We are storytellers. Once again, with pride

macjam47:

Nicholas Rossis on storytelling.

Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis:

What’s that well called?

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books image: marketingmercenary.net

There once was a well, in the middle of a field. It was known, quite unimaginatively, as the well in the field. Then, one morning, the farmer who owned the field found a drowned body inside. Shocked, the nearby villagers changed the well’s name to well of ill luck. They avoided it, superstitious lot that they were, and it was considered bad luck to pass that field at night.

A few months later, it emerged that the body belonged to a notorious criminal, who had escaped the authorities. Henceforth, the well was known as the well of Divine justice.

Thus, local storytellers interpreted reality in three different ways.

As time passed, zealous locals embellished the story. A just spirit now resided deep within the well. Anyone making offerings to it, would get justice. People started referring to the well with reverence…

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Emerson’s Attic Series

Books One and Two

By Kathleen Andrews Davis

The Blue Velvet Book One – THE BLUE VELVET

In Book One we meet Emerson Mcbride, a typical American teenager who does the same things any other teen would do. That is, until she is sent up to clean the attic. What happens there will surprise you.

Emerson finds herself on her back in a large room, not her attic.  A strange voice keeps telling her to wake up and is calling her Emma. Lizzy is a housemaid in Harrington Hall.. Though Emerson is confused about everything, Lizzy helps direct her through her household chores and daily life in this huge manor..

Emerson is living in another time and has no idea how she got there, or how to get back home.  What’s more, she is becoming suspicious of the eldest son of the owner of the Manor.

Book Two – SMOKE AND MIRRORSSmoke and Mirrors

In Book Two, Emerson is late getting home from school, and her best friend Sarah is supposed to come over so they can work together on their science.  When she walks in the house, her mother tells her Sarah has gone upstairs to the attic to find a Halloween costume.  Panicked that something similar to what happened to her will happen to Sarah, Emerson dashes upstairs just as Sarah put an orange wig on her head.  She was too late.  She reached for Sarah and the next thing they knew, they woke up in a strange place, in an earlier time, and everyone was calling them Lily and Faith.  They were suddenly circus performers.  Both of the girls made the best of the situation, all the while trying to figure out how to get back home.  This adventure takes them further and further away from their hometown by way of the circus train.  Why is Emerson here with Sarah?  The two have quite a journey and end up solving a mystery before they return to their normal lives.

The characters in both books were believable in spite of the fact that they were time travelers.  They were smart and able to put clues together to solve the mysteries they were entangled in. Emerson finds out a little more about herself in each adventure.  I will stop at that to keep from giving away any spoilers.

The plots of the books were equally engaging, even though the first book was much shorter. They were well thought out and executed.  The author did a fantastic job of pulling everything together at the end.

I loved both books.  No, just so you understand, let me repeat myself.  I L-O-V-E-D these books. I couldn’t put them down.  I would highly recommend this series to any middle grade girl (age 9-14).  A boy could certainly read them, but I think they are written more to a girl’s interest.

First Chapter The Blue Velvet:

Consequences 

“It’s not fair.  It’s just not fair,” Emerson mumbled lumbering up the steep attic stairs with broom, dustpan, and trash bags in hand.

“Why am I always the one punished when Adam is the troublemaker?  No one should have to deal with little brothers!  No one! Why can’t he clean the attic!  He started it!  Mom always takes his side!”

By the time she reached the top step her long, chestnut hair had let loose from the hair clip and her bangs were pasted to her forehead with sweat.  “Humph…” She looked around the dirty attic.  Bookcases piled with old books, Time Magazines, National Geographics, and some old newspapers.  “Just what am I supposed to do with those?”

Straight ahead ice skates hung from the rafters along with tennis racquets and snowshoes.  Abandoned skis, a snowboard, and golf clubs leaned against the wall, dropped there by someone moving onto the next sport season.

To the right she saw piles of cardboard boxes, old furniture, lamp shades, a discarded ironing board, an old fashioned tall mirror in a standing frame, and the headboard of a bed propped against the chimney.  Everything was covered with a thick layer of dust and cobwebs stretched from every corner of the attic, between the rafters, and across the windows.

