syndrome” as a result of childhood trauma involving a murder. Now Quinn is living two lives; the highly successful concert celebrity and the secret life of a serial killer. But as a result of the fugue syndrome he has no memory of the killings. And for the first time in his life Quinn, famous in the media for his many love affairs, has seriously fallen in love with Holly, a brilliant and wealthy Washington socialite. They were meant for each other. Of course Holly knows nothing of Quinn’s other life.

When a secret black ops group deep within the DOI (Department of Intelligence) discovers Quinn’s unusual fugue affliction, he is recruited and specially trained as an assassin to be used in very special terrorist situations. As a famous concert artist, he is above suspicion and has a strong fan base among the Arab nations. But Sgt. Oscar Oakley, a relentless Washington DC homicide detective, begins to connect these serial murders as government sanctioned killings. To Oakley they are simply homicides on his watch. By this time, Quinn’s syndrome is breaking down as he begins to experience partial memory of what he has done. When he tries to free himself from the DOI operation, he finds himself blackmailed and hunted by his former masters as well as Detective Oakley and DC Homicide. This occurs with Quinn on the run while desperately trying not to lose Holly.


             (How do we find out about your books?)
 Twist of Time is currently available as an ebook from Amazon.com, the Apple iBookstore and from Barnes and Nobel (BN.com).  You can also order a printed version from Amazon.com.   The link to the trailer for Twist of Time is on my blog site – www.gywaldron.com

Fugue will be released in the spring.  At that time, it will also be available at the sites mentioned above. 

      (Why did you decide to write romance novels?)
I write ROMANTIC THRILLERS.  The reader can get caught up in the
“page turning” suspense of a mystery thriller while savoring the romance and tribulations of a love story. This keeps the pace going, the humor flowing and the battle of the sexes working its magic. Or as the romanticists have said, a person is at their best when they are in love. So are fictional characters.

Each novel brings the reader into an interesting world they may know very little about. In “Twist of Time” the historically true, exciting, and mysterious Templar world is very different from the erroneous fictions perpetrated in some contemporary novels. The truth about the Templars is riveting enough, no need to embellish with spurious, and untrue misinformation about Mary Magdalene, Jesus fathering children, the Knights of the Round table (no connection) or the Holy Grail which, after many centuries has yet to be identified, much less historically connected to any group. The Templars have been studied and written about since the 12th Century and they contain more than enough mystery for epic sagas yet unborn.

The novel “Fugue” deals with the exciting world of the concert artist played against the intrigue and menace of black ops Intelligence. “Fugue” is music, madness, and murder moving at a rollicking pace. In the first twenty-page chapter there is a wild seduction, two murders and a molestation to set the stage for what is to follow.
       
      (How much of your personality and life experiences is in the writing?)

When the main character acts heroically, it is definitely not me. That is somebody else.  But much of my writing reflects my past experiences.  Regarding the police and Intelligence background in both “Twist of Time” and “Fugue” I previously served in Counter Intelligence in Germany. I was trained in police procedure, interrogation and investigation. Also, I received a Journalism degree and was involved in investigative reporting.  I was fortunate that I went to college on a music scholarship and was allowed to double major in journalism and music.

      (How long does it take you to write a book)
My books require considerable research, which takes time. When writing I target a certain number of words or pages per day. If I fall behind then I must push hard to catch up.  I try for 3 to 5 pages, which means between 600 to 1200 words per day, sometimes more. And re-writes on top of that.
I have years of experience writing different types of television
drama; creating three series, writing for half hour sit coms, one hour episodic series and multi-hour mini-series  all with demanding on-the-air deadlines. As a work schedule, this strongly favors novel writing.
I do not “go with the flow”!  Though I certainly go with inspirational ideas, if I did not discipline my writing I would never get anything accomplished waiting for “the flow.”  I would probably miss it.

What is your writing routine?
My routine when writing is three to four hours in the morning and usually re-writes in the afternoon.  Unless I fall far behind I seldom write at night except to take notes if I get an idea in the middle of the night. I keep a note pad and usually a tape recorder by the bed. During the day I write in a studio space so there are no interruptions.

       Where do your ideas come from?
Ideas can come from any place or anything. Because we read linearly we do not always write that way. Sometimes I will visualize a partial scene, which triggers a story. Occasionally, ideas come from a dream, or a remembered fragment from the past, or ideas can be stimulated by reading—especially history. They can come when half asleep or mentally drifting, or they just suddenly show up. Frankly, nobody really knows where ideas come from. The writer just desperately hopes they never stop.


