Monday, November 18, 2019

Launch spotlight: The Chronicles of Marsh

The Ninja Librarian is delighted to announce the release of a new addition to the Princelings series!
 The Chronicles of Marsh, by Jemima Pett (#9 in the Princelings Series) was released Nov. 14!

Genre: fantasy/history/memoir/MG/crossover (yes, it really is all of these things!)
Length: 59,000 words
Triggers: one sad death scene
Recommended: for children over 10 with advanced reading skills

Publisher's Blurb:
The Princelings of the East are now King Fred and Prince Engineer George.  Gone are the years of innocence when they travelled for adventure and uncovered time tunnels and pirate plots.

Now Fred, assisted by his queen, Kira, has the responsibility for his people, his lands, and for persuading the lords and kings of the Realms to act together for the common good.

George just has to work on his inventions, always thinking of a final goal: to fulfil the promises made to Lord Mariusz so long ago.

Neither has an easy task.

Fred decides to write this history of his reign. He starts with the joy of his inheritance, but quickly shows us that developments in the Realms are not leading towards a settled and happy future.

Review:
Ordinarily, in this kind of post, I'd insert my review here. In this case, that doesn't seem quite right, as I was a beta reader/editor on this one and might not be wholly objective. So I'll just say that it is a must-read for anyone following the series, though not the place to start the series. I love the Princelings, and encourage anyone who likes Erin Hunter's Warriors, Brian Jacques, or Narnia to take a look at the series. This one fills in a lot of important bits and breaks your heart a little.

Excerpt:

Chapter One
Spring came subtly to the marsh. The reeds stood at odd angles, however the snow and winds had thrown them, beige against the black of the water and green of the new grass. The stubby willow bushes showed fluffy silver buds cracking out of chestnut-brown casings. On the more open wetlands, the peeping of wading birds made an incessant whistle against the wayward breeze.

The banners on the castle towers fluttered, halfway up the flagpoles. The castle stood proudly on a rock, surrounded by miles of reedbeds. To the east ran a line of dunes, then the sea. To the west, a thinly wooded meadow area gave way to dense forest. To north and south, reeds continued as far as the eye could see. 

In the castle, the entire population had gathered round a wooden box, set on a trestle in the middle of the upper square.

Fred watched as six members of the 25th Rifle Brigade, smartly dressed in their dark green jackets, hoisted the coffin onto their shoulders. They followed their captain, a huge person named Haggis, towards a gateway that led to the castle’s crypt. Fred felt the warmth of his wife next to him, warding off the chill in his heart. It was not just the death of his uncle. He wasn’t ready to be a king.

Yesterday, Princess Kira had been showing the children of the castle how to make a sound like a bittern by blowing across the neck of a jar. Today, Queen Kira was giving Fred moral support as he addressed his people.

“So, as we send our beloved King Vladimir on his way,” Fred said to his audience, “I ask each and every one of you to support me as your new king, to help me uphold the best traditions of our castle, and to help me serve you in the best interest of our community.” He paused for a couple of seconds, then added, “ I believe we have refreshments ready in the lower square.”

“Long live the King!” cried FGP, the castle’s long-serving steward. He’d never had any other name, and nobody knew what the initials stood for.

“Long live the King!” the people responded. Then they hurried off to the corner of the upper square and down the stairs. A feast was laid out for all at the tables set out in front of the tavern.

Chronicles of Marsh, Ch 1  © J M Pett 2019

Buying Links

iTunes, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords Amazon   (universal link)
Paperback: ISBN 9780464454038 – coming soon to your favourite store.

About the Author

Jemima wrote her first book when she was eight years old. She was heavily into world-building, drawing maps, building railway timetables, and dreaming of being a champion show-jumper, until schoolwork got in the way. Then she went down the science path, reading all the scifi in her local library, writing papers, manuals and reports, as well as editing the newsletters for her sports clubs. She changed career aged 42, to a new and exciting cross-cutting science called environmental technology, and worked in energy efficiency and climate change. A few years on, she was writing stories based on the personalities of her first pets, guinea pigs named Fred and George, after the Weasley twins. Then her other guinea pigs demanded starring roles….

