Showing posts from January, 2018

Book Launch: Princelings of the North

It's here! The Princelings of the North Book 8 of the Princelings of the East series by Jemima Pett Genre : older middle grade mystery adventure – age 10 and upwards. ebook: 47,000 words, ebook ASIN B0785RY891 / ISBN 9781370899159 paperback : 237 pages; ISBN 9781389104404 The Princelings of the North is the eighth in The Princelings of the East series. Princelings Dylan and Dougall, who live in the far northwest of an island off the northwest coast of the Realms, rescue an exiled prince, and battle against the odds to restore him to his birthright. Irrepressible Dylan and steady Dougall are inseparable denizens of the tiny castle of Haunn, so far away from the rest of civilisation that it’s almost off the map. And maps are one of the key elements of this intricate adventure. Dylan finds a treasure map inside a bottle washed up on the shore – and he reckons he knows where X is. Instead of treasure, he finds the exiled Prince Kevin of Castle Deeping, antagonist in the Talent

Cozy Review: Biscuits and Slashed Browns--with Guest Post by the Author!

Title: Biscuits and Slashed Browns: A Country Store Mystery Author: Maddie Day Publisher: Kensington Publishing, 2018. 292 pages Source: electronic ARC via Great Escapes Book Tours Publisher's Blurb:  For country-store owner Robbie Jordan, the National Maple Syrup Festival is a sweet escape from late-winter in South Lick, Indiana--until murder saps the life out of the celebration . . . As Robbie arranges a breakfast-themed cook-off at Pans 'N Pancakes, visitors pour into Brown County for the annual maple extravaganza. Unfortunately, that includes Professor Connolly, a know-it-all academic from Boston who makes enemies everywhere he goes--and this time, bad manners prove deadly. Soon after clashing with several scientists at a maple tree panel, the professor is found dead outside a sugar shack, stabbed to death by a local restaurateur's knife. When an innocent woman gets dragged into the investigation and a biologist mysteriously disappears, Robbie drops her wi

#Fi50: Snowglobe

   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 M

Flashback Friday!

  Flashback Friday is a monthly meme that takes place on the last Friday of the month . The idea is to give a little more love to a post you’ve published on your blog before.  Maybe you just love it, maybe it’s appropriate for now, or maybe it just didn’t get the attention it deserved when you first published it. Thanks to Michael d’Agostino, who started it all, there is a solution – join Flashback Friday! Just join in whenever you like, repost one of your own blog posts , including any copyright notices on text or media, on the last Friday of the month. Use the Flashback Friday logo above, as designed by Michael d’Agostino. Link it back to host Jemima Pett (there's a linky list!) and add a link to your post in the comments on Jemima's post (or mine, or any other participant's). Since Friday is my flash fiction day, I've been sharing stories from the archives. This one dates back to May of 2015. Garbage Cans I knew we were in trouble when the garbage cans starte

Wednesday Wanderings: Historical Fiction

I have long had a love affair with children's historical fiction. It probably began with The Little House in the Big Woods, which I first read when I was what? maybe 6 or 7 years old? Looking back at it, nothing much happens in the book, but it didn't matter, because everything the Ingalls family did was strange and exciting to me. In the years since, I have read children's books set in periods from ancient Greece to the 1970s (anything since then hardly feels "historical" to me!). The vast majority of these books were interesting, apparently well-researched, and added something to my random pool of knowledge. Of course, you do need to bring some critical judgement to it--the Little House books, for example, are rife with the racial prejudices of the author's time  (something that more contemporary writers do a better job of addressing, since they are usually conscious, at the least, that such prejudices aren't acceptable. When Laura asks awkward question

Audiobook review: The Wright Brothers

Title: The Wright Brothers Author: David McCullough. Read by the author. Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio, 2015. First published 2015 by Simon and Schuster. Source:   Library digital resources Publisher's Blurb:  Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright. On December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright’s Wright Flyer became the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard. The Age of Flight had begun. How did they do it? And why? David McCullough tells the extraordinary and truly American story of the two brothers who changed the world. Sons of an itinerant preacher and a mother who died young, Wilbur and Orville Wright grew up in a small side street in Dayton, Ohio, in a house that lacked indoor plumbing and electricity but was filled with books and a l

#fi50 Heads-up

Just a reminder to anyone who wants to participate, that next week (week of 1/28) is Fiction in 50 week! This month's theme is "Snowglobe." Use it as a title, or just as a starting point, or ignore it completely, but write your 50-word story and post up your link next Sunday when I post my story!