       Is humor important?
Humor is extremely important. It gives pace and relief and television comedy writing was good training. Also, humor can be juxtaposed against serious scenes or even tragedy. In this regard I have been greatly influenced by the Swiss dramatist Durrenmatt, who was a master of this technique.

     What are your thoughts on love scenes in your genre?
Love scenes are critical in romantic thrillers and for me, not especially hard to write. But sex scenes are VERY different and put a greater demand on the author. Since the explosion of adult material on the Internet today, any writer who relies only on his own sexual experience will soon find himself with nothing new to write. But there is an upside to this; it is now possible to find out about ANTHING sexual on the Internet, everything from incest to morphophilia.  If you are writing a sex scene, there is ample “background” material to watch and learn.
      
      What does your wife/family think of your writing? Do you ask their advice?
My wife and family are used to my being a writer and its mental and psychological quirks. Several years ago a group of psychotherapists did an in- depth study on a large group of writers and discovered that not a single one they studied fit the category of “normal.” (I was terribly relieved.) I also have my wife read everything I write. This is terrifying as she reads fiction constantly and is long experienced in dramatic scripts.  No editor, publisher or reader fills me with such fear. If she does not like or understand something, it is certain that the reader won’t. That means RE-WRITE.


          Favorite type of hero?
No matter what situation my hero is in, there MUST be a moral conflict to go along with whatever danger he or she faces. Most of us have moral conflicts; why should our fictional heroes be different if we want them to seem real? It also gives breadth and depth to a character.

       Do you ever get writer’s block?
I have been extremely fortunate that I have never experienced writer’s block for any length of time. By that I mean not knowing what to write or what to write next. Early on I learned a simple trick from a very good writer. When I have been writing all day and my brain is still firing with ideas, I always start the next scene or chapter before I quit. It may be only a few lines but there is something on the page when I start the next day. I may change it, re-write or throw it away but there is NEVER a blank page facing me when I continue working.  That trick has never let me down.


      What is  most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Writing is hard, hard, very dam’ hard! If you are going to work this hard you should enjoy it. You are creating a whole world and all its characters. You have the joy of reaching the reader, emotionally, intellectually, while you entertain and to some degree play God. And there is tremendous fun when you can throw an unexpected story twist and trick the reader.  (They love it!)

       If you were not writing what would I be doing?
Trying to write. One of the problems and pleasures about being a writer is the brain never stops – you are still writing when you are just sitting and staring in space.


      Do you have any words of encouragement for hopeful writers?
Write! Write and write some more.  There is no substitute, no short cuts and no real training but to WRITE!
















Monday, January 14, 2013

Guest Blogger: Allison Rios

Welcome my guest today Allison Rios.


Please tell us about your latest book.
 
My latest book, The Touch, deals with what I feel is one of the biggest questions of human nature: Why? Imagine being able to cure any illness in the world with the touch of a finger - yet looking into the eyes of a young cancer patient and not being allowed to because of the good that will come to the world through the work her family will do in her name. These are the struggles that our hero, AJ, struggles with.
  
What can we expect from you in the future?
Right now I am nearly done with the second book of this series. I'm also pitching a suspense/thriller novel to agents that I am really excited about. Within a few months, I will be self publishing a book about my mom's journey and death from brain cancer, and how we dealt with the journey - and all the funds raised from this particular book will go to benefit the American Brain Tumor Association.
 
How do we find out about you and your books?
My Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HealersAndGrims, is where I'm keeping followers updated until the redesign of my website.
 
Why did you decide to write romance novels?
I love a good love story! I daydream about romance all the time - the white knight, the sunset. Luckily I found a husband who can be pretty romantic. So I began to turn my daydreams into a book. And to really challenge myself with this book, I wanted to write it from a male perspective. It was a struggle to put myself in a man's shoes.
 
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
The hero is based off a couple of my male friends, who have these amazing strengths that sometimes they forget they possess. I always find myself including certain life experiences and personalities of those closest to me in my writing, because they make for stronger topics. Plus, I like making stories personable. This hero in particular was based off of someone who doesn't always see what a great person he is, but whose friends see him as this man who would be there through thick and thin, doing everything he can to help others.
 
