Take Two: A Collection of Second Chance Stories is an anthology from the authors of Writers on the River. Love and life get another chance in these tales that will warm your heart and make you fall in love again.
The proceeds of this anthology will go to Thistle Farms, a non-profit organization located in Nashville, Tennessee that helps women survivors of violence, sex trafficking, prostitution and addiction.
Anthology of stories written by authors for Writers on the River to raise money for Thistle Farms and Healing with Words. Healing With Words, host of Writers on the River, is a 501(c)(3) not for profit established for healing survivors of abuse, addiction, trafficking and prostitution. We feel the best way to spread love is to share the love of reading. Through the written word, persons can find an escape and a form of entertainment. Our mission is to bring together readers, authors, and survivors in a positive manner that affects change and relief from negative influences. Some stories guaranteed are by the following authors with many more authors joining the mission:
JM Walker Dania Voss Miranda Shanklin Tricia Andersen
Cora grows up fast due to the cruel, unrelenting ways of a harsh mother and excruciating farm life. She gets married due to the unexpected pregnancy in hopes of a better experience with her husband but sees all her hopes dissipate when things do not turn out as planned. Cora speeds from one tragic life event to another at every turn. She overcomes a multiplicity of hardships in the form of child abuse, spousal neglect, and self-esteem issues because of her love for Christ. Cora’s story is transformative tale that shows the power of God’s mercy and grace to break every chain of despair in her life and those connected to her.
The tears began to flow. The psalmist was incredible. Flags and banners lifted the name of Jesus. The praise in the church was astonishing. There was a Godly move in the place. Most of the parishioners were praising God with the pastor for the things they hoped for in the New Year. There was a feeling of celebration in the air. Holy Ghost moved freely in the church sending many mothers into shouts and tongues of their most high Jehovah.
Cora sat quietly in the back of the church. She was hoping she would not be noticed in the corner in her seat. She could feel a true desire to get up and clap, but she was so ashamed of what her life had become. Plus, she was not clear on how this church experience was supposed to be. So, she tried to dab her eyes with her tissue. She did not want any of the other folks in the church talking about her or staring. Eight years seemed like only a blink of an eye. But that was the amount time it had been since she’d lost her only son in a hit and run accident. Over the years, she had faced much criticism and been the talk of a lot of speculation concerning his accident. None of the hurtful words or thoughts of the folks in her town affected her. In fact, nothing affected her like it used to. The only thing that still stung like it was yesterday was the vision of her son dead in her arms. The image would come and go but it was still there haunting her like a photograph.
The past eight years had been long and hard. She wanted to be delivered from her problems and removed from her pain. It just seemed to consume her. Depression came off and on in her life like a faulty light. No matter what she did she could not knock the uneasiness she felt. Cora tried to numb her pain with the melody of narcotics. In the years since her son’s death, she had tried a garden variety of drugs by themselves and in every concoction. She sought counseling from friends, frenemies, many pastors, therapists, and the bottle. Her life became a joke in town as she spiraled downward. The mention of her name would get anyone side stares. Cora went from a former beauty queen to a snagged-tooth, bald, emancipated version of herself.
She was doing much better than the first two years after her son was killed. It was a long journey to get to this pitiful state, and her image had not fully recovered. Her presence still managed to get her numerous glances and stares of disapproval. Cora’s story was never mentioned or even whispered among others because of her tale was so wrenching. Not only could she not bring the words to her lips to even recant the tragedy, nobody else in town seemed to acknowledge her story. If a brave soul did speak to her, the conversation was brief and trivial. It was as if the tragedy was a pandemic virus that would spread from host to host and everyone was trying to avoid the main host.
Her nerves were still bad. She was easily angered by things. She neglected her appearance, losing over sixty-five pounds in the months after her son’s death. Her body faded from pin-up model to unidentifiable skin over bones. Cora had not set foot in a church in over three years because her church decided to put her out. It was voted on openly at the church meeting. Not one soul stood up for her. She had attended that church all her life. It contained all her history and at the very moment she needed them to love her, in her time of need, her church family turned on her and betrayed her. Her real family and church family washed their hands of her. Cora was left hung out to dry for no good reason at all.
She could still remember that day in church as if it were yesterday. She had returned after another stint in the local rehabilitation center. Cora remembered entering the church with a feeling of relief. Subsequently, she also felt a lot of dread when she took her seat in the pew. She went right to the front and sat down in the right pew where she used to sit when she was a child. Ms. Elsie, the mother of the church, looked her way but did not seem excited to see her as she usually did. Cora was not sure why because if there was one thing that remained true, it was the fact that Ms. Elsie was always happy to see folks come to church and praise the Lawd as she would put it. This day was different. The church mother turned her head yet continues humming the hymns rallying from the choir. Cora found it strange that the mother of the church did not look at her. Though she felt funny, there was no warning sign in her spirit to leave until it was too late.
