Excerpt from WAR ZONE (Real Illusions 4- The Final Episode)

A cold chill was in the air that time of night. The little, yellow cottage at the cul-de-sac, snuggled against clusters of shrubs was dimly lit. Yet, the beam of the front light unabashedly exposed the surface of the porch with all its cracks and crevices.

A light in one of the back bedrooms went out and the six-foot gentle giant of a man slowly turned the knob and eased the door shut. “She’s fast asleep,” he whispered to his better half in the hallway who was dressed for bed and had an adoring smile on her face.

Stan Bergund was wearing his dark blue overalls. The scent of aftershave he used just minutes earlier pervaded the air. 

“I’m sorry you have to leave so late,” Jane said, sliding her arm around his waist.

Stan placed his huge arms around his wife’s curvy frame and looked into the piercing blue eyes of the woman at least a foot shorter than he was. “We need the money, sweetheart. I’m so glad they have me on call.”

“Is it a bad one?”

“A large water main broke downtown, so I reckon it’ll be good overtime. At least the extra money can pay a bill around here.” He sighed, then pecked her on the lips.

“It will get better, honey. We’ve had a snag, that’s all, with me losing my job.”

“I know.” He nodded and tried to force a smile. “A snag.”

She followed him to the front door. Stan grabbed his two-toned grey jacket from the coat rack and his black tam, then opened the door. “I’ll see you in a while,” he said.

Jane nodded.


He stopped at the threshold and looked back at her.

“Please be careful. You know what’s been going on lately with all those…”

“I know,” he interjected. “I will. Lock the door behind me.”

Jane immediately heeded Stan’s instruction, then shifted the thin curtain to the side and watched as he jogged toward the small, white pick-up truck. Fog gathered in front of the vehicle after Stan switched on the engine. Jane could see him speaking into the mobile phone as he reversed, then he drove off around the cul-de-sac towards the main road.     

Stan set the phone back onto the dashboard mount and switched on the radio. The air-conditioning in the truck was percolating although there was no need for it as the temperature outside was in the high sixties. But Stan was a big guy and he sweated easily. When most people were freezing cold, he was often dropping tiny pebbles of perspiration in his way. However, the jacket was staying on. He could never forget Grandma Joyce’s admonition to him and his brother Frank: “When it’s cold out, you must always keep the chest protected,” she’d say. “You don’t want to end up with a bad case of influenza.” Grandma Joyce was the only one Stan ever heard refer to the flu as ‘influenza’ when speaking casually. 

Giles was on Crisp 93.8fm as was his weeknight schedule. His deep, low voice was just right for the horror flicks, Stan always thought whenever he listened in. Giles spoke slowly—almost in a dragging voice—and made you want to look through the rear-view mirror to make sure no pasty, straggly-haired old lady was peering at you from the back seat. Not good for the faint-at-heart to tune in to the Late Show with Giles while on the move. Definitely, not a good thing.

“It’s midnight in the land of the lonely and the free. Do you know where your kids are?” A smile cracked Giles’ milk-chocolate face as he methodically licked his dry, chapped lips. “If you can’t say, ‘They’re in bed,’ then you’d better get up off your rusty rumps and go on the hunt for those wandering brats. You don’t want the slasher to get them now, do you?”

A sinister, drawn-out grin ensued that made the very hair on Stan’s arms rise at attention. Giles seemed to take immense delight in taunting his unseen listeners.

“Jackass!” Stan muttered before changing the channel. “That guy’s gotta be into some dark, creepy stuff on the sly.”

An old Diana Ross song was playing. Stan bobbed his head and started tapping the steering wheel lightly as he drove further along the thoroughfare. The streets appeared especially dark after he had been driving for a few minutes, almost pitch black, in fact. Lampposts’ beams seemed to be struggling to serve their only purpose, which made Stan reach forward to switch on the bright lights, feeling they couldn’t be a bother to anyone anyway since the streets were, for the most part, empty.

