An outstanding book by an awesome Author. Just had to share this.

Trent Foster & The Council of 10

Trent Foster & The Council of 10 by Matt Whiteside

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Firstly, this is not my normal genre to read. Secondly, this is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. I expected “otherworldly” beings. A few spaceships. Probably aliens. What I did not expect was the absolute profound and moving message lying at the core of this novel. I was deeply moved by the intensity of the message and its ultimate revelation was breathtaking! I was brought to tears, more than once. This book is not what you expect. And then, it is. Exciting story building and well-developed characters, along with the exhilarating action/battle scenes drive the plot forward in a very pleasing way. I found myself holding my breath and rooting for my favorites. Yes, this is a Sci-fi novel. But, it is SO much more. This is a story about a man. An ordinary man in search of extraordinary “powers”, who in the end, finds himself in an extraordinary way. This is a MUST read. I highly recommend Matt Whitesides’s “Trent Foster & The Council of 10” to anyone who enjoys Sci-fi and anyone who is open to being moved and elevated in an amazing, mind-expanding way. You will not be disappointed.

View all my reviews

“Fractured” by Marilyn Jones

This piece.
An event
A memory
Tickling the back
Of my mind.
That piece
floating just
 my reach.
Emotions come.
only how
It felt.
These pieces
Of me.
Spinning in space
Out there 
Threaten to 
Spill forth
Exposing, putting
things on display.

This muddled mess...
Which is me
Has come together
In this intricate Tapestry.
Seems as if thrown together
Randomly, without care.
But, is explainable
This mess.
If you care
To explore
the layers, patterns-
Each single thread.
Its meaning, its purpose
In shaping me.
Look past what
appears obvious
To you.
Consider fixing a
gaze into the depths
Of me.
Perhaps if done
With an ounce of
You will see the
Beauty of
The mess that is me.
              "Untitled" By Marilyn E. Jones

“Back Porch Memory by Marilyn Jones

Sat on the back porch today.
Listened to the wind blow softly.
Watching the leaves move happily, joyfully
In the summer air.
The wind gently lifting the hem of
My favorite dress.
The smell of the pretty flowers
In the neighbors yard.

Sitting on the old wooden stairs.
Notebook on my lap.
Pencil held between my teeth.
Thinking and dreaming and wondering.
Filling those empty lines
With my young thoughts.

Bleeding vibrant reds onto the pages.
Bleeding bright yellows onto the pages.
Letting Blues and Oranges drip freely onto
These pages.
Taking me words, I blend and stir
Those colors–Making rainbows on those pages.

“Pretty Puzzle” By Marilyn Jones

Dana loved variety puzzles. Just absolutely enjoyed doing them. Especially crossword puzzles. She liked filling the boxes with the right letters and watching real words appear like magic. Well, not exactly magic.

Dana loved how she felt when she finished a puzzle. It felt like being high. Something like the time she smoked some weed with Tommy down the street.

Dana loved the high she got when she indulged in her secret pleasures, too. Walking the dark streets and back alleys of this pitiful city. Visiting her spots. Looking for him-whoever “him” turned out to be. There was no high, she decided, like the high she felt when she did lure one into her game. She was amazed how they all seemed so shocked. Like she was too dumb to have pulled it off. They were always too late figuring out the danger of their situation.

Yes, Dana loved a good puzzle. Putting all those pieces where they belonged.

“Journey” by Marilyn Jones

I wanted to show
Myself to you
Let you see
Naked and exposed
Wanted to open
My heart
Let you in.
Wanted to trust
that chance
that you wouldn't
turn away.
The fear and dread
Profound, heavy
Kept me hiding
your touch.
Would you
Loathe the sight of me?
 Find me unseemly?

You said instead
Come closer.
Closer still.
Apple of my eye
My beloved.
You are beautiful
Belonging to me.
You'll realize
An enduring
A bond unbreakable.
No judgement
For what you were before.
A place of fellowship 

Into your arms
Settling finally
My heartbeat slows
As the calm
Surrounds me.
Cocooned in such warmth
Protected from harm.
Unmoved by the storms
Unbothered by the wind.
You built
this fortress around me.
This Haven.
Here at last
I rest.
Secure forever.

