Archive for the I Died Once Category

‘I Died Once’ & ‘Mady’s Storm’ (Coming Of Age Novellas I Wrote) 2 In A Series

Posted in Fiction, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Writer, Writing with tags on December 16, 2022 by darkjade68

In 2011 & 2012 On this very blog, I wrote my first ever Novellas, ‘I Died Once’ & ‘Mady’s Storm’

These are the first two in the ‘Mady’ Series of Novellas

If you’d like to get them for someone for Christmas or Hanukkah Etc., Amazon Prime can still get them there!

‘I Died Once’ – Mady is a fifteen year old girl who is desperately unhappy with her life. Living with her mother, and the mythical shadows of her father. After an abrupt tragedy, this young girl is thronged head first into a great life change, or second life, as her reality shifts from a grey dream state existence, into one of great color.

‘Mady’s Storm’ – “Mady’s Storm” Is The Sequel To “I Died Once”. It’s Eight Years Later… And Mady Must Deal Directly, And Abruptly With Self Identity, And Becoming A Woman.

Happy Holidays!


Strong Female Characters

Posted in Allure, Chess With Agatha, Fantasy Novel, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Screenplay, White Jade, Writing with tags on November 16, 2021 by darkjade68
Art by MyCKs


For me it all started with my character ‘Jade’, in a story about a Knight I wrote when I was 10 or 11… She was engaged to marry this great knight, but was a very independent spirit

In fact, her fiancé’ would secretly teach her in the ways of archery

She would sneak off and practice in the wood, sometimes with him, sometimes not


Beyond being who I am, who I was when I was born, I suspect that my draw to strong female characters may stem from my Mom, and growing up with a single mother

She’s actually been with her boyfriend for 43 years, but she made it very clear from the beginning whenever she’d date someone, that they weren’t to interfere with her kids

Namely my brother and I, mainly, as my two older sisters were hardly ever home, and moved out when they were young

Art by Del Borovic


In 1999, I stepped away from Corporate America to finally pursue my dream of being a Filmmaker…

I was 30 at the time, and though I’d always wanted to be a Director, I quickly realized I was also a Writer

In 2002 (I was 33), my third year of pursuing Filmmaking, I wrote a Feature Length Screenplay called ‘White Jade’…

…it was about a young Japanese girl (Maybe 22 or 23) named NAYOKO who was raised by her father who was a Monk of ‘The White Jade Order’

She quickly came to realize her father also had a second, secret life as an Assassin for a righteous underground group called ‘The Red Crane’…

…while following him on one of his missions, she saw her father commit a murder in the name of better good

She then turned herself in to the New Tokyo Police Department, and confessed to the crime as if she had done it herself…

…in order to protect her father

Nayoko, for me, was, and is a very powerful female character… Though young, she grows exponentially through this story


The next strong female I wrote about, was MADY MONROE…

I started this Writing Blog late 2011 (I was 42), and in the Winter that year I started writing a story that took on a life of it’s own within this Blog

Then early/mid 2012, I Self Published it as a Novella called, ‘I Died Once’

Looking at the definition of a ‘Novella’, you could almost call ‘I Died Once’ a ‘Short Story’… But for me, it definitely wasn’t

‘I Died Once’ is a story about a 15 year girl in the middle of an existential crisis

‘To Be… Or Not To Be’

Mady was a strong young girl, set in the middle of an unhealthy, compassionateless life

Her character just came to life for me, and lead to a Second Novella…

‘Mady’s Storm’

This one I wrote one year after the first, in late 2012, but wasn’t Edited & Self Published until 2015

It takes place 8 years later, and has more to do with becoming a woman, set is some very, once again, challenging situations


Somewhere around the time I was writing the original Mady Novella, I also started writing a Fantasy Novel called ‘Chess With Agatha’…

This one was about a 17 year old girl named AGATHA, whose adoptive parents had both died in a terrible car crash, and now she was under the care of a legal guardian named AGAMEMNON…

