Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

What is a Scene?

Originally posted on By DLFernandez:

Narrative is the telling of a story, the events and consequences for the characters. Scenes are those passages in a narrative when we, as writers and readers, slow down and focus on an important event in the story so that we are “in  the moment” with the characters in action.

Scene is Action

No matter the length (long or short, covering time compressed or stretched), Scene is Event. Something happening. As writers, we are called to present this moment in engaging a way as possible, drawing our readers into the moment with a vice grip that will not let them go.

Among the elements at our disposal to generate these scenes is Dialogue. While we aim to make the conversations between our characters authentic and accessible, dialogue in writing is sharper, shorter, and smarter than our everyday chats. Real talk is littered with “well’s” and “uh’s” and “so’s”, and to…

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Blue

Marcia:

What a lovely poem my friend & editor, Caitlin Stern, has written. Just a beautiful thought!

Originally posted on caitlinsternwrites:

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Blue

A tiny spot of blue

fringed with green

awash in a concrete river

clinging to a pocket of soil

tucked in a curve

dwarfed by the metal monsters

that roll on black tires

and send leaves and petals rippling

in a wash of exhaust fumes

but still

color in the gray scale world

of asphalt and concrete

blooming

and nothing else matters

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Astigmatism by Amy Lowell

For all those, including myself, who might be tempted to think their view of what’s right or beautiful is the only one.

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Astigmatism

by Amy Lowell
To Ezra Pound: with Much Friendship and Admiration and Some Differences of Opinion

The Poet took his walking-stick
Of fine and polished ebony.
Set in the close-grained wood
Were quaint devices;
Patterns in ambers,
And in the clouded green of jades.
The top was smooth, yellow ivory,
And a tassel of tarnished gold
Hung by a faded cord from a hole
Pierced in the hard wood,
Circled with silver.
For years the Poet had wrought upon this cane.
His wealth had gone to enrich it,
His experiences to pattern it,
His labour to fashion and burnish it.
To him it was perfect,
A work of art and a weapon,
A delight and a defence.
The Poet took his walking-stick
And walked abroad.

Peace be with you, Brother.

The Poet came to a meadow.
Sifted through the grass were daisies,
Open-mouthed, wondering, they gazed at the sun.
The Poet struck them with his cane.
The little heads flew off, and they lay
Dying, open-mouthed and wondering,
On the hard ground.
“They are useless. They are not roses,” said the Poet.

Peace be with you, Brother. Go your ways.

The Poet came to a stream.
Purple and blue flags waded in the water;
In among them hopped the speckled frogs;
The wind slid through them, rustling.
The Poet lifted his cane,
And the iris heads fell into the water.
They floated away, torn and drowning.
“Wretched flowers,” said the Poet,
“They are not roses.”

Peace be with you, Brother. It is your affair.

The Poet came to a garden.
Dahlias ripened against a wall,
Gillyflowers stood up bravely for all their short stature,
And a trumpet-vine covered an arbour
With the red and gold of its blossoms.
Red and gold like the brass notes of trumpets.
The Poet knocked off the stiff heads of the dahlias,
And his cane lopped the gillyflowers at the ground.
Then he severed the trumpet-blossoms from their stems.
Red and gold they lay scattered,
Red and gold, as on a battle field;
Red and gold, prone and dying.
“They were not roses,” said the Poet.

Peace be with you, Brother.
But behind you is destruction, and waste places.

The Poet came home at evening,
And in the candle-light
He wiped and polished his cane.
The orange candle flame leaped in the yellow ambers,
And made the jades undulate like green pools.
It played along the bright ebony,
And glowed in the top of cream-coloured ivory.
But these things were dead,
Only the candle-light made them seem to move.
“It is a pity there were no roses,” said the Poet.

Peace be with you, Brother. You have chosen your part.

The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Okay, before I get too far into this brief (for me) review, I just want to get one thing out of the way, right up front. As much as I enjoy Kim Harrison’s series, and as fun as this image of Rachel Morgan is, the man in the background doesn’t even resemble the way that Harrison has described Rachel’s main Elf, Trent Kalamack, as looking. The most obvious discrepancy would be the lack of almost white, floating, fly-away, “dandelion fluff” hair. And for me, not much else looks like the Elf described through all of these books, either. Now everyone has their own take on how he should look, I’m sure. But without that hair, the fair skin, and the pointy ears, he just doesn’t look very…Elvish. Therefore, I have decided he must be…wait for it…an Elvish Impersonator. (Oh, hahaha. Sometimes I crack myself up.)

