Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Good Riddance 2020


Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

What is there to say but good riddance 2020

Living through these last 12 months and for many, the previous 4 years, was a never-ending horror show

But things are changing not just the year but the evil that haunted it

A man with unlimited power and a virus with an unmasked goal

Prayers seemed to have gone unanswered

But the truth be known, we brought this on ourselves

There is no one else to blame

May we truly take stock and change our ways

For ignorance, selfishness, and hubris are sins, not values, for which we must all pay.

Happy New Year


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

December's Hope

Wishing you a Happy, 
Joyful Holiday Season!

A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away.
~Eva Logue

Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.
~Ada V. Hendricks

Please stay safe and well

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

WEP -UnMasked on New Year's Eve


Photo by Rodrigo Rodriguez on Unsplash


It’s Masquerade

Time to find your disguise

a costume and mask

for we’re all on parade

 better be wise.

 Make your decision judiciously

or your deepest secret will show through.

 On New Year's Eve

the truth is visible

and oh, so clear.

 If it’s deviousness

horror or evil you profess

it’ll be obvious

to those dead and most dear.

 So cover yourself strategically

or give yourself away.

 Just remember that ghosts of the murdered departed

are also looking

to make their creators


Photo by DANNY G on Unsplash

Entertainment Tonight covered the entire story. From the day they met to the day she was reported missing. Her grieving husband, an up and coming movie producer, shed tears for the camera. The search for the young actress he’d taken for a wife went on for weeks, months, and years, but no clue, no corpse, no answer.

Ten years later, during the Emmy ceremony, Donavon Fagen, movie producer, celebrated with close friends, and for a moment, he thought he caught a glimpse of her. Yet, he knew better. She was dead. Fagen pushed his thoughts of her aside and ordered another drink.

Alone at night, her whispers woke him.

“I’ve searched and searched the Earth for you. You, who took my soul for your own. You, the demon who stole my innocence and brutally took my life. You left me in the desert with all the others.”

Donavon switched on the light, walked to his patio door, and stared out over the desert. Why was she haunting him now?

The next morning, he saw her reflection in his bathroom mirror. On the movie set, he spotted her in the crowd of extras. He began to drink earlier and earlier every day.

Her whispers became more graphic.

“Their skin shrivels in the scorching sun. Yet mine is still soft and supple. Their eyes were plucked out by the buzzards, and their innards were devoured by numerous beasts, but I am whole. Perfect in my grave of graves. Their bones were bleached, scattered, and sandblasted, but the evidence of your wrath remains. Spirits all, and how they hate you, my love.”

Donavon began to sleep with the lights on, but the daily visions occurred, as did the nightmares.

The night of the Hollywood Masquerade he wore the costume of the Marquis de Sade during a dance with a beautifully dressed La Senorita Spanish Flamenco Dancer. While dancing a slow dance she pulled him close and whispered in his ear, “Giving me repose in my own special grave does not lessen my heart’s desire. Revenge is my guaranteed destiny. I’ve wandered for years in search of you, my creator. Your evil is written on my bones. I’ll never forget your true essence. Those dark eyes, an abyss. Black holes with no light or reflection. Those sharp, pearl white teeth dripping blood after each searing kiss. I remember how your flesh showed years of decay, and how your claw-like hands burned my skin as you stole the last breath in my lungs. You’ve covered your evil well, but now I’ve found you, marked you. Unmasked on the night of a Masquerade, I alone see true.”

He tried to pull away, but she held him tight, and then suddenly, she was gone like a wisp of smoke. Several glasses of whisky couldn’t stop the tremors as he searched the room, but she was nowhere in sight. He sighed in relief.

A friend drove him home and finally with more whisky and a sleeping pill, he wiped away all the ghosts, but even unconsciousness couldn’t stop the whispers.

“I alone know your darkest secret. Killing the virtuous allows your survival on the Earthly plane. Stealing my love guaranteed your existence. And I, a naive bride, was blinded by what I thought was love and devotion. But my dear, soon the world will know the truth.”

Donavon, wide awake now, got out of his bed and opened the patio doors, but it wasn’t a cool breeze that greeted him. She stood before him, just as he’d last seen her.

“Join us, dear husband. We’ve come to claim our right.”

He screamed.

Then screamed some more,

but to no avail

as each of his victims

took back what he stole

until finally, she kissed him

and took his all.


