Smorgasbord FREE Book Promotions – First Time Authors – The Starter Pack

Just had to pick Sally and her helpful Book Promotions Blog with great advice and offer! CAT’S Weekend Spotlight Pick. 🙂

Cat ~ Catherine Lyon

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

In 2018, I want to continue to promote authors across the board with the current Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore promotions, but I would also like to focus on new authors with debut books. This is the New Author: Starter Pack

This particular promotion is for first time authors who have published a book since November 1st 2017 and have not been featured here on the blog already.

It is also for those authors who are planning to publish in 2018 and are in the final stages of editing and formatting their books with a firm date in mind.

I will not be doing all the work in these promotions, because after marketing authors for many years now including my own books, I know that if you have not done the basics in advance or very soon after publishing your book, you will not get the publicity needed to at least…

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Cat’s writer blog pick for my weekend! Krissy gives us writers a “wee bit” to ask our selves and ponder… Awesome post-Krissy.


Visionarie Kindness Chronicles


Do we as writers outgrow the pen?

Do we as social people want to have followers without depth?

Do we let our passion slip and fizzle out because there is no crowd?

If you ask me, I know I’ve been shallow and walked politely around the issues in my life. Yet as I’ve had the grace to evolved into a more mature person about writing.

It’s not about whether I write great or suck.
Just as long as I do it.

And that has sufficed an insufficient need in my life
as a mother, a wife, and a woman of color.

Yes, I would love to live online but there’s is no such thing as of yet.
I still must shake a few hands, give out a few hugs be human and use the toilet- if I can be frank.

I’ve let my passion slip a time or four and…

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My New Book Promotions Article is Featured on Two Drops of Ink! The Best Writers Blog Around.

Hello Readers, Authors, Writers, and Visitors!

         Image result for copy free images of two drops of ink blog

I am happy and proud to say my new Book Promotions article is now up on one of The #1 Best Top Writing Blogs Around! Come visit and give it a read at Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog.


And if you are a reader? You may want to visit and check out their New Book Store!

SO come visit this weekend and ENJOY!!


“Writing Advice, grammar, poetry, and prose – The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing

Writing A Memoir Takes Time and We Don’t Rush The Process. An Update Writing Together A Spiritual Legacy.

It has been awhile since our last update from Vance and me. Our writing process has been a wee bit slow, you just can’t rush the “process & creative flow I always say. And, one, is because he is ALL over the place with helping addicts find treatment, doing God’s work diligently, and getting him in one place long enough to spend time talking while I transcribe has been hard with both our schedules! We did finally connect last week on and off for about 2 1/2 hours and his book is getting really juicy, LOL.


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And yes, it was Superbowl time for him. He had made his predictions earlier in the week on who he knew was going to claim the trophy this year, and he WAS right as you can see above! It is what I love about this guy, he has such a great sense of HUMOR.

But back to the writing side of things. We have been going over so many different areas of Vance’s life lately. I also wanted to share a few of his ‘Facebook Posts’ here with you. I am learning so much through them and reading many “Light-Bulb” moments of clarity he is having about life, faith, family, and looking back when he was deep within addiction in his NFL days. That only is hard to share but shows his audacity and drive to be transparent that honors his recovery and sobriety. And why he inspires me and many who are connected to him through social media.

Now for me, it is hard to describe to you in words and as a co-writer learning many of the “inside details” of not only a mans life, but one who is higher profile and earned that from his abilities being an exceptional athlete and football player.  Not many writers get this blessed opportunity as I have to write with, now a brother in Christ and an amazing friend.  I share this because he has put his trust and faith in me to write his words and share his voice with the world in book form.

I am sure it can be uncomfortable having that kind of “TRUST” in another person (me) and not knowing much about them is a very brave thing to do. That is why I always share how Honored I am to be doing this memoir with him. It has been an amazing writer experience for me. So let me share a little more about what Vance has been up to and I will close with a small excerpt of a chapter we have finished to give you a Sneak Peek of what is to come in his book! Make sure you follow and like his Facebook page as Vance loves interacting with all his FANS Vance Johnson #82!!


Putting Our Past Behind Us FB Post:

Catherine Townsend-Lyon Author  January 31 at 7:12pm · 

Have to share that ‘Vance’s Book’ is going to be AWESOME!