Jemima Pett lives in Norfolk, UK, and first started writing fantasy adventures for young teens over ten years ago.

Connect with Jemima Pett:  Blog ** Amazon ** Goodreads ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Pinterest ** Smashwords


Now enter the Giveaway

~ one $20 or £20 or €20 gift card~

Runners up prizes:
~free ebooks of Chronicles of Marsh~
~1 UK winner gets a Princelings Notebook worth £16~

Note that only 3 entries are permitted per day to avoid spam. You may return to use other ways to enter at any time during the period of the giveaway.
Giveaway ends at 23.59 on December 6th, UK time. Open worldwide. You can come back to complete all the entries at other times but only three entries are available to you each day. Just visit Jemima Pett's page and make your entry! 

And just because I love the series and love the covers, here are all the rest!

The Princelings Books: Jemima Pett

Friday, November 15, 2019

Favorite Holiday Memory Blog Hop

Running a little behind here...



Blog Hop Question: What is your favorite holiday memory?

(This includes Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule/Winter Solstice, Christmas, etc.)

My Memory:
I have a lot of good holiday memories. I admit I love Christmas, from opening stocking in our jammies to big family dinners (and pie! I like pie!). A couple of favorite memories stand out in my mind, though. When I was about 5, my mom got creative on a budget. She sewed each of the three of us a patchwork snake (thus thriftily using up scraps of fabric, some furry, some not) and put it in our Christmas stockings. The kicker? Those snakes were 6' long! We know that, because my middle brother got a tape measure in his stocking as well, so of course we measured them.

Mom stuffed the snakes using cut-up scraps of fabric, and I remember that she was sitting around snipping the scraps into little pieces, and I got worried that she was wasting good fabric! She just gave that mysterious mom look and said she thought she could find a use for the bits :)

New Picture Book Release from Elaine Kaye!



BLURB:
On Christmas Eve, Gregory and Sammy get a special visitor—Santa Claus! Santa brings them on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure around the world and to the North Pole. Bundle up and come along for the ride!

General Age Range - Kids 4-8 (Story Picture Book)

Book Links:
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo
Smashwords / Goodreads



PLUS, A FREEBIE!


Get Pea Soup Disaster now!
Kindle / Nook / Kobo



About the Author: Elaine Kaye is the author of A Gregory Green Adventure series. She created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools. She currently lives in Florida, but has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home.



Hop around to the other blogs participating:


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Writer's Wednesday: NaNo Update #1

 

I like to do a weekly update during November when I'm doing NaNoWriMo (it's another way to procrastinate, right?), to say how I'm doing and see how those of you who are swotting along with me are coming along. By the way, if you want to be buddies on NaNo, I do it under my own name :)

So how's my NaNo going, after 12 days?

Stats: 23,922 words as of 7 p.m. last night (really hoping as I write this, at 7 p.m. last night, that I can up that before bed).
Consistency: Yup. Every day.
Average output: around 2000 words, which is my minimum goal (2K/day gets me an 80K draft in 40 days...)
Most words in one day: 2967
Fewest, excluding yesterday because of hopefulness: 1069

Less numerically, I'm in the mid-book doldrums. Like my sleuth, JJ MacGregor, I'm flailing around looking for clues as to where all this is going. So, you ask, what about the extensive notes and outline? Still more or less on, and still helpful, but the holes in it you could drive a train through! Time for a time-honored cure: throw something nasty at poor JJ.

And what else is going on? 

Well, I was up late Monday night finishing the Kindle and paperback MSS of Death By Library. The proof is on it's way to me, so I should be able to get the paperback out at the same time as the ebooks go live, i.e. Dec. 6. The ebook is available for pre-order on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple Books, and Barnes & Noble, and probably some other places I don't know about. Unfortunately, the paperback can't be pre-ordered--except on this blog! Which means that updating that page is another task that needs doing ASAP.

