Posted in blogs, horror, Links, traditional, YA

Book Review: The Girl From the Well Rin Chupeco by Traci Kenworth


Bookcover

Book Review: The Girl From the Well Rin Chupeco by Traci Kenworth

Book Blurb: “[A] Stephen Kinglike horror story…A chilling, bloody ghost story that resonates.”― Kirkus

From the highly acclaimed author of the Bone Witch trilogy comes a chilling story of a Japanese ghost looking for vengeance and the boy who has no choice but to trust her, lauded as a “a fantastically creepy story sure to keep readers up at night” (RT Book Reviews)

I am where dead children go.

Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they’re due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still, she drifts on.

Such is her existence, until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen’s skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There’s just one problem:  if the demon dies, so does its host.

Suspenseful and creepy, The Girl from the Well is perfect for readers looking for

  • Spooky books for young adults
  • Japanese horror novels
  • Ghost stories for teens
  • East Asian folklore

Praise for The Girl from the Well

“There’s a superior creep factor that is pervasive in every lyrical word of Chupeco’s debut, and it’s perfect for teens who enjoy traditional horror movies…the story is solidly scary and well worth the read.” ― Booklist

“Chupeco makes a powerful debut with this unsettling ghost story…told in a marvelously disjointed fashion from Okiku’s numbers-obsessed point of view, this story unfolds with creepy imagery and an intimate appreciation for Japanese horror, myth, and legend.” ― Publishers Weekly STARRED review

“It hit all the right horror notes with me, and I absolutely recommend it to fans looking for a good scare. ” ― The Book Smugglers

My Review: The book opens with a serial killer snatching a young Tark. His cousin joins the search for him. When she discovers his location and frantically tries to get him away, she discovers that Tark is not alone. Something haunts him. A young girl who saves both their lives in her vengeance for victims that’ve gone before.

The cousin watches Tark in the months that follow worried over the presence within him. She doesn’t realize that an even darker force rules the boy due to his mother. Okiku, the ghost, is determined to keep Tark save from the same. When Tark’s father invites the cousin to Japan where his mother was from to delve into the sickness that has grown in the boy, she jumps at the chance to keep him safe.

Okiku begins to reveal to the cousin her past in Japan as they journey along to the mountain village Tark’s mother is from. Once there, they learn secrets about Tark’s mother, what she was trying to do, and what must be done to save him if possible. Because there’s a curse deeper than the one his mother cast on him, one that could cause Tark to die.

Thoughts: This was a decent horror read. I had a bit of trouble getting into the book because of all that I didn’t know about the Japanese culture. At times, it did distract me from the story. I liked when they arrived in Japan versus the American part better. Learning about Okiku was interesting. Also, diving into Tark’s mother’s history.

I think I liked the Japan part of the story because it seemed more grounded, more relevant. While in America, the background wasn’t as well drawn in and therefore, harder to get into. This won’t stop me from reading the sequel, however.


         I have other book reviews to deliver next as part of my getting back into things. At some point however, I do have to go in for a more complicated surgery and I’m not sure how that will play out as far as recovery. I plan to get back to two books by Indie authors that I owe a review for asap. In the meantime, the Netgalley ones have to be gotten through as I go along to keep with their time schedules. This happened to be a Netgalley one. The opinions are my own given in exchange for a free review copy.

Here are some products you may like. I do receive a small compensation from the site for posting them.

  1. The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco https://amzn.to/3uNfQ5B
  2. The Shadow and the Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo https://amzn.to/3K01lSa Highly recommend!
  3. The Cursebreaker Series by Brigid Kemmerer https://amzn.to/3IVlGXG Another highly recommend!
  4. The Caravel Series by Stephanie Garber https://amzn.to/3DsZjaJ Still another highly recommended!
  5. The Catcher and the Rye by J.D. Salinger https://amzn.to/3wRz5O3 A classic!

Below are some links you may enjoy:

  1. The Indie Spot https://beemweeks.wordpress.com/2022/04/02/the-hat-is-humorous-and-original/

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon. Craig’s work is always worth a read!

2. Entertaining Stories https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2022/04/02/word-count-and-future-ideas/

I closed my iPad, then leaned back in my lounge chair. “That’s a wrap for today, folks.”

Lisa Burton, my robot assistant picked the twin ponytails from her hair. “Back to more Cicis tomorrow?”

“Probably.”

“You really need to get these girls some better clothes.”

“I did, but they tend to wear jumpsuits while they’re on the ship. We’re deep into the mission right now.”

Percy, the Space Chimp, perked up. “Not bad, dude. I’m finally in the shuttle and weapons are hot. I’m expecting to kick some major ass tomorrow.”

“Me, too. We’re nearly finished. You have two adventures left in this book and I should easily break eighty-thousand words.”

3. Word Craft Poetry https://wordcraftpoetry.com/2022/04/02/shareyourday/#comment-113240

Okay, I’ve finally found a theme that works for me. Whew! WP definitely upgraded the editor again, because everything looks different in the post template. I also had to change my browser to Chrome. Not my favorite, but everything seems to be working on WP. Fingers Crossed!! Many thanks to David for his theme inspiration… the Libre2 theme is working. 🙏🏻 🌸

This week for #TankaTuesday, I’m sharing the spot where I do all my writing and creating. Sophie spends the day (and nights) with me most of the time. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m still in my jammies as it’s been another wintry day here in Michigan. I’m looking forward to spring!