Not your typical name, and not your typical guy

Without giving too much away, in one form or another Agatha ends up transporting to another world… A parallel universe if you will, where things like dragons and vampires exist

This book was very much a book about coming into who you are as you try to unravel a mystery surrounding your real parents, set in a fantasy world


Next in 2012 came ‘Allure’, a story about a young 17 year old girl, who’s also a vampire slayer… But there is more to the story, as her Mother’s acclaimed vampire novels may be more than just stories

10 Years Later

Posted in I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing on October 2, 2021 by darkjade68

In late 2011 (10 Years Ago) I created this Writing Blog in an effort to get in the habit of Writing

That winter I wrote my first ever Novella ‘I Died Once’ within this blog, and Self Published it the following 2012

Then at the end of 2012 I wrote the Second in the Mady Series Novella/Follow up Novella, ‘Mady’s Storm’ within this blog as well

I didn’t end up Editing and Self Publishing ‘Mady’s Storm’ until 2015

Though I sold a hand full of copies of each of these books mostly via Kickstarters, I’m really proud of these books, and really want more people to read them

If you’d like to check them out you can find them Here;

‘I Died Once’

‘Mady’s Storm’

Either way, thanks for continuing to check out my Blog!


Mady, A Stranded Character (Writing)

Posted in I Died Once, Mady Unlocked, Mady's Storm, Novella, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing on November 28, 2020 by darkjade68
Photographer Unknown

In September of 2011, I began writing my first ever Novella, ‘I Died Once’ in this blog

At the time, I didn’t realize that it would become a Novella, I was writing from instinct

In 2012 I Self Published ‘I Died Once‘, then at the end of 2012, wrote the Sequel to it, ‘Mady’s Storm’

In 2015 I hired an Editor for ‘Mady’s Storm‘, then Self Published it as well

Four years later, missing Mady, I wrote a couple Posts of a third Novella for Mady (Called it ‘Mady Uncaged at the time, later ‘Mady’s Surrender’)

But in truth, it just didn’t flow beyond those first two posts

When I wrote the first Mady Novella, it’s like it had a life of its’ own, it basically wrote itself

Which as a writer, at least for me, that rarely ever happens… In fact it may be the first and only time it ever happened that way

The reason for this post is, one of my Sisters recently read the first novella to her husband, and I asked her if she/they had ever read the second

They hadn’t, she ordered one, read it, then asked about a third Novella

I told her I began one, then stopped, having issues with finding the story

She suggested an ending for it that was perfect, and her husband keeps asking me when I’m going to write the third novella

So here I am, kinda stuck… I have a beginning, some of the middle, and an ending…

…but as for the rest, I really it just comes to me one winter night

We shall see

Nuff Said,

Thanks for listening/reading


‘Frost Rhealm’ D & D 5e Module – 2nd Edition/Alternative Cover

Posted in Dungeons And Dragons, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Writer, Writing with tags , on October 16, 2020 by darkjade68
‘Frost Rhealm’ D & D Module – 2nd Edition/Alternative Cover

In order to generate some funds for an illustrator for my upcoming Dungeons & Dragons 5e Campaign Setting/Adventurers Module, ‘HAIKON’, I’ve decided to Publish a 2nd Edition/Alternative Cover version of my D & D Module from last November, ‘Frost Rhealm

Original Cover of ‘Frost Rhealm’

Both the Original Cover, and the New 2nd Edition Alternative Cover Versions are available on Amazon

Alternative Cover

Original Cover

Or if you’d prefer to pick up one or both of my Novellas in order to support the cause, here are the links for them (Also on Amazon)

‘I Died Once’ – Novella One in the Mady Chronicles

‘Mady’s Storm’ – Novella Two in the Mady Chronicles

Thanks for the suppor!