Non-Fiction Review: The Reason I Jump

Title: The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism Author: Naoki Higashida; translated by KA Yoshida and David Mitchell Publisher: (US) Random House, 2013. Originally published by Escor Publishers, Japan, 2007. 135 pages. Source: Library Publisher's Summary: Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one, at last, have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within. Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and

Friday Flash: Thieves of Soveriegnty

A quick job of producing a story more or less to the theme Chuck proposed two weeks ago ("the danger of undeserved power," and I can't imagine what made him think of that). I had trouble getting inspired (which is why I didn't write the story last week, when it was due), but I managed to come up with something that I devoutly hope is not prophetic. I'm not wild about it, but I did manage to write it. Thieves of Sovereignty The faces on those gathered around the king’s bed were grim. The ruler of the small nation was young and he should have shrugged off his illness. But he didn’t. He had grown more and more ill, until now there was nothing to be done but keep a death watch. Among the grim faces in the death chamber were some whose grief was a false mask. These were the men and women who had managed to make themselves favorites of the prince, a boy of only ten years, and more spoiled than boded well for the nation. His pet courtiers made sure he remained that way,

Cover Reveal: Tick Tock, A Stitch in Crime

I'm a day late, but I'm excited to reveal the cover the the IWSG anthology, and announce the publication date! I'll be sure to share when it's available for pre-orders. The clock is ticking... Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is   revenge possible in just   48 minutes ?   Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze?   Who killed what the tide brought in?   Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail? Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight.   Featuring the talents of   Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard. Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time i

Fiction Review: All the Light We Cannot See

Title: All the Light We Cannot See Author: Anthony Doerr Publisher: Scribner, 2014, 531 pages Source: Library Publisher's Summary: Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.   My Rev

Photo Friday: Water and Light

No flash fiction this week, due primarily to procrastination. Instead, I'll share some photos I took over the holidays, mostly of water and light (with a few trees thrown in). I have a feeling that until I get some kind of grip on the edits to Death By Adverb I'll be burrowing into the archives for photos on more Fridays that this. [Note: progress is happening on DBA. I have figured out, I hope, most of what needs to be done. Doing it, of course, is always another matter.] Leaves under the surface, their own world.  Mirrors. Treetops I sat on the ground to photograph the twinkling lights in the pussywillow tree. Still trying to figure out why the lights flared that way. Fairy lights I think this is my favorite abstract for the year.

Review: Goodbye Piccadilly

  Title: Goodbye Piccadilly Author: Cynthia Harrod-Eagles Publisher: Sphere, 2014. 392 pages Source: Library Publisher's Summary: In 1914, Britain faces a new kind of war. For Edward and Beatrice Hunter, their children, servants and neighbours, life will never be the same again. For David, the eldest, war means a chance to do something noble; but enlisting will break his mother's heart. His sister Diana, nineteen and beautiful, longs for marriage. She has her heart set on Charles Wroughton, son of Earl Wroughton, but Charles will never be allowed to marry a banker's daughter. Below stairs, Cook and Ada, the head housemaid, grow more terrified of German invasion with every newspaper atrocity story. Ethel, under housemaid, can't help herself when it comes to men and now soldiers add to the temptation; yet there's more to this flighty girl than meets the eye. The once-tranquil village of Northcote reels under an influx of khaki volunteers, wounded soldiers

Middle Grade Fiction: When Santa Fell to Earth

Title: When Santa Fell to Earth Author: Cornelia Funke. Trans. Oliver Latsch Publisher: Scholastic ebook, 2011. 90 pages. Original by Dressler, 1994 (in German). Source: Library digital resources Publisher's Summary: What would happen if Santa fell to Earth? Christmas through the eyes of Cornelia Funke: quirky, funny, ultimately heartwarming, and packaged in a collectible format. A new holiday classic! Scared by a storm, Twinklestar, the least reliable reindeer, bolts--causing Santa and his sleigh to crash-land. And though Santa has dropped into a friendly neighborhood, he's not safe: Jeremiah Goblynch, the ruthless new leader of the Council of Yuleland, is determind to put an end to children's wishes and turn the holiday season into his own personal moneymaking scheme. As the last REAL St. Nick around, only Santa stands between Goblynch and his grinchlike plan. With the help and hope of kids Charlotte and Ben, Santa must face Goblynch and his Nutcracker goons t

Flash Fiction Friday: The 13th Keeper

Friday looming ahead of me, I pulled another title from Jemima Pett's flash fiction prompts late Thursday afternoon. That gave me "The Thirteenth Keeper," and I decided that a little romance might be in order. This one's about 950 words. The 13th Keeper "He's cute." Jill giggled, a sound disturbing incongruous with the evidence of decades past that marked her eyes, if not her skin. Sandra nodded. "It's worth investigating. You never know." "The last one didn't turn out so well." "You won't know unless you try." The two women leaned their determinedly dark heads together, whispering, before sitting back and taking long, thoughtful sips from the glasses they held. The gentleman in question, unaware of their scrutiny, continued to sip his own drink, apparently lost in thought. "So how do you go about it?" Sandra wondered. “You’ve no one to introduce you.” "It's an art," Jill said with a smir