“I don’t know where to begin,” she said, brushing cobwebs off her jeans and out of her hair.  “I wonder where the spiders are that made the cobwebs.  I’m pretty sure we covered spiders in science class.”  She should have paid more attention to that chapter.

“First things first.  I can’t stand these cobwebs!” She dropped everything to raise the broom and wipe down the cobwebs.  “Crap!” she yelled.  Dust cascaded down on her while the cobwebs stuck to the broom.

As she wiped her face with her sleeve, light streaming in from the back window caught her attention.  There, beside the window in a rainbow of color was Grandpap’s old easy chair covered with a sheet.  “I need a break.”  She headed for the chair and took off the dusty sheet.

Sitting down she pulled her feet up onto the chair seat and wrapped her arms around her knees.  She breathed deeply, well as deeply as anyone could breathe in this stuffy old attic.  She moved her eyes around slowly.  There were four windows:  One looking out onto Elm Street,   the second looking out the side to the neighbor’s house where John the bully lived, the third looking over the garage and driveway, and the last overlooking the back yard where the grass always seemed to need mowing.

She couldn’t help wondering why her parents liked this big, old house.  She wanted to live in a new house, in a development with a pool, and lots of kids her age.  Well, not exactly her age of fourteen, but maybe a few years older.  Especially if there were boys!

As she sat wondering how all this stuff had gotten here she felt the warm sun on her face.  Closing her eyes she leaned back in Pap’s chair.  It rocked gently.  Pap’s name was John Forest McBride, but his friends called him Jack.  He was gone now, but she remembered his strong arms holding her safe and warm when she was small.  They would pretend they were riding the train where Pap had worked as a fireman until he retired.  She sat on his lap and he would tell her stories of the places he had been.  Emerson could see him as if he were here now.  Tall and thin, with the same dark chestnut colored hair she had.  His eyes were dark brown while hers were green, she guessed from her Mom’s side of the family.  He had a big moustache with which he would give her “moustache kisses.”  She could almost smell his cherry pipe tobacco.  “Boy, I miss you Pap,” she sighed drifting off to sleep.

“Emerson Amelia McBride!”  Her mother’s voice interrupted her nap. “What are you doing up there?  You’re supposed to be cleaning.”

Emerson jumped up, “Oops, sorry Mom, I’m on it!”

‘Whew, that was close. Does that woman have super hearing or what?  How does she know everything that goes on in this house? Now, I really do have to dig in.’

She brushed down cobwebs, dusted off some old boxes and moved them out of the way so she could sweep.

“What’s this?” she whispered as her broom bumped against an old steamer trunk.  “Looks interesting.”  She pulled the trunk out from under the eaves and opened the lid to peer inside.  Old clothes.  Not just old clothes… old shoes, dresses, hats, and even some men’s clothing.  “Who did these belonged to?  They’d make great stuff for Halloween.”

“Well, well, looky here.”  Emerson reached into the trunk and pulled out a very large hat.  “How weird!”  Putting the hat on her head she stood up and looked for the mirror she had seen earlier.  She walked over and looked at herself.  Not quite right.  She twisted her long hair up under the hat.  “Much better!” She turned this way and that.  “Not bad, not bad at all, if you like the style.  But who would wear a crazy hat like this?”  The hat was made of faded blue velvet with big flowers and some kind of gauzy fabric wrapped around it and tied into a huge bow on one side.  “Where’s the bird’s nest?” Emerson asked the mirror with a wink.

Looking in the mirror more closely she realized her face looked pale.  She felt beads of sweat building on her brow, she was hot, her stomach was queasy, she felt dizzy… “Oh crap, I think I’m going to throw up.”  And then, everything went black.

Kathleen DavisAbout the Author

I wish I could tell you that I am a New York Times Best Selling author or at the very least an award wining author, but alas that is not the case.

I live in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania with my husband and a horde of white tail deer who insist on annihilating all my attempts at gardening.  We are empty-nesters with two grown daughters and two beautiful grandchildren.