So many stories he shared today as I transcribe and had a few “Giggles” too as I thought; “we did some crazy ass things when we were deep in addictions”…(Sorry co-writing buddy) 😁

So, YES, Vance Johnson Fans, Friends, and Readers, there will be some “Whit & Humor” and many many memories between the pages of this #Memoir LOL. ✍️🏈💫😺


Vance Johnson shared your post.

My co-writer and I are a little more than halfway through with my memoir. I think the picture becomes more an more clear every paragraph we dove into and relive in intimate detail on how addiction was present, and manifesting way before there was a problem. Let me help you get a picture of today’s writings. If you are over 35, 40, 45+ years old, take a deep breath and think of this. You are between 18-23 years old… take a good look at you back then, just for a minute. answer this question; “who are you, and who or what made that person”?
Get the picture? Visit Me At



About His Faith and Sobriety:


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January 29 at 6:25am ·

It’s far too often that we of little faith look for reasons not to believe. “I’ll believe it when I see it” is commonly the most pessimistic response when trying to convince someone of what’s possible. As a youngster, I had the faith that Jesus talked about. I could see myself winning races, jumping further than anyone else, even being a professional athlete.

In the height of my addictions, I couldn’t see anything. This went on for years. After crying out to God while driving through a canyon one day, there was a breakthrough. Shortly before committing to go to rehab something happened, I could actually see myself being sober. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t see the rest of my life, I could see it, BEING CLEAN, so I believed it!


AND ONE More FB Post: January 20 at 10:59am ·

I had a conversation with a friend and asked them this question…

Question; have you ever loved someone so much, that the past didn’t matter. Literally, everything that had happened in his/her relationships was just that, past. No judgments, no thoughts of why did you do that to me? only thoughts of the future with the changed person in front of them. Have you ever felt that way about anyone in your past, or even now?

And then I prefaced it, you know how God feels about us. We’ve sinned against him our entire lives, but when we repent he washes our sins away as far as the East is from the West, and cleanses us as white as snow. The Bible says, “he remembers our trespasses no more. ” Answer; yes, I’ve felt that way, I feel that way now, well, before the thought of being hurt came back across my mind. I looked at them and said, your exactly right, you’ve never felt that way before. “He who has ears to hear, let them hear.”

When you finally get it, you get it and have no excuse but to live it.



AND, About Childhood and Family:


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November 14, 2017 

I blamed my dad for my problems in my life, especially when I got older…

Lies are the root of evil, and people who believe lies don’t know they are doing evil. Look at all of the genocides in history, based on lies. With a lie, you can enslave a people not knowing its evil, gas Jewish families not knowing its evil, march Indians across the country and put them on reservations not knowing you are doing evil. Even in the 21st Century, we blame someone else for our addictions and not know we are doing evil!

1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

I’m four years clean. It’s my mission to be as transparent as I can to give hope to all who will listen. By sharing my thoughts on this journey and through my book soon, there may be a tool, a word or some truth from my own experiences that will encourage people that change is possible. You just have to want it. P.S. I’m sorry Dad
And there is sobriety in that!



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THEN, More Clarity and Life Lessons From FB:

After posting this morning I thought I would edit, by a follow-up post. The reason, throughout the day I have reflected on the dynamics of my childhood by trying to parallel in a sense where the reader might be in his or her walk with Christ.  I am not excusing underlying issues that may have contributed with ones need to escape their world at some point because of whatever dysfunction they grew up in. Someone reading this may be saying to themselves, your dad didn’t rape you or physically abuse you. These last four years working in the recovery field I’ve heard stories that are too graphic to share. I empathize with anyone who may have had to grow up in that environment.

Looking at my history and accomplishments you may be thinking “what the hell does he have to complain about”. Honestly, the only reason for my chosen words this morning was to open the possibility that forgiveness will free you, my addict friend from bondage. And the only freedom that I know makes sense, is scripture, what Christ calls us to be and DO through the divine word and through forgiveness.

Let me be a preacher for a sec. Christ came to fulfill the prophecies, not abolish them. If you are an addict, and you have hate in your heart for anyone, including that Dad who molested you, a Dad who cheated and beat your mom. The father who abandoned you or ridiculed you to make you feel like you were nothing but if you hate them it’s like murder.