Got the edits back on the special novella, The Christmas Question (Pismawallops PTA #4.5), and I'm working on final tweaks and polish. There's still time to sign up for my newsletter and get a free ebook of it in my December newsletter! Sign up before Dec. 15 to be sure you're there before I hit "send." Right now, it's the only way to get a copy.

Looking at all that, which leaves out the personal stuff (like finally getting to start PT for my plantar fasciitis!), I think I know why I'm busy and tired!

Drop me a note in the comments and tell me how it's going for you!


Monday, November 11, 2019

Cozy Review: Tell Me No Lies


 
Title: Tell Me No Lies
Author: Shelley Noble
Publication Info: November 5, 2019, Forge Books. 368 pages.
Source: ARC provided through Great Escapes blog tours

Publisher's Blurb:
Rise and shine, Countess, you're about to have a visitor.

Lady Dunbridge was not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She's come to New York City, ready to take the dazzling world of Gilded Age Manhattan by storm. The social events of the summer have been amusing but Lady Phil is searching for more excitement---and she finds it, when an early morning visitor arrives, begging for her help. After all, Lady Phil has been known to be useful in a crisis. Especially when the crisis involves the untimely death of a handsome young business tycoon.

His death could send another financial panic through Wall Street and beyond.

With the elegant Plaza Hotel, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the opulent mansions of Long Island's Gold Coast as the backdrop, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige.
  




My Review:  
An intriguing mystery with an marvelous historical setting, Tell Me No Lies combines an American setting with the characters and features of an English country-house mystery. But the Dowager Duchess of Dunbridge is no Miss Marple--she's pretty adventurous, both in her personal life and in pursuit of a perp. I liked the characters from the start--not only Phil, but her servants, Lily and Preswick. The latter is all British butler perfection, but the former is a mystery herself, and one that I hope the author sees fit to unravel eventually, along with that of Phil's mysterious "boss."

I did find that the book started a little slowly, though I couldn't put my finger on anything besides my own mood that made me reluctant to engage. But once well into the story, it definitely took off, and as we neared the end I had to push on to see whodunnit, a solution that I felt I should have seen coming more clearly. The author did a good job with the misdirection on that score.

There were a few too many moments when my attention was distracted by a word used incorrectly or an awkward turn of phrase, but those problems didn't ride to the level of disqualifying the book for a positive review. 

My Recommendation:
I always like to read series in order, but there were no issues with reading this book without its predecessor. I would recommend it for anyone who likes mysteries set in the 1920s, or those who enjoy a peek at high society, complete with some lovely gowns.


Shelley Noble is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary women’s fiction. (Beach Colors, Whisper Beach, Lighthouse Beach.) And the author of the Lady Dunbridge Gilded Age  Manhattan mysteries. Tell Me No Lies is the latest of the series.
She has written eighteen amateur sleuth and historical mystery novels and novellas as Shelley Freydont. (The Sudoku Murders,  Celebration Bay mysteries, The Gilded Age Newport mysteries.
A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley lives at the Jersey shore where she loves to discover new beaches and indulge her passion for lighthouses, vintage carousels, and the past.
Author Links
Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo

 THIS TOUR INCLUDES A RAFFLECOPTER GIVE-AWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

FTC Disclosure: I received an ARC of Tell Me No Lies from Great Escapes Free Book Tours, and received nothing further from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

IWSG: Writing and planning



Picture
 
The first Wednesday of every month is the Insecure Writer's Support Group posting day, where writers can express their doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It's a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Check it out here and join if you want support with your writing. 
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.


Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 


Remember, the question is optional!
November 6 question - What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story? 
 
The awesome co-hosts for the November 6 posting of the IWSG are Sadira Stone, Patricia Josephine, Lisa Buie-Collard, Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie!
 ***
 
Welcome to another IWSG post! 
I am looking forward to reading about the weird things people have googled! I don't have any very interesting ones--I mean, every mystery writer googles weird poisons, and things like how long it takes for rigor mortis to wear off. I have gone down the rabbit hole a time or two--the biggest one, which might actually be a wormhole, was the fascination with WWI I developed while thinking about a particular story. That long since left the realm of research and became something I do for its own sake. But I'd rather hear about your adventures!

