If Only Beth Flanagan Knew – An Excerpt

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Dear readers,

As many of you know, I’m an immense fan of fantasy and science fiction—having written six Maxx Zeqster Creepy Cases books. These are all fantasy / fiction.

You may not know I’ve written two spiritual novels. One of which, Waiting for the Sunrise, is the story of Tim and Beth Flanagan. They live in Chattanooga Tennessee. This is a segment from the beginning of the novel.

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Chapter OneSlide1

The Ice Storm

Beth Flanagan, the attractive, Irish American woman, was sleeping in their saggy, small bed, in their small, rented mobile home in Etowah. She and Tim, her husband, live in the rural farm and industrial town near Chattanooga Tennessee, in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.

She was enduring another fitful night due to their financial problems and her pregnancy. She was drifting in and back out of dreams, as she slept. Beth mumbled garbled words as their problems tormented her rest.

As she slept, she moved her head and jerked her arms while mumbling gibberish. As she began to mumble louder, she awake from her troubled sleep. In the darkness, she gazed around the bedroom. “Oh no!” Beth moaned. “The electricity’s out again. I hate these power outages!”

With difficulty, the eight months pregnant, sandy haired, mother of two, struggled to squirm in their well-worn, full sized bed. Beth reached for her flashlight that she kept on the garage sale nightstand for power outages. “I hate being pregnant,” she mumbled. In the darkness, she knocked the flashlight off the table. It bounced off her face and onto the worn out mattress. “Owe…that hurt,” she moaned.

As Beth reached for the light, her hand tore the hole in her mattress cover even bigger. “This cover’s rotten,” she grumbled as she grabbed the frugal flashlight and turned it on.

“The batteries are low,” she said with irritation. Beth struggled to maneuver, while holding the light. Her large, pregnant stomach severely restricted her movement.

She squirmed to maneuver as she shined the light and read her battery-powered clock. “It’s 1a.m.,” she said as she squirmed. “There must have been another ice storm. I hope this one wasn’t bad.”

Beth shined the light on her thirty-five year old, Irish-American husband’s side of the bed. With alarm, as her heart raced, she said, “Tim isn’t home from work yet. He never works this late at the Smith’s farm. I hope he isn’t in a ditch.” She panicked as she said in the darkness, “I’ve got to check my kids.”

The twenty-seven year old college graduate from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville squirmed. “It gets so dark in the Smoky Mountains at night,” Beth grumbled. She wiggled as she slowly maneuvered to the edge of their decrepit, aging bed. While grasping the nightstand, the struggling writer groaned as she stood.

Beth dropped the flashlight. “Oh no,” she said with irritation. She struggled while holding onto her bed and nightstand as she bent down. “This is hard.” Beth groaned while grabbing the flashlight on the floor. Her large pregnant stomach threw off her balance as she stooped.

She struggled to stand again while gripping the light and bed. “This is really hard,” she moaned while complaining. As Beth reached standing position, she said, “I hope I don’t have to do that again. Being pregnant is awful.”

While holding the flashlight and shining it on the floor, she grabbed her bathrobe that she hung next to her side of the bed. Her fears were crippling as she put the loose fitting, flea market robe on her arms and back—leaving the front open around her large stomach. The uneven ties drooped to the floor. “I hope Mitch and Amber are alright,” she mumbled as her heart raced with fear and worry.

While shinning the dim light on the excessively worn, carpeted floor, she struggled out of their cramped, shabby bedroom. Her heart pounded with anxiety in her chest as she walked. Beth trudged along the dark, narrow, trailer corridor toward her son Mitch, and her daughter Amber’s, small room. “These batteries are getting low. I can barely see,” she complained as she fearfully pushed open her three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter’s bedroom door.

While shinning the dim flashlight, she worrisomely gazed into her children’s very dark room. She saw Mitch and Amber quietly and safely sleeping in their twin bed and crib. With great relief, she sighed deeply. She said softly, “Thank God they’re ok. Now, where’s Tim?”