When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I have written short stories and poetry since the age of twelve, but it wasn't until I finished this first novel-length story that I became serious about publishing. I sent it to a couple friends just as a, "Here is something to read in your off-time." When they came back and said they really liked it and should look into publishing, I did. I like the idea of sharing my daydreams with others.
 
Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
Anywhere from a few months to a year. The Touch took me two weeks, writing every single night after I had created an outline. It usually takes more time though since I also have a full-time job and two little cuties at home who need my attention!
 
Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I just go with the flow. I think the story is always better if I'm not forcing it. If I don't feel inspired, I take a break - either for the night, or for a month. Whatever it takes for me to have that ah-ha moment and know what's going to happen next.
 
What is your writing routine once you start a book?
I usually have an outline, but I do not always follow it. Sometimes I'll think of something completely different in the midst of typing and change the course of the book.
 
What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?
Actually, I'm pretty lucky - I am a night owl, and I like to write usually after everyone has gone to bed. That way, the house is quiet, my head is clear, and I have a few hours at least of uninterrupted time!
 
What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
Read! Reading the work of others is truly relaxing and inspiring - there are so many brilliant people out there. I especially try and read self-published or up-and-coming authors to show support.
 
What truly motivates you in general?  In your writing?
It isn't about money for me. It's about being able to bring a smile to someone's face through the work that I've done. I love writing out these daydreams, and it's always a thrill when someone enjoys what I've written. Kind words posted either to Facebook or on reviews or sent via email are always so appreciated and inspire me to write more.
 
What does your husband think of your writing?
He's so supportive! He encouraged me to go for it, and was there every step of the way.
 
Do you ever ask him/her for advice?
I do -- he was a great help for the book I have out to agents right now, helping me with outline. It was a genre I am completely unfamiliar with writing, so having him there to say "Wait, this might make more sense," was a great experience. He has so much smarts and imagination.
 
Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I am in the communications field full-time, and spend all of my extra free time as a mom, wife, and chauffer to sports games and practices! I love photography and always have a camera in my purse, and I also love learning. I am constantly reading and watching educational programs, along with the occasional comedy and sitcom on primetime. 
 
Fill in the blank favorites - Dessert - Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. City - Chicago, of course!  Season - Summer, because nothing is better than spending time relaxing in the warmth and watching the kids splash in the pool. Type of hero - quiet and valiant. Type of heroine - strong and brave.
 
Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?
My favorite author is actually a poet, Robert Frost.
 
Who are some of your other favorite authors to read? JR Ward, Nora Roberts, Agatha Christie, Anne Rice, Michael Crichton.
 
What do you think of critique groups in general?
I personally enjoy them. I attend a group in the area where we share our work and offer suggestions or ideas. Everyone in the group is very nice, but also very intelligent and while sometimes I hate to see red marks on the paper (who doesn't?), I truly appreciate their honesty and input. I feel it has made me a stronger writer.
 
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope that I am still writing with a well-known book out there in the world. That would be my dream.
 
After you've written your book and it's been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
I do - and then I critique myself saying I should have done this or corrected that. Maybe I should stop... ;)
 
Among your own books, have you a favorite book?  Favorite hero or heroine?
Although I only have one published right now, AJ is still my favorite hero out of all the writing I've done. He's strong and brave, he's kind and good-hearted. He makes you feel like no matter what, he will stop the world to protect you.
 
Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
The characters - I always imagine them in my head as if they are real people. I develop their looks, personalities, and let those play out - then I figure out where they would live.
 
What are the elements of a great romance for you?
When a book makes you want to be in it, I think a writer has hit the mark. It has to not just be a love story where they find each other right away and everything goes perfectly - there has to be this separation where they want each other but can't quite find their way. To me, the suspense is what makes it magical.
 
What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you?
The hardest part is the outline - the rest is easy!
 
Have you experienced writer's block---> If so, how did you work through it?
Definitely! I normally take a break, step away from the project for awhile. Sometimes it will be a day, or sometimes a month. Then I will have an ah-ha moment, and the next step in the story will pop into my head.
 
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
The most rewarding part is knowing that something I've written is being read. I even enjoy reviews that don't like the book - because that means people are being honest and sharing their thoughts to help me build a better second book. I really do love writing!
 
Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Have faith. Keep writing. Don't give up. There are lots of people who won't like your work or will think it is not the right fit for them - and then there will be people who love it. And those are the moments that make every struggle worth it.