4. Kill Zone Blog https://killzoneblog.com/2022/04/up-front-money.html

Not long ago, (but before the lockdown) I was invited to speak at a library down in Mason, just west of San Antonio. That little south Texas town was where Fred Gipson lived, one of my favorite authors who wrote Old Yeller and Savage Sam.

They put me up in a quaint old hotel down there in the hill country, overlooking the town square that wasn’t much more than an intersection of two lane roads. It was one of those little perks I enjoy as an author. I spoke that night and signed my latest novel, then retired to the balcony and sipped a gin and tonic under the stars, thinking about an elderly woman who came to me after the talk, asking if I could help her with a problem.

I’d signed my last book and was getting ready to leave when she took a chair beside me. “You’re a famous author.” She spoke with a German accent, which isn’t unusual in that part of the Lone Star State. The German-Texan culture began here in 1831, five years before the Alamo fell, and significantly increased after the close of the Civil War. It’s estimated that over 40,000 emigrants moved to Texas by the close of the nineteenth century.

“No ma’am. I’m far from famous, just a pretty good writer who entertains people.”

“Well, you surely have an agent.” A note to anyone thinking of publishing. Read this!

5. Smorgasbord Blog Magazine https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/04/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-memories-music-and-movies-1993-40th-mr2-m-people-mrs-doubtfire/

It is 1993 and in the February I hit the big 40. At the beginning of the year, I looked at my wish list as most of us do before hitting a milestone birthday. One of my top ‘things to do before I am 40’ was to own a racy little number.

As a teenager I had a number of boyfriends who owned sports cars. Whilst they may have anticipated something a little different when I suggested that we adjourn to the car park at Clarence Parade after a date, they were disappointed. I only wanted their car keys! I had spent many a happy hour in a Triumph Spitfire or a later model TR4 doing circuits of the car park.

I did not get my official driving licence until 1980 and had driven for both work and pleasure in the intervening years. We had enjoyed many road trips when living in Texas including across from Houston to New Mexico, a distance of 650 miles without stopping except for gas.

Posted in blogs, Craft, Family life, horror

Writerly Things 8/32/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Writerly Things 8/31/2020: What We Do in the Shadows

Traci Kenworth

Have any of you watched the TV series: What We Do in the Shadows or read the books? I find the series extremely kooky and funny. There are four vampires but basically three of them ignore the fourth, an energy vampire, Collin. A familiar who wants to become one of them serves the Master, Nandor the Relentless. The female vampire is Nadja and her husband, Laszlo.

They make fun of themselves and other vampires. Nandor who when the Barron came to town, wanted to layer himself with glitter to get that Twilight effect. Nadja has a former lover who keeps getting reborn and beheaded over the years. She longs to be with him but is bored with the latest rebirth. His name is Jeff and she just can’t get interested in someone named Jeff.

Laszlo has a row with vampires who according to an ancient scroll have to fight on an ancient neutral turf. A roof top. There, each is to choose their best warrior. A huge beast is chosen for the werewolf pack, the vampires chose, Nandor, of course. He wins the battle by aid of a chew toy.

One episode has them facing the Vampire Council after the Barron is killed. The familiar tries to take the blame but the council does not believe him despite his insistence that it’s true. Instead, Nandor confesses the three killed him. They are sentenced to die by sunlight. When they are left in a pit to die, the familiar and Collin rescue them.

There are just such hilarious turns in this show. It’s on Netflix if you’re interested. So far, there are two seasons. It may be a bit racy for children.

Bestselling in Writing. Multifunctional Desk 43 inches with Drawers. Ateboo Writing Desk with Drawers. OFM Functional Writing Desk with Drawers. Omfa Computer Writing Desk with Drawers. Adorneve Writing Desk with Drawers and Hutch.

Posted in #tanka #haiku #poetry, #tanka#haigu#senryu#haiku#haibun#cinquain#etheree#nonet#shadorma, blogs, Colleen's Weekly Poetry Challenge, Craft, fantasy, horror, MG & YA, Reading, senryu, Short stories, Writing and Poetry

Three Senryu and a Short Story Traci Kenworth


Image credit: Snapwire from Pexels

a piece of fabric
lies cluttered beside rail tracks
its owner misplaced

did she run along 
the train’s rails, heart in her throat,
or did her dress tear

did she see the beast
leave the shadows of the trees
no bones or blood tracked

The Girl Running Beside the Train Tracks

Traci Kenworth

Millie lost her shoe in the flight from whatever lunged after her. She’d been about to tie her laces at the time. Bent down, she’d heard a noise. Low, keening. Like a wounded animal. She’d thought perhaps a dog—

And gone to look. Eyes hooded like a snake; the beast had crept from the woods. She’d shouted but no one came. Perhaps the train drowned out all sound from around her. Gusting down the tracks, the people inside paid her no mind as they went about their travels. Never mind, that she’d been a passenger. She’d gotten down to investigate some flowers and that was that.

She raced down the path beside the rails, the beast coming near enough to snatch a piece of her purple dress. It spun her around as it did so. She stumbled and braced herself on a tree trunk. Please. Whatever god was out there—

She wanted to live. To grow up. To do so many things.

Why she hadn’t even kissed a frog and turned it into a prince yet.

Okay, maybe that was a stretch. But what about the pony she wanted? Surely, she should have that. Or at least, a kitten.

Maybe both.

She sucked in air. Must run. She bolted toward the blue sky ahead. Someone, help.