As her fears quickly turned to anger, Beth slowly pulled the door to an almost closed position and shined the dim light to the floor once more. In the darkness, she crept along the narrow, grungy, hall toward the kitchen. She whispered as she trudged, “Tim shouldn’t be working this late,” she mumbled with anger and fear as she walked. “I hope he’s alright. He’s good at driving in these ice storms. He never gets in a wreck.”

Beth slowly ambled into their small, basic kitchen. She grabbed a plastic cup from the dish strainer. Mumbled angrily, “He said he’d be late. He never works this late!” She placed the flashlight on the counter so it shined over the sink and onto the fake, wood panel wall. Beth turned on the faucet. The slow trickle of water stopped after only a few seconds, as she watched.

That’s just Great!” Beth whispered angrily with irritation. “Without power, the pump doesn’t work.” With the dim light from the dying flashlight shining on the wall of the small, dark kitchen, she stepped to the fridge.

Her eight months pregnant stomach protruded out of the only half on robe as she opened the old, small, refrigerator. She grabbed the last bottle of juice and mumbled, “The fridge is still cold. The power hasn’t been out very long. Hopefully the ice storm wasn’t bad.”

Beth placed the plastic cup back in the dish strainer. Grabbed the flashlight. With her cold juice in the other hand, she slowly walked out of the kitchen. Beth entered their shabby, small living room. She mumbled angrily with concern, “Where’s Tim? He never works this late. I hope he’s alright,” she mumbled as she walked to the end table.

Placing the juice and flashlight on their mismatch end table. Beth struggled as she braced herself. She moaned as she slowly sat on the garage sale couch that came with the decrepit, rented mobile home.

As the dim light from the flashlight shone on the aging, fake, wood paneled wall, Beth sipped her juice while her kids slept safely in their rooms. She said with irritation and worry, “Where is Tim? He can’t still be working. I hope he’s ok.”

Beth slouched on the couch while sipping her beverage during the power outage and worrying. “I hope he’s alright. He works so hard. He’s always so tired. I hope he didn’t fall asleep at the wheel while driving home,” the passive mother mumbled as she slowly sipped the juice in the nearly dark room while worrying angrily.

Several Hours Earlier

Tim Flanagan, the taller, brown haired, unattractive, thin, Irish American, was working at the Smith’s farm in Etowah. He tinkered in the barn on a diesel motor during the ice storm. Fran Smith, the tall, thin, unattractive, dirty brown-haired woman, and farm wife walked in. She said, “We’re getting another ice storm. It doesn’t look too bad—so far, Doug drank himself into oblivion again with JD. I put him to bed. He’ll sleep all night.” With a dirty face and hands, Fran approached her taller, rough-faced, messy lover, with a seductive smile—as her long ponytail dangled.

Tim replied sarcastically as he grinned while sitting on the hay, “We can always count on Doug. He gives us plenty of time. Your husband’s quite a guy.” Tim stood and walked toward Fran—as she approached him while smiling. “It’s a good thing he drinks Jack.” Tim approached his lover.

Tim and Fran embraced while kissing passionately. They began their regular, longtime, love affair in the hay pile. Doug Smith slept like the dead, under the power of Jack Daniels Whiskey in his and Fran’s bed inside their home. Fran and Tim enjoyed their usual, steamy  relationship as he slept.

Time Passed as they continued their Romance in the soiled Hay Pile

Later, Tim and Fran continued to embrace as they napped in the hay pile following their passionate relationship. Suddenly Tim awoke. He was shocked as he lay while wrapped in only the dirty hay and Fran. “Oh no! I fell asleep!” Tim said frantically. “I’ve got to get home before Beth wakes up.”

As he began to stand, Fran awoke. She smiled as she said, “Come here lover. We have time for another round. Doug will sleep all night.” She tried to pull him close.

He resisted her pull and said while in a panic, “Maybe Doug will sleep all night but Beth won’t. She has trouble sleeping.” He brushed off the hay and began hurriedly dressing.

Fran watched as he frantically dressed. She asked politely, “How far along is she?”

“Eight months. Everything’s difficult for her right now—especially sleeping. She might be awake now. I need to go.” While Fran watched with disappointment, Tim finished dressing and quickly walked toward the door.