Where else can we find you?
Twitter: @WriterAllieR
 




Where can we fin your book?
Right now, Amazon and Kindle are 99 cents through the end of January
 

Blurb:
While the world debates the how and why of diseases, natural disasters, modern medicine and miracles, the simplest truth has always been a much less complicated – yet unimaginable - explanation: two covert groups of souls known as the Healers and the Grims that control with a touch of their fingers the process and order of life and death.
Told from the story of lost soul AJ McAllister, we find a hero in the young man born from a long-line of Healers onto earth to save the lives of those acquainted with tragedy. As AJ navigates his path in life under the guidance of friend and fellow Healer Max, he discovers the journey is not easy but rather one filled with guilt and struggle – and one that he cannot share with a mortal for risk of losing his gift. Not every sick or injured person can and should be healed; sometimes those as innocent as a child must be left untouched in order for the humanity to follow along the destined path. To look into the eyes of someone and not be able to erase their pain has proven unbearable for the young man.
As he travels to a new town for a respite from the emotional rollercoaster of healing, AJ encounters young mother Addie Jenko, who has been through a lifetime of calamity already. Abandoned by a psychotic mother and raised by her Gram, she gave birth as a teenager and watched as her baby’s father left town. Struggling to make it on her own and build a life for the little family she has left, she finds the stranger in town vastly different than the people she is used to. As AJ grows close to someone for the first time since his mother passed, he finds himself in a different role. A Grim known as Devin arrives in town with a purpose of inflicting pain and disease on humanity. The Healer must sacrifice the opportunity to be loved in order to keep Addie and the town from falling victim to the latest threat to their humanity, all while keeping his secret intact and preparing for a battle he is sure he won't emerge from. As the town becomes more than another faceless crowd needing protection to AJ, he learns the lengths he will go to in order to protect the people he has come to see as family.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Lost Memory

A Lost Memory
authors: Lizzy Stevens and Steve Miller
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Price: $0.99



Get it at Amazon!

Alley wakes up in a strange bed. She has no idea who she is or where she is. Pain shoots through her head like a bolt of lightning every time she moves. As she drifts off to sleep images of a faraway land and a handsome man with sandy blonde hair and six pack abs fills her head. He keeps saying “Alley come back to me.” Who is he and how does she know him? 


Excerpt:

Chapter One

            Alley lay in bed in a strange room. Glancing around nothing was familiar.   Where was she? She sat up, a tingle creeping up her spine. What was going on? Anxious to get out of there, Alley yanked away the blanket and stood. Pain shot through her head, threatening to blow it apart. Her finger pressed her temple instinctively to ease the pain. She felt a bandage taped to her forehead. What has happened to me? Where am I? No longer able to withstand the pain, she lay back down.
            Drifting off to sleep, images of a young man filled her dreams. She didn’t recognize him, but he was handsome with six pack abs and long sandy blonde hair that brushed the top of his shoulders. But who was he?
            Alley come back to me. The man seemed to know her, but she didn’t recognize him at all.
            Alley was awakened by the sound of the door opening. She saw a woman standing in the doorway holding a ceramic bowl of water.
            “Oh, sweetie! You’re awake,” the woman said as tears rolled down her face. She wiped at them as she walked over to the bed.
            Alley stared at her not knowing what to say. Am I supposed to know this woman?
            “Oh, Alley, I know you’re confused, honey. It’s me, Mom.”
            Alley glanced around the room for answers but none came to her. “Mom?” she asked, puzzled.
            “Yes dear, you’ve been in a terrible accident and the doctor warned us that your memory may be fuzzy when you came to.”
            “An accident? What kind of accident?” Alley didn’t understand anything at that moment. She didn’t remember any accident.
            “Honey, don’t push yourself to remember right now. We’ll talk about this later. I need to call your doctor and get him over here to examine you at once.” She turned and hurried out of the room.
            Alley sat there more confused than she was before. She hoped the doctor would be able to shed some light on what was going on.
            She glanced around the room and saw an antique dresser with three drawers made from mahogany. In the corner stood a full length mirror.  The four-poster bed where she lay was draped in a sheer white canopy. Beside the bed was a small table where her mother placed the ceramic bowl of water. In the opposite corner sat a rocking chair with a red and white quilt folded neatly over the back. Everything looked neat and well taken care of, but none of it looked familiar. 
           