The night draft caused huge circular balls to form in front of the headlights, then dissipated more like scattered mist that traveled along with the truck. Stan arrived at an intersection and slowed to a halt at the stop light. His truck was the only vehicle on the road right then. He glanced at the car clock. It was 12:13am. His work site was just another block away.

Suddenly, he heard the loud screeching of car tires, then a dark-colored truck similar in size to an F150 pulled up beside him in the other lane. The windows were all rolled up; the interior concealed by dark tints.

Stan’s bobbing and tapping from the music had long stopped and he now focused his attention on the eerie stillness of the area and the tenebrous sensation he was feeling from the vehicle sitting next to his. He glanced up at the street-light.

“Why the hell is it taking so long?” he murmured.  He looked back at the truck. The ominous gut-feeling wasn’t shaken, but stubbornly remained.

“This is crazy,” Stan said, glancing back at the light still holding red. “Let me get outta here.”  Just as he switched pedals, the truck next to him suddenly sped off across the intersection. The light was still on red. Stan, looked both ways before driving away.

“Something’s gotta be wrong with that light. Guess I’m the idiot for sitting there so long when no cars were even on the bloody road!”

A couple of minutes later, Stan pulled up onto the already busy scene that Todd Vermont had aptly supervised shortly after making the call to him. The area was well lit by streetlamps and overhead spotlights, and Stan parked on the side adjacent to a newly constructed side-walk. Orange cones had been placed along the street covering approximately a mile and road signs started from several hundred yards up to approximately fifty feet at the scene of the water spill. Three additional white, pick-up trucks were parked nearby seemingly haphazardly and a large tractor assisted in blocking access to that part of the road. Angel Boot, “Rasta”, as they called him was busy on the backhoe digging out the trench near the main pipe. The machine’s lights were bright and glaring.

Todd met Stan as he was getting out of the truck. “Hey, boss. I turned off the main valve already so we can get started.”

“Good. Everyone’s here?” Stan asked him.


The men walked over to where Angel was trenching. The top of the large pipe was already visible and four workers were standing around the area in question.

“Gentlemen…” Stan nodded.

They all hailed back.

Jake Roberts, a rather burly guy jumped into the part of the hole that had been cleared.

“Pass me the shovel!” he said to Burt, his long-time partner who had started out with him ten years prior, just after finishing high school.

Henry Lucas, a thin man in his early fifties, veteran at the corporation, but holding the same laborer post as the other three joined Jake in the hole. Burt handed him a shovel as well and he and Jake cleared out whatever remnants of dirt necessary to get to the pipe after the backhoe’s bucket had completed its reach.

A young man in his early twenties by the name of Aaron Rocha used his shovel to pull back the dirt from the edge of the trench that the other two guys had tossed up there.

Angel was now on the eastern side of the pipe. The backhoe’s stabilizer legs unmovable as the front of the machine tilted slightly off the ground while being competently maneuvered.

“Dig closer!” Todd hollered.

Jake threw his shovel back up. “I see the problem.” He smoothed off a rather small area of the pipe with his gloved hand. It was a ten inch split at the side of the pipe.

“Are you able to clamp it or do we need to cut?” Stan asked.

Jake took a good look before bothering to answer. “It doesn’t look like it has to cut,” he finally replied. He turned to Burt. “Pass me the clamp!”

Todd went to assist the guys as Stan oversaw the scene.

After a while, he heard an annoyed Todd say from the other side of the trench. “Man, y’all workin’ or y’all talkin’?” He was referring to Henry and Jake who suddenly found something hilarious about Aaron while in the middle of attempting to properly seal the split.

The laughter eventually tapered off and everyone was quiet until Henry suddenly hurled a sixty-pound curse word after accidentally hitting his knuckles against the inner trench wall.

“That’s what you get, old man!” Aaron laughed out loud. A cocky lad, he had absolutely no respect for the guy who spent thirty years as a laborer at the corporation because he couldn’t control his insatiable appetite for booze. “Maybe if you didn’t always have a hangover, it wouldn’t have happened.”

“You mother——! One day, I’ll plant these same knuckles up the side of your snotty little head!” Henry fired back.