​During my long and varied working life I did business writing including everything from press releases to policy and procedure manuals.  I served as managing editor of an in-house newspaper where I enjoyed every aspect of production including writing, photography, and even layout.  From there, I wandered into marketing pieces and business plans.

My favorite adventure, however, was fourteen years in the Bed & Breakfast industry.  This was my passion.  When we left our lovely, old Victorian, it left a hole in my heart and I found myself with an indistinguishable yearning.  I needed more.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I just knew I wasn’t done yet!

Having done business writing and enjoying it, the light bulb finally came on and illuminated the fact that, if I liked commercial writing, surely I would like creative writing.  Right?  Well, some of us are simply slow learners.  Once that thought penetrated, ideas for stories started popping into my head.

Coming from a family of artists and authors, and being considered a creative person in my own right, it should have been clear long before this that writing was a pond into which I should dip a toe and test the water.

Being a grandmother was the fuel that fed the fire, and I decided to leave my grandchildren a legacy of words that would outlast any other inheritance I could give.  I wanted to write wholesome stories where the characters would have to use their brains instead of computers and cell phones.  They would have to think on their feet.  They would have to take responsibility and make decisions on their own.  And, they would just be darn good kids.  I wanted to challenge readers to read more by including titles of other books and alluding to their messages.

Emerson’s Attic opened a world of possibilities and I dove in with gusto.  The first draft of The Blue Velvet seemed too fast and easy, and of course it felt that way because it was just the very beginning.  I had, and still have, a lot to learn about writing but with the encouragement of friends and family it’s coming along.

​In the meantime, the knitting needles have slowed, the flower beds (or what’s left of them) have weeds, Emerson’s dollhouse remains unfinished, and my fishing rod leans lonely in a corner of the garage, but I just can’t get enough of “Emerson,” the real one or the character.

Website:  www.kathleenandrewsdavis.com

Blog:  http://www.dollhousesmemoriesandmore.com

 

Kathleen Andrews Davis, author and publisher.

Titles:  1.  Emerson’s Attic, The Blue Velvet

Cover by:  James Browne

Published July 2013

Page count:  112

  1. Emerson’s Attic, Smoke and Mirrors

Cover by Heather Jo Wingate

Published July 2014

Page count:  133

 

Books are available in print and e-book through Amazon.com

Autographed copies soon to be available through Etsy.

Official Launch of the Annual Bloggers Bash

macjam47:

It’s time to PARTY – that is via your very own technology device. Check out Sacha’s post and let her know if you’re in or if you can help out.

Originally posted on Sacha Black:

You're Invited

This may well be the post that finally makes you say she lost her mind. I feel a bit insaneeven considering pressing publish on this one. But I’m going to, because this wonderful little community has welcomed and inspired me more than I can describe, so I’mstanding up and saying ‘I’ll do it.’

This is an open invite…

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Celebrate “EARTH DAY” with a FREE Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch Butterfly eBook from Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author:

DOWNLOAD your FREE copy of AMAZING MATILDA, the award-winning monarch butterfly picture book at YOUR AMAZON

AM EARTH DAY promoAMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens: Award-winning picture book adventure follows a monarch butterfly through her life cycle and teaches kids important life lessons along the way!

Please share this post…

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄ƷMonarch butterflies are a threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

Picture Book Summary:

AMAZING MATILDA (Ages 4-11 + grownups love it too) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf, she stretches and yawns…

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FREE KINDLE BOOK!

macjam47:

Free Kindle book written by Oklahoma 5th graders. Download your copy and show your support for their efforts. Show them their book is being read around the world.

Originally posted on Here there Be Dragons!:

Highland Park Presents is FREE from RIGHT NOW until Midnight Friday night.

This book is a compilation of short stories written by my Fifth Graders in Oklahoma and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to show them that their book is traveling across the world.

I cannot promise perfect literature, but I can promise interesting and surprising stories that were created by hard working and talented 10-13 yr olds.

Give it a look and make a Fifth Grader’s day!

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Grammar – It Gets Your Attention

macjam47:

Great tips for improving your grammar.

