so much gratitude

Posted On November 29, 2021

Photo by Michele Venne´

It feels more like the holiday season if the air has changed where you are. Here in Phoenix, we’re enjoying wonderfully cool weather. In the desert, that means sweatshirts in the early morning and probably sneakers instead of sandals. I noticed Christmas candy next to the Halloween candy, boxed greeting cards near the checkout, and all variety of squash in huge boxes in the produce section. My trips through the aisles include extra non-perishable goods to donate to food banks. From the weather finally fit for more than lizards to the ability to give to others, I have a lot to be thankful for.

With my writing, I couldn’t publish books without the help of my beta readers, cover designer, and web developer, plus all the innovative software engineers who created the programs I use to make my stories available to readers. Because I have a daily gratitude practice, I make note of people, places, and events that help me keep my horse safe, allow me to get from point A to point B on time, and enjoy so many moments along the journey.

Thanks to everyone who had a piece in the production of my projects, I can announce The Stalker is available! I mentioned a couple of months ago that this book is an experiment. It started off as a short story, then I fleshed it out to a novel. Because of its novel status (see what I did there? Ha!), I wanted it as part of a series. That meant brainstorming titles and a story thread to work through at least the first three books. And to try something different, I’ve priced the ebook at $.99. It’s also in Kindle Unlimited if you’re a subscriber! For those who voted on the cover, I’ll be sending a separate email with directions on how to get your free copy.

Chapter 1

The rattle of the prison gate as it trundled open was the sound of freedom in his ears. He glanced sideways to the guard on his right. Mr. Brec had been one of his favorites. Allowing him extra time in the computer lab and saying nothing of his stay at Shade Tree Center—which would have put him in the crosshairs of the more dangerous inmates—before transferring to Coleman Medium Security Federal Correctional Institution in Sumterville, Florida, earned Brec the privilege of hearing whispered rumors before they became events.

He stepped over the gate’s track and watched as a white prison bus pulled into the parking lot.

“There’s your ride, J. Stay out of trouble. I don’t want to see you back here,” Mr. Brec said as he backed away from the twelve-foot moving section of chain link topped with razor wire.

Raising his hand in a wave to show he’d heard the guard, he smiled at the driver of the bus. When his name was called and the delivery address read, he climbed the three steps, took the second seat on the passenger side, and leaned against the window. Exactly two hundred seventy-three days had passed since he felt silence in his head. And each mile they traveled brought him closer to that coveted sensation.

He reached behind him with his right hand to touch the back of his neck. Not realizing he’d made the move three times, he eventually tucked his hands in the pockets of his hoodie. Once he checked in with the halfway house and his parole officer, he’d find his cellmate’s buddy who worked on the docks. Some quick cash to tie him over until he found legit employment meant he could have bus fare to the park. His leg jiggled in anticipation of seeing her again. He ignored the voices that told him it was too soon. His plan, his decision, his future. Closing his eyes, he easily recalled how she looked, how she smiled, how she said his name, and everything felt right.

And because I’m grateful to my readers, I’m reminding you that all my books are on sale if you buy direct from me on my website from now until January 15, 2022. I’m including a free inspirational poster (8×10 nature photograph with positive and inspiring words from me) with each print book order. Looking for a few cool gift ideas? Check out:

Cracked Heart: Poetic Thoughts on a Life (poems I’ve written plus ideas how to write your own poetry and use poetry for healing)

The Companion Journal for Cracked Heart: Poetic Thoughts on a Life (instructions, lined pages, and blank pages waiting to be filled with your own poetry)

Creative Play: A Guide for the Artistic Path (loads of ideas on inspiration, practice, the inner critic, and overcoming artistic blocks)

The Companion Workbook for Creative Play: A Guide for the Artistic Path (questions and exercises from Creative Play, and a place to record your responses)

Yogis All: A Journey of Transformation, Volume I, Poems About the Practice (poetic insight to the practice of yoga)

Yogis All: A Journey of Transformation, Volume II, Tools of the Practice (yoga teacher sequences for classes and clients)

Greeting Cards (a variety 4-pack of cards and envelopes with removable photographs with inspirational words either on the photos or in the card)

Hope you had a wonderful holiday!


Written by Michele Venne

Writer of immersive and intriguing stories.

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