The beast panted behind her, its claws snarling in her hair. It swung her around. She batted at it, pushing those great snapping jaws to the side. Her gaze widened at the trickle of blood on its paw. She examined it further, the beast stifling its rage. At once, she saw the problem.

The thorn removed; the beast bowed to her. “My thanks.” He gestured to a saddled and bridled pony. “Yours.”

“I’ll treasure it always.”

The End.

Bestselling in the Little Market, a non-profit for Women. Coconut-Soy Wax Blend Candle. Medium Woven Star Bowl. A Reusable Gift Bag. A Beach Towel. A Dainty Triangle Necklace-Rose gold. A reusable wine tote. Dainty Blue Opal Necklace-rose gold.

Posted in blogs, Craft, horror, Mystery/Thrillers

Writerly Things: Why Do Movies of the 1980s Seem Scarier Than Those of Today? Traci Kenworth


Image by tomekwalecki from Pixabay

Writerly Things 8/3/2020: Why is It the Best Horror Movies Seem to Have Been Made During the 1980s?

Traci Kenworth

I’ve been re-watching The Hitcher starring C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Rutger Hauer. It’s credited with the most shocking and disturbing scene in cinema history ever. That is when Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character, Nash, is chained between two semi-trucks and the villain begins tugging her between them. That film made a lot of people afraid to pick up hitchhikers in its day. I wonder if the films of today have the same effect.

Alien.

Who can forget the Queen of Horror, Sigourney Weaver as Ripley who fought of an alien on her spaceship as those around her died? I don’t think anyone could replace her staunch toughness and her ability to rise above it all. Even the sequel displayed this. I won’t go into Aliens 3 or the later sequel where Winona Ryder was supposed to replace Ripley in the new franchise as neither hold a candle to those two.

Even the Hitcher had sequels that never lived up to the original. They weren’t suspenseful enough or didn’t come close to pushing us over the edge of terror, I guess.

Terminator.

This was the best movie of this franchise, though the second gets a nod as well. Knowing that that machine was out there, that it would never, ever stop, until Sarah Conner was dead terrified many. I mean, there are quite a few people wary of machines today because of this movie. Even those in the higher up departments.

Predator.

Another terrifying movie as the hunter who came down at a certain season to hunt man. This time a group of soldiers in a jungle who were already busy with a human enemy. This creature takes over a mission to kill all. Its sequels failed to reach the same heights as the original but that makes it no less scary.

The Lost Boys.

It introduced vampire and comedy together and became gold for it’s two fellow stars. When Sam discovered his brother Michael was a vampire, all hell broke loose. A coven of vampire targets the family and it’s up to the two of them joined by the Frog brothers to save the day.

Poltergeist.

A family moves into a new community, thinking they’ve got it made, and are in for a good life. Instead, their daughter goes missing. Clowns come to life. And coffins burst up through the foundation.

Amityville Horror.

A house possessed. A family in danger. A priest tries to help and finds himself in the battle of his life. Who could forget this heart stopping movie that made us check those housing leases more thoroughly?

Phantasm.

Who could forget those shiny, metal balls with blades within them chasing down the characters? The Tall Man driving around in his hearse, taking the living down to his moratorium.

Jaws.

The movie that kept people out of the water and terrified of sharks ever since. The original, once again, was the best.

I could go on and on with more movies made back then but you get the gist. I admit there are some good movies today, but the eighties seem to be the crown jewel in scary times. Although with the coronavirus going on, who’s to say that movies won’t go through another heightened period? I’ve seen some new ones that look promising, so we’ll see.

I’m wondering though: if sequels in movies do much good? Maybe the second can repeat the success but the third and so on? They don’t seem to come close to what the original introduced. This doesn’t seem to be the case with books; however, I see the sequels intensifying the situations. Wonder if it’s the media that’s the problem?

Bestselling in College Essentials. Kate Spade New York Scallop Bath Towel. Nivea Maximum Hydration for Men. Nivea Bloom Body Wash. Acne Oil Free Stress Control. Philips Sonicare Protect Your Teeth. Maybelline Dream BB Fresh.

Posted in blogs, Craft, horror, MG & YA, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Book Talk 7/24/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by Udo Reitter from Pixabay

What I’m reading in YA: Sightwitch by Susan Dennard, How to Write a Children’s Book by The Institute of Children’s Literature, The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman, The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco, A Heart So Fierce & Broken by Brigid Kemmerer, Heir to Fire by Sarah J. Maas, and Through the Nethergate by Robbie Cheadle.

Posted in blogs, Craft, fantasy, horror, http://rebekahlpurdy.wordpress.com, Indie, MG & YA, Reading, Rebekah L. Purdy, traditional, YA

Book Talk 5/29/2020: What I’m Reading in YA Traci Kenworth


Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

I’m reading A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer, Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, Where There Be Humans by Rebekah L. Purdy, A36 by Teri Polen, Through the Nethergate by Robbie Cheadle, The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco, Sightwitch by Susan Dennard, The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, and How to Write a Children’s Book by Children’s Literature Society.

Want some fun summer games? How about volleyball? Badminton?

Pool table?

Cricket? Horseshoes?

Need some poolside chairs?