Originally posted on Silver Threading:

Have you ever started reading a book, but could not get through it, because there were so many grammar mistakes? I have too! Good grammar is paramount to your book selling and appealing to a wide audience. Of course, this applies to your blog posts, as well.

I actually have a book called, “The Little Brown Essential Handbook,” on my desk at all times. It covers basic grammar and punctuation, which is a must for every aspiring author. There are many online websites to help you with your grammar too.

Grammar.net is one of the best resources for grammar assistance that I have found. They have a grammar checker that you can download for free. It is a favorite website of mine. In addition, they have available many high quality infographics to make your life easier too.


Another website I like to use is Grammar Girl. Here is a…

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Ten Days in Paradise

By Linda Abbott

 

Ten Days in ParadiseBook Blurb

Vacationing on beautiful Sanibel Island off Florida’s Gulf Coast, Ellen Bennett has never felt so guilty—or more alive.

This wasn’t the way things were supposed to turn out. The 45-year-old successful career woman, wife and mother traveled to the island paradise for solitude and a much-needed break from her family. But a chance encounter with a fellow traveler sparks a powerful attraction, forcing Ellen to make a decision that could change her life forever.

Against an idyllic backdrop of white sand beaches, azure waters and lush palms, Ellen struggles to subdue a firestorm of emotions. David, the father of three young children, confronts the fault lines in his own marriage that lead to a stunning revelation.

Their relationship unfolds as David’s family gathers on Sanibel to celebrate his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Tensions are running high. David’s mother is worried about her husband’s strange behavior and inexplicable memory lapses. His sisters, Julia, an over-achieving corporate exec, and Maggie, a hard-partying renegade who just announced she’s gay and leaving her husband, haven’t spoken for months.

On the island, a small congregation battles to save a beloved seaside chapel to make room for a lavish oceanfront mansion. Ellen takes up the cause when she meets 76-year-old Liz Taylor, a vivacious widow with a sparkling wit and a secret passion of her own.

Linda Abbott’s love for Sanibel Island shines throughout Ten Days in Paradise, a compelling and heartfelt novel that masterfully explores the inner landscapes of marriage and family relationships.

My Review

TEN DAYS IN PARADISE is Linda Abbott’s debut novel.  Uncharacteristically for me, I found it difficult to “get into” the book. It took about until about chapter 39 (half way through the book) before I felt connected to the story.  However, I am happy I stayed with it, because the second half was a very enjoyable read.

What I liked – The story centered on David’s family gathering to celebrate his parents’ 50th anniversary on Florida’s Sanibel Island. Even though there were differences between David’s sisters Julia and Maggie, David played mediator all the while he and his wife Marianne were at odds over how to raise their children. There was also a huge amount of personal time given by Ellen using her resources and knowledge to help save the chapel.  When the story came together, I found that the characters had found a way to resolve their challenges, though you may be surprised at the outcome.

What I didn’t like – I felt there were too many characters and subplots, and I would have preferred to concentrate on fewer people and fewer issues.  With so much going on, it would have been better for me, if the author had concentrated on just a few of the subplots, and saved the rest for development in another book.

Since my likes outweigh dislikes, I am giving this book three and a half stars.

White Birch Publishing (indie published)

Publication Date: December 3, 2014

344 pages, available as a paperback, Kindle eBook, audio book

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

To read a sample chapter, click on the following link:

http://www.tendaysinparadise.com/assets/ten-days-in-paradise-first-chapter.pdf

About the AuthorLinda Abbott, author, Ten Days In Paradise

Linda Abbott’s love for Sanibel Island shines through her debut novel, Ten Days In Paradise. Though she worked for many years as a professional writer–first as an award-winning journalist and then in public relations–Linda is a late bloomer to fiction. She found the muse while vacationing on Sanibel, where she wrote the opening chapters of her novel. Linda’s writing career took another turn last year when she founded Never Forget Legacies & Tributes to write life storybooks for individuals and families. She feels blessed to have two new careers and can’t wait to get started on her next novel. A Chicago native, she lives in Middleton, Wisconsin with her husband.

Author Links

Website: www.TenDaysInParadise.comTwitterLinkedIn

To purchase the book: Amazon