Jesus took the 6th commandment a step further by giving us another interpretation. John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

I love my dad but thought that I hated him until I was 50 and it almost killed me. My dad never beat me, or abused me physically, he was actually a great provider. My book will explain the rest of my story, it starts out “A letter to my Father”


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An Excerpt From Our Working Title of “Vance Johnson Story” – Redeemed ~ Driven ~ Uncovered.

“Introduction Page”


“My life was spiraling out of my control. There I was, 50 years old, chained to a hospital bed a washed up broke former football pro. Then God showed his power at that moment and showed me it wasn’t my time. He had a much bigger plan and purpose for me and my life!”

In 2012, I was hurting emotionally and physically. My mom took me to the hospital for some tests, and my bloodwork was not well, and I fell into a coma. I remained in an induced coma for 26 days. My pastor came and prayed over me as my daughter, sister, and family began to say their goodbyes. No one thought I would make it. Neither did I. I was broken, exhausted physically, and was spiritually bankrupt. As another of my lowest points in my life other than my son’s passing and my suicide attempt years before.

Now looking back as I share my life with all of you, I wondered if this was how it was all going to end. All the trials and tribulations I have been through, the loss of my son, broken relationships and many marriages, hurting my family with my addictions and selfishness. As I lay in that hospital bed, I was having hallucinations and visions of dark shadows walking in and out of my room. Was it Satan’s enemy circling my bed as if to take me with him when I passed from this world? They came every day, but they never took me with them.  It was at that moment I knew GOD was by my side.

Here is when my healing and recovery was about to begin. Take a walk with me, and I will share with you how a man so broken can be “Redeemed, Uncovered, and once again Standing in Grace!” This is my story my truth, my transparency…

~Vance E. Johnson and Author, Catherine Lyon

Vance Edward Johnson (born March 13, 1963), is a former professional American football player who was selected by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 1985 NFL Draft. A 5’11”, 174 lb. a wide receiver from the University of Arizona, Johnson played his entire NFL career for the Broncos from 1985 to 1995.



Big Spotlight For “Authors & Writers Beware.” Shining a Light on “Not So Legit Publishing & Marketing” By Victoria Strauss…

Many of my author clients and writer visitors know I am a stickler when it comes to low cost book promotions and marketing with my business. And that includes finding decent publishing companies if my authors chose to not self-publish or want to use a self-publishing helper for all their written works. As I am stickler about my research on new places as well. I happened to get an email and solicitation from Legaia Books / Paperclips Magazine” and did my research, and thankfully Victoria’s article popped up about this publishing and marketing business looking for writers and authors to use them.

So, of course, you know me, I didn’t like what I read of her well written and researched article of this publishing company Victoria warns us about. Now, no, it is not about defamation or slamming them, it’s about “Buyer Beware” as many of the costs they are way too high. Like a Press Release for $399.00??? Or a marketing package like their “Facebook Turbo” that goes for $3,499.00 Only…ONLY? I’am charging way to low of prices for just my one Book Promotion Package at $150 which includes setting up 3 new Social Media accounts for my clients! WOW!

So here is what Victoria found about Legaia Books and before you do any buying for publishing and marketing of your books, do yourself a favor and visit Victoria Strauss first!!


Solicitation (and Plagiarism) Alert: Legaia Books / Paperclips Magazine

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware


And The Forecast Called For Rain by Kim Carter INSTAGRAM TEASER

When the late, unlamented Tate Publishing & Enterprises went belly-up a few months ago, I started hearing from Tate authors who were being contacted by self-publishing companies and other for-profit enterprises looking to recruit new customers. Some of these were straightforward, reasonably reputable (if overpriced) businesses. Others…not so much. Very active trying to snag Tate authors was Legaia Books.

Here’s how Legaia describes itself (bolding and errors courtesy of the original):

Legaia is a book publishing company created to aid writers in seeing their works in prints. Whether you’re a beginner or a published author, and whatever is the genre of your work (memoirs, fiction, non-fiction, children’s book, or even poetry collection), it is always our pleasure to be working with you. Legaia has no reservations to anything in particular other than those that contradict what is in the terms and services. With the application of new technology and information, we are able to accommodate our clients and are maintaining this accessibility for a better relationship.