“That’s enough!” Stan warned. “Aaron, keep your mouth shut.”

“Yes, sir,” the young man replied.

Suddenly, the sound of screeching tires caused Stan to turn around. He noticed a black truck with dark, tinted windows similar to the one he saw on the way there had just pulled up. He was shocked it got through in spite of the tractor blocking access and several other workers who were stationed alongside the road. For a few seconds, the truck just sat there with the engine running in the cool of the night. Stan was now convinced it was the same vehicle since the eerie feeling which blanketed him when it pulled up next to his truck at the traffic light had returned like a huge tidal wave.

Todd noticed the strange vehicle too and watched near the trench as Stan walked toward it. His co-workers paid no attention to what was happening outside of the trench.

Stan proceeded around to the driver’s side door as the truck sat there suspiciously still.  He tapped on the window, which moments later rolled down to only a few inches. Stan noticed that in spite of the glaring beams of light in the area, he could see nothing but darkness through the window gap inside the truck. The driver’s head was barely visible, but those eyes — almost a silver luminescent hue caught Stan by surprise.

“Um…” Stan felt the need to clear his throat. “Can I help you? This road is closed. How did you get through here?”

“Closed?” the man asked almost lazily.

“Yeah. Closed. Can I help you with something?” The man’s focus slowly shifted from Stan and instead straight ahead. Stan strangely felt the need to look in the same direction. That’s when he saw Burt being hurled through the air like a baseball, landing hard against the pavement at least fifty feet down. He was completely still. Stan’s eyes widened with shock.



NO ONE IS SAFE. Obsession, abduction and murder are the order of the day.


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Happy Sunday!

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Mira Cullen is prompted to fly out to The Bahamas to meet a man her brother Wade must introduce her to. Daniel Smith believes it’s providence that a chance encounter with Wade has resulted in him meeting the one person who could possibly bring to light and put to rest an age-old mystery involving his beloved mother. Smith, a product of “the contract”, which took place decades earlier — deems it an opportunity that literally sustained the lives of many, but in whose clutches also stole the life of the one person he loved more than anything else in the world.

Will Mira’s attempt to uncover the truth ultimately grieve the one who yearns for it? Or will the final discovery prove to be bitter-sweet?

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Women Issues (2)

When I was growing up in the seventies and eighties, we didn’t have social media and internet access like what teenagers have today. Our form of “socializing” was in person on the school campus, fast food restaurants or around the neighborhood. We didn’t have hand-held devices to get lost in and we actually stayed in touch with friends via our home phone as cell phone texts were not an option then. There was no cyber-bullying. If anyone got teased, it was usually at school and no world-wide web to continue the torture on. There was no “online dating”; you got to know each other in person. Personally, I’m glad I grew up in that era. Young people today are blessed with technology, but with it comes with serious issues as well.

Today, so many people hide behind their cell phones and social media, and spend less and less time with the people they love. Some have used technology to hurt and embarrass others publicly with posts that are never removed; some of which have driven persons to commit suicide. In other words… people are now able to be cruel to each other on an even larger scale than ever before. For example: Posting nude pictures of love interests who once trusted them, etc. has been a common thing and the stories go on and on. And what’s strange is that with all the “friends” we make on social media and “followers” of our various accounts, people find themselves alone and empty. Yes, technology is a huge blessing and has brought many positive experiences to the lives of many, but on the other hand, it is also used in a destructive way. I feel for kids growing up today — those who have been targets on social media and not knowing where to turn or what to do. It’s a very sad situation.

Girls, in particular, need to have a healthy balance of self-esteem and confidence to help them through the maze of puberty and adulthood. Tools that will help them to make good decisions and to refrain from situations that can prove detrimental in the long run. They need to never be convinced by a so-called boyfriend who loves them to take naked pictures which may be used against them after there’s been an argument or the relationship has ended. Self-worth and value should be in the forefront of every girl’s mind and affectionate words and actions by a partner should never be enough to convince them to put themselves in a potentially damaging situation. When every girl/woman gets to know her value, she’ll be amazed by the inner strength that comes with it.