He opened the barn door and looked out into the darkness. “Great! The ice storm looks bad. I get so sick of driving in these.” Tim looked back at Fran who was calmly dressing. “See you tomorrow.”  He walked through the door and toward his older model, Ford F-150 truck.

Tim walked across the icy ground in the darkness toward his pickup. “This is just great!” he said with irritation as he struggled to walk on the icy grass. “My tires are balled. I can’t afford new ones. I hope I can stay out of the ditches. Tennessee Avenue has lots of ditches and rail crossings.”

As his old boots slipped on the thin sheet of ice, he opened the rusty door on his reliable ford truck. He jumped in and closed the door. Started the motor.

Tim slowly drove onto the icy, main road and began the brief, but slippery drive home.

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This is a brief clip from the beginning of my novel, GOD and Prayer; Waiting for the Sunrise. Tim and Beth’s problems continue to pile up as she waits for the sunrise in their troubled lives.

This novel and all my books are available for free downloads with Kindle Unlimited.

Until we talk again.

May good fortune guide your path.

J.A. Ireland

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Excerpt From; The Unthinkable Duo of Justice

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Greetings from Kinkorx;  it’s J.A. Ireland,

Many people of Earth downloaded my novel during the giveaway; thank you to all who did. In this letter, I’m inserting  one of many very difficult times in Maxx’s childhood.  This small segment is from, The Unthinkable Duo of Justice.

Maxx is working on a case. He visited Police Chief Zog Morxoc, of the Kinkorx Police Department. Now, he’s on his way to the Kinkorx Medical School to continue the investigation.  The segment begins.***

He smiled again as he drove. “Now that I have the approval of Chief Morxoc, it’s time to visit the Kinkorx Medical School.”

As he drove in the direction of the school, his mind flashed to a painful scene from his youth. Maxx was in the sixth grade, in Mrs. HyLubb’s class. “My science report is on Seslean Astronomy,” Young Maxx said nervously as he stood before the class.

Mrs. HyLubb nodded her approval. “Proceed.”

He took a deep breath as he nervously began his oral report. “The galaxy where the Croster Slux Solar System spirals is the Whirlpool Galaxy. The solar system where our planet spirals is the Croster Slux Solar System. The planet we live on is known as Sesla.”

He paused briefly to regain his anxious breathe and stabilize his wobbling legs. He took a deep breath before continuing. “The Whirlpool Galaxy, where the Croster Slux Solar System spirals inside and Sesla spirals within it, is much brighter than the Milky Way Galaxy. It’s also 23.5 million light years away from the Milky Way. The planet Sesla revolves around the sun. The sun gives us light and heat.”

Again, he paused to regain his depleting breath while attempting to control his nervous shaking. He took another deep breath, and continued. “Sesla is the fifth planet from the sun. In addition, on a proper night, with the use of an advanced telescope, we can see the Milky Way Galaxy.” He was out of breath and trembling as he finished his report. He terrifyingly listened as Mrs. HyLubb began her critique.

“Well Maxx, I’m not sure where to begin,” Mrs. HyLubb said with a demeaning frown. “Although your report was interesting, I’m afraid it wasn’t ready to present. There were several errors in structure, as well as grammar. You also left out many very important facts.” She sighed. “I will include my comments on your evaluation. Please be seated.” She glared at him with her usual, “I’m very disappointed in you,” glare.

He walked disgracefully to his desk. As he shamefully trudged, his fellow classmates laughed at him.

Suddenly Maxx’s thoughts returned to the present as he drove toward the medical school. He smiled with a conquering smirk. “I have a very special painting that I created just for you, Mrs. HyLubb.” As he drove toward Leqtus Kin’s employer, he remembered the reporters… Segment ends.

It’s JA again. I chose this segment to further define Maxx Zeqster. He and I are lifelong friends therefore, I know him well.  This is another example of the adversities he has overcame in his life to become the incredible  detective that he is today.

Thanks again for downloading my novel.  After reading it, please take a moment to add a brief review on the amazon page. If you like, click on the book cover to get there from here. I will offer other specials; stay tuned.

May good fortune guide your path,

J.A. Ireland