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Author - Cheryl Miles

Author Cheryl Miles Goldring - Bella and Dash: The Forest Novel

Upcoming Novels From The Author

“Loose Change” – Romantic Mystery – completed

“The Homer In The Attic” – Romantic Mystery-completed

“Change Gonna Come” – A Gullah Story-Historical Fiction-in progress

“Layla the Lemur”- children’s adventure story

“Bella & Dash “- ‘Down Under’ -#2 in the Trilogy -in progress

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Author Cheryl Miles
The novel, Bella and Dash, was released in 2018. It is a fast paced young adult/adult fiction novel that straddles the line between reality and fantasy. It takes Bella from carefree dreamer to animal activist, and photographer.

Bella has spend her childhood dreaming of distant lands, spurred on by spending Sunday afternoons at her grandmother’s , poring over photos of her world travels. When her grandmother suddenly passes away, she is forced to find her own adventures with a neighborhood Siamese named Dash, who shares her passion for adventure. Embarking on secret twilight excursions into the forest that borders her West Coast home, they find an abandoned victorian mansion, home to a bengal tiger. Though terrified Bella follows Dash deeper into the forest. It is the beginning of a series of events that will change Bella’s life forever. When her life is threatened she is forced to share her secret with a stranger who will play a key role in a future she had only dreamed about.

Order your copy of Bella and Dash direct now $15.00/each (paperback)

For any adventurous book lover from eight to eighty who loves to read. A 92 year old engineer, twelve year olds, teenagers, and a retired teacher have loved the book. 

“It is an adventure tinged with magic.” Don Graves- book reviewer with the Bay Observer

Read more about the author Cheryl Miles

Author Chosen Excerpts

Change Gonna Come

1862

She prayed the endless drone of the cicadas would drown the sucking sounds of her feet as she traced a path bordering the swampy fen a hundred yards from the praise house. She could hear the muffled pleas of her fellow worshippers as she imagined the men roped together and pushed forward. She’d heard rumours, enough to know the praise house was a favored culling ground- conscription into a losing battle another equally brutal form of slavery-another loss to her already dwindling community of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Her father had died of swamp fever two days earlier her mother hadn’t survived her birth twelve years before.

“Sunday-no be going into de praise house-hide in de swamp like I showed ye.”

“Yes papa,” she’d agreed but it was hard to leave before the singing. She loved the beatitudes-she had ‘the prettiest voice of all the chilluns’- her papa would say. Familiar sounds like muffled pops, shattered her train of thought and shrill high pitched screams halted her progress. She turned her head- more pop, pop, pops-then more screams.

“Dun stop. Dun look backward.Ya knows where ta go.” Her dad’s words bounced around in her head, concussive reminders of the beatings she too had endured.

She kept running. More shouting and wailing-she covered her ears she started to pray silently and focused- where do I go? She hesitated beside a small reedy wetland, similar to others in the area. She drew a large round stone from her pocket and threw it -a dimpling on the surface and in a moment it had disappeared. She circled to the left and was on the opposite side when she heard the voice.

“Where you goin’ little bird?”

The deep voice was familiar and she imagined the fat red and heavily jowled face of the Massa. She’d only seen him once but once was all she’d required- she would never forget his sickly grin, cussing’ as he shredded her daddy’s back with a cat-o-nines tail. He had never been seen again on Ladie’s Island until now—seems he ‘d caught the fever but somehow survived. He did not know the sea islands of the Carolina’s well or had experience with the many ways one can die out here. She turned to face him and the heavy rifle slung over his right shoulder.

“You’re a ripe one. Come back here, there’s nowhere to go.”

“You gonna have to catch me first, Massa.”

“Sassy thing, you’ll pay for that.”

“Already have, Massa.”

She hid behind an oak dripping spanish moss onto the soft peaty soil below. She zigzagged through the dense undergrowth running through the woods trying to avoid the line of fire. She felt a sharp stabbing pain in her right arm but kept on until she reached the next tree. Looking out from behind it, she watched as the big man stepped forward, rifle held out in front, eyes fixed straight ahead on his target. One, two ,three steps- he was still upright. The young girl continued to stare and pray;

“Please Lord Jesus, please save me.”


Saola and the Dancing Dhole

A pulsation of fear radiates from behind a dense stand of pine trees dripping liana – a young dhole has separated from his pack. An easy meal today for the large feline. The sun’s rays beat down on his luxuriant orange, ivory and black coat, as he shakes his huge head to fend off biting pests, eyes focused on his prey. The rain forest canopy offers some relief from its relentless heat and cloying humidity but the river below promises a cool reprieve- after his meal. A subtle movement ahead and the predator shifts his considerable weight almost imperceptively, then leaps ahead.

The pup has disappeared. A much larger animal is facing him, a lethal horn protruding from her skull, inches from the tiger’s. The two combatants are immobile, head to head, both in peril. The tiger at a disadvantage – it cannot attack and risk being pierced by the horn – subsequent infection and weakness would make him prey. Saola is aware of her own vulnerability- she cannot flee and expose her flank – death an immediate certainty. The large cat backs away and moves across the rushing stream towards the consoling cool waters of the river below. A fish may have to suffice today.

The pup has escaped but his fate is uncertain. He is lost and too terrified to move from his hiding spot. Darkness is descending on the forest. Where is his pack? Wedging himself into the deep hollow of the trunk of an ancient oak, he curls into a tight ball and trembles. Where has that strange animal gone? Who will protect him now?

In a remote, dark corner of the same tropical rainforest is a cave, so well hidden that very few animals know of its existence, except for one.

Saola.