Seriously, the cover does bother me, but not enough to stop me from enjoying the book. I’m keeping this review on the short side, because I can’t think of a way to say what I want to without spoilers. What I will say that the plot turned into something I wasn’t expecting at all, though given the Ins and Outs of The Hollows, the Ever-After, and the ley lines, plus demons, weres, vamps (both living and dead), elves, pixies, fairies, and even gargoyles, I guess I should have been ready for just about anything. But she still managed to surprise me.

In my opinion, Kim Harrison’s forte is in that same complex world-building I mentioned above. The history of elves and demons, the complicated rules they all live by, the way Rachel morphed from an “ordinary” witch into something quite extraordinary, able to converse with demons and goddesses–all of these things make for very entertaining reading. As for the one burning issue that has kept me coming back over and over again–the slowly evolving relationship between Rachel and Trent–well, all I can say is this book left me smiling…from ear to ear. 

If you’ve followed this series from the beginning, and you haven’t read The Undead Pool, yet, what are you waiting for. Get it! And get ready for the next book, which I believe is going to wrap up the series. (If I’m wrong on that, feel free to jump in here and let me know, anyone.) It’s been a long and wildly imaginative ride. The books haven’t all been perfect, and there are things (and characters) I don’t like very much, even though I’m supposed to. But overall, I’m really glad I picked up Dead Witch Walking way back when. If you love Urban Fantasy, I definitely recommend it to you.

The Undead Pool

Free Kindle Version of Green Anthology through 3/18/14

Marcia:

I am very pleased to have a poem in this Silver Birch Press anthology, along with so many truly talented writers and poets. Check it out! Still FREE through tomorrow! Free is a GOOD THING!

Originally posted on Silver Birch Press:

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To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we’re offering a free Kindle version of the Silver Birch Press Green Anthology – available through Tuesday, March 18th at Amazon.com. (If you don’t have a Kindle device, you can still read the book — with free reading apps, available at this link.) If you are in the UK, try Amazon.co.uk. The free offer also appears on all the international Amazon sites.

Featuring the work of 72 writers from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Europe, and Africa, the Silver Birch Press Green Anthology includes poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, an author interview, memoirs, and poetic essays that touch on the theme of green in creative, fresh, and compelling ways.

We would appreciate any reblogs, tweets, emails, and facebook posts about this Kindle giveaway!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Spring Is Here For Sure!

What a glorious day it is today. You can tell by the flowers in my header, I’ve been in the yard for several hours. I picked up two hanging baskets and they inspired me to get up from this computer and get out in my garden. How could I resist, with colors like those? Did you ever see anything more cheerful in your life? :) I put a basket at each end of my back porch, and I can see them from the patio, as well.

I missed What Are You Reading Friday, yesterday, so I thought I’d take a break from planting my coleus, and touch base with you guys for a change. (MUST get back to my blogging again. I really miss it!) I’m a bit over halfway through Kim Harrison’s latest, The Undead Pool, and loving it, so far. Although, I must say, Harrison is toying with our emotions in this one. At least those of us who have been fan of Trent since the beginning of the series. She’d better deliver before this book is done, or I just might start to lose patience, here. It’s definitely time for the relationship between Rachel and everyone’s favorite elf, “Cookie Bits,” as Jenks the pixie calls him, to get it on, for Pete’s sake. I’ll be reviewing the book as soon as I finish, which takes a lot longer lately. (Writing has a way of consuming every minute of my days, any more.)

So, your turn. What are you reading this weekend? Inquiring minds, and all of that…??

Top Ten Tuesday: The 10 Commandments of Detective Fiction

Marcia:

I love these Ten Commandments for Detective Fiction. They all make sense to me.

Originally posted on By DLFernandez:

Arthur Conan Doyle Español: Arthur Conan Doyle...

Arthur Conan Doyle and his big, beautiful moustache. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I’ve been on something of a mystery kick these days. In preparation for reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s The Hound of the Baskervilles, I came across a list written by a Catholic priest who happened to also be a writer of detective fiction.