The whole website is written like this, which should be a gigantic clue that things aren’t kosher. If that’s not enough, consider the eye-poppingly expensive publishing packages (which don’t offer anything that’s not available elsewhere for much less money), the hugely overpriced “online media publicity campaign” (based largely on cheap-for-the-provider services that can be sold at an enormous markup), and the nebulously-described “Online Retail Visibility Booster“, which costs $6,499 and wants you to believe that’s a fair price for something called a Booster Tool that supposedly gets you more reviews on Amazon.

You can also buy advertising in Paperclips Magazine, which among other “opportunities” encourages authors to pay $1,999 for a book review or $4,999 for a “Paperclips Author Article.” According to the Legaia website, Paperclips is “a social online magazine that showcases books and author experiences in the publishing industry”; according to email solicitations like the one above, it has “over 2 million subscribers worldwide” (a bit hard to believe, given the mix of terrible writing, puff pieces, and ads that make up most of its content).

What both website and solicitations fail to mention: Legaia and Paperclips are one and the same, a fact Legaia admits on its LinkedIn page. This is the kind of profitable closed loop that allows an author-exploiting enterprise to hit up its victims multiple times.


Image result for copy free images of Paperclips Magazine


As for Paperclips Magazine, it’s…interesting. Not just for the amount of money that must have been generated by all the author articles and ads. Not just for the insanely awful writing by the “Editorial Team”…

No. For the plagiarism and the intellectual property theft.

The Paperclips website includes short articles with the byline Chloe Smith. Much of this content actually belongs to other authors. For instance, a piece called 7 Active Reading for Students: here it is at Paperclips, under Chloe’s name. Here’s the original, attributed to the real author: Grace Fleming. How about 10 Keys to Writing a Brilliant Speech? Here it is at Paperclips. Here’s the original, by Bill Cole. Ditto These Are the 8 Fundamental Principles of Great Writing. Here it is at Paperclips. Here’s the original (with a different title), by Glenn Leibowitz.


I could go on. There are lots more examples. And that’s just the Paperclips website. The magazine also includes stolen content. At least Why Print Books are Better than eBooks, and Ways to Improve eReaders bears the name of its true author, Greg Krehbiel…but Greg has confirmed to me that Paperclips published it without his permission. (It originally appeared here.) (I also reached out to two other authors included in the same issue, but as of this writing I haven’t heard back.)

both website and solicitations fail to mention: Legaia and Paperclips are one and the same, a fact Legaia admits on its LinkedIn page. This is the kind of profitable closed loop that allows an author-exploiting enterprise to hit up its victims multiple times.
Any bets on whether Paperclips got permission to use images of Dr. Seuss characters on the cover of its latest issue? Or asked George R.R. Martin if it was okay to re-publish his August 2016 blog post–complete with original artwork from the illustrated anniversary edition of Game of Thrones?



A bunch of other things don’t add up.  Legaia/Paperclips has a North Carolina address, but it’s a virtual office. Legaia’s LinkedIn page claims the company was founded in 2008, but its domain wasn’t registered until late 2015. Similarly, Paperclips’ LinkedIn page says it started up in 2012, but its domain wasn’t created until November 2016 (I also couldn’t find any issues of the magazine earlier than December 2016). I’ve been able to locate only two actual human staff members (neither website includes staff names, and the two names I’ve seen on Legaia’s author solicitations, Emily Bryans and Serena Miles, appear to be wholly imaginary); both are based in the Philippines, and one formerly worked for Author Solutions.

Between these things, the English-as-a-second-language writing, the overpriced and exploitive “services”, the plagiarism, and just the general sleazy feel of it all, I’m strongly reminded of LitFire Publishing, which has a very similar business model and M.O, and was established by Author Solutions call center alumni in the Philippines as a sort of low-rent Xlibris-AuthorHouse-iUniverse-Trafford clone. Are LitFire and Legaia the same operation? Probably not. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Legaia has the same provenance.