January 2nd

Detective Grant arrived on the scene shortly after the discovery. “What do you have, Officer?”

“Donovan Fagen, movie producer. The coroner says heart attack, but if you ask me, that expression on his face says the man died from pure terror.”


“My guess, all his victims. Look around, the place is a bone field.”

“And the girl, who is she?”

“His former wife. The young actress that disappeared ten years ago. Why he chose to uncover her grave, we’ll never know. But she’s well preserved.”

“Lots of killers enjoy visiting the graves of their victims,” Detective Grant said.

“His undoing this time. His other victims are scattered. It’ll take a while to figure out how many, but he’s been killing for a very, very long time.”

“Fools, so many fools,” a young girl spoke, but none stood in attendance.

They all heard the voice, then the sound of a young woman’s giggle, but the only people on-site were the officers removing the bodies.

A whoosh and the hot, desert breeze lifted the sand and swirled it in dust devil form that danced across the desert before all grew quiet again.

The Detective felt the hair on his body stand on end. “Maybe you’re right this time, Sergeant. Maybe this serial killer found that the spirits of the dead don’t lie quietly on New Year's Eve. I’d say justice has been done.”

960 Words

Yolanda Renée © 2020

Happy New Year!


Monday, November 23, 2020

I Did it!


This year I had two projects to complete.

A Passion for Murder had approximately 20,000 words already completed. And a newer project, a suspenseful romance set in Myrtle Beach, I had about the same,
 just under 20,000 words.
Neither was close to being done. 
For some reason, this year,
I struggled to accomplish all I set out to do.
But with NANO, I had one final chance.
I finished the first draft of 
both stories during this challenge. 
Adding about 30,000 words to each.
The only way to do it was to just hunker down and commit to the writing. 
I ignored all else. 
But with the support of hubby
who did most of the cooking, it worked!
 I was determined to write daily. 
And I did.
I'm thrilled with the results.
Yay me! :) 

How about you, 
did you get there too?


Monday, November 2, 2020

For Opal: My Book of Poetry

Now Available the Kindle!

When I was seven

I found heaven

my grandmother's house

I was the city mouse.

With a large bed just for me

not one bed, shared by three

awake each morning

to a bird song melody.

Peace and quiet

and a pancake diet

amid the flowers and the trees

I explored every nook and cranny.

A crowing rooster, cows, and chickens

I helped out in the barn and the kitchen

a sewing lesson with needle and thread

soon exhausted, I curled up in my large bed.

Snakes and storms, roses and thorns

homemade ice cream and fresh corn

my escape from a family of seven

Grandma's Earthly home was heaven.

  Yolanda Renée (C) 2020


Coming Soon!

In paperback

For Opal is a collection of poems written in memory of Lilly Opal Stansberry, my grandmother, and the inspiration for my writing. These poems portray a moment in time. Highlighting love, loss, tragedy, and survival. A few done just for fun and several that have a murderous slant. But they are all a small picture of life. Some are real and others pure fiction.

Before she passed, I promised her I would publish a book of poetry. This is that promise kept. Publication date November 2nd - would have been her 108th birthday.

I'm under no illusion, a poet I am not, but each verse has meaning for me.

Maybe it will strike a chord for you too!


Anyone willing to do a blog post for my poetry book. Let me know. I'll send you a copy and we can discuss the subject. 

Or a simple shout out would be most appreciated.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

While this day is here, another one is near!


Photo by Andrés Gómez on Unsplash

Happy Halloween

Will this be a night of fear?

Or will the tricksters bring cheer?

Will the living count their blessings?

While the bereft search for the ghosts 

of loved ones taken too soon.

Because dear friends, voting day is near.

Do you want another four years filled with trepidation?

Or change, and a whole new nation?

It’s your choice.

Time to use your voice.

A vote for humble and true.

Or the corrupt evil that Trump spews?

A future where common-sense rules.

Or constant worry that dragoons

will soon knock on the door?

Please don’t hesitate.

You have a very important date.

Tuesday is November the third.

So please, make your voice heard!

Yolanda Renée (C) 2020

Friday, October 30, 2020

A Promise Kept

 Available Now!

Just Published

How Do I Love Thee?


Elizabeth Barrett Browning says it best.

But I have an answer to the question posed, just like the rest.