Ronald Knox, the priest, was a mystery writer in the early part of the 20th century who belonged to the Detection Club, a society peopled by such legendary mystery writers Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, G. K. Chesterson, and E. C. Bentley. This priest fittingly entitled his list of musts for mystery writing The 10 Commandments of Detective Fiction. Here they are, with my commentary.

1.) The criminal must be someone mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the readers…

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Humor at the Speed of Life by Ned Hickson

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars 

I’ve been following Ned Hickson’s wonderful blog for quite a while now, and if you don’t, you really should. It is one of the funniest blogs out there, if you ask me.  Okay, you didn’t ask me, but I’m volunteering this information, free of charge. Ned Hickson is a funny man. Guess that’s why he also writes a humor column for the Siuslaw News, an Oregon newspaper. If you don’t believe me when I tell you how funny his blog is, check it out for yourself. Or better yet, check out both his blog and his new book, Humor at the Speed of Life, a collection of some of his funniest work.

I love this book! I’ve practically worn it out, reading and reading my favorite columns. I’ve chased my husband around the house and into the garage, reading aloud to him. By the way, he does not think this is funny, Ned Hickson, and says if I don’t stop harassing him in this manner, he’s going to take your book away from me, and revoke my amazon.com privileges. I’m trying to stop. But really, some of this stuff is so good, I just want to share it with others, and chasing Mark around seemed like a better idea than standing on the corner, reading selected columns out loud to various passers by. 

If you have need of some good laughs in your life right now, and who doesn’t, you should immediately purchase a copy of Ned’s book. You’ll see what I mean. Before you know it, you, too will be chasing folks round going, “But just listen to this! It’s hilarious, I tell you!”

Humor at the Speed of Life. 

Wake-Robin Ridge Only $1.99 – 2 More Days!

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Only 2 more days! #WakeRobinRidge is available for download for only $1.99. (Regular price $4.99) Find out why librarian Sarah Gray quit her job and moved to a little cabin the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Discover what secret her reclusive, enigmatic neighbor, MacKenzie Cole, is hiding, up there alone in his mountaintop home. And be there when, together, they unravel a mystery involving a decades old murder and the first woman who lived in Sarah’s cabin. Romantic Suspense, with a little touch of spooky. Check it out! 

Wake-Robin Ridge

Bloodling Wolf by Aimee Easterling

bloodlingwolf

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Finished this short story a few weeks ago,  and I’m still thinking about all the great potential for a full length book. Aimee Easterling’s  world building was very interesting, with a “bloodling” being a type of werewolf I’ve not run across before. Bloodlings are rare shifters who are born in animal form and can’t shift into human form until they become teenagers. The central character here, Wolfie, doesn’t really want to become two-footed even then, if he can avoid it. This causes a lot of trouble for him within his pack, as you might imagine. Seeing life from his wolf’s perspective is a nice twist.

I thought the author did an excellent job of building strong characters in a short span of time, and I really enjoyed Wolfie’s struggles. It’s always interesting to see the world through the eyes of someone not exactly part of it in the same way we are, be it aliens, children, or bloodlings.  My only complaint was that it was over too soon, as is the nature of short stories, and I wanted more. 

Can’t wait to see where the tale goes from here. We are all set up for every kind of adventure ahead, and I’m pretty sure a full-length book is in the making. Kudos to Aimee Easterling for a job well done.

Bloodling Wolf

If you decide to place an order with amazon, clicking through from my links will give me credit. If you are enjoying my reviews on Bookin’ It, it’s a great way to let me know! Thanks!

 

My Review of Nancy J. Cohen’s “Writing the Cozy Mystery”

Marcia:

David writes a great blog, and Nancy Cohen is a super nice lady. I’m definitely planning to get this book.

Originally posted on By DLFernandez:

Writing the Cozy Mystery

Writing the Cozy Mystery by Nancy J Cohen

In the market for a new, great How-To book on writing? Well, look no further. I keep my eye out for these because they tend to be a wealth of knowledge and experience, packed with interesting ideas and exercises. And I’ve found one that I recommend highly. It’s a quick, efficient read that’ll definitely get your story-brain working.