‘Mady’s Storm’ (Novella) Chapters 13 & 14

Posted in Fiction, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Self Publishing, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 21, 2020 by darkjade68


My Novella ‘Mady’s Storm’ Continued

Mady’s Storm

A Novella

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

Chapters 5 & 6

Chapters 7 & 8

Chapters 9 & 10

Chapters 11 & 12




The nightmares still seem to haunt me sometimes…

I can still see the whole scene; I even remember the feeling of the water around me, and remember vividly the sound of the gunshots meant to kill me…

Even after this long….

Some stones left unturned?

I hope not.

I sit up, holding the blanket close to my chest.

I can see the streaks of snow falling, and my window is covered in frost.

The Christmas lights have really begun to sprout up all over the city…

Funny how much warmer people seemed to get towards one another the closer it gets to Christmas…

I think I’m going to like celebrating holidays…

At least maybe one day a year will remind me, and return me to those nights in front of the fireplace with my father.

A Fireplace…

I don’t want to be alone in my apartment on Christmas, I find.

No one should be alone on Christmas.


It was that night that I decided to get out of the apartment, and find myself a home.

I looked for a home outside of New York City.

After about a week, I had, at last, found the house I decided to be mine…

It was three stories high, and had a huge fireplace.

I moved in right away.

The kitchen was beautiful too…

I had visions of learning to cook big, delicious meals…

But instead, I had hired a cook…

Then a maid, and a driver…

I even sent a note to Rabia and his family in Africa,

Inviting them to come and stay with me for the holidays.

To my pleasant surprise, they were thrilled to come…

And before I knew it, I had a house full of people…

A huge Christmas tree, decorated brilliantly in the living room…

Perhaps I am building my own family right here in America…

And it feels…






Before I knew it, “The Sam and Scarlett Charity Ball” had arrived… The one for the Children’s Hospital…

I show up at the ball in a white and black ball gown, black high heels, diamond earrings, and a simple, pearl necklace.

My long, dark hair is up, in a tight bun.

And a deep red lipstick stains my lips.

I feel… Elegant.

The wolves are definitely out tonight… But I don’t let it bother me…

Instead I sip my bright red punch, listening to many, many wealthy, business people talk about money.

Apparently it makes the world go round…

But I also meet many of the children’s parents, as the Children’s Hospital Director said I would.

They are so very appreciative, and I, fairly speechless, become so humbled by their warmth…


The benefit is a huge success so far…

Some 350 of New York’s wealthy and famous show up, and many of them give healthy contributions.

I am thrilled, and feel… proud.

I think my father would be proud if he could see me… Who knows, maybe he can.

But for every contributor, there is also those that do not contribute when they find out the event is in honor of a woman.

This era has much to learn about simply being human.

But I know better.

The dark haired, blue eyed minx from Virginia has done good…

But some won’t leave it at that.

Some can’t leave it at that.

“Hello, again, Ms. Monroe.”

It is the New York reporter that had followed me to Virginia, and wrote that terrible article in the paper about me…

Randy McCormick.

“Hello Mr. McCormick,” I say politely.

He shakes my hand with a manic smile.

“I thought you already got your story,”

“Oh… There are always new stories to be had, when there are interesting people around, like yourself,” he replies, baring his teeth.

“I see… Well, another time perhaps,” I speak as I walk away.

Surely I’m not going to let one little news weasel mess with this night.

Not on your life…



BOOK 1 – ‘I Died Once’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

BOOK 2 – ‘Mady’s Storm’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

‘Mady’s Storm’ (Novella) Chapters 11 & 12

Posted in Fiction, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Self Publishing, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 20, 2020 by darkjade68


My Novella ‘Mady’s Storm’ Continued

Mady’s Storm

A Novella

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

Chapters 5 & 6

Chapters 7 & 8

Chapters 9 & 10


A Time of Giving


I sit alone in the dark of my apartment, looking out my window as the bright colors of the holiday lights flicker.

Christmas is almost here.

My father didn’t necessarily celebrate holidays.

No, for us everyday seemed like some sort of holiday.