I love thee for washing the dishes.

I love thee for doing the chores and always answering the door.

I love thee for granting most all my wishes.

I love thee for doing the laundry and grocery shopping.

I love thee for pursuing and never stopping.

I love thee for working hard, especially in the overgrown yard.

I love thee for letting me nap and for not acting like a sap.

I love thee for loving me gently, taking me to the stars on a ride so heavenly.

I love thee for accepting my worst; our lives have been blessed, not cursed.

I love thee unshaven or perfectly coiffed.

I love thee unrobed or fully clothed.

I love your mind, for an intelligent man is hard to find.

I love thee because you are you

and because you love me


  Yolanda Renée (C) 2020


Just Released!

For Opal: My Book of Poetry

For Opal is a collection of poems written in memory of Lilly Opal Stansberry, my grandmother, and the inspiration for my writing. These poems portray a moment in time. Highlighting love, loss, tragedy, and survival. A few done just for fun and several that have a murderous slant. But they are all a small picture of life. Some are real and others pure fiction.

Before she passed, I promised her I would publish a book of poetry. This is that promise kept. Publication date November 2nd - would have been her 108th birthday.

I'm under no illusion, a poet I am not, but each verse has meaning for me.

Maybe it will strike a chord for you too!


Anyone willing to do a blog post for my poetry book. Let me know. I'll send you a copy and we can discuss the subject. 

Or a simple shout out would be most appreciated.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

WEP Grave Mistake - Cleopatra's Curse

Photo by @rw.studios on Unsplash

Cleopatra’s Curse

Have you ever seen a beautiful young woman with a man that can only be described as ‘toadyish’? He’s at least twenty years older than her, potbelly, short, and mostly balding. She’s a towering model type: perfect body, perfect skin, just exquisite. You wonder, why, how, what?

Well, I’ll tell you. It’s all about the money. What else?

I married a very wealthy man—me, a girl raised in a trailer park who made a living as a waitress and dancer. People even referred to me as white trash, and yet, I made it to the top. And I mean the very top. Gold everywhere. Anything and everything I‘ve ever wanted and more, even acceptance. Now people want to know me, want to be invited to my parties. Hell, they clamor just to be in my presence or merely the same room.

My husband, as I said, is filthy rich, and yes, he bought me. But he also put a diamond ring on my hand and promised me that the world would bow at my feet. He kept his promise, and I’ve kept mine.

I take his abuse. It’s my only job. Make the man happy in the sack, anytime, anywhere, and anyway, he desires it. It was our agreement. I live in the lap of luxury and have people at my every command. Nothing I want is off-limits. I am fulfilled! I am rich, and his temper tantrums don’t last long, neither do the bruises.

You say why? I say, why not? Most of my life was hell: going to bed hungry, various uncles taking advantage at all ages. I was considered a whore before the age of thirteen. The few men I did learn to trust proved to be liars, but now I have a signed contract. Yep, got it on paper, all of it. And if he breaks any of the rules, he pays me a ten-million-dollar settlement.

It took a while, but I soon realized that most men are pigs. All they think about is getting the child, girl, or woman into their bed. And most will take advantage given just half a chance. And some will do it without any invitation or a so sorry immediately on their lips. Liars, users, rutting animals, the whole species!

So why shouldn’t I sell my soul for the best things in life? I couldn’t have gotten them any other way. This has worked for me for the last twenty years. But I will admit that I’m getting bored, and his violence comes much more often and without the usual financial reward. He’s been slipping but only to the point where he hasn’t broken the contract. I think it’s time to say sayonara!

We’re planning a Halloween cruise, so maybe the bastard will fall overboard and drown, leaving me a rich widow? All it will take is a little planning…


Okay, so I figured the bastard wrong, the cheater. He’s not only broken our contract, but he’s also done me in. I can’t collect that cool ten million I was guaranteed because they don’t have lawyers on the bottom at the ocean, my new abode.

Hubby told the world that I fell overboard. Nice. But on Halloween night, the same night I planned his demise, he was a step ahead. I supposedly slipped on a wet deck during a masquerade party and went overboard in my beautiful designer Cleopatra costume, never to resurface again.

Dozens of men jumped into the ocean to find me but failed because, at that time, I was unconscious in the closet of our bedroom. When everyone finally retired, and the police reports were filed, my sweet, generous husband simply dumped me overboard with my feet solidly encased in cement. Yes, I was conscious, but my screams were muted by the gag in my mouth.