“Some Kind of Freedom” by Marilyn Jones

I have one thing to say to you. I forgive you. I forgive you for everything you did that hurt me. I forgive you for those intentional wounds you inflicted to cripple or break me. I want you to know, I survived. I’m here today. I have control of how my story ends. I take the good and the bad, stir it all together and use it in my recipe for a better, stronger me.

I’ll freely admit, it took a long, long time getting here. At this place of forgiveness. This wonderful place of freedom. You can’t imagine how good this feels!

It felt strange at first; like I’d forgotten something, misplaced something that I needed to go back and find. But, I realized, it was a trick. I don’t need that familiar crutch, that comfortable ache that kept me stuck.

I have embraced love and life. Peace has become my normal. Joy has sneaked up on me, overtaken me. I have moved on.

Really, a thank you may be in order. Because of the hurt you inflicted, I became strong over time. I learned how to overcome and I survived. Surviving means something. Those things helped define who I am today. It means a better today. An even better tomorrow.

“Journey of a Lost Cause” by Marilyn Jones
Based on my Autobiography titled “Journey of a Lost Cause”

Installment #1
An Introduction

I’ve been asked a few times why my writing is “so dark”, “intense” or “
“introspective”. “Why not write about happier things?”  they asked.

Well, I write what I know. I write from
a place of knowledge and experience. Life is a series of ups and downs. Filled with victories, failures, good times, bad times. Our experiences can teach us things that may benefit other people.

My purpose for writing “what I know” is to share not only the difficulties I lived through, but, to show my journey OUT. To show that it’s possible to come out on the other side of the “downs” and experience victory. Success.

When we go through the fire of opposition, loss, pain or suffering, we’re not looking for some overused clique, or halfhearted sentiments we can find on a Hallmark card. At least I’m not.

I want to talk to someone who has been through a fire like mine. Lived through the darkest night of their souls. Someone who has ached so deeply that they had felt death would be their only relief. I want to hear that they overcame it all. I want someone who can truly “share” in the feeling of my suffering. Someone who can deeply sympathize. Someone who understands. That’s powerful! It helps you believe that if they made it through, so can you.

We need to be transparent with one another. Be honest about our struggles and challenges. It’s okay to be human because that’s what we are. Human. Allowing others to see that they’re not alone, that what they’re going through is not some unusual thing, but something you’ve gone through and survived.

Sometimes in this life we simply have to grit our teeth, turn our faces toward the storm and push forward with steadfast determination. And trust me, it’s always nice to have someone who has gone through storms to be right beside you showing you how. Encouraging you on.

That’s why I share the hard times. The dark times. To let you know, I’ve been there and I survived.

So, there you have it. An introduction…among other things.😀

So look for the excerpts from my 3rd novel “Journey of a Lost Cause” An Autobiography(Memoirs)

Until the next time, remember to let go of anything that prevents your ability to SOAR.

"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass
but learning to dance in the rain. (

"They broke the wrong parts of me. They broke my wings
and forgot I had claws." (your Tango-Pinterest)

Thinking out Loud by Marilyn Jones

“Writing is lonely. Me and my manuscript. Fighting it out…to keep or not to keep. That is the question. Boring…tiring…pain in my…” WAIT!!

This is your dream, Marilyn! For goodness sake! Snap out of it woman!

As I quickly changed my thoughts, I started thinking about just how important our thoughts are. I know you’ve heard sayings like, ” You will become who you think you are”. Well, it’s true. We cannot rise any higher than our thoughts. We all think. And, our thoughts are taking us somewhere. They will either help us soar high, into all kinds of good things, or bring us down to crash and burn in a smoking heap of missed opportunities. Ok. That was a bit much. But, thoughts DO matter.