“Now Cat has to interject in this last part of Victoria’s article. I received this exact EMAIL Solicitation to my email today! And The same Scout, “Emily Bryans” is used in my Email Below…Keep in mind Victoria shared her post in August of 2017 and a consultant came from Legia Books and even left her a comment! So, it has not stopped them from STILL Soliciting Writers and Authors…And that is WHY I am sharing her article” of Writers Beware…

Needless to say my email reply was “I politely decline at this time”…

 Frank Parker
To Catherine Townsend
Hi Catherine,
My name is Frank Parker from Paperclips Magazine. I’m reaching out to you because you’re referred to me by our Book Scout Emily Bryans. We are actually looking for authors to feature in our magazine and I was hoping we can touch base sometime this week to talk about your work and see if we can be able to add value to your book’s marketing campaign.
To give you an idea of what our magazine is, we actually write about the book industry. Meaning most of our subscribers are book readers, librarians and even decision makers in the publishing industry looking for aspiring authors in the business. We’ve featured both bestselling and aspiring authors in the magazine and I would love to share with you this opportunity to showcase your book with us.
Please let me know when is the best time to reach you. You can also call me at 1 (919) 914-9856 (Frank Parker).
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Best regards,
Frank Parker
Senior Publishing Consultant
Legaia Books Publishing and Marketing Services
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA 27601
Privacy Policy: This policy covers how we use your personal information. We take your privacy seriously and will take all measures to protect your personal information. Any personal information received will only be used to fulfill your order, and may be used for internal analytical purposes. We will not sell or redistribute your information to anyone.


Lastly, Victoria tells us, “Emily Bryans” is currently soliciting authors for something called Paperclips Magazine’s Author Circle, which is supposedly arriving this October and will feature “celebrity authors and multi-awarded literary contributors” (wonder how many of them know they’re included?) No word on how much it will cost to join up, but I bet it’s a bundle.

Writer beware.

I thank Victoria for granting me permission to share her post/article here on “Cat’s Reading Den” so we can spread the word to as we all are “Authors Helping Authors Helping Writers too!







Author, Rusty Blackwood “Sneak Read” of Her Spring 2018 Release – A Romantic Fiction Drama: “The Perils of Autumn.”

( The working cover for The Perils of Autumn. Image courtesy of Google Images © )


I’m so happy to have my friend Author, Rusty Blackwood with us again and for her granting us a special “Sneak Peek Read” from her new writing project and book coming in Spring 2018! Here now is Rusty and what she is sharing with us today…


Rusty Blackwood
(Photo Courtesy of Amazon Author Page)


Hello readers!

I am so pleased to bring you this update along with the latest thrilling chapter in the upcoming and most anticipated romantic fiction drama, The Perils of Autumn.

This new and exciting novel centers around a young nurse, the exhilarating world of thoroughbred racing in Kentucky, and a celebrated jockey who has a secret he will go to any length to protect.

Follow feistily, LPN Autumn Leeves, as she embarks on her first unique nursing assignment, that of caring for the terminally ill wife of English equestrian master and a Triple Crown winner, Cyril Landon, prideful owner of Landon Lawns Stables located just outside Lexington Kentucky in the posh area known as The Meadows.




Romantic fiction author Rusty Blackwood, who chose her plume de nom by combining the colour of her russet hair with her husband’s great, great, Scottish grandmother’s maiden name, was born in St.Thomas, Ontario, Canada on October 5th, and grew up on her paternal grandfather’s farm in the County of Elgin, located in the south-western portion of the province of Ontario. 

She acquired her love of literature while still in elementary school where she entered her original compositions into county fairs, school contests, and whatever venue allowed participants in the writing field. She has carried that love ever since and has put it to use many times since becoming a professional writer in 2001. 

From the time of youth she has loved the Arts in their many unique forms and is a graduate with honors in Interior Decorating & Design. She spent many years on the south-western Ontario stage performing with her family’s country music band: The Midnight Ramblers, followed by the country – rock – blues band: ‘MIRAGE’ as an accomplished vocalist, bassist, and rhythm guitarist. She now resides in the cultural city of St. Catharines, Ontario.

Please visit her official website  Rusty Blackwood – Bio/Contact for numerous reviews, author interview requests, and information on her work. 



I am enjoying the creation of this novel immensely. The more the story grows the more in-depth it becomes. The characters are raw, bold, and pretentious, yet each carries a certain uniqueness that pulls you in and makes you want to know them more. I now offer you the latest chapter in its entirety.  ~Rusty Blackwood





When Secret Want Becomes Frenzied Need


It was nearing mid-afternoon when Cyril arrived in the stable to tack up Dapper Dan and take him out for a ride. The air was crisp, but the wind of the morning had died down making the air less sharp. Autumn’s words still echoed in his ears; she was thinking of leaving, leaving him, leaving what they had together. She may have said their relationship would not change yet how could it not? She would no longer be present with him each morning to enjoy the English breakfast Agnes had become known for. She would no longer be present in the stables.