For myself, as I announced last week, I'm juggling a couple of projects (well, okay, three), including being 5 days into NaNo. I'm working from the most thorough plan I've ever had, and have hit 10,000 words, but I still don't feel like I know what I'm doing or exactly where the story is supposed to be right now. So much for detailed plans.

If you want to get in on another of my projects, a 9000-word Christmas novella featuring the characters from Pismawallops Island, just sign up for my newsletter before Dec. 15. I'm giving the story as a Solstice gift to all my newsletter readers (note: if anyone can recommend how to do that, please let me know--I would rather have something direct than give out Smashwords coupons). Here's a sneak peak at the cover:


Enough about me! I'm off to see what others are up to as we move into the craziest time of the year.

©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2019
As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Cozy review: Robbery at the Roller Derby

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Title: Robbery at the Roller Derby (Mollie McGhie #0)
Author: Ellen Jacobson
Publication Info: independently published
Source: Give-away

Publisher's Blurb:
When Mollie joined a roller derby team, she thought she only needed to worry about bumps and bruises. But when something valuable is stolen from the locker room, she decides to investigate and find the culprit.

In between identifying suspects, working at a mind-numbing temp job, and skating practice, she also meets a guy who just might change her view on blind dates.

As Mollie pursues her investigation, not everyone is thrilled when she starts asking one too many questions.

Can Mollie skate her way out of danger? Or will her nosiness be the death of her?

Robbery at the Roller Derby is a prequel novella to the Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mysteries, a whimsical series with a nautical twist.
 
 

My Review:  
This is another book from an author I probably shouldn't be reviewing, as I have beta-read several of her books before this (not this one). Nonetheless, this is my honest opinion about a fun little story: that it *is* a fun little story. There's nothing earth-shaking about Mollie's origin story, but there's also no question that it's as goofy and off-beat as she is. I mean, really: roller derby? For someone who has proven herself (in Books 1-4) to be a wee bit klutzy? What could possibly go wrong, besides... everything?

The story rockets along like Mollie on the skate track, and takes the reader along, laughing all the way as Mollie struggles to find her way in life, as well as to find the thief.


My Recommendation:
I think this would be a fun read even if you don't already know Mollie and the crew from the marina. If you do, you are probably going to love finding out how she met her husband, and why she knows about bolt cutters.


FTC Disclosure: I collected a copy of Robbery at the Roller Derby on a free day, and received nothing further from the writer or publisher for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."  

Friday, November 1, 2019

Spotlight and guest post: C. Lee McKenzie’s Not Guilty


I’m delighted today to welcome author C. Lee McKenzie to my site to talk about her latest release, NOT GUILTY, as part of her MC Book Tour Blog adventure.

After you find out more about this intriguing new YA book, and read some fun tips from the author herself, be sure to enter Lee’s giveaway featured below.

* Not Guilty
* by C. Lee McKenzie
* Publication Date: October 25, 2019
* Genre: Young Adult

       A blood-smeared knife. One young man’s word against another. A lifetime dream crushed.
       The evidence points to Devon Carlyle. He was there when it happened. Everyone knows he had it in for Renzo Costa. And Costa says Devon was the one. In the judge’s rap of a gavel, Devon’s found guilty of assault. The star of the Oceanside High’s basketball team loses his shot at the one thing he’s worked so hard for—the championship game where college scouts could see how good he is.
       Now he makes his great shots in Juvenile Hall with kids far different from those that have always been in his life.
       Angry? Hell, yes.
       He’s bent on finding who did the crime. He’s bent on making them pay because he’s Not Guilty.
       But can he prove it?

For those who aren’t familiar with the author, here’s a bit of background on her.

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. She has published five young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative, and Sudden Secrets. Not Guilty is her most recent novel.