Perhaps living in Africa was the holiday. It may have been easier, existing far from the material realities displayed in Europe, and in the States.

But it seems Christmas is more than that. It is a time of sharing…

A time of giving…


The Hospital Director, a tall, grey haired man, shows me around the different floors of the hospital.

I decided to wear a dark blue, professional skirt, and a cream colored blouse for the occasion, though the chill outside is particularly unbearable.

“We’re doing our best with the little amount of funds our hospital receives,” The director says to me.

We pass by several open rooms, where sick children can be seen in their hospital beds.

Several are playing board games with family members, trying to celebrate the spirit of the holidays.

My mind drifts back to Africa, where sights like this are common, sick children and their families huddled together in little rooms….

I feel a sense of belonging, a connection. It is as if I am no different…

I realize, in this moment, that humanity is not so different than in Africa. And my father had always helped the sick there.

“Most people that donate money towards hospitals, or medical research, do so within regular hospitals… Often funds go towards heart conditions, and/or life threatening diseases that usually have more to do with adults, than they do with children,” the Director explains. “Sadly, not much of it trickles over to the Children’s Hospital”

“I understand” I say “Well, I’d like to donate $100,000 to the Children’s Hospital,” I had my mind made up long before he mentioned any of this, but seeing these children made me offer more than I had originally planned.

I smile inside as the Director freezes, wide eyed and speechless “$100,000?” he asks.

“As soon as possible,” I continue. I open my purse, and hand him my card.

“Here’s the number to my Financial Adviser, her name is Brett Stevens. She’s very nice. She has been given specific instructions to wire your hospital the money, I’ll let her know the amount once I reach my apartment, then call anytime.”

“I don’t know what to say, Miss Monroe… Your generosity is overwhelming,” He replies.

“Your acceptance of the money and compassion for these children are enough,” I finish as I look into the room of a sick child. A young boy of four or five with gorgeous, golden hair, he turns his head and we lock eyes.

All at once I feel not only that I matter, but I am realizing that America is so much more than I once believed….

And that maybe I do have a purpose outside of being my father’s daughter…

“That being the case, we’d like to throw a Christmas Ball in your honor, if that’d be alright?” speaks the Director, breaking my stare with the child. “It will give you an opportunity to meet some of the children’s parents whose lives you’re affecting,” He explains.

“I‘ll agree to it, if you make it a Charity Ball…” I tell him as the idea pops in my head. “Perhaps we can drum up some additional donations, or charitable souls, and really get your research on track…”  I say as I remove one of my gloves, and the shake his hand.

Is this what it means to have money? Maybe the concept was completely different than I had ever thought, the power, much more altruistic and a responsibility than I had ever known.

My focus shifts to my surroundings then, and I grimace in response.

“Also, I don’t want to cross any lines, but you might consider painting this place using more reds, yellows, blues, greens and oranges…” I suggest as we head for the exit “Greys and faded pinks are very depressing I find… Not that I am educated in such things,”

“No, I believe you’re right… And studies are starting to say such things,” the Director replies excitedly.

It is like I cannot stop wanting to help, wanting to give….

“Also… I have a plantation in Africa…” I nearly blurt out “I’ll have them ship some professional photos of the landscapes there, for you to hang in each of the children’s rooms… Just let my Financial Adviser know how many rooms you have, we’ll put one in for each bed in the room.

Before the Director says anything, I speak again, “Africa is truly amazing… Every child deserves to experience it in any way that is possible.”

“Yes… Certainly,” the Director replies, but doesn’t seem too enthusiastic with the thought. People have their thoughts of Africa, I know. Why do you think I wanted to send Rabia back?

I say my goodbye, and walk out into the cold, winter wind. I turn my head a final time to look at the hospital silhouette in the dark, grey sky.





I sit alone again, a small glass of brandy in one hand, a cigarette in the other.

My mind drifts back to the money I donated to the Children’s Hospital.