I’ve been a fan of mysteries for a very long time, from the classics concocted by Conan Doyle, Chandler, and Christie, to modern doozies from the likes of Lehane. Well into my thirties at this point, one of my favorite novels is still a middle-grade cozy puzzle mystery I read in elementary school, The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Even as a middle school literature teacher these days, I read that novel with my 6th graders as part of a larger unit…

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Help!

Somehow I forgot to contact BookGorilla about my Wake-Robin Ridge sale this week. :( I need to promote this one myself, so I’m hoping you will all tell your friends and family about the promotion. If you have a blog, and reblog my post (below) about it, I’ll be happy to gift you with a free download of Summer Magic as a thank-you. Just let me know your email in order to receive it. I’ll do the same if you post about it on your Facebook page, or Tweet about it. You may use this link to help readers find it: Wake-Robin Ridge

Really hoping to get the word out, as I can’t offer this price again for 90 days. Thanks for any help you can offer!

Wake-Robin Ridge for $1.99!

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For the next five days, Wake-Robin Ridge will be on sale for $1.99. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, don’t miss out! Love and murder in the Blue Ridge Mountains! You’ll want to get to know Sarah and Mac, and find out what secret has kept MacKenzie Cole alone on his mountaintop, with only his Irish wolfhound, Rosheen, for company. Read how, together, they unravel the mystery of what happened to Ruth Winn, who lived in Sarah’s cabin before her.  Romantic Suspense with a touch of spooky. Get your copy today–you know you want to! 

Writers Digest says Ruthie is a strong and interesting character, Lloyd is compelling and psychotic, and Sarah and Mac’s relationship is adorable. 

“What a wonderful story! Funny, sad uplifting,could not put it down.” 5 Stars

“The author has a wonderful command of language.You feel you have been whisked away to the Blue Ridge Mountains.” 5 Stars

” I love books that evoke emotions. I cried real tears, and laughed out loud.” 5 Stars

“Great character development, beautiful imagery. It’s unique, endearing, funny and at times, tragic.” 5 Stars

“Two days later, I’m still thinking of the characters. Hope there will be a sequel.” 5 Stars 

“The suspense kept building until I just couldn’t put the book down.” 5 Stars 

Wake-Robin Ridge: A Darcy’s Corner Novel

Wild Things by Chloe Neill

wildthingsMy Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Someday I should take a moment and explain my rating system. I’m sure it perplexes some of my readers from time to time when I give their favorite novels only 3 or 4 stars. Sometimes I even give critically acclaimed works with real redeeming social value only 3 or 4 stars, as well. And yet, I’m going to give Chloe Neill’s latest Chicagoland Vampires book a solid 5 stars. How can that be, you may wonder. Simple. Read more…

Spring Is In The Air!

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Actually, down here in central Florida, we’ve already had some days in the low 80′s, so you could say summer is in the air, too. But today is a cool, upper-60′s kind of day, so I’m calling it spring. The migrating goldfinches have shown up at my feeder, where they will consume vast quantities of thistle seed before molting into their bright yellow breeding plumage, and heading farther north to nest. Cardinals are already building this year’s homes, and I’ve even seen a black racer or two, venturing out to bask in the sunlight. 

And on other exciting fronts, I have finally finished my second novel, Swamp Ghosts, and it is in full edit, as I type. You might notice the header has changed to something appropriate for this news. :)

I love the editing process, through and through. Revising, cutting, sharpening, looking for better ways to say the same thing, or cleaner prose, or a funnier tidbit to insert. To me, it’s the icing on the cake, and the best part of writing. Hopefully, this book will be published by May 1. I’ll keep you posted on that.

And lastly, maybe the most fun of all, I have a bit more time to read again! I’ve missed it more than you can imagine, and I have some books to review, starting this very afternoon. Just finished Chloe Neill’s latest Chicagoland novel, for one, and a few other things I want to share with you. So stay tuned, folks. Things should be picking up here a bit more each day. Until I start novel #3, that is, and I’m already outlining it. :)

 

Hanging By A Hair Top Pick Review

Marcia:

Nancy Cohen is one of my favorite online “friends.” Hope to meet her someday!