Sometimes she likes to jump into the world of the fantastic and when she does, she writes for the middle-grade reader. Some Very Messy Medieval Magick is the third book in the time-travel adventures of Pete and Weasel, with Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster being the first two. Sign of the Green Dragon, a stand-alone, takes the reader into ancient Chinese dragon myths and a quest for treasure.

When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot of questions about things she still doesn’t understand.

For more information on Lee and her writing, connect with her on FacebookTwitterInstagram and at her Website

NOT GUILTY can be found Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Kobo.

NOT GUILTY is also now on Goodreads.


The author’s other young adult books include: Sliding on the Edge, Princess of Las PulgasDouble NegativeSudden Secrets


A Visit from Author C. Lee McKenzie

I'm so pleased to welcome C. Lee McKenzie to the Ninja Librarian blog. She's brought us some tips on how to get that writing done!
 
Tips About Writing From a Non-Tipper

When someone asks me for tips about writing, I have a good chuckle. I have absolutely no tips that I know work. However, I’m not above pretending to know techniques to take you from the blank page to a book between covers. So far I’ve gathered a few, so here they are. You can let me know if any work for you.

Sneak up on your computer or your notebook, so that it’s surprised and delighted by your appearance. Who knows, but these tools may even cough up a few words as a bonus.

Have wine and/or chocolate ready for when you’ve been on chapter one for an hour and have only written “Chapter1” at the top of the page.

Hydrate well before you open the wine, and just in case, step on the scale before you launch into that chocolate.

Write naked at least once. This is best done at home in your special writing space. I suggest this for summer, but winter does produce some special results--sometimes it speeds up the writing process if you set a word count goal before you’re allowed to put on a sweater.

Practice being a cat and look as if you’re always far too important to be a part of social media, but will tolerate it for the moment.

Imagine yourself with the hide of an elephant. This will prepare you should any reviewers have a bad day and take it out on you and your book.

Many thanks, for letting me be on your blog, Rebecca. I’ve had a bit of fun here today and I always appreciate having fun during a book launch.
 
Love the tips, Lee! And we are always ready for a bit of fun around here, too :)


GIVEAWAY

With Halloween just past, Lee’s giving away five digital copies of NOT GUILTY and a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate. This tour-wide giveaway will end at midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 5th.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by today during Lee’s visit. Do you enjoy stories where the underdog becomes the champion? Don’t forget to enter the giveaway.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Writer's Wednesday--It's NaNo Time!

Time for another writing update already! I'm happy to say that there has been some action in the last two weeks. That novella I was inspired to write has been drafted and is getting feedback. More on that below.

We've gotten home from our travels, and are settled in enough now that a) I can start to see my way through the chaos to a regular schedule (including writer time) and b) I've started up all my workouts again and I am SORE! Which may actually be good for the writer stuff, because once I sit down at the computer I don't want to move.

As for NaNo (National Novel Writing Month, aka November), yes I'll be participating again this year. To see why, I think I'll refer you to last year's post on the topic. I'm ready for a boost, a deadline, and a bit of writer chatter, and maybe even a chance to connect with some local writers. I've got some work to do still on the outline (somewhere in the next day or two while getting Death By Library organized!), but the book is coming together well in my head, if not yet on paper. I have a lot of confidence now in my ability to write well over the requisite 1642 words/day (or whatever the exact number is to hit 50K in 30 days), so I'm comfortable taking a little extra time to be sure I'm ready before I start writing.
Write where you are.
I have also gotten Death By Library back from the proofreader, made the necessary edits, and formatted the ebook, so I'm right on schedule for my release date, and to get copies of the book to the reviewers on the blog tour! I'm working on guest posts, interviews, and the rest of the fun, and if you want to join the party, drop me a line. The formal tour is being managed by Great Escapes Tours but I'm happy to share cover images and ARCs to anyone willing to give me a review.

Now, about that novella: it's a Christmas story, and Pismawallops PTA #4.5. In other words, it comes after the book that's due out December 6. And, being a holiday story, it needs to come out too. So... I'm going to give it away to everyone on my newsletter list. Which means... I have put out my first newsletter in about 3 years, and I'll do another just before Christmas! If you want a free copy of PPTA #4.5 and all the latest news about each of my books, sign up now.