I stayed away from “social media” and anything resembling social media for a very long time. I opened a Facebook page that I rarely look at anymore, opened a Twitter account several years ago and abandoned-until recently. I returned to use it as a platform to connect with other writers.

While on Twitter yesterday, a young man posted that he had just been attacked for being gay. I shook my head thinking that’s exactly why I don’t like social media. Too many mean, abusive, negative people who seem eager to insult and attack others. Just because they can.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to see many people banning together to send encouragement to this young man. I was even thrilled by the fact that this young person said he wouldn’t be discouraged by that person’s hate and judgement. He would continue to pursue his goal of becoming a published writer.

His resolve got me thinking further (I do the thinking thing quite a bit:-)).

We often don’t consider what slowly happens to us as we encounter certain things everyday. Most times we don’t actually stop to think about what we’re left thinking about. Or how those thoughts really affect us.

For instance, what if that young man had taken that person’s opinion and started ruminating on it. Started really considering that maybe that person was right. Then, day after day, he started “living” in that opinion. That other person’s opinion could slowly and insidiously morph into being the young man’s opinion of himself. Then eventually he could abandon his goal of being a writer.

It’s sadly true that it often happens this way. Always starting with a thought. Their thoughts or our own. And many collective thoughts later, we are shaped and molded, influenced by and driven by those thoughts.

So, the point of all my thinking this morning?

We all have a right to be who we are. We all have the right to be happy and to live OUR best life. We can embrace and love our unique selves. We do NOT have to settle into someone else’s imagined ideal of us. We don’t have to become a carbon copy of anyone else.

So, rid your life of anyone who belittles or criticizes you as a person. Anyone who tries to cripple you emotionally, has to go. Swat them away like you would an annoying, buzzing insect.

Don’t pick up and keep any thought, whether yours or theirs, that harms you.

Watch those thoughts…and soar.

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones you’ll start having positive results.”-Willie Nelson

“Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success.”-Shiv Khera

“Attitude is the mind’s paintbrush ; it can color any situation.”-Barbara Johnson

“In the Dark” by Marilyn Jones

This is a poem I wrote during a difficult time in my life. Even in the darkest place, Light came. Don’t ever abandon hope.😀

It's dark here.
The darkest dark
I've ever seen.

I can't remember
the last time
I saw light,
felt the warmth of the sun
on my face.

I can't recall the last time
I felt firmly fixed
Present in my body.
Weighted by life and

I find discomfort
in this strange feeling of 
It seems I could
Simply float away
Into nothing.
Lost forever.

I can't remember
The last time
Joy filled my heart and
Peace surrounded and
Quieted me.

It all seems so far away
As if it never was here.

But, even now
In this darkest dark
Every now and then
If I
dare to look up
Towards the sky
I know is still there.
Firmly fixed in its place,

If I dare to look beyond that
Seen thing,
Look on to that
Unseen thing
I can catch a glimpse
Of Light.

A Light brighter
Than the light I try to 
Somehow, always
More visible in the
Place of darkest dark.

When I listen
I hear my name spoken.
I feel a gentle nudge
Urging me to hold on
To not surrender
To the dark.

I know then
As always,
That I am seen.
I am remembered.
Never forgotten.
Never left alone.
Even here. In this
Darkest dark I ever known.

I decided to share another excerpt from my novel titled “Best Served Cold”. I hope you enjoy it.


“Hey, Cass, where’s my remote!”
“Jake, really? I don’t know.”

Cassidy Thomas shook her head, rolled her eyes, clearly annoyed with her husband. He was really working her nerves today. Why, she wondered, do men act like helpless babies when they get the least bit sick?

She strolled into the living room where Jake was stretched out on the sofa surrounded by tissues, empty juice containers, and his other “necessary” junk.

Cassidy snorted with disgust when she spotted the remote almost immediately. She bent down near the sofa and retrieving the “lost” remote, placed it down hard on his lap.