Posted in blogs, Craft, fantasy, Historicals, horror, Links, Links, MG & YA, Reading, Short stories, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Five Links 5/23/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by Oldiefan from Pixabay

Five Links 5/23/2020

Traci Kenworth

Writing:

1. https://killzoneblog.com/2020/05/thrillers-bring-the-light.html “Yes, this unsightly wasp with its ugly orange head and relatively large body mass, has arrived on our shores intent on killing innocent little honey bees and, indeed, the occasional human.

But just when we think we are in the midst of a Stephen King nightmare, along comes a hero, a savior, a defender of all that is good and decent and pure: the praying mantis!

How appropriate that the vanquisher of a grotesque insect villain should turn out to be an insect of another sort—one that humbly supplicates to the Creator before chomping the brains of its adversary.”

2. https://stevelaube.com/be-a-luddite-not-a-lunkhead/ “I recently read a letter to the editor in a writers magazine in which an aspiring writer of advanced years bemoaned those publishers who accept only electronic submissions (via email or website).

“Surely I am not the only soul who still works with a typewriter,” the correspondent wrote. “Possibly it’s because I’m eighty-eight, but don’t accuse me of being completely out of touch.”

Well, no. Not exactly. It has little to do with age. After all, I just finished reading William Zinsser’s lovely memoir, Writing Places, published in his eighties, in which he describes the limits of his technological advancement while still maintaining a prolific output in the age of computers, blogs, websites, and ebooks.

One can be a Luddite without being a lunkhead.

Luddite is a term borrowed from early 19th-century English workmen who destroyed laborsaving machinery as a protest. Today the word is used to describe someone who is generally opposed or resistant to new technologies.”

3. https://writersinthestormblog.com/2020/05/pandemic-genius-writing-inspiration/ “I don’t know about you, dear writer, but coming to terms with quarantine has been a challenge for me.  Yes, I had extra time at home for the crucible of creativity, but not without a steep learning curve. Writing inspiration has been hard to come by.

During quarantine, my family pushed pause on activities and the daily grind.  We found some comfort in the slower pace of life, dealing with the negative impact as best as we could. As many parts of the world begin reopening, let’s not forget the writing we have accomplished so far.

As always, I am inspired by history. There have been other pandemics, and great works have come from them.

Historical figures can in”

4. https://megdowell.com/2020/05/21/10-surprising-things-i-learned-about-writing-just-in-the-past-100-days/

5. https://stevelaube.com/101-best-websites-for-writers/

Research & Fun Bits:

1. https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/a-glorious-writing-day/ “This had to be the longest work week in history. It added to my back problems, because I had to spend the entire day yesterday in an uncomfortable chair to attend a Zoom meeting.

I doubted my ability to even get out of bed this morning, but I made it around 7:00. I think the Woodford Reserve helped last night, because I slept like a baby.

Frankie was a little shit most of the morning. She’s really smart and calculates things. She wanted Otto to play outside with her, but he’s figured out her nonsense. She spots an imaginary squirrel, then paws the door with urgency. She runs out all excited, but he watches from the doorway.

Now she’s added me to her game. It was cold, but I’d let her out enough times that I left the door open so she could come and go. She started coming to me in a lather. She stomps her front feet back and forth, makes a Chewbacca noise, then runs to the door… but the door is open.”

2. https://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/5-tips-to-help-you-find-a-blog-topic/ “Finding a blog topic is always a struggle for me. I’m lucky to get to share the writing of this blog with my fellow Books & Such agents, so I don’t need a new topic as frequently. I know many of you run your own blogs and you need to post multiple times each week. I’ve found a few methods that help me to come up with topics and maybe these will help you, too.

1) Watch on loops and in groups, like ACFW, a Facebook writing group, or your critique group, for common questions or concerns that other writers are having. Use these topics and questions to spark a post.

2) Get personal. Connect something in your life to publishing or to your books. A lot of readers would love to hear little details about their favorite authors so even if the personal story you are sharing doesn’t have much application to your story, it might still be a good idea to share it. (Just be careful to be safe with the details you are putting online.)”

3. https://franceandvincent.com/2020/05/21/the-giant-and-the-sun-the-one-with-the-alien-a-thousand-miles-of-history/ “We had decided to visit six churches with our companions. That is a lot of churches to visit in one afternoon… and we were conscious that they are not everyone’s cup of tea. These ones, though, are all old and interesting, and each one of them marks a point of the hexagram in the landscape with which we would work. We had assigned each of the churches to a place on the Fire or Water triangle, which carried with it a planetary attribution and colour, and each companion had chosen ‘their’ church by drawing lots.”

4. https://franceandvincent.com/2020/05/21/dear-wen-norman/

5. https://acoup.blog/2020/05/22/collections-the-battle-of-helms-deep-part-iv-men-of-rohan/ “This is the fourth part of a series taking a historian’s look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (IIIIII) from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. In the last part, we looked in some depth at the organization of the host of Saruman and the seeds of ill-preparation, leadership and cohesion which will bloom as poor performance in the fortress assault at the Hornburg. This week, we’re going to keep that approach going, but turn our lidless eye on the army of Rohan: how is this army organized and what makes it function? How does it cohere? Why is it able to stick together, when Saruman’s more imposing army falls apart?

As before, if you like what you are reading here, please share it; if you really like it, you can support me on Patreon. And if you want updates whenever a new post appears, you can click below for email updates or follow me on twitter (@BretDevereaux) for updates as to new posts as well as my occasional ancient history, foreign policy or military history musings.”