Meanwhile, coming December 6!
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/956762

Monday, October 28, 2019

Fiction Review: Home for Erring and Outcast Girls



Title:
Author:
Publication Info:
Source:

Publisher's Blurb:
An emotionally raw and resonant story of love, loss, and the enduring power of friendship, following the lives of two young women connected by a home for “fallen girls,” and inspired by historical events.

In turn-of-the-20th century Texas, the Berachah Home for the Redemption and Protection of Erring Girls is an unprecedented beacon of hope for young women consigned to the dangerous poverty of the streets by birth, circumstance, or personal tragedy. Built in 1903 on the dusty outskirts of Arlington, a remote dot between Dallas and Fort Worth’s red-light districts, the progressive home bucks public opinion by offering faith, training, and rehabilitation to prostitutes, addicts, unwed mothers, and “ruined” girls without forcibly separating mothers from children. When Lizzie Bates and Mattie McBride meet there—one sick and abused, but desperately clinging to her young daughter, the other jilted by the beau who fathered her ailing son—they form a friendship that will see them through unbearable loss, heartbreak, difficult choices, and ultimately, diverging paths.

A century later, Cate Sutton, a reclusive university librarian, uncovers the hidden histories of the two troubled women as she stumbles upon the cemetery on the home’s former grounds and begins to comb through its archives in her library. Pulled by an indescribable connection, what Cate discovers about their stories leads her to confront her own heartbreaking past, and to reclaim the life she thought she'd let go forever. With great pathos and powerful emotional resonance, Home for Erring and Outcast Girls explores the dark roads that lead us to ruin, and the paths we take to return to ourselves.
 

My Review:  

I'm not sure what prompted me to get this book from the library--I can't remember if someone recommended it, or if it was just on the front page at Overdrive and looked interesting. I'm glad I did, though there were times along the way when I wasn't so sure. The historic subject matter--the home for "erring and outcast" girls, who had babies out of wedlock or worked as prostitutes--meant that a significant part of the subject matter of the book was how and why the girls ended up in that condition.

The book has an overall two-part structure. The contemporary story is of the researcher who is delving into the records of the Berachah home, and becomes absorbed in the lives of the girls. The other story, of course, is that of the "erring and outcast" girls. That forms the bulk of the book, and divides into chapters from Lizzie's point of view and chapters from Mattie's. Though it's risky, the multiple points of view worked fine for me, anyway. Since the chapters are marked with the date and the name of the character (not narrator; all are 3rd person), there's no confusion about who and what we are reading about.

What worked a little less well for me--what felt too inevitable--was the way Cate's modern story meshed with the historic stories. I can't give details without giving too much away, but I found it just too much. And when another abused girl comes into her life... definitely too much.

Still, despite the flaws I was quickly drawn into the novel and wanted to keep reading at the end of each chapter. I was fascinated by the bit of history the author shows us--the Berachah home was real, and a rare mix of a compassion that allowed women to keep their babies even if they didn't have a father, and a strict religion that still marked even girls who were raped as "fallen" and in need of redemption. And yes, I wanted to know Cate's story.

The writing is strong and clean (free from awkwardness and editing errors), and the well-constructed story swept me along.

My Recommendation:

A good read. If you like historical fiction, this is a good example. Oddly, though, for a story that in many ways was about the complexity of human beings (see paragraph above about the essential internal conflict of the Berachah home), the author chose to present most of her female characters as having essentially the same struggle.



FTC Disclosure: I checked Home for Erring and Outcast Girls out of my library, and received nothing from the writer or publisher for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 

Friday, October 25, 2019

#Fi50: Wolf at the Door

Fiction in 50 is a regular feature in the last week of every month (well, lately I’ve been using it for a Friday Flash near the end of the month as the spirit moves me). I invite any interested composers of mini-narrative to join in! I didn't do a heads-up post this month (again) thanks to our travel and losing track of time, but feel free to jump in at any time.
fiction in 50   image Fiction in 50 NEW BUTTON

What is #Fi50? In the words of founder Bruce Gargoyle, "Fiction in 50: think of it as the anti-NaNoWriMo experience!" Pack a beginning, middle and end of story into 50 words or less (bonus points for hitting exactly 50 words).

