Showing posts from December, 2017


Since Book 3 of the Pismawallops PTA Mysteries is coming out soon, I decided to run a giveaway for Book 1 ( Death By Ice Cream ) so that anyone who hasn't met the intrepid JJ MacGregor can do so! Just follow the link and enter the Giveaway at Goodreads! Goodreads Book Giveaway Death By Ice Cream by Rebecca M. Douglass Giveaway ends January 14, 2018. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter Giveaway If you just can't wait, you can order you own copy of the book here or from Amazon .

#Fi50: Joy in Abundance

   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). I post a theme for each month's Fi50 here . The rules for participation are simple : 1. Create a piece of fictional writing in 50 words or less. 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 ) or create your own Fi50 meme pic…. and  4. Link back here so others can jump on the mini-fic bandwagon. I post on the last Sunday of the Mont

Friday Photos: Winter Wonderlands

I'm the first to admit it...I don't live where there's much of a winter. But that makes it all the more fun to occasionally visit and admit the beauty that snow brings. In the spirit of the holidays, winter solstice, and the generally fun stuff that happens this time of year in the northern hemisphere, enjoy some pictures of winter, from some trips we've taken in years past. Marshmallows? Winter coastline Half-frozen harbor Ice fishing in Maine Needs insulation Looking out at winter Hope you enjoyed the little romp through winter! ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2017 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!

Non-fiction review: Home Fires/Jambusters

         Note: this is the same book. The copy I read is on the left, and reflects a change of title and cover to go with the TV series made from the book. On the right is the original title and cover. Title: Jambusters [Home Fires]: The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War Author: Julie Summers Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2013. 368 pages. Source: Library Publisher's Summary: Away from the frontlines of World War II, in towns and villages across Great Britain, ordinary women were playing a vital role in their country’s war effort. As members of the Women’s Institute, an organization with a presence in a third of Britain’s villages, they ran canteens and knitted garments for troops, collected tons of rosehips and other herbs to replace medicines that couldn’t be imported, and advised the government on issues ranging from evacuee housing to children’s health to postwar reconstruction. But they are best known for making jam: from produce they grew on

Middle-grade Monday: The Whipping Boy

  Title: The Whipping Boy Author: Sid Fleischman Publisher: Greenwillow Books, 1986. 90 pages. Source: Library Publisher's Summary: A shout comes echoing up the stairway "Fetch the whipping boy!" A young orphan named Jemmy rouses from his sleep. "Ain't I already been whipped twice today? Gaw! What's the prince done now? It was forbidden to spank, thrash, or whack the heir to the throne. Jemmy had been plucked from the streets to serve as whipping boy to the arrogant and spiteful Prince Brat. Dreaming of running away, Jemmy finds himself trapped in Prince Brat's own dream at once brash and perilous. In this briskly told tale of high adventure, taut with suspense and rich with colorful characters, the whipping boy and Prince Brat must at last confront each other. Award-winning author Sid Fleischman again blends the broadly comic with the deeply compassionate in this memorable novel.  
 My Review:   Every now and then I snag a classic that I never re

Friday Flash: A Pismawallops PTA Christmas, Part II

Last week our intrepid heroine and her side-kick found a kitten ravaging the tables of the PTA holiday bazaar. This week, they deal with finding the cat a home, against all the odds. I ran a bit over, at 1050 words. A Pismawallops PTA Christmas, Part II I put my hands on my hips and glared at Kitty. The kitty in her arms poked its furry little face toward me and mewed. “How on earth do you intend to persuade Arne Hancock to adopt that creature?” “It’s a kitten, JJ, not a ‘creature.’ And I have about three minutes to come up with the answer to that,” she added. “While we tidy his table,” I pointed out. “I think it will go a lot better if he doesn’t see what the kitten did to his rainbows.” I left her trying to hold the cat in one arm while she moved potholders around with her free hand. Trotting across the gym, I flipped the switch that started the music, then scurried back the other way to open the door. Three PTA parents stood outside with trays and platters of baked goods. I took the