The harmony from “Amazing Grace” barely left the air before Pastor Owens asked all the visitors to stand. Cora did not stand because she was a member of the church. She thought to stand because five years away was like being a visitor. Many of the elders were now gone to glory. There were a few new families attending since the last time.
Cora knew some of their faces because she saw them out downtown. On the days she managed to be somewhat sober, she went downtown to the café to get breakfast. Cora would have her regular of grits and cheese eggs scrambled hard with black coffee. She would sit for hours listening to the locals lie about their lives and watching others who knew the real story pretend to be intrigued. It was her time to read the papers and to catch an open-eyed nap before returning to one of the few abandoned houses in town to sleep until night.
At night, she would turn a trick with the same old tired men to earn enough money for her drug du jour. She mainly smoked crack, but sometimes she would do meth. She did not particularly like how it made her feel afterward, but the initial high was incredible. These were the only times Cora was able to clear her mind of the accident. The act of getting high became a habit of survival for Cora. She did not party with the other addicts in town, nor did hang out the crack houses in the area.
Her routine was simple. She collected her disability check and paid the bills on her house. She would stay home maybe two to three times a week. Then she would hitchhike or walk the seven miles into downtown. Once downtown, she would go to the café and then when night fell, the hilltop was her next stop. She would pick one or two of the same old men who frequented there and perform a quick sex act. This gave her enough money for drugs and food for the week; this is when she felt like eating. She’d get her drugs and either get high there or go home to get high in private. There were never many days that she was sober for the entire day. And there were fewer and fewer days that she was not turning tricks or doing petty crimes for drugs.
She would steal things from other peoples’ yards or the local discount store. The stolen items were resold to some of the more unscrupulous locals for a fraction of their actual costs. The proceeds were always used for drugs and her limited survival.
K. Sharronne is a Christian/Inspirational Author and Poet. Since a child, she loved to write and her passion has continued through her current writings. Her favorite form of writing is poetry. Sharronne writes poetry almost daily. Currently, she has two other books published: I Dreamt of Love- Poetry Collection and Give Me a Reason to Love. K. Sharronne is the founder of an Indie publishing company, True Vine Press.
K. Sharronne started True Vine Press to give a voice to authors that wanted to write about God in conventional and non-conventional ways. True Vine Press lives by the motto ‘Be Inspired By Words.’ The only caveat is that every story that uses scriptures or talks about God has to line up with premises and precepts of the Bible.
Love isn’t always champagne and roses and it’s certainly not the case in this love triangle thriller with a twist. A dominating, abusive boyfriend is being ousted for a romantic hero, but there are deadly consequences. Step into the gang life and witness the savagery as they stop at nothing to seek revenge. You’ve heard the old saying: “Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl.” Now you can add: “Girl’s gang-leader boyfriend doesn’t like the new addition.”
Scott grew up in New York and is an avid sports fan. He was a sportscaster and then a sportswriter for many years. He loves writing thrillers to entertain readers across the globe. Scott also loves attending events to meet new fans whenever possible.
The past never stays hidden. No matter how hard you try.
Christmas was perfect—the Hayes wedding made the front page of the New York Times, proving that fairytales do exist. Now, Darren and Melody are planning the honeymoon of their dreams and have the date set for Valentine’s Day.
However, getting there might be half the battle: Melody and Darren’s love for each other will be put to the ultimate test.
Temptation is everywhere.
Exes come out to play.
Can they overcome temptation and the challenges of a rushed marriage, or will their happily-ever-after end as soon as it started?
This sweet second chance romance just got even steamier, and is filled with the over-the-top swoon-worthy moments your helplessly romantic soul craves!
“Darren, you’re insatiable.”I backed into him, coaxing him inside me. Who was I kidding? I needed him just as badly.
Using my hip for leverage, he pushed into me painfully slow, filling me entirely. He cradled me closely, kissing my neck as he stilled me in his strong and loving arms. I was surrendering to the love he’d been trying to give that I hadn’t believed was real or deserved. But it was just as real as the air surrounding us—it was always there, even though we couldn’t see it.
About the Author
JP, is a beautifully twisted soul who has the divine ability to make the unbelievable believable. A Colorado girl born and raised, she graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine and worked seven years as a full-time ER tech. Marriage and two beautiful kids later, she currently works part-time at a general practice assisting in surgeries and performing dentals. When JP is not saving lives or coming up with my next plot twist, she loves traveling and spending time with family and friends!
Thank you for stopping by Nesie’s Place today, Elaine!
Your latest release, The Single Best Thing, centers around Travel Together Tour Manager Eve Mitchell. Can this be considered book six or an epilogue to the Singles Series?
