A Nightmare to Remember #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Excerpts

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Do dreams/nightmares influence your writing? Do you keep a notebook by your bed to write down ideas?”

Years ago when I was in college, after reading an Ellery Queen mystery, I developed an irrational fear of policemen, which caused me to be plagued by nightmares. One such dream inspired the following scene from my first novel, We Shall Overcome.

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“Where are you taking me?” asked Lisa as several policemen carried her down a long, dark hall.

“Where do you think?” one of them said.

“Please put me down,” Lisa said. “You’ll drop me. Just because I don’t see very well doesn’t mean I can’t walk.”

The men only laughed, and she was consumed by panic. Lisa fought to free herself from their grasp, which was not easy since her hands were cuffed behind her back. Two of the officers held her ankles while others held her shoulders. She began to scream and continued screaming until she was carried through a doorway and tossed onto a hard bunk. The cell door slammed with a resounding thud as the policemen left her, still handcuffed, lying face down on the bed.

“It is now six thirty am,” said the male voice of Lisa’s talking alarm clock as a cheerful tune was played. She sat up with a start. Her heart pounding, she discovered to her relief that she was not in a jail cell but in her own bedroom. The sheets and blankets were in a tangle on the floor. “Oh, god,” she said and flopped on the bed to wait for her heart to stop pounding.

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How about you? If you’re an author, do dreams or nightmares influence your writing? Have any of your characters ever had bad or good dreams? You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

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Long Arm of the Law #Monday Musical Memories

When I was in college during the 1980’s, one of my friends was a Kenny Rogers fan. While driving to and from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, about 150 miles north of Sheridan, Wyoming, my home town, we enjoyed such songs as “The Gambler,” “Coward of the County,” and “You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille.” But my favorite is the one I’m featuring today, and I don’t think it was as popular. It tells the story of a coal miner’s son who falls in love with a wealthy judge’s daughter.

At the time, I’d developed an irrational fear of policemen after reading an Ellery Queen mystery that contained a lot of police brutality. Now, I knew that thanks to Miranda and other measures, this sort of thing wasn’t likely to happen to me. But that didn’t stop a sinking feeling of dread overcoming me when the police were mentioned. Years later, this fear inspired my first novel, We Shall Overcome. My fear has since evolved to respect.

This song teaches a valuable lesson. Crime certainly doesn’t pay, but if you’re lucky, you might get what you want in the end. Rest in peace, Kenny Rogers.

By the way, for the next month, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated as a result of the coronavirus situation. Please click here to visit my Smashwords author page and download these books.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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