For the first time, I feel there’s an actual use for my parent’s money…

Don’t get me wrong… I know that money doesn’t grow on trees…

And I know that my parents wouldn’t want me to give it all away.

So I won’t.

But I would like to give once in a while, which is why I brought on a financial adviser to help my money grow…

For that is something that I know absolutely nothing about.

A Career…

I’ve never had one.

I am still very young, it probably wouldn’t hurt to have one…

But what?

Lately the passing of my father seems to have hatched a whole world of questions…

And very few answers.

But what answers do I really need anyway?



BOOK 1 – ‘I Died Once’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

BOOK 2 – ‘Mady’s Storm’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

‘Mady’s Storm’ (Novella) Chapters 9 & 10

Posted in Fiction, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Self Publishing, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 19, 2020 by darkjade68


My Novella ‘Mady’s Storm’ Continued

Mady’s Storm

A Novella

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

Chapters 5 & 6

Chapters 7 & 8




Even though I am 23, I have hardly had any experience, nor interest in men.

But in New York, I received a quick education of them.

For the most part, I do not find them altogether useful…

At least not useful to me.

As I stand upon my apartment balcony, cigarette in one hand, brandy in the other, overlooking the vast and beautiful city lights below.

I think of my father.

He had shown me that good men do exist.

But I’m starting to have my doubts that any of them are here in New York City.

I decide it is best to not think of men, and just get ready for bed…alone


Red dress…

Black hair…

Warm hands…

Soft lips upon my neck…

Who was this man that had come to me in my dreams…

And what was he doing to my mouth, neck… body.

The image fades away, and I am awake, sweating heavily in my bed.

“Passion,” is the only word that leaves my mouth.

I’m starting to believe that I, as a woman, or at least as a human… am bottling up some sort of deep heated intensity.

And in New York, this could lead a young woman such as myself to an awful lot of ‘frivolous’, unadulterated, meaningless, ….interactions.

I walk to my bathroom, and find tossing cold water on my face cools me down a little.

The beads of water drip down my neck, and onto my chest.

“This will not do” I speak to myself.

Perhaps it is my soul that is hungry for something, not my body. Perhaps I need something other than sex to quench my thirst.

….Or at least, this is what I tell myself.

But what?

“Flying” I speak with a smile.





I enter the plane hangar of a small New York airport, planes everywhere…

I decided to wear a mid-length, fairly slinky looking, black dress….

Maybe it wasn’t the best idea, as the many pilots that inhabit this place stop whatever they are doing as I pass by.

“Holy hell” One of them mumbles.

I smile slightly…

But, I take flying more seriously than that…

So, I quickly find a bathroom, and change into the Pilot gear that I had picked up for the occasion.

This toned me down quite a bit… And I made sure to get an outfit that was a tad large on me, using a belt to secure it to my hips.

This, at least, hid my womanly curves.

And would, hopefully, stop the jaws from dropping long enough to get one of these guys to take me up for a flight


I walk into the bathroom after the flight to change back into my ‘leave nothing to the imagination’ dress.

My mind drifts back to the plane ride…this time not over the illustrious plains of Africa, but over the tall, skyscrapers of New York City….

It was amazing…


It wasn’t the same. No. I wasn’t the same.

Why would I be, though?… I lost my father.

Losing a parent is one of the hardest things a person must deal with in their life…

And some people have never even met their parents…

I feel lost…

And confused…

And sad…

And …lonely.

And these are the things I’m thinking about after an amazing flight over New York City?


Not now… I’m not ready for that kind of emotional, sure to be traumatic, mind delving.


For now…

I guess I will come flying once a week…

Hell… I might even buy myself a plane. I have the money.



BOOK 1 – ‘I Died Once’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

BOOK 2 – ‘Mady’s Storm’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

‘Mady’s Storm’ (Novella) Chapters 7 & 8

Posted in Fiction, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Self Publishing, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 18, 2020 by darkjade68


My Novella ‘Mady’s Storm’ Continued

Mady’s Storm

A Novella

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4

Chapters 5 & 6


Back to New York


“I must find a way…” I say out loud waking from a half- sleep.