And she would no longer be at his side as they rode together, discussing world events, challenging each other about them, and simply being together. He felt tortured, alone, just like he had that terrible day when he walked into his bedroom to find his wife had expired before he could get there. He hadn’t the chance to say goodbye when she could have heard it, when it could have counted. How many times had he said it since? He prayed that she heard him, understood, and forgave him. Yet he would never know for sure, at least for now.

Cyril did not take his closeness with Autumn lightly. He found her consuming his every thought throughout the day. Had he fallen in love? What else could it be, and why had he simply not told her? He pondered on these thoughts as Without You played on the stable’s radio system that was used for entertaining not only the hands, but the horses. The lyrics of this song cut Cyril’s heart like a hot knife through butter, ripping him to his very core. Knowing he had to clear his head, he led his dappled stallion to the paddock gate. Taking a deep breath, relishing the freshness of it, he mounted his horse, took the reins, and set off toward the hills.

He planned on rounding his acreage to have a look at the fencing while he rode. There would be plenty to do once the ground was free of winter’s grip. It was the same every year. Cyril couldn’t say that he hated winter, after all it was beautiful in its own right, but the older he got the more the season’s weather bothered him. He was not overly old in years, yet he felt as if he had lived an entire lifetime, working hard, doing whatever was necessary to build a future, a life – a legacy. Yet he had no-one to leave it to, no wife, no children, and no heir of any kind.

He had coped with this fact when Alice was still at his side, they helped each other deal with it, but now he coped alone. He was certain that Autumn was aware of the emptiness he felt as well as the loss. He also knew she could understand, but if she left he would have no-one except Agnes, yet as close as she was to him, he could not confide in her in the same manner he could with someone who intimately held his heart. He must find a way to entice Autumn to stay, but how?

He rode on, letting Dan have his way, go where he wished, and kick up his heels if he chose. The snow in the fields had almost diminished completely, yet the odd shallow drift was still visible where the ground was sheltered. The absence of snow was good for it allowed Cyril an unhindered view of his land. It had been quite some time since he had ridden his property, and he was enjoying this ride immensely. He suddenly felt exhilarated, as did Dapper Dan, his nostrils emitting bursts of moisture into the air as he exhaled. Cyril was doing the same.

“Look at us, boy,” Cyril chided with excitement as the tall stallion opened his stride, “You feel the same as I, now go, Danny Boy, ride the wind, and do what you will!”

Rider and horse cantered swiftly. Before long the well-muscled hunter broke into a gallop, stretching long, and lean. The drumming of his hooves upon the ground echoed in the air, the sound carrying into the woods. The grey sped quickly along, his attention centered on the path before him when he noticed a sudden movement of something scurrying from beneath a nearby tree on his right. It was a jackrabbit, darting in front of him, totally taking him by surprise. He stopped immediately, rearing upward, unseating his startled rider who in turn lost his balance and fell. He landed heavily on his back upon the frozen ground. He cried out in pain, trying his best to remain conscious. The startled dapple bolted forward, answering the instinct to run, yet something was holding him back from disappearing into the woods.

A still conscious Cyril lay on his back, unable to move while pain shot through his entire body. Shock was beginning to set in but he realized he could not give in to it. If he did he was as good as dead. The temperature was beginning to drop, wind was picking up, and the frozen ground held no comfort for his injuries. He knew he had to have help. But he was alone, and at the far back of his property. Even if he yelled at the top of his lungs no one could hear him, the stables and mansion were too far away. He fought the fear now seizing his insides. Exposed to the elements, he realized he could not remain where he was for long, and he suddenly felt cold, the ground’s dampness doing its best to seep into his body as if it were a sponge. He knew it wouldn’t be long before hyperthermia would begin to set in. He lifts his head to see where Dan had gotten to and was instantly relieved to see that his solid friend was not far away, standing stalwart, waiting for instruction.