I cursed the bastard with each bubble that left my lungs as I tried my best to hold my breath. I did well until the cement my feet were encased in hit the sandy bottom, then in an instant, the air was replaced with seawater.


Exactly One Year Later


Detective White carefully made his way into the Tower penthouse. The place was covered in water, sand, seaweed, dead fish, and seashells. If he hadn’t known better, he’d have sworn the site was located on the bottom at the ocean.

“Well, Derek, what can you tell me?” Detective White asked the coroner as he stared down at the two bodies lying side by side in the king-size bed.

“They drowned. No doubt about it. But the why and how, your guess is as good as mine.”

“You sure it’s ocean water, doc? I mean, we’re in a high rise. The doorman said no deliveries were made today or this week. And he saw these two an hour ago, alive and well.”

“Positive. Their lungs are filled with seawater.” He pushed down on the man’s chest, and deep green water seeped out. “I’ve tested it. It’s seawater. Look at the fish, sand, and seaweed. Whoever crafted this murder wanted to make a statement.”

“Yeah, but did they leave any clues?”

“Just the remnants of lipstick on his face. It’s clearly not the same color this young lady is wearing. Maybe that unique color will tell you the dame that wanted this man dead.”

Detective White laughed as he moved to the chaise across the room. A sick sound that had the coroner looking at him oddly. “The only woman I can think of who’d want him dead drowned a year ago. His wife, remember, she went overboard during a Halloween party on his yacht last year. She was wearing a Cleopatra costume.” He held up the wet costume he found lying on the chaise. “I think she came back for a change of clothes and revenge…”

995 Words

Yolanda Renée © 2020



Sunday, October 18, 2020


Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

 Hang your ghastly decorations

black lights, demon pumpkins, and witches.

You’re wasting your expectations.

Ghosts don’t exist.

 How can they haunt or harm

To be frightened, I resist.

 October, Halloween, or

All Hallows Eve.

 The dead don’t rise

and bones won’t walk or rattle

for either tricks or treats.

 So, play your games.

But I don’t buy it.

 Ghosts and ghoulies

are only a figment of your imagination.

The stroke of midnight will show

you’ve wasted your fear 

And now November 3rd is here!



Monday, October 12, 2020

Halloween Fog

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A Halloween Fog

I’ve seen all the ‘fog’ movies and watched gleefully as the victims paid for their audacity. Slashers, horrendous creatures, and hideous bugs have all hidden their evil in the murkiness of a foggy night. But that’s movie-making, the scarier, the better. In reality, a walk into the thick mist is super energizing.

It allows me to disappear, lurk, stalk, and yes, kill with delicious precision. I bet you thought I was going to talk about how I enjoy being swallowed by nature. How I become part of it and relish the experience. Well, that’s all true, but for me, it’s all about the victim.

After all, I know their fear. It’s the best part. My victim’s terror is what feeds me. I can smell it on them as they cautiously move past me, unaware and yet very aware that I’m there. As the smell of panic becomes more potent, I wonder why they come out? Is it a dare? Are they looking for a confrontation? It can’t be to prove their bravery. They exhibit none! Because no one accidentally wanders into the woods in the dark of night. Well, no one but me.

My favorite victim is the lone young woman. Although I do adore the young couples looking for a place to be alone. But tonight, I’ve hit the jackpot. A young woman is walking nonchalantly down the path. She’s not cautious or fearful, which takes a bit of the fun out the night. The bitch is on her phone and barely paying attention to the direction she’s taken. Still, she’s the perfect victim. Lost, stupid, and unaware. I can’t just let her pass. She’s mine. All mine!

I move ahead of her and get ready to pounce—my best blade at hand.

I jump in front of her, grab her with both arms, and say, “Excuse me. I didn’t see you there. The fog tonight is so thick.” Then I give her my best laugh and wait for her to realize her fate.

She rolls her eyes. “I know,” she says. It was specifically prepared for the night. My people know the perfect thickness for a Halloween cover. It’s the best way to catch predators. Like you.”

Her smile shows perfect white teeth, a lot of jagged, and terrifyingly sharp teeth. I try to shake off my shock at her response. “What?” I mumble, caught totally off guard by her words and that mouththose teeth.

