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Hearing the voice of her dead son calling for help can’t be normal. Can it? Zoe turns to childhood friend, Wiley, when she realizes her husband is either setting her up for committal or planning murder.
Her gratitude for Wiley’s support deepens into love and her heart, at last, finds a home.
As always she hesitated at her bedroom door. The room had been painstakingly put together over a span of months. A silk, hand-painted, pale green duvet, sprinkled with dainty white dendrobium orchids--a gift from Kate--and draperies to match were the focal point. A dozen small music boxes decorated the tops of desk, bureau and a table. Her grandmother’s rocker graced a bright corner.
And all thought stopped. There was a moment of shocked and horrified silence as the scene impressed itself on her mind.
And then she screamed.
In the empty house, with no one to hear, she screamed until she could no longer make a sound, then she sank to the floor and buried her head in her hands.
It wasn’t what she thought. She knew that even as she sat with her hands over her eyes. It wasn’t Danny.
Nevertheless, with her eyelids clamped shut, the small figure in the rocker seemed to be emblazoned on the inside of her eyelids. Navy blue short pants and a Big Bird tee, red sneakers that carried his constantly-moving feet wherever his quick mind darted, and white socks. Even the longish, curling brown hair beneath his favorite Cardinals ball cap was the same. But it wasn’t Danny. She repeated the phrase over the pounding of her heart. It wasn’t Danny.
Still, the life-sized doll sat in her memory, short legs outstretched, gazing with sightless eyes at the doorway. At Zoe.
There was a framed photo upstairs in a leather trunk of exactly this scene. Danny dressed much like this, sitting in the rocker. It was beyond weird. It was unbelievable.
Her breath came in short, raspy gasps. What was happening? Questions flew into her head, swooping in and out with frightening rapidity. Where had the doll come from? Who could possibly hate her enough to torture her like this? And why? Oh God, why?
She couldn’t look again. It simply wasn’t in her to open her eyes and see the life-sized, look-alike doll in a rocking chair appearing to be resting only a minute before slipping down and heading at a dead run for the kitchen and a handful of cheesy fishes, his favorite snack.
Without opening her eyes, Zoe rose and turned to face the hall. Take deep breaths. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Nice steady breaths. She’d make a cup of tea and calm down, and then come back to... to do something with the doll. Not that a cup of cinnamon twist tea with honey would cure everything, but it might be hot enough to stop her hands from shaking and then she could think of what to do next.
First, she had to be able to think straight enough to reason out what exactly was going on. And why. Secondly, she was not--was not--going crazy. All her faculties were in place, without benefit of Zanax, thank you very much, Joseph, she thought with a spark of anger, and that meant surely something could be done about all this.
The voice in the fog. That was one thing, she thought, methodically studying the pattern in the carpet. Think carefully, she cautioned herself over the run-away throb of her heart. Right at the top of any list was the voice of her son speaking to her from the fog. And then, the telephone call. What had the voice said? Something about hurting a cat. She was so rattled she couldn’t remember. Mommy, don’t hurt the cat. No, the kitty. That was it. Danny’s voice pleading with her not to hurt the kitty. It made no sense. Danny would know she’d never hurt one of her precious cats. He’d loved them as much as she did. One of her favorite photos was of Danny asleep on the floor with Methuselah curled in his arms. Why would he say something like that now? And her thoughts jammed. She was thinking as if he were actually speaking to her. A child whom she’d buried over three years ago. No. Start over and think.
But if she truly hadn’t gone over the edge, if she wasn’t imagining these horrible things, what was the alternative? There was only one answer, and it was unimaginable.
My byline has appeared on everything from children’s literature to senior citizen fiction; from news writing to poetry, fiction and non-fiction. I have taught a successful creative writing course and been involved in a program teaching adults to read. Credits include Wings ePress, Inc. as well as a multitude of newspapers and magazines. I have placed in the top three in national contests and treasure a Writing Excellence Award from my college.
I have a loving and supportive husband and two grown daughters, who have given me a total of eight perfect, handsome and intelligent grandchildren--so says this prejudiced grandmother.
Since my first memory, music and books have been my passion. Music continues to feed my soul. I have sung in choral groups all across the eastern half of the U.S., done solo and ensemble work and am currently a member of a large chorale.
Today I have books in every room in my house, and never go out the door without reading material under my arm. With equal passion, I avoid cooking and cleaning house.
Marilyn Gardiner has done well in capturing the essence of the times, and the courage of people to find a new place to start new lives. As depicted by the title, the plot, suspense and romance, flow, not always steadily, but sometimes with a fierceness that dares readers to leave the story. Like A River, My Love, the tale's depth will hold you fast until you reach the end of the journey. -- Brenda, The Rite Lifestyle
There are good writers and there are great writers. Wings author Marilyn Gardiner definitely leads the pack in the second category. I've just finished WHEN THE WIND BLOWS and was "blown away" by this author's talent! You won't find tired clichés and hackneyed metaphors in this suspenseful, child-in-jeopardy tale about a frantic mother's heart-stopping search for her young son.
The romance is subtle and the focus is on Molly's internal struggle to unravel what is and what only seems to be, all the while trying not to fall in love with her fellow sleuth. The scenes are vivid and visual, and this reader found herself racing toward the end along with the heroine. That search being done, the next one will be for Marilyn Gardiner's next book. WHEN THE WIND BLOWS is a fabulous work! A must read for all romantic suspense fans. -- Highly recommended, Anne Carter, Beacon Street Books
Dancing Ladies: “Marilyn Gardiner has written a spellbinding story, guaranteed to keep you turning pages to see what happens next. Prepare to stay up late with this one. And don’t read it during an intense rainstorm or in a house that creaks at night.” -- J D Webb, Author of Shepherd’s Pie
"Dancing ladies is a great tale that grabs hold of the reader. I couldn't stop (reading) until the ending which left me with spine-tingling sensations. The romantic suspense in this story is stunning. Gardiner weaves a great paranormal with just the right touch of mystery. Her style of writing really kept me spellbound." - Linda L., The Romance Studio, 5 hearts.
Banjo Eyes by Marilyn Gardiner is a suspenseful tale of true love, betrayal, rejection and deception. When Lily goes back home to settle her late father’s affairs, weird things begin happening, and she doesn’t know who she can trust. This is a real page turner, right up to the shocking conclusion. -- JoEllen Conger, Conger Books Reviews
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 309
Paper Weight (lb): 13.0
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