Wednesday Wanderings

Happy Hanukkah! Today is the beginning of Hanukkah, so for any readers who celebrate it (or any who are looking for more holidays to celebrate for any reason), best wishes of the season. *** After last week's IWSG post, I'm experimenting with writing more about writing. This is also my chance to lay out my holiday posting schedule, except... I think I'll be posting when I feel like it through the end of the year, with the exception of my #Fi50 post on the 24th, and Flashback Friday on the 29th. Otherwise, you can look for chaos for the next 2 1/2 weeks. I do plan to post Part 2 of my Pismawallops PTA Christmas story on Friday. As for writing, my mind is full of the question of editing, and our internal editor, the one who has most of us convinced at some point in the life of every book (or at many points) that the book is awful. For me, the only way out of that seems to be to a) let someone else read it and give me honest feedback, and/or b) walk away for weeks or months un

Mystery Monday: Honey-Baked Homicide by Gayle Leeson

Title: Honey-Baked Homicide Author: Gayle Leeson Publisher: Berkley, Dec. 5, 2017. 288 pages, paperback. Source: Great Escapes Book Tours electronic ARC Publisher's Blurb:  The owner of a delightful Southern café tastes the sharp sting of suspicion in this delectable comfort food mystery . . . It’s fall in Winter Garden, Virginia, and business at Amy Flowers’ Down South Café has never been better. So when struggling beekeeper Stuart Landon asks Amy to sell some of his honey, she’s happy to help. The jars of honey are a sweet success, but their partnership is cut short when Amy discovers Landon’s body outside the café early one morning. As Amy tries to figure out who could possibly have wanted to harm the unassuming beekeeper, she discovers an ever-expanding list of suspects—and they’re all buzzing mad. She’ll have to use all of her skills—and her Southern charm—to find her way out of this sticky situation… My Review:  Honey-Baked Homicide is a good read--a setting that works wel

Flash Fiction Friday: A Pismwallops PTA Christmas, Part 1

Decided to have some fun as we run up to the holidays (and yes, I will unashamedly say "holidays," because there are a bunch of them and I like to celebrate any that come my way, and encourage others to celebrate any they like). So I dropped in to see how the Pismwallops PTA handles the event. With a fund-raiser bazaar, of course! But nothing ever goes quite according to plan when JJ MacGregor is involved. It's looking like a 2-part story. A Pismawallops PTA Christmas “JJ, we need another table for the baked goods!” “JJ, the tree won’t light up!” “JJ, the—” I tuned out the last voice. Arne Hancock always had a crisis for me to fix. I dispatched two kids to get the table Patty Reilly needed for the brownies, and went to help Kitty Padgett with the lights that didn’t light. Kitty’s the PTA president, so she was getting her own share of people demanding instant fixes. “It’s plugged in?” I asked. Kitty gave that the eye-roll it deserved, so I added, “In an outlet that actuall

IWSG: 2017 Year-End Round-Up

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express 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! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to the IWSG page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! If it links to Google+, be sure your blog is listed there. Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back. Let’s rock the neurotic writing

Mystery Review: A Dangerous Talent

Title: A Dangerous Talent Author: Charlotte and Aaron Elkins Publisher: Thomas & Mercer, 2012. 270 pages Source: I purchased this book. Publisher's Summary: Alix London has a promising career as an art consultant, a sumptuous condo in Seattle’s toniest neighborhood, a gorgeous figure, and a presence that exudes Ivy League breeding and old money. She has it all…or does she? Only Alix knows that the image she presents to the world is a carefully constructed mirage that veils an embarrassing truth. A brilliant, once-promising art student, the daughter of a prominent New York art conservator, her world was left in ruins when her father went to prison for art forgery. Now a Harvard dropout with an emptied bank account, she is languishing in a career that has produced little more than a lucky house-sitting gig. But all of that changes when Alix meets Christine Lemay, a novice art collector with money to burn and a hot tip on a recently discovered painting by American mast

Friday Flash: Dead Comet

For this week's flash fiction prompt, I headed over to Jemima Pett's blog and checked out out her collection of prompts . A few clicks of the random number generator gave me my title, and the story gives a nod or two to Jemima and her Viridian System books. Dead Comet “I don’t like this.” The uncertainty in Althea’s voice carried clearly over the communications link. “There’s something wrong here.”  Aboard the Jemima, Marlis frowned. It wasn’t like her partner to give way to vague misgivings. They might be due for some time in port, maybe even a visit to Sunset Strip. That was supposed to be the best liberty port for spacers in this quadrant. She shook herself. No good thinking about heading dirtside until they finished what they were here for. They needed to score something big if they wanted a vacation. Marlis spoke into her comm unit. “What?” “I’m not sure, Mar. Just…it’s wrong. The whole thing feels dead.” “It’s an asteroid. They’re all dead. Nothing can live on an asteroid