  * * *
            A while later there was a knock at her door.
“Come in,” Alley called from across the room.
 The woman who claimed to be her mother was standing there with a man in a white lab coat.
            “Alley this is Doctor Monroe.” she said as they walked closer to the bed.
            Doctor Monroe carried his black medical bag and set it on the bed beside Alley. He removed the stethoscope to give Alley a thorough examination. He checked her heartbeat, pulse and blood pressure. Then he moved onto the bandage on her head. “Everything looks good Alley. I’m going to redress your wound and give you some pain medicine to help with the swelling.”
            “Doctor, I don’t know who I am. I can’t remember anything. I don’t even recognize my own mother. What happened to me? What kind of accident was I in?”
            Alley watched Doctor Monroe glanced up at  her mother who gave a slight shake of her head. 
“Alley, these things take time. Don’t bother yourself with all of these details right now. You’ve been in a coma for a week. We don’t want to overload your brain with all these details. Your memory will come back in time, and if it doesn’t then we will cross that bridge when we get to it.  For now I want you to take it easy. Get lots of rest and when you’re feeling better take a walk. It’s beautiful this time of the year and the fresh air will do you good.”
            Alley was more confused than ever now.  She thought that seeing the doctor would help her figure out who she was and what was going on, but instead he was no help at all. What are they hiding? I’ve been in a coma for a week, but I’m not in a hospital?
She watched as her mother walked the doctor to the door.
            When the doctor walked out, Alley said, “Mom, help me remember.”
            Her mother approached, a worried expression on her face. She fidgeted with a string on her shirt avoiding Alley’s eyes.  “Alley, you heard the doctor. We can’t push you.”
            “I know, Mom, but I want to know at least a few things about myself like what is my full name? For that matter, what is your name? Where do we live? What month is it? What year is it?”
            “Alley, slow down, honey. You’re going so fast that I can’t keep up.” Her mom chuckled. “Okay, I’ll help you a little, but we can’t overdo it. Your name is Allison Marie Anderson. You prefer Alley. My name is Catherine Anderson.  Its springtime and the month of April.” Catherine reached out for her daughter’s hand. “The doctor’s right, it’s beautiful this time of the year. When you’re up to it we’ll get outside and maybe something will jog your memory. As for the year it’s 2012, and we live in a small town called Rock City. Now, I really think you should get some rest. We don’t want to push you too fast.”
            “Okay. Thank you for filling in some of the blanks. My head is throbbing. I’m going to rest a little bit.”
            Catherine leaned down and kissed her daughter’s forehead, pulled the blankets up to her chin and turned the lamp off beside the bed. She turned and blew Alley a kiss as she exited the room.
            Alley quickly drifted off to sleep, but it wasn’t long before dream man re-appeared. Winter snow blanketed the ground.. She rode on the back of his sled going downhill after hill. She was laughing and had her arms wrapped around him. She was happy.  At the bottom of the last hill he faced her, gently kissing her on the lips.  They rolled off the sled, the man grabbed the rope and they started back up the hill to go again. Dream man put his arm around Alley as she snuggled in closer to him. She could see the love in his eyes. Who was he? The dreams felt so real.
            Alley come back to me. She heard him calling her. It wasn’t a dream. She could hear him plain as day, but it faded until she could hear it no more.
            “Who are you?  How do you know me?” Alley called out in her sleep, but got no answer in return.
            Alley’s eyes popped open to an empty room. Nobody was around and her dream man must be just that-- a dream. But why do I keep dreaming about the same man? Where have I seen him before? Maybe Mom knows.