Originally posted on Nancy's Notes From Florida:

Here is one of the early reviews in for Hanging By A Hair, #11 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries coming in April from Five Star.

Night Owl Reviews Top Pick—5 Stars!    NOtoppick

http://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Reviews/Merrynoelle-reviews-Hanging-By-A-Hair-by-Nancy-J-Cohen

The twists and turns will keep you guessing to the end and just about the time you think you have it all figured out she surprises you by steering you away with another clue. The author is always keeping you guessing as to where the story will lead you next. Ms. Cohen has just joined the list of my favorite authors and I look forward to reading the other books she has written. I hope you find Hanging by a Hair as great as I did.

Marla Vail, owner and operator of the salon Cut N’ Dye, and her husband, Detective Dalton Vail a homicide investigator, moved into Palm Valley recently following their recent marriage. They are…

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Star-Gazing by Marcia Meara

2005_perseids

The Perseids . . . 
Lying back under 
The ink-blotted sky,
He tries out the words.
They tickle his tongue.
The Per-see-ids. Those
Pinpoints of brightness
And streaks of fire,
Lighting the night
In a spectacle
Older than he can 
Possibly know.

Look Dad, he cries,
Look how many!
I see a hundred,
Maybe a thousand!
I see them, too,
Dad says,
And together, they laugh, 
Delighted.
Joy shared, 
And excitement 
Doubled.

Come see the meteors,
Dad said, as he
Shook him awake
Just before dawn.
He crawled from the tent,
Rubbing his eyes, 
Then staring in wonder.
With the sky still a midnight black,
And bright stars wheeling overhead, 
The fireworks came.
Racing toward Earth,
One after another,
The Perseids. 
The miracle of hot August nights.
A late-summer light show
That electrified his soul.
His young heart transfixed
By the sight of the universe,
Lit with streamers
Of flame.

A meteor shower,
Dad tells him again,
But he knows nothing
So beautiful has a name
So ordinary.
Stars, he thinks, pulled loose
From the fabric of the sky,
And flung toward earth, 
Trailing silver and gold,
And bringing pieces of Heaven
To those watching below.

He holds up his hands,
Cupped reverently, 
To catch one of his own.
To be blessed by 
This summer magic.
He holds his breath, waiting
For the illumination
Of his soul to begin.
Falling stars,
Falling from the
Summer sky,
For him.

 -Marcia Meara -

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Another Free Kindle Promo This Weekend! :-)

Marcia:

Check these out. I’ll be reviewing the cookbook later today. Just tried a wonderful chili recipe!

Originally posted on My Poetic Path:

third chapter second chance cover

GGK COVER WITH MY PHOTO-FRONT COVER ONLY

Two of my Kindle books are available free all this weekend at:

Amazon.com, .ca., UK., etc…

***

Third Chapter, Second Chance (a midlife romance)

and

The Groovy Green Kitchen: Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker

Click through from the links on the sidebar —->

Do spread the word if you can. 

And if you enjoy any of my books, reviews at Amazon are always appreciated! :)

Happy Reading, Cooking and Weekend too! ;)

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Need an Editor?

For those who don’t know, I’ve been buried in the final chapters of my draft for my upcoming novel, Swamp Ghosts. I’m happy to say that I’m close enough to the end to start the editing process on the beginning. Yay! I’m hoping to have this book published by the first of May, if all goes well.

In the meantime, I’m also happy to say my editor for Wake-Robin Ridge, Caitlin Stern, is once again going to be working with me. I can’t say enough good things about working with Caitlin. She was very accommodating and we were able to come up with an arrangement that was perfect for both of us. Her flexibility was wonderful, and she has mad skills, too.

In my case, I asked her to edit for typos, grammar, and general errors of the mechanical sort. Plus, she read the book as a reader would, and kept me honest when she felt my characters weren’t acting true to how I had described them. She never lopped out anything or replaced anything with her own words, which I would have hated. Instead, she circled and underlined and made suggestions in the margin, and let me make all the changes myself. If I was being repetitive, for instance, she would point out that something should probably be cut, and give me her thoughts on which sentence could be removed without changing my meaning. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I agreed with her and made the suggested changes. In the rare instance when I really preferred my way, and stood firm, she was good with that.