If you’re interested in the book I co-wrote that’s geared toward girls and women of all ages, the link to it is below. It’s currently widely available online. And after you’ve read it, I would really appreciate if you’d leave your comments about it on Amazon or wherever you purchased it from.

Until next time, take care, be safe and in spite of what you’ve been told, I want you to know that you are BEAUTIFUL.



Women Issues (1)

I realized long ago that having the right self-image and self-esteem are important components in a woman’s life and that of young girls. The lack of self-esteem and a poor self-image has done so much damage largely due to the false definition tied into what “society” calls “beautiful”. How do you define it? Is it that model on TV who probably looks nothing like you? Is that what real beauty is? It’s really sad because a lot of girls have grown up thinking just that — believing that largely unspoken, misleading definition of what being beautiful is. This has scarred many for life because they couldn’t live up to that myth. Poor self-esteem was the result and for some came depression, eating disorders and unhealthy obsessive behavior. A woman around my age (I’m now 48) recently told me she’s been struggling with the image she’s had of herself all of her life. Sometimes it’s outsiders who contributed to such a feeling and other times it’s been parents or other family members, not realizing that their words were powerfully influencing that child in a negative way that would stay with them throughout their childhood and into adulthood. Our behaviors/actions as adults have usually been determined by the experiences of our past. There comes a time though when we have to face the disappointments and injustices of our past head on. Confront them by taking a good look into ourselves and find out what it is that causes us today to think less of ourselves or to shy away from others when the fact is no one is better or less important than we are.

I’ve co-written a book titled: ‘I Didn’t Know I Was Beautiful: The Real & Raw Facts That Every Woman on The Planet Should Know’. It’s a collaborative effort with my teenage daughter (she’s nineteen), who at eighteen-years-old established her first online business and now has three of them that are doing very well. She even makes her very own line of lip glosses, lip balms and scrubs! She, neither I was born with a silver spoon in our mouth. We know about struggles, hard work and determination to succeed and when we fail (which we all do), to try again… and again. She’s also working her way through college as a Law student and fighting against the barriers that have appeared before her. Hopefully, this book can inspire other young girls and older women to strive in the midst of adversity and to prove the naysayers wrong. Growing up these days as a teenager is rough because there’s so much coming against the youth in all different directions, but having a good self-esteem and a clear focus as to what you want to achieve makes the impossible dream possible. If the image you have of yourself is poor as a young girl or as an adult, it stagnates you, making it so difficult to get ahead because most of the time, you’re subconsciously enveloped by thoughts that you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or that you don’t have what it takes to make it. Hopefully, this book will help a lot of people to see the truth and discard all the lies that have been spoken throughout the years.

I will try to be more active on this blog as this topic is so important. I was once a shy teenager. I was teased when I was a small child and know the pain of that experience and never forgot it. When I became a young businesswoman I realized the importance of being able to speak confidently to people if I was going to make my business work. I worked on myself and since then, have never looked back. That’s just one example. I hope as we reflect more deeply on what matters to girls and women, we’d be a positive influence on each other. If you’re interested in the book, you can find it here as an ebook and in paperback at Amazon or on other platforms here.

Until next time, take care, be safe and in spite of what you’ve been told, I want you to know that you are beautiful.

#self-esteem #teenageissues #womenissues #depression #eatingdisorders #painfulpast #teasing #bullying #disabilities #dating #teenagers #self-confidence #successfulwomen #success #dysfunctionalfamily #motivation

Shadows & Spellcraft featuring MONIQUE SINGLETON

Shadows and Spellcraft has your copy of Primal Nature by Monique Singleton plus over a dozen more reads at the amazing pre-order price of $.99! Order your copy today!

Amazon / iBook / Kobo / Nook

Known simply as subject 336, she was the unwilling subject of sinister and brutal experiments designed to replicate her enormous strength, healing powers, and apparent immortality.
It didn’t work that way. They unleashed her primal nature.
Now they’re dead and she’s lost.