                                         * * *

            The next morning Alley decided it was time to get out of bed and try to get her life back. She still had no memory of anything, but she intended to change that.
            She followed the smell of bacon and eggs down a spiral staircase with a dark cherry wood hand rail. As she got to the end of the stairs she stepped onto hardwood floors waxed to a perfect shine. The house was beautiful but looked like it was very old. She followed the smell to the kitchen where she found her mother standing at a mahogany table cutting fruit for a platter.
            “Good morning, Mother.”
            Catherine jumped. “Alley, you startled me. Honey, you shouldn’t be up walking around yet.”
            “I’m fine, Mom. I want to get back to my life. I want to do just as the doctor said. I plan to explore outside today. I may need a little direction before I get started.” She huffed out a short laugh.
            Her mother grinned at her as she finished slicing fruits. Alley admired the ripe, juicy strawberries, kiwi, and grapes. Her stomach growled.
            Catherine set the table and poured Alley a glass of orange juice to go with her breakfast.
            As Alley sat down she turned to her mother. “Mother. How old am I?”
             “Alley don’t worry so much. Your memory will come back, and if it doesn’t you’ll be fine. Head injuries are unpredictable, but to answer your question you’re twenty–two.”
            Alley ate her breakfast as more and more questions popped into her head. There was so much that she wanted and needed to know. “Where is my father? Do I have a father?”
            “Yes, dear, you have a father. He’s away on business and will return next week. He’s overjoyed that you’re awake and can’t wait to see you.”
            “Mom...thanks for putting up with all my questions. I’m trying to remember. I want to remember. I feel like there’s a big piece missing from me. I don’t feel whole right now.” Tears welled in her eyes and slipped down her cheeks.  She wiped them away and glanced out the window. The sun was shining bright. “I’m going to go for a walk. I think it will do me good to get out.”
            Catherine bit her bottom lip nervously. “Okay honey, if you’re sure, but be careful. You don’t know your way around yet. If you get turned around follow the fence. It’ll bring you back home.  All four thousand acres of our land is fenced in. So if you get lost just follow the fence. It might be a long walk, but it’ll get you back to the house.”
            Alley walked outside for the first time. She really had no clue where she was going, but she had to try and get her memory back. She wanted to know who the man was that she kept dreaming about. What did it all mean?
            As she walked away from the house she glanced over her shoulder. Behind her stood her home, she guessed, a beautiful white Victorian two story house with maroon trim. It had a wraparound porch with tall white columns. On the porch was a wooden swing with a maroon cushion. It swayed in the breeze, and she wondered if it was one of her favorite things to do. She was learning everything all over again.
            Alley walked across the open field, drawn to the small creek. It babbled through a shady spot, courtesy of some big oak trees, with a large rock off to the side. She climbed the rock and enjoyed the cool breeze against her cheeks.
            Alley, come back to me.
            Alley jumped and glanced around. Nobody was there. The wind must be playing tricks on her.
            Sitting by the creek watching the water flow downstream, Alley wondered who she was. The wind blew through her hair and the sun warmed her face. Alley brushed the hair away from her eyes as she lay back on the rock. She drifted off to sleep under the warmth of the sun.
            Images of a winged horse as white as snow entered her mind. It was the most beautiful animal she had ever seen. It pranced in a field of wild flowers. As Alley watched, a noise startled the majestic animal and it spread its wings wide flying off into the horizon. The scene struck her as familiar. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but she felt like she knew the place and the animal. Angel. Yes that’s it, but why do I know the name of an imaginary animal? Head injuries were very odd. Nothing made sense anymore.
            A noise off in the distance woke Alley from her dreams. Rising from the rock, she scanned the open field. No winged horse to be found. Did I really think there would be? That’s crazy. They don’t even exist. My mind is simply dreaming to help it heal.
            It was getting late so Alley decided to walk back. As she approached the house she heard voices.
            “You have to face the facts. Her memory may never come back,” Catherine said.
            “It may never come back as long as she is here. She has to come back to Majestic Falls.” A man’s voice said.
            “That’s out of the question.”
            “Catherine, you can’t keep her here under false pretenses. Her place is with me. I know you think you’re protecting her and in some ways you might be, but she has to come back home. Her people need her.”
            Alley had no idea what they were talking about or who the man was. In her eagerness to see him, she clumsily knocked over a flower pot that went crashing down the steps.
            Catherine came running out, but she was alone.
            “Is somebody here, Mother?”
            “No, Sweetie. I had the radio on in the other room. Nobody is here.”
             Why would her mother lie? She’d heard two people having a conversation. People don’t have conversations with the radio, but she knew there must be a reason that her mother didn’t want to discuss it. Alley ran from room to room looking, but found nobody else in the house.
            Alley needed to be alone. She went up to her room to escape into a nice hot bubble bath which she thought would help her relax. Maybe being alone with her thoughts would help her figure something out. She didn’t care what, but she wanted to at least remember one thing.
            She sank down into the hot steaming water letting it warm her entire body. Alley laid back and closed her eyes hoping to see the man she kept dreaming about, but he didn’t appear. Sadness came over her. There was something about the guy of her dreams. She felt like she knew him.