Some Things More Serious:

1. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2020/05/conflict-thesaurus-running-out-of-critical-supplies/ “Conflict is very often the magic sauce for generating tension and turning a ho-hum story into one that rivets readers. As such, every scene should contain a struggle of some kind. Maybe it’s an internal tug-of-war having to do with difficult decisions, morals, or temptations. Or it possibly could come from an external source—other characters, unfortunate circumstances, or the force of nature itself.

It’s our hope that this thesaurus will help you come up with meaningful and fitting conflict options for your stories. Think about what your character wants and how best to block them, then choose a source of conflict that will ramp up the tension in each scene.”

2. https://marciamearawrites.com/2020/05/22/how-to-publish-with-kdp-part-nine/ “Hello SErs. Harmony here.  As promised, here is  part nine in the post series dedicated to taking a step-by-step look at how to get your finished manuscript from your computer and on sale on Amazon in both ebook and paperback.

If you’d like to take a look back at the previous posts in this series, please click on the links at the end of this post.

So, here’s Part Nine: An overview of your KDP Dashboard.

So, after my last post ( HERE), you now have a KDP account set up. Today, we’re taking a look at what your KDP dashboard looks like, and what the different options offer. Below is an image of your dashboard area >”

3. https://robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/have-you-ever-touched-an-elephant/ “uring our last trip to Knysna in the Western Cape, we visited the Knysna Elephant Park (est. 1994) which is the first facility in South Africa to house and care for orphaned African elephants.

It was a wonderful experience and we learned that over the last twenty years, the park has cared for and raised more than forty elephants. These animals cared for by the park include relocated animals, orphaned calves, elephants rescued from culls and ex-circus animals. Some remain long term and become part of the resident herd, while others are eventually moved to other reserves and facilities in the Western and Eastern Cape. The decision as to whether to keep an animal at the park permanently or find another good home for it depends on the animal’s personality, bonds with other animals and welfare needs.

You can find out more about the Knysna Elephant Park here:”

4. https://megdowell.com/2020/05/22/11-strategies-i-use-when-my-motivation-to-write-disappears/

5. https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/angel-messages-may-23-2020/

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. https://charmedchaos.com/2020/05/16/the-owl-and-i/

2. https://seths.blog/2020/05/waiting-and-worrying/

3. https://www.djranch.org/2020/05/21/lily-of-the-nile/

4. https://conniejjasperson.com/2020/05/21/on-poetry-interview-with-shaun-allan-singularityspnt-amwriting/

5. https://trentsworldblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/21/painted-writephoto/

Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/smorgasbord-book-reviews-fantasy-paranormal-viral-blues-by-c-s-boyack/ “Someone knows about the hat. The creature from another dimension that helps Lizzie fight against the creatures of darkness.

They are summoned to a cryptic meeting with a secret society, where they meet other people with enhanced skills. It turns out someone, or something, has been tampering with the world’s vaccine supply. The goal doesn’t appear to be political or financial, but biblical pestilence.

Can this group of loners come together in time to make a difference when even the proper authorities are obstacles?

Check out Viral Blues, for your dose of paranormal adventure, with a strong sample of dark humor. And in recent superhero style, don’t miss the secret last chapter after the back material.”

2. https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/rosies-bookreview-team-rbrt-football-horror-novella-burntbridge-boys-by-john_f_leonard/ “It’s 1979 and Sammy Rafferty is on the run. From the past. From the police. And, perhaps more importantly, from some rather unfriendly criminal types.
He thinks his football dreams are over, but that might not be the case. He’s run to Burntbridge Lye. A place where dreams don’t always die.

Sammy “the butcher” Rafferty has long since kissed his playing days goodbye. Never kicking a competitive ball again was a hard pill to swallow and he’s not ready for his managerial career to come to an untimely end. The thought of forever being shut out of football makes his heart sink and feet itch.

There isn’t any choice. The cards have been dealt and you have to play the hand you’re given. Sammy grits his teeth and gets on with it. Life settles into monotony and offers only boredom and frustration …until he comes across an old football ground nestled in the back of beyond.

He can almost hear the roar of the crowd as he parks at the gates of the deserted Burntbridge Palmers, a decaying stadium on the outskirts of Bledbrooke Town.
The club that won’t die could be just the place for a man who still has a gleam in his eye. After all, they’re both ghosts that won’t go away.”

3. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/authortoolboxbloghop-may-38-essential-writers-books/ “Hello and welcome to the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop which meets every third Wednesday of the month to share resources and tips for authors. Thanks to Raimey Gallant for hosting this venture.

Please join to learn more about the craft of writing and to meet bloggers who are dedicated to helping each other become the best writers possible. Click here to visit other blog hop participants.

THIS MONTH: 38 ESSENTIAL WRITING BOOKS

In my office, I have my computer table, an oak roll top desk close enough my left elbow bumps it when I really get going on the keyboard”

4. http://storitorigrace.blogspot.com/2020/05/book-review-and-writing-lessons.html “Face-to-face with her past, Audra Ellison now knows the secret she gave up everything—including her memory—to protect. A secret made vulnerable by her rediscovery, and so powerful neither the Historian nor the traitor Prince Nikola will ever let her live to keep it.

With Luka in the Historian’s custody and the clock ticking down on his life, Audra only has one impossible chance: find and kill the Historian and end the centuries-old war between the Progeny and Scions at last—all while running from the law and struggling to control her growing powers.