In short, she made me a better writer, but didn’t do it for me. I re-learned a lot of half-forgotten grammar rules that had long disappeared into the dark corners of my mind, and she gave me easy ways to remember them in the future, too. Hyphens are still my enemy, but I know Caitlin will be on the job and catch my mistakes.

If you are looking for a reasonably priced but very good editor, I hope you’ll think about contacting Caitlin. I’m sure you would enjoy working with her. You can reach her at Caitlin Stern Writes for more specific info

Showers by Marcia Meara

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Showers

Drip-drip.

Huddled and sighing
Inside the tent,
Boredom a damp presence
Keeping him company,
While Dad naps
To the sound of the rain.

Drip-drip.

Comic books scattered,
On his rumpled cot.
Superheroes as powerless
As little boys, while
The day spills water
Over all his plans.

Drip-drip.

No fishing today.
Those shimmery trout
Are safe in the stream.
No hiking alone,
That’s the rule.
What’s left to do?

Drip-drip.

Quietly, he crawls outside,
His stifled squeals
Turning to laughter
As the ice-cold water
Tickles his back.
This could be fun!

Drip-drip-drip-drip.

Rain falls harder.
He splashes wildly
Through silvery puddles,
Arms flung wide,
Laughing louder, and
Doing a rain dance all his own.

Drip-drip-drip-drip.

Awake now, Dad laughs, too,
Tossing him a bar of soap.
He grins at this new idea.
A rain shower? 
Why not, says Dad. May as well,
Once your rain dance is done, that is. 

Drip-drip-drop.

   - Marcia Meara -

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Crossing

Marcia:

Love Caitlin’s poetry! Hope you enjoy this one, too.

Originally posted on caitlinsternwrites:

Image from WikiMedia by Vince pahkala.

Image from WikiMedia by Vince pahkala.

Crossing

Train horn shatters the ice

cold night

light stabbing the dark

brakes screeching

Huddle in the lee

of this steel river winding

across streets

Thunderous noise

rippling motion

dancing lights

Wait on the cold dark asphalt shore

for stillness

and the safety to pass

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Indian Summer by Marcia Meara

Just sharing a poem from my Summer Magic collection. Enjoy!

Indian Summer

He sees her standing 
Below the falls,
Carefully balanced
On the slippery rocks,
And laughing
In the hazy October sun.

Only yesterday 
The ice-rimmed pool
Mirrored angry gray clouds,
And a wind out of the north
Chilled his bones.
Today, a warm yellow sun
Has eaten the frost,
And resurrected the ghost
Of a summer already laid to rest.

She’s wearing shorts, 
As if she knew 
There would be a reprieve
And dressed accordingly.
Dampened hems, and a
Misty sheen on 
Her long, slim legs
Bear testament to 
The wind-blown spray.
Her loosened hair is a 
Sable cloud swirling
Around her face, 
Smelling faintly
Of August nights
And tupelo honey.

She turns toward him, 
Radiant and joyful, 
Filled with a wonder
Most have long lost.
Her smile invites him
To let go of autumn,
To share the sunshine,
To be reborn in this moment.

Surprised, his mouth 
Curves in response, and
His soul cries,
Yes, oh yes!
Desperation gives voice
To need long ignored.
Yes, he says again,
This time aloud. 
I want the sunlight,
The warmth, the wonder.
Show me, teach me.
He takes her hand, and
Lets the sunlight
Flood his heart,
Thawing the frost within,
Setting him free.

   - Marcia Meara

 

No Longer Alone, 214 Valentine’s Day Erasure Poem by Caitlin Stern

Marcia:

My editor, Caitlin Stern, does wonderful erasure poetry. I love her artistry on this one.