“It was right there near your feet, Jake. All you had to do was move an inch and reach.”

On her way back to the kitchen, she nearly fell over Maggie, their four year old daughter who suddenly appeared in front of her. Maggie grabbed onto her mother’s legs, squealing with joy about something only she knew. Cassidy picked her up and pulling her into a tight hug, dotted her face with kisses.

“Hey, princess, whatcha doing?”

“I’m chasing the puppy, Mommy. Don’t you know that? Maggie tilted her head to one side and putting her little hands on her hips, waited for an answer.

They didn’t have a puppy. And as far as Cassidy was concerned, they never would. Too much work. She was already cleaning up behind two messy creatures as it was. So, no puppy. But, she played this game with Maggie everyday. Pretending they had a puppy.

Cassidy thought it was so cute that Maggie had a plan she thought would work. She’d pretend until Mommie and Daddy felt sorry enough and finally broke down and got her a real puppy. Well, it wasn’t going to happen. She smiled now as she watched her daughter stroking the air beside her as if she was petting an invisible dog.

“Okay, Mags, don’t forget to put fresh bowls of water and kibblets down for the puppy.”

“Okay, Mommie. Doing it now.”


Jake watched her leave. Fat whore. He listened for the key to turn in the lock. Waited until he heard her footsteps ascending the stairs. Then he heard the kitchen door upstairs open then click closed.

Oh god, he was starting to really hate her guts! And what the hell had he been thinking? To ask for clothes? Then to really screw up and call Cassidy an evil bitch? She was indeed that and more, he thought, but, still.

He continued to scold himself as he thought about the “punishment” she had inflicted on him last night. It was as she’d promised. Quick and brutal. Stupid whore.

He looked down at his thighs again. Still red and swollen. And hurting like a thousand bees stinging him there over and over.

He couldn’t believe the pain he was in right now. And then, after all that the fat cow refused to give him anything for pain. “She could’ve burned my damn junk off!” he spoke out loud now.

He was growing angrier with every thought of the horrendous events of last night. The worst part of it all was how much his wife had enjoyed torturing him. He couldn’t believe that it was Cassidy, the wife he knew and once loved, causing him all this pain and misery.

“I have got to get out of here”, he spoke out loud again. She is going to permanently damage me or worse. I’m going to hurt that bitch so bad when I do finally get out of here. This bull crap she’s done to me is nothing compared to what I’m going to do to her. She better be extra careful from now on.

Picking up the doggy dish holding the kibblets, he started eating his dinner. Satisfied with himself now, he smiled. He had a plan.

“Soar” by Marilyn Jones

“Shimmering Fragments”
By Marilyn Jones

Did I tell you
What I did?
That decision
that changed me
Altered everything about me?

Jumbled up my thoughts
and marked me?

Did you see?
What I did?
Shook the dirt of my feet,
Dug in the dirt and found

Did you see
The mess I left behind?
Those little fragments
Of me
Scattered around?

Did you ever
wonder why I left
so much behind?

Did you ever wonder why I never
bothered to look 
Ever wonder
why I didn't think
what might
become of those pieces
there on the ground?

Did you see?
I stepped out of that
The one you put me in.

I broke out.
Broke free.
Soared high
And far.
Away from your
ideal for me.

Left those broken
Did you see?
Did you watch me soar?

Here’s a short story I wanted to share. I hope you enjoy it. Please leave a comment and let me know.😀

“Soar” by Marilyn Jones

She stood in front of the open door, a packed box at her feet.

She couldn’t believe she was finally free.

Carolyn remembered the night he raped her. She thought back to how they’d met that fateful night in winter of 2017. It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years.

She’d gone out to a popular local bar with LizBeth and Tracie. Her drinking buddies. That’s what they called themselves. That night, a Thursday night, was full to capacity. As usual. It was Ladies Night. Tonight drinks were free for the ladies, and beer was half price for the guys.