With the help of a heretic monk and her Progeny friends Claudia, Piotrek, and Jester, Audra will risk all she holds dear in a final bid to save them all and put her powers to the ultimate test. Love, action, and stunning revelation reign in this thrilling conclusion to The Progeny.”

5. https://teripolen.com/2020/05/21/the-gentlemans-guide-to-getting-lucky-by-mackenzi-lee-bookreview-ya-lgbt/In this funny and frothy novella that picks up where the New York Times bestselling The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue leaves off, freshly minted couple Monty and Percy fumble through their first time together.

Monty’s epic grand tour may be over, but now that he and Percy are finally a couple, he realizes there is something more nerve-wracking than being chased across Europe: getting together with the person you love.

Will the romantic allure of Santorini make his first time with Percy magical, or will all the anticipation and build-up completely spoil the mood?”

Beach wear: bathing suits for women, men, and children. Teens.

Beach towels. Umbrella. Sun hats.

Suntan lotion. Sunscreen. Pet coverings.

Posted in blogs, fantasy, horror, MG & YA, Reading, YA

Book Talk 5/22/2020: Kiersten White’s Chosen Traci Kenworth


Book Talk 5/22/2020: Kiersten White’s Chosen

Traci Kenworth

Chosen by Kiersten White. Simon Pulse. Jan 2020. YA.

Amazon’s blurb: Seventeen Best YA Book of 2020 So Far
Hypable Most Anticipated YA Fantasy Sequel of 2020
“Will get Buffy fans up in their feels.” —Entertainment Weekly on Slayer

Nina continues to learn how to use her slayer powers against enemies old and new in this second novel in the New York Times bestselling series from Kiersten White, set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Now that Nina has turned the Watcher’s Castle into a utopia for hurt and lonely demons, she’s still waiting for the utopia part to kick in. With her sister Artemis gone and only a few people remaining at the castle—including her still-distant mother—Nina has her hands full. Plus, though she gained back her Slayer powers from Leo, they’re not feeling quite right after being held by the seriously evil succubus Eve, a.k.a. fake Watcher’s Council member and Leo’s mom.

And while Nina is dealing with the darkness inside, there’s also a new threat on the outside, portended by an odd triangle symbol that seems to be popping up everywhere, in connection with Sean’s demon drug ring as well as someone a bit closer to home. Because one near-apocalypse just isn’t enough, right?

The darkness always finds you. And once again, it’s coming for the Slayer.

My Review: Most of this book I guessed wrong at. Lol. Always a good thing. Nina and her sister, Artemis, are at odds. Artemis has joined Sean’s cult group and is trying to help a god get back his glory. She sneaks into the castle at night and steals a book. Although Nina catches her, she allows Artemis to leave with the book hoping Artemis will realize she can still come home. Out on a hunt with Doug, she is shocked to discover Leo still alive, a fractured shell of himself who is dying because he won’t feed like his mother did. She also picks up three other slayers from Buffy’s fold and takes them back to the castle. Meanwhile, Artemis, hungry for power, attacks the castle with Sean’s minions to retrieve something they need. When Nina realizes the extent her sister is willing to go to, to bring her and the Watchers down, will the prophecy at last come true?

It was a nice edition to the slayer universe. I like how everything ended up. Fighting the darkness within is sometimes the hardest thing to do as evident by both Artemis and Nina. I did find the bit pertaining to Oz’s portrayal weird. It didn’t seem like him at all. Faith was dead-on. Buffy—off in the time she was shown.

Posted in a bit of seriousness, blogs, Family life, horror, MG & YA, Reading, Writing and Poetry, YA

Book Talk 3/27/2020: Additions to YA Traci Kenworth


Image by Dennis Larsen from Pixabay

Book Talk 3/27/2020: Additions to What I’m Reading in YA

Traci Kenworth

Hood by Jenny Elder Moke. I know, a short, short list of additions. I’ve got so many in the rotation right now, trying to keep up.

How are things for you at home? Safe, I hope. We are hanging in there. Watching the birds more. Enjoying nature. I hope to get a grill soon to celebrate the warmer weather. I haven’t had one in some years, An indoor one but it doesn’t cook them as good as the outdoor ones. I prefer charcoal to gas as I’m not sure how to operate them. They have faster charcoal briquettes now.

Not watching much TV right now. Working on blogs and trying to find time for writing and editing when I can. It’s tough going. Searches for items we need can take up some time when out and about. I still have to get my daughter to work as she’s in retail. Groceries are starting to come back slowly. They are limiting purchases of some items which I can’t blame them since everyone went berserk for toilet paper etc.

The pets are doing well. Watching birds. One just ran into the house. Not the window mind you, but the actual side of the house. Everything looks calm & peaceful outside but appearances can be deceiving. However, I’m going to choose to think the best of us today. Be kind to one another, take care, and God bless!

In the meantime, could you use some cleaning supplies: one, two, three, and four.

Some pet supplies? One, two, three.

Baby supplies? One, two.

Young kids? One. Slightly older? One. College? One.

Posted in blogs, Craft, fantasy, horror, Links, Links, MG & YA, Reading, Short stories, traditional, writers, Writing and Poetry

Five Links 3/27/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by JacekBen from Pixabay

Five Links 3/27/2020

Traci Kenworth

Writing:

1. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2020/03/conflict-thesaurus-bad-weather/ “Conflict is very often the magic sauce for generating tension and turning a ho-hum story into one that rivets readers. As such, every scene should contain a struggle of some kind. Maybe it’s an internal tug-of-war having to do with difficult decisions, morals, or temptations. Or it possibly could come from an external source—other characters, unfortunate circumstances, or the force of nature itself.