A – it’s actually both. Although it’s a novella – it ‘ties up’ the ends and tells us what finally happened to Eve and Melv.
What inspired the Singles Series?
A – I worked as a tour manager for a singles tour operator for thirteen years. During that time I accompanied a couple of hundred groups of single travellers to worldwide destinations. I could see the singles’ holiday setting had the makings of a book/TV series/film from the very first trip I ever did.
Can you tell us about one of the stories?
A – well, the main story is that of Eve, the tour manager whose story is told over the six books. But each book tells not only her story but those of several group members. I think Angela’s is an interesting story. She’s in Single All The Way; an arrogant, unhappy woman who is a bit of a ‘challenge’ for Eve. She gets drunk, insults everyone, causes fuss after fuss but then we find out what’s gone on in her life and something happens to her on the holiday – no spoilers from me – and she starts to get a grip on her life. We meet her again in The Single Best Thing and she’s living a totally different life and is happy.
Do you have a favorite character from the series?
A – well, I suppose Eve, but I am very fond of Murray Sneddon. I wrote him as the ‘challenge’ of Singles’ Holiday but as the book went on he became more likeable. And I liked him so much he appears in four of the books. And Penny and Dave. Dave first appears in Singles’ Holiday but then meets Penny in Single All The Way. And Frances – what a girl she is! And Geri – once again a ‘challenge’ for Eve in Singles’ Holiday but the heroine of Singles at Sea. And Michael and Natalie…. so hard to chose just one!
Sounds like you have a lot of fun with your characters! What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?
A – I’m always unsure what my genre is! LOL! Contemporary fiction, I suppose, although The Banjo is set in 50s and 60s. I’d love to be able to write thrillers or murder mysteries. Perhaps one day…
What’s your favorite genre to read?
A – Thrillers.
What are you reading now?
A – I’m reading my way through eight books by as yet unpublished writers as I’m honoured to have been asked to be a judge for the Pen to Print Book Challenge. Very interesting!
Where are you from?
A I’m an East End girl. I was born in Limehouse – brought up and presently live in Dagenham – but have lived in Mallorca, Ibiza, Corfu and Antigua at various times in my life.
You wear many hats. Your bio says you’re a novelist, playwright, screenwriter and actress…WOW! Are they interconnected or do you have a preference for one over the others?
A -They are interconnected. I went to the Anna Scher Community Theatre for a number of years and Anna always encouraged us to write and put on plays so writing and acting stemmed from there and grew.
You’ve written and produced plays and a short film. Care to share any playbills with us?
A – sorry my IT skills don’t allow me to upload them – I’m on an iPad. If I can send something separately I will.
Plays Elaine was in and/or wrote
Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?
A -I am a proud self-published author.
How long have you been a writer?
A – I started writing plays in 90s. My first book, What’s Eating Me, was based on a stage play and came out in 2009.
Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?
A – I like to think I could live without it. I do waste time on it most days unfortunately. But, for an indie writer like me it’s important for self-promotion (which I’m not terribly good at!)
Self-promotion is not easy and can be a pain! What’s your next project?
A – I’m working on The Banjo Book Two and also a four-part TV drama series.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
A – blow your own trumpet! Don’t be afraid to write the kind of book you want to read – be ruthlessly honest with yourself – don’t compare yourself to other (more successful/experienced) writers – and keep going! If you don’t keep writing you’ll never finish the book!
Many thanks to Elaine for chatting with us today! What a great interview! Scroll down and check out her latest release, The Single Best Thing. If you haven’t read any of the series, today’s a good time to start!
Almost four years have passed since Melv followed Eve back to England refusing to throw away their long awaited chance of lasting love and happiness. Much has happened in that time. No longer a tour manager for Travel Together, Eve is enjoying unexpected success in her new career. Has she forgiven him for hurting her so deeply? Was her love for him simply enough? And what about her own dark secret?
Provoking smiles and tears this glimpse into Eve’s future brings the Singles’ Series to its final conclusion
Elaine Spires is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter and actress. Extensive travelling and a background in education and tourism perfected Elaine’s keen eye for the quirky characteristics of people, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with the readers of her novels. Elaine has written two books of short stories, two novellas and seven novels, four of which form the Singles Series – Singles’ Holiday, Singles and Spice, Single All The Way and Singles At Sea. Her latest book, Singles, Set and Match is the fifth and final book in the series. Elaine’s play Stanley Grimshaw Has Left The Building is being staged at the Bridewell Theatre, London in May 2019. Her short film Only the Lonely, co-written with Veronique Christie and featuring Anna Calder Marshall is currently being in shown in film festivals worldwide and she is currently working on a full length feature film script. Only the Lonely won the Groucho Club Short Film Festival 2019! Elaine recently returned to UK after living in Antigua W.I. She lives in East London.