From the sweltering heat of the Mexican desert, her journey leads her to the tropical jungle of the Columbian Amazon.
Against the backdrop of the Third World War, she fights her own grueling battle to come to terms with what she is: a killer, a monster, or maybe worse.

The world is at war, and she is caught up in the middle.
Joining the revolution, her newfound talents sway the balance of war in their favor.
But is she a blessing, or a curse.

Primal Nature captivates you from the first page and plunges you deep into the struggles and terrors of a random woman cursed with immortality
Warning: 18+ Adult content.
I don’t write standard Urban Fantasy, the characters go through dark times and don’t always come out on top. Primal Nature is not a romance, it is an awakening. This book has been written in UK English

Author Bio

Monique Singleton writes compelling stories that mix fantasy with realistic psychological suspense and unique insights into the mind of the main characters.

As the daughter of a British soldier and his Dutch wife, Monique was born in an English military hospital in Germany. The family toured the world where she was exposed to different cultures in many countries. Finally settling down in the Netherlands she pursued a career in Art and later in ICT.
About six years ago Monique started to put the scenes she had running around in her head, down to paper.
Scenes led to a story, the story to a book, and the first book to a series.
In addition to her writing, Monique still holds down a full-time job as a business consultant. She lives in a beautiful old farmhouse in the south of Holland with her two sloppy monster dogs, some horses, and a cat.
The cat is the boss.


Shadows And Spellcraft

The Ultimate Urban Fantasy Binge Collection

A boxed set with over a dozen amazing reads, that will take you to lost worlds, fall in love with unlikely heroes, and kick some butt with no-nonsense chicks. With a collection that includes New Adult romance, urban fantasy, and Young Adult, there’s something for everyone.

Each story is exclusive to this collection, and includes some shiny new stories from USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors.

If you love to binge on stories that take you away from the ordinary, this boxed set of fifteen books will keep you reading for days. It’s stuffed with vampires, shifters, mages, fae, ghosts and more in everything from modern day Earth to Apocalyptic settings. Bury your nose in this box set now. Order your copy of SHADOWS AND SPELLCRAFT NOW

Amazon / iBook / Kobo / Nook

Shadows and Spellcraft

Shadows & Spellcraft featuring K.A. Last

Shadows and Spellcraft has your copy of Fall For Me (The Tate Chronicles #1) by K. A. Last plus over a dozen more reads at the amazing pre-order price of $.99! Order your copy today!

Amazon / iBook / Kobo / Nook

Some rules are made to be broken.

Grace is a Protection Angel and Vampire Hunter, and she has always followed the rules. Until now, fighting evil has been simple: kill the bad guys, keep the good guys safe. Falling in love was never part of the plan.

When she least expects it, Grace falls for the wrong guy. Her worst enemy becomes her most important ally, and amongst the love and betrayal, Grace must make a life changing decision.

Blood will be shed, lives lost, and friendships tested. Can Grace save those closest to her? Or will she pay the ultimate price for breaking the rules?

Fans of Buffy, Fallen, and Twilight will love this fast paced young adult read. Fall For Me will make your heart race, but it will also break it along the way.


Author Bio

K. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. K. A. Last is currently studying her Bachelor of Arts at Charles Sturt University, with a major in English, and minors in Children’s Literature, Art History, and Visual Culture. She now resides in the countryside on the mid-north coast of NSW.


Shadows And Spellcraft

The Ultimate Urban Fantasy Binge Collection

A boxed set with over a dozen amazing reads, that will take you to lost worlds, fall in love with unlikely heroes, and kick some butt with no-nonsense chicks. With a collection that includes New Adult romance, urban fantasy, and Young Adult, there’s something for everyone.

Each story is exclusive to this collection, and includes some shiny new stories from USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors.

If you love to binge on stories that take you away from the ordinary, this boxed set of fifteen books will keep you reading for days. It’s stuffed with vampires, shifters, mages, fae, ghosts and more in everything from modern day Earth to Apocalyptic settings. Bury your nose in this box set now. Order your copy of SHADOWS AND SPELLCRAFT NOW

Amazon / iBook / Kobo / Nook

Shadows and Spellcraft