It’s our hope that this thesaurus will help you come up with meaningful and fitting conflict options for your stories. Think about what your character wants and how best to block them, then choose a source of conflict that will ramp up the tension in each scene.

Conflict: Bad Weather”

2. https://megdowell.com/2020/03/20/10-signs-writing-success-is-actually-closer-than-you-think/

3. https://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2020/03/24/how-to-plan-a-novel-ep-6-free-podcast-for-writers/

4. https://jamigold.com/2020/03/writing-craft-basics-how-to-format-dialogue/ “If your brain is any amount of scattered like mine, now might be a good time to cover some of the basics of our writing craft. So let’s tackle a subject I haven’t dug into here before: dialogue formatting and a few do’s and don’ts.

I originally started this post intending to dig deeper into a dialogue point-of-view question a reader asked, but the introduction of these formatting basics took up the whole post. Oops! So rather than shortchanging either topic, I’ll cover the basics today and we’ll come back to the more advanced stuff on Thursday. *smile*

Most of us who want to write also love reading, so we might think we already know everything about dialogue formatting, but sometimes a tricky situation can catch us by surprise. So let’s make sure we know all there is to know about dialogue formatting.”

5.  https://rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/brainstorming-by-yourself/ “All across the nation, people are staying home, socially distancing, and generally isolating themselves. Which means, getting together with your critique partners has become a national no-no, unless you’re FaceTiming or using one of those conferencing aps like Zoom.

So what’s a writer to do when you’re staring a new book, and that writer’s retreat that you scheduled where you were going to plot it out with friends has been postponed indefinitely? Short answer: you gotta suck it up and figure it out on your own.

Here’s something I do whenever I get stuck, or I’m just starting a book, and my critique partners and brainstorming posse is unavailable.

Step One: I get a piece of paper and at the top I write the character’s name. And right under that I write down his/her major external goal or problem.

Step Two: For ten minutes I write down stuff that could happen that would make it harder to achieve that goal, or which would make the goal more important. I write down everything including dumb ideas, cliches, and stuff that’s just silly. When the timer goes off, I usually have a list of at least 20 things that could happen, and usually the last few are kind of interesting.

Step Three:  I get a second piece of paper, write down the character’s name and his/her goal at the top.  And then instead of thinking about things that would make the goal more important or harder, I think about all the things that could happen that would make the character’s goal more important/problematic for the community in which the character operates.  In my case that’s always a small town, but for a police procedure it could be the local government or police force.

Step Four:  I get a third piece of paper, write down the character’s name and his/her goal at the top.  And then I list out all the things that might happen that would make achieving the goal or solving the problem a life or death proposition.  This one is harder than the rest because of the kind of books I write.  But I always find ideas when I do this.

When you’re finished with this exercise you will have more ideas on how to “raise the stakes” in your story, and add conflict, which is what people want to read.”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. https://franceandvincent.com/2020/03/20/found-mounds-the-call-of-albion/ “‘…Maybe it is because it is our third visit or maybe it is because there are three of us, or maybe we had to work out the St Andrew thing before we were allowed to ascend, who knows?

Whatever the reasons, we re-convene on top of the man-made-conical-mound which hides behind the Church of St Nicholas, High Bradfield and Wen has an interesting take on proceedings.

“If St Andrew of Scotland is Andrew the Disciple of Christ then he may have come over here with Joseph of Arimathea.”

2. https://legendsofwindemere.com/2020/03/20/types-of-spying-in-war-of-nytefall/ “Now, this may be a better topic for War of Nytefall: Ravenous, but I felt like I couldn’t risk forgetting it.  Spying and gathering intelligence is still very important in Eradication, especially when you see one of the big moves that Leo Kandrel makes.  In fact, the Dawn Fangs and their enemies have come to see that gathering information is more important than battles.  This is where the real struggle comes from since many events come down to who knows what and who learns of things first.  The side that pinpoints the location of the Fist of Durag could very well turn the tide of the slow-moving war.

Now, I’ve noticed about 6 types of spying that goes on in War of Nytefall.  It’s actually 3 to each side.  There is a 7th that I can’t talk about though because of spoilers.  Let’s leave that one alone and dive right into the methods.”

3. https://jenanita01.com/2020/03/20/smorgasbord-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-shortstory-horses-satin-and-cinders-by-jan-sikes/ “A wild black stallion has cautiously watched a beautiful white mare, from the safety of the forest for many years. He longs to be with her, and ventures close to the barn nightly to communicate with her. They share their deepest desires and secrets. Now it is winter, and the rest of the wild herd has moved on, but the stallion stays. He cannot stand the thought of being so far away from her. The scent of sweet alfalfa hay and the enticing lure of the white mare is too much for him. He must find a way to be with her. But will it be worth the risk? Satin and Cinders is a story of courage and determination.”