“Excuse me, Miss?” replies Rabia

“Oh… Nothing,” I respond, realizing I must have been talking in my sleep.

I then look over at Rabia who is smiling at me.

“It is time you went home to Africa,” I say.

Rabia’s face becomes serious.

“I will not leave you, Miss. Not now. Not ever.” he explains.

“I insist Rabia… This American world of merchandise, and soulless chatter, is no place for the likes of you,”

“Nor for the likes of you, Miss… If I may so,”

“You may say so… And you are most likely right…” I reply with a slight smile. “But I will not be returning to Africa.”

Rabia is taken off guard, and looks at me shocked, even slightly hurt.

“And your family and wife await you there…” I continue. “It has already been over a month since you have seen them,”

“But, Miss…” Rabia tries to interject.

“No buts… ”

So he falls silent.


I sit alone at a small table in a New York City cafe.

Watching the people go by in a grey swirl.

A day after our return from Virginia, Rabia boarded a plane for Africa.

So it was just me now.

I have still not found a hired bodyguard… But I do have this…

I look into my black purse, where there is a shiny silver revolver.

I had learned how to fire it well from my father.

I pick up the newspaper again idly, the picture of me getting off the plane with Rabia on the cover.


As I feared, when I returned to New York, the story of the ‘Young Heiress from Virginia, and Africa’ was indeed the major headline.

But I would not turn tail and run…

No… I would face, and accept this shallow shell of a newspaper tale.



The Wolves


Sadly, more than anything else, the newspaper tale seems to have drawn out many men…

Fortune hunters…

Or what I refer to as ‘wolves’, more interested in my fortune, than they were my sordid, and colorful past.

This made my nights at ‘The Clockwork Tavern’ both entertaining, and a bit bothersome.

But at least I would never have to pay for a drink again.

A tall light haired man with a mustache, a cowboy hat, and a light grey dapper suit approaches me.

“Ms. Caroline Monroe?” he asks.

I do not reply.

“May I sit?”

“Why not?” I reply, and as he sits, I stand and start to leave.

“Mrs. Monroe…” he says quickly as he stands again “My name is Rex Taylor…” he says as he takes off his hat, and puts it over his chest.

I stop, and turn back toward him.

“Should this mean something to me?” I reply. After two weeks’ worth of ‘wolves’ hunting me, I’m not exactly receptive.

“My father bought your mother’s estate” he says like that explains everything.

I stare at him for a moment, and then approach him, and offer my hand.

Instead of shaking it, he kisses it… another wolf.

“Forgive me, Sir… Since the paper ran its story about me, I’ve had no end of ‘wolves’ hunting me for my fortune,” I explain.

“Are you sure it isn’t your dark blue eyes, dark hair and figure they’re after?” he says with a smile and a wink.

Is this some kind of joke?

This guy is a smooth one… And so I decide to play his game.

I move back and sit.

“Only wealthy one’s such as yourself.” I candidly reply.

“Touché,” he responds, bowing his head a bit.

“Well… Listen…” he says as he put his hat back on, “I’m in town for a couple days, and I thought I might take you out to dinner while I’m here,”

“Alright… When?”  I respond, surprising him.


I wined and dined with Rex Taylor, son to the millionaire Texas rancher, for a few days.

It was alright…It was okay.

But he quickly bored, and irritated me.

He was quite full of himself, after all… and he spent half of our time together hitting on the poor unsuspecting waitresses.

But this may have just been his way to attempt to make me jealous.

But I’d have to actually have cared to be jealous…

Soon Mr. Rex Taylor, and his ‘charming’ hat, and mustache, would head back to his home in Texas… Or was it Montana?

Defeated by a girl… That he never stood a chance to get.