She’d been sitting alone, nursing her only drink for the past half hour. LizBeth and Tracie had found a group of guys that were happily entertaining them. So typical of those two. Carolyn smiled in their direction. At least they were having a good time. She’d almost decided to call it a night when she saw him. Damien, she’d learn later.

Tall, lean and muscled. His hair was cut low. His face was clean shaven. She was captivated by his dreamy brown eyes even from across the room. His gaze seemed to feast upon her. In a lazy, delicious way. She couldn’t seem to pull her eyes away from his. He seemed to be having the same problem.

Her heart fluttered, definitely missed a beat as she watched him stand up, still locking eyes with her, and start walking towards her table.

“Hi, my name’s Damien”, he said once he reached her table. Can I get you a fresh drink? I notice that one is practically water now.” He paused, smiled at her, waiting for her response.

” Oh, no. Hi, no thank you. I’m good. I’m done drinking really. We…. me and my girlfriends had something before we got here, so…”

“Okay.” He laid his hands on one of the chairs surrounding her table, then asked if he could join her.

She said yes. “I’m Carolyn”, she said, extending her hand to shake his. She dropped her eyes to her drink, felt her cheeks grow warm when he held her hand longer than necessary.

“So, I’ve never seen you here before, Carolyn. I would definitely remember seeing you.”

“I usually go to the Rock Tavern over on Main Street”, she told him.

“Oh, okay”, Damien said, nodding his head slowly as he seemed to study her face. “Well, I’m glad you decided to join your girls tonight. This is lucky for me.” He smiled in that way that Carolyn was starting to like.

They spent the whole night laughing and talking. Damien was so funny, animated and attentive. She found him easy to talk to. It felt so right. He had eyes only for her and she was caught up in it all.

They decided to grab a bite to eat. They left the club and got rib tip sandwiches and fries at Pop’s Barbecue Shed, a favorite after hours diner, frequented by people leaving the clubs.

They went back to his apartment to continue what Damien called, “getting to know each other”. Carolyn remembered thinking how it seemed neither of them wanted the night to end.

They’d sat in his living room in front of a huge stone fireplace. They lounged comfortably in the softest leather sofa Carolyn had ever felt. The fire crackled, and the soft low lighting was perfect. Damien made hot cocoa of all things. Carolyn was blown away by how good it all felt. That’s why when he finally leaned in and kissed her, she was fine with it.

She let herself flow on the waves of his kiss. When she felt his hand fumble with her shirt, she pulled back finally. “Slow down”, she said softly, still breathless from their kiss.

“Why!?” Damien spoke, a little too loudly, she thought.

“I’m just saying, there’s no rush. We just met Damien and I really like you a lot. I just want to take things slow. That’s all”. Carolyn watched his face change after she finished speaking. Something had changed. His whole demeanor changed in an instant. He sat staring into her eyes. He didn’t speak until the silent stare started making Carolyn visibly nervous.

When he did decide to say something, he spoke slowly. ” I know what you’re thinking, Carolyn. You’re wondering if you made a mistake coming home with me tonight. Right?” He waited a couple beats, looked down at his hands, then back up into her eyes before adding, “Well, you did.”

Months afterwards she’d find herself wondering why she had kept dating him. Why had she even gone so far as to give up her apartment and move in with him. Who in their right mind gets into a relationship with their rapist? Was she really that desperate? That pathetic? Apparently so, she had finally surmised. Apparently so.

She’d started going to AA on the advice of a good friend. Miranda Easterson. They’d met several years before at a church social. Carolyn had gone to support a fundraising event hosted by her mom’s church. Miranda was a member there as well. They’d hit it off almost immediately.

A couple months afterwards, Miranda had approached her after she’d witnessed Damien and Carolyn arguing in a restaurant parking lot. She saw they both were intoxicated.

Carolyn had broken down and told Miranda everything. All the humiliating details of her miserable life. Once she started telling Miranda all about her situation she couldn’t stop. It was as if someone had taken the lid off a pressure cooker, and she was that pot.

That was the beginning. And the end.