But she only smiles. “What number am I? The tenth, isn’t it?”

“You…you know me?’

“We keep track. Thought the police would take you off the street, but the cops haven’t, so we have to.”

“You? Who are you?” My knife slips from my overly moist hand.

“Your worst enemy, my dear.” Her laugh stuns, and her teeth continue to grow. Before my eyes, her body morphs into the most hideous creature I’ve ever seen.

This monster was a mixture of dark colors, red, black, purple, and flowing with green blood coursing through transparent veins. She had arms everywhere, long, powerful legs and now stood at least ten feet tallher mouth. Oh god, that mouth and those sharp, hideous teeth that dripped with putrid saliva caused my stomach to lurch in revolt. She wrapped her arms around me, and, in a flash, we were in the middle of the forest.

Within minutes I was stripped of all clothes. My hands were tied behind my back with twine, and with a grubby potato stuffed into my mouth, her even uglier friends gingerly lowered me into a large pot of cold water. She dropped in cups full of salt, pepper, cayenne, and several bay leaves.

“Dinner will be ready in about two hours,” she announced as she lighted a fire under the pot I was in. “We want this one to simmer awhile. I like my soup thick,” she told the crowd around her as two other monsters added several large pots of navy beans.

The crowd shouted their appreciation. I watched, dumbfounded, as the monsters settled down on the grass to continue their games and conversations. I noticed that the fog had separated. It circled the area and provided a dome of protection. What I once relished as protection had betrayed me. A higher evil had assumed power.

Fear the fog! Don’t venture down an unknown or even known path on a profoundly thick night, and especially on Halloween.

Listen to what I tell you. I know, I should have heeded my own words. Remember when I said that no one accidentally wanders into the fog on a dark and lonely night, especially on Halloween! What I thought was a beautiful, young girl proves my word.

Yes, I know it’s all too funny. Especially as these are the words of a serial killer. But if folks like me don’t get youmaybe these hungry creatures will!

835 Words

 Yolanda Renée (C) 2020


Join us for the WEP October Challenge

Grave Mistake

Monday, October 5, 2020

A Haunting Challenge

Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

A Haunting Challenge

It's Halloween, the one night I roam the Earth. It was my decision to leave this world. I was sure it would solve all my problems. I was wrong. Regardless, one fateful Halloween night, I walked into the ocean. Now I rise at 12:01 a.m. and return at 11:59 p.m. every year on that same day, Halloween.

I pray for the day my soul will finally be released, the day my problems will indeed be solved, but that can only happen after I pay penance for my error.

You see, suicide is wrong. It goes against all the laws of man and God. I knew this but didn't fully believe it. So yes, I committed the ultimate sin.

Given two options, hellfire for eternity or heaven, I chose forgiveness even though I knew a penance was due.

The devil would gladly accept my soul, he's told me so, but I want to prove that I'm worthy of God's grace, and the only way I can achieve that is to keep one hundred other people from doing the deed I accomplished. Since I died on Halloween night, it's the only night I can return to Earth to save like-minded souls.

Not an easy task as I am the way death has left me. Getting folks to accept a bloated corpse, dripping with seaweed, sand, and saltwater is not an easy task even on Halloween. My skin is gray-green, and I have open wounds caused by hungry sea creatures. With hanging flesh, dripping hair, and blackened eyes along with hesitant movements as I try to remember how to walk on land vs. floating in the dark void of the sea, I frighten more than impress.

My only salvation is that most of the world is also in costume. I get numerous compliments, mostly from drunken partiers, but finding a suicidal person willing to listen to my message is nearly impossible. I've been haunting Halloween night for over seventy-five years, and I've only saved thirty people. Not surprisingly, at first, I drove just as many to madness or death. Until I learned a method to the madness that worked.

Of late, I've heard through the rumor mill that I may get amnesty if I continue to do my best and complete a hundred years of service to the cause, but I've also heard rumors of an even longer punishment.

The task is challenging, but I haunt on as I have a goal to achieve because the sea's moist, icy darkness is much more palatable than Hell's arid burning brightness!

Please, my dear sad and lost souls, consider your quest. Your penance may be much more challenging and way longer than mine.

463 words

Yolanda Renee © 2020


Don't forget to check out the newest challenge

from the WEP


Grave Mistake