And chances are, I’d never see him again…




BOOK 1 – ‘I Died Once’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

BOOK 2 – ‘Mady’s Storm’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

‘Mady’s Storm’ (Novella) Chapters 5 & 6

Posted in Fiction, I Died Once, Mady's Storm, Novella, Self Publishing, Story, The Written Word, Writer, Writing on February 17, 2020 by darkjade68


My Novella ‘Mady’s Storm’ Continued

Mady’s Storm

A Novella

by James Mahoney (DarkJade)

Chapters 1 & 2

Chapters 3 & 4


Leaving Virginia


Rabia and I left after the short visit, and settled into a hotel near the train station.

The next morning, I interviewed three men that had been recommended to me by a local agency that found men such as I required. ‘Protectors’, or what some called ‘bodyguards’.

These interviews went on for several days, one, two, even three men a day. But to no avail.

To be honest with you, the whole thing felt strange.

So I gave up, and prepared to head back to New York, which seems the place to be if one needed to be in America.

But not before running into Randy McCormick…A Newsman from New York.

Apparently, he was assigned to me because of my financial status…

I guess these kinds of things aren’t kept private in America.

And he’d followed me from New York, to here in Virginia.

Kicking back and watching my doings….

A creepy thing, a thing that definitely justifies me wanting to have some sort of protection at my side.

“Mrs. Caroline Monroe?” he says to me, as Rabia and I sit waiting for our train to the airport.

I do not react, nor respond.

“It’s Mady,” Rabia suddenly says, who seems as irritated as I am.

“Daughter of Scarlett Horris?” McCormick continues to question.

“And Sam Monroe… Yes,” I finally reply, looking off into the distance, hoping that with sheer will I can manifest our train to be quicker.

“Right,” he says, as he shuffles through his notes, “Part owner of the Monroe Diamond Mine in Africa, right?” he adds.

“What is it you require of me, Sir?” I ask curtly.

“Well… I was wondering if I might ask you a few questions,” he says.

If not now, then someday I would have to answer questions in regards to my past… So I decide now is as good a time as any.

“Continue,” I reply.

And so he does.


A few minutes later he had asked questions about my Stepfather who mysteriously disappeared in Africa eight plus years ago,

about my mother’s body that had at last been recovered from the lake she was put in,

and about my father… Surprisingly, these were the questions that bothered me most.

Now, I simply ignore him, even as he asks more and more questions.

Funny… I never did consider how the newspapers would come into play with my coming to America.

Or rather that they would at all.

An oversight that my father would surely have warned me about, if he was still alive.

Then again, he probably assumed I’d spend the rest of my days in Africa.

But no, he was the reason I went there…

And he is the reason I stayed and lived there.

I love Africa. But without him, the sun would not share its light…

And the majestic landscapes would merely serve as a reminder of what I had lost…

“Is that all?” I ask the newsman, standing as the train approaches.

“Uh… Yes… What’s next for you now, if I may be so bold?” he asks as I board the train with Rabia.

“If I knew… I’m not sure that I would tell you, Mr. McCormick…” I reply.

He laughs slightly as he slides his pencil behind his ear.

“Good day to you, Sir,” I say in parting. 





Mady and her father sit by the living room fireplace in his plantation home.

“Mady…” he says as he looks deep into the firelight.

“Yes, Father?” Mady replies from the chair across from him, looking up from her book.

“If anything should ever happen to me… Or…” with this he looks at her.

“Father… Nothing shall ever happen to you,” she replies.

“But if it does,” he continues.

“I will survive,” she responds confidently.

“Are you sure?” he adds.

“Yes father…” with this Mady rises from her chair, kneels down by him, and takes his hand

“You have shown me love. You have shown me beauty in its rawest form. You have taught me inner peace… something I never thought I’d ever have,” Mady explains.

“But Mady…” he replies.

“Father… I will survive… I will continue forward.”

I shall find a way…


I must find a way.



BOOK 1 – ‘I Died Once’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE

BOOK 2 – ‘Mady’s Storm’ Novella Available @ Amazon HERE