Finally she had an answer for how she had been able to stay with Damien. She understood how her social drinking had grown into a crutch she depended on just to “get by”.

No, Damien never assaulted her again. But, he never treated her the way he did that first night before the rape. Never looked at her again like he had that night in the club. He’d instantly become careless with her feelings, distant and cold towards her. He purposefully did things to shame her. Belittle her. And she’d taken it. He told her often that he knew she would never leave him. He told her that she’d never find love anywhere else. He told her she could never do better than him.

She believed him.

She believed him until she began to dig deep. Into herself. She dug deeper, turning over the soil of her life. Examined the loose rocks and debris strewn there. Dug deeper still until she could see rich, fertile soil.

There she realized it wasn’t about her being desperate, or pitiful, or pathetic. It was about learning to love herself. It all sounded so clique at first. But, she found self-respect and self-worth down in that newly turned soil.

She finally could put the liquor bottle down and pick up the broken shattered pieces of herself and claim them. Embrace and cherish every hurt. She was able now to see their worth. She could bravely own and use every fragment. Every imperfect piece. They’d help her to heal. There was precious gems of wisdom and understanding in each piece. They were hers to keep, not hide or throw away.

As she stood ready to leave, she smiled. She thought, ” I may not find another love, but, honestly, I’m okay with that. I’m okay with that because I found me. Wings and all.”

She took a final look around the apartment, picked up the last of her boxes and heaving a deep, cleansing sigh, she walked out the door, pulling it shut behind her.

“Hiding in Plain Sight” by Marilyn Jones

Here’s an excerpt from another novel I’ve been working on. It’s a work in progress (before final edit) but, I wanted to share a bit of it anyway. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.😀

Who does that? Wakes up one morning and asks themselves a question like that? There’s no warm, cozy feeling when you realize you don’t have a clue who you are. I mean, who you really are. I thought I knew me. I thought I had a clear enough knowledge of what made me tick.

I guess I was only fooling myself. Sure, I play many roles. Everyday, I do what’s expected. I’m really good at acting. Smiling at appropriate times. Laughing out loud on cue. But, who doesn’t do that. Play the role they’ve been assigned?

Special. Quirky. Different. Emotional. Believe it or not, those were “cuss” words for me growing up. I hated those descriptive words they applied to me.

Even my feelings weren’t allowed if they somehow caused a rift in the well laid plan of those who were in charge. There was an unwritten code of conduct. I was certainly expected to toe the line.

So, ask me what I did for as long as I can remember. You probably guessed. I hid me. Became a kind of shape shifter. A chameleon. I became whatever I needed to be to survive. I was so good at it that, ultimately, I find myself here. Sitting here in bed, asking myself that stupid question. Who am I? Really!? The question really ticked me off.

That was then. Only yesterday as a matter of fact. Up until this morning, I was okay with how things are. But, waking up with that stupid question on my mind changed how I feel about my “acting roles”.

It took just a couple of minutes for me to decide that a change had to take place. In me. Today. Now that thought…makes me smile.

They think they know me? That’s a good thing that they believe they do. It will make it easier for me to show them who I really am. I’ve got a few surprises. They won’t know what hit them.

The smile on my face right now? It’s not acting.

It’s going to be a very good day.

“Best Served Cold” by Marilyn Jones

An excerpt from one of my books. Tell me what you think 😁

She unlocked the door and quickly stepped inside the small dank room. Cassidy couldn’t stop the snickering that slipped out as she watched him scurry back into the shadows. She thought he reminded her of a rat fleeing the light. What she wanted was to throw the bowls containing the soup and water into his face. Then make him lap it up off the filthy floor. But, no. She wanted him alive. Needed him to be alive.

She carefully placed the bowls in front of him. He started to reach for the bowl of soup, hesitated and waited. “Good boy”, Cassidy teased. “You’re learning”.

After relocking the door, she sighed. Smiled. She hurried back upstairs anxious to rejoin the party.

Best Served Cold