Originally posted on Silver Birch Press:

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NO LONGER ALONE
by Caitlin Stern

A dance
and a mystery
A generous gesture seeks out
the wish
that didn’t fit
Mend the drift of act
and imagining

SOURCE: “No Longer Alone” by Caitlin Stern is based on page 214 of Five Golden Rings by Fern Michaels (collection), story entitled “Twelfth Night.” by Jo Beverly (Zebra, 2000), available at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Caitlin Stern grew up in San Antonio, Texas, where she read in trees, avoided team sports, and “published” her first book in elementary school. As she grew, she wrote and read more, developing into an avid bibliophile and writer. She followed her love of books to Angelo State University, where she worked as a tutor at her school’s Writing Center, and later as a Teaching Assistant while she earned an English MA. Recently, she has edited an e-published mystery novel and a poetry collection, and had poems…

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Marriage Dreams, 214 Valentine’s Day Erasure Poem by Marcia Meara

Marcia:

This poem will be included in a brand new Silver Birch Press erasure poetry book. Look for more info soon! Click on the Silver Birch Press link to see the full post. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Silver Birch Press:

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MARRIAGE DREAMS
by Marcia Meara

She longed
For comfort.
Married,
Safe,
Together.
All evenings
Sorted out,
Detached from worry.
She needed to think,
To be certain.
No mistakes.
She needed a plan…
Satisfaction.

SOURCE: “Marriage Dreams” by Marcia Meara is based in page 214 of Wake-Robin Ridge, a romantic suspense novel by Marcia Meara (2013), available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marcia Meara is a native Floridian, living in the Orlando area with her husband of almost 28 years, two silly little dachshunds and four big, lazy cats. She’s fond of reading, gardening, hiking, canoeing, painting, and writing, not necessarily in that order. But her favorite thing in the world is spending time with her two grandchildren, eight-year-old Tabitha Faye, and seven-month-old Kaelen Lake. At age 69, Marcia wrote Wake-Robin Ridge, her first novel, and Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love. She is currently…

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Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

takedown_

My Rating: 2-1/2 out of 5 Stars

Sadly, it has become more and more difficult to give the Stephanie Plum books my usual 4 stars for humor and fun. The last two were just not as funny as the first 18. But what can you expect? How long can you keep the same jokes and same love entanglements going on? Takedown Twenty has convinced me that the number is definitely less than 20. I have been saying for years that the constant leaping back and forth between the handsome and oh-so-husband-worthy Morelli and the Uber-sexy, but totally undomesticated Ranger needed to stop. I stand by that observation, only now it has just all become so tedious and unpleasant that I can no longer justify Evanovich keeping this series alive. She should have wrapped it up a few books ago, while it was at its peak. 

Takedown Twenty was painful for me to read, as a petty-sounding Stephanie spends half the book complaining about Morelli’s big Italian family, and suddenly making him out to be pretty much of a boring schmuck. I really thought she was going to dump him so she could roll in the hay again with Ranger, who, btw,  told her flat-out he didn’t intend to “pay the price” for being with her. What? The jokes were so tired and stale, even a giraffe on the loose for days and days (which no one could find…again, what???) didn’t even liven it up. And the final explanation for what the giraffe was doing in the Burg was too stupid for words. The books have always been formulaic, but the formula worked because the dialog was snappy, the men were interesting, Stephanie was someone you could identify with, and all the side characters were hilarious. None of those things were true this time.

It breaks my heart, but I believe it is time for me to write my own ending for Stephanie, and wrap up the story in my own mind, to my own personal satisfaction. So, here it is: Stephanie suddenly realizes that she has strung Joe Morelli along long enough. She tells Ranger to peddle his Bulgari-scented goods elsewhere, marries Joe, and they start their own private investigation firm. They intimidate witnesses into talking by siccing both of their grandmothers on anyone who refuses to divulge information. Grandma Mazur waves her giant pistol around, shooting random inanimate objects, and Joe’s grandmother puts the Evil Eye on them, unless they spill their guts. They are very successful and Joe can finally afford to finish fixing up his house. His dog, Bob quits horking up lingerie on the carpet, and Stephanie’s hamster gets a giant Habitrail to run around in to his heart’s content. Lula keeps doing what she does so well…dressing badly and eating at Cluck In a Bucket. Vinnie runs away to Vegas after he’s caught fooling around with the livestock at a petting zoo, and Connie runs off with a hunky UPS guy. And they all live happily ever after. The End. Works for me!

If you are not convinced to avoid this mishmash of a book by the above review, here is the link for you. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. And hey, there’s always a chance you haven’t reached the same saturation point that I have. You might enjoy it. I know I LOVED the first 15 or 16. It will always be one of my favorite series. It’s just that it’s gone on way too long now. Only my personal opinion. Around my house, that doesn’t count for all that much, anyway.

Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum)

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