“Danny … oh Dan, my good, good boy, come here … hurry,” Cyril cried, doing his best to fight the tears filling his eyes. “Come, boy, you must help me. I need you now more than I ever have.”
The powerful steed moved toward his master, coming slowly, yet determined to obey the man he trusted. He stood before his fallen friend, towering well above him, but instantly lowered his head to nuzzle Cyril’s outstretched hand.


“You have to help me now, boy, you have to … to get us home – however you can. I-I don’t think I can get up — ah! I know that I … I can’t walk. You have to go, bring help. You can do it, boy; you have never let me down. Go, Dan, now … before it gets dark. Bring William, anybody to help me, now be off with you.”

The prideful horse continued to stand vigilant, refusing to leave his fallen master. He understood what was being asked of him, but he could not leave. Cyril again begged him to go, but he refused. Horses are one of the most intelligent animals God ever created. They possess enormous understanding, the need to love and be loved. The gentle grey dapple loved his master; he also knew he was in dire straits, so he stepped forward, positioning his body parallel to that of his fallen friend, knelt down on his front knees, and eased himself upon the ground with his back toward his friend.

Cyril was amazed to see what was happening, but thankful that it was. He wondered if he could move, or would he do himself further harm if he tried. But he could not stay where he was. Dan held fast, whinnying to his master to try. Cyril fought to pull himself upward, crying out in pain as he did. The pain emitting through his body was dreadful, and he fell back cursing aloud but determined he would win this battle. If his stalwart friend was willing to lay on this frigid ground for him, he would not disappoint him by not doing his part.

“Oh, Danny,” Cyril cried openly, “I do not know if I can do this. Oh, my fine boy, if … if only I had not brought us out here. I promise if we get home alive you will have the finest supper any magnificent beast has ever enjoyed. Ah! … Oh, dear Lord, help us, please help us. Good boy, Dan … now, I shall give it another go.”

Daylight was beginning to fade. Cyril realized that he must get on his horse; he would die on this spot if he did not. Again he pulled himself upward as he cried out in immense pain, but grasp hold of Dan’s generous mane while sliding his hands through it until his arms wrapped around the powerful neck, and his right leg over his friend’s body. Finally, he pulled himself upon Dan’s inert form, holding fast to the horse’s strong neck as he did.

Dan’s well-developed instincts told him it was time to get to his feet. With one strong lunge, while Cyril held fast to his body, he rose to his knees. One more upward lunge brought him to his feet. The horse now stood erect, his injured master draped on his back, arms and legs dangling freely, his face buried in the soft, warm mane. Dan took his time, stepping slowly but firmly as he walked toward home.

It was completely dark by the time horse and barely conscious rider arrived at the main stable. Dan whinnied loudly at the end door causing William Brown, who was busy with the evening chores, to take notice. He moved toward the door, not believing what he saw. He took but an instant to grab Dan’s dangling reins and bring him into the stable just as Cyril began sliding off his mount’s back. William moved like lightning, catching his now unconscious boss and easing him to the floor.

“Oh my God, Cyril, what in hell has happened!?” William exclaimed, instantly calling for Manfred’s help. “Hurry, man, Cyril is badly hurt! Call an ambulance and inform Nurse Leeves at the house! She needs to do what she can until the ambulance arrives.”

Autumn had just sat down in her kitchenette to a small bowl of vegetable soup. Her appetite was anywhere but with her as her mind kept repeating her earlier conversation with Cyril. She could not get his lost look out of her mind; it had infiltrated her very soul, as she thought, how can I even contemplate leaving him? Her heart pained at the very idea, but she missed practicing her profession; she had to make a choice.

Suddenly a loud knock pummeled her door, along with Agnes screaming, “Autumn! You have to go to the main stables this instant! Cyril is badly hurt!” …



Now I know I shouldn’t STOP the momentum of Rusty’s Sneak Peek Read for us, but her website is such an amazing place to visit, you’ll have to go there to finish reading her Chapter 23 Share and find out What Happens Next!

I thank Rusty for giving my friends, readers, and visitors such a treat and have an “inside look” of her long-awaited and ANTICIPATED ROMANTIC FICTION DRAMA: “THE PERILS OF AUTUMN” … More Books By Rusty.



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For all of Rusty Blackwood Best-Selling Books, Visit & Follower her on Amazon Author Page!



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