The rules for participation are simple:

1. Create a piece of fictional writing in 50 words or less, ideally using the prompt as title or theme or inspiration.

That’s it!  But for those who wish to challenge themselves further, here’s an additional rule:
2. Post your piece of flash fiction on your blog or (for those poor blog-less souls) add it as a comment on the Ninja Librarian’s post for everyone to enjoy.  

For those thrill-seekers who really like to go the extra mile (ie: perfectionists):
3. Add the nifty little picture above to your post (credit for which goes entirely to ideflex over at acrossthebored.com) or create your own Fi50 meme pic….
and 

4. Link back here so others can jump on the mini-fic bandwagon.

Here's the Linky List so you can add your post!
This is a Blog Hop!


You are next... Click here to enter
Or just add your link in the comments below!  


The October prompt is...

Wolf at the Door


I think that this month I'm trying to make a serious statement, more than a story. More on that below. First, here's my story.

Wolf at the Door
It’s out there. I keep the doors and windows locked, chase it off with light and music and company, but it stays near.

It draws ever closer as we near the solstice; I can hear its alluring howl.

One day I shall open the door and let the wolf in.


###

I hope it's obvious that the story is about depression, especially of the seasonal variety. In fact, it's how it feels at any time: like an evil hunting beast (my apologies to wolves, which are not at all evil and I in fact love) circling, waiting for the opportunity to leap on the victim. You can do all sorts of things to keep it at bay, but it's always out there.

Depression can play odd tricks on the mind, too, including trying to convince us that's not what it is. "How can I be depressed? I have a great life?" or even, "This isn't depression. Look, it's nothing like what she suffers from. I should just get over it." Or most insidious, "You're just weak." So for anyone who's had those thoughts, here's my completely unscientific, un-expert thought: if you feel depressed, that's depression. It's not a contest where only the worst case actually gets the label. Even a mild case can suck the life out of you. And it's not your fault.

 ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2019
As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

#Fi50 is coming!

Fiction in 50 is a regular feature in the last week of every month (well, lately I’ve been using it for a Friday Flash near the end of the month as the spirit moves me). I invite any interested composers of mini-narrative to join in! I didn't do a heads-up post this month (again) thanks to our travel and losing track of time, but feel free to jump in at any time.
fiction in 50   image Fiction in 50 NEW BUTTON

What is #Fi50? In the words of founder Bruce Gargoyle, "Fiction in 50: think of it as the anti-NaNoWriMo experience!" Pack a beginning, middle and end of story into 50 words or less (bonus points for hitting exactly 50 words).

The rules for participation are simple:

1. Create a piece of fictional writing in 50 words or less, ideally using the prompt as title or theme or inspiration.
That’s it!  But for those who wish to challenge themselves further, here’s an additional rule:

2. Post your piece of flash fiction on your blog or (for those poor blog-less souls) add it as a comment on the Ninja Librarian’s post for everyone to enjoy.  
And for those thrill-seekers who really like to go the extra mile (ie: perfectionists):

3. Add the nifty little picture above to your post (credit for which goes entirely to ideflex over at acrossthebored.com) or create your own Fi50 meme pic….
and 4. Link back here so others can jump on the mini-fic bandwagon.

And here's the Linky List so you can add your post!
This is a Blog Hop!


You are next... Click here to enter
This list will close in 2030 days, 23 hrs, 43 min (1/26/2025 11:59 PM GMT)

What is a blog hop?
Get the code here...

Or just add your link in the comments below!  Feel free to Tweet using the #Fi50, though I'll not lie: the Ninja Librarian is a lousy tweeter.

The October prompt is...
Wolf at the Door

Is it horror? Natural history? Or something else? Only you know--until you write it and share it!