4. https://scvincent.com/2020/03/21/dignity-and-memories/We were supposed to be in Scotland this week, revisiting a magical place. However, that cannot happen at the moment. As things are rather up in the air, I thought I’d revisit a past trip this week and share a bit of history from a past adventure… and a Yorkshire parish church with an awful lot of history:”

5. https://marciamearawrites.com/2020/03/23/character-archetypes-the-trickster/ “If you’ve been following my reblogs of C. S. Boyack’s series on archetypes, you’ll really enjoy his Story Empire post today on Tricksters. What are they and how can writers use them to add surprising elements to their stories? Just head on over and check it out. You’ll be glad you did! Oh, and please don’t forget to share so others can learn more about archetypes, too. Thanks, and thanks to Craig for such an interesting and helpful post. 🙂

Some Things More Serious:

1. https://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/what-does-this-pandemic-mean-for-writers/ “his is the question I’m getting over and over again from my authors. COVID-19 has changed everything. How is this going to affect us? What’s going to happen to publishing?

The short answer is: Nobody knows. But there are a few truths we can point to.

First, people are going to continue to read. If you’re a writer, keep doing what you do, because we need you.

Second, publishing has already survived pandemics, recessions, the Great Depression, two world wars, the advent of television, the growth of the Internet, and the proliferation of ways to entertain ourselves. Publishing has changed with the times and will continue to do so. My best guess is that books will still be published and people will continue to read them.

In the short term, there may be fallout. Some independent bookstores, which have thankfully been doing well lately, might not survive. That would be a big loss. (You can help by supporting your local indie right now!)”

2. https://conniejjasperson.com/2020/03/23/writing-through-the-perilous-times-amwriting/ “We live in difficult times. You might be temporarily unemployed unless your work is the sort where you can telecommute. My husband falls into the “work from home” category. My brother does not. Like many others, he is mostly unemployed once again.

If you live in Washington State, you have some help available. They’re small, but better than nothing. Our governor immediately put our fallback resources in place, trying to help our struggling workers and our healthcare system.”

3. https://chelseaannowens.com/2020/03/23/11100/ ““Every persons’ definition of happy may hold a different meaning. I feel it’s important that you recognize what that meaning is for you and once you have defined it, understand that it is up to you to walk toward it.

“It’s so very easy to blame those around us or circumstances we find ourselves in for our happiness. What we do not always realize is that we have control of nothing but our inner voice and a choice. A choice to make our lives more amazing than we thought possible.

“Your happiness depends on you, and while it may not always be clear or it may seem like a dark path to walk, when we realize the light comes from within, the search for it elsewhere is no longer required.”

4. https://whenangelsfly.net/2020/03/23/6-ways-to-help-anxious-children-during-coronavirus-behaviour101/Do you have an anxious child right now? Will they benefit from direct strategies to combat this feeling or will a subtle approach work better? This article provides both.

via 6 Ways to Help Anxious Children during Coronavirus — Behaviour101

5. https://megdowell.com/2020/03/23/when-you-learn-writing-gets-lonely-the-blank-page/ “The Blank Page is a new weekly series on Novelty Revisions dedicated to any writer who is just beginning their journey or starting again after a long pause. Check back every Monday for more tips and inspiration.

Writing — and being a writer — is as fulfilling and worthwhile as it often sounds. There are downsides to every hobby and profession. Writing is also exhausting, sometimes overwhelming and frustrating. But that just makes the entire experience worth the occasional struggle.

Something that isn’t talked about enough is writing and its relation to socialization — mainly that you don’t always understand how lonely writing can be until you experience it firsthand.

It must be discouraging to finally dive into the hobby that could one day become your dream job, only to realize how isolating and lonely it can feel. Especially on days writing is more of a struggle and you wish you had someone to talk with about your frustrations.”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/there-are-mowers-mowing/

2. https://kittysverses.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/choice-2/

3. https://www.djranch.org/2020/03/20/flash-fiction-the-storm-to-pass/

4. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-whats-in-a-name-vanessa-in-a-dilemma-by-sally-cronin/

5. https://susansplace.blog/2020/03/23/thank-you-for-all-that-you-do/

Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/news-round-up-week-ending-20-march-2020/

2. https://pitchwars.org/happy-book-birthday-to-the-derby-daredevils-kenzie-kickstarts-a-team-by-mentor-kit-rosewater/ “A highly illustrated middle-grade series that celebrates new friendships, first crushes, and getting out of your comfort zone

Ever since they can remember, fifth-graders Kenzie (aka Kenzilla) and Shelly (aka Bomb Shell) have dreamed of becoming roller derby superstars. When Austin’s city league introduces a brand-new junior league, the dynamic duo celebrates! But they’ll need to try out as a five-person team. Kenzie and Shelly have just one week to convince three other girls that roller derby is the coolest thing on wheels. But Kenzie starts to have second thoughts when Shelly starts acting like everyone’s best friend . . . Isn’t she supposed to be Kenzie’s best friend? And things get really awkward when Shelly recruits Kenzie’s neighbor (and secret crush!) for the team. With lots of humor and an authentic middle-grade voice, book one of this illustrated series follows Kenzie, Shelly, and the rest of the Derby Daredevils as they learn how to fall—and get back up again.”

3. https://mariacatalinaegan.com/2020/03/24/gods-and-dragons-the-dragon-of-time-book-1-by-aaron-dennis-genre-epic-fantasy/ “Gods, Dragons, a mercenary with a blade and no memory of his past…. The world of Tiamhaal is alight in war. Men ruled by kings slay their opposition in the name of their God, but there are others who claim the Gods are little more than scorned Dragons of ages past. Scar has come to find the truth, but is the truth an absolute certainty, or is it just the skewed memory of a forgotten kingdom?”

4.

5.

In need of some post-its?

What about printer paper? Pens?

What about an inspirational book to keep